October 18, 2016 1:19 pm
Updated: October 18, 2016 4:55 pm

Dalhousie apologizes after male faculty members strip at university function

A pedestrian walks by a Dalhousie building in Halifax on Friday, May 22, 2015.

The Canadian Press

Dalhousie University is apologizing after two men performed a mock striptease at a university function.

Brian Leadbetter, Dalhousie’s communications director, said Tuesday the pair stripped at the 50th anniversary party of the School of Health and Human Performance, a “key alumni event” during homecoming last Friday.

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According to the CBC, the men – one current and one retired faculty member – undressed down to beige-coloured underwear, accompanied by Def Leppard’s song “Pour Some Sugar On Me.”

“I’m aware that disrobing did occur, I can’t confirm to which song,” Leadbetter said.

“If you were to look at community standards of acceptable behaviour, a striptease at an event like this which is celebrating the long and storied history of a program … is simply not acceptable behaviour.”

Leadbetter said he has heard “a number of” complaints from staff, faculty and alumni at the event, but said it is premature to discuss any possible punishment.

“Based on the information that I’ve heard thus far, it certainly does seem like there was some inappropriate behaviour and on behalf of the university yesterday I apologized to anyone in attendance who was offended by that action.”

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He said Alice Aiken, dean of the faculty of health professions, sent an email Monday to the fewer than 100 people in attendance apologizing directly to them.

Leadbetter said some attendees may have found it fun and not been offended, but the issue he’s addressing is what is “what would be considered acceptable within a university-sanctioned enterprise.”

“We have to still further look into this, but we do have expectations of members our community to observe standards of appropriate behaviour and we want to fully determine what transpired here,” he said.

In 2014, Dalhousie was the target of protests over its handling of a misogynistic Facebook group among students at its dentistry school.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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