A Review of X-Fest 2018

 
 

Headphone Disco, Jell-O Slide among many successful events on campus

It’s the most wonderful time  of the year here at StFX as we welcome the incoming class of 2022 and all of our returning upper year students. This year’s theme for Welcome Week is X-Fest 2018, a jam packed week of incredible events. Orchestrated by the StFX Student’s Union, X-Fest featured highlight events such as Headphone Disco, Playfair, Not Your Grandma’s Bingo, X Factor, the X-Fest concert, and last but certainly not least, Shinerama!

Day 1 – Welcome Day. The day many of our first year students have been anticipating, as it is both their first step of the university experience and possibly their first time living away from home. Welcomed as soon as they drove onto campus by the hype committee of O-Crew, new students began to line up for their registration into residence, unless of course they ran through the Welcome Tunnel first.  From there, students and their parents began to unpack at their respective residences with the help of some of our  X-Men football players and  O-Crew members at each residence. At 2pm the President’s  Welcome began, featuring speakers from our Board of  Governors, and closing off as usual with StFX’s president, Dr. Kent MacDonald. After returning to residence for some introductions with their Community Advisors and peers to discuss important residence information, first year students then met at the auxiliary ice surface in the Keating Millennium Center (KMC) for the Welcome BBQ. With full stomachs and a brief break, O-Crew members then gathered many first year students to attend the first main event, the Carnival! Returning for its second appearance, the Carnival is a favorite amongst students new and old. There is something to suit everyone’s interests at this diverse event. Students could enjoy various carnival style games, snack on popcorn and sweets, dance to the beat of the DJ, relax in several lounging  areas, and even be taken back to their childhood days in a huge ball pit. With such an inclusive and well-rounded event, day one of life at StFX came to a close. 

Day 2 – Pancake Breakfast! To those students who forget to set their alarms, O-Crew had them covered. The infamous Pan-cake Break-fast cheers flooded the halls of each residence bright and early to start off day two; who doesn’t like a delicious pancake breakfast? With the first year students filling the stands of the KMC, StFX was pleased to have Roz Kelsey of the Man Up initiative give her talk about sexual assault and safety. Following the eye-opening presentation, a panel of community members who specialize in sexual violence        prevention and rehabilitation took the stand to answer questions asked by students anonymously over text message. The panel provided students with answers to very important questions concerning sexual  violence that are invaluable tools to know should a case of sexual violence affect themselves or someone they know.  To lighten the mood from such a deep discussion, students were guided to the rugby field  in front of Bishops Hall to begin  X Games. Organized by the  Run N’ Gun committee of O-  Crew, X  Games  kicked  off  with a mass game of freeze tag before featuring an array of activities from egg/water balloon  toss, dodgeball, and many other creative field games. Following X Games, students joined together with their residence groups to run over to the main field for the class-wide X photo.  Entering the field through a tunnel of O-Crew members, first year students were organized into a large X in the center of the field for the annual photo. What followed was the residence cheer off, where students cheered loud and proud for their new residences in  hopes to be dubbed the winner of the competition. Ultimately,  Fraser house took the title of champion, and meanwhile O- Crew ran back to the rugby field to set up our most unique Welcome Week activity, the Jell-O Slide. The premise is simple: hold a tarp on a small hill, fill it with water and soap to make it slippery, and add  Jell-O, because what other  university has a Jell-O Slide? Soon after, students formed a line that would rival any line at Disney World just to slide down our Jell-O Slide. One by one, students had their chance to experience the unique slide for themselves until physics conquered, and tarps broke. Both tarps ripped open a handful of time until O-Crew could no  longer use them, but after a short wait new tarps were brought in and the Jell-O slid  on. Following the Jell-O Slide, there were a couple events held in residence, which were followed by yet another unique take on a classic event, Headphone Disco. Gone were the  ear-numbing beats of a traditional DJ, and in were... headphones. Students walked in the Mackay room confused at the relative silence of such a large dance party until they put on the headphones themselves. The headphones featured  three channels: blue, red, and green. Blue mostly had EDM music, red featured hip-hop, and last but not least, green  played smooth jazz. As more and more students arrived, it became a battle between blue and red, with the DJ duo on stage each controlling one of the colours to curate the best set of music. Students danced to whichever channel suited their tastes, singing along with the music and personalizing their experience at such a  unique event. The best part of the event was when the headphone came off, students could hold a conversation to get to know others, and likely discuss the pure comedy of witnessing so many people dance to silence.

Day 3 – Academic Day. By this point, first year students may be forgetting the  fact that they are indeed, students. Enter academic day. Beginning with two different sessions, incoming students were acquainted with important information concerning their degrees as well as getting the chance to meet many other students that were in the same program. After a short break for lunch, students were encouraged to attend the faculty social, where over 80 faculty members as well as plenty of experienced upper years students were in attendance to share their knowledge of the classes in their respective programs and tips on student life.  For those students who attended both events, their names were filled out on a ballot to win one of two Apple iWatches! Students walked away from the event with important knowledge to remember in  their studies, and two lucky students had some new wrist wear as well. At 6pm, students made their way to the University Chapel to take part in the Xaverian Welcome. This event is the first of many traditional ceremonies that are held at StFX each year, which include  such events as house banquets, sports banquets, graduation and the Xaverian Farewell, and this little thing called X-Ring.  While the Xaverian Welcome may seem bizarre at first, it all comes full circle at the Xaverian Farewell, the culmination of  a student’s time at StFX. To  get students back on their feet after sitting in the chapel for so long, Playfair takes the stage as  the final event of day 3. First  year students enter the KMC through a long tunnel of O-Crew members and join in to  form an even longer tunnel of O-Crew and first years. Shortly after, students dispersed into  smaller groups to partake in the many ice breaker games that are the staple of Playfair. Just as Playfair came to a close, the first year students and O-Crew members were asked to sit alongside the wall furthest from the stage. It’s Flash Mob time! Prior to, and throughout Welcome Week, O-Crew hid themselves away on campus to practice a flash mob for the first year students. The dance began with the O- Crew executives leading their part, and shortly after all of O-Crew came running onto the floor to take part in the dance. Once the surprise was finished, day 3 drew to an end.

Day 4 – First Day of Classes. The day we’ve all been waiting for! Incoming and returning students roam the campus, searching for classrooms new and old to begin their year of studies. For first year off-campus students, there was an event at the Golden X Inn specifically for them to discuss services available to off-campus students as well as to meet their peers. Following various events held in residence, the evening capped off with Not Your Grandma’s Bingo, an educational sex toy bingo where students learned safe-sex trivia and what proper consent looks like. This event was a resounding success. The attendance was incredible and the energy of the room was certainly greater than that of your grandma’s bingo.

Day 5 – X Factor. The second day of classes for students was a relatively quiet day for Welcome Week. There were free money and budgeting sessions held in Morrison Hall and the Wellspring centre throughout the day, an outdoor movie night held in the MSB courtyard, and finally the talent show, X Factor, held in the KMC. The event featured many group performances, interspersed with  some amazing solo and duo acts which showcased the talent of our incoming class of 2022.

Day 6 – Society Night. Yet another busy day of activities that were held in residence, the third day of classes included sessions on stress management, consent, positive space training, as well as Reslife karaoke. The Tastes of the World dinner which was slated to be held outside the KMC was moved to the Mackay room due to the rain, although things got on without a hitch. Students were able to sample a diverse range of foods unlike what they may typically eat here in Nova Scotia while a group of incredibly talented dancers showcased their talents and taught students the dances as well.  Finally, Society Night was held at the KMC for all students to attend. With such a vast selection of societies, there is sure  to be something to suit everyone’s taste.

Day 7 – X-Fest Concert. It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for our headline show, the X-Fest Concert! The event featured some of our very own talent from students Matt McGlashan (FDM) and Thomas Shelby (DJ Babz) along with our headliners, DJ Goliath, Waves, and Felix Cartal. The dance took place in the evening with students of all years joining the fun all the way until the doors closed at 12:30am. Before the concert began, students had the opportunity to attend the LGBTQIA2S+ BBQ to hear from the president of the X-Pride committee, Robert  Chatterton, and our Gender and Sexual Diversity Advisor, Bre O’Handley. Featuring some beautiful student performances, the event served to foster the positive and inclusive environment that is promoted on  campus.

Day 8 – SHINERAMA . If first year students thought waking up for the pancake breakfast was rough, O-Crew proved them wrong. Just before 8am O-Crew flooded the halls of each residence armed with whatever loud noise they could muster. From yelling and cheering, to a lifeguard whistle, and even a saxophone, students were woken up to attend Canada’s largest post-secondary fundraiser, Shinerama. Beginning with a quick breakfast, students heard talks from the Shinerama executives of O-Crew, as well as Rachael Turner, a fourth year student who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, and the mother of an incoming student who also has CF. Shinerama is a fundraising campaign to find a cure for, and provide aid to those affected by  cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that effects the ability of the lungs to remove mucous build up. This results in difficulty breathing, as well as several digestive issues, and lastly a multitude of medicaments and physiotherapy techniques must be undergone to treat the disease. These talks serve to give purpose and perspective to the first year students in their fundraising efforts, as CF is a cause that is close to home at StFX. Following the speeches, students were assigned to one of many fundraising sites all across town, and some even had the opportunity to get on a bus to fundraise in New Glasgow. Students fundraised and spread awareness for cystic fibrosis from 9-1pm, raising approximately $25 000 for Shinerama 2018! And with that,  Welcome Week came to a close.  To  all  first  year  and  returning students, there are no better words than this: Welcome Home.  

 

The Rise of Food Trucks in Antigonish

 
 

The Frankenstand: A spookily delicious hot dog stand

At the back of the Shoppers Drug Mart Parking lot, on the edge of the river, lies a peculiar looking food truck emblazoned with green, black and orange colors. Its aptly named The Frankenstand, and it’s the home to foot long hot dogs… with a twist. A Caesar salad on top of a hot dog? Yep. Chili, bacon, sauerkraut? That too. For owner Kirk Jones, the name is based after his favorite childhood character. 

 Photo: Bowen Assman

Photo: Bowen Assman

“I love Frankenstein, everything about it. That is why everything is based off of it. All of our menu items have some relation to Frankenstein, such as The Bride, and the Thing.”

For Kirk, his stand opened at the beginning of May and is most certainly a family affair. His wife Tracy and children work the truck, preparing food and collecting the money. It is a great educational tool to teach his son. 

“We do not keep a calculator, so when he takes orders, he has to calculate the pricing and give back the correct amount. Because of this, it has improved his math skills”

He wanted to appease to the younger crowd, mainly the students. The idea of having a hot dog stand is unique to Antigonish, a town densely populated by pizza joints. As of now, the menu consists of hot dogs, burgers and onion rings. As young as the truck is, the plans for the future are wide ranging.

“My plan is to buy a six-wheeler, so I can have a bigger shop, and move our current truck to a permanent spot on the beach. We have been in talks with the city to have this whole parking lot become a sort of food court, with an array of choices from different food trucks dotting the lot.” 

In terms of new menu ideas, the idea of a foot-long French fry is in the works. Yes, a singular foot long French fry, something that would blow up the traditional fry culture, if done correctly. 

While he has a lot of future ideas, he is more than content with where he is right now. At any point during the days, and the numerous times I was present at the truck, there was no shortage of children, students, and locals all coalescing with Kirk near the truck. The friendly atmosphere really belies their slogan of “Monster-sized food, friendly service”. The real powerhouse is Tracy, who tirelessly works behind the BBQ in the heat to provide the food to everyone. 

What Kirk touched on repeatedly was his insistence on giving back to the customers who visit his truck, and helping those who are in need. 

“If someone is hungry, just come by the shop and you will be fed. I do not want to see students go hungry, they pay enough for tuition and textbooks.”

 Photo: Bowen Assman

Photo: Bowen Assman

Across the parking lot is an elder statesman of the food truck industry, Little Asia. The truck opened way back in 2016, and has enjoyed relative success, albeit spotty in it’s customer base. Little Asia’s owner, Melvin is happy that they have an outlet to serve their native food to anyone who is interested. Having the ease of a food truck makes life easier, with cheaper rent, and less maintenance costs then a brick and mortar storefront. 

What is clear is that the rise of food trucks greatly decreases barrier-to-entry costs, forging the opportunity for more trucks to pop up around town, and maybe, just maybe, take a slice out of the Kenny and Wheel student stranglehold for late night eats.

 

Saudi Students Seek Asylum

 
 

Ongoing diplomatic feud sparks unrest

The ongoing political conflict between Saudi Arabia and Canada has taken another victim outside the financial sector – university students. Several from Saudi Arabia have requested asylum in order to remain in Canada for the duration of their studies; according to the CBC, there are at least 20 Saudi students attempting to obtain asylum. Many fear they will be arrested upon their return, given their critique of the Saudi government on social media during their tenure abroad. The requests come after tension between the Canadian-Saudi governments escalated in the beginning of August, due to a twitter spat initiated by the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland. In a tweet, Freeland condemned the Saudi government for jailing sibling activists Samar and Raif Badawi; Raif was arrested in 2012 on charges of “insulting Islam through electronic channels” and jailed in 2013. Samar was initially jailed for six months in 2010 due to a missed court date relating to a feud with her father over marriage rights. According to Amnesty International, she was arrested and briefly detained in 2016, although the Saudi Government denies her arrest. Most recently, Samar was arrested on July 30th, eliciting the aforementioned response from Minister Freeland.  

“Very alarmed to learn that Samar Badawi, Raif Badawi’s sister, has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia. Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this difficult time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi.”

  This initial call to action was followed by a second tweet by Freeland one day later:

“Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in #SaudiArabia, including Samar Badawi. We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists.”

In response, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a press release condemning Canada for meddling in internal affairs and publishing comments that were “not based in any accurate or true information”. In the same press release, the Saudis recalled their ambassador, and declared the Canadian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Dennis Horak, a Persona-Non-Grata, giving him 24 hours to leave the country. The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs also announced a hold on all new business and investment transactions with Canada. 

This initial cessation of diplomacy was followed by a sell-off of all Canadian assets by the Saudi central bank, regardless of whether this resulted in a net loss to the Saudis. Oil trade between the two countries is one of the only sectors which has retained status quo. The widespread halt of trade has been taken by many as a sign from Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman that the international community should abstain from meddling in Saudi Arabia’s internal affairs; the nation is clearly comfortable brandishing its’ political and financial capital in order to deter others from towing the Canadian line. 

While diplomatic relations between the two countries remain in limbo, the Saudi students who remain in Canada are left with few options. The Saudi Arabian government has granted an exception to 1 000 medical trainees who have been authorized to stay in Canada until “alternative assignments can be arranged”; all other students have been ordered to return home or continue their schooling in other countries. Although the students are allowed to stay in Canada until their visas expire, many are studying under the King Abdullah Scholarship Program. The Saudi government announced in early August that it would be revoking scholarship funding for students who remain in Canada, making it financially unfeasible to remain. 

 

Former Coady Director Going to Court

 
 

James (Jim) Marlow is alleged to have stolen $264 000

Following an investigation by the RCMP and an external audit by Deloitte, former Coady International Institute Finance Director, James (Jim) Marlow is being accused of defrauding the Coady Institute of more than $200 000 dollars over a period of several years. 

Marlow had been with the Coady Institute since 2007, until his dismissal following a review and audit of the institute’s finances and invoices from vendors. It is alleged in court documents obtained by the Xaverian, that Mr. Marlow had been creating fake invoices from three well-known third party vendors used by the Coady Institute in the past. Each invoice faked by Mr. Marlow would then have a cheque made and ‘held for pickup,” at which time Mr. Marlow would pick up the cheque or have it delivered to him under the trust that it would delivered by hand to the vendor, but instead was deposited into Mr. Marlow’s personal account. The amounts of each cheque are unknown at this time, but sources speaking with the Xaverian acknowledged that these were small amounts relative to the alleged total of the fraud committed by Mr. Marlow.

The alleged fraud was only uncovered when one of the cheques marked “hold for pickup,” by Mr. Marlow was inadvertently mailed to the vendor who then notified the institute that an error had been made and they were not due any payment. An audit of the institute’s finances was made where a number of fraudulent invoices, totalling $264 098 made out by Mr. Marlow, were discovered. Mr. Marlow was relieved of his duties and dismissed by the Institute and the University on July 19, when it was announced to staff and faculty that a breach of trust had occurred and the RCMP would be involved. 

Court documents show that the auditing firm, Deloitte, discovered 32 fictitious invoices, of which only two were not cashed, valued at $20 125, and a separate amount of $14 950 is, as of yet, unaccounted for and will be the subject of further investigation.

Given the nature of the fraud and the common practice of holding cheques for later pickup instead of mailing them directly, it is possible that had the Institute not been informed by their vendor, that the alleged fraud of Mr. Marlow could have continued unnoticed. 

After speaking with Andrew Beckett, the Vice-President of Finance & Administration, the administration is now working closely with Deloitte fraud investigators to create a list of recommended changes to prevent this kind of fraud from happening in the future. Mr. Beckett says that the administration is now in the process of finding a replacement for Mr. Marlow. The administration having received the resumes of potential candidates and in the coming months a position will be offered to a capable candidate, until such time however, the duties of the former Finance Director are being assumed across several capable positions. 

StFX has begun legal proceedings against Mr. Marlow, seeking damages, repayment, in excess of $243 000 and has asked the courts to prevent Mr. Marlow from liquidating any assets, including a property purchased, that may be under his name, should the courts determine the guilt of Mr. Marlow. 

All charges and accusations made against Mr. Marlow are alleged and have not been proven in court, neither has Mr. Marlow commenced with a defence against the allegations, although he has 15 days from the August 28 filing of the charges to do so.

 

Summer Stabbing Devastates Antigonish

 
 

Unsettling domestic violence leaves woman and three-year-old with injuries

Antigonish’s reputation as a quiet, quaint town was put into question this summer when a stabbing occurred on the morning of July 25, 2018. 

A woman and a three-year-old girl were injured when stabbed by a 41-year-old man inside a home on Brookland Street. According to Chronicle Herald, the man is reported to be the husband of the woman. 

The woman was the first to escape from her house and alerted her neighbour Karen Boyle. Karen heroically ran into the house and brought the 3-year-old to safety.

Thanks to Karen, the woman and child were able to escape and call the RCMP around 8:30 am. 

The victims were sent to hospital via ambulance but are expected to recover. 

Shortly after the police were called, the man (who police have now identified as Shajev Thomas) was arrested outside the Brookland Street home where the incident occurred. 

He is now facing two counts of attempted murder for his attack on the woman and young child. Thomas appeared in the Port Hawkesbury courthouse on Thursday, July 26 and was subsequently sent for a 30-day psychiatric assessment. 

The accused’s next court appearance set for August 24, 2018 got rescheduled until which time he will remain in custody.

“We do everything we can to keep students safe. We patrol on campus and StFX residences off campus.” said John Gormley from Safety and Security Services. 

Shajev’s next court appearance is scheduled for September 18 at the Antigonish Justice Centre.

 

IGN Dead Cells Plagiarism Controversy: How to Avoid Plagiarism at University

 
 

How to avoid plagiarism at university

Have you ever had that one friend that steals your joke that was really good? Not funny, right? Well here at StFX, as Drake would say, we “can’t take a joke ‘cause it’s not one.” 

On a serious note, on every course syllabus you will find a brief description of the “Academic Integrity Policies and Procedures,” which outlines the university’s “Code of Academic Conduct.” Read this carefully as it outlines the “offenses against academic integrity,” such as plagiarism, cheating, falsification, and tampering, as well as the potential penalties for violating the Code of Academic Conduct. The Code operates on “five fundamental values,” which go as follows:
- “advances the quest for truth and knowledge by acknowledging intellectual and personal honesty in learning, teaching, research, and service;
-  fosters a climate of mutual trust, encourages the free exchange of ideas, and enables all to reach their highest potential;
- establishes clear standards, practices, and procedures and expects fairness in interactions amongst students, faculty, staff, and administrators; 
- recognizes the participatory nature of the learning process and honours and respects a wide range of opinions and ideas; and,
- upholds personal responsibility and accountability and depends upon action in the face of wrong-doing.”

 Photo: www2.mystfx.ca

Photo: www2.mystfx.ca

Here at The Xaverian Weekly, we describe plagiarism as “The presentation of the work of another author in such a way as to give one’s reader reason to think it to be one’s own.” This does not mean that using another person’s work is not permitted; quite the opposite in fact, having multiple sources is imperative to the production of accurate argumentative writing. Citing and quoting relevant work is the necessary if one is to include the ideas, thoughts, and research of others into their own work in order to improve their arguments and accuracy.  

Just recently, there was an unfortunate, yet fantastic example of plagiarism within the mainstream gaming journalism sphere. A now former employee of IGN Entertainment, Filip Miucin, recently posted his review of a game from French developer Motion Twin, called Dead Cells. The game, described by the developer as “a rogue-lite, Castlevania-inspired action-platformer” released on August 7th, 2018 to raving reviews, netting itself an astonishing 90/100 on Metacritic, the benchmark for a video game’s success. However, a controversy began on August 6th, 2018 when a relatively small YouTuber Boomstick Gaming posted a video tilted “IGN Copied my Dead Cells Review: What do I do?” which has amassed over 1 million views. The video shows a side-by-side comparison of Boomstick’s review and Miucin’s review on IGN, which was posted two weeks after Boomstick Gaming’s review. The similarities are abundantly clear: not only does Miucin only slightly alter the word choices of the original review, but the sequencing is identical, with the talking points of each video flowing simultaneously. 

Jason Schreier, a well-known and well-respected games journalist from Kotaku has been chronicling the events of the situation as they have unfolded. In his article, “IGN Pulls Review After Plagiarism Accusations,” Schreier transcribed each video, placing each talking point side-by-side, only serving to make the similarities all the more apparent. Throughout the course of events, Schreier updated his articles to include IGN’s formal apology and public announcement of their letting go of Miucin, as well as two “tipsters” who made Schreier aware of two other examples of substantial similarities between past reviews of Miucin’s to a competitor’s review. The reviews in question were of Nintendo Life’s Fifa 18 and Engadget’s Metroid: Samus Returns. Through transcribing each review, the side-by-side comparison is just as bad as the Dead Cells review which put these events in motion. 

Filip Miucin posted a video to his personal YouTube channel on August 11, 2018, in which one would expect a public apology. This was not the case. Miucin dodged around the fact that he indeed plagiarised the review of Boomstick Gaming stating that “the bottom line is that what happened with the Dead Cells review was not at all intentional.” Remember the fifth fundamental value of our Code of Academic Conduct, responsibility. Despite his wrongdoing of what seems to be multiple accounts of plagiarism, an appropriate apology is the first step in regaining his integrity; unfortunately, what he has done is far worse. Not taking responsibility for his actions, claiming their supposed unintentionality, is a true show of character. Unfortunately the original video is not available as Miucin promptly took it down, however Jason Schreier continued to follow the course of events in his article “Former IGN Reviewer Responds to Plagiarism Allegations: ‘Not at all Intentional’,” in which Schreier notes that Miucin said “You can keep looking, Kotaku, and please let me know if you find anything,” a direct jab at Schreier for doing his job as a reporter.

I hope that with such a clear example of what-not-to-do, you understand the severity of plagiarism, especially in a university environment. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to ensure you avoid plagiarism and properly include sources into your work. Professors are always willing to help out or point you in the right direction. The Student Success Centre, located in the library, is designed to help students out with all things academic. OWL Purdue is a fantastic internet resource full of examples to ensure you are citing properly, for both APA and MLA styles; and finally, ask a friend for help. Upper year students in your classes or residence may be able to help edit your work with the experience they have gained at StFX. The bottom line is this: if you don’t know, just ask – there are plenty of people willing to help out around campus. 

Sources:
“Code of Ethics.” Xaverian Weekly. 2018.
“Dead Cells.” Metacritic. Accessed 11 August 2018. http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/dead-cells
Dead Cells, Motion Twin. 2018. https://dead-cells.com/ 
“IGN Copied my Dead Cells Review: What do I do? [I'm handling it].” YouTube, uploaded by Boomstick Gaming, 6 August, 2018.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKF6xnvaCsE&t=2s
Schreier, Jason. “IGN Pulls Review After Plagiarism Accusations [UPDATE: Writer Fired].” Kotaku, 11 August 2018. https://kotaku.com/ign-pulls-review-after-plagiarism-accusations-1828157939
Schreier, Jason. “Former IGN Reviewer Responds To Plagiarism Allegations: ‘Not At All Intentional’ [UPDATES: Third Review Questioned, Video Removed].” Kotaku, 11 August 11, 2018. https://kotaku.com/former-ign-reviewer-responds-to-plagiarism-allegations-1828273219
St. Francis Xavier University. (2006). Academic integrity policies and procedures [PDF file]. Antigonish, NS: St. Francis Xavier University.     Retrieved from http://www.sites.stfx.ca/registrars_office/sites/sites.stfx.ca.registrars_office/files/acade mic-integrity-document.pdf
The Student Success Centre. Saint Francis Xavier University. 2018.  https://sites.stfx.ca/ssc/
 

 

Deciphering the Town Bylaws

 
 

The dos and dont's of living in Antigonish

Whether you’re starting your first year at StFX or a returning student this fall, there are some things that you should know about your new home such as the town bylaws. While some town bylaws may seem like common sense, it’s best to keep yourself informed to avoid getting in trouble while living in town.
First and foremost, if you’re looking to have some fun with your friends during the evening, it’s best to remember that Antigonish has a noise control bylaw. After 10 pm, if you’re making noise that exceeds 55 dBA, you can be issued a summary offence ticket by a bylaw or police officer, with or without a noise complaint. Receiving a ticket means you can be liable for a penalty of $387.50 per occurrence. While blasting music after 10 pm may seem like fun, it might not be worth the price tag compared to going out to the pub.
Of course, if you’re living in residence, quiet hours define when you are permitted to be loud inside the buildings. Most residences will have different quiet hours for weekdays and weekends as well as different schedules during exam time. If you want to avoid having a chat with a Community Advisor, it’s best to know when the quiet hours in your residence are, and avoid making excessive noise. 

 Photo: Sean Smith

Photo: Sean Smith

For those of legal drinking age heading off or on campus carrying alcohol, make sure that you’re only transporting it to another location. Having open alcohol, or illegal possession, carries a fine of $467 in Antigonish, meaning it’s best to wait to open or drink any alcohol until you’ve arrived at your destination. Alcohol in travel mugs, water bottles, or that has been opened previously can also be counted as open alcohol under the Liquor Control Act.
Another thing to keep in mind while living in Antigonish is how to sort your garbage, recycling, and compost properly. Whether you’re on or off campus, the system for sorting is the same, including what colour bags to use and what items fall under each of the three categories. Sorting guides are available on the Town of Antigonish website under Residential Waste Management and may be distributed on and off campus residences at the beginning of the academic year.

For those off campus, keep in mind that garbage, recycling, and compost bins are picked up specific days, and each bin may not be collected every week. The schedule for when each bin is collected is posted on the Residential Waste Management section of the town website, based on your address. It’s a good idea to post a copy of the schedule around your house, so you don’t forget to wheel the bins out to be collected.

Last but not least, Antigonish is not only a temporary home for StFX students. It’s important to remember that we live next to families and long-term residents, and that they should be treated with respect as well. You wouldn’t want to have noisy neighbours, see litter everywhere, or generally have a bad experience in your hometown. Try to have a positive impact on Antigonish while living here, by following the bylaws and being a good citizen.

To find any further information on Antigonish town bylaws, visit the bylaw section on the town website. Otherwise, welcome back to StFX for another great year; hopefully one without any trouble with the town bylaw officer!
 

 

SAFE launches new $60 000 fundraiser

 
 

Refugee resettlement thrives in Antigonish

Syrian-Antigonish Families Embrace (SAFE) has set a new fundraising goal of $60 000 to be raised by September 31st. The new initiative will be driven by their "100 for 100" campaign, which encourages members of the StFX and Antigonish community to donate $100 to SAFE, while challenging their friends to do the same. SAFE hopes that the fresh injection of cash will enable them to resettle two more Syrian families in Antigonish. In an email to SAFE volunteers, founding member Lucille Harper issued a rallying cry to members of the community:
  
"With the support of people in our community and our province, we have helped 5 families start new lives in Antigonish. We can do more. The war in Syria is entering its 8th year with over 465 000 Syrians killed in the conflict, over a million injured, and over 12 million - half the country’s pre-war population - displaced from their homes. Please help us bring 2 more families to safety."

SAFE was founded by a small group of community members in May 2015, in direct response to the ongoing conflict plaguing Syria. Their mission was simple: gather funds and community support with the hopes of eventually resettling a Syrian refugee family in Antigonish. The group set an initial fundraising target of $30 000, and began raising funds by setting up jars in local stores, and organizing town halls & community events. Word of mouth and coverage in the local paper then prompted members of the StFX community to join the movement. At a special meeting in November 2015, StFX faculty members, representatives of the StFX Students’ Union, three Employee Unions, the Association of University Teachers, and Senior administration voted on a motion to create StFX for SAFE. The goal of this newly founded fundraising body was to raise $10 000 in sponsorship money for SAFE to aid in their resettlement efforts.

Throughout the following year, StFX for SAFE and the associated student society organized various fundraising events such as the Peace for Syria Walk, two Pause for the Cause campaigns, Hair Today/Gone Tomorrow, and the special presentation of a play co-authored by StFX alumnus Brendan Ahern and Majd Al Zhouri, a 22 year old StFX student from Syria. Within 18 months, StFX for SAFE raised tenfold their initial goal, collecting a total of $100 000 in donations.

St. FX Ad 2018.jpg

Word of SAFE and StFX for SAFE's efforts spread throughout the community, prompting Class of 2018 co-presidents Alex Corrigan and Rachel LeBlanc to establish a bursary aimed at providing financial support for individuals who have claimed refugee status at some in their life. Fundraising for the bursary is ongoing, however, the Class of 2018 was able to raise nearly $40 000 over the course of the past academic year.

“At StFX, graduating classes have a rich history of giving back to the community and by the spring of 2017, it became apparent that the Class of 2018 also wanted to leave its mark. Rachel LeBlanc and I heard many wonderful ideas, but were most inspired by StFX for SAFE who had in the previous two years, raised more than $100 000 to support refugees in Antigonish. We were floored by their dedication and knew that if the community was so incredibly supportive of their cause, then our class would be too.” says Corrigan.

As of today, there are five SAFE-sponsored families from Syria living in Antigonish, with a sixth having recently relocated from Newfoundland; if the "100 for 100" campaign proves successful, that number could increase to eight.

 Photo: Syria-Antigonish Families Embrace

Photo: Syria-Antigonish Families Embrace

 

Get to Know Canada's First Vertical Bank Note

 
 

Bank of Canada releases details about new note featuring Viola Desmond

Canada’s new $10 bank note will begin to appear in cash transactions late this year.

Designed to stand apart, it’s the first vertical note issued by the Bank of Canada, and features the portrait of social justice defender Viola Desmond.

Here’s what businesses and cash users need to know about this new $10 bill.

As with Canada’s other notes, the new $10 has bold security features, ensuring that Canadians can use it with confidence. That’s why the Bank issues new notes – to stay ahead of counterfeiting threats and to keep pace with advances in technology.

But remember, bank notes are only secure if you check them. Routinely checking all notes—no matter which series or value—allows you to intercept counterfeits and keep them out of circulation. The security features on Canada’s vertical $10 note are quick and easy to check:

- Feel the smooth, unique texture of the note. It’s made from a single piece of polymer with some transparent areas.

- Feel the raised ink on the front of the note, namely on the portrait, the word “Canada” and the large number ‘10’ at the bottom.

- Look at the detailed metallic images and symbols in and around the large transparent window.

- Look at the pattern in the eagle feather. Tilt the note to see the colour shift from gold to green.

- Flip the note to see the elements inside the large window repeated in the same colours and detail on the other side.

 Photo: Bank of Canada

Photo: Bank of Canada

The new $10 note will be rolled out gradually and circulate alongside the other polymer $10 notes. Unlike the special $10 note issued for Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017, printed in a limited quantity to mark this historical milestone, the vertical $10 note will be the regular $10 note produced for years to come.

Business owners may be wondering what this new $10 note means for their cash-handling equipment. The vertical $10 has been designed to minimize the impact on the cash-handling industry and maintains the same functional features as current polymer notes. Equipment owners and renters should contact their suppliers with questions about machine compatibility.

With the release of this new $10 note, the Bank of Canada’s approach to issuing bank notes is changing. Rather than issuing all five denominations within a short time frame, a new note will be released every few years. This will allow the Bank to integrate the latest security features each time a new bank note is issued, ensuring that Canadians can continue to use their bank notes with confidence.

For free, downloadable materials to help businesses train their staff, visit www.bankofcanada.ca/retailers. For more information, contact us at 1-800-303-1282 or info@bankofcanada.ca. Follow the Bank on Twitter (@bankofcanada) for the latest news about Canadian bank notes.

The Bank of Canada Museum is on Facebook! Follow, like and share the latest information about Canada’s upcoming $10 bank note and much more: @BoCMuseum.

 

StFX University and Coady International Name 2018 Coady Chair in Social Justice

 
 

Skilled Leader and Coady Graduate from South Africa Returns to Share Experience

Sadi.png

Mfalatsane Pricillah (“Sadi”) Motsuenyane, former Chief Director of Sustainable Livelihoods with the Department of Social Development for the Government of South Africa, has been named the 2018 Coady Chair in Social Justice. A member of Coady’s Advisory body and a graduate of Coady’s Asset-based and Citizen-led Development (ABCD) and Livelihoods and Markets certificates, Motsuenyane has a longstanding relationship with StFX University and Coady International Institute.

“It is an honour to welcome Sadi as the 2018 Coady Chair in Social Justice,” Dr. June Webber, St. Francis Xavier University Vice President and head of Coady International Institute and Extension Department says. "Sadi’s longstanding history of community leadership and development through apartheid to post-apartheid reconstruction and development in South Africa will be an invaluable source of learning and inspiration for all at StFX, Coady, and in the greater community.”

In a manner that is consistent with the principles of the Antigonish Movement, Motsuenyane has been helping people in her own country study their social and economic situation. This has allowed residents to improve their livelihoods collectively, to earn more income, and to take more control of the local economy. By facilitating restorative justice dialogues in strife-torn communities, Motsuenyane has created a platform for collective discovery, recovery, and utilization of human and material assets with newly found mutual dignity and respect. 

“Social justice, equity, and the rights of South Africans has been central to my community development work during the years of fighting for the end of Apartheid in South Africa,” Motsuentane says.

Born on a farm into a family of entrepreneurs and community developers, Motsuenyane now has more than 50 years of community development experience.

“My community development work has been influenced largely by my family’s livelihood strategies which were strongly asset-based, and later in my career by the Coady International Institute’s asset-based community development approach, inspired by the late Dr. Rev. Moses Coady.”

Motsuenyane holds a Master’s in Public Administration and Development Management from the University of Stellenbosch. Her previous work experience includes roles with Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Agricultural Research Council, and Agricor. Since her retirement in December 2017, she has been completing her PhD at the University of the Western Cape, including her thesis titled, “Exploring the impact of asset-based thinking as an alternative approach to unleash the generative capacity of social grants in South Africa.”

The Coady Chair in Social Justice was created in 2012 to honour the spirit of Rev. Dr. Moses Coady and the leaders of the Antigonish Movement by bridging local and global concerns, involving the community, and encouraging an interdisciplinary approach to issues. The Chair is an important means to deepen StFX’s commitment to its service to society's mission, to develop students’ understanding and sense of social responsibility, and to support Coady as a centre for global citizen leadership and social justice at StFX. Key elements of the Chair’s tenure include public presentations, classroom seminars, and workshops that bring students, faculty, community members and citizen-leaders together for shared learning.

The 2018 Coady Chair in Social Justice will reside on the campus of StFX from September 17 – November 16, 2018.

 

Antigonish Library June Events

 
 

Call (902) 863-4276 for events' information

Preschool Storytime (ages 3-5, drop in)
Mon, June 4, 10am – 11am, Antigonish Town & County Library
A weekly library program for children ages 3-5 years. Please join us for stories, crafts, games & more. 
 
Block Play Tuesdays (NEW! drop-in)
Tue, June 5, 10am – 4pm, Antigonish Town & County Library
Join us in building something awesome with our new blocks, brought to you with support from Community Health Boards in the North Shore, Pictou and Antigonish Counties through their wellness funds!
 
A Special Storytime for World Oceans Day, with the library and Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans!
Tue, June 5, 10am – 11am, Antigonish Town & County Library
Join library staff and staff from Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada as they host a storytime with a special reading of 'The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark.' All are welcome! On World Oceans Day, people around our blue planet celebrate and honor the ocean, which connects us all. Get together with your family, friends, community, and the planet to start creating a better future. Working together, we can and will protect our shared ocean. Join this growing global celebration on 8 June! For more information, please visit: www.worldoceansday.org
 
ToddleTime (ages 18 months - 3 yrs, drop-in)
Wed, June 6, 10am – 11am, Antigonish Town & County Library
A weekly library program for toddlers (18 months - 3 years) & parents/caregivers. Please join us for stories, songs, fun & games. 

