What students are talking about today (March 25th)
1. The Ryerson Engineering Student Society is in hot water after an initiation event where frosh leaders asked first-years to crawl through cold slushy water in their underwear. It happened Thursday, in public view, before the society awarded symbolic blue coveralls. During the frigid ritual, older students aimed water guns and one male in blue coveralls slapped a female on the rear as she crawled past. Sheldon Levy, Ryerson University president, released a statement: “There is no excuse for the completely unacceptable activities that took place at the event, and anyone who contends it is ‘just fun’ or ‘builds community’ has no place at Ryerson. My response to the students and the community is to express my strongest determination that this kind of behaviour never happens again,” he wrote. Rose Ghamari, president of RESS, wrote in an email to The Eyeopener student newspaper that, “any sort of physical contact as well as shouting commands is deemed unacceptable and is not endorsed by RESS… we understand that things got out of hand and because of this we will be ensuring better practices and proper guidelines are put in place for future events so as to not cause any confusion between an enthusiastic demonstration of spirit and hazing.”
2. A California student pleaded guilty to stealing the passwords of 745 students using a key-logger device so that he could repeatedly vote for himself to be president of his student government. He faces 27 to 33 months in jail. A similar allegation of vote fraud was made at the University of British Columbia in 2010, though I don’t know if anyone was ever criminally punished.
3. Despite the stereotype of students as dangerous drinkers, those who went to college actually have a lower risk of substance abuse later in life, says a new study from Pennsylvania State. Researchers used data from 1,092 high-school seniors who participated in the U.S. National Longitudinal Youth Survey in 1979 and data from 1994 when the cohort was 33-years old. Those who didn’t attend college were six times more likely to be problem drinkers at age 33.
4. A Bachelor of Fine Arts student at Queen’s University is tired of having to defend her chosen degree. Olivia Mersereau writes in The Queen’s Journal: “The most common response I get from people after revealing my area of study includes a self-satisfied smirk and a pretentious “so, what are you planning on doing with that?” Well, a lot of things. The people who ask me this question forget that anything and everything that involves aesthetic appeal and design has been touched by a fine arts kid somewhere in its production process. Someone was paid to design your clothes, or the pattern on your bedsheets, or the poster hanging above your bed. That someone was likely an art or design major.” She goes on to outline some of the transferable skills she has, including using power tools. Even still, those graduating with BFAs face lower wages and higher unemployment. Then again, things aren’t much better for people like me who have journalism degrees.
5. Admission, Tina Fey’s first big post-30 Rock film, opened this weekend to mixed reviews. Maclean’s film expert Brian D. Johnson says the romantic comedy set in Princeton’s admission office is worth seeing, “if only for the deft, amiable performances of Tina Fey and Paul Rudd.”