Dear members of the UBC community. I hope you’re all doing well.
Like many of you, I was disturbed by the violence depicted in a video of a police wellness check in January involving a student in the community.
I condemn the behaviour shown in the video and the use of excessive force in any situation.
I understand that an independent investigation into the police conduct is under way. I support such a review. The public must be able to have confidence in our community’s first responders and trust that appropriate help is available when needed.
I agree with calls for closer partnerships between police and community services and for the greater use of social workers and mental health nurses for wellness checks in the community.
If you or someone you know has been directly or indirectly affected by this news or any other situation, a variety of support services are available to help. You can find out more at students.ubc.ca or students.ok.ubc.ca
Earlier this week, the provincial government announced that B.C. is entering phase three of its reopening plans, which includes post-secondary education.
As you can imagine, UBC is a large, complex operation, with many buildings, faculties, departments and other operations spread over two campuses, as well as other locations throughout the province. We have to consider the health and safety of tens of thousands of students, faculty, staff and visitors.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll tell you more about how we plan to re-open UBC.
The COVID-19 crisis shouldn’t allow us to ignore other important issues, such as the climate emergency. Next week, I will assume the role of leadership lead for the Universities Climate Change Coalition, also known as the UC3. The UC3 is a network of 22 leading North American research universities working together to accelerate local and regional climate action.
For the past two years, I’ve been proud to work with this outstanding collective of research universities to leverage our expertise, share ideas and develop new climate solutions.
Au début de ce mois, nous avons également rejoint à seize universités canadiennes de premier plan, pour lancer la charte, Investir Pour Lutter Contre le Changement Climatique, marquant ainsi un engagement national par des pratiques d’investissement responsable.
And of course, last December, we joined communities and organizations around the world in declaring a climate emergency and full divestment of our investments from the fossil fuel industry.
At that time, we established a UBC Climate Emergency Task Force, comprised of students, faculty and staff to advise on the gathering of ideas from UBC’s diverse and insightful community on addressing the climate emergency and the recommendations resulting from the engagement process. Thousands of students, faculty, staff and other members of the UBC community have participated, through online dialogues and through surveys.
But this is the just beginning of a conversation that will inform our commitment to leadership in addressing climate change.
This is a critical moment for the future of our planet, and we are proud of our contributions to a growing global movement to curb emissions and promote sustainability.
For my #songsofcomfort selection this week, I am pleased to present a beautiful rendition of Paul McCartney’s Yesterday, by UBC music students Anican Yu on piano and Kurt Chen on violin.
Thank you and stay safe.
Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor