UVic announces four per cent budget reduction Low enrolment continues to impact the university’s operational budgetMAYA LINSLEY CONTRIBUTING WRITER
In an internal memo sent out last month, UVic announced that a four per cent budget reduction will come into effect on April 1, 2023. The reductions will occur across campus, affecting all areas of the university with the exception of some student services and support.
This reduction comes after the six per cent reductions made for 2022–2023. The memo also announced an end to the hiring pause and review which had been in effect since the beginning of the school year in response to a predicted deficit of $17 million.
In an emailed statement to the Martlet, Tony Eder, associate vicepresident of academic resource
planning, stated that the primary reason for the budget cut is a decline in enrolment, especially from international students.
According to the UVic website, for 2021–2022 “student fees, including tuition, make up the second-largest part of [their] operating revenue, at just over $170 million.”
“We are making a limited number of investments and/or protecting a small number of areas from the reduction,” Eder said. These areas include “scholarships and bursaries, some clinical health and wellness supports, child care, and central supports specific to Indigenous students and initiatives.”
With these exceptions, “all units on campus will need to contribute to the 4% budget cut,” Eder said.
UVic’s call for each unit to individually make cuts means that many administrators and deans will have complicated decisions to make.
“Generally speaking, the leader of the faculty or unit is responsible for budget decisions in their area,” Eder said.
Eder’s statement indicated that an acceptable choice for departments to contribute to the reduction would be leaving empty staff positions vacant for the foreseeable future.
Sebastian Bonet is a sessional instructor in Sociology, who has concerns about the implication of the four per cent cut for both instructors and students.
“As a sessional instructor, I've already been told my course allocation in Sociology has been cut
The only reason we really learned about the [forecasted] deficit was because we were asking for support from the Food Bank.-Ton Tran
from four courses to two,” Bonet said in an email to the Martlet.
“Grad students too are likely to face the brunt of these cuts. If courses offered shrink, then so will Teaching Assistant contracts. And undergraduate students are unlikely to be consulted about which courses are cut.” The university, however, is working on solutions, primarily focusing on rebuilding enrolment.
“As we change and evolve to better support students and the core academic mission of the university, it’s critical that we continually look to things we can do better,” said Eder.
In his statement, Eder said that UVic is “exploring opportunities to attract new learners, such as through micro-credentials and professional programs.”
Dr. Stephen Ross, a professor of English, spoke to the Martlet about his concerns surrounding the cut and the university’s plans for rebuilding enrolment.
“I’m glad it’s not my problem to solve,” Ross said. “Speaking for myself alone, I really resent having the senior leadership team download the responsibility for generating revenue streams onto faculty whose jobs do not include generating revenue streams for the university.”
Ross worries that the cut will put pressure on faculty to overwork outside their fields. “I teach hundreds of students every term. That’s how I generate revenue for the university,” he said.
Ton Tran is the UVSS director of outreach and university relations and an undergraduate student. He has concerns about UVic’s transparency regarding the budget reductions and UVic’s finances in general.
“I think I’m worried about sometimes the lack of initiative UVic takes to express problems within the university,” Tran told the Martlet. “The only reason why we really learned about the [forecasted] deficit was because we were asking for support with the Food Bank.” Last summer, the UVSS food bank came up with a $200 000 deficit. Tran explained that the university denied their requests for help by citing their own deficit prediction.
According to Eder, “UVic will share more information with our campus community once the Board of Governors approves the budget framework.”
Ross, however, agrees that the university could be more transparent. “It’s not always easy to be informed at UVic.”
SSD raising awareness for invisible and dynamic disabilities
The SSD will host two campaigns in the coming month
with the SSD team about invisible and dynamic disabilities, and ask any questions they might have about the society.
The University of Victoria’s Society for Students with a Disability (SSD) is running two campus-wide campaigns in March to increase membership and raise awareness about invisible and dynamic disabilities, both of which face massive social misconceptions.
Adrean Meuser, office coordinator for the SSD, and their team are leading the Invisible Disabilities campaign running from March 6 to March 10. A second campaign called Dynamic Disabilities will run from March 20 to March 24.
“Success would look like … more people accessing our services and our resources, ” Meuser said in an interview with the Martlet.
Both campaign weeks will follow a similar structure. Monday and Friday will be tabling days, in which the SSD will have a table set up most likely in front of the SUB (exact location to be determined) from 11:30 a.m.– 2:00 p.m. Students can approach to share their stories, chat
“All week long, people are going to be talking about their lived experiences and what they wish people knew,” Meuser said.
The SSD will turn these stories into social media posts Tuesday through Thursday of each campaign week, which is also when the society hopes to invite speakers to give talks and lead workshops for students.
The focus of the first week is invisible disabilities, which are disabilities that are not immediately apparent or visible, but that typically impair a person’s daily life.
According to Meuser, anxiety, depression, brain injuries, and chronic illnesses are all invisible disabilities, and are more common than many might assume.
“There [are] a lot of people who don't feel like they're disabled enough, because they're not visibly disabled,” they said.
One of the main goals of the Invisible Disabilities campaign is to raise awareness and break some of the stigma surrounding such disabilities, specifically chronic illnesses that are not obvious to the eye.
Following this is the Dynamic Disabilities campaign, which will raise awareness for chronic disabilities that fluctuate in their intensity. For example, folks whose use of mobility aids might fluctuate from day to day, depending on the individual’s need. A key part of this campaign week will be advocating
for more accessible university resources and policy for students with dynamic disabilities.
“[When] Kevin Hall … needed to make [the] Senate virtual, did they do it? Yes. Were they going to do it for the disabled students who need to go in for attendance? No,” said Meuser. “Those are the kinds of inequality we’re talking about.”
To Meuser, increased membership in the SSD is the ultimate goal, and more specifically, helping UVic students understand that there is room for them if they self-identify as disabled. They can join the
society for crafternoons at the SSD’s headquarters, which is located on the main floor of the SUB, for campus strolls, or even a juice box and a chat with one of the SSD team members.
Everyone who self-identifies as disabled is welcome in the society, and the SSD’s upcoming campaign weeks are an easy way to dip a curious toe in the water.
“I have people come up to me constantly asking … ‘Am I disabled enough to be in your community?’” Meuser said. “Chances are if you're already having that conversation with yourself … you've named it … you just need to feel valid.”
LOBE CONTRIBUTING WRITER
UVic’s Ocean Networks Canada initiative receives federal funding for ocean conservation
$46.5 million to go towards
open-access oceanographic research and climate change mitigationKARLEY SIDER SENIOR STAFF WRITER
On Feb. 6, 2023, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Joyce Murray, announced that $46.5 million in funding from Canada’s Ocean Protection Plan will be distributed to Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) over five years.
ONC is an ocean science initiative owned and hosted by UVic. By operating observatories such as NEPTUNE and VENUS, ONC collects and archives oceanic data in the deep sea and along Canada’s Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific coasts, building up our knowledge about these waters through the initiative’s development of in-depth data and its contribution to scientific research.
According to a news release, “This research helps to provide real-time, open data to better understand our changing oceans,” which serves to inform governmental decisionmaking, benefit Indigenous communities, and further public interest.
Dr. Kate Moran joined UVic in 2011 as a professor in the Faculty of Earth and Ocean Sciences and has been leading ONC as president and CEO
since July 2012. In an interview with the Martlet, Moran reflected on how ONC has almost doubled in size since her appointment as president, with the organization’s systems expanding to include small observatories in coastal communities.
ONC is funded primarily through the Canada Foundation for Innovation, but the foundation’s funds do not cover the full costs of ONC’s operations. The funding recently granted by the federal government will help ONC fill that gap.
“That funding provides 60 per cent of our operating costs, and … we need to actually get additional funding to operate everything [at] 100 per cent. So this $46.5 million made us whole in terms of operating our entire research infrastructure,” said Moran.
ONC will also use the additional funds to uphold its commitment to Fisheries and Oceans Canada to support the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada’s action plan that has dedicated $3.5 billion to the protection of the nation’s seas and coasts. ONC’s commitment will include responding to emergencies like oil spills, rescue missions, and providing data on conservation factors and climate change indicators such
as surface currents, ocean noise, and sea level rise. Moran emphasized the data’s importance in helping us make well-informed decisions about what should be done to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
“We also are interested in expanding, essentially, technology transfer to coastal Indigenous communities across the country so that they can have the advantage of capturing their own data in their own ocean front yards [and] so that they have the capacity to be at the same table as, for example, the federal government in discussions, because data are powerful in that light,” said Moran. There are multiple ways in which students can get involved with ONC and follow along with the initiative's work. ONC currently helps teach course EOS 350 in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at UVic. The course covers introductory oceanography, socio-ecologic concerns, and many other aspects about the ocean. ONC also partners with UVic’s Gustavson School of Business to offer students honours-program projects meant to pose solutions to the business side of sustainability and climate-related problems. Additionally, ONC has a team that engages with schools,
organizing programs and materials for youth who wish to learn about the ocean. ONC’s next expeditions are in March and then late June. According to Moran, ONC team members operate and maintain their systems using robots fitted with high-definition cameras that allow the team to control them from ships. The cameras are streamed live, so anyone who is interested can view the offshore expeditions and see how the ONC team actually does its work.
“At UVic, we strive to support and empower people to exist more sustainably and improve the wellbeing of communities and our planet,” said UVic President and ViceChancellor Kevin Hall in the federal government news release. “Ocean Networks Canada is a key catalyst in this work by helping society understand the interconnectivity of life, the oceans and planet.”
Inflation island: UVic students still struggling to cope with rising cost of food
at the campus food bankSCOTT VAN HAREN CONTRIBUTING WRITER
As food costs continue to rise, now more than ever, students are feeling the burden. Prices rise, wages stay the same, and students suffer. Even the campus food bank is feeling the heat.
Last week, Quincy Pike bought milk, cheese, and eggs. “Those three things were fucking $25,” Pike, who had not gone grocery shopping in three weeks due to the price of food, told the Martlet. “Those [items] are becoming a luxury for me,” she said.
Pike is one of many students at UVic facing increasing food insecurity. Defined by Health Canada as “the inability to acquire … an adequate diet quality or sufficient quantity of food … or the uncertainty that one will be able to do so,” food insecurity is a factor in many students’ lives.
A report published last year found that as of the fall of 2021, 64.2 per cent of students at UVic were experiencing some level of food insecurity, a significant increase from the 47.5 per cent who reported such insecurities in 2020. Part of this change may be explained by the transition from online to in-person classes in 2021, but the snowballing cost of food and housing has been a factor as well.
Since the pandemic, inflation has been soaring and the price of groceries has skyrocketed. Last year saw the worst of it — a 9.2 per cent increase in food costs across B.C. Prices may have risen even more on the island, as the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria reported a 25.7 per cent increase in the cost of food in 2022 from the previous year. This contributed to an overall 20 per cent rise in the cost of living in Victoria.
The price of food is expected to rise a further five to seven per cent in the coming year according to Canada’s Food Price Report. With little hope of any relief from the growing grocery bill, more and more students are being forced to seek food from places other than grocery store shelves.
This past summer, at a time when demand often slows for the UVSS Food Bank and Free Store, the program saw different results. Despite students leaving Victoria for the summer, the amount of people needing a supplemented supply of food remained steady.
Upon the return of the student body to Victoria, the pattern of insecurity has only continued. The food bank orders supplies to fit the needs of its dependents, and it has seen a 66 per cent increase in monthly costs from last year, according to Amanda Macpherson, the administration and services manager for the UVSS, which provides funding for the food bank.
T Schwab, a coordinator at the UVSS Food Bank and Free Store, told the Martlet that even more people are using the food bank since the new year.
“I've noticed [an increase] even from last semester to this semester and it's only been a few weeks.”
According to Schwab, the Food Bank does well to provide for the needs of most but they are increasingly running out of some items before everyone’s needs are satisfied. “It's difficult to say ‘sorry, we don't have that,’ or ‘sorry, I cannot give you bread today,’” said Schwab. While the Food Bank never has to send people away, they have to say “no” often.
In the fall of 2021, when about 64 per cent of students reported being food insecure, the Food Bank served roughly 260 people per week. It now regularly provides aid to 500 people per week. While the increase does not mean that more people are facing severe food shortages, it does indicate that more students are finding it harder to afford food. Much of the increase in food insecurity was among those found to be “moderately food insecure,” a number which jumped from 20.5 to 41.7 per cent between 2020 and 2021.
“There's kind of this image that, if you're going to a Food Bank, this is maybe the only food you're getting,” said Schwab. However, they find that “food banks are mostly used to fill in the gaps for folks and their diets.”
This misconception is one factor that made Pike hesitant to start using the Food Bank.
“I stayed away from [the Food Bank] because I always thought that there was someone that needed it more than me,” Pike said. “If I was super desperate, I could call home, and
someone would send me money. I just didn't want to do that because I put myself in this position to live in a stupid expensive place.”
Eventually, Pike fell on a time where it became necessary to get food from the Food Bank. Upon speaking with a volunteer there, she realized that banks are there for people like her — anyone who needs help getting food. “Anyone that can't eat should be there.”
As prices continue to rise, so does demandGraphic by Scott Van Haren. Photo by Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) via flickr.
VicPD Co-Response Team showing early success
Joint venture between VicPD and Island Health provides “robust response”SAJJAN SARAI SENIOR STAFF WRITER
Last month, the Victoria Police Department (VicPD) implemented the Co-response Team (CRT) and, according to Chief Del Manak, the team is already seeing success.
This partnership with Island Health aims to improve VicPD’s response to calls that involve mental health crises by sending registered mental health clinicians along with officers to situations that require it. The CRT responds to calls such as suicide attempts, psychosis, overdoses, as well as family conflict and shelter issues.
“To have mental health professionals with us in the first instance when we respond to these calls is going to provide a better duty of care,” Manak said in an interview with the Martlet. “It’s going to provide a more robust response.”
According to Manak, the team has already been successful in several incidents. He noted one call where the mental health professional created rapport and dialogue with an individual.
As a result, the CRT established that the person had not taken their medication and helped them fill their prescription. There was no need to arrest the individual or take them to the hospital. “It was a win/win,” said Manak.
The role of the CRT also doesn’t stop at the call. The CRT looks to build rapport with the individual they are dealing with, and connect them to services that can help them in the future.
This approach has received praise, including from B.C.’s Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Jennifer Whiteside. “When people are in crisis because of mental health or substance use challenges, they need to be met with care and compassion,” said Whiteside in a press release. “The new Co-Response Team in Victoria will support people
in distress and connect them to the help they need and deserve.”
Moreover, with young people aged 15–24 at the highest risk for mental health issues and substance use, the CRT bodes well for improving interactions between police and students. Likewise, this is a major step since an RCMP officer struck and dragged UBC Okanagan nursing
student Mona Wang during an on-campus wellness check.
Farida Abdoulage, a volunteer with the Anti-Violence Project at UVic, spoke to the Martlet about the positive step that VicPD is taking.
“Often there’s a lot of pressure on police to kind of know these things, whereas mental health professionals are specialized in these [cases],” said
Abodulage. She also noted that this move should not prevent officers from learning how to deal with mental health crises themselves. This is an important emphasis, as the CRT only operates between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
UVic students living on campus will not benefit from the CRT as they are serviced by the Oak Bay and Saanich police departments. However, there has been a growing number of these units across the country.
While the CRT goes a long way to change the way police interact with the public, Manak emphasizes the need for the police to be present for safety reasons.
“The police are the primary response, and they have to be,”said Manak. “If [a mental health crisis] presents itself, we would stabilize the situation and then we would now take a secondary role and back away, and allow the mental health professional to start engaging with that individual.”
“I think the biggest takeaway is that the CRT is a collaborative effort to reduce harm to people in crisis. That's the goal, and I’m confident that this team is going to be able to achieve that.”
You might be reading this on a website you don’t recognize
Sites are stealing work from hard working journalists every dayATUM BECKETT SENIOR STAFF WRITER
If you are reading this article in the Martlet newspaper or on martlet. ca, then congratulations, you are consuming properly accredited journalism.
But, if you are reading this on a news site with an overly generic name and it says it was written by anyone other than Atum Beckett, then what you are reading is plagiarism.
It is a weird feeling to see things that you and your coworkers have written reposted online under unrecognizable names. That is exactly what is happening to the Martlet and countless other news publications.
Canadatoday.news must be the most prevalent news website that you’ve never heard of. It posts hundreds — yes, literally hundreds — of articles per day, covering every topic you could ever think of.
How does the website create so much content? The short answer is, it doesn’t. This business model relies on posting as much content as possible, farming clicks, and raking in ad-revenue.
Canada Today and many other websites like it repost articles from the internet, stealing credit from the hard working journalists who actually wrote them.
If you look up the so-called “authors” of these stolen articles, it’s no surprise that none of them seem to exist. Even the generic wording used in the name “Canada Today News” makes it nearly impossible to find any additional information about the website online.
The algorithms that steal and repost these articles make slight tweaks to them, usually substituting words with synonyms. This attempt at avoiding plagiarism detectors results in some truly terrible writing at times.
Luckily, Canada Today has a very reasonable copyright policy, which reads: “If you are the copyright owner of content which appears on our website and you did not authorize the use of the content you must notify us in writing in order for us to identify the allegedly infringing content and take action.”
Unfortunately, this notice was probably ripped from another website just like the rest of its content, because every effort that the Martlet has made to contact this website and get our stolen articles taken down has proved unfruitful. While Canada
Today may not put a lot of effort into quality control, they have no problem being as elusive as possible.
Google’s service for reporting stolen content has also been unhelpful, and it seems that nothing can be done about sites like this with anything short of a full-on legal battle.
The Martlet isn’t the only local publication to have its content stolen by this specific site. Both The Tyee and Victoria Buzz have been victims of its cheap plagiarism.
“What we're seeing here is that there's very little you can do if some shadowy organization that never answers its emails and has no accountability, just scrapes your work,” says David Beers, founder of the Vancouver-based independent news site The Tyee.
Without a full team of lawyers behind you, it’s near impossible to take action against having your work stolen online, no matter what you’re creating. And with artificial intelligence systems scouring every corner of the web, who knows how much someone else is profiting off of work that you have created?
“In some ways, the case of Canada Today is a harbinger of probably where a lot of people would like to take the internet,” says Beers. “Which is to become a mass miner and exploiter
of pretty much everyone's labor.”
Stolen, unaccredited work is part of a much larger battle facing journalism as a whole: the rise of misinformation and decrease of news reliability. With “fake news” being prevalent everywhere you look online, it’s no wonder why Canadians’ trust in news media has been declining.
“Traditional journalism is a huge inconvenience to the new digital robber barons, the Elon Musks and the Zuckerbergs,” says Beers. “It holds them accountable. They don't want to be held accountable.”
At the end of last year, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, threatened that they would remove news content from its website in the US entirely if a legislation was passed that would force them to pay for the content.
Honest and ethical reporting is a pillar of democracy. So, help fight back against the attack on journalism by supporting reliable reporters and outlets. Look more closely at the websites you’re clicking on, especially if you don’t recognize the name or it sounds a little too generic.
Please stop commenting on my height
No, I do not play basketballATUM BECKETT SENIOR STAFF WRITER
I can’t remember the last time I went out during the weekend without receiving an unsolicited comment about my height. These remarks are almost always good-hearted, but they can get under my skin pretty quickly.
I wouldn’t call myself shockingly tall by any means, but I am statistically taller than 99.7 per cent of the Canadian population.
After having a random person let me know that I was tall (thanks, I had no idea) while I was washing my hands in a public bathroom on a Saturday night, I started to wonder, why exactly does this happen so much?
I’m glad that, for the most part, we as a society have learned that making unsolicited comments about someone’s body is uncouth. Cracking a joke about someone’s weight or shortness is a major red flag. But for some reason, it seems that being tall means that it’s open season for all the questions and comments.
