RyeSAC boycotts harassment office

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By Hamida Ghafour

RyeSAC is boycotting the harassment office after university administration refused to hold a public review of the office.

The dispute between administration and campus groups has left students like Darren Cooney, who has used the office in the past, angry.

“It’s my office,” Cooney said. “I was a client and if it were there to serve me why hasn’t my point of view been important enough to be taken into consideration.”

Cooney, a RyeSAC student faculty director and openly gay, turned to the harassment office last March when someone defaced his campaign posters with homophobic messages. More than half of 50 posters had words like “fag” or “queer” scrawled on them. Cooney said Wendy Roberts, who was dismissed as manager of the harassment office in August, did a fine job in helping him.

“She was incredibly warm, incredibly giving,” he said.

RyeSAC president Erin George said the council won’t refer students to the harassment office.

Any RyeSAC literature that refers to the office will be rewritten. The harassment office also won’t be invited to any RyeSAC meetings where traditionally they have been in the past.

Instead, students are referred to the ombudsperson’s office and RyeSAC’s lawyer. Some students are also being referred to the counselling office on the fourth floor of Jorgenson Hall or the Women’s Centre.

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