University owes students answers about misogynistic Facebook page

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Queen’s silence regarding a misogynistic Facebook page run by one of its employees is almost as hurtful to students as the page’s contents.
 
In late November, The Journal reported that Kings of Queen’s, an anti-women page active on Facebook since 2017, was run by a Queen’s employee. In response, the University stated at the time that it was “actively looking into the matter.”
 
However, since the story broke in the fall, Queen’s hasn’t given students any further updates on an investigation’s progress.
 
This has—understandably—left many students feeling let down by the University. The Facebook page directly targeted Queen’s students with sexist and violent comments. In some cases, the page’s owner even shared photographs and videos of students with sexist captions. 
 
Violence against women is a pervasive problem worldwide. Any comments discriminating against women or inciting violence on our own campus can’t be taken lightly, particularly if our University touts its progressive brand
 
Students deserve transparency, and to know what measures Queen’s has taken to ensure student safety since they learned of the page’s owner. If the University were to publicly condemn the page’s content, it might begin to assuage the concerns of women on campus feeling targeted.  
 
In the meantime, female-identifying students have been left in limbo by the University’s silence, unsure of whether this angry employee is still on campus, feeling unsafe as a result.
 
Administrative procedure may prevent Queen’s from making specific comments on any investigation, but without any comment at all, students don't know where the University stands on a matter that has left many feeling unwelcome on campus. 
 
Queen’s must emphasize that their employee’s misogynistic views don’t reflect the University’s values if they hope to keep their students feeling safe. 
 
The Facebook page’s controversial nature extends beyond freedom of speech concerns. A page inciting hatred and distrust of women run by a University employee reflects poorly on Queen’s as a whole. It’s incumbent on our administration to demonstrate zero tolerance for discriminatory actions in their community.
 
When (and if) the University takes action to remedy concerns about student safety, they owe the student body an explanation of how this employee-run page flew under their radar until students discovered the page owner’s identity. They also owe students a statement on measures that will be taken moving forward to stop Queen’s employees from engaging in similar future behaviour. 
 
Primarily, Queen’s should let students know if they’ve taken any recent action to make them feel safer after the page was taken down. After all, students deserve to feel safe, respected, and welcome on campus again as soon as possible.
 
 

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