Subject: Racism and Racial Harassment Prevention and Response
Group: Institutional
Approved by: Board of Regents
Approval date: May 16, 2017
Effective date: May 31, 2017
Administered by: Vice-President, International & Student Affairs, & Vice-President, Finance & Administration

Developed by:

  • Adam Christie, Director of Student Life & International Services
  • Christa Maston, International Student Advisor
  • Doreen Richard, Indigenous Affairs Coordinator
  • Maritza Fariña, Department of Modern Languages & Literature
  • Dr. Morgan Poteet, Department of Sociology
  • Ryan LeBreton, MASU President
  • Samantha Peña, student (MOSAIC)
  • Saniya Korhalkar, student (MOSAIC)
  • Dia Minors, student (BSAAT)
  • Zoe Luba, student (BSAAT)

Mount Allison wishes to acknowledge Carleton University, St. Francis Xavier University, Brock University, and Acadia University whose related expertise, policies and procedures provided both a background and foundation in best practices that assisted in the development of this policy.

1 — PREAMBLE

Mount Allison affirms the fundamental principle of equality of all peoples, as put forward by the New Brunswick Human Rights Act (NBHRA), the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (CCRF), and the United Nations.

  • a) “…all persons are equal in dignity and human rights without regard to race, colour, religion, national origin, ancestry, place of origin, age, physical disability, mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation, sex, social condition or political belief or activity is a governing principle sanctioned by the laws of New Brunswick;” (NBHRA)
  • b) “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.” (CCRF, Section 15)
  • c) All human beings belong to a single species and share a common origin. They are born equal in dignity and rights and all form an integral part of humanity. All peoples of the world possess equal faculties for attaining the highest level in intellectual, technical, social, economic, cultural and political development. The differences between the achievements of the different people are entirely attributable to geographical, historical, political, economic, social and cultural factors. Such differences can in no case serve as a pretext for any rank ordered classification of nations or peoples. (General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, Article I)

2 — PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to create and maintain a learning and work environment at Mount Allison that is free of racism and racial harassment; and to provide a mechanism by which complaints of racism and racial harassment are addressed in a clear and timely fashion.

3 — PRINCIPLES

a) Racism and any form of racial harassment will not be tolerated at Mount Allison.

b) All members of the Mount Allison community have the right to learn and work in an environment free of racism and racial harassment.

c) Mount Allison has a responsibility to provide a safe and harassment-free environment to all students and employees.

d) All members of the Mount Allison community share responsibility for ensuring a learning and work environment that is free from racism and racial harassment.

e) Mount Allison will take a proactive and educative approach to building a campus culture that affirms equality and rejects racism and racial harassment in any form.

f) Mount Allison will hold to account any member of our community who engages in or is responsible for acts of racism or racial harassment.

g) Mount Allison is an environment where academic freedom, freedom of expression, speech, and belief is safeguarded and exercised in a culture of mutual respect; where an open exchange of diverse points of views is encouraged; and where every member of the community, including visitors, is able to work, live, teach, and learn free from harassment and discrimination.

4 — SCOPE

This policy applies to all Mount Allison students and employees, and extends to include University Board members, visitors to the University, and contractors. The policy applies to (a) conduct on University premises, and (b) conduct not on University premises but which has a direct and negative impact on student life and the University’s operations. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • a) University-organized or University-sanctioned off-campus events;
  • b) University-organized or University-sanctioned events where students or employees are acting as delegates or designated representatives of the University;
  • c) Off-campus behaviour that violates University policies and agreements (see Section 14) or the law.

For the purposes of this policy, “conduct” refers to anything said, written, done, or distributed, in print or electronically, that may be classified as racism or racial harassment (see Definitions, Section 7).

Any decision under this policy about whether conduct creates an environment which impairs the full and equal participation in the affairs of the University community of a person or persons due to their race must take into account that Mount Allison is a community which affirms diversity; academic freedom; and freedom of thought and expression (refer to Section 5, “Respectful Dialogue & Freedom of Expression).

5 — RESPECTFUL DIALOGUE & FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Mount Allison affirms that it is the function of a university to contribute directly to building a society that espouses the principles of freedom of thought and expression. A community where teaching, research, and academic freedom flourish includes an environment where freedom of expression, speech, and belief is safeguarded and exercised in a culture of mutual respect; where an open exchange of diverse points of views is encouraged; and where every member of the community, including visitors, is able to work, live, teach, and learn free from harassment and discrimination.

