A woman and her dog walks past the UBC sign at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Tuesday, Apr 23, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

UBC issues statement after instructor tells students to vote for Liberal Party

University says partisan messaging was not intentional

The University of B.C. is apologizing after one of its instructors urged their class to get out to the polls – but only if they voted for a Liberal candidate.

The email was sent out to first-year psychology students on Sunday. It starts as a generic reminder for students to vote in advance polls on Monday, but turns partisan at the end.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if every election had a holiday where we could vote? Well, this one does,” the email reads.

“Get out and vote for Joyce Murray. We’re counting on your support!”

Murray is the Liberal MP in Vancouver Quadra, a riding that includes UBC’s Point Grey campus and the western part of Vancouver.

In an emailed statement, UBC senior director of media relations Kurt Heinrich said the partisan messaging was unintentional.

“The instructor… said the reference to vote for the particular candidate in the message was copied and pasted from what was believed to be a simple communication urging the community to vote,” Heinrich said.

“The instructor simply did not see the reference to the candidate. There was no intent to send out a partisan message and the instructor and the department regret the error.”

The instructor will be apologizing to students, Heinrich added.

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