Message from Scott Cowie, Head, Senior Division
- Friday, Feb. 5: Parent/Teacher Interviews – no classes
- Wednesday, Feb. 10: Founder’s Dinner Event – 6 p.m., Hewitt Athletic Centre
- Thursday, Feb. 11: Founder’s Day Assembly (First Dress Required) – Laidlaw Hall, 9:55 a.m.
- Friday, Feb. 12 – Monday, Feb. 15: Founder’s Day Long Weekend – no classes
Hats-off to all boys who participated in the recent Model UN event at Harvard. By capturing many individual first place finishes and the overall best large delegate award, the team represented the College in a remarkable way and made quite an impression on the organizers of the competition, and on the other participants from schools across the globe.
As well, congratulations to all the boys who were involved in the planning and execution of the World Affairs Conference. The school was buzzing on Tuesday with students from more than 15 Ontario schools and superb presenters who spoke on various topics connected to the theme of “Fixing the 21st Century.” The event was a tremendous success.
One of the sessions I attended was focused on gender inequities in the work force. Like the two guest presenters there, I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the crowd, but was even more impressed with its composition. In opening the session, the two female presenters remarked that they anticipated having a space occupied by about 30 people, 29 of whom would be girls. It turns out there were more than 100 in the crowd and a good mix of young men and women in the audience.
On the topic of gender issues, I recently watched the movie The Hunting Ground. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of it, but this sobering investigative documentary shines the spotlight on the alarmingly increasing number of cases of date rape, and the ineffective manner in which most of them are being addressed, across colleges in the U.S.. And, there are some very prominent institutions featured in the film such as Harvard, Notre Dame, Amherst and UNC. While there’s much controversy about the film and allegations its creators have misrepresented some statistics and data, at the very least the documentary provides a sobering account of the very grave,and very tragic consequences that can occur among teens when drinking and dating cultures intersect.
As a father of two daughters, I found the film very unsettling, but I will likely watch it with my girls at an appropriate time in the future. And, while I wouldn’t say that it should be mandatory viewing for all Senior Division boys, I do think there might be some value for parents of IB2 boys watching it with their sons who are off to colleges and universities next year. Doing so will raise awareness of some of the disturbing cases of “date rape” that seem to be growing among young adults in U.S. colleges, but, perhaps more relevantly, will provide valuable insights that might help in recognizing situations and circumstances to avoid, and confirm the need to treat others with respect and compassion at all times.
We hear a lot about Millennials these days; teenagers who are self-absorbed and self-indulgent. Yet, I think the number of our boys who engaged in the World Affairs Conference, and in particular those who were a part of the audience of the plenary session I attended, was a very encouraging sign: young men of this generation, at least many at UCC, have a desire to learn more about the plight of women and others who may be enduring inequity in some way. Being “other-minded” is a key strength of character, and a trait that will help our boys be agents of change in their efforts to make a difference, and hopefully enable them to ultimately fix the problems of the 21st century.
Thanks for reading,