Earlier in the year, Concordia University launched an investigation into their Creative Writing department regarding professors who had been accused of sexual violence.
On Wednesday, April 4, the Students’ Society of McGill University sent an open letter to McGill University. The letter discusses the concerns that students have brought to light regarding professors who have exhibited sexually abusive behaviour. The concerns target five specific faculties: History, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, and World Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies.
The letter continues by revealing that these professors are still teaching and supervising, “in some cases teaching mandatory first-year courses.” Student representatives over the past year have attempted to raise these concerns to the administration a number of times and have yet to see any action. Students who wrote the letter are calling for acknowledgement of the written events, a third-party investigation, and the creation of a standalone policy against sexual violence.
In just two days, the letter gained the support of 60 different student groups and more than 1600 signatures from individual students. Although as the group state on their Facebook event, the administration is “still holding onto the narrative that this is not a widespread problem and will not acknowledge that there is a problem.”
On Wednesday, April 11, from 2 pm to 4 pm, more than 700 students from McGill University and Concordia University will be staging a walk-out.
Students will be walking out of their classes, libraries, and all university buildings, as a statement of protest against how their respective institutions have handled complaints of sexual violence within their classrooms.
Upon being asked, Connor Spencer (Students’ Society of McGill University vice-president) shared that “the event isn’t just for any one faculty or one school” and that these issues are widespread throughout Canadian universities.
They will be gathering at the Community Square on McGill University’s campus to protest and host a rally at 2 pm.