All Posts Tagged With: "University of Calgary"
Students report rental fraud from Halifax to Calgary
When Adam Michaleski decided to move from Manitoba to Calgary after graduating from Brandon University this spring, he didn’t expect to lose $1,300 and a place to live. But a fake landlord he found on Kijiji who showed him around a nice place took his e-transfer for a damage deposit and then disappeared without a trace.
Rental fraud is a widespread problem for students. A landlord in Halifax recently made off with more than $10,000 after scamming at least 30 people out of their cash, reported CBC Nova Scotia. While the police caught that perpetrator, who pleaded guilty, many cases go unresolved.
Dana Drover, who investigates financial fraud for the Halifax Regional Police, says it’s important for renters to leave a paper trail. If the landlord is paid with a cheque instead of cash or e-transfer, “there’s solid evidence that the money left the account and landed in the account of the recipient.” The two peak periods for rental scams are when students come to university in the fall and when they leave in the spring, he says. A telltale sign of fraud is a landlord who seems rushed, he adds.
What students are talking about today (March 28th)
1. Activists want Carleton University’s student union to pull funding out of an April 9th show by hip-hop artist Rick Ross. It’s partly because of a song with lyrics that suggest men should put drugs in women’s drinks. Kira-Lynn Ferderber, a Carleton Women’s Studies and Human Rights graduate, started a Facebook page to denounce the show. Ferderber told the Ottawa Citizen that, although she’s a hip-hop fan, she’s also a feminist and, “the song itself is such a blatant celebration of rape.” The Student Federation at the University of Ottawa has already pulled out of the show. A Facebook page arguing students should attend has also popped up. It has 80 ‘likes’ so far.
2. The Brandon University Students’ Union will offer interest-free emergency loans in amounts of up to $500 for students facing a “sudden condition of financial distress that hinders academic success,” BUSU’s Raymond Thomson told The Quill student newspaper. The idea is to help out students who can’t get emergency loans from the university itself, which seems rather redundant. Recipients will have to make a re-payment plan and their names will be confidential. Okay then.
Colleges create programs in response to industry demand
Amy Gordon was in the middle of completing her second university degree when she decided to go to college instead. Gordon already had a degree in biology from the University of Alberta, and was studying chemical engineering at the University of Calgary. “I was getting really tired of learning lecture-style theory. I had an itch to get more hands-on and learn more,” says the 29-year-old.
So she left U of C, and is now nearing the end of a two-year diploma program in instrumentation engineering at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton. Gordon has been getting the hands-on training she wanted in labs supported by—and named after—Spartan Controls Ltd. The company has poured about $8-million worth of equipment into the program since 2007, essentially creating labs that replicate what it’s like to work in a refinery, giving students access to training on new technology.
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.
Calgary professor explains his recent remarks
A former high-level political strategist criticized for his comments on child pornography says he was led into a trap.
Tom Flanagan, a political science professor at the University of Calgary, says in a guest column in the National Post that the question that prompted his controversial remarks came out of left field and had nothing to do with the native issues forum where he was speaking.
“In 45 years of university teaching, I have tried to deal with every question my students have asked, so I forged ahead here, unaware that this was a trap, not a bona fide question — a dumb mistake for someone of my age and experience,” Flanagan wrote Monday in the column.
Calgary prof first made comments to student paper
Former Stephen Harper strategist Tom Flanagan has been widely and swiftly condemned for suggesting that people looking at child pornography shouldn’t be jailed.
Flanagan made the controversial remark during a lecture Wednesday night in southern Alberta. His words were recorded on a cellphone and quickly posted on YouTube.
It didn’t take long for people to start cutting ties.
By noon Thursday, the CBC dumped Flanagan as a panellist on its “Power and Politics” program. The University of Calgary, where he is a political science professor, issued a statement distancing itself from his views.
The university also mentioned he would be retiring, but made clear that decision had been announced prior to this week’s controversy.
He is currently on a research leave, and that will now be extended until his retirement.
In a statement attributed to him on the CBC website, Flanagan was apologetic to anyone he offended. He said he absolutely condemns child sex abuse.
“In an academic setting, I raised a theoretical question about how far criminalization should extend toward the consumption of pornography,” reads the statement posted on the blog of Kady O’Malley, also a panellist on “Power and Politics.”
Associate dean of medicine to testify
Taking stage Monday at a public inquiry is what role, if any, the University of Calgary played in a queue-jumping scandal that occurred on its property and allegedly involved a high-ranking employee.
Dr. Ron Bridges, an associate dean in the faculty of medicine, is to testify in Calgary about his involvement with the privately run Helios Wellness Centre.
Clerks and doctors have already testified at the preferential health access hearing about a queue-jumping scheme they allege ran from 2008 to 2012.
