FREDERICTON – The University of New Brunswick (UNB), St. Thomas University (STU) and New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) have partnered with the Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre to develop a tri-campus sexual assault strategy.
“Together, with the support and expertise of the Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre, we can continue to develop new and innovative ways to be proactive in creating a safe campus community for our students,” says Dr. George MacLean, UNB’s vice-president (academic). “Over the next three years we will work together, focusing on policy development, prevention and education, interventions and response, and research and evaluation.”
Today, the three institutions commit to three years of funding, approximately $80,000 per year, to provide fulltime support and advocacy for complainants, promote public awareness, and develop education and training for student leaders and staff.
“We are extremely pleased to be a partner in this agreement which recognizes that the Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre’s long-standing expertise in the field can be a powerful agent in ensuring better practices are implemented to support students,” says Lorraine Whalley, executive director of the Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre.
In the summer of 2016, UNB worked with the Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre to hire its first campus sexual assault support advocate for the 2016-17 academic year.
“Over the course of the year, it became evident that sexual assault does not respect institutional nor campus boundaries,” says Mark Walma, assistant vice-president, Student Services, UNB. “With UNB, STU and NBCC located so closely together, the three institutions recognized that it would be most effective if we worked together.”
The services agreement signed today will secure resources to support students, create public awareness, and provide training and professional development programs.
“Given the unique nature of our shared campus, we felt the best way to serve our students was to work together, to design programming which takes into account the complex nature of sexual assault and the diversity of our educational communities,” says Marilyn Luscombe, president and chief executive officer of NBCC. “By working together we will be able to offer a higher level of support and service to the whole campus community.”
Maggie Forsythe, campus sexual assault advocate, and her colleagues from the centre will partner with on-campus experts from UNB, STU and NBCC to design and implement programming to reach these objectives.
“We know that sexual violence is one of the most critical issues facing universities,” says Dr. Kim Fenwick, STU’s vice-president (academic & research). “The key is finding innovative and effective ways to support our students. Now we are using a service agreement to connect an expert community resource with our students and to help us develop more effective education resources.”
After two years, the arrangement will be reviewed prior to extension, renewal or reconsideration. UNB will continue to offer campus sexual assault support advocate services on its Saint John campus through a full-time member of its student counselling staff.
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