What students are talking about today (Sept. 11 edition)

Worst-ever internship, tuition and “deviant behavior”

by Josh Dehaas

Flickr/Yutaka Tsutano

1. Here’s discouraging news. Statistics Canada reports that summer employment rates were down for students of all age groups and were among the lowest on record. Overall, the average employment rate from May to August for 15- to 24-year-old students was 47.9 per cent, down from 49.1 last summer and an average of 54.1 per cent from 2006 to 2008. It’s no wonder so many people are doing unpaid internships.

2. On the topic of unpaid internships, Apple’s infamous Chinese iPhone maker, Foxconn Technology, is being criticized for using unpaid students on the manufacturing lines, which advocacy groups say is exploitation. Apparently they need all hands on deck for the iPhone 5.

3. Members of Franciscan University’s gay and lesbian alumni group are offended by their alma mater’s  social work course called “Deviant Behavior.” The course description reads: “The behaviors that are primarily examined are murder, rape, robbery, prostitution, homosexuality, mental illness and drug use.” The Catholic institution says homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.”

4. It’s the 11th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks that took down the World Trade Center. The ceremony in New York was smaller than in the past when had thousands attendeded. “Fewer than 500 family members had gathered by Tuesday morning, reading their loved ones’ names on the Sept. 11 memorial, built over the twin towers’ footprints,” reports the Washington Post.

5. Remember Sh*t Girls Say? If you don’t, it’s that three-episode YouTube video series in which some Toronto dudes dressed as woman and uttered phrases that girls, apparently, frequently use. It got 30 million views and spawned a seemingly endless number of copycats. Well, it’s getting even more attention: episode four will be premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

6. The Ryerson Rams men’s hockey team played their first home game at the former Maple Leaf Gardens and beat the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks 5 to 4. The Maples Leafs won the Stanley Cup the first year they played in the Gardens in 1931. The winning streak was over when they left for the Air Canada Centre in 1999. Read about the stadium unveiling here.

7. University of Toronto president David Naylor argues that reducing tuition fees would make education less accessible to the very people that anti-tuition protesters aim to help. He says a low tuition policies limit the supply of places in universities while higher tuition makes more spots available.

8. Try telling that to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Their new report shows that since 1990 average tuition and compulsory fees for undergraduates have risen by 6.2 per cent annually, which is three times the rate of inflation. CCPA says it now costs, on average, $6,186 a year to study at a Canadian university, and that doesn’t include the cost of books or food or lodging.

9. Ever wondered what happens to your collection of digital books and iTunes playlists when you die? Maclean’s explains how you may be able to leave them to your loved ones.

10. Tropical storm Leslie had become “post-tropical storm Leslie” when it hit land in Newfoundland Tuesday morning, but it still unleashed hurricane-force gusts and caused widespread power outages, flooding and damage. Memorial University is closed, but may reopen Wednesday.

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