AMS Apology and the Future of SASC
To the community,
Over the past few days we have seen, heard, and read your responses to the decision to transfer support services out of the Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC). The AMS sincerely apologizes for the harm that this has caused survivors, those supporting them, and the rest of our community members. It was never our intention to do so, and we have heard your voices and we recognize that we made mistakes throughout this process. We will always stand by our membership and, as such, we are reversing our decision.
The AMS took this decision with many considerations in mind and with concern about sustaining SASC’s operations and what the future of SASC will look like. Our actions have not reflected it, but each one of us genuinely had survivors and the support they receive at the forefront of our thoughts. This Executive team wanted to take responsibility and leadership to pave the way for a stronger SASC that is sustainable in its services and quality for the next year and beyond, with the many changes that have gone on over the past few years. Concerns for what the future of SASC will look like and how we will operate over the next year are still issues that need to be addressed. As next steps, we will do our best to not only ensure that SASC is able to serve the community at its best capacity but we will also work to set the foundation for what continuity, stability, and sustainability looks like for SASC to serve anyone who needs its services.
We acknowledge that the reversal of this decision is necessary and it is also a preliminary measure to much more work that we will need to do going forward. We will make sure survivors are getting the best support possible, SASC is providing the highest level of care possible, and survivors and the community are important stakeholders at the table in doing this work.
We recognize that it is necessary and extremely important to engage our entire community. We are committed to transparency, clarity, and wide dissemination of information. As such, the AMS will take the following actions immediately:
- Disseminate comprehensive information about the considerations and challenges regarding support services at the SASC and the rest of campus.
- Meet regularly with the SASC to rebuild open lines of communication, work together, and create avenues for the community to provide their voice.
- Seek out and create spaces for SASC to share its extensive knowledge and experience in AMS’s advocacy.
- Be accountable to the student body through early consultation in order to listen and act based on our community’s needs from the beginning of the process.
We know it will not be easy but we are committed to doing all that we can together and throughout our different portfolios to rebuild lasting trust among the SASC team, all AMS departments, and our community across campus and beyond.
The AMS Executive Team
Marium, Cristina, Max, Kuol, and Chris