Concordia Philosophy Faculty Response to Sexual Harassment Allegations

Last month it was reported that several students had accused a professor of philosophy at Concordia University of sexual harassment. Faculty in the university’s Department of Philosophy have now issued a statement in response to the allegations.

In the letter, the faculty write that they “take seriously the allegations,” and, though unable to discuss specifics of the case, they affirm an “ongoing commitment to a zero tolerance approach to misconduct and inappropriate behaviour” and “call upon the administration to investigate any allegations.”

They also endorse Concordia’s recent policy initiative, “The Consensual Romantic or Sexual Relationship Guidelines,” which draws attention to the problematic “unequal institutional power inherent in [an instructor-student] relationship.” The faculty add:

Our purpose, the education of students, is fundamentally undermined and disrupted by instructor-student sexual relations, and is even more deeply undermined by sexual harassment, violence, and abuses of power that exploit the vulnerability of our students. The Guideline “strongly discourages all instructors from commencing or continuing any consensual romantic or sexual relationship with a student.” We agree. Students are not for dating.

The letter is reproduced in whole, below:

The “demand of our Graduate Philosophy Student Association” refers to this statement.

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Erik H
Erik H
6 years ago

Sigh. Philosophers of all people should understand that a “zero tolerance approach” rarely works well. And a zero tolerance approach works even LESS well when it is purportedly applied to such ill-defined, messy, and flexible terms like “misconduct and inappropriate behavior.”

Oh well. This is not going to be pretty.

6 years ago

There’s several schools named Concordia, might be useful to mention this is the one in Canada in case people didn’t click the link or notice the email addresses.