ATLANTIC VOICE

Sexism and violence on university campuses

Universities, both here and across the country, are dealing with issues surrounding sexism, misogyny and violence on their campuses.
Rice Fuller is the senior director of Health and Wellness at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. (CBC )

Universities, both here and across the country, are dealing with issues surrounding sexism, misogyny and violence on their campuses.

But what role should the schools themselves be playing in teaching those basic values?

"This is something people should be learning as children and adolescents. They should be learning respect for each other, they should be learning respect for women, they should be learning respect for everybody," says Rice Fuller, senior director of Health and Wellness at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton.

"If people are getting to university without understanding basic respect and consent, then we have a serious, serious problem on our hands."

Fuller is one of the people currently working on a sexual assault policy for the school. He says the school is also looking at programs involving "bystander intervention" — training male and female student athletes to be leading voices on campus against sexual assault.

But Fuller says real change will only happen when men start taking a stand against sexual violence.

"I think it's crucial to have powerful male leaders speaking out on these issues and saying that we will not tolerate these kinds of behaviours, we won't tolerate these sexist jokes, that we won't tolerate postings like these on Facebook in our communities," he says.

That's a reference to the students at Dalhousie's Dentistry School who posted misogynist comments about fellow female classmates on Facebook.

This week on Atlantic Voice you can hear Fuller, and several other people speaking about sexism and violence on campus, including excerpts from a forum recently hosted by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs.

Tune in Sunday morning at 8:30 or listen now.

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