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Volume 145 · March 14 · Issue 24, 2012
brunswickan canada’s oldest official student publication.
Task force looks at future of Renaissance College Alanah Duffy News Reporter A task force has been compiled by the University of New Brunswick to look into the future of Renaissance College. Renaissance College students were informed of this task force via e-mail on Feb. 27. The e-mail, from Renaissance College Dean Ted Needham, said the task force “is trying to learn as much about Renaissance College as possible so their recommendations are meaningful and based on a comprehensive review of the college”. In an interview with the Brunswickan, Needham said the task force would be examining a number of things related to the college. “It’s an internal look to see where we are, where we need to go, what the obstacles and barriers that are limiting its evolution are,” Needham said. When asked what he saw as the f uture of Renaissance College, Needham hesitated. “I don’t want to circumvent the task force and its work, because I’m
part of the task force and its work. I think it’s better to let them finish their work before I venture there,” he responded. Renaissance College, which is owned by UNB, offers students a condensed three-year Bachelor of Philosophy degree, with a focus on leadership. Students in the program complete two internships; one in Canada and one in an underdeveloped country. The college, which was established in 2001, accepts classes of 25 to 30 students each year. Classes are taught off-campus, in Maggie Jean Chestnut House on Charlotte Street. The task force is comprised of Needham; Dan Coleman, assistant vice-president academic; Alan Sears, an education professor; Cynthia Stacey, assistant dean in the kinesiology faculty; and, Constantine Passaris, a professor in the economics faculty. On the evening of Feb. 28, students were invited to a meeting to
SEE RENAISSANCE PAGE 2
Maggie Jean Chestnut building, where Renaissance College has been housed since it’s inception. Sandy Chase / The Brunswickan
A celebration of culture
Joseph Who? The ups and downs of #Kony2012 Lee Thomas The Brunswickan
Dancers strut their stuff at Peponi on Saturday night.The annual African Student Night drew a crowd of 400. See page 4 for the full story. Andrew Meade / The Brunswickan
If you’ve been on any form of social media this past week, you’ve seen it. You probably shared it, retweeted it. Over 32 million people in under four days helped to spread the message: Stop Kony. I first heard about it when I walked into my friend’s room to see her staring at her computer screen, nearly in tears. If by some statistical improbability you haven’t heard of Joseph Kony yet, he’s the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LR A), a militia group in Central Africa notorious for using child soldiers. Kony 2012 describes itself as an international campaign which “aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise sup-
port for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.” It plans to achieve this end by raising awareness amongst the general public and targeting the “culturemakers” as well as the “policymakers.” The 30-minute video is available at www.kony2012.com. My first reaction was this campaign is incredible. I spent two months in Uganda in 2009, and hearing f irsthand from kids who’ve seen their families murdered shocked my 15-year-old self to the core. The experience changed me irrevocably, and I would do anything to help that country. With its inspiring message and can-do attitude, Kony 2012 seemed like everything I had ever hoped for.
SEE KONY PAGE 12
2 • Mar. 14, 2012 • Issue 24 • Volume 145
Celebrating Women’s Studies on campus
Future uncertain FROM RENAISSANCE PAGE 1 learn more about the task force and to answer questions. “They asked us some hard questions,” John Connell said, a secondyear Renaissance College student. “The overwhelming response – it was pretty much a consensus – is that the college has to remain its own faculty, because it’s so important for the structure of our education and for the community feel.” The original e-mail said the task force was examining a broad number of things, including whether the college should remain in Maggie Jean Chestnut House and whether it should be integrated with another faculty or continue to be separate. Connell said that making the college part of another faculty would be a huge step backwards, and a contradiction to the college’s values and goals. Another student, Mila McMackin, said a lot of students are worried the college might get shut down. “They asked us what the strengths and weaknesses and opportunities and threats of Renaissance College were,” McMackin said, a third-year student. “They also had questions about how we felt about our education, how we felt the advertising was for the college, what we learned and what we think other students would gain from being here.”
Needham acknowledged that the college would benefit from more advertising, although he said that application numbers have remained stagnant since its founding. The college normally receives 50 applicants to its program each year, accepting about half that number. “We struggle with an identity. Most people don’t know what Renaissance College is,” Needham said. “We don’t have that brand yet, and that’s one of our limitations. We have to work really hard because it’s young, and that connection hasn’t been established yet.” Needham said the college has begun to work with UNB’s marketing department to develop a more concise image of the college. The task force is expected to unveil a list of recommendations about Renaissance College in April or May. Needham said he hopes the college gets concrete direction from the task force. “There might be some sort of recommendation around what the greater university needs to do to help Renaissance College fulfill its mission, which in turn helps the university fulfill its mission,” Needham said. “I don’t know exactly what it’s going to be, but I hope whatever it is, they are concrete things that remove any of the uncertainty that surrounds Renaissance College.”
Alanah Duffy News Reporter The University of New Brunswick’s Women’s Studies program will be holding a Lunch and Learn event on Thursday, Mar. 15 to commemorate its 25-year anniversary as a program. Courses in Women’s Stud ies began to be offered in 1986, the 100-year anniversary of the admission of Mary Tibbits, UNB’s first female student. The interdisciplinary program now offers more than 50 courses. The Lunch and Learn event, held from noon until 1:30 p.m. in the Kent Auditorium of the Wu Centre, will focus on the history of Women’s Studies at UNB, as well as areas where the program could use some improvement. Wendy Robbins, coordinator of the program, hopes this event will bring more awareness to the program. “We don’t have an office, or a logo, or anything,” Robbins says. “I hope that more attention comes out of this.” Robbins adds that although more than 8,500 students have taken courses in Women’s Studies since its founding, the program remains invisible in comparison to other courses and faculties.
Courses in Women’s Stud ies don’t start until the second year of an undergraduate degree, and many students don’t know about them. “I would like to see a first-year course, because when you have a course in first year, when the recruiters go out [to high schools], they’re talking about what you can do at UNB, it would automatically be in the mix,” Robbins says. “Right now, it tends not to be, because it starts at a 2000-level. So, we’re losing out on all the recruiting.” Getting educated in Women’s Studies is important, says Robbins, pointing out that full professors at universities are comprised of only twenty per cent women. She also spoke of a “glass ceiling,” a metaphor for the fact that so many men are in positions of senior management in companies, and women find it hard to break the barrier. A search is currently underway for the next vice-president research at UNB, which will be announced in July. Ranjana Bird is the only female candidate for the position. “If we get a senior administer who is a woman, that could really change the dynamics, I think,” Robbins says. “We always thought that there would be a day when this was corrective, and then corrected, and then it would just be life as usual; it would be perfectly integrated,” Rob-
bins continues. “And that just hasn’t happened. Look at what’s happening in the United States right now; it’s appalling.” Robbins is referring to an incident where radical radio host Rush Limbaugh called law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” after she testified in favour of government-funded contraception. The incident sparked debate from all sides of the political spectrum. Robbins says this is an example of why programs like Women’s Studies and political groups need to remain vigilant in a fight for equal rights. “We can actually move backwards, and that’s the scary thing about studying women’s history. It rarely goes in a straight line – there are curves and valleys and dead ends sometimes,” she says. Although there is no office for the Women’s Studies program at UNB, Robbins helped to found PAR-L (Policy, Action, Research List) in 1995. The website is used as a forum for interested individuals to discuss women-centred issues in Canada. Robbins says the website is a way she and her UNB Women’s Studies counterparts stay connected with other research in this area. “It gives us a sense of belonging. You need that kind of critical mass, or people who are up to speed on this,” Robbins says. “Our work really isn’t done. It’s not inevitable that you’re always going to make progress.”
Mar. 14, 2012 • Issue 24 • Volume 145 • 3
Avoiding student housing hell
Dr. T. Wayne Lenehan Dr. M. Michele Leger
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Student apartments aren’t well-known for being in the best condition. DelayedGratification / Flickr CC Cherise Letson The Brunswickan With this academic year coming to a close, many students are busy hunting – apartment hunting, that is. For students moving out of residence for the first time, this process can be nerve-wracking and stressful. Stephanie Despres, regional manager of the Office of the Rentalsmen at Service New Brunswick says the biggest problem students run into when looking for their first apartment is they are not informed. “The biggest trouble is that they need to inform themselves on what their rights and responsibilities are as tenants and also what their landlord’s rights and responsibilities are,” Despres said. These rights and responsibilities are outlined in the guide “Residential Tenancies: A Guide for Landlords and Tenants in New Brunswick.” The guide is available free online on the Service New Brunswick website. When you f ind an apartment, Despres recommends signing a lease for protection. “In New Brunswick there’s no requirement for a written lease, but it is strongly recommended. Tenants should be trying to get into a written lease, that’s how they protect themselves,” Despres said. Despres said it’s important to pay attention to minor details. Even the smallest thing could become an issue. She recommends that students do an accommodation inspection report with the landlord. These forms are available online so you can bring it to the landlord and insist it be filled out. Take note of everything. “That’s everything, the state of the paint, the state of the carpet, the state of the caulking around the
tub, those kinds of things. Knicks, scratches, it should all be noted on that accommodation inspection report,” Despres said. Both parties should keep a copy of the report. When you move out, the process should be done again. This will help if you and your landlord argue over any damages. It may just save you your damage deposit. Despres said that taking pictures would also help in that respect. “Pictures of anything, like if there is a great big scratch on one of the walls, it’s good to note it on the report, but it’s also good to take a picture of it and hold onto it until it’s time to go,” Despres said. However, no matter how prepared you think you are going in, your first apartment is bound to come with some learning experiences. Second-year student Lindsay Weidhaas was excited to finally have her own place. Though she loves the location, she’s run into many problems she did not expect. Throughout the course of this year her plumbing has been backed up three times, often leaving gunk spewing up from the bathtub. Her place leaked several times, leaving huge messes and ruining her stereo. Weidhaas said she is not impressed with how her landlord handled these problems. She said the leaking was caused by the landlord not installing the proper insulation to prevent it. “This would obviously make our apartment leak, but he was too lazy to do it. He said the neighbours didn’t like him, so he wouldn’t fix it just because of that problem,” Weidhaas said. Weidhaas is still waiting for the landlord to put the insulation in. She also said when there are problems, it is often not her landlord they are dealing with, and it takes a long time for problems to get fixed.
