Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at SFU: July in Review

July 28, 2023

We continue our work towards a more equitable and inclusive campus environment for all. Here is a snapshot of what the Equity Office has been up to in July.

Accessibility Committee: Call for Expressions now closed

On July 13, SFU issued a call for applications to be part of the first Accessibility Committee in the university. This committee will help identify and remove accessibility barriers across all three campuses. Roughly 18-20 people from the SFU community will be selected to comprise the committee. Applications are now closed and the Equity Office is reviewing the applications. 

The pan-university accessibility committee will meet our compliance requirements and address recommendations for public sector employers in the Accessible British Columbia Act. The committee will work on finalizing the interim accessibility framework and plan and building a tool to receive feedback on accessibility to ensure we are creating accessible conditions across our campuses. 

Special Programs Application Approved

Last month, the British Columbia Office of the Human Right’s Commissioner approved our Special Program Application to fulfill our commitment to preferential hiring of at least 15 Black faculty, in tandem with approval for hiring at least 15 Black staff as well. This is a significant milestone in our work to build a more inclusive and diverse community and fulfill our Equity Compass Goal 4 objectives towards Employment Equity. The announcement was shared at the Board of Governors meeting in June and the student co-organizers who brought the motion forward, and staff who worked on the application were recognized at Senate on July 10. 

Read about the process and hear from some of the people involved: B.C. Human Rights Commissioner approves SFU’s plan to hire Black faculty and staff

New report added: Trans Equity Survey 2023

With current world events, transgender, non-binary, Two-Spirit, and other gender-diverse people have good reason to question if their safety and inclusion are prioritized at SFU. Inspired by the work of groups like Out on Campus and of individual trans community members and allies, a group of SFU staff, faculty members and grad students launched the Trans Equity Survey in Spring 2023. The survey produced key data to more clearly identify issues and opportunities to address intersectional gender-diverse inequities at SFU. It also aims to lay a foundation for better communication among 2S/LGBTQIA+ staff and better support collaboration, ally-ship, and resource-sharing regarding trans equity for marginalized people at SFU. The survey results have now been added to our reports page.

Days of Significance

In July, we observed several days of significance. These included Disability Pride Month, Mad Pride Day, International Non-Binary Peoples’ Day and Drug Users Remembrance Day. 

Memorandum of Understanding with Simon Fraser Student Society

We continue to actively pursue completion of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) that allows SFU to intervene on incidents within SFSS that affect students under SFU policies GP 47 (Bullying and Harassment) and GP 18 (Human Rights) as well as GP 44 (Sexual Violence and Misconduct Prevention, Education and Support) as previously established. This MOU is a partnership with SFSS, given that SFSS is independent of SFU’s legal jurisdiction and SFU cannot take over their leadership, governance or operations without specific agreement and their consensus. The draft MOU is currently with the SFSS and progressing through their internal review process. We are hopeful that the MOU will be advanced and finalized over the summer. The MOU covers the conduct of individual students, not the SFSS at large.

EDI-related supports are available

We recognize that the pace of change and local and global current affairs continues to be challenging and has impacts for many in our community. If you are in need of support, please see our list of supports and services and reach out if you need help. 


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