Waldorf closes, the Mad Minute & Carleton discrimination

What students are talking about today (January 11th)

by Josh Dehaas

Terror Bird at The Waldorf (kati jay/Flickr)

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.

3. Leslie Armstrong, editor in chief of York University’s Excalibur student newspaper, questions how newspapers like the Toronto Star and Toronto Sun cover crime in the north of the city where York is located. “When a 22-year old man is stabbed to death outside Randy’s Sports Bar and Restaurant on Keele just south of Steeles, it can’t be without mention of York University, even though the bar is a good 20-minute walk from the outskirts of the Keele campus,” she writes. “I would understand if the crime occurred in the housing district, home to many York students,” she adds. She wonders whether York is truly less safe than downtown campuses like Ryerson University or the University of Toronto, or if the media is simply less likely to link crimes to those campuses. I think she may have a point. In other news, 46 lockers were broken into at York during December.

4. Carleton University Students’ Association will tweak its “Discrimination on Campus Policy” after a motion passed that said “CUSA should not arbitrarily ban but instead should work to condemn all groups that commit hate crimes.” That seems like a good move toward encouraging healthier debate on campus. While I’m sure few people would object to the parts of previous policy that banned specific groups like the Ku Klux Klan, they also had banned Carleton Lifeline, an anti-abortion group that, while controversial, has relatively wide support. CUSA’s Vanessa Ebuka told The Charlatan student newspaper that the motion came after the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, an Alberta-based think-tank, gave Carleton University an “F” grade on their policies. “Simply put, it was problematic to have a discrimination policy that was discriminatory, divisive, and didn’t uphold universal human rights to all.” It’s hard to argue with that!

5. Student newspapers from coast-to-coast are covering the Idle No More movement and many have run supportive opinion pieces ahead of this crucial weekend. In case you haven’t been paying close attention, here’s a rough guide to the movement so far. In case you’ve been paying too much attention, check out comedian Scott Feschuk’s lighter take on this very serious affair.

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