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Updated on Tuesday, June 30

#21064

OMG: Related to a the many insightful posts under OMG 21008, a task force found June 29 that Dalhousie University's complaint system needs overhaul. Some quotes are:

"These are systemic issues," Florizone said. "These are issues that we know other universities face. These are issues that are going to require all of us working together."

"This was not an isolated incident and the status quo is unacceptable."

"Backhouse also found there was a level of distrust and suspicion about the university's responses to discrimination. She said most people told them they were too afraid to complain about sexist or racist issues because of the risk of retaliation, or that little would be done to address perceived problems."

33 comments

  1. This sounds familiar.

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  2. Root systemic issue: universities run by middle-aged men who view women's safety as a speed bump on the road to their ambitions.

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    1. Multiple choice question here:

      a) you're a bitch
      b) you're a misandrist
      c) you're delusional
      d) you have a mental health issue that needs addressing
      e) all of the above

      Hint, hint, the answer is E.

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    2. As a woman, I am honestly glad I go to a school like Waterloo that focuses on actual academics and not all this kind of bullshit. I think my head would explode if I went to a liberal arts school. Thankfully people like you usually stay in hiding on campus and keep your idiotic opinions based on zero evidence to yourselves.

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    3. Hey now 2.b, be fair. Women/Gender studies is a subset of sociology of liberal arts. Don't group them all together as there are many decent arts programs that can be actually useful and worthwhile learning. Learning how Beyonce packages and sells feminism to tumblr rejects is shit though.

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    4. 2b, 2 sounds on the money. Have you read UW's Sixth Decade Plan recently? How about its Eight Strategic Themes in its Strategic Plan? To quote, "It’s what Waterloo does best." No mention of fixing what it does worst. Quite ambitious. Have you looked at the composition of UW's senior leadership? Its Board of Governors? How about its Senate?

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    5. 2a, 2 here. I'm a guy. I try not to have my anatomy dictate my opinion. It's challenging. I don't know about c or d though. B? Not at all but certain UW committees' membership weightings and their motivations seem to betray their ability to function well. That is, in a way that aligns with my principles. Just my opinion.

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    6. 2d, did you ever read the working drafts of the strategic plan? There was a lot of discussion of 'stuff to fix' on it originally. The Board of Governors wanted it removed - they said it felt too much like a laundry list of admin grievances than a set of strategic institutional goals. They said those specific "to-fix" items should be on the admin's implementation plans, but not the high level strategic plan, and refused to vote for the draft. Feridun had to take it back and slim it down, and then it was passed a few months later.

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    7. 2f, did any of the strategic plan drafts' "stuff to fix" have the women's safety issues being talked about here?

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  3. Gosh I hate men. Women will remain inferior as long as men exist. It's a man's world.

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  4. I have no idea what feminists are rambling about. I have never experienced sexism at Waterloo. Not to say that other people haven't, but "systemic sexism"? come the fuck on. Any of you have anecdotal evidence to suggest that sexism is a systemic issue here? Feel free to share.

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    1. +1

      I lived in a country where there's a REAL issue of systemic sexism but these feminists have no idea what that really means because they have never experienced it.

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    2. 4a, what country was that, and what was the systemic issue you called real?

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    3. 4, have you read nothing from omg21008?

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    4. You can’t “see” systematic oppression on an individual level, so most of us won’t have any anecdotal evidence. Instead, if you want to see systematic sexism, you need to go beyond the individual. Systematic sexism works in social groups (e.g., your family, your school, society) using unwritten rules. These rules govern how we interact and perceive women, and they are socialized into us, therefore sexism feels natural and expected (This is you. Time to unlearn!!).


      There are widely cited studies of systematic sexism in academia (UW is not an exception). In fact, it’s so commonly studied, that they have even coined the term ‘chilly climate’ to describe the type of sexism women experience in academia. If you do a search on google scholar, you will find tons of examples and studies which address the existence of the chilly climate aka systematic sexism in universities.


      @4a. You okay man? Just because sexism in Canada takes another form doesn’t make it non-existent. This isn’t the oppression-Olympics.

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    5. 4d, thanks I learned some useful ways of viewing things from your comments. I hope you post more often whoever you are, on whatever omg.

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  5. OP's right to point out the Dalhousie task force study. There's no reason to believe UW is immune to these systemic issues facing Canadian universities. It's like the Iranian President who said there are no gays in Iran. That somehow his country is special. So there can't be intolerance. It was naive when he said it and it's naive here today.

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    1. Agreed, sexism is everywhere. Most people just don't have the framework to help them recognize it. Denying the presence of sexism (especially if they can't recognize it in the first place) is not helping anyone.

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  6. So Kathleen Wynne's measures aren't needed at UW? From The Star earlier this year:
    "‎It’s never OK.
    That was Premier Kathleen Wynne’s message as she unveiled sweeping measures to curb sexual violence and harassment including a new law forcing colleges and universities to step up efforts to tackle the problem."

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    1. Too bad Wynne doesn't go after discrimination rather than trying to get political points. At UW there is blatant sexism and ageism that everyone ignores.

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    2. 6a what do you mean? I think the Wynne report was good and on-target. It didn't address ageism (not sure what you mean) but did address sexual assault and sexual harassment.

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  7. Ill go for discrimination anyday lmao

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  8. This new investigation says there are systemic issues at Canadian universities. Ontario's Premier says there are systemic issues at Ontario universities. Why are we so adamant there are not?

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    1. For UW, in part because that would mean the place we were so proud to enrol is not the pure shining beacon of true information we'd hoped and need it to be. A lot of us tie our self worth to our university's reputation. We identify ourselves as Waterloo students. We can feel better than students at other universities. We feel special. And if our self worth is fragile or brittle we need this all the more. So we take it personally and hard when our university's reputation is criticized. We don't split out its great academic value from its in part poor moral values and actions. We don't want to accept it so we lash out at the criticism's source. This isn't true for all of us, but at some level it's a factor driving what we want to believe.

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  9. Canadian universities make what look like complaint systems. They can be elaborate. But they're designed poorly, and so deny complaints if needed to protect the university's reputation. Ostensible rationales for denial aren't always the underlying drivers, which are guaranteed opaque under the privacy banner. This while giving cover to the university that they've done everything they were required to.

    A serious issue with this is it places universities' reputations above women's safety. Not just the complainant's, but other women in the wrongdoer's future, or past through chill. It also creates a climate that's known too onerous and prone to fail for any would-be complainants. Not black ice but more like black molasses. Universities have demonstrated themselves not willing to self-police effectively. Unfortunately regulatory oversights and safeguards such as human rights commissions and tribunals suffer other flaws that make them ineffective at remediating universities as institutions. So the issue persists.

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    1. Your tin foil hat is showing.

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    2. Actually this fits a lot of what's been going on. Do you have any ideas why the situation's the way OP linked to? Or in the Ontario Premier's report?

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  10. Educate me. I'm reading these posts and it seems that people focus on discrimination of women. My question is do these issues extend beyond that for discrimination?

    Personally I've seen some issues first hand even though I'm a male. These events took place some time ago (a number of years honestly) and I found little to zero help from the universities (plural - UW and WLU). These range from being treated differently due to disability, age, and sex compared to other classmates.

    Also, if these actions are happening, what exactly are posters doing about them besides anon posts on a website. For myself I took various action and achieved quite a bit. I ask this out of curiosity and to perhaps light a fire under some asses.

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    1. Do you mean safety issues beyond those based on discrimination? Sure these can be on anyone's safety not just women or a group. Safety is just not effected as highly as other UW priorities.

      So we get negligent UW leadership decisions, and a culture where this is cascaded down as normal. What issues did you find? Were they related to safety?

      I think different people do different actions about it. One useful part of posting incidents and concerns to omguw is to raise awareness. Then we at least know what's going on around us here.

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  11. ITT: Women's paranoia about safety goes rampant. Victim culture dominates as everything must be someone else's fault even if reasoning lies in conjecture.

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    1. Did you not just read the above two posts (10 and 10a) that this isn't just about women's safety? Rather than paranoid it seems focused on universities as the party not executing their safety responsibilities. It's not about everything either. Stay focused. Adding generalized ambiguity does not help.

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    2. 10 is talking about discrimination in general not paranoia enabling.

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    3. ^indeed. 10 talked about the lack of support from universities for a serious discrimination/safety issue. Try to stick to that specific topic too.

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