We provide opportunities for students to build strong support systems and ally-ship by equipping them with the necessary resources and skills to proactively address these issues as they arise. To quote the Residences and Student Housing Strategic Plan, “We must develop a welcoming and supportive place for all wanting to be successful students and positive community members. To do this, we must suspend the assumption that we are already successful in this effort and utilize assessment and continuous self-evaluation to gain a true picture.”
The McGill Residences operates under a ‘One Rule of Respect philosophy’. To foster this idea of respect, Residence Life offers a variety of programming, including Rez Project.
Rez Project was founded by rez students who were members of SACOMSS, Queer McGill and Trans/Gender Alliance, in 2004 to increase education and awareness of sexual assault, Queer, and Trans issues.
Today, Rez Project is comprised of two workshops that are mandatory for all first year residence students. Gender, Sexuality and Consent is given in the fall and Race & Colonialism, is given in the winter. Both workshops open lines of communication, building on the knowledge and understanding of facilitators and participants to kindle discussions on often silenced issues and ideas. The goal is to help to make McGill Residences a safer, more accepting and comfortable place for all people.
Gender Sexuality and Consent (Fall Workshop) seeks to highlight intersectionality, to fight gendered oppression, to expose pervasive myths and to question the gender binary. Most importantly it seeks to starts discussions on these complex subjects at the beginning of each McGill student‘s incoming year.
Race Project (Winter Workshop) aims to equip students with multiple frameworks for thinking about difference and to extend and nuance their understandings of race, ethnicity, culture and otherness. By recognizing that power, privilege and oppression are constant day-to-day realities, this workshop helps build strong support systems and ally-ship. This involves believing and validating people’s individual experiences with discrimination and racism, and equipping students with the necessary language and skills to address these issues.