16 Jun UPEISU RESPONSE TO RUBIN-THOMLINSON REPORT
Hi Students of UPEI,
We hope that you are enjoying the summer despite the current circumstances in our community. We understand these are difficult times, and you have already been quite resilient throughout the past year. In our efforts to support you, we’d like to share with you our current thoughts, opinions, and future plans regarding the report released by Rubin-Thomlinson. We also encourage you to read the full report yourselves, available here. We wanted to delay our response to ensure we carefully reviewed the report and were able to come up with concrete plans of action to reinforce our words. Our thoughts and plan are listed below:
What We Think
The report was released to our executive team at the same time as the rest of the student body. Upon review of the report, it is clear that many systemic issues are finally being brought to light. As students, it is devastating to hear the negative experiences our peers and former students have had to endure. It is clear change must be made for UPEI to begin to reconcile with a history of failure to be a safe space for students, faculty and staff. While we would like to thank the UPEI Board of Governors for agreeing to release the visibly redacted report publicly, there is still a long way to go to bring UPEI in line with where it needs to be. To create a trusting and supportive campus community, UPEI must internalize and acknowledge the issues at hand and to work towards a resolution.
What We’re Doing
Although the UPEISU is not affiliated with UPEI, we have had extensive discussions about improvements the SU could make to better support students in the aftermath of this report and how we can urge the administration to make needed improvements. To that end, we have begun to compile the relevant information about how to file a complaint with the university in the event of sexual violence or harrassment of any kind. This information will be updated continuously and hosted on the front page of our website, so it is easy for students to know whom to talk to and what the process of filing a complaint looks like. This webpage contains not only information about dealing with matters through the University, but also external bodies that can help.
We are also ramping up our anti-discrimination, anti-harassment and EDI staff training in August, so every member of the SU’s Council, Executive and Staff will be aware of where you can go in the event you need help. Finally, we will be discussing with the UPEI Board of Governors and UPEI Administration on how to best bring UPEI back in line with its core values. To that end, we require your input on what you want to see from a safer, more inclusive and equitable UPEI.
It is crucial that you express your needs to ensure we are taking the correct steps towards what the student body would like to see for UPEI’s future. The UPEISU Anonymous Student Response Form will be available starting from Monday, June 19th, and will be an easy way for you to let us know your thoughts as UPEI starts its process of dealing with the contents of the report. We will use your responses to guide us in our advocacy efforts. If you have any thoughts at all on what you’d like the Student Union to push for as we begin our dialogue with the Administration and Board of Governors, we invite you to fill out the form here and submit it.
We thank you for your time and understanding as we move through this situation together.
The UPEISU Executive Team