VOC peer support group

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What is the peer support group?

The peer support group was created to ensure that a comfortable and safe environment is maintained within the VOC. There are six members of the peer support group, both males and females, dedicated to maintaining this environment within the club. We encourage everyone to approach any of our peer support members (whom are listed under the exec members on the membership page [1]) if you have felt uncomfortable, or have witnessed a situation of discomfort, harassment of any form or felt lack of safety on any of our trips that you wish to discuss and seek a resolution for. Resolutions can vary from simply having a misunderstanding cleared up to helping provide support for resolving any issues between two people in a safe environment.

The incident response protocol is indicated below.

Who is the peer support group? How do I get in touch?

The six VOCers that make up the current peer support group are listed on the member list (just below the executives). To reach out, contact one (or multiple) members of the group by phone or by email - contact details are listed in the same member list.

VOC harassment and discrimination policy:

The VOC is a club that strives to maintain a positive environment and a zone of personal comfort for all members that is free from harassment and discrimination in all its forms as defined in Canadian and British Columbia law, be it based on race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexuality or religion. [2]

Incident response protocol:

We will act according to the standards and bylaws of the AMS, as well as the VOC, and we will deal with every issue in a timely fashion. The identity of those involved with an incident will remain anonymous throughout the process. To report an incident please talk to or send an email to any of the individuals on the peer support group (who are listed under the “Peer Support Group” section on the membership page [3])

Steps:

  • The PSG receives a report of an incident (whether it be in speech or writing)*.
    • The PSG will act within the limits of what we are qualified to do and otherwise refer to appropriate resources.
    • To maintain confidentiality, the report can be submitted anonymously to one or more members of the PSG.
    • Ask the plaintiff and other witnesses (if needed) to write a brief statement that they are comfortable with being shared with the executive should that be required, see point below.
    • Ask the plaintiff what they would like the outcome of the situation to be.
  • PSG meets to assess severity of the incident based on safety and nature of the issue.
    • In severe cases, the PSG will temporarily revoke the membership of the accused until a resolution has been reached.
  • PSG meets with accused to discuss the situation, inform them of the protocol and potential consequences.
    • Request a statement from the accused that will be presented to the rest of the PSG or the executive when applicable.
    • In the event that club membership is in question, the PSG will send out an email to the VOC executive requesting obligatory attendance at a meeting.
      • A vote to revoke membership requires ⅔ of the executive to be present.
      • PSG/exec will decide whether to broadcast the incident and consequences of action to those involved or the broader membership, while maintaining anonymity and without specifics.
    • For all other cases, PSG meets again to reassess the situation and discuss consequences or steps moving forward. Examples: mediate meeting, refer to other organization, keep a record of incident on file.
    • If we are unable to resolve a dispute or concern, the peer support group is dedicated to finding other resources on campus available to help resolve the issue in an appropriate manner.

.*In cases where we receive information indicating that someone may constitute a risk to themselves or others and in cases where information leads to concerns about public safety, we are required to notify appropriate resources.

Resources:

  • AMS sexual assault support centre [4]
  • Access and diversity [5]
  • UBC counselling [6]