All Posts Tagged With: "vancouver"
Montreal among top 10 places to study
A global ranking by QS of the Best Student Cities in 2014 puts Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver all in the top quartile of those considered.
The top 50 rankings considered 14 factors including how highly the city’s schools are ranked, what proportion of residents are students, results of two major quality of life surveys, popularity with domestic and global employers and cost of living.
QS says it considered 98 cities this year. All of those considered had more than 250,000 people and at least two universities ranked in the QS World University Ranking, ruling out places like Edmonton and Halifax, although Ottawa would qualify and doesn’t appear in the top 50.
Here are the top 10 cities, plus the rankings of the Canadian cities that made the top 50.
Those charged include UBC student
Stanley Cup rioters convicted for their part in a post-hockey rampage on Vancouver streets are continuing to flout the law, say city police.
Police allege as many as one-quarter of the 42 people they’ve been watching have breached their probation or recognizance orders.
Their contempt-of-court investigation involves 11 people and alleges they ignored court orders over conditions such as curfews, drinking alcohol, and entering Vancouver’s downtown core where they have been banned.
Police have released seven names of adults who have been charged for breaching their court-imposed conditions.
Those charged include Camille Cacnio, a university student who stole two pairs of men’s dress pants from Black & Lee the night of the riot, then posted a lengthy apology on her blog the next week.
A provincial court judge handed Cacnio a suspended sentence, probation and community work, saying the scathing campaign of online shaming that targeted her was more than enough to ensure she learned her lesson.
Police say four of the people being investigated for breaching conditions are youth and can’t be named
Supt. Dean Robinson said he’s disappointed the same people who showed disrespect for the community are now showing disrespect for the courts by violating their conditions.
What students are talking about today (March 12th)
1. The headliners of Montreal’s much-anticipated Osheaga Music and Arts festival in August will be the Cure and Mumford & Sons. If those two bands don’t impress you, at least a couple of these other acts probably will: Beach House, Diamond Rings, Azealia Banks, New Order, the Lumineers, Phoenix, Kendrick Lamar, Vampire Weekend, Alt-J, Hot Chip, Tegan and Sara, Ellie Goulding, We Are Wolves, A Tribe Called Red and Wild Belle. That variety makes the $235 general admission pass look a lot more affordable. I highly recommend all students go to at least one big show at Parc Jean-Drapeau while they’re still young enough to get away with it. It’s a special place.
2. Some strange people in Toronto are paying $40 each to attend “cuddle parties,” a trend that has also been reported in Calgary. They’re just like they sound. Strangers get together in big groups and then cuddle, spoon and hold hands. Everyone wears pajamas and they all hang out together on pillows on the floor. Clothes stay on and it’s apparently non-sexual. Jessica Maxwell, a doctoral student at U of T who researches relationships, tells The Grid newspaper that cuddling stimulates production of the chemical oxytocin, a sort of love drug that relaxes us when it’s released.
Particle collider will cost about US$7.78 billion
Some of the world’s greatest minds have collided in Vancouver and agreed to build a new US$7.78-billion particle collider that will help answer some of the universe’s deepest secrets.
The physicists had until Thursday been designing two separate particle colliders, known as linear colliders.
The colliders were expected to hurl billions of electrons at positrons — their anti-particles — along kilometre-long superconducting cavities at nearly the speed of light.
Timothy Meyer of TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, said the results of those collisions would help scientists answer questions related to the Big Bang and the evolution of the universe.
But Meyer said the physicists met at TRIUMF in Vancouver and agreed to form a team to develop a new particle accelerator.
“Everyone wants this collider to go forward, and the technology or which one is which is sort of a secondary concern,” he said. “It’s like everyone is going to start rowing in the same direction.”
What students are talking about today (January 11th)
1. The Waldorf, a two-year old arts venue in Vancouver’s east end, has been sold to developers. Artists are, unsurprisingly, enraged. Grimes was among those who played the tiki-themed multi-room venue. Her Tweet on Thursday captures the reaction to the closure: “wow vancouver is so f*d if they shut down the waldorf. f*k this city. you’ve destroyed nearly every piece of culture that you had.” Rhys Edwards, wrote this in a piece for The Ubyssey’s blog: “The Waldorf is one more victim in the amorphous onslaught of gentrification in a city that simply does not prioritize cultural activities that do not promote economic development.” Without the Waldorf, she says, Vancouver will be less weird.
2. Emma Teitel says she can’t do simple math and she’s blaming the pressure to perform, which in her case took the form of the “Mad Minute,” an exercise where students race against a clock to do as much arithmetic as possible. This created a fear of math and caused her to give up. She points out that Finnish students, who don’t face much pressure from teachers, perform best in the world.
Sophie Laboissonniere was local Miss Congeniality
A former beauty queen has admitted to participating in the 2011 Stanley Cup riot in Vancouver.
Sophie Laboissonniere of Richmond, B.C., who was crowned Miss Congeniality at a local beauty pageant, wasn’t in court for the guilty plea.
The woman’s lawyer entered the guilty plea of one count of participating in a riot.
She was among the first people charged following the riot, which broke out on June 15, 2011, after the Vancouver Canucks lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final.
A sentencing hearing has not been set, though the judge has granted the Crown’s request for a pre-sentence report with a psychological component.
Rioters spent hours burning cars, smashing windows and looting stores over several blocks of downtown Vancouver until police in riot gear used tear gas to bring the crowds under control.
Two are in Ontario
Startup Genome has released a global ranking of Startup Ecosystems and three of the top 20 entrepreneurial cities are in Canada. The ranking is based on eight components: startup output, funding, company performance, talent, support infrastructure, entrepreneurial mindset, trendsetting tendencies and ecosystem differentiation. Toronto is eighth, Vancouver is ninth and Waterloo, Ont.—the only small city on the list—punches above its weight class at 17th. Here are the top 10:
Would cost $12-million more
Vancouver’s transit authority has released a report on the viability of a gondola to ferry students and professors up Burnaby Mountain to Simon Fraser University. The report by CH2M Hill found that it would cost $12-million more than using buses over a 25-year period. That means it won’t be built anytime soon. The option may be considered in a “future strategic transportation plan,” says TransLink. Many people supported the aerial alternative because winter weather often keeps buses from navigating the icy roads and because the gondola may be more environmentally friendly than buses. However, the gondola was opposed by some homeowners who would have lived underneath it.
Chinese couple made fake student cards
Canada has deported a Chinese couple who stole information from more than 150 Simon Fraser University students, CBC News reports. Siyuan Gu and Jing Wang pleaded guilty in December to using forged student ID cards to obtain U-Passes. They possessed a 500-page printout of information on SFU students that had been obtained by recording keystrokes, provincial court heard. U-Passes are highly valuable because they allow their 80,000 student users unlimited access to transit in Vancouver at a rate of just $30 per month. The regular price is $151 for a three-zone pass. Gu had spent nine years in Canada on an academic visa and Wang is listed as his wife. Earlier this year, TransLink, Vancouver’s transit authority, said that U-Pass fraud amounts to $15-million annually. In the past, much of that fraud was due to people registering for school, dropping out and then illegally re-selling selling their U-Passes on Craigslist.
“Numerous” sightings of flasher
The RCMP at the University of British Columbia are warning the public, particularly women, to be avoid jogging, walking or biking alone on or near the trails of Pacific Spirit Park near West 16th Avenue. Here’s why: ”On numerous occasions, women on the trails have complained of a male approaching them by exposing his genital area and masturbating as they went by. The male is described as Caucasian with a slim build and very tanned. He is believed to be approximately 5’7″ to 5’9″ and between the ages of 30 to 40 years old.”
Cause of death T.B.D.
