All Posts Tagged With: "York University"
Analyzing the many reports of sexual assaults on campus
I’ve covered student news for two years now. Time and again, I’ve seen headlines that looked like this one from yesterday’s Toronto Star: Police investigate alleged sex assault at York University.
It’s less common to see headlines referring to sexual assaults at other schools, so it’s easy to assume York has a worse sexual assault problem.
But this conclusion is probably wrong.
Access Copyright takes York University to court
There’s a battle brewing in the world of Canadian academia.
On one side stands Access Copyright, a collective which has provided institutions access to a pool of protected intellectual work for more than two decades while distributing royalties to the writers, artists and publishers it represents.
On the other is a group of universities who no longer feel the need to pay for the services offered by the collective, opting instead to navigate the world of intellectual property rights without a middle agent.
Simmering tensions are now threatening to boil over as Access Copyright takes one of Canada’s largest universities to court — a move some see as a warning to others who’ve ended relations with the agency.
What students are talking about today (April 2nd)
1. The star of the MTV reality show Buckwild has died. Shane Gandee and two men, also dead, were last seen leaving a local bar in the rural town of Sissonville, West Virginia. They told bar patrons they were going to drive their truck off-road, a sport known as “muddin’” among the country-loving college-aged kids followed by MTVs cameras. The gossip site TMZ reports that carbon monoxide poisoning is being explored as a possible cause of death and that Gandee’s truck’s exhaust pipe may have been blocked by mud.
2. Twenty people, including some students, were displaced by a fire that destroyed two townhouses and damaged a third near York University on Monday, reports CBC News. York administration offered those affected by the fire temporary shelter.
Jewish students say they’re victims of discrimination
This decision was made during a meeting called by the YFS’ executive members on March 21, when a motion was put forth to endorse the campaign, resulting in a vote of 18-2 in favour.
Approximately 200 undergraduate students attended the meeting.
Safiyah Husein, vice-president equity of the YFS, says the movement is a form of “international solidarity with the Palestinian call for justice, equality, and an end to the occupation,” that, “puts pressure on institutions to divest from companies currently funding weaponry for the Israeli military.”
More than 5,000 students signed a petition asking the YFS to discuss the BDS issue, says Husein.
What students are talking about today (March 27th)
1. Students at Trent University are boycotting Aramark, the corporate campus food provider. They say it’s all about “food justice.” Sustainable Trent and others have given out hundreds of free meals as part of their campaign. “With nutritious vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and even local grass-fed meat options, this food is a much-needed remedy for students who struggle daily to meet their needs with Aramark’s limited and often processed selection at its cafeteria,” according to The Arthur student newspaper. This apparently isn’t just about food, but about “the tar sands, the prison industrial complex, and weapons manufacturing.” Who knew?
2. Toronto Police have arrested a 19-year-old from Maple, Ont. following two alleged “indecent acts” at York University. Police report that the same thing happened twice: on March 13 and March 21 the male student, visiting from another school, was in a lab and staring at a female when things turned, umm, indecent. Police say there may have been other incidents. The Excalibur student newspaper reports that York administration had not sent out a security bulletin email to students, as of March 25. There wasn’t a bulletin posted on its security bulletins website either, as of noon today.
What students are talking about today (February 22nd)
1. Students at Brandon University were excited for some metal after KISS frontman Gene Simmons posted earlier this month on his website that the band would play July 18th in the Wheat City. Both The Quill and the Brandon Sun reported the news but now the date has now disappeared from Simmons’ website and it’s unclear whether they’re even coming. This may not seem like a big deal to most of us, but it shows how desperate students in small cities are for entertainment.
2. Here’s disturbing news. Daniel Younis, 24, was Recruiting Coordinator and Running Back coach for the York University Lions football team when he was arrested this month for luring a child under 18 and attempting to make child pornography following Internet chats with a 16-year-old boy.
Universities aren’t doing much to help students plan careers
From the 2013 Student Issue on sale now.
Mike St. Jean is in his seventh year of political science at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont. “I still don’t even know what I can do with my degree,” he says. “I can get a job in government or elections, but other than that, the transition seems hard to lay out. I read books and analyze them. What does that mean to the real world?”
It’s not as if it hit him suddenly. The question “What’s next?” is one of the reasons he dropped down to part-time studies in year four of his degree. Another reason was that he needed time for his part-time job and his work with the Argus student newspaper, where he’s now an editor.
Lakehead’s counsellors haven’t helped. He only visited them once, years ago, and was told to consider a master’s in English or an education degree. “I don’t know how many jobs there are for teachers,” he says. What he does know is that a friend who took education moved to England because she couldn’t find work here. A master’s didn’t strike him as a good plan, either; he’s seen multiple master’s graduates and one Ph.D. apply for low-wage jobs at the Subway where he works. Professors are encouraging, but they don’t offer career advice. His parents want to help, but “they think university is about curing cancer and rocket science,” he says. “They have no idea what I’m in.”
Artist Deanna Bowen says work is meant to be provocative
Three Ku Klux Klan banners prominently displayed in the vitrines overlooking York University’s Accolade East colonnade are causing people who pass by everyday to literally trip over themselves.
These pieces are part of a daring art exhibition at the Art Gallery of York University entitled Invisible Empires, which presents a collection of archival material that shows how the violent white supremacist organization had a role in 20th century Canadian history—not just American history as many Canadians likely believe.
Hanging such banners on campus seemed likely to cause an uproar among people of colour, and some were indeed initially upset. However, it seems to have sparked a conversation.
“They’re not put up to be harmful,” says Deanna Bowen, the black Toronto artist behind the exhibit. The banners are “meant to get you inside to hear more about this history.”
Travel and fine dining required (but it’s not all glamourous)
Michele Simpson is a manager of media relations for Tourism Toronto. Her job is to encourage foreign travel writers to visit the city and, while they’re in town, she shows them where to go and what to do. Simpson’s goal is to show off the best of what Toronto has on offer so that they’ll share it with their readers, encouraging more visitors.
She found public relations serendipitously. While studying psychology and humanities at York University, her sister opened a book of post-graduate programs at Seneca College, started reading about corporate communications and noted how much it sounded like Michele. On top of the B.A. and the Seneca certificate, Simpson holds a writing certificate from George Brown College.
Here she talks about the ups, the downs, the pay and the perks of her public relations career.
Is P.R. as glamourous as it looks on TV?
One of the reasons I got into P.R. was because it did look somewhat glamourous. But it is not. There are different facets of P.R. where it can be glamourous, but for the most part it’s a lot of hard work. A lot of hours are put in before you even get to that party or premiere or special event. Even when you’re at these events you’re still working. I know in the past a lot of TV shows or movies have glamourized P.R., but people are surprised when they find out how much goes into the work.
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.
Expert tips from a York University career workshop
“How do you write a general cover letter?” asked a student during the brainstorming session of a cover letter workshop I attended last Friday at York University in Toronto.
“We generally don’t recommend that,” Liz Cook, the workshop’s leader, diplomatically replied. “A general cover letter won’t sell your skills.”
Next question: “Okay then, how do I modify the general cover letter?” Cook’s patient answer: “Don’t use a template. Writing a new cover letter for each job is time consuming, but worth it.”
The basic fact that cover letters are the only chances we get to sell our biggest accomplishments, unique personalities and divine fits for particular jobs seemed lost on many of these students at the beginning of the workshop. But after 90 minutes with Cook, they sounded much more capable of writing targeted cover letters that will get picked out of the stacks. Students should make every effort to attend a workshop like this one before graduation. For those who can’t, here are seven cover letter tips I learned on Friday:
1. Write a new one for each employer.
Employers have told York’s Career Centre that many students submit applications that show no knowledge of their companies. The cover letter should draw connections between the applicants skills/experiences and what each employer specifically needs. If there’s a job posting, read it.
What students are talking about today (January 3rd)
1. Canada Goose coats are a staple on cold Canadian campuses, but an a new campaign is trying to make them unfashionable. Furtrimisatrap.com, an activist website, says that coyotes are “stolen from their families and homes, these sensitive, intelligent animals often spend hours or even days stuck in cruel traps where common injuries include broken bones and teeth, gashed eyes and severe internal bleeding.” Kevin Spreekmeester, Vice President of Global Marketing of the Toronto-based company,* defended the product to the Winnipeg Free Press, saying Canada Goose is proud to support the people of the north “for whom [trapping] is their livelihood.” He also notes that coyotes are not endangered and that their fur protects against frostbite.
2. Green Party leader and MP Elizabeth May knows a thing or two about hunger strikes, having mounted one for 17 days in 2001 while demanding the government move families living near the Sydney tar ponds in Cape Breton. Now she tells iPolitics.ca that Attawapiskat chief Theresa Spence, on Day 24 of her hunger strike, should meet with Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan, whom Spence has refused to see since starting her starvation diet on Victoria Island on Dec. 11. Spence has said she will not eat until Prime Minister Stephen Harper and a representative of the Crown agree to a “nation-to-nation” meeting to discuss treaties. Meanwhile, a two-week old rail blockade by Aboriginal protesters in Sarnia, Ont. has ended. However, the tone of the “Idle No More” debate is getting uglier. After John Ivision at the National Post dared call Spence “hapless,” Gerald Taiaiake Alfred—a political science professor at the University of Victoria—responded by calling him a “racist p—k” and threatened to kick his “immigrant ass” back to Scotland.
What students are talking about today (December 28th)
1. Randi Zuckerberg, the sister of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, was upset that a Facebook “friend” shared a family photo (including Mark) with the entire internet. “Digital etiquette: always ask permission before posting a friend’s photo publicly. It’s not about privacy settings, it’s about human decency,” Zuckerberg Tweeted after Callie Schweitzer shared the snapshot with more than 39,000 followers. Schweitzer deleted the photo, but that didn’t do much good. Facebook has done more to make our “private” photos public than any other site, so countless Internet users felt schadenfreude that the founder’s family’s privacy had been breached. You can see the photo here (and many other places). Does this mean I have no human decency either?
2. Nathan Weaver, a student at Clemson University in South Carolina, wanted to figure out the best way to assist turtles in crossing the road, so he put a real-looking rubber turtle in the middle of a busy street near campus. In the next hour, seven drivers intentionally ran over the turtle and several more looked like they tried to hit it. About one in 50 hit the turtle. It takes turtles several minutes to cross roads, so evil humans could be the reason turtle populations are declining.
Worst-ever Gangnam parody, gun control & pub trouble
1. “This Gangnam Style parody made by high school students in New Holland, Pennsylvania, is so terrible it’s destined to outlive the original music video,” writes The Albatross. That may be going a little far, but there’s a reason this kooky video has a million clicks already. It’s hilarious!
2. A “possible abduction” at York University on Wednesday turned out to be just a prank, say Toronto Police. The pranksters had said they saw a person forced into a van by two men near the Fine Arts building. “Police have investigated the incident and spoken with the people involved. It has been revealed it was a prank played between the people involved,” they write.
3. Quebec’s universities say they were blindsided by a cut of $124-million to be implemented during the current school year. This comes as universities scramble to make up for revenue lost after tuition hikes were cancelled in September by the new Parti Québecois government.
Students divided over ideas like key cards and more policing
After five crimes on campus at York University last week—two armed robberies, an assault where a student was struck with a piece of metal, and two sexual assaults—students gathered outside of York’s Vari Hall on Wednesday afternoon to rally for improvements to safety at the university.
Fewer than 100 people attended, a number much lower than the more than 1,300 who had confirmed on Facebook that they would attend.
Kasra Amidi-Rad, one of the rally’s organizers, gave the opening speech. “During the past few weeks there have been incidents that have occurred in a very, very rapid pace and we would like to come up with a list of suggestions,” he said, adding, “we will present them to the president during the open forum tomorrow.”
The President’s Open Forum on Campus Safety, on Thursday at noon in Founders College, will allow students, faculty and staff to offer safety ideas to administration and the Toronto Police.
A pro-choice club denied, Marc Garneau & safety at York U.
1. More than 1,300 people have confirmed on Facebook that they will attend a protest at York University on Wednesday demanding better security. “Over the past few months there have been many cases where assaults, robbery, and mischief have been happening with our students at York,” says the Facebook page. York officials reported earlier this month that they have implemented 70 per cent of the recommendations from a recent safety audit.
2. A Kwantlen University student is threatening to sue his student association after it cited a “pro-choice policy” as the reason for denying his pro-life group status as a club. Oliver Capko told The Province he believes the ban denies him freedom of expression. However, it’s not just his group that doesn’t get funding from the Kwantlen Student Association. Political, religious or “controversial” groups like the Muslim Association are also denied club status.
3. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas plans to ask the UN General Assembly on Thursday to recognize Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem. The U.S., Israel, Canada and Germany are opposed. France, Spain and Norway are in favour. The U.K. is undecided.
It’s a difficult time to be an education student
I was sitting at a desk with four boys in their applied history class. Instead of diving straight into the political issues of World War Two, I started by comparing it to a schoolyard fight where everybody begins by taking their friends’ sides.
After this comparison, the boys were far more receptive to the details. When they were able to recall it almost perfectly on a test many days later, I was proud of them and surprised at myself.
That was three years ago when I was volunteering at my old high school and considering high school teaching as a career option. It was a time before lesson planning, hiring freezes and politics. It was a time of blissful naivety.
At some point during the past few months I found myself disillusioned by teacher’s college here at York University. It turns out I’m not alone. My classmates and I are feeling pressure from all sides, including the issues that come with the recently passed Bill 115, which freezes Ontario teachers’ wages and allows the government to intervene in school board negotiations with the unions.
Indian Flavour—neither Indian nor flavourful
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 university. Keep your receipts. If we publish it, we’ll reimburse you.
Here is the latest Campus Eats submission.
Indian Flavour at York University
Two out of five stars
Total Price: $9.00
I was jack-of-all-trades and master of none. But it worked.
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 responses are a perfect addition to our First Year Survivor blog. Jian Ghomeshi, host of CBC Radio’s Q, shared his wisdom—and opinion on tuition—with Julie Smyth.
I went to York University and I partly did that because I didn’t want to stray too far from Toronto. I was already playing in a band. My first intentions were to go for theatre but I had a passion for politics and history and that is what I ended up doing—pursing a political science and history double major that turned into a political science major/history minor with women’s studies as a minor as well.
I did all of this with some trepidation. I desperately worried throughout university that I was a jack of various trades and master of nothing. At the same time, I was a student activist and I was really involved in theatre and music and I had started this band, Moxy Früvous.
A photographic tour of the main Toronto campus
This fall, Maclean’s photographed 24 of the 49 institutions featured in the 2013 Maclean’s University Rankings. Below, Jessica Darmanin shows you around York University. Click on each photo to make it larger. Then check out the other 23 galleries by clicking here.