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Fisher Window removed and diversity progress

  • 29 July 2020

Following the College’s announcement on 26 June 2020, the Window representing Fisher’s 7x7 Latin Square has now been removed from Hall and is being stored securely.

In addition to the Window’s removal, a Working Group on Representation has been established, with Professor Sir Alan Fersht (former Master) as chair. It consists of a broad cross-section of College fellows, with students and staff also represented. The Working Group will make recommendations to the College Council and consult with the General Meeting – a termly meeting of the Master and all Fellows. The wide remit of the Working Group includes the future of the Fisher Window and public engagement surrounding it, as well as the life and work of Professor Sir Ronald Fisher more broadly. It will also look at equality and diversity at Caius more widely, including the diversity of representation within the College as a whole and within its governance structures. Broader issues of creative arts responses and memorialisation in College will be considered in consultation with the Portraits and Memorials Committee.

The College is grateful to the Fellows, students and other members of the Caius community, past and present, who have presented their views and experiences, particularly members from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds. It is clear that the College must do more to make Caius an even more inclusive community. We are committed to doing better in the way of diversity and equality.

The Working Group on Representation will set out concrete and measurable actions for future structural change in Caius. Some progress has already been made:

Equality and diversity will be a standing agenda item on every College Committee. 

Dr Calaresu and Dr Everill have been appointed as joint College Discrimination and Harassment Contacts from 1 July 2020 until 30 September 2021 to support any member of the Caius community who has suffered discrimination and harassment. They will also work with the GCSU and MCR to promote thinking about community at Caius through a programme of events during the year.

Specialists in BME counselling, are now available for students through our counselling provider. Students can contact their Tutor to request this service.

The College will appoint a Research Fellow for the study of constructions/uses of race and advancing the goals of anti-racism. The recruitment for this role will commence in the 2020-21 academic year, following the annual Research Fellowship Competition.

The College’s new Student Disciplinary Procedure, which outlines the reporting, investigation, appeal and punishment of any misconduct or harassment, has been formally approved. A communications campaign to publicise the procedure to Caius students will be launched in Michaelmas Term 2020.

All Tutors and Admissions Tutors have completed implicit-bias training and by the start of the 2020-21 academic year all tutorial staff would have completed this training as well.

All Fellows have been invited to a diversity awareness session to provide education about race issues and start the conversation about diversity at Caius. The intention is that this will be provided regularly, with new entrants joining the next available session.

While some actions can be articulated now, others require more time to develop. Some of these include the development of a complaints procedure regarding staff, the review of other procedures relating to misconduct and harassment, a significant enhancement of the Health and Wellbeing Centre in College, and continuing the work of the Legacy of Slavery committee once the archives re-open. We will continue to communicate our progress on these in due course.

The Master has made it her ambition to make Gonville & Caius a place in which everyone can thrive. The last few months have shown how ambitious we must be to ensure Caius is a welcoming place for every member of the College to be able to be the best they can be. We are committed to continue these initiatives because racism and any form of harassment or misconduct has no place at Caius.

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