Office of the Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs


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Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Working Group

The Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Working Group was established in 2013. It is a network of students, faculty and staff convened to mobilize efforts to prevent and respond to sexual assault on campus. The working group is advisory to the Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs and works collaboratively to effect change at the individual, institutional and cultural levels, to contribute to a safer campus environment for Queen’s students.   

In December 2016, the university's sexual violence policy was updated, and approved by the university's Board of Trustees to align with provincial legislation and regulations. The policy was first approved in March 2016 after extensive consultation with students and campus stakeholders. The policy development process originated with a draft policy released in June 2015 as part of a report by the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Working Group, that included recommendations to guide the university in addressing sexual violence. The working group's report represented the culmination of months of research, planning, and consultation with the Queen’s community, and an examination of best practices across the sector.

An implementation group that includes student representatives and members of the working group continues to guide the university's work in this area, in consultation with the working group and its policy sub-committee. 

Starting in Fall 2015, new sexual violence prevention and education initiatives and resources were put in place for Orientation Week: New first-responder and bystander training was provided to all orientation leaders and student volunteers, dons and residence student leaders, counsellors and other first responders, including security staff; Queen's hosted Dr. Rachel Griffin, an American gender violence scholar who gave a talk to first-year students and staff; and consent and resource information was delivered to all first-year undergraduate students and incoming graduate students. In Fall 2016, these initiatives continued and Mike Domitrz, of the Date Safe Project, spoke to all first-year students, focusing on how-to skills for asking for consent, being a proactive bystander and how to support survivors of sexual violence. 

The university has also created a Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator position, based on the working group's recommendations. Barb Lotan is the central point of contact for students, staff and faculty, and leads campus-wide education, response, support, training and advocacy activities. Barb can be contacted at 613 533 6330 or or B502 Mackintosh-Corry Hall (in the Human Rights Office).

Should you experience any emotional or psychological discomfort or distress, please contact the Kingston Sexual Assault Centre's 24/7 crisis line at 613 544 6424 or call Counselling Services at 613 533 6000 ext. 78264 to make an appointment. 

Working Group Objectives

  • Provide a forum to discuss emerging issues and initiatives related to sexual assault;
  • Collect local and nation-wide information to understand campus context and develop practices;
  • Improve communication and information-sharing among campus partners and allies;
  • Inventory and suggest enhancements to policies, programs, services and resources; and
  • Develop and implement campus-wide initiatives to support prevention and response.

Membership 2016-2017

​Ann Tierney (Co-Chair), Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs
Barbara Lotan (Co-Chair), Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator
Meredith Chivers, Associate Professor and Director of Sexuality and Gender Laboratory, Department of Psychology 
Jennifer Dods, Director, Student Wellness Centre
Nadia Sawaya Fehr, Outreach Counsellor, Residence Life
Corinna Fitzgerald, Assistant Dean Student Life and Learning 
Claire Gummo, Student-at-Large
Rachel Hayton, Director, Sexual Health Resource Centre
Kate Humphrys, Manager, Health Promotion, Student Wellness Services
Lea Keren, Social Issues Commissioner, Alma Mater Society
Nadia Mahdi, Levana Gender Advocacy Centre
Kate Murray, Director, Residence Life
Lisa Newton, University Counsel
Harry Smith, University Ombudsman
Carolyn Thompson, Vice-President University Affairs, Alma Mater Society 
Jenny Williams, Society of Graduate and Professional Students
Lauren Winkler, Indigenous Affairs Commissioner, Alma Mater Society
Margot Coulter, Sexual Harassment and Prevention Coordinator, Human Rights Office
Tahseen Chowdry, Equity and Diversity Commissioner, Society of Graduate and Professional Students


Since its establishment in July 2013, the working group has met regularly and:

  • Developed a mandate and terms of references, and established a core membership of faculty, staff, and students. Membership has grown in response to identified needs;
  • Recognized the need to approach sexual violence using a socio-ecological framework, i.e., an institutional wide effort from administration, faculty/staff, students and a multi-level focus on programs that aim to raise awareness, prevent incidents of assault, educate, provide support services and resources for survivors, develop and implement policies and protocols to respond to incidents/allegations, and undertake ongoing assessment and evaluation;
  • Developed a draft inventory of existing resources, programs, protocols and policies, identifying gaps that would inform recommendations for new and/or enhanced interventions and initiatives;
  • Applied for and secured funding from the Women’s Campus Safety Fund to pilot a joint Student Affairs and Sexual Health Resource Centre peer-led co-curricular educational program using the Bringing in the Bystander curriculum designed by the University of New Hampshire;
  • Endorsed a successful proposal to the Student Affairs Balkwill Fund to support a pilot Psycho-Educational Group for Survivors of Sexual Assault (PEGaSUS), which launched in Fall 2014;
  • Created a forum for faculty, staff, and students with mandates to educate on/respond to sexual violence to share, discuss and collaborate on interventions and initiatives;
  • Developed an interim sexual violence support and response protocol for the university (December 2014); 
  • Completed a broad cross-campus consultation process that resulted in a report that includes recommendations to guide the university in addressing sexual violence, as well as a draft sexual misconduct policy (April 2015);
  • Contributed to the development and implementation of new first-responder and bystander intervention training (Fall 2015);
  • Supported new sexual violence prevention and education initiatives in Orientation Week 2015, including a visit and talk by the American gender violence scholar Dr. Rachel Griffin, who spoke to all first-year students;
  • Provided input in the development of the university's sexual violence policy, approved by the Board of Trustees in March 2016;
  • Provided further input as the policy was updated to align with provincial legislation and regulations, and approved by the Board of Trustees in December 2016.


Crisis Response Resources 

Other Resources

Report on policies, procedures and support programs in place to address incidents of sexual assault at Queen's, University Counsel, August 2014 (PDF, 948 KB)  

Report and Recommendations tguide the university in addressing sexual violence, April 2015 (PDF, 2.4 MB)

Queen's Sexual Violence Policy, December 2016

Queen's Sexual Violence Policy was most recently approved by the Board of Trustees in December 2016. The university recognizes that the issue of sexual violence on university campuses is an evolving issue. The university will revisit its policy, the policy's associated resources, and other related university policies, as appropriate, to respond to the evolving landscape. In any event, the policy will be reviewed every three years, in consultation with students, and will be amended as appropriate.  Information about how students, and the entire campus community, may provide input as part of the policy review, will be posted to this webpage.