This letter was written in response to an article we had published containing a misrepresentation of facts. The article has since been updated to reflect an accurate representation of the information provided.
From Angela Campbell, Associate Provost (Equity and Academic Policies)
The article rests on multiple misconceptions. McGill’s Policy against Sexual Violence was passed unanimously by Senate and the Board of Governors in Fall 2016 pursuant to extensive consultation and collaboration with diverse members of the campus community, especially students. It is well understood that the Policy will continue to evolve so that it responds to the needs of the University community. Indeed, two committees – both of which have broad student representation – are presently working to ensure the effective implementation of the Policy and a fuller understanding of campus sexual violence, and responses to it, at McGill. These committees, led by Professors Lucy Lach and Shaheen Shariff, are actively seeking student input. They will submit final reports this upcoming spring that will include recommendations to further McGill’s efforts at sexual violence prevention and response.
I wish also to correct the erroneous statement that McGill’s Policy against Sexual Violence “does not cover faculty, nor does it cover off-campus activities or events that are not university-sanctioned.” It is unfortunate that the speaker seems unaware of the first two sections of the Policy, which state:
Section 1. This Policy applies to all Members of the University Community.
Section 2. This Policy extends to all Sexual Violence.
Finally, McGill’s new Office for Sexual Violence Response, Support and Education (O-SVRSE) merits emphasis. Established pursuant to the Policy in 2016, the O-SVRSE leads campus-wide education efforts and serves as a site where any member of the campus-community affected by sexual or gender-based violence may seek support or resources. The O-SVRESE is survivor-focused and seeks to coordinate services with a view to reducing survivors’ need to disclose an incident of sexual violence more than once, and to supporting any survivor who wishes to report an incident formally to McGill or external authorities.