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Incumbents win big in GTA elections

John Tory, Mike Layton, Matt Mahoney, Bonnie Crombie cruise to victory, newcomer Jennifer McKelvie wins by narrow margin

Incumbents win big in GTA elections

It’s decision day in the GTA, and voters have chosen incumbent Mayor John Tory to run Toronto for four more years. On the council side, incumbents Mike Layton and Matt Mahoney won out in University—Rosedale and Mississauga Ward 8 respectively, while newcomer Jennifer McKelvie prevailed over incumbent Neethan Shan in Scarborough—Rouge Park.

Mayoral results
With 1786 out of 1800 polls reporting, Tory is projected to win with 63.55 per cent of the vote, easily surpassing runner up Jennifer Keesmaat, who is currently at only 23.52 per cent.

Tonight’s result was also a large improvement on Tory’s 2014 win, when he received 40.3 per cent.

Tory made affordability the central theme of his campaign, with his website reading that he has a “commitment to keeping Toronto affordable.” After receiving criticism for how he handled the nearly 100 homeless deaths in Toronto in 2017, Tory has said that he will create 400 more spaces in shelters.

In Mississauga, incumbent Bonnie Crombie is projected to win by a large margin, with 349 out of 692 polls reporting that she will receive 75.6 per cent of the vote. Runner-up Kevin J. Johnston came away with only 13.5 per cent. Crombie’s win was also an improvement from her 2014 showing, when she won 68 per cent.

During her time in office, Crombie started initiatives such as ‘Making Room for the Middle,’ which aims to keep housing affordable for middle-class families and create a safer city.

UTSG
Mike Layton, the incumbent councillor for Ward 19 Trinity-Spadina, won big in the new Ward 11 University—Rosedale against six other challengers.

Layton, who has been in office since 2010, won 69.56 per cent of the votes with all polls reporting, while runner-up Joyce Rowlands came away with only 13.16 per cent.

Part of Layton’s platform was that local government needs to “get back in the business of building affordable housing.”

“Sometimes we call things affordable that really aren’t because our definition of affordable is average market rent across the city,” said Layton.

UTM
Matt Mahoney, incumbent councillor for Ward 8, is projected to win re-election with a landslide 80 per cent. Mahoney has been in office since 2014.

Mahoney hopes to create a transit pass with one fee, and he said that his office has met with Mayor Bonnie Crombie, the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union, and the university administration to discuss collaborating with other municipalities.

UTSC
In one of the closest races of the night, incumbent Councillor Neethan Shan lost to former U of T student and UTSC Campus Council member Jennifer McKelvie.

With all polls reporting, McKelvie won 41.01 per cent — 11,523 votes — while Shan won 38.69 per cent — 10,872 votes.
McKelvie is an environmental geoscientist who headed the Scarborough Community Renewal Organization and served as a board member on the UTSC Campus Council.

Shan was a former school board member who won in a Scarborough municipal by-election in 2017.

McKelvie ran on a platform of safe school zones, new housing options for seniors, and an integrated Scarborough transit system, which would include an extension to the current subway system, the Eglinton East light rail transit, and improved bus services.

Student-led petition calls for separate Computer Science convocation

Petition had over 800 signatures

Student-led petition calls for separate Computer Science convocation

Computer Science (CS) students started an online petition calling for a review to hold a separate convocation for the department. The petition, titled “Let CS Graduate Together!” proposed that students be given the option to graduate with other students from their department. Currently, CS students graduate with other students from the college to which they belong.

After three months of petitioning, the student-led petition received 809 signatures.

Professional faculties and Rotman Commerce are the only undergraduate divisions with their own ceremonies.

“Members of the committee are aware of the petition and are considering and taking concerns from Computer Science students,” said Elizabeth Church, Interim Director of U of T Media Relations.

“The review is also including a survey of graduates at this year’s spring and fall convocations,” said Church, adding that they also contacted recent alumni and five student governments for comment.

Lana El Sanyoura, a fourth-year CS student and organizer of the petition, spoke with The Varsity regarding her concerns about current convocation procedures and what led her to creating the petition page.

“As Computer Science students, we spend so much of our time working together, so many of our courses are group-based, and we spend hours, even go past midnight, working in the Computer Labs at the Bahen Centre. We also take a majority of Computer Science courses, and have a strong, thriving, localized community that lies within the Bahen Centre, with the student union office, study lounges, computer labs, classes, and professor offices all in one place,” said El Sanyoura in an email.

“However, on the most important day of our academic careers, we are not there for each other at Convocation, because we are graduating with our Colleges.”

El Sanyoura also pointed out that the CS department shares similar features with Rotman Commerce, namely deregulated fees, a grade-based admission process, and a Professional Experience Year Co-op Program, which grants students the option of interning for 12–16 months after their second or third year. Rotman Commerce, unlike CS, has its own convocation.

“This petition could give students the chance to celebrate their undergraduate experience with the community of students and faculty that they had been working along-side of through it all,” continued El Sanyoura.

Ignas Panero Armoska, a second-year CS student, shared the same community sentiment as Sanyoura, expressing a closer connection to classmates in the department.

“I believe that I identify with the CS community so much more than my [college’s], to the point where when people describe how they feel connected to or are vested in their college, I realize that is a space I hold for my computer science community, much like the engineers do.”

Review process

The petition comes after the university announced a review for all upcoming convocations. U of T officials looked at current procedures such as venue size, number of guest tickets, diploma procedures, and whether or not each student should receive their diploma from the chancellor individually. The review also took into account the size of the university.

An advisory committee consisting of both academic staff and administrators from across all three campuses has been created. Among the committee members are Don MacMillan, Registrar at the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering; Silvia Rosatone, Director at the Office of Convocation; Sheree Drummond, Secretary of Governing Council; and Bryn MacPherson, Assistant Vice-President of the Office of the President & Chief of Protocol.

The committee will be looking at the factors and implications associated with the venue and ceremony procedures, such as accessibility services, budgeting, and inclusion of Indigenous culture.

The committee will be consulting with the 2018 spring and fall graduating classes, principals and deans, divisional faculty and staff, and the alumni community regarding final decisions.

Students and staff can submit comments or suggestions to the advisory committee through an online form by November 30. An interim report will be presented in December and a final report is expected to be delivered early next year.

Editor’s note (25/10): This article has been corrected to clarify that the petition did not have a target number of signatures.

How to report workplace harassment if you’re a U of T student

Examining how workplace harassment, sexual harassment are handled by the university

How to report workplace harassment if you’re a U of T student

Students who work for the university are not immune to workplace harassment. To combat the problem, Governing Council’s Policy with Respect to Workplace Harassment provides guidelines on how students can file complaints in the event that they experience harassment at work.

The policy provides student and faculty employees of the university with three options for filing complaints: victims can either contact their human resources office, their union, or their supervisor. If the grievance is against the supervisor, the complainant can go to a senior-level department member. The policy also instructs victims to contact the Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Centre.

Elizabeth Church, a U of T spokesperson, said that it is “hard to generalize [the complaint process] because it depends on the nature of the case, so the next steps and consequences would be decided based on the general nature of the case.”

Church explained that apart from contacting one’s supervisor, the university has “13 divisional human resource offices, that all employees… including student employees, have access to. They can contact those offices if they have concerns, or to get information, or to access support.”

Church added, “In most cases, student employees are also covered by one or more collective agreements, [which] have provisions with respect to workplace harassment and complaints.” Students also have the ability to contact the Equity Office to learn more about the ways that they can deal with issues of harassment relating to discrimination.

In January 2017, U of T also implemented the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment, which applies to all members of the U of T community.

Individuals can report incidents of sexual harassment to their campus’ Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Centre.

The policy gives the university the jurisdiction to commence an official investigation into the incident. A complainant may request no investigation, but the university may choose to proceed with one anyway, in accordance with its responsibility to the safety of the community.

Investigations will allow both the complainant and respondent to submit statements detailing the alleged assault, although the complainant can choose not to participate. Complainants will also have the option of being referred to support services and receiving academic accommodations.

However, reporting incidents relies on the victim, as the policy explains that simply disclosing information about a sexual assault to a member of staff does not constitute reporting.

All incidents must be brought to the support centre if the complainant wishes to move forward.

This policy allowed U of T to meet the requirements of Bill 132, which was put forth by the government of Ontario in 2016 and addresses sexual assault and harassment in the workplace and on university campuses.

Bill 132 states that universities must have sexual assault policies that explain how they will respond to complaints.

In her 2015 action plan, former premier Kathleen Wynne addressed the power dynamics and deep-rooted misogyny embedded within sexual violence. She called on the importance of improving the safety of postsecondary campuses, saying that “assault and harassment are too prevalent and often go unreported and unchecked.”

The imbalance of power is especially important in the context of students employed in university positions, where they often work alongside individuals of higher standing. Statistics Canada reported that sexual assault was the least reported violent crime in the country in 2014, in part, because victims were worried about the perception of sexual assault as unimportant.

Acknowledging the imbalances of power between students and their employer may help dispel students’ fear that reporting could cost them their position or reputation.

York Lions defeat Varsity Blues in 49th Red & Blue Bowl

Lions catch fire in second quarter

York Lions defeat Varsity Blues in 49th Red & Blue Bowl

The Varsity Blues football team wrapped up their season with a 31–15 loss against longtime rival York Lions in the 49th annual Red & Blue Bowl on Saturday afternoon.

The Lions’ defense opened up the game by forcing a safety less than a minute into the game. York then managed to grab a 3–0 lead with a rouge point converted by kicker Dante Mastrogiuseppe. In the second quarter, the Blues evened the score by capitalizing on a six-play drive that resulted in a field goal.

Things turned completely one-sided in the second quarter as the Lions’ offense caught fire. Toronto’s defense looked lost as they gave up 28 points in a span of 10 minutes. Wide receiver Luther Hakunavanhu started York’s 28-point flurry with a touchdown catch, thrown by quarterback Brett Hunchak.

The Lions quarterback then connected with his brother, Colton Hunchak, for a three-yard touchdown pass. With less than two minutes to go in the first half, the Lions scored twice to go up 31–3.

Running back Kayden Johnson managed to get in the end zone on a one-yard touchdown run. On the Blues’ following drive, defensive back Kadeem Thomas intercepted Vince Luccisano, giving the Lions the ball back. Quarterback Noah Craney found Eric Kimmerly in the back of the end zone to close out a dominant first half by the Lions.

The Blues’ only touchdown of the game came in the fourth quarter on a run by running back Max Gyimah. U of T closed the game with a 31-yard field goal by kicker Ethan Shafer to make it 31–15.

York’s Brett Hunchak was phenomenal in the game. Hunchak threw for 303 yards along with two touchdowns, completing 26 passes on 38 attempts. Johnson ran for 69 yards and one touchdown. A trio of receivers, Eric Kimmerly, Colton Hunchak, and Hakunavanhu, each caught a touchdown pass.

Blues second-year quarterback Vince Luccisano struggled heavily against the Lions’ defense. Luccisano threw for only 72 yards while also throwing three interceptions. Rookie quarterback David Maecker replaced Luccisano in the third quarter, going five-for-10 for 82 yards and only one interception. Blues wide receiver Will Corby ended the season on a high note with eight receptions for 114 yards.

A pre-game ceremony and 25th anniversary of the 1993 Yates and Vanier Cup was hosted by the Blues to honour graduating players Connor Ennis, Wade Zanchetta, Ryan Grandell, Patrick Pankow, Jordan Sidsworth, Cole Goodfellow, Wacey Schell, Lamar Foyle, Nick Hallett, and Carter Gladman.

