York University Board of Governors approves new Sexual Violence Policy


TORONTO, December 14, 2016
 - Universities across Ontario have been rightly seized with the serious issue of addressing the need for improved supports and procedures for survivors of sexual violence. The Ontario government’s bill 132 has guided York University’s efforts in seeking new ways to improve sexual violence education, awareness, reporting, and supports.  Following an extensive consultation process, this morning, York’s Board of Governors approved a comprehensive new policy on sexual violence.

“As an academic institution committed to excellence, we strive to build a safe environment where continual learning and improvement is encouraged. The new sexual violence policy and procedures represent an important step forward – with a dedicated office and resources, a survivor-centric approach, and extensive education and awareness training programs,” said Rhonda Lenton, Vice-President Academic and Provost. “The new policy affirms York’s ongoing commitment to foster a culture where attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate sexual violence are rejected, survivors are supported, and those who are found to have committed sexual violence are held accountable.”

Earlier this year, York released interim guidelines that formed the basis of a rigorous and inclusive community consultation process. As an immediate next step, the University established a Sexual Violence Response Office (SVRO) to coordinate support for all members of our community who have experienced sexual violence. The consultation process included more than 30 meetings and three separate open sessions. Participants ranged from individuals and groups across campus, to students, staff, faculty, administrators, advocates and survivors.

“At York, we are known for our progressive values – and we are proud of that. Our new sexual violence policy, which is aimed at providing supports, education, and raising awareness for all community members, reflects our commitment to create a culture of respect and to proactively develop solutions that address violence, social injustice and inequity in all forms,” said Gary Brewer, Vice-President Finance and Administration.

York University is known for championing new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-discipline programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 26 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 295,000 alumni. York U's fully bilingual Glendon campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

Media contact: Barbara Joy, Media Relations, barbjoy@yorku.ca, 416-736-5593