October 6, 2016
This week, the Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board (HSMB) released its annual report for 2015-16. The report, unfortunately, left the Hamilton community with questions and frustrations, rather than answers, best exemplified by the signs that now hang from the bridge over Martin’s Way. The following editorial addresses the issue as the majority of The Spectator staff views it, with the understanding that constrained space necessitates an abbreviated response.
First, there must be better definitions of the penalties for sexual assault and misconduct, and more transparent enforcement. Part of the reason the Hamilton community is uneasy with the results released in the recent HSMB report is due to the fact that definitions of violations feel really fuzzy. It seems challenging to justify giving a student guilty of “sexual harassment” six points while another found guilty of “non-consensual sexual contact” was given only two. While we understand that these decisions are made on a private and case-to-case basis, we are nonetheless concerned by the apparent inconsistency in the HSMB’s verdicts.