News / Calgary

University of Calgary elaborates on 'complex' Connor Neurauter decision

Decision not to expel the convicted sex offender followed by ask to stay off U of C property for remainder of the term

Connor Neurauter is being asked not to return to the University of Calgary campus.

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Connor Neurauter is being asked not to return to the University of Calgary campus.

If Connor Neurauter steps foot on the University of Calgary campus, he will be escorted off of the premises by campus security. 

This is the line drawn after the U of C's decision not to expel the science student who was convicted and made to register as a sex offender by a B.C. court earlier this month for sexual interference of a minor.

Because Neurauter's crime was committed before he was a student at the University of Calgary, a statement from Provost Dru Marshall said the post-secondary institution had no grounds on which to expel the student, despite tens of thousands of online petition signatories.

On Monday, before a media frenzy about the court case, Neurauter attended classes, but hasn't returned to campus since Tuesday. 

In a conference call Friday, Marshall said the decision to "advise" Neurauter to stay off campus was made to protect him as well as students. 

"We're taking into account his rights and the rights of students on our campus," said Marshall. "This is why it's a complicated, complex situation." 

The U of C's Students' Union also weighed in Friday, expressing understanding for the decision.

"The Students’ Union respects the position that the University of Calgary has taken regarding Connor Neurauter and recognizes that this is an incredibly complex and difficult situation," a statement read.

"All students have a right to feel safe on campus. We will continue to work with the university to ensure that campus is a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment. "

Marshall said the school's newly-minted sexual violence policy will be reviewed after two years, as planned.  

"Given the number of issues that are occurring across the country, it's probably time for a broader discussion on the roles that universities play related to sexual violence and sexual harassment," said Marshall.

"We think it's time we come together as a collective to ensure the safety and security of our environments on our campus."

Marshall is referring to cases like allegations levelled against Concordia University by former student Mike Spry, alleging professors routinely abusing, harassing and inappropriately dating students.

She said that the school has to put faith in the justice system, but that they had not had any contact from the judge who ultimately decided to give Neurauter a semester of freedom before serving his three-month sentence for crimes he plead guilty to.

"An expulsion would mean you are not coming to campus ever," said Marshall. "We have made a decision for this term and we will continue to assess the situation." 

She added that Neurauter is considering his options when it comes to whether or not he will continue to attend at the U of C.

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