A Bangladeshi newspaper reports that Hassan Syed, the who man allegedly beat, bit and blinded his wife, University of British Columbia (UBC) master’s student Rumana Manzur, has died. Golam Haider, deputy inspector general of prisons, told bdnews24.com that Syed had been brought to a hospital prison cell Nov. 23 because he was mentally unstable. He then suffered cardiac failure on Dec. 5. Asked about suicide as a potential cause, Haider said that an autopsy has not yet been completed. Manzur’s aunt told The Toronto Star that her niece is aware of the death, but unable to speak publicly about it. The UBC community reacted to the news of Manzur’s June attack by raising $58,000 in the first month after it, which helped bring the victim and her child to Vancouver. Surgeries in Canada to restore her sight were unsuccessful, but the fundraising hasn’t stopped. UBC’s Muslim Students’ Association raised a further $6,000 for Manzur at an Iftar during Ramadan.
One accused of assault
Among the 25 suspected Stanley Cup rioters who were charged last week in Vancouver, at least two are University of British Columbia students.
Alexander Peepre, a 20-year-old political science student, is charged with the assault of Cameron Brown, a photographer who alleges he was struck from behind by Peepre while trying to put out a fire and after trying to capture some of the criminal acts on film. “I tried to get some clear shots of people that were causing the damage because I knew right away that that would be the best way to identify them afterward and send them off to the police,” Brown told The Ubyssey.
Jensen White, a UBC science student from Seattle, is charged with mischief and participating in a riot.
BIXI heads west
The University of British Columbia is poised to benefit from the likely arrival of the BIXI bike sharing service in Vancouver, reports The Ubyssey. Carole Jolly, Director of Transportation Planning for UBC told the newspaper that she has been working with the City on the project since last April. Her initial analysis shows that a trial could include 200 bicycles and 20 docking stations on campus. The City would presumably install a number of docking stations in various locations off-campus, close to where students live.
Bicycle sharing has obvious environmental benefits, but is can also be a money-saving option for commuters. In Toronto, for example, BIXI members pay $95 annually for a membership key that allows them to pick up and ride the black bikes to other docking stations sprinkled across the city. There are no charges so long as bikes are docked at any station within 30 minutes and there are minimal late fees thereafter. Best of all, there’s no worry that your fancy new ride will be swiped while you’re in a lecture. It’s always locked.
Shinder Purewal tweeted that the parade is “vulgar”
A Kwantlen University professor tweeted Thursday that Vancouver’s Pride Parade “should be banned.”
Shinder Purewal, who was also a third-place Liberal Party candidate in Surrey during the recent federal election and was a citizenship judge, sent out this offensive tweet on Thursday morning:
“Vancouver’s so-called ‘Pride Parade’ should be banned. It is vulgar…to say the least!”
Purewal later explained to the CBC that he would not want his children to see half-naked people walking down the street.
“A lot of people in our society wouldn’t want to see that display downtown.” And he added, “it’s not homophobic… It’s simply if they want to have a pride parade it should be a cultured phenomenon. It should not be sexuality on display.”
Vancouver Pride organizer Kevin Coolen said Purewal has the right to his point of view, but he added that he thinks it couldlead to more homophobia.
Kwantlen University sent out a tweet stating that Purewal’s point of view does not represent the school’s.
A flood of other Tweeters responded to his statement, mainly with criticism.
Rumana Monzur was attacked in Bangladesh
Rumana Monzur — the University of British Columbia master’s student who was brutally blinded and bitten — received good news and bad news this week.
The good news is that Monzur’s mother and five-year-old daughter Anoushe have been issued temporary resident permits for Canada. They are expected to arrive soon, UBC officials told CBC News.
The bad news is that it’s still unclear whether any of her eyesight can be restored. Monzur has had three surgeries in Vancouver and a fourth is scheduled for later this week.
The UBC community held fundraisers after learning of her June 5 attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which was allegedly committed by her husband, who has since been jailed. So far, $58,000 has been raised for her living expenses during recovery.
It’s unclear whether the political science student will return to class anytime soon.
Another reason to prefer small universities is the access to full-time profs.
There’s a lot of talk these days about the disappearance of the tenured professor. We now regularly hear that most of the undergraduate teaching these days is done not by the experienced, expert, tenured professor, but rather by the “ill-paid, overworked lecturer.” When statistics are given, they are for the country as a whole, but those numbers, I suspect, paper over vast differences among different kinds of schools.
