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‘Important, bold step’

Sexual violence awareness and prevention course for students launches

Student Life

By Melissa Watton

Memorial’s Sexual Harassment Office has launched an awareness and prevention course.

The text "always ask" is in orange over a white and orange background with stylized lettering behind that says "everyone else thought it was funny."

In keeping with best practices and a multi-layered approach to education and the prevention of sexual violence, the Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention course (SVM 0204) is a mandatory requirement for undergraduate and graduate students new to Memorial University, as well as for certificate and diploma students new to Marine Institute.

The course is being rolled out in phases. Faculty of Medicine students will be included in the next phase and it will be mandatory for all Memorial students by fall 2023.

Students involved in the current rollout were automatically registered for the course when they registered for their fall 2022 courses. More than 70 per cent of new students have it completed already.

Step forward

According to Rhonda Shortall, Memorial’s sexual harassment advisor, the course is an important step forward for sexual violence awareness and prevention at the university.

“This initiative marks significant progress in Memorial’s response and commitment to educating and preventing sexual violence on its campuses,” said Ms. Shortall. “This is an important, bold step aimed at increasing a shared responsibility for prevention, a reporting climate and a culture of consent. Ultimately, we are focused on a culture of change.”

The course, which takes approximately 30 minutes to compete, provides education through a variety of methods including informational content, questions, activities, scenarios and a video about the concept of sexual consent.

Information is also provided on campus and  by community resources.

Tuition credit draw

Students need to complete the course with a grade of at least 80 per cent in order to register for their second semester courses.

Those who successfully complete the course by 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, will have their names entered into a draw for a tuition credit.

In total, four separate tuition credits of $2,500 will be awarded.

Assistance and information

Students who require assistance or accommodation to complete the course are encouraged to contact the Sexual Harassment Office by phone at 709-864-8199 (St. John’s campuses) or 709-637-7195 (Grenfell Campus) or via email.

Additional information about the course and how to access it can be found here.

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