Ottawa

UQO student leaders step down over game that awarded points for sexual behaviour

The three student leaders of the Université du Québec en Outaouais branch of an inter-university event have stepped down after being accused of promoting rape culture with a game that awarded points for sexual behaviour.

Les Jeux de la Communication is an annual event that includes teams from francophone universities

Stéphanie Boucher is the head of the 2017 edition of Les Jeux de la Communication. (CBC)

The three student leaders of the Université du Québec en Outaouais branch of an inter-university event have stepped down after being accused of promoting rape culture with a game that awarded points for sexual behaviour.

UQO students in Gatineau with Les Jeux de la Communication distributed a list — called "The 12 labours of Hercules" — that awarded points for challenges such as kissing a girl, taking a photo of someone's breasts and participating in a wet T-shirt contest.
The list distributed as part of the inter-university event awarded points for a number of challenges of a sexual nature. (Radio-Canada)

The organizing committee of the 2017 games — an annual event that includes teams of communications and journalism students from francophone universities in Canada —​ threatened to ban the whole UQO team if the three leaders did not give up their responsibilities.

Stéphanie Boucher, head of the organizing committee, said the annual event is meant to be a professional competition that helps students hone their communication skills.

"What we don't want is to penalize other students who want to take part in our competition that aims to give them a taste of the professional work they plan to do after school," she said in French.

Denis Harrisson, the rector of UQO, condemned the list of challenges Friday after it was shared on social media. He said the university investigated what happened and said that students involved could face punishments as severe as expulsion.

The president of UQO's women's committee, Valerie La France, said the list was a "vulgar" example of "rape culture."

Stéphanie Vallée, the Quebec minister responsible for west Quebec and the former minister responsible for the status of women, said stepping down is the least the UQO student leaders could do for actions that have marked their whole team.

The organizing committee for Les Jeux de la Communication plan to rebuild its tarnished image by promoting the "No means no," campaign that focuses on consent.

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