Task Force on Preventing & Responding to Sexualized Violence
In March 2019, the Ontario government set out a mandate for all post-secondary institutions to create a task force devoted to addressing and preventing sexual violence on campus. The Task Force on Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence at Mohawk College contributes to the development of student supports and education initiatives, reviews and implements changes to related policies, and is committed to engaging diverse student representatives, alongside faculty and staff. The Task Force provides strategic direction and leadership on matters pertaining to sexual violence prevention, awareness and education; and works collaboratively with campus and community stakeholders to ensure initiatives are well-informed and reflective of the needs of the Mohawk College Community.
Terms of Reference
Task Force on Preventing & Responding to Sexualized Violence Terms of Reference
Updated: December 2020
Mohawk College’s Task Force on Preventing and Responding to Sexualized Violence will continue the work of the Sexualized Violence Education and Awareness Committee established several years prior. In March 2019, the provincial government set out a mandate for all post-secondary institutions to create a task force devoted to addressing and preventing sexual violence on campus. The task force must include diverse student representatives, alongside faculty and staff, and be required to report its findings to both their respective board of governors as well as the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. As such, the original committee will evolve into the Task force, as named above, to ensure government compliance and continue to grow existing policy, support, and awareness initiatives currently taking place on campus.
Stewards of the Policy and Procedures. The role of the Task force will be to provide strategic direction and leadership by reviewing the Sexual Assault and Sexualized Violence Policy and Procedures annually. This review will include the partnership agreement between the Dean of Students’ Office and the Mohawk Students’ Association (MSA), which outlines the student consultation process under the direction of the Dean of Students.
Leaders of the Education, Awareness and Training Efforts for Students and Employees. The Task force is responsible for providing thoughtful, objective and strategic leadership of sexual violence prevention, awareness and education efforts and will continue to work collaboratively with on and off campus community partners to guide and increase campus awareness initiatives and interventions.
The Task force will submit an annual report to the Mohawk College Board of Governors (due by mid March for the April meeting), which will form part of the Sexual Assault and Violence Prevention Annual Report. A successful Task force will see increased awareness and engagement that will result in improved results in the Student Voices Survey (Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, 2018) over the next three years, and a culture of consent that is broadly understood and embraced by the campus community.
Roles and Responsibilities:
The membership structure of the Task force is designed to maximise community participation, and ensure productivity and shared responsibility for meeting the mandate and objectives for the task force.
The Task force will consist of a Core Working Group. This group will meet at minimum six times per year to ensure the Task force is meeting its mandate and will drive project completion:
1) Student Rights & Responsibilities Office (Lead Facilitator & Team Lead)
2) Human Resources, Employee Development Office (Team Lead)
3) Gender-Based Violence Education Coordinator (Team Lead)
4) Student Rights & Responsibilities Sexual Violence Specialist (Team Lead)
5) Student Wellness Initiatives, ALS-Accessible Learning Services (Representative)
6) Security Services (Representative)
7) Mohawk Students’ Association President (Representative)
The Lead Facilitator will convene meetings of the Core Working Group and be responsible for setting the agenda, and ensure all correspondence and meeting information will be shared with the membership.
The Core Working Group will serve as Team Leads to the following Working Teams; membership will be derived from a larger membership group and divided into the following focus areas:
1. Policy & Process Development & Review (Team Lead: Student Rights & Responsibilities Office)
2. Mountain Men: A Male Engagement Initiative (Team Lead: Gender-Based Violence Education Coordinator)
3. Student Supports (Team Lead: Student Rights & Responsibilities Specialist Sexual Violence Specialist)
4. Student Awareness & Prevention (Team Lead: Gender-Based Violence Education Coordinator)
5. Employee Awareness & Prevention (Team Lead: Human Resources, Employee Development Office)
The Working Teams, comprised of the membership below, will meet regularly, at minimum once a month, to move projects and initiatives through to completion.
The Executive Sponsor of the Task force is the Dean of Students.
As a group, the membership group meets twice a year, alongside the Core Working Group and forms the Working teams for the focus areas listed above.
4-6 Mohawk Students (One Representative from each campus + two for Fennell)
1 Representative from Mohawk Students’ Association
1 Representative from Equity & Social Inclusion
1 Representative from International Education Services
1 Representative from Indigenous Education and Student Services
1 Representative from Accessible Learning Services
1 Representative from Residence Services
1 Representative from Athletic & Recreation
1 Representative from Marketing & Creative Services
1 Representative from Counselling Services
2 Faculty representative
2 Staff representative at large from Mohawk College
2 Representatives from community agencies
- To ensure the institution’s standpoint and policy and procedures on sexual violence are known, relevant, reviewed and accessible.
- To provide a forum to discuss local and nation-wide trends, issues, and initiatives as they relate
to sexual violence prevention on college campuses.
- To ensure that the college is in compliance with the legislative requirements outlined by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and the Ontario Human Rights Code.
- To foster a culture of consent that is broadly understood and embraced by the campus community.
- To work collaboratively with campus and community partners to guide and increase campus awareness efforts, initiatives and interventions that address and prevent sexual violence.
- To create guiding principles for campus sexual violence education and prevention initiatives.
- To prepare and implement a male engagement strategy to prevent gender-based violence.
- To create initiatives grounded in theory that can be monitored and assessed.
- To improve communications, engagement and information sharing on sexual violence
prevention and procedures to all members of the college community, including community partners.
- To advocate and ensure that sexual violence preventions, trainings and response efforts are prioritized and resourced accordingly.
- To build resources, training and resources to help Mohawk community members meet their obligations under the Mohawk’s Sexual Assault and Sexualized Violence Policy.
