As you may know, there is a big huge election approaching. Many people are encouraging those around them to get out and vote. This week, a professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver sent out an email urging their students to vote. Unfortunately, it also came with an explicit command about which box to check at the voting station. The UBC professor told students who to vote for and has since sent out an apology about the alleged accident.
An email was sent to students of a first-year Psychology class through the university's online messaging system. The message read "Wouldn’t it be nice if every election had a holiday when we could vote? Well, this one does. Thanksgiving Monday, October 14th is the last day for the Advanced Vote. Get out and vote for Joyce Murray. We’re counting on your support!" followed by a link to help students find their voting station. Joyce Murray is a member of the Liberal Party, representing the riding on Vancouver Quadra. Basically, the professor directly advised their students to vote Liberal.
According to a message sent to Narcity from Kurt Heinrich, Senior Director of Media Relations at UBC, the email was a complete accident.
Heinrich explained that once UBC was made aware of the off-putting message, the instructor responsible for the email was contacted immediately. The instructor explained that the whole thing was just a copy-paste mishap.
They allegedly thought that they were copying a generic message encouraging students to go vote. “The instructor simply did not see the reference to the candidate,” said Heinrich. The apparently accidental message ended up being completely partisan and, according to Heinrich, the instructor has sent an apology to the students who received the email.
After a screenshot of the email was shared on Reddit, users expressed their disappointment and discomfort with the partisan message. "I’d definitely be screenshotting that canvas post and forwarding that email to the dean and director. Totally inappropriate," wrote one user.
In response to a tweet about the message, one Twitter user wrote "Some students don’t intend to plagiarize in their work, but it’s a major offence. Professors need to be held accountable or their communications. Read what you send prior to pressing send. It’s not a cryptic message, all she needed to do was read a simple paragraph."
@MonikaGul @UBC Some students don’t intend to plagiarize in their work, but it’s a major offence. Professors need t… https://t.co/NFuj1g8s7N— Rgelderman (@Rgelderman)1571248070.0
It certainly is an incident that could have been avoided with some good old fashioned copyediting. Alas, the message appeared in the inboxes of first-year students and created quite a splash online. Though the user who shared the screenshot asked not to be named, we know they are not the only ones who received the message and subsequent apology.
UBC has been the source of a great deal of controversy lately after an alleged drugging scandal at the fraternities had six women in the hospital at the beginning pf the semester. Next to UBC, Emily Carr has had a rough semester as well with an act of arson shutting down the school.
Stay safe out there, students, and vote for exactly who you want to vote for.