Former University of British Columbia student Stephanie Hale, 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett

Former University of British Columbia student Stephanie Hale, 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett

Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan for ‘mishandling’ sexual assault report

Stephanie Hale did not return to campus after the student she alleges attacked her was cleared of wrongdoing

A B.C. Human Rights Tribunal hearing is set to start Monday after the B.C. Supreme Court recently dismissed a petition to prevent it from deciding on a complaint from a former student at the University of British Columbia.

The university’s Okanagan campus had sought to stop the tribunal from hearing the complaint filed by Stephanie Hale, who alleges the school mishandled her report of sexual assault by another student in 2013.

The other student has denied the allegation, saying what happened was consensual.

The tribunal had agreed to hear part of Hale’s complaint for an alleged contravention of the Human Rights Code between February 2016 and March 2017, when she was going through the university’s process for handling reports of non-academic misconduct.

The school unsuccessfully petitioned the court in 2019 to quash that decision, arguing in part that the tribunal failed to properly confine itself to the evidence before it.

The tribunal had already dismissed other parts of Hale’s complaint relating to events before February 2016, because they were filed after a six-month limitation period.

A tribunal document says Hale found the non-academic misconduct process unduly demanding and she was concerned about the lack of training by committee members to make non-discriminatory decisions.

The Canadian Press does not typically identify complainants in cases of sexual assault, but Hale wants her name used.

Hale reported the alleged assault to a residence adviser a week after she says it happened and she was directed to a campus medical facility, where she was not physically examined, the tribunal document says.

Hale says she was not referred at the time to the school’s policies on sexual harassment and non-academic misconduct.

She says contact with her alleged attacker in class contributed to her declining mental health before she left her engineering program in 2015.

Hale was referred to the equity and inclusion office in February 2016, the document says, and she was later told campus security would investigate and forward its report to the committee.

It says Hale found “having to engage in continual advocacy for herself” made the process unduly demanding and stressful, and she argues it was not consistent with Human Rights Code requirements.

The committee later held a hearing without Hale after her psychologist advised she should not participate because she didn’t trust the process.

Hale was told in March 2017 that the committee did not find on the balance of probabilities that her alleged attacker had engaged in misconduct.

With the other student cleared of wrongdoing, the tribunal document says, Hale did not return to campus.

“She states she was no longer able to trust the university to provide a safe, harassment‐free and assault‐free educational environment,” it says.

The tribunal had agreed three times to adjourn hearings over Hale’s complaint, pending the outcome of the judicial review, but a decision released two days before the court dismissed the school’s petition last month found a fourth adjournment would have been unreasonable and unduly prejudiced Hale.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

UBC

Just Posted

Flowers and candles were laid on the driveway of the Weber home, where Kerri Weber was found dead in November 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Langford man to stand trial for death of his wife last November

Ken Weber is charged with second-degree murder of his wife, Kerri Weber

GardenWorks nursery in Oak Bay at its home until August. (Black Press Media file photo)
GardenWorks puts down new roots in Oak Bay this summer

Nursery shifts down The Avenue to fill former fitness studio space

Police dog Hitch helped arrest a man who had reportedly threatened the security guards of a Victoria shopping centre with a knife on June 15. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Man with knife arrested after reportedly threatening Bay Centre security guards

The K9 unit’s police dog, Hitch, was deployed to assist with the arrest

Saanich Volunteer Services Society volunteers head out to deliver this week’s meals to local seniors. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
VIDEO: Weekly meal deliveries help brighten the day for Saanich seniors

Seniors are delivered nutritional meals by a group of volunteers every Wednesday

Police dog Obi assisted in an arrest Tuesday night after a man reportedly damaged a Victoria restaurant with a large steel beam. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Police dog called in after Victoria restaurant damaged with steel beam

Suspect reportedly entered restaurant and started damaging walls

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

The discovery of a missing woman’s body in Nanaimo earlier this month is now being treated as homicide, say Nanaimo RCMP. (File photo)
Discovery of woman’s body in downtown Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

Amy Watts was found dead near Albert Street and Victoria Crescent on June 3

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens as Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents the province’s latest budget, April 20, 2021. The budget projects $19 billion in deficits over three years. (Hansard TV)
B.C. government budget balloons, beyond COVID-19 response

Provincial payroll up 104,000 positions, $10 billion since 2017

Ocean debris is shown on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C. on April, 18, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Doctor David Vallejo and his fiancee Doctor Mavelin Bonilla hold photos of themselves working, as they kiss at their home in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Doctor Vallejo and Doctor Bonilla suspended their wedding in order to tend to COVID-19 patients and in the process Vallejo got sick himself with the disease, ending up in an ICU for several days. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Love, sacrifice and surviving COVID-19: one couple’s story

COVID hits Ecuadorian doctors who delayed wedding to treat sick

The Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society, which has been operating a treatment centre on land leased from the Nanoose First Nation for 35 years (pictured), has begun a fundraising campaign to open a new centre near Duncan. (Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society photo)
New residential school healing centre to be built near Duncan

$5-million Indigenous treatment centre will help survivors of residential schools heal

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Vancouver Island lottery players win $1 million and $500,000 in Lotto Max draw

$1 million ticket sold in Campbell River, $500,000 ticket sold in Nanaimo

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Most Read