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Ryerson's Sexual Assault Survivor Support Line office (Photo: Elana Emer)
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Where does Ryerson fall in the Student Voices on Sexual Assault Survey?

By Emma Sandri

Ryerson ranks in the middle of universities when it comes to student disclosed non-consensual sexual experiences, according to the results of a province-wide survey announced today.

During a press conference on March 19, the minister of training, colleges and universities said that an average of 63 per cent of university students who responded to the survey disclosed one experience of sexual violence since the beginning of their academic term.

The ministry will double its funding for the Women Campus Safety Grant and require post-secondary institutions to review their sexual assault policies by September 2019, minister Merrilee Fullerton announced.

According to a summary report on the on the Student Voices on Sexual Assault released to Ryerson students via email, the university ranked second when it comes to stalking experiences disclosed by student respondents of the survey.

There were 29.3 per cent of Ryerson students who disclosed a stalking experience, according to the report.

“The information that was shared will help the university have a greater understanding of Ryerson students’ attitudes about and experiences of sexual violence. This, in turn, will help shape programming, services and policy,” said vice provost, students Jen McMillen in an email to the Ryerson community.

The results indicate more university students have disclosed an experience of sexual harrasment than college students have.

About 23 per cent of Ryerson respondents to the survey disclosed that they had a non-consensual sexual experience during their time at the university.

However, the survey results also indicated that students who disclosed their experience of sexual violence to the school were satisfied with how the institution responded. Out of all the universities in Ontario, Ryerson was second for highest level of satisfaction from respondents, with 68.2 per cent of students saying they were satisfied or very satisfied.

“The university received the survey results this afternoon, when they were publicly released by the province,” Ryerson’s public affairs office said in an email to The Eyeopener.

They said as the university just learned of the results of the survey, it could not provide a comment on the matter yet.

“Ryerson University is committed to building a safe and secure environment and fostering a culture of respect, consent and civility, that is free of harassment and violence of any kind,” they wrote.

Generally, Ryerson students fell somewhere in the middle of the list when it came to their knowledge of the sexual assault and violence support, services and reporting procedures  at their university.

Ryerson offers a number of services on campus to students affected by sexual violence, including the Office for Sexual Violence Support and Education and the Sexual Assault Survivor Support Line.

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