Top Ten

August 29, 2007

York U launches new atmospheric research facility

A new facility at York University's Centre for Research in Earth and Space Sciences (CRESS) opened earlier this week.  The Gordon G. Shepherd Atmospheric Research Facility includes 3 laboratories -- 2 with roof hatches to allow instrument tests and measurements of lower atmosphere air quality year-round.  The Centre works to develop new instruments to assess the impact of human activity on the atmosphere.  York News Release

Anti-Dalhousie Facebook group comes back to life

Just last week, a Facebook group accusing Dalhousie University researchers of animal rights violations was deleted -- and this week the group is back online with more than 22,000 members!  (Things happen quickly in web 2.0!)  Yet another group called "Stop People from Spreading Lies about Animal Cruelty at Dalhousie," started by a third-year lab assistant at Dal, has recruited more than 450 members since Sunday.  The pro-Dalhousie group allows public, unmediated comments, while the anti-Dal group allows no public comments.  Dalhousie News | CanWest News

Canadian universities send you home after 10 years

Recent studies have pointed out that the traditional 4-year degree model is often a size too small for mature, low-income and part-time students.  63% of US students spend more than 4 years completing their degrees.  At uCalgary, you have 10 years to earn your undergraduate degree.  After 10 years, your first-year credits expire.  When uToronto tried to offer a long-time student his degree, he refused on grounds that he did not want to leave. The National Post

Universal aid distribution keeps low-income students out of school

Increasingly, student aid is being distributed universally rather than targeted toward students who have the most financial need, says a new study from the Canadian Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (CASFAA).  Despite increases in federal and provincial spending on aid, the funds fail to help the students who cannot afford PSE independently, and the system therefore places a barrier to their participation. The Globe & Mail 

Brock offers accredited Applied Behaviour Analysis program

Brock University has received approval for its Applied Behaviour Analysis graduate course by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board.  The course sequence will be offered through the school's Centre for Applied Disability Studies, which aims to meet the growing demand for behaviour analysts in Ontario. MA students in ADS will be eligible to apply for the certification.  The ADS specialization is the only graduate program of its kind in Ontario.  Brock News Release

Beware roommates with Xboxes

First-year college students with roommates who bring a video game system to the dorm are found to study 40 minutes less per day than those who do not.  Their GPAs are also 0.241 lower (on a 4-point scale).  A 1985 study suggested that time spent studying did not have a direct impact on grades earned, because there were too many factors involved, but this new study shows that, at least at one school, study time correlates directly to grades.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Universities sign car-sharing deals to make space in parking lots

Students are often too young to rent cars, but a new product has been finding ways to get kids into the driver's seat regardless. Car-sharing companies are setting up partnerships with universities across the US (Yale, Carnegie Mellon, and Ohio State).  Students as young as 18 are able to use a car for hours or even days, despite the rental industry's historical tendency to ignore the student market. Universities hope that car-sharing will reduce the number of cars on campus, and help solve parking crunches. The Baltimore Sun

PSE gender gap explored in UK

Boys in the UK are saying that who you know matters more than what you know, and are opting not to pursue post-secondary education.  Almost twice as many boys as girls indicate that they will most likely not go to university.  1 in 3 boys say that they do not enjoy learning, while only 1 in 5 girls say the same.  The UK is investigating changes to its university admissions systems, such as an SAT-style university entrance exam. The Guardian

Gender neutral bathrooms at 141 universities in the US

147 US colleges and universities have added gender identity concerns to their anti-bias policies, and almost as many have built gender neutral bathrooms on camps – like those being rolled out at UBC this month.  30 schools have created gender-neutral housing options.  While the gender-neutral movement is seen to an extent across the board, Northeast schools seem to be more invested in the strategy than those in the South, and all the Ivy League schools have anti-bias policies that accommodate gender issues. Inside Higher Ed

Alcohol prevalent in study of 600 US student deaths

Alcohol seems to be the common element in many student deaths. First-year students who are living on their own for the first time are particularly vulnerable.  4 US college students are currently facing aggravated arson charges over the death of a friend caused by a drunken prank at the start of the month.  Another student died last spring of alcohol poisoning caused during a fraternity ritual. USA Today