UNB dragging heels on sexual assault policy, says group
Tracy Glynn says some at the University of New Brunswick don't want sexual violence openly discussed
The Reproductive Justice New Brunswick community group says the University of New Brunswick is dragging its heels when it comes to implementing a sexual assault policy.
Tracy Glynn, an organizer with Reproductive Justice New Brunswick, says, in an opinion piece published in the university's student newspaper, The Brunswickan, there are those at the institution who don't want sexual violence openly discussed.
There is not enough being done, and those at the university need to realize that.- Tracy Glynn, Reproductive Justice New Brunswick
"We know there are several people in the university community that are not supporting talk about sexual violence on campus," said Glynn. "That's really not acceptable."
In the past, the Reproductive Justice group has been vocal in the province about reproductive policies in New Brunswick and sexual assault.
"There is not enough being done," said Glynn.
"And those at the university need to realize that."
A CBC News investigation earlier this year revealed that several Maritime universities, including UNB, had initially under-reported the number of reports of sexual assaults received at the schools, between 2009 and 2013, when asked for the number by CBC News.
Initially, UNB said it had one report of sexual assault during that time period. That number increased to 11 after CBC filed right-to-information requests for the data..
Policy delayed until next year
Rice Fuller, UNB's director of health and student wellness, said in January that a policy would be in place by this fall.
The university now says a policy on sexual assault is expected for spring 2016.
The University responded to Glynn's letter with a prepared statement written by Fuller.
"We are currently in the process of developing UNB's stand-alone sexual assault policy," wrote Fuller.
"A stand-alone sexual assault policy is only one part of a thorough response to the problem of sexual assaults on university campuses."
Fuller wrote that the university has been working in several areas to prevent sexual violence and educate its student population.
"To judge UNB's current efforts solely based upon whether we have a stand-alone sexual assault policy is misguided, and an over-simplification of a complex issue."
UNB has trained 600 students on bystander awareness, a program designed to teach students to recognize and prevent violent sexual behavior before an incident occurs.
Glynn says Reproductive Justice decided, as a whole, to submit the letter after hearing that a presentation at the school on the importance of consent was poorly attended.
Glynn added that she would like to see courses on consent and sexual violence education made mandatory.