Posts by Josh Fraser

In for the long haul (hopefully)

Dalhousie’s student retention rates hover in the mid-eighties, according to Maclean’s. On a national scale, we are mediocre. But when the upper extreme is less than ten percentage points away, you could say we aren’t faring badly—that dropouts are common and understandable. While it is difficult to feel urgent about a common problem among post-secondary…

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Season’s greetings 


As the transaction comes to a close, I hand my lovely customer her change and a holiday gesture. I say: “Happy holidays to you,” with a tired clerk’s smile. Kindly, conspiratorially, she leans in. “It’s okay, darling, you can say Merry Christmas.” At her receding frame, I can only stare. I feel wounded by her…

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All holidays all the time?

Looking at the calendar, it strikes me that our compulsive secular practices of late have begun closing the gaps between holidays. What was once regarded as religious observance of largely Christian and State calendar landmarks has become a calculated integration of respite into our collective consciousness. We all seem quite comfortable with this shift; no…

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What the media isn’t telling us

  As a distant grim spectator of New Brunswick’s recent environmental clashes, I sought the real story. It is not as though I disbelieve the reports made by mainstream media. However, when they looped video clips of pepper spray, violence, and angry mouths that shouted silently, the reporter reiterating the atmosphere of protest without meaningful…

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Dal merger should be more streamlined for students

Dear Dr. Florizone, Congratulations on your nomination to the presidency of Dalhousie. From what I read, the initiatives with which you debut your leadership are thoughtful; One Hundred Days of Listening made clear your intention to close the gaps between students, faculty and administration. This is certainly of interest to the student in me who…

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Living alive

Formal private education is a marvel of modern society. The problem arises when we begin to think that the academic angle is the sole educational aspect of student life. Worse, we tend to think that social learning does not require the same rigorous thought as book-learning. This, to me, is incredibly silly. The more I…

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Status update

When we compose words, pictures and symbols to convey our thoughts, we are engaging in authorship (photo by Mel Hattie)

When we compose words, pictures and symbols to convey our thoughts, we are engaging in authorship (photo by Mel Hattie) Last week, a dating site mistakenly used a photo of Rehtaeh Parsons to promote their product on Facebook. This unwitting error and zealous media attention means tons of people were reminded just how vulnerable we…

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Dropping the debt

Tuition debt is a problem. Will eradicating interest from student loans help? (photo by Adelevan Wyk)

The provincial campaigning begins to bustle and election platforms rise like skyscrapers on plans and promises. Like everyone else who cares enough about the issues this early to have formulated opinions, I’ve been wandering around these political construction sites and kicking the supports to see how solid they are. A prime example of a controversial…

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The relationship

Don't settle for stability. You won't do your heart any favours. (photo by Bryn Karcha)

In September, life begins anew in the academic world, precipitating an increase in social gathering frequency. Perhaps it is the chill in the air, or the aphrodisiac of alcohol, but without intending to, I feel attracted to everybody and nobody and it weighs on my mind that I am less of a calculating creature than…

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Ethics or profits?

Members of HFXEJC (Photo by Calum Agnew)

How well do you know your Dal? Did you know that a portion of Dalhousie’s investment portfolio generates income from fossil fuel extraction industries? If so, pat yourself on the back because the 2012 NSPRIG report on the subject is damn difficult to find. I only found the information second hand in Ariel Gough’s article…

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