Canada in brief: Jan. 19, 2011

Student empathy at 30-year-low: study

BURNABY, B.C. (CUP) — A recent study from the University of Michigan claims that for the past several decades, college students have been getting steadily less empathetic.

The study reviewed the results from over 70 surveys conducted between 1979 and 2009, using a method known as the Davis Interpersonal Reactivity Index. The most dramatic drop in empathy was observed over the period of 2000 to 2009.

One point made by both the study’s authors and its skeptics was that increasing economic and social pressures on students could mean that they simply can’t afford to be quite as empathetic as in the past.

–Graham Templeton, the Peak (CUP)

Student expelled for plagiarism sues Concordia again

MONTREAL (CUP) — A former Concordia University student, who once filed a $15-million lawsuit against the university, is suing the school again.

Ashraf Azar, who was expelled from Concordia in December 2004, is asking the Quebec Superior Court to order the university to grant him a new disciplinary hearing on the plagiarism charges that got him kicked out in the first place.

Azar first tried to sue the university in 2007 when he asked the courts to review his expulsion and grant him over $15 million in damages. Concordia has yet to file a response; the two sides will appear before a judge on Jan. 20.

–Jacob Serebrin, CUP Quebec Bureau Chief