All Posts Tagged With: "Campus Life"
How fathers’ rights advocates spawned a vitriolic movement
When Earl Silverman was found dead, hanging from the rafters of his garage after an apparent suicide, those who knew him best said he had died from indifference. For the last five years, Silverman had owned Canada’s only shelter for men, taking battered husbands and their children into his own house in Calgary so they could escape abusive wives. A soft-spoken man in his late 50s, Silverman was inspired to start his shelter after leaving his own wife, who he claimed abused him physically and emotionally during their 20-year marriage, but he was unable to find a shelter that would admit him. In March, Silverman had closed his shelter, sold his home and filed for bankruptcy. On April 27 his body was found, along with a four-page suicide note—in which he allegedly blamed the federal and provincial governments for indifference toward the suffering of men.
“That note was his final attempt to get his story on the record,” says Karen Straughan, an Edmonton-based writer, activist and friend of Silverman’s. “During his life, he was always silenced, so I think this was one last, desperate attempt to be heard.”
And he was heard. As soon as the details of Silverman’s death were released by Calgary police, the news began to travel swiftly through the Internet. Hundreds of websites and message boards devoted to men’s rights caught onto the story. Popular sites like A Voice for Men and the men’s rights forums on Reddit and 4chan were flooded with messages about Silverman’s struggle and demise. Many of those who commented online had never heard of Silverman while he was alive, but after his death they felt compelled to share their feelings of grief, frustration and anger.
Students connect through Potter clubs and classes
Two summers ago when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 arrived at the cinema in Ancaster, Ont., Stephanie Kesler took the day off work and lined up for 12 hours to make sure she got a good seat. Afterward, Kesler, now 23, says she felt “a little bit sad.” Growing up she had eagerly anticipated each of J.K. Rowling’s books and films. “That was my whole childhood.”
But last semester, the third-year English student at Western University in London, Ont., realized that the end of the series didn’t mean saying goodbye. In her children’s literature course, Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban was on the syllabus.
For her class assignment, Kesler presented to her peers on the symbolism of Rowling’s Dementors, dark creatures that suck the life out of people, and the Patronus Charm, the only thing that can fight them off. She likened the Dementors to depression and the Patronas to overcoming it through positive thinking.
Not far away at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., dozens of wizarding fans had a similar idea. Emma Morrison, a third-year Medieval Studies and Religion major, had started a chapter of The Harry Potter Alliance, a global network of campus and community clubs where Potter fans jointly work for social justice. The Laurier chapter’s first big project focused on Dementors and depression. After a social media campaign promoting awareness of mental health services on campus, the group held a Yule Ball (a Hogwarts-inspired formal) during February mid-terms. “We wanted to have something fun to allow people to let loose in their time of stress,” she says. More than 220 showed up for butter beer and dancing.
Professor Gabrielle Ceraldi, who teaches children’s literature at Western, is unsurprised by the focus on the Dementors. “Emotional states in the series are always represented through magic,” she says. Hogwarts, the school for witches and wizards, is bewildering, much like university, she points out. “The staircases never stay in the same place from one period of class to the next.”
I save money, get support and avoid rotten roommates
My friends tell me: “If you don’t move out before you graduate, you’re a failure”
Acquaintances ask: “How do you have a social life?”
Complete strangers inquire: “What are you doing with your life?”
These are some of the reactions I get when I tell people that I’m a 19 year old university student living with my mom. And you know what? Despite the criticism, I have no plans to move out just yet.
My parents divorced when I was very young, so I’ve pretty much always lived with my mom. Since I’m her only child, the two of us are nearly inseparable. She also helps pay my tuition and is supportive of my hectic school and work schedule.
I have this excellent support system at home. Why would I leave?
Dalhousie takes kinder approach if students are arrested
University offers most students their first real taste of freedom from home and family, including the freedom to do stupid and illegal things. Even good students can become drunken criminals.
This year, Dalhousie University unveiled a restorative justice program for students charged with relatively minor criminal offences. The university hopes to address crime without large fines or the prospect of a criminal record. It is Canada’s most ambitious effort by a university to get involved in criminal justice for its students. Other schools seem less keen to follow. Should universities act when students commit crimes off campus?
