Top Ten

September 26, 2019

ON universities, colleges partner to study postsecondary student transportation usage

Ten universities and colleges in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas have partnered with Metrolinx and the City of Toronto to conduct a three-year study investigating how postsecondary students use transportation. Expanding upon a previous study from 2015, lead researcher Raktim Mitra says the study will help area universities and colleges understand the impact of variances and challenges in students’ academic performance, and allow urban planners to factor student habits into their decisions. “Through these partnerships, together we're trying to identify key problems and trying to promote a debate around this important issue,” concludes Mitra. CBC | Hamilton Spectator (ON)

Trent report on Subway chicken makes headlines again as restaurant goes to court

Trent University’s report that Subway chicken sandwiches contain only 50% chicken DNA has made headlines again as the restaurant chain’s lawsuit against CBC is being heard in court. In 2017, a broadcaster for CBC’s Marketplace program asked Trent to analyze the chicken content of Subway sandwiches, then had a reviewer from University of Guelph validate the results, reports the Times Colonist. While Subway claims the $210M suit against CBC is attempting to “set the record straight, not silence the broadcaster,” CBC argues that the company is attempting to prevent the broadcaster from “covering matters of public interest.” Times Colonist reports that there is a separate lawsuit against Trent for its role in the report. Times Colonist (ON)

Sustainable design must consider more than environmental sustainability: Rantisi, Guay, Kerrigan

While the new Université de Montréal campus in Outremont has been praised for its concept and sustainable design, Concordia University professor Norma Rantisi, UQAM PhD student Emanuel Guay, and McGill University PhD student Danielle Kerrigan focus on the question of “what kind of sustainability is being promoted” by the new campus. “While beautification and revitalization may have localized environmental benefits,” the authors note, “the project is spurring on gentrification pressures in adjacent neighbourhoods, notably in Parc-Extension, a predominantly low-income, minority neighbourhood.” In order to fulfill the goal of sustainable development, the authors call on the city, province, and university to engage in activities such as investing in social and student housing, enforcing rent control, and protecting local businesses. Montréal Gazette (QC)

UCalgary partners with city to reclaim alleyways for commercial, cultural uses

The University of Calgary’s School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape (SALP) has partnered with the Calgary Downtown Association (CDA) to launch the Green Alley Project, a research initiative that aims to transform downtown alleyways into places of beauty, creativity, and value. Garnering more than 500 visitors, the first installation of the project explored how alleys could restore natural storm water processes to reduce the risk of flooding and become attractive avenues for commercial and cultural functions. “This pilot initiative presents just a first step for how enhanced infrastructure, urban furniture, and navigation cues can come together to develop scalable high-quality urban experiences in Calgary’s downtown core,” says SAPL Dean John Brown. UCalgary (AB)

Concordia partners with creative centre Zú, supports entrepreneurs in entertainment

Concordia University has partnered with Zú, a government-funded creative centre, to support entrepreneurs in the entertainment sector. To begin the partnership, Jean-Claude Bustros, chair of Concordia’s Mel Hppenheim School of Cinema, will begin a residency as a researcher-creator at Zú’s newly renovated location in Montréal this October. With Zú, Bustos will assist creative entrepreneurs by facilitating access to resources necessary for the development of new creative startups. “At Concordia, we pride ourselves on bringing new ideas and rigorous research to our endeavours and this aligns perfectly with Zú’s approach to stimulate creativity,” says Concordia’s Interim President Graham Carr. Concordia (QC)

Western, Alternatives Media partner to offer students experience in environmental journalism

Western University has entered a five-year partnership with Alternatives Media to offer students a chance to engage in environment-based reporting and storytelling. The environmental journalism company will offer students from Western’s Centre for Environment and Sustainability the opportunity to staff a local Alternatives Journal editorial office to provide content for the print and digital outlets. “These students gain valuable skills in environmental journalism and, more importantly, develop an expertise in either a topic, an industry or a type of environmental management,” explains Western’s Centre for Environment and Sustainability Acting Director Stephan Vachon. Western (ON)

Seneca partners with TFI to create cybersecurity program, address “evolving threats”

Seneca College has partnered with Toronto Finance International (TFI) to create a new Cybersecurity and Threat Management graduate certificate program. According to a Seneca release, “the 8-month program will graduate a pool of skilled work-ready cybersecurity professionals to address the increasing number and complexity of cyber challenges companies are facing today and into the future.” The program, which will be one of the first offered at Seneca’s new Downtown location, will also be available at the school’s Newnham Campus. “Cybersecurity is increasingly at the top of the agenda for organizations across the country,” said TIF President Jennifer Reynolds. “A pool of skilled talent is critical to mitigating business disruption caused by these evolving threats.” Seneca (ON)

MUN ceremony celebrates donation of $20M Johnson Geo Centre

Memorial University held a ceremony on Tuesday to celebrate the gifting of the Johnson Geo Centre from the Johnson Family Foundation to the university. Marking the largest single donation in MUN’s history, the centre is a geological interpretation hub with a mission to “educate and inform the public on the importance of Newfoundland and Labrador’s geology, and to foster curiosity in science and the world around them,” according to the centre’s website. The donation, which includes the centre and associated lands, has an estimated value of $20M. CBC | Johnson Geo Centre (NL)

Québec universities sign climate emergency declaration, commit to social action to fight climate change

Ten Québec universities have signed a climate emergency declaration acknowledging their recognition of the need for social action to combat climate change. By signing the declaration, the universities have committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 (or 2050 at the latest), mobilizing more resources for action-oriented research addressing climate change, and increasing access to environmental and sustainable education programs on campus and in communities. With the signing of the declaration, the universities join the ranks of 8,411 institutions on six continents who have also taken the pledge, an initiative launched by the Second Life Alliance for Education Sustainability Leadership and the UN’s environmental Youth and Education Alliance. UQuébec | UQAM (QC)

Getting serious about anti-oppressive practices in the classroom: Paradkar

“The right to an education free of oppression should be a human right,” states Shree Paradkar. The author notes, however, that with the increasing demands of larger class sizes and fewer institutional supports, educators may have difficulty in employing anti-oppressive practices that challenge racism, especially if they themselves are un- or ill-informed on such topics. According to Paradkar, institutions can help instructors lead classes in less oppressive ways by engaging in activities like: training teachers in culturally relevant teaching practices that encourage critical consciousness, mandating anti-racism training, and making anti-racism and community knowledge a required skill for performance reviews. The Star (ON)