OMG UPDATE: Question? Answer.

Updated on Thursday, January 16

#5754

QUESTION: Anyone heard anything new about the sexual harassment at Needles Hall's counselling services?

64 comments

  1. I haven't heard anything new or old about counselling services/sexual harrassment. What are you talking about?

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    1. A senior UW counselor was found guilty of sexual harassment against a UW psychologist. Both still work at counseling services. Claims by the victim of various forms of reprisal for her reporting a series of incidents by the perp, the UW administration, and the director of counselling services in his role, against the victim for reporting the incidents were all successfully denied.

      The police tried to issue an official caution to the counselor after their sexual assault investigation but the perpetrator, on the advice of his criminal lawyer, chose not to meet with the police and as a result was not cautioned.

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  3. Unsurprisingly the HRTO institution failed to fault a Canadian university administration and fully denied Dr (name deleted for OMGUW)'s request to reconsider UW's and the perp's tag-team reprisals against her for reporting the incidents.

    Quoting from this December 27, 2013 Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario continued smackdown of women's right to safety on campuses across Canada: ([n] are quotes from the smackdown, with (comments) added).

    [2] On October 28, 2013, the applicant filed a Request for Reconsideration of the Tribunal’s Decision. The applicant submits that the Decision wrongly decided a number of issues. She submits that Mr. (name deleted for OMGUW) did sexually harass her on six occasions in the hallways and that these actions also constitute reprisal. She submits that the University failed to investigate these allegations and as such failed in its Code mandated duty to investigate. She submits that the University’s response to her allegations about the hallway incidents constitute reprisal. She submits that the University also failed in its duty to investigate the June 16, 2010 incident. Finally, the applicant submits that the Tribunal should have ordered non-financial remedies in order to ensure her safety and to promote a non-discriminatory workplace ("order to ensure her safety" lemma: UW failed to, so ... uh uh). The applicant provides extensive written submissions in support of her Request for Reconsideration (pointless waste of time since my decision absolving the institution was a foregone conclusion).

    [7] The applicant makes numerous arguments about why the Decision is wrongly decided (didn't she realize I get to mark my own paper?). The applicant submits that in arriving at the Decision the Tribunal did not duly consider the evidence that was before it, the applicant’s submissions and Tribunal case law. She submits that the Tribunal has not provided substantive or clear enough reasons for some of its findings and conclusions. She argues that it is a matter of general or public importance to correct these errors (for these parts my fingers plugged whatever of my orifices open to reason).

    [8] However, having reviewed the applicant’s submissions I find that the applicant has not met the burden of establishing that any of the criteria justifying reconsideration set out in Rule 26.5 apply in her case (guess what, I got 100%!). I do not find that the Decision is in conflict with established case law (another 100% for me, yay) and the applicant’s request for reconsideration involves matters of general or public importance – Rule 26.5(c) – which is the specific provision the applicant essentially relies on. (so even if the decision was wrong, if it only crushes the victim or a small group of women she gets no protection and the institution can carry on (gentlemen), with my blessing)

    Skipping down a bunch of rationalizations to support his political basis (individuals (and weak employers) can be blamed, well-connected institutions immune),

    [29] The Request for Reconsideration is dismissed. Dated at Toronto, this 27th day of December, 2013. (now can I get up off my knees UW?)

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    1. The gentleman involved was likely Mr. Dave R. Mackay of Counselling Services.

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    2. Thanks for the information and your take on things. If you know anything more please tell us. I didn't know about any of this. I'm angry about what UW and this creep did to her. I'm angry that they got away with it.

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    3. I believe her and that they're raining a shitstorm down on her to try and break her. What's wrong with just fixing it? Instead UW spends tons of our tuition money paying lawyers to defend gentlemen in counselling services and perpetuate this.

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  4. Replies
    1. Isn't it, though?

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    2. I'm fascinated that it's counselling services of all places. How could it happen in that department? Aren't they supposed to be the ones who know what the right thing to do is?

