the watch September 2019
Hello, and welcome back to The Watch! We started the year with half of our exec; it was rough. We are happy to introduce Sam Rainnie as our Co-EditorIn-Chief and David J. Shuman as our Online-Editor. Now that The Watch has a full executive team, let’s get started! In the weeks since the school year has started, we have been pleasantly surprised with the amount of writers reaching out to us. We hope your interest continues throughout the year, and encourage others to reach out to us. If you have any questions or story ideas, or want to be our cartoonist, you can always reach us at watcheditors@ gmail.com. We also have an instagram account @ watchmagz, and not one but two Twitter accounts: @ kingswatch and @kingswatchlive. Give us a like on Facebook too! And remember, our unofficial motto: WE PAY! In this issue, we welcome a new member to the King’s community and our contributors share some of their opinions! We also have a piece about how to vote in the upcoming election.
the watch VOL. 53 NO. 1 - SEPTEMBER 2019 watchmagazine.ca email@example.com TWITTER @kingswatch INSTAGRAM @watchmagz
EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Kheira Morellon Sam Rainnie
David J Shuman
Brooklyn Connoly Tessa Hill Samantha Machado Kheira Morellon Sam Rannie Jake Webb Darien Wolf Jack Wuotila
PUBLISHING BOARD TBD
Kheira Morellon Sam Rainnie
We’re celebrating October’s arrival by presenting you with the September issue (oopsie). Enjoy! Sam & Kheira
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. — Ezekiel 33:6
2 The Watch |September 2019| @kingswatch
the watch IN THIS ISSUE
no strings attached
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Prevention and response Kheira Morellon
Jordan Roberts, the first Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response Officer (SVPRO) at King’s, says, “There has been a lot in my life pushing me towards this work.”
making sure that it is being advertised at King’s and that people understand it. To ensure that people understand what the policy describes, the SVPRO must work with the Dean of Students, Katie Merwin.
Roberts has been in and around the King’s community since 2006. While getting her Gender and Women’s Studies degree at Dalhousie, King’s was where a lot of her social life took place. When she saw the job posting, it seemed like the next logical step for her career.
Since Roberts started on August 9, she has provided training workshops for King’s staff and faculty as well as for student employees. During the two weeks of training that residence Dons complete, Roberts provided a trauma informed active listening workshop, giving them the tools to better support students in their building.
“King’s is really wonderful,” says Roberts, “it’s small enough for you to meet everybody.” Before taking on the role of the SVPRO, Roberts was involved in a number of different nonprofit centers and organizations. She worked at Adsum for Women and Children, Out of the Cold Emergency Shelter, the Volunteer Doula Program, the Elizabeth Fry Society - Mainland Nova Scotia, and Supportive Housing for Young Mothers - YWCA Halifax.
Other methods of prevention include being part of awareness campaigns and making sure relevant conversations are happening on campus. Additionally, the SVPRO will be making sure people know how to react if they witness sexualized violence on campus and that they know how to support people if someone tells them they have been assaulted.
Roberts also worked with Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group (NSPIRG) when the Dalhousie Sexual Violence and Harassment phone line was created. The line offers anonymous, confidential, non-judgemental, active listening and support to anyone who has experienced or has been affected by sexualized violence.
The first step in implementing the policy for Roberts is “about making sure we have the right people to call on.” Roberts is making sure she is finding people who have backgrounds in active listening, supporting people experiencing trauma in informed ways and working with diverse populations. These skills are necessary to make sure everybody in our community can be heard, supported and helped equally.
With all of these experiences she seems like a great fit, both for what the King’s community needs as well as for the SVPRO. The SVPRO is mainly here to respond to sexualized violence acts, but the focus is on prevention.
“My door is always open”. Roberts is here to support members of the community and give them the tools they need to find help. “If it is something that happened within that King’s sphere,” says Roberts, “I’m there to walk them through.”
“I love doing support work,” says Roberts, “and having this role being as focused on prevention as it is on response, is new and exciting for me.”
Resources on Campus: -Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response Officer (SVPRO): Office lower Link 077, cell phone (902) 229-6123 answers 9-5 Monday-Friday jordan. firstname.lastname@example.org -Dalhousie sexual violence and harassment phone line: Call or text (902) 425-1066 between 12:00pm and 12:00am, 7 days a week. |w
So what does the prevention aspect of the job entail? The Sexualized Violence Policy was developed with King’s staff, students and faculty. The SVPRO is here to oversee the implementation of the policy, 4 The Watch | September 2019 | @kingswatch
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Goodbye Grades Samantha Machado
Anyone who has ever received an unsatisfactory grade knows how stressful grades can be. While a bad grade can sometimes motivate a student to do better, it can also frustrate them into giving up and becoming complacent with merely passing. As the saying goes, “Cs get degrees”.
Traditional grading systems, such as the 100-point grading scale and A through F letter grades, create a mindset in which students learn solely for the sake of achieving good grades. This often means that students do not take risks and instead cater to their professors. Students also put more attention into memorizing specifics so that they can do well on exams, rather than learning the broader ideas, or the contexts. A 2016 review entitled, “A Century of Grading Research: Meaning and Value in the Most Common Educational Measure”, used 100 years of research on grading to come to its conclusions. The research found that on a 100-point grading scale, there is probable variation of 5 points between trained markers. On Dalhousie’s grading scale, this difference could change a B to a C+. The 4.30 GPA-scale is even more unreliable, and differentiates more with its two-decimal point specificity. Research suggests that letter grading is more reliable but does it carry any more meaning? While Dalhousie provides definitions to accompany its grading scale, the university does not differentiate between plusses and minuses. B+, B, and B- are all considered good. What then differentiates a B+ and a B? Hannah Davies, a fourth-year biology student minoring in contemporary studies, struggles to quantify what a B means on essays she receives. “At a Dal class, I feel like the grades are pretty random and the B would tell me absolutely nothing,” Davies says. She finds that King’s professors are better at consistently articulating what 6 The Watch | September 2019 | @kingswatch
their letter grades mean. Davies also mentioned how grades were an extra stress factor in her life. “I worry about them,” she says, though she finds the pressure grades have put her under has lessened as she moved through her undergraduate degree. Traditional grades are unreliable and unnecessarily damaging to student mental health, but these systems are so entrenched in our education that it often seems like there are no other options. However, some colleges and universities use alternative grading systems, such as Evergreen State College and the Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies. These institutions use narrative evaluations to provide detailed descriptions of student work, such as grades would on a transcript, and to give feedback about areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. Evergreen uses a three-part narrative evaluation, including student self-evaluation, faculty evaluation of students, and student evaluation of faculty. Though some fear a lack of traditional grading practices will make graduate school applications difficult, Evergreen claims the in-depth portrait of a student provided by narrative evaluations is appreciated by graduate schools. Fairhaven’s narrative evaluation puts a focus on self-evaluation and developing the ability to critique oneself fairly. The self-evaluation is used in combination with faculty evaluation and a recording of satisfactory or unsatisfactory performance. If getting rid of traditional grades altogether seems scary, there are some universities and colleges which maintain some aspects of traditional grading with added unorthodoxy.
Sarah Lawrence College uses a three-part system of student evaluation. While one part of their evaluation system is traditional letter grading, they also use narrative evaluations and critical abilities assessments, in which faculty members evaluate students based on a set of six key criteria for success. Brown University offers their students a choice of minimal grading options: grading on a satisfactory/no credit basis or a grade of A, B or C. Brown does not calculate their students’ GPAs nor do they record failing grades. They also encourage students to create portfolios of their work at Brown for graduate school and employment applications.
sure of information policy, Reed emphasizes “the substance of intellectual growth rather than its symbolic representation through grades”. While there is no right answer to replacing traditional grading methods, there just isn’t convincing evidence for things to stay as they are. Some people are even excited about the possibility of change. When asked about switching grading systems, Davies said, “I’d be into that. That would be cool.” Perhaps this back to school season it’s time for university officials to reconsider traditional grades in favour of something new.
Reed College’s professors assign grades but, unless students’ grades fall to a C- or lower, these grades are not communicated with students without explicit request. According to their disclo-
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Dare to Bare Darien Wolf
Breasts, boobs, chests, bosoms, cans or knockers. Whatever you call them, they do not need to be restricted by the claustrophobic, underwired torture chamber you put them in every day. Ladies, it’s time we get real about bras. To start, let’s look at the fit of bras. In a study published in the Chiropractic and Manual Therapies – a peer reviewed medical journal – about bra size and fit, they took a sample size of 30 women ages 18 to 26 years old. The study found that 80 percent of women were wearing the wrong size bra. The so-called support women are claiming to have is false. That supportive, best friend that is supposedly holding your breasts in place is doing nothing if it doesn’t fit. In all honesty, a bra is really just a pain in the chest. Another study done by sports science Professor Jean-Denis Rouillan at Besançon university found that bras are not necessary for breast health. He says, “bras actually prevent breasts from growing or achieving their natural lift.” Rouillan’s study consisted of 330 women between the ages of 18 to 35 over a 15-year period. Those who didn’t wear a bra had a 7 millimeter lift in their nipples each year. Plus, they showed fewer stretch marks and their breasts were firmer. Now, if this isn’t a call to free the nipple, I don’t know what is. Rouillan’s study found that by not wearing a bra, you are protecting your breasts from gravity. You will start to have better posture, which helps develop the muscles underneath your breasts that supports and lifts them. With this information, why are women searching for support and spending loads of money to get it, when they have all the support they could ever want right under their breasts. “The bra is a false necessity, medically, physiologically, anatomically – breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity. On the contrary, they get saggier with a bra.” Says Rouillan. Not only should you be aware of your breasts and the bras you are confining them in, you should also wait to put your pre-teen daughter in one. 8 The Watch | September 2019 | @kingswatch
Rouillan’s study found that when younger women stop or never start wearing a bra, there is no change in the perkiness of the breasts. This is because there is no under breast muscle loss. By never wearing a bra, it will actually improve the orientation of the breast and make them perkier. With this finding, you should not rush a bra onto any young woman. Now, ultimately it is their body and their choice so they can wear one if it makes them happy. You should, however, show them the study first. They may reconsider spending their hard-earned money on a bra that will lead to saggy, non-perky boobs. Now, Rouillan’s study is just a small sample size of young women and you might be saying, “I have big boobs,” or “I have back problems. The support truly does help me.” These are true, as some women need the added support. Rouillan acknowledges that women who are over 35 are exempted from his findings: “these women have been wearing bras for decades. As a result, taking them off full-time would likely lead to more discomfort than it would in younger women,” says Rouillan. But with all this being said, women should never feel obligated to wear a bra. It is your right as a woman to choose what you do with your body. If wearing a bra makes you feel sexy and confident, then wear one. Buy a matching set and strut around your house feeling like the incredible women you are. If wearing a bra makes you feel restricted and uncomfortable, then take that thing off! Burn it, throw it in the garbage, make confetti, craft with it or use it as a target for shooting practice. It’s up to you. It’s your bra. What you do with your bra is your business and no one else’s.
