Top Ten

April 26, 2022

Teach international students about Indigenous issues to encourage reconciliation: Opinion

International students need to be educated on Indigenous issues, writes Isaac Garcia-Sitton, executive director of International Student Enrolment, Education & Inclusion at Ryerson University. Garcia-Sitton argues that while domestic students may learn about Indigenous issues during their K-12 education as part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action, international students do not have access to this education. Since many choose to live their lives in Canada and become landed immigrants, they need support in learning about topics such as residential schools and Indigenous rights so that they can play a role in healing the community. Garcia-Sitton says that since Canada is the third most popular destination for international students, postsecondary institutions should reflect on how they can educate these students to support reconciliation. The Star (Editorial)

UBC anti-racism task force releases report with 54 recommendations

The University of British Columbia has released the Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence Task force’s report, which contains 54 recommendations for addressing systemic racism and encouraging inclusivity. The recommendations reveal racism affecting Indigenous and racialized individuals across UBC units. Six major themes emerged from the individual committee reports, including a need to provide anti-racist education for all individuals at UBC, recruit and retain BIPOC faculty and staff, develop a complaints system, establish and routinize anti-racism work, create a sense of belonging for BIPOC community members, and address BIPOC workload inequities. “As a university with campuses on Musqueam and Syilx territory, and as an institution of Canadian society, UBC is committed to dismantling mechanisms of oppression that still exist in our systems and to make the university more diverse and inclusive,” said UBC President Dr Santa J Ono. CBC | UBC (BC)

OSCC, UCalgary launch Iiyikinaami program to train Siksika nursing students

Old Sun Community College and the University of Calgary have collaborated to launch the Bachelor of Nursing – Indigenous Community Route (Siksika Pilot). The program, called Iiyikinaami, will give Siksika students the opportunity to gain a Bachelor of Nursing in a blended format. Students will be able to study in an inclusive and culturally safe environment, and will receive support as they overcome any barriers to their education. “Having nurses with degrees can make a monumental difference in the sense that these nurses are able to hold leadership positions and can enact change for better health-care outcomes for Indigenous people,” said UCalgary Faculty of Nursing director of Indigenous Initiatives Louise Baptiste. UCalgary (AB)

Faculty union strike at USainte-Anne ends after agreement to go to binding arbitration

The faculty union strike at Université Sainte-Anne has come to an end after the university and faculty union agreed on binding arbitration. The arbitration will resolve the outstanding issues on claims such as workload, monetary issues, and collegiate tenure. USainte-Anne’s classes resumed on Monday, and the institution’s board of governors opted to add an additional week of classes to the winter term. The strike lasted seven weeks, which reportedly makes it Nova Scotia’s longest academic union strike. CBC | CAUT | USainte-Anne (NS)

Selkirk, City of Nelson partner on industrial foodcycler pilot project

Selkirk College and the City of Nelson have partnered to divert organics from the landfill using an industrial foodcycler as part of the Nelson Next Climate Plan. Students in the Professional Cook Training Program will put organic wastes – such as vegetable scraps and bones – in the foodcycler, which mashes and dehydrates it to create a soil amendment that can be used in gardens. The pilot project will determine if this method of recycling food wastes is a viable solution for the commercial sector. “Now these students are seeing the end-product coming out,” said Selkirk project lead David Havemann. “[I]t’s amazing to see the chain go in a different direction. We see the end product, it’s going to go back into the ground and hopefully someone will grow some more vegetables with it.” Selkirk (BC)

Strategies for recognizing and rewarding good collegial practices: Opinion

Good collegial practices can have a positive impact on the postsecondary working environment, writes Rachel Norman, and postsecondary institutions should find a way to recognize and reward them. Norman discusses a variety of approaches used by institutions and groups to measure their collegial practices, such as the University of Stirling’s annual research culture awards, which evaluate qualities such as willingness to share and kindness. Norman says that another approach could include recognition of mentorship and tracking metrics related to the kinds and number of mentorship activities staff participated in with others. “As long as the overall outcome is that good practice is recognised, shared and rewarded, I am convinced that all our research environments will be more enjoyable to work in,” writes Norman. Times Higher Ed (Editorial)

Wolfville considers installing cameras to stop property damage, mischief around Acadia

The town of Wolfville is considering putting up cameras on streets around Acadia University in an effort to stop property damage and mischief. The two-year pilot project would see the installation of 11 cameras on streets where there have previously been problems. Students have expressed concerns about privacy and the lack of consultation with the student body. Acadia Students’ Union president Georgia Saleski said that the university, the town, and students all play parts in responsible socialization, and that people are too focused on catching and stopping students who are acting inappropriately. “We should alternatively flip the script in my opinion and look for, ‘How can we better support students? Where can we give them a safe drinking place?’” said Seleski. CBC (NS)

USask students take action to support supervised consumption site, refugee health clinic

University of Saskatchewan medical students are calling on the Government of Saskatchewan to support Saskatoon’s supervised drug consumption site and Refugee Engagement and Community Health (REACH) clinic. The students have penned an open letter requesting funding for Prairie Harm Reduction to ensure that people have a place to use previously attained drugs under medical supervision, check their drugs, and access sterile equipment. While the province previously denied funding to the clinic, the students pointed to SK’s own data to show that the centres will save both lives and money. USask students have also organized a walk to fundraise for the REACH clinic, which provides health care to new refugees. CBC (1) | CBC (2) (SK)

Graduate students must learn to tell the story of their work: Opinion

Graduate students must learn to articulate their experience in a way that ensures others understand the full range of skills they possess, writes Salvatore Cipriano. Graduate students are usually excellent at describing what they have done and what they have researched, but often lack the skills to communicate how they did that work. The author encourages students to learn how to tell a detailed story that communicates their range of experience by breaking down components of graduate student work. Cipriano recommends that graduate students also connect with their institution’s career services, discuss their non-research work with their peers and faculty mentors, and reflect on what core competencies have been built through their work. Inside Higher Ed (Subscription) (Editorial)

Mysterious origami artist charms Western library staff by leaving origami masterpieces in library

A mysterious visitor using Western University’s libraries has been leaving origami masterpieces for others to find and enjoy. The student started leaving the creations in the music library last semester, and the pieces have been found in locations such as bookshelves and library bins and put on display on a bookshelf. “We assume this is a hobby that a student uses to de-stress while studying in the library, and they might have been studying in the music library and then moved over to Taylor,” said user services manager at Taylor library Crystal Mills. The student’s designs include turtles, dinosaurs, and cranes. “We have a little menagerie of animals now,” said Mills. “It’s very charming, and everybody loves them. We're delighted when we find a new one.” CBC (ON)