“He sends his other people over to fix the problems, he doesn’t fix them himself. And he takes forever. We have to keep hounding him over and over again, even to put sand on our driveway,” Weidhaas said. She will be looking at another place for next year, and this year has been a learning experience. She said it’s important that students look at the little details. “Definitely ask when it was last renovated, even the plumbing. Ask if there have been any problems beforehand, even how old the building is. Also ask around to see the type of person the landlord is,” Weidhass said. Building and landlord problems are not the only issues students can face when getting their own place. There is also the issue of roommates. Third-year student Jonathan Salmon got a house with several people this year. They ran into a problem when one roommate was behind about $1,500 on rent. “It all comes down to one rent, and if it’s not getting paid, then it’s all on us. So the landlord said he was going to evict us,” Salmon said. Luckily, Salmon had a nice landlord who changed his mind, and let them stay since there is only two months left on their lease. Salmon said the move from residence to an apartment has its challenges, like bickering over who is going to do the dishes. He said, however, residence is a good place to find potential roommates. He also said moving in with friends may not be as bad as some make it. “Some people say that moving in with your good friends isn’t a good idea, but I find it’s better because if you have a fight, you’re not going to stay mad at them forever,” Salmon said.
4 • Mar. 14, 2012 • Issue 24 • Volume 145
UNB doesn’t place in environmental challenge Derek Ness The Brunswickan Universities across Atlantic Canada have been battling it out for the top spot in the Campus Climate Challenge. Often shortened to C3, the challenge ran from Jan. 23 to Feb. 6 at UNBF, UNBSJ, Mount Allison, St. Mary’s, Acadia, Memorial University, and St. Francis Xavier. Shannon Adams, the UNB Student Union environmenta l coordinator explained the goals of the challenge. “Students challenged themselves and other university residences to reduce energy consumption in innovative and effective ways,” Adams said. “Ultimately, the university judged to have reduced its energy consumption most significantly will receive a prize.” She continued by saying individual universities may also have prizes for winners of smaller, inter-residence competitions. Adams did say there was a communication issue in getting the word out about the challenge though. “Unfortunately, there is seemingly a lack in the communication link between what the greater university and residence communities are doing here,” she said. Adams said there was a lack of advertising within the residence community because the challenge fell at a busy time for the residences. None of UNB’s residences made it into the top ten Atlantic university residences with the highest energy consumption reduction rate during the competition. That being said, energy consumption was realized
Peponi: A celebration of Africa
Tomi Gbeleyi The Brunswickan
Jeff Smyth, a foreman in the electrical department, checks out power readings. Andrew Meade / The Brunswickan in some of residences, such as Neill, Neville-Jones, Harrison, and Lady Beaverbrook. Mount Allison University residences claimed three of the top five positions in the challenge, with UNBSJ and Acadia also having top five positions. Mount Allison’s successes are not surprising, though, since the competition originally began there in 2006. This year is only UNB’s second year
to participate. Adams explained though the results may not have been favourable for UNB this year, there is always an opportunity for improvement. Furthermore, she said, “every small effort counts.” “Whether it is turning off and unplugging your computer between each use or unplugging your hair dryer or turning off the lights, it all helps.”
For 45 years, the African Student Union has been promoting cultural awareness at UNB and in the city. The group’s biggest night of the year is Africa Night – a celebration of African culture. For an event entirely organized by students, it attracts a large turnout and is also well-attended by members of the Fredericton community. This year’s Africa Night called “Peponi” was held last weekend at the Student Union Building. About 400 guests gathered to watch. According to the president of the African Student Union, Josiah Gado, the theme “Peponi,” a Swahili word meaning paradise, was chosen because it embodies an objective of the annual event. “To counter the singular, stereotypical imagery of Africa and Africans as povertystricken, desolate people desperately seeking for help from well-off countries,” Gado said. Gado alluded to the Kony 2012 movement in his welcoming speech and mentioned that while, “he did not know much about the credibility of its organizers, the video is an example of the singular account that many outside Africa have about the continent”. The evening included red carpet photos and delicious African delicacies, with animal-print décor and candlelight to set the mood. The ambiance of the building was completely transformed. Two speeches were delivered, one a powerful message by student Youseff Bassem about the Egyptian Revolution and another an encouraging speech by UNICEF Canada ambassador and past African Student Union vice-president,
Solange Tuyishime. Following the speeches, a rap performance by Tunji Lawal, based on a Piano Guys and Alex Boye cover of the song “Paradise” by Coldplay, kicked-off the performances for the night. Aside from the UNB/STU members of the African Student Union that performed at the event, students from the Université de Moncton and Fredericton High School also took the stage. There were also a number of Canadian students who performed at the show. This year’s event saw an increase in Canadian participation with more volunteers helping with set-up, food preparation and service. Veronica McGinn, office manager of the Centre for Property Studies, expressed that an intermingling of cultures between Canadian and international students is immensely beneficial to UNB as well as the Fredericton community and she hopes to see more of this interaction. Each performance was spectacular and showed the immense preparation that was put into the show by students. One of the performances, a skit about reverse culture shock got the audience laughing hysterically with its props and comedic lines. An elaborate fashion show, presentation by the UNB Chorale, Malawian poems, musical performances, and lively dances were part of the lineup. The show ended with a vote of thanks and an inspiring dance by all the volunteers and performers to the song “Waving Flag” by K’Naan. African Student Union membership is open to all students and inquiries about getting involved can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mar. 14, 2012 • Issue 24 • Volume 145 • 5
Ushering in a new year: Meeting the new UNB Student Union executive Tamara Gravelle and Christopher Cameron
Andrew Martel President
Moving into a bigger office next year, Andrew Martel will also have a bigger role, as this year’s vicepresident finance moves into the role of UNBSU president. He wants to address student engagement by having a stronger presence on campus. “A lot of people see the UNBSU as being high and mighty or something that is above students, but we’re not,” he said. “We’re elected by students to work for students.” He hopes to be more hands-on with interacting with students, by doing something similar to that of Tony Secco, UNB’s vice-president academic. “I think setting up a table somewhere like the SUB and getting feedback from students and hearing what they have to say is the biggest thing,” Martel said. “We need to hear their concerns. We may think we know what their concerns are, but we might be missing an important chunk.” “If we start worrying about and fighting about issues that students are really concerned with then students might be more interested with what we’re doing.” With regards to lobbying, Martel hopes to work alongside the new vice-president external and the NBSA to work at the provincial level. He believes that is where lobbying will affect students the most. With regards to the NBSA, he hopes all New Brunswick schools can get on the same page so they can push together to achieve one common goal. “If we’re all fighting for different issues then we’re not going to get where we want to go,” he said. “We really need to figure out what we want as a province and then push together with all the resources that we have.” Specific to UNB, Martel hopes to take the results of the referendum questions in the election concerning ancillary fees and work toward having these fees passed by students.
Adam Melanson VP External
Although his only experience with the UNBSU has been as the science representative on student council, Adam Melanson is prepared to take on the role as vice-president external next year. He wants to focus on getting the necessary information to students so they can have a stronger group to lobby the government concerning the needs of students. “I think that students are very interested in this (lobbying); it affects their day-to-day lives,” he said. “Because students are very busy with school work, have part-time jobs or play on sports teams, not everyone has the opportunity to go looking for the information of what can be done.” “Where the student union steps in should be to provide resources on what the government and university are proposing and this is what the student union is proposing. If we lay down all the information correctly, that students are interested in, they will be involved in the process.” Melanson wants to work to ensure students have an “accessible and af-
The new UNB Student Union executive takes over in May. Andrew Meade / The Brunswickan fordable education.” He wants to look at tuition, ancillary fees and the loan system. “Working within those three groups - to have low tuition, to have ancillary fees that are only implemented if they are passed by student referendum, and to have improvements to the loan system, and to have more grants given instead of loans. Those are the areas I really want to focus on.”
Marc Gauvin VP Finance & Operations
Marc Gauvin spent the night the Student Union election results were released sitting in front of his computer constantly hitting refresh. “As the campaign went on,” Gauvin, new vice-president finance, said, “I wanted the position more and more. When I finally got it, it was a great feeling.” Gauvin plans on working with the budget to help students more, and working to get more revenue to increase the Student Union’s budget. One issue on the forefront for the UNBSU is what they are going to do with the New Brunswick Student Alliance. Even though it is not a part of Gauvin’s job, he is still aware of it and wants it to be resolved. “I think it’s very important to have this lobbying group,” Gauvin said. “I know there’s mixed feelings in council and it’s going to be an issue for us next year.”
Mostafa Shaker VP Internal
Mostafa Shaker’s f irst reaction when he found out that he won was to tell everyone around him. “It was great to f ind out that the students chose me to represent them,” Shaker said. “I was really excited.” Shaker does have plans he wants
to go ahead with right away, like working with the Orientation Chair to make some changes to academic orientation. But Shaker would like to learn more about his position before making major changes. “I know the current VP Internal has done a lot already and I would like to learn about that, then see what I could improve or maintain.” Shaker would also like to improve the relationship between students and their Student Union. “A lot of people are not really involved with the Student Union,” Shaker said. “I would like a lot more student involvement.”
VP Student Services Chantel Whitman wants to apologize for having her name plastered everywhere across campus throughout the month of February. But, it’s paid off. She’s returning for her second year as vice-president student services and said she’s happy and honoured to have been elected a second time. “I have worked very hard this past year as vice-president student services to hopefully make student life and the student experience at UNB better,” she said. The vice-president student services is responsible for things like enter-
tainment, SafeRide and orientation, among other services. Whitman said she plans on working to get more sponsorship this year. “But now that I know the ropes, I feel I will be able to accomplish much more. I also plan on changing the SafeRide service a bit, so that it is more beneficial to students,” she said.
