Statement from President Diamond on Prevention and Response to Sexual Violence

Friday, November 28, 2014 - 5:00am

Recent media reports have brought attention to the issue of sexual violence, particularly on college and university campuses. I want to take this opportunity to assure our community that I take this issue very seriously and that we have well-developed policies and procedures in place to respond to incidents of sexual assault, as well as resources to support survivors.

We have three policies that provide options and recourse to those who have experienced sexual violence:

  • The Response to Violent and Threatening Behaviour Policy outlines OCAD University’s obligations with respect to any situation involving violence or threat of violence and applies to all students, faculty, staff, volunteers and visitors.  Through that policy, OCAD U has a highly trained team of professionals who assess risk of violence expediently and take appropriate action.  All situations involving violence or risk of violence should be reported to Security & Emergency Services.
  • The Non-academic Misconduct Policy defines sexual assault as an offence and applies to situations involving students. Complaints under this policy are directed to our Associate Vice-President, Students.
  • The Respectful Work & Learning Environment Policy is inclusive of sexual assault and applies to students, staff and faculty. Complaints under this policy are directed to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Sustainability Initiatives.I want to ensure that our students, staff and faculty understand the range of options and resources available to them should they require support following an assault or have safety needs while on campus.

Information & Resources

  • Security & Emergency Services
    Our Security & Emergency Services team is responsible for the safety of all members of the community and will work with students, staff and faculty to develop safety plans for anyone who feels they may be at risk. Specific services include:
    • Guardly Safe Campus™
      The Guardly Safe Campus program puts a personal duress button onto the smartphones of OCAD U students, staff and faculty for free, providing the fastest way to connect to campus security when reporting an emergency. Register for this free service.
    • WalkSafe Program
      The WalkSafe Program provides students, faculty and staff with a personal security escort. Please contact Campus Security at least 10 minutes prior to your departure and Security personnel will escort you to the Grange underground parking facility or a nearby bus stop/subway station.
    • Emergency and Non-emergency Service
      To reach Security & Emergency Services in an emergency, phone 416-977-6000 Ext. 511 (or use any of the red phones on campus, or simply dial 511 from any office or hallway phone).
      For non-emergency service, please dial 416-977-6000 Ext. 366.
    • Sexual Assault Reporting
      OCAD U Security & Emergency Services works in partnership with the relevant municipal police services to assist members of our community who would like to report an incident to the police for investigation.
  • Health and Wellness Centre
    Confidential counselling for students who are or know someone who is a survivor of sexual violence or who have experienced abusive relationships is available through our Health & Wellness Centre. To see a counsellor, please walk-in during business hours Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or call the Centre at 416-977-6000 Ext. 260 to book an appointment. For more information visit the Sexual Assault Support web page.
  • Office of Diversity, Equity and Sustainability Initiatives (ODESI)
    The role of ODESI is to foster an educational and employment environment that respects, supports and values all students, staff, and faculty.  ODESI administers the university's human rights complaint process (see the OCAD U Respectful Work & Learning Environment Policy) to address discrimination, harassment and bullying, including sexual and gender-based harassment on campus and online.  Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual attention directed at an individual by someone whose conduct or comments are, or should reasonably be known to be, offensive, inappropriate, intimidating, hostile, and unwelcome. At any time, individuals can contact ODESI to confidentially ask a question, raise a concern or seek assistance on how to address an issue.

Office Location: 115 McCaul St., Level 2

For more information please contact Amanda Hotrum, Director, Diversity, Equity & Sustainability Initiatives at 416-977-6000 Ext. 4860.

In an emergency on campus the OCAD University community is encouraged to call Campus Security at 511 first to help efficiently direct emergency response teams to the emergency location. Always call 911 in an emergency off campus. To reach Toronto Police Services in a non-emergency or to report a crime, call   416-808-2222.

Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice Chancellor, OCAD University