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Student Services Committed to Action

Student Services Committed to Action

Date: Friday, July 03, 2020



TO:                  SJU Students, St. Jerome’s University Students’ Union

CC:                  Dr. Scott Kline - Interim President, Dr. Cristina Vanin – Interim Vice President Academic and Dean,

                        Dr. Veronica Austin – Associate Dean, Mike Gourlay – Executive Director, Finance and Administration

FROM:            Student Affairs, Campus Ministry, Enrolment and Upper-Year Transitions

DATE:             June 30, 2020

RE:                  SJU Student Services Committed to Actions Timeline, Anti-Black Racism and

                        Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)

In follow-up to our letter to SJU students and the SJU Students’ Union on anti-Black racism and equity, diversity, and inclusion dated June 11, 2020, we would like to share the timelines and some next steps that have been identified in order to follow through on our committed actions. We have identified the following timelines for our committed actions for St. Jerome’s University in general, and the student services areas in particular:



  •  We will advocate to the SJU President’s Working Group on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for diverse student representation to ensure BIPOC identities and lived experiences are included.

o SJU Student Services Directors as members of the President's Working Group on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion - July to October 2020.



  • We will advocate for St. Jerome's University to establish an Advisory role to the University on anti-Black racism matters, priorities, and strategies for moving forward. This individual will need to be external to the University and BIPOC.

o SJU Student Services Directors as members of the President's Working Group on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion - July to October 2020, or until a similar advisory role is established at SJU.



  • We will advocate for St. Jerome’s University to review all university level and department level strategic and academic plans to identify opportunities to embed equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism – with specific goals to address anti-Black racism.

o SJU Student Services Directors as members of President's Working Group on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and the SJU Administrative Leadership Group - July to October 2020; Initiating reviews of student services department level plans and strategies by end of the Fall 2020 term, with completion by the Spring 2021 term, with on-going annual assessment.



  • When we contract external services for student staff and leader training, we commit to hiring BIPOC facilitators and speakers to deliver all forms of content related to antiracism training.

o Student Leader Training, August 2020, on-going trainings; future service learning programing offerings (i.e. Beyond Borders) post-COVID-19.



  • We will advocate to the SJU President’s Working Group on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and St. Jerome’s University for more specific services and resources that meet the unique concerns and needs of BIPOC students.

o SJU Student Services Directors as members of the President's Working Group on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion - July to October 2020 with research and consultation on this commitment beginning in summer 2020 and going throughout the Fall 2020 term.



  • We commit to ensuring that our staff teams are educated about systems of oppression and anti-racist practices, and that each staff person continually engages in personal reflection about the privileges and powers we hold, including how our white privilege impacts others in our community and our work in supporting all SJU students.

o Equity 101 Training with UW Equity Office, July 29th, 2020; dedicating 1 (one) student services huddle monthly to topics and learning about systems of oppression and anti-racist practices; during annual staff learning goals and priority setting exercises ensure staff are identifying at least 1 (one) goal or priority connected to EDI and anti-racism practice; On-going updates will be provided to this timeline as our learning and understanding on oppression and anti-racism practice evolves.



  • We commit to having specific training for Student Leaders Teams (including Residence Dons, Student Activities, Peer Academic Leaders, Campus Ministers, and Experience Guides/Officers) and Service Learning Programs on anti-racism practices, and offer ongoing professional development on topics including inclusion and belonging.

o August Student Leader Training 2020; at least 1(one) professional development opportunity per term focused on topics related to inclusion and belonging,beginning in fall 2020; future service learning programing and training offerings (i.e. Beyond Borders) post-COVID-19.



  • We commit to offering specific inclusivity and diversity learning and training for all incoming first-year students in residence and co-registered students, open as well to any upper year students who wish to participate.

o Training beginning in the Fall 2020 term.



  • We commit to ensuring that everyone in our community is aware of and empowered to access the resources and supports, including informal and formal options for resolution, through the University of Waterloo Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion Offices.

o July and August 2020 and on-going: website page creation to capture EDI and racism/anti-racism resources and supports; ensuring above information is included in relevant program literature and training manuals for students and student leaders.



  • We commit to undertaking a review of all hiring and selection practices for student staff and student leader positions within our departments.

o Fall 2020: identify stakeholders, resources, and develop review process. Winter 2021: facilitate review process alongside 2021-2022 hiring and selection processes. Spring 2021 and beyond: implement changes to hiring and selection processes based on findings and recommendations from the review.



  • We commit to further developing our connection and partnership with the University of Waterloo Equity Office.

o Beginning in the Spring 2020 term, and on-going.



  • We commit to consulting with BIPOC students and student groups, with respect to these and further steps, to increase accountability of our anti-racism learning and work, and to hear and amplify student concerns and voices within SJU.

o July 2020, and on-going: consulting with UW Equity Office and community-basedorganizations on approaches to consulting with BIPOC students and students groups to ensure we are intentional, avoiding tokenization, and ensuring that the spaces are restorative. Summer and Fall 2020: begin consultations and conversations with a focus on hearing the experiences and needs of BIPOC students.


Our accountability measures for these actions also have some timelines to note:

  • Ensuring that timelines and completion dates are added to each committed action by July 1, 2020. We don’t intend to make commitments we can’t keep.

o Please see the committed actions, and timelines above for specific details.



  • Meeting with the St. Jerome’s Students’ Union Executive on a consistent monthly basis to discuss equity, diversity, and inclusion, and anti-racism work to ensure timely completion and tracking of action items, and the creation of new actions.

o July 2020, and monthly thereafter. This meeting will be separate and distinct from regular meetings and collaborations between student services and the St. Jerome’s Students’ Union.



  • Dedicate and maintain a section of our website to provided updates on action items and completion status, and on-going work connected to equity, diversity, and inclusion, and anti-racism.

o July 2020, with web updates noted in SJU Connect newsletter.



  • Add a new section to the SJU Connect Newsletter to publicly communicate our ongoing actions regarding these commitments to students on a consistent basis.

o Spring 2020 term, June issue of SJU Connect newsletter, and on-going.



  • Holding a student Town Hall each term to gain insight, feedback, and provide a platform for student voices.

o Beginning in the Fall 2020 term.


These committed actions and accountability measures, including timelines, are a starting point for our on-going work, and not a completed list. Additional updates to these committed actions, and our work in student services on equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism, will be provided through the SJU Connect newsletter and


As a next step, we are in the process of identifying a Student Services EDI & Anti-Racism Working Group made up of students, student leaders, and staff to help our teams navigate this important on-going work, and ensure we are moving forward in meeting our committed actions, and developing new ones as our knowledge and understanding evolves. We welcome questions and feedback about our committed actions and accountability measures for equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism work. You can contact us through our emails noted below.


John Arnou
Acting Director, Student Affairs,


Sue Brubacher
Director, Enrolment and Upper-Year Transitions,


Martha Fauteux
Director, Campus Ministry,


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