U of T implements gender neutral identification system for employees

In December 2017, the University of Toronto (U of T) introduced the Gender Inclusivity Initiative, where all employees are provided the option of entering ‘X’ into the university’s Human Resources information system, along with the traditional ‘M’ (male) or ‘F’ (female). Kelly Hannah-Moffat, vice-president of human resources and equity at the U of T, said the introduction of ‘X’ “will also ensure that employees have access to the health and well-being resources they need, both within the university and with externally-provided services such as health benefit coverage.” Additionally, the initiative allows employees to change their ‘display name’ to the name they wish to go by at work, as well as their form of address, including options such as Mr., Ms., […]

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Precarious status youth pursue degrees at York U

York University in Toronto, and the FCJ Refugee Centre have partnered on a program to offer precarious status youth—known as ‘Dreamers’—a post-secondary education, according to the centre’s website. The program is called Access to Education and is the first of its kind in Canada and allows ‘Dreamers’ to pay domestic tuition fees while pursuing their degree.  The term ‘Dreamers’ refers to youth under the age of 31 who are protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)—a federal program created under former U.S. president Barack Obama to allow people brought to the U.S. illegally as children the temporary right to live, study and work there. Canada also has its own ‘Dreamers,’ many of who have fled from the United States […]

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Concordia University investigates alleged sexual misconduct by professors

Concordia University is promising to treat allegations of sexual misconduct seriously after former student, Mike Spry, wrote an essay detailing his experiences working at and attending the school. The allegations were made against professors and others in positions of authority specifically in Concordia’s prestigious creative writing program. Spry’s public essay alleges that acts of sexual misconduct have been occurring for over a decade where he silently witnessed situations of “unwanted affection, groping, inappropriate remarks, and propositions,” throughout his 14-year association with Concordia. Alan Shepard, president of Concordia University, issued a statement on Jan. 8 denying any prior knowledge of the circling allegations. “I am disturbed by what I read in the blog post. These allegations are serious, and will be treated […]

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U of Windsor acting students take intimacy workshops, self-defence classes

University of Windsor (U of W) acting students are taking intimacy workshops and self-defence classes which started in the fall semester to raise awareness about proper intimacy and conduct.  The workshops and classes were a response to the wake of sexual violence allegations against American film producer Harvey Weinstein and more recently against the former artistic director of Toronto-based Soulpepper Theatre Company, Albert Schultz. “It’s about giving permission . . . intimacy isn’t just about sexual content. We have intimacy in all different kinds of relationships, circumstances,” said Kelly Daniels, U of W acting professor. “It’s about acknowledging the other person, respectfully . . . and it’s about having a healthy relationship to the work and the person you’re working with.” […]

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U of O and McGill students create tool to filter hateful language

Two students at the University of Ottawa (U of O) and McGill University have created a tool to filter homophobic, racist, and other hateful content online. Nikola Draca, a third-year statistics student at the U of O, and Angus McLean, a third-year engineering student at McGill, worked together to create the extension called Soothe, which filters out unwanted content online. Soothe works as an extension on the Google Chrome web browser where a bar pops up at the right side of the screen with various options—homophobic, racist, sexist, transphobic, violent, and sexually violent—allowing the user to choose specifically the type of content they want filtered. Draca said he got the idea because he had a friend in high school who was […]

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