Roxanne Runyon and Meagan Simon practice physical distancing while receiving an Inspiration Award from Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Community and Social Services. Photo by the Government of Alberta.

MAVEN program recognized

September 4, 2020 | Campus Life

MacEwan University is proud to celebrate the MacEwan Anti-Violence Education Network (MAVEN) program for receiving an Inspiration Award from the Government of Alberta.

The Inspiration Awards celebrate community leaders who are raising awareness of family violence, sexual violence and abuse, and advancing healthy relationships, and MAVEN was recognized for its efforts in sexual violence prevention.

Started in Fall 2018, MAVEN is a program offered by the Office of Sexual Violence Prevention, Education and Response (OSVPER) as part of efforts to create a culture of consent at MacEwan.

"The Office of Sexual Violence Prevention, Education and Response has put substantial work in developing and building this program and I am thrilled that they are being recognized in this way," says Michelle Plouffe, vice-president and general counsel.

The university aims to be in alignment with best practices in addressing sexual violence, and one of the ways it is doing that is by encouraging peer-led education.

"Peer-led education programs are considered to be one of these practices, and so having MAVEN at MacEwan means that we have a key tool in our toolbox for building a campus without sexual violence and fostering a culture of consent," says Roxanne Runyon, Sexual Violence Prevention and Education coordinator.

Students who join MAVEN go through a significant amount of training to become peer educators and, Runyon says, often experience a lot of personal growth and transformation. These students enrich the campus community by leading conversations about sexual violence, making meaningful connection with other students and ultimately working to create a positive and supportive campus culture.

"It’s an honour for MAVEN to receive the Inspiration Award, especially because we received it alongside other recipients who are doing incredible work to prevent violence and promote healthy relationships," says Runyon. "We’ve always worked hard to position OSVPER and MacEwan as part of a larger local, provincial and national community working to address sexual violence, and to see the work of MAVEN students recognized as part of this larger social movement is so affirming and speaks to the power of student leadership."



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