NEWS BRIEFS: Dec 3, 2009

News Briefs
A new survey focuses on crime perception, law students win awards in a national mediation competition and a new music video hopes to remove stigma in criminalized Aboriginal women dealing with substance abuse.

Survey focuses on crime perception
Campus Safety wants to know how safe you feel at the university.

Their Crime Perception Survey asks if you think crime has increased or decreased in the past three years, whether violent crime or theft is more common, and where you feel unsafe on campus.

Harold Shiffman with Campus Safety says the survey will help them with “crime prevention through environmental design.”

“Basically we already have actual crime statistics but that doesn’t always follow along where a high crime area is,” he said. If people feel unsafe in an area with low crime, he asks, “what can we do to make this place feel safer?”

Shiffman says so far responses have been on par with the actual statistics, but they need about 1,000 respondents to get a fair representation of the campus population.

“Either (results) will match with what we already know or we can be more creative and try to address the problem.”

This is the first time Campus Safety has done any perception feedback, and Shiffman says he’s interested to see how the university is faring.

The survey can be found at usask.ca/campussafety.

Law students win awards in competition
Two University of Saskatchewan law students won awards in the recent Canadian National Mediation Advocacy Competition.

Dean Brent Cotter received the Award of Excellence in Mediation Education, and Hiyasmin Matias received the Award for Most Outstanding Individual.”

The competition, which ran Nov. 18 to 21 in Toronto, had teams of law students role-play as advocates and clients in a mediation setting, explains the CNMAC website. They are judged on how well-prepared they are and how well they defend their client.

The CNMAC website says the goal of the competition is to train law students in and raise awareness about Alternative Dispute Resolution, where lawyers and their clients try to resolve problems before going to court.
 
Empowering Aboriginal women
A community-based research project has lead to the release of the music video “From Stilettos to Moccasins.”

The video is part of the result of research into the role of identity and stigma in criminalized Aboriginal women dealing with substance abuse, conducted by the University of Saskatchewan, National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation, and the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. The research team will use the video in developing discussion guides for treatment centres.

More than 100 First Nations, Inuit and Métis women being treated for illicit drug use were interviewed for the research project.

The song is by Violet Naytowhow, and Mae Star Productions helped produce the video, which can be viewed below (via YouTube).
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