Dear Mr. Lopez,
I write to you on behalf of the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) at Carleton University, which represents over 3,600 graduate students. On August 19, 2014, the Council of the GSA voted to condemn the promotional “trailer” for Aficionado’s Ottawa Frosh 2014, and the messages conveyed in that video. We are appalled by the scenes in the promotional video, which depict young women in a strongly sexualized and objectified manner, and which also promote alcohol and drug abuse. We believe that the sexualization and objectification of young women in connection with drugs, alcohol, and “frosh” events effectively promotes sexual violence.
Incidences of sexual assault increase during the first eight weeks of school, and one in four students between the ages of 16 and 24 will experience sexual violence while attending a post-secondary institution. For this reason, promoting a private orientation event with graphic depictions of sexualized young women, drugs, and alcohol is very dangerous. At the GSA, we work hard to combat rape culture and the high rates of sexual violence during our orientation weeks, and we understand Aficionado’s Ottawa Frosh 2014 event as directly contradicting and undermining that work. We are pleased that the offending video has been removed from YouTube, and we encourage you to leave future orientation events to the post-secondary institutions in Ottawa.
Sexual Assault Outreach Coordinator