All Posts Tagged With: "University of Lethbridge"
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.”
There are more options than ever, but they come at a price
This story is from the 132-page Maclean’s University Rankings, on sale now.
Katie Cvitkovitch, a second-year nutrition student at Ryerson University in Toronto, knows how to spot a healthy meal. One evening in September, she assessed the options in the dining hall on the first floor of Pitman Hall residence. For $13.25, she could buy a grilled chicken-breast sandwich, a side garden salad with fat-free dressing and a bottle of diet iced tea. It cost the same as the deadlier deep-fried version, with fries and a Sprite. As a former vegan, Cvitkovitch was pleased to see vegan shepherd’s pie beside the meat- and-potatoes version. Even the Tim Hortons on campus carries a vegan wrap. Cvitkovitch gives Ryerson’s food a high rating.
Her classmate Deanna Chong, also in nutrition, gives Ryerson decent marks too. She had no trouble finding a balanced meal: a turkey wrap, milk and a melon cup for $14.28. (Those with meal cards pay five to 15 per cent less.)
Still, neither student eats much at the campus dining halls or fast-food outlets run by Ryerson Food Services, the main food provider on campus. “Lunch is like 10 bucks and dinner is like 15,” says Cvitkovitch, “so that’s $25 a day that I don’t have.” A student who managed to spend $5 less daily for one academic year would save roughly $1,000.
Universities once had a reputation for offering unhealthy food, and not enough choice. But as the heat lamps and deep fryers are replaced with vegan alternatives and halal meats, some students say they have a new problem: it’s too expensive to eat on campus. Whether food is provided in-house (via a combination of school-owned franchises and old-style dining halls) or contracted out to a single institutional provider, universities are finding it difficult to meet the multitude of demands while also keeping prices in check. Continue reading The new beef with campus food
Dan Mangan, Rural Alberta Advantage, Poor Young Things…
Here at U. Ottawa, classes are in recess for the fall semester break, but those stuck in classrooms elsewhere in Canada also have something to look forward to this week—besides midterms. Indie bands have fanned out across the nation. Here are five of the week’s best musical distractions:
1. Little more than a year after Oh Fortune, his third full-length release, Dan Mangan is back with a fresh EP, Radicals. The tireless troubadour heads back out on tour with Toronto’s The Rural Alberta Advantage, playing the University of Guelph’s Peter Clark Hall on Oct. 26. Ticket info is here. Act quickly—this is guaranteed to sell out.
Bacon shortage. Study-space shortage. The #1 poker school.
1. In a Yale University study, 127 scientists were given information on supposed recent graduates applying for laboratory jobs. A fake applicant named John tended to be viewed as more competent than a fake applicant named Jennifer, despite identical qualifications. The conclusion is that women will find it harder to get science jobs than men. The anti-female bias wasn’t limited to male professors; women were just as biased.
2. Feist, the only nominee to have been on Sesame Street, sung at the Grammys and been in an Apple commercial, took home the $30,000 Polaris Music Prize last night for her album Metals. Feist gave a humble speech and toasted fellow nominees Cold Specks and Grimes. Ironically, the Polaris Prize is supposed to be a counterweight to sales-focused Juno’s, where Feist tends to clean up (she has eight).
3. Bacon fans, you may want to be sitting down for this one. “A world shortage of pork and bacon next year is now unavoidable,” according the National Pig Association in Britain.
Study shows they’re less likely to hurt relatives, not more
Researchers from Queen’s, McMaster, Lethbridge and Saskatchewan are challenging the commonly held belief that psychopaths suffer from a mental disorder. Their new study is published in Frontiers of Psychology. From Queen’s University:
Historically, psychopaths – people who are uncaring about others, extreme risk-takers, and often commit strings of violent crimes – were thought to be mentally disordered.
However, a study led by Queen’s University postdoctoral fellow Daniel Krupp supports more recent thinking, from the perspective of evolutionary psychology, that psychopaths may not be disordered after all. Rather, psychopathy may have evolved to exploit others.
Wildrose Alliance wants investigation
Alberta’s Wildrose Alliance Party is calling for an investigation into all of the province’s post-secondary schools after learning that the University of Lethbridge reimbursed staff who attended Progressive Conservative Party dinners and golf tournaments in 2004 and 2005. The reimbursements cost the school $15,000. Lethbridge officials say they weren’t aware until 2005 of a new law that came into effect in 2004 that outlawed such payments. ”As soon as we were notified by the auditor general’s office, we at the very next meeting passed new policy to comply with the legislation,” Bob Turner, chair of the board of governors told the Calgary Herald.
Graduate works at magazine that denies holocaust, 9/11
Robert Wood, the University of Lethbridge’s Dean of Graduate Studies, told the National Post that he “unequivocally retract[s]” the note that congratulated 9/11 “truther” Joshua Blakeney for his writing job at Veterans Today, a magazine that also denies the holocaust. “The anti-Semitic content that is periodically published in Veterans Today is morally repugnant, and it deeply offends the core principles of tolerance, respect, and citizenship upon which the University of Lethbridge is founded,” Wood told the newspaper, adding that it was an “administrative oversight.”
Blakeney asserts in his writing for Veterans Today that the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were a conspiracy between Israel and the United States, rather than a terrorist plot by Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. His master’s thesis exploring the conspiracy theories around 9/11 caused controversy because it was funded partially by an $8,000 Alberta government scholarship.
9/11 skeptic now works for magazine that denies holocaust
“Josh Blakely was appointed as a staff writer at Veterans Today which is a quite popular media venue based in the US. He has also appeared on several media outlets in the U.S. and Canada discussing his research area. Congratulations Josh!,” the University of Lethbridge wrote on their website last week.
We think they mean Josh Blakeney, the 9/11 conspiracy theorist who was hired as a columnist for Veterans Affairs. The National Post came to the same conclusion, questioning why Lethbridge would want to congratulate someone who goes to work for a magazine that suggests “the main purpose of keeping alive the Holocaust is to protect Jewish banking practices.”
This isn’t the first time Blakeney was in the news. His master’s thesis The Origins of the Global War on Terror: Intellectual Debates and Interpretive Controversies, generated an outcry because it was subsidized by an $8,000 Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship from the province of Alberta.
In a recent column for Veterans Affairs about the Sept. 11 “truther” conference in Toronto, Blakeney argues that 9/11 was a plot by anti-Islamic Israelis and that Islamic jihadists were not involved. He writes “documents going back to the 1980s, emanating from Tel Aviv rather than Washington… suggest that the “war on terrorism” was an Israeli inspired initiative.”
University of Lethbridge student awarded $7,714 investigate war on terror ‘truth’
To some it may seem the University of Lethbridge has decided to fund research in pursuit of the comedic and mirthful, but make no mistake—one graduate student has been awarded $7,714 to assess and analyze “the ‘government version’ of the events that gave rise to the GWOT [Global War On Terrorism].”
Masters student Joshua Blakeney has been granted the Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship for his research entitled “The Origins of the Global War on Terror: Academic Debates and Interpretive Controversies.” Blakeney, former Media Coordinator of Globalization Studies at U of L, is a vocal adherent to the 9/11 “Truth Movement,” which contends that the World Trade Center attacks were orchestrated by the U.S. in order to justify future invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Blakeney has confronted reporters such as Peter Mansbridge for their compliance in propagating mainstream 9/11 “lies,” and also gleefully rejoiced in pundit Christopher Hitchens’ cancer diagnosis, calling it a “boon to humanity.”
Blakeney, who studies under well-known 9/11 truth-seeker Anthony Hall, has now been awarded money by the university to put these theories to paper. Money which, as Jonathan Kay in the National Post points out, comes in part from Alberta tax dollars. “Paying a British graduate student $7,714 to pursue his conspiracy theory that the 9/11 attacks were staged by Washington,” Kay writes, “Does anyone else see a problem with that?”
The lunacy, of course, is readily apparent. I’m sure few Albertans would rejoice in hearing that their dollars are being used to fund conspiracy theories. However, (and as much as it pains me to pen any sort of defense) the expectation of graduate research is that it challenges the status quo and seeks to break through conventional belief.
Granted, I have little faith that Blakeney will challenge his own beliefs, let alone that his thesis will amount to much beyond the 9/11 jabber he’s already touting, but academic freedom would be compromised if taxpayers could suddenly decide which theses were worth their dollar. Indeed, I think the outrage is warranted and the awards committee should give their heads a shake, but if anything, this situation just reinforces the need to establish a fully private post-secondary education system. At least in that case your provincial taxes won’t go towards proving the mendacity of the moon landing.
U of L’s media coordinator of globalization studies says diagnosis is a ‘boon to humanity’
When U.S. right-wing pundit Ann Coulter attempted to speak at the University of Ottawa in March, protesters gathered outside the lecture hall and effectively shut down the event. The crowd boasted signs branded with “Love,” “Respect,” and “Free Speech Stops at Hate Speech,” and chanted “Ann go home!” until police and security advised Coulter to cancel her speech in the interest of her safety. The demonstration came after University of Ottawa vice-president academic and provost Francois Houle sent Coulter a letter advising her to “educate [her]self as to what is acceptable in Canada” and to “weigh [her] words with respect and civility in mind.”
