OTTAWA, CANADA (TheBadgerCA) – In the wake of its recent cancellation of free yoga classes due to “concerns of cultural appropriation”, the University of Ottawa student union is not taking any chances and moving to further ban culturally-sensitive items and services. The student union has generated a list of items that will also be removed from the campus, including Chai tea, incense, Indian food. As well, according to student union president Monika Lepeau, “you know, brown-people things”.
Said Lepeau “These days with political correctness, racism and such, we have to be sensitive to people’s needs. These yoga classes that they were doing were free, but I’m sure they were talking about spiritual stuff that people who just wanted to stretch without all the god-things. And it would be that ‘chakra’ stuff and the elephant-head god, which is totally cool, but people don’t want that. So, because ‘yoga’ was Indian, like ‘India’-Indian, not ‘North American’-‘First Nations’-Indian, not that they’re not important either, they just don’t do yoga, so we were worried that the spiritual stuff would be offensive to the India-Indian people, so we stopped it.”
When asked why the other India-based items and services were also banned, Lepeau and her board realized that there was a slippery slope. “I mean, if we had to ban yoga because it was Indian, but all kinds of other things were as well. Like, did you know that Chai tea is Indian? I had no idea. And it’s so sad that we have to get rid of that, too, because I love Chai lattes but you have to be sensitive. Same thing with the Taj Indian Cuisine restaurant in the food court, it’s just culturally insensitive to expect them to give you rice and curries and whatever, so better safe than sorry. Basically, most brown-people things are going to be off-limits. It’s just because of us wanting to be sensitive and also ISIS, which is horrible by the way.”
Lepeau is in her third year of University of Ottawa’s Cultural Studies program.