As part of frosh week, York University student Jonathan Moneta learned how long it takes to read a university textbook (about six minutes per page) and do university homework (at least two hours for each hour of lecture), reported the Toronto Star Sept. 9 in a story about Ontario universities offering survival tips to new students. York offered four of these lectures on note-taking last week. All were standing room only, said the newspaper. “It was a real eye-opener to see how little free time we’ll actually have if we hope to keep up,” said Moneta, one of more than 530 first-year students who crammed into a York lecture hall last week, between more traditional frosh week festivities, to hear learning skills counsellor Brian Poser‘s 90-minute talk on how to take notes and plan your time. Following Poser, who works in York’s Counselling & Development Centre, a professor delivered a fake 30-minute lecture so students could practise what they had learned. The Star also printed Poser’s survival tips, including how to prepare for class and classroom etiquette: “Turn your cellphone to ‘vibrate’ and don’t even think about leaving class to take a call. You may miss something crucial and you could insult the professor.”
More tutorials help ease first-year congestion
First-year students stood anxiously at classroom doors, scanning jam-packed lecture rooms for empty seats. Others just gave up and plopped themselves in the aisles, reported The Globe and Mail in a front-page story on the effect of the double cohort on class sizes at York and other universities in Ontario. Sheila Embleton, vice-president academic at York, said departments have added more course sections to handle this enrolment growth. “We’ve always tried to put as much as possible [in the way of resources] in the classroom,” Embleton said. “We had to accommodate these students.”
- CBC Radio programs across Ontario aired predictions Sept. 8 by political scientist Robert MacDermid of York’s Faculty of Arts that voter turnout will drop again this year as it has in the last couple of provincial elections. He said the elimination of door-to-door enumeration will keep numbers down. He also told “680 News” (CFTR-AM) in Toronto that negative attack ads are expected to come out this week in the provincial election.