Brandon University students are speaking out about a school policy which they worry will silence victims of sexual assault.

The Brandon University Students group "We Believe Survivors" said following reports of sexual violence students are made to sign a "behavioural contract" which they say specifies students cannot talk about the case with anyone except for a counsellor.

Gervan Fearon, president and vice-chancellor of the Manitoba university, acknowledged at a news conference Tuesday afternoon that the school used a behavioural contract following an alleged sexual assault that occurred in September, 2015. He said it was a mistake in the school’s handling of the case.

“We acknowledge it was not helpful to the survivor,” Fearon told reporters, later adding, “Whether well-intentioned or not, the intention is never to limit the rights and scope for victims for survivors of sexual violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment,” to seek access to services and advocacy.

In a statement, the group said students can face suspension or expulsion if they break the terms of the contract.

The issue came to light when a student anonymously submitted the contract to the "We Believe Survivors" project.

Fearon said after the September 2015 incident, the school established a taskforce in order to “take a look at ensuring that services and support” were provided to the student involved.

Among the recommendations the taskforce put forth, Fearon said, was to “acknowledge” that a student behavioural contract is inappropriate in cases of sexual violence, assault and harassment.

“I am pleased to report that we have acted on that recommendation, and will not have any behavioural contract in such cases at this university,” Fearon said.

He also said that the contract is “rarely used,” but that “going forward, we will not be using it.”

Pre-psychiatric nursing student Stefon Irvine said the school needs to do more to create a safe environment at Brandon University.

"While we wish that there were in fact zero sexual assaults that occur at Brandon University each year, we know that this is not the case," said Irvine in a statement. "Brandon University needs to act to ensure that they deal with the problem of sexual violence, rather than attempting to make it disappear by silencing victims."

Corinne Mason, Brandon University's coordinator of gender and women's studies, said she supports the student-led initiative.

"They are doing an incredible job at bringing this issue to light," said Mason in a statement.

"This ‘gag order’ is not surprising given the culture of silencing victims on all Canadian university campuses. The student who anonymously submitted this letter to the “We Believe Survivors” project on this campus is incredibly brave.

"This ‘gag order’ treats survivors and perpetrators as equals in the ‘incident,’ and it treats the person who reports sexual assault in a disciplinary manner."

Mason said the contract tells victims of sexual assault what to do and who to talk to.

"By this letter, one could not even call the sexual assault crisis line at Klinic without risking suspension or expulsion," said Mason.

Students will hold an event at Brandon University Wednesday morning to raise awareness about the problems students face when reporting sexual assault. It will be held in the mingling area of the Knowles-Douglas building starting at 8 a.m.