STATEMENT RE: Acts of Hate Against Ukrainian Students at Carleton University
In the early hours of Tuesday, January 24, 2023, CUSA was made aware of an event featuring pro-Russian propaganda being held in the University Centre that evening. CUSA immediately contacted the University calling on them to rescind the room booking. Unfortunately, the University failed to act on our request, which put the safety and security of our students at significant risk.
CUSA was later made aware that the event was being promoted as CUSA affiliated/certified programming. To be clear, the groups and organizations responsible for hosting and booking this event are not certified as a Club by CUSA. Under CUSA’s Community Standards Policy, we work to ensure that all community space is safe for all members of the Carleton community and do not tolerate the enticement of hate on campus at every stage, especially when it comes to our affiliated groups.
CUSA firmly supports the Carleton Ukrainian Students’ Club recommendations and is appalled by the actions that have taken place in recent days. CUSA has been and will continue to be an ally of Ukrainian students on campus, with no room for support of the actions of Vladimir Putin or the Russian state.
As the regime in Moscow has decided to expand the terror unleashed in this war to university campuses, CUSA has and will always advocate for the interests of Ukrainian students and those opposed to this unjustified attack on Ukraine, its culture, and its people.
The event caused harm to our student population, and we must make it clear that we would never support such an event; we made every effort possible to prevent the event from occurring and would have rescinded the room booking had it been done through our office. Furthermore, CUSA and all our spaces, businesses, clubs, and service centres will never affiliate with groups that promote violence and fear or threaten students’ safety on campus.
CUSA acted quickly to attempt to cancel the event before realizing we had no way in the matter. We advocated to those with control to cancel the event and removed posters promoting the event from our boards. Ultimately, CUSA did everything within its power to end the event and is dissatisfied with it continuing anyway.
Shortly after the event, CUSA staff arrived on-site to ensure that the individuals responsible for this event would not continue their actions in any of our spaces. In addition, CUSA staff sent along mental health resources to the Carleton Ukrainians community.
The information we received indicated that OPIRG booked the space for the event, and we took swift action to contact them for confirmation. However, OPIRG is not aligned with CUSA, and CUSA has limited direct control over OPIRG. Given that OPIRG receives a student levy from every student on campus, control over the group’s funding lies with students, who could initiate a referendum on this fee.
On Wednesday, January 25, 2023, the CUSA President sent an email to the group responsible for organizing this programming, making it clear that CUSA will support students hurt by this Russian Propaganda event and will be moving forward in lock-step with their recommendations. We have not received a response from them regarding their involvement in booking the space which allowed this demonstration to take place.
CUSA staff have been working very closely with the Carleton Ukrainian Students’ Club since their certification in 2016 and the beginning of the Russian attack on Ukraine in 2022 to advocate for and ensure proper resources and support are being provided to the Ukrainian community on our campus. At every step, CUSA has consulted a member of the Carleton Ukrainian Students’ Club when making any decisions or advocacy efforts that concern Ukrainian students on campus, and we are committed to continue doing so.
We will not forget the actions that have led to a Pro-Russia propaganda rally in the heart of campus. We will let the Carleton Ukrainian Students’ Club and members of the Ukrainian diaspora lead our response to ensure there is accountability for this event.
Calls to Action
CUSA affirms our support for Ukrainian students, condemns any hate symbols and acts against the Ukrainian community on campus, and stands in solidarity with all students affected by these acts of hate, violence, and discrimination against Ukrainian students. We are appalled to see this destructive, intolerant, and dangerous behaviour striking our campus, and we will continue to support Ukrainian students in every way possible. We’re going to be in solidarity with Ukrainian students long after Russia is expelled from Ukraine to ensure the Ukrainian diaspora locally has the support they need for their culture and community to persist forever.
- OPIRG space booking privileges removed.
- Call for a referendum.
- Council adoption of stance on this matter.
If you are a Ukrainian student who has been impacted by these acts of hate and/or who needs additional resources, please contact Lana Volkova, Assistant Director (Acting) at the International Student Services Office (ISSO): LanaVolkova@cunet.carleton.ca. You can also contact CUSA President, Anastasia Stoikos-Lettieri at firstname.lastname@example.org, who will redirect you to the appropriate campus dept on a case-by-case basis.
You can also follow this link to access CUSA and Carleton University Mental Health Resources: https://students.carleton.ca/2022/08/mental-health-resources/
If you are a student who has witnessed or who witnesses an act of hate on campus, please contact Campus Safety immediately using their emergency phone number: 613-520-4444. Any graffiti or symbols can also be reported to them directly at the non-emergency phone number: 613-520-3612. If preferred, you may also email Campus Safety at CampusSafetyServices@cunet.carleton.ca. Campus Safety will work with FMP for clean-up and refer to the appropriate campus department if a policy is violated; they work closely with Equity and Inclusive Communities on matters that involve human rights violations. While FMP monitors buildings for graffiti, reporting is imperative to ensure that removal can be actioned promptly. You may also report it to the CUSA President at email@example.com, and your report will be actioned with the relevant campus stakeholders immediately. For additional support you can contact the Carleton Ukrainian Students’ Club at CUkrainians@gmail.com.