Reading Time: < 1 minute

Decision comes after province doubles investment in Women’s Campus Safety Grant

The Ontario government announced Tuesday that sexual violence prevention service fees will not be subject to the government’s opt-out framework for post-secondary institutions, according to Ryerson University’s student newspaper, The Eyeopener.

In an interview with the Eye, the communications director of the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, Stephanie Rea, confirmed, “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.”

The Student Choice Initiative, which will come into effect in the 2019-20 academic year, outlines that students may opt-out of paying fees for all “non-essential” services, thus excluding athletics and recreation, health and counselling, academic support, walk safe programs, student transit passes and health and dental plans, all deemed essential by the government.

Sexual violence prevention programs were not explicitly included in the government’s list prior to today’s confirmation.

The news comes following an announcement today by Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities Merrilee Fullerton, promising the government would double their 2018-19 investment in a fund for programs combating sexual violence on campuses, alongside their summary report of the 2018 Student Voices on Sexual Violence Survey.

With files from Savannah Awde.