The five-page document has been circulated to Corpus students

The University has set out changes to its sexual harassment guidelines in a document released to students yesterday. 

The notice, circulated to Corpus students from the JCR Equalities Officer, Lizzi Hawkins, is the first time the university has issued students with comprehensive sexual assault guidelines. 

Although the content is aimed at the 'survivors of rape and sexual assault', the change is a step towards an upheaval of the current policy, or, as Hawkins's email put it, the "lack [thereof]".

The lack of clear guidelines on sexual harassment has been a recurrent cause for concern in some quarters. Last year Varsity reported that many colleges were failing to protect their students from sexual harassment, and that support provisions varied significantly from college to college, following an investigation conducted with the Women's Campaign. 

In 2011, a CUSU campaign challenged the university to adopt a zero-tolerance position on the issue after an NUS report revealed that 68 per cent of female students had experienced some form of sexual harassment at their current institution. 

Today's guidelines contain information regarding the collection and preservation of DNA evidence, if victims wish to go to the police, among other information.

Contact details of external agencies to help deal with sexual assault, including Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre and Survivors UK, are also listed in the document, as well as relevant college and university staff.

In the document, the University say they are "committed to providing a safe environment for their students, and to responding appropriately to any incidences".

"The guidance has been produced for students who have been sexually assaulted or raped," they added.

There was, however, no mention of the document in the CUSU Week 2 email Bulletin, and some colleges have yet to receive the information.

Though CUSU's Women's Officer Amelia Horgan acknowledged that it was "positive" that the University is "paying attention to the needs of student survivors of sexual violence", she was critical about existing support levels, arguing that the guidelines "don't constitute a change in the level of support provided".

"People who have experienced sexual violence deserve better from our University rather than being let down by patchy and often insufficient support," she told Varsity.

Concerns have also been raised that the document appears to be largely based on The University of Chichester Guide to dealing with Sexual Violence/Assault.

The document has been issued by the University's Health and Wellbeing Committee and as such constitutes guidelines for students rather than a binding change to the university's official policy.

Despite calls for change from the Women's Campaign, the sexual harassment policy on a university-wide level is still governed by the bullying and harassment policy, rather than being a separate entity.

A spokeswoman for the university commented: "The level of support available to students at the University of Cambridge is unparalleled in most other universities." "The health and wellbeing committee is working with the CUSU Women's Officer and others to address issues relating to sexual assault and as part of this a new set of guidelines has been produced in an easily accessible format. The document gives relevant information to students and signposts the support that already exists across the University and the Colleges so that students can make informed decisions."