An accountability cheer for UBC #ubcsauderschool #mba #bcpoli #bced #ubc #yteubc

by Stephen Petrina on November 7, 2013

The Ubyssey, November 6, 2013

All together now: A.D.M.I.N.!

A is for we like Accountability!
D is for it will be Deferred!
M is for the Money that runs the show!
I is always for I point the other way when the heat is on!

All together now!

UBC President Stephen Toope and Sauder School of Business dean Robert Helsley, how accountable is it to let two student executives of the Commerce Undergraduate Society (CUS) take the fall for the Sauder rape cheer?

At Saint Mary’s University, where a similar cheer took place, Student Union president Jared Perry said, “I tender my resignation.”

At UBC, Enzo Woo and Gillian Ong, president and VP engagement of the CUS respectively, resigned.

All together now: A.D.M.I.N.!

A is for we like Accountability!
D is for it will be Deferred!

A month and a rushed fact-finding report later, the administration at UBC remains entrenched solely in damage control. Curiously, the words “administration” and “administrator” do not appear in the fact-finding report [“student/s” appears 46 times].

Protect the brand! Especially now. Especially for commerce. No resignations, no accountability.

However, amidst the smoking guns and smoking pipes of politics back east, UBC’s rape chant is still making headlines.

On Oct. 31, the CUS rejected a referendum to approve a $200,000 allocation for student counselling and education on sexual abuse and violence.

Still talking but not walking, Helsley issued yet another statement that he was predictably “deeply disappointed.” Why? Maybe because it is time for Helsley to walk and for Toope to walk the talk.

From all optics, it is the students who are taking care of business — resigning, reflecting, self-governing, voting and regrouping. Students have realized that lines were crossed and are dealing with it. Given the rejection of the referendum, are the students simply saying they are dealing with their own behaviour?

Administrators, figure out what your role is for oversight of students in the 21st century. Enough of remaining “deeply disappointed” that students are not assuming your accountability.

There is an apparent culture of entitlement within Commerce. That may be why neither the president’s office nor the Sauder dean’s office have tendered resignations, cut salaries or revoked budget lines. We dare not conclude that atrocious chants originate or thrive within these cultures, yet one may draw conclusions that a culture of entitlement hurts accountability at the top in times like these.

This entitlement is apparent when faculty contracts are negotiated, with Sauder’s breakaway faculty association independently bargaining for bigger pieces of the pie for themselves; when the Sauder chief is appointed to oversee the University’s budget; and when its bloated administrative lines are sacred.

Yet to this moment in the throes of the rape chant controversy, not a single Commerce administrator has resigned, and the President has pulled not a single line.

Potentia ad Populum,

Stephen Petrina, professor

Read More: The Ubyssey