#UBC in damage control, making ‘mockery’ of sexual assaults #ubc100 #ubcnews #bced #highered

by Stephen Petrina on November 24, 2015

Laura Kane &¬†Geordon¬†Omand, Canadian Press, November 24, 2015–The University of British Columbia seems more concerned about handling a public relations crisis than taking meaningful action to help women feel safe after multiple allegations of sexual assault, says a complainant.

Glynnis Kirchmeier, who is planning to launch a human-rights case against UBC, published an open letter to the university’s interim president on Tuesday.

In the letter, the former student questions why Martha Piper issued a public apology but didn’t directly contact her or other students who made complaints.

“I was surprised to learn on Sunday that you had issued an apology to ‘the women in these cases who feel they have been let down by our university,”‘ she wrote.

“Did you mean to include me? I did not receive a personal communication from you, though you could have asked associate VP Dr. Sara-Jane Finlay for my email and phone number.”

She and other former and current students held a news conference Sunday, when Kirchmeier announced her plans to file a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. The women said the university lacks a clear policy for handling sexual assault reports and that it took a year and a half to act on six complaints about a PhD student.

Kirchmeier was not assaulted by the student but said she witnessed his behaviour and reported it to the university in January 2014. She said UBC failed to act on complaints by her and others until last week, when it said the student was no longer at the university.

Read More: Vancouver Sun