Q & Arts: Amanda Okafor

Performance poet Amanda Okafor talked with The Reflector for this week’s Q & Arts.

When you’re sitting in class, do you ever wonder if the guy sitting next to you in class is someday going to write the next Number One album? Or if the girl across the room will write the next bestselling novel? Have you ever seen some of your classmates from the theatre program in their natural habitat? Do you really know how awesome your fellow classmates are?

The truth is, that kind of talent is all over Mount Royal, and it’s one of the things that make our school great. With that in mind, we at the Reflector want to showcase our talented student and faculty, and celebrate our artists.

This week, we are featuring Amanda Okafor, a fourth year psychology student and performance poet.

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MRU makes the grade

2013 university rankings give Mount Royal an A-

The report card is in and Mount Royal University earned a grade of A-, meaning we should probably take it out for ice cream to celebrate.

The Globe and Mail’s 2013 university ranking results are out, and MRU has fairly consistently maintained above average scores compared to other small-sized Canadian institutions. Illustration: Rachael FreyMaclean’s and the Globe and Mail have released their 2013 university rankings, assigning MRU an overall score of A-.

Both publications use different methodologies to compile their rankings, but use a blend of publicly available information and independent student response surveys.

MRU does well in the rankings overall, leading in areas such as class sizes, access to faculty, student services, infrastructure, technology, most satisfied student and the all-important student employability.

Not surprising to those at MRU, the institution falls short largely in transportation, off-campus housing and access to public transit, though those issues are largely out of the control of the university.

There are many ways to compare institutions against each other. Comparing Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick — the top ranked undergraduate school in Maclean’s — to MRU’s rankings in the Globe and Mail, Mount Royal stacked up right alongside Mount Allison. However, MRU didn’t make Maclean’s top ranking.

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Paying tuition with plastic will cost you

MRU approves transaction fee for credit card payments

Plastic is the preferred payment method for most Mount Royal University students when it comes to paying for tuition and residence, and it’s about to get more expensive.

Effective Nov. 13, paying fees by credit card will cost students an additional $57 for a five course semester.

MasterCard transactions will cost an additional 1.79 per cent, and Visa an additional 1.89 per cent. Plastiq, a new credit processor, allows MRU to pass the fees directly on to the cardholder.

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Improve your life through improv

Calgary’s own Loose Moose celebrates another milestone

Thirty-five years is a long time to keep going without a plan, but the Loose Moose is very good at winging it.

 Tomko Lamb brings balance and dedication to the Loose Moose Theatre. Photos courtesy: facebook.com/LooseMoose.TheatreBack in 1977, Keith Johnstone and Mel Tonken co-founded the Loose Moose Theatre Company right here in Calgary, giving Johnstone’s own Improvisational TheatreSports a home.

Johnstone created theatresports, a form of improvisational theatre that uses a competition model but encourages collaboration, and it changed the world of improv, with many acknowledging him as a father figure for the art.

In the intervening 35 years, The Moose, as it’s fondly known in improv circles, has grown to become a local institution and a breeding ground for some of the world’s top improv talent.

“What Keith has taught, his approach to performing, has changed my life,” said Andrew Phung, senior instructor and performer at Loose Moose. “His idea of it being okay to be failing on stage, of being average, these are ideas that carry us in all styles of art.”

The Moose, both a training ground and a performance venue, may be why Calgary improvisers are considered world class. They are sought after as instructors and performers around the world, according to Mat Mailandt of The Improv Guild.

For its 35th anniversary, The Loose Moose had a homecoming reunion with superstar improvers and actors returning home for the festivities, such as Rebecca Northan and FUBAR’s Dave Lawrence.

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Men suffer spousal violence too

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, an annual international campaign bringing to light issues surrounding domestic violence in the community and to promote awareness of support for victims and offenders.

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Clubs need more than members to prosper

Leadership, friendship and commitment are key.

Participating in a student club can be a big part of the post-secondary experience, if the club survives.

SAMRU clubs hit a new record last year, totalling 59 and growing this year as ratifications pour in. Having clubs stick around from one year to the next is more of a challenge.

Club N3rd is one of the bigger clubs on campus, with 400 declared members, and it has successfully survived into its second year.

“What I wanted to do is strengthen the gaming and geek community in Calgary, and I wanted to make friends here in school that share the same interests as me,” said Dara Defreitas, president and founder of Club N3rd.

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SAMRU fees among highest in Canada

Are students getting what they pay for?

 

Alberta’s post-secondary Students’ Associations have some of the highest fees in the country, with SAIT Students’ Association and the Students’ Association of Mount Royal University being two of the most expensive in the province, according to a recent Calgary Herald analysis.

 “[SAMRU] services are on par with that of the U of C and the U of A,” said Julia Broome, SAMRU VP external. She added that the SA tries hard to offer a “comparable and holistic experience” to students.

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Boost Your Revenue with Cloud Storage & Backup

I started selling cloud services 7 years ago; I was a reseller of Carbonite a few months after they opened their doors and haven’t looked back. It’s easy to be afraid of cloud services, watching how they encroach on what used to be our exclusive domain, but really it’s the natural evolution of technology and we need to figure out how to leverage it to our advantage. The great thing about cloud services is they’re like any other IT product, diverse and ever changing. That still leave the IT Pro in the position of trusted expert to recommend products based on client needs.

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Your anti-virus software is betraying you, and you don’t even know it.

<WC: Originally appeared in Go! Magazine, December 2006>

Many would assume that services being offered in “Unlimited” plans would have no limits, but in reality this is simply not true. Companies such as the Bank of Montreal and Rogers Wireless offer “Unlimited” service plans, with a not-so-obvious warning that the limits of the their “unlimited” plans fall within their sole (often undocumented) discretion.

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