York grad pleads guilty to two campus rape charges

A York University grad will be back in court for sentencing on March 26 after admitting to raping two first-year students during a two-hour sex rampage in the University’s dorm, wrote The Canadian Press Jan. 19.

Daniel Katsnelson (BA ’06) invaded the Vanier Residence dormitory during 2007’s Frosh Week. The now 27-year-old and another student prowled the dorm until they found a 17-year-old woman in an unlocked room and assaulted her and then attacked another student.

Katsnelson’s accomplice, Justin Connort, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault in 2008 and was sentenced to three years in prison.

  • A York University graduate who returned to campus one night to rape two female students in their residence, pleaded guilty yesterday and then complained about the stress he has faced since his arrest, wrote the National Post Jan. 19.

“The past two years have been hell for me,” Daniel Katsnelson said in a downtown Toronto courthouse, lashing out at journalists wanting to take his picture.

One of the young women sexually assaulted by Katsnelson scoffed at his self-pity: “If he thinks that is hell, he deserves to be in hell. His suffering is nothing compared to what I have gone through,” said the woman, now 20.

A York spokesman praised the [survivors’] courage and said security has been increased.

The Toronto Star, the Edmonton Sun, the St. Catharines Standard and the Toronto Sun also carried stories on the trial Jan. 19.

  • Alex Bilyk, York’s director of media relations, was interviewed on Global TV and CTV. Reports were also carried on CBC Radio, CBC-TV, CFMT-TV, Citytv, OMNI-TV, CHUM-FM and 680News Jan. 18.

University enrolment is growing, say latest reports

Ontario is expected to need between 40,000 and 60,000 more university spaces in coming years, but the province has not settled on a plan to accommodate growth, wrote The Globe and Mail Jan. 19. Meanwhile, schools are crafting their own strategies, eager to attract some of the new enrolment and the government funds they expect it to bring.

New application numbers released by Ontario universities reveal wide swings in student interest among campuses from year to year. The number of high-school students seeking a university spot for the fall increased by close to 3 per cent across the province. Faced with high unemployment, mature students, who have a later deadline, are expected to match or exceed that increase.

York University, where early application numbers plunged last year amid a bitter strike, regained some ground.

Hydro’s warning was handled well, says York prof

Niru Nirupama, a professor of disaster & emergency management in York’s School of Administrative Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, said Toronto Hydro has handled the situation similarly to how experts recommend, wrote the National Post Jan. 19 in a story about incidents of pedestrians and their pets being jolted by the electricity coursing below city sidewalks.

“The best way to handle it is precaution and avoidance…of known and reported areas,” she said, noting the difficulty in anticipating where it might happen does cause some complications in managing public contact.

From profit motive to forging value creation

Once upon a time in a land called Now, there were two types of organizations that were distinct because of their mantras, wrote Ellen Auster, professor of strategic management/policy and director of the Schulich Centre for Teaching Excellence in the Schulich School of Business at York University in the National Post Jan. 19. One type of organization lived and breathed the “profit” mantra. Every time a question came up, they assessed its impact on making money for the company – usually in the short run.

Companies that lived by this mantra were fixated on profits, market share, speed and efficiency. These metrics trumped things like service, partnerships and innovation. The leaders of these companies typically thought that the best way to run their organizations was to have top managers tell people (which they called “human resources”) what to do and then reward them for doing it. Company Web sites broadcasted how the firm cared about its employees and customers but everyone knew it wasn’t true. The numbers drove everything. People were chronically stressed and put in the hours but checked their hearts, souls and ideas at the door. The best employees often left.

Lately, times had been tough for these companies. The fall of corporate icons and a wobbling economy scarred by scandals threatened their survival. But they had quick fixes – layoffs, divestitures and sometimes less virtuous means. After all, profit was their mantra.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the land of Now, there were organizations that didn’t buy into the idea of profits as the primary purpose of business. Instead, they focused on creating value that was sustainable for their stakeholders far and wide. These stakeholders included customers, employees, suppliers, distributors, shareholders, the community, NGOs, and the world at large…. They faced similar questions as the profit-dominated companies but answered them differently.

Maybe, it’s time that more of us joined in to help shift the trajectory toward value creation and the greater good.

International business student honoured for work with youth

An international business student from York University is among Etobicoke’s local honourees at this year’s 11th annual Rotary Club of Toronto West Youth Impact Awards, wrote the Etobicoke Guardian Jan. 18.

Olga Lesau was chosen to receive the Youth Under-25 Award for her work in Kenya, specifically in the Masai Mara region in the southwest. After she was inspired by photos taken by a friend in Kenya, Lesau helped raise money to build a school in the impoverished region.