Atlantic News | Local Breaking | CTV News Atlantic
Dalhousie student union concerned over spiked drinks, sexual assault hotline closure
Members of Dalhousie University’s student union say they wonder how serious the university is about protecting its students from sexual assault.
On Friday, the school sent out a mass email after receiving reports of spiked drinks at an off campus party. Dalhousie urged students to take precautions, and avoid accepting drinks from strangers.
Police were notified, but there's no investigation without a formal complaint.
"I think that they, as an institution, are always trying to save face,” says Dalhousie Student Union VP Amina Abawajy.
The school says it does everything in its power to protect students.
"Absolutely. Student safety is our highest priority. We want our students to be safe both on and off campus,” says Dalhousie Communications director Brian Leadbetter.
Dalhousie won't say much more about the incident, because it could compromise the privacy of the alleged victims.
Dalhousie students say they are aware of the rumours on campus.
"Unfortunately, there are a couple of frat houses that are even like that, a couple of places that are known for their parties, known as maybe 'the rapey frat' or something along those lines,” says Dalhousie management student Jessica Dalrymple.
“I have heard that yeah. Not about a specific house, but just about being in Halifax, like in the downtown area, in the bars,” says Dalhousie law student Natalie Cardiano.
"I guess a good precaution to take is to go with a friend all of the time, and make sure someone's always looking out for you,” says Dalhousie commerce student Jasmine Bethel.
The student union also says Dalhousie won't commit to full funding of a sexual assault hotline on campus.
“So, by not funding the phone line, they're telling survivors on campus, that they're not a priority,” says Abawajy.
Dalhousie offered some money, but not enough, and the service will shut down in November.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko.