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Survey says: Canadore has second highest rate of reported sexual harassment of Ontario colleges

Nipissing ranks about halfway in the same survey

The Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities has released the results of the survey called "Student Voices on Sexual Violence." It provides insights across the post-secondary education sector in Ontario on a wide range of measures. The survey was completed by 26.5 per cent of university students, 16.3 per cent of college students, and 9.3 per cent of private career college students.

The Sexual Harassment Experience Index reflects the proportion of survey respondents who indicated that they experienced one or more incidents of sexual harassment since the beginning of the academic year. 

The survey shows that of 23 Community Colleges, Canadore College does poorly, ranking second at 57.6 per cent, behind only Loyalist, (59.7) in the "Sexual Harassment Experience Index."  That's well above the provincial average of 49,6 per cent.

But Director of Campus Security at Canadore, Michael Miscio, doesn't see that as a negative.

"I think the survey is positive. I think these numbers help us in our efforts," he told BayToday by telephone yesterday. "Our students are very knowledgeable, the highest among any other college on what sexual violence is. That means we're educating our students on consent and they know exactly what that means.

"The survey responses are extremely important in us managing how we provide supports and that education, and how we ensure we have a safe campus."

Nipissing University ranks 11th out of 20 universities in the same index,

"At Nipissing University we take matters of sexual violence with the utmost seriousness and deeply value any conversation about how we can work together to prevent sexual violence and improve campus safety," said Dr. Casey Phillips, Assistant Vice-President, Students.

“Nipissing University is grateful to our students on making their voices heard on this important issue, with over 1,200 submitting responses to the survey,”

The university will be creating a task force dedicated to tackling sexual violence on campus and will report the findings to its Board of Governors.

The release of the survey results comes as Nipissing University commences the regular review of its Sexual Violence Prevention, Support, and Response Policy, and will be incorporating the data from the results into the review.

The survey results are expected to serve as a valuable tool in informing post-secondary institutions on how they can better support students, prevent sexual violence, and help ensure that survivors can get the support they need.    

 "Our government takes the safety and well-being of our students seriously," said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. "Our postsecondary institutions have a responsibility to protect students and must do everything possible to ensure campuses are free from sexual violence. Our government has zero tolerance for sexual assault, harassment, and any other form of violence in our communities."    

Fullerton calls the results "disturbing."

What do you think?

Read the summary report released by the ministry, here.