Top Ten

June 24, 2020

SFU, BC approve multi-million dollar First Peoples’ Gathering House

Simon Fraser University will create the First Peoples’ Gathering House, a ceremonial space for the SFU community to celebrate Indigenous knowledge and culture. Opening on SFU’s Burnaby campus in 2023, the project will see a 1,346 square-metre gathering house constructed with a large ceremonial hall for hosting special events of up to 300 attendees. The project is jointly funded by the Government of British Columbia ($6.4M) and SFU ($8.6M). “This is what reconciliation is all about,” said BC Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark. “We are […] building safe spaces so that Indigenous students, faculty and staff know that they can achieve their goals and aspirations at SFU and in every public post-secondary institution across B.C.” SFU | CBC (BC)

NSCAD to launch Institute for the Study of Canadian Slavery

NSCAD University has announced plans to set up an institute for the study of slavery in Canada, headed by Charmaine Nelson, the recently appointed Canada Research Chair in transatlantic Black diasporic art and community engagement. The Institute for the Study of Canadian Slavery will allow scholars to work alongside cultural practitioners to unearth and respond to relatively unknown histories and contribute to the growing narrative of contemporary Black culture. “I am very pleased that creating this infrastructure with NSCAD will provide a one-of-a-kind destination with the space, resources, and community for scholars, artists and cultural producers to create work related to Canadian Slavery and its legacies,” said Nelson. NSCAD (NS)

Massey accepts Wente’s resignation from Quadrangle Society

The University of Toronto’s Massey College has accepted a letter of resignation from Margaret Wente following public outcry and the resignation of several staff members due to her appointment as a senior fellow of the Quadrangle society. "The College has now received a letter from Ms. Wente stating that she does not wish to be a member of the Quadrangle Society, that the accusations against her are false and outrageous and that her record speaks for itself," the governing board said in a statement. Massey also indicated that they intend to rethink how the college "interacts and operates in order to eliminate any impediments to an environment that is completely free from anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism, anti-gender identity views and discrimination of any kind." Massey | CBC (ON)

Fleming, Trent sign articulation agreement to create pathways for education students

Fleming College and Trent University have signed an articulation agreement that will create pathways for education students. The agreement will allow graduates from Fleming’s Educational Support diploma and Early Childhood Education diploma to seamlessly transition to Trent’s Teacher Education Stream degree program. “Graduates who choose to continue their education at Trent will be able to apply the skills they’ve learned at both institutions in Ontario classrooms,” said Fleming President Maureen Adamson. “This type of partnership contributes to Fleming College’s vision of making the Greater Peterborough Area a destination of choice by building economic prosperity and social benefits.” Fleming (ON)

UWinnipeg increases tuition amid substantial revenue losses

The University of Winnipeg has announced that they will increase tuition by an average of 3.75% this Fall, amounting to approximately $118 in additional costs for the average student. In a statement, UWinnipeg explains that the budget reflects the 3.7% reduction to their operating grant, and that the Government of Manitoba will allow the university to apply to recoup the funds if they can demonstrate how the funding will align with labour market needs. UWinnipeg also notes that they are expecting "substantial revenue losses" from international student numbers, housing, parking, printing, and recreational services." UWinnipeg | CBC (MB)

Niagara to establish Beverage Centre of Excellence

Niagara College’s Research & Innovation division has received over $1M in federal funding to expand applied research in the growing beverage sector. The funds will allow Niagara's Canadian Food & Wine Institute (CFWI) Innovation Centre to established the Beverage Centre of Excellence, as well as to expand resources to focus on feasibility studies, deliver consumer acceptance and quality assurance, and conduct research test-runs through a small-batch, scale-up beverage processing laboratory. “Our focus is on combining economic and workforce development aspects of our programs,” said CFWI Innovation Centre manager Lyndon Ashton. “This grant lets us hire students as research assistants, who work alongside highly-qualified experts and industry partners.” Niagara (ON)

Western creates leadership role, advisory council to guide anti-racism efforts

Western University has announced the creation of a new leadership role and advisory council that will guide efforts to develop anti-racism efforts on campus and beyond. These developments are part of Western’s response to the final report of the Anti-Racism Working Group, an initiative launched last fall in response to incidents of anti-Black racism on campus. The new special advisor will lead the establishment of an advisory council, which will work closely with other equity offices on campus to advise the university on ongoing anti-racist, equity, diversity, and inclusion work. Western (ON)

UCalgary students issued academic misconduct notices push back

Fourteen students enrolled in a third-year geology course at the University of Calgary have been given academic misconduct notices after sharing tutorial answers in an online chatroom. According to UCalgary, some students in the class had been sharing answers for weekly tutorial assignments, meant to be completed individually, through an online Discord server. Some students involved in the matter are arguing that the university’s response is harsh, and that the actions taken by the students were a product of miscommunication. In its statement, UCalgary said it is important to maintain “the integrity of the institution,” and “holding students accountable for behaviours is an important part of the discipline process. CBC | Calgary Herald (AB)

Queen’s students launch petition to change law building name

Queen’s University students have created a petition to change the name of Sir John A Macdonald Hall, which houses the law department, to Patricia Monture Hall. The proposed name would recognize Queen’s alumna and Mohawk lawyer Patricia Monture, who the petition explains made an influential argument in 1988 that enabled Indigenous people to hold an eagle feather rather than swear on a bible in a court of law. Queen’s law school Dean Mark Walters released a public statement acknowledging Macdonald’s role in advancing harmful policies, but deferring the authority to change the building’s name to the Board of Trustees. Walters further detailed plans to form a committee to investigate reforms to address structural racism in law and legal education. Kingstonist | Queen’s (ON)

Confederation announces program deferrals, suspensions due to COVID-19

Confederation College has announced that several of their programs will be deferred or suspended due to challenges arising from COVID-19. The college’s Aerospace Manufacturing Engineering Technician program and the Embedded Systems (international) program will be deferred until January 2021 due to pandemic-related restrictions, while the Digital Media Production and Tourism – Travel and Eco-Adventure program intakes have been suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions and low program enrolment. “We know this news will be disappointing for our confirmed students,” said Confederation Vice President, Academic Neil Cooke. “It is disappointing for us as well; however, with their academic success in mind, the decision was necessary to ensure our students continue to receive the exceptional quality of education for which we are known.” Confederation (ON)