Safe campus

Group of student on the quad taking a selfie

At UVic, we take pride in creating a tight-knit campus community where we take care of each other. Whether it's encouraging students to look out for each other, promoting responsible behaviour or providing programs and services, your safety is a top priority. 

Student conduct | Preventing sexualized violence | Campus Security | Substance use

Student conduct

As part of the UVic community, each student is responsible for their personal conduct as it affects other community members and the university’s activities and property. To support a respectful, safe and responsible community, all students are required to maintain the expectations outlined in the university’s academic and non-academic policies, including the Resolution of Non-Academic Misconduct policy. Any university community member can connect with the Office of Student Life for support to bring forward concerns and for assistance to learn about the expectations for all students.

Examples of non-academic student misconduct include, but are not limited to, any of the following behaviours when they take place on university property or in connection to a university activity:

  • dangerous or disruptive behaviour
  • theft or vandalism
  • health and safety risks
  • verbal or written threats
  • illegal or high-risk drug or alcohol use
  • physical violence

The university recognizes its responsibility to take measures to prevent non-academic misconduct within the university community. The Office of Student Life works with students, faculty and staff to help address non-academic student conduct concerns and provide options for student support. This may include responding to concerns, investigating allegations of non-academic misconduct or engaging students in informal resolution processes. Learn more about conduct expectations for students and your options for support.


Preventing Sexualized Violence

At UVic we believe everyone has a right to live, learn, and play in an environment free from sexualized violence. We know that sexualized violence impacts people’s ability to feel safe and excel at their work and studies. As a UVic student, you have a responsibility to help create and maintain a safe and inclusive environment for everyone.

UVic defines sexualized violence as any non-consensual, unwanted, attempted, actual or threatened act or behavior that is carried out through sexual means or by targeting a person’s sex, sexual identity or gender identity or expression. It can occur online and in-person, through text, images, words and actions. 

Sexualized violence includes but is not limited to: sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, indecent exposure, voyeurism, and/or the distribution of a sexually explicit photograph or video without consent. It also includes catcalls, sexist comments and persistent and/or aggressive come-ons in-person and online. 

Step In, Speak Up

Screen capture of the beginning of the program

Step In, Speak Up is a 45-minute online bystander intervention training program that will teach you about consent and introduce you to the concept of pro-social bystander intervention and to UVic community expectations.

Learn more


You can learn more about UVic's approach to prevention and response and find about upcoming events and workshops by visiting the sexualized violence website


One of the most important ways we can prevent sexualized violence is by integrating respect and consent in all areas of our daily lives. You can learn more about what this means and how to do this by taking our Tools for Change workshop on campus.

As a starting point, it is important to understand how UVic defines consent.

Consent is the voluntary agreement to engage in physical contact or sexual activity and to continue to engage in the contact or activity. Consent means that all persons involved demonstrate, through words or actions, that they freely and mutually agree to participate in the contact or activity.

When it comes to consent, remember that RESPECT comes first:

R: Respect is the first step to gaining meaningful consent. This means respecting other people, their boundaries, and the fact that they are people with unique backgrounds, preferences, wants and needs. This is necessary when interacting with people both in-person and online.

E: Establish consent at the outset and at each step of the way in your encounters and/or sexual activity.

S: Silence or the absence of ‘no’ does not equal consent.

P: Prepare to hear no (and stop), because consent can be withdrawn at anytime, for any reason.

E: Early on consider whether you or the other person is incapacitated. Incapacitated people cannot give consent.

C: Consider power. There is no consent where there is an abuse of power.

T: Take responsibility. Asking for consent is the responsibility of the initiator of a contact or activity.

Sexualized violence resource office

The Sexualized Violence Resource Office is the place to go for information, advice and support when it comes to sexualized violence. Our free and confidential services are available Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm by calling 250-721-8021 or emailing

The office:

  • Provides information and referrals to on- and off-campus support options
  • Provides information and advice about response options – e.g., voluntary resolution options
  • Receives disclosures
  • Is the place on campus to file a formal report that could lead to an investigation
  • Coordinates education and prevention efforts on campus for students, faculty and staff

Learn more about UVic’s approach to sexualized violence by reading the Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response Policy.

