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Allegations of harassment on campus

by Mia Anhoury April 2, 2019
Allegations of harassment on campus

Concordia increases security after student files complaint

Concordia has increased security on campus after a student spoke publicly about two times she was harassed at school by strangers in the last month.

Concordia student Lisa Komlos was approached on campus by two different men on two separate occasions, who complimented her with a sense of urgency. The compliments were followed by a line of questioning about her personal information. According to Komlos, the men also tried to isolate her from the crowd in both instances.

In a statement released on Saturday, the university said they increased security on the Sir George Williams campus and they are “committed to fostering a safe and respectful environment.”

Concordia is in contact with the police. “We are in touch with our colleagues at McGill and UQAM to ensure a coordinated response,” said Fiona Downey, university spokesperson.

Komlos was walking to her class through the Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex (EV) when the incidents occurred.

Komlos posted a video describing the incidents to her Instagram story on Friday afternoon.

In the video posted to her Instagram, Komlos describes the men as “aggressive” and “angry” when she told them to leave her alone. “I was feeling unheard, frustrated, and frankly, I was annoyed,” said Komlos about the first incident, which happened on March 11. “I finally got away from him and went about my day thinking that this was just another daily occurrence of harassment.”

Komlos realized that the encounters were scripted and rehearsed during the second incident on March 26. “It is because of situations like these that I purposely never take the same route to my class,” she said. “Having a routine makes you predictable, and being predictable can make you vulnerable. It is exhausting having to always be on alert.”

The public service announcement Komlos made now has over 152,000 views. “I felt that it was my duty as a woman to come forward with this story,” she said. “I wanted to share these encounters so that I could warn others to keep their eyes open.”

Komlos is in contact with the university’s security department to identify one of the men who approached her. The man was caught on video surveillance footage.

Over a dozen women from Concordia reached out to Komlos with similar stories on campus after seeing the video. “There was also a flood of responses from other women sharing their personal experiences with sexual harassment and sexual assault,” she added.

People who feel unsafe or are harassed on campus can call Concordia security at (514) 848-3737 option 1. A Safe Walk program is also available on campus. Find more information on the security department’s website.

Photo by Mia Anhoury

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