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Sexual Violence on Canadian Campuses

Students attend a rally at Saint Mary's University to express their concerns over a chant that promoted rape culture during a recent school activity, in Halifax on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013. The chant, captured on video and posted on social media, was sung at a frosh-week event for about 400 new students at the school.

Universities across the country are grappling with sexual assault, harassment and sexist cyberbullying
Here are just a few of the incidents that have been cited as evidence of widespread “rape culture” — an environment where rape is implicitly condoned based on attitudes about sexuality and gender — on Canadian campuses:
Dalhousie University, Halifax. January 2015: Thirteen members of Dalhousie’s faculty of dentistry are suspended from clinical practice after the administration is made aware of offensive posts about women on a Facebook group they belong to called The Class of DDS 2015 Gentlemen. 
Université du Québec à Montréal. November 2014: A student association at UQAM accuses three professors of sexual harassment on Facebook, and those professors then find their doors plastered with anti-sexual harassment stickers. University administrators denounced the actions as vigilante justice and said they could only launch investigations in response to an official complaint. At least one of the professors made an official complaint to the university regarding the anonymous accusations, which the university is investigating. A committee is looking into improvements to UQAM’s sexual violence policies. 
Dalhousie University, Halifax. November 2014: Five male students are kicked out of one of the university’s residences after authorities learn of an Instagram account called The Dal Jungle, where users were sharing offensive content, including photos of a female student engaged in oral sex with a male student. About 50 students were following the account, which has since been de-activated. 
University of Ottawa. March 2014: Anne-Marie Roy, the president of the University of Ottawa Student Federation, makes public a Facebook conversation by five fellow student leaders that refer to her in graphic sexual terms. One of the five had sent Roy screenshots of the conversations after a crisis of conscience. 
University of Ottawa. March 2014: University President Allan Rock suspends the men’s varsity hockey program after allegations surface about a sexual assault of a 21-year-old woman by two team members at a Thunder Bay hotel. The two team members are eventually charged with sexual assault in relation to that Feb. 2 incident. Those charges are still before the courts. Rock announces a task force on respect and equality. 
Saint Mary’s University. September 2013: The president of the university’s main student association steps down after a frosh week chant glorifying the sexual assault of underage girls is captured on a video, making national headlines. 
University of British Columbia. September 2013: The UBC Sauder School of Business ends financial support for annual first-year orientation activities after asexist chant is sung during frosh events sponsored by the Commerce Undergraduate Society. Four student leaders resign over the issue, and UBC orders the student association to contribute $250,000 to help the university provide counselling and education on sexual abuse and violence. 
McGill University. April 2012: Three McGill Redmen football players are charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in a September 2011 incident involving a Concordia student. The charges were dropped last November after a witness claimed the alleged victim had told her she agreed to have sex with the men. 

University reaction

In the wake of these incidents, U of O, UQAM, UBC and Saint Mary’s have all struck task forces on preventing sexual violence. In January, U of O released its 55-page task force report, which called for a new sexual violence policy and protocol, harassment and sexual violence awareness training for all senior administration members and numerous specified campus groups, a campus-wide bystander education program and other initiatives. 
At McGill, a student-led group has been working with the administration to draft and pass a new sexual assault policy since fall 2013.

Sexual harassment and assault on Canadian campuses Michelle Lalonde May 19, 2015

CARRY THAT WEIGHT Campus Rape Culture 20 MAGGIO 2015

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