The DFA is satisfied with the August 25/21 announcement by Dalhousie’s Provost and VP Academic Frank Harvey with respect to mandatory proof of vaccination or twice-weekly COVID testing. These measures will help keep our university campus and the broader community healthy and safe.
We have also made several other demands including mandatory masking in indoor spaces, physical distancing where possible and adequate ventilation. These measures contribute to safe teaching and learning in the classroom, and we will continue to push for these enhanced safety protocols.
The university’s Return to Campus committee is being resurrected to work out the details of ensuring a safe Fall term. We have been excluded from planning up until now, so it is vital that we have a voice at the table this time around. The DFA is lobbying to have representation on that committee.
The DFA sent a letter to Dalhousie President Saini reiterating our demands for enhanced safety protocols for a safe return to campus, and drawing his attention to measures recently announced at other Canadian universities.
Dr. Tara Perrot, DFA President 2021-22
Silence isn’t an option in the face of the horrific discovery of 215 Indigenous children on the grounds of a residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia. This discovery is yet another stark reminder of our history, a history that was documented in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TCR) Report of 2015, as well as the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) report of 1996. The loss of these Indigenous children is part of the truth of our past and it needs to be recognized as such. If we are ever to move toward reconciliation, we must acknowledge the inter-generational trauma, colonialism, racism and hurt that continues into the present day.
This is intended not only as a statement of abhorrence, but an invitation to act. If you haven’t read the TCR report, read it. I urge you all to engage with the ‘Calls to Action’ in the TCR as individuals and as a collective. Reach out to your federal representatives and inquire about their progress in moving forward with these actions. Discuss with your department members and unit leaders how you can ensure Indigenous content in your courses. Collaborate with colleagues to encourage Indigenous-centered research. Support Indigenous membership in your community and demand it in your workplace.
Reconciliation is a shared goal and one which requires action. Dalhousie’s Board of Governors and Senate have expressed support for the TRC Call to Action. It’s time to make good on that expression with action.
DFA recently surveyed its membership to learn how faculty members were feeling about their teaching fomat for the Fall 2021 term. Members noted the uncertainty and conflicting messages they are receiving from Dalhousie administration. They also feel pressured to accept the proposed format, and/or were afraid to voice their concerns. A summary of results can be found here
Statement from DFA President David Westwood (March 22, 2021): The DFA condemns anti-Asian discrimination, including racially-driven behaviour and recent attacks on the Asian community. The DFA values inclusion as integral to delivering on Dalhousie's academic mission, helping to create a vibrant academic community in which diversity can flourish.
(February 17, 2021) – Both the DFA and the Dalhousie Board of Governors have now formally ratified the tentative agreement reached in January. The DFA membership voted in favour of the agreement last month, with 96% of voting members accepting the agreement. Last week, the Board of Governors ratified the agreement. The new Collective Agreement will be in effect from July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2022. Click here for more details.