October 28, 2022
TORONTO – Yesterday, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities announced legislative changes that address student concerns about consent, abuse of power, and silencing in cases of faculty or staff sexual misconduct against students. You can find more information on this announcement at this link.
“We are pleased with Minister Dunlop’s legislative changes that support survivors and protect students from harm in potential incidents of faculty-perpetrated sexual violence,” says Jessica Look, President of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance. “Students across Ontario need continued governmental and institutional support to create a safer learning environment free of sexual harassment.”
OUSA participated in the Ministry’s consultations last year and shared student concerns in cases of faculty and staff sexual violence against students.
“We are hopeful these legislative changes will help students feel safer on our campuses, but we know we need so much more to meaningfully support survivors of sexual and gender-based violence,” says Kayla Han, Steering Committee member and Vice-President of Government and Stakeholder Relations at Wilfrid Laurier University. “This announcement is another step towards trauma-informed and survivor-centric models of responding to sexual and gender-based violence.”
A number of these amendments align with OUSA and the expert recommendations in Courage to Act’s whitepaper, “What is the Role of Post-Secondary Institutions in Addressing Student-Instructor Relationships?” To learn about OUSA’s additional recommendations to prevent and respond to campus sexual and gender-based violence, developed from research contributions from student advocates, students with lived experience, and experts, including the work of Courage to Act on the National draft Framework to Address and Prevent Gender-Based Violence at Post-Secondary Institutions in Canada, read OUSA’s Gender-Based and Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Policy Paper here.
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OUSA represents the interesxts of 150,000 professional and undergraduate, full-time and part-time university students at eight student associations across Ontario. Our vision is for an accessible, affordable, accountable, and high quality post-secondary education in Ontario.
Operations & Communications Coordinator
Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance