Senate Recap: November 27

Principal Daniel Woolf.
Photo: 

Principal’s Report

Principal Daniel Woolf began Tuesday’s Senate commenting on the Ford government’s Fall Economic Statement, released Nov. 14. 

“I would say very little attention was given directly to post secondary [institutions],” he said. 

However, he added the statement was an introduction to the government’s long-term budgetary plan. Woolf told Senate the Provincial government has signalled there will be changes in funding for post-secondary institutions. 

“We are still not certain what that means,” he said.

Woolf said the University will get the full story in March. 

Free Speech

Tuesday was the last opportunity for Senate to advise the Principal on the free speech policy draft.

Following previous tension surrounding the lack of Senate involvement, Senator Walker moved the committee of the whole session permit consultation on the development of the free speech policy.

The motion carried, allowing Senate to become a consulting body during the development of the free speech policy rather than an advisory body. 

When the policy opened for questions, Senator Sonoc said while the first draft of the policy looked “quite good,” he had a “very specific problem” with the policy’s enforcement on visitors to campus. 

He indicated the University couldn’t use the Office of the Ombudsman as a tool of enforcement on visitors from other universities who might perform hate speech.

Woolf cited the use of Non-Academic Misconduct to deal with unpleasant visitors, and also suggested informing the visitor’s parent university of unwelcome behaviour.

He said it would be difficult to involve Campus Security, since they are unable to demand identification from students. 

“The short answer is we don’t actually have jurisdiction over people from outside the university,” Woolf said.

Senator Thompson suggested the policy include recourse against students who incite violence at campus events, including measures for the host of that event to prevent the individuals’ return.

Woolf said offense sometimes lies in “the eye of the beholder,” and the University would take those steps anyways. 

Motions

Senate voted in favour of restructuring the Department of Otolaryngology into a division within the Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, effective immediately.   

Senate also approved changes to the Basis of Admission for the Bachelor of Education and Diploma of Education, specifically for the Aboriginal Teacher Education Community-Based Primary-Junior program and the Technological Education program.

According to the report submitted to Senate by Teri Shearer, acting chair of the Senate Committee on Academic Development, the proposed changes to the Basis of Admission reflect the Faculty of Education’s “desire to expand opportunities” for educators of Indigenous learners from First Nations, Metis, or Inuit communities.

Senate carried a motion to refer questions posed by the Harassment-Discrimination Complaint Board to the Office of the Ombudsman for review and report back to Senate.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.