Opinion: Don’t attack critical thought

Last week, a teaching assistant at Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) in Waterloo was lambasted for showing a video clip to her students that resulted in a very public debacle aimed at reprimanding her. The TA in question, Lindsay Shepherd, was screening a televised debate from The Agenda, a current affairs show on TVO, that included Jordan Peterson, a University of Toronto professor known for his controversial stance against the use of non-gendered pronouns. In a three-on-one ‘tribunal,’ Shepherd’s supervisor, as well as another professor and university administrator essentially ganged up on Shepherd, claiming that she created a “toxic” and “problematic” environment that violated the school’s Gendered and Sexual Violence Policy. According to various media sources, they also tried to (falsely) […]

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Letter: Indigenous schools need more support

The government is not taking First Nations children or their education seriously. Simply compare the state of elementary and high school education between public school boards and on-reserve schools.  Theoretically, they should receive the same treatment, because here in Canada, we are all equal, of course.  However after doing some research and reading through news articles, it is painfully clear that in reality, there are quite a few disparities that are unfair to Indigenous children, especially those living in remote, northern areas.  Take, for example, the education gap estimated at between $336 million to $665 million in December 2016 by the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO).  This enormous gap is the difference in funding by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) […]

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Editorial: Contrary to student budgets, arts degrees have value

If you’re majoring in the arts, you’ve probably heard the word “unemployment” before. Despite what people might assume about BA undergrads, you’ll find them in every company, big and small. Although the unemployment rate for arts majors is slightly higher than those in the sciences, arts degrees are far from useless, and universities should stop labelling them as such. Arts majors rule the industries of social science, education, and government service, constituting a huge portion of the job force. Arts degrees provide invaluable research, writing, and persuasion skills that are vital for all careers, whether it comes to writing a lab report, or a press release. Increased budget cuts for undergraduates in the arts will only perpetuate the stigma that […]

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Letter: Contract instructing hurts students and professors alike

With so many contract instructors teaching our classes, students are being taught by working professionals, rather than by professors whose full-time job is to focus on students. This is having a negative effect on both the quality of the education we receive, and the perception of the value that our degrees hold. Students are paying for a high-quality education, but instead they are receiving lectures that are read out of a textbook by contract instructors, who generally don’t get much training or practical experience in even the most basic aspects of teaching—such as creating questions. This is an issue for a few reasons, but mainly because it is changing the way universities are perceived and contributes to students having to […]

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Letter: Dismissing Day of Action misses the point

Reading Shaw Coneybeare’s scathing review of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) Day of Action, I kept asking myself one question: Did students upset with the Day of Action expect a revolution to rise out of a peaceful demonstration on Nov. 2, or did they simply conflate the meanings of terms “revolution” and “demonstration”? For the sake of clarity, a demonstration usually occurs when people gather for a political cause—many times, they come together to protest an event, policy, or situation. On the other hand, a revolution is a sudden change in power structures, usually accompanied by acts of violence. The National Day of Action cannot be dismissed because students hoped for immediate, revolutionary changes. One of Coneybeare’s criticisms was […]

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