Community Cafe presents 'Realism in Art' video by Peter Murphy with commentary by Anna Syperek
Wed, June 6, 2:00pm – 3:30pm, Antigonish Town & County Library
Join us for a talk on Realism in Art, a video by Peter Murphy with commentary by Anna Syperek.

Knitting Circle (all ages, drop-in)
Wed, June 6, 2pm – 3pm, Antigonish Library
Stop in, connect with others and knit! All are welcome, for more information call 902-863-4276.
Knitting for Kids (drop-in)
Wed, June 6, 3pm – 4pm, Antigonish Town & County Library
Join us for a weekly knitting program for kids! .
 
ABCs for Babies (ages 0 - 18 months, drop-in)
Fri, June 8, 10am – 11am, Antigonish Town & County Library
A weekly library program for babies (0-18 months) & parents/caregivers. Please join us for stories, songs & fun activities. 
 
Preschool Storytime (ages 3-5, drop in)
Mon, June 11, 10am – 11am, Antigonish Town & County Library
A weekly library program for children ages 3-5 years. Please join us for stories, crafts, games & more. 
 
Young Readers Club
Mon, June 11, 3pm – 4pm, Antigonish Town & County Library
A monthly book club for kids ages 9-12, the YRC meets after school at the library to share thoughts about the awesome books that they've read and talk about them. The first meeting, books that will be read will be decided on. Registration is required. Light snacks will be provided. For  registration, please call the library at 902-863-2476.
 
Block Play Tuesdays (NEW! drop-in)
Tue, June 12, 10am – 4pm, Antigonish Town & County Library
Join us in building something awesome with our new blocks, brought to you with support from Community Health Boards in the North Shore, Pictou and Antigonish Counties through their wellness funds
 
ToddleTime (ages 18 months - 3 yrs, drop-in)
Wed, June 13, 10am – 11am, Antigonish Town & County Library
A weekly library program for toddlers (18 months - 3 years) & parents/caregivers. Please join us for stories, songs, fun & games.
 
Knitting Circle (all ages, drop-in)
Wed, June 13, 2pm – 3pm, Antigonish Library
Stop in, connect with others and knit!
 
Knitting for Kids (drop-in)
Wed, June 13, 3pm – 4pm, Antigonish Town & County Library
Join us for a weekly knitting program for kids! 
 
Armchair Travellers presents 'India: Wishing Wells Projects, Farming and Tibetan Refugee Communities' with speakers Karen Fish & Mary Van Den Heuvel
Thu, June 14, 7pm – 8pm, Antigonish Town & County Library
Travel around the world without having to leave the library by listening to the adventures of others! All are welcome. For speaker suggestions, call 902-863-4276.
 
ABCs for Babies (ages 0 - 18 months, drop-in)
Fri, June 15, 10am – 11am, Antigonish Town & County Library
A weekly library program for babies (0-18 months) & parents/caregivers. Please join us for stories, songs & fun activities. 
 
Open Mic Night
Fri, June 15, 6:30pm – 7:30pm, Antigonish Library
Join us for Open Mic night - recite some poetry, play an instrument; all are welcome!

 

A Word About The Bursary

 
 

My goodness has time ever flown by. It seems like just last week The Xav published an article introducing the Class of 2018 Student Refugee Bursary but with only a couple of weeks left in the school year, I figured it is time for an update and many thank yous.

We began our campaign in September with the goal of raising $50,000 to establish a bursary to help students who attend StFX and who were at one-time refugees. The goal was bold and seemed very ambitious from the start but thanks to the X-Ring Store, our Chancellor, UNIFOR, StFX for SAFE, StFX WUSC and students like you, we just might make it. To date, we have raised more than $21,000 and that number doesn’t even include Dr. Crocker’s offer to match all student contributions up to a maximum of $20,180 or the commitment that the X-Ring Store has made to donate all net proceeds from the year to our bursary. This means that our fund will grow from its current state, but we are far from guaranteed to reach our goal and any contribution would be so so appreciated.

I am so proud of our class for coming together and raising so much this year, and I would also like to recognize a few additional people and groups for working so hard over the year. Firstly, thanks to StFX for SAFE and StFX WUSC who have worked tirelessly doing coat-checks, bake sales and raffles to raise money. These students have donated their time to an incredible cause and for that I say a tremendous thank-you. Thanks to Drs. Susan Crocker and Kent MacDonald as well as everyone in StFX Advancement and the X-Ring Store for their encouragement, guidance, generosity, contributions and hard work. You know who you are and for your help I will always be grateful. Thanks to Majd Al Zhouri for performing his harrowing one-person, one-act play “To Eat an Almond” and shooting a video to raise funds and awareness. His story is incredible and he is even better. Thanks to Sylvia Phee for her help securing $2500 and $500 donations from UNIFOR national and local. An incredible union with a generous and socially conscious membership. Finally, thanks so much to Dr. Norine Verberg for all of her hard work and guidance throughout the year. Thank you thank you thank you thank you, you have all made a wonderful difference.

 

Sisters of St. Martha move out of The Bethany House

 
 

The sisters take big steps into their new residence

March 1, 2018, the Sisters of St. Martha have officially moved out of the Bethany House, which has been home to many sisters since being built in 1921. Their new home which has been developed over the last year is situated adjacent to the Bethany House. As soon as everything is removed, the building, which has many structural problems, will be demolished. The move was sparked by a number of safety concerns associated with the Bethany building including a lack of emergency sprinklers. The building was also found to be too old and too big for the aging residents.

The new facility, Parkland Antigonish, is sponsored and run by Shannex, a family-owned organization that offers many services including home care, retirement living, assisted living, memory care and nursing care. The new building includes 25 nursing home beds, and modern amenities. In the next 10 to 20 years, when beds are no longer needed by the sisters, the facility will open up rooms for community use and revert to become a public nursing home.

The move was contested at first, as many of the sisters have lived in the old Bethany building for decades. However, continued safety concerns have pushed residents to make the move into the Shannex building next door.

Shannex CEO Joe Shannon told the Casket “We’re thrilled to be able to bring this forward for all the Sisters as well as the community of Antigonish…and we are honoured to be apart of the next journey with the Sisters of St. Martha.”

The Sisters of St. Martha are a beloved and active part of our Antigonish community. Since their formal establishment as a religious congregation in 1900, they have continued to contribute to community work and causes including the Antigonish movement during the 1940s. Dr. Moses Coady was a strong admirer of the sisters, and once declared that fifty of Saint Martha's sisters could change the world.

Today, the sisters continue to celebrate and promote activism in the community such as Pink Shirt day against bullying, African Heritage Month, the Antigonish Affordable Housing Society, just to name a few. As well as events happening on the StFX campus through their Facebook and Twitter pages.

The new Parkland Antigonish location will have it's grand opening celebration on Monday, March 19, 2018 between 2:00pm and 4:00 pm to invite members of the community to come join them in their new journey.

 

Students Prepare for Student Research Day

 
 

This upcoming March 28, from 6-9pm, Student Research Day will be taking place, displaying student research projects from different departments across the university. They currently have 93 poster projects and 9 oral presentations registered, totaling 102 participants altogether.

The day is a chance for students to proudly display their hard work to the community. Often times, students do not have much of an opportunity to share their research, and Student Research Day has become the forum for StFX students to do so. As Dr. Kolen stated, it is a chance for students to delight in their own hard work, receiving positive feedback to encourage further research projects into the future. The intent is to display students’ understanding of their work, and have professors engage with students on the students’ research, generating dialogue and interest in the otherwise unnoticed student projects.

Not only that, but it operates in order to allow time for professors and students from different departments, to come and hear about, and question, information outside of their own discipline. It is easy enough to find information concerning one’s own subject area, but harder still to do the same outside that echo chamber. Student Research Day engages the community, allowing them to branch outside of their regular field of knowledge in a way that enhances the experience of both presenters and audience alike.

This will be its 16th year in existence, as it was started in 2003 by Dr. Angie Kolen in the Human Kinetics department. Having had positive experiences sharing her own research in a similar way through her graduate studies, Dr. Kolen noticed that StFX lacked this space for students and decided to change that. She brought her idea to the university, and it was initially shot down. However, she did not take no for an answer, and the fruits of her labour are still felt today.

The research day started off as a poster fair alone, until Dr. Steven Baldner of the Philosophy Department (Dean of Arts at the time), spearheaded a movement to create oral presentations as well. The purpose of this development was to create an opportunity for those who might not have research well suited to the poster format. They would have a chance to share their own ideas and findings, but without the necessary visual representation of their work. Intended for arts students, such as English and Philosophy who might not have data fitted to a poster arrangement, the oral presentations have now become a space for all students from across all subject areas.

As it stands now, it is still Dr. Kolen and her colleagues who run the event; a hard project to maintain on top of a regular teaching workload. Dr. Kolen hopes that the university can eventually take on the project themselves to ensure its continuance and development into the future.

 

Naloxone Kits Available at Nova Scotia Pharmacies

 
 

How to get one, and who is at risk for an overdose

In the fall of 2017, the Nova Scotia provincial government announced a program that made Naloxone kits available for free at local pharmacies across the country. Naloxone is a drug that can be administered during an opioid overdose to reverse the effects, potentially saving a life. Those who use both prescription opioids and street drugs are encouraged to pick up a kit for use in case of an emergency. In addition, those who come into close contact with an opioid user, both prescribed or recreational, should also consider picking up a kit. Naloxone kits do not require a prescription; however, those wishing to take one must complete a brief 20 minute training session on when and how to administer the drug properly.

On average, 60 people in Nova Scotia die from an opioid overdose every year. However, with the introduction of fentanyl into the drug scene last year, the amount of overdose deaths has skyrocketed, especially in youths. Government officials are hoping that making Naloxone kits available to the public will reduce the number of opioid-related deaths. However, it is also encouraged that someone using a Naloxone kit call 911 first, in order to achieve proper application. The Good Samaritan Act protects those who call 911 in the event of an overdose from being charged with simple drug possession.

Antigonish offers seven locations to get a Naloxone kit: the pharmacies at Superstore and Walmart, Mackinnon’s Pharmasave on campus and on Main Street, Shoppers Drug Mart on Main Street, Halliburton PharmaChoice on Main Street, and Lawton’s Drugs on Church Street. Students interesting in getting a Naloxone kit can simply walk up to the pharmacy at any of these locations, express concern for themselves or loved ones regarding opioid usage, complete the 20 minute training session and walk out with a Naloxone kit. Despite having to express concern for yourself or another opioid user, no names or information is required, and anonymity, if desired, is respected.

Each kit contains two ampoules of Naloxone, two syringes, two ampoule breakers, one pocket breathing mask, two non-latex gloves, two alcohol swabs, a pill bottle, an instruction pamphlet, and a training card. If you have had to use your Naloxone to intervene on an overdose, the pharmacy will refill it for you. Though originally only 500 kits were distributed across the province, pharmacists can order more based on the needs of their community.

The public accessibility of Naloxone kits demonstrates how governments are turning away from a punitive method of dealing with drug use and towards a restorative and rehabilitative approach, which will hopefully inspire other communities and institutions, like StFX, to do the same. It is no secret that opioids and other drugs are used on campus. The next step that has been considered and discussed between students is whether or not these should be available within residences and if the Community Advisors and campus security should carry the kits.

 

Dr. Ann Sherman's Legacy Living On

 
 

Helping the Underrepresented Soar in School

March 2, 2018 was a day to remember former StFX faculty member Dr. Ann Sherman, as a new 1$ million scholarship was installed in her name.

Dr. Sherman died on August 2, 2017 but has left her mark on StFX. She was the former director of the school of education at StFX, in which she was admired for her hard work and dedication to the university.

The scholarship has been put in place for African Nova Scotian students, as well as Aboriginal Canadian students in the Faculty of Education field. 

The ceremony took place in the Coady International Institute’s Dennis Hall, where the Bragg family donated $500,000 to start the fund. Dr. Ann Sherman was a niece to John and Judy Bragg.

It was then later announced that alumnus Jeannie Deveau from the graduating class of 1944 had generously agreed to match this donation of $500,000.

With the new scholarship being put into place, it will allow the university to become more accessible for the students of African and Aboriginal descents. These students are often times underrepresented at university due to their history and struggles with oppression, and are not always given the opportunity to attend university.

These bursaries are opening the door to new opportunities for these students, who would otherwise not have the means to afford the rising tuitions in Nova Scotia. 

Dr. Sherman was a strong advocate for the underrepresented and was always willing to fight for the people in these communities. She was a lifelong educator, and her passion in life could be seen through her work in the classroom.

She was a very resilient woman with a mindset that was not going to allow anyone to stop her in her fight to allow everybody the chance to be in a classroom. She strongly believed that no matter what someone’s background, race, or religion, everybody should have the same rights to learn.

The current StFX Dean of Education, Dr. Jeff Orr, who was a dear friend of Sherman's said, “She had a passion for many things in education. The top of her list was support for First Nations and African Nova Scotian students.”

StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald was also at the ceremony and, in speaking with The Casket, he said:  “It represents what is so different and great about StFX.; you don’t just idly pass through this place. In fact, if you’re not interested in actively joining a community, like StFX, you probably don’t come here. I think her being here, at StFX, and the impact we heard she had on her students, on peers, on family members to be part of this university community, I think reflects a lot on what is good about StFX.”

Sherman was the embodiment of what it means to be a Xaverian. At StFX everyone must stand up for each other, and most importantly stand up for those who are the minority and may not always have their voices heard.  

Even though Dr. Sherman is not with us anymore, her love for education and helping the underrepresented is going to live on through this scholarship that will help more Nova Scotians attend university and pursue their academic dreams.

 

AWE Project Launches Sexual Violence Climate Survey

 
 

Using your knowledge and experience to strengthen prevention and response

The Antigonish Women’s Resource Center and Sexual Assault Services Association (AWRCSASA) and several community partners including Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation, St. Francis Xavier University and the Strait Regional School Board have announced a sexual violence climate survey. It was launched on Wednesday March 14, 2018 by the Advancing Women’s Equality (AWE) Project. The goal of this climate survey is a direct response to sexualized violence in rural Nova Scotia and a tangible way in transforming the context and bringing about an end to such sexualized violence.

The AWE Project is a community-based project that is advocating for more effective policies and systems in regards to sexualized violence; transforming the context in which sexualized violence is perpetrated; and utilizing a survivor-centred approach in analyzing the current practices while assessing community needs and advocating for changes in policies and systems within the three partner communities. AWE is gathering insights that are gained through cross-community collaboration which will inform the creation of a new model of addressing sexualized violence in a rural context. This new model will be shared with other communities that are seeking to build a more community-based approach in addressing the many rampant forms of sexual violence. Led by the AWRCSASA, AWE is a singular entity in a network of projects that are funded by the Status of Women Canada which is a collective movement in empowering women leaders to advance gender equality. It is important to note that AWRCSASA uses a definition of “woman” and “female” which actively includes trans women, gender-queer women and non-binary folks.

