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Section 1: Introduction

In November 2021, Bishop’s University heard strong messages from some students that they feel unsafe on campus.  The University takes the prevention of sexual violence very seriously and firmly believes that any form of sexual aggression within the Bishop’s community is unacceptable and that every effort should be made to eradicate this harmful behaviour.  The University is committed to becoming a leader in the education and prevention of sexual violence.  The journey to combat sexual aggression and create a culture of consent will be on‑going for many years.  This Action Plan is an important step in the process and strategies will continue to evolve over time.

In order to support the management team of the University in their efforts to prevent sexual violence and support survivors, the Board of Governors established an Ad Hoc Committee on the Prevention of Sexual Violence (PSV).  The committee has two main areas of focus: 

  • Supporting survivors of sexual violence by ensuring that policies and practices are aligned with best practices. An internal review of the Policy for the Prevention of Sexual Violence was conducted in 2021. Recommended improvements to the Policy were approved by the Board of Governors on December 17, 2021.  In January, 2022, the University engaged the Canadian Centre for Legal Innovation in Sexual Assault Response (CCLISAR) to conduct a comprehensive review of the University’s sexual violence policies, practices and resources.  The Independent Review Panel (IRP) will report its findings and recommendations to the Board of Governors in June, 2022.
  • Recommending an Education and Prevention of Sexual Violence Action Plan to enhance student safety and empower students to create a more positive culture within the Bishop’s community.

The Ad Hoc Committee on PSV includes student representatives from the Sexual Culture Committee (SCC), the Indigenous Cultural Alliance, as well as representatives for Athletics, Faculty, Staff, Board of Governors, and the external community.  A list of committee members is provided in Annex A.  In addition, representatives of Student Affairs, Athletics, Residence Life, and the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) were also invited to attend specific meetings.

The purpose of this report is to:

  • provide an overview of the University’s approach to the prevention of sexual violence;
  • identify actions that are being implemented to:
    • improve safety of our physical spaces;
    • educate and engage members of the University Community in the prevention of sexual violence; and
    • empower students to create a culture of consent.
  • provide recommendations for implementation of additional prevention of sexual violence strategies.

Definitions for certain terms used throughout this report are provided in Annex B. As defined in the University’s Policy for PSV, sexual violence is an umbrella term to cover all forms of sexual assault, harassment and misconduct.

Section 2: Context – Sexual Violence in Post-secondary Institutions

Sexual violence is a serious societal problem and one that is particularly pervasive within university and college settings.  According to a 2019 Statistics Canada survey of postsecondary institutions:

  • 11% of women and 4% of men were sexually assaulted in postsecondary settings;
  • in addition, 71% experienced or witnessed unwanted sexualized behaviors whether on or off campus, on-line, by other students or someone associated with the school. Over 80% indicated that the perpetrator was another student;
  • over 90% of students chose not to intervene, seek help or take other action when they witnessed unwanted sexualized behaviours; and
  • less that 10% of students who experienced sexual assault or unwanted sexualized behaviours reported it to their institution because they didn’t think it was serious enough to report, lacked knowledge on what to do, or didn’t trust how the school would handle the situation.

In February 2021, the student-led Sexual Culture Committee (SCC) and the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) conducted a student survey. A total of 188 students completed the survey (representing approximately 7% of the student body).  A summary of results is provided in Annex C. Based on the definitions provided, 34% (n=64) of respondents indicated they had experienced sexual violence/misconduct within the BU community. Although the survey size is relatively small with less than 10% of the student body responding, it is still very concerning that 64 students who responded to the survey indicated they had experienced some form of sexual violence. 

The preamble to the University’s Policy for Prevention of Sexual Violence explains the issue as follows.

Sexual violence is a serious issue that can affect anyone and have long-lasting impacts on our community. University-aged women are especially at risk of being victimized and many may experience multiple incidents of sexual violence in their lifetimes. Individuals from marginalized groups are also particularly vulnerable to becoming victims of sexual assault. Such groups include Indigenous people, trans people, immigrants, people with disabilities, and more.

The University recognizes that a person’s identifiers including (but not limited to) their age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, and faith, could also make them more susceptible to sexual violence and discrimination. The University understands that the intersectionality of multiple forms of discrimination on a survivor could affect how they choose to report an assault, access services, or seek justice. The University also recognizes that certain societal factors continue to perpetuate sexual violence. These factors include deeply rooted traditions regarding gender roles, historically weak legal sanctions against aggressors, and a culture of male sexual entitlement.

Section 3: Current Approach to Prevention of Sexual Violence at Bishop’s University

Over the past few months, the University has taken a critical look at its PSV programming.  It has sought direct input from students and the broader community through Town Hall sessions and through the Board’s establishment of the Ad Hoc Committee on PSV.   This process of reflection has created an important opportunity to find ways to strengthen current prevention strategies and engage the broader community in developing new and creative initiatives.  The approach to PSV at Bishop’s is based on the following core values and beliefs.

  Core Values and Beliefs with respect to Prevention of Sexual Violence  

  • Any form of sexual aggression in our community is unacceptable and we must work to eradicate it.
  • Our legal and moral obligation is to ensure a study and work environment safe from any form of violence or harassment.
  • Sexual violence, in any form it may take, is an infringement of a person’s dignity and physical and psychological integrity.
  • The key to fostering a sexual violence-free environment lies in the shared responsibility of all members of the community regardless of their role, to play a part in creating a culture of consent and treating one another with respect and dignity.
  • Each member of the community has the responsibility of being an active bystander equipped and ready to intervene to prevent sexual aggression.
  • We will always support survivors on their path towards justice.
  • We are committed to providing support to anyone who makes a disclosure and to investigating fully every complaint of sexual violence that is made to us in accordance with the process set out in the Policy for the Prevention of Sexual Violence.

Overview of the Student Affairs Department

Sexual violence affects all areas of the student experience. The Student Affairs Department is deeply committed to ensuring a safe learning environment. Within the Student Affairs portfolio many professionals are involved in preventing sexual violence and supporting survivors:

  • Security are often the first responders to incidences on campus, they also receive reports and disclosures of sexual violence and are present at all times on campus.
  • Residence Life including Resident Assistants (students) and Residence Life Coordinators (staff) are also likely to be first responders or a first place of disclosure.
  • Student Services houses the Sexual Aggression Response Coordinator (SARC) and other counsellors who provide support for all students.
  • The Athletics Department is responsible for ensuring a culture of engagement and respect among student athletes.
  • The Office of The Dean of Student Affairs (DSA) is responsible for providing informal resolutions to incidences of sexual violence upon request by the survivor.

Student Affairs aims to provide a university experience free from any form of sexual violence. Prevention programs at Bishop’s University are designed to educate before and after incidents of sexual violence.

The education and prevention of sexual violence is conceptualized across several levels:

For a campus to have a comprehensive approach, strategies should be in place to prevent violence
as well as respond to violence after it has occurred. Primary prevention of sexual violence should
complement secondary prevention strategies that address the immediate needs of a survivor after an assault, and tertiary prevention strategies that address longer-term follow up and support.

  • The primary level includes all measures taken to reduce the likelihood that an act of sexual violence will occur. Education of how to prevent incidents of sexual violence is considered primary prevention. Included in primary intervention are physical spaces and their role in prevention including lighting on campus, support for walking home alone, etc.  
  • The secondary level includes immediate support after an incident. It is often Security or Residence Life from Student Affairs which provide this support.
  • The tertiary level includes long-term support. The SARC together with counseling and the DSA are responsible for the long-term support. Support to survivors and actions taken by the University to avert future harm to community members are considered part of the prevention strategy.

