08 Jun UPEI Student Union Statement Regarding Third Party Investigation
UPEI Student Union Statement Regarding Third Party Investigation
Following a complaint made by Megan Rix, former UPEI Student Union VP Student Life, during the March 18, 2018 Student Union Council meeting, the UPEI Student Union hired an independent third-party investigator to review the internal investigation conducted by the organization in Fall 2017, as well as the resignation of Hammad Ahmed, former UPEI Student Union President.
The independent third-party investigator, HR Atlantic, made a number of findings, including:
- The Student Union policies for human resource complaints, and the procedures contained within, do not meet best practices nor minimum standards for anti-harassment workplace policies; and
- The internal investigation undertaken by the Student Union was flawed, partially due to shortcomings in the Student Union policies for investigating such complaints.
The investigator made a total of seven recommendations to the Student Union to prevent similar issues in the future. Those recommendations are:
- The Student Union meet with Megan Rix and Hammad Ahmed to review the findings and recommendations of the independent investigation undertaken by the third-party neutral investigator.
- The Student Union Council strike a committee with the task of bringing the Zero-tolerance Policy in line with current best practices in the area of anti-harassment or respectful workplace policies in advance of September 2018.
- The Student Union consider including, in an updated policy, language requiring an investigator to be independent of a complainant or respondent and language giving authority for appointment of an independent third-party investigator where the circumstances of a complaint make it impractical for an investigation to be conducted internally.
- The Student Union immediately re-circulate their respectful workplace policies to all staff and current members of Student Union Council to confirm the commitment of the organization to a respectful working environment. In addition, the Student Union provide training on those policies for staff and Council members.
- The Student Union provide training on conducting workplace investigations for any staff or Council members who will be expected in the future to conduct such investigations.
- The Student Union provide additional training to Council members on the issue of confidentiality with respect to their fiduciary responsibilities in their Council member roles.
- The Student Union consider providing messaging to the UPEI student body with respect to the independent third-party investigation considering the complaint was made in a public forum.
The Student Union regrets any negative impact that may have come to Megan Rix, Hammad Ahmed or any other party during the internal investigation and subsequent events.
The Student Union is committed to adopting recommendations which will ensure harassment complaints will be addressed in a more effective manner by the organization in the future. In furtherance of this goal, the Student Union is currently working on a number of the above recommendations and will continue to do so into the 2018-2019 academic year.