Does no really mean no? Sheridan students weigh in


Sheridan students believe more can be done to help educate and raise awareness about sexual assault and harassment.

In a Sheridan Sun survey of 50 students, 25 female and 25 male, 44 said the college could do more to prevent assaults, especially with the recent incidents at Trafalgar Campus during the first week of February.

“It’s not an uncommon thing (for assaults) to happen, which is an unfortunate reality,” said Kathryn Baker-Reed, executive director of SAVIS (Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services), during a phone interview.

SAVIS is located in Halton, dedicated to educating students and helping victims of sexual violence. The organization offers free services, counselling, referrals and accompaniment to police stations, hospitals and even court appearances. Its goal is to help reduce assaults.

“We often focus on the victims. We should be asking big questions, such as ‘Why aren’t people doing more? Why are women victimized?” said Baker-Reed.

In a meeting following the two attacks in February, Sheridan president Jeff Zabudsky announced plans to increase lighting and widen the forest trails to make it more difficult for an attacker to hide.

“I think they should have more security poles in the forest area path,” said Eric Bennett, a third-year Technical Production for Theatre and Live Events student.

The Student Union supports the idea of educating students about sexual violence.

“First we need to know more about what the students want,” said Student Union president Jenna Pulver during a phone interview.

“It would be easy for us to do this (educate students). It’s something we could definitely do during orientation at the beginning of the school year,” she said.

Two members of the Student Union Marketing and Promotions team agree with Pulver.

“I think more students need to learn about these issues,” said Mickey Maures, a second-year General Arts and Science student.

“We should bring it up on social media outlets,” said Daniella Macri, a first-year Corporate Communications student.

The Sheridan Student Union Twitter page has more than 1,800 followers and the Facebook page has more than 5,600 likes.

It would spread the word of new incidents faster and it could be used as a tool to educate students about sexual violence and how to stay safe.

Some students say the college isn’t doing enough.

“Considering I keep hearing about it, I don’t think they are doing what they could be doing,” said Dom Silva, a first year Marketing and Advertising student.

“Women have a right to walk the street safely, without protection. Let’s work to create that world,” said Baker-Reed. “We all need to educate students that violence against women is wrong.”

SAVIS is located at 1515 Rebecca St, Suite 227 in Oakville. Call them toll free at 1-877-268-8416 or book an appointment through text message at 905-691-4873.