Western University has announced plans to build two new residence buildings that will together house approximately 1,000 students. The first residence”anticipated to begin opening in 2025″will be located just inside Western’s main entrance and will house 600 to 800 students. The residence is expected to adopt a hybrid style, in which two bedrooms will share one washroom. The residence will also feature a large dining hall, study nooks, a fitness facility, outdoor gathering spaces, and more. Western is also building new upper-year and graduate student housing, which will provide independent living spaces for 300 students. The new building will include three different room sizes and styles: studios, one-bedroom units, and two-bedroom units. Some of the units will be prioritized for international students.
An evacuation order that was placed on the University of British Columbia Okanagan due to the wildfires in the Kelowna region has been lifted. As of Sunday, UBCO had not experienced structural damage, but an evacuation alert remains in effect for the campus. UBCO Principal Lesley Cormack noted that many students and community members have been displaced and indicated that the UBC Okanagan Student Emergency Assistance Fund will be helping provide displaced students with financial support. “This is undoubtedly going to leave a scar on our community,” said Cormack. “I have hope that our resilience, which has been tested all too recently, will prevail once more.” Okanagan College also had emergency plans in place and shared resources for community members looking for alerts or more information.
As the Fall semester draws near, postsecondary institutions across Canada are hosting events and celebrations to welcome new students to campus. St Thomas University is hosting a variety of events including an exploration of Fredericton’s downtown, a paint fight, and a pancake breakfast. York University is hosting Yorkilicious where campus community members can try specially priced meals from campus vendors; an orientation week with events, workshops, and icebreakers; and a back-to-school orientation festival called YorkFest. Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge have partnered to put on a free pancake breakfast during the city’s Whoop-up Days to celebrate the start of the new academic year. North Island College is hosting in-person and virtual orientation events which will include welcome booth, a marketplace of student supports, and lunch.
In an editorial, Andy Miah (University of Salford) discusses the academic implications of the recent movie. Miah highlights how the ideas and insights created by research can come with undesirable consequences and discusses how this can stem from the separation of academic and political communities. The author argues that STEM subjects should effectively integrate ethical debates into their study, pointing to modern-day courses on artificial intelligence as a potential starting point for this initiative. Miah concludes that shows how the “mindless pursuit of STEM for its own sake” without the guidance of moral and social insight can put the world into a “persistent state of tension.”
The Government of British Columbia’s Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) has ordered Granville College to repay over $10K in tuition to international student Shivani Sharma. Sharma began studies at the college in 2022. After her program was changed unexpectedly to one with online courses and course quality issues, in addition to not counting toward a postgraduate work permit, Sharma requested a tuition refund. The college reportedly declined it, citing the enrolment contract. The PTIB has ordered the college to repay Sharma $10K of the tuition she paid, noting that Sharma’s expectation of having in-person course components was “reasonable” and that Granville “misled [Sharma] in respect of the delivery of the program.”
Queen’s University has partnered with The Rossy Foundation to create the U-Flourish Centre for Student Mental Health Research. The centre will generate research for the development of resources, tools, educational assets, and integrated care models and pathways to support student mental health. It will also train educators, researchers, and academic clinicians. U-Flourish will be directed by Queen’s Professor Anne Duffy. The Kingston Whig reports that the centre will begin operation out of the Queen’s department of psychiatry in September. “This funding [from The Rossy Foundation] will build capacity for student mental health research and education, nationally and internationally, and allow us to take a quantum leap forward in translating findings from individual studies into a curated library of sustainable and scalable resources and support,” said Duffy.
Olds College of Agriculture and Technology recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hebert Grain Ventures (HGV), a Canadian-based farming partnership. Together, Olds and HGV aim to foster growth and innovation in the agricultural sectors of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Under this agreement, the organizations will sponsor grants for applied research projects on emerging technologies and practices in agriculture, establish a scholarship program for agricultural students at Olds, and offer summer internships at HGV to select students. “By working together, we can accelerate agriculture technology and company development while providing a cutting-edge learning environment for students, producers, and the agriculture sector,” said Olds VP, Development Todd Ormann.
McGill University recently developed and launched its Sustainability Education Fellows (SEF) program. Reflecting on the inaugural year of the program, the university describes how the program brought together a cohort of instructors and graduate students from across discipline to collaborate on the infusion of sustainability principles into course design and pedagogical approaches. Participants expressed the value of incorporating flexibility into the process to accommodate the various cohort members’ schedules. They also underscored the importance of viewing sustainability as a holistic concern rather than just an environmental one and the significance of involving students in course designs. With funding confirmed for the coming academic year, the initiative will continue into 2023-24.
Trent University has unveiled a series of initiatives to expand and improve its student housing offerings. The university recently entered a land lease with Residential Development Corporation (RDC), which is expected to lead to the construction and operation of a 324-bed residence for upper-year students in Peterborough. The residence will be completed in late 2024 and will be followed by the creation of another 500-700 beds on the Symons Campus by 2027. Trent has also introduced new supports for students, including the provision of moving trucks for students relocating off-campus this summer, additional rental emergency support funds for students facing unforeseen circumstances regarding their housing situations, and more staff on its off-campus housing team.
The University of Calgary’s has rebranded one if its fitness program as HealthyU in an effort to reflect a more comprehensive approach to health and fitness. The eight-week fitness program has gone by TrymGym since its inception in 1972, but the program’s focus has since been reoriented from weight-loss to overall health. “The understanding of a definition of health is so different and particularly being a university program, we need to keep up with the research that is current,” explained UCalgary Active Living group fitness co-ordinator Rachel Hall.