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    Ramp to KGH ER reopened

    Construction work on the ramp leading up to the Emergency Department at Kingston General Hospital (KGH) is complete, and the entrance to the Emergency Department has returned to its regular location as Wednesday.

    The Emergency Department access ramp, located off of King Street West, was closed earlier this month as the hospital began work to repair the asphalt, as well as the heating system under it that melts snow and ice. This work was completed two days ahead of the original project schedule.

    During the construction, the entrance to the Emergency Department was temporarily relocated to the Armstrong wing of KGH, located off Lower University Avenue. Now that the project is complete, the Armstrong entrance has returned to normal use as an entrance for the various outpatient clinics in that area of the hospital. Also, Lower University Avenue has returned to a two-way roadway for traffic as well.

    Feeling stressed? Take a minute to Thrive

    [Dodge ball team]
    A team of Employee and Labour Relations staff members (pictured above) will square off against a team from Faculty Relations in a friendly game of dodgeball on Nov. 6 during Thrive week at Queen's. Nearly 70 events are planned for Nov. 2-6 to promote positive mental health and wellbeing among Queen's staff, faculty and students.

    The campus will come alive with Thrive activities all next week.

    The new initiative designed to promote positive mental health kicks off this Monday with activities planned throughout the week.

    Thrive began several years ago at the University of British Columbia, with other post-secondary institutions adopting the event for their campuses. Human Resources staff members are spearheading the effort at Queen’s.

    “We are excited to engage all staff, faculty and students,” says Sydney Downey, Manager, Return to Work and Accommodation Services. “Thrive is all about fostering a safe and welcoming environment where people can discover resources and support their colleagues so that we can all ‘thrive’ at work and at home.”

    Thrive gets underway Monday with a blast from the past for staff, faculty and students: a large ball pit that will be set up in front of Stauffer Library.

    “The ball pit is a great opportunity for members of the Queen’s community to take a break from their busy schedules and connect with others across campus,” Ms. Downey says. “We hope the ball pit will create a relaxed environment where people can talk about life’s challenges or share a funny story with a new friend.”     

    Currently there are close to 70 activities throughout the week. Some of the highlights include:

    • A workshop focused on combatting stress
    • A Zen meditation session on West Campus
    • A yoga session in the Agnes
    • A sleep workshop where participants learn about getting a better night’s rest
    • A variety of wellness activities such as a walking/running club, a dodgeball tournament, and a cardio funk dance class.

    The complete schedule of events is posted on the Thrive website. The organizing committee has also provided resources for hosting a Thrive event in your department or unit.

    Follow Queen’s Thrives on Facebook and Instagram

    Non-academic misconduct advisory committee begins consultations

    The Advisory Committee on Non-Academic Misconduct (ACNAM) is now formed, and has begun an extensive consultation process with the Queen’s community.

    The committee was announced following direction from the Board of Trustees for the university to review its current non-academic misconduct system with the aim of improving the system to support student safety, health and wellness.

    “The committee includes representatives from a diverse range of bodies, including students, university senators, and administrators,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “We are looking forward to receiving valuable input from a variety of stakeholders as the review is undertaken.”

    The committee began its consultations last week at Alma Mater Society (AMS) Assembly. In the coming weeks the group will meet with several other stakeholder groups including Athletics and Recreation, Residences, the Senate Committee on Non-Academic Discipline (SONAD), Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) Council, Senate, and the Board of Trustees. The committee will also host consultation opportunities for several key external stakeholder groups. This is the initial round of consultations; more will be held in the winter term. 

    “We recognize there are strongly held views on all sides of this topic, and all are concerned with student safety,” says Principal Woolf. “We want to consider all of those perspectives in a fair process that ultimately results in a better non-academic misconduct system.”

    The members of the committee are as follows: 

    Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor (Chair)
    Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) (Vice-Chair)
    Heather Black, University Council 
    Chris Cochrane, SGPS President
    Kanivanan Chinniah, AMS President
    Caroline Davis, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration)
    Bill Flanagan, Dean, Faculty of Law
    Deborah Knight, Associate Professor, Senate
    Lon Knox, University Secretary
    Palmer Lockridge, Student Senator
    Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs

    The committee also includes the following non-voting advisors: 

    Michael Fraser, University Relations 
    Dan Langham, Environmental Health and Safety 
    Lisa Newton, University Counsel 
    David Patterson, Campus Security and Emergency Services 
    Stephanie Simpson, Human Rights Office 
    Harry Smith, University Ombudsman 

    The principal will bring forward the recommended student code of conduct for approval by the Board and subsequent receipt by the Senate in early May 2016. 

    For more information visit the principal’s website. Comments can also be submitted to acnam@queensu.ca.  

    Where have all the crayfish gone?

    Researchers from Queen’s University, working with colleagues from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, have linked the localized near-extinction of a native crayfish species in four lakes in Algonquin Park to declining calcium levels, a long-term legacy of acid rain on forest soils and aquatic ecosystems.

    Cambarus bartonii found in Clayton Lake. (Photo by Ron Ingram, OMOECC)

    “Crayfish are an integral component of aquatic food webs, because they function at multiple trophic levels and are a key element in the diets of popular recreational and economically important fish species,” says Kris Hadley, the lead author of the study and a PhD student at Queen’s University at the time the study was conducted.

    Acid rain “mobilizes” calcium found in the soil and bedrock. Once mobilized, calcium levels in the water increase, before declining as calcium stores are used up. In areas such as Kingston, where much of the bedrock is comprised of limestone, the effect is mitigated by the high volume of calcium found in the bedrock. The lakes analyzed by the research team are farther north on Canadian Shield bedrock, which has a much lower concentration of calcium. The lakes selected allowed for a much clearer analysis of the effects of calcium decline on larger organisms.

    Because long-term data records of lake water pH and calcium levels are typically not available, researchers analysed fossilized microscopic organisms (i.e., algal remains) to reconstruct past lake water pH levels and fossils of water fleas to track past changes in lake water calcium concentrations. Using this technique, the team was able to examine environmental trends in the four lakes over the past 150 years.

    The research team found evidence that acid rain had impacted some of the lakes over time, but they also inferred marked declines in lake water calcium levels – a known legacy of acid rain. Dr. Hadley says the team’s findings suggest calcium concentrations began declining in these lakes as early as the 1960s, and may now have fallen below the threshold required for the survival of some aquatic organisms.

    Crayfish shed their protective carapace – the upper exoskeleton that is primarily composed of calcium carbonate – several times during their life cycle and, as a result, have high calcium requirements. The researchers found that lack of calcium in the lakes has contributed to a decline in crayfish populations.

    “Although lake water pH has been recovering in many waterways with controls on acid emissions, there has been no such recovery in calcium levels, and thus aquatic organisms are beginning to show the negative effects of what we are colloquially calling ‘aquatic osteoporosis,’”  says John Smol (Biology), the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change.

    “Aquatic osteoporosis” has only recently been identified as an environmental stressor for many soft-water lakes in North America and elsewhere, with potentially serious ecological consequences, such as the “jellification” of lakes. This is the third major study published by Dr. Smol and his team on the effects of declining calcium levels on the ecosystems of soft-water lakes.

    This research was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. The study was published in the international journal Freshwater Science. A number of high-resolution images of the organisms and techniques used in this study can be found on the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Laboratory website.


    PPS preparations and response to Special Weather Statement

    Due to the Special Weather Statement that is in effect for Kingston, Physical Plant Services (PPS) staff will be verifying the operation of sump pumps across campus and making arrangements to have portable pumps on hand for pumping out areas in the event of flooding. Grounds crew will also be mobilized to clear catch basins of leaves and debris.

    Please assist PPS to prepare for these weather conditions by responding as follows:

    • keep electrical use in your unit to a minimum and turn off all non-essential lights, equipment and computers to assist in the effort to reduce the electrical load required for Queen’s facilities.
    • ensure that all windows are fully closed
    • immediately report any observed flooding or roof leaks to Fixit by calling extension 77301

    Flags lowered for Susan Price

    Susan Price

    Flags on campus are lowered for Susan Price, a financial assistant in the Regional Assessment and Resource Center at Queen’s University, who passed away Oct. 25 at Kingston General Hospital. She was 58.

    Ms. Price worked at Queen’s for 15 years. A private ceremony will be held by her family. She will be laid to rest at Cataraqui Cemetery.

    A celebration of her life will take place on Friday, Oct. 30, 7 pm at the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, where everyone is welcome. In lieu of flowers, she has requested charitable contributions to World Vision (where she sponsored several children over the years), The Boys and Girls Club of Kingston, or The Canadian Cancer Society.

