We at the University of Regina offer our sincere apologies for an egregious error in the printing of our Fall/Winter 2020 issue of Degrees, the University magazine.
In referring to a transgender person, we inadvertently used their birthname in lieu of the name that they use. This process is known by many in the 2SLGBTQ+ community as “using their deadname.” We recognize that this is not only incredibly offensive, but is a violation of their privacy and identity, and carries psychological and emotional trauma for the victim. Though this error was unintentional, using a deadname in the magazine was, and is, inexcusable. For that, we are deeply sorry.
We are taking the following actions to help address this particular situation, including:
- Destroying undistributed and repossessed print copies of the Fall/Winter 2020 issue of Degrees;
- Correcting the error on the Degrees magazine downloadable PDF;
- Initiating a limited print run of Degrees magazine with the error corrected; and,
- Ensuring that 2SLGBTQ+ content appears in the Spring/Summer 2021 issue of Degrees
Members of the University’s Executive Team, as well as University Advancement and Communications (UAC), the unit responsible for the production of Degrees magazine, have offered a sincere apology directly to the person we harmed. As an organization – and as people – we have committed to working with them and the UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity to ensure that we take action to mitigate the hurt we have caused to them and the 2SLGBTQ+ community – a community that we value greatly.
Through meaningful conversation with the affected person and UR Pride, the University has come to understand that current policies and practices have inadvertently affected others, albeit in not as public a manner. We understand that while the person harmed by this mistake is known to us, many trans and non-binary students, faculty, and staff at the University experience acts of deadnaming and/or misgendering on a daily basis within our campus community. We would like to also offer an apology to all those trans and non-binary people, and their loved ones, who we have harmed in this way, without knowing.
As we move forward, the University is committed to continuing our training for staff through our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) office and UR Pride to ensure that institutional communications are sensitive to the 2SLGBTQ+ community and inclusive in nature. Additionally, a review of processes related to individual naming policies will be undertaken to find ways to better manage situations involving naming in the future.
The University is inviting those in the 2SLGBTQ+ community to work with us so that to the degree it is possible we can atone for damage we have caused in the past, and implement ideas for creating a more inclusive campus. To share ideas, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through UR Pride at email@example.com.
The University is also offering sponsorship of UR Pride’s GSA Outreach program, which helps to educate youth and their teachers in Regina schools about 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion.
The University has identified well-being and belonging as a priority within its most recent Strategic Plan, with a commitment to EDI as a major institutional goal. Creation of an EDI Action Plan is underway to promote and help build an inclusive organizational culture that integrates EDI considerations into teaching, research, and learning.
We recognize that this long-overdue work is just beginning, and that we have far to go to cultivate an inclusive environment – one that is stronger as a result of diverse perspectives. Together, we will move forward in creating a more positive, inclusive, University of Regina that fulfills our Strategic Plan’s vision to “reflect the world in which we want to live.”
University Advancement and Communications