Ontario funds anti-harassment training for hospitality workers


[Daniel Caudle]

Omar Jaber


LinX employee Rebecca Morency keeps a watchful eye over her customers as they come and go from the Humber lounge.

She wants and encourages people to make good decisions when she spots them leaving the North campus pub with someone they didn’t come in with.

“Make good decisions!” the Humber student yells out to some patrons.

It’s these three words, she says, that could potentially make someone take a minute to think before they put themselves in an uncomfortable situation.

The provincial government and Morency think alike.

Ontario is spending $1.7 million to tell patrons that “it’s never okay” to harass, restaurant and bar workers, either verbally or sexually. The program plans to train over 25,000 frontline hospitality workers on how to handle and prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

It’s no surprise that alcohol can sometimes lead to bad decisions. Sometimes these decisions harm the one who’s intoxicated, but more often than not, they affect those around them.

“I would definitely say alcohol impacts peoples judgement, I mean, everybody seems to get more confident when they drink, sometimes a little too confident,” Kasha Pajerski said, a Humber student and LinX employee.

Confidence can quickly turn to aggression.

Humber joined the provincial campaign offering the resources needed to inform and protect students and faculty from sexual assault and harassment on its campuses.

This is the second year Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber are working together on a series of initiatives encouraging students to get involved with the cause.

“I think the training and awareness has come a long way over the past two years, and I hope it keeps getting better,” Morency said.

More than 600 students have so far taken the #wedontstandby pledge, which encourages students to take action when witnessing any form of sexual assault. And more than 1,000 of Humber’s students, staff and faculty are trained in the Bringing in the Bystander program, which teaches how to safely intervene.