Vice-Provost Students offers an update on the review of the culture in York’s Athletics & Recreation varsity teams

Vari Hall at night

In 2020, the Division of Students, working with the Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion hired Ethical Associates, a third-party firm of independent human rights practitioners, to conduct an Equity Climate Review of student-athletes’ experiences while engaging with York’s Athletics & Recreation Department.

The review was initiated following concerns raised by some current student-athletes and student-athlete alumni. At the outset of the review, Vice-Provost Students Lucy Fromowitz committed to share the recommendation with the York University community. The full review can be found on the Vice-Provost Students website.

The Equity Climate Review was not an investigation. Rather, the broad mandate was to explore the climate in the department through the experiences and perceptions of current student athletes and student-athlete alumni dating back to 2012, and of coaches and administrative staff. The review sought to identify gaps in programs, processes or structures that might contribute to experiences of anti-Black racism, discrimination or any issues of inequity, and to recommend areas for improvement to ensure the community can enjoy an inclusive and respectful environment.

“The review, with 22 recommendations, has provided a clear path forward. We accept all recommendations and have published our Action Plan alongside the review. We are committed to creating the conditions in which our student-athletes can thrive, and we hold ourselves accountable to report on our progress towards these goals,” said Fromowitz.

In addition, on Tuesday of this week, the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Anti-Racism Report was released. While the Equity Climate Review was completed well in advance of this report and includes student-athlete reflections on a broad number of areas, Fromowitz believes that the OUA Report underscores the need for the University to advance its work in implementing the recommendations.

In closing, Fromowitz offered her thanks to the more than 300 students, 28 coaching staff and 39 administrative staff who participated and shared their perceptions, experience, and attitudes about issues of importance to the community.

To learn more and to view the full message, visit the Vice-Provost Students website.