Asian students both domestic and international are a large and valued part of the graduate student community here at UBC. Whether you are from Canada’s diverse Asian communities or an international student coming to study in British Columbia, you deserve the right to study in an environment that is safe and free from prejudice.
The recent rise of anti-Asian prejudice amplified by COVID-19, is even more saddening, given the history of anti-Asian discrimination in British Columbia. From the earliest days of settlement Asian immigrants were excluded from Society, denied their rights, and, in the case of Japanese Canadians, sent to internment camps during the Second World War. Great efforts that have been made in recent years to elucidate and address this troubled history. But more work is required.
We were pleased to see the UBC President address this issue forcefully in his statement (March 20). We are also hopeful that new policy initiatives like the Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence Taskforce will help address racism on campus.
Last year the GSS established its own Anti-Racism Taskforce to address issues of prejudice and discrimination, and to make concrete policy recommendations focused on graduate students. We actively encourage any graduate student who wishes to discuss these difficult issues to reach out to us. Your voice will be heard, and we will take your concerns to those who make decisions. Each of us has a role to play in challenging racism and prejudice where we see it and in calling for policies that promote equity.