Post-secondary campus resources ensure student safety

Header image for the article Post-secondary campus resources ensure student safety Credit: JORDAN CROW
If students feel unsafe on-campus, they can contact Fanshawe Campus Security with the Stay Safe - Fanshawe College app, which is compatible with Android, iOS, and Blackberry devices.

There are resources on campus at post-secondary institutions to help you when you have experienced sexual violence, along with any other situation on campus where you feel unsafe.

Western University’s communications team posted a precaution on the Western News website on Sept. 7 after the University’s Campus Community Police Service reported an incident during an on-campus event on Sept. 6. Campus Police said that a man approached two women outside of the concert on University College Hill (UC Hill) and touched them inappropriately.

The London Police Service (LPS) are handling the investigation, but Const. Sandasha Bough, the LPS media relief officer, told Interrobang that as of Sept. 24, there were no updates to the investigation.

J.C. Aubin, the inspector-operations leader for Campus Police said in an email to Interrobang that along with sexual violence, other serious situations like domestic violence, major motor vehicle collisions, assaults, and disturbances where weapons are involved would be reported to London Police.

He said any Western students who feel unsafe on campus should reach out to Campus Police for help and referrals to other services like Western’s Foot Patrol. Aubin said that survivors of sexual violence can contact Western’s Sexual Violence Prevention Education Coordinator for support and to discuss their options with reporting such situations.

“Every community member should feel safe when studying or working at Western and many resources are available to increase this feeling of safety,” he said.

Leah Marshall, Fanshawe College’s Sexual Violence Prevention Advisor, offers confidential support to anyone who experienced sexual violence or gender-based violence at any point in their life. She said she’ll review on-campus and off-campus options and medical options for students, acknowledging the proper resources vary for every student, as well as help students receive required academic accommodations.

Along with informing students of the available resources, Marshall said it’s important to avoid telling people how to prevent sexual violence from happening to them.

“We know that sexual violence is never the survivor or victim’s fault, but we live in a world where people are blamed for what happens to them, which makes it really hard sometimes to come forward and seek the supports and services that you may want to,” she said. “So when we talk about ending sexual violence, what our conversations need to be around is holding people accountable that perpetrate this type of violence and not blaming survivors, but we also need to talk about how to support each other and show up for each other.”

Marshall said some ways you can stand up for someone include ensuring someone who is intoxicated has a safe ride home, and call people out for making jokes about sexual violence and other inappropriate comments. She said that since students are more likely to confide in their classmates and friends about their experiences with sexual violence, those who know about Marshall’s support services can direct their colleagues to her.

“You don’t have to have all the answers, but it’s good to know what’s available because people need to know what all their options and rights are so they can make the choice that’s best for them.”

Kevin “Beef” Masterson, the Fanshawe Student Union’s (FSU) events and activities manager, said that during events like Frosh Week, the FSU will have ample security, a combination of officers from Fanshawe Campus Security Services and other security firms. He said that student health and safety is a priority for the FSU, which will make the students feel like their part of the College community.

“Everybody’s here for success so the last thing you want to do is discourage a student or make the student feel like they are alone,” Masterson said. “We’re all here to help out.”

Special Const. Lisa Johnson, the team lead for crime prevention and community programs with Campus Security, said that if students feel unsafe, they should first contact Campus Security. She said students can either speak to officers directly during on-campus events, visit the office at D1027, or use the Stay Safe - Fanshawe College app. The app is available for iOS, Android, and Blackberry devices.

“We obviously want people to feel safe when they come to Fanshawe, whether it be students, staff, faculty, or even visitors here on campus,” said Johnson. “Another thing too is keeping in mind that an incident that occurs with a student or between students could also help us solve other incidents that have happened. A person may be involved with some sort of altercation or an incident and that may help us to investigate other things that have happened or determine if someone else is involved with other things as well.”

Johnson also said there are some situations where Campus Security would ask the London Police Service to assist with situations, including emergencies requiring more enforcement, or have London Police handle a case when domestic violence and/or sexual assault are involved.

Western’s University Students’ Council (USC) was contacted but did not provide a comment before this article was published.

The Fanshawe College website’s Sexual Violence Support and Education page list all of the available resources. Visit fanshawec.ca/student- life/student-services/sexual-violence- support-and-education to find out about the on-campus and off-campus resources available.

Marshall can be reached over phone (1-844-666-SVPA [7872] or 519-452-4465) and by email (lkmarshall@nullfanshawec.ca) to book an appointment if you’ve experienced sexual violence or gender-based violence. Her office is in the Counselling and Accessibility Services room in F2010.

Counselling and Accessibility can also be reached by calling 519-452- 4282.

Contact Fanshawe Campus Security Services by either stopping by D1027, calling 519-452-4430 ext. 4242, or using the Stay Safe – Fanshawe College app. For emergencies, call 519-452-4242 or dial 4242 on any on-campus phone. For more information, visit www.fanshawec.ca/student-life/campus-services/campus-security-services/about-us.

Western University’s Sexual Violence Prevention Education Coordinator can be contacted by email (svpec@nulluwo.ca) or by phone (519- 661-3568). More information can be found on safecampus.uwo.ca/sexual_violence.

Call 519-661-3300 for Western’s Campus Community Police Service, and visit www.uwo.ca/police for more information.