Top Ten

November 27, 2009

UBC student union files UN complaint over PSE access

The University of British Columbia's Alma Mater Society has lodged a complaint with the United Nations over the federal and BC governments' failure to meet international obligations to provide accessible higher education. The AMS contends that by failing to properly control tuition fees and not providing adequate financial support to students, the government is violating its commitment under Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, which states "higher education shall be made accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education." Not all AMS councillors were consulted on the complaint, according to Maclean's OnCampus. An emergency council meeting was held Saturday to retract the complaint, and to ask for the resignations of the AMS's president and VP of external affairs. UBC AMS News Release | Vancouver Sun | Georgia Straight | Maclean's OnCampus | The Ubyssey (student newspaper)

uToronto students, faculty criticize administration's response to blackface incident

The University of Toronto Students' Union, the Black Students' Association, and several uToronto faculty members are lambasting the university for failing to use its normal communicative channels to stand in support of students who faced intimidation after organizing a town hall meeting on blackface, which was arranged after a group of students wore brown makeup to a Halloween party organized by student societies at 3 of uToronto's colleges. Instead of issuing a public statement to address the issues of harassment raised in a meeting with student leaders and concerned faculty, administration sent letters to those who met with officials, asking them to distribute the statements themselves to the wider university community. The UTSU argues the lack of action by senior administration suggests that "black students are not equally valued members of the university community." In response, uToronto's vice-president of human resources and equity and vice-provost of students state their offices will continue to work with student groups and interested faculty members on efforts to enhance and understand the impact of racism, and disseminate information about such initiatives widely at the appropriate time. UTSU News Release | Statement from uToronto

$20 million for research transfer activities at 9 institutions

On Friday, the federal government announced $20.1 million in funding from the College and Community Innovation Program for projects at Fanshawe, Algonquin College, Red River College, Seneca, SAIT, Cégep de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Cégep de Rimouski, Cégep de Saint-Jérôme, and Cégep de Trois-Rivières. Launched in 2007, the CCI Program support colleges and CEGEPs to foster research transfer activities in their communities through partnerships with local companies, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises. NSERC News Release

"Significant and difficult choices" to be made at Queen's

Delivering his first financial update as principal of Queen's University last Thursday, Daniel Woolf stated there are "significant and difficult choices" to be made at the university. The school's board of trustees has told administrators to reduce the annual deficit to zero by the end of the 2012 fiscal year. Cost-cutting measures include a salary freeze among senior administration and senior staff, and Queen's is reviewing its property holdings to see what real estate could be sold. Woolf reported that the faculty association executive had declined his proposal that faculty accept a reduction in a previously negotiated salary increase. Queen's Financial Update | Kingston Whig-Standard

Holland College launches "Learning. For Life" capital campaign

On Friday, Holland College kicked off its multimillion-dollar "Learning. For Life" capital campaign, the most ambitious fundraising effort in the college's 40-year history. The campaign has a priority focus in 4 critical areas: students; facilities; programs; and innovation. Over 75% of the campaign's original private-sector goal of $4 million has already been realized. Holland College News Release

UoGuelph begins Axelrod Building renovation

The University of Guelph celebrated Friday the groundbreaking for the Axelrod Building renovation project, which received over $33 million in joint federal and provincial infrastructure funding. The revamped 130,000-square-foot facility will be home to the newly-formed School of Environmental Sciences and related programs of the Ontario Agricultural College and the School of Engineering. The project will reduce UoGuelph's deferred maintenance costs, improve energy efficiency and sustainability, and provide space for the institution's planned increase in graduate enrolment in the environmental sciences. UoGuelph News Release

SLC breaks ground for Wind Turbine and Trades Training Facility

On Friday, St. Lawrence College held a groundbreaking ceremony at its Kingston campus for the Wind Turbine and Trades Training Facility, which will provide an innovative learning environment for students in the college's Wind Turbine Technician, Brick and Stone Masonry, Industrial Electrician, and Millwright programs. Providing space for about 80 apprentices in several trades, the new facility will feature an exterior solar wall and rooftop solar panels that will create energy and be used as a learning lab for future students. SLC News Release

Guelph presents initiatives to address rowdy off-campus student homes

At a meeting of the Old University Neighbourhood Residents' Association last Thursday, 2 Guelph city councillors presented initiatives the municipality is taking to mitigate problems caused by high concentrations of university students in residential neighbourhoods, such as excessive noise, parking issues, and vandalism. Measures the city is taking include sending bylaw infraction notices to landlords and tenants, and requiring absentee landlords to have a business license to rent property. The University of Guelph is currently developing a code of conduct for students living off-campus. Guelph Mercury

Marketing campaign highlights "X factor" in uWaterloo business programs

4 programs at the University of Waterloo -- Arts and Business, Environment and Business, Recreation and Business, and Science and Business -- are the subject of a new marketing effort, bearing the slogan "Business that Connects," that is aimed at prospective students who want some business background without having to pursue a full commerce degree. To date, a poster featuring students from the 4 programs (dubbed "X plus business") has been developed and mailed to Ontario high schools and 800 national schools, and a Web page has been set up. uWaterloo Daily Bulletin | Business that Connects

Tips for institutions to optimize YouTube content

The viral success of the "lipdub" produced by UQAM students illustrates how powerful YouTube videos can be when it comes to promoting an institution to Web users, traditional media, and the general public. To increase the likelihood of your institution's YouTube videos being found, liked, and shared, consider adding your school's YouTube channel to YouTube EDU. Make videos that are easy to share by leaving "embedding" turned on so external websites may embed the videos. Select keyword-rich titles, descriptions, and tags for videos to improve your chances of being found. Institutional videos should contain at least some element of branding, and schools should interact with viewers who leave comments about their videos. University Business