Humber’s newly released sexual assault and sexual violence policy will increase the amount of education residence communities receive on the issue.
The policy, adopted in March, reads, “sexual assault and sexual violence are unacceptable and will not be tolerated at Humber College… we are committed to challenging and preventing sexual violence and creating a safe environment for anyone in our college community who has experienced sexual violence.”
Sexual assault in the policy is physical violation while ‘sexual violence’ extends to psychological harassment and “unwanted comments or advances.”
Humber on-campus residents have been offered a sexual assault prevention program for the past three years and will soon also be able to receive bystander intervention training.
“Can I Kiss You?” is an educational program that is presented by Mike Domitrz and the Date Safe Project, said Humber Residence Life manager Phil Legate.
Domitrz uses stories and interactive dialogue to teach students and “is all about asking for consent and having conversations with partners about permission before engaging in sexual activity,” said Legate.
A woman close to Domitrz is a survivor of sexual assault and this motivates him to do the work he’s doing right now, Legate said.
The Humber policy states “the college is expected to be a safe place where members of the community feel able to work, learn and express themselves in an environment, free from sexual violence.”
Bystander intervention is teaching students to intervene when potential dangers are present such as when students are at parties or when lots of alcohol is being consumed, said Legate.
The bystander intervention program is paid for by the center for Human Rights, Equity and Diversity and will be in development over the summer, said Legate.
“Humber will be training several staff to deliver the content of the bystander intervention program and then we will be rolling it out on campus over the next year or so,” said Legate.
“We really do want to create a campus community that is concerned for others and their well-being,” he said.
“I think sexual assault prevention is important for Humber students because obviously the area where Humber is located is kind of dangerous,” said Melanie Herpel, a second-year University of Guelph-Humber media studies student.