Scholarship help for the Barbadian community

The Barbadian community has announced a scholarship program designed to help students get a postsecondary education in Canada, reported the Toronto Sun May 12. Called Safeguarding The Future, the program will yearly grant three scholarships to both Canadian students of Barbadian heritage and students in Barbados wishing to study in Canada. The program will send one student to York University annually, while the other two students will be given the choice of attending whatever Canadian college they wish to attend.

“In Barbados we have always made education a top priority, enabling our people to claim their rightful space on the international stage,” said Kay McConney, consul-general for Barbados, yesterday. There are an estimated 30,000 Barbadians in Canada. The Barbadian community is hoping to raise money for the scholarships by staging a black-tie ball June 5 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Study finds three types of perfectionists

Canadian researchers – including York’s Gordon Flett – have developed a 45-item questionnaire to identify the three types of perfectionists, reported the Seattle Times May 12. Self-oriented perfectionists expect perfection of themselves. Other-oriented perfectionists demand perfection from other people. And socially prescribed perfectionists think others expect perfection from them.

The first, a “self-promotion” style, involves attempts to impress others by bragging or displaying one’s perfection. This type is easy to spot because “they irritate people,” said Flett, professor of psychology with York’s Faculty of Arts, and they are more prone to eating disorders such as anorexia. Flett said he and his colleagues are planning a simple, but novel, experiment to test for this trait: asking female subjects to be photographed without makeup. “We predict that they’re going to be very anxious. Especially if we tell them the photos will be evaluated,” Flett said.

A second way that perfectionists reveal themselves is by shunning situations that could display their imperfection. They avoid making mistakes in public and hate letting people know about their failures. Flett said such tendencies are obvious even in young children. “Teachers know that perfectionistic kids only try things they’re good at,” he said.

Canada’s Islamic dispute resolution initiative feasible

One would expect that anything that might ease the backlog in Ontario’s courts would be welcome, wrote Faisal Kutty, a partner in the Toronto law firm of Baksh & Kutty and an LLM candidate at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, in a commentary in the May issue of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. Instead, however, recent efforts by the Islamic Institute of Civil Justice to formalize alternative dispute resolution (ADR) have met strong opposition from within and outside the community, at times verging on Islamophobia, he continued.

Critics contend that, because women will succumb to social pressure, unfair decisions only rarely will come to light. The concern is valid, given the insular nature of the Canadian Muslim community, but it should not undermine the whole initiative, said Kutty. In fact, Islamic dispute resolution already exists, and people are abiding by decisions that oftentimes are crude or unfair. Formalizing the process will allow for greater transparency and accountability. For instance, the issue of undue influence can be dealt with by making certain that tribunals must ensure that parties have obtained independent legal advice if required. As long as proper procedures and rules of conduct are in place, there is nothing to prevent the community from instituting a dynamic and less disruptive alternative to the adversarial civil court system.

Timothy’s finds quality coffee — in Las Nubes

A Canadian Business story May 10 about the global coffee crisis says Becky McKinnon, president of Timothy’s World Coffees, is concerned about the long-term supply of quality beans, and says she has increased support to the communities that supply its single-origin coffee. Timothy’s most recent initiative involves beans from a Costa Rican co-op where York University environmental scientists do fieldwork. “Students working on a property that was donated to the University there developed a relationship with an adjacent coffee co-op, and they decided to help them develop sustainable, organic coffee,” she explained. The Las Nubes coffee went on sale at Timothy’s 140 outlets in April.

York student broke the rules

In a May 10 letter, Sherri Young said how “astounded” she was to learn of a York University student’s three-year suspension over the use of a megaphone, wrote second-year kinesiology student Effi Frohwein to the Toronto Star May 12. “Well, as a York University student, I stand behind President Lorna Marsden and behind the whole administration in regard to the decision of this suspension. Daniel Freeman-Maloy broke the rules set down by the university several times, and in turn, he should pay the consequences,” said Frohwein. In the earlier letter, Young had called for Freeman-Maloy’s reinstatment, arguing that “one would expect his constitutional freedom of speech and active legal political participation to be supported in the academic community that is teaching him such values.”