March 23rd, 2023

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A UVic student’s guide to the 2023 UVSS election

Everything you need to know before you vote

UVSS election season is upon us, and campaigns are in overdrive. You’ve probably seen UVSS Board members tabling outside of the SUB or had classmates present in class about their intent to run and why you should vote for them. With a shakeup of how the UVSS Board will look this year, there is a lot to unpack in order for students to understand what they are voting for and how to do so.

Last year, the UVSS voted to change the structure of the Board of Directors. Currently, there are five lead directors, 11 directors at large, one director of international student relations, four advocacy group representatives, and a Native Students’ Union representative. The new structure will keep the same number of seats, but nine of the director at large spots will become faculty representatives.

The addition of faculty representatives means that students of each faculty can vote for a representative (i.e. social sciences, law, science, etc.). The faculty member with the most votes will claim

the role. However, in the event that no one from your faculty runs, another candidate will be appointed by the newlyelected Board to a director at large position in order to fill all the seats on the Board.

Ton Tran, the current director of outreach and university relations, explained that this change will bring variety to the Board. “The whole goal is just to increase the diversity of the Board,” said Tran. “There’s nobody on our Board right now that’s taking law or that’s in art.”

Aside from electing those who fill these positions on the Board of Directors, it is important for students to understand that they also have a say in motions put to referendum vote by the UVSS. This year there are four referendum questions, and students can vote yes or no to each.

The first was put forward by Lindsay Worden of the UVic Sustainability Project (UVSP). Worden seeks to increase funding for the UVSP by 50 cents per full-time student and 25 cents per part-time student. This increase in funding would help to expand programs, diversify initiatives, and increase staff.

Izzy Adachi, the current director of campaigns and community relations, has

proposed two motions to be put to referendum. The first is tying the UVSS fees to B.C.’s annual all-items Consumer Price Index. This would allow the UVSS to raise fees based on the previous year’s inflation. The benefit of allowing the UVSS to raise fees by up to 2.5 per cent per year is that the student union would be better equipped to continue providing low cost services to students. Adachi’s second referendum proposal involves establishing a $2 fee per fulltime student ($1 per part-time student) to prepare UVSS operations for climate change. The fee would last seven years, from September 2023 until August 2030, and the money would go towards infrastructure and services meant to combat the effects of climate change on the SUB.

The fourth and final referendum question is for a fee increase of $1.05 per full-time student ($0.525 per part-time student) for the Gender Empowerment Centre (GEM) at UVic. The increase would go towards free emergency contraceptives and pregnancy tests, which the GEM has seen a 70 per cent increase in demand for compared to last year. It would also go towards providing more programs

and resources for students, and would be their first fee increase since the fee was introduced 30 years ago.

While at face value fee increases might not be very attractive, all four questions seek to benefit students by providing more opportunities, services, and resources in important areas on campus. Students do get to vote on each matter individually, but the referenda need a quota of 15 per cent of the student body to vote in order for any motion to pass. More information on this is available on the UVSS Electoral Office website.

Students can vote online by clicking the link on the UVSS Electoral Office home page between March 23 and March

27. Students will be prompted to log in using their UVic credentials, which will allow them to vote for all the positions and questions, including their faculty representatives, and for international students, the director of international student relations.

After last year's historically low turnout of only four per cent, Tran urges students to vote for important referendum questions that affect their university experience. “I really highly encourage you to vote,” he said. “Once you put even one foot in the door, you really recognize the amount of services and advocacy that the Student Union provides.”

Meet this year’s UVSS lead director candidates

Voting for this year’s UVSS election starts March 23, and the campaign period is already in full swing.

A total of 19 students are hoping to join the Board for the upcoming year, and seven candidates are vying for lead director positions.

There are five lead director spots up for grabs. These are full-time positions, which are each responsible for overseeing a specific aspect of UVSS governance. This year the candidates for Director of Finance and Operations, Director of Student Affairs, and Director

of Events are all running unopposed. The Director of Campaigns and Community Relations and Director of Outreach and University Relations positions, however, each have two candidates.

The Martlet spoke with each of the lead director candidates about their visions for the UVSS and what they hope to accomplish if elected.

Photos sourced from UVSS Elections website (

Director of Campaigns and Community Relations

The Director of Campaigns and Community Relations is the person to look to when it comes to student issues. They are responsible for coordinating UVSS campaigns and media relations and for working with different levels of government on key student issues. This position also represents the UVSS for external organizations, committees, and coalitions.


Cleo James Philp is a fourth-year political science student who has been involved with the UVSS for several years and works as a communications officer for the Gender Empowerment Centre.

If elected, Philp will work toward achieving three goals: affordability, accountability, and safety.

Cleo James Philp

She hopes to help students with affordability by lobbying the municipal government to tie rent increase limits to units instead of leases, and by addressing food insecurity with improved funding for the Food Bank.

“People are struggling to eat, I think priorities need to be set,” said Philp. Philp hopes to increase accountability by opening up more opportunities for students to give feedback, and to actually listen to that feedback.

She also hopes to improve the support that UVic gives to sexualized violence survivors. “It’s really unfortunate that UVic specifically has been so reliably disappointing for students who have experienced sexualized violence.”

UVic’s Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response Policy is being reviewed in 2024, and Philp hopes to be able to expand and clarify its scope.

“I think [UVic] knows that there is a lot that needs to be done, and I want to work with them.”


Kirti Rath is a third-year computer science and statistics student who is stepping into the world of politics for the first time. For her, “university is all about new experiences.”

Rath did not plan on running, but when the deadline for candidates was extended, she was urged to get out and share her ideas.

If elected, one of Rath’s main focuses will be on tenancy rights. “The lease that we sign gives us certain rights, and that’s something not a lot of people know, myself included up until a certain point of time,” she said. She hopes to help educate renters on the rights that they have and make the pertaining information easier to access.

Kirti Rath

Another priority will be affordability.

“As an international student, affordability is something that is necessary for me.” She also hopes to help make it easier for international students to apply for and receive financial aid.

Rath believes that there should be more opportunities for students to have on-campus jobs. “Students can be here, [and] they can enjoy that life that they wanted to — that dream campus life.”

Several positions are running unopposed, and affordability is a top focus
Logo sourced from UVSS.

The Director of Finance and Operations, nicknamed the “budget, services and biz whiz” by the Electoral Office, is responsible for the UVSS budget. This includes maintaining financial transparency with members, overseeing the student health and dental plan, and coordinating marketing strategies. This director is also tasked with improving the sustainability of operations in the SUB.


Khushi Wadhwa is a fourth-year economics and French student who has been involved in numerous clubs at UVic, including the UVic chapter of Young Women in Business. She is running unopposed for Director of Finance and Operations.

“I want to increase our revenue as much as possible and give back to the

Director of Finance and Operations

students and the student clubs to encourage them in getting more involved,” said Wadhwa. If elected, Wadhwa’s first priority will be to work on increasing pay for workers, and the profitability of businesses, in the SUB. She plans to do this by working directly with these businesses to understand their individual circumstances and needs as well as by focusing on marketing.

“I would also like to bring in more revenue by promoting our services as much as I can through social media,” said Wadhwa.

Students clubs are another top priority for Wadhwa, who has experienced the value of clubs firsthand. In addition to allocating more funding to clubs, Wadhwa hopes to make space in the SUB more accessible in order to help clubs host more events.

Director of Outreach and University Relations

The Director of Outreach and University Relations is responsible for lobbying and working with the university to meet student needs. The position also involves liaising between the UVSS and students through outreach campaigns and volunteer opportunities as well as acting as the Board’s media spokesperson. This director is also the chair during Board meetings.


Matthew Curtis is a second-year software engineering student and currently serves as the director of outreach for the Engineering Students’ Society.

“I have lots of ideas on small ways and big ways that the UVSS can change to be more accessible, more transparent, and increase communication,” said Curtis.

Matthew Curtis

The Director of Student Affairs is a community builder and advocates for equity. The position is in charge of helping any new or established clubs and course unions, while acting as chair for the Advocacy Relations Committee. They are also responsible for acting as a liaison between student advocacy groups and affiliated organizations and the Board.


Emily Lam is a third-year nursing student who has experience as a campus representative at Camosun College.

She is stepping out of her comfort zone and is looking forward to meeting new people and building new connections across campus.

Lam, like many other students, found online schooling during the pandemic a difficult situation to build relations in. “I just want to rebuild a

safe community for students and foster an inclusive environment and a safe campus to support physical and mental well-being,”Lam said.

She hopes to engage with students and board members through clubs and events, support students in community building and relationships, and better understand the perspectives and experiences of students.

Lam believes she is the right person for this position not only because of her people skills, but also because of her experience running clubs and communicating with others to organize events.

“I think it’s important for people to get their vote out and their voices heard through voting.”

If elected, Curtis plans to adopt the recommendations outlined in the governance review released last month as well as make changes to UVSS general meetings so that more students can participate and are better informed before doing so.

In order to make the UVSS more accessible and encourage students to get involved, Curtis is also looking to implement short-term positions that would allow students to serve on the Board without the typical year-long commitment. He believes this would help lighten the workload for lead directors as well.

In terms of working with the university, Curtis hopes to improve UVic’s co-op programs by making them more “studentfocused.”

“The feeling, at least in engineering and computer science, is that the co-op department is not here for the students, but for the employers,” said Curtis.


Lane O’Hara Cooke is a political science and gender studies student with previous Board experience. O’Hara Cooke started as the advocacy representative for the Gender Empowerment Centre and became the Director of Finance and Operations last September.

“I think it is imperative that the chair of the board is an experienced individual and who's very, very knowledgeable about the UVSS,” said O’Hara Cooke. If elected, some priorities will be improving food insecurity and affordability issues for students.

Lane O'Hara Cooke

“If Victoria is known as the most unaffordable city in the province, people will not want to come here … It's about making investments right now.”

For O’Hara Cooke, this will include advocating for increased wages for SUB workers and lobbying the university for support. With the help of UVic, this candidate also hopes to implement a hot lunch program that will provide students with five meals a week either on a sliding

scale or at no cost to help lighten the burden of food costs.

Within the UVSS, O’Hara Cooke is looking to make changes to improve the society’s work environment and “dismantle cycles of toxicity and bullying,” starting with making the election process less intimidating and competitive.

Director of Student Affairs

Kushi Wadhwa
Emily Lam

Director of Events

The Director of Events is more than just a party planner. Their duties include planning and delivering UVSS events, and collaborating with diverse partners on and off campus. They also work closely with the UVSS communications and graphic design staff.

Sarah Buchanan is a sociology major who has previous experience working as a director at large for the UVSS.

As Director of Events, Buchanan hopes to bring some of her big ideas to fruition.

She believes that the smaller and more chill events on campus, like puppy playtimes and hot lunches, have been successful, and wants to continue those while also adding in some largerscale events.

“I feel like since Covid, there just haven’t been a lot of big community building events in the SUB,” said Buchanan. Vertigo in the SUB now has

Now that you’ve met the students running for lead director positions, cast your vote starting at 9 a.m on March 23. You have until 5 p.m. on March 27 to have a say in who will represent students for the next year.

a liquor license, and Buchanan hopes to make use of that.

Buchanan was impressed by the work that was put into the SEXPO, and hopes to use her power to help make it even more of a success in 2024.

As an avid Halloween lover, she also wants to help make some spooky events a reality. “We’ve got a pretty big surplus in the events budget that I’m hoping to spend.”

As trans eliminationist laws flourish in US, Petition e-4268 offers hope for asylum

A closer look at the 44th parliament’s most-signed petition to date

On Jan. 26, Petition e-4268 was posted on the House of Commons website. To warrant acknowledgement by the government, the petition would need 500 signatures — a milestone it passed within the first couple hours of going live.

Petition e-4268 is a citizenship and immigration petition aimed at lobbying the House of Commons to provide transgender and nonbinary people with the right to claim asylum in Canada because of eliminationist laws in their home countries, regardless of where they are from. Its social relevance has picked up since it was initiated, with many Canadians taking to social media to share the petition and show their support. One user shared a post urging followers to sign e-4268 with the caption, “I’m so tired of this shit, man. Waking up every day to some new bill or law meant to strip us of our rights and dignity. It’s beyond frustrating. Beyond exhausting.”

MP Mike Morrice is the Ontario parliamentarian who is backing Petition e-4268.

“The more widely we communicate to any level of government that there’s support for a particular campaign or call to action, that’s how we put pressure on [the] government to act,” said Morrice in an interview with the Martlet.

Once the petition closes on May 26, Morrice will have the opportunity to present the petition on the floor of the House of Commons, after which the Government of Canada will have 45 working days to officially respond to the petition.

“I’ll be looking for the earliest opportunity the week of May 29,” Morrice said.

Despite being the MP to back the petition, Morrice’s involvement mostly consists of publicly bolstering the work of those in his community.

“Certainly I support the call of the petition. Absolutely. But, for me, it’s really important to highlight the advocates on the ground who are doing the work.”

The primary advocate, in this case, is Cait Glasson, an activist for queer and trans communities in Waterloo, Ontario. Glasson is the creator of Petition e-4268.

“What inspired me [to create the petition] was looking at the number of anti-trans bills being passed in the

states,” said Glasson. “I wonder[ed] if Canada could be of some help here because we have protection in the charter of rights, which very few other countries have.”

Bills concerning transgender rights in the United States are continuously proposed and passed, some of the latest ones within the past month.

On March 2, a first-of-its-kind bill was passed into law in Tennessee that restricts drag performances in the state. It will take effect July 1.

March 6 marked the day that Florida Senate Bill 254 was discussed for the first time. If this bill is passed, it would mean that Florida courts sustain the power to change parental custody rights if a child seeks gender-affirming care.

