With files from Simon Little
In the wake of sexual assault allegations at SFU, the school’s teaching support union is weighing in.
Regan Belan with the TSSU says they’ve raised concerns about sexual violence before but have yet to see any changes.
“We’ve been pushing for many, many years to get changes to the culture on campus surrounding various types of harassment… so for us it hit really close to home because we work really closely with our membership.”
Belan says part of the issue is moving the school away from a reactive response, addressing assaults after they occur, to a proactive one.
“[Where] people on campus are being educated in a way that changes the message to that surrounding ‘this is what consent looks like, this is how you treat someone with respect, this is how you create a positive learning and working environment on campus.”
She says one solution the union has proposed, that the school has been cool to, is a mandatory online module that all students must take before the enroll.
Belan says it could include information on consent and personal and sexual harassment, with specific definitions and concrete examples.
She says it’s unfortunate incidents are needed to drive action.
Earlier this week, SFU revealed that the university and the RCMP were investigating three cases of alleged sexual assault, which were brought to attention sometime between January and May of this year.
The allegations all surround one male student who is no longer on campus.