The Ontario government is requiring all colleges and universities to update their sexual violence and harassment policies in order to better protect students.
The new policies must ensure that students who report sexual violence will not be disciplined for breaking any of the school’s rules about drugs and alcohol at the time of the alleged incident.
The policies also require that no “irrelevant questions” are asked by school staff or investigators, specifically regarding past sexual activity and sexual expression.
“Our number one priority is the safety of students – everyone should be able to pursue their studies on or off campus without worrying about sexual violence or harassment,” Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities, said in a news release on Thursday.
The announcement comes a day after students at Western University planned to walk out of class in protest of what they call a “culture of misogyny” on campus.
It is alleged that 30 female students were drugged and sexually assaulted at the London, Ontario university during the school’s Orientation Week.
All colleges and universities will need to review and update their policies by March 31, 2021.