By Linda Scales
The Action Team responsible for implementing the recommendations of the University of Ottawa’s Task Force on Respect and Equality is now up and running. The 15-member team, co-chaired by Associate Vice-President (Student Affairs) Gary Slater and incoming SFUO vice-presidents Nicole Maylor and Vanessa Dorimain, met for the first time on April 20 and has started to act upon the report’s 11 recommendations to make the University environment safer and free of sexual violence.
The Action Team is made up of representatives from the student body, faculty, unions, task force and community.
A significant step forward for the Action Team will be the imminent signing of a memorandum of understanding between the University, the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre (ORCC) and the Centre d’aide et de lutte contre les agressions à caractère sexuel (CALACS). In August and September, these two Ottawa-based organizations will provide sexual violence prevention training sessions to members of the University’s senior administration and other key groups on campus. Their objectives include dispelling the myths and complexities about sexual violence and explaining why victims do not report, as well as defining consent and educating participants about the University’s resources, policies and protocols.
The team is also planning to introduce the “Bringing in the Bystander” workshop to the campus community. This in-person prevention program, created by the University of New Hampshire, is based upon the concept that everyone has a role in ending sexual and relationship violence, including stalking. It is one of the few programs of its kind that has been empirically evaluated and found to be effective. The Action Team has received permission to translate the program into French before introducing it to campus this fall.
A public progress report on the implementation of the task force recommendations will be issued by the Action Team in the coming months.
Action Team members
Gary Slater, associate vice-president, student affairs (co-chair)
Nicole Maylor, SFUO vice-president, equity (co-chair)
Vanessa Dorimain, SFUO vice-president, university affairs (co-chair)
Kelly-Dawn Clarahan, GSAÉD external commissioner
Nicolette Addesa, GSAÉD student life commissioner
Jennie Abell, associate professor, common law (APUO representative)
Diane Bélanger-Brisson, SSUO-OSSTF vice-president (staff representative)
Pascale Lafrance, APNS representative (staff representative)
Elvio Buono, associate vice-president, human resources
Daphne Gilbert, associate professor, common law
Kelly Gordon, PhD candidate, School of Political Studies (task force member)
Michael Orsini, director, Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies (task force member)
Julie Lalonde, social justice advocate and public educator (community member)
Lise Martin, executive director, Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters and Transition Houses (community member)
Caroline Tremblay, senior manager, Office of the President (ex officio and liaison)
Julie Gareau, communications officer, Office of the Vice-President Academic and Provost (ex officio)
Véronic Tardif, executive assistant — student experience, Office of the Vice-President Academic and Provost (ex officio)
Nathalie Dutrisac, assistant to the associate vice-president — student affairs (ex officio)