Welcome back to school, kiddos! Any upperclassman probably knows the cycle in which these things go; but in case you don't, here are the stages of starting a college semester:
1. Back-to-school shopping
There are very few things everyone agrees on in this world, but school supply-shopping is one of them. You loved going to Bureau En Gros as a kid, picking out new pens, agonizing over the colour of your pencil sharpener... and that moment when your mom told you that you could get new clothes for the year felt amazing. And somehow, that love has never died. The best part about starting a new semester is heading to Sainte-Catherine Street to pick out new clothes and supplies, and we all know it.
2. First day of class
The first day of class exists in a weird haze shared only with the last days of class. Sure, you're in school, but it feels like summer - especially given this heat - and it's an unspoken agreement that you won't actually do any work on the first day or two of classes. Just show up in your flip-flops, go over the course syllabus, and then meet up with your friends to grab some chow from a food truck.
The first few days lull you into a false sense of security. You convince yourself that you changed over the summer, that thisyear, you're going to be organized, hard-working, and find an amazing S.O.
4. The first wave of assignments
The first wave of assignments is sneaky. Some teachers will hand out a small 10% assignment in the first couple of weeks; others have stated that there's an essay coming up later, and to get the reading started. For now you still feel confident. And besides, you can totally ask your genius friend for help, right?
5. Creeping doubt
Wait, you only got 5/10 on the throwaway assignment? But you thought you nailed it... And where's your smart friend now that you need them? Buried under calculus homework? Oh God...
As the reality of school life sinks back in, you deal with your increasing worry in the only rational way: by stuffing your face with poutine, getting drunk in the Plateau, playing video games... basically, anything but focus on your schoolwork. Because it's scary.
7. Panic at the first deadline
Why are all of your assignment due in the same three days? And more importantly, how did you leave them until the weekend before they're all due? You spend the weekend in a state of panic, though the bulk of the work only gets done Sunday night on an insane Timmie's bender. To avoid feeling bad about this you go on Facebook and feel validated when you see that all of your classmates are doing the exact same thing.
What feels like ten seconds after you submit your assignments, your teachers remind you of the upcoming midterm quizzes. You remember marking down the quiz dates in your agenda on those first day of school - they seemed so far off then... How many weeks have passed already?!
9. Even more procrastination
Once again, in an attempt to escape the looming terror, you turn to literally anything to distract you. By this point in the semester it'll probably involve Halloween preparations, enjoying the colours of the trees on Mont Royal, and pumpkin spice whatever-the-fvck.
10. Even more panic
Oh God, oh God four exams in two days. How is this even happening?! How do I not have these class notes? Does anybody? Sweet Jesus I miss high school.
11. Back in the swing of things
Your outfits are much more casual. You always have a drink in your hand - Tim Horton's by day, liquor by night. If you're a girl, your makeup is scant to none; if you're a guy, your beard is growing wild. You've stopped trying to take the "quickest" bus and have resigned yourself to taking the 105. And you know the exact number of school days left until winter vacation. Welcome back to school.
On December 30, 2021, François Legault announced a handful of restrictions across Quebec, which included the closure of indoor dining and places of worship, and the postponement of a return to in-person learning at schools in the new year. In a January 13 Facebook post, Legault confirmed elementary and high school students would be returning to class as of Monday, January 17. But what about university students?
Montreal CEGEPs and universities also reverted to remote learning, however, things are looking a little different for students returning to in-person classes at post-secondary institutions. Premier Legault stated in a January 12 post that while universities could reopen their doors as of the 17th, they are being given extra leeway to determine the exact date in which in-person classes could resume.
Concordia University students are expected to return back to in-person learning on February 3, per a recent news notice. Vannina Maestracci, the university spokesperson, revealed that the initial date was extended beyond January 20, and any possibility of a further extension will be relayed to the community as soon as possible.
The Concordia Library and Birks Student Service Centre remain open, along with a number of designated break areas for students to eat. As for mask requirements, students will be expected to wear procedure masks "when entering university buildings and using shared indoor spaces," including classrooms, the university states.
In-person learning will be returning even earlier for McGill University students. With "Tier 1" activities (labs, etc.) having been in-person since January 10, most instruction will be moving from online to in-person as of January 24. McGill's media relations rep, Katherine Gombay issued a statement that despite plans for return, the university remains flexible with contingency plans put into place in case the COVID-19 situation changes.
