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Western University students plan walkout Friday after sexual assault allegations

London, Ont. –

Western University students say they plan to walk out of class Friday to protest what they call a “culture of misogyny” on campus.

The event is being planned as police investigate numerous allegations of sexual assault during orientation week at school in London, Ont.

Organizer Hayden Van Neck, a third-year student, said the walkout will also protest the university’s response to the allegations that have surfaced.

She says the campus event will see several survivors of sexual assault speaking to students who drop out of class at noon Friday.

The university and police said four women had filed formal complaints about being sexually assaulted on campus in recent days.

Police said they were also investigating allegations made on social media of mass drugs and sexual assault at the Medway-Sydenham Hall residence on campus during orientation week.

Co-organizers of Friday’s walkout at Western University, left to right, Hayden Van Neck, Danica Facca and Emily Poirier in London, Ont. On Wednesday, September 15, 2021 (Bret Lale / CTV News)

The force noted, however, that no one had yet filed a formal complaint over the allegations.

Western says they take the allegations seriously and offer a wide variety of supports to students.

The series of allegations came as an 18-year-old Western student died after being assaulted near campus over the weekend.

A 21-year-old man, who Western said was not a student, has been charged with manslaughter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on September 15, 2021.

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