March 31, 2019 12:40 pm
Updated: March 31, 2019 7:35 pm

Concordia University steps up security after increased reports of harrassment on campus

Concordia University students Lisa Komlos and Alissa Infantino speak out about harassment incidents on campus

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Concordia University has stepped up its security on campus after increased reports of harassment.

The university reacted after one of its students, Lisa Komlos, posted a video on Instagram explaining her experience being followed by a man on campus.

Komlos, 25, says a man in his 20s approached her with a compliment, started following her and was pushing her to leave campus with him in spite of repeated attempts to brush him off.

READ MORE: Concordia University defends handling of sexual misconduct complaint

A few days later, a similar situation happened to Komlos but with a different man who followed her throughout the lobby.

“It was the exact same thing but a different person,” Komlos said. “The fact they both had the exact same script, that seemed very rehearsed both times…. it’s pretty safe to assume they’re working together.”

Komlos then took to social media to warn other women about the incident over the weekend. She’s received hundreds of responses of women sharing their own stories of eerie similarity on campuses across Montreal.

Alessia Infantino, 23, says months ago, a man came up to her while walking from Concordia’s EV building underground. As Komlos also described, the man started by giving her a compliment.

“He started by saying I’m beautiful. I said ‘thank you’ and kept walking. He followed me and said ‘wait, what’s your nationality?’ I answered hoping he’d leave me alone after but he didn’t,” Infantino said.

Infantino says he insisted on getting her social media accounts and her number and wouldn’t stop until she yelled at him to stop following her around.

When she saw Komlos’ story, she decided to forward the post to warn the university and ask them to take action.

In a Tweet, Concordia University said it “has taken several measures to respond, including increasing security on campus.”

READ MORE: Concordia report finds ‘unhealthy’ climate in English department, with ‘real or perceived’ sexual violence

The university is encouraging anyone feeling unsafe or harassed on campus to call Concordia Security:

Internal (university) phone: dial 3717, press 1

External phone: 514-848-3717 option 1

Concordia University also has a “Safe Walk” program for students to be accompanied by a security agent when feeling unsafe.

“This is definitely step 1,” Komlos said in reaction to the university’s response. The student added more needs to be done when it comes to the process of reporting incidents.

“If something horrible would have happened and I’m trying to report something, this whole process has been discouraging,” Komlos said. “The head of security would only talk to me if I gave them my student number. When I went to the sexual assault centre, I needed to give her all my information and get an appointment.”

Komlos says students should be able to report incidents anonymously.

Infantino agrees the process is “horrible” and more could be done. “There are resources on campus but it’s a very long process and it’s a lot of paperwork… It could have taken months and it could’ve disappeared in a stack,” she told Global News.

In spite of that, she says she will be filing an official report with the university to make a statement.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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