Volume No. 32 Issue No. 22
TRIBUNE THE mcgill
Published by the Tribune Publication Society
news quebec education summit p 2-3 Student Living A Manicure for McGill Students p 14
@mcgill_tribune • www. mcgilltribune.com
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Redmen impress at first Final 8 since 1979 Adam Sadinsky Managing Editor OTTAWA — 33 years after their last appearance at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national championship tournament, the McGill Redmen were less concerned with bringing home the school’s first McGee Trophy, than with proving that they deserved a spot at the table. Of course, every team enters the tournament with sights set on the big prize, but it’s not always so simple. A look at the McGill bench in the waning seconds of their consolation final victory over the Victoria Vikes to secure fifth place told the story: this program is on the rise and has earned the respect of a nation. Vincent Dufort (23) was named player of the game in McGill’s quarterfinal loss to Ottawa. (Simon Poitrimolt / McGill Tribune)
See “Redmen” on p. 19
Suzanne Fortier appointed as McGill’s next Principal Munroe-Blum’s successor chosen after months-long search; Fortier says she is prepared to face McGill’s challenges Andra Cernavskis News Editor On Mar. 5, Stuart H. (Kip) Cobbett, chair of McGill’s Board of Governors (BoG), announced that Dr. Suzanne Fortier had been appointed as McGill’s 17th principal. She will begin her five-year term in September, at which point she will officially replace McGill’s first female principal, Heather MunroeBlum. The BoG appointed Fortier after receiving a recommendation from the Board’s Advisory Committee for Nomination of the Principal, which began meeting in the spring of 2012. The Committee was comprised of two representatives respectively, from the student body, the faculty, support staff, Senate, and the BoG. The Committee was chaired by Cobbett, who noted that the Committee
began its search by first holding 30 consulting sessions with the McGill community in April and May of last year. “Once we got a sense from the community as to what [it] saw as the challenges facing McGill over the next five to 10 years, we then went back to the drawing board and worked up what we call a ‘candidate profile’ or a ‘position profile,’” Cobbett told the Tribune. The Committee then drafted a list comprised of 85 people who had expressed interest in the position. This list included both Canadian and international applicants, and was gradually narrowed down to approximately 25 candidates, then, seven. Finally, the seven candidates on the list were interviewed in November and December 2012, after which, the Committee chose Fortier. “It’s always a difficult decision when you are choosing somebody
for a position of this significance and this profile, and … we had a number of very, very good candidates,” Cobbett said. “We were fortunate that the search brought forward a lot of very, very impressive individuals. But ultimately, we decided that Dr. Fortier is the best for McGill at this time.” Cobbett emphasized that Fortier’s experience made her stand out among the rest. Fortier has served in a number of senior administrative positions at Queen’s University, including associate dean of graduate studies and research, vice-principal (research), and vice-principal (academic). Currently, she is the President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), a position she has held for seven years, and will have to leave in order to join McGill. “At NSERC … she was run-
ning one of the principal granting agencies – and not only running it, she restructured it, re-organized it, so she has whole a lot of proven administrative and managerial skills in addition, of course, to being a top-flight academic, and a very empathetic person, somebody who appears to have a collegial management style,” Cobbett said. The Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) President Josh Redel, who also sits on the BoG, expressed that he is very pleased with Fortier’s appointment. “I think she is an excellent choice, and her passion for McGill will go a long way,” he said. “In addition, her unwavering commitment to become the next principal despite the incredible challenges that McGill is facing, or is about to face, will do this school well.” Fortier will be joining McGill at a time when the tuition debate has
reignited, and the university’s budget is facing major cutbacks from the provincial government. “The principal has to be somebody who understands the importance of public policy, and understands the importance of relationships with the government, both provincial and federal because they are our principle funding sources,” Cobbett said. “You need somebody, obviously, who is very sensitive to both financial requirements and limitations, and Dr. Fortier has all of that.” Fortier said she believes she is up for the job, despite these impending challenges. “I have certainly, both when I was at Queen’s and in my current job … had to deal with cuts in budgets, and the exercise that one must See “Principal” on p. 4
t i atniaovsn urc m Ed m u s kis and a cer By
On Feb. 25 and 26, the Parti Québécois (PQ) hosted 61 organizations and groups at its long-anticipated Summit on Higher Education. Over the course of two days, the now-familiar sound of student protests continued in the streets of downtown Montreal, as thousands publicly expressed their disappointment with the actions of the provincial government and the results of the Summit.
photos by Anna Katycheva The Summit
At the Feb. 26 protest
In September, shortly after it was elected into power, the PQ announced that it would hold an Education Summit. The government initially proposed the Summit as a follow-up to the protests against the former Liberal government’s proposed tuition increases of $325 a year for five years, which occurred during the spring and summer of 2012. At the end of the first day of the Summit, the government an-
nounced that it would enact a three per cent annual increase on tuition, which would begin next September, and is supposed to correspond to the predicted indexation rate of Quebec families’ disposable income. This would mean a $70 increase on tuition for Quebec students. Out-of-province and international students will also pay three per cent more on their tuition. According to The Gazette, Martine Desjardins, president of the Fédération étudiante universitaire de Québec (FEUQ), responded immediately to the gov-
ernment’s decision at the Summit. “We are extremely disappointed,” she told those in attendance. “We hoped the government would do their homework, and not make decisions based on polls.” Prior to the Summit, the FEUQ told its constituents that it was strongly opposed to any type of tuition indexation. A co-leader of the Québec Solidaire party, Françoise David also spoke out against tuition indexation at the Summit, according to The Gazette. He called indexation “inadmissible.” Québec Solidaire was founded in 2006. It currently holds two seats in the National Assembly. Robin Reid-Fraser, vice-president external of the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU), attended the Summit as a representative of the Table de concertation étudiante du Québec (TaCEQ), of which SSMU is a member association. She was also disappointed by what transpired over the course of the two days. “I suppose I knew going into it with the information I had, and having participated in the themed meetings, that it wouldn’t be nearly what I’d like it to be, but my idealistic nature was still let down,” she said.
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continued from page 2 Reid-Fraser noted that she was most disappointed by the small amount of time student groups were given to prepare for the government’s proposals during the Summit itself. “We only actually saw what the PQ was proposing as we entered the meal or break session before that particular period of discussion – giving us about 30-90 minutes to actually put together a response,” she said. According to The Gazette, Quebec Premier Pauline Marois said during the Summit that she believes tuition indexation to be the fairest option, and that the amount of the increase is reasonable, considering the current value of a university degree. Olivier Marcil, McGill viceprincipal (external relations), stated that he and Principal Heather Munroe-Blum were pleased with the conversations around university governance but not the $19.1 million budget cuts that the PQ has recently imposed on Quebec universities. While Munroe-Blum attended thesummit, Marcil watched it on the live feed provided by the government. “On governance, we were pleased to see a less aggressive tone and fewer allegations of mismanagement at Quebec’s universities, and we agree with the government
in its call for streamlined strategic accountability reports,” Marcil said. “Unfortunately, the government did not consider its program of severe cuts to universities, despite evidence that these cuts will be harmful, and will inflict damage on our communities from which it will take years to recover,” he continued. Marcil concluded that the government pre-determined the results of the Summit.
The protests Demonstrators held protests on both days of the Summit, and demonstrations have continued for many nights since. The protests that took place on Feb. 25 and 26 were each declared illegal, and were dispersed by the Montreal Police (SPVM). While roughly 1,500 people participated in the Feb. 25 demonstration against the Summit, about 10,000 people slowly gathered in Victoria Square on Feb. 26, and took to the streets in a protest organized by L’Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (ASSÉ). ASSÉ is the only student group to officially boycott the Summit, because the PQ announced in advance that it would not consider the topic of free education at the two-day event. ASSÉ holds free education as its main goal. During the Feb. 26 protest, there were people present in the crowd with red vests that read
“ASSÉ.” Those wearing vests declined to comment on what they were doing, saying only that they were “security.” Approximately two hours after the protest left Victoria Square, the police declared it illegal. The SPVM then proceeded to pepper-spray, kettle, and arrest 13 students. A handful of McGill students attended the protest, many of whom are members of the Art History and Communication Studies Graduate Students’ Association (AHCSGSA), which is the only student association at McGill to have joined ASSÉ to date. AHCS-GSA voted to join ASSÉ at a General Assembly (GA) on Feb. 12. On Feb. 19, they voted to go on strike for the duration of the Summit. Gretchen King, a communication studies councillor on AHCSGSA who brought forth the motion to join ASSÉ at the GA, attended the protest and held a sign that read “McGill on strike” as the protest passed McGill on Sherbrooke. Following the protest, King said that she was not surprised by the Summit’s results. “The Summit was a public relations stunt that failed in the eyes of students,” she said. “No genuine dialogue on education was held, as the outcomes were predetermined and free tuition was barred from even being discussed. This is not why Quebec students sustained a
| Wednesday, March 13, 2013
six-month long student strike last year.” Many of the other people in attendance also held Québec Solidaire posters to show support for the party they now believe represents student interests. Jacques Chamberland, a teacher of philosophy at the Collège de Maisonneuve, and a McGill alumnus, marched with other teachers and professors on Feb. 26, in support of the movement for free education. He, too, was unsurprised by the Summit’s outcomes. “From a militant point of view, I am disappointed because I [support] free education,” he said. “But on the political level, their strategy was pretty good. We have to acknowledge that.” Protests continued into the following week, while McGill students were away on reading break. For
more information, see What Happened Last Week in Canada on page 5.
