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Catching up with Her Campus



Content warning: mention of sexual assault, suicide


As school comes back in session and the weather chills, it’s time to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall. As Her Campus York U writers took the summer off, plenty of news-worthy happenings occurred around campus, Canada and the world! As people took a break (and hopefully even a vacation), it was easy to forget to turn on the news. Instead of letting these events slip into nothingness and forgetting about them, here’s a summer news recap.

Man arrested and charged for June and July sexual assaults on/near York University Keele Campus

Over the summer, two women were sexually assaulted in two separate incidents in the Ian MacDonald Boulevard/Pond Road area and inside a campus building. After weeks of fear, Uchenna Ekezie, 28, was arrested and charged with two counts of sexual assault. On Monday, July 29th, 2019, he appeared in court. This is an ongoing investigation and anyone with further information is asked to contact police at 416-808-3100, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, or online on their Facebook Leave a Tip page. While this case is far from over, people can let out a small sigh of relief.

Source: Toronto Police

BC manhunt finishes with a grisly end

When the bodies of Chynna Dease and Lucas Fowler were discovered Monday, July 15th in British Columbia, the world was shaken. When the body of Leonard Dyck was discovered July 19th, questions arose. While the two incidents were initially considered separate, police quickly came to the potential conclusion that the two were related. On Tuesday, July 23rd, police revealed that they were treating Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky, 19 and 18 respectively, as suspects. To Canada’s horror, they had seemingly disappeared. Over the next few weeks, the RCMP worked diligently, tracking down every lead throughout Canada, eventually focusing in on Northern Manitoba after receiving several credible sightings. While leads were reported in Northwestern Ontario, they were found to be unrelated. On August 7th, near the Fox Lake Cree Nation reserve in Manitoba, two bodies believed to be McLeod and Schmegelsky were discovered from seemingly self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Autopsies are still underway. Sadly, this offers little closure and only asks more questions.

Sources: CTV News, Vancouver Sun, Global News

First prosthetic limb sockets made from plastic water bottles

As life is seemingly bombarded with bleak and dreary news, it’s important to reflect on the positives. The successful prototypes of prosthetic limb sockets made from upcycled plastic water bottles fits this requirement perfectly. Researchers and experts at De Montford University Leicester have successfully created the first sockets made of plastic bottles, which have been ground and spun into polyester yarn, then heated and molded. K. Kandan, a senior lecturer at DMU, expressed a need for reducing landfill and pollution and for creating a cost-efficient solution to low income amputee patients. Traditional prosthetic limb sockets cost an average of 5000£ (approximately $8,161 CAD), but the upcycled version is only 10£ (approximately $16.32 CAD). Upon traveling to India, Kandan found success in two patients, who stated that the sockets were lightweight and easy to use. As only seven percent of plastic water bottles are recycled, upcycling them may just offer an excellent solution to the pollution problem.

Source: DMU

First trip to the Titanic in 14 years reveals poor condition

After letting the once-luxurious Titanic slumber for 14 years, the latest dives have revealed its poor state. While little life exists in and around the ship due to the sheer depth at 12,500 feet, the Titanic is not immune to iron-eating microbes, salt corrosion and deep currents. Captain Edward Smith’s cabin has largely deteriorated or, as was the case with the famed bathtub, have entirely disintegrated, says Titanic historian Parks Stephenson. The Titanic infamously sank on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York in 1912. Out of its 2224 passengers, over 1500 passed away. While researchers have known the ship would eventually disintegrate, its poor state was described as “shocking.” It is estimated the Titanic may be entirely gone by as early as 2030. In the words of Stephenson, “Titanic is returning to nature.”

Source: The Guardian

Amazon rainforest (still) on fire

August 2019 was marked with parts of the beautiful Amazon rainforest on fire, spanning several weeks (and is ongoing at the time of publication). From January to August, 72,843 fires have been detected by Brazil’s space research center, INPE, marking an 83 percent increase over the same period in 2018. While 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest is in Brazil, it also grows in parts of Bolivia, Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru and Suriname. Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has been heavily criticized for his initial inaction, but has since mobilized the Brazilian army in an attempt to combat the fires. He has further largely insisted that the Amazonian fires are under control. At the G7 summit (consisting of the US, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Britain and Canada), a donation of $22 million was proposed to assist and was rejected by Bolsonaro, who went on to suggest the money be used to reforest Europe. Bolsonaro expressed concerns that other countries would treat Brazil as a colony, and said of French president Emmanuel Macron: “Macron cannot even avoid a predictable fire in a church that is part of the world’s heritage, and he wants to give us lessons for our country?” in reference to the Notre Dame fire in April. Sadly, it’s unclear when the fires will stop burning and how much devastation will occur. 


For information on how to assist with the fire, please visit the World Wildlife Fund’s website (WWF).

Sources: Aljazeera, CNET, Reuters, CBS News

The news is always a balance between positive and negative, and this summer was no different. Life can be busy, but luckily it’s easy to catch up and be a little more in the know. From reporting groundbreaking prosthetic prototypes to trips to sunken ships, Her Campus has you covered.

Kaitlin is a bilingual (French and English) writer originating from friendly Thunder Bay. They are in their seventh year at York University, where they study professional writing with an emphasis on journalism. They live with their partner of nine years and their cat, Tessa. They started writing with a passion and a poem that eventually won third in a contest 12 years ago, and started editing not too long after. When not at the keyboard, Kaitlin can be found reading, cooking, playing video games, or holding Tessa. Their favorite movies are scary and their favorite television genre is reality. Kaitlin's passions include copyediting, anything scary or spooky and adding to her collection of dolls, magnets and cups. Their favorite part of writing/editing is giving others a chance to share their story or achieve their dreams and offering insight on "the little things." Some of Kaitlin's favorite topics reflect on their personal life, including health/disabilities, fringe topics and social issues.
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