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Worshop talks safe spaces and safe sex

As part of Sexuality Awareness Week, UNB’s Voices Against Sexual Aggression (Voices) and UNB Safe Spaces are partnering up to present a Lunch ‘N’ Learn Workshop on Wednesday.

The workshop, called Assertiveness and Acceptance on Campus, will take place in room 103 of the Student Union Building and will be held from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

A lecture will be given from both hosts and there will be an open question portion as well. Free pizza will also be offered.

“It’s to combine our programs so that people can come out and learn about two different topics at once. But they also go hand in hand,” said Shane Gunter, UNB’s Safe Spaces coordinator.

“Basically we’ll talk a little bit about our programs and things that UNB students can do to help with our programs.”

The assertiveness aspect of the workshop will be presented by Voices coordinator Amanda Worrell.

“One of the main things I focus on is talking about consent and the importance of getting a ‘yes’ and that both people have communication,” Worrell said.

She said a lot of people don’t understand the consequences of not getting clear consent.

“Without consent being given it can be considered sexual assault,” Worrell said. “And I think it’s really important to prevent that from happening so people really need to be proactive instead of reactive, talking about it ahead of time.”

The acceptance component will be presented by Gunter, with a focus on increasing awareness about the LGBTQ community.

“I think my

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is important because it has to do about gay rights and accepting people who are questioning, or are out, or aren’t really sure, or hidden,” Gunter said. “Mainly the importance of just making sure everyone feels welcomed on campus is the main goal of the program.”

Gunter said although he has given out over 250 safe spaces stickers this year through the Safe Spaces project, there is still progress to be made in raising awareness around campus. It’s a topic he will be covering in his lecture and something he wants the workshop attendees to take away with them.

“It’s catching on but sometimes you go to places and people don’t even know what the acronym LGBTQ stands for. So do I think it’s enough? Not yet, but I think there’s been progress for sure,” he said. “Hopefully this will increase some awareness, get the word out there, create conversation.”

Worrell said that the workshops give them a platform to present each of their messages and reach more students at the same time.

“Shane and I both work out of the Sexuality Centre and we both have really strong messages to give so I think it’s really great that we can partner up and deliver parts of our presentations condensed for everybody and hopefully get more people out so we can get our messages to more people.” she said.

Their messages are made even more meaningful by their timeliness: the workshop will take place right in the middle of Sexuality Awareness week where, as Gunter said, people are encouraged to be open and accepting.

“We want to make sure that people are open and welcoming and not ignorant to these concepts,” he said.

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