Sexual violence prevention services to be mandatory fees

By Sherina Harris
The Eyeopener

(CUP)—Sexual violence prevention services will be mandatory ancillary fees under the Ontario government’s new framework, the communications director of the minister of training, colleges and universities told The Eye.

“Fees that support programs and services that promote on-campus safety, including the prevention of sexual violence, are an allowable compulsory ancillary fee under the Student Choice Initiative,” Rea said.

She said these programs and services might include—but aren’t limited to—walk safe programs.

In January, the ministry announced their intent to create a system where students can opt out of certain ancillary fees called the Student Choice Initiative. Universities are still waiting for those guidelines. On March 4, Rea told The Eye the guidelines would be shared with universities “very soon.”

In a document first reported by The Varsity also obtained by The Eyeopener, essential fees are outlined as those involving athletics and recreation, career services, student buildings, health and counselling, academic support, student ID cards, transcriptions and convocation, financial aid offices, walk safe programs, student transit passes and health and dental plans.

It was previously unclear whether sexual violence services would be included under safety or health and counselling in the framework.

Some sexual violence services at George Brown College (GBC) include the sexual assault response advisor, Safewalk, counselling services, and consent workshops by the Community Action Centre.  

It’s unclear if the Student Association of George Brown College, which runs the Community Action Centre and Safewalk programs, will be considered an essential service by the government and how this may impact the delivery of sexual assault prevention services at GBC.

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Sexual violence prevention services to be mandatory fees