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Protests, scuffles erupt at SCSU all-candidates meeting

CRO, staff member injured in heated confrontation over damning allegations

Protests, scuffles erupt at SCSU all-candidates meeting

Around 50 students stormed the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) all-candidates meeting on January 22 to protest the disqualification of three prospective candidates running in the upcoming SCSU elections. The protest devolved into scuffles, leaving Chief Returning Officer Mahir Zuber injured, and SCSU Internal Coordinator Arthi Velupillai seeking medical attention for an arm injury. 

The uproar was spurred by damning allegations made toward SCSU executives and staff regarding the upcoming election period. In line with a petition currently circulating online, the protesters are calling for a freeze on the election until five concerns are resolved.

Protesters forcefully entered SL232, in the UTSC Student Centre, around 5:00 pm where the all-candidates meeting was being held. 

The protesters were led by Deena Hassan, the current VP Operations at the union, and Ray Alibux, who were both executive candidates. Both Hassan and Alibux were recently disqualified from running in the election.

The students entered the room chanting, “Freeze SCSU elections.” Despite vocal rejections from others in the room at the time, Hassan and Alibux climbed on top of the conference table to protest. Campus Police were then called to the scene.

Hassan, speaking from the conference table, claimed that she told SCSU President Sitharsana Srithas in October that she intended to run for President. According to Hassan, Srithas did not support her intentions.

“I asked her to at least stay neutral, because that is her job,” alleged Hassan. “But no, my president helped the other team under the table to help them win next year.”

Srithas denied these allegations.

Hassan also claimed that the union’s Executive Director, Kavita Siewrattan, encouraged Hassan not to seek a presidential bid. 

In an email to The Varsity, Siewrattan responded, saying that “Hassan came to me and expressed frustration of students running in the election being permitted to join our volunteer group or being hired by the SCSU. I told her that she could not bar students from getting involved with the organization.”

The protest came two hours after a meeting of the SCSU’s Election and Referenda Committee, which upheld Hassan’s disqualification.

“They’re trying to disqualify me before the all-candidates meeting, so I can’t contest,” Hassan said at the protest.

Srithas would not comment further on the comments made by Hassan.

The SCSU Elections and Referenda Committee released a statement on January 22 confirming that the CRO had “followed due process” when Alibux and another prospective candidate were deemed ineligible to run on the grounds that they did not collect the number of valid member signatures required.

Executive candidates are required to collect 100 signatures from the SCSU membership, which includes all undergraduates at UTSC. The enrolment status of the signees are confirmed by the university’s Vice-Provost Students Office. In this case, there were “allegations of improper process being followed,” according to the statement, so the invalidity of the signatures was verified a second time by the university.

According to the statement, Hassan was disqualified over an “abuse of power,” where the CRO received multiple photos over the course of two days of Hassan wearing a sweater indicating her position on the union while collecting nominations. This is a breach of the SCSU Elections Procedure Code.

This is not the first time that Hassan has been accused of abusing her position in relation to the spring elections.

During the November 20 SCSU Board of Directors meeting, Director of Philosophy Seyed Ali presented an email sent to him by a member about alleged misconduct on the part of Hassan.

“The letter stated that [Hassan] violated multiple Elections and Referenda Committee (ERC) campaign rules including campaign preparation within the Union office and conducting elections meetings in their office during their office hours,” read the meeting minutes. “[Hassan] also accused the person who sent the letter and their friends of libel and slander. The sender of the email would like the Board to be aware of these issues and to take action to ensure that SCSU Executives are not abusing their power and office space for their own personal benefit. SCSU Executives should serve the interests of the students that they represent.”

Later in the November 22 meeting, four speakers, identified as Joseph, Nicole, Nash, and Madina, were granted speaking rights to discuss the email. Joseph identified himself as the sender.

Nicole stated that she and the three others were planning to run in the spring union elections, and that “they want to ensure that the Elections next year will be played fair and that the SCSU Executive is not abusing their power.”

Joseph went on to state that Hassan violated the election bylaws, and that she “told false rumors about Joseph and his 3 friends who are present at this meeting,” according to the minutes of the meeting.

Nash and Joseph went on to allege that students had been “contacted out of the blue, told to come to the SCSU Office and meet with [Hassan] in her office during office hours” to discuss running for the SCSU.

