All Posts Tagged With: "Laurentian University"
Writer Roy MacGregor on his days at Laurentian U.
The 2013 Maclean’s University Rankings asked some of Canada’s most successful writers, politicians and scientists what they wish they’d known in university. Their answers are perfect additions to our First Year Survivor blog. Here, writer Roy MacGregor shares his antics and wisdom.
I attended Laurentian University in Sudbury, leaving a four-year honours program in political science after three years with a general B.A. I chose Laurentian because it would take me—a six-year high-school grad with a 66 per cent average. Also, a friend was going and he had a car. I honestly never expected to last beyond Christmas, let alone end up with a degree—failing Grade 12 with 33 per cent doesn’t instill a lot of confidence—but I can honestly say I found university far easier than high school. Soon enough I was in love with both Laurentian and the city of Sudbury. The North of this country is indeed magical, but the near North has its own magic as well.
It was 1967, a time of huge student unrest. In the U.S. they were marching against the Vietnam War. We held a massive student protest march in Sudbury. There were riot police out but we showed stunning solidarity, walking around the streets near city hall chanting “WE WANT A PUB! WE WANT A PUB!” as if it were the most important thing in the world. The ’60s didn’t reach Laurentian until the ’70s. But we loved our time there. Classes were small. The residences were like family. Professors were approachable.
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.
Aims to add 1,150 students, spend $35 million on campus upgrades and reintroduce school hockey teams
Laurentian University is ready to step up its game. Announcing the details of its most recent five-year plan on Monday, the Sudbury, Ont.-based school revealed that it plans to reintroduce men and women’s hockey teams, create new departments of architecture and mining, spend $35 million on campus upgrades, and add 1,150 students to its annual enrollment by the 2017-18 school year.
In a press release, Laurentian said the latest budget was approved after consultations with more than 300 students, staff and faculty at the school’s Sudbury and Barrie campuses.
“We are one of the few Canadian universities in a strong financial position,” Carol McAulay, Laurentian vice-president of administration, told the Sudbury Star. ”We have balanced budgets projected for at least the next six years, we have a solvent pension plan and low long-term debt ratios. This allows us to move forward with so many game-changing investments. It’s an exciting time to be at Laurentian.”
Highlights of the plan include:
- $42.6 million for the new School of Architecture;
- $6 million for the rehabilitation of the single-student residence
- $4.1 million by 2017-18 to support the international accreditation of the Faculty of Management
- $2.1M by 2017-18 to launch the School of Mines
- $1.05 million by 2017-18 to fund the construction of an Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre, “enhance proactive hiring practices for Aboriginal faculty and staff, and increase Indigenous content in courses.”
Canada’s northern universities have arrived
From the Maclean’s Student Issue, on sale now.
It’s the time of year when twelfth graders realize that they need to choose a university—and soon. Let the road trips begin.
But if their travels take them to the libraries at the University of Calgary or Guelph, they may stumble over students sitting on the ﬂoors. Study space is in short supply.
If they tour residences at Dalhousie or McGill University, they may ﬁnd themselves in a converted hotel or see bunks stacked in former study spaces. Each school has had room shortages in recent years.
The naming of sports teams is now fraught with peril
One of the best running gags in the TV show Community is that Greendale College’s teams are called “The Human Beings”—an absurdly bland moniker designed to insulate the school from complaints and controversy—the sort of complaints levied periodically against the Cleveland Indians or the Washington Redskins.
The fictional school’s feckless Dean might have a point, though, because naming sports teams, at schools especially, is now fraught with peril.
This danger was underscored last week when Utah’s Corner Canyon High School had to do away with its team name “Cougars.” The term, which, in some circles has come to mean an older woman sexually interested in younger men, was the subject of complaints. Canyon teams will now be “The Chargers.”
Three killed in crash
Three Laurentian University students died and a fourth was sent to hospital after a collision on a cold Highway 17 near Hagar, Ont. on Tuesday, reports CBC News. Renfrew, Ont. teenagers Keegan Melville, Zabrina Rekowski and Hillary Afelskie died when their Ford minivan collided head on with a Jeep carrying two senior citizens. One passenger, Emily Olmstead, is in hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police are investigating but they say weather likely wasn’t a factor.
Gets house arrest instead of jail
A student pleaded guilty in a North Bay, Ont. court—and received house arrest—after he was caught with a hefty load of marijuana in his car, an estimated $47,000 worth. Jameson Fletcher’s lawyer argued that his client, a Laurentian University commerce student, was selling drugs to help lessen his $40,000 school debt load, reports the North Bay Nugget. Fletcher was given a punishment of six months served in the community when it’s common to receive jail-time, said the deciding judge, Justice Jean-Gilles Lebel. Despite the light sentence, Lebel noted that many young people carry student debt and most manage to pay it down without committing crimes.
