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Seeking input on sexual violence policy

Queen's community called on to provide feedback on the revised Policy on Sexual Violence Involving Queen’s University Students by Nov. 22.

The following was sent out via email to all Queen's University faculty, staff and students on behalf of Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion).

Dear members of the Queen’s community,

We are seeking input from the university community on the recently revised Policy on Sexual Violence Involving Queen’s University Students.  The revised policy requires an employee who receives a disclosure of sexual violence from a student to notify the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator, and the notification form requires the employee to give the student’s name and contact information. 

While the revisions were intended to ensure that those who experience sexual violence receive coordinated and comprehensive support, community concern has led Principal Patrick Deane to suspend these aspects of the policy pending further community consultation.

If you would like to provide input on the revised policy, you may submit written comments here by Friday, Nov. 22. 

Responses are completely anonymous and cannot be traced back to you. No personally identifiable information is captured unless you include personal or contact information in the comment field. Your response may be combined with those of others and summarized in a report.

The opportunity to provide online feedback on the revised policy follows two open meetings which were held to allow community members to provide feedback.  A brief summary of the comments made at the meetings can be found here.

All community input will be used to inform next steps.  Thank you for your interest in ensuring that our community is safe and supportive for everyone. 

If you are a student in need of support, resources available include: Student Wellness Services, Good 2 Talk, Addiction & Mental Health Services, and Empower Me. Faculty and staff can find resources at EFAP.  Any community member may also contact the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator at (613) 533-6330 or by email at bjl7@queensu.ca.

Criminal scams in Kingston actively target students

Students cautioned not to transfer money to unknown callers or provide personal information

The university has been made aware of several criminal scams that are targeting Canadian and international students.  You may receive a phone call, email, or text message from individuals claiming that they are from Canada Revenue Agency, Immigration Canada, or the police. They may use intimidating language to convince you to make a payment or share details about your identity. Do not transfer money to them or provide personal information about your passport, health card, or driver’s license.

We recognize that it can be particularly difficult for international students to navigate these scams. If you are an international student and have received a suspicious phone call, text, or email, please contact the Queen’s International Student Centre (QUIC) and they can help you understand what's happening. The International Student Advisor can be reached at ISA@queensu.ca or by phone at 613.533.2604. All other calls should be directed to Campus Security and Emergency Services at (613) 533-6080 or Kingston Police.

Here are some things that you should know in order to protect yourself:

  • Do not transfer money or respond in any way to the phone call, email or text message. Organizations like Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and Canadian Border Services (CBSA) do not use aggressive language or demand immediate payment by Interact e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or gift cards from retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, or others.
  • Learn how to protect yourself against phone scams by visiting the Canada Revenue Agency website
  • Do not click on links in suspicious emails. You can preview an email address or web link by rolling your mouse over it to check if it’s legitimate. You can learn more about information security on Queen’s ITS website.
  • If you're not sure about something, WAIT.  If you suspect you may be the victim of fraud or have been tricked into giving personal or financial information, contact the Kingston Police.

Employee and Family Assistance Program provider publishes November edition of Life Lines

Life Lines November 2019
Read the November edition of Life Lines.

As the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provider for Queen’s University, Homewood Health publishes a number of regular newsletters, including Lifelines.

The monthly newsletter is intended to support key personnel with a wealth of information on the topic presented. The November edition is entitled “Me-time: managing stress and finding work life balance.”

For more information on the Queen’s EFAP, visit the Human Resources website.

For 24-hour EFAP services call 1-800-663-1142 (English) or 1-866-398-9505 (French).

Ce fichier est disponible en francais.


An out-of-this-world Science Formal

  • Fourth-year students of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science are busy finishing their work for the 117th annual Science Formal.
    Fourth-year students of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science are busy finishing their work for the 117th annual Science Formal. (University Communications)
  • Painting for Science Formal
    A team of students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science work on the decorations for the Science Formal '20. (University Communications)
  • Sarah Hatherly, Science Formal convener
    Convener Sarah Hatherly and the rest of the organizing committee have been busy for months planning Science Formal '20. (University Communications)
  • Fourth-year students of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science are busy finishing their work for the 117th annual Science Formal.
    Student volunteers are busy constructing the two-storey structure that is the centrepiece of the Science Formal in Grant Hall. (University Communications)

The stars will be coming out this weekend as the 117th Science Formal is being hosted at Grant Hall on Saturday, Nov. 2.

