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Senate notes: November 2021

Senate hears reports from Ombuds Office and Office of Rights and Responsibilities
November 25, 2021
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By Howard Bokser

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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:

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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