McGill joins online learning platform without Senate approval Senators criticize senior administration for failing to communicate its decision to join edX consortium Bea Britneff News Editor The McGill administration has come under scrutiny following its announcement on Feb. 20 that McGill is now a member of the edX consortium—a not-for-profit enterprise specializing in online interactive learning. Several members of the McGill Senate have criticized the senior administration for failing to communicate with Senate about the initiative. McGill will use edX to design, develop, and offer “Massive Online Open Courses” (MOOCs), which will be ready in 2014. Provost Anthony Masi said that that the opportunity for McGill to partner with edX will benefit the university in several ways. “Membership in edX will position McGill at the forefront of what many are calling a ‘revolution’ in teaching and learning,” he told the Tribune. “Further, edX provides us with the opportunity for improving blended, and other technology-assisted courses offered on our cam-
puses.” The idea of offering MOOCs was brought forward in a discussion facilitated in part by Masi at the Senate meeting on Jan. 23. MOOCs were not discussed at the following Senate meeting on Feb. 19. According to Masi, the executive committee of the Board of Governors (BoG) approved the partnership between McGill and edX on Feb. 15. During an interview with the Tribune, Senator Catherine Lu— who is also an associate professor of political science—suggested that the decision to join edX should have been brought to a vote at Senate. “By having this open discussion [at the Jan. 23 Senate meeting] … the Provost created the expectation that recommendations from the working groups regarding MOOCs —including joining a consortium— would be brought to Senate for approval,” she said. “This is why I and many other Senators were surprised to receive the Provost’s email announcement that McGill had joined the edX consortium.” Masi said that Senators gave
their approval for MOOCs by endorsing the Achieving Strategic Academic Priorities (ASAP 2012), an academic policy paper detailing a five-year plan for McGill. “McGill’s interest in harnessing technology to transform teaching and learning is outlined in [ASAP 2012],” he said. Lu said that Masi’s explanation has prompted her to further question the process through which McGill joined edX. “If the senior administration wants to argue, that by endorsing ASAP 2012, Senate actually did endorse MOOCs … then I don’t see the point of having a Senate at all,” she said. “By endorsing ASAP, Senate would have forfeited all of its decision-making authority with respect to all academic activities of the university.” “In my view, this cannot be the correct interpretation of Senate’s endorsement of ASAP,” Lu continued. “Senate may have to reconsider what this endorsement really means.” Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) President Josh
Redel and SSMU Vice-President University Affairs Haley Dinel, both of whom are student senators, said they do not believe that the decision to join edX necessarily required Senate approval. “edX is a platform, and things like that don’t need to go through Senate, because they are not inherently academic—though the content of them is, which should, and will go through Senate,” Redel said. “For example, we did not approve myCourses2 … nor Minerva … at Senate, because they are only platforms for academic programs.” At the same time, both Redel and Dinel share Lu’s concern about the lack of communication in the decision-making process to join the MOOC consortium. “I think our discussion at Senate [on Jan. 23] could have been more transparent,” Dinel said. “It should have been made much clearer … that a lot of work had already gone into looking at these options. There … should have been more public discourse as to which consortium to pick.”
According to Masi, McGill’s MOOCs will be designed and developed by McGill faculty members. Masi confirmed that Senate will be involved in important decisions related to content and design as the project advances. Masi also emphasized that no funds from the university’s operating budget will be used towards the initiative, and that McGill’s MOOCs will be funded purely through philanthropic support. Despite the concerns they voiced about transparency, there is general agreement among Redel, Dinel, and Lu that McGill’s plan to offer MOOCs is an innovative and beneficial initiative. “My complaint here is not that the BoG and senior administration approved joining the edX consortium per se,” Lu explained. “The basic problem here is a massive disconnect in the university’s governance process of approving this important development for McGill’s academic mission.”
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 |
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NEWS in brief
New Principal Continued from cover
macdonald campus prepares to cut courses of “lowest importance” On Feb. 19, William Hendershot, associate dean (academic) of the faculty of agriculture and environmental sciences, housed at the Macdonald Campus, issued an internal memorandum to program directors and specialization coordinators regarding impending cuts to courses offered at McGill’s satellite campus. “In light of the severe financial situation of the University, it is quite possible that we will be faced with the need to decrease the number of courses we teach,” Hendershot said in the memorandum. Hendershot also wrote that he had examined all courses taught at Macdonald Campus, and identified those that did not seem to be crucial aspect of any program. These courses, according to Hendershot, were mostly ones that do not exist as a prerequisite for other courses. Hendershot asked that program directors also examine their courses
to determine which ones they believe to be of lowest importance and to pay attention to classes with low enrollment. “We need to be ready to manage any cuts in a less damaging fashion,” the memorandum continues. “Remember, that cutting the number of courses doesn’t necessarily mean that we will lose students—most of them will choose their courses from those we do teach.” However, since the memorandum was released, contradictory statements have been made regarding the correlation between budget cuts and course cuts. “The discussion [of course cuts] has nothing to do with the current budget situation,” Chandra Madramootoo, dean of the faculty of agriculture and environmental sciences, and associate vice-principal of McGill, said. “It is part of a university-wide process started
many years ago to eliminate or reduce low enrollment courses. So it is unfortunate that this is being presented in light of the current budget situation.” The memorandum included a list of over 60 courses that Hendershot believes could be dropped with the least amount of impact. Fifteen of those courses are in the department of bio-resource engineering. The discussion regarding course cuts will continue throughout March. “This has nothing to do with the popularity of the various courses, but rather how critical they are to the education of the students in your program,” Hendershot told program directors in the memorandum. The date of the official announcement of next year’s course offerings has not yet been decided. —Jessica Fu
engage in defining … the values, the principles, and the goals that will drive the exercise, [while] making sure that you protect the core, the essential part of your organization,” she said. Jonathan Mooney, secretarygeneral of the Post-Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS) and a BoG member, hopes that Fortier will strengthen the relationship between Quebec society and McGill, something he said was very important to the BoG in the selection of the new principal. “McGill is often perceived as an enclave that is really distinct from the rest of the Quebec,” he said. “Madame Fortier will serve as an embodiment of the link between McGill and Quebec in her role, and will also bring a vision for how McGill and Quebec society have a lot to gain from each other.” Fortier is a McGill graduate, having received both her Bachelor’s of Science and PhD at the university. She is also a Quebec native, and attended school in Saint-Timothée, a small rural village in the province. She expressed excitement about returning to her home province and to McGill. “There is a real sense for me of a strong link with McGill, with
on Benedict’s resignation
For an extended version of the interview, visit www.mcgilltribune.com
By CAROLINA MILLÁN RONCHETTI As the conclave to elect the next leader of the Catholic Church begins this week, and following Pope Benedict XVI’s retirement on Feb. 28, the Tribune sat down with leading theologian Professor Tracey Rowland. Rowland is the dean of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Melbourne, Australia, and author of the 2008 biography of Benedict XVI, “ Ratzinger’s Faith: The Theology of Pope Benedict XVI.” In this interview, The Tribune sits with Rowland to discuss Benedict’s legacy, the challenges facing the next pope, and candidates for the position, including Quebec’s own Cardinal Marc Ouellet. McGill Tribune: What was Pope Benedict’s contribution to the papacy? Tracey Rowland: I think he’s [made] a number of contributions. The ones that stand out, I suppose, [include] his work for Christian unity. He was all the time sending messages to the Orthodox leaders that he was trying to include them … as part of the great patrimony of Christianity. And he did [an] enormous amount of diplomatic work with the leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church. He established the Anglican Ordinariate, and I think that in the future that will be seen as a watershed moment in the history of the return of Anglicans to full communion with the Catholic Church…. He has also worked on bringing the Lefebvrists back—the people who went into schism in 1988 over in-
terpretations of the Second Vatican Council.... I think in the future, one of his major legacies will be his writing, both as Pope and as Cardinal Ratzinger. He has published over 60 books, and I don’t know how many articles, and how many homilies. I think people will be reading him for a very long time. MT: What does the resignation mean to the Catholic Church? TR: I think it could be something very providential. Imagine if the young Pope finds himself in a position, where he can go and talk to Pope Benedict like a son to a father. And to have the consolation that while he’s dealing with all the things he has to deal with, that there’s another man who has shouldered these responsibilities, who is living in the same precinct, praying, to whom he can go and share what is ever
troubling him. I think that could be something really wonderful, that for 600 years, no pope has had. MT: What are the main challenges facing the next pope? TR: It’s an extraordinary job description, but I think ideally we would like to have someone who has the theological gifts of Pope Benedict, the personal charisma of blessed John Paul II, and quite a strong skill for administration. Because we know that in the final years of the papacy of John Paul II, he was so unwell that the administration was starting to break down and become chaotic—and that doesn’t seem to have been fixed under the papacy of Benedict. So we’ve had pretty much a decade of poor ecclesial governance. The next pope will need to be able to get on top of the administration.
Montreal, with Quebec,” she told The Tribune. “It’s a place that has given me so many opportunities [and has been] a launching pad in my career, so I am profoundly attached to these places.” SSMU Vice-President University Affairs Haley Dinel, who was a student representative on the Advisory Committee for Nomination of the Principal, pointed to Fortier’s personable attitude towards students as something which stood out in her candidacy. “Dr. Fortier is a very approachable person,” Dinel said. “Whether it’s students or student leaders, she has a willingness to understand and communicate with us.” Mooney agreed, calling Fortier’s references impressive. “The references and stories presented to the [BoG] indicated that Madame Fortier frequently spent time with students at Queen’s and was at ease with them,” Mooney said. “She also seems [to] value the importance of student leadership.” Munroe-Blum will end her term as principal on June 30, 2013. An acting principal will fill the post in July and August, and Fortier will begin her duties in September.
MT: Would you comment on the candidates for the papacy? TR: Well, one of the most interesting things in terms of the frontrunner is that, a lot of people think that the number one front-runner is Cardinal Marc Ouellet. Cardinal Ouellet has had experience working in Latin America, he’s highly regarded by North Americans; he’s also had experience working in Rome in the Curia, so he has some understanding of how the bureaucracy operates. He [knows] a number of languages.... He’s seen to be someone who has had a very broad range of experiences in a number of different areas of the world. He’s also a very strong theologian.
