On October 9, Ricardo Duchesne and Mark Hecht are scheduled to speak on the UBC-Vancouver campus at an event hosted by the UBC Students for Freedom of Expression. In the past, these speakers have made arguments and written about topics including immigration, diversity, and multiculturalism from perspectives that community members have regarded as hateful and intolerant.
The AMS is concerned that this event could enable discrimination, and we have zero tolerance for speakers and events that create an inequitable and unsafe environment for students on our campus. We recognize the concerns that many students have that this event undermines the safety and respect of members of the community and we stand against these events.
The AMS is committed to fostering an environment of respect for the dignity, privacy, and diversity of all persons on campus; an environment in which there is zero tolerance for hate, prejudice, and discrimination. We acknowledge that the consistent and repeated instances of these kinds of events that students have spoken out against underlines a responsibility for the AMS to address this issue in a systematic way. We are dedicated to taking critical steps both internally and through our advocacy to do so.
The AMS urges the University to reflect on the impact that this event and others like it has on students that may feel unsafe or targeted and the consistent student action on this topic. We will play an active role in ensuring that the University takes action on this issue, and we are supportive of the University’s commitment to crucial discussions surrounding the Space Rental Policy (UP9) and the Academic Freedom Statement. This work must involve the voices of students who have taken action to show their concerns on this topic.
For any individual who may feel unsafe or targeted by Duchesne and/or Hecht’s remarks or those inspired by their remarks, the AMS has a multitude of services available to assist and support individuals on this campus.