Top Ten

December 7, 2017

StFX athletes launch campaign to “stand together” with sex assault survivors after players charged

A group of female athletes at St Francis Xavier University has launched a solidarity campaign with sexual assault survivors after two men’s varsity football players were charged with sexual assault. CBC reports that the campaign is designed to quell any potential backlash that experts say can sometimes arise when allegations are made against “powerful, popular male students on university campuses.” “Sexualized violence is embedded in our culture and in the privilege of patriarchy. There is a sense of entitlement to women's bodies,” said Lucille Harper, executive director of the Antigonish Women's Resource Centre and Sexual Assault Services Association. “These sorts of allegations have historically been met with slut shaming and slut blaming.” CBC

Canadian postsecondary institutions work to better support Indigenous students on campus

Maclean’s highlights the efforts of college and university campuses across Canada in supporting Indigenous students following the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report in 2015. The article touches on changes in the industry, such as increased Indigenous-focused programming, Indigenization plans, and new and improved student supports. “What I am generally seeing across the country is a pretty solid effort by a lot of post-secondary institutions not only to make their campuses more welcoming for Indigenous students but to tackle the challenging question of how to bring in Indigenous perspectives, worldviews and knowledge,” says Ry Moran, inaugural director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. Maclean's

Trent, St George’s partner on direct entry into med, vet school

Trent University has partnered with St George’s University in Grenada, West Indies to provide students with the opportunity to graduate from Trent and qualify for direct entry into St George’s School of Medicine or School of Veterinary Medicine. A Trent release notes that the pathway is the first of its kind with any institution in Ontario. “Challenge the way you think – and in this case about entry into medical or veterinary school,” says David A Ellis, acting dean of Arts and Science, Science at Trent University, and coordinator of the MPS. “North American and Caribbean Medical Schools are less interested in what students’ degree major is, successful entry relies on much more than top grades. This has led to Trent University’s unique MPS.” Trent | St George’s

BrandonU students worried by “horrifying” white nationalist posters found on campus

A number of students at Brandon University have expressed concern after finding posters promoting white supremacy around the school’s campus. Brandon University Students' Union President Nick Brown says that posters promoting racism and hate, like the ones seen recently, have been appearing on campus more frequently since the school year started in September. “A number of students are quite concerned,” he told CBC. “We have the largest number of international students and Indigenous students [the university has ever had] this year.” A spokesperson for BrandonU said the institution is committed to providing a welcoming and supportive environment for all, adding that the university is marking the anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights this week with displays and promotions. CBC | Winnipeg Free Press

Universities need to balance free speech with quality speech

“In an era of information overload, we face the problem that too much information is equivalent to too little,” writes Judith Shapiro, which is why it is crucial for universities to promote quality speech just as much as they promote free speech. The reason universities must do so, the author adds, is because of a phenomenon known as Gresham’s law of information, which claims that a high volume of bad information will drive out good information. This law contradicts the notion that universities should be a “marketplace of ideas” in which all arguments are given equal time and weight, Shapiro adds. For this reason, the author contends that all members of the university community, including the president, must “comment effectively and powerfully” about the importance of promoting quality speech in addition to free speech. Inside Higher Ed

Enrolment of northern students drops after NORTEP closure, says educator

The number of students enrolled in a northern Saskatchewan postsecondary program has dropped as the result of a school closure earlier this year, says a former employee of the Northern Teacher Education Program. In mid-March 2017, the SK Ministry of Advanced Education announced that Northlands College would take over control of NORTEP and that students would “experience minimal changes.” Former NORTEP employee April Chiefcalf, however, says that the transition has not been smooth: “The majority of the employees have lost their jobs. Only one-third of the students have actually transferred over to Northlands and a lot of those students who didn’t transfer over have either withdrawn from school or they have had to relocate to other locations.” The province has said that “recently renewed discussions respecting the establishment of an advisory committee” on the issue and it is expected it will meet in 2018. Regina Leader-Post | CTV News

UCalgary enters Canada-China Alliance for Precision Medicine

The University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine and China’s Sun Yat-sen University are collaborating to create intellectual exchange opportunities for students, faculty, and staff through a new research and development project. A UCalgary release states that the project, called the Canada-China Alliance for Precision Medicine (CCAPM), will help researchers share knowledge and develop medical technologies to improve the quality of life for people with brain disorders in both countries. The first priority will be the development of an artificial brain called “NeuroDarwin” that will be used to predict progression of neurological diseases and optimize their treatment options. The CCAPM will be based in Calgary. UCalgary

Queen's buys St Mary's of the Lake Hospital site

Queen’s University has purchased the abandoned St Mary’s of the Lake Hospital site for $8M. “The university is exploring a number of options for the property, including using it as relief space for administrative units, and to address the current parking challenges on campus,” said Queen’s Vice-principal (Finance and Administartion) Donna Janiec. “Queen's is our partner. We do research with them, we have their students on site and our staff teach their classes,” said Providence Care President Cathy Szabo, who noted that the sale to Queen’s better suited their mission than selling the property to the highest bidder. “So how you work with your partner to live your mission was at the heart of the decision that Providence Care made.” Kingston Whig-Standard

Lakeland introduces evening course to improve accessibility for industry workers

Lakeland College has announced that it will offer evening courses for the 2nd Class power engineering program in an effort to make education more accessible in the region and industry. Students will be able to complete 100 hours of training by attending evening classes, and will learn from experienced 1st Class power engineers. “We're providing workers in our region the opportunity to upgrade from their 3rd Class power engineering certificate to a 2nd Class power engineering certificate, with the tutelage of our experienced instructors,” says Ben Sey, dean of Lakeland’s School of Energy. Lakeland

Some students should move farther away from home to save on university: Brown

“Going away for school will always be more expensive than living at home, but if you do decide to attend university in another city, make sure it’s far away—it may save you money,” says Mark Brown. A recent study by Maclean’s found that people who attend PSE within a 120-km radius of their hometowns spend an average of $47.50 on each return trip home. Yet the cost of such travel accumulates rapidly, as going home each week adds roughly $1.7K to the cost of attending university. In contrast, students who return home twice per academic year spend only $1,130 on average for their travel. Brown adds that typically, these students live 750 km or more away from home. Maclean’s