Two days after the University of Calgary launched a review of Connor Neurauter's status as a student, the school says it has no grounds on which to expel the 21-year-old convicted sex offender.
But the school is advising him "not to return to campus for the remainder of the term."
Neurauter pleaded guilty in a Kamloops, B.C., court last week to sexual interference involving a 13-year-old girl in 2015. Neurauter was 18 at the time of the offence.
He was sentenced to 90 days in jail but was allowed to finish his second-year courses this semester before checking into a regional correctional facility in Kamloops.
"The matter in British Columbia occurred before Mr. Neurauter was a student at the University of Calgary. This is important, because our policies do not apply to activity that occurred before the person was a member of our campus community," said Dru Marshall, the university's provost and vice-president academic.
"This does not mean that the university condones sexual violence or harassment, nor does it mean that we prioritize the rights of a convicted individual over the safety of our university community," she said.
"Management is continuing to assess the situation and is working with Mr. Neurauter to come to a resolution that respects all involved," read the statement.
The Neurauter family did not comment.
An online petition calling on the university to kick him out launched Tuesday, and by Thursday afternoon had collected more than 45,000 signatures.
Surprised, let down
The woman behind the petition says she's disappointed in the university.
"I think the university is trying to tip-toe around the issue instead of making a very strong statement about it, and I think they're doing themselves a disservice by doing that," said Casswell.
"They're missing an opportunity to set the tone on sexual violence, and I think they can do more than just say they've asked him to stay away and they're not expelling him. I was hoping for more," she said.
Casswell says she will continue with the petition.
The victim's mother, who cannot be identified to protect her daughter's identity, told CBC News on Wednesday she wanted Neurauter expelled and expressed concern for the safety of students because there was a sex offender on campus.
Speaking from Kamloops, she said it was "unjust" that Neurauter was allowed to finish the current semester.
She says she didn't find out about what she calls Neurauter's special treatment until Jan. 4.
"Obviously, it's unjust," she said.
The university said Tuesday that Neurauter was not on campus this week while it reviewed the situation.
Bryan Labby is an enterprise reporter with CBC Calgary. If you have a good story idea or tip, you can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter at @CBCBryan.