Campus Watch

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U of T student's bid to be exempt from class with women denied

Wongene Daniel Kim, a University of Toronto student, has lost a bid to be exempt from participating in class due to being shy in front of women, according to the Toronto Star.

Kim enrolled in a women and gender studies course, and when he discovered he was the only male in a small class he became uncomfortable, as he is shy particularly around women.


Feeling he was unable to attend lectures, he asked his professor, Sarah Trimble, to exempt him from the 15 per cent participation and attendance mark. Prof. Trimble refused.


In the end, Kim failed the course due to poor grades on assignments. He argues that he was not aware of his grade standing as Trimble does not post the grades online, instead returning all marked assignments in-class. Kim did not attend any of the lectures including the first day.


When he asked Trimble to reconsider his mark, she refused once again and he filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal that he was being discriminated against as a man.


The complaint was ruled as not worth a hearing as it did not fall under the terms in the Ontario Human Rights Code and no evidence was provided of Kim being excluded or treated unequally because of his gender.


According to the <em>Star</em>, vice-chair of the tribunal Mary Truemner wrote that, &quot;He admitted that his discomfort is based on his own &lsquo;individual preference&rsquo; as a shy person&hellip; and stated he thought they (the women) would not be willing to interact with him because of his gender&hellip; [which is] merely speculation as he never gave the class, or the women, a chance.&quot;

Student at U of G releases debut album, nominated for Juno

According to a University of Guelph press release, Jordan Raycroft, a criminal justice and public policy student at the school, has been nominated for a Juno.

His self-titled debut album Jordan Raycroft, is one of five nominees for Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year. Raycroft has already won the 2013 Niagara Music Award for Folk Artist of the Year and was nominated for Folk/Roots Album Of The Year at the Gospel Music Association of Canada&rsquo;s 2013 Covenant Awards.


Raycroft began playing guitar in 2009 during his first year at U of G, and a majority of his album was written in his dorm room. Today the Welland, Ontario native has played over 200 shows across Canada.


&ldquo;You don&rsquo;t need to be a Christian to relate to the songs. In fact, most of the people I&rsquo;ve played for aren&rsquo;t. My performances are mostly in coffee houses, bars, and, last summer, on a train car going through the Rocky Mountains,&rdquo; Raycroft said in the press release.


The winner of the Juno award will be announced in Winnipeg March 30.

UBC study reveals gay-straight alliances reduce suicide rates

The University of British Columbia has released the findings of a study based on the 2008 British Columbia Adolescent Health Survey in a media release.

The findings reveal that students enrolled in Canadian schools with gay-straight alliances (GSAs) have a lower risk of suicide for both LGBTQ and heterosexual students. GSAs combined with anti-homophobic bullying policies reduces the chances of discrimination, suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempts within the student body, especially when used in conjunction for three years or more.&nbsp;


The survey was conducted by the McCreary Centre Society using a sample of 21,708 students from Grades 8 through 12, representing 92 per cent of students in British Columbia.


Schools which had these anti-homophobic policies in place for the three-year period or longer saw reduced suicidal thoughts and/or attempts in gay and bisexual boys by more than 70 per cent, and suicide attempts among lesbian and bisexual girls reduced by two-thirds. There was also a 27 per cent decrease in suicidal thoughts of heterosexual boy compared to students in schools without any such policies in place.

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