URSU was contacted by students that have been impacted by a professor’s racist comments in an email concerning academic misconduct to students. We condemn such remarks from a well-experienced professor to our students. URSU initiated communication with the University senior administration and requested an immediate investigation. We voiced the concern that students were presumed guilty before the investigation into misconduct was complete. We also brought up concerns about the racist nature of the remarks made in the email. In the meeting with senior administration, we were advised the university would conduct an investigation into the racism and follow up with us.
We have been made aware today that the investigation into incidents surrounding the racist comments has concluded. We have been advised that there has been some corrective training, but do not know the details. The professor issued an apology email that reflects that they are unaware of and unwilling to take responsibility for the harm he has caused to students through his actions. While we appreciate the University’s administration’s quick response to this specific situation, the results of this investigation and the actions taken to correct it are not adequate. Apologies are not enough and we assure our members that URSU is taking this seriously.
Racism in post-secondary education is not a new occurrence. We owe it to our students, staff, and community to prevent racism. URSU is calling on the University to terminate the professor’s employment immediately and further develop mandatory anti-racism and anti-oppression training for all new and current professors, along with University of Regina staff and administration. We see a need for mandatory training to provide all students with a safer learning environment. We need a systemic solution for this systemic issue. Apologies are not going to prevent this from happening again. Each and every student needs assurance that “we do really belong here” with respect, dignity, and love irrespective of our race, sexuality, gender, and diversity of background.
~ URSU Executive Committee
If you have been affected by the situation referenced in the above statement or would like more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.