BCIT & BEYOND
STUDENT SPOTLIGHT Michael Lim
WASTE CASE A garbage story
FACULTY FOCUS Chris Brandt
ART FEATURE Logan Sandve
BBY / DTC / 3700 Willingdon Ave. SE2 Building, 3rd Floor ATC / BMC / AIC Burnaby, BC V5G 3H2 CONTRIBUTORS
Tanushree Pillai Ryan Judd Emily Vance Michael White Max Huang Nazanin Joorabchian
Catherine Garrett Graham Cox Eda Aktas Brianne Bruneau Sean Murphy Aaron Guillen
illustration: eda aktas
email@example.com 3 Introduction 4 Good News 16 Art Feature 28 Faculty Focus 30 Olympics
6 Student Spotlight
Aaron Guillen and Max Huang meet Michael Lim to talk Martial Arts and Marketing at BCIT.
Madeline Adams Lili Motaghedi
Recycling? Waste? Is this coffee cup compost or garbage? Tanushree Pillai digs deep and tries to get to the bottom of it.
Selenna Ho unpacks the complex movement, making a case for turning reactions into actions, as we try to end rape culture once and for all. Featuring art by Eda Aktas.
Dan Post Publisher
LINK is published 8 times annually and proudly printed on campus by Campus Print & Copy. Copies are distributed to all 5 BCIT campuses
LINK is a proud member of the Magazine Association of BC. www.magsbc.com
Featured Contributors Graham Cox
Broadcast and Online Journalism
24 Testing Patience
Michael White talks standardized testing and makes the case for alternative learning models at BCIT.
26 Trade Up Soft skills go a long way in the workforce. Emily Vance learns more about a new program that’s focusing on giving Indigenous Trades students a new tool for their toolbelts.
Graham’s goal is to one day be anchoring the desk at TSN or running his own sports media company. He loves photography, mountains, and the ‘ping’ sound following a perfect golf swing. His dislikes include: light switches on the outside of bathrooms, slow walkers that drift, and mustard-coloured things.
12 Waste Case
Bria is from Ladner in British Columbia, and plans on continuing her education with a fine arts degree. She enjoys painting, drawing, photography and most importantly, exploring the world and volunteering at animal shelters.
Intro February 2018 2018 February
What is black and white, and read all over?
On the cover: #MeToo is changing the way we think about the world. What does your reaction say about your involvement in the movement? (pg. 18) illustration: eda aktas
In tarot, one of my favourite cards is the fool. The fool starts the tarot journey with one foot dangling off a cliff in mid-stride, his eyes closed. He does not pray that things will be okay, or worry about the future when he steps off the cliff, instead he is at ease, because he knows that the universe will look out for him. This seems ridiculous, but the fool usually manages to come out unscathed. He is considered a fool because of his carefree nature and willingness to just go for it without much worry otherwise. For our writers, things may seem black and white at the beginning. Fuelled by enthusiasm and passion for a certain topic, they step off the cliff and into their article. But when writing a story on a complex issue, like those featured in this edition, they may have to draw the fool’s journey to untangle a story. The more layers we peel back, and the deeper we dive into a complex issue, the nmore grey things become. Even with all of the colours, visuals, and other aides available for telling stories, some solutions remain grey. Staring into the depths of a monstrous social issue like #MeToo is like staring down a long hallway with many different doors and directions one could take. When our Managing Editor Selenna Ho decided to tackle #MeToo back in November, she never anticipated the unique complexities, perspectives, and backgrounds that would be presented through research, experience, interviews, and opinions from our editorial team. The
photo max huang
grey areas, social dilemmas and debates on this topic kept the article perpetually unravelling and reinventing itself, proving that there is no simple answer or solution. Michael White was up in arms by the end of his research around the complexity of the public education system and its one-size-fits-all model. How could we ever solve this problem cleanly? Things seemed so cut and dry at the beginning. So dear reader, I ask you: What is black and white, and read all over? The answer: a newspaper. [pause for laughter]. Magazines on the other hand, like the one you’re holding now, well, they can be a little more complicated. Print media used to be limited to black ink printed on white paper during the reign of old-school printing presses. But nowadays, we can print hundreds of thousands of different ink colours on a CMYK printer, using crisp, high-res photography to their full potential. Throw in beautiful illustrations, alongside typography galore, and voilà – a pretty 32-page package for sharing stories from the BCIT student community. When our writers close their eyes and take the fool’s leap of faith into a topic they’re passionate about, we help them persevere through the grey, even if it means our February issue comes out a little late. Because hey, life is rarely black and white.
— Madeline Adams Assistant Publisher www.linkbcit.ca
Gettin’ techy with it Minister Melanie Mark (Advanced Education), announced recently that there will soon be a significant expansion in tech programming within post secondary schools in BC. It’s estimated that around 83,400 tech-related jobs will open up in BC by 2027, including positions for: computer programmers, information system analysts, and software engineers. There will also be investments that address gaps between computing and more traditional sectors, like arts or health. Millions of dollars are being invested because, as BCIT Associate Dean Bethany Edmunds puts it, “Technology isn’t just a sector, it’s an integral part of every industry.” Out of the 2,900 tech-related post-secondary spaces being implemented in BC, 300 will be designated for BCIT.
photo courtesy Burnaby Now
Social sandwich Have you heard about the not-for-profit lunch spot across the street from the Burnaby campus, where they’re serving up sandwiches with a side of social services? Burnaby Family Life (BFL) is the organization running the BFL Café inside the BCIT Cari Building offering delicious and affordable sandwiches and daily specials. Burnaby Family Life aims to break barriers, increase understanding, and promote diversity. They offer over a 100 programs and social services to members of the community in Burnaby and the surrounding area. Their services range from: childcare, counselling, parenting support groups, vulnerable population support, and more. So the next time you’re craving lunch, make a difference trying something different. www.burnabyfamilylife.org
photo: Nic Fleming / (theguardian.com)
The power of 2
Think pink February 28th is Pink shirt day. This year the foundation is focusing on cyberbullying. With the popularity of smartphones and social media, everyone is online nowadays. If a child is being bullied online, it’s especially problematic since it’s harder to escape in the age of social. 1 in 5 children will be affected by bullying in their lifetime and it’s time to put an end to it. Wear a pink shirt to show your support on February 28th, and tweet nice! www.pinkshirtday.ca/
Brian Harper has invented the UK’s first poopowered street lamp, which draws energy from the bio-gas emitted from dog feces. His invention is the result of his frustration over dog owners leaving their poop on walkways and parks, or baggies left in trees. He estimates that 10 bags of dog poo could power a street light for approximately two hours. Humans first harnessed the power of poo back in the neolithic period by using decaying organic matter (like feces) to give off a flammable gas. Although similar systems have been used in developing nations around the world, Harper hopes to implement the technology in the UK parks to keep things clean and bright, and to showcase the power of #2.
BCIT got WEC’d Last month, BCIT became the first polytechnic institute to host the Western Engineering Competition, an annual studentorganized competition that tests young engineers in the fields of design, innovation and discourse. It was a huge success. We sent writer Austin Czerwinski out to WEC to drop-in on the competition and meet some of the teams visiting from across Western Canada. Austin came back with some great tales of young minds bursting with innovative ideas, like an app that finds you free food on campus! BCIT historically does very well at this competition, but you’ll have to visit our blog to find out how we did this year, and whether or not our students will be heading off to the Finals in Toronto. www.linkbcit.ca
Student Spotlight Michael Lim
Limitless words aaron guillen photos max huang
Michael Lim made a name for himself as a well-known Filipino Jiu-jitsu competitor before he was diagnosed with a disease that attacked his spine and shattered his dreams of ever becoming World Champion. Today, Michael battles for new dreams, co-founding a health business in the Philippines, while studying in BCIT’s Marketing Management Entrepreneur Option. Though Michael’s disease knocked him to the ground, it won’t stop him from getting up and taking his life back into his own hands.
How did you first get involved with martial arts? When I was three years old, my dad let my brother and I watch UFC. We saw people beat each other up, and it was crazy. From that moment on, I really wanted to get into that. At 5, I joined Taekwondo. At 6, I was using stakes and machetes. At 9, I was doing mixed martial arts like boxing, kickboxing, muay thai, judo, and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. By the time I was 11, I started competing internationally. How much focus and determination does it take to compete internationally? When I was competing back then, it was my only priority. My dream was to become the Jiu-jitsu World Champion and have a black belt. I wanted to be the person everyone looked up to. I reached pretty high in the Philippines; I made a name for myself and my twin brother. When I was 11, I won my first international gold medal. You have to be obsessed to win medals.
Tell me about your disease. In 2012, I started feeling pain in my hips and left side of my lower back. It kept getting worse while I was training, but I ignored it. In 2014, my pain went away and that year was the best run of my career. In early 2015, it came back, but on my right side. The pain made me miserable; I couldnâ€™t even walk or sleep well. At times, I was paralyzed with pain. Within that timeframe, I saw specialists, spine surgeons, and physiotherapists who couldnâ€™t figure out what was going on. They said it was from a previous injury, misaligned hips, or a pinched nerve. In October 2017, I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), an autoimmune disease that is slowly fusing my spine together. The doctors recommended that I have a drug administered to me each month, but it suppresses my immune system. I decided not to choose that option, but instead go with a low-starch diet which made me really thin.
As soon as you figure out those emotions in your life and deal with them, you can start to feel the difference. I believe with all my heart it’s helping me to get better.
What does AS feel like? Imagine someone had a knife and they stabbed you repeatedly. Your muscles feel like they’re being electrocuted every time you move. It’s a pain beyond words.
