Senate notes: November 2021
At the virtual meeting on November 12, 2021, Concordia President Graham Carr brought Senate up to date on a number of developments from the previous month.
- Health and safety:
- One case of COVID-19 reported on campus for the previous two weeks, 51 cases total since in the fall term, none of which were spread at Concordia
- Concordia’s website added a COVID-19 dashboard
- Some extracurricular activities, student club gatherings and public events will soon be allowed
- Winter 2022 term will have significantly more in-person classes and activities
- Sustainability Action Plan’s year-one progress report, which outlined its many measurable actions, released
- Faculty members Matthias Fritsch, Ursula Eicker and Carmela Cucuzzella, attended COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, and Damon Matthews, who attended virtually
- Concordia announced a target to reduce its on-site greenhouse-gas emissions by 55 per cent by 2030 against baseline rate set in 2014-15, more ambitious than its previous target; its Climate Action Plan includes a goal to reach carbon neutrality across all operations by 2040
- Signed the Montreal Climate Partnership and its Great Expectations campaign
- Carr attended a town hall hosted by Oxfam
- Hawa Keita, executive director of CEED Concordia, named among Top 30 under 30 by Corporate Knights for her work on sustainable community projects in northern Uganda
- Men’s rugby team won the Quebec title; women’s ruby team won the consolation final, and men’s football and soccer teams went to the semi-finals
- About 50 graduates will serve as mayors and councillors after the recent Quebec municipal elections
- More than 680 people from 67 countries visited the graduate studies virtual Open House on October 21, and 1,500 people from 107 countries were at the undergrad Open House on October 23
- The week of November 15-19:
- President’s Task Force on Anti-Black Racism will release its preliminary recommendations
- Concordia will sign the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion
- Launch of Indigenous Futures Research Centre
- Faculty of Fine Arts’ Wild Talks will feature film director Jean-Marc Vallée and cinematographer Yves Bélanger (BFA 84)
- Faculty accolades:
- Louise Champoux-Paillé, John Molson executive-in-residence and Barry F. Lorenzetti Centre for Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership co-director, received the Medal of the National Assembly of Quebec
- Prosper Dovonon, associate professor of economics, became his department’s first member elected fellow of the Econometric Society
- Royal Society of Canada ceremonies welcomed Kathleen Vaughan and Thanh Dang-Vu to College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists; and Jason Edward Lewis as fellow
- Student accolades:
- iGEM team based in the SynBioApps program won $30,000 and named among the Canadian semi-finalists for the Deep Space Food Challenge
- Tristan Gosselin-Hane and Alexandre Lavoie won a national cybersecurity competition and will represent Canada at CyberSci International
- Shaan Baig received a Forces AVENIR Award for 2021 in the undergraduate Personality category
- RBC Foundation announced a $1-million gift for internships through the Beat the Odds program and the non-profit sector
- Closing ceremony of Concordia Centraide Campaign 2021, with a goal of $200,000, is on November 20
- November 30 is Giving Tuesday, a chance to support the Student Emergency Food Fund and more
Ombuds Office Annual Report
Concordia ombudsperson Amy Fish presented the Ombuds Office Annual Report 2020-21.
- Cases decreased from the year before from 432 to 397, but the complexity increased, and investigations doubled from 10 to 20
- These resulted in recommendations:
- Offer IT support for online exams not backed by Concordia’s Centre for Teaching and Learning, and respond to emails more quickly
- Develop and implement a broader view of graduate admissions to support the success of a diverse student body and under-represented groups
Fish added that she believes Concordia is doing an outstanding job and shows a great willingness to collaborate on these cases.
Office of Rights and Responsibilities Annual Report 2020-21
Aisha Topsakal, director of the Office of Rights and Responsibilities, delivered its 2020-21 annual report. She added that Lisa White, now executive director of Concordia’s Equity Office, was director during the period of the report.
- The office administers the university’s Code of Rights and Responsibilities and advises and assists members of the Concordia community on behavioural concerns
- Case counts were similar to last year; harassment remained the most frequent type of case
- Remote learning brought new challenges, such as poor online behaviour, the difficulties of managing emotionally charged situations virtually and increased isolation and anxiety
- Examples included a false complaint regarding an international student; a professor who overheard online threats; and a potentially dangerous student being asked to take an involuntary leave
Revisions to the Policy on the Establishment of Tribunal Pools
Following up on a discussion brought up at the September 2021 meeting, Senate approved the revisions to the Policy on the Establishment of Tribunal Pools.
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