Bishop’s University has a long tradition of PSV programs. While many other institutions have some form of mandatory training, we have three mandatory education programs. By introducing educational sessions during Orientation Week, we aim to ensure students are active participants as soon as they arrive on campus.  Specific PSV training interventions include the following:

  • The first mandatory training is an online module that must be taken within the first two weeks of the semester. The module, called “It Takes All of Us,” is available before students arrive on campus to ensure early education.  It includes video commentary by the Principal, the DSA and SARC.  It explains the importance and meaning of consent and sexual violence, offers guidance on how to receive disclosures and how to respond.  It also identifies sources of support on and off campus.  It is hosted on the Moodle platform so data on who has completed the training is available.  
  • A second on-line module, called “Together Against the Trivialization of Sexual Violence” is also available.  It includes diverse narratives from students, faculty and staff.  It is designed to address sexual violence behaviours that some trivialize and addresses the faculty-student relationship issue.  Both online modules are modeled after programs at other Quebec Institutions.  It is mandatory for all students, faculty, staff and administrators to take this annual online training.  
  • A popular training session for first year students, called “Can I kiss you?”, is mandatory on the first day of Orientation week. Delivered in-person at Centennial Theatre, this entertaining session explores consent in relevant language and is presented in a diverse way that is sensitive to gender, race and sexual orientation.
  • Lastly, Active Bystander Intervention Training takes place during Day Two of Orientation Week and is on-going throughout the year.  It is delivered by trained facilitators.   It teaches what it means to be an active bystander, examines barriers that exist that can influence one’s ability to take action, provides tools to become an active bystander, explores how to respond to a disclosure of sexual violence and gives information on available support resources on and off campus.  

During move-in weekend, the DSA hosts a presentation for parents of incoming students. In this presentation the DSA provides an overview of our prevention programs and guides an open and frank conversation about consent and campus life.

Student Affairs supports students in providing safe party environments by providing Active Bystander Intervention Training off campus if requested.  For example, in November 2021 a group of students requested and participated in Bystander training at their off-campus house.  Student Affairs is now creating an online form for groups to request these trainings.  

A Town and Gown committee meeting is held before all major events in our community.  The University has a strict alcohol harm prevention policy to minimize the risk of alcohol and drugs being weaponized by perpetrators. Collaboration with other education institutions, local political representatives, Sherbrooke Police and fire department allows the University to build prevention programs off campus with the help of the entire community.

At major events like Orientation Week, Halloween, Winterfest and St. Patrick’s Day, safety tents are provided on and off campus. It is often Peer Supporters, Student Affairs staff or Health and Safety staff who provide the support at these events.  During these events harm-reducing products like granola bars, water, condoms and information are provided to students. The University is a partner of the Postsecondary Education Partnership – Alcohol Harms (PEP‑AH) and participates in trainings and summits to establish and to share best practices in reducing harm from alcohol.

Section 4: Education and Prevention of Sexual Violence Action Plans 2021-22

This section of the report outlines specific actions being taken by Student Affairs, Athletics, Residence Life, the Sexual Culture Committee and the Students’ Representative Council, all of whom collaborate under the leadership of the Dean of Student Affairs to strengthen the University’s efforts to prevent sexual violence through improving safety, educating and engaging stakeholders, and empowering students to create a culture of consent.

4.1       Student Affairs

The fight against sexual violence is ongoing. It is important to note that actions will continue to develop after the completion of this Action Plan. Several of the initiatives below have recently been completed** or are well underway*. It is the goal of Student Affairs to complete these initiatives before the beginning of the 2022-2023 semester.

Primary level

GoalsActions to be taken by Student Affairs
Establish SafeWalk**
  • Ensure a well-used and sustainable SafeWalk program.  This is a volunteer-based walk home program that includes a network of student volunteers who are dedicated to keeping their fellow Gaiters safe. The service allows students to walk home from night classes, late study sessions, or anywhere around Lennoxville with the company of our volunteers. The program is to ensure that each member of the Bishop’s community is comfortable walking home after dark.
Update lights on campus*
  • Complete light installation on 75% of desired spaces by June 1st.
  •   
  • The Gaiter Flashlight project has been implemented. It allows students to borrow a flashlight at one location and drop it off at another location.
Mandatory annual online training for all students **
  • Ensure all students are kept current with the expectations, guidelines and the law regarding sexual violence. A mandatory program will be implemented for all students as it is already for all faculty and staff.

  • Particular attention must be given to ensure survivors are not triggered by this training.