How did you feel when you found out? I spent almost five years trying to find out what was going on with me in the first place, so when I found out, I was sort of relieved. At the same time though, I was destroyed inside. All this time I had some hope remaining that I would recover and win the World Championship title. When the doctor diagnosed me, it felt like he confirmed that I was going to suffer like this for the rest of my life. People who have AS tend to live shorter lives. How do you treat your AS now? When I was on my low-starch diet, I could count the things I could eat on one hand. I found that this diet only suppressed my symptoms, so I stopped doing it. I follow a life coach that has had AS before and is helping people with AS to get better. He explained how people like us have gone through childhood trauma and were obsessive. These things have built up negative emotions in my unconscious mind and my mind thought it was destructive, so it gave me physical symptoms to distract from these pent-up emotions. Medical doctors won’t believe this, but I believe that I’m recovering from self-psychotherapy. As soon as you figure out those emotions in your life and deal with them, you can start to feel the difference. I believe with all my heart it’s helping me to get better. I made this up, you know? It’s your body destroying itself. Life is normal now without Jiu-jitsu and I feel optimistic that I’ll be back to 100% one day.
What made you move to Vancouver? My uncle was a successful business man and he went to BCIT. I came here under the intention of training to participate in Jiu-jitsu competitions in the States. Looking back, I realize that I was running away from a life I didn’t want to live. There were a lot of expectations that I couldn’t satisfy.s
I chased medals and glory and relied on those for happiness. Now I know that I can be something, even though I have nothing.
What were those expectations? I have a twin brother and he was doing very well in Jiu-jitsu as well. I felt like I couldn’t keep up with him. I grew up always being compared to him. Everywhere I went, I would be identified by my gold medals and titles. It’s all anyone talked about and I couldn’t do it anymore. I didn’t want to fully admit that, but now I’m more true to myself. Tell us about your business. It’s called Limitless Fitness and Martial Arts. I helped build the foundation of the company and my twin brother runs it in Davao, Philippines. Many of our customers are gold medalists, international champions, and others are there for recreational purposes. What’s the toughest part about being an entrepreneur? Just getting yourself out there. You have to think if you’re really going to commit yourself to a project. It’s essentially just having tolerance for ambiguity. Right now, I’m putting myself out there and maybe I’m in the process of failing, but I haven’t been there yet.
You’re a member of BCIT’s Enactus club. Why did you join? I joined when I found out I was diagnosed. I felt like I’ve been living my life too selfishly, and I think it’s time to give back. I’m involved in two projects; one of them educates refugees to help them get jobs and into post secondary institutions, and the other is a plastic waste recycling initiative. Have you moved on from Jiu-jitsu? I’ve realized that it doesn’t have to be me anymore. I focused on it so much and it was everything. I chased medals and glory and relied on those for happiness. Now I know that I can be something, even though I have nothing. Where do you hope to be in five years? A person that is independent and 100% committed to a business. I want to give back to the community in some way, especially to people who have suffered from AS.
Waste Case Tanushree Pillai digs through a pile of research to get to the bottom of waste management in Canada.
Here I am standing before a bank of colour-coded waste bins at the BCIT campus, struggling to figure out which one should receive my coffee cup. And what about the lid? And the brown paper bag that my bagel came in? Just then, another student passes by and mindlessly dumps a whole tray of mixed garbage into a single bin marked ‘Waste.’ It’s the perfect analogy for the state of waste in our society and it got me thinking much more about why we generate so much of it, what we’re doing to manage it all, how other countries treat their waste, and if it’s really possible to live in a zero-waste society.
is repeated in every neighbourhood, in every city. So imagine my shock when I moved to Canada and discovered that not only was I expected to separate my trash, I actually had to take it to the bin myself! No sooner had I grown accustomed to this philosophy, when news broke this year that China was banning import trash from developed nations. Import trash? I think most of us would’ve assumed that countries typically only import items they can’t produce themselves, like food or electronics. I certainly didn’t know that waste is an importable item, or that waste can be contaminated, and that there are different grades of waste depending on how it’s managed... I had so many questions.
I grew up in India, where waste is an everyday part of life. We generate it as individuals, as big families, as businesses, and there is simply one kind of garbage. Until moving here I, like the other 1.2 billion people in India, had never sorted my waste. Some households keep their washroom and kitchen waste separate for hygienic purposes, but every morning, when the ‘kachra wala’ (garbage man in Mumbai slang) rings your doorbell to collect your trash, everything is dumped into one big bin that he lugs around and finally dumps in the garbage truck parked outside the apartment building. The truck rolls away, packed to the hilt with all kinds of open trash, and takes it to a city dumping ground where it is incinerated. You can see the fumes from miles away. This story
So let’s start at the beginning — or is it the end?
aste. It’s an all-encompassing term that can refer to many forms of the unwanted. Waste can be solid, liquid or gas. It comes from households, industries, even our bodies. It’s not even objectively obvious what counts as waste or garbage (think: one person’s trash is another person’s treasure). Recycling counts as waste too, and used clothing. For the sake of simplicity, and the scope of my research, let’s just define waste as: materials that we no longer have use for, and want to get rid of. In the conext of the many bins at BCIT, I’m talking about stuff like: packaging, food scraps and recyclables.
1 Tetra Tech. 2017. “2017 Multi-Family Residential Waste Composition Study.” MetroVancouver. http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/solid-waste/SolidWastePublications/2017MetroVancouverMulti-familyWasteCompositionStudy.pdf 2 World Bank. 2017. “Solid Waste Management.” http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/urbandevelopment/brief/solid-waste-management
3 Merrington, Andrew. 2015. “New Study Reveals the Global Impact of Debris on Marine Life.” Plymouth University. February 19 2015. https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/news/new-study-reveals-the-global-impact-of-debris-on-marine-life
4 4Ocean. 2017. “How Much Trash is in Our Ocean?” https://4ocean.com/blogs/blog/how-much-trash-is-in-our-ocean
Environment Waste management
a long and complicated journey. Since sorting really needs to happen at the consumer level (more on that later), most of that waste you dumped in the bin arrives at the local landfill (the closest one is in Ladner) where it is dumped into piles, pushed around using big burping machinery, and ultimately buried in the ground alongside all the other household trash, even concrete and construction waste. Some waste heads to the incinerator, typically organic waste (fruit and vegetable waste, lawn trimmings, even animal poop – all of which is biodegradable and could be turned into compost), but also some types of hazardous waste (anything that is inflammable, reactive, corrosive, or toxic, including batteries and lamps). In the incinerator, waste is burned and transformed from solid to gas. It might seem like a nice tidy little magic trick – poof it’s gone – but rest assured, it’s still here.
photo ryan judd
I’ve never been the type of person to just ‘set it & forget it,’ and I’m a naturally curious person. Clearly these colour-coded bins are demanding us on some level to consider the lifecycle of waste once it leaves our hands. Clearly there are separate ways to manage all the different kinds of waste, and not all waste is treated the same. I realized that while I’m asked to participate in this lifecycle, I don’t know much about it. So here goes: Waste Management 101; Tanu-style.
How much are we talkin’?
In BC alone, approximately 2.3-million tonnes of municipal solid waste was disposed of in 2015. In Metro Vancouver itself, 212 kgs of waste were generated per person per year1. Urbanization, increasing household income, and a rapidly changing millennial lifestyle combine together to drive Canadians’ consumption, thereby leading to a marked increase in the waste generated per capita. Globally, a whopping 1.3 billion tonnes of solid waste were generated by the world’s cities per year as of 20122. This means each one of us had a waste footprint of 1.2 kgs per day. The World Bank says that municipal waste generation is expected to rise to 2.2 billion tonnes by 2025. New York ranks number one when it comes to “creating” waste. The city generates 14 million tonnes of trash each year, followed by Mexico City, which wastes 12 million tonnes per year, then Tokyo, Los Angeles and Mumbai. After that: Istanbul, Jakarta, and Cairo. Nationally, India generates 100,000 metric tonnes of waste per day.
Where does it all go?
Once that tray of scraps, and wrappers, and cups, and lids leaves your hand and tumbles into that black plastic bag, it begins 5 The World Counts. N.D. http://www.theworldcounts.com/counters/waste_pollution_facts/plastic_bags_used_per_year 6 Encyclopedia. 2017. “Waste Disposal.” https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/united-states-and-canada/us-history/waste-disposal
At this point, I don’t imagine I need to explain to you why waste is bad for the environment. Here in BC, the level of public education is pretty high (bus shelters, radio ads, news stories, local organizations, demonstrations, etc.). But here’s a quick crash course. Our ecosystems are severely impacted by the waste we generate and, furthermore, the ways we manage it. Nevermind the bigger problem that we can’t seem to slow down our production of waste, we can’t even seem to sort it properly and it can end up in places that I think we can all agree is a bad place for waste. Take our oceans for example. Research conducted by Plymouth University3, found that nearly 700 marine species are in danger from waste, and there were 44,000 different sea creatures that were found entangled in waste. Most of that is plastic, especially plastic bags. In 2017 alone, the world produced at least 275-billion plastic bags4. Every second, 160,000 plastic bags are made5. Plastic bags blow away on their way to the landfill, and plastic litter on the streets becomes a risk even before collection. Natural forces like rain and wind, help transport this litter and the fly-away plastic to our drains and sewage, where they then find their way to our rivers and, ultimately, our oceans.
What is waste management?
Waste management as a concept started somewhere around the 18th Century. Industrialization led to a sudden increase in waste generated and it wasn’t until 1751 that London, England took the first step to establish a waste collection system. To this day, waste management is still an unknown concept in developing and underdeveloped economies6. The practice of waste separation is mostly only followed in the developed world, but even Canada didn’t adopt waste management until after the Second World War For the longest of time, waste either went to the landfill or the incinerator. Today however, waste management in Canada is an $8 billion industry 7. New York manages its waste through two separate systems, one public and one private. The public one handles waste from households and government buildings. This “public waste,” which accounts for about a quarter of the city’s total, is collected by New York’s Department of Sanitation (DSNY). Waste generated by private companies/businesses are collected by contracted companies that are paid for by those generating waste. continued...
