President Lachemi announces presidential expert panel on campus safety
I am pleased to announce a Presidential External Expert Panel (EEP) on Campus Safety and Security.
This panel will begin immediately to undertake the critical work of determining a holistic approach to enhancing safety and security at Ryerson while addressing the unique challenges we face. The safety and security of the Ryerson community continues to be one of our top priorities - we want our campus to remain an inclusive, people-friendly and safe environment for all community members.
Ryerson is deeply committed to its core values of equity, diversity and inclusion. The university recognizes that each individual’s lived experience informs their perspectives of safety on campus. While some feel more secure with increased presence of uniformed personnel, others feel unsafe and racialized community members in particular feel the impact of racial profiling by the police. The key challenge for the university is to take into account both of these realities and develop an intersectional, interdisciplinary campus safety service-delivery model that is firmly rooted in Ryerson’s commitment to our values and to confronting and disrupting racism.
I know the work of the expert panel will reflect the input of our entire community while ensuring an open, transparent, authentic and inclusive process.
Composition of the External Expert Panel
The Presidential External Expert Panel comprises:
- The Honourable Harry LaForme (Chair)
- Annamaria Enenajor
- Hamlin Grange
- Arleen Huggins
- Shawn Richard
These exemplary individuals were recommended through various stakeholders and subsequently interviewed. They each bring a high level of expertise and are widely recognized in the fields of anti-racism and community safety, having worked on similar projects with other Toronto institutions and public service agencies. All have expressed keen interest in engaging and working with our community to develop solutions. The EEP will develop strategies to ensure all students, faculty and staff, as well as community partners, have the opportunity to provide their input.
The EEP’s Mission
The EEP has been tasked with three key deliverables:
1. Research and consultation
The EEP will undertake research on best practices in other jurisdictions and engage in extensive consultations with the entire Ryerson community on the development of a uniquely Ryerson approach to campus safety and security. This will include where appropriate consultations with specific student groups, unions and departments. The EEP will also consult with external stakeholders where appropriate as this is not solely a Ryerson campus issue.
2. Recommended service-delivery model
The EEP will make recommendations with respect to an interdisciplinary campus safety service-delivery model that is firmly rooted in Ryerson’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.
3. Addressing societal challenges
The EEP will examine and make suggestions about the societal challenges that are prevalent on our campus and which need to be addressed to create a safe environment for our community. These challenges include aspects of cultural, physical and psychological safety resulting from the legacy of colonization, slavery and other forms of discrimination; additionally, violence, mental health, addictions and drug dealing impact our community members’ sense of safety.
The work of the EEP will begin immediately with a final report to be delivered to me by March 30, 2021.
We will continue to keep the community updated on the work of the EEP and the opportunities for broader community input.
President and Vice-Chancellor