Saint Mary’s University has invited upon a renowned expert in bullying to head a newly crafted task force on preventing sexual violence, prompted by a nation-wide spread of a controversial video recording of a rape-themed cheer at a frosh week event. The former chair of a provincial task force on bullying, Wayne MacKay, has been appointed by the school after the eye-opening video surfaced of a chant during frosh week activities at the Halifax University.
In a statement released on Friday morning by Saint Mary’s on behalf of Mr. MacKay, he stated that “as I watched events unfold at Saint Mary’s University over the last week, I saw that there is clearly more work to be done along the road I have already been travelling in relation to human rights.” Mr. MacKay works as a professor at Dalhousie’s Schulich School of Law. He was often asked to give comments on the death of Nova Scotia teenager Rehtaeh Parsons.
The provincial government has repeatedly worked and focused on raising awareness regarding sex and bullying in light of the recent death of Ms. Parsons, who attempted suicide after she was allegedly sexually assaulted by several young men at a party in 2011. Her family openly shared that their 17-year-old daughter was a victim of bullying and cyberbullying after the incident. The statement alleged that Mr. MacKay and his team will make recommendations to “foster a cultural change that prevents sexual violence, inspires respectful behaviour and a safe learning environment with the Saint Mary’s community.”
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