MINUTES OF THE PRESIDENT’S INTERIM ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR A DISCRIMINATION-FREE CAMPUS
Wednesday, October 16, 2019, at 2:00 p.m, Tabaret Hall, Room 210
S. Bennett, D. Bedward, J. El-Mohtadi, Z. Fellahi, J. Frémont, S. Hussen, J. Koulmiye-Boyce, D. Lussier-Meek, E. Mendes, Y. Naqvi, J. Scott, S. Sherif
N. Badiou, A. Bergeron, R. Bourgeois, M. Gruer, S. Isaacs
An update was provided on the investigation of the June 12th incident and the second phase of the investigation. It was noted that the second half of the report is expected in November 2019, following completion of the second phase of the investigation.
There was also mention of the second incident that took place in early September 2019. As a formal complaint has been launched in relation to that incident, it was noted that it would not be appropriate to discuss this second incident for privacy and confidentiality reasons in accordance with the confidentiality provisions in our Procedure 36-1 (Complaints of Harassment/Discrimination).
The letter dated October 7th, 2019 from various University of Ottawa student associations and the one from University of Ottawa Professors and Librarians dated October 16, 2019 in support of the students were acknowledged. It was noted that the points raised in these letters would be discussed and addressed by the Permanent Committee.
REVIEW OF THE COMMITTEE’S MANDATE AND MEMBERSHIP
Role of the Permanent Committee
It is noted that the Permanent Advisory Committee to the President will be a consultative committee, not a decision making body, and that the President is and will remain ultimately responsible to the Unversity community and Board.
Representation on the Permanent Committee
Student associations will provide a list of groups and persons they would like to see represented on the Committee, with the understanding that the size of the Committee should be small enough to allow for effective and efficient exchange of ideas around the table. Representatives from the community, including from the University’s Board of Governors and from faculties should also be called upon to serve on the Committee, for their expertise. Staff resources will also be called in as required.
Mandate of the Committee
The Committee will focus primarily on racial discrimination as well as intersectional issues. There are other forums to address broader anti-discrimination efforts such as the Dimensions initiative being led by Dr. Steffany Bennett. It was suggested that the Committee look at existing reports (Justice Tulloch report on carding and the Ontario Human Rights Commission report) and implement the best practices found in these reports. Members stress the importance of the meetings being open and transparent.
CONSULTATION OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY
Consultation process with the community
A variety of means should be used to engage with the community, including town halls. The student associations will work with Administration to design the consultative process.