Privatizing knowledge

“The university professor as disinterested seeker of truth is being replaced by a new ideal of professor-entrepreneur,” wrote York Professor George Fallis, former dean of the Faculty of Arts, in an opinion piece in the Toronto Star Oct. 22. “The economic functions of the university threaten to take precedence over all else. Universities are asked to serve the economy more effectively: to explicitly manage the process of technology transfer and to commercialize research. Where universities once believed in the disinterested pursuit of knowledge whose results were open to all, they now seek to privatize the knowledge to earn money from patent licences,” said Fallis, who is completing a book titled Universities, Ideas And Democracy. “We risk squandering our inheritance, partly through inattention, partly through intransigence, and partly through prodigal adaptation to the commercial ethos of our age. We face the danger that the economic functions of the university will flourish and the democratic functions will wither. We must not allow this to happen.”

First Spire Scholarship pays off for York student

First-year York student Sadaf Rani is one of five Etobicoke high-school graduates to receive a Spire Scholarship, sponsored by the Woodbine Centre, reported the Etobicoke Guardian  Oct. 22. The scholarship, valued at $1,000, is designed for students who made a difference within their school and their community in their final year of high school. “In order for the high-school experience to be complete you need to be involved, and when you do a little it makes a difference in somebody else’s life,” Rani said. She joined the school’s radio broadcasting club, which led to her involvement with the Promoting Economic Action for Community Health (PEACH) organization. Her efforts, combined with the organization’s work, resulted in a show about the struggle single mothers face, which aired on the York University radio station. Rani is enrolled in the human resources program at York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies. 

Lions enter playoffs on a high note

The York University Lions must pull off a second straight upset if they want to prolong their season, suggested a Metroland Sports writer Oct. 22 following the Lions’ victory over Ottawa Gee-Gees 25-17 this past Saturday at York Stadium. With the victory, the Lions qualified for the Ontario University Athletics playoffs, which begin this Saturday. York placed seventh in the 10-team OUA. As a result, the Lions earned themselves a playoff quarter-final matchup against the undefeated Queen’s Golden Gaels of Kingston.York coach Tom Gretes realizes his charges will be huge underdogs for their game in Kingston this weekend. “That’s OK,” Gretes said. “Not many people gave us a chance [last] Saturday and we came through.” Gretes is buoyed by the fact the Lions appear to be peaking at the right time, reported Metroland. “We played our best game of the year, on offence and defence [against Ottawa],” Gretes said. “You can’t ask for anything more.” 

York student wins equestrian title

Third-year York student Lindsay Ransom could easily have ended her equestrian season in early August after suffering a sprained ankle and several partially torn ligaments when she stepped in a pothole at an event in Collingwood, reported York Region Newspaper Group papers Oct. 21. But after a series of physiotherapy treatments, the 21-year-old Markham native got back in the saddle. That perseverance paid off at the recent Tournament of Champions where Ransom rode Fancy Touch, an eight-year-old grey thoroughbred gelding, to the title in the adult amateur 18 to 35 class at the York Equestrian Centre near Newmarket. “This was a highlight mainly because I wasn’t expecting it, just coming back from an injury…. It’s pretty exciting,” said the third-year kinesiology and health science major. 

Police investigating vandalism at York

Jewish students at York University were disheartened last week following the destruction of their on-campus sukkah, reported Canadian Jewish News Oct. 22. As of last week, the incident was being treated as a crime of mischief by police, but Detective James Hogan of the Toronto Police Service’s Hate Crime Unit stressed that such occurrences are “investigated just as thoroughly [as obvious hate crimes], whether we conclude they’re hate crimes or not…. This is clearly a crime,” said Hogan, adding that an identifiable community was the victim. “It’s entirely possible that it was a hate crime, but we don’t have any [conclusive] evidence.” Police from 31 division and York University security conducted a “very thorough” investigation, he added.