Vancouver, B.C. – September 21, 2013 – Following concerns raised over inappropriate behavior that occurred during a Commerce Undergraduate Society (CUS) sponsored orientation session held on the weekend of August 31st, the University of British Columbia and the Sauder School of Business convened a fact-finding committee to determine the extent and nature of the behavior in question. The findings of that committee are now available, and it has been determined that inappropriate behavior not only occurred at but was endemic to the event, stretching back over many years.
The CUS would like to sincerely apologize, to its constituents, to the wider UBC community, and to all others who may have been affected, for both the actions of those that actively participated in this unacceptable behavior and for the silence of those that should have come forward to stop it.
The fact-finding committee determined that, while the cheering and other damaging behaviors were not actively taught within the CUS, there was a gross lack of critical thinking and sensitivity on the part of those in leadership positions in letting these behaviors continue unchecked over so many years. In our silence, we allowed the perpetuation of a culture that trivialized sexualized violence against women along with other damaging behaviors.
Moving forward, all student leaders involved with the CUS will be undergoing Anti-Violence Ally training with the Alma Mater Society’s Sexual Assault Support Center to ensure such behavior is never again perpetuated by members of our student society. All FROSH leaders will also be participating in community service initiatives at UBC in order to do their part in creating the inclusive, supportive UBC community that we strive to build. The CUS Board of Directors has also committed $50,000 to fund education and support for Sauder and UBC students surrounding the issues of sexualized violence against women, with a pledge to support a referendum to commit a further $200,000 in funding over the next 2 years.
The CUS deeply regrets the events of this and past years’ FROSHs, and we offer our sincerest apologies to anyone that may have been affected. We look forward to working with the Sauder and UBC community in creating a more inclusive, supportive, and safe environment for all that attend our world-class university.
For the past 70 years, the Commerce Undergraduate Society has played a pivotal role in shaping the future of Bachelor of Commerce students at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School Business. The CUS is among the largest business school student societies in Canada, both in terms of its $1.2 million annual operating budget and its hundreds of student volunteers.
The CUS supports its members through services and clubs that assist in the personal, professional and academic success of its students. This includes offering tutoring services, social functions and large-scale conferences that offer insights into career opportunities along with networking opportunities with industry professionals.
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