Year in Review: 2016


Campus News

1. Sexual harassment at Brock brought into the spotlight
A controversy was sparked regarding a case of sexual assault where information revealed that a Brock University professor had allegedly sexually harassed one of his female students. The investigation created further debate because the university had chosen to keep the situation confidential, being accused of trying to protect the professor. Ultimately, this created a rise of students standing against sexual assault and demanding better policies on campus.

2. Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts opened in the heart of downtown St Catharines
During the 2015/2016 academic year, Brock University, in partnership with the city of St. Catharines, opened its newest building, the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, in the heart of downtown St. Catharines. The campus, located directly behind the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, aims at bringing programs that were once basically hidden on the main campus in the lower-level classrooms of Schmon Tower into the spotlight. The Marilyn I. Walker School has quickly become a creative space for students that are a part of the Brock community.

3. Canada hosted its first White Privilege Symposium at Brock University
For the first time in 18 years, the White Privilege Symposium was hosted in Canada on Friday September 30 and Saturday October 1 at Brock University. The conference, which was previously held in the U.S., focused on key issues of race and racism within the world and offered dynamic ways to examine, analyze and solve the problems, stereotypes and inequalities facing minorities in society.

4. Wendy Cukier stepped down as President and Brian Hutchings filled in before Tom Traves was hired as Interim President
Heading into the 2016 school year, Brock was supposed to have their first ever female President, Wendy Cukier, but life had different plans. Just weeks before students began classes, it was announced that Cukier had stepped down from the position and that Vice President of Finance, Brian Hutchings, would be filling the role until an Interim President was found. At the end of September 2016, Brock hired Tom Traves but the search for Brock’s next President continues.

5. Goodman School of Business announced and kicked off $22-million expansion project
Big changes for Brock were announced in the year of 2016 as students began seeing construction being done on the new Goodman School of Business expansion project. A new space of roughly 29,000 square feet, costing a total of $22-million, will be under construction and said to be completed by the Spring of 2017. The new expansion will create more innovative spaces as well as boost Brock’s reputation as a university.


1) Aleppo
In December the Syrian Government finally retook Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. For Syria, 2016 was a year of conflict, marked by short-lived ceasefires and civilian casualties. With any luck, 2017 will bring an end to this gruesome conflict, and peace to this long troubled region.

2) Climate Change
2016 was by far the hottest year on record. It was the first year the average global temperature was over 1 degree Celcius, and brought with it a plethora of unusually extreme weather events. According to the United Nations, over 50 per cent of these events bear our fingerprints.

3) Trump
Very few political scientists, reporters, and analysts saw this one coming. In a surprise turn of events, the most powerful man on earth is the spray-tan loving host of the celebrity apprentice. While Americans chose Clinton by nearly 3 million votes, we’re still stuck with Trump.

4) Russia
According to U.S. intelligence, Russia utilized cyber warfare to influence last year’s U.S. election, ordered directly by President Vladimir Putin himself. A
foreign power directly interfering with the presidential elections of the leader of the free world is a big deal. Them doing so successfully is a whole other story.

5) Brexit
Riding a rising tide of nationalist and anti-immigrant sentiment, the United Kingdom has decided to withdraw from the European Union, with 52 per cent for, and 48 per cent against.


1. Men’s Volleyball returns as varsity sport after 15 year absence

Back in November of 2015, an announcement was made that the Men’s Volleyball program would be returning to Brock for the first time since the 2000-01 season. On November 11, the Badgers made their long anticipated return when they travelled to Trent University. The program got off to a great start, picking up a victory in their first matchup in 15 years. They played their first home game alongside the women’s team on November 18.

2. Brock names Neil Lumsden as new athletic director

On February 9, Brock made a major announcement as they ended their long search for a new athletic director by naming Neil Lumsden to fill the position. Lumsden’s administrative experience was just what Brock was looking for. The CFL Hall of Famer spent four years as the General Manager of the Hamilton Tiger Cats from 1997-2000.

3. Brock Men’s Wrestling win third straight CIS Championship

The Men’s Wrestling team continued their dominance as they won their third straight CIS Championship in 2016. All 10 of Brock’s wrestlers finished with a medal, collecting two gold, six silver and two bronze medals. The Badgers were able to capture the first place finish in front of a home crowd in the Bob Davis gymnasium.

4. OUA Women’s Basketball trophy named after Brock’s Chris Critelli

Brock’s assistant athletic director, Chris Critelli added to her impressive resume after the OUA women’s championship trophy was named the Critelli Cup last January. Critelli has already been inducted to the St. Catharines Hall of Fame, the Ontario Basketball Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame after being the only player to ever win an NCAA and CIAU championship.

