Top Ten

February 19, 2007

Independent Audit Clears uWaterloo Tamil Students

The uWaterloo Tamil Students Association has been cleared of charges that it had been distributing funds raised to the Tamil Tigers, a terrorist organization in Sri Lanka .  A UW student came under suspicion while on a self-employed co-op position in the Tamil region.  Four former and current students were arrested on suspicion of a plot to buy weapons, launder money and smuggle equipment to the Tigers.  An independent audit of the UW overseas placement program has found that no money from the university went to the Tigers, and suggests that in the future, if supervisors from the university are unable to check on far-away students, travelling faculty or staff, or embassy officials in the area should be called on.  The KW Record | UW News Release

Concordia President says Students Support Tuition Hike

Concordia University 's President Lajeunesse sat down with the school's student-run media to explain why he believes, despite recent protests to the contrary, students at Concordia would support a thaw of the thirteen-year tuition-freeze in Quebec .  He reports that his conversations with students focus on quality, rather than cost, of education and that the most commonly heard complaints refer to large class sizes and inadequate labs.  While the government has promised money, it has not arrived, and the president says that to preserve the quality of a Concordia education, the students may have to pick up the slack.  A student-critic of Lajeunesse disagrees with asking students for money when the government is able to provide it.  He also supports four unions on campus that have unsettled negotiations with the school, but Lajeunesse says that hiring new faculty, increased "cleanliness" on campus, and improvements to libraries would be priority -- not meeting union demands.  The Link (Student Newspaper)

New uCalgary Facility to Shed Light on Canadian PSE Students

A gap in knowledge regarding the Canadian student experience is likely to grow smaller in the near future.  uCalgary is launching the Canadian Centre for Studies on Higher Education, intended to bring together researchers from across the country and abroad to study and improve the Canadian PSE experience. Currently, Canadian colleges and universities have relied on US reports (such as NSSE) to reflect on the Canadian situation.  Early findings include that students are more interested in increased face-time with professors than greater online learning opportunities.  University Affairs

uOttawa Athletics Expansion Relocates

Homeowners' refusal to sell their homes on Templeton Street has forced the University of Ottawa to consider land on Mann Avenue instead. There is currently a field being used for athletic practices adjacent to Templeton homes, but the space for seating does not appear to be forthcoming. Residents have no intention of selling unless forced, and currently are complaining of light and noise pollution, and the failure to provide trees or hedges to create a barrier between the current field and the nearby homes. The Mann Avenue facility will likely include a 3,000 seat stadium and an adjacent complex with additional sports facilities. The Ottawa Citizen


uSask Faculty & Staff Poised to Strike in March

The University of Saskatchewan Faculty Association will vote on whether to strike on March 3. The association represents more than 1,000 faculty and staff at the school, who have been off contract for 19 months now.  The average annual salary of a full professor at uSask is in the 75th percentile of average salaries at comparable Canadian universities; assistant and associate professor wages weigh in even lower.  The pending strike vote is inspired by the latest unsuccessful bout of negotiations. Whether or not students would be affected depends on the timing of the potential strike.  The Regina Leader-Post (Subscription Required)

Huron UC moves into Warmer Waters

The Faculty of Theology at Huron University College (at UWO) will be offering a Master of Theological Studies degree, in Port of Spain , Trinidad and Tobago.  The program will be run in partnership with the Caribbean Conference of Churches, and hopes to provide the opportunity for theological study and research from a Caribbean perspective.  The two-year MTS program is aimed at ordained and lay persons who are already engaged in ministry work.  Western News Release

Barrie Campaigns for Private Student Housing Development

The City of Barrie, Ontario hopes to revitalize development and also address several complaints regarding parking, noise, and liquor issues with student residences, with incentives to encourage the development of private housing for students. By waiving fees, offering grants and even scaling back taxes for an initial period, the city is hoping developers will build student residences.  The private student complex on
Bell Farm Road
has received no complaints.  While university partnerships have attracted increased out-of-town students to Georgian College , the school has less access to provincial funds for housing because colleges are meant to serve local markets.  Currently half of the school's 6,000 full-time students commute each day, the rest either live at home in Barrie or in the community.

SFU Prof Leads BC Sustainability Network

Janet Moore, a Simon Fraser University assistant professor, has led the formation of the new BC Network and Working Group on Sustainability Education.  Inspired by the UN's global Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2015), the network brings together government, industry, education and non-governmental organizations across the province.  Its primary mission is to educate students how to live a more sustainable lifestyle.  The group has launched a website, and will be organizing a series of public forums across BC.  Walking the Talk

US Students Raise Political Voices

Once a centre-point for anti-Vietnam protests, students at Columbia University acted on their belief that student activism "can play a critical role in the anti-war movement."  Hours after the US President called for more troops in Afghanistan , and in the middle of Congressional debate on whether to block Bush's proposed boost of US troops in Iraq , students across the country demonstrated against the war in Iraq , and called for recognition of the nation's sovereignty.  The Mercury News