From Sept. 26-30, the third annual #ConsentMcGill campaign presents a week of interactive and educational activities based around the themes of “Ask. Listen. Respect.” The campaign focuses on issues of consent, prevention and support relating to sexual violence.
“Our best way to reduce the incidence of sexual violence is to make sure our students are informed and aware, and the annual consent campaign is an important part of that process,” says Ollivier Dyens, Deputy Provost (Student Life & Learning). His office coordinates the #ConsentMcGill initiative, which is a partnership between student groups, administrators and McGill services. “As events on campuses across North America have shown, we, as administrators and educators, need to do a better job of ensuring our students fully understand the importance of consent in all areas of human interaction.”
Bianca Tétrault, Liaison Officer (Harm Reduction), notes that #ConsentMcGill has “grown substantially” over the past three years: “This year we are proud to bring you events that expand beyond the foundation of consent education to delve deeper into the topics of sexual violence awareness, prevention and support.” A full list of this year’s workshops, information sessions and other activities is on the #ConsentMcGill Facebook page.
All members of the University community – students, staff and faculty – have an important role to play in preventing sexual violence on our campus and effectively supporting those affected by it.
“Having such wide-ranging and very public discussions about this important subject is a significant step toward reducing the incidence of sexual assault,” says Chris Buddle, Dean of Students. “I encourage everyone to take some time to participate in some of the program’s activities this week.”
This year’s #ConsentMcGill campaign comes two weeks after Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Christopher Manfredi asked the community for its feedback on a draft survivor-oriented policy on sexual violence that is expected to go to the McGill Senate later this fall.
“As we bring forward the draft policy, we must remember that it commits the University to educate the community about sexual violence and its prevention,” says Angela Campbell, Associate Provost (Policies, Procedures and Equity). “A policy alone will be insufficient to respond to sexual violence. Our best chance at reducing incidents of sexual violence is education that fosters an understanding about the need for attitudes and behaviours grounded in respect.”