Currently a busy construction site, Grant Hall is being turned into a Starry Night spacescape, including an elaborate two-storey structure. Dozens of students, including the organizing committee, have volunteered their time planning, scheduling, decorating, and building.

Members of the Queen’s and Kingston communities are invited to a special sneak preview of the finished product ahead of the event during an open house from noon to 3 pm on Saturday. Donations for the United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington are being accepted at the door.

Making the event a reality is hard work but also an opportunity for fourth-year students to connect with a tradition that started in 1903 and to apply many of the skills they have developed in the classrooms.

“It’s a huge learning opportunity for all of us,” says Sarah Hatherly, Science Formal ’20 convener.” It’s 117 years of tradition but beyond that everyone involved is learning skills from how to build a main structure that’s two storeys and planning to speaking with a professional engineer and making sure all the construction is up to code. All of us are learning quite a bit and applying what we are learning in class, such as creating CAD models, to accomplish what we’ve designed.”

The project has also been a good learning experience in managing teams and fostering collaboration among the crews volunteer workers. But the finish line is now in sight.

“It’s a huge celebration of all of our hard work over the course of four years as engineering students,” Hatherly says. “We’re looking forward to celebrating with the entire class and enjoying the art and structures that we build.”

You can find out more about the Open House and the Science Formal on the Science Formal website.

Twenty years of Positive Space

Queen’s Human Rights and Equity Office celebrates ongoing success of Positive Space Program.

For two decades, the Positive Space Program has facilitated the celebration of sexual and gender diversity at Queen's, working with people across campus so that all members of the community are affirmed and supported. The Human Rights and Equity Office marked the program’s 20th anniversary this week with a celebration at Mitchell Hall and the release of a video reflecting on its impact.

“Positive Space represents the very best of what is possible when people – in a spirit of hope, deep appreciation, and love – come together to achieve equity, justice, and freedom,” says Stephanie Simpson, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusion). “This program, alongside many others over the years, has contributed to making Queen’s a place where the richness of our differences are celebrated and where individuals and communities can realize their potential.”

Can't see the video? View the video in a new window.

The Positive Space emblem – an inverted rainbow triangle overlaid with a Queen’s “Q” – is a familiar sight across the university, with stickers adorning many classrooms, offices, and common areas, to signal that all forms of diversity are respected and celebrated, and that everyone is welcome. To be welcoming means that no one should make assumptions about another person's gender or sexual orientation; there is awareness of the intersections with other forms of oppression; and that there is effort to overcome both overt and subtle forms of discrimination and harassment.

“The contribution to a more inclusive campus that Positive Space has made over the years comes not only from the colourful stickers that are its hallmark,” says Jean Pfleiderer, Positive Space Coordinator, Human Rights and Equity Office, “but also from the meaningful conversations that arise from its information sessions.”

Queen’s community members earn the stickers once they have voluntarily participated in a Positive Space Information Session, created to build awareness and respect for sexual and gender diversity. There are currently around 3,500 people across campus engaged in the program. All staff, faculty, and students can register for regularly scheduled information sessions.

“As we continue our campus conversation about equity, diversity, Indigeneity, and accessibility, we should look toward Positive Space as a shining example of what it means to be inclusive,” says Simpson. “The program, and those who facilitate it, continue to champion environments in which people can truly live as who they are, and as they do so, help to transform the spaces and the culture of our campus.”

For more information on the program, visit the Positive Space website.

United Way campaign at 60 per cent of goal

[United Way Thermometer at 60 per cent]Launched on Oct. 1, the Queen’s United Way Campaign Committee has set a fundraising goal of $370,178 for this year’s campaign in support of United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington.

Thanks to the continued support of staff, faculty and retiree donations the campaign currently total $223,298, or 60.3 per cent of the final goal.

Last year, more than 58,000 people benefited from United Way KFL&A-funded programs.

Queen’s community members can back the United Way through payroll deduction, a one-time gift, credit card, cheque or cash. 

To make a donation online through the United Way’s ePledge system, simply go to queensu.ca/unitedway and fill out the forms. Please note that if you donated last year and selected the auto-renewal action, no further action is required unless you would like to change your donation. 

