Top Ten

January 12, 2007

McGill Makes Statement Against Hazing

The McGill University senate has passed a list of unacceptable acts, to be approved by the Board of Governors at a later date, that is meant to alert the university community to the range of behaviours that the school considers to be inappropriate. The list is broad and intended to send a message, somewhat in response to student complaints of hazing practices. One student left the university for this reason in 2005; his complaints led to the suspension of several senior football players on the school's team. Included in the list are branding, nudity, sexual acts, and personal service, among many others. Globe & Mail 

Jubilee Park Building Approved by Ontario Municipal Board

Nipissing University Muskoka Campus has received permission to build a 13,000 square foot building on the land of Bracebridge's Jubilee Park. The facility will include a theatre-style lecture hall, several classrooms, multi-purpose areas, and administrative rooms. Nipissing's Muskoka Campus opened in 1996 with 6 full-time and 26 part-time students, and has been growing ever since. Currently 200 students are enrolled, and will welcome the new space. Nipissing media release 

UBC to Appeal Supreme Court Decision

The BC Supreme Court has approved a case challenging UBC's parking enforcement policies, making the school potentially liable for a $4 million class-action lawsuit if the case is won. Daniel Barbour looked into his legal options when his car was towed due to five outstanding parking tickets that he says he knew nothing about. He is questioning the appeals process, which does not involve an impartial arbitrator. The University plans on appealing the Supreme Court's decision, and has stated that they operate their parking as a service, on a non-profit basis. UBC Ubyssey 

UToronto Student Develops Therapeutic Video Game

William Li, a fourth-year UToronto engineering student, has developed a video game that aims to help children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy develop motor skills, particularly in their weaker side. Li's game is a fun, safe, in-home method that gets children to use their weak side to throw fruit into a bowl, grab items and grate animated cheese. The neurodevelopment program at Bloorview credits students for many of their best ideas. UofT media release 

Get Your Global Edge from Video Games

On Wednesday, the AAC&U Liberal Education and America's Promise Report revealed employers finding college and university graduates unprepared for the fast-paced, innovative workforce. Yesterday, Reuters published an article featuring a US professor recommending using video games to reformat learning and give students an early start on handling technology. The US military uses games to train its soldiers, and teens with cancer play a game to virtually combat their disease. Surgeons find games improve hand dexterity. Britain and Singapore have moved on the concept of using video games and other technologies to update teaching methods. Reuters 

Online High School Bought by Apollo/UPhoenix

The Apollo Group Inc., which owns the University of Phoenix, announced on Wednesday that it had bought a company that provides online high-school education. Apollo also owns the University of Phoenix, Inc.; the Institute for Professional Development; the College for Financial Planning Institutes Corporation; and Western International University. While online secondary school is a potentially growing industry, it also serves as an investment to prepare online-ready students for PSE. Apollo media release | Boston Globe 

US Universities Spreading Abroad

Branch campuses of US universities are popping up all over the globe. Five, with three more apparently in talks, are set upin Qatar. Harvard Medical has a research centre in Dubai, and George Mason University has a campus in Ras al-Khaimah. Northeastern University is open for business in Australia, the third US school to open a branch there. Subsidies appear to be motivating the crawl of US education into foreign waters. Not-So-Foreign Newsletter (PDF)

Teenhood a Time For Support

Neurological research is exploring why teens take risks, make poor choices, and are prone to addiction, depression and other mental conditions. Adult minds have an "early-warning" system that alerts them when errors are being made; teens have not yet developed this strategy. The area of the brain that responds to reward and novelty is also much more active and easily triggered in teens, leading to risk-taking behaviours. Youth are running on sleep deficits caused by changing body clocks conflicting with static daily responsibilities, and they are entering adolescence earlier (sometimes 8 or younger). Even the courts agree that the teenage mind is volatile and undeveloped and cannot be fully responsible for itself. Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Antidepressants Volatile For Young Adults

The US Food and Drug Administration has found that young users of antidepressants are at a higher risk for suicide than adults. Neither race or gender were significant variables, but 18 to 24 year olds showed twice as much suicidal behaviour as older groups. The study considered 11 common drugs, and almost 100,000 patients. Young adults are susceptible victims of depression. What is your health centre's mental health strategy? Education Week 

Be Their Buddy, Invest in Your Young Alumni

Your recent grads are busy -- busy finding jobs, busy moving home (and then away again), busy scrambling to meet loan payments. Unless instilled with a strong sense of school loyalty, they are unlikely to be lucrative fundraising targets. Direct mail campaigns are one more piece of mail needing to be paid, and may be unsuccessful -- but still will lay the groundwork for keeping in touch as the student heads towards being the grown-up. Paul Barry reminds us that offer is twice as important as message, making it very important for your mailings to emphasize the benefits of donations rather than the costs. Surveying your current donors may help you understand why individuals donate, which you can then apply to your fundraising strategies. Young alumni will receive an informal, friendly communication better than a formal institutional address. What might take effort now will lead to payoff in the future. Mal Warwick Newsletter (PDF)