University of Manitoba faculty facing sexual assault allegations
Published Thursday, September 6, 2018 9:10PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 6, 2018 9:11PM EDT
As a new school year starts, students at the University of Manitoba are being alerted to teachers who are facing sexual assault allegations.
This week, the university announced that there are several ongoing investigations involving some faculty members, including allegations of sexual assault and harassment.
While two of the faculty members involved are currently on leave, the other three remain on campus.
That news has got some students feeling uneasy right as the school year begins.
“I just don't feel safe on campus knowing that things like that are going around all the time,” Kiara Delury, a third-year student, told CTV Winnipeg.
“And the fact that it’s happening right now is very disappointing.”
As 30,000 students returned to class, University President Dr. David Barnard delivered the message, apologizing to any students who may have been affected.
“Today, I am apologizing to students who have experienced such inappropriate behavior,” Bernard said in his statement. “I am deeply sorry.”
The university revealed that there are currently five open investigations into the conduct of faculty members.
Of the five investigations, one involves sexual assault and personal harassment, another involves sexual assault and sexual harassment, and a third involves sexual harassment.
The remaining two involve human rights complaints.
Jakob Sanderson, President of the school’s Student Union, says that he’s concerned what the news will do to the university’s sense of community.
“I can’t imagine the feeling of a new student coming to campus starting this new journey in their life, and hearing about this as one of the first things,” Sanderson said.
He says the Student Union is calling for a standalone sexual violence resource centre, to help students with more accessible support services.
“The university frankly has done a poor job with being as transparent and accountable as possible to students in the past, and this was a difficult but necessary step moving forward.”
The university says that the incidents have caused them to take a closer look at their policies, and have asked faculty member and lawyer Donna Miller to co-lead the examination.
“These recent issues have caused us to pause and reaffirm our commitment to a culture where sexual harrassment and sexual assault are not acceptable,” Dr. Barnard said.
The administration is also introducing new measures to help protect students, including orientation videos on consent and sexual violence for students, as well as mandatory consent training for faculty and administrators.
With a report by CTV Winnipeg