Katija Bonin

The Silhouette

 

On Thursday, March 1, a phishing email was sent to the general population of McMaster. Purporting to be from University Technology Services (UTS), the email asked email users to go to a non-McMaster website and provide log in credentials. Failure to do so would allegedly result in termination of one’s email account.

As stated by Julia Kraveca, manager of Client Services for UTS, “such attacks happen every so often.” Out of all incoming e-mail messages that McMaster receives, approximately 22 per cent are legitimate e-mails. The remaining e-mails are types of spam that may be caught by filters, and just like catching fish with a net, it is to be expected that one may fall through.

The main difference is that senders of phishing e-mails are aware of the different security mechanisms, and swim around them in order to be the one that lands in student inboxes.

In such circumstance, when the unauthentic email was not prevented, UTS used defensive measures in order to control its effects, noted Kraveca.

The phishing note was reported to UTS at 2 p.m. on March 1, and by 2:30 p.m. UTS had blocked on-campus access to the website noted in the e-mail, and had published a cautionary note through the McMaster University website.

After careful evaluation, it was determined that only two per cent of the targetted population received the spam email, and only 0.05 per cent actually visited the website. However, it is unknown out of this percentile how many email users actually responded to the request in the phishing e-mail. Additionally, a campus-wide notice was released the following morning.

Although the sender is unknown, “it is evident that their intent in sending the e-mail was malicious, and was sent with the purpose of collecting private information that could somehow be misused,” said Kraveca.

Based on the available statistical data, it appears that the phishing e-mail was caught before it was able to travel too far, making its impact quite insignificant. UTS interpreted the given data as affirmation to having successfully educated the McMaster community on protecting themselves from fraudulent emails.

However, UTS did not want to undermine the impact the email had for the 0.05 per cent whose world was turned upside down as a result of the leaked spam.

The hope is that such an incident does not happen again, however, it is not entirely preventable, explained Kraveca. Students and faculty are therefore strongly urged to exercise caution in order to protect themselves from duplicitous emails.

In the event that such an occurrence does repeat, students and faculty are urged to report the potential phishing scam to the UTS Service Desk as soon as possible.

Suggested protective measures may include refraining from opening e-mails if the source is unknown or appears suspicious. Often phishing schemes are designed to imitate legitimate companies or institutions, thus users are encouraged to acknowledge the use of distorted logos and misspelt words, which are telltale signs that the sources are not genuine.

Lastly, one must resist clicking embedded links or verifying confidential information, as these are often connected with fraudulent online activity.

UTS is actively involved around the clock in the prevention, detection and investigation of potential electronic fraud within the University. On any given day UTS processes 1.4 million e-mail messages.

TYLER HAYWARD / SENIOR PHOTO EDITOR

Katherine George

Silhouette Staff

The transition from living at home with parental supervision to the freedom of a university lifestyle can be drastic. University is an environment that provides numerous opportunities to party. Sometimes, university years can foster excessive drinking habits. Realistically, drinking in a social atmosphere is nothing out of the ordinary, especially for young adults. It is when the harmless pastime of drinking becomes a dependency on alcohol, eventually leading to addiction.

In 2005, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) created a “Canadian Campus Survey” in order to better understand the social and environmental determinants of hazardous drinking habits. The survey involved 6,282 full-time students from 40 different universities across Canada. It showed that 31.6 per cent of undergraduates “reported at least one indicator of dependent drinking such as being unable to stop, failing to perform normal everyday activities or needing a drink first thing in the morning.”

Evidently, these are the most severe cases of alcoholism. However, it is undeniable that the statistics of alcoholism among university students is alarmingly high. Third-year McMaster Commerce student Alyssa Citrigno comments on the situation: “I think a lot of students drink excessive amounts of alcohol, but don’t realize the detrimental effects of it because it is so common among all university students.

In reality, it isn’t normal to be drinking four nights out of the week.” Not all students who drink have these severe cases of alcoholism, but many are dangerously close.

In order to recognize if your harmless party habits are becoming a destructive activity, the following are some helpful tips.

Firstly, analyze your drinking habits in comparison with others, such as friends, family or colleagues. This is the most informative and obvious way to recognize whether your personal drinking habits are above that of an average person.

Drinking throughout the day or on numerous days of the week is a definite contribution to alcoholism. In addition, keep track of the amount of money you spend on alcohol. This technique is effective because it gives the alcohol abuser a visual realization of how their drinking habits are affecting their financial situation.

Drinking is an expensive hobby for a student, especially when considering the amount of money spent per each drinking occasion.

Consider whether drinking has evolved from a social activity to a personal necessity. If you find yourself drinking alone, it may be a sign that you are drinking to soothe an addition rather than for social reasons.

The cure to alcoholism is different for every person. Often it begins with recognizing that there is a problem. Talking with friends and family to address the issue is a productive start, but if the problem has become an addiction, it may require more intense treatment. To find more information about alcoholism and local treatment centers visit the Alcoholics Anonymous Hamilton website.

Dina Fanara 

Assistant News Editor

 

“Education is our right, we will not give up the fight!”

Feb. 1 was known as the Day of Action for university students across Canada, as many marched through their respective campuses to take a stand against rising tuition fees. McMaster students gathered to chant in Mills Plaza from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

According to the Vancouver Sun, 24 campuses in British Columbia alone were to partake in the rally.

At the McMaster campus, a little over 50 students arrived within the first ten minutes of the event. The CHCH news crew was also present at the event, interviewing students and taking video footage of the rally as it began.

Music was blasting, thanks to a DJ present outside the Student Centre. People were gathering, and signs and snacks were shared. Students showed immense enthusiasm to be a part of such a movement. Though McMaster Security and Hamilton Police were present, no issues of conflict arose.

McMaster student Mel Napeloni said, “we need to have more activism on campus,” adding that it was great to see something that all students can relate to.

While the student group Occupy McMaster played a role in organizing the event, many students from all areas of the University were present, including members of the SRA (Student Representative Assembly), presidential candidates, graduate students and representatives of CUPE Union Local 3906, which represents teaching assistants, sessional professors and postdoctoral fellows on campus.

In a speech to the students in attendence, Simon Granat, SRA representative for the Faculty of Social Sciences, stated that, “we’re taking a stand to say students care about other students.”

Similarly, SRA Health Sciences representative Riaz Sayani-Mulji stated that, “we are the student movement, we can make a difference.” He explained that this is a critical time for students to make their voices heard, because the way the government grant system currently runs excludes two in three university students.

“Education is a human right,” continued Sayani-Mulji, and it’s something that many potential students have difficulty accessing because of cost limitations. According to Rick Gunderman, the candidate representing the Communist Party in the previous provincial election, the solution would be to “cut tuition altogether… attack from all angles that they are attacking us from.”

The Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) distributed leaflets to be handed out to students across Canada, outlining their three main goals: to drop student debt, reduce tuition fees and increase education funding.

The leaflet employs the awe-factor to support the movement, outlining that students are left with an average debt of  approximately $37,000 upon graduation, and “tuition fees are growing faster than public transit, rent, food and other costs faced by students.”
After gathering in the Mills Plaza, students marched in unison, cheering, “What do we want? Dropped fees! When do we want it? Now!”

The march route included locations such as the Burke Science Building, the John Hodgins Engineering Building, University Avenue, the Arts Quad and the University Hall archway, concluding in Mills Plaza.

An article from Macleans entitled, “Protests underway from coast to coast,” underlines the finding that over the past twenty years, the proportion of operating costs of universities covered by public funding has dropped dramatically from 81 per cent to a mere 57 per cent.

 

Farzeen Foda 

Senior News Editor

The Engineering Technology Building (ETB) came as a new addition to the McMaster campus last year, and as the Faculty of Engineering continues to grow, it is now spearheading another campus construction project – the ExCEL building.

The new building aims to exhibit sustainable technologies and provide space for numerous student groups and projects through the Faculty of Engineering, while maintaining a net-zero energy rating, a concept relatively new to building design.

The McMaster Engineering Society will be holding a related referendum in March along with the Society’s presidential elections. The vote will gauge student support of a levy to fund the construction of the building.

The annual levy will be $50 for undergraduate Engineering students and $30 for graduate students in the Faculty, explained Kelton Friedrich, a current Masters in Engineering student and ExCEL Project Coordinator. The impact and use of the building will be more concentrated at the undergraduate than graduate level, he explained.

Significant government funding has been allocated to the ETB project, “so government funding will support the green initiatives implemented in the [ExCEL] building, but not the construction,” said Friedrich.

And to guarantee benefit to all students contributing to the building, the levy, if approved, will not be implemented until all of the funding is secured and construction is set to begin, he explained.

