All Posts Tagged With: "community"
Students and staff embrace an unofficial mascot
It’s Canada Goose nesting season at the University of Waterloo and that means students and staff are tiptoeing across campus avoiding sharp black beaks and mucky grey puddles.
“You don’t need to antagonize or even get near the nest for the alpha male to get aggressive,” says geography and environmental management student Alex Harris, who spent the past year studying the five-to-seven kilogram beasts.
Those alpha males and their pregnant partners take up residence in dozens of places at the sprawling Ontario campus every year where grassy lawns provide food, buildings offer shelter and there are few coyotes, foxes or wolves to keep them in check.
Twenty-somethings value fame and money over community
Millennials—those born after Jan. 1, 1982—are much more likely than Baby Boomers (now aged 50+) to value money, image and fame than things like self-acceptance, community and the environment, suggests an extensive new study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
The research adds to the debate over whether those raised in the 1990s are more self-concerned and individualistic than previous generations—the Generation Me hypothesis—or whether they’re more caring because they tend to volunteer more—the Generation We theory.
The results support the Generation Me hypothesis. The study, co-authored by Millennials expert Jean M. Twenge, was really three studies in one. All three are based on surveys that captured the values of millions of American 18-year-olds and college freshman between 1966 and 2009.
It defecates, blocks traffic and has 1,000 Twitter followers
Mascots are generally thought of as the personification of a collective identity, a symbol of a brand, or an annoying guy dressed up in a dumb-looking costume at a sporting event.
Some mascots, such as the Coca-Cola polar bear, are beloved symbols—even though real polar bears are less likely to wear scarves and drink Coke, and much more likely to rip your face off.
Other mascots, like the Six Flags guy, are annoying as hell and should be stoned to death.
But the University of Waterloo, my school, should win a prize for the Most Bizarre New Mascot of 2012. Yes, it’s even more bizarre than a large predatory animal who enjoys carbonated drinks.
Students get credit for community work
From the 21st Maclean’s University Rankings—on sale now. Story by Sandy Farran.
Over the past decade, Canadian universities have made it a priority to provide as many students as possible with hands-on learning experience. Traditionally, students take part in programs with a co-operative education or internship component. But increasingly, schools are offering students more ambitious options, such as participating in an international field placement, a university-organized volunteer opportunity, or a course with a community service learning (CSL) component. CSL is a special form of experiential education that connects course material to real-life experience. During the course, students either work in small groups or individually with an organization—often a not-for-profit agency—toward a specific solution or a goal that is mutually beneficial. As part of their grade, students are required to reflect on how their community outreach experience is explicitly linked to what they’ve learned in the classroom. Ultimately, students present their findings to the organization, professor and class.
Urban students are getting dirty on campus
From the 21st Maclean’s University Rankings, on newsstands now. Story by Jason McBride
This past September, New Brunswick’s Mount Allison University held an event unprecedented in its 172-year-long history: a you-pick potato harvest. For the first five Saturdays of the new school year, students and Sackville residents were able to pick Russet and Superior potatoes from a boggy, 9.7-hectare farm in the heart of the campus. The rest of the spud harvest—a yield of 30,000 pounds—was transformed, to the delight of many ravenous undergrads, into fresh, hand-cut french fries and mashed potatoes in the kitchen at Jennings Hall.
A great opportunity from a fabulous grassroots organization
I was recently approached by the Spanish Speaking Education Network to participate in their annual conference as a keynote speaker. I’d like to advertise the opportunity to attend to everyone who happens to be in the Toronto area or who could come in for the day. This is really a fabulous grassroots organization that I’m pleased to support now that I’ve learned more about it. The conference (or congress, as they call it) is free to attend for students, prospective students, their families, and other interested parties such as educators and community workers. Free busing is provided from the local subway, and breakfast and lunch is free as well. There’s even free childcare available. The point is to reach out to the Spanish community and to make information about post-secondary education more accessible to them.
If you’d like to learn more about the conference you can do that here. You can also register online. The conference isn’t until October 3rd but of course a little advance notice never hurt anyone. I’d be glad to hear from folks who follow this site so if you do make it in please let me know. I’ll be there all day, along with other speakers and presenters.