Yes, I really do know I’m tall. No, I do not play basketball. And I’m sorry; I’m really not trying to block your view.
One of the more egregious examples was a stranger coming up to me and adamantly telling me how tall I am, despite me telling them that they were wrong. Thanks, I had no idea you knew more about me than I do.
I really don’t mind most of the comments, but what does annoy me is that the conversation starts and ends on one physical attribute that I had nothing to do with. Try to get to know me, not my height.
Whenever I try to air my grievances about these types of comments, I get people telling me that it’s nothing to complain about because being tall is such a good thing.
Look, I love being tall — I just don’t want my whole identity to hinge on it. Being able to reach the tops of shelves and never having anyone block my view are both great. There is an unspoken camraderie between tall people, which leads to very wholesome interactions that I label as “tall guy moments.”
But having a vertical advantage doesn’t magically make life better. I’m constantly hitting my head. My back always hurts, probably from bending over all the time just to try and be part of a conversation. I don’t have the ability to fully blend into the background, and walking through a crowd while having countless strangers look up at you can get quite tiring.
My lifespan may be shorter than my — for lack of a better term — shorter friends. And with the rise in the cost of living, it doesn’t help that I need to eat enough food for a small family just to sustain myself.
I only know the male experience of being tall, and I’m sure that it can be very different for other genders. Height can traditionally be seen as a “masculine” trait, which can lead to people of different identities being selfconscious about their height. I know that many people wish that they were taller, but your own
height should be nothing to ever be ashamed of. For the vast majority of people, height simply comes from their genetics. If we could stop placing any value on random physical attributes like height, then maybe there would be less interest in dangerous cosmetic procedures like height lengthening surgeries.
As I said, there’s nothing inherently wrong with commenting on how tall I am, and I appreciate it when I can tell that it was done with good and honest intentions. But just try to be aware of how any comment on a stranger’s body could affect them.
Streaming services have dug their own grave, now they must lie in it
Once this news hit the headlines, Twitter was alight with wrath. One Twitter user, Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2), commented: “Cancel Netflix. They just lost my business. ‘Password-sharing’ is not a thing, it's called password-using. This is regressive bullshit borne out of capitalist greed to squeeze more money out of us. People paid for a password and they use it wherever they go.”
Of course, this feels like a big middle finger to broke college students living away from home, military families, seniors, those traveling for work, and poorer families. And if a big media conglomerate like Netflix is choosing this route, it’s no farfetched notion to believe that other streaming sites will soon follow suit.KARLEY SIDER SENIOR STAFF WRITER
Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Peacock, HBO Max, Hulu, Apple TV. The list of media consumption sites goes on and on and on.
Since the establishment of Netflix in Canada in 2010, streaming services have only seemed to flourish and multiply, revolutionizing the way we consume media. It has become possible for us to access unprecedented amounts of established and original TV shows,
movies, and music from the comfort of our own homes. However, despite their initial popularity and the widespread adoption of streaming as the primary way of consuming media, the era of the streaming service is coming to a close, leaving the future of media access and consumption unknown.
This month, to the fury and indignation of its users, Netflix announced its new policy to strike back against password-sharing. This means consumers who share their accounts across a variety of locations
will be forced to pay an extra $8 a month. This additional fee allows standard and premium customers to have up to two extra member accounts for people they don’t live with. This is on top of the $10 for a basic plan, $16.50 for a standard plan, or $21 for a premium plan that consumers are already paying for the platform. For those who regularly travel or own a second residence, Netflix says the primary account holder will have to connect to their wifi and sign in at their primary location at least once a month.
The quality of content on streaming services is also declining. With the increasing focus on producing both original and high volumes of content, many platforms are sacrificing quality for quantity. This has led to a decrease in the overall enjoyment of the viewing experience, as there often is a lack of high production values and creative vision. The quantity-overquality problem also leads to many good shows being terminated within a season or two, making it difficult for consumers to even want to emotionally connect with the characters that they see on screen.
I’m still reeling from the abrupt cancellation of the Netflix show Anne With an E , while shows like Riverdale repeatedly get renewed
season after season, even with questionable quality and writing. Finally, consumers are developing a sense of fatigue regarding the streaming experience. With so many platforms and options available, the anticipation of the release of new content is becoming progressively rare, and the unending scroll through infinite titles is becoming exhausting. Consumers are starting to question whether the convenience of streaming is worth the price, effort, and questionable quality. Netflix isn’t the only offender in this sense. According to Variety, Disney+ suffered a loss of 2.4 million subscribers in the final three months of 2022. This blow to the major media conglomerate was the service’s first nosedive in numbers since its launch in 2019. While a return to traditional forms of media consumption, such as cable, doesn’t seem like a much better option, the rejection of streaming services and their practices seems to be getting louder and louder. Many are sure to return to more illegal practices of torrenting media or simply watching their favourite movies and TV shows through free streaming websites. Whether this will be a short-term trend or a more persistent shift remains to be seen, but it is clear that the success and future of streaming services is far from certain.
Bad business decisions, lack of quality content, and high prices are driving media consumers awayIllustration by Sie Douglas-Fish. Photo by Nicolas J. Leclercq via Unsplash.
For: ChatGPT is not the threat to education many think it is
Formal education should not be restricted to in-class assessmentMICHEAL ZIEGLER CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Since ChatGPT became available to the public in November 2022, it has received plenty of attention. Many people hail it as an important step in artificial intelligence (AI) research and development. While ChatGPT is a step up from its predecessor, GPT-3, and other conversational AI software, not everyone is so enthusiastic — especially after Time Magazine’s exposé that revealed the exploitation, harm, and trauma experienced by underpaid Kenyan workers involved in the creation of its database.
A simple Google search reveals abundant headlines reporting university administration and professors are worried about the impact ChatGPT will have on student potential for academic dishonesty. This worry is something we see being discussed here at UVic.
Implicit in assignment grading, is the assumption that students are doing the work themselves. ChatGPT, currently a free-to-use application (with paid services appearing in some regions), can write essays and poems, and answer questions in short and long form. It has even averaged a C+
on some law school exams — “Cs get degrees!” With this potential to get passing grades on assignments, it is no surprise professors are worried about academic dishonesty on takehome assignments. Some professors and administrators muse about turning to purely in-class assessments and oral exams to avoid potential ChatGPT intrusions.
In December 2022, before my dissertation research turned toward ChatGPT, I wrote an opinion piece for the Martlet defending take-home assignments. I argued that in-person examination is unfair, unrealistic, and the strain on mental health is not worth it. Take-home assignments, on the other hand, are less anxietyinducing, more realistic, and generally fairer. I feel it is necessary to remain steadfast in defence of take-home assignments. Because regardless of ChatGPT’s potential for cheating, take-home assignments are better for education and there is something about university education that eclipses any concern for academic dishonesty.
