HALIFAX – It has been almost a year since news broke about the Dalhousie University dentistry scandal. While reports have been commissioned by the university, there are still questions that linger about what the university knew and how it responded to some of the reports’ findings.
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The dentistry scandal came to light last December after revelations that male students were posting misogynistic and sexist comments about their female peers on 广州桑拿网. The men were suspended from clinical work, and the university said the students decided on a restorative justice approach.
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A task force report published in June brought to light questionable behaviour from professors.
The report found professors made inappropriate sexual jokes to students, commented on whether they were hot or not and made remarks such as how they would not mind having affairs with their female colleagues.
At the time, the university declined to comment on those specific findings in the task force report. But Global News recently questioned Dalhousie University president Richard Florizone about the behaviour at his school.
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He agreed when Global News said those types of behaviours seemed to run contrary to the school’s code of conduct.
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“It was completely unacceptable,” he said. “That’s why action was taken.”
Global News asked Florizone on whether those involved were reprimanded.
“They would have been dealt with exactly, according to our policy, when comments were made in class, they were raised up to the dean. There were apologies and there was steps taken to help the professors understand the impact of their comments,” he said.
Global News then asked for more specifics and asked whether anyone was disciplined for their behaviour.
“In each of these incidents, in all of them, whether it’s a student, staff or faculty member, they would be dealt with again very consistent with the policy, consistent with the law. Of course I can’t comment on individual cases but I can assure you each of them would be dealt with very fairly.”
Graffiti in student lounge
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A report on the restorative justice process was published in May. But deep in the report was a section on “The Cavity.”
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“The Cavity” is the student lounge in the dentistry school and the report found it was covered in misogynistic, racist, sexist and homophobic graffiti. The report found faculty knew about “The Cavity” and some even thought it was a rite of passage to sign it. It was only after the restorative justice process began that the room was painted over.
At the time, requests for comment specifically on “The Cavity” were denied. But Global News questioned Florizone on what the university knew and when.
Global News asked whether Florizone knew about “The Cavity” and its contents previously or whether the dean of dentistry knew about its existence.
“The specific content came to light during the process, during the dentistry review,” he said.
When Global News referred him to the report findings that staff knew about it and questioned why that information never made its way to the top level of administration, Florizone didn’t directly answer the question.
“Some students and faculty would have been involved because it was in a student space, not all of them because not all of them would have gone into that student space,” he said. “What the report pointed at is that this is a broader cultural issue so clearly there was enough people that thought this was fine.”
When Global News pointed out that type of graffiti was not “fine”, Florizone said the university was striving for a new, more positive environment and is moving towards recommendations from the task force report.
Global News then inquired whether anyone was ever reprimanded for the existence of “The Cavity”. Florizone promptly ended the interview and walked away from the conversation. He did not respond when asked again off-camera.
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Earlier on in the conversation, Florizone said the university continues to work towards adopting the recommendations laid out in the task force report.
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He said changes have been made to how orientation is conducted and the university is looking to hire an executive director of diversity and inclusivity.
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