“I plan on working more with residences and clubs such as the Red Brigade to improve UNB spirit and get more interest in student involvement. Other then that, I really want to just continue working on the current items in the portfolio.”
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Mar. 14, 2012 • Issue 24 • Volume 145 • 6
The media fee: Should it have to go to referendum? Center fee where there was no referendum, but our proposed increase was only two per cent of the $150 To the Point ancillary fee imposed on students Christopher this year. Cameron We went through the proper process, but maybe our fee should just The voice of 1316 UNB students be able to be imposed on students. was heard last week in the UNBSU It affects our bottom line in a more significant way then the $150 affects general election. In response to the Ancillary Fees UNB’s bottom line. Isn’t that fair? We actually need it to be able & Facilities Access Fee Referendum question: “Should University of New to provide the level of service that Brunswick policy and the provincial students expect from us. What I University Act require a student ref- think is going to happen eventuerendum on the implementation of ally is students are going to become ancillary fees,” 798 students voted unhappy with the Brunswickan and in favour, with 297 students against. the services it offers, but they are not Although I agree in some regards willing to invest in it now. To the 675 students who voted to this, the Brunswickan was looking for a fee increase, something that has “no,” I wish I could have sat down to be passed through a referendum. and talked with you to explain that Unfortunately we did not get the this would have provided more jobs increase this year as 675 students said for students, that it would have “no” against the 544 students who helped us improve our presence online and that equipment like our voted “yes.” This is a vast improvement from camera (that takes all or most of our last year’s 619-239 slap in the face photos) needs to be replaced. For all those students who voted by UNB students. I know some may be offended by “yes,” I thank you for understanding saying you (students) slapped us in what we were hoping to do for you. I hope a future Brunswickan edithe face last year, but in some ways I feel that way about it. Students torial board will get this past a refsay they want to have a say in what erendum and that they can continue fees are imposed and you did with to build on the tradition we continue to be a part of at UNB. this one. If they cannot, I hope that someThe problem I have with this is we made sure that we told students what one allows us to impose it on student we would use this increase for and because eventually the cost of living yet all anyone saw was a dollar sign. will go up enough that we will need As I’ve stated before, we have not it to survive as a company. received an increase to the fee we Christopher Cameron is the Editorreceive from students in more than in-Chief of the Brunswickan and can ten years. I mean I can understand that be reached at email@example.com or in students are upset about the Currie SUB room 35 throughout the work week.
Concert climate has changed
When City and Colour played the Playhouse fans may have enjoyed the show, but did not seem to show it too much. Thomas Hawk / Flickr CC Jennifer Bishop An Opinion It’s 8 p.m. in the Fredericton Playhouse and the concert is about to start. I’m so excited I can’t contain myself because I’ve been counting the days to this moment. The opening band starts to play and although it’s a word that’s often used to sensationalize something – they’re actually amazing. I look around me to see if anyone else is enjoying the band as much as I am and to my surprise, not one person – besides my friend - seems to be enjoying themselves. So I think to myself, maybe it’s just because the opening band isn’t very well known and things will pick up when Dallas Green takes the stage. I’ve been a fan of City and Colour since 2008 and have never seen them in concert. In October, when I learned they were coming to Fredericton, the first thing I did was
find out when tickets would be on sale so I wouldn’t miss out. I counted down the days to the concert as soon as I bought my ticket in October. When City and Colour walked on stage, the crowd got excited and then everything went quiet. I continued looking around to see people’s reactions, and the majority still sat there with the same blank look on their faces. This was a concert, and even though City and Colour wasn’t the liveliest band on stage, any fan could tell they sounded better live than on any album they’d recorded. A few people around me mouthed lyrics, and some smiled, but that was it. Now, I know the Playhouse is no Woodstock and that wasn’t what I was expecting, but has concert culture changed? You pay good money to see a band you presumably really enjoy listening to, and you sit in your seat with a blank stare on your face like you’re waiting for the concert to end. On
the other hand, I sat there, screaming lyrics and moving to the music in my seat. The culture has changed. People buy tickets to a show because they hear one song on the radio they like by that band, or they have one really great song by the artist on their iPod. Most things nowadays have gone digital and that’s hurt the music industry and the way people consume their music. There’s something about listening to an album the entire way through. You don’t even have to buy it. You can download that on the Internet too. But what’s the point in dropping money on a concert ticket if you’re not there to enjoy yourself. If you don’t like the band, or you don’t know their music, then why are you there? No, the Playhouse isn’t the most bumpin’ spot and yes, you’re restricted to your seat but you can still stand up, clap your hands, have a good time, and if it’s not too much to ask, put a smile on your face.
The answer I would propose is that this is a tactic to deflect attention from the growing “robocalls” scandal that has engulfed Ottawa and implicated the Conservative government in alleged election fraud. The government is shouting to Canadians, “Hey, look — a distraction!” No doubt some of us will lose focus on what could be the largest voter-suppression scheme in Canadian history. Combined with other tactics of obfuscation, including blaming everyone from the official Opposition to Elections Canada itself, birth tourism might just get the Conservatives out of a tight situation and save their government from more embarrassment.
But really, opening the non-issue of birth tourism right now should actually add to the embarrassment of this government. What happened to the Conservative Party that was elected on the campaign promise of making government more transparent? That party seemingly died upon gaining power in 2006. The government now seems to resort to throwing up smokescreens everywhere to hide what is really going on in Canada. We need to continue scrutinizing the Harper government’s possible role in robocalls, regardless of how much the smoke might sting our eyes.
Conservatives throw up smokescreen Edward Dodd The Carillon (University of Regina) REGINA (CUP) — If you’ve never heard of “birth tourism” before, you are probably not alone. Birth tourism is the latest monster hiding under Canada’s bed — at least, that’s what the Conservative government has decided to warn us. The fear is that certain immigrant women are so desperate to come to Canada that they get on a plane while they are nine months into their pregnancy, land in Canada as a tourist, immediately go into labour and give birth to a child that will then be granted complete Canadian citizenship without the
rigours of the immigration process. In essence, these apparently evil foreign women are determined to leverage their pregnancies into free tickets to Canada. Conservatives warn that, once these mothers give birth in Canada, they can immigrate to Canada more easily because their child is a Canadian. Canadians, being generous, accepting and compassionate people, will probably not separate a mother from her child. “This is, in many cases, being used to exploit Canada’s generosity,” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said in an interview with the CBC. “We need to send the message that
Canadian citizenship isn’t just some kind of an access key to the Canadian welfare state by cynically misrepresenting yourself.” Shortly thereafter in the same interview, he admitted he had no real clue as to how extensive the problem is. Which brings me back to my original point: no one has really even considered birth tourism before now. Why has the government suddenly determined that the big issue we should be afraid of is the unknown numbers of expectant mothers who come to Canada? Where are the statistics that show a concerning number of tourists giving birth to children in our country?
brunswickanopinion the brunswickan Editorial Board
Editor-in-Chief • Chris Cameron Managing • Liam Guitard News • Hilary Paige Smith Arts • Alex Kress Sports • Bryannah James Photo • Andrew Meade Copy • Kathleen MacDougall Production • Sandy Chase Online • James Waters Staff Advertising Sales Rep • Bill Traer Delivery • Dan Gallagher Contributors Cherise Letson, Josh Fleck, Haley Ryan, Sean O’Neill, Alanah Duffy, Nick Murray, Tova Payne, Colin McPhail, Jennifer Bishop, Sarah Vannier, Bronté James, Damira Davletyarova, Amy MacKenzie, Luke Perrin, Lee Thomas, Susanna Chow, Ben Jacobs, Sarah Cambell, Brandon Hicks, Heather Uhl, Adam Melanson, Derek Ness, Lindsey Edney, Patrick McCullough, Leonardo Camejo, Tim Lingley The Brunswickan relies primarily on a volunteer base to produce its issues every week. Volunteers can drop by room 35 of the SUB at any time to find out how they can get involved. About Us The Brunswickan, in its 145th year of publication, is Canada’s Oldest Official Student Publication. We are an autonomous student newspaper owned and operated by Brunswickan Publishing Inc., a non-profit, independent body. We are a founding member of the Canadian University Press, and love it so. We are also members of U-Wire, a media exchange of university media throughout North America. We publish weekly during the academic year with a circulation of 6,000. Letters Must be submitted by e-mail including your name, letters with pseudonymns will not be printed. Letters must be 400 words at maximum. Deadline for letters is Friday at 5 p.m. before each issue. Editorial Policy While we endeavour to provide an open forum for a variety of viewpoints and ideas, we may refuse any submission considered by the editorial board to be racist, sexist, libellous, or in any way discriminatory. The opinions and views expressed in this newspaper are those of the individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Brunswickan, its Editorial Board, or its Board of Directors. All editorial content appearing in The Brunswickan is the property of Brunswickan Publishing Inc. Stories, photographs, and artwork contained herein cannot be reproduced without the express, written permission of the Editorin-Chief. 21 Pacey Drive, SUB Suite 35 Fredericton, NB, E3B 5A3 main office • (506) 447-3388 advertising • (506) 452-6099 fax • (506) 453-5073 e-mail • firstname.lastname@example.org twitter • @Brunswickan www.thebruns.ca
Mar. 14, 2012 • Issue 24 • Volume 145 • 7
letters to the editor tell us what you think
Does it get better? On the 22 of February 2012 the Brunswickan published an article entitled “It gets better campaign hits home” which outlined a campaign launched by student Mostafa Shaker who is running for vice-president external in the upcoming student union elections. The article discusses how homosexuals and homosexuality is still a taboo subject and while we’d like to think that prejudices against the LGBT community are a thing of the past, they are in fact very clearly nowhere near part of the past. This article is not aimed at re-emphasizing what was discussed in the aforementioned article; rather it is here to criticize a seemingly benign comment made by Shaker and journalist Bronté James during the interview, “moving from Egypt, Shaker comes from a culture that has no tolerance for any sexual orientation.” To the average reader I would assume that they would just continue on with the article and not pay any attention to that statement, but when members of the Egyptian community of Fredericton read this article, they were offended. Not because the statement was inaccurate; it is true. Speaking as an Egyptian, our society is not tolerant of homosexuality in any shape or form, but our concern as Egyptians living in Fredericton is that the statement made was not properly put into context. The average reader would shrug it off, not give it much thought, and posses the preconception that Egypt is a backward intolerant society, which is not the case. Egypt is a different culture, where reli-
