Monday November 23, 2015

UBC responds to complaints it dragged its feet on sexual harassment allegations

UBC VP of Equity and Inclusion, Sara-Jane Finlay, listens to former student Glynnis Kirchmeier, right, at a press conference on Nov. 22 where Kirchmeier announced she will file a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal over the school's treatment of people reporting sexual misconduct.

UBC VP of Equity and Inclusion, Sara-Jane Finlay, listens to former student Glynnis Kirchmeier, right, at a press conference on Nov. 22 where Kirchmeier announced she will file a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal over the school's treatment of people reporting sexual misconduct. (CBC)

Listen 7:17

A former graduate student from the University of British Columbia is launching a complaint with the province's human rights tribunal, alleging UBC did not take her complaints of sexual harassment and misconduct by a fellow student seriously for several years. 

Glynnis Kirchmeier says officials have told her that the student accused of sexual misconduct is no longer at the school. A months-long investigation by CBC TV's the fifth estate confirmed the student, Dmitry Mordvinov, was expelled last week. But the program found that the first formal complaints were made roughly 18 months earlier. 

"UBC's chance to do the right thing is over," Kirchmeier said yesterday at a press conference. 

The fifth estate investigation found five other students who complained to the university about sexual misconduct by Mordvinov, including one who alleged that she was sexually assaulted. The program will stream its report, School of Secrets, online Monday at 10 p.m. ET.

Mordvinov, who declined to speak to the fifth estate, has appealed his expulsion.

After months of queries and requests from the fifth estate, a spokeswoman for UBC agreed to an interview with CBC Radio's As It Happens. Sara-Jane Finlay is the university's associate vice-president of equity and inclusion.

Click on the "Listen" button above to hear her interview with As It Happens host Carol Off.