Top Ten

November 15, 2022

Dal reaches agreement with union, ending strike

CUPE Local 3912 members at Dalhousie University have voted in favour of a new collective agreement, ending their nearly month-long strike. The agreement includes a 23.3% pay raise for part-time academics, a 32.1% raise for teaching assistants, a 44.5% raise for demonstrators and markers, and full payment to members for their Fall 2022 contracts. CUPE 3912 president Cameron Ells stated that increased wages “will make a real, positive change in (the workers’) lives.” In a memo, Dal President Deep Saini stated that “together, we have laid out a shared path towards a more supportive future for part-time and contract academic work at Dalhousie.” UKings | Global News | CBC | CTV (NS)

Dal, York U courses bridge the gap between high school, postsecondary

Jessica Wong of CBC has highlighted the efforts of postsecondary institutions like Dalhousie University and York University to help incoming students transition from high school to postsecondary. Dal designed new courses such as the Introduction to Humanities and Introduction to Social Sciences to engage students and help them build key academic skills such as connecting their study material to the real world. A course at York uses summer modules to teach students skills such as how to effectively take notes and study so that they are prepared for postsecondary life. “It’s not reasonable to expect that a 17-year-old student knows how to do some of these professional skills,” said York U Associate Professor Andrew Skelton. “That’s the point of university.” CBC (NS | ON)

Shooting near Collège Montmorency leads to lockdown, cancelled classes

Collège Montmorency was locked down for four hours on Friday and remained closed on Monday following a nearby shooting. There were no casualties, but the shooting left three people with gunshot wounds and a fourth person with injuries. The victims reportedly sought refuge within the cégep, and the campus was placed on lockdown until after 10 PM. Police reported that the shots were not fired on campus and that the shooting was linked to a street gang. Classes at the cégep were cancelled on Monday as the institution instead hosted activities and discussions to support the students, staff, and faculty as they process emotions related to the incident. CBC | Global News | MTL Blog | Journal de Quebec | La Presse (QC)

Durham launches Honours Bachelor of Paralegal degree

Durham College has launched an Honours Bachelor of Paralegal degree. Students in the program will develop their legal context and cultural competency so that they are prepared to serve diverse populations including immigrants, refugees, Indigenous peoples, and those in the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community. Graduates will be able to provide legal services under a lawyer or licensed paralegal, and will be eligible to apply to become Licensed Paralegals. “The student experience and the impact graduates’ expertise has on members of the community are at the forefront of program development,” said Durham Executive VP, Academic Dr Elaine Popp. “The Honours Bachelor of Paralegal program will develop confident graduates who are well equipped to advance in the legal field.” The degree is reportedly one of the only four-year programs of its kind in Ontario. Durham (ON)

Campus sport inspired by Harry Potter rebranding to quadball

A campus sport inspired by Quidditch, a sport played in the Harry Potter novels, is rebranding in Canada in 2023. The game has seen rapid growth on campuses in recent years, with 18 active teams in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec in 2019. The International Quidditch Association, US Quidditch, and Major League Quidditch have announced that the sport’s name will be changing to quadball going forward due to trademark ownership and author JK Rowling’s controversial remarks on transgender issues. The name change will take effect in Canada in 2023, and is expected to have a positive impact on the sports teams. “I believe it will open new avenues for funding for the sport by allowing room for sponsorship deals,” said player Chris Rothery. University Affairs (National)

Concordia Edmonton student calls for better education for international students regarding scams

An international student at Concordia University of Edmonton is calling for better education for students about scams after losing almost $11K. Parisa Ghanbari fell victim to a phone scammer who pretended to be from the federal government. Fearing deportation, Ghanbari was pressured into withdrawing funds that were intended for her tuition and depositing them at a bitcoin ATM. “I know it doesn’t make sense, but at that time, I was so scared that I could believe anything because, to be honest, I don't know how things work in this country,” said Ghanbari. Concordia Edmonton has offered Ghanbari information on scholarships, has extended her tuition deadline, and has sent an email notifying students of the scam. Concordia Students’ Association President Navleen Kaur said that students need to receive frequent reminders about scams through email and social media, and shared that the association has made plans to warn students more frequently about scams. CBC (AB)

QC nursing students frustrated after more than half fail licensing exam

Several students have expressed their frustration with the Quebec nursing licensing exam after over 50% of writers failed the exam in September, reports CBC. 48.6% of those taking the test for the first time failed, which CBC reports is the highest rate recorded in four years. Nursing students and teachers are worried about the effects of this failure rate given the acute nursing shortages in QC, and shared that the exam did not reflect what students learn in their studies and clinical training. Students further worried about the costs and time associated with retaking the exam. Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec spokesperson Chantal Lemay stated that the exam has not changed significantly over the years and that the organization does not intend to “lower its standards.” CBC (QC)

Canadian universities must improve teaching on Latin America: Opinion

In an article for The Conversation, Shanti Morell-Hart (McMaster University), Rodrigo Narro Pérez (McMaster), and Stacy A Creech de Castro (McMaster) argue that Canadian universities need to improve teaching about Latinx people in Canada. Since the number of Latinx people in Canada has grown rapidly in the last few years, they state that it is particularly important to improve how students are taught about Latin America and Latinx communities; ensure they are fairly represented in academia; and foster equity, diversity, and inclusion. The authors write that Latinx studies also can help provide a deeper understanding of diasporic communities and the impacts of colonial histories. The authors highlight recent research projects and the programs launched at the University of Toronto, Western University, and McMaster to help address some of these needs. The Conversation (Editorial)

UWaterloo, Steam Exchange partner to gamify education for cryptocurrency investors

The University of Waterloo’s Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business and Steam Exchange have partnered to gamify education for new cryptocurrency investors. Researchers will evaluate attitudes, knowledge, and need for education of crypto investors and those who are interested in crypto investments. UWaterloo and Steam Exchange will develop gamified educational prototypes and content based on the results of this research, and will work together on re-evaluating and improving the education over time. Funding for the research has been provided by Mitacs and Steam Exchange. UWaterloo (ON)

Instructors need to rethink optional attendance: Opinion

Instructors should rethink optional attendance policies given the impact these can have on student perceptions and experiences, writes Eric Skipper. Skipper writes that optional attendance gives students the message that what is happening in class may not be important and may lead to a diminished classroom experience for those who do come to class. The author writes that young people are struggling with loneliness and isolation and ensuring that they come to class can address their need for authentic and meaningful interactions, enable faculty members to better help them, and expose them to more diverse viewpoints. “By implementing attendance policies that imbue students with responsibility rather than absolve them from it, we can help to re-establish a culture of community and caring,” writes Skipper. “More than our intellect will benefit.” Inside Higher Ed (Acct. Req.) (Editorial)