Announcement comes on the heels of professor’s first public statement since firing
Vancouver (NUWire)—The former University of British Columbia student who accused Steven Galloway, a creative writing professor until he was fired this past June, of sexual assault has released a statement saying that her complaint was not regarding a “consensual affair.”
“MC (the former UBC student) has stayed silent since Galloway was suspended, out of respect for the process and the confidentiality of everyone involved. The so-called ‘secrecy’ of the investigation process has protected Galloway, perhaps more than anyone else,” read the statement, which was released through her lawyer Joanna Birenbaum.
This statement comes in the wake of Steven Galloway’s first public statement since he was fired by the university, in which it is said that the only substantiated complaint of a sexual nature had to do with a two-year, extra-marital affair he had with a student. The Nov. 23 statement also claims that the Honourable Mary Ellen Boyd, the former British Columbia Supreme Court judge who conducted an investigation on the complaints the university received about Galloway, cleared him of that complaint against him.
“He wouldn’t appear to be apologizing for the finding he has admitted was made against him by Ms. Boyd, which was misconduct for ‘inappropriate sexual behaviour with a student’: conduct which is an abuse of trust and his position of power,” reads MC’s statement, according to a Canadian Press article.
As covered by another article published by the Ubyssey this summer, Martha Piper, interim UBC president at the time, noted that she remained concerned about how “consent” and “conflict” are defined in an environment where there is a power imbalance, even with the restrictions put in place by UBC.
“Mr. Galloway has not made clear to whom he is apologizing or what he regrets, other than presumably the consequences to him. His reference to the ‘tragedy’ of the events does not explicitly consider the devastating impacts of abuse of power on women affected,” reads MC’s statement.
Galloway was first suspended from the university in November 2015 after UBC received serious allegations of misconduct against him, after which more complaints were received as well. He was then fired in June for a reported “irreparable breach of trust.”
The way in which information has been communicated about the Galloway case has been hotly debated by the Canadian writing community, with Margaret Atwood and over 80 others signing a letter affirming Galloway’s “right to due process.” These signators include the likes of Yann Martel, Madeleine Thien, Michael Ondaatje, and film director David Cronenberg.
The Twitter hashtag #ubcaccountable has also gained significant traction as breeding ground for debate.