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Sheridan launches Panel of Inquiry into Music Theatre program

Apr 23, 2021

Earlier today, Sheridan announced that it will appoint an independent, third-party Panel to conduct a formal Inquiry into the Honours Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance program. The effort comes following the receipt of an equity assessment report about the Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design this year, which highlighted specific concerns about the program including behaviours related to racism, misogyny, bullying, harmful industry standards, dismissed concerns, and unhealthy power dynamics. 

The Report noted that the Music Theatre program is undergoing “massive change” with numerous EDI-related initiatives underway. Substantive change takes time and deliberate, thoughtful action and since the release of the Report, Sheridan has taken significant steps to resolve concerns and reform the program. Despite these efforts, Sheridan continues to hear that more needs to be done. 

The Panel will conduct a thorough evaluation of the overall climate of the program to identify areas of continuing concern to lay a strong foundation for the collective work ahead. It will also look into specific issues regarding ongoing systemic discrimination and harassment, unprofessionalism and incivility, student conduct, programmatic issues, and other matters that, if left unaddressed, have the potential to impair the program’s positive path forward. 

Throughout May and June, the Panel members will focus on information gathering and will follow up with individuals who have already identified concerns. Those who play key roles in the administration of the program as well as a cross-section of employees, students and alumni will be contacted. Sheridan invites individuals who are interested in participating to email  equity@sheridancollege.ca to schedule an interview. 

The Panel will prepare a report that makes findings and recommendations including, but not limited to:

an assessment of the climate in the program, including inter-faculty dynamics and student conduct;
identification of any systemic discrimination issues or programmatic issues that may be found to exist; and
recommendations to address any climate issues that conflict with Sheridan values or policies.

Sheridan is committed to ensuring that employees and students in the Honours Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance program are able to work, learn and live in a safe and respectful environment. The Panel’s findings and recommendations will critically inform the ongoing work by the program to ensure it exists in an environment that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion and that fosters a culture that promotes professionalism, courtesy, trust, good faith, understanding and civility as the basis of mutual respect.

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