‘It is a place of vulnerability,’ Humber student says after

Apr 8, 2024 | Campus News, News

Humber students do not feel as safe or comfortable taking showers at school or in the dorms after the University of Toronto (UofT) incident.

Between January and March 2024, women were bathing in the university’s Wilson Hall Residence on Spadina Avenue. While the women were showering, they noticed a cell phone being held over the shower curtains.

In a Toronto police statement, a 19-year-old international student had been arrested with voyeurism and mischief.

The charges have yet to be tested in court, officers said.

Ella McNutt, a first-year Humber Colege Lakeshore student in the Bachelor of Public Relations program, said she doesn’t feel safe anymore taking a shower in public facilities because someone can easily walk in.

“I am scared now that someone can just come into a girl’s washroom really easily and take videos of me or someone just showering or changing,” she said.

She sees this situation as upsetting knowing women at a university or college no longer feel safe taking a shower in their residence area.

Other students like Olivia Rodrigues, a first-year Lakeshore student in the Creative and Professional Writing program, said the school should use the incident as a learning curve to put more measures in place to keep their female students safe.

“As a woman, using any sort of public facility can be uncomfortable, especially when it is a place of vulnerability like a bathroom,” she said. “Taking a shower in a public washroom [or] in a public bathroom is an intimate setting that unfortunately people use to take advantage of.”

“I would also hope situations like these will get Humber to take extra precaution and work on making bathrooms and a safe environment,” Rodrigues said.

She said she would like Humber to take extra precautions and try to focus on creating restrooms that are a secure environment.

Humber has had incidents in the past, including an indecent exposure east of building F on Jan. 29. There were two separate indecent exposure incidents also at Lakeshore in June 2023. A man was arrested in 2021 after a report of a person recording a man in a washroom stall at the North campus.

However, many female students hope institutions make washrooms more secure by adding extra locks on doors and replacing shower curtains with doors that fully cover and block anyone from peeking.

The 2018 Student Voices on Sexual Violence report found, 23 per cent of Ontario post-secondary students have experienced non-consensual contact and 63 per cent of sexual harassment.

Humber College has a sexual violence against students procedure. It urges victims to find a safe place and call security or police.