Statement from the Dean

Posted on July 14, 2020


Picture of Beamish Munro Hall

Dear Queen’s Engineering students and community,

Over this past weekend, I have seen members of our community sharing stories on Instagram that have raised some vital questions about culture and inclusion within Queen’s Engineering. Clearly, some of our students do not feel welcome, cared for, and empowered in their studies here.

Community is a point of pride in our Faculty, and hearing from many who have felt neglected, alienated, or left behind has been difficult. Anti-Black racism and representation of marginalized people in engineering is something I have spoken about before. I remain passionate about these issues, which need further attention, and action, from our school. 

I would like to acknowledge and thank those who are speaking up. Making your concerns public is not easy. Reliving painful experiences by writing about them is not easy. Doing this in the hope of ultimately making our Faculty a better place has not been easy, and I appreciate your courage and character in doing so.

Saying “we’re listening” and “we are planning” is too often an excuse to not act. As engineers, we know the value of a plan is in its results.

I hope that our recent actions, such as our community forum Let’s Talk about Race in STEM on June 10 - where I heard from Black students in our Faculty, as well as FEAS students from other racialized groups - shows our commitment to further forward motion.

I further hope that our action in other areas shows that we are mindful of persity issues, and willing to put in the work to improve. As an example, we have eight years and counting of success with the Aboriginal Access to Engineering initiative, which has been improving Indigenous participation and success in engineering education on a scale that is recognized nationally. 

We plan to continue these important discussions in the coming days, with more focused opportunities to hear concerns from our community to come in the near future.  We are in the early planning stages for a Town Hall style forum, aimed at empowering marginalized groups to be heard, with the objective of identifying some concrete next steps.  We encourage anyone in our community to reach out with comments to engadmin@queensu.ca.

Culture and inclusion are a vital part of Queen’s Engineering.  I am committed to working with students, the Engineering Society, and our faculty and staff to ensure that every measure is taken to provide all Queen’s Engineering community members with an inclusive, positive and safe experience that reflects the best of Queen’s values and spirit.

Dean Kevin Deluzio

Students experiencing difficulties are encouraged to reach out to the university’s support services:

Sexual Violence Prevention and Response

Student Wellness: Mental Health

Student Wellness: Counselling Services

Queen’s University Equity Services