Top Ten

March 26, 2007

Ontario Budget includes $50 Million for Rotman

The 2007 Ontario budget included $50 million for uToronto's Rotman School of Management, to build a home for its new Centre for Jurisdictional Advantage and Prosperity, and provide space for a 50% expansion of the School's grad programs.  UWO is also pleased with the provincial budget, and the $210 million in infrastructure funding that is to be distributed to the province's schools immediately.  Rotman News Release | UWO News Release

UWO rejects Religious Accommodation request

Muslim students in the University of Western Ontario's Fine Arts program have been given a choice: either paint nude models, or fail the program.  The students' request for an alternative project was denied by their instructor, and this decision was held up by the university's senate as well.  This is one of several incidents that were included in the CFS Final Report of the Task Force on Needs of Muslim Students.  The Varsity (Student Newspaper)

After 20 months uSask & Faculty reach Agreement

Contract negotiations between uSaskatchewan's administration and its faculty association have apparently reached a close with a tentative 4-year agreement.  Payroll will increase by 14.5% over 4 years, with junior faculty getting larger increases than most senior faculty -- some receiving up to 35% boosts.  Improvements to pension and other benefits were also incorporated -- the agreement is expected to be ratified in April.  CBC | The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

York, Ryerson Students Robbed

Last week, fundraisers for Ryerson University's Radio & Television Arts program were robbed at knife-point.  The students had been selling tickets to an annual comedy event, when they were relieved of $275 in the atrium of the Rogers Communication Centre. Several York University students were also robbed in the Strong College cafeteria last week while playing poker -- their money, cell phones and wallets were taken by two suspects with covered faces, one of whom carried a long handgun.  Poker has since been banned in the college's cafeteria, as the visibility of open money on the table is suspected to have provoked the attack. The Eyeopener (Ryerson Student Newspaper) | Excalibur (York Student Newspaper)

uToronto Software lifts Internet Censorship Worldwide

uToronto's Citizen Lab provides software called Psiphon which allows web users behind firewalls to gain access to censored content.  Several governments, such as Iran and China , have repressive information policies that restrict their population's use of the internet.  Psiphon allows users in these countries to access censored content via a friendly connection based in Canada .  The web-based software is not just for the paranoid, it helps academics work in crucial fields such as human rights and health issues like HIV transmission. According to Citizen Lab, 40 countries use Internet filtering to restrict use.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required) 

Binge Drinkers show significantly Lower Grades

It's no huge surprise, but now the effect is quantifiable: binge drinking is associated with lower grades at college.  A survey of more than 3,000 students at the University of Iowa found that freshmen who reported binging had grade averages 0.28 grade points lower than peers that did not.  Consequently, the paper's authors argue, a "C" student who gets into a pattern of binge drinking could see his or her average drop from 2.12 to 1.84, which is potentially low enough to place them on academic probation.  Many of the students reported that their drinking habits had already been established before arriving at university.  The DesMoines Register

Parents demand inclusion on Campus Visits

Helicopter parents have been visiting campuses alongside their college-bound offspring in ever-increasing numbers.  A recent US survey found that 2 in 3 parents of soon-to-study kids are either "extremely" (28%) or "very" (38%) involved in their child's school search, and 45% make sure they visit campus before allowing their child to attend school there.  The admissions office interview and touring the grounds were the top priorities for parents, some of whom also admit to being concerned with campus safety.  PNN Online

The Pill now Twice as expensive on US Campuses

A sudden increase in the cost of popular contraceptives means US students may start resorting to less-preferred products, and may even reduce their use of contraceptives.  Oral contraceptives are double and tripling in cost at student health centres, due to a change in the Medicaid rebate law that removes the incentive for drug companies to offer discounts to colleges.  What was $10 a month at the start of the year, is now about $22 per month -- the cost of some students’ phones or internet access.  39% of female undergraduates use oral contraceptives, according to the American College Health Association.  CBS | CTV