Top Ten

September 21, 2009

York student charged in on-campus sexual assault

A 21-year-old male York University student has been arrested in connection to 2 separate incidents of sexual assault taking place last week on campus. Last Tuesday, a 23-year-old female student reported being sexually assaulted in a campus library. Last Friday, another woman called campus security alleging she had just been sexually assaulted in the library. Security found the suspect and called police. Aaron Zukewich is charged with one count of sexual assault in connection with the September 15 incident. Police are investigating whether there were any other incidents. York News Release | Toronto Star

uCalgary should have reported president's pension earlier, says Alberta auditor-general

Alberta's auditor-general has ordered the University of Calgary to report on president Harvey Weingarten's pension benefits retroactively after the figures were left off the books for 6 years, starting in 2002. Weingarten will begin collecting a $4.75-million pension when he steps down in January. The auditor-general says the pension should have been reported in all those years. The school's board of governors says it was an unfortunate mistake the figures were not included in financial statements. The amount of the pension has outraged campus faculty and staff unions, who wonder where uCalgary is going to find the money at a time when 200 positions are poised to be cut in order to reduce a projected $14.3-million shortfall. Calgary Herald

Doctor files human rights complaint against UBC medical faculty

The BC Human Rights Tribunal will hear a complaint from a Whistler-based family physician who claims the University of British Columbia's medical faculty discriminated against her based on mental disability when the faculty terminated her from her residency and denied her entry into a program. In November 2006, the faculty terminated the doctor for what was described as "unsuitability" or "weaknesses demonstrated that the FOM (faculty of medicine) claimed were not remediable." The doctor alleges the weaknesses were caused by her disability, which arose from a car accident in 1982, and because the weaknesses could have been remedied if her disability had been accommodated, the termination of her residency was discriminatory. Vancouver Sun | Gibson v. UBC

Carleton women's soccer team suspended over "rookie initiation"

Carleton University gave its entire women's soccer team a 2-game suspension after a rookie initiation party involving "excessive alcohol" and "embarrassing" drinking games left one intoxicated player taken to a hospital. Carleton's athletics director says the entire team breached the code of conduct set out by the athletics department. The university announced yesterday that the team will continue to play for the rest of the season, and further disciplinary measures will be handled internally. Carleton News Release | Globe and Mail | Ottawa Citizen

$14 million for Queen's green chemistry centre

The Ontario government announced last Friday $13.6 million in funding for GreenCentre Canada, based at Queen's University. The centre, to be operated by PARTEQ Innovations, the university's technology tranfer office, will connect green chemistry discoveries in provincial universities with companies to produce alternatives to toxic chemicals and bring them to the marketplace faster. Ontario News Release | Queen's News Release

Ontario's enforcement system of career colleges weak, Star investigation finds

In the final article in a series on unregulated career colleges, the Toronto Star gives the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities a failing grade for its efforts to protect students from rogue schools. The Star reports that the ministry is so understaffed that it cannot possibly protect students. Just 10 inspectors police the 445 licensed colleges across the province, as well as unlicensed schools. Ministry documents obtained by the Star suggest the MTCU does not properly investigate many complaints, and that shutting down non-compliant schools is extremely rare. Toronto Star

Students give Humber top marks in CCSSE

Humber College finished first among 58 extra large North American colleges participating in the 2009 Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE). Humber, which was the only Ontario college taking part in the survey, ranked the highest in 4 out of 5 benchmark categories. The categories Humber finished first in are active and collaborative learning, student effort, academic challenge, and student-faculty interaction. Humber News Release

Enrolment up 10% at Camosun

Camosun College reports that enrolment is up 10.4% over this time last year, including a 52% increase in sport education programs and a 31.5% jump in Aboriginal programs. While numbers are not yet available, there is indication that enrolment in Camosun's trades programs is on track, and above normal for technology and engineering programs. Camosun News Release

Study finds boys' high school marks keeping them from entering university

A new MESA Project paper examining lower university participation rates among males in Canada suggest some young men are kept away from campuses because their high school grades aren't high enough to be accepted into university, and even hard work will not bring them to the level of their female peers. Using a mathematical model to examine what would happen if boys made the same effort to improve their grades, the report's author concludes that more effort would close about half of the gap in marks between girls and boys. If universities want to attract more male students, the paper suggest a couple of policy alternatives: motivate boys early in their school careers to do better, and either keep up the effort or lower admissions standards so they can get in. Ottawa Citizen | Read the report

1/6 of PSE students drop out, report finds

According to the Persistence in Post-Secondary Education in Canada report, which examined data from Statistics Canada's Youth in Transition Survey, approximately 14% of first-year students drop out. The overall PSE drop-out rate was about 16%, suggesting that students who are going to drop out do so early on. Survey results from students who dropped out suggest that they were already struggling with academic performance, study behaviour, and meeting deadlines in their first year. Canadian Press