Campus Beat

RPM celebrates LGBTT* Awareness Week

The Rainbow Pride Mosaic (RPM) at the University of Manitoba is hosting LGBTT* Awareness Week between March 21 and 25 on campus.
RPM is the University of Manitoba’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans-gendered, two-spirited (LGBTT) and straight ally resource centre and student lounge. Along with weekly events, outings and fundraisers, the group hosts LGBTT Awareness Week each year.

“The week seeks to raise awareness about the LGBTT* community, including LGBTT* pride, history, health, global issues and personal experiences,” said Samara Luprypa, a U of M student and Peers volunteer.

“I hope that these events bring students together and create the opportunity to meet new people and learn about the LGBTT* community on campus.”
The week will begin with an RPM open house and will later include a drag queen show at the Fireplace Lounge, a day of movies in the RPM room as well as luncheons from Monday to Wednesday. The GOSA gallery will also have a display created for LGBTT* Awareness Week. Students can bring questions and find more information at the RPM booth, which will be set up in front of the GOSA gallery.

Liz Wallis, an English student at the U of M, believes that raising awareness helps to dispel stereotypes and bring to attention the many perspectives the group holds. “The more people who know about gay people the less likely it will be for them to develop homophobic tendencies,” said Wallis.

The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association’s LGBT* Center held a Gender Week earlier this year.

“It’s important to raise awareness because people get the wrong idea all of the time; [ . . . ] for any group in any situation they are more than their stereotypes,” said Makaria Aliaga, a second-year U of W student and event organizer.

Survivors share story of 72 days on Andes peak

On March 30, the University of Manitoba Office of Student Life will welcome Jose Luis Inciarte and Gustavo Zerbino, two survivors of the 1972 plane crash in the Andes, to share their story of survival in the mountains.

On Friday, Oct. 13, 1972, Uruguayan Flight 571 crashed into the Andes mountain range. After a ten-day search, survivors heard by radio that the search had ended. On Dec. 22, the world learned that sixteen individuals had managed to stay alive.

This marks the first time that survivors of the plane crash will visit Canada to tell their account of the events and the decisions they were forced to make to keep themselves alive.

According to Meghan Laube, assistant director of Student Life, the event is part of a leadership speaking series that is put on by the Office of Student Life for students at the U of M each year. The event also coincides with the “Emerging Leaders Dinner” the following night.

The leadership speaking series is hosted in the spring, as they think this is an important time to some added inspiration, Laube explained.

“Regardless if you’re a student or a staff member, I think it’s a great time to reflect on our personal leadership and development,” she said. “We want to offer these opportunities accessibly to students because typically for leadership development to see speakers of this caliber, it is fairly expensive.”

All the proceeds from the speakers’ fee goes back to the Viven Foundation, a Uruguay organization started by the survivors, which helps to promote organ donation in Uruguay.

The presentation will take place in the Multi Purpose Room on the second floor of University Centre at 7 p.m.. The event is free for U of M students, who must bring their student card to attend.

Nine honorary degrees to be granted this spring

The University of Manitoba will grant nine noteworthy individuals an honorary degree during the 132nd annual Spring Convocation this year to tribute achievements in human rights, medicine, philanthropy and provincial politics.

Many of the recipients are University of Manitoba alumni, including Claude Bernier, a former consultant for the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Stuart George Clark, a member of the board of advisors for the Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship, and Catherine Delaney, who was named to the 2009 Canada’s Most Powerful Women.

Former Manitoba Premier Gary Filmon, a two-time U of M grad, his wife, Janice Filmon, and Terry Sargeant will also be receiving an honorary degree this year.
Terry Sargeant served in Parliament for five years, after which he continued his public service as a senior official in the provincial governments of Manitoba, the Yukon and British Columbia. Sargeant was a member of the Board of Governors at the University of Manitoba for nine years, finishing his term last June.

Sargeant told the Manitoban that being the recipient of an honorary degree is an exceptional distinction.