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How to vote
It might be cliché to suggest that the upcoming
federal election is the most important election in our lifetime, but it always seems to be true. In 2019, amid urgent issues like climate change and problematic party leadership (Trudeau in blackface, Scheer on abortion and LGBTQ+ rights, Bernier on everything, etc.), Canadian voters are forced into a complex and difficult decision. As students, we play a particularly significant role; Canadians aged 18-38 make up almost 37% of the voting population this October and we are huge stakeholders in the future that will be carved out by the upcoming government. Yet, in the 2015 federal election, only roughly 57% of eligible voters aged 18-24 showed up to vote to the polls. This was a noticeable increase compared to 38% in 2011, but that still leaves millions of young people staying home on election day. I would argue that young people aren’t to be blamed for the gap in voter turnout. Beyond the pattern of Canadian political parties leaving us out of the picture, the logistics of voting as a student are extremely inaccessible and laughably difficult to get educated on. With Elections Canada hiding voting nuances in endless links and webpages, it takes a lot more energy than it should in order to get a holistic picture of how to vote. That’s why I’ve scavenged the depths of the Elections Canada website to bring you all the details on how to cast your vote by October 21, 2019. So, how do I vote if I’m a student who’s studying away from home? It can be confusing to figure out where and how to vote when you’re living away for school, as is the case with many students. It means you must decide on whether to vote for your home electoral riding or the one you are living in while studying. This is entirely up to you, but it’s worth considering your relationship to both places. Ask yourself where you think home is and vote in whichever riding you feel most comfortable and authentic in impacting. Once you decide, you must register appropriately and vote with the right pieces of ID. Registering to Vote Registering to vote only takes a few minutes and shouldn’t be left until the last minute. To register you need a piece of ID that confirms who you are and where you live. Popular options are usually a driver’s 10 The Watch | September 2019 | @kingswatch
license or a government-issued ID card. If your driver’s license or ID card is from your home riding and you decide that is where you want to vote, then that’s all you need. If you choose to vote in the riding of your residence for school, you will most likely have to show multiple pieces of ID. First, you need something that confirms your identity, like a passport or a health card. Second, you need something that confirms your address; if you are living on campus, this must be a letter of confirmation of stay from your residence, and if you’re living off-campus, this can be something like a lease or a credit card statement that shows your name and address. Voting for home riding (I.e. the Special Ballot Process) The special ballot process is not actually as special or scary as it might seem. You vote by special ballot only if you are living away and planning to vote for your home riding, not in the riding you are staying in for your studies. The ballot can be cast in a few different ways, but in a general sense, it is a write-in ballot. Before voting, you must search for the names of the candidates running in your riding. Upon voting, write in the candidate’s name that you are voting for. You can find the name of your riding and information about the candidates running here. Voting on Campus in Special Ballot Advanced Polls 2015 was the first year that students could vote on campus; the pilot project from the Canadian government saw only 39 offices open on campuses across the country where over 70,000 students had the opportunity to vote. This year there are stations at over 115 campuses across the country (and there’s one at King’s!). Days and hours vary from campus to campus, but most advanced polling will happen in early October. Voting works through the special ballot process, so you need to be registered to vote beforehand. To find your Campus Vote Station, check here. If you’re a King’s student, voting will happen in the Wilson Room on the 2nd floor of the NAB from October 5th to 9th. Although hours are shorter on Saturday and Sunday, polling during the last three days will be open from 10 am to 10:30 pm. For more details, look at the link above.
Voting by Mail This is a good option if you are unable to make it to advanced polling on campus or if there are no stations available at your campus. To vote by mail you must register to vote online here before October 15th. You’ll be mailed your ballot to your place of residence, so be sure to check for mail (especially in residence buildings) in the days leading up to the election. The ballot must arrive in Ottawa no later than 6 pm on October 21st. That means it’s better to mail it as soon as possible, just to be safe. Once you are registered to vote by mail you CANNOT vote any other way. Don’t try to vote twice and mess with the system. For more information...
The quiz not only shows you how your own political opinions align with the party platforms, but it also directs you to specific candidate information on the riding you’re voting in. Beyond that, it’s critical to keep up to date with election coverage and debates on a national and local scale. Voting is an active choice. Pay attention, ask questions, and get involved because this is our election to shape.
If you’re voting the normal way (no fancy special ballot) and you live in the riding you are voting for, you can find more information on the process here. Don’t know who you want to vote for? Start doing your research! A good place to start is the CBC Vote Compass 2019.
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Scary Dairy Brooklyn Connolly
Calves drink their mother’s milk. And for some reason, humans drink it too. Growing up, baby boomers urged us to drink a glass a day, expecting us to digest their facts about milk just as quickly as we were able to finish a glass. However, most of us can’t actually digest dairy. With lactose intolerance affecting 65% of the human population, should dairy consumption be encouraged? Most humans begin to produce less lactase –– the enzyme that helps digest milk –– when we’re as young as 2 years old. It’s our body’s natural reaction to wean us off breastmilk and move on to harder foods. Quite often, the reduction of lactase leads to lactose intolerance. It wasn’t until the agricultural revolution in the 18th century that humans began drinking milk beyond breastfeeding. Dairy milk offered nutrients needed to combat starvation. Now, we’re the only species that continues to consume milk into adulthood. Propaganda praises the amount of calcium found in milk, but fails to address where that calcium goes post-consumption. To help with the digestion of animal proteins, our bodies burn calcium. Dairy advertisements tell the truth when saying that milk is rich in calcium, but they fail to address the difference between being rich in, and being a rich source of. Dairy milk gives, then takes away. Many elders combat their anxiety about hip fractures and osteoporosis by drinking milk. They grew up being told that it’s a surefire way to strengthen bones, so why wouldn’t they continue to carry these beliefs? According to the Milk, Dietary Calcium, and Bone Fractures in Women: A 12-Year Prospective Study, published in 1997, women with the highest intake of dairy, animal protein and calcium have weaker bones. They were more prone to bone fractures, and osteoporosis. The results were so surprising that Dr. Eunyoung Cho, a Harvard professor, questioned if dairy milk may actually be the cause.
People build most of their bone mass between the ages of 12-18. After turning 20, you’ve pretty much got all you’ll ever have. A study by The University of Pennsylvania found that women who exercised most in the early years of their lives had significantly stronger bones than those who consumed the most calcium. Even during prime bone-strengthening years, calcium lacks merit when compared to exercise. Evolution works because our bodies work. Humans reap the benefits of breastmilk, as calves reap the benefits of cattle’s milk. Cows have four stomachs, and gain hundreds of pounds in just a few months. Their needs are significantly different than ours. We live in a society that designates an entire aisle of our grocery stores for concoctions made out of the dairy that was squeezed from a cow’s udder. Milk. Cheese. Yogurt. However, the fermented and sometimes moldy mixtures take up little space in Canada’s most recent food guide. Nutritionists are questioning the significance of milk, and are encouraging us to consume more plant-based alternatives. Maybe it’s time we left the desire for dairy to the cattle that consume it.
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Best you, Not stressed you Jake Webb
Starting a new school year can be stressful and confusing, especially if you’re far away from home. So we at The Watch decided to provide some tips and tricks that will help you be successful this school year. Try to Get Enough Sleep It might seem a little obvious, but having a proper amount of sleep helps you focus and get more work done. Instead of writing a late night FYP paper fuelled by coffee and Red Bull, go to sleep and work on it in the morning. You’ll feel better and be able to actually finish the copious amounts of work that you inevitably have. Join Activities that Interest You With all of the schoolwork that you have set out in front of you, free time seems to have disappeared. If you dedicate the free time you have to something that actually excites you rather than taking another nap however, you will be more energized emotionally as well as physically. From drawing, to acting, to playing rugby, King’s has a plethora of societies and teams that are interesting and fun. One of these societies is the Haliburton Society, which is centered around books, and has been running for 135 years. Smile The simple action of smiling will literally make you feel better. It takes less muscles to smile than to frown, and smiling feels so much better than frowning does. Smiling is the easiest form of self-motivation as well as the cheapest. Even if you’re feeling down, smiling will cheer you up and completely change your outlook on the day. 14 he Watch | September 2019 | @kingswatchswatch
Ask Questions Asking questions can seem really hard. You, like the rest of us, don’t want to come across as being stupid. The only thing is, is that everyone has either felt that way, or is feeling it right now. It never hurts to ask for help and most people are happy to oblige. Connect With Others Sometimes the hardest aspect of coming to a new school is the horde of new people that have no idea who you are. Try to meet people with similar interests as you, or challenge yourself to sit down at a table in the dining hall with a group of students you don’t recognize. Friends can make school all the easier and help alleviate some of the stress of the new school year.
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