Student organizations across the country release a joint publication on campus sexual violence

May 8, 2018

Toronto, Ontario – Student organizations across the country have released a joint publication on campus sexual violence, titled, Shared Perspectives: A Joint Publication on Campus Sexual Violence Prevention and Response.

In the publication, students from Victoria to Charlottetown express the need to eradicate sexual violence on their campuses. The report includes contributions from the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA), Alliance of BC Students (ABCS), the College Student Alliance (CSA), the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA), Union étudiante du Québec (UEQ), New Brunswick Student Alliance (NBSA), Students Nova Scotia (StudentsNS), and the University of Prince Edward Island Student Union (UPEISU).

“It is important that student organizations from across the country are collaborating to bring more awareness to the issue of sexual violence on post-secondary campuses,” said Stephanie Bellotto, student at Wilfrid Laurier University and board member at OUSA. “This publication sheds light on the challenges students are facing, what gaps currently exist, and how we can strengthen efforts to combat sexual violence as a country and in our communities.”

The publication identifies challenges and opportunities that exist in individual provinces, but also looks past provincial borders in order to highlight sexual violence as a problem all jurisdictions need to solve. Shared Perspectives provides an understanding of the issues students experience on campuses across our country, and highlights how we must work together to end sexual violence on post-secondary campuses across Canada.

“Both the provincial and federal governments have a role to play in addressing sexual violence on our campuses. Great strides have been made, but there is room for growth,” said Ryan Deshpande, board member at OUSA and student at McMaster University.  “In Shared Perspectives students from across Canada give their analysis of the current campus climate and recommendations for improvement. Only by taking a survivor-centric approach can we effectively address this issue.”

OUSA advocates for stronger sexual violence policies as well as adequate prevention and response mechanisms on university campuses. The provincial government should set minimum standards for institutions, provide greater oversight, and clarify the terms set out for universities in Bill 132 to ensure that survivor-centric and evidence based policies are being implemented. While student organizations and community-based agencies are doing amazing work to help students and survivors, they need to be supported by a comprehensive legal and policy framework as well as dedicated funding and resources. Additionally, having accurate information about campus sexual violence is essential to developing effective policies. It is important that the data collected by the Student Voices on Sexual Violence survey be reported in a transparent manner and that the information is made easily accessible.

Shared Perspectives: A Joint Publication on Campus Sexual Violence Prevention and Response is the first joint report from all 8 partners, representing over 570,000 students.

Read the full report here.

OUSA represents the interests of 150,000 professional and undergraduate, full-time and part-time university students at eight student associations a cross Ontario. Our vision is for an accessible, affordable, accountable, and high quality post-secondary education in Ontario. To achieve this vision we’ve come together to develop solutions to challenges facing higher education, build broad consensus for our policy options, and lobby government to implement them.

Deborah Lam                                                         
Operations & Communications Director
Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance
[email protected]