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The university will be selecting representatives starting Tuesday. Image: Rame Abdulkader/Fulcrum.

The committee will be replacing the President’s Advisory Committee for an Anti-Racist and Inclusive Campus

The University of Ottawa Senate announced the creation of a new anti-racism committee on Monday afternoon. The new committee will be an action-based committee replacing the President’s Advisory Committee for an Anti-Racist and Inclusive Campus.

“Today, I announce the dissolution of that committee and the launch of a new, more action oriented committee with a renewed mandate and membership,” said Jacques Frémont, the University of Ottawa’s president in front of the university’s Senate.

The committee will be tasked with reviewing and accessing university resources, programs, policy practices and processes to understand how they contribute to systemic racism. It will also provide recommendations to help further the inclusion of BIPOC members at the university and eliminate any barriers to the U of O’s diversity and inclusion effort. 

The new committee will be composed of BIPOC members of the U of O’s faculty, students and staff along with two appointed members from the Board of Governors. 

“We encourage our students, faculty and staff to nominate those who are best suited to move our community forward,” said Frémont. 

The new committee comes after a U of O professor uttered the ‘N-word’ in an online lecture on Sep. 23. Then weeks later on Oct. 19, the U of O tweeted that the Ottawa Police Service was investigating an incident on campus involving “hate/bias graffiti.”

After that on Oct. 26, at the Board of Governors meeting, undergraduate student representative Jamie Ghossein stated that an incident had occurred at the U of O’s Roger Guindon campus where hacked printers printed racist material. 

“We need to understand and root out systemic racism within our confines and in broader society. We absolutely condemn racism, harassment, racial slurs and discrimination,” said Frémont.

“We must understand the need for academic freedom, freedom of expression, and anti-racism to coexist in an atmosphere of respect and dignity.” 

No announcement has been made regarding when the committee will launch. The university will be selecting representatives starting Tuesday.