Founded in 1983 - United for Diversity and Racial Equality


Montreal, March 1st, 2018 – The very serious allegations of sexual harassment involving the conduct of Concordia University’s Graduate Students Association President towards a staff member cannot be taken lightly and require immediate actions.

According to an article published this week in The Link,, problems of sexual and racial discrimination continue to affect GSA staff. The article reports that President Srinivas Bathini has engaged in conduct that creates a toxic work environment for two female employees, including unwelcome comments about their appearance, behaviors that deprived the women of the right to a safe and respectful workplace, and acts that went beyond acceptable professional relations and that would constitute sexual or gender-based harassment.

The problems were made known to other GSA Vice-Presidents who have failed to act to protect staff and prevent the violation of their civil rights at work.

These instances of harassment appear to be a part of a larger, persisting problem of an abusive and hostile work environment in the GSA. CRARR currently represents Alex Ocheoha, who is Black, in his complaint of discrimination and harassment before the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission. The complaint named the GSA and three other directors as respondents.

Ocheoha was the GSA President from 2015 to 2016 and experienced, during his tenure, numerous acts of harassment, including offensive comments and arbitrary actions from some directors. He tried to seek help but did not receive support from neither the GSA Council nor the University. The GSA declines mediation to resolve the complaint.

CRARR calls on the GSA Council to urgently redress the situation, by taking all necessary and proper action to sanction sexual, racial and other forms of harassment within the association and to compel all Council members to adhere to civil rights laws. In addition, all GSA directors should assume both organizational and personal liability for acts of discrimination and harassment that occur within the GSA, and undergo each year, mandatory training on civil rights.

The GSA should also adopt systemic remedies, such as the creation of an effective reporting and complaints-handling procedure that complies with existing legal standards, to support and protect GSA executives, directors and staff from civil rights violations.

Like many, CRARR is very concerned with the fact the GSA Council and its individual members are seized with complaints of discrimination and harassment for three years in a row without taking any concrete action to remedy and prevent this problem.

CRARR and the Concordia Student Union will co-host on March 13 and 14 from 6 to 9 pm, a seminar entitled, “Taking Back Our Campus – Campus Sexual Violence, a Civil Rights Issue.” Through this event, both organizations will explore campus sexual violence from the perspective of civil rights legislation, and concrete strategies and solutions to combat intentional as well as systemic gender-based discrimination and violence on campus.

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