By: Winona Young, Features Editor
CW: Mentions of sexual assault
It’s been roughly two months since two SFU students were assaulted on Burnaby campus. With this in mind, care and sensitivity is still needed to address sexual assault in university campuses. For students looking for the necessary support, places like the Sexual Violence Support and Prevention Office (SVSPO) are integral. Although the SVSPO has been open for roughly a year, this small office located at the Diamond Hall Alumni Centre is hidden away from most of SFU Burnaby. This week, The Peak interviewed one of the SVSPO to one of the office’s Case Managers, Julie Glazier, via email asking her a few questions about what help the SVSPO can provide to university students, how their process works, and more.
The Peak: If I want/need to talk someone at the Sexual Violence Support and Prevention Office, where do I start?
Julie Glazier: If you are looking to speak to someone in the Sexual Violence Support & Prevention Office (SVSPO), we have a variety of options available for connecting with us. Contact information for all staff can be found on our webpage, with options to connect by phone, text, email, during drop-in hours or by appointment and of course SFU community members are welcome to come to our office and visit anytime.
P: Am I allowed to go to the SVSPO if I’m a guy/Indigenous/unsure what happened/just want to talk to someone once, etc.?
JG: Absolutely anyone who is a member of the SFU university community can come to the SVSPO for supports and services. We are happy to meet you at a time and location of your choice, and want to make our services as accessible to the entire university community as we possibly can. The SVSPO is here for you regardless of who you are, or how you’ve been impacted and when the incident/s [sic] occurred. Even if you are unsure how to describe your experience, meeting with a Case Manager is a good way to begin that discussion.
P: How much personal information do I need to disclose?
JG: Anyone seeking assistance from this office will only need to disclose the amount of information they are comfortable sharing. Some Clients wish to disclose their entire experience, while others prefer to provide general information needed for us to provide them with relevant support. Regardless of what you wish to share, we can find options to assist you.
P: Would I need to give my SFU/FIC ID?
While we do need to identify Clients when providing some streamlined services between departments on campus or external agencies, there is no need to identify yourself to seek general information, options, and supports. If identifying yourself is a barrier to you receiving service, please let us know, and we will respect that decision.
P: What if I want to only talk to someone on the phone?
JG: Connecting by phone is a great option! You can call our Case Managers at our office line at (778)-782-7233, or you can connect directly with one of our Case Managers on their cell phones (published on our website on the Contact Us page). If you prefer to text, Case Managers are happy to do that as well.
P: What if I wanna see someone in person?
JG: If you wish to see a Case Manager in person, you can make an appointment directly with the Case Managers by emailing, calling or texting them. Otherwise you can stop by during drop-in hours, if you would prefer not to make an appointment directly.
P: How do I get to the office? And why is it so in the middle of nowhere?
JG: The office is located in the lower level of the Diamond Hall Alumni Centre, room 014. Our main entrance is within the lower level of the building, and we have a more discreet side entrance accessed by stairs outside of the building. We have provided a wayfinding video on how to access the office, on our webpage. The location of the office was determined not only by [the] available space on campus, but also with the thought that the location offered privacy to those attending the space regardless of their role [within] the university, student, faculty or staff.
If the location of the office is a barrier for anyone, please know that we also meet clients at the Surrey and Vancouver campuses. We are also willing to meet at an alternate location of your choice, either on or off campus. Just let us know how we can best connect with you!
P: How long would I need to wait for an in-person meeting?
JG: We do our best to see all students immediately. If that is not possible, expect to be seen [sic] same day or next day.
P: I got an appointment! What should I expect to happen?
JG: If you have made an appointment with a Case Manager, you should expect to be treated with care and respect. Our Case Managers will provide you with information and resources specific to your situation, so that you can make informed choices on the best options for yourself. Case Managers will then assist you to help streamline access to those resources and options.
Depending on your situation, you may wish to receive information and/or assistance with medical care, reporting options, counselling services, or a variety of other matters. The appointment is very much tailored to your specific needs. We follow your pace, and you are in control of the process. We are here to support you.
P: Would I need to pay for any of these services provided?
JG: All services at the SVSPO are free of charge and confidential.
P: What kind of help could I get?
JG: A wide variety of assistance is available, including support, information and advice. We provide personalized safety planning, referrals to other on or off campus supports and resources, transportation options for medical or other emergency service visits, information packages for yourself or a friend, academic and workplace accommodations, and much more. Whether you have been directly impacted by sexual violence, or are supporting someone who has been, we are here to help.
P: Is there anything else I should know about the SVSPO?
JG: The SVSPO’s supports and services are available to you regardless of when or where the incident/s took place. We know how difficult it can be to reach out, and we acknowledge and honour the strength it takes to come forward and make an initial connection.