Aquinian, News, Politics, St. Thomas University

Obama thaws frosty Cuban relations

United States President Barack Obama made a historical trip to Cuba last week to meet with Cuban President Raul Castro to improve the countries relations, and this meeting of powerful men has some here at home feeling hopeful.

Political Science professor Shaun Narine feels as though the effort to reach out to Cuba is a good one with the prospects of permanently altering U.S.-Cuban relations, but said the business community will decide its ultimate fate.

Full story here.

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Canada, Fredericton, New Brunswick, News, Refugees, Saint Mary's University, Sports, St. Thomas University, Students

The Canadian way: SMU uses hockey to welcome refugees

Saint Mary’s University invited 60 Syrian newcomers to the Huskies’ first game at CIS Nationals to give them an authentic Canadian experience and make it “feel like home,” said vice president of student affairs Ossama Nasrallah.

“These refugees will soon become Canadians and stay in Canada,” Nasrallah said. “Refugees are thinking of the future here in Canada and how they will get used to the Canadian culture.”

Nasrallah said it’s important for Canadians to welcome the refugees and that these kind of events also build good student leadership skills for those who care about others and want to make a change in the world.

“A smile from a kid to those students means the world to them and makes them feel they can do better,” said Nasrallah.

St. Thomas’ athletics department could not be reached for comment on possible plans to do anything similar for the Syrian refugees, but men’s hockey team member Dillon Donnelley said it would be a great idea.

“[Hockey]’s our national sport, so in a way it gives the refugees a look at a part of our history and culture,” he said.  “I think it’s a good thing to do for sure.”

Nasrallah said SMU has no other plans to do anything else like this right now, but hopes that a football game could be used for something similar. He also hopes these kinds of events can help Syrian parents feel comfortable about their children’s future when they see the university in action.

“Sports really play a big role in getting people together, especially when you get people to a new game and teach them,” Nasrallah said. “This makes them feel really welcome and the atmosphere in the game makes them feel excited and happy.”

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Aquinian, Fredericton, New Brunswick, News, Sports

New roller derby team The Spitfires roll into ring

Fredericton’s Capital City Rollers roller derby league has announced its newest team, the Spitfires, who will kick off their first season May. 28 at the Willie O’Ree Place.

Rachel Harvey, the league’s communications coordinator and player on all three teams, said the Spitfires was created to blend all skill levels in the league.

“There are a lot of different levels of play,” Harvey said. “We wanted to form a team that would allow us to be able play both A teams and B teams.”

Until now, the Capital City Rollers’ 35-member league has only had two teams: the Daisy Cutters, the higher-level A team, and the Bazooka Janes, the lower-level B team.

Full story here.

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Aquinian, Fredericton, News, St. Thomas University, Students, University of New Brunswick

Safety tips sent after suspected drink spiking

The warning issued to students on nightlife safety and drink-spiking is a safety message that never expires, said St. Thomas’s director of communications Jeffrey Carleton.

An e-mail equipped with prevention tips was sent to STU and UNB students on Mar. 4 after the university received reports from three students who suspected they were the victims of drink-spiking after an evening out.

Full story here.

Photo credit: Book Saprasid/The Aquinian

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Aquinian, Canada, Feature, St. Thomas University

Are MOOCs the future of education?

Imagine if you could lay in bed all day, not have to talk to people, pick and choose what you want to learn, and still get an education at your own pace – for free.

Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, are kind of like that. They are online university courses open to the masses and accessible online. To some, MOOC sounds like the name of a goofy cartoon character, but to many, these are considered to be the future of higher education.

Full story here.

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