The Sexual Violence Climate Survey Report is now online.

Climate survey and national framework part of MacEwan's commitment to addressing sexual violence

September 4, 2020 | Campus Life, Society

In 2019, MacEwan University staff, faculty and students were invited to complete the university’s Sexual Violence Climate Survey. The data from the report, which is now available to review, will help the university's Office of Sexual Violence Prevention, Education and Response (OSVPER) continue to create a safe and supportive campus and build a culture of consent.

"With this information, we can develop prevention and education programming that directly addresses the needs of our community, and then assess and gauge change and the impacts of our efforts over time," says Meagan Simon, sexual violence response coordinator.

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Read the Sexual Violence Climate Survey Report.

Campus climate surveys were included as a best practice in Courage to Act, a two-year national initiative to address and prevent gender-based violence on post-secondary campuses through a framework that is being developed by experts from across Canada, including Simon and Roxanne Runyon, MacEwan's Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Coordinator.

"Courage to Act is important for Canadian post-secondary institutions because it brings together the diverse and dynamic expertise from across our field of practice and allows for that knowledge to be brought together and shared widely in meaningful ways," says Runyon.

Simon adds that Courage to Act is just one of the many ways that they show their commitment to addressing sexual violence at MacEwan and to always improving. "It demonstrates that we value collaboration with other universities and organizations, and that we want to do our best to ensure our programs are meeting national standards. It shows that MacEwan’s efforts are a part of a larger effort across Canada, and that we want to learn from others and work together to address this issue."

Collaboration is a vital part of MacEwan's approach to creating a culture of consent, and it's one that Runyon and Simon have brought to the table in working with their Courage to Act colleagues.

"To have MacEwan specifically represented in Courage to Act’s working groups means that we get to share successes, challenges, insights and lessons learned from the programs and services that we’ve developed here," says Runyon.


A student voice at the table

Courage to Act built 10 national communities of practice for post-secondary staff, faculty and students as well as community advocates working to address and prevent gender-based violence on campus. The goal of each is to provide skill-sharing opportunities and build knowledge across Canada among gender-based violence campus experts and advocates.

Not long after being elected SAMU's vice-president of Student Life, Aubrianna Snow joined the Student Organizers Community of Practice, which is working to create a resource for other students while also reviewing resources from other communities of practice.

"This group is important because so much meaningful change in gender-based violence policy and procedure on post-secondary campuses across the country has been led by students," says Aubrianna. "Student voices are key to the discussion around gender-based violence because students are so often the ones who have to deal with the consequences when an institution doesn’t make this issue a priority."

In March, Aubrianna was named an IDEA Leader by the Office of Human Rights, Diversity and Equity, and took part in MacEwan's 2019 Ending Sexual Violence campaign.

With a new operational plan to guide its work over the next five years, OSVPER is ensuring that ongoing planning and program development is informed by and responsive to the climate survey data. "Climate surveys help to provide a wider and clearer picture of our community’s perceptions, attitudes and beliefs about the issue of sexual violence, and to better understand who within our community has experienced sexual violence and how that experience has impacted them," says Runyon.

Runyon and Simon strongly encourage everyone at MacEwan to read the report.

"I want people to know that sexual violence isn’t an abstract issue or something that happens ‘out there.’ Sexual violence is common, and it’s a very real issue that directly affects many of the people that we interact with every day in our lives on campus – our students, colleagues, friends and classmates," says Runyon.



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