In this Q&A, we cover the basics of consent, how to navigate consent when alcohol comes into the mix, and what the U of O can do to foster a consent culture in a time where rape culture on campus remains a major issue.
“Exploring one’s sexuality is a vital and important part of growing up and learning about ourselves and our bodies. Any such exploration, however, must be done consensually for all parties involved."
A report by La Rotonde was released on Oct. 17 detailing incidents of a highly sexual nature as part of a bar crawl event called Vet’s Tour, hosted by the Science Students’ Association at the University of Ottawa.
In case you haven’t heard the news, most cases of campus sexual harassment are committed by university professors. At least, this is the allegation levelled by Angelina Chapin in her Ottawa Citizen op-ed titled “Universities need to focus on harassment, not just on sex assault.”
The new policy includes definitions pertaining to the policy and sexual violence, including a detailed definition of “consent”, campus resources for reporting sexual violence, provisions on the formal complaint process, and more.
The term culture is in no way controversial; it is just a word that denotes customs, traditions, and beliefs held by a sub-population. However, when someone specifies “rape culture,” many become defensive or simply incredulous, even to the point of denying its existence.
The Canadian Federation of Students’ (CFS) national consent culture forum this past week brought members of student unions across the country to Ottawa to discuss how sexualized violence on campus is being addressed.