Policy Consultation – Proposed Amendments to Policy SC17 (Sexual Misconduct Policy)

The UBC community is invited to comment on proposed amendments to Policy SC17 (Sexual Misconduct Policy) (formerly numbered Policy #131) (the “Policy”).

The Policy was initially approved by the Board of Governors (“Board”) in May 2017. The Policy states UBC’s commitment to review the Policy at least once every three years, in consultation with students and other members of the UBC community. The Office of the University Counsel convened a Policy Review Committee (“Committee”), which has prepared a draft proposal.

The Policy articulates the commitments and principles to which UBC will adhere to support members of the UBC community who are impacted by sexual misconduct, to provide a central site for information regarding the resources and options available to those affected by sexual misconduct, and to provide a process to respond to and investigate allegations of sexual misconduct.

The proposed amendments are intended to address areas identified during the initial implementation of the Policy, to provide additional guidance and information to the UBC community, and to make various drafting improvements. Among the proposed amendments are:

  • creation of an “immunity” provision to encourage good faith disclosure or reporting of alleged sexual misconduct where the incident may involve the consumption and misuse of drugs or alcohol;
  • creation of a category of “Prohibited Relationships” that prohibits sexual or romantic relationships between certain members of the UBC community with students, in particular, where the member of the UBC community has a supervisory role over the student or otherwise has influence over the student’s current or future academic, working or career advancement; and
  • clarifications and further guidance as to what constitutes consent, the impartial role of the Independent Investigations Office under the direction of the Director of Investigations, alternative resolution processes, and the appropriate use of anonymous and 3rd party reporting by members of the UBC community whom have received a disclosure (i.e., the member is to honour the wishes and autonomy of the disclosing individual).

The proposed amendments to the Policy are now being published and all members of the UBC community are encouraged to provide their comments. It is anticipated that there will also be information sessions on both campuses to provide an overview of the proposed revisions and answer related questions, with further details of those sessions forthcoming. Please submit feedback to the Office of the University Counsel at university.counsel@ubc.ca or through the confidential feedback survey available here, by January 31, 2020.

For further information about this policy proposal, please see the information package that was provided to the Board at https://bog3.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2019/11/5_2019.11_Sexual-Misconduct-Policy-SC17.pdf.