Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 80.17
Liaison Mike Wilson
Submission Date May 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Victoria
PA-5: Diversity and Equity Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.89 / 2.00 Cassbreea Dewis
Executive Director
Equity and Human Rights
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a diversity and equity committee, office, and/or officer tasked by the administration or governing body to advise on and implement policies, programs, and trainings related to diversity, equity, inclusion and human rights?:

Does the committee, office and/or officer focus on students, employees, or both?:
Both students and employees

A brief description of the diversity and equity committee, office and/or officer, including purview and activities:

The Equity and Human Rights (EQHR) office leads UVic in developing and coordinating plans, policies and procedures to promote equity, diversity and inclusion in employment and education. This includes education on equity, diversity, human rights and sexualized violence; assisting with dispute resolution; investigating human rights complaints; providing information and support in cases of sexualized violence; consulting on equity plans; and advising the university on reaching its strategic goals in these areas. There are currently seven positions within the EQHR office, each working on specific areas to continue strengthening equity and diversity at UVic. The positions and their related areas of work are as follows:

• Executive Director of Equity and Human Rights: Provides overall strategic direction for equity and inclusion initiatives at UVic. Advises senior leaders on equity and diversity matters affecting the university. Provides support and advice to team members on complex issues, ensuring alignment with relevant policies.

• Administrative Assistant, Equity and Human Rights: Provides administrative and reception support for general operations of the EQHR assistant.

• Manager, Case Resolution, Equity and Human Rights: Oversees, coordinates and implements EQHR’s responsibilities under Discrimination and Harassment (GV0205) and Sexualized Violence (GV0245) policies. Responsible for case resolution under these policies.

• Case Management Officer, Equity and Human Rights: First point of contact for university community members who are seeking information and support from Equity and Human Rights. Provides information, referrals, guidance, and support to all those that find their way to EQHR, with specific emphasis on the sexualized violence prevention and response policy and the discrimination and harassment policy.

• Human Rights Education Advisor: Researches, designs and facilitates educational programs on human rights discrimination and harassment. Builds networks and partnerships with diverse groups on campus to facilitate information sharing about human rights, social justice issues and UVic policies. Provides some case resolution.

• Manager, Equity and Diversity: Supports implementation of the Employment Equity Plan. Supports other equity and diversity initiatives on campus. Provides education and advice for hiring and search committees. Provides some case resolution.

• Sexualized Violence Education and Prevention Coordinator: Collaborates with key university units and stakeholders to coordinate sexualized violence education, prevention and response on campus. Develops tailored information and education about UVic’s expectations, support options, and trauma informed responses to disclosures or reports of sexualized violence for diverse groups on campus. Provides advice on matters related to sexualized violence, prevention and response.

To ensure that the EQHR office’s work reflects the perspectives and expertise of the campus, Equity and Human Rights engages with a range of task forces and committees in the course of their activities.

The Academic Advisory Committee on Equity and Diversity (AACED) helps to vision and shape the implementation of equity, diversity and inclusion at UVic by serving as a key consultation point for all major equity, diversity, and human rights initiatives and programs that relate to Faculty, Librarians and the academic environment. Members represent departments and faculties from across the campus. For the 2018/2019 period, the AACED took major steps towards drafting terms of reference for other departmental equity committees, thereby integrating a cohesive frame and providing a common resource for both existing and future committees.

EQHR also leads project and initiative-specific committees and advisory groups. These include two advisory committees on sexualized violence prevention and response. The role of the Sexualized Violence Education & Awareness Advisory Committee (SVEAAC) is to help vision and shape the direction of sexualized violence prevention and response at UVic by serving as a key consultation point for all major sexualized violence initiatives and programs that relate to students, staff, and faculty. The committee is a venue for information sharing between units with the goal of implementing a coordinated and consistent approach to sexualized violence prevention. Committee members are key conduits to their units and are responsible for sharing information about initiatives discussed at the SVEAAC and is made up of key stakeholders from across campus including: EQHR, Office of Student Life (OSL), Campus Security (CSEC), Residence Services (RESS), Human Resources (HR), University Christian Ministry (UCM), FR, University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS), and Graduate Students’ Society (GSS).

The Sexualized Violence Special Events Committee (SVSEC) is to work collaboratively to prevent sexualized violence at the University of Victoria. The committee actively works to raise awareness among the student population specifically. It provides them with information and tools to support them in preventing the occurrence of sexualized violence, and to know what to do, and where to go, when it does occur. The primary event that the committee holds each year is Sexualized Violence Awareness Week. The committee is made up of core members, including: EQHR, OSL, UVSS, and AVP. The committee also has Collaborative members which include: Residence Services (RESS), International Student Services (ISS), Vikes Athletics and Recreation (ATRS), Health and Counselling Services, and others as needed.

