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Food Insecurity Advisory Committee connects students with food access resources

More than six per cent of Queen’s students experience food insecurity – worrying that their food will run out before they have enough money to buy more. To help students wondering or worrying about food, Queen’s has launched a food access resources webpage, which compiles information about on- and off-campus resources. Some of these services help people access food, while others teach skills, such as how to eat healthy on a budget.

This new webpage was created under the guidance of the Provost’s Food Insecurity Advisory Committee, which was formed last year to implement the recommendations of the November 2019 Queen’s report on food insecurity within the university community.

The committee has been meeting regularly, and a student employee position has been created to help advance the committee’s work. Alex McCartney, a fourth-year Life Science student, is working to initiate a student food collective, which aims to help create a food culture at Queen’s, as well as a common understanding of food insecurity and access at the university.

”We have been really encouraged by the collaborations among student groups and campus stakeholders that have formed as a result of the committee,” says Corinna Fitzgerald, Assistant Dean, Student Affairs, and Committee Chair. “Centering students in the work has been key to effective strategies and responses. We look forward to continuing the work, which will also include making closer connections to community organizations and groups who also support students.”

In addition to the new web resource, the committee has developed graphics shared on social media to help connect students facing food insecurity with resources and supports, and the AMS food bank has been working closely with the committee to develop a student newsletter which will provide the most up to date information about supports, services and events happening in and around campus.

Learn more about the Food Insecurity Advisory Committee on the Office of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) website, where you can also read the 2019 Food Insecurity Report. See below for one of the infographics that has been shared to social media.

Graphic with information on food access resources


Queen’s remembers student Ilse Loomer-Scott

The Queen’s community is remembering Ilse Loomer-Scott who died suddenly on Wednesday, July 15 of a brain aneurysm. She was 21 years old.

Ilse Loomer-Scott
Ilse Loomer-Scott

Ilse was a fourth-year global development studies student, a student varsity coach for the Queen's rowing team, and was active in the Kingston Rowing Club.

During her time at Queen’s Ilse had joined the Gaels rowing team and served as an assistant coach this past year, primarily coaching the novice team, helping the men's novice eight to an OUA gold and the women's novice four to OUA silver. She was also on the Gaels rowing development roster last winter.

“Ilse was a valued member of both the Kingston Rowing Club and Queen's Rowing Team, where she was both a caring teammate and compassionate coach. Her positive outlook on life and infectious smile always served as a good reminder not to take any situation too seriously and she will be greatly missed around the boathouse. Our thoughts are with llse's family in these difficult times," says Rami Maassarani, Head Coach, Queen's Rowing.

This past winter Ilse was attending Sweden’s Uppsala University for a semester on exchange when she had to return to her home in British Columbia due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this meant the end of an exceptional experience abroad, it did mean that she was at home with her family when the unexpected happened.

Ilse enjoyed many sports including soccer and rowing and most recently surfing. Her last day was spent surfing in the pouring rain (her favourite kind of weather) with her family at Cox Bay in Tofino B.C.

Ilse had a great love of music including playing, composing and recording. She played the guitar, piano and drums. Wherever she went Ilse brought her love of music with her and took great pleasure in bringing friends together to make music. This could be anywhere, be it in the basement of their student house in Kingston, in their student flat in the Flogsta neighbourhood of Uppsala or 200 km north of the arctic circle on a weekend trip in Sweden to see the northern lights.

If you knew her, you would have experienced her openness, her kindness, her humour, and her resilience. 

From her obituary: “The world is a beautiful place full of amazing people. Ilse would want you to enjoy it, respect it and treat it with care. She lived a very full 21 years. One of Ilse’s gifts was that she didn’t wait until tomorrow to live, but lived each day to its fullest aligned with her values. It is a way of life that leads to having no regrets.”

The funeral was hosted on July 21 and was made available via Facebook live stream.

A family obituary is available online.

Helping the community Thrive

Thrive in origami cranes
Hosted by Queen's Human Resources, Thrive Week helps highlight the mental health and well-being resources that are available to all community members.  

Thrive Week, the annual event at Queen’s aimed at improving mental health and well-being is being held remotely this year due to COVID-19, but will once again highlight the resources that are available to all community members.

Starting Monday, Nov. 2, Queen’s Human Resources will be hosting a series of informative, helpful, and fun events.

This year’s events are all offered online, which also provides the benefit of allowing more people to participate without the capacity limitations of in-person events.

Connecting the Queen’s community is more important than ever.

