This past week the Women in Engineering hosted a 3-day event from November 26-28 titled “14 Not Forgotten.” The event was hosted to commemorate the 14 women who lost their lives during the mass shooting at l’École Polytechnique in Montréal on December 6, 1989.
At approximately 4p.m. on December 6, Marc Lepin entered the school with an assault rifle intent on murdering women in the building before committing suicide. As a result, in 1991 the Canadian government established December 6 as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, also informally known as White Ribbon Day.
In acknowledgement of the tragedy, universities across Canada host annual events to commemorate the women who lost their lives. The UBC Okanagan Women in Engineering chose to paint the symbolic “E” located outside the Engineering, Management and Education building a bright white in remembrance of the late students of l’École Polytechnique.
Additionally, the UBC Okanagan female engineers distributed white ribbons to students, faculty and staff from a booth near the EME entrance as a symbol of support for the abolition of violence against women.
On the evening of November 28, the Women in Engineering concluded their three-day commemorative event by screening the movie “Polytechnique,” a film based on the occurrence.