The 2018 Blues football season comes to a disappointing end as they were unable to secure a victory, placing them at the bottom of the OUA standings.

Blues men’s baseball finish second, women’s lacrosse fourth

Results from the Blues at the OUA Championships

Blues men’s baseball finish second, women’s lacrosse fourth

The Varsity Blues men’s baseball and women’s lacrosse teams competed in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Championship action this weekend. The Blues baseball team earned silver in Ajax, while the women’s lacrosse team competed for bronze in Peterborough.

Capturing silver

The Blues baseball team entered the baseball playoffs at second place in the standings, behind the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks, last year’s championship runners-up.

Toronto opened the tournament on Saturday with a tightly contested 4–3 victory over the Western Mustangs. Gabriel Nakonechny sealed the victory with a walk-off single. The Blues also routed the Brock Badgers with a 9–1 victory. In the evening, Nakonechny followed up the stellar performance with another walk-off single to defeat the McMaster Marauders 3–2.

Toronto entered the final day of the tournament on Sunday with a 3–0 record. In the semifinals, the Blues defeated the Guelph Gryphons 5–2. Following a nail biting extra-innings showdown final with the Golden Hawks, the Blues earned silver. Toronto levelled the score in the top of the ninth inning but were unable to take the lead. In the bottom of the 11th, the Golden Hawks broke through with a walk-off single to win the game 4–3 and clinch the OUA Championship.

Almost bronze

With head coach Jim Calder at the helm, the women’s lacrosse team finished the regular season fifth in the OUA with an 8-4-1 record.

The Blues opened the OUA Championship Friday evening with a decisive 12–8 victory over the reigning champion Western Mustangs. Laurel McGillis and Brynne Yarranton led the Blues with four goals and a hat-trick respectively.

Unfortunately, Toronto was unable to get past the Queen’s Gaels on Saturday, dropping their semifinal match 10–2.

The Blues were unable to secure bronze for a second straight year, losing a tough 6–5 overtime decision to host Trent Excalibur.

Blues sneak past Nipissing Lakers in 2–1 victory

Blues win close match on final weekend

Blues sneak past Nipissing Lakers in 2–1 victory

On a chilly autumn evening, the Varsity Blues women’s soccer team closed out their regular season with a win against the Nipissing Lakers.

Anticipation was in the air at Varsity Stadium as the sun set and the game began.

The Blues struggled to get their rhythm at the beginning of the first half. Some cracks in the defense offered a few opportunities for the Lakers. At a mere six minutes into the game, Nipissing’s Lauren De Jong got a shot on net after a free kick. While Blues goalkeeper Vanna Staggolis initially stumbled, she managed to swap the ball up in an impressive recovery.

As the game progressed, the Blues managed to keep their momentum up with a few close opportunities. In the 11th minute, the Blues got on the end of a cross, but the ball immediately went over the net. At the 25-minute mark, after a cross from the right wing, Blues midfielder Julia Gonsalves managed to control the ball with her chest but once again couldn’t find the back of the net.

As halftime neared, Blues striker Natasha Klasios turned the game around by sneaking past a Lakers defender in a one-on-one and easily slipping the ball into the corner of the net, past Nipissing goalkeeper Mykaela Volpe.

The Blues came into second half with Erin Kelly substituting for Gonsalves. Kelly was a strong presence on the field, providing Toronto with fast-paced energy and strong footwork.

Early into the half, it was clear that Nipissing was hungry for a goal. Nipissing forward Andrea Young had two close calls around the 50-minute mark — the first was saved by Staggolis and the second ran wide — all in the span of three minutes. After a scramble in the penalty box during the 69th minute, Young managed to get a shot on net. Responding quickly, Staggolis made a beautiful diving save.

Despite the increasing pressure from Nipissing, the Blues managed to keep their composure. Toronto’s front line was consistently solid leading up to the team’s second goal of the night. In the 76th minute, after a solid run, Klasios placed a perfect pass to Blues captain Chelsea Cheung, who scored firmly, leaving little time for Volpe to react.

