SAGE Update in Response to Sexual Misconduct at Concordia

We are writing in response to the release of the “Consensual Romantic or Sexual Relationships Guidelines” and the announcement of the Task Force on Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Violence.

As of January 26th, Concordia has released their Guidelines concerning student-instructor relationships. While these Guidelines were identified by Concordia administration as a key step towards mending the rapport between students, staff, and faculty, they ultimately fail to address the power imbalances of these relationships. It seems like there has been little change to the earlier “Code of Ethics and Safe Disclosure Policy Applicable to Employees of Concordia University” which previously governed these relationships. Those guidelines have already been in place and have failed—and will continue to fail—students. For this reason, SAGE’s current position on relationships between faculty and students is that they are not merely conflicts of interests; they are actually unethical.

Secondly, the Guidelines that are provided by the University remain ambiguous in their definitions and descriptions. For instance, in the case of a graduate student who occupies the role of “Instructor,” how would their relationship with a non-teaching graduate student (or “Student”) be interpreted in light of these Guidelines? A similar example would be that of a graduate student “Instructor” who has an undergraduate partner—according to the current wording, it is unclear whether this is a relationship representing a conflict of interest that should be disclosed. SAGE has requested clarification of the terms used in the newly-released Guidelines, in order to accurately reflect their impact on both Faculty and graduate students. Furthermore, the problem areas previously identified and raised by SAGE and CASE, such as off-campus events, remain entirely unaddressed in the most recent iteration of the Guidelines.

We are similarly disappointed by the manner in which the Task Force has been deployed. While a unit to address the instances of sexual misconduct at Concordia is welcome, we strongly disagree with the choice of letting the administration appoint the undergraduate and graduate students who sit on the Task Force. The selection process outlined by the call for applications indicates that the student representatives will be selected by the Chair and vice-Chairs of the Task Force. However, we firmly believe that in order to function ethically, student representatives should be elected or appointed by students—not by Concordia staff, faculty, or administration. Additionally, the CSU has made the compelling argument that the selection process as it stands is, in fact, illegal.

We hope the University administration will reconsider this course of action. While we desire a timely process, we cannot condone haste at the expense of care and diligence.

In solidarity,



CEVA Workshop

Thanks to everyone who showed up to the TA Teacher-Training workshop organized by CEVA and the Centre for Teaching and Learning on January 19, 2018. We’ll be writing up some more fully formed thoughts over the next couple of weeks as we process the knowledge and implement some of the practices in our classes, but we want to share the workshop resources with you in the meantime.

  • The workshop slides prepared by Alicia Cundell from the Centre for Teaching and Learning.
  • The Google Doc with all the resources Alicia prepared, the suggestions that came out of the activity, and links to further reading curated by CEVA.

If you have resources you’d like to contribute to our bibliography, please request editor access to the Google Doc or send us an e-mail at

SAGE Statement on Sexual Misconduct

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.

In solidarity,


List of Resources

Centre for Gender Advocacy:

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:

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):

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):

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):

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.

TA Teacher-Training

On Friday, January 19, 2018 at 2:00 pm, the Committee for Equity and Visibility in the Academy (CEVA) and the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) are partnering up to present a teacher training workshop in LB-646. Together with undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty, we’ll be troubleshooting difficult classroom scenarios and workshopping what we can do to make classrooms more inclusive. Even if you don’t hold a TAship for the winter semester, the skills learned in the workshop can be useful in future semesters, and your voice as a student matters regardless of whether you want to teach. Coffee and refreshments will be served. Hope to see you there!

November Newsletter

Included: Holiday Get Together | CEVA  |  Advocacy  |  Headlight  |  Concordia Colloquium  |  Misc.

Well, hello again.
It’s November now.
It’s been getting colder.
Some snow has fallen already.
Ice forming under the wheel wells of parked cars.
But its a sunny day today.
Stay optimistic.
Here’s what’s happening here.

Holiday Get together

We would like to get together with you sometime next month.
We don’t know when
We think it would be nice if you told us when works for you
Because we would like to see you.
We’re here for you.
We were thinking
A casual night out with friends at McKibbins
If you can’t go to McKibbins, if you have enemies there.
It’s ok, we can pick somewhere else.
We just need to know.
And we’re putting together a Secret Santa so names are important.
Keep your eye on our Facebook for our upcoming poll
Or check in with one of us

CEVA (Committee for Equity and Visibility in the Academy)

CEVA is organizing Inclusivity/Anti-Oppression Pedagogical Training in early January
Open to anyone who teaches/is a TA
Keep an eye out for more details and make sure you attend
It’s always good to learn more about teaching
(And we get no other formal training)
We’re also working on a document with resource links
To help you teach your students mindfully
Which we hope to release on the SAGE website
In the New Year
E-mail Jen (jen.tracy@hotm​ or Alex (
To get involved


It is important that you know where you can go if you have an issue.
These things happen.
It’s good to know what you can do.
For instance,
Did you know that the Office of Rights and Responsibility
Can help you resolve problems conficentially or make a formal complaint?
And that you can have your work regraded if you make a named complaint?
Or that you should meet with the GSA advocacy centre first?
We’ve added this info and links to our resource page.


Headlight has its Call for Submissions​.
December 15th
Submit 3 poems or 2000 words of fiction or 3 visual art pieces.
We’re looking for editors as well.
To get involved. Get involved.

Concordia Colloquium Call Extended

You might have seen the email from Bonnie (thanks Bonnie), but in case you haven’t
Colloquium (Animal Print) has extended the deadline to December 1st.
Full call is here
Or e-mail
You’ve got half a month.
Get cracking.


Carte Blanche Non-fiction Contest
Deadline: November 30 at Midnight

Hip-hop Studies Conference​
Deadline: January 5

That’s all from us. Cheers!

October Newsletter

Included: Annual Graduate​ Party | Halloween Party | CEVA | Colloquium | Budget Proposals | Headlight Anthology | Writers Read | Donuts Short Story Hour | Misc

Hello everyone.
Is everyone doing well?
This is the newsletter.
For you.
Are you comfortable?
This is what is pertinent to us at the moment.

Annual Graduate Party

We heard about this through Bonnie.
Dr.s Furlani and Languay are hosting the Annual Graduate Party.
Saturday October 21st
7pm – 11pm
Save the date.
They’re going to announce who won the department prizes.
Come out and congratulate these people.
Get to know them.

Halloween Party

We’re throwing a Halloween Party!
Oct 28th. Saturday. 7:30-8pm or so.
At Sandra’s place.
Thanks Sandra.
Sandra’s place is 6652 Rue de Bordeaux.
That’s like a 10 minute walk South East from the Fabre Metro.
We can can comfortably fit 30 people.
We will set up decorations.
Very spooky, but inviting.
There are cats. Keep the door closed.
Everyone will have a nice time.
Candy. Sandra’s spiced wine (Thanks Sandra).
Bring stuff too. Pitch in. Be a good guest.
Put on a costume. You don’t have to.
Contest-[Costume] / Monster Mash.
Kenneth Anger DVD with the sound off.


The Committee for Equity and
Visibility in Academia is currently
looking for new members for the
2017-2018 academic year.
If you’re interested in being part
of this initiative, please e-mail
Jen Tracy (
by the end of this weekend.

Colloquium – Animal Print

It’s the 16th Annual one of these [Colloquiums].
There’s a Deadline for Academic Papers/Proposals
It’s Nov 10th.
A pretty detailed thematic explanation as well as all of the requirements and subsequent process…
essentially everything you need to know is here
If you do have any questions though, you can send them to

Budget Proposals

This is pretty exciting:
We have a 400$ surplus from last year.
There is an open call for what to spend this money on.
Deadline November 1, 2017
SAGE has previously funded:

CEVA (The Committee for Equity and Visibility in the Academy)
Concordia Write Nights
SAGE Coffee Talks
The Indigenous Lit Festival
The Media and Design Stipend
Student Stipends for Conference Travel


This comes straight from the top [Emily Crompton]

“Headlight is looking for a treasurer to
join the journal’s masthead.
If you are interested, please contact
Also keep an eye out for their call for
submissions that will shortly be released.”

Thanks Emily!

Writers Read Concordia

As of right now, we still have two readers in October:
Poets: Daphne Marlatt & Erin Moure
They’re both Friday, October 27th in the York Amphitheatre [ EV 1.605, 1515 Rue St. Catherine]
We read them in class, and we really liked them.
“I think I saw one at a party, but I can’t be sure.”
If I don’t get to writing another one of these November (Cold season)
Playwright: Marina Carr (Co-Sponsored by the Department of Irish Studies)
Friday, November 3rd in the York Amphitheatre [ EV 1.605, 1515 Rue St. Catherine]
Suzette Mayr
Friday, November 17th in the York Amphitheatre [ EV 1.605, 1515 Rue St. Catherine]
Details on their website.

Donuts Short Story Hour

These folks have a pretty good Facebook page
Join them for donuts and great stories


There’s like a billion things you can do in your life
Here are some things that crossed our desk in the last few days
Usually through Bonnie.

SLS Photo Contest

One lucky winner will receive free tuition to either SLS Georgia or SLS Kenya in 2018. Find more details on their SLS Facebook page

SLS Poetry and Fiction Contest

SLS, in connection with its upcoming programs in Georgia (July 2018) and Kenya (December 2018), and in conjunction with Fence magazine, is currently running its 2018 literary contest.

