Dealing with the UBC’s “understanding” of policy

I brought my first complaint against the Chair in 2020. I was told that despite her actions violating the retaliation policy, the respectful environment statement, Scholarly Integrity and the first half of the Discrimination Policy, she hadn’t violated the half of the Discrimination Policy that dealt with Discrimination, so they weren’t going to do anything.

See, “discrimination” is illegal. “Improper conduct” is not. Improper conduct is defined as breaking the policies. The University, in all its “wisdom” decided that it was only going to care about the improper conduct that is also illegal. Breaking the policies and telling other people to break policy isn’t illegal so it isn’t a problem.

The “long-form title” of SC7 is technically Discrimination, making it the only long-form title shorter than the short-form title, “discrimination policy”. UBC changed its name a while back from “the Discrimination and Harassment Policy” to “Discrimination.”

But working with SOPs, I know they had to do a study to see if any change impacted any part of the procedures. You can see it was called the Discrimination and Harassment Policy because in the Retaliation policy, the Designated Recipient is responsible for complaints based on discrimination *and harassment* from SC7.

But the only language contained in their policies that talk about Academic freedom is contained under “purpose” of the discrimination policy. Before they removed the word from the title, their study should have foreseen this complication. But their training department obviously didn’t see it or didn’t care to check. All it took was no one realizing that the Director of Investigations had not been trained as a designated recipient for Academic Harassment complaints for all personal harassment and academic complaints to die at stage 2 of the appeals process.

And because I couldn’t register a harassment complaint on the discrimination policy, I couldn’t file any complaint at all. The Respectful Environment statement, Scholarly Integrity, Retaliation and Investigations policies are *just* policies and the UBC thinks it doesn’t have to follow its policies if it doesn’t want to.

It’s a perfect case study of how an entire university can operate under “toddler having a tantrum to get their own way” conditions and still receive public funding.

I wasn’t given an appeal. I’m sure they think the people I contacted following the appeals process of the Investigations Policy feel like they were harassed when asked to follow the policy and do their jobs. Their boss said they didn’t have to, so they didn’t.

I was told that not having a respectful environment “wasn’t technically illegal” and the Chair had only retaliated against me for using my academic freedom, not because I was presenting as a woman or queer, so they weren’t going to do anything.

No student should have to hear “Yeah, that’s harassment and you have no “academic freedom” but if we follow our policies, we’ll have to listen to your complaint, and we don’t want to do that.”

At any point, if I had given up, the University would continue to think that policies are just a written down pirate code.

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