Not Our Policy: Open Letter To Reform Carleton's Sexual Violence Policy
In response to feedback provided by several groups—including a strong response by the undergraduate body—the vice-president (students and enrolment) Suzanne Blanchard made several amendments to the Sexual Violence Policy Draft before it was presented and eventually passed by the Board of Governors. On Dec. 1, 2016 the Carleton Board of Governors passed the Carleton Sexual Violence Policy with protestors chanting “not our policy” outside Richcraft Hall.
Although the changes did improve the policy, they are not enough. They are not enough to ensure a just complaint process that respects the wishes of survivors. Nor are they enough to properly prevent instances of sexual violence from occurring on Carleton’s campus (or off-campus by members of the university community) in the future. Although it is important to celebrate the successful dialogue between Carleton’s administration and the student body, we must remain critical of the current Sexual Violence Policy.
Written by the Carleton Human Rights Society, this Petition supports an Open Letter to Reform Carleton's flawed Sexual Violence Policy that was passed on December 1, 2016. The Carleton administration stated that they would continue to be open to consultation and recommendations in a letter written by the VP Students and Enrolment Suzanne Blanchard. This Open Letter seeks to gain support for recommended reforms to the Sexual Violence Policy to encourage the administration to uphold its commitment to continued consultation.
Our recommendations are as follows:
- Add visitors and alumni to those who are within the scope of the policy.
- Add a clause prohibiting complainants from being forced to attend hearings that bring them face-to-face with the respondent.
- Add an immunity clause to protect survivors from being sanctioned for drug or alcohol use at the time of the assault.
- Amend the policy to allow the Review Committee to inform survivors of the sanctions ordered against the respondent (already found responsible of sexual assault).
- Create a survivor advocate position, whereby a support worker will be able to help the survivor as they navigate the complaint process.
Its time for senior administration to meaningfully engage with the Carleton University community and create a sexual violence policy that supports survivors at all stages of the Complaint process.
NOTE: When you sign this petition your name will be added to our full Open Letter, linked below. Please sign with your FULL NAME and in the comment box please LIST YOUR PROGRAM AND ANY TITLES AT CARLETON. This petition is open to all members of the University community, as well as general community members. The open letter will not be edited as of February 10, 2017.