Queen’s Senate Nov. 3 recap

Highlights include discussion on racial equality, the closure of the Theology programs and establishment of the Dr. Gillian Gilchrist Chair

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Principal Daniel Woolf held a moment of silence for late Principal Ron Watts at the start of the second meeting of the Queen’s Senate this academic year.

The Senate — one of three governing bodies at Queen’s University — passed all four proposed motions and held uneventful discussions on the Summer Advisory Committee. The agenda can be viewed here.

Question on affirmative action and equity

Senator Lynne Hanson submitted a question challenging the University’s efforts to promote equity and diversity by citing an article by a member of Journal’s staff, Vishmayaa Jeyamoorthy, entitled “A brown face in a white place”, which described her experience as a student of colour at Queen’s.

Hanson asked Principal Woolf to consider adopting affirmative action hiring criteria and anti-racism training to ensure that hired residence dons and counsellors reflect the diversity of the student body. She then called on the Senate Educational Equity Committee (SEEC) to inquire into implementation of equitable practices.

Woolf responded by stating the University has numerous resources available to students struggling with racial and inclusion issues. Woolf added that the SEEC doesn’t have jurisdiction over the University’s hiring practices.

Issues of fall term break referred to Standing Committee

A petition created on change.org by a Queen’s student to install a weeklong break during fall term for Queen’s students has been referred to the Senate for consideration. The petition has been referred to SCAP by Associate Secretary Rebecca Coupland with the request that it be considered in discussions regarding sessional dates.

The petition gained momentum after it was posted in Queen’s Facebook groups. So far, it has gathered more than 2,000 signatures.

Non-academic misconduct system annual reports

Albert Kwan, Judicial Affairs Director, compiled a report for Senate Committee on Non-Academic Discipline (SONAD) detailing the incidents that went through the AMS NAD system during the periods of May 1, 2014 to April 30, 2015 and May 1, 2015 to Oct. 5, 2015.

The report details 81 cases processed by the NAD system, the sanctions and the level of severity of such assigned to each case.

Establishment of a group to review Senate policy

The Senate Committee on Academic Procedures (SCAP) noted in its report that the committee has voted to create a joint ad hoc working group with the Senate Committee on Academic Development (SCAD). The group was created in response to a request by the Queen’s Secretariat’s Office to re-examine existing Senate policies on academic integrity.

The SCAP/SCAD working group will determine whether any modifications or updates to Senate Policy are needed. The current Senate Policy on Academic Integrity was approved in 2008 and revised last in 2011.

All four motions proposed in agenda were approved

  • Closure of the Theology Programs in the School of Religion. These programs include the Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.), Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.).
  • The establishment of the position of the Dr. Gillian Gilchrist Chair in Palliative Care Research in the Faculty of Health Sciences.
  • Renewal of the Centre for Neuroscience Studies for an additional period of five years.
  • The nominating report recommended by the Senate Governance and Nominating Committee.

All motions were passed with little discussion.

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