“While many of us are working remotely and separated by location, Thrive is a great opportunity to help build community ties,” says Steve Millan, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Resources). “Our mental health and well-being are more of a priority than ever.  We have organized a great list of fun, informative, and interactive events that will get us all thinking more about the skills and resources we require to thrive throughout the year.”

One such event is ‘One Thousand Cranes for Hope,’ which has a goal of creating paper cranes through origami and displaying them on campus, creating a connection.

According to Japanese legend, anyone who folds 1,000 paper cranes will be granted a wish by the gods. Cranes symbolize peace, good health, longevity, and healing.

“The pandemic has transformed our campus community in unprecedented ways leaving many people feeling disconnected and isolated,” says Sydney Downey, Associate Director, Return to Work & Accommodation Services, Human Resources. “This project is meant to reunite those working remotely with our physical campus space and the employees who continue to work from campus. We are aiming to create a collective visual symbol of hope on campus and invite all Queen’s community members to donate their time in the folding of a crane, or a few, for this project.”

Any paper can be used and cranes can be deposited in a number of drop boxes located at: Mackintosh-Corry Hall; Mitchell Hall; Botterell Hall; 381 Mowat St. (Kingston West); 104 Valroma Place (Kingston East); 2901 Forest Rd., Harrowsmith.

This year’s keynote speaker is Dane Jensen, an expert on strategy and leadership, CEO of Third Factor, and an instructor in the full-time MBA and Executive MBA programs at the Smith School of Business. In addition to his corporate work, Jensen works to enhance the competitiveness of Canadian athletes in international competition, working extensively with the Canadian Paralympic Committee, and Canadian Sport Institute Ontario. He also leads Smith’s relationship with Right To Play, supporting the development of over 15,000 managers and volunteer coaches.

Another fun event will have Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane leading viewers on a guided tour of his farm, introducing the various animals that inhabit the grounds.

Visit the Thrive website to view and register for events. 

Other support resources for the Queen’s community and their family members can be found through the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP), provided by Homewood Health.

The benefits program for Queen’s staff and faculty recently moved to Manulife.  Information about the provider and program can be found on the Human Resources website.

Faculty of Arts and Science adds EDII expert to senior leadership team

Anita Jack-Davies
Anita Jack-Davies

The Faculty of Arts and Science is pleased to announce the appointment of Anita Jack-Davies as Assistant Dean, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigeneity (EDII) – the first assistant deanship of its kind in the faculty and at Queen’s, and one of only a few similar positions across the country. In this role, Dr. Jack-Davies will provide valuable leadership in EDII including implementing the many EDII priorities contained in the faculty’s Strategic Plan.

The position, says Dr. Jack-Davies, “will play a key role in facilitating systemic EDII change in the Faculty of Arts and Science in the areas of curriculum, departmental culture and climate, communications, faculty and staff development, and student support.”

Dr. Jack-Davies, who began her appointment on Oct. 5, brings more than 20 years' experience in education to the assistant dean role, and is not new to the university, having earned her master’s and PhD in urban teacher education at the Queen's Faculty of Education.

After graduation, Dr. Jack-Davies began building her career around supporting EDII initiatives across the country; as the founder of workplace diversity consultancy Mosaic Cross-Cultural Solutions, she provided EDII change management and EDII strategic planning support to clients including Ryerson University, the Durham Regional Police, the Limestone District School Board, the Privy Council of the Canadian Government, and Queen's University.

Dr. Jack-Davies also brings to the role prior experience in higher education; having worked in faculty development, she has trained senior leaders on a wide range of topics including effective graduate supervision, inclusive faculty recruitment and inclusive teaching practices. In 2019, Dr. Jack-Davies led the Queen’s Faculty of Education through the process of developing its EDII Vision and Mission Statement and had the opportunity to work with faculty, staff, and graduate students.

Dr. Jack-Davies is looking forward to bringing that same spirit of collaboration to her work with the Faculty of Arts and Science, and says her work will be informed by the needs of the community as well as the issues of the time.

“We are living in a moment where EDII issues are impacting the work that we do in the academy on a day-to-day basis,” she says. “My goal is to develop EDII programming and initiatives that will impact teaching and learning, and will lead to the removal of barriers for faculty, staff, and students in the Faculty of Arts and Science and the wider Queen’s campus.”

Of her vision for the role, Dr. Jack-Davies is realistic and optimistic about the future.

“I see this upcoming academic year as one of tremendous planning, growth, learning, and the ushering in of honest conversations about where we are and the work that is left to do as a university, as outlined in Principal Deane’s recent essay, The Conversation,” she says.

