UPEI Student Union Signs On With Nationwide Sexual Violence Prevention Group
11 October 2017 – Charlottetown, PE
The University of Prince Edward Island Student Union (UPEISU) is proudly signing on to the Our Turn National Student Action Plan to End Campus Sexual Violence.
Our Turn, a national student movement to end sexual violence, has scored sexual assault policies from fourteen schools across the country. Almost half of the fourteen campuses received failing grades.
Three students from Carleton University created the Our Turn National Action Plan with the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) in direct response to a string of failures by universities and governments across the country to protect survivors and provide them with appropriate supports.
Based on the Our Turn evaluation method, UPEISU has given the current 2007 UPEI Fair Treatment Policy a score of 59% and an overall grade of D+.
The UPEISU has been working in collaboration with the University to create the UPEI Sexual Violence Prevention & Response Task Force, a working group that will review and implement UPEI’s new stand-alone sexual assault policy, host campus-wide consultations, and provide recommendations to the University on campus sexual violence education and prevention programming. The Task Force will be holding the aforementioned consultations October 18, 2017 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in McMillan Hall in the W. A. Murphy Student Centre at UPEI.
Taya Nabuurs, the UPEISU Vice President Academic and External, spoke about her reasoning in creating the Our Turn UPEI Chapter: “I wanted to ensure that there was something long-term in place which would outlive my time at UPEI and ensure that we can build off the momentum of the work of the Task Force. Sexual violence is a persistent, systemic issue which is particularly prevalent on university campuses; it will require a consistent, long-term approach, and Our Turn UPEI will strive to provide that.”
The UPEI Student Union is joining twenty other Canadian student unions in this action plan, which is being published by the Students’ Society of McGill University today, October 11, 2017.
Each student union that signs on to the action plan will begin by striking their own Our Turn chapter made up of relevant stakeholders in their university community. The chapter will decide how best to implement programming from the action plan by selecting and customizing options to suit the unique issues and needs on their campuses.
As Nabuurs explains, Our Turn has already had success at UPEI. “The Our Turn UPEI Chapter is currently in the process of becoming a ratified society under the Student Union. I’m incredibly excited to watch the work of this group unfold. The passion I’ve seen from students who are interested in becoming involved with Our Turn has been inspiring, and I think that says a great deal about how important this issue is to students on our campus. I hope that this opportunity can empower our students and help them recognize how instrumental their voice is in working towards change on university campuses.”
A national press conference will be held by the National Our Turn Committee and SSMU at 10:30 EST at McGill University, at the University Centre (3540 rue McTavish), Room 203 (Lev Bukhman Room). The national press conference will be streamed on the Our Turn Facebook page.
Please note that this press conference may include survivors discussing their experiences of sexual violence and institutional failures, which may be difficult to hear for some. We ask that the press be mindful and respectful of the experiences being discussed. For more information please consult the attached document, “Use the Right Words” by Femifesto.
Vice President Academic & External
UPEI Student Union