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September 2011. Volume Xxiv. Issue I

Food Fights

Inside the bargain that ended the boycott anonymous complaint freezes student food collective


Cover Photo by Eleanor Hornbeck The University of Kin’gs College | 6350 Coburg Road | Halifax NS | B3H 2A1 | watcheditors@gmail.com | Twitter @KingsWatch

Table of Contents September 2011. Volume Xxiv. Issue I

Editors’ Note Letters to the Editor King’s Briefs Budget faceoff Kendra Hoskin atlantic acts of green Whitney Cant presidential priorities Rachel Ward off the menu Natascia Lypny about a boycott Niko Bell it’s a montreal thing Rose Behar pilgrimage to poland Laura Hubbard festival insider Ben Harrison the watch watches... rollertown Ben Harrison survival of the fypest Kate Ross & Rebecca Best into the fold Barrett Limoges a few good men James Jenkinson puzzle out of context

3 4 5 6 7 8 10 12 15 16 18 19 20 21 22 23 23

Editors-In- Chief

Production Manager

Publisher

general manager

Online Editor

Board of Publishers

Evelyn Hornbeck Charlotte Harrison

Davis Carr

Ben Harrison

Bethany Hindmarsh

Jon Finn

TBA

But if the watchman see the sword come, and sound 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 the watchman’s hand - Ezekiel 33:6


The Watch is important.

Editors’ Note

This is not a sentiment you hear expressed often on King’s campus. The Watch gets a lot of flack, from too boring to just plain bad. We’ve heard it. But the fact is, an independent student publication is vitally important to student life, as the free press is to a democratic society. Fellow student newspaper The Cadre at the University of Prince Edward Island is currently fighting to separate itself from its students’ union. It wants its money to come from somewhere else. They know that the break from union-funded group to independent paper is an important transition—with that you buy your voice. You have the freedom to ask hard questions. We’re taught in jschool to follow the money to find who owns whom. So who owns The Watch? Our money comes from you. The Watch has a dedicated levy paid by each student. That is a serious responsibility, one that kept at least one of us up nights this summer. It filled pages of ideas and reflections on what The Watch should be, about what our vision is. And it all comes down to that one thing: The Watch is important. It should cover what is important to King’s students. So why not take ourselves seriously? That’s been our philosophy as we release our second issue, the first of this school year. We looked at the most important stories at King’s this month. Two happened to be dramatic news about food and food services at King’s. We take you behind the scenes of the deal that ended the students’ union’s boycott (p.12) and set the story straight on why the King’s Alternative Food Collective isn’t serving food anymore (p.10). We asked hard questions of the new president to find out her priorities (p.8). We uncovered the administration’s reaction to the students’ union’s alternative school budget (p.6). The other role of an independent paper is community-building. With that in mind, we share with you stories of interesting students. From one student’s sobering trip to Poland (p.16), to another’s second performance at Pop Montreal (p.15). From introducing a new face to King’s (p.21), to celebrating some alumni’s break at the Atlantic Film Fest (p.18). The King’s community has a lot of interesting stories to share. So here is our issue, for you, the students who bought it. Thank you. And as always, let us know what you think: watcheditors@gmail.com Evelyn Hornbeck and Charlotte Harrison Editors-in-Chief


letters to the edtior

Letters to the Editor I would like to congratulate the King’s Students’ Union Executive on the Sodexo boycott they spearheaded, and our University Administration and Sodexo for also playing a role in the quick resolution of the boycott. I would along with these congratulations encourage our University Administration to ensure that in the future they do not get in the way of Union campaigns. The administration in large part presented itself as neutral during the boycott, a strategy that was born out of fear that the corporate suits of Sodexo would somehow reap retribution if our college behaved too badly. This fear reached its climax when our University President ran down to the Students’ Union Office, terrified by the prospect of the KSU selling some coffee, with Dr. Leavitt then threatening to change the locks to the KSU office. The image I have just described, and one that in the fishbowl of King’s has become common knowledge to most, is unworthy of our community. It is unworthy not only because it tarnishes the office of our president or that The Watch contacted Dr. Anne Leavitt to confirm information presented in the above letter. She said that she never asked KAFCA to change its political message, but only asked them to stop advertising as caterers on King’s campus. Leavitt also said that she told Gabe Hoogers she would change the locks on the KSU office in order to protect the university from liability. She says that KAFCA failed to contact her to discuss the content of her letter. KAFCA has refused to disclose the email for review by the Watch.

THIS SPACE LEFT INTENTIONALLY BLANK BY YOU. WRITE TO US: watcheditors@gmail.com

threats like these have little place in our college, but also because had the president achieved her aim, we may still be in the boycott right now. Shortly after the conclusion of the boycott, members of the KAFCA received a letter from Dr. Leavitt requesting that we cease our operations. While Dr. Leavitt was right in asking that we suspend our catering services until some food safety questions could be answered, in the same letter she requested we temper some of our political messaging at the same time. Our anti-corporate messaging was a great help during the boycott, and it has an important place on this campus. Moving forward the development of the canteen space and food services will require dialogue and trust, and our administration should take a great amount of pride in the student body taking over the canteen, and stay on the right side of food issues on campus. David Etherington Treasurer, King’s Alternative Food Cooperative Association

The Bookstore is turning 5! October 3 Johanna Skibsrud will be reading from her Giller win-

ning novel “The Sentimentalists” followed by a Q & A. Her new book of short stories will also be available. Please confirm with kingsbookstore@gmail.com as seating is limited. 7pm in the KTS Room. October 6 Party in the Wardroom! Come dressed as dressed as your favourite literary character or author and win a prize for best costume! Or wear black and white to match the decorations. Must be of legal drinking age. There will be sales and gift baskets can be won! One and all are welcome.5:30pm in the Wardroom. One sunny day between October 3- 7… We will be hosting a booksale in the Quad! Notices will go up on Facebook and Twitter the day before so stay tuned...

