the watch VOL. 34 NO. 6 - MARCH 2017 watchmagazine.ca email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com TWITTER @kingswatch INSTAGRAM @watchmagz
Kristen Thompson Nick Frew
John Sandham Avi Jacob
COPY EDITOR Allison Hill
Coel Ediger Nick Frew Kristen Thompson Hannah Daley PHOTOGRAPHERS Daniel Wesser Kristen Thompson
COVER Kristen Thompson
Fadila Chater Piper Mac Dougall Lianne Xiao John Sandham Zoë Brimacombe Charlotte Sullivan David Swick Adrian Lee
Kristen Thompson Nick Frew Avi Jacob
BACK COVER Daniel Wesser
We welcome your feedback on each issue. Letters to the editors should be signed. We reserve the right to edit all submissions. The Watch is owned and operated by the students of the University of King’s College.
But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people not be warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at watchman’s hand.
Daniel Wesser 2 The Watch |March 2017| @kingswatch
— Ezekiel 33:6
the watch IN THIS ISSUE
food services contract
The Watch |March 2017| @kingswatch 3
The old and the new editors
It’s been a great year King’s.
Through all the ups and downs this year, I’m really proud of the position that the Watch is currently in both financially and socially. We’re leaving the year with a $6.000 surplus, which I think is great for the upcoming year.
what’s happening around you. I’ll also be doing my best to give King’s athletics more attention because I #BleedBlue. Nick
I’m hoping that next year we will be able to have a more involved presence on campus, being at sporting events, special lectures, and also hosting more of our own event for our writers and the student body.
I have to admit that my first thought after being elected co-editor-in-chief last year was: “I’m just like Rory Gilmore”! I reveled in that for at least a month before fully grasping that I had been handed an awesome responsibility.
As much as I’m sad to be losing my partner Avi to publishing, I’m quite excited to be starting the year with Nick. I think with the new team we’ll be able to produce an amazing product, and I’m so excited to see what’s to come.
While I am, to this day, still in awe of that responsibility, I am also proud to say that our team accomplished a lot this year. Our goal was to increase readership and writer-ship. While it didn’t exactly happen as we had planned, we did it. We got people writing; we got people reading; we got people talking.
See you in September. Kristen
I’ve been a part of this team, as a contributor, since October and it has been a great experience. In this transition period, I’ve learned the ropes and I’m looking forward to the opportunity and challenges in front of me next year.
Looking toward next year, I decided to try something new and move into the position of Publisher. Following in the footsteps of our outgoing (and fearless) leader, John, I am already making plans to continue on the path we set ourselves in this year – more writers, more readers, more talking. While I am sad to be leaving this post (I WANNA BE RORY GILMORE FOREVER), I am also excited to work with Kristen, Nick, and Hannah, as they continue to produce this magazine.
I look forward to working alongside Kristen and I know her and Avi can help me if I’m unsure how to Here’s to a great year behind us, and another in approach a challenge. front! See you all in September, Part of my mission will be to recruit more writers so we can let you, the readers, know more about Avi Jacob/Rory Gilmore 4 The Watch |March 2017| @kingswatch
Publisher’s year in review So this is it: the end of my three years working at The Watch. Of those years, I don’t hesitate to say this has been the best of them all.
Here’s just a quick recap of what we’ve accomplished as a team over the past eight months. We (finally) have insurance, which means we’re protected if someone were to sue us for libel or defamation. This wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of former publisher Grace Kennedy, who, along with other members of our board of publishers, revamped our governing documents last year. Our relationship with the school of journalism and its instructors remains strong. It was beyond reassuring to have so many seasoned professionals to consult with when we hit roadblocks this year. To David Swick, our faculty representative on the board of publishers, and Kim Kierans, the King’s outgoing vice-president – thank you for your guidance and calming influence.
other makes it so that a member of the KSU other than the chair or financial vice-president cannot sit on our publishing board as a member-at-large. This change will ensure the crucial separation between the KSU and The Watch that many people have voiced their support for is solidified. Our “writer’s crisis?” I’m proud to declare it over. The Watch has developed a dedicated pool of reporters who I’m convinced will carry and support us moving forward. They’ve already produced relevant, thought-provoking work this year. From helping to erase the stigma surrounding sexualized violence on campus to creating awareness about the severe lack of diversity at King’s, I couldn’t be prouder of what they’ve done. Has this year been difficult at times? Absolutely. We are far from perfect, but we’re getting closer every day. And through it all, we’re still thriving. Next year’s executive, as always, will have their work cut out for them. With such continuity on the team, I’m confident they’ll be able to use what they’ve learned this year to take our little paper to great new heights. I’ll be watching and rooting for you all.
