Students leaders at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, have issued an apology after wearing T-shirts around campus mocking the school's "safe space" policy.
Images of some students wearing shirts with the words "F--- Safe Space" started circulating over social media after an off-campus party took place on September 7, during orientation week. Some of those students — both young men and women — were even orientation facilitators, according to CBCNews.com.
The university's more than 10-year-old "safe space" policy states that students should feel safe and free from discrimination on campus.
"I was kind of grossed out and disgusted and personally hurt," Ellen Cottee, a fourth-year student, told CBCNews. "Because safe space ... means I can say things, I can talk about things and feel safe. And I can feel safe walking on my campus."
With accounts of on-campus rape making headlines in outlets such as the New York Times and New York magazine, the issue of on-campus safety and sexual assault is top of mind at many college and university campuses.
Kathleen Pye, a therapist in New Brunswick, Canada, tweeted out an image of two young men wearing the shirt, with the following message:
Roseann O'Reilly Runte, Carleton's president, responded swiftly in an emailed statement:
"Such behavior is not acceptable and extremely disappointing to the broader Carleton community," she wrote. "Those involved have indicated that they will issue a sincere apology and work with the university to ensure that such behavior does not occur again in the future."
Students who participated in wearing the shirt sent out an email to the Carlton community, apologizing for their actions:
"While our intentions were not to harm or disrespect anyone, the T-shirts in question were without a doubt inappropriate, inconsiderate, offensive and disgraceful. Intent is not an excuse for impact and we take full responsibility for the seriousness of our actions," the email read.