Queen’s releases 2021 Campus Climate snapshot report

QCC details findings from student experience survey

Queen’s plans on consulting stakeholders to combat campus issues.

This article discusses sexual harassment and may be triggering for some readers. The Journal uses “survivor” to refer to those who have experienced sexual assault. We acknowledge this term is not universal.

On Jun. 29, the Queen’s Campus Climate (QCC) 2021 snapshot report, which details findings from the student experience survey, was publicized to students in an email from Principal Patrick Deane.  

The survey was conducted in March by soliciting email responses from students across campus. According to the QCC, this initiative came in response to the August 2020 Declaration of Commitment to Address Systemic Racism

The survey provided a measure by which Queen’s assessed its adherence to Equity, Diversity, and, Inclusion (EDI) policy.

“Your voices will help inform and measure the way Queen’s addresses equity, inclusion, anti-racism, and anti-violence initiatives,” Deane said in the original email sent to students.  

“We have made some progress, but we know we need to do more.”  

The QCC looked at perceptions of campus diversity and inclusion along with experiences of sexual violence on campus.

The survey is planned to be repeated every two years, according to an email sent to The Journal from Corinna Fitzgerald, assistant dean of Student Life and Learning, and Stephanie Simpson associate vice-principal (Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusion).

According to the QCC, 5,469 students—including full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students—participated. 

Out of this group, 696 first-generation students, 467 international students,118 Indigenous students, 1,429 racialized students, and 641 students with disabilities responded to the survey. 

“We will be completing faculty-level and other analyses that further detail the experiences of certain demographic groups to ensure alignment of efforts across campus. Faculties/schools will be able to use the data to also inform their practices, processes and action initiatives,” Fitzgerald and Simpson wrote. 

The QCC also collected data on student experiences with harassment and discrimination. Five per cent of respondents reported experiencing harassment or discrimination at Queen’s. In response, the University is considering how to improve harassment and discrimination policy. 

“As part of ongoing implementation of the university’s new harassment and discrimination policy and procedures, a working group is developing actions to help raise awareness of the policy, the complaints process, and more broadly, issues related to harassment and discrimination,” Fitzgerald and Simpson wrote.

The survey also dedicated a significant portion to sexual violence on campus—including asking respondents questions on bystander responses, reporting to campus authorities, and the ability to obtain support. 

According to Fitzgerald and Simpson, the university is committed to working with relevant stakeholders on sexual violence and harassment in response to the QCC findings. 

“The university’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Task Force (SVPRTF), whose membership includes several student representatives, will review all of the data related to sexual violence and determine responses to the findings.”

The QCC report stated the Student Advisory Group will work to identify actions which will create a student engagement strategy for the return of students to campus. 

“Since the release of the snapshot report, the Student Advisory Group has met throughout the summer to start to identify actions and co-develop a student engagement strategy for the fall term and beyond,” Fitzgerald and Simpson said. 

Fitzgerald and Simpson added members of the group have a wide range of experiences that allow for the student perspective to be adequately represented.

“Members of the group are student leaders who have valuable lived experience and/or roles on campus that reflect a wide range of student groups and perspectives. Some are currently working in student staff roles at the university and are involved in this capacity; the others are being similarly compensated for the time, energy and input.” 

Fitzgerald and Simpson added that the survey and report are also being shared with other relevant student and faculty groups. 

“The snapshot had been shared widely with departments, units, and campus stakeholder groups, including the SVPRTF, and the Provost’s Action Group for Gender and Sexual Diversity, to engage the campus in actions moving forward,” Fitzgerald and Simpson stated. 

“We will continue to engage the campus community in the fall, and provide regular updates on actions.”

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

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