Actions to Improve Campus Climate

Since the release of the 2021 campus climate survey report, From Input to Action, the work of shifting Queen's culture and climate has been embraced by student groups and by units, departments and faculties across campus. In addition, the Shift Project's Student Advisory Group has continued to meet.

Campus community members have been encouraged to review the findings and engage with their peers, their colleagues and the Shift Project team to reflect and respond in meaningful and sustainable ways.

The following actions have been taken in response to - or are in alignment with - the results of the campus climate survey and reports:


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  • Campus community members have been encouraged to review the findings and engage with their colleagues and the Shift Project team to devise and respond in meaningful and sustainable ways.
  • Climate survey results have been shared with the Board of Trustees and units, departments, and faculties across campus.
  • Units across campus have formed groups to advance Indigenization, equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and anti-racism.
    • Examples: 
      • Athletics and Recreation’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigenization Task Force provides advice, identify priorities and make recommendations on matters of policy, practices and operations for athletes and recreation participants. To date, the task force has created a BIPOC Student-Athlete Network, launched a Speakers Series, as well as a year-long education program for full-time staff and coaches.
      • In the Faculty of Arts and Science, an EDII Council with representatives from each department will begin meeting in Fall 2022 to operationalize additional EDII initiatives and to allow departments to strategically prioritize and collaborate on key initiatives.
      • Queen’s Health Sciences Dean’s Action Table on EDI continues with seven working groups finalizing their environmental scans and recommendations across the areas of: (1) curriculum; (2) research; (3) continuing professional development; (4) recruitment, retention, and mentorship; (5) admissions; (6) outreach and summer programs; (7) culture and community.
      • Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science launched Engineering for Everyone, including a diversity and inclusion framework.
  • The University Secretariat is reviewing Board and Senate policies through an equity lens. An equity impact assessment has been implemented for all units proposing new or amended university-wide policies or procedures.
  • The Board has endorsed the Principal’s signing of the BlackNorth Initiative and the Scarborough Charter
  • Key metrics and indicators have been identified to track campus climate and culture.
    A commitment has been made to undertake a student climate survey every two years.

Continuing efforts to advance student-focused communication and knowledge of supports related to improving campus climate including:

  • Tracking awareness of training and learning opportunities related to topics surveyed in the campus climate survey
  • Increasing communications related to tools and resources available to students such as:
  • The launch of a cross campus International Advisors Community of Practice by Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) staff, resulting in enhanced coordination and referrals across the network, shared strategies and responses to common student questions, and increased info sharing and problem-solving. 
  • The launch of an EDI Community of Practice for Student Success by Yellow House staff, bringing together 20+ student-facing EDI practitioners to support, uplift and amplify work being led across the university. 

  • Student Affairs conducted a Financial Aid Review, involving representatives from all faculties and schools, that will result in prioritizing Queen’s funding to increase need-based admission awards that will help advance EDII enrolment goals. 
  • Multiple channels, programs and funding opportunities continue to support equity- deserving students, such as the Commitment Scholars Award, the Commitment Bursary, the new graduate Indigenous Pathways Program, two new post-doctoral fellowships in Indigenous Studies and two new post-doctoral fellowships in Black Studies, equity access pathways at Queen’s Law, and Queen’s Accelerated Route to Medical School program which reserves 10 seats for Black-identified students and Indigenous students, and new equity-based student admission awards at Smith, and for international students in the Faculties of Arts and Science and Engineering and Applied Science

  • Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment added a staff position to its Access and Inclusion unit to expand outreach in under-represented communities in the GTA
  • Initiatives resulting from the work of Student Affairs’ Undergraduate Admission & Recruitment Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity, and Indigenization (EDII) Task Force continue to support higher offer and acceptance rates among equity-deserving applicants in 2021-22 admission cycle
    • Introduction of an optional equity self-identification tool
    • Expansion of Peer Equity Ambassador Program
    • Launch of Commitment Scholars Award and Commitment Bursary
    • Revisions to essay admission requirements to align selection process with EDII goals for Commerce, Health Sciences and Nursing
    • Completion of the Financial Aid Review (see above) 

  • Creation of a Student Engagement and Inclusion Coordinator (SIEC) position to support ongoing connection with the climate survey’s Student Advisory Group, student leaders and groups
  • Student staff positions  added in several units across Student Affairs and in Queen’s faculties that support diverse student communities, including in the Yellow House, Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre, Queen’s University International Centre, the Ban Righ Centre, and the Student Experience Office.  These positions are engaged in program development and leadership, peer-to-peer advising and interactions, as well as marketing and communications to showcase the lived experiences of a breadth of students at Queen’s. 
  • Student staff in the Student Conduct Office developed 2 online education modules in support of the university’s Harassment and Discrimination Policy
  • Orientation leader training by the Student Experience Office includes accessible event planning, inclusive leadership, bystander intervention, and intercultural awareness. 
  • Increased capacity and supports at the Adaptive Technology Centre to support students with disabilities.

  • The Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) continues to support, educate and provide direction on the institutional imperatives of Indigenization-Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Accessibility and Anti-racism (I-EDIAA). Work includes further expanding a university wide Inclusive Curriculum Framework through formalized research studies and resource creation; the strategic offering of workshops and events that promote values and practices of educational equity; and collaboration with Faculty units in equity-related initiatives, while fostering connections between units engaged in similar activities. 
  • A new part-time position has been created in Student Academic Success Services (SASS), dedicated to supporting students with disabilities, and programming and services for equity-deserving students has been increased
  • Expansion of SASS’s asynchronous writing support program to students with disabilities through a referral process with QSAS

  • The Queen’s Food Insecurity Advisory Committee and the Student Food Collective reviewed progress on the implementation of recommendations in the 2019 Food Insecurity Report, with consideration of the reduction of in-person programming and services due to the pandemic. 
  • 2022 Food Insecurity Report
  • Launch of the PEACH Market, a pay-what-you-can cafe in Fall 2022, a partnership of Hospitality Services and the AMS 

  • Student Community Relations (SCR),in Student Affairs, has expanded its outreach activities to connect with students living off-campus. The SCR helps to advance safety initiatives, feelings of belonging, social connection and connections to broader community partners.
  • SCR has hired a team of Off-Campus Peer Ambassadors, who will work on community outreach, safety programs, and educational initiatives. These students will provide peer-to-peer support and social programming, increasing students’ sense of belonging and commitment to Queen’s and their fellow students.
  • Creation of new BIPOC Wellness Advisor position in the Yellow House who will implement and evaluate wellbeing programming, workshops, and resources tailored to the needs of BIPOC and intersecting student identities.

  • Climate Survey Response from the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Task Force
  • In 2021-2022, over 1,300 students completed three new training opportunities related to consent, healthy relationships and responding to disclosures of sexual violence. (Student Experience Office and Sexual Violence and Prevention Response Services

  • University Relations is supporting a year-long awareness campaign to promote sexual violence prevention and response services and initiatives on campus 

We encourage units, departments and faculties to update the Shift Survey Project Team with engagement related to the findings of the campus climate survey. 

Student responses to the campus climate survey confirms there are pressing issues relating to oppression, violence, and exclusion, that we must continue to address. Although we have taken many important steps forward, the results give voice to what our students are experiencing and reinforce that we must work together and do much more.

The university is deeply committed to confronting these hard truths, listening to our students’ voices, and taking meaningful action so we can make crucial progress toward a safer, more welcoming, and inclusive campus.

Stephanie Simpson, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusion)