Acuña steps down, students still require action on ten key demands

News Staff - Mon Dec 06, 2021

We have been informed that Ricardo Acuña has stepped down from his position as President of the Association of Academic Staff of the University of Alberta, as students have demanded throughout the Fall 2021 semester. Acuña resigned in a public letter to all AASUA members.

While Acuña's resignation is a promising sign, we hope that AASUA and the University can now focus on concrete action toward sexual violence prevention and response.

Possible reforms (as detailed in the Joint Letter on Sexual Violence Prevention and Response) include reworking the opaque, inequitable reporting and investigation mechanisms in the collective agreement. Students have requested that AASUA and the University further commit to addressing the current standard of erasing disciplinary records after two years, as these sections obstruct establishing, recognizing, or considering long-term patterns of predatory behaviour.

The Joint Letter highlighted these and eight other urgent priorities. The letter was signed by the UASU, Graduate Students' Association, Non-Academic Staff Association, twenty student representative organizations, and over 1,000 individual members of the University community — including academic leaders and anonymous senior staff.

Recognizing that the University has now publicly reiterated their private assurances, we hope they will ultimately take meaningful action based on these ten critical demands.

If you need to talk to someone and are safe to do so, you can call, text, or chat the Alberta One Line for Sexual Violence at 1-866-403-8000. Please also consider the many resources available through the Sexual Assault Centre's Virtual Resource Hub.

For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact:

Ari Campbell

External Relations Specialist

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