The University of New Brunswick released its Sexual Assault Policy and Procedures document Thursday after more than a year of consultation, revision and recommendations.
“After reviewing other campus policies and consulting with many of you … we now have a policy that will help us provide a safer and more welcoming environment for all members of our university community and our visitors,” UNB President Dr. Eddy Campbell said in a statement.
The document details actions the university will take in the event a sexual assault is reported, and also discusses how it plans to create an atmosphere of zero tolerance for such incidents.
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In addition, training programs and increasing awareness by way of a consent and education campaign beginning this fall are mentioned as key initiatives.
“We are also working to have campus sexual support advocates in place on our campuses,” announced Dr. Shirley Cleave, UNB academic learning environment associate vice president.
“These individuals will help foster an environment and provide direct support services so that anyone who experiences a sexual assault feels safe and supported and is more likely to come forward.”
Knowing that many sexual assault cases can go unreported, the university has come up with a way to provide students and staff with the ability to educate themselves in private through the use of an all-encompassing online tool.
“The website will provide information on how the university would deal with a situation, provide awareness pieces, educational pieces, resources,” said Cleave.
“It’ll be a place where students who are concerned about the issue of sexual assault can get information and resources”
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The announcement was met with praise from the school’s student union, an organization that had long called for the document.
“It’s excellent to have this in place now,” said Travis Daley, UNB student union president.
“It was a long time coming but you can see that the time and effort they’ve put into it has paid off,” said Daley.
“It’s well rounded and we’re very happy that our students now have this in place when issues arise.”
The UNB Sexual Assault Policy and Procedures document will be reviewed after an initial four-year term, or sooner if requested.