UWinnipeg a model in Manitoba with sexual misconduct protocol

Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Winnipeg (right) with students includingKelby Loeppky, Status of Women Director, University of Winnipeg Students' Association (centre)

Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Winnipeg (right) with students including Kelby Loeppky, Status of Women Director, University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (centre)

The University of Winnipeg is a leader in Manitoba and Canada by creating a 24/7 sexual misconduct help line staff by trained professionals, as well as a comprehensive sexual misconduct protocol.  For a year and a half, a team including students, senior staff, security, our human rights and diversity officer, housing staff, and a community sexual assault program coordinator began to work on the issue of sexual assault and sexual misconduct prevention and response on campus.

Today the Province of Manitoba announced other post-secondary institutions will be required to develop similar protocols. UWinnipeg’s Sexual Misconduct Protocol came fully to life this August and September.  As students began returning to classes, they could see posters and banners up all around campus that say Sex Needs a Yes:  Ask First, Ask Always. This is a message about consent. This awareness campaign includes a mandatory workshop for all first year students, student athletes and those living in residence.   So far, more than 2,000 people on our campus have attended the Sexual Misconduct prevention workshop and training:  including 1, 200 first year students at orientation, parents, students in residence, athletes and coaches and security personnel. This is quite an accomplishment.Find out more about UWinnipeg’s Sexual Misconduct Protocol.

Manitoba government News Release – November 18, 2015

PROVINCE TO INTRODUCE PROPOSED GROUNDBREAKING LEGISLATION THAT WOULD ENSURE SAFER CAMPUSES FOR STUDENTS- – -Post-secondary Institutions Would be Required to Have Policies To Prevent, Respond to Sexual Violence, Harassment:  Minister Allum. The Manitoba government is taking steps to ensure safer campuses for students by proposing changes to the Advanced Education Administration Act that would require post-secondary institutions to have policies to prevent and respond to sexual violence and harassment, Education and Advanced Learning Minister James Allum announced today.

“Nothing is more important than the safety of our young people, and this new legislation would ensure all Manitoba institutions have policies in place to protect them from sexual violence and harassment on post-secondary campuses,” said Minister Allum.  “Everyone has the right to safety on campus and the proposed legislation would go a long way to making that a reality.”

The proposed changes to the legislation are coming forward as part of a commitment in the 2015 throne speech to partner with post-secondary institutions to make campuses a safer place for all students, with policies to prevent and respond to sexual violence and harassment, the minister added.

The proposed bill would require that universities and colleges:

  • have policies and procedures in place to prevent and respond to sexual violence and sexual harassment on campus;
  • develop these policies in consultation with students;
  • inform students of the services and procedures in place under the policies; and
  • report publicly on the activities related to their policies.

The minister noted the proposed legislation would also allow for the creation of regulations about the content of the policies, the way in which the policies would be updated, as well as the form and manner of annual reporting.

“It is our collective responsibility to ensure that a culture of respect and safety exists on campus that applies to everyone,” said Dr. Annette Trimbee, president and vice-chancellor, University of Winnipeg.  “Our students have clearly said they want this kind of education, and by working in close collaboration with students, we are proud to be a leader in Canada in developing and executing a comprehensive protocol around prevention and response to sexual misconduct on campus.”

“I am very excited to see the government of Manitoba putting forward this important legislation that would proactively address the ongoing issue of sexual assault on Manitoba campuses,” said Alana Robert, women’s representative, University of Manitoba Students Union.  “I applaud the government on taking this critical step that will ensure that post-secondary institutions will effectively respond to sexual assault and help combat this issue by facilitating a culture of consent.  Everyone has the right to feel safe on campus and the proposed legislation would be instrumental to ensuring accountability by our colleges and universities.”

The proposed legislation is part of the province’s larger strategy to address sexual violence in Manitoba including plans to become the first province to offer paid leave from work for victims of domestic violence, the minister said.  The province is also participating in the United Nations Safe Cities Global Initiative, a partnership among the City of Winnipeg, Winnipeg Police Service, United Nations Women and the University of Winnipeg.

“We’ve heard repeatedly and in conversation with students that this is a major priority on their campuses and look forward to working collaboratively with them and the institutions to ensure the safety of all students,” said Minister Allum.  “This is an example of what happens when students and government are able to work together to make Manitoba and our campuses safer together.”


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