News Briefs — Sept. 22

INCLUSIVE BATHROOM SIGNAGE ON THE WAY

UVic announced on Sept. 2 that it would be fitting more than 75 single-stall washrooms on campus with gender-neutral signage by the end of October.

The signs are part of UVic’s “continuing commitment to meet the needs of a diverse campus community,” according to an article published in the Ring. In that article, Ron Proulx, executive director of facilities management, said “[we] are adapting the same universal standards and symbols that are used for public washrooms in many buildings and communities.”

Speaking with the Martlet, Proulx said the washrooms will have the male/female figures removed and replaced with signs that show which facilities are available behind the door, such as urinals, toilets, or changing stations.

Regarding similar signage for multi-stall washrooms, Proulx said there are no plans currently, “but there are talks.” Further consultation on such a decision would be required, Proulx said, but no timeline of when that might happen was provided.

YOUTH ARRESTED ON SEXUAL ASSAULT CHARGE AFTER REPEAT OFFENCE

Saanich police arrested a youth at about 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 17 after he rode behind a woman that was running in the Cadboro Bay Road/Lauder Road area and grabbed the woman’s buttocks. Police were called and the arrest was made shortly after.

The youth is the same suspect who was arrested on the evening of Sept. 11 following reports of a young man masturbating in the bushes along the chip trail that runs near Gordon Head Road. Saanich police are now recommending the youth be charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of breach of an undertaking given by a judge or justice.

Prior to the Sept. 19 arrest, police said they were looking at the Sept. 11 incident as part of a wider joint investigation with Oak Bay PD into 11 other incidents that have occurred with “similar fact patterns” in the last several months, including an incident the evening prior where a woman running on the chip trail alongside Gordon Head Road was grabbed from behind by a suspect on a bicycle.

UVIC MATHEMATICS AND STATISTICS PROFESSOR PASSES AWAY

Martial Agueh, a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, died on Wednesday, Sept. 14. He was 45.

Agueh was described over email as “an excellent mathematician and a much-appreciated instructor” by Rod Edwards, chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. One student on Twitter said Agueh was patient and insightful, and that he would be missed.

SHOELESS JOE AUTHOR AND UVIC ALUMNI HAS DOCTOR-ASSISTED DEATH 

W.P. Kinsella, the Canadian author of numerous works of fiction and poetry, including the story that formed the basis of Field of Dreams starring Kevin Costner, died on Friday, Sept. 17, in Hope, B.C. He was 81.

Kinsella, who described himself as “one of these people who woke up at age five knowing how to read and write,” completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts at UVic in 1974, and went on to write over 30 books of fiction. He received the Leacock Medal for Humour in 1987, as well as many other accolades.

Kinsella was also a Martlet contributor during his time at UVic, penning two features for the paper in 1973. He will be missed.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS RATIFIES CLUB AFTER EXTENSIVE DEBATE

The UVSS board of directors voted to ratify the University Christian Ministries club after heated debate on Monday, Sept. 19. Concerns around the club’s alleged homophobia and transphobia were brought forward by UVic Pride rep Alexis Masur, who said they had experienced it firsthand at other universities.

Kevin Tupper, director of finance and operations, and Emma Kinakin, director of student affairs, cautioned the board of the risks that come with not ratifying the club, including a potential lawsuit. Tupper was adamant that the club should be ratified, and that any complaints should be brought to UVic Equity and Human Resources.

After a session in camera where the board discussed legal ramifications, it ultimately voted to ratify the club with funding to the amount of $124.24 for the fall semester, and further motioned to have the club present to the board at a future meeting so it may address concerns brought forward.

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