Louie Villanueva

Quality Money to fund peer-support training and sexual harassment prevention

By Chris Adams, March 26 2015 —

A proposal for sexual assault prevention and peer-support training was among the Quality Money proposals approved by the Students’ Legislative Council on Tuesday, March 24.

The proposal, titled Sexual Assault Prevention Project: Creating a Culture of Consent, was submitted by the WRC in collaboration with the Consent Awareness and Sexual Education (CASE) club.

The SU approved $108,270 over three years for the initiative, which will fund awareness campaigns, events and a new student co-op position at the WRC.

WRC co-ordinator Nanako Furuyama said the funding will help “ensure there are no gaps” in the University of Calgary’s sexual-assault prevention and support services.

“One main goal is to create a campus culture where victim blaming is no longer tolerated,” Furuyama said. “Many traditional sexual-assault or sexual-violence prevention projects are more victim-centred, focusing on what not to wear, [etc.] This project focuses more on the culture change, so it’s consent-based.”

The U of C recently formed a sub-committee on the prevention of sexual harassment and sexual violence. The sub-committee consists of Furuyama, CASE president Emily Leedham and 8 other university and student leaders.

Furuyama said the WRC submitted the proposal before the sub-committee was formed, but their goals align.

Leedham and Furuyama co-wrote the Quality Money proposal with CASE vice-president operations and finance Karla Ravela.

Ravela said there are organizations at the U of C working toward creating a safer campus, but that communication between them could be better.

“That co-ordinator position is going to be about getting all of the offices and organizations at the U of C to communicate and make sure there are not gaps or overlap,” Ravela said.

The grant, along with the WRC, will fund the new co-op position. Quality Money will fund the position for three years, and students in the faculty of arts co-op program can fill the position in year-long intervals.

Students will co-ordinate the peer-support training team, contact potential speakers and work on promotional campaigns.

Peer-support training funded by the grant will be delivered by Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse.

“This program supports the enhancement of our existing peer-support program. Not many students are aware of this service. We’ll do a lot of outreach for the peer support,” Furuyama said.

The grant will also fund awareness campaigns. Furuyama said the WRC plans to cover University Station with messages “around positive image and healthy relationships” in the project’s second year.

Special events hosted by the WRC and CASE will receive funding. Furuyama said they’ll host two per year, bringing in speakers like American sex educator Laci Green and feminist actor Terry Crews.

“We have a whole wish list. But we will try to bring in speakers who can address the subject of consent, sexual assault prevention and healthy relationships,” Furuyama said.

 

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