What students are talking about today (November 2nd edition)

Smart elephants, aggressive panhandlers & the Whitecaps

by Josh Dehaas

Elephants are smart (Tambako the Jaguar/Flickr)

1. An elephant in a South Korean zoo is using his trunk to mimic human words. Koshik can reproduce five words by tucking his trunk inside his mouth to modulate sound. He can mouth, in Korean, hello, sit down, no, lie down and good. It’s not clear whether he understands the words.

2. Unlike in the past, students at Kwantlen University will now only be allowed to vote for a single student association “constituency representative” that they self-identify with, according to the student association’s chief returning officer, Corey Van’t Haaff. The KSA has positions reserved for “seven groups who have historically faced unique challenges.” The seven groups are mature students, queer students,  international students, students of colour, those with disabilities, aboriginal students and women. Read up on the latest in identity politics in The Runner.

3. Alcohol has been linked to deaths and assaults on Canadian campuses. Ken MacQueen goes deeper into what universities are doing to fight risky drinking, like butt-chugging (which is no joke).

4. Vancouver was heartbroken last night after their Whitecaps soccer club lost to the L.A. Galaxy, ending their season. Mayor Gregor Robertson Tweeted his disappointment: “Thanks #WhitecapsFC for a great season! Tough playoff loss with Becks foul + Donovan dive. Next year!”

5. Students at Queen’s are upset that 10 per cent of their grade may be deducted for “civility” in one professor’s psychology class. Students can lose the marks for “distracting, discriminatory, threatening or disruptive behavior in person or via email towards a professor, TA or fellow student.”

6. Ryerson University students are talking about aggressive panhandlers near the downtown campus. Students have been followed and threatened; one was recently mugged inside the engineering building. Officials say there isn’t much more they can do, but offer some useful tips.

7. Argentinean lawmakers have lowered their country’s voting age from 18 to 16, which could boost support for President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who polls well among the young. Kirchner wants a constitutional change that will allow her to run for a third term, reports the Washington Post.

8. A 44-year-old man was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in jail after pleading guilty to breaking into University of Windsor dorm rooms. See the Windsor Star for all the creepy details.

9. Last night, British band Alt-J won the Mercury prize, the U.K.’s most coveted music trophy. Their debut album, An Awesome Wave, beat records by Plan B, Django Django and nine others.

10. This weekend’s must-see movie is Midnight’s Children. Brian D. Johnson calls Deepa Mehta’s adaptation of a Rushdie novel, “a lavish spectacle that unfolds against half a century of South Asian history with the complexity of a Russian novel and a blush of Bollywood melodrama.”

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