English Students ‘Condemn’ University’s Mishandling of Sexual Violence

CASE Demands Apology From CUPFA Over Sexual Misconduct Panel

CASE released a statement on Monday afternoon condemning the university’s mihandling of sexual violence. File Photo Brian Lapuz

Following the news that a Concordia professor in the creative writing program was exonerated of sexual harassment allegations, the Concordia Association for Students in English released a statement condemning the university’s “mishandling” of the case.

The allegations were cleared in September 2018, but the two complainants weren’t notified until last week.

“[CASE] is troubled by the fact that the responsibility of calling out inappropriate behaviour and abuse within our classrooms and campus community continually falls on the shoulders of individual students,” wrote the statement released Monday afternoon.

“We cannot continue to bear this weight.”

CASE highlighted the Concordia University Part-Time Faculty Association’s recent panel in contributing to the university’s “broken” system “for representing survivors of sexual violence.”

CUPFA’s panel on sexual misconduct, held a week before the CBC published about the dropped complaint, sparked controversy with the inclusion of constitutional and human rights lawyer Julius Grey.

Grey is currently defending McGill professor Ahmed Fekry Ibrahim, who is suing a student and a professor for an alleged defamation campaign. Ibrahim claims he had a consensual relationship with the student he says is defaming him.

CASE wrote that Grey’s presence derailed the panel and instead turned it into a debate that questioned the #MeToo movement and whether it “had gone too far.”

They also labeled the panel a “wasted opportunity,” stating that it “demonstrated the imbalanced priorities of an organization meant to protect precariously employed people.”

“We are deeply concerned at the direction CUPFA chose to take the panel and believe that they are invested in protecting the reputation of faculty over the safety of students,” continued the statement. “We are disappointed.”

CASE is demanding CUPFA apologize for misrepresenting the intent of its recent panel on sexual misconduct.

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

With files from Elaine Genest