HALIFAX- Students across Nova Scotia are deeply concerned about the misogyny and sexism revealed within the Dalhousie Faculty of Dentistry this week and disappointed with the inadequate response from the university administration, including Dr. Richard Florizone. The decision to implement a restorative justice practice, without proper consultation, was a rushed response to a situation that requires a more systemic approach to challenge the status quo.
Sexist Facebook pages that promote gender-based violence, sexist comments, sexual harassment, and preferential treatment of male students all create a campus culture that excludes and marginalises women students. Until direct action is taken to combat rape culture within Dalhousie University, women will face additional barriers to the realisation of the right to a post-secondary education. College and university campuses must be safe and welcoming spaces for all students.
Dalhousie University has a responsibility to ensure the safety of their students, faculty and staff.The Canadian Federation of Students – Nova Scotia is echoing the demands made by the Dalhousie Students’ Union and calling for Dalhousie University to immediately:
-Implement a system for the anonymous reporting of discrimination and harassment at the university.
-Work to provide accommodations for students in the Faculty of Dentistry and other students who have experienced harm as a result of incidences of sexism, misogyny and sexual harassment.
-In partnership with the Dalhousie Student Union and other Dalhousie student groups, develop a process for students to share their experiences of discrimination and harassment and provide input into addressing these forms of oppression on campus.
-Create a mandatory equity course requirement for all students at Dalhousie that discusses the root causes of gender-based violence and oppression.
-Require that all faculty and staff in the Faculty of Dentistry attend a mandatory training on sexism and misogyny in working and learning environments and work with student, staff and faculty unions to extend similar training to all faculties and departments.
For over 20 years, Canadian Federation of Students’ member campuses have been participating in the CFS “No Means No” campaign that educates against sexual violence and challenges rape culture, including educating students about consent, sexual assault, and misogyny.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia is committed to continuing its work to challenge rape culture on campus and in our communities. We look forward to working with college and university administrations, feminist groups on campus, and community organizations that oppose gender-based violence in the fight for campuses free from sexualized violence and rape.
The Dalhousie administration needs to join in these efforts and actively combat the systemic issues of sexism and misogyny that have come to light this week.
For more information please contact: Michaela Sam, Chairperson, 902-999-4318