Impr int Friday, February 27, 2009
crime on campus
imprint . uwaterloo . ca
vol 31, no 28
See pages 15-18 for details
Part 2: Stealing
After the math
Allan Babor, Feds pres Tight races, wide leads, and decisions questioned in Feds election staff reporter
he Feds Elections Committee finally released the official results of its recent elections on Monday, after a week and a half of delays blamed on problems with the voter roll. The most eagerly anticipated executive race also resulted in the tightest executive margin: Feds’ new President-elect Allan Babor topped his nearest competitor, Sam Andrey, by just 48 votes. Babor’s excitement was evident in the huge leap into the air he made as the results were announced. “Ideas on campus are flowing like a river,” Babor said, and stated he was “excited to move forward,” as the new Feds president. The president-elect declared that the close race was a challenge that would push him to “set concrete goals” to bring together a divergent university community. According to Babor, Andrey and the other candidates “have great ideas” that he would adopt when the new executive consider their official agenda for the year. Babor said his current goals are to learn about the ins and outs of his new role and make new connections with all of the full-time Feds staff. He also stated he planned on ensuring that current Feds’ projects would continue operating and evolve without any noticeable downtime. For his part, Andrey expressed disappointment in the close race, but thanked his fellow teammates, along with his volunteers and supporters. “I’m very happy that the other three members of our team will be our new VPs and I have no doubt that together, with Allan, they are going to serve students extremely well,” said Andrey. Sarah Cook, the VP-elect internal, and Justin Williams, the VP-elect education, both won their
respective races by safe margins. Cook expressed her eagerness to work with fellow executives-elect and indicated that she has developed a “good working relationship” with all three through other campus projects. “This executive has both very experienced members, and some fresh ideas,” she said. Babor, Cook and Williams will join VPAF Chris Neal, who was acclaimed to his position earlier this month, to complete the new Feds executive. Neal told Imprint that he was “excited” to be working with the new members of the executive and believes that Babor in particular has “a lot of great ideas and it will certainly be a positive experience to mesh our ideas together and move Feds forward.” The new executive takes office following the winter semester. Chief Electoral Officer John Andersen also announced the results of senate races on Monday. The at-large seat went to Muhammad Ali Akbar, who edged Raynold Alorse out by 88 votes; 1, 228 voters chose no candidate at all in that race. Jay Shah won the engineering seat with 211 votes, 12 more than Devin Cass and David Shuang Lu, who each had 199 votes. Dave Smith took the AHS seat with a definitive 229 votes. The math senate seat went to Ajnu Jacob, who defeated Ian Kasper by just one vote. Jacob conveyed appreciation to his supporters, “all of [their] votes have mattered and I am grateful for this.” Kasper said that, given he had been away on a co-op term, was “very surprised” by the tight margin and promised to “work with Ajnu and the other student senators to… push forward an agenda” as a member of the math senate. See RESULTS, page 3
Feds president-elect Allan Babor, left, celebrates with a supporter after winning by 50 votes over Sam Andrey, right, who is turned away just after the announcement. The rest of Team Green — Justin Williams, Sarah Cook, and acclaimed Chris Neal — all won in their respective races.
“I’m very happy that the other three members of our team will be our new VPs and I have no doubt that together, with Allan, they are going to serve students extremely well.” — Sam Andrey former Feds candidate
Imprint, Friday, February 27, 2009 firstname.lastname@example.org
RESULTS: The winners at last Feds executive winners President
Allan Babor VP Internal
Sarah Cook VP Education
Senate winners Senator At-Large
Muhammad Ali Akbar Engineering Senate
Jay Shah Math Senate
John Andersen, chief electoral officer, and Andrew Falcao, VP Internal, announce the results of the Feds elections Monday, February 23 in the SLC’s Multipurpose Room.
Continued from cover
Student council winners Arts Council Monica Chamberland Amanda Tkaczyk Matthew Waller Brittany Boilard Diana Hanna Science Council Matt Colphon Muhammad Ali Akbar Humberto Vigil Alice Qi Math Council Christine Thayer Tareq Ismail Ian Kasper St. Jerome’s Council Scott McKee
Winners of the student council elections were also announced. All five members of the arts council were elected; they will be: Monica Chamberland, Amanda Tkaczyk, Matthew Waller, Brittany Boilard and Diana Hanna. Three of five math council seats were filled; the winners were: Christine Thayer, Tareq Ismail and Ian Kasper. Science council filled all four of its seats, and the winners were: Matt Colphon, Muhammad Ali Akbar, Humberto Vigil, and Alice Qi. SJU’s one council seat went to Scott McKee. To accommodate co-op students, the remaining council positions will be filled in spring semester by-elections. As Imprint reported last week, the elections committee had disqualified 18 candidates for failing to submit a mandatory “Zero Campaign Expenses” form. The form is to inform Feds of campaign expenditures and is a crucial element of Feds elections policies. However on February 19, the Feds Board of Directors moved to overturn the decision of its elections committee and to retroactively extend the deadline for submitting the form. As a result, many of the candidates that had been disqualified had their disqualifications reversed. Jeff Henry, the chief returning officer, was part of the committee that made the original decision and said that the original decision was an element of “fair elections.” Notice of the budget requirements was given in candidate packages and debriefing at the beginning of the election season, and followed up with reminders on the elections mailing list throughout the process. Feds president-elect Babor said the reversal was a “wise decision” to uphold the will of the electorate, given the sheer number of candidates who had been removed. At the
same time, Babor indicated that it remains “the candidates’ responsibility to follow the rules.” Cook told Imprint that the rule “clearly wasn’t communicated well enough” to the candidates. She also took issue with the procedure that was followed: normal protocol would have the candidates appeal to the election committee directly. In follow-up, Babor agreed with Cook’s assessment that poor communication by the elections committee attributed to the situation. The elections committee stated last week that the results of the election were delayed following several problems where groups of voters were unable to cast a vote in races that they should have had been able to vote in. Jacob claimed that “apart from the software engineers and CFM students” Imprint reported on last week, “teaching option students who are currently completing their B.Ed. at Queen’s” were not entered into the voting lists correctly. The math senate-elect said he “strongly” feels that the close margin in his race was attributable to “technical flaws involved in composing the voter’s list.” Both Babor and Cook indicated they felt “glitches” in the voting process had made the process too painful for voters, and that this affected turnout. Another issue that came up involved a supporter of Babor leaving a comment on his Facebook group after the campaining period had officially ended. The elections committee levied a 15 per cent fine against him for the infraction. Though the policies were updated last year, both Cook and Babor indicated they felt the policy regarding campaign tools should be less ambiguous and could use reconsideration for Web 2.0 technologies. Feds’ campaign policies must “keep up with the social tools being used” by the student body, Babor told Imprint. Complete election results are located at vote.feds.ca.
