It is a word that sends shivers up the spines of university administrators across the country: Frosh. On paper, the annual freshman orientation period at the beginning of each semester is designed to welcome new students to university and to help them get their bearings. In practice, however – as sometimes seen in disturbing news reports each September – Frosh has often resulted in many young students losing their way. But along came McGill Orientation Week 2014, from Aug. 23-31, and suddenly those reports on Frosh were full of words like “civilized,” “respectful” and “fantastic.”
A major project to renovate Douglas Hall residence has restored the heritage building to its impressive original condition. Even better news? The ambitious project came in on time and under budget.
They come from Antigua to Zimbabwe, and almost every country in between. The more than 430 new students who filled Redpath Hall for the annual welcome reception for international students represented 66 different countries and a whole lot of fascinating background, experience and future.
The 4th annual Indigenous Awareness Week will be held from Sept. 15-19. Organized by the Social Equity and Diversity Education Office, the week honours the many Indigenous cultures across the country including First Nations, Métis and Inuit. New to Awareness Week will be an Aboriginal Homecoming event to be held at the Faculty Club on Sept. 18.
City of Montreal workers at the McTavish Street construction site have reported that a significant number of people have not been very attentive to the signs and regulations designed to make the site as safe as possible. Of particular concern are people wearing headphones who do not hear warning signals as equipment and trucks are backing up. This has led to a number of situations in which serious accidents have been narrowly averted.
McGill is playing host to a series of lectures in Crystallography, marking the International Year of Crystallography and the International Congress of Crystallographers in Montreal until next Tuesday. Dan Shechtman, who spoke Thursday night, was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for a controversial discovery – but only after his research was initially castigated by such luminaries as fellow Nobel winner Linus Pauling, among others.
The downtown lower campus will be busy again this summer as construction crews try to keep up with McGill’s significant infrastructure deficit. Perhaps most visible among the projects will be important stone restoration work at the Macdonald-Stewart Library building, which houses the Schulich Library of Science and Engineering.
McGill’s initial experiment with Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, has been a success and the first offering, Food for Thought, will be repeated next year. More than 32,000 people from 160 countries, with an average age of 35 (a bit younger than normal) signed up for the MOOC. Almost 1,800 people completed all elements of the course, and another 7,000 people completed at least one assignment or test.
In a time when science undergraduates around the world bemoan the delay between learning the theory behind the techniques and getting to practice them, a unique program at McGill offers students invaluable lab internships working as full-time researchers.
The first day of Convocation ceremonies is always a buzz of activity but this year, students, faculty and staff had more than one reason to celebrate. On Wednesday, May 28, the McGill Library in conjunction with several other units on campus, formally launched the newly renovated McLennan-Redpath Terrace as a smoke-free environment.