Office of the President
Andrew Petter, President and Vice-Chancellor
Petter's Perspective: Notes from the President
National Day of Remembrance calls upon us to take action against gender-based violence
Today marks the anniversary of the murder of fourteen young women at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal in 1989. In memory of this tragic event, Canada established December 6th as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women – a day on which to reflect and to recommit to taking action against gender-based violence.
Gender-based violence impacts women and girls, and a disproportionate number of LGBTQ2S and gender non-binary individuals. As a university whose underlying principles include a commitment fostering a culture of inclusion and respect, SFU has an obligation to ensure that all members of our community feel safe and supported.
To that end, we have created a Policy on Sexual Violence and Misconduct Prevention, Education and Support and established the Sexual Violence Support & Prevention Office. Other campus initiatives include the Active Bystander Network, SFU’s Safe Walk Program, and Consent Matters campaign. In addition, education programs for the SFU community have been developed in collaboration with students, faculty and staff.
As an engaged university, we also have a responsibility to provide the broader community with programming, research and education that addresses issues surrounding gender-based violence, and to work with community partners to create an inclusive and violence-free society. Examples include work and research undertaken by SFU’s Gender and Women’s Studies program, and by the FREDA Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children.
I encourage you to learn more about the significance of this day at the Status of Women in Canada website where you can “Take the Pledge” and do your part to eliminate all forms of gender-based violence.