All Posts Tagged With: "Mount Allison University"
What students are talking about today (March 14th)
1. Here’s a reminder of how student governments in the United States have much different concerns than our own. The student congress of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill recently changed the rules to make it harder for campus gun clubs to use student money to buy ammunition, reports Mother Jones. Following high-profile mass shootings on campuses, a number of states have passed laws preventing concealed guns on campus. More controversially, others, like Colorado and Utah, have laws that require colleges to allow concealed weapons.
2. Student newspapers across Canada, from The Argosy at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick to The Meliorist at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta are publishing odes to St. Patrick, whose holiday for Irish Canadians and those who drink too much is coming up on Sunday. Meanwhile, Western University, in the town that hosted the famous St. Patty’s Day Riot last March, is offering some tips. Some are no brainers, like, have a plan of how you’ll get home (transit? taxi?) and don’t leave drinks unattended. More interesting are the reminders from Campus Police that keg parties are illegal, that drinking underage can lead to $125 tickets and that London’s new Nuisance Party Bylaw means rowdy hosts can face $500 fines. The lesson? Go to someone else’s party.
Colin Laroque earns a 3M National Teaching Fellowship
Colin Laroque, a Geography and Environment professor at Mount Allison University, is a 3M National Teaching Fellowship recipient for 2013. Maclean’s On Campus is profiling all 10.
Growing up in inner-city Saskatoon, the outdoors was always a refuge for Colin Laroque. While he witnessed substance abuse and tensions between the First Nations community and police in his day-to-day life, the weekends were an escape. Out on the family farm, Laroque, a Métis, and his elders would track a fox through the snow, go fishing and explore the forest. “That’s how they taught me and that’s how I learned the sights, the smells, the feel for things,” he says.
What students are talking about today (January 24th)
1. Roughly half as many people in Ontario applied to start teacher’s college in 2013 than applied in 2007 and there was a 15 per cent drop in the past year alone, according to new numbers from the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre. There were just 8,199 applicants this year, compared to 16,042 applicants six years ago. There were 9,638 in 2012. The University of Windsor saw the biggest decline with 25 per cent fewer applications. It looks like students are getting the message about the shortage of teaching jobs. There was such a mismatch in recent years that Ontario capped the number of first-year education students at 9,058. It looks like that cap won’t be needed.
2. Emily Carr University is getting $113 million in provincial funding to move its campus to Great Northern Way, a less central but more spacious location in suburban Vancouver, reports The Province. The art and design college’s current location was built for 800 students but has 1,800, meaning many qualified applicants have been turned down. The building will open in July 2016.
Astronauts, McGill’s budget cuts and UBC’s animal research
1. McGill University’s board of governors spoke out for the first time Thursday on the Parti Québécois government’s mandate to cut $20-million in spending by April, and the CBC reports their response is pretty clear: They’re not gonna take it. McGill principal Heather Munroe-Blum told the CBC the cuts are “draconian, unpredictable, [and] ineffective.” Quebec’s universities are under order to cut $120-million in the next four months, but McGill is in a particular pickle: the university’s budget was set last spring, before the student protests against tuition hikes that consumed Montreal and led PQ leader Pauline Marois to announce a tuition freeze in September. McGill contends the cuts are impossible, and is board is asking the provincial government to revoke the cuts and honour its original commitment to the school’s budget.
2. The University of British Columbia released 2011 data on animals involved in its research today, reporting a total of 225,043 animal used in research in 2011, up from 211,604 in 2010. The university’s animal research wing has received negative attention in the past (particularly from a 2010 report from the Canadian Council on Animal Care), but The Province reports that university scientists defended their work at a media briefing before the data was released, pointing to medical advancements made as a result of animal testing. The 2011 report says the majority of the animals used in 2011 were rodents, reptiles, fish and amphibians. UBC’s vice-president of research told The Province sometimes there are no other alternatives: “Animal research is not going away at this time.”
A photographic tour of the campus in Sackville, N.B.
This fall, Maclean’s photographed 24 of the 49 institutions featured in the 2013 Maclean’s University Rankings. Below, Jessica Darmanin shows you around Mount Allison University. Click on each photo to make it larger. Then check out the other 23 galleries by clicking here.
Our latest fall fashion photos
Earth tones, scarves, leather—that’s what’s in this fall at Mount Allison University, the top-ranked primarily undergraduate school in the Maclean’s University Rankings. Sackville, N.B. was photographer Jessica Darmanin’s third stop on her tour of Atlantic Canada where she’s kept one eye out for campus fashion. Click on each photo to make it bigger. After that, why not show us your style? Tweet your fall fashion photo to @maconcampus or post it on our Facebook wall.
Guess which universities get the least student financial aid
You know the stereotype that Queen’s University attracts rich kids? The one played up in this recent viral video in which a student jokes: “I don’t know what financial aid is, but Queen’s has it.”
Well, if the number of students receiving financial assistance is any indication, it’s very likely true.
Queen’s University has the lowest number of students receiving Ontario Student Assistance in the province: only 29.6 per cent of students.
Contrast that to Nipissing University in the relatively poorer north of Ontario, where twice as many—59.6 per cent—get loans. It’s almost as high at Trent University—59.3 per cent.
Canadian schools have crazy fans and community too
From the Maclean’s University Rankings—on newsstands now. Story by Alex Ballingall.
We’ve all seen it: the near-ubiquitous image of the spirited American college student chanting a school slogan, streaking across campus or slogging back a beer from a Dixie cup in a stadium parking lot. It’s the sort of paint-your-body zealotry often depicted in Hollywood movies.
Doesn’t seem very Canadian, does it?
Certainly not according to the 2010 edition of The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges, a yearly publication out of Yale University that documents the strengths and weaknesses of North American universities. “One aspect of college life that Canada fails to offer is school spirit,” the guide stipulates. “Their attachment to their schools is not as strong as in the United States.”
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.
Students should brace for the worst as faculty reject conciliation report
I think students at Mount Allison University are in for a faculty strike this semester.
The vote was close. After two days of debate, the faculty union voted 55 per cent in favour of rejecting the conciliation board’s report yesterday. Defeating the report by such a slim margin, only a day after the union entered the legal position to hold a strike vote among its members shows division within the union that may be difficult to overcome.
That same narrow margin of victory is sure to deeply irritate the university’s bargaining team who were quick to accept the board’s report and end the debate on Feb. 1, only a day after the report was released.
The key points of debate are predictable: money and trust. The release from the bargaining unit yesterday showed that part-time faculty are almost entirely ignored in the report and many faculty distrust the entire purpose of having a conciliatory board, saying it gets in the way of “free collective bargaining.”
When these kinds of debates become this heated and divided, and when trust becomes involved, people have a tendency to become more entrenched in their respective positions, less likely to evolve as bargaining gets increasingly tense.
While faculty association president Rick Hudson said in a release, “It is our intention to reach an agreement through free collective bargaining so that classes will not be affected,” I’m not so sure students should jump onboard the optimism train. It might be wise for students to brace themselves for the worst.
In the meantime, it’s not too late to change the tide. Both sides will return to the bargaining table, but to avert a strike, clear heads must prevail. The university may need to realize that attracting high-quality faculty may take more money than they wish it did. Faculty may have to realize that working at a small liberal arts university is not the way to wealth and fame. Compromise is the inevitable result of this argument, and both sides would do well to find that compromise soon.
Do Heather Reisman’s causes, or her profile, make her a target?
Ask Heather Reisman whether she feels more like a lightning rod or a pinata, and the response is a rather curt “neither.” Then again, the CEO of Indigo Books & Music also maintains she isn’t angry about protests by a handful of Mount Allison University staff, and like-minded individuals across the country, against the honorary degree she was awarded earlier this week. Irked, however, with occasional gusts to severely pissed, is exactly how she sounds. “This very same group of people have been protesting against me and against Indigo for three years,” she says. “There is an absolutely deliberate attempt to misinform; to twist facts.”
Indigo’s 61-year-old “chief book lover” was in august company at the May 17 commencement ceremonies in Sackville, N.B. With newly installed celebrity-chancellor Peter Mansbridge presiding, Mount A also conferred degrees on David Sobey, chairman of the eponymous grocery chain, Samantha Nutt, the founder of War Child Canada, and Toronto pastor and gay-rights activist Rev. Brent Hawkes. But Reisman was the one that faculty like David Thomas, a professor of international relations, took exception to, citing what he alleges are her “direct ties” to the Israeli Defense Forces. “This is a military that has been accused and found guilty on several occasions of gross violations of international humanitarian law,” he told the CBC. The Palestinian Solidarity Network and the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid took up the cause, urging supporters to send letters of outrage to university ofﬁcials.
At issue is a charity Reisman and her billionaire husband, Toronto businessman Gerry Schwartz, set up in 2005. The Heseg Foundation provides bursaries and pays living expenses for former IDF members who wish to study and settle in Israel, but have no family in country. Headquartered in a historic Tel Aviv mansion, the foundation supports approximately 125 “Lone Soldiers” each year. Reisman says her foes are misrepresenting both Heseg’s work and her own beliefs. “They are trying to suggest that the program is supportive of the war, that we in some way encourage people, who wouldn’t otherwise, to come to Israel, that we are doing bad things to people in the Palestinian territories,” she says. “Those are outright lies.”
The backlash was modest—about 100 emails at last count. And some, including a part-time instructor in the Mount A English department, objected to the honorary degree on completely different grounds, accusing Indigo of “bulldozing competitors” with predatory business practices that have killed off independent bookstores and small presses. (Mark Lefebvre, the incoming president of the Canadian Booksellers Association, doesn’t quite see it that way. “Most of the damage had been done by Chapters before Heather bought out the company.” Indigo is a colossus, but not a malevolent one, he says, citing the company’s support for literacy and expansion of book culture.)
Reisman’s take is that she’s a target because of her high proﬁle. There’s no question that as one the country’s richest and most powerful couples, she and Schwartz tend to make headlines. Sometimes it’s for their good works, like a $5-million donation to Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital. On other occasions it has been for their enviable lifestyle; ﬂashy cars, a private jet, mansions in Rosedale and Palm Beach, Fla., and a modest three-bedroom, two-bath beach house in Malibu, acquired in 2008 for US$19 million. As the country’s largest bookseller, Reisman can also make news by simply removing something from her shelves, as she did with Hitler’s Mein Kampf in 2001, and a 2006 edition of Harper’s magazine that republished a Danish newspaper’s controversial cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.
Her opinions matter. Sandwiched between her directorships at J. Crew and the sporting charity Right to Play, Reisman’s CV notes her place on the “steering committee” of the Bilderberg Group, an invitation-only annual confab that brings together 130 of the world’s business, military and ﬁnancial leaders.
Israel is an emotional subject. A lifelong Liberal, major donor and former policy chair, she broke with the party in 2006 over interim leader Bill Graham’s stance on the Lebanon war. Reisman says she supports a two-state solution, but is reluctant to discuss her views in detail, lest there be further misinterpretation. “I think a lot of people basically have very strong opinions, and not a lot of knowledge,” she says.
Reisman does point to “Heather’s Pick” this month: I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey. She has been travelling across the country, hosting in-store events with the author Izzeldin Abuelaish, who continues to work for peace despite losing three of his daughters and a niece to an Israeli tank shell during the ﬁghting in January 2009. It might be interesting to talk to him, she suggests. Abuelaish declined the interview request. “As Heather knows my message is a human one and I do not want it to be politicized or biased at all,” he wrote in an email. “Thank you for your understanding.”
With nearly 80 per cent of the vote, students say yes to a new “green fee”
According to The Sackville Tribune, Mount Allison students have overwhelmingly voted to raise their own student fees by $10. For the planet, that is.
In a recent student referendum, nearly 80 per cent of students voted in favour of the hike, the proceeds of which will purportedly go towards reducing carbon emissions both on and off-campus. The new fee will probably bring in between $20,000 to $24,000 every year.
The so-called SAC Green Investment Fund will fund carbon offsetting projects in the city, which could include solar and geo-thermal projects, installing higher-quality insulation in some buildings and partnering with local business to develop tree nurseries.
According to the group, priority will be given to projects that reduce the most carbon in the shortest period of time.
Student council president Mike Currie says some of the council’s representatives have already met with a number of municipal officials to discuss potential coordination.
“My conversations with town councillors and other members of the community have been very positive,” he says. “Although this is the first project of its kind that we are aware, the town has stressed that it is possible that we will be able to leverage the fund to work on joint projects of even greater impact.”
The environmental fund will be governed by an all-student committee that will solicit project recommendations from university staff and faculty, town representatives, university administration, and local climate change experts starting this fall.
New building will open in September 2008
The New Brunswick government announced Tuesday that it will be giving Mount Allison University three million dollars towards the construction of a student centre.
“I am pleased to announce an investment of more than $3 million towards Mount Allison’s new student centre,” Ed Doherty, Minister of Post-Secondary Education said. “This student centre will enhance the campus experience for present and future students of Mount Allison by providing a single, modern facility to house a variety of activities and services.”
The contributions that the Province has made to Mount Allison are critical to helping us develop our new student centre, which will become the new heart of our campus,” says Mount Allison President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Robert Campbell. “This initiative allows us to continue to offer students one of the best undergraduate educations in the country.”
The student centre will open in September 2008.
“Town and Gown” fights between students and cities have been around since the Middle Ages
Students living near McMaster University returned to discover an anonymous letter in mailboxes last week. The writer of the letter, who did not identify himself, complained about students ruining life in Westdale, Hamilton’s university neighbourhood. The writer blamed students and what they call the "New McMaster" for the student ghetto, “a campus drenched in alcohol", a traffic crisis, vandalism, noise, and litter. McMaster University has over 20,000 students but only 4,000 live on campus, pushing thousands of students into the community.
Ryan Moran, President of the McMaster Students Union likened the letter to hate speech. "If you took the word ‘student’ out and replaced it with any other identifiable group, it would be hate speech, plain and simple," he said. Moran acknowledges that there are problems in the community, but feels that teenage residents of the community are often labelled university students and the blame is placed on students because of this. He points out that the majority of students are contributing citizens within the community.
“Town and gown” tensions—a phrase coined by academics—are nearly as old as universities themselves. In one of the most famous examples, a three-day riot in Oxford resulted in 62 students and nearly as many townspeople dead in 1355. The Scholastica’s Day Riot broke out after a dispute about beer in a local tavern. Luckily, town and gown conflicts are now mostly fought in the editorial pages of local newspapers.
The McMaster flyer is particularly critical of a frosh event called the pyjama parade, in which students are supposed to dress in their pyjamas and march through town to meet the residents. In reality, the parade serves as a kick-off for a week of parties, with hundreds of students wearing bikinis and thongs while they parade down the street, kissing each other and drinking alcohol in public.
Although there were at least 18 police officers at the parade this year, they did not seem overly concerned about the alcohol consumption. One group of students was serving beer out of a keg in the trunk of a car, within police view. Police simply directed students to step onto private property when drinking to avoid tickets. Kyle Park, one of the revellers and member of the McMaster Students Union Student Representative Assembly, said, "I do respect the community, stepping a foot off my lawn to have a beer is not a big deal."
Paul Jones, student union vice-president, said, "It is not our responsibility to police the students on the sidewalk, that’s up to the police officers. I would hope that the police officers would do their duty and arrest or fine those people that are drinking in public."
The debate about who is responsible for the policing of off-campus university activities came to focus after Queen’s University’s annual homecoming 2005. During the infamous Aberdeen Street Party—which is not sanctioned by the university—a riot broke out when over 5,000 people spilled onto Aberdeen Street. The party spun out of control, and the police, outnumbered 50 to 1, retreated. By the end of the night, one car had been flipped and set on fire, many others vandalized, and police pelted with bottles and other flying debris.
Queen’s Principal Karen Hitchcock apologized for the event stating in a letter "Queen’s University condemns and apologizes for the lawlessness and dangerous behaviour associated with Homecoming events on Aberdeen Street this past weekend and profoundly regrets both the disturbance and harm experienced by our community neighbours and the risk faced by the attending police, fire and ambulance personnel."
The City of Kingston did not feel this went far enough, they passed a motion demanding Queen’s pay $84,000 of the $119,000 it cost to police homecoming that year. Queen’s refused to pay.
Last year’s homecoming was tamer with a strong presence of police in riot gear. The budget for policing homecoming increased to $212,000 and Queen’s paid $100,000 of the cost.
Tensions are not unique to Ontario. Mt. Allison University in Nova Scotia made headlines last year when the RCMP starting emailing the names of students to the dean of students. The dean would then call the students into his office. Some students felt this was heavy-handed. One student claimed that he was threatened with on-campus judicial action for his off-campus activities if he became a repeat offender in the eyes of the university. A week after the student newspaper reported the story, the practice stopped. The police and university claim that the end of the problem had nothing to do with the newspaper reports.
Another hotspot of tension is the University of Western Ontario in London. City council recently passed bylaws to limit the number of people that can live in one house in the city, a bylaw which appears to target student housing. The city has assigned extra police resources to target areas where students live and as publicly announced that they will not tolerate misbehaviour by students. The tension between town and gown resulted in Ryan Gause, president of the Kings University College Students’ Council, warning the city that due to student bashing, it was being seen as "anti-student" which could result in lower enrolment. Gause told the London Free Press that students feel under siege.
Two weekends ago, tensions flared in another part of London when a party near Fanshawe College involving 500 people got out of hand and police had to use pepper spray. Bernice Hall, a college Vice-President, told the London Free Press that Fanshawe would not tolerate its students trashing neighbourhoods and the college plans to go door-to-door in the community with police to talk to students in an effort to response to problems in the community. Hall admitted that the college had no power to penalize students for off-campus behaviour. Police stated they were pelted with bottles and during the mayhem a man began to tear apart a fence in front of officers. Police chief Murray Faulker was quoted as saying, "Every year, a new batch moves in and they have their first taste of freedom and they don’t understand how to control their alcohol intake."
In all these communities, non-student residents are demanding that universities and colleges act to punish poor behaviour by their students in the community. However, legislation that governs these institutions is intended only to be used to discipline students for on-campus offences. Administrators are loath to attempt to extend those powers off-campus. Offences committed by students in the community are mostly bylaw offences, and universities are not mandated to enforce municipal bylaws.
Waterloo has taken a “zero-tolerance” approach to enforcing its bylaws this year, including a controversial 24-hour noise bylaw. During the four days leading up to the start of classes at Laurier and UWaterloo, over 200 infractions and/or charges were laid by Waterloo police and bylaws officers. 49 of these were violations of noise bylaws.
Oshawa, Ontario is the latest scene of tension between town and gown with the founding of Ontario’s newest public university: the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Since UOIT started accepting students in 2003, many houses around UOIT, which shares its campus with Durham College and a satellite campus of Trent, have been purchased by landlords and converted into student rental housing. Some in the community are not happy about this and have demanded action by the city. The city has responded by drafting a new bylaw which would require any rental property in the areas surrounding campus to first have a license before being allowed to rent. All sides in the dispute are unhappy with the draft bylaw and the city is continuing to try and find a solution.