Campus Catch-Up: September

Racial slur at Massey College, Western FOCO grows

Image by: Justice King
Queen's campus.

This September, Canadian universities have been grappling with issues ranging from racial slurs to unruly street parties. The Journal has summarized some of this month’s headlines from student papers across the country.

Senior Fellow at U of T’s Massey College criticized for racial slur

On September 26, an anti-Black comment uttered by a senior fellow at Massey College prompted disapproval from the University of Toronto community.

Massey College is a graduate students’ residential community affiliated with U of T. According to an article published in The Varsity on October 2, the slur occurred when Michael Marrus and some junior fellows were eating lunch.

Faculty, students pen open letter condemning allegedly racist incident at Massey College

— The Varsity (@TheVarsity) September 28, 2017

Head of Massey College Hugh Segal approached the table where Marrus and the junior fellows were sitting. Marrus then allegedly turned to a Black junior fellow and said, referring to Segal, “You know this is your master, eh? Do you feel the lash?”

Segal’s position up until October was “Master” of Massey College, but has been changed to “Head” in light of the incident.

In a statement released on September 29, Segal denounced the comment. The incident has since prompted demand for Marrus’ termination from the junior fellows involved.

The junior fellows have also called for a formal public apology from the College, mandatory anti-racist training for all fellows and a meeting between Segal and the College to develop an action plan to combat racism at Massey.

Western “FOCO” grows in size, number of EMS calls

Last year, Western University students organized a “Fake Homecoming” in September as a response to the university’s decision to push their official homecoming celebration into late October. This year, the party – nicknamed “FOCO” – has grown in size and prompted more EMS phone calls than last year.

Western University #FOCO today!

— Shawn Mendes (@TheMendesUpdate) September 30, 2017

According to an article published in The Western Gazette on September 30, the London Police Service received 33 phone calls by 6pm on Saturday.

Three of the phone calls reported pedestrians being hit by vehicles, while the majority of the other 30 calls were due to alcohol-related incidents.

The article also reported approximately 11,000 people attended this year’s FOCO, which is 1,000 more people than last year.

Ambulances faced notable delays in reaching individuals in distress due to streets being crowded by students. 

London Police Service media relations officer Sandasha Bough told The Gazette she’s concerned that by moving official homecoming to later in the school year, the university has inadvertently created two occasions for Western students to party.

UBC students use website to sell seats in full courses

According to an article published in The Ubyssey on September 14, UBC students have been selling their spots in full classes on a website called Eyeout.

On the site, students can advertise their spots for hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. Associate VP of Enrolment Services and Registrar Kate Ross told The Ubyssey that the university is closely monitoring the service to ensure these transactions don’t continue.

“[I’ve] had friends buy courses for $1,000.”

— The Ubyssey (@Ubyssey) September 15, 2017

While seats are typically listed for between $0 and $50, some computer science courses were listed for up to $1,299. A lone seat in a math course was even listed for $50,000.

The manager of the service, Bea Subion, told The Ubyssey she doesn’t know whether any transactions have actually been processed or not.


campus catch up, Eyeout, FOCO, Massey College, racism, U of T, UBC, Western

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