by Sarah Binder
But tragedies such as the avalanche that killed seven Alberta 15-year-olds
on a school ski trip earlier this month show how a respected school and
its officials can suddenly find themselves in the harsh public limelight,
their actions and policies scrutinized for error, their reputation possibly
tarnished. The seminar drew about 45 people from Concordia and other Quebec
universities, including McGill, Laval, Université de Montréal,
Université de Sherbrooke and UQAM.
There is growing preoccupation with institutional liability in Quebec,
where out-of-country study has gained popularity due largely to generous
bursaries the provincial government has made available since 2000.
You can talk all you want about student health and safety, but
it takes the threat of institutional liability for an institution to act,
said Myles, who has extensive experience in travel and student services.
Its a sad fact.
Queens established its Emer-gency Support Program (ESP) in 1997.
The ESP now includes an emergency protocol, a 24-hour telephone hotline,
pre-departure orientation briefings, information forms, and a contact
The university aims to make students partners in sharing responsibility
for their health and safety abroad. We dont hold their hands,
The International Centre which he heads administers the ESP, offers pre-departure
orientation, co-ordinates faculty-departmental briefings and contacts
participants when disaster strikes. It is a centralized unit, serving
incoming and outgoing students.
Fred Francis, deputy director of CIAC, said in an interview that Concordia
currently has a dogs breakfast of policies on its international
programs. He had invited Myles to Concordia to raise awareness about the
need for a more unified approach.
The University Secretariat is in fact working on a policy that would
centralize the infrastructure of student travel, said Heather
Adams-Robinette, co-ordinator of university policies.