WE BE CLUBBIN'. Clubs Week kicked off yesterday in the University Community Centre atrium and drew many a passerby. The event runs until - you guessed it - the end of the week.
An internal review conducted at the University of British Columbia revealed that UBC has not been compliant with granting council requirements for the review of research ethics.
The review has not yet been made fully public, with some portions entirely censored.
Scott McCrae, director of public affairs at UBC, said a National Post reporter recently asked for a copy of the internal review, parts of which could not be released due to a Government of Canada privacy act.
"There were two reasons for the edits: the potential for financial harm and to preserve third-party privacy," McCrae said.
The review was conducted in 2001 upon the arrival of a new vice-president of research at UBC.
McCrae stated UBC now complies with granting council regulations, specifically in regards to the required length of research protocols for approval.
Tim Hewitt, vice-president research and international relations at Western, noted there could be issues at particular institutions and Western might learn from them.
Hewitt said the board overseeing research protocols at Western operates under guidelines from the granting councils, right down to the letter. He noted the people who sit on the board also participate in national and provincial granting councils.
"I would say we have a rigorous process for approving research - we have been recognized as rigorous by universities across the country," Hewitt said. "We populate the board with the best quality individuals to assess ethical issues."
Hewitt explained if a protocol is rejected by the board it will be sent back to the researcher with recommendations for improvement.
"It is the responsibility of the researcher to ensure safety - [and] always to protect the human subjects," Hewitt said.
Elaine Gibson, acting director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Dalhousie, said one of the problems is the tri-council policy statement is written as an ethics document; therefore, a discrepancy exists in the level of compliance across institutions.
"The teeth behind [the policy] is the withdrawal of funding," said Gibson. "Only in the last year [has the tri-council] more squarely insisted universities are in compliance."
She said the situation at UBC is the first to make headlines in the area of research ethics, adding practices across institutions are very variable and other conflicts could arise elsewhere.
"The whole system is problematic - people on the ethics research boards are UBC people and there is a conflict of interest there," said Gibson, stating a provincial or national ethics review board should be in place.
"[The] risk is... that people could be harmed. Strengthening the research structures would reduce the risk of harm," said Gibson. "The primary aim is the protection [of the people who participate in research]."
Davis speaks about human rights
Dr. Uri Davis, a Jewish citizen of Israel and scholar of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, visited Western last Friday to share his views on citizenship and human rights in Israel.
"Out of the calamity of the Holocaust, one can go two ways," Davis stated. "One [way] is a commitment to... secure such a calamity does not befall any person. That is the humanitarian route. The other undertaking is to... secure such a calamity does not befall me and my people. Taking this second route leads inevitably to the criminality of fascism.
"I would advise that we all avoid this second route," he said.
Dr. Davis was described by Professor Michael Lynk of Western's faculty of law as a "devoted activist and committed academic." Lynk added that Davis holds honorary research fellowships at the University of Durham and the University of Exeter.
In his speech, Dr. Davis spoke against certain practices of the Israeli government, saying his native country was guilty of creating an apartheid state.
"[In Israel], racism is legislated through acts of parliament," he said.
"87 per cent of South Africa was reserved in law for whites. In Israel, 93 per cent of land is reserved in law within the [pre-]1967 boundaries for Jewish cultivation and development," Davis stated, adding citizenship in Israel is staggered and Arab-Israelis are considered second-class citizens.
Dr. Davis also spoke against the Jewish National Fund, a charitable organization that he claimed builds recreational facilities over the "ruins of destroyed Palestinian Arab villages ethnically cleansed in the 1948-49 war."
According to Dr. Davis, one of these facilities is Canada Park, named in honour of its several Canadian sponsors, which include Meryll-Lynch, Edward Rogers of Rogers Communications and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.
Dr. Davis exhorted Canadians to speak out and demand that the Jewish National Fund of Canada be divested of its charitable status in Canada.
"Dr. Davis helps a dialogue that needs to happen," said Rasha El-Tawil, president of Western's Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights, which organized the event.
El-Tawil stated Dr. Davis's visit to Western is part of a country-wide tour, and regretted his lecture in London coincided with Rosh Hashanah.
One attendee at the lecture disagreed with Davis' apartheid label.
"I don't believe that an apartheid state is one in which blacks, whites, Muslims, Jews, Christians, men and women, gays and heterosexuals live and work together as they do in Canada," said Adam Kaplan, a first-year dentistry student.
- with files from Ravi Amarnath
John Tory set to lead Tories
AND THE WINNER OF THE BLOOM COMPETITION IS... ORLANDO BLOOM. Sometimes it's hard to come up with something witty to put in this space. Other times, it ain't. Which of those two do you think this is?
Judging by his surname, it seems fitting John Tory lost the recent mayoral race in Toronto and instead won the leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party on Saturday.
Tory, the former chief executive officer and president of Rogers Cable Inc., took the Conservative helm after defeating Jim Flaherty on the second ballot at the Tory leadership convention.
"He's on a roll now that he's finally won something," said Jacquetta Newman, professor of political science at King's University College.
Although Newman believes the leadership race appears to have left the party divided, Salim Mansur, associate professor of political science at Western, believes the party is on an upswing.
"I think this is very positive," Mansur said. "This will re-energize the party."
Mansur agrees with Tory's tack. "He's challenging the Liberal government. He's taking up the issue of accountability, which is all about what politicians say and what they do."
Nelson Wiseman, associate professor of political science at the University of Toronto, said Tory's policies are not as important in determining the future of the Ontario Conservatives as are the policies of Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty.
"[Tory's] party's fortunes have more to do with the current government and the state of the economy than with anything he proposes," Wiseman said. "He needs to hope the Liberals sustain their poor popularity."
"A lot has to do with how well [Tory] can, at the same time, make a claim to the Common Sense revolution of [former Progressive Conservative Premier] Mike Harris and distance himself from that same government," Newman said. "He needs to capture the old constituency back from the Liberals, who shy from far-right rhetoric. But at the same time he doesn't want to lose his current conservative constituency."
Newman underscored one of the major difficulties facing Tory.
"While he differentiated himself enough from other Conservative leadership candidates, he may not have differentiated himself enough from McGuinty," she said. "It will be interesting to see if he can talk the hard-line, neo-con rhetoric without alienating the constituency he was chosen to get."
"What differentiates Tory from McGuinty is the question of trust and competence," said Paul Nesbitt-Larking, associate professor of political science at Huron University College. "At the moment, when it comes to sticking to one's word, the Conservatives have the advantage."
Nesbitt-Larking said Tory prefers dramatic reform of post-secondary education.
"What is known is that [Tory] is very well-disposed toward higher education," he said. "But the details will have to wait."
Stolen: bicycles, cars and... a fanny pack?
Despite most students having settled into classes again, the campus police had a busy weekend filled with theft, rampant intoxication and drunken brawls.
Raise your glasses to well-organized crime. Elgin Austen, director of Campus Community Police, said bicycle theft is a major issue on campus, especially over the last few days when a dozen or more bikes were stolen.
The thefts occurred at the Medical Sciences building, Saugeen, Elgin and Medway Hall residences, in addition to the Physics and Natural Sciences buildings, Austen said.
Austen stated four or five bikes were stolen on Monday alone. He added the campus police suspect this is a commercial operation: two people operating together, with one as a lookout, will steal no more than one or two bikes from any one location, putting them into a van nearby and later selling them commercially.
Police suspect the robbers are either cutting the locks or picking them.
Austen and campus police suggest bikers secure their bikes as best as possible and if they notice anything suspicious they should call campus police through 911.
This ain't no kung-fu movie; two alcohol-related incidents occurred in off-campus bars where two separate students were injured after being kicked in the face.
Austen attributed these incidents to people not using good judgment and not thinking of the consequences ahead of time. No charges have been laid in either case, he confirmed.
He noted a large number of incidents stem from O-Week and involve over-indulgence in alcohol.
