|Student Union Policies
|Student Union Practices
The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) Academic and Non-Academic Conduct - Students Policy, in the section “Core Values and Statement of Principles”, reads:
1.1 The University of Northern British Columbia is a place of research, teaching, and learning, where members of the University Community value inclusiveness and diversity, community, integrity, and academic excellence. These values are supported through an unwavering commitment to free expression and debate in an atmosphere of respectful interactions, safety and good conduct.
Under the Academic and Non-Academic Conduct - Students Policy, disruption is a form of misconduct:
Disruption means engaging in unruly or threatening behaviour that causes a disturbance and disrupts or threatens to disrupt a University class, event, activity, or process.
UNBC’s Harassment and Discrimination Policy reads:
1.1 [...]The University of Northern British Columbia acknowledges the right of all individuals in the University Community to work or learn without discrimination or harassment because of personal characteristics protected by the BC Human Rights Code including race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, family status, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, sex, gender, age, sexual orientation, political beliefs or criminal or summary conviction offence unrelated to their employment.
1.2 Neither this policy in general, nor its definitions in particular, are to be applied in such a way as to detract from the right of faculty, staff and students to engage in the frank discussion of potentially controversial matters, such as age, race, politics, religion, sex and sexual orientation.
1.3 Nothing in this policy is intended to infringe upon academic freedom as specified in Article 2 of the UNBC Faculty Association Agreement. The protection afforded by this Policy is subject to exceptions under the Human Rights Code.
The UNBC Space Booking policy cites “the University’s reputation” as a reason to turn down a room booking:
The University has the right and responsibility to manage the use of, and access to, its interior and exterior space, including all university lands. The University recognizes and respects the core values of academic freedom and the freedom of expression. To ensure that the University’s activities, the safety and security of persons, facilities and lands, and the University’s reputation are not compromised, conditions and/or limitations may be imposed on the use of University space. This policy recognizes that a variety of user groups have an interest in using University Space.
UNBC does not provide funding or resources to a diversity office or a similar body that engages in ideological advocacy.
The authors are not aware of cases of UNBC administration censoring speech on campus, or discriminating against students or groups on the basis of the content of their expression.
The Mission Statement of the Northern Undergraduate Student Society (NUGSS) is “to enhance the social and academic life of UNBC students by providing services that address the diversity of student needs in a responsible and inclusive manner.”
In April 2016, NUGSS passed Personnel Policy IX - Free Speech, which states:
Members, students, and employees of NUGSS must conduct themselves so as to ensure that freedom of speech within the law is secured for its members, employees, and for visitors. The freedom protected by this policy is confined to the exercise of freedom of speech within the law. NUGSS believes that a culture of free, open and robust discussion can be achieved only if all concerned avoid needlessly offensive or provocative action and language.
Regarding “Forming or Renewing an S.L.O. [Student Led Organization]”, the NUGSS Policy Manual states that in order to be given official club status, student groups must “Not restrict membership to any particular group of students (e.g. class, race, creed, political orientation, degree program, sexual orientation, religion, sex, gender, etc.) S.L.O. membership must be open to all students.”
Section 6.1 of the Policy Manual, “General Conduct of an S.L.O.”, says:
If a S.L.O. is found to be engaging in any activities that the Board of Directors determines is compromising the values of NUGSS, or condones unethical practices, or is exclusionary in nature, that S.L.O. will receive one warning to correct the problem(s). Should the problem(s) not be corrected within a reasonable time frame (set-out within the warning notice provided to the S.L.O.), the S.L.O. may be dissolved at the discretion of the Board of Directors.
NUGSS does not take positions on issues outside its mandate.
In November of 2010, concerns were raised regarding the imagery used on posters put up by on-campus groups. Specifically, the Women's Centre expressed concern at the use of women's bodies being used in advertisements. NUGSS council decided that, as long as the club or organization claimed sole responsibility for content on the poster itself, no censorship was necessary.