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Dec. 6 vigil

Silent vigil to be held each day during week of Dec. 4-8

Campus and Community

By Melissa Watton

Each year, Memorial University holds a vigil on the St. John’s campus to commemorate the 14 women who were killed because of their gender at l’École Polytechnique in Montréal, Que., on Dec. 6, 1989.

The anniversary of this tragedy coincides with the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada.

Silent event

This year, a daily silent vigil will take place from 11. a.m.-2 p.m. throughout the week of Dec. 4-8.

The daily silent vigils replace the event held on Dec. 6 in previous years.

On Dec. 4, 5, 6 and 8, a table will be set up in the Engineering building’s main lobby.

On Dec. 7, a table will be set up in the University Centre’s open space next to the RBC location.

All members of the university community are encouraged to come to the table and complete action cards indicating their commitment to individual actions they can take to help end gender-based violence.

“This tragedy took place 34 years ago, it is not enough to remember, we must act to end this violence.” — Amnesty Rose

Amnesty Rose, Memorial’s sexual harassment advisor, says that the change to the vigil is meant to focus on how ending gender-based violence is everyone’s responsibility.

“The silent vigil highlights that each person in our communities has a role to play in addressing and preventing gender-based violence,” she said. “By engaging in a silent vigil where community members are encouraged to identify concrete actions they can take to address gender-based violence, we are asking them to reflect on their role and clear steps they can take to hopefully make our communities safer for all. Additionally, we want to focus on engagement and action. This tragedy took place 34 years ago, it is not enough to remember, we must act to end this violence.”


The Sexual Harassment Office is also encouraging people to pursue self-education on gender-based violence and is recommending people take the free online course offered by the St. John’s Women’s Centre available here.

For information on the Sexual Harassment Office, please visit here.

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