Top Ten

September 29, 2016

“There will definitely be action,” says QC minister of university initiations

The Quebec minister responsible for the status of women has stated that the province will crack down on initiations at universities in the coming months, reports the Canadian Press. The statement by Lise Theriault comes in response to recent reports that students of the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Law felt they were forced to undress and to participate in sexually explicit activities as part of a student-led initiation. “I think there is no place for the culture of rape in universities, especially when you're talking about (male) law students who are future jurists and who could become judges,” said Theriault. “There will definitely be action. We can't let this go on.”

UAlberta students hold turban-tying event in reaction to racist posters

In response to the recently discovered and removed racist posters on campus, the Sikh Students' Association and the World Sikh Organization of Canada held a turban-tying event called “Turban, eh?” in the University of Alberta Students’ Union building. The event invited any interested persons to have a turban tied on their heads, and provided the opportunity for participants to ask the volunteers questions. Faculty, staff, and students from UAlberta were joined by politicians and community members for the event. UAlberta President David Turpin commented that he was filled with pride at the event, stating that “it really is an opportunity to stand up and say what it means to be Canadian.” Edmonton Journal | CBC

BC student group presses province to provide more student housing

The Alliance of BC Students held a demonstration on the lawn of the BC legislature this week to spur the province into providing more student housing. The group’s White Paper on Student Housing calls for BC to lift its current restriction on public entities’ ability to take on debt, which the Association believes would allow universities to construct more campus housing and service the involved debt with payments from future tenants. “When we don’t build any student housing, students end up crowding out the rental market and then everyone suffers,” said ABCS Chair Alex McGowan. “It’s been 10 years since any new student housing has been built outside of UBC and that’s obviously going to have a pretty big effect.” 24hrs Vancouver

NorQuest receives $1.5M in donations, including $1M anonymous gift

NorQuest College has received a set of new donations totaling over $1.5M, including a $1M contribution from an anonymous donor. $250K of the overall amount comes from the Joyce Family Foundation, while an additional $250K comes from Edmontonians Steven and Day LePoole. NorQuest says that the $1M anonymous donation will be used to support the Centre for Growth and Harmony, which will serve as a health and wellness space for students. “Today’s investments will make a profound difference in the lives of our students and the communities where they live, work, and raise their families,” said NorQuest President Jodi Abbott. NorQuest

Western, Fanshawe collaboration receives $300K to develop sexual violence training for campus staff

A collaborative initiative between Western University and Fanshawe College dedicated to combatting domestic abuse has received $300K from the Ontario government. The Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children will reportedly use the funds to develop new training procedures for campus employees on how to intervene and provide support if they witness or become aware of sexual harassment or domestic violence, reports the London Free Press. “We want to prepare as many people as possible by teaching them how to be supportive and respond appropriately,” said CREVAWC Community Director Barb MacQuarrie. London Free Press | Western

uWaterloo, Thomson Reuters embark on five-year collaboration

The University of Waterloo and Thomson Reuters have embarked on a five-year collaboration valued at $20M that will see new opportunities for faculty and students at both organizations. uWaterloo reports that the collaboration will include the establishment of the Research Chair in Data Cleaning from Theory to Practice, the sharing of access to Thomson Reuters Eikon, and collaboration on the Problem Lab. The release further explains that the Thomson Reuters Labs™ - Waterloo Region initiative will create a full-time position for a master's or PhD graduate and four positions for uWaterloo undergraduate and graduate students, while pursuing further collaborations in research on e-discovery on three capstone projects. uWaterloo

BCIT unveils new lab to train green builders of the future

The British Columbia Institute of Technology has unveiled its new High Performance Building Lab, which will provide hands-on learning for both trades and technology students. The lab will also facilitate industry partnerships, and researchers will be able to use the lab to explore wall and window assembly solutions for high performance buildings. It will also benefit BCIT programs such as the Architectural and Building Technology Diploma, Bachelor of Architectural Science, and the Passive House Trades Training course. BCIT

Real evidence needed when trying to attract international students, writes IHE contributor

“Lofty (yet unsubstantiated) claims of ‘high-quality teaching’ or graduates who ‘go on to start amazing careers in a variety of well-known companies’ don’t cut it for international prospects,” writes Megan Brenn-White for Inside Higher Ed. To this end, the author suggests that institutions with positive international rankings should focus on promoting awareness of their ranking. For those with a less compelling ranking or awards record, the emphasis should be on testimonials from students and alumni. Finally, the author argues that institutions can be more concrete about their commitment to quality by promoting awareness of initiatives they are undertaking to enhance specific aspects of their institution. Inside Higher Ed

Carleton program for students with learning disabilities, mental illness gains widespread approval

An innovative counselling program developed at Carleton University is gaining attention from other institutions looking to better support students with learning disabilities or a diagnosed mental illness, reports the Ottawa Citizen. FITA, or From Intention to Action, is a program designed by Larry McCloskey, director of Carleton’s Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities. The Citizen reports that the program was able to boost graduation rates for students with disabilities from roughly 50% to more than 70%, with similar improvements noted for those with a mental illness. FITA has reportedly been adapted for use at the University of Toronto and Humber College, while 10 other postsecondary institutions have expressed interest. Ottawa Citizen

Ryerson DMZ incubator convenes council of business leaders to boost Canadian entrepreneurship

Ryerson University’s DMZ startup incubator is looking to boost Canada’s entrepreneurial potential with the formation of a 20-member advisory council featuring some of the country’s top entrepreneurs. The Globe and Mail reports that DMZ began assembling the council a year ago and received over 450 applications. DMZ Executive Director Abdullah Snobar notes that he hopes the council will help grow the country’s startups and foster a culture that celebrates entrepreneurship more widely. “It’s a real problem. We don’t celebrate entrepreneurship the same way we do hockey and basketball players,” said Snobar. “We want to make it something that my kids and your kids can speak to very naturally.” Globe and Mail