Walkhome to begin non-binary employment for upcoming hiring period

 

Walkhome Head Manager Matt Rowland. 

Queen’s Walkhome will begin hiring those who identify as non-binary this spring, following several consultations and an AMS survey.

The service currently uses teams of one self-identified male and self-identified female staff members to assist students in need of a safe walk home, but will change the service team structure organization this upcoming school year.

In an interview with The Journal, Head Manager Matt Rowland said this transition comes from “a place of inclusion.”

Rowland added, he met with several groups in the community to continue the initiative started by his predecessor Shannon Crooks in 2017, who met with Queen’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator Barb Lotan, as well as gender studies experts and members of Positive Space to start the conversation.

He told The Journal last October the new policy could potentially result in a different layout of teams and changes to internal structure and language used in the service.

Going forward, these changes will appear in the hiring applications themselves, which will no longer ask applicants to self-identify as male or female or any questions surrounding gender.

Next year, students requesting walks will be asked if they are comfortable with the team assigned to them before the team is sent out.

He hopes the new framework will “encourage as many potential applicants to apply” as possible.

“The goal of making teams will be one that will give the best possible patron experience,” he said.

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