In other facial injury news, a Western student was punched in the face on Western road in front of Brescia college, Austen stated. Alcohol was a factor and charges have been laid, he added.
But back to theft: proud Caravan owners beware! Six vehicles have been stolen in the last few days and a few have been recovered. The thefts usually occurred in the morning between 7:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and the stolen vehicles have been early '90s Dodge Caravans.
Who steals a fanny pack? Apparently some people do. London Police reported a robbery on Sunday in which a male approached a female clerk at the Gibraltar Trade Centre located at 1712 Dundas Street. The male grabbed her fanny pack, which contained cash she was using for business purposes. Other staff members and a citizen caught and held the suspect until the police arrived.
London Police have charged the 18-year-old with robbery.
Western blooms the loveliest of all
How often can you find a university campus as nice as Western's?
Western has won first place in the Bloom Competition for its unique atmosphere.
"We are judged by [various] areas such as cities, towns, villages, parks, ground covers, floral displays, landscapes and community involvement," explained Jim Galbraith, Western's grounds maintenance and waste management manager.
"The more blooms you [have], the higher up you are. Awards are given by judging from zero to five blooms. There are 10 to 15 categories [for judging] the blooms," he added.
The judges came to Western last summer for documentation and to observe students working together on ground covers for display, Galbraith confirmed. They also met University Students' Council President Nick Staubitz to discuss how students raise money and organize an environmental green plan, Galbraith added.
According to Galbraith, this is the first time Western has won the competition.
- Salina Kam
Would you give it all up for the USC?
Are you looking to give sweat and blood to contribute to the University Students' Council while padding your resumé as well?
The USC's charity ball committee positions are open for applications, which are due on Thursday, Sept. 23 at 4:30 p.m.
"The application is on paper. Answering a few questions and coming up with a small proposal is required for the application," said Lindsay Cunliffe, USC charity ball commissioner.
"Applicants should come up with as much creativity [and as many] ideas as they can. Questions regarding the proposal will be available on the third floor of the [University Community Centre] building," she added.
The USC charity ball will be held on Feb. 5, 2005, and the theme of this big event will be ancient Greece, Cunliffe confirmed. "All eligible committees will be helping out on planning for the ball for six months. All students are welcome to apply for it."
For more information, contact Lindsay Cunliffe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Salina Kam
Kool kids give koats to kids for a good kause
The Boys' and Girls' Club of London, along with the London Police Service and the Optimist Club of London, are collecting winter coats and accessories for their annual Koats for Kids program.
"The clothing is being collected for those in need in the London area and will be distributed through the Boys' and Girls' Club in time for the upcoming winter season," said Jeff Arbing, public information officer for the London Police.
All sizes of coats, scarves, mittens, gloves and snow pants are needed and can be dropped off at the London Police Headquarters up to and including Oct. 15, Arbing confirmed. He added they can also be dropped off at the London Boys' and Girls' Club.
Arbing said they are asking the public to bring in wearable used or new winter clothing to be donated to those in need.
"We're asking that the public bring down their donations to help out those less fortunate in their communities."
- Sarah Phillips
Feminism, Islam, Israel and homosexuality
For those who attended the lecture of Dr. Uri Davis last week, an alternate perspective is being brought to Western this Wednesday.
Irshad Manji, author of The Trouble With Islam, will be speaking at 5:30 p.m. in Room 1R40 of the Ivey building. The title of her lecture is "Israel, Islam and Diversity."
The event is being sponsored by the Israel Action Committee, UWOut and the Women's Issues Network.
"We want to show that Israel is an accepting, diverse society and more similar to Canada than people realize," stated Matthew Fisher, president of the Israel Action Committee.
Besides speaking about Israel, Manji will also be discussing the issues she has faced as a woman and a lesbian.
"As a queer feminist, and someone who is outspoken on women's rights, [Manji's] lecture will provide a great opportunity to explore further issues faced by women across the world," said Kelly Wilson, president of WIN.
Manji was voted "Feminist of the 21st Century" by Ms. Magazine and is a producer for "Queer Television" on CityTV.