May 30, 2024

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President Kevin Hall says UVic is 'open to dialogue' with encampment

Inflammatory allegations say otherwise, according to People's Park: 'We are here to stay until they earnestly engage with our demands'


President Kevin Hall states UVic is “open to dialogue” with pro-Palestine encampment, but People’s Park says a good-faith meeting with high-level administrators has still not occurred. Further, a statement from UVic administration following a violent event on campus presents inflammatory allegations regarding the encampment, say protesters.

On Tuesday, May 14, an armed man threatened university staff inside UVic's First Peoples House, and was arrested by Saanich police. The Saanich Police Department stated after the arrest that although the man had been camping on UVic’s campus, he was not believed to be involved with the pro-Palestine encampment.

The next day, however, UVic president Kevin Hall released a statement saying that he is “concerned that the persistent presence, scale and prominence of the encampment at the university is attracting additional challenges to our campus.” He also stated that the individual who was arrested had appeared on campus

after an open invitation to the community from People’s Park.

President Hall then cited a series of alleged incidents, including obstruction of justice, profanity-laced disruptions, misinformation campaigns, and vandalism, as further evidence of the encampment's disruptive influence.

In response to President Hall’s statement, a graduate student and spokesperson for the encampment, who chose to remain nameless, said that after the arrest of the armed man on May 14, the encampment felt compelled to make a public statement reiterating to the community that this incident was unrelated to them and their cause.

“It seems as though they are attempting to build a case against us as a violent situation that is perpetuating harm on campus,” said the encampment’s spokesperson. “It’s not true.”

President Hall also stated that members of the encampment who were assaulted on May 7 chose not to press charges to maintain anonymity, which “prevented the individual from being arrested and charged.”

The encampment spokesperson stated, “Police asking to press charges not even ten minutes after people had just experienced severe head injuries and other bodily injuries is not a situation where people can make informed or consensual choices on

"Until then, we are here and we are going to stay here"

how they want to make an important legal decision.”

President Hall also expressed concern, in a May 15 statement, that members of the encampment were riding bikes on the first floor of the McPherson Library during unauthorized building hours. The

spokesperson refuted these claims, saying that they don’t have a way to access the library after hours. They also mentioned that the building has campus security and police members inside during those hours.

“It also makes no sense for us to do that,” said the spokesperson. “Getting ourselves in trouble for no reason? It would be a pretty unstrategic and ridiculous thing to do, and I think we have shown from faculty and wider community testament that we are here in principle of dedication to our demands.”

On May 17, faculty members gathered outside the encampment demanding President Hall and his office an meet immediately to facilitate the start of dialogue between them and the students. The letter, as of May 17, was signed by 75 faculty members. “We would not want to see the kind of police actions that took place at the University of Calgary or the University of Alberta take place here,” said Audrey Yap, philosophy professor and spokesperson during the statement, “and we believe that such resolution would be the worst outcome possible for all parties involved.”

On May 22, elders of the community organized and performed a peaceful march to stand in solidarity with the encampment. “Thank you to these students. Thank you to all you young people,” said a member of the elder community. “All you brave, young people.”

Regardless of the community’s support for direct communication between the encampment and UVic administration, such communication has not occurred according to an admin post from the encampment on May 22. In the post, People’s Park UVic informed the community they had once again requested a meeting with President Hall. “After THREE WEEKS of supposed openness to dialogue, we have yet to receive any direct communication from the president, let alone a meeting,” read the statement.

“We are steadfast in our demands and our devotion to standing up for Palestine. We are here to stay until they earnestly engage with our demands,” said the encampment spokesperson. “Until then, we are here and we are going to stay here.”

MAY 30, 2024 • VOLUME 77 • ISSUE 1
Photo by Ethan Barkley.


UVic based research is paving the way for psychedelic awareness

The Victoria Association for Psychedelic Studies advocates for a shift in perspective



Despite decades of strict policies over drug possession and manufacturing in Canada, many people have gradually begun to re-evaluate drugs that were once deemed harmful.

Just as marijuana underwent a renaissance of social acceptance, psychedelics are now garnering significant attention from the public for their potential cognitive and therapeutic benefits.

At UVic, a group of students channelled their collective interest in psychedelics into creating the Victoria Association for Psychedelic Studies (VAPS). Founded ten years ago by Danny Lucas, Adrian Ober, and Philippe Lucas — one of whom has since opened the first psychedelic clinic in Victoria — VAPS stands on three main pillars: “community, education, and advocacy around the... psychedelic space.”

Today, VAPS is led by Daniel Kopaee, a fourth-year psychology student who has been in various leadership roles with the club for several years.

Kopaee's personal experiences with psychedelics have shaped his dedication to VAPS. "When I was 14, I took mushrooms with a friend," he recalls. The transformative experience set him on the path to his current role as director of VAPS.

"Ever since that psychedelic experience, I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to this –– or at least a large part of my life.”

Kopaee describes the club's current mission as "how to support people in altered states." Alongside this objective, VAPS hosts many public events, guest lectures, discussion circles, and harm reduction workshops.

"I think we've raised a lot of awareness and created a lot of spaces for people to connect and receive support and education," says Kopaee. Recently, VAPS has also engaged in more political action, participating in initiatives like Project Solace: a coalition of organizations in Canada advocating for legal access to psychedelic substances.

Despite the recently positive reception of psychedelics, Kopaee acknowledges the challenges and responsibilities that come with promoting such substances. However, he remains committed to

extolling their responsible use and potential benefits.

"We don't promote people irresponsibly using psychedelics," he says. VAPS aims to provide a balanced perspective, advocating for both the therapeutic potential of psychedelics and the strong need for responsible use. "I've certainly taken risks. I think anyone involved in this space has taken reputational risks," he says.

“Rats are receiving LSD at UVic as we speak. Heroin crack, meth, and MDMA have been decriminalized. We're really in a time change.”

As psychedelics become more mainstream, Kopaee envisions a society where these substances are legally accessible and regulated, offering what he says could be significant benefits for mental health and personal growth.

"Psychedelics are being sold in stores and two mushroom dispensaries are opening in town. At the same time, it's also becoming much more commercialized."

When asked about psychedelics in relation to pharmaceuticals, Kopaee took a neutral stance.

“A few years ago, I was psychedelics versus pharmaceuticals. But I don't quite view it through a lens that is

dichotomous anymore; SSRIs are incredibly powerful tools.”

The work of VAPS contributes to a new era of psychedelics, marked by increasing interest in their numerous benefits. Despite psychedelics' current legal gray area, Kopaee and the other members of VAPS are helping to pave the way for a future where psychedelics are understood, respected, and integrated into society.

2 // MAY 30, 2024
Photo by Ethan Barkley.
WRITER DUNE: PART 2 MAY 29-JUNE 1: 4:45 & 7:45 CIVIL WAR JUNE 14 & 15: 5:00 & 7:10 MULHOLLAND DR. JUNE 18 & 19: 4:45 & 7:30 PRIDE MONTH CINEMA! THE GREAT SALISH HEIST JUNE 21 & 22: 5:00 & 7:00 National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21! UPCOMING

In memory of Dr. Leland H. Donald UVic professor emeritus and prominent anthropologist passes away peacefully at age 81

Dr. Leland H. Donald, professor emeritus at the University of Victoria and prominent anthropologist, passed away peacefully on April 10, 2024 at age 81. Dr. Donald worked in the Department of Anthropology from 1969 until his retirement in 2008, and during this time, he also served as department chair and Acting Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. While at UVic, his research interests included ethnology, social

organization, and ethnohistory, with a particular research focus on Indigenous communities and slavery in the Pacific Northwest.

Dr. Donald was born in Rome, Georgia on October 8, 1942, and later received his PhD in Anthropology from the University of Oregon, where he focused on sub-Saharan Africa. He undertook dissertation fieldwork in Sierra Leone to research the Yalunka, a smaller ethnic group in Sierra Leone.

In graduate school, Dr. Donald took a series of graduate seminars taught by American anthropologist David F. Aberle

on the cultural ecology of the Northwest Coast. At UVic, Donald began to develop a deeper interest in the Northwest Coast. In 1975, Dr. Donald began researching Northwest Coast slavery alongside colleague Donald Mitchell; they observed that the use of slaves and slave labor was downplayed by many Northwest Coast ethnographers. This led them to initiate what they termed the Northwest Coast Intergroup Relations Project.

Throughout his career, Dr. Donald published numerous scholarly articles and was the renowned author of Aboriginal Slavery on the Northwest

Coast of North America, which critics say made a significant impact in understanding and studying Indigenous groups and cultures on the Northwest Coast.

His book explores a variety of topics, including, but not limited to, who owned slaves and how they were procured; the nature, use, and value of slave labor; and relations between masters and slaves. In his book, Dr. Donald argues that “slavery is one of the key culture traits that must be fully understood if the Northwest Coast culture area is to be properly appreciated.”

Dr. Donald made important contributions

to the field of anthropology by expanding the research available on Indigenous cultures on the Northwest Coast.

Predeceased by his wife, Beth Stevenson, Dr. Donald is survived by his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. He is also fondly remembered by colleagues and the many students he taught through the decades.

Per the family’s request, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the British Columbia and Alberta Guide Dog Services in Dr. Donald’s memory.

New UVic workshop embraces ethical generative A.I. use in student research

UVic's Digital Scholarship Commons guides university toward responsible A.I. integration

On April 4 2024, UVic’s Digital Scholarship Commons launched a new workshop available for students, faculty, and instructors called “Using Generative A.I. for Student Research.”

The workshop aims at informing students on how to use generative A.I. (GenAI) tools and discusses the university’s A.I. use strategy.

The GenAI workshop was developed by a team of librarians, including Christian Schmidt, UVic’s Special Projects Librarian, and Rich McCue, the manager of the Digital Scholarship Commons.

The workshop, which is hosted online, is available for all undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty and instructors. It has 12 core learning objectives, including: developing an understanding of GenAI and its ethical considerations, what strategies researchers can undertake to use GenAI amidst ethical and safety concerns, how to evaluate the reliability of findings, what

the UVic policies are, and how to leverage library resources.

McCue notes that the skills learned in the workshop should be applied only when an instructor permits it.

“That’s a big caveat that we reinforce several times in the workshop, because we don’t want to help students get into trouble because a particular professor does not allow generative A.I. for doing a literature review, for example,” said McCue.

According to McCue, his motivation for developing the workshop came from what he witnessed as an instructor. While teaching EDCI 336 (Technology Innovation in Education), McCue noticed that his students – who are future teachers – were interested in using GenAI in their schoolwork while also aware of how they might handle it in their future classrooms.

“I could see the students thinking, oh, this can be really useful to me and my schoolwork. And then a couple of minutes later, they’d be going, oh, but I’m going to have a classroom full of high schoolers or middle schoolers that will have access

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to this. How am I going to manage that and still meet learning objectives?” said McCue.

The workshop fits into UVic’s position on A.I. use that was released in December 2023. Rather than outright banning the use of GenAI, UVic has embraced the ethical use of GenAI tools (GAITs). According to the position statement, GAITs offer new ways of learning and teaching, and will be important to understand for students entering the workforce.

McCue notes that certain faculties have taken to encouraging GenAI use to prepare students for their careers.

“From what I’ve heard and observed, the business faculty is really trying to encourage instructors to use generative A.I. where appropriate, just because their people are going to be seeing that in business when they get out,” said McCue.

UVic has further expressed a commitment to supporting faculty and instructors on how to navigate GenAI use in the classroom, including a list of tips to promote academic integrity amongst

students who choose to use GAITs.

Dr. Micheal Ziegler, a sessional instructor at MacEwan University who recently defended his dissertation on the positive and negative effects of A.I on society, emphasizes the importance of strong pedagogical approaches for instructors wishing to integrate assignments where students can use GAITs.

“It can’t just be random,” said Ziegler.

“It has to be embraced in terms of pedagogy. That is, it has to actually make sense in the class. Like, why are you doing this? Is it useful for the assignment in terms of learning AI? Is it useful for the assignment in terms of thinking it can help students in some way?”

Ziegler warns that instructors who only integrate GenAI assignments as a tactic for deterring students from cheating — such as by asking students to submit ChatGPT’s response to their assignment prompt — may cause a culture of distrust in the classroom.

“You’re starting the semester with a lack of respect for students and their

capacity to do work,” said Ziegler. “So it has no pedagogical value and has no place in the classroom in my mind.”

Ziegler noted that GenAI use comes with many ethical concerns, including GAITs’ reproduction of biases, land use, ecological impacts, data collection and security practices, and more.

“All of [the ethical factors] need to be considered and only add to the argument that we can’t just use it for the sake of using it, there has to be some amount of value. Otherwise, you’re just kind of engaged in this circular reality of committing harm and recommitting harm in various ways,” said Ziegler.

McCue says that the library workshop can help individuals navigate the ethical concerns related to when GenAI use is appropriate.

The workshop is currently being expanded upon, and more GenAI courses are slowly being released – including one that specifically looks at GAIT prompt engineering. The next “Using Generative A.I. for Student Research” workshop is taking place in June.

like Harrison Butker's happen at UVic? Kansas City Chiefs kicker's controversial address raises questions about convocation speaker selection process


Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison

Butker has made headlines with his controversial speech delivered for a spring commencement ceremony. The speech has drawn attention to universities’ processes for selecting convocation speakers, raising questions about how they are chosen at UVic.

Butker’s speech, delivered on May 11 to the graduating class at Benedictine College, is being called misogynistic, sexist, and homophobic. The most viral segments of the 20-minute-long address include Butker’s thoughts on abortion, the Biden administration, pride month, “gender ideologies,” and the ambitions of women graduating from the college.

“I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical lies told to you. How many of you are sitting here now about to cross this stage and are thinking about all the promotions and titles you are going to get in your career? Some of you may go on to lead successful careers in the world, but I would venture to guess that the majority of you are most excited

about your marriage, and the children you will bring into this world,” Butker said in his speech.

Benedictine College — where the address took place — is a Catholic liberal arts school in the historically conservative city of Atchison, Kansas. The College has a small student population of around 2100 students and according to their website, is committed to promoting the teachings of the Catholic Church.

According to a media release from early April, Benedictine College wanted to make this year’s commencement speaker particularly memorable, considering this class missed their high school graduations amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This release characterized Butker as a “devout Catholic, a professional NFL football player, a successful entrepreneur, noted philanthropist, and sought-after public speaker,” and further detailed the speaker’s family life.

This isn’t the first time that Benedictine College has hosted a controversial commencement speaker. In 2023, the College hired Leonard Leo for the job — a republican lawyer who is often attributed as the man behind securing

the right-wing shift in the U.S. Supreme Court. Butker’s speech echoes Leo’s, which called upon graduates to commit themselves to their faith in the face of “progressive bigots.”

UVic students may find themselves asking whether they too could ever expect a speaker like Butker at their convocation ceremony.

“There are a number of different convocation speakers during the ceremony, including a welcome by an Elder from our Elder’s Circle, speeches by the President and the Chancellor, the orator to introduce the Honorary Degree recipient, the Honorary Degree recipient themselves, the reading Deans of the faculties, and a member from Alumni who welcomes the graduates to their membership,” reads an emailed statement from a University of Victoria spokesperson.

In years prior, the most significant speeches have come from the President, the Chancellor, the orators to introduce the Honorary Degree recipients, and the Honorary Degree recipients.

The Spring 2024 convocation schedule at UVic spans over five days, from June 10-June 14. The convocation ceremonies

are divided by faculty, with three honorary degrees being conferred: a doctor of science on Margaret Lidkea, a doctor of laws on Eloise Spitzer, and a doctor of letters on Dr. James Carley.

Lidkea will be honoured on June 11 for her contributions to environmental stewardship. Spitzer will be honoured on June 12 for her legal contributions, including her support in founding LEAF –– an organization dedicated to achieving gender equality through law. Carley will be honoured on June 13 for his contribution to the humanities, particularly in relation to his achievements as a historian and scholar.

To date, there has been little to no reported controversy amongst the speakers at UVic’s convocation ceremonies in the past. According to an email statement from UVic, “each speaker’s materials are reviewed in different ways prior to Convocation ceremonies — with the exception of the Indigenous welcome.”

This year, anticipated speeches from Lidkea, Spitzer, and Carley will be treated no differently.

While a speech like Butker’s is unlikely

to be shared during a convocation ceremony at UVic, other ceremony disruptions may be on the horizon, given that pro-Palestinian graduates have recently staged protests during graduation ceremonies across the U.S.

MAY 30, 2024 // 3 UVIC LIFE
Photo by Annilea Purser.

UVic's ECS programs have a gender diversity problem The Women in Engineering and Computer Science club is combatting it through solidarity

On the second day of Emily Murray’s software engineering degree at UVic, she witnessed a male student harassing a female classmate outside a lecture hall before class. A group of men had approached the woman, attempting to mingle, and upon being rejected they asked her what program she was in. When she told them she was in engineering, one said, “Drop out now! Don’t even bother coming into the course.”

Murray, standing nearby, overheard. “I took out my earbuds, like, ‘Did I hear that right?’” This was when she decided to step in. “I [walked] up to them, and I’m like ‘Hey, nice to see you again, I saw you at orientation!’ She was like, ‘Oh my god yeah, I remember you!’ and we walked away. I had no idea who she was. I haven’t spoken to her since.”

Murray is 26, and recently returned to university after rediscovering her passion for sciences, so she says she has thick skin when it comes to rude comments made by men in her program. When she told friends she chose engineering, they warned her of the condescending attitudes of her male counterparts, but she was surprisingly also warned about the women. Family would say, “Only 10 per cent of the women in your program are going to make it out, so you have to make sure you kick out the other 90 per cent.”

However, after feeling lonely in the

beginning of her degree, Murray quickly realized that she wanted to create more low-commitment community events for women and gender non-conforming engineering students so these perceived social boundaries could be broken.

Murray discovered WECS Club, which has been at UVic since 2012, and is best known for drop-in review sessions for first year science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses. WECS broke up in 2022 due to graduating participants, but last October, Murray rounded up new members and is now the president of the club.

While the WECS club members are excelling in their fields, they are aware that they are gender minorities within their programs. This issue occurs across Canada. Murray notes many women experience false hope about the number of women that will be in their degree program when they are in UVic’s 100-level classes, because general undergraduate audiences take them. Then, in upper-level courses, the gender divide becomes what students describe to be 70:30. This is apparently worse in lab settings.

“There’s usually about 40 people [in labs]” says Charli Harrold, computer science major and WECS Academia Director. “There’s never more than five women in any of those rooms.”

This translates to clubs, too. Tobi Adepoju — computer science and psychology major and WECS Vice President of Marketing — describes

feeling intimidated from participating in clubs day because most STEM clubs only have male members. “I just don’t think I’d ever be able to project myself in a space like that,” she says.

Murray believes the positionalities of our instructors indicate who will feel most welcomed in class. “There’s not a lot of professors [and TAs] that reflect a diverse background, and when you don’t see yourself in the people that are leading you, it’s hard to stay motivated.” Murray says.

Ed Nissen, Earth and Ocean Sciences professor at UVic and member of the Education, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) committee for science students at UVic, says he is worried about routine losses of female STEM professors. “I do think we have a retention issue… You think, ‘Is it something systemic?’”

Professor Lin Cai of UVic’s Engineering faculty echoes this.“When I joined the ECE Department, there were only two other female professors here,” Cai says.

Women made up 44 per cent of firstyear STEM students in universities according to a 2010 study by Katherine Wall. So, why do women make up less than a quarter of the current STEM career field according to Statistics Canada? The answer is because a disproportionate amount of women in Wall’s 2010 study switched out of their STEM programs before graduating: a common trend. Murray is only in her second year, and two of her closest female friends have

already left their programs in STEM.

The further she got in her degree and the more specialized her classes, Murray says, “[she] noticed how willingly certain groups of people are making women feel uncomfortable.” Knowing women are already a minority, Murray believes that men are targeting women which causes them to leave the faculty.

This disrespect bleeds into studentprofessor relationships too. WECS members recall students questioning and disrespecting female lecturers, and once even playing loud computer games during a class.

For Alice Zou — first-year computer science major and WECS Vice President of External Outreach — the most difficult thing is walking into rooms where she is the only woman.

“I always go into classes aware that I’m going to be a minority,” she says. “It makes me realize I’m going to have to work harder to connect with everybody in this room… It’s disheartening that I have to make the extra effort just to be on an equal level.”

For Murray, prioritizing an intersectional approach at WECS is one way to combat this issue at UVic. “I would love to be able to draw people from different backgrounds so people can see themselves in our leadership,” Murray says.

Zou explains that diversity in STEM spaces should be a priority, adding to the quality and accuracy of research. She

mentions a headline from 2015, when an African-American guest at a science fiction convention realized the soap dispensers didn’t register his dark skin.

“They [only] tested to make sure it would register pale skin,” Zou says. “That’s why being diverse [in STEM] is important. Not just because you need to hit a diversity quota.”

Adepoju hopes to bring Black and Indigenous people of colour (BIPOC) people into the WECS sphere with more intention. “Being a minority — like a person of colour — it’s kind of just expected that you’re not always going to have something that’s perfectly catered towards you… I would love a minority group of people in STEM on campus, because in general there are not many visible minorities,” says Adepoju.

WECS is one of the only local women in engineering university groups run by students. Most universities, including the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and the University of Toronto, run groups like WECS out of necessity to meet their EDI requirements. Murray is proud that WECS is fostered by her and her peers.

“I like to feel that people can tell that we’re genuinely excited about trying to grow the club,” Zou says. “We’re all genuinely in this to improve the experience of being an underrepresented minority in STEM.”

UVic international students push back against new work hours

New hours aim to balance work opportunities and academic success, puts some in a double-bind

The interim federal policy which granted international students unlimited weekly working hours as a "post-COVID recovery" measure ended on April 30 and will not be extended. A new permanent policy, which limits international students to 24 hours of work per week, will replace the previous temporary policy and will take effect in September.

The reinstatement of the cap on work hours is now proving challenging for international students in light of increasing living costs. However, Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship maintains a strong stance against unlimited work hours for international students.

“[F]irst and foremost, people coming to Canada as students must be here to study, not work,” he said in a recent press release.

Miller’s sentiment is echoed by social media users. A post on the sub-Reddit r/ Canada discussing the new policy has accumulated multiple comments arguing that international students shouldn’t be allowed to work at all. “You shouldn't need a job to support yourself as an international student,” said a Reddit user by the name of herolyat, “If you can't afford to study here without a job, you can't afford to study here.”

However, according to the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, international students are “an industry” that generates essential revenue and fills jobs for many sectors in Canada.

“International education accounts for

more than $22 billion in economic activity annually,” reads a statement from the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada in a release. This revenue is “greater than Canada’s exports of auto parts, lumber or aircraft, and supports more than 200 000 jobs in Canada.”

Statistics Canada reports a significant gap between domestic and international fees. In the 2022/2023 academic year, the average domestic student in Canada paid $6 872 in tuition, while the average international student paid nearly six times that amount, at $35 836.

UVic’s operating budget for the 2024/2025 school year took a $13 million hit due to decreased enrollments from international students.

“Our operating budget is tied directly to student enrolments and associated

tuition revenue,” reads the university’s budget statement. “This year, as with last year, we have experienced a further decrease in our international undergraduate enrolments, which are the lowest they have been in 10 years.”

Amidst a housing crisis, university budget cuts, and rising costs of living, the Canadian government has implemented different measures to counteract these issues by capping the influx of international students coming to Canada and revising the existing laws in their immigration.

The Canadian government's decision to limit work hours for international students directly contradicts their concerns that international students will not be able to face the cost of living crisis in Canada. International students are in a double-bind.

“Everything is working against [international students],” said Lara, a UVic international student who preferred not to share her surname. “It’s hard to get jobs because you don’t have Canadian experience … and most employers won’t hire you if you can’t work at least 35 hours.”

“Most students were expecting the cap to be 30 hours,” said Kaushal, an international student from India who chose not to share his surname. “More importantly, there should be consistency in the policy so that we know what is going to happen. Uncertainty causes stress in the minds of students.”

“I think international students activate the economy,” said Lara. “[International students] leave everything behind. They come to a strange land and they are not stealing or begging. I think they should

B.C. moves to re-criminalize drug use in public spaces

As of May 7, British Columbia will no longer allow consumption of drugs in public spaces

In late April, the B.C. government announced that it was revising its drug decriminalization program to make the public use of drugs illegal again. These revisions were approved by Health Canada on May 7. Health Canada granted B.C. a threeyear exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) in 2022, and it took effect in early 2023. The exemption decriminalized possession of small amounts (up to 2.5 g) of certain substances, including opioids, cocaine, methamphetamines and MDMA/

ecstasy, for personal consumption by adults only.

The exemption was a response to the ongoing overdose crisis, which was declared a public health emergency in 2016 by the province. Since 2016, almost 14 000 people living in B.C. have died due to toxic overdose.

The province’s decriminalization program intended to remove legal and social barriers that might prevent people from accessing services like drug checking and medical care. However, popular concerns over public safety in places like hospitals, parks, and on public transit have prompted B.C. Premier David Eby to seek revisions.

“Keeping people safe is our highest priority. While we are caring and compassionate for those struggling with addiction, we do not accept street disorder that makes communities feel unsafe,” said Eby. Ya’ara Saks, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, said in her statement that “[e]xemptions will continue to apply in private residences, healthcare clinics as designated by the province of BC, places where people are lawfully sheltering, and overdose prevention and drug checking sites.”

Many people, including experts in substance use and public health, have

criticized the province’s new approach.

“Incriminating people who use drugs does not increase safety or wellbeing of people, or reduce stigma. I think a lot of the public health goals and the goals of drug checking is to reduce stigma and to increase safety and wellbeing.

Recriminalizing people definitely works against those objectives,” said Dr. Bruce Wallace, a UVic professor and scientist with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR).

“It’s a little bit disappointing,” Dr. Jaime Arredondo, Canada Research Chair in Substance Use and Health Policy Research, said about the revisions just one year into the program

“We’re pushing those people on the margins even more to the margins, we are really putting them into more dangerous conditions. We know a lot of people unfortunately die from overdose using alone, and this might just lead to those consequences, just pushing people to hide instead of looking for help,” he said. At this time, it is unclear what B.C. intends to do next, less than halfway into the three-year exemption. Experts like Arredondo suggest that additional tools, beyond decriminalization, like safe consumption spaces and overdose prevention sites, are necessary to combat the crisis.

NEWS 4 // MAY 30, 2024
One of Victoria nightlife's most declares: Indie Sleaze is back,
If I wear my Raybans from 2007 and dance


It’s 10 p.m. on a Thursday night in Victoria, B.C. and at Hermann’s Upstairs, the out-of-sight alt venue above Hermann’s Jazz Bar on View Street, the vibes are electric. On approach, people are passing ciggys back and forth in faux-fur cheetah print hats, Rayban sunglasses, neon bathing suits, and lumberjack flannels, crouched in doorways in the street while their friends hold a place in one of the two long lines up the stairs — the ticketed and the hopeful.

As soon as the crowds are in, it’s past the bar to the packed dance floor. Disco lights are rolling, white balloons bounce from one outstretched hand to the next, and every single person in the room is shouting the lyrics to “Float On” by Modest Mouse, dancing like it’s the mid 2000’s. This is their teenaged anthem, and no one is watching — except for a party photographer.

It's Indie Sleaze night, baby.

This is the first of what would become a series of three (back by popular demand) jam-packed “Dance Yrself Clean” Indie Sleaze nights hosted by local DJs Blacasphalt and Bomacy.

“When I try to describe Indie Sleaze to people,” says Victoria artist and Sleaze-lover Georgia Tooke, “I'm like, okay, so did you watch SpringBreakers? And most people will say no... and I’m like okay… well, do you remember the cultural impact of Spring Breakers?”

In 2013, New York Times moviereviewer Manhola Dargis described Spring Breakers as “part Dada, part European art cinema, [and] part MTV’s ‘Jackass’… the pursuit of happiness taken to nihilistic extremes.” Think: bacchanal. Neon-dreamy debauchery. Electric-lucid house music on a beach with naked people everywhere. Spring Breakers is all fun and zero consequence. It’s so Indie Sleaze.

The actual name tag of “Indie Sleaze” only surfaced and caught on in the early 2020’s when the era was on its way back into the cultural limelight. Inspired by a famous Uffie lyric from the era about making sleazy dreams come true, Instagrammer Olivia V. grouped the trends from the years mid to late 2000’s until about 2014 and dubbed them “Indie Sleaze.” Clearly, the name stuck.

Now, in cities across North America, just a decade after we laid the super skinny jeans and neon bathing suits to rest, Indie Sleaze nights are popping up in places like Victoria. It’s no

surprise, really. Just as they were in 2008 at the rise of Indie Sleaze, young people today are staring down a global financial crisis, bleak futures where they worry they will never own their own home, where climate change has sizzled the ozone layer, and where today’s teenagers are tomorrow’s influencers. And instead of taking reasonable action they’re responding with screw it, let’s party.

Back during 2008 when the US stock market nosedived and North American bank accounts descended $13 trillion into the red, the free-internet was, conversely, on rapid ascent. A new era of photo, blog, and music sharing was unleashed, planting the seeds for the cult of social media as we know it today. Original early 2000’s party photo websites like Mark Hunter’s captured the hedonism of the era, making visible whatever people had been up to last night (or earlier that morning), iconicizing the late 2000’s party-girl as an image to aspire to.

Songs of the time that were too outthere to be played on the radio or too expensive to be bought in-store, with the invention of sites like Napster and Limewire, were able to be downloaded and ripped to blank CDs at your pleasure, allowing early indie bands like The Velvet Underground and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s to draw larger audiences than ever, even with limited cash flow to purchase records. But geographic closeness was no longer a requirement to find new indie music or to feel invested in bands you had never actually seen live. It was like being part of the new underground — even if you lived in a small whitewashed town somewhere in rural Canada, you could feel you were a part of the movement.

Seattle clothing designer and vlogger, Karsten Kroening, says the music of Indie Sleaze “really considers and understands this perspective of being from middle America and moving to the coast,” making Victoria the perfect breeding ground for a comeback. In Vic you might be more likely to hear that someone has migrated from Ontario or Alberta than to hear its where they’ve grown up.

While bigger cities offer young people a way out of their rural upbringings, the speed and hype of urban life doesn’t always live up to its promise. The longing, separateness, nostalgia, and disillusionment that comes from ending up far from the place you were raised in shows up in the music of Indie Sleaze.

Take the song “Young Blood” (2010) by Naked and Famous, with Alisa

Xayalith and Thom Powers, about feeling naïve in mistakes and navigating bittersweetness of being or MGMT’s “Kids” (2007) the ease of being a priorities change, and meaning in life slips away. on the edges of rock, pop, electronic music, the actual of Indie Sleaze along with hold something inside especially 30-ish year olds certain about where they’re who they are becoming.

The city may hold the opportunity, but it’s also is more expensive than would be. Friends come if city-living rises to meet there is still the sense that life is supposed to be inevitably something may also be off,

We’re nostalgic for back in 2008, for our youth, when living felt more hearing the music again on at Hermann’s makes us did the first time we heard and felt recognized. But “the word 'sleaze' is a even if that time was fun, problematic.”

Take Cory Kennedy—the first it-girl, the muse of She was 15 at the rise of and the trend, through the glorified harmful behaviours power dynamics, impacting long after the original disappeared from view. Kennedy’s rise to the began in 2005 when photographer Mark Hunter CobraSnake) spotted her a Blood Brothers concert Monica, and pursued her As Hunter’s photos of makeup, messy hair, neon jeans with tears in the thigh) popular in widely read like New York Magazine, 15, flew all at once to the fashion world. Hunter shortly the two of them couple.

With Hunter’s influence, found herself suddenly same parties as people moguls Heidi Slimane Scott. In a moment, she small life to a big one. have media, technology collided with adolescence speed,” said the LA Times in 2007, but like any precipice of huge technological she was underprepared experience and the

6 // MAY 30, 2024


beloved events of the year


really hard. . . will 2024 just go away?

Powers, who sing in the face of navigating the being in-between, (2007) an ode to child before the thread of away. Sliding in pop, punk, and actual melodies with the lyrics them for all, olds who aren’t they’re headed or becoming. the promise of also tiring. Rent we thought it come and go. Even meet the hype, that while urban inevitably better, off, or missing. who we were youth, for a time carefree, and on a dancefloor us feel like we heard the music as Kraus says, reminder that fun, it was also Kennedy—the internet’s of Indie Sleaze. of Indie Sleaze the lens of fun, behaviours and toxic impacting her life original era had view. the public eye when party Hunter (AKA her partying at concert in Santa her as his muse. her (smudgy neon headbands, thigh) became read publications Magazine, Kennedy, at the center of the Hunter was 25, and them became a influence, Kennedy attending the people like fashion Slimane and Jeremy she went from a “Never before technology and celebrity adolescence at such warp Times of Kennedy any kid on the technological leaps, underprepared for both the aftereffects of

having been Indie Sleaze’s first It Girl. Kennedy describes how she didn’t pay for a drink herself until she was 24 or 25, and how she blacked out a lot. In most of the photos she was trashed, and in many, missing some clothes, or, as she described retrospectively in an interview with The Cut, feeling out of control of her own body. “At the time,” she says, “I was just like, Ahhh this is just what party photography is.”

For millennials who lived through the first episode of Indie Sleaze, like Kennedy, heavy drinking played a critical role in sustaining toxic power dynamics like Hunter had over her. It was an essential part of the culture. Get drunk, get messy, take the photo, get blown up on the internet, do it again.

But in 2024, as Tooke points out, “Indie sleaze resurgence is coming back in a culture where sobriety is so much more normalized.”

“Lono” bevvys, low or no-alcohol content drinks, are increasing in popularity among GenZ-ers, partially because spending “$40 with a tip” on two people just isn’t feasible, according to Tooke — but also because going out sober isn’t necessarily the same fauxpas it used to be.

Health-wise, a recent study out of the UK, states that no alcohol is the only safe amount to consume, but another part of the reason people may be drinking less, Tooke thinks, is that “with the rise of the internet, a lot of people talk about how they don't want to be in a situation where they're not in control,” and are “so much more conscious of who they are online.”

“Lono” is forcing clubs to change the way they operate. Instead of being oriented towards the barely-legals, who are partying alternatively, events are geared towards a more millennial demographic, who grew up in the tradition of getting sloshed for fun.

The Victoria Indie Sleaze events hosted by DJs Blackasphalt and Bomacy are a bridge between the present and the past. At the “Dance Yrself Clean” events drinks are served, but getting blackout isn’t the same focus of the night as it used to be. Instead, it seems to be more about dancing and community — a refreshing new take.

“It's like the disco of the 2000s, you know? You got Black and queer people. … It represents a safe space to be Black, to be queer,” says Blackasphalt. “You don't need too many drinks to get crazy.”

“I've had people come up to me and talk to me about what Indie Sleaze means to them. Some people it's, you

know, the nostalgia of a world pre pandemic,” he says. “Everything that we've dealt with since COVID, from BLM to women's rights to Indigenous rights to Palestinian rights.”

Indie Sleaze also represents the innocence of childhood where, he explains further, “your main goal was, who are you, what terribly reflective gold clothes are you gonna wear to the dance?”

“It Girls” of the original Indie Sleaze, like Kennedy, represented something critical people had been yearning for amidst the global crisis of their time: carelessness, youth, innocence, naivete, and fun, things people are searching for today in the global crises of our times. The difference now is that we can’t say “I’m too young or naive to care about what happens here” like we did in the late 2000’s.

For Bomacy and Blacasphalt, the reason they hosted Indie Sleaze Vol. I, II, and III was not for some nihilistic escape from the grimness of the present, but because they saw how dancing to music from our youth and dressing up in these crazy outfits we all wore ten years ago has the capacity to bring the community together.

There are elements of Indie Sleaze we can leave in the dust, like the voyeurism of Hunter and the need to be completely wasted to have a good time, but maybe there is something within Indie Sleaze’s debauchery that 2024 is longing for, something about being so fully in the present you’re not thinking about who’s capturing the moment. You’re not thinking about capturing it because you’re too busy living it.

The Indie Sleaze resurgence, in Victoria at least, is shaping up to be different than its original form, and in major part due to communityminded, music-loving folks like Blacasphalt and Bomacy. The pair hosts events like Indie Sleaze and outdoor movie nights under the umbrella of the newly founded community initiative called “A Third Place,” chilling at Botched Vintage on Fort Street in their spare time.

They are thinking about transformative spaces, like a dance floor, where people can come together, hang out and be themselves. As Blacasphalt says, “I think we need more of those places.” You can follow along for the next Indie Sleaze night and all the new ways they are boosting the community on their Instagram @a__third__place.

MAY 30, 2024 // 7
by Linus Wong.
8 // APRIL 4, 2024

UVic should learn from academic freedoms violations at other encampents

Columbia, Calgary, and Alberta universities mismanagement of protests for Palestine sets a concerning precedent

In response to Israel’s actions in Gaza and beyond since the attacks on October 7, university campuses across the United States and Canada have been the sites of student protests. Protesters have voiced concern and condemned Israel’s neglect of human rights in Gaza and the West Bank. These protests have come in myriad forms, ranging from rallies and walkouts to, most recently, encampments on university grounds.

These encampments, like UVic’s own People’s Park, seek to pressure university administrators to divest from companies and banks with ties to the Israeli government. Responses from university administrators have been mixed, and raise questions about the freedoms and welfare of students and faculty members.

Columbia University, in particular, has drawn negative press due to a series of blunders in responding to their own encampment. The Gaza Solidarity Encampment, one of the earliest proPalestine encampments on university grounds, was pitched on Columbia’s campus on April 17. The next day, NYPD officers were invited on campus by Columbia's president, Nemat “Minouche'' Shafik, to clear it. More than 100 people were arrested in the process, marking the first time Columbia called police against student protestors since the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations in 1968.

On April 30, Columbia again called the police to remove protestors from campus grounds.

While these events alone show a serious lack of care for students’ rights and safety, Columbia’s administration also faces the criticism that its actions represent major violations of academic freedom.

Academic freedom is what enables professors to conduct research and teach without external interference, like censorship or pressure from outside sources. Academic freedom also affords students the right to learn and express their views in an academic environment free from interference.

Unlike other rights and freedoms, academic freedom is not a legal right on its own. Instead, it is based on other rights, like the freedom of expression, as well as specific contractual agreements with faculty organizations. Academia is built on the open discussion of ideas and the freedom to form one’s own views based on evidence, academic freedom is an important and foundational principle to the concept of the modern university, and enables both faculty and students to pursue their studies without fear of interference or censorship.

On the same day the encampment began, Shafik testified before a U.S. congressional committee. In her testimony, she openly discussed with members of congress the employment status of specific faculty members, by name, because of comments they had made on the IsraelPalestine conflict.

Few would dispute Columbia’s right to determine who they employ, nor the right to conduct internal reviews if faculty members’ speech crosses a line. However,

when such matters are discussed with elected officials, we should be concerned about whether principles of academic freedom are truly being upheld.

In the view of Columbia’s Arts and Sciences faculty, who on May 17 passed a symbolic no-confidence resolution against Shafik, these acts represent a clear violation of academic freedom. The resolution states that “President Shafik, in testimony before the House Education and Workforce Committee on April 17, promised to fire faculty, thereby violating the norms, practices, policies, and protections (based on the principle of academic freedom) upon which a university is founded.”

The resolution also condemns Shafik for twice calling in the NYPD to arrest




set in stone: an RBCM Stonehenge exhibit review

As culture shifts, so does our understanding of prehistoric monuments

The first thing you see of the Stonehenge exhibit at the Royal BC Museum is a replica arch which welcomes you into the space. It is almost the size of Stonehenge itself — scaled down just 20 per cent.. Staring up at the replica, it was still difficult to picture how big Stonehenge really is from across the world.

The second thing you see when you enter the exhibition is a video of archaeologist Mike Parker Pearson introducing the currently accepted theory of Stonehenge’s purpose to the people who built it: a monument to the ancestors.

But as you wander the exhibit, you discover that this statement is too broad to encompass the purposes of Stonehenge across history. As archaeologists continue to research Stonehenge and the surrounding plains, they discover more about the various cultures who came before, built, and oversaw Stonehenge.

The exhibit is divided by three main time periods which trace Stonehenge’s evolution through the ages: Before Stonehenge, Stonehenge (which is split into the First and Second Stonehenge), and After Stonehenge.

It’s difficult to imagine the conception of a prehistoric monument now, but archaeological evidence tells us that Stonehenge didn’t emerge fully formed from the ether in the English plains —nor was it built in the Salisbury Plains for no reason. In fact, evidence says that people

lived in the Salisbury Plains long before Stonehenge was first built. Archeological evidence suggests when it was eventually created, its first form was a burial place for the early peoples of the United Kingdom. Multiple groups frequently travelled to the site, as it was located in a high traffic area. With time, Stonehenge grew and changed into the version that still stands today. And Stonehenge isn’t confined to its well-known stone circles alone. The woodhenges — homes for the builders and community and sites of worship — are also an important part of the historic site, as is the Preseli Hills, the site in Wales where the oldest stones of Stonehenge came from.

This history of Stonehenge is conveyed to the museum-goer through a collection of artifacts, such as antler picks, shards of pottery and flint, discarded animal bones from feasts, and a collection of videos that detail various expert theories about the artifacts. If you take the time to read and watch everything, your journey through the exhibit should take roughly two hours. Several of the artifacts in the exhibit are visiting North America for the first time, including the burial artifacts (and photographs of the remains) of the Stonehenge and Amesbury Archers. These artefacts mark a distinct cultural shift in Britain at the end of the Stone Age and the beginning of the Bronze age with the arrival of the Beaker people. The Beaker people were immigrants from Europe and their culture heavily influenced the locals –– most notably, how they were buried. Previously, the dead were cremated. Now, they were buried in burial mounds. According to

archaeological evidence of the bones, the Stonehenge Archer was native to the British Isles. Rather than being cremated and then buried, his body was interred in burial mound with arrow heads and a wrist-guard, and may have been executed.

In contrast, the Amesbury Archer, one of the Beaker people, had a much more opulent burial. He was buried with gold and jewelry, as well as the upside-down bell design of the jars that the Beaker People were named for. After the cremation of the Amesbury Archer, gold and the beaker jars were a common staple in burial goods across the United Kingdom.

In studying history, nothing is set in stone. As Pearson said in his introductory video, archaeologists must search the land around the artifacts they discover for context. Why was Stonehenge built where it was? Why take stones from Wales? Why did the neolithic peoples stop burying their dead in Stonehenge? When did they start using Stonehenge as a monument for their ancestors?

The exhibit raises these questions, provides possible answers –– and debunks certain others –– but ultimately refuses to make definitive statements about the history of Stonehenge. Ultimately, the exhibit highlights that as culture changes, our relationship to history and monuments continue to change and grow. Thus, through new eyes and new discoveries, even something like Stonehenge continues to change.

The Stonehenge exhibit runs until January 5, 2025. Tickets can be purchased at the Royal BC Museum and their website.

students without the support of Columbia’s Senate, acts which it says caused a violation of the “fundamental obligations of shared governance” and an “unprecedented assault on students’ rights.”

Canadian universities, as of yet, have not had a clear “Columbia moment.” There have, however, been sufficient incidents to show that our concern is warranted. In November, the University of Ottawa suspended a faculty member over proPalestinian social media posts. More recently, McGill University has unsuccessfully requested multiple court injunctions to remove their encampment.

The most alarming incidents thus far have taken place at Albertan universities. City police in riot gear deployed tear gas

and rubber bullets against a pro-Palestinian encampment on the University of Calgary campus on May 9, the same day the encampment was pitched. On May 11 in Edmonton, police were also called onto the University of Alberta campus and attempted to forcibly remove protestors. These two universities now face accusations from their own faculty that they disproportionately infringed upon students’ rights to protest. Protest, like other forms of expression, is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. When students’ freedom of expression on campus is regulated by government organizations like the police, principles of academic freedom are clearly not being respected.

UVic has since stated that the encampment violates the university’s “no camping” policy, but has yet to take any direct action to remove it. Because of the risks to student safety as well as academic freedoms that clearing the encampment would pose, UVic should refrain from taking such action, even if it means not enforcing some of their policies.

Amid discussions about how UVic should respond to its own encampment, the “People’s Park,” the answer seems clear; UVic should not follow in the footsteps of the University of Calgary, University of Alberta, and Columbia. Leaving the encampment alone, so long as it remains peaceful, is the best way to ensure that students’ safety and freedoms are maintained.

NEWS MAY 30, 2024 // 9 OPINIONS
1 Adrianne Lenker Bright Future (4AD) Apollo Ghosts* Amethyst (You ve Changed) Sunglaciers* Regular Nature (Mothland) Top Ten Played Albums April-May 2024 Sue Foley* One Guitar Woman (Stony Plain) Jane Penny Surfacing (Luminelle) CFUV is a volunteer-based campus/community radio station based at the University of Victoria For more info about CFUV, our full program schedule, and how to get involved, visit cfuv ca Tune in locally on 101 9 FM or stream live on our website! Dana Gavanski* Late Slap (Full Time Hobby) Annie-Claude Deschênes* Les Maineres de Table (Bonsound) Waxahatchee Tigers Blood (Anti-) Nylon 6+ Women In Plastics (Self-Released) Abby Sage* The Rot (Nettwerk) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Canad an artist +Local artist Your campus radio station's top ten tunes this month Offbeat - CFUV monthly wrapped
Illustration by Neha Saxena.
Photo by Ethan Barkley.

Five exercise classes you should try at CARSA this summer

From spin with LED lights to bedtime yoga

Want to try something new over the summer? CARSA offers a wide variety of drop-in and ongoing fitness classes for all skill levels. Whether you’re looking for an intense cardio workout or gentle yoga to relax, one of these five options will be sure to get you moving this summer.


Get your heart rate up with this high-intensity 45-minute spin class. Enjoy an energizing workout for all fitness levels featuring LED lighting and upbeat music to keep you moving.

These drop-in classes are first come, first serve, with online reservations opening 72 hours before the class and closing 5 minutes prior. It’s $20 for a drop-in, or $10 if you’re a member. Glow Ride is available through the end of June on Wednesdays from 6:00 p.m.–6:45 p.m.


New to Zumba, looking to improve your technique, or just searching for a fun dance workout? Try this quick 45-minute class to get moving on Wednesdays and Fridays from 12:15 p.m.–1 p.m. You can either register for the full class, which is offered in

six or eight week blocks, or try a drop-in for $15. No dance background is required.


Stressed about your summer classes or exhausted from working? This yoga class is the perfect way to relax, release tension, and clear your mind on Thursdays from 7:15 p.m.–8:10 p.m. Enjoy a combination of calming flow sequences, breath work, and postures to decompress and recharge for the week. All levels are welcome, but don’t forget your yoga mat!


Taking dance inspiration from artists like Beyoncé, this class combines a variety of styles including hip hop, jazz, and burlesque to create fun, sensual dance routines. A Class in Sass provides a confidenceboosting workout in a safe and supportive environment. It’s offered on Thursdays from 6:15 p.m.–7:10 p.m. in May and June, with an additional class on Tuesdays at the same time in July and August. Register for the full session or try a drop-in for $15. The class is 18+ and all skill levels are welcome.


This group coaching program is open to anyone who identifies as a woman looking to learn how to weight train correctly using free weights, making it a perfect option for beginners. Women on Weights “focuses on developing great technique to build safe long-lasting movement patterns so participants can keep pursuing their goals after the program,” says the CARSA website. Try a drop-in for $15 or register for the full class on Tuesdays from 5:15 p.m.–6:10 p.m.

Graduating UVic golfer provides on-par insight into acing a second sport

Despite a late introduction to the sport, Aiden Craig-Steele has proven himself to be a strong addition to the Vikes golf team

Aiden Craig-Steele wasn’t always a star golfer on the men’s golf team at UVic — in fact, he didn’t step onto the green wearing the Vikes uniform until his third year of university.

The graduating kinesiology major was once an elite hockey player, playing at the Junior A and Junior B levels. CraigSteele picked up the sport of golf at the Fort St. John Links Golf Course during his later years of high school. He didn’t consider golfing competitively until the summer before university.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CraigSteele was delayed in having a shot at joining the golf team. This was furthered when he missed the team roster during a play-in tournament when sports resumed.

Craig-Steele reflected on his experience and worked on fine-tuning it — which included an assessment of how he could shape his athletic talent in hockey into his golf performance.

“At first I tried to kind of just take everything from hockey and apply it to golf in terms of, not the sport itself, but my routines,” said Craig-Steele. “Before

I got on the ice, I would listen to the same music or that kind of thing to try and do the same routine. So I tried to do that with golf as well, and it didn’t really work as well.”

In the months following, Craig-Steele worked hard to reflect and re-assess his strategy, which ultimately led to him securing a spot on the roster. Since then, Craig-Steele’s performance on the team has been strong, having significantly contributed to the team, including during its fourth-place finish at the 2023 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Men's Golf Championship. Although Craig-Steele has natural athletic ability, he had to put in the work to adjust to playing a new sport. He attributes part of his successful transition to the translation of his hockey mindset. “When I look at hockey, my favourite thing I’ve always told people is … celebrating with my teammates. So, for me, as soon as I got onto the golf team, my favourite thing was being with my teammates,” said Craig-Steele. “In golf, we have an individual leaderboard and a team leaderboard and I tried my best to just focus on the team leaderboard because that’s what drove me to play.”

Craig-Steele says that this team focus from his hockey experience meant he

could have a more positive mindset on the golf course.

“If I made a bad hole, or whatever it was, I still tried to take the team aspect of hockey. Instead of putting it all on


Craig-Steele says that other studentathletes looking to enter a new sport should savour every moment of their experience.

“I’ve played two and a half years of golf and felt like I got on the team yesterday,” said Craig-Steele. “Take it all in and enjoy it.”

10 // MAY 30, 2024 SPORTS
myself, [I thought] let’s battle for teammates here,” says Craig-Steele. Photo by Annilea Purser.
Photo via

What's behind the surge in snorkelling?

The low-cost sport is a colourful adventure and a lesson in conservation — and it's on the rise

Giddy tourists, energetic children, and chatty locals gather along the Ogden Point Breakwater. I wish I could whisper to each and every one of them, “Hey, you. Yes, you! A whole universe of aquatic life exists just beneath your feet!”

An avid life long ocean lover myself, I was drawn by a desire to see what, if anything, existed in the waters where I live. I discovered this universe for the first time a year ago when I donned a wetsuit, mask, and snorkel, and entered the realm of the Salish Sea. I discovered an ecosystem rich with diverse life and colour.

According to Kendra Nelson, Outreach Coordinator at SeaChange Marine Conservation Society, over 3 400 unique species can be found in the Salish Sea. Nelson explains that this is partially because the Salish Sea is rich in biodiversity due to offshore waters that flow in through the Strait of Juan de Fuca and combine with waters from the Fraser River, Nisqually River, and other important watersheds, mixing ocean currents and land-derived nutrients. These nutrients act as a catalyst for all kinds of diverse marine life from tiny brightly-coloured sea slugs to large pods of orcas.

During my first snorkelling experience, I had the chance to witness this diversity firsthand. I found a plethora of underwater delights, including sea stars, lingcod, sea urchins, and colourful anemones. I was easily sold on the experience, and when I returned a few weeks later, eye to eye with a giant pacific octopus, I was hooked.


Many people on Vancouver Island are discovering the transformative experience of engaging with the ocean and its creatures firsthand. Snorkelling has risen in popularity on Vancouver Island over the past few years with snorkelling groups, clubs, chat boards, and retreats cropping up at an increasing rate.

One reason for this is the affordability of snorkelling. While activities such as scuba diving can provide similar benefits, snorkelling does so at a much lower cost.

Scuba certifications and gear can require upwards of a thousand dollars, while snorkelling equipment can be obtained for the cost of a wetsuit and mask, or rented for a fraction of the cost, making it a more affordable means of interacting with life under the sea.

This increase in popularity may be partially attributed to the University of Victoria’s own Dr. Sara Ellison, a professor of physics and astronomy, whose snorkelling guide has provided many Vancouver Islanders with the tools they need to start snorkelling.

Ellison began snorkelling in the waters off of Vancouver Island during the COVID-19 pandemic when several of her upcoming international snorkelling trips were cancelled.

After several years of snorkelling regularly, Ellison’s manual, Snorkelling Adventures Around Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands: The Ultimate Guide was published. The book outlines the most interesting, accessible, and safe areas to snorkel for many new snorkelers, myself included.

Ellison says that, to her, snorkelling feels akin to an “underwater treasure hunt.” She believes snorkelling is rising


in popularity because for Vancouver Islanders, surrounded by water daily, the ocean is “deeply connected with [their] everyday well-being,” and now with additional literature and online resources in place more folks are opting to explore.

Avid snorkeler and UVic student, Clara Hudacin, echoes Ellison’s sentiment that snorkelling is a grounding experience. Hudacin states that “It’s hard to think about real life when your head is underwater freezing.” Snorkelling has also shaped Hudacin’s world outside of the water too. She says that it has encouraged her to take marine biology courses, and “become more interested in local conservation.”

Nelson attests that activities such as snorkelling can indeed have a profound impact on one’s commitment to ocean conservation.

“Connecting to nature with your own eyes and experiences is so unique and powerful,” Nelson says. And, when done in a responsible manner, it is a great tool for ocean conservation.

So what advice do you need to get started snorkelling around Vancouver Island? First, look but don’t touch! As Nelson advises, “Even small creatures can be stressed by our presence, so we need to be very mindful.” Additionally, if you see anything that shouldn't be in the ocean, such as trash, take it with you when you leave.

