You can create a sense of belonging
Let’s create a “new normal” where everyone feels more included and respected. When we take the extra time to listen and connect with each other, our campuses become a kinder, more vibrant place to work, learn and play—and everyone benefits.
We have a lot of new faces joining us on campus this term—let’s make them feel welcome. Consider asking a new colleague to coffee, giving directions to a lost student or creating extra opportunities for students to connect with each other in the classroom.
Here are some ways you can welcome newcomers to campus:
- Bookmark the SFU Campus Maps page in your phone, or download SFU Snap so you can easily access a map if you’re asked for directions
- Check out these ideas for creating connections in the classroom and pick one to include in your next lecture or tutorial (and according to students, bringing cookies to class is almost always a safe bet for helping them feel welcome)
- Invite a new colleague out for coffee with you and show them your favourite spot on campus
Your classmates or colleagues may have different comfort levels than you regarding physical distancing, mask wearing or other safety measures that go above and beyond the guidelines in our current fall safety plan. Setting and respecting boundaries with the people around us helps create healthier relationships and a healthier campus community.
You’ll often hear the concept of "consent” discussed in the context of romantic relationships, but making it a priority to practice consent and respect other people’s boundaries in all our relationships—whether with colleagues or classmates—is an important step towards building more inclusive spaces.
Here are some ways you can create an inclusive environment as we return to campus:
- Ask about people’s comfort levels when it comes to activities such as wearing masks outside, hugging, eating in restaurants or meeting up in person
- Have open, honest conversations with the people around you and respect their preferences, even if those preferences are different than your own
Learn more about what it looks like to practice consent in our day-to-day lives in this blog post from SFU’s Sexual Violence Support and Prevention Office.
Bullying, harassment, racism, xenophobia, and other forms of hate are not acceptable at SFU. If you witness any of these behaviors, don’t just stand by—speak up. Let’s work towards building a campus community where everyone feels safe.
Here are some ways you can practice being an active bystander:
- Be aware: pay attention to what people around you are saying and how they’re making others feel—for example, be on the lookout for microaggressions
- Use your voice: if you notice someone behaving inappropriately and you feel comfortable speaking up, do so
- Offer your presence: use your body language to indicate that you’re available for support
- Follow up: when someone you know has been impacted by a harmful situation, check up on them later
Read more detailed tips and learn more about what it means to be an active bystander in this blog post from SFU’s Sexual Violence Support and Prevention Office, or visit the SVSPO's Active Bystander Intervention page for more information.
Help is available
If you or someone you know has been affected by an incident of bullying, harassment, racism or hate, help is available.
Reporting bullying and harassment
"Bullying and harassment" is defined by SFU as "any inappropriate conduct or comment by a person towards a member of the university community that the person knew or reasonably ought to have known would cause the member of the university community to be humiliated or intimidated."
This can encompass a variety of disrespectful behaviors, including but not limited to abusive emails or Canvas messages, microaggressions, purposefully excluding someone from classroom discussions or belittling a colleague's efforts.
If you experience bullying and harassment on any of our campuses, or via an SFU-related online platform such as SFU Mail or Canvas, all SFU students, faculty and staff have the right to access support services and make a report. Learn more.
Contacting the Human Rights Office
SFU's Human Rights Office handles complaints related to discrimination based on personal characteristics protected by the BC Human Rights Code, such as age, religion, race or sexual orientation.
If you experience discrimination at SFU based on any of these characteristics, all SFU students, faculty and staff have the right to access support services and make a report. Contact the Human Rights Office to learn more.
Visit the EDI supports page for more information about supports available to the SFU community.