We are representatives of the Students of Caribbean and African Ancestry (SOCA) student group at Simon Fraser University. We are a racialized and equity-seeking group in the Rotunda Community who are advocating for the reconciliation, the redressing of wrongs, social and racial equity though values such as inclusivity, representation, social-justice and community-building.
BACKGROUND ON SOCA
After consultations with the BuildSFU project in 2013/14, the SFSS assured the various groups that the process would be smooth and that the groups housed in the rotunda would be allocated space in the organizational suites of the new SUB.
In the architectural report it can explicitly be seen that the rotunda groups are allocated space, alongside other bookable rooms such as the 22 booking rooms that can be found on various other floors of the building. Six rooms were to be allocated for the Rotunda Community and one for the napping room. The 6 groups to be allocated space in the Rotunda are FNSA, SFPIRG, CJSF, SOCA, Women's Centre and Out On Campus.
SFU extended SFSS’s sublease with only one view in mind, that groups, especially SFSS groups housed in the Rotunda would be saved. But for the CEO to communicate in our meeting that SOCA 'just can not have dedicated space' is disingenuous.
News article 2013/14: https://the-peak.ca/2014/05/build-sfu-presents-sub-architectural-designs/
The term "institutional racism" describes societal patterns that impose oppressive or otherwise negative conditions on identifiable groups on the basis of race or ethnicity. Oppression may come from the government, schools or the court.
Institutional racism shouldn't be confused with individual racism, which is directed against one or a few individuals. It has the potential of negatively affecting people on a large scale, such as if a school refused to accept any African Americans on the basis of color.
SOCA's DUE PROCESS
SOCA has exhausted all available avenues to get our voices heard.
Would you be able to meet us on Wednesday, April 4th, or Thursday, April 5th, in the morning?
Please let me know ASAP as Martin's calendar fills up quite quickly. We would meet in the Maggie Benston Centre, room 2234.
Many groups having concerns:
We call on the SFSS:
1) To provide an extension to the leases for all Rotunda Groups Spaces
2) To vote to provide spaces for the Rotunda Groups in the Students Union Building
3) If the SFSS refuses to make amends to the situation we call on all board of Directors to apologize and resign due to the embarrassment of the SFSS and this Artificially created SUB Space Crisis.
4) To Remove Martin Wyant as CEO of the SFSS