Building a global campus
June 26, 2023
Staff and faculty from across campus recently gathered for Queen’s Global Connect, an event organized to bring together those who identify as international and newcomers to Canada to build and strengthen community bonds, and further nurture an inclusive, globally-minded campus environment.
Organized and hosted at the University Club by a group of international employees from across the university, the June 15 gathering featured food, music, and social networking. This event was funded by the Inclusive Community Fund (Office of the Provost) and serves as a steppingstone toward the eventual creation of a new Employee Resource Group (ERG) for international employees and newcomers to Canada. This ERG will engage and inspire this important community by creating connections with one another, breaking down silos, and taking meaningful action to forge a strong sense of belonging.
“Our commitment to making Queen’s an inclusive community has never been stronger and remains imperative to the future success of our institution,” says Donna Janiec, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration), who spoke during the event on the institution’s priorities, as well as her past experiences as an international student and an immigrant to Canada. “One of the things that you will appreciate as your own Queen’s story continues to unfold and you find your home away from home is that you are surrounded here by an extraordinary collection of international people with remarkable perspectives to share.”
To facilitate the ongoing development of the ERG, international staff and faculty – including those who were unable to attend Queen’s Global Connect – are asked to participate in an online survey to gauge support for its establishment, and to capture employee interest in various activities that could potentially be organized by the ERG. Feedback will be accepted until the survey closes on July 5.
“It is my hope that through the formation of this ERG, friendships are formed, stories are shared, and the cultural exchanges that will take place will contribute to the rich tapestry that makes Canada and Queen’s truly unique,” says Supriya Venigalla, Special Projects Officer in the Office of the Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration) and one of the organizing committee members for the event.
More information and details about this upcoming ERG, will be released over the next few months.
A strategy for global engagement
Creating an international ERG is only one of several objectives outlined in Queen’s new Global Engagement Strategic Plan 2023-2028. First launched in May 2023, it provides a framework for fostering international cooperation and collaboration – both necessary aspects of a thriving academic institution. The plan also reaffirms Queen’s mission to make international staff and students feel respected and valued, while promoting a campus culture that allows them to thrive.
Other strategies to promote equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion on Queen’s campus outlined under this new plan include exploring opportunities to expand participation in the Queen’s Career Gateway Program – a program that provides educational and employment support for newcomers to Canada, refugees, and individuals belonging to equity-deserving groups with limited English-language skills.
As Queen’s advances its collective commitment to equity, it is of vital importance that all its employees are equipped with the supports and resources needed to grow and thrive.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing all the great work that will come out of this global strategy over the next few years,” says Jermaine Marshall, one of the organizers of the Queen’s Global Connect event, and the Inclusion and Anti-Racism Advisor within the Human Rights and Equity Office.
To learn more about Queen’s wide-ranging international efforts, visit the Global Engagement website.
To learn more about ERGs at Queen’s, visit the Employee Resource Groups webpage.