Black History Month comes to term in its last week E. Aboyeji staff reporter
ctivities marking this year’s Black History Month Celebrations seem to have converged this week at UW. On Tuesday, Imprint attended the WPIRG sponsored Annual Black History Month Lecture by Laurier History Professor, Dr. Dana E. Weiner. The lecture, “Conflicting Visions of Equality,” centered on the United States slavery movement, grass root’s activism and race. In her lecture, she explored the history of the anti-slavery movement and the competing views within it as it concerned the meaning of equality. She spoke about the old northwest,
now the mid-west, and how it had been the battle ground of many a debate pertaining to the morality of slavery. Tracing the origin of the anti slavery movement from the Quakers’ convictions to the American civil war, she explained that free slaves and abolitionist whites formed the foundations of the anti-slavery movement. Her lecture highlighted some rather surprising historical facts. One of these was that that many white northerners had actually supported the antislavery movement, not just because of moral convictions, but because they saw the southern imposed gag on debating the morality of slavery as a threat to freedom of speech. Another was that at certain points in the
anti-slavery movements, there were rifts even among freed blacks. For example, they debated the merit of non-violence in advancing abolition, especially since some slaves who had escaped were being recaptured from the north by southern slave masters. They also very strongly debated the need for the immediate abolition of slave trade versus a long term view to promoting racial justice. The audience was even able to discover that the racially derogatory phrase “Uncle Tom,” which came from an abolitionist novel called Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, which sold over a hundred thousand copies only a short time after it was released, had made a significant impact on the anti-slavery debate.
At the end of the two-hour lecture, one came away with an appreciable understanding of the circumstances that had birthed freedom for slaves in 19th century America. Another, less academic event, is planned for Thursday at the Bomber. The Black History Month Gala, organized by One Waterloo and UW Base will begin by 7p.m. Organizers hope to commemorate black history month in music, art, spoken word performances, and other interesting theatrical acts through the night. Imprint’s press deadline makes Thursday events impossible to report on prior to Friday publication. email@example.com
Imprint, Friday, February 27, 2009
There’s nothing foreign about winning Caitlin McIntyre staff reporter
niversity of Waterloo’s own Foreign Affairs Society (FAS) has been working up an impressive reputation for the University of Waterloo this year. FAS, formerly known as WatMUN, hosts weekly discussions on current political issues and, as their name implies, foreign affairs. Their primary function as a club is to conduct training for Model UN simulations and conferences, such as the two they have attended this semester. The first of these conferences being the annual McMUN, McGill Mock UN, in Montreal, took place from January 29th to February 1st. FAS sent an incredible 33 delegates to the event, their largest turn out yet, and came home with some impressive results. One of UW’s
The Toronto based North American MUN occurring this past reading week also yielded a “Best Delegate” award for Ben Haist as India on the Economic and Financial Committee. “We’re really glad with the progress this year under our president, Keith. UWFAS has some excellent delegates this term and we’ve been able to hold our own at conferences,” member Evan Bell said when asked about the club. Thanks to their dedicated members, and funding from the Arts Endowment Fund, FAS is a true up and-comer on the club scene and is currently planning to hold their very own MUN, here at UW. For more information on how to get involved in FAS you can contact the club at firstname.lastname@example.org
attending delegates, Mat Thijssen, won a “Best Delegate” award for his position as head representative of OXFAM at the non-governmental organization
Mat Thijssen (NGO Forum) Best Delegate, McMun Keith McManamen Honourable Mention, McMun Ben Haist (ECOFIC) Best Delegate, NAMUN forum. The president of FAS, Keith McManamen, also earned himself an honourable mention in the conference for his involvement in the French-Algeria 1956 Crisis Committee.
Maggie Clark editor-in-chief UofO prof. faces dismissal for changing course; students sue
A saga four years in the making took another turn this past week, as the academic suspension of University of Ottawa Prof. Denis Rancourt prompted three students to sue UofO for up to $50,000 apiece in damages in relation to his removal. Four years ago Rancourt attempted what he calls “academic squatting,” — taking a course on physics and the environment in 2005 and drastically altering the curriculum with student input, outside university approval. One student complained, and the course was shut down. Rancourt then worked with the university to create a course in the science faculty on political activism, which would operate on a pass/fail basis: that too was cancelled.
