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Dalhousie students condemn restorative justice in Facebook scandal

01/06/2015 04:25 EST | Updated 03/08/2015 05:59 EDT
A group of fourth-year female students from Dalhousie University's faculty of dentistry have written an open letter to the president of the school, saying they feel pressured to accept the restorative justice process to resolve the Facebook scandal that has rocked the school.

In a two-page letter addressed to Richard Florizone and disclosed to CBC News on Tuesday, the four unnamed students say they are not willing to accept the university's method of dealing with the scandal.

"The university is pressuring us into this process, silencing our views, isolating us from our peers, and discouraging us from choosing to proceed formally," said the letter.

"This has perpetuated our experience of discrimination. This approach falls far below what we expected from you, and what we believe we deserve."

The women also write that they are concerned about their future at the school.

"Telling us that we can either participate in restorative justice or file a formal complaint is presenting us with a false choice. We have serious concerns about the impact of filing formal complaints on our chances of academic success at the faculty of dentistry, and believe that doing so would jeopardize our futures," they wrote.

According to the letter, the school held an information session about the restorative justice process on Monday, which was the first time all of the women in the class of 2015 were asked whether or not they consented to participate in the process.

The women said that was contrary to what Florizone has been saying publicly.

The women also expressed concern that the school had been in possession of a copy of the Facebook posts since Dec. 12,  but has not disclosed the full extent of the posts to them.

There are 47 students in the fourth-year class — 21 women and 26 men. Thirteen of those men were members of the controversial Facebook group, which has since been shut down.

The letter comes one day after Dalhousie University announced the 13 members of the group have been suspended from all clinical activities in the program, pending consideration by the faculty of dentistry's academic standards class committee.

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