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Academic competition puts UWinnipeg business students in line with Western Canada’s best

Rapid Transit plans affect transit users and all active commuters at the University of Manitoba

The announcement of government funding for expanded bus rapid transit routes was welcome news for many.

By Jack Rach The University of Winnipeg's JDC West team at the competition in Victoria, B.C. By Brenlee Coates

classic, Billy Madison. If this explanation referred to business school, it would


do a pretty fair job of summarizing the Jeux du Commerce West (JDC West) competition two local business schools just participated in. JDC West is Western Canada’s largest business compe-

tition, which gathers hundreds of students from the top 12 institutions in the region for a three-day, intensive event. “Tey try to explain it to you as much as possible…

except for when you get there, the atmosphere is just incredible,” describes Julie Kiernan, a first-year partici- pant from Te University of Winnipeg’s human resource management team. “Your wakeup calls are at 5 a.m. Mine was at 2. You’re really running on the adrenaline.” Participating universities send teams of about 50 stu-

dents to compete in one area of focus in the 10 academic competitions, or in a parliamentary debate, athletic or social competition. Selections for the teams were made in the spring,

and throughout the following fall term, students of Te University of Winnipeg team engaged in weekly case studies, threw a charitable event, and held two mock JDC West competitions where corporate sponsors were invited to evaluate. “It’s a pretty rigorous preparation process,” says Da-

vid Johnston, who went to his second competition with UWinnipeg this January. “U of W did better than we have in the past… (it’s) probably one of the youngest business schools that go to the competition.” While the Asper School of Business from the University

of Manitoba maintained its long-standing reputation, even being awarded the school of choice at JDC West this year, the U of W is starting to score serious points for its well-prepped business candidates. “With programs like JDC West and having a lot more students involved in it, there’s more buzz now,” says Ki-

t means an academic decathlon. One day, ten events, testing all the knowledge one would gain in high school,” goes the line in the Adam Sandler

ernan, of the U of W’s faculty of business. “I’ve noticed a huge change in tone and topic about it.” “I think more people are seeing it as an option for them,”

adds Johnston. “U of W students are getting the same jobs as Asper grads.” Johnston also holds the U of W’s small relative class

sizes to its credit. “Because the program is so new here, it’s easier to get involved in things like JDC West,” he says. Both Kiernan and Johnston have secured employment

following their graduation this spring, and credit their edu- cation and JDC West experience for shaping their success. “It’s a really good thing especially for interviews,” says

Kiernan. Like when you’re asked those nagging questions like: “Tell me a time when you worked on a team” or had a disagreement. “It shows you can think for yourself and apply (theory) in

an everyday sense,” adds Johnston. “It builds those lasting relationships as well.” Te explosive atmosphere at JDC West was less like a

catty cheerleading competition and more like healthy competition between peers. “Tere’s so much pride in everybody’s schools… and a

lot of support,” says Kiernan. “Everyone’s wanting to meet each other.” “There really isn’t any bad blood for anyone,” says

Johnston. Not to mention, the competition awards participation

marks and holds high standards for their distribution, and the U of W team earned fourth in participation overall. Tough it’s a student event, participation in JDC West

doesn’t have to end after graduation. “Tey do encourage you to stay involved with the competition,” says Kiernan. Johnston plans to return to his third year in the competi-

tion by helping pass on knowledge to the new accounting recruits. “I still hope to come back and maybe coach the team,” he says. “I think it never leaves you.” Applications for Te University of Winnipeg’s JDC West

2016 team are now being accepted. Students who have completed a minimum of three business courses are eligi- ble to apply. Email for more information on the application process.

Talk about money in front of your kids and start their education early

By Brian Denysuik

dren are very excitable and want to get their eyes and hands on everything. But what I find interesting is when


they get to the checkout to pay for the groceries. What do the children of today see? They see parents pull out a piece of plastic that is put into a machine, a few numbers entered into a key pad – and presto, they are handed a receipt and off they go. What would be different if children saw us actually using cash instead of

March 2015

t is always interesting to watch parents with young children these days at the grocery store. Yes, chil-

plastic? If it was cash, would Mom or Dad be talking about what they should or should not buy based on how much cash they actually have in their wallet? What would resonate to kids if their parents took cash out of their wallet and paid a $75 grocery bill and saw the cashier count their change back to them? What can our children learn by

watching parents fight about money? Tat timeless argument that we all have wants and needs and that we can’t afford everything, or the argu- ment of saving versus spending. Our children need to see, feel and hear that money does not grow on trees;

that the ATM can only give you a certain amount of money; and that sometimes we have to talk about not spending every penny we have. And yes we really need to talk about “sav- ing to spend.” Open up to having these discus-

sions in our children’s reach. Devel- oping a few little habits will make a difference in their lives, and help reduce the overall debt mess we are in today. Brian Denysuik is a local credit

counsellor and registered insolvency counsellor at Creditaid who has been working in the financial services in- dustry for over 30 years.

levels of government to extend Winnipeg’s rapid transit route will have a profound impact on the University of Manitoba and its wider community. “Te arrival of the Southwest Rapid Transit way at U


of M’s Fort Garry Campus is exciting,” says Ian Hall, di- rector of the sustainability office at the university. “Te reliability improvements, quality of experience and time savings will benefit a large proportion of our community and commuters inbound to downtown.” Affects active commuters, too

“Te parallel active transportation path will improve

mobility and safety for people who bike and walk in a broad swath of the city,” Hall adds. Te federal government has committed $137.5 million,

and the province and the city will each contribute $225 million toward the Southwest Transitway from Jubilee Avenue to the University of Manitoba. Construction on the project is expected to start in 2016 and will likely be completed by late 2019 – with service to start by April 2020. Reducing emissions and growing sustainability Hall says that from a sustainability perspective, im-

proved transit facilities and use will contribute to the university’s goals to reduce emissions, support a walk- able campus, increase wellness and foster sustainable transportation choices. Te future bus rapid transit line to the U of M is also

a focal point of Visionary (re)Generation (an interna- tional design competition to reimagine the University of Manitoba’s Fort Garry campus), with the plan calling for village-style residential and commercial areas to be developed along the route. Te plan also proposes future bus and active transportation routes throughout campus. Connecting the Southwest Rapid Transitway to the

campus is immensely positive for the university says Rejeanne Dupuis, acting director of the Campus Plan- ning Office. “It will increase the accessibility and convenience of

transit access both within the campus and to the rest of the city, helping to make us a more transit-oriented campus overall,” she says. With the proposed transit route going through the

Southwood Lands, appropriate planning in this area is crucial for its future neighbourhood development. Dupuis says mixed-use elements are key to this so that safety becomes paramount. Te route through this area will not be a high-speed corridor, but rather will function more slowly through the Southwood Lands much like neighbourhood streets do now. “Pedestrian safety, street design and crosswalk loca-

tions will be key considerations when finalizing the locations of stops on campus – ensuring transit access and stop locations facilitate a positive and enjoyable pedestrian experience,” says Dupuis. “Te location of major pedestrian corridors and access points on campus will also be important in planning stop locations, as will the proximity of stops to indoor and building access.” “Personally, I’m excited to see how having top-notch

transit and active transportation facilities on campus changes perception of sustainable transportation,” adds Hall. “Tere are all kinds of reasons to bus, bike, or walk to school, but improvements that add convenience, improve connections, work well year-round – and that look good – will I’m sure transform our transportation culture.” For more news stories from the University of Manitoba, visit

Smart Biz 13

ver one-third of commuters on the Fort Garry campus use public transit, so the recent an- nouncement of dedicated funding from all three

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