Canadian immigration legislation includes an agreement with the United States called the Safe Third Country (STC) agreement, which means that, in most cases, in order to make an asylum claim, you cannot currently reside in an STC.

The government of Canada website states that “Only countries that respect human rights and offer a high degree of protection to asylum seekers may be designated as safe third countries. To date, the United States is the only designated safe third country.”

The petition contends the STC agreement should be suspended, since the United States is no longer a safe country for trans people. The petition argues that, instead of relying on the STC agreement, the criteria for national asylum claims should be amended in order to provide safe Canadian residency to trans and nonbinary citizens regardless of where they live.

In order for a petition to be presented on the floor of the House of Commons it needs 500 signatures. According to Cait, “once you break the 500 mark, what you’re doing then is competing for attention.”

“The biggest petition to date in this parliament was an anti-vax petition that got 42 000 signatures or something like that. I’m hoping that we will get enough signatures to get past that, and be the biggest petition presented in this parliament, because Canadians care about this.”

At the time of Glasson’s interview with the Martlet, the petition had around 30 000 signatures, but it has since surpassed 130 000, officially making it the biggest petition to date in the 44th parliament.

According to Glasson, the more signatures the petition receives, the harder it will be for the government to turn it down. She explains that every signature marks a valuable potential voter, and thus, the more people that sign, the more seriously the government might take the petition.

Petition e-4268 has been a success, and a shining show of support from Canadian citizens for transgender and nonbinary people, but only time will tell how the petition will fare when it is presented in parliament.

SYDNEY LOBE VOLUNTEER STAFF WRITER Cait Glasson, photo by Baz Kanold.
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Sarah Buchanan

Let’s BeReal:

How authentic are we online?

Self-proclaimed “authentic” social media apps are becoming a major part of the Gen-Z social media landscape

You’re walking in public, and one of your friends stops in their tracks, immediately grabs their phone, and turns to you asking: “It’s BeReal time! Do you want to be in it?" You look around to see a couple other people snapping a quick selfie and moving on with their day. How many of us have observed this strange phenomenon in the past year, seeing others overcome by a seemingly unexpected and random need to take a spur of the moment picture?

“WARNING! BeReal is life, real life, and this life is without filters.” This is the description you’re greeted with when downloading the photoonly social media app currently taking the world by storm. Touted as “not another social network,” BeReal has recently been at the centre of discussions about showing our authentic selves in the social media realm. The question is, is it working? Or is it just another app to add to the list of shallow, repetitive, and performative masquerades users take part in online?

BeReal was created by two French developers, Alexis Barreyat and Kévin Perreau, and was released in 2020, gaining major traction in the past year. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, a “resource for influencer marketing platforms and agencies,” the app accumulated over 43 million downloads by August 2022.

BeReal alerts users at a random time every day with a notification announcing that it’s “Time to BeReal.” Users are supposed to share photos in under two minutes, using both their front and backfacing cameras. If photos are posted after those designated two minutes, the post is identified with a late label to incentivize people to “be real.” The app also scolds the user if they take multiple shots before posting, revealing to followers how many times the photo was re-taken before uploading. And this is only one layer of the app’s promotion of authenticity — participation is key, since you have to post your own BeReal photo before you can see those of your friends.

Alternatively to other social media apps such as Instagram and Facebook, BeReal does not have likes, filters, retouching, ads, or

follower counts. The only reactionary elements the app allows are comments and photo reactions. Similar to apps like Snapchat, posts vanish after 24 hours, bestowing a certain transient and spontaneous energy to the platform. According to the app store, BeReal is “your chance to show your friends who you really are, for once.”

Numerous other apps have capitalized off of this growing trend of being (or seeming) authentic. Platforms like bopdrop (the music equivalent to BeReal which invites users once a day to post a 30-second snippet of a favorite song) and Poparazzi (a platform where users create a social profile that only their friends, or their own “paparazzi”’ can post to) have jumped on the the ‘being real’ bandwagon. This new generation of social media companies are endeavoring to provide authentic digital connections, and betting on the fact that users are shifting from sharing performative and carefully crafted content to more unfiltered and unadulterated moments.

So who is consuming and using these apps? According to Statista, an online platform specializing in providing market and consumer data, in August 2022, the most substantial

demographic group that used BeReal in the United States was women between 18 and 24 years old, comprising 66 per cent of BeReal’s users that month. Men between 25 and 34 years old amounted to 14 per cent of the total users of BeReal in America. Based on these statistics, it seems that the app resonates the most with women in the Generation Z demographic, those born from the mid-to-late 1990s to the early 2010s.

In a journal article exploring the intricacies of Gen Z, social media, and digital literacies, Dr. Trevor Boffone, a professor from the University of Houston, explores how Gen Z views social media very much the same way that former generations saw social life at school, in extracurriculars, or at church. What once was done in person is now being completed online, such as networking, communication, participation, and collaboration between users, as well as overall diversifying one’s community.

“Today’s Zoomers (so-called members of Generation Z) flock to social media platforms that give the allure of authenticity and a sense of community that they can’t get in ‘real’ life or in other spaces. Whether it’s TikTok videos or BeReal pictures,

Zoomers use these apps as spaces to both document their lives and take a glimpse into the lives of their friends,” says Boffone, in the journal article.

Rowan Harris, a grad student at UVic, first downloaded BeReal after a friend sent her an invitation to download the app. After being initially confused about the rules, having to Google what the app was, and how it worked, she eventually got the gist of it. She started out with a few friends on the app, but she’s slowly gained more and more as people have added her.

When she posts on time, she feels a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that she’s participating according to the rules of the app. But she sometimes finds the overabundance of social media notifications overwhelming.

“I just kind of blow [the notification] off until I have the moment to be like ‘Okay, I can participate in social media at this time,’” said Harris. “When I do post on it, sometimes I'll take a picture and I'm like ‘I'm gonna make this moment not look as grungy as it is.’ Like me just sitting with my hair in a bun doing homework.”

6 // MARCH 23RD, 2023

Another layer of the app she has to navigate is the reality of her remote working situation. Harris has to be careful not to accidentally post any work or confidential information, and as a result, she doesn’t tend to post on time during work hours. In terms of what she uploads to the app, Harris posts what she thinks her followers would like to see or what she thinks would be interesting, such as her cats or her dog. While she’s not usually bothered by what she posts, she does say that it’s somewhat annoying to feel the need to be constantly ready to present herself on the app at any point in the day. As a result, while Harris used the app more frequently when she first downloaded it, she doesn’t post as much as before.

“Working from home, it's not super glamorous … I'm sitting in the same spot,” said Harris. “If a BeReal [goes off] every time between 8:30 and 4:30, everyone's gonna get the same picture every day.”

Harris doesn’t think that BeReal has separated itself from other platforms as being more real or authentic. Even though people post in the spur of the moment, she finds that oftentimes posts can still be curated. For her, BeReal is just another platform to add to the list, slid into the folder on her phone titled “social media.”

