Dear members of the UBC community.
I’m pleased to announce that eight weeks into the Fall term, we are continuing to do very well with regard to COVID-19.
As of October 19, 95% of students, faculty and staff have declared their vaccination status.
Of those who have declared, 96% have declared they are fully vaccinated and a further 2% are partially vaccinated and 1.15% have chosen not to disclose their status.
Targeted messages were sent on September 27th, September 28th, October 4th and October 6th to those that had not completed their declaration, had not provided proof of vaccination or hadn’t registered for rapid testing.
Those who have declared they are not vaccinated or chose not to disclose their status, have received targeted messages to schedule their rapid testing appointments.
A message will be sent Thursday October 21 to those faculty and staff who have not uploaded proof of vaccination indicating that continued non-compliance will lead to progressive discipline.
A message will also be sent this week to those students who have not completed their declaration, or uploaded proof of vaccination indicating that continued non-compliance will result in significant consequences for those students
Those who have submitted incorrect or fraudulent documentation will be subject to significant consequences or progressive discipline.
As part of this process, audits of proof of vaccination uploaded into the system will take place.
The COVID-19 Rapid Testing Program has been created to help keep our community safe. I urge you, if you have not completed your declaration and provided proof, or have not yet signed up for rapid testing – if required – that you do so as soon as possible.
More information on the program can be found at rapidtesting.covid19.ubc.ca.
COVID is not the only issue we face, of course. Climate change and racism are also challenges that we need to address. I will talk more about UBC and climate change next week.
Earlier this week, UBC released the results of a survey on racism aimed at Canadian youth. Fifty-eight percent of Canadian youth say they have seen kids insulted, bullied or excluded based on their race or ethnicity at school.
Another 14 percent said they’ve experienced it themselves, with visible minority children three times as likely, and Indigenous children twice as likely, as white children to say that they have faced personal abuse.
No child should ever have to experience bullying and exclusion because of their race or ethnicity.
Racism and bias have no place in our community. Accordingly, UBC will be signing the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education.
The Charter’s four principles of Black flourishing, inclusive excellence, mutuality and accountability will guide UBC as we develop our own action plan to redress anti-Black racism.
I’d like to acknowledge the support of the Black Caucus in endorsing the Charter, and I would like to thank Ananya Mukherjee Reed, Provost and Vice-President Academic at UBC Okanagan, who worked as part of the national network of higher education institutions to formulate the Charter.
It is my hope that here at UBC we can work 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.
Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor