UQAM professors accused of harassment by anonymous students
By Jessica Laws
Three professors at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) have become the targets of allegations of sexual assault in the school and on social media.
Bumper stickers that cited UQAMs policy against sexual harassment were posted on the doors of the professors and pictures with their names and stickers flooded social media sites.
According to ICI Radio-Canada the school has started an investigation into the students who posted the stickers.
However, a press release on the Student Association Faculty of Humanities Facebook page said they believe the school is more concerned with its reputation.
“By reducing the action of stickers to vandalism and intimidation, the administration ignores harassment problems,” the translated release said. “Rather than conduct investigations on complaints of harassment, that have been made … UQAM chooses instead to investigate the identity of the persons leading these actions.”
However the University said there have been no formal complaints against the three professors. Sue Montgomery, Justice Reporter for the Montreal Gazette said that victims confront harassers in their own way.
Marc Turgeon, UQAM vice principal told Global Montreal, “We can’t accept such actions because it’s a form of slander and form of harassment. People are declared guilty by association with a sticker. “
“I think it shows that women lack confidence in what institutions have in place when it comes to sexual harassment,” said Montgomery “Our legal system doesn’t support women either.”
In recent months there has been a rise in conversations about sexual assault and sexual harassment. Scandals regarding former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi and Parliament Hill have fueled feelings and confession from those who have been sexually assaulted.
“Very few women actually go through the official avenues because … there is very little satisfaction at the end and that’s brutal. When you go public nobody believes you,” said Montgomery.
Since the story of Ghomeshi broke #BeenRapedNeverReported has been trending with women and men posting about their experience.
— TorontoStar (@TorontoStar) November 5, 2014
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) November 4, 2014
— Antonia Zerbisias (@AntoniaZ) November 4, 2014
“I think we are going to see more and more of this because women are looking around them and realizing they’re not alone and that this is way to pervasive it’s happening everywhere,” Montgomery said.