The Weal » News

By: The Weal  09-12-2011

The Weal » News

When most students think of the holiday season, they think of snow, decorations, and 24 hour Christmas music on the radio. The weeks before the holiday build excitement not only for the day but for the whole season.

However, most international SAIT students don’t have that holiday season sentiment draped round them like a warm, cozy blanket. Being away from friends and family and the familiarity of ‘home’ often reduces holiday cheer.

Heads up: It’s almost time to renew your U-Pass, and Calgary Transit will be checking to make sure you do.

“I know that we do get some complaints from students who have paid for their semester but haven’t picked up their sticker, so they end up getting fined,” said Calgary Transit coordinator of public safety and enforcement Brian Whitelaw.

Watching a viral video of a baby monkey riding a pig may be the cure to all of life’s problems.

Okay, maybe not to that extent but SAIT psychologist Terri D. Scoville suggested students should be encouraged to take a “mini-break” during strenuous study periods and indulge in the popular video blog site, YouTube. It can serve as an excellent way to reduce stress and even depression.

New accessibility signs posted by SAIT elevators are helping create awareness for students with disabilities and health conditions, but there are concerns it is taking too much time to sink in.

The new signs along with improved doors and washroom facility renovations in the Senator Burns Building are all part of a new accessibility initiative at SAIT.

Starting fall 2011, construction began after SAIT received recommendations from the Barrier Free Committee, a group who advocates the needs of students with mobility concerns.

The SAIT dental clinic has had issues trying to bring in patients but staff are now waiting to see if the clinic’s recent renovations will have any effect on the number of appointments.

During SAIT’s Open House on Oct. 25, the newly renovated on-campus dental clinic celebrated its grand opening.

Over the past two years, the clinic has been upgraded with state-of-the-art equipment and an inviting reception area.

Simba, Bunny, Bobo, Bear; they are some of the world’s best listeners. They adore cuddling.  They want nothing more than an endless, tearful embrace. Their sole request is for you to  please refrain from sleeping on their torso.

Who are these gracious figures I write of? Tragically, these characters are merely fine pieces of fabric sewn together with simplistic features aimed at resembling a human face.

A unique, innovative project has been quietly in the works behind classroom doors in the SAIT architectural technologies department.

The idea to design a new campus for students in Afghanistan was born in early July 2011 when the Canadian International Learning Foundation (CanILF), a registered Canadian charity that provides educational assistance to distressed countries, approached SAIT.

Architectural technologies instructor Paul Norris took  lead of a team of 30 SAIT students and four instructor supervisors.

More than two years after its completion, SAIT’s parking garage under the Cohos Commons has become an award-winner.

On Nov. 2, the Bing Thom Architects design was announced as the recipient of the 2011 Mayor’s Urban Design Award (MUDA) for Urban Architecture.

A mere two students registered for a SAIT Feng Shui seminar Nov. 12, forcing the recreation department to cancel the program for the second time in as many years.

“I am disappointed. I am not sure why it hasn’t picked up steam,” said SAIT recreation programmer TJ Babey.

Babey said the low interest could be due to a lack of student knowledge of what Feng Shui is about.

As fast food chains like Tim Hortons and Jugo Juice gain a larger presence on SAIT campus, at least one instructor is hoping to reverse the trend.

Renowned chef and SAIT instructor Andrew Hewson has worked in some of North America’s most distinguished restaurants, including the Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia and Catch in Calgary. He is also the leader of SAIT’s Slow Food movement.

Youth are one of the main demographics being targeted by stricter laws on drinking and driving after a rash of alcohol related traffic deaths.

Venera Simnica, 24, and Faton Dobrdolani, 37, were killed Nov. 6 after a 23-year-old impaired driver smashed into their car as they were parked at a red light in N.E. Calgary.

The Odyssey Coffeehouse is inviting customers to come in and stay a while with its new ceramic mugs.

On Nov. 9, ceramic mugs were introduced for those who would rather stay and enjoy the atmosphere of the SAITSA coffeehouse.

Odyssey morning supervisor Sharley Babul said the entire staff loves the new mugs.

“Good size for a good cup of tea,” said Babul, who stated she is more of a tea person.

For those who can’t grow a moustache to raise money and awareness this Movember, there is another option.

This month, SAIT’s International Students’ Club will be hosting events for the moustache-challenged.

“If I don’t shave for the whole of November, I won’t grow anything,” said International Students’ Club president Zeeshan Shah.

New construction signs are a topic of debate among the students at SAIT.

Students are distressed about having to find an alternate route on-campus due to closure of the south sidewalk and turning lane on 16th Avenue because of SAIT’s new Trades and Technology Centre (TTC) construction.

Construction on the SAIT Aldred Centre, one of the many buildings in SAIT’s expansion plan, is responsible for the closure of the sidewalk.

