Top Ten

April 5, 2007

Cushion causes Laurier rez fire

A couch cushion jammed into a sixth-floor lounge fridge at Wilfrid Laurier University's King Street residence was ignited by heat from the fridge's light bulb Saturday morning, resulting in $150,000 damage -- mainly caused by the sprinkler system. A faulty alarm system caused some confusion during the emergency. 12 students and 2 residence dons have been relocated temporarily to a nearby hotel. The Cord Weekly (student newspaper)

Helicopter parents cum laude

As the Millennial generation starts to graduate PSE and enter the workforce, their over-protective parents still aren't cutting the apron-strings. GenY's parents are showing a higher level of involvement in their children's career efforts -- from handing out their children's resumes at career fairs and accompanying them to job interviews, to making follow-up calls for interview feedback when kids don't make the cut.  This hyper-involved, hovering behaviour ("helicopter parenting") emerged on the scene with the freshmen of 2002.  Students don't seem to mind, with national and provincial surveys reporting that parents are highly influential (1st or 2nd) to students preparing for careers.  The Globe & Mail

Armed Forces target med students

One year's tuition at a Canadian medical school will cost students between $10,000 and $17,000.  Applicants who have the marks, but not the financial resources, often turn to the Armed Forces -- where not only is their tuition fully covered, but they receive an annual salary and potentially some very attractive bonuses as well. Students must guarantee four years service to the military, beginning at the end of their education.  The Armed Forces recently broadened their eligibility to first-year med students to meet staffing needs in Afghanistan .  To compete with the rewards of private practice, military medical salaries have been increased, hiring has been tripled, and students are refunded for any tuition they had paid prior to joining the forces.  The Toronto Sun

uWaterloo students increase own fees to house refugees

Residence students at Conrad Grebel University College, the Mennonite religious affiliate of the University of Waterloo,  have voted to increase their residence fees by $10 per term in order to fund accommodations for a refugee student studying at uWaterloo .  Currently one student is supported, but next year promises to bring two more.  Tuition fees will also be waived for these students, selected by uWaterloo's branch of World University Service of Canada. The Waterloo Chronicle

College now a finishing school?

The Sarnia Observer reports that many employers now prefer a combination of college and university education. Applied skills are needed to get an entry-level position, but then a university education is needed for career advancement. According to a Lambton College VP, "colleges are becoming the finishing level for degree students." The trend of college after university is already fairly well established with students, but now appears to be making inroads in employer expectations.  The Sarnia Observer

colleges to earn "gay point averages"

In May, US colleges and universities will be invited to participate in a survey that will gauge their policies and programs for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered students.  Each institution will receive a confidential report, including their "gay point average" in student life, academics, housing and campus safety.  The information will also be available as of September through the Campus Climate Index website, for use by students seeking LGBT-friendly study experiences. The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Students sue Turnitin over copyright

When instructors submit student work to, the company retains a copy of the paper in its database to compare against future papers.  Two Virginia high school students say that their work was copyrighted and submitted with instructions that they not be stored in the Turnitin database, which they say happened regardless. They are now seeking $900,000 in damages from the plagiarism site's parent company, iParadigms LLC.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

US school faces lawsuit over student suicide

A college in Meadville, Pennsylvania was taken to trial by the parents of a student who committed suicide while away at school.  Friends and a former girlfriend had notified the college administration and counsellors repeatedly that Chuck Mahoney was a danger to himself, shortly before he took his life.  The school is being sued for wrongful death, on the grounds that they should have taken more action, such as breaking the student's confidentiality and contacting the family. The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

America's funniest campus pranks

Before you head off for the long weekend, take a few moments to enjoy the Chronicle's review of campus April Fool's jokes.  With the YouTube audience eagerly consuming video-taped pranks, jokesters took things a little further in 2007.  Every liaison department's nightmare: a campus tour at Dartmouth College is interrupted by hordes of students screaming "drinking time!", a performance by "Keggy the Keg," and even marching band accompaniment.  Columbia University pranksters have their own website.  Brandeis University students took 9 days and 600 screws to turn a dorm room upside down. The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required) 

Academica's Top Ten

will not publish tomorrow, Good Friday, but will return on Monday April 9th. Have a great weekend!