Former player 'betrayed' by UNB downgrade of women's hockey
Sylvia Bryson's sexual discrimination complaint being heard by Human Rights Commission
A sexual discrimination complaint by a former University of New Brunswick women's hockey player against the university is being heard by the province's Human Rights Commission this week.
Former player Sylvia Bryson has been fighting to have the varsity program reinstated since the university downgraded the squad from varsity status to a club team in 2008.
The university blamed a financial crunch for cutting the team's funding.
The move sparked protests on campus about allegations of sexual discrimination.
It was just an absolute sense of betrayal and very demeaning.- Sylvia Bryson
The fight went through a successful complaint to the Human Rights Commission, which ordered a board of inquiry.
The university failed to stop it in court and the board of inquiry is taking place in Fredericton.
Sylvia Bryson, who played defence on the varsity team for four seasons, is bringing her complaint to a three-day hearing this week.
"It was just an absolute sense of betrayal and very demeaning that everything you had done for the previous four years, trying to build something and trying to improve, just meant nothing," Bryson said.
Cancelling the women's team was part of a pattern of discrimination, she says.
"Being deprived of opportunities for recruitment, opportunities for coaching, budgetary opportunities for out-of-conference exhibition play, and academic and athletic scholarships to attract new players."
Bryson wants the university ordered to reinstate the varsity team.
As a graduate student, she is still eligible to play one more season.