All Posts Tagged With: "Memorial University"
Two Canadian entrepreneurs plan to try
Crowd funding websites, notably Kickstarter and Indiegogo, are used to raise cash for everything from charitable causes to music projects. Recently, more than 60,000 fans of Veronica Mars used Kickstarter to raise nearly $5 million to produce a movie based on the TV show. It was an impressive use of the concept, which involves small amounts of money from many donors.
FundUni, based in St. John’s, Nfld. is the creation of Kyle Hickey and his brother Trevor, who both attended Memorial University. Though in its infancy, FundUni aims to help both current and prospective students launch tuition funding campaigns. It will work like this: participating students will post a video detailing their stories and ambitions. “The more compelling the better,” says Hickey. Students can offer rewards to those who contribute to their tuition funds. For instance, Hickey, 28, says an art school student could offer a painting or art lessons in exchange for much-needed financial support. The brothers are seeking an initial crop of five students to test the concept. They hope to promote the site across Canada within a year.
What students are talking about today (February 26th)
1. Lakehead University students say that the school’s decision to change a course that will be offered in the new law program will water down the Aboriginal Studies component, reports CBC News. Lee Stuesser, the law school’s dean, says it will still address First Nations issues and that one reason for the change is that past Ontario law deans have raised concerns about non-law courses taught in law schools. “I felt the best thing to do was to make it a law course because my experience over the years has been that law students like law courses, and if they perceive something’s not a law course, then there’s a large measure of dissatisfaction,” he told CBC. Coincidentally, a new report from Frank Iacobucci, a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, says this country needs to urgently address the crisis of Aboriginal under-representation on juries. While on the topic of legal education, Memorial University of Newfoundland has announced it’s exploring the feasibility of a law school in St. John’s.
Today entrepreneurial grads like him find plenty of help
Jordan Smith was desperate. It was July 2009 and he was unemployed and struggling. A recent graduate, his business degree from Memorial University was proving to be poor bait for potential employers. To top it off, it was mid-recession.
“I couldn’t find a job,” he recalled. “Nobody was hiring. If anything they were laying people off.”
So the 23-year-old devised a plan. He printed off a stack of resumes and constructed a large sign from a piece of a refrigerator box. It read: “NEW GRAD. NEED JOB.”
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.
You won’t believe what they’re spending it on
It’s the time of year when most students in Canada ignore posters imploring them to vote for student government executives. Although student unions may seem irrelevant, they’re not. They collect millions of dollars each year in mandatory student fees and spend it, sometimes on things most students wouldn’t support—if only they knew.
Here are six stupid things Canadian student unions did with your money. If this doesn’t motivate you to research the candidates and vote in your campus elections, I don’t know what will.
1. Spent it on big parties you didn’t attend
Avicii, one of the top electronic acts in the world, doesn’t usually show up in places like Windsor, Ont. Snoop Dogg doesn’t often party in St. John’s, Nfld. It should be no surprise then that the University of Windsor Students’ Alliance lost about $40,000 on their show in September and that the Memorial University of Newfoundland Students’ Union lost $100,000 on Snoop. The Kwantlen Student Association may hold the record though. They lost $128,000 on Jay Sean. Jay… who?
What students are talking about today (January 30th)
1. Almost a year after the start of anti-tuition marches that shut down many Quebec university programs and later toppled the Jean Charest government, the new Parti Quebecois government says zero tuition is not currently feasible, surely disappointing many of the activists who got the PQ elected. Meanwhile, François Legault, leader of the Coalition Avenir Québec, is trying to make the anti-tuition supporters heads explode by proposing a two-tier system of tuition in which the provinces “top four” universities—Montreal, McGill, Laval and Sherbrooke—would set their own tuition fees, while the remaining 14 would become much more affordable teaching-focused universities. The idea of two-tier education with research and teaching universities isn’t new and it isn’t very popular in Canada, but there’s a reason it never goes away—it could potentially work. Read more on Legault’s plan here.
Prof. Pettigrew on why remedial courses aren’t the answer
Ask any university professor if their students come to university well prepared and you are likely to hear some laughter. And then more laughter. And then the word “no” spoken with emphasis. English students who don’t know what a semi-colon is, biology students who know nothing about evolution—none of this is a secret.
So it was hardly news to me that the students of Memorial University’s Judith Adler don’t know basic geography.
Despite its ubiquity, this lack of basic knowledge among high school graduates is frustrating because those students don’t make up for their lack of basic skills with an abundance of advanced skills. If they knew few facts but were, let’s say, excellent critical thinkers or writers, that might be okay—one can’t expect everything.
Sadly, however, most students arrive with neither basic factual knowledge nor critical thinking nor writing skills to speak of. How exactly they have spent their time in secondary school is actually a bit of a mystery to those of us in higher education.
What students are talking about today (January 15th)
1. An 18-year-old Capilano University student named Rosea Lake (a.k.a. Rosea Posey) has received 275,000 notes on her Tumblr site after posting her feminist artwork “Judgments.” The photo shows a woman with a skirt hiked up and a series of words written on her leg that begin at her ankle with “matronly” and end at her buttocks with “whore.” She told The Province her message is for people to stop judging women unfairly by how they dress, a.k.a.”slut shaming.”
2. U of T students are being accused of planning an orgy. “The University of Toronto Sexual Education Centre is kicking off its annual Sexual Awareness Week next Monday at Oasis Aqua Lounge, a downtown club that bills itself as a water-themed adult playground, where swingers are welcome and sex is allowed everywhere but the hot tub,” reports The Toronto Star. “We’re not funding an orgy,” external education and outreach coordinator Dylan Tower, 22, told The Star. “People are allowed to have sex [but] there is not any type of ‘You should be having sex when you’re here.” So, in other words, students can have an orgy if they want to, but it’s totally optional. The SEC is affiliated with the University of Toronto Students’ Union and is funded by undergraduate student fees. Tower told The Star the event is a safe way to introduce curious students to the sex club scene.
Fake IDs, cheerleading champs, Tolkien & weirdo engineers
1. Fake IDs have come a long way since I was 17. Back then it simply required peeling off the top layer of a real one, changing a 5 to a 1, and replacing the plastic. Today there are holograms and magnetic strips. Still, shady shops in Toronto are overcoming the technology and creating passable “novelty” driver’s licenses and university ID cards for anyone with roughly $50, CBC News reports. It just goes to show that if demand is strong enough, the black market will respond.
2. Some students will do anything to get out of Saskatchewan in January. The University of Regina is the only Canadian school sending a cheerleading team to International Cheer Union’s World University Championships next month in Orlando, Florida, reports the Leader-Post.
Worst-ever Gangnam parody, gun control & pub trouble
1. “This Gangnam Style parody made by high school students in New Holland, Pennsylvania, is so terrible it’s destined to outlive the original music video,” writes The Albatross. That may be going a little far, but there’s a reason this kooky video has a million clicks already. It’s hilarious!
2. A “possible abduction” at York University on Wednesday turned out to be just a prank, say Toronto Police. The pranksters had said they saw a person forced into a van by two men near the Fine Arts building. “Police have investigated the incident and spoken with the people involved. It has been revealed it was a prank played between the people involved,” they write.
3. Quebec’s universities say they were blindsided by a cut of $124-million to be implemented during the current school year. This comes as universities scramble to make up for revenue lost after tuition hikes were cancelled in September by the new Parti Québecois government.
Robert Pattinson, a pro-life victory & a condom shortage
1. Master’s student Lauren Adkins is planning to marry a life-sized cardboard cutout of Robert Pattinson, the actor who played Edward Cullen in the Twilight films. It’s for her thesis project on “fan culture, women in modern society and idealized notions of romantic love.” The University of Las Vegas student’s wedding will include a real bachelorette party, ceremony and wedding dress. I guess graduate school can be fun after all.
2. After a student threatened to sue, the Kwantlen Student Association’s board of directors voted to grant club status (and the money that comes with it) to pro-life group Protectores Vitae. They also voted to suspend their regulations against clubs that support political parties, religious organizations or causes. The KSA executive had originally rejected the pro-life club’s application, citing its policy affirming a women’s right to choose. Read more in The Runner.
3. Planned Parenthood’s branch in St. John’s, Nfld. tells CBC News that it’s out of condoms. This comes just as sexually transmitted infections are on the rise in St. John’s. Five years ago there were 510 cases of chlamydia. Last year it was 689. Meanwhile the head physician at Memorial University’s student health services just diagnosed his first case of syphilis after seven years on the job.
David Purdy is an instructor at King’s in Halifax
Like many great online discoveries, it was boredom that led David Purdy to Wikipedia in 2006. Six years later, fewer than 50 people have created more articles than him. Purdy, a Haligonian raised in Paradise, N.L., has more than 4,500 articles and 130,000 edits to his name.
Purdy was on an engineering work term in Calgary, Alta. when he first came across the free encyclopedia. “It was the peak of the oil boom and there were drive-by hirings,” he says. “My supervisor was constantly getting promoted and being replaced by someone else. No one really cared about the work term student,” he adds. “At the point where I was really bored out of my mind and could not find any work for anyone to give me to do, I discovered Wikipedia.”
After four years at Memorial University he transferred into English literature. “When [engineers] look at something they want to know how it works. When I look at things,” he says, “I’m more interested in the etymology of the words used to describe the thing or the history of the thing.”
‘Better’ schools wouldn’t take him. Now, he’s a master.