7 Statistics Canada. 2017. “Waste Management Industry: Business and Government Sectors 2017.” http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170324/dq170324c-eng.pdf
photo ryan judd In Mumbai, a city with 7 “mini-cities” within itself, waste segregation is a foreign concept. While the city has a rule that says residents must segregate waste, there are no treatment centres and everything eventually is dumped into the three landfills that cater to its nearly 10,000 metric tonnes of waste per day.
see here in English Bay carrying products that line the shelves of almost every country around the world. Given the position China holds in global manufacturing, in 2016 local manufacturers there imported over 163 million metric tonnes of waste materials from developed countries — making for an industry worth nearly $90 billion (USD).
The economy of waste
Which brings me to the China crisis.
If you’re like me, I bet you didn’t even know that we were selling waste to China then buying it back in a different form. China’s move to ban certain kinds of ‘yang laji’ (foreign garbage) is two-fold: it forces their manufactures to use local waste/by-products, because the imported plastic was found to be the leading cause of dangerous levels of toxins in its soil, water and air. This ban will also act as a major stimulus to kick China’s own waste management and recycling program into more action. This ban has obviously given rise to a lot of concern for the developed countries, like Canada and the US, who must now take a hard look at what to do with all their recycled waste. Canada now faces the reality that it must find new ways to manage its waste. Indonesia, Thailand and India are among the countries still accepting foreign recyclables, but there is stiff competition when it comes to product quality.
In July of last year, the Chinese government announced that it was banning 24 categories of imported waste products including mixed paper, textiles and different kinds of plastic. This waste comes from developed countries, because China uses it to make millions of different plastic products, the kind that arrive daily on ships like those we
Here in BC, the effect isn’t believed to be so damaging. Other provinces like Nova Scotia and Alberta are struggling with this decision because they depend on China to take nearly 80% of their plastic. Halifax is considering going back to burying plastic bags in landfills while Calgary already has 5,000 tonnes of paper and plastics stored
Waste and consumerism go hand-in-hand. The more we consume, the more we waste. The more waste we make, the more that cities and countries need our taxes to treat it. Essentially, for every coffee cup I buy, I’m also spending money to dispose of it. Now imagine the millions of coffee cups overflowing from bins around this city alone, and how much money we spend in getting rid of those cups so that they don’t threaten the environment. At the end of the day, waste management is a business. In Canada, municipal solid waste is regulated by the provinces and territories and managed by the waste management industry under contract to municipal or regional authorities, or managed by municipal authorities directly. On an average, a staggering $3 billion is spent annually by local governments to dispose off this waste.8
in shipping containers and warehouses until there is a sustainable solution. Halifax recently debated a ban on plastic bags but has put the decision on hold until further review. BC’s waste is managed by the industryoperated non-profit organization RecycleBC. They have said that BC produces high-quality recycled materials, which means China will likely still accept what the province exports. Here in BC, we recycle a lot of our own waste and there is more of a push to get households and industries to separate their trash, leading to less contamination and a higher quality of recycled waste. Of course this model puts a lot of onus on the consumer to sort their waste properly, when some would argue that manufactures should take more responsibility in producing less packaging, release fewer iterations of the latest gadget, and rethink the marketing message that goes into driving our consumption. Until then though, the responsibility is mostly on us to make choices. Do you ever wonder what happens if you make the wrong choice when you’re standing in front of those bins, and toss that dirty coffee cup into the recycling? Every municipality treats coffee cups differently. Some say it’s okay to recycle it in the blue bin (as a ‘mixed container’ and not ‘paper recycling’), but only after you’ve rinsed it. The lid is also accepted as long as they are separated from the cup. Some municipalities reject coffee cups outright, saying they should go to the bottle return depot instead. Coffee cups contaminate the rest of the recycling materials and can result
8 Statistics Canada. 2017. “Waste management industry: Business and government sectors, 2014.” http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170324/dq170324c-eng.htm
in the entire lot being rejected. You might have thought you were doing the right thing, or simply got confused by the many signs, but that cup (if you bought it from a major franchise) is typically lined with plastic inside to help keep your drink warm. That plastic makes it unrecyclable and if enough of these cups end up in one lot of recyclables, then countries like China can reject the entire lot because of contamination. With more than 2 million cups trashed every week, that’s a lot of potential for contamination. Your best bet? Avoid the confusion: buy a reusable coffee cup (they sell them on campus at Geared Up, The Stand and the bookstore) and get into the habit of keeping it in your backpack or locker How are we managing? In 2013, the Conference Board of Canada gave Canada a ‘D’ ranking in its review of partnering countries’ waste management on a municipal level. The report said that Canadians produce 777 kgs per capita of municipal waste, twice as much as number one-ranked Japan. The province of BC has since set provincial waste disposal targets with a long-term goal of lowering the municipal solid waste disposal rate to 350 kgs per person by 20209. Nationally, Canadians diverted 255 kgs of waste per person from landfills in 2014. Among the provinces, residents of Prince Edward Island diverted the most waste per capita at 429 kgs per person, followed by residents of British Columbia, who diverted 358 kgs per person.10 Canada has also now dedicated Waste Reduction Week, to be followed this year
from October 15-21, encouraging Canadians to focus on reducing food waste and reusing products before discarding them as waste. Take your morning coffee for example. Did you know that Canadians use nearly 3 million coffee pods every day that ultimately end up in the landfill? In our current model, the focus is on a circular economy where ownership comes second to access. What does this mean? Let’s take clothes for example. As individuals, we focus more on owning/buying new clothes than being satisfied with the outfits we already own. Now apply this same concept to every item we own and imagine the decrease in waste we could see if we swapped, shared and repurposed those items instead of buying new ones. Recycling alone is not enough though. The issue with recycling is that it requires time, resources and money that many taxpayers aren’t thrilled to spend. The answer lies in zero-waste, wherein we reduce our consumption, design and distribute fewer products, and eliminate by-products that need to be burned or buried. There is an ethical way to look at the lifecycle of a product, starting with rethinking the way we buy and consume. Recycling is often confused with zero-waste. While recycling is one way of waste management, zero-waste does not involve any management, rather, a systematic way of reducing what we consume. What does zero-waste look like? It means we stop consuming coffee in disposable cups. It means we repair what we have, instead of tossing it and replacing it with something new. It means we refurbish
old items to reuse them. Zero-waste is as much an individual way of living as it is an industrial one. Recently, the Super Bowl made news when it was announced the event would be zero-waste. The initiative is called Rush2Recycle involved around 200 employees and volunteers there to educate visitors about what can be recycled, composted, or thrown away. Every year, more than 50,000 fans attend the event and generate nearly 40 tonnes of trash which eventually makes its way to landfills and incinerators. Closer to home, BCIT is also looking at ways to make its campuses zero-waste by employing: composting and recycling programs, initiatives to reduce toxics, plastic waste, and paper usage, initiatives to use local sustainable low-packaging foods, and a stormdrain marking program to reduce toxins in wastewater at the Burnaby campus. As individuals, we can all make small contributions that are sustainable in the long run. Zero-waste may seem like a pipe dream, but it is attainable. It takes time and thought, but our collective efforts as society would ensure our ecosystems are protected. So the next time you stand in front of those coloured bins, think: did you really have to generate that trash in the first place? Would reusing a container and coffee tumbler have helped reduce your waste? And remember, don’t just dump all your trash into the waste bin. Together we can make a difference. What are you doing in your daily life to improve our waste problem? Tweet at us! We’d love to hear from you. Twitter: @linkbcit
9 Conference Board of Canada. 2013. “Municipal Waste Generation.” http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/Details/Environment/municipal-waste-generation.aspx 10 Giroux, Laurie. 2014. “State of Waste Management in Canada.” Giroux Environmental Consulting. https://www.ccme.ca/files/Resources/waste/wst_mgmt State_Waste_Mgmt_in_Canada%20April%202015%20revised.pdf
Spoons! from beach, to bowl
Artist: Logan Sandve
3rd Year BCIT Joinery Apprenticeship Program Instagram: @logansandve
Art Feature Logan Sandve
photo courtesy Page + Paper photography
Logan Sandve is a full-time furniture maker based in East Vancouver. He works for Union Wood Co. during the day, and at night makes small wooden goods from reclaimed materials, like beautifully patinated driftwood, scraps from the studio, or branches after a wind storm. Logan was drawn to carving spoons as a way to be creative and work with his hands. He loves the detailed and methodical nature of carving. Spoons have an important place in our lives by helping us cook and eat every day, so it fascinates Logan to make such a pivotal tool and to be able to play with how it looks and how it feels in your hand.
Contact with Logan directly through Instagram @logansandve to get in touch or purchase some of his woodwork. Logan will also be running an introduction to spoonmaking workshop on March 24th at Union Wood Co. Learn more or register online at unionwoodco.com under â€˜Workshops.â€™
words selenna ho illustrations eda aktas
Turning reaction into real action. “This #MeToo thing has gone too far.” “How am I supposed to interact with women now?!” “Am I allowed to be a part of the movement?”
The #MeToo movement unoffically began in October 2017 when actor Alyssa Milano tweeted: “If all women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me Too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” Since then, we’ve seen an avalanche of sexual violence disclosures hit the headlines. The proliferation of what has now become a global movement is largely positive: we’re finally highlighting the prevalence of rape culture in Western society, and moving towards a healthier future. The challenge now is in getting people to understand and accept their role in perpetuating rape culture. I believe a lot can be gleaned from our individual reactions to #MeToo. Only once we acknowledge that how we feel about this movement reflects largely on our participation in it, can we move forward and begin changing our world, and ourselves, for the better.
