The Board of Governors approved revisions to the Sexual Violence Policy and related procedures at its June 21 meeting, reinforcing the University of Guelph’s commitment to strengthening its sexual violence protocols and supporting all members of the campus community, including faculty, staff and students.
The changes comply with the Ontario government’s legislative requirements under Bill 26, Strengthening Post-secondary Institutions and Students Act, 2022, which mandates post-secondary institutions to address faculty and staff sexual misconduct toward students. Bill 26 came into force on July 1.
Summary of Changes Arising from Bill 26
- A new term, “sexual misconduct” in relation to a student of an institution, is defined; how it intersects with the Human Rights Code and Criminal Code of Canada has been clearly articulated.
- If asked about an allegation or finding, the University must disclose its existence; confidentiality protections in policies and contracts no longer apply. All discipline resulting from sexual misconduct findings is for just cause.
- An employer cannot rehire an employee it has terminated for sexual misconduct towards a student.
- Arbitrators/adjudicators cannot substitute any penalty imposed by the institution.
The revised policy and related procedures are available online:
- Sexual Violence Policy
- Sexual Violence Procedures for Students
- Sexual Violence Procedures for Staff and Faculty