The emergence of ChatGPT highlights an ever-important question regarding the benefit of university education. Anyone who has gone to
university has been asked, “Why are you going to university?” In our contemporary capitalist, careercentred world, the expected answer is: “To get a good-paying job/career.” This answer makes sense; statistically, university graduates make more money than non-graduates. However, this expectation is challenged by the increase in so-called “self-made” internet entrepreneurs — influencers and digital businesses. Making money without a formal education seems easier than ever. So, if the point of university education is a “good income” because you are not interested in achieving it via internet success, obviously, using ChatGPT to do your homework is the way to go. However, there is a better argument for why students come to university: to learn how things are in specific fields of study and, more importantly, critical thinking. The problem is this view has been sidelined, and university professors often assume the mere existence of universities and their inherent benefit is enough. However, with students’ need for money and the emergence of ChatGPT, professors need to reorientate themselves and give serious attention to the benefits of university education. Moving away
from take-home assignments because of ethical worries about ChatGPT fails to uphold the benefit of university education. Additionally, AI tools, like ChatGPT, can be powerful tools for education — we already see some professors incorporating ChatGPT into classrooms.
Furthermore, why learn from a professor when you can ask ChatGPT to distill information for you?
Professors have a responsibility to “sell” the benefit of learning in a university classroom and doing the homework instead of, insultingly, placing all failure on student laziness. A move to in-person only assessment in response to ChatGPT insults students by telling them they cannot be trusted to honour academic integrity.
To “sell” the benefit of university education, professors must properly design their classes with attention to the assignments and readings. Classes need to situate readings properly. Assignments need to make sense, they need to develop from lectures and readings, and they need to encourage independent critical thinking. It is not enough to believe disseminating professional knowledge is inherently beneficial. Rather, it is
what professors represent (which is not restricted to the humanities and social sciences): a dedication to questioning how things are and questioning socio-political conventions — refusing to accept that things are “good enough.”
Universities pride themselves on providing a robust, balanced education. All degrees require students to learn topics that appear unrelated to their major. In line with this balance, universities incorporate debate and dialogue with peers, mixed with deep thinking through independent reading and writing, and often beneficial are “practical” assessments through practicums, community-based projects, and artistic demonstration. Formal education should not be restricted, and we should stand steadfast regardless of AI intrusions. Forcing students to only have in-class time for assessment robs them of the time and space needed for robust rumination.
Against: ChatGPT is a problem for teachers and students
of AISAJJAN SARAI SENIOR STAFF WRITER
The creation of AI tools such as ChatGPT has been controversial in many regards. While it is a powerful tool, many are worried about the ways it can be used and what it will mean for students and academia.
One solution that professors have thought of is doing away with takehome assignments, and replacing them with exams. While I think this philosophy is somewhat flawed, I do understand the need to prevent students from abusing such a tool to get through their degrees.
The main issue with ChatGPT is its ability to do complex things in a moment. You can ask it exam questions, get it to write a computer program, or even complete an essay. These tools are problematic at best, as they can effectively finish assignments without students needing to know much more than
the prompt or the basis of the assignment.
However, using ChatGPT is not always a walk in the park. After using it myself, it’s easy to recognize that it has serious limitations. When I asked it to write an essay, it did not cite sources well, but if an assignment doesn’t require sources, this is not much of an issue. It should be noted, however, that it can generate responses better than the average human test taker, which is an issue for professors who regularly assign take-home or online exams.
Moreover, ChatGPT is not afraid to be wrong. There are multiple posts on social media that show that ChatGPT will put out false information and present its answers as true. Dr. Jeremy Faust, medical editor-in-chief of MedPage Today, used it to diagnose a hypothetical patient, and ChatGPT diagnosed the patient in a seemingly correct way. But when asked to present
evidence for the diagnosis, it fabricated evidence by referencing a nonexistent article in a real journal and citing real authors who had written for the journal.
This leads us to the issue of plagiarism. Currently, UVic does not have a specific policy on the use of AI. In order to address this, the Policy on Academic Integrity would need to be updated to clarify whether ChatGPT is considered an individual or a creator, and whether the work of AI can be cited or if it is inadmissible as a whole.
In any case, this is another worry for profs, as students may not even know they are committing plagiarism if sources aren’t cited properly by the AI software. There are some experimental plagiarism detectors out there that are able to pick up AI generated work as plagiarism, but these can be fooled if students ask ChatGPT to write out answers in a specific way.
I think it is appropriate that profs are taking measures to limit the possibility of AI software like ChatGPT from infiltrating the work they have to grade. Not only does it protect themselves from giving grades that students don’t deserve, but it also protects students from committing acts of academic fraud that they may not be aware of.
It’s also important that students not cut corners in learning what they are actually going to practice. If a student is able to cheat the system by getting AI to do a substantial amount of their work, how can we expect such a person to become an expert in their field?
While I believe some metric of testing is required, the standard closed-book exam is not the best solution. It can work in some scenarios, but in others it doesn’t. The goal of university is to prepare students for their careers, and that means ensuring they have a good
understanding of the material they will be incorporating into their future work. However, in many jobs, you do have the ability to use references and books as aids to complete work. Thus, I believe that several things need to happen to address the use of AI. The university should add to (or clarify) their policy on academic integrity to help professors deter the use of AI for assignments. This will allow profs more freedom to assign take-home work. Furthermore, profs should look into more in-class assignments and tests as a way to prevent the use of ChatGPT. Finally, students should be made aware of how ChatGPT operates — and the limits of AI in general — when trying to use it to pass classes.
Why everyone in academic settings should be waryPhoto by Jonathan Kemper via Unsplash.
In review: Missing , revelations permeate this screenlife movie masterpiece
riveting story told through the world of digital mediaRAHEEM UZ ZAMAN VOLUNTEER STAFF WRITER
What if someone directed a movie through the lens of digital or social media? I vividly remember randomly mulling this over, about seven years ago, as I was bored sitting on the couch. Two years later, this abstract thought became reality with the release of Searching in 2018.
Now, with online technology significantly updated since 2018, a standalone sequel was much needed. This year, it finally came in the form of Missing
Most screenlife movies I have seen, with the exception of Searching , have been of the horror genre. Thus, it is pleasing to see Missing , mostly a thriller/mystery film, breaking out of this shell.
Nicholas D. Johnson and William Merrick, who edited Searching , make their major-film directing debut with the release of this movie. Along with an abundance of suspense and foreshadowing background music, which thriller/ mystery film genres certainly require, the directors do a sterling job encapsulating the prominence of digital tools in contemporary times.
