Mount Allison University says student who criticized harassment policy will help lead reform
Mount Allison University is shown in this file photo.
SACKVILLE, N.B. -- Mount Allison University says a student who criticized the school for failing to address harassment on campus will co-chair its new working group on sexual violence.
The New Brunswick university announced on Monday that fifth-year student Michelle Roy, whose recent online post denouncing the school triggered protests on campus, will help lead the sexual violence prevention working group.
Mount Allison says the working group, also co-chaired by faculty member Lisa Dawn Hamilton, will focus on education and prevention, supporting survivors of sexual violence and on how the university should handle cases of harassment and assault.
The university says it's also calling for a third-party review of its current sexual violence prevention policies, resources and procedures.
Mount Allison says the party conducting the review will have access to students, university community members and other stakeholders to collect advice and will produce a report.
The university says its previously announced partnership with Crossroads for Women is underway and says the non-profit organization is now the primary point of contact for students accessing counselling.
Mount Allison has been on the defensive since Nov. 7, when Roy posted a picture of herself on Facebook holding a sign saying the school "supports rapists."
The message that accompanied the photo -- which was shared hundreds of times -- described her struggles reporting incidents of sexual harassment to the school. Days later, hundreds showed up to a protest on campus to support her and to demand the university do more to address sexual violence.
Mount Allison recently solicited comments from student and alumni about the school's plan to reform its sexual violence policies. On Monday, the university said, "Community members clearly articulated that the University's planning and response should be informed in large part by the active participation of community voices, particularly those of students."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020.