gion [approximately 85 per cent Muslim and 15 per cent Christian] plays a vital role in everyday life. Our culture is different, our norms are different and our beliefs are different, based on the fact that there are many factors that are in play that shape us differently than your average Canadian. This is why we as Egyptians here in Fredericton have decided to take a stand and take advantage of a right that many have taken for granted, that is freedom of press and expression with which only recently our country has been blessed. No one is denying the intolerance of the Egyptian society towards homosexuality; it is a daunting and self evident fact. A fact none the less that should be given some context instead of it being used as a catalyst to garner political support from a specific demographic while alienating another one completely merely because of the respective size of each group. As a global society we believe in the importance of certain rights, right to food, shelter, security and freedom of expression. It is sad to think that a group of people back in Egypt are being alienated because of who they are. We as Egyptians in Fredericton can relate, because right now, that’s how we feel. So to Mr. Shaker and Ms. James and everyone out there who shrugged it off and kept going on with their lives, we say we really hope it does get better but right now, it’s not okay. Members of the Egyptian community in Fredericton
Re: Policy and Procedure on Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Harassment Dear Editor, The recent article by Alanah Duffy regarding the new Policy and Procedure on Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Harassment (February 29, 2012) mentioned a volunteer mediator service. We would like to follow up with some additional information. The Volunteer Mediator is a pilot project of the Off ice of Human Rights and Positive Environment. Barbara Roberts, human rights officer, and Katharina Kolaritsch, volunteer mediator, have worked with student services to offer a mediation service focused on student conflict. Mediation is a voluntary process for parties in conflict to be guided by a neutral third party toward a mutually agreeable solution. That also means that under no circumstances will a solution be imposed on the parties. A mediator is responsible for guiding a fair process, while the parties themselves are responsible for the outcome. Mediation is based on the idea that the participants know best what they really need, feel and want. The pilot project is meant to support students who find themselves in a conflict with another student, landlord, friend, or roommate. Students are welcome to contact either Barbara or Katharina to get together and see if they want to try mediation. Besides the actual mediation, students will profit from the process as a model of communication and how to deal with conflict in a less adversarial way. The UNB Volunteer Mediator also offers workshops and informa-
tion sessions on conflict resolution; one was already held in January with students at Renaissance College. We also offer “conciliation talks” that usually take place with just one party. Conciliation is intended to provide the students with support in choosing an appropriate next step to take on their own in resolving the dispute along with information about mediation. If groups working together are facing problems reconciling differing views, not necessarily conflicts between them, the UNB Volunteer Mediator as a neutral facilitator can assist through discussion to decisionmaking. We believe mediation is a great way of dealing with conflicts, that encourages people to take responsibility for the solution, and to make appropriate decisions according to their beliefs, values, needs, feelings, and interests. It gives the opportunity to solve a problem together rather than against one another, which has the potential to build rather than harm existing relationships. We are more than happy about students who want to get in touch with us – either for finding support for an existing problem or dispute or for becoming engaged with the UNB Volunteer Mediator Project! We are looking forward to hearing from you! Barbara & Katharina
Barbara Roberts can be reached at: 458-7889 or email@example.com Katharina Kolaritsch can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Calling attention to robocalls We need a full inquiry now, please Samantha Thompson Capilano Courier (Capilano University) VANCOUVER (CUP) — When it was announced that the first conviction had been doled out to a culprit of the Stanley Cup riots, people rejoiced. The general sentiment seemed to be that justice had finally been served. Yet when the story broke early last week suggesting that the last federal election had been littered with fraud, many labeled it as “typical dirty politics” instead of what it actually was: potentially illegal. “This is simply a smear campaign, without any basis,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the House of Commons on Feb. 29. He was referring to accusations against the Conservative party that suggested they were responsible for a series of “robocalls” during the last federal election. The phone calls were made to potential voters, asking if the residents would be voting for the Liberal or NDP candidate in their riding. In some circumstances, the caller impersonated Elections Canada and told the would-be voter that their polling station had been moved. The Conservatives began arguing that the whole situation was concocted by a bunch of “sore losers.” They suggested that there was not enough evidence to support these claims — while voters from at least 38 ridings were simultaneously reporting they were victims of these robocalls. Soon, they stopped trying to deflect questions and instead began trying to put the blame on the Liberal party. The Conservatives claimed that the Liberals had been using a
Sweet One / Flickr CC phone company in North Dakota to make these calls, but the NDP was quick to point out that there were two companies, the other one in Canada, who were unrelated but had similar names. Liberal MP Frank Valeriote told CBC that “it is ridiculous to think that Liberals would try and suppress their own voters from coming out to vote.” The robocall issue is going to be on the table for a while, particularly as Elections Canada decides to what extent they are going to investigate given the fact that some 31,000 people have now come forward to complain about robocalls during the election. In the meantime, nearly 40,000 Canadians have signed an online petition demanding that a full public inquiry is conducted.
A lthough many M Ps have also expressed their anger and frustration regarding various facets of the scandal, we still don’t know precisely what happened. People are angry, and with just cause. Something is going on, but the only way we’re going to find out is if the authorities take charge. Instead of initiating a rapid inquiry, as Rex Murphy pointed out on CBC’s The National, “Mr. Harper is wearing his injured, angry face.” Politicians need to be held responsible for their actions, just like everyone else. They are Canadian citizens, and should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law — after all, they are the ones making those laws. The robocalls affected individuals’ ability to vote, and no
one should be allowed to take away that most fundamental right that is the basis of democracy. Politics are integral to the way we live in Canada. Certainly, they can be trying at times, but that is no reason to ignore them altogether. We are able to celebrate someone being punished for destroying physical property, yet are only mildly irritated by the robocalls. This can’t be reduced to dirty politics — this has polluted the waters of our democracy. As Rick Mercer aptly pointed out, “We have always agreed that voting is a fundamental right. This is not a left or a right thing, this is just a thing. If we don’t believe in that, what else do we have to believe in?”
8 • Mar. 14, 2012 • Issue 24 • Volume 145
What would you dye green for Saint Patrick’s day?
Let everyone know what’s on your mind.
‘The’ Andrew Fairweather
“Our toy poodle.”
“The Currie Center.”
brunswickanarts New exhibition presents “The View” of emerging artists email@example.com
Mar. 14, 2012 • Issue 24 • Volume 145 • 9
Elizabeth Creelman The Brunswickan The Fredericton arts scene is bursting at its seams with newly discovered potential, and Gallery Connexion is one platform connecting it with the community. Young, local artists have been given a chance to showcase their talent in an exhibition, “The View,” which opened at Gallery Connexion Mar. 2 and is being displayed in the smaller factory space of the gallery. It features only emerging artists, all of whom are either high school students, or current and former students at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design (NBCCD). The curator for the exhibition is Zoë Boyd, a 21-year-old from Saint John. She’s in the process of completing her bachelor of applied arts at UNB and NBCCD, and has been working at Gallery Connexion all year as an intern. She organized the exhibition as part of her final project at the gallery. “I think it’s important to be able to showcase more student work,” Boyd said. “Most of the time it’s for established artists to showcase at these little galleries throughout Fredericton, so I think it’d be great if we could get a more student-based environment.” As for the title of the show, Boyd found it when she was looking through song titles. She felt that “The View” – the name of songs by both Arctic Monkeys and Modest Mouse – conveyed the idea that she wanted to emphasize with the exhibition. “It’s our view; it’s what we think that the world should see.” In addition to coordinating the event, Boyd also contributed four fashion sketches of her own. She plans to open a small fashion business in Saint John, but would be open to putting on another show in the future. “We were able to have quite a few people
Nathan Rurka, a 20-year-old NBCCD graphic design student, stands with some of his work at Gallery Connexion. Andrew Meade/ The Brunswickan come to the opening,” Boyd said. “I think it’s based on so many students and their families that are close by. It was good to hear that I was able to get quite a big turnout for the show.” The other artists who contributed to the exhibit are Nathan Rurka, Sarah Rennick, Allison Green, Mark Lavin, Kristen Reicker, Gabby Brown, Alicia Burhoe, Max Baird, and Angus Boyd. Art forms displayed in the exhibition vary widely and, in addition to Boyd’s fashion design, include ceramic pottery, acrylic and oil painting, drawing, digital art,
Bullying film excluded from some audiences In Focus Alex Kress
The trailer for the upcoming documentary film, Bully, begins by introducing us to a victim of constant harassment and assault by his peers. We’ve all seen it before in our own schoolyards – it’s nothing new, or even shocking, really. Unfortunately, most of us don’t need to see a documentary about bullying to know it exists. But all of us – especially young people who are in the thick of it – do need to see it to acknowledge the epidemic it has become. However, with the R-rating it’s been stamped with by the Motion Picture Association of America (MRAA) because of harsh language in the film, we can rest assured it won’t be shown where it needs to be shown first: in schools. The Weinstein Company, a distributor for the film, appealed the rating but was rejected by the MPAA. In response to this, Katy Butler, a 17-year-old high school student from Ann Arbor, Mich., started an online petition on Change.org to get the MPAA’s decision overturned. She collected more than 200,000 signatures to have the rating changed to PG-13. Here in Canada, film boards are being more lenient. In B.C. and Alberta the film received a PG-rating. Other provinces’ boards are making decisions on what the film will be rated. The Canadian release date is Apr. 6. Now, the film isn’t totally off limits to all minors, of course – anyone under 18 can still see it when accompanied by an adult.
