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Message from the president: 'I'm confident in our community's capacity to seize this opportunity'

Alan Shepard shares the final report of Concordia’s Task Force on Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Violence
June 26, 2018
By Alan Shepard


Dear members of the Concordia community,

 ​In January 2018, the university formed the Task Force on Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Violence, and I’m writing today to convey its final report. 

At that time, the university also announced an investigation into reported allegations and a climate review of the Department of English. That climate review will continue this summer and its recommendations will be issued in fall 2018.

We formed the Task Force on Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Violence in response to accounts from survivors who shared personal experiences and their subsequent difficulty in navigating the university’s available resources. 

The task force encouraged members of the Concordia community to provide their own candid feedback on issues and concerns surrounding university processes, procedures and policies relating to sexual misconduct and sexual violence.

Today, I would like to share the task force's report. This report makes important recommendations that will be implemented at the university, including:

  • Determine the optimal level of human resources for each of the support services related to sexual misconduct and sexual violence.
  • Improve awareness, through training, communication and education, about the university’s existing policies, procedures and resources.
  • Develop a step-by-step guide for filing complaints and disclosures and for making all available options (including accommodations, support and advocacy services) clear to all parties.
  • Create a permanent Standing Committee on Sexual Violence to meet the requirements of Bill 151 and to monitor the application of our sexual violence policy.

I truly believe that this is an integral step in our continuous goal to foster an educational and working environment free from any form of sexual misconduct or sexual violence.

I would like to acknowledge and applaud the courage of individuals who came forward to share their stories and to provoke change — we will all benefit from their courage.

Finally, I would like to thank all Concordia students, faculty and staff who participated in the consultation process and members of the task force for their diligence in drafting and delivering a report that charts a positive way forward for the university and its community members, under the leadership of task force chair, Lisa Ostiguy and vice-chairs Nadia Hardy and Melodie Sullivan.

The first half of 2018 has marked a period of growth and progress for all institutions of higher learning, including Concordia.​ I am confident in our community’s capacity to seize this opportunity.​ 

I wish you all a great summer.

Alan Shepard

Read the report from the Task Force on Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Violence.



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