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  5. The full decision can be found here:
    http://www.canlii.org/en/on/onhrt/doc/2013/2013hrto2119/2013hrto2119.html

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    1. Thanks, what can we do about it now? It looks like it ended badly for her. So where can a woman go if a UW employee sexually harasses her? UW, the police, and Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario accomplished nothing.

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    2. @5a tell your friends about it and get the word out? It looks like the police tried to do something but the guy didn't cooperate with them (see 2a).

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    3. You can write an email to Dave R. Mackay's supervisor and/or the provost.

      If you feel that the actions of this man make you less likely to approach counselling services, then he is directly undermining the work of the department. And that's something that the administration would need to address.

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  6. From the original Decision (@3's post, linked to in section [2]), the HRTO said

    [65] Dr. Morgan’s testimony before the Tribunal was remarkably detailed, forthrightly given, occasionally emotional and absolutely consistent.

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    1. In the decision

      [187] Dr. M repeatedly expressed concerns that Mr. M had power over her in his roles as acting director and in his two co-ordinator positions and that in these roles he could direct Dr. M’s actions. She submits that Mr. M had significant influence in Counselling Services and that Dr. R (the Counselling Services Director) relied on his advice and considered him to be his second in command.

      I searched the UW site counselling services to see who works there and found this on the second page. Counselling Services has a job posting for Associate Director, reporting to the Director who was one of those accused of reprisal against the psychologist. It went up July 2013. I wonder who applied for it and who got it.

      If he got it he could make it a living hell for her.

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    2. @6a thanks for the Associate Director job posting link. The first key accountability is just priceless.

      1. Clinician Regulatory Management: The AD maintains the department’s knowledge of and compliance with legal and ethical standards

      After that one, the rest of the job description is just irrelevant. You couldn't make this up on a sitcom if you tried. Given the setting, does this ad seem like the start of a Parks and Rec episode?

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    3. Counselling services seems like Mirkwood from the Hobbit. A darkness has taken hold unnoticed and is spreading. Sauron's role is taken by the director, but who will he take as Saruman?

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    4. @6c well Dr Morgan's Gandalf.

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    5. based on @6a and @8 I think we found our Wormtongue. gross.

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    6. The judge said Dr. M. was absolutely consistent. She told truth to power, like Gandalf the Grey to Elrond's gathered council. Saruman said everything was fine and Gandalf was alarmed over nothing.

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    7. Sauron: Counseling Service's director's bosses and source of power
      Saruman: CS director (Dr R)
      Wormtongue: associate director doing Saruman's bidding, or Mr M
      Gollum: Dr W,
      Gandalf: Dr M

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  7. Here's a UW directory showing departments but not job titles. Anyway if the Associate Director job posting's still there it isn't filled. Maybe the July 2013 posting date's wrong.

    I don't know how she could keep working there. After what they've put her through I'd be waay beyond the breaking point in her shoes.

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  8. More from the Fascinating Decision of the HRTO (perp's other victim with a PhD):

