Today's Top Ten

August 22, 2019

Douglas to eliminate bottled water sales

Douglas College will no longer sell single-use bottles of water on campus. A release cites a campus-wide survey in which 92% of respondents said they strongly supported the removal of single-use bottles from vending machines and cafeterias. “Last year, 32,000 bottles of water were sold at the College,” said Andrew Hodgson, Douglas Manager of Facilities Services. “We understand our responsibility to encourage environmentally sustainable initiatives in pursuit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” The release adds that the college has increased bottle-filling stations throughout the campus, and that reusable bottles will be available at the campus bookstore and select vending machines. Douglas (BC)

UQAM support staff threaten to take labour action

1,800 support staff at the Université de Québec à Montréal are threatening to strike, reports the Journal de Montréal. The union representing the workers said that it hopes to restart dialogue with the administration about its previous financial offer, which is said to be the source of the dispute. Syndicat des employées et employés de l’UQAM president Louisa Cordeiro said that employees understand the university’s need to balance the budget, but that the union’s offer is more than reasonable. The previous collective labor agreement expired in May 2017, the Journal adds. Journal de Montréal (QC)

Larson: Why prison education matters

“Imprisoned people long for education,” writes Doran Larson, adding that prisoners’ desire to learn and the potential economic returns of prison education should make accessibility to education for prisoners a priority. Larson explores questions of rehabilitation and punishment, economic motivators for prison education funding, demand for education from prisoners, and public perceptions about incarcerated people, before analyzing the reasons for prison education underfunding in the US. Citing several examples of prison writing that demonstrate the transformative power of education, Larson concludes that incarcerated people are trying to show the public why they need such programs. Inside Higher Ed (International)

OCUFA responds to HEQCO exits by calling for “shut down”

In response to the resignation of HEQCO’s senior leadership, the Ontario Confederation of Faculty Associations is calling for the research centre to be shut down. Citing an MOU between HEQCO and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities that ensures the HECQO Chair’s accountability to the government, OCUFA claims that HECQO has not always been clear about the extent of its independence from the Government of Ontario. The OCUFA release adds that former HEQCO President Harvey Weingarten acted as an advisor during the government’s decision to rollback compensation for faculty over 65, and accuses the research centre of not doing enough to investigate the role of chronic underfunding in Ontario’s higher education sector. OCUFA (ON)

Defence to argue that MRU student accused of attack was high

A Mount Royal University student and former hockey captain accused of attacking a professor inside of her home plans to argue extreme intoxication as a defense. The student, Matthew Brown, is charged with two counts of break and enter, assault with a weapon, and mischief; and the connection between Brown and the victim are reportedly a coincidence. CBC reports that Brown wants to argue at trial that he was “too high on magic mushrooms to understand his actions,” but that the Criminal Code currently prohibits the use of extreme self-intoxication as a defence. The trial is set to begin in November. CBC (AB)

Trent introduces postgraduate certificate in Senior Police Leadership

Trent University has introduced a Postgraduate Certificate in Senior Police Leadership at its Durham campus. A release states that the program includes on governance and civilian oversight, police leaders foundations, and leadership skills. “Supervisors and managers in police services who are hoping to progress in their careers and to take their place as leaders in modern policing should seriously consider continuing their education through this certificate,” said Murray Rodd, retired Chief of Police for the Peterborough Police Service, “not just for themselves, but also for their communities” Trent (ON)

MSVU entrepreneurship program targets success for women

The Alliance of Young Women Entrepreneurs program, a joint initiative between RBC and Mount Saint Vincent University, is preparing its first cohort of participants to launch their own ventures. An MSVU release states that the program provides mentorship and peer advising to help student gain entrepreneurial competencies and practical knowledge for workplace success. “AYWE is a program that brings together tangible and intangible resources tailored for students by focusing on students’ opinions and thoughts,” said participant Gurneet Dhami. “I’m thankful for the informative sessions which have provided an educational opportunity beyond my area of study in nutrition.” MSVU (NS)

Huron develops new student pledge

Huron University has developed a new pledge that commits students to “demonstrate respect and dignity for others” while “operat[ing] with honesty and integrity.” The pledge will be signed by all incoming students, adhering them to a commitment to the institution’s community. The release states that Huron students are called on to volunteer in their communities to develop their capacities for empathy and leadership. “This pledge further reiterates our determination to encourage students to think about the people, cultures and environments around them because we cannot hope to create a better world if we choose only to focus on ourselves,” said Huron VPA and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Science Geoff Reid. Huron (ON)

Students mobilize for green education

While the March 15 day of action by students called on local and national governments to act on climate change, reports the Montreal Gazette, attention has shifted to emphasize better environmental education. “They say we have maybe 18 months to act. That’s why young people are so mobilized,” said Léa Ilardo, co-founder of La planète s’invite à l’université. “For us education is indispensable to the cause.” According to Hugues Asselin, coordinator of UQAM’s Centre de recherche en éducation et formation relative à l’environnement et l’écocitoyenneté, “institutionalizing” an environmental education is about infusing all levels of the school educational with a green ethos. “We have to change things as soon as possible, “ said Asselin. “And we need to give students the tools to do that.” Montreal Gazette (QC)

New student housing will include UVic's tallest building

Saanich councillors have agreed to waive local development requirements in order to let the University of Victoria erect two new residence buildings, reports the Victoria Times Colonist. The university will construct two new residences at eight and 11 storeys, the latter of which will exceed the tallest existing building on campus by seven metres. UVic expects to complete the facilities by 2023. Proposals for the new buildings received support from neighbourhood associations, and city councillors said that additional campus housing will free up space for market rentals. Times Colonist (BC)