I got an e-mail today from Concordia Internal Communications, a reminder sent to students at Concordia that:
Concordia University has a number of policies, covering topics such as behaviour, student life and academics, human resources and employee relations, operations, safety and security. Policies are important because they guide the university’s practice and help ensure our compliance with laws, regulations and government requirements.
It is your responsibility as a member of the Concordia community to be aware of the existence of these policies and to be familiar with those policies that are relevant to your activities.
It strikes me that this is passing the buck a bit – yes, students at Concordia should take time to familiarize ourselves with existing policies, but let’s be honest, it is up to the university to make sure that these policies are accessible and clear. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter whether or not students are taking “responsibility” for their own awareness of university policies; being aware of a policy, and being able to understand and make use of it, are two entirely different things.
This e-mail focused on policies at Concordia that have recently been revised. Revisions are available to view here – there are some interesting new additions and revisions to existing policies, but what’s interesting to us at the 2110 Centre is what new additions and revisions haven’t been made. There’s nothing in any of these revisions about sexual assault at all.
Policy revisions and additions are important, so it’s disappointing to see such an important issue being so pointedly neglected, especially given the amount of dialogue we’ve had in the past several months with Concordia administration about the need for better sexual assault policy.
It does send a clear message, though – there’s still plenty of work to do with Concordia’s administration. They are clearly not taking our concerns to heart yet.