2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Photo by Ethan Langenberger

Youth for Discourse shuts down website after leaked screenshots

By Nazeefa Ahmed, Daman Singh, March 21 2024—

On Mar. 8, leaked screenshots surfaced on the U of C subreddit showing comments made by members of Youth for Discourse (YFD), a club registered by the Students’ Union (SU) Clubs office. 

YFD is a club that aims to hold debates on “controversial political topics”. Since Mar. 8, the club has deleted their Instagram account and changed their website to a private setting. However, the YouTube channel is still accessible to the public

“Our mission is to make a change not necessarily in terms of political reform, but rather a cultural change in the way that people engage in politics. We hope for a less divided, less hateful political culture in which diversity of thought is not only respected but welcomed,” reads a statement from their Club Hub profile. 

Of the many comments made, one member posted a neo-Nazi edit and additional Nazi symbolism. Based on the screenshots, it is unclear as to who sent them. 

One member asked YFD President Jonathan Barazzutti to ban the individual but he refused as he gave the individual a warning and also believed at the time that it was not as serious. 

As of Mar. 15, Youth for Discourse is listed on the SU Club Hub website. In a statement to the Gauntlet Vice President Student Life Ermia Rezaei-Afsah states that the SU is not affiliated with Youth for Discourse and that the SU is not responsible for messages sent on club discords. 

“If students have concerns with clubs, they should direct those concerns to the Student Conduct Office. Student Union executives do not monitor clubs, nor is the Clubs office responsible for the action of said clubs, which as mentioned before, are third-party organizations,” said Rezaei-Afsah. 

All Registered Clubs under the SU are required to abide by the SU Registered Clubs Policy. However, Section 8.4 states that the SU is not responsible for investigating any complaints of misconduct by clubs. If a club is found to violate the Student Non-Academic Misconduct Policy, then the club is no longer allowed to remain registered with the SU, according to Section 6.2.

The Gauntlet reached out to the Student Conduct Office about the screenshots on the YFD discord. In a statement, they condemned all acts of hate speech and clarified that all clubs and associations, undergraduate or graduate, are accountable to the Student Conduct Office. 

“The University of Calgary condemns hate in all forms. For anyone affected by such messaging, please reach out to any of the various counselling and support services available to students, faculty and staff. The health, safety and well-being of all members of our campus community is our top priority.”

“The Student Conduct Office is responsible for considering the conduct of individual students. The Student Non-Academic Misconduct Policy applies to students’ “actions, interactions, and behaviours that take place […] when participating in a University club or organization, or a student club or organization, including student clubs or organizations sanctioned by the Students’ Union or Graduate Students’ Association,” the statement read. 

Continuing in their statement, the Student Conduct Office referred students to the SU clubs manual for advice and guidance over concerns about student activities. 

“In general, if a student has concerns about another student’s conduct in the context of a club, we encourage them to review the relevant section of the Students’ Union Clubs Manual which includes further advice and guidance on how to respond, as well as referrals to resources and supports available through our office. Students can contact our office regarding concerns via the online reporting form on our website.”

More information about club policy can be found under the Policies section of the SU website

Hiring | Staff | Advertising | Contact | PDF version | Archive | Volunteer | SU

The Gauntlet