The GPSA’s statement on sexual misconduct in Concordia’s Philosophy Department

A Montreal Gazette article published March 18th details the human rights case brought forward by a former student against Concordia University in regard to the sexual harassment directed towards her in 2009 by a tenured professor in the philosophy department, as well as its subsequent mishandling by the department and university. CBC and the Link have since published articles alluding to subsequent sexual misconduct by the same professor as recently as 2017.

The Graduate Philosophy Students’ Association expresses our support for the victims of these incidents and all sexual violence. We believe you. We condemn the behavior of the faculty member in question, every instance of sexual violence in our community and elsewhere, and the department’s failure to responsibly address the situation. Their failure to properly respond perpetuates an unsafe environment that has no place in academia.

We demand the suspension of classes currently held by the professor in question and transparency from the department and administration regarding any investigation.

The GPSA is also working to hold the department responsible for the safety and well-being of its students. We demand that the faculty receive training on handling students’ claims of sexual harassment and assault.

At the same time, we recognize that this problem is not confined to our department. To properly deal with these issues, systematic and structural change in Concordia’s administration is needed. We implore the University to make this training mandatory for all faculty. In the meantime, we call on faculty in every department to inform themselves through available avenues such as the Sexual Assault Resource Centre or the Gender Advocacy Centre.

We understand that these events can be stressful and traumatic to those both directly and tangentially involved in this process. You can find a list of resources below.

We welcome all ideas on how we, the GPSA, should proceed in these matters. You can contact us at concordiaugpsa@gmail.com

 

In solidarity,

The Graduate Philosophy Students’ Association

 

List of Resources

Centre for Gender Advocacy: http://genderadvocacy.org/

Provides respectful, confidential peer-to-peer support, advocacy, and resources for those who seek it with a focus on harm reduction, empowerment and self-determination.

Concordia Student Union Advocacy Centre: https://csu.qc.ca/advocacy

Aims to help students who find themselves in difficult situations by accurately identifying their needs, as well as determining and executing the necessary course of action

Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC):https://www.concordia.ca/students/sexual-assault.html

Provides confidential and non-judgmental support and services to Concordia   University students, staff and faculty of all genders and orientations who have been affected by sexual violence and/or harassment.

Sexual Assault Center of the McGill Student Society (SACOMSS):http://www.sacomss.org/wp/

Volunteer-run organization committed to supporting survivors of sexual assault and their allies through direct support, advocacy and outreach. Their services include Drop-in, DIAL hotline phone number, support groups, advocacy and outreach

Quebec Coalition of Sexual Assault Centers (RQCALACS):http://www.rqcalacs.qc.ca/index-en.php

Provides support services for victims and their relatives and close friends throughout the judicial process. According to the individuals’ needs, they may also provide support through health services, group support meetings and referrals to other organizations.

Courtesy of SAGE and CASE

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