No grey areas at Glasgow Caledonian University

18 May 2018

GCU Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Professor Valerie Webster; Glasgow Central MP, Alison Thewliss; GCU Director of Student Life, Jackie Main.

GCU Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Professor Valerie Webster; Glasgow Central MP, Alison Thewliss; GCU Director of Student Life, Jackie Main.

There are no grey areas when it comes to gender-based violence.

That is the message behind a new campaign launched by Glasgow Caledonian University today and backed by Alison Thewliss MP.

The campaign highlights the important work the University does to combat sexual and gender-based violence via a series of posters which challenge stereotypical views.

Often described as ‘violence against women’, the term refers to violence directed against someone because of their gender and expectations of their role in a society or culture.

Students and staff have worked together to create a digital poster campaign, entitled #GCUerasethegrey, which reiterates GCU’s zero-tolerance policy towards gender-based violence.

The posters convey messages such as: “They came on to me, so I don’t need consent”, before greying out key words to leave only “I need consent.”

Glasgow Central MP Alison Thewliss applauded the work done by GCU. Speaking at a launch event for the campaign, she said: “University is a very formative experience in life, so if somebody is affected by gender-based violence while there, it is something they will carry with them for the rest of their life. Universities have a duty to protect and respond to these incidents and to make sure attitudes are challenged and changed so we can start to eradicate this from society.

“This campaign makes it clear that there is someone on campus that people can talk to and that they can get support. I think that’s absolutely vital.”

GCU Director of Student Life, Jackie Main, said: “We’ve been working on GCU’s prevention and response to gender-based violence for a couple of years and this campaign is the spearhead of that work. We hope it will change attitudes and behaviours by raising awareness.

“The campaign has been carried out in partnership with our design students and what they have produced is powerful and impactful.”

The University has a First Responders scheme, which allows staff and students to disclose any incidents of gender-based violence to a member of GCU staff. The First Responder team has been trained in supporting and advising victims in regards to potential next steps. Any information given to the team is treated as confidential, unless there is a serious risk of harm to the victim or others.