According to a notice on the University of Waterloo website:
“Waterloo Regional Police on Thursday announced that a sexual assault occurred on the University of Waterloo campus on Monday, Sept. 17. The statement from Waterloo Regional Police reads in part:
'As a result of investigation by Major Case Branch investigators, it has been determined that a rape described at the University of Waterloo campus on September 17, 2012 occurred.'
No charges have been filed.
False rape accusations are treated very seriously at the University of Waterloo. A guide to campus and community resources can be found at http://uwaterloo.ca/police/sexual-assault. The university appreciates the efforts of Waterloo Regional Police and the University of Waterloo Police Service in this investigation.”
Just kidding. The exact opposite happened. The real report reads:
“Waterloo Regional Police on Thursday announced that a sexual assault alleged to have happened on the University of Waterloo campus on Monday, Sept. 17, did not occur. The statement from Waterloo Regional Police reads in part:
'As a result of investigation by Major Case Branch investigators, it has been determined that the female’s initial allegations to police were not true. The sexual assault previously described at the University of Waterloo campus on September 17, 2012, did not occur. Investigators are appreciative of public assistance received during the investigation.'
No charges have been laid.
The University of Waterloo remains committed to ensuring the safety of all members of our campus community. Safety tips and a full outline of our campus safety services and procedures is available online at http://uwaterloo.ca/police/personal-safety-guide. Sexual assault is treated very seriously at the University of Waterloo. A guide to campus and community resources can be found at http://uwaterloo.ca/police/sexual-assault. The university appreciates the efforts of Waterloo Regional Police and the University of Waterloo Police Service in this investigation.”
Now, what did the initial report sound like? Did the university take a dispassionate stance, or did they automatically side with the accuser? If you have been following The War on Male Students, you probably already know the answer. But if you don’t, here it is, as well as something else besides:
“On Monday, September 17, between 10 and 10:30 p.m., a female student was sexually assaulted by two males while walking through the west cul de sac between Village 1 and Mackenzie King Village.
Police provided the following descriptions of the suspects, who fled after the assault:
- Suspect 1: male, white, 19 years old, 5’6”, with a heavy build, wearing a red hat
- Suspect 2: male, non-white, 19 years old, 6’, black hair, slender build.
The ongoing investigation is being led by Waterloo Regional Police, supported by University of Waterloo Police. We will update the campus community as more information becomes available. Anyone with information is asked to contact Waterloo Regional Police at 519-650-8500 ext. 3310, University of Waterloo Police at 519-888-4567 ext. 22222, or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.
The safety of our students and all members of our campus community is of paramount concern at the University of Waterloo. As a result of this incident, campus police have increased patrols in the area of the student residences. Students, faculty, staff and other members of our community are encouraged to be alert to danger and report any suspicious activity to campus police.
- Follow a major road at night, or a well-lit path
- Walk at a steady pace and with confidence near the curb
- Avoid dark entrances and shrubs
- Do not walk home alone at night — make arrangements with a friend to meet and walk home together, call for a ride, or use one of the resources offered by the university.
Further information about campus safety resources, including our shuttle service, can be found online at https://uwaterloo.ca/police/safety-resources. The shuttle service is available from the first day of registration to the last day of exams. It leaves regularly from the Student Life Centre at about 7:00 p.m. in the winter, at 9:00 p.m. in the summer and runs until 2:00 a.m. Women have first priority for rides. Emergency intercoms, with flashing blue lights, are located throughout the campus.”
From a perspective of gender equity, some things come to mind:
In the final report, the university tells us that “sexual assault is treated very seriously at the University of Waterloo.” Here we have the usual: whenever a false rape accusation occurs on campus, instead of telling us how seriously they treat false accusations (which they can’t legitimately say because they don’t), the university tells us that they instead take very seriously the crime that was the subject of the false accusation. The same thing happened at my alma mater, A&M-Commerce: the initial report was spun as if an assault had absolutely occurred, and the final report focused primarily on the plight of rape victims, including a shadowy and fear-inspiring picture of a rapist (pictured below).
