|Year||University Policies||University Practices||Student Union Policies||Student Union Practices|
Vancouver Island University (VIU) lists among its Core Values a commitment to the following:
Discovery: through the pursuit of free enquiry we promote an enduring learning community
Diversity: we value human diversity in all its dimensions and are committed to maintaining learning and working environments which are equitable, diverse and inclusive
VIU’s Visionary Goal is “Through the promotion of excellence in learning, we inspire our students and the people of Vancouver Island and coastal British Columbia as a trusted educational partner in the search for sustainable cultural, economic, environmental and social prosperity.”
VIU Policy 31.06, “Disruption-Free Learning and Working Environment”, says:
Vancouver Island University recognizes the right of students and employees to have a positive learning and working environment that is free of disruptive and intimidating behaviour. This environment includes all locations on and off campus where any activity may be scheduled under the auspices of Vancouver Island University.
VIU defines disruptive behaviour as “[any] interruption to the learning environment that serves to obstruct, bring disorder, or break the flow of continuity of the activity.”
The Human Rights Policy states that “[i]t is recognized that academic freedom is an important value of the University. This policy will be interpreted in light of our commitment to this value.” It also states “all members of the University community are responsible for treating each other with respect and dignity.”
VIU employs a Director of the Diversity, Equity and Human Rights Office who “is available to all members of the Vancouver Island University community for consultation regarding human rights, diversity, conflict management, or related topics.”
There are no recent cases of the University failing to uphold free expression rights on campus.
The Vancouver Island University Students’ Union (VIUSU) does not reference free expression in its mission statement or any other foundational document.
Policy 10.03, governing student elections, states:
All materials must be approved by the CRO [Chief Returning Officer], DRO [Deputy Returning Officer] or designate prior to use or posting. In the case of posters, each poster must be signed and numbered. The approval process shall occur within twenty-four (24) hours of material submission to the appropriate electoral official. Materials containing factual inaccuracies, defamatory statements or those considered to be in contravention of federal or provincial statute shall not be approved.
Policy 40.02, “Club Administration”, has a section on harassment and discrimination:
Clubs shall refrain for [sic] any activity or the publication of literature that promotes hate or the discrimination against a person or groups of persons based on their race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, nationality, religion, family or marital status, physical or mental disability, age, sex, sexuality, gender, gender identity, or conviction for a criminal charge.
The VIUSU does not take positions outside its mandate.
The authors are not aware of the VIUSU discriminating against students because of their views, nor of VIUSU denying access to resources on campus to students or student groups with unpopular messages.