Queen’s University announced on Friday that an advisory committee will review its student non-academic misconduct system.
Until now, cases of alleged non-academic student misconduct — such as hazing, harassment or any other violation of the Student Code of Conduct — were addressed by the AMS, Athletics & Recreation, the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) or Queen’s Residences.
The review, which will be overseen by Principal Daniel Woolf, follows a decision made by the Board of Trustees, one of the University’s three governing bodies.
The review comes with the release of the Lewis report — an advisory report from independent expert Harriet Lewis, the university secretary at York University.
The Lewis report identified several areas for improvement and made recommendations for reforms, according to the release.
“First and foremost, Queen’s is committed to student health and safety,” Barbara Palk, chair of the Board of Trustees, said in the release.
“The changed and increased societal expectations of the role and responsibilities of universities, as well as recommendations from several independent experts, are requiring the university to examine some of its long-standing practices in the interest of student safety and well-being.”
While the review is completed, the University has instituted an interim protocol for cases of student non-academic misconduct.
The interim protocol includes a Central Intake Office for all cases of non-academic misconduct. The office will be responsible for reviewing each case and refering it to the appropriate non-academic misconduct system — AMS, SGPS, Athletics & Recreation, Residences or the Provost’s Office.
The non-academic discipline system had been questioned previously, especially the student-run AMS Non-Academic Discipline (NAD) system.
The review will include significant consultation — for which the process is still being determined — with members of the Queen’s community, including governing bodies and students.
“We strongly believe that this system cannot, and ought not, stand on the legs of tradition alone. The AMS welcomes the review of the non-academic discipline system as a necessary and important component of ensuring the system is sustainable for years to come,” the AMS executive — Kanivanan Chinniah, Kyle Beaudry and Sarah Letersky — stated in their Friday press release.
“Moving forward, it is important that any new system should prioritize student well-being and involvement. It should not hinder any efforts to facilitate positive cultural shifts among the Queen’s community by continuing to utilize the principles of restorative justice.”
Following the review, Principal Woolf will bring recommended policies and procedures to the Board of Trustees for approval. These recommendations will then be received by the Senate no later than May 31, 2016.
This article will be updated once more information becomes available.
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