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Principal urges Queen’s community to come together with dignity and respect

Dear all members of Queen’s University,

The current outbreak of novel coronavirus is raising concerns across the globe. While it is understandable that in some circumstances people may respond with fear, it is always important, especially in a university, to make decisions based on information and facts. At Queen’s, we are monitoring the evolving situation very carefully and are being guided by experts in the field. At this time, the health risk to our community from coronavirus remains low. 

There is, however, a related and insidious social challenge already emerging amongst us, one which we must all face and directly combat. Actions taken out of fear, guided by misinformation and false assumptions, do a disservice to every member of our community. Ignorantly ostracizing Chinese and Asian students will rip apart the beautiful tapestry of our international campus and must be repudiated by everyone. Now is a time to come together and care for one another, with dignity and respect. This virus does not discriminate, and our greatest weapon against it is knowledge and correct, preventive action.  

– Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor

A star on and off the ice

Slater Doggett receives the Governor General’s Academic All-Canadian Commendation from Assunta Di Lorenzo, Secretary to the Governor General and Herald Chancellor of Canada.
Slater Doggett receives the Governor General’s Academic All-Canadian Commendation from Assunta Di Lorenzo, Secretary to the Governor General and Herald Chancellor of Canada.

Former Queen’s Gaels hockey player Slater Doggett (Artsci’19) was recently honoured as one of the Top 8 Academic All-Canadians during a ceremony hosted at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, the official residence of the Governor General of Canada.

Doggett received the Governor General’s Academic All-Canadian Commendation for the 2018-19 season, one of the highest honours for varsity athletes in the country.

At the reception he was presented with the award by Assunta Di Lorenzo, Secretary to the Governor General and Herald Chancellor of Canada.

Every year the Academic All-Canadian Commendation is presented to a group of eight exceptional athletes. Recipients must have maintained an average of 80 per cent or more over the academic year while playing on at least one university varsity teams.

“The Governor General’s Academic All-Canadian Commendation is one of the highest honours a student-athlete in Canada can receive, with just eight recipients recognized from over 3,500 student-athletes across the country who achieve Academic All-Star status each year,” says Leslie Dal Cin, Executive Director of Athletics and Recreation at Queen’s. “Outstanding leaders, role models and ambassadors, Queen’s student-athlete achievements transcend sport and reach into excellence in the classroom and impact in our community. Slater had an incredibly successful four-year career at Queen’s, and it has been our privilege to have him in our Gaels community.”

Among his many accomplishments, Doggett was named a U SPORTS All-Canadian, the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East MVP and a Randy Gregg Award nominee, and in 2019 led the Gaels to their first Queen’s Cup title since 1981. Queen’s Athletics recognized him with the Jenkins Trophy as the university’s top male athlete last spring.  The star forward also won a bronze medal for Canada at the 2017 International University Sports Federation’s Winter Universiade in Kazakhstan, and had the opportunity to compete against Hockey Canada's World Junior Prospects with the 2018 U SPORTS All-Stars.

Throughout his time at Queen’s, Doggett was committed to serving his community. He volunteered to help Syrian refugees, was involved in the Autism Mentorship Program and contributed to Nightlight Kingston, an adult drop-in centre. He also spent time with the Running and Reading Program, volunteering once a week at the Molly Brant Public School to support the initiative.

“Slater’s statistics and awards will go into the record books, but they don’t reflect the legacy that he left on the men's hockey program at Queen’s,” says Queen’s men’s hockey head coach Brett Gibson. “He proved you can excel in the three main areas of university life for a student-athlete – academics, athletics, and giving back to the community. I ask our players that when they leave the program to make sure they leave it in a better place. Slater not only did that, but he set the bar for future Gaels to strive for.”:

After graduating from Queen’s, Doggett signed a professional contract with the Florida Everblades of the East Coast Hockey League and currently plays professionally for the Vipiteno Sterzing Broncos in the Alps Hockey League.

To learn more about U SPORTS and Academic All-Canadians, visit the U Sports website.

Student Food Insecurity Advisory Committee formed to implement recommendations

In June 2019, Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Tom Harris formed a Food Insecurity Working Group to examine issues of food insecurity in the university community. The group conducted research, evaluated current trends and best practices at other universities, and released the Queen’s University Food Insecurity Report in November.

The working group found that those most affected by food insecurity at Queen’s tend to be female-identified graduate students with family responsibilities. The working group concluded that it is important to consider and address food insecurity as a social justice issue and a symptom of the larger issue of poverty and food access in the community.

The working group identified five strategic priority areas to help address food insecurity at Queen’s: Education and Awareness, Environment, Community, Skill-Building, and Policy.

The Office of the Provost has now formed a Student Food Insecurity Advisory Committee to implement the working group’s recommendations and to continue to monitor and address issues of food insecurity at Queen’s.

The advisory group, chaired by Corinna Fitzgerald, Assistant Dean, Student Life and Learning, will include staff and student representatives. The group will continue to monitor policies, programs, and services at Queen’s, and will work towards creating a food culture in which stigma is reduced and there is broad understanding of the issues of student food insecurity. The group will continue to engage the campus community through ongoing consultations, and they will provide an annual report to the Office of the Provost.

Provost Harris initially established the working group after reading media reports on food insecurity on university campuses.

“I felt it was important for the Queen’s community to work together to investigate issues of food insecurity and access to food at Queen’s,” says Provost Harris. “The advisory committee will continue to monitor emerging practices and take steps to implement the recommendations made by the working group. This important initiative will continue to be a collaborative effort by staff, students, faculty, and the administration. I hope we will see practical measures and new approaches that will help address the issues of food insecurity in our community.”

Queen’s remembers Bethany Qun Yi Yan

The Queen’s community is remembering Bethany Qun Yi Yan, who died suddenly on Sunday, Jan. 26.

Bethany Qun Yi Yan, a fourth-year Concurrent Education student and a member of the varsity cheer team at Queen's, died suddenly on Sunday, Jan. 26.

Bethany started at Queen’s University in 2015. She was a fourth-year Concurrent Education student and was pursuing French and History in the Faculty of Arts and Science.

Bethany was a member of the award-winning varsity cheerleading team for four years. Her teammates describe “Boat” as a treasured member of the Queen’s Cheerleading family who brought joy to everyone she met. She will be dearly missed by her teammates and the entire cheerleading community.

Bethany’s passion for education was evident to those who knew her, especially her Con-Ed family. She was an enthusiastic teacher candidate and a valuable member of the Con-Ed community. Bethany will be remembered for her love for teaching and desire to make a difference in students’ lives.

Flags on campus will be lowered on Thursday, Jan. 30 in memory of Bethany.

Students in need of support are encouraged to contact the multi-faith chaplain or the other support services available on campus, including Empower Me, and Good2Talk. Faculty and staff in need of support can also access the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP), provided by Homewood Health, by visiting the Queen’s Human Resources website. For 24-hour EFAP services call 1-800-663-1142 (English) or 1-866-398-9505 (French).

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To remember Bethany's love for cheerleading and education, the Bethany Qun Yi Yan Memorial fund has been established to financially assist those who dream to become educators and who have a passion for teamwork and cheerleading. Contributions may be made in her memory, through the Queen’s University’s Bethany Qun Yi Yan Memorial Fund. Make your cheque payable to Queen’s University with the Bethany Qun Yi Yan Memorial Fund listed on the memo line. If you’d like Queen’s to notify Bethany’s family of your gift, please include the following note: “notify the family”. Send to Queen’s University, Attn: Gage Benyon, Old Medical Building Room 303, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6. Or visit www.givetoqueens.ca/BethanyYan.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Mount Pleasant Cemetry, Cremation and Funeral Centres, in Toronto (375 Mount Pleasant Rd.) on Saturday, Feb. 1. The gathering will start at 4 pm in the chapel with words of remembrance starting at 5 pm. A reception will be held at 6 pm to 8 pm. 

Read Bethany’s obituary online.

Updated message from Queen's University regarding coronavirus

Queen’s University is monitoring the coronavirus (2019-nCoV) situation carefully and has put information on the Environmental Health and Safety website, including travel restriction updates as well as other information regarding the coronavirus.

Queen's library looks to the future

External review of current Queen's University Library services includes a series of recommendations.

Stauffer Library in winter.
The library's review will assist with an international search for a new Vice-Provost and University Librarian.

Last fall, the Office of the Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) initiated an external review of the Queen’s library. The intent of the review was to provide an objective assessment of the current state of and future opportunities for the library, and to inform the appointment of the next Vice-Provost and University Librarian.

The review was undertaken by Vivian Lewis, University Librarian at McMaster University, and Jonathan Bengtson, University Librarian at the University of Victoria, who met with many individuals and groups from inside and outside the library over two days at the end of October. The reviewers also considered an internal report prepared with input from many staff in the Library, a confidential summary of several focus group meetings, and written comments submitted by members of the community.

