THE ADVOCATE 13
VOL. 76 PART 1 JANUARY 2018
Rambukkana: Do you understand how what happened was contrary to,
sorry Adria, what was the policy?
Joel: Gendered and Sexual Violence.
Rambukkana:—Gendered and Sexual Violence Policy. Do you understand
Shepherd: Sorry, what did I violate in that policy?
Joel: Um, so, gender-based violence, transphobia, in that policy. Causing
harm, um, to trans students by, uh, bringing their identity as invalid.
Their pronouns as invalid … potentially invalid …
Shepherd: So I caused harm?
Joel: … which is, under the Ontario Human Rights Code a protected thing
so something that Laurier holds as a value.
Shepherd: Ok, so by proxy me showing a YouTube video, I’m transphobic
and I caused harm and violence? So be it. I can’t do anything to control
Rambukkana: Ok, so that’s not something that you have an issue with?
The fact that that happened? Are you sorry that it happened?
Shepherd: I know in my heart, and I expressed to the class, that I’m not
transphobic and if any of them—again, I don’t know what they said—but
I don’t think I gave away any kind of political position of mine. I
remained very neutral, and uh—
Rambukkana:—that’s kind of the problem.
This is incredible. Dr. Rambukkana does not know the name of the policy
Ms. Shepherd has supposedly breached. The manager of Gendered Violence
Prevention and Support cannot even articulate the wrong Ms. Shepherd
has apparently committed, and Dr. Rambukkana wants to know if Ms.
Shepherd wants to say she is sorry.
Dr. Rambukkana’s real difficulty is over the fact that Ms. Shepherd did
not tow an institutional viewpoint. She remained neutral. His problem is
that she did not criticize Dr. Peterson’s position. She left it, instead, to the
students to discuss the issues raised by Dr. Peterson’s position. She left it to
them to consider the position, articulate their own thoughts about it and discuss
it. Dr. Rambukkana saw that freedom of thought, belief, opinion and
expression as “kind of the problem.”
Dr. Rambukkana, as noted, did issue an apology. He apologized rather
passively “for how the meeting we had proceeded” and claimed that “now
that the audio of the meeting is public I can say more.” Nowhere does he
apologize for his actions—denying Ms. Shepherd due process and procedural
fairness. Nowhere does he apologize for misrepresenting the law to
her. Nowhere does he apologize for his assertion that she breached the policy.
To give him credit, Dr. Rambukkana does apologize for using the exam-