Election Results

The election results are in! Your new SAGE Council members are:

Academic Rep: Jennifer Breaux
Creative Rep: Melanie Power
VP Administration: Miles Forrester

Thank you to everyone who voted and everyone who ran in the election. We look forward to working together to bring you exciting SAGE events this year!

Nomination Results

Nominations for SAGE elections are in. Read up on our candidates below and make sure to vote this Friday, September 29.

Academic Rep

Jennifer Breaux

When I was an undergraduate at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, I was a part of the undergraduate honors association for English majors titled “Sigma Tau Delta.” Part of my responsibilities was to attend departmental meetings that concerned undergraduates, and as a result, I was able to familiarize myself with the instructors within my department. Also, under Sigma Tau Delta, I shadowed the EGSA (English Graduate Student Association) specifically concerning their organizing the Global South Conference, a local academic conference held in Louisiana. I was then able to see the process of approving papers for presentation at the conference as well as the organization of panels up close.  Lastly, I was also a member of the sorority Gamma Rho Lambda, and once a month I attended a meeting with the Student Government Association, an undergraduate organization that involves all student-led organizations to vote on various issues such as funding attendance to conferences for undergraduates, amendments to the students’ bill of rights, and approval for organizations to program campus events. I enjoyed this work as an undergraduate, and I’m excited at the prospect of being an academic representative for SAGE. I believe I will be equipped to handle the responsibilities as a representative from what I’ve done as an undergraduate.

Creative Rep

Mia Poirier

I believe I’d be a good candidate because I am very interested in connecting more with the English Department. I want my time at Concordia to be more than just attending class. I’ve been in Creative Writing for a while; I am familiar with the faculty and students, and consider myself friendly and well spoken! I know this position is fairly introductory, still I would want to put my best foot forward and step up to the role.

Melanie Power

“I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass,” Walt Whitman writes in his poem “Song of Myself,” detailing a languid practice of lazy leaning and loafing. I have all the work-ethic that Whitman lacks in this poem. My passions include: trying to make the world more beautiful and dismantling the patriarchy, both mostly with poetry. I am also reliable, responsible and can write sonnets.

VP Administration

Miles Forrester

I have experience working with similar committees in undergrad (I was an executive member of the Visual Arts Student Association at York University) and after graduation (I was an executive member of The White House Studio Project (artist run centre in Toronto’s Kensington Market)).

Fall Newsletter

Welcome and welcome back to grad school! Those of us at the Student Association for Graduates in English are looking forward to working with and for you in the coming year. To kick off the semester, here’s what we have lined up:

Welcome Back Party

Join us on Friday, September 29 at Reggies bar, located on the second floor of the Hall Building (1455 De Maisonneuve Boulevard W.) for a welcome back dance party, DJ-ed by our very own Robin. Doors open at 8:00 PM. Feel free to bring your partners and besties.

Fall General Assembly

Before getting ready to party, stop by the General Assembly on September 29 @ 3:00 PM in LB 646. We’ll be providing an overview of what SAGE has planned for the year and how our finances will be distributed. This is also the time for bylaws to be proposed and adopted/rejected by vote, so do make sure you’re here to have your voice heard.

Elections for SAGE Council

SAGE is holding elections for the following positions on Council:

  • VP Administration: Records minutes, manages social media, publishes newsletter twice annually (once in fall, once in winter)
  • Academic Representative: Represents graduate students in the academic stream, attends department meetings, and liaises with CASE, faculty, and staff
  • Creative Representative: Represents graduate students in the creative stream, attends creative writing faculty meetings, liaises with faculty and staff

Involvement with Council offers students a direct say in their academic experience at Concordia, as well as the opportunity to engage in dialogue with faculty and administration. The dates of the election process are as follows:

  • Nominations: Tuesday September 19 to Monday September 25
  • Campaign: Tuesday September 26 to Thursday September 28
  • Elections: Friday September 29 in person in the Graduate Student Lounge or via e-mail (details to be confirmed later this month)

For more information about the positions and current members, please check out the team or send us an e-mail at On September 29 when you join us for the General Assembly and our Welcome Back Party, make sure you take a moment to exercise your democratic right and vote!

Join the Colloquium Team

The 16th annual English Graduate Colloquium at Condordia is presently seeking team members to vet and edit papers and to help manage the event space during our conference on March 23 and 24, this year titled Animal Print. The full details of the call can be found here.

If interested in the position, please submit a brief paragraph of intent stating why you would be a good fit for the team and detailing which tasks interest you to by Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 11:59 pm.