In addition to this appointment, Dr. Jack-Davies serves as adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Urban Planning at Queen's and is currently EDII Advisor to the Queen’s University Council. She has appeared on CTV National News and CBC Radio discussing diversity and inclusion in the Canadian context. Dr. Jack-Davies is the author of Lawrencia's Last Parang: A Memoir on Loss and Belonging as a Black Woman in Canada (Inanna Publishing, forthcoming May 2021). 

United Way Lunch & Learn: Food security in our region

The next Queen’s United Way Lunch and Learn event is being held Wednesday, Oct. 21 12:15-12:45 pm. Hosted by Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane the series offers the participants a chance to hear from agency speakers on specific issues in the greater Kingston community.

Wednesday’s event focuses on food security and will feature Brenda Moore from the Food Sharing Project and Kathy Sturmey – Kingston Community Health Centre Seniors Food Box Program. Everyone is welcome to attend the virtual events.

The Queen's United Way campaign is currently underway with a fundraising target of 300,179 which represents just over 10 per cent of the United Way Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington’s overall goal of $2.9 million.

Food security in our region
Wednesday, Oct. 21: 12:15-12:45 p.m.
Speakers: Brenda Moore – Food Sharing Project and Kathy Sturmey – KCHS Seniors Food Box Program
Link: https://queensu.zoom.us/j/94172825260?pwd=ZThtelkrRTBJcG1aaWZKd3Nrb2xDdz09

Next week: Women’s resilience
Wednesday, Oct. 28: 12:15-12:45 p.m.
Speakers: Speakers from Elizabeth Fry Society and Dawn House
Link: https://queensu.zoom.us/j/94053009432?pwd=YjFvYjBmU1JxVVYxV3VSdy81VHdMdz09

Support for equity-seeking employee groups

Queen’s provides funds for Employee Resource Groups working to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Queen’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are able to apply for new funds designed to help build and support communities for equity-seeking groups on campus. The Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion), together with Human Resources and the Human Rights and Equity Office, are accepting applications from ERGs to provide up to $1,000 per fiscal year to bolster their activities.

“Queen’s employee resource groups help to bring faculty and staff together from across the university to build connections and a sense of belonging," says Teri Shearer, Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion). “My hope is that this new funding will allow these important networks to grow and expand their activities.”

Both new and existing ERGs are eligible for funding, so long as they work to advance the interests of equity-seeking groups, and if they are sponsored by a faculty or administrative unit. Examples of existing ERGs include the Queen’s Women’s Network and Women in Science at Queen’s.

“When I first started at Queen’s, ERGs were not common," says Sarah Bunting, Academic Advisor, Faculty of Arts and Science. “As a cis-woman who identifies as queer and disabled, I was craving a community where I could connect on a more personal level with people. As part of the Queen’s Women’s Network, I was able to meet colleagues from across the university, and participate in workshops and a mentorship program, which have been instrumental in helping me find my path at Queen’s. ERGs have enriched my experience, both personally and professionally, and provided me with an avenue to give back to the campus community, which is important to me.”

Bunting is also working with staff and faculty across the university on the relaunch of the Queen’s University Association of Queer Employees (QUAQE).

For more information on ERGs, their roles and responsibilities, and to apply for funding visit the Employee Resource Groups webpage.

Shining a light on National Disability Employment Awareness Month

National Disability Employment Awareness Month is marked during October and Queen’s University is taking part by lighting up the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts in purple and blue overnight on Thursday, Oct. 22.

The Light It Up initiative is part of the Ontario Disability Employment Network’s awareness campaign for National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

The initiative is a multi-city, multi-location special lighting event, recognizing the month, and the many contributions that people who have a disability make to businesses and communities all over Ontario, including Kingston.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month does several important things:

  • Increases public and business awareness about, and celebrates, the valuable contributions people who have a disability can, and do, make to the workplace.
  • Raises awareness about the underemployment of people who have a disability.
  • Helps raise awareness that disability needs to be included in the conversation about workplace diversity and inclusion. Too often, the business conversation about D&I focuses on gender and ethnicity, and disability is overlooked.
  • Increases awareness of the many business benefits of hiring employees who have a disability.

The lighting will begin at 6 pm and conclude 7:30 am on Oct. 23.

Learn more about National Disability Employment Awareness Month and the Light It Up campaign.


Queen’s to remove Sir John A. Macdonald name from law school building

Decision honours the university’s commitment to support equity, diversity, and inclusivity and the special responsibility of law schools included in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report.

The Queen’s Board of Trustees today approved the university’s decision to remove the name “Sir John A. Macdonald” from the law school building, as recommended by Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane following his acceptance of recommendations made by Dean Mark Walters, Dean of Faculty of Law, and a report from a special committee set up to consider the situation.

