Letters to the Editor- Mar. 28

Safety at York
Re: Woman sexually assaulted at Seneca@York coffee shop
News» mar. 21, 2012

When I started attending York, I never thought I would be afraid to use the bathroom, buy coffee, or stand outside of my classroom. Problems at York have been escalating since the beginning of the year. First, it was about a man sneaking into the women’s bathroom on several occasions—more than one victim—and taking pictures of women using a camera cellphone.

Being a girl, I would get startled every time I went to the bathroom—scared that I would be the next victim. After a while, it seemed that whoever was doing this had stopped. I even began to relax, thinking it was safe again. Until Thursday March 8, at 5:50 p.m., when an unsuspecting 22-year-old woman was sexually assaulted while waiting outside of her classroom. Another sexual assault took place a few days after when another woman was buying coffee inside the Aramark café.

In all three situations, it was a 20-25 year old man who is described to be brown, 5’5″ to 5’9″ with a thin build and dark hair. Police have yet to confirm, but there are a lot of similarities between the reports. In any case, it does not make me feel any safer.

The reason we see these problems at York than other universities such as perhaps McMaster University is because they have clear and defined policies and procedures for sexual harassment. McMaster outlines in detail the policy, statement of principles, definition, jurisdiction, assurance of fair treatment, and procedures. Whereas, York deals with them from case to case.

On York’s website under “Policies, Procedures and Regulations,” all you will find is a preamble, a definition, and a few sentences regarding the consequences of sexual harassment. This is not enough. We need to outline our policies and procedures just as McMaster has and make them available to the public in order to prevent such things from occurring in the future. I love attending York, but I also would like to feel safe while being on York’s campus.

-–Yumna Zaidi

Why I voted for York United
Re: Sneak peek of Excalibur’s executive debate
Video» mar 21, 2012

Excalibur’s slate rep debate was amazing and Phil Darlington’s questions were direct to distinguish the parties.

Although York United was acclaimed in the past, I think they  are worthy of my vote since they are aware of key issues and know how to implement them.

Free York University’s Jonathan Jupiter mentioned that school spirit was an issue as a commuter school, but Alastair Woods was correct to identify safety as a major concern. If it comes down to school spirit or safety, I choose safety which York United provides with their sexual assault policy.

FYU is naive and inexperienced since they have a hashtag about Drake, but they are unaware of the cost. This is a promise they can’t deliver.

FYU wants to focus on a men’s club, but they neglect the women on campus who are victimized in sex assaults.

Candidates in any slate should be prepared prior to the debate and FYU demonstrates lack of knowledge which is detrimental.

-–Samantha Osaduke


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