U of L Students’ Union calling for change with new report

A new report by the Alberta government does not paint a pretty picture for post-secondary students.

The study which was completed by Leger says 50 per cent of students surveyed said they have reported some form of sexual or gender-based violence.

This is slightly higher than the Alberta average of 43 per cent. Leger surveyed students from 26 publicly funded post-secondary institutions from January 30 to March 16 of this year. The survey received a total of 12,948 completes, representing a response rate of 5.8 per cent.

Staff with the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union are not happy with the report and they are calling on Rajan Sawhney, the Alberta minister of advanced education to address the issue.

“We are calling on the government and the ministry to provide some funding to implement safe sexual violence prevention centres on our campus. Right now at the U of L, we only have one person that is helping with sexual violence prevention, and one person can’t do it alone. We need a team. Given the numbers that we’re seeing here, 50 per cent, you know, half of students on our campus are saying that they’re experiencing some form of sexual violence here. So I do believe that the government needs to provide some funding and intervention and supports for different PSIs around Alberta to have these centres and to be able to have students access these centres in a safe manner,” states Maleeka Thomas, the president of the U of L Students’ Union.

Bridge City News reached out to the office of Rajan Sawhney for comment on the story. She sent us a statement which reads in part, “On February 21 of 2022 Alberta’s government announced $2.5 million in funding to support gender-based violence prevention on campus; including, but not limited to, training, awareness, and updating and implementing more supports for survivors on campus. A portion of this funding was also used to develop and conduct the student survey and create the report released today.”

Micah Quinn

After graduating from Mount Royal University in Calgary with a Broadcasting Diploma, Micah made the trek down to Lethbridge to work for Bridge City News. He has previously worked at City TV Calgary on the Breakfast Television morning show. He looks forward to connecting with this community, and reaching a new audience. Micah has a passion for interviewing and finding out why people think the way they do. You’ll often find him pursuing local feature stories and hard news.

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