Confronting evil at St. Jerome's

{mosimage}Dr. Evil has a secret, and he’s itching to tell.

For eight years, Prof. David Seljak has been teaching one of the most popular courses at St. Jerome’s University at the University of Waterloo . The course is often called Evil 101 . Ever since late in the summer of 2000 when Seljak covered campus lamp posts and bulletin boards with posters advertising “Evil” in 240 point Arial Bold type, the religious studies professor has been able to attract as many as 1,000 students a year to his course. He often has to turn students away because he simply can’t fit any more into the lecture hall.

Sr. Anderson takes helm at St. Mike's

{mosimage}TORONTO - The University of St. Michael’s College has appointed Sr. Anne Anderson, C.S.J., as its first female president. The Sister of St. Joseph of Hamilton had been interim president from July of last year until the present.

A press release issued Jan. 13 said the decision had been recommended by the college collegium at a special meeting the day before and was confirmed by Fr. Ken Decker, superior general of the Basilian Fathers, who founded the university. The new president’s five-year term will be effective retroactive to July.

Sr. Anderson takes helm at St. Mike's

{mosimage}TORONTO - The University of St. Michael’s College has appointed Sr. Anne Anderson, C.S.J., as its first female president. The Sister of St. Joseph of Hamilton had been interim president from July of last year until the present.

A press release issued Jan. 13 said the decision had been recommended by the college collegium at a special meeting the day before and was confirmed by Fr. Ken Decker, superior general of the Basilian Fathers, who founded the university. The new president’s five-year term will be effective retroactive to July.

School boards choose 2009 leaders

{mosimage}TORONTO - Most Ontario Catholic school boards have chosen their leaders to guide them into the next year, with one notable exception.

The Toronto Catholic District School Board, which has been under a provincial government-appointed supervisor since a controversy erupted over trustee spending last year, has postponed its board elections until January.

Halton's helping hands for Haiti

{mosimage}BURLINGTON, Ont. - The children at St. Mark’s Catholic Elementary School learned a lesson about social justice and Christian love recently. It was that they should share from their abundance with their much poorer fellow students in Haiti.

The school was one of 49 in the Halton Catholic District School Board that are being introduced this fall to Helping Hands from Halton Catholic: the Solidarity-Haiti Project.

Campus pro-life battles are about free speech

{mosimage}TORONTO - Tensions on Canadian university campuses have intensified this year as pro-life clubs continued fighting for status while others were denied funding.

Yet, while only half a dozen of the 40 or more pro-life clubs on campuses across Canada have butted heads with their student unions, many are worried that the silencing of pro-life speech has expanded to a threat against freedom of speech in general.

Trustees call for changes in special ed funding

TORONTO - The underfunding of programs for special education and high needs students as well as “short-lived” declining enrolment grants are serious concerns for many Catholic school boards, says the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association.

In a Nov. 18 financial brief to Ontario Education Minister Kathleen Wynne, the association said while special education grants total almost $2.1 billion, many school boards “continue to express serious concerns about the ongoing gap between the cost of current programs and services for students and special needs and current funding levels.”

OECTA targets bullying

{mosimage}TORONTO - Bullying should be labelled a workplace hazard to make schools safer, says a proposal made to provincial legislators by the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association.

But the proposal isn’t suggesting that Catholic schools are more dangerous than any other workplace, said Elaine MacNeil, president of OECTA.

Calgary Pro-life defies university

{mosimage}CALGARY - Despite being threatened with arrest, suspension and even expulsion by school officials, members of Campus Pro-life at the University of Calgary erected the controversial Genocide Awareness Project display outside the university on Nov. 26 and 27.  

The university’s stance against the controversial display was that the GAP display “would likely trigger acts of violence” and that by refusing to comply with the university, the pro-life group was trespassing on private property, said lawyer Paul Beke in a letter to CPL. The GAP campaign shows graphic images of the results of abortion, as well as pictures of the development of a fetus.

At a Nov. 26 press conference, Leah Hallman, president of CPL, said: “Arrest us, charge us, expel us, do what you want with these bodies of ours, but for every pro-lifer who suffers for the cause, perhaps, just perhaps, another life will be born into this world.”

No charges pending against Catholic trustees

{mosimage}TORONTO - Ontario's education minister says a 15-day police review into Toronto Catholic school trustee expenditures concluded that no trustees will face criminal charges.

Kathleen Wynne told The Catholic Register she's satisfied with the amount of time it took police to review trustees' expenses, which were released in a Nov. 12 audit report by Ernst & Young.

Parents fight to save Arrowsmith program

{mosimage}TORONTO - A pioneering $1-million program which has helped students correct their learning disabilities could soon fall under the budget axe at the Toronto Catholic District School Board, some parents with children in the program fear.

Evette and Clint Harder say they fear that the board will drop the Arrowsmith program at seven Toronto Catholic schools. Their eight-year-old daughter, Paige, is one of about 65 students enrolled in the program.