UVic rocked by racist social media post

A racism scandal has hit the University of Victoria.

Days after university leaders announced an ambitious plan to foster and support Indigenous culture, the university is looking into social media posts where individuals, presumably students, are mocking First Nations.

A Snapchat screenshot shared on Facebook Sept. 16 showed young men pretending to get drunk off Lysol disinfectant wipes, captioned with a racist slur describing First Nations peoples using the cleaner in the same way.

University of Victoria president Jamie Cassels said in a Facebook post that the university has now identified people we believe to be involved and are investigating the matter under the university’s policies on discrimination and harassment, and non-academic student misconduct.

“That such behaviour has taken place within our community is deeply concerning to university leaders and members, and is contrary to our commitment to an inclusive and respectful environment that provides a positive living, learning and working space for all,” said Cassels. “Yet we know that discriminatory and racist attitudes continue to exist, and this reinforces the importance of education and the responsibility of educational institutions to promote better understanding.”

Cassels went on to reaffirm UVic’s deep commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, to Indigenous students and creating more meaningful partnerships with Indigenous communities.

“We will not permit incidents like this to deflect our movement toward these important goals, but instead take them as proof of the need to redouble our efforts in the pursuit of reconciliation.”

Paul Marck, a spokesperson for the university, said there is nothing further to update beyond Cassels’ statement.

“There is no additional information to provide you,” he said. Anything further related to investigations, outcomes and university policies are considered confidential processes.”

Available online reactions covered a wide range of spectrum.

“Just sad,” wrote Emma Joye Frank, who identifies herself as First Nations, on FB. “Low lives doing their thing while trying to bring others down. You should really show more respect for the indigenous people of this land, and for yourselves.”

Others used more harsh language to condemn the actions and urged users to help the investigation. “UVic is investigating the pictures and need help finding out who they are, said Vic Austin. “If anybody knows who they are please send me links to their Facebook page.”

Others condemned the behaviour, but also counseled against blowing the incident out of proportion.

“They are just ignorant excited first year students,” said Sayna Sadres on Facebook. “Please don’t judge all of University of Victoria based on this. University of [Victoria] actually has a large indigenous education centre on campus.”

Earlier this year, the university renamed the building that bore the name of Sir Joseph Trutch, who negotiated the entry of British Columbia into Canada in 1871. Trutch also served as B.C.’s first lieutenant-governor following Confederation.

The university cited Trutch’s “negative approach to the land rights of First Nations people and disregard for their concerns” in their decision.

 

 

These images were shared to Facebook and are believed to be UVic students. (Facebook photo)

These images were shared to Facebook and are believed to be UVic students. (Facebook photo)

Just Posted

Saanich councillors slow to respond for feedback on council procedures

Among calls for procedural changes, staff still waiting to hear from six councillors

Saanich sponsors Jeux de la Francophonie giving $50,000 for the French-language Games

Couns. Susan Brice and Nathalie Chambers opposed funding, citing substantive and procedural concerns

VicPD arrest reportedly armed man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

The man was found near Centennial Square on Tuesday afternoon

Port Renfrew man charged with animal cruelty

Hot coffee poured on dog’s face, say police

Sarah McLachlan performs and donors raise $555,000 for inclusive outdoor activities

Power To Be reached their fundraising goal at their Nature Gala on July 12

VIDEO: Black bear caught climbing tree in Langford neighbourhood

Triangle Mountain residents on alert following bear sighting

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

15-year-old with imitation gun caused ‘dynamic’ scene at Nanaimo mall

No one was harmed in Monday’s incident, say Nanaimo RCMP

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

RCMP investigating alleged ‘sexual misconduct’ by cyclist on BCIT campus

BCIT said they were reviewing video evidence of the incident

New home cost dips in B.C.’s large urban centres

Victoria, Kelowna, Vancouver prices decline from last year

Graphic suicide scene edited out of ‘13 Reasons Why’ finale

Suicide prevention groups support the decision

Most Read