UBC Rec apologizes for misplaced April Fool’s joke, promises to better accommodate students for sporting events

The UBC Rec Centre issued an apology for an inconsiderate April Fool's Day joke.

On April 1, UBC Rec posted a joke letter on the UBC Rec Point Blog saying that the wall used in the annual Storm the Wall intramural event will be lowered from 12 to 10.5 feet in future years. The letter also said that "a ramp will also be installed between the two walls to accommodate differently abled participants."

After being called out on their ill use of humour by numerous Twitter commentators, UBC Rec revised the letter to remove the line about the ramp and issued an apology.

Aaron Miu, marketing & communications manager for Athletics and Recreations, is the one in charge of looking over content before it is published. He said that the letter was published before he had a chance to look at it and should never have gone out.

"There was commentary that was included in there that made light of accessibility and our programming, a portion around a ramp and making it accessible for paraplegic or disabled athletes," said Miu. "That's the part that, in particular, I believe should have never gone to print."

Miu also said that once he realized that the post had gone out, he edited the post to cut out the statement about the ramp and included an apology.

"The second version that you see is simply just the edited version," said Miu. "As soon as I realized that that had gone out, I went in, revised it, and included an apology at the end of it."

According to Miu, UBC REC will be working with Access & Diversity and holding discussions with their own employees to make sure that future sporting events are more accessible to all UBC students. In the past, they've worked on accessibility on a case-by-case basis when athletes came up to them with concerns about specific events, but hope to implement a more structural change in future months.

"It is a piece that should have never gone to print and it was done in error and poor taste," said Miu. "It's not indicative or reflective of the programming or the values. I recognize that it's not just about a retraction or a statement, as much as it around culture change within program training, I think both for our program staff and as well as here at the university."

-With Files from Kosta Prodanovic