The Racism Policy adheres to the principles of respectful dialogue and freedom of expression. It seeks to address and hold to account individuals who are responsible for demeaning, derogatory, or discriminatory actions or speech on the basis of race (see Definitions, Section 7). Such behaviour is not in keeping with Mount Allison’s standard for discourse, academic inquiry, and community living.

It should be noted that in the discussion of human affairs, it may be necessary to examine issues of race and racism. Such discussions do not in and of themselves constitute racism when exercised within a framework of and respect for the principles of academic freedom.

Academic Freedom
Academic freedom is fundamental to the mission of the University and is protected in agreements between the University and its faculty (refer to Section 14). Academic freedom allows for full intellectual inquiry, discourse, and critique without fear of institutional censorship. It does not, however, give license to denigrate or discriminate on the basis of race. In instances when academic freedom and the Racism Policy appear to be in conflict, the matter will be referred to the appropriate collective agreement for resolution.

6 — EDUCATION & AWARENESS

Mount Allison condemns racism and any manifestations of racial intolerance or discrimination. It is committed to preventing such behaviours by:

  • a) educating all members of the University community on issues associated with race and ethnocultural relations, racism and racial harassment;
  • b) working collaboratively with student and employee groups to engage in ongoing anti-racism education and events;
  • c) providing regular and ongoing anti-racism training for all members of the Anti-Racism Education & Response Team and the Racism Judicial Panel;
  • d) ensuring that Diversity & Inclusion are central themes to University Orientation;
  • e) promoting active bystander initiatives and the development of an anti-racism environment; and
  • f) addressing University policies and practices, that while not intentionally discriminatory, have a discriminatory effect.

All members of the University community will be encouraged to participate in active learning and self-reflection around this subject both in and outside the classroom.

7 — DEFINITIONS

ACADEMIC FREEDOM (as per the MAFA-MTA Collective Agreement)
The common good of society depends upon the search for knowledge and its free exposition. Academic freedom in universities is essential to both these purposes in the fulfillment of an employee’s professional responsibilities. Mount Allison and Mount Allison faculty members agree that they will not infringe or abridge the academic freedom of any member of the faculty association. Mount Allison faculty members are entitled, regardless of prescribed doctrine, to freedom in carrying out research and creative activity, and in publishing the results thereof; freedom of teaching and of discussion; and freedom from institutional censorship. Academic freedom does not require neutrality on the part of the individual. Rather, academic freedom makes commitment possible. Academic freedom carries with it the duty to use that freedom in a manner consistent with the scholarly obligation to base research and teaching on an honest search for knowledge, and with due regard for the rights of others. Freedom in teaching necessarily includes the freedom of an employee to determine pedagogy, and the use of those teaching and support materials which she/he believes to be appropriate.

ACTIVE BYSTANDER
An active bystander is someone who not only witnesses a situation, but takes steps to speak up or step in to keep a situation from escalating or to disrupt a problematic situation.

ANTI-RACISM
Anti-racism refers to actions and discourses that contribute to the elimination of racism in all its forms.

ANTI-RACISM EDUCATION & RESPONSE TEAM
The Anti-Racism Education & Response Team is an assembly of staff, faculty and student representatives who are formally tasked with receiving and responding to disclosures and/or complaints of racism or racial harassment.

COMPLAINT
A formal written account of an incident of racism or racial harassment submitted to the Anti-Racism Education & Response Team for the purpose of initiating a formal review and resolution process.

CONTRACTOR
Any person, not otherwise defined as an employee or student, who is contracted by the University to provide goods or services to the University.

DISCLOSURE
When an individual provides information to a member of the Anti-Racism Education & Response Team that they or another party have witnessed or experienced racism or racial harassment. Disclosures are for information and documentation purposes only and may include a request for mediation, counselling, education, guidance, or other forms of support. If an individual decides to pursue additional action under the policy, it will be treated as a Complaint (see above).

EMPLOYEE
Any person who works part-time or full-time under a contract of employment with the University, whether oral or written.

NATURAL JUSTICE
The principle of natural justice seeks to ensure procedural fairness in the resolution of a complaint: the right to notice, the right to be heard, the right to a coherent procedure and a reasoned decision.

RACE
For the purposes of this Policy, “race” should be read to include race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, and citizenship.

RACIAL HARASSMENT
Racial harassment is a course of vexatious conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome that is directed at a person or group on the basis of race. It includes physical assault or interference; inappropriate display or transmission of material that is racist, ethnic or religious in a demeaning manner; as well as racist jokes, anecdotes, slurs (including racially derogatory nicknames) or comments that are obviously insulting, demeaning or derogatory towards a person because of race or continue after the speaker is informed that the comments are unwelcome and/or have caused offence.

