A statement on racism and discrimination


Dear UBC Okanagan students,

As we begin our academic year, I want to emphasize the special nature of your relationship with UBC. You are part of an extraordinary community—at UBC we share a commitment to build environments that uphold human rights, free of harassment and discrimination and that reflect the university’s core values of equity and inclusivity.

We have been made aware of comments and chat messages taking place during UBCO online events that are absolutely unacceptable. We take this matter extremely seriously.

Racism and discrimination have no place in our community and we will take measures to ensure those values are upheld at all times. Not only are racist, sexist, misogynist and hate-based comments potentially unlawful, they may also contravene UBC’s Discrimination Policy and Student Code of Conduct and can result in discipline for non-academic misconduct.

We will be investigating this matter fully.

We also recognize the challenges of UBC’s role in better moderating the many thousands of comments that can flow during live online events. We are reviewing procedures for monitoring online interaction during events. Safeguards include increasing capacity to more effectively moderate commentary and block offensive participation during events, and incorporating conduct reminders for audiences. Where necessary, we will also look at disabling live chat capability.

UBC unequivocally condemns and denounces all forms of hate and discrimination, including racism, sexism as well as the continued oppression that is directed at Indigenous communities. We must work together to dismantle the tools of discrimination, colonization and white supremacy that remain prevalent and entrenched in our everyday systems.

The campus is a guest in the territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation and we are committed to working together to address anti-Indigenous racism.

As a public institution, we have an obligation and commitment to create an environment dedicated to excellence, equity and mutual respect and one that is free of harassment and discrimination. As a place of learning and engagement, we are uniquely positioned to generate and mobilize knowledge that can transform systems of oppression and support emerging leaders who can help shape not only our campus, but workplaces and communities beyond our campuses.

If you have concerns with respect to human rights and discrimination, contact the Equity & Inclusion Office. Our hope is that we can work together to model a different kind of community—one where we embrace difference and work to build each other up while enacting values of dignity, mutual respect and justice.

UBC, through the actions of its students, faculty and staff alike, must be responsive to the needs of our wider community and committed to advancing the understanding of equity, diversity and inclusion.

I wish you all the very best this year.



Lesley Cormack
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal
UBC Okanagan

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