16
Mar
09

UBC BUREAUCRACY AND RCMP CANCEL ACF REVIVAL

Press release from the AUS Social Committee:

March 16, 2009 – Despite months of planning and organization, Arts County Fair will not be not be revived in 2009. Approval for the Arts Undergraduate Society’s (AUS) April 3, 2009 event has been denied by the UBC Classroom Services and the RCMP.

This event, a revival of the largest student run event in Canada which was forced to be cancelled due to logistical difficulties in 2007, was to be held on Main Mall between the Flag Pole Plaza and Neil Wyman Plaza. Preparations and early promotions were already underway, in the assumption that an agreement in good faith could be reached with all relevant parties.

During the process, the AUS consistently approached concerns with nothing but good faith and a willingness to compromise in order to ensure that this event could take place. Through such a process, Capt. Bill Douglas of Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services and the AUS were able to modify the event plans appropriately, gaining the approval of the VFRS. Similar meeting took place with the RCMP’s Sgt. Dan Wendland.

Classroom Services denied the AUS’ request to book the Main Mall venue on February 26, 2009, citing “concerns raised by internal parties at UBC.” AUS requests for more information, including suggestions on how to change the event plan to gain approval were not answered. The AUS began an appeal of Classroom Services’ decision, finally being granted a meeting with Classroom Services staff.

On March 13th, the AUS was notified by Classroom Services that the RCMP’s University Detachment has was refusing to entertain any request for the Main Mall venue, despite verbal agreements to the contrary. “I was shocked at the decision,” said event organizer Mike Kushnir, “I had expected that the good word and the handshake of Sgt. Wendland would hold our agreement in principle until other logistical difficulties could be dealt with.”

The AUS and RCMP had tentatively negotiated a capacity of 2,500 patrons, on the clearly stated understanding of the AUS that, in order to ensure sufficient supplementary police resources would be available, the AUS may be expected to cover some of those costs.

The AUS is disappointed by the lack of willingness to negotiate and collaborate in good faith on the part of Classroom Services. The inability to secure meetings to engage in a dialogue regarding existing concerns was a significant problem Рonly after speaking with senior administrators in the VP Students office was a request to meet with Justin Marples, head of Classroom Services, granted.  During the meeting Marples was adversarial and disrespectful, displaying the lack of good faith that has characterized this process.

The AUS had been willing to make significant changes to event plans and specifically meet with and address concerns of campus stakeholders. “It seems to me as if we were the only ones in this process with any willingness to come to the table,” said AUS President Avneet ‘AJ’ Johal.

The Arts Undergraduate Society is the largest undergraduate constituency within the AMS, representing over 10,000 students in the Faculty of Arts. For further information, please contact Mike Kushnir at 778-388-3876.

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1 Response to “UBC BUREAUCRACY AND RCMP CANCEL ACF REVIVAL”


  1. 1 Ashley
    March 16, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    UGHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Bullshit. HMPH.


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