    Computer Store services transitioning in 2016

    Several services currently offered by the Campus Computer Store will transition to existing shared services after the store ceases retail operations next year.

    The university reviewed the Campus Computer Store and all other ancillary operations on campus during the 2014-15 fiscal year. In light of the growing deficit, the review recommended closing the store by April 29, 2016, with retail services being discontinued and core services that support the academic and business requirements of the university transitioning to existing shared services.

    The decision to close the store is in line with the broader trend across the province, with only one university still operating a computer store.

    “Queen’s is committed to financial sustainability in order to protect the university’s overall academic mission,” says Caroline Davis, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “Increased external competition, especially from online retailers, coupled with broader product lines available instantly from local retailers challenged the Campus Computer Store’s business model.

    “ITS explored different options in recent years to offset declining sales, but the opportunities could not guarantee the long-term financial sustainability of the Campus Computer Store,” Ms. Davis says.

    Human Resources (HR) has met with the store employees and union representatives to discuss future options. HR is offering ongoing support to the employees and has made them aware of new positions that will be created as a result of some services transitioning to existing shared service units.

    “We have given serious consideration to the impact this decision will have on store employees, who provide exceptional service to the Queen’s community,” says Bo Wandschneider, Associate Vice-Principal (Information Technology Services) and Chief Information Officer. “As we move forward with the transition plan, we will do our utmost to support the employees.”

    Services transitioning

    Departmental IT purchases will transition directly to Strategic Procurement Services (SPS) starting in May 2016. In the meantime, departments can continue to place orders through orderit@queensu.ca.

    SPS is currently developing new processes to support departmental IT purchases. SPS will consult with stakeholders as it develops the processes, which will be publicized in the coming months.

    “Staff and faculty will have access to a convenient online portal where they can obtain quotes and place orders,” Ms. Davis says. “Re-directing internal purchases to Strategic Procurement Services will deliver cost savings to departments by eliminating the current Campus Computer Store mark-up without compromising the service they have come to expect from store staff.”

    The Queen’s Mobile Voice and Data Plans will transition directly to ITS after the store closes. Until that time, staff and faculty phone requests can continue to be submitted to qmobile@queensu.ca Any process changes that occur as a result of the transition to ITS will be communicated to the university community at a future date.

    Students, faculty and staff members will no longer be able to purchase IT products for personal use from the Campus Computer Store after April 29, 2016. Personal purchases will continue at the store up until that date, but inventory and displays will be reduced as the store prepares to cease operations.  

    Payroll deduction loans for staff and faculty will no longer be offered after Dec. 24, 2015 at noon. Furthermore, staff and faculty members will not be able to add to their existing payroll deduction loan after that point. ITS will continue to administer all existing loans after the store ceases operations. Staff and faculty members with loans will continue with their payout schedule until the loans are paid off.

    Enterprise software agreements like Microsoft Office, onQ (the campus-wide learning management system) and others will continue to be managed and provisioned by ITS. All other software agreements will be reviewed and evaluated as they come due, and a committee will be struck to review software site licensing. The departmental leasing and rental program offered by the computer store, which has declined in use in recent years, will be discontinued.

    Questions can be directed to Mr. Wandschneider or Brian McDonald, Associate Director, IT Support.

    Cyber Security Awareness Month: Keep prying eyes off valuable documents

    Use encryption to protect your data and devices.

    That’s the message Information Technology Services (ITS) is delivering during the fourth and final week of Cyber Security Awareness Month.

    Encryption is a systematic way of scrambling information on a device or hard drive to prevent unwanted access to that information in the event that a device is lost or stolen. In this digital era, it is vital to protect confidential documents that may contain personal and/or business-related information. In fact, a core component of Queen’s University’s privacy and data security strategy involves the encryption of data and computers (including mobile devices such as tablets and removable drives).

    The IT Support Centre (ITSC) offers a free encryption service to help faculty and staff protect valuable computer hard drives and data. Contact the ITSC by calling 613-533-6666 during regular business hours or fill in the online help form.

    ITS has also developed an encryption tutorials page that provides clear instructions for people who want encrypt their devices on their own.

    Visit the ITS Encryption webpage to learn more about keeping valuable data safe.