  • A new module must be added before September 2022.
Hire 2nd SARC*
  • Job description to have specific target of prevention work. The second SARC will be responsible for organizing all prevention work on campus as well as being an advocate for survivors of sexual violence. (Note: this action also appears under secondary prevention to indicate the key function in both prevention areas).
Update Active Bystander Intervention Training
  • Incorporate feedback from the Sexual Culture Committee.

  • Develop an updated training format, including new videos, more diverse depictions.

  • Provide an online booking form for groups on and off campus to request the training.
Sexual Health Week**
  • Feb 15-18th, 2022 and annually.

  • Ensure a high visibility week with engaging and educational activities related to sexual health.

  • Include a participant satisfaction survey.
Updated website**
  • Maintain an informative and accessible website.


  • Specific guidance to processes on campus including immediate measures and formal process.
Addressing Toxic Masculinity
  • Directly address this cause of sexual violence.

  • Collaborate with the SCC to find best practices in training and support.
Update the alcohol policy
  • The alcohol policy is outdated and needs to be more in line with current practices.
Update the student code of conduct
  • The Student Code of Conduct is pivotal in guiding immediate measures. This policy needs to be updated with a strong focus on prevention of harm rather than punitive measures.

Secondary level

GoalsActions to be taken by Student Affairs
Hire 2nd SARC*
  • Having a second SARC will ensure we have someone present on campus during all working hours to respond to immediate needs.

  • Recruit a qualified candidate from an equity seeking group.
Implementation of online reporting platform (REES)**
  • Implementation of a virtual reporting system will allow survivors greater access to the different reporting options.

  • REES will allow for anonymous reports allowing the University to respond to general threat levels without the direct participation of survivors.
Peer advocate program
  • Develop a peer advocate program with students trained to provide guidance and referrals for students who have experienced sexual violence or who are respondents in sexual violence cases.

Tertiary level

GoalsActions to be taken by Student Affairs
Annual training about the reporting process for all Student Service teams
  • Ensure all Student Service teams remain updated on all University and external processes (e.g. changes in legal procedures).

  • The SARC will provide training in collaboration with community organizations including Sherbrooke Police.
Prevent repeat offenders of sexual violence
  • Without compromising the choices of a survivor, provide safety to the community by inserting a formal process for repeat reports.

  • Formalize a Risk Assessment Team.

  • Add this information to a practices document.

4.2       Department of Athletics and Recreation

The Department of Athletics and Recreation is responsible for 10 varsity teams, 350 student athletes, and intramural and recreational programming.  The John H. Price Sports Centre facility includes two gyms, a hockey arena, dance studio, combative rooms, squash courts, a swimming pool, multiple weight rooms, a fitness centre, varsity team rooms and other community spaces. 

The facilities are shared with Champlain College and are regularly used by local schools and other groups.  In a typical year there are over 130,000 entries into the complex with 55% being from the Bishop’s community.

Athletics and Recreation staff are committed to addressing PSV and to raising awareness and being leaders in supporting this PSV initiative on campus and in the community.

The Director of Athletics and Recreation presented an action plan to the Ad Hoc Committee on PSV. The development of PSV strategies is in the early stages and will evolve over time.  The following chart highlights some of the initiatives that are being implemented in the next three to six months. 

GoalActions to be taken by Athletics and Recreation
Create Safe Spaces
  • Conduct a review of current spaces (e.g., consider options for the placement of lighter weight racks in more private areas or for recreation classes targeting and led by women) giving consideration for safer spaces.

  • Review Sports Medicine facilities to address privacy considerations.

  • Create a pilot project examining if women and gender non-conforming hours in the fitness centre will increase use of the fitness center by students who feel uncomfortable in the fitness center during regular hours. This pilot project will run for the remainder of the Winter 2022 semester and will be evaluated based on use and qualitative data from users.

  • Add language and messaging in team rooms to reinforce teachings from Excellence in Leadership Program training, and to reinforce messages about the culture of consent and respect.
Educate and Engage Members of the Community
  • Establish a PSV Working Group for Athletics (similar to the Anti-Racism and Discrimination Committee).

  • Develop positive messaging that can be shared across multiple platforms (social media, webcast).

  • Develop ideas for events and community outreach to local schools and CEGEPs.

  • Coordinate with Student Affairs to ensure the required completion of Bystander Training.

