USC Statement on the Release of the President’s Anti-Racism Working Group Report

June 22, 2020 | Communications Staff

The following statement was released by the University Students’ Council executive on Monday, June 22nd:

Earlier today, the Office of the President released the Anti-Racism Working Group report. The report shared the experiences of racialized students on our campus, including Black, Indigenous, Muslim, and Jewish students, who face racism and prejudice at Western.

The USC is angered by the continued perpetration of racism on our campus and remains committed to fighting against systemic discrimination and dismantling the power structures that have disadvantaged Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) communities.

We wholly support the recommendations made by the Anti-Racism Working Group and are committed to holding Western’s administration accountable for following through on these actions to create a more equitable space for BIPOC communities.

We know that the existence of this prejudice is not new. As the data in the report indicates, undergraduate students are being disproportionately impacted by racism being perpetuated by their peers, professors, university staff, and the London community. As a community, we must be committed to educating ourselves about racism and injustice, practicing equity, and elevating the voices of students who have lived experiences.

Western should be an inclusive environment for all students, staff, and faculty. As a core member of our campus community, undergraduate students have the responsibility to fight against racism, microaggressions, and the perpetuation of stereotypes that are prevalent on our campus. We must hold perpetrators of racist acts accountable. We must embed equity, diversity, and inclusion practices into the USC and Western’s policies, and critically examine issues through this lens. And we must work, collectively, to dismantle racist structures so that everyone feels safe and included in our community.

As an organization, we are also committed to fighting against racism, through our policies, programming, and advocacy. In consultation with BIPOC students, our team will conduct an internal policy review of the USC’s training and hiring practices to ensure that anti-racism frameworks are represented within our organization. We will continue to develop educational programming to inform our campus community about the prevalence of this issue. We will advocate, to every level of government, to garner resources to tackle racism that has been present on our campus for decades. And we will continue to elevate the voices of BIPOC students and gather their perspectives on how we can best support racialized students moving forward. If you wish to share your thoughts or concerns, please email Matt Reesor at president@westernusc.ca.

We recognize that this is a traumatizing time for many of our students. We encourage students to seek support by contacting the Student Support and Case Management Office at sscm@uwo.ca or access any of the resources listed below.

Your University Students’ Council

Resources

Student Support and Case Management

Comprehensive and coordinated of university-wide resources for support

sscm@uwo.ca

Mo-Fr 8:30am-4:30pm

Equity and Human Rights Services

Information and advice on Western’s discrimination and harassment policies

(519) 661-3334

equity@uwo.ca

Mo-Fr 8:30am-4:30pm

Good2Talk

Free confidential mental health helpline

(866) 925-5454 24/7

Western Health and Wellness Resource Guide https://studentexperience.uwo.ca/student_experience/wellness_initiatives/mhwrg.pdf

Student Health Appointments and Counselling

Book a tele-counselling appointment via email:

Email: shappt@uwo.ca

Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00am-4:00pm