History of The Residence Society (ResSoc)
The Residence Society Preamble:
"We the students in residence at Queen’s University herein establish a self-governing Society to represent and promote the general welfare of its members, provide a system of non-academic discipline in residence, deliver programs and services in collective benefit of all members, and to work in cooperation with the staff and administration of Queen’s University Residences to generally facilitate the integration of its members into the academic and social life of the Queen’s and Kingston communities. Further instructions for elements of this Constitution can be found in ResSoc Bylaws and Policy manuals."
The Residence Society (ResSoc) has a proud history of student representation at Queen’s University. ResSoc has been a key player in student advocacy and Non-Academic Misconduct.
The Residence Society (ResSoc)
Residence life was almost non‐existent when Queen’s was founded in 1846. During the first few sessions, most of the students (men only) lived as boarders with the Professors (capitalized in the old documents as a measure of respect) who were given the responsibility of running the boarding houses. The Professors of this era may have neglected some of their responsibilities in the students’ home, but they made up for it by imposing a long list of strict rules. In 1850 the Senate approved a code of 18 rules. Among these, there were rules regarding proper attendance at classes, religious observances (Queen’s was founded by Presbyterian Scots), alcohol (drinking was not tolerated) and 13 rules regarding “General Deportment.”
Thirty-five years after the first lecture at Queen’s, women were admitted into the college. In 1880 the first two women were registered. Their first home was the third floor of the Arts building (now Theological Hall). As the number of women at Queen’s increased, they moved out of the old Arts building into female boarding houses in Kingston. The first dormitory style residence was Ban Righ Hall, which opened in 1926 for women only.
And from then on, residence councils have existed at Queen’s. This one was called the Ban Righ Council. As Morris, McNeill and Leonard (all male residences) and Adelaide and Victoria Halls were built. The Ban Righ Council grew to be called the Women’s Residence Council and comprised of Ban Righ, Adelaide and Victoria Halls. The Leonard Field Council was an all‐male council (until 1972) and comprised of Leonard, Morris, McNeill, Gordon and Brockington Halls.
Along with the Jean Royce Hall Council, they formed the Inter‐Residence Council (IRC) that met frequently and made decisions affecting residences as a whole. By 1988, Victoria Hall was also a co‐ed residence and along with many other changes, this resulted in a referendum to form the Main Campus Residents’ Society (an amalgamation of LFRC and WRC) to better serve and represent the variety of students living in residence.
Fast forward to 2011 and the MCRC and Jean Royce Hall Council are still around, even though residences have changed significantly. The purpose of our society remains largely the same – to represent students, to serve their interests and to provide a student‐run system of non‐academic misconduct in residence. There have been a large number of dedicated and driven students who have worked to ensure that the voice of students in residence is heard at all levels of student government and the administration.
In September of 2012, talks began about amalgamating the two councils remaining on campus, the MCRC and the JRHC into one society to benefit all students living across the Queen’s campus. With much discussion and revamping of constitutions and bylaws, the two councils passed amalgamation at General Assembly in January of 2013 with a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the MCRC President, Tuba Christhi, the JRHC President, Matthew Scheculski, and the incoming ResSoc president, Hasina Daya. This marked the beginning of the Residence Society, uniting both main and west campus.
The two Societies agreed on fundamental principles as a united organization:
The societies wanted their to be equal job opportunities on Main and West Campus
The societies wanted to have consistent Non-Academic Misconduct Procedures through the Residence Facilitator Roles
The society wanted to have a unified voice at Queen’s University
Today, The Residence Society represents the greatest number of first year students at Queen’s University (approximately 4500) and as such aims to provide quality programming to smooth the transition process of its entire membership into the university community.
Today, we work with many partners and in particular work closely with Residence Life, Housing and Ancillary, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs (Student Life and Learning), Student Experience and the Student Wellness Services as our administrative partners. We also often work with the Queen’s Rector, Undergraduate Student Trustee, Alma Mater Society and the faculty societies to better advance our goals and the needs of our common constituents.
ResSoc employs 7 Executives, 17 House Presidents, and 27 Residence Facilitators. ResSoc also has over 100 volunteer positions with roles like floor representatives or being an executive intern. Like with everything else at Queen’s, we love our acronyms and will rarely use full names. ResSoc plays a role in the governance at Queen’s by being 1 of 4 students who sits on the Senate Residence Committee and by having a permanent seat on all of its sub‐committees. Additionally, we are invited to sit on hiring panels of most staff in the Residence Life department and sometimes on the Student Experience portfolio as well
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