All Posts Tagged With: "UWO"
On the legacy of race researcher Philippe Rushton
Over the past couple of weeks, academics were discussing the death of Western University’s Phillipe Rushton, a professor perhaps not familiar to many of today’s students, but who was, for a little while, among the most hated men in Canada.
Until the late 1980s Rushton had been a reasonably well-respected psychologist whose work on altruism was frequently cited. But then, he published a series of papers claiming that the three main human racial groups—whites, blacks, and Asians—could be grouped according to a wide range of racial traits, including intelligence and various sexual characteristics, with whites typically falling between blacks and Asians.
Not surprisingly, many took Rushton’s theories as thinly-veiled, or, indeed, not-at-all-veiled racism. They saw his essential claim as being that blacks were inherently inferior to whites, and many called for the psychologist’s resignation. At one point, Rushton was required to teach his courses by video to prevent on-campus unrest.
Campus fashion from Western University
Western University students know how to accessorize. Some keep it subtle—a scarf here, a crown of flowers there. Others aren’t afraid to wear Mustang purple from head-to-toe. Jessica Darmanin went to London, Ont. on homecoming weekend to snap these stylish students. To see what students are wearing at other universities, click here. Since she can’t make it to every campus, why not show us your fall fashion? Tweet your photo to @maconcampus or post it on our Facebook wall.
Why they got rid of the University of Western Ontario
There ‘s much fuss among alumni over the news that Western is changing its name, for most day-to-day purposes, to Western. Or Western University. Or Western University Canada.
What it won’t call itself, in colloquial use, is the University of Western Ontario. That remains the place’s legal name, but it won’t be the name Western travels with.
This is all causing a certain amount of consternation among people with a link to Western and, I think it’s fair to say, to people who follow branding exercises with a certain healthy amount of skepticism. Objections I heard this morning include:
1. This is dumb. Everyone calls it Western already.
2. This is dumb. It’s in Eastern Canada.
3. This is dumb. It’s in Southern Ontario.
To me, it’s not as dumb, but its cleverness takes a bit of explaining. Continue reading That’s Western University to you
Researchers say meteorites fell over Selwyn, Ont.
Astronomers from the University of Western Ontario released a rare video Wednesday of a meteor falling from the sky just east of Toronto.
The footage was captured just after 6 p.m. on Monday evening by six video surveillance cameras belonging to Western’s Southern Ontario Meteor Network. The basketball-sized meteor was first spotted over Lake Erie and moved toward the north-northeast ending just south of the town of Selwyn, Ont., according to a news released from the university. Researchers say it likely sprinkled small meteorites over the area east of Selwyn near the eastern side of Upper Stony Lake.
Peter Brown, the director of Western’s Centre for Planetary and Space Exploration, says the occurrence is rare—only about a dozen meteorite falls have had their orbits measured by cameras. That’s why researchers at Western and the Royal Ontario Museum are interested in hearing from anyone who may witnessed or recorded the event or has found fallen meteorite fragments.
“Finding a meteorite from a fireball captured by video is equivalent to a planetary sample return mission,” Brown said in the news release. “We know where the object comes from in our solar system and can study it in the lab.”
Did you see the meteor? Contact Kimberly Tait at email@example.com
Film compares abortion to holocaust
Students at the University of Western Ontario are upset that they were handed DVDs in the University Community Centre on Wednesday. The film, by Living Waters Ministry, “uses a discussion of the holocaust as a segue to promote a pro-life agenda” reports The Gazette.
Devin Barnes, a fourth-year philosophy student, said he was not happy about his gift from the pro-life strangers: “the pro-life people obviously have the right to their opinion, but this was coercion.”
Eliot Hong, from the University Students’ Council, said they require that such handouts be approved ahead of time. ”This is to ensure that groups are following the Advertising Materials Policy and are in line with the University’s environment of providing a safe, supportive campus while being sensitive to the diverse student, staff, and faculty population that are a part of Western,” said Hong.
The Christian Post, a U.S. publication, reports that “a small army of one thousand workers gave away 200,000 copies of the award-winning movie “180″ at 100 top universities around the country, in one day this week. To avoid opposition, the day and the location of each of the universities were a highly-guarded secret. The controversial pro-life video shows eight people who are adamantly pro-abortion, changing their minds and becoming pro-life in a matter of seconds…”
It’s not clear whether the group at Western was part of this particular effort, but 180 does open with scenes from NAZI Germany and a man asking students whether they’ve heard of Adolf Hitler.
First school to distribute this way
The Richard Ivey School of Business has become the first major school to make its case studies available on iTunes where they can be downloaded onto smart-phones and tablets for $3.99 each, reports the Financial Times. The Top 50 business school, which is part of the University of Western Ontario, has already uploaded 500 cases and will publish 200 more each year. Paul Beamish, director of Ivey Publishing told FT that, “It supports our emphasis on making Ivey cases easily accessible to everyone.” Ivey is one of the world’s four largest publishers of case studies.
Three tweeting jokers will retire
The infamous Tweeter behind the @wstrngirl account has finally been revealed. In fact, it was not one person, but three female friends, reports University of Western Ontario student newspaper, The Gazette. Students were kept guessing about the source of the tweets, which entertained more than 2,600 followers with funny two-liners that were supposedly from the mind of a stereotypical “Western girl.” For example, on March 5 they wrote that ”the Ceeps line-up has affected what time I take my birth control pills,” referring to a pick-up bar near campus. On Dec. 7, when the school was closed for a storm, they wrote “thank god for my cashmere snuggie #snowmaggedon.” The tweeters were Alicia DeBoer, Romina Cortellucci and Taya Denotter, who announced their retirement this week.
Photo courtesy of The Gazette.
Groups linked to Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas to establish Chair in Islamic Studies
An Ontario college is being asked to turn down a $2-million donation that will fund a new Chair in Islamic Studies. Those opposed say that the groups donating the cash have obvious links to jihad and terrorism. But the principal of Huron College at the University of Western Ontario, who took the money, says she’s satisfied that the groups aren’t violent and that they won’t have any influence on courses or hiring.
The opponents, headed by London resident Rory Leishman, outlined their worries in a letter this week. They noted that the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), which donated some of the money, supports Hassan Al-Banna’s vision of Islam. Al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood, an Arab political group that has acted violently against those who don’t follow Islam and which has called for the “obliteration” of Israel. Wael Haddara, president of the MAC, told The Toronto Sun that his group is not violent, even though they “firmly believe that there is a tremendous amount of good in the writings, works and life of Al-Banna and the traditions of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
But it’s not just influence from the MAC that opponents are worried about. Half of the donation will come from the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), whose past leaders were supporters of the terrorist group Hamas, according to a U.S. Customs report. Temple University University in Philadelphia rejected a $1.5 million gift from the group in 2008 over concerns about its links to terrorism.
Trish Fulton, Acting Principal of Huron College, said that she is satisfied that there are no links to terrorism. “We have a due diligence process that — it includes a site visit, a review of tax returns and any other information available on the organization — and we follow that before we entertain any gift of a certain size or gift from individuals or organizations,” she told The Sun.
“Islamic studies is a legitimate subject for academic inquiry and we are very proud that this is the first chair of Islamic studies in a family of theology in Canada,” added Fulton. The petitioners say they aren’t arguing about the establishment of a chair, but who the school should taking money from.
There’s “exponential growth” in demand, so why are diagnoses down?
But are illnesses like depression and anxiety more common than they used to be, or is something else causing the surge in demand?
Gail Hutchinson, director of psychological services at UWO, told The Western News this week that there has been “exponential growth in the demand” for services on her campus. She says there has been a 20 per cent increase in the number of students asking to see a counselor in the past two years. Even after hiring another counselor, there is a waiting list of more than 100 students.
And Western isn’t alone in reporting explosive growth in demand for services. A new study from Pennsylvania State University found that one in four U.S. college students had tried to access mental health services on campus. You read that correctly — one in four.
But if demand for services is increasingly so quickly, why aren’t self-reported rates of mental health diagnoses going up? The National College Health Assessment, which has surveyed tens of thousands of North American students twice annually since 2000, shows that students aren’t any more depressed or suicidal than they used to be, although anxiety is up somewhat. Consider this:
In 2000, 10.1 per cent of students said they were diagnosed with depression in the past year.
In 2010, 8.3 per cent of students said they were diagnosed with depression in the past year.
In 2000, 4.3 per cent of students reported having been diagnosed with anxiety in past year.
In 2010, 10.3 per cent of students reported having been diagnosed with an anxiety in past year.
In 2000, 11 per cent of students said they had “seriously considered suicide” in the past year.
In 2010, 6 per cent of students said they had “seriously considered suicide” in the past year.
One explanation is that campus mental health centres are simply doing a better job advertising. It’s simple logic that if students are more aware of mental illness, they’re more likely to seek professional help.
And they are much more aware of mental health. In the 2005 NCHA survey, 11.7 per cent of students reported receiving information from their college or university on suicide prevention. Just five years later, 34.5 — or three times as many — said they had received such information. In 2010, 50 per cent of students said they had received information on depression from their school. In 2000, the NCHA didn’t even ask the question.
So even though the demand for mental health services is going up, the crisis might not be in mental health.
