Legalize prostitution, for all our sakes, says Osgoode prof

The Robert Pickton trial will not in any way address the larger political issue of how to prevent the continuing disappearances and killings of sex-trade workers, wrote Alan Young, professor in York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, in a commentary written for the Globe and Mail Jan. 19. Every government report written in the past 20 years has acknowledged that street prostitution is a dangerous business; but, even as the body count continues to rise, nothing is done.

No one will really know how many prostitutes are killed every year, because they often just go missing and no one cares to look for them. In 2003, when the Green River Killer, Gary Ridgway, was sentenced for 48 killings in the state of Washington, he told the court that he "picked prostitutes as victims because they are easy to pick up without being noticed…I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without being caught."

‘Extracurriculars’ vital on curriculum vitae

Most of my classmates thought I was crazy when I told them what I had planned for my December break, wrote Richard Bloom, in his ongoing series on life as an MBA student in York’s Schulich School of Business for the Globe and Mail Jan. 19. With more and more employers putting a greater emphasis on extracurricular activities when making final hiring decisions, I decided to forgo most of my holiday in an attempt to further differentiate myself in the ultra competitive post-grad job market.

My holiday included a whirlwind two-week jaunt to the Middle East to do preliminary work for a consulting course and network with students abroad. Then, it was off to Edmonton where I participated in the annual MBA Games – a great opportunity to network some more, socialize with classmates and participate in some friendly competition against Canada’s top business schools.

Fix Randle Reef and perception

A York University study reports improving Hamilton harbour’s Randle Reef would have direct and indirect benefits – property values, downtown investment and helping attract top-flight workers, scientists and students – worth nearly $1 billion, wrote the Hamilton Spectator in an editorial Jan. 19. Whether that number is accurate or not, this is a project that should go forward. The proposed Randle Reef containment work has to be done regardless of economic benefits; Randle Reef is by far the most toxic and contaminated spot in the harbour. Blobs of coal tars have been spotted in the water nearby.

  • The York University study on the economic benefits of cleaning up Hamilton harbour was also featured on that city’s CHML radio and CHCH-TV, Jan. 18.

The touchy subject of self

Selfish by York Professor Barbara McGill Balfour at BC’s Richmond Art Gallery might turn visitors away, wrote the Richmond Review Jan. 18, before reassuring their readers the police tape-style banner at the exhibit’s entrance is not what it seems (it reads "Danger, I think I’m falling in love with you"). Balfour is head of the print media area in York’s Department of Visual Arts in the Faculty of Fine Arts. She considers herself a full-time teacher and a full-time artist. In a few of the show’s works she has inserted her face and certain body parts into images of TV show characters: Emma Peel from The Avengers and Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. "It’s not that I identify with them, in fact I think I’m interested in these characters because their life is nothing like my own."

Psychology alumna works with adults and sleepless children

My job involves clinical work (both assessment and treatment) as well as research and writing, said Dr. Nicky Cohen (BA ’96, MA ’00, PhD ’06), a York grad now working as a clinical psychologist, in the Etobicoke Guardian Jan. 18. I work in the private practices of two clinical psychologists. With one, I provide assessment and treatment of various adult psychological problems. In the other practice, I work specifically in the area of pediatric sleep. I provide assessment and consultation regarding infant, toddler and preschooler sleep disturbances, such as bedtime problems, night wakings, early morning awakenings, nightmares and sleep terrors. I have also been a teaching assistant for several psychology undergraduate courses in York’s Faculty of Health.

Schulich grad opened his RSP as a teenager

Dave Chan‘s foray into RRSPs began when he was 19, working at his first job as a teller at a bank, wrote the Toronto Star Jan. 18 in a story about people who started saving for retirement early. Chan, who graduated from York’s Schulich School of Business in 1993 and is investing about $1,600 in his RRSPs every month, said he is going to do it as long as he can afford it. "As I get married and have kids, I will probably reduce that amount," said Chan, who is now working for CIBC in an MBA rotation program. His tips to youngsters not yet into RRSPs? Start early, invest regularly and start an automatic withdrawal plan that automatically deposits money in the RRSP account.

On air

  • Daniel Cohn, a professor in York’s Atkinson School of Public Policy & Administration, spoke about the costs of split shifts and longer hours for nurses, on Vancouver’s CKNW radio, Jan. 18.

  • Oren Amitay, professor in the Department of Psychology at Glendon, spoke about how the television shows people watch say something about them, on CBC Radio (Windsor) Jan. 18.