UBC announces new committee to develop sex assault policy

A new committee has been set up to develop a sexual assault policy at UBC following complaints that the school's process for reporting attacks is broken.

Twelve member panel of students staff and faculty expected to submit a first draft by June

Young men walk past large letters spelling out UBC at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C., on November 22, 2015. (Darryl Dyck/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

A new committee has been set up to develop a sexual assault policy at the University of British Columbia following
complaints that the school's process for reporting attacks is broken.

Sara-Jane Finlay of UBC's equity and inclusion office and Kimberly Beck from the office of the university counsel will lead a 12-member panel of students, staff and faculty members.

UBC's vice-president and equity and inclusion, Sara-Jane Finlay will co-lead a new committee to develop a sexual assault policy at UBC. (CBC)

A first draft is expected to be ready for review and consultation in June, with a final policy to be submitted to the Board of Governors in October.

The university currently relies on a general discrimination and harassment policy to deal with allegations of sexual assault.

Current and former students complained last November that the school had dragged its heels in responding to allegations against a PhD  candidate, and a recent investigation concluded that a lack of clarity around procedures was part of the problem.

UBC vowed to create a stand-alone policy in response, and is also working on a campus-wide prevention plan to reduce sexual assault.