Rainbow crosswalk project

- University of Victoria

The Division of Student Affairs and Equity and Human Rights have partnered in a process to determine how UVic should demonstrate what it stands for and how it supports the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities in an authentic, meaningful, and accountable way.

A peer-led consultation process will be launched to address this question, led by a committee made up of students, staff and faculty who identify as part of the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. The committee has asked that UVic respect the process and take the time necessary to consult widely and commit to engaging in meaningful outcomes. As such, (re)painting the rainbow crosswalk between the SUB and Mearns Centre-McPherson Library, a highly visible symbol, is on hold until a conversation with our community can take place and the strength of UVic’s commitments align with our symbolic commitments.

Consultations are expected to run September 2022 through March 2023. Look for ways for to get involved and have your say.

Latest updates

In September 2022 Facilities Management asked to repaint the rainbow crosswalk out of safety concerns that the paint was too worn. It was decided that a white border would be painted around the crosswalk while consultations take place.

Background

A rainbow crosswalk was painted across Ring Road between the SUB and Mearns Centre – McPherson Library in 2016. Concerns were raised at the time that UVic’s lack of policies or practices that explicitly support 2SLGBTQIA+ students, staff and/or faculty made the crosswalk a performative or empty gesture. In addition to the need for clear policy and processes, there is a call for greater safety protocols and practices.

Ongoing violence against 2SLGBTQIA+ communities continues to occur on campus. In particular, violence and transantagonism directed at Two-Spirit, Trans, Non-Binary, Gender Non-Conforming individuals are current issues and these communities experience significant safety concerns on campus.

In 2021 the university shared plans to (re)paint the crosswalk as the paint had been worn over time. This plan prompted a larger consultation process at UVic to address the concerns outlined above.

Consultation process

In February 2021, an initial consultation with the Pride Week Committee took place in response to UVic’s plan to (re)paint the crosswalk.

The initial consultation resulted in recommendations to work with a skilled external consultative group whose team members identify as 2SLGBTQIA+ and/or QTBIPOC to lead an in-depth, trauma-informed and student-centred consultation process. This group has been identified as PeerNetBC .

Get involved

Anti-2SLBTQIA+ comments are not acceptable at UVic and we will be centering the thoughts and needs of 2SLBTQIA+ people in this process.

Consultations are expected to run September 2022 through March 2023. We’ll share ways for you to get involved and have your say as the process unfolds.