Supporting diversity and inclusion among Dal's student populations
The following list includes completed, continuing and/or committed initiatives, which are aligned to the Diversity & Inclusiveness Strategy’s Access and Success and Climate and Intergroup Relations pillars:
- In November 2016, strategic initiatives funds were invested into an Ombudsperson role for a two-year pilot period. Additional strategic initiatives funds were secured for an Associate Ombudsperson to start November 2017, for the duration of the pilot period to November 2018, at which time the Office will be assessed.
- A Rapid Task Force consulted on and recommended new survey questions to collect better demographic data on student application forms and through the Be Counted Census. The new application forms were launched in October of 2016 and the new Be Counted Census will be launched this November.
- The Senate Learning and Teaching Committee discussed and endorsed a new format for the Code of Student Conduct Report to the Senate in 2016. The format proposed both statistical analysis and narrative report of trends across student populations.
- Donor funds have been secured in addition to base operating funds to secure a permanent Advisor position for the Indigenous Student Centre (one already exists for the Black Student Advising Centre), and to recruit a Recruitment and Community Liaison Coordinator of Mi’kmaq ancestry and a similar Coordinator of historic African Nova Scotian ancestry. Recruitment of these Coordinator positions is expect to begin January 2018, after a stakeholder consultation is completed which was launched in September 2017.
- Strategic initiatives funds were secured in 2016 to double the staff complement in the Human Rights & Equity Services; the unit now includes a Director, a Personal Harassment/Conflict Advisor, a Sexual Violence Advisor, an Education Advisor and a Coordinator for Intake and Administration. A search for an inaugural University Advisor/Assistant Vice-President, Equity and Inclusion is currently underway.
- Funds have been secured to renovate and make accessible a new three-storey house on Le Merchant Street to house Human Rights & Equity Services. The entire first floor will be dedicated to educational programming, offices for the Director and all Advisors, a board/staff meeting room, and, a lounge and reception space, a kitchenette and a group programming/education room (for Sister 2 Sister, a group for Indigenous and racialized women that is trans-inclusive; and for PEGASUS, a intersectional psychoeducational all-genders group for student survivors of sexual assault). The team is expected to occupy the space by the end of December 2017, with renovations beginning April 2018.
- An external review of the now branded Student Health & Wellness was undertaken in 2016. Student Affairs is implementing a vigourous employment equity process to diversify the Counselling team, with an aim to increase representation among Indigenous and racialized persons.
- Strategic Initiatives funds have been secured to significantly augment the Elders-in-Residence Program and create a closer affiliation with the Indigenous Student Centre and the network of Faculty initiatives emerging to support the Indigenization of programs.
- Secured provincial strategic initiatives funds for a Technology Diversity Program which includes moving the Imhotep's Legacy Academy program into a larger renovated space on Sexton campus, with capacity to expand to serve Indigenous youth interested in STEM programs.
- Leveraged provincial capital funds to renovate the Edward Street house which will be home to the co-located Indigenous Student Centre and the Black Student Advising Centre.
- The Bissett Student Success Centre received an infusion of donor funds which enabled the hiring of additional Student Success Advisors, increasing the representation of Indigenous, racialized and LGBTQ+ Advisors among the team.