“The student told Nash that they did not want to get involved in the politics of the SCSU, they wanted to say no but they felt pressured and unable to say no because they were in this office environment where they did not have power in the situation,” according to the minutes.

The petition, called #freezescsuelections, began circulating on change.org on the evening of January 21.

“We, the undersigned students of the University of Toronto Scarborough,” the petition reads, “demand that the current electoral process for the 2018 Board of Directors and Executive election for the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union be immediately put on hold.”

As of press time, the online petition had over 450 signatures.

UTSC Campus Police were not able to provide comment on the protest, citing the absence of an official with the authorization to make statements and the fact that officers were still involved in the ongoing situation.

Zuber and Hassan did not respond to The Varsity’s requests for comment by press time.

Become the master of CSC108

Introductory computer programming course experiments with self-paced mastery learning

Become the master of CSC108

This winter semester marks the start of the self-paced, mastery-based version of CSC108: Introduction to Computer Programming. Funded by the Provost’s Learning and Education Advancement Fund, this pilot will be testing whether mastery learning is an effective way to teach computer programming.

Paul Gries, an Associate Professor in U of T’s Department of Computer Science, has known “forever” that he wanted a self-paced version of CSC108, but he did not know how to implement it effectively. Mastery-based learning appears to be a viable answer.

Mastery learning requires students to demonstrate that they have mastered one concept before moving on to another. This differs from traditional styles of teaching, where students’ knowledge may be tested only once or twice over the course of the semester.

The course is broken down into seven units, called ‘quests.’ Students work through these quests by watching lectures online at home, and then go to class to work through exercises related to the content of the quests.

Before moving on to the next quest, students must demonstrate their mastery of the material by taking a quiz. If they achieve the threshold grade on the quiz, which ranges from 70 to 80 per cent, they are permitted to move on to the next set.

If they do not pass the mastery quiz, all hope is not lost. Students have the chance to practice more exercises or get one-on-one attention from Gries or the teaching assistants during class time.

To facilitate peer-learning, students who are struggling with the same material are placed together.

Students can move through the quests as quickly or as slowly as they want — something that is unheard of in university courses. By this account, Gries said that it is possible to be finished with the course material by halfway through the semester.

CSC108 has had a history of students dropping out or failing, only to retake the course again later. Gries thinks that this happens because students do not realize they are struggling with the material until the midterm, at which point it is usually too late. “There’s no mechanism or structure for them to effectively catch up,” said Gries.

It is especially hard to identify students that are struggling in a class with such large enrolment numbers. Offered in the fall, winter, and summer semesters, CSC108 is one of the largest classes on the St. George campus, with over 2,000 students enrolled per term.

When courses are both mastery-based and self-paced, students can figure out if they are struggling much more quickly — and they’re given an opportunity to catch up.

Michael Spyker, a student currently in the mastery section, believes that this new teaching style eliminates the “downwards spiral” some of us may be familiar with in traditional classrooms. “The mastery based section… provides a much more organic teaching environment,” said Spyker.

While mastery learning at U of T is a relatively new endeavour, CSC108 is no stranger to innovative learning — there are already two other non-traditional sections offered: one solely online, and the other, an inverted version.

The main difference between the inverted version and the mastery version is that the latter is self-paced.

“There’s all sorts of other research supporting that the inverted classroom is better than the traditional classroom, because students are doing active learning — they’re engaged in the material,” said Gries, adding that he believes this constant, short-term engagement of the material leads to better learning.

Second-year student Spencer Ki, who took CSC108 last fall, agrees that the inverted course is effective. “I feel that the inclusive and ‘hands-on’ approach taken in lectures really helped me absorb what was being taught, as opposed to simply memorising it.”

However, if he had the chance, Ki said he would have taken the mastery version. “I definitely see the mastery-based course as the next step in the evolution of university classes.”

Still, the mastery version might not be for everyone. “We expect that for some people the inverted classroom might be better” said Gries.

Ki had similar thoughts about the mastery version: “the temptation to procrastinate will probably be much higher.”

Gries’ enthusiasm for re-inventing education goes beyond just CSC108. He hopes that if this pilot proves to be successful, mastery-based learning could be implemented in introductory courses across U of T.

Gries does not see it stopping at universities: “There’s a lot of high schools that don’t offer [computer programming]. We’d like to find a way to offer that. So, maybe a couple of years from now we’ll have [a] mastery-based high school curriculum.”

Gries suggested that computer science students could travel to high schools to facilitate teachers in both learning and teaching the material.