In addition to telling us that a rape had absolutely occurred, the initial report says that the suspect was “male, white, 19 years old, 5’6”, with a heavy build, and wearing a red hat.” I wouldn't like to be a male student who just casually came to school wearing a red hat that day, or a man who anyone in the university had ever seen wearing a red hat. Just think if a guy who had not seen the report was going to class and someone in the class said, “hey didn’t you wear a red hat last semester?” And regardless as to whether he did or did not respond by saying “oh yeah, yeah I did,” and regardless as to whatever the police said in a final report, it wouldn’t matter. Thanks to the university, he would already have been socially convicted.
Concerning the false rape accusation, the university tells us “no charges have been filed.” That was a mistake. A commenter on Reddit argued that no charges should be filed against the accuser, for this reason: “This never got to a prosecution stage. Once she presses false charges with the police and prosecution, then it becomes serious.”
I disagree, for this reason: punishments for false rape accusations - even light forms of punishment - deter future false accusers. Given that the lack of deterrence may promote future false rape accusations, and given that rape is such an emotionally charged accusation that it sometimes compels people to make vigilante attacks against the person accused (which may result in injury or death - see HERE and HERE and HERE), adopting a policy of deterrence in regards to false rape accusations - even if the punishment exists in light forms - is the best policy, given that it may save someone's life down the road. And it bears mention that when a university publicly presumes guilt against the person accused, it has the potential to put a man’s life in danger.
Lastly, in describing the shuttle services, the university tells us “Women have first priority for rides.” In case the University of Waterloo hasn’t noticed, men are the majority of victims of street violence, including and especially homicides. If whites were the majority of victims of violence, would they tell black students that white students have priority over blacks? Need we remember the case of Rosa Parks (pictured right), an African-American woman who sparked a national civil rights debate because she refused to give up her seat on the bus for a white person? In this case, male students aren’t being told they have to sit at the back of the bus; they can’t even get on the bus.
An imbalance in resources between male and female victims, a cultural crusade against male criminality with a casual indifference toward female criminality, and discrimination against male students on the basis of sex, these are things which we should see as a structural inequities. But to a modern university, none of these things are perceived as inequities or discriminations against male students; it is business as usual.
Several things need to change at the University of Waterloo:
|"In Harmony With Truth"|
#1 – In the initial campus reports, Waterloo needs to stop reporting accusations of sexual misconduct as if they had absolutely occurred. The university’s motto is “Concordia Cum Veritate,” which ironically means “in harmony with truth.” It might be a good idea to practice that.
#2 - Charges need to be brought against the woman who made a false rape accusation. This needs to become standard operating procedure, and the University of Waterloo needs to advocate and support this.
#3 – Resources for the wrongly accused need to be in place at Waterloo and posted at the university’s website.
#4 – The shuttle service needs to stop discriminating against male students who wish to use the shuttles.
And there’s probably a few other changes Waterloo University needs to make, but that’s good to go on for now.
Students at Waterloo University need to speak up. They need to consult their administrators and tell them that what they are doing is not good enough for the needs of male students. If the administrators refuse, I have just the thing. College campuses across the west sponsor an event called “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.” The intent of the event is to raise awareness of female victims and to “stop men’s violence against women.”
|Those crazy admins!|
I propose that every University of Waterloo administrator who thinks that these things are ok be given a red hat that they will put on, and then (while wearing it) walk a mile through and around the University of Waterloo campus. We’ll call it “Walk a Mile in His Red Hat.” Sounds catchy, eh?
|UCLA welcomes male students to campus|
Or maybe they just need to stop discriminating against male students and call it a day, eh? :D
If you want to visit the world’s largest blog giving a voice to victims of wrongful accusations of sexual assault, visit The Community of the Wrongly Accused at www.cotwa.info. If you’d like to learn more about discrimination against men and boys in education, visit the archive page for The War on Male Students.