Open Letter to the UBC Community

In recent weeks, it has become clear that there are serious problems with UBC’s sexual assault policies and procedures. President Martha Piper’s broadcast email to the UBC community after the fifth estate report acknowledged that UBC must act in a “more timely and effective manner” and promised to “begin a discussion with students, faculty, and staff” on developing a sexual assault policy.

The current problems, however, do not seem limited to efficiency or timeliness, and we need more than a discussion. It is clear that some students and alumni who brought forward reports of sexual assault have suffered additional harm due to UBC’s policies and procedures. We, as a group of UBC faculty members, wish now publicly to acknowledge this harm that resulted from a failure of UBC to take as seriously as it should its duties of care to members of its community. As faculty members, we share in a responsibility to ensure that UBC fulfill its obligations to protect its community. We apologize to the people affected for not doing and not demanding better.

We now pledge to the UBC community that we will take an active part in improving UBC’s policies and procedures regarding sexual assault and related matters of safety and equity. This action will include gathering material relevant to improving UBC policies and procedures, discussing sexual assault among faculty and with students and staff, consulting with experts both within and beyond the UBC community, and helping to ensure that UBC engages in a fully consultative process regarding new policies and procedures in order to have those new policies and procedures in place no later than the start of classes for the 2016–17 academic year in September.

Sincerely,

Scott Anderson (Philosophy)

Patricia Badir (English)

Steven Barnes (Psychology and Vantage College)

Jon Beasley-Murray (French, Hispanic, and Italian)

Jennifer Berdahl (Sauder)

Sylvia Berryman (Philosophy)

Alejandra Bronfman (History)

Maxwell Cameron (Political Science)

Timothy Cheek (Institute for Asian Research and History)

Gillian Creese (Sociology)

Bo Earle (English)

Siân Echard (English)

Antje Ellerman (Political Science)

William E. French (History)

Eagle Glassheim (History)

Kathryn Grafton (Coordinated Arts Program and English)

Kerry Greer (Sociology)

Christina Hendricks (Philosophy)

Anita Hubley (Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education)

Jonathan Ichikawa (Philosophy)

Carrie Jenkins (Philosophy)

Deirdre Kelly (Educational Studies)

Thomas Kemple (Sociology)

Carl Leggo (Language and Literacy Education)

Greg Martin (Mathematics)

Renisa Mawani (Sociology)

Siobhán McElduff (Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies)

Kevin McNeilly (English)

Amy Metcalfe (Educational Studies)

Sara Milstein (Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies)

Miguel Mota (English)

Shaylih Muehlmann (Anthropology)

Carla Nappi (History)

Juliet O'Brien (French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies)

Jenny Peterson (Political Science and Vantage College)

Paige Raibmon (History)

Alan Richardson (Philosophy)

Bruce Rusk (Asian Studies)

Judy Segal (English)

Lisa Sundstrom (Political Science)

Katja Thieme (ASRW, English, and Vantage College)

Daniel Vickers (History)

Brandy Wiebe (Sociology)


The forty-three UBC faculty members listed above signed the initial letter, dated 6 January 2016. Additional faculty members are welcome to continue to sign. Email ichikawa@gmail.com to request to be added to the list. Please send the request from your @ubc.ca address.

Additional signatories:

  1. Janice Stewart (GRSJ)
  2. Patty A. Kelly (English)
  3. Coll Thrush (History)
  4. Christina Laffin (Asian Studies)
  5. Gaston Gordillo (Anthropology and Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies)
  6. Sandra Tomc (English)
  7. David Gaertner (First Nations & Indigenous Studies)
  8. Stephen Guy-Bray (English)
  9. C. D. Alison Bailey (Asian Studies)
  10. Anthony Paré (Language and Literacy Education)
  11. Vin Nardizzi (English)
  12. John Roosa (History)
  13. Taylor Brown-Evans (Creative Writing)
  14. Ray Hsu (GRSJ)
  15. Jaclyn Rea (ASRW and Vantage College)
  16. Judith Paltin (English)
  17. Lindsey Richardson (Sociology)
  18. Nancy Langton (Sauder)
  19. Pitman Potter (Law)
  20. Laura Moss (English)
  21. Alan Jacobs (Political Science)
  22. Sara Shneiderman (Anthropology)
  23. Samuel D. Rocha (Education)
  24. Lisa Coulthard (Film Studies)
  25. Joy Dixon (History)
  26. Kalina Christoff (Psychology)
  27. Alexander Dick (English)
  28. Kim Snowden (GRSJ)
  29. Laurie McNeill (English)
  30. Liisa Galea (Psychology)
  31. Mary Ann Saunders (ASRW and English)
  32. Neil Armitage (Sociology)
  33. James Colliander (Mathematics)
  34. Janis McKenna (Physics and Astronomy)
  35. Maged Senbel (School of Community and Regional Planning)
  36. Deanna Kreisel (English)
  37. Michelle Stack (Education)
  38. Becki Ross (Sociology and GRSJ)
  39. Ignacio Adriasola (Art History, Visual Art and Theory)
  40. Ingrid Stairs (Physics and Astronomy)
  41. Susan Rowley (Anthropology and Museum of Anthropology)
  42. Elvin Wyly (Geography and Urban Studies)
  43. E. Wayne Ross (Curriculum and Pedagogy)
  44. Meike Wernicke (Language and Literacy Education)
  45. Siobhán McPhee (Geography)
  46. Trevor Barnes (Geography)
  47. Loch Brown (Geography)
  48. Juanita Sundberg (Geography)
  49. Brett Eaton (Geography)
  50. Jessica Dempsey (Geography)
  51. Jamie Peck (Geography)
  52. Jackie Wong (Creative Writing)
  53. Susanna Braund (Classical, Near Eastern & Religious Studies)
  54. C. W. Marshall (Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies)
  55. David Silver (Sauder and Appied Ethics)


This letter is accessible via http://tinyurl.com/UBCFacultyOpenLetter