Striving for Systemic Safety

We recently passed the 34th anniversary of the École Polytechnique anti-feminist shootings. The sad thing is that this horrendous crime isn’t a thing of the past. From a stabbing attack on a Gender Issues course at the University of Waterloo in June, to the mass shooting at the University of Nevada, violence against academics is a serious concern. And while these are just two prominent examples of physical violence, we know of so many scholars who are victims of persistent cases of doxing, cyber harassment, and cyber bullying.

This week, we continue our conversation about safety on university campuses. Joining us is Dr. Fady Shanouda, an Assistant Professor at the Feminist Institute of Social Transformation at Carleton University. He spoke to Ethel about the frustrating journey he was forced to take to seek safety after becoming the target of vitriolic, hateful cyber harassment last summer.

We ask: What do we do when institutions do not have an organized response in the face of such violence? What are the different parts of the institution that have competing agendas, agendas which may actually paradoxically lead them to work against the interests of those facing violence? And what does a safe university look like?

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