Biology Department EDI Statement

The Biology Department has developed the following guiding principles to align with Mount Saint Vincent University’s statement on EDI

Guiding Principles:

1. Diversity of invited speakers. The Department will strive to ensure:

  • That one third of all invited seminar speakers represent under-represented groups in the field of Biology (including Women, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Two Spirit, Intersex, Asexual, + (LGBTQ2SIA+), Black, Indigenous and other visible minorities, as well as those with visible or invisible disabilities, mental illness), and
  • That the diversity of the seminar speakers is reflective of our diverse student population.

2. Department recognizes systemic inequities and unconscious bias that exists on campus.

  • Departmental members are encouraged to take the unconscious bias test on a regular basis in order to raise awareness of their own biases.
  • Faculty members serving on fair hiring and/or tenure and promotion committees are encouraged to attend the workshops delivered by the VP Academic office prior to serving on these committees.

3. We welcome the use of personal pronouns and encourage students to communicate these to their lecturers.

4. We recognize parental responsibilities that students and faculty may have. The Department will promote:

  • Awareness that unexpected family emergencies do occasionally arise;
  • Scheduling of Departmental social activities during regular business/school hours in a manner that strives to be inclusive;
  • Directing graduate students and post-docs to the MSVU Research Office webpage that lists parental leave options for graduate students and post-docs supported by Tri-council fund.

5. The Department recognizes the religious obligations of some individuals

  • The Department strives to host social activities during times that do not to pose a timing conflict,
  • The Department will facilitate access to individual spaces for prayer and reflection on a by-need basis

6. The Department will evaluate departmental policies and practices to identify barriers and behaviors that impact the participation of faculty, students and post-docs in scholarship, research, and social activities.

7. Highlight successes of students and encourage nominations for awards taking into account:

  • Any systemic biases a student may have faced or are facing
  • Any mental health issues the student may have faced or are facing

As a Department, we welcome feedback and discussion of these guiding principles.