At TRU’s board of governors meeting last Friday, board members voted unanimously to pass TRU’s policy on sexual violence, which has been in development for two years.
Christine Adam, TRU’s dean of students, read a statement to the board of governors following the policy’s approval, highlighting strong community involvement and the consultation and work that has happened over the past two years.
In an interview after her presentation to the board of governors, a visibly emotional Adam said she was happy to see all of TRU’s hard work finally come to fruition.
“It feels good,” Adam said. “I think we are doing great work here and this just asserts our commitment to do that good work. It provides us a means to clearly communicate towards students and others in our community who have been harmed, what sort of supports are in place for them.”
While development of the policy began over two years ago, Adam thinks that the policy’s approval has happened in a timely manner.
“It’s important work and important work has to be done well. Sometimes that involves us slowing down and learning a bit more, learning about what other institutions are doing,” Adam said. “I think our students deserve our best work and our best work isn’t done hastily.”
Adam noted that on Thursday, March 30, Simon Fraser University unanimously passed their sexual violence policy at a board of governors meeting. Between now and May 19, governing bodies at universities across B.C. will be motioning sexual violence policies for approval, as part of provincial legislation introduced last year that mandates all universities must have a sexual assault policy.
“It’s a very good day for our students and our community,” Adam said.
Christine Adam’s statement to the board of governors:
“Thank you for approving this important policy today. I know that there are many items that come forward for your approval at each meeting, but I wanted to be sure that you were aware of the profound impact your consideration of this policy will have on the lives and members of the TRU community.
This policy will ensure that members of the TRU community hear strong messages that we will not tolerate any form of sexualized violence here, that we will educate each other on what that means, and that when members of our community have been harmed we will support them in their healing and provide a means for them to continue in their studies and their full participation in work and campus life.
I am incredibly proud to work here today, and I am proud that this work was begun well before the provincial government required us to create such a policy. I am proud of the colleagues – dozens of them – that have worked on the policy and in its various consultation activities. I am proud of our relationship with strong community partners such as the KSACC and the RCMP. I am proud to work with male allies that have supported the work to prevent and respond to what is largely a gendered crime. But most of all, I am proud and moved by the survivors – most of them identifying as female – that have come forward and bravely raised their voices throughout this work. I am humbled to even attempt to thank you on their behalf.”
The approved policy can be found on TRU’s website.