Improving Equity at Waterloo

Hello FAUW members!

Earlier this year, Waterloo’s Vice President of Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusion, Diana Parry, circulated an invitation to a PACE Open Consultation session coming up on February 2.

PACE is not a well-known acronym at Waterloo, so let’s look at what it is, what it does, and who’s on it—and why I think it’s important right now.

What is PACE?

PACE is the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Equity and, its current mandate is to provide a forum for consultation on Equity, advising on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility for Success (IDEAS).

What does PACE do?

PACE monitors and advises on UW campus climate, policies, and initiatives, focusing on IDEAS. PACE reports recommendations to the Vice President, Academic & Provost. As an example, PACE advised on UW’s recent Policy on the Prevention and Response to Sexual Violence (Policy 42).

PACE also maintains working groups (e.g. the Working Group on Sexual and Gender Diversity (LGBTTTQQIPA+), and the Working Group on Awareness and Prevention of Sexual Violence), that have designed & initiated successful IDEAS projects (e.g. the making spaces workshops).

Who’s on PACE?

The current membership of PACE is:
  • Director of Equity (chair)
  • Associate Provost, Human Resources
  • Associate Provost, Students
  • A dean or associate dean
  • Director of Organizational and Human Development
  • Director of Conflict Management and Human Rights
  • Director of the Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre
  • Director of Police Services
  • Associate Director of Accessibility Services
  • PACE working group chairs
  • Representatives from:
    • Affiliated and Federated Institutions of Waterloo (AFIW)
    • Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 793
    • Staff Association (UWSA)
    • Faculty Association (FAUW)
    • Federation of Students
    • Graduate Student Association

I’m the FAUW representative on PACE, and a member of FAUW’s Status of Women and Equity Committee (SWEC). For more information, please see the PACE Terms of Reference.

Why we’re talking about PACE now

At the start of this academic year, PACE met to reflect on its role and functions. One concern raised was that as an advisory group on Equity, PACE needs to have better representation from equity-seeking groups across campus. As an alternative to expanding its membership, the committee opted to start with better outreach. One such outreach initiative is the open consultation session.

There has been a concerted effort to improve IDEAS at UW, but to do so successfully and comprehensively, it is my belief that we need a more diverse group guiding the process.

To this end, I encourage both individuals and groups to make suggestions and raise concerns at the upcoming open consultation. These ideas will help guide PACE’s initiatives over this year. If you’d like to attend, please register online.

Can’t make it to the meeting? Want more ways to pursue equity improvements?

I encourage you to send an email to me (Kate Rybczynski), to your FAUW representatives, to the FAUW president (Bryan Tolson) or to the chair of SWEC (Weizhen Dong).

Visit the FAUW and SWEC websites to learn what we and other equity proponents are doing to improve equity on campus.

Sincerely,

Kate Rybczynski
Associate Professor, Department of Economics
Past Chair, FAUW Status of Women and Equity Committee

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