Concordia University’s President Alan Shepard says he is “disturbed” by recent allegations of sexual misconduct made against the school’s Department of English and its creative writing program.
The allegations were made in a blog post titled “No Names, Only Monsters” written by author and columnist Mike Spry, who also attended the school in 2004.
The post allegedly claims that the university’s creative writing department was an abusive climate where harassment was the norm, especially for female students.
— Mike Spry (@mdspry) January 8, 2018
“As a student at Concordia I was witness to the abuse of power and the normalization of sexualization of students by professors, writers, editors, and publishers,” wrote Spry.
“For years, I thought it was normal—that it happened everywhere, across industries and communities. It was not. It is not. Positions of power in CanLit are abused the same way that the Harvey Weinsteins, Kevin Spaceys, Dustin Hoffmans, and Louis CKs did: to subjugate aspiring artists to their every whim.”
In a response to the blog post, Shepard said the allegations are serious and will be “treated seriously.”
“Our response is a work in progress. We continue to improve our efforts to prevent sexual violence and sexual harassment, and to respond effectively when it does happen,” said Shepard in an online statement.
Shepard urges anyone at the university who has experience assault or harassment to contact the university’s Office of Rights and Responsibilities at 514-848-2424, ext. 8659 or by email: [email protected]
“I am personally committed to these and other efforts to continue building a safe and secure environment at the university, an environment free from sexual violence and harassment,” said Shepard.