I was not asked to sign the letter; I volunteered.
I believe in the rights of both accused and accuser to due process. I was and remain appalled that an employer could suspend an employee without giving a reason, while at the same time making the matter public in a way that would stoke innuendo and rumour.
I don’t know if UBC officials were being naïve or cynical to think such behaviour would not stir up social media trolls and those so blinded by ideology that they apply the same script to every situation where there is a presumption of sexual misconduct. Whatever the case, they succeeded in stirring the hornet’s nest. The purpose of the letter signed by so many writers was to hold UBC accountable for its actions in this matter. Individual statements by writers hold to the same purpose.
I do not know Steven Galloway. I have never met him, nor have I read his books. I am writing to support him because I believe that his rights as a Canadian citizen and as human being have been violated. As a writer and also as someone employed by a university I would like to think that he would stand up for my rights should I ever find myself in such difficult and unfair circumstances.
Finally, I was moved today to read the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I was struck by many passages in it, particularly by Section 11 (proceedings in criminal and legal matters) where it states “Any person charged with an offense has the right (a) to be informed without unreasonable delay of the specific offence”; and (d) “to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal.” In regard to this last right, I was happy to read today that Mr. Galloway has decided to grieve his dismissal from UBC. I trust that the grievance process will be both fair and impartial.