MUN professor’s computer assignment sparks controversy

February 4, 2014

Memorial University’s student union is calling for a computer science professor to apologize for an assignment that the students say made light of sexual assault and suicide. The assignment allegedly asked students to create a computer program that could help determine whether or not a rape victim would commit suicide. “Students were very upset,” says the student union’s Executive Director of External Affairs, Candace Simms. “It’s a pretty disrespectful question to ask and it’s unnecessary for the type of assignment that it is. There are thousands of other possibilities that this instructor could have used.” A statement from MUN Science Dean Mark Abrahams says the university is investigating the matter. “We are taking this matter very seriously. The particular assignment question has, understandably, raised concern throughout the Memorial community and beyond. It does not reflect the vision, mission and values of our university,” reads the statement. CTV News (Canadian Press)

Update: February 6, 2014

The Memorial University computer science professor who recently assigned his class a question involving rape and mental health has apologized to his students. The professor has also substituted a new topic so students will not lose marks if they did not complete the assignment. CBC