Racial exclusivity crosses a line

In late January, a friend and I went to a movie night hosted by the Students of Colour Collective (SOCC) at UVic. When we arrived, a host told us the event was for community building and not open to the public. This host explained it was only open to people of colour and indigenous people, and with that asked my friend and I to leave. This individual apologized for the inconvenience, said they didn’t want to assume our backgrounds and added that they were sorry, but it was a closed event.

My friend and I both appear “white,” but we are both Indigenous. We left feeling unwelcome. We didn’t feel comfortable testifying to our aboriginalness in front of a room full of people who just watched us essentially be kicked out of the movie night.

In my opinion, we experienced extreme racism from a student group that claims to “actively work against oppression.” After scouring the SOCC website, I could not locate any information on “closed events,” but this idea in itself seems racist and highly exclusionary. If a room of  “white” people told a person of colour they were not welcome due to their racial appearance, uproar would result. Racially closed events should not happen on our campus.

Victoria Perrie
UVic student