Letter to the editor: Re: “CARSA member suspended after swearing at sexual harassers”

Letters Opinions

Your story July 6, “CARSA member suspended after swearing at sexual harassers,” is misleading in implying that CARSA does not respond appropriately to complaints about sexual harassment.

You reported that a UVic alumna was suspended for one month for violating the facility’s behavioural policy after several meetings to address behaviour in CARSA. Indeed, CARSA has conduct policies reflecting UVic’s commitment to providing a safe and healthy environment free from discrimination, harassment, and inappropriate behaviour.

The university is clear that sexual harassment is unacceptable and responds to allegations to resolve the matter in a balanced, fair, rational, and confidential process.

Our procedures for the student-staff when dealing with reports of harassment and conflict requires them to complete an Incident Report and call Campus Security. We do not put our student-staff in the position of resolving or adjudicating allegations of sexual harassment. We provide training to give them confidence in dealing with difficult situations and they are accountable for quickly reporting incidents to the appropriate authorities and ensuring those impacted are aware of the university’s support services.

We strive to set a tone of inclusivity and safety, reinforced through staff training, signage about respectful behaviour, and an updated code of conduct being added to the mandatory online waiver.

Your reference to CARSA staff attributing inappropriate behaviour to “gym culture” is contrary to the training we provide staff. We take pride in fostering an inclusive facility where people can achieve their fitness goals as students, faculty, staff, alumni, retirees, or members of the community.


Michelle Peterson,
Associate Director, Finance and Operations
Vikes Athletics and Recreation