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Queen’s Homecoming 2020 dates announced

Queen's alumni cheer during the Homecoming football game.
Queen's alumni will return to campus for Homecoming on Oct. 16-18. (University Communications / Photo by Suzy Lamont)

Queen’s Homecoming 2020 will take place Oct. 16-18.

All alumni are welcome to come back to campus to celebrate. This is a milestone reunion year for graduating class years ending in 5 or 0. Students graduating in 2020 will celebrate their first Homecoming as alumni and mark the occasion of their “Reunion Zero.”

Homecoming weekend will feature a wide selection of events, including a football game against the Ottawa Gee Gees at Richardson Stadium at 1 pm on Saturday, Oct. 17.

“Homecoming provides an important opportunity for alumni to reconnect with Queen’s and their classmates, and to come together to support important fundraising initiatives,” says Vice-Principal (Advancement) Karen Bertrand, Artsci’94. “We look forward to welcoming graduates from around the world back to Kingston in October.”

A weekend filled with events for alumni

Official events organized by the university will include open houses, faculty receptions, varsity sporting events, and special receptions for alumni returning to campus and celebrating certain milestone reunions, such as the Tricolour Guard Reception and Dinner (for alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago) with Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane and Chancellor Jim Leech (MBA’73). 

Online registration for Homecoming 2020 will begin on June 22, and alumni thinking about attending can visit the Homecoming website for updates.

For more information or for assistance with Homecoming plans, please contact the Reunions office by email or call 1-800-267-7837.

Fostering equity and diversity on campus

The Human Rights and Equity Office is offering new online training resources.

Power, privilege, bias, decolonization, and inclusive teaching practices are some of the most important topics in higher education today. A series of new training resources launched by the Human Rights and Equity Office, several of which were developed in collaboration with campus partners such as the Division of Student Affairs and the Centre for Teaching and Learning, now offers extensive online instruction on these subjects.

“As Queen’s continues its efforts to become increasingly diverse and equitable, it is important that all faculty and staff members have resources to help them provide inclusive spaces for learning, working, and serving the community. The Human Rights and Equity Office is pleased to serve as a hub for these resources,” says Stephanie Simpson, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusion). 

These training resources are now available on the new website for the Human Rights and Equity Office. Faculty and staff are able to use these resources at any time, either on or off campus. The Human Rights and Equity Office also offers a variety of in-person training sessions.

Designed with user engagement in mind, these training resources use interactive media, videos, visuals, and other rich content to bring the lessons they’re teaching to life. Many of the trainings end with “toolkits” that leave users with additional resources they can explore to learn more about the topic.

The full list of new online training resources is:

  • Power, Privilege, and Bias
  • Conversations on Decolonization
  • Navigating Difficult Conversations
  • Inclusive and Responsive Teaching
  • Universal Design for Learning
  • Leading, Including, Transforming!
  • Working Together: Building an Inclusive Queen’s Community
  • Achieving Safety and Respect in the Workplace
  • Unconscious Bias

Education is an important part of the work of the Human Rights and Equity Office, which was created in 2018 when the Human Rights Office and the Equity Office merged.  Since forming, the office has embraced a mission to advance a culture of human rights, equity and inclusion by inspiring and educating community stakeholders. 

To fulfill this mission, the Human Rights and Equity Office offers four different types of services: Human Rights Advisory Services; Equity Services; Sexual Violence Prevention and Response; and an Accessibility Hub.

More information about these services and the office’s mission can be found on their new website. The new training resources can be accessed on the education section of the site.

Queen’s community remembers Professor Emeritus Samuel Ludwin

The Queen’s community is remembering Professor Emeritus Samuel Ludwin who passed away Tuesday, Jan. 21, after a valiant battle with ALS. He was 75.

Samuel Ludwin
Dr. Samuel Ludwin

Dr. Ludwin moved to Kingston in 1975, following residency at Stanford University and became a Professor of Pathology at Queen’s and a neuropathologist at Kingston General Hospital. Much of Dr. Ludwin’s career was devoted to studying degenerative diseases of the brain and nervous system, and he made important research advances in multiple sclerosis.

Throughout his career, Dr. Ludwin was known for his humility and the care that he took in nurturing the professional growth of others.

Dr. Ludwin’s funeral service will be held at Beth Israel Congregation (116 Centre St.) on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 11 am. The family will receive friends at Harbour Place Level A (185 Ontario St.) that evening from 5-7 pm, and on Friday Jan. 24 from 7:30-9:30 am and 11:30 am-1:30 pm.

A full obituary is available online.

Task force takes next step in further sexual violence policy review

Queen’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Task Force has begun the next step as it further reviews the university’s 2019 Sexual Violence Policy Involving Queen’s University Students. 

Revisions to the university’s policy were introduced in May 2019, following a consultation process. The policy is reviewed every three years to ensure it continues to reflect applicable legislation and university sector best practices.

One of the provisions added to the policy in 2019 required employees other than health care providers, who receive a disclosure of sexual violence from a student, to notify Queen’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator (SVPRC). The intent of the provision was to help the SVPRC ensure that any student who disclosed an incident of sexual violence to a university employee, received trained assistance and staff could ensure the student was made aware of the full range of supports available from the university.                                                                

In response to further feedback from the Queen’s community on the notification process, the university suspended the notification requirement in October 2019, and sought additional review and consultation on the matter.

“After hearing from additional students, staff, and faculty, we felt it was important that we embarked on an additional review process – which includes further consultation,” says Teri Shearer, Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion).

The review process has consisted of two public meetings to discuss the policy as well as an online survey.  Of the 248 campus community respondents, 60 per cent indicated a preference to revisit or remove the requirements for mandatory notifications around disclosure.

The task force has been asked to consider all of the various inputs and to develop recommendations. It is also reviewing sexual violence policies at peer institutions especially as relates to disclosures and confidentiality.

Recommendations from the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Task Force are expected to be ready in mid-February and presented to the senior administration.  Senior administration will consider the recommendations and will inform the community of any proposed changes to the policy.  The community will be asked for further comment before an amended policy goes the Board of Trustees for final approval.

The 2019-2020 membership of the task force includes 26 representatives made up of students, staff, faculty, administration, and staff from local sexual violence support centres.

Rethinking safe spaces through intentional community building

Hands clasped together

This submission to the Together We Are blog is written by Mofi Badmos, Diversity and Inclusivity Coordinator at the Smith School of Business, talks about the importance of community and how creating spaces for BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) individuals is key to fostering belonging.

We finish our third book club meeting discussing Akwaeke Emezi’s Freshwater, with so much awe and gratitude that I say to my friend and book club member “wow, I can’t believe we continue to make this happen”. I am stunned at how five Black women, in four different countries, across different time zones come together, in community, to discuss books and themes all connected through our different but shared experiences as Black women navigating society.

Our lazily named Best Book Club was intentional on the membership being Black and non-Black racialized women from African countries reading books by other Black and non-Black racialized African authors. There is something to be said about community, and being with others who have shared experiences is comforting, healing, and rejuvenating.

Community is central to my life and wellbeing. I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria surrounded by family, friends and members of my community. I always had people and this cemented the feelings and benefits of having a network around. Moving to Kingston in 2016 for work exposed me to the many challenges of making friends and creating community in adulthood, especially in a space lacking in representation of Black people and the ability gather, effortlessly. There are significant comforts and unsaid ways of being that come with being in spaces with other Black and brown folks that I have to let go of in my day-to-day life. In many instances, I have not felt like myself and I continue to yearn for, crave, and create those communities where I can just be.

This drew me to ponder the many ways in which members of marginalized groups create and maintain community, in-person and online. It is important to have a discussion around the need of spaces and communities that are centered around marginalized groups and especially dispel the notion that the creation of these spaces is sexist, racist, and exclusionary for members of the dominant culture(s).

Rethinking safe spaces 

Safe Space, a term that is used often at the start of events, workshops, and sessions is a call to action to ensure that everyone in that space feels safe, is not exposed to harm, and, hopefully, is protected if safety is not met. The concept of safe spaces is contested because, among other reasons, how can organizers really ensure safety. The uncertainty around guaranteeing a safe space can be attributed to the systems of oppression that exist within those spaces. A way to work towards what can be a safe space for members of marginalized groups is controlling for the representation of the systems of oppression in that space, among other things.

Wine and Whine was a feminist, women-only party organized in Lagos, Nigeria in 2019 to create a space where women could have fun and party without the fears of harassment and violence. Some conversations around this questioned if “exclusionary” spaces are necessary when the focus should be on creating space where all can exist. Yes, that would be the goal but that is not the reality for women and other folks, as we exist in society.

To have this conversation is to understand that anti-Black racism, racism, sexism, transphobia and other forms of oppression are deeply systemic and are not just results of interpersonal issues. Consider the fact that spaces reflecting the dominant culture (whiteness, heteronormativity, patriarchy, able-bodied) have existed, continue to exist, and are tainted with superiority, privilege, erasure and inaccessibility.  Any space created in contrast to this is not reflecting the current power structures but rather subverting them. To have this conversation is also to understand that the aim of intentional community building is to create safe spaces for Black and brown folks to share experiences and discuss forms of systemic oppression without the lurking presence of those systems.

Creating your space

I think about this frequently and especially in my work as the Diversity and Inclusivity coordinator at the Smith School of Business. I continue to think about how I can create space for equity-seeking students without further othering1 them. I see and can relate with the challenges that come from being in a white dominated space, wanting to connect with other Black and brown folks but not wanting that to be your only identity. The strength and validation that comes from intentionally creating your space is worth more than the illusion that fitting in can offer. Black and racialized people continue to be told that we have to limit ourselves in order to succeed, but a key part that is missing is that community is our fuel and as Black and brown folks, our coming together continues to be the fear of the dominant society. So tap into that as much as you can and like.

Intentional community building inspired the co-founding of Black Luck Collective, a community meet-up group aimed at bringing together new and seasoned Black Kingstonians to uncover our dependable and visible community through social, educational, and professional occasions. I felt the need to create this group, as I felt disconnected from my community living in Kingston and working in white dominated spaces. The limitation in self-expression, code switching, racism and micoaggressions, highlighted the importance of creating a space that does not include those things and where we can share shared experiences with understanding.

I implore readers not to lean to the initial reaction of wondering what-of-members-of-the-dominant-culture that this is excluding but think what is this doing for members of this community and how are they benefitting from this. Community gathering has always existed, but in spaces where people find themselves excluded or marginalized there is much relevance in creating space. As a member of a dominant culture that wants to attend a gathering as a way of support, I implore you to think about this and think about how much space you occupy in the way of infringing on true self-expression and comfort that these spaces bring. Reflect on your privilege and positionality as it can inform better ways you can show support and ally-ship.

I hope members of the Queen’s community; especially the students I work with will see the relevance of intentionally creating space and community for Black, Brown and other People Of Colour to be able to exist truthfully and hopefully in safety. In the great words of Audre Lorde “Without community, there is no liberation”

1. Othering: a set of dynamics, processes, and structures that engender marginality and persistent inequality across any of the full range of human differences based on group identities.  (powell, j. a., & Menendian, S. (2018, Aug. 29). The Problem of Othering: Towards Inclusiveness and Belonging. Retrieved Jan. 16, 2020, from http://www.otheringandbelonging.org/the-problem-of-othering/)

Elections for two Senate positions and two Board of Trustee positions currently open

Elections for two University Senate at-large positions – Faculty/Librarian/Archivist and Staff – are currently open.

The successfully-elected candidates will begin their three-year terms on Sept. 1, 2020

Elections for two University Board Trustees at-large positions – Faculty/Librarian/Archivist and Staff – are currently open.

The successfully-elected candidates will begin their three-year terms on June 1, 2020

Emails inviting eligible voters to cast their ballots were sent out on Monday, Jan. 20. The election period ends Monday, Feb. 3 at 9 am. 

To vote, visit the Queen’s University Single Sign On page: https://vote.queensu.ca/.  Eligible voters must then log in to access the secure ballots for both elections.

If you have any questions, contact the Secretariat at 613-533-6095 or univsec@queensu.ca.

Principal’s statement on Chown Hall investigation

The university has recently learned that despite their best efforts, Kingston Police have been unable to identify the perpetrator or perpetrators of the racist and homophobic incident in Chown Hall last October. No charges have been laid and the police now regard the file as closed unless new information presents itself.

