Top Ten

March 5, 2009

CFS Ontario receives death threat

Last week the Ontario chapter of the Canadian Federation of Students received a racially-motivated death threat in the mail. An anonymous envelope contained a photo of Hildah Otieno, an international student from Kenya who is a panelist on the organization's recently formed Task Force on Campus Racism, and a controversial editorial cartoon depicting 2 police officers shooting a monkey. The pictures include hand-written epithets such as "REFUGEE DOG" and "KKK." Otieno says "there is no way that threats and insults are going to intimidate students out of confronting racism. We won't back down." Police are investigating the matter. CFS News Release

McMaster receives $30 million to develop medical robots

Yesterday McMaster University received nearly $30 million from the federal government and MDA Information Systems to develop robots to conduct less invasive surgeries and medical procedures. The funds will establish the McMaster Centre for Surgical Invention and Innovation. Hamilton Spectator

Brock students, staff rally against budget cuts

A coalition of Brock University unions, students, and employees held a rally Wednesday protesting proposed budget cuts at the institution. Brock is poised to reduce its operating budget by 5% for the next 4 years. The protesters worry the cuts will mean job losses, larger and fewer classes, shorter library hours, academic cutbacks, and more student fees. A speaker at the rally said that if any cuts are made, it will "harm the quality of teaching and learning in the university and we can't tolerate that." St. Catharines Standard

Carleton unveils new retention strategy

Carleton University announced yesterday an enhanced retention strategy called "Carleton Complete," believed to be among the most comprehensive programs in the country. "Retention is recruitment. We want to promote a culture of success where every student can succeed." Initiatives include an "early warning system" offering students interim grades to help them identify trouble spots, a centralized online registration program to ensure students are able to take the courses required to graduate, and a co-curricular transcript recognizing students' on-campus activities. Carleton is hoping to boost its retention rate by 3%. Carleton News Release | Ottawa Citizen

Grad students left out of Saskatchewan Graduate Retention Program

The Saskatchewan NDP is taking the provincial government to task for leaving graduate students out of its Graduate Retention Program -- a tuition rebate that offers up to $20,000 over 7 years for people living in Saskatchewan. The NDP's advanced education critic says it is a "sad irony" that graduate students are not eligible for the program because they are essential to the knowledge economy. Last fall, the province expanded the program to graduates within Canada and around the world, and the NDP calls for the program to apply to graduate students as well. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Israeli Apartheid Week at UoGuelph a peaceful affair

University of Guelph students organizing events related to Israeli Apartheid Week say there will be no hate crimes on campus. "We are not anti-Semitic. We are not attacking religion. We are only questioning the policies of the state." While the UoGuelph group is not using controversial posters that have been banned by Carleton University and University of Ottawa, one student says administrators at those schools were too strict in their action. A UoGuelph official says there is no ill-feeling between the IAW group and Jewish Student Organization and so far there is no need for administration to interfere. Guelph Mercury

St. Clair College students oppose fast-tracking at Thames campus

Several St. Clair College law and security students held a peaceful protest at the Thames campus in Chatham Ontario Wednesday evening to voice their opposition to changes to the program. Starting this fall, the 2-year law and security program will be shortened to one year. The students, also worried about the fate of the campus' one-year police foundations program, say younger students will be put at a disadvantage because they won't have enough life experience for police services to consider recruiting them. Chatham Daily News

StFX opens renovated student health centre

St. Francis Xavier University held a grand opening ceremony Wednesday for its renovated student Health Centre. Funds for the renovations come from students who voted in last year's student union election to support a $25-per-student capital campaign directed towards renovations of the Students' Union building. The centre is introducing new services such as massage therapy, chiropractic, and naturopathic medicine. News@StFX

US women may surpass men in workforce

As the recession in the US lingers, women are poised to make up the majority of the workforce for the first time in the country's history. According to government statistics, since the beginning of the economic downturn, men have lost over 2.7 million jobs, representing 82% of all job losses. Men are heavily represented in distressed industries such as manufacturing and construction, while women tend to work in areas like health care and education, which are less sensitive to shifts in the economy. New York Times

Facebook to redesign homepages

Next Wednesday, Facebook will unveil redesigned homepages that let users receive continuous updates from members of their network instead of every 10 or 15 minutes. Filters will be added so people can choose what kind of information they want to see from their friends. Facebook is also allowing users to follow public figures and institutions by making fan pages work more like profiles. Associated Press