Provincial officials said one change is that a person who reports sexual violence will not be subject to the institution’s rules relating to drug and alcohol use at the time the incident took place.
Another change mandates that students who experience sexual violence will not be asked “irrelevant questions” from the school’s staff or investigators regarding past sexual history or sexual expression.
The province said these sexual violence policies must be amended by March 31, 2022.
The updated policies are meant to “shield students from irrelevant questions during sexual violence investigations at institutions and ensure that they can safely bring forward complaints without fear of disciplinary action,” officials said in a news release issued Thursday.
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The changes come as London Police say they are investigating social media reports that several students may have been drugged and/or assaulted in on-campus housing at Western University earlier this week.
“Our number one priority is the safety of students — everyone should be able to pursue their studies on or off campus without worrying about sexual violence or harassment,” Minister of Colleges and Universities Jill Dunlop said.
“That’s why our government is working with postsecondary institutions to update their sexual violence and harassment policies to better support students who have already gone through a difficult experience and may be feeling scared and vulnerable,” Dunlop said.