Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

We aim to create an environment that promotes equity, diversity and inclusion for all of our community members, and to ensure people’s rights are respected and that equity and inclusion are integrated into all aspects of the Institute.

IOF has an Institute-wide Respect, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) Committee. This committee is working to improve the climate of the department and to provide support to anyone who needs it.

Useful Guidelines

  • Respect, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) Committee
    The REDI Committee has been working to create resources that provide information about REDI policies, initiatives, and support within IOF and across UBC. Terms of Reference
  • Code of Conduct
    The REDI Committee has been working over the last few years to develop an IOF-based Code of Conduct. This was completed in June 2023 (with the assistance from UBC’s Equity and Inclusion Office) and is available now.
Committee Members
Rashid Sumaila Interim Faculty and Chair r.sumaila@oceans.ubc.ca
Christopher Harley Faculty c.harley@oceans.ubc.ca
Neil Maclean Staff n.maclean@oceans.ubc.ca
Valentina Ruiz Leotaud Staff v.ruizleotaud@oceans.ubc.ca
Haley Oleynik Student h.oleynik@oceans.ubc.ca
Mahynour Saleh Student m.saleh@oceans.ubc.ca
Anna McLaskey RAPD a.mclaskey@oceans.ubc.ca

These representatives will not take action on anyone’s behalf. They cannot file complaints or host meetings, for example. Instead, the mandate of the Committees is to provide guidance by sharing the options that are available on campus, attending meetings with you so that you are not alone (if you wish), accompanying you to appointments with university officials, or just lending a sympathetic ear if you need someone to talk to. Conversations with the REDI Committee or Faculty Liaisons are confidential, unless you share that you have a desire to hurt yourself or someone else (in which case they are obligated to report it).

IOF Statements

UBC Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries wishes to express unwavering support for and commitment to inclusive education, which includes sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). As an educational unit, we’ve seen firsthand the benefit and importance of embracing and celebrating the principles of SOGI both within our community and beyond in order to create a safe space for students, faculty and staff to thrive academically and socially.

The increasing backlash against efforts to enhance the human rights, accessibility, inclusion and wellness of sexual orientation and gender identity minoritized peoples is extremely concerning. The waves of anti-SOGI protests planned across Canada do not align with IOF’s values. IOF is committed to universal human rights and fundamental freedoms – which are extended to all citizens.

We are very concerned to hear of any human-rights based discrimination, and encourage our students, faculty and staff to uphold and support our 2SLGBTQIA+ students and communities. IOF is committed to responding to, and addressing, any concerns of human rights-based discrimination. To the 2SLGBTQIA+ community at IOF, know that you are valued and that we stand behind you.

If you are experiencing hate or discrimination, or if you witness discrimination, support is available. Below is a list of available supports and resources at UBC:

  • For safety and security planning or to report an incident of hate, please contact 911 in case of emergency or contact UBC Campus Security at UBC Vancouver (604-822-2222).
  • For confidential advising on experience of harassment and discrimination, please contact the human rights team (604-827-1773) at the UBC Equity & Inclusion Office.
  • Students can also access:
    • AMS Safewalk is available from 8pm-2am if you want support walking across campus (604) 822-5355.
    • Student Health Services at UBC Vancouver;
    • UBC Student Assistance Program (SAP), a 24/7 wellness resource for UBC students: UBC Vancouver(1-833-590-1328);
    • Counselling support through the Student Counselling Services at UBC Vancouver (604-822-3811)
  • Employees can access counselling support through the Employee & Family Assistance Program (1-866-424-0770).
  • If anyone needs to reach out for emotional support, consider calling Trans Lifeline at (877) 330-6366, Crisis Centre BC at 1 (866) 661-3311, or Crisis Services Canada at 1 (833) 456-4566.

You can also download the UBC Vancouver Safe App.

Other Resources:
Any members of our community who feel uncomfortable, are encouraged to walk between classes with others, or stay home and take advantage of appropriate concessions.

If you are feeling unsafe, please consider visiting safe spaces open to you at the Women’s Centre (open later today), the Hatch Gallery in the NEST is open today from 10am to 10pm for anyone looking for a safe space and/or for those who need to decompress. There is also the Resource Lounge

Please also remember that the AERL building is card-access only after 5pm.

