A group of UBC students say they no longer feel safe on campus after a Pride flag flying outside the student union building was burned.
The Pride Collective at UBC said the flag was raised on Friday, February 5 as part of the opening ceremonies for OUTweek 2016, a LGBTQ celebration on campus, but was discovered to have been burned on Tuesday morning. The group said they don’t know who did this, but they’re treating it as a hate crime.
As a result, a march planned for Wednesday has been cancelled.
“We are concerned about the safety of our members, facilitators, and participants, and this is our first priority. Because of this, we are cancelling tomorrow’s Fuck the Cis-tem March,” reads a statement by the group posted to Facebook.
“We are incredibly disappointed and upset that this is what needs to happen to protect the safety of all of our members and supporters because of the external visibility of this event.”
The group said this incident further proves why events like OUTweek are necessary to create safe spaces for LGBTQ people.
UBC said that the RCMP is conducting an investigation into the matter.
“UBC condemns this incident as an act of hate and in contravention of the values of equity, inclusion and respect deeply held by the university community,” reads the school’s statement.
Other OUTweek activities will go as planned, and the Pride Collective has made support services available for students who feel affected by this flag burning.
“OUTweek 2016 will continue and this only strengthens our resolve to continue to be creating safer spaces for LGBTQ+ communities. We ask those who stand in solidarity with us to share this post and information with your networks, as you see fit,” they said.
Mayor Gregor Robertson has requested the pride flag be flown outside of Vancouver City Hall on Wednesday to stand in solidarity with UBC.
— Van Mayor’s Office (@VanMayorsOffice) February 10, 2016