Queen’s seeks feedback on harassment & discrimination policy

First round of consultations to end this month

The policy is expected to be finalized by May 8.
Journal File Photo

The University is looking for feedback from the campus community on the policy proposed to deal with harassment and discrimination.

The current policy was last revised in 2000, however, the University introduced an interim policy in 2016. In 2018, the Harassment and Discrimination Policy and Procedure Consultation Working Group was established to create a comprehensive policy.

The consultation process will result in an updated policy outlining what harassment and discrimination is and how it should be dealt with at Queen’s.

“Queen’s values the input and feedback of everyone in our community,” Lon Knox, University secretary and chair of the working group, wrote in a statement to The Journal.

“It is important in reviewing policies that we hear from as diverse a group as possible of those impacted by the policy to ensure we consider multiple perspectives and that the result is balanced, fair and effective.” 

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The first phase of the policy consultation began Dec. 14 and ends Jan. 29. Three items are up for review: the draft Harassment and Discrimination Prevention Policy, a draft complaint procedure, and a draft reporting procedure.

Students, staff, and faculty can provide feedback by filling out an online survey, sending comments to univsec@queensu.ca, or requesting an audience with the Working Group. The University is also holding direct consultations with various stakeholder groups.

According to Knox, the consultation process is going “very well” and many members of the campus community have shared detailed feedback.

He said the Working Group and the University’s Senior Leadership Team will review the feedback before the policy documents are updated and posted for the public to see. This review process will take place from Feb. 8-12.

“In terms of this policy, we are particularly interested in hearing from students,” Knox wrote. 

“We recognize the concerns that have been expressed about racism and other hateful incidents that have occurred on our campus and the expressions of confusion about how to address unacceptable conduct.”

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The second phase, in which the campus community can make additional feedback, will begin Feb. 22. Following another review, the final version of the policy will be made available March 16, commencing the third phase of the process.

In this phase, the policy will be approved by the Senior Leadership Team, endorsed by the Senate, and finally approved by the Board of Trustees. The process is expected to conclude May 8.

“The student voice is very important to the Working Group as we work to put the appropriate mechanisms in place to adequately respond to these matters.”

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