Western University Guidance Leader Shares Personal Account Amid Online Reports of Student Assaults | The Canadian News

After numerous online posts about sexual assault and potential drug addicts during the first week of school at Western University, a guidance leader shares her first-hand account of what happened.

Over the weekend, there were a series of reports on social media that 30 or more students may have been drugged and / or assaulted at Medway-Sydenham Hall.

Following the reports, Katrina Desjardins, a fourth-year student at the College of Information and Media Studies who identified herself as an orientation volunteer and partner, a senior student tasked with helping and mentoring new students, posted a series of tweets and also a statement about what you experienced over the weekend and the week before.

“It was before midnight on Friday that we saw people start to drop like flies,” Desjardins wrote.

“Before midnight, we saw ambulances rush towards three girls separated within a radius of less than 100 meters.”

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Desjardins wrote that rumors that people had been drugged began to circulate immediately and his fellow sophs reported it early on.

In the past, sophomores lived with students in residence, along with floor supervisors or teachers, but due to the pandemic and the university trying to secure spots for all freshmen, sophomores They were not able to live in the student residence this year.

“We were not allowed to enter the residence buildings due to covid protocol, I understand, but even when we begged the higher ups and management to check people and allow us to help make sure everyone was safe, they were denied us access, “Desjardins wrote. .

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Between midnight and 3 a.m. Friday night, Desjardins said she helped in six situations where freshmen were disabled and she heard of “countless other horrible stories” across campus.

In a statement sent to Global News, Desjardins criticizes the university for failing to “create a safe campus that prevents sexual and gender-based violence, demonstrates zero tolerance for perpetrators of violence, and provides adequate resources for its students.”

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Students call for action in the wake of sexual violence allegations at Western University

According to a Council of Ontario Universities (COU) survey, between the 2017-2018 school year, 71% of Western University students reported being sexually harassed, while 32% reported being sexually assaulted.

In addition to the events that took place over the weekend, London police are investigating three other separate reports of sexual assault involving four female victims (Western students).

During orientation and the first week of school, Desjardins also shared other accounts of sexual harassment.

“We were yelled at and physically assaulted by men as we tried to help with various crisis situations involving freshmen who collapsed all over campus.”

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He criticizes Western’s policy for reporting sexual assault and gender-based violence, saying “it’s not enough.”

“The ‘party’ culture at Western has allowed heinous acts of harassment and assault for far too long and I have heard from various people how complicated and re-traumatizing the reporting process is.”

Desjardins said that beyond implementing a new policy, Western needs to ensure that current policies are followed to ensure that all students on campus feel safe.

“I’m sorry for the culture perpetuated here that made people feel entitled to your body. I’m sorry that we couldn’t interfere earlier. I’m sorry that the university didn’t keep you safe,” Desjardins wrote.

London police and Western University have been encouraging survivors to come forward in the wake of the reports on social media.

As of Tuesday’s latest update, police have said that no one has filed a formal complaint related to the allegations online.

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‘We clearly have a cultural problem’: Western University launches action plan amid reports of student assaults

On Thursday, Western University released the new action plan and plans for a Task Force on Sexual Violence and Student Safety.

“This has been a tremendously difficult time for our students and the entire Western community. We clearly have a cultural problem that we must address, “said President Alan Shepard.

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“We disappoint our students and their families.”

Reports of sexual assault during the first week of school sparked outrage from students and the community, prompting several students to organize a strike to speak out against gender-based violence.

The strike is scheduled for Friday at 12 pm at US Hill at Western.

Anyone who has experienced sexual or gender-based violence can contact the Anova Crisis Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 519-642-3000, LAWC 519-432-2204, or the Helpline for abused women at 519-642-3000.

Click to Play Video: 'Ontario Government Makes Amendments to How Postsecondary Institutions Investigate Sexual Assaults'

Ontario Government Makes Amendments to How Postsecondary Institutions Investigate Sexual Assaults

Ontario Government Makes Amendments to How Postsecondary Institutions Investigate Sexual Assaults

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