Following our colleagues at Dalhousie University’s Department of Biology’s recent statement of solidarity, the IOF wishes to express that it too stands with Mi’kmaw fishers.

The Canadian courts have unambiguously recognized the right of the Indigenous fishers to fish to support their livelihoods, and we respect the rule of law and abhor the use of violence for settling disputes.

We strongly denounce the acts of violence perpetrated against Mi’kmaw harvesters pursuing their rights, and also denounce any claim that such actions are justified in the name of conservation. There is no credibility on biological grounds to the conservation concerns, given the terms of the fishery initiated by the Mi’kmaw community.

We call on the Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia, and the RCMP, to support and protect Mi’kmaw harvesters as they pursue their legal fishery. We further call upon Minister Jordan of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to support the creation of a fisheries management regime that embraces Mi’kmaw rights and establishes new, effective measures for conservation and protection of livelihoods of all harvesters in coastal communities.

The Institute for Oceans and Fisheries is proud to stand in solidarity with UBC’s Black Student Union and all people protesting police violence against Black people in Canada and the United States.

Systemic anti-Black racism is not limited to the United States, but also thrives in a Canadian context. Racism is a global issue and one that impacts all of our communities, including here in the IOF and at UBC as a whole. Black people in academia face many barriers that we as a community must actively confront, including lacking a sense of belonging, limited access to outdoor experiential education or field research, and microaggressions on campus.

We join UBC President Santa Ono in denouncing and condemning anti-Black racism, as well as all other forms of racism, including the ongoing oppression of Indigenous peoples, and the anti-Asian racism that has surged as a result of the COVID epidemic.

The IOF is committed to continuing the work we have begun to foster diversity, equity, inclusion, and wellness within and beyond our community. We commit to confronting racism in our classrooms, our hiring practices, our faculty meetings, our labs, our fieldwork, and in the communities in which we live and work.

We look forward to having each of you join us in this journey. If you are interested in helping to shape the directions we take moving forward as a department, please consider joining the IOF Equity, Inclusion and Wellness Committee by emailing Neil MacLean. Graduate students can join the IOF Student Society’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee by emailing Ron Togunov.


UBC Policies on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

UBC has a number of resources and policies related to harassment, discrimination and more. Please see below for further reading on these policies:

UBC Codes of Conduct for Students, Faculty & Staff

All UBC students, faculty and staff are expected to adhere to their respective Code of Conduct (CoC) and can be held responsible for violating the terms of the CoC, even when not on campus and/or when interacting with people who are not associated with the University. Please familiarize yourself with relevant CoCs here:

What should you do if you experience behaviour violating these CoC’s? The most important thing to know is that if you have experienced behaviour that violates the CoC’s, you are in the driver’s seat; you decide how things proceed. You have a number of options, both formal and informal.

Informal pathways are those that are done outside of making a formal complaint through the University. For example, you could request a meeting with the person who violated the CoC to talk about what you experienced. The EDI committee can help you find someone to mediate such a meeting and could attend to provide support if requested.

If you would prefer to speak with someone outside of IOF, the Office of the Ombudsperson can provide informal assistance.

You always have the option to place a complaint by following the University’s formal pathways, with or without contacting the REDI committee. Formal pathways depend somewhat on the type of behaviour and which policy it violates.

UBC has a number of formal pathways through which you can file complaints like the University Counsel and the AMS (Alma Mater Society), depending on your specific situation. You can make a complaint by reaching out to the following resources at UBC:

AMS Advocacy & Ombuds Office
Phone: (604) 822-9855
Email: advocate@ams.ubc.ca
On-Campus: The Nest
Rm 3118-6133 University Blvd. Vancouver, BC

  • Assist students facing bureaucratic challenges and disciplinary committees of UBC
  • Support for non-academic misconduct (harassment, vandalism of University property, stealing), academic misconduct, housing appeals and other issues
Office of the Ombudsperson for Students
Phone: (604) 822-6149
Email: ombuds.office@ubc.ca
On-Campus: Room 240 – 6328 Memorial Road
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6T 1Z2

  • Independent & confidential resource to help students address concerns about unfair treatment at UBC
  • Provides resource information, makes referrals, identifies university processes & policies, and more
Office of the University Counsel
Phone: (604) 822-1897
E-mail: university.counsel@ubc.ca
On-Campus: C.K. Choi Building
181 - 1855 West Mall, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z2