Pledges millions for new campus
The City of Barrie approved a preliminary motion Monday to ask Ontario’s government for the province’s next university campus, reports the Barrie Examiner. City council will also commit $14-million toward a new campus of Laurentian University that would cost roughly $60-million to build. Laurentian itself has committed $14-million. The proposed campus would house 3,000 students and open in 2020. Barrie is estimated to have grown by one-third in the past decade to 135,000 people according to the City, with 191,000 in the Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in 2010, according to Statistics Canada. That makes it the biggest CMA in Ontario, by far, without a university. The Ontario Liberals promised three new campuses during the October election campaign. Ontario will need to add between 50,000 and 104,000 new undergraduates seats by 2025 to meet the growing demand for degrees, according to the new book Academic Reform.
Thesis experiment to examine brain waves
A student pursing her master’s degree in pschology is on a mission to prove psychic activity exits, reports The Sudbury Star.
Mandy Scott, a student at Laurentian University, says she plans, among other things, to measure changes in brain activity during supposed psychic episodes.
“Psychic functioning is the ability to perceive and describe targets, which could be people, places, events, situations, anything that’s hidden from you at a distance of space in time,” Scott explained to the newspaper.
Although she is sometimes criticized for her choice of study, she asserts that, “psychic function is real and we need help in pinpointing how it works.”
The study will include three groups. One will be the control. A second will be taught psychic techniques. The third will consist of “experienced psychics.” Each group will be asked to describe a photo inside an envelope. The question is, will the psychic groups do better? Each participant will also be given six EEG scans to look for changes in brain wave activity.
Men are attracted to obstetrics, so why not midwifery?
When Otis Kryzanauskas was four years old, he didn’t want to be an astronaut, a police officer or a firefighter.
After witnessing his younger brother’s birth at home — and cutting the cord — he decided he would one day be a midwife.
Next spring, he’ll be the first male graduate of the Bachelor of Midwifery program at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.
Kryzanauskas, who has participated in almost 100 births already, believes that he may be the first male midwife to graduate anywhere in Canada — ever.
Why are there so few men in this fast-growing field?
Midwives provide primary care to women and their babies during pregnancy, labour, birth and the postpartum period. According to the Canadian Women’s Health Network, midwives spend an average of 20 to 30 minutes more per appointment with their patients than other medical professionals do. That could explain why demand for midwifery services is increasing. Rare two decades ago, over the course of 2010, there were 14,000 midwife-attended births in Canada.
Worker shortage makes this career a sure bet (for now)
During the 2008 recession, mineral prices dropped and mines stopped hiring. Back then, geology graduates and mining engineers had reasons to worry about their career choices.
Not anymore. Three years later, there are at least 1,000 openings at Canadian mines — and only 300 people are expected to graduate from Canadian mining-related programs this year.
Hani Mitri, a professor of Mining Engineering at McGill University, told the Montreal Gazette that Canadian companies are desperate for geologists, mining engineers, metal workers and environmental experts and that “[Schools] are not prepared for the boom.”
However, some schools are reacting to the changing job market. Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ont. announced last week that it will open a new School of Mines, which will mean adding more mining-related programs and courses.
Learning at these three schools happens outside the lecture hall
Like Rodney Dangerfield and rolling in the mud, Concordia University has a tendency to be underappreciated. Long considered the red-headed stepchild of Montreal’s two English universities, it is often lost in the ivy-tinged shadow of McGill. Many wear their alma mater’s scruffier-than-thou reputation on their sleeve. “Concordia is to McGill what the United Church is to Catholicism,” says one-time contemporary dance major Amy Blackmore. Still, the university has consistently found itself on the wrong end of Maclean’s rankings.
But while the numbers may show the 30,000-student university has certain challenges, they obscure many of the innovative aspects of a Concordia education that attract people like Amy Blackmore. Case in point: the faculty of fine arts, based in the glass-and-steel confines of the university’s new Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex. By design, the roughly 3,700 fine arts students live and work in one of Montreal’s busiest strips—from which students and faculty alike draw inspiration. “There’s no sense of there being an ivory tower here,” says Chris Salter, a computer design professor. “There are no closed-off spaces. There’s more of what I’d call seepage.”
“Seepage” is an odd yet apt description of the department’s philosophy. Students who choose ﬁne arts won’t simply learn their chosen craft; more often than not, they’ll learn how to put it to use once they graduate. The department of design and computation arts doesn’t simply teach the esoteric aspects of the craft, but the practical as well. “In any given week I’ll be teaching the academic, such as media theory, to the hard-core technical, like digital audio design,” says Salter. The department offers a double major in computer science and computation arts, the only one of its kind in North America.
If there is a technological pièce de résistance in the department, it’s the Hexagram Institute. Established in 2001, it is the conglomeration of 16 so-called “new media labs” devoted solely to what the university calls “new processes, creative communities and innovative works or prototypes.” Translation: students get to dream up and make really, really cool stuff.
D. Andrew Stewart, a Concordia graduate, is using Matralab (one of the Hexagram’s spaces) to hone the T-Stick, a length of plumbing tube stuffed with electronics and layered with a touch-sensitive surface. The tube reacts to movement and touch, and when hooked up to a computer it can be manipulated to make custom sounds (a flute, maybe, or a sample of Stewart yelling something quasi-obscene). “It’s all open source,” Stewart says, “meaning you could build one yourself with instructions from the Internet. The gyroscope in it is from a Nintendo Wii controller.”
Matralab director Sandeep Bhagwati, who is also one of nine Canada Research Chairs in fine arts, says Stewart’s T-Stick is typical of the department’s beyond-the-box, interdisciplinary approach to art and performance. Indeed, it’s what attracted him to Concordia. “I have a very structured background as an orchestra director and composition professor,” Bhagwati says. “I really don’t like the divides. I needed input from people who were not musicians.”
Music therapy is another example of the department’s mix of theory and practicality. Music majors typically had three choices once they graduate: teaching, performing or gut-wrenching unemployment. You might say that Concordia’s music therapy program is a welcome fourth option. One of only two master’s-level programs in the country, music therapy students spend three days a week during the 12-month period (a total of 1,200 hours) working at various prenatal, health and palliative care centres, as well as women’s shelters and special education facilities around Montreal.
For professor P. K. Langshaw, interaction with the community at large goes both ways. In 2001, Langshaw began an ad hoc outreach program between her students and those of Dans La Rue, a resource centre for street kids featuring an alternative school. The reason: Langshaw, whose many specialties include computer art design, wanted to demystify the subject for DLR students. Her instinct has legs: today, DLR students can take classes at Concordia, earning the equivalent of six credits for producing university-level works. “For a lot of DLR kids, digital self-expression isn’t something that’s necessarily in their realm,” Langshaw says. “But here they are treated the same as any Concordia student.” It’s a ﬁtting partnership: Concordia itself is dans la rue—and proud to be far away from the ivory towers of certain other universities.
- Martin Patriquin
Ontario NDP says universities spent nearly $1 million on lobbying
After taking aim at hospital lobbyists, Ontario’s New Democrats are now zeroing in on hired guns paid by the province’s universities and colleges. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is demanding to know why nine colleges and universities have been spending close to $1 million on lobbyists to influence the government.
They include Laurentian University, which had a contract worth $102,000, and Toronto’s York University, which had three contracts totalling close to $500,000. The University of Ontario Institute of Technology also has a lobbyist contract worth up to $130,000, according to documents obtained by the NDP under freedom-of-information laws.
“Something is very, very wrong here,” Horwath said in the provincial legislature. “Ontario students pay the highest tuition fees in the entire country. Why are universities spending that money on high-priced, well-connected, insider lobbyists?”
Colleges and Universities Minister John Milloy said the schools have no reason to hire lobbyists and that spending public funds on lobbyists is not acceptable. “There’s no need for them to be spending public money on lobbyists and my ministry will be working to make sure that message is sent loud and clear to the college sector,” Milloy said.
The revelations came a day after the NDP disclosed that 14 hospitals had hired lobbyists — a practice Premier Dalton McGuinty quickly condemned.
The Canadian Press
But province is right to stick to their funding formula
The Sault Star editorial Tuesday says that Laurentian University is losing $1 million a year in provincial funding for graduate students due to the distribution of those students not fitting a provincial funding formula.
LU was funded to admit 25 new PhD students and 95 new master’s students starting this, 2007/08, year. Instead, LU admitted 55 new PhD students and only 35 new master’s students. LU requested the province allow them to switch funding intended for new master’s students to instead fund the 30 PhD students.
The province said no, the formula is the formula.
The Sault Star says this is a problem and the formula needs to change.
While I normally would not support a rigid funding formula, the circumstances of this year lead me to.
The spring of 2007 saw the “double cohort” graduate from four-year degree programs. This increased demand for graduate programs and recruited an increase in Master’s program spaces. The province increased the funding of master’s programs to respond to this demand. The reality is that the funding has a policy purpose.
The purpose was to create the new of graduate study spaces available for students completing their undergraduate degrees last year. The province cannot provide money to achieve a set purpose and then allow universities to change that purpose. It does not matter how similar that purpose may seem. To allow LU to divert funds intended for “double cohort” graduate students to other, in this case PhD, students would be to allow universities to ignore public policy direction at will.
Let’s be clear, I don’t believe LU went out and acted in bad faith. To the contrary, I believe they admitted each qualified master’s applicant they had. They then decided to admit more PhD students in the hope that the funding would come anyway. They took a chance, one which didn’t work for them.
I’ve emailed the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities for comment and will update when I receive a reply.