When teen relationships go bad

“If you were to go into a high school and ask [students] how many have been in a relationship in the last six months where there’s been some aggression, the rate would be somewhere around 30 per cent, for both boys and girls,” says psychologist Jennifer Connolly, director of York University’s LaMarsh Centre for Research on Violence & Conflict Resolution, in the Toronto Star Aug. 13.

In our culture, kids start getting interested in the opposite sex in middle school, Connolly says. “The healthiest thing to be doing at that age is to be in groups of boys and girls, where they can observe how the other sex manages things and where the group itself ensures nothing too wild is going to happen,” she says.

The degree of abuse teenagers endure is usually less severe than the hard striking seen in domestic relationships, Connolly says. Teen aggression shows up as shoving, pushing, squeezing or controlling the movements of the partner. She warns, however, that such behaviour can escalate.

Connolly urges parents to stay alert to the signs their child might be involved in an aggressive relationship. Signals include concerns about offending the partner, secretiveness about the relationship, refusing to go to school, sadness and spending a lot of time in their room.

York student to work for McDonald’s at Vancouver Olympics

York student Lisa Troutanova [is] part of a special team of the restaurant chain’s employees who are heading to Vancouver next year for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, wrote The Mississauga News Aug. 12.

Troutanova is among 300 selected from some 77,000 employees across Canada. They will be working at three restaurants in the Olympic Village, said Chris Stannell, spokesperson for McDonald’s Canada.

Troutanova, 20, a Mississauga resident and a manager at a McDonald’s restaurant located in the Walmart at Square One, said she was planning to take time off from work and school next year so she could watch the figure skating action during the winter Olympics. Thanks to her employer that dream will now be realized.

It won’t be all work for the select crew. Not only will they visit Vancouver and Whistler, BC, to do some sightseeing and shopping but they also will be able to attend a select Olympic events as part of their deal.

“I don’t think of my job at McDonald’s as a survival job,” said Troutanova, a student at York University. “In the five years that I’ve worked with McDonald’s, I’ve received a lot of support from everyone in terms of school and my goals…they’re like family to me. I’m really excited to be selected.”

Young volunteer earns scholarship for York studies

Brampton resident Antonia Date is one of 56 students from across the country to receive a Future Leaders Scholarship, provided through a national partnership between the Boys and Girls Club of Canada and Future Shop, wrote the Brampton Guardian Aug. 12.

Date, a York University student and longtime volunteer at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Peel, was presented with her scholarship Saturday during a local in-store ceremony. She received $4,000 to help with costs in the upcoming school term.

Date has been a volunteer and staff member for Boys & Girls Clubs of Peel for the past nine years and is a three-time recipient of the scholarship. She has worked with children through Boys & Girls Clubs’ keystone and torch clubs as well as the homework club and after-school recreation programs. She has also helped organize a March break program for children and youth living in shelters.

Outside of the club, she has dedicated time to adults with intellectual disabilities; something she hopes will be a part of her future career. Date is entering her fourth year of sociology at York University.

Standup comedian takes a stab at fame

Former York film student Graham Chittenden is trying to follow in the footsteps of local celebrities Gord Paynter and the late Phil Hartman of Saturday Night Live fame, wrote the Brantford Expositor Aug. 13.

Chittenden, 26, who was a semifinalist in the Great Canadian Laugh Off earlier this year, knows all too well that a lot of factors are out of his control as he tries to make his mark in the fickle world of standup comedy. “I live at home with my parents,” says Chittenden. “I’ve been meaning to move out for the last couple of years. It’s the only way I can afford to do comedy. One night I’m hanging out with some huge names, then I’m at home being yelled at to bring my dishes upstairs.”

BC Lion’s father and brother both played for York’s Lions

James Yurichuk says his inspirations are his dad, Fred Yurichuk, and older brother, Fred Jr. (BA ’01, BA Hons. ’03, MES ’07), who both played college football for York University, wrote The Vancouver Sun Aug. 13 in a story about the BC Lions player. Fred Jr., a linebacker, was coached by Mike Benevides, the BC Lions’ defensive coordinator, in college. “My family is my biggest inspiration. I know they’re watching the game. If I can make a play, I know it will put a smile on their faces.”

Developing new principles for investor protection

The recent financial crisis has focused public attention on the need to improve investor protection. Responses are proliferating, wrote Edward J. Waitzer, Jarislowsky Dimma Mooney Chair in Coprorate Governance in the Schulich School of Business and Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, in the National Post Aug. 13 .

While [several organizations have produced] initiatives [that] are salutary, none is sufficient, nor are they sufficiently grounded in traditional fiduciary standards – requiring those who provide “professional” advice to put their clients’ interests first. Absent such foundational principles, which should be embedded in legislation and enforceable, the addition of detailed, incremental rules may simply serve to raise expectations which will be disappointed, as they have in the recent past. The notion that financial professionals must act in the best interests of their clients and make full disclosure, particularly regarding conflicts of interest, is long overdue and key to any regulatory framework that might be adopted.

Ultimately, a strong financial services sector depends on public trust. This has been seriously eroded. Every investor should be entitled to expect that the financial professional(s) they rely upon will be held accountable to a uniform standard of care, grounded in fiduciary principles that are singularly focused on what is in their best interests. It is on this foundation that trust can be restored and a sound regulatory framework built.

Jim Balsillie is too combative, says Schulich lecturer

Lack of “integrity” is a very weak argument to keep Jim Balsillie out of the NHL owner’s circle, wrote Chris Irwin, lecturer at the Schulich School of Business at York University, in a letter to the National Post Aug. 13. The much stronger argument is that league commissioner Gary Bettman and the owners don’t like him. Balsillie’s competitive/combative approach has strained, perhaps irreparably, key relationships with league decision-makers and influencers.

As in many instances, it is not enough to have a good game plan – you have to get a buy-in from your stakeholders. I give Jim Balsillie full points on the former, and a dismal failure on the latter.