The inquiry has heard how patients paid $10,000 each a year to join Helios, a private clinic that dispenses yoga, diet and exercise advice, and rents office space from the university. The non-profit group directed $200,000 or more a year to the university’s faculty of medicine, primarily to pay for scholarships for medical residents.
What students are talking about today (January 17th)
1. Gloria Dickie, editor in chief of Western University’s The Gazette has written an editorial suggesting democracy on campus is under threat after the paper was told their office, which they have occupied since 1973, is being considered as the new site of a multi-faith space—a bigger priority according to the University Students’ Council. They’ve been offered a smaller space instead. She writes that the move comes after USC proposed cutting the paper’s budget, asked to sit in on editorial meetings and considered a ban on in-person interviews. Adam Fearnall, USC president, told National Post that, “on occasion, perhaps [The Gazette] is overdramatic.” But many journalists on Twitter have sided with the editor. “Got to hand it to this year’s USC. Previous editions almost never managed to become national laughing stocks. Aim high! Purple pride!” wrote UWO alumnus and Maclean’s columnist Paul Wells. It now looks like Dickie may get her way. After committing to further discussions, Fearnall told the Gazette on Wednesday: “I was pleased that we were able to make progress on these important issues. Students rely upon the Gazette and the USC to sustain a strong student voice.”
What students are talking about today (January 14th)
1. Lena Dunham’s HBO series Girls won the Golden Globe for best TV comedy series last night right before the highly-anticipated premiere of the second season. I’d argue the opener was a bit of a letdown. Lead character Hannah (played by Dunham) has smartened up a bit by rejecting her mean sort-of-boyfriend in favour of new guy who presumably treats her better. If she gets too mature, that’s a problem as her Gen-Y cluelessness provided so much of the comic relief and provoked so many of the broader societal questions. Some of the other characters, including straight-laced Marnie, seem to also be changing in ways that make them less believeable. Interestingly, Dunham seems to have acknowledged those who accused Girls of being too white; her new fling is a black man.
A Nicki Minaj t-shirt at Harvard, football & bike-sharing
1. As the deadly Israel-Gaza conflict continues, CNN has footage of Anderson Cooper ducking from rocket strikes on repeat while Maclean’s Michael Petrou explains what to watch for next and Nick Taylor-Vaisey analyzes the headlines.
2. Proving that Harvard is still a refuge for the world’s foremost intellectuals, the student-run clothing store Harvard State is selling t-shirts with singer Nicki Minaj’s likeness and the words “Yale You a Stupid Ho.” The photos have offended some (at Yale I assume), but they need not worry. Unlike the shirts that proclaim “Veri Drunk Since 1636,” these ones aren’t yet sold out online.
3. McMaster University’s Marauders football team beat the Calgary Dinos on Saturday at the Mitchell Bowl held at Ron Joyce Stadium in Hamilton in front of nearly 6,000 fans. That means the 48th Vanier Cup on Nov. 23 in Toronto will be a rematch of the 2011 final when McMaster barely beat Laval’s Rouge et Or. Read more in The Silhouette.
Alcohol Studies, the Sandy Five, & a riot over Obama
1. A protest by disgruntled Republican students at the University of Mississippi following President Barack Obama’s reelection on Tuesday wasn’t a riot, according to the school’s chancellor. But it sure looked like one. There were racist epithets and Obama signs lit on fire as hundreds gathered on campus, reports ClarionLedger.com.
2. I regret to inform you that the University of Calgary is not offering a course called Alcohol Studies with samplings in class, as The Gauntlet student newspaper had reported in a humour piece, and which I pointed to in an earlier post as fact. (Mea culpa.) Too bad. It sounded fun.
3. The more than 110 deaths in the United States and the tens of billions in property damage weren’t the only consequences of Superstorm Sandy. New Yorkers say that after a week of eating processed foods while the power was out, they have trouble buttoning their jeans. The New York Times is calling the five pounds of weight gain the “Sandy Five.” Our thoughts are with them.
Textbooks remain costly in an increasingly electronic age
From the 2013 Maclean’s University Rankings
It’s a textbook case in how to annoy students. This year, OCAD University in Toronto required students in its first-year visual culture course to purchase a “custom reader,” comprised of parts from two American text- books plus additional material on Canadian and Aboriginal art. Separately the items retail for over $300. The custom text was priced at $180. But there was a problem—this art book didn’t include any actual art.
Due to unexpected expenses in obtaining copyright, the publisher simply left large white boxes where the pictures were meant to go; students were told they could look at the art online. They got outraged instead—a petition was organized, parents began blogging and local media soon picked up the cause of the artless art book.
University of Calgary study shows instant impact on health
You may love fast-food breakfast sandwiches. But new Canadian research suggests your arteries do not.
A study done at the University of Calgary shows that even in healthy young volunteers, these high-fat meals have an almost immediate—though temporary—effect on the functioning of blood vessels.
