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

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in December that Surrey’s new hospital will be located in Cloverdale, next to KPU. (File photo: Malin Jordan)
Health minister expects construction of Surrey’s new hospital in Cloverdale to begin in 2023

Adrian Dix spoke Tuesday in a Zoom meeting hosted by the Surrey Board of Trade concerning the new hospital

A Surrey lawyer has been suspended for two months for conduct unbecoming the profession. (File photo)
Surrey lawyer suspended following 2018 domestic incident

Law Society imposes two-month penalty on Narinder Pal Singh Kang

Surrey RCMP say Gemina Mitchell (inset) was last seen on May 9, 2021. (File photo/Contributed photo)
Missing Surrey woman last seen May 9

Police are asking for help locating Gemina Mitchell

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
Surrey site for Youth Nations Cup’s kick-off soccer tournament this fall

Tourney format sees players and teams represent their ‘personal heritage’

The Cloverdale Flea Market reopened June 20 for the first time in seven months. The market is now open Sundays from 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Photo: Jason Sveinson)
PICTURES: Cloverdale Flea Market reopens

Market was closed for seven months

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Air Canada planes sit on the tarmac at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pilots say no reason to continue quarantines for vaccinated international travellers

Prime minister says Canada still trying to limit number of incoming tourists

When they last met, Giants fell 3-0 to the Prince George Cougars. Both will renew their rivalry in Maple Ridge on Sept. 24. (Allen Douglas/Special to Black Press Media)
Vancouver Giants to play preseason games in Maple Ridge, Delta

Exhibition schedule will start in September

Six United Way chapters around the province are merging into United Way B.C. (News Bulletin file photo)
6 United Way chapters merging around B.C.

Money raised in communities will stay in those communities, agency says

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Police closed off 16th Avenue between 232nd and 240th streets in Aldergrove Saturday night at the site of a reported motor vehicle accident. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Survivors of rollover crash thank Good Samaritans for coming to their aid

Collision flipped vehicle into a 10-foot ditch on 16th Avenue in Langley

Val Litwin is the latest candidate to declare his bid for the B.C. Liberal leadership. (Litwin campaign video)
Political newcomer joins contest for B.C. Liberal leadership

Val Litwin a former B.C. Chamber of Commerce CEO

Golden Ears Mountains, captured in May 2021. (Black Press Media files)
2nd year of day passes required for entry into 5 provincial parks launches in B.C.

Pilot program seeks to protect the environment by addressing visitor surges amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Lincoln Mckoen. (YouTube)
Anglican bishop of the central Interior resigns over sexual misconduct allegations

Lincoln Mckoen was elected as a bishop of the Territory of the People region last year

Most Read