On Monday, Concordia alumnus Mike Spry’s “No Names, Only Monsters” drew attention to sexual harassment within the Concordia Creative Writing program. This article came after other claims of gendered violence, including but not limited to Emma Healey’s 2014-article “Stories like Passwords”. The ensuing attention following Spry’s article has result in a response from Concordia University.
The University has outlined their process in an address from President Alan Shepard. The investigation will be conducted by a third party hired by the university and will provide recommendations to the University based on their findings. The administration has not yet released specific details of this investigation, such as the investigating party, the specific process, and the timeline. They have confirmed that more information sessions will be held in the coming weeks.
We have a number of concerns around the forthcoming investigation which we would like to see addressed. This process has the potential to re-victimize survivors of sexual abuse, harassment, and assault, as well as expose them to new harassment. It is currently unclear how the investigator will accommodate requests for confidentiality and anonymity. We are also concerned about the limited legal and financial resources available to graduate students.
For this reason, we are requesting that a legal disclosure form be released prior to the investigation so that we can review it with a lawyer to determine whether it addresses our concerns. This review of the disclosure document will be shared with students.
At this time, the courses assigned to the named professors have been reassigned, the books by these professors have been removed from the glass display cases by the English office, and the Department of English is reviewing the location of the Matrix office.
We acknowledge the exposure of sexual misconduct will directly or tangentially impact a variety of people in different ways. We would encourage those who need additional support to check out the list of resources compiled by CASE. Many of these resources are confidential and survivor-focused and can help inform those who might be struggling during this time.
Finally, we would like to say that we believe survivors of sexual violence and will support you and advocate for you to the best of our abilities.
We will be hosting a meeting on Thursday, January 18 at 5:00 pm in LB-659-4 to talk and listen.
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.