What students are talking about today (November 22nd)

Elizabeth May, Black Friday, possible hate crime in The Soo

by Josh Dehaas

Elizabeth May (CP/Sean Kilpatrick)

1. Tomorrow is Black Friday, the annual sporting event during which Americans violently trample and pepper spray each other at Best Buy and Target, all for the thrill of scoring a cheap flatscreen TV. As a Canadian, I thought this was a day to look down on those south of the border with smug indignation, but, as Edward Keenan points out, 650,000 people from Ontario alone—more than the total number who watched Hockey Night in Canada during the 2010 playoffs—will head south looking for deals. And it turns out our own lust for bargains may be hurting our economy.

2. Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, has been voted Maclean’s Parliamentarian of the Year by her fellow MPs. Read this charming profile of May and then see who else won here.

3. Someone poured water on an international student from Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. and shouted “Go back to your own country,” reports the Sault Star. Police are investigating it as a hate crime. It happened, ironically, near a sign boasting of The Soo’s friendliness.

4. In 2010, the 17 Canada Excellence Research Chairs were announced. All 17 of them went to men, prompting the industry minister to strike a panel to find what happened. The report was released Tuesday. The panel found the key factors impacting women’s access to research careers are: “stereotypes that define roles and expectations, followed by a lack of knowledge about requisites for potential career paths, and a lack of role models and mentors.” More here.

5. Nine teens in Brampton, Ont. have been suspended after Tweeting about three teachers. The local school board says it’s a case of “cyberbullying.” Some of the Tweets were sexual, reports CBC.

6.  Kingston police say they believe two recent sexual assaults by a man who groped women and then fled near Queen’s University are connected, reports The Canadian Press.

7. Women at the University of New Brunswick are unimpressed with a piece in The Brunswickan about “the man nod.” The male author wrote: “it’s part of a language of masculine dialect that could be called “man-speak”. It happens all around you, men talking to other men without saying a single word; just a nod.” Female commentators suggest women have friendly nods too.

8. Bill Nye The Science Guy, who had a popular science TV show for kids in the 1990s, can still draw a crowd, at least at Western University. The Gazette reports that much of his talk on Tuesday focused on greenhouse gases and climate change. He noted that the greenhouse effect is what has makesVenus uninhabitable. “We do not want to be Venus,” he told the crowd.

9. Life of Pi writer Yann Martel talked to The Sheaf about what it’s like to have his book turned into a  film directed by Ang Lee. “As a novelist you control everything. It’s not a question of being a control freak but you’re the director, the set designer, the makeup artist, the actor–you’re everything. Being one part of a much bigger thing is not what I’m used to creatively,” he said.

10. With student fees now totaling hundreds of dollars, the editor of Simon Fraser University’s The Peak wants students to be more aware of where their money is going. He uses an example of The Peak itself, which takes in $355,000 from students each year and spends $200,000 of it on wages. He also points out that the Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group, a politically activist group funded by students, spent $180,000 of their $216,545 in student fees on wages and benefits.

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