Western's Caucus on Women's Issues

Spring l-2002 Newsletter


The January 22 potluck-brainstorming session was a great success. We accepted a proposal to use the Chilly Climate fund to help develop a facilitator's manual for a new video production on sexual harassment. A coalition of the Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children, the Sexual Assault Centre of London, and the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres have produced the 30-minute video through Kem Murch Productions entitled, The Way Forward: Rethinking the Problem of Workplace Sexual Harassment. The video has been completed, but funds are still needed to develop the manual. The objectives of this project include the following:

To create an educational resource that will be useful for all stakeholders in the workplace, including employees, employers, unions, government regulatory bodies.
To make visual and textual references in the discussion guide to the video so that important points are emphasized in training sessions.
To provide facilitators with strategies for dealing with difficult situations that can arise in training sessions on this topic.
To hold focus groups with people in a position to use the video after a draft of the discussion guide is produced to test its usefulness.
To form an Advisory Committee of women with appropriate expertise and who are representative of the diversity of women in Canadian workplaces to oversee the development of the facilitator's manual.

The tasks to be funded include hiring an experienced Human Relations Consultant (Catherine Burr) to write the facilitator's manual, hiring Kem Murch Productions to design and print the manual, run focus groups on the first draft to receive feedback. The budget for all of this requires $5000 from Caucus and $20,000 from the Status of Women Office. The plan is to launch the video and manual near June 2, 2002, the anniversary of the death of Theresa Vince, the woman killed by her boss at Sears in Chatham after years of sexual harassment from him.

Special thanks to Anne Cummings not only for bringing the idea to us but for doing all of the footwork in acquiring details about the project and a budget for it. We also generated a list of future initiatives for Caucus to take on down the road. Thank you Samantha Brennan, Sylvia Burrow, Anne Cummings, Margaret Kellow, Bonnie Maclachlan, Letitia Meynell, Charmaine Nelson, Kelly Olson, Goli Rezai-Rashti, and Andrea Purvis for coming to the potluck with ideas, energy, and, of course, great food.

- Tracy Isaacs, President, Western's Caucus on Women's Issues


1.This is the last year I will be putting the newsletter together (really!). In the hopes of fostering a smooth transition for whoever takes over I am hoping that someone will come forward now and I can show her the way I do it so she can figure out how to do it better before she even begins. Putting the newsletter together is not overly arduous (at least, not when one is using an email format). It's a great way to find out all sorts of interesting things about stuff happening on campus and off. It's also a satisfying job for someone like me who is a control freak, though I imagine other kinds of people might find it satisfying too. I like to think the newsletter is an important part of the Women's Caucus. If you agree the best way to say it's worth doing is offering to do it yourself!
- Letitia, Newsletter Editor (but not for much longer!)

2.Don't forget to keep an eye out for promising essays for the Women's Caucus Essay Award. Both graduate and undergraduate students are eligible. Submissions should be sent to Romayne Smith Fullerton, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, Middlesex College. The deadline is not until May 31, 2002 but essays from the fall term can be submitted now if students wish. Three printed copies are required.


Two years ago the Women's Caucus instituted a policy whereby all membership renewals would come due each September. This has greatly facilitated the administration of Caucus finances and the membership list. September has come and gone and so all members who wish to renew their membership, but haven't done so yet need to do so now. You may either send a cheque to the Caucus treasurer, Stephanie Macleod in Education FEB 1001.


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