Next week, on October 19, Canadians head to the polls to vote in the 42nd federal election.
At present, I am travelling in Europe – I presented two academic papers and met with alumni and partner institutions in Paris, and I’m heading to Germany, with stops in Stuttgart, Tübingen and Munich, again to meet with representatives from partner universities.
Being away from Canada just ahead of the election (I return home October 16) is a blessing, in a way – it gives me the opportunity to reflect on what it is to be Canadian and what makes Canada special. This country has so many strengths – a diverse population, democratic and individual freedoms, strong health-care and education systems, and a resilient economy, to name a few.
Election season, I think, is not only a great time to reflect – on individual and collective values – it’s also an excellent time to ask questions. Continue Reading »
On Sept. 10, the following email was sent to all students in response to reports of unsanctioned activity in the near-campus neighbourhood:
Normally at this time of year I like to send a message of greetings to new students and welcome back to returning ones. I am sorry to say that this is not that message. Since Sunday evening, we have continued to receive reports of disturbing and unacceptable behaviour in the near-campus neighbourhood. These include not only the large street party that resulted in the closure of University Avenue on Sunday evening, but also instances of individuals being surrounded and impeded while driving in the area around campus and having their property damaged.
Let me be clear and unambiguous: there is no tolerance for this kind of dangerous behaviour at Queen’s or in Kingston. Continue Reading »
When I first arrived at Queen’s as an undergraduate student in 1976, one of my fellow classmates (though I did not know him personally) was Prince Takamado, a member of the Imperial House of Japan. Prince Takamado studied in the Faculty of Law and graduated from Queen’s in 1981. Tragically, the prince died suddenly in 2002 at age 47, but his fondness for Canada and Queen’s has become an important part of his legacy (great credit is owed to a former Queen’s Vice-Principal and later President of the University of Alberta, Dr. Rod Fraser, who made the relationship with Japan a priority in both of those positions). In 2004, Prince Takamado’s wife, Princess Hisako Tottori, visited campus to pay homage to his time at Queen’s. In addition to planting a Sakura tree in front of Summerhill, she also dedicated a special collection of Japanese materials to Stauffer library. Continue Reading »
The following article appeared in the Kingston Whig-Standard on Saturday, May, 9, 2015:
With this past week having marked the Canadian Mental Health Association’s 64th annual mental health week (this year’s focus has been on the mental health and well-being of men and boys), I’ve been thinking a lot about the students who have struggled on our campus, in particular those who have died by suicide as well as those who continue to struggle on university and college campuses across the country. I especially recall the dreadful year of 2010-11, which witnessed several sad instances of this. The only good thing that came from those student deaths for Queen’s University is that it brought the issue of mental illness out of the shadows — and made pushing it back in unfathomable.
That’s why, in the spring of 2011, Continue Reading »
We’re heading into the final stretch of term, followed by exams. Unsurprisingly, stress levels will be rising across campus as students work to meet essay deadlines, complete assignments, and buckle in for the push through final exams.
Some may feel more stress than others, and may be worrying a great deal about a particular course, or about their standing in a program. Some stress and worry is appropriate—if we didn’t feel it, we wouldn’t strive, or make the extra effort that we need to succeed. Stress helps us pursue goals and get things done.
But stress has to be your servant, not your master. Don’t let it get to you (channel it like the Force, Leia!). With the weather warming up over the next few weeks, it will be the perfect time to get out for a run, throw a Frisbee, Continue Reading »