    [3] Dr. M alleges that Mr. M sexually harassed her on June 16, 2009, while they were attending a dinner and dance at the annual conference of the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS). {classy fella - grope your coworkers at a professional conference} This was the conference’s principal social event and was attended by hundreds of conference participants, including a number of counsellors from the University’s Counselling Services Department (or “Counselling Services”). The conference was being held on the campus of Sir Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo.
    ...
    [46] I did hear extensive evidence about the consumption of alcohol. Dr. M testified that she did not drink at all. This was not disputed. I heard evidence that Mr. M and Dr. W {another coworker with a PhD?} had been drinking. How much they drank and to what affect was very much in dispute. {[47] Mr M was cut off by the bartender}
    ...
    [49] I also heard evidence about a contentious incident that occurred immediately before the alleged harassment involving Mr. M and Dr. W {yeah, contentious incident is one word for it}. The issue was whether Mr. M, while beside the dance floor, may have been down on one knee before Dr. W with his hands on her hips shaking his head in a light hearted gesture to signal that she should not leave {why should she not leave?}, as was maintained by Mr. M, or whether Mr. M may have been down on one knee with his hands on Dr. W’s buttocks and shaking his head to simulate having oral sex with her {shaking his head between her legs sounds more stimulation than simulation}, as alleged by Dr. M. Dr. W testified she did not remember Mr. M being down on a knee before her {sounds memorable enough} or Mr. M touching her in any manner {Mr Nose, meet Ms ... nah I won't say it} . She did testify that she would have remembered if Mr. M had been touching her buttocks as maintained by Dr. M {but touching between her legs with his face, not as memorable. That's between his face and her ... okay so he's more "cunning" than "fella"}.
    ...
    [61] In determining what did occur between Mr. M and Dr. M on June 16, I do not find Dr. W’s evidence as to what she witnessed between Mr. M and Dr. M to be reliable or ultimately of assistance. In my view she did not have a clear recollection of events {that is, too inebriated, so no consent. Standard learning across Canadian campuses. UW counsellors, get with it}. She did not, for example, recall returning to the dance floor with Mr. M after saying goodbye to Mr. M, or whether Mr. M may have been kneeling before her earlier, which was the evidence of both Mr. M and Dr. M. She acknowledged that she did not have a clear recollection of what did occur during this time {aka blanked out}. In my view her recollections were clearly fragmentary in nature. {Dr W was too inebriated to: realize what he was doing to her + defend herself + even remember what he did to her = no consent}
    ...
    [65] Dr. M’s testimony before the Tribunal was remarkably detailed, forthrightly given, occasionally emotional and absolutely consistent.

    Even if his story wasn't consistent, at least he was consistent in his preferred two targets - 3 feet below her PhD.

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    1. Thanks for telling people about this disgusting behavior. I don't know how he gets away with it. My friends and I will stay away from counselling services until it's not crazy. Unfortunately it means our needs won't be met. I can't afford off-campus help, so we'll all be paying for something we can't use.

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    2. ^ You can write an email to Dave R. Mackay's supervisor and/or the provost.

      If you feel that the actions of this man make you less likely to approach counselling services, then he is directly undermining the work of the department. And that's something that the administration would need to address.

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    3. ^ Who exactly would be the correct people to contact regarding this? Additionally, would there be anything that FEDS could do to communicate to the University that students do NOT find this okay?

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    4. ^ Those are the appropriate people to contact. Who else are you going to voice your concerns to? Police services can't fire the guy. The Dean of Arts has no jurisdiction in these matters. And FEDS certainly has no control over any decisions the UW administration makes. Really, which other members of the administration have any influence over the continued employment of this individual other than their direct supervisor?

      Though if you wanted someone at FEDS to take some sort of action, well send an email to the President and VP Internal.

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  9. That must be a really difficult situation for her. Why didn't the other PhD join her in the complaint? It looks obvious that she was taken advantage of.

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    1. Maybe she was in denial, or afraid of what it would do to her career, or afraid of what other people in the department would say, or how they might treat her (shunning). Easier to just believe it didn't happen.

      Sucks for the one who went it alone though.

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    2. Must suck every single fucking day. I don't know how she can keep working there. Most people don't have that courage.

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    3. @9b Yeah in that case every person involved in making sure her day sucks makes that choice every fucking day. Same goes for anyone who knows what she's going through, can help and won't help, through fear they'll attract the wrong attention.

      Funny how people can talk themselves out of doing the right thing.

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  10. I can't read all this.

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    1. What program are you in?

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    1. Same. Don't know about you but I don't have to read this much text in a term. I'm better at scanning spreadsheets where I jump all over the screen and find the key parts. My eyes have trouble moving only from left to right, line by line.

      We can leave it for the non-math students. Some can read a novel in a few hours, so can chew through the above in a couple of minutes. Would be nice.

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    2. Yeah this thread is nothing. total word count: around 2.1k
      Lord of the Rings trilogy: 473k
      Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (single novel): 415k

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    3. @11b: You're namedropping long novels and not using War and Peace? How pleb.

