fit-runner-blog said: hi i am a muslim and an asian (from outside canada) student. Mcgill was originally my #1 school to get into for university but after seeing your blog i got scared. Is it really that bad? I really do not want to face racism in college. Or anything that has to do against my religion because i get offended and sad, and i really need a supportive environment for college instead of a negative environment which could bring me down. Thank you

Hey, sorry for not responding earlier. Life has been a little overwhelming, TBH. 

I’ll paraphrase from another response we gave to a previous question

I would say that regardless of whether someone goes to college or not, people will experience racism. Often our experiences within university are merely microcosms of the greater society. Talking to peers who have been to different universities, there is a general consensus that McGill’s adherence to maintaining hierarchies of privilege is unique and extreme. But, a lot of other students have a great time here. And I would never discourage anyone from pursuing a college degree if that is what they want.

I feel that people’s experiences really vary and it depends on a lot of factors. While there has been intense shittiness, I learnt a lot being here and met tons of badass POC who have challenged me and reframed the way I think about the world. Sometimes in places of massive BS, we learnt a lot about ourselves. I will say that many times, people, friends, professors and staff would step up and make things better in those small micro-moments. There are also great student run resources like Queer McGill, the Union for Gender Empowerment, the Black Student Network, and SACOMSS (a sexual assault support centre) that can provide support as well. 

entendualuqam said: thanks for the shout-out!

No problem! xo

Comprehensive Exam

I am doing a comprehensive exam field in Canadian studies. The professor that I am doing the field with has made many microaggressive statements during our exam meetings, including pointing out the race of authors of the books I’m reading- totally out of the blue, trying to make arguments that racism did not exist in the early 19th century (he said “people used the term “race” but not in a “racialized” way), etc,etc.  I have also recently taken a class with this person, and talked to this person on a few occasions about my PhD project. Yet, when he recently introduced me to another scholar of Canada he said “this is x, he is doing his PhD on South East Asia.” Like he just picked a random brown person region and said I study it. No, I study Canada, he knows this because I am literally doing a Canadian field with him, but yet, for some reason (racism), he decided to say that I studied “South East Asia.” I guess brown people can’t be Canadianists.

Accomadation

An instructor takes me aside during class break to let me know they  received an email from the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) concerning my registration. She asks blankly, “Is there anything I need to do to facilitate your learning in class because from my point of view you seem to be fine?” This is not a complement. This is a judgment.

Aggression

In an email response from an instructor to my request for an extension on assignments they replied: 

"Not only is this a complete disrespect to deadlines but your misplaced entitled attitude is also an abuse of my leniency and attempts I have made to accommodate you. Furthermore, accepting all the missing assignments (some of them almost three months late) now - after you’ve disregarded the second chance - would be highly unfair and unjust to every other student who was required to submit on time - which I would consider a violation of THEIR rights."

The part that stands out to me is “your misplaced entitled attitude”. I am a disabled, gay, hiv+ Mi’kmaq living on less than 15,000/yr while putting myself through university in my mid-40s. 

So by advocating for myself, I am infringing on the rights of the majority?

kiranwearsscienceblues said: Hi - does it count as a McGill microagression if said issue was in the assigned reading (which was advocated by the professor) but not explicitly said by the professor?

Well, I guess it depends. But it’s totally possible. :)

like-i-never-left said: The lab instructor for a Solid mechanics CIVE 207 came up to me and 5 of my friends and said "did they search your bags at the entrance? someone search their bags" as a joke. We were all speaking arabic and he was implying that we have weapons or something in our bags. We did not find it funny and we looked at each others awkwardly like "really? did he just say that?"

My friend and I (we are both women, I am racialized) were at the graduate house. We were sitting by a cabinet filled with boardgames and a guy (non-racialized) comes over to pick out a game. He exclaimed to us “Wow! This is so disorganized! I’m going to write to PGSS about fixing this game cabinet! Like, I don’t care about women’s issues, or problems of new Canadians on campus, these games need to be sorted out!” When neither of us laughed at his “joke” I think he realized what he said was racist and sexist, and he put his head down and walked away. This is a microagression because what he said assumed the normal students were male and non-racialized, and women and racialized people were categorized as problems PGSS has to deal with.

entendualuqam:

Après avoir dmandé à un prof d’utiliser mon nom choisi au lieu de mon nom légal, il m’a appelé par mes deux noms en prenant les présences et a dit : “Ça se peut que je switche entre les deux.”

(contribution anonyme)

From our neighbours at UQAM!

Triggers in a university context

Submitted by a follower:

Hi everyone!

I am currently working on a paper/journal article on triggers, triggering material and teaching sensitive material. A huge part of this work is using personal examples to examine how university class material and discussions can often be triggering for students and suggest possible ways to avoid this. For this, I’m trying to collect as many personal anecdotes and opinions as possible and that’s where you come in, lovely people! I am looking at various triggers: racism, trans*phobia, homophobia, classism, sexual assault, eating disorders, violence, etc.

If you have ever felt triggered by in-class material or discussions, I would love to know about it. I have a few questions to ask about the experience and about what you think could have been done differently to avoid this happening. I’d rather do the interviews in person, but if you’d prefer to make your contribution anonymous, you can fill out the SurveyMonkey below instead! 
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JRC6WCQ

All contributions will be made anonymous and gender-neutral! Thank you so much for your help, this will help Education students learn how to better treat sensitive material to keep their students safer. The final paper will also be sent to various faculty and department members in hopes that it will help develop frameworks to make classrooms at McGill safer.

