Letter to the Sexual Violence Awareness, Prevention and Response Policy Committee

On March 22nd, the student and South House representatives on the University’s Sexual Violence Awareness, Prevention and Response Policy Committee sent the following letter to the committee:

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March 22, 2018

To the members of the Sexual Violence Awareness, Prevention and Response Policy Committee,

We are writing to express our dissatisfaction with the lack of communication regarding the King’s Sexual Violence Awareness, Prevention and Response Policy and reaffirm students’ call to fully commit to funding training, programming, resources and a full-time staff person to support the policy.

Rape culture is an unfortunate, but prevalent issue on our campus. King’s may be a small community but it is not immune from the fact that at least 1 in 5 women studying in a post-secondary institution will be sexually assaulted. King’s cannot create an accessible and safe campus without adequate support for victims and survivors of sexual violence and the resources to work to eliminate this issue.

Since March 2017, the Sexual Violence Awareness, Prevention and Response Policy  Committee (SVAPRP) has met to draft a stand-alone sexual violence policy. The student and South House representatives have been leaders on the committee and consistently affirmed the need for an accessible, trauma-informed policy that centres the experiences of survivors and victims of sexual violence. Since the committee’s last meeting in January, we have received no commitment from the University about how these principles will be upheld and the University had not yet budgeted any funds for the policy’s implementation despite entering the final stages of the budgeting process. Instead, we’ve learned that the University’s Vice President and Interim Dean of Students are working without the committee’s knowledge, input, or approval to propose inadequate staffing solutions.

As a result of the new stand-alone policy it is possible that more community members make seek to disclose, report, and access support. The committee drafted a policy with the understanding that a new position—a Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Officer—would be necessary to oversee the policy implementation and support individuals that seek to access it. King’s cannot create a functional policy without also providing training for faculty and staff, educational materials, and online resources. The University must dedicate funds in the 2018/19 budget to adequately implement the sexual violence policy, including a full-time staff person. Anything less would be a declaration of the University’s refusal to support survivors and victims on campus and students will not stand for that.

Sincerely,

Brennan McCracken (KSU President 2017/2018)
Levi Clarkson (SVAPRP Committee student rep)
Katie MacLean (SVAPRP Committee student rep)
Mary Innes (SVAPRP Committee student rep)
Rebecca Stuckey (South House Outreach and Education Coordinator)