Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Friday, Oct 24.

Re: Queen’s has failed sexual assault survivors

Queen’s takes the issue of sexual assault extremely seriously and works to broadly educate members of our community on this topic, to prevent its occurrence, to respond effectively to reported incidents, and to support those who have experienced sexual assault.

The university offers a wide range of support services, including the Human Rights Office (HRO), Campus Security and Emergency Services, Student Affairs and Health, Counselling and Disability Services. We strongly encourage survivors to seek the advice and assistance of the experienced staff in these offices.

What the Journal’s editorial failed to take into account is that each instance of sexual assault is personal and highly sensitive, with each survivor having unique needs. First and foremost, the university respects these needs and the importance of not removing or constraining survivors’ personal decisions regarding how to proceed.

The university provides survivors with information to empower them to make their own decisions, with the assistance and support of whichever university or community resources they may choose. In some circumstances, again at the request of the survivor, direct access and liaison to community services is offered and accompaniment provided.

When a sexual assault risk is identified, a threat assessment process is undertaken to determine how best to protect the safety of the survivor and other members of the Queen’s community.

I would like to acknowledge and convey my appreciation to the many trained staff, students, and faculty members at Queen’s, including the members of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Working Group, who work tirelessly to continually educate our community, enhance our existing resources and processes, and offer support to survivors of sexual assault.

When it comes to responding to a sexual assault, Queen’s is committed to individualizing the support requested by survivors. This is the most appropriate way to respond compassionately and effectively.

Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Re:Casino

Dear editor,

When voters go to the polls this Monday October 27th, they will see the following question:
Are you in favour of a casino located in the city of Kingston? Yes. No.

It's likely that, given the timing (mid-April 2014) of Kingston City Council's decision to put the question on the municipal ballot, many in the student population are not aware of this referendum.

Students should be know that Ontario's Lottery and Gaming Corporation wants to increase revenues and attract younger clients by building more casinos, and building them close to urban populations. Many Kingston residents oppose this expansion into our city because of the evidence that urban casinos drain local economies by diverting discretionary income from restaurants, bars and shops.

Most gambling revenue leaves the community. Businesses suffer, and job losses outweigh jobs gained at the new casino.

With proximity, too, comes an increase in problem and pathological gambling, which takes its toll on the financial, mental, and social health of individuals, families, friends and communities.

The AMS and other student groups are to be commended for their efforts to get out the vote for this municipal election. We hope that people will think about the question on the ballot before they go to the polls. We want future Queen's grads to return for Homecoming to a city that has not been economically and culturally depleted because of a casino.

Anne Lougheed
Chair, No Casino Kingston

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