The end of the match saw both teams get physical. A minute after Cheung’s goal, Nipissing forward Abby Wroe received a yellow card for running into Staggolis after she received the ball. Staggolis quickly shoved Wroe away, adding a tense atmosphere to the game.

The Lakers received a corner kick at the 85th minute, when Staggolis saved an attempt on goal by Wroe. Within the minute, Nipissing received a second corner — this time, Wroe found the net from inside the six-yard box.

Both teams played hard up until the last seconds of extra time. The game ended with the Blues firing nine shots, making six saves, and receiving eight fouls. The Lakers had 10 shots, three saves, and six fouls.

The win wraps up the Blues’ regular season with five wins, six losses, and four ties.

Helmy double seals Blues’ tense 4–2 win against Lakers

Toronto men’s soccer display strong ball distribution

Helmy double seals Blues’ tense 4–2 win against Lakers

The Varsity Blues men’s soccer team scored four goals against a resilient Nipissing Lakers, but continue to give the impression that they have yet to fully hit their stride.

The Blues entered the Saturday evening game against the fifth-placed Lakers with very little at stake, having sealed third place in the Ontario University Athletics East conference the week prior. In the 14 preceding games this season, they have comfortably etched out their position as a buffer between the heavyweight table-topping duo of the Carleton Ravens and the Ryerson Rams and the rest of the division.

This performance always threatened to produce the free-flowing, counterattacking barrage that the team is capable of, but, symptomatic of its dead rubber nature, the 4–2 result showcased the Blues’ profligacy in front of goal, and surprisingly poor set-piece defending.

Just 13 seconds after kickoff, Blues fourth-year goalkeeper Stefan Dusciuc was forced to divert a shot behind for a corner after Nipissing exposed gaps in the Toronto defense with cross-field passing.

The following minute would best be described as a panicked affair for Toronto, who could not leverage control of the ball or assert defensive authority.

The Lakers would swing in a cross to an overloaded penalty box, forcing Dusciuc to palm the resulting shot directly back into the danger zone. Nipissing’s Cody Vaillancourt was quickest to react, slamming the ball into the Toronto net just one minute and 14 seconds into the game.

Following the restart, the Blues organized with three at the back and Blues captain Nikola Stakic — usually playing at the heart of the defence — as the team’s midfield anchor. Despite his smart movement and tracking back, a lack of support in the centre of the pitch allowed Nipissing to dominate control in the early periods. Nipissing’s high press further pushed Stakic into defensive duties, and the rest of the attack-minded midfield lacked the tools to offset the opposition’s attacks.

Still, the Blues were clearly cognizant of their strength on the wings, and almost found an equalizer in the seventh minute. On the right flank, Blues winger Koosha Nazemi played the ball to Nick Chiappetta, who returned it to Nazemi in the opposition penalty box with a well-worked backheel pass. One-on-one with the Nipissing goalie, Nazemi shanked a tame effort woefully wide of the net.

The Blues were left to wait until the 24th minute for their equalizer, as a terrible Nipissing pass unleashed midfielder Yousef Helmy toward goal. Helmy showed good ball control in dribbling past the opposition defense, slotting a comfortable goal into the bottom left corner of the goal. With the newfound confidence of a well-taken goal, Helmy grew into the game as it progressed, picking out smart passes in the final third to stamp the Blues’ attacking intent on the game.

Playing his first home game, Blues first-year defender Jacob Maurutto-Robinson put on an excellent display, particularly with his impressive passing vision. In the 30th minute, he delivered a peach of a ball that beat the defensive line to Helmy. Helmy’s half volley was even sweeter than Maurutto-Robinson’s delivery, as the ball thundered past a hapless Nipissing goalie to make the score 2–1. Helmy’s silky dribbling and Maurutto-Robinson’s pinpoint passing would continue for the rest of the first half, giving the Blues more control over the game.

