News in Brief

Principal releases vision document

On May 11, Principal Daniel Woolf released a document detailing his vision for the University over the next decade.

The Third Juncture is a sequel to Woolf’s 2010 vision document What’s Next which also addressed the direction Queen’s is heading in the coming years. 

In The Third Juncture, Woolf identified the present time as a pivotal period in the University’s life.

He also discussed his vision of Queen’s in 2022, which includes less government funding and the development of other streams of revenue, with a rise in international student enrolment and focus on international reputation.

Woolf’s vision of internationalization includes increased language and culture training. He also sees Queen’s becoming a leader in academic and non-academic support for at-risk students, such as those with mental illness or disabilities. 

In the document, Woolf said he wants to see the division between main and West Campus erased as well as create new student residences and provide new forms of transportation like electric busses or trams to carry students between different areas of campus.

Fewer lecture hours and an increase in blended models of learning are also in Queen’s future, according to the document.

— Holly Tousignant

SMART awarded contract with the City

A newly created AMS team has been chosen by the City of Kingston as a property standards bylaw contractor.

The Student Maintenance and Resource Team (SMART), run out of the Municipal Affairs Commission will contract students to clean properties in the student housing area that don’t meet city bylaw standards.

The city released a request for proposals (RFP) for contractors to cover property standards bylaws in the student neighborhood for a two-year term.

SMART responded to the RFP, and the city chose them.

The city will direct SMART to clean properties when tenants have failed to respond appropriately to bylaw orders themselves.

Fees for the contracts will vary depending on the work performed.

SMART students will also provide free clean-up and beautification services to students living near campus, as well as contract work for landlords.

— Holly Tousignant

Charging station coming to Kingston

Kingston will soon have its first privately owned electric vehicle (EV) charging station, free of charge.

The Ambassador Conference Resort, located on 1550 Princess Street, has partnered up with Sun Country Highway, a company that creates electric-vehicle infrastructure, to set up the station. It will be completely accessible to the public.

An EV charging station supplies electric energy to hybrid and battery electric cars. While electric cars can be charged through a regular wall socket, charging stations have use special sensors to disconnect power when the vehicle is fully charged and allow for multiple users to charge at once.

These stations have been growing in popularity internationally and in Canada in recent years, with Sun Country Highway being one of the only companies to set up these stations nationally.

This will be the only Electric Vehicle station in a 400 km radius of Kingston.

In light of this recent announcement, the City of Kingston is now also looking installing public charging stations in the coming year.

Earlier this month, the City of Kingston passed a motion in city council to explore adding more stations in town.

- Joanna Plucinska

Bird droppings reveal effect of insecticide

Bird droppings collected in an unused chimney on campus have provided clues about the declining population of the North American chimney swift, a small bird, according to Canadian researchers.

The six-feet-deep collection of excrement represents 50 years of bird droppings. The chimney was covered with mesh in 1993 to relocate the 4,000 chimney swifts that lived there at the time.

By studying the droppings in the chimney of Fleming Hall, the researchers were able to discover a link between the use of the insecticide DDT and the decline of the insect-eating birds.

The research shows that the height of DDT use coincided with the swifts eating fewer DDT-susceptible beetles, and more lower-quality bugs.

The findings were published in the biological journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

— Holly Tousignant

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