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Culture and Climate

Community Climate Committee

The Community Climate Committee (CCC) was formed partly to be the body who absorbed the recommendations of the APS, UTCAP, CCDI reviews of the astronomy units. Below are the seven recommendations formulated through these site reviews and which the CCC used to develop its working sub-committees:

  1. Develop and support EDI training within the units
  2. Support the expansion and formalising of the mentoring scheme
  3. Develop mechanisms for monitoring the climate within the units
  4. Advise the leadership on hiring and admissions processes with an equity lens
  5. Develop practises for integrating undergraduates and marginalised students into the units
  6. Develop mechanisms for support and capturing the mental health of the units
  7. Develop and maintain website resources related to community and its climate

CCC Mandate

A Summary of the Self-Defined Mandate of the University of Toronto Astronomy Community Climate Committee (CCC) is as Follows:

  1. Provide a synthesized list of actionable recommendations. Driven by UTCAP, APS, Race climate reports, but not limited to these reports.
  2. Provide specific timelines in which recommendations should be implemented within.
  3. Monitor the climate within the units; provide people another venue for reporting issues year-round. 
  4. Track outcomes form our recommendations
  5. Create a framework for accountability for whether our recommendations are acted upon.

The CCC members meet on a monthly basis to discuss actionable items to be presented to leadership. The Committee chairs provide monthly input to unit heads based on a consensus developed in the CCC. Critically, the CCC is not responsible for enacting all of these recommendations; however, the DADDAA Chair and Dunlap Director can request additional input, information, and actions from the Committee where appropriate.

The CCC does not replace any other standing group in the department, such as GASA  or its committees, although it may be productive to work together on common interests.



Faculty: Renée Hložek (Co-Chair), Hilding Neilson
Staff: Joanna Baylon (Co-Chair)
Postdoc(s): Cameron Van Eck, Sarah Gossan
Graduate Student(s): Shannon Vanderwoude, Taylor Kutra
Undergraduate Student(s): Ayush Pandhi (now Graduate student)

2020-2021 Membership

The inaugural members of the Community Climate Committee were Maria Drout (co-chairs), Joanna Baylon (co-chairs), Shannon Vanderwoude, Laura Keating, Sarah Gossan, Norm Murray, Hilding Neilson, Hugh Zhao, Ayush Pandhi, Taylor Kutra, and Cameron Van Eck. Renée Hlozek joined in 2021.

The nominal timeline for service to the Committee are staggered 1-year terms, with eligibility for reselection for a second year.