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Update on final report from the restorative justice process at the Faculty of Dentistry
Statement by Dr. Richard Florizone
I am pleased to announce to the Dalhousie community that the Final Report from the Restorative Justice Process at the Faculty of Dentistry was released this morning. I want to thank everyone who participated in this process— specifically the female and male Dentistry students, our Restorative Justice facilitators and their advisers, the Faculty of Dentistry, the Nova Scotia Dental Association and members of the community.
This has been a difficult time for Dalhousie. This incident was particularly discouraging because we had committed, in our Strategic Direction, to creating a diverse and inclusive environment at Dalhousie. These past five months have both tested our aspirations and strengthened our resolve to achieve them.
From the outset, we sought neither to rush to judgment nor to sweep this incident under the rug. Instead, we knew that as a university we had an obligation to learn and to educate.
The Restorative Justice process has been intense and difficult, and it has also been a success. The men have taken ownership of their actions, gained a deep understanding of the harm done, apologized to those most directly impacted, and together spent more than 1,500 hours working to repair the damage. Restorative Justice has also provided a forum to investigate the origins of the Facebook group, address the harms caused and examine the climate and culture within the Faculty of Dentistry. Informed by outcomes of this process, the Dentistry Academic Standards Class Committee (ASCC) concluded that the 12 former Facebook group members participating in Restorative Justice successfully remediated their behaviour and met the professionalism standard required for graduation. Subject to completion of their clinical requirements, all members of the Facebook group are eligible to graduate.
Based on the insights from Restorative Justice, the Faculty of Dentistry is already taking comprehensive action to strengthen its culture and practices, including reviewing and updating their Student Code of Professional Conduct, Academic Policy Manual, Clinic Policy Manual, and Orientation Week activities.
Along with the Belong report and the upcoming Backhouse Report, the outcomes of Restorative Justice provide us with a powerful foundation to move forward. Together we can create a stronger Dalhousie free from exclusion and discrimination—a university that embraces and inspires all of us.
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