The time is now: women are pushing for a place in sports media

Five steps to make the sports media complex more inclusive

The time is now: women are pushing for a place in sports media

Sidney Crosby’s face froze in confusion. Michael Phelps laughed into the microphone. But Eugenie Bouchard twirled for the camera.

In 2015, #CoverTheAthlete launched a video compilation highlighting the wide gap between the kinds of questions received by male and female athletes. The campaign recorded male athletes’ reactions to questions often asked of women — all of which were focused on issues beyond the scope of their athletic prowess. The men’s shocked reactions demonstrated their ignorance of both their own privilege and the experiences of female athletes.

Last week’s article focused on the explosion of vitriolic commentary after US figure skater Ashley Wagner voiced her frustration with her program scores. It discussed the complicity of the sports media complex in both creating and promoting a patriarchal culture that consistently discriminates against female athletes. This structure is detrimental to the entire gender spectrum and shapes the next generation of athletes and spectators. How can it be disrupted?

Liberal feminist scholars often posit that an increase of women in prominent positions across industries will help resolve discrimination issues. While this may sound logical, the issue of the sports media complex requires a more sophisticated response than merely adding women to the existing paradigm and stirring.

As feminist scholar Liesbet van Zoonen argues, “Women who advocate for women’s issues or sports are likely to be seen as ‘deviant’ — thus undesirable — inside newsrooms, which socialize women to accept institutional sexism as a normal part of the news routine.” Thus any genuine solution must begin with dismantling the system itself, by addressing the male hegemony in sports media, and attacking its root. As journalism professor Marie Hardin explains, “Values normally ascribed to men and patriarchy (and to sport) must be removed as the only values that matter.”

1. Continue and increase research of the qualitative and quantitative differences between the coverage of male and female athletes. Despite the fact that female participation in sports is rising dramatically, media coverage of female sports is lower than ever — and this needs to be documented. Concrete data is key, writes scholar Janet Fink, because it “provides a formidable case when questioning those in decision making positions.” The pen may be mightier than the sword, but it is especially powerful when sheathed in data.

2. Make research accessible and comprehensible so that more mainstream news outlets can process and disseminate it. This requires inter-industry partnerships and genuine will on the part of individuals in positions of power — as well as a public receptive to this kind of dialogue. As accusations of abuse and misconduct across industries are finally being taken seriously, the public is primed for these kinds of revelations.

3. Establish a watchdog group with the specific focus of holding sports media outlets accountable in real time. This could manifest in the creation of pledge, not unlike the various international treaties signed onto by national governments, such as the Paris Agreement, that media outlets would sign. This pledge would contain specific qualitative and quantitative commitments regarding the coverage of female athletes. The watchdog group, ideally composed of scholars, journalists, and athletes or sports professionals, would then monitor compliance with the pledge and publish their findings on a rolling basis.

The University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs runs the G20 Research Group, which is an excellent example of how this idea could be executed. The group is mainly student-run, and it publishes a comprehensive annual report on the compliance of G20 signatories with their various commitments. The reports are read by representatives of the signatory governments, and they carry genuine weight. If a collection of twenty-somethings can hold national governments to their word, why not ESPN or CBC Sports?

4. Work with other marginalized communities to advance a shared agenda of inclusivity in sport. LGBTQ+ advocacy groups such as the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Sports Project and the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders are very active in the promotion of inclusivity, and they would be excellent partner groups.

As University of Toronto Varsity Blues figure skating co-captain Lila Asher highlights, access to sport is “heavily influenced by class and race” as well, and as such, an intersectional approach is vital. Specific athletes, such as Megan Rapinoe from the US Women’s National Soccer Team, are themselves advocates, but their voices should be amplified and echoed by a larger force.

5. Carry changes into the next generation of media professionals. This can be easily accomplished through small — but requisite — changes to the curriculum and programming within universities, colleges, and even human resources departments. Many students are dangerously ignorant of the inequities in sports coverage or, even worse, fail to understand the extent of their impact. The possibility of unknowing complicity must be removed entirely, and tomorrow’s graduates should be held to a much higher standard than their predecessors.

The response to Ashley Wagner’s comments are a microcosm of the male hegemony that exists in sports media. This male dominance is incredibly harmful for athletes and spectators across the gender spectrum, and it can no longer be tolerated. Through the promotion of accessible research, the creation of a watchdog agency, collaborations with other advocacy groups, and structural changes in educational institutions, systemic change can happen. The responsibility is ours, and the time is now.

