UPEI launches inclusion and equity committee
'It's a process always, educating ourselves, educating each other'
UPEI is incorporating a new committee to promote inclusivity on campus.
The faculty of arts equity and inclusion committee was founded this summer and is about encouraging more inclusive practices on campus.
Ann Braithwaite, professor and coordinator of Diversity and Social Justice Studies at UPEI, is one of the members on the committee.
"It became time for the faculty of arts, I thought, to model how we could best do equity and inclusion on campus. And that's thinking about everyday behaviour and practice," Braithwaite said.
"It's partly a way to become much more self reflective about 'what can we do differently to become more of an inclusive space around any number of inclusive categories?'"
'We're going to offer alternatives'
The committee is focused on providing alternatives to some everyday practices on campus, she said, as sometimes the status quo isn't always inclusive enough.
One of the ideas proposed is that when professors get their class list to not read them aloud or call out names, as some people may have transitioned but haven't changed their name with the registrar yet.
"The names on the roster may not match the way students are presenting and expressing in class. You may be inadvertently outing students who may not want to be outed," Braithwaite said.
"We're going to offer alternatives for other ways in which you can figure out who's in your class without calling out a name and forcing some student who doesn't want to to raise their hand and say 'that's me.'"
The committee is currently building a website where they'll have blogs, videos and more information about inclusion practices.
"It's a process always, educating ourselves, educating each other," she added.
"It's not just a way to say 'dont do this,' but to say 'here's another way to do the thing that you think is important, but the way that we've been doing it forever may be leaving some people out.'"
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With files from Nancy Russell