Rape culture talk on UPEI students' minds
Incidents of sexually-inappropriate chants and tweets, and allegations of sexual assault, at universities across the country have students at UPEI talking about what is happening on their own campus.
"It's opened up a lot of dialogue," said Treena Smith, UPEI's manager of student affairs.
"I have more difficult conversations with students, just in theoretical [terms], not in terms of this has happened to me necessarily, but just in terms of what if this would happen and what do we do."
The incidents at other campuses have led some to suggest there is a "rape culture." UPEI students take the suggestions seriously, but there is no pervasive feeling that there is an issue at UPEI.
Meg MacKinnon is a varsity volleyball player at the school. As a varsity team member she is in a public position, but she has never been made to feel uncomfortable in the school's sport culture.
"I feel like I'm perfectly safe in what I'm doing, and I've never felt pressured into anything or anything like that," said MacKinnon.
UPEI Student Union president Anastasia Smallwood believes the recent reports in the news do not necessarily point to a general problem.
"I don't think of it so much as a culture, persay, so much as different isolated instances that we've seen," said Smallwood.
"It kind of gives university students a bad name, in my opinion."
Student Travis Speelman isn't familiar with what is happening on other campuses, but he thinks the size of UPEI makes it harder for people to get away with inappropriate behaviour.
"It's a smaller community," said Speelman.
"It's very easy to reach out to people."
Smith said campus leaders are not taking anything for granted, however, and they are continually asking what more can they do to ensure the safety of students.
For mobile device users:Do you believe there is a so-called rape culture on campus at UPEI?