The levy will be implemented for a period of ten years, and while students will contribute financially to the project, consultations on the design and planning for the building are to be conducted by undergraduate Engineering students, and student involvement is expected to continue once the building is completed as well.

The funds raised by the student levy are expected to provide approximately 30 per cent of the total capital required, while additional funding will be sought from external sources, such as alumni donations and government funding.

The building is estimated to cost between $7 million and $8 million.

If all things follow the expected timeline, McMaster University may see the new “living laboratory” by 2015. The new building is expected to be a branch of the John Hodgins Engineering Building, facing the Psychology Building.

When ETB was built, the intention was to include the student space needed by the Faculty and Engineering student clubs.

Due to funding limitations in the Faculty of Engineering, the remaining funds needed to complete the construction of ETB came from the Bachelor of Technology program, which now houses its activities in the building.

The issue of inadequate student space for engineering student groups remains an unresolved issue.

The new building, estimated to be approximately 20,000 sq. ft. – much smaller than ETB – will, by virtue of its size and sustainable technologies, be much less expensive, explained Friedrich.

The need for student space for Engineering projects and clubs was recognized by the Dean of Engineering, David Wilkinson, who proposed the construction of another space, while asserting a belief in the need to engage students in the process.

After proposing the idea to students in 2010, several approached him in support, and momentum on the project began.

As part of the capstone project completed by all senior Engineering students, the opportunity to contribute ideas and a sustainable plan of action was presented.

Numerous considerations were addressed by students in the Engineering and Management program, Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering.

The planning for the building has employed an Integrated Design, which describes the use of student input to design a student space.

“Often, following construction of a building, many changes need to be made, as the space does not work for the people using it,” said Friedrich, explaining that the approach implemented in the constrcution of the ExCEL building bypasses that possibility entirely.

While student input has already begun with respect to the planning of the building, it is expected to continue after the building has been constructed through the Sustainable Building Operations Club, which will monitor the building’s energy usage and analyze the data.

Farzeen Foda

Senior News Editor

 

One of McMaster’s relatively new graduate programs, the Masters in Global Health, will be taking a trip to India’s Manipal University in April as part of a two-week symposium in collaboration with a Manipal University and Maastricht University in the Netherlands .

During the event, which has the theme “Bridging Different Worlds,” students will also be working on various development projects, “ranging from assessing safe drinking water in urban slums, to examining causes of infant mortality at Karkala Hospital,” said Stena Sothiratnam, a student in the Masters in Global Health program who will be going on the trip.

“It is basically a practical placement in the field during which we will be participating in research data collection for research studies that are currently in progress or will be starting at that point,” said Ryhana Dawood and Natahsa McNamara, members of the Fundraising Committee for the project, in an email.

A project in a developing nation such as India would be a valuable experience for students in this program, as many intend to apply their expertise from their program outside of Canada, noted Dawood and McNamara, who further explained that the purpose of the program “is to get students better acquainted with development work, and what exactly that entails.”

With a focus on health care, the 28 students, including nine exchange students from the Netherlands, will be engaging in projects dealing with health care systems in other countries.

This is the second year the program is running and hosting a trip of this sort.

To fund the trip, a self-defense/fitness seminar will be held on campus for a nominal fee, and depending on demand, more than one such seminar will be held. Methods to engage the residence students in the fundraising efforts are under consideration as well.

With McMaster’s renewed commitment to the revitalization of the undergraduate learning experience, an endeavour of this nature is certainly a positive step in improving the educational experience. “There is only so much that can be learned from flipping through the pages of a textbook,” said Sothiratnam.

“We hope to gain a lot from this experience and we personally feel a service-learning component is beneficial to all learning environments,” said Dawood and McNamara.

Dina Fanara

Assistant News Editor

 

McMaster students and staff will finally be seeing a new and more reliable email system by the end of next month.

In October of 2010, over 3,500 McMaster students took part in a referendum vote to determine which email system provider, with a choice between Google, Microsoft, or the current MUSS system, students would like to see implemented.

With immense frustration mounting quickly with the current email system that is often unreliable and has an extremely limited capacity, the need for a new email system has been immenent for a long time. This issue began gaining momentum in the later half of 2010

The push for a new email system gained substantial headway in February of 2010 with efforts from current McMaster Student Union (MSU) president, Matthew Dillon-Leitch, and SRA  (Student Representive Assembly) Commisioner of External Affairs, Huzaifa Saeed.

After months of legal negotiation between Google and the University to ensure that the appropraiate standards for privacy are implemented, a contract was signed and finalized at the end of December.

