British Columbia

Revised UBC sexual assault policy calls for independent investigators

UBC plans to introduce a standalone sexual-assault and misconduct policy.

New draft policy also recommends establishing a centre to support victims of assault

UBC is the latest Canadian university to respond to calls to address sexual assault on campus. (CBC)

UBC will introduce a revised sexual-assault and misconduct policy that would require independent investigators to examine allegations of sexual assault on campus.

That task that was previously undertaken by boards of trained students.

Under the new policy, the university would establish a Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office, that would establish timelines for complaints to be handled.

The office would also help students receive support and academic accommodations — including extensions on term papers — even if they choose to disclose an incident without pursuing a formal investigation.

The revised policy, which has been in the works since the summer, comes after the university faced serious criticism over its handling of a number of high profile incidents.

Like other B.C. universities, UBC has been mandated by the province to implement an independent sexual-assault policy by May.

The university's revised draft policy will be tabled at a board of governors' meeting on Tuesday before undergoing a final round of public consultations. 

with files from Canadian Press