Top Ten

March 10, 2016

BC private member's bill looking to address sexual violence on campuses

The head of British Columbia’s Green Party is set to table a private member’s bill aiming to address the increasing number of sexual assaults occurring at the province’s colleges and universities, reports the Canadian Press. According to Andrew Weaver, up to 25% of BC’s female university students will be sexually assaulted on campus during the course of their studies, and he says that the proposed Post-Secondary Sexual Violence Policies Act will require the province’s PSE institutions to create and maintain clear policies to prevent such attacks. Student advocates have claimed that at this time, only about two dozen postsecondary institutions in Canada have stand-alone sexual assault policies in place. Vancouver Sun (CP)

Concordia professor seeks to define, design North America’s first feminist university

Simone de Beauvoir Institute Principal Kimberley Manning says that a truly feminist university “places social justice at the centre of its mission and practice,” and lays out her goals for integrating “feminist ethos and practice into the Concordia community at large.” In an interview, Manning discusses the context of such a university in Canada today and the impact it could have on students. She explains that a feminist university would pride itself on improving access to undergraduate education, working to “rectify institutional inequities,” and aiding other institutions “similarly striving to rectify historical injustices." Concordia | Interview

uWinnipeg Student, Faculty Associations call for fossil fuel divestment

The Student and Faculty Associations at the University of Winnipeg have asked the school to withdraw all of its investments in fossil fuels. The request applies specifically to fossil fuel stocks currently included in the portfolios of the University of Winnipeg Foundation and the school’s pension fund. The university reportedly has almost $2.6 M, or 5% of its foundation endowment invested in oil, gas, or coal industries, while the value of such investments contained in the pension fund is unknown. A public forum involving representatives from the community, the faculty, and the student body was held at the school yesterday to discuss the current and future direction of the divestment movement. Winnipeg Free Press | Metro | uWinnipeg

“Put a stop to this nonsense,” says Times Colonist on BC student fee increases

PSE institutions in British Columbia are engaged in an “unseemly money-raising scheme” by using student fee hikes to dodge the province’s 2% tuition cap, writes the Times Colonist. The editorial goes on to single out two institutions that have allegedly raised student fees in ways that violate the spirit of BC’s 2% tuition cap. According to the Colonist, there is no defensible way of treating tuition and other student fees differently, as all of them ultimately end up in the same institutional revenue fund. The editorial concludes by saying, “our advice to the minister: Put a stop to this nonsense.” Times Colonist

Student union leader uncertain about bringing new ON tuition framework to PEI

A student leader at the University of Prince Edward Island has expressed doubts about whether Ontario’s new free tuition plan for students from low-income households can work for PEI. UPEI Student Union President Dana Kenny highlights the difficulties that governments like Denmark's have allegedly encountered after introducing free tuition for PSE, and suggests that this option might not be a sustainable one for every government. He notes that PEI students have made important gains in 2016 with respect to the provincial student loan program, and adds that a next major step will come in challenging current governments’ assumptions about how much parents will contribute to the cost of their children’s PSE. CBC

SLC students provoke change in their communities

Students from St Lawrence College have been applying their studies to improve the lives of people with communication disorders, mental health issues, and more, says a new article from Maclean's. Following the experiences of one student in particular, the article explores how the Centre for Education, Behavioural Research and Intervention in the Community benefits both the community and the college's faculty and students. Robin Hicks, one of CEBRIC’s founders, explains that the centre creates a bridge into nearby communities and allows “faculty to stay engaged with their clinical practice, … [and] students to apply what they’re learning, and … to benefit our local community.” Maclean's

Vietnamese students to benefit from streamlined college visa program

Vietnamese students looking to study at Canadian colleges will be able to obtain a study visa more quickly and easily through the Canada Express Study program, which began its pilot phase this month. By relaxing the requirements for financial documentation, the program aims to cut visa processing times for Vietnamese students from the current five months to two months or less. The 18-month program will be available specifically to students who gain admission to 38 participating members of Colleges and Institutes Canada. “This will hopefully bring us more in line with the US, the UK and Australia, who are attracting thousands of students,” said CICan’s Vice President of International Partnerships Paul Brennan. The Pie News

Better Business Bureau clarifies Trump University ratings

The Better Business Bureau has responded to public arguments concerning its assessment of the now-defunct Trump University. The school, named after businessman and Republican primary frontrunner Donald Trump, has become a hotly contested subject in recent GOP debates. Critics have claimed that the school received a D- rating from the BBB due to complaints from students, while Trump has insisted that the school held an A+ rating. According to the BBB, Trump University’s rating reached its low of D- in 2010 due to many consumer complaints, but as complaints automatically expire after three years, the school’s rating rose to an A+ by 2015, when it had reportedly been non-operational for several years. CBC

Students pay tribute to instructors in strange ways

Some students may take their reverence for their instructors a little too far, and occasionally in quite comical ways, writes Courtney Kueppers of the Chronicle of Higher Education. The article goes on to describe several cases in which students chose particularly strange ways to show admiration to their instructors. One example includes an instructor whose students named their cars after him, while another describes a professor who had four of her students get tattoos of a phrase that she had repeated on a study-abroad trip, a gesture that she felt celebrated the trip more than herself. Chronicle of Higher Education