The Safe(r) Space Policy was developed in 2015 by the Equity Coordinators, in partnership with the Equity Committee and the Planning Student Association. The policy strives to provide guidelines for all members of the SCARP community built upon the goal of creating a safer, equitable, and respectful environment at SCARP, UBC and in our various communities.
The Equity Committee envisions a safe and inclusive environment for all students, faculty, and staff at SCARP and UBC as a whole.
We will provide spaces for conversations to actively foster a safer, equitable, and respectful environment for all students, staff, and faculty in SCARP and UBC. These conversations will address oppression and inclusivity, and recognize that these conversations will be hard. Our role is, in part, to mediate systemic and/or emergent conflictual issues. We cannot do this work alone, and know that this will include building and strengthening partnerships internal and external to SCARP.
Built on the principle of ‘calling in’:
“The first part of calling each other in is allowing mistakes to happen. Mistakes in communities seeking justice and freedom may not hurt any less but they also have possibility for transforming the ways we build with each other for a new, better world. We have got to believe that we can transform.” (from “Calling IN: A Less Disposable Way of Holding Each Other Accountable”)
Safe(r) Space Guidelines:
Be aware that you are on unceded traditional Coast Salish land. Being a guest on Indigenous territories means you are responsible for learning the relationship these Nations have to the unceded land you are occupying.
We must be conscious of how our work affects Indigenous peoples, on both these territories and beyond, and strive to work towards the decolonization of our relationships, consultation processes and other practices.
Call in behaviour that is physically, emotionally, or sexually harassing. Either directly talk to the person doing so, or come talk to a member of the Equity Committee, a PSA executive, or other University-wide resource centre to discuss potential actionable responses to the problem. This can also be done anonymously using our feedback form.
Be open to listening and understanding why you are being called in, and understand that we can hurt others even without intending. Engage rather than challenging or invalidating the experience of the person doing the calling in.
Give people the benefit of the doubt and don’t make assumptions. Calling in is a tool that seeks to build relationships and avoid creating an overly simplistic us versus them dynamic of oppressor/oppressed. Although everyone deals with harmful behaviour in their own way, we want to dissuade the self-righteousness, disposability and condescending behaviour that is pervasive in ‘call out culture’.
Respect people’s physical and emotional boundaries. Consent is an ongoing process and applies to all genders and sexual orientations. Do not cross into someone’s personal space without asking for and acquiring consent.
Generalizing feelings, thoughts, or behaviours to a whole group can be hurtful and is often inaccurate. This includes stereotyping, and categorizing facts and people without their consent or consultation. Avoid doing so.
Do not assume anyone’s race, gender identity, sexual preference, economic status, background, or health.
Respect the pronouns and names of everyone. Names can have a bunch of different pronunciations, and pronouns can range from preferring to be called anything from she, he, they, ey, ze, etc… If you’re unsure of someone’s preferred name or pronoun, ask respectfully (i.e. what is your preferred pronoun? How do you pronounce your name?).
At SCARP, as in any other place or situation, you will only come into contact with some aspects of a person’s identity or lived experience – in short assume nothing and ask respectfully.
Don’t take it personally if someone doesn’t want to answer your question or engage in discussion. People have the right to privacy, and do not assume that personal information about someone is open to discussion.
Depictions or discussions of violence, discrimination and/or sexual assault can trigger experiences or memories of trauma. Be mindful of the space people may need around such conversations.
We strive to actively engage voices that are not heard as often in group and class discussions. We recognize that certain voices are privileged as being more authoritative, and we hope to challenge this dynamic in our work and practice.
We acknowledge that this is an educational space. We honour people needing space around their own identities, but we hope that it will also be a place where people’s assumptions are constructively challenged. It might be the first time someone hears about how their behaviour is harmful, offensive or in some way inequitable, and we hope to create an environment where people are challenged to change their actions and/or language in future interactions without feeling shut out, villainized, or otherwise alienated.
Although we recognize the limitations of the physical and social fabric of the PSA and SCARP, we actively seek to dismantle barriers to access in all facets of our academic, professional, and personal lives.