Bittu George, Law’98 (Artsci’95), is one of 10 alumni elected by fellow Queen’s grads to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion at the upper levels of the university. Succeeding in what may be the largest pool of candidates ever, he will join the University Council in September. As part of this governance body, George will be advising the senior administration and serving as an ambassador for the school.
“I believe its is important to give back to my alma mater, which has given me so much in terms of education, personal growth, and life experiences,” George says. “I want to make sure that the benefits I received as a student continue to be available for present and future students at Queen’s.”
Since his graduation, this native Kingstonian has been part of campus life through the Queen’s University Alumni Association’s Kingston Branch, placing him in the ideal setting to interact with students. “I’m aware of challenges that students are currently facing, especially in terms of accessibility and inclusion,” he explains. “During my tenure as Co-Chair of the Senate Orientation Activities Review Board (SOARB), I have been working hard to improve accessibility and inclusion in Orientation activities and implementing the recommendations from the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Report and the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion (PICRDI). We have started to see some improvements, but much more work needs to be done in this area at Queen’s.”
A former municipal politician who remains actively involved in various local community groups and initiatives, George also wants to continue his work in improving the university and its relations with the Kingston community. “Having been a City Councillor and the Deputy Mayor during past Homecomings, I have seen the positive and negative sides of this relationship,” he says. “I would like to help continue the improvement in this relationship between Queen’s and Kingston I have witnessed in recent years.”
Another asset George brings to the council is his vast experience on governing boards of such organizations as hospital foundations and community non-profits. “I look forward to lending my experience in this area to University Council, helping to make improvements in this body, and indirectly, to the university itself.”
By Lisa Graham