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BCCLA Partners With UBC Students for 2010 Olympics

Vancouver, B.C. – The B.C. Civil Liberties Association announced today that they are partnering with the Student Legal Fund Society (“SLFS”) at the University of British Columbia to introduce an Olympic legal preparedness program for UBC students. The SLFS was established after the APEC protests of 1997 to support student access to campus and student rights through litigation and legal education.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with this organization that has its roots in one of the most notorious student rights violations in UBC history,” said Robert Holmes, President of the BCCLA. “We laud their decision to partner with us in trying to ensure peaceful and lawful exercises of free expression, observance of events and prevention of conflict, and avoid using resources to respond via litigation after the fact.”

The BCCLA is matching a contribution of $18,550 by the SLFS to hire a part-time student liaison worker who will coordinate the delivery of 11 workshops over five months training at least 330 students, half in “know your rights” and half in legal observing. The funding includes guaranteed student access to a hotline with pro bono legal assistance during the Games, twenty-five student legal observer teams to observe security force conduct at the Thunderbird Arena and elsewhere on campus, and reporting mechanisms for UBC students to report unusual activity.

“By being as transparent as possible about the goals of this program, and by working with students, administration and security forces in partnership, we aim to contribute to the creation and maintenance of an atmosphere where APEC-like issues are never repeated,” said Holmes.

The BCCLA is currently hiring a part-time coordinator of the program. Those with experience working with student groups and administration at UBC are encouraged to apply. Given the short timelines, resumes and cover letters are due by Monday, October 26 and can be emailed to [email protected] Not all who apply will be called for an interview.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Emily Griffiths, SLFS, (778) 835-2846
Rob Holmes, President, (604) 681-1310 or (604) 838-6856
David Eby, Executive Director, (778) 865-7997