December 23, 2014 2:38 pm
Updated: December 23, 2014 7:04 pm

Dalhousie University confirms formal complaint filed

The Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry building.

Marieke Walsh / Global News

HALIFAX – Dalhousie University has received an anonymous formal complaint in relation to the sexually violent and abusive Facebook comments posted by some male dentistry students.

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“Dalhousie University has now received, and is reviewing, an anonymous formal complaint in relation to recently publicized activity of some students within the Faculty of Dentistry,” said Director of Communications Brian Leadbetter, in an emailed statement. “As stated by the President, the university takes this issue extremely seriously and continues to give consideration to all possible consequences.”

An anonymous email was sent to Global News early Tuesday, stating that four faculty members had filed a formal complaint with the university.

The complaint is “against members of the ‘Class of DDS 2015 Gentlemen.’  This complaint has been made under the Dalhousie University ‘Code of Student Conduct’ policy.”

The complaint puts added pressure on the university. The email’s author states the complaint is being made anonymously because the faculty members want to to set a new precedent which would allow formal complaints to the university to be processed anonymously. Currently the school’s policies allow informal complaints to be made anonymously, but formal complaints require a named complainant.

Dalhousie University President Richard Florizone said Wednesday that if other female victims came forward and asked for a formal complaint process to be launched, then the informal restorative justice process and the formal process would both go forward. At the time Florizone said approved formal complaints would be handled by a university appointed investigator. The investigator would then decide whether the issue should be referred to the Senate Discipline Committee.

The university said a decision on whether to go ahead with the formal anonymous complaint from faculty will be decided in early January.



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