Photo courtesy of Joe Houghton on Flickr.
Rappers allege “Errbody’s good lookin”
School pride at the University of Western Ontario has migrated from the backside of sweatpants and your boyfriend’s football jersey to video quickly gaining popularity on YouTube.
The video, called “White & Purple,” has been dubbed UWO’s “newest anthem” by producer Eddie Manuel and is making the rounds on students’ Facebook walls and emails circulated with the subject line “ZOMG.”
Starring Shayan, Nava40 and Dee Minaj, the video purports that the University of Western Ontario is superior to other institutions of higher education. Supposedly “reppin’ the school where errbody’s good lookin,’” the performers make a series of allegations which include the fact that its “Ladies [are] blinged out with precious metals,” and “In class errbody’s wearin’ ripped jeans.” At several points throughout the video, students yell “F**k Queen’s” whilst flipping the bird to the camera. Ah, school spirit…
The best rhyme of the piece has to go to one young gentleman whose T-shirt suggests he has been “Fly Since 1985.” Surrounded by comrades on the Mustangs’ football field, he says “Booster Juice got more peeps than the bar / Glitch on WebCT—bonus marks!” Never before has academic misconduct been so fly.
In all seriousness though, great production value and annoyingly catchy. I hope and can’t wait for a Queen’s rebuttal.
New office still in the ‘preliminary’ stages
According to an article from the Stratford Gazette, the University of Western Ontario’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry is interested in expanding into Stratford.
The new location- which would be an office, not a campus- is still in the “preliminary” stages. In an interview with the Gazette, Mayor Dan Mathieson said that although they hope to see it happen, “it is not something that is definite.”
-Photo courtesy of DGriebeling
Newspaper questions UWO’s campus police motives
One of Canada’s most recognizable publications for gay and lesbian news has raised the question of whether new motion detectors at the University of Western Ontario have been installed to clamp down on gay sex.
Xtra! released a story last week probing the motive behind installing motion sensors in washrooms at Western’s Thames Hall. According to the article, Western’s campus police, who wouldn’t respond to Xtra!’s interview requests, had the motion detectors installed in Thames Hall washrooms, allegedly to curb gay sex. The article cites anecdotal evidence from an anonymous source at the university, who says he was questioned by campus police about gay sex happening in mens washrooms. “The man said he told officers there was plenty of sex happening in public spaces among the heterosexual students as well,” the article reads, but “the police did not seem interested in this fact.”
A case of bigoted campus police trying to snuff homosexual ongoings in public places on campus? It’s not entirely impossible. But other than our mystery UWO worker’s account of police prejudice, there’s little to suggest that police are trying to single out homosexual sex in public places on campus. As any university student can (unfortunately) attest, public washrooms are, for some reason, a curious hotspot for campus diddling. So, unless Thames Hall motion detectors are equipped with some sort of wicked-revolutionary ‘gaydar,’ these extra security measures are likely to curtail anyone and everyone thinking of getting naughty in the public stalls.
Perhaps cracking down on sex in public places could be conceived as a deliberate attempt to curb gay sex on campus if you consider the idea that a public washroom can be a relatively “safe space” for a closeted student. Since it’s hard to engage in any sort of dorm room romp without your floormates or roommate noticing, a public bathroom, therefore, can offer a discreet alternative. The option may be all the more appealing when considering the type of bullying to which gay students may be subject on campus, a problem which has gained media attention recently due to the string of suicides by gay youth in the U.S. The tragic case of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, who was recorded having sex with a man by his roommate in the dorm they shared, is just one example. Why risk public ridicule in the dorm, some students may think, when you can opt for the relative privacy of a public bathroom?
Of course, it’s all but mere speculation, but the idea that UWO campus police are deliberately trying to curb gay sex in public places is still a far-fetched one. The bottom line is that the new security measures in Thames Hall washrooms effect everyone equally, regardless of police motives. Without any evidence, fishing for proof of a culture of intolerance only serves to create one.
Will the controversial speaker be warmly received?
Who can forget the embarrassing debacle that occurred in March when Ann Coulter embarked on her Canadian university tour? And no, I’m not just talking about what she said. Students and community members gathered outside of the University of Ottawa to protest the right wing pundit’s planned address, and effectively had the event shut down. Coulter went on to speak at the University of Calgary, but the fiasco left a black eye on Canadian Universities’ reputation for tolerance of free speech.
Now, the University of Western Ontario, which was the first school to host Coulter back in March, is set to welcome another controversial speaker: Mark Steyn. Perhaps best known for his contentious views on the nature of Islam, Steyn was originally supposed to speak on Western’s campus as coordinated by the Campus Coalition for Democracy. However, due to capacity constraints, the venue had to be moved.