MT: You wrote two books on Benedict. What did you learn in the process? TR: One of the things people say about Ratzinger is that he is so easy to understand – when he writes about theological topics, one doesn’t need to have a degree in theology in order to follow what he’s saying. I think that has made him immensely popular with a lot of people. One also discovers that he has an incredible knowledge of Church history and the writings of the early Church fathers.... Another thing I like about him – which is of no great theological significance – is he likes cats. I think that’s lovely. One of the stories about him is that when he was a cardinal, at lunch time he would often go to one of the parks in Rome. He liked to go for a stroll in the park near his office, and he always would take scraps to give the stray cats. I think that shows something of the emotional side of him.
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| Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Philosophy students seek independence from AUS
Quebec will ultimately decide if the PSA can have its own accreditation after philosophy students vote this week Samuel Pinto Contributor The Philosophy Student’s Association (PSA) will vote for accreditation—which would grant the association organizational independence from the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS)—between Mar. 11 and 15. Although both the PSA and AUS want to maintain a strong relationship, it is unclear as to what this relationship will look like in the event of accreditation. PSA President Jonathan Wald explained that the primary motivation for seeking accreditation is financial. Currently, the PSA does not have autonomy over its finances, which is what it hopes to achieve with accreditation. “[We want] to make sure that we have the freedom to continue to perform our activities, and run our activities at a maximum efficiency,” Wald said. “We see accreditation and incorporation as one of the ways to
cut red tape, maximize transparency of the PSA, and grant us maximum autonomy, while being financially responsible.” The PSA has been working towards incorporation and accreditation since the start of the Fall 2012 semester. On Feb. 19, the PSA became the first academic department association at McGill to be incorporated under the Régie des Entreprises, which gained the association status as a non-profit organization. The accreditation process is being carried out solely between the PSA and the government of Quebec, who has assigned an accreditation agent to the PSA. This agent will have the final say on the decision following the PSA’s vote. Neither McGill, nor the AUS, nor the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) are involved in the accreditation process. Wald said that the PSA wants to continue to maintain a relationship with the AUS. In the event of
What happened last week in Compiled by Catherine gao , Bea Britneff, Andra Cernavskis
accreditation, he predicts that the PSA’s current practices with the AUS and SSMU would be written into agreements with both organizations. “We’d like to remain involved in [the] AUS, and I think it’s in the interest of the AUS to keep us involved [in AUS Council],” Wald said. According to AUS Vice-President Internal Justin Fletcher, the AUS has a similar vision, but has yet to make a final decision about its cooperation with the PSA in the event of PSA accreditation. “[The relationship between the AUS and the PSA] will be determined based on the results on the vote,” Fletcher said. Fletcher also added that it was important to remember that all philosophy students are still considered arts students. “There is a multi-track system in the Faculty of Arts where you need to be in at least two different
academic programs, meaning that all philosophy students will still be members of the AUS,” he said. He did not specify what may happen with students in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, who may study philosophy as their arts component. In order to attain approval from the government for accreditation, the PSA must secure 25 per cent support from undergraduate philosophy students. Wald believes that gaining ‘yes’ votes from philosophy students will not be an issue. “The only people who have been critical were people [who] were confused about what accreditation meant,” Wald said. “When I cleared it up, they were actually supportive of it. So as long as people are informed about this, I think our main challenge will be getting people to vote, not getting people to vote ‘yes.’” Eliyahu Freedman, U3 philosophy, said that he and many of his peers are supportive of the PSA’s
move, claiming that the association should disassociate itself from the AUS. “A lot of people spite the AUS – fairly or unfairly – for its mismanagement of funds, and poor handling of the student strike last year,” Freedman said. “Accreditation will enable the PSA to set its own policies—from financial policies to strike policies.” While the PSA’s pursuit of accreditation and recent incorporation has received support from many of the department’s constituents thus far, Fletcher and Wald do not believe that departments smaller than PSA will follow in their footsteps. “It is a lot of work,” Wald said. “[And] for the smaller student associations, it doesn’t make much sense … [it] isn’t necessarily worth it.”
pq cancels mandatory english immersion
supreme court makes decision on mb land claims case
Marie Malavoy, Quebec’s Education Minister, announced on Mar. 7 that English immersion classes in French schools will no longer be mandatory. This decision effectively cancels a program set up by the previous Liberal government in 2011 that required grade 6 students to enroll in intensive English immersion classes for half of the school year. According to The Montreal Gazette, Malavoy said that it would be unrealistic to have every single grade 6 student in Quebec attend these classes, and that school boards were having trouble hiring qualified teachers to instruct in these programs. However, Malavoy also said that the Parti Québécois (PQ) will not ban the immersion program, and that schools may continue to implement it if they wish. As of this school year, only 12 per cent of grade 6 classrooms had successfully integrated the program. A representative from the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), Natalie Roy, criticized Malavoy for promoting confusion by giving school boards more flexibility while also implying that the PQ wants to slow down further implementation of immersion programs, according to The Gazette.
On Mar. 8, the Supreme Court of Canada delivered its judgment on a historic Manitoba land claims dispute, where a majority of the justices ruled that the federal government’s distribution of land to children of the region’s Métis population in the late 19th century was unconstitutional. The legal dispute’s roots can be traced back to 1870, the year that Manitoba became a Canadian province. The federal government promised that 5,565 square km of land would be reserved for Métis children. However, it did not follow through with its agreement, and turned a blind eye as new settlers in the province bought much of the land that was promised at very low prices. The Supreme Court’s judgment means that the current Conservative government potentially faces extensive negotiations with the province’s Métis. According to CTV News, Métis spokespeople have said that they do not intend to demand their land back, which includes all of present-day Winnipeg. However, they will seek financial compensation for the historic wrongdoing.
student protests continue in montreal
B.c. Liberals scandal over ‘ethnic outreach’ document
canada creates thousands of new jobs in february
Violence broke out in the streets of Montreal on the night of Mar. 5, as students protested the tuition fee increase recently announced by the Parti Québécois (PQ). Police declared the march illegal, as the protestors did not provide a route as required by municipal law. Some protestors smashed the windows of a bank and hotel, and police claimed students defaced patrol cars with cans of spray paint. Fifty students were arrested, and at least one student and one officer were injured near Montreal’s Chinatown district. A new wave of protests has taken place since late February, following the PQ’s declaration at the Summit on Higher Education— which occurred on Feb. 25 and 26—that it would index tuition at three per cent per year starting next Fall. Many students were expecting the provincial government to freeze tuition, after the PQ cancelled the former Liberal government’s tuition increase in September 2012.
On Mar. 7, leaders of several First Nations and cultural groups— including the Union of B.C. Chiefs, the Progressive Inter-Cultural Services Society, and the Head Tax Families Society of Canada—called on the B.C. Liberal Party to stop using restorative justice as an election campaign strategy. This action follows the unveiling of the B.C. Liberals’ Multicultural Strategic Outreach Plan, which the NDP leaked. This document includes several proposals, one of which included using official apologies for historical injuries to entice First Nations and Chinese citizens to vote for the Liberals in the upcoming May 14 provincial elections. “It represents a deep sense of betrayal and we find it highly offensive,” Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of B.C. Chiefs, told the CBC. Since the disclosure of the ‘ethnic outreach’ document, Liberal Premier Christy Clark has issued three apologies. Liberal Deputy Chief of Staff Kim Haakstad, who helped draft the plan, resigned on Mar. 1.
Statistics Canada reported last week that 51,000 jobs were created in Canada in February—a figure that is six times bigger than the amount predicted by economists. The increase in employment was spread between both part-time and full-time work, and across most industries, and it occurred primarily in Ontario and B.C. Most of the people who filled the new positions were aged 55 or above. However, the unemployment rate remained relatively stable in February, as the number of new jobs matched the number of new Canadians seeking employment. Both politicians and economists are optimistic about these strong results; however, Scotia Economics Vice-President Derek Holt pointed to areas where improvement can still be made. “If there is a fly in the ointment, it lies in the fact that a big job gain, nonetheless, coincided with no growth in paycheques for all workers combined during the month, as evidenced by flat wages and flat hours worked,” Holt told the CBC.
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Fortier’s appointment a reflection of McGill’s values Last week, the Board of Governors’ (BoG) announcement that Dr. Suzanne Fortier has been selected as the next Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill was accompanied by a flurry of press releases, interviews, and profiles introducing her to the McGill community. There were a few points about her that stood out in particular, but aside from these details, we know very little about our new principal-designate. Nonetheless, what we do know about her—and what the university has chosen to emphasize—highlights what this selection says about McGill’s priorities as an institution, and the direction in which it seeks to go in the next five years under Fortier’s guidance. An analysist of recent press coverage of Fortier shows the same information coming up again and again. She is a Quebec native, hailing from St-Timothée—a mere 45-minute drive from Montreal; Fortier is McGill’s first francophone Principal (although she is perfectly bilingual), and is the second woman to hold the position. She completed her undergraduate studies at McGill, and also obtained a PhD in crystallography here. Professionally, she served two terms as a senior administrator at Queen’s University, and
is currently president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). She is also well connected, as she sits on the boards of numerous institutes and organizations. By all accounts, Fortier is extremely qualified for the job.