This news I know will be received across campus with disappointment and sadness, perhaps also with anger and fear. I understand and sympathize with those feelings. Were the persons responsible to have been apprehended, our university community might have found at least some consolation in the thought that justice could be done and, in the process, Queen’s rendered a safer and more welcoming place for our Indigenous and LGBTQ+ students and colleagues.

Without such closure I do understand how vulnerable some members of our community will continue to feel. It is important to remember, however, that all the work to combat racism and bigotry that both preceded and followed the Chown incident is going on, its momentum in no way diminished by the outcome of the police investigation. In fact, that outcome underlines the greater importance of broad, fundamental cultural change across the university and our larger community. We undoubtedly still have a long way to go, but so long as every constituency and every person in this institution understands how imperative it is to combat racism and prejudice wherever we find it, we will continue to make progress. And so long as we all work tirelessly to support the vulnerable members of our community, we can ensure that whatever challenges penetrate from the world outside, Queen’s is a place where the individuality and humanity of everyone is nurtured and celebrated.

– Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Nominations sought for student awards

Do you know an outstanding student? Consider nominating them for the EDI Impact Award, Brian Yealland Community Leadership Award or the Peer Leadership Award.

Recognizing Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity

Do you know students who are making a difference on our campus through their commitment to equity, diversity and inclusivity (EDI)? Student Affairs wants to recognize students or student groups whose work is making our campus a more inclusive environment. Nominate them now for the EDI Impact Award.

Nominate an outstanding student leader

Do you know students who are active in the community and/or who are amazing leaders on campus? Nominate them for the Brian Yealland Community Leadership Award or the Peer Leadership Award.

The nomination deadline is Monday, Feb. 3. The awards are presented and celebrated at a student recognition reception in March.

Queen’s remembers Dr. Brian Wherrett

 Professor emeritus and former head of paediatrics died Saturday, Jan. 4 at the age of 86.

The Queen’s community is remembering Dr. Brian Wherrett, professor emeritus in the Faculty of Health Sciences, who died Saturday, Jan. 4. He was 86.

Dr. Wherrett first arrived at Queen’s to study medicine and was a member of the Queen’s Golden Gaels football team, playing for two Intercollegiate Championship squads. He graduated in 1958 and completed a paediatric residency at Montreal Children's Hospital, followed by a fellowship in paediatric infectious diseases at Boston University. Returning to Montreal in 1963, he became the director of the first Canadian children’s Home Care Program at the Montreal Children’s’ Hospital in 1964. 

In 1969 he returned to Queen’s joining the Department of Pediatrics. Developmental pediatrics was the focus of his career. He served as Head of Pediatrics from 1989 to 1997 and on retirement was granted the title Professor Emeritus.

Dr. Wherrett was known as a gentle and kind doctor, whose great skill as a pediatric specialist was matched by his thoughtful consideration for his young patients and their parents.

A memorial service to celebrate Dr. Wherrett’s life will take place at Robert J. Reid and Sons Funeral Home on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 11:30 a.m.

Flags on campus will be lowered on that day.

An obituary is available online.

Nominations are being sought for the Margaret Hooey Governance Award

The nomination period for the Margaret Hooey Governance Award is currently open.

The award, established in 2018 by the estate of Margaret Hooey (LLD’02), the long-time secretary of Queen’s, recognizes a student enrolled in any degree program who has made an outstanding contribution to the good governance of the university through work with Senate or any committee of the Senate.

The deadline for nominations is Jan. 31, 2020. Nominations can be submitted to the University Secretariat at senate@queensu.ca

During her more than 30 years at Queen’s, Margaret Hooey, was a valued adviser to four principals and their administrations, and a trusted mentor to students, staff, faculty and trustees. She played a key role in shaping Queen’s modern governances system and was an advocate for the unique form of student government. More than her role as an administrator, she was viewed by student leaders as a mentor and friend. For her contributions and dedication Dr. Hooey received the Queen’s Distinguished Service Award (1992), the John Orr Award (1998), and an honorary doctorate (2002).

Application forms and further information are available on the University Secretariat and Legal Counsel website.

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