Headliners: Jan. 24-28

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University of Manitoba prof, administration face off in court

Sarah Petz — The Manitoban (University of Manitoba)

WINNIPEG (CUP) — Embattled math professor Gabor Lukacs and the University of Manitoba had their much-anticipated day in court on Jan. 20.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Deborah McCawley reserved her decision on the issue of whether Lukacs was justified in suing the university over the decision to award a PhD to a student who did not pass a comprehensive candidacy exam required to graduate. The student claimed to suffer from extreme exam anxiety.

Lukacs’s lawyer Robert Tapper argued that as professor at the university, a member of the graduate studies committee, “and as a person vitally concerned with the quality and integrity of the academic process, he is entitled to be concerned about this issues of PhD diplomas.”

Related: Math prof embroiled in court battle with U of M

Tapper said that the issue affects Lukacs directly because it affects the quality of grad students he’s able to attract and the quality of the degrees “he is teaching people to achieve.”

“He doesn’t want the institution of the U of M math department becoming a diploma mill,” Tapper continued.

Jamie Kagan, who is representing the university, asserted that the professor was not directly affected by the decision to grant the student their PhD and thus has no right to sue the university.

“He never taught the child, his grades aren’t an issue, he never sat an exam for the student … this was all handled by people who are specialized in the area of disabilities, who found a balancing act with a person with a disability’s right to an education and the academic obligation to maintain high standards,” Kagan said.

UVic contemplating gender-neutral multi-use washrooms

Kailey Willetts — The Martlet (University of Victoria)

VICTORIA (CUP) — The University of Victoria students’ society is looking at implementing gender-neutral washrooms in the university’s students’ union building.

A motion to investigate the cost and logistics of converting a set of main-floor washrooms was passed unanimously at a Jan. 24 meeting of the society’s board of directors.

“Gendered washrooms, as the majority of them at UVic currently are, can be very marginalizing for trans, gender-queer and gender-variant people,” explained Tara Paterson, who put forth the motion. “The [building] only has one gender-neutral washroom and it’s also an accessible washroom and it’s in very close proximity to the public washroom so many folks have told me that it can be very uncomfortable for them.”

Paterson says that these washrooms also take resources away from people who require accessible washrooms and are not trans or gender-queer or gender-variant.

The student’s union building currently has eight multi-use washrooms on the main floor, and the investigation may also consider single-use washrooms.

Content courtesy of the Canadian University Press

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