Excellent in the Blues’ previous set of home games, midfielder Anthony Sousa experienced a difficult start to the second half. In the 47th minute, he had a shot from point-blank range saved by the goalie, and two minutes later, he blasted a shot high and wide, again from within the penalty box.

Maurutto-Robinson would again contribute, this time to the Blues’ third goal in the 53rd minute, after a targeted lob from 30 yards found Sousa, who lay the ball off to striker Jack Wadden to dispatch and make the score 3–1.

Despite the Blues’ momentum, their defense on set-pieces continually left a lot to be desired, and in the 61st minute, they paid for their carelessness. A Nipissing corner somehow found Darius Tignanelli in acres of space, and he was all too happy to place the ball into the net. Stakic and Dusciuc will have been disappointed by their failure to organize their backline for the second time of the evening, but perhaps this will serve as an impetus for head coach Anthony Capotosto to work more on man-marking in training.

The Blues started to slip from the game following Nipissing’s second goal, and too many times, they were forced back to their goalie by the Nipissing press. Dusciuc himself was forced into a couple of rushed clearances and poor balls and, on another day, the Blues could easily have been punished for a lack of structure and composure in the defensive third.

Curiously, following a raft of substitutions in the 68th minute that included midfielder Michael Matic entering the play, the Blues were able to assert more control over the game, and Matic scored the team’s fourth in the 72nd minute from inside the box.

Even with the dead rubber victory in the bag, the Blues kept foraging forward, and in the 90th minute, Nazemi delivered a perfect pass to striker Jae Jin Lee in the box. One-on-one with the goalkeeper, Lee hit the post from inside 10 yards. While he will have been disappointed not to add to his seven-goal tally of the season — and he certainly won’t get many easier chances — luckily, the miss wasn’t of importance this time.

The NHL needs a domestic violence policy

Austin Watson’s case highlights the league’s glaring failure

The NHL needs a domestic violence policy

Last week, news broke that Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson would see his 27-game suspension stemming from domestic violence charges dropped to just 18 games. Watson pleaded no contest back on July 24, stemming from an incident on June 16 at a Franklin gas station, in which multiple bystanders witnessed an altercation between him and his girlfriend. News of the suspension’s reduction drew ire from the NHL, which released a statement saying the league was “disappointed” in the decision of arbitrator Shyam Das, who cut Watson’s suspension by a third.

Watson’s case started a conversation around the merits of domestic violence policies in major sports leagues. As many have mentioned, unlike other major men’s sports leagues, such as the NBA, MLB, or NFL, the NHL has no official domestic violence policy, instead handling each case on an individual basis. And while it may be true that a constitutional policy is the first step toward holding certain athletes accountable, ultimately, it is important to understand Watson’s case in the bigger picture.

A wider problem at hand

Male athletes in North American professional leagues enjoy the benefits of power, wealth, and celebrity. This can certainly deliver positive benefits, such as being idolized by young children just starting out in sports. However, in a patriarchal society like ours — where a woman is killed every six days by her intimate partner in Canada — male athletes who commit acts of domestic violence and sexual assault often find themselves above the law.

Because for every LeBron James, opening a school centred around equity and opportunity, there’s a Ben Roethlisberger or Patrick Kane, who have been accused — multiple times, in Roethlisberger’s case — of sexual assault. When you consider how government officials Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump, and Rick Dykstra have all been accused of sexual assault, none of whom faced punitive sentences but actually career advancements following accusations — the bigger picture becomes clear: power and status allow men to be above the law in our misogynistic, patriarchal society.

Patriarchy breeds the value of prioritizing men’s careers over women’s lives and safety; we can see this clearly in a collective yet unfounded fear of false accusations, and the framing of domestic violence or sexual assault as more damaging to the man’s life than his victim’s. Watson’s case illustrates this well.

Jenn Guardino was found bloodied and with a bruised heel, and told police that Watson “sometimes gets handsy”; Watson actually admitted himself that he caused scratches found on Guardino’s chest the night of the assault, and witnesses further testified that they saw Watson “swat” his girlfriend to prevent her from exiting the vehicle.