But for some parents who run a tighter ship, “R” means “No.” The rating for use of the word “fuck” is a brick wall, and surely there will be many who can’t look past it. And yet, out-of-control harassment and intimidation causing rises in youth suicide isn’t worth looking past bureaucratic red tape. Can’t there be exceptions to the rule? Or, maybe the risk of spreading filthy cuss words does take precedence over spreading awareness about a life-and-death issue plaguing young people everywhere. Harvey Weinstein is so frustrated with the R-rating, he has threatened to forego the MPAA rating system for any future films. He and the film’s director, Lee Hirsch, have also refused to re-edit the film to make it more acceptable for the MPAA. Hirsch told Sandy Cohen at the Associated Press that his job as a director is not to water down the truth about a serious issue. “To cut around it or bleep it out, it really absolutely does lessen the impact and takes away from what the honest moment was, and what a terrifying feeling it can be (to be bullied),” Hirsch said. And why should the idea of recutting the film even come up? The very fact that the MPAA could even suggest editing out profanity in a film documenting the real, raw, often violent lives of youth in schools, is absurd; it’s a slap to the face of artistic integrity, and is downright scary in my opinion. Ideally, the attention in the media about the R-rating for Bully will accomplish two crucial things: it’ll persuade the MPAA to lower it so it can be shown in schools without red tape, and; if nothing else, it’ll convince parents to take their children to see it so everyone can engage in a discussion that no one’s really had until things became dire, and so we can all be part of a solution.
and work using gold leaf. For many of the students showcased in the exhibition, this is the first time that any of their artwork has ever left the house. Sarah Rennick, a 21-year-old in her final year of the integrated media program at NBCCD, is one such artist. Two of her pieces are in the exhibition; one is a digital illustration and the other is a mixed media drawing. Rennick got involved with the exhibit when she responded to a flyer at her school which was asking for work that could be displayed.
“I think [the show] relates to students because all of the work was done by students,” she said. “You shouldn’t be limited in your work because you are still a student.” Nathan Rurka, a 20-year-old Fredericton native, is another artist for whom displaying his artwork publicly was a new experience. He completed the foundation visual arts certificate program at NBCCD last year and is now in his first year at the school’s graphic design program. He has two works on display in the exhibition. Named “EP 15” and “EP 14” or “Praetor-
ian,” both pieces are large acrylic paintings of elephants. Rurka is amazed by the positive reactions to his work. “I’ve had tons of compliments on how people really like my paintings and a lot of people want to buy them, I guess,” he said, adding that the exhibition should be of real interest to students. “If you’re a young artist and you go to the exhibit, you might think ‘maybe my stuff can be there.’” Gallery Connexion is open Tuesday to Friday from noon to 6 p.m., and on Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free.
The cheat sheet: who cheats and why? The New Position Sarah Vannier Have you ever been cheated on? Have you ever cheated on a partner? Chances are you answered at least one of those questions with a yes. Infidelity is pretty common. A national survey in the U.S. found that 11 per cent of adults who have ever been married or lived with a partner have been unfaithful to their partner at least once. Other research, that included people in dating relationships, found that 23 per cent of men and 19 per cent of women had cheated on their current partner. And, when we ask people if they have ever cheated on a partner, those numbers double. So what do you consider cheating? Is flirting cheating? How about sexting? What about kissing? A UNB psychology undergraduate student, Sean Molloy, is asking these questions as part of his honours thesis. He had close to 200 heterosexual people, between the ages of 18 and 67, fill out an online survey about infidelity. Although Sean is still analyzing his data, he was kind enough to let me snoop through it a little, and share with you what people do and do not think is cheating. Not surprisingly, most people thought that anything involving sexual contact with another person was cheating. This included things like intercourse and oral sex, but also having sexual conversations, sending
or receiving sexual texts or pictures, and kissing. Behaviours such as, flirting, dancing closely, browsing a singles dating website, holding hands, and watching a movie alone with someone of the opposite sex at their home were rated as less unfaithful than sexual behaviours, but still not entirely okay. Doing these types of things might be seen as sketchy, although not necessarily unfaithful. The good news is most people didn’t think watching porn (with or without masturbating), having dinner with someone of the opposite sex, or receiving emotional support from an opposite sex friend would be considered unfaithful. Although not captured in Molloy’s project, other research on infidelity has also tapped into the effect of deception. Deceptive behaviours include things like lying, or hiding things from your partner, and are in more of a grey area. In other words, “what my partner doesn’t know won’t hurt them”. In this case it might not be the actual behaviour that is considered unfaithful (e.g. texting); it’s the lying or hiding things from your partner that’s considered a problem. Now I know what you want me to tell you. How do you figure out if someone is going to cheat? Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer to that question. Despite what magazines try to tell you there is no failsafe way to spot a cheater. Plus, a lot of the time cheating depends on the situation, not on the person. That said, K risten Mark, a re-
searcher at Indiana University, and her colleagues Erick Janssen and Robin Milhausen, have shed a little light on who cheats, and why people cheat. Their research has found that some personality factors play a role in predicting infidelity. Both men and women who are easily sexually aroused, or who are more anxious about their sexual performance, were more likely to stray from their partner. Although it seems logical that people who get turned on easily are more likely to cheat, how do you explain why sexual anxiety increases infidelity? Mark and her colleagues suggest that for people who are worried about their sexual performance, having sex with someone new is exciting and can increase arousal, which might temporarily fix sexual problems (e.g., not being able to have an orgasm or get an erection). It is also possible that a new partner provides a sexual clean slate which means you don’t have to worry about what they are thinking, or can decide to never see them again. Relationship satisfaction also plays a role. The research found that for women, being unhappy with a current relationship, or feeling sexually incompatible with a partner, increases the chances that they would cheat. Infidelity is one of those topics that everyone has an opinion on and I would love to know what you think! Have you ever experienced cheating? What do you think does and does not count as cheating? Share your thoughts on the Brunswickan website at www.thebruns.ca.
10 • Mar. 14, 2012 • Issue 24 • Volume 145 Photo credits from top to bottom: Haley Ryan, Tim Lingley, cphoffman42 / Flickr CC, Product of Newfoundland / Flickr CC, Michael Kappel / Flickr CC, and Tim Lingley.
Hali vs. Freddy:ByHot spots Haley Ryan
Having grown up in Nova Scotia, I’ve visited Halifax regularly and still go back on weekends during the year. I’ve gone to school here in Fredericton for four years though, and hold both cities close to my heart. There are tons of great cultural spots in both capital cities, and they are in tight competition with one another in several ways. Here are some of my choice spots in each place:
The skating oval and Halifax Commons The Commons is like the Halifax version of New York City’s Central Park, only baby-sized. In the summer it’s a huge expanse of green fields to play soccer or have a picnic on, as well as containing baseball diamonds, a swimming pool and a skate park. This past December the Commons became the (hopefully) permanent home of an outdoor skating rink installed for the last Canada Games. More than 1,000 people can be on it at once, and it’s kept cold through means of pipes under the ice so you can skate in weather up to 10 degrees! That’s what I call cool. Bruns Score: 4/5
This is Fredericton’s take on a downtown park, and while it may not be as huge as the Commons, it’s a pretty spot. Being right beside the Fredericton Region Museum lets you wander into the building and discover neat artifacts, or take a break in its shade. Both parks are great music venues, but while the Commons grass gets destroyed after a huge concert, Officer’s Square is always an intimate, favourite place for the Harvest Jazz & Blues tents. It also turns into a small skating rink during the winter, which is really fun, but the ice is a little less groomed than Halifax’s oval. Bruns score 3/5
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia This is a wonderful gallery which has a lot more room for artwork than the Beaverbrook, but not as much personality. There was a lot more modern and experimental art when I visited, which is fine, but Fredericton’s gallery has amazing classical art which is more up my alley. Their claims to fame are housing a small Picasso (which I thought didn’t compare to the Dalis) and Maud Lewis’ original house, completely painted in her wonderful folkart style. You’re also left alone to wander the many floors of art, which made me miss the Beaverbrook’s warm staff. Bruns score: 3.5/5
The Beaverbrook Art Gallery
Fredericton’s world-famous gallery has had more than its share of controversy. There was that little problem of paintings being sought after by Lord Beaverbrook’s descendants, and the nasty court battle which followed, but the Gallery won them back in most cases. Huzzah! They also have not one, two, or three masterpieces by Salvador Dali, but four. If you haven’t gone to the Beaverbrook yet and laid down on the floor, looking up at the colossal Santiago El Grande, you’ve been missing out. Also, the guides are some of the friendliest people I’ve met in Fredericton, and ask them about the stories behind the art work - I always learn something interesting! Bruns score 4.5/5
I don’t know why I waited so long so try sushi, but I’m glad to have found a new food addiction in Halifax. Fredericton’s sushi spots are very good, but pricier than Nova Scotia, and the atmosphere doesn’t cut it. For a date night or casual lunch, Sushi Nami Royale has a modern, classy feel and huge portions of every kind of sushi with interesting options; I had one with bacon that still has me swooning. B-Well Cafe has cheap sushi, as well as lots of coffee and hot drink options in a fun setting. I’ve only tried a few so far, but there are many more to explore! Bruns score: 5/5
Relish Gourmet Burgers
This is hands-down my favourite restaurant in Fredericton. Born of a beautiful brainwave between a B.C. chef and New Brunswick entrepreneur, this burger joint has expanded across the Maritimes offering deluxe burgers (veggie, beef or turkey) and poutine. The fun names for burgers and unique toppings like blue cheese, caramelized onions, bacon - you name it - make every experience a perfect one. It’s a little pricey, but as a rare treat Relish can’t be beat. Bruns score: 5/5
Halifax music I’m very loyal to The Capital Complex here in town, but sadly it’s one of a kind in town. Halifax has the Seahorse, Khyber, Carleton, Split Crow, and Pavilion as great music venues, all just off the top of my head. There are over 100 spots where a band could pop up in Halifax, and while this is because of the nature of a big city, it’s definitely nice to have variety. The Seahorse has an intimate, dark factor thanks to being underground, while just down the street the Carleton has a relaxed, sophisticated style and played host to great N.B. acts like David Myles. Bruns score: 5/5
The Owl’s Nest A necessary stop on every trip downtown, the Owl’s Nest Bookstore on Queen Street is a great place to find that novel you’ve always wanted to read but could never find. You can spend hours examining every section for hidden gems, or take a quick browse through their recent literature section. There’s a cute (but cranky) cat wandering around, and on the top level one of those oldfashioned wheeled ladders. Remember to bring cash to pay for your new novels and textbooks, you’ll definitely find something! Bruns score 5/5
Mar. 14, 2012 • Issue 24 • Volume 145 • 11
Glee: not as queer-friendly as it pretends to be Jonathan Petrychyn The Carillion (University of Regina)
got an opinion? tell us what you think.
