Quinsigs is a community college in Ontario, Canada, which opened in 2014 and has grown into one of Canada’s largest.
Its women are leaders in their field, but also have a history of sexual harassment, and the university has been under fire for the treatment of a former employee.
This story, which was written by CBC News reporter Jennifer Beaudoin, shows how the women, and others who came before them, have taken matters into their own hands to change their culture.
“The women are doing it in their own way,” said Brenda, the former college president.
“They are trying to figure out ways to make this institution more welcoming for women.
And I think we are starting to see a movement.”
Brenda says she has been in the community college since the 1970s.
She has witnessed first-hand the effects of sexism at the university and the ways that it had made women feel unwelcome.
“I think it’s a reflection of our society, where you have women being told that they don’t belong in a place where they don`t have to conform to a culture, where they can feel they have no place to belong,” Brenda said.
“I think that’s what really drove us.”
Brenda is the co-founder of the Quinsigenas Community College Association.
She said she has spoken with more than 40 other women who were victims of sexual violence.
She spoke with CBC News in January.
“The culture is in such a state where women feel that they have been discriminated against and they don”t want to be there, Brenda said, explaining that many women who had been sexually assaulted said they felt abandoned by their school.
Brenda is a former teacher.
She was in the classroom in 2012 when she heard about a new class.
When she went to class that day, she says she found the instructor was not wearing a uniform.
Brenda said the instructor told the students to wear a bra and panties.
No, no,'” Brenda said she recalled. “
We were all like, ‘Oh, no, no.
No, no,'” Brenda said she recalled.
“And then she was like, you know, she said to the other students, you’re going to wear that, you are going to put on a bra, you will put on that.”
Brenda and her colleagues tried to explain that the teacher was not encouraging them to wear anything, but the teacher simply told them that the bra was a symbol of modesty and a way of showing support.
“It was very humiliating to be told that I should wear a little bit of something,” Brenda recalled.
Brenda said she decided to go public about the experience and spoke up.
She was told that she was fired for doing this.
She is now a founder of the community association.
The women were not alone.
A year after Brenda first went public, a student who was also a former student came forward with a similar story.
She told CBC News that the instructor, a male, had made derogatory remarks about her appearance, calling her “slutty” and telling her that he wanted to have sex with her.
Brenda told CBC that the woman was fired from her position.
When Brenda told her story to the college, she was not only fired, she also said that she had been told that her colleagues at the school had been responsible for the sexual harassment.
She also had a friend who was the current president of the college.
“I was told they had no way to address it because they had a policy and that’s how they handled it,” Brenda told Beaudin.
The university said it is working to change its culture and that it has begun to work with Brenda and other former students to address the issues. “
The culture of the school was that I didn’t belong there.”
The university said it is working to change its culture and that it has begun to work with Brenda and other former students to address the issues.
But Brenda says that the issue is not going away.
Quinsigas has launched a campaign to help students who have experienced sexual violence at the institution, with the goal of “creating a safe space where students can come together, share experiences and find solutions.”
In a statement, the university said that it is aware of the issues Brenda has raised and is working closely with her and her family.
In a separate interview, Brenda, now the president of Quinasigamonds, said that the institution is committed to creating a safe environment and that “every member of our community has a role to play in the healing process.”
“We’re all in this together, so we need to find a way to support each other and share experiences,” she said.
Read more about sexual assault: Quiniscamonds community college: CBC News Quinasigams students and former students speak out