  • Incorporate language and key concepts related to PSV into the BU Athletics Excellence in Leadership Program, the Student-Athlete and Coaches Code of Conduct.

  • Ensure training is provided to all Coaching staff and that they are aware of all resources available on campus and in the community so they can direct students appropriately.Incorporate PSV as a regular agenda item at Head Coaches’ meetings.

  • Increase knowledge about PSV and research best practices (e.g., look to ideas from colleagues at other schools, such as Carleton University’s Champions of Change Program, other resources such as Courage to Act on-line resources).
Empower Students to create a Culture of Consent
  • Seek input from the Student-Athlete Leadership Committee (SALC) on PSV initiatives to ensure student perspectives are incorporated and taken into consideration.

  • Develop ideas for reinforcement of PSV values (e.g., provide a clothing piece to student-athletes with positive messaging).

  • Create feedback box with option for anonymity to take suggestions for creating a safe environment and consent culture.

4.3       Residence Life

Each year there are approximately 650 students living in seven different buildings on campus.  Approximately 70% of students living in residence are in their first year.  The program is managed by professional staff (one Manager, one Residence Life Advisor, three Residence Life Coordinators) and 24 student staff (Resident Assistants and Duty Helpers). 

The Residence Life team is currently implementing the Curricular Approach to Residence Life.

“The curricular approach aligns the mission, goals, outcomes and practices of a student affairs division, unit or other units that work to educate students beyond the classroom with those of the institution and organizes intentional and developmentally sequenced strategies to facilitate student learning.”  

PSV initiatives will be embedded into this recently adopted approach.

The Manager of Residence Life and Bishop’s International presented a PSV Action Plan to the Ad Hoc Committee on PSV.  The following chart highlights key initiatives being implemented by the Residence Life team.

GoalsActions to be taken by Residence Life
Create Safe Spaces
  • Create safe spaces for discussion and learning (e.g., RAs will be given sexual violence prevention as a mandatory theme to explore for their educational bulletin boards each semester).
Educate and Engage Members of the Residence Community
  • Update the Residence Life Website to provide FAQs about disclosures to RAs or Residence Professional Staff, resources for survivors in residence (Counsellors in Residence, Residence Life staff, Security and Student Services).

  • Revise the Residence Life Handbook and student contracts/leases to ensure rules, regulations and resources are clear, including mandatory participation in sexual violence prevention training.

  • Coordinate with Student Services to ensure the required completion of Bystander Training for all students and staff.

  • Provide more frequent updates to Residence Life social media with sexual violence prevention content and reminders.

  • Continue on-going training for student staff in August and January:  Train the Trainer for Active Bystander Intervention and How to Support and Receive Disclosures.
Empower Students to create a Culture of Consent
  • ‘Sexapalooza’ is organized each March by the Residence Education Committee and is a popular event that explores sexual health, consent, LGBTQIA2+ communities, sexual orientation and diversity, pronouns, demystifies taboos, using games, trivia and entertainment.

  • Incorporate additional questions regarding sexual violence prevention in the bi-annual Residence Life Survey.

4.4       Sexual Culture Committee

The Sexual Culture Committee (SCC) is a relatively new student-led organization at Bishop’s.  The SCC was founded in December 2020, following a forum on sexual violence in the Bishop’s Community and the Take Back the Night March.  The forum highlighted a need to address a number of issues on a larger scale.  The SCC hopes to create a safe sexual culture allowing students to participate in healthy fun relationships and social settings without fear of assault or harassment.

In February 2021, the SCC collaborated with the SRC to conduct a survey of Bishop’s students to assess the sexual culture, frequency of sexual violence within our community, resources awareness and service satisfaction, as well as aspects related to the experience of reporting or filing a formal complaint. A summary of results is provided in Annex C.  In addition to organizing various events, forums and guest speakers, each semester the SCC establishes sub-committees to focus its work. In 2021, the SCC made a significant contribution to the development of recommendations for improvements to the University’s Policy on the Prevention of Sexual Violence which were approved by the Board of Governors in December 2021.  The SCC meets weekly with the Dean of Student Affairs to discuss improvements related to matters such as policy, support to survivors, resources and education tools.

