While the campus's population may have decreased by a few thousand, UBC managed to remain busy over the summer! From the Olympics to the drafting of a new sexual assault policy, here's a recap of what students — old and new — may have missed.
While the rainbow flag (flying for OUTweek) burning happened in February, a charge — for mischief causing damage of property with a value of under five thousand dollars — was not laid against Fink until late April by the Richmond Crown Counsel. After several appearances in court, Fink’s next appearance was delayed until April of 2017. As explained by Fink, her reasoning for burning down the flag was motivated by her own transsexual viewpoint, describing the LGBT label that the flag conveys as non-inclusive and imposing sexual politics onto the identities of transgender individuals.
The RCMP arrested two men — David Singh Tucker and Yan Zhi Gao — involved in a suspected break-and-enter and sexual assault just after 2:15 a.m. on Saturday, April 30. The men were apprehended after the RCMP received a report that an apartment building located on the 5700 block of Birney Avenue had been broken into. The men were taken into custody outside the residence. Tucker was charged with break-and-enter, sexual assault and causing bodily harm (three counts), forcible confinement (three counts), robbery (three counts) and wearing a mask with intent to commit an indictable offence. Gao was charged with break-and-enter to commit robbery. Tucker was later found dead in a Surrey pre-trial facility.
While working in astronomy professor Jaymie Matthews' lab, UBC grad Michelle Kunimoto found four exoplanets that NASA’s Kepler mission failed to find by looking for weaker transit signals.
One of Kunimoto's discoveries, KOI (Kepler Object of Interest) 408.05, is in what's called the "habitable zone" — an area close enough to a nearby star that they could theoretically support liquid water and, potentially, life. At 3,200 light years away (that’s really far), we won't be visiting anytime soon, but it’s still an important discovery.
The BC Labour Relations Board found the AMS guilty of unfair labour practices after a manager in their Catering and Conference department texted an employee to vote against the unionization process. It was also found to be likely that they paid two employees to increase incentive and reward to vote 'no' to unionization.
In the wake of a string of widely reported sexual assaults over the last few years and a human rights complaint filed against the university in 2014, UBC has been drafting a sexual assault policy. Since Bill 23 — which mandates all universities in the province to have a sexual assault policy — received royal assent and was passed in May, UBC has one year to complete a finalized policy. The consultation period has lasted all summer and will end in early fall to allow the UBC community time to respond.
After almost a year of interim president Martha Piper and a presidential search that dated back to January of 2016, Santa Ono was chosen as the 15th president of UBC. Students and faculty alike responded enthusiastically, eagerly hanging on to Ono trivia like his penchant for bow-ties, his Vancouver heritage, and his booming Twitter presence. While Ono only started August 15, he’s already working on heightened student engagement and accessibility, and some people are obsessedSteven Galloway was fired after “irreparable breach of trust.
Steven Galloway was fired by the University of British Columbia after facing “serious allegations of misconduct.” He was first suspended with pay in November of 2015 after UBC received serious allegations of misconduct against Galloway. However, Mark MacLean, the president of the faculty association, issued a statement citing serious concerns with the "university administration's misleading public and private comments regarding Professor Galloway."
The summer Olympics happen once every four years. For the 29 UBC athletes that made it to Rio de Janeiro, it was the opportunity of a lifetime. Incoming UBC swimmer Emily Overholt won bronze in the 4x200 freestyle relay, stepping in for teammate Brittany MacLean who had fallen ill during the games, and alumnus Evan Dunfee won the bronze in racewalking (for a few hours). The Olympics are a great showcase of incredible athleticism and the human spirit, and the ‘Birds definitely showed both.
As of August 1, all AMS Security employees have been laid off and placed on recall — effectively eliminating security patrols around the AMS Student Nest. The changes were made because patrols were thought to be less relevant due to live stream cameras and the open concept of the Nest. Eliminating patrols will save the AMS $300,000 annually. MoveUp, the union representing AMS Security, met the change with resistance.
Complaints about UBC’s campus security model were partially confirmed when the external review, ordered by UBC and conducted by three external experts, pointed out many drawbacks of the current system and made 31 recommendations to change it. The review touched on a lack of clarity for the role of Campus Security, a poor distribution of financials towards different departments, and even the disarray of the implementation of blue phones (which was one of three recommendations that UBC disagreed with). UBC's response to the review will focus first on establishing a clear vision for the department and then on tackling the other recommendations.