Université de Montreal is expected to return to in-person sessions as of January 31,* although their libraries have remained open. The university has also made it clear that the use of masks is "mandatory" across campus for all activities at all times.
The Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) has also stated that remote learning will take place until January 31.* However, many activities in which face-to-face teaching is essential will return as early as January 24.
We all know that universities are money-making machines. Well, at least for some people. So naturally, we can't help but wonder if the people working in them are making some serious cash.
With this in mind, we took a peek at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)'s "Rapports présentés au ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur (MES), en vertu de la Loi sur les établissements d’enseignement de niveau universitaire" document from October 2021 to see how much the school's top executives make in a year.
Spoiler alert: the 16 top dogs, which consist of deans, vice presidents and the general secretary, all made over at least $170,000 yearly as their base salary during the fiscal year of 2020-2021.
Collectively, UQAM executives make $2,951,488 in base salaries alone. But, as you can see from the graph above, each individual also gets additional salary elements, some that go as high as an extra $164,170 added to their salary.
The person who makes the most money out of these 16 UQAM executives is Catherine Mounier, Vice President of Research, Creation and Outreach, who makes a yearly total of $359,747.
This lucky lady rakes in a base salary of $478,901. And according to a document submitted to Quebec's Ministry of Higher Education on November 30, 2021, Big Suze gets additional "taxable elements" that equal $382,070 in value. These numbers all add up to a whopping yearly salary of $860,971.
And if we're thinking of UQAM salaries, let's not forget the iconic "UQAM girl," Hélène Boudreau, who became an internet sensation thanks to her cheeky graduation photo. On Tout le monde en parle, Boudreau said she would be making seven figures in 2021 solely from her OnlyFans account, all while being a student at UQAM. Guess that beats being an executive for the university, eh?
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
Big bucks for the woman McGill students call Big Suze. According to a document submitted to Quebec's Ministry of Higher Education on November 30, 2021, McGill University Principal Suzanne Fortier rakes in a base salary of $478,901.
But her income doesn't stop there. McGill says she has additional "taxable elements" reaching $382,070 in value. That's a total of $860,971.
In her time as principal, Fortier has seen her base salary increase by almost $90,000. When she ascended to the role in 2013, her contract with the university included a $390,000 base salary, which was subject to annual adjustments. She was also able to receive bonuses worth up to 20% of her salary.
Other benefits in the 2013 contract included five weeks of paid vacation and a club membership paid by the university, in addition to reimbursements for job-related expenses.
McGill's Board of Governors renewed Fortier's contract with almost all the same benefits in 2018.
The 2021 document sent to the Ministry of Higher Education shows Fortier isn't even the highest-paid executive at the university.
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Dean David Eidelman has a base salary of $518,176 plus $361,799 in other taxable benefits, for a total of $879,975.
Concordia President Graham Carr, meanwhile, has a base salary of $424,423 and additional taxable elements totalling $1,706 in value, according to the university's list of its own executives' incomes.
Canadian non-profit TheraPsil has partnered with McGill and the Imperial College London researchers for a study on the effects of psilocybin, the active ingredient in what is commonly known as shrooms, on "patients who experience end-of-life distress" and are legally allowed to use the psychedelic compound.
"The study aims to collect quantitative data on the psychological effects of guided psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy sessions for patients experiencing end-of-life distress due to a potentially life-threatening illness," Hannes Kettner, a Ph.D. Candidate at Imperial College London, explained in a press release.
"We are extremely excited about this research project, which aims to give Canadians receiving compassionate psilocybin access a chance to advance the science by sharing their unique experiences," Dr. Kyle Greenway, a senior resident in psychiatry at McGill, added.
To obtain this data, the study will ask patients to fill out a series of questionnaires "2 weeks before, within 3 hours before, 1 day after, 4 weeks after, and 3 and 6 months after a legal, guided experience with psilocybin."
TheraPsil Director of Research Julia Joyes said the "major scientific subjects of interest include the impact of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy on mood, spirituality, and the desire for medical assistance in dying."
The study is open to palliative care patients who qualify. If you or a loved one is interested in signing up for the study, you can find out if you qualify on TheraPsil's website.
This article’s right-hand cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.