Bishop’s University will launch an unprecedented campaign in September to prevent sexual violence on its campus. The campaign comes at a time when the University is mobilizing to offer additional resources and tools to students in the hopes of eradicating sexual violence from its campus.
The campaign’s cornerstone effort will be the mandatory Bystander Intervention Training, which will be given to the entire incoming class just days after the students move to their new homes on- and off-campus. The training aims to educate and empower students to act when they witness a potentially dangerous situation. The University is expecting its entire incoming class and over 100 senior students to attend the training.
“Studies show that bystander intervention decreases attempts of sexual assault as well as successful assaults,” says Dr. Jackie Bailey, the Dean of Student Affairs. “ Incidents of sexual violence have been shown to be disproportionately high in the first year of University, which is why we are targeting our initiatives during Orientation Week. Our hope is that within the next 4-5 years the entire student body will be trained in bystander intervention.
“My goal is to have zero assaults on our campus,” declares the Dean. “We want to create a culture of sexual health and safety.”
Dr. Bailey is spearheading the campaign to create a safe environment for new and returning students on campus. “We have great collaborative relationships with several local organizations, including CALACS Agression Estrie, and we’ve partnered with MESSAGE, a campaign that involves other Sherbrooke post-secondary institutions, organizations, and community outreach workers, representing over 40,000 students,” says Dr. Bailey. “We’ve also partnered with the Sans Oui C’est Non! campaign.”
Another key partner is the Students Representative Council (SRC). “We are proud to associate ourselves with this important campaign,” says Heather Barlow, Vice-President of Student Life. “Over 100 of our student volunteers have been trained in time for Move-In weekend and Orientation Week. We are ready to assist our fellow students should they witness or be involved in a sexual assault.”
Bishop’s has also hired a dedicated full-time sexual health coordinator, Katherine Hébert, who will draft a stand-alone policy on sexual violence. Ms. Hébert will also be responsible for growing programs dedicated to education, prevention, awareness and support around sexual health, as well as working with partners in the region. Students will be able to make disclosures of sexual violence to her.
As was the case in the last two years, Mike Domitrz will return to campus to present “Can I Kiss You?” on Move-In weekend. The founder of the DATE SAFE Project will share the keys to handling intimacy in his blunt, thought-provoking, and entertaining presentation.
Contact : Chantal Sneath
819-822-9600, extension 2840