News Briefs

Today's top news stories for September 19, 2007

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Student Loan Review
If the process of getting a student loan makes you blue, the federal government wants to hear from you.

Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC), which administers the Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP), is holding consultations with students and other stakeholders about the current program and its future.

The consultations are being held from Sept. 7-28 as part of an ongoing review of the CSLP in order to improve efficiency in adminstering loans and grants to students.

Participants in the anonymous survey are asked what works well with the program, how it can be improved, and about any recent experiences with it.

This review was first announced in the 2007 federal budget last March, along with an extra $800 million for post secondary education transfers to the provinces by next year.

The survey, available until Sept. 28, is available by visiting the HRSDC website at and clicking on “Public Consultations” at the bottom of the homepage.
"Jay LaRochelle

Hand Washing a Dirty Business in America
When it comes to basic washroom hygiene, men are falling behind.

One third of men, compared with 12 percent of women, fail to lather up after using the restroom, according to the results of an observational study reported Monday at a meeting of infectious disease experts.

Sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA), the study observed the hand washing behaviour of 6,076 adults in the public washrooms of four American cities: Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, and San Francisco.

Atlanta’s Turner Field baseball stadium fared worst for men with only 57 percent of guys washing up, compared to 95 percent of women. In contrast, Chicago ranked high in cleanliness with 81 percent of men and women at the Shedd Aquarium lathering up.

David Heinrichs, professor of microbiology and immunology at Western, said this lack of hand washing is a problem because it contributes to infectious disease.

“[If people] don’t wash their hands, they can easily transfer bacteria to food and they can get sick,” Zafar Hussain, professor of microbiology and immunology at Western, said. E-coli and salmonella are examples of bacteria that can move from the hands to the mouth and potentially cause illness, Hussain added.

The study results show a decline in cleanliness with the percentage of men washing their hands falling from 75 percent in 2005 to 66 percent in 2007. Likewise, for women personal hygiene also fell from hand-washing highs of 90 percent in 2005 to 88 percent in 2007.

One Western engineering student, who preferred to remain anonymous, described the results as “disturbing, but not surprising.”

“The guy ratio doesn’t surprise me. I think 66 percent is realistic,” he added.
"Eva Markowski

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