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Always Ask

Sexual Harassment Office raising awareness and changing culture

Student Life

By Melissa Watton

The Sexual Harassment Office is hosting a number of events on campus to mark the new semester.

Welcome Week photo booth
Students enjoying the the Welcome Week photo booth.
Photo: Submitted

Planned activities focus on raising awareness of what resources the Sexual Harassment Office offers and the issues of consent, sexual harassment and sexual assault, bystander intervention, and where to report and access supports.

Rhonda Shortall, Memorial’s sexual harassment advisor, believes September is an important time to connect with students.

“In September, we welcome new and returning students to Memorial,” said Ms. Shortall. “As Sexual Violence Awareness Week is Sept. 16-20, it is an important time to open the conversation about sexual harassment and sexual assault. Pan-university activities will range from attendance at fairs, expos and orientation panels to presenting free shows by Montreal author, actor and sex advocate, Norman Nawrocki.”

Check out the activities below!

Welcome Week

Sunday, Sept. 1

During residence move-in day, Let’s Talk About Consent trivia will take place at Hatcher Square from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. This event will feature consent-related trivia questions and offer participants the opportunity to win a prize.

On the Grenfell Campus, the office will participate in the Parent Orientation Panel in LC 301 from 6-8 p.m. Parents will be introduced to resources, policies and supports for students.

Monday, Sept. 2

The Sexual Harassment Office will participate in the Family Orientation Panel taking place in the Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation, IIC-2001, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Information will be provided about the role of the office and the supports provided.

The office will have a resource booth at the Memorial Supports and Resource Fair taking place at the QEII Library from 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 3

The office will have a resource booth at the Memorial Supports and Resource Fair on the third floor of the University Centre from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The office will also have a resource booth at the Graduate Resources Fair in the lobby of the Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation from 8:30-11:30 a.m.

On the Grenfell Campus, the Sexual Harassment Office will participate in the Pit Stop Prize Tour taking place at the GCSU lounge at 1 p.m. The tour will feature the office as one of the resources available on campus.

Wednesday, Sept. 4

A consent-inspired photo booth will be hosted by the Sexual Harassment Office at the University Centre Food Court from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. This event will highlight the messages of consent, bystander intervention and reporting in a fun and engaging way.

Thursday, Sept. 5

The office will have a resource booth at the Wellness and Academic Expo in the lobby of the Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and will have a resource booth at the Marine Institute Welcome Back Carnival from 12-2 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 10

The Sexual Harassment Office is collaborating with the Grenfell Campus Student Union for a trivia night taking place at the Backlot at 10 p.m.

Sexual Violence Awareness Week

During Sexual Violence Awareness Week, the office will present a free show by Norman Nawrocki. Mr. Nawrocki will be performing his show, Lessons From a 7 ft Penis, on both the St. John’s and Grenfell campuses.

The Grenfell Campus show will take place at the GCSU Dining Hall on Monday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m; the St. John’s campus show will take place at the Faculty of Medicine auditorium on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m.

“In his show, Mr. Nawrocki uses non-sexist humour to address common myths and preconceptions about sexuality, relationships and sexual politics. He also tackles issues around safe sex, transphobia, consent, sexual anatomy and dating while offering insights, facts and options for healthier, more respectful sex,” said Ms. Shortall.

The shows will be open to members of the university community. Individuals interested in viewing the show remotely will be able to do so online via the Sexual Harassment Office website.

The shows are supported by the Memorial University of Newfoundland Students’ Union, the Graduate Students’ Union, the Marine Institute Students’ Union and the Grenfell Campus Student Union.

The Sexual Harassment Office encourages people to attend and to remember to Always Ask.


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