All Posts Tagged With: "GLBTQ"
Teen fought to promote club
Evan Wiens, the teenager who has become a focal point for gay rights in Manitoba schools, may have a wish come true for his birthday.
Wiens, who turned 17 on Tuesday, met behind closed doors with the board of the Hanover School Division and asked to be allowed to put up posters at his school to promote a gay-straight alliance group he set up last year.
“I seem to be hopefully convincing some board members. Some seemed a little bit intimidating but the meeting generally went pretty good,” Wiens said after the hearing Tuesday night.
Board superintendent Randy Dueck said a decision had been made following the hearing, but it won’t be divulged until the board talks to Wiens again on Wednesday afternoon.
Dueck also refused to comment on why Wiens was allowed to establish a gay-straight alliance at Steinbach Regional Secondary School but barred from promoting it.
What students are talking about today (March 15th)
1. At a University of Ottawa Campus Pride event last week, a heterosexual man was told by a former vice-president student affairs of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa that he was wearing too much pink and that he must change his clothes. Cody Boast, a third-year political science student, says he showed up to support the GLBTQ friends when Amy Hammett, the former student politician, approached him. Boast told The Fulcrum Hammet likened it to “dressing up like Bob Marley at a Black History Month event,” and forced him to change. Kate Hudson, the current SFUO vice-president student affairs told The Fulcrum his pink clothes, feather boa and flute, “gave the impression that he was mocking the event.” I don’t see why they think it’s their job to police people’s clothes. Boast is welcome at my pride party this summer wearing whatever he likes.
2. “The University of Waterloo is investigating after an anti-abortion Conservative MP was blocked from delivering a lecture Wednesday night by protesters led by a man dressed as a giant vagina,” reports National Post. You can’t make this stuff up. Stephen Woodworth only made it a third of the way through his talk before it was cancelled. A representative of the university said that the MP will be invited back. What might he have said that was so dangerous? Woodworth believes life begins at conception, not birth. He tried to have Parliament study the definition of the words ‘human being,’ last year, but his motion got 91 votes, though from some high-profile MPs, like Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney supported it.
3. The Queen’s Journal says it’s time to “take the bull’s-eye off [Alexander] Prescott’s back.” On Feb. 25, the representative to the Alma Mater Society caused flurry of outrage after making a Facebook comment saying that some of the onus for sexual assaults should be placed on the victims. This, of course, made some people go ballistic, because they say victims of sexual assault are never in any way to blame. Prescott was censured, despite some calls for impeachment. The Journal thinks that his punishment was fair, but they want him to apologize.
4. Tuition will rise an average of 4.6 per cent at the University of Saskatchewan next year, students learned through an e-mail on Thursday, according to The Sheaf. Tuition accounts for 23 per cent of the university’s operating budget, while 68 per cent comes from the province. Undergraduates across Canada paid an average $5,581 in tuition this year. It was $6,017 in Saskatchewan.
5. Toronto 12-year-old Jorel Hoffert’s music video bar mitzvah invitation has gone viral online, with 115,000 views already after being aired on shows NBC’s Today Show and CBC’s News Now this morning. The video borrows from Queen’s songs “We Will Rock You” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
What students are talking about today (March 5th)
1. Carly Rae Jepsen, the 27-year-old Canadian singer, has cancelled a performance at the Boy Scouts of America Jamboree in July because the Scouts still ban gay members. In a series of Tweets she wrote: “As an artist who believes in equality for all people, I will not be participating in the Boy Scouts of America Jamboree this summer. I always have and will continue to support the LGBT community on a global level and stay informed on the ever changing landscape in the ongoing battle for gay rights in this country and across the globe.” This seems like a smart move.
2. It’s Israel Apartheid Week again and both Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney and Prime Minister Stephen Harper condemned the annual hate-fest on Monday. So did at least one student op-ed, in Trent University’s Arthur, whose author argues the term apartheid is inaccurate. There was also a review of a film that compares Israel and apartheid South Africa in The Concordian. Here’s part of Kenney’s statement, which one might call overheated, even though he makes a valid point:
What students are talking about today (February 14th)
1. A theatre class at Memorial University recently put on a production called the Laramie Project that told the story of a Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old man who was beaten to death in 1998 because he was gay. Westboro Baptist Church, a group of Christian fundamentalists, disgusted many when they picketed Shepard’s funeral with signs claiming “God hates fags.” They’re still at it. A representative of the church Tweeted to MUN calling them “a bunch of fag enablers” and that they will “burn in Hell for all of eternity.” Meanwhile, plans by WBC to picket the U.S. college Vassar—which Westboro calls an “Ivy League Whorehouse wholly given over to the fag agenda,”—have led to something positive. Jon Chenette, acting president at Vassar, reached out to students to find a positive way to counter the planned hate speech. They started a fund-raiser for the Trevor Project, which provides counseling for young gay people who may be facing crises or thinking of suicide. Inside Higher Education reports that contributions have already topped $47,000.
2. University of Guelph officials are unsure whether students’ personal data have fallen into the wrong hands after 15 computers and two external hard drives were stolen, reports CTV News. Reminiscent of last year’s Canada Student Loans breach, the drives may have contained contained names, addresses, contact information and social insurance numbers of both students and applicants. The computers were behind a locked door that was pried open.
3. One international student at the University of Saskatchewan is speaking out about his experience with bed bugs. His residence room was treated twice for them. He then moved to a new building on campus and ended up with an infestation there too that required treatment four times, including over his exam period. He told The Sheaf he was getting rashes and infections due to the bugs and had to start taking sleeping pills to make it through the night. Bed bugs are half-centimetre-long beasts that feed humans while they sleep. They’re expert hiders. Their bites are itchy like mosquito bites and they may leave dark streaks on mattresses. In other words, they’re gross.
4. Remember when Western’s University Students’ Council tried to move The Gazette student newspaper to a smaller office? Well, after a huge uproar over press freedom, the executive approved a plan that will see the paper remain in its current digs. Tony Ayala, vice-president finance for the USC, told The Gazette that they decided this after hearing from all stakeholders.
5. If you’re bitter and dateless this Valentine’s Day, you’ll appreciate this collection of Rejected Candy Hearts from the late shift at Maclean’s.ca My favourite: You’re 6/10 at best.
What students are talking about today (February 8th)
1. The Gazette student newspaper at Western University published an editorial this week on a new Harry Potter course that will be offered this fall. They came to the conclusion that it will not be a bird course. “Some may say authors such as Shakespeare, Hemingway and Joyce provide the reader with a much deeper, denser text…. while Harry Potter’s journey through Hogwarts is just too simplistic.” But they added, “Who’s to say there is not deeper meaning in Harry Potter? With adult themes such as challenging authority, self-sacrifice, tolerance and genocide, these books following the Boy who Lived should not be pushed aside as ‘just for children.’” However, proving that many students still need to improve their basic reading skills, the paper faced a backlash from those who took the headline “Harry Potter and the Bird Course?” to mean “Harry Potter is a bird course.” Editor Gloria Dickie responded with a second editorial reiterating that the editorial board does not see it as a bird course.
What students are talking about today (February 6th)
1. Olympic gold medal swimmer and dimwit Ryan Lochte has recreated Nirvana’s Nevermind album cover for ESPN The Magazine and everyone’s making the same joke about Kurt Cobain rolling over in his grave. Lochte subs in for the baby in the photo. He told ESPN that, “if you look at the baby, he’s definitely happy in the water. And that’s what I am.” He also noted, “he’s chasing after a dollar bill. So he’s always on the grind.”
2. Eight years after same-sex marriage became legal in Canada, Britain’s House of Commons on Tuesday approved a proposal that will allow same-sex marriage in England and Wales. The vote was 400 to 175. On the topic of gay rights, a photo has emerged of an unnamed West Point cadet escorting his boyfriend to a winter formal. The photo appeared on the Facebook page of Knights Out, the West Point alumni support group for GLBTQ soldiers. If gay couples can be accepted at the most prestigious military academy in America, it seems only a matter of time until the entire country follows.
