Bishops’ University introduces mandatory sexual violence training

By Johnathan Houle – Special to The Record
Bishops’ University introduces mandatory sexual violence training

Last Thursday, students at Bishop’s University received an email informing them that all attending students will be required to complete a short online informative lecture about sexual misconduct and the importance of consent. Called “It Takes All of Us,” the interactive training session was created by Concordia University and has been promoted and adopted by many universities across the province.

Stine Linden-Anderson, Dean of student affairs, spoke with The Record about the decision to make the module mandatory.

“We have already two mandatory sexual violence prevention programs called “Can I Kiss You, and Active Bystander,” Linden-Anderson explained. “These are both mandatory for all incoming students, but discussions with the Sexual Culture Committee led to students wanting something more,” she said. “It was originally available for all students on a voluntary basis; however, the committee believes that having it mandatory for students would really keep prevention in their mind.”

Students contacted by The Record seem in favour of the proposition.

BU student Brigitte Barbe-Letourneau shared her opinion on the topic. “I think it is great because unfortunately, not everyone is well-educated on consent. It helps define the proper line to make sure that the whole Bishop’s community is on the same page, so everyone can also have each other’s backs,” the student said. “It will diminish the predator’s excuse, like ‘well I didn’t know that was not consent’ or ‘I didn’t know that by doing this or saying that I was actually pressuring this girl’.”

When asked the school’s motivation to implement the new mandatory training, Linden-Anderson said it was actually decided before the declaration on the bridge in early November. “We already had a draft of the document ready to go, it was really the students who felt that we needed something to hold each other accountable and to have something that was mandatory.”
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