The significance of social media in today's day and age is masterfully presented in the first half of the movie. In one scene, June (the lead
actor played by Storm Reid) throws a party with her teenage friends after her mom, Grace (Nia Long) goes on a vacation with her boyfriend Kevin (Ken Leung). This rager is entirely captured on Instagram stories and reels, Snapchat, and other social networking websites popular among the youngsters.
I spend an extremely unhealthy amount of time on social media, which I really shouldn’t be doing. Hence, seeing the flash of posts about the party hosted by June really brought a smile to my face and a bit of a chuckle in the cinema.
One scene after the other, directors Johnson and Merrick kept
the audience in suspense and provided stark revelations. For the sake of not spoiling the movie for those who haven’t seen it yet, I'll be as vague as possible while elaborating on my observation. Apart from showcasing the salience of digital tools, as demonstrated by the tech-savvy June, and, to a certain extent, displaying the daft side of social networking websites, this movie touches on a serious and prevalent social topic: domestic violence.
According to a 2021 report published by Statistics Canada, women and girls represent 69 per cent of domestic violence victims in Canada, and they are two times
more likely than boys and men to be victims of this kind of cruelty.
As for the U.S., the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence states that one in four women experience some form of partner violence.
In the case of Canada’s statistics, the data synthesized indicates an increase in domestic violence for a fifth straight year. Clearly the higher ups in the government could do better to tackle this social issue.
Although the story of Missing is entirely fictitious, the portrayal of household violence towards women and girls is heartbreaking and inventive at the same time. As the quantitative data above suggests, these undesirable conditions are pervasive in our society. Hence, it is great to see the creators of this movie acknowledge and incorporate this social issue.
As much as I admire the brilliance of the creators and actors of this movie, the fast pace of some scenes can arguably be classified as “disorienting.”
The title Missing alludes to the main plot of the movie, which is that June’s mom, Grace, goes missing in Colombia with her new boyfriend Kevin. All of this information is in the trailer, so I’m positive that I’m not spoiling the movie for anyone.
June uses complicated digital tools such as Google’s location services to track the footsteps of her missing mother. Although the scenes related to June’s investigation showcase her technological prowess, for some people the fast pace of her examination can be hard to follow. Nevertheless, considering that this is the first major movie directed by Johnson and Merrick, this small criticism can be overlooked. The plot of the movie (integrating social media with domestic violence) is riveting indeed, so it nullifies this negative aspect of the movie. Mystery should be the main theme of this kind of movie, the creators have ticked that box for sure.
IMDb gave Missing a B rating (7.3/10). However, considering the real-life social issues that it touches on, along with the compelling story, I believe this movie deserves at least an A- (8.0/10).
Unplugging is a quiet, intimate glimpse into the post-apocalypse
the bleak setup, the story remains hopefulBOCK VOLUNTEER STAFF WRITER
In the near future, the end of the world has arrived. Civilization as we understand it has fallen — unplugged, as one of the main characters of The Unplugging puts it. Instead of following the downfall of the old world, the play follows two older women, one Indigenous and one white, exiled from their commune for the crime of being too old to bear children.
Despite the bleak setup, the story remains hopeful for the future and for humanity at large with its intimate scope surrounding the two protagonists, Elena and Bern. Exiled from their community, the two turn to Elena’s traditional wisdom of the land to carve out a little bit of living in a world defined by survival.
Elena and Bern have an engaging back and forth throughout the play, balancing the severity of their situation with the comfort they build with each other. Elena, played by Marsha Knight, is the more serious and reserved of the two, while Bern, played by Lois Anderson, is an extrovert driven by a need to be busy. They both balance each other’s flaws, gradually transforming from two exiled strangers to two close companions whose friendship the audience quietly ends up believing. Both actresses do a fantastic job playing off each other, and, by the end, it really does feel like they have been living alone together for months and have a great rapport with each other.
However, this balance is threatened by a stranger from the old community that exiled them. Seamus, played by č a č um ḥ i – aaron wells, arrives at the women’s doorstep. The two have to contend with sharing their knowledge with Seamus, despite the dangers this stranger might pose to their safety. Do they have a responsibility to help this stranger? Is he a scavenger just after their food? Can they trust this stranger after their past experience with the selfishness of their old community?
Seamus abruptly enters the plot but quietly establishes a relationship with Bern. He remains a quiet, unknown element to the two women, even as Bern gets closer to him. While Elena doesn’t trust him at all, things never escalate to the point of violence. Even so, she remains distrustful, quietly. This is the best word to describe the plot of The Unplugging — quiet. Despite the post-apocalyptic setting, everything unfolds quietly. The live music in the background blends quietly into the scenes. Elena and Bern quietly become friends.
Recall the zombie fiction boom of the early 2010s. The point of those stories isn’t necessarily the horror of the zombies, but more the horror of what people will do when pushed to the brink. Can the protagonists trust this commune? Or will it turn out to be some sort of tyrannical cult obsessed with control? The threat is never just the zombies but other survivors too. The Unplugging poses similar questions to its audience — when faced with the
end of the world, or simply the pressure of day-to-day survival, do you fight for yourself or do you reach out to others despite the potential danger?
This also ties into the themes around technology throughout the play. As the end of the world means that technology doesn’t work anymore, Elena and Bern’s story reveal how little people truly know about surviving. Requiring that only the “useful” live within the safety of a
commune quickly transforms the scenario into an us vs. them, breaking families up and forcing Elena to part with her daughter and grandson. Who is valuable? What is valuable? And what does it mean to not be? Even Elena and Bern aren’t immune to these anxieties: both are afraid of opening up to Seamus on the off chance that he is harbouring selfish (or even violent) motives. The real question is are Elena and Bern really just entrenched in that mindset, or
have they been blinded by their own anger from being kicked out of their old community and wanting nothing to do with others anymore? Or, are they just focussed on surviving, first and foremost?
The Unplugging is a quiet, intimate glimpse into the post-apocalypse, uniquely focussed on the relationships and responsibilities we have with each other. Only when we share our knowledge with other people can we survive whatever end the world brings.
DespiteScreenshot via IMDb. Photo by Don Craig, provided by Belfry Theatre.
The best kept secret bays and inlets in Victoria, B.C.
Escape from the crowds on campus at these tranquil and beautiful beachesSARAH ROBERTS CONTRIBUTING WRITER
It’s official, Vancouver Island is one of the best vacation spots in the world! At least according to experts over at Condé Nast Traveler, which recently named Vancouver Island one of the 16 best island vacations.
What makes our lovely Victoria such a desirable travel destination?
It could be fabulous downtown brunch spots, the Butchart Gardens, or the chance to spot some orcas near the harbor. It may also have something to do with the coastline's rugged, natural beauty which boasts a milder climate than most of Canada.