John Fraser is master of Massey College at the University of Toronto. His advice first appeared in the 2013 Maclean’s University Rankings.
The agony of “getting it right” when choosing a university to kick off the higher academic experience in life is one I never had the privilege of experiencing. I had only three humble criteria: (1) is there a university that would actually take me, (2) could I afford it, and (3) please, dear God, can there be enough distance between my home in Toronto and this mythical, inexpensive place of higher learning—preferably with water in between?
Those are not generally the concerns of either parents or students, but variations on those themes are actually not a bad way to figure out where to go. The endless searching for exactly the right high-profile place, the relentless reliance on university evaluation guides (including the highly popular one this magazine puts out every year), the phone calls to well-connected friends, the trauma visited on the victim-students, the over-the-top ambitions of concerned parents: all these ingredients can add up to a roiling broth whose only parallel seems to be the hysteria of a bride’s mother the day before the wedding.
College students who transfer to university do well
From the 2013 Maclean’s University Rankings
Kristy Normore, 23, grew up in L’Anse-au-Loup, Nfld., and was one of 16 in her high school’s graduating class. (L’Anse-au-Loup has a population of 600.) She left to attend Memorial University in St. John’s, but found it wasn’t for her. “Some of my classes had over 300 people,” she says. “I absolutely hated it. No one knew your name.” Formerly a straight-A student, Normore found her marks began to drop. After her first year, she went back home and spent the year planning her next move.
Intent on a career in social work, Normore enrolled at Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) in Sydney, “one of the best decisions I ever made.” Classes had 30 people—tops. Tuition was cheaper. She got As again. After two years, diploma in hand, Normore transferred to Cape Breton University (CBU), right next to NSCC, into the bachelor of arts community studies (BACS) program. She graduated in June. Starting university the second time, she felt better prepared. “I was used to helping myself. I found it much easier.”
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.”
A photographic tour of the campus in St. John’s, Nfld.
This fall, Maclean’s photographed 24 of the 49 institutions featured in the 2013 Maclean’s University Rankings. Below, Jessica Darmanin shows you around Memorial University. Click on each photo to make it larger. Then check out the other 23 galleries by clicking here.
Dangerous drinking, First World Problems & free textbooks
1. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to report this, but public safety is at risk (seriously). A University of Tennessee student was hospitalized with a dangerously high blood-alcohol level after his fraternity, which has now been suspended until at least 2015, allegedly gave him an alcohol enema. Students call this “butt-chugging.” The apparent victim denies it, but such things have happened. At least one student died this way in 2005, according to Inside Higher Education.
2. This could be a game-changer. California’s governor has signed a law that will make more than 50 core textbooks free to download. Hard copies will cost just $20. I’ll bet it’s only a matter of time before this idea catches on here.
3. A Queen’s Journal columnist has explored the trend of #FirstWorldProblems after a life-changing event that happened while waiting in line with a friend for a latte. “We were informed that our Starbucks rewards no longer included free flavour shots,” writes Trilby Goouch. “As regular flavour shot users, we were both a little rattled by this new information.” First World Problems indeed.
Our latest fall fashion photos
Summers are short in Newfoundland and the sun sets early—7:00 p.m already tonight! To escape the darkness, Memorial University students are brightening things up with neon pinks, passionate reds and Batman yellow. St. John’s was Jessica Darmanin’s latest stop as she tours Atlantic Canada with an eye on campus fashion. Click the photos to make them bigger. Then show us your campus style. Tweet your fall fashion photo to @maconcampus or post it on our Facebook wall.
Entrepreneurship bootcamp in St. John’s
Students at Memorial University are helping Canadian Forces members transition to civilian life by training them to run their own businesses. Nineteen veterans and soon-to-be vets, including some discharged for injuries, participated in this week’s “entrepreneurial bootcamp” in St. John’s. Business owners, faculty and students trained them in everything from marketing to social media. The Department of National Defense worked with the local chapter of Students in Free Enterprise to develop the Based in Business program, which is offering the training with support from Canadian Youth Business Foundation and Prince’s Charities Canada. For more, see The Telegram.
Says “havin’ a time” is his phrase, not theirs
A comedian in St. John’s isn’t too happy that Memorial University is using the words “havin’ a time” on banners that promote its student reunion.
Donnie Dumphy, whose Havin’ a Time rap appeared on the show Rick Mercer Report in 2008 told CBC that the phrase belongs to him. He also says he would have done an ad campaign “for five bucks and a half pack of smokes.”
Penny Blackwood, director of alumni affairs and development for Memorial, noted that the definition of “a time” is in the dictionary of Newfoundland English and called it coincidental.
With that it sounds like Dumphy won’t be havin’ a time on Memorial’s dime anytime soon. But there is a silver lining for him. At least his video will get a few more views. It already has 1.2 million.