ASFA Task Force to Tackle Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Consul Position to Hold Executive Accountable Created
The Arts and Science Federation of Associations has created a task force to make a statement regarding the allegations of sexual misconduct by professors in Concordia’s creative writing program.
The task force will look to be discussing the matter in a more “centered and specific way” that responds to sexual assault on campus, said ASFA President, Jonathan Roy. As well as “ways it can be prevented on a faculty level, admin level [and] within ASFA itself.”
ASFA’s executive team had already drafted a statement to be approved by council, but was met with criticism from the Concordia Association for Students in English for just “reiterating” what ASFA said in a Facebook post.
“We understand that the issue is time-sensitive and that everything is moving very fast,” said Debby Gemme, CASE’s president. “However ASFA could have benefited from our input, given that our executive team has been fully immersed in this issue for the last 2 weeks.”
“We simply want to ensure that student associations are putting out a united and consistent message conducive to concrete change,” Gemme added.
The idea that the ASFA executive was going to work with the school to address the sexual misconduct allegations was also met with criticism from council due to the mistrust with the way the faculty and administration has handled these kinds of allegations in the past.
Roy said that the investigation has to be a collaborative effort so that the students can hold the administration accountable and make sure that they make decisions with the interest of students in mind.
He hopes that the ASFA executive can meet with CASE’s executive team next week in order to discuss the changes needed in the statement, and release it in a timely manner.
“I’m feeling hopeful at how the students are feeling about this,” Roy said. “Since [students] are the overarching population here, we’re the ones that [the administration] should be listening to and we are the ones that they have to listen to, and I hope they will.”
In addition, ASFA council appointed their first consul, Richard Mayer, the Students of Philosophy Association’s ASFA representative. The consul is an individual selected by council to be their representative during meetings between the ASFA executives, as well as report whatever they deem necessary back to council.
“[The consul is] our way of starting to institute an impartial check and balance to keep things transparent,” Roy said.
Introducing the consul position was one of Roy’s campaign promises before he was elected in ASFA’s November by-elections.