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May 02, 2002

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A compendium of articles that appeared in the media during the last few weeks quoting members of the SFU community.
Bullying takes on vicious new aspect
The Province, April 26

Given the bombardment of violent images on TV, movies, video games and in music, the nature of bullying has become increasingly vicious over the past 30 years, says SFU criminology professor Ray Corrado. While there is no hard evidence to back up the theory, he believes there has been a difference in bullying. “We're in a multi-ethnic, multi-racial society where the visible differences are more obvious. Victims become more vulnerable and susceptible,” says Corrado. The breakdown of the family may be another factor. “Schools have become a dumping ground for family and children's problems. Bullying is often an expression of the breakdown in families. Children have been socialized somehow into thinking that bullying is an appropriate way to relate to people.” Corrado says given the tragic high-profile cases which have resulted in suicides, bullying can't be dismissed as a ritual of childhood adolescence. “I think what you're seeing now is a public and political recognition that you can't just ignore it without suffering some real tragedies.”

The value of undergrad education
Toronto Star, April 24

As the debate about rising tuition fees heats up, economists are starting to pay attention to the issue of what the return is on a university education in Canada. Contributors to the C.D. Howe Institute's newly released collection of essays called Renovating the Ivory Tower, Canadian Universities and The Knowledge Economy, don't give definitive answers, but they present some interesting arguments. Among key findings: women get a better return than men. Women now outnumber men on campus, with 1.2 women for every male student, up from an equal split in the 1980s. Should we care if the gender gap is growing? Yes, says co-author and SFU economist Stephen Easton, if it's a result of policy. “There is little reason to believe that a Canadian university education should be directed primarily at either men or women,” says Easton. “The parents of both are taxed at the same rate to pay for it. Both pay the same fees. Clearly, both should have equal opportunity for access.”

Health care faces radical change
Bill Good Show, CKNW, April 23

Sweeping changes are being made in healthcare across the province and questions are being raised over whether the B.C. government is putting the healthcare system at risk. “I don't think there is any doubt that's what's going on,” says Tom Koch, an adjunct gerontology professor specializing in health care administration. “The question is whether or not they can bring us through that risk over a period of time.” While Koch concedes the current system does need improvement, he says in some instances the government is “breaking what doesn't need to be fixed.”

Different fates for youthful killers
Tacoma News Tribune, April 14

Eight youths who came together to fatally beat another youth as he walked to a party two years ago are now living with the vast differences in Washington state's approaches to punishment: a juvenile system based on hope and an adult system often lacking in it. Four are in a juvenile institution. The others are doing time in adult prisons. Youths who have served time in adult prisons come out labelled as criminals, says Ronald Roesch, an SFU psychology professor and an expert on juvenile delinquency. “It makes it tougher to get jobs,” he says. “It might even affect their own self-image: ‘I've done hard time. I'm an ex-con.'” Others contend the juvenile system isn't enough for some youths, especially violent offenders.

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