5. Brock Softball finish off OIWFA championship run with silver medal

After finishing the regular season with a 13-10 record, placing them 7th overall in the OIWFA standings, the Badgers made a Cinderella run at the championship trophy in the playoffs. The Badgers took down the second seed McMaster Marauders and the third seed Toronto Varsity Blues en route to a championship game against the Western Mustangs. The Mustangs would ultimately take home the championship, but Brock’s run was nothing short of spectacular.

Arts and Culture

1. Vanessa German (visual artist who works in collaboration with the Black Lives Matter movement):
“One of the reasons I am an artist is because when I was a kid, I was afraid that I could get killed. I was very aware of how suddenly your life could be taken from you. I remember these two little girls had been sent to go get some milk for their dinner. They got some milk and as they were leaving, a car drove by, shot them, and killed these two little girls. I’ll never forget their mom screaming, and the way that they got shot, and their bodies were lying on the spilled milk because the milk cartons got shot and there was blood and milk running together. They were so young, and they didn’t know. It sort of started to drive me to obsession when I was a kid. It’s not like I could tell anybody how much I thought about it. Nobody else was talking about it. I didn’t feel it was safe to let anybody know that I was basically obsessing over the blood and the milk, and how come nobody told those girls they were gonna get killed.”

2. Faye Orlove (Runs “Junoir High”, a safe, open space for artists to showcase work or perform/artist):
“The last thing I want is for this to feel like an insider thing. That was also part of the retail aspect; even people walking by can come in. I’ve just felt excluded from too much stuff in my life to ever want to make a human feel that way. I don’t get that vibe; I still feel that way with a lot of artists in LA, whom I refuse to work with. The point of art is to make the human condition accessible, so why are you trying to make it seem like you’re in this clique? I want everyone who walks in to book something.”

3. Nicole Dennis-Benn (Here Comes the Sun: A Novel, released in 2016 that delves into a discussion on what tourism does to the places it monetizes):
“Growing up, little girls are over-sexualized, especially by older men, and no one talks about this. But they are willing to look at … a man having sex with a man, or a woman having sex with a woman as something that’s demonic. Right? Growing up, it fascinated me, but now it angers me — because I feel like so many of our girls are ignored. They have no voice. When they get molested or raped, the perpetrators are never caught. They can walk around freely — but a known gay man or a known gay woman could be raped or attacked.”

4. Amaal Said (photographer and poet, receiving more and more recognition for her work in photography – taking pictures of women of colour in order to discuss existing as a poorly represented group):
“I am a Danish-born Somali photographer and poet, currently based in London, UK. I’m concerned with storytelling and how best I can connect with people to document their stories. I have photographed mainly Women of Colour in an attempt to widen representation. I started with taking as many pictures of family members because I wanted to remember them, however far they were. I’m still so fascinated with the way we can use photographs to bring people closer.”

5. Thao and the Get Down Stay Down (musician, released deeply personal album titled “A Man Alive”):
“I don’t want [listeners] to be sad, but I appreciate that that’s a part of emotion, and if I can help bring it out if it needs to be brought out, then yes, it is an honor,” Nguyen says on a call from the car headed towards Minneapolis. She’s soft spoken, but never lacking eloquence even through areas of patchy cell service and an always-altered schedule. Her previous session had run long, and she was headed straight to the venue. “Any time someone brings what you’ve made into their life and interprets it however is most beneficial to them, it’s a true honor.”


Zika Virus
The Zika Virus took over the news as it swept across South America and put the summer Olympics in jeopardy. There are still nearly 5000 cases of Zika virus reported in the US alone, reports the CDC.

Planned Parenthood
Politicians in the US went to war with Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides healthcare to women across the United states. Right wing politicians are trying to defund the organization because of its abortion services which only account for three per cent of PP spending.

Avoiding Cavities
A new tool was invented to put a stop to cavities in the form of a liquid that, when applied to soft parts of the tooth can cause it to harden again and help prevent tooth decay from coming back.

Medical Pot
The Canadian government made it easier to access marijuana for medical purposes with the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations that were enacted in August. The government is also expected to make recreational pot use legal in 2017.

A Painkilling drug that is supposed to be helping people cope has caused a string of overdose deaths across Canada. Recreational use of the drug has been on the rise in recent years, though the drug was originally created in the 1960s.

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