Queen’s signs the Magna Charta Universitatum

  • Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane signs Magna Charta
    Principal Patrick Deane signs the Magna Charta Universitatum during an event hosted at McMaster University on Oct. 17. (Supplied photo)
  • Participants in the Magna Charta signing gather for a photo
    The newest signatories of the Magna Charta Universitatum gather for a group photo. (Supplied photo)
  • Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane speaks after signing the Magna Charta
    Queen's Principal Patrick Deane delivers the keynote address following the signing ceremony at the Magna Charta Observatory Conference on Oct. 17. (Supplied photo)
  • Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane signs Magna Charta
    Patrick Deane, along with The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, who presided over the signing ceremony, and Dr. Sijbolt Noorda, President Emeritus of the University of Amsterdam and current President of the Magna Charta Observatory Council. (Supplied photo)

Queen’s University is one of the newest signatories of the Magna Charta Universitatum, joining a collective of close to 900 universities around the globe. Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane signed the document at a ceremony closing the Magna Charta Observatory’s annual conference, held for the first time in North America at McMaster University in Hamilton on Oct. 17.

The Magna Charta Universitatum celebrates the deepest values of university traditions such as academic freedom, autonomy, integration of teaching and research, social responsibility, among others, and unites universities through these common bonds.

“I am especially proud to have been able to sign the Magna Charta on behalf of Queen’s and feel privileged to have done so in the company of distinguished colleagues from around the world,” says Principal Deane.

The Magna Charta was first created and signed in 1988 at the University of Bologna and originally focused largely on issues facing European universities. Since then, universities around the world have signed the document. Queen’s is one of only 10 Canadian institutions to sign and in doing so, agrees to uphold the traditions and principles set out in the document and joins a global collective working to ensure the strength of the university model.

In 1998, the Magna Charta Observatory (MCO) was formed to oversee the health of universities and ensure the principles of the original document were being upheld. The MCO holds an annual conference focused on issues facing universities globally. The theme of this year’s conference was “Universities: Their Freedoms and Responsibilities: The Challenge of the Future.”

At the signing ceremony, Queen’s was one of 16 universities to sign and the only one from Canada. Other universities at this year’s ceremony were from France, Belgium, Albania, Austria, Hungary, Georgia, Kazakhstan, United Kingdom, Germany, Ukraine, and Australia. Following the signing Deane delivered the keynote address (read his speech) stressing the importance of solidarity amongst universities in advancing knowledge and research, and the responsibilities they have to the future of society and our planet.

“Signing the Magna Charta may seem like a small thing, but it really matters,” says Principal Deane. “The conference sessions were fantastic. I particularly enjoyed Sigal Ben-Porath’s keynote on free speech and feel her book, ‘Free speech on campus,’ is the best written on the subject.”

The university’s Rector, Alex Da Silva, and Chancellor Jim Leech, attended the conference with the principal.

Principal Deane is also a member of the governing council of the MCO and is on a working committee that stayed after the conference to rewrite the Magna Charta document to reflect the more global composition of its membership and the changing nature of universities including their relationships with communities and engagement in social justice issues. The next iteration of the Magna Charta will be signed by all members at the 2020 conference at the University of Bologna in September.  

Read the Magna Charta Universitatum

Be a part of Queen's history

The entire Queen’s community is invited to attend the installation of Patrick Deane as the 21st Principal and Vice-Chancellor.

Patrick Deane
Queen's Principal Patrick Deane.
RSVP for the Installation Ceremony and Reception

Everyone is welcome to attend the installation of Patrick Deane as the 21st Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University

Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019
3:30 p.m.
Grant Hall
43 University Ave.

A celebration reception will follow in
Ban Righ Hall
10 Bader Lane.

Please confirm your attendance by Wednesday, Nov. 6 by online registration.

Universities, Queen’s included, are well-known for their various traditions, rituals and formalities. Convocation ceremonies include pomp and circumstance and provide a fitting celebration to mark the culmination of many hours of hard work and dedication to attaining a degree. On Nov. 12, 2019, the Queen’s community will see another special ceremony occur at Grant Hall: the installation of Patrick Deane as Principal and Vice-Chancellor.

The installation is open to everyone, and during the ceremony Principal Deane will deliver his installation address, which is often considered to be a keystone speech for a Principal’s term of office. The purpose of the ceremony is to officially bestow the rights and privileges that come with the role of Principal and Vice-Chancellor. At the ceremony, the Principal will receive his official academic dress and will take the Pledge of Office.

