As of March 2021, GALDSU has jointly suspended its participation in the Daniels Equity and Diversity Committee with AVSSU and the FGSA. Serious concerns about the committee’s structure and leadership must be addressed.
Statement to Students
Statement to Faculty
Why is GALDSU doing this?
For months, student representatives from GALDSU, AVSSU, and the FGSA have voiced concerns over the committee’s unwillingness to incorporate any meaningful student input into key decisions. Outside work study students hired by the committee also echoed these concerns. Despite this, faculty have done nothing to seriously address the committee’s organization or its operations. Our response protects our members’ time and ability to serve students.
What happens next?
GALDSU, AVSSU, and the FGSA are awaiting good faith action from Daniels to take steps towards a restructuring of the Equity and Diversity Committee. The restructuring must take student experience and student input seriously, which it has failed to do for many months. All three unions jointly released a statement clearly outlining next steps. We intend to re-join the committee once these changes are made.
Why is this so important?
Equity and diversity must be fully integrated into design education. Architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and visual studies are fields dominated by people of privilege, perpetuated by low wages, poor working conditions, and unrealistic competition. Students of colour—and in particular Black and Indigenous students—face even greater systemic barriers. We cannot claim to be designing for people without including all people.