Top Ten

August 13, 2020

BUSU president resigns after reinstatement

Olusola Akintola, the recently reinstated President of the Brandon University Student Union, has resigned from his position. Akintola won the BUSU re-election earlier this year, but his win was not immediately ratified due to accusations of intimidation that led to an internal investigation. Akintola filed a lawsuit against the union in May to regain his position and his win was ratified as of July 13th after the student union’s internal disciplinary board determined the accusations could not be substantiated. "I needed to move on. I just wanted to fight to get my name back,” said Akintola. “I didn’t like the way I was being treated and I fought to get it back." Brandon Sun (MB)

AB, BC postsecondary institutions introduce mandatory masking policies on campus

Several postsecondary institutions in Alberta and British Columbia have announced that they will require non-medical masks on campus. Effective Monday, Simon Fraser University has indicated that masks must be worn in indoor public spaces – including building entryways and atriums, hallways, stairwells, washrooms, and study areas – at each of its campuses. The University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College have both mandated the use of face masks or other coverings, and CBC reports that the University of Alberta, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and MacEwan University have announced measures that include mandatory masking and physical distancing as they prepare for the Fall. CBC (BC) | CBC (Edmonton) | Lethbridge News Now (AB)

Four key elements of a successful online classroom

“Working from childhood bedrooms, we struggled to manage the many unfamiliar facets of remote learning,” write students Zoe Phillips, Amber Galvano, and Ellie Maly. “What could we learn from a virtual classroom that we could not find in a free online lecture series?” The authors describe their experience studying a course from home that was intended to be delivered while travelling abroad and identify the four elements that make their experience successful. Specifically, they state that the course was divided according to clear themes, used online apps to connect the students with other students around the world, adapted tests to formats that suited the digital space, and included a single, collaborative final project that blended student autonomy with accountability. “Rather than focusing on what we could no longer do,” the students conclude, “we learned to appreciate the possibilities of what we could still accomplish.” Inside Higher Ed (International)

Aurora opens on-campus housing to students

Aurora College has opened on-campus housing to students at its Yellowknife, Fort Smith, and Inuvik campuses, despite the fact that the semester will be mainly online. The residences will provide students with better access to technological support. "While our fall semester will be mainly online, Aurora College student housing provides a place to stay where students can focus on their studies," Aurora stated. While the college did not share enrolment information with CBC, Aurora expects to see students from across the territory return to campus this Fall and indicated that it will follow physical distancing rules set by the chief public health officer. CBC (NT)

University of Manitoba to sell president's residence in break with tradition

The University of Manitoba is putting its president’s residence up for sale this week. "As the University of Manitoba transitioned from one president to another in 2020, it seemed like a good time to sell the property,” said UManitoba Associate Vice-President of Strategic Communications and Government Relations John Danakas. “Entertaining is a lot easier and economical on campus. There’s also the challenge of actually living in a residence that you’re holding these functions at. If you have a family and so on, there can be challenges." The Winnipeg Free Press states that UManitoba’s new President Michael Benarroch and future presidents must make their own living arrangements. The sale is expected to save UManitoba approximately $60K a year in maintenance costs. Winnipeg Free Press (MB)

New alliance chaired by NAIT Industry Solutions maximizes innovation, reduces plastic waste in AB

A collaboration between academia, government, and industry is seeking to reduce plastic waste and emissions in Alberta. The new alliance, the Plastics Alliance of Alberta, will be chaired by NAIT Industry Solutions and co-chaired by the Recycling Council of Alberta. Its 20 founding member organizations will work together to encourage a plastics circular economy and ensure that the sector creates products that can be reused and recycled, generates no waste or emissions, and restores ecosystems harmed by hard-to-recycle or single-use products. NAIT (AB)

Durham launches new micro-credential, certificate programming

Durham College’s Centre for Professional and Part-time Learning has launched four micro-credential and three certificate programs for the Fall 2020 term. The seven programs were developed to meet the demands of rapidly growing sectors. The micro-credentials are focused on Artificial Intelligence Privacy and Compliance, Medical Terminology, and Veterinary Office Assistant Specialization, as well as a two-micro-credential program focused on Jobsite Readiness. The certificate programs include Coding Essentials, Construction Management, and Veterinary Office Assistant. Durham (ON)

York Osgoode Clinic partners with IIROC to provide services to community

The Investor Protection Clinic at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School has partnered with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) to help the community access free legal services for vulnerable retail investors. The partnership will see IIROC provide IPC with major funding annually over the next five years to enable the Clinic to create value through file work and investor education. The clinic is staffed with Osgoode students who work with supervising lawyers from law firms across Ontario to provide legal assistance to the community. “Support from generous partners such as IIROC is absolutely critical to the Osgoode Investor Protection Clinic's success," said Professor Poonam Puri, Founding Director of the Clinic. "Our partners help to ensure that the Clinic is able to provide professional and effective services to harmed investors.” Newswire (ON)

New training programs help job seekers reskill

Two new training projects are being launched at McMaster University to help job seekers reskill and prepare for careers in the automotive and manufacturing sectors. The projects, made possible by a $1.3M investment by the Ontario government, include a training program to help unemployed or underutilized employees learn new manufacturing technologies as well as a work placement program for postsecondary students and graduates that will provide practical experience in the fields. "We know that employers are looking for job-ready people to help fill vacancies in high-demand sectors. These programs are designed to help people bridge the gap between the skills they have, and the skills employers need," said Donna Skelly, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and MPP for Flamborough-Glanbrook. ON (ON)

Carleton criminology institute launches bursaries, withdraws police internships to drive change

Carleton University’s Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice (ICCJ) has issued a statement describing changes that the institute will be undertaking in order to address issues related to settler colonialism, white supremacy, and systemic racism. The changes include the launch of new student bursaries for Black, Indigenous, and Racialized students working in criminology; new anti-racism education and curriculum development; the creation of a faculty committee to pursue anti-racism and anti-colonialism initiatives; and the cancellation of all placement positions with police and prison authorities. In the Ottawa Citizen, Political commentator Randall Denley criticized the institute’s actions, drawing particular focus to the potential impact that cancelling internships could have on student work opportunities. ICCJ Statement | Ottawa Citizen (ON)