Culture of Respect in the Faculty of Computer Science

We believe inclusiveness is fundamental to education. We stand for equality.  Disrespectful behaviour - like misogyny* - in our classrooms, on our campus and in our community is unacceptable. 

Dalhousie’s Strategic Direction includes a commitment to foster a culture of inclusiveness and diversity. In January 2015, a committee to advance this aspect of Dalhousie’s Strategic Direction was struck under Charter 5.2. Learn more about this initiative.

*Misogyny is defined as "Dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women." by Oxford Dictionaries.) Learn more about our culture of respect at Dal.

Who we are

Purpose statement

To enhance the learning, social and working environment for everyone in the FCS by encouraging respectful and bias free behaviours through a process of engagement, communication and education.

Our committee members

  • Bonnie MacKay, FCS Faculty Member, Chair
  • Margie Publicover, FCS Navigator
  • Christian Blouin, FCS Faculty Member & Associate Dean Academic
  • Nur Zincir-Heywood, FCS Faculty Member
  • Israat Haque, FCS Faculty Member
  • Becca Rawcliffe, FCS Staff Member, Marketing & Communications Officer
  • Rita Orji, FCS Faculty Member

Finding support

Maybe you:

  • have witnessed inappropriate behaviour
  • are not sure what is acceptable
  • are quite sure you heard inappropriate comments but are not sure what to do
  • need someone to talk to

Confidential points of contact:

About our Faculty Navigator


Six suggestions for speaking up

Be ready

Promise yourself to not remain silent, know that it will happen again, summon your courage – whatever it takes. Practice things to say, open ended is good: “Why did you say that?” or “How did you develop that belief?” 


Identify the behaviour

Use reflective listening, avoid labeling, name-calling or blame. Describe the behaviour, don’t label the person. Ie: “Janice, what I hear you saying is that Mexicans are lazy” etc. 


Appeal to principles

This works well if the person is known to you like a friend, sibling, co-worker etc. “Joe, I have always thought of you as a fair-minded person, so it shocks me when I hear you say something like that.” 


Set limits

You cannot control another person, but you can control what happens in your space. “Please don’t tell racist jokes in my presence anymore” or “This classroom is not a place where I allow homophobia to occur” and then follow through. 


Find an ally / be an ally

Seek out like-minded people for support or support others in their challenges. Lead by example and inspire others to do the same. 


Be vigilant

Change happens slowly, but be prepared, and keep speaking up. Don’t let yourself be silenced.