Glendon campus expansion? Bien sur!

Quelle bonne journée” for Glendon, said Principal Ken McRoberts, Monday, during a groundbreaking ceremony at the Bayview and Lawrence campus of York University, wrote Sept. 22.

McRoberts said the province’s capital funding is the first major investment into the college since its creation in the early 1960s.

The money will be used to accommodate both the growing student body and amount of French and bilingual programs offered at Glendon. Enrolment at the college has increased from 1,700 to 2,700 since 2001, and the school has recently established a number of new undergraduate and graduate programs including a bachelor of education program for future French immersion teachers, a bilingual international bachelor of arts program, a PhD program in études francophones and a bilingual master in public & international affairs.

The latter program is the centrepiece of the Glendon School of Public & International Affairs, which York said is Canada’s first fully bilingual graduate school of this type.

Glendon is also intending to develop curricula for French master’s programs in culture & society and conference interpreting.

Two-thirds of Glendon’s students are anglophone, and only a quarter of them hail from French immersion schools, according to York. A large number enter the school after taking “core French” (one-hour classes a few times a week) courses in high school.

“I speak English and Spanish, so I thought French would be a very good asset. Glendon offers that for me,” said Oscar Mera-Burbano, a North York resident currently in his third year in Glendon’s bilingual political science program. “I walk down the halls and all you hear is different languages, you don’t just hear English.”

Mera-Burbano said he can see Glendon, which already has a Spanish Resource Centre, moving to become a trilingual university campus in the future.

Candidates’ comments came from all sides at York-hosted debate

The five leading candidates for mayor of Toronto met at York University on Wednesday night for a debate focused on finance, transportation and managing the city, wrote the Toronto Star Sept. 23 in a story that noted highlights of their comments under entertaining headlines. The categories included: "On the bright side", "On the dark side", "Let’s fix it" and "But let’s not be hasty".

Star columnist Royson James was one of three moderators at the debate, the second of three sponsored by the Toronto Board of Trade, Toronto City Summit Alliance, the Toronto Community Foundation and the United Way. Featured candidates were Sarah Thomson, George Smitherman, Rocco Rossi, Joe Pantalone and Rob Ford.

  • Radio station 680News, Citytv and CP24-TV all reported that the second of three debates by candidates for mayor of Toronto was being held on York University’s Keele campus Sept. 22.

McMurtry to review law used during G20

A former attorney general will review the law used against protesters during the Group of 20 summit in Toronto, the Ontario government announced Wednesday, wrote Sept. 23.

Roland “Roy” McMurtry, now chancellor of York University, served as Ontario’s attorney general for a decade from 1975 to 1985. He is scheduled to deliver his report on the law in April 2011, Postmedia News reported.

McMurtry is to consider issues like the definition of a public work in a law originally aimed at protecting specific buildings like power stations and courthouses, what powers police need to protect public works and whether the act can be used for events that attract large crowds.

New scientific findings about Facebook users

With Facebook now claiming 500 million members, it’s no surprise that the world’s largest social networking site has become a hot new field for research in the social sciences, says Helen A.S. Popkin at MSNBC, wrote New York, NY’s Sept. 22 in an article that included mention of research by York undergraduate student Soraya Mehdizadeh.

A study from York University in Canada found that the people who frequently update their Facebook pages tend to be narcissistic – or struggling with low self-esteem. The “more posts = more narcissism” conclusion reinforces a 2008 study from the University of Georgia. Both studies found that narcissists use Facebook for self-promotion; the York one notes that conceited females focus on glamorous, posed photos while males tend to brag in the “About Me” section. Just what we need, says MSNBC’s Popkin: Another study showing “Facebook users are jerks.”

Polaris founder rejects suggestion jury was weighted in favour of French albums

Polaris Music Prize founder Steve Jordan is rejecting suggestions that this year’s jury was predisposed to choose a French-language album as the winner of the $20,000 award, wrote The Canadian Press Sept. 22.

On Monday, Montreal’s Karkwa became the first French-speaking band to claim the Polaris, which is awarded to the best Canadian album based on merit, not sales or genre. Published reports questioned the makeup of the jury in the wake of Karkwa’s surprise victory.

This year’s jury was composed of York University’s Rob Bowman, [professor of ethnomusicology in the Faculty of Fine Arts], the Georgia Straight’s Jenny Charlesworth, Dose’s Leah Collins, Del Cowie of Exclaim!, Jonathan Dekel of Spinner, Amanda Farrell of Monday Magazine, the CBC’s Jian Ghomeshi (BA ’95), freelance journalist Marc Xavier Leblanc, The Vancouver Sun’s Francois Marchand, Rue Frontenac’s Philippe Rezzonico and BangBang Express’s André Péloquin, who defended the decision to select Karkwa in a blog post for posted Wednesday.