Sexual Allegations Prompt Uni. of Ottawa to Form a Task Force

President of The University of Ottawa, Allan Rock, has announced to create a task force “on respect and equality” on campus, prompted by two recent large-scale allegations of sexual misconduct involving students. According to the announcement made by the president on Thursday, he alleged that the school must evaluate “how well we send the message that all forms of sexualized violence are unacceptable and profoundly repugnant to our core values.”

Furthermore, it was explained that the task force will comprise on members of the faculty, staff and students, and its mandate will be to investigate ways in which the school can “reaffirm that culture of respectful behaviour on campus so that everyone, women in particular, can learn and work in an environment where they feel protected.” Rock alleged that in order to fulfill its mandate, the task force is expected to review the school’s awareness campaigns that denounce sexual violence, examine best practices at other schools and evaluate the effectiveness of the school’s complaint system.

The creation of this task force is prompted by the resignation of four student leaders on the weekend after a private Facebook conversation was made public and the school’s decision to suspend the men’s hockey team as police investigate allegations several players were involved in a sexual assault in Thunder Bay, Ont. over the weekend of Feb. 1. During the announcement on Thursday, Rock alleged what is so “appalling” about the allegations “is that they stand in such shocking contrast to the (school’s) values that I’ve known and internalized for over 50 years.”

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