Follow us on Twitter! @KingsBookstore


news briefs

King’s in Brief Former GG Coming to King’s

Siobhan Fleury

On Monday, October 24, 2011, the list of illustrious presences to have graced the halls of King’s will gain a remarkable addition. At 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean will deliver the first Alex Fountain Memorial Lecture. The annual lecture is dedicated in memory of Alex Fountain, a former King’s student, by his parents, Fred and Elizabeth Fountain, and his sister, Katharine. In the wake of the 20-year-old’s tragic passing in August 2009, his family has shown incredible generosity to the King’s community through the lecture series and through donations to the recent renovations in the Wardroom. The lecture gives King’s students the opportunity to vote on a guest speaker. During the winter term of 2011, students were invited to put forward their suggestions for this year’s speaker. The ten most popular candidates were determined by a team of volunteers, with notable contribution from Adriane Abbott of the Advancement Office. In a discussion that included the King’s Student Union, the Advancement Office Staff, former King’s President Dr. William Barker and the family of Alex Fountain, Mme Jean was selected as the most appropriate speaker. Mme Jean, former Governor General of Canada, is the UNESCO Special Envoy for Haiti, as well as the co-president of the Michaëlle Jean Foundation. According to a recent press release from the University of King’s College, Mme Jean’s lecture, “Building Social Change Locally and Globally”, will express her belief that the promotion of an ethic of solidarity in Canada and around the world lies with today’s youth. Gabe Hoogers, President of the KSU, is excited to be able to introduce Mme Jean as the choice of the student body. “She is a woman who has many diverse experiences, and can really speak to a number of issues,” he commented. Hoogers expressed hope that speakers of equal calibre will be chosen in years to come.

union fixes summer finances

Evelyn Hornbeck

A lack of KSU funds threatened the health and dental plan again this summer, a problem Financial Vice President Nick Gall calls “ongoing.” The KSU offers health and dental insurance through the Canadian Federation of Students. The union pays fees for the service on a regular basis throughout the year, but only receives its student fees from October to April, when school is in. This summer there were overruns in a number of budget areas. Some specific issues included yearbook cost overruns, a $30,000 donation to the Wardroom renovation fund last year and costs associated with cleaning up three years of neglected audits and bookkeeping. This drained the union’s reserves, and squeezed them when the health and dental plan fees were due. All of those factors meant “that shortfall is more serious that it has been in the past,” said Gall. Gall said the beginning of the term found the union in “dire financial straits.” The KSU is in a spending freeze, which means they aren’t cutting any cheques. Gall will create a dedicated account for the student health plan payments so that it will not be in jeopardy again. This will mean that if other budget areas are in the red, they won’t be able to eat into the money for the health plan. Pending an advance on union funds from the bursar’s office, Gall expects to lift the freeze this week.


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Budget Faceoff the bursar, the bog and the alternative budget By Kendra Hoskin

The King’s Students’ Union thinks they know where the money should go at King’s. This summer, the union prepared an alternative budget for the university, to mixed reviews. Gabe Hoogers, president of the KSU, helped create an alternative budget for the 2011/2012 school year. It is the first time an alternative budget has been presented to the King’s Board of Governors. Hoogers says the school’s budget should benefit students as well as faculty. “We wanted a way to show how we were dissatisfied,” he said. When presented at a board meeting in June, Hoogers says the alternative budget received “warm reception” from various board members. But Gerry Smith, King’s bursar, called it incomplete. He says the alternative budget would have made good discussion items for the budget advisory committee, but that proposing it straight to the board was “presumptuous.” “You’re overextending your area. For the KSU to come and turn those priorities on their head is irresponsible. They are not understanding the process and in some ways not respecting the process,” said Smith. “It wasn’t discussed and vetted through the budget advisor.” The official budget goes through a lengthy process. Each department prepares a budget based on their administration needs. A budget committee then works with the university’s president to make recommendations to the finance committee on the board. From here, the budget goes to the executive committee. The executive committee votes on the operating budget for the coming year. Smith believes that the collective needs of the university are represented in the official budget, but not in the alternative budget. In preparing their budget, Smith said, the KSU failed to respect the budget input process at King’s. One major area of focus for the KSU was the “huge” amount of money budgeted for scholarships. The KSU proposed moving some scholarship money into a tuition freeze, needs-based grants or bursaries. Smith says the KSU didn’t do their homework. “You haven’t asked the registrar’s office, you haven’t asked recruitment, you haven’t asked the academic programs if they want to honor past commitments and maintain scholarships. You leap frog a whole bunch of series to just present something,” said Smith. Elizabeth Yeo, registrar at the school and non-voting Board of Govornor’s member, says the university budget is actually moving in the same direction that the alternative budget proposed. In 2006, a subcommittee made up of members of the scholarship committee and the bursary committee prepared a position paper on scholarship funding. The paper emphasized the importance of needs-based funding within the school. Since the paper was written, needs-based scholarships at Kings have steadily increased. “This value for access to the King’s education is important to everyone,” Yeo said.

At the board meeting in June, where the KSU presented the alternative budget, the faculty-proposed budget for the 2011/2012 school year was successfully passed. Smith says the alternative budget did not have any impact on the King’s budget. But Hoogers is not discouraged. “It was an interesting thought experiment to start from scratch and build up, rather than continue on the slog from each and every year that inevitably leads to some sort of a budgetary crisis, which is happening and has been happening,” said Hoogers. Smith describes King’s financial situation as “challenging”; governments have less money, and consequently so do universities. “Every university in Nova Scotia has a financial challenge right now,” Smith said. He says this was considered in the King’s budget. Hoogers says he hopes the alternative budget becomes a trend at King’s. “I hope to really engage students and to use it as an educational tool so that students understand where their tuition money is going in this whole university,” Hoogers said. The alternative budget will be presented to students at a general meeting on September 29th.

“We wanted a way to show how we were dissatisfied”

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news

Atlantic Acts of Green

King’s students paint the town green for Community Day By Whitney Cant

Roger Nelson in the Halifax Cycle Gallery takes a pledge Although not as widely attended as the annual scavenger hunt, community day was one on the most popular events at this year’s frosh week thanks to a new event called Atlantic Acts of Green. Frosh participants went around HRM collecting video pledges from local businesses about what they plan to do to help the environment. They collected videos from businesses such as Video Difference and Atlantic Superstore, as well as from MP Megan Leslie. Dan Brown, one of the coordinators of Atlantic Acts of Green, points out that so many businesses were willing to submit video pledges because they were contacted before frosh week and given a list of changes they could make from the Ecology Action Centre, such as changing to more energy efficient light bulbs, one of the most popular pledges made. Brown, who studies sustainability, was eager to incorporate environmental activism into frosh week from the beginning. “It would be great for the King’s community,” he said. But for the first month and a half or so, Brown and the other frosh week coordinators Noah White and Kate Wakefield had some trouble getting this project off the ground. Things changed when Wakefield’s cousin, owner of green building company ThermalWise, gave them the idea they were looking for and “even came up with the project proposal,” said Brown. With this supportive nudge from ThermalWise, Brown, Wakefield, and White further developed Atlantic Acts of Green as a frosh week event. Brown says that Atlantic Acts of Green received overwhelming support, and the King’s faculty was “quite surprised and impressed” with the project. Students, and especially frosh leaders, were excited because it was so straightforward: Brown says there was “minimal