“It is clear that the
Board of Governors has chosen a principal according to the values which it feels will propel this school moving forward
Possibly the most heralded item on this list is Fortier’s status as a French-speaking Quebecer, a stark contrast with outgoing Principal Heather Munroe-Blum, whose French was passable at best. The university’s emphasis on this point makes perfect sense in the context of McGill’s recent strained relations with the Parti Québécois (PQ), as well as its lacklustre public relations with the francophone community as a whole. While a francophone principal could undoubtedly benefit the university, there is no guarantee that she will relate any better to the
government or to the public based solely on her linguistic aptitudes. Ultimately, this is an opportunity to improve McGill’s image—but it is by no means a certainty. Fortier’s background in the natural sciences, and the visible emphasis on research throughout her career are surely no mere happenstance. This is part of the university’s continued and concerted efforts to establish itself as a premier research institution, building upon its already strong reputation in the sciences. This, unto itself, should not come as a surprise. Hopefully an emphasis on research in the scientific fields will result in the kind of success that could also translate to ongoing academic excellence in other areas of study. Among the greatest assets that Fortier brings with her to the job is her impressive scope of affiliations and connections outside of the university. A good portion of the principal’s job is to represent the university’s interests to the government and to potential investors. Given McGill’s current financial situation, we feel that the school hopes to have found a leader who can find new ways to bring in revenue. One point notably absent from the university’s press release is
Fortier’s previous relationship with students. Both by reputation and her own account, she was well-liked among Queen’s students, however, a search into her time at Queen’s as vice-principal (research, then academic) brings to light only an investigation into systemic racism at the school that she commissioned in 2001—with no insight as to her openness and accessibility to students or to the media. While there is an argument to be made that the principal’s job concerns higher-level matters than student interaction, we feel that an increasing source of tension in the past ten years has been the divide between students and the administration, with much of it falling on the principal, and the example that she sets for other administrators. It is clear that the BoG has chosen a principal according to the values which it feels will propel this school moving forward—and we don’t necessarily disagree with these values. Rather, we hope that Fortier will not confine herself to the parameters of these institutional priorities, but will approach her job with a broad view of what’s important, and a willingness to reach out and communicate openly and honestly with the McGill community.
columnists Trudeau’s vision for politics
There is no doubt that Justin Trudeau is a leader. His charisma, his popularity, and his passion are hallmark characteristics of his speeches and image, and these traits have contributed to his success. In a recent National Post article by Mike de Souza, Trudeau is praised for his decisive lead and strong base of supporters in the Liberal Party leadership election. However, there is ongoing speculation as to how successfully these attributes will play out in the multi-party arena. During his visit to McGill in February, Trudeau discussed some of his political strategy and ideology. Notably, he condemned the poli-
cies of the past decade for unequally representing Canadians, placing most of the blame on politicians for focusing their efforts on certain groups of people in order to maximize individual popularity. He specifically singled out Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and his political attachments to the West and big corporations as the main culprit. His solution was to implement new policies that would help all Canadians, rather than target specific, non-partisan groups. Trudeau may be too quick to criticize. Politicians have successfully learned the ways in which people vote—not necessarily favouring what is best for the country, but for themselves—in order to maximize popularity. Whether that is ethically right or wrong is another issue; but should he choose to pursue his ideals when forming election strategy, Trudeau will lose many votes if his opponents opt to target specific voters and ‘play the political game’ as it is understood today.
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The situation can be seen in terms of game theory: if Trudeau chooses a plan that is moderately agreeable across the spectrum and his opponents create policies that will maximize benefits for swing voters, Trudeau will certainly lose. Politicians aren’t really to blame, as they are reacting to the voters in order to do what they need to—win. Even if all of Trudeau’s competitors were to accept his ideals and engage in a new kind of electoral campaign, it would only take one defector, undercutting the others, to bring the whole thing down. This stand-off boils down to what is known as a prisoner’s dilemma. If Trudeau hopes to realize his vision, it will not be an easy path. If he wants to win with a policy that will benefit all of Canada, he needs to first achieve a consensus amongst his political opponents to abandon their political games, and let ideas shine through. Theoretically, this can be implemented in part by monitoring and regulating advertisement
investment in certain provinces. Secondly, Trudeau must convince voters to support what’s best for Canada, regardless of their political stance. To do this, he needs to initiate a movement encouraging voters to be vigilant and informed about issues across Canada, and the ethical implications of voting. At the end of the day, change is very hard to come by, especially on this scale. Both voters and politicians are far more likely to pursue what they are familiar and comfortable with, and Trudeau will be forced to follow suit or risk being left behind. But however unlikely such systemic reform is in the near future, we know at least one politician hopes for more. If he were to overcome the obstacles, Trudeau’s vision could be not only successful, but could drastically change the nature of campaigns, and voters’ approach to Canadian elections.
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A chance to disconnect
Two weekends ago, both my roommate and I lost our phones within the same span of 24 hours— hers an iPhone, mine a Blackberry. I found her bedridden the next day, practically in withdrawal. I, on the other hand, felt strangely contented. There was something very liberating about the 10 days of phonelessness that followed. I didn’t lose any friends, I didn’t get terribly lost anywhere, and although some were perplexed by my virtual disappearance, they figured it out. For 10 days, I was subject to nobody’s pleas, calls, or check-ins—it was beautiful. Although my experiment was involuntary, a brave few of our generation are making conscious decisions to uproot from the technological sphere of communication which appears to sustain daily life. While giving up one’s cell phone is particularly radical, there also is the occasional youth who decides to de-
McGill should not bear brunt of budget cuts
December’s announcement of the drastic budget cuts facing McGill shocked the administration and the entire student body. While the cuts affect all of Quebec, there has been an emerging opinion among some Quebecers that McGill and other English-speaking universities should bear the brunt of these cuts. The argument is that McGill is not culturally part of the Quebec tradition, and is—as students often call it—a ‘bubble,’ set apart from the rest of the city and province. Nearly half of McGill’s student body is made up of out-of-province or international students, leading to a sense of dilution of the city’s French heritage, and consequently, lack of prioritization for provincial funding. In addition to the recent budget cuts, there have been propos-
part from Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or other social media platforms. Whether these ‘technological expats’ seek privacy, relief from borderline addiction, or just a step back into reality, it is worth wondering if they are truly doing themselves a favour. While cutting yourself off might be an alternative way to focus on schoolwork or gain some peace of mind, could this technological abandonment inhibit one from progressing with the rest of society? Disconnecting could, theoretically, set you off-pace with personal as well as public news, and limit communication with friends and family. But perhaps one alternative outweighs the other. U0 Arts student Michael Law was given a choice in his grade 12 English class: write a book report or suspend his Facebook for a month and keep a journal instead. This English assignment-turned-socialexperiment gave him the opportunity to experience life in a vastly different way. Claiming that at first, he felt “isolated and bored,” Law’s initial reaction gave way to a new sense of freedom. “I learned to appreciate face-toface interactions, and started to enjoy real solitude when I’m alone—no longer having to constantly talk to
people,” he says. Disconnection may thus be beneficial in that it could improve, and increase your appreciation for
als from the Parti Québécois (PQ) which would specifically target McGill, such as a plan to provide increased funding to universities that attract more first-generation post-
something to nurture and take pride in; despite its recent fall in one ranking, McGill is a world-renowned university—placing 18th in 2012 according to the QS annual global rankings—which attracts a lot of positive attention. As a result, brilliant young minds move here, ready both to partake in the province’s tradition of knowledge and academia. Students explore the Montreal area and gain an understanding of Quebec’s deep culture, and indeed, its language. Another factor is the general tourist industry McGill generates. As a renowned university full of history on its own, the campus is an essential Montreal attraction. Even more important are the established innovators McGill attracts. Among the most historically notable was Wilder Penfield, who founded the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (MNI), which continues to be a valuable resource to the city as a whole. In the future, there is no telling who will come to Montreal attracted by the prospect of McGill, and further contribute to the city’s amazing history of creation and culture. Despite its financial troubles, McGill has continued to commit
“ Far from being a threat to the culture of Montreal, McGill is one of the city’s biggest assets.” secondary students. As Lisa-Marie Gervais points out in an article in Le Devoir entitled “Sommet sur l’enseignement supérieur - Pour une gouvernance «efficace»,” McGill is typically attended by students from more educated families. Such targeting, however indirect, reflects the belief that francophone universities deserve more funding. What these policies will do is put at risk the great benefits McGill offers to Montreal and Quebec as a whole. Far from being a threat to the culture of Montreal, McGill is one of the city’s biggest assets. The institution’s name recognition alone is
yourself off might be an alternative way to focus on schoolwork or gain some peace of mind, could this technological abandonment inhibit one from progressing with the rest of society?
‘real world’ social interactions. But as new forms of social media catch on like wildfire, how can we even be sure of the divide between the ‘real world’ and the unprecedented expansion of the internet world? With phenomena like cyberbullying, dating and matchmaking websites, and live stream news updates, activities and occurrences in one world easily cross over into the other. The line separating the realms is rapidly disintegrating. In this way, deleting a Facebook account or giving up your smartphone could suggest self-exclusion from a modern world that you, in order to stay up to date, should ac-
tively participate in. But this is all speculation. I think we can all agree that bullying or judging others online is not something we should seek to incorporate into the modern world. Although I am, thankfully, not at such a point of ill-confidence or desperation, I don’t believe eHarmony, Christian Mingle, etc., are terribly effective media for finding “the one”—tampered photos and false personality profiles undeniably make up significant portions of these websites. Much of the “news” disseminated on the internet can be loaded with unverified information, which is only perpetuated by social media, and would never have made it to syndicated television broadcast or newsprint in the first place— Kony 2013, anyone? If the line between the ‘real world’ and the internet has blurred to a point of non-recognition, it should be re-established. If disconnecting means losing a lot of friends or becoming out of touch with news events, maybe the friends one has and the information one hears should be re-evaluated. In my case, as I suspect it would be for most, this was not a problem. Ideally, complete connectedness, especially that of social media,
is not necessary. In a casually defeated manner, Law explained he relapsed back to Facebook after his one month stint—“It was just too addictive.” He emphasizes that the world isn’t as small as it used to be. “Facebook has become the reality of communication.” But is it a necessary reality? Try disconnecting, and find out for yourself.
Budget cuts threaten the benefits McGill has to offer. (wikipedia.org) to innovation with programs such as the recently announced collaborative aerospace projects with the francophone L’école de technologie supérieure (ÉTS), and the planned Quartier de l’innovation, which hopes to revitalize an old industrial section of downtown Montreal by providing space for joint endeavours between McGill, ÉTS, and privatesector companies. McGill has a great deal to offer to Montreal, and has already done so
The McGill Tribune is looking for members for its 2013-2014 editorial
board! We are now accepting editor applications for the following sections:
News, Opinion, Student Living, Science & Technology, Features, Arts & Entertainment, Sports, Design, Photo, Copy, and Social Media, as well as for Creative Director.
much. Like any other asset, it must be nurtured and valued in order to thrive and provide maximum returns. Rather than being written off as a poor investment, McGill should be understood in terms of its potential benefits. While it may not contribute to the francophone legacy that the government is bound to protect, its benefits shine through in other areas. Given the opportunity and support, they will continue to do so for years to come.
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Wednesday March 13, 2012 |
science & technology
| Curiosity delivers.
A healthy breakfast or worse than smoking? Studies provide contradicting results on the health benefits of eggs Kieran Steer Contributor The question of whether eggs are a healthy protein source or a deadly cholesterol bomb is among the most disputed topics in dietary sciences. An online query into the subject proves more confusing than helpful—many studies give contradicting results. Some say that eating eggs is worse than smoking, while others maintain the meal is an athlete’s best friend. However, by sorting through professional opinions, the truth about what’s inside the little white shells becomes evident. The first step I took towards solving the dietary conundrum of eggs was speaking with Dr. Karine Auclair, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at McGill University. “A lot of times, the media blows these things out of proportion, kind of starting a fear campaign,” said Auclair in response to a set of articles on a study that suggested egg consumption was nearly as harmful smoking. She suggests consulting only well-trusted sources, such as Health Canada, for these issues. Looking into Health Canada’s pages—although no articles explicitly dis-
many other organizations, recommends those with high cholesterol levels to “limit [their consumption of] whole eggs to no more than two per week.” There seems to be steadfast evidence on both sides of the spectrum: the most trusted sources have called eggs beneficial, deadly, and harmless for one’s health. However, subtle observations show that all of these studies taken together are actually aligned with the same point of view. Although the effects of eggs and smoking on carotid health have a very strong correlation (p <0.0001), no experiment has been published on the relationship between diet and carotid plaque area, the topic of Spence’s study. So while the study shows a relationship between egg consumption and plaque, any factor related to cholesterol increases could have confounded his result. For example, what if the subjects’ three strips of bacon they always ate with their three eggs was not accounted for in this study? It is therefore reasonable to take Spence’s study as a suggestion that a relationship exists, but likely at a lesser extent than suggested in his findings. The idea that both the anti- and proegg organizations and researchers share is
cuss eggs—many papers, such as “Foods with less sodium” and “Cooking and meal planning tips” directly recommend including eggs in one’s diet. Further, the Mayo Clinic’s information on “High Cholesterol: Risk Factors and Causes” do not include eggs on the list of cholesterol risks, which include red meat, smoking, and saturated/trans fats. It seems that eggs may not be as high-cholesterol as they are made out to be. However, some research suggests otherwise. Dr. John David Spence, professor of neurology and clinical pharmacology at the University of Western Ontario, published a study that The Vancouver Sun covered in an article entitled, “Egg Yolks Almost as Bad as Smoking, Researcher Says.” In the study, patients at vascular prevention clinics at Western University hospital filled out a questionnaire about their diet and smoking habits. Each questionnaire was then compared to the corresponding patients’ cardiovascular health portfolio. Surprisingly, results suggested that heavy egg eaters and smokers had almost equal exponential growth of carotid plaque area (the part of the arteries that are clogged). Further supporting Spence’s study, the Heart & Stroke Foundation, among
Conflicting studies on health benefits of eggs agree that they should be avoided with high cholesterol levels. (hautelife.ca) the key phrase, “unhealthy if you already have high cholesterol levels.” The Info-Santé phone line, 8-1-1, answered my egg question by directing me to the University of Montreal’s website extenso.org. Here, too, the phrase, “if you already have high cholesterol levels” came up. Research shows that although eggs are high in dietary cholesterol, most of it will not be absorbed by the bloodstream. The 8-1-1 line even went so far to say that a five-egg-per-day diet is unlikely to cause
any issues, unless you already have hypercholesterolemia, or high cholesterol levels. The bulk of trusted sources seems to agree that eggs in moderation are a perfectly healthy breakfast, unless you have high cholesterol. Even those with genetic hypercholesterolemia disease are not restricted to avoid eggs altogether. Alhough there are always some limits and restrictions, eggs are a long way from being as detrimental as cigarettes or high levels of saturated and trans fats.
Spotlight on research Is Mechanical engineering an “all-boys club?” Tracy Yuen Contributor Mechanical engineering is one of the oldest engineering disciplines, burdened with long-standing traditions. However, many students are deterred by the field’s abstractness. The discipline is also characterized by a significant imbalance in the ratio of males to females involved. “Focusing on the application, rather than theory, could be a means to draw women into engineering,” proposed Dr. Fiona Zhao, assistant professor in mechanical engineering at McGill University. For Zhao, the dearth of females in engineering was plainly evident throughout her education and career. At the start of her graduate studies at the University of Auckland, she was the only female among the faculty members and students in her program. As Zhao’s career progressed into industry and academia worldwide, the trend failed to change. She was often the only female, and the youngest member on research teams. Inarguably, navigating through this “all-boys club” was intimidating at first, but it also motivated her to strive for more
and hold her ground. “The best part about research is that you’re judged on your work,” explained Zhao. Zhao’s own journey into mechanical engineering was due in part to rebellion and the other part, to coincidence. Both parents, working as professors in the biological sciences, encouraged her to follow in their footsteps; but Zhao opposed them. Instead, she chose to study electromechanical engineering at the prestigious Beijing Institute of Technology. Fascinated by the field’s rapid pace, she continued to pursue her PhD at the University of Auckland. Her current research follows three themes: manufacturing informatics, sustainable manufacturing, and additive manufacturing technology. The recent media spotlight on additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, has led to increased demand. Through optimization and simulation of manufacturing technologies, Zhao’s research aims to design innovative model development methods in both medical and aerospace sectors of the field. In particular, Zhao is interested in integrating classical computer-aid
design (use of computer programs to create 2 or 3D graphical representations of physical objects) with internetbased manufacturing (e-manufacturing). Through developing these novel methods in manufacturing informatics, she aims to make manufacturing more efficient and sustainable. As manufacturing processes of goods are often subdivided and sent offshore to remote locations—such as parts of a plane that are produced in different parts of the world and assembled at a central location—the ability to efficiently coordinate each step is crucial to product development success. “The production of the Boeing Dreamliner has been delayed multiple times due to inability to streamline manufacturing information,” added Zhao. With the vehement push from both government and the public for greener and more sustainable production, companies are putting a more conscious effort into refining their manufacturing process. On this front, Zhao focuses on developing new metrics and databases, for evaluation and design theories related to products’ sustainability By emphasizing the utility of en-
Zhao recognizes the benefits of a mentorship program to attract more women to mechanical engineering. (wallsave.psd) gineering, Zhao hopes to inspire the next generation of females to venture into this exciting field, and provide more perspectives in mechanical engineering. As a start to solving this problem, Zhao proposed that a mentorship program in which high school and undergraduate students meet monthly— an ideal outreach method. The need to address such gender imbalance in engineering is felt not only felt by faculty members, but students as well. Initiatives such as POWE (Promoting Opportunities for Women in Engineering) have attempted to raise awareness of the issue
and encourage high school students to explore prospects in engineering. Despite such efforts, the proportion of female undergraduates enrolled in Engineering at McGill University has remained practically unchanged for the past 10 years: it was 27.2 per cent in 2002 and 24.5 per cent in 2012. With more initiatives such as the mentorship program Zhao proposed, we will hopefully see a rise in this number.
Curiosity delivers. |
ASK By Caity Hui
science & technology
How much is too much caffeine? Coffee is often a welcomed friend during the semester. According to folklore, the bean’s energizing properties were first discovered by an Ethiopian goat herdsman, who found his flock frolicking after eating coffee berries from nearby bushes. It’s not just goats that enjoy the effects of caffeine, however. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), at least 80 per cent of adults in the U.S. consume various forms of the stimulant every day. But the caffeine addiction does not stop there—some proclaim their love of the chemical by displaying its structure on T-shirts, mugs, and laptop cases. However, the five deaths linked to Monster Energy drinks and 13 linked to 5-Hour Energy shots in the U.S. last year, according to FDA records and an interview with an agency official, suggest caffeine might not be such a nice friend. Bertil B. Fredholm, emeritus professor of pharmacology at the Karolinksa Institute in Sweden told Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) that caffeine is a popular stimulant that triggers alertness in the body at low doses. Once absorbed by the bloodstream, the compound is metabolized in the liver, where it is transformed into three different
primary metabolites (molecules produced during metabolism): paraxanthine, theophylline, and theobromine. Subsequently, these metabolites bind to two adenosine receptors, A1 and A2a, which are located throughout the body. These are proteins that regulate different physiological functions when activated by the neurochemical adenosine. In normal circumstances, adenosine is produced by neurons—brain cells— throughout the day. The adenosine receptors are responsible for regulating nerve cell activity, and the release of neurotransmitters— brain chemicals that communicate information between the brain and body—such as dopamine. The interaction of the adenosine molecule with its receptors also promotes drowsiness.As adenosine binds to its receptors to activate them, it slows down nerve cell activity, causing sleep. However, when caffeine enters the bloodstream, the interaction of adenosine with its corresponding receptors is interrupted. Caffeine and its metabolites look like adenosine to nerve cells, but do not cause resulting response in receptors. Therefore, these metabolites bind instead to the adenosine receptors and prevent adenosine from
Infectious diseases have been a terrible killer in the past, and still are today. With the development of vaccines, the discovery of antibiotics and drastic changes in public health, the human life span has increased over the past century. Yet, the threat of infectious diseases still haunts us. As an HIV epidemic attacks Africa and South East Asia, and a global avian influenza pandemic looms, there is an urgent need to understand, and help the immune system in its battle against pathogens. A study conduced at McGill offers more insight on just that. One of the most important features of the immune system is its ability to differentiate between self (i.e., one’s own cells) and non-self (i.e., a pathogen). When a virus enters a cell in our body, a host of immune proteins (such as MDA5, RIG-I) recognize patterns that are common to pathogens, but not present in us—double stranded RNA, for example, which is different from humans’ double stranded DNA. When these patterns are detected, cellular signaling pathways are initiated, resulting in the secretion of a key cytokine—a molecule involved in cell communication in the immune system—called interferon. Interferon, in turn, activates numerous genes to produce defence proteins, including the IFIT family of proteins in the infected and surrounding cells, creating an anti-viral environment. Identifying these proteins and the roles they play have been an area of intense research.