#MeToo History Tarana Burke originally founded the Me Too movement in 2006 as a non-profit that helps survivors of sexual violence. According to the original website (metoomvmt.org/), over 17,700,000 women have reported a sexual assault since 1998. The figures seem astonishing, to the point where it’s almost unbelievable. But the fact that even more millions of survivors have felt pressured to stay silent is the truly overwhelming issue at hand.
Feature Gender-based violence
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the complexity and sensitivity of this topic, good. You’re the exact person I want to read this. Rape culture has always been here whether you knew it before #MeToo or not. Rape culture can be defined as: a culture that normalizes and glorifies sexualized violence, creating a sense of entitlement to other peoples’ physical, emotional, and sexual beings without consent. It’s no stretch to say that we’ve all contributed to rape culture in some way in our lives; afterall, it’s how we’re taught, be it from people in power, or in the media we produce and consume (ie: blockbuster films, popular music, and video games). Rape culture persists in many forms, from slut-shaming women who dress a certain way, to mocking men who haven’t yet had sex, to pressuring a romantic partner into acts they’re uncomfortable with.
conversations I’ve had with my male friends, many guys tend to be apprehensive about the movement because they are unsure of where they fit into it. My friends have asked questions like: “If I’m a man, am I allowed to be a part of this movement?” “This movement makes me scared to interact with women… What if I do something wrong?” and “How am I supposed to react?!” From these conversations, it’s clear to me that a lot of men have little-to-no resources available to help them understand how they feel, and how to take action in relation to #MeToo.
Until now, rape culture has persisted right under noses and many of us would quickly deny participating in it. The power of #MeToo comes from the overwhelming acknowledgment of just how prevalent it is in all of our lives, and how much we have contributed to it. Because of that, most people don’t know how to respond, and are experiencing a whole myriad of personal reactions. As the movement grew – and continues to grow – I’ve been observing the reactions of men around me mostly. I’ve been having difficult, yet in-depth conversations with the men in my life (as I hope many of you are), which has led me to conclude that there are not enough resources for men to understand their emotional reactions to the troubling declarations of sexual assault/harassment survivors. So I decided to write this article in response to the men who want to make sense of their struggle to understand #MeToo and their role in the movement.
Here I hope to address why people (men in particular) experience certain feelings and reactions towards #MeToo, and what progressive actions can be taken in response. First I brainstormed with my teammates at the magazine (both men and women) and came up with a list of the most common emotions men tend to experience as a result of the #MeToo revelations. We based our list off of conversations we’ve all had lately with men in our lives, and from information gathered by organizations and professionals that specialize in transforming societal definitions of what it means to be a “man.” I invite you now to consider your initial reaction that first time someone you cared about posted #MeToo on their social media feed, and your reaction now, as more and more stories emerge almost daily. You likely have felt a range of emotions, so I invite you to explore some of the most common reactions with me. This is a safe space — it’s just you and I here — so be honest with yourself and take the time to consider which category you feel best reflects you. Then, decide what actions you might want to take moving forward.
The #MeToo Movement is a complex and heavy topic, and for many people, especially those with no prior background on feminist issues, this movement can be very confusing. Afterall, social media is where this movement is mostly taking place, and where so many of us get our information about how others react and behave. But social media is full of conflicting information and misguided opinions about #MeToo. The good news? Most of the people I talk to about #MeToo are either major supporters with a strong knowledge of feminism, or they are people who want to be better supporters, but are still confused about what is happening and why. To be honest, most people in that second category are men. This is a big problem and ultimately, the core reason #MeToo exists. Many people don’t understand their own role in the #MeToo movement, and men in particular lack the resources to comprehend and act accordingly. From the
Fear seems to be the most common response in men. If you’ve ever dared to read the comments sections online you will know this. Some of the fear-driven responses include slut-shaming (“She was asking for it”), accusing survivors of lying, (“There’s two sides to every story ya know”), or jumping on the bandwagon (“She just wants attention”). Essentially, fear-based responses sound like people fighting back against #MeToo. And to some extent that makes sense. Humans are biologically built for ‘fight or flight,’ responses, and many people are conditioned to fight when their body feels fear. But why does the #MeToo movement make us feel afraid? #MeToo has forced us to consider our role in rape culture, in varying degrees of severity. It has unequivocally proven to us that rape culture is commonplace, whether we want to believe it or not, and that is a terrifying realization. Rape culture
Any sexual act or act targeting a person’s sexuality, gender identity, or gender expression, which is committed, threatened or attempted against a person without their consent. Examples include; sexual harassment, stalking, indecent exposure, voyeurism, and distribution of a sexually explicit images.
Any kind of unwanted sexual touching or the threat of sexual touching without the individual’s consent. Sexual assault is not always about sexual desire. It is about power, control and privilege.
The culture that normalizes and glorifies sexualized violence, creating violence, and a sense of entitlement to other people’s physical, emotional, and sexual beings without consent.
and sexual violence manifests in language and actions that exist on a graduated scale, from derogatory language and “locker room talk,” to gender-based stereotypes and pay gaps, all the way up to the more extreme end of escalated sexual violence. While the majority of men are not sexually violent, most simply do not understand how their actions at the bottom levels contribute to actions at the top. I think an honest look at their actions will easily reveal to men their contributions at that bottom level. However, if men find themselves identifying with that bottom level, the point of the #MeToo movement is not to be afraid and hide our feelings; rather, the movement invites us to acknowledge and consider our own actions, then take the steps towards a healthier future. But for men in particular, openly admitting to contributing to rape culture can be very difficult, because admitting participation, even in the small and (sadly) common ways that men do, can feel emasculating. To admit that you have behaved like this and you were wrong is a major contradiction to traditional masculinity where men do not show weakness. Men inherently become a part of rape culture in order to gain status as a “man” (ex. “Don’t be such a pussy!”). Derogatory terms that shame feminine and non-heterosexual attributes tend to heighten a male’s masculinity status. Moreover, men have fewer emotional resources to turn to when they come to terms with how they are feeling, and openly admit to their actions. Traditionally, men who open up either face punishment or ostracization from their social group. Men tend to fight against that fear by pushing back against the movement that exposes them, as a defensive and protective mechanism of their own social status. Anger looks a lot like fear and usually has two major components: the outward expressions of rage, and the internal emotional struggles (we tend to feel angry when we truly care about something). From what I’ve seen and heard, many people feel really angry in response to #MeToo because they are horrified by the actions of the perpetrators. Men in particular will immediately ostracize and emasculate a perpetrator as a means of protecting those around them. At the same time, when men do this, it isn’t always the most productive response for long-term solutions: the perpetrator will then have no community to help him right his wrongs, and the “innocent” men don’t face their own involvement in rape culture (afterall, blaming and isolating someone else for their involvement in rape culture makes it easier for you to not have to consider your own). Men accused of contributing to rape culture also tend to respond with anger to defend against the accusations, but also to defend against their own inner realization. Afterall, anger is usually a sign that someone is not ready to face a deeper issue that’s hiding behind the anger – that he was a perpetrator of rape culture. Because of the magnitude of the #MeToo campaign, many people, both directly and indirectly, experience the anger that brews all around it.