Large-scale implementation will take place for all McMaster students and faculty during reading week, from Feb. 19 to 25.

University Technology Services (UTS) in in the process of launching a pilot project, in which a small portion of students were asked to test the new system between December and January of the fall semester, in order to allow UTS to work out any issues with the system before all students and faculty are to migrate to the new email system.

According to Dillon-Leitch, one of the most significant changes is the great increase in space available on the email systems themselves.  The MUSS (McMaster Undergraduate Student Services) system allowed users to store 15 MB of space, whereas the new Gmail system provides 25 GB of space available for each user.

McMaster is one of few institutions to have university administration gather student input and consider their needs and interests when making a decision of this nature.

According to Dillon-Leitch, the successful push for the Gmail product can be largely attributed to the student support behind the initiative, objectively demonstrated through the overwhelming vote in favour of Gmail as the email service of choice for students. It’s about “asking students the right questions at the right time,” he noted.

Gathering student input in this manner was also adopted by the University of Washington when deciding on a new email service provider. As was the case at McMaster, students at the University fo Washington were also given a choice between Google and Microsoft.

Students voted for Microsoft, which was implemented soon after the vote.  The result was not quite as positive as expected, however. The students at the University of Washington largely regretted choosing the Microsoft product, due to inadequacy of the software, and in fact, many chose to forward their email to other accounts.

Although it serves as a source of frustration for many, the MUSS email service will still remain availbale for those who do not wish to switch to the new system.

An “opt out” system in place “for students who don’t feel comfortable with the new system,” said Dillon-Leitch.

Students had the option to remain with the traditional MUSS email system through the opt-out available between Dec. 19, 2011 and Jan. 8, 2012.

He would also like to emphasize that “there is no cost whatsoever” for students and faculty who choose to be transferred to the new system in February.

Students will use the same Mac ID login to access their new accounts as of Feb. 27, and no emails will be lost in the cross over process: all emails will be migrated to the new system.

Dillon-Leitch believes that the next step would be to look toward alumni and the possibility of offering all McMaster alumni an @mcmaster.ca email address to keep even after they have graduated.

Currently, McMaster University alumni can only access their McMaster University email account until six months following graduation. According to Dillon-Leitch, “when you graduate, you should have access to a McMaster account for the rest of your life.”

Dillon-Leitch would further hope to see a collaborative calendar feature through the new email system, where students can not only keep track of personal events, but also share their calendars or subscribe to calendar updates form other users or University services.

Farzeen Foda

Senior News Editor

 

The beginning of each term brings a new rush to bookstores, with students left at the mercy of professors who insist on using new editions of textbooks, and publishers who eagerly await the opportunity to correct a few typos and sell a new edition of an old textbook at almost double the cost.

Textbookrental.ca is a relatively new company, which started as a proactive measure against high textbook prices.

The rental service, which has been mentioned by Macleans and The Globe and Mail, was established by recent university graduates, and is currently run by alumni as well as current university students. The service also boasts a quick and simplistic rental process, “saving students up to 75 per cent off the regular textbook price,” said Jack Neary, Business Development Manager for textbookrental.ca.

Exorbitant prices of textbooks over and above regular tuition fees is a painful pinch on the already stretched wallet, especially when most textbooks serve little to no purpose once a course is completed.

“I hate spending so much money on a textbook that I’ll never use again and have difficulty selling once I’m done with it. It’s the biggest waste of money I can think of,” said Ankita Dubey, a fourth year Psychology student at McMaster.

As recent graduates or current university students themselves, those at textbookrental.ca understand this sentiment and put forth every effort to make their service as student-friendly as possible.

Students can search their textbook of interest online at the company website, using the ISBN number of the textbook, and order it at a nominal shipping rate. Textbookrental.ca subsidizes shipping fees through Canada Post allowing students to have their textbooks delivered directly to them within 2-3 business days, noted Neary.

This feature is intended to save students the back-breaking labour of transporting heavy textbooks home upon purchase, he explained.

Upon rental, the cost of rental varies with the amount of time the student requests to keep the textbook. Once the rental period is has elapsed, students can return the textbook to one of many depots located in key university cities in Ontario and across Canada. Currently, depots are located throughout the GTA, Hamilton, Waterloo, Guelph, Windsor and Montreal. The company is expected to soon establish depots in Kingston, Ottawa and in the west coast, including Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver. Return of textbooks can also be done free of charge through postage as the cost of mailing will be reimbursed by textbookrental.ca, explained Neary.