*Please feel free to share this with as many people as possible! Thank you 

Raaaape culture

Hype week bros overheard at McGill Pizza:
"She doesn’t deserve to be on our team anymore! She wouldn’t take off her shirt. How can she expect to be on our team when she doesn’t even show us her tits when we tell her?! She’s not even pretty." 

TRIGGER WARNING: Sexual Assault

A preliminary hearing is set to take place next month regarding three McGill football players charged with sexual assault with a weapon and forcible confinement occurring in September 2011. We, the Sexual Assault Centre of the McGill Students’ Society (SACOMSS), denounce the McGill administration’s efforts to distance itself from this case and from rape culture at McGill in general. As a pro-survivor and anti-oppressive student service, SACOMSS is dedicated to the support of survivors of sexual assault and their allies. Through our work, it has become increasingly apparent that McGill fails to address sexual assault in any meaningful way. In fact, McGill has no sexual assault policy.

     McGill appears to act only when its reputation is at stake. In 2005, the McGill football team’s season was cancelled following the media backlash after shameful hazing with explicit sexual connotations. At the time, then-Interim Provost Dr. Anthony Masi stated, “Greater vigilance, a stronger emphasis and investment in positive team-building programs and activities, a greater awareness and responsibility on the part of our coaches, staff and the players themselves are critical to ensure that this never happens again. That is our clear goal.” 

     This stands in sharp contrast to McGill’s current response. The Gazette article published on November 1st, 2013 reports that the newspaper contacted McGill in the weeks following the events of 2011. Furthermore, the coach at the time was informed after the students were arrested in April 2012. Despite this, no action has been taken on the part of the McGill administration to address these events. We find this reprehensible.

     How many times must these assaults occur before McGill develops a policy to address sexual assault? Currently, there is neither a policy to mandate support services and awareness campaigns, nor an outline of how McGill responds to sexual assault at all. While SACOMSS is proud to offer its many services and is committed to continuing its valuable work, we believe that the responsibility to offer these essential services should not fall solely to our volunteers. McGill needs to take responsibility for addressing the harms caused within its community. 

     When will the administration stop making empty statements and start taking concrete steps to end the systemic perpetuation of rape culture on our campus?


     We would like to emphasize that SACOMSS is a pro-survivor service, meaning that we believe this survivor as well as all survivors. While this case may be highly publicized, it is important to remember those survivors whose voices are never heard. SACOMSS is open to all survivors and their allies. For support and more information on our services call our line at 514-398-8500, drop in to the Centre, or visit www.sacomss.org.

Fight Rape Culture at McGill

Fight Rape Culture at McGill

On November 1st, 2013, the Montreal Gazette released an article reporting the case of three McGill Redmen football players charged with sexual assault with a weapon and forcible confinement. The students were charged 15 months ago, and, to this date, McGill has taken no action. They have remained on the team despite their disclosure of the event to their coach and are still enrolled as students. We, the Union for Gender Empowerment, are outraged, not only that this happened, but also by the total lack of response from the McGill University administration. We condemn all manifestations of rape culture, and we wish to extend our support and solidarity to the survivor in this case and to all survivors of sexual assault.

This is not an isolated incident but rather a symptom of systemic rape culture. Sexual assault is a daily reality that is consistently silenced and normalised, whereby the survivor is blamed and the perpetrator’s actions are rationalised and excused. McGill University, along with the majority of university campuses, is a place where sexual assault is a frequent occurrence. The institutions and practices commonly celebrated blatantly perpetuate rape culture. By not taking any disciplinary action to hold the perpetrators in this case accountable, McGill has further demonstrated their lack of commitment to supporting survivors and dismantling rape culture on campus. We demand that disciplinary action be taken against these perpetrators and that efforts be refocused on the needs and support of sexual assault survivors. In light of these and past events, we demand that McGill sports teams have mandatory consent workshops and training. We demand more effective accountability procedures on the part of the McGill administration, as well as greater transparency in those existing. We demand that McGill recognizes and changes the glaring error of not having an explicit policy addressing sexual assault.

These demands are only part of a greater fight against rape culture and creating safer spaces on our campus. It’s important that each of us hold ourselves, our communities, and the institutions of which we’re a part accountable for perpetuation of a culture of sexual assault. McGill needs to address its grossly inadequate sexual harassment and discrimination policies, but more importantly recognize and combat the ways in which McGill upholds and reproduces both societal and systemic forms of rape culture.


To sign on in solidarity with this statement, go to: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/fight-rape-culture-at-mcgill/

The original petition is working again after both the original and a replacement were showing as “nonexistent” earlier. Thanks for your patience!

coolthingsiappreciate said: Hi, I am considering starting a blog similar to this one at McMaster. As a WoC I feel I have recently been aware of and dealt with a number of microagressions along with my friends. Has there been a lot of pushback and any tips?

Hey, I would totally recommend making a similar one. UBC Microaggressions was also recently created. :) I haven’t experienced much pushback but perhaps it is because we haven’t received an exorbitant amount of submissions. 

Promo it intensely. One thing that I would consider is whether or not you wish to be anonymous about it. Or alternatively, to share the responsibility of managing the account. This account is shared in case we need to respond to questions and need collaborative advice. It also diffuses the stress and responsibility of running a tumblr like this.

I hope this answers your question. Let me know if you have any other thoughts or questions!

McGill football players face sex assault charges

Beyond a microaggression!