Administration’s decision comes following two hospitalizations
In a Facebook post from Monday, Feb. 5, a now former Carleton University student, Falum Gibson opened up about the circumstances of her removal from the university.
Gibson was a second-year psychology student with an 11.0 CGPA when she was hospitalized in November of 2017 for mental health related issues.
Gibson said that after being hospitalized for two weeks, she received notice from the university that she was being put on academic probation due to her absence. She filled out the required documentation to return to school, and was back in Leeds residence for the winter holidays.
According to Gibson, the school had given her a safety plan that she followed carefully. She was told to call campus security in the event of an emergency, and said she called them in January when she started having suicidal thoughts.
Gibson was then hospitalized for a second time, for one night, after which she returned to school. The university administration then told her it could no longer support her needs.
“They had a final meeting about it on Jan. 10,” she explained, referring to administration and student success services staff, adding that it was conducted without her.
“They said they couldn’t support me anymore and I was asked to leave by Jan. 12.” Gibson said, writing in her Facebook post that “it was very clear that they were only concerned about liability, and not that a student was deeply struggling.”
Steven Reid, the media relations officer at Carleton told the Fulcrum in a statement, “While the university cannot disclose personal information about any student, we can confirm that we provide additional transitional support to students who decide to withdraw from their studies and leave residence due to extenuating circumstances.”
“The university’s focus is on enabling successful transitions not evictions. Carleton staff work with the students and advocates on their behalf, including health care workers and counsellors in other communities to aid in students’ transitions from residence. We are pleased to continue to work with the student and are supporting her through her transition,” the statement continued.
Gibson said she reached out to the equity services at Carleton University following her removal, who said they would look into the issue, but she has yet to hear back from them.
As of right now, Gibson is also on academic probation with OSAP, which limits her ability to apply for a loan were she to decide to attend a different university. She is also currently staying at a hospital in her hometown of Peterborough, as her family home is not wheelchair accessible, something she once praised Carleton for, as she explains in her post.
“The reason I chose Carleton was for their impeccable wheelchair accessible facilities. I made so many friends, and met so many people, and now I do not even have a place to call home,” she wrote.“Many students with disabilities choose to live at Carleton because this is the most accessible school for them during their studies. However, I am now learning that they are not so welcoming to students’ who have invisible disabilities.”
Gibson also fears that her situation will deter other students from seeking help, although she hopes this won’t be the case.
“Students shouldn’t be afraid to reach out for help,” she said. “It’s so important to do so, because things can get out of control very quickly.”