Then, yesterday, the new venue—the London Convention Centre—denied the Steyn camp its room rental request. StrictlyRight.com, one of the organizers of the event, called foul, saying that the denial amounts to censorship at a city-owned facility, adding that the centre was caving to pressure from local Islamic groups. The centre’s general manager countered the allegation, saying that the decision to deny the request was business-driven—not politically.
In any case, the venue has been moved yet again and it seems as thought Steyn will take to the podium as planned on November 1. And even though it’s to be held off campus, students are still talking about implications of the contentious speaker’s arrival. According to the Western Gazette, the Muslim Students’ Association has already expressed concern to UWO’s administration about Steyn promoting Islamophobia on campus, though president Selma Tobah said there are better ways to oppose Steyn’s beliefs than boycott or protest. And Ryan Ruppert, president of the Campus Coalition for Democracy, told the Gazette he is hoping for “backlash through intelligent questioning.”
Who knows–maybe this time, things will go off without a hitch?
Proving the law is ‘unconstitutional’ may not be so easy
Twenty-year-old University of Western Ontario student Kevin Wiener has challenged Ontario’s controversial new law, which prohibits drivers under 22 from consuming any alcohol before getting behind the wheel.
Wiener filed an application with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, telling the Toronto Star, “As a young person, I don’t feel it’s fair for the government (to do this).”
“The Charter (of Rights and Freedoms) prohibits discrimination based on age,” he said.
That’s very true. But the Charter also guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it “only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified.” That little line may upset Wiener’s battle. Though it may not be “fair,” the necessity of such an “infringement,” so to speak, can be easily justified.
Statistics show that drivers under 22 are simply more likely to be involved in fatal drinking and driving collisions than older drivers. Furthermore, age is not a static group; everyone is under 22 at some point, and some studies, such as one by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, show that brain development of an area inhibiting risky behaviour is not fully formed until 25. But of course, that’s academic mumbo-jumbo. Too bad that’s just what the Ontario Superior court loves to hear.
Now, there is a compelling argument for extending the ban to all new drivers, which frankly, may be a fairer move, but let’s be real; with an impending provincial election, better to place restrictions on a demographic with the poorest showing at the polls. But I digress.
Though Wiener certainly faces an uphill battle, at least he’s going about it the right way. Remember, if all else fails, write to the UN.
-Photo by DOliphant
As universities urge sick students to stay away, some undergrads are faking H1N1
Thanks to H1N1, Section 16.8 of Dalhousie University’s Academic Regulations, regarding medical certificates in the case of illness (required to miss classes and assignments with no penalty incurred) has been modified. Since September, anyone with “flu-like symptoms” has been encouraged to stay far, far away from campus, no questions asked. It seems for now swine flu has killed the sick note at Dal. And other universities across the country have put similar policies into effect.
At first it seemed like a pure Godsend. Free to sign their own notes, students quickly expanded the definition of flu-like symptoms to include smoker’s cough, hangovers and an insatiable appetite for TLC’s Cake Boss. One Dal philosophy major has had the virus twice—once in Logic and once in Deduction—and is planning to contract it again before her Epistemology exam. “It’s supposed to come in waves,” she says.
Or not. Recently the University of Western Ontario started requiring infected students to enter their names into an online database, which could possibly red-flag multiple bouts of the flu. For students a new question loomed: how many times could they cry swine flu; and if they did malinger, what happened if they got the real thing?
Strangely, not much. John Doersken, vice provost in academic programs and students at UWO, maintains detecting fakes was never the reason for the database. “The system is in place so that we can provide our public health unit with data on how serious the pandemic is. We can tell on any given day how many students are away on influenza like illnesses.” Or at least, how many claim to be. There’s no telling, admits Doersken, how many students enter their names under false pretences.
And despite acknowledging that some students are likely using the pandemic for their own benefit, Susan Spence Wach, associate vice-president of academic programs at Dal, says their revised no-sick-note policy will remain in effect for now. “Our main concern is with flu prevention and the care of our student population.” In other words, having some people take advantage of the revised policy is better than what would occur if the policy were left unchanged. “People with flu-like symptoms,” says Spence Wach, “should not be going out to get sick notes. They should be at home.”
Though no official system is in place, data is also being collected at Dal, says Spence Wach: “On a weekly basis I get reports on student illness; only numbers, never names.”
So while it looks like students jumping on the H1N1 wagon won’t be facing any thorny disciplinary problems, they’re probably the contributing factors in some erroneous public health research—just another chapter in the swine flu fiasco. “For the most part, students aren’t abusing it,” says one Western undergrad, who prefers to remain anonymous. “However, I have heard of some students who are. Namely, myself and my roommates.”