UVSS: Why you always lying?

The June 7 Third Space Meeting had 9 collective members present. I was one of them. At the start of the meeting, the chair discussed that this meeting would be confidential and similar to an in-camera meeting because of the confidential nature of information that would be shared.

The 3 UVSS Directors in the room agreed to stay in the meeting, and the room door was closed immediately after. We went on to share personal details about our experiences in the Women’s Centre. We talked about sensitive information like on-campus safety, disability, reproductive health, and things of that nature. We were asked to put our concerns in writing so it could be further investigated, and we said no. This information is confidential and should stay here. We only wanted to alert the executive directors about issues that concern us as students.

2 days later, we were told that this information was not confidential because it happened in a public space. We consider this a breach of our confidentiality and trust. Mackenzie’s response showed a disregard of confidentiality, and a lack of consent and accountability.

It deeply saddened me to read in the Martlet on June 15 that the UVSS claims that we mentioned that the meeting was confidential halfway through. Like I mentioned earlier, this was mentioned at the start of the meeting, and there are 8 other collective members as witnesses, excluding myself.

The Women’s Centre and UVSS both acknowledge that it was mentioned that the meeting was confidential. Mackenzie Cumberland then disclosed this confidential information to management and other members of the UVSS without our consent. Instead of being accountable for her harmful actions, Cumberland has chosen to tell lies to the Martlet about what took place during the meeting.

Regardless of when we mentioned that the meeting was confidential, it should not make a difference. Sharing sensitive information about members of our collective is not okay. It’s worse that we asked Mackenzie not to and she still disregarded our requests. We were not informed that our stories and concerns would be forwarded to another UVSS committee. She did not inform us until after this process started. She then told us that we have no right to confidentiality because we are not a legal entity. This is unacceptable. You do not have to be a legal entity to have a right to ask for sensitive information to be kept confidential.

Mackenzie Cumberland claims she was carrying out her fiduciary duty, forgetting that she also has a fiduciary duty to members of the student funded organization that pays her salary. Mackenzie’s poor ethics also speak to her inability to do her job as the Director of Finance and Operations.

We will not stop protesting her unethical actions. In the meantime, don’t let Mackenzie’s breach of our confidentiality distract you from the fact that she gets paid over $30,000 per year from your student fees. Our student fees are going to a financially failing organization, with a board member who has questionable ethics. If she cannot respect confidentiality, she certainly cannot represent my best interests as a student.