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In Winter 2008, Rancourt returned to “academic squatting,” turning a fourth-year physics course into a forum for political activism, and assigning the mark of A+ to every student on day1. On Friday, February 6, according to the Canadian University Press, UofO administration recommended Rancourt’s dismissal to the university’s board of governors. Rancourt’s fate at UofO will be determined at a board of governors meeting in early March. In the meantime, two graduate students and a researcher are suing UofO for having their careers “frustrated and/ or derailed” by Rancourt’s dismissal. Students Sean Kelly and Joseph Hickey claim that their respective projects are entirely contingent upon Rancourt’s continued presence. In his absence, Meizhen Dang — a researcher with Rancourt for 12 years — also claims to have been given “no opportunity to continue her work independently” while “all of her ongoing projects, along with her research and data, have been seized by the defening university.” As of press time, the university had yet to be served with legal papers, according to UofO spokesperson Andree Dumulon. Anti-Semitism at York University
When a group of York University students gathered on Wednesday, February 11 to announce the acquisition of 5,000 signatures for their “Drop York Federation of Students (YFS)” campaign, they were met by students protesting the impeachment. And when fire regulations limited the number of people able to attend the public conference, those protestors created enough of a disturbance to shut the conference down, and place members in a position where police were needed to escort them out. According to the National Post, this disturbance first manifested in enough noise to disrupt operations in the original meeting room, at which point members moved to Hillel offices nearby. There, reports by CTV and Excalibur, York University’s student paper, noted that members were surrounded by protestors, who banged on the walls and ceiling below, shouting both antiIsrael and anti-Semitic slurs at members of the group. According to an Excalibur report available on YouTube (“Protest in York University’s Student Centre”), protesters suspected ulterior motives in the move to impeach the YFS. Krisna Saravanamutu, YFS VP Equity told Excalibur: “At the board meeting, members of Hezbollah Fellowship, members of Hillel, members of the Zionist Coalition at York University ... warned us outside of that meeting that if this motion gets passed, we will be impeached. ... What we’re seeing in the last two weeks is a result on our motion on Gaza.” The accusation stands in striking contrast to the reasoning for impeachment presented on the Drop YFS Facebook group, which reads: “By supporting CUPE 3903 and the strike, the YFS is responsible for prolonging the devastating strike that left 50, 000 students locked out of their classrooms. The YFS executive failed in representing its constituents, the students.” Hillel at York University President Daniel Ferman further responded to Saravanamutu’s accusations, stating that“the plans to have [YFS] recalled to an election were made in December. This has been in the works for months now, and this is a ridiculous accusation.” email@example.com
Imprint, Friday, February 27, 2009
Katrina Massey reporter
Ivan Merrow reporter
British man, Ex-Guantanamo detainee alleges US torture
LONDON, England Binyam Mohamed, a 30-yearold Ethiopian citizen with British residency, was released from Guantanamo Bay after spending four years there and returned to the United Kingdom February 23. The United States agreed to release Mohamed after being pressured by the British government for over 18 months. He is the first detainee to be released since Barack Obama’s rise to presidency. Mohamed said that while he was in custody he was abused and tortured, and accuses the US government of co-ordinating this. “I have been through an experience that I never thought to encounter in my darkest nightmares,” he said. Mohamed was originally detained in Pakistan in April 2002, where he was held for nearly four months and allegedly tortured by Pakistani intelligence agents in the presence of a British agent. His lawyers say he was then taken to Morocco on a CIA flight in July 2002, where he was tortured and coerced into falsely confessing to terrorist activities. He was sent to Guantanamo Bay in 2004. Mohamed was accused of receiving Al-Qaeda training in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and of planning to detonate a bomb in the United States, but charges have since been dropped.
Both Morocco and the United States government have denied the torture allegations. However, the case has helped to increase controversy over American treatment of those accused of terrorist activities. “I am not asking for vengeance; only that the truth should be made known, so that nobody in the future should have to endure what I have endured,” Mohamed said. He also called for the release of other Guantanamo detainees. — With files from CNN and Reuters 9 killed, 84 injured in crash landing at Amsterdam airport
AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands Nine people were killed and 84 injured on Wednesday when a Turkish Airlines plane crashed just short of runway A9 at Amsterdam’s Schiphol international airport. The Boeing 737-800 wreckage remains in three pieces a few hundred meters short of the runway. The cause of the crash is still unclear, but is under investigation using flight data recorders recovered from the wreckage. The head of Turkish Airlines board of directors said the plane had been well maintained before departing Istanbul earlier that morning. According to Turkish Airlines chief Temel Kotil, the flight’s captain was experienced. An eyewitness report describes the plane hitting the ground tailfirst, after dropping out of the air at a 45 degree angle. One passenger named Kerem Uzel described the plane as, “…suddenly [descending]
a great distance as if [it] fell into turbulence.” Three crew members perished in the crash, including two pilots, while the remainder were passengers. The relatively small number of fatalities is being attributed to a soft landing surface and the fact that the plane did not catch on fire. Bill Voss, the president of the independent Flight Safety Foundation in Alexandria, Virginia said the Boeing 787-800 has a “very good safety record.” The plane is a relatively new model, and has quality flight data recorders that should reveal more information about the circumstances surrounding the crash. — With files from BBC and The Globe and Mail Deadly gas blast exposes China’s mining safety concerns
BEIJING, China A mine explosion that occurred on February 22 in China’s Shanxi province has killed 74 people and left many more wounded. 436 miners were working underground when the accident occurred, and although many were able to escape, at least 60 workers were trapped underground for hours awaiting rescue. 114 miners are currently being hospitalized, while five of them are in critical condition. The Tunlan mine is China’s big gest coal producer for the steel industry. Although the mine previously had a good reputation, having had no accidents in at least a decade, China’s mining industry is considered the most dangerous in
