Harassment and discrimination

The following is an excerpt of an article in the April issue of Saturday Night magazine by John Fraser the (now) former editor.

For those who dont know, the province of Ontario has set in place a policy of zero tolerance for harassment and discrimination at universities. This excerpt really pokes fun at the potential misuse and abuse of such a policy.

Dear H & D officer,

I am a female graduate student with an alternative lifestyle. Our history department has invited an international scholar named Simon Schama to lecture here next month. The title of his talk is Dykes and Discord: The role of land reclamation in 17th century Dutch domestic policy. Posters have been plastered all over our campus, causing snickering, and I have been made to feel uneasy. Does the FRAMEWORK have any remedy?

You bet it does! There is zero tolerance for anything that makes you feel a loss of self-esteem, and the FRAMEWORK clearly states the visitors on campus should be subject to complaints if they engage in prohibited conduct.

Depending on how your academic administration chooses to police the FRAMEWORKS guidelines, you have a range of options – from demanding prior access to the visitors lecture to cancellation of the lecture itself and having the visitor barred from campus.

As for posters, they clearly come under the grounds of poisoning the work or study environment, and the FRAMEWORK is very specific about this : A complainant, it says, does not [even] have to be a direct target to be adversely affected by a negative environment. It includes conduct or comment that creates and maintains an offensive, hostile, or intimidating climate for study or work.

If Im not mistaken the quotations are direct quotes from the zero tolerance policy.

Laugh, its OK … for now (insert dramatic military music here)

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