Top story of 2013-14 at #ubc? Failure of accountability for Sauder rape cheer #bced #ubcsauderschool #mba #yteubc

by Stephen Petrina on May 5, 2014

Photo credit: Carmine Marinelli/Vancouver 24hours/QMI Agency

The Ubyssey, April 13, 2014– Starting the year off with a bang, The Ubyssey broke the story that first-years participating in the Commerce Undergraduate Society’s FROSH orientation had been led in a cheer making light of rape. The news shook campus.

As national media jumped on the story, the university scrambled to respond, eventually convening a panel to make recommendations on how to prevent such things from happening in the future.

The Sauder School of Business and its dean Robert Helsley came out of the mess looking less than fantastic. Students said the cheer had been taking place for many years, and there were rumours that Helsley’s predecessor may have been aware of inappropriate events at CUS FROSH.

After Sauder students failed to pass a referendum approving hundreds of thousands of dollars to be put toward the vague goal of mitigating an alleged culture of sexual violence in the faculty, the university was forced to foot the rest of the bill.

The university panel chaired by VP Students Louise Cowin — which, due to pressure from First Nations groups and the media came to include aboriginal issues after a handful of students at FROSH sang a chant related to Pocahontas— came out with recommendations that have mostly yet to be implemented. Read More: The Ubyssey

I appealed directly to Dean Helsley and President Toope with a reworded cheer:

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.

Photo Credit: Arno Rosenfeld, The Ubyssey

More appeals, but still no accountability at the top:

In the fact-finding report, curiously, the words “administration” and “administrator” do not appear while “student/s” appears 46 times. There were no facts to find on administrators or administration?

If it is plausible that of the 11 Assistant and Associate Deans + Dean Helsley, none have responsibilities for “students” in their portfolio, then the President’s Office has failed. That’s a fact of administrative bloat: Between 1999 and 2013, this Faculty’s administrators at that level more than doubled. Yes, Sauder has Dean Muzyka to thank. And increasing tuition and fees have that to factor in. Yet none of these 12 now have any responsibilities for students? I don’t buy that. So is the buck or loonie passed back to the Sauder Dean’s Office?

Similarly, someone or something is failing at the top if of the 12 senior administrators none have curriculum in their portfolio. I find it incomprehensible that it has taken this cheer, a fact-finding report, campus outrage, and nearly 2014 for Sauder to finally get around to, announced on 1 November by Dean Helsley, “Implementing changes in the curriculum to enhance themes of social justice, ethics, gender and cultural sensitivity, and their role in corporate social responsibility and the creation of a civil society”?

A top business school finally getting around to this? In this economy and world? There are 12 senior administrators and none have curriculum and courses in their portfolio? What exactly are they doing? Not all can be running around consulting, like Bob Sutton, teaching CEOs how not to be assholes.