|University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada|
"We admire the courage of the women who came forward to bring attention to this crucial issue."
Despite the apology, one of the former students in the CBC's story, Glynnis Kirchmeier, says she plans to file a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal by the end of the year. She's asking anyone who reported sexual misconduct to the school during the past 20 years to contact her at email@example.com.
"UBC has a legal duty to provide a harassment-free environment," she said. "UBC's chance to do the right thing is over ... The university is going to be tried in the court of public opinion, and then it is going to answer to the BC Human Rights Tribunal, and I suspect it will be tried in civil court as well."
I'll bet they wished now that they had actually acted before the Fifth Estate story forced them to.
Kirchmeier says when she approached UBC's Equity Inclusion Office about a sexual misconduct she witnessed, she was told in effect to keep quiet.
Hmmm, and that's the 'Equity-Inclusion' office! Good grief!
|Sara-Jane Finlay UBC VP Equity and Inclusion, Glynnis Kirchmeier|
In School of Secrets, which will be livestreamed online Monday evening, the fifth estate reveals that UBC took more than a year and a half to act against a grad student despite mounting complaints of harassment or sexual assault by at least six women on campus.
Piper acknowledged that "the process took too long" and that it was "frustrating and time-consuming."
"I appreciate the light the women have shone on this issue," Piper said, pledging to create a sexual assault policy that will handle complaints "in a more timely and effective manner."
That is...before the Fifth Estate airs their dirty laundry.
"We will be reviewing the steps that were taken in these cases to determine how they might have been handled more effectively and expeditiously," she said.
The women allege a 28-year-old PhD student in the history department committed a wide range of offensive acts against them from inappropriate touching to sexual assault, starting at least as far back as the spring of 2013.
The first formal allegations against him were brought to the university in spring 2014.
In one case, a woman went to university officials to get UBC to take action, but says the university dismissed her complaint because the alleged assault took place off campus.
UBC officials at another point urged mediation between the female students and the PhD student, which the women refused. One of them said it was not appropriate to have to sit in a room with someone alleged to have sexually assaulted them.
The university quietly expelled the grad student last week. He told the fifth estate he is appealing the decision.
And why not? Surely he has a right to sexually assault UBC girls? That's the impression you get by the lack of action by UBC administration.
The link below will take you to the CBC page where you can watch the 40 minute Fifth Estate program.