The IFIT family of proteins consists of four members (IFIT1, IFIT2, IFIT3 and IFIT5), which are dramatically increased in cells upon viral infection or the addition of interferon, suggesting an anti-viral role. “[The IFIT family of proteins] have been discovered for quite a bit of time, but the functional analysis started maybe 10-15 years ago,” says Dr. Bhushan Nagar, associate professor in the department of biochemistry at McGill, and in whose lab this work was done. IFIT proteins have long been known to mediate an anti-viral effect by disrupting the production of new proteins in an infected cell. In 2011, Dr. Giulio Superti-Furga’s lab at the Austrian Academy of Sciences used a proteomics approach, which involved fishing in a soup of laboratory cell extract with triphosphorylated RNA as a bait. To their surprise, they captured the IFIT proteins. Nagar refers to this work as “the seminal finding.” Superti-Fagar contacted Nagar, whom he had met during the latter’s post-doctoral study. This started the collaboration that led to the team’s current work, a structural description of the IFIT5 protein and its interaction with triphosphorylated RNA, which was published earlier this month in Nature. “The structural biology—technique-wise—is routine,” said Nagar. “We made the protein in bacteria, where serendipitously some portion of the protein was bound to bacterial triphosphorylated RNA.”
doing its job. Consequently, dopamine and other neurotransmitter levels increase, resulting in a surge of nerve activity in the brain and on the heart. Furthermore, although caffeine looks like adenosine, it is not a neurochemical. Therefore, instead of slowing down the nerve cell’s activity, it speeds it up, causing you to feel more awake. These effects might all seem harmless, but when taken in excessive quantities, caffeine can cause anxiety, irritation, and general mental discomfort. Importantly, caffeine can also have many negative physiological effects on the body, including increased blood pressure, rapid heart rate— and in extreme cases, death. Chances are, one cup of coffee is not going to kill you. The toxic level of caffeine in humans, about 10 g, is roughly equivalent to guzzling 75 cups of brewed coffee (in eight ounce mugs), or 120 cans of Red Bull over a few hours. However, this lethal limit is hardly a guideline. The tolerable amount of caffeine varies widely from person to person. Factors such as genetics, smoking, and age, all have an influence, although scientists are still unsure what exactly causes death by caffeine before the lethal limit. Due to the variability in caffeine sensitivity among people, the FDA does not recommend a consumption limit for
| Wednesday, March 13, 2012
the entire population. However, the agency states on its website that 600 mg (four to seven cups of coffee) of caffeine is too much. While it is difficult to regulate the caffeine content of food and drink—since beverage manufacturers claim the compound is a necessary flavour enhancer for their products—the FDAputs a limit of 0.02 per cent (6 mg per oz) on the amount of the chemical allowed in cola-type beverages. Unfortunately, beverage limitations do not apply to energy drinks, which are sold as dietary supplements. Drinks like 5-Hour Energy Shots may contain caffeine levels that exceed 6 mg per oz. Furthermore, beverage manufacturers often include caffeine as part of the “energy blend,” on the label. These contain multiple ingredients, none of which are broken down individually by milligrams. As a result, it is unclear how much of a contribution to the “energy blend” is made by energy-boosting compounds. Despite the dangers of a caffeine overdose, it seems a caffeine craze has caught on in the marketing industry. Cracker Jack has switched out its caramel corn for Cracker Jack’d—two ounce packages of “power bites” jammed with 70mg of caffeine. It will join a market of many other caffeine-infused products, such as Water Joe—a bottle of
water with the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee—caffeinated pancakes, and marshmallows. While the marketing industry makes it easy to get caught up in the hype surrounding caffeinated food and beverages, everyone’s body metabolizes this chemical differently. While it is unlikely that a morning cup of coffee will do you any harm, it serves as an important reminder that there is no fixed threshold for the amount of caffeine your body can tolerate. With finals looming in the future, it might make more sense to swap out that 5-Hour Energy Shot for some sleep.
Caffeine sensitivity varies among people, making it difficult to recommend a consumption limit. (starbucks.com)
Structural study unravels mystery of how IFIT protein binds to RNA They initially had some difficulty studying this protein, since it bound to RNA of various sizes (heterogenous RNA). To further study the protein’s interaction with RNA, they had to make RNA in the test tube. Nagar credits Yazan Abbas, a fourth year PhD student and lead author of the paper, for “doing an excellent job in following up on the literature on how to make [large amounts of less heterogenous] RNA and really figuring things out.” Both Nagar and Abbas concur, that making the RNA was the hardest part of the project. The ‘eureka’ moment, says Abbas, smiling, was “seeing the electron density maps which are used to build atomic models of protein. We had this for IFIT5, but we were not sure of where the RNA goes. When we solved [the structure] with the RNA, when we had the electron density map with the triphosphate
RNA—we got it. According to my boss, he just said ‘we’re in.’” “The definite proof [of function] is when you have a crystal structure”, says Nagar. “Six months before our work, the structure of RIG-I interacting with RNA was published. Just today, the MDA5 structure was published; this is a very hot area of research,” he adds. The IFIT family of proteins consists of a tetratricopeptide repeat domain (TPR domain) that, due to Nagar’s work in determining the structure of these proteins, is now known to interact with both triphosphorylated RNA and proteins. What this means in the context of anti-viral immunity is still unknown, and is where the project is headed. The next stages of this project will look at “drugs or inhibitors based on these RNA molecules, for when the immune response is too strong,” concludes Nagar. Other future directions involve understanding the role of this pro-
tein in viral infections, such as influenza. “The virus is attacking, these proteins are defending, what you normally get when you see the flu virus is a balance between the two. If we did not have this defence, we’d have much worse symptoms than what we get.” Abbas concludes, “I’ve been told that the option to graduate is open, but I agree with my boss. There’s just so much more to explore in the field.”
Errata A story in the Feb. 27 Issue, “Inside the Dent lab,” incorrectly identified the subject of Dr. Dent’s research as ‘neurotransmitters,’ rather than ‘receptors for neurotransmitters.’ The Tribune regrets the error.
g n i p ep
o u t of the c o m f
McGill’s student population is an amalgam of culture and diversity, a mix of ethnic backgrounds making their way across campus every day. Libraries and lecture halls buzz with snippets of conversation in an eclectic mélange of dialects. With over 20 per cent of the student population holding foreign passports, the university is truly international. Its students hail from regions as distant as Africa and the Asian Pacific, and as close as just south of the border. As students, we herald this international status and feel proud about how “diverse” and “multicultural” our university is. But can one define what it is really like to be an international student at McGill?
Ching-Lang (Pierre) Lin, Taiwan
DEFINING THE “INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE”
The truth is that the “international experience” at this university is as diverse as its student body. For reasons that range from country of origin and educational background to previous experience living abroad, international students from across the globe see their student lives through dramatically different lenses. Director of the International Student Services (ISS) office at McGill, Pauline L’Écuyer said that international student life “is very personal, and depends also on the student’s ability to deal with intercultural behaviours. There are students who come from very far abroad, but
because their families have travelled around so much, they adapt better and more quickly to a new environment t h a n someone who may be just a five hour drive from here who has never been exposed to so much multiculturalism.” Ching-Lang Lin, who also goes by Pierre, his French name, is a Taiwanese exchange student from the prestgious Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris. He decided to come to McGill to improve his knowledge of English and French, which could help him become a judge in Taiwan. Though he faces a challenging language barrier, he appreciates Montreal and values its bilingualism. To Ching-Lang, Montreal is “a city characteristic of its French and British roots,” similar to the mix of Japanese and Chinese cultures which characterizes his home country. He considers himself extremely lucky to be living and studying in a city like Montreal, which offers many the opportunity to explore different cultural sites outside McGill’s campus, but plans to return to Taiwan upon completion of his degree. Eline Koopmans, a law student from the Netherlands, has also come to McGill from Europe on exchange. It was both Montreal’s location and McGill’s status in Canada that held special appeal for Koopmans, allowing her to travel and explore other areas of North America during her stay. When asked about her experience as an international student, she said it was the small local cultural nuances that made a big difference, such as the process of getting a phone plan, or the food and eating habits. Unlike Pierre, who has found his experience most enriched by his ventures off campus, Eline found her niche by engaging in campus activities, like zumba classes at the McGill gym, a SSMU baking mini-course, and the SSMU Ski and Snowboard Club. She said she found it easiest to maintain social networks with students within her faculty. Though she harbours thoughts about staying in Canada for a couple of years after she finishes her program, she misses what she left behind. “I feel the Netherlands is really my home. The small things and family, that is very important for me. I think I will always go back home in the end,” she said. Mostafa I. Youssef, a second-year student in civil engineering, comes from Cairo, Egypt. As a graduate of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, the academic experience at McGill posed no major difficulties. However, the initial decision to leave his home country,
By Heather Lee
family, and friends was the h a r d e s t decision he ever made. Mostafa finds it difficult to feel truly at ease when stepping outside the “McGill bubble,” and is unsure of whether he has been exposed to “real” Canadian culture. Still, he has adapted well to campus life. “The fact that the community here is not dictated by a single culture gave me a unique exposure, as well as an opportunity to observe, discover, and learn,” he said. “It took me some time to adapt to the atmosphere in general, but I personally think that people are very similar everywhere around the world, especially people our age.” Coming from the Middle East, he did notice the distinct college culture present Minneapolis, Minnesota came to McGill at McGill, one of drinking, partying, drug because he wanted to be “at least a use, and more liberal sexual tendencies. thousand miles [away] from home.” His While religion is not the sole factor in initial reaction to Montreal was eyedefining the Egyptian identity, Mostafa opening. notes that it is very embedded in the culture, leading to a close, and often “The fact that the inseparable connection between social community here is not and religious habits. dictated by a single culture “[In Egypt,] you can’t simply pop a can of beer in the middle of the street, or gave me a unique exposure, walk around drunk. It’s not something as well as an opportunity to that is culturally acceptable,” observe, discover, and he said. learn” In contrast, the adaptation process “My mind was described from blown. I got tingles all an American over my body. I knew perspective it was perfect. It was a presents a radically great city, the culture different face of the international Eline Koopmans, Netherlands was so diverse, and had a ton of great energy,” experience from He admitted. that described by Nelson’s work in the music Mostafa. Owen Nelson from
Mostafa I. Youssef, Egypt
a n l o i e t x a p n e r r e t ience at McG n i e th ill
Owen Nelson, USA
industry has enriched his experience at McGill. Having had the chance to branch out to perform at various venues around Montreal, he learned first-hand about Canadian culture outside of the McGill bubble. Yet, when asked about the main cultural differences between Americans and Canadians, he couldn’t help but find similarities instead. “I feel like we’re pretty similar…. I didn’t really feel like I was an international student per se, because I was on the same continent, and I spoke English.” Yet, while universities in the U.S. also boast a high number of international students, Nelson finds McGill “a lot more culturally diverse and open,” touching on the contrasting cultures of accommodation and assimilation that prevail in the two countries. “Right now, I’m building a network that I might be able to use [for] the rest of my life,” Nelson said. “Once I start my career, I can do business, or communicate with people from all over the world, and that’s what I feel is a really great aspect at McGill, that sense of networking on a global scale.”
WHO IS HERE TO HELP?
As Canada’s identity is based in multiculturalism, it is simultaneously accommodating—allowing students a degree of comfort and belonging—and exciting for those experiencing it for the first time. However, regardless of where
they come from, or why they came, international students at McGill have one common resource open to them: the ISS office hosts a variety of services, including orientation activities, a social and support network, health insurance guidance, workshops, and international student advising. Whereas various educational systems worldwide prepare international students for adaptation to McGill’s academic environment, circumstances outside of the classroom can often present some of the toughest obstacles to their time at the university. “Obviously, they were admitted to the university because we thought they could perform,” L’Écuyer explained. “Very often, academic difficulty is related to homesickness, or problems back home. One parent may be sick, there may be an accident, and the student may not be able to concentrate.” This challenge is compounded by language barriers. While, according to L’Écuyer, the inability to speak French does not often deter students from wanting to come to McGill, the challenge of finding jobs without an intermediate level of French quickly dawns on them. This problem is shared by many of their Canadian colleagues, but for students from abroad, it can be especially grim. “Very often, students come with
enough funding for their first couple of years and they hope that through part-time work or scholarships, they will be able to stay,” said L’Écuyer. However, if funding runs out, international students are sometimes unable to pay the steep international tuition fees and complete their degrees, especially given the difficulty of finding jobs off campus without good knowledge of French. Aware of the adversity that international students can face due to their temporary status, the ISS offers programs that aim to help students develop social connections and support networks to overcome these challenges. Popular among them is the “Buddy Program,” which matches international students with a “buddy” from McGill,
“Once I start my career, I can do business, or communicate with people from all over the world, and that’s what I feel is a really great aspect at McGill, that sense of networking on a global scale.” find a niche in the McGill community through events, gatherings, and student activities. The international status of well over 8,000 students at McGill carries with it the excitement of constant discovery, the joy of that comes along with adaptation, and the nostalgia of leaving behind what is known and dear. In the end, it is only through mutual support that the shared experiences of these students can lead to their eventual success.
“My mind was blown. I got tingles all over my body. I knew it was perfect. It was a great city, the culture was so diverse, and had a ton of great energy,” according to faculty, country of interest, and gender. To Max Thoman, a secondyear political science student who volunteered as a buddy, “it’s really about being able to show them the ins-and-outs of McGill in particular, and the things that set it apart from other universities.” Other student support groups, such as the International Student Network and the many culturally-based student clubs on campus, welcome international students with open arms, catering to specific cultural groups to help students
Photos by Alexandra Allaire and Simon Poitrimolt
C H R A M f the y e a r
georgina price Owen nelson Jazz performance, U4
Would save his blender from a burning apartment.
Over Reading Week, students voted on the Tribune’s website for their favourite Student of the Week out of the 20 students profiled this year. Votes were tallied, and we have compiled a semi-March Madness style bracket to share the results.
International management, U1
Interns at local NGO whic seeks to empower female artisans in the developing world.
ECONOMICS, U2 Watched Mighty Ducks 2 every day when he was in grade 5.
Lists vegans, scarves, and skinny jeans as his pet peeves.
Would be a grand piano if he had to be a musical instrument.
Will confidently high-five any outreached hands.
alex gershanov engineering, u1
Hasn’t read past the 4th Harry Potter book.
ben percifield arts undeclared, u0
Has two differently-sized hands.
tarun Koshy finance, u2
honours history, u3
Bruce Springsteen authority.
IDS AND BIOLOGY, U3 Exec of the Student Association for Medical Aid, tourguide, and teacher with Making Waves.
Likes to call his hometown of Wilmette, ‘Thrillmette.’ Runs its Facebook page.
Gets a lot of flack for using the word ‘primo.’
Cries every time he watches the Truman Show.
27% of voTES
Curiosity delivers. |
| Wednesday, March 13, 2013
first year law, 1L
E S N S D A M tim apedaile
No one would go see Titanic in 3D with him.
Hopes Taylor Swift never writes a song about him.
Michael kleinman general engineering, u0
Would describe the McTavish flood as ‘What the hell?’
Captain of the Mo’tion to dismiss Movember team.
President of Ile Sans Fil.
computer science, 2nd year graduate studies
Good at making circuit boards spark fire.
winner owen nelson
His guilty pleasure is drinking milk.
political science, u3
Helped organize the Women in House program this year.
meghan mcneil anthropology, u1
meghan mcneil Meghan mcneil
Would high five Edward Scissorhands.
Will never get sick of reading Twilight.
Would have saved her cat from a burning apartment, if she hadn’t already run away.
Has a flackberry.
The Law library is her second bedroom.
joint honours poli sci/environment, u3
Will never wear skin-coloured corduroy leggings again.
liza ponomarenko international development, u3
Has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
anatomy and cell biology, u1
Can make balloon animals.
joy lizette aguilar
political science/international development, u1
jason choi jason choi
Signature dance move is Tutting.
6% of voTES
Recruits and coordinates volunteer for World Vision.
Would trade lives with the Long Island Medium for a day.
Drinks Baileys with milk every night before bed.
Frequently drops ‘biology facts’ on her friends.
chemical engineering, u3
Cheers for Vietnamese Olympians who share his last name.
Curiosity delivers. |
| Wednesday, March 13, 2013
in the city
Local spa provides rest and relaxation for McGillians Offering a friendly break from studies, SCC Spa Urbain caters strongly to students Jacqui Galbraith Student Living Editor Sylvie-Chantale Duquette couldn’t stand much higher than five feet tall, but every inch of those five feet is bursting with energy. Her friendly greeting to every customer entering her spa is something McGill students have come to associate with the intimate atmosphere of SCC Spa Urbain. Despite catering to patrons from all walks of life, Duquette maintains that students are the core of her business. A native Quebecer, Duquette always wanted to help people: “I’ve always been in retail, so for me, opening up a spa was a huge change in my life. I knew that after 50 I would want to make a change, and really care for people. When I was younger, I used to always tell my mother that I wanted to go to Africa and help kids; and I think if I’d won [the lottery] that’s what I would have done. I didn’t win, so then I told myself, ‘What could I do that would mean I’m caring for people, but also [has] a bit of beauty and health in it?’ and I decided to open the spa.” From there, things took off quickly. After a meeting with experi-
enced friends in the beauty industry, Duquette resigned from her job, and set about renovating the space SCC Spa urbain currently occupies. The space, on 385 Sherbrooke, opened in Dec. 2011. “We wanted to introduce ourselves to the area, and make sure that we were going to [cater specifically] to the customers around here, and a lot of them are students.” Duquette explains. “So we’ve been very mindful of not only choosing products for them, but making sure that this place is [somewhere] you feel comfortable.” Duquette even gives some of her clients relationship advice. “[Some of the girls] come in and they bring pictures [of guys] on their iPhones; and I get a vibe, and I tell them, ‘This guy only wants you for this,’ or ‘No, this guy is no good for you,’ and so far, I think I’ve made some good decisions for them.” Besides offering match-making services, Duquette’s spa features daily student-oriented discounts. The week’s specials are updated on the spa’s Facebook page. “Every Sunday night, I post promotions for the entire week;
This week the Tribune is introducing a new advice column answering questions submitted by McGill students. Got problems? E-mail us at studentliving@ mcgilltribune.com.
