Thursday, November 6, 2014


I have started a petition addressed to the Honorable John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia, to get my degree and my career which were unjustly withheld from me by the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), and I need your help with it. 
You can sign my petition Hon. John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia: Grant Tetyana Melnychuk her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree which UNBC withheld through discrimination and abuse

 I took out big student loans and worked  very hard to get my registered nurse degree in order to become a self-sufficient member of society and give my child a better life.  Yet I faced discrimination, abuse and persecution at UNBC because I am an immigrant English Second Language student and a single mother. The UNBC  School of Nursing suddenly failed me at the end of my last course and denied me my degree  even though I was one of the top  nursing students in this program.  They thereby maximized their revenue, the bank’s profit, and my student debt.

This failure prevented me from writing my Registered Nurse exam and receiving my license allowing me to work as a registered nurse.  In turn, that caused me to lose the registered nurse job I had been promised.  Now, instead of being able to support myself and my child, I owe a huge student debt with no means of repaying it.
According to a lawyer, I have a human rights case.  However, I cannot afford a lawyer or the other legal expenses which would be associated with a court case against UNBC.  And without legal representation, I am unable to defend my rights against UNBC and obtain my registered nurse degree.

Governments have privileged universities but failed to protect students rights and interests.  The biggest problem is that chairs of schools of nursing can declare any nursing student “unsuitable” just as a matter of personal dislike for that person.  Shouldn't “suitability” be determined by each and every employer, not by one educational administrator pretending to have godlike powers?

Unsurprisingly, UNBC consistently supports the chair of its School of Nursing, no matter what she and some of her faculty members do to nursing students.  UNBC officials turn a deaf ear to students' complaints unless the student can afford to get a lawyer involved.  And guess what?  Since 2011 UNBC has forbidden students from employing lawyers during the appeal process!


To know more about how UNBC has mistreated me, follow this link


Please sign my petition to help me get my nursing degree from UNBC, so I can find a job, pay back my student debt, and support myself and my child.

You can sign  my petition by clicking here. 

 Thank you for your support, and please pass this petition on to others to sign.

                 Tetyana M.

Monday, December 16, 2013

How the University of Northern British Columbia has mistreated me

I would like to share with you some of my experiences of discrimination, abuse and persecution while I was a nursing student at the University of Northern British Columbia.

On January 13, 2010, in one of our clinical practicum placements, Sarah Hanson, my instructor for NURS 315 (mental health nursing - practicum) told me to leave the nursing program and forget about becoming a registered nurse because I was an English Second Language student and a single mother, and she was going to fail me.   This threat was Sarah Hansons response to me after I informed her about  my inability to log into the mental health computer training system for NURS 315 at the hospital. As it turned out,  it was not my fault that I could not log in: someone had misspelled one letter in my name. But Sarah Hanson would not admit that she had been wrong to blame me.  Instead, she failed me.  I protested, but her action was supported by the lead instructor for that course (Lyle Grant) and by the Chair of UNBCs School of Nursing, Martha MacLeod. As punishment for arguing about their decision to fail me, Lyle Grant created a special learning contract for NURS 315 and together with Sarah Hanson forced me (by threats during my clinical practicum at Northern Health's facility) into the “learning contract” which included making me do a module (mini-course) on “communications skills” as one of its requirements and which was not part of this nursing  program.  They  also distributed their negative views about me to my other nursing instructors, my other clinical practicum placements, and my classmates.  They even tried to persuade some nursing instructors in my other nursing courses to fail me.

Repeatedly at UNBC I experienced aggressive and hostile behavior towards me.  This included swearing, yelling at me, and calling me (in a UNBC classroom) a "fucking English second language student." Repeatedly I was shown the middle finger and threatened.  I also received abusive or offensive phone calls at my home.  Those who perpetrated the abuse have now become registered nurses, while UNBC faculty members stood aside and allowed this mistreatment to happen.  

