Equity Committee Update #3

This has been a very difficult week for the History Department and for everyone connected with it. The Equity Committee has been hearing from many different groups and individuals, and we acknowledge that there is a great deal of pain and anger and fear which we all need to attend to with care and compassion.  We are a community that is deeply divided right now and there are very real differences to negotiate around and across as we begin to talk about how to move forward.  As we do, it is vitally important that we treat each other with respect and with attentiveness to the complicated power dynamics that are part of our everyday lives here in the Department. As a committee we remain dedicated to working towards equity and to contributing to the ongoing work to improve UBC’s institutional structures and processes for dealing with sexual assault.  We also know that, whatever our divisions, as a community we all share a profound commitment to a respectful, safe, and inclusive working and learning environment, without violence, harassment, or bullying. 

In the meantime, the Equity Committee (along with Counselling Services and the Head of the Department) has been working to put dedicated counselling resources in place for any undergraduate or graduate students who require those services. This is very close to being finalized and we hope to distribute concrete information by the beginning of next week if not before.  We are also working with Arts Advising and other offices to make sure that there are resources available for anyone whose academic work has been affected by these events. Faculty and staff are reminded of the resources provided by the Employee Family Assistance Plan, which is administered by Shepell through their Care Access Centre.  See https://www.workhealthlife.com/ for more information.  We are working with the HGSA and the HSA to find appropriate ways to enable us to hear from all students about their concerns and needs. We will be sending out additional information on most of these topics over the next few days.

You can find earlier updates – including a summary of the Committee’s longer-term goals -- on the History Department website (see the tab marked “Equity Updates).  If you have any concerns about specific incidents please contact Joy Dixon, who is also the Department's Equity Officer at joy.dixon@ubc.ca.  The following link contains further information on supporting survivors of sexual assault and on navigating support resources and reporting options, both on campus and in the city: https://facultystaff.students.ubc.ca/sexual-assault-response-and-education/sexual-assault-assisting-student-survivors