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Press Release  - February 15, 2023

Chairperson Aryanna Chartrand’s Statement on ABCS Open Letter to BC Government on Sexualized and Gender-Based Violence in Post-Secondary


The Alliance of BC Students and our fellow signatories, collectively representing 25 organizations and over 375,000 post-secondary students across British Columbia, have written an open letter to the provincial government urging them to take urgent action to address the crisis of sexualized and gender-based violence at post-secondary institutions. 


Survivors, student leaders, advocates, and allies have been calling for urgent action to address the sexualized and gender-based violence crisis for almost a decade. While we acknowledge the importance of ensuring that legislative changes are thoughtful and intentional, action needs to be taken now and solutions are available. Student leaders and advocates have created action plans, policy standards, and other solutions to support survivors and front-line workers in post-secondary spaces. There are countless existing documents and plans developed for students, by students that offer an incredible foundation and starting point for a provincial wide action plan to address sexualized and gender-based violence. 


Post-secondary campuses are communities to students, faculties, staff, and others. These communities have needs specific and unique to the post-secondary experience. It is critical that funding be made available for on-campus supports with comprehensive policies in place at each post-secondary institution to meet the needs of each respective community. With the promise of more student housing being built and more students being encouraged to study on campus, it is unacceptable to invite them into spaces that are currently not keeping them safe. 


We understand this cannot be solved overnight and we know the government has been taking action throughout the province. However, the majority of what students are asking for could be implemented using existing resources and legislation. Existing staff and volunteers could use funding to expand the work they are already doing on campuses. Many of the minimum standards could be amended into the Sexualized Violence and Misconduct Policy Act (Act 23), or into regulation, and implemented on campuses straight away. Standards such as mandatory sexualized and gender-based violence training for decision makers, clearly defined timelines for complaint processes, and sexualized and gender-based violence prevention and support committees with student representation could all be put in place on campuses tomorrow. Student unions and on-campus organisations would be able to use year-over-year funding to expand their capacity the moment it becomes available. We are not asking for a reinvention of the work that is already being done. We are asking for an expansion.


We are going to be watching the upcoming budget closely to see if action is taken to address this crisis in post-secondary spaces. For the last two years, the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services has recommended that Government commit to increase funding to address sexualized and gender-based violence in post-secondary education. We hope that the unified call from our members, partners, and allies will result in year-over-year funding for on-campus supports and the necessary legislative changes to the Sexualized Violence and Misconduct Policy Act (Act 23).


We cannot wait any longer.


Aryanna Chartrand


Alliance of BC Students


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Open Letter  - February 15, 2023

Urgent Call for Action on Sexualized and Gender-Based Violence in Post-Secondary Education


The Alliance of BC Students, along with other like-minded organizations collectively representing over 375,000 post-secondary students across British Columbia, are calling for the provincial government to take urgent action to address the crisis of sexualized violence at post-secondary institutions.

For many BC students, sexualized and gender-based violence are a part of the post-secondary experience. We refuse to accept this. Student organizations, such as the signatories below, have been advocating for resources and legislative changes to combat sexualized and gender-based violence for decades, and in some instances, doing the work themselves. We acknowledge the actions of governments past and present thus far to prevent and respond to sexualized and gender-based violence in post-secondary education. However, it is simply not enough. We are calling for significant action to meet the scale of this crisis.


  • Amend the Legislation: To ensure that all post-secondary institutions meet the bare minimum standards for comprehensive, survivor-centric, and trauma-informed sexual violence policies, adopt the 11 minimum standards as called for by Students For Consent Culture as amendments into the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act (Act 23).


  • Fund On-campus Supports: Allocate at least $5 million per year in year-over-year funding to create sexualized violence support centres on campus, or adequately fund existing centres on campus, including those run by student organizations, which provide much needed, on the ground support, yet continue to be under-resourced.



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