PEI

UPEI's Queer Collective says Love and Sex Week not inclusive enough

UPEI's Queer Collective says the school's Love and Sex Week fell short of being as inclusive as promised.

The UPEI Student Union apologized for 'any hurt or offence that has been caused'

Love and Sex Week was hosted by the UPEI Student Union between Feb. 12-16. (CBC)

The Queer Collective, a newly formed student group at UPEI, says the school's Love and Sex Week fell short of being as inclusive as promised. 

The UPEI student union issued a statement online apologizing for "any hurt or offence that has been caused" as a result of the campaign earlier in February.

"Although we intended the campaign to be inclusive and fun for all students, clearly some events fell short of inclusion and diversity," the statement read.

Love and Sex Week was hosted by the student union in the days around Valentine's Day.

It included events such as discussions on healthy relationships, sex education for grown-ups, sex trivia and the use of sex toys.

Queer Collective members Brittany Jakubiec and Justin Clory said their concerns were well received by the student union during the council meeting. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

The Queer Collective presented a letter to the student union at its council meeting Sunday night. The new group formed a couple of weeks ago and says it represents the LGBTQ community on campus.

They said the student union didn't do enough to make all students feel included throughout the week's events.

Love and Sex for everyone

Co-founding member Justin Clory read the letter aloud at the council meeting, outlining what — in the collective's view — went wrong during Love and Sex Week.

The group said it wishes there had been events for queer students. It would have liked to have seen an educational campaign that would have challenged stereotypes and heteronormative biases

The UPEI Student Union statement said they strive for a save and welcoming campus community. (CBC)

The group also said that the Love and Sex trivia event was discriminatory as there were tickets and prizes assigned for either men or women.

"But there's also students who don't necessarily subscribe to certain genders, there's non binary students, there's trans students and they might also not look like the gender on the outside," Clory said.  

"They might be trying to become another to make themselves more comfortable and how they should be. So, it's things like that that discriminated at trivia." 

Not reflective of UPEISU values

The statement by the student union acknowledged that the Love and Sex trivia event on Feb. 14 was "particularly problematic."

"The heteronormativity facilitated at this event is not reflective of the values of the UPEISU and we sincerely regret any harm that was caused," the statement continued.

Justin Clory said Love and Sex week 'could have shown students across campus what love meant, not only for them, but for other people as well.' (CBC)

Clory acknowledged that the student union did make attempts to make the events more inclusive, but that overall, it fell short.

"It could have shown students across campus what love meant, not only for them, but for other people as well," Clory said.

Brittany Jakubiec, also a co-founding member of the collective, said, "Without explicitly being inclusive and queer positive, it didn't open up any dialogue about that kind of representation of love and sex."

The student union said it will reach out to different student groups to learn how to make future events more inclusive.

About the Author

Katerina Georgieva is a multi-platform journalist with CBC Windsor. She has also worked for CBC in Charlottetown, Toronto and Winnipeg.