Dear members of the UBC community.
I hope that everyone had a good Family Day break. And, if you are a student, I hope that you had a relaxing Reading Week.
Reading Week is not only a chance to recharge your batteries; it’s also a time to start thinking ahead to the end of term and preparing for exams.
But exam time doesn’t have to be stressful. UBC has many resources to help you prepare – whether academic support, stress relief or study tips. I can recommend the exam season resource guide – created by a fourth-year student – at students.ubc.ca/ubclife. Okanagan students can find some good tips at students.ok.ubc.ca. You can also talk to advisors in your Faculty or department who can help you. Just remember, we’re here to help you succeed.
Earlier this month, I noted that Black History Month is a timely opportunity to reaffirm and critically reflect on our commitments and efforts to acknowledge and tackle anti-Black racism, and to better recruit, retain, and support Black students, faculty, and staff.
I am pleased to announce that at the meeting of the UBC Vancouver Senate last week, there was strong support for a motion from Senator Austin Uzama regarding bursaries for Black students, the hiring of additional Black faculty, as well as support for expanding African Studies to include a multi-disciplinary, west coast Black Studies Initiative across the UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan campuses.
The support for Senator Uzama’s motion is further evidence of the UBC community’s commitment to Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence. The motion aligns with our other initiatives such as the Beyond Tomorrow scholarships, anti-racism training and education and support and resources for identity-based spaces and organizations.
As usual in my weekly update, I like to give a shoutout to one of UBC’s unsung heroes. This week, I’m proud to introduce Marie Dixon in UBC Food Services. Marie volunteered to be a contact person for students in isolation because of COVID, supporting up to 20 students at a time, keeping in touch with them during their two-week isolation, answering questions and lending a friendly ear. She’s also active in her own community at a volunteer at the George Pearson Centre is a 115 bed, long term care facility for young adults with severe traumatic disabilities. Marie, thank you for all you’ve been doing.
Finally, my #songsofcomfort selection for this week. It was my honour to accompany Isaac Frieson in the Arioso by J.S. Bach, as arranged by Alex Cheung. Isaac attends Prince of Wales Secondary in the Trek program (grade 10) and has been playing the cello for around 5 years.
I hope you enjoy it. Stay safe.
Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor