Top Ten

August 25, 2008

Georgian College names Midland campus after philanthropist Robbert Hartog

Last Friday, Georgian College announced it is naming its Midland campus after the late philanthropist and entrepreneur Robbert Hartog, who was a founding member of the college's board of governors. In 2003, Hartog handed over the Midland-based Industrial Research and Development Institute, which he co-founded, to Georgian, and was a supporter of the college's Centre for Automotive Parts Expertise. Hartog also founded an annual scholarship at the school. The campus is now known as the Robbert Hartog Midland campus. Georgian News

$2 billion for Canadian student financial assistance

On Monday, the Canadian government reiterated its 2008 federal budget announcement of a $1.7-billion investment in new measures regarding student financial aid. The new Canada Student Grant program will provide $250 a month to students from low-income families, and $100 a month to those from middle-income families. Other initiatives include a new Repayment Assistance Plan, more support for students with disabilities, and a streamlined student loan process. The new measures take effect in the 2009-10 academic year. Canada News Release | CTV | CanWest News Service

Maclean's to host virtual university and college fair

Students looking for information on Canadian post-secondary institutions can now save their gas money for textbooks, as Maclean's will host a new virtual university and college fair online. The fair will include live video of speakers, university and college information booths, and the opportunity for student interaction with peers. The fair will be online on October 22, and will be archived online for 90 days afterwards. Marketing Magazine

Student Life Expo coincides with 2008 OUF

The 6th annual Student Life Expo returns to Toronto this fall, running simultaneously with the Ontario Universities' Fair. The Expo will be located in the SkyWalk between Union Station and the Convention Centre. This year, organizers report an unprecedented number of Canadian colleges and universities will be participating in the "Canadian University and College Fair Annex," as only Ontario universities have exhibit space inside the OUF. The Expo runs from September 26 to 28, and admission is free. 2008 Ontario Universities' Fair | Canadian University & College Fair Annex

US academics question Canada's free speech

A group of US professors launched a campaign this week protesting the selection of Toronto as the host for the 2009 American Political Science Association annual conference. The protest is based on recent censorship by the Canadian government on topics like Islam or same sex marriage -- topics that are sure to be discussed at the conference. The professors fear that some may be persecuted for speaking on controversial topics. “Our belief is that most Americans -- even APSA members -- have no idea how precarious the rights of freedom of speech and conscience are in Canada.” National Post

Postscript: Aug 27, 2008
The protest of US scholars over Toronto as the 2009 venue for the American Political Science Association annual meeting, due to the supposed lack of academic freedom in Canada, is a "load of bupkes," writes Univeristy of Toronto professor Clifford Orwin in Tuesday's Globe and Mail. Orwin argues there is a lack of evidence to support "Toronto 2009 - Non!" petition. The professor also charges that the campaigners made no serious attempt to consult their Canadian political science colleagues on the matter, and that the campaign is really based on APSA internal politics. Globe and Mail

Operation Objection launches campaign against academic military research

Operation Objection, an organization against military recruitment in schools, is launching a national campaign opposing military research at universities. The group says such research conducted by engineering and social science departments creates ethical and democratic problems that threaten PSE autonomy. A series of actions will take place this week at Quebec institutions to jumpstart the campaign. Operation Objection News Release | Campaign website

Winnipeg paper seeks Manitoba PSE presidents' contracts

Following the Hamilton Spectator's successful battle in getting McMaster University to release its president's contract, which in turn saw other Ontario university presidents disclosing their salaries, the Winnipeg Free Press is seeking similar information from Manitoba institutions. The Universities of Manitoba and Winnipeg released compensation disclosure documents, but did not offer a detailed breakdown. Red River College, however, disclosed all information about its president's salary and pension, detailing vehicle subsidies and a supplemental monthly pension. Winnipeg Free Press

UBC opens canopy walkway

Last Friday, the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden opened its Greenheart Canopy Walkway, the only one of its kind in Canada. Suspended 20 metres above ground, the walkway allows visitors and researchers to experience the garden's biodiversity and get a "bird's eye" view of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser River. Proceeds from the walkway will support horticultural, educational, and research programs. UBC News Release

UBC explores bottled water ban

The University of British Columbia and its Alma Mater Society are looking to boost free water access on campus, following criticism about the lack of drinking fountains. While a UBC official does not apologize for the current situation, he said he is willing to seek input from the university community on the installation of chilled water centres to refill bottles. The health critic suggests water coolers as a short-term solution. The AMS announced it will stop selling bottled water at society-owned businesses in the Student Union Building in upcoming months. The Ubyssey (student newspaper)

uToronto unveils redesigned Ulife portal

The University of Toronto has given Ulife, its student organization and activity portal, a makeover, allowing faculty and staff to submit their offerings for students, such as research opportunities. The redesigned site includes an improved search function and automatic removal of outdated listings. Campus groups can now apply for university recognition through Ulife. Among the new opportunities advertised are Student Life Blogger positions, where students contribute a series of posts about life at uToronto. uToronto News | Ulife