McLaughlin Lunch Talks feature guest speakers, Robbie Burns celebration for January

Robbie Burns
Robbie Burns

January will feature several guest speakers and the 27th annual Robbie Burns Night as part of the popular McLaughlin College Lunch Talks series.

The series runs out of the Senior Common Room in 140 McLaughlin College.

Jan. 22 – Considering the Ethical Complexities of People with Dementia and Sexual Consent

Andria Bianchi, a bioethicist and clinician-scientist at the University Health Network in Toronto, presents a talk that explores the challenges related to the idea of sex and people with dementia.

By the year 2030, 75 million people are expected to be diagnosed with dementia worldwide. Most of these individuals will be over the age of 65 and many of them may want to engage in sexual acts. Challenges with this include ageist conceptions of sexy and sexuality, discriminatory stereotypes, as well as the ethical significance of sexual consent, as those with dementia may not be able to consent in conventional ways.

The presentation will elucidate some of the ethical complexities of sex and people with dementia, introduce potential ways to approach relevant cases and explore some of the ethical strengths and vulnerabilities of these approaches.

This event runs from noon to 1:30 p.m. and light refreshments will be provided.

Jan. 23 – The Long and Winding Road of Local Politics: Are Municipal Ethics Commissioners Necessary?

This event will feature a panel of guest speakers who will discuss the value of municipal ethics commissioners. Panellists include:

  • Suzanne Craig, appointed in 2009 as integrity commissioner for the City of Vaughan and has since been appointed as integrity commissioner to more than 15 Ontario municipalities;
  • Steve Parish, appointed as mayor of the Town of Ajax in December 1995. He is the longest serving mayor in the town’s history, having been re-elected to the position from 1997 to 2014;
  • Guy Giorno, integrity commissioner for more than 30 Ontario municipalities; and
  • Robert Kenedy, associate professor in the Department of Sociology at York University, who is also the president of the Mackenzie Ridge Ratepayers Association in Vaughan.

The discussion will be moderated by Philip MacEwen, who teaches in the Departments of Philosophy and Humanities and is the co-ordinator of the York Collegium for Practical Ethics.

The event runs from noon to 1:30 p.m. and light refreshments will be served.

Jan. 27 – 27th annual Robbie Burns Night

Gather at 140 McLaughlin College beginning at 7 p.m. for the Robbie Burns celebration. The event is open to all McLaughlin Fellows, students and staff at York University, and will include a piper, haggis, a cash bar and poetry.

Contestants can submit poetry (up to a maximum of three poems), which must be read by the contestants on the night of the event. Submissions are due Jan. 18 at 4 p.m. and should include the name, address, email and phone number of the poet. Submissions and questions about the event can be emailed to