Copyright © 2020 Federation of Students, University of Waterloo operating as Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association
Invitation to participate in the Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion (HREI) Review
As a response to the sharing of experiences and advocacy efforts from the Black Faculty Collective, Equity4Who, UWBASE, RAISE, other groups and individuals including WUSA, the university has been undergoing an organizational review of the Office of Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion (HREI).
We know that many of you have had experiences working with the HREI office and/or departments within the office: The Equity Office, Sexual Violence Prevention, and Response Office, Indigenous Initiatives Office, and the Conflict Management and Human Rights Office. Whether or not you have worked with these offices, we encourage you to participate in this review if you have capacity and are interested/able to share your experiences with the review panel.
Now that we have met with the review panel ourselves and have ensured student safety and confidentiality is being intentionally prioritized, we feel more comfortable sharing this opportunity with undergrads ourselves. We acknowledge the emotional labour involved in participating in reviews like this, especially for marginalized and racialized folks, so here are some things to consider before you decide whether or not you’d like to participate:
- The review team (i.e., the people hearing/reading your input) are completely external, made up of experts who have done this work in an academic environment and in consultation with BIPOC communities.
- You can participate in the review in 2 ways: a virtual meeting with the review team OR filling out an online form.
- Not sure what to share? The review team put together some open-ended questions to help participants frame their responses (you don’t have to use them). You can also use the review team’s Terms of Reference to help structure your feedback and/or spark some thoughts.
- After analyzing all feedback, the review team will destroy all notes and submissions. Confidentiality is being considered and prioritized at every step of this process (let us know if you see a gap/still have concerns and we can do some digging on your behalf).
- The team will present a thematic report with recommendations by the end of May 2021, which will be broadly shared with the community.
- The panel is not responsible for actioning anything themselves. It is up to the university to decide how to move forward once the review is complete. WUSA has been heavily involved in holding the university accountable thus far, and while the administration has committed to doing the work, we will continue to prioritize holding the institution accountable on the recommendations following this review and throughout the upcoming transition of the University President.
- If you don’t feel comfortable participating, that’s ok. WUSA has participated in this review in a virtual meeting led by Nada, your VPSL, sharing her own experiences and the experiences we have gathered from current students and alum. We plan to follow-up with our summarized written submission shortly and will be sharing that online, as well.