All Posts Tagged With: "University of Windsor"
23-year-old man charged with aggravated assault
The man suspected of stabbing at least three people outside The Thirsty Scholar pub at the University of Windsor turned himself into police on Sunday afternoon, reports The Windsor Star.
According to Windsor Police, at approximately 2:10 a.m. on March 9, an altercation occurred between a group of men outside the campus pub. Emad Adel Ben-Abdellah, 21, then stabbed a 20-year-old and a 19-year-old before running toward a group of people in a parking lot and stabbing a 23-year-old man in the right leg. That man was found by police with serious injuries, but is now in stable condition. A fourth male may have been stabbed, but fled.
Abdellah faces three counts of aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and breach of probation.
Police search for suspect
Police are looking for a suspect who may be armed, plus a fourth victim, following an altercation at a University of Windsor pub, reports the Windsor Star. Police say they found a 23-year-old man bleeding from “serious” stab wounds to his thigh and buttocks around 2:15 a.m. outside a campus pub. They later found an 18-year-old victim and a 19-year-old who had been stabbed too. The suspect is described as Hispanic or Middle Eastern with an olive complexion. He’s believed to be in his 20s, about five feet and nine inches and 160 pounds with long, dark curly hair, a New York Yankees cap and an over-sized winter coat with fur on the hood.
Jewish student complained
The University of Windsor’s Leddy Library removed three globes earlier this month because of what appeared to be anti-Israeli vandalism. Gavin Wolch, a third-year law school student who is Jewish, told The Lance student newspaper that he complained more than once about the globes before they were removed. A library official denied that he’d received earlier complaints. This is not the first time that ethnically-motivated graffiti has been reported at the university. In November, anti-Arab and anti-South Asian graffiti was found in the washrooms near Windsor’s multi-faith space.
Don’t end up like the angry library girl at California State
We all know exams cause stress. That explains the reaction of this student in a noisy library at California State University, Northridge.
Personally, I’m with the angry girl.
But that level of stress is better avoided. Last week, we offered readers 10 ways to study stay sane while studying. It was a pretty traditional list. But students across Canada have found a few more creative ways to procrastinate, ahem, study. I thought I’d share them with you.
At McGill University last week, hundreds of students showed up for pet therapy with animals from Therapeutic Paws of Canada. This may sound bizarre to the uninitiated, but there’s reason to believe it works. Petting dogs releases oxytocin in humans. Oxytocin, the so-called “love drug,” reduces anxiety and engenders calm.
At the University of Windsor, Bernarda “Bernie” Doctor, the 78-year-old director of the Organization of Part-Time University Students, offered peers surprise “cookie therapy,” handing out 360 sugar rushes. It’s not the healthiest snack, but Bernie knows how to study: she’s been doing it 50 years.
Leave it to Canada’s computer science mecca, the University of Waterloo, to offer a virtual snowman building game as a study tool. Students can build and share their own Mr. or Mrs. Frosty while snowflakes fall gently down their computer screens. By the way, try typing “let it snow” into Google.
Finally, the award for the weirdest—and smartest—way to cope with exam stress goes to Uytae Lee, a first-year student at Dalhousie University. Lee turned his boredom while studying for a Sustainability 1000 exam into a stop-motion music video with a soothing soundtrack based on his study notes. That’s more fun than traditional studying—and I bet he did well on the exam too.
Few jobs. Shut programs. How art schools are adapting.
Christina McKenzie is pretty typical of Bachelor of Fine Arts graduates these days. She doesn’t regret taking a BFA at York University (2005). She’s grateful for the four years she spent exploring photography, bronze-casting, painting, drawing, book-making, sculpture and art history.
But there’s another part of her that wishes she’d taken something more focused, like photography or design, perhaps. Had she done that, who knows where she’d be?
McKenzie had planned to become an art teacher after her BFA. She was even accepted to a teacher’s college, but deferred it. She’s very glad she did. At least a quarter of her art school colleagues went on to teacher’s college. Many can’t find jobs. In fact, two-thirds of new teaching graduates in Ontario can’t find work as teachers.
A coast-to-coast round-up of remembrance
On this date in 1989, a young man named Marc Lepine rounded up women at the Ecole Polytechnique engineering school in Montreal and opened fire, killing 14 females and injuring 14 others before turning the gun on himself. In his suicide note, he blamed women for his problems.
Since 1991, Dec. 6 has been The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Across Quebec today, survivors of the shooting will gather with activists and ask the Quebec government to sue the Canadian government over Bill C-19, which will abolish the long-gun registry and—they say— allow more violence against women to occur.
Here are a few of the ways universities across the country are marking the sombre occasion.
Student reports man with his pants down
Police at the University of Windsor have posted notices on campus after two women reported encountering possible sexual predators this weekend. A woman reported she was followed home early Saturday morning on Sunset Avenue. The man who allegedly followed her is described as skinny, Hispanic and 21-years-old. The second woman reported that in the early hours of Sunday morning she saw a man with his pants down who was watching her through a window at Canterbury College. He is described as in his 30s or 40s with facial hair, according to CBC News.
Two-wheel transport speeds ahead on campus
From the 21st Maclean’s University Rankings—on newsstands now. Story by Jason McBride.
If you were to design the perfect bicycling environment, it would include safe, well-maintained and lit streets. It would have almost no car traffic, dedicated bike paths and ample secure parking and storage. It might even have showers purpose-built for sweaty commuters and a well-equipped repair shop where cyclists can get help fixing a flat tire. In short, it would look quite a bit like the campus of McMaster University.
McMaster is located in blue-collar, largely car-centric Hamilton, Ont.—an unlikely champion of the bicycle. But in the past two years, the city has been in the vanguard of sustainable travel, expanding cycling infrastructure, improving regional transit and adding carpooling programs. Municipal support has, in turn, emboldened the university, and encouraged both students and faculty to take up, in great numbers, alternative modes of transportation. According to Kate Whalen, manager of McMaster’s office of sustainability, a 2010 campus survey revealed that 37 per cent of students walked or cycled to school. “We have a very engaged population,” she says. And the university is very responsive to the needs of that population. Just one example: after a civil engineering student did a systematic geographic information survey of the use of university bike racks, underutilized racks were relocated to more optimal spots on campus. Ten additional racks are installed each year, Whalen says.
Haters target Arabs
Members of the University of Windsor community are shocked by racist graffiti found in a washroom near the new multi-faith space. The space recently had sinks installed to accommodate Muslims who want to wash before prayers, reports the Windsor Star. The graffiti included anti-Arab and anti-South Asian wording, which campus Muslims felt targeted them.
This week, racist graffiti that targets people of Arab decent was found at Ryerson University too, reports The Eyeopener.
Other Canadian universities have dealt with racist graffiti, including slurs against Jewish and black students at York University in 2008, which resulted in a new Human Rights Officer position.
Stem cell donor drive grows in 2011
Hundreds of students at the University of Windsor are expected to “get swabbed” on Tuesday. It’s part of an effort to help find stem cell donors for the nearly 1,000 Canadians, mainly cancer patients, who are likely to die without transplants from genetically similar donors. More than 20 universities in Canada are participating in One Match’s Get Swabbed! Challenge this year, up from 15 last year. It doesn’t take long, but students must be willing to donate their cells if a match is found. Last year more than 5,700 students participated.
Program aimed at creating public servants
The University of Windsor has created a new bilingual program, which will start next fall. The school is adding a bachelor’s degree in political science that will be available in English and French, with a total of 14 French-language courses and an option to take some third-year courses in French at the University of Ottawa. Cheryl Collier, a political science instructor at Windsor, told CBC News that the program will help students who want to work in public service, adding: “without the French language skill set, you can only go so far in the bureaucracy.”
The French language has a long history in the Windsor area, but few locals speak it today. According to Statistics Canada, only four per cent of residents in the Windsor CMA claim French or French and English as their mother tongues; 24 per cent learned a non-official language first.
Tiny program is too expensive: Dean of Arts
Enrollment has been suspended in the University of Windsor’s music therapy program, meaning no new students will be taken into the program next year. Only six or seven students graduate from the program each year and to keep accredition, the program must maintain two or more tenure-track faculty members dedicated to it, Cecil Houston, Dean of Arts and Social Sciences, told the Windsor Star. “The enrolment is just too small and the cost is just too great to maintain the professional accreditation,” Houston told the paper on Friday. Windsor’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has a $1.6-million deficit on a budget of $30 million, he said.
The only other programs accredited by the Canadian Association for Music Therapy, according to its website, are available at Acadia University, Canadian Mennonite University (Manitoba), Capilano University, Wilfrid Laurier University and Concordia University.
Collaborative street party will be “biggest ever” for downtown Windsor
The University of Windsor is teaming up with St. Clair College and the Windsor City Centre Entertainment Association to throw a huge downtown street party to kick off the beginning of the new September semester. This will be the first time the two schools will have collaborated for a major frosh party.
The $100,000 event, for which downtown business owners have chipped in $20,000, will be daylong and feature notable performers including Grammy Award-winning DJ Benny Benassi. Sections of Ouellette and University avenues will be closed to accommodate the party spokesman Renaldo Agostino calls the “biggest street party in the history of downtown Windsor.”
The event is scheduled for September 6 and will be free for all students.
Failure was law school’s fault for not accommodating my chronic pain: student
A University of Windsor law graduate has had her Ontario Human Rights Complaint dismissed.
Anica Visic accused the law firm Elia Associates, where she articled in 2007, of discrimination after boss Patricia Elia asked to see a full transcript of her grades several weeks into her job with the firm — and then fired her. Visic had previously submitted only unofficial grades.
The full transcripts showed that Visic failed her first year of school in 2000 — a fact that she blamed on the University of Windsor, which she alleged failed to properly accommodate her disability. Visic said she suffered from pain in her arms, shoulders, upper back and neck, which made writing difficult. Windsor allowed her to repeat her first year, but didn’t expunge the failed courses.
Visic was dismissed from her job for her uncooperative behaviour — not because she had failed, Elia told the Windsor Star. “She made our staff cry. She was argumentative. Clients didn’t want to work with her.” Elia recommended to the Upper Canada Law Society that Visic article for at least six more months before writing her bar exam.
Support staff could walk by the 21
Campus police, and other support staff at the University of Windsor, could be on strike as early as next week. After the Canadian Auto Workers, which has 400 members, received a 96 per cent vote in favour of a strike, the union announced that the university has until Oct 21 to avert a walkout. The CAW represents campus police and parking officials, operating engineers, and full and part-time office and clerical workers. The union cites “pensions and job security as well as wages and benefits,” as areas where agreement has not yet been met. Negotiations restarted yesterday.
Up to the government, or the university?
In a case regarding equality rights at the University of Guelph dating back in 1990, the Supreme Court of Canada released a decision defending the autonomy of Canadian universities in the name of academic freedom. Essentially–the government declined to stick its nose in university affairs.
UWindsor can still search for a new Dean of Law, but Human Rights Tribunal may intervene
The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has affirmed its authority to choose faculty deans. The ruling was made Monday in reference to allegations that racism and sexism kept a women professor from taking the top post at the University of Windsor’s faculty of law. However, for the time being, the Tribunal also ruled that the university can continue its dean selection process.
In an application filed Sept 10, Emily Carasco had asked the Tribunal to order Windsor’s dean selection committee to stop its search, and install her in the position. She had initially filed a complaint in July alleging sexism and racism played a role in her being denied the post. Carasco is seeking $60,000 from the university and an additional $15,000 from law professor Richard Moon who accused Carasco of plagiarism. Carasco was one of two top candidates being considered for the position, but both were rejected in the spring.
Although the dean selection process will continue, Tribunal vice-chair Sherry Liang did not rule out the possibility that the Tribunal could eventually install Carasco into the post, even if it is filled in the interim. “The appointment of a new dean does not preclude the option of a remedial order instating the applicant to the position of dean should the applicant (Carasco) succeed in her application,” Liang wrote in her ruling.
Outgoing dean Bruce Elman will stay in the position until it has been filled. The university denies any wrongdoing and is preparing its response.
Related: Should HRCs pick your faculty dean
- Photo by Joe Gratz
Universities aim to improve retention rates
A grade of C+. It’s enough to shake up a first-year student and spell the end of university career, say some school officials. As mid-term marks begin to pour in for university freshmen over the next few weeks, Ontario schools say they’re on hand to help curb dropout rates across the province.
“We’re dealing with students who are overachievers in high school. They often have never had anything worse then an A,” said Deanne Fisher, director of student life for the St. George campus at the University of Toronto. “So, when they come to U of T and find they might have got a C +, or worse, on their first mid-term that can have quite an emotional impact on them,” Fisher added.
Related: Your grades will drop
While most students continue with their studies after first year — retention rates are steadily improving for many universities– there are still a small number of students deciding to pack it all in. The reasons are varied, from a crisis at home, to poor marks, financial struggles to a program that just doesn’t deliver.
Adam Miceli, 24 — an affable, bright young man — laughs sheepishly as he describes the years he spent meandering through different schools, unsure about his programs, uncertain about his future. Miceli, now a music student at the University of Toronto, began at York University in biology five years ago. By the time second semester had rolled around, he knew he was ready to leave the school. “I was coming right out of high school. I was thrown into things,” said Miceli, who said he had been overwhelmed by classes the size of stadiums.
Miceli was under pressure to succeed after receiving a scholarship. “I was pushed into the university because of that and plus, my parents were looking at me to perform.”
According to the Canadian Federation of Students there is a patchwork of information regarding retention rates across the county, but nothing on a national scope.
At most universities in Ontario, the retention rates are high. For example, at Ryerson University in Toronto, 89 per cent of the students from first year continued on to their second year in 2008. At the St. George campus at U of T, the retention rate for students coming back to school in 2008 was 90.3 per cent, at McMaster University in Hamilton it was 86.2 and at the University of Windsor it was 80.1 per cent.
But there are those who slip through the cracks. “We do know from our surveys that the primary barrier to success for our first-year students is not financial, it’s their own academic performance,” said Fisher. “You can feel you’re in over your head and it’s a palpable feeling for them, ‘wow, this is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done,’ ” said Fisher, as she described some of the feedback she’s heard from students.
Clayton Smith, vice-provost for students at the University of Windsor, said often students lose their way because they fail to “academically connect to their major.”
“This is a very different place than high school. They should commit to doing well. It sounds like daddy kind of talk, but the reality is just making the decision, ‘I’m going to do well,’ ” said Smith.
But not every first-year student is the same, and retention rates can vary, he added. “An aboriginal student who is away from home is in a different culture now, if they haven’t found a way to keep their values alive and be well supported, they often will go home and not finish university,” said Smith.
Smith also pointed out that if a school doesn’t make accommodations, such as providing a Muslim prayer room on campus, it could risk alienating a student.
Universities have taken aggressive steps to keep retention rates high. At Ryerson University, transition activities on campus help to integrate new students into the community by offering information on time management, writing and research. U of T addressed a problem with retaining its first-year engineering students a few years ago by creating an office solely dedicated to new students in the faculty.
It has also launched a pilot program for its life science students by offering organized study groups for students in large classes. Fisher said while university can be daunting for many, students need to reach out for help or else they will get lost in the shuffle. “We are tough and we expect a lot but we have to match that with the amount of support,” she said.
The Canadian Press
A University of Windsor law professor is asking the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario to appoint her Dean of Law
The rules of playground politics clearly state that the teacher has ultimate veto power. You and your buds can decide to spend this recess playing tag; no touch-backs allowed, past the bench is out of bounds, and the kid with no friends has to watch from the sidelines. But if Herr teacher happens to wander into the courtyard, instructing you to change the game to Red Light/Green Light (with Loner Louis as the coveted “Stoplight” leader, no less), well, you’re pretty much out of luck. Grit your teeth and wait for the “signals,” kid; the teacher has ultimately spoken.
Luckily, most of us graduate from third grade and develop more sophisticated expectations when it comes to governance, hierarchy and internal politics. Simply put, by about sixth grade, kids realize that the brainiac biology teacher who doesn’t know a tennis ball from a badminton birdie isn’t really the most appropriate guy to be divvying up sides for dodgeball. Of course, logic of this sort is known to furiously implode (even in the sacred halls of academia) once Human Rights Commissions are thrown into the equation. Case in point; the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal is suddenly deemed qualified (by one woman and her lawyer, at least) to appoint hires to the dean of law chair at the University of Windsor.
Humans Rights Commissions in Canada are the provincial and Federal bodies that will bring a comedian to court for making disparaging comments to a heckler, ensure your human right to breastfeed while in a public pool, and enforce your right to counsel rape victims at a women’s shelter, even against their vulnerable objections. Now the Human Rights Commission of Ontario has been asked to guarantee Emily Carasco’s human right (?) to a five-year term as dean of law at the University of Windsor.
Carasco, a law professor at the university, says her candidacy for the dean of law position was spoiled by a false accusation of plagiarism, as well as racism and sexism. She has requested an order appointing her dean for a five-year, renewable term, $60,000 from the school for “injury to dignity” and $15,000 from colleague Richard Moon who raised the plagiarism allegation and, in a salacious twist, is a vocal defender of Canadian Human Rights Commission. (I’m sure he’ll be asked how that medicine tastes in due time.)
Carasco was one of two shortlisted candidates for the top law-school job, along with Toronto lawyer Scott Fairley who taught at the university in the early 80s. After an extensive interviewing process involving students, staff, administration and faculty, neither candidate was appointed and the university started a fresh search in the spring. While Fairley called the process “rigorous but fair,” Carasco expressed a different interpretation in her July submission to the Tribunal:
Put quite simply, the Faculty of Law and the University of Windsor, in spite of lip service paid to equity and social justice, did not want a visible minority woman as Dean of the Faculty of Law, no matter how well qualified.
Moreover, my decades of advocacy on behalf of equity at the University, an integral part of my identity as a visible minority woman, had left them in no doubt that in my Deanship I would do more than pay lip service to equity, and this prospect was unwelcome.
In short, Carasco believes the search committee, complete with Equity Assessor, a member of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, visible minorities and women, just didn’t want her because she wasn’t a white male. Throw in Moon further spoiling her chances with that plagiarism allegation, which Carasco claims was also racially motivated, and Carasco was out of the running. So what’s the clear resolution? Have the government step in and force the school to appoint Carasco dean of law, obviously. Indeed, it’s the only resolution.
The Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits employment discrimination based on factors that are unrelated to the job, including race, colour, ancestry and sex. But nowhere in it can I find a clause ensuring one’s right to “stick it to the jerks who denied you the job.” If Carasco was robbed of fair consideration based on race and sex, she should be compensated accordingly, but not given a five-year chair. Indeed, government shouldn’t appoint deans any more than teachers should be able to decide who’s “it.”
- Photo by Joe Gratz
1,100 first-year psychology students to re-write midterm
The University of Windsor is probing allegations of cheating that could see 1,100 students being forced to re-write a midterm. The university will not confirm specifics, including what course the alleged cheating took place. However, the Windsor Star reported that the course is called Psychology as a Social Science, a first year class taught by a professor Kenneth Cramer.
The textbook used for the class came with a CD that included multiple choice questions. Evidently, the questions were distributed to students before the exam. Cramer sent an email to his students on Thursday informing them that the midterm will have to be re-written. “The University Academic Integrity Office is currently investigating this matter. As a result, the mid-term results (perhaps only the textbook questions) are deemed invalid and must be tested again in good time. I should have more information from the Integrity Office by early next week so we can find the best way to address this. I cannot have you review your mid-terms, since these are to be turned over to the Integrity Office,” he wrote.
According to the Star, a preliminary investigation revealed that “some students scored near perfect on the textbook questions, yet failed the lecture questions.” A student told the paper that the same textbook is used at the University of Calgary and that this may have been the source of the breach.