New Brunswick — The provincial government announced this week that it would be making major changes to the Student Employment Experience Development (SEED) program, including reducing the number of placements and allowing MLAs to choose which employers receive funding.
One other notable change the Conservative government is making to the program involves the name, which Trevor Holder, minister of post-secondary education, says is “unsuitable” for the #MeToo era.
“To all of you out there, we’ve heard your little ‘jokes,’” said Holder, making air quotes. “Frankly, we don’t find them very funny. What’s more, we feel that it creates a working atmosphere that can be very harmful.”
He explained that jokes about the name of the program, and its perceived sexual connotations, have the potential to make people uncomfortable.
“As a government, we need to realize that we are dealing with some very sexy, nubile teenagers here. That kind of energy can be dangerous in the workplace,” said Holder. “That’s why we must take great pains to eliminate all potential for innuendo.”
Holder added that he believes that his government need not address the more pressing, systematic concerns the movement has for professional women, and that the name change will “likely be sufficient.”
“Now, allow me to present our new name,” He said. “One that better reflects the academic ambitions of the initiative: the ‘Junior Intern Scholarly Mentorship’ program!”
As he said this, the new acronym flashed up on the screen behind him. He turned to look back at it, then paused.
“Oh, right,” he said, after a moment. “Shoot.”