Top Ten

August 3, 2018

Universities must protect both free speech and inclusive freedom: WLU president

Universities have a key role to play not only in protecting free speech, but in promoting “better speech,” writes Wilfrid Laurier President Deborah MacLatchy​. The author writes that “it is not the role of a university to shelter students from intellectual discomfort,” yet adds that “in the face of language that threatens the humanity of our students, staff or faculty, we must continually promote better speech. This means questioning and challenging opinions with sound arguments and evidence.” For this reason, MacLatchy defends the use of alternative programming, inviting speakers to express opposing views, and/or engaging in non-violent protests as strategies that can help create an environment of inclusive freedom on campus. Globe and Mail | CBC

UNB Fredericton holds ribbon-cutting for new Kinesiology Building

The University of New Brunswick has officially opened the new Kinesiology Building at its Fredericton campus. A UNB release states that the facility will house a research cluster that focuses on health, wellness, physical fitness, and health promotion. “In addition to the many initiatives and programs at UNB focused on preventative healthcare, this expansion has further positioned us to be a wellness leader in our region,” said UNB President Eddy Campbell. UNB adds that the 60,000 square-foot, $36M building was funded in part by a $25M investment from the federal and provincial governments. NB | UNB

A look into programs that support “non-traditional” students

Universities across Canada are responding to the rise of “non-traditional” student in their enrolments through new and innovative programs, writes Wendy Glauser. The author notes that these programs often go against the grain of a university system that was not historically built to support students from such a multitude of backgrounds. However, Glauser chronicles the efforts of Dalhousie University, Queen’s University, Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Calgary, and Ryerson University in offering a number of programs that have already changed the lives of many non-traditional students. University Affairs

UTM announces new building for campus police, hospitality & retail operations

The University of Toronto Mississauga has announced plans for a new building that will house Campus Police and Hospitality & Retail Operations. “The building will be visible as soon as people arrive at the bus stop outside the Kaneff Centre and will provide a warm welcome to UTM,” stated Stepanka Elias, Director of Operations, Design and Construction in UTM’s Department of Facilities, Management & Planning. The project aims to be completed by Spring 2019. Plans are currently under review by the City of Mississauga. UTM

CCNB to launch food processing quality control program

Le Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick has announced a new program in quality control for food processing. According to a CCNB release, the 36-week program will provide training in the laws, regulations, and standards of the food processing industry, with a focus on microbiology and food science. The program also includes a work placement. Alain Boisvert, Director of the CCNB Campus de la Acadian Peninsula, stated that the program will meet a demand for food quality specialists throughout the province. CCNB adds that graduates of the program will also be qualified to oversee staff activities. CCNB

Canadore partners with Liver Care Canada for Hep C prevention

Canadore College has partnered with Liver Care Canada to create a Liver Centre of Excellence, reports BayToday. In addition to providing early Hepatitis C screening for at-risk populations in North Bay and its surrounding communities, the Centre will integrate seniors’ and community care with teaching, experiential skills training, and applied research. “The move allows us to offer effective management of any liver disease for the people of the Nipissing District, similar to the impact we’ve had across the province,” said LCC President and CEO Karim Ragheb. The partnership will also include public awareness initiatives, BayToday adds. BayToday

UBC student spearheads mental health initiative

A UBC Thunderbirds Mental Health Hub has been started up by Thunderbirds hockey player Mikayla Ogrodniczuk. According to the Vancouver Sun, Ogrodniczuk envisioned the online resource for university athletes in the wake of teammate Laura Taylor’s suicide in 2016. “As an athlete, it’s never something you think about — your teammate will be sitting in her stall beside you one day and then not the next,” said Ogrodniczuk, adding that the stigma around mental health persists for student athletes, and that the Hub, which includes links to stories by Olympic-level athletes such as Ian Thorpe, encourages student athletes to treat mental health issues as they would physical injuries. Vancouver Sun

UCalgary hosts training on workplace cannabis use

The University of Calgary will be hosting Cannabis at Work, an Alberta company that will help teach employers how to manage recreational and medical marijuana use, CBC reports. The company will hold courses on how to tell if a worker is impaired, as well as the implications of drug testing. “It's to help mitigate the risks for companies, if they have a medical cannabis user, or if they run into recreational cannabis users in the workplace,” said Karen Stokke, Learning Manager for Cannabis at Work. A recent survey by the Conference Board of Canada has reportedly found that more than half of companies are concerned about the implications of cannabis legislation at the workplace. CBC

Innovative classroom symposium sees participants redesign traditional learning spaces

A recent symposium held in the US invited participants to redesign traditional learning spaces such as the lecture hall, medium and large classrooms, and the computer lab, reports Campus Technology. Many of the designs prioritized interactive spaces, easy access to students, and user-friendly technology. “This event presented a unique opportunity to observe the design process, as end users planned their ideal teaching environments,” stated Larry Darling, Principal Learning Spaces Engineer. “This type of access challenged my paradigm of what defines a successful learning space.” The symposium participants noted that bringing together instructors from different disciplines allowed them to create classrooms that supported a wider variety of needs. Campus Technology

Survey finds that stress hurts grades more than drinking, lack of sleep

A 2017 study out of the US has found that stress hurts students’ grades more than drinking, physical illness, and loss of sleep, reports The State. Susan Wood, a researcher who conducts studies on stress, said that stress inhibits access to stored memories, which can make it harder to remember test answers, regardless of whether a student has studied or not. Graduate student Annie Hildrup added that overcommitting to extracurricular activities can also aggravate stress. “Exercise is super important — to just get away from campus for an hour and not have to think about it,” she said. The State (Toronto Star)