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single candle burningThe University issued a message Jan. 27 in recognition of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Message marks University’s observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day

In recognition of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marked annually on Jan. 27 to commemorate the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the University of Windsor released a message encouraging members of its community to reflect on one of the greatest human tragedies in history.

Between 1933 and 1945, six million Jews and 11 million others were killed in more than 1,000 Nazi-operated concentration and extermination camps throughout Germany and in parts of German-occupied Europe. This atrocity has left an indelible stain on humanity and yet antisemitism and racism in general remain widespread in our society.

In 2005 the United Nations General Assembly declared January 27 as International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, and the University of Windsor marks this day as one of respect and remembrance for those who lost their lives as well as those who endured, and continue to endure, the tragic aftermath of Nazi atrocities. We remember and honour the victims and pay homage to the survivors whose stories reflect courage and resilience, hope and perseverance in the face of unspeakable evil. Their stories compel us to not forget.

The University of Windsor stands united against antisemitism and racism in all its forms. The University will remember the atrocities of the Holocaust with a commitment to do its part in fostering an environment of inclusion and tolerance so we can all truly say “Never Again.”

final report, “Examining the Social Security Tribunal's Navigator Service: Access to Justice for Marginalized Communities”The Social Security Tribunal’s innovative navigator service advances access to justice and also has room for improvement, says a report led by Windsor law professor Laverne Jacobs.

Law report examines tribunal’s access to justice service

A study led by a Windsor Law professor recommends ways to improve a service that aims to expand access to justice for social security appellants, and suggests the model can be beneficial in other administrative tribunals.

Since 2019, the Social Security Tribunal (SST) has provided a navigator service to make justice more accessible to people who don’t have a lawyer or other professional representation, by guiding them to the start of their hearings.

SST Navigators guide self-represented litigants and those without professional representatives by explaining the role of everyone involved in the appeal, and getting them ready for their hearings.

In 2021, Windsor law professor Laverne Jacobs, director of the Law, Disability & Social Change Project, led an independent study funded by the Department of Justice Canada to examine how the SST Navigator Service has been performing.

The study examines the use of the Navigator Service for Canada Pension Plan–Disability (CPP–Disability) appeals heard by the Income Security - General Division of the Social Security Tribunal between November 2019 and April 2021. The final report, “Examining the Social Security Tribunal's Navigator Service: Access to Justice for Marginalized Communities,” was released this month and provides research findings, analysis, and recommendations.

“Administrative justice needs to be user-centred in order to be accessible,” says Dr. Jacobs. “Attaining this goal requires not only focusing on the law but also on innovative ways to guide, educate, and empower administrative tribunal users.”

Jacobs’ co-investigator on the project is Sule Tomkinson, associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Université Laval.

“For most people, contesting bureaucratic decisions before administrative tribunals is often difficult and confusing,” says Dr. Tomkinson. “The Navigator Service is an innovative response to this danger of complexity and it represents an advancement towards a people-centered approach to administrative justice.”

The researchers conducted 36 semi-structured interviews and document analysis between June and September 2021. Interviews were conducted with 21 former tribunal users (appellants), with 11 navigators, and with four key government officials involved in the design, implementation, and running of the SST Navigator Service. They examined how the SST Navigator Service is performing generally and in relation to marginalized communities.

In their final report, the researchers suggest the SST Navigator Service has several positive aspects and can be used in other tribunals. They also offer a set of key recommendations as a means of continuing and strengthening this valuable access to justice service.

“We were very pleased when professors Jacobs and Tomkinson approached the SST to conduct this study,” says SST chair Paul Aterman. “As neutral observers, they conducted a rigorous review of the Navigator program.”

“They have given the SST practical advice on how to improve the justice services it provides to Canadians. The report also enhances the accountability and transparency of the tribunal’s work, because it is available for anyone to read. These are small, but very important steps in addressing the access to justice crisis that Canadians face today.”

Read the full report on The Law, Disability & Social Change Project website.

—Rachelle Prince

Leddy Library exteriorWith classes for the Winter term resuming in-person on Jan. 31, the Leddy Library is expanding its hours of operation.

Leddy Library expanding hours

With classes for the Winter term resuming in-person on Jan. 31, the Leddy Library will be expanding its hours of operation.

Beginning Monday, Jan. 31, the library will be open:

  • Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 12 midnight
  • Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 8 p.m.

Personal study rooms will continue to be available by reservation. Computer workstations and other study space will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Patrons will be able to browse the stacks and retrieve material on their own. Alternatively, requests for digitization and print materials can be placed online for pick up at the Information Desk.

All visitors to the library will need to follow campus vaccination protocols, complete the COVID Self-Assessment via the Safe Lancer app before coming to campus, and show or scan their approved badge to enter the library. Patrons will also be required to wear masks while inside the library.

For more information, visit the Leddy Library website and FAQ.

Our House sign: Home of the LancersThe St. Denis Athletic and Forge Fitness centres will re-open Monday, Jan. 31.

Athletic centre to re-open Monday

The St. Denis Athletic and Forge Fitness centres will welcome patrons again starting Monday, Jan. 31.

Entry is limited to UWindsor students, faculty, and staff and capped at 50 per cent capacity.

Find details of facility hours, pandemic protocols, and more on the goLancers.ca website.

Spire of Dillon HallThe development of a strategic plan was a focus of president Robert Gordon’s State of the University address Wednesday.

Presidential address available as video recording

UWindsor president Robert Gordon invited people to engage with the strategic planning process in an address Wednesday on the State of the University.

He characterized the consultation as “an evolving conversation about the kind of university we want to be.”

Under a banner reading “Taking Stock and Setting Course,” he asked listeners from campus and beyond to join in developing the plan for the next five to 10 years.

“This is a chance to reflect on all that we have learned and all the ways that we have changed,” Dr. Gordon said.

Learn more about the University's Strategic Planning process at: https://engageuwindsor.ca/aspire-strategic-planning.

The one-hour event, hosted by chancellor Mary Jo Haddad, also included a question-and-answer session.

Watch a video recording of the State of the University presentation:

Student scholarship fund contribution honours late board chair

A donation by the University to its general endowment fund commemorates former Board of Governors chair Patrick Furlong (BA 1948), who died Nov. 23.

The fund supports scholarships for graduate and undergraduate students in all disciplines.

His 60-year legal career saw him elected a life bencher by the Law Society of Upper Canada and included tenures as president of the Ontario Bar Association and the Essex Law Association, as well as UWindsor board chair from 1986 to 1988.

Former dean of law Bruce Elman recalls Furlong as “a gentleman, always with a smile on his face and a word of good cheer. He will be missed by all those privileged to have known him.”