Carleton investigates “inappropriate t-shirts”; bans student from campus after sexual assault charges

September 9, 2014

Carleton University is investigating after photos appeared on social media of students, including frosh leaders, wearing shirts featuring “inappropriate wording.” The shirts apparently derided the existence of campus safe spaces, created as havens where students can be free from sexual harassment and homophobia; however, some have speculated that the t-shirts were intended to protest a university prohibition against swearing during frosh week “There was clearly a party,” said a lawyer who tweeted the photos. “Everyone looked like they were having a good time, but then we noticed a handful of people were wearing different shirts … and all of a sudden the tone for us changed drastically.” Meanwhile, a Carleton student has been charged with 3 counts of sexual assault on campus. Mohamed Daoud was apprehended after a staff member reported that he had inappropriately touched her in an elevator. An investigation found that the accused had apparently assaulted 2 other female staff members. Daoud was released following a bail hearing on Friday, with strict conditions including that he is not allowed on any Ottawa university or college campus. CTV News | Ottawa Citizen (T-shirts) | Ottawa Citizen (Assault)

Postscript: September 9, 2014

A group of Carleton University students who were photographed wearing offensive tank tops have apologized and await word of their punishment. The shirts appeared to mock the university’s Safe Space initiative. The students claimed, however, that the shirts were intended to protest a university rule against swearing during frosh week. In their apology, student orientation team leaders said, “while our intentions were not to harm or disrespect anyone, the T-shirts in question were without a doubt inappropriate, inconsiderate, offensive and disgraceful. Intent is not an excuse for impact and we take full responsibility for the seriousness of our actions.” Carleton President Roseann O’Reilly Runte said, “such behaviour is not acceptable and extremely disappointing to the broader Carleton community. Sanctions will be issued subsequent to individual meetings.” She also emphasized that the event at which the shirts were worn was not a Carleton-sanctioned event and that “the inappropriate action did not undermine the overall effectiveness of Carleton’s orientation programming.” Ottawa Citizen