Wednesday, September 23, 2009

douchebag award goes to.... york university!!

dear york: please, please, please pull up your socks.


on the 19th of september a little bulletin popped up on the yorku main website. it said that a student had been arrested for sexual assault.

for two sexual assaults.

on the 15th, a woman was sexually assaulted in the library at yorku and then another woman was sexually assaulted on the 18th, in the library.

generally speaking, on university campuses, when someone is assaulted a general warning or bulletin goes out to the university community via email. also, the library at york has these fancy new tvs everywhere with news and security updates, warnings about stolen items.

so, did a warning go out on the 15th? no, of course not.

did a warning go out on the 18th? no, of course not.

only when the assailant was arrested did the university alert the community that someone had been arrested. so why bother telling us of his arrest if we didn't know about the crimes in the first place?

so understandably the university community is a little annoyed with the university and have been contacting alex bilyk, media relations director, about their concerns.

alex bilyk has yet to respond in a substantial and satisfactory way. and why? it's his job to do this media shit, why isn't he doing his job?

because yesterday and today alex bilyk was at the ontario human rights tribunal, sitting at the back of the room, twiddling his blackberry, watching as the former and current presidents of yorku testified.

so instead of dealing with students' concerns for their safety, instead of warning students of a threat against their safety, the university has been carefully and vigilantly protecting its own reputation.

according to the toronto star's louise brown, alex bilyk noted in speaking to her that "the university must try to strike a balance between notifying students of a threat and causing undue panic."

um, women live with the fear of sexual violence every single day. when we hear about such crimes, generally we don't start panicking and fainting.

suggesting that giving women the information they need so that they can make informed decisions about what they feel is safe and comfortable for them will somehow cause mass hysteria is not only patronizing to the max but also belittles and minimizes the extent to which sexual violence pervades women's daily existence.

and suggesting that any panic experienced over the news of TWO sexual assaults occuring in a public library at one's campus is somehow "undue" just makes bilyk look like an insensitive prick.

as one circulated letter to bilyk aptly pointed out:

"i know you have been quite busy with york politics over the past two days but it would be a welcome change if the safety of the university community could take precedence over this for once."


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