Kelowna News

UBC Graduate Student Society launches confidential harassment reporting website

FILE - University of British Columbia students walk on the campus in Vancouver on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck, file

VANCOUVER - Graduate students who have faced harassment and discrimination at the University of British Columbia can now tell their stories confidentially to the society that represents them.

The university's graduate student society has launched a website called "My Grad Story" that encourages students to share their experiences through an online form, a private appointment or by sharing publicly on social media.

UBC has come under fire after several current and former graduate students complained that it took a year and a half for school administrators to act on multiple sexual assault allegations against a PhD student.

Society president Tobias Friedel says the website's launch is coincidental to the students' complaints, but he is saddened by their traumatic experiences and inspired by their courage.

The society says the website will help it gather critical information about discrimination and harassment at UBC, and it's calling for a multi-faceted response, including procedural changes and better training for students and faculty.

UBC's interim president Martha Piper has said the university does not tolerate sexual violence and has vowed to begin a discussion on a new policy for responding to sexual assault complaints.

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