The University of British Columbia has approved sweeping changes to their sexual assault policy in response to legislation passed last year.
Those changes include establishing offices at its Vancouver and Okanagan campuses that will aim to prevent instances of sexual violence before they happen, and respond to them when they do.
Changes were accepted by the school’s board of governors on Thursday, and are expected to take effect in a month’s time.
Before the revised policy, sex assault reports were resolved informally, occasionally being judged by a panel of students.
Now the university will hire external investigators to look into reported cases, allowing them 60 days to complete their work.
In 2016 B.C. Liberals passed legislation requiring all public universities in the province to establish sexual assault policies by May 19.
UBC’s work began before that, however, when the university was widely criticized for its mishandling of multiple reports about a Ph.D. student in 2015.
An independent review found that while school staff acted in good faith, miscommunications and an unclear process led to delays in the investigation.