YorkU dean: “[I wish] I had had another choice”
The dean of the faculty of liberal arts and professional studies at York University, Martin Singer, said he wishes he “had another choice, but neither I, nor those who advised me, believe that I did,” in regards to granting a student religious accommodation for refusing to work with female students, as reported in the <em>National Post.</em>
The online sociology class had an in-class component where students worked in groups. The student asked Prof. J. Paul Grayson to be excused from participating as his “firm religious beliefs” prohibited men and women from socializing. Although the dean did order Grayson to accommodate the request, Grayson refused and the student later rescinded his request and attended the group meetings.
UofT to no longer use Access Copyright
The University of Toronto joined four other Canadian universities in deciding to “end its licence” with Access Copyright, The Varsity reports.
Access Copyright, which manages the reproduction of copyright materials across universities, charged students $27.50 a year. Coming off the tail of changes in the Copyright Act in 2012 and the Supreme Court’s decisions on fair dealing, UofT will work on a copyright office in-house.
“I am glad that the University of Toronto has listened to our concerns and ended the collection of a fee that many students saw as a cash grab,” said Agnes So, vice-president university affairs of the University of Toronto Students’ Union.
The University of British Columbia, Queen’s University, York University, and the University of Western Ontario, have also ended their contracts with Access Copyright.
UBC to add Cantonese courses
The University of British Columbia will be offering “Canada’s first for-credit university Cantonese program,” reports The Ubyssey.
The program, developed due in part to a $2 million donation from Alex and Chi Shum Watt, will begin offering courses in time for the Fall 2015 term. Cantonese will now be offered in addition to Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Punjabi, Hindi, Indonesian, and Sanskrit.
“The department has wanted to be doing Cantonese for many, many years,” Ross King, head of the department of Asian studies said. “We anticipate that one lecturer position will not be enough to satisfy all of the demand for Cantonese language.”