In 2021, the SCC was a recipient of the Forces Avenir Award which aims to recognize, honour and promote the commitment of students in projects that contribute to the development of socially conscious, active and responsible citizens who are dedicated to their community and open to the world. 

The SCC presented its plans for the upcoming semester to the Ad Hoc Committee on PSV.  The following chart summarizes key initiatives that are being implemented in the Winter semester of 2022.

GoalsActions to be taken by Sexual Culture Committee (SCC)
Improve drink security at The Gait
  • Collaborate with the SRC to increase drink security at The Gait through the provision of special covers called Nightcaps!  Funds have been raised through Giving Tuesday donations and Student Services to support this initiative.
Improve SRC Polices for Prevention and Response  
  • The SCC is working with the SRC on its policy review to create a SRC Safer Spaces Policy and a SRC Sexual Misconduct Policy.

  • The SCC is providing advice to the SRC in its review of SRC hiring practices and possible changes to its constitution for discipline or dismissal of elected members perpetrating an unsafe work environment.
 
Sex Education
  • Create a podcast to be hosted on Toast Radio.

  • Evaluate training programs including Active Bystander Intervention Training and On-line modules.

  • Conduct Self-Love and Body Positivity Workshops.
Mindful Masculinity and Male Engagement
  • Promote practice of mindful and positive masculinity.

  • Engage men and male-centric groups in SCC related discussions and activities.

  • Develop a reactive framework to educate and guide perpetrators of sexual violence/microaggressions.

4.5       Students’ Representative Council

In November 2021, the SRC developed a Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Action Plan. The following message was communicated to the student body.

The Bishop’s University Students’ Representative Council (SRC) have heard students’ want for change. The SRC is committed to ensuring a safe environment for students and has begun looking inward to see how we can improve our own practices and contribute to the creation of a safer campus for all. We know that students want to see change happen quickly and effectively. For this reason, the SRC has compiled of list of actions that we will be taking to improve our organization. This action plan was created with the hopes of addressing the issues within our own organization, while providing students a list to which they can hold us accountable.

The following table summarizes key initiatives that are being implemented in the Winter semester of 2022.

GoalsActions to be taken by the SRC
Implement mandatory consent culture training
  • Implementation of mandatory consent culture training for all SRC members, extra-curricular group leads and volunteers at major events including:  Orientation, Fallfest, Winterfest and Grad Formal.  The aim of this training is to ensure that members of the SRC are properly equipped with the tools needed to help shape a culture at Bishop’s based on consent.  The training will allow all SRC members to actively participate in changing our sexual culture.  
Create new policies to guide SRC  
  • Creation of an SRC Sexual Misconduct Policy with the support of the SCC.  The policy will outline specific measures we can take to prevent any incidents of sexual misconduct, as well as outline proper measures to address such cases. The policy would extend to all locations operated or overseen by the SRC, including Toast Radio, The Gait, Extracurricular Groups, and Student Success Centre.

  • Creation of an SRC Safer Spaces Policy with the support of the SCC.  The policy would extend to all locations operated or overseen by the SRC, including Toast Radio, The Gait, Extracurricular Groups, and Student Success Centre and all events hosted by the SRC. To make these spaces as safe as possible, the SRC wants to implement a safer spaces policy which would clearly outline behaviours which will not be tolerated, with a detailed explanation of why these behaviours are not tolerated, as well as a detailed explanation of the consequences.
 
Review current policies and practices
  • Review the SRC Harassment Policy to ensure it is up-to-date and properly addresses issues it is meant to address.

  • Review and report on the SRC’s hiring practices with the support of the SCC to address concerns raised regarding SRC hiring practices, specifically regarding volunteers and staff.

