Concordia University grapples with how to protect students after drugging, assault reports
McGill University issues its own alert after Concordia warns women to be vigilant about job interview offers
Concordia's Sexual Assault Resource Centre is warning students to be vigilant on all social media platforms after learning that in at least two instances, last winter and in September, young women were drugged and sexually assaulted after receiving job interview offers on Instagram.
The students were offered professional development opportunities and lured off campus.
"Anyone can be vulnerable to this," centre co-ordinator Jennifer Drummond said.
Drummond said people are worried after the university emailed a notice to students and staff Monday evening, warning, "Social media campaign targets women students."
The university said Montreal police are investigating the incidents.
Concordia student Ana Bilokin said her friends are shocked and angry after learning about the luring that happened via social media.
"It sounds like something I could have easily engaged with," she said.
Another student, Sincere Sanderson, said that using fake job opportunities to drug and assault women is "just wrong."
"We're poor students. We need jobs in this economy," she said.
Drummond said the situation leaves everyone unsure of what to do to prevent further incidents.
"In 2017, you can't tell women to go offline. That's not a solution," she said.
She's encouraging any student to visit the Sexual Assault Resource Centre if they've been in a similar situation and would like help navigating their options — whether that be contacting police or something else, she said.
McGill issues warning
McGill University has issued a similar warning to its students following the Concordia email, even though it states the university is not aware of any threat or incident involving its community.
The McGill statement outlines what happened at Concordia and advises its students to call 911 if they feel threatened and to report any incidents to campus security.
With files from Antoni Nerestant