British Columbia

UBC student society reverses decision to cut support services at campus sexual assault centre

UBC's student-led Alma Mater Society has reversed a decision to stop providing support for Sexual Assault Support Centre.

Decision triggered backlash on social media, while a petition garnered thousands of signatures

Last week, the Alma Mater Society decided to end support for the centre after 16 years of service, to help focus support for UBC's Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office. (Christer Waara/CBC)

The University of British Columbia's student-led Alma Mater Society has reversed a decision to stop providing support for the campus Sexual Assault Support Centre.

The SASC is an independent, student-run centre that provides prevention, outreach and support services for people who have experienced sexual assault and harassment.

Last week, the AMS decided to end support for the centre after 16 years of service, to help focus support for UBC's Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office.

The centre was to continue its education and advocacy services, but as of Aug. 31 would no longer offer support services to students.

The decision by the student group triggered a backlash on social media, while an online petition garnered thousands of signatures.

"The AMS sincerely apologizes for the harm that this has caused survivors, those supporting them, and the rest of our community members. It was never our intention to do so, and we have heard your voices and we recognize that we made mistakes throughout this process," said a statement posted to the AMS website.

"As next steps, we will do our best to not only ensure that SASC is able to serve the community at its best capacity but we will also work to set the foundation for what continuity, stability and sustainability looks like for SASC to serve anyone who needs its services."

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