Brock University students held a demonstration today at the University, demanding accountability from the school’s administration, as well as the immediate resignation of a professor involved in the sexual harassment of a student that made headlines last week when a CBC Investigative report was released. The protestors also has called for the resignation of the administrator responsible for the handling of the case.
The former student involved came forward and said she was told to keep it quiet about the incident that happened in 2014 as an internal investigation went on that confirmed the faculty member, a professor gave her alcohol and tried to force himself on her sexually one night in his office. Although the student’s identity has not been made known, the professor has been confirmed as David Schimmelpenninck van der Oye, a history professor and acting associate dean of graduate studies and research in the humanities department.
Today Brock University issued the following reponse:
Public demonstrations like the one that took place at Brock University today help raise awareness of the need for more effective ways of helping survivors of sexual harassment and violence. Universities are no more immune to these types of incidents than any other workplace in Canada, however unlike most workplaces, Brock was one of the first universities in Canada to have formal procedures dealing with sexual violence.
Earlier this month, Brock administrators took action against an employee after a former student came forward with a complaint about sexual harassment. The complaint led to an independent investigation, the results of which were presented to the University in January. As a result, the employee is not assigned to a class and is not on campus.
Brock has been receptive to, and mindful of, all concerns raised about how we have responded to this issue, and the University will be reviewing its current policies and processes.
As well, a sexual assault working group, formed last year, has evolved into a committee that is developing a new stand-alone policy to deal with sexual harassment and violence. That committee is inclusive of students, faculty, staff and senior administrators, and will produce a policy that is in line with Ontario’s new Bill 132.
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