“This decision is grounded in the university’s present-day academic mission and commitment to honour the values of equity, diversity, and inclusivity and to ensure all students, faculty, and staff feel welcome within the Queen’s community,” says Principal Deane. “It also supports our commitment to take action to address systemic racism and ensure every member of our community may enjoy the benefits of our institution equally.”

The decision follows a two-month public consultation process that saw more than 3,000 members of the Queen’s community and others submit feedback to the Macdonald Hall Consultation Advisory Committee. Principal Deane directed the Faculty of Law to set up the advisory committee in July, in response to an online petition calling for the law school building to be renamed.

The advisory committee delivered a 65-page report to Dean Walters recommending the Macdonald name be removed from the building. This recommendation was accepted by Dean Walters and then endorsed by Principal Deane before being sent to the Board of Trustees for final approval.

“Sir John A. Macdonald is rightly celebrated for his central role in the founding of modern Canada and the creation of our country’s constitution. However, a more complete understanding of his legacies has emerged in recent years. In particular, we now have a richer and better understanding of the hurtful views and policies he and his government advanced in relation to Indigenous peoples and racial minorities,” says Dean Mark Walters. “What was made clear through our consultations is that the Macdonald name sends a conflicting message that interferes with the values and aspirations of the current law school and Queen’s community where Indigenous and racialized students must feel welcome and included.”

In 2015 the final report of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) made clear the legacy of residential schools is hurtful and lasting. Queen’s University has accepted the findings of the TRC and is committed to honouring its calls to action. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission also identifies special responsibilities for law schools in Canada, and Queen’s Law must ensure that the faculty lives up to those responsibilities.

“During this era of truth and reconciliation, it’s important to consider how we move forward together with a good mind and in peace for the greater good for all peoples,” says Kanonhsyonne Janice Hill, Associate Vice-Principal of Indigenous Initiatives. “As Haudenosaunee we are taught in our decision making to reflect on and be mindful of the past while considering the impact on future generations. This decision affirms that Queen’s is headed in that direction in terms of creating a safe and equitable space where each member of the community has a strong sense of belonging.  As we continue to dismantle these colonial symbols, we get closer to achieving an inclusive community for all.”

Queen’s will be following a separate process to eventually rename the Faculty of Law building. Principal Deane will bring recommendations to the Board of Trustees around a renaming process in the coming months, as well recommendations to review commemoration on campus, and a program of public education. More details about these recommendations will be shared in due course.

In the meantime, everyone in the university community is invited to visit the Principal’s Office website to read the full report by the Building Name Advisory Committee, as well as the recommendations forwarded to the Board of Trustees by Principal Deane and Dean Mark Walters.

Over the coming academic year, the Queen’s community will also be engaged in acting on the recent Declaration of Commitment to Address Systemic Racism and on Principal Deane’s Report on The Conversation with the Queen’s community. Both commit Queen’s to take action to address systemic racism and to unite the community.

Take Our Kids to Work Day 2020 goes virtual

Human Resources - Organizational Development & Learning is hosting Take Our Kids to Work Day on Wednesday, Nov. 4. This annual event is presented in partnership with The Learning Partnership, an organization focusing on educating children about the working environments in Canada through dynamic collaborations across all business sectors. 

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event is undergoing several changes to ensure participants are provided the same level of education and enjoyment over the course of a full day of programming. The first major change is that the event is now open to all high school students, not just Grade 9 students, as well as current Queen’s students, both undergraduate and graduate. 

“Since this year’s event will be hosted virtually, we wanted to open the registration to a broader range of student participants,” says Don Ames, Organizational Development Consultant and organizer of the event.

Additionally, all activities will be hosted virtually. Participants will be able to attend workshops by Career Services and Student Academic Success Services, as well as two career fairs, in which participants from different workplaces will be speaking about their careers and answering any questions students may have. Representatives at the fairs include the Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre, the Canadian Armed Forces, and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. 

“We wanted to showcase careers in different sectors in order to provide different perspectives to our participants,” Ames says. 

For a full agenda, and to register for the event, visit the Take Our Kids to Work Day webpage.  General inquires about the event, registration, or the agenda, can be sent to Don Ames at don.ames@queensu.ca

Web Accessibility Policy posted for public comment

Members of the Queen’s community can review and offer feedback on the new Web Accessibility Policy, which is available at the University Secretariat and Legal Counsel website.

Feedback can be sent via email to policies@queensu.ca

The comment period will close on Nov. 2, at 4 pm.


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