The Gauntlet / CASE moves sex trivia after sexual violence concerns at The Den - The Gauntlet
Photo by Mariah Wilson

CASE moves sex trivia after sexual violence concerns at The Den

By Kristy Koehler, March 6 2019 —

Sex Trivia, an annual event run by the Consent Awareness and Sexual Education Club (CASE) as part of Sex Week, was moved from its planned location in The Den to a conference room on account of concerns about student safety.

CASE president Shannon Hawthorne said the club heard reports that someone had  “potentially experienced sexual violence either at The Den or by a Den staff member.”

“A lot of the information was confidential,” Hawthorne said. “They did want us to be aware of that and let us know that they didn’t feel safe going back to The Den and into that setting, particularly to talk about consent and sexual health.”

The Gauntlet was unable to independently verify the reports.

Hawthorne says CASE met with The Den shortly after hearing the students’ concern and let the pub know that they would be moving their Sex Trivia event. She says they were met not with resistance but rather confusion.

“They were receptive to our concerns,” she said. “I think they were a little bit confused as to why the concerns had come up and that we had heard those types of things.”

The Students’ Union, which operates The Den, said they respect CASE’s decision to move their event.

“The Den strives to be a safe place for students to relax on campus,” SU vice-president Nabila Farid said in a statement. “We ensure that our staff are ProTect and ProServe certified and the establishment is Best Bar None certified, as patron safety will always be our number one priority.”

Farid added that The Den management and senior staff have completed sexual harassment training.

Best Bar None Certification requires that accredited venues have a written ‘Respectful Workplace Policy’ that covers zero tolerance for sexual harassment of staff and patrons.

CASE hasn’t ruled out the possibility of having future events at The Den, but would like to see more bystander intervention training for staff and more awareness on their part as to what constitutes sexual harassment and sexual assault.

“I have relationships with some of the managers at The Den and I know that they have good intentions,” Hawthorne said. “But I do think that we need to see some actual tangible proof and evidence that they are working towards having more bystander intervention training for their staff — that they are really committing to this.”

Hawthorne adds that she would even like to see them move beyond bystander intervention training and into some more specialized training with Carla Bertsch, the university’s sexual violence support advocate.

“Once that all gets in place and we see some movement and we see some actual policies put in place, CASE will feel a lot better about what’s happening at The Den and know that students are going to feel safer and it will be a safer space.”

Speaking of policy, Hawthorne wants to see more movement on a sexual violence policy, particularly during SU election season.

“The Students’ Union has an obligation now to really push for a sexual violence policy within the Students’ Union that The Den staff would be required to follow,” she said. “We’re hoping that quite a few of the elected officials make that a priority within their platform and then, if they are elected, that they continue that promise.”



Hiring | Staff | Advertising | Contact | PDF version | Archive | Volunteer