Big salaries in B.C., Instagram arrest & divestment

What students are talking about today (April 5th)

1. A new database from the Vancouver Sun shows the salaries of all public sector employees in British Columbia who earned more than $75,000 in 2011-12. The University of British Columbia dominates the first few pages of the post-secondary salaries section. Stephen Toope, president of the University of British Columbia, was the highest paid at $531,088. The University of Victoria’s David Turpin was the second-highest-paid president on the list (and fifth overall) at $430,760. Simon Fraser University’s Andrew Petter took home $396,837. The University of Northern British Columbia’s George Iwama made $273,488. Ontario’s public salary disclosure recently revealed that the highest paid president in that province is Amit Chakma of Western University, who earned $479,600 plus benefits in 2012.

2. Montreal police are defending the decision to charge a 20-year-old student protester with criminal harassment after she posted an image of graffiti on Instagram. The image Jennifer Pawluck shared showed police spokesperson Ian Lafreniere with bullet hole in his head. The arrest drew outrage along the lines of, “arrested for taking a photo!?” Police say there’s more to the story.

3. The University of California Riverside’s student government has revoked a resolution it passed just one month ago urging the university system to divest from companies contracting with Israel’s military. Armando Saldana, the student union’s executive vice president, told the Los Angeles Times they overturned the decision because Jewish students felt “marginalized” on campus and the union wishes to maintain “neutrality.” Meanwhile at Ryerson University, the Israeli Students’ Association tried on Wednesday to have their student union adopt a policy against taking sides on “any polarizing foreign policy issue.” Unsurprisingly, the Ryerson Student Union rejected the motion. York University’s student federation recently endorsed a divest-from-Israel campaign.

4. Speaking of divestment, the movement to have universities ditch investments in fossil fuels is growing. Gordon Katic, a columnist with The Ubyssey, is encouraging his school’s management trust to take $7.14 million out of the sector, which he says contributes to the destruction of the planet through climate change. “Why is UBC investing all their time and energy into molding its students into future leaders, and at the same time investing in companies that would ensure there is nothing left to lead? This industry’s business model is fundamentally incompatible with a livable planet, and it is our duty to stop them,” he writes. There are, of course, counterarguments.

5. Mike Rice, the now-infamous men’s basketball coach at Rutgers University who was fired for verbal abuse of players, will be getting a nice $100,000 bonus, reports The Associated Press.