Editorial: Free online classes will make education more accessible

In a world where university degrees are often used to measure a person’s intellect or ability to perform a job, knowledge seems to be the key to success. But as we all know, it’s not accessible to everyone. Online and in-class university courses can cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars, making them nearly impossible for people hovering under the poverty line to afford. To address this problem, universities like Harvard, Stanford, and Cambridge all offer free online courses for people who are unable to afford expensive tuition fees. Unfortunately, Canadians don’t have the same advantages as our American counterparts. Only a handful of universities in Canada offer free online courses, with the University of Toronto and the Cape […]

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Cape Breton University offers free online courses

Last fall, Cape Breton University (CBU) introduced free online courses, and the response has been better than expected, according to the Cape Breton Post. The program’s director, Laura Baker, in an interview with the Cape Breton Post, said they were expecting few registrants, but soon had more than a thousand students enrolled. Students can register in the courses for three purposes: to receive a certificate of participation, a credit, or simply out of curiosity. The credit option is exclusive to Cape Breton students, where the courses can count as credits toward their degrees. For $75, students can receive a certificate of participation stating they have completed the course, while those looking to simply learn something new can take part for free at any time. The courses […]

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Toilet trouble & transphobia: Controversy over gender-neutral washrooms

“Going to the washroom where I want to means acceptance,” said Michelle, a Carleton student who wishes to remain anonymous. According to Kate Krug, an anthropology and sociology professor at Cape Breton University, gender-neutral and gender-inclusive washrooms permit all individuals to enter without discrimination based on one’s preferred gender identity. “[They] are washrooms that are not sex specific, they are not designated for males or females . . . they are just washrooms,” Krug said. “There are a host of folk for whom sex-specific washrooms just don’t work, some of those are trans folk. People whose gender presentation doesn’t necessarily line up with their biological in the way that is expected,” Krug said. Krug added gender-neutral washrooms also benefit parents […]

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CBU student’s petition asking for CFS defederation

A Cape Breton University (CBU) student is starting a petition to try to renew momentum for defederating the school’s student association from the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS). Earlier this year, an Ontario court ruling struck down a bid by the Cape Breton University Students’ Union (CBUSU) to leave the CFS. The student union lost the bid for failure to comply with CFS bylaws. The school’s students voted in a referendum with 92 per cent supporting defederation in 2008. CBUSU president Brandon Ellis said the union is appealing the decision. Brandon MacDonald, the fourth-year student who started the petition, said the Ontario court ruling is unfair and the issue deserves to be revisited. “CFS itself is now an organization I […]

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