Western University students plan walkout Friday after sex assault allegations

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LONDON, Ont. — Students at Western University say they plan to walk out of class on Friday to protest what they call a "culture of misogyny" on campus.

The event is being planned as police investigate numerous allegations of sexual assault during the London, Ont., school's orientation week.

Organizer Hayden Van Neck, a third-year-student, says the walkout will also protest the university's response to the allegations that have surfaced.

She says the on-campus event will see several sexual assault survivors speak to students who leave their classes at noon on Friday.

The university and police have said four women have come forward with formal complaints about being sexually assaulted on campus in recent days.

Police say they 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.

The force has noted, however, that no one has come forward with a formal complaint on those allegations yet.

Western says they are taking the allegations seriously and are offering a wide variety of supports to the students.

The series of allegations came as an 18-year-old Western student died after being assaulted near campus over the weekend.

A 21-year-old man, who Western said was not a student, has been charged with manslaughter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 15, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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