  • Can advise on UBC governance and legal risk, manage conflicts of interest, and more
Equity and Inclusion Office
Phone: (604) 827-1773
Email: humanrights.advisor@equity.ubc.ca
On Campus: Brock Hall
Room 2306-1874 East Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
Mon - Fri: 830am-430pm

  • Offers discrimination and conflict advising for free, including management and resolution of interpersonal conflicts, facilitation of contentious group conversations and capacity building for having difficult conversations
  • Provides education across UBC about creating a socially sustainable community, mutual respect and inclusion
Sexual Violence Prevention and Response (SVPRO)
Phone: (604) 822-1588
Email: gethelp@svpro.ubc.ca
On-Campus: Orchard Commons
6363 Agronomy Road, Room 4071
Mon to Fri 8:30am-4:30pm

  • Safe place for students who have experienced sexual assault, regardless of when or where it took place, to get the support they need.
  • All gender identities, expressions and sexualities are welcome.
  • If you’ve been assaulted within the last 7 days, there is a special team of nurses at the hospital who can help you. You may need medical attention even if you don’t have visible signs of injury.
  • If you have been drugged, choked, strangled or have difficulty breathing, swallowing or speaking, go to the nearest hospital immediately.
  • Can help you find somewhere safe to stay, go with you to the hospital/police/court, arrange academic and workplace concessions, and explain your reporting options.

Additional Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Resources

UBC Counselling Services
Check website for walk-in hours
Phone: (604) 822-3811
On campus locations
Brock Hall, 1874 East Mall Room 1040
First Nations Longhouse, 1985 West Mall
Lower Mall Research Station, 2259 Lower Mall, Room 358

Off-campus location
Oak Street Campus, Children’s and Women’s Health Centre of BC
4500 Oak Street

