After sweeping sexual violence survey, Queen’s received more than $70,000 from the province

Despite not receiving full survey results, Queen’s must use grant by next March

The Ontario government doubled its investment in the Women’s Campus Safety grant.

Queen’s must spend more than $70,000 in provincial funding by next March to address campus sexual violence, despite not receiving the full results from the province’s Student Voices on Sexual Violence survey.

The Journal confirmed the funding in emails obtained from the Office of the Provost through a freedom of information request.

Following the release of the Student Voices on Sexual Violence survey results in March, the Ontario government pledged to double its investment in the Women’s Campus Safety grant for the 2018-19 year.

On May 31, Queen’s received a payment of $72,128 with a spending deadline of March 29, 2020—the end of the government’s fiscal year.

In an internal email dated April 30, the office of the Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs wrote that the funds are to “assist colleges and universities in supporting the prevention of sexual violence.”

The email added that as well as supporting student safety programs and findings from safety audits, “the grant should be used to act on the results from the 2018 Student Voices on Sexual Violence survey and address issues of sexual violence including the areas of prevention, awareness, and support services.”

In an interview with The Journal, Queen’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator Barb Lotan said the University has not yet received the remaining survey results and has no timeline for their release.

“We have no idea,” she said. “Minister Fullerton made that press release back in the spring and I’ve heard nothing more.”

Lotan said the lack of detailed results both does and doesn’t pose a challenge for her office.

“It’s a challenge in that we would really like to have more detailed results because it would help us be more specific with programming in some areas,” she said, “but we have other information on campus and we have some history of understanding different issues.”

The survey’s summary data, released in the spring, ranked Queen’s as the university with the second-highest number of students reporting experiences of sexual harassment and fourth-highest for students reporting experiences of non-consensual sexual violence.

“Having some more information would be helpful to make sure that we’re getting it right,” she said. “The results were helpful in some ways. They were limited, so we would like more.”

In the meantime, Lotan said she’s working on the mandate to raise awareness of supports and services on campus, as well as other sexual violence related issues.

Some of the funds will be used for bystander intervention training, Consent Awareness Week speakers, sexual violence awareness activities in both the fall and winter terms, and professional development for staff, according to Lotan.

“All of those things are related to doing a better job on campus, which is basically what the results indicated,” she said. “There’s still more work to do.”

Every campus group who submitted funding proposals for a grant allocation, like Campus Security and the Sexual Health Resource Centre (SHRC), was successful, according to Lotan.

“I think it allows continuation of some good programming, makes sure things are supported well,” she said. “It allows some consistency and some continuity.”

While the funds will allow the University to strengthen some of its sexual violence awareness programming, Lotan said the University has not heard any information about funds for the 2019-20 year.

“We don’t know yet,” she said. “Information comes at a different time than funding comes, which is really different than when we actually do the work.”

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