Mediation in BC University Sex Scandal Ineffective
Wednesday, November, 23, 2016
Mediation has begun in the dispute between a former student and the University of British Columbia. The student filed a human rights complaint after claiming the school mishandled the report of her sexual assault. There was an attempt recently to use mediation to resolve the matter, but as of yet, mediation sessions have been unsuccessful. A confidentiality agreement prevents anyone involved in the mediation to discuss specific details, but the student did say she plans to continue to move forward with her case.
Glynnis Kirchmeier filed her complaint in March 2015 with the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal. In it, she accused the university of inaction on numerous complaints about a male PhD student. She claims the inaction on the part of the school led to there being more victims of the perpetrator. As yet, no allegations have been official proven, but the school did agree to create a stand-alone sexual assault policy in November 15, 2015, following Kirchmeier and several other women filing complaints.
According to the university, there is an effort underway to discuss with current students, faculty and staff a policy that would no longer rely on the general Non-Academic Misconduct process used to discipline those accused of sexual assault. According to Kirchmeier, “It’s been years since they promised to do better…” and as a result, she has no intention of dropping her complaint.
The school now appears to be getting Kirchmeier’s complaint thrown out on a technicality. The failed mediation comes in the midst of several Canadian universities receiving scrutiny for the handling of sexual assault complaints.