BRANDON, Man. – New resources at Brandon University (BU) will help all faculty, staff and students address issues of discrimination and harassment in the work and learning environment, and differentiate these from interpersonal conflict.
A committee comprised of union, Brandon University Students’ Union, Student Services and Human Resources representatives worked together for well over a year on the new Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy and accompanying procedures. The result is a standalone policy and procedures which should make the process of addressing discrimination and harassment easier and more transparent. Wide community consultation will take place over the coming academic year in order to introduce the new policy and procedures, and to gather feedback for future refinement of the documents.
Previously, incidents of discrimination and harassment fell under the Respectful Environment Policy (REP). This broad policy covered everything from interpersonal conflict, to discrimination and harassment, sexualized violence, workplace violence and workplace accommodations.
Brandon University introduced a suite of policies and procedures to address accessibility and accommodations as part of its response to the new Accessibility for Manitobans Act. These were passed by the Board on November 26, 2016. A standalone Sexualized Violence Policy was approved by the Board on March 25, 2017, and the Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy was approved on June 24, 2017.
Work is currently underway to create a standalone policy addressing workplace violence, the last piece of the old REP to be replaced.
Accompanying the new Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy and its procedures, are a guide for dealing with conflict, a flowchart to help clarify possible reactions and responses, and a fillable form which is required when filing a complaint.
With the creation of the position of Diversity and Human Rights Advisor and the new standalone policy and procedures, BU has a more robust mechanism for identifying conflict, discrimination and harassment and intervening early to resolve issues.
The coming year will be one of consultation with the university community about these processes, and they will be further refined in the spring of 2018. Public town halls and special focus groups will be scheduled for November 2017, and for March 2018. Specific dates will be posted on the Diversity and Human Rights web page before classes begin in September.
Please visit BrandonU.ca/Diversity to access the policy and accompanying documentation. If you wish to provide immediate feedback on the documents you can click on CONTRIBUTE YOUR THOUGHTS to generate an email to the Diversity and Human Rights Office. You do not have to provide your name or email address when providing feedback.
For more information, please contact:
Diversity and Human Rights Advisor