Kim Meade, Mount Allison’s vice-president of international and student affairs, wants to evoke change in the university, regardless of opposition to her position.
She is only the second person to hold this position at Mt. A. She was preceded by Ron Byrne, who served from 2007 until he resigned last spring.
The 2015 budget advisory committee proposed the elimination or postponment of the hiring of a VP, student affairs in order to provide an opportunity to re-evaluate the position.
The Mount Allison Faculty Association echoed these concerns.
Although there has been opposition to the immediate replacement of Byrne, Meade said, “[The position] is responsible for recruitment and retention of students and that is a priority of Mount Allison.”
Last year, a CBC report named Mt. A the campus with the highest reported sexual-assault rate in New Brunswick. Changing sexual assault protocols and policies is one of Meade’s top objectives.
“It is time to update the sexual-assault and sexual-harassment policies and protocols to better reflect current practices, to look at the language and nomenclature that’s being used, and to look at our responses to gender-based violence,” said Meade.
Mt. A’s S.H.A.R.E. program is an important aspect of Meade’s hopes for the development of campus policy, as is the Mt. A President Robert Campbell’s advisory committee on women’s and gender issues. “We’ll also be obviously looking at it from other groups on campus,” Meade added, “so there will be a whole consultative process…. We’ll also look at best practices that have been adopted by other provinces and at other post-secondary institutions.”
Meade is also concerned with general wellness on campus. “It’s really important to continue to work on health and wellness, and in particular mental-health initiatives,” she said. Meade plans on enforcing mental-health first aid on campus, beginning with a rollout plan which will ideally expand across campus.