By: Karissa Ketter, News Writer
Editor’s note: The print version of this article states it was science undergraduate society representative Zaid Lari who said “shut up” during the incident. This has now been corrected to political science representative Abhishek Parmar.
Content warning: this article mentions anti-Black and anti-Indigenous topics, and discussion of anti-Black sentiments.
During the March 16 Council meeting, an individual who had joined the meeting unmuted and spread hateful anti-Black sentiments.
One Council member described the content as “absolutely disgusting.” They noted, “I can’t believe somebody would take the time to come to a public forum where students are coming for safety and say such a harmful thing.”
Vice-president equity and sustainability Marie Haddad said to Council the incident was “completely unacceptable.” She added, “We don’t condone that language at all, and we should consider how harmful it is to use that language, especially as it is anti-Black language.”
The individual used violent terms against attendees. Haddad began to make loud noises to drown out their comments. Political science representative Abhishek Parmar yelled for the individual to “shut up.”
The individual was removed from the meeting and the Zoom meeting was locked. The meeting was moved to another Zoom call following the incident.
After the meeting, the executive committee published a statement condemning the incident. “We want to acknowledge how unacceptable, harmful, and/or traumatizing the incident that occured within Council,” the statement writes. The committee further promised to secure future Council meetings while making sure they still remain accessible.
The statement included a list of resources for the attendees, along with support for Black students specifically:
Resources listed in the statement:
- Black student support with Tricia-Kay Williams (Black Student Support Facilitator):
- Friday Group Session: 4:30–5:30 p.m. email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Individual Sessions book via https://calendly.com/metamorphosecounselling/individualcounselling-session
- Student support for other attendees with Deborah Fung (Access Case Manager):
- Friday Individual Sessions: 9:30–11:30 a.m. and 1:30–3:30 p.m.
- Book by emailing email@example.com