NAD safe, for now

Motion to revoke student-run discipline system tabled

Non-academic discipline will remain in students’ hands—at least until Nov. 30.

The motion by seven deans to revoke the student-run system and place its judicial power into the hands of the Principal’s office was tabled after Senate unanimously passed a motion made by Dean of Arts and Science Robert Silverman at the May 24 Senate meeting to shelve the motion until the Nov. 30 Senate meeting.

Silverman told Senators and more than 100 students and community members in attendance that the deans’ motion “generated a lot of e-mail traffic” following its release, but none of the e-mails raised concerns about the reputation of Queen’s, and the damage it had suffered as a result of ineffectuality of the discipline system.

“No one recognized how ineffective the non-academic discipline had been with regard to Aberdeen one and two,” Silverman said, referring to street parties that happened last September and last month.

Silverman added that the student-run discipline system is also a legal liability for the University.

“When someone is hurt it will be the University that will be sued, not the AMS,” he said.

AMS Chief Prosecutor Jennifer Mansell presented an informal strategic plan for non-academic discipline.

Mansell told the Journal she doesn’t think the original motion, moved at a time when most students are gone for the summer, was done behind students’ backs.

“The deans obviously are there to preserve the reputation of Queen’s, and they’re just as concerned as I am about the safety of students throughout the year and especially during Homecoming.”

Mansell said she thinks that rather than detract from Queen’s reputation, non-academic discipline should add to it.

“We hold Queen’s students to higher standards by prosecuting them under the code of conduct,” she said. “The reason Queen’s is a reputable institution is because of these standards.”

Following Mansell’s presentation, Silverman said he was willing to table the motion in the hopes that the system could be improved.

Principal Karen Hitchcock said she would ask the Senate Committee on Non-Academic Discipline to review progress made in fixing the system. She also called for a special Senate meeting Sept. 5 to look at what had been done over the summer.

Hitchcock said the motion reflects the concern felt by many people.

“Many alumni are extremely concerned about the reputation of Queen’s,” she said. “The events of the past two years have been tremendously damaging, in some alumni’s minds, to the reputation of the institution.” Hitchcock said the timing of the motion, coming when most students are away, was not ideal.

Mansell said the current proposed policy is to send cases deemed as “serious” directly to the University Senate Appeals Board (USAB), the highest level of appeal in the University.

Deane confirmed that he and Mansell had discussed ways they could cooperate in dealing with more serious cases.

“I think we all have a concern that the system be used in the most effective and useful way,” he said. “The prosecutor and I would confer about the relative severity of these cases and between the two of us we would agree on cases if it seemed it should be taken directly to [USAB].

With files from Matthew Trevisan and Janet Shulist

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