The Task Force on Respect and Equality was formed after a leaked, sexually explicit online conversation about the head of the student union in February 2014 was followed a month later by allegations of sexual assault during a men’s hockey team road trip. Criminal charges were later laid against two players.
University of Ottawa president Allan Rock said in early March that the task force, made up of students, faculty, alumni and people working in feminism and sexual violence fields, would report back that autumn about ways to promote respectful behaviour on campus, especially toward women.
He said it would also examine training around sexual violence and harassment, look for areas of improvement, and work on sanctions for students or employees who promote threatening behaviour.
All 24 players from the 2013-14 Gee-Gees men’s hockey team who weren’t charged said earlier this month they plan to file a $6 million class-action lawsuit against the school for damage done to their reputations.
The lawsuit cites the task force report as a way the school continues to link the team’s suspension for this and next season to the creation of the task force and "rape culture" on university campuses.
The University of Ottawa has scheduled a news conference for 10 a.m. ET Thursday.