Carleton’s Anniversary Hashtag Gets a Makeover

Launching a hashtag to promote your brand often provides great potential to expand your reach, connect with fans, and use the power of the masses to help build up reputation. But as Ottawa’s Carleton University found out today, it also provides rife opportunity for subversion.

The school launched a new public awareness campaign this morning to celebrate its 75th anniversary, that follows the theme “Distinctly Carleton.”

As part of the launch, Carleton revealed a new website (as well as a special campaign page) and unveiled massive portraits of famous alumni like former Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, writer Lynn Coady, journalist Nahlah Ayed, and Ravens basketball star Philip Scrubb, among others.

Part of the launch also included a hashtag campaign.

It didn’t take long for students and faculty to give the hashtag an entirely different meaning.

Continue reading

#PartyWithCaution: Police Force Drops Some Education On University Froshers

With a fresh school year kicking off across the country this week for close to 2 million students in Canada, the promise of Frosh Week lingers in the air.

The annual tradition that celebrates the first week of university life for freshmen, and the return to school for older students, is often one of the best parties of the year at campuses from coast to coast.

Contentious and controversial, Frosh never fails to garner significant media coverage. Despite recent calls for Frosh Week traditions to “grow up” or for schools to crack down, the tradition will surely live on in dorm rooms, student houses, pubs, and clubs.

With that in mind, York Regional Police have come up with a brilliant and creative campaign to warn students about the potential costs they could face if they party too hard.

The police force tweeted out the expense list earlier today, which covers the obvious like streaking, under-age drinking, and open container violations (cleverly referred to as “Popping bottles in the back of your friend’s Corolla), to the not so obvious, like putting cement mix in the laundry machine, illegal gambling, and, I quote, “forcing a pet to smoke marijuana.”

Educating students on the potential repercussions from not “Partying With Caution”, as the release says, is important. But too often it gets bogged down in an authoritative tone that’s easily glossed over.

Instead, the YRP have done an incredible job delivering this message to students in a more accessible voice. They’ve managed to introduce some humour to the situation (“Dropping excessive bass at 4 a.m.” and “Downing Jager-bombs in public”) while still reminding students to remain safe and responsible.

Continue reading

UVic’s Brilliant Use of BuzzFeed

If you’ve ever attended, applied to, or even just stepped foot close to a university campus, you’ve probably seen them. Bright, colourful photographs of students showing off their school colours in all sorts of safe locales. Maybe they’re sitting in a campus café, or lounging under a giant maple tree, or chatting at a study table in the library, or just philosophizing on the meaning of life and their place in the world on the steps of the campus’ most iconic building.

These pictures are everywhere. And they’re unrealistic. The photos often feature those representing the student union, showcase clothing that would decimate a student’s budget faster than happy hour, and represent a homogenous school culture that appears to be the exact same no matter what campus you step foot on. Despite these shortcomings, this approach perseveres as the norm.

But could that be changing?

@cspeti4 Instagram photo samples

One of the students the University of Victoria featured in their BuzzFeed article, Corey. All photos from @cspeti4 on Instagram.

Enter: the University of Victoria.

While they’re still very much in the experimental phase, UVic has signed up as a “Brand Publisher” on the internet giant BuzzFeed. As one of the web’s most visited sites, which pumps out shareable stories by (what feels like) the minute, the fit might seem odd for a stuffy-old institution like a university to host its stories.

In reality,  it’s a perfect opportunity. They’re putting content out on the places that their students (both current and prospective) spend their time, as evidenced by Alexa’s response that people browsing from school are greatly over-represented on BuzzFeed. Rather than trying to drive traffic to their site, they’re being active in pushing out stories through a medium that students actually want to spend time on.

Continue reading

Women's university hockey action.

Moving Women’s Sports from the Margins to the Living Room

Published on Elle Beaver March 20, 2014


Close to 13 million Canadians tuned in to watch the women’s hockey gold medal game at last month’s Olympics, with a peak of 6.37 million viewers in the dying minutes when Canada mounted their incredible comeback against the U.S.

