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Strange goings-on at Portage College

To the Editor: Strange goings-on these days over at Portage College campus in St. Paul, early in the reign of newly appointed President Trent Keough. Consider the following: On Nov.

To the Editor:

Strange goings-on these days over at Portage College campus in St. Paul, early in the reign of newly appointed President Trent Keough. Consider the following:

On Nov. 2, the Journal reported an investigation was underway at Portage, regarding the alleged assault of a student on Oct. 26, apparently captured on tape. We were told that RCMP had responded to the incident following this allegation, but no charges had been laid, as the student had decided not to do so. In the meantime, an internal investigation was underway, and the instructor and student involved had both been suspended pending its completion.

On Nov. 23, the Journal reports that the college’s executive management has confirmed the internal investigation is complete and that the student has been transferred to another Portage campus. As for the instructor, corrective measures have been taken – whatever they were – as a result of which the instructor will not be returning to the St. Paul campus. The apparent gravity of the situation had also brought the college to make counseling available to staff and students affected by it.

There are all kinds of loose ends here and more questions than answers. If the RCMP found no case to answer regarding the alleged assault, then what else was investigated by the college to result in penalties? Is the Crown Prosecutor aware that the student alleging assault and first involving the RCMP has decided not to press charges, when that is usually his decision? Does the statement, ‘the instructor will not be returning to the St. Paul campus’ mean that he has been effectively fired from his job? What was so troubling about this incident that people required counseling? Why exactly are names being withheld at the request of the College management, when the identities of the instructor and the student involved have surely been known to College staff and the entire student body from the beginning? Are there other assaults on students, alleged or otherwise, known to the College that the public ought to know about?

I would suggest the Journal do some more digging, as I very much doubt we have seen the end of this story. The College is a public institution and must be fully and properly accountable for its actions, especially those with legal implications.

Meantime, the Journal is to be congratulated for airing this matter.

Bill Finn,

St. Paul





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