The former UBC student who accused Steven Galloway, a creative writing professor until he was fired this June, of sexual assault has released a statement saying that her complaint was not regarding a “consensual affair.”
This statement comes in the wake of Steven Galloway’s first public statement since he was fired by the university, in which it is said that the only substantiated complaint of a sexual nature had to do with a two-year, extra-marital affair he had with a student. The statement also claims that the Honourable Mary Ellen Boyd, the former BC Supreme Court judge who conducted an investigation on the complaints the university received about Galloway, cleared him of that complaint against him.
“Mr. Galloway has issued an apology. But he wouldn’t appear to be apologizing for the finding he has admitted was made against him by Ms. Boyd, which was misconduct for ‘inappropriate sexual behaviour with a student’: conduct which is an abuse of trust and his position of power,” reads the statement, according to a Canadian Press article written by the journalist to whom the statement was released.
As covered by another article published by The Ubyssey this summer, Martha Piper, interim UBC president at the time, noted that she remained concerned about how “consent” and “conflict” are defined in an environment where there is a power imbalance, even with the restrictions put in place by UBC.
“Mr. Galloway has not made clear to whom he is apologizing or what he regrets, other than presumably the consequences to him. His reference to the ‘tragedy’ of the events does not explicitly consider the devastating impacts of abuse of power on women affected,” reads the statement according to The Canadian Press.
Galloway was first suspended from the university in November 2015 after UBC received serious allegations of misconduct against him, after which more complaints were received as well. He was then fired in June for a reported “irreparable breach of trust.”
“MC [the former UBC student] has stayed silent since Galloway was suspended, out of respect for the process and the confidentiality of everyone involved. The so-called ‘secrecy’ of the investigation process has protected Galloway, perhaps more than anyone else.”
The way in which information has been communicated about the Galloway case has been hotly debated by the writing community, with Margret Atwood and over 80 others signing a letter affirming Galloway’s “right to due process.” The twitter hashtag #ubcaccountable has also gained significant traction as breeding ground for debate.
The Ubyssey does not have a copy of the full statement — it was provided by the woman and her lawyer solely to journalist Laura Kane.
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.