    Capturing the spirit of Homecoming

    • [Homecoming 2015]
      A group of alumni take part in the events at the Homecoming football game on Saturday at Richardson Stadium.
    • [Homecoming 2015]
      Reconnecting with friends, former classmates and the Queen's community is one of the special elements of Homecoming.
    • [Homecoming 2015]
      Reconnecting with friends, former classmates and the Queen's community is one of the special elements of Homecoming.
    • [Homecoming 2015]
      Reconnecting with friends, former classmates and the Queen's community is one of the special elements of Homecoming.
    • [Homecoming 2015]
      Professor Emeritus Arthur McDonald, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics, right, took part in the opening kickoff with Principal Daniel Woolf, left, and Chancellor Jim Leech.
    • [Homecoming 2015]
      Reconnecting with friends, former classmates and the Queen's community is one of the special elements of Homecoming.

    Homecoming 2015 has come and gone and despite the cold, wet weather, thousands of alumni returned to Queen’s University for the weekend to foster friendships and create new connections.

    From the many events hosted by the faculties and departments across the university to meeting up with acquaintances from the past, as well dear friends, Homecoming offers an opportunity for special memories.

    Gaels to face Ravens in football playoffs

    [Gaels vs. Golden Hawks]
    Queen's Gaels receiver Doug Corby is shadowed by Austin Reusch of the Laurier Golden Hawks in Saturday's Homecoming game at Richardson Stadium. (Photo by Jason Scourse)

    The following is a quick roundup of the weekend's results for Queen's Gaels teams and athletes.


    The Queen’s Gaels (5-3) dropped a 49-26 decision to the Laurier Golden Hawks (4-4) in Saturday’s Homecoming game, as the regular season wrapped up.

    The hosts struggled to hang onto the ball early and often, including quarterback Nate Hobbs who fumbled twice and was intercepted twice while facing pressure all game long. Capitalizing on the turnovers, the Golden Hawks went into the half with a 25-7 lead.

    Up next for the Gaels is a home playoff matchup against the Carleton Ravens (5-3) on Saturday, Oct. 31 at 1 pm at Richardson Stadium. The teams met in the season opener on Aug. 30, with Queen's earning a 34-24 win.

    Men’s Rugby

    The Queen’s Gaels men’s rugby team (6-1) grabbed another win Saturday night, thumping the Toronto Varsity Blues (0-7) 83-5 in the windy Homecoming match on Nixon Field.

    Women’s Rugby

    The No. 4 Queen’s Gaels women’s rugby squad lost in their OUA semifinal game to the No.1 Guelph Gryphons 38-3 and will now host the OUA bronze medal game Saturday, Oct. 31

    Women’s Soccer

    The Queen's Gaels women's soccer team (7-2-7) earned a scoreless draw against the Laurentian Voyageurs Sunday afternoon in their final game of the regular season. On Saturday the team beat the Nipissing Lakers 3-1. With the draw the Gaels finish fifth in the OUA East division and will play their first playoff game Wednesday at Miklas-McCarney field.
    Men’s Soccer

    The Queen's Gaels men's soccer team (9-2-5) closed out their regular season Sunday with a 1-1 draw against the Laurentian Voyageurs. On Saturday they topped the Nipissing Lakers 2-0. With securing a third-place in the OUA East Division, the Gaels head into the playoffs Wednesday at 3 pm at Miklas McCarney field.

    Women’s Hockey

    The Queen's Gaels women’s hockey team grabbed a pair of wins at home for Homecoming weekend scoring a 3-2 comeback overtime win Sunday over the Nipissing Lakers. On Friday night the Gaels downed the Laurentian Voyageurs 2-0.

    Men’s Hockey

    The Queen’s Gaels men’s hockey team matched the women with a pair of wins,  this time on the road in Thunder Bay as they beat the Lakehead Thunderwolves 3-2 on Friday and 4-1 on Sunday.

    Women’s Volleyball

    The Queen's Gaels women's volleyball team dropped their season opener on the road Friday evening, falling to the Ottawa Gee-Gees 25-22, 25-14, 25-14.

    Women’s Lacrosse

    The Queen's Gaels women's lacrosse team defeated the Laurier Golden Hawks 10-8 to win the OUA bronze medal at the 2015 OUA Championship while head coach Pat Bolland was named OUA coach of the year.


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