Improvements to NAD in the works

Chief prosecutor announces increased

Jenn Mansell, AMS chief prosecutor, and Stephanie Ramsden, AMS internal affairs commissioner, spoke at a special senate meeting Sept. 5 outlining changes made to the AMS non-academic discipline system over the summer.

“These are changes that needed to happen,” Mansell said. “When I applied for my position in April I proposed to put all these changes in anyways, but I feel that having the media and such attention on non-academic discipline ... has made it easier to make changes in an expedient manner.”

The objective of the changes, Mansell said, is to improve communication, organization, awareness and accountability.

The revamped AMS website this year will provide more statistics and information regarding the cases seen by the AMS Judicial Committee.

“You’ll be able to access stats from last year,” Mansell said. “In a couple of months I’ll have updated stats pertaining to what infractions happen, where they happen ... what sanctions were levied.” Complaints can also be filed on the website.

Mansell and Ramsden told Senate the prosecutor’s office has a new database for organizing information pertaining to cases, allowing for a more controlled and thorough analysis of each case.

Mansell said she has sent out letters to incoming frosh, as well as speaking to them during Orientation Week, in order to make them aware of the non-academic disciplinary process.

The training process for deputy prosecutors has also been revamped.

“There was no training,” Mansell told the Journal. “The former chief prosecutor kind of walked us through how to do a case ... and we were given a copy of the [AMS] Constitution.” Deputy prosecutors attended five days of training this year. Each day had a different theme regarding different aspects of non-academic discipline and its role within the school and the community.

The deputy prosecutors also heard from keynote speakers from the University and the community, such as Ryan Quinlan-Keech, municipal affairs commissioner, Floyd Patterson, city councillor for Sydenham Ward, Kingston Police Chief Bill Closs and Rob Carter, director of restorative justice at Queen’s.

The senate meeting was called several months after a senate proposal in May to transfer non-academic discipline into the hands of the University administration. The proposal was shelved, to be revisited in November.

Other University leaders spoke at the meeting to update Senate on developments made regarding discipline on campus in general.

Principal Karen Hitchcock said the goal of the program’s re-assessment was about all kinds of discipline issues, including those surrounding Homecoming.

Doubts as to student-run non-academic discipline’s efficacy were raised following an unsanctioned street party on Aberdeen Street during Homecoming 2005.

Seven deans of various faculties submitted a proposal to revoke student-run academic discipline.

Roxy Denniston-Stewart, associate dean (student affairs), told the Senate revisions are being made to the residence discipline system in order to encourage and support appropriate, positive student behaviour and to discourage multiple and serious offences.

Denniston-Stewart added that increased education, especially within the Main Campus Residences’ Committee, will reduce the likelihood of inappropriate behaviour.

Patrick Deane, vice-principal (academic), said the university will focus on problems of student discipline in a larger context, rather than just looking at specific issues, such as Homecoming.

A senate meeting to further review the University’s student-run non-academic discipline system will be held in November.

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