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Background

We stand for respect

Unacceptable behaviour
The comments made in a Facebook group by some of our fourth-year male Dentistry students were deeply offensive, degrading to women, and entirely unacceptable.  This behaviour will not be tolerated at Dalhousie University.

Significant consequences
There must be significant consequences for this offensive behaviour, addressing both the specific incident and the broader harm.  No disciplinary outcomes have been excluded.

Just process
We must have a just process to determine the consequences.  The process must comply with the law and university policy, and respect the rights of those involved.

Safety
The safety of the students, faculty, staff and patients on our campus are always a top priority.  Measures to support their wellbeing will be put in place before classes start in January, and further provided as needed.

Collegial culture of Diversity and Inclusiveness
In addition to the women fourth-year Dentistry students who were most directly harmed, we recognize the harm done to others including in the Faculty of Dentistry, the broader university, the dental profession and in the general public.

This incident emphasizes the deeper need to address issues of misogyny, sexism and sexualized violence in our society.

In Dalhousie’s Strategic Direction we stated that building a collegial culture grounded in diversity and inclusiveness is an institutional priority.  This incident gives new urgency to that commitment. A presidential task force will be created early in 2015 to provide space for a meaningful discussion leading to concrete actions.

January 5, 2015