After their visit the reviewers submitted a written report containing observations and recommendations. The reviewers made particularly useful observations about the library’s organizational structure, pace of change, climate, communications, budget, and the search for the new librarian.

“I’d like to thank the reviewers and the members of the university community who participated in the review,” says Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Tom Harris.  “The findings and recommendations in the report will be very helpful in charting the path forward for the future of the library”.

A summary of the report, including a full list of the reviewers’ recommendations, has been circulated to the university community and is posted on the Provost’s website. The report will assist the committee which will be formed to commence an international search for a new Vice-Provost and University Librarian. 

Law firm's gift supports Queen's Legal Aid

Bogoroch & Associates donate $200,000 to help clinic maintain access to justice.

Bogoroch & Associates LLP has donated $200,000 to Queen’s Legal Aid (QLA), providing much-needed support to assist the clinic in maintaining its current level of service. Each year, QLA provides free legal assistance to approximately 900 clients and makes appropriate referrals for over 1,400 individuals in the greater Kingston area. It also serves as a prime experiential learning opportunity for Queen's law students from which they acquire valuable skills as they serve the community's most vulnerable citizens.

Richard Bogoroch is the founder and Managing Partner of Bogoroch & Associates LLP, a Toronto law firm that has donated $200,000 to Queen’s Legal Aid. Photo Eric Forget

“I am grateful to have the opportunity to make this gift, especially at a time when recent cutbacks to legal aid have left the clinic with a funding shortfall,” says Richard Bogoroch, founder and Managing Partner of Bogoroch & Associates LLP. “This gift exemplifies our abiding interest in legal education and access to justice. Lack of access to justice is not an abstraction, it is reality for so many people who cannot afford a lawyer. By this gift, those in need of assistance will obtain it and Queen’s law students will learn valuable skills; skills that should serve them well as they embark on their legal careers.”

Karla McGrath (LLM’13), Executive Director of the Queen’s Law Clinics, certainly knows how clinical education shapes a student’s career. “Students working in Queen’s Legal Aid – and in our other clinics in business, elder, family and prison law – are placed in a dynamic work environment, under the close supervision of clinic review counsel,” she says. “The environment and stakes are real: clinic directors and review counsel pride themselves on not only giving the students an education in law, but a genuine sense of what it means to be a legal professional and to litigate.”

“We’ve heard a great deal of positive feedback from law firms about the benefits of recruiting students with clinical experience,” says Blair Crew, Director of Queen’s Legal Aid, which is the largest of five Queen’s Law Clinics operating in downtown Kingston. “Each year, QLA offers experiential learning opportunities – on a volunteer, for-credit and paid summer employment basis – to more than 80 students who meet demanding standards and compete for the coveted positions.”

QLA students provide a wide range of pro bono legal services to low-income residents of Kingston, Napanee and surrounding areas, and to Queen’s University students. These are critical services that Bogoroch & Associates LLP wanted to support.

“Legal education is of paramount importance because a strong and vigorous bar is an essential component of a healthy and vibrant democracy,” says Bogoroch. “Where there’s no access to justice, there’s increasing inequality and despair. This is not healthy for the functioning of our society. For that reason, our firm felt it important to make this gift so that Queen’s Legal Aid could continue training future lawyers, lawyers we’re confident will make a significant contribution to society.”

Bogoroch & Associates LLP, a Toronto-based law firm, represents injured individuals and their families in all aspects of personal injury and medical malpractice litigation. In 2019, Canadian Lawyer magazine selected Bogoroch & Associates LLP as one of the Top 10 personal injury boutique law firms in Canada. Richard Bogoroch, a certified specialist in civil litigation by the Law Society of Ontario, is recognized as a leading personal injury lawyer by the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory and Best Lawyers in Canada.

“Queen’s Legal Aid, along with our other Queen’s Law Clinics, is central to our sense of what legal education is all about and to serving the community,” says Dean Mark Walters (Law’89). “This generous donation from Bogoroch & Associates LLP will support the great success of our clinical legal education program to the benefit of our students as well as vulnerable members of the Kingston community.”

For more information visit the website.

Let's Talk at Queen's

Groups across campus prepare to take part in mental health conversations for Bell Let’s Talk Day.

