"1 in 7 female students has been the victim of serious sexual assault or serious physical violence while at University in the UK, and 1 in 3 female students report that they sometimes feel unsafe when visiting University or College buildings in the evening. 60% of trans students have been the target of negative comments or conduct from other students."
After a false start last year – cancellation due to COVID – this week the JCR organised two online workshops for current Fitzwilliam students with the support of the GoodLad Initiative.
By working within Lad culture, the initiative takes a positive attitude and teaches men that they can do ‘more than the minimum’, and that they can drive positive change in their communities. GoodLad run a series of 90-minute interactive workshops for students in university sports teams, colleges and societies. They are fun, engaging and challenge participants to think about the ways in which gender inequality exists in their lives. Each workshop is delivered by specially trained volunteer facilitators who don’t lecture or tell participants what to think, but instead open up honest and constructive conversations in ways that are meaningful and relevant to students. Workshops are primarily delivered to men, with one of the follow-on workshop options being to engage in mixed-gender dialogues about gender and masculinity.
Take up for the two Fitz sessions was reassuringly high, and participants were positive about the impact the workshop had on their confidence and thinking around Lad culture.
The two-hour sessions involved a number of breakout groups – designed to pair individuals with students they didn’t already know. Tom felt this was an important feature, which was actually supported by being online rather than in person: ‘Tackling really complex issues with people who you wouldn't have otherwise spoken to…it was a new experience. I think if you have a conversation like that with friends, it can often be a bit of an echo chamber, but this was comforting in a different way because you became aware of other people having similar like insecurities to you, feeling in similar ways to you, even if they are otherwise quite unfamiliar faces.’
Thanks to the Fitzwilliam Society Grants programme for sponsoring this event.
If you would like to find out more about GoodLad training, please visit their website: https://www.goodladinitiative.com/