Men may feel Guilt when they recognize themselves and their actions in the stories emerging from #MeToo. Guilt is only natural when one is ready to acknowledge their involvement in rape culture, and when other emotional reactions no longer mask one’s complicity. For men in particular, guilt can be very difficult to face, because men usually lack a strong, healthy social support system in which to confide. Talking about feelings is not seen as manly. As such, men may turn to other forms of escape from their feelings, such as alcohol or drugs, in order to feel temporarily safe. But when men repeat this cycle of running away, they only increase the pain; they become their own worst nightmare and make their lives even more challenging, complicated, and emotional. The best way for men to confront guilt is by finding a real safe place to disclose their involvement. Maybe that’s your parents, a close friend, or a professional. At the same time, men may still feel stuck in a paradox of sorts: when a man chooses to admit that he has participated in something as awful as rape culture, he makes himself vulnerable and might risk losing his masculine social status. That can be a scary new space, but the truth is, being emotionally vulnerable is actually a major sign of strength and security in oneself. Although the only real remedy to guilt is to openly talk about it, we also have to understand the complex and underlying social dynamics that many men face when confronting #MeToo. For this I turned to Ryan Avola, a local organizer who works with a team of sexual health educators to deliver a program called iGuy, where boys in grades 4-7 learn to build healthy relationships, and talk openly about their emotions, no matter how difficult it may be. Avola acknowledges that while they are finding young boys to be receptive to changing the definition of masculinity, it is more difficult for older men who have been so normalized to rape culture and toxic masculinities for most of their lives. Avola says his hopes are that a growing branch of feminism which promotes healthy male masculinities will transform guilt and silence into conversations. Shame is a very powerful emotion, and like guilt, it can be an indicator that you (or people close to you) have done something you know to be wrong. Moreover, shame can only truly be understood once you’ve gone through a range of other emotions, like those I’ve already discussed. Men who feel personal shame in response to #MeToo tend to fall into two different categories: the protector and the perpetrator. Men are often socialized to be protectors of those they care for. When men find out that a loved one was sexually assaulted (perhaps hearing it for the first time on Twitter) their initial reaction through the lens of ‘the protector’ may be shame for not preventing the assault. The perpetrator, on the other hand, may feel shame for their role in hurting another person, which not only emasculates him, but also labels him as a monster – especially if it’s a public exposure or direct naming, he
then becomes the poster boy for rape culture. The interesting thing to note here is that protectors, perpetrators and survivors may all be feeling shame from the same action. That shame lends itself to fear of being seen differently by society, which prevents all three of them from talking about their experiences. Right now, there are more resources available to healing survivors than there are for rehabilitating perpetrators. From a holistic standpoint, it could be helpful if men who committed acts of sexual violence also had better access to confronting their own actions, and learning and healing from it. So what steps can be taken? As it is with survivors of gender-based violence, ‘protectors’ needs to recognize that there was likely nothing they could have done to stop that specific situation from happening; it was not their fault. But they could use this opportunity to consider the many ways that their day-to-day behaviours (those derogatory comments on Instagram, stereotypes they uphold at work and in class, and the “locker room talk” they participate in amongst friends) contribute to a culture of violence. The perpetrator needs to own up to their actions, first to themself, and then to someone they trust. At BCIT, there are a number of people who are educated and dedicated to eradicating rape culture, no matter where you fit into it. They are willing to listen and to offer a way forward. (see resources at end). Fatigue is another common reaction to the inescapable volume of #MeToo conversations in your social feeds, your favourite shows, the news, the radio, and around the dinner table. You might be getting tired of confronting all of the intense emotions, and you’re overwhelmed; emotionally drained. If this is you, the best thing you can do is take care of yourself. You can’t become an active supporter and agent of change if you’re not mentally, emotionally, or physically ready. Then, once you feel ready, decide how little or how much you want to be involved in the #MeToo movement. You will always be affected by the underlying culture driving #MeToo in some capacity, because rape culture will take a very long time to change and this is no flash-in-the-pan movement. We’ve crossed a threshold now as a society. So you should pace yourself, and take necessary self-care measures (such as talking to loved ones, exercising, and meditating) to recover from these big, emotional responses. Don’t let these negative feelings consume you. It’s valuable to recognize that if #MeToo is draining you, it’s an important signal to how significant the movement is in your life and those around you. You can always choose how involved you want to be, but the #MeToo messages will always affect you. It is healthier to take a break when you need it, and come back to the emotions when you’re ready, rather than to shut them out completely. Empathy/Sadness is a common reaction if you have experienced, or know someone who has experienced, sexual assault or other forms of gender-based violence. If you feel empathy or sadness, this probably means you possess a lot of self-awareness and compassion for survivors, while also recognizing your own role in rape culture and the depth of its roots in our society. Empathy is probably the strongest emotion to leverage the #MeToo movement, because it helps you understand the perspectives of multiple people, and what steps are needed to improve our everyday lives. Back at iGuy, Ryan Avola encourages men and boys to leverage those feelings of empathy and
sadness to connect with their inner selves, which in turn will lead to stronger relationships. Fully appreciating these complex emotions increases self-awareness, which will only further the steps toward eradicating rape culture. However, if your sadness becomes overwhelming, be sure to talk to others; afterall, you need to be in good condition to tackle any major movement. Lastly, there is always the chance you feel nothing. You may be experiencing Shock or Numbness; a state of being where everything just seems frozen – from your emotions, to your body. At this point you truly don’t know what to do. Your body and mind are telling you that you are not ready to process all of this information, and you will need some time to do so. In that time, you need to find means to take care of yourself, whether that’s playing sports, watching TV, or reading a book – whatever makes you feel good. I do want to emphasize here the difference between feeling shock and experiencing shock value. I’ve heard a lot of people say they were “shocked” when they first saw Anthony Rapp tell his #MeToo story, because many believed #MeToo was solely a woman’s issue. This is an example of when a story has shock-value, which makes people remember the story for its uniqueness. However, this is not the feeling of actual shock, whereby you’re at a total loss over your emotions, words, and actions. Like fatigue, numbness can result from the sheer proliferation of #MeToo, and can lead to hiding or pushing away your emotions because you’re not ready to face them. It’s rare to feel nothing from something so big and something that has most likely impacted so many people in your life, maybe even yourself, so pay attention to numbness when you’re feeling it, because it might be telling you something important. Sometimes pushing away your feelings is an automatic response (the ‘flight’ part of ‘fight or flight’), but the important thing is to acknowledge and accept any feelings you have, and then find a healthy means to access them, and an outlet in which to share them.
“What’s important is not which reaction you identify with, but what you do next to channel those feelings into helping yourself, and others.” If you’re like me, and probably many of us, you might be feeling a combination of all possible reactions. What’s important is not which reaction you identify with, but what you do next to channel those feelings into helping yourself, and others, as we work toward understanding and actively participating in this movement. If you’re a man, you might be confused about your role in #MeToo, and how to move beyond reaction and into real action. Men rarely get taught or encouraged to accept, process, and channel their feelings into action. This repression of feelings contributes to rape culture because it further supports society’s concept of what it means to be male. While not all men are sexually violent, statistics prove that gender-based violence is largely perpetuated by men, and the foundation of rape culture is built on toxic masculinities. There is a branch of feminism though that focuses on masculinity, and as the #MeToo movement strengthens, so do the number of organizations targeted towards helping men have healthy relationships. continued...
With his iGuy program, people like Ryan Avola are encouraging boys to challenge these traditional notions of masculinity, and build healthy relationships that they can be proud of. We must break and change the attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate rape culture from a young age. However, until these new generations become contributing members of society, grown men need to acknowledge gender inequality and their own role in perpetuating rape culture. Tynan Rollo is another figure in the community that I reached out to for insight. Rollo campaigned for WAVAW (Women Against Violence Against Women) this past October, raising awareness around gender-based violence. He believes that a lot of older men fall into that guilt category, and lack healthy means to express it, so they become defensive.
everyone.” They define toxic masculinity as a repressive description of what it means to be a man, designating manhood by, “violence, sex, status, and aggression.” They highlight the ways in which males are typically punished socially for expressing any form of traditionally feminine attributes, like emotional vulnerability. This narrow definition celebrates toxic thoughts, behaviours, and patterns that would not be fully exhibited in healthy people. The oppression of healthy behaviours, and enforcement of toxic ones, ultimately leads to extreme consequences, like sexual assault. But these extremes don’t just happen overnight; rather, they are the result of the acceptance and continuation of gendered oppression in small yet significant ways. Imagine again that graduated scale I was talking about, where small instances of “be a man” contributes to a society that justifies sexual violence. Most “all men, in some capacity, are guilty of of us have been guilty of encouraging toxic contributing to rape culture, and the masculinities, because we’ve been taught it over #MeToo movement is only now forcing them time, from our fathers and our leaders (at school and in the workplace), to our teammates and to reflect on their actions.” peers, end especially pop culture (go look up the lyrics to Robin Thicke’s commercially massive hit Rollo believes that all men, in some capacity, are “Blurred Lines”). Every time we turn our backs guilty of contributing to rape culture, and the and say, “Boys will be boys;” every time a man #MeToo movement is only now forcing them to rights off his remarks as “locker room talk;” every reflect on their actions. At the same time, Rollo time a jury considers whether or not she “asked knows there’s little direction for these men to face for it” because she dressed like a “slut” and their emotions head-on and enact real change in men simply have “uncontrollable lust;” every their behaviours. He says this largely stems from time we let a sexual assault perpetrator go free, this deeply ingrained culture of toxic masculinidespite accusations from multiple women; every ties, wherein men fail to develop truly strong male time we find ourselves saying to our buddies, “I friendships and supportive social connections. don’t know, it seems fishy that she’d only come They might then channel their guilt into further forward now after 40 years…” This is rape culture. lashing out, or inadvertently perpetuating the very foundations that strengthen rape culture. #MeToo is here. A movement is underway and The healthiest way for men to channel their guilt, there’s no going back to, “the way it used to be.” anger, fear, fatigue, or frustration, is to learn how So what do we do now? Ryan Avola encourages to openly talk about their emotions with somemen to connect with all aspects of themselves. one who will listen and support them. It may “When I connect with my femininity, it makes me not be their closest friends. Rollo acknowledges stronger,” he says adding, “because I’m more that it’s difficult to get men to be emotionally connected to who I am; I’m more sure of myvulnerable with each other, but there are many self, I’m more grounded. That’s a good thing.” resources in the community they can access. Avola admits that since making this turn, he has created stronger relationships, and made better Boys and men face daily instances that reward decisions with his life. “These are all powerful, their participation in rape culture, because it positive things.” It’s critically important that we is so ingrained in this concept of masculinity. understand how qualities that are traditionally Check out the Good Men Project, a media seen as ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ are culturally company whose website describes it as: “a constructed, when in reality, these traits are just diverse community of 21st century thought leaders ‘human.’ Essentially, the most powerful tools men who are actively participating in a conversation can introduce into their lives to build healthabout the way men’s roles are changing in ier relationships with themselves and others modern life, and the way those changes affect are: self-awareness and emotional intelligence.
iGuy iGuy is a straight-to-the-point, lighthearted empowerment workshop that prepares students in grades 4-7 who identify as boys to make smart decisions in even the toughest situations. We’ll challenge society’s definition of masculinity, unmask our secret identity, blow off some steam (in a healthy way), tackle online safety, and help build relationships we can feel proud of. For more information visit: saleemanoon.com/iguy/
DUDES Clubs are spaces that facilitate a participant-led community for men’s wellness using local activity-based clubs, which prioritize supportive relationships, engagement in health care, and Indigenous world views. For more information visit: dudesclub.ca
UBC Healthier Masculinities A Facebook group that works towards better understanding masculinity, manliness and men’s work. It’s a space dedicated to creating community-driven solutions to gender-based violence, domestic violence and sexual assault in our communities. For more information, visit the group at: facebook.com/groups/ 776369812566916/
Learning to work with these tools can be extremely difficult because it requires vulnerability. But there are a many resources, and more popping up every day, that are specializing in transforming toxic masculinities to healthier mindsets and behaviours. For younger boys, there’s Avola’s iGuy program, for young adults there’s a facebook group out of UBC called “UBC Healthier Masculinities,” and for older men, there’s the DUDES Club. For survivors, or those who know survivors, you can find information on restorative justice on the government of Canada website, and there’s also the BC Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse. At BCIT, ask your instructor to schedule a Be More Than A Bystander session for your class and invite leaders on campus to come in and lead a deeper conversation around genderbased violence in the world around us. The Student Association has also just introduced a “Creating a Culture of Consent” workshop, so find out when and where the next session is and get involved. For more personal
conversations in a confidential safe space, BCIT students are invited to schedule appointments with a Student Advocate or a Counsellor. But if all that sounds like too much, too soon for you, there are countless everyday steps that you can take to be an active supporter of #MeToo and a changemaker in your social circles. Talk to your friends and listen to how they’re feeling. Know that you’re going to make mistakes, and when people challenge you on them, it’s not an attack; it’s a sign of support. Don’t let the voices of so many survivors go silent when you read your news feed — offer support. Avoid the toxic comments section and resist the urge to share your opinion there. Yes, it may seem like you are contributing to a larger conversation, but if that truly is your goal, you can make much more impact at a local level in your own social circles. #MeToo has opened the door for all of us to meet the awful reality of sexual violence head-on and to no longer hide from the truth that rape culture is everywhere. The best way to truly make change it is to keep talking. Only then will the weight of your own voice resonate with those two little words that have forever changed so much.
CAMPUS Resources: BCITSA Student Advocates
BCIT Counselling Services
Be More Than A Bystander (BMTAB)
Creating a Culture of Consent
The BCIT Student Association Advocates provide confidential, unbiased services to current, former, or prospective BCIT students, and other members of the BCIT community, by providing information, advice, intervention and referrals. All dealings with the BCIT Student Association Advocates are deemed to be confidential, and may only be revealed on a “need to know” basis, and with the written consent of the student.
All enrolled full-time and parttime BCIT students can make an appointment for free, confidential, and professional counselling. Although there’s still stigma attached to mental health, the truth is that mental health is just as important as physical health. Call 604-432-8608 to make an appointment, or see the website at:
Created by the Ending Violence Association of BC (EVABC) in partnership with the BC Lions, this 1-hour seminar seeks to highlight the impact we can all have by breaking the silence on genderbased violence. Being more than a bystander means learning simple ways to intervene when you see or hear something you know in your gut is wrong. The vast majority of men are not sexually violent, but they must learn to stand up to those who are.
The BCIT Student Association and BCIT Student Life Office provides free, two-hour workshops that explore the myths and misconceptions about sexual violence. Through understanding how to deconstruct violence, we will learn about consent and setting healthy boundaries by recognizing the context, culture, and systems by which violence takes place. For more information, contact Student Advocate Danielle Landeta-Gauthier at:
For more information, visit: www.bcitsa.ca/ student-services/advocacy/
Author’s Note: This article took months for me to write, and would not have been possible without all of the support and guidance of the many people involved. I’d like to thank the following people: Madeline Adams, Dan Post, Maria Piansay, Jay Almeda, Danielle Landeta-Gauthier, Trina Prince, Tynan Rollo, Ryan Avola, and Claire Gallant.
Learning a Better Way. words michael white photo sean murphy If you grew up in North America, like most children you probably started going to school around age 5. This likely became your day-to-day norm up until you graduated from high school. According to a 2015 study in the United States, before you arrived at BCIT you sat for an average of 112.3 mandatory standardized tests — multiple choice, short answer, and essay form1. On top of that, many students take additional non-mandatory tests. Then you enrolled in your program here, and if you’re like me, are likely still being evaluated largely on your ability to pass tests. For most people, this system is the norm, it’s all we know, and we never stop to question if the system is working well, or if there may be better alternatives available. I believe there are.
y education experience was a little different than most. I was homeschooled. For the bulk of childhood, my days were filled with playing, climbing trees, and experiencing all the things that interested me. My parents provided me with access to information (resources, texts, and hands-on experiences), fielded my numerous questions, and encouraged me to explore and examine the world around me – something that I did joyfully. Rarely was I tested in the same way as children in the public school system, and I was certainly never tested in isolation, under a time constraint. Instead, I learned by completing tasks, receiving guidance, and demonstrating my ability. I learned in a way that felt as natural to me as living. When I was seventeen, I chose to go to a public school for the first time. For one semester, I took several courses at the grade 11/12 level at the local high school. Ultimately, I discovered that I did not enjoy or excel in that learning environment. The next semester, I took a Level 1 Apprenticeship Carpentry course at the local college and found it tremendously fun. I enjoyed the learning model much more than my other classes that used rote learning and standardized testing to evaluate my abilities. Instead, here we learned theory related to carpentry in the morning, and then in the afternoon we built things, just as you might hope an aspiring carpenter would be doing. It was through this way that I also learned algebra and trigonometry, because both are required in the calculations involved in carpentry, where working with angles, volumes, and areas is just part of life. At 18, I enrolled in a self-paced, self-directed learning program at the community college in my hometown and took the prerequisite courses for admittance into University. In that
learning environment, I was given space in which to work (if I chose to spend time there), instructors and books to draw information from, and then the rest was up to me. I chose how much time I wanted to dedicate to the course, and how focused I would be in accomplishing the learning objectives. I was given a deadline to work towards, and I passed my courses there within months. After that, I enrolled at BCIT in the Mechatronics and Robotics program and spent two years in the formal education system here. The classes were interesting, and I was applying what I learned right away. The downside: I seldom had any downtime to think about anything except the next test. This learning environment contributed in no small way to the intense stress I felt under this learning paradigm. Despite that, Mechatronics and Robotics proved an incredibly valuable portion of my education. I graduated and went to work for four years in industrial automation, but I’m back at BCIT now for a degree in Electrical Engineering. I tell you all this to illustrate my experience with a vast array of different educational methods, because while each has their own advantages and disadvantages, I believe the one deployed here at BCIT is not ideal and I believe it can be improved. I feel that my unique experiences have afforded me an opportunity to better understand the system in which BCIT operates, and because of that, I am motivated to see changes to the education model here, and to see changes that that could prove more effective and have longer lasting effects on its graduates. Like most universities, BCIT compartmentalizes knowledge into individual subjects, teaching them as separate classes, often without referencing material you are learning in your other
classes. From my experience, the working world – or the “complex world” that BCIT aims to prepare us for – does not operate under the same pretense. When I entered the workforce, the challenges I encountered weren’t separated neatly into subject, they were mixed together and many different skills were needed to solve a whole task. Most of the work we do outside educational institutions is task-oriented and may require the application of many different “subjects” in order to achieve a solution. So the question that I found myself asking when I returned for my second trip through BCIT was: if the real world operates like that, then why do we teach by subject? Right now, I’m taking six courses concurrently. On any given day, I’ll attend lectures on between two and five of those subjects. Because my attention is pulled in so many different directions, I often end up sacrificing putting effort into one or more of the six course, because another one has a midterm or test coming up that I need to study for since it’s worth a huge part of my overall evaluation. I also end up having to switch topics rapidly throughout the day, going from “Math mode” to “Chemistry mode” in the span of 15 minutes. While this is not inherently a bad thing, it does mean that I’m less aware of when I’m falling behind in any given subject. Some people would argue that constantly switching between subjects is meant to simulate a “real world” scenario, but in my experience out there, this is not how things work at all. In their jobs, graduates will find that almost all tasks require the application of several subjects in the course of completion, but rarely will they come across a task that is completed most easily through the application of information learned in just one class. In the ‘real world’ you’re always working towards accomplishing the same task, and even though that task might require you to reference
knowledge that would typically be grouped under different subjects, as they are at BCIT, there is a single goal you are working towards. In this particular institutional model we have here, the subjects are not necessarily interrelated, so I’m never entirely sure how one course pertains to the next. However, the real challenge for me is how we are evaluated, by demonstrating that we can recall information without the use of any resources. Formal testing is an inevitable result of this subject-based learning, and BCIT is notorious for its demanding course load, which necessitates a multitude of exams and tests every semester. To be fair, graduates of BCIT are often very accomplished and sought-after, so the model does get results, however, the aggressive pace of delivery and continuous testing puts a lot of undue stress on students and decreases the retention and deep learning the universities hope to encourage. Consider the effects of stress on memory formation and retention. While relatively low levels of stress – say, the simple stress of a professor’s high expectations of you – may increase the learning ability of students to focus on the subjects being taught, high levels of stress – such as those surrounding midterms or finals – have been shown to degrade memory recall, cognitive performance, and new memory formation 2. While this affects everyone, students who are more prone to anxiety or stress due to testing are at a huge disadvantage compared to people who are less stressed during testing. Standardized testing is so common today that we seldom pause to question its place in education. But the current method of testing is rapidly losing utility as an effective measure of useful knowledge or the ability to perform a task, and can contribute significantly to the stress of students and teachers 2. In my experience, students are expected to learn and memorize course material in order to successfully pass a test wherein they will have little or no access to reference material, or the tools commonly used in industry. However, when I was working professionally, I was never required to operate without access to as many references as I could find, and in the most stressful situations, there were always coworkers a phone call away, ready to help out. I believe the current model of standardized testing does not accurately test a student’s ability to be successful in their job. Much of our current education system revolves around the idea that academic performance as measured through standardized testing is an accurate indication of the amount of knowledge a student has internalized. And although some alternate methods of evaluation are used here, including lab tests, and hand-in assignments, the bulk of my grade at BCIT comes from these formal examinations. I believe tested results do not correlate well to my ability to complete a task. When I want someone to build me a house, I want him or her to have the skills and demonstrate the ability, not just prove that they have read and memorized the building code. Textbook knowledge may not directly correlate to actual ability. Countless adults in the working world will remember how many tests they took in school, staying up all night to cram as much information as they can into their heads before entering the gymnasium and pouring it all out in the course of two hours, only to realize later on how little of that information they can automatically recall now from memory.
What if there was a way to teach students that doesn’t leave them harrowed and wishing for freedom? One alternate method that I have experienced and found valuable, involved teaching and evaluating performance by task or project. Instead of being enrolled into a flurry of first-year courses, you would be given a project, or set of projects like one you would encounter at an entry-level position in your future field of employment. Then, through communication with instructors and access to online content, you would embark on a process of self-guided learning, collecting the skills required to complete the job at-hand. Under the tutelage of experienced professionals, each student would have the opportunity to learn through trial-and-error, instead of through an academic system that discourages making mistakes. With this model, teachers become much more like guides or mentors, helping to point you towards other teachers who know the subject you are looking to learn, or pointing you towards resources that you can use to learn what you may need to learn next. This method would not feature testing in the way we think about it, instead your project would be evaluated upon completion, and you would have to demonstrate a sufficient knowledge of how your project functions to graduate. Another alternative that might be easier for more conventional universities to pivot towards, is an online content delivery model, with access to classroom periods under the supervision of an instructor. Under this model, students could have online access to the entire course content as presented by the instructor, starting on the first day. They would be able to go through and replay ‘lectures’ at their leisure if they didn’t grasp a concept quickly or easily the first time, and pause the lecture to complete assignments or ‘in-class’ examples — an active learning method that I have found very effective. A model like this may also work out better for the instructors. Instead of preparing and delivering the same course content year-by-year, they would just have to make a very nice presentation once. This would allow them to spend more time on course creation and refinement, and, because they aren’t presenting to the class for several hours a week, it would allow for more, not less, student-teacher interaction. Models like this are already being trialed at a grade school level with good results 2. I believe the world is slowly headed towards education that is more self-directed, and if we want to maintain a high level of enrollment in our universities, it’s likely that they will need to change their business model and methods. To maintain relevance in our complex world, universities will certainly need to pivot their education model, and seriously consider revising the current educational paradigm to be more task-oriented. Within BCIT there actually are groups actively working to help ensure and improve the quality of the education. Many of the instructors I have spoken with are enthusiastic about new learning models, and believe that improvements can be made. Rest assured, there are people out there considering these questions, but that doesn’t mean we as students can be passive consumers of the existing model. If you feel passionately about different learning methods, or if you have a story to share about your experience, or if you simply want to engage in conversation around this topic, reach out! I’d be happy to talk. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
S. Vogel and L. Schwabe, “Learning and memory under stress: implications for the classroom,” npj Science of Learning, 2016. https://www.sri.com/sites/default/files/publications/2014-03-07_implementation_briefing.pdf) 3 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/10/24/confirmed-standardized-testing-has-taken-over-our-schools-but-whos-to-blame/?utm_term=.99187ece7f8d). 1 2
Trade Up Soft skills teaching module will add valuable new tools to the Indigenous student experience. words emily vance
BCIT has long been known for producing students that are ready to jump right into the workforce. The specialized knowledge that BCIT Trades students emerge with after graduation, make them competitive candidates for the workforce. But in our interconnected world, employers are increasingly searching for students who graduate with not only the necessary technical skills, but also with strong interpersonal skills. These “soft” skills (as they are often called) enable you to work in harmony alongside a diverse range of other people. But they can be harder to teach. It’s an area some leaders at BCIT have identified as lacking, but the school is on a mission to change that, starting with Indigenous students. These past six weeks, I’ve been learning how collaborators from a wide range of BCIT departments are working on a program that will hopefully fill a much-needed gap.
What are soft skills? Soft skills are the grease that makes the wheel go ‘round in the workplace. Online job giant Monster.com lists the top workplace soft skills as: communication, teamwork, adaptability, problem solving, critical observation, conflict resolution, and leadership. Without person-to-person relations, the work being done is pointless. ‘People skills’ open doors and help individuals excel. From recruiting and retaining clients, to moving up the career ladder, skills like communication and accountability are key to a well-functioning workplace. Most of us take our soft skills for granted. Perhaps we had well-balanced upbringings, and a relatively meaningful public school experience where we simply learned soft skills by trial and error. But it’s important to realize that not everyone has the same access to the social settings and learning environments that naturally lend themselves to producing soft skills. And soft skills are hugely important, especially as automation and digitization are becoming more integrated into our workplaces. Here at BCIT, Student and Career Service Manager Tara Mollett tells me that, through her work as a Career Specialist, she often hears that BCIT students are really great with technical skills, but don’t always have the important soft skills necessary to excel in the workplace. She believes all students at BCIT could benefit from more soft skills training, but after careful consulting with a wide range of leaders in the BCIT community, together they decided to focus first on Indigenous Trades students.
Why Indigenous Students?
Thomas Nichol is a member of the Haida Nation, and graduated from BCIT’s Plumbing program in 2017. He’s now working as a for Warrior Plumbing. His boss, Kurt Thomas, is also Indigenous, and employs several family members. Mollett and her team invited Nichol to participate in the planning phase for the delivery of soft skills training at BCIT, to help further the discussion around what Indigenous students need to prepare them for the workplace. Nichol’s experience at BCIT sounds familiar: a packed course load, but not enough emphasis on job-readiness and soft skills. “Now that I’m at work, every day is a challenge; [like] dealing with people’s moods. It’s very helpful to be versatile with soft skills [and] to be able to handle whatever’s thrown at you. Sometimes it feels like you’re in a foxhole with a problem on site, and if you don’t have a good way to climb out, you tend to lash out.” I asked Thomas what the specific challenges of attending post-secondary as an Indigenous student are. He spoke of his experience being bullied in his first year, which he thinks could have been solved by a greater emphasis on problem-solving and communication. “There’s a bigger gap. I mean it varies; some families really instill good values at a young age, but some people just don’t. I guess they call it ‘a rez mentality,’ and you definitely have to change that mentality if you’re in postsecondary education.”
Feature Education This year, members of the BCIT community came together with an idea to address the lack of soft skills preparedness that students face head-on. With an Open Eduction grant of $5000 provided by BCcampus – a federally funded organization through the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills, and Training, that partners with post-secondaries and non-profits across BC, focusing on open education, shared curriculum and learning resources, and technology-enabled teaching. They’re behind open education initiatives that provide free access to learning materials, such as the BC Open Textbook Project. Thomas also spoke about the difficulty of some things that people may take for granted, like safe transportation. He mentioned that it’s not uncommon for students to have to hitchhike to class. “I know a lot of Native kids who might not have a car... we talked about guys hitchhiking and then being late for an interview. ‘Why are you late?’ ‘Well, I had to hitchhike an insane amount to get here.’ And that’s just something you might not think about as a non-Indigenous person. There’s a lot of those kids around at BCIT.” An online module is a great way to address this issue, with students being able to access the program from home, or a local library.
What is “Open Education?” BCIT defines Open Education Resources (OERs) as: “high-quality teaching, learning, and research materials that are free for people everywhere to use and repurpose.” The purpose of OER is to be shared, used, and updated. It’s a spirit of collaboration and free learning. I asked Jacob Dalling, a Metal Fabrication student with Anishinaabe heritage (pictured here) what he thought about a program to focus on Indigenous students. He was in favour of the idea, describing soft skills as, “a boost to your goals, and staircase to your careers and future.” And while he thinks it’s great to focus on Indigenous students, he would also love to see the module available to everyone. That’s the beauty of Open Education; once the information has been gathered, the freedom of access that forms a basic principle of Open Education allows for the knowledge to be shared. Open Education is a great tool. This module focuses in particular on Indigenous students, but all students can benefit from this style of learning that is adaptable, dynamic, and accessible. It may seem like the development of an online module is a small step.
How will it work? The module being developed would be an interactive online learning experience that supplements what students are learning in class, by teaching skills that are necessary to thrive in the workplace. It would use engaging software like video and slide presentations to be as effective as possible. Students spend a lot of time staring at textbooks; the committee developing this new module want to get away from that.
Mollett says her team is really excited about the module and its future. “I’ve been working in employment services for almost eight years now and I’ve never come across a module like this. We think that it’s something that we’re going to be able to share with instructors at BCIT and possibly even wider.” The process is still ongoing, and the deadline for the final outline of the module will be submitted on March 31st So far, the BCIT Student Association has held meetings to determine what the module will look like. I checked out one of their meetings. It was a very democratic process, involving three main groups: students, employers, and Indigenous service providers that work with employment and career development. They also had two Elders in the room to offer their expertise and guidance. It was important to the BCIT Student Association to involve all these groups of people in the process. Mollett refers to them as subject matter experts, and made sure they were involving the whole room in deciding which soft skills the module should focus on specifically. “I think it’s really important that it comes from the students, and comes from the employers so that we really understand what the needs are, but also how we can capture their interest, how we can create materials that are really going to speak to them [students] and be effective, because otherwise there’s no point.” In the meeting, someone suggested that the term soft skills be changed to “job-readiness skills,” and the facilitator happily obliged. Participants wrote on sticky notes what they considered to be the most important job readiness skills, and what they would like to see students learn more of. The notes were then pasted at the front of the room. After some discussion, everyone voted on their favourites. Top of the list were communication skills, being more assertive, conflict resolution, speaking up and asking questions, and building positive relationships. They also identified the unique strengths that Indigenous people bring to the workplace, with the top choices being: work ethic, mentorship, resilience, sense of humour, adaptability, local knowledge, sharing, and loyalty. Emphasis was also placed on the importance of storytelling in Indigenous culture, and Mollett said that this would be a key aspect of how the module is designed. So far, the development of the module is still in its early stages, but it shows promise. It fills a much-needed gap in BCIT’s Trades programming, and is accessible to students from anywhere they have internet access. That the Student Association is involving Indigenous people in a variety of community roles and job placements is hugely important. Hopefully, with this great start, they deliver a meaningful module with far-reaching applications for current and future students.
Now that I’m at work, every day is a “challenge; [like] dealing with people’s moods. It’s very helpful to be versatile with soft skills [and] to be able to handle whatever’s thrown at you.” www.linkbcit.ca
Striking a chord. words nazanin joorabchian images graham cox
Chris Brandt is a BCIT instructor and the Executive Director of Music Heals, a Vancouver-based foundation raising money and awareness for music therapy. They have donated over $1 million to music therapy programs across Canada. Music Heals is recognized as an international voice for music therapy, and will lead the first ever World Music Therapy Day on March 1st. Drawing upon his 20 years of experience in the music industry (including 10 years at a major label, owning his own record label, managing bands, serving as a magazine music editor, and long-time radio show host), Brandt created the Music Business program at BCIT. We met up with Chris to find out more.
Tell me about the Music Business Program here at BCIT? The program is entrepreneurial in focus, and it’s teaching people in the Music Business how to run their own careers. They could be an artist, DJ, a manager, a promoter, producer, engineer. I’ve even had actors in class, so all aspects of the music industry and extending into other areas of the entertainment industry. These kinds of programs 20 years ago would’ve been training for you to get a job in the industry, but my focus is on how to do it yourself.
Tell me about Music Heals? Music Heals is a Vancouver-based charity that raises money and awareness for music therapy across Canada. We just finished our 5th year. So far we’ve given away $1.1million to music therapy programs across Canada.That is not just money raised, that is money actually given away. These programs help everyone from kids to seniors, palliative care patients, autism spectrum, atrisk youth, dementia, mental health, burn units, bereavement, rehabilitation — you name it.
Faculty Focus Chris Brandt
What is the big event coming up in March? So March is Music Therapy Awareness Month in Canada and March 1st is World Music Therapy Day. We are helping to launch that for the first time ever. March 3rd is our annual Night Out for Music Heals — a promotion where we get bars across Canada to give us one dollar per cover charge for one night. Last year we had I think 80-90 bars in 30 cities across the country, all donating one dollar per cover charge. Places like pubs that don’t charge a cover charge would give us a donation of one dollar per person, the equivalent of if they did charge a cover charge. More and more places are getting involved. The goal for this year is to get over 100 bars. So people can support music therapy just by going out that night.You’re going to go out anyways, because it’s a Saturday night, so find the list of participating bars, and go to any of them. It doesn’t cost you any more, they’re not raising the cover price by a dollar, they’re donating a dollar from each cover. So just go, and don’t ask for guest list; pay the cover and you’ll be supporting Music Heals just by going out that night. Do you find your teaching career and your music career contributing to one another, or do you try to keep them separate? They relate 100%. Everything that I teach involves aspects of Music Heals. For example, I was on the cover of the Georgia Straight in October and in class I’m teaching my students how to get more media attention for their album or their studio, or whatever it is that they are trying to put on. So in class, as I’m teaching something, I relate it to Music Heals. We are teaching how to do media releases and I’m doing media releases for Music Heals
all the time. Or how to put on shows; we’re putting on shows all the time. Or how to do proper storytelling... there are just so many elements that are exactly what we do day-to-day at Music Heals. So it is all ‘real world,’ it’s not out of a textbook. I don’t say: ‘here is how to do this.’ It’s more: ‘here is what I am doing, this is how we got our followers to this level, how we were able to sell this many tickets...’ So it is all the same tactics and tricks; it’s identical. Do you have any tips for students looking to pursue a career in music? Well, they should take the course! The bad news with the music industry is that you have to do it by yourself today. The good news is that you can. All of the tools are there. You can get your music on iTunes, you don’t need a record label. You can book your own tour, you don’t need agents. At a certain level, you want to add these people to your team, but as an independent musician you can do it all yourself. Facebook is free, Twitter is free, Instagram is free, so you can promote yourself for free. You don’t have to buy ads in magazines and newspapers anymore, or buy TV ads or radio ads. All of your promotion is free. You can interact with your fans through crowdfunding sites, sites like PledgeMusic. Record stores are gone, but you can now have a direct access to your fans and you can do it all yourself.
My students are doing incredible things. Groundwerk, which is a leading electronic music [community] out there right now – that came from one of my students; that came out of my class. The VR music festival that came here to Vancouver last year, which was the first one ever, was done by one of my former students. There are things that my students are doing that are unbelievable to me, and watching my students take over the world is the coolest thing. I stay in touch with all of my students and I like to promote them. Like when they post something that they have done that is big. One of my former students has a series on Netflix. Just being able to post that my former students are doing this, that is amazing for me. Even if I had nothing to do with that particular success, they are still pushing, they are still trying to achieve things, and I love that. What is your favourite type of music? I love old soul music. My wife and I have a lot of records at home. You know, I’ve got rock records, and pop records, and punk records, but the ones that we love to listen to are like, Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye. Even more recent ones like Charles Bradly and Vincent Jones, both of whom passed away recently within the last two years, they are modern artists that have that feeling of soul artists from the 60s or 70s. In the car I listen to whatever comes on, and at work I have my iTunes on shuffle, so it could be Marilyn Manson and then a country song. But at home we just put on soul music and just let them go.
What is your favourite thing about teaching at BCIT? I teach for fun. The day that I stop enjoying it is the day that I stop teaching. I have a day job, so I don’t teach for the money. My teaching gig doesn’t pay my rent. I Learn more about music therapy and Music Heals do it because I love it. I love having my by visiting them online (musicheals.ca/) and be figure on the pulse of what is happening sure to show support on Night Out for Music in the music industry through my students. Heals by visiting one of the participating bars.
words catherine garrett illustrations brianne bruneau 30
Sports 2018 Winter Olympics
hat’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the December, the International Olympic Committee banned Russia word “Olympics?” For me, I immediately imagine a grand from sending a team to Pyeongchang as a result of the Russian spectacle; afterall, it’s arguably the biggest and most prestigious state-sponsored doping program discovered in December of athletic competition in the world. The Olympic Games 2014. The story broke with a documentary, The Doping Secret: originated in Ancient Greece around 3,000 years ago in 776 B.C, How Russia Creates Its Champions and then a 335-page report and wrere then revived in 1896 looking more like the event that published by The World Anti Doping Agency in November of we are familiar with today. The Olympics have become a symbol 2015. Some Russian athletes who pass the drug testing are of the peak of athletic achievement. For both participants competing under the Olympic flag as Olympic Athletes from and audience members they’re 16 days of joy, Russia (OAR) and if they win gold medals, the Olympic heartbreak, drama and, “Where were you anthem will be played as opposed to “Gimn Rossiiskoi when...?” moments. I still remember Federatsii,” the Russian National Anthem. There are where I was when Sidney Crosby 168 Olympic Athletes from Russia competing in scored the golden goal, or when 15 sports, according to the Russian Olympic Gabby Douglas won the all-around Committee. 47 Russian athletes were been competition in women’s gymnastics. banned from competition, with their appeals “The Pyeongchang The Pyeongchang winter Olympics ultimately rejected just hours before the opening winter Olympics are one of the most politically ceremony. The absence of Russian athletes are one of the most charged games we’ve seen, with leaves room for other countries like Canada and hot-button issues like: North Korea’s Germany to move up the medal standings. politically charged participation, the Russian doping games we’ve seen.” scandal, and of course, the NHL not Lastly, much to the despair of any North allowing its players to take part in the American hockey fan, the National Hockey League Games. announced last year that it would not allow its athletes to take part in the Olympics any longer. North Korea’s participation in the The statement argued that due to the NHL’s rigorous Olympics understandably raises a lot 82-game schedule, a 17-day break in February is of questions. It may seem like a change disruptive to the season. This argument is partially due of pace after months of nuclear testing and a handful of players sustaining season ending injuries politician name-calling, but North Korea historically in Sochi. This decision angered players and fans alike, has done quite well at past Olympic Games. Their with Russian players Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin participation in the Games is not just completely about love originally arguing that they will attend regardless of of sports; they have also been accused of using their athletes consequences. for a political platform during competition. In fact, when a North Korean athlete wins a medal, their victory is considered Whether your reason for watching leans towards instrumental for political propaganda by the government. political interest, or you’re just a fan of all things sports, Recently there has been a noted increase in the amount of time there will be something to watch for everyone these Olympics. and money North Korea spends on organized sports. When The NHL deciding to opt out of the Games isn’t the end of the North Korea first emerged, sports were seen as a way to build a world, especially if you’re healthy population, and a strong workforce and military, but not a Vancouver Canucks fan, an international affair. They have recently adopted the muchbecause six ex-players made shared sentiment of national pride and strength being reflected the cut. The roster includes in sporting success, and have even singled out individual sports power forward, fan favourite, to fund, like men’s football and a joint North and South Korea and instigator extraordinaire, women’s ice hockey team. As for both Koreas marching under a Maxim Lapierre, and his united flag, it has been described as an attempt by North Korea former teammate (with wings to destabilize South Korea’s relationship with the United States, for feet but no balance to as well as keeping South Korean society politicized. speak of), Mason Raymond. Maybe I’m biased, but I for You cannot mention North Korea without also mentioning one, am really looking to this Russia, which has also been the subject of controversy. In portion of the Games.
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Published on Feb 19, 2018
Published on Feb 19, 2018
#MeToo — what our reactions say about us; Student Spotlight: Michael Lim; Music Heals; Waste management; Challenging the standard; Indigenou...