Top Ten

September 5, 2012

Former MHC student pleads guilty to handgun assault at college

The man accused of using a handgun to assault fellow Medicine Hat College students at the institution's residences earlier this year has pleaded guilty to 9 criminal offences. The 26-year-old was arrested in late January at MHC following a late-night dispute with fellow students in which he allegedly used a pistol in an assault while wearing a balaclava. The man, who was kicked off campus and evicted from his residence following the incident, was subsequently charged with extortion and other offences stemming from allegations that occurred earlier in the school year. Medicine Hat News

CAUT creates commission to examine RMC governance structure

Yesterday the Canadian Association of University Teachers announced the creation of an independent commission on the governance of the Royal Military College. The commission's terms of reference are to examine RMC's governance structure, consider alternative models of military college governance, and make recommendations regarding the preferred governance structure of the institution. "At the best of times, it is a challenge to have a governance structure for a military college that allows it, as RMC has been historically, to be both an excellent university and a first-class institution for training military officers," says CAUT executive director James Turk. "The significant cuts being made by the federal government to the budget of RMC are bringing to the surface questions about how RMC is governed." CAUT News

Taxpayer group questions uCalgary board chair's expense claims

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is taking the University of Calgary to task for board expenses, including executive-class flights and $500-a-night hotel rooms, rung up by board chairman Doug Black. A senator-in-waiting in Alberta, Black has repaid uCalgary nearly $5,400 for airfare expenses the university says were "processed in error." The CTF is raising questions about the price of hotels rooms claimed as part of the $28,000 billed to uCalgary and revealed through a Freedom of Information request. The CTF notes that according to uCalgary policy, hotels are to be "standard room rates" and travellers are to stay "where preferred or discount rates -- or the equivalent of such rates -- are available whenever possible." University guidelines also mandate that flights shorter than 5 hours should be flown in economy class. In a written statement uCalgary says the airfare mistake was identified in an audit conducted in June. CTF News Release | Calgary Herald | CBC | Canadian Press

Visa delays affecting international students heading to BC

At least 100 international students hoping to study in BC this year will not be able to start school until January due to visa processing delays, confirms the University of British Columbia. A UBC official says the slowdown is due to the federal government's closure of visa services in Bangladesh, Germany, Iran, Japan, and Malaysia. While some students may have to put off studies until January, others may be stuck until next September. The UBC official notes that although some of those affected are graduate students, who are supposed to be teaching classes next week, the university will still be offering those classes. CBC

Enrolment up nearly 4% at SLC

Enrolment at St. Lawrence College remains steady across all 3 campuses in Brockville, Cornwall, and Kingston, with an overall increase of 3.8% from 2011. Enrolment at the institution has risen by 9.6% since 2010. Current total enrolment at SLC is more than 6,600 full-time students. The college is welcoming international students from more than 40 countries studying in a wide array of programs. SLC News

New Durham College microsite a hub for student services

Building on the success of its Get Prepared for Success (GPS) web portal for first-year students, Durham College recently launched a new microsite designed to bring together all student services and mirror the institution's student services model. Through the microsite, users can pay their tuition fees, access the MyCampus portal, register for classes, buy textbooks, retrieve parking and housing information, purchase a dining card, rent a locker, contact academic advisors, and print class schedules and course outlines. The site also includes information on orientation activities and resources. The site features links to the I ♥ DC portal, which lists testimonials from students, alumni, and staff, as well as to the college's Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts. Durham College Orientation Microsite

Alberta facilitates online access to student aid

In June the Alberta government launched a new website for its revised student aid program. The site takes students through the stages of applying for loans and grants, getting their money, and repaying their loans using flexible repayment options. Since the site's launch, more than 35,000 Alberta students have applied for funding online for the 2012-13 academic year. More than 80% of students who apply for financial aid do so online. Alberta News Release

WLU receives grant in support of mental health initiatives

The Bell Let's Talk Community Fund has awarded Wilfrid Laurier University a $40,000 grant to bolster mental health awareness and support on campus. WLU will launch a mental health education and awareness training program for students, faculty, and staff to help them identify signs and symptoms of mental illness to support those who are struggling, as well as make people more aware of the services on campus and in the community. Waterloo Region Record

York U study explores procrastination and perfectionism in students

New research from York University observes that undergraduate and graduate students are especially likely to procrastinate when they feel that others expect them to be perfect. The study found related patterns of negative ruminations among procrastinators focused on perfectionism, fear of failure, and guilt. These negative thought patterns contributed to an increased stress level in students and a delay in accomplishing tasks. Recent surveys show that between 50% and 60% of responding students rated themselves as perfectionists, and 45% indicated a problem with chronic procrastination. York U News Release

uChicago asks prospective students to "call us, maybe?"

This summer the University of Chicago jumped on the "Call Me Maybe" bandwagon, sending out letters that use portions of the lyrics of the Carly Rae Jepsen song to individuals who inquired about admissions. Part of the letter reads: "I know that we just met you -- and this is crazy -- but here are our numbers," listing figures such as 7 Nobel Prize winners currently on staff and 351 items on the university's 2012 Scavenger Hunt List. The letter ends with the question: "So call us, maybe?" A uChicago official says such expressions of wit reflect the institution's core values: "a disdain for dogma and conventionality, a compulsion to play with ideas and a high admiration for the arts of self-expression." Chicago Tribune