Our University Plan 2025 clearly states our ambition to be the university the world needs. And what the world needs is safe and welcoming spaces for everyone, especially for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions, and all races and religious and spiritual beliefs.
As a campus community, we are committed to taking the actions necessary to create the change that we want for our university and for our society. As we celebrate and commemorate Pride by spotlighting Pride Month, we are reminded that demonstrating our desire and determination to be champions of diversity requires dialogue, education and action. As an educational pillar of our community and our country, USask is the right place, at the right time, to lead the way in engaging in the difficult discussions for which universities like ours are ideally suited.
While we have plenty of work to do, we are moving forward as we continue to make our campus community a safe and supportive place for all students, staff, faculty, alumni and visitors. In 2020, we created our first university-wide Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Policy and signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Saskatchewan Students Union (USSU) in 2021 to create a more inclusive, equitable and safe working, teaching and learning environment for all.
Building on the success of USask’s inaugural Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Day held in October 2021, the university is now developing an EDI Strategy and Action Plan, providing a pathway to progress and a blueprint for building a better campus community.
As we move forward, let us all take the time during Pride Month to connect, commemorate and celebrate. We should use this month to engage in education to learn more about the issues facing the 2SLGBTQIA+ community today and how we can be allies.
To learn more about what USask is doing, visit our usask.ca news website and our Pride page. There you will find information on USask’s EDI Policy, the supports offered by the USSU Pride Centre, upcoming USask-sponsored events and learning opportunities, and how to show your Pride by visiting Shop USask for Pride-themed items, with a portion of all purchases going to the university’s queer housing initiative. And for those ready to delve into the history and explore academic opportunities, USask offers courses and collections.
You can also show your support for the 2022 Saskatoon Pride Festival by joining campus and community members, including USask senior leaders Provost Airini and Deputy Provost Patti McDougall, in the annual Pride Parade on Saturday, June 18 at 1 pm. You are invited to walk with USask (meet by 12:30 pm at Spadina Crescent and 24th Street East) or feel free to support from the sidelines along the parade route.
However you choose to take part, thank you for supporting Pride Month at USask.
President and Vice-Chancellor
University of Saskatchewan