The Hamilton depot is located relatively close to McMaster, on King St. West, and has seen substantial business from McMaster University as well as Mohawk College students.

Students can also sell their used textbooks to textbookrental.ca with a buy-back service available year-round, where “students can receive cash on the spot,” said Neary, explaining that textbook values are monitored daily to get a fair price based on supply and demand, and for buy-backs, “we value [textbooks] higher than the bookstore,” he said.

A textbook rental service of this calibre is a relatively new concept in Canada with another service of its kind “BookMob” which operates similarly, however, in the United States, textbook rental services are more widespread and numerous, with Chegg.com as a popular service that operates in conjunction with the publishing company McGraw Hill.

A simple alternative to traditional textbook purchasing does not come without its opposition. For textbook rental services, publishers remain concerned about their financial status as a result of such programs, as many services of this sort do not give any portion of their rental revenue to the publishers of the titles rented, including textbookrental.ca.

Collen O’Neill from the Canadian Publishers Council, in an interview with Macleans, referred to these rental programs an “administrative nightmare” for publishers in the United States.

For the purposes of students, textbook rental services tend to be fairly successful, another service operating in Canada, biblio.com proved to be helpful for Stena Sothiratnam, a first year Masters in Global Health Student at McMaster who was able to find the textbooks she needed at a much lower cost than the traditional bookstore. “I’ve used biblio.com and textbooks are so much cheaper,” she said.

Brian Decker

Executive Editor

 

The Ontario Liberals’ plan to give a 30 per cent discount on tuition may end up costing some students a little bit more.

The Liberals’ election promise, which offered a 30 per cent decrease in the cost of tuition to students from households earning less than $160,000 per year, may be followed by a rise in the overall cost of tuition starting next year.

The current framework that dictates tuition fees expires at the end of the 2011/12 school year.

“Universities can’t really withstand having no new revenue, because they’re going to spend $420 million on this new grant,” said Sam Andrey, Executive Director of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance.

Whether tuition increases at the current rate of five per cent per year is still to be determined.

Andrey said OUSA is advocating for a lower increase rate, but that no increase at all is unlikely.

“We know changing [the tuition increase rate] to something lower is on the table. That’s something we’re going to be advocating for.”

“With the 30 per cent reduction, I think there is a very low appetite on the part of the government to compensate an outright freeze.”

The plan to offer students a tuition discount is set to take place in January, but much of the details of how it will be implemented and distributed is currently pending confirmation.

Residents of Ontario in full-time, first entry programs (excluding law, medicine and graduate programs) will be eligible to apply for a tuition break for the winter semester, but the process of how and where students apply has not yet been determined.

Andrey said for the winter 2012 semester only, approved students will likely receive a cheque equivalent to 30 per cent of tuition, and that a true 30 per cent discount on tuition won’t start until 2012.

“In all likelihood, it will be something like an $800 cheque for most students,” said Alvin Tejdo, OUSA’s Director of Communications, of the 30 per cent discount in January.

Tejdo said many students could potentially be caught unaware of the cheque’s availability. “It’s going to be really important to tell people to apply for it,” he said.

The process by which students’ financial means are approved – determining whether their household earns less than $160,000 – is yet to be established.

The slow implementation of the remaining details is partially due to the change in governing officials. After the Oct. 8 election, Glen Murray became the new Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, replacing John Milloy. There are also new education critics to be appointed in the opposition.

Andrey said other changes coming to Ontario campuses in the coming year include increasing the availability of mental health and the construction of three new campuses in the Greater Toronto Area, with the site still to be determined.

Christina Pugliese

Silhouette Staff

Keen on learning a foreign language?

Before hastily reaching for pen and paper, one might first consider availing oneself of an arguably more valuable tool – the power of conversation.

Indeed, it was such a premise upon which this year’s biannual Language Café was based; an event hosted by McMaster’s International Student Services at Bridges Café on Nov.8.

With 15 language workshops to choose from and an array of appetizing vegetarian dishes, the evening served as a venue for both local and international students as well as members of the greater community to exchange knowledge and explore their interests in the realm of language.

An idea put forth by a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Health Science program in March 2010, the interdisciplinary event acts as a foregathering of various student cultural societies, including the McMaster French Club, McMaster Japanese Connection, the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS), as well as individual exchange students from around the world.

