Welcome to McLaughlin College! First, let me congratulate all our first-year students for their admission to one of our eight outstanding affiliated programs at our College. Second, let me welcome back all our returning students to McLaughlin College. This is an extraordinary time for us all with the COVID-19 pandemic and its requisite mask wearing, social distancing, and other necessary health measures to stop the spread of this highly contagious virus. Consequently, this will be an academic year like no other here at York University, and, at other universities and colleges throughout Canada and the rest of the world. Most of our College events and activities will have to be delivered virtually, that is, either remotely or/and online.
As you know, or will soon get to know, McLaughlin College is York University’s public policy College. We specialize in the critical analysis and understanding of public policy. Our vibrant and engaged College Community, comprised of students, staff, faculty, Fellows, and alumni, is one of the most interesting and active within our Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) and within York University as a whole. I invite all of you to not only reach but to exceed your personal higher education goals through participating directly in many of our College’s intellectual, political, social, cultural, athletic activities in your continuous and further development as a “whole person.”
The success of your university experience is far more than completing your degree requirements – it includes all of your ‘learning’ experiences outside of your classes and being part of a broader “learning community” that strives towards excellence and supports you to be the best you can possibly be. McLaughlin College is here to help you every step of the way, with our superb Peer Mentor Network, our MALL (McLaughlin Academic Life Line) advising, and a wide range of other College services that are designed to assist you to complete successful your program of study to earn your degree and to graduate. We also hold our Annual Public Policy Lecture, our popular Lunch Time Talks Series, our commemorative United Nations International Days, and from time-to-time our workshops, symposia, and conferences. All are intended to expand your horizons and provide you with opportunities to hear directly from leading thinkers and practitioners across many academic and professional fields. Remember that the more you put into your university education, the more you will get out of it.
I encourage you to get involved with your McLaughlin College Council (MCC) and with one or more of our over twenty student clubs that will provide you with an opportunity to make a real impact on those things that mean the most to you. Take the time to get to know your McLaughlin College faculty and staff as well as our distinguished Fellows, who are here to assist you and to help you to get the most out of your higher educational experience. When you graduate, you will remain a lifelong member of McLaughlin College. Your College will always remain your ‘home away from home.’
I am an Associate Professor, a former Director of the School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA), who specializes in Public International Law, and, International Refugee Law. I have served with the Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS) at York University and I am active with the International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges (IARMJ), and I have served on the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB), adjudicating claims for refugee protection.
Most importantly, I am committed to making our College the best and most rewarding higher educational learning community it can be. And, I am dedicated to ensuring that you successful complete your course of studies and graduate with your degree.
I very much look forward to meeting you, if I have not done so already, and working with you over the course of this rather exceptional academic year.
Stay safe and well.
Dr. James C. Simeon, Associate Professor
Head of McLaughlin College, 220 McLaughlin College