RACIALIZATION
The process through which groups come to be designated as different on the basis of race, and subjected to differential and less favourable treatment. Ethnicity, language, economics, religion, culture, politics, and other bases of difference may also be involved in processes of racialization.

RACISM
Racism is any action or attitude that subordinates an individual or group on the basis of race. It can be enacted individually or institutionally, consciously or unconsciously. (United States Commission on Civil Rights)

Racism is more than personal prejudice; it involves carrying into effect one’s prejudices, resulting in discrimination, inequity and/or exclusion. Racism can be openly displayed in racial jokes, slurs, or hate crimes. It can also be more deeply rooted in attitudes, values, and stereotypical beliefs. In some cases, people don’t even realize they have these beliefs. Instead, they are assumptions that have evolved over time and have become part of systems and institutions, and also associated with the dominant group’s power and privilege. (Ontario Human Rights Code)

RACISM JUDICIAL PANEL
The Racism Judicial Panel is the adjudicating body that hears, rules and/or makes recommendations on any formal complaints of racism or racial harassment in which one or more students is a respondent. The Racism Judicial Panel consists of two students, one faculty member, and one staff member who are appointed by the Anti-Racism Education & Response Team following an open application process.

STUDENT
Any person admitted to or enrolled at Mount Allison University, full-time or part-time, pursuing non-credit, undergraduate or graduate studies, whether or not the individual is currently registered in courses or is currently a candidate for a degree or certificate. An individual is considered to be a student during periods before and between terms, while on university suspension, during an approved leave of absence, and while participating in university-approved study at another university.

UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY
Current students and employees of Mount Allison University, including members of University Boards. Also refers to contractors, their employees and agents, and visitors to the University. Allegations of racism against contractors, their employees and agents will be dealt with by the University as potential breaches of contract, and may result in suspension of University privileges, such as access to the campus.

VISITOR
Any person, who is not a student or employee of the university as defined by this policy, who visits Mount Allison property. This could include: members of the local community attending events held on campus, those making use of recreational facilities on campus, guests and contractors or other persons working on Mount Allison premises but not employed by Mount Allison.

8 — INTERSECTIONALITY

Mount Allison University is a diverse community and recognizes that individual experiences of racism or racial harassment are often affected by factors including but not limited to sex, ancestry, ethnicity, language, ability, faith, age, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. To this end, every effort will be made to understand how experiences of racism intersect with other bases of inequality.

9 — REPORTING

All disclosures and complaints of racism or racial harassment should be directed to the Anti-Racism Education & Response Team. For the full composition and contact information of the Anti-Racism Education & Response Racism Team, please refer to the Racism and Racial Harassment Prevention & Response Procedure.

The Anti-Racism Education & Response Team serves as a resource to students and employees who have witnessed or experienced racism or racial harassment. It documents disclosures and provides guidance to individuals who wish to proceed with a formal complaint. The team likewise serves as a resource to students and employees who are identified as respondents in complaints of racism or racial harassment.

10 — CONFIDENTIALITY

Confidentiality is a key principle in creating an environment where individuals feel safe to report and seek support. The University falls under the New Brunswick Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act which concerns both the protection and disclosure of records. All reports made to the Racism Response Team will be kept confidential to the full extent possible and in accordance with law, where disclosure may be required, in order to best support and advise the reporting individual(s).

11 — RECORD KEEPING

A permanent record of the number and types of cases and the resolution of cases will be maintained by the Anti-Racism Education & Response Team. No names or identifying information will be included in the permanent records. For student matters, individual case files will be maintained by the Student Life Office. For employees, individual case files will be maintained by the Human Resources Department.

12 — IMPLEMENTATION

The ongoing review, development, and implementation of this policy are the responsibility of the Vice-President International and Student Affairs for student issues and the Vice-President Finance and Administration for employee, contractor, or Board issues.

13 — POLICY REVIEW

To ensure this policy is consistent with current best practices across Canada, it will be reviewed one year after implementation and then every 4 years, or more frequently when relevant social, resources or legal changes otherwise warrant an update. The review will be conducted by a committee consisting of the Anti-Racism Education & Response Team and the Racism Judicial Panel.

14 — RELATED POLICIES & DOCUMENTS

The responsibilities and activities of Mount Allison’s students and employees are broadly governed by an approved set of policies and procedures. These policies and procedures interact with one another to ensure a comprehensive and consistent response to complaints and violations. In addition to being subject to the terms of this policy, incidents of racism and racial harassment may also be subject to the terms of the following policies and collective agreements:

Racism and Racial Harassment Prevention and Response Procedure