STAND WITH SOCA AND RESIST INSTITUTIONAL RACISM AT SFU!
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STOP SFU’s BLACK COMMUNITY FROM EVICTION BY SLUMLORD STUDENT SOCIETY (SFSS) AND CEO.
Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) has decided to evict the SFU Students of Caribbean and African Ancestry (SOCA) on December 14, 2018!
For over 25 years SOCA has served as a safe community space for students of Caribbean and African ancestry, providing support, advocacy and education.
We are calling on the SFSS to give SOCA space in the new Student Union Building so that black students are not rendered homeless and without a safe community.
SOCA is a student group devoted to creating a safe space for students of African and Caribbean descent and allies on campus. SOCA also partners with a number of organizations such to develop programming and events which promote awareness and the expose the campus community to issues significant to the African and Caribbean Diasporic communities at SFU.
SOCA has operated the Black Community Services Centre located in the Rotunda since 1997. This center has been at the heart of our operations and plays a critical part in supporting our ability to provide a home to a continuously marginalized group at the university.
The SFSS is currently building a new Student Union Building (SUB), and will be giving up its lease on the Rotunda once the SUB is completed. This means that SOCA will need a new home to continue our awesome work of supporting marginalized communities and developing student life on campus.
The action of the SFSS evicting a Black Students Group who have been operating in the TC317 The Black Community Services Centre in the Rotunda for 24 years is a textbook example of institutionalized racism against communities of colour where new developments render the most marginalized groups homeless.
The new SUB has space for SOCA!
The new SUB building has space designed specifically for student organizations like SOCA and ample bookable space for clubs. There are currently “three organizational suites” that will sit empty, yet the SFSS refuses to allow SOCA long-term space in the SUB. Call on SFSS to allocate space to SOCA and other social justice and equity-seeking groups like the Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group (SFPIRG) and the First Nations Students Association (FNSA) situated in the Rotunda.
To continue our existing programs and services SOCA requires the following:
- A permanent space that can be used to support our executive, volunteer teams, and the students and members of the black community who come to our service centre to obtain support and meet other students in a safe space.
- We work closely with other Rotunda groups to collaborate on events which support student needs on campus. In order to continue this work, SOCA needs to be allocated space along with the other rotunda groups such as SFPIRG and FNSA.
Who has the power to meet these needs and house SFU SOCA?
- The SFSS can decide to make right their decision to evict SOCA on the December 14, 2018 and allocate 'organizational suite' space in the SUB to SOCA.
- SFU can support SOCA in its fight to retain a space on campus by publicly announcing its commitment to SOCA being allocated space in the SUB. If SFU stays silent and allows SFSS to makes these hurtful decisions then they will also be complicit in the institutional violence to the black community on campus.
If SOCA is not granted a permanent space, the black community will lose its grounding presence on campus. We continuously hear from members of our community that a physical space on campus where they can meet and develop a sense of camaraderie with like-minded students was critical in surviving their university experience. Without this space, a significant portion of our community is at risk of falling through the cracks and being neglected by larger institutional forces - a microcosm of what is happening to displaced black communities all over in Canada, North America and the world at large. See what has happened to Hogan's Alley right here in Vancouver.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at https://www.sfusoca.ca.
We call on supporters to:
- Share this petition and get the word out that SFSS is making unilateral decisions without considering the needs of marginalized groups such as the Black Students at SFU that SOCA represents.
- Tell the SFU Board of Governors and the Simon Fraser Student Society that you stand with SOCA and support space being allocated to Black Students at SFU. Tweet them at @sfss1 and @SFU using the hashtags #SaveSOCA and #BlackSpacesMatter.
- Email the Board of Directors of the Simon Fraser Student Society and the Administration of SFU, making them know that you support the allocation of dedicated space to SFU SOCA as has been done since 1997. See their emails on our website!
- We call on the SFU administration to support and collaborate with SOCA as apart of their Equity, Diversity and Inclusion initiative in order to meet the needs of the black students on campus.
- We call for the students of the SFSS to take back the leadership of the Student Society from a CEO that has been tarnishing various relationships with the many different equity-seeking groups that make up the Rotunda Community.
- We call on faculty and staff of the SFU and the SFSS to write letters of support from your department and individually to reallocate space for SOCA in the new Students Union Building.
- Share your stories of support, stories of institutional failures against the Black Communities on and off campus. We want to hear your experiences in your own words. Direct Message Twitter account @SFUSOCA and we can tweet your story anonymously or tweet
Come to the Black Community Service Centre in the Rotunda to get more information on the space situation and on how to support us, go to www.sfusoca.ca or email email@example.com
Send letters of support to SFSS Board of Directors:
Jas Randhawa <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jasdeep Gill <email@example.com>
Samer Rihani <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Matthew Chow <email@example.com>
Tawanda Masawi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jackson Freedman <email@example.com>
Kia Mirsalehi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Amrita Mohar <email@example.com>
Kailyn Ng <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jessica Nguyen <email@example.com>
Cameron Nakatsu <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Christina Loutsik <email@example.com>
Natasha Birdi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Russel Dunsford <email@example.com>
Mohammed Ali <firstname.lastname@example.org>
SFU SOCA <email@example.com>
Send letters of support to SFU Administration:
Andrew Petter - President <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Peter Keller - VP Academic and Provost <email@example.com>
Wade Parkhouse - Vice-Provost and Associate VP Academic <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Martin Pochurko - VP Finance and Administration <email@example.com>
Tim Rahilly - Vice-Provost and Associate VP Students and International <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Nancy Johnston - Vice-Provost Students and International <email@example.com>
Erin Biddlecombe - SFU Director of Operations, Planning and Projects <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Kim Hart - Special Advisor on Equity and Diversity VP Academic<email@example.com>
SFU SOCA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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