On Friday, January 22, Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle, the President and Vice-Chancellor of UNB, sent an email to all students regarding a new committee that will review the current UNB Sexual Assault Policy.
Announcement sparked by assault allegations from November 2020
According to the announcement, this decision was motivated by the case of sexual assault that took place on the UNB Fredericton campus last year.
“The events that were brought to our attention prior to the holidays illustrate the complexities associated with sexual violence in a university context, and also the need to take a wide view in considering areas for review and reform,” reads the email.
The committee will be chaired by Dr. Cathy Holtmann, Director of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research (MMFC). Sexual Violence New Brunswick, New Brunswick Community College, St. Thomas University, and student representatives from both UNB campuses will part of the committee.
According to the email, the University community will have opportunities to provide feedback and participate in the consultation process.
The results of the review are expected to be released in the fall of 2021.
Allegations on UNB Fredericton campus
In November of 2020, it was revealed that there were allegations of misconduct regarding a member of the UNB Fredericton Student Health Centre, Dr. Manoj Bhargava.
Students held a protest on the Fredericton campus on November 14 to raise awareness on the issue.
On November 17, Bhargava had his license suspended by the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New Brunswick, and on November 20, UNB ended its service contract with him.