UCRU promises to do better after meeting with MP who has an 'unscrupulous' past

Elisa Do
March 10, 2022
Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes

C/O Undergraduates of Canadian Research-Intensive Universities

After a statement of apology, the Undergraduates of Canadian Research-Intensive Universities promises to develop new policies and procedures

cw: Mention of sexual violence

On Feb. 19, the Undergraduates of Canadian Research-Intensive Universities released an apology for engaging with Member of Parliament Kevin Vuong.

For those who don’t know, UCRU is a union of different university student groups across Canada who come together to advocate for better undergraduate university education. The McMaster Students Union is one of UCRU’s members.

Every year, UCRU carries out a federal lobby week to meet with a number of MPs and have discussions about student issues. These lobby weeks allow UCRU to present concerns to the federal government and seek support from the MPs.

This year, UCRU’s lobby week took place in the last week of January. On Jan. 25, UCRU met with MP Kevin Vuong.

Vuong serves as the MP for the Spadina—Fort York constituency and originally ran as a Liberal candidate in the 2021 federal election. When news broke that Vuong was charged with a sexual assault in 2019, that had since been withdrawn, the Liberal party disavowed Vuong. As a result, Vuong now sits in the House of Commons without any party affiliation.

Vuong’s election was not well received and many have condemned associations with Vuong.

Following the lobby week, on Feb. 18, UCRU posted an Instagram story containing Vuong.

UCRU has now apologized for engaging with Vuong and said they will cease engagement with Vuong.

Denver Della-Vedova, current President of the MSU and chair of UCRU, said that UCRU unfortunately did not have any vetting procedures in place this year.

However, UCRU has now begun developing policies and procedures to make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again.

“We are committed to ensuring we have a better vetting process and have some steps that we can take in advance to ensure that we are not supporting any individuals that are unscrupulous,” said Della-Vedova.

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