Within the last five days, the page has posted more than 100 stories.
Kelly Zou, a fourth-year Commerce student at Smith who says she has experienced racism during her time as a commerce student, started the initiative so anyone can share their story anonymously.
“We experience these small micro-aggressions and these are difficult to deal with but because they happen so commonly at the smith school of business, they get brushed under the rug and we have to internalize them into understanding that’s what it’s like at Queens, and that’s not OK,” says Zou.
The dean of Smith’s school of business, Brenda Brouwer, has acknowledged the Instagram page through a statement to Global News which states in part, “The experiences being shared on @StolenbySmith have exposed issues of inequity, exclusion and systemic racism in the school of business that cannot and will not be ignored. The input of the Smith community is an integral part of this process.”
Stories shared through the page come from current and former students who speak to discrimination by the administration and groups as well as other students at Smith.
Posts range from people saying they’ve been excluded from groups because of their race, to being affected by gender stereotypes and financial barriers.
One post states, “As a person of colour, I learned far more at Queen’s about race than I did about business…”
And another post says, “My skin colour was being used to depict the idea that Queen’s commerce was a diverse place.”
Brower went on to commend Zou in her statement saying, “The courage of Kelly Weiling Zou in founding a platform for frank and open discussion, and of the marginalized students and alumni who have shared deeply painful experiences, must be recognized.”
“I’m tired of administrative statements that say something is going to happen but in my 4 years here I haven’t seen those steps taken or any action taken,” says Zou.
Zou says she understands that institutional change is slow but hopes that this page will put pressure on the Smith administration to make concrete changes and support marginalized students.
“The time for change is now.”