Former University of British Columbia student Stephanie Hale, 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett

Former University of British Columbia student Stephanie Hale, 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett

Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan for ‘mishandling’ sexual assault report

Stephanie Hale did not return to campus after the student she alleges attacked her was cleared of wrongdoing

A B.C. Human Rights Tribunal hearing is set to start Monday after the B.C. Supreme Court recently dismissed a petition to prevent it from deciding on a complaint from a former student at the University of British Columbia.

The university’s Okanagan campus had sought to stop the tribunal from hearing the complaint filed by Stephanie Hale, who alleges the school mishandled her report of sexual assault by another student in 2013.

The other student has denied the allegation, saying what happened was consensual.

The tribunal had agreed to hear part of Hale’s complaint for an alleged contravention of the Human Rights Code between February 2016 and March 2017, when she was going through the university’s process for handling reports of non-academic misconduct.

The school unsuccessfully petitioned the court in 2019 to quash that decision, arguing in part that the tribunal failed to properly confine itself to the evidence before it.

The tribunal had already dismissed other parts of Hale’s complaint relating to events before February 2016, because they were filed after a six-month limitation period.

A tribunal document says Hale found the non-academic misconduct process unduly demanding and she was concerned about the lack of training by committee members to make non-discriminatory decisions.

The Canadian Press does not typically identify complainants in cases of sexual assault, but Hale wants her name used.

Hale reported the alleged assault to a residence adviser a week after she says it happened and she was directed to a campus medical facility, where she was not physically examined, the tribunal document says.

Hale says she was not referred at the time to the school’s policies on sexual harassment and non-academic misconduct.

She says contact with her alleged attacker in class contributed to her declining mental health before she left her engineering program in 2015.

Hale was referred to the equity and inclusion office in February 2016, the document says, and she was later told campus security would investigate and forward its report to the committee.

It says Hale found “having to engage in continual advocacy for herself” made the process unduly demanding and stressful, and she argues it was not consistent with Human Rights Code requirements.

The committee later held a hearing without Hale after her psychologist advised she should not participate because she didn’t trust the process.

Hale was told in March 2017 that the committee did not find on the balance of probabilities that her alleged attacker had engaged in misconduct.

With the other student cleared of wrongdoing, the tribunal document says, Hale did not return to campus.

“She states she was no longer able to trust the university to provide a safe, harassment‐free and assault‐free educational environment,” it says.

The tribunal had agreed three times to adjourn hearings over Hale’s complaint, pending the outcome of the judicial review, but a decision released two days before the court dismissed the school’s petition last month found a fourth adjournment would have been unreasonable and unduly prejudiced Hale.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

UBC

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

(Victoria Cool Aid Society/Facebook)
Victoria food drive aims to feed those also struggling with housing

Quadra Village furniture store hosting drive-thru event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Barriers to rental housing brought on by no-pet rules add stress to renters, says councillor. (Pixabay)
Saanich councillor wants to remove barriers to housing for pet owners

Motion calling for province to amend lease stipulations against pet ownership defeated in 5-4 vote

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Most Read