Top Ten

August 17, 2021

Postsecondary institutions implement mandatory vaccinations, continue discussion

Several more postsecondary institutions announced their mandatory vaccine policies recently. In Ontario, Georgian College, St Clair College, and Brock University have joined the growing number of postsecondary institutions mandating vaccines for those who will be on campus. In Saskatchewan, the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina have announced that staff and students who will be on campus must be vaccinated, or take COVID-19 tests or rapid antigen tests. The Times Colonist reports that other postsecondary institutions across Canada are continuing to discuss implementing mandatory vaccinations, with the president of the University of Victoria and the president of University of British Columbia voicing support for it, and some University of Winnipeg faculty members requesting that administrators implement mandatory vaccinations. Georgian | Times Colonist | St. Clair | Saskatoon StarPhoenix (National)

Fanshawe, Atlantic institutions plan to focus on education rather than mandatory vaccination

Several postsecondary institutions have announced plans to strongly recommend COVID-19 vaccinations rather than outright mandating them. The University of New Brunswick, St Thomas University, and Mount Allison University will not be mandating vaccines. UNB and STU will be focusing on education to encourage vaccination, and UNB and MtA will have vaccination clinics on or near campus. Quebec postsecondary institutions have not made announcements that vaccines will be required, and McGill University issued a statement to its community stating that the province’s “vaccine passport will not impact your ability to engage in teaching and research activities at McGill” since education is considered an essential service. Fanshawe College has also announced that it will not be mandating vaccines for those who come on campus, but will strongly encourage it. CBC (Fanshawe) | CBC (QC) | CBC (UNB, MtA, STU) (National)

Students express increasing interest in history courses, diverse perspectives

After several years of dropping enrolment in history courses, recent social movements and events have driven postsecondary students across Canada to express a renewed interest in history courses, particularly those focused on marginalized perspectives. President of the University of Toronto History Students’ Association Fiona McCrow explained that students are more interested in learning where issues in society came from, and that history students at U of T are challenging “the traditional narrative of stories being told from a very particular and very limited perspective.” At the University of Victoria, students are “filled up with passion” and coming to class with skepticism for the history they’ve learned in the past, said history professor John Lutz. The University of Alberta’s Indigenous Canada MOOC has also had significant enrolment increases, and its academic lead, Paul Gareau, hopes that the information students learn will inspire them to pursue further related studies at their postsecondary institutions. CBC (National)

Bishop’s to receive $5.3M from QC, Canada for pool renovation

Bishop’s University will be receiving $5.3M from the Government of Quebec and the Government of Canada to fund the renovation of the indoor pool located on campus at the John H Price Sports and Recreation Centre. The renovations include re-tiling the area, removing the tower diving board, adding slides and stairs, and improving accessibility in the family and gender-neutral locker room. “Our ambition with this project is to transform our swimming pool into an open and welcoming space with transparent connections to the campus,” said Bishop’s Principal Michael Goldbloom. Bishop’s (QC)

Ryerson could benefit in four key ways from rebranding itself: Opinion

As Ryerson University’s task force considers how it will address Egerton Ryerson’s legacy, James Dunne from the CBC has detailed some of the ways that Ryerson might benefit from rebranding itself. The author explains that many community members do not feel that the institution is well represented by its namesake, and that students and staff are calling for change to align the name with the institution’s work. Dunne identifies four key ways that Ryerson may benefit: reputation, donations, marketing, and new partnerships. Dunne argues that a name change would be a step toward reconciliation, would protect Ryerson’s reputation and relevance, and could have financial benefits since donors want to see institutions exemplifying equity, diversity, and inclusion. CBC (ON)

SFU biology department announces mandatory masks, vaccines

Simon Fraser University’s biology department has announced that it is mandating masks in all classrooms and lecture halls, and that vaccines will be required for entrance to faculty offices and labs. An email from SFU Chair of Biological Sciences Dr Isabelle Côté states that staff can refuse unvaccinated people entrance to biology offices and labs. “It’s absolutely essential that, very quickly, we mandate masks regardless of vaccination status and we mandate compulsory vaccination for everyone who can get vaccinated,” said Côté. These measures, which are effective immediately, exceed SFU’s current COVID-19 safety measures. CTV News says that Côté has been praised by students and staff, but has also heard “grumblings from school administration.” CTV News (BC)

Laurentian releases draft framework for members whose employment was altered, terminated

Laurentian University has released a draft framework for members of the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) and the Laurentian University Staff Union (LUSU) whose employment was altered or terminated. The framework covers the terms and conditions for severance pay, health benefits, and compensation. LUSU President Tom Fenske explained that the method includes an equation that claimants can use to calculate what Laurentian owes them, but that claimants likely will only get a percentage of the sum. “Our members are in the same pool as banks that are owed substantially more money,” said Fenske. “And so they’re all going to be treated the same. It’s going to be owed collectively.” Negotiations are ongoing and the framework has yet to be finalized. CBC (ON)

Strategies for applying for jobs using one-way video interviews: Opinion

Those applying for jobs using a one-way video interview can use a variety of techniques to make their response videos more attractive, writes Joseph Barber. The author suggests that applicants figure out how many retakes are allowed and how long they have to answer each question. Barber explains that the applicant’s sound, lighting, background, and ambiance is part of their first impression, and suggests that applicants make any necessary changes to their environment. The author encourages applicants to visualize the hiring team to make up for the lack of human feedback, and to bring positive energy and excitement to the interview. Finally, Barber suggests that applicants take the time to thoroughly prepare in order to be able to provide answers to questions within the time limit. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

BC universities join forces to form BCUSA

Several British Columbia universities have announced that they are joining together to form the BC Universities Sport Alliance (BCUSA). The new alliance will push for the Government of British Columbia to consider their athletes as high-performance competitors with the same level of COVID-19 restrictions as Olympic-calibre athletes. The BCUSA will also advocate for the Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) and sport host funding, contribute to safe sport movements, and issue recommendations on policy and coaching development as well as potentially foster intra-provincial sport collaboration. Institutions involved include the University of British Columbia (Vancouver and Okanagan), University of Victoria, University of the Fraser Valley, the University of Northern British Columbia, Thompson Rivers University, and Trinity Western University. The Province (BC)

Cambrian to launch cybersecurity program

Cambrian College has announced that it will be launching a cybersecurity graduate certificate program next January. The two-semester program will prepare students to protect computers, applications, and networks through training in areas such as infrastructure configuration, information systems security, risk management and policy, and ethics and law. “The COVID-19 global pandemic has made it very clear how much we all rely on computers and digital technology, in our schools, workplaces, communities and homes,” said Cambrian VP Academic Dr Paula Gouveia. “Now more than ever, the world needs highly skilled experts in cybersecurity.” Cambrian (ON)