3. Queen’s University held its first ever Black History Month opening ceremony last week. “I hope [what] Queen’s students take away from this is that there is a big Afro-Caribe culture here at Queen’s,” organizer Stephanie Jackson told The Queen’s Journal. Black History Month, originally “Negro History Week” when it was started in 1926 by black historian Carter G. Woodson, is held each February in honour of President Abraham Lincoln, who signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and Frederick Douglass, the famous anti-slavery activist. Queen’s president Daniel Woolf told the opening ceremony crowd that Black History Month won’t always be needed, but that it is today. Federal Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney honoured black law enforcement officers on Tuesday. Among the participants were Devon Clunis, Canada’s first black Chief of Police (in Winnipeg) and Lori Seale-Irving, the first black commissioned officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The government also drew attention in a press release to the Black History Virtual Museum.
4. “Good men are hard to find—at least on television,” writes Angela Johnston of MacEwan University’s The Griff. “The archetypes of bumbling doofus (for example, Melissa McCarthy’s counterpart in Mike and Molly) and sociopathic jerk (see Alex Karev in Grey’s Anatomy) have been abundant for decades, with few alternatives.” She notes a recent article in the The Atlantic explored this phenomenon and she’s been watching shows that don’t stereotype men, like Parenthood.
5. After a long delay, Concordia University has announced Canada’s first Major in Canadian Irish Studies will go ahead this fall. The bachelor’s degree will allow students to explore the history, literatures and cultures of Ireland and the Irish Diaspora. Courses include James Joyce, Irish Traditional Music: A Global Soundscape, The Irish in Montreal, Irish Mythology and Folklore, Field Studies in Ireland and Cinema in Quebec and Ireland. Michael Kenneally, director of the Centre for Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia, told Maclean’s in 2011 why interest in Ireland is so high in Quebec. “If you’re interested in cultural nationalism, colonialism, post-imperial identities, partition and decolonization, rebellion and independence, Ireland is a case study for all of that.”
What students are talking about today (January 10th)
1. The University of Lethbridge’s Alcohol Awareness Committee has put up posters showing two girls enjoying a night out on the town beneath the headline “Who’s watching your drink?” and, in smaller print, the words “Keep it together. It can happen anywhere.” The Meliorist’s Leyland Bradley isn’t pleased, saying the poster implies woman can avoid sexual assault “if they know better.” Bradley says this is an example of “blaming the victim” and that it “perpetuate shame and self-loathing rather than working to prevent assault.” I don’t see harm in asking women to keep themselves and each other safe, but I do see how that “keep it together” line might offend.
2. The University of Albertaʼs Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services, creators of NoHomophobes.com, have released a forceful new video showing how odd it is that we still use words like faggot and dyke. “We no longer tolerate racist language… but sadly we still see and hear homophobic and transphobic language in our society,” Kristopher Wells, the Instituteʼs Associate Director, told The Huffington Post, adding “While this language might not always be meant to be hurtful, we must not forget that words like “faggot” contribute greatly to continued alienation and isolation.” The video has nearly 5,000 views.
SAIT’s two-drink limit, bedbugs & Transgender Day
1. In case you needed more evidence that binge drinking is a pervasive problem on Canadian campuses consider this: SAIT in Calgary is imposing a new rule on the student-owned pub that limits patrons to two drinks before 3 p.m. and outlaws mid-day shooters, reports CBC.
2. Ryerson is the latest school to deal with a bedbug epidemic in student residences. The university has eight confirmed cases so far this year, reports The Ryersonian. As Maclean’s discovered two years ago, the problem is fairly common across Canada. Here are five things you should know about these biting beasts.
3. Despite the fact that Hamas, the terrorist group that runs Gaza, celebrated the bombing of a city bus in Tel Aviv that injured 22 people, a cease-fire with Israel was announced Wednesday in Cairo.
Trump is mad, pot is legal & U. Manitoba’s “racialized rep.”
1. Barack Obama got a second chance, winning the presidency for another four years with 50 per cent of the popular vote to Mitt Romney’s 48 per cent plus victory in battleground states like Ohio. From Obama’s victory speech: “Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.” Full text here.
2. Upon hearing the election results, Donald Trump threw a tantrum on Twitter and threatened to “March on Washington,” the site of this democratic “travesty.”
3. Washington and Colorado passed ballot initiatives during Tuesday’s election that legalize marijuana for recreational use. But pot-heads shouldn’t pack their bags for Denver or Seattle just yet. Legalization may lead to a Supreme Court challenge from the federal government.
Obama’s odds, no-money-down tuition, Halo 4 & a drug bust
1. It’s election day in America and things are looking good for President Barack Obama. Statistician Nate Silver, one of the most trusted seers of election results in America, Tweeted Monday that the latest polling suggests a very close election, but that Obama has a 91 per cent chance of winning the electoral college, which would give him another four years in office.
2. If it were up to student newspaper editors, Obama would win. The Daily Campus at Southern Methodist University is the only high-profile student paper to give Romney its endorsement.
3. More details are out from Ontario Liberal leadership candidate Glen Murray on his no-money-down post-secondary plan. Here it is. In partnership with private lenders, university students would be allowed to borrow up to $7,000 per year, roughly the cost of tuition and fees. Repayment and interest would start after graduation based on income. Loans would be interest free in the first 12 months after grad. The Canadian Federation of Students is opposed, naturally, saying it would “saddle youth with a lifetime of debt.”
No Doubt apologizes, plus Glen Murray & Dawgfather PhD
1. The band No Doubt has pulled its music video for a new song called “Looking Hot” after Native Americans called it racist due to the Wild West theme that includes front-woman Gwen Stefani dressed up in native-inspired attire. In response to the outcry, the band apologized on their website: “Although we consulted with Native American friends and Native American studies experts at the University of California, we realize now that we have offended people. This is of great concern to us and we are removing the video immediately. The music that inspired us when we started the band, and the community of friends, family, and fans that surrounds us was built upon respect, unity and inclusiveness. We sincerely apologize to the Native American community.”
2. Premier Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan Party voted at their convention on Saturday to support lowering the drinking age from 19 to 18. It’s not a certainty yet, however. “We take resolutions at the convention very seriously, Wall told CBC, adding, “Before we consider any sort of change, we’re going to have to consult.”
3. Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois received $58,000 in donations from more than 1,700 people to fight his contempt of court conviction. The former head of CLASSE, who led the anti-tuition movement with its nightly marches and shutdown of Quebec universities earlier this year, was recently found guilty of encouraging people to ignore a court injunction that allowed a Laval student to return to classes.
A pipeline protest, a really bad cartoon & black cats
1. Critics of the Northern Gateway pipline project are hoping at least a thousand people will turn up today for a protest rally at the B.C. legislature in Victoria, reports The Canadian Press. The protests have been endorsed by unions such as the the Canadian Auto Workers, the B.C. Teacher’s Federation and the Canadian Union of Public Employees, plus celebrities including actor Ellen Page and singer Dan Mangan.
2. A student newspaper cartoonist has been fired from the Arizona Daily Wildcat after an anti-gay comic strip prompted thousands of complaints. The comic shows a father telling his son that if he’s gay, he will be shot with a shotgun, rolled into a carpet and thrown off a bridge. The boy says, “Well I guess that’s what you call a ‘Fruit Roll Up.’”
3. Animal welfare advocates say they no longer ban adoption of black cats at Halloween—a practice that stemmed from fears the animals would be harmed. In fact, the Ontario SPCA is now offering a discount on the adoption of black, orange and calico cats, reports The Canadian Press. How cute.
