What students are talking about today (January 28th)
1. McGill University’s new president has already cost at least $178,690 and he or she hasn’t even been named. Headhunting firm Odgers Berndtson billed that much for four months of work in 2012, reports McGill Daily. Of that amount, $71,000 was for advertisements. The information came from an Access to Information request, the type of request McGill has recently tried to limit.
2. Carleton University’s Love of Liberty Society, a group that supports “free markets and free speech,” has launched a campaign encouraging students to opt out of a $6.84 levy that goes to the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) chapter on campus. Love of Liberty says students shouldn’t be funding such a politically-charged group. Students can opt out, but they only have a week to do so each year and Love of Liberty claims OPIRG makes it difficult. Yafa Jarrar, programming coordinator for OPIRG, told The Charlatan that the group is “non-partisan,” and that it does support students who wish to opt out. OPIRG has funded recent events like “On Turtle Island: Dialogue Between Black and First Nations Womyn” and Students Against Israeli Apartheid.
3. We know more about Canada’s richest one per cent of individuals this week thanks to Statistics Canada. According to tax filings, the cutoff to be included in Canada’s one per cent was $201,400 in 2010, up 37 per cent from where it was in 1982, $147,500. That puts many university presidents in the top one per cent. The gap between rich and poor has widened too. In 1982, the median income of Canada’s one per cent was seven times higher than the median for everyone else. Today the one per cent have 10 times as much. However, the top one percent are paying more of the taxes: in 1982 they paid 13.4 per cent of all taxes, while in 2010 they paid 21.2 per cent.
4. Despite controversy earlier this year, the United States Food and Drug Administration won’t take any regulatory action over a vending machine at a Pennsylvania college that dispenses the “morning-after” pill, reports Huffington Post. Students at Shippensburg University have been able to buy Plan B emergency contraception from the machine for $25 for the past two years. Although some doctors and pharmacists say women should consult them before taking the drug, Plan B is available over-the-counter in all Canadian provinces except Saskatchewan and Quebec.
5. Faculty, librarians and lab instructors at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S. walked off the job today causing classes to be cancelled. A recently rejected offer from the university included a 6.9 per cent salary increase over four years, which isn’t much of a raise considering the rising cost of living. The union is also looking for greater job security for the one-third of professors who are on “limited term positions.” The university says it doesn’t have the money for bigger raises.