I retook NURS 315 in the fall of 2010 under a different instructor and passed.  I also passed all my other courses until I got to my final practicum, NURS 440 (community health nursing), which I took from February to April 2012.  In fact, I was one of the best students in the nursing program and received some of the highest marks.  However, sometime before the start of NURS 440, Martha MacLeod sent my file -- containing records of my clash with Sarah Hanson and Lyle Grant in NURS 315 -- to my instructor for NURS 440, Khaldoun Aldiabat, a new faculty member lacking job security and with very little experience of registered nursing in Canada.  Initially Khaldoun Aldiabat passed me on my midterm evaluation, but when I returned it to him because he had forgotten to put my surname and satisfactory completion of all assignments on it, he changed my grade to failure, and demanded that I redo the same communications module which Sarah and Lyle had used to punish, humiliate and fail me two years earlier.  When I refused, Khaldoun Aldiabat failed me on my final evaluation, even though the registered nurses who had actually overseen my NURS 440 practicum had all graded my performance as satisfactory. In addition, Khaldoun Aldiabat accused me of having complained to UNBC faculty about his poor teaching. (The complaint had actually been made by another student to Martha MacLeod.)  Alone among my classmates, I was subjected to an oral final exam of nearly two hours at Northern Health's facility.  All the rest of Khaldoun Aldiabats students had their evaluation done by electronic submission of documents.  (In all other nursing clinical practicum courses, when face to face evaluation was done, it only lasted 15-20 minutes, not for two hours as happened in my case.)  Khaldoun never came to watch me or any other nursing student on our practicum.  After the due date of our midterm grades, Khaldoun Aldiabat began changing his expectations for our assignments and failing almost everything I submitted to him.  Khaldoun Aldiabat also warned the nurses who were overseeing my work that I was a special case and asked them to report to him more thoroughly about me than any of the other nursing students and pressured them.  He was rude, aggressive, and displayed his problems with anger management.

In 2010 and 2012 I complained to UNBCs student union, ombudsperson, Chair of UNBCs Undergraduate Nursing Program (Lela Zimmer), Chair of UNBCs Nursing Program (Martha MacLeod), UNBC's Dean (John Young), UNBC's Senate, and the president of UNBC (George Iwama), but they all ignored me.  Moreover, the dean responsible for UNBCs nursing program admitted to me that I was not the first student left without a degree at the end of UNBCs program.  Only those UNBC nursing students facing failure who were able to hire a lawyer have been able to gain at least partial redress for their grievances; but I cannot afford a lawyer.  And recently (in 2011), UNBC prohibited its students from having legal representation during the appeal process.  In 2012, even before I submitted my documents for the appeal of my failing grade in NURS 440, I was informed that they would fail me.

Each year UNBC fails one or two nursing students (out of approximately 100 in this collaborative nursing program) just before graduation.  Most of the graduates complete this program with grades well below mine.  Some have only a C in their theory courses and a bare Pass in their clinical courses.  Moreover, UNBCs nursing program requires 136 credits to graduate, while Kwantlens only demands 125.5 for the same nursing degree.

 Failure in this course, NURS 440, meant that I could not graduate with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing and therefore could not write my Registered Nurse exam and receive my license allowing me to work as a registered nurse.  In turn, that caused me to lose the registered nurse job I had been promised.  

Note how UNBC waited until the end of my nursing training program to fail me in the last course, thereby maximizing their revenue, the banks profit, and my student debt. UNBC left me without the means of repaying my huge student debt or of supporting myself and my child. 

Yes, Legal Aid and pro bono legal services exist, but they cannot help me.  According to a lawyer, mine is a human rights case, but Legal Aid only assists low income people for family, criminal, and immigration matters and that kind of help is limited.  They will not provide legal aid to me in my situation.  Almost all pro bono lawyers or student lawyers provide their services only to low income people who live in Vancouver or Victoria.  Moreover, pro bono lawyers only give advice and do not provide representation in court.  And without legal representation, I am unable to defend my rights against UNBC and receive my registered nurse degree.

The BC provincial government bears a share of the responsibility for this injustice.  It granted a privilege to universities which allowed chairs of nursing schools to fail students for “personal unsuitability. But this can rarely if ever be objectively distinguished from personal dislike of a nursing student.  Should not personal suitability  be an employers judgment call -- even more so when many nursing faculty members do not share the chairs jaundiced view?

Thank you,
Tetyana M.

Please help me get my nursing degree from UNBC, so I can find a job, pay back my student debt, and support myself and my child.  

                  You can  sign my petition by clicking here.

    Thank you for your support, and  please  pass this petition on to others to sign.