Fresh air, not hot air
I just wanted to write you a quick note to tell you how
much I enjoy reading University Affairs. I have been with
Laurier only since last July in my current role and I always
look forward to receiving University Affairs in the mail.
The articles are very well written and are always interesting,
even for a newcomer to the university environment. I have
worked for organizations that distribute magazines that are
just full of ads or filler articles that mean nothing and are
boring. Your magazine is a breath of fresh air, even though
it is an industry-type publication.
Keep up the great work!
05 12 $4.50/4, 50$ UAAU
Comment une université a réussi à
doubler l’utilisation des classes
How one university doubled the use
of its classroom space
The Afar people of Africa capture the respect and
devotion of constitutional law expert Joe Magnet
L’homme d’État inattendu
L’avocat de droit constitutionnel Joe Magnet se mérite
la reconnaissance du peuple afar d’Afrique
Now, about attendance …
i have been a supporter of Carleton University’s
efforts to improve the occupancy of our installed
classroom capacity by reassessment of timetabling priorities (“Class struggle,” May issue).
Sometimes this has resulted in demanding and
“challenging” schedules for me but I have
learned to deal with these.
However, I still find myself teaching in half-empty classrooms, albeit with the right number
of seats, and this is due to a high rate of student
absenteeism. I have complete and detailed attendance records for all my classes, going back
several years, and can state with confidence
that more than 50 percent of the students in
my courses miss more than 50 percent of the
I wonder if, in addition to the constraints
already considered for the efficient allocation of
classroom space, we could perhaps take a closer
look at the factors affecting student attendance.
I am sure there are a number of attitudinal,
demographic, social, financial and cultural conditions influencing students’ absenteeism. I firmly
believe that knowing and understating these
conditions would help me improve our students’
Dr. Salinas is a professor emeritus in the department of civil and
environmental engineering at Carleton University.
Chew on that
the title of Craig Monk’s insightful column
(“Course relief is eroding our mission to teach,”
May issue) speaks volumes. Faculty receive
“relief” from teaching. It sounds like they have
indigestion. I have never heard of anyone receiving
or wanting relief from research.
Dr. Sherrick is a professor of psychology at Memorial University.
Speaking from a zone of discomfort
there is an old adage that says, “If you can’t say
something nice, then don’t say anything at all.”
Many people, bounded by common courtesy,
therefore hesitate to speak out clearly and honestly when the topic of homosexuality comes up.
That said, and being provoked into a zone of
discomfort, I wonder if it has occurred to Gerald
Walton (“Sexual identity: let’s get it all out on
campus,” April issue) that many people are put
off by homosexuality and lesbianism. It’s not just
that people are indifferent to it; they do not like
it, and therefore avoid it. I do not think such
people have a “homophobic” problem that needs
to be fixed.
Yes, celebrate, rejoice in your friendship, but
do not be surprised if people turn away or shake
their heads if you choose to present homosexual
behavior. People who are put off by homosexuality should not be expected to support or “celebrate”
it. It’s a matter of honesty.