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News briefs for September 4, 2015

DSU food bank sees high demand over summer

Dalhousie’s food bank saw greater demand than ever this summer.

John Hutton, Vice President (Academic and External) of the Dalhousie Student Union (DSU), told Global News in August that in recent years the DSU has seen an average of 160 students using the food bank per month.

“In recent months, this has actually increased to 200 per month and it’s held steady over the summer, which is actually pretty alarming,” Hutton told Global News.

Hutton said the DSU has noticed international students, who pay significantly higher tuition fees than Canadian students, most commonly use the food banks, along with students who are parents.

Feed Nova Scotia reports that 32.5 per cent of food banks in Nova Scotia reported an increase in usage from 2013-2014.

The DSU food bank is in the basement of the Student Union Building. Anyone may use the food bank, no questions are asked.

More information on the food bank, including hours, is available at

Dal’s ex-pres earning more than a million in extra salary

Public documents reveal that former Dalhousie president Tom Traves, who retired in 2013, earned more than any sitting university president in Nova Scotia last year.

Traves was paid $442,141 by Dalhousie due to his contract stating he would get an extra year of salary for every five years he worked.

In the first three years after he was no longer president, Traves will earn more than $1.3 million.

Dalhousie president Richard Florizone was the highest-paid active university president in Nova Scotia, earning $325,652.

Jason Haslam, professor of English at Dalhousie, tweeted that Traves’ yearly post-retirement salary “would pay for 100 courses taught by contract faculty.”

Dal’s pioneer battery researcher teams with Tesla

In June, Dalhousie joined a five-year research partnership with Tesla Motors to build a better battery.

Tesla Motors designs and manufactures electric vehicles, with their stated goal being to accelerate sustainable transportation around the world.

Physics and Chemistry professor Dr. Jeff Dahn, who focuses on developing long-lasting lithium-ion batteries in his research, will begin the partnership with Tesla in June 2016.

“Our research group’s goal is to increase the energy density and lifetime of Li-ion batteries, so we can drive down costs in automotive and grid energy storage applications,” said Dahn in a media release. “We’re incredibly excited to partner with Tesla, a company that’s so well- aligned with our research.”


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