Top Ten

October 15, 2012

WLU accused of abusing power in handling of baseball team's hazing incident

Wilfrid Laurier University is being accused of using bullying tactics in its handling of a hazing incident at a baseball team party. The Waterloo Region Record reports the team's coaches and all but 2 of the team's 34 players have signed a request for an inquiry into the team's 4-game suspension. Helping to prepare the request, the mother of one of the players argues that administration botched the incident from the start by not following its own procedures, by pressuring players into making public apologies, and by "grandstanding" for the national media. The mother, who is also a lawyer, claims WLU misrepresented the party -- where drinking games involving minors took place -- to the media by not providing full details and calling the baseball team's activities "degrading and humiliating" and thereby insinuating the hazing was sexual in nature. WLU's athletics director says that while the team's unauthorized party was not a criminal matter, it was a suspendable offence. He says team captains were never pressured into making public apologies, and that all of the players freely admitted to the hazing activities in a meeting with administration. A WLU spokesman says the institution is in the process of verifying that the inquiry request has come from the team itself before proceeding. "It's a bit of a surprise," he says. "We thought the team had moved beyond this." Waterloo Region Record

Mohawk College proposes becoming Ontario's first specialized Institute of Health and Technology

In its draft strategic mandate agreement sent to the Ontario government, Mohawk College proposes becoming the province's first specialized Institute of Health and Technology. Serving the western Greater Golden Horseshoe Region (Peel, Halton, Hamilton, Brant, and Niagara regions), the new Mohawk Institute of Health and Technology would offer apprenticeship, certificate, diploma, and 3-year degree programs. The college's other priorities include excelling in applied research and transforming lives through access. Mohawk aims to serve as Ontario's hub for applied research in health and technology and deliver commercialization and entrepreneurial skills training. To improve PSE access, the institution would create and bolster programming for underrepresented groups (including a new downtown Hamilton centre for disengaged youth), deliver all programs in a format that combines the best of in-class and online learning, and boost the number of part-time programs. Mohawk Matters | Mohawk SMA

Western U to launch School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities

In fall 2013, Western University will welcome 25 undergraduate students to its new School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities (SASAH), a unique-to-Canada program providing what SASAH organizers call an elite liberal arts education. SASAH will provide students with interdisciplinary study options, new language skills, experiential learning, interaction with new technologies, and international travel and exchange options. Prospective students, who apply directly to SASAH, will be evaluated based on a portfolio demonstrating exemplary academic work, community engagement, and extracurricular activities. Students in the program will graduate with a double major -- one from SASAH, another from an existing program within the Faculty of Arts & Humanities. Western News

uSask allots half of its land for residential housing

The University of Saskatchewan owns approximately 1,800 acres of land in the centre of Saskatoon, and is setting aside more than half of that land for residential and commercial development. uSask's acting VP of finance and resources says the institution will lease the land, giving itself a steady stream of new revenue in the tens of millions of dollars. "The economic value of the land is of interest to us to support our teaching and research mission, so it's something that benefits both the university and it also benefits the city in terms of residential and commercial development right within the city core," the VP says. Preliminary planning indicates high-density housing, with the potential for up to 60,000 units on the land. CTV

NBCC Miramichi expansion design released

The New Brunswick government has unveiled the design for the expansion and improvements at New Brunswick Community College's Miramichi campus, a project in which the province is investing $5.5 million over a 3-year period. The design will connect the new expansion directly to the existing facility, bringing the majority of the Miramichi campus under one roof. It will entail upgrades to the fire protection system, as well as new spaces such as classrooms, flexible office and common areas, and multipurpose industrial shops. The work includes renovating approximately 425 square metres of the existing facility and adding an extra 1,489 square metres. Construction is slated to begin in spring 2013, with completion scheduled for fall 2014. NB News Release

uCalgary considers makeover for student centre

The University of Calgary is planning to renovate its student centre, but the project could take more than a decade to realize. Parts of MacEwan Hall have existed since 1967 and are in need of renovation. While there are no safety issues, a recent assessment of the original MacEwan Hall structure uncovered extensive signs of water penetration. Sections of the building's exterior need replacing, as do the original windows. "There are aspects of the building that need to be addressed over the next number of years -- and that number could stretch out to 10 years," says uCalgary's VP of facilities. Before a master plan is finalized, uCalgary is listening to student feedback provided through a series of meetings, surveys, and focus groups. A big priority for students will likely be seating, the VP says. "We are a large campus, so having enough places to sit, eat, study and hang out with friends is always something people are concerned about." Calgary Herald

Algoma U launches scholarship program for top international BA students

Algoma University has developed a scholarship program to attract the best and brightest students worldwide to its BA program. The scholarships are valued at $5,000 and are renewable for up to 4 years, subject to good academic performance. In recent years, Algoma U has recruited large numbers of foreign students, but most of them are clustered in programs such as business, computer science, and math. The scholarship aims to attract students to liberal arts subjects such as fine arts, literature, history, and political science. Algoma U will make up to 5 scholarships available in each of its 15 liberal arts programs. Once fully subscribed, the scholarship program will fund up to 300 international students -- a considerable number for an institution whose enrolment totals 1,400. Algoma U president Richard Myers says the program "will help the University advance towards its goal of becoming one of the most diverse learning communities in the country." Algoma U News Release

Growth in local, international enrolment at SMU

More students, both locally and internationally, are choosing Saint Mary's University to pursue their PSE. Full-time undergraduate enrolment at the Halifax-based institution is up by 4.4% and graduate enrolment is up by 5.5%. New enrolment from Nova Scotia secondary school graduates has risen by 12%. International enrolment has increase by 17.2%, with 1,918 students from more than 90 nations registering for classes this year. As of October 1, SMU had 7,586 full- and part-time students. SMU News Release

uLethbridge unveils new Coat of Arms

At its Fall Convocation Sunday, the University of Lethbridge revealed its new official Coat of Arms, which draws inspiration from previous representations and has been designed to reflect signature elements of the institution. The shield and crest are flanked on the left by a pronghorn, representing uLethbridge's athletics teams, and on the right by a mule deer, a native inhabitant of the area. Together they also represent the men and women who form the uLethbridge community. One of the symbols depicted in the Coat of Arms is a miner's lantern -- an artifact of early coal-mining history of Lethbridge -- which recalls the idea of the illumination of knowledge and symbolizes the achievements of the more than 34,000 uLethbridge alumni. The institution's motto, Fiat Lux (Let there be light), appears at the bottom of the Coat of Arms. uLethbridge News Release

MUN Grenfell's new website reflects refreshed brand

Memorial University's Grenfell campus recently went live with a redesigned website, which showcases Grenfell's new "Find Your Corner" brand. The brand comes to life through pictures of students, faculty, and staff that features one-word descriptors, such as "explorer, "expresser," and "questioner." The vibrant homepage features a large graphic banner depicting a "darer" -- someone engaged in rock climbing. The homepage bears the phrase "If you're looking to find your corner of the world, start in ours," and includes a YouTube video featuring photos and video clips of several Grenfell community members with various one-word descriptors.