What is the Equity and Diversity Committee?
The Equity and Diversity Committee is a PGSS committee of graduate students responsible for:
1. Understanding and representing graduate student interests in issues regarding equity and diversity on campus
2. Assessing, monitoring and making recommendations to promote equity and diversity in PGSS operations
3. Collaborating with other groups and offices on campus committed to promote equity and diversity
What is Equity and Diversity?
The PGSS treats equity and diversity as two sides of the same coin. Our community is diverse, as a matter of fact, by virtue of encompassing a variety of individuals who identify and are identified with a multitude of social groups. But our commitment to diversity requires more than simply acknowledging the fact of diversity. It requires us to recognize that, both historically and presently, certain groups of people are systematically denied access to education or the opportunity to participate on equal terms in the University community, whether as students, professors or members of University staff. These groups include, but are not limited to:
People whose first language is neither English nor French
People of minority sexual orientations and gender identities
People of underprivileged socio-economic status
People with disabilities
Francophones at McGill
PGSS is committed to promote the participation of these groups in all aspects of campus life, because it sees diversity as an asset, something we gain from. But this commitment cannot be effective without an equally strong commitment for equity.
Our commitment for equity stems from an awareness of the past and present marginalization of certain groups that underpins the lack of access and respect in society for those groups, and corresponds to the privileging of other dominant groups within society. We recognize that different individuals and different groups face particular challenges which demand more than equality, pure and simple; equity means that specific problems demand solutions specifically catered for the affected individuals. As such, equity does not always mean equality.
Working for equity and diversity includes prompting the creation of policies and actions that change these disparate power relations and to remedy the negative impacts they cause. PGSS is committed to taking on a leadership role on issues of equity and diversity within the PGSS membership by advocating for inclusiveness and social and economic justice through recognition, respect, numerical representation, accountability, and responsibility. As such, the PGSS Policy on Equity and Diversity was adopted.
When should you contact the Equity Committee?
You have questions about what PGSS is doing in terms of equity on campus
You have suggestions for ways that PGSS could better address equity concerns
You do not feel your voice is being heard on issues of equity on campus
You find that a McGill or PGSS policy or practice is not equitable
You have a concern relating to equity that you would like PGSS to address
You have feedback on the equity of a PGSS event or initiative
You want to get involved in equity issues on campus.