CAMPUS Project takes aim at gender-based violence

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Creating a safer learning and working environment for the entire campus community at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland, took a big leap forward on Wednesday.

That’s when the Corner Brook Status of Women Council, in partnership with Grenfell Campus, the Western Regional School of Nursing and other community-based stakeholders, launched the CAMPUS (Community & Campus Alliance for Maintaining & Promoting University Safety) Project at the Corner Brook university.

The project aims to build collaborative partnerships between the university and community and engage students, faculty and staff in a co-ordinated effort against gender-based violence.

The project was developed in early 2012 as the result of a federal Call for Proposals issued by Status of Women Canada under the theme Engaging Young People to Prevent Violence Against Women on Post-secondary Campuses.

Project co-ordinator Natalie Hynes has been working with local university students, faculty and staff to assess their needs and identify opportunities to improve the campus climate.

The recent development of a strategic Campus Community Plan, outlines the project’s continued commitment to working directly with the university community to increase education and awareness, improve safety and security and bridge gaps between university services and community resources.

“This has been a wonderful opportunity for local community organizations to work closely with Grenfell Campus and the Western Regional School of Nursing to address a serious social issue,” said Hynes in a press release.

“In the media in recent months, we have seen far too many incidents of sexual assault, sexism and cyber-bullying on campuses throughout the country. It is comforting to know that the local university supports our efforts and wants to put measures in place to create a safer learning and working environment for students and employees.”

Mary Bluechardt, vice-president, Grenfell Campus, said the university aims to provide a learning and working environment that is safe and healthy.

“A place where our students, employees and members of the public feel protected from violence and harassment,” said Bluechardt in the release.

“Given that young women are the primary victims in sexual assault cases, it makes sense that we as a post-secondary institution would wish to participate in this very important project.”

Organizations: Western Regional School of Nursing, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Women Council Campus Alliance Maintaining Promoting University Safety Status of Women Canada

Geographic location: Corner Brook

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