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The Student Success Centre provides tips for students to succeed

As midterms wrap up and the end of the semester approaches, the Student Success Centre is offering a brand new program called Get Back on Track: Study Strategies for Struggling Students.

Since March 6, the centre has been giving various workshops as well as providing tips on how to manage studies.

“We noticed that in our offices, we were having a lot of meetings with students who, at this time in the semester, just as they begin to receive their mid-term exams back, aren’t as happy with the results as they thought they might be,” said Jennifer Banton, learning specialist and organizer of the workshops.

Banton said this could be a source of stress for students as they realize they only have a few evaluations left, which could be critical for their grades.

According to Banton, there are numerous reasons why students have a hard time and may fall behind on schoolwork. This can be due to personal reasons such as physical or mental health, overbooking in terms of classes or workload––but it is mainly due to time-management.

The centre recommends a total of seven hours of studying per course each week, but this can be a challenge for some students.

“They may unknowingly bite off more than they can chew,” Banton said, adding that even if some students struggle at the beginning of the semester, they usually find it much easier by the end.

Aamna Sheikh, a masters student in information system security at Concordia, said that looking for internships makes time-management more difficult for her.

“Nobody is going to help you with the extra things, because that’s your job,” said Sheikh. “If you want to land a good job or an internship, you need to learn the extra things.”

Sheikh said that this student-life reality is “emotionally torturing” but she will look into applying the reading tips she learned at the workshop.

Some of these tips include what the workshop called “learning essentials,” such as reviewing notes in proactive ways, creating study groups, reading the conclusions of textbooks first, and making non-linear notes (using visual maps and diagrams).

Students were advised to use course outlines and semester planners to sort out the number of hours required to complete their assignments. Organizers also suggested dropping a class if students felt overwhelmed.

The concept of responsibility and self-management called “locus of control,″ was also part of the conversation. Its purpose is to encourage students to recognize that they’re responsible for their progress, which creates a sense of control over what they can do to change things.

“The hardest part is knowing when and how to start,” said Camila Caridad Rivas, a journalism student at Concordia, regarding assignments. “It’s not only about doing the work. You have to accept that you’re human. You need to take breaks and rest. You can’t do everything because then you’re going to exhaust yourself.”

Students may book appointments to get individual guidance and advising from the Student Success Centre. Learning support workshops are offered more than once to accommodate students. The event calendar is available on the Concordia website.

“We’re here to help students succeed in their academic career,” Banton said.

 

Photo by Alex Hutchins

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Violence against women and Valentine’s Day

Heart-shaped balloons, chocolate and teddy bears are all part of Valentine’s Day’s trademark. We usually take this as an opportunity to spend some quality time with loved ones, or with ourselves. 

In June 2017, the University of Calgary released the results of a study on the connection between sporting events, holidays and domestic violence. The study revealed there is an increase of calls to authorities regarding domestic violence on numerous holidays, including Valentine’s Day.

As the holiday frenzy dies down, I wondered: how does Valentine’s Day affect women who are survivors of domestic violence? How were they possibly feeling on Feb.14?

Following the passing of two women, Jaël Cantin, a mother of six, who was murdered by her husband; and 22-year-old Marylene Levesque, who was murdered by a client, I read horrible comments made about the victims on social media. People partly blamed Levesque for her death because she was a sex worker.

This made me realize that we must address domestic violence and femicides more than we currently do. The Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability revealed that in 2015, women murdered by their partners counted for 45 per million population, which is five times more than the rate of men killed by their partners.

Femicide is defined by the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability as “the most extreme form of violence and discrimination against women and girls.” Femicides are primarily perpetrated by men.

We should see a lot more prevention measures about crimes against women, such as programs in schools about healthy relationships and gender equality, a lot more commercials about the issue, etc. The media must report on such tragedies. But what comes after awareness? Are we making a difference? Are we looking to change things?

A lot of women who report domestic violence to the authorities feel as though they are not taken seriously or do not have the support they need. Because of this, they are less likely to ask for help if their partners commit another assault.

This must stop. Our society must ensure a safer environment to allow women to speak up. We have to stop blaming and shaming women for something they cannot control. Parents and schools must educate children and teenagers, but mostly young boys on how to treat women respectfully. We must teach the importance of healthy relationships

As a society, it is our responsibility to come up with firm ways to learn how to prevent violence.

Just like self-defence is taught to women, we should continue to teach the importance of consent and the consequences of violent behaviours. This education should not only apply to men, but to everyone. Giving special attention to proactive measures such as consent training will empower people in terms of understanding the effects of domestic violence and consent in a fair way, rather than implying that reactive measures like self-defence, are the only ways to handle the issue.

Women need emotional and legal support. They should be able to feel secure and loved by their partner without any fear.

Valentine’s Day is not just about flaunting our idea of a ‘perfect relationship.’ It’s also about acknowledging the women who are suffering behind closed doors.

As we all enjoy the day to celebrate love, we also have to remind ourselves of the negative impacts that Valentine’s Day may have on women in an abusive relationship. Let’s not just talk about domestic violence, let’s find a way to change the way things are. 
Photo: Sasha Axenova

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The Titanic Story that was never told

Can we talk about the Titanic for a second?

You’re probably thinking I’m referring to the fact that Rose had enough space to let Jack get on that door, which could’ve saved him – but that’s not it.

What I want to talk about, or who I want to talk about is Joseph Laroche. You’re probably wondering who he is… I’m here to tell you his story.

I watched this short clip from AJ+ français a few weeks ago that completely caught me off guard.

Joseph Laroche, a Haitian engineer, was the only Black passenger on the Titanic. Having come from a well-established family, he had moved to France to study engineering at the age of 15. According to AJ+ français, he became very successful and contributed to the construction of the train line in Paris.

After a few years, he met Juliette Lafargue, a French woman who later became his wife. The couple had two daughters, Louise and Marie Anne André. However, due to a high rate of racism in France, Laroche could no longer provide for his family as it became harder for him to find a job. He and his wife were victims of criticism and discrimination because of their interracial relationship. Laroche decided it would be better for his family to go back to his homeland, Haiti, to find stability. With the help of his family and his uncle Cincinnatus Leconte, well known as Jean-Jacques Dessalines, former President of Haiti, Laroche planned his trip back home. Laroche then got four second-class tickets for the Titanic.

The only reason they took the Titanic was because the first boat they were supposed to get on would not allow children to eat with the adults.

On the night the ocean liner sank, Laroche perished, but his wife and daughters survived as he made sure they got on a lifeboat.

His body was never found.

I was truly stunned about the story, and I spoke to a friend of mine about it. She recalled seeing only one visible minority who stood out to her in the 1997 movie: a Jewish family.

Once I got to learn more about that story, I kept asking myself questions as to why this had never been openly spoken about in the media. The reality is that the contribution and the presence of visible minorities in historical events are too often swept under the rug and hidden from us. Why? Probably because anything that revolves around race and racism in history often makes people uncomfortable.

We often claim that our society is evolving and is open to diversity, but when stories similar to this one resurface, I wonder if we’ve truly progressed or we assume we have.

I believe that it’s always important to remind ourselves that representation matters, and it must not be ignored.

Laroche was a successful, Black man in a European country in times where racism was at an all-time high. He was the only Black man on the Titanic while being amongst some of the wealthiest passengers, which is worth mentioning.

Some may say ‘who cares,’ but this story is one of significance. Every story should be told, and definitely ones like Laroche’s.

I’d be tempted to say that Laroche and his wife Juliette would have made just as of a great love story for the Titanic.

 

 

Graphic @justineprovost.design

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