Top Ten

November 29, 2011

uWindsor advises community of campus incidents involving suspicious men

The University of Windsor is asking its students to report any suspicious individuals after 2 women were frightened in separate instances on the weekend. Campus police posted crime notices to the doors of residences after a woman was reportedly followed home to Alumni Hall early Saturday morning. A second female confronted a man reportedly watching her through a window at Canterbury College. uWindsor and campus police do not believe the 2 incidents are related or that the same man was involved. A university spokesperson says no one was harmed in either incident, but "it's certainly something of concern." uWindsor Crime Advisory | CBC

$15-million donation to Ryerson supports new athletic centre

Ryerson University announced yesterday a $15-million donation from philanthropist and business leader Peter Gilgan, founder and CEO of Mattamy Homes, to the institution's new sports facility currently being built at the former Maple Leaf Gardens site. At more than 220,000 square feet, the new Peter Gilgan Athletic Centre more than doubles the athletic and recreational facilities on Ryerson's campus. The centre will include a full-sized ice rink (named the Mattamy Home Ice), a multi-purpose court for basketball and volleyball, a fitness centre, studios, and a high-performance gymnasium. Construction is expected to be completed in the spring. Ryerson News

STU bans alcohol in dormitory following vandalism incidents

St. Thomas University has imposed an indefinite alcohol ban on Harrington Hall, one of its residences, following incidents of vandalism. An STU spokesman says some fire extinguishers had been set off, and there was also vandalism in bathrooms. The spokesman says STU officials will meet with student leaders again in the new year to discuss possibly lifting the ban. Canadian Press

Alberta education minister to push for standardized exams nationwide

Alberta Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk says he will pressure other provinces at a meeting in 2012 to introduce standardized Grade 12 exams across the country to level the playing field in the competition for university spots and scholarships. In the interim, students and parents in Alberta should also pressure PSE institutions to change their admissions policies to reflect tougher grading at provincial high schools, the minister says. Kevin McQuillan, the University of Calgary's dean of arts and author of a 2004 study on the problem of grade inflation in Ontario secondary schools, says standardized testing would serve as a transparent barometer of student achievement. "As admissions become more difficult and competitive, each school in Ontario tends to say let's give our students a leg up by giving them higher grades," he says. "There's an arms race of A's going on." While Ontario universities were loathe to acknowledge it publicly for fear of sparking controversy, McQuillan says registrars told him they were quietly adjusting the grades of Alberta students to compensate. Calgary Herald

uManitoba closes Delta Marsh Field Station

Operated by the University of Manitoba's science faculty since 1966, the Delta Marsh Field Station is closing for good. The facility was hit by widespread flooding this past spring and damage was extensive. A committee was tasked with trying to find a way to save the research station, but uManitoba recently learned that the property would no longer qualify for insurance. The institution is now exploring ways to continue at least 10 ongoing research projects that had been linked to the field station. CBC

Ottawa kicks off new CERC competition

The federal government announced Monday the launch of a competition for 10 new Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC). The government is investing $53.5 million over 5 years in the creation of the new chairs. The CERC program was launched in 2008 with the goal to attract and retain the world's best researchers. In May 2010, the first group of chairs was awarded to uAlberta, UBC, Dal, uLaval, uManitoba, McMaster, uOttawa, UPEI, uSask, uSherbrooke, uToronto, uWaterloo, and UWO. CERC News Release

Ontario expands tuition grant eligibility

The Ontario government has decided to expand the eligibility for its new 30% tuition grant to first-entry program students. Previously, first-entry program students in professional programs were excluded from accessing the grant. The Ontario chapter of the Canadian Federation of Students welcomes the province's decision. CFS-O representatives met with Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Glenn Murray earlier this month to discuss the implementation of the grant program. One concern the CFS-O raised about the program was the exclusion of many students. CFS-O News Release

Postscript: Dec 9, 2011
In the November 30 edition of the Top Ten, we included an item based on a Canadian Federation of Students news release stating the Ontario government had decided to expand the eligibility for its new 30% tuition grant to all first-entry program students, including those in professional programs. We have confirmed with the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities that the intention has always been that students in first-entry programs would qualify for the grant if they meet other eligibility criteria, such as being residents of Ontario enrolled in a public college or university in the province, and their parents' income being under $160,000 a year.

Royal Roads opens Learning and Innovation Centre

Royal Roads University recently celebrated the official opening of its Learning and Innovation Centre. The facility features new technology that supports "virtual classrooms" -- an interactive learning model that enables students to attend lectures, group meetings, and study sessions electronically. Royal Roads received more than $20 million from the BC and federal governments for this project. BC News Release

Durham College celebrates new Aboriginal Student Centre

Last Friday, Durham College officially opened Suswaaning Endaajig (the nest away from home), its new Aboriginal Student Centre located at the Oshawa campus. The facility offers a culturally recognizable and inviting environment for Aboriginal students, materials for Aboriginal crafts, staff members who advocate on behalf of students within and outside the institution on any issues, traditional Elders who will be available regularly for private one-on-one counselling sessions, and a series of traditional teachings held throughout the year. Durham College News

Eastern College unveils new ad campaign

Last week, Eastern College, a private institution with 7 campuses across Atlantic Canada, launched a print and online campaign that bears the new advertising tagline, "Make it happen." The campaign creative uses the visual template of an online search engine, with copy like "A better life for my kids" and "A job I can be proud of" inside the search bar and the cursor hovered above an icon that reads "Make it happen." The new tagline better reflects the aspirations of the college's current and prospective students than the previous positioning -- "The right school for the job." The "Make it happen" campaign will continue in 2012 with the addition of new creative. Marketing Magazine | Eastern College website