Several CEGEPs, universities miss deadline to adopt sexual violence policy
Published Friday, January 11, 2019 4:00PM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 11, 2019 7:32PM EST
Several universities and CEGEPs in Quebec have missed the deadline to create a policy surrounding sexual violence.
The previous provincial government passed the law in late 2017, imposing a Jan. 1 deadline to adopt a policy regarding sexual violence on campus. The schools would have until Sept. 1 to implement them.
In a list published on Thursday, there are several educational institutions notably absent, including UQAM, McGill University, Dawson College and Marianopolis.
The law requires that the policies include mandatory training for students and staff, support for victims, and to have a policy that covers activities such as orientation week.
Higher Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge called on the schools Friday to redouble their efforts to adopt a new policy as soon as possible to ensure they'll be prepared for the next school year.
McGill issued a statement on Friday saying it has a policy in place as it works to establish a new one.
“McGill adopted a strong policy against sexual violence in 2016, and this policy is still in place. Throughout the fall of 2018, it has been carefully reviewed through extensive consultation with our campus stakeholders to ensure that our revisions to the policy reflect both the requirements of Bill 151 and the needs and goals of the McGill community,” said Associate Provost Angela Campbell.
“These revisions to the policy will come to senate and the board of governors for approval this semester. In the meantime, McGill’s current policy and the resources associated with it to prevent and fight sexual violence, remain active and in force.”
The Students' Society of McGill University was highly critical of the university administration last year, saying McGill mishandled complaints against professors accused of sexual violence.
On Friday the student association said they're not concerned with missing the deadline, adding that they've been consulted by McGill a lot over the past year.
“Think it's a pretty drawn-out process and I think to be able to do a thorough job. It does take time,” said Tre Mansdoerfer, president of the student society. “We 've had bi-weekly meetings again, stakeholder meetings with members outside of the committee room to be involved with it, as well as meetings over the summer separate to the committee, so I think it's a drawn-out process and for an extra month or two to get a better policy, I think is fine.”
Mansdoerfer said he’s confident the policy will be finalized next month and ready to go for September.