REGINA (CUP) — I fucking hate Glee. “But Jon,” I hear you say, “You can’t hate Glee. You’re gay. Don’t you just think Kurt and Blaine make the cutest couple and are the best role models for young gay kids?” No, no I do not, fictional straw person. I think Glee, just like Modern Family, just like Degrassi, makes a spectacle out of their gay characters, sanitizing them into easily digestible, safe, harmless, and often delightful characters that any straight man or woman can love. “But Jon,” I hear you say again, “Isn’t that a good thing? Don’t you want gays to be accepted?” Yes, you’re right. I do want gays to be accepted. But you aren’t doing queer kids any favours by showing them the only way they can exist is to exist like everyone else. I hate to break it to you, but everyone else (that means you if you’re straight, and probably you if you’re gay and want to get married) has been participating in a system that has, since the Victorian era, been oppressing and marginalizing queer folk. Telling me that I’m allowed into this oppressive group doesn’t make me feel better, because I’m only allowed into the group if I conform to what you, the heterosexual community, deem acceptable as “queer.” What does this have to do with Glee? Let’s look at Kurt and Blaine. Now, I’ll confess I gave up on Glee about three or four episodes into Season 3. The only thing that kept me going was Kurt’s story arc, which was the most compelling of the entire series. I bawled when Kurt’s dad married Finn’s mom. I was emotionally invested in the show, just like everyone else was. And then I realized: I shouldn’t be invested in the show just like everyone else. I’m not just like everyone else. I’m a queer man. I am different. And Kurt, like me,
shouldn’t want what everyone else wants. He’s different. And we need to recognize this difference and not cheer him on when he enters into a relationship that is basically just Rachel and Finn’s, but with two guys. It’s everything our mothers wanted from us, and this is exactly the problem. Kurt’s relationship with Blaine mirrors the relationship of every heterosexual couple in the series. This is perhaps shown no better than in the episode where Kurt loses his virginity at the same time Rachel does. Kurt gets a relationship just like Rachel does, and we all cheer for acceptance. But is this really acceptance, or are we just oppressing Kurt in a more subtle, more harmful way? What we’re telling Kurt, and other queer males (don’t even get me started on the queer girls; Santana is a complex phenomenon in Glee that would warrant a whole other column) is that if you want acceptance, you have to be just like every other heterosexual couple out there. You have to want a monogamous relationship, with a well-paying job, a couple kids, a dog, and a white picket fence. Sounds awfully conservative, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. Glee may be the most conservative show I’ve seen in the last six months, and I’ve watched the pilot
of Work It. Glee isn’t nearly as progressive as we want to think it is, because its idea of “acceptance” is telling Kurt and Blaine and other gay males that you’ll be accepted if you want the same things your straight counterparts want. Instead, I think it needs to work something like this: we need to recognize the difference that is queerness. Queer folk are not like heterosexual folk. We need to recognize this. Denying us the ability to define ourselves, by telling us we’re just like you, denies us the opportunity to truly define who we are. Unfortunately, the queer community has bought into this line. We push the “we’re just like everyone else” line so often, when, in fact, we’re not like everyone else at all. We shouldn’t want to be part of the system that has single-handedly oppressed us. How do we do that? How do we get out of that system? The first step would be to speak out against Glee, and stop deifying it as this bastion of acceptance and progressive values. Let’s be queer. Let’s take the opportunity to look at these heterosexual institutions and rework them so they work for everyone, and not just those who fit the mould. You never know; it just might create the post-sexuality world we want.
Petrychyn writes this “popular TV show pushes conservative values.”
12 • Mar. 14, 2012 • Issue 24 • Volume 145
‘Is the Kony 2012 movement oversimplified? Probably, yes.’ FROM KONY PAGE 1 And yet, it wasn’t. The charity behind the campaign, Invisible Children, has come under heavy criticism. Sites such as visiblechildren.tumblr.com cited Charity Navigator, an independent US-based charity evaluating organization, which rated Invisible Children two out of four possible stars for their accountability and transparency. Invisible Children’s publicly-available financial reports revealed a mere 37 per cent of their annual budget was spent on direct services while 35 per cent was spent on awareness programs and awareness products. As mentioned in the video, the Obama administration decided to provide military support for the Ugandan army in its fight to bring Kony to justice. However, the Ugandan government itself is far from having a spotless record in terms of human rights abuses. A foreign affairs article released in November said “until the underlying problem – the region’s poor governance – is adequately dealt with, there will be no sustainable peace.” The producers of the Kony 2012 campaign replied to these accusations with factual and non-defensive explanations, which I found admirable. Under the “Critiques” section of invisiblechildren.com, they address that their Charity Navigator rating is mainly because they lack a fifth independent voting member on their board of directors; they plan to rectify this by 2013.
The charity takes a three-pronged approach to its initiatives, including direct Central Africa programs, creating films to raise awareness, and harnessing the stir generated from said films to create advocacy campaigns. Accordingly, about a third of their budget is allocated to each section. None of Invisible Children’s funds go to the Ugandan army directly, although they acknowledge “the only feasible and proper way to stop Kony and protect the civilians he targets is to coordinate efforts with regional governments.” They are involved in multiple LR A-affected regions, such as South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. However the focus remains on Uganda because after two decades of LR A conflict, the country has a “vested interest” in seeing Kony brought to justice. Is t he Kony 2012 movement oversimplified and idealized? Probably, yes. However, the “see, I told you so, it’s too good to be true” approach is cynically ignoring the positives which have emerged from t his campaign. First off, it is amazing to see social media used for mobilizing powerful ideas. Obviously it is raising awareness to begin with – the video became the definition of viral, making Kony 2012 a trending topic on major media sites worldwide – but also is a vehicle for rational and wellresearched debate. Instead of splitting this into a pro-Kony2012/anti-Kony2012 rally,
UNB Art Centre aims to quench thirst in developing nations
Fredericton band Motherhood is one act performing at the fundraiser Mar. 22. Andrew Meade / The Brunswickan Brandon Hicks The Brunswickan More than 3.5 million people die each year from water-related disease, and 884 million lack access to safe water. The average five-minute shower uses 100 litres of water. This year, the UNB Art Centre will celebrate World Water Day by hosting a variety show and fundraiser. Their goal is to raise at least $1000 for water development and sanitation in developing countries. The event, starting at 7:30 p.m. on Mar. 22, will be a night full of water-related games, poetry and music. Since being declared as “World Water Day” in 1993 by the United Nations, Mar. 22 has been a day on which many celebrations have been had, and awareness about the state of water has been spread worldwide. Every year a specific theme surrounding water is chosen, such as 1998’s “Groundwater: The Invisible Resource,” or 2004’s “Water and Disasters.” The topic for 2012 is “Water and Food Security.” That means the focus this year will be raising awareness of the relation between the quality of water, and how well people are nourished. Although it is well known that clean water is necessary to wash, and to drink, it is not as often that people recognize the need for water to produce our food. With
chemical fertilizers, and pesticides used in food production today, the quality of the water is being severely impacted. An array of talent is planned for the UNB Art Centre fundraiser, which will be hosted by STU professor Andrew Titus, serving as the night’s MC. There will also be music from Elvira Libertad Nunez, and the Fredericton alt-rock band Motherhood. Also performing will be the Rondos Out of Proportion Dance Company, B-Boy Daniel Blais, and the Guerrilla Poets, among others. One of the acts is a dance routine entitled “H2O,” performed by Rondos Out of Proportion Dance Company, choreographed in 2001 by the company’s artistic director and choreographer, Georgia Rondos. “What can I say, what’s more important than water?” Rondos said in an email. “Events like these are good, and we take for granted that we have plenty of clean water at our disposal any time we want. Many other people in the world are not as fortunate.” “H2O” performed by the Rondos Out of Proportion Dance Company, as well as the other acts will be held at the UNB Art Centre, Mar. 22, at 7:30 p.m. Recommended donation is $10 dollars, and it will be a wet/dry event. For more information on World Water Day, go to www.unwater. org/worldwaterday/.
The Kony 2012 campaign that aims to put an end to Joseph Kony and his use of child soldiers blew up on Twitter and Facebook Mar. 9. Screenshot people are searching for facts and the best course of action. It’s refreshing to see Internet debate free of mudslinging. The Fredericton Kony 2012 Facebook event group is an example of such intelligent conversation. As exhilarating as it was to jump on the Kony 2012 bandwagon and become a part of an international
movement, it’s vital to ask questions. Sometimes you’ll like the answers, and somet imes you won’t, but nobody benefits from uninformed enthusiasm. However, f laws and all, I give credit to Invisible Children. They’ve got people caring, and they’ve got people talking. The more people
who are cognizant of this issue the better, because in their discussions lay solutions. After all, as the Kony 2012 video states, “nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time is now.”
