British Columbia

UBC students hope to hold school to account on sex assault claims

A group of UBC students aligned with the school's chapter of Silence is Violence say the school is failing people coming forward with reports of sexual violence.

The group says 'systemic failures' at UBC are putting students at risk

A group of women attend a sit-in at UBC asking the school's administration to change the way it deals with sexual violence on campus. (CBC)

A group of UBC students aligned with the school's chapter of Silence is Violence will speak out on Nov. 22 about how it feels the school is failing people who come forward with reports of sexual violence.

The press conference comes as the CBC's the fifth estate reported Friday that UBC took more than a year and a half to act against a male grad student despite mounting complaints of harassment or sexual assault against him by at least six women on campus.

In a release, the group, made up of current and former UBC graduate students, says it is "holding a press conference concerning systemic failures at UBC in relation to reports of sexual assault and harassment that put students at risk."

The group says it will announce the launch of an external process "intended to hold the university to account and pressure the university to implement needed reforms."

Some members will also be speaking publicly about "traumatizing experiences" they have had.

In 2013, UBC had a spate of sexually-motivated attacks by men on campus and earlier this year there was an assault on an 18-year-old woman on the south campus.

In February a CBC investigation found that the number of sexual assault reports received by the University of British Columbia between 2009 and 2013 was less than a quarter of the number received by the RCMP detachment on campus during the same time period.

In April, 2015, a group of women staged a sit-in at the school asking the administration to change the way it deals with sexual violence and survivors on campus.

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