Tuesday, October 05, 2021

IBA reinstates student expelled for publicly highlighting alleged harassment on campus

A file photo of the IBA City Campus. Photo: Courtesy IBA website.
A file photo of the IBA City Campus. Photo: Courtesy IBA website.
  • Decision was taken after the executive director of varsity heard student's appeal against expulsion.
  • During disciplinary committee's hearing, student "reaffirmed his respect for IBA, executive director, and his commitment to institution".
  • IBA's disciplinary committee’s had expelled student on September 29 after he publicly highlighted alleged harassment on campus.

The Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi, on Tuesday reinstated the student that it had expelled last month after he publicly highlighted an alleged harassment case on campus.

According to IBA's spokesperson, the decision was taken on the morning of October 5, after the Executive Director of the varsity conducted a hearing of the student's appeal against the Disciplinary Committee’s decision to expel him on September 29. 

During the hearing, the student — Muhammad Jibrail — reaffirmed his respect for the IBA and the Executive Director and his commitment to the institution, the spokesperson said.

He also withdrew those parts of his appeal which were unrelated to his expulsion, the spokesperson said. 

The executive director, after hearing the appeal, reinstated Jibrail as a student of the IBA with immediate effect, the spokesperson added.

Read more: IBA Karachi expels student for publicly highlighting alleged harassment

"The IBA looks forward to all stakeholders, including students, engaging in a responsible, healthy and constructive discourse with the aim of taking the institution to new heights," the spokesperson added.

It should be recalled that the IBA Karachi had expelled Jibrail from the institute as a result of disciplinary action on September 29 after he highlighted an alleged case of harassment on his social media account.

After expelling the student, the university had issued a statement and said that the decision was taken by IBA's Disciplinary Committee to "ensure the safety of students" and address their concerns in a timely manner.

"The IBA is an institute that is known for its disciplinary rules, policies, and the IBA Code of Conduct, which applies to all members of the faculty, staff and students," the statement read, adding that students studying at the IBA are provided with several platforms to register their grievances.

In the statement, the varsity further said that in the past, "all issues brought to any of the platforms have been resolved following the rules and regulations of the competent authorities".

The statement said that the student had posted details about the alleged harassment incident involving a female on social media "without following the standard operating procedures (SOPs) that are expected to be followed at the IBA," such as filing a complaint at any of the committees or offices.

"Sharing details about an alleged incident without having complete knowledge of the context and background on any public platform is against IBA’s rules and regulations," the statement said.

The university, in its statement, maintained that the student reported to "defame the Institute, its finance department, and the employee, including senior professors on various national forums."

The student's action, according to the IBA, "incited students to [stage] protest and lead demonstrations against the institute and pitting the students and the IBA administration against one another which could have jeopardised the security of the protesters and the administration personnel."

The IBA accused the student to have "endangered the physical and psychological safety of other students, employees, and faculty members with the protests," and "attempted to influence the decisions of the relevant committees, which are completely independent and neutral, to achieve desired outcomes through the dissemination of the incident and chain of events on mediums of communications outside the IBA and spreading misinformation and twisting of facts."

The student's account

On August 5, Jibrail had written on his Facebook account: “Some days before, I visited IBA’s Finance Department and observed a very gross and crappy incident in front of my eyes and it was an eye-opening ominous incident that actually told and reflected a lot of scum that our society contains.”

He explained that the incident was about workplace harassment that he witnessed in the varsity’s finance department where a person yelled at and ridiculed a female employee of the institute. He added that he was so enraged by what he saw that he wanted to report it to the varsity’s harassment committee but could not do it that day due to some enrolment and finance issues he had to sort out.

Jibrail had added: “As a citizen of this country, this is my duty in letter and spirit to report this crap of society whenever I will observe no matter who the hell he is.”