Sunday September 18, 2016

Are Canadian colleges and universities failing at handling sexual assaults?

Are Canadian colleges and universities doing enough to protect students from sexual assaults on campus?

Are Canadian colleges and universities doing enough to protect students from sexual assaults on campus? (Canadian Press)

Listen to Full Episode 1:52:10

Students are back, frosh week is over, and universities and colleges are grappling with ways to stop sexual assaults on campus. Are they failing to protect students? What's the answer?

The students are back; frosh week is over; and as surely as university and college students must find their way around unfamiliar campuses, young men and women are navigating the oft-complex terrain of sexual relations. In our institutions of higher learning—behind the ivy-covered walls of classrooms and dormitories, or during late-night boozy parties— sexual assaults are happening.

Are universities failing to protect students from sexual assault?

This week, a University of British Columbia panel found their campus community doesn't believe that the university is taking complaints seriously. Indeed, fewer than 20 per cent of Canadian universities have sexual assault policies in place.

Some studies say 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted before they graduate. Others suggest it's nearly non-existent. The data alone is hotly debated.

Some say numbers aren't the point. Rather the point is that "no means no" and it's time schools put an end to "rape culture." 

This past frosh week, Bishop's University took steps with mandatory training for students. Is that the answer?

Our question: "Are Canadian colleges and universities failing at handling sexual assaults?"

Guests

Vianne Timmons, President of the University of Regina
Twitter: @vianne_timmons

Erin Sobat, vice president of Student's Society of McGill University
Twitter: @mcgilldaily

Cathy Young, contributing editor for Reason magazine and a columnist for Newsday
Twitter: @CathyYoung63

Janine Benedet, UBC Law professor and panel member

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