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Vol 38  No 4
October 13, 2005


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Sexual harassment office holding training seminar this fall

Interviewing for investigators

By Jeff Green

Memorial University has issued a campus-wide appeal to try and recruit new sexual harassment investigators. A maximum of 10 qualified members of the university community will be appointed by Dr. Axel Meisen to conduct investigations into complaints of sexual harassment.

Lori Yetman, Memorial’s sexual harassment officer, is co-ordinating the recruitment and will hold a training seminar later this fall with those chosen for the positions. She is encouraging faculty and staff members who have the required experience to submit their CVs to her office by Oct. 26.

“Sexual harassment investigation requires a certain skill set and it’s a very complicated and delicate process,” said Ms Yetman. “It needs to be done by somebody who is familiar with a wide range of issues including sexual harassment case law, the Criminal Code of Canada, issues dealing with gender, sexual orientation, culture, race and ethnicity.”

Ms Yetman said possible investigators will also need some knowledge of federal and provincial human rights legislation, the University Wide Procedures for Sexual Harassment Complaints and have some experience interviewing people.

Since 2001, there have been seven investigations.

“The president is seeking a maximum of 10 people and it’s going to be a competitive process. I’m asking that employees of the university, who have the skill set that we’ve outlined, come forward and submit their expressions of interest,” explained Ms Yetman. “The complainant’s statement and request for investigation has to be reviewed by the president and then he decides if an investigation is necessary.”

Ms Yetman said although those appointed as investigators may be relieved of their regular duties, they won’t be away from their jobs for an extended period of time.

“Currently the process states that an investigation has to be completed within 60 working days,” she added.

Meanwhile, she said the president will have new investigators in place by mid-December just in time for a two-day training seminar which is a prerequisite for being appointed as an investigator. “It will provide an extensive review of all that is required to conduct a procedurally fair, effective and thorough investigation into allegations of sexual harassment,” she said. “The responsibility of the investigator, of course, is to find out the facts in the course of the investigation and then to report these facts in a report to the university president who then makes a decision as to whether sexual harassment occurred based on the evidence.”

Those workshops are slated for Dec. 16 and 17.

Any employee or faculty member who would like to apply to be a sexual harassment investigator must submit their CV for consideration to Lori Yetman, UC-3000, or via e-mail, loriy@mun.ca by Oct. 26.

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