Students' Union calls for greater accountability from University in addressing discrimination and harrassment

News Staff - Mon Jul 13, 2020

The University of Alberta Students’ Union (UASU) condemns the conduct alleged in recent reporting from CBC and the Edmonton Journal, which it views as racist. “Thank you to the students who brought this to our attention and asked us to take a stand,” said Joel Agarwal, UASU President. “We need to be able to trust our instructors to respect students regardless of race, ethnicity, or culture while building a thriving intellectual environment.”

Former President Turpin wrote last month, after the murder of George Floyd: “We condemn anti-Black racism…We do not have the luxury of viewing these events as something that only happens elsewhere.” Senior administration has committed to standing against systemic and overt racism in the University community. The UASU calls on the University to live up to the values of Turpin’s letter. We have engaged with the University, the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, and the Black Medical Students’ Association to work for meaningful change.

We call on the University to review and modernize its reporting and investigation pathways across the board. Students have raised consistent concerns about their ability to report discrimination and harassment in ways that hold perpetrators accountable. This systemic issue affects the whole University of Alberta community, including students in practicum and work placements with Alberta Health Services and other employers. The University should also provide clear, accessible resources for students and staff when they need to file complaints with partners like AHS.

“Many students believe that complaint mechanisms are designed to fail,” said David Draper, UASU Vice President Academic. “We need to have meaningful recourse when they encounter harassment and discrimination. Students shouldn’t feel powerless when racism goes unchecked.”

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact your UASU Executive:

Joel Agarwal
UASU President
780 492-4241

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