Second, do your research. Tides, wind, and water temperature can all be dangerous in the waters off of Vancouver Island. Make sure you know how to read conditions and have proper equipment. Always snorkel with a buddy. Finally, if in doubt, don’t go out! While

fans Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened


During the 2022/23 NHL season, following a home loss to the Minnesota Wild, the Vancouver Canucks were booed off the ice by their own fans. Days later, chants of “sell the team” echoed through the arena so loud that they could be heard over television broadcasts. It seemed, after a full decade of mediocre regular season performances, many Canucks fans were ready to throw in the towel. The front office’s refusal to tear down and rebuild left us wondering when, if ever, the team would be back in the playoff picture. Turns out, it was a lot sooner than we


The recently-concluded 2023/24 campaign, which saw the Canucks finish first in the Pacific division, was their third best in club history. Though it may have ended on a bitter note, as the Canucks were ultimately felled by the Edmonton Oilers in game seven of the second round, fans should by no means consider this season a fluke. Rather, it was a foundation

upon which a genuinely impressive hockey team is poised to redefine itself. Why should you believe this? Well, there’s a couple of reasons.

Foremost is the emergence of head coach Rick Tocchet. In his first full season behind the bench, Tocchet has been a steady and unrelenting presence. His hands-on coaching style, based largely on honesty, responsibility, and accountability, has endeared him to fans and players alike.

“He's genuine and he wants you to improve and he also wants us to win,” Canucks winger Connor Garland said of Tocchet in a January interview with Sportsnet. “It's easy to buy in when you have that.”

An expert strategist, Tocchet is never afraid to make drastic changes to his lines or schemes. His decision to reunite the affectionately termed “Lotto Line” — a forward trio of J.T. Miller, Elias Pettersson, and Brock Boeser — was the source of several dominant victories and provided a substantial midseason boost for the club. Tocchet is the current favourite to win this season’s Jack Adams award.

Equally important to the Canucks' success has been the moves made by GM Patrick Allvin, who many of us — including me — owe an apology. Last year’s trade for Filip Hronek, initially scorned by much of the fanbase, has proven to be a winner. Hronek was electric this season, finishing fifth on the team in points and eleventh league-wide in plus/ minus.

Meanwhile, the trade deadline acquisitions of Nikita Zadorov and Elias Lindholm proved that, for the first time in years, the Canucks are making playoffminded moves. Zadorov and Lindholm fit the exact archetypes needed for deep postseason runs –– the former a gritty, hard-hitting defenseman with surprising

touch around the net, the latter an elite two-way centre. Physicality is something the Canucks have historically lacked (2011, anyone?), but it looks like those woes may be finally over.

World-class goaltending, in the form of both Thatcher Demko and, in a surprise twist, 23-year-old Arturs Silovs, should leave Canucks fans feeling giddy. The depth scoring inspires confidence too. Dakota Joshua, Nils Hoglander, and Sam Lafferty all ended the season with career highs in points; Pius Suter potted the lone goal in game six to end the Nashville series; and fan-favourite Connor Garland has arguably been the clutch player of the season, scoring big goals in crucial moments.

Yet, perhaps the biggest reason for this season’s accomplishments? You, the fan. Last year, the Canucks had the seventh worst home record in the league. This year, they had the fourth best. Rogers Centre has become an absolute nightmare for visiting teams. It’s loud, it’s chaotic, it’s in your face. Even the Green Men, Canucks superfan legends, returned this season after an eight-year hiatus.

As the clocks wound down on game seven, the Canucks faithful watched their team, lying exhausted on the ice, defeated and emotional. And then they did something they never would have done last season.

All at once, they began to cheer. They cheered as the players picked themselves up. They cheered as the players shook hands with the opposition. They cheered as the players went to their dressing room.

This was the season that Canucks fans fell in love with their team again, and in that moment, their message was clear: Don’t worry –– we’ll be back.

MAY 30, 2024 // 11 SPORTS
snorkelling is an incredible experience with many benefits, if you have any concerns about the conditions, your gear or your degree of preparation, it is always best to come back another day!
Photo by EcoAngle Photography.

Summer schooled


1. "Good" in French

2. Smooth-billed ___, a type of Cuckoo bird that can be found in South America

3. A basketball (hopefully) goes through this

4. Common fruit with over 7 500 varieties

5. Something that is annoying or inconvenient

6. Political party in South Africa, abbr.

7. The scale of how acidic things are

8. Someone who works in an ambulance, abbr.

9. A small pie

10. Shaved ice with syrup

12. Fashion company with iconic underwear, abbr.

15. Equal to 1 000 kilos

18. To perform on stage

19. A snitch

20. What makes someone untrustworthy

21. A form of concentrated Cannabis

22. Walked

27. The setting of John Norman's science fantasy series

29. Never say this

32. A burning coal

36. The members of a restaurant that interface with customers, abbr.

37. Sometimes you need to think outside of one

38. The common name of the plant Hedera

40. Army rank that is pronounced differently in America and Canada, abbr.

41. Hockey league that the Hershey Bears are in, abbr.

42. A primary colour

43. Add it to lemon or lime for a delicious drink?

44. Ticker symbol for Target

45. _ . _ . Cummings, American poet

47. Internet slang for something simple


1. Gros Michel and Cavendish are varieties of this fruit

7. Domesticated animals

11. Anime about a bald superhero named Saitama

13. Scrutinize in a fussy way

14. Horse's stride that is faster than walking

16. Disease that prompted the Ice Bucket


17. How many strings are on an Erhu instrument

18. To slowly cool glass or metal

21. Urban centre, abbr.

23. The __ Tower, a Toronto landmark

24. A small, sandy island with a phonetically confusing name

25. "We are the knights who say __!"

26. Noble gas with the atomic number 18

28. A hypnotized state of consciousness

30. Benson ____, singer of "Beautiful Things"

31. Camembert or paneer

33. The doctor of hiphop?

34. The index for how harsh sunlight is

35. Rapper ___ DOOM

37. Sexuality that isn't straight nor gay

39. To explain something more deeply

46. Animated movie starring Bruce Willis as a raccoon

48. The end of the alphabet

49. Adobe software for editing photos, abbr.

50. Standardized english proficiency test, abbr.

12 // MAY 25, 2023
Newsroom 250.721.8361 | Business 250.721.8359 | | @TheMartlet | 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. 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. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ashlee Levy OPERATIONS MANAGER Anna Alva DESIGN DIRECTOR Sie Douglas-Fish SENIOR STAFF WRITERS Kristen de Jager, Sydney Lobe VOLUNTEER STAFF WRITER Brianna Bock SENIOR STAFF EDITOR Yo'ad Eilon-Heiber VOLUNTEER STAFF EDITORS Julien Johnston-Brew, Hannah Seaton CONTRIBUTORS Cooper Anderson, Sage Blackwell, Kiera Clark, Mary MacLeod, Aidan Nelson-Sandmark, Sarah Roberts, Paul Voll VOLUME 76 ISSUE 2
SEE THIS ISSUE'S CROSSWORD ANSWERS MARTLET.CA/CROSSWORD Newsroom 250.721.8361 | Business 250.721.8359 | | @TheMartlet | 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. 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. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ashlee Levy OPERATIONS MANAGER Anna Alva DESIGN DIRECTOR Sie Douglas-Fish SENIOR STAFF WRITERS Kristen de Jager, Sydney Lobe VOLUNTEER STAFF WRITER Brianna Bock Yo'ad Eilon-Heiber VOLUNTEER STAFF EDITORS Julien Johnston-Brew, Hannah Seaton CONTRIBUTORS Cooper Anderson, Sage Blackwell, Kiera Clark, Mary MacLeod, Aidan Nelson-Sandmark, Sarah Roberts, Paul Voll Newsroom 250.721.8361 | Business 250.721.8359 | | @TheMartlet 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. 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. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Sydney Lobe OPERATIONS MANAGER Anna Alva DESIGN DIRECTOR Sage Blackwell SENIOR STAFF WRITERS Ethan Barkley Annilea Purser Fernanda Solorza VOLUNTEER STAFF WRITER Cooper Anderson Brianna Bock Kiera Clark SENIOR STAFF EDITORS Rowan Watts VOLUNTEER STAFF EDITORS Hannah Seaton Julien Johnston-Brew CONTRIBUTORS Atum Beckett Jonah Devlin Jamie Hellard Eric Kwakernaak Adrian Ord VOLUME 77 ISSUE 1 Next issue June 27

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