In my department, for instance, there are seventeen teaching positions in total. Of those, thirteen are full time and eleven of those are tenured or tenure-track. Of the four who teach part time, one works at the university in another capacity, another is a professional writer married to a tenure-track member. The third is employed elsewhere, and the last is a woman who has just finished her MA and is teaching part time while she applies for her PhD. They each teach the equivalent of one full course per year, generally in areas where the course offerings and enrollments cannot justify full-time positions. Overall, our under-paid part-timers teach about ten percent of our course offerings. Even if you include the full-time sessionals (who are paid using the same grids as tenure-track people, and who have similar benefits), around three-quarters of our courses are taught by tenured and tenure-track faculty.
To be sure, our part-time faculty members are not paid as much as full-time members, but, by the same token, they do not have non-teaching responsibilities either. They are not expected to maintain a research program, for instance, nor do they have to sit on the various committees, boards, and task forces that the rest of us do.
In other words, no “roads scholars” here.
The reason a university like mine does not employ an army of sessional instructors is not because we are superior in terms of virtue. It’s practical. We simply can’t. In Toronto or Vancouver or Montreal, there is a veritable sea of PhDs looking for work, and universities take advantage. In Cape Breton we only have the sea, not the PhDs, and to attract scholars we need to offer tenure-track — or at least full time — work. I suspect much the same situation obtains in Antigonish, and Brandon, and other small places removed from major centres.
So while at many universities, students can get through much of their degree without ever meeting a tenured faculty member, at a small school like mine, you can easily meet five of them the first week. There are some disadvantages to a small-town school, but laments about the state of “today’s university” ignore some of the real advantages.
At this point, attacking the university seems counter productive
It’s finally happened. Seven months from the start of the 2010 Olympics, and the first full-blown free speech controversy at the University of British Columbia is finally upon us. The main point of contention rests on restrictions the Vancouver Organizing Committee and UBC plan to impose on commercial signage in student residences.
None of this comes as a surprise, frankly. The balance between effective security, enforcement of International Olympic Committee regulations, and suppression of rights was always going to be a huge issue at the university for a number of reasons:
- The UBC Winter Sports Centre is hosting the men’s and women’s hockey games, not to mention the entire Paralympics hockey tournament a month later. It’s going to cause major disruptions on campus: Month-long road closures, limited access to fields for students, a two-week reading break leading to an compressed April exam schedule, among other things. It’s going to be anything but business as usual for UBC students.
- You might have heard of that whole “academic freedom” thing that’s all the rage at universities. But kidding aside, the symbolic nature of thousands of security personnel potentially infringing on the rights of students to show their disapproval with the Olympics is enough to make a P.R.-savvy protester salivate.
- There’s also the APEC factor. Almost all Vancouverites remember the infamous 1997 international summit held at UBC, during which hundreds of protesters were pepper-sprayed by police and scores of students were arrested (both during and leading up to the summit), which spurred an extensive public hearing into the overreach of the RCMP that didn’t culminate until 2002.
That being said, this current mini-controversy is being blown out way out of proportion. The clause in UBC’s residence contract bans signage that is either a competitor of an Olympic sponsor, or creates a “false or unauthorized commercial association with the Olympics.” Sounds draconian, right?
Well hold on. The rule only applies if your sign is “in a place that is visible from the Thunderbird Winter Sports Centre or the overlay facilities constructed by VANOC adjacent to the Thunderbird Winter Sports Centre.”
For the record, the Thunderbird Winter Sports Centre is surrounded by fields, a parking lot, a tennis court, market housing, and a fraternity village. If you’re being extremely generous, there may be close to 50 students — tops — who might be affected. That isn’t to say this shouldn’t be an issue. Students should wonder whether or not the university will be heavy-handed in enforcing restrictions on campus. But if you assume the administration wants to work with students in the coming months to ensure a peaceful and open campus during the games, attacking the university at this point seems counter productive.
Vancouver police seize a shotgun, ammunition, machete, sword, knife and metal batons from teen’s house
High school students worried about online threats by an 18-year-old prompted police to arrest a teen suspect, who investigators say had a gun, ammunition and 117 names on what police termed a “hit list.”
The Grade 12 student at Templeton Secondary School in Vancouver faces seven weapons-related charges.
Insp. Scott Thompson, in charge of youth services for the Vancouver Police, said officers found the hit list after they were contacted Friday evening by six students worried about the Facebook postings of a fellow student.
“It was reported that the male had a firearm and ammunition, as well as a hit list of staff and students at their high school,” Thompson told a news conference.
Of the 117 names on the list, 71 were identified as staff and students, he said.
After interviewing the students who called police, officers arrested the teen suspect late Friday at his house.
Police say a shotgun, ammunition, a machete, a sword, a knife and two collapsible metal batons were seized from the teen’s house, as well as a computer and other materials.
Thompson said the teen’s name is not being released because while he is an adult now, some of the activity being investigated occurred while he was still a youth.
Although Thompson described the investigation as “one of the most serious” of its kind, students at the school appeared unfazed Monday.
Daniel Brown, 17 and in Grade 12, said his name was on the list.
“I’m not surprised,” he said.
“We’d been talking and he said ‘By the way, you’re number 25.’ I asked him about it and he said that this is the number that you’re on my list, basically that I’m going to kill you in.”
Investigation finds 35 students selling student transit passes online
According to a CBC News investigation, about three dozen Vancouver university students are illegally selling their discounted transit passes online for a profit, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The so-called U-Passes, which have a photo on the front and are non-transferable, are used by as many as 70,000 students at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Capilano University and Langara College.
The price of the passes ranges from around $100 to $150 for four months, depending on the school, and allows unlimited travel on all of Vancouver’s public transit vehicles (including the light-rail SkyTrain and aquatic SeaBus). The cost is automatically added to students’ tuition fees regardless of whether or not they use public transit.
An equivalent pass, for four months, would cost a regular transit user $544.
Searching the classifieds website Craigslist, the CBC investigation found that 35 students were selling their U-Passes online. The team then met the students in person and filmed them with a hidden camera. Some of them said they have no use for the passes, and sell them every year.
One student told the CBC that bus drivers don’t usually check the pass photo against its carrier, and that they usually “just flash it” when getting on the bus.
In an attempt to test the drivers, CBC sent one of its white female producers on a bus, armed with the U-Pass of a male East Asian student. The female producer flashed the pass at three different bus drivers, “none of whom batted an eye,” although she later paid the fare after telling the drivers about her experiment.
A spokesperson for TransLink, Vancouver’s transportation agency, says bus drivers can’t slow down boarding to check holders of the discounted passes, and increasing policing would cost more than a crackdown would save.
He also says it’s hard to quantify how much the company is losing to U-Pass reselling.
Well, another Canadian federal election is underway… We thought we’d offer a small contribution to the debate by adding a more “human” element. Although it can be said that, unlike with our American friends, politics up here mostly ignores the characters involved in favour of more policy-centred coverage. If we have foresaken the cult of [...]
Well, another Canadian federal election is underway…
We thought we’d offer a small contribution to the debate by adding a more “human” element. Although it can be said that, unlike with our American friends, politics up here mostly ignores the characters involved in favour of more policy-centred coverage. If we have foresaken the cult of ego, the unfortunate result is that we inspire rather, well, uninspiring individuals to the helm of major national parties.
Since some of the contributors to our book, Kickstart: How Successful Canadians Got Started, are very much involved in the election, set to occur on October 14, we thought we’d highlight a few aspects of their early stories.
“It was a difficult campaign. It may seem normal now to have people from different backgrounds in politics, but in that time there weren’t very many. So when I ran, sometimes I’d go to the doorstep, knock on the door and somebody would open it. Before I even said something, the door would shut on me. That was pretty disheartening. But I persevered… and lost.”
That experience was with the provincial NDP in British Columbia. After eventually leading that party (and the province), he opted for the Liberals when he decided to run federally.
For more about Ujjal’s story, click here.