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From Joy Johnson | Message from the President: External Review of December 11, 2020 Event
This message is sent on behalf of Joy Johnson, president and vice-chancellor. It has been sent to all faculty, staff and students.
In December I commissioned an external review of the events that occurred the evening of December 11 on Burnaby campus, which led to an RCMP response. I know that many members of our community have been seeking to understand what occurred in greater detail. The review has been completed and the summary is available to the SFU community.
The summary includes more information about the events that led up to the RCMP being called. These details were not released previously due to safety and privacy concerns. We are releasing them now with permission of the individual who reported concerns to Campus Public Safety that evening.
The external review concluded that the Campus Public Safety response adhered to current operating protocols and procedures. Six recommendations were provided. I have been discussing the recommendations with various groups and, following their input, we will determine an action plan in response. A summary of the review is available here.
Although the response followed current protocol and procedures it is important that those standards are also reviewed to ensure they meet our current needs and approach to safety on campus. We must go beyond the application of current protocols and review our current policy and approach to safety on campus. The university will be undertaking a broad consultation to hear from our community about what safety on our campuses could and should look like. You will hear more about this in the weeks to come.
For our students, faculty, staff and alumni, this incident has been about far more than the events of one evening. It has reinforced concerns about racism on our campuses and that SFU needs to continue to take real and meaningful action to address systemic anti-Black racism and increase inclusion of Black and Indigenous people and people of colour. SFU’s leadership team and I are deeply committed to taking action on these broader concerns. Over the past three months I have had many conversations with faculty, students, staff and equity-deserving groups. I greatly value those conversations and will continue to make space for dialogue and push for forward progress.
This event was traumatic for many in our community, especially Black students, alumni, faculty and staff. Please reach out for support if you need it. Counselling and other supports are available to students, faculty and staff:
- Students: Health and Counselling Services 778-782-4615 or MySSP 1-844-451-9700 (see additional self-help resources)
- Faculty and staff: Employee and Family Assistance Program - Homewood Health 1-800-663-1142
- Multifaith Centre: 778-782-3180
President and Vice-Chancellor