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OCAD U President issues statement on Student Voices on Sexual Violence Survey

OCAD U recently received the remaining reports from the Ontario government for the 2018 Student Voices on Sexual Violence Survey. This morning, February 27, the Council of Ontario Universities made these results publicly available here.
 
Responses from this province-wide survey of college and university students provide us with valuable information so we can continue to improve our initiatives, policies and research in our ongoing efforts to prevent and respond to this challenging societal issue.
 
I would like to thank the 800 engaged students at OCAD U who took the time to make a meaningful contribution to this process by participating in the survey. Change in any environment would never be possible without voices like yours.
 
We are now reviewing the findings to better understand how they can further contribute to OCAD U’s ongoing enhancements of policies, prevention programs and overall support to our students.
 
Sexual violence is a pervasive, societal problem and one we take very seriously at OCAD U. We remain committed to creating and maintaining an environment where all members of our community, including those who are especially vulnerable, can study and work free of sexual violence. 
 
We are dedicated to working with survivors, first responders, experts in sexual violence, community organizations and the wider campus community to prevent and respond to instances such as sexual assault. Our survivor-centred approach means sexual violence survivors can expect to be supported and treated with compassion.
 
I am proud of the progress we have made over the past several years and look forward to the recommendations by OCAD U’s Sexual Violence Working Group for continued improvements to our programs, services and policies in this area.
 
The University’s efforts include adopting the Policy on Prevention and Response to Sexual and Gender-based Violence and the Policy on Conflict of Interest in Faculty/Instructor-Student Relationships.
 
Our Guide for Student Survivors of Sexual Violence provides students with information on how to make a disclosure and access the university’s support services, and outlines the reporting and complaints processes. We also continue to offer a range of training and education opportunities to support our university community in preventing and addressing sexual violence.
 
Our progress reflects an integrated approach of working collaboratively across the institution and with student associations, government agencies and community organizations. However, the survey results show there is more work that is needed, and we look forward to strengthening efforts to foster an environment where our students feel safe, secure and supported. 
 
Reminder: on-campus support for student survivors of sexual violence
For OCAD U students who have been affected by sexual or gender-based violence, we encourage you to contact our Student Wellness Centre at 416 977 6000, ext. 260, or by email at swc@ocadu.ca. You can also visit the office in person on Level 6 at 230 Richmond St. W. The Centre is open Mondays to Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 
Staff can provide information on internal and external supports and services, coordinate academic accommodations, outline options for reporting an incident and reviewing formal complaint options through the University’s Prevention and Response to Sexual and Gender-based Violence Policy
 
As President of OCAD University, I cannot emphasize enough how important the safety and security of our students, staff and faculty is to the institution. I believe it’s important for all of us to continue to work together to foster a safe, supportive and respectful environment for all members of the OCAD U community.
 
Sincerely, 
 
Dr. Sara Diamond
President & Vice Chancellor, OCAD University