During the one hour Language Café, participants were offered basic instruction by volunteer facilitators whose role was to guide conversation within small group settings.

A myriad of language workshops were available for those in attendance, including English, French, Spanish, Mandarin, German, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Russian, Punjabi, Urdu, Farsi, Polish, Hindi, Malay, and American Sign Language.

Matthew Kubicki, one of the primary organizers of the event and Polish workshop facilitator, feels that the casual atmosphere encompassing the Café is instrumental in fulfilling its mission.

“Learning a language formally in a classroom can be stressful, whereas here you are learning among people who are your age in a more informal environment. It’s more conversational,” explained Kubicki.

Although one can hardly expect to emerge speaking fluently after merely an hour-long tutorial, Kubicki noted that this is “not necessarily the goal.” Rather, the Language Café aims to “expand people’s views of the world and broaden their exposure to different languages and cultures.”

In this regard, the event served as a springboard for individuals to discover what various cultures have to offer and to learn from their like-minded peers.

Andres Krisch, member of OLAS and third-time Language Café Spanish facilitator, mirrored this sentiment.

“It’s really cool to be able to educate people on the culture and the language, to provide that spark of interest,” said Krisch.

Having come a long way since its inception in 2010, event coordinator Amy Tang hopes to see the Language Café expand in subsequent years.

She further discussed preliminary plans “to create an online database that would allow students to speak different languages and interact with each other.”

Whether a beginner or fluent speaker, “there are many ways [for students] to get involved,” she noted.

Bushra Habib & 

Ruth Tshikonde

Silhouette Staff & The Silhouette

 

The Globe and Mail featured McMaster’s approach to education in an Oct. 24 article, examining correlations between an undergraduate education and the quality of jobs graduates could obtain.

The recent recession resulted in the creation of over 300,000 new jobs for those possessing an undergraduate degree, however, over 430,000 individuals lacking post secondary education lost their jobs.

“A piece of paper does not get you a job,” expressed Kathryn Hryb, a Career Consultant at McMaster’s new Student Success Center (SSC). “Rather, it is you as an individual who gets yourself the job. Students have to actually put in that extra effort on the side and understand that having a degree itself doesn’t always get you a job or one that they will truly be satisfied with.”

Universities are facing constant pressure from students and their families to improve the educational experience and the value of a university degree by increasing other opportunities for students to develop skills and increase their marketability.

Such avenues for gaining an edge in the job hunt include co-operative education placements, internships and formal records recognizing volunteering activities and extracurricular involvement.

Making a university education a worthwhile and beneficial experience has important financial implications for graduating students,who have invested time, effort and money into their degree.

A 2008 Statistics Canada report showed that Canadian undergraduates earned 70 per cent more than those with only a secondary education or experience in the trades.

In 2009, it was reported that 82 per cent of adults between ages 25 and 64 with a diploma or degree were employed, whereas those who had not completed their secondary education had an employment rate of merely 55 per cent.

“The employers value a student’s credentials, yet they also value a student that is able to bring more than just basic knowledge,” said Jacquie Hamsphire, the Event and Marketing Coordinator at the SSC.

Hamsphire further explained, “they want people with experience and who bring skills to the table in order to expand their companies.”

The Globe and Mail article found that McMaster, among others, including the University of Alberta, was measuring up well to these growing expectations to prepare graduates.

This progress is partly due to its focus on experiential learning. Experiential learning allows students to gain valuable experience that supplements their academic pursuits through avenues including involvement in research.

“Innovations like experiential learning truly help students build the skills that the workforce is asking for,” said Hamsphire. “It enables them to gain confidence on making the right decision as to whether the career path they are choosing is truly for them.”

“It gives students the opportunity to experience the career path they want to follow on a hands-on basis through things such as the job shadowing program, which begins in November,” added Hryb. “We have found that many students have gained summer job opportunities, internships or even have just learned what they like and dislike.

These programs are offered for students from any faculty at the school, so there is something for everyone.”

While McMaster experienced a drastic increase in first-year enrollment this year, other universities reported similar trends, with Ontario universities accepting a record breaking 90,0000 students in September, putting additional strain on universities to adapt and accommodate an increasing number of students.

The Student Success Center offers networking opportunities, orientation programs to first-year students, workshops on academic skills and chances to get involved with extracurricular community service activities.

Communication skills, the ability to work with a team and adaptability are some skills that are currently in high demand in the workforce, according to Hryb and Hampshire.

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