Queen's University — Since 1873
5th March 2013

ASUS reps quit, Prescott censured at ASUS Special Assembly

Alexander Prescott censured over rape victim comment

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A motion to formally censure ASUS representative to the AMS, Alexander Prescott, passed at an ASUS Special Assembly this evening.

Fellow ASUS Assembly members Daniel Basilio, ASUS representative to the AMS, Chelsey Morphy, chair of ASUS Board of Directors, and Greg Allan, ASUS representative to the AMS, announced their resignations following comments made by Prescott during assembly.

Prescott, who was also a member of team PDA in the AMS executive elections, came under fire after he posted a Facebook comment on Feb. 25 on a photo which protested victim-blaming of survivors of rape. Prescott’s comment stated: “It’s important to note … that some of the onus in these situations should lie with the victim.”

The motion to censure Prescott, which was put on the agenda at last week’s ASUS Assembly for tonight’s special meeting, condemns Prescott’s remarks. It passed with 17 votes in favour and fives against, and will be regarded as an official reprimand by ASUS toward Prescott.

Assembly failed to pass a motion to allow for Prescott’s impeachment.

During the special assembly, ASUS members argued that Prescott’s comments promoted rape culture and victim-blaming at Queen’s.

Despite this, Prescott reaffirmed his position at assembly that “some responsibility lies with victims who put themselves in risky situations.”

“I cannot speak as to how my statements have been misconstrued. My intention was never to blame a victim,” Prescott added.

After his remarks, Basilio, Morphy and Allan turned in their resignations.

“I would like to focus on the fact that as of March 5th 1:00 pm, [Prescott’s] comment still remains even though he is well aware of the uproar and alienation of the student body that his comment has induced,” Allan’s resignation letter, which was sent to the Journal following Assembly, read.

Basilio noted in his own letter that Prescott’s comments have “made it impossible for [him] to continue in this role.” “I will not call someone a colleague who engages in victim blaming and rape apologism, and I no longer feel safe attending meetings with someone who holds these beliefs,” he said in the letter.

Chelsey Morphy directed her resignation to ASUS President John Whittaker and ASUS Vice President Tom Jacobs.

“The Society has taken actions that leave me feeling unsafe while I volunteer and are condoning a discourse that I fundamentally disagree with,” Morphy’s resignation letter, which was also sent to the Journal following Assembly, stated.

See Friday’s issue of the Journal for the full story.

This story was last updated on March 6 at 12:35 a.m.

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