Faculty behind confidential complaint at Dalhousie come forward

Two people hold a sign at a rally against Dalhousie University's response to the scandal at its dentistry school. The sign reads: "Forget the mouthwash. Remove the rot. Expel Now.". Marieke Walsh/Global News

This story has been updated here: Dalhousie suspends 13 dentistry students following Facebook comments

HALIFAX – Four Dalhousie professors who made an anonymous complaint to the university about the scandal at its dentistry school are coming forward because of what they call “unexplained delays” in processing the complaint.

The complaint is in response to offensive and sexually violent Facebook comments that some fourth-year dentistry students directed at their female classmates.

The professors submitted the complaint to Dalhousie University’s Acting Vice Provost of Student Affairs, Anne Forrestall. In it, the faculty members asked for an interim suspension of the students involved in the Facebook group “Class of DDS 2015 Gentlemen” pending the conclusion of the university’s investigation.

The formal complaint to the university and an emailed statement explaining why the faculty decided to go public were emailed to Global News. The email lists the faculty as Francoise Baylis, Jocelyn Downie, Brian Noble, and Jacqueline Warwick.

Story continues below advertisement

Downie confirmed the material’s authenticity to Global News.

The faculty said they initially hoped maintaining their anonymity would establish a precedent for an anonymous complaints process. However, the statement said, the faculty don’t want to remain anonymous if it means the complaint won’t go through.

“At the most urgent level, the purpose of the complaint was to trigger an interim suspension prior to the start of classes on Monday, January 5, 2015,” the professors said in their statement.

Some of the women targeted in the Facebook group have decided to go forward with an informal complaints process at the university, where they can keep their anonymity.

However, that process has come under fire by some because it uses a restorative justice approach, which would allow victims and perpetrators to decide what, if any, consequences there should be.

A group claiming to be part of the hacker collective “Anonymous” has said they will release the names of the men involved in the Facebook group on Monday if the university doesn’t expel them.


Sponsored content