Top Ten

February 1, 2019

Citing lack of jobs, CBU international students turn to local soup kitchen

A lack of jobs in Sydney, Nova Scotia has led a number of Cape Breton University international students to turn to a local soup kitchen for food. “We see quite a bit,” said Loaves and Fishes general manager Marco Amati. “In certain days we see about 18 to 20 that come in to eat.” Amati explained that the trend started in September, which is when CBC reports that there was a large spike in international enrolments at CBU. The students explained that they were having difficulty finding part-time work. “If I could find a part-time I would be happy,” explained one student. Amati stated that some of the international students have been returning to volunteer at the soup kitchen out of gratitude. CBC (NS)

SSHRC invests $141M in social science and humanities research across Canada

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada has announced $141M for nearly 3,000 scholars across the country. “Social sciences and humanities research is at the heart of understanding the challenges and opportunities facing our communities and our people,” said Canada Minister of Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan. “Nurturing young talent in these disciplines is one of the best ways to build a healthier, stronger and more prosperous Canada.” SSHRC reports that 79 universities will benefit from the funds. SSHRC (National)

Meeting Gen Z halfway begins with busting stereotypes: Mintz

Pernicious stereotypes about Generation Z students as spoiled, coddled, or overprotected are not likely to go away, writes Steven Mintz, so a productive response to those stereotypes can begin by acknowledging the distinct demographic features that define this group. The author points out that Gen Z students are more racially, economically, and socially diverse than their forbearers; more likely to attend multiple institutions throughout their academic careers; focused heavily on discourses of mental health; and tending to view post-secondary education as a tool for career development rather than a space to develop a philosophy of life in the liberal tradition. Mintz then proposes some pedagogical and social approaches to meet Gen Z’s unique perspective. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Lethbridge College acquires priceless resource from Agri-Food Canada

Lethbridge College has acquired 110 soil monoliths from the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Lethbridge Research Station. A release states that the monoliths—one-metre long cross-sections of soil from a variety of regions—are valued at approximately $200K, but Lethbridge instructors consider them priceless. “They have practicality, which ties in beautifully with the educational goals of the college, which is presenting the strong theory, the science and the physical learning environment so that we can actually help in the real world,” said Agriculture and Environmental Sciences instructor Edith Olson. Lethbridge adds that the collection probably dates to the 1950s and 60s, but the details of its origins remain a mystery. Lethbridge|Lethbridge Herald (AB)

McGill delays decision on Redmen nickname

McGill University Principal Suzanne Fortier stated that the university needs more time to make a decision about its sports teams’controversial nickname. The Montreal Gazette reports that school officials had initially promised to vote on whether McGill should change its name from the Redmen by January, but deep divisions between students and alumni have delayed the process. According to the Gazette, some alumni have threatened to never donate to McGill again if the university goes ahead with the name change. In areferendumlast November, students voted overwhelmingly in favour of abolishing the nickname because of its derogatory connotations against Indigenous people. Montreal Gazette |La Presse |CBC (QC)

Ryerson freezes funding for student union following allegations of fiscal mismanagement

CBC reports that Ryerson University will freeze funding to the Ryerson Student Union, pending a forensic audit of a $250K credit card bill and allegations of fiscal malfeasance. “While the university has no authority to conduct an independent investigation into RSU finances, it is the university's view that the RSU must comply with its bylaws, policies, and the law,” read a statement from Ryerson. Senior administrators met with the RSU’s Board of Directors this week to discuss the allegations, and the school has also asked the RSU to negotiate new terms and conditions of their current transfer payment agreement. CBC 

UQTR launches new biochemist stream for plant-based drugs

The Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières has announced that it is launching a new stream in its biochemistry and biotechnology bachelor’s degree program that will focus on drugs produced by plants. The university will enable aspiring biochemists to obtain specialized training on drugs such as cannabinoids, morphine, and opium, which will meet the high demand for skilled labour in the area. The new program stream will be launched in Fall 2019. UQTR (QC)

International students need better supports for sexual assault: Immigrant services group

MOSAIC, a Vancouver-based immigrant services group, says that international students are more vulnerable to sexual assault than their domestic peers. “[Students] might come from a cultural background where maybe the behaviour feels normal. Maybe you felt that you were at fault, you might think that no one will believe you if you had a negative experience with authorities,” MOSAIC CEO Olga Stachova told CBC. Maham Kamal Khanum, a Pakistani student at the University of British Columbia, added that international students might come from cultural contexts that frown upon speaking up about sexual assault. According to CBC, MOSAIC has implemented plans to educate international students about their rights and available supports. CBC (BC)

Queen’s to create a home for equity and diversity clubs on campus

Queen’s University has announced that it will be opening a new space for equity and diversity clubs on campus this spring. The property, known by the community as the Yellow Cottage, “will provide a centralized hub for social justice activities open to all students,” said Queen’s Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion) Teri Shearer. “This shared space will help nurture conversation and collaboration between students and student groups, serve as a centre for peer mentoring, education, and workshops, and promote equity and diversity within our campus community.” The space will include social and work areas, a kitchen, and rooms for equity-promoting groups. QueensU (ON)