Sedgewick C119, Equity and Human Rights Office



Campus Security

Campus Security provides a safe and welcoming environment for our students, staff, faculty and visitors 24 hours a day.

Security phone on campus

Campus Alone: Studying or working alone in the evening or on weekends? Let Campus Security know your location and they'll check in every so often to ensure your safety.

Direct Dial Phones: Public phones located around campus are equipped with emergency buttons that immediately connect to Campus Security. These phones have been identified with red and white signage.

Emergency Alerts: Although major emergencies on campus are unlikely, it's a good idea to be prepared. Download the UVic SafetyApp and sign up for UVic Emergency alerts. At the time of an emergency, check for information.

Medical Response: Security officers are first responders trained to handle all medical emergencies. For urgent, life-threatening situations, please call 9-1-1.

Safehaven: The area inside the front door of the Campus Security building is accessible after-hours to speak with our staff or make a telephone call.

SafeWalk: If you feel uncomfortable walking alone on campus, call SafeWalk, and Campus Security will send an escort to accompany you to your on-campus destination at any time of the day or night.

Personal Safety Coordinator: Campus Security has a Manager of Personal Safety and a Personal Safety Coordinator who can provide assistance and referrals to all members of the campus community who have experienced or have concerns about any personal safety issues. 

Additional Campus Security services include locker rental, lost and found, on-campus parking and security engraving.

See something, say something. Call the Campus Security 24/7 at 250-721-7599 to report unusual behaviour or a personal safety concern.


Healthy relationship with alcohol and substance use

UVic is committed to fostering a safe and respectful community that promotes a healthy relationship with the use of alcohol and substances. We advocate a harm reduction approach to substance use (alcohol and drugs), if you choose to consume them. We encourage you to be thoughtful about your use and to learn about campus and community resources that can help you develop a healthy relationship with alcohol and substances. Please be advised that the legal drinking age in British Columbia is 19.

Alcohol use myths & facts

Myth: If a person suffering from alcohol poisoning vomits, they're fine and can sleep it off.

  • Fact: While the body may have rid itself of some undigested alcohol, they are still in danger of choking on vomit, losing consciousness or cardiac arrest. Never assume someone can sleep it off. If you are concerned about how much someone has had to drink, you can call Campus Security (on-campus) or 811 for consultation. If they are passing out, make sure they are on their side in the recovery position. 

Myth: Alcohol gives you energy.

  • Fact: Actually, it's the opposite. Alcohol is a depressant and slows down your ability to think, speak and move. Even at low levels, it affects your perception, coordination and judgment long before any physical signs of impairment occur.

Myth: Cold showers, fresh air or a hot coffee help sober a person.

  • Fact: Only time will remove alcohol from the system. On average, it takes the body at least one hour to process the alcohol in one standard drink.

Myth: The worst thing that can happen when you drink too much is ending up with a really bad hangover.

  • Fact: If you drink a lot of alcohol quickly, it can build up in your body and lead to alcohol poisoning. Being intoxicated also makes you more prone to making risky choices or getting injured.

Tips for safer drinking

    • Drink slowly—alternate each drink with water or other non-alcoholic beverages
    • Avoid mixing alcohol with drugs, medication or energy drinks
    • Set your own pace and limit—do not try to compete or keep up with others
    • Pour your own drinks and never leave your drink unattended. 
    • Know the strength of your alcohol—check the alcohol percentage
    • Stay in the company of trusted friends and have a safe way to get home or a safe place to stay
    • Always avoid binge drinking (drinking a large amount of alcohol in a short time)

Regardless of how you feel, you should always stop drinking if you:

    • Don’t want to drink
    • Feel uncomfortable or vulnerable
    • Do not have friends with you who can watch out for you
    • Are feeling nauseous, vomiting or about to pass out
    • Do not have a safe place to stay or way to get home