Getting a pet could be a poor decision

4 12 2008

Kara Bertrand
Life Reporter, Humber Et Cetera
Published: February 13, 2008

Humber students may have a difficult time adopting a pet while living away from home, said Lee Oliver, senior communicator at the Toronto Humane Society.

He said students must show they have support if they are unable to care for the pet on their own, and have the ability to take the pet home for the summer.

“We’ve flirted with the idea at a staff level of saying that if you’re a student, just say no,” he said. “But some of the staff members here are either students or were recently students, so we would never make such a policy.”

Oliver said students often lack the maturity and understanding of what is involved in caring for a pet while attending school.

“A lot of times, students fall for the cute and cuddly aspect of it and don’t think of the actual responsibility of owning a pet,” he said.

A cat can cost a minimum of $750 a year, said Oliver, and that’s just for its basic needs for food, treats, toys and an annual vet check. The Humane Society does not charge for adoption, and most of their animals are already spayed or neutered.

“People don’t appreciate the cost,” he said. “You have to ask yourself: what would happen if I had to spend $500 tomorrow, or even $1,500?”

Holsee Sahid, manager of Financial Aid, agreed a student budget has little room to fit in the cost of caring for an animal.

“One of the major financial problems would be if the pet becomes ill and they have to take the pet to the vet,” she said.

Oliver said one of the main reasons students are not the best candidates for animal adoption is because they aren’t home much. But there is also the possibility of several students sharing the pet during the year.

“If all three of you are sharing the apartment, all three of you will come and we’ll meet you all,” he said.

For Oliver, an ideal situation for a student with a pet is if they still live at home. Laura Webster, 18, a bachelor of nursing student, lives in Brampton with her parents and as a family, they own six pets.

“We all take turns taking care of them,” she said. “Taking care of six animals on my own would be hard.”

The residence code of conduct states no pets of any kind are allowed to live in the rooms. Students are also advised to confirm with landlords before adopting a pet to ensure there are no rules regarding pets in off-campus locations.

Uphill climb for female paramedics

4 12 2008

Kara Bertrand
Life Reporter, Humber Et Cetera
Published: February 6, 2008

Physical demands can be blamed for fewer women enrolling.
The strength requirements of the paramedic program are linked to the decrease in women successfully completing the course, said program co-ordinator Lynne Urszenyi.

“At the end of the day you can be a great paramedic, but if you can’t lift your patient into the ambulance to get them to the hospital, you’re of no use to the patient,” she said.

Urszenyi said the lift weight requirements were raised two years ago by nine kilograms to reflect the changing weight of the population.

“In the last two years, we’ve had more male students than female students,” she said. “For about eight years prior to that, it was exactly 50-50 split between men and women in the program.”

The paramedic program this term has 71 per cent men and 29 per cent women, said Patricia Van Horne, associate registrar of records.

Other programs are seeing the same imbalance between genders, which can often bring different perspectives into industries generally dominated by one particular sex.

The police foundations program at Lakeshore, has 73 per cent male enrollment, with only 27 per cent female enrollment.

“Historically, policing has been a male dominated industry,” said Arthur Lockhart, a teacher in the program. “But women are very powerful human beings and they bring great insight into the program.”

For all programs at the North, Lakeshore and Orangeville campuses combined, male enrollment is 48.9 per cent, and female enrollment is 50.6 per cent, said Van Horne.

Susan Roberton, co-ordinator of the fashion arts program, said females take leadership roles more than men in classes. The program has 94 per cent female enrollment.

“There are more of them,” she said. “The guys already stand out, so they tend not to be vocal. Most of the content relates more directly to women’s apparel.”

The admissions process and the subsequent hiring process of paramedic graduates do not discriminate based on gender, said Urszenyi.

“The employers don’t know for the first few phases if they’re men or women,” she said. “There certainly isn’t any type of quotas one way or another for men versus women.”

