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MRU event highlights the importance of consent

University’s commitment to raising awareness about the evolving nature of consent of all kinds in the spotlight

Why Consent is Important

Left to right: Tanya Ross, SAMRU Relationships, Identity and Sex Programmer; Madelaine McCraken, SAMRU Vice-President Student Life; Cari Ionson, MRU Sexual Violence Response and Awareness Coordinator; Steve Fitterer, MRU Vice-President Student Affairs & Campus Life; Cordelia Snowdeon, SAMRU Vice-President Academic; Aria Burell, SAMRU Vice-President External.

Mount Royal and the Students’ Association of Mount Royal University (SAMRU) have partnered with Calgary Sexual Health Centre to deliver the #CalgaryGetsConsent campaign. The goal? To raise awareness and provide education about consent at all ages and in all aspects of our lives.

The event took place at the West Gate of the main building at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 12 and included the following speakers:

  • Steve Fitterer, Vice-President of Student Affairs and Campus Life, Mount Royal University.
  • Shifrah Gadamsetti, President, Students’ Association of Mount Royal University.
  • Madalaine McCracken, Vice-President Student Life, Student Association of Mount Royal University.
  • Katie O’Brian, #CalgaryGetsConsent Project Coordinator, Calgary Sexual Health Centre & MRU Student.

“As a post-secondary institution, Mount Royal is taking a proactive stance to support healthy relationships and set a standard for those within our community of what is expected,” says Steve Fitterer, Vice-President of Student Affairs and Campus Life, Mount Royal University.

In March, Mount Royal University’s Board of Governors approved a stand-alone Sexual Violence Response Policy. In addition to articulating an institutional stance against sexual violence, the document sets out the University’s reporting processes regarding a fair and equitable approach to dealing with instances of sexual violence, as well as communicates the supports and resources available on campus.

In creating a stand-alone policy, Mount Royal joined the growing number of Canadian universities addressing a societal issue that is underreported on campuses across the country.

“Consent is the ongoing, mutual, communicated agreement to participate in an activity with another person,” explains Shifrah Gadamsetti, President, Students’ Association of Mount Royal University. “It could be sexual, or not. However, in sexual interactions, when consent is not present, it is sexual assault.”

The way people think about consent is evolving.

Cari Ionson, Sexual Violence Response and Awareness Coordinator with Mount Royal’s Diversity and Human Rights Services, says, “We navigate and negotiate consent in interactions constantly. It is intrinsic to social success and functioning. We are continuously reading and monitoring people’s verbal and nonverbal cues to see if there is agreement, invitation, acceptance, or not.”

Sept. 12, 2017

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