Top Ten

November 13, 2008

Queen's student found dead on campus

A 20-year-old Queen's University student was found dead in a bathroom in the school's business building Tuesday morning. According to the university, Bakhytzhan Benekov, known to friends as Bakha, died of natural causes. Counsellors were on hand Wednesday at Goodes Hall to speak to anyone affected by the death. Queen's has offered to co-ordinate a memorial service for fellow students if they are interested. Kingston Whig-Standard

Georgian student arrested for posting threats online

Police in Barrie Ontario arrested a Georgian College student Tuesday for posting threatening messages online. The threats were accompanied by pictures of a man holding a gun. The threats did not name the college nor any individuals at Georgian. Worried about the potential for violence, Georgian staff called police, who arrested the student as he arrived for class drunk. The student is facing alcohol charges and a charge of making threats. Georgian News | Barrie Examiner

UWO may operate Canada's first HIV vaccine facility

The University of Western Ontario is one of 4 organizations short-listed to build Canada's first HIV vaccine manufacturing facility. UWO and the other contenders have until March 25, 2009 to submit their bid. The $88-million facility will be funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Canadian government. UWO announced Wednesday that an HIV vaccine developed by a university researcher has been manufactured in the US and is ready for human trials. Western News | London Free Press | CanWest News Service

uCalgary Qatar campus employee sues university

Jacqueline Ryrie, on sick leave from her position as the public affairs director at the University of Calgary's Qatar campus, is suing the school for what she claims was a "toxic" work environment. Ryrie alleges that while on medical leave, her fellow employees were threatened with dismissal if they spoke to her about work-related matters. Apparently, Ryrie was in intensive care in August when she received letters from uCalgary telling her to vacate her villa by September 1. Ryrie is seeking $2 million for mental suffering, loss of wages, and punitive damages. uCalgary is not able to comment on the case as it is before the courts. The Gauntlet (student newspaper)

Concordia student challenges Quebec student-loan law

Concordia University graduate student Edith Tam has filed a discrimination complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission over a provincial law that denies financial aid to out-of-province students in a common-law relationship, unless one of them has a child. Tam, who came to Montreal from Vancouver in 2005, must also pay the maximum $1,700-per-semester tuition. The Centre for Research Action on Race Relations, which is working on Tam's case, is considering launching a class-action suit should other out-of-province students report similar situations. Montreal Gazette | CJAD

UBC receives $2-million gift

Philanthropist Michael Audain has donated $2 million to the University of British Columbia to establish Canada's largest endowment for educating gallery and museum curators. The gift will create 2 endowments to support UBC's Masters in Critical and Curatorial Studies program. One endowment will fund 4 annual fellowships available to the program's students, while the other will enhance funding for travel and internship opportunities. UBC News Release

UNBC opens student centre

On Monday, the University of Northern British Columbia officially opened the Northern University Student Centre. The $3.3-million centre features a pub, coffee bar, sandwich shop, study lounges, administration offices, and an event room. All services provided in the centre are managed by UNBC's student union. Prince George Free Press

McGill exam schedule affected by provincial election

McGill University is making adjustments to its fall term exam schedule due to the Quebec provincial election on December 8. Under Quebec law, student electors must be released from school on election day, which is taking place on the busiest day of the exam period. The rescheduling of exams may affect students who have already arranged travel plans for the winter break based on the previous schedule. McGill's Office of the Provost has written to the Directeur Général des Elections asking for an exemption and that exams remain on election day. McGill Daily (student newspaper)

Winners announced in "My Camosun" video contest

Victoria-based Camosun College has announced the 5 winners in its "My Camosun" video contest, which yielded 45 entries. The submissions were made available on YouTube, and since the contest end, the videos have been viewed over 15,000 times. First place went to Andria Young, whose submission explains that Camosun provided her with the skills to work and make a difference in Uganda. "My Camosun" video contest winners | YouTube

Online enrolment boom in the US

According to a new survey from the Sloan Consortium, nearly 4 million US college students enrolled in at least one online course in the fall of 2007, a 13% jump from the previous year. That increase far exceeds the 1.2% growth of the overall PSE student population between 2006 and 2007. The survey found that over 20% of students were taking at least one online course last fall. The growth is being attributed to a cooling economy, as well as high gas prices during the summer. Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | Read the full report