Dear members of the UBC community,
I would like to begin by acknowledging that I am speaking to you from the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Musqueam people.
Next week we will mark Pink Shirt Day, a day when people wear a pink shirt to symbolize a stand against bullying. I’m proud that Pink Shirt Day originated here in Canada, and I am proud that so many members of the UBC community participate each year.
At UBC, we strive to provide a safe, respectful and productive work environment for faculty, staff and student employees, as set out in the UBC Respectful Environment Statement.
The Respectful Environment Statement speaks to our freedoms and our responsibilities, and provides the guiding principles to support us in building an environment in which respect, civility, diversity, opportunity and inclusion are valued.
The University of British Columbia envisions an environment in which students, faculty and staff are provided with the best possible conditions for learning, researching and working, including an environment that is dedicated to excellence, equity and mutual respect.
UBC strives to realize this vision by establishing employment and educational practices that respect the dignity of individuals and make it possible for everyone to live, work and study in a positive and supportive environment, free from harmful behaviours such as bullying and harassment.
These behaviours are not acceptable and will not be tolerated at UBC, and I would like to thank all the members of the UBC community who have been active in the campaign against bullying, including Dr. Johanna Sam, a member of the Tŝilhqot’in Nation and an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education, who is investigating the extent and impact of cyberbullying on Indigenous youth in BC.
She is also piloting a culturally relevant mobile app to assist Indigenous youth with combatting and coping with cyber-aggression. Dr. Sam, you are my unsung hero this week. Thank you for all you are doing.
Finally, earlier this week, the Provincial Health Officer announced an easing of some of the measures in place to combat COVID-19. As we head into Reading Week, it may be tempting to let down our guard even further. But we are not out of the woods yet, and we all must continue to follow the guidelines in place – to wear masks indoors, to physically distance, to wash our hands, and to ensure that we are fully vaccinated.
I hope everybody has a good Reading Week. Take care and stay safe.
Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor