A former University of Manitoba student has returned his degree because of the institution’s handling of sexual harassment allegations against former jazz professor Steve Kirby.
Daniel Jordan put his degree for completing a bachelor of music in 2012 in an envelope, along with a letter for the faculty of music’s dean and university’s president, and mailed it back to the institution on Thursday afternoon.
“I felt incredibly sad. I felt sad that I wasn’t going to have this piece of paper,” Jordan said after mailing the degree.
“And I mostly felt sad that there were so many students, that in addition to the blood sweat and tears and the hard work that goes into a degree, also did that while being afraid and victimized and harassed.”
In September, a CBC I-Team investigation revealed that Kirby had left the university after an internal investigation report found he repeatedly made inappropriate sexual comments and unwanted sexual contact with a female student.
The student was critical of the university and said she was “angry” over how the internal investigation was handled, saying it didn’t do enough to create a safe environment for female students.
According to the report, Kirby denied many of the points raised by the complainant and “denies all claims made of any sexual innuendo or outright sexual approaches.”
That woman was part of a group of current and former students who made allegations of sexual misconduct against Kirby in February. Nearly a dozen former students and members of the university community spoke with CBC News saying concerns regarding Kirby’s behaviour were well known and reported to the university for nearly a decade.
Jordan said he thought it was incredibly brave the women…