An open letter to the Carleton University Board of Governors regarding the proposed new Sexual Violence Policy:
On 1 December 2016, Carleton’s Board of Governors will vote on whether to approve a sexual violence policy that the administration has been drafting. The province mandates that such a policy be implemented by 1 January 2017, so the board’s feet are being held to the fire by the administration with this very late submission. There has been a modicum of consultation with stakeholders on campus, albeit in a divide-and-conquer fashion. A description of the latest draft of this important new policy, dated 15 November 2016, is a contentious document, with many members of the campus community still having serious concerns.
As things currently stand, on 1 December 2016, the administration will present the board with the new sexual violence policy, but no other members of the campus community have been invited to present their concerns and suggestions about how to improve this policy. I therefore strongly encourage the board to invite interested stakeholders to present their concerns and suggestions. At a minimum, the board should invite the following groups to present on the sexual violence policy at the 1 December 2016 open session:
– Carleton University Student Association (CUSA)
– Graduate Student Association (GSA)
– CUPE 4600
– CUPE 2424
– Carleton University Academic Staff Association (CUASA)
This will allow the board to genuinely make a balanced decision as to whether to approve or modify this important sexual violence policy.
Given the extraordinary interest and relevance to the roughly 30,000 people on campus who will be affected by the new sexual violence policy, it also behooves the board to allow the campus community to watch the 1 December 2016 debate in-person. To this end, I strongly recommend that the 1 December open session be moved to a larger venue. The existing boardroom only has space for between three and eight audience members. Therefore, move the open session to some place like Porter Hall, a large room in Residence Commons, or the large open space on the second floor of the River Building by the living green wall.
This letter simply reflects my own personal beliefs and is not written on behalf of anybody but myself. Thank you very much.