Toronto, Sep 14 – Canada’s Western University, which is the country’s top research university, faces a major crisis as several female students residing in hostels were reportedly drugged and sexually assaulted.
Many social media posts suggest that as many as 30 female students were drugged and sexually assaulted during orientation week which started on September 6.
The allegations include drinks being spiked, sexual assault and rape.
University authorities, who have received only four complaints so far, beefed up security on campus and in hostels.
Chris Alleyne, Western University associate vice-president of housing and co-associate vice-president of student experience, said: “I want to be very clear, sexual violence will not be tolerated. Nothing is more important than the safety and welfare of our campus community. As part of Western’s policy on gender-based and sexual violence, we assess and act immediately on any reports of sexual violence.”
The university has not yet requested the police to investigate the allegations.
The University Students’ Council executive said it won’t comment on any “ongoing investigations in order to protect the privacy of students”.
“However, we want to be clear: we stand with survivors of gender-based and sexual violence,” said the executive.
“We are listening and we are ready to advocate on your behalf. Students deserve to be welcomed back to a campus that is safe for everyone.”