Students who posted misogynistic signs to face consequences under Queen’s code of conduct

Queen's University said student who posted sexist signs from their University District homes over homecoming will face consequences. YGK News

Queen’s University students who hung sexist signs over the rowdy homecoming weekend will face consequences through the school’s code of conduct, according to Principal Patrick Deane.

“While this weekend’s street parties and other forms of disruptive conduct might be explained sympathetically by some as an expression of the pent-up energy of young people emerging from COVID-19 isolation, no such excuse can be made for acts of sexual harassment or violence, or sexist behaviour of any kind,” Deane said in a statement released Monday.

Read more: Thousands of partygoers pose challenge for police over Queen’s homecoming weekend

Two signs in particular have been circulating on social media, displaying misogynistic messaging, including: “Lockdown your daughters, not Kingston.”

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Deane said those who posted such signs have already been put on notice that they will be facing a disciplinary process under the school’s code of conduct.

He said the banners “poisoned” the campus environment by “causing threat of sexual violence to hang over the heads of women those vulnerable to harassment and assault in our community.”

“Those houses were visited by security and those signs were taken down and the code will be used to attend to the students who were behind those, if indeed it was students who hung out those banners,” he said.

Last week, Deane told Global News that if found guilty under such a disciplinary process, students could face remedial actions all the way to expulsion.

Still, the code of conduct does not allow Queen’s to sanction students right out. The students will go through a disciplinary process where they have a right to defend themselves.

Similar signs have been hung from University District homes in the past, but Deane said this tradition is no longer acceptable.

“If there was ever a time when cultural mores permitted such behaviour at Queen’s, that time has most definitely passed,” he said.

Sexual Assault Centre Kingston said they will be discussing what to do about the signs, and the tradition of hanging them during homecoming, at a meeting with Kingston Interval House Monday.

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Click to play video: 'Town and gown leaders make a plea against large street parties as the first of two Queen’s Homecoming weekends get underway.' Town and gown leaders make a plea against large street parties as the first of two Queen’s Homecoming weekends get underway.
Town and gown leaders make a plea against large street parties as the first of two Queen’s Homecoming weekends get underway – Oct 15, 2021

“Also discussing the misogynist banners hung up around student housing this week in (Kingston). Unfortunately (happens) every year without consequences. Why not name those folks as well,” the centre wrote in a tweet.

This is in reference to the city’s recent emergency order that allows anyone fined under what police deem to be an “aggravated nuisance party” to have their names given to the media.

There were at least two aggravated nuisance parties declared this weekend.

A joint statement from both organizations said banners like the ones seen in the University District this weekend “feed into rape culture and make it more unsafe for women and other marginalized populations living in these communities.”

The statement then asked those in the community to continue to fight against messaging and actions that promote rape culture, and to name and shame those who participate in such messaging.

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“We need to name it for what it is — rape culture — and we need to name those responsible for creating and contributing to a culture of harm.”

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