Continued calls for change to Bishop’s sexual assault policies

By Geoff Agombar
Local Journalism Initiative

A week in, voices continue to multiply demanding action at Bishop’s University. Attention continues to galvanise since a message decrying inaction on sexual assault reports was plastered along a concrete divider near a main entrance to campus. Students are calling for accelerated, concrete change. The administration continues to express sincere engagement in the face of complex challenges.

“There’s been a rallying of voices,” according to Student Representative Council (SRC) President Enzo Evangelisti. “For sure there’s a lot of frustration and anger and pain. You can feel that in the community every day just walking to campus, this want for change and a campus that is safer for all students.”

“The SRC is committed. The student body is committed. From the townhall, I think [Dean of Student Affairs Stine Linden-Andersen] is committed. I think the university is committed,” by Evangelisti’s assessment. “But obviously actions will speak louder than words.”

Tuesday, Linden-Andersen hosted a two and a half hour townhall meeting, attended by an estimated 200 students and faculty in person and an additional 100 online via streaming video and chat.

“We have seen a tremendous outcry of support, of anger, of frustration, of questions from our student body,” says Linden-Andersen. “I think it says a lot about who we are here at Bishop’s. It’s not like we have a small group that reacts. We kind of react as a whole unit.”

This townhall was the third Linden-Andersen has hosted on this issue, but the first since last week’s message and intensified debate. A fourth has already been announced for Nov. 24 to pick up the in-person community conversation again after the annual Take Back the Night March scheduled for Nov. 18.
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