the world. Government figures show that almost 80 per cent of the 16,000 working mines in China are illegal. “Illegal production and cover-ups are still too frequent in the industry, and some local government and corporations remain ignorant of their responsibilities with regard to work safety,” said Luo Lin, head of China’s Work and Safety Administration. In 2007, 3,786 miners died from mine-related accidents, while in 2008 these numbers fell by about 15 per cent. This is partially because last year over 3,500 mining officials were examined and 425 were arrested for charges in relation to negligence that led to accidents. China’s State Administration of Work Safety estimates the death rate in mining accidents at just over one per cent. Ironically, the Tunlan mining accident occurred the day after senior provincial officials held a conference on mine safety, in which they pledged to end fatal mining accidents. — W ith files from BBC and Reuters Israel replaces head negotiator at Egyptian talks on Palestine
JERUSALEM, Israel Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has replaced his lead envoy to Egyptian truce talks with Hamas after previous lead Amos Gilad spoke out against the Israeli government’s approach to the negotiations. Gilad said that his government was inconsistent with their demands and accused the Prime Minister of hardly being involved in a February 18 article published by Maariv news-
paper, an attack that Prime Minister Olmert called unprofessional. Hamas has made demands for Israel to release 1,400 jailed Palestinians, while Olmert is now opting for the release of captured soldier Gilad Shalit. However, Hamas demands that Israel release 1,400 jailed Palestinians in exchange for Shalit. “Suddenly, the order of things has been changed. Suddenly, first we have to get Gilad (Shalit). I don’t understand that. Where does that lead, to insult the Egyptians? To make them want to drop the whole thing? What do we stand to gain from that?” Amos Gilad said. The attempts to solidify the January 18 ceasefire have also been made increasingly difficult as violence continuously occurs between Israel and Hamas. On February 23, Israel launched an air strike on Gaza after one of Israel’s patrols went under fire near the border crossing. A rocket was also launched from Gaza and hit Israel territory. There have been no reports of casualties or injuries from these attacks. — With files from BBC, IRIN and Reuters
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Opinion Student Life Centre, Room 1116 University of Waterloo Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 P: 519.888.4048 F: 519.884.7800 http://imprint.uwaterloo.ca Editor-in-chief, Maggie Clark firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising & Production Manager, Laurie Tigert-Dumas email@example.com General Manager, Catherine Bolger firstname.lastname@example.org Ad Assistant, vacant Sales Assisstant, Abbas Abdulali Systems Admin. Dan Agar Distribution, Garrett Saunders Distribution, Sherif Soliman Interns, Brandon Rampelt Volunteer co-ordinator, Dinh Nguyen Board of Directors email@example.com President, Sherif Soliman firstname.lastname@example.org Vice-president, Vacant email@example.com Treasurer, Lu Jiang firstname.lastname@example.org Secretary, Vanessa Pinelli email@example.com Staff liaison, Peter Trinh firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Staff Assistant Editor, Dinh Nguyen Head Reporter, Vacant Lead Proofreader, Alicia Boers Cover Editor, Veronika Zaretsky News Editor, Vacant News Assistant, Ryan Webb Opinion Editor, Adrienne Raw Opinion Assistant, Christine Nanteza Features Editor, Vacant Features Assistant, Vacant Arts & Entertainment Editor, Tina Ironstone Arts & Entertainment Assistant, Vacant Science & Tech Editor, Rajul Saleh Science & Tech Assistant, Vacant Sports & Living Editor, Caitlin McIntyre Sports & Living Assistant, Vacant Photo Editor, Amy LeBlanc Photo Assistant, Shannon Purves Graphics Editor, Vacant Graphics Assistant, Vacant Web Administrator, Vacant Systems Administrator, Mohammad Jangda Production Staff Paul Collier, Mo, Michelle Bellefontaine, Emily Stypulkowska, Mark Zammit, Peter Trinh, Mavis Au Yeung, Andrew Dodds, Keriece Harris, Alicia Mah, E Aboyeji Graphics Team Armel Chesnais Imprint is the official student newspaper of the University of Waterloo. It is an editorially independent newspaper published by Imprint Publications, Waterloo, a corporation without share capital. Imprint is a member of the Ontario Community Newspaper Association (OCNA). Editorial submissions may be considered for publication in any edition of Imprint. Imprint may also reproduce the material commercially in any format or medium as part of the newspaper database, Web site or any other product derived from the newspaper. Those submitting editorial content, including articles, letters, photos and graphics, will grant Imprint first publication rights of their submitted material, and as such, agree not to submit the same work to any other publication or group until such time as the material has been distributed in an issue of Imprint, or Imprint declares their intent not to publish the material. The full text of this agreement is available upon request. Imprint does not guarantee to publish articles, photographs, letters or advertising. Material may not be published, at the discretion of Imprint, if that material is deemed to be libelous or in contravention with Imprint’s policies with reference to our code of ethics and journalistic standards. Imprint is published every Friday during fall and winter terms, and every second Friday during the spring term. Imprint reserves the right to screen, edit and refuse advertising. One copy per customer. Imprint ISSN 0706-7380. Imprint CDN Pub Mail Product Sales Agreement no. 40065122. Next staff meeting: Monday, March 2 12:30 p.m. Next board of directors meeting: TBA
For this week’s Media Matters column, an important comment on the Crime on Campus series, see page 15
Economists, be compassionate Citing number games as an excuse to dismiss suffering is wrong email@example.com
t took just one horrible equation to destroy my week — and that was not just because I have a natural aversion to calculation of any sort. Now, I have nothing against egg heads whose daily bread is crunching numbers. (In fact, I am jealous because God knows those time-tested number skills would have saved me a second $65 SAT registration fee and Father would think of me as less of an expensive idiot). Still, I think number-crunchers need to beware of the natural limits of math in real-world decision-making. To do any less in certain circumstances renders them cold blooded and insensitive elitists. The gripe I have with these cold -hearted number crunchers is not just the consistent attempts to put a price tag on a people’s suffering in the name of “cost-benefits,” but their heartless inclinations to dismiss these “costs” as necessary evils. Whatever their grand illusions of economic development might be, failing to realize that even the magic of numbers cannot justify poverty’s torture is in itself an original sin. One such “steely” equation that has become very popular among certain academics greatly upset me this week. It