I don’t know Galloway well–I have seen him a few times at literary festivals but when I heard about his department arresting him in Ohio, and then later UBC dismissing him with terse but weirdly suggestive allegations that he was a threat in the classroom without a fuller explanation, I started to think the university was breaching a writer’s rights.
That’s how I saw it, as a writer issue not a gender issue. At first. I used to be chair of the writers’ union and we always investigated mistreatment of writers. But it is clearly a huge gender issue and asking for due process for a male accused is being seen as taking sides.
The open letter to potential signatories asking them to sign states clearly in the first paragraph that both Galloway and the complainants were ill-served by UBC and the open letter also asks for due process for all. The open letter also mentions the need to respect the complainants’ privacy.
It never occurred to me that creative writing students or women and men would take the open letter as a vote against the complainants. I realize that sounds naive. It was hard to talk much about the complainants or their situation because their identities were protected and there wasn’t public information about their charges.
ubcaccountable has asked UBC to pay its creative writing students a year’s worth of tuition for the toxic atmosphere it has created through mishandling the case. Some people say that’s why they haven’t released the Boyd report because it makes the university admin look bad. I don’t know if that is true; I don’t know all the facts, I don’t know who is guilty or innocent.
Certainly, the law courts have failed women complainants and in this situation, UBC has failed both Galloway and the complainants.