During the previous summer games in London, 3.8 million watched the semi-final soccer match between the same two nations.

So please, say again that women’s sports are boring. Or that the players aren’t as athletic or skilled. Or the games aren’t competitive.

The numbers don’t lie. It has been a slow progression, but Canadians are showing that such criticisms are outdated, and more to the point, founded in thin air.

With the Canadian Interuniversity Sport winter championship season in full swing, Rogers has reached out to provide Canada’s top student athletes a national stage. Two weeks ago, the men’s basketball championship was broadcast on Sportsnet, while the semi-finals were on Sportsnet360. This past weekend, the women’s basketball tournament had two semis and one final game on SN360, while the women’s hockey gold medal game was also broadcast on SN360.

Of course, the fact that Rogers’ SportsnetU programming is showing any winter championships is progress in and of itself, as broadcasting anything aside OUA football games of the week and national football playoffs was generally unheard of before this year.

Taking on a new direction, however, Sportsnet broadcasted the semi-finals and title games of the men’s and women’s basketball and men’s hockey championships, as well as the final game of the women’s hockey championship. It’s high time that our amateur student athletes get a greater national spotlight, but in a hockey crazy market that broadcasts the Tier II Junior “A” championship tournament across the country, the fact that the university championship for basketball is shown cannot be understated in itself.

When you add in the lack of media coverage for women’s professional sports (like the CWHL and WNBA), the fact that our female university stars can shine on such a stage is even more important.

Continue reading

Ryerson Exact Revenge; Rout Thunderwolves in Grudge Match

Published on The CIS Blog on January 19, 2014.

—–

One of the most anticipated series of the month took place this weekend, when the No. 8 Ryerson Rams traveled north to Thunder Bay to face the No. 9 Lakehead Thunderwolves with first place in the OUA West on the line.

After Lakehead squeaked out a 4-3 Friday win on a Ryan Magill goal with just twenty-three seconds left in regulation, Ryerson came out insistent that they wouldn’t go home without splitting the series, blowing out the home side on Saturday 7-1 in front of over 2,500 fans.

It was obvious the Rams felt this grudge match was a must-win, as they came out flying and it didn’t take long for them to get on the board. The nation’s top point-getter and goal-scorer, Jamie Wise, ripped a hard slapshot top shelf to put Ryerson up just over four minutes in.
Continue reading

Ravens Survive Gee-Gees in Capital Battle

Published on The CIS Blog on January 12, 2014.

—–

The stands were packed, the benches fired up, and the referees’ whistles put away in this past weekend’s big matchup between heated cross-city rivals #9 Carleton and Ottawa. And while the cliché of “the game being closer than the score reveals” is used a lot, it was certainly true in this one. Despite Ottawa outplaying the Ravens for much of the opening period, Carleton were able to escape with a lead after twenty minutes before opening up a 4-0 lead in the second, en route to a monstrous 5-2 victory.

Ravens Down Ottawa

Kyle Brown

The highly anticipated, crushingly physical game got off to a flying start for the Gee-Gees, who tested Carleton’s backup goaltender Francis Dupuis early and often. Within the first seven minutes of play, the garnet and grey had created a flurry around the Raven net, outshooting the home side 7-0.

Continue reading

OUA Men’s Hockey Mid-Season Wrap-up

Published on The CIS Blog on January 2, 2014.

It’s been thirty years, but the Queen’s Golden Gaels finally find themselves back in the CIS Top 10 with OUA teams set to hit the ice again and enter the second half of the season. As the games begin to mean more and we come out of the turn and into the final stretch of the playoff push, here’s five of the biggest storylines from the conference over the first half, and that are worth watching as we begin the second.

Gaels on Top

It took until the eighth week for Queen’s to finally crack the top ten and take the eighth spot. In spite of three other OUA teams placing ahead of them in the voters’ eyes, the Gaels find themselves atop the conference standings with a two-point lead on #5 McGill. More impressively, despite racking up two losses in overtime and three as a result of shootouts, the Gaels remain undefeated in regulation, the only team in the OUA who can claim that (the only other in CIS is the #1 Calgary Dinos).

Continue reading