was made by a certain “internationally renowned” Zambian economist by the name of Dambisa Moyo. Armed with advanced degrees in policy and economics from Harvard and Oxford she seemed the kind of African woman one could look up to — until she started her number crunching. When she was asked by the New York Times about her new book “Dead Aid,” where she makes an increasingly popular (and credible) argument that Western Aid to Africa has perpetuated poverty, she gave this cold-hearted answer, which has lit me up this entire week: “Think about it this way — China has 1.3 billion people, only 300 million of whom live like us, if you will, with Western living standards. There are a billion Chinese who are living in substandard conditions. Do you know anybody who feels sorry for China? Nobody.” In the first place, that a billion Chinese people are living in substandard conditions is enough reason for the genuinely conscientious among us to worry. I am appalled that anyone gets the impression that China’s poor do not deserve attention. Even worse, to use this miserable, sadistic, and morally faux pas argument to advance a far more beneficial view to economic development in Africa is simply unforgivable. What particularly saddens me is that we share the same point of view — only, she gets to write her radical bullshit first. I agree, like many mainstream
African economists, that Western aid is currently not doing very much for Africa. No arguments there. The self-evident ills of the aid system and the solid case against its long term relevance to economic development in Africa are only a Google search away. You do the homework. However, my problem with this development economist is how lightly she dismisses and even attempts to justify the suffering of an entire third of the world (add China’s poor to Africa’s). Undoubtedly she thinks of the approximately two billion people she has fleetingly referred to in simple figures — figures she can crunch into calculations that are meaningless to the world’s poor. This policy experts’s outrage-worthy opinions did not stop with this collective “fuck you” to the world’s poor. She still had the moral courage to go even further to verbally attack people like Bono, who
several years. Were we expecting she would even remotely consider that 65 per cent of her country lives on less than a dollar a day and a million people in her country are infected with HIV aids? So let’s complete Ms. Moyo’s epic tale as we are assured it will end: Dead Aid becomes a New York Times bestseller, she travels the world awing academics with her “novel” ideas on aid in Africa and she makes millions blindly promoting her questionable “freemarket” and “micro-credit” alternatives. It is the typical African success story: her silver spoon turns gold thanks to the continued misery of Africa’s poor. Now, there are three major problems with giving pseudo intellectuals like Moyo free rein to crunch numbers in ignorance suffering and pain. First, the comparisons they make are almost always wrong since they
She also does not even attempt to factor in her calculations that while China has a surplus of trillions of dollars, Africa has a collective debt almost three times China’s surplus.
(however misguided they are) have created small miracles in Africa with their well intentioned altruism. To crown it all, she advocates stopping all development aid, which still forms the more significant part of many an African governments’ yearly operational budget, within five years—with a phone call! When I read these grossly insensitive comments, I began to wonder. I asked myself, is this woman really African? Or has she been possessed by one of the stronger African blood-sucking demons? Is she, as we would say in Africa, a blood sucking witch? I wondered to myself how someone so educated and talented could possess such dangerously ignorant opinions. I did not have to look too far for answers. Towards the end of the interview she revealed to her interviewer the elitist background that had formed her mindlessly flawed number crunching. Her mother owns the influential Indo Zambian Bank that bankrolled the late President Mwanawasa’s funeral. Her father runs a Transparency International break away called Integrity Foundation that “trains” Zambia’s parliament instead of investigating the allegations against them. She marketed Israeli, Turkish and South African bonds on the global capital market for Goldman Sachs in London for
are apt to view a situation simply as a numbers game. Their lack of any real experience as far as concrete issues on the ground are concerned means that they often fail to look at the numbers that really matter. Take for example, Ms Moyo’s comparison of China’s poor to Africa’s. What she fails to tell you is that while more than half of Africa is living on less that a dollar a day, only 10 per cent of China faces the same fate. She fails to tell you that while China has performed the extraordinary feat of reducing this number by 50 per cent in the last decade, Africa managed to plunge it by 100 per cent in the same time. She also does not even attempt to factor in her calculations that while China has a surplus of trillions of dollars, Africa has a collective debt almost three times China’s surplus. So the one billion Chinese people she refers to are not as dirt poor as half an entire continent. All this is notwithstanding the fact that their highly educated General Committee is far from the collection of nut cases that lead Africa today. See NUMBERS, page 10
Friday, February 27, 2009 Vol. 31, No. 28
Imprint, Friday, February 27, 2009 firstname.lastname@example.org
Imprint, Friday, February 27, 2009
Art of being a keener
he art of being a keener is no easy feat. While they are often mocked, ridiculed and resented by their fellow classmates, it takes a certain amount of character and guts to pull off that smug know-it-all attitude. For those of you itching to stand out in your lectures and become a suck-up extraordinaire, here are some core principles to bear in mind: 1. Never be afraid to ask an irrelevant question — absolutely key if you wish to succeed in annoying the entire class.
Yes, you may encounter a few eye-rolls and receive an “I’ll take care of you after class” glare from the varsity hockey player in the corner, but you must persevere; these simpletons are just jealous that they didn’t think of the question first. As professors are famous for saying, there is no such thing as a stupid question, and while your query may be awfully close, it’s far more important to have your voice heard. Moreover, in the long run your peers will thank you for broadening their knowledge of the subject because of your inane question and will feel more enriched as a result. In my Ethics in the Life Sciences class, we were discussing whether the fetus is really a person and one argument often invoked is that because they have DNA, they should be considered persons. One genius raised his hand to ask, “What about those ancient Native burial grounds where there’s DNA in the soil?” Boy was he an intellectual; clearly Native burial grounds and fetuses are the same thing and I thank him for making such an astute connection. 2. Personal stories best saved for family dinners are a keener’s best friend.
