Approximately 100 members of the campus community escaped the cold weather to attend a ceremony on December 6 as part of a national day of remembrance and action for violence against women.
The date coincides with the 15th anniversary of the deaths of 14 female engineering students in a Montreal school who were killed simply because of they were female.
Across the country, memorials were held to recognize and support action against violence committed against women in society. The University of Calgary memorial, held at the Rosza Centre, was titled simply, "Taking Stock of 15 Years of Action.'
"Our vision is this," said Margaret Newall, Chair of the Prairieaction Foundation, an organization working to eradicate violence against women. "A society where every individual can live free from violence and abuse and where each person can have the opportunity to develop his or her full potential."
The ceremony recognized the 14 women killed at L'École Polytechnique, as well as the 15 women who mysteriously disappeared from the streets of Vancouver from 1996-2001.
The message stemming from the memorial was one of hope and support for the future. Elizabeth Cannon, head of Geomatics Engineering, spoke of the many initiatives in engineering to support women, as one of the ways tragedy can turn to triumph.
"There has been a lot of work on campus [in this direction]," U of C's President's Advisor on Women's Issues Hermina Joldersma stated simply. "But, there remains more to be done."
Donations can be made to the U of C's "14 Women's Memorial Award" through the Student Awards and Financial Aid office.