Letter from the President: Roses are Red, a Response

For Immediate Release

To: Undergraduate students of Wilfrid Laurier University

On Wednesday, September 20, 2017, there was an entry posted to the Dear Life section of The Cord. The entry was targeted against a member of the Students’ Union executive team, specifically the Chair of the Board and CGO.

As holders of public office, I’m cognizant that such student leadership positions come with their own share of constructive criticism and dialogue. Given that the position of the President and CEO, Chair of the Board and Directors at large are elected positions, students and media publications alike have the right to engage in scrutiny of those whom they have elected.

However, the Dear Life entry which was posted in the last issue of The Cord was not an exercise of constructive criticism but rather resorted to a personal attack, with racial undertones targeted against the Chair of the Board.

The Students’ Union condemns this entry in the strongest regard and such commentary will not be tolerated.

We strive to foster a social environment founded in inclusivity and acceptance of all. At the Students’ Union, diversity is our strength as it brings us together as a community and helps us grow and be proud of who we are. Our mission is to provide the best experience to all members and that has and always will be a priority.

Personal, racial attacks based in bigotry, hatred and ignorance against another student leader or any member of the organization will not be tolerated. As President and CEO, it is my duty to ensure we foster a community where everyone feels safe and accepted for who they are. It is imperative to stand firm in the fight against racism in any and all of its forms and to speak up when there is harm done.

I understand students may have valid frustrations with student leaders or actions of the governing body of the Students’ Union. Many have come out and voiced their concerns with governance decisions, myself included. That however, does not open doors for personal attacks based on an identity of an individual by any means. We condemn hateful language and stand with those who have been attacked.

If there are others who are impacted by this, the Students’ Union is here to support and listen.

Sincerely,

Kanwar Brar

President and CEO
Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union

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