Our university has been in the news since Friday September 6th, and for all the wrong reasons. Most of you are rightly concerned not only by the disturbing reports of chants endorsing rape and sexual violence, but you have been waiting for a university response to these reports.
Some facts have now been established and publicly acknowledged. Earlier this month, UBC Sauder School of Business first year students were led in this appalling chant during FROSH events organized by the Commerce Undergraduate Society. The C.U.S. is an independent student organization representing students of the UBC Sauder School of Business, and it has publicly admitted the chant was used during their FROSH events. Four of their leaders have now resigned.
Last week, UBC Sauder School of Business Dean Robert Helsley emphasized that these events are completely inconsistent with the values of the school and of UBC, and announced the faculty was withdrawing any support for C.U.S. FROSH. Dean Helsley went on to acknowledge the steps taken by the C.U.S., including the leadership resignations and their own cancellation of FROSH.
A fact-finding panel was appointed last week and submitted its report to our VP Students and to the Dean of the Sauder School of Business today. The university will quickly determine what actions are appropriate, and this will be made public on Wednesday September 18.
I am very sorry for what our first year Sauder students were exposed to. They deserve better, which is why we strive to ensure both our own orientation activities and those run by student organizations are designed to make newcomers feel respected, safe and engaged.
I am also very sorry for how these reports may have affected all members of our UBC community – students, faculty, staff, alumni and our many partners and champions.
On Wednesday, I will be making public the findings of our fact-finding panel’s report, and along with VP Students Louise Cowin and Sauder School of Business Dean Robert Helsley, I will announce the specific actions UBC intends to take.
Stephen J. Toope
President and Vice-Chancellor