Campus Catch-Up

OISE Open House

Brief yourself on the last few weeks across Canadian campuses

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Indigenous professor on UBC sexual assault committee resigns due to reinstated keynote speaker

Contention has risen at UBC after John Furlong, the CEO of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, was reinstated as the keynote speaker at an athletics event.

Furlong’s presence at the event was the subject of substantial campus pushback, due to allegations against him that surfaced in 2012 of abuse of First Nations children when he was teaching at a school in B.C. in 1969 and 1970. His keynote was cancelled on Dec. 23, but last week, the decision was reversed.

Shortly thereafter, Chair of UBC’s First Nations Studies program, Daniel Heath Justice, resigned as the sole Aboriginal member of the University’s committee to create a sexual violence policy.

In his resignation letter, Justice said the reversal undermined the work he and the University were doing to build relationships with Indigenous people.

“My priority must be to support under-represented Indigenous voices on these matters,” his letter reads. “And I believe that a viable and legitimate survivor-centred approach to sexual assault cannot stand with integrity alongside this deeply troubling action. At least not for me.”

He encouraged others to support the remaining committee members, who are working to release a new draft of their sexual violence policy at a February Board of Governors meeting.

No one else will be appointed to Justice’s position at this time.

Students post anonymous allegations of misconduct in Dean’s Office at University of Toronto

At the University of Toronto, a Facebook page called ‘VikiLeaks at Victoria College’ was recently set up by a group of former and current students, and has been posting negative stories and allegations of misconduct about Victoria College’s Dean’s Office.

According to The Varsity, U of T’scampus newspaper, the Facebook page allows students to submit stories anonymously through a Google Form. “The submissions are gaining traction with students, with 172 page likes, and 211 people following the page,” The Varsity reported.

In an email to The Varsity, VikiLeaks admitted that there is no way of verifying the legitimacy of the sources as the submissions are completely anonymous.

When asked about the page, the Dean’s Office stated that they will not respond to anonymous Facebook posts. However, they welcome students to offer direct suggestions to their offices.

The Canadian Federation of Students purchases anti-CFS domain names

An expository story by The Varsity documented fifteen web domains, purchased by the Canadian Federation of Students in 2008 and 2013, that published material expressing a negative perception of the CFS’ agenda.

The registered names include ‘iamnotcfs.com,’ ‘no-cfs.com,’ and ‘votenocfs.info.’

The domains purchased in 2008 expired last month, and according to The Varsity, the CFS has no intention of re-purchasing them. The discovery was made via a “Reverse Whois” search.

University of New Brunswick opens cybersecurity institute

On Jan. 16, the University of New Brunswick opened a cybersecurity hub to help improve education surrounding the complex topic in an increasingly digital age.

According to Metro News, “the institute will offer programs for various skill levels — ranging from a one-week crash course to a doctoral degree — to address the widening knowledge gap in cybersecurity education.”

Academics of every discipline will be able to partake in developing solutions to cybersecurity threats through the institution.

Premier Brian Gallant told Metro News that the need for cybersecurity is a great opportunity to create jobs in the province. The institute expects around 100 undergraduate and post-graduate students to enroll, and will also be offering courses for professionals.

Director of McGill’s Counselling and Mental Health Services suspended

Last month, Director of Counselling and Mental Health Services (CMHS) at McGill, Nancy Low, was suspended and escorted out of the building.

According to The McGill Daily student newspaper, Low was suspended for insubordination in relation to a new stepped care model at CMHS.

The stepped care model was implemented at the beginning of the 2016/17 school year in response for increasing demand for CMHS’ services.

“Many students have voiced concerns despite a reorganization of McGill’s counselling and mental health services,” The McGill Daily reported.

Many students still feel uncomfortable discussing queerness, transness, and racialization with counsellors while other issues, including wait times, also have students concerned about the new system, The McGill Daily reported.

The McGill Daily was told that via email by McGill’s Director of Internal Communication, Doug Sweet, that “the University cannot comment on the personnel dossiers or employment records of any of its staff members.

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