Top Ten

February 2, 2009

BC universities seek $20-million scholarship boost

The Research Universities' Council of BC, which represents Simon Fraser University and the Universities of Victoria, British Columbia, and Northern British Columbia, is asking the provincial government for $20 million to boost student scholarships because of the economic downturn's impact on the universities' endowment funds. The devaluation of the funds comes at a time when other funding sources -- government grants and tuitions fees -- are failing to meet growing costs, such as the salaries needed to recruit new professors. BC universities are also trying to recover from the province's 2.6% PSE budget cut announced last March. Victoria Times-Colonist

5 UBC engineering students arrested over Volkswagen prank

5 engineering students from the University of British Columbia were arrested yesterday for trying to suspend a Volkswagen Bug shell on a bridge linking Vancouver and North Vancouver. The prank stems from a long-standing tradition among UBC engineering students to hang a Volkswagen shell in various places around Greater Vancouver. This is the first time anyone has been caught in connection to the annual prank. The accused may face charges of mischief over $5,000. Canadian Press

Hazing sanctions removed at StFX

A court settlement has resulted in the removal of some sanctions placed on hazing leaders at St. Francis Xavier University, who allegedly beat first-year students with tree branches and forced them to smear Rub A535 on their genitals. In challenging their punishment from StFX in court, the accused students had bans from visiting the campus bar and participation in student clubs dropped. The students had each been kicked out of residence, fined $50, ordered to take bullying and harassment counselling, as well as complete 50 hours of community service. National Post

CCLA opposes CFS resolution to deny pro-life groups club status

In a letter to the Canadian Federation of Students, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association objects to the federation's resolution to support student unions who deny club status to pro-life groups. The CCLA says denying club status to these groups violates freedom of speech. A CFS spokesman says member associations are not bound by the motion, and, given their finite resources, student unions don't have to help every status-seeking club. The BC Supreme Court has upheld the UBC-Okanagan student union's decision to deny funding to a pro-life group. The University of Guelph's student union recently reinstated club status for Life Choice. Globe and Mail | Guelph Mercury

10 finalists named in TVO Best Lecturer competition

TVO announced yesterday the top 10 competitors in its Big Ideas Best Lecturer contest. Given the wide range in academic disciplines among the finalists, this year's competition "will definitely be one to watch." The remaining contenders include 4 professors from the University of Toronto, 2 from Carleton University, and one each from Canadore College, the University of Western Ontario, York University, and Brock University. Starting February 28, TVO will air lectures from the 10 finalists, and the winner will be announced on April 11. TVO News Release

$3 million for psychosocial oncology chair at McGill

McGill University has received a shared $3-million gift from Christine and Herschel Victor and Hope & Cope of the Jewish General Hospital to establish a research chair in psychosocial oncology. The chair's research will focus on cancer survivorship and recovery in a community-based approach. The donation is a major contribution to Campaign McGill, which so far has raised $457 million. McGill News Release

UNBC seeks CIS membership

This evening, the University of Northern British Columbia will makes its pitch for membership of its basketball teams in the Canada West Universities Athletic Association, part of Canada Interuniversity Sport. The school expects its presentation will be well-received. At a site visit in November, UNBC received positive feedback about its sports facility, game management, and fan support. UBC-Okanagan and Vancouver Island University are also seeking Canada West membership. Prince George Citizen

More men needed to be recruited into nursing

At the Canadian Nursing Students' Association conference last week in Charlottetown, some discussion focused on how more needs to be done to recruit men into nursing, especially with the shortage of nurses in Canada expected to get worse. Reducing the social stigma that male nurses are doing "sissy work" and having more male role models would help make the profession more attractive to men, who make up just 5.5% of Canada's nursing field. Charlottetown Guardian | CBC

What students, grads have to say about SLC

St. Lawrence College has a page on its website called "What our Students Say," which features video testimonials from current students and graduates about the school. The 4 videos cover why students chose to attend SLC, why they would recommend the college, what they like best about the school, and how their education at SLC has brought them closer to their dream. Each video ends with the college's "Dream it. Then Live it" tagline. What our Students Say

Duquesne U upset over rape scene in new Grisham novel

Pittsburgh-based Duquesne University says it's "unfortunate" that John Grisham connects the Catholic-oriented institution to an alleged off-campus gang-rape scene in his latest novel, The Associate, "especially when Duquesne students are generally known for their leadership and integrity." In 1984, 4 Duquesne basketball players were charged with raping a student, but were never convicted. Grisham says he never intended to harm or embarrass the university, and hadn't known about the 1984 case. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Inside Higher Ed