Some McGill University students have sent an open letter to administration criticizing the way it deals with sexual assault cases on campus. They are demanding that the university take steps to make the campus safer by implementing a sexual assault policy.
Eight university associations have signed the letter and close to 400 students have signed a petition that supports the proposed policy.
“The administration hasn't done enough to take the issue seriously, that’s evident by the lack of a sexual assault policy, so we decided not to wait around for them to do things for us but to take the initiative to formulate some solutions and guidelines,” Lily Hoffman, a student with the union for gender empowerment, one of the groups behind the letter, said.
“The students role, often, is to push for change that they see is urgent and our role then is too look at how we can make it happen together,” André Costopoulos, the dean of students, said.
Costopoulos added that a number of the measures proposed are already in place but he agrees that an official policy is needed.
“Bringing it together under one document and making it more visible is a good idea,” he said.
The letter says the call to action is a result of the university's weak reaction to allegations of sexual assault against three varsity football players in 2011.
It says a proactive approach is needed instead of a reactive one and that a “sexual assault response coordinator”, should be hired to make sure that happens.
It says until the university makes something official, it is giving empty promises.
Costopoulos said he would be meeting with students.
Read the proposed policy here.