The Ring

Around the ring

Are you ready for an emergency?

Have you checked your emergency kit lately? May 3-9 is Emergency Preparedness Week, a perfect time to review what to do in the event of a crisis on campus or at home. “Every member of the campus community needs to be personally prepared, and EP Week is a great time to take a few more steps toward being ready for any kind of crisis—just in case,” says Daphne Donaldson, UVic’s manager of emergency planning.

Have you registered for the UVic Emergency Alerts notification system? Visit to register your mobile phone for text messaging—and follow @uvicemerg on Twitter. To view and download the university’s campus evacuation map and emergency procedures poster, visit the Emergency Planning website at For more resources, check the Emergency Management BC website at

100 UVic People Who Care: upcoming dates

100 UVic People Who Care is an opportunity for current UVic faculty and staff to come together to raise funds for UVic community-based projects. Those interested will be asked to commit $100 (and receive a tax receipt) to support these worthwhile programs.

The idea is to encourage a spirit of philanthropy and community where there have been few opportunities in the past. One hundred people who care, $100 each, 4 times/year = $40,000/year supporting important community-based projects.

Date and location

On March 31 at 12:30 p.m. in the Bob Wright Centre, room A104, faculty and staff are invited to hear about wonderful community-based projects at UVic and to celebrate these works with colleagues. The event will be hosted by Dr. Leslie Brown, Director of the Institute for Studies and Innovation in Community-University Engagement.

Send projects for consideration to Lynne Milnes, Development & External Relations Officer, at

Read about the inaugural session on Dec. 14, 2014.

Students win a seat on regional transit board

The UVSS passed another transit milestone in February, winning a nonvoting seat on the Victoria Regional Transit Commission.

"Students are excited to sit at the table with local mayors and councillors as partners in delivering better public transit in Greater Victoria," said UVSS Director of External Relations Greg Atkinson. "We have a vested interest in improving transit in every area of the region and we share this interest with all members of the Commission."

Together, UVic and Camosun student societies represent over 36,000 student members—the largest ridership demographic and stakeholder in the CRD. The latest transit success is part of a longstanding tradition of student activism, which also drove the 1976 pilot and formal 1999 establishment of the U-PASS system. U-PASS is a major sustainability achievement that provides transit passes to UVic and Camosun students, contributing $5.4 million to public transit each year.

The UVic Family Centre at 20

On April 1, the UVic Family Centre will celebrate its 20th birthday. The Family Centre recognizes the specific needs of families where one or more members is a student. They are proud to celebrate 20 years of offering a welcoming space for families to connect, learn and play together. Their goal is to make everyone feel at home whether they have come to UVic from near or far. Programs include early learning for children under five, clubs for schoolaged children, parent discussion groups, and information, referral and support services. The Family Centre is also a place for study and research. The April 1 celebration will take place from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the centre, 2375 Lam Circle, and will include refreshments, face painting, crafts and games.

Beyond the ring

Academics object to Bill C-51

More than 100 Canadian academics, including five UVic law and political science professors, have signed an open letter to Members of Parliament objecting to the draft government anti-terrorism act known as Bill C-51. Key objections include the open-ended nature of proposed CSIS powers, lack of oversight to balance enhanced powers, and the potential criminalization of legitimate expressions of dissent. 

Strikes at York, University of Toronto

The Toronto Star is estimating that more than 100,000 students in Toronto have had classes disrupted by strikes at York University and the University of Toronto. York facilities will remain open but nearly all classes, exams and academic activities were cancelled after teaching assistants and contract professors rejected the most recent university offer on March 2. 

CUPE 3903 Chair Faiz Ahmed told the Star that contract faculty teach 64 per cent of York’s undergraduate courses, and called for his members to “be assigned to courses for up to three years at a time, not just be slotted in on short notice which can hurt the quality of education.”

Meanwhile, at UofT, contract faculty reached a tentative deal, but 6,000 striking teaching and lab assistants walked off the job on Feb. 27. Media reports suggest that the majority of undergraduate marking at UofT is now done by graduate students, and that the central impasse was a failure to raise a $15,000 income floor for the TAs.

Finals disrupted at UNBC?

Concern is mounting that final exams could be disrupted at Prince George and other UNBC campuses (including some courses at Langara College). UNBC’s Faculty Association issued a 72-hour strike notice on Monday, March 2. Negotiations have been ongoing since November, focusing on issues of tenure, promotion and salary.

ONC data now spans all three Canadian coasts

Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) has expanded its footprint across Canada with the launch of a new collaboration with the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy on the Atlantic coast, in addition to established observatories on the Pacific coast and in the Arctic. ONC was also prominently featured in a Globe and Mail article last Saturday on innovation leaders in BC.