Scientists at the Libin Cardiovascular Institute tested what they call the “happiness” of blood vessels after volunteers ate two breakfast sandwiches, comparing the results to controls who didn’t have the meal.
They measured the velocity of blood flow to the subjects’ arms before and after the volunteers ate breakfast sandwiches, and compared it to what they saw in subjects who didn’t eat the breakfast.
Important cat research, Blasphemy Day & Justin Trudeau
1. Japanese researchers have published an article in PloS ONE entitled “The Power of Kawaii: Viewing Cute Images Promotes a Careful Behavior and Narrows Attentional Focus.” In sum, viewing photos of cute animals could make you more productive at work. Thank you Japan.
2. Speaking of important cat research, a powerful 2011 earthquake has affected the psychological state of cats in Turkey. They are attempting suicide on a regular basis, according to Abuzer Tas, a lecturer in a local veterinary school. “After the quake… a large number of cats are throwing themselves from heights,” he said. Seriously.
3. A student group at the University of Saskatchewan offered cookies for human souls last week as part of International Blasphemy Day, an annual demonstration on the anniversary of the publication of cartoons depicting Muhammad in Denmark. Visitors to the Freethought Alliance booth could spin a wheel to see which version of hell they would go to. “We’re trying to express that in this country, and all free speaking countries, we are allowed to say things about religion that might not be kind or informed, yet we have the right to say it,” leader Brandon Gerbig told CBC News.
Moving may boost the odds of medical school admission
From the 2012 Maclean’s Professional Schools Issue, on newsstands and iPad now.
It has been a long road for 33-year-old Kyla Adams from her high school years—when there was no question in her mind that she’d one day become a physician—to today, when the British Columbia native feels she finally has a decent shot at medical school.
In Adams’s second year of university, the academic and social stresses of life at the University of British Columbia caught up with her and she flunked out of school, temporarily shelving her ambition. After several years of selling running shoes, travelling and working as a personal trainer, Adams wrote the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) at the age of 26. She surprised herself with a decent score, which inspired her to enrol at the University of Victoria, where she earned a double degree in biology and earth sciences. She rewrote the MCAT, boosted her score and applied to medical school.
But the rules had changed. She was no longer allowed to drop those crummy decade-old marks from her application as she had thought. She applied to UBC’s medical school and didn’t get in. She applied again, and was rejected again. She applied a third time. No luck.
Chair billed for executive airfare, nights at Ritz Carlton
A taxpayers group is taking the University of Calgary to task for board expenses, including executive-class flights and $500-a-night hotel rooms, rung up by the chairman of the school’s board.
Doug Black, who is also a senator-in-waiting in Alberta, has repaid the university nearly $5,400 for airfare expenses the institution says were “processed in error.”
But Scott Hennig, Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation, is raising questions about the price of hotel rooms claimed as part of the $28,000 billed to the university and revealed through Freedom of Information laws.
Student narrowly escapes crash
Jay Mangat, a Bachelor of Natural Science student the University of Calgary captured this incredible footage showing a highway sign bobbing up and down on the Deerfoot Trail in Calgary on Tuesday afternoon. The sign collapsed shortly after he passed under. He says he feels lucky to be alive.
Australia has 14, Hong Kong has five
Earlier this week, QS released their first-ever Top 50 under 50 university rankings. They used the same criteria as they used for the Top 300, but only included universities founded in 1962 or later.
The point is to level the playing field for younger institutions that may lack big endowments, extensive alumni networks or prestige.
Now, Times Higher Education out of London, U.K. has released a similar list: the Top 100 under 50.
Just like in the QS Top 50, the University of Calgary (#28) and Simon Fraser University (#30) appear high on the Times list. Unlike the QS ranking, the University of Victoria isn’t there at all.
Asian Tigers and Australia dominate new ranking
University rankings often favour older institutions, because, in many cases, older schools have bigger endowments, more alumni and prestige.
The new QS Top 50 under 50 ranking takes the age-bias into account by removing all the universities founded before 1962.
Young schools are ranked on the same six criteria used in the QS World Top 300 ranking: academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per faculty, student/faculty ratio, international student ratio and international faculty ratio.
But the results are very different. In the World Top 300 rankings, the U.S. and U.K. dominate. Canada has 14 entries, but none are in the Top 50.
Charter of Rights applies, says judge
Campus free speech advocates are celebrating today, thanks to University of Calgary graduates Steven and Keith Pridgen, 22, and their unwillingness to accept their alma mater’s punishments.
The Alberta Court of Appeal upheld on Wednesday a ruling that the twin brothers were wrongfully punished for criticizing Aruna Mitra, their law professor, in 2007 Facebook postings.
The university put them on six months probation until they agreed to write a written apology for the statements, which the dean had deemed defamatory after a complaint from Mitra.