Welcome & Welcome to York: Please note the CHR has Moved
The CHR would like to add its voice to welcoming back returning York students and extending a warm welcome to new ones. Be sure to note that we have moved offices. You can now find us in Room 2070 of the Technology Enhanced Learning Building!
You Had Me At Consent 2015
September 8 marks the return of You Had Me At Consent, the annual initiative of the Centre for Human Rights to highlight the awareness and importance of consent when it comes to sexual intimacy.
Instead of being a stand alone event , as in past years, You Had Me At Consent is being fully integrated into York’s Orientation activities. This year’s audience will increase to include all students new to York – international students, transfer students, and mature students – in additional to first year students.
Mike Domitrz, founder of The DATE SAFE Project and critically-acclaimed author of “Can I Kiss You?” will return to York to present his signature “Can I kiss you?” session. He works closely with students and campuses across the country to produce national initiatives resulting in everlasting change in America’s approach to dating, respect, & intimacy. For over 15 years, Domitrz’s DATE SAFE Project has been inspiring students through humor and a truly unique approach to healthier dating and communication. In this live show, he covers how to ask for what you want sexually or intimately. Domitrz is committed to fostering a fun and revolutionary approach to insuring each person’s boundaries are respected. His presentation aims to be inclusive of culture, background, sexual orientation, and diversity.
Consent and awareness about sexual violence is a key message for any post- secondary institution in the critical first few weeks of the school year. This is an important time to set expectations about asking first, and maintaining consent, when it comes to sex. You Had Me At Consent is also about establishing norms and expectations about respect that are in line with York’s values and commitment to create a safe learning, living and community environment for all students. In February 2015, the Board of Governors of York University passed the newly developed Policy on Sexual Assault Awareness, Prevention, and Response. York has also launched a dedicated webpage to prevention and response to sexual violence.
The CHR aligns its Education focus with Community Needs
The Centre for Human Rights (CHR) tracks data relating to human rights matters raised by York students, faculty and staff in order to inform the services we provide.
Our 2013-2014 data demonstrates that there was a 38.5% increase in the number of contacts with the CHR by York University community members than the previous year. This reinforces a trend we suspected: a growing demand for our services.
As you will see in our 2013-2014 Annual Report, the majority of this contact was made by administrators seeking advice on how to implement provincial human rights legislation or York’s human rights policies. In 2013-2014, 25% of these contacts were focused on accommodation matters – most frequently related to the grounds of disability . In terms of complaints, over the past three years the highest numbers also related to disability (27%), followed by the grounds of race (19%), and sexual harassment (12%).
As a result, the CHR increased its staff complement and relocated the office from the Ross Building to Technology Enhanced Learning to accommodate an enhanced team and the need for additional space to conduct mediations and other forms of alternative dispute resolutions. Education and Communications Advisor positions have been aligned with the main human rights matters raised by our community over the last several years:
While our Education & Communications Advisors will continue to provide education and training on other human rights grounds under the Code as well, our community will see an increase in our educational and awareness raising activities in these areas. Enquiries and complaints will continue to be received and processed by our Case Advisors, who will also continue to conduct consultations related to these grounds.
New Learning Specialist and Advisor, Sexual Assault Prevention Education: The CHR Welcomes Krista Hunt
The CHR is pleased to announce that it has filled its job vacancy focused on sexual violence prevention education – although with a slightly revised title and responsibilities.
This position assumes the responsibility for prevention education initiatives and supporting policy and procedural review in the area of gender-based violence.
On August 18, 2015, the CHR welcomed Krista Hunt to the position of Learning Specialist and Advisor, Sexual Assault Prevention Education. A longstanding York community member, Krista has been involved in many different anti-violence education and prevention projects throughout the years – from working as a student security escort during her undergrad, doing research on violence against women in graduate school, conducting METRAC safety audits with her university classes, and now supervising undergraduate students who are designing and initiating anti-violence initiatives with their peers. She has spent 12 years designing and delivering courses on gender based violence and in 2014-2015, Krista was awarded a teaching grant to develop a course called “Violence on Campus: Strategies for Change” at York University.
The CHR Launches a Human Rights Award: The REDI Award
The Centre for Human Rights has launched the REDI Award to recognize students who are committed to building a respectful, equitable, diverse and inclusive (REDI) community and to advancing, promoting and upholding human rights at York.
This new award created by the CHR will be launched at the annual Inclusion Day Conference in January 2016. In addition to being profiled on the CHR’s website and other on-campus news media (with the consent of the awardee), the award recipient will receive a $250 gift certificate to the York University Book Store and a certificate recognizing their human rights work.
Inclusion Day Conference: The CHR Launches its Call for Proposals
The Centre for Human Rights has released it’s call for York students, faculty and staff to submit proposals for its annual Inclusion Day Conference.
Themed Human Rights & the University: Progressive? Constrained? Connected?, the CHR invites proposals which engage in this debate: What is the current relationship between human rights and universities? Are universities serving as progressive engines in the area of social justice? Or are universities a constraint in the fight for human rights? Are universities as connected with communities as they should be to drive social change? Can universities apply academic and administrative knowledge towards social justice?
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