A statement from JIBC President and CEO Michel Tarko
JIBC has received reports of allegations of sexual violence and misconduct against one of its now former students. We take allegations of sexual violence and misconduct very seriously, and the safety and security of our students, staff, and the community is of the utmost importance. We wish to make it clear that any form of sexual violence or misconduct will not be tolerated at JIBC.
We were first made aware of the allegation in July 2019 of an incident that took place away from our campuses. At the time, we contacted police and referred the complainant, who does not attend JIBC, to victim support services in their area. We liaised with those supports and followed up with police who are responsible for any such investigations. For privacy reasons, we are unable to comment further on this specific incident.
We can confirm that we followed our standard procedure in dealing with allegations of sexual violence or misconduct:
- First and foremost provide support to the individual who has come forward with a report
- Take the lead from this person to see what they want to do
- Help them access the avenue of support that feels right for them
If the individual chooses to file a police report then we would support them to document the account, be present, at their request, when reporting, and connect them to community supports as appropriate.
We would then cooperate fully with any police investigation and take advice from the police on any required action.
In general, if the individual chooses not to go to police then JIBC would follow its Sexual Violence and Misconduct – Students Policy and determine if the Institute has any jurisdiction over the matter. In some cases JIBC may not have any ability to take action but we would continue to provide support to the individual until they were ready to access supports and services in the community.
JIBC takes the issue of sexual violence and misconduct very seriously and has partnered with the Ending Violence Association of B.C. (EVA) to provide training opportunities to our staff, faculty and students. For staff we have delivered training from EVA on how to hear complaints and for students we have hosted two sessions on “don’t be a bystander.”
We encourage anyone who has experienced sexual violence or misconduct to disclose it or file a complaint to the relevant institutions as well as to report it to police. There are supports available for affected JIBC students by contacting the Senior Manager of Learning Support and Disability Resources, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are not a JIBC student, we will help you find the supports you need in the community.
JIBC understands that reports of the allegations on social media have upset many people. We have received numerous comments, messages and emails and want to assure you we are listening. Please continue to share your thoughts on the matter.
Social justice for all is a pillar of our Institute and we will continue to ensure that our actions support those who report allegations of this nature to us. Sexual violence and misconduct is not tolerated at JIBC and only by victims sharing such experiences will we erase the stigma around such crimes and allow them to be curtailed in society at large.
Dr. Michel Tarko
JIBC President and CEO