Top Ten

September 27, 2016

uMontréal law students denounce rape culture in student-led initiations

A group of law students at the Université de Montréal has publicly denounced student-led initiations and events that allegedly promote rape culture within the university’s Faculty of Law. In an editorial and testimonial published in uMontréal's law student newsletter, students of the faculty stated that they were “almost compelled” to undress during certain initiation activities and to sing songs that sexually objectified and degraded women. The Association of Law Students has stated that it recognizes that “there is still work to do to remove all traces of old degrading and sexist practices,” and has promised to reflect on the subject. uMontréal Spokesperson Genevieve O'Meara has told La Presse that the school has already taken steps with its students' association to address the issue. La Presse

Growing demand for mental health leads to call for ON-wide strategy

Campus counsellors on Ontario college and university campuses are overwhelmed by the growing need for mental health services, reports CBC. A recent study released by the Ontario University and College Health Association highlighted the increased rates of anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempts among postsecondary students in the province. “Many of us who oversee counselling services describe our day as using a finger to stop a flood and the demand for our services far outstrips our capacity to support students,” states Meg Houghton, OUCHA president and Humber College Director of Student Access, Wellness and Development. In response to the difficulties around meeting the increased demand, Houghton states that OUCHA hopes ON will move to develop a province-wide strategy to deliver mental health services. CBC

Laurentian receives $27.4M for Research, Innovation and Engineering Building

Laurentian University is set to construct a 47,000 square-foot Research, Innovation and Engineering Building with the support of $27.4M in federal and provincial funding. Laurentian Board Chair Jennifer Witty says that the investment will be crucial for a much-needed expansion to the school’s research and innovation resources. “With this investment, we will build the infrastructure required to support education and research, foster innovation, and create opportunity for students while strengthening the economy,” added Witty. The new space will reportedly feature a collaborative research and development space, as well as a dedicated innovation and commercialization space designed to support startups in the region. NationTalk | CBC | Sudbury Star

Concordia Professor Homa Hoodfar released from Iranian prison

Concordia University Professor Homa Hoodfar has been released from Tehran's Evin prison, reports CBC. Hoodfar was originally detained by Iranian authorities on June 6, 2016 and accused of collaborating with a hostile government against national security and spreading propaganda against the state. CBC reports that these charges were never presented to Hoodfar’s lawyer, but were instead published in an Iranian newspaper, which quoted the state prosecutor as saying that Hoodfar had been accused of “dabbling in feminism” while performing academic research in the country. Hoodfar’s health had reportedly been failing since her arrest, and her family has stated that she could barely walk upon her release. CBC | Journal de Montréal | Concordia

Three keys to increasing student persistence, completion

“Students … do not seek to be retained. They seek to persist,” writes Vincent Tinto for Inside Higher Ed, which is why institutions must stop asking what they can do to retain students and start asking what they can do to support students in the choice to continue with their education. Tinto offers three recommendations for supporting persistence in a student-centred way. The first is helping students build their self-efficacy. The second is helping students develop a firm sense of belonging within a larger community, and the third is ensuring that students perceive their program’s curricula as being valuable. Inside Higher Ed

MSVU to build new centre for applied human nutrition

Students and faculty at Mount Saint Vincent University will have new opportunities to conduct research on subjects like Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, nutrition, and food innovation in a new modernized facility, thanks to a $4.5M investment. Provided by Nova Scotia, the federal government, MSVU, and other donors, the funding will be used to renovate an existing building on MSVU’s campus to support basic and applied research on nutrition and disease. “This significant investment in research infrastructure at the Mount will provide space for important innovation and discovery, as well as student mentorship and hands-on student research opportunity,” said MSVU President Ramona Lumpkin. “I have no doubt that the efforts to be undertaken in our new research centre will benefit generations of Canadians to come.” NS | MSVU

QC universities with med schools received $350M over ten years while others struggled, says UQAR prof

The four Quebec universities with medical schools have seen their financing grow $350M over ten years while other universities have seen their budgets cut, reports the Journal de Montréal. Medical schools at the universities of Montreal, Sherbrooke, Laval, and McGill reportedly saw their financing rise 30% per year for a ten-year period, a trend that Université du Québec à Rimouski Professor Martin Maltais attributes to a 2007 decision by the former Charest government to increase the number of doctors in the province. "We have a double standard in a context where it impoverishes the rest of society with cuts to other universities, colleges, primary and secondary schools and in the health system,” added Maltais. Journal de Montréal

NWCC to renew trades training facilities with $18.4M investment

Northwest Community College is set to renew its trades training facilities and provide students with a modern environment to develop their skills thanks to an $18.4M investment. The federal government will reportedly contribute $6.31M of the cost, while BC will commit $11.87M. NWCC and private donors will contribute the remaining balance. “The investment in our institution will allow us to offer more robust, state-of-the-art programming, benefiting students from across Northern B.C., and building economic resilience for our communities,” said NWCC President Ken Burt. BC

King’s, Toulouse Business School partner on exchanges

King’s University College has signed an MOU with Toulouse Business School in France that will allow student and faculty exchanges between the two institutions. “This is the highest quality partner for our students,” says King's Management and Organizational Studies program coordinator Sergio Janczak. “This is a very lucky opportunity for our students to go on an exchange for one semester, or a whole year, to one of the most prestigious business universities in the world.” King’s reports that Toulouse is one of only 75 triple accredited business schools in the world. King's

uToronto profs revive the case for banning electronic devices from their classroom

“A few inconsiderate students shouldn’t be allowed to distract the class,” write Ryan Balot and Clifford Orwin for the Globe and Mail, which is why the two University of Toronto political science professors have chosen to ban electronic devices from their classrooms. “Our goals are … to teach our students to read carefully, to analyze complex arguments and to develop a richer vocabulary than that currently available for thinking about fundamental political questions,” the authors argue, adding that such work is undermined by technologies that privilege a quick retrieval of information rather than a sustained engagement with difficult material. “[T]hinking thrives on silence or on dialogue with other human voices, when electronic noise has faded,” the authors conclude. “Our new policy is a small step, but we’re convinced that it’s in the right direction.” Globe and Mail