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Dalhousie dentistry student speaks for 1st time about Facebook scandal

03/10/2015 11:24 EDT | Updated 05/10/2015 05:59 EDT
A male dentistry student in Dalhousie University’s class of 2015 says the past three months have been "a pretty wild ride," but says he supports his classmates — even though they brought scandal to the school. 

Ben Lawlor spoke exclusively with CBC News Tuesday morning, saying the fallout from the scandal has been "tough on all of us."

He’s the first member of the class to speak publicly about the damage caused by classmates who were members of the Class of DDS 2015 Gentlemen Facebook group.

Lawlor was not a member of the now-infamous Facebook group, when it was exposed in December.

He said he was a member of the group in first year, but "left mostly for personal reasons." At the time, "it was just more immature college humour than anything terrible." 

Thirteen members of the class of 2015 were suspended from clinical practice for their membership in the group, after CBC News reported on misogynistic postings that stretched back for months. 

In one, group members voted on which classmate they would have hate sex with. In another, dated May 2013, a member defines a penis as "the tool used to wean and convert lesbians and virgins into useful, productive members of society."

Lawlor told CBC News the entire class is a tight-knit group. He knows the men and women very well, and still counts them among his friends.

"What [the group members] did was wrong," he said Tuesday. "They’re good people. They said something stupid."

He said he feels the restorative justice process — which has been underway at the school for weeks — has been "fantastic" as a tool to help repair relationships within the class. 

"They all feel bad for their part ... and they want to make things right," he said of the men. "The  guys are genuinely sorry for what they’ve done."

Last week, the university said 12 men had returned to clinic duties. A 13th member, Ryan Millet, would be allowed to return, but — according to his lawyer — only after admitting guilt to professional misconduct. 

There is no word yet on Millet’s decision. 

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