Despite all this, Guardino apparently urged police not to “say anything,” for fears his career would be jeopardized. Alarmingly, she released a statement days after Watson’s suspension reduction apologizing for the incident, claiming it was “not an act of domestic violence,” and that “Austin Watson has never, and would never hit or abuse” her.

Survivors have every right to choose how they heal from abuse — including, if they wish, to forgive their abuser. But it is also important to remember that survivors defending and protecting their abusive partners is a symptom of a broader problem of misogyny and gender-based violence in our society.

Sports are just a microcosm of this, and there are plenty of examples that exist — Janay Palmer calling NFL player and husband Ray Rice’s assault against her a “mistake,” for instance. It is imperative that the NHL, like other sports leagues, hold their players who commit such disgusting and terrorizing acts of violence accountable. Female fans comprise a sizeable majority in most of the major men’s professional leagues, making up about a third of NHL viewership and nearly half of the NFL’s.

How should they feel when they see these athletes commit such acts of violence against women unpunished — with very little support offered to the people who look like them?

An honest assessment

The NHL is the only one of the four major men’s sports leagues without a policy or “standard of conduct” addressing domestic violence. They instead opt to evaluate cases of domestic violence individually. In this regard, it would be beneficial for the NHL to move forward and catch up.

However, men’s professional sports leagues need to be honest with themselves, and if they are serious about paying more than lip service to tackling the problem of domestic violence, they need to move beyond performative policy and take more proactive initiative.

Consider the NFL, for example. This is a league that, despite having a formal policy, employs 44 players who have been accused of sexual or physical assault.

Consider the fact that it took until 2014, with surveillance footage showing Rice knocking his fiancée unconscious in an elevator, for commissioner Roger Goodell to implement a policy ­— and even then, Goodell’s original punishment for Rice was a mere two-game suspension. It was only after backlash from the public that he was compelled to do something.

What good is a domestic violence policy when it carries no weight of punishment, no rehabilitation efforts to prevent the problem in the future, and no support for the survivor? Perhaps, though, we should not expect much of a league that takes peaceful, anti-racist protesting as a more offensive act than physically endangering women’s safety.

NHL fans, consequently, need to reflect carefully on the merits of a domestic violence policy and what effect it might actually carry. Recall the case of former Los Angeles Kings player Slava Voynov. Voynov served two months in jail after a domestic violence charge back in 2014. His contract was terminated and he was effectively returned to Russia following the charges.

However, he is now considering a return to the NHL and was granted a roster spot in this year’s Olympics. NBC commentator Mike Milbury reflected on the situation as an “unfortunate incident [that] left the Los Angeles Kings without a great defenseman.”

How insulting to Voynov’s spouse Marta Varlamova, who said it was not the first time, with an officer noting that her “blood [was] all over the bedroom.” If an incident like that — where an athlete actually serves concrete time in jail for an assault — does not warrant a commitment to the NHL toward tackling violence against women, I question the merits of a league policy implemented now, four years later.

So all this begs the question: what would be an effective strategy for going beyond words and springing into action? Sports leagues like the NHL must be better at actively combatting and preventing situations of domestic violence by education and empowering male players to be more aware of what constitutes abuse, as well as its widespread prevalence, and this can be done, as exemplified by the BC Lions of the CFL.

The Lions’ Be More than a Bystander program is a collaboration between the team and the Ending Violence Association of Britsih Columbia, “aimed at substantially increasing understanding of the impact of men’s violence against women.” Guided by an advisory group of women, the Lions players use their “status and public profile” to educate others on the subject, through school visits, public ads, and other acts of outreach.

Ultimately, this is not just an NHL problem, and policy — much like laws in our legal system for the general population — will not be a one-step solution to significantly addressing domestic violence. Policy is certainly a start, but more importantly, an urgent conversation must be held about the widespread problem of violence against women in our society — and furthermore, the lack of accountability imposed on the men who do commit such violence.