Student Life

A History of Scandals

One of the longest-running traditions at the University of Ottawa was their student federation. The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa was the sole official undergraduate students’ union that represented the students at the University of Ottawa. The SFUO officially closed its doors on April 10th, 2019. The federation was first created in 1969 has been an integral part of student life at the University of Ottawa for 50 years. Their history on this campus was rich and everlasting. They formed clubs, lobbied for affordable transit, secured health coverage, created federated bodies, managed businesses, built services, advocated for child minding, and organized 101 week each year. Students’ unions are integral to student life at all post-secondary institutions across the world. They play a vital role in removing barriers for many who need it most on and off university campuses, as mentioned in their final farewell email.

Over the past 50 years, there has been a slew of scandals scorn by certain university members. Most recently, the Ottawa Police Service investigated members of the executive and the Student Federation for fraud allegations of workplace misconduct, internal conflict and improper governance. Unfortunately, this was not the first time a faculty member misused their finances. In a 1970s edition of The Fulcrum, a reporter covered another professional misconduct narrative. The article proclaimed that “This will probably go down in the annals of history as the biggest scandal ever.” Little did they know, this wouldn’t even come close.

Take a look at the article!

Perhaps this unfortunate tradition of sneaky power hungry executives has led to a mistrust of university representatives and a disconnect between students and their university experience.

“The years of SFUO controversy continued into this first month of the school year—a warm welcome to the new students unfamiliar with the university.” Fulcrum reporter Raghad Khalil tells. But, with any governmental institution, it’s important to keep yourself informed and engaged with how its programs, policies, and decisions impact you.

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Drinking Culture

It is quite interesting to see how times have changed, and how mentalities towards drinking culture have shifted. Long ago, the Fulcrum, wrote articles alongside various advertisements for alcoholic beverages, the Pivik sold tobacco, and the university’s sporting events seldom had a match without an organized school sanctioned drinking celebration. What a different time! 

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The university environment has a significant role in shaping student behaviours. Nowadays, the campus context has been altered so that it does not support a heavy drinking culture. The University of Ottawa has taken measures to restrict drinking in student dorms, and have made residences alcohol-free during orientation week. Many universities are heading in the same direction, because on university campuses alcohol and drugs are two of the most significant risk factors for sexual and other forms of violence.

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The University has a designated Drugs & Alcohol Team that cares about issues involving the use and abuse of drugs & alcohol in a university setting. They know that for most students drinking is inevitable, so they adopt a peer to peer education method to talk to other students on campus about how to drink properly and safely, and provide information about drugs and their effect on one’s health. 

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The student culture of drinking and smoking has reduced from a promotional establishment aspect. The university has adopted a good approach of dealing with this culture, and have treated it as one of acceptance and support.