The Harriet Lewis Report -- A BOMBSHELL !
Acting only after a risk assessment warning from its auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Queen's commissioned Harriet Lewis, recently retired legal counsel of York University, to examine Queen's practices regarding non-academic discipline (NAD).
The Lewis May 2015 report, reproduced here in its entirety, contains a detailed and scathing account of Queen's disorganized, inconsistent, and lackadaisical approach to non-academic discipline. Among the shocking findings of the Lewis Report:
• "The Queen's non-academic discipine process is decentralized, in silos, and sometimes inconsistent, contradictory, and unclear" (page 1)
• Queen's risks considerable liability potential as a result of ignoring the Coroner's recommendation that it take back from the students responsibility for non-academic discipline as regards alcohol, health, and safety. (page 10)
• Queen's administration appears unwilling and unable (i.e. afraid) to reclaim its responsibility for non-academic discipline. (page 6)
• a 2012 internal Queen's committee report, prepared after the coroner's recommendation, was not released due to intense pressure from the two student members of the committee who were the lone dissenters of a key committee recommendation. The report's suppression, agreed to by Principal Woolf, followed political action by students, allegedly with the help of alumni supporters and advocacy to the Board of Trustees. (page 12)
• the September 2012 Memorandum of Understanding between Principal Woolf and the AMS President, is in direct contradiction of a recommendation of the Coroner; and in contradiction to the University's reply to the Coroner. To put it politely, Queen's University . . . um . . . "misled" the Regional Coroner. (page 13-14)
• the AMS has actively mobilized lobbying of the Queen's administration to retain control of non-academic discipline. (page 17). Here is a 2011 example. And here is a 2015 example of lobbying by 3 AMS Past Presidents, following release of the Lewis Report.
• Most Queen's Board of Trustees members are Queen's alumni, who continue to press for retention of "Queen's traditions", including student-controlled non-academic discipline. This restricts the ability of Queen's administration to address issues of non-academic discipline (page 17)
• Community residents living near Queen's who have suffered property damage, have lost quiet enjoyment, or suffered emotional trauma may look to the university for financial indemnification or other damages. (page 11)
We view the Lewis Report to be a blistering condemnation of Queen's non-academic discipline procedures, and a vindication of the position SONAG has long advanced that current non-academic discipline practices do not address the needs and concerns of the community surrounding Queen's.