Does the lecture revolve around nursing homes? Throw in how your dear old grandpa is currently in one. Discussing ethical dilemmas and principles? Be sure to mention that quandary you
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found yourself in three years ago while working at Shopper’s Drug Mart. Try to work in your career ambitions, family history and your pet’s name if at all possible, as these are things that your classmates are dying to know. I could write a biography on some of my classmates because of all the fascinating tidbits they’ve imparted and although some may argue that these anecdotes unnecessarily prolong the class, I beg to differ. I personally would not be able to sleep at night if I hadn’t heard the heartwarming story of how one girl’s boyfriend is a great cook. 3. Office hours are for suckers.
One could argue that these off-
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quick, pressing question they need to ask, but pay them no attention. Building rapport with the prof (i.e. sucking up) is essential to achieving keener status. 4. Always wait until the last possible second — see what I did there?
I find questions are much more stimulating (and not at all annoying) when they are asked in the last few seconds of class, just as everyone is getting ready to leave. This extra time spent together with your peers will allow you to strengthen the deep friendships you have already formed. Parting really is such sweet sor-
row and though you may be on the receiving end of a few death glares, your classmates deep down appreciate your effort to spend more time together. And there you have it; a step by step guide to being the ultimate keener. While this status may entail in having fewer friends, cold looks from your classmates and a collective groan every time you raise your hand in class, there are benefits to be had. Namely, a glowing reference letter from the professor and the satisfaction of knowing that you have enriched the lives of fellow UW students, thereby making the world a better place. Pat yourself on the back. — Melody Jahanzadeh
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topic questions and personal tidbits are best saved for the professor’s office hours so that the entire class isn’t held up because of random questions. Nay, I say! Office hours are for commoners and a true keener is no commoner. Feel free to waste…er… use as much of the class time as possible. This way, you can ensure that not only will your peers take note of how brilliant you are, but you will stand out to the professor as well. This will prove invaluable when you go to them for that grad school letter of reference. Keeners are always two steps ahead of the game. That being said, have no shame when you go to the professor after class to chat about the day’s news. Yes, there may be a line of people who only have a
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aving a fat day? Loving what you see in the mirror? Or are you impartial to the way you feel about yourself? There are two types of people in the world (three if you count the fakers). People who are confident and those who are not. In my experience, the most outwardly confident people are the ones who are the most concerned with themselves. At the same end are the noticeably self-conscious ones… who are even lower on esteem once you get to know them. If you were to ask my friends to describe me, I think (and hope) they would say that I am a confident person who has good direction. What they don’t know is that I am constantly
Imprint, Friday, February 27, 2009
Self (un)conscious with the sexes I once dated a guy who was popular and funny, and seemed to have all the confidence in the world. He wasn’t the greatest looking guy, and he was relatively close to my height – but I still dated him because he had that something. Tom (not his real name) was hilarious, and was a musician in a local band that everyone loved. When we first met and started dating, I thought he was the best thing to happen to me. He always told me I was beautiful, and did the cutest things for me. He would surprise me with music and songs, write for me, and was trying to be the best boyfriend I had ever had. Eventually, the true colours of his low self-esteem started to come out.
that was the final straw. We had mutual friends when I broke it off with him, and I would hear the worst things about me from him. Within a week of a breakup, Tom, who once told me I was the love of his life, was telling everyone he wished I was dead. I could have avoided all of that if I had only known that he was a fake from the start. I know it sounds horrible leaving someone because they are sad, but that wasn’t the whole reason I broke up with him. I had to leave him, because I was starting to think like him. I didn’t leave him because he cried tears in front of me, or that he called himself fat – but because he never saw the light in things and it brought me down to a low I
they stay to help that person, or that they think “love is enough,” it pulls on my heart strings to see confident people waste away because of who they are dating. Not all the relationships I know are like this, and more often than not, they are positive, healthy ones. Which begs the question: where can we find the fine line of not enough confidence and too much confidence? When is it safe to show your true colours to someone? No one would ever start dating someone with “Hi, I think I am ugly and fat. Let’s get a coffee.” On the other hand, having too much confidence is a social death sentence, where people need to literally sit down and eat a slice of humble pie.
notion of feminism has been blown grossly out of proportion. Feminism is now a negative and extreme word — to the point that girls stay away from it altogether. I don’t think women are better than men, I just think we are all equal — that’s my feminist belief. Whether you are a girl or guy, you need to have some confidence. Whether fake or real, it will help you along the way. I must caution you all though – that there will always be someone who will “one-up” you with confidence and know-all. Know when to step in and take control, and when to sit back and be a team player. The balance is the part that many people are not
No one would ever start dating someone with “Hi, I think I’m ugly and fat. Let’s get a coffee.”
worrying about my flaws, and I feel lost most of the time. You can filter me under the fakers, but like the old saying goes, “It takes one to know one.” I’ve been told that I look unwelcoming and cold at first glance, and that only after someone gets to know me do they think I am warm and kind. If I could choose, I would rather look like a teddy-bear than a female dog as far as first impressions go; unfortunately that is not my case. First appearances have lasting impressions until you get to know each other.
