Update on U of T's action plan on sexual violence prevention and support

Three expert panels are now in place as part of the University of Toronto’s action plan to prevent and respond to sexual violence.  

Provost Cheryl Regehr announced May 20 the members of the panels, which include undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff from all three U of T campuses.    

A panel led by Mayo Moran, professor of law and provost of Trinity College, will advise on developing a new policy on sexual violence, a central recommendation of the report. Gretchen Kerr, acting dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education, will chair a panel on education and prevention of sexual violence, and Sandy Welsh, vice-provost, students, will lead an advisory board on the planned sexual violence climate survey. The campus climate survey is intended to provide insight about experiences of sexual violence on campus and the use of related services and supports.

“I want to thank everyone who responded to the calls for nominations and the individuals who have agreed to offer their expertise to this important process,” Regehr said.  “I invite all faculty, staff, and students to continue to offer their input, so we can ensure that our sexual violence plan reflects the diverse views and experiences of the University community.”

The work of the panels will be informed by consultations with students, staff, and faculty at key points in the implementation of the recommendations.

The creation of the panels follows the recommendations from the Presidential and Provostial Advisory Committee on Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence. President Meric Gertler and Regehr responded in April to the committee’s report and accepted all of its recommendations. 

Read the response

In addition to the three panels, the university will establish a Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Centre with a physical presence on all three campuses by January 2017. The university also is hiring an Executive Director, Personal Safety, High Risk and Sexual Violence Prevention & Support, who will oversee sexual violence prevention and response initiatives, and take the lead on other safety and high-risk matters.  

New provincial law requires that all Ontario universities have stand-alone sexual violence policy in place by January 2017.  U of T’s new policy is expected to go before Governing Council this fall. 

Members of the three panels include:

Expert Panel on Sexual Violence Policies
Mayo Moran (Chair), Professor, Faculty of Law, and Provost, Trinity College 
Saagarika Coleman (Undergraduate Student), Victoria College, Faculty of Arts & Science
Lahoma Thomas (Graduate Student), Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts & Science
Mark Overton (Administrative Staff Member), Dean of Student Affairs and Assistant Principal, Student Services, University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM)
Brenda Cossman (Faculty Member), Professor, Faculty of Law, and Director, Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies 

Expert Panel on Education and Prevention of Sexual Violence
Gretchen Kerr (Chair), Professor and Acting Dean, Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education
Manvinder Sahota (Undergraduate Student), St. Michael’s College, Faculty of Arts & Science 
Arij Elmi (Graduate Student), Dalla Lana School of Public Health
Liza Arnason (Administrative Staff Member), Director, Department of Student Life, University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC)
Lana Stermac (Faculty Member), Professor, Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

Sexual Violence Climate Survey Advisory Board
Sandy Welsh (Chair), Professor, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts & Science, and Vice-Provost, Students
Nasma Ahmed (Undergraduate Student), UTSC
Juhi Sujan (Graduate Student), School of Public Policy and Governance, Faculty of Arts & Science
Michael Nicholson (Administrative Staff Member), Coordinator, Student Academic Progress, Student Life
Janice Du Mont (Faculty Member), Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health


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