July 20, 2021Print | PDF
Wilfrid Laurier University is a thriving academic community where Indigeneity, equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are part of our core values as a learning institution. We recognize that teaching and learning, and the creation and dissemination of new knowledge, must take place in an institution that recognizes the dignity and value of each and every one of its students, staff and faculty members.
As part of Wilfrid Laurier University’s Action Plan for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Indigeneity, the university committed to undertaking a review of our Special Constable Service with respect to the way the service interacts with Black, Indigenous, and racialized members of the Laurier community and how reports of racism are responded to and addressed.
As a first step in that review, three external experts were retained to conduct an independent review. They gathered feedback via focus groups with a broad range of key stakeholders, including students, staff, and faculty groups. The reviewers brought a diverse set of perspectives and backgrounds in relation to racial justice and community policing.
Today, Laurier is releasing the full report of the external review panel. The report contains a description of the external review process and a section outlining the findings and recommendations from each reviewer.
“We are grateful for the hard work, insights, and advice from these three very talented reviewers,” said Lloyd Noronha, vice president: finance and administration for Laurier. “I’d like to personally thank the reviewers for their thoughtful approach to engaging with our community, and I’d like to thank all those who took the time to participate in the process.”
Each reviewer provided unique and valuable perspectives and expertise to this process. Through the process, the reviewers decided that the best way to share those perspectives would be to provide their advice and recommendations separately, rather than as one collective set of recommendations. While this collection of recommendations provides Laurier with a great starting place, it did not provide a clear road map for the next steps.
“When you begin work like this it can be a challenge because there are many paths to the right approach, and this report lays out a number of potential paths,” said Ivan Joseph, vice president: student affairs. “That’s why it’s so important that Laurier take the time to carefully consider these recommendations and determine the best way forward to meet the community’s needs.”
In addition to this external review, the university conducted an online survey of all Laurier community members on a range of issues related to the Special Constable Service to give everyone an opportunity to provide their input. The report from this survey is currently being peer reviewed and will be released later this summer.
Laurier is establishing an internal advisory committee led by Ivan Joseph to review both the external review report and the community survey results and make recommendations to Laurier’s executive team about the next steps. This advisory committee will:
The advisory committee will complete its work by the end of 2021, and once the executive team has endorsed the next steps that plan will be released.
For more information or to ask questions about the review, email firstname.lastname@example.org.