Thursday, March 23, 2017

McMess McContinues

It has been a year plus since I posted about the McGill mess. Every so often, I get contacted by a journalist who seeks to pursue this story,* but they always come up short because no one will talk to them on the record and name names.
* I also get contacted by students from time to time who say that it has happened to themselves or their friends.  They have been let down by the system again and again.

I was just asked by one journalist what I would ask McGill administrators if I had the chance.  I came up with this:

I’d ask her (the administrator) how she feels about confidentiality protecting the perpetrators more than the survivors.  How can future students protect themselves from being preyed upon by serial harassers if they don’t know who is doing the harassing?  How should students feel when they can never see the profs getting punished, if they ever do get punished, because everything is confidential?

Shouldn’t professors who engage in harassment not be given administrative responsibilities?

Most bluntly: the current system doesn’t protect the students, but does protect McGill’s reputation.  Is that the right set of priorities?

Yeah, I am still pretty angry a year later.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Steve, should any of those journalists approach you again, please refer them to McGill's harassment and discrimination officers or the SEDE office. They know who all the victims are and can ask the victims if they are willing to talk.
The thing with this kind of harassment is that it often affects the student long after it has happened, often for years in the form of depression or PTSD. While in the process of dealing with it, the victims are often still scared and don't want blow-back and don't want to re-live what happened. It's once they get to the anger stage, that's when they are willing to talk and quite often, come forward in the hopes of preventing other people from experiencing what they went through.