International PhDs to pay tuition equivalent to domestic students

Graduate students respond to changes in academic rates

International PhDs to pay tuition equivalent to domestic students

Come September, domestic and international PhD students at U of T will pay equivalent tuition. This breaks from the status quo of international students paying much higher rates than domestic students.

At present, most international fees are $21,560 per year, in comparison to the domestic rate of $6,960 for a majority of programs.

Rose Liu, an international student and Masters of Pharmacology student, said she believes that the move was reasonable. “It doesn’t make sense for them to pay a whole lot extra.”

The announcement came on January 16. In a statement posted on U of T News, Joshua Barker, Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost of Graduate Research and Education, said that the university “[strives] to remove any barriers, financial or otherwise, that graduate students might face as they look to attend our university.”

Barker later told The Varsity that the move was to make higher education more accessible to a larger pool of students. “We know that international students will always be looking carefully at the fees that they will be paying,” he said. “Reducing it to domestic level will improve our capacity to recruit the best of the best.”

The plan technically won’t kick in until after a student’s fourth year of study in their doctoral program. Currently, both international and domestic students are provided a funding package, comprised of grants and work opportunities, that does not require them to pay fees out of pocket for the first four years. Starting in their fifth year and any other time after that, students will have to pay fees.

“[Students will be affected] when they finish the funded portion of their degree, and we’re going to absorb the costs of that through our normal budget process,” said Barker with regard to the specific details of how the university will offset this financial change.

The announcement comes two weeks after the deadline for doctoral programs passed, and some international students are saying that the expensive fees factored into their decisions to not apply.

“We’re only able to make the announcement when the decision has been reached within the university, and we have agreement from the various faculties within the university,” said Barker.

Liu also noted how this might promote meritocracy. “If supervisors know that they don’t have to pay for international PhD students, they could probably decide to take a certain international student instead of compromising for domestic students.”

The tuition cut will not affect professional programs. The Doctor of Juridical Science, Doctor of Education, and Doctor of Music Arts will keep current international tuition rates due to their non-research orientation. According to Barker, there are no plans at present to reduce those fees. There are also no plans to equalize the tuition rates of domestic and international students at the undergraduate or master’s level.

The University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU) expressed support for the announcement. Alexandra Sebben, Communications and Promotions Coordinator for the UTGSU, said that the “Executive Committee supports the reduction of tuition fees for all students, especially international students who are currently burdened by very high tuition costs.”

The UTGSU will also be meeting with Barker before the end of the month to discuss this issue in more detail.

The decision coincides with the university’s negotiations with CUPE Local 3902, Unit 1, a labour union that represents, in part, teaching assistants — many of whom are doctoral students.

Barker said that bargaining negotiations did not affect the tuition cut decision. “The desire to internationalize our graduate student body is something that we’ve been working on for some time now… It is a university priority that was articulated by the President a couple of years ago.”

CUPE 3902, Unit 1 responded positively to the news. Aleks Ivovic, Chief Spokesperson for the unit’s bargaining team, said that “support for international students is and always has been an important priority for us.”

“In terms of its effect on our international members,” said Ivovic, “we expect it will make a meaningful difference to PhD students who are in programs without funding.”

Editor’s note (January 22): This article has been updated to remove a quote from a student incorrectly suggesting that lowering tuition for international PhD students would allow for more research funding. 

“Un-Canadian”: Justice for Soli event addresses mental illness, correctional system

Death of mentally ill man in custody prompts brother to lead campus speaking tour

“Un-Canadian”: Justice for Soli event addresses mental illness, correctional system

Soleiman Faqiri was a mentally ill man who died under suspicious circumstances while under detention at the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ontario. A campus speaking tour led by his brother, Yusuf Faqiri, is putting the spotlight on mental illness in the Canadian correctional system and calling for justice.

The Justice for Soli organization and OPIRG Toronto organized the event, which took place in the Multi-Faith Centre at UTSG on January 18, the second stop on its U of T tour.

Yusuf spoke at the event, sharing details of Soleiman’s case and his family’s search for closure. A year after Soleiman’s death, the family still does not know the full details of the investigation or why charges were never brought against any of the correctional staff involved.

Soleiman was arrested on December 4, 2016 on charges of assault and uttering threats. On December 15, 2016, he was found dead in his cell after an altercation with prison guards.

A coroner’s report detailed more than 50 signs of “blunt impact trauma” found across Soleiman’s body. The report stated that Soleiman was pepper-sprayed twice.

Following the pepper spray, a “code blue” — indicating that an inmate is being aggressive or a staff member is in danger — was initiated. Soleiman was bound with cuffs and leg irons, his head covered with a spit hood. After the initial guards’ shifts ended and new guards arrived, Soleiman was observed to have stopped breathing. His death occurred 11 days after he had arrived at the correctional centre and days before he was meant to be moved to a mental health facility.

Despite these findings, the official cause of death was “unascertained.” After 11 months of investigation, the Kawartha Lakes Police Service (KLPS) concluded that “no grounds exist to process criminal charges against anyone who was involved with Mr. Faqiri prior to his death.”

A week after the KLPS released its statement, the coroner’s office announced an inquest into Soleiman’s death — though Yusuf called this “an important start,” he said the family will continue to fight for accountability.

“He’s alive before this incident, he’s dead after,” Yusuf told The Varsity. “I’d love for the Ministry to explain to me how 50 bruises happened to a mentally ill man and why charges were not pressed by the Kawartha Lakes Police Service.”

Yusuf described the circumstances of his brother’s death and the subsequent treatment of his family by the KLPS with one word: “un-Canadian.” He concluded his talk by stating that “the greatest measure of a society is how that society treats its most vulnerable.”

The goal of the Justice for Soli organization and the purpose of its tri-campus speaking tour at U of T is to highlight the need for greater accountability. The organization hopes to see those involved in the death of Soleiman criminally charged.

In the long term, Yusuf called for better mental health training for correctional officers. He hopes to start a conversation surrounding mental illness and the stigma associated with it.

Soleiman was diagnosed with schizophrenia after a car accident cut short his academic career at the University of Waterloo’s engineering program. Prior to his diagnosis, Yusuf described his brother as a straight-A student. Despite mental health issues, Soleiman remained dedicated to his faith and education, picking up Arabic and teaching the language to their mother.

Yusuf stressed the fact that mental illness is only one aspect of a person. “That doesn’t characterize who they are. These are individuals with hopes and dreams.”

A “certain desire for change” in the student body and academic culture of U of T prompted Yusuf to bring his campaign here. He wants the case of his brother to reach as many eyes and ears as possible so that “the powers that be and Canadians at large know that a Canadian man under government care was killed in custody. Someone who was vulnerable, someone who needed to be taken care of.”

When asked if he still had faith in the Canadian justice system, Yusuf said that he had faith in people, but he made clear that “the system failed [his] brother, and the system is failing many other Canadians.”

The tri-campus speaking tour also stopped at UTSC on January 12 and will visit Room IB 345 in UTM’s Instructional Centre Building at 6:00 pm on January 25.

Editor’s Note (January 23): This article has been updated to reflect that OPIRG Toronto helped organize the event. 

Intersectionality, awareness at fore of Hart House Debate on mental health

Speakers address accessibility shortcomings, importance of focus on marginalized communities

Intersectionality, awareness at fore of Hart House Debate on mental health

“The Future of Canadian Mental Health,” hosted by the Hart House Debates & Dialogue Committee, focused on the shortcomings of the country’s mental health treatment options and the importance of viewing mental health the same way as physical health.

The January 15 panel featured prominent figures in the Canadian mental health scene.

Catherine Zahn, the President of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), noted that there have been great strides in opening up conversations around mental health. “In the past 10 years, we have seen this emergence of groups and individuals feeling confident to actually speak, themselves, about their own experiences.”

She broadly lauded the shift in mental health initiatives in bringing the conversation to children and youth and widening services available to young people in Canada. Still, Zahn argued that there remain obstacles to universal access to mental health services.

Intersectionality was another important point of discussion for the panel. Carol Hopkins, Executive Director of the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation, a health organization that focuses on First Nations and Inuit peoples, said that treating mental illnesses varies across cultures. As someone who worked for over 20 years in the field of Indigenous mental health, she explained that this variation is partially due to how people from different cultures feel a sense of belonging in different ways.

