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

Background: 

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.  

Mandate/Scope: 

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) Equity, Diversity & Inclusion 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: Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Office)
2. Mountain Men: A Male Engagement Initiative (Team Lead: Supervisor, Varsity and Community Engagement, Athletics and Recreation)
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.  

Membership: 

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 representatives 
2 Staff representatives at large from Mohawk College 
2 Representatives from community agencies 

Objectives: 

  • 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. 


Decision Making: 

All decisions made by the members of the Task force will be made using the attached Consensus Model (Appendix A). 

Communication: 

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.  

Funding/Approval: 

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 

2. Acceptable 

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.  

Projects of the Working Groups

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 reviewing and revising the employee processes and procedures for reporting and resource navigation. 
  • Currently revised 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! 
    • The complainant’s Sexual violence history cannot be brought into the investigation. This wording has been added to our policy. 


Mountain Men

  • Produced and launched the Mountain Men Campaign video which can be viewed here:  Mountain Men (Men of Quality).
  • 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.
     

Student Support, Awareness & Prevention

  • Launched the #ConsentIsEverything open course on MyCanvas to increase access to information examining the relevance of sexual consent in healthy relationships, gender-based and sexual violence.
  • Implements the Student Awareness and Prevention Social Media Campaign, which provides myths, facts, and information about gender-based and sexual violence every weekend on the Mohawk Student Life Instagram account. Between April 2021 and April 2022, the campaign recorded 38,814 views on 245 Instagram posts. 
  • Planned and hosted three sex trivia nights with 110 participants. Trivia categories included: intimate-partner relationships and consent, technology-facilitated gender-based violence, party safe, and intervention scenarios. 
  • Planned and hosted four collaborative events with Humber College for the Guest Speaker series. These events provided a platform for students to connect with leading experts in gender-based violence prevention and engage in candid conversations around consent, healthy relationships, healthy sexuality, non-violent communication tools, and boundary setting. 80 students attended, sharing many great insights and personal dialogue.
  • Educated 200 students during Halloween about consent, bystander intervention, and the support resources available on campus and in the community.
  • As part of the 16 Days events, collaborated with Fresh Mayhem Soap and Interval House to host a workshop on reducing secondary harm for survivors of dating violence through the art of soap-making. The event began with a discussion led by interval house on the realities and impacts of gender-based violence, trauma responses and concrete and informed tools for supporting someone affected by gender-based violence.  the origin and history of tea, and the best way to steep tea. This was followed by a discussion with Fresh Mayhem Soap on how to make soap.  22 students participated in this event, with each student making at least one soap to take home and one to donate to Victoria and Friends emergency shelter.
  • Hosted 4 Bystander Intervention training sessions in collaboration with Interval House of Hamilton. These sessions generated an attendance of 35 students. Some excellent conversations were had around consent, gender-based & sexual violence, receiving disclosures, and bystander intervention. 
  • 184 students engaged by the peer educators through short in-class presentations on consent, barriers to disclosures, and support services.
  • Launched the 'Owning Your Voice' drop-in group for students to chat about topics they are interested in as they relate to consent, sexual wellness, pleasure, support, healing, and much more. 


Employee Awareness & Prevention

  • Currently engaged in an external review process to review and revise the online Employee Sexual Violence Education Module. 
  • Worked all year round to ensure that the Employee Sexual Violence Education Module is included as mandatory training for all new hires to the college. To date, 1028 employees have completed this training module. 
  • Developed 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. So far, 51 employees have completed the Responding to Disclosures training. 
  • Internally promoting internal gender-based violence workshops hosted by the Learning Network, a Western University training initiative, and other renowned organizations. 
  • Continued the provision of training opportunities offered by external partners such as Courage to Act.

Meet the Task Force

The Task Force is comprised of a diverse group of individuals including employees, students, and community members. See below for the full membership list:

Core Membership 
Elizabeth-Joy Phillips | President, Mohawk Students' Association 
Bukola Solomon | Coordinator, Gender-Based Violence Education 
Louisa Drost | Chief, Health, Wellness, Accessibility and Student Engagement 
Allison Hallman | Manager, Student Wellness & Counselling Services 
Maxine Carter | Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer  
Yolande Linton | Specialist, Student Rights & Responsibilities 
Gina Miraglia | Director, Organizational & Professional Development
Cathy O'Donnell | Director, Security Services 

General Membership 
Amanda Anderson | Officer, Training & Investigations  
Amanda White | Manager, Indigenous Student Services 
Justin Decosemo | Professor, Welding 
Meaghan Drury | Coordinator, Alumni & Student Communications
Hayley Hudson | Professor, Continuing Education 
Eric Harvey | Manager, Admissions 
Miranda Jurilj | Coordinator, Public Education (Sexual Assault Centre, Hamilton) 
Liza Ritchie | Director of Programs and Services ( Interval House of Hamilton)
Sharon Kamassah | Manager, Workplace, Equity & Inclusion 
Carla Labella | Professor, Liberal Studies
Jessica Lapcevich | Manager, Risk, Legal & Government Services 
Claire Webber | Student Leadership Coordinator, Student Life 
Mia Steenbruggen | Student, Mohawk College
Erin McKay | Coordinator, Residence Life 
Ingie Metwally | Coordinator, Student Development
Soraggi Gabriela | Change Manager, Employee Development Office 
Paul Reifenstein | Manager, Residence 
Matthew Schnarr | Supervisor, Varsity and Community Engagement 
Annette Simms | Counsellor, Accessible Learning Services 
Denise Balice | Nurse Supervisor
Samantha Walker | Advisor, Outreach & Education 

How to Get Involved?

The following working groups are currently recruiting: 

  1. Employee Education Working Group: 1 representative each from Fennell (preferably a faculty member), Aviation campus, Stoney Creek, and IAHS
  2. Policy working group: 1 representative each from Fennell (preferably a faculty member), Aviation campus, Stoney Creek, and IAHS.
  3. Students Support, Awareness, and Prevention Working Group: Preferably students from Stoney Creek and IAHS.

Interested students, staff, and faculty are invited to apply to join the Task Force by emailing consent [at] mohawkcollege.ca, with the following information: 

  1. Your full name, pronouns (optional), and campus
  2. 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?). 
  3. Have you completed any sexual violence training (ie: Bystander Intervention)?
  4. For staff only: has your direct supervisor approved the hours required to commit to this project?