In January, our treasurer Maddie and I hit the road for the Canadian University Press National Conference (NASH) in Fredericton. Not only were we able to represent The Watch to the rest of Canada’s student journalism community, we also made John connections and learned tricks of the trade that will help us in our professional careers. I highly encourage members of next year’s team to attend this event and continue to keep The Watch on the radar of other journalists from coast to coast. Early this month, we made two changes to our constitution, which were passed at our general meeting. One was a simple wording change. The
The Watch |March 2017| @kingswatch 5
Food for sale Hannah Daley
Before the academic year even began, the food services contract search committee was working on creating a Request for Proposals (RFP). They accepted proposals from interested proponents until the end of February.
Bonnie Sands, bursar at King’s and member of the committee, says that Sodexo has been the provider at King’s for about thirty years. If they submit a proposal and are selected, they could continue service but with the minimum changes outlined in the RFP. Some of the minimum requirements include extended dining hall hours and recognition of dietary needs, including: Hallal, kosher, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free, and other dietary options. Over the summer, the committee started meeting to plan for the year ahead. In the fall, they surveyed students, faculty and staff about what they’d like for food services. From that, they began seeing prospective providers. Many of the minimum requirements were reflected in the results of the survey, which had responses from hundreds of students. “Students really care about sustainability when it comes to food service. Students are also very passionate about having a number of options for students with dietary restrictions as well as ensuring that there’s variety and there are nutritious options for students,” says Brennan McCracken, student rep on the search committee. “I’m very happy with all the feedback that we were able to get but I’m also happy to say that those students’ concerns are reflected in the RFP that was posted.” He says that students’ calls for sustainability and a variety of food, including local foods, were heard loud and clear by the search committee and incorporated in the RFP. McCracken says he is also committed to ensuring that the concerns of students are acknowledged after the contract is awarded. King’s has a membership with the Canadian College and University Food Service Association (CCUFSA). A service the association offers to their members is a visiting director’s evaluation. Representatives came to King’s in November to consult with groups of students, faculty and
staff in person about what they want to see when the contract is awarded. The same concerns brought up in the survey were voiced in those in-person reviews. “[The review groups had] different perspectives, different lenses, but the feedback from the students was very, very similar, which was good, actually,” says Daryl Murphy, director of finance with King’s and member of the search committee. Sands says the CCUFSA review team was made up of three peer universities from across the country. “We tried to get smaller universities that would have more of a small-school feel, that would have a familiarity with this kind of university,” she says. Now that the period for accepting proposals has closed, the committee is in the process of going through the proposals and evaluating them. As outlined in the RFP, the criteria for evaluation includes: Background and History of the Proponent Including References (15%) Proposed Food Service Offerings and Logistics in the Best Interest of King’s (15%) Food and Service Quality Management and Menu Options (25%) Management and Staffing (15%) Financial Submission (see attached template) (25%) Transition Plan (5%) Murphy says the committee is in the process of evaluating the proposals now and should have the results of the RFP by the end of the month. The chosen proponent will be given a contract of five years with work starting in July. |w 7 The Watch |March 2017| @kingswatch
Access Denied Nick Frew
If you’ve strolled around campus lately, you likely didn’t have trouble getting around. But for those who don’t have the luxury of walking, maneuvering around campus is a struggle.
Granted, anyone can enter King’s campus, but it’s another story if you have class or want to visit someone in residence. There are steps everywhere, and even I find the one ramp tight and claustrophobic when the bushes are in bloom. There are three elevators on campus – one in the New Academic Building (NAB), one in the Arts & Administration building (A&A) and one in Alex Hall – however, the elevator in the A&A doesn’t go to the top floor, and service to the third floor stops on weekends and after 5 p.m. on weekdays. To even get to the elevator in Alex Hall – which also doesn’t go to the top floor – you have to go up three steps, pull open the door, then go up or down a flight of stairs. There are three doors with handicap push buttons on campus – one at the entrance of the A&A next to the elevator and meal hall, another at the entrance to the NAB and one at the library’s front doors. In my first year of university, I spent several weeks on crutches after a knee operation, and just going from the basement of Alex Hall to the NAB with a backpack on was a small workout – and I’m a varsity athlete who had been on crutches before. It was also only a temporary thing. For someone like Vicky Levack, a University of King’s College student with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, it’s tougher to say the least. “Just going to a classroom itself, the classroom doors don’t have buttons, so I have to wait outside, kind of like a dog, until somebody’s close by and I can (ask if they could open the door for me),” Levack said. She added that people are always happy to help, but she feels bad because she’d like to be able to access her education without help. Levack says a possible simple solution for this would 8 The Watch |March 2017| @kingswatch
be to leave classroom doors open with a doorstop, as opposed to the more expensive option of getting automatic doors. “My parents are paying vast amounts of money for me to go to school, therefore I should be able to access the school,” she said. Levack had to take a couple of years off from school due to health reasons, but a friend told her about a vampire course offered at King’s. Levack’s friend encouraged her to audit it and said if she could handle that, then maybe she could pursue more of her education. Levack didn’t take a campus visit before enrolling at King’s, but she says that wouldn’t have deterred her from coming because King’s “is a very artsy school, it had the programs [she] wanted and [she] could get in the building – it would just be more difficult. “No school is 100 per cent accessible,” she added. That said, she’s had some risky situations. Levack has night classes in the NAB, which she says usually gets out at around 9:15 p.m. However, when she tries pushing the wheelchair button to leave the building, it won’t work. . By that time, it’s been shut off. Sometimes there’s someone around to help, but when there isn’t, she has to use her wheelchair to push the door open with brute strength. Levack says this is a delicate process because she could break the door, or herself. She was also stuck on an elevator on Dalhousie campus because the button to call for help was too high for someone in a wheelchair to reach. Luckily, she had phone reception and was able to call a friend on campus for help, otherwise she “would’ve been screwed.” Another thing for Levack is the message inaccessibility sends. “For me, when there’s a building or facility that’s not accessible – especially when you’re paying – it’s like they’re saying: ‘We don’t want you here. You don’t belong here,’ or ‘We don’t want your money, you’re somehow lesser than the average person.’
“I know that’s probably not what they’re intending to say, but that’s what their actions say, and that’s very degrading and hurtful. “I just want to be able to go to school and not have to wait outside the door like a dog,” she said. “I pay just as much money as anybody else going to school, I should have access to services that everyone else does, without having to jump through two or three obstacles.” Students aren’t the only ones affected by the lack of accessibility on campus. Vanessa Stephens, a former King’s student, used to live in Alex Hall. Her brother, Jordan, is in a wheelchair. On move-in day of Vanessa’s first year at King’s, her family came to help her move into her room on the second floor of Alex Hall. They were told an elevator was inside for Jordan to use. After going over the three front steps and through the door, Jordan found out he had more stairs to deal with before reaching the elevator. “This is bullshit,” he said bluntly. According to both Vanessa and Jordan, they asked a security guard why the elevator was situated where it is and the security guard said it is only to help people carry bags.
“I know someone who controls a power wheelchair with his head – he’s paralyzed from the neck down,” Jordan said. “His wheelchair is a lot wider than mine, so he’d be able to go straight on the ramp, but he’d get stuck on the turn.” It’s worth noting that I showed Vanessa and Jordan the ramp at roughly 8:30 p.m. on Mar. 20 after a snowfall the night before, and the ramp still hadn’t been cleared of snow. All that said, the Campus Master Plan 2016 says “accessibility is the highest priority facilities requirement,” and these changes are scheduled to come soon, specifically to Alex Hall. Right now, because all of the residences are so old, they don’t meet the building code requirements for accessibility. “There is also a moral and social imperative to improve access,” the document says. Code says not all residences need to be accessible to meet the requirement and after comparing the structural designs of the Bays and Alex Hall, the latter has been chosen as the accessible residence.
The following year, Vanessa lived on the fourth floor of Alex Hall, where the elevator doesn’t reach. Jordan didn’t come visit because there were too many stairs.
Changes to come will include making an exterior ramp, installing a chairlift on the first floor, and modifying the rooms and washrooms on the first floor of the east wing to accessible standards. The design of the chairlift will be determined after finding out which design best suits students’ needs.
Even if the elevator was meant for helping carry bags, people still have to climb the stairs to use it. However, Jordan raised the bigger concern regarding the stairs.
According to the CMP, the cost is estimated to be about $0.5 million, but these types of projects are attractive for government grants or incentives.
“Most people in wheelchairs aren’t strong enough to get up the stairs,” he said, though he isn’t one of them, as he plays sports such as wheelchair basketball competitively. He has also taught himself how to use stairs, just in case.
These improvements were supposed to be made in 2016. Unfortunately, however, nothing appears to have been started.
I showed Vanessa and Jordan the wheelchair ramp, which neither knew existed. Jordan said it’s tight, especially on the corners – the ramp is sort of shaped like a Z.
These accessibility changes are desperately needed, because as Vicky Levack says: “Everybody can walk up a ramp. Not everybody can walk up a flight of stairs.” |w
He explained that for someone in a manual wheelchair like his, it would be tight, but you’re at least able to maneuver yourself so that you can fit. However, he knows people who wouldn’t be able to use the ramp. The Watch |March 2017| @kingswatch 11
Looking back at a Presidential year Kristen Thompson
I had the opportunity to sit down with King’s President Bill Lahey to discuss his first year on campus. Here’s some of his favourite memories of the year, and what he’s looking forward to in 2017/2018.
Q: How does it feel now that your first year is coming to an end? A: It’s hard to believe that it’s been a whole year. It seems like I just started yesterday, but I’m reasonably happy with how the year has gone. I’ve really enjoyed learning about the King’s community, and participating in the life of the college. In particular, I’ve like getting to know what I think is a fair number of students, and having the opportunities to show interest in the activities and events that the students care about. I’ve also enjoyed getting to know our wonderful faculty and working in collaboration with them as well as the rest of our staff. I’m beginning to get to know more and more of our alumni this semester, as I didn’t really have as many opportunities to do that earlier in the year, in part because I was spending my time doing things like attending almost every FYP lecture and activities of the sort. I’m finding that now I’m starting to get out a little bit more, and meet alumni, which is exhilarating and exciting as well. It’s nice to see how a King’s education leads people to so many wonderful careers after their time at King’s. Q: Now that the year is over, what would you say are your biggest accomplishments for the year? A: We made some appointments to our board that allowed the board to be more diverse than it was before. We gave the opportunity to nominate people for board positions, which I think was an important step toward improving the relationships between the members of the board and the faculty in particular. We decided officially that we were not going to reset The Watch |March 2017| @kingswatch 12
tuition, which I think was a very important thing to decide one way or the other, and I’m pleased that we managed to put it to rest. It doesn’t sound very exciting, but we’re spending a lot of time trying to make sure that the college is governed in a way that is both collegial and reasonably efficient. We’re trying to get the processes as aligned as possible, and I think we’ve made some progress in that regard. I’m hopeful that we’re about to make some decisions on faculty members that have been in sessional positions for many years, and I think that’s something really important that we need to address. I’m hopeful that we’ll be doing that in the near future. Q: What are your big plans for next year? A: I guess one thing that I didn’t mention is that in the last year we’ve put a lot of effort into recruitment and retention of students, and I think we’re finally seeing some benefits from that. We’re going to continue increased efforts in that regard, and I’m optimistic that our enrolments are going to incrementally improve in future years. I think that it’s crucial to the college’s future to continue the process of renewing the faculty, and creating new tenure track positions. It’s not something we’re going to be able to do a lot on in the short term, but it’s an area where I’m determined that we make further progress in the future. Mental health services for students are critically important. Again, this is something that can be improved over time, but I think this is somewhere else where we need to see growth. I thought the two stories, both on sessionals and the lack of diversity at King’s, in the Watch recently were both great stories, and were very helpful in bringing our attention to those issues. As a kind of personal priority, I’ve spent a lot of time watching sporting events, and going to performances of the King’s Theatrical Society, participating in the life of the Chapel, these being three examples of things that I think really enrich the student lives here
at King’s. I’d like to see us supporting those kinds of things, and making them stronger in the future. The last thing I’ll mention, I think one thing that we need to do more as a college is to give our students even more opportunities than they already have to learn through the application of what they learn in the classroom, in real-world environments. Some people call that experimental learning and there’s a lot of emphasis on that right now at Dalhousie, and I think it would be very beneficial to our students to provide them with opportunities of that nature. Q: Everyone has noticed how much time you spend with students around campus; do you think that this is something you’ll continue in the upcoming year? A: I do it because I enjoy it. I think that at King’s the President should be expected to be accessible, and to show real direct, personal interest in faculty, students and staff, in terms of the experience they’re having. It’s my job to get to know as many students as possible, and to try and be known by as many students as possible. I think that that’s one of the things that should really differentiate us from other universities. Q: Is there anything that you wish you had done differently this year? Any regrets? A: I can’t really say that there’s too much that I regret at the end of the day. You always wish that there are certain things that could happen more quickly, but it’s the nature of a university, and an academic environment, that people expect for things to be discussed and for extensive consultation to take place. While that is how it should be, the result can sometimes be that getting some things approved, or implemented, that to you seem fairly straightforward or obviously necessary, takes longer then you feel it should. Unavoidably there are always those frustrations, but I’ve been a university professor for more than 15 years, so I’m kind of accustomed to working in environments where things take longer than they may need to, where discussion is needed before action takes place. Q: Is lowering tuition a priority for the work you do here at King’s?
universities, and our fees are higher here than they are at other Maritime universities. Given the financial situation that we’re in, it would be irresponsible to say that we’re able to do much in the way of lowering those in the immediate future, but I’m certainly open to reconsidering what our tuition and fees look like relative to other universities. When we get back to a position where we feel confident that we have the enrolment that we know can properly fund the university, that’s when we can really have those discussions. I know that the KSU and other student organizations tell me that scholarships and bursaries are not a satisfactory answer, but I do really think that they are a part of the answer. A focus of my fundraising activities in the future will be to raise more money for the financial assistance, so they are more generally available, and so that we have those that are competitive to the ones found at other universities. Q: Anything else you’d like to add? A: One thing I will say the thing that I miss the most is being a full-time teacher. I’m teaching one course this term at the Law School, and I was able to teach briefly in the Journalism 1001 class, but for the past 16 years I have been teaching more than three classes a term, and I miss that. I love the relationship that I get to have with the students here, but it’s episodic. It’s little conversations at the margins of the lives of students, whereas when you’re a professor, you have a much more expansive and holistic relationship with your students. That’s always been a part of being in higher education, and that’s definitely something I miss. So now my job is to support others that are getting to do the teaching, which is also rewarding. I’ve taken in a lot of the FYP program, which has been a great opportunity for me, and I think I’ll keep doing that next year, and in subsequent years. I learn so much about the world just by sitting in on the lectures with the students, and listening to the great professors that we have here, and share their wisdom. I’ve really enjoyed my first year here at King’s, and I’m very grateful for the welcome that my partner and I have been given, and that our dog Casey has been given. And I’m very much looking forward to the future. I’m very confident that King’s has a strong future, great past, but a stronger future. |w
A: I’m glad you asked that question, because even though we’re not doing the reset, I realize our tuition is till relatively expensive in comparison to other 13 The Watch |March 2017| @kingswatch
Dick, Dick, Dick, Vagina Coel Ediger
The chief distinction in intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by man’s attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can a woman – whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands. -Charles Darwin *** On Nov. 7, 1869, Charles Darwin was working in the comfort of his study in England. He was 60. His beard was white and his book The Origins of Species by Means of Natural Selection was entering its 5th edition.
Antoinette L. Blackwell, the first ordained female minister in the United States, was a female activist. She criticized sexual evolution theories for being narrowly male. Because Darwin was a man, his perspectives on sexual behaviour were made solely through a male lens. She insisted that science might benefit from the perspective of another gender. Once she was revealed as a woman, Blackwell’s critiques were ignored. Her letter and subsequent books, commenting on sexual studies, were only the beginning of a long-standing feminist tradition of questioning gender in animal studies.
As the father of natural selection, Darwin had made two major discoveries in sexual behaviour. Males are aggressive and competitive about mates and females are coy and choosy.
A century later, in the 1960s and ‘70s, the Women’s Liberation Movement marched and brought with them a new gender and generation to science. Stereotypes about gender changed and female professors in the natural sciences went from being mythical to making up 46 percent of the field by 2000.
While some consider Darwin’s emphasis on the power of female choice progressive for his time, his research was still biased by his culture.
And like Blackwell before them, they had questions about how human perspectives might be limiting sexual behaviour research.
In Victorian England, sexism was rampant.
“There was a shift in the views of how we perceive the importance of females in evolutionary biology,” says Dr. Malin Ah-King, an evolutionary biologist and feminist from the Stockholm University in Sweden.
Men were considered the more objective, rational sex, whereas women were far too emotional to accomplish much of anything. In the realms of science, all a woman could do was write. Some even wrote under false, masculine names so as to not lose credibility. So when A. L. Blackwell’s book, Studies in General Science, came to Darwin that day in November, he passed the author off as a man. 16 The Watch |March 2017| @kingswatch
“So going from being totally male biased, only interested in looking at male characteristics and how they evolve and then consensus changed somehow into including females.”
In the years to come, females would finally be getting the attention they so desperately needed, and gender stereotypes would begin to be uprooted as science focussed more on the “fairer” sex.
male harassing behaviours where they might not be and ignoring peculiarities. While our cultural ideologies about gender are shaping science, they could also be hampering it.
It’s important to point out that these findings aren’t saying that the science is wrong. The science might be totally legitimate. Green and Madjidian, like feminists before them, simply wanted to keep the science self-aware: especially because these gender biases have been seen in other fields.
...the male is the more active member in the courtship of the sexes. The female, on the other hand, with the rarest of exceptions, is less eager than the male... she is coy, and may often be seen endeavouring for a long time to escape the male. -Charles Darwin *** In the ‘90s, biologists and gender scientists started declaring the term “coy” inappropriate. “For one thing, it is plainly wrong,” writes Dr. Griet Vandermassen, a gender scientist from Ghent University. “During the past three decades, research has revealed that females of most species are anything but passive and sexually coy.” The term was a bulldozing generalization that, while addressed in the ‘90s, is still dragging preconceived notions of gender into science today. A 2011 study by Dr. Kristina Green and Dr. Josefin Madjidian found that males are more often described as being the active gender in sex. Throughout the 30 papers that the study cites, males were described as manipulative, forceful, and coercive, whereas females were described as resistant, avoidant, and counter adaptive. While males can be more aggressive, these kinds of characterizations drive stereotypes. Regardless of whether they represent a bias in research, they can still be harmful to the science. “If I went into my study with that sort of background in my head,” says Green, “maybe I would miss out on something that the female does before the male starts with all the harassment.” Green says that because these terms are so commonplace, they can mask diversity. Scientists might spend more time trying to fit the theory, looking for 18 The Watch |March 2017| @kingswatch
Thirty years ago, similar characterizations were used to describe eggs and sperm. Eggs passively moved from the ovaries to the uterus where they would be actively acted upon by sperm. Words like “assaulted” or “penetrated” described fertilization. It wasn’t until the ‘80s when a call to action sparked better molecular studies, that our little lady cell was considered an active party. Today, genital evolution research is seeing a similar problem. A study published in 2015 found that female bits aren’t studied to the same degree as males’ are. Of 364 studies, 46 percent were on male genitalia only; by contrast, only 7.7 percent focused on female genitalia. Dr. Malin Ah-King, the primary researcher for the study, says that by focusing on the male and ignoring the female we lose the full picture. In order for science to capture the full play-by-play, researchers need to study both sides equally. “Too often the female is assumed to be an invariant container within which all this presumed scooping, hooking and plunging occurs,” writes Ah-King. Together these studies and theories show that we still see the female role in sex as passive. Our bias has shifted for the better, but there’s still inequality. |w