Ron Byrne has become a recognizable figure on the Mount Allison campus over the past several years. Whether it is within his capacity as Vice President of International and Student Affairs, or just his general presence, he has become well known with the student body and beyond. It was recently announced that Mr. Byrne would be leaving his position with the university to persue other options. Boardwalk Staff Reporter Jisun Kim met up with Mr. Byrne to discuss his time at Mount Allison and what the future holds.
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The former fire hall and police station on Main Street in Sackville is the subject of a feasability study commissioned by the Town of Sackville. Town Councillor Shawn Mesheau introduced a motion at January’s council meeting to consider non-commercial uses for the building. Council was split 4-4 on the motion, and Mayor Bob Berry cast the deciding vote in favour of the motion.

CHMA’s Scott Brown interviews Councillor Mesheau about the future of the former fire hall building. Mesheau says that the Town is considering developing the building as a focal point for community activities. Mesheau says he’s concerned that if the Town of Sackville continues to wait for a private-sector purchaser make an offer on the decommissioned building, the Town will eventually be saddled with the costs of demolition.

Meshaeau says that the Town has tasked Renaissance Sackville with updating a 2011 feasibility study for developing shared use of the building, including an survey of community groups that might have a stake in a shared facility that would be part office space, part venue for meetings, performances, and events.

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A 2008 artists’ rendition of what the former fire hall could look like if used by community groups. The image was presented by STRUTS gallery, a group that offered to buy the building for a dollar in 2008.



 

 

 

 

On February 10, 2015, the CBC released the results of a survey of 84 Canadian universities’ data on sexual assault reporting. With 14 formally registered incidents between 2009 and 2013, Mount Allison University was found to have the second highest rate of reporting in the country.

CHMA interviews with students, staff, and administration at Mount Allison found a near-consensus that cross-institutional comparisons yield little useful information. And headlines like “Mount Allison Leads Province in Reported Sexual Assault” do little to tackle underlying issues or illuminate the path ahead for a campus community seeking change. The study, however, has sparked a dialogue within the institution and the university community about sexual assault. Students and administration say that it may be time to re-evaluate the University’s policy and procedures regarding sexual harassment and assault.

This hour-long audio documentary is our contribution to the conversation. We spoke with Ron Byrne, Vice President of International and Student Affairs for Mount Allison, with Melody Petlock, the Sexual Harassment Advisor employed 15 hours per week by the university to respond to the needs of students related to gender-based violence, and with a number of students.

We tried to ask important questions that seemed missing from the conversation. How does the University as an institution and a community track use of sexual assault services? How does it evaluate itself? How can students be included in the conversation? How much can a single 15 hour per week advisor position do to address both prevention and after-care for survivors of harassment and assault? What kinds of transformation do administrators, students, and staff hope to see, both at a policy level and a cultural level?

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On Thursday, January 29th, the Mount Allison University Women’s and Gender Studies society held a meet and greet event at the Pond, the MTA campus pub. Staff reporter Emma Bass attended and spoke with the WGST society president, Katharyn Stevenson, to gain some insight into what the event was all about and discuss any upcoming society events. Additionally, Bass was able to speak to a number of people who attended the event and ask why they were there, as well as what their connection to the WGST society was.

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Dietician Vanessa Yurchesyn spearheaded Making Menus Matter, a joint project of NB Dieticians in Action and the New Brunswick Medical Society. The project gathered menus for school lunches in every school district in the province and evaluated their compliance with New Brunswick’s healthy school lunch policy. The initiative found that only 27% of school lunches in the province were up to snuff. Yurchesyn says that the study’s findings will help her group to highlight best practices for school lunches, and help underperforming schools to improve their food offering.

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Sackville’s Town Council met for a monthly meeting to hear presentations from the public, and discuss matters that may lead to a motion at next week’s Regular Council Meeting. Special Council Meetings happen the first Monday of every month in Council Chambers. Here’s a report on highlights from last night’s meeting:

  • A presentation from a group seeking Council’s support to construct a pedestrian bridge linking Middle Sackville and the Waterfowl Park
  • A presentation from Live Bait Theatre about their upcoming activities and a discussion regarding the Town’s ongoing financial support for Live Bait
  • Followup from Council’s attendance of the Union of Municipalities of New Brunswick
  • A report from Senior Manager of Corporate Projects Jamie Burke about a fact-finding and information sharing “field trip” to the town of Brunswick, Maine
  • An update on behind-the scenes work leading up to a major capital project to redevelop Bridge Street

Listen to the full report here: Townhall

A fourth-year fine arts student at Mount Allison University is working hard to set up a library dedicated to zines- small handbound, self-published works. Staff reporter Emma Bass brings us the story.

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On Wednesday, January 21st, the Mount Allison University Rotaract Club held a wine and cheese fundraiser event at Hammond House. All proceeds from the event went to Paws for Thought, an organization providing funding for the training of service dogs for veterans suffering from PTSD and other mental illnesses. Volunteer correspondent Katharyn Stevenson sat down with the vice president of MTA Rotaract, Jen Frail, to find out what the Rotaract club does, how funding decisions are made, and other initiatives the club is involved with this year.
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Sports correspondent Martin Omes brings us an interview with sports announcer Steve Ridlington, who covers regional university and junior hockey games. Ridlington talks about historic change in the hockey scene and the growth of womens’ hockey teams in town.

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A year after CHMA first covered Homegrown Meats of Tantramar, we got in touch with local entrepreneur and owner Dave Hunter to hear about how the business has grown and changed since its inception. Hunter says that the price of beef has more than doubled in the last few years, placing his business in a position to thrive. He’s secured points of sale for several local meat producers in “every corner of the province.” Hunter says he’s beginning to look at different parts of the supply chain, and is contemplating the creation of a “baby factory” in the neighbouring community of Dorchester, where Homegrown Meats employees would breed beef cattle, in order to ensure a stable, accessible supply of local cattle for the region’s farmers.

Hunter is concerned about the long-term stability of growth in the beef industry, and is thinking about what might happen if the price of beef collapses. “I’m not looking to make a million bucks off of this,” says Hunter, “but if I can roll 15-20 cattle, and these farmers are getting paid cash on the hood of their pickup truck when they leave the door, and then they don’t have to worry about the money part of it, if we can protect the price if it ever falls down again, then I think I’ve done my job. That’s really all I care about. I don’t want these guys to go broke. Because if they go broke, we’re gonna be eating hormone and steroid-filled, GMO-fed cattle.”

“When I grew up,” says Hunter, “the farmers were the richest people in the area. When I got out of high school [in Maple Ridge, BC], if you were looking to start a business and needed some capital, you know, ten thousand, twenty thousand, you’d go to the farmer, and he’d go into his back room and pull out a box of cash, and you’d shake on it and say ‘yeah, okay, man, I’ll pay you back’. Those were the guys investing in the young guys back then, the farmers. And then somehow it all got switched around. It seemed like, overnight, they became the bottom of the barrel. They were just getting treated like [dirt].” Hunter predicts that over the next five years, farming jobs will become attractive to young people again.

“There’s plenty of opportunity work in New Brunswick, if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves,” says Hunter.

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