Advocacy group seeking additional $2.00 per semester from each full-time student
“Do you support an increase to the student fee for the Anti-Violence Project (the on-campus sexual assault centre) in the amount of $2.00 per semester for full-time students, and $1.00 per semester for part-time students, for the purpose of expanding access to support and educational opportunities for the entire campus community and those impacted by sexualized and gender-based violence?”
From 9 a.m. on Nov. 8 to 9 a.m. on Nov. 10, this is the question that the UVSS will be posing in a referendum to all UVic students.
A “yes” vote means that the full-time student fee going to the AVP will go up from $2.00 to $4.00, and a portion of the part-time student fee going to the AVP will go up from $1.00 to $2.00.
There are two ways for students to vote: in-person or online. In-person voting will take place in three locations around campus: the Student Union Building, the Clearihue Main Foyer, and the McPherson Library. The opening dates and times for these voting locations is listed below.
Another (perhaps more convenient) option for students is to vote online at webvote.uvic.ca. Online voting is open for the entire 48 hours between 9 a.m. on Nov. 8 and 9 a.m. on Nov 10 and can be completed on any computer, tablet, or smartphone. Students just need to provide their UVic Netlink ID and password.
Anmol Swaich, the UVSS Director of Campaigns and Community Relations, encourages students to vote in the referendum.
“Students should vote and care about the outcome of the upcoming referendum,” Swaich says, “as the work that the Anti-Violence Project does impacts our entire campus community.”
“By providing education and support around gender-based violence, they are actively contributing to change that will make our campus safer,” she emphasizes, “If this referendum passes, they will be much better equipped to support survivors and to continue to create dialogue around a topic that is so relevant to so many students.”
The AVP is UVic’s on-campus sexual assault centre, providing workshops and support for students, staff, faculty, and community members.
Their consent workshops focus on providing a better understanding of sexualized and gender-based violence and how to cultivate a culture of consent in all relationships. Their support workshop provides support to individuals who have experienced sexualized or gender-based violence. The AVP also provides confidential drop-in support resources and services for people who have experienced violence, and for their friends/supporters.
The main proponent for this referendum is Kenya Rogers, a political science and Spanish student.
“I’m a survivor of sexualized violence,” Rogers says, “and I got involved with AVP through the Let’s Get Consensual campaign.” Rogers became a big volunteer with the AVP and was a policy advisor, working on UVic’s sexualized violence policy that was created last year. She also volunteers as a facilitator at AVP’s workshops.
“I’ve seen first-hand how much of an impact AVP’s work can have on our community,” said Rogers, “and I really want us to be able to keep doing the work and take it as far as we can.”
With the increase in funding, the AVP hopes to widen the scope of their current consent and support workshops. They hope to start up a Consent 2.0 workshop, building on the learning of their current consent workshop. Other workshops being considered would cover rape culture in the community and sex positivity.
“The reality is sexualized violence is happening behind closed doors,” Rogers points out, “and what we’re doing, what the AVP is doing, is trying to bust that open and to really let people know that it’s real.”