Provost & Associate Vice-Principal announcement addresses students affected by current traumatic events

Instructors encouraged to consider ‘the profound and unprecedented stresses being experienced by many students at this time’

Student Nicole Osayandè advocated for additional academic accommodation for students impacted by recent traumatic events.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

In a message to students on April 26, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Mark Green and Associate Vice-Principal (Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusion) Stephanie Simpson announced they have encouraged instructors to provide additional academic accommodation and flexibility for students in light of the recent killing of Daunte Wright in Minnesota and the final verdict regarding the murder of George Floyd on April 20.

“We have encouraged instructors to take into account the profound and unprecedented stresses being experienced by many students at this time, and to provide flexibility for students to complete their courses successfully,” reads the statement.

In the announcement posted on OnQ, the university’s learning management system accessed by all students, Green and Simpson acknowledged that these events have “resurfaced trauma for Black community members in the US and Canada.”

“Black students at Queen's have been deeply impacted by daily reminders of their vulnerability to state and other forms of racist violence at an already stressful time in their lives academically.”

Prior to the announcement, Nicole Osayandè ArtSci ’21, advocated for academic accommodation to aid coping students on social media, encouraging other students to reach out to the University and demand supports for Black students.

“I think this situation has shed light on a few flaws within the systems of the institution. The need for academic accommodations for Black students and other marginalized groups isn’t something we should have to fight for, as we are struggling enough,” Osayandè wrote in an email statement to The Journal.

“I really hope this is not a one-off act on behalf of the university and that they continue to work towards making Queens an inclusive space for all.”

In their message, Green and Simpson also shed light on the rise of anti-Asian racism in the US and Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic: “With recent anti-Asian killings, many Asian students are also struggling to cope with racist hostility and assault.”

“We know that oppression is intersectional and that other racialized and marginalized communities, such as Indigenous and 2SLGBTQ+ communities, have been impacted by rising inequity and violence.”

The administrators encouraged affected students to reach out to Student Wellness Services and other supports.

Screenshot of Provost and Associate Vice-Principal's message to students. 

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