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    4. @11c fine, War & Peace 587k and I was sad when done. A splendid read. Better?

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  12. This makes me so sad and disgusted, after having seen her (Dr. M) on and off for 3 years. These incidents and this pathetic dealing of it may be why she has an office in the Health Services expansion now.

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    1. Maybe her time is split. Hopefully staff there treat her better than at Needles Hall, where she still works through all this too. Maybe they think nobody notices but her, but even to an outsider it's noticeable how some staff act out, if you know what to look for.

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  13. @6a about Counselling Services associate director posting, who picks the person? Do students get any say, since our tuition that pays their salary? Who can we contact?

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    1. Probably the director picks. Try contacting the UW student services advisory committee . Chair: Beth Jewkes, Associate Provost, Resources
      Secretary: Mike Grivicic, Assistant University Secretary
      It says at the bottom Counselling Services is supported by the student services fee.

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    2. You can write an email to Dave R. Mackay's supervisor and/or the provost.

      If you feel that the actions of this man make you less likely to approach counselling services, then he is directly undermining the work of the department. And that's something that the administration would need to address.

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    3. @14b, 5c, 8c I don't know who his supervisor is. If it's the director of Counselling Services (Saruman?), he's the one who cleared the creep in the first place and then began his campaign against Dr Morgan, based on the links from @3.

      I don't know who the provost is. If it's Sauron (thx @6g) then that won't work either.

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    4. @14 there is a committee who will select Counselling Service's Associate Director. No, students do not get a say. I don't know who is on the committee or whether anyone can find out. If past experience is any indicator it'll end up being whoever the CS director wants.

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  14. The perpetrator was mentioned in an imprint article on sexism acts on campus.

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  15. Would anyone be interested in organizing some sort of rally in support of Dr. M and protesting the University's lack of action on this issue?

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    1. Great idea! @17 below looks supportive too. It'd be good to get a list (email addresses and phone #'s) of all groups that would be interested.

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    2. As part of that could there be a petition, either online or on paper?

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    3. How about in the Student Life Centre, given the weather?

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  16. What groups are there that can be contacted? I've heard certain groups exist in the campus community but I haven't heard any statements from them. I wonder if they know about this.

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    1. Well, based on @15b concerned groups and their panelist reps in 2011's sexism acts town hall were:
      - the Women's Centre (was Zoe Miller)
      - Counselling Services (was Dave Mackay)
      - Male Allies Against Sexual Violence (MAASV) (was Derek Lindman)

      GLOW, the Feds, and WPIRG may be interested too.

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    2. Isn't it great when the perpetrator of sexual assault in this case is Counselling Services' sexism liaison?!

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    3. @17b Also from the 2011 sexism panel:
      UW Police Services (Dan Anderson)
      That panel may have been the first time the CS sexism liason and the police met since his choosing not to be cautioned by them (@2a).

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  17. I think the UW President could have fixed this mess any time. My guess is he just didn't want legal liability, and as long as nothing stuck to UW administration at the HRTO or the media, he's been good to go. His office is one floor up from Counselling Services in Needles Hall, close enough to keep tabs through the provost.

    A phrase from him passed down the ranks and all actions against Dr. M would have stopped cold. That phrase has never come, for years. Any senior strategies need his approval if only tacitly.

    Counselling Service's deterioration and its mistreatment of Dr. M reflects poorly on the UW President and the buck stops with him.

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    1. Agreed. People know they get leadership's support all the way up to shun, suppress, and mistreat Dr M. Now that the HRTO has also okayed the ways this was done, and her request for reconsideration quashed, it's open season.

      If anything's going to be done to fix things, it won't come from UW administration, or staff who have their own jobs to worry about.

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  18. holy fuck this is the most frustrating thing i have ever read in my life how on earth is that scum still working in counselling that is EXTREMELY off-putting

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    1. Students are trying to fix it. UW admin won't. See omg18476.

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