Justice system must recognize fetal alcohol syndrome

A Toronto psychologist has teamed up with a lawyer to produce a databank of Canadians with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder who have been through the criminal-court system, reported Yukon News Oct. 22. The database, a comprehensive list of the last 20 years’ worth of criminal-law cases in which FASD was a factor, would help judges and lawyers respond to his call for a closer examination into how these disabled people are dealt with by the courts, said Timothy Moore, a psychology professor in York’s Glendon Faculty. “We don’t know what we’re going to find until we establish this database, but one thing that seems sort of obvious, even without it, is that judges appear to need a far more flexible and supportive arrangement than they have now that would allow them wider alternatives to the usual sentencing procedures,” said Moore.”Otherwise they’re at risk for further victimization or committing further offences.” Moore and criminal-defence lawyer Melvyn Green, who recently published an article in the scientific journal Criminal Reports, estimate almost a quarter of the youth remanded for psychiatric assessment in BC are afflicted. Yukon figures for those in custody are more than double that.

Executive MBA programs learning about competition firsthand

Standing at the front of a classroom on the fifth floor of the TD Centre’s Ernst & Young Tower, Andre deCarufel holds up his hands, began a Globe and Mail feature Oct. 29 on how EMBA programs are facing tough times. DeCarufel is head of the executive MBA program run jointly by York University’s Schulich School of Business and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and he’s in mid-sales pitch. He makes this pitch about 50 times a year. These 90-minute info-sessions may or may not be valuable to prospective students, but they are critical to the University. Thanks to an explosion in the number of EMBA programs in the 1990s, the field has become the most competitive in business education. In Toronto, the hottest Canadian market, executives can choose among nine programs provided by eight different schools. Business schools have had to scramble to differentiate. 

‘Senior-plus’ gets university degree after a decade of study

Age is no measure in the pursuit of higher education. Just ask Hardev Singh Rai – a self-described “senior-plus” who attended his York University convocation last Friday, where he received his BA in political science, reported the Etobicoke Guardian Oct. 29. “I hope my degree is an inspiration for children that hard work and diligence never go unrewarded,” the Beaumond Heights man known simply as “Rai” said.”For education, one has to work overtime. Education keeps children busy, away from certain nefarious activities. It’s helpful to their future, to their lives. They’ll be better citizens.” Since 1993, Rai has attended classes at York U’s Atkinson College every Tuesday and Friday nights. He retired from the Indian Army as a colonel in 1980, emigrated to Canada 18 years ago and works as a security officer at a Weston Road condominium.

Relations not always cordial for Toronto Greeks

Though the annual “Oxi” parade is a celebration for Toronto’s Greek community, relations between the city’s Greek population and non-Greeks haven’t always been cordial, according to a York University professor, reported the Scarborough Mirror Oct. 29. Over the course of three nights – Aug. 2 to 4, 1918 – mobs of up to 5,000 people destroyed and looted dozens of Greek businesses along Yonge and Queen streets. Thomas Gallant, Chair of the Hellenic Heritage Foundation at York, along with colleagues Michail Vitopoulos, a course director in York’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, and George Treheles, have been researching the virtually untold story for the last year and a half and are currently compiling a booklet about the events, known as the Anti-Greek Riots of 1918. Gallant said it’s worth remembering the riots in order to appreciate Toronto’s racial diversity and acceptance of immigrants, exemplified in events like Sunday’s annual parade.”It’s important to appreciate where we are today and to make sure such ethnic scapegoating doesn’t happen again.” 

Soccer association starts to flesh out world under-20 plans

The Toronto stadium issue resolved, the Canadian Soccer Association has started fleshing out its plan for the 2007 world under-20 soccer championships, reported Canadian Press Oct. 28. Toronto and Edmonton are two lynchpins of the 24-team tournament, second only in size to the men’s World Cup in terms of FIFA world championships. The tournament consists of 52 games, with a dozen of those expected to take place at the new Toronto stadium at York University. The first shovel is tentatively slated for March 2005, with a realistic completion date 18 months later.

Stories of hardship inspire author

Paula Todd believes society has it all wrong when it comes to success, reported the Burlington Post Oct. 29. “I’ve discovered through hundreds of people that hardship and difficult times are far better teachers than success,” said the York University grad in a telephone interview. “But we celebrate the easy stuff – promotions, doing well and huge achievements – and measure people on that.” Todd returned to her Burlington hometown last week to discuss her book, A Quiet Courage: Inspiring Stories from All of Us. It’s based on her TVOntario program, “Person 2 Person with Paula Todd.” Todd received a BA in English literature from York in 1982 and a law degree from York’s Osgoode Hall Law School in 1988.

Author launches book of poetry

Island author Lesley-Anne Bourne will launch her fourth book of poetry, Labyrinthine, at Piece A Cake Restaurant in Charlottetown on Nov. 6, reported the Charlottetown Guardian Oct. 29. Labyrinthine is a series of connected poems which explores the journey of self through difficulties and reaffirmations, and which features labyrinths as both a metaphor for the journey and an actual location for the narrator’s recollections and reflections. Bourne has published three previous poetry books and a novel, The Bubble Star. Bourne graduated with a BA in creative writing in 1987 from York University and from the MFA program in creative writing at the University of British Columbia. She teaches creative writing and university 100 at University of Prince Edward Island.

On air

  • Saeed Rahnema, political science professor at York University, discussed Yasser Arafat and how his illness will affect the peace process in Israel, on Global TV’s “Global News” Oct. 28.