Senate committee recommends Queen’s keep ‘O Canada’ at convocation

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Queen's maintaining 'O Canada' at convocation ceremonies.

Two years after the issue was raised, the Senate Committee on Academic Procedures (SCAP) recommended Senate not take up the question of whether to discard ‘O Canada’ from convocation ceremonies. 

The recommendation, published in a memo published Feb. 25. and included in Queen’s Senate agenda, follows a question submitted by Senator Diane Beauchemin to Office of the University Secretariat in March, 2018: “If Queen’s is really serious about truth and reconciliation, why is the national anthem still played at Convocation when Indigenous people do not stand up for it and are thus singled out?”

The question was referred to SCAP, which deals with matters concerning convocation. 

According to the memo, SCAP used a survey to solicit input from other Canadian universities and colleges, and received 37 responses.

Of the 37 responding institutions, only the Canadian Mennonite University replied that it doesn’t use ‘O Canada’ at convocation. The remaining institutions also indicated they have no plans to change that practice in the near future.

Using the Senate’s 2018 decision to keep ‘God Save the Queen’ at convocation as precedence, as well as the review of current practices at other Canadian institutions, SCAP decided against issuing a recommendation to pursue the question of whether ‘O Canada’ should be included in Queen’s convocation ceremonies. 


A previous version of this article presented the SCAP recommendation as the final decision on the matter. 

The Journal regrets the error


Convocation, national anthem, Senate Committee on Academic Procedures

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