All Posts Tagged With: "University of Regina"
Concern grows about English proficiency on campus
At 23, Dalhousie University student Ishika Sharma speaks with such self-assurance and optimism, it’s hard to imagine how lost she felt in September 2012, when she arrived in Halifax from New Delhi. She recalls those early weeks in the YMCA’s international-student residence as a bleak period of culture shock and loneliness. “Oh my god, the international student housing was a weepfest for the first two months,” she says. Gradually, the closed doors of her neighbours would open, if only to share late-night hot chocolate and a bit of sympathy.
Sharma was more fortunate than most. While she grew up speaking Hindi and Punjabi, she arrived with a solid command of English, the language she used in most of the undergraduate courses in physiotherapy she studied in India. “Many of the students who joined the university with me were not well-versed in English,” she says. “They had trouble getting along with people in English. They had trouble asking for help, and that was a big reason why they did not socialize enough.”
Two Nigerians lived in Regina church since June 2012
REGINA – Two Nigerian students who sought sanctuary in a Regina church to avoid deportation have voluntarily left Canada.
University of Regina president Vianne Timmons says she said goodbye at the airport today to Victoria Ordu and Ihouma Amadi.
The students were told in June 2012 that they had to leave Canada because they had worked illegally for two weeks at a Walmart store.
They said they thought they were allowed to work because they had social insurance numbers.
Timmons says it was sad to see the young women leave and she hopes they can come back to finish their degrees.
The pair had completed three years of study at the university and had the support of fellow students, the provincial government, the Opposition NDP and Liberal MP Ralph Goodale.
Participants have “very low” risk of disease
REGINA – The University of Regina says it has put hundreds of people at risk due to years of improper blood testing.
The university has issued a warning to more than 260 people who had “blood lactate level testing” done as part of kinesiology and health studies courses.
A nine-month audit found that between 2006 and 2012 an improper testing procedure was used on students during testing in second- and third-year exercise physiology classes, on volunteers participating in research projects, and with “fee for service” clients.
The head of the program, Dr. Harold Riemer, says the risk of blood-borne infections is very low, but the school doesn’t want to take any chances.
University of Regina, U of T Mississauga defend spending
Students make a lot of noise about tuition costs but are less vocal about university spending, aside from occasionally blasting administrator salaries. (At McGill, for example, the big news this week was president Suzanne Fortier’s salary: $390,000 plus a potential 20 per cent bonus.)
But a couple of $1-million university entrance sign makeovers—at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) and the University of Regina—have caught students’ attention.
The UTM Student Union posted a photo of the school’s massive new stone entrance-way on its Facebook page and asked, “how much do you think the UTM signage on Mississauga Road costs?” The answer: $998,000. More than 80 shared the post. Student Ju Li expressed outrage to The Medium newspaper: “The fact that University of Toronto, a public institution, splurged $1 million on a vanity project is rather outrageous.”
Prof. Pettigrew on religious accommodation
Every Friday, my university cafeteria serves fish and chips. I’m not a big fan of fish and chips myself, so I don’t particularly look forward to it, but it does always make me pause and recall the ways in which even generally secular universities often hold on to their religious pasts.
The fish and chips, of course, descend from the days when Catholics were expected to avoid meat on Fridays, itself a remnant from older practices of fasting ahead of the sabbath.
Even as one whose views of religion at universities ranges from the skeptical to the hostile, I can’t get too worked up over these last vestiges of religion in public funded schools. I doubt very many people even realize why they serve fish on Fridays and, someday, they likely won’t.
But tolerating the not-quite vanished traditions of a dying tradition is one thing: encouraging faith-based observances at a public university is quite another.
And so it was with some concern that I noted that the University of Regina has gone so far as to install special sinks to facilitate the washing that observant Muslims do in preparation for their prayers. U of R has also created a dedicated prayer space for Muslims as well.
Nigerian students shouldn’t be sent back
Victoria Ordu and Ihouma Amadi, two students from Nigeria, have been seeking sanctuary in Regina churches since June 19th, 2012 to avoid deportation for violating their student visas.
Their situation shows how the federal government sees international students in Canada: as injections of money into the economy rather than as human beings worthy of respect.
The two came to study at the University of Regina in 2009 on full scholarships paid for by Nigeria. Ordu, a theatre arts major, and Amadi, an international studies major, were working legally on campus part-time until their problems began in 2011, when they took part-time work at Wal-Mart—Ordu with an agency doing demonstrations in the store, Amadi with the store itself. They were unaware their social insurance numbers allowed them to work only on campus. After two weeks at Wal-Mart, Ordu learned she was not allowed to work off campus and quit. Amadi says she found out when she was led out of the store in handcuffs.
Women face deportation for working at Walmart
Hundreds of people came out Monday to support two Nigerian students who have taken sanctuary in a Regina church to avoid deportation.
Victoria Ordu and Ihouma Amadi, who have completed three years of study at the University of Regina, were found to be working illegally for two weeks at Walmart.
Both women thought they were allowed to work because they had social insurance numbers.
Rather than being given a warning and a fine, both were told in June 2012 they had to leave Canada.
Regina Liberal MP Ralph Goodale believes new federal Immigration Minister Chris Alexander has been brought up to speed on the file and will do the right thing.
The girls, who are in their 20s, also have the support of many other groups, including both the provincial government and the NDP.
Organizers and supporters are hopeful that a resolution is imminent because options are quickly running out for the girls.
Why some on campus are calling for more language help
Professors at the University of Regina, which has doubled its international student population from 730 in 2009 to 1,448 in 2013, say students are being admitted without good enough English.
English professor Susan Johnston told CBC that some don’t have the listening skills to understand what’s going on in classes and they also appear to be crafting papers in one language and converting them to English, “through some kind of Google Translator or BabelFish program.”
The discussion isn’t limited to Saskatchewan. The international student population grew by 60 per cent nationwide between 2004 and 2012.
While universities are happy to have the extra tuition, funding and diversity that foreign students bring, schools face pressure to make sure these new recruits can read, write and speak well enough to succeed.
Students Nova Scotia, an advocacy group, recently studied international students. After consulting government, professors and students (both foreign and domestic) they concluded that, “language fluency is possibly the most important academic challenge affecting international students.”
Educators have bigger things to worry about
Students looking to spill secrets about crushes or amusing campus escapades have a new outlet on Facebook. “Confessions” pages that post anonymous messages have been popping up at universities, colleges and high schools from Lakehead University to the University of Regina to Western University and as far away as Australia’s University of Adelaide.
The pages are being criticized by educators, who see them potentially leading to cyberbullying if the anonymity is broken. I don’t think they should worry. I think they’re fun, harmless and the risk of names getting out seems low. For the most part, these pages are a much-needed outlet for those wanting to vent or laugh, rather than viciously attack each other. Officials shouldn’t be so worried.
Confessions pages are reminiscent of Post Secret, a popular website that does the same thing. Both allow students to say things they wouldn’t post on personal pages or Twitter. The difference is that confessions pages are specific to certain schools, which may be why they’re getting scrutiny.
What students are talking about today (February 28th)
1. Students at McMaster University got creative crossing their slushy Hamilton, Ont. campus after a major winter storm hit Ontario on Tuesday. They paddled across it in a canoe. Someone made a video and posted it to YouTube where it already has 55,000 views and was shown on air by CBC News Network. Meanwhile in Ottawa….
2. Ryerson University student Sarah Santhosh wants to start a men’s issues group on campus called the Ryerson Association for Equality that would discuss mental health, male youth violence, misogyny, as well as gender disadvantages in education, the workplace and custody battles. “Universities are supposed to be places where any and all ideas are accepted and discussed. Nothing should be too taboo for discussion,” she told The Eyeopener. It’s unclear whether the Ryerson Students’ Union will prevent the group from gaining status considering vice president equity, Marwa Hamad, previously said that, “marginalized or underprivileged student members should be the focus of equity service groups on campus.”
U. of R. Cougars will be only Canadian squad
C-O-U-G-A-R-S. Let’s go Cougars!
The University of Regina cheerleading team is hoping that chant will help lead them to a big W-I-N at a world championship event.
The 27-member team is heading to Florida for the International Cheer Union World University Cheerleading Championship next weekend.
“We’re going to be the only team there representing Canada, so it’s really exciting especially since there’s going to be good representation from the U.S., as well as some Asian countries and (Australia),” said head coach Thomas Rath.
The Regina team got to this point by winning the small coed division at the Canadian National University Cheerleading Championships in Brampton, Ont., in December.
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.
