Collection RG-4.2 - The Committee to Review the Events of September 27 to 28, 1989 collection

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The Committee to Review the Events of September 27 to 28, 1989 collection

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  • Textual record

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[Wilfrid Laurier University 1989 panty raid collection]

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  • 1989-1990 (Creation)
    Committee to Review the Events of September 27 to 28, 1989

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Physical description

6 cm of textual records

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Administrative history

The Committee to Review the Events of September 27 to 28, 1989 was formed in October 1989 by the Office of the President in response to a panty raid which occurred on the Wilfrid Laurier University campus.

The Committee’s mandate was to “identify and recommend any necessary or desirable changes in university policy or procedure suggested by those events and incidents; and to recommend any other measures which appear appropriate, in light of this review, concerning the promotion of positive, non-sexist attitudes and behaviour among members of the university community.” The Committee’s first step was to establish the facts of the event.

At Wilfrid Laurier University, panty raids were annual events organized by residence leaders for first-year students living in residence. Head Residents and Dons organized and monitored the scheduled event. Male students living in the men’s residences raided the women’s residence, and the following day female residents raided the men’s residences. Students traditionally took the undergarments seized in the raid and displayed them on large posters in the Dining Hall. Laurier Security granted the students access the dining hall so their ‘trophies’ could be displayed.

In September 1989, first the men, then the women displayed graphic panty-raid posters in the dining hall that offended students and faculty members. Subsequent attempts to have the posters removed sparked a controversy about sexism on campus; campus traditions; and the role of the University in tacitly supporting the panty raid. The University found itself in the spotlight as news outlets across Canada reported on the panty raids, gender relations, women’s rights, and violence.

President John Weir banned panty raids, and the Committee was asked to continue examining the events in order to determine how the University could increase equality and create positive gender relations on campus. The Committee invited individuals and groups to submit their opinions and recommendations in response to the incident.
In January 1990 The Committee released their Report and Recommendations. Their recommendations fell into three categories: the University environment; the University and students; Women and administration. Some of the major recommendations were: integrated residences; appointment of a Human Rights Officer; a policy on gender-free language; a sexual harassment policy; a university committee on gender relations; creation of a Campus Cultural Life Coordinator; appointment of a Student Life Coordinator; and an increase in the number of women in the housing, student services, counselling and security functions of the university.

On January 30, 1990 Wilfrid Laurier University issued a news release introducing a new program to promote positive gender relations on campus, and addressing the recommendations of the Committee.

Custodial history

Scope and content

This collection contains documents and related material from The Committee to Review the Events of September 27 to 28, 1989. Material includes meeting minutes and notes, submissions and recommendations to the Committee, background information, newspaper clippings, and the final report.

File 3 contains submissions to the Committee by individuals. The submissions are confidential until 2039. Redacted copies are available for use.

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Some files in the collection are closed. Please contact Laurier Archives for more information.

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Previous identifier: U29.3 F7

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Physical storage

  • Shelf: Room 1-124 Shelf 1-1-5