Senate reaffirms commitment to diversity

UVic’s Senate reaffirmed the university’s commitment to diversity and equity in a motion passed at the Senate’s Feb. 4 meeting. The action followed a wide-ranging discussion of a motion presented by graduate student senate member Gordon Ruby in response to a high profile article “’Too Asian’?” in Maclean’s university rankings issue last year; the article was subsequently retitled on the web to “The Enrollment Controversy.”

The motion requested that a letter be written to the magazine and that the issue be referred to the Senate Committee on Academic Standards. In the course of the discussion, numerous members of the UVic Senate expressed the wish to move the focus away from the article and to reaffirm instead UVic’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. As a result, the motion was withdrawn and a motion from Senate member Robert Burke, seconded by Ruby, was passed. The new motion draws on the strategic plan, and Senate will submit it to the Planning and Priorities Committee as part of the renewal of the plan. It states “Senate reaffirms that the University of Victoria is committed to being a diverse and welcoming learning community that values equal rights and dignity for all persons. Recognizing that people are our primary strength, the University of Victoria is committed to providing environments for work and study that are safe, supportive, inclusive and healthy, and foster mutual respect. We aim to recruit and retain a diverse group of exceptionally talented students, faculty and staff without prejudice, to support them in ways that allow them to achieve their highest potential.”

Senate expressed a desire to submit the new motion to the Planning and Priorities Committee as part of the renewal of the university’s strategic plan.

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Keywords: senate, motion, diversity

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