Canadian Consulting Engineer

Letter: Atlantic engineering students do “amazing” things for society

Re. the article dated February 5, "Stop behaving inappropriately, engineering students urged," following is a letter received from Jessica LeNoble, the Atlantic Ambassador – Canadian Federation of Engineering Students and Vice President...

February 11, 2014   Canadian Consulting Engineer

Re. the article dated February 5, “Stop behaving inappropriately, engineering students urged,” following is a letter received from Jessica LeNoble, the Atlantic Ambassador – Canadian Federation of Engineering Students and Vice President Communications – Atlantic Council of Engineering Students:

As the Atlantic Ambassador of the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students and the Vice President Communications of the Atlantic Council of Engineering students, I am writing this email to correct an error published in the CCE website article of February 5.

One of the incidents referenced in your article, which took place at Saint Mary’s University this September, was not engineering-related. The SMU student union – not the SMU engineering society – led the event. The students found on video shouting chants were not necessarily engineering students; they were only referred to as “first years” in mainstream media coverage. In addition, engineering at SMU is a two-year diploma program, and students transfer to another university (usually Dalhousie University) after graduation in second year. For this reason, it is highly unlikely that SMU engineering students were involved in the leadership of this event, as typically orientation week leaders are third and fourth year students.

In Atlantic Canada, our engineering students work hard to promote professionalism within our region. We have four elected Professional Development Commissioners on the Atlantic Council of Engineering Students, one for each province, whose jobs are to communicate with our provincial professional organizations to increase leadership, communication, and professional development among students in Atlantic Canada. I personally have attended dozens of events over my three years of involvement with ACES and have not witnessed Atlantic engineering students participating in the kind of inappropriate conduct described in this article.

While it is disheartening to hear of the inappropriate conduct that has occurred this year, I feel it is important that students who have not engaged in this kind of conduct are not accused of such. There are numerous events in Atlantic Canada that display how our engineering students are “inherently creative and concerned with human welfare.” Perhaps the first step in rebuilding the reputation of engineering students in Canada is to highlight more of our students’ amazing contributions that serve to better our country. For example, engineering students at both Dalhousie University and Memorial University raise thousands of dollars every year for local children’s charities and health charities. There are so many amazing engineering students in Canada, and those students deserve to be labelled as who they are – “positive enablers” – rather than who they aren’t.

Jessica LeNoble

Atlantic Ambassador – Canadian Federation of Engineering Students

Vice President Communications – Atlantic Council of Engineering Students


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