Review of the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment

Review of the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment

October 2021-March 2022

Background

The University’s Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment came into effect on January 1, 2017 and applies to all students, staff, faculty, and librarians. The Policy outlines the University’s response to incidents of sexual violence involving members of the University community, as well as supports for those who have experienced sexual violence. The Policy is an important component of the University’s commitment that all members of the University community should have the ability to study, work, and live in a campus environment free from sexual violence, including sexual harassment.

Section VIII of the Policy states that “the University will conduct a review of this policy every three years that will include members of the University community, including students, staff and faculty, and will amend the Policy as appropriate.” As the last review took place in 2019, we are launching the next policy review process at this time.

We are pleased to announce that Professor Linda Johnston, Dean of the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, and Allison Burgess, Director of the Sexual and Gender Diversity Office, will be co-chairing the consultation phase of the review process. We are grateful to the Co-Chairs for agreeing to share their valuable expertise from clinical practice, equity, and student services for the benefit of this initiative.

Finally, in September 2021, the Ontario government released a Provincial Announcement and updated regulations (Ontario Regulation 131/16 made under the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act) with new requirements for sexual violence policies at publicly assisted colleges and universities. The government requirements are aligned with established practice at U of T under the current Policy. As the full review of the Policy gets underway, any technical changes limited to the requirements of the updated government regulations will be brought forward to governance for approval immediately.

Review Approach

The Co-Chairs (noted above) will be reaching out to student society leaders and other stakeholder groups for feedback during the consultation phase, which will run through February 2022. After that date, we will be presenting the review recommendations and any resulting policy changes to governance in late spring. Open in-person consultation sessions for students, staff, faculty, and librarians will be held early in the new year.

Other components of the University’s response to sexual violence are closely related to the Policy, and should be considered part of the review. All members of the University community are invited to submit their feedback on the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment, the Student’s Companion to the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment (updated version scheduled for publication this fall), and the supports and services available to the U of T community, including the Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Centre, through the consultation website (via the online Feedback Form below).

Any questions or comments related to the review process can be forwarded to provost@utoronto.ca.

Online Feedback Form

Feedback Form and Policy Documents

To provide feedback via the online form, students, staff, faculty, and librarians will need to login using their UTORid (via the “Give Feedback” button below). Please be aware that the information submitted via this online consultation will be anonymized before it is shared with the Reviewers. For any questions and/or technical assistance, please contact the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students (vp.students@utoronto.ca).

Open Consultation Sessions

The Co-Chairs will be holding open consultation sessions for all U of T Community Members early in 2022. Information about these dates and registration will be available on this website. Decisions about whether to hold these sessions in-person or virtually will be made based on public health guidance closer to the scheduled sessions.