Other members of the Gen Z demographic have abstained from downloading the app entirely. Willem Graham, a recent highschool graduate and aspiring UVic student from Victoria, prefers a small number of social media apps on his phone, such as Instagram and YouTube. For him, however, it’s hard not to hear of apps like BeReal when so many people are using them.

“I feel no pressure to have to download [BeReal] ... people in my immediate friends circle aren't using it a whole lot. And even when they do, I feel like I have easier and better ways to contact them,” said Graham.

Still, Graham can see how others might feel coerced into downloading and using these up-and-coming apps. He reflects on how his younger cousins, who he views as “a little more impressionable,” most likely have BeReal downloaded as they might feel more pressured to keep up with what’s trending.

A school project Graham did on various social media apps, such as Instagram and YouTube, has made him more critical of social media in general. He believes the primary goals of the marketers on these apps are to make money or exploit people’s interests, and that casual users often don’t know about the methods businesses use or the intentions they have. Since BeReal does not make money through advertisement investments, increasing engagement and time spent on the app is essential. The ever-changing game of social media also has effects on institutions, businesses, and has had real-life impacts on people’s jobs.

Ali Baggott, UVic’s digital media strategy manager, says her current position at the university didn’t exist five years ago, attributing the change to how rapidly the environment of social media is advancing. When she worked as a communications officer in the athletics and recreation department in 2011, the only prominent social media platform they used was Twitter.

In looking at these apps who are now touting authenticity on their platforms, Baggott compares the surge of interest in BeReal to a kind of online “cat-andmouse game” between Zoomers and marketers. When she was in university, Baggott recounts how when advertisements hit Facebook, people tried to escape to Instagram to find some relief from being marketed to. And then when businesses tried to market to those on Instagram, particularly Gen Z, they then flocked to Snapchat.

“[Gen Z are] running from people who can’t catch them, which is sales and marketing and businesses. Because I think, especially Gen Z, they don’t want to be marketed to,” said Baggott.

Baggott also attributes this to the rise of influencer culture in the last 10 years. She posits that Gen Z prefers to build authentic relationships with others online and be marketed to by people they know and trust. Gone is the reliance on the brand itself, and present is the reliance of perceived authentic connections between the influencer and the influenced.

When asked if apps like BeReal provide any mental health relief compared to traditional apps like Facebook and Instagram, Baggott says yes and no. In her opinion, there may be some relief in these apps in comparison to the Instagram generation, in which young people strived to look perfect online. However, the demands of real-time, unfiltered posts can still add to the stress of posting anything on the Internet. Anyone sharing their life and putting it out there for people to see opens themselves up to be judged, so there’s always some lingering hesitation accompanying that.

“I still think there’s a sort of socialcultural problem with feeling like you need to tell the world what you’re doing every five seconds,” said Baggott.

Ultimately, in an age where people are yearning for genuine human connection, many seem to be pulling away from engaging and participating in more performative and curated content. BeReal has opened the conversation around authenticity in an online world, giving consumers an opportunity to shift the way they interact online and marketers a challenge to keep up with the changing times in order to meet their audience where they’re at.

MARCH 23RD, 2023 // 7
Photo by Karley Sider, illustrations by Sie Douglas-Fish.

The Intimate Images Protection Act should be unanimously accepted

Young adults stand to benefit most from this bill

Content warning: This article discusses sexual exploitation and suicide.

Relationships come in many different forms, with a wide array of intimate connections possible in the age of social media, dating apps, and online communication platforms. A side effect of this is the sharing of intimate images. While sending explicit pictures back and forth may seem fun and risque, there are reasons to worry about what happens if they fall into the wrong hands. The digital age has allowed for revenge porn and sextortion to flourish, often with disastrous consequences.

Laws and government policy have been slow to address this trend. There have been no clear or easy avenues for which victims of non-consensual image sharing can stop the spread of pictures or have them taken down off websites. Likewise, it can be very hard to bring charges or even civil cases against

perpetrators unless a minor is involved. However, the B.C. government just introduced a new bill that can help to deal with this situation. The bill is called the Intimate Images Protection Act and it is meant to provide justice to people who have had their images exploited or shared without consent. The bill was introduced into the legislature on March 6, but it has not yet been voted on or formally established. However, there is no doubt in my mind that such a bill should be unanimously supported. There are various reasons why people, especially UVic students, should look forward to having some measures in place to deal with these situations. The case of Amanda Todd is familiar to many people. She committed suicide after being lured and harassed to reveal herself to a stranger who saved her intimate pictures and used them to blackmail and bully her. The case was so horrible that it led to legislation that expanded the scope of bullying to account for cyberbullying.

However, in recent years, not much has changed. Predators use different tactics to lure people into sharing intimate content so that they can extort their victims, usually for money. In Victoria, sextortion cases rose in 2022, and the victims of such instances have mainly been young men, with 59 per cent of cases filed by teenage boys and young adult males. This percentage only grows when considered nationally, as 92 per cent of cases across the country last year involved the exploitation of young men and boys. This is a statistic that hits close to home for me. In my hometown of Surrey, B.C., a 14-year-old hockey player named Robin Janjua died by suicide this February and the RCMP are investigating whether he was a victim of sexual exploitation. According to news sources, his death may have involved the sharing of an intimate image.

There are too many cases where private content or intimate messages are used to exploit young adults who don’t have a course of action towards justice.

I know there are critics who would say that the government should not make policy regarding our private lives. But the people who are victims of this form of exploitation need to have a sense that they can go to police and lawyers, seek justice, and actually find it. As young adults, we are more likely than most to send intimate images to others, whether

coerced or with mutual consent. A bill such as the Intimate Images Protection Act is important because it can protect students and youth from being extorted and provide a way to remove and de-index content that is shared without consent, and ultimately allow for the abused take back control.

My pet shouldn’t make it harder to find a place to live

Why landlords should realize that some pets are better tenants than people

As a first year student at UVic, I’ve been warned multiple times about the difficulties of finding student housing on the island. Before coming here, I read news articles about students struggling and saw multiple posts on Facebook Marketplace of students looking for homes. However, I didn’t know that one of my best friends, my sweet three-yearold goldendoodle Callie, would make the house hunt even harder.

I wanted to find a place and gain more independence, so I began looking for rentals off campus. I was told by friends to start looking for the coming year as early as January, so I began trying Facebook Marketplace and Places4Students. As I filtered my options on Facebook to “Pets OK,” I saw the number of available homes around campus go from hundreds, to just three. I understand that animals may cause extra stress for the landlord. Barking, potential damage to the home, pee — I get it. So I began to formulate a careful message to possible landlords:

“I have a very kind dog named Callie. She is a Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever x Poodle), so she is hypoallergenic and does not shed! She is very well trained and has a lovely personality. She is medium-sized (55lbs) and three years old. She only barks when someone is at the door. She is fully house-trained, and

we take pride in taking her on at least two walks every day. We make sure she is kept clean with the rainy conditions by wiping or washing her paws when necessary.” Out of at least ten messages sent, I got one reply of consideration. Every other time, I was ignored or noticed the

listing had changed completely to include “No Pets.”