Students take part in Bell Let's Talk Day
Student groups and university offices are working to make the most of Bell Let's Talk Day.

Mental health and stigma have become some of the most important topics in the country in recent years. Each January, the Queen’s community shows its commitment to the conversation by taking part in Bell Let’s Talk Day. This year will be no different, as preparations are well under way on campus for this year’s national event taking place on Wednesday, Jan. 29.

“It’s always inspiring to see so many students, faculty, and staff from across Queen’s show their support for ending the stigma around mental illness. Even though we have made a lot of progress, there is still work to be done. And it’s encouraging to know that enthusiasm for mental health initiatives on campus is only growing,” says Heather Stuart, Bell Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Chair at Queen’s.

Talking about mental health

Both student groups and university offices are working to make the most of the day. Many of this year’s events aim not only to start a conversation but to raise awareness about what actions people can take.

Throughout Bell Let’s Talk Day, many campus organizations will take turns meeting the Queen’s community at a booth in the Athletics and Recreation Centre. Health Promotion, Peer Health Education, Step Above Stigma, Sexual Health Resource Centre, the Mental Health Awareness Committee, and other groups will be rotating through to share ideas about how people can improve their own mental wellness and support that of others. Booth visitors can start the conversation by sharing what they are doing to help create positive change on Talk Bubbles. They can then post those bubbles in their dorm, apartment, or office so that others know that someone is always there to talk. There will also be a similar booth in Mitchell Hall between 12pm and 2pm.

For those who want to help others but don’t know where to start, Health Promotion is offering two different training sessions. On Jan. 29, they will hold Identifying and Responding to Students in Distress, and on Jan. 30 they will offer SafeTALK Suicide Alertness Training. Both of these sessions are open to all students, faculty, and staff.

Students will be able to get involved where they live as well, as Dons in Victoria Hall and Jean Royce Hall will be running booths focused on changing the conversation around mental health. Students can drop by between 6 pm and 10 pm to get information, enjoy a treat, and make a stress ball. This will build upon the guidance that Residence Life recently gave out to students during the Wellness Night Market.

Leading up to the day, Athletics and Recreation and the Varsity Leadership Council held the Bell Let’s Talk Games. These men’s and women’s volleyball and women’s hockey games on Jan. 25 featured booths with information from Bell Let’s Talk and groups around campus. During the games, the events staff held a trivia contest about mental health resources on campus. The winners received a Bell Let’s Talk prize package.

The Queen’s Community hopes to continue the conversation throughout the year. Several student-led campus groups have committed to using #QueensLetsTalk on social media to unify the conversation. Keep up to date on campus events that continue the discussion on the #QueensLetsTalk Facebook page.

Supports available

Queen’s students have several resources available to them if they need assistance with mental health. Empower Me is a 24/7 phone service that allows students to connect with qualified counselors, consultants, and life coaches for a variety of issues.  The helpline can be reached from anywhere in North America at 1-844-741-6389. Empower Me is made available through a partnership between the Alma Mater Society, the Society of Graduate and Professional Students, and the university. Learn more about Empower Me on the Student Wellness Services website.

Students can also use Good2Talk, a free, confidential helpline providing professional counseling and information to post-secondary students in Ontario. Good2Talk can be reached at 1-866-925-5454.

Student Wellness Services also offers counselling services. For more information, call 613-533-6000 ext. 78264.

New coronavirus information

Global health officials have stated that a current outbreak of pneumonia, originating from Wuhan, China, has been attributed to a new strain of coronavirus. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of the virus reported in Canada, however national and provincial health authorities are monitoring the situation closely.

Queen’s University is aware of these reports and is also monitoring the situation. Over the coming days, the university will be reaching out to a small number of students, staff, and faculty who are currently in China or plan to travel to China in the near future.

We will provide updated information as appropriate. For more information on the virus, outbreak, and recommended precautions, visit the Government of Canada’s Public Health website.  

Queen’s remembers Shelley Hunt

The Queen’s community is remembering former staff member Shelley Hunt who passed away recently. She was in her 60th year.

Hunt enjoyed a rewarding career at Queen’s, holding several positions, most notably working for the Dean of Medicine.

She formed lasting friendships with some of her colleagues and was known as a warm and kind friend who was always the life and soul of the party.

The family will receive friends at Gordon F. Tompkins Funeral Home (49 Colborne St., Kingston) on Friday Jan. 24 from 11 am until the time of the memorial service in the chapel at 1 pm.

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