Mount Allison University launches online reporting for campus sexual violence
SACKVILLE, NB — Mount Allison University is pleased to announce that it has partnered with REES (Respect, Educate, Empower Survivors), a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week centralized online reporting and information platform that provides increased options for students, staff, and faculty to report sexual violence.
REES includes multiple reporting options and critical information about resources and supports available both on campus and in the community.
“The REES platform provides Mount Allison students, faculty, and staff with another important support for reporting as well as education and prevention of sexual violence,” says University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jean-Paul Boudreau. “Having a secure online platform in place continues the momentum towards a survivor-centered and trauma-informed approach to sexual violence response at Mount Allison. I thank all the students and staff members involved for their work in bringing this resource to our campus community.”
The REES partnership is one of many changes the University has made to improve its supports and resources around sexual violence response, education, and prevention. In 2020, The Canadian Centre for Legal Innovation in Sexual Assault Response (CCLISAR) was engaged by Mount Allison to form an Independent Review Panel providing recommendations on improving the University’s policies and procedures in response to disclosures and reports of sexual violence. The full report was released in Aug 2021.
“The CCLISAR Report, in addition to the research and planning completed by the University’s internal working group and committees, have provided Mount Allison is an important blueprint for moving forward and better addressing our response and resources in the area of sexual violence education and prevention,” says Anne Comfort, Mount Allison’s Vice-President, International and Student Affairs. “Implementing these changes takes time but I am pleased that the University community has been working collaboratively to see many of these report recommendations already adopted, including the REES platform, additional, full-time staff, and continued partnerships with community organizations to better serve Mount Allison students and the wider university community.”
Dr. Tasia Alexopoulos was hired this Fall as the full-time Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Coordinator. The University is currently working to hire a second full-time individual, in the role of Sexualized Violence Response, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Advocate. Partnerships between local counselling agencies and the University’s Wellness Centre have continued to ensure students have resources during this period.
“I am pleased to hear that a tangible measure, such as the REES platform, is being implemented at Mount Allison,” says Hannah Crouse, honours sociology student and member of the University’s advisory committee. “I hope that this platform is able to provide survivors with meaningful resources whilst creating a barrier-free space to report incidents of sexual violence.”
According to a 2019 Stats Canada Survey on Individual Safety in the Postsecondary Student Population, 71 per cent of postsecondary students witnessed or experienced unwanted sexualized behaviours over the past year, yet less than one in ten spoke about what happened with someone associated with the school. The REES platform will help alleviate barriers that exist to reporting sexualized violence to Mount Allison University.
Mount Allison is the first post-secondary institution in New Brunswick to adopt REES and joins St. Francis Xavier University, the University of Windsor, University of Winnipeg, Brandon University, Red River College, and others in implementing REES.
Additional information on the REES platform for Mount Allison students, faculty, and staff can be found at: https://mta.ca/current-students/health-and-wellness/sexualized-violence-services/reporting-sexual-violence