A gay-only school, a pet pig & Ultimate Fighting at Ryerson
1. The Toronto District School Board is considering a high school for GLBTQ teachers and students, a proposal brought forward by a gay University of Toronto student. It seems unlikely, however. Michael Erickson, a teacher and expert in homophobia in Toronto schools, says that he would rather ensure that every TDSB school has queer-focused resources.
2. A University of Toronto student is having trouble finding an apartment because she has a (very cute) pet pig. She’s toured 15 apartments and didn’t like the only one that was willing to accept the pig. Welcome to the real world.
3. The Red River College Students’ Association has suspended its president, Garrett Meisner, after he was charged with assaulting a police officer at a recent Occupy demonstration. It looks bad on RRC, but at least he didn’t hold up a bank.
Most-liked video ever, Waterloo sex crime & Montreal pride
1. I didn’t want to bore you with another story about Gangnam Style so consider this a YouTube story. Psy’s music video with his horse-man dance moves is now YouTube’s most liked video of all time with 2.2 million thumbs up, way more than LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem, which slips to second. Don’t get too excited. Everyone knows the more important record is total views. At 200 million, Gangnam Style has a long way to go to reach Justin Bieber’s Baby with 780 million views.
2. In a bizarre twist, Waterloo Regional Police say that a sexual assault alleged to have occurred on Monday did not actually happen. “It has been determined that the female’s initial allegations to police were not true,” they wrote in a release.
3. That’s great news, especially considering how such disturbing news could have detracted from today’s celebration. Prof. Stephen Hawking, physics superstar, is in Waterloo today to help open the Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre, a $160-million facility that will allow for atomic-scale experiments. It’s named for a donation from the Research in Motion (RIM) co-founder.
Rich kids tweet, poor kids move home, iPhone 5 cost revealed
1. Maclean’s has explored the Rich Kids of Instragram phenomenon where “recent not-so-humblebrags include a snapshot of a $42,000 bar tab (hashtagged “Balliinnn’ #bottles #alcohol #rkoi #richass #cashmoney”) and a pose in front of a sleek yacht (“How else do u expect to get around in the Hamptons??”).” Apparently there are all kinds of legal issues—and you know these kids have got good lawyers. Tweeters beware.
2. New data from Statistics Canada shows that 4.3 million Canadian 20-somethings had either never left their parents’ home or had moved back in during the 2011 Census count. That’s 42 per cent of the total, which is far above the 32 per cent who lived with their parents in 1991. Statistics Canada says cultural differences, school and the cost of living help explain the shift.
3. The new 16 GB iPhone 5, starting price $649 U.S., costs Apple about $207 U.S. to build.
Freshman 15, politics in the classroom & anger at OCAD U.
1. Yesterday there was a flash sale from Chartwells at the University of Prince Edward Island during which poutine was 50 per cent off for a few hours. Cadre reporter Josh Coles took on the breaking news assignment: “This poutine was weighty. Heavy. Thick. I would compare its weight to that of a litre of chocolate milk,” he wrote.
2. The poutine and chocolate milk diet seems like evidence for that legendary Freshman 15 weight gain, but another study suggests the weight gain isn’t really 15 pounds. Researchers from Auburn University in Alabama showed that the Freshman 15 is really more like the Four-Year 12. After four years at the college, students in the study had gained an average of 11.7 pounds.
3. Homecoming will likely make a homecoming next year at Queen’s University after students finally behaved in public with just 12 arrests over the weekend compared to 124 in 2008. In an email sent Monday to the Queen’s community, Principal Daniel Woolf wrote that he’s working with “various members of our community, including alumni, to plan for the potential safe return of fall reunions in 2013.” The University Council asked Woolf to reinstate the tradition, which was barred after many years of alcohol-related arrests. See The Perils of Drinking on Canadian Campuses for more.
