The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) partnered with Georgian to launch the ManUp pilot program at the Orillia Campus.
The Georgian ManUp team is working toward social change in regards to the treatment of women in our community. The Georgian ManUp team with support from the OPP introduced the program by holding a community information session on Oct. 28 at the Orillia Campus.
The ManUp program is meant to redefine what it means to “be a man” from a toxic tough guy definition to one of standing up for what is right regardless of the situation. It’s dedicated to encouraging young men to stand up against violence against women, challenge inappropriate speech and behaviour from their peers and to set an example of appropriate behaviour for those around them.
“As students we have been involved in many community initiatives here at Georgian, in the local community and the surrounding area,” says Darren Trafford, a third-year Honours Bachelor of Police Studies student. “When the concept of a pilot project for the ManUp program was presented, the whole philosophy resonated with us. We joined in to take a lead role in helping to get the word out about the program.”
As the program moves forward, the ManUp team will be reaching out to set up presentations throughout the Orillia Campus, at other Georgian campuses, Lakehead University, local sports teams, the local Police Services Boards and the Human Justice Regional Committee.
“The OPP was excited by the idea of expanding the program into postsecondary schools, where students are often away from home for the first time and exposed to a party culture often conducive to acts of violence against women,” says OPP Staff Sergeant Julie Randall, Community Safety Services. “This is a great example of community mobilization and engagement, as this is not a problem one organization can solve alone.”
ManUp was first started in 2015 at Longfields-Davidson High School in Ottawa by a group of young men who wanted to make a difference in how women in their communities are treated. The founders encourage other men to adopt and replicate their program to help make a meaningful impact within their own schools and communities. Georgian is the first college in Ontario to pilot the program.