Earlier this week, threats were made against women and feminists at the University of Toronto on a public blog (the thread has since been deleted). Following that, a reddit thread appeared, with a commenter asked if anyone had “info on the threats made against the university…” and included a screenshot of the threat made on a public blog:
.@TorontoPolice Person threatening to shoot feminists @UofT on @blogto article. This warrants investigation!! pic.twitter.com/cM1BhyuQrt
— Carly Stuart (@StuartCarly) September 5, 2015
Historically, online threats against women aren’t taken very seriously, but as one reddit commenter pointed out, it appears that maybe because of the high number of people reporting this, both the school and local authorities are taking it very seriously. In a letter from CUPE chair Ryan Culpepper, he confirms that the threats specifically encourage violence and target fellow members in their workplaces. “Specifically mentioned are those working in Sociology and Women’s Studies classrooms. The wording and content of the threats are beyond abhorrent and will not be reproduced here.”
“All members, but especially those who identify as women and those who work in the named Departments, should be aware and careful, and of course all of us should look out for one another,” his note cautions.
It also appears that a University of Toronto professor sent out an email to students, faculty and staff, informing them that the university is working with Toronto Police Service and Peel Regional Police Services to support the investigation. “We take these threats very seriously and want to ensure that we have a safe campus community,” it said.
They have increased campus police presence on three campuses, and are monitoring the situation closely, encouraging everyone to report any suspicious activity to the police at 911 or campus police St George: 416-978-2222, UTM: 905-569-4333, UTSC: 416-287-7333, and to consult the Community Safety Office if you have any concerns about your personal safety.
The university has a variety of safety programs to support students, faculty and staff while on campus see www.safety.utoronto.ca for more information.
The university could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.
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