Yesterday I pointed out that faculty and administrators at Wilfrid Laurier University were engaged in an unethical abuse of power. Since this behavior became widely known, thanks to the student wisely taping her interrogation, the University has been forced to “apologize” in a desperate face-saving manuever. I’m cynical about the “apology” because it does not have the ring of sincerity nor a willingness to fully acknowledge the unethical dimension of the meeting.
According to this report:
“Through the media, we have now had the opportunity to hear the full recording of the meeting that took place at Wilfrid Laurier University,” says the letter from President and Vice-Chancellor Deborah MacLatchy.
“After listening to this recording, an apology is in order. The conversation I heard does not reflect the values and practices to which Laurier aspires. I am sorry it occurred in the way that it did and I regret the impact it had on Lindsay Shepherd.”
I find this statement to be dishonest. If the conversation does not reflect the values and practices of Wilfrid Laurier University, explain how it happened. Keep in mind that this was a meeting that not only involved Nathan Rambukkana, but also involved Herbert Pimlott, a tenured professor and Adria Joel, manager of Gendered Violence Prevention and Support at the school. How can three such educated professionals just stumble into something that violated the values and practices of Wilfrid Laurier University? And how is it that throughout the entire meeting, not one of them seems to be slightly aware that they are engaged in activity that violates the values and practices of Wilfrid Laurier University? It looks to me like the very reason Rambukkana, Pimlott, and Joel felt so at ease playing the roles of interrogators is that this is indeed something that fits well into the values and practices of Wilfrid Laurier University.
If this is not the case, then there is another problem. That two professors and an administrator felt so comfortable violating the principles and values of their own university indicates the University has a serious problem with its faculty and administration. Will they be punished? The apology certainly does not indicate anything other than the President trying to treat this incident as some type of unfortunate, freak anomaly.
Rambukkana also comes across as a very dishonest person in his face-saving “apology.”