A-SGBV Advocacy Update
As we reach the halfway point in our term, we wanted to provide an update on our advocacy efforts surrounding Anti-Sexual & Gender-Based Violence (A-SGBV). A-SGBV remains a priority for the USC as it’s an issue that affects so many students in such personal ways. Our team has been hard at work behind the scenes, and we’ve had time to reflect on changes we’ve seen implemented by Western so far. Advocacy is a process that takes time, and we are committed to working toward a safer, more inclusive campus for all students.
Here’s what we’ve advocated for:
Creation of expansive SGBV training for students-at-large, with a particular focus on student leaders.
- Consent education must be kept up-to-date and inclusive of 2SLGBTQIA+ identities. The Vice Provost Students and the Student Experience team need to continue centering student voices in conversations about consent education, and develop training that is informed by SGBV prevention.
Free menstrual products in bathrooms across campus.
- We want to destigmatize menstruation as a step toward gender equity, which starts with educating our campus community members on menstrual equity. We are working with Operations & Finance and Facilities Management to install menstrual product dispensers and educational posters in 150 women’s, gender neutral, and men’s bathrooms across 50 campus buildings.
Improved SGBV response training for student leaders in consultation with the USC.
- Student leaders wanted to be better equipped to address and respond to disclosures of SGBV, so we worked with the Student Experience portfolio to ensure that student leaders participated in sessions focused on consent, responding to disclosures, having difficult conversations, and more.
Consent training and resources for all incoming students.
- First years living in residence are required to complete 2 consent training modules as part of their onboarding for Western. Housing and Student Experience have introduced these modules to facilitate open conversations surrounding consent, and to foster a safer residence experience.
Here’s what we’re advocating for next:
- Adoption of Western’s SGBV reporting tool.
- The USC’s Vice President University Affairs (VPUA) will work with Western’s Vice Provost Students and the Student Experience team to educate campus community members on the SGBV reporting tool and how to effectively use it, and to update the reporting tool to be more user-friendly and survivor-centred so that students do not hesitate to use it if they need to.
- Consent training modules for all faculty, students, and staff moving forward.
- The GBSV Response and Prevention module should be available and encouraged for everyone at Western in order to boost a campus culture that values consent and has a shared understanding of impact and consequences of SGBV. The VPUA and President will work with the Office of the Provost to expand access to consent training modules for the Western community.
- Reporting line from Gender-Based Violence and Survivor Support (nested in Student Experience) to the Office of AVP EDI.
- SGBV is a key facet of gender inequity, and the Office of the AVP EDI should be engaged as a full partner in ensuring that SGBV work is operationalized through an intersectional lens. The VPUA and President will speak with the Office of the AVP EDI and Student Experience to create a plan for greater connection between the two offices.
- Implementation of a Gender-Based and Sexual Violence Advisory Committee.
- A-SGBV discussions and policy should be informed by students, SGBV experts, Western Administration, and SGBV Case Managers. The VPUA and President will propose student leader representation on the committee to ensure that student voices are part of creating new policies. This will centre the voices of students and reflect the needs of those who are most impacted by policy changes.
We’re committed to continuing our advocacy work to Western administration and external stakeholders, in A-SGBV, as well as all our other advocacy priorities. We encourage student feedback and invite students to get in touch with any questions or concerns.
USC Executive 2022-2023