The University of Calgary has decided against expelling Connor Neurauter.
After the 21-year-old pleaded guilty to the sexual interference of a 13-year-old girl occuring in 2015, he was sentenced to 90 days at the Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre – but the judge allowed for his sentence to begin in May 2018 so he could finish his current semester at the University of Calgary.
This decision angered many students from the university, and a petition was created on Change.org calling for the University of Calgary to expel Neurauter from the school.
At the time of writing, the petition had received 47,000 online signatures.
The University of Calgary stated Thursday evening they will not be expelling Neurauter, as the incident occurred during a time when he was not a student at the university, and they “have no grounds on which to expel him,” according to a statement from Dru Marshall, the provost and vice-president of the University of Calgary.
However, the university has also advised Neurauter not to return to campus for the remainder of the term, and “are working with Mr. Neurauter to come to a resolution that respects all involved.”
The full statement can be found below:
To our campus community:
The situation with University of Calgary student Connor Neurauter is complicated and difficult. He was convicted in British Columbia late last week of sexual interference related to a matter that took place before he was a student here. The B.C. judge decided to allow him to begin serving his three-month sentence in May so he could complete his current semester at the university.
Since this news came to light, there has been significant outrage expressed on social media, through emails to the university, and through a petition calling for the university to expel Mr. Neurauter. We have heard and understand the concerns raised by the community inside and outside the university about him remaining a student here. Although there is a lot of information in social media in particular, all facts about the case are not known because the B.C. court has issued a publication ban. One fact we can correct, not connected to the court case, is that Mr. Neurauter is not and never was a member of the Dinos hockey team. He played junior hockey in B.C. before he came to the university.
We live in an increasingly complex world. As a public university, we have a responsibility to create a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone in our community, and for those we welcome to campus. We are deeply committed to this, working hard over the last two years as a campus community to develop policies, procedures and resources specifically geared towards creating a safe and secure space for our students, faculty, staff, and visitors. UCalgary has conduct, sexual violence and harassment policies in place and extensive services that provide assistance to anyone in need of support. Our recently appointed Sexual Violence Support Advocate is available to support anyone on campus who has been impacted by sexual violence, offering one-on-one support, guidance on reporting processes, and educational outreach. Our broad campus mental health strategy is advancing a campus culture where we care for each other and where all students, faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars feel supported and valued.
The matter in British Columbia occurred before Mr. Neurauter was a student at the University of Calgary. This is important, because our policies do not apply to activity that occurred before the person was a member of our campus community. We have no grounds on which to expel him.
This does not mean that the university condones sexual violence or harassment, nor does it mean that we prioritize the rights of a convicted individual over the safety of our university community. On the contrary, we aspire to be leaders in creating a safe and inclusive learning environment that helps advance all of our students and improve society as a whole. Situations such as this challenge us as a community to consider all of the facts as we determine the best possible course of action for everyone involved. As a university committed to open dialogue, we encourage respectful conversations and debate about challenging issues, always considering multiple perspectives.
We would like to clarify that Mr. Neurauter has not been on campus since Tuesday January 9 and we have advised him not to return to campus for the remainder of the term. Management is continuing to assess the situation and is working with Mr. Neurauter to come to a resolution that respects all involved.
Thank you for your patience and understanding of our need to be thoughtful and thorough in our assessment of this situation. We will keep the community informed.
Dru MarshallProvost and Vice-President Academic