Top Ten

September 26, 2017

USask community members say much work left to be done on Indigenization

Some members of the University of Saskatchewan community say that they are concerned about the school’s current plans to Indigenize its campuses, particularly with respect to the school’s goal of making Indigenous content mandatory for all students. The curricular changes are reportedly set to take effect two years from now, but there are reportedly not nearly enough professors in the school’s department of Indigenous studies to teach this content to all of the school’s 21,000 students. “Who's qualified? What's their background to teach this information?” asks USask Indigenous studies Professor Priscilla Settee. “It's one thing to have goodwill and that, but really it needs a deep understanding of the many realms that it intersects with, like historical, cultural, political, gender—all of those issues that it takes a lifetime to lean, to learn the accurate history.” CBC

SFU professor launches petition to change Clan team name

Recent political events in the US and Canada have provoked a renewed debate about Simon Fraser University’s sports teams’ name—the Clan. Originally adopted to honour the school’s Scottish heritage, the name has led some professors and students to argue that in light of violent Neo-Nazi marches in the US and associations with the Ku Klux Klan, the team name should be changed. Philosophy Professor Holly Andersen has launched a petition to persuade the university to change the name, noting that SFU is the only Canadian school to play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association, a league filled with American teams whose players might find the name racist. More than 300 people have reportedly signed the online petition. CBC | Guelph Mercury | The Province

Bishop’s celebrates most successful fundraising campaign in its 174-year history

Donations totaling more than $40.5M have brought Bishop’s University its most successful fundraising campaign since the school was founded in 1843. Launched in 2012, the “A model of success” campaign set itself a goal of $30M, which was reportedly thought to be ambitious for a school of 2,400 students.  Among the campaign's most generous donors were several graduates and foundations, such as the Jarislowsy Foundation and the Joyce Foundation. La Presse reports that if one takes into account the $5.6M provided by the Government of Québec and the $5.8M raised in the school’s last five annual campaigns, Bishop's has raised nearly $52M since the launch of its 2012 campaign. La Presse

Thousands of Montreal students participate in consent workshops to begin their PSE

Catcalling, consent, and becoming an active bystander are just some of the topics covered this month in a series that consent workshops attended by thousands of university students in Montreal. In an interview with CBC, first-year McGill University student Jillian Giberson says that she is shocked by how some men have spoken to her in Montreal, although she adds that she was encouraged by some of the comments she heard in her school’s consent workshop. Giberson adds that she would also like to see follow-up training and opportunities for deeper discussions about consent and the impact of sexual assault. Jennifer Drummond, coordinator of the Sexual Assault Resource Centre Resource Centre at Concordia University, adds that the workshops provide students a necessary opportunity to learn about sexual communication and respect in relationships. CBC

RRC examines Public Safety Building, but holds off on expansion

The Public Safety Building in Winnipeg is a potential site for more student housing and affordable housing at some point in the future, says Red River College President Paul Vogt. “Obviously we're interested because it's right in the heart of what's becoming our downtown campus,” said Vogt. “There's a great demand for housing in this area, a demand for housing in this area for students but actually just generally speaking, particularly affordable housing.” While he has indicated the college’s interest in the site to an agency holding public consultations about the PSB’s future, Vogt explained that the college plans to proceed with a $95M innovation centre before considering any development at the PSB, and that securing funds for another capital expansion would present challenges. Winnipeg Free Press | CBC

Marianopolis receives $13.7M for labs, energy efficiency

The federal government, along with Marianopolis College and its supporters, have committed to spending $13.7M on projects to upgrade the institution’s labs and improve the building’s energy efficiency. Marianopolis and its partners are providing $7.69M of the funds, while the federal government is investing $6.02M. “Marianopolis College is extremely grateful to the federal government for this generous investment, the largest in our history,” said Marianopolis Directeur Général Christian Corno. “This investment reflects our educational mission: to provide our students with the highest quality post-secondary education in a dynamic environment that is conducive to learning and the pursuit of excellence.” Montreal Gazette | Canada

Learning to include Indigenous knowledge in the classroom

“Teaching is a deeply personal act for most of us,” writes University of Toronto OISE Distinguished Professor Kathleen Gallagher. “But this year is different from others. There is a new duty felt by teachers at all levels of our education system to make good on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) calls to action, creating both a critically important opportunity and an unease about our preparedness.” Gallagher writes about how she learned to include Indigenous knowledge in the classroom and “decolonize” teaching habits. This includes learning more from Indigenous writers, considering how these readings could be investigated by students, and learning from resident Elder Cat Criger.  “Guided by humility about what we don’t know and listening carefully to those who do, will keep us on a good path,” concludes Gallagher. NationTalk (CP)

CNA celebrates reaccreditation of five co-op programs 

The Canadian Association for Co-operative Education has reaccredited five of the College of the North Atlantic’s co-operative education programs. The Mechanical Engineering (Manufacturing) Technology, Industrial Engineering Technology, Geomatics Engineering Technology, Computing System Engineering Technology, and Programmer Analyst (Business) programs will be accredited for the next six years, ending December 2023. “At CNA, we not only need to ensure quality, leadership and confidence in what we offer to our students, but also to the employers who support our co-op programs,” said CNA Associate Vice-President of Student Services Elizabeth Chaulk. CNA

UBC officially opens National Soccer Development Centre

The University of British Columbia has officially opened its National Soccer Development Centre, a $32M facility that will be the official joint training facility for the Vancouver Whitecaps and the UBC Thunderbirds. The facility features three grass and two artificial turf fields, new student and player change rooms, a Whitecaps’ lounge, a sports science wing, and physiotherapy rooms. It will also serve students involved in soccer, track and field, and other sports. “When our women’s team walked into the change room for the first time, there were tears,” said UBC steeplechase athlete and marine biology student Brianna Cairns. “People were just so excited and feel like it’s just a vote of confidence for the team.” Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi also expressed the soccer team’s excitement, stating that “it’s been worth the wait because this is stunning.” News 1130 | UBC

UWindsor dedicates Turtle Island Walk in recognition of First Nations land

The University of Windsor has officially opened Turtle Island Walk, a pedestrian thoroughfare that was named in recognition of the First Nations history of the land that the university’s campus is built on. UWindsor explains that the land is the traditional territory of the Three Fires Confederacy, an alliance of the Anishinaabe people. The new walkway features seating areas, art work, and a green space, as well as a series of plaques that display the Seven Teachings of the Ancestors. “Turtle Island Walk is a celebration of First Nations people and cultures, and a landmark to their history and their future in our region”, said UWindsor president Alan Wildeman. “The Seven Teachings guide the ancestral inhabitants of this land, and they resonate with the aspirations of a university. I thank everyone who helped make Turtle Island Walk a reality.” Windsor Star | UWindsor