- To acknowledge the scope of the taskforce and refer concerns that could arise in meetings to the appropriate campus and community stakeholders, if necessary.
All decisions made by the members of the Task force will be made using the attached Consensus Model (Appendix A).
All correspondence and meeting information will be shared using individual Mohawk email accounts and the Microsoft Teams platform. The Student Rights & Responsibilities Office will maintain an archive of all membership information, communications and reports. All Ministry related reports and report writing will be in collaboration with key campus stakeholders, including the Security Services, Student Wellness and Equity and Social Inclusion and Human Resources.
The work of the Task force will approve all initiates and required funding of the Working Groups through the Women`s Safety Grant, based on the continued support from the government.
Appendix 1: Consensus Model
Consensus Definition: “A general agreement”
In our consensus model, people are not simply for or against the decision, but have the option to situate themselves on a scale that lets them express their individual opinion more clearly.
If everyone is at level #4 or above, consensus has been reached.
1. Fully support
3. Support with reservations
4. Will not block it, can live with it
5. Need more information or more discussion
a. If someone is at level 5, they have the obligation to explain what information or discussion they require from the group.
6. No; cannot accept it
a. If someone is at level 6, it is important for them to try to offer a solution that can accommodate their needs and the needs of the rest of the group.
In addressing someone’s reservations, it is important to
• Ask everyone for possible solutions (the person expressing the concern and the rest of the group both have a responsibility to find solutions), and
• Ask people to suggest improvements or alternatives that meet the objectives of the entire group.
Task Force Projects
Policy & Process Development & Review
- Ministry report completed and submitted in compliance with ministry mandates. A copy will be made available once it has been approved by the Mohawk College Board of Governors.
- Currently engaged in setting criteria for the recruitment of an external consultant to review and revise the employee processes and procedures for reporting and resource navigation.
- Currently engaged in external review process to revise the Sexual Assault and Sexualized Violence Policy to reflect recent ministry mandated updates to the policy summarized below:
- Amnesty clause: encouraging students to come forward regardless of if alcohol or drugs were involved. This wording is already found within our policy!
- Complainant’s Sexual violence history cannot be brought into the investigation. This wording will need to be added to our policy. .
- Produced and launched the Mountain Men Campaign video which can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ph_mZevz60Q.
- Launched the Mountain Men Social Media Campaign, which provides myths, facts and information about gender-based violence every Monday on the Mohawk Student Life Instagram account.
- Hosted a Male Allyship training session for male-identified varsity athletes. This session was in partnership with White Ribbon and generated an attendance of 17 students and 3 employees. Some excellent conversations were had around consent, gender-based & sexual violence, bystander intervention, toxic masculinity and the key role that male identified folks have in changing the narrative of what it means to be a true man of quality in the fight against gender-based and sexual violence.
- Continued development of an open course offering on MyCanvas to increase access to information examining the relevance of sexual consent in healthy relationships, gender-based and sexual violence.
- Developed and delivered an Instagram Live Q&A session that discussed the various reporting options and supports for those who have been affected by gender-based or sexual violence. This session was intended for Survivors, friends, family members and loved ones.
Student Awareness & Prevention
- Launched the Student Awareness and Prevention Social Media Campaign, which provides myths, facts and information about gender-based and sexual violence every Wednesday on the Mohawk Student Life Instagram account.
- Planned and hosted a collaborative trivia night with Humber, Guelph-Humber, Sheridan, and Algonquin college called Get Lucky with Sex Trivia (St. Patrick’s Day Edition). Trivia categories included: intimate-partner relationships and consent, technology-facilitated gender-based violence, party safe, and intervention scenarios. 19 students signed-in for this one-hour trivia event.
- Planned and hosted two more joint events with Humber College for the What's The Tea? Conversation series. These events provided a platform for students to engage in candid conversations around healthy relationships and setting boundaries as well as identities and intersectionalities within dating, relationships and hook-ups. Between the two events, 31 students registered and attended, sharing many great insights and personal dialogue.
- Planned and hosted a session at MohawkX Student Leadership Games which was a collaborative event with Tea Amo. The event began with a discussion lead by Tea Amo on different types of teas, the origin and history of tea, and the best way to steep tea. This was followed by a discussion with students about consent and healthy versus hurtful relationships. 40 students registered and attended this event, with the first 15 registrants receiving small tea sampling packages via mail-delivery provided by Tea Amo.
- Hosted a Bystander Intervention training session for varsity athletes. This session generated an attendance of 38 student athletes. Some excellent conversations were had around consent, gender-based & sexual violence, receiving disclosures, bystander intervention, and healthy versus hurtful relationships.
Employee Awareness & Prevention
- Currently engaged in an external review process to review and revise the online Employee Sexual Violence Education Module.
- Currently working to ensure that the Employee Sexual Violence Education Module is included as a mandatory training for all new hires to the college. To date, 567 employees have completed this training module.
- Currently developing an employee training session in partnership with the Student Rights and Responsibilities Team which will address how to respond to disclosures of gender-based violence.
- Internally promoting internal gender-based violence workshops hosted by the Learning Network, a Western University training initiative.
- Continued provision of training opportunities offered by external partners such as Courage to Act.
Interested students, staff and faculty are invited to apply to join the Task Force by emailing consent [at] mohawkcollege.ca, with the following information:
- Your full name, pronouns (optional), and campus
- Three to five sentences describing what you hope to contribute to the Task Force (For example: are you interested in policy development or educational programming? Do you enjoy social media and content creation? Are you passionate about engaging men and boys in efforts to end gender-based violence?).
- Have you completed any sexual violence training (ie: Bystander Intervention)?
- For staff only: has your direct supervisor approved the hours required to commit to this project?