In my first year, I was able to find a place through family connections, and have lived off campus for almost eight months now. However, I am in the process of searching for next year, and the stress of finding a place to live is growing again.

As mentioned before, I understand why some landlords are hesitant to allow pets. There are definitely some cases, like with allergies, in which landlords have a good reason and should make it clear why they do not allow pets. When it comes to wanting to avoid damages to the rental unit, I believe a better step would be more communication and agreement between landlord and renter.

Damages can be caused by people as well. I’ve heard many more stories from my landlord about “crazy people” he’s rented to than “crazy pets.” Although Callie is a fun-lover, she doesn’t party. She won’t be keeping the neighbors up with loud music, have too many friends over, or forget to pay her rent. She rarely gets into disputes with her roommates and won’t threaten to break the lease if she does.

Although I love Callie, it’s hard to think that she makes it harder for me to find a place to live. I work extremely hard to take care of her and ensure she doesn’t cause issues in our home, and I know that a lot of other pet owners do the same. When dogs have behavioral issues, it’s usually not about the dogs themselves but the owner’s willingness to train them. If someone is irresponsible enough to not train their dog to keep their living space damage-free, landlords probably wouldn’t want them as tenants anyways. I wish more landlords understood this. I think landlords should place more trust in responsible pet owners, and there should be more communication between possible renters and landlords. Having a pet shouldn’t be an automatic deal breaker. If prospective renters are detailed and honest in their descriptions of pets, I think landlords should give them a chance. Before coming to any conclusions, they should at least meet the animal and their owner. At the end of the day, we just want a place to live with our fourlegged friends!

It’s time to stop fostering ignorance and silencing voices

Why are we still banning books and protesting Drag Story Time?

From William Shakespeare to Margaret Atwood, censoring literature has a long history. Books, publications, and media are censored for a variety of reasons, including profanity, sexual content, and, most commonly, for opposing dominant ideological beliefs.

Many works we now regard as classics were at one time challenged, banned, or burned. King Lear was banned during the reign of King George III, who experienced periods of madness. In 1931, the Chinese province of Hunan banned Alice in Wonderland because “animals should not use human language and [because] it was disastrous to put animals and humans on the same level.” In 2019, Americans demanded that Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale — which has its own long history of controversy and censorship — be removed from public libraries due to profane language and “sexual overtones.”

A more visceral form of censorship is found in book burnings. In 1932, James Joyce told an American publisher that “some very kind person” bought and subsequently burned a first edition of Dubliners. The following year, one of the most infamous book burnings in history occurred in Nazi Germany. A variety of “un-German” books from Germans such as communist founder Karl Marx and social critic Thomas Mann, along with undesirable “foreign influences,” including Ernest Hemingway and Helen Keller, were burned “to bring German arts and culture in line with Nazi goals.”

Dr. Pearce Carefoot contends that the “first serious efforts” at censoring printed materials in Canada happened during World War I. The War Measures Act (1914) enabled the government to censor, control, and suppress certain “publications, writings, maps, plans, photographs, communications, and means of communication.” It was likely an attempt to limit pro-German propaganda.

Despite societal advancements in human rights and liberties, over 100 years

later we are still faced with attempted censorship. Banning and censoring literature, publications, and media fosters ignorance and hostility in society and creates a skewed education for new generations by restricting certain ideas, identities, and beliefs.

In summer 2022, heated debates arose regarding the banning of books from the Chilliwack School District. Several board of education trustees advocated for the removal of books with inappropriate content. One of the books in question was All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson, an award-winning Black nonbinary author, writer, and activist. The book is a series of personal essays detailing their experiences growing up as a Black queer youth in America, discussing a wide range of topics including gender identity, consent, and toxic masculinity.

In an interview with the Gay and Lesbian Association Against Defamation, Johnson explained that they knew the book could be controversial. “I told my team very early on that I knew that this book at some point would get banned simply because

I knew that the content that was in the book was something that we hadn’t seen much of … [which is] what the Black queer experience looked like.”

As public debates continued, Trustee Darrell Furgason sent a letter to the Chilliwack Progress in response to the controversy. He stated that “no trustee, teacher, administrator or librarian should have the freedom to place books in our district school libraries that contain depictions of sex acts.” He then continued to argue that fellow-Trustee Willow Reichelt “has no right … to promote any sexual practices whatsoever in the school district, even if they are practised by the LGBTQ community.”

A similar attempt at censorship occurred this January when protestors gathered outside the Coquitlam Public Library during Conni Smudge’s Drag Queen Story Time. Smudge has been holding these events at libraries in British Columbia for over a decade. While one protestor in a Global News video yelled that the storytime was “child abuse,” hundreds of people came to support Smudge and the

storytime. For Smudge, these events are intended to help children embrace themselves and each other. “I think this lights up the world to let everybody know they can be exactly who they wanna be,” Smudge said. Similar events across North America have also been met with heavy protest.

Whether it is removing books from libraries or canceling Drag Queen Story Times, censoring certain perspectives, identities, and beliefs creates an ignorant and uneducated society that negatively affects ourselves and future generations. These acts of censorship are attempts to shelter people, often children and youth, from certain ideas and ways of life, which often comes at the expense of the LGBTQ+ community. It is as if critics believe that banning certain books will somehow eliminate them from society. As George M. Johnson said, “There is a great fear of what happens if this new generation actually operates with the truth.”


Mojada balances classic tragedy with a unique, modern spin

Chasing a better life, Medea and Hason have crossed the Mexican-American border and settled in Los Angeles. Hason has adapted to the new culture and his dreams are moving forward, but Medea can’t bring herself to leave their property. In a retelling of the classic tragedy Euripides, Mojada explores the violence of assimilation and exile.

If you’re not familiar with the original Medea, it is a tragedy that follows the characters Jason and Medea after their happy ending in Jason and the Argonauts. Medea, a powerful witch and an outsider to Greek culture, watches as her lover Jason pursues another woman in order to marry into royalty. Medea is left behind despite all she’s sacrificed to give Jason everything he wants. Mojada transplants Medea into the undocumented Mexican immigrant experience. Despite wanting to stay loyal to Hason, her first and only

love, she’s unable to move on from what she had to do to come to America and struggles to fit into American culture.

The standout actors of this production are Judy Caranto as Tita and Ximena Garduño Rodríguez as Medea. Caranto manages to balance the humour Tita brings to the plot as an older woman who says what she wants when she wants, while narrating some of the most harrowing moments. Meanwhile, Rodríguez brings a weight to Medea, encapsulating her struggle to work as an undocumented immigrant and support her husband and son, as well as her fear of getting caught.