Representatives from universities across the country are invited to attend, and the ceremony will also see a large academic procession filling the stage. The Queen’s University Choral Ensemble will perform music chosen for the occasion, guests will enjoy hearing the Queen’s pipers, and the ceremony will feature original music composed by Dr. John Burge.

The installation of the Principal isn’t the only official event happening that day. During the installation, honorary degrees will be conferred upon Dr. Daniel Woolf, the 20th Principal and Vice-Chancellor, and Dr. John Borrows, one of the foremost authorities on Indigenous law and constitutional law in Canada. Both will receive an honorary doctorate of laws degree.   

Following the installation ceremony, a reception will be held at Ban Righ Hall for all attendees. Normally, a formal dinner for invited guests is held following an installation. However, Principal Deane wanted the reception to be open to everyone who attends the installation, and all attendees are welcome at the reception, which will follow immediately after at Ban Righ Hall. If you would like to attend the installation and reception, please register here.

University to revise Philanthropic and Service Naming Procedures

The procedural changes will support the 2018 naming policy.

The naming of university assets or property for service or philanthropy is a well-established custom at Queen's University. From naming academic chairs and awards to buildings and gardens, Queen's, like many universities, has welcomed the opportunity to honour people for outstanding service to the university, our community, country or internationally, or for generous gifts toward the construction or restoration of buildings, the establishment of endowed chairs, and the development of programs.

As per the Queen’s naming policy, the decision to accept or decline any new proposal to name an entity at the university or to discontinue or transfer an existing named space rests with the university’s Board of Trustees.

To ensure the university’s philanthropic practices were up to date, Queen’s naming policy was reviewed in 2018. An update to the naming procedures, which supports the policy, has now been implemented as the next step to ensure Queen’s is aligned with current best practices.

“Across the sector we are increasingly grappling with issues such as terms and naming thresholds, how to deal with recognition after a divorce, or how due diligence is performed and by whom,” says Karen Bertrand, Vice-Principal (Advancement). “Regular reviews help to ensure our policies and procedures advance with society, reflect current best practices, and that nominees are properly vetted.”

Even with extensive due diligence, honorees, and by extension universities, can encounter reputational issues when a donation is called into question. Queen’s faced just such a dilemma when David Radler, a prominent Canadian newspaper publisher, was convicted of mail fraud in 2005. He and his media companies had donated almost a million dollars, and a wing in the business school at Queen’s bore his name.  

At the board’s direction, Mr. Radler’s name was immediately removed from the building wing, and his personal donation was returned. Subsequently, the university discovered that returning charitable gifts is impossible under Canada Revenue Agency regulations, which prevented the return of the donations from the various media companies. To make matters more complex, some of the companies themselves were no longer in operation, and others did not wish the gift returned in any case. While the board’s ethical decision was rightly lauded, the complexities of the gift, and the uncertainty about the rules at the time, created lingering confusion.

After careful consideration and in consultation with Osprey Media (which now owned many of the companies that had made the original donations), it was agreed that in spirit Queen’s had returned the gift and Osprey had made an equivalent donation; Osprey is now recognized on the wall of the business school at the level of the donation.

Fortunately, notes Bertrand, these sorts of incidents are extremely rare. “The vast majority of our gifts are from exceptional people who have done amazing things in their lives and just want to give back – but the exceptions demonstrate why it is so important we take our policies and processes seriously.”

The review of the procedure document began in June of 2019 with research and consultation taking place with peer institutions across the U15 university membership and beyond. The process is expected to be complete in February 2020. It will then be submitted to the Board of Trustees for approval, after which it will be posted on the Secretariat’s webpage alongside the naming policy.

Tri-Awards nominations sought

The Human Rights & Equity Office is seeking nominations for the annual Tri-Awards.

The deadline for the awards, which recognize individuals and groups on campus who have made significant contributions to university life in the areas of accessibility, equity and human rights, is Friday, Jan. 13, 2020.

Who can Nominate?

Any member of the Queen’s community including students, staff, faculty, or alumni, as well as members of the general Kingston community and surrounding area who have an interest in Queen's University may submit nominations.

The nomination form for the awards is available online.

For more information about each award, click the links below:


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