Spring and summer bring many visitors to beloved sandy bays like Willows Beach and windy lookouts like Clover Point. But if you prefer somewhere less well-trodden for your beach hikes, or for a moment of tranquility, try one of these recommendations to discover a new hidden gem!
The Gyro Park in Cadboro Bay remains popular with families and students for beach barbecues, but this idyllic bay is worth the extra 15-minute stroll along the coast. Visitors will need to navigate down Cadboro Bay Road to find the road leading up to this smaller-pebbled beach, away from the crowds. This spot is also flat, making it one of the more accessible beaches on the list.
CORMORANT POINT/ BALMACARRA
This lovely spot is tucked away in a residential area, but is publicly accessible from Balmacarra Road. Nestled between two cliffs, this bay provides a peaceful place to look out over the waves and enjoy the view of Cormorant Point on one side and Gordon Head on the other. Parking access is limited, but brave a hike from Mount Doug to make this part of a day expedition!
One of the closest beaches to the university campus, Arbutus Cove is another of Gordon Head’s peaceful coastal haunts and is also sheltered by rocky cliffs. Head down Finnerty Road and take a left to listen to the waves in between classes. You could even brave the trails through the surrounding forests if you have time to spare. Locals know that morning is the best time to visit this bay, before the sun escapes behind the trees.
WEST BEACH, THETIS LAKE
This dog-friendly branch of Thetis Lake is towards the upper, north side of the lake. Hike or cycle right to the water’s edge from the park's trails. Unfortunately, there are no change-rooms on this side, but this smaller bay is less popular with the tourist crowd in summer and makes a good place to launch your canoe or paddle board.
A stone's throw from bustling Downtown Victoria, this spot feels like another world. On clear days, you can also catch a sublime view of the Olympic Mountains over the horizon line. It has a reputation as one of the best bathing spots in Victoria, due to the calm and shallow waters and shielding from harsher winds. However, always check environmental advice from Island Health to confirm swimming conditions before taking a dip.
While it might not feel quite like the island vacation of your dreams, the next time you’re looking to spend some time by the water, consider one of these five hidden gems. Just don't tell all of your friends.
Extra special peanut butter cookiesATUM BECKETT SENIOR STAFF WRITER
Consuming edibles can be a great way to enjoy cannabis. It avoids the lung damage that comes with smoking and the high lasts much longer while using much less product.
Most methods for making edibles can be pretty time-consuming and messy. This method may not produce the absolute best-tasting baked goods, but it is very easy and somewhat less smelly.
This peanut butter cookie recipe will help mask the cannabis flavour, and the cookies are the perfect treat to help you relax or make you the star of any get-together.
Instead of making an infused butter or oil, which involves simmering and straining, this method is as easy as putting a tray in an oven.
Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 250°F. Line a small tray with parchment paper. Grind 1.5 grams of dried cannabis flowers and put it onto the tray. Once the oven is hot, put the tray in for about 15-20 minutes, or until it starts looking a little toasted. All ovens are different, so if it smells burnt at all, it is too hot. Keep a close eye on it. Once it is done toasting, set it aside and let cool.
This is called decarboxylation, and it is very important. If you don’t activate the cannabis at a low temperature, it will not have any effect when consumed. If you’re worried about the smell, open a window while toasting the flowers.
With all that out of the way, here’s the chocolate chunk peanut butter cookie recipe.
• 2 ¼ cups (160 g) flour
• ½ tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp baking powder
• ½ stick of butter
• Salt to taste (depending on if your butter is salted or not)
• ¼ cup + 2 tbsp (100 g) creamy peanut butter (not natural)
• ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
• ¼ cup + 2 tbsp (75 g) brown sugar
• 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
• Dash of vanilla extract
• 50 g chocolate chunks
• 1.5 g of decarboxylated cannabis
For this recipe, I recommend using a food scale if you have one, as it makes all the measuring much easier.
In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, microwave the butter until it is melted. Add the peanut butter and mix until it is a homogeneous liquid. Add both types of sugar and a dash of vanilla, and mix. Add the egg and extra egg yolk, mixing again. You can add the flowers into this mixture now, or wait until the end of the recipe.
Incorporate the wet mixture slowly into the dry mixture and fold together.
It should form a thick paste consistency. If it’s too dry, add a splash of milk. Once mixed, add in your chocolate chunks. Start with 50 grams, and adjust accordingly.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 10-12 equal balls.
If you did not add the flowers earlier, sprinkle a little bit into each dough ball and fold it in. This is helpful if you want to make sure each cookie has the same amount of cannabis.
Slightly flatten the dough balls into thick discs and bake for about 11-13 minutes, making sure not to overbake them. You should take them out of the oven while they still look slightly soft in the middle. Let cool slightly, and enjoy.
Everyone has a different tolerance, and each dosage will vary, so start with half of a cookie and wait 60 minutes before enjoying any more.
UVic thrift market highlights Victoria’s vintage fashion scene
Michele Pujol Room transformed into UVic’s first large-scale vintage marketGABBY ELHAV CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Entering the Michele Pujol Room in the Student Union Building at UVic, one would expect to find white walls covered with old displays from corporate events.
Last month, 2nd Degree Vintage's thrift market turned that expectation on its head. The usual everyday humming of ZAP Copy printers and the murmuring of Health Food Bar employee gossip was replaced with blaring 90's hip hop, while the Michele Pujol Room was adorned with rows of vintage clothing racks as far as the eye could see.
The vintage clothing market, hosted by UVic alumni Julio Martelino and Oliver Coyle of 2nd Degree Vintage, ran from Jan. 23–27, creating a weeklong home for 30+ Victoria and Vancouver based vendors, all with different visions and missions.
After speaking with some vendors I got an idea of what their thrifted finds represented. Alisha of Meesh Vintage (@meeshvintage), presents her inventory as a "personal closet" — thrifting troves she now shares with the vintage community. Another vendor, Jake of 778 Thrifting (@778thrifting) curates rock band pieces, showcasing KISS and AC/DC t-shirts from several decades.
The sea of vintage pieces was like no other in Victoria. There were full racks dedicated to vintage Stüssy, Carhartt, Ed Hardy, The North Face, Harley Davidson, and countless other notable fashion brands. The pieces showcased defied fast fashion by being sourced secondhand and accruing new-found value years later, while still remaining household names in the skate and streetwear scenes.
