POLITICS

Five things you need to know about a report on sexism at Dalhousie University

06/29/2015 04:15 EDT | Updated 06/29/2016 05:59 EDT
HALIFAX - Five things you need to know about a task force report on sexism and misogyny at Dalhousie University's faculty of dentistry:

1. The incidents of sexism, misogyny, homophobia and racism are not isolated, with one former student telling the report's authors that the dentistry school lives in a "time warp" and is oblivious to social progress, while others spoke about their distrust and suspicion of the university's response to reports of discrimination. "'Swept under the rug' was a phrase we heard over and over again," say the report's authors as they called on the school to institute a formal complaints process for the dentistry faculty.

2. The university's policies and processes on equity issues are as good or better than other Canadian universities, but people at the school should be more familiar with how and when to use them. Whistleblowers should also be given more support and protection from retaliation.

3. The university's complaint system should be changed to ensure they are handled promptly, fairly and transparently. The outcomes of those investigations should also be shared with the complainant.

4. The task force says Dalhousie should look at creating an ombudsman's office, similar to those found at other universities.

5. Dalhousie president Richard Florizone accepted the report's 39 recommendations and said it will take about two years to implement them.