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Dalhousie University dentistry students return to class

01/05/2015 06:26 EST | Updated 03/07/2015 05:59 EST
Halifax’s Dalhousie University reopens today following the holiday break amid a controversy over the posting  of misogynistic and degrading comments about women on a Facebook group page by some fourth-year dentistry students.

Many people are upset over the university’s handling of the Facebook page by the Class of DDS 2015 Gentlemen's Club.

The fourth-year male dentistry students' violent sexual comments about female classmates included a poll about having "hate" sex with female students and drugging women.

Four Dalhousie University faculty members, including a Canada research chair in bioethics, have called for the school to launch an independent inquiry into sexualized violence on campus in the wake of the dentistry school scandal.

In a statement posted online, the professors say sexualized violence is a problem at universities across the country.

They urge Dalhousie to respond by looking at both the specific harm caused by the Facebook posts, and addressing underlying causes.

They also say the university must protect the safety of dentistry students and the future patients of those who posted the comments, if they are found to have violated university or professional codes of conduct. 

Dalhousie president Richard Florizone has announced a plan for a restorative justice approach, for victims and perpetrators to meet.

He also pledged to form a "task force" in the coming weeks.

It’s not clear who will be a part of a task force.

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