Demand for Western University Accountability for Student Safety

Demand for Western University Accountability for Student Safety

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Gender Concerns SOGS started this petition to University of Western Ontario

Multiple reports of gender based and sexual violence were alleged on Western’s campus during Orientation Week. We are additionally distraught at the loss of Gabriel Neil, a first year Kinesiology student, who was attacked near campus and subsequently died of his injuries.

Despite an attempt to host a dry and safe Orientation Week, Western ultimately failed in upholding this mandate and in its protection of its students.

We call upon Western University to begin immediate preparation and implementation of cohesive and mandatory gender-based and sexual violence (GBSV) education training modules, including trauma informed approaches, for all students, staff, and faculty. We demand that all materials related to this module be legally accurate and accessible public information, reviewed with a diverse range of stakeholders, including and especially survivors. Furthermore, we demand that the enrolment of all new students, both undergraduate and graduate, in courses at the university be contingent upon the successful completion of these mandatory modules.

We call upon Western University to continue to clarify the internal processes related to gender-based and sexual violence reporting. The current process is unclear and it is difficult to find information on the steps taken, especially for incoming students. 

We call upon student, faculty, and staff associations and organizations across campus to hold Western University, and each other, accountable to providing a safe campus for all members of our community. Violent assaults, of any kind, have no place here and it is up to each of us to ensure that this is quickly and efficiently addressed. 

We call upon the campus community to stand in solidarity with and support the survivors of gender-based and sexual violence on campus by joining us at the UWO Sexual & Gender-Based Violence Walk-Out at University College Hill on Friday, September 17, 2021 at 12pm EST. Wear a mask. Wear teal, the colour of survivors of sexual assault. 

We urge students who have recently experienced gender-based or sexual violence to formally report their experiences. Reporting these violent and traumatic experiences will help our community better understand the culture of sexual violence that has baked itself into Western University traditions, like O-Week, underscoring the danger of the continuation of these misogynist traditions. We call upon Western University and the University Students’ Council to abolish or completely restructure O-Week immediately. 

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