Writing 500 to 800 words is no tall order, especially for a journalism student, but how about scribbling 12,500 words a week?  Now take that sum and make sure you hit 50,000 in a month with at least some logic and correlation to the tale you’ve managed to weave.  This is the challenge that SAIT journalism student, and Weal editor, Cordell Blanchette has voluntarily entered in to.

Despite Canadian aid cutbacks, SAIT distance education students who attend the Afghanistan School Project will continue to thrive.

The Canadian military forces’ departure from Kandahar, entrusting operations to the United States, has resulted in many Afghanistan students and educators fearing for their school’s ability to manage without Canadian aid.

Students may need to be more than just of legal age to enjoy Calgary’s nightlife.

Nineteen-year-old SAIT student Justin Nicolson was asked by a club bartender for identification and he handed over his driver’s license, but the first-year millwright technician student was told it wasn’t enough.

“They actually refused to serve me,” said Nicolson.

He was told the establishment’s policy required all patrons to provide a minimum of two pieces of government-issued identification before they could be served.

Three weeks after its launch in mid-October, the Sexual Assault Voices of Calgary’s Don’t Be That Guy campaign is still turning heads. On Oct. 13, SAV, a coalition of concerned Calgary organizations, introduced a unique and provocative initiative targeting young men between the ages of 18 and 24.

Their ads, which were adapted from a similar campaign launched last year in Edmonton, feature suggestive photographs and language to promote public awareness and conversation about alcohol-related sexual assault.

Zombies could soon make their way onto the SAIT campus, and we humans will have to defend ourselves with a Nerf gun or two.

Jake Chipperfield, first-year Information Technology (IT) student, hopes to have a Human vs. Zombies (HvZ) game on campus soon.

“Everyone likes killing zombies,” said Chipperfield. “It would be entertaining for even the spectators.”

Games like this have been popping up across campuses in Alberta.

On nights when the dark walk from campus looks daunting, students and staff can depend on Safewalk volunteers to escort them where they need to go. But, those who stay at SAIT past closing hours may find themselves alone.

Safewalk began again this year on Oct.13, and as usual it runs from 6 to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday. The  University of Calgary’s Safewalk program, which runs from the same 6 p.m. start time, doesn’t end until one in the morning.

Calgary’s new-and-improved science centre, Telus Spark, will appeal to both the young and the young at heart, says Devon Hamilton, director of content for the centre.

“It’s not just for kids and families,” he said. “Adults will actually really like the opportunity to come to the science centre and play as well.”

While first-year business administration student Sarah Vandorpe has fond childhood memories from the previous centre, she’s excited to visit the new location.

To be awoken by the phone ringing at 5 a.m. when you have class the next day would be considered a terrible nuisance for most SAIT business students.  But Mariam Elgwarsha greeted a recent early morning phone with celebration because it represented the end of decades of turmoil for her home country of Libya.

For some people, twenty seven years is a lifetime.

But that’s how long SAITSA publications manager Suzanne Trudel has been mentoring students as they produce the campus newspaper. Trudel said it startles her how quickly the time flew by. “I essentially grew up here.”

“The biggest loss is institutional knowledge about SAIT,” said Trevor Howell, current editor at Open File Calgary and 2009 Weal news editor. He remembers Trudel as “the guiding light of the Weal, helming the ship.”

Winter is on the horizon and a new Calgary program will force some SAIT students to adapt their parking routines.

As of Oct. 15, the City of Calgary will temporarily ban parking along designated “snow routes” for 72 hours after snowfalls of at least five centimetres.

Even though there was excitement at the Gateway on Oct. 17 for the announcement of the Students’ Legislative Council (SLC) election result the voter turnout in the elections was dismal. Only 467 students voted, which accounts for only 4.48 per cent of the 10,419 students who were eligible.

Adam McAlonan, who has been elected to his second SLC term, said, “There was a lot less people running this year, a lot less votes, and a lot less excitement overall.”

Students, entrepreneurs, the employed and the unemployed alike gathered outside Bankers Hall on Stephen Avenue this weekend to take part in a co-ordinated worldwide protest.

Calgary joined the 950 other cities in 82 countries throughout the world that assembled on Oct. 15 to support the Occupy Wall Street movement that began in New York last month.

SAIT students can still enjoy a Jagerbomb, but it now comes with a buzz kill. Major warnings will soon be attached to the shot.

On Oct. 6, the Canadian government announced new measures to provide consumers with more information about energy drinks.

These new regulations have been introduced to reduce the chances of over consumption of caffeine and other ingredients such as vitamins.

Students, entrepreneurs, employees and the unemployed alike gathered outside Bankers Hall on Stephen Avenue this past weekend to take part in a co-ordinated worldwide protest.

Calgary joined the 950 other cities in 82 countries throughout the world that assembled on Oct. 15 to support the Occupy Wall Street movement that began in New York one month ago.

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