All Posts Tagged With: "Queen’s University"
What students are talking about today (April 12th)
1. The city council of Kingston, Ont. has been accused of disregarding university students as it redraws electoral boundaries. Council voted that three of the 13 municipal electoral districts near Queen’s University will be merged into two, which means students will be represented by fewer councilors. This is despite a staff report that recommended taking into account the student population, which the city knows exists, even though they’re unlikely to be counted in official tallies that require voters to register themselves. Queen’s Alma Mater Society has expressed disappointment. “The AMS is dismayed by the attitudes that many of the Councillors expressed at the meeting, which reflected an aggressively anti-student attitude that is all too familiar—one which the AMS has been working for a decade to eradicate.”
2. A McGill University professor allegedly harassed a Muslim student from Cairo, an accusation that spread on social media and resulted in protesters chanting, “Hey, hey. Ho, Ho. Racist professors have to go,” outside of his lecture, reports the Gazette. The protest followed a Global News report that included an audio recording student Amr El-Orabi secretly made during a conversation with professor Gary Dunphy before El-Orabi quit school and returned to Egypt. In the recording, Dunphy accuses El-Orabi of cyber-stalking, refers to both the student’s God and his own God in unkind terms, and says, “don’t think for a minute that your culture is the be all and end all.” When El-Orabi asks,”is there anything else that you want from me now?,” Dunphy responds, “your death.”
Jimmy Carter at Queen’s, Twinkies at risk & a hip-hop club
1. Queen’s University is facing a backlash after deciding to award former U.S. president Jimmy Carter an honourary degree. Why? Because Carter criticizes Israel. The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs told National Post that at least 50 upset Queen’s alumni have contacted them.
2. Twinkies and Wonder Bread are on life-support. Hostess Brands Inc. says it will go out of business after failing to get wage and benefit cuts from thousands of striking bakery workers.
3. A third-year journalism student at Ryerson University has started the first Canadian chapter of the Student Hip-Hop Organization. The self-funded group celebrates hip-hop culture and discusses what’s hot on the hip-hop scene, reports The Eyeopener. U.S. branches have brought acts like Wiz Khalifa and Kid Cudi to campus.
Inside the war against risky drinking on campus
From the 2013 Maclean’s University Rankings
When outraged members of Pi Kappa Alpha at the University of Tennessee called a news conference in September to protest the suspension of their fraternity due to allegations of strange and excessive alcohol abuse, two words sprang to mind: Animal House. The news conference, immortalized on YouTube, is so unintentionally bizarre that it could be mistaken for an outtake from the subversive 1978 frat-boy comedy that launched a million toga parties and countless hangovers. The press conference—featuring a bow-tied, dead-serious Southern lawyer backed by an angelic legion of fraternity members in their Sunday suits—was called to refute allegations that one of their own, 20-year-old Alexander P. Broughton, had indulged in “butt-chugging” massive quantities of wine. While there was no denying that Broughton was hospitalized with alcohol poisoning after a night of fraternity drinking games, the idea of an alcohol enema is “repulsive” to Broughton, his lawyer said. “He is a straight man.”
Students are doing extraordinary things with video cameras
From the 2013 Maclean’s University Rankings
Andrew Cohen sat near the window of a south Vancouver coffee house, scribbling notes on flashcards to study for an urban geography mid-term. The fourth-year University of British Columbia student grew restive, so, naturally, he took to watching YouTube videos.
Before long, he came upon a video made by students at the University of Victoria. It was a so-called lip dub, a style of video in which students dance and mouth the words to a popular song in an enthusiastic show of school pride. Cohen put his books away within seconds.
“I stopped studying,” recalls Cohen more than a year later. Now 22 and done school, what he saw that day inspired him to become a filmmaker in Vancouver. “That totally changed my life.” He immediately started planning his own lip dub for UBC.
A worker shortage means big perks for mining engineers
Kyle Buckoll finished his bachelor’s degree at the University of British Columbia in April. Unlike many 23-year-old university graduates, he didn’t settle at his parents’ house in Maple Ridge, B.C., to start hunting for internships or entry-level jobs. Instead, he went on an all-expenses-paid trip to Turkey with 31 fellow class-of-2012 graduates from UBC’s mining engineering program. They marvelled at Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia, visited two of the seven ancient wonders of the world, and lounged on beach chairs in Bodrum to toast their graduation. They also toured six mines, because the flight, hotels and buses were all paid for by mining companies eager to show their largesse.
A beginner’s guide to master-level sustainability programs
Many will tell you that they have their M.E.S., but pay close attention because those three letters can mean master of environment and sustainability or master of environmental studies, by which they likely don’t mean master of environmental science, which tends to be denoted by the letters M.Sc. Adding to the confusion are programs with a special focus, such as business, IT or energy. Even degrees with the same name can be very different, so it’s best to research each one. Here’s a sampling to get you started:
Master of Environment and Sustainability (M.E.S.)
University of Western Ontario, London, Ont.
This is a one-year interdisciplinary program that is course-based. Students get an overview of management, ecosystems and engineering before doing co-op terms at government agencies, consulting firms and at companies like Magna and Bank of Nova Scotia. Most graduates go straight to industry.
On choosing McGill, flirting with Queen’s and snubbing Saskatchewan. ‘I got that so wrong!’
In 1987, Linda Frum travelled across Canada to write The Guide to Canadian Universities. She was 24. The book was funny, political and personal and an instant bestseller. Fast forward 23 years: Sen. Frum is about to see her twin children launch their own university careers.
Q: Your book may be 23 years old, but it’s still right on. A lot of it is about how you make the right choice for you. You chose McGill.
A: My mother and my father had one rule only, which was that I wasn’t allowed to stay at home. I graduated from high school in 1981. It was just a terrible time in Quebec’s economic history and, as a result, in McGill’s history. The place was completely decrepit. It was in a struggle with the provincial government; they were trying to choke it to death, just get rid of any remnants of English society, and my mother thought that I would learn a lot from witnessing this death struggle in person. I just worship my mother, and if she thought it was a good idea . . .
Q: Did you do the tour before you went?
A: No, I didn’t. I don’t think I was unusual. I did not visit any school. As a result, a parent’s advice had such influence, because what else would help you make that choice?
Q: Enter your guide book. Not your parents’ guide, is how many people described it.
A: It would be hard for prospective university students today to understand how scarce information was. It wasn’t just that there was no Internet, but the universities themselves didn’t feel any pressing need to sell themselves to their clientele, because most people would pick the school closest to them.
Q: My parents expected me to go to university, but there was not a conversation. “Go forth to a university, whichever one it is.”
A: I laugh when I think about enrolling my twins—who are now in Grade 11—in nursery school. I researched every school inside and outside of my neighbourhood, I spoke to each principal, I met the teachers, I sat in on classes, and I remember my father saying, “What the hell are you doing? It’s nursery school!” But clearly this was a reaction to the feeling that my parents’ generation hadn’t been thoughtful enough about choices.
Q: Your book filled this void, back in the days before obsessive parenting. There was a lot of controversy when it came out.
A: Tons. People felt, “Who the hell are you to tell us about these universities?” and it was a completely legitimate question. It’s the old cliché—if you walk into somebody’s family and you start picking apart Uncle Charlie . . .
Q: Aunt Edith’s going to get mad. I wonder how you feel about some of your book’s recommendations, now that your own kids are ready to go to university. For example, “I recommend you go far, far away from your parents.”
A: No! Terrible advice! Stay home with Mommy! It kills me to think about them leaving. But okay, putting that aside, yes, I do believe they have to leave. What we are seeing are generations of kids who are just refusing to grow up, right? People are saying that 30 is the new 20. I think 20 should be the old 20, that 18 is the time to start taking care of your own life and your own self, and the best way to do that is to move out of mom and dad’s house. So even if my kids choose to go to U of T—and my daughter says she might—she will not be living with me.
Q: You’re going to put her in residence.
A: I’ll put her in residence. It’s time to cut the cord. It’s almost a bigger deal to tell parents, “Get your hands off your kids and just let them grow up.”
Q: You quote Philip Roth, who said, “What right did that 18-year-old have to decide that I would be a dentist?” and it spoke to your theme throughout the book, which is to avoid specialization and use university to become a civilized human being. Where do you sit now on the expand-the-mind vs. get-a-job debate?
A: The well-rounded, character-building liberal arts education is a luxury now. It’s very hard to recommend your child take an unfocused degree and emerge with a history or an English degree.
Q: But it’s the only chance in your life you’ll ever get to think and develop your brain.
A: I agree, but I also understand now that people’s interest in those kinds of intellectual pursuits are diminishing.
Q: Do you think that’s bad?
A: I think it’s terrible, but I also just think it is the way it is. So much time is spent talking about not teaching kids information, facts, and knowledge, but teaching them how to think, and I never understand that argument. If we’re encouraging people to be confident about their opinions without any substance behind them, I don’t think we’re doing a good job of educating them whatsoever.