1,000 crickets amok in Antigonish

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Antigonish, NS " At St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, two rival residences took chirping to a strange new level; 1,000 crickets were let loose in a dorm hallway last week.

In the Thompson and Tompkins student residence buildings, pranksters from an opposing dormitory unleashed a plague of insects two days before the university’s residence hockey tournament, the Xavier Cup.

Unfortunately, Xavier’s administration was not amused by the pre-game prank. Administration threatened to cancel the anticipated tournament until the perpetrators came forward.

Four individuals have since confessed to the crime.

In the meantime, management at the residence facility has placed small sticky pads in each room to capture the escaped crickets.

As a result of the incident, one student has packed up and left the building, citing a phobia of insects as reason for departure. Two residence executives have been fired and both residences have been removed from the Xavier Cup.

For Thompson and Tompkins residents, awkward silences will never be the same.

Toronto, ON " A group of 35 student protesters at the University of Toronto claim they were victims of police brutality during a sit-in demonstration Friday afternoon.

The student activists were rallying against a supposed 20 per cent increase in residence fees. Four hours into the staged sit-in, a team of uniformed and undercover security guards along with several Toronto Police Service officers removed the rowdy bunch.

The protesters are now threatening legal action and have posted videos of the alleged smack down on YouTube.

U of T’s administration stands by campus security’s actions. U of T spokesperson Robert Steiner said he watched the video and did not believe any brutality occurred.

“I see no kind of evidence of anything they would call police brutality,” he said. “If they want to file some kind of complaint, that’s entirely their right.”

Although the cost of education was the focus of the protest, witnesses said the group was yelling about everything from the War in Afghanistan to the coffee at Second Cup. Steiner also said the protesters overestimated the hike in fees, noting the number is closer to 10 per cent.

Waterloo, ON " As of Wednesday morning, part-time faculty at Wilfred Laurier University are on strike.

After all-night negotiations failed to bring about consensus, more than 350 assistant professors, teaching assistants and librarians took to the picket lines.

The part-time profs are asking for better pay and job security. The part-timers, also known as contract academic staff, voted 89 per cent in favour of the strike.

While classes taught by full-time faculty remain in session, students with contract staff are out of luck until administration returns to the bargaining table.

The university has not confirmed whether exams " scheduled to commence April 9 " will be affected by the strike.

Berkeley, CA " Students at the University of California are now equipped with a healthy supply of axes, crowbars and flashlights.

No, this is not the premise of a Robert Rodriguez film " these tools are part of a new earthquake safety initiative funded by the City of Berkeley.

On Thursday, officials gave away $18,000 worth of electrical generators, two-way radios and other supplies to students living in fraternities, sororities and co-operative housing.

The earthquake gear will reach 2,000 students and has the added benefit of aiding frat pranks and other crowbar-related shenanigans.
"With files from the Canadian Press

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