Queen’s harassment & discrimination policy in final round of feedback

University reviews first round of feedback, updates draft documents

The deadline for the final round of feedback on the policy is March 5.

The University has initiated the final round of feedback on the revised Harassment and Discrimination Policy and Procedure.

The policy and its procedures were initially up for review from Dec. 14 to Jan. 29. The Harassment and Discrimination Policy and Procedure Consultation Working Group and the University’s Senior Leadership Team reviewed this feedback from Feb. 8 to 12.

While the policy was last revised in 2000, Queen’s introduced an interim workplace policy in 2016. The current proposed policy is intended to replace both.

According to Lon Knox, university secretary and chair of the policy working group, the consultation process has been “very successful.”

“Our consultation on the [policy] is continuing and has thus far been highly useful and valuable to the Working Group to ensure both documents remain effective in representing Queen’s commitment to a respectful, inclusive, and safe learning and work environment,” Knox wrote in a statement to The Journal.

READ MORE: Queen’s seeks feedback on harassment & discrimination policy

The University released a document summarizing the first round of feedback and outlining how it could change the policy, which is visible in the most recent draft. 

The policy now includes a link to the list of bargaining units and associations, a new section that addresses the role of unions under the policy, and a new section clarifying the role of various offices in assisting individuals in filing formal complaints or reports. 

The complaint and reporting procedures have also been amended to clarify complaint timeframes: concerns are expected to be put forward within one year of a given incident, but delays are acceptable if they occur in “good faith” and do not result in “substantial prejudice” to any person affected. 

Clarification regarding harassment and discrimination on the basis of religion was also added to the policy. It now lists the Office of Faith and Spiritual Life as an official resource and includes contextual discussions of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

“Our goal in seeking public input was to seek thoughtful and considered feedback from individual faculty, students and staff and to engage broader forums like [the University Council on Anti-Racism and Equity] and Senate,” Knox wrote.

The final round of feedback closes March 5. Faculty, staff, and students can review the proposed policy, complaint procedure, and reporting procedure on the Secretariat website and provide their comments via email to univsec@queensu.ca.  

Following the March 5 deadline, the feedback will be reviewed from March 8-9. Phase three will commence on March 16, when final versions of the policy will be posted online. 

From March 16 to May 8, the final documents will be approved by the Senior Leadership Team, endorsed by the Senate, and approved by the Board of Trustees.

“Feedback continues to come in, which is helpful in ensuring that our policy and procedures reflects the needs of our community members,” Knox wrote. “We anticipate that the policy and procedures will move forward for approval at the May meeting of the Board of Trustees.”

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