Happy to Harmonize Haley Ryan Arts Reporter Max LeBlanc didn’t know what to expect when he stood up in front of a crowd of Grade 6 kids at George Street Middle School. Singer and guitarist for the local band She Roars!, LeBlanc said one of the main things he noticed was how smart the kids were, but also how many off-the-wall questions came at him. “Things like ‘what kind of van do you drive?’ to ‘have you ever met anyone famous?,’” he said. “Luckily a couple of guys [had] met Lights so that pleased them. But apparently our answer about driving [a] soccer-momlike minivan was a bit hilarious,” LeBlanc said in a Facebook message. She Roars! and Motherhood were the first groups to meet with students through The Harmony Project, an initiative created by Renaissance College student Kaylee Stevens. Stevens, who also sings and plays bass with Motherhood, came up with the idea of bringing local musicians into middle and high schools as part of a leadership class. Everyone needed to come up with a community involvement project, and Stevens said she thought promoting music in the school system would be a positive thing. She chose to approach George Street Middle School and Leo Hayes High School mainly out of proximity and ease. Stevens had contacts in each one and they immediately agreed to let the groups come in and give lessons. There was only one aspect Stevens said she was stuck on: what to name her program, so she contacted the Grade 6 class. “I asked the kids to help me out, and they named it. It fit so well, it’s all about bringing harmony between the community and music scene.” “Some I didn’t understand,” Stevens said over the phone, laughing. “Fireball Music was one.” For Motherhood’s session, Stevens said the kids were mainly interested in how they wrote their songs and even showed the band some of the compositions they had
She Roars! is one of several local bands sharing their music skills with middle school and high school students in Fredericton. Andrew Meade / The Brunswickan made in music class. “We tried to connect to what they’d been learning,” she said, “And I was blown away because some of the rhythms were so complex we couldn’t play them!” “They started to realize we didn’t know much more about music than they did.” LeBlanc said the session with She Roars! was similar in that the kids performed almost better than the older musicians. The band showed up to play right after the music class finished a lesson on rhythm, so they went off of that. “Kyle [Clark] ... got the kids to stomp when the kick drum was hit, and clap when the snare was hit, and to tell you the truth they could clap along better than me,” LeBlanc said. “I guess it’s a good thing I don’t play
drums.” Both LeBlanc and Stevens commented on how attentive and interested the middle school kids were, and hope the next round of sessions at Leo Hayes go just as smoothly. Starting this weekend and going until the end of March, the Grade 11 guitar students will meet with Oh No, Theodore!, The Westerberg Suicides, The Trick, The Midnight Ramblers, and The Waking Night. Stevens said she hopes all of the students taking part will not only learn a little about rhythm and songwriting, but will be inspired to start their own bands some day. “These kids will be the next generation of local musicians,” Stevens said. “If they can see people who really love it, they’ll see it that way too.”
Mar. 14, 2012 • Issue 24 • Volume 145 • 13
UNB claims second straight AUS championship
Christopher Cameron Editor-In-Chief
This year may have been their worst regular season finish since 2006-07, but the UNB men’s hockey team showed they were not to be taken lightly, sweeping both UPEI and Moncton to capture their second straight AUS championship. K icking off the AUS f inal last Wednesday at home, the Varsity Reds would defeat Moncton 8-3, followed by a 4-2 victory on Thursday night, also at the Aitken Centre. Winning the first two games of the best-of-five series, they were able to clinch the series Sunday night in Moncton. Although the 4-0 may indicate it was a walk in the park, from the get-go they had to work for the win. Only 1:50 into the game Thomas Nesbitt took a checking from behind penalty in front of the UNB bench, which resulted in a five-minute major and game misconduct. The Varsity Reds would kill off the penalty, allowing only three shots on the powerplay, silencing the sellout crowd at the J.-Louis-Lévesque Arena. “To come in and kill that fiveminute penalty right away was a huge boost I think and took away from them for a little,” said UNB forward Chris Culligan. “It was pretty positive (on the bench) after we killed that off, but anything can happen to change momentum so we just wanted to keep that going.” Just 17 seconds after killing off t he major pena lt y Da ine Todd would break in the left side beating Pierre-Alexandre Marion glove side, putting UNB up 1-0. Moncton would take the next three penalties in the first period, with the V-Reds cashing in on two of their powerplays with goals from Jonathan Harty and Luke Gallant. UNB would take a 3-0 lead into the first intermission. Shayne Wiebe would score the final goal of the game 14:28 into the second period, putting the V-
Varsity Red Jonathan Harty scored one of four of the goals which brought the Reds to their second straight AUS championship title, on Sunday against the Université de Moncton in Moncton. Andrew Meade / The Brunswickan Reds up 4-0 en route to their AUS championship title. “We knew it was going to be a tough game, they play a tough style of game that is very physical, but we were just prepared to try and match that and go beyond it. It’s just been a carry over from last series.” Travis Fullerton continued to be the Varsity Reds go-to goaltender, picking up his sixth victory and first shutout in the post-season in a 17 save performance Sunday.
the panel voice your opinion
“He (Fullerton) symbolizes our team,” said UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall. “He got better every game of the series and he’s played so well for us, especially in the big games and he makes big saves to keep the goose egg there.” There were only seven different players that made the stats sheet for UNB Sunday, but MacDougall says the win wouldn’t have come as easy without the work of the team as a whole.
“Our powerplay contributed in a big way,” he said. “Our penalty kill, I mean if you save a goal then that saves you from having to score two. I thought we got good offence from the Baileys and Culligans, but what can you say about the Clendennings and MacDougalls that filled their roles as well.” “I thought our defence was outstanding and obviously Fullerton was our top guy.” With the victory Sunday, UNB
What did you think about Brian Burke firing Leafs head coach Ron Wilson?
K. Bryannah James
Finally! Hallelujah! Hasta la Vista baby! I’m one of the many who believes Burke’s friendship with Wilson didn’t help the team. With another missed playoffs, not drafting a center, and the team not at 100 per cent with all it’s talent, Wilson should have been let go a long time ago. A coach commands respect and results, both of which I think lacked in Wilson, and what can and will be found in Carlyle.
If professional athletes are not at a level they should be then they should be fired. I believe that at that level that the coach is more there to keep everything organized. At a level like university sport you need to have the best coach possible because you don’t have as much flexibility with what athletes on your team. Professional athletes are able to make millions and play terrible with not much consequence. Keep Wilson. Get rid of underachievers.
The Ron Wilson firing was long overdue. In my opinion GM Brian Burke’s personal relationship with Wilson is what made this firing overdue. On paper the Toronto Maple Leafs are a playoff team, it is the job of the coach to translate the paper form of the team, into on ice results, and he failed to do that during his tenure. Labeled a “special teams specialist”, Wilson boasted a 77.4% penalty kill rate (2nd worst in the NHL
ensures they will be the top-seeded team entering next week’s CIS Cavendish University Cup at the Aitken Centre March 22-25. “We’ve got a day or two to relax and then we know we’ve got to get better,” MacDougall said. “We know we’re going to have a tough opponent when we play next Thursday.” “That’s our whole focus right now is to get better the eight or ten days of practice and get excited to be playing in the national championship.”
Nick Murray Sports Writer
It’s a move that has been long overdue. He’s a good coach, but I’ve said for a long time he can’t work with a young team. In the end, he lost the grasp of his team and the young guns weren’t responding to him anymore. I wonder if Burke still thinks “the hockey world believes in Ron Wilson.” Time will tell.
14 • Mar. 14, 2012 • Issue 24 • Volume 145
Will the Reds be able to reclaim their CIS championship title? Heather Uhl An Opinion For the second year running UNB will host the CIS championships, welcoming teams from all across Canada to come have their butts kicked by the reigning champs. Or not really. There’s no doubt that in the AUS conference, UNB reigns supreme, winning their second straight AUS championship. The Université de Moncton did not make the V-Reds fight for their title, with 8-3, 4-2, and 4-0 scores, allowing UNB to sweep the series But the other divisions of the CIS haven’t been twiddling their thumbs over the past year. From the Canada West division, Manitoba’s team sits with 20 wins and 5 losses, or the exact same as UNB. This also means Manitoba (who lost a chance at CIS due to University of Saskatchewan’s sweep of the CWAA) has the same winning percentage as UNB at 0.714 per cent, but only ranking 7th nationally. This just goes to show that even teams who didn’t make the top six teams, can still compete with the top three in winning percentages. In OUA, east and west, both of the divisions’ top teams have higher winning percentages (Western at 0.750 per cent and McGill at 0.786) than UNB. Both of those teams won one or two games more than UNB. Also, Moncton, the Varsity Reds’ opponents in AUS finals, only rank f ifth nationally. There are three teams that, CIS ranking wise, are better than UNB’s final AUS opponent. UNB still sits in first place nationally.
The Varsity Reds claimed the CIS championship hockey title last year at the Aitken Centre against McGill. Andrew Meade / The Brunswickan In short, just because UNB is doing well in AUS does not guarantee a smooth ride over the course of the CIS championships. Nor does it mean UNB won’t have to fight to keep the national title. The tournament style of the championship is unforgiving of any team or player having a bad day. At that level of play, to falter is to lose the game. The players know that, as do the coaches. This means even the best team can
face problems if they have a bad day. When it comes to CIS individual stats, UNB’s forwards Kyle Bailey and Chris Culligan rank in the top 35 forwards in the nation. Jonathan Harty, Luke Gallant and Bretton Stamler are in the top 20 defensive players. Both of UNB’s goalies, Travis Fullerton and Daniel LaCosta, are in the top 30. Of course, both goalies suffered injuries throughout the season so those statistics might not
reflect the true potential and skills of the UNB goalies. With a combination of strong players and good teamwork, UNB is a strong team, which has pulled together to deliver some solid wins and remains uncontested in AUS games. On top of that, the team’s ability to build momentum is also going to go far in the tournament and hopefully prevent a bad day from happening, provided the team never lets its
guard down. Against teams the V-Reds rarely get the chance to play, this would be a horrible time to suffer a case of over-confidence. The other divisions of the CIS are looking for a title to call their own, but the Varsity Reds will be ready. It would be surprising if the team comes out of the tournament with anything less than the crown.
