The Student Life Centre (SLC) comprised of the John Deutsch University Centre, the Grey House and a portion of the Queen’s Centre is a student-centred community centre dedicated to enhancing the quality of student and campus life and to fostering a spirit of discovery. Its essence is students, faculty, staff and alumni gathering, celebrating, talking and learning. Envisioned and established, on behalf of these constituencies, as a partnership between the Alma Mater Society (AMS), the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) and Queen’s University and built on the foundations of the Students’ Memorial Union, the SLC takes pride in a tradition of shared and autonomous governance.
The AMS, the SGPS and the University are committed to the SLC as integral to the missions of both student government and the University and to the vitality of the broader learning environment. Underlying the commitment to a community centre is a vision of Queen’s not as a loose collection of students, faculty and staff, but as a way of being together, and an understanding that knowing, teaching and learning are, at heart, communal acts. Underlying the commitment to a student-centred community centre is a vision of students fully engaged in the governance of the institution and in service to the Queen’s and Kingston communities, indeed to the nation and the world at large, and the concomitant need for a place students can call their own – a place where they can relax and have fun, discover self and others, and build the student governments and clubs that are the vehicles of civic engagement.
The original centre is located on the site of Kingston’s old Orphan’s Home. It was constructed in 1862 and purchased by Queen’s in 1928 to serve as the Students’ Memorial Union and named in commemoration of students who died during the First World War. The Union was extensively renovated and expanded in the mid-1970s in response to the tripling of the student population since the 1950s and renamed the John Deutsch University Centre in honour of former Principal John Deutsch, who died in 1976. The Queen’s Centre first envisioned in the early 1990’s, and opened in 2009 is the newest addition to student life space built in response to the increase in student numbers and student activities.
The SLC continues to be the seat of student governments and the principal home of the essential programs and services offered by students for students. It also serves as the central memorial to the Queen’s students and alumni who fell in both World Wars, Students, with strong support from alumni, were the driving force in the organizational and physical development of first, the Memorial Union and second, the John Deutsch University Centre. The Queen’s Centre follows on this tradition as the construction of this facility was due in part to a generous donation by students while they were members of the Alma Mater Society
Accordingly, students have always played an important role in the Centre’s governance. The University, for its part, has long recognized the unique nature and purposes of the facility by granting students a significant degree of autonomy in the governance and operations of the Centre. This Constitution reflects the partners’ commitment to supporting this goal, and builds on past models of service in precisely this regard. It affirms the student-centred character of the SLC, the belief that students will act in good faith and in accordance with University policies and will exercise this right in a manner consistent with the values of the equal dignity and worth of the partners and the autonomy of their respective relationships in the SLC.
2. PURPOSES OF THE SLC
The central purposes of the SLC, as a student-centred community centre, shall be:
To remember and honour the members of the Queen’s community fallen in war and, further, to acknowledge and celebrate the rich history and traditions of the University and its students, faculty, staff and alumni in their pursuit of the essential values of intellectual integrity, freedom of inquiry and the exchange of ideas, and the equal dignity of all persons;
To provide formal and informal gathering places for, and foster communication among and between, students, faculty, staff and alumni;
To offer a home to student governments, faculty societies, student clubs and organizations and the associated opportunities for self-directed programs and services; To stimulate and facilitate cultural, educational, recreational and social programs that support the missions of student governments and the University; and
To house student, university and commercial services that meet the needs of students, faculty, staff and visitors and contribute to the vitality of the Centre.
3. STUDENT LIFE CENTRE COUNCIL
Reporting to Queen’s University Senate, the Student Life Centre Council shall be responsible for the governance and oversight of the SLC, including:
- Advancing the mission and purposes of the SLC as a student-centred community centre;
- Developing, approving and implementing long-term plans;
- Providing overall direction for the SLC’s program and program objectives, which are the events and activities endorsed by the management in keeping with the primary and secondary purpose of the SLC;
- Approving policies and regulations for the operation and use of the SLC ;
- Approving the SLC ‘s capital and operating budgets, and advising on the administrative budget;
- Approving space allocations and use, keeping in mind the current designated use and occupant;
- Ensuring the provisions of the Operations & Management Agreement and related schedules are followed
- Approving structural changes to the SLC;
- Fostering the integration of the SLC with the Queen’s and Kingston communities;
- Approving an annual report on the SLC ‘s operations; and
- Evaluating periodically the SLC’s mission and Council’s performance, role and composition, and making recommendations, as required, for their renewal.
- Be the final decision-maker on any disagreements and disputes arising from the Operations and Management Agreement and before proceeding to dispute resolution mechanisms.
The council shall comprise twelve members:
Ex-officio (voting members)
- Dean of Student Affairs
- President, AMS
- President, SGPS
- Vice-President (Operations), AMS
- Vice-President of the SGPS
- Appointed (voting members)
- Vice Principal of Finance & Administration or delegate
- One non-student alumni member appointed by the Alumni Association (three-year term, renewable once)
- One student director, appointed by the AMS Board of Directors (two-year term)
- Three undergraduate students at large, two appointed by AMS Assembly, one Senate appointed
- One student, appointed by the SGPS Council
The terms of the AMS student director and Senate-appointed non-student members shall be staggered in order that only one of the two will be renewed or replaced in any given year.
Terms of office for the appointed members shall begin on May 1 and end on April 30.
Resource Members to the Council (non-voting)
- AMS Student Life Centre Managing Director
- AMS Executive Director
- SLC Facilities Officer
- SGPS Executive Director
The Council may, at its discretion, add additional resource members (non-voting) to the Council on a temporary or ongoing basis.
c. Chair and vice-chair
The council shall annually select from the members a Chair and Vice-Chair. The Chair will be non-voting except when needed to break a tie.
Council shall normally meet a minimum of five times per year, in May or June, September, November, January and March.
i. The quorum for meetings of Council shall be seven members, at least four of whom must be students and with each Party represented.
ii. The quorum for meetings of Council which take place over the summer months between May and August shall be five members, at least three of whom must be students and with each Party represented.
Council may, with approval of eight members with each Party present, enact and repeal by-laws respecting its conduct and rules of order. There will be prior written notice to the members of any changes.
Council may establish ad hoc and standing committees to carry out defined tasks or to address any issue arising from management and operations, and shall prescribe the responsibilities, membership and terms of any such committees.
4. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Accountable to the Student Life Centre Council, the Executive Committee shall be responsible for:
Communicating matters of importance to the Council;
Preparing agendas and carrying forward any agenda items for meetings of the Council;
Setting the schedule of Council meetings for the year, including additional meetings of Council as deemed necessary;
Undertaking such other tasks as may be referred to it from time to time by the Council;
Empowered by Council to undertake decisions in the summer months.
On advice of the Student Centre Officer serve as the first avenue by which to discuss disagreements and disputes arising from the Operations and Management agreement.
The Executive Committee shall comprise five members:
Dean of Student Affairs
AMS Student Life Centre Managing Director –non-voting resource member
Facilities Officer – non-voting resource member
The Executive Committee shall annually select from the members a chair.
The Executive Committee shall normally meet two weeks before each Council meeting to set the agenda, as well meet in either July or August as required.
Council may, upon approval of eight members recommend amendments to the Constitution of the Student Life Centre to Queen’s University Senate, provided there is representation from all Parties present. At least thirty days’ notice shall be given to Council of any proposed amendment.