Thursday, August 24, 2017

Student society “reasonably confident” Camosun took action over events detailed in accusatory letter

March 29, 2017 by Adam Marsh, student editor

The Camosun College Student Society (CCSS) feels that Camosun College has taken action after an anonymous letter was sent to the CCSS stating that a Camosun student allegedly threatened to use a gun to shoot women at the school in November of last year, but the college is not giving out any details.

CCSS student services coordinator Michael Glover says he immediately made inquiries to the college after the CCSS received the letter at the beginning of March.

“I’m reasonably confident that the college has taken some action,” says Glover.

Camosun vice president of student experience Joan Yates (file photo).

Glover says the college was “quick and receptive” to his inquiries about the situation the letter describes. He says the letter is “a legitimate safety concern,” but that his inquiries led him to believe that the allegation was “not a credible threat.” Glover says there is not much he can do without a student to stand behind the letter.

“We’re stuck, because this person is not comfortable even confidentially coming forward,” he says. “I would encourage them to do that if they want any more to happen.”

Camosun College security specialist Todd Corwin says that he was given a copy of the letter by the CCSS.

“I know about the letter,” says Corwin. “Whether it’s part of a campus investigation or not part of a campus investigation, either way, I can’t speak about it because that’s a confidentiality issue.”

Corwin says he can’t comment on whether or not the police were informed.

“If it has become part of a college investigation involving campus security, I can’t speak about that,” he says.

The letter mentions Camosun Business dean Richard Stride and Exercise & Wellness and Sport Management chair Gord Inglis; Inglis declined to comment for this story, and a message for Stride was returned by Camosun vice president of student experience Joan Yates. Yates says that the college has “a close relationship with all legal entities” in matters like this. Yates declined to comment on the letter specifically but says that instances such as these are dealt with in a variety of ways, ranging from immediate expulsion to behavioural contracts.

“We do not let such complaints go without an investigation,” says Yates. “If a complaint came forward, we would act upon it in order to ensure that both the college community is safe and that the students’ privacy and circumstances are protected.”

Glover says that the college does not necessarily have a duty to inform the CCSS about what’s happening with situations like this one, but says that “the college has a duty to inform students of what they’re involved in.”

Yates says that Camosun doesn’t have that duty; she says that the college’s emphasis is on being “scrupulously fair to all parties.”

“If a student is under review for their behaviour, they, of course, are in the loop on it. If other students are directly impacted by something, we inform them, but, again, this is very broad,” says Yates. “What is direct involvement? But that is done after there’s the appropriate risk assessment that is undertaken.”

Yates says she cannot comment on what that risk assessment entailed in this situation. More on this story as it develops.

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