Rowan Watts as Hason, however, doesn’t live up to the script. It feels like Hason doesn’t evolve as a character throughout the play. Where there should be a slow change of character, the same delivery is given, resulting in what feels like a flat performance, especially in comparison to Caranto and Rodríguez.

The set, lighting, and sound design are well done in this production. The design of Medea’s new home reinforces the idea that she is trapped. A recurring detail throughout the play is the hovering spotlight from a helicopter that scans the stage; it’s one more thing that prevents Medea from ever relaxing on her property. The sound design punctuates the production with details like the sounds of the street, a little skitter of a lizard, the hiss of a snake, and the swing of a machete. That last detail is done to horrific effect and the tension among the audience was palpable both before and after.

Mojada is a must watch for anyone who enjoys a carefully crafted tragedy. It is a wonderfully done production that adds to the script, minus some flat performances. It doesn’t just use the original Medea, but adds onto it into its own distinct story, balancing the two. Mojada is playing at the Phoenix Theatre until March 25.

Popcorn for Dinner: A Podcast Sitcom brings 90s nostalgia to a format for the 21st century

Four twenty-somethings move into an apartment and attempt to make it on their own, navigating romantic entanglements and friendships while attempting to launch a career (or just pay the rent). Sound familiar? It's supposed to. Popcorn for Dinner: A Podcast Sitcom takes all the tropes of the sitcom genre, paying homage to beloved shows like Friends and How I Met Your Mother, and translates them to a modern medium.

From the plot to the canned laughter soundtrack and upbeat musical stingers, Popcorn for Dinner is billed as the firstof-its-kind: a 90s TV sitcom not on TV and not set in the 90s. The show follows a quartet of friends, Laura, Ellie, Michael, and Austin, as they navigate adulthood in digestible 25-minute episodes. UVic alumnus Ben Fawcett portrays one of the four companions, Austin: the “loveable oddball” of the group. Like Phoebe from Friends or Seinfeld 's Kramer, Austin is always there to surprise you with his bizarre one-liners. Listeners are taken through the gang's capers by narrator Ciara Bravo, who you may recognise from Anthony

Russo’s Cherry and YouTube Premium's Wayne. The show isn't subtle in humor, rather it's a light-hearted and sometimes goofy play on an enduring format. Bravo's narration takes a dry, sardonic tone as she gently mocks some of the genres’ cliches. As Bravo's matter-of-fact vocals highlight, the show's central love arc is set up during the pilot; “I’ll just tell you now, Michael and Laura are the will-they won’t-they of this show.”

Fawcett graduated from UVic, not majoring in theatre or writing, but health information science. It’s in Victoria that he did his first open-mic and discovered a passion for stand-up. Despite moving away, he still returns often. “There’s tons of good local shows in Victoria, Heckler’s Comedy Club is really good,” he told the Martlet.

It’s within the comedy scene that he first met show creator, Maddy Kelly. Fawcett eventually joined Kelly’s live table reads for an early iteration of Popcorn for Dinner.

According to the Vancouver-based production company Kelly&Kelly, Kelly, was inspired to create Popcorn for Dinner by her long-standing love for the genre, saying “I’ve always been obsessed with sitcoms.”

At just twenty-five, she had already achieved astronomic success, amassing 2.5 million views on TikTok. Kelly was also no stranger to the audio medium. Her previous podcast Let’s Make a Sci-Fi, co-hosted with Mark Chavez and Ryan Beil, was named “Best Podcast of 2022,” by the New Yorker and Vulture Magazine.

In a press release Kelly emphasizes that this new comedy is true to her own experience as a twenty-something. The show embraces nostalgia, while also bringing a more contemporary outlook to the format, with classic storylines adapted to the world of social media and dating apps.

“There’re a lot of different problems now,” Fawcett said. “It was all written by young people, all the writers are in their twenties.”

Fawcett’s offbeat, slightly awkward manner is reminiscent of Austin, and that's no accident. Though the character existed before Fawcett came on the project, he has been loosely adapted to suit Fawcett’s personality. Austin has a unique approach to life that Fawcett compares to his own. It may seem head-scratching at first, but it has an interior wisdom. For instance, upon moving into his new home, Austin is wowed by the number of electrical outlets. It's an off-the-wall observation, but the more you consider it, the more it makes sense; who wants to be fighting for a space to charge your phone?

The wildcard characters of many beloved sitcoms, Phoebe Buffay, or Barney Stinson, usually end up having hidden depths. I asked Fawcett if this will be true of Austin too. Hesitant to give any plot spoilers, he revealed that "there's definitely some deeper storylines with Austin … It turns out he has his life together a bit more than some of the other characters."

Is Austin a secret billionaire? Perhaps he's hiding a wife and three children in Connecticut. To find out, listeners can tune in each Tuesday for new episodes on Spotify, Apple, or other podcast platforms.

MARCH 23RD, 2023 // 9 CULTURE
Though some performances fell flat, Mojada is a must-watch New podcast starring UVic alumnus is an uplifting and updated take on the 90s sitcom
Photo provided by UVic Theatre Department. Graphic sourced from Kelly&Kelly press release.

In conversation with Kevin Matviw

Kevin Matviw is a Victoria kid who moved to Toronto in the mid-2000s to pursue his improvisational comedy dreams. He performed there for well over a decade. He’s back in Victoria and started Garden City Comedy, a school for improvised comedy, in 2021.

I’ve just finished taking Matviw’s 101 course where I learned improv fundamentals like making and accepting offers, “yes and,” and establishing the who, what, and where of scenes. After class, I sat down with him to talk about his comedy roots and his vision for Garden City Comedy.

Based on the stories you’ve told in class, you got your start in traditional theatre, correct?

I wanted to be a dramatic actor, so I went to an actor film college that doesn’t exist anymore. That was in town in Bastion Square: The Canadian College of Film and Acting … There was an improv part of that class and I realised how much fun it was. I had a teacher from that school encourage me to go to Toronto and pursue acting at Second City.

Did you start by taking introductory classes at Second City?

No, I actually started taking classes at the Bad Dog Theatre. I went to Humber, it’s like a school for “comedy.” I had a teacher that was encouraging me to take classes outside of the classes that I was getting in Humber because I wasn’t really satisfied at the time, and he recommended Bad Dog as the place

to be … Luckily one of the teachers of that class was also one of the producers of Theatresports. Based on my stuff in the class, he asked me to come to do Theatresports, which is their mainstage show at the Bad Dog, as a swing, meaning I was kind of an understudy … I was [taking] classes, as well as doing the rehearsals for Theatresports once a week and performing pretty early on, which is great, because you need to do it like three times a week to get good at it.

Did you graduate from Humber?

I dropped out within a year, and I was like, ‘I don’t like this anymore.’ I felt that I was learning more and getting stage time [outside of Humber].

How long after you first started your classes did you get to be up on stage with a real audience?

Right away. At the Bad Dog there were a lot of opportunities for students to play, which is a great idea really because it dispels the mystery of that if you have any trepidation about doing it. So yeah, I was taking classes and I would do a show called Midweek Mayhem, which was just for anybody to show up and go up and play a bunch of games.

So generally the way the process works with Second City is you take all the courses until you get to the max level and then at that point are you open to audition for these other things?

That’s the idea, I never took a class at Second City until I already started working there, because when I was working there I got them for free.

So I did classes at Bad Dog and then through that sort of built my reputation enough … The promise of taking classes there and then doing the conservatory [is that] theoretically they’ll put you in the show. But there are so many examples of that not being the case, and [of] people doing their own thing and auditioning and getting it.

Explain your vision for Garden City Comedy and how people can get involved?

My plans are to continue teaching classes. I have beginner classes all the way up to level 401, which are more performance-based … 101 gets you warmed up, used to the idea of following your impulses, of working

collaboratively. And when you get to 401, I’ve designed it so it’s getting people ready for being in Garden City Comedy shows, which I want to do more of. There’s the monthly pro improv comedy shows where I bring folks from Second City or elsewhere into town and perform with them. I also have another short-form improv show that I have cooking, but I don’t want to say what it is yet.

Are you planning on staying in Victoria? Rightly or wrongly, Victoria has not always been viewed as the greatest place to pursue comedy professionally. Are you planning on investing in the school long term?

Ask me on any given week and my answer will be different. But the way I’m approaching it is I’m doing it like I’m going to stay here, even if that ends up not being the case, because I don’t believe in half-assing things. The more that Garden City Comedy grows, the more inspired I am and the more inspired I am by the students, who are amazing. And I feel like the shows are starting to happen. My biggest thing is I’ve missed performing on a regular basis. I was performing like three to five times a week for a few years and I think there’s potential for that to happen here. I want to see what the future holds.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

A new experimental publication is shaking things up on campus

Meet the face behind Victoria's Garden City Comedy school Submissions for the first issue of OVER/EXPOSED are open

OVER/EXPOSED is a new fully digital literary journal focusing on experimental work, the first of its kind at UVic. Submissions opened on March 15, and the first issue is planned to release sometime over the summer.

Visit the magazine’s eye-catching website, and you’ll be welcomed by these guidelines: “OVER/EXPOSED accepts poetry, prose, multimedia, visual art submissions, and reviews. We are looking for off-kilter, electric, genrebending art that stays with us like an afterimage. Our tastes are eclectic, and we have a special interest in interactive media and experimental works.”

The publication is primarily a grad student project, giving priority to the work of fellow grad students. That being said, undergrads should not be afraid of submitting.

“We're super excited and hopeful to get as many submissions as we can,” said Evelyn Ryan, the web designer for OVER/EXPOSED. “We're hopeful for donations from donors so we can [give] back some of that money to our artists who get published. We’re really focused on getting that first issue out, and we're hoping it reaches a large audience.”

Since the journal is completely online, the team is hoping to publish different forms of media that wouldn’t be possible in print. These include formats like HTML files, MP3s, MP4s,

and projects made using Twine, a free online tool for creating interactive and choose-your-own-adventure stories.

The lack of physicality has also helped the OVER/EXPOSED team overcome the steep costs that come with printing a magazine. As a result, the publication will be free when it’s eventually released, allowing anyone to enjoy its content, though donations are still accepted.

“I think the biggest disadvantage I can see is it being another thing in an inbox, and people see it, and they're like, ‘oh, I don't need to read that right now,’” said Ryan.

Being a digital publication may have its benefits, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. According to

Ryan, the biggest hurdle will be figuring out how to publish less traditional formats. Most work is submitted to journals as PDF or Doc files, but “with experimental work, it could really be anything.”

“There's a challenge in setting our submission guidelines [for] what file types we accept, as well as preparing our website to be able to host various kinds of media,” said Ryan.

Starting a new publication like this is no small task, but that shouldn’t discourage anyone who has their own vision of creating something similar.

“You need to build everything from scratch, and you need to make a reputation from scratch,” said Ryan.

“There's been a lot of networking with people as well as getting our name out there in various ways, such as social media.”

OVER/EXPOSED can be found on Instagram and Twitter.

As the options for publication on campus expand, so do the possibilities and opportunities for creators. This Side of West, The Albatross, The Malahat Review, and The Warren are the established publications on campus, all catering to slightly different styles and audiences. The Warren is the most experimental of these publications, but even it is limited by its physicality.

“I think the biggest difference between OVER/EXPOSED and The

Warren is that we're focused on graduate students, as well as the focus on alternative mediums.”

Ryan says that the OVER/EXPOSED team was inspired by other experimental publications such as The Ex-Puritan.

If you or anyone you know has a project that may have been shelved due to it being a little too out there for traditional paper publications, now might be the time to dust it off. As technology advances, so do the opportunities for newer and more experimental work to be shared.

CULTURE 10 // MARCH 23RD, 2023
Photo by Chad Stembridge via Unsplash. Graphic provided by @over_xposed.lit on Instagram.

The economy of the hug

And why I’m careful who I squeeze

Ah, the Board Game Café on bustling Yates Street in the heart of Victoria. Can you stand the excitement? Smells like popcorn, no? Bowls of buttered kernels overflowing next to towering eight-dollar milkshakes slurped down by couples playing colonial make-believe. Yes, it's all a bit excessive. But it can make for a fun night if you squint a little.

However, I’m not here to talk about the milkshakes, or the popcorn, or the ass-kicking of capitalistic proportions that I meted out playing Ticket to Ride with the newly befriended couple my girlfriend and I went to the café with. Instead, I'm here to ruminate on the hugs (you heard me, the hugs) we exchanged at the end of the night with that couple.

Most goodbyes have an accompanying gesticulation: a wave, a nod, a regular handshake, a convoluted handshake of various slaps and bumps, or, maybe, a hug. So there we were, after a perfectly serviceable night of socializing, facing the rather important decision of how to say goodbye. I began, strategically, backing away slowly — smiling and affirming like an Avon rep at the end of a sales party.

“Thank you for coming! Let's do it again soon, blah blah,” I enthused, when they stepped forward, arms outreached, eyes open wide like children looking for mommy’s embrace. The hugs were inescapable.

Now, I'm sure you’re asking: what’s the big deal? Why escape a hug from perfectly normal people, even friends? It’s simple. The hug, once exchanged between humans who may periodically

encounter one another again throughout time and space, will set precedent for all future hellos and goodbyes — a sort of silent contract that, once consummated, will forever be the expectation. It’s tiresome, predictable, almost always unnecessary, and simply an obligation I’d rather avoid.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m no monster. The act of hugging in many situations is appropriate and sometimes even necessary. I think we can all agree that the hug in its current form — I mean without factoring in the more practical origins of the action (i.e., transferring body heat, showing a possible enemy both hands are empty and of no threat, keeping babies alive, etc.) — represents an acute feeling of care that only full physical embrace communicates sufficiently. For example, when my best friend's grandmother passed, we hugged;

The pros and cons of spring

A harrowing tale of seasonal allergies

With March 20 officially marking the first day of spring, many students are turning to the outdoors to relieve their stress and soak up some dearly missed vitamin D. Walking outside, it’s clear to see why some claim spring as their favourite season. Trails and walkways are lined with daffodils or tulips of various colours, and the bees have already been assigned their jobs to collect pollen. Seasonal depression is chased away by the bright blue sky and sunny (albeit

windy in Victoria) days. April showers are a joy and relief from the hail and snow of winter, and the fresh smell of nature lingers in the air. The often gloomy coastal outlooks of the island are given new, invigorating life that begs one to abandon any idea of a lecture hall and escape to the beach.

