UBC will not take part within the Vancouver Pride Parade this Sunday, regardless of receiving an invitation from the Vancouver Pride Society.
The college has not stated why it will not attend this yr’s parade — the primary because the begin of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a press release to The Ubyssey, Dr. Arig al Shaibah, the affiliate vice-president fairness and inclusion, acknowledged the significance of collaborating within the Pride occasions and stated college students, professors and group teams at UBC are nonetheless welcome to take part on a person foundation.
Al Shaibah stated the college has been doing different issues to advertise Pride occasions this yr.
“While the University is not collaborating within the Pride Parade this yr, UBC has been selling engagement in Pride-month occasions, together with the parade, as a part of our dedication to fostering fairness and inclusion,” al Shaibah wrote.
She added that UBC is planning a Pride Connect occasion, in addition to its annual Pride occasion in September which was on hiatus because of the pandemic.
This is the second consecutive Pride Parade UBC will not take part in. In 2019, the Vancouver Pride Society (VPS) rescinded the university’s invitation after it hosted an anti-sexual orientation and gender identification (SOGI) initiative speaker.
Michelle Fortin, the chair of the board of administrators of the VPS, stated the group believed UBC wanted to do some studying and alter its insurance policies earlier than it may take part in one other Pride Parade.
“When individuals are transphobic or anti-trans and [are] having the ability to converse at an esteemed establishment like UBC, for us that that was a mirrored image that there was some studying that wanted to occur on the college for them to take part [in the parade],” she stated in a current interview with The Ubyssey.
“[UBC was] given a little bit of a template, perhaps a partial roadmap, however they did the work,” she added. UBC revised its reserving coverage in 2020 to determine dangers related to occasions and to judge them by the lens of the BC Human Rights Code.
Fortin stated that UBC’s work must be acknowledged, including that marching within the Pride Parade would present Vancouverites that the college has modified.
“I feel that the truth that they’ve finished some soul looking out, and actually landed in a spot that displays social justice and human rights is essential,” she stated.