Starting this week, there are 94 Pride flags displayed on banner poles across campus to celebrate the Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer (or Questioning), Intersex and Asexual communities (2SLGBTQIA+). We sincerely thank all the students, faculty and staff who dedicated their energy to this project—a prominent symbol of our commitments to diversity and inclusion.
First installed on campus in October—Queer History Month—of 2022, the Pride flags are raised to represent and support a sense of belonging for 2SLGBTQIA+ communities at UBC Okanagan and are proudly displayed to signal our campus as an inclusive and welcoming space for all. Additionally, the flags are emplaced to inspire meaningful learning through education and conversation, as well as build connections by and for all community members.
In addition to these striking visuals, the Associate Vice-President, Students portfolio has helped to facilitate celebratory programming, including events and community building efforts, in collaboration with campus partners such as the Equity & Inclusion Office (EIO), the Positive Space Committee and the SUO’s Pride Resource Centre.
These efforts are just some of the ways that we are advancing our access and inclusion-related goals stated in Shaping UBC’s Next Century, the university’s strategic plan. UBC identifies inclusion as a “commitment to access, success and representation of historically underserved, marginalized or excluded populations.”
Celebrating our diversity and developing greater competencies to promote inclusion for all members of our campus community is an essential part of this commitment. This includes creating opportunities for meaningful learning through education and conversation.
All members of the UBCO community are invited to join in this celebration of Pride and are encouraged to participate in the programming and educational opportunities listed below:
- Visit the EIO Pride Flag website to learn more about the banner/flag campaign and what each flag represents.
- Explore the UBC Equity & Inclusion Positive Space: Foundation online course about sex, sexuality and gender diversity, as well as review the Strategic Equity and Anti-racism Framework and Roadmap for Change.
- Learn about the expectations of all UBC community members to promote a respectful and discrimination-free environment as outlined in UBC Statement on Respectful Environment (revised 2014) and UBC’s Discrimination Policy SC7. Discrimination Policy (ubc.ca)
- Attending Pride Programming events such as the annual Pride Picnic (October 19, 2023) and the celebration of the banners (October 16, 2023).
- Learn more about the support offered by the SUO’s Pride Resource Centre.
UBC has a responsibility to foster campus living, learning and working environments where the human rights and dignity of all students, faculty and staff are respected and protected. If this has not been your experience or you have concerns related to discrimination, please contact the human rights advising team at the Equity & Inclusion Office.
Before engaging others in dialogue related to the Pride flag banners or other 2SLGBTQIA+ inclusion efforts, consider reviewing the respectful dialogue and debate: principles and practices and resources to guide more respectful conversations. For support on unit-level equity and inclusion efforts, you can request a consultation with the Equity & Inclusion Office.
Associate Vice-President, Students
Director, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Anti-Racism