UBC forms sex assault panel

The University of British Columbia has announced the members of a committee that will develop a sexual assault policy, after students complained the process for reporting attacks was broken.

Kimberley Beck of the Office of the University Counsel and Sara-Jane Finlay of the Equity and Inclusion Office will lead the 12-member committee of students, staff and faculty from the Okanagan and Vancouver campuses.

A first draft of the policy is expected to be ready for review and consultation in June, with a final policy to be submitted to the Board of Governors in October.

UBC vowed to create a standalone policy for responding to sexual assaults last November after a group of former and current graduate students complained the school had dragged its heels on responding to multiple allegations about a PhD candidate.

The university currently relies on a general discrimination and harassment policy, and a recent investigation into the students' allegations concluded that a lack of clarity around procedures led to the delayed response.

UBC has announced a separate panel made up of four professors and a graduate student, who will consult broadly with experts on its two campuses and prepare a report by May with recommendations for the policy committee.

The university is also working on a campus-wide prevention plan to reduce sexual assault, and is developing an action plan that it says will shape a respectful campus culture and improve policy and practice.

The 12 members of the policy committee are:

Kimberley Beck — Legal counsel, Office of the University Counsel, UBC Vancouver

Sara-Jane Finlay — Associate vice-president, Equity and Inclusion, UBC Vancouver

Shannon Dunn — Director of business operations, UBC Okanagan

Tobias Friedel — President, Graduate Students Society, UBC Vancouver

Susan Frohlick — Head of the Community, Culture and Global Studies Unit, Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, UBC Okanagan

Isabel Grant — Professor, Allard School of Law, UBC Vancouver

Daniel Heath Justice — English professor, chair of First Nations Studies, UBC Vancouver

Patricia Mirwaldt — Director, Student Health Services, UBC Vancouver

Linda McKnight — Director, Human Resources Advisory Services, UBC Vancouver

Jenna Omassi — Vice-President of academic and university affairs, Alma Mater Society, UBC Vancouver

Janice Robinson — Director or residence life, Student Housing and Hospitality Services, UBC Vancouver

Kimberly Rutledge — UBC Students' Union Okanagan, UBC Okanagan


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