input and maximum output,” part of the reason why it was so widely attended. Brown believes that Atlantic Acts of Green got students involved in a way that immediately shows results, compared with Shinerama, where “people don’t exactly get to see their efforts pay off.” Brown says that Atlantic Acts of Green was “a very positive and very forward way of getting people involved.” Brown and his team were excited that so many businesses wanted to participate, but even more so that many businesses went the extra mile, taking the basic pledges and personalizing them to their own businesses. The fact that so many businesses cared about the project to the point where they weren’t reading the pledge off a script made Brown feel like the project was generating positive activism. Brown says that Atlantic Acts of Green was primarily meant to draw immediate attention to environmental issues. So many businesses were willing to spend time and money changing their habits that Brown wants this project to inspire others to “go out there and take action.” Brown believes there is a great potential in the HRM and he looks forward to seeing the next generation of activists. This could be happening right now, as the KSU’s Emma Norton is working on harnessing the energy generated by the frosh to propel them into Green Shift Week. Participating students try to eat local and produce little or no waste. Atlantic Acts of Green and Green Shift Week are meant to draw the Frosh into the activist community, and to inspire them to give back to their communities, Brown says. Brown was utterly blown away by “the turnout, and the excitement, and just the level of positive energy through the whole event.” He, Wakefield and White had so many students involved with the project that they didn’t know what to do with them. Atlantic Acts of Green was so successful that Brown recommends that it become an annual event, but that decision is up to next year’s frosh week coordinators. Brown says that Atlantic Acts of Green would be “incredibly satisfying to new students,” and he would love to see the project expanded and repeated year after year. So far, only a handful of video pledges have been uploaded to the website, but it seems likely that Atlantic Acts of Green will continue to grow and expand. The site says they will add new information soon for other businesses and homeowners on how to submit their own video pledges to support the project: “This is only the beginning.”

“the turnout, and the excitement, and just the level of positive energy through the whole event”


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Presidential Priorities

Kate Ross

Rachel Ward sat down with new president Dr. Anne Leavitt to hear about her plans for King’s Dr. Anne Leavitt says the problem at King’s is serious: not enough money. “I think what a lot of universities have been doing is kind of yearto-year figuring out a fix, and that’s been smart… but you can only do that for so long. And at some point you have to say, ‘Look, maybe we need to look seriously at some of the ways in which we do things,’” she said.

Stretching the budget

The school is facing some major expenses. They had to come up to fire code this summer. The Wardroom canteen and the Pit are being renovated. The President’s Lodge is uninhabitable, with a 1920s-era electrical system, a gutter problem that need the woodwork ripped out down to the stone, and a drainage problem. The unofficial estimate is around half a million dollars, Leavitt said. Because she can’t live in the lodge, the school had to rent an apartment at Bishop’s Landing on the Halifax Waterfront, her first

apartment since she was 19. Her son lives in residence at King’s, and takes the Foundation Year Programme. In addition, King’s will have to pay her salary itself. Historically, a King’s president sits as the chair of the Carnegie Trust, the board that funds King’s professors to teach at Dalhousie. The relationship dates back to 1923, when King’s College burned in Windsor, Nova Scotia, and the Carnegie Foundation helped fund its move to Halifax. The position usually comes with a salary credit of around $100,000, paid by the foundation. Leavitt won’t be taking this position—she says she never considered it, or teaching at Dalhousie at all. “I don’t know if it was ever discussed. It wouldn’t have been an appropriate position for me,” she said. “Given my background and qualifications, and also my interests, it’s far more appropriate for me to be a professor at King’s of humanities.” Her interests lie closer to interdisciplinary programs such as King’s FYP. “I have a certain approach to ancient philosophy. That’s what


news King’s offers. Dal doesn’t,” she said. While Leavitt hasn’t taught in seven years, she plans to start again next year, at King’s. To get her philosophy fix until then, and meet to first-years, she plans to attend FYP general tutorials. But her priority is the money problem. The former Vancouver Island University administrator has some ideas. “King’s offers fabulous programs, right? We all know that. The wonderful thing about King’s is we don’t need to change what it’s doing in that sense. It’s doing great stuff.” One option is re-branding. Dr. Daniel Brandes has submitted a proposal to the board for the long-discussed School of Integrated Humanities. Administration for the Contemporary Studies Programme, Early Modern Studies and History of Science would be combined for easier curriculum collaboration, while maintaining distinctiveness. There are also plans for another master’s degree brewing in the School of Journalism—this time, in Creative Non-Fiction.

Pension Pressures

Next year, school contributions will jump to 30 per cent of payroll from the current 22 per cent in order to maintain future levels of its defined benefit pension. “I’m not sure that that’s something the university wants to do,” said Leavitt. The school’s endowment dropped in the recession and didn’t rebound, she says, leaving the school with little money to spare. “Our costs are going up, and government grants and tuition are not keeping the same pace.” The board is considering “seven or eight” options, and Leavitt has suggested creating a “sustainability committee” to work on fixing the financial situation. “What I’ll be asking the board to do is to take on a more robust direction in conversation with faculty, students and others, a more robust direction, or financial planning, of the institution,” she says. She laughs, surprised by the business-talk. “I didn’t think we’d be having a conversation about finances,” she says with a loud voice and a big smile. “It’s not the most exciting thing to be doing, although it’s essential.”

Union Negotiations

Another priority is the first collective agreement with the new King’s College Teachers Association, made up of teaching fellows such as FYP tutors. It’s the first teachers’ union on King’s soil, so Leavitt has built the first negotiating committee at King’s from scratch, a standard institution at other schools. “As somebody who’s been a dean at a place that had three unions, I was sort of pretty intimately connected with how that stuff works,” she said. She also sat on the school’s labour negotiating team. Leavitt has had lunch with Matt Furlong, who sits on the executive, and emailed Cory Stockwell, the union president, to bat around ideas, although both she and Stockwell are excluded from any bargaining meetings. The union members are also interested in pensions. In 2009, the teaching fellows had their pension plan changed without discussion. It went from a defined benefit plan, which promises a set monthly income, to defined contribution, which invests the money in the market. These employees, all of them FYP tutors, are on one-year contracts

that are renewable for up to three years. Tutors hired before 2009 could contribute to a pension immediately, but those hired after 2009 can’t until their third year on the job. Last spring, former King’s President Dr. William Barker told The Watch the defined contribution pensions are considered more “portable” than the defined benefit, and so worked better with the tutors’ contracts. All permanent professors are still on the defined benefit plan.

Working with the KSU

But the first bargaining of the year she hadn’t anticipated. The boycott of Sodexo food services ended with the agreement to form a Food Advisory Committee, and the King’s Student Union to take over the Wardroom canteen after presenting a business plan. “My hope will be that they would have researched this a little bit and would not be proposing to do something they’re simply incapable of doing,” Leavitt said, noting the Wardroom canteen does not have a kitchen. There is no licensed kitchen on campus that can legally prepare food other than the Sodexo kitchen. One King’s society using an uncertified kitchen to do catering has been shut down after a recent anonymous complaint to the Food Safety Section of Nova Scotia’s Agriculture Department. Leavitt didn’t know that the King’s Alternative Food Cooperative Association (KAFCA) catered until the health inspector visited, at which point she emailed KAFCA to tell them to stop. “I would also appreciate it if you would remove from your Facebook page and your blog all reference to KAFCA’s unauthorized activities at King’s …As the activities in question cannot happen at King’s, your materials should not lead people to think that the University has authorized them,” the Sept. 14 email reads. Her interactions with the KSU thus far have been positive, she said, and she has visited the Link for informal chats multiple times. KSU president Gabe Hoogers said she has been very receptive to the union’s interests during the boycott negociations. “It seems to me that, of any place in Canada, it ought to be fairly easy to have an open and consistent relationship with students here, because it’s not very big …My sense is that I have a pretty open door policy. If people need me, they should feel free to call on me, and feel free to call me, and as issues come up, we’ll figure out how to deal with them.”

“We need to look seriously at some of the ways in which we do things”


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Off the Menu

An anonymous food safety complaint halts KAFCA’s catering By Natascia Lypny

JD Hutton, Internal Coordinator for KAFCA, stands in the King’s students’ garden. Photo by Eleanor Hornbeck On September 16th, the King’s Alternative Food Co-operative Association (KAFCA) missed a regular Friday meal. The Alexandra Hall residence Manning Room, where their food servings normally take place, was unusually quiet. The Day Bay kitchen in which they transform locally grown food into Sodexo alternative meals was empty. KAFCA’s food production activities screeched to a halt Sept. 14 following a visit from a representative from the Nova Scotia’s Department of Agriculture. Rosemary Arsenault, the Central Regional Manager of the Department’s Food Safety section, was pursuing an anonymous complaint she received regarding KAFCA “preparing and serving and selling food on campus” as well as “not producing that food in a permitted facility,” she said. The weekly “Cook-Ins” and “Eat-Ins” come with a suggested donation of $2. The society has also advertised itself on its blog and Facebook page as an alternative caterer to Sodexo for other societies’ events. The group is paid to cater, typically with money funded by the King’s Students’ Union. After investigating KAFCA’s operations both on and off campus, Arsenault informed President Anne Leavitt and Dean of Residence

Nicholas Hatt that they were not complying with provincial regulations. Leavitt delivered the news to KAFCA that evening in an email, insisting that the society “cease from its food preparation and/or distribution activities on the King’s campus.” A meeting involving Hatt, KAFCA Treasurer David Etherington and Internal Coordinator JD Hutton the next day reaffirmed this ban. The news shocked KAFCA members who, despite being aware of the Department of Agriculture regulations, never thought these rules would be applicable to their not-for-profit society: “We’ve never really viewed ourselves as a business; we’ve just viewed ourselves as giving food to society events,” said Hutton. “When you have people at a gathering for, say, any old society at King’s, do you have to apply for a food serving permit? No. That’s ridiculous, and we see ourselves in the same league.” The Department of Agriculture does not see things this way, says Arsenault. She says that all food service operations at institutions, including schools, must comply with the Nova Scotia Food Retail & Food Services Code. But the applicability of the provincial regulations in this case is fuzzy; the Code does not apply to exemptions stated in the


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Nova Scotia Food Safety Regulations, one of which is food prepared and served by not-for-profit organizations for functions or gatherings. Though the group thought they fell under that category, Arsenault’s evaluation is KAFCA is just another food provider selling goods to other campus societies. To renew food preparation and distribution, the Department of Agriculture would have to review and approve all of KAFCA’s activities, explains Arsenault. The society would be required to use a permitted kitchen that is regularly inspected by the Department’s Food Safety section. At least one member of KAFCA with a food handling course accreditation would have to be on site during each meal preparation. Continuing their activities without the proper licensing could have grave consequences, as Leavitt emphasized in her email. The school could face penalties, fines and liability concerns not covered by the school’s insurance policies. In an interview, Leavitt mentioned Arsenault’s authority under provincial legislation to seize food with the aid of the police at any time. “My position as president of the university is simply that we can’t allow the distribution and preparation of food that the province would consider to be in violation of its regulations,” she said.

Nor can these services be advertised. Leavitt’s email asked that “all reference to KAFCA’s unauthorized activities at King’s” be removed from their blog and Facebook page, all of which have now been erased. Hutton does not take issue with this request seeing as KAFCA is a “student sovereignty group”, not a catering business. “On the other hand,” he adds, “there have been requests to change some of our political messaging, which will not be happening.” Hutton wouldn’t speak to the nature of these requests, and Leavitt denies she made any such demands. “In my letter, I said I quite respect and appreciate the aims of the group.” Still, she asked that KAFCA’s mission as seen on Facebook, “To provide excellent quality, alternative food choices to the King’s community and beyond,” be taken down. A similar mission stated on their blog remains. Hutton is confident that this bump in the road will not harm his society in the long run. “The main focus of KAFCA is to promote the idea of alternative, sustainable, ethical foods,” he says—a mandate which can be fulfilled with or without the literal creation of these alternatives.

“We’ve never really viewed ourselves as a business”


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Niko Bell investigates the deal that ended King’s food fight.

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It ended before it even began.

Eleven days after the KSU called a boycott on the Sodexo canteen, and before the first muffin had even been sold, it was over. Sodexo agreed to hand over control of the canteen to students, making an exception in their exclusive right to sell food on campus. And with the end of the boycott, the campaign to reform Sodexo’s contract begins.

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The Last Straw

The KSU’s most recent discontent with Sodexo started with The Watch. Our February issue quoted Zona Roberts, who worked at the canteen in the Wardroom, saying about Sodexo: “You’d think after 10 years that they’d be paying me more.” In the spring, Sodexo decided to move Zona from the canteen to the kitchen. It was then that Gabe Hoogers, president of the KSU, says he started to hear from students who were unhappy about Zona’s relocation. As he explained in the letter the KSU would later send to Sodexo, Hoogers believed that the move was punishment for Zona’s complaint. “The story is that Sodexo, in an effort to try to ensure that multiple staff know how to operate the canteen, decided to move Zona to the kitchen,” Hoogers said. “Now… just talking to her for just one second you know that that’s not the job she ever wanted to do. That’s not the job that she’s done for the last eleven years… They wanted to remove her from that which she loves.” But Zona’s treatment was not the only source of the KSU’s complaints. Hoogers and other students, including KSU External VP Omri Haiven, felt not enough had been done to get “ethical and sustainable” food to students, and to accommodate those with dietary restrictions. By the late summer, Hoogers, Haiven, David Etherington, Asher Goldstein, Bethany Hindmarsh, Wesley Petite and other veterans of King’s politics were discussing what to do. On August 29, just as many students were arriving back in Halifax, Hoogers sent out a letter announcing a boycott of the Sodexo canteen. In an open letter to Sodexo’s regional manager Anne McFetridge, he said King’s students were dissatisfied with the way food was delivered to King’s and that Zona’s relocation was disrupting “strong personal bonds” that students had formed with the Sodexo staff. Hoogers said that Celine Beland, local manager of food services at King’s, was doing “a fantastic job… considering her resources,” but pointed the finger at Sodexo’s “rigid corporate structure” as the source of the KSU’s complaints. He urged students to boycott the canteen until the problems could be resolved. Meanwhile, the canteen in question still had not opened after its summer break. While Sodexo served some coffee in Prince Hall, the corner of the Wardroom remained bare besides some unused lumber, a paint pot, and a few scraps of metal.

"They wanted to remove her from that which she loves.”

The Resolution

“I really didn’t at all understand what was motivating the student union”

After Hoogers sent the boycott letter, King’s President Anne Leavitt quickly arranged a meeting with Hoogers, Haiven, Beland and Dean Nicholas Hatt. Leavitt and Hatt had already been discussing the creation of a food advisory panel for the university. Even though she had only become president in August, she was aware of the controversy surrounding Sodexo and Zona. At that first meeting, however, Leavitt felt that the boycotters did not have a clear plan of action. “I really didn’t at all understand what was motivating the student union… and at the end of that meeting I said, ‘Well, what are your objectives in the boycott? Namely, what would it take to bring the boycott to and end?’” Leavitt said. She sent the KSU leaders to think up

a clearer plan. But before she could call the next meeting, the KSU took the boycott a step further. In the face of a contract with the university that guarantees Sodexo exclusive rights to food sales on campus, on September 8th the KSU asked Zona to sell coffee out of their office. They also accepted donations to cover the cost. Hoogers and Haiven both know that this violated Sodexo’s contract. At “Zona’s Canteen,” the KSU collected signatures on two demands: that a panel be set up to oversee food services at King’s, and that the operation of the canteen be handed over to students. A meeting with the president was immediately scheduled for the next day. On the 9th, a Friday, the same five people who had met a week earlier met again. Leavitt and Beland quickly agreed to the two demands, and by that afternoon Hoogers held in his hands a letter from the president promising support on both. The administration would form an advisory committee to deal with food services at King’s. Further, the KSU would be allowed to take over the canteen as soon as the board of governors approves a student-written business plan. That night, Hoogers told King’s students the boycott was over. The boycott ended so quickly because there was very little resistance to either of the KSU demands. The creation of an advisory board on food services was already on Dr. Leavitt’s desk. As for the canteen, Leavitt suggests that Sodexo had very little stake in it anyway. It was an “add on service” that never made much money. Celine Beland, after a meeting with her manager Anne McFetridge, decided not to comment on the agreement except to offer support for the KSU.

The Future of Food at King’s

Now that the boycott is over, three things will happen. The administration will form the Food Advisory Committee. Its job will be to advise the administration on food services, and on the renegotiation of Sodexo’s contract. Meanwhile, the KSU will form the similarly named Food Advocacy Committee (it is simply called the “canteen committee” inside the KSU office). This committee will lobby the Advisory Committee and the administration for the KSU’s interests, as well as supplying three student representatives. One of those representatives will be Anna Dubinski, student life vice president. The other two have yet to be chosen. Third, someone will have to come up with a business plan for the Wardroom canteen. Omri Haiven says that the KSU is looking into a variety of models: the new canteen could be an independent collective like the King’s bookstore, or could be run by the Wardroom, or directly by the KSU. Haiven says he has spoken to business students at SMU and Dalhousie, as well as Just Us coffee and non-profit Local Food Plus about supplying food or helping shape the new model. Start-up funds could come from the KSU, but a referendum on a student levy is still on the table. It is likely that the new canteen, whatever it is, will be strongly influenced by the KAFCA.They have fingers in all pies. Omri Haiven, the KSU external vice president, is a member. Gabe Hoogers, KSU president, says that the KSU has a close relationship with the people who run KAFCA. JD Hutton, KAFCA’s spokesperson, said that one member of his organization would be represented on the administration’s Food Advisory Committee.


profile

It's a Montreal thing King’s student rocks Pop Montreal by Rose Behar

like—it could be a drum beat or something—I take it and I build off that one point. I do my own vocals sometimes, but I haven’t as much in the past year and a half. I don’t really like my voice.

Tell us about some of your collaborations.

I’ve worked with some rappers. I haven’t worked with any rappers in Canada, actually; I just haven’t met any, and, you know, the rap an hip hop scene in Canada, it’s not great. But I have worked with a great group from Oakland, California, Green Ova.

Who influences you?

Photo courtesy Ryan Hemsworth Just before Ryan Hemsworth returned to Montreal for his sophomore performance on the Pop Montreal stage on Sept. 24, The Watch grabbed a quick Q&A with the dance music mix-master on how he nabbed a spot in the showcase, who influences him, and why people in Halifax might not know who he is.

How did you get into Pop Montreal?

Last year I was involved in an online label, Galactique Records, that included me in their showcase at the festival. I was re-invited this year as part of The Villa, a different label.

Take us through the process of how you make music.

I’ve been making stuff for around eight years. I make everything on my laptop. It’s mostly dance and hip-hop stuff. I used to do a lot more classic rock stuff—I play the guitar, drums and piano—but now I just make stuff that’s really danceable. I basically listen to music on iTunes, like everybody else, and when I hear a piece of the music that I really

Producers like Hudson Mohawk, from Ireland, who mix hip hop and nerdy synth. Girl Talk is a big influence—I met him once, he was super nice. And (King’s alum) Rich Aucoin is great; it’s kind of hard to compete with his stage presence. He’s a lot of fun. He probably throws great parties. I’m not sure if I’m that interesting.

It sounds like the internet played a big role in your success so far. How did you decide to put yourself on the web? Using the internet… it’s a natural thing. I’m in journalism at King’s, in my last year. So it started out that I was trying to reach out to other performers and producers for interviews, over Twitter and other things. And I just kept putting myself out there until people remembered my name. The internet has really helped me to connect to people all over the world—I have fans in Japan! The only downside is, I don’t think anyone around here knows me that well; it doesn’t really translate to local success. But I think that’s kind of my fault. I just have to get out there and start performing here in Halifax more! *Ryan hopes to drop a new EP this Christmas. Look out for it at ryanhemsworth.bandcamp.

Boycott Continued from page 14 And then will come the lobbying. In 2013, Sodexo must renew its contract with the administration. While only the board of governors will see the full contract—some of which is now secret—that will be the opportunity for real change in how King’s gets its food. Haiven says the KSU has to confer with students before designing its objectives, a process that will start as soon as this week. Priorities will likely include more local food, and more attention to dietary restraints like vegetarianism. Hoogers says that the

key will be pressuring the administration to negotiate, not Sodexo. “(Sodexo is) a multinational corporation that doesn’t necessarily care what students at King’s want and doesn’t really care about this whole boycott. But the administration does,” he said. KAFCA is clearer on its objectives. Hutton says that KAFCA will push for local, sustainable and healthy food, as well as more vegetarian and vegan food, and “culturally appropriate” foods like kosher and halal options.


features

Pilgrimage to Poland

Laura Hubbard

King’s student Laura Hubbard discovers a passion for Holocaust education Walking into the gas chambers: a cold, cement building; stains of green on the wall where the Zyklon B has seeped in, and a smell no one could place, but a smell we knew was the smell of death of the approximately 80,000 people who were killed here. That was the day we visited Majdanek Extermination Camp, just outside the town of Lublin, Poland. This trip, the March of Remembrance and Hope, is part of an intensive six-month Holocaust case study which includes a nine-day tour of Germany and Poland. Visits to former death camps, many memorials and several places of interest, such as the Wannsee Villa and Gleis 17 in Berlin, are included. The March is run through the Canadian Centre for Diversity, with the mission of creating a society which celebrates diversity and difference. Through the study and the tour, participants gain leadership skills to put an end to discrimination, hatred and genocide in their own communities and world-wide. Although I kept a blog of my experiences, I cannot possibly capture the details of the exhibits at Auschwitz; I can’t do them justice! And as hard as I may try, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to put my emotions into the proper words. My pilgrimage, and my experiences on this trip,

can only be understood by someone else who has been, or by one of the other 59 participants that travelled with me. Prior to leaving, we were assigned a textbook to read, providing a common grounding. There was great diversity in our group: some students had Holocaust survivors or victims in their families , others were of Polish descent, and one student had immigrated to Canada to avoid conflict in Africa. And then there was a group of students, myself included, who knew very little on the topic, and were simply interested. The textbook and bi-weekly online conferences leading up to our tour provided an educational, as well as emotional, basis for the trip. Without having read about Hitler’s “Final Solution,” the visit to the Wannsee Villa wouldn’t have had such a powerful impact—the juxtaposition of a gorgeous cottage on the lakeside and the incredible evil that took place inside was incomprehensible. While still in the preparation stages, many family members and friends told me that this would be a “life-changing” trip. I nodded, smiled, and said it was something I had to do, not really knowing the extent to which it would change my life. I wrote the following in my journal on 20 May, halfway through our trip, after seeing Majdenek:


“I’ve never been fully affected hearing that 6 million were murdered during the Holocaust. I can’t relate to that number; I’ve never seen 6 million of something. But seeing 20,000 pairs of shoes in one of the barracks made it real. I could physically see the number. I couldn’t believe the amount. And the smell of the hot leather, the stale air in the barracks. This was powerful.” It was here that one of the camp’s survivors, Pinchas Gutter, who travels with the March each year, spent his childhood. Hearing a personal narrative, imagining Pinchas as a young boy in the same barracks where we stood, added a whole new dimension. I didn’t grow up in a Jewish home, and my extent of Holocaust knowledge was reading “The Diary of Anne Frank” in grade seven. I had never before been able to put a face to the Holocaust. Pinchas was one of the lucky ones. As we stood at the memorial next to the Majdanek crematorium, singing hymns and reading testimonies, I thought of the 70,000 tonnes of human ash—approximately 47,000 people—who weren’t as lucky. 47,000 people I’ll never know; these are the stories that still haunt me. And it was these people that the March is named after—for their memory, and for hope for the future. The literal march takes place on day three of the trip, through the gates of Birkenau, or Auschwitz II. Marching from the small, run-down train station that prisoners were dropped at, we were silent. Wearing shirts that read our cause and the quote (inspired by Yehuda Bauer): “Be not a victim. Be not a perpetrator. But above all, be not a bystander”, and carrying a large March of Remembrance and Hope banner, this one kilometer walk encompassed all that the March is. Walking in silence, holding hands, fighting back tears, I had this new family, this new support system, and 59 other students who were fighting for a better world with me. Walking through the gates, the hustle and bustle of other tourists—all of them on their own journeys—stopped, and they watched in silence, nodding their heads in recognition and respect. We probably didn’t speak the same language, come from the same place, and we probably weren’t visiting for the same reasons, but we understood that the March is something good—a fantastic program for young Canadians of all backgrounds, religions and ethnicities. It’s a program that not only changed my life, but opened my life. It is this memory of the March that I take with me in my day-to-day life. One of the program directors told us that if we return with questions, with anger, and with a desire to educate others, then the March was successful. For me, the March was a huge success; Holocaust education has become my passion. In August, I planned a Holocaust education evening in my hometown of Fredericton, raising money for future participants of the March, in hopes of ensuring that it is affordable to anyone interested. Sharing my story and the atrocities of history with the public was empowering and gratifying. As a student in the King’s School of Journalism, it’s the unknown that bothers me most; there are still so many questions that I cannot have answered, and there are so many personal narratives that will never be read about in history books, despite the fantastic record-keeping of the Nazi regime. Now that I’m back for my third year of studies, I’m taking everything with a grain of salt and ensuring

features

"47,000 people I’ll never know; these are the stories that still haunt me." Laura Hubbard that I explore both sides of the story before drawing conclusions. I’m a better critical thinker, and I’m more sensitive to the casual jokes and asides that may be harmful to others. Most of all, I’ve realized that we, as students, are the future. Our generation has the opportunity to make a difference, whether it be by traveling overseas to volunteer, or by educating those younger than us on history and the consequences of hate. I feel as if I, too, have experienced the Holocaust. In order to teach others, I will continue to work on the mission of the Canadian Centre for Diversity, throughout my life. I ask you to make this pledge, too.

Applications, when available, for the 2012 March of Remembrance and Hope can be found on the Centre for Diversity’s website: http://www.centrefordiversity.ca/ Laura‘s blog, which charts the before, during and after of the March, can be found at www.pilgrimagetopoland.blogspot.com


arts

festival insider Ben Harrison stays up all night with "Those Forgotten" friends, family members and long-time collaborators. That sense of ‘crew as surrogate family’ is there as we head out for a post-screening party. Jobb’s twin brother, Ben, is with us. “I’m older,” says Jobb, “but only by four minutes.” “It was a real fight to the finish,” says Ben. “I’m pretty sure I tried to choke you in the womb.” Jobb and Buchanan’s friends and crew mates are there as well. There’s no real distinction between the two. Everybody here has worked the boom mic, looked over a script treatment, baked cookies for the cast. Telling a story isn’t a thing for any one person in the crew. It’s a collaborative process. The gang opts out of the festival gala at Niche bistro on Barrington and looks for somewhere a little less swanky. They decide on The Fickle Frog. We’re all on a couple of couches in the back of Rob Heydon, Kristin Kreuk, Adam Sinclair, Billy Boyd at the premier of Irvine Welsh’s Ecstacy the bar, away from all the Friday night Spring Garden antics. Buchanan is chatting about her new gig Breaking your film into the Atlantic Film Festival is hard. at Picnicface with her girlfriends. She’s the script coordinator for their Hundreds of short films from Atlantic Canada are submitted every new show. Buchanan is keeping the script drafts in order, making sure year, and the selection committee chooses about 40 of these to everything gets filed and keeping tabs on the new sketches. screen during the festival. After year of moving-making on King’s “Telling a good story is the most important thing,” says Buchanan. campus, alumna Alyssa Buchanan broke into the festival this year. “Everything I work on, I want a reason to be a part of telling the story, Buchanan, a King’s 2010 grad, made “Those Forgotten” with and to make sure the story matters. I was talking to a friend the other her friends back in April. The film is a six minute short about two day, and you know what, when I was a kid, all I wanted to do was elderly survivors, written by her boyfriend, Evan Jobb. Jobb, son of tell stories. You don’t think you can do that as a kid. Reading and story King’s prof Dean Jobb, wrote the short a year ago. time was my favourite thing to do at school as a kid, and I’m still doing “I had read a newspaper article that said that indicated that now. The whole film industry is just story telling.” the second-last survivor of something had died,” says Jobb . “A Buchanan and Jobb got their start with the Dalhousie/King’s Filmshipwreck or something. That struck me as really odd, because you maker’s Society. Jobb was an engineering student and wanted to shoot never hear about the second-last survivor of something. So I started film in his free time. The now-defunct society made short films for a to piece together this story about two survivors, and who would be number of years, with a core group of members that spent hours in the the last survivor.” editing bay underneath the Killam. The ghostly remains of the society Through the filmmaking process, Buchanan and Jobb stuck exist in the basement of the King’s library, where all of their films have to that main idea. The script for “Those Forgotten” went through been archived and transferred from VHS to DVD. Last year, the society a number of changes, with a final draft completed in April for a fell apart as the last of the core members graduated and little interest weekend of shooting. The crew of the film was a tight-knit group of was generated at the first and only meeting.


Jobb says the society was a big time commitment for those involved. Every member wrote scripts, collaborated, edited, built sets. Every member had late nights, early mornings, cast brunches, late papers. Taking the time to learn the process things usually took one or two film shoots to get a feel for. One or two film shoots usually took up a couple of months. Students eventually left the society when classes took priority. “It was sort of the exact opposite for Alyssa and I,” says Jobb. “Making movies became our priority. It didn’t matter if we had five hours of homework to do the next day. If we were filming something, telling that story was the biggest thing. And we’d come up with the silliest justifications for starting our school work later. We’d say, “Hell, we can start our homework at 4 in the morning. No big deal.” The members of the Dal/ King’s Filmmakers society dwindled, but those who stayed bonded and became a surrogate family. Everyone helped each other out, made coffee, did film colouring. Buchanan and Jobb were able to bring their story idea for Those Forgotten to the Film 5 program, a Halifax-based initiative of the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative that makes short films. With the help of Film 5, Buchanan and Jobb were able to shoot with film, rather than digital video, giving their short a classic look. All aesthetics aside, Buchanan says it came down to telling a story that mattered. Jobb is ordering a beer, debating the merits of Ghostbusters 2 with his brother, geeking out about Fritz Lang with their composer. “Fritz Lang’s M is by far the best film ever made. It’s the dawn of sound

arts

and it’s just stunning. But I didn’t grow up watching five movies a day like Alyssa. I was studying engineering in school. There’s a lot of gaps in my knowledge. I just saw Contempt a while back, and that’s my first Goddard film, and I haven’t even seen Breathless. So I’ve still got a lot to watch.” You get the sense that Jobb is discovering film for the first time. After years of toiling away in sciences, he brings a real sense of wonder to the work he does. Whether it’s writing a script, setting up lighting or planning a shot, he enjoys discovering the process. For now, Jobb and Buchanan are keeping busy. They’ve been taking in lots of films at the Atlantic Film Festival. “Michael Shannon is incredible in Take Shelter” says Buchanan. “We’ve been trying to catch the other short films as well.” “We’re hoping Picnicface gets a second season pick up,” says Jobb. “So hopefully, Alyssa, that script coordinator job comes Evan Jobb & Alyssa Bucannan up again.” In the meantime, Buchanan is working at a costume shop. While they’re waiting to shoot their next short, inspiration can come from anywhere, whether it’s a newspaper article or a drag queen who just wants to go as Lady Gaga for Halloween. “He was so disappointed!” says Buchanan. Their first short came from a joke about a killer toaster. Inspiration can come from anywhere, as long as the story is worth telling. Buchanan and Jobb look like they’re in this for the long haul, looking for the next good story to film.

the watch watches... rollertown By Ben Harrison

Picnicface’s Roller Town is an incredibly ambitious first feature from the Halifax comedy troupe. Abandoning their sketch comedy schtick, the gang has jumped into the world of late 70’s/early 80’s roller disco. With a shoestring budget and featherlight run time of 87 minutes, Picnicface pulls off the glitzy aesthetic. The plot is the standard boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-winsher-back-with-the-power-of-disco tale. Everybody plays multiple roles, like in Monty Python. The cast of characters includes aspiring roller ballet dancers, the Dawgfather, and a magical dwarf. Picnicface really took the “kitchen sink” approach to the film, and the whole thing feels a little disjointed. It’s like they took the most extreme elements from their improv bits and put them on screen. As with their live shows, sometimes a gag falls flat. But these guys try so hard, and the jokes come at such a rapid-fire pace, that you can’t help but applaud their audacity. The gang isn’t afraid to

take detours into faux-existentialism, musical numbers and, yes, a great number of bodily fluid jokes. Still, when Roller Town is running guns blazing, there’s a manic energy that can’t be beat. One scene between a family during breakfast becomes a terrifying trip into some of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen on screen. Half the crowd was in hysterics, the other half was visibly uncomfortable. Picnicface pulls this weirdness off in their live shows, but in a film, where there is no stage illusion, everything becomes a lot more real. It’s not for everyone, but for those who take the plunge, it’s a blast. Rich Aucoin contributed to the soundtrack and it needs to be released right now. The whole thing is full of killer grooves and disco jams. I’m not sure if or when Roller Town will see a general theatrical release. Given Picnicface’s visibility in Halifax, the film will probably show up on a screen at Park Lane in a month or two. The film is destined to become a cult film and needs to be seen on the big screen. W


photo column

Survival of the Fypest Staying Alive with some top dance moments from Frosh week 2011

Pictures by Rebecca Best & Kate Ross

Rich Aucoin plays the Wardroom

Dance party erupts on library steps, post-Quad Olympics


Into the Fold

profile

After years of wandering, Sixbert Himbraza settles down at King’s By Barrett Limoges

World University Services of Canada (WUSC) Student Refugee Program. Since 1978, WUSC has helped over a thousand displaced students resettle in Canada. The program also helps students adjust to life in Canada and financially supports them through their first year of study. WUSC is well-known among the refugees at Dzaleka. After scoring well on an exam, Himbraza became one of 20 people accepted to the program out of 192 applicants in the camp. Upon hearing the exam results broadcast, Himbraza accidentally broke the radio in his euphoria. “All I could do was thank God,” he says. “God had done me a favour. Arriving in Canada was like going from zero to 100 per cent.” Miranda Spessot is a third-year student at King’s who has done extensive volunteer work with the program. She says that the students and administration at King’s have gone out of their way to help WUSC get Himbraza situated. “(Dean of Residence) Nick Hatt waived the residence fee, which was extremely helpful,” she says. Spessot also encourages others to volunteer and attend WUSC meetings, which are held in the Manning Room at five on Mondays. While still in his first few weeks of Canadian life, Himbraza says he was been overwhelmed by the generosity of King’s students. “The most fantastic thing I’ve seen about King’s is the community is that people are united in so many things,” he says. “It isn’t like that everywhere, that you just make a new friend one day.” Himbraza also admires the desire of other WUSC students to give back to the communities they have joined. “I realized that you can change somebody’s life, just by doing something small,” he says. “I can never fully thank them for how they have changed my life.”

“Arriving in Canada was like going from zero to 100 per cent.”

Barrett Limoges Imagine waking up one morning before class to find your entire world turned upside down. Walking outside, you find the classical architecture of King’s residences vanished, replaced by the low-lying concrete shells of former prison structures, interspersed among the jungle of a tent city. For first-year King’s student Sixbert Himbraza, this striking parallel universe was everyday reality just a few weeks ago when he left the Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi. “There have not been too many difficult adjustments to life in Canada,” Himbraza says with a laugh. “It is hard to go from a good situation to a bad one, but not really a bad situation to a good one.” Himbraza has seen his fortunes bend dramatically for both better and worse. In 1994, when he was three years old, his family fled their native Rwanda in the face of genocide. Although he was young, Himbraza recalls the faces and images that would come to dominate much of his childhood. “Everyone was leaving,” he says. “A big group with lots of families. We would get to a place, then someone would hear that the rebels were coming, and you would have to run again.” For four years, Himbraza fled with his family on a journey that would take him from Rwanda to Congo to Tanzania, eventually finding relative safety in Malawi’s Dzaleka Refugee Camp. Himbraza is able to study at King’s through the efforts of the

K @ r e t t i w t n o s u w o foll c t a W s g n i K @ r e t t i w t us on w o l l o f h c t a W s g n i K @ ter t t i w t n o s u w o l l o f h c t sWa


humour

Few Good Men

By James Jenkinson

Tyler Publicover’s odds are pretty good. Eleanor Hornbeck

Fierce fighting among FYP Females for Few Fellas Word ‘round the quad is that male first-year students are outnumbered. Rumors have echoed as far as a 5:1 split, girls to guys. But King’s students don’t buy rumours—King’s students hunt for Truth. It is therefore the Watch’s pleasure to herein quell the recent hysteria and provide insight into how this imbalance is affecting first-year life. The official numbers from the registrar’s office are 212 females to 96 males—that’s a 2.2:1 ratio. This is substantially higher than the 1.6 :1 ratio (767 females: 492 males) of the entire school. Imagine all those upper-year guys now, reading this with one hand scratching their beards and the other resting on their mini beer bellies, sighing, “Oh, to be young again.” Well, perhaps their jealousy is well-founded; all firstyear females interviewed used phrases such as “They are so very lucky,” and “They don’t know how good they’ve got it.” “Compared to the all-boys culture of Toronto private school Upper Canada College, the balance here is quite comfortable,” first-year Jake Danto-Clancy said, with a twinkle in his eye.Suave first-year Owen Woodside agrees that the prospect of reading the Epic of Gilgamesh while hoards of sundress-draped beauties parade past your window can be rather daunting. It seems the numbers are most noticeable in FYP tutorials and on busy nights at the Wardroom. However, one should not be so quick to believe all males will reap the benefits of this phenomenon. Female sources confirmed the existence of a‘The 5 Hot Guys in FYP’ list. “See, a lot of guys here are way too forward and really just need to rock suspenders more,” says Claris Figueira. “So the already narrow margin of guys available is further diminished by the lack of desirable traits.”

It appears guys who are too aggressive or nerdy just won’t make ‘The List’. For all those who are wondering: yes, a tireless search for a hard-copy of this sacred document was conducted. However, it appears the original was destroyed, and its existence now remains solely in the female libidos from Chapel Bay to Alex Hall. But all jokes aside, how is this plethora of estrogen affecting the social dynamic among FYP women? Rachel Cohen, a mysterious firstyear, says she’s seen it go bad already. “You can’t have rights to guys,” she comments, “and that’s just becoming accepted.” Basically, unless he’s built you a shelf, sanded, polished and placed you both upon it as an item for viewing, no one’s safe. The natural breaking-up of first-years into smaller cliques has also highlighted this ‘eye for an eye’ philosophy. “If you want to win over a ‘Hot Guy’ in another group, you can expect a territorial reaction,” says an anonymous female source. With such a lack of men around, it is evident that pressure is mounting on FYP women to act fast. Aggressive females are on the prowl, and one can wind up feeling isolated if they’re not down for one-night stands-- ‘Why am I not being noticed?’ ‘Why is he so uninterested?’ If there were a line of healthy competition, have the 2011 FYP demographics gone too far? Well, when asked about how she sees the year playing out, one invaluable source responded, “I feel like most girls either end up going to Dal, or experimenting with bisexuality.”


fun+games

OUT OF CONTEXT

A collection of humorous things overheard at King’s, submitted by you. add to the collection by emailing watcheditors@gmail.com or tweet @KingsWatch

Journalism Prof: If you do this, your editor will be so happy he’ll lick the lint from between your toes

Student 1: I have Love, Lust and Desire with Janette Vusich. Student 2: Doesn’t everyone?

Puzzle By Niko Bell

Email in your responses, and we will publish the name of the first correct responder for his or her eternal glory.

There is a path Drawn in a line The flagstaff hides 11011111101 Walk west to east To win this game See through the glass My final name


Want to see your writing in print? Contribute to send questions and queries to watcheditors@gmail.com

Watch September 2011  

The September issue of the King's Watch