Project based committees are formed around such initiatives as the anti-racism education plan, inclusive washroom initiatives and religious inclusion project.

Estimated proportion of students that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

Estimated proportion of academic staff that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

Estimated proportion of non-academic staff that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

A brief description of the institution’s cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

At the University of Victoria, there are many opportunities in which students, staff, faculty and members of the general public can part-take in anti-racism, anti-oppression, anti-discrimination and social inclusion trainings and activities. Some examples of these opportunities include but are not limited to:

• Employee mandatory online “Awareness and Prevention of Workplace Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination Training”: Any new UVic employee is sent an onboarding email upon acceptance of their employment offer. Within this email is an Employee Onboarding Checklist that is required to be completed in order to be issued an employee number and set up any new UVic payroll account. Included in this checklist is the online course “Awareness and Prevention of Workplace Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination Training”.

• Mandatory online bystander training for all new students living in residence: All new students coming to UVic are provided information on the New Student Checklist via email, most of which should be completed before arriving at UVic. As part of this checklist, all new students living in residence are required to complete the “Step-in, Speak up” 45-minute online training program that introduces students to the concepts of pro-social bystander intervention and community expectations. While residence students are required to complete this program, the course is furthermore encouraged to be completed by all students attending UVic. This program focuses mostly on educating students on topics surrounding sexualized violence, and how to appropriately go about identifying potentially hazardous situations and subsequently intervening.

• Workshops, courses and training offered by the EQHR office: There are many workshops, courses and other forms of training offered by EQHR at UVic. Targeted workshops are offered to meet particular UVic department’s needs. Courses are available for managers and supervisors, and are offered through UVic’s Human Resources Learning and Development page. Public workshops and presentations are available for the UVic community about human rights, equity, power, privilege, anti-oppression practices, social justice, diversity and inclusion, and many more. Workshop topics include but are not limited to:

o Ways to address discrimination, harassment and bullying
o Creating diverse, inclusive work and learning spaces
o Interpersonal and intercultural communication and conflict resolution
o Challenging privilege, power and oppression
o Equitable recruitment practices
o Human rights volunteering, capacity building and creating partnerships

• Anti-Racism Education: EQHR has developed a collaborative anti-racism education initiative to combat racism and create educational events and programs that directly address the societal and systemic attitudes and behaviors that perpetuate racial discrimination and other intersecting social inequities. This initiative is designed around three intersectional modules: Awareness, Intervener, and Change-Maker. The key objectives are to support UVic staff, faculty and students: to understand anti-racism as a UVic value where as university members, we should embed practices of equity, diversity, dialogue and inclusion in ways that make other members of the community feel welcomed, valued, and supported to achieve their highest potential.

• Events for equity advocacy: In addition to formal training opportunities, UVic also holds events that raise awareness of issues of oppression, racism and discrimination while advocating for equality. Such events include but are not limited to:
o The Walk of Silence to Address Gender-Based Violence which includes guest speakers; provides topics for thoughts during the walk; and ends in the SUB Upper Lounge with art activities, refreshments and thoughts sharing for participants
o 5 Days of Action which provides five calls to action, one for each day of the school week. Each “call” includes curated ideas on what you can read, watch, and do to address discrimination, harassment, and sexualized violence on campus. The purpose of the week is to encourage every member of the UVic community to take concrete steps toward ending discrimination, harassment, and sexualized violence on campus.

Website URL where information about the institution’s diversity and equity office or trainings is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

In 2020, UVic was named one of Canada’s Top Diversity Employers for the ninth year in a row in a national competition. It was recognized for its workforce representation, diversity programs, employee resource groups, formal commitment, unique diversity initiatives, and notably the creation of the world’s first Indigenous law program.

New Employee Onboarding: https://www.uvic.ca/hr/assets/docs/onboarding/employee-handbook.pdf

Workplace Bullying and Harassment Prevention: https://www.uvic.ca/ohse/health/harassment/index.php

EQHR Workshops, Courses and Training: https://www.uvic.ca/equity/education/workshops/index.php

New Student Checklist: https://www.uvic.ca/orientation/new-student-handbook/new-student-checklist/index.php

5 Days of Action: https://www.uvic.ca/equity/education/5-days-action/calls-to-action/index.php

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.