Clark Hall staff to undergo mandatory training after displaying insensitive tip jars

The tip jars were displayed at Ritual last Friday.

After last week’s United States presidential election, a reference to a Donald Trump quote on a tip jar at Clark Hall Pub provoked criticism from students and an official apology from Clark Hall staff.

On Nov. 11, as students gathered at Clark for Friday afternoon Ritual, staff members set up two tips jars at the bar — one labeled “grabbing her by the feelings”, the other labeled “grabbing her by the pussy.”

According to Engineering Society (EngSoc) Vice-President (Operations) Tyler Bennett, [Sci ’17], a patron of the pub brought the tip jars to EngSoc’s attention via Facebook, where the student expressed concern with the message. 

After EngSoc and Clark Hall management were made aware of the issue, the pub’s management team issued an official statement on their website on Sunday.

The statement acknowledged that the message on the jar “made light of recent comments by president-elect Donald Trump, which were disrespectful to the victims of gender-based violence, survivors of sexual assault, and beyond that, all advocates of gender equality and a just society.”

The managers apologized sincerely to all those who were hurt by the message, and clarified that they “strongly disagree with these statements made by Donald Trump.”

The team also invited students to contact Clark management via Facebook or email, or see them in person, to discuss the incident and “work towards improving the pub and making it an inviting and safe space for all students.”

Bennett told The Journal in an email on Wednesday that no one had attempted to contact staff to discuss the incident since the statement had been posted, and that students have said only positive things about the way Clark handled the situation in a serious and timely manner.

All current staff members will be undergoing sensitivity training, and in the future, all management staff will undergo equity training prior to the beginning of their term.

In addition to training, Bennett wrote that “future displays in the pub and around campus will be given more care and review.”

He also indicated that the Dean of Engineering has requested to meet with all involved staff.

Bennett was unable to comment on whether the staff members involved in writing the message were being specifically reprimanded.

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