Further reflections on reporting inappropriate behaviour.

There has been a lot of discussion about the importance of calling out inappropriate behaviour recently. This is in the wake of reports of sexual harassment and abuse from powerful men taking advantage of their positions. I posted before about Feminist Philosophers’ entry that extends this discussion to the academic milieu. I want to push this here.
In universities, there are very different kinds of protections enjoyed by individuals and many intricate power relations. While unionized and tenured faculty members enjoy the most protection, many employed or studying at Brock may have very little protection. A person experiencing harassment and/or bullying, of a sexual nature or not, may feel completely disempowered to report the behaviour for fear of retaliation. One may be afraid to lose one’s position or to be further harassed, perhaps in more subtle ways. It is a real and understandable fear, especially if the employer is not particularly well known for its efficiency at dealing with such complaints or lacks strong policies. What is the situation here at Brock? Do we feel that we can safely report and that complaints will be dealt with respectfully, swiftly, and fairly? Do we feel protected by existing policies for reporting inappropriate behaviour? I invite you to share with me by email without naming specifics so that we can get some insight into the situation here.

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