Students and profs learn matters of health

4 12 2008

Annual event examines environmental impact on women

Kara Bertrand
Life Reporter, Humber Et Cetera
Published: January 23, 2008

A professor in the business program at Guelph-Humber says students should take advantage of such events as last weekend’s Women’s Health Matters Forum and Expo at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

“It’s free education. You can go down and hear experts in their areas, especially if it’s in keeping with nursing students and people in personal training,” said Patricia Peel, who brought about 30 students from her fundraising and customer service class to volunteer and experience the event.

The forum, run by Women’s College Hospital, has been taking place for the past 12 years. It focuses on disease prevention, treatment and issues facing women.

It featured 150 exhibits from organizations at the forefront of women’s health, as well as 40 seminars by Canada’s leading health-care professionals and medical experts.

The theme this year was the environmental impact on women’s health.

“I think because the environment is on everyone’s mind this is appropriate to address,” said Jocelyn Palm, event co-ordinator. “With so much info out there, here are some people who can help sort it out.”

There were seminars on the Arctic, diabetes and the environmental links to cancer.

Peel said the hospital attaching its name to the event provides a legitimacy to what is presented.

“They’re really selective about who they let in as exhibitors,” she said. “If you’re an exhibitor in the show, Women’s College Hospital is endorsing your treatment, your service, your product, and they don’t want anything gimmicky, half-baked.”

Jackie Fraser, a clinical nursing professor at Humber, also brought eight students with her to the event and said the expo was engaging and informative.

“It is a good opportunity for them to be aware of other resources there and I find that by attending it they can transfer what they have learned there to different years of the program,” she said.

Cheryl Leblanc, 21, a first-year accounting student, agreed students can benefit from such educational health events.

“We’re not as educated on these things as we think we are,” she said. “If we can integrate some of these things into our daily lives, we could do better in school and be a lot happier.”

Eating healthy on campus

4 12 2008

Kara Bertrand
Life Reporter, Humber Et Cetera
Published: January 16, 2008

Food services has different healthy choices for students.

Humber North is scattered with food choices, but finding the right selection can be difficult.
The ability for students to find healthy choices on campus is fueled by a trend that reaches beyond its doors, say caterers and dietitians.

“There’s no question that there’s a trend towards food that has good quality behind it,” said Humber Room Manager Richard Pitteway. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that it doesn’t have fat, butter or salt, it’s just that you don’t overwhelm the food with those kinds of ingredients.”

The Humber Room is a restaurant learning facility for culinary and hospitality students, offering daily lunches and weekly dinners.

Healthy options are available at the Humber Room, with main course dishes ranging from $9.75 to $10.50.

“We use fresh ingredients for everything we have,” said Pitteway.

Kim Mantovani, food services director, said healthy options are incorporated into all the food venues on campus.

The Food Emporium, Java Jazz and residence restaurants are operated by Chartwell’s, a company that creates food programs for schools.

“We have a program called Balanced Choices, which is worked out through our head office in terms of dietary requirements,” said Mantovani.

The items containing the Balanced Choices label include salads, wraps, and sandwiches that are low in fat and contain fresh ingredients.

The salad bar in the Food Emporium is an option and prices are measured by weight with a maximum cost of $5.90.

Students may face difficulties when attempting to eat healthy on any college campus.

“The biggest challenge would be variety,” said Mantovani. “It’s easy to go for the carbs, and the fats, but when it comes to healthy, we get bored quickly.”

Liz Pearson, a registered dietitian at the Pearson Institute of Nutrition, warned against including alcohol in a student diet.

“Any will power that someone had to eat healthy all goes out the window with alcohol.”

Cara Rosenbloom, a dietitian at Words to Eat By, said that students may find it difficult to locate healthy options on campus, resorting to unhealthy food to satisfy cravings.

“Since fast food options scatter most college campuses, it is easy to get caught in that trap and overindulge in non-nutritious meals,” she said.

Rosenbloom recommended a regular lunch should contain from 500 to 700 calories, but a burger, fries and pop contains almost 1,200 calories.

She said students should choose healthy options at fast food outlets such as salads, sandwiches on whole grain bread, fresh fruit and stir-fries.