y b b i r T
Dear Tribby, I’m in my third year at McGill, going into my last year of undergrad next year, and I absolutely despise my major. I’ve considered switching before, but don’t want to feel like I’ve wasted two years, let alone three. That being said, I am absolutely sure that I don’t want to go into psychology. Well, pretty sure. Should I just bite the bullet, finish out my degree, and try to figure out a different career path after graduation, or should I switch my major and just stay for another year—or more? —Sick of Psych
[but] at the end of the day I think it’s word-of-mouth,” Duquette says about the spa’s success. “[If] people come, enjoy it, and feel comfortable, they’ll come back; they’ll talk to a friend [about it]. I’ve noticed that since we’ve been doing that, more people have been coming.” Another concern is ensuring the products SCC Spa urbain carries are environmentally friendly and affordable for students. Every product offered by the spa is either organic or free of animal by-products; such as its Jane Iredale makeup and skin care line, which is endorsed by David Suzuki. Aside from being green, Duquette maintains that they always work. “I’m so at ease with [the products] we’ve chosen, that I tell people “Take it home. [If] you’re not happy, bring it back and [you’ll get your] money back.” And I do that with everyone, and no one has ever come back. But if that day should come, [I’ll] stand by my word.” The atmosphere at SCC Spa Urbain is cozy, as the space consists of a reception/manicure area, and two private rooms. With increased business, the vibe can get a little hectic,
Dear Sick of Psych, Don’t worry, you are not alone! Many have experienced doubt; about their major or program. My advice for you is to figure out the opportunities you have for your future if you do stay with this major. Try visiting McGill CaPS (Career Planning Service) online, or in the Brown Student Service Building; they provide services from revising your CV to helping you plan your career after graduation. Also see what else you can find out online, and talk it over with your family. There may be more opportunities with your degree than what you have imagined! That said, if you can’t stand your major and want to switch, make sure you think it through again before you make this choice. Talk to more advisors, family, and friends about your decision. If you want more information about a specific major or path, don’t hesitate to talk it through with a professor in that department. They can give you first-hand information, and advice on possible career paths with a degree in that particular program. After all, chances are, they went through the same four-year undergraduate degree that you are in right now. Also do some research on your own before switching programs. In addition to checking out the possible careers associated with a new degree, look at the required courses. Are the courses offered interesting to you in any way? After all, you don’t want to go through the same problem a year into the degree. And as you mentioned, there’s nothing bad about staying at McGill for an extra year, as long as it’s feasible for you financially. Looking back 20 years from now, you will probably find that staying an extra year in university to figure out what you really wanted was worth it. My best advice to you is to think through your options before you make a decision, talk to more people, and decide what’s best for you—not for grad schools, future employers, or your peers. Trust yourself, and best of luck to you! Yours truly,
but Duquette manages to keep up consistent individual attention with her customers. “We have a lot of international students who just come and cry when they’re lonely, [and] some of them are calling me their mom away from home,” Duquette laughs. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to have children, so for me, a lot of the students are really the children that I wish I had had. I do care, you know? I want this place to be authentic; it’s not just about beauty, it’s about a healthy lifestyle. So if I can help promote that, and be a good mentor, well great. All of our staff is chosen for the same reason: because they care about people.” Duquette works with McGill students on other private or charitable projects to help publicize the spa. One student, an aspiring artist, held an exhibit of her work at 385 Sherbrooke, and managed to sell 34 out of 37 pieces to a full house of 50 people. “Also,” Duquette adds, “during the month of February, every time someone would book an appoint-
ment, we’d give a dollar to Borderless World Volunteers. Diana [Famintsyna], who’s on the [executive team], is a customer of ours….so I said ‘Whatever we can do at the spa, you let me know.’” SCC Spa Urbain offers standard spa services, and caters to both men and women. With a welcoming environment, warm and professional staff, and affordable discounts, Duquette has developed something of a hidden gem in downtown Montreal. At the end of our interview, Duqeutte left me with this: “I finished my bachelor’s so many years ago, but since I’ve opened this place I’ve learned so much from young people. I feel privileged that they share their stories with me. Every day I feel so excited to go to work, like ‘What am I going to learn today?’” For more information, including hours of operation, visit www. sccspaurbain.com/ and like their Facebook page for weekly deals on products and services.
arts & entertainment film
Lacklustre return to the Emerald City
Oz: The Great and Powerfulis a disappointing and joyless prequel to a beloved classic
The same look viewers may have while watching the film. (www.fanpop.com) Emma Hambly Contributor Disney is once again whisking movie-goers away to the Land of Oz, but this time the journey is anything but magical. The opening credits—a topsyturvy Victorian circus—promise creativity: a quirky take on a bygone era, drama, suspense, and great visuals. But the best is over before the film begins, and none of the potential is realized in what follows. Oz: The Great and Powerful provides a similar experience to Tim Burton’s recent Alice in Wonderland (2010): another Disney sequel to a classic that is high on budget but low on the
pathos, imagination, and majesty of the original. Apart from a moving and whimsical score by Danny Elfman, creative costumes, and the odd moment of wit, little else shines in this adaptation. The plot is tired and predictable, the screenplay deadened by two-dimensional characters and dialogue that ranges from wooden to saccharine. Oz: The Great and Powerful is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz—one might call it the story of the origins for the Wicked Witch, and the wizard himself. The hero, Oz (James Franco), is a small-time magician, a womanizer, and a con man, working crowds at a shabby circus. He ends
up in the Land of Oz after a mishap with a hot-air balloon and a tornado. In this fantastic realm, Oz meets witches Theodora (Mila Kunis) and Evanora (Rachel Weisz), who expect him to live out a prophecy and save this world from its tyrannical ruler. Of course, the ‘wizard’ has no magic, only parlour tricks. But in order to claim a kingship and a lion’s share of treasure, he decides to kill the Wicked Witch. Oz sets off on a small string of adventures. His companions—a flying monkey and an unnamed china doll—can’t match the vibrancy of the Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man. The climax is a bit of fun, featuring the use of smoke and mirrors to combat real magic; but it is too little, too late. There is no reason to mince words—the acting is downright bad. James Franco has no charm. Rachel Weisz is over the top. Michelle Williams as Glinda has a few sweet moments, but spends more time doeeyed, and mugging for the camera. The worst offender is Mila Kunis, who cries and screeches, but fails to convincingly portray either good or evil. By the climax, subtlety is somewhere back in Kansas, and it seems that director Sam Raimi went with a philosophy of ‘the more acting, the better.’
One might hope that the visual spectacle might provide some magic, or at least a distraction from this fiasco, but the imagery is uninspired. Frames are full of bright colours—flora of impossible scale, and the odd CGI fantasy creature—but nothing that resounds as memorable or original. Beyond this, what is inescapable is an overwhelming feeling of emptiness. In some shots, one is hyper-aware that the actors are walking in front of a blue screen. Most other scenes lack a mid-ground of props, landscape features, or background characters to convince the audience
of any depth. Without memorable plot, characters, or dialogue, the rest of the film feels shallow as well. Any film that wants to take on the legacy of the 1939 classic—and L. Frank Baum’s book—has big, sparkly shoes to fill. But very little succeeds in Oz: The Great and Powerful. Both its high and low points leave the audience aching for the original. You’re welcome to take this modern-day trip down the yellow brick road, but before long you’ll be wishing for your own pair of ruby slippers to send you home.
arts & entertainment
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 |
arts & entertainment
| Curiosity delivers.
Spotlight on Haiti emphasizes hope over despair McCord’s latest photo exhibit mixes haunting imagery with stories of tenacity and survival Ira Halpern Contributor The streets of Port-au-Prince are just around the corner from McGill—or at least as much of them as anyone can expect to see without traveling to Haiti. They are put on display in Haiti: Chaos and Daily Life, an exhibition by Montreal photographer Benoit Aquin now showing at the McCord Museum. Featuring 40 large colour photographs, the exhibit offers a glimpse into the day-to-day lives of Haitians over the past three years, and explores how they continue to cope with the aftershock of a devastating earthquake. Aquin has always been particularly interested in the impact of natural disasters on the environment, and the ways in which communities cope with them. He has travelled all over the world to capture these scenes with his camera, from the dustbowl in China (his exploration earned him the prestigious Prix Pictet award in 2008) to the Nile River. But Aquin has forged a special connection with Haiti, an island he first visited when he was four years old. Haiti: Chaos and Daily Life is laid out not
Benoit Aquin—Carnaval VIII (Jacmel, Haiti, 2011). (Courtesy of McCord Museum) chronologically but rather somewhat thematically, from devastation on the streets, to an exploration of the hurricane’s impact on buildings and their interiors, and ultimately to colourful images of a wild carnival in Port-au-Prince. Excerpts from The World is Moving Around Me, the 2010 memoir of Haitian-born Montreal novelist Dany Laferriere accompany the artwork, and shed some light on
Aquin’s intentions. One quotation reads, “During the last two weeks of January 2010, Haiti was seen more often than during the previous two centuries. And it wasn’t because of a coup or one of those bloody stories mixing voodoo and cannibalism—it was because of an earthquake, an event over which no one has any control. For once, our misfortune wasn’t exotic. What happened to us could have happened anywhere.”
Many Canadians may find images of women bathing in mud or splattered with blood in a series of photographs titled “Ceremony” to be ‘exotic.’ But such generic titles stress the globally transcendent rather than locally specific nature of these rituals. Aquin has a penchant for capturing motion, especially people in motion. These sights are often hopeful: relief workers helping the in-
jured and excavating rubble, a man jumping up ‘in flight.’ But amidst these images, there is the occasional photograph that stops you in your tracks with its eerie stillness— like the photograph of a dead man sprawled on the street, ironically situated next to a cardboard box with the slogan, “Nice Walk.” But such images are the exception. Overall, the exhibit does not stress despair, but rather, celebrates resilience. Perhaps such an optimistic portrayal of Haiti’s recovery has the potential to create a dangerous sense of false comfort. After all, Haiti is still struggling to get back on its feet—one could argue that more gruesome documentation of the event would garner more donations and political action. Aquin’s exhibit shouldn’t be considered as an all-encompassing rendering of events. It isn’t a call for action, but for precisely this reason, it is also very much a work of art. Haiti: Chaos and Daily Life is on display until May 12 at the McCord Museum (690 Sherbrooke West). Student admission $8, free Wednesdays.
The corner man packs a power punch Tensions fly in the boxing ring in Jim Burkes’ Cornered
A sharp script and a sharper performance means Cornered is very much light on its feet. (Courtesy of Rabbit in a Hat) Nicole Rainteau Contributor
Cornered, a play by Jim Burke, carefully confines its characters, Vinne (Christopher Moore) and Rex (Howard Rosenstein), within a boxing ring. Despite their restricted space, Moore and Rosenstein keep their witty back-and-forth fresh and captivating. Vinne and Rex encounter challenges beyond the difficulty of working within a small square box throughout. The duo, along with the characters Doxy and Little T, reveal
their world of boxing through quick entertaining banter, which is nuanced by thick Manchester accents. Despite their intonation and the