Today, I am sharing with you From Input to Action: Your Voice Matters - a detailed analysis of student responses to Queen’s first-ever Student Experiences Survey (SES). The report is being released to you in fulfillment of a promise that by the end of this year the administration would provide students with a comprehensive document incorporating the results of the survey. Within this student-focussed report, your voices have been publicly reflected and I am grateful to all those who participated in the survey. Student engagement is essential to the kind of positive change the university has committed to undertake.
The survey was conducted earlier this year with the aim of understanding systemic racism, exclusionary and discriminatory behaviours, and sexual violence on campus, and in direct support of major initiatives, specifically, the Declaration of Commitment to Address Systemic Racism.
I, along with the Provost and student leaders, shared a snapshot of the survey results with you back in June. Over 5,400 students contributed to the survey. The report provides a more complete narrative of the survey results detailing statistically significant findings and themes as well as identifying priority areas for action. By amplifying student voices, the report provides insight into the lived experiences of many students and the state of the campus climate, as well as an overview of available campus initiatives, supports, and resources aimed at advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion at the institution.
As was noted when we released the summary of the survey several months ago, results reveal that incidences of oppression, violence, discrimination, and exclusion are experienced by students at the university, and, on certain measures, disproportionately impacting equity-deserving students. The results are now being used to provide a foundational benchmark of data from which Queen’s can build upon and refine with new and existing initiatives in response to these issues.
Work has been ongoing since the creation, release and results of the survey were received. Under the leadership of Student Affairs and the Human Rights and Equity Office, a SES Project Team was created and together with a Student Advisory Group, they have embarked on understanding and using this important data to transform the culture of the institution to be equitable, safe, and welcoming for everyone. In addition, many other units across campus, including our Faculties, are launching initiatives as we are all committed to coordinating action across Queen’s to achieve this fundamental and essential goal for the health and well-being of our community.
I know that there is still work to be done across our campus to effect the kind of change we all hope to see. Change is iterative and it will take time to realize a truly inclusive campus. This is and must always be a partnership with you. This report recognizes the power of you, our students, and acknowledges that your voices are being heard. The words contained in the report must resonate in everything we do as we move forward to implement our shared vision, mission and values within a new strategy for Queen’s. I am looking forward to what we can achieve together.
Principal and Vice-chancellor