Another important step towards a safe and supportive campus

By Katherine Cormack Posted: May 13, 2019 2:45 p.m.

Lynn Thera is the University of Regina’s coordinator of Sexual Violence Prevention and Response.
Lynn Thera is the University of Regina’s coordinator of Sexual Violence Prevention and Response. Photos: U of R Photography

Today, on the first day of Sexual Assault Awareness Week in Saskatchewan, the University of Regina released its Sexual Violence/Misconduct Policy, replacing its precursor the Sexual Assault and Violence Policy released in 2015. 

“The University of Regina has always been committed to a safe and healthy working and learning environment; this is another important step towards creating a campus where everyone can feel safe and supported,” says Dr. Vianne Timmons, President and Vice-Chancellor. 

Mindful that the old policy required renewal and revision, a review process was launched in January, 2018, to research current “best practices” and engaged the campus community for input and ideas. 

The result is a policy designed to educate the campus community, reduce the risk of incidents of sexual violence and misconduct, and respond fairly and effectively to disclosures and reports with a focus on supporting those who come forward. 

“The Sexual Violence/Misconduct policy is a commitment by the University to create a culture of consent. It clearly identifies resources, outlines processes, supports survivors, and sends a clear message that sexualized violence will not be tolerated in the University community,” says Lynn Thera, the University’s Sexual Violence, Prevention and Response Coordinator. 

The U of R’s Sexual Violence/Misconduct Policy was approved by the University’s Board of Governors last week and is now fully in effect. Among its many provisions, the policy:

  • applies to students, staff, faculty, administration, contractors and visitors to campus; but is not restricted to on-campus incidents;
  • ensures that those who disclose/report are supported and treated with compassion, dignity and respect;
  • allows for culturally relevant, alternate-resolution processes i.e. traditional Indigenous-centred approaches;
  • ensures procedural fairness for both complainants and respondents;
  • outlines specific and detailed processes regarding institutional responses to disclosures and reports; and,
  • promotes education and awareness among the campus community.

The University’s task force, led by Dr. david Gregory, Dean of the Faculty of Nursing, conducted the review and renewal process that resulted in a policy that focuses on prevention first, but also sets out clear processes for supportive, fair, and effective responses as required. 

The full policy can be accessed here. 

david Gregory david Gregory, Dean of the Faculty of Nursing and chair of the task force that developed the new policy, say it not only focuses on the prevention of sexual violence and misconduct within our campus community, but also sets out improved processes for a supportive, fair and effective response when it does occur.

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