President acts on student task force recommendations

York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri has issued a formal response to the report of the Presidential Task Force on Student Life, Learning & Community.

“I believe the task force report will help transform the student experience at York,” said Shoukri. “I want to express my sincere thanks to everyone who worked on and contributed to this report.”

Above: From left, at the presentation of the task force report on Aug. 31, Mamdouh Shoukri, York president & vice-chancellor, stands with members Rob Tiffin, vice-president students; student Aaron Rosen;  graduate student James Murayama; Professor Sandra Whitworth; Professor Saeed Rahnema; Professor Marie-Hélène Budworth; students Asma Fatehi and Elena Prager, Professor Paul Delaney; and Patrick Monahan, vice-president academic & provost

Among the recommendations accepted by the president are the creation of a Standing Committee on Campus Dialogue to promote open discussion and debate on timely issues of global significance; the creation of more and better student study and social space on campus; expanding the existing Student Code of Conduct to include certain fundamental student rights; and better enforcement of University policies relating to the use of space on campus.

The University has already acted on several of the recommendations in the report. Initiatives currently underway include:

  • Immediate implementation of 24-hour student access to the Scott Library, five days a week, as of Oct. 4 for the remainder of the fall term, and from Jan. 31, 2010 through to the end of April.
  • Creation of the Standing Committee on Campus Dialogue and appointment of Professor David Leyton-Brown as co-chair of the standing committee. The mandate of the standing committee will be to foster greater debate and dialogue on the campus, in accordance with the recommendations of the task force. Leyton-Brown will develop an inclusive process for nominations and applications for membership on the standing committee. 
  • Initiating a review of student space on campus with a view to making better use of existing space for student study and social use, and making it a priority to add additional student space in the future.
  • Streamlining the process of booking space through an online booking procedure (to be in place by Oct. 31), coupled with better enforcement of Temporary Use of University Space policies.
  • Reviewing and renaming the Student Code of Conduct, adding student rights to the code, and providing a streamlined process for enforcement.
  • Improving communications with students, including the installation of 25 LCD message boards on the Keele campus by the end of October 2009.
  • The Respect and Inclusivity Awareness Tutorial to be launched on Oct. 5 to coincide with the Inclusion Day conference.

“The president has accepted and begun implementation of virtually all the recommendations put forward by the task force,” said Vice-President Academic & Provost Patrick Monahan, who chaired the 13-member task force of students, faculty and administrators. “I am extremely pleased with the president’s immediate and positive response, and grateful to my fellow task force members for their constructive efforts in developing these changes that have already begun to improve the student experience on our campus.”

The president’s full response to the task force report is available here.

To view responses to each recommendation, click here.