The scorecard at its earliest stage was envisioned as a checklist of clauses that should and should not be included in campus sexual violence policies. These clauses were developed through first-hand experiences of individuals on the research team, consultations at Carleton and campuses across Canada, as well as comparative research on policies across Canada. Some of the clauses highlighted were common sense, such as policies should absolutely not include an exception clause for post-secondary Presidents to give exemptions to individuals from the policy (included in Carleton’s draft of their Sexual Violence Policy and the University of Ottawa’s current policy). However, it was only in consultation with individuals who had filed complaints and pursued processes that we realized the importance of other clauses. For example, it was only through meeting a survivor who underwent a two-year complaint process against a predatory professor that we realized the central importance of clear timelines throughout the process. As a result of all of our research and consultation we ended up with over 45 different recommendations for things that should and should not be included in campus sexual violence policies.
It was only then that we decided to transition the checklist into a scorecard – one that was easy to navigate and provided a straightforward process to evaluate your policy and identify shortcomings. To us, it was the set of 45 different criteria that was the most important part of the scorecard, rather than the overall score. We sought to have this scorecard begin filling the gaps in knowledge on campuses as to what are the best practices when it comes to processes that respond to sexual violence. Specifically, we sought to give students the tools they need in order to advocate for better policy on campuses.
You can access breakdown of schools’ scorecards here. Or see below for each school’s score!