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Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 in News

Graduate students call for student involvement in sexual assault policy development

OTTAWA, Jan. 22, 2015 /CNW/ – The Carleton University Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) would like to commend Carleton University for its decision to develop a stand-alone policy to more adequately respond to sexual assault. This is an important step in combating the issues of sexual assault, rape culture, and gender-based violence on our campus. An effective policy will require extensive, meaningful involvement of students, faculty and staff in developing this policy.

“We are pleased to hear that the university administration is taking seriously the issue of sexual assault on campus,” said Theo Hug, Vice President External of the GSA. “However, we are concerned that the administration has not yet reached out to students for feedback and consultation, and that we only learned of this development through the media.”

Experiences of oppression and marginalization increase the likelihood that certain groups will experience violence of all forms, including sexual violence. For this reason, the GSA believes that it is imperative that Carleton University meaningfully includes graduate and undergraduate students, staff and faculty who represent a wide range of experiences and identities in the development of this stand-alone policy. These groups should include, but not be limited to: racialized and indigenous communities, queer and transgender students, disabled students, and women.

“Students have consistently demonstrated leadership on the issue of campus sexual assault, while university administrations have often refused to act,” said Hug. “We have a long history of developing campaigns that are campus-specific, as well as at the national level through the No Means No campaign of the Canadian Federation of Students. Students have proven that they have real expertise, and deserve to be seen as essential voices around the table.”

The GSA, represents over 3,600 graduate students at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, is committed to working towards a campus free from sexual assault, rape culture and violence.

SOURCE Carleton University Graduate Students’ Association

For further information: Theo Hug, GSA Vice President External, vpx@gsacarleton.ca, 613-520-2600 ext. 3879