Top Ten

August 19, 2008

Kwantlen student union sues former president

On Monday, the Kwantlen University College Student Association filed a lawsuit against its former president, Aaron Singh Takhar, as well as 4 other student leaders and AST Ventures for mismanaging over $2 million in association funds, including student fees. The suit alleges Takhar and his partners approved $620,000 in unsecured loans from KSA funds for their own benefit. Last year, a forensic audit found Takhar received over $115,000 a year, when he should have earned $60,000. The plaintiffs could seek up to $500,000 in damages. Maclean's OnCampus | Vancouver Sun

uRegina student fined $50,000 for residence vandalism

A Saskatchewan provincial court judge has ordered a 19-year-old University of Regina student to pay $50,000 for damages at a university residence. Carlos Louis Santos and 4 other men were charged with mischief over $5,000 after a drunken incident last December in which an estimated 3,000 gallons of water from an opened fire department water valve flooded a residence tower. The flooding caused between $150,000 and $180,000 in damages. The judge also gave Santos an 18-month conditional discharge. Regina Leader-Post

uVic students denounce BC naming privileges policy

The University of Victoria's student union is criticizing the BC government for its new naming privileges policy, which stipulates that all naming recognition for public institutions --including universities and colleges -- reflect the "values and objectives" of the government. For example, the government will reject a naming recognition if the name implies its endorsement of a political position. The chair of uVic's Student Society says the policy is taking away a university decision and placing it in the province's hands. A government spokesman says the policy does not intend to infringe on institutional autonomy. Victoria News | BC Naming Privileges Policy

$2 million for security upgrades at Carleton

On Tuesday, Carleton University announced it is committing $1.6 million to enhance security measures on campus. Among the upgrades are 63 new closed-circuit television cameras, additional safety patrol, and swipe card locks for after-hours access. The upgrades are the result of recommendations outlined in Carleton's personal safety audit report. Yesterday we reported McMaster University is investing $3 million in security upgrades. Carleton News Release

Fanshawe students offer off-campus housing guidelines

2 Fanshawe College students have come up with 7 recommendations to improve off-campus housing, especially in areas where out-of-control parties and vandalism are frequent. The students found that an isolated, "jail-like" area correlates with partying because there isn't anything else for students to do. They recommend off-campus students have better access to amenities and areas for socializing, as well as instituting residence advisers to plan activities. The students also suggest more involvement from the City of London, police, and schools. London Free Press | A-News (video)

Saskatoon student housing more available, less affordable

With a slight increase in vacancy rates in Saskatoon, PSE students are having an easier time finding off-campus housing, according to student union presidents at the University of Saskatchewan and SIAST. Last year at this time, the housing shortage left 23,000 students scrambling to find accommodation. Despite the rise in vacancy, affordable and adequate rentals are still cause for concern. "There are students living in holes that shouldn't be occupied." Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Confederation College launches railway conductor program

Confederation College, based in Thunder Bay Ontario, has formed a partnership with the Railway Association of Canada to offer a pre-employment Railway Conductor Program. Starting in October, the 10-week program will give students the chance to work with industry experts to become qualified applicants for open railway positions. With the railway industry facing a 70% retirement rate, graduates will be in high demand over the next decade. Confederation News Release

What the Class of 2012 knows

Beloit College has released its Mindset List for this fall's crop of freshmen, also known as the Class of 2012. These students were generally born in 1990, and, according to the list, belong to a multicultural, politically correct and "green" generation. For the Class of 2012, GPS systems have always been available, soft drink refills have always been free, and personal privacy has always been threatened. Beloit College Mindset List | London Free Press | Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

US college presidents call for lower drinking age

Under a movement known as the "Amethyst Initiative," scores of US college presidents are urging lawmakers to lower the national drinking age from 21 to 18. Those who support the cause say current laws encourage rather than curb binge drinking on campus. Mothers Against Drunk Driving says lowering the age would lead to more deadly car crashes. The organization accuses the presidents of misinterpreting research and looking for a "Band-Aid" solution to rampant alcohol abuse among college students. Associated Press | Amethyst Initiative

Professors + social networks = "creepy treehouse"

The phrase "creepy treehouse," meant to describe college students' abhorrence of instructors' invitations to join their networks on sites like Facebook and Twitter, is making its way through academic circles. According to the blog Flexknowlogy, the creepy treehouse effect occurs when professors' efforts to include Web 2.0 tools in the classroom are met with resistance from students because of construed infringement on their privacy and sanctity of their peer groups. A less creepy way of integrating social media in the classroom would be to create online forums for students to join, rather than force participation.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | Defining "Creepy Treehouse" | More "Creepy"