Not only was uber-confident Tom a fake, he was depressed, jealous, and sucked every bit of happiness and confidence out of me. He was at his lowest point at the end of our relationship, when I decided I needed to break up with him. He told me he thought he was too ugly to have someone like me, and that he thought I was too good for him. He said everything that you shouldn’t say to your girlfriend – and he did it in a record two months of dating. He told me he loved me before he even knew me, and
had never experienced. I was becoming increasingly bitter and miserable. I had to get out. Years after Tom and I broke up, I ran into him while in my hometown. He apologized to me for everything he did and said, and told me that he’s a better person now. I believed him, and I knew he was telling the truth because I knew that he was extremely successful in his funny line of work. Today, I am dating someone who doesn’t bring me dowm, yet I know many friends that are with significant others that only hinder them. Whether
People don’t like other people who think they are better than them. Call it politics or capitalism… everyone wants to be seen as successful, confident, and unique. No one likes a “one-upper.” When a girl has self confidence, and walks into a room with her head held high, the other girls in the room are the first ones to snicker and glare. Guys that walk into a room of people with confidence halt conversations and are glorified by the girls in the room (most of the time). Self confidence from a male is more accepted and encouraged than it is for a female. Sure, call me a feminist but like a colleague of mine, who also shares this belief, I think the
aware of. What is it that brings out the claws from one successful girl at another? Is it the media? Is it our social conditioning? Why else would a soap company benefit from having a self-esteem campaign directed at children? Why else would twelve year old girls be reading women’s magazines that give tips on sex? Why do men feel that shedding a tear or holding a hand is unmanly? Social expectations of confidence and image are to blame. In our current society, if you lack confidence you are lower than the majority, however the most common fears and problems people have are with confidence. Such a paradox, isn’t it?
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Imprint, Friday, February 27, 2009
Letters Re: Ask Shaniqua (20 February 2009) I have learned not to expect high-quality content from your publication, but this week’s “Ask Shaniqua” has hit a new low with the unfounded assault against the male population. In Shaniqua’s first letter, “Confused” talks about the fact that she cannot understand men, and wanted to know how she could tell if he’s not interested. In her response, Shaniqua proceeds to dehumanize men in general, saying that they are “rude, loud, smelly, stupid, and rarely do their actions make sense.” The tone of her article clearly suggests that these traits (specifically the first two and the last one) describe her more accurately than they describe the average male. I would expect her response to be more supportive in nature, and it is unfair for her to do so at the expense of half of the population. Her comment that women “are naturally superior to all men” is uncalled for. While I will acknowledge that women are sometimes treated unfairly compared to men, it will only hurt their cause to have someone who has the appearance of an authority figure loudly proclaim that one gender is better than the other. I was under the impression that we were through with this sexism debate and able to look beyond gender when judging one’s personality. Obviously, I was sorely mistaken. As for her suggestion that all men care about are video games and sex, I honestly don’t understand where she gets this rubbish! Yes, this may apply to a small subset of the male population, but the vast majority actually have a greater level of dignity. For many of my male friends, having a girlfriend is like taking another course, and I can tell that they’re into the relationship for more than just sex (assuming that’s even a part of it). These friends also have social lives outside of their girlfriends, and in many cases, gaming will rank very low on the list of priorities.
Finally, to say that “lesbians are the lucky ones” is questionable at best. While I am by no means an expert in homosexuality, I can say with some confidence that many lesbians feel out of place amongst a world of heterosexuals. If lesbians were indeed the lucky ones, would campus organizations such as GLOW be necessary? I’m sorry if Shaniqua has had bad luck with past boyfriends, but this does not give her the right to dehumanize the male population to the point that she did. If I were to write a similar article dehumanizing females, it would cause another wave of feminism on campus and I would certainly lose my positive reputation that I have worked hard to earn. For these reasons, I recommend suspending Ask Shaniqua until such a time when her articles meet basic publication standards. While I recognize that her opinions do not necessarily represent those of Imprint Publications, it still does not discount the fact that I, as well as many of my male friends, were appalled by this article and demand an apology in the next issue. Joseph Collins mathNEWS Editor Editor’s note: Must be nice in that Ivory Tower of yours, mathNews. Tell us, do you keep your “Sexy Whore” onsite, or just call her up for special occasions? Also charming was your flame-bait piece about Italian culture (what, Mario stereotypes weren’t bad enough?), and your publication’s rampant anti-Gothism (which we agree with in principle but are SHOCKED AND APPALLED by on record). Oh, wait, are we still recording? Abort! Abort! Sincerely, Imprint P.S. We saw your charge of war and have this to say: Bring it. P.P.S. Iron Warrior, you can come to. (We know you get lonely.)
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Imprint, Friday, February 27, 2009
NUMBERS: blood and tears Continued from page 6
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Second, they have a highly unbalanced view of potential solutions. Again, Moyoâ€™s false assessment of the situation provides proof of this. When she was asked for an alternative solution to Africaâ€™s problems given her extremist views, she gives the Westâ€™s foppish solution â€” the free market. Now, I have nothing against the free market, even though it often does not work as well as advertised. However, in her rush to crunch numbers she fails to calculate the obvious risks of this free market rhetoric that Africa is now being beleaguered with. No doubt encouraging free enterprise is a valid approach to development but like every approach it has problems. One of these problems is that Africa has little of any value to sell in this â€œfree market.â€? Agricultural goods are hardly profitable if you do not have a government that can subsidize recurrent losses (i.e France) and the oil market is winding down. It seems that only a viable manufacturing and services sector may be able to resurrect Africaâ€™s economy. However, even manufacturing poses a significant problem as we cannot expect to compete in a global manufacturing market with Chinaâ€™s edge. Services are all we have left and in a continent with Africaâ€™s literacy problem, there is definitely no gimmick for this. We are looking to another generation for those solutions. Thus the question that I always throw at these â€œfree marketâ€? types is simple; what can Africa sell in the free market? The other problem with this â€œfreemarketâ€? town cry is it ignores that these markets have unacceptable costs. Take for example, a scenario that is now common in my home country Nigeria. In the name of the free-market, poor people are given micro-finance loans. These resourceful Nigerians take these loans and invest in the highly profitable sachet water business (ignore the fact that this water is polluted). All you need do is have the sachets, a sealing machine and water flowing from even the sewer. (Hint: you also have to bribe public officials for the regulatory agency approval. Now guess who does the hard work of hawking this sachet water every day, all day? The entrepreneurâ€™s school age children So impoverished parents do exactly what the â€œfree marketâ€? people say, and start up a small scale sachet water manufacturing enterprise and staff it with their children instead of sending them to school. Apply the same business model to any other micro finance enterprises these free trade types promote and you have the same result â€” the future of Africa is the cost for
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these â€œfree marketâ€? adventures. So if the free market approach simply entrenches the poverty trap, how does it help Africa develop? Lastly and most important, these intellectuals in their arm-chair-approach to these problems indulge in the lazy long-distance thinking that makes them believe that the solution to a myriad of problems is a single equation. In this fallacious search for easy solutions they reduce a peopleâ€™s stories of struggle to statistics, turn pain into Ď€, and debase experiences so that they can form simple equations. It is unconscionable to make poverty a simple variable that we can increase and decrease at will. It is true, the road to a developed Africa will be hard and long. It will demand sacrifice and commitment especially since we have no slaves to trod on in achieving development. However, the sacrifice of suffering should only satisfy a great cause â€” the free market is too vague a cause. This grossly overrated god of free market prosperity is simply too fallible and impotent to warrant the suffering of our blood and tears. The problem with these analysts is that they think that something that may not work is bad in itself â€” they live in an all or nothing world. I know â€” God knows, that aid has brought small smiles to peopleâ€™s faces; that well that would never have been built but for the EWB, the brick schools that would have never seen the light of day but for USAID, and the girls who can now go to school thanks to Oprah. We see these things and give thanks to God for these kind hearts. While we agree that aid might not be a sustainable way of economic development for Africa, denying that it helps in these small ways is living in bitter denial. Instead of asking donors to stop the aid altogether, we should ask them to focus their aid in a far more productive manner like in building good schools to ensure that Africaâ€™s future is guaranteed. Arrogant and elitist academics like Moyo who stick it to kind hearted individuals from the developed world (however misguided they are) only do so because they cannot appreciate the difference such little acts of kindness make for poor Africans. Like Moyo, their affluence blinds them to the miracles of these small blessings born of conscientious individuals who only seek a better world but have little or no stake in it. Their opinions are chaff without the humility that only suffering can bestow. Unfortunately, Moyo is not alone in this despicable manner of academic foolery. I was born in the â€™90s â€” an era when the hawkish â€œdevelopment economistâ€? Jeffery Sachs made millions of dollars prescribing suffering for developing nations via the Structural Adjustment Program. Thus on a very personal level, Moyoâ€™s reasoning seems the worst kind of dĂŠjĂ vu â€” the beginning of a very familiar horror movie. I remember the horror I experienced in my earliest years just because some Ivy educated white male told the government that to bring people out of poverty, you should drown them in it â€” and the government, drooling fools that they are, believed him. In those years of the SAP in the early â€™90s, my
father got laid off his job and being highly principled, refused to use the back door to get a new one. It was not like we led lives akin to the Wall Street professionals of today with larger than life SUVs, million dollar mortgages and fancy thousand dollar music and dance lessons. With both parents working, we were able to live quite modestly â€” what you would consider middle class were it not a laughable concept by North American standards. We lived in a rented two bedroom apartment in a suburb hours away from Lagosâ€™ city centre so that my father would have to wake up at unholy hours to begin the voyage to work every morning. We could afford the most basic necessities, rent, the compulsory â€œChristmas cloth,â€? cereal every once in a while, baby food and with my fatherâ€™s almost insane insistence on quality education, private school. Hence, while we were not in the â€œdollar a dayâ€? category, we were not quite â€œballing.â€? Then the SAP came. My father and my mother got laid off from their civil service jobs due to â€œbudget restructuring.â€? Life in the city became so difficult my father had to drive a taxi, my mother sold blocks of ice, and my parents had to buy my baby food from the supermarket on credit (a situation made worse by my innate aversion to breast milk). Our unwavering dedication to quality education suffered; we had to pull out of our costly private school. After months of this kind of suffering, my mother opted to take us back to her village. At least there, we could get food to eat from nearby farms and dairies. It seemed the best action to take in such depressing times. Some of the people we knew had resorted to begging as a means of substinence. Others became characters in my fatherâ€™s cache of horror tales from that era with the same story line: the breadwinners lose their jobs and feel hopeless; they become suicidal, take their own lives or, even worse, their families with them. As father is always apt to remind me whenever my privilege clouds my judgment, â€œbut for Godâ€™s grace we would have ended up like them. It was God who gave us hope.â€? I concur. From time to time, I reflect on the images that defined an era of want for me â€” experiences I do not wish, even for my worst enemy. I regretfully recall the grotesque images of my elder brotherâ€™s gaunt stick figure, brown hair and distended stomachâ€”signs of kwashiorkor that had resulted from our far from balanced diet of yam flour. By grade five, he already had ulcer thanks to frequently imposed â€œhunger strikes.â€? I remember how I learnt to walk as toddler by hawking home-made cheese bare feet in village streets because the entire family would starve if we did not. On the other hand, I remember the more pleasant memories of our time at the village; how we played with my grandfatherâ€™s monkey, the many jibes the village children made of our â€œcitiness,â€? and even the many times we were bullied because we lacked the other childrenâ€™s thick skin. In the ambivalence of conflicting feelings that flood my mind, I come to the firm conclusion: No one working â€œby-the-numbersâ€? can crunch this.
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