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UBC on the defensive

The University of British Columbia has denied mishandling sexual assault reports in documents filed with the province's human rights tribunal.

History graduate Glynnis Kirchmeier and engineering student Stephanie Hale have launched separate complaints with the tribunal over the school's response to sexual violence.

The university recently filed separate responses to the complaints.

"The respondent denies that it discriminated as alleged in the complaint or at all," the university says in its response to Kirchmeier's allegations.

Kirchmeier's complaint says students reported misconduct by a PhD candidate over a period of years, starting in 2012, but the university failed to take action until he was expelled in November 2015.

But UBC says while a student raised concerns about violence at a graduate residence in 2012, the PhD candidate was not named, and alleged sexual assaults in 2013 were not reported at the time.

The man accused of the assaults is not named as a respondent and has not been criminally charged. The Canadian Press has not been able to reach him for comment. None of the allegations have been proven.

The university says Kirchmeier told Monica Kay, a director in the equity and inclusion office, in February 2014 that she had seen the man being "aggressively flirtatious." Kay asked Kirchmeier if she would file a formal complaint but Kirchmeier did not do so, it says.

Despite the lack of a complaint, the school arranged a harassment workshop, which the man attended, the UBC response says.

A few months later, the man allegedly sexually assaulted a former UBC student. The university advised the woman to contact campus security, which obtained her report along with that of another woman, it says.

In July 2014, Kirchmeier and others met with the history department head and Kay. One woman alleged the PhD student had assaulted her, and Kay urged the women to pursue complaints, the university says.

The woman who alleged she had been assaulted eventually filed a formal complaint and a hearing was held in October 2015 regarding her allegations and those of two other women, the university says. The man was expelled the next month.



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