Photos from the 2013 Maclean’s University Rankings
Every university student’s day is different. Some spend their time in high-tech labs while others pore over books in the campus cafe. Some volunteer to fix bicycles between classes while their roommates rehearse for plays. With teams from basketball to rowing, athletes are in heaven.
To truly understand the smorgasbord of options, you need to visit multiple schools. Can’t make it to more than a few? Don’t fret. Photos galleries from the 24 campuses we visited for the 2013 Maclean’s University Rankings will get you started. After clicking through them all, pick up the Maclean’s Guide to Canadian Universities for hundreds of pages of advice on your big decision, including profiles of 81 Canadian schools.
Northern British Columbia
St. Francis Xavier
Students are doing extraordinary things with video cameras
From the 2013 Maclean’s University Rankings
Andrew Cohen sat near the window of a south Vancouver coffee house, scribbling notes on flashcards to study for an urban geography mid-term. The fourth-year University of British Columbia student grew restive, so, naturally, he took to watching YouTube videos.
Before long, he came upon a video made by students at the University of Victoria. It was a so-called lip dub, a style of video in which students dance and mouth the words to a popular song in an enthusiastic show of school pride. Cohen put his books away within seconds.
“I stopped studying,” recalls Cohen more than a year later. Now 22 and done school, what he saw that day inspired him to become a filmmaker in Vancouver. “That totally changed my life.” He immediately started planning his own lip dub for UBC.
Hundreds of students. Millions of views.
Hundreds, sometimes thousands, of students at Canadian universities have been singing and dancing their way through elaborate lip dub videos. Here are our favourite Top 10, from the most to least viewed.
1. I Gotta Feeling, Université du Québec à Montréal, 10,353,000 views.
This lip dub of the Black Eyed Peas dance hit made these communications students famous when it was picked up around the world.
2.The Worst Test, University of Toronto, 3,019,000 views.
In a first-year engineering test, the sounds of Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise start blasting through the lecture hall and a couple of students stand on desks, rapping a song called I’m an Engineering Failure. Skule Nite, an engineering musical revue, takes credit.
3. Raise Your Glass etc., University of British Columbia, 1,865,000 views.
It starts out with a nod to Old Spice Man and then hundreds of students mouth Pink’s party anthem and other songs. There’s a galloping horse, a cameo from Josh Ramsay of Marianas Trench, martial arts, ballet and an underwater scene in the school pool.
4. Carol of the Bells, Algonquin College, 543,000 views.
It’s December exam week and students are cramming when Darth Vader shows up and conducts a choir belting out Carol of the Bells. This best-ever study break was courtesy of broadcasting students.
5. Dynamite, McGill University, 466,000 views.
Students and researchers at the Goodman Cancer Research Centre show off their labs with this slick remake of Taio Cruz’s tune, with its fitting refrain, “I wanna celebrate and live my life.”
6. Gangnam Style, York University, 368,000 views.
David Kim dances his way through lecture halls, over a Tim Hortons counter and around a police cruiser in homage to Korean rapper Psy. Copycat videos emerged from McMaster to Carleton to the Royal Military College.
7. Haven’t Met You Yet, University of Victoria, 320,000 views.*
Almost 1,000 students at the University of Victoria got together and impersonated British Columbia warbler Michael Bublé. Spider-Man, Rick Astley and Billy Mays make appearances.
8. Save a Life, Be a Man Nurse, Laurentian University, 184,000 views.
First-year male nursing students in cowboy hats and scrubs remade Big & Rich’s Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy), replacing the “ride a cowboy” line with “be a man nurse.” They kept the references to “girls who are so pretty.”
9.Rebellion (Lies), University of Guelph, 78,000 views.
Students took over the engineering building for a rather literal interpretation of this Arcade Fire song, with its “every time I close my eyes” refrain. The video includes plenty of pyjamas and one big pillow fight.
10. California Gurls, Dalhousie University, 70,000 views.
The Halifax school got a makeover as the Golden Coast. The lipdub includes multiple Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg impersonators, a merman and fire juggling.
*This post has been updated because the original version incorrectly included a video from U.Vic. in Spain instead of U.Vic. in British Columbia, Canada. The author regrets this error.