EDITORIAL: With harassment allegations, students deserve better at UBCO

The lack of communication with students isn’t good enough for the Kelowna campus

In today’s day and age where it seems every day brings us another sexual harassment scandal, we are all becoming more aware of just how harmful it can be to deal with the disgusting and criminal actions of men.

And with high-profile cases coming fast and furious in Hollywood, or with politicians or celebrities, it can be easy to forget that sexual assault and sexual harassment is happening all around us. Even in small town B.C. Yes, even in Kelowna.

The problem is, people are still afraid to talk about it, scared to report it.

And while that hopefully is starting to change, our institutions need to be leaders, not stick their heads in the sand.

This past weekend’s news about a UBCO professor being taken out of the classroom due to sexual harassment and power issues is a scary reminder that it does happen right here in our town.

But the fact that the university has not communicated with its student body after the incident, as outlined in our story, is alarming.

It is up to our places of higher learning to help educate. It should also be paramount on those institutions to be a leader in fighting abuse.

But as of Thursday afternoon, six days after it was made public that a UBCO professor was allegedly abusing his power, students have heard nothing official from UBC Okanagan. It wasn’t the university who issued a statement, it was the College of Psychologists who posted the notice on their web site and it was reported by media.

Students on campus have expressed frustration in the university and have been left hanging this week, wondering what their school is doing to help them.

Last year the university instituted a sexual harassment policy and in December, opened an office to deal with it. The problem is, students say they don’t know where the office is and have heard little information about it.

It’s time UBCO steps up and is better, is more proactive in helping students and helping the community. We all know about the great things the university does thanks to its legion of communications workers who churn out positive news on a daily basis.

But it’s time to deal with the ugly as well, before it’s too late.

These are our students you are looking after and we ask for more transparency and communication for them.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.



kparnell@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Future of heli-skiing unknown with caribou recovery plans

CMH presented to Revelstoke city council this month to outline its impact on the community

Support for Penticton shooting victim

A GoFundMe has been started for one of the four people killed April 15

Bears are up and at ‘em

Conservation office reminding residents to secure attractants and report bear sightings

Annual Nk’maplqs Challenge Cup returns easter weekend

The goal of the Vernon-based event is to revitalize the game and the tradition of an all-native hockey tournament in the Interior.

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Shuswap dancer stays across street from Penticton shooting day after Salmon Arm tragedy

Dancers come for festival, put in lockdown in rec centre, watch police response from Airbnb window

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

COLUMN: Bunnies, sexuality and the freedom to read

A book about a gay bunny has been the subject of challenges

Vernon-raised BC Was Awesome producer returns home for filming of episode

The topic of this Vernon-featured episode has not yet been revealed.

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Vernon choir marks 40 years of making music

Order of Canada recipient directs finale

Most Read