To the UTM Community,
This message is written in response to the article posted in last weeks edition of The Medium. The Undergraduate Commerce Society (UCS) recognizes that the cheers present at some of our social events have created a non-inclusive environment, unfair to members of the University community. We understand that this behaviour has caused students to feel uncomfortable and discriminated against, and has as a result tarnished the reputation of UCS, the Commerce program and the University of Toronto. We apologize and fully accept responsibility for the negative environment we have created on campus, as well as for the embarrassment brought upon our various stakeholders. Our behaviour is inexcusable and it is with great humility that I write this message.
We have taken the initial steps in addressing the situation, creating a culture shift in UCS to the positive space that the University is known for. Our council has held a discussion, and been educated on the seriousness and implications of this behavior. We have also begun working in conjunction with various campus resources, including the Department of Management and UTMSU to develop a zero-tolerance policy and Code of Conduct. We will also be developing a full time executive council position (Director of Ethics & Equity) that will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the policy, and maintaining an inclusive community within the Commerce student body. Additionally, UCS will be adapting new and positive cheers, as well as equity training for the incoming UCS council and Bizfrosh leaders. In the long run, UCS hopes to ensure a culture of inclusion and equity at our events, setting a positive example for other student groups to follow.
It is important to note that the scope of this issue goes beyond UCS, the Department of Management, or the University of Toronto. As individuals, we are bound by the Ontario Human Rights Code, and may face legal consequences outside of our institutions sanctions.
Lastly, on behalf of the Undergraduate Commerce Society, I would like to apologize to The Medium for the negativity that has been brought upon it as a result of the situation.
President Undeargraduate Commerce Society