SGPS to delay signing non-academic misconduct agreement in favour of conducting internal review

Graduate society to prioritize extensive review of human resource needs

After the Board of Trustees approved the University’s revised Student Code of Conduct in May, the new non-academic misconduct (NAM) system required student governments to sign an agency agreement by student governments to execute their portion of the discipline system.

The AMS signed the agreement on Sept. 28, and the document was made public on Oct. 12 in a joint decision by the University and the AMS. However, the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) is delaying their own signage in favour of reviewing their internal structure.

SGPS President Saba Farbodkia told The Journal via email that SGPS has chosen not to sign at the present time for several reasons. 

Firstly, she said, there is little demand to sign the agreement, as the SGPS has had very few NAM cases over the years. According to Farbodkia, there’ve only been about five cases in the past 10 years.

Farbodkia also noted that this year the SGPS will be conducting an “extensive review” of their human resources, which was prompted by the fact that the SGPS is a “very small organization with not that many resources.”

“We thought until we have completed that review and have a clear idea of our staffing needs and availability, we prioritise implementing the processes where the highest demand exists,” wrote Farbodkia.

The review will be conducted by SGPS Vice President (Finance and Services) Stuart Clark, and is in its early stages, officially beginning in late September. It’s projected to be completed by this winter.

On Wednesday, AMS President Tyler Lively sent a copy of their newly-signed agency agreement to The Journal

“I spoke with the University last week about making it public; after some deliberation they agreed to allow us to do so,” he wrote. 

The new NAM agreement was produced out of a review conducted last fall, following a recommendation from external auditors.

The Advisory Committee on Non-Academic Misconduct, consisting of various members of the University and headed by Principal Daniel Woolf, used the 2012 NAM policies and procedures as a starting point for revision, and from these discussions they produced a new Student Code of Conduct.

The University then sent out a revised agreement to all agents of the new code of conduct, including the AMS and the SGPS. 

The agreement provided by Lively outlines the rights and responsibilities of agents who implement the Code. This includes maintaining a webpage dedicated to non-academic misconduct and appointing authorized representatives responsible for administering NAM cases. 

As well, the agreement outlines the permitting of NAM-related file access, confidentiality and non-disclosure clauses, and that the agreement will expire with the incoming of each new AMS President. 

The University also retains the right to terminate the agreement at any time, in case of a breach of the AMS’s obligations as they’re listed. Signatories on the agreement were Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Lively, and witnesses Lisa Newton and Dave Walker. 

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