Occupy, a campus caffeine ban, campus radio and the NHL
1. Ryerson lost its radio station CKLN for good last week after the CRTC denied an application to bring it back. “There were feminist programs, LGBT shows, even a series on prisoners’ rights. There was a lot of lefty politics and a lot of loopy politics. Not all of it was good, but you would struggle to hear it anywhere else,” recalls The Ryersonian. The station was shut down after years of fighting between the students’ union and non-students on the board, partly over the question how much airtime students got.
2. It’s officially one year since the Occupy Wall Street movement began. See Twitter for the latest action under #OWS, #OCCUPY and #S17.
3. One of the enduring scenes from Occupy was when University of California Davis students and alumni were violently pepper-sprayed by campus police at a peaceful protest following an eviction in November. The university just announced a settlement with 21 victims. UC spokesperson Jonathan Stein told the L.A. Times, “we did an injustice to our students that day at Davis.” Yes they did.
Uncomfortable washrooms, tuition, & angry naked folks
1. Some students at the University of Victoria are uncomfortable with the new “multi-stall gender inclusive washrooms” in the Student Union Building. The student union got rid of the old man-woman divide by renovating urinals and changing the gendered signs to show just a toilet. The goal is to make life more comfortable for transgender students. I guess one person’s comfort is another person’s discomfort sometimes.
2. The new Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens (formerly Maple Leaf Gardens) is sponsored by Molson Coors. There are multiple beer ads and beer is for sale in the concession. While hockey fans are saying “thank God,” other people apparently have a problem with it. Ryerson University President Sheldon Levy, true to form, has a pragmatic response: “you can sneeze and be within 40 paces of the Gardens and have alcohol, so how am I supposed to police things?,” he told The Eyeopener, adding, “I consider the students adults and I trust them to make judgments.”
3. Two University of Regina students are seeking sanctuary in a church after the Canada Border Services Agency decided to deport them to Nigeria because they illegally worked for two weeks at Walmart. U of R President Vianne Timmons is lobbying the government to allow them to stay.
Worst-ever internship, tuition and “deviant behavior”
1. Here’s discouraging news. Statistics Canada reports that summer employment rates were down for students of all age groups and were among the lowest on record. Overall, the average employment rate from May to August for 15- to 24-year-old students was 47.9 per cent, down from 49.1 last summer and an average of 54.1 per cent from 2006 to 2008. It’s no wonder so many people are doing unpaid internships.
2. On the topic of unpaid internships, Apple’s infamous Chinese iPhone maker, Foxconn Technology, is being criticized for using unpaid students on the manufacturing lines, which advocacy groups say is exploitation. Apparently they need all hands on deck for the iPhone 5.
3. Members of Franciscan University’s gay and lesbian alumni group are offended by their alma mater’s social work course called “Deviant Behavior.” The course description reads: “The behaviors that are primarily examined are murder, rape, robbery, prostitution, homosexuality, mental illness and drug use.” The Catholic institution says homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.”
Kristen Stewart, TIFF, Jimmy Kimmel is mean & bubble tea
1. Maclean’s, headquartered in the city currently known as TIFF, has a team working to bring you the latest news on films and celebrities right here. You thought Kristen Stewart, that famous double-timer, would steal all the attention? Well, she sure did. Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon Levitt, whose sci-fi flick Looper opened the festival, were also popular on the red carpet last night.
2. While we’re on the topic of TIFF, intrepid Maclean’s reporter Jessica Allen is seeing Spring Break today. It’s the movie students everywhere are talking about—and I can see why. It has a classic plot: Selena Gomez and friends rob a restaurant so that they can party in Florida, but get busted for drugs and then have to rely on James Franco to bail them out of prison.
3. Comedian Jimmy Kimmel launched a segment on his show called “Hey Jimmy Kimmel, I Got My Kid a Horrible Back-to-School Outfit.” Not everyone thinks it’s funny. Parents taped the horrified reactions of kids given embarrassing back-to-school clothes. The segment included more than a few homophobic stereotypes, including one t-shirt that says “I’m So Gay I Sh*t Rainbows.”