Help is closer than you think
Concordia announced last April that a new Sexual Assault Resource Centre would be launched this term. Student Services have been hard at work all summer to make it happen: the centre now has a location, and it will soon have a coordinator, too.
Staffed by a full-time professional social worker supported by student volunteers, the centre will be run out of the third floor of the Guy-Metro Building (GM Building; 1550 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.) on the Sir George Williams Campus.
Howard Magonet, director of the Counselling and Development department in Student and Enrolment Services, is overseeing operations. He filled in the details for us.
What services will the Sexual Assault Resource Centre provide?
Howard Magonet: The centre will offer free, confidential support to students, staff and faculty — it will provide educational resources, counselling and expert referral services.
More specifically, our full-time professional social worker will coordinate crisis intervention, accompaniment [to the hospital, police station and so on], education, outreach activities and peer support initiatives.
Why is it important to have a sexual assault centre at Concordia?
HM: Sexual-assault survivors often don’t know what their rights are, where they can go or what support they can receive.
Concordia regularly liaises with many external partners in the health, legal and social-service network. This centre will provide a key bridge to these and other resources, making the transition as seamless as possible for survivors.
Our focus on education, awareness and outreach will also be vital to foster a culture of consent on campus — an issue that many universities are currently making a priority.
And, finally, we are doing this because our student groups advocated for this dedicated service. We agreed, and are proud of the collaborative effort that has made the centre a reality.
When will the centre be officially open? How will students be involved?
HM: We are in the process of hiring the coordinator now, and hope to have everything ready to go in the next few weeks. Once it’s open, our hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.
We’re looking forward to engaging students and other interested individuals in peer support activities. Members of the Centre for Gender Advocacy have already offered their support. We’ll organize a call for volunteers once the coordinator is on board — so please stay tuned.