The audacity of … doing good
you just have to read the first few lines on
the Audacity Movement’s website to realize
that it’s not your typical anti-bullying campaign.
“We’re just peeps … who give an eff about our
school, community and our time here … There’s
no leader. No meetings. No bullshit.” Then
again, not much about the Audacity Movement,
or AM, at Lakehead University’s campus in
Orillia, Ontario, is typical.
For starters, the campaign (and the website
quoted above) was
created by students.
Quentin Evans and
Laura East, students
in Lakehead Orillia’s accelerated social work
program, developed the Audacity Movement
while on placement in the student affairs
office. Since “bullying touches every stake-holder,” Mr. Evans says they decided on a
“holistic approach” that would engage the
entire campus community, from students to
faculty to staff. In consultation with campus
security, food services, the library and student
groups, they came up with the campaign’s pièce
de résistance: AM tokens.
The tokens are checker-size wooden disks
(they look something like crokinole pieces)
emblazoned with the campaign’s black “AM”
logo. They’re designed to be handed out in
recognition of a good deed and can be ex-
changed at the campus café for a free coffee
or tea. At the start of finals in April, Mr.
Evans and Ms. East launched the campaign
by taping hundreds of tokens under chairs in
the student centre. In the morning they flew
a banner reading “Flip Your Chair!” overhead
and tweeted the message for good measure.
Since then, students have run with the
idea, said Frank Cappadocia, associate vice-provost at Lakehead Orillia. At least one
student passed on a token to someone who
acted kindly off campus. Others have taken
inspiration from the tokens for their own pay-it-forward projects: about 500 anonymous
handwritten letters of support and inspiration were delivered around campus and free
snacks, pens and candy have been left out in
“We often talk about students being disinterested, or disengaged, or involved in so
many other things that they’re not capable
of being on campus or contributing positively,” he said. Mr. Evans, Ms. East and the
students responsible for all those random
acts of kindness have reminded the 20-year
student affairs veteran that, given the chance,
students can be as responsible, effective and
passionate about creating positive change on
campus as any university staffer.
– natalie samson
“ We often talk about students being disinterested
A double discovery for fossil hunter
it is “a real career highlight,” says Brandon
University professor David Greenwood of his
fossil discoveries of two ancient mammals that
roamed North America 52 million years ago.
Dr. Greenwood made the discoveries while
leading fossil digs in Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park, near Smithers, B.C., in 2010 and
2011. A plant and ancient climate specialist,
Dr. Greenwood called in fossil mammal experts, Drs. Jaelyn Eberle from the University of
Colorado and Natalia Rybczynski from the
Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, to
identify the ancient jawbones. The finds were
published in the July edition of the Journal of
The fossils belonged to a distant relative to
the tapir about the size of a large dog and a
tiny hedgehog relative, smaller than a mouse.
The animals lived in an area that, at the time,
was a cool upland forest surrounded by tropics.
Dr. Greenwood says very few fossil mammals of this geological period have been described before in Canada. The fossil discoveries
are also noteworthy because the early Eocene
epoch when these mammals lived marked
the height of prehistoric global warming, a
period involving significant reorganization
of the world’s plant and animal life, he says.
– léo charbonneau
Alastair Summerlee, on the eve of stepping down after
11 years as president of the University of Guelph, in an
interview with the Guelph Mercury in May.
I’m going to walk across the Kalahari for a
month to change my perspective on
life, so I stop thinking about the university
24/7 and exchange it for ‘Am I going to
be alive by the end of today?
Ancient tapir and hedgehog. The campaign includes tokens
that can be handed out in recognition
of a good deed.