Facilitating the AWE project builds on the previous work of the AWRCSASA’s Responding to and Preventing Sexual Violence in Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation, Preventing Violence against Women at St. Francis Xavier University and the Bringing in the Bystander programs. At the heart of this project is the addressing of all forms of sexual violence including harassment, cyber-misogyny, slut-shaming and blaming as well as sexual assault. AWE also focuses on institutional recognition and take-up as well as aspects of colonization and the contemporary issues that are sustained by such legacy. Thus, decolonization and reconciliation are fundamental elements of the AWE project in tackling sexuality and consent education and advocacy as well as identifying and working with the practical needs of vulnerable groups in the partner communities.

The AWE Project is now issuing a call to all StFX students of all genders to participate in this student-based, campus-community research study to deepen the discourse surrounding sexual violence and pursue tangible ways to eradicate it. The survey was adopted from climate surveys that have already been conducted across various US campuses through Not Alone: The first report of the White House Task Force to protect students from sexual assault. It has also been previously conducted at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton. Annie Chau, the AWE Project coordinator and co-investigator for this survey says, “Acknowledging what students know about sexual violence and how they experience sexual violence is critical in our work to better prevent and respond” Students are especially important to reach out to in this work as “in so many important ways, students on this campus are already engaged. This survey provides the opportunity for us to listen and really hear from them.”

The Director of health, Counselling and Accessible Learning here at StFX, Margaret McKinnon, who is also the Principal Investigator for this project adds that

“The feedback from this survey will help us further develop and strengthen our policies and practices to address sexual violence. The survey will provide us with baseline data about student’s experiences with sexual violence which will be important in guiding the direction of our prevention initiatives and will assist us with evaluating change and progress in the future.” 

By participating in this survey, students at StFX have a unique opportunity to be directly involved in the re-structuring of sexual violence prevention and response on our community.

“It only takes 35 minutes to help make our community safer”

Bre O’Handley, the Gender and Sexual Diversity Student Advisor as well as a co-investigator, asserts that: “This is the first-time accurate data on sexualized violence will be collected here at StFX. Finally, all students have the opportunity to take a small amount of time to contribute to StFX’s efforts to prevent sexualized violence in our community.”

Those who participate in this survey will be entered to win a one-of-five $100.00 Visa Gift Card. Beyond this incentive however, Alison Armstrong, an Honors student in Anthropology and Women’s and Gender Studies urges students to participate because “So many students, myself included, have been looking for ways to share our knowledge and experiences regarding sexual violence on campus in a meaningful way; I think this is that way. This data will inform practical decision making and changes that are needed to make our campus safer.”

To take part in the survey head over to svclimatesurvey.ca. You can direct any further questions or inquiries to annie@awrcsasa.ca. The information provided in this article has come directly from the Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre’s press release and website. It is time to say No More.

 

Medieval Symbols, Religious Texts and Responses to Black Success

 
 

Contextualizing White Supremacy

On the evening of Tuesday, February 27, StFX students, faculty, and community members, gathered in the Schwartz building to participate in the third contextualizing lecture of the school year. The lecture series, hosted by the StFX History Department, invites panelists to discuss and contextualize current issues. The series draws on historical narratives and how they continue to shape and be in conversation with modern issues and topics today.

The third lecture, that myself and many others were privy to on Tuesday night, worked to critically contextualize white supremacy. White supremacy describes the dominance and power that white people have held over other races throughout history. Although all white people benefit from white privilege to some degree, not all white people are white supremacists. Those who self-identify specifically as white supremacists, however, believe that white people are inherently superior to people of colour and therefore should continue to dominate society. In the wake of the massacre that took place in a Florida high school last month, that was initiated by a young man who had ties with neo-nazi groups, as well as the debate that was sparked locally about the removal of the Cornwallis statue in Halifax, the lecture came in a very timely manner.

The lecture was hosted by history professor Chris Frazer, who welcomed panelists Dr. Robert Zecker, who has been teaching in the Department of History since 2002; Dr. Ronald Charles who works in the Department of Religious Studies; and Dr. Donna Trembinski, who focuses her research and teaching in medieval history.

Each panelist had a unique and tremendously important perspective to bring to the discussion of white supremacy. Dr. Trembinski discussed how and why medieval symbolism is being used by white supremacists, like the symbols present at the Charlottesville riots that occurred in August. She indicated that the presence of these symbols shook her department nationally and they have since been working to deconstruct the ways in which the teaching of Medieval Studies works to perpetuate white supremacy.

Dr. Trembinski discussed how often times the narratives of people of colour are ignored or silenced in the study. Many prominent figures in the medieval era were, in fact, people with African backgrounds but their existence as people of colour are either hidden or white washed by historians. She explained that the medieval world was not homogeneously white and Christian and the fact that it appears as such shows the inherent racism of the teaching of Medieval History in general. Dr. Trembinski reminds us that the past must intersect with the present and commits that herself and other educators are working to change racist narratives and promote the truth of these histories in order to combat the perpetuation of white supremacy in our modern world.

Dr. Charles followed by discussing racism and white supremacy in religious, particularly Christian, thought. He points to the story of the curse of Ham that appears in Genesis in the Bible and how it is often used to perpetuate ideas about black inferiority. Some believe that this story promotes the idea that blackness is a curse and black people are meant to be enslaved. Dr. Charles points out that this narrative, along with many other white, Christian stories were and continually are, used by white people to undermine the rights and equal existence of black people.

The panelists explained that white supremacy, Christianity and colonialism are all inherently and historically linked because we teach our history from the top down. We do not inquire about the experiences and histories of marginalized groups and we continue to neglect to do so. Dr. Charles explained that some Christians continually use the Bible and religion to justify acts of racism and the perpetuation of white supremacy. The narratives in the Bible of superiority and domination continue to shape the ways in which we interact with those who are different from ourselves. Dr. Charles reminds us that while we may accept certain aspects of religious texts, we must reject problematic aspects and that we must continue to think critically about what we read if we wish to deconstruct systems that allow some to succeed on the backs of others.

Dr. Zecker looked to White Supremacy in U.S. history and reminded us of all the times that we thought we had made progress just to find out that racism still indeed thrives in our societies. The narratives that promote racism as yesterday’s news do not allow us to critically analyze the moment we currently find ourselves in and respond to issues in the right context. Dr. Zecker points out that, in this day and age, we are continuing to accept and legitimize white terrorism that we have seen acted on in recent events. He also points to an interesting pattern wherein after moments of black success, the United States has continually seen a rise of racist groups.

In Dr. Zecker’s perspective, the Trump administration is helping to normalize and allow for white supremacist groups to be legitimate. Black achievement, Zecker highlights, has always been a threat to white dominance and supremacy and we thus must not equate black success to the deterioration of racism because they often go hand-in-hand. The presence and glorification of statues of men who have committed heinous and racist crimes and the “debate” over whether to remove them shows that we do still have a long way to go in dealing with racist histories in order to promote more tolerance and respect into the future.

The discussion that ensued after the panel was very powerful and interesting. Those present worked to put white supremacy into a Canadian context and discuss the issues faced by black people and indigenous people in our country as well as those who continue to allow racism to exist and make up so much of our Canadian narrative today. The panelists worked with listeners to suggest ways to combat white supremacy in our day to day lives by centering the stories and ideas around those who are marginalized and promoting the power and leadership of people of colour. The existence of these difficult but candid discussions is also a step in this direction.

This is the final contextualizing lecture of the year but there are many events occurring this week for International Women’s Week that will also be working to spark progressive and activist conversation on campus. For more information, please be sure to seek out the Women’s Week Facebook pages.