In response to a vote of no confidence in the Office of the Dean of Students on September 25, Mayo Moran, Provost and Vice Chancellor of Trinity College, sent an email to all Trinity students.
In the email, Moran says that “some of the decisions [of the Dean’s office], particularly where they involve discipline, will be the source of unavoidable tension between some of the students and the Dean’s Office which is responsible, among other things, for maintaining discipline.”
“I realize that some of the allegations may worry you, particularly because you do not have the full details,” Moran’s email reads, “But I do want to assure you, as your Provost, that the Dean and her staff approach all student issues in an attentive, thoughtful way.”
The administration and students have been working to resolve dissatisfaction over how the college has handled a number of recent events, including an alleged assault of Co-Head of College Bardia Monavari while two assistant deans watched, and the Provost’s decision to suspend alcohol-licensed events at the college.
“We are working with the student leaders and others on a plan to re-establish the strong working relationships that enable us to hold the unique events that Trinity students enjoy,” wrote Moran in an email to The Varsity.
Monavari said that “students are disappointed–to say the least.”
A few weeks after the vote of no confidence was passed, Moran issued a temporary ban on alcohol-licensed events at the college, stressing that “the well-being of all our students is our top priority.”
“Because of serious concerns arising out of recent student-organized parties in residence, I placed the privilege of hosting licensed student-organized events on hold,” she said. “The hold will remain in place until we can be confident that future student-organized events can be conducted safely and responsibly, and with regard for the larger student body and applicable law and policies.”
The vote of no confidence was motivated in part by Monavari’s assertion that he was assaulted by a Campus Police officer while Assistant Dean of Students for Residence Life Adam Hogan and Assistant Dean of Students for Student Life Christine Cerullo stood by and watched.
Monavari consequently filed a complaint with Campus Police. He says that the Campus Police had confirmed that they received his complaint during the last week of September but have not contacted him since.
Another motivation was the college’s alleged mishandling of Trinity student Tamsyn Riddle’s sexual assault case, which resulted in Riddle filing a human rights complaint against the college and U of T.
Monavari stated that many of the events included in the TCM motion had “no causal link to alcohol.”
“By focusing on alcohol, the administration has effectively turned its attention away from the source of the issues,” said Monavari. “The assault that took place on September 23rd was enabled by a failure to act–not alcohol.”
Monavari notes that the Dean’s office’s “inability to follow up right after the incident was a result of negligence– not alcohol,” and that Riddle’s human rights complaint was a result of “inadequate policy and decision-making–not alcohol.”
Despite this, Monavari says communication between the student leaders and administration has been “very professional.”
“We are working towards a reconciliation process between the Heads team and the Dean’s Office; this will be done with the aid of a third-party counsel,” he said. “It is important to emphasize the following: there is no personal animosity between the student heads and the Dean’s office.”
“We are also looking to any ways to improve what we do and are hopeful that something positive will come out of this difficult set of circumstances,” said Moran.
Campus Police did not respond to a request for comment as of press time.
All statements sent to The Varsity by Moran were made on behalf of the college and its staff.