Students at Queen's University are documenting widespread racism and discrimination
Institutions across the country have been taken to task in recent months over racist histories and practises amid the Black Lives Matter movement, and students at the Queen's University Smith School of Business are now publicly sharing their own experiences of discrimination.
An Instagram page titled Stolen by Smith has circulated widely in recent days, and it allows students from the business school to submit and document the racism and prejudice they say they frequently experienced throughout their time at the institution.
"CW: Experiences of systemic violence. Documenting discrimination at, by, and in Smith School of Business," reads the bio of the Instagram account.
The page was inspired by a similar account created for Black students at Harvard Law, which has 5,257 followers as of July 13 at 3:20 p.m.
The Stolen by Smith account has a total of 10,800 followers as of the same time, and 208 posts have been published documenting instances of racism and discrimination.
"As a gay man of colour from a lower socio-economic class (relative to the Queen's norm), I knew in the first month at QC that I was an outsider, a diversity pick and quite frankly unwanted," reads one recent anonymous submission.
"I adapted my demeanour downplay my ethnicity, sexuality and economic status. The racism is so entrenched in that faculty and student white majority that I remember sitting in ops class and having my white straight professor expressing his distaste for Trudeau's 2016 cabinet — as he thought the pick should be on merit only insinuating none of the 'diverse' cabinet members were actually qualified (silence in the class ensued)."
Other submissions include stories of white students proudly singing the n-word at parties, POC students being told to "go back to where [they] came from," several young women detailing sexual assaults, many students expressing that they felt they didn't belong if they didn't come from a wealthy and white background, and more.
The majority of the submissions are nameless, but many of the posts are nonetheless filled with comments expressing empathy and support for the negative experiences had by so many students who just didn't fit the mould.
In an update posted two days ago, the two students who started the Instagram account, Kelly Weiling Zou and Meena Waseem, said action is being taken behind the scenes to ensure that actual change comes as a result of these stories.
"As of right now, I am working of current Smith School of Business students and alumni to compile a list of initiatives that we want to see implemented or changed in the school. We are working to ensure that our proposal is thoroughly supported and substantiated by date," the post reads.
"More information on the proposals that we are putting forwards will be available soon. Please stay tuned and continue to disrupt the Smith School of Business."
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