Demand the University of Waterloo and St​.​Jerome's University to hold BJ Rye accountable

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On May 29th, 2020, the University of Waterloo (UW) made a statement online declaring its commitment to value and foster respect among campus members and beyond, without exception. In the post, UW also condemns any and all forms of racism within and outside of the UW community and stands with members that have been affected by recent racist acts (referring to actions that are taking place after the George Floyd incident). 

However, as many students suggested, UW have indeed, in the past, allowed acts of racism and discrimination by not condemning the acts of Prof. BJ Rye. BJ Rye is an associate professor at the Department of Psychology in St. Jerome's University College. According to students who have taken classes with Rye, Rye is notorious for using the n-word in class. Students who felt uncomfortable with Rye's usage of the n-word expressed their concerns to Rye. Afterwards, Rye proceeded to use the n-word in conversations and equated the usage of the word "gay" on the oppression it has on people similar to the n-word. She also recommended a book to titled the n-word to the students who expressed how the word made them feel, disregarding the student's concerns and justified the usage of the word. Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association, St. Jeromes's University and Human Rights, Equity & Inclusion @ UWaterloo have reached out to the effected students through social media. However, there has not been an apology or statement from the Univerisity of Waterloo nor St.Jerome's University College, where Rye is still employed. 

We, the students, the people, believe that UW did not address this incident equally and many of us fear that UW is no longer a safe space for students of all backgrounds. We would like UW to hold accountability for the actions of its staff members and reprimand those that violates the safety of students. CONDEMN and STOP racism through action, not words. 

As a person of colour, I personally feel unsafe by the inaction of UW on this incident. As a personal effort to draw attention to this issue, I will not be paying the University of Waterloo my Spring term tuition until actions are in place to restore the faith of students. Please share this petition to reach more people and demand justice. 

Note: The content of this petition has been reviewed and approved by the effected student.

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