An Open letter to the B.C. Ombudsman:
Women from Counselling Psychology filed a complaint with the Ombudsman over a year ago because they were dissatisfied with the way the U.B.C. Administration handled threats of male violence at Counselling Psychology. Despite continued threats of physical and sexual violence to women in the department of Counselling Psychology at U.B.C. (most recently in February of 1995 and under investigation), the Ombudsman disregards women's urgent requests for information and action. Such a lack of response from the Ombudsman clearly contravenes section 25(2) of the Ombudsman's Act which indicates that she "shall in every case inform the complainant within a reasonable time of the result of the investigation."
In addition, several students from the department of Political Science at U.B.C., where there is an ongoing inquiry into "pervasive sexism and racism," have approached the Ombudsman and were brusquely turned away.
Women students are outraged by the Ombudsman's apparent disregard for their welfare and have lost faith in this office. In spite of numerous requests for action from students, who risk further retaliations by making complaints in the first place, the Ombudsman has virtually ignored them.
We are left asking, "Is the Ombudsman merely the unwitting puppet of powerful university administrations?"
[Copies of "Learning and Violence: Women Speak Out" and "Violence Prevention" are still available at a cost of $2.50 ea + GST + postage and handling.]