Feedback sought on the recommendations targeting gender-based violence and Aboriginal stereotypes

To: All UBC Students, Faculty and Staff

The University is releasing today the initial recommendations from the Task Force I appointed last November to address gender-based violence and Aboriginal stereotypes. You may remember this was one of the actions taken by the administration following the sexist and racist chants heard at some of the September 2013 student-led FROSH activities.

With the publication of its initial report and recommendations, the Task Force on Gender-Based Violence and Aboriginal Stereotypes is launching today a university-wide consultation.

The 12-member Task Force has put forth important ideas to help UBC nurture an authentic culture of substantive equality. The 14 recommendations are grouped in four types of interventions, namely university policies, strategic initiatives, curriculum and education, and community building.

Before the university can move forward, a deeper conversation is needed to test and sharpen these proposals. Consultation begins immediately, online and in person, and will conclude on March 5, 2014. The Task Force’s recommendations and consultation findings will be submitted to the executive for consideration.

UBC is at a critical juncture. We cannot single-handedly alter the culture of gender-based violence that prevails all around us, nor can we ameliorate on our own the trivialization of Aboriginal Peoples’ identities, cultures and histories. But I believe we can launch here and now an important reflection, so UBC can take another step towards authentic respect and substantive equality.

I invite you to read these initial proposals, reflect on what they mean to you, and share with the Task Force your own ideas and suggestions. To review the Task Force’s draft report and recommendations, please visit:

http://vpstudents.ubc.ca/2014/02/19/improving-campus-culture/

Stephen Toope,
President and Vice-Chancellor