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Building a community of consent

Posted on: Sep 21, 2022

Communication, honesty and respect is what Consent Awareness Week is all about at CUE.

William Logan, manager of housing and prevention education at CUE, says the week is a critical time for students to have thoughtful discussions around identifying boundaries, articulating those boundaries, and growing comfortable hearing “no” from others. He says it’s important to encourage students to champion and celebrate their choices within all relationships, not just intimate ones. 

Find out more about the week and how CUE community members can get involved from our Q&A with William.

Can you tell us more about the video you produced for this week?

William: The one line that survivors need to hear— “we believe you”—is affirmed by 27 members of the CUE community in this video. 

We hope the video reaffirms CUE’s commitment to believing our community members when they say they have experienced gender-based violence. We are here to support anyone who comes forward in the way that feels right to them.

We know that sexual assault and other forms of gender-based violence happen on campuses in Canada. It’s unfortunate, but we know it’s true. What’s important to us is that our community members know that we believe them and will support them.

How is CUE taking action for Consent Awareness Week?

William: Canada would be the first country in the world to adopt Consent Awareness Week. We are joining with other community and student leaders, faculty, survivors and advocates to host #WeBelieveYouDay on social media to share our support for survivors and cultivate a caring culture on campus. 

How can members of the CUE community get involved?

William: Getting the conversation going is the most important thing you can do when it comes to supporting Consent Awareness Week. Have a discussion about consent, whether in an intimate relationship, or in all areas of your life. Gender-based violence persists, in part, because of a larger societal context where setting boundaries can be challenging and pushing back on or ignoring other people’s boundaries is often normalized.

There are three steps members of the CUE community can take now:

  1. Engage: Read and learn more about Consent Awareness Week at couragetoact.ca and visit CUE Wellness to learn more about consent awareness on-campus.
  2. Speak up: We all can play a role in violence prevention and step in when we see someone’s boundaries being violated.
  3. Raise awareness: Start conversations about consent awareness with other students and challenge myths about violence when you hear them from others. Use the hashtag #WeBelieveYou and share the message on social media.

In the upcoming months CUE students, faculty and staff will be raising awareness about consent through many initiatives on campus. 

  • Tea and Consent DayBased on the video by Blue Seat Studies, we will gather from 11am-12pm on Wednesday, Sept. 21 in Tegler to discuss and share knowledge around consent.
  • Pop a Myth Day – In October, students will take part in a 60-second experience to begin a knowledge shift around consent. 

Stay tuned for more details on each event closer to the date.

Learn more about consent and reporting sexual violence