  • Free for students
  • Drop-in and emergency counselling
  • Specific services provided for Indigenous students
  • Sexual assault counselling
  • Can help students with ongoing concerns that are affecting academics, sleep, or motivation, including sadness, stress, anxiety, relationship troubles, loss/grief, past experience of physical, sexual or emotional violence, or other mental health challenges.
  • Wellness Advisors are trained Masters-level counsellors who meet students for a one-time 15-20 minute assessment. They’ll listen to your needs and connect you with resources to best help you reach your goals. This could include self-directed resources, workshops and coaching, group therapy, or individual therapy.
UBC Wellness Centre & Wellness Peers (Student Services)
Check the calendar on the website for daily peer hours and events
Phone: (604) 822-8450
Email: wellness.centre@ubc.ca
Wellness Centre, 6138 Student Union Boulevard, Room 1301
Most weekdays 10am-5pm
  • Free for students
  • Trained student volunteers can answer your questions, talk with you, & recommend resources for everyday concerns related to health, relationships, and workload.
  • Talk to a nurse about any health concern during Nurse on Campus hours
  • Wellness Peers can help with mental health, sexual health, academic stress, and student life.
Student Health Services
Phone: (604) 822-7011
Email: student.health@ubc.ca
UBC Hospital, 2211 Wesbrook Mall
Koerner Pavilion, Room M334
Most weekdays 8am-4pm
  • Offers a wide range of health assessments and treatments provided by doctors, nurses, and specialists.
  • Referrals to specialists (e.g., psychiatrists)
  • Services offered include sexual health and birth control, mental/health illness, sports medicine, injuries and wound care, immunization and allergy care.
  • Students can book appointments online
Empower Me
(Password: “Studentcare”)
Phone: 1 844 741-6389
(toll-free in North America)
  • Free phone line, free with AMS/GSS plan
  • Direct connection to a trained counsellor through 24/7 helpline
  • Multiple languages, gender inclusive, confidential, faith inclusive, culturally sensitive
Hope for Wellness Helpline
Toll-Free Helpline: 1-855-242-3310
Online Chat
Chat: 24/7
  • Indigenous-specific support and immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada
  • On request, phone counselling available in Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut
  • 24/7 phone & chat counselling available in English and French as well
KUU-US Crisis Line Society
Adult/Elder: (250) 723-4050
Child/Youth: (250) 723-2040
Phone: 24/7
  • Indigenous people throughout British Columbia and callers from the Port Alberni area can call this 24/7 number if distressed
Graduate Student Society (GSS) Advocacy
Phone: (604) 822-3203
Email: advocacy@gss.ubc.ca
Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
  • Confidential assistance provided to graduate students by graduate students
  • For those experiencing academic and/or non-academic difficulties, including academic misconduct, bursaries, harassment & discrimination, & more
Law Students’ Legal Advice Program
Phone: 604-822-5791
Please note that LSLAP cannot give legal advice over the telephone.
Office hours: Mon – Fri: 10am-4pm
  • Non-profit run by law students at Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC to provide free legal advice & representation to clients who would otherwise be unable to afford legal assistance
  • Clinics throughout the Lower Mainland, with ability to set up Chinese language appointment at Chinatown clinic (call (604) 684-1628)
Aboriginal Student Affairs
Phone: (604) 827-5467
UBC Faculty of Arts, Buchanan D 112B, 1866 Main Mall
  • Supports the success of new and continuing First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students through providing guidance and answering any academic and course planning questions that you may have
Indigenous Portal
  • Resource for information relating to Indigenous spaces, programs, initiatives, research and services that are available on the UBC Vancouver campus, including the Longhouse, First Nations House of Learning, Xwi7xwa Library and more
  • Provides information about general services like a directory of Academic Advisors on campus, information about Housing, Childcare, Recreation and Counselling, and much more.
First Nations Health Authority
Toll free: 1.866.913.0033
Health Benefits (toll-free):
501-100 Park Royal South
Coast Salish Territory
West Vancouver, BC
V7T 1A2
For Health Benefits in-person inquiries please visit the Alberni office at:
1166 Alberni Street, Room 701
Coast Salish Territory
Vancouver, BC, V6E 3Z3
  • Health and wellness partner to over 200 diverse First Nations communities and citizens across BC
  • Provides community-based services are largely focused on health promotion and disease prevention which include primary health care; children, youth and maternal health; mental health and wellness; and much more
AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC)
Phone: (604) 827-5180
Email: sasc@ams.ubc.ca
AMS Nest
6133 University Boulevard, Room 3127
Every day 8am-10pm
  • Crisis and emotional support for sexual assault survivors and their friends and family members
  • Referrals to other services as needed
  • Services include Crisis and short-term emotional support, support groups, advocacy, education and outreach, community lending library, and a resource area.
Battered Women’s Support Services
Crisis Line: (604) 687-1867
Email: information@bwss.org
Wednesdays: 10am-8pm
Other Weekdays: 10am-5pm
  • Provide education, advocacy, and support services and work toward the elimination of violence from a feminist perspective that promotes equality for all women.
  • Services include a crisis and intake telephone line, counselling, support groups, and several programs tailored to specific groups (e.g., Indigenous Women’s Program; AWARE Program to help women find employment; LGBTQ2S and non-binary survivors of violence group; etc. Full list
AMS Food Bank
Phone: (604) 822-2371
Email: foodbank@ams.ubc.ca
UBC Life Building
LIFE 0032, 6138 Student Union Blvd
Mon & Thur: 10am-4pm
  • Emergency food relief service for UBC students that offers non-perishable foods, personal hygiene supplies, budgeting tips and information on additional resources
  • Allows all UBC students requiring emergency food relief to use the Bank up to 6 times per term (Terms: Sept – Dec, Jan – Apr, May – Aug)
  • Referrals to other Lower Mainland food banks and sources of financial assistance
AMS Colour Connected Against Racism
Facebook page
Email: colourconnectedubc@gmail.com
  • AMS resource group that works to end racism, and all forms of oppression, discrimination and prejudice.
AMS Pride Collective
Email: prideubc@gmail.com
The Nest
Resource Groups Centre
Rm 2103-6133 University Blvd. Vancouver, BC
  • This is a resource group that offers educational and social services dealing with sexual and gender diversity to the UBC community, including but not limited to students, staff, and faculty.
  • Provide support and information to those who self-identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, non-binary, two-spirit, asexual, queer, questioning, intersex, other identities, those who do not identify and allies
  • Assists people who are coming out and supplies a forum for dialogue about sexuality and gender identity.
AMS Women’s Centre
Facebook page
Email: ubcwomenscentre@gmail.com
The Nest
Rm 2113-6133 University Blvd
  • This student run organization has been the voice for women’s needs and issues at UBC.
  • See here for more women’s resources