Students of the Explore program at Universite du Quebec a Trois Rivieres (UQTR) have raised high a red flag over an alarming rape culture, and lack of specific policies on sexual assault in some learning institutions in Canada.
The students want the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) and provincial Coordinators to ensure schools educate students about sexual assault in an appropriate manner and provide accessible resources to survivors of sexual assault.
They also have also called for standards prescribing what qualifies as an acceptable policy at the Explore program’s host institutions regarding sexual assault.
Controversial date rape drug skit
Kyla Jamieson recently in protest left the Explore Program – a government funded program at the Universitie du Trois Revieres campus in Quebec, after staff members performed “a date rape drug skit that was triggering and completely inappropriate”
Ms. Jamieson observes the skit’s punchline was, “the would-be rapist found one girl too unattractive to be raped.”
Jamieson’s efforts to address this concern with the Universite du Quebec a Tris Riviere's (UQTR) administration have been met with reluctance.
According to her email correspondence, the UQTU administration said it was not part of their responsibility “to educate people about consent” adding that every time they ran the program “a girl is dragged and/or raped.”
Although the administration is said to have taken back the latter statement, they did admit that a participant in the spring session UQTR was raped and the case was on its way to the courts of law.
Daniel Lavoie, the Director of the Ecole International de Francaise at UQTU is noted as having said that the intention of the skit was misunderstood.
Kyla Jamieson terms Daniel Lavoie’s reaction as ‘false’ asserting that one of the skit’s intentions was clearly to be funny and that it also assumed that intention was more relevant than impact.
Students petition to the administration
Explore students at the university on July 23rd 2015 started a petition to hold the administration accountable for how they educate students about sexual assault.
The petition, which has already attracted over 300 signatures, has seen a number of those commenting post testimonials about experiences they’ve allegedly had at UQTR.
Kyla Jamieson writes, “In one case last summer, it took a similar petition and other actions to administration to address a series of sexual harassment and assault incidents that targeted Explore Students,” adding “At UQTR administration allegedly ignored one student’s report of sexual assault because she had been drinking and invited her assailant into her dorm.”
Jamieson has written to CMEC seeking to be provided with information on the Explore Program’s policies on sexual assault in campuses and on what educational resources on sexual assault and consent are available to explore coordinators and their staff.
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