“When President Barnard phoned me about it, I was actually left speechless, which some people will tell you is kind of rare,” said Sargeant. He went on to say that he believes the main reason he is being recognized is for his contributions specifically to the University of Manitoba.

“It was truly an amazing experience. [ . . . ] I learned a lot, I was able to contribute in small ways to make the University of Manitoba a better place, and I would do it again it a minute,” he said.

Students associations undergo elections

Various faculties at the U of M are in the midst of student elections, including the faculty of arts and the faculty of science students’ associations.

The Science Students’ Association will be holding their elections on March 24 and 25 this week in the Armes Building. The association has only one slate running for the positions of president and vice-president, which consists of students Navjeet Brar and Shawn Dhalla.

Since the slate is running uncontested, there will be a vote of confidence, said Rochelle Viray, outgoing president of the Science Students’ Association and third-year science student.

“As long as they work together, I know they can do really well on this council,” said Viray.

Viray said council accomplishments this year included the renovations to the Machray Hall study space as well as a successful social in January. The council is still undergoing renovations and is planning a science graduation at the end of the school year.

The Arts Student Body Council will hold elections on April 5 and 6.

The Undergraduate Political Science Students Association (UPSSA) held their elections last week, which saw 19.1 per cent of political science major’s cast their vote.

Justine De Jaegher, a third-year political science student, was elected as president for the 2011-12 school year, while Tina Fahmy and Gabriela Gonzalez were voted as vice-president (internal) and vice-president (external), respectively.
Brett Loewen, outgoing president of UPSSA, said that the group has seen drastic changes, as it had been dormant in previous years.

“We wanted to get students excited about our group this year, and I think the participation in the elections shows we’ve been successful in that,” he said.
Loewen said he is proud of this year’s group for the events they were able to host, their fundraising initiatives and for sending eleven political science student to the Canadian Political Science Students’ Association national conference in Victoria. At the conference, the group secured next year’s conference to be held here at the University of Manitoba.

A master of pediatric dentistry program is now being offered at the University of Manitoba through the faculty of dentistry.

The 36-month program, which is currently accepting applications, will focus on prevention and public health in under-served and disadvantaged communities throughout the province.

“We look to develop leaders in new preventive approaches for improvement of children’s oral health,” said Anthony Iacopino, dean of dentistry at the University of Manitoba. “We believe our combination of expertise and experience makes this an ideal addition to our graduate student programming.”

Renovations on the program’s permanent space are currently underway. However, once completed, patient care will be delivered in a five-chair pediatric dentistry clinic with computerized diagnostic equipment.

In the third year of the program, students will study aboriginal and rural cultures before students apply their skills in rural and aboriginal communities across Manitoba. The third year also involves technical training as well as intensive research programming focused on prevention and community dentistry.

“For years, our faculty has been actively involved in the treatment, prevention and outreach, targeting thousands of children in our province,” said Iacopino. “A graduate pediatric program is a logical extension for the faculty and we are confident of its success.”

Program and application details are available by contacting the dean’s office at the faculty of dentistry at the University of Manitoba.

Students unite to reach out to victims of earthquake in Japan

After the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan, University of Manitoba students have come together to show their support to the victims by raising funds across campus.

Students set up with tin cans in almost every faculty last week in order to collect funds for the Canadian Red Cross. A booth is also set up by Answers in University Centre to distribute information and attract volunteers.

In total, the initiative raised almost $4,000 each day, with a total of $13,000 by Thursday of last week. The University of Winnipeg is also witnessing similar initiatives, according to Ueda.

“Many of us don’t know what is going on in Japan because all of the information we get from the news is pretty limited here. [ . . . ] It is frustrating and so we just stay together and if we can raise money then we’d like to send it to help in any way we can,” said Ueda.

Ueda said that although some people may claim that Japan doesn’t need help because it’s a large and developed country, she nevertheless believes this doesn’t mean the people don’t need support.

“When people need help, they need help and if others need help later, it’s going to be our turn,” she said.

According to the Ueda, the students will be back out again next week collecting donations. Students have also organized a social on March 24 at Alive in the District, of which all proceeds will benefit the relief effort in Japan.