Andrew Scheer’s university advice
The 2013 Maclean’s University Rankings asked some of Canada’s most successful writers, politicians and scientists what they wish they’d known in university. Their answers are perfect additions to our First Year Survivor blog. Here’s advice from Andrew Scheer, the 33-year-old Member of Parliament for Regina—Qu’Appelle and Speaker of the House of Commons.
I always had an interest in politics, so I took several political science courses while pursuing a history degree at the University of Ottawa. I moved to Regina to get married (my wife had moved back home there), and I took my last few credits at the University of Regina.
I really enjoyed first year. In university you get to meet hundreds of other young people with similar passions. Solving the world’s problems in the campus pub, volunteering during provincial or federal elections and participating in student associations were not only fun, but very educational.
Where to catch USS, Propagandhi, Teenage Kicks, Arkells…
Last Sunday, J. Biebs was booed by thousands of Grey Cup spectators in Toronto. Here are five shows near Canadian campuses this weekend where the crowds should be a little friendlier.
1. USS (Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker) has a knack for crafting dance-ready hits. The Toronto two-piece is teaming up with Hello, Click for a string of dates including at the Seahorse Tavern in Halifax on Dec. 1. Ticket info here.
2. Toronto singer-songwriter Reg Vermue has been performing under the pseudonym Gentleman Reg for more than a decade. He takes his unforgettable folk-pop-dance tunes to Kingston’s Grad Club on Nov. 30 where he’ll be joined by folk-pop gems Inlet Sound. Ticket info.
3. Seven-piece ensemble The Tom Fun Orchestra, self-styled “world famous musicians,” use an eclectic mix and electric and acoustic instruments. These East Coast indie rockers play The Gateway at SAIT in Calgary on on Nov. 29. Ticket info here.
5. Teenage Kicks, Young Rival, The Roxwells and Arkells are worth braving the throngs of extreme sports spectators at the Red Bull Crashed Ice party in Niagara Falls, Ont. not too far from Brock University, on Nov. 30. More info here.
Teenage Kicks offers some advice in this video that’s especially useful this time of year:
Did we miss a show? Let us know in the comments!
The real Scumbag Steve, by-elections & marijuana research
1. You know that guy Scumbag Steve with the backwards hat and fur-collared coat? You’ve probably seen him posted on Facebook walls with captions like “Yo, whose house is this?/My bros need directions.” It turns out he’s more than just a meme. His name is Blake Boston, 22, and he lives in New England. He tells the Boston Globe the photo was taken when he was 16 and then lifted off his Myspace page. Now, he’s recognized by strangers with regularity. Let that be a lesson to us all about forgotten Myspace pages.
2. Humboldt State University in California has announced a new interdisciplinary research unit dedicated to studying marijuana. Eleven faculty members from fields including economics, geography, politics and sociology will conduct the research, reports local newspaper The Times-Standard.
3. Three by-elections made Monday an interesting night in federal politics. The Conservatives easily took Durham, the Ontario riding Bev Oda vacated after her $16 orange juice. In Calgary Centre the Conservatives won with just 37 per cent of the vote while the Liberals got 33 per cent and the Greens took 25 per cent. The Greens also had a strong second place showing in Victoria where the New Democrat prevailed. Here’s a post mortem of the race for Calgary Centre.
Filled up for $11 at Henderson Cafe
Maclean’s On Campus is continuing the conversation by having students review food on their campuses and showing what it costs to dine.
If you’re a student, you can help. Send us a review of an eatery at your school. Keep your receipts. If we publish it, we’ll reimburse you.
The latest Campus Eats review is by Colton Hordichuk at the University of Regina.
Five out of five stars
Total Price: $10.90
Happy Movember, #BaldforBieber & Save the Wesmen
1. Movember, one of the most popular fundraisers on Canadian campuses, began today. Perhaps taking a cue from Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall, who challenged his fellow premier Robert Ghiz of P.E.I. to a grow-off, students at the University of Regina’s Carillon student newspaper are asking readers to bet on who can grow the best mo. $5 to vote. Proceeds fight cancer.
2. The 2013 Maclean’s University Rankings are finally here! The 132-page guide includes stories on class size, the viral videos phenomenon, expensive textbooks and, of course, the rankings. Who took home the gold may not surprise you, but the performance of schools like the University of Northern British Columbia, New Brunswick and Trent probably will.
3. A false rumour on Twitter that Justin Bieber had cancer caused a number of fans to shave their heads and tag them under #BaldforBieber. Rachel Herscovici of the Queen’s Journal disapproves.
4. More than 800 people have “liked” a Facebook page called “Save the Wesmen.” The University of Winnipeg is considering changing the name of its Wesmen athletics teams to be more inclusive.
Drake graduates, Sandy kills, & good news for graduates
1. At least 17 people died due to Superstorm Sandy, which came ashore in New Jersey and spread across eastern North America Monday, knocking out power in many places, including parts of New York City. It was a serious storm with sad consequences for many, but that didn’t stop students at shut-down U.S. colleges from celebrating their “hurrication.” Here in Canada, at least one person was killed when a piece of a Staples store sign in Toronto came lose and struck a woman standing underneath. Classes were cancelled on Monday evening at Brock University and Niagara College, but both reopened on Tuesday. Many flights are cancelled today.
2. Drake, the much-loved and occasionally hated Canadian rap superstar, is making headlines for the high school graduation speech he gave this weekend Jarvis Collegiate Institute in Toronto. The 26-year-old dropped out of school at age 15 to pursue an acting job with Degrassi: The Next Generation. He said on Sunday that the lack of diploma left a “gaping hole” in his life, so he spent the past five months finishing the work. Why would a millionaire want to finish high school? “This is about the art of following through,” he told the crowd.
3. A Republican student group at an Ohio university has apologized for using the song Fake Empire by The National in a pro-Romney video they posted on YouTube. This after frontman Matt Berninger posted a testy response: “We encourage all students to educate themselves about the differences between the inclusive, pro-social, compassionate, forward-thinking policies of President Obama and the self-serving politics of the neo-conservative movement and Mitt Romney.”
Supreme Court, Halloween costumes, & UBC “dimes”
1. The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Conservative MP Ted Opitz legitimately won his seat in the Toronto riding of Etobicoke Centre in the 2011 federal election, but the court was split 4 to 3. Opitz appealed an Ontario Superior Court ruling that set aside his victory over Liberal incumbent Borys Wrzesnewskyj because of procedural irregularities with 79 ballots. The Supreme Court overturned the ruling, deciding that 59 of those votes should count, reports The Canadian Press. The lesson: every vote matters.
2. A Twitter account dedicated to highlighting “dimes” and referencing “sluts” at UBC Vancouver has been removed. University officials told The Province newspaper that several varsity athletes, including hockey players, were behind the @UBCDimeWatch handle. “Dime” is a slang term for a woman whose appearance might be called a “perfect 10.” Photos were apparently posted without women’s permission. That’s a bit creepy.
3. The UK Border Agency’s decision to revoke London Metropolitan University’s license to sponsor overseas students strengthened the image of UK higher education, says Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. He told Times Higher Education that Canada intends “to go the same direction,” noting what he calls, “many sub-par institutions that are not providing quality programmes, and which are mostly facilitating various forms of legal migration.”
Snoop Dog, Mulcair, Halloween, Movember & study space
1.Snoop Dog (Snoop Lion?) is now endorsing that gooey microwavable student staple known as Hot Pockets. In a video advertisement that already has three million views, he’s reworked his 2004 hit “Drop It Like It’s Hot” into “Pockets Like It’s Hot.” He may be a sellout, but that bicycle with a microwave attached is a wicked idea.
2. Speaking of ridiculous advertisements, Anne Kingston tears apart Brad Pitt’s new commercial, in which he says: “It’s not a journey. Every journey ends, but we go on. The world turns, and we turn with it. Plans disappear, dreams take over. But wherever I go, there you are, my luck, my fate, my fortune. Chanel No. 5, inevitable.” Uhhh… What?
3. In an interview with the University of Regina’s Carillon, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair said some notable things. His assertion that “the average student finishes university with over $40,000 in debt,” doesn’t match any estimate I’ve seen. (Even the debt warriors at the Canadian Federation of Students peg the average at $27,000.) He also says youth are mostly concerned about the environment. “Most young people are a little bit less concerned about the economics, except for the fact that they realize that consistent failure to invest in post-secondary education is playing tricks on them,” he added, suggesting the federal government “get back to the level of [PSE] funding that we saw before the 1990s, before the Liberals started downloading to the provinces.”