SFU PEOPLE IN THE NEWS - November 2, 2010

November 2, 2010

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Media Matters, a daily report on Simon Fraser University in the news, is compiled and distributed by SFU Public Affairs & Media Relations (PAMR). This edition covers the period from 11 a.m., Monday, Nov. 1, through 8:30 a.m. today, Tuesday, Nov. 2.


The B.C. Court of Appeal ruled yesterday that SFU’s student newspaper, The Peak, has to pay $30,000 for publishing three defamatory articles about a Douglas College student back in 2006. According to a Canadian Press story, The Peak inaccurately reported that Joey Hansen, who worked for Douglas College’s student union, misappropriated funds. “I am satisfied there was a proper evidentiary basis for the trial judge's finding that the appellants failed to demonstrate the required standard of diligence in their attempts to contact Mr. Hansen and report his side of the story," said the ruling.
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Canada will not receive any air cargo from Yemen after bombs were discovered last week in UPS packages destined for the U.S., according to Postmedia News. The International Air Transport Association said airports should be bear the brunt of responsibility for cargo security. SFU international security expert Andre Gerolytamos said while U.S. and Canadian airlines use similar security screening equipment, he believes Canadian airports only do spot checks on cargo shipments.
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The Vancouver Sun wrote a story about how many students are returning to school yet continue to work full time. Kris Magnusson, dean of SFU’s Faculty of Education, told the paper the majority of his grad students have full-time jobs. "One of the things that people often do is to forgo the parts of self that are really fulfilling to them, and they put those on hold, thinking that they'll tend to that later," Magnusson said. "In reality, you have to make the things that are really important to you a part of your daily experience. You have to intentionally build in what used to be ordinary times."
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A new theory has emerged crediting a volcanic eruption in Alaska in 2008 for this year’s massive Fraser River sockeye salmon run. According to the Nanaimo Daily Bulletin, the eruption of Kasatochi spewed out immense amounts of iron-rich ash that created large “algae and plankton blooms that provided Fraser sockeye with a tremendously rich food source.” Dr. David Welch testified before the Cohen commission that there were several key factors that helped the salmon, including the eruption occurring just as a major storm system hit the area to spread the ash around, plus “long hours of northern sunshine grew more plankton than otherwise.” SFU fish biologist John Reynolds also testified before the commission and warned B.C.’s wild sockeye are competing with hatchery-raised salmon from Russia and Japan that also feed in the north Pacific, said the paper.
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SFU business students have partnered with the non-profit Gather & Give organization to assist low-income families, reports the Burnaby NewsLeader. As part of an assignment for a project management class related to sustainability, the students will collect household items, such as pots and pans, kitchenware, toiletries, bedding, and other housewares. The newspaper said most people think about the environment when sustainability is discussed, but the students decided to focus on social sustainability instead. "Making sure kids get a good education, keeping the crime rate low, keeping people off the streets and living in homes, they kind of go hand in hand," third-year student Aren Hanson said of the two types of sustainability. "If you have a good community and the kids are being brought up right then they'll tend to be more environmentally conscious and also conscious of the people around them and other people in the community."
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Exclusion and other subtle forms of homophobia, rather than physical bashings, are occurring in our schools, according to a book by two SFU professors. Get That Freak: Homophobia and Transphobia in High Schools, written by Rebecca Haskell and Brian Burtch, was featured by Xtra! West newspaper. Most of the teens they interviewed indicated others stepped up and challenged homophobia when it occurred. "Either they intervened when someone said something homophobic, or from the get-go said, 'That language isn't acceptable in my classroom; it's hurtful language, and it's not okay,' or they had counsellors who at least they could talk to, (to) kind of offload and get some support," Haskell said in the paper.
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SFU’s Nancy Olewiler was referenced in an opinion piece published in The Vancouver Sun. Faisal Moola, science director for the David Suzuki Foundation, wrote about Olewiler’s research that shows “protecting green space results in cost savings for cash-strapped governments, because replacing their services with engineered and manufactured substitutes, such as water-filtration plants and retention walls, can cost hundreds of millions of dollars often for a lesser level of service than nature is able to provide.”
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Reporter Darah Hansen clarified some facts in a recent story she did about prostitution. In her Vancouver Sun blog, she included an e-mail from SFU criminologist Jon Lowman correcting a previous article that estimated the number of sex workers in Vancouver at between 1,500 to 2,000, when in fact the actual numbers are likely higher.

Greenwashing, the act of misleading consumers about the environmental practices of a company, was a hot topic for the media. SFU marketing expert Lindsay Meredith responded to a number of interview requests after a new study showed almost all green products make one “false, misleading, or unproven” environmental claim. Meredith was also sought out to comment on Premier Gordon Campbell’s televised address. In total, Meredith did 12 interviews with media outlets within a span of 24 hours, including Global TV, CityTV’s Breakfast Television, CFAX radio (Victoria), CKNW’s The Bill Good Show, The Province, and CTV News.

SFU international relations professor Alexander Moens told CKWX 1130 radio that Canadians can “expect renewed fiscal conservatism” if Americans vote Republican today in the mid-term elections. "That will improve the business climate and the consumer climate in the United States.  And that will improve the lagging economy and that will mean more exports for Canada so this will have a direct effect, possibly very positive, on our economic relationship with the United States,” he said.

The Georgia Straight reports SFU students will hold a rally for public education in Convocation Mall on November 10, 3 p.m., at the Burnaby campus. Three groups – Simon Fraser Student Society, SFU Graduate Student Society, and the Teaching Support Staff Union – are behind the event calling for reducing interest on student loans to the prime rate.

Research by Fiona Brinkman and Shannan Ho Sui from SFU’s department of molecular biology and biochemistry involving mapping transcriptomes made a list of the highest-ranked articles in genetics on The Scientist magazine’s website.


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