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UBC passes new sex-assault policy, will create centralized offices to respond

The University of British Columbia has approved a new sexual misconduct policy.

DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The University of British Columbia has approved a new sexual misconduct policy that will create centralized offices at its Vancouver and Okanagan campuses to prevent and respond to sexual violence.

All public universities in B.C. must have policies by May 19, but UBC began working on a policy several months before Premier Christy Clark's government passed legislation last year.

The policy was accepted by the board of governors Thursday, will take effect in about a month, and cover a broad range of misconduct including sexual assault, harassment and stalking.

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The university will hire directors of investigations to review reports and refer them to external investigators, who will have 60 days to complete their work.

Until now, sex assault reports have often been resolved informally with a few cases advancing to a non-academic misconduct process where allegations were judged by a panel of students.

An independent review of UBC's handling of multiple reports about a PhD student in 2015 found that while staff acted in good faith, miscommunications and an unclear process led to delays.

Unfounded: How one woman's sexual assault report was handled by police
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