Michael Wilson, Chancellor of U of T. PHOTOS BY NATHAN CHAN, COURTESY OF HART HOUSE DEBATES AND DIALOGUE COMMITEE

Hopkins said that renewed conversations about reconciliation with Indigenous communities is beginning to make a difference in terms of resources available for treatment. “We didn’t have any investments on reserve for mental health services until we started talking about reconciliation.” She highlighted the importance of focusing on Indigenous communities, citing the high suicide rates among Indigenous populations.

Another speaker at the event was David Wiljer, a member of the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, a U of T organization that brings together people in the health industry. Wiljer raised a number of points about the double-edged relationship between technology and mental health.

He said that technology and the ways in which it is used can negatively affect mental health. However, he added that “technology used in certain ways might be able to break down some of the isolation that people are feeling and actually help improve access.” He noted social media campaigns’ ability to spread awareness about mental health issues and improve people’s understanding of how to access services.

Louise Bradley, President of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, said that mental health initiatives in universities were lagging behind initiatives happening in the workplace. She also added to Wiljer’s comments about technology, saying that it can help reduce wait times for people to receive mental health services.

Carol Hopkins, Executive Director of the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation.
PHOTOS BY NATHAN CHAN, COURTESY OF HART HOUSE DEBATES AND

Bradley said that in forming mental health initiatives in university, it’s crucial to think of all members of the community, not just students. “I think that’s not just looking at the mental health of students, although that’s extremely important, it has to go to faculty because the faculty and university staff aren’t paying attention to their mental health.”

The speakers repeatedly spoke about how many people still do not have access to what should be universal mental health care. Dr. David Goldbloom, Professor of Psychiatry at U of T, said that living in a rural area makes it much more difficult to obtain mental health services.

“There are barriers of language, or culture, of poverty, of housing that deprive people from accessing the services that are on paper, universal healthcare services,” said Goldbloom. “But they are not universal.”

UTSU to pilot online grocery store project with FoodReach

Full program rollout at Student Commons expected September 2018

UTSU to pilot online grocery store project with FoodReach

 

The University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) will be starting an online grocery store in the next academic year. The service will allow members to order goods online and have them shipped to and stored at the union’s office at 12 Hart House Circle.

The project is in collaboration with non-profit organization FoodReach, which works with agencies that serve local communities and connects them with food wholesalers.

FoodReach provides lower prices by buying in bulk. FoodReach Project Lead Alvin Rebick said that the group acts as a large buying organization that distributes to smaller partners. “This allows agencies with smaller budgets to benefit from pricing that would otherwise only be available to large purchasing bodies.”

The organization “was established to address issues of food access and improved food quality & service to agencies and schools,” wrote Rebick.

According to UTSU Vice-President University Affairs Adrian Huntelar, the program “is being seriously considered for the transition to the Student Commons,” which is expected to be complete in September. The UTSU office is not a suitable permanent home for the program due to a lack of storage space in the office at Hart House Circle.

“We cannot responsibly provide a service that involves perishable food unless we have proper storage space, meaning fridges, freezers, and solid storage rooms,” said Huntelar. “Right now, the UTSU office is simply not equipped to handle large quantities of groceries.”

This won’t stop the union from at least piloting the project. Huntelar sees the program as playing an important role in ensuring food security for students. “The main group that this supports is those who live off-campus without access to a dining hall,” said Huntelar, “but also who are responsible for essentially making their own food.”

With the Student Commons on the horizon, the UTSU also hopes to move the Food Bank, which has been operating in the Multi-Faith Centre every Friday, to the new building to allow for operation every weekday.

Arts & Science marks posted on ACORN after delay for some courses

Students expressed concern when fall marks weren’t back by January 15

Arts & Science marks posted on ACORN after delay for some courses

As of January 17, all submitted marks from the Faculty of Arts & Science have been posted on ACORN after some students expressed concern that their grades were not yet posted. The only remaining exceptions are some students in Individual Studies courses or those who deferred an exam.

The faculty’s submission timeline requires that all marks be submitted by January 11 to be reviewed by their corresponding department. Professors have seven days to grade and submit the marks, not counting winter break or weekends. This allows exams taken on the last day of the exam period to have the same seven-day timeline.

Deborah Robinson, Faculty Registrar and Director of Undergraduate Academic Services, told The Varsity that by January 11, 98.1 per cent of courses had their marks posted on ACORN. According to Robinson, the remaining 1.9 per cent had grades posted by January 17. “Not very many courses were late.”

Some students voiced concern about the time they received their grades largely due to the fact that certain fall semester courses were prerequisites for winter semester courses.