Fanshawe comes together to "Take Back Our Campus"

Header image for the article Fanshawe comes together to "Take Back Our Campus" Credit: BRENDAN BEAMISH
Students and staff gathered in Merlin Field to protest against threats of sexual violence.

In an event organized in 48 hours, Fanshawe’s Merlin Field became a ground to stand together against gender-based threats of sexual violence on campus.

As a response to recent events of sexual violence allegations, the Fanshawe Student Union (FSU), in partnership with Sexual Violence Prevention Advisor, Leah Marshall came together with students to host a Take Back Our Campus walk.

Blue shirts with ‘Take Back Our Campus’ filled the grass of Merlin Field, with markers handed out to create signs for the march that followed through the campus.

Navigator. Londons student lifestyles magazine.

Marshall stood in support of students who have experienced sexual violence.

“The main focus is to come together as a community, and for survivors to know that there are supports available on campus as well as to help stand together as a community to help stand together against sexual violence.” 

Marshall noted that many students arriving to college have already experienced sexual assault.

“Part of our programming is that we run one to three events every month, whether it be supportive events for survivors because we know many students come to college and they’ve already experienced sexual violence, not only just experience it on campus. We definitely want to hear from students about what more we can do to support them.”

In hopes of moving forward, students are asking for more visibility on finding help with security and resources against violence on campus.

With the event raising awareness and support against sexual violence at school, it brought to light the majority of first-year students like Jaidyn D’Entremont who lives in residence and does not feel safe in a place they want to call home.

“I’m here to protest everything that’s been going on and to take action towards making our college campus a safe place for everybody,” said D’Entremont. “We are new students, it’s already scary enough to leave home, we should not feel scared on top of that to walk around our new home at night just because we don’t know something’s going to happen at night, or we’re scared to eat here, when that’s never something that we would have to deal with otherwise.”

A marching line of support with students and staff standing together in solidarity, student Greyson Toombs felt compelled to join the march to show his support for women victims against gender-based violence.

“I feel like there is not enough credibility to how hard it is to survive as someone as a victim of sexual assault,” he said. “I am hoping that if there are any more threats, they’re shut down immediately and those people get expelled just because there should be no tolerance for that in our society, in our schools, and people should feel safe coming here. People should not have to avoid going out of their dorms, or avoid going out at night.”

Fanshawe students in need of support are encouraged to contact Leah Marshall at lkmarshall@nullfanshawec.ca for assistance with next steps on recovery against sexual violence in a safe and confidential space.