In-depth: religious freedom on Canadian campuses

The issue of religious freedom has come to the forefront in recent years, particularly on university campuses. Bill 62, a new Quebec law that bans receiving or providing public services while wearing the niqab, a face veil a minority of Muslim women wear, has some students reconsidering pursuing a post-secondary degree in the province. This comes on top of multiple instances of Islamophobia at universities, with anti-Muslim posters being put up at schools such as the ones found at Memorial University’s Newfoundland campus last month. In addition, an Ottawa teen was recently sentenced to three months in the youth justice system after vandalizing two synagogues, a Jewish prayer house, a mosque, and a church with racist slurs and white supremacist symbols […]

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Student unions criticize Canadian Federation of Students in letter

Ten student unions across the country have signed an open letter to the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) calling for greater transparency and accountability from the organization. The student unions include the Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA), and the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU). On Sept. 19, each of the ten student unions published a letter to the CFS in which they voiced numerous concerns regarding the organization, including “extreme difficulty of accessing information” and “the exclusive nature of general meetings.” The letter was published ahead of the CFS Annual National General Meeting taking place in November. Founded in 1981 at Carleton, the CFS is the largest student organization in Canada. Working to lobby the federal and provincial governments in support […]

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Student homelessness: A hidden issue

High rent, low vacancy rates, and intense competition for rental units in cities like Vancouver and Toronto are making it increasingly difficult for students to find affordable housing. A Globe and Mail article published Aug. 5 reported that students at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Vancouver had been forced into homelessness—sleeping on campus at night after being evicted from their rental units, unable to find new housing at reasonable prices. Kerry Gold, a real estate journalist who wrote the article, said most people aren’t aware that student homelessness is an issue. “I don’t think that the problem has been recognized. From talking to the students, they said they feel pretty invisible and nobody really knows what’s going on,” Gold said. […]

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Men’s issues on campus: examining men’s groups on Canadian campuses and the controversy surrounding them

Over the last two years, men’s rights and men’s issues groups have been cropping up all over Canadian university campuses. The often-controversial groups are each unique in their approaches to addressing the social problems men face. However, men’s issues or men’s rights organizations share the debate surrounding whether or not their existence is truly needed in a patriarchal, male-dominated society. Peter Balogh, a masculinities instructor at Carleton, said he thinks the term “men’s issues” is vague and stressed it’s important to think critically when these types of groups emerge. “I’m not opposing the possibility for men to have groups, but I want to know what purpose they’re going to serve and how they’re going to work towards justice for all,” […]

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Ryerson men’s issues group pushing for campus recognition

A men’s issues group that recently had its proposal for club status rejected by the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) has reignited discussion over whether such groups belong on university campuses. The proposal from fourth-year Ryerson politics student Kevin Arriola would have allowed for the Men’s Issues Awareness Society (MIAS) to become a registered club on campus. Arriola appealed the RSU decision, which will be voted on at a board of governors meeting on Jan. 4. “Regardless of the decision, we will continue operating,” Arriola said. “We have already had our first meeting and we will be having another one in December.” RSU cited concerns over the group becoming a haven for misogyny and anti-feminism. This isn’t the first time a […]

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