Now, I cite this example in hopes that the security personnel at the University of Lethbridge will be adequately prepared for what I expect to be another vehement uproar. Indeed, I’ll bet those same demonstrative individuals are already making their way west to protest yet another exploitative exercise of expression. “Free speech stops at hate speech!” Yup . . . any day now . . .
Well, maybe they just haven’t heard yet. Joshua Blakeney, media coordinator of globalization studies at the University of Lethbridge, has written a piece for the alternative e-weekly The Canadian Charger where he gleefully rejoices in Christopher Hitchens’ recent throat cancer diagnosis. Hitchens, a journalist and pundit, is known for his stanch views on religion and unapologetic support for the war in Iraq. Contentious as his politics may be, it’s hard to deny he’s a brilliant speaker with a quick wit, a reputation he managed to uphold during a recent interview with Anderson Cooper where Hitchens discusses his impending death.
But for Blakeney writing in The Canadian Charger, it seems “impending” can’t come soon enough. The cancer is “something to be celebrated,” writes Blakeney, a U of L Masters student, “because it deprives the war propaganda machine of one of its most erudite apologists.”
“As I was contemplating this revelation, I couldn’t help feeling that the neoconservative armchair warrior was getting his just desserts,” Blakeney continues.
Then, after toting some 9/11 “truths” (Blakeney studies under prominent 9/11 conspiracy theorist Prof. Anthony J. Hall) and other wisdom about Iran and Israel, Blakeney concludes his “Hitchens deserves to die” thesis:
“It is fair to say that if cancer is good enough for babies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and soon Iran, then it is good enough for [Hitchens].”
Ironically, The Canadian Charger originated as an outlet to counter “hateful” messages printed in Maclean’s magazine, which were brought to (and later dismissed from) human rights commissions. Yet curiously, here beholds a piece where the terminal illness of someone is rejoiced because of his political beliefs.
“I wouldn’t rejoice in someone’s sickness unless it was someone as ghastly as Christopher Hitchens,” Blakeney told the National Post. His inability to write “could well reduce cancer rates,” he continued. “He is a dangerous demagogue who made a career out of selling aggressive wars that cause cancer. . . . I haven’t stooped to his level.”
Okay everyone; are we all ready with our placards? “Love,” “Respect,” “Free speech stops at hate speech!”
Of course not. Blakeney’s not entertaining in hate speech. Fallacious and vile cheap shots, but not hate speech. But then again, neither was Coulter. So I’m wondering where the student unions are on this one. Where’s the protest to ensure a “safe space” for Iraq war supporters on campus? After all, if we have the so-called “right to not be offended” in one case, aren’t we going to uphold it in another?
A video application for Canadian schools
Pen and paper for university applications is the way of the past–or so it’s starting to seem. This year, Tufts University in the U.S. started encouraging applicants to send in videos. Which led us to wonder: what would applications for Canadian universities look like if they picked up on the trend?
A look at five primarily undergraduate universities reveals the variety of post-secondary options across the country
University of Ontario Institute of Technology
The University of Ontario Institute of Technology is a relative newcomer to the post-secondary scene, but its mission was clear from the outset: to give its graduates a competitive edge. Putting an emphasis on the practical, UOIT’s focus includes business, information technology, engineering and science. Its faculty of energy systems and nuclear science offers Canada’s only honours degree in nuclear engineering. The university is also committed to innovative approaches to alternative energy sources, and offers courses in wind, solar, hydrogen, hydraulic, nuclear and geothermal energy. Currently under construction, the $28-million Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE-Global) will be a cutting-edge research, design and training centre for the automobile industry. In fact, strength in research contributed to UOIT making a strong debut in the Maclean’s rankings this year, placing 12th out of 22 Primarily Undergraduate universities.
Located in Oshawa, UOIT is growing rapidly: undergrad enrolment was 6,285 this September, a 15 per cent increase from last year.
Wilfrid Laurier University
Wilfrid Laurier’s compact main campus is in Waterloo, Ont., part of Canada’s so-called Technology Triangle. Housing 21 research centres and 10 research chairs, innovation is the norm. In spite of growth that has seen its student population double over the past 10 years, Laurier retains a strong sense of community. It tied for fourth place in the Primarily Undergraduate category in this year’s rankings, with a strong showing on the reputational survey and the number of faculty winning awards and research grants.
The School of Business and Economics has an enrolment of more than 4,500; one of the biggest drawing cards is its co-op component. Meanwhile, a liberal-arts-focused campus in Brantford, Ont., offers an interdisciplinary program in contemporary studies and a concurrent education program in partnership with Nipissing University. A social work program, at the nearby Kitchener campus, allows students to work closely with service agencies in the area. And through the Centre for Community Service-Learning, more than 1,300 students earn academic credit by working with local non-profit organizations.
University of Lethbridge
The focus at Lethbridge, in southern Alberta, is on giving students a well-rounded liberal arts education. Undergraduates are encouraged to participate in research, and the university’s modest size allows close contact with faculty. When it comes to research, the university strives to stay relevant to the region. The recently completed Alberta Water and Environmental Science Building collects an interdisciplinary team of geologists, physicists and economists under one roof, all researching water. (A second-place finish on the number of faculty winning medical-science grants helped propel Lethbridge to a rank of sixth this year among Primarily Undergraduate universities.) The faculty of education, meanwhile, offers an array of Aboriginal-centred program options.
Student caught infectious disease on a Greyhound bus between Alberta and B.C.
An Alberta student who was a passenger on a Greyhound bus last week has been diagnosed with tuberculosis.
Spokesman Andy Hakin says the University of Lethbridge student is being treated for the potentially infectious disease and is recovering.
Last week passengers who took two Greyhound buses between Lethbridge and Kelowna, B.C., were told they may have been exposed to tuberculosis and were urged to get tested.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control said a person with active TB travelled on Greyhound bus 5164 from Lethbridge to Calgary on May 24 and then transferred to bus 5155 for the trip to Kelowna.
- The Canadian Press
Called ApplyAlberta, students will be able to apply to all public universities and colleges online
All public post-secondary institutions in Alberta will be using a one-stop online application system by this fall.
ApplyAlberta has been developed by Alberta’s public post-secondary institutions in partnership with the Alberta government. The University of Lethbridge recently welcomed a group of high school students and some family members from three local high schools to participate in an ApplyAlberta pilot project.
The university says the system passed with flying colours.
Through ApplyAlberta, students will be able to apply to multiple public post-secondary institutions and authorize the transfer of their Alberta high school and post-secondary transcripts between participating institutions.
Debi Sandul, associate registrar at the University of Lethbridge, says it took 20 minutes on average for students to enter personal information, pick their university, pay the application fee and submit it electronically for processing.
After they had completed this process, students and parents were invited to share in their experiences.
“One parent indicated that it was ‘so slick’ he wanted to apply, too. Another student indicated that the online process was very easy to follow,” said Sandul.
Once in full swing, it’s estimated that more than 100,000 students will use the online application annually.
- The Canadian Press
CJ’s is bright, scenic and friendly. But the food? Bring your own.
The University of Lethbridge boasts some of the most stunning views in academic Canada, and its cafeteria, at the south end of the Arthur Erickson-designed University Hall, is no exception. Here a bank of windows looks out upon the city’s coulies – rippling, khaki-coloured gulches that clamber up out of Oldman River. Hence the eatery’s name, Coulee Junction, or CJs. Eat here, by all means: it’s bright, scenic and friendly.
But wait, did I forget to mention the food? Bring your own.
That or stick with the Fresh Inspirations Salad Bar and the selection of ready-made sandwiches and salads from CJ¹s refrigerated Simply To Go corner. Our salad, with a refreshing cucumber-dill dressing atop real boiled eggs, carrots and brocoli, was rudimentary but functional. Ditto the croissant ham and swiss, an old standby with a surprisingly good sweet mustard, a fresh roll, spinach and nice tomato.
Stay clear, however, of the rice stir-fries, which a cook will render into goop before your very eyes; if consistency is not a priority, the tasteless shrimp, in this case, and oddly aromatic celery, ought to be enough to command evasive maneuvres. So too the sweet-and-sour sauce, which is either a balance of flavours so perfect that it becomes invisible or – more likely in our view – a red-coloured placebo.
An order of oven-fried cod parmesan, available that day from the International Entrées counter, reignites an old conviction that fish and cheese combinations should remain as taboo as sibling sex (a side of rice, meanwhile, tasted like grandfather¹s closet, and the carrots were ghastly).
The River Rock Grill’s cheese burger was flavourful but greasy. The chicken souvlaki, served in a spinach wrap, was too luridly green and brashly orange for our taste – it’s for good reason David Lynch never became a chef – and the fresh onions tended to over-awe the ensemble; still, it served its purpose.
Finally, a brownie cake – at least, this was our interpretation of the effort – was of a mood-altering sweetness, and would likely be deemed illegal in the state of Alabama. In Alberta, however, the firecracker snap of the desert’s multicoloured sprinkles made us feel as though we were 18 again; then we immediately crashed and consulted the Internet for Keith Richards-approved remedy.