All Posts Tagged With: "discrimination"
Recent survey of international students might surprise you
In 1916, Bill Boeing went to MIT to hire his first chief engineer. He picked Wong Tsoo, a Chinese guy who had emigrated to England at the age of 16 for undergrad before crossing the Atlantic for graduate school. Wong quickly got to work on Boeing’s first commercially successful plane, the C-Model. Imagine how different the airline industry might have been had another country’s university—Canada’s perhaps—enticed Wong. Both Canada and the U.S. had racist anti-Chinese policies at the time, such as the Head Tax, but if Canada had been less racist than America, might the Wongs of the era have chosen McGill?
We’ve come a long way since then. From 2001 to 2008, the number of international students in Canada increased at a rate of 4.3% per year; between 2008 to 2012 the annual increase was, astonishingly, 12.3%. There were 265,377 in 2012 (74% of them in post-secondary schools). We now get five per cent of all international students worldwide, making Canada the seventh most popular destination after the US, UK, China, France, Germany and Australia, according to Project Atlas.
Principal Daniel Woolf “deeply concerned” about attack
Queen’s University principal Daniel Woolf says he’s “deeply concerned” to hear of an attack over the weekend that police are investigating as a hate crime. According to a Queen’s press release:
The six students, who are all Muslim, were walking home along Patrick Street after seeing a movie on Saturday night. As they neared Fraser Street, they were allegedly chased down and attacked by four men on bicycles. The men began by making derogatory comments before one pulled out a weapon and began hitting one of the students. The students were able to flee the scene and take cover in a backyard, and only minor injuries have been reported. The case has been assigned to the Major Crime unit and is being investigated as a hate crime.
“I am very concerned about this incident,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “I am shocked and dismayed to learn that anyone in this community would be the victim of an unprovoked attack of this kind, let alone six of our students. I can only imagine how shaken they must be feeling after this incident, and my thoughts are with them. I want to assure them that Queen’s is committed to protecting our faculty, staff and students from hate and discrimination of all kinds. I am also grateful to the Kingston Police for their investigative work in this case.”
What students are talking about today (January 11th)
1. The Waldorf, a two-year old arts venue in Vancouver’s east end, has been sold to developers. Artists are, unsurprisingly, enraged. Grimes was among those who played the tiki-themed multi-room venue. Her Tweet on Thursday captures the reaction to the closure: “wow vancouver is so f*d if they shut down the waldorf. f*k this city. you’ve destroyed nearly every piece of culture that you had.” Rhys Edwards, wrote this in a piece for The Ubyssey’s blog: “The Waldorf is one more victim in the amorphous onslaught of gentrification in a city that simply does not prioritize cultural activities that do not promote economic development.” Without the Waldorf, she says, Vancouver will be less weird.
2. Emma Teitel says she can’t do simple math and she’s blaming the pressure to perform, which in her case took the form of the “Mad Minute,” an exercise where students race against a clock to do as much arithmetic as possible. This created a fear of math and caused her to give up. She points out that Finnish students, who don’t face much pressure from teachers, perform best in the world.
Minister allegedly said she “spooked” the governor general
Northwest Territories’ Finance Minister Michael Miltenberger is facing a human rights complaint for allegedly telling a transsexual student at Aurora College that she should leave the school because she had “spooked the Governor General.”
Gabrielle Landrie told CBC News that she was standing near a computer lab with a friend on Dec. 9, wearing a dress, when Minister Miltenberger made the comment and asked her to leave. She says she was later told that the Governor General’s route had been changed to avoid her.
Although she had initially agreed to leave, she says she decided against it as she had homework left to complete. She was asked to leave again by Miltenberger.
But Carleton student fights back
A condo board in Ottawa passed a rule in October that essentially outlawed students from renting in their building, because it required renters to be families, common-law or otherwise intending to live together permanantly. But Carleton University student Nicholas McLeod has collected enough signatures to force a vote on the ruling, which could overturn it at the annual general meeting at the Southgate Road building on Dec. 6. according to Metro News.
Study reminiscent of 1948 Maclean’s article by Pierre Berton
A new study has shown that Canadians with English-sounding names on their résumés get many more responses from employers than those with foreign-sounding names, even when applicants have identical qualifications and make it clear they can speak English or French proficiently.
Philip Oreopoulos and Diane Dechief of the University of Toronto found that of the 8,000 fake job applications they sent out, those with English-sounding names at the top were 47 per cent more likely to receive callbacks in Toronto than resumes with Greek, Indian or Chinese-sounding names. In Montreal, English names had a 39 per cent advantage. In Vancouver it was 20 per cent.
Oreopoulos told The Globe and Mail that subconcious discrimination may partially explain the difference. Another part of their study showed that human resources professionals cite concerns over language or social skills for the possible differences in their reactions—despite the fact that such skills can easily be determined with a simple phone call.
Many non-white students say they have been discriminated against on campus according to a new survey
Most McGill students are concerned about how well the university is preparing them for future employment, according to a new study.
The survey, commissioned by the student’s society, found that 33 per cent of fourth year students felt “well prepared,” while nine per cent felt “very well prepared” for the workforce.
The survey also found that 36 per cent of non-white students feel “or have been made to feel, uncomfortable on campus due to [their] race or ethnicity.”
The academic advising also scored low marks with only eight per cent of students in their final year reporting that they were satisfied with the program advising they received.
The one area where the school scored well was on its library, with 68 per cent of students saying that “the library is comfortable and inviting.”
The student’s society plans to bring the survey’s results to faculty councils and the university’s senate.
1,193 students, or five per cent of undergraduates, participated in the survey.
Summer jobs, nepotism, and other unfair discrimination.
First year has finished, too quickly for comfort, and the search for a decent summer job is by now long over for those smart enough to have begun it back in January. Those who have left it to the last minute are likely destined for pizza places and dish pits. Unless, of course, one is lucky enough to reap the rewards of nepotism, that power of connection that lands the otherwise unspectacular candidates coveted internships and other plum positions.
My own summer job is at least partially the result of a personal connection, as are the jobs of many of my friends. To find summer work in the Federal Department of Justice or at Canada’s High Commission to the UK, to name a couple examples, is next to impossible for the average 18-year-old first-year student without personal connections.
Is it fair that someone who, completely by chance, is born to a powerful family, should be afforded more opportunities than someone who is born to poor parents? Even if it isn’t fair, is it even possible to overcome, to control, to enforce equality over nepotism?
On a grander scale than the student summer job market, recent conversations with some of my more socially conscious peers have illuminated the deeply entrenched and often subconscious nature of unfair discrimination in our society.
For instance, one study, which followed more than 300 participants throughout their lives from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, found that “attractive adults are more able to procure aid from bystanders, they often have greater social influence, and they are favored in the job market and in the criminal justice system.” Once hired, attractive men and women have also been found to make more money, while income inequality between men and women is a well-known problem of discrimination.
Systematic discrimination against immigrants is another well-known phenomenon. One survey focusing on the experience of Latin American MBA graduates in the Canadian job market found that “75 percent of the respondents referred either to a general and unspecified sense of differential treatment due to not being Canadian or to the perception of different treatment based on accents or lack of Canadian experience.” Of course, discrimination against Hispanics in the United States is much more explicit, as demonstrated by the recent conviction of a 19-year-old Rhode Island man who killed an Ecuadorian immigrant while engaging in the widespread activity of “Mexican hopping,” which is essentially hunting for Hispanics to assault.
A University of Toronto economist found further support for the trend of discrimination in hiring processes when he sent out more than 6,000 resumes to Toronto-area employers. On some resumes, he changed the last name to an Asian sounding name and left all the qualifications the same. He found that resumes with non-Asian sounding names were 40 per cent more likely to be called in for an interview.
Such are the challenges facing pretty much everyone except good-looking white guys, apparently. Reaping the sweet fruits of nepotism is one easy way for us summer job seekers to help perpetuate the various unfair forms of discrimination upon which our society is built. See what a cynic first-year has made me?
Lawyer admits that plaintiff had not regularly attended church for awhile
According to Xtra West, a University of British Columbia student is appealing a decision by a BC Supreme Court judge to dismiss her suit of religious discrimination against the school.
Cynthia Maughan, now 49, first sued the school November 2002 after she received a B-minus in a literature class.
Among other claims, Maughan says she missed out on at least one opportunity to further her understanding of course material because the instructor decided, along with the rest of the class, to hold an extra seminar on a Sunday. Maughan objected, saying that Sunday is her sabbath.
Maughan identifies as Anglican, and sued the university for allegedly discriminating against her as a Christian and subjecting her to hatred and contempt, naming four UBC teachers in the suit.
Her lawyer later admitted to reporters that Maughan had not regularly attended church in some time. She is seeking $18 million in damages.
Prof says more research is needed to determine if behaviour is intentional
The answer to the age-old question “What’s in a name?” may well be plenty of discrimination, according to a new University of British Columbia study.
UBC economics professor Philip names even if they have the same education and experience as those with English names. “Some individuals at the margin are not getting interviews because of their name,” Oreopoulos said Wednesday, adding that the employers involved may be contravening the Human Rights Act.
“It is illegal and there is some element of unfairness.”
As part of his research, Oreopoulos tailored 6,000 mock resumes to specific job requirements in 20 occupational categories and sent them to employers with online job postings in the Greater Toronto area.
Each resume listed a bachelor’s degree and up to six years of experience but the study found resumes with names like Jill Wilson or John Martin received interview callbacks 40 per cent more often than identical resumes with names like Sana Khan or Lei Li.
Oreopoulos said the findings help to explain why skilled immigrants arriving under Canada’s point system – with university degrees and significant work experience – fare poorly in today’s labour market.
“Despite this policy, they don’t seem to be doing as well as expected,” Oreopoulos said, adding that he was surprised by the study’s results.
“I wasn’t expecting the gap by name alone to be so large,” he said. “It defined as much of a gap as another study found between blacks and whites in the U.S.”
The professor said he chose to conduct the study in Toronto because of its position as Canada’s largest and most multicultural city and he cautioned against accusing employers of blatant racism.
He said more research is needed to determine whether the behaviour is intentional.
“In settings where people are making split-second decisions like going through piles of resumes and making decisions based on uncertain ambiguous criteria, that’s the environment where people may be making subconscious, stereotype decisions,” Oreopoulos said.
Student panel to try to find it. We bet they will.
A medical textbook that calls black people’s hair thick and kinky and Asian hair smooth and silky exemplifies Eurocentric teaching materials at Ontario’s colleges and universities, a forum exploring campus racism heard Wednesday.
Such textbooks are woefully inadequate when it comes to teaching how to care for visible minority patients, nursing student Liana Salvador, 24, told the panel as it launched provincewide hearings.
“They use white as the reference point and everyone else is pigeonholed or extra,” said Salvador, a student at Ryerson University, who cited an example from one textbook that discusses hair type.
“It said, ‘black people have kinky, thick hair that is often dry, and Asians have smooth, silky hair.’
“Just the way that it’s written and the language that it’s written in often can encourage stereotyping.”
Committees need to be struck that have broad representation, including students, when it comes to the selection of teaching materials for post-secondary programs, Salvador told the panel.
The forum at George Brown College was the first of several the Ontario chapter of The Canadian Federation of Students will be holding across the province before the end of April.
The concept was born from another task force that, two years ago, examined the needs of Muslim students. Federation representative Hildah Otieno said incidents of Islamaphobia were identified at campuses across the province, but so too were incidents of racism and discrimination involving other religions and ethnicities.
“We’re trying to look at individual acts of racism, discrimination and hate, and see how that impacts those racialized students, faculty and staff on campus,” Otieno said at a news conference prior to the hearing.
“But we’re also going to try and look at the systemic way in which institutional structures may be affecting the same people.”