Open letters, lack of info and UBC’s choices on a difficult topic.
We sat down with Jade DeFehr, the Status of Women Director for the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association to talk about recent coverage of an older issue. In 2015, Steven Galloway was suspended from his position at UBC for “miscounduct”. In 2016, this became an issue of bullying and possibly sexual assault. Due to court process and the sensitive subject matter, not much information was released to the public. Instead, open letters and opinions through social media fed the public conversation. In this episode, we look at the relationship between sources of information and what information (and point of view) was consistently left out.
Flow of info around such a sensitive issue as sexual assault charges is always limited. This leaves gaps for people to fill in their own perceptions of the situation, which can lead to a huge variety of feelings about what actually happened. Jade and I realized at the same time in this episode that none of the news coverage we saw involved impact on students or student voices. With rape and consent culture already in public discourse at universities, why couldn’t we find that conversation reflected in news media?