Dal named Halifax's best university by Coast readers
Best of Halifax awards for 2012
Ryan McNutt - November 1, 2012
It's been seven years since The Coast, Halifax's Weekly, last asked Haligonians to vote on the city's best university or college.
They said “Dalhousie” then, and they're saying “Dalhousie” now.
With the category returning to action in The Coast's yearly “Best of Halifax” readers' poll, Dalhousie pulled out a first-place finish.
“We're proud part of this great community here in Halifax, and honoured that our community feels the same way about us,” says Dal President Tom Traves. “To be named among so many great institutions and leaders across HRM is truly special.”
If you're looking for hints as to why Dal took home the gold, look no further than to a few of the Coast categories where Dal domination has become the norm.
Take Roberta Barker, for example, who was named best professor in Halifax for an incredible fifth year in a row.
“It's incredibly flattering and I've always been a bit shocked by it,” says the theatre professor. “We have so many wonderful, truly great professors in Halifax, and especially here at Dalhousie, so it's very humbling.”
Dr. Barker's courses include Modern Theatre, Gender in Theatre and Opera and the Idea of Enlightenment, the latter of which is part of the Early Modern Studies Program at King's. When asked about her philosophy of teaching, she explains that it's about creating a space for students to engage with one another.
“One of the real goals of a teacher, as one of my colleagues puts it, is to make yourself redundant: giving the students room to learn and grow and think critically for themselves, creating an opportunity for a meaningful exchange of ideas. It's creating a context to explore and discover the material.”
Another returning Dal champion is the DSU's acclaimed T-Room pub, located on Sexton Campus. For the third year in a row, it was named the Best Student Hang in Halifax. What's more, its super-popular Friday night trivia took home the award for Best Trivia Night for the fourth year running.
“They have a very loyal fanbase,” says Greg Wright, director of licensed operations for the DSU. In fact, the trivia night just celebrated its tenth anniversary last month. Stan Selig, an engineering grad, has been there for the duration while Thomas Craig, its other co-founder, recently retired from the host post. Pharmacy student Matt Morrison has now joined the team.
“You can't beat consistency and enthusiasm when it comes to something like trivia,” says Wright. “Stan's passion for triva is infectious.”
As for the T-Room's popularity more generally, Wright attributes it to the way it feels like home to students.
“People see it as an extension of their own living room, somewhere where you hang out, see friends.”
Wright adds that his team has plenty of activities lined up at both of the DSU's campus pubs — the T-Room and the Grawood — throughout the next couple of months, including a special night to mark the Grawood's 40th anniversary.
Full results: The Coast Best of Halifax 2012