Sheridan Finalizes Stand-Alone Policy and Response Protocol Addressing Sexual Violence and Sexual Assault
Sheridan has finalized its stand-alone policy and response protocol addressing sexual assault and sexual violence, which is now publicly available on its website and can be found by clicking here.
“It’s essential that everyone knows their rights and responsibilities and that campuses remain safe and respectful places to study, live and work,” said Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, President and CEO at Sheridan. “Our new policy will help prevent sexual violence and ensure effective support is available to victims and survivors.”
Building on existing policies and procedures, the new documents specify what constitutes sexual violence, sexual assault, consent, and the conditions under which consent is not attainable.
The documents aim to better support victims/survivors by making information easier to find and by making the reporting process clearer – detailing who to call, what supports and referrals are available and how to file a formal complaint. They establish clear standards for those responding and investigating. They ensure that individuals who file complaints are believed and that their rights are protected. They also hold those who commit an act of sexual violence accountable.
Ontario’s college presidents voted unanimously in November, 2014 to create a stand-alone policy and protocol that would be available at all colleges by March 31. A provincial template was developed by a specialized provincial taskforce that included Sheridan’s Dean of Students, Maria Lucido Bezely. The template was publicly released in January and there have been consultations throughout the province to finalize the policy.
Individual colleges and Colleges Ontario (the advocacy organization for the province’s 24 colleges) have consulted with students and student leaders. There have also been consultations with legal experts, the Ontario Women’s Directorate, OPSEU and government officials.
“This issue continues to remain a priority at Sheridan,” said Zabudsky “and we’re grateful to everyone who has helped to bring these documents to fruition. It’s essential that we continue to work together to raise awareness about sexual violence and the role we can all play in preventing it.”
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