To bribe and hit? Or not to bribe and hit? That is the question
New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams may see the art of football a little differently than some. Modenadude / Flickr CC Josh Fleck The Brunswickan Growing up playing sports, chances are if you played well - and most times even if you didn’t - your parents would take you out for ice cream after the game. Then, the next game you played, you had an incentive to play well, to go score that goal. New Orleans Saints defensive
coordinator Gregg Williams didn’t tempt his players with ice cream. He got them going to the tune of thousands of dollars. It’s not really a big deal; these players get bonuses outside of their base salary. What makes this story a big deal is Williams allegedly gave out bonuses to players for injuring their opponents. It could range from $1,000 for a player being carted off
the field, and $1,500 if the player was knocked out. In a league where the average career length is 3.5 years, the players shouldn’t be doing anything to make that number any shorter. Whatever happened to the element of respect amongst peers? As a defensive player you want to hit hard, and at the speed NFL football is played, mistakes can be made, and players
can get hurt. But to intentionally do it is a disgusting act. UNB Red Bomber Brian Gilliland has been playing football, hockey and lacrosse his whole life and can’t fathom the concept of playing a sport with the intent to injure. “Growing up, there are always those sorts of rewards for playing well,” Gilliland said. “What I have never seen is going into the game
with the sole intention of hurting a player, and it being allowed by the coaches.” It’s not just a matter of respect, but respecting opponents and the profession of the game. Chances are the players being targeted by this bounty system are players who left university early to go professional. They don’t have a complete education to have a career outside of football. Without football, they lose their way of life. “Think about it this way,” Gilliland said. “If you are a taxi driver and go up to another taxi and slash its tires, would that be ok?” This problem may not be limited to just the professional level either. Players will do whatever they are allowed to. Where does the ethical line need to be drawn in this situation? Should this “bounty” system be abolished all together? Is it only when a coach gets involved that the moral dilemma arises? The end result will likely be the abolishment of the bounty system, and hefty penalties for Williams, the players involved and the Saints organization as a whole. This concept isn’t entirely bad, just the extremes that Williams took it to. Friendly competition can bring out the best in an athlete, so within those confines, placing small friendly wagers on who has the best game statistically could benefit the team not only on the field, but off of it as well. Whatever the penalty that befalls Williams and the Saints, it should be severe. There is no place in any sport for players and coaches to go out with the intent of injuring the opposition.
Mar. 14, 2012 • Issue 24 • Volume 145 • 15
Staying positive under grad stress Tova Payne The Brunswickan If you’re a few weeks, or a month or two away from graduating with a degree, there are a multitude of reasons you may be feeling stressed. There are the typical reasons any student feels stress weeks before the end of a term: a multitude of assignments, projects and final exams. However, if you are about to graduate there are a host of new factors you are about to experience. Primarily, it’s the biggest stressor anyone can face: and that’s change. For the last few years, you became accustomed to a way of living the student life, and perhaps even a parttime job you did not have to think too much about. But after graduation, everything begins to change. Instead of going to school and going to your part-time job, you now may feel the pressure to look for a “real” professional job, or feel anxious when you can’t find the work you thought your degree would give you. The loss of your routine and perhaps friends who may now be parting separate ways is a lot to deal with. It’s almost like the stress you may have first experienced in your first year of university: the big change from living at home with your childhood friends to moving off to university, making new friends and getting into a routine. Now you will be dealing with another major life transition – going from student life to life in the world. This change is also fertile ground for possibility and the field of possibilities are endless. You might be under the impression there’s only one viable option: get a job. Or you might already be running into a second degree or masters. If you’re choosing to continue school out of love and joy, I say go for it. But if you’re doing it out of fear of the unknown, all I can say is: at some point you are going to have to confront reality, and staying in school out of fear is not the answer. Let go of doing what you think you are supposed to be doing with your degree and think about doing the things that you really want to be doing. For some people, this will mean finding a job in a suitable entry level profession. For some it will be creating your own business plan and carrying it out. Yet, there are possibilities beyond that. There are many internships through CIDA (The Canadian International Development Agency) that will not only give you experience but perspectives, as you apply your knowledge and skills in another area of the world. Internship or not, you may decide to take some time and travel. There are many opportunities to work and travel. Here are some helpful tips though. Do some careful Google searches, including goabroad.com and be wary of
Sometimes change is good and should be embraced rather than feared and stressed over. Andrew Meade / The Brunswickan “jobs” which ask you for a lot of money for room and board. You want a work abroad placement to be paying you. You can also work here, save some money and then take the time to travel on your own accord. Travel gives us a level of knowledge that cannot be obtained in the classroom. Often it’s through these experiences that we get, to an extent, more in touch with ourselves. This gives us an idea of what we want to do in this lifetime. Please recognize things will probably change. You may have your degree in business and decide you would rather be a chef of your own restaurant than work for a big corporation. You may have a degree in nursing and realize that you would rather be a personal fitness trainer than work in the field in which you’ve been studying. It’s important to give yourself the time to experiment with different jobs and realize what you do and how you do it will probably change many times in your life. Some people find one career and stick with it their whole life, yet others find that every few years, as they change, so does their career. It’s healthy to be open to change and recognize that change is actually the one thing we can always count on. Often we want to feel in control and know what’s going to happen and
ascribe to one template. However, for a fulfilling enriched life, it’s imperative to be open to change and to practice flowing with the waves of life, as opposed to resisting against the flow. I advise you to take some time to reflect, analyse and decide for yourself where your passion lies and how you can bring that into your daily life. Your job should also be your joy, and often a balance is required to find this. There are many things in this lifetime you can experience and if you are open to change you will probably be more successful in being content, calm and accepting of the things that evolve in your life. If you’re graduating, now is your time to experiment and experience the field of possibilities. Get out there and play and live with no regrets. If there’s something you think you want to do, at the very least, begin the process and GO FOR IT. It’s only by “going for it” you will know if it’s what you want to be doing, and even then, recognize it may change. Don’t limit yourself to what you think you should do. Canada’s a big country, and the world is even bigger. Take some time to decide what you would like to experience now, and know that when you follow your aspirations, peace follows.
16 • Mar. 14, 2012 • Issue 24 • Volume 145
UBC leading charge to rethink varsity sport in Canada Kevin Menz The Sheaf (University of Saskatchewan) SASKATOON (CUP) — The University of British Columbia has taken the reins in an initiative amongst Canada West universities to reconsider how the conference divides its 16 teams. Last April, UBC announced it would no longer seek membership into the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and would remain a member of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS). The school felt it could be at the forefront of changing Canada’s university athletics. According to Canadian University Press, UBC president Stephen Toope “cited the CIS’s willingness to reform on a variety of fronts, including proposed changes to governance and tiering, as a reason to stay within the organization.” His desire for change was backed by fellow university presidents from within the conference. A letter signed by Toope and four other presidents was sent to the Canada West administration around the same time as UBC’s announcement. It not only informed the conference of UBC’s decision to remain in Canada, but also stated a need for change in the conference’s competitive structure, which included a demand for tiering — though it wasn’t made clear what exactly was meant by tiering. When the Canada West conference was formed in 1971, it consisted of UBC and the universities of Alberta, Calgary, Lethbridge, Saskatchewan and Victoria. Over the last 14 years, the number has increased to 16 member schools, with 14 currently competing and the University of Northern British Columbia and Mount Royal University scheduled to join the conference in the fall of 2012. Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton recently submitted an application to join
the conference but, as concern amongst Canada West schools grows over the quality of competition within the conference, the league is reluctant to accept new members. According to Richard Price, the senior advisor to Toope, many schools are concerned that the skill-level of the average Canada West athlete has decreased as the number of roster spots within the conference has increased, and that too many Canadian student-athletes are leaving to play higher quality sport in the NCAA as opposed to staying in Canada. “[One] concern is that there has been the dilution of the talent level and that’s simply because of the increased numbers. There are simply more teams and more kids have to fill out those teams,” said Price, over the phone from Vancouver. “The continuing exodus of student athletes to the NCAA greatly magnifies that problem, and that problem has been getting worse and worse.” To add to this, in certain sports where the number of teams competing is very high, the conference has divided regionally. In men’s and women’s basketball, for example, the Prairie division consists of schools in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba while the Pacific division consists of schools in British Columbia. The two divisions most often play within their own regions, rarely crossing over to compete against each other. For schools like UBC and Victoria, this means playing predominantly smaller schools within British Columbia. For schools in the Prairie division, it means not playing often more competitive teams from UBC and Victoria. “We’re not even in the same division as our traditional rivals: Saskatchewan, Calgary, Alberta,” said Price. ”We like those traditional rivalries. They generate the most fan interest and we’ve always had excellent competition.” Canada West’s response to these con-
cerns was to form a committee of university presidents and athletic directors from schools throughout the league. The committee was tasked with finding new ways to divide or tier the conference’s 16 teams and to make it “more attractive to top Canadian student-athletes to stay in Canada rather than go to the NCAA,” said Price. Currently, presidents from the Trinity Western University and the universities of Winnipeg, Saskatchewan and Lethbridge sit alongside Toope on the committee. The athletic directors are from the universities of Manitoba, Regina, Alberta and Victoria, as well as Thompson Rivers University. The committee, also referred to as the Canada West Task Force, released its first preliminary report at the conference’s most recent meeting Feb. 7-8 in Calgary, Alta. The proposal no longer focuses on the language of tiering but on the idea of a “sport by sport consideration of a high performance division,” said Price. This means that rather than following a system much like the NCAA in which different schools are declared division one, two or three based on their size and their ability to offer scholarships, the Canada West would allow each school to select which sport or sports they want to perform in a more elite division of competition. “One school may be committed to high performance competition in basketball and to a more recreational level of competition in hockey,” wrote University of Saskatchewan President Peter MacKinnon in an email to the Sheaf. In order to classify as a high performance team, added Price, the team would have “to make the full commitment to full-ride scholarships, full-time head and assistant coaches, integrated sports medicine” or whatever else the Canada West deems necessary. “The interesting thing about the proposal and the principles that exist in the
Graphic by Brianna Whitmore / The Sheaf preliminary report is that all the members of the Task Force — big schools, small schools, newer schools and older schools — have all embraced this approach,” said Price. “Personally, I favour an approach that sees universities compete according to their levels of commitment to particular sports,” wrote MacKinnon. “The Canada West Task Force is simply trying to develop sensible ways of preserving
historical patterns of competition to the extent possible while accommodating newer institutions that may wish to compete in one or two sports, or in several.” The committee is currently waiting for feedback from the Canada West membership in order to refine its proposal and, eventually, take it to the CIS to see if the system could be implemented nation-wide.