That being said, while all seasons have their issues, none have majorly inconvenienced me more than spring.

As I’m sure is relatable to many, I suffer from seasonal allergies.

The second I step outside it is as if I am suddenly in a war zone. Dodging a meteor shower of pollen with every stride

when my brother told me he was having a son, we hugged; when my sister left her douchebag ex, hug. However, the “problematic hug” manifests when it seeps into everyday interactions. To be fair, some people rely on the hug for its relative simplicity.

Example: I recently ran into my hugging friend Cory at a pub down the street from my place. He, of course, hugged me immediately (even though we had just seen each other only a few days ago) and invited me to sit at the bar with him. After two glasses of a rather heavy IPA, I told him I had been thinking about the matter of hugging and wanted his opinion.

“The hug cuts out all the guesswork,” he said. “I don’t want to have to botch some college-bro or baseball handshake. I save the professional handshake for the office and hugs for my friends.” Okay,

maybe a little manipulative towards the huggee, but fair enough.

Listen, I’m not here to take the hug away from anyone who finds it useful. And I know, I know, there’s research out there on how hugging can decrease stress, release the “cuddle hormone” Oxytocin, and may even reduce blood pressure (although, post-COVID, I wouldn’t necessarily be too promiscuous of a hugger, even if I did enjoy them). My point is this: read the situation. Be a little goddamn discerning, or even selective for that matter! Because, sooner or later, we’re at risk of watering down the hug til it has no significance left to squeeze out.

But trust me, when a hug is warranted — when the situation calls for a genuine, big granddaddy, loving-ass hug — I promise, I give a good one.

in the trenches, it’s vital to rush towards the nearest building for shelter, even better a pharmacy to load up on the ammo that is allergy pills. I don my N95 mask as combat armour, the allergy pills as a magic potion, and enter battle. Entering a lecture is when the true struggle begins. Whether it’s a room of 30 or 300, the unspoken social law is to never cough, sneeze, or sniffle. Experiencing what seems to be the black plague, I sit in my unassigned, assigned seat in the middle of an aisle, and begin to pray to whatever gods are out there that I will be able to make it through the

50 minutes of class time. Alas, my prayers aren’t answered, and during minute 23 I feel the oncoming effects of what will be my downfall. Red, irritated eyes are the least of my problems as the beginnings of a sneeze commence. My nails leave imprints on the palms of my hands as I hold my breath until I fear I’ll turn blue. I can already see how once I sneeze, the entirety of the lecture hall will be staring straight at me. I could attempt a quick escape into the hallway, but where I’m sitting has doomed me to stay trapped in the jail cell that was previously my seat. Tears flow to my

eyes as I am faced with humanity’s greatest question: to sneeze or to die?

However, it’s too late as my fate has been chosen, and a sound not unlike a lion’s roar emits from my nose. There’s nothing more to do than sit extremely still and hope that human vision no longer has the ability to see me in my paralyzed state.

Leaving the lecture hall I’m first out the door, risking the hailstorm of pollen raining down once again. Even without protection, it’s worth it for a quick escape.

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Petals of the present


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.





2 Edible tuber of South America

3 (Tree to bloom later this spring)

4 Say "It's on me"

5 Rapidly swirling current

6 Centred

7 Awesome, in surf slang

8 Celebrated boxing family

9 The quality of being laughable or comical

Spanner of eleven time zones

Farm storage spots

Opposite to NNE

(flower in bloom right now) 43 Cortisol-secreting gland 45 Arbiter, for short

Sound of leaves 50 Creature observed when someone says, "That's a moray" 52 Malcolm X's birth city 53 Follower of Heaven's or Pete's

56 Country that borders Yemen, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia 57 ____ wrestling

Comic caption contest

Top entries from our readers on Instagram

1. 2. 3.

SENIOR STAFF WRITERS Atum Beckett, Sajjan Sarai, Karley Sider VOLUNTEER STAFF WRITERS Brianna Bock, Manmitha Deepthi, Kristen de Jager, Sydney Lobe, Raheem Uz Zaman SENIOR STAFF EDITORS Yo'ad Eilon-Heiber, Aidan Nelson-Sandmark


Hannah Seaton, Julien Johnston-Brew


Cairis Boychuk, Ariel Bolton, Kiera Clark, Derek Leschasin, Meghan Molnar, Liam Moore Razzell,

This issue's cover is by Sie Douglas-Fish, Design Director.

12 // JANUARY 13TH, 2022 FUN STUFF Newsroom 250.721.8361 | Business 250.721.8359 | | @TheMartlet |
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.
Sarah Roberts, Chris Sheaff, Paul Voll, Freyja Zazu
Monte-Cristo 6 Forgets to blink 12 Roomba, briefly 15 "Wild" thing, at times 16 (Flowers that should be blooming soon) 17 Pokemon protagonist 18 Got gray, say 19 Goes along with 20 In ____ of (replacing) 22 Opposing word 23 Keeps (oneself) active 24 Range needed by an eavesdropper 26 Word before and after "in" 27 No illusion 28 Hedonist's pursuit 32 Content of a kinder egg 34 Rope fiber 36 Like a 4x100, for example 37 Spheres 39 Was sick 41 "You should join us!" 42 A dance and a dip 44 Moon-related 46 Touch-___ 47 (Flower in bloom right now) 49 Withdrawal annoyances 51 With the plural form of 32-across, a children's store 52 Side with the ball 55 Diana and Bob, among others 58 "If you ask me..." in brief 59 Pb, for short 60 Dosage, e.g. 61 Not even uno 63 What one might do at Mount Washington 64 Bat, cat, or rat, e.g. 65 Fashionable 66 What you hope your jello will do in the fridge 67 It's found under an arch? 68 Owner of a comet
Dumas's Le _____ de
10 Kin of foil and saber
Tire leak sound 12 Mystic ____, forest nearby campus
[Trees in bloom right now] 21 Not squander
___ a ball (lives it up)
Word before wrench or key
Find a buddy
Short while, for short
Skateboard park fixture 31 They can be batted and rolled
Horseshoes attempt 33 North African port city
54 Alter 55 Actor Malek
58 Stubborn people won't give one 62 One may be high or low
" I would testify, your honour, but my lawyer keeps eating my crackers."
"Topical debate? I thought you said TROPICAL debate!"
"We’re not all angry!"