Headlight Anthology

Headlight Anthology is a student-run literary journal that publishes poetry, prose, and visual art annually in print. We’re currently hiring a managing editor and treasurer. Interested students can send their resume and cover letter to by September 22.


The Committee for Equity and Visibility in the Academy aims to maintain an open dialogue between students, faculty, and administration on issues of representation and visibility. If this initiative is something you wish to get involved with, you can contact the organizers at


Election Time!

Calling all Graduate Students!

The nominations are in and your candidates for President, VP Internal, VP Social, and Treasurer are listed below!

The election will be held on Wednesday, October 5. Although some of these positions only have one candidate, you still need to vote. All SAGE Council members must be voted in through election, or they will not be eligible to perform their duties.

Voting will be open in person from 10 AM to 5 PM on October 5 in the Graduate Lounge (locker room, LB-660), or via email at any time between 12 AM and 5 PM on October 5. If voting via email, please write the name of your preferred candidate beside positions with multiple candidates, or write “Yes” or “No” beside uncontested positions. A ballot template has been provided!

Please include your student ID when voting so we can ensure no one votes twice and that all votes come from SAGE members.

Our CRO for the election will be Sandy Martin, and SAGE members who are not running for Council will be manning the physical polling station.

Once elected, the new Council members will begin their term on October 5, 2016.

Here are the nominees!


poo3Academic Representative #1: Jen Tracy

My name is Jen and I am a first year MA student in the academic stream. A fierce lover of democracy, for this blurb I have decided to let the people speak for themselves:

“What, you want me to just describe you? Okay, um, Jen is a funny, kind person who I’ve known for 11 years and… is good at snowboarding…? I don’t know Jen, this is weird.” -my friend Lauren.

“She can be a little too, well, she needs to remember, there are certain dates and things she needs to remember to acknowledge in other people’s lives, like her mother’s and her sister’s birthdays.” -my mum, Harriet.

Recently, I asked for some feedback on the TA conference I lead. A number of students described the conference as “good” and “relaxed.” Other students had “nothing much to say.” One glowing review said that “Conference seems great. I haven’t had a lot of experience with which to compare it.” -anonymous

“Jean makes mean chai from scratch!” -my roommate, Laura.

Hopefully these testimonials convince you why I would be an outstanding choice for academic representative on the SAGE council. This I do promise, that I will not forget to go to faculty meetings like I have consistently forgotten my sister’s birthday. Thank you very much.

poo1Academic Representative #2: Carmelo Marsala

I am a hard worker, with an eye for perspective. I do not take the thoughts, interests, or ideals of my peers, superiors or colleagues for granted, and have the greatest respect for others. I enjoy the prospect of thinking with others, and all but embrace the notion of being allowed to grow as a community in an environment of courtesy and equality. My interests lie squarely on prospects of thought, truth, and language, and the interrelation between meaning and sound. As such, I cannot help but appreciate the value of clear and concise communication, and admire the variance and quality of opinion. I believe that bias, however insurmountable, is an obstacle which is, although unconquerable, always meant to be opposed.

poo2Creative Representative: Emily Jane Crompton


I am a student in the creative stream. While my personal focus is poetry, I will indiscriminately represent fiction and non-fiction writers, and any incoming to outgoing student who is interested in making new and lovely things to read. My past experiences include helping at weekly writing workshops, acting as an editor-in-chief for 7 Mondays, and sitting on the selection committee for the Graham Atlantic Creative Writing Prize in 2016. I’m looking forward to drawing on the skills I’ve developed during my undergraduate and am looking forward to participating in a larger departmental community as the creative rep.

VP Administration: Kaitlynn McCuaigpoo4

Hello email list of the chosen,

I’m Kaitlynn McCuaig, I come from the Toronto area, and I have spent the last 20 years or so trying to decide on an artistic form (or at least narrow it down to a manageable handful). Prose writer, amateur photographer, visual artist, television and film enthusiast, social performer, musician that’s forgotten how to play, and general art- and school-lover, I’m in the English creative stream and am actively trying to make the most of an experience my solitary, ground-squirrel nature would otherwise have me retreat from.

I’m fascinated with art as a cultural influence that brings like minds together, invested in issues of advocacy and representation in the Canadian and North American context, and as I’m interested in training myself to be a more social creature, the position of VP Admin (as it has been described to me) sounds like an excellent exercise in social yoga (that may also benefit the program or something like that).

I also promise double recesses if moved from a nominated party to an elected one, and a more-or-less constant presence on the internet for contact, social media and blog-related purposes. Thank you for your consideration!

These are your candidates, SAGE. The choice is yours. On October 5, help us help you by choosing the first four members of next year’s Council.


SAGE Council