Top Ten

November 26, 2008

Carleton student union drops Shinerama

Carleton University's student union has voted to pull out of Shinerama, an annual cystic fibrosis fundraiser held at many campuses across Canada, in the interest of switching charities. The decision is stirring controversy as a motion read at Monday's vote stated that the disease "only affects white people." While it is true cystic fibrosis affects Caucasian populations primarily, these populations include people from South Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. The union announced yesterday that it will reconsider its decision. Message from Carleton's president | CUSA News Release | Globe and Mail | National Post | Ottawa Citizen | Canadian Press | CBC | CTV | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Postscript: Dec 3, 2008
At an emergency meeting Monday night, Carleton University's student union reversed its decision to drop a fundraiser for cystic fibrosis. Last week's vote to pull out of Shinerama drew criticism because a motion read at the vote stated the disease affects "only white people, and primarily men." 2 councillors involved in drawing up and approving the motion have resigned. Globe and Mail | CanWest News Service | CBC

uOttawa responds to Student Appeal Centre report

The University of Ottawa has released its evaluation of a report from the Student Appeal Centre, which claims a disproportionate number of visible minority students at the school are being accused of academic fraud. The review found the centre's report to be "very unprofessional" and that its content is "totally unsubstantiated, inconclusive and inflammatory." However, the evaluation recommends uOttawa assess whether systemic racism does play a role in the process for handling academic misconduct. uOttawa News Release | Ottawa Citizen | Recommendations | Read the full report

Alberta PSEs receive poor grades on tobacco funding policies

On Tuesday, Alberta-based Action on Smoking & Health released its report card on provincial post-secondary institutions' tobacco funding policies. Out of the 22 institutions reviewed, 19 received "D" grades. The University of Alberta received an "F" for investing in tobacco companies and for accepting donations from the industry. Earlier this year, a uAlberta governor was taken to task for not supporting E-BUTT's campaign to ban the acceptance of funding from tobacco companies. ASH is sending letters to the presidents of each school urging them to approve policies against tobacco industry funding and investments. ASH News Release | Tobacco Campus Report Card | Calgary Sun

$8 million for McGill engineering faculty

McGill University alumnus and former Intel executive Les Vadasz and his wife Judy have donated over $8 million to the university's engineering faculty to establish 15 fellowships to recruit outstanding doctoral students. The pledge is the largest US gift made to Campaign McGill, which has so far raised over $450 million. McGill News Release

Quebec premier plans to attract more international students

If his Liberal government is re-elected next month, Quebec Premier Jean Charest will run a major recruitment campaign to attract the best and brightest foreign students. Charest also promised special certificates for international graduates of Quebec institutions that would allow them to live and work in Quebec. A recent study from the Canadian Bureau for International Education found that less than 10% of foreign students in Quebec remain in the province after graduating. Canadian Press

Brock may eliminate 3-year degrees

Some Brock University administrators are proposing the elimination of 3-year degrees by 2014. The reason behind the plan is the termination of OAC in Ontario high schools, which has left many feeling that first-year students are coming to university without the same background of students who entered university 4 or 5 years ago. Brock's student union is encouraging students to vote on the matter in an online poll, and provides background information on the proposal on its website. Brock Press (student newspaper) | BUSU website

Maritime R&D funding up 9%

Research and development funding in the Atlantic provinces jumped nearly 9% between 2004 and 2005, according to new data from the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission. Between 1996 and 2005, R&D expenditures increased 80% from $424 million to $770 million. At $464 million, Nova Scotia accounts for 60% of that total. The PSE sector in the Maritimes has a greater proportion of R&D funding than the national average, but business enterprise expenditures lag. MPHEC News Release | Download the data

LE,NONET Project yields positive results

The University of Victoria's LE,NONET Project, a 4-year pilot program to help Aboriginal students adjust to PSE, is helping keep such students in school, according to a new interim report. 87% of students in the program, which is funded by the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, said it has contributed to their sense of connection to the Aboriginal community on campus. 54% said it has helped create a sense of belonging at uVic, while a similar number reported that LE,NONET contributed to their decision to continue their studies. Since 1999, Aboriginal enrolment at uVic has jumped 700%. CMSF News Release | CanWest News Service | Read the report

NAIT provides specialized woodworking equipment for wheelchair-bound student

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology has brought in a new line of wheelchair-compatible woodworking equipment for Millwork and Carpentry student Devin Forbes. The equipment, made by General International, has only been on the market for a year, and NAIT is the first post-secondary institution in Canada to have a number of such pieces on site. The equipment is built at a lower level and has easy-to-reach on/off switches. NAIT Newsroom | iNews 880

uWindsor students make Web-based videos about campus

2 communication studies students at the University of Windsor are producing a series of Web-based videos documenting stories relevant to the university community. The first episode of "On Campus with Christina and Sarah" features the theatre company University Players, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Future episodes will cover the aftermath of the recent faculty strike and the Green Corridor project. The students are thinking of promoting their videos on YouTube and Facebook. uWindsor Daily News