Saturday, February 24, 2018

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign comes to Camosun

November 24, 2017 by Adam Marsh, student editor

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign run by the United Nations; it takes place annually from November 25—the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women—to December 10, Human Rights Day.

Camosun Applied Business Technology instructor Julia Grav is organizing events on campus as part of the campaign; Grav says that part of the awareness raising can actually apply to college policy.

“I want to see inclusion, moreso,” says Grav. “And I want to see a discussion happening where students and faculty are just more cognizant of the realities of students and being able to really know how to connect with people who are either non-binary or anywhere on the gender spectrum.”

Camosun Applied Business Technology instructor Julia Grav (photo by Adam Marsh/Nexus).

A faculty and student discussion panel on gender-based issues will take place on Wednesday, November 29 from 3 pm to 4:20 pm in Young 300 at Lansdowne. Grav says such discussions are really important to gender inclusion; she adds that this year’s discussion is unique in the sense that faculty and students will be working together for a common goal.

“We really want the student voice to be heard,” she says. “I think that we hear a lot of the faculty voices. A level playing field is what we’re going to be going for, and to make sure that they respect the time and ensure that students who aren’t as comfortable speaking in the large auditorium are given the opportunity to speak anyway.”

The session will be moderated by Camosun ombudsperson Carter MacDonald; Grav says he will make sure everyone has their voice heard. She says that she’s hoping the event will clarify some issues about Camosun policies about inclusivity.

“We’re hoping to get more information about what the college is doing towards gender diversity inclusion, and what faculty are hoping to see, as well, in terms of changes in policy at the college,” says Grav.

Grav says that a group came to the college in September to do a faculty session on gender diversity, but it wasn’t very well attended.

“That was really fascinating; I really enjoyed it,” she says. “In my opinion, there should have been half of the faculty there, and there was 20 of us, so hopefully more sessions like that will be really great for people to get better informed.”

Grav says Camosun needs to make stronger and clearer policies around non-binary inclusion and respect.

“Me personally, I would like to see there being more conversation, and I think that the policies at the college are not clear, and I don’t think that a lot of instructors know how to interact, necessarily, with people who are non-binary,” says Grav. “I would like to see some education around that.”

As part of the 16-day campaign, there will be a screening and discussion of the 2006 documentary Finding Dawn—about missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada—at noon on Monday, December 4 in Paul 109 at the Lansdowne campus.

There will also be an interactive art exhibit about gender-based violence on Wednesday, December 6 in the Lansdowne and Interurban libraries.

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