Western University students walk out in wake of sex assault claims: ‘Protect our campus’

Thousands of students at Western University have walked out of class at noon on Friday to protest what they call a “culture of misogyny” on campus after a series of sexual assault allegations surfaced in recent days.

The students are also expected to speak out about the London, Ont., school’s handling of those allegations.

Read more: Western University orientation leader shares personal account amid online reports of student assaults

Western and London police have said four women have come forward with formal complaints about being sexually assaulted on campus recently.

Police are also investigating allegations made on social media of mass drugging and sexual assaults at the Medway-Sydenham Hall residence on campus during orientation week.

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The force has said no one has come forward with a formal complaint on those online allegations.

Western announced Thursday that it will require students in residence to take training sessions on sexual violence and consent as it works to address what it describes as a problematic campus culture.

Read more: Western University launches action plan amid reports of student assaults

The measure is part of a new action plan that will also see the university hire 100 new “safety ambassadors” — a mix of upper-year undergraduates and graduate students who will work overnight in residences.

The school also plans to create a task force that will take “a comprehensive look” at student safety.

More to come.

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— with files from Global News’ Jacquelyn LeBel, Sawyer Bogdan and Brittany Rosen

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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