In the Michele Pujol Room, streetwear’s historical influence was recognized through a chill atmosphere, blasting hip hop and jazz tracks that reflected the styles on the racks, and posters of famous artists and activists for fashion diversity were plastered around the room. Overall, the level of recognition for fashion history was palpable. Present day vintage sellers also found inspiration in one another, a cross fertilization which undoubtedly keeps the Victoria fashion community vibrant. Vendors and designers flipped through each other’s racks like file cabinets, trading accessories and sharing style tips to fill the hours as buyers cruised by. There was an unspoken language between vintage vendors; a language of respect that goes beyond words, and shows up in the sourcing and selling of their pieces.
Despite the excitement of the vintage clothing market at UVic, students had mixed opinions on the event. The prices of the clothing sold at the vintage market had mixed reactions from many of those looking through the racks. On the Victoriabased fashion page Vic Fits (@vicfitsss), Victoria locals were asked for their opinions regarding vintage re-selling and their thoughts on the market.
“People respect the finding of one-ofa-kind vintage pieces,” says a first-year UVic student. “But many students don’t have the income to pay $50 for a sweater.”
Another student chimed in saying, “What makes vintage fashion special is how low it’s priced, reflecting its wear, when re-sellers are pricing pieces from a thrift store for hundreds of dollars, it’s kind of a slap in the face.”
Re-selling has been a widely contested conversation for vintage clothing lovers over the past few years. With thriftshopping for clothes becoming more popular than ever, the act of re-selling has been argued by some to be an act of ethically consuming and upcycling old clothing, and by others, the gentrification of thrifting.
It should be noted that after speaking with vendors, most, if not all sellers at the vintage clothing market sourced their inventory from clothing depots that, if not purchased, go to landfills worldwide. However, is purchasing these clothes and then reselling them for double the price the best way to keep clothes from going to waste?
One way to avoid the divisive act of re-selling is to swap thrifted finds. For example, the UVSS is hosting a clothing swap from Feb. 27–28, where students can swap their old clothing with each other to find new favourites.
Regardless, the vintage clothing market was a hit, and was popular among UVic students who don’t have the time to go off campus to hunt for vintage pieces. 2nd Degree Vintage created an encouraging space for vendors and buyers to find, sell, and trade clothing. Vintage markets are popular in Victoria, however this was the first-ever market hosted at UVic that featured 30+ vendors from across B.C.
Victoria has a thriving underground fashion community, and hopefully this event paves the way for more markets at UVic to inspire and showcase some of the best and boldest fashion in Victoria.
What’s your major?
I asked students on campus what they’re studying and whySAJJAN SARAI SENIOR STAFF WRITER
As a university student, you learn to expect the pattern of questions that ensue when someone attempts to make small talk. Usually, it goes something along the lines of, “What do you do?” “I go to UVic.” “Oh, what do you study?”
Despite the mundanity of this conversation, it’s a good question. What do UVic students study? And more importantly, why do they study it and how passionate are they about it?
After talking to several random students on campus about this, there were some trends that arose. I didn’t encounter many first-years, but the ones that I did were all eager to be studying their major. Second-years seemed to be in various different places, with most still pursuing the same degree they did in year one, or undeclared and still deciding. Third, fourth, and fifth-years were even more varied, some having switched majors halfway through their degrees, and others sticking it out the entire way to graduation.
But university looks different for everyone. Here’s what some students had to say about their degrees.
Lucy, a fourth-year student doing an applied linguistics major with a French minor, said she was “originally doing a double major with French and applied linguistics, but … just dropped it down to a major/minor because it was too much.” When I asked if she was passionate about it, Lucy said, “I
really am. I really like teaching, and applied linguistics is centered around second language instructions.”
This is similar to Emily, a fifthyear student who is passionate about physics because she wants to teach it as a career. Emily ended up landing on physics after studying physics astronomy, and math to start her post-secondary education.
Samuel, a second-year biology student, got into biology in high school. This was likely due to his parents both having master’s degrees in scientific areas, but he also said that it was “what [he] felt like he wanted to do.” While he hasn't quite decided on what he wants to do after graduation, he hopes for something related to sports or physiotherapy, which he is very much passionate about.
Alexander is a second-year English honours student minoring in history (which he switched into from professional writing). He’s taking English because he felt that “the B.C. school curriculum kind of failed a lot of people who were neurodivergent in learning math and science, and [he] was always really good at reading and enjoyed studying literature.” Even though he felt cornered into taking it, Alexander likes the research aspect and the path towards faculty that English has and feels passionate about his studies.
As for fifth-year kinesiology students Emily and Mariana, who are both graduating this April, genuine interest in their areas of study was also obvious. After
LAST ISSUE CROSSWORD ANSWERS
JANUARY 26TH ISSUE
starting out as a biochem major, Mariana switched to kinesiology after two years because it allowed her a deeper understanding of physical health and wellness of the body. Emily had similar reasons and enjoys learning about exercise and nutrition to understand how healthy living and activity can prevent disease later in life.
Geronimo is a fourth-year geography major. He initially chose geography because he enjoyed human geography, but has begun enjoying physical geography as a result of his degree. He’s passionate about geography, but doesn’t know what he will do with it quite yet.
Kaley is a second-year undeclared student deciding between biology or biopsych, with the goal of attending dental school afterwards. She said she’s passionate about science but not specifically biology, though she believes biology will be the best undergrad degree to go into dental school.
From these interactions, it’s clear that areas of interest and pursuit evolve as students move through their studies. Sometimes high school experiences, parents, or the prospective job market influence our choices for post-secondary education. Interestingly, many of the people I talked to were
interested in teaching. Although quite a few were unsure of what they wanted to do after graduation, most had a general plan, and some really had no idea. Lots of people also change their majors, which shows that there often is space to switch gears if you’re unhappy, or find a new passion. Whether it’s surprising or not, passion was often the reason why students on the UVic campus are doing what they are doing. It seems that people on campus don’t tend to value the high-paying degrees or jobs over the fulfillment they get from doing something they enjoy.
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VOLUME 67 ISSUE 22
The Martlet Publishing Society is an incorporated B.C. society and operates based on our Statement of Principles. We strive to act as an agent of constructive social change and will not publish racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise oppressive copy.
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SENIOR STAFF WRITERS
Atum Beckett, Sajjan Sarai, Karley Sider
VOLUNTEER STAFF WRITERS Brianna Bock, Manmitha Deepthi, Kristen de Jager, Raheem Uz Zaman
SENIOR STAFF EDITORS Yo'ad Eilon-Heiber, Aidan Nelson-Sandmark
Hannah Seaton, Julien Johnston-Brew
Serena Chan, Gabby Elhav, Derek Leschasin, Maya Linsley, Sydney Lobe, Antonella Medina Arias, Megan Molnar, Liam Moore Razzell, Sarah Roberts, Scott Van Haren, Micheal Ziegler
This issue's cover art is by Scott Van Haren, contributing writer.
Our paper is written and published on the unceded lands of the Lekwungen peoples, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.
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