  • Review constitution changes for the discipline or dismissal of elected members perpetrating an unsafe work environment.  This will be conducted with the support of the SCC.  The SRC reviewed and assessed different actions it could take to address sexual assault in our community and realized that the elected members of the SRC can only be removed through an impeachment process which requires signatures from 10% of their respective constituency. In the case of sexual misconduct, harassment or the creation of an unsafe work environment, elected members would still need to go through a public impeachment process in order to be dismissed. The SRC team wants to reassess how elected members will be disciplined or dismissed.
Improve Drink Security
  • The SRC recognizes that there is an issue with drink security at The Gait.  We will be actively looking into measures to increase the safety of drinks at The Gait and at any SRC event where drinks will be served. We will be looking into the feasibility of GHB testing, cup condoms/nightcaps (drink covers), as well as other measures. Once we have completed an analysis of the different measures that can be taken, we will quickly move into implementing these measures at The Gait and any SRC events.


Section 5: Recommendations for Future Implementation

In conclusion, the Ad Hoc Committee on the Prevention of Sexual Violence believes that Bishop’s University should strive to be a leader in the education and prevention of sexual violence. The belief that any form of sexual aggression is unacceptable, and the University must work to eradicate it, is critically important to the fulfilment of its mission of providing Canada’s premier undergraduate educational experience.

The 2021-22 Education and Prevention of Sexual Violence Action Plan identifies a number of concrete actions that will be taken over the coming year. However, the Ad Hoc Committee also recognizes that the University is still in the early stages of a long journey towards combating sexual aggression and creating a culture of consent. 

It is anticipated that future recommendations to improve policies and practices developed by theIndependent Review Panel will also enhance prevention measures by strengthening the University’s capacity to support survivors of sexual violence. The Canadian Centre for Innovation in Sexual Assault Response (CCLISAR) will be issuing its report in June 2022.

It is recommended that the Dean of Student Affairs, with the active support of the entire University community, provide on-going leadership in the implementation of the following:

  1. Provide an annual report to the Board of Governors on progress implementing the Education and Prevention of Sexual Violence Action Plan and continue to develop innovative approaches, resources and student supports as the situation continues to evolve year to year.
  2. Develop a PSV communications plan targeted to students that provides focused and repeated messaging through social media and other platforms.
  3. Develop a performance measurement strategy to assess the effectiveness of Education and Prevention of Sexual Violence Strategies.  For example, this would include tools for evaluating the effectiveness of training, tracking participation at events, and an annual survey of students to assess satisfaction with services and resources (this may require fine tuning of the existing SCC survey to ensure the full range of questions are being asked).
  4. Continue to conduct Town Hall sessions, as appropriate, to inform students and the University community on progress with respect to implementation of the PSV Action Plan and to discuss related issues as they emerge.
  5. Create opportunities to share ideas and best practices with respect to the prevention of sexual violence in small rural-based university settings.
  6. Develop strategies for engaging the local community in PSV strategies. For example:  encourage local drinking establishments to improve drink safety measures and display messaging (e.g., posters, social media).
  7. Collaborate with Champlain College on the education and prevention of sexual violence strategies, including the possibility of sharing resources, tools and messaging, given the use of common facilities and the close interaction of students from both institutions.


ANNEX AComposition of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Prevention of Sexual Violence

  • Scotia Sharpe – Sexual Culture Committee
  • Nicholas Masse – Sexual Culture Committee
  • Camilla Rizzi – Indigenous Cultural Alliance
  • Valerie Bois – Assistant Coach, Women’s Hockey
  • Jennifer Mathurin, Assistant Coach Women’s Basketball and Counsellor
  • Heather McKeen-Edwards – Professor Politics and International Studies
  • Samia Mihoub – Research Office
  • Nadia Martel – External Community Representative
  • Jane Brydges – External Board Member, Chair of Human Resources Committee
  • Tova White – External Board Member, Chair of Governance and Ethics Committee
  • Michel Marleau – External Board Member, Chair of Finance and Audit Committee
  • Cathy McLean – Vice-chair Board of Governors and Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Prevention of Sexual Violence

Support to the Committee was provided by Trygve Ugland, Secretary General

In addition, the following guests were invited to participate in specific committee meetings:

  • Co-chairs of the Committee on the Prevention of Harassment and Sexual Violence – Gregory Brophy and Georgia Lapierre (Junior Co-Chair Sexual Culture Committee)
  • Chair of the Independent Review Panel – Joanna Birenbaum
  • Dean of Student Affairs – Stine Linden-Andersen
  • Director of Athletics and Recreation – Matthew McBrine
  • Manager of Student Life – Annick Corbeil
  • President of Students’ Representative Council (SRC) – Enzo Evangelisti

ANNEX BTerminology

Refer to Policy for the Prevention of Sexual Violence for more detailed definitions:

Sexual Violence – umbrella term to cover all forms of sexual assault, harassment and misconduct. Policy states ‘Sexual Violence’ means any violence, physical or psychological, carried out through sexual means or by targeting sexuality. This includes but is not limited to sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, stealthing (act of removing a condom during sex without consent of the partner), indecent exposure, voyeurism, degrading sexual imagery, distribution of sexual images or video of a community member without their consent, and cyber harassment or cyber stalking of a sexual nature or related to a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and/or presentation.

Sexual Assault is an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada. It is illegal. Sexual assault is any unwanted act of a sexual nature imposed by one person upon another and includes….

Sexual Harassment is a course of unwanted remarks, behaviours, innuendo, taunting or communications of a sexual nature….

Sexual Misconduct is any unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature.

Consent is voluntary and continuous agreement to engage in sexual activity. No consent is obtained where the complainant is unconscious or otherwise in capable of consenting to the activity…

Survivor – While individuals who have experienced or are experiencing sexual violence are victims, they are also in a constant state of “surviving” the experience. The idea of survival carries within its definition the ongoing fight to live or “survive” a traumatizing experience, a process that includes dealing with a multitude of feelings and health consequences. It is important to note that there is no singular survivor narrative for violence. https://cfsontario.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Consent-Toolkit.pdf

Rape culture – A culture in which dominant cultural ideologies, media images, social practices, and societal institutions support and condone sexual abuse by normalizing, trivializing and eroticizing male violence and dominance over women and blames victims for their own abuse. https://cfsontario.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Consent-Toolkit.pdf

Consent Culture – a culture that works to build a society where asking for consent and respecting the responses to it is the standard. It affirms peoples’ personal boundaries, i.e., a person’s right to choose what is acceptable and comfortable to them, and that it must be respected unreservedly. Consent is voluntary and is not assumed or implied in the absence of “no”. http://hyderabadpsychologist.com/creating-a-culture-of-consent/

Mindful Masculinity – Mindful masculinity empowers men to redefine what it means to be masculine and how they carry out their interpersonal relationships. https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250196248

ANNEX C2021 SCC and SRC Student Survey – Summary

Response rate (n=188) which is approximately 7% of student body.  There could be an assumption made that results may have been lower in 2020-21 given decreased social interactions due to COVID restrictions.

Question 21:  Based on the definitions provided, have you experienced sexual violence/misconduct within the BU community?

  • YES – 34% (n=64)
  • NO – 59% (n=111)
  • UNSURE – 7% (n=11)
  • Of the group of 64 who experienced SV, the individuals identified as: Bisexual (14), Heterosexual (39), Homosexual (4), Pansexual (5), Queer (1), Questioning (1).  In addition, 11 of 64 identified as persons living with a disability according to StatsCan definition, 58 identified as women/female, 4 as male, 1 as non-binary, 1 as gender fluid.

Question 17:  Do you know of someone who has experienced sexual violence at Bishop’s?

  • YES – 59% (n=111)
  • NO – 30% (n=57)
  • UNSURE – 11% (n=20)

Question 26:   Among Top 5 reasons indicated for not filing a complaint:

  • Unsure of outcomes (n=36)
  • Didn’t know where to begin (n=31)
  • Wanted to remain anonymous (n=29)
  • Didn’t want to instigate an investigation (n-29)
  • Unclear process (n=27)

For those who reported and/or filed a complaint, have considered doing so or would consider doing so (n=20), the most commonly selected outcomes sought include:

  • Expelling offender from the Gait and other events
  • Document the incident for general awareness
  • To seek counselling, disciplinary discussion for the offender, and remove offender from extracurricular groups

The Survey also included a number of questions relating to the disclosure and reporting process, resource awareness and service satisfaction.  In-depth analysis and consultations will be conducted by the Independent Review Panel to examine these issues in greater depth.