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APRIL 2011

APRIL 2011


Cover photo by Evelyn Hornbeck

table of contents.

APRIL | volume xxiii | issue viii

E D ITO R S ’ N OT E

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L ET T E R S TO T H E E D ITO R

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K I N G’S B R I E F S

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The UniversiTy of King’s College | 6350 CobUrg road | halifax ns | b3h 2a1 | waTChediTors@gmail.Com | waTChmagazine.Ca | TwiTTer @KingswaTCh

T E N M I NU T E S WIT H D R . L E AVIT T ................................... 7 P RO MOT I N G S T U D E N T VOT I N G

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VOT E C O M PA S S

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YO U R B R A N D N EW K S U

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S T I L L FI G HT I N G IT

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K A F C A C AT E R S TO K I N G S

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U N I O N JAC K E D

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T U TO R S FA R EWE L L TO NS L OVE O F L O O K I N G RAISING HELLER E N T E RTA I N M E N T

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with contributions from rose behar, philippa wolff, whitney cant, katie toth, ken wallingford, sarah kraus, adrian lee, dhruva balram, jordan parker, hilary ilkay, yamini coen, kate connelly, and rachel ward. with photography by evelyn hornbeck, bethany hindmarsh and jd hutton

with artwork by braeden jones, alexander kennedy and jaime sugiyamma

Editors-In-Chief Evelyn Hornbeck Charlotte Harrison

Treasurer Bethany Hindmarsh

Junior Editor TBA

Board of Publishers TBA

Publisher Ben Harrison

Online Editor Jon Finn

Ad Manager Michelle Fryzuk

Production Guru Kate Ross

Production Manager Natasha H.

Copy Editor TBA

Staff Photographer TBA

ALL SHOPPED UP

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

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Editors’ Note

April is the cruelest month to start running the Watch. With King’s students busy studying for exams, writing final papers, moving, and scraping together enough change to go for farewell beers with friends, contributing to the Watch wasn’t on the top of many to-do lists. For us, however, putting our stamp on our first issue was priority one. We both campaigned for editor with buzz words like “accessible” and “community”. But they’re more than buzz; for this issue and future issues, King’s news will be front and centre. We want to reach out to the community that has always given us so much, to find the stories and ask the questions that shed light on our issues. Luckily, several faithful contributors did come through for us, to share some great stories. They showed patience with our beginners’ fumbling, and took the time to write about the issues that matter to our school— beloved tutors leaving (p. 16), a student society becoming a business (p. 14), election candidates’ efforts to sway the student vote (p. 8). As Watch staff, we took a look at the new KSU exec (p. 10), spoke with our new president (p. 7) and sat down to hear from a voice that disappeared from campus this semester (p. 20). While this issue contains more staff-written content than we would like, we were proud of those who wrote with us. When we made the sudden leap from our previous roles with the Watch—as regular contributors, board of publishers members and staff— to editors, we realized just how much this magazine depends on the King’s community’s involvement to exist. As we usher in an entirely new executive, we hope to introduce a new era of Watch accessibility. We would like to find a way to include everyone who wants to get involved; we have some many talented writers, and it’s time for them to be heard. With an office in the Link next year, the Watch will be physically more accessible, as well. It’s amazing to see previous Watch exec members claim front page spots on some of our nation’s most prominent papers, and we’re sure they would attribute some of their success to their time at the Watch. We’ve already learned so much just putting this issue together. For those of you interested in a closer involvement with the Watch, keep an eye out for applications for Copy Editor, Junior Editor and Staff Photographer in late summer. Also, we’ll be handing out copies of our brand new Watch Contributor’s Manual in September, which will let you know exactly how to write for us. We wish you all enjoyable summers, and look forward to working with you in the fall. Charlotte Harrison and Evey Hornbeck Editors-in-chief

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LETTER S

letters to the editor On Retrospection and Introspection

For the better part of the past three years, I’ve had a vicious love-hate relationship with King’s. I’ve loved so much how it has allowed me to fall into the things I’ve gotten a chance to be involved with over my academic career, from the KSU to the KTS to all the abbreviations-that-start-with-K in between; I’ve hated how thankless some of the little minutiae that is required to keep King’s chugging can be; I have been blown away by the respect that some of my peers have said that they have for me; I have resented how doing a few things means that you deserve some form of raised pedestal. But mostly, for four years, I worried about being defined by the things that I did rather than by anything else. When people referred to me as “Adrian Lee”—the sort of singleterm nickname that became something of a caricature—it became even more difficult to divorce myself from the idea that I simply was someone who did a lot of things. I’ve been told I make it look easy, too—that my devotion to the community through my extracurriculars is effortless in some way. It’s a huge compliment, and I feel privileged that people think that.

I’m making this confession for two reasons.

But I think it’s important to confess a few things, starting with the fact that it was not. I’ve lost relationships, lost touch with friends, and cliché as it sounds, lost touch with myself over the last three years. I’ve chosen tasks over people. I’ve hurt people in ways that I still can’t possibly apologize enough for. And over the last year, in part because of some of these issues, I’ve struggled with my mental health. I’m making this confession for two reasons. One: I may be speaking to no one at all, like Lear at the winds, but if you are struggling at all with school, with pressures, with anything: seek help. Especially in a place like King’s, I can relate to the feeling of being like Atlas bearing the weight of the world, here in a school where everything is imbued with a crushing importance. But nothing is more important than your health. There were plenty of times I nearly lost track of that, and I urge all King’s students to keep this in

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mind. There is an undeniable stigma to discussing issues of mental health, but especially in a community as close and in a student body as devoted to its success as King’s, it’s a discussion I hope we have soon. The second reason is because I want to say thank you to King’s. This month, I’ve been honoured with a few awards and recognitions, including the KSU’s most outstanding graduating student award. And when I realized that this meant more to me than I could’ve possibly predicted, that was the moment when I took remarkable solace in being defined by the things that I did. It was when I realized—what was I worried about? If I am to be defined by the things that I did here, I can only look back and say that I am so gratified that I am. If I leave with the past four years as my body of work, I am proud. I have gotten to know so many people who mean so much to me. So what if no one cares five years from now? I’ve realized finally that the fact that I care right now is the most important thing. So know that there was nothing special behind the things that I did here, other than that King’s let me do them, and I did them. Just as it did for me and does for you, King’s opens up doors and in some cases, pushes you right through them. But because I’ve never really gotten a chance to say it: Thank you so much, King’s, for all you’ve done for me. I could have done much worse for myself than define myself against a community of people like you. Yours, Adrian Lee An Environmentalist’s Take on Roll Up the Rim Tim Horton’s annual Roll Up the Rim to Win has to be Canadian’s most beloved contest. Who doesn’t love it when their neighbour wins a fancy new car or the ever-popular free doughnut? Many Canadians make regular stops at Tim’s anyway, so why not win something in the process? But for the environmentally conscious crowd that routinely carries reusable travel mugs, Roll Up the Rim presents a moral dilemma. I’ve experienced it myself, many times. I’ll rush over to

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LETTER S the LSC Tim’s between classes – proudly toting my red travel mug. I’ll ask them to fill it right to the brim, hoping to savour every last drop of my French Vanilla before embarking on a sugar high of epic proportions. Everything looks good as I’m paying – until the thoughtful cashier asks if I’d like my Roll Up the Rim cup. As an environmentalist, my natural instinct is to say “No! That’s wasteful.” But before I can utter the words, I pause for three seconds, just to think about it… What if the next lucky customer to order a large hot beverage wins a big prize? What would I do? I could throw a fit and curse my parents for raising me to be such a treehugger – but more than likely I’d just laugh and continue on my day. After all, it would make for a great story! Now I realize that sometimes temptation gets the better of us, so I started thinking that Tim Horton’s could really help us environmentalists out a little by changing up its contest ever-so-slightly. I think they should print off little peel-able contest stickers for people that bring their own mugs. Not only is this sustainable, because it saves a lot of brand new cups from being pitched into the garbage, but the store could also save money on cups. So Tim Horton’s, do we have a deal?

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News

King’s Briefs

PILGRIMAGE ENCOUNTERS SYRIA’S PROBLEMS BY PHILIPPA WOLFF

Recent unrest and major protests in Syria mean that a King’s pilgrimage will be put on hold. Thorne was forced to officially postpone the trip on Mar. 29, following a warning to “avoid nonessential travel” that the Canadian government applied to Syria in its entirety on Mar. 26. The country has been in major turmoil since Mar. 18 when anti-government protests quickly escalated into violence between the people and the state. “The country is entirely unsafe,” said King’s chaplain Canon Dr. Gary Thorne, who was to lead the pilgrimage. “Lattakia, one of the places we were going to, was actually closed to outsiders and tourists

because of the trouble and bloodshed,” he said. But for second-year King’s student Thomas McCallum, who was set to go on the pilgrimage, the danger isn’t why he supports Thorne’s decision to cancel. “I feel as if it would be almost rude to go to Syria right now,” he said. “If I were to be protesting Harper, sticking my pellet gun out my front window, and a bunch of Syrians were to be strutting around on my doorstep because Abraham pitched his tent there, I wouldn’t be too happy.” Thorne called the decision to cancel “enormously disappointing.” He noted that extensive preparation went into the trip,

both spiritually and with contacts in Syria. A secondary pilgrimage is in the works, which will be to a location a bit closer to home – the backcountry of Nova Scotia – in early May. Thorne doesn’t know the details of the trip yet, but said pilgrims will be beyond the reaches of civilization, either canoeing or walking. And Thorne said he hopes that this won’t be the end of the Syria pilgrimage. “Our best hope is that next year, at this same time, a group of pilgrims from King’s College will go on this pilgrimage (to Syria).”

AVOIDING A FIERY PIT

BY WHITNEY CANT Following the King’s Theatrical Society’s 80th anniversary, it has come to light that multiple fire regulations are being broken in the Pit, the KTS’s primary performance space. These violations vary from a lack of sprinklers to improper paint storage to the lack of a proper emergency exit. If not addressed, the KTS could face the loss of the Pit, says Dave Etherington, last year’s KTS vicepresident and the current treasurer. Etherington says he hopes that discussion will never have to happen. Proper storage and exits are priorities on the KTS’s to-do list for the summer, and the KTS is

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currently in talks with a subcommittee of Property Grounds and Safety for a deal to redesign the entire space. Etherington is confident that the KTS will come through on all of the regulations that the HRM Fire Department has told them to address, and the Pit will have a future in KTS productions. One glitch in the preparations: a lack of funds. The Pit is property of King’s, and according to Etherington, it is the university’s responsibility to provide the KTS with a safe performing space. However, Etherington is quick to point out that the KTS is fully

committed to doing their part to assist the university in addressing the fire regulations. He says that it is a joint responsibility between King’s and the KTS to make the Pit a safe performance and spectator space. “The pit has been under threat of being shut down for years,” said Bethany Hindmarsh, the new president of the KTS. “The fragility of these traditions and institutions is part of their charm. But this was a bit of a wake-up call to all of us. We’ll continue to work with the administration so renovations aren’t happening during next year’s season.”

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News

Ten MinutesFind with Dr. Anne Leavitt out what makes our new president tick. The Watch called up Dr. Anne Leavitt, current dean in the Faculty of Social Sciences at Vancouver Island University, to discuss her thoughts on the liberal arts, post-secondary funding, and King’s traditions. The Watch: How would you define a ‘liberal artist’? Dr. Anne Leavitt: I think a liberal artist is somebody who is interested in exploring the treasure trove of books and works that were produced and were reputed to be wise in order to get a sense of the shape of the world and the shape of one’s own self. TW: In your address to King’s students earlier this year, you mentioned your “25-year odyssey” with the liberal arts. What is the most important thing you have learned on the odyssey? AL: Never make assumptions. TW: What will be your main priority as president? AL: Well I think the first priority, and not necessarily the most fun priority, will be to work with other people to get a handle on the financial situation. I don’t think that it’s a dreadful situation, but it does need some bringing under control. In my experience, if you want to do really fun things then one of the first things you have to do is get the finances in shape. TW: Speaking of finances, Nova Scotia students are facing a tuition hike and a cut to funding. There have been several student protests in the last few months. Where do you stand on the issue of tuition increases? AL: I’ve always been someone who is committed to access for students—that is, I don’t think finances should be a barrier to high education. That said, across the country, as we know, provinces have been struggling with finding ways to support the universities and to help them meet their expenses.... Higher education funding formulas need a lot of work, I think. Students should not be impeded from attending university for financial reasons. But the other side of the equation is that the province has to come up with more money to support higher education in general. TW: How could you encourage enrolment at King’s, which offers “education for education’s sake”, when many students are focused on skill-based programs that are immediately applicable to the job market? AL: I think King’s simply has to promote itself a bit better.... I mean, King’s is well known in places like Ontario, but I think that King’s can be better known in a larger range of places than it currently is. I think there are a lot of students out their craving the kind of education that King’s offers.

ANNE LEAVITT

TW: King’s has a lot of traditions, many of which include the president, such as matriculation, sherry before formal meals— AL: I love sherry! TW: Are you looking forward to becoming a party of these traditions? AL: Oh, absolutely. I come from a family that has roots in Nova Scotia that go way back, so we have recollected history and lots of traditions. I certainly appreciate how important those are in keeping a sense of community and keeping a sense of certain commitments alive and well. So yeah, I’m really looking forward to participating in those. TW: What do you want the King’s community to know about you before you come here? AL: Well I suppose they should know that I have a fairly irrepressible sense of humour. To see the rest of the interview, check out the online content at watchmagazine.ca

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News

PROMOTING STUDENT V

CONSERVATIVE PARTY

George Nikolaou Nikolaou is a Haligonian, through and through. He’s been through our education system and went to university here. The conservatives are making investments to help provide students with jobs and work experience: Significant funds for Canadian Youth Business Foundation to help young entrepreneurs open 500 new businesses, create 2,500 new jobs over three years. Permanent increase to Canadian Summer Jobs will mean 3,500 additional jobs per year for a total of 40,000 jobs for students each summer. Career Focus to help employers provide recent graduates with internships that provide valuable work experience

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Megan Leslie New Democrats have continued the ‘Fix Student Aid Campaign’ which advocates for more needs-based grants and lower student loan interest rates. This past March, the NDP tabled the Post Secondary Education Act, which aimed to set national standards for accessible education and reduce tuition fees. The NDP is taking the economic and environmental futures of young Canadians seriously by advocating for an economy powered by research, innovation and entrepreneurship, with a focus on green technologies. Our Environmental Bill of Rights as well as our Climate Change bill are the most progressive pieces of environmental legislation introduced by any Federal party.

LIBERAL PARTY

Stan Kutcher A Liberal government will open the doors for every young Canadian who wants to go to college or university with a historic new $1-billion Learning Passport which will provide $4,000 tax-free for every high school student who chooses to go to university, college or CÉGEP, $1,000 per year over four years; and $6,000 (or $1,500 each year) for high school students from low-income families. A Liberal government will invest $300 million over the next two years and put in place a Youth Hiring Incentive for small and medium businesses and create up to 160,000 new jobs for young Canadians.

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NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY

Michael Dewar First of all, Dewar is a student. When you vote in a federal election, you are voting for your representative in the House of Commons. As a student, Dewar says he will be able to represent you in a way that older politicians will not, with a direct connection to your experiences and struggles. He wants to improve on the Liberals’ plan to create a ‘Passport For Education’ which involves granting $1,000 to the RESP accounts of all youth aged 14-18. His intention is to establish a grant of $5,000 and to give it to students who are already in university, who are not addressed by the Liberal’s plan at all, and will otherwise graduate with crushing debt.

GREEN PARGreen Party

GREEN PARTY

As students, we often find ourselves immersed in a bubble of classes, homework, social lives and extracurricular activities. Suddenly, an election comes along and we realize that we have a role to play in our greater society. So whom do we vote for? The four candidates in the Halifax riding offered these reasons students should give them their votes.


T VOTING

NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY

LIBERAL PARTY

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News BY KEN WALLINGFORD

When to vote? Election Day: Monday, May 2. For the Halifax riding, you must go to the Camp Hill Veterans’ Memorial Hospital (5955 Veterans Memorial Lane) between 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Advanced Voting Days: April 22, 23 and 25. The advance voting takes place at Cornwallis Junior High School (on Preston St., one block north of Jubilee). The polls will be open from 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m. What should you bring? In order to vote, you have to prove your identity and address. There are three options for identification: Option 1: One piece of ID with your photo, name and address. Must be government issued. Option 2: Two pieces of ID Both must have your name and one must have you address. (Something like your health card and house lease will suffice.) Option 3: Swear an oath and have someone of age who knows you vouch for you. This person must have ID and be

from the same riding as you. Are you registered? How do you register? If you are registered you will receive a voter information card in the mail between April 8 and 13. If your personal information on the card is right then you are registered to vote. If you are not registered you can do so by doing one of the following: Call Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868 Visit your local Elections Canada office (the Quinpool Education Centre) between March 30 and 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26. Go to your advance polling place on April 22, 23 or 25,or go to your election day polling place on Monday, May 2.

GETTING DIRECTION FROM THE VOTE COMPASS By Dhruva Balram

On the day I turned 18, I went to the closest convenience store to my house in Toronto and bought a lottery ticket and a Hustler magazine legally. When I turned 19, I bought a packet of cigarettes and a bottle of rum legally, just because I could. I’ve taken advantage of my legality in many ways, but the one thing I still haven’t done in my legal status is probably the most important – I haven’t voted. Since I was here in Halifax during the Toronto mayoral election in 2010, when Rob Ford unfortunately won, I was genuinely excited when I learned there would be a federal election. I am not the most politically involved person; I try to be, but my apathy gets in the way. After the announcement though, I decided

to research more on the political parties’ stance and learn more on the ridings in the Halifax district. I was raised pretty liberally and assumed I would lean that way. I decided to try the CBC Vote Compass to see what it says. Apparently, I lean right on economic issues, and I’m more socially conservative than liberal. The party it said I should vote for? Liberal. This didn’t come as much of a surprise for me. But for others, the Vote Compass gave some unanticipated results. Simon Kaplan, a second-year King’s student, also got Liberal. “I’m probably going to vote for the Green Party though,” says Kaplan. Liz Johnston, in her final year at King’s, was also a victim of the Vote Compass’ misfortune telling. It told her she aligned with the

Green Party, but Johnston has a different view. “I’d probably vote NDP – Megan Leslie – if I were in Halifax,” said Johnston. Some people say the Vote Compass is rigged to give people Liberal, but to me, that’s not the issue. It just seems like another procrastination tool; I don’t know if it will actually make young people vote. Either way, the compass should not influence one’s decision in an election of this stature. It’s meant to give people an idea of the different parties position on issues, more like a jumping off point. My best advice is to research the parties independently and go vote on May 2 for who you think would be the best party for the future.

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News

YOUR BRAND NEW President Full name: Gabriel Adrian Hoogers. “It is purely coincidental that the person who has guided me through the KSU is also named Adrian. I don’t want to comment on that anymore!” Program: Third year CSP (“the love of my life”) and PoliSci (“the opposite”) Relevant previous experience: He was Communications VP in 2009-2010, Student Life VP in 2010-2011. Reason for running for exec: “I feel my passion and growth as a student leader. This all goes back to the highlight of everyone in the KSU’s career, the Day of Action. I was really inspired by that, by the organisation that students have the capability of.” Goals: Push student voices in the fall renegotiation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the province and the universities; work on a business plan for a union-run canteen in the Wardroom: “(To) create a sustainable, ethical

business down there that students can go to after Sodexo is closed and during the day.”

Challenges so far: He acknowledges they will come, but says, “It felt like a very natural transition. I really hit the ground running, in terms of advocacy and everything. The executive elected is amazing; everyone is really fitting into their jobs and shaping their jobs in a really inspiring way.” Words to students: “I would like them to refer to the Watch pages 18 and 19 of the last issue.will live up to the inspiring figure of Ronald Reagan to the best of my capabilities.” Vice President, Student Life Full name: Anna Tomkins Dubinski Program: First year FYP-Arts, undeclared Relevant previous experience: First year rep on council. “It’s all very new and it’s all very exciting.” Reason for running for exec: “Once I kind of threw myself

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into the council environment (as first year rep), I came to appreciate what the KSU does and I wanted to take a bigger role in making that happen.” Goals: Pumping up Awards night, “organizing, filing and colourcoding the office,” organizing a “FYP trip” a sort of second frosh week where first years and upper year leaders would travel somewhere and experience culture relevant to FYP. Challenges so far: Re-energizing the temporarily defunct Awards night, and pulling the student planner together. Words to students: “Come by the office! I urge everyone to drop by and be part of their union.” Vice President, Financial Full name: nicholas Frederick Lawrence Gall Program: BA economics. “I do take a number of CSP electives, too.” Relevant previous experience: This is his second term as Financial VP, and he was external VP before that. “I’ve always been interested in money and motivated to manage it responsibly.” Reason for running for exec: “In first year there was the Middle Bay Tea Society and everyone had a good time. But as soon as I realized that Dan Brown might get funding for his little tea society, I realized there was a need for stronger financial accountability.” Goals: “To keep steady as she goes. There isn’t that much need for innovation. By staying on a second term, I’ll be able to build on the continuity.” Challenges so far: nothing financial so far. Words to students: “Finance is important.” Vice President, Communications Full name: Anna Pierrette Mills Bishop “Pierrette was the name of my dad’s mom and she died when he was little.” Program: First year FYP-Science, environmental sciences.

News

Relevant previous experience: Ran social justice club in high school, runs leadership program in the summers. Reason for running for exec: “I thought that the people who were running for exec this year are really awesome and I was stoked to be a part of that exec.” Goals: Clean up the KSU website and start a KSU blog in order “to make kind of an online space/community for King’s students.” She’s also growing some plants for a possible King’s community garden. Challenges so far: Chairing the constitutional review committee and proposing changes to the constitution. “Actually changing the constitution was pretty cool.” Words to students: “Subscribe to TWAK! Words to students: “Subscribe to TWAK! Come on out and introduce yourself. I have a lot more interests than just being CVP.” Vice President, External Full name: Omri Leo Haiven. “My brother named me after a book called The Indian in the Cupboard. The main character is named Omri. It also means sheaf of corn.” Program: Second year, Sustainability and History Relevant previous experience: Founding head of KAFCA, part of many different political and anti-war organizations in Halifax since high school. Reason for running for exec: I don’t know if I would have been part of the KSU if it weren’t for the position of eVP. It just seems to be really suited to what I’m interested in, in terms of activism.” Goals: “To put on events and to engage the community. King’s is probably the best place for that because people, they’re focused on issues.” Challenges so far: ISIC cards for the past year had not be registered properly, so Haiven had to submit everything so the cards would be properly recognized. Words to students: “The position can only work when students are engaged. When students aren’t engaged, the position is useless.”

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News

Still Fighting It

Students let the provincial governm

BY KATIe TOTH

March 31 is a beautiful day to scream outside Province House. About 75 students have surrounded the front and back entrances of the building. They’re ‘greeting’ MLAs as they return to the Provincial Legislature for the first day of the spring session of the House. They call their event the “MLA Walk of Shame.” Their goal is to put pressure on MLAs to prioritize funding to post-secondary education. Students surround both entrances of Province House so that no one can make their way into the legislature unnoticed. Both groups rowdily wave prefabricated placards in the air, shouting and singing.

Omri Haiven, external Vice President for the King’s Students’ Union, was sitting in the Legislature as student voices grew louder. “The chants of ‘Darrell’ could be heard by literally everyone,” he later said. “That was incredible... it showed that of all of the people who are getting screwed over by the nDP in nova Scotia, students really made an effort to come out and to voice their displeasure.” Then, in the midst of foot stomping and chanting, CFS Maritimes Organiser Rebecca Rose picks up the megaphone to tell King’s students the good news: “We have gotten a meeting with Marilyn More for today after the Throne Speech.” Rose reminds students that this isn’t going to be the end of their fight. But in this moment, it looks like students are winning the battle. ***

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That meeting would quickly become one in a string of disappointments for nova Scotia students. Gabe Hoogers, president of the King’s Student Union and the nova Scotia representative on the Canadian Federation of Students, said the meeting on March 31 “seemed to be sort of just an exercise in good will in so far as she’s willing to listen to us, but not in so far as the government is willing to change anything.” Hoogers attended the meeting with elise Graham, the Canadian Federation of Students-nova Scotia Chairperson, and Kaley Kennedy, the CFS-nS Government Relations and Research Co-ordinator. Hoogers said that More asked for their collective opinions on postsecondary education funding. More also described the nova Scotia nDP’s intentions to implement a debt cap. A debt cap is a form of loan forgiveness in which student loans hit a maximum amount. After that, additional student loans are written off as nonrepayable student assistance. “Debt caps in the past in other provinces have been admineVeY HORnBeCK istered in ways that aren’t true to their intention,” Hoogers said. “Unfortunately for a lot of students who can’t afford to pay that upfront cost, the accessibility issue remains.” However, Hoogers said More was unwilling to make changes to the planned grant system in response to his concerns. “There just isn’t the political will,” he said. *** On April 5, the provincial budget was released, along with a strategy for the debt cap which lives up to Hoogers’ fears. The new cap is set at $28,560, and will take four years to be fully implemented. That means that students who start school in 2011 and max out on their loans will save $15,232, according to a backgrounder by the CBC. That’s not a small sum, and not all student groups are

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News

ial government know that they won’t take fee hikes and service cuts lying down. unhappy about the cap. Mark Coffin, the executive director of the Alliance of nova Scotia Student Associations, says the cap is a positive move. “We’re very happy about it,” he said. “We think this will probably ease the burden on students alreadwwy attending and graduating from university.” But even supporters of the cap aren’t celebrating wholeheartedly. “The flaw is that it’s not going to help students who already have a fear of debt,” Coffin said. The cap is also contingent on graduation from a four-year degree program, and on qualifying for government student assistance. Students who don’t finish school or who have to rely on private assistance won’t be eligible. Graham thinks that a debt cap neglects to take student needs into account. “The best way to cap and reduce student debt is to ensure students do not have to take on debt in the first place,” she said. For Jess Geddes, a third year student at King’s, the cap is “too little, too late.” She says she will likely graduate next year with between $40,000 and $42,000 in loans. “They’re really alienating students that are already in a university education,” she said. As for students who will receive greater benefits from the debt cap, Geddes is quick to point out, “they’ll have to deal with a 4 per cent (provincial funding) cut to universities so their services will probably go down next year.” *** Officially, the Dexter government maintains the stance that the increases to tuition fees and cuts to post-secondary education are not severe. When proposals for the cuts went public on Feb. 1, 2011, Minister More said in a press release, “Universi-

ties in nova Scotia are being asked to manage within the same financial restraints that all provincial departments and agencies face.” Furthermore, they say, they’re the only opportunity to balance the books. But when pushed, some new Democrat voices—both provincial and federal—seem to challenge the government line. While many MLAs quickly entered the legislature, avoiding eye contact with students, Gary Burill, MLA for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, was an exception. He stood outside Province House, watching the protest

for at least 15 minutes. When asked by Rachel Ward about his opinion on the protest, he said, “I think it’s a very, very legitimate concern for students to express.” “The fact that there’s not going to be a tuition freeze is a very great concern,” he added. “I think everybody involved with it understands what a major burden it is.” For Megan Leslie, the Member of Parliament for Halifax with the federal nDP, high tuition costs ring alarm bells. “Tuition is making post-secondary education inaccessible,” she said. “I know people who won’t even apply—who won’t even fill out that application because they know or they think they can’t afford it.” Provincial and federal governments are distinct, and deal with

A P R I L 2 0 1 1 | Th e Wat c h | 13


KAFCA Caters to King’s U The alternative food collective grows into a budding business. The Dean’s kitchen in Alexandra Hall is a flurry of vegetable-chopping and arranging. Two volunteers have been preparing snacks for the King’s Students’ Union Awards night for the past five hours, peeling vegetables with dull knives. They’ve opened several cans of chickpeas without a can-opener. “We’re KAFCA – we make do,” says Jess Geddes, a committed member. The King’s Alternative Food Cooperative Association began catering this year. Co-founder Omri Haiven says it’s just another way of serving King’s students. “The idea behind catering is solidarity. We’re showing that students are capable of giving food, and being a presence on King’s campus,” says Haiven. Haiven co-founded KAFCA with several other King’s students October 2009 to provide local food options to students. They got off to a rocky start, Haiven says, when they asked locals farmers for help. “One farmer gave me a tongue lashing. He said ‘Why the hell would I give you free food? Students are better off than some people. So why shouldn’t we give it to the food banks?’” says Haiven. The group decided one of their main goals would be to give a fair deal to the farmers and integrate them more into student life. They began by offering local food servings for two dollars on Fridays. Student feedback has been positive, says Haiven. He believes KAFCA has also encouraged students to think about what they eat. “We can start a dialogue with people through the food we create ... every time you eat food, there’s a story to what you’re eating. It does a lot of community-building work for us,” says Haiven. Their catering business is an attempt to provide a service outside of the monopoly that Sodexo holds on catering at King’s. Haiven says Sodexo offers a “top-down, inflexible model of food preparation” that does not participate in the community. So far, KAFCA has not been in conflict with Sodexo. Lee Dekel, the member in change of catering, says it has been a rewarding experience. KAFCA has catered for two of the biggest events at King’s this year: the KTS dinner and the Day of Action. “The KTS dinner was a huge experience in terms of learning about catering and what it takes. It showed that just because we’re student-run doesn’t mean the food can’t be of great quality,” she says. “The event that was the most fun was when we made 300 burritos for the Day Of Action. Organizing that and dealing with the chaos and fervour of the event was wonderful.” Although the organization receives money for their catering, treasurer David etherington says profit is not the end goal.

14 |

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“We aim for cost neutrality. We just need to cover our operating costs,” says etherington. Dekel says that pricing for catering is dependant on the event and the society’s budget. The catering for the International Women’s Day for $30, but the KTS dinner was closer to $1,000. “We’re looking to develop a set menu and prices for the catering side next year. We want to find inexpensive things to make that won’t take too much time,” says Dekel. Haiven wants catering to become another way to give the students and societies at King’s a sustainable food option. “The idea behind this group is try to inject food politics and conscious eating into the community. Catering and serving students are both very effective ways of doing that.”

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An objection threatens to overturn the teacher’s union.

University administration submitted an objection to the terms of the King’s teachers’ union. If the nova Scotia Labour Board agrees with the objection, the March 14 vote, a first for King’s teachers, could be overturned. President William Barker says he objects to the group included in the union vote. “This is seen as a call for a vote with the wrong group of people. They should have called for a vote with all the faculty,” Barker said. Some senior faculty members, he said, By Michael Fraimanto the union’s name, University of King’s have objected College Teachers’ Association, as not all teaching staff are eligible union members. “We are challenging them on the grounds of fragmentation,” said Barker. “What we’re saying is we have a unique set of relations here which we really should be caring for.” According to multiple voters, Barker emailed at least a couple of eligible voters to convince them to vote against forming a union. Barker could not be reached to confirm this.

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BY RACHeL WARD

Shortly before the vote, the eligible voting group opened up to two additional teachers after the administration suggested that the teachers’ contracts met the specifications defined in the preliminary constitution: “non-professorial teachers” on temporary yearly contracts with possibility of renewal for up to three years. The original group included 10 Foundation Year Programme teaching fellows. One added teacher was David Swick, the journalism ethics teacher, and the other was not known by Barker and could not be identified by Swick or other voters. While the majority of Canadian universities are unionized, including all campus workers from kitchen staff to professors, this is the first teachers’ group to take an organized union vote. Members of the voting group declined to comment on the record because, as one teaching fellow said, the situation is “precarious,” and the teaching fellows are some of the most “vulnerable” staff at the school. The voting group has a lawyer who is dealing with the labour board and the objection, paid for by the sponsoring union group, the Canadian University Teachers

Association. Issues regarding the pension plan were brought up during at least two separate meetings between group members, Barker, and Daniel Brandes, acting director of the Foundation Year Programme. Teaching fellows noted that changes to the pension plan in 2009 put newer staff at a disadvantage. Barker, however, said he was surprised that the issue was brought up, as he says the pension changes were beneficial. “We had thought we had actually worked out an excellent solution for people who were here on a shorter term contract with a pension,” said Barker. He says changes were made so that incoming teaching fellows were given portable pensions instead of fixed pensions. This means that when the teacher changes jobs at the end of a contract, all of the money in the pension fund, including that which the school invested, would move with the teacher. A fixed pension, Barker said, would only give out the staff’s invested money. But teaching fellows noted that changes to the pensions were done without notification, leaving them at a disadvantage to their colleagues, whose pensions still follow the pre-2009 rules. Pension details are not laid out in the Pink Book, the employment standard manual for the school. While King’s currently has no unions, other King’s staff groups have unionized in the past. Barker says that his time on the union executive of Memorial University and the Dalhousie University senate makes him believe a collective agreement would “homogenize” King’s. “We don’t want to be like the other schools; it’s quite important to us. ... My feeling is that we’ve been doing it differently for a long time. Can’t we continue to be a little bit different?” “For us to slip into that formalized relationship is going to be very difficult,” said Barker. But the press release stating the group’s intentions says that they want to be involved in the decision-making surrounding their contracts. And that took Barker by surprise. “Bad on me, perhaps, but I had no idea that there was a surge of discontent, and I’m afraid to say, neither did some of their other colleagues... either the pathways were shut down or there was a lack of communication because we probably, in a place this big – this small, we should have known... There was kind of ... institutional deafness, or in some capacity, an inability to listen to what was going on.” Barker said the board’s decision should be public in June, before his term expires on June 30. Incoming president Anne Leavitt comes with much experience, said Barker, as she currently is negotiating with Vancouver Island University’s teachers’ union, which just ended a three week strike.

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A rts

Tutors Bid Farewell to N BY HILARY ILKAY

four tutors pursue new opportunities outside

This April King’s will lose two dynamic pairs of teaching fellows: Scott Marratto and Alexandra Morrison, and Dan and Michelle Wilband. It is a great loss for the Foundation Year Programme and for the King’s community as a whole, but it is an inevitable part of the Programme. “On the one hand, it’s useful to have a constant inflow of fresh minds,” says Michelle. “We’ve learned a lot from all of our colleagues. You get a novel perspective, but the price is a constant hemorrhaging of talent.” Teaching fellows at King’s are given positions for three years, resulting in continual turnover of Foundation Year Programme faculty. In September, none of the original teaching fellows that Michelle started with will remain in the Programme. It’s easy to criticize the current structure, but Dan stresses that “the Foundation Year’s attention to detail is the centre of the Programme. It is anchored in the texts, which don’t rely on specific personalities or interpretations.” After three years at King’s, leaving its cozy community to find another position in academia can be a daunting task. According to Dr. Laura Penny, jobs in the Humanities are some of the hardest to come by. “Part of the problem is structural,” Penny says. “As government funding declines, universities feel pressure to rely on tuition, which means they need more bums in seats. Alas, this means you must hire more people to teach the bums. How can the university do this cheaply? Grad students and contract workers.” Penny also cites “credential creep” as a significant contributing factor. “If a BA/BSc is the new high school diploma,” she argues, “then a master’s becomes the new BA, and so on. A crap economy for recent grads also means that some people try a retail or service gig and then decide

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to go back to upgrade themselves.” What, then, is her advice to those of us who refuse to be dissuaded by statistics and trends? “Go if you really want to and cannot do otherwise – a lotta King’s nerds have! – but do not render yourself utterly beholden to the professorial dream.” Penny points out that grad school alumni enter the

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job market significantly later than others, but she adds that “if you are one of those people who likes living studentstyle, who immediately sees the ‘mort’ in mortgage and begins making Derridean death puns, then good luck and Godspeed.” Marratto and Morrison were able to buck the trend and secure teaching positions together, but they’re going to have to leave Canada and move to Michigan. Their presence will be sorely missed. During their years at King’s, they have fully embraced the intellectual spirit of the university as tutors in the Foundation Year Programme and lecturers in the Contemporary Studies Programme. Marratto also organized two seminars at King’s with Dr. John Russon, bringing together faculty and students from various disciplines to discuss works by Derrida and, earlier this year, two Platonic dialogues. The Wilbands, on the other hand, are leaving behind the

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academic track. Dan, who is planning to pursue a law degree at McGill, is excited to encounter challenges in a different field of knowledge. However, he says he and Michelle will miss teaching at King’s. They fondly recall their first years as FYP tutors, agreeing that they got more out of it than any student. “It’s a job you can go to every day that is meaningful,” says Michelle. Though they will miss Halifax and the tight-knit, intellectuallycharged King’s community, they are looking forward to living in a “cosmopolitan city” that is still not too far away from the Maritimes. When asked what they would miss most, Dan replied, “That’s like asking a fish what it would miss most about water.” Identifying a favourite moment was even more difficult. Finally, Michelle mentioned the “middle-of-the-night Phaeacian dance party with Ron during Odyssey Live.” Dan enthusiastically agreed, saying, “it shows King’s at its best: a space opening to bring people together in the spirit of fun and learning.” CSP student Victoria Cate May Burton has been taught by both Marratto and Morrison, and is effusive in her admiration and gratitude: “They both devote so much time to talking to students and obviously put a great deal of thought into every single lecture given or discussion led. exceptionally brilliant and exceptionally kind, they have both shown me much to respect, admire and emulate.” Marybeth Osowski, who had Michelle and Dan as tutors in FYP, shares similar sentiments: “The Wilbands have always been willing to help with the Haliburton Society. They also helped me get slightly more involved in the larger Halifax community through Halifax Humanities. I know that I will miss seeing them around King’s next year, and I’m incredibly glad that I got the opportunity to meet them.” For many King’s students and faculty, the absence of these four tutors will be a tough transition to make. Cory Stockwell, a current teaching fellow in the Foundation Year Programme, encapsulates just how much the Wilbands and Marratto and Morrison mean to King’s, and the strong sense of community that defines our university as truly unique: “King’s just won’t be the same without Amanda Morrison, Steve Marratto, and Muriel and Dave Wilband, and I’ll miss them all terribly!”

A rts

still fighting it continued from page 13

different issues. COnTInUeD On PAGe 17 “It’s hard for me to second-guess what provinces are doing, because I know they’re not getting the federal support that they need,” Leslie said. “If they are being truthful when they say that they don’t have the money to invest in post-secondary education ,then (the provinces) need to come together and demand more from the feds.” *** This year may have been one of empty gestures or “ineffective back end debt relief,” as Hoogers said. But he still wants students to keep fighting. “We’re looking at the long term here,” Hoogers said. “even if next year isn’t ideal for us—and it definitely won’t be—we need to continue to get our message out to the public to government to ensure that ... negotiations for next year are more successful.” “Students are the only group that are going to speak up for students as a whole, so if we don’t make ourselves known and have a presence—especially to MLAs—then

We need someone to cheque our copy before we publish to make sure we didnt miss anything.

Apply for Copy Editor!

Application available soon on watchmagazine.ca

A P R I L 2 0 1 1 | Th e Wat c h | 17


LOVE OF LOOKING F E AT U R E S

By Rose BehaR

A new magazine takes a peek at local women in the arts.

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F E AT U R E S

here is certainly no shortage of student-run publications on the King’s campus, but Brittney Teasdale and Molly segal believe there is one niche that has not yet been explored. Teasdale and segal, both in their fourth year of journalism, are launching scopophilia late this month, a magazine focused on women and the arts in halifax, and written primarily by King’s students. “all content is about women, published for all,” says Teasdale, in email interview. “anyone who likes to read fun articles and check out interesting photography” will enjoy the magazine, she said, not simply women or those involved in the arts scene. although the halifax-centered magazine is not specifically a feminist publication, segal considers it a great opportunity to shed more light on women’s issues and accomplishments: “Most news stories and articles are about men, and this gives us a chance to focus on women and their contributions to the arts.” The magazine, besides its many features and profiles on notable halifax women, will be characterised by “a strong interest in photography,” says segal, adding that the first issue will contain three major photo-shoots done over the past few months. These shoots feature models from King’s and clothing from boutiques in halifax such as Kick ass shoes, elsie’s, The Clothes horse, Put Me on, Frida, and Lost and Found. Natasha hunt, creative director and publicist for the magazine said the shoots were chaotic, but fun. hunt said what astounded her most was the willingness and participation scopophilia received from local businesses. “The support from the community has been really great. I mean, here’s an untested stylist and a new magazine and yet they were really enthusiastic.” although fashion may be a large component of the magazine in this issue, segal is quick to warn that she and Teasdale are not totally sure of the direction the magazine will take, and that their focus is not fashion, but the arts in general. “By the end of the issue, we’ll see how we feel and what we want to change. It’ll be really based on what we want to say. I do want to strike a balance, but what that balance is depends, I guess, on what there is to report,” segal said. Though the future of the magazine is unsure, the enthusiasm needed to propel it forward is not lacking. Teasdale and segal are both in their graduating year, and Teasdale says they plan to step down from their leadership positions next year, adding that she would like to see the reins passed to hunt. hunt is currently in her second year of journalism at King’s and has big plans for the new publication. she responded without hesitation when asked about the future of scopophilia. “I definitely see it getting bigger and better.” Disclosure: Natasha Hunt is the Watch production manager and the creative director and publicist for Scopophilia.

A P R I L 2 0 1 1 | Th e Wat c h | 19


F E AT U R E S

Raising Heller

Dr.Peggy Heller sits down with The Watch.

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if you go looking for professor peggy heller, you’ll find her office door reads: “extended medical leave.” The Fyp director left suddenly in january, and since then she’s had little contact with the king’s community. the watch sat down with heller in her to talk about her health, her plans, and what she misses about king’s. The Watch: It really feels like you’re missed on campus. I think we’d all like to know how you’re doing. Peggy Heller: Well I have cancer and I guess it’s more serious than was thought at the beginning. so what the initial idea was is I would have an operation and I’d be away for three months and I’d come back at the end of the term and help wrap things up. But the way its turned out, I’ve needed more extensive treatment, so I’m going to be on this sick leave for six months and not able to participate in the year-end reviews and all that sort of thing. so I feel… not guilty, because it’s not my fault, but I feel bad about the burden that has been

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put on (acting FyP director) Daniel Brandes and (assistant FyP director) Thom Curran. But also I think all my colleagues have been fantastic about stepping up to the plate and taking on the burden of doing it. TW: Has it been frustrating? PH: It has been frustrating. you know, I had various plans for a sick leave where I wouldn’t be so sick that I couldn’t do anything, but I actually have been sick so it’s been annoying.

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F E AT U R E S

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TW: So you’re feeling somewhat better now? Ph: I go up and down, like one week I’m down and another week I’m up but this week I’m up…. so it’s really one of these one day at a time things, because you think you want to be on this graph where every day you’re better, but it’s more like a zigzag. The whole thing is rather absurd and odd and unpredictable and I never would have pictured myself quite in this situation. TW: What have you been up to? Ph: My main activities have been watching DvDs. TW: you are known for your excellent taste in television. Ph: Well, I find I am mainly interested in light comedies, and I find it hard to watch the news or anything that’s depressing. But one sign of me feeling a bit stronger is I now want to rewatch The Wire. But I certainly could not have faced The Wire in January or February. anything having to do with misfortune or anything I just couldn’t handle it. so I’ve built up some psychic reserves. I guess a pleasure I’ve had is I’ve rediscovered intensive reading. now that I don’t look at computer screens all day, I’ve been able to read for hours, just the way I could when I was a teenager, so that’s been quite wonderful... TW: Anything good? Ph: a lot of detective novels. anything I can do in one go. I have a very large set of alexander Dumas and I went through that. I reread Jane austen once a year anyway, so I went through that. you know that kind of thing… I somehow can’t quite face Dostoevsky, but he’s on my shelf. TW: So you’re at The Wire, not quite at Dostoevsky. Ph: not quite at The Wire, but I can see the approach. and I’ve been dipping into some of my academic books, so I’m getting stronger that way. It’s odd how illness has this emotional impact. It’s like when you’re really bad with a flu, and there are some things you can face and other things you can’t. TW: Do you miss King’s? Ph: I miss my classes. I miss teaching and the students. This isn’t being very articulate, but I don’t miss everything about king’s. I miss kind of the fundamentals. and one thing I really miss is… I never was a singer but I go into the king’s chorus so I got to sing for the first time in my life and it was just fantastic.

TW: has this changed your perspective on life? on king’s? Ph: I’m somewhat interested in what is happening at king’s, and various people visit or phone me and keep me updated, but I’m not deeply emotionally involved and if I do get emotionally involved it’s frustrating because I can’t be involved practically. so I try not to be too worried about things or too concerned. you know, it’s been an important term at king’s, with getting a new president and all these processes, I’ve had to be passive and so it’s frustrating. TW: So your leave will be six months now? Ph: It’s six months and I was on sabbatical. so I’m actually away from the college for a year and a half. TW: have your plans for your sabbatical changed? Ph: Well they’ve changed in that I was going to do a fair amount of traveling and now… well, who knows how I’ll feel in september. I did have a plan for my sabbatical first of all to teach a course in Finland in the fall and then go to India. But I now think I just don’t want to risk traveling. Maybe by July I’ll start to feel differently but now I think I’ll just stay here mainly, and write and see what comes up. India is too ambitious. TW: What are you going to write? Ph: Well I still haven’t quite turned my thesis into a book; it’s very close so I’m going to finish that up. and I have a couple articles I’ve promised people so these are things that have been ongoing but I haven’t had the time or energy. as FyP director it’s very hard to concentrate on writing because you’re so full of the day-to-day concerns. so it’s really catching up on things I haven’t been able to fully put my mind to for three years, which will be good. TW: So with the current treatment plan you might be able to go traveling a bit later on? Ph: I’m hoping so. one thing I’ve found about cancer is everyone’s different. every disease is different and it’s unpredictable. so you can never get a doctor to tell you what you’re going to feel like in six months. I guess it makes sense, but it’s frustrating. I’m used to planning out my life. I’ve learned this from all the conferences I’ve been to. I like having everything in place a long time beforehand and I know exactly what I’m doing so this idea of just having to be flexible or not knowing what’s coming is hard, it’s very difficult.

A P R I L 2 0 1 1 | Th e Wat c h | 21


E N T E RTA I N M E N T

COMICS

Y

By alexanDeR kenneDy anD JaIMe suGIyaMa

Animal Farm: The Windmill

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Mortimer: The Final Transmission

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5181 Sackville Street

1545 Grafton Street

WHALES ARE HONEST


E N T E RTA I N M E N T

Youtube Awards

By yaMInI Coen anD kaTe Connolly IllusTRaTIons By BRaeDen Jones

Procrastination is essential when working towards an undergraduate degree, and we couldn’t have survived the academic year without these collective distractions.

If there were Oscars for Youtube trends at King’s, these would have been nominated for Best Picture.

5 4

What? you don’t like hipsters and babies? Do you even go to king’s?

So your Cat Wants a massage? simon and Garfunkle’s music has taught us many things, but mostly it taught us proper feline appreciation.

3 2

Home – Sung by Jorge and alexa narvaez

marcel the Shell with no Shoes on

everyone loved watching this despite feeling uncomfortable – but compared to what?

bed Intruder Song

Who knew that bad journalism choices could become such a successful hit? (The crowning moment was hearing this play at a grimy club.)

1

Friday – rebecca black

Don’t act like you haven’t watched it. I heard you quietly singing it at early happy hour. This was easily the biggest king’s youtube sensation. We are so excited for this to just go away.

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F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 1 | Th e Wat c h | 24

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2011. love, the king’s co-op bookstore

we’ve got what you need.

Watch April 2011  

Description