Senate Recap: October 3

OISE Open House

Woolf addresses move-in day signs, says students being penalized

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This Wednesday marked the first Senate meeting of the 2017-18 academic year. At the meeting, senators discussed developments from the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Task Force, the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (PICRDI) and enrollment statistics.

Principal’s Report

Principal Daniel Woolf began the meeting by addressing the offensive signage displayed in the University District on move-in day this year that resulted in criticism from students, community members and the Principal himself.

In a statement following the incident, Woolf wrote that the students involved in exhibiting these signs were being penalized according to the Student Code of Conduct. At Senate, Woolf reiterated that a “NAM [Non-Academic Misconduct] process is underway” for these students.

According to Woolf, these students didn’t understand the University’s ongoing commitment to inclusion.

“These actions do not reflect the views of our larger community,” he said. 

Woolf then formally congratulated Janice Hill, who began her position as the inaugural Director of Indigenous Initiatives this Monday. According to Woolf, Hill has demonstrated a “deep and longstanding commitment” to Indigenous advocacy efforts on campus.

Deputy Provost reports on PICRDI and TRC

Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion) Teri Shearer provided Senate with an update on the efforts put forward by the TRC Task Force and PICRDI, citing the creation of the Office of Indigenous Initiatives and the development of the University Council on Anti-Racism and Equity.

Shearer called such developments “a collaborative effort,” noting the involvement of “senior leaders, staff, faculty and students” alike.

Senator Laeeque Daneshmend inquired as to whether the University had followed up on one of the recommendations put forth by PICRDI that an administrative position titled Assistant Vice-President of Equity be created by 2018.

Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon responded that “within the year [they’ll] be looking at that more closely,” but indicated that no significant progress on the position had been made as of yet.

Senator Rachel Tung asked Senate whether they were aware of the recent petition assembled by ASUS Equity Commissioner Laura Anderson and the AMS Indigenous Affairs Deputy Taylor Bluhm. The petition calls for the inscription of Indigenous land recognition on the stone Queen’s University sign located at the corner of Union Street and University Avenue.

Bacon expressed that the petition was “news to him” but that he was definitely open to discussing the proposal and presenting it to Aboriginal Council.

Provost’s Report

Bacon provided enrollment statistics for the 2017-18 academic year, highlighting the results in comparison to goals set for the year.

Bacon said it was a “strong year for recruitment, admissions and enrollment.” The University surpassed their goal for first-year undergraduate student enrollment by 60 students, with a final result of 4,574.

The University welcomed 520 international students, which constitutes 11 per cent of the first-year class – exceeding their goal of 10 per cent for the year.

Bacon noted 72 of first-year undergraduate students identified as Indigenous, which is “up slightly” from last year. The Bader International Study Centre has seen its largest class ever, totaling 132 students.

This year also saw the enrollment of 1,623 graduate students, which is up 130 individuals from last year.

Bacon also mentioned the University’s plan for faculty renewal, which maintains a goal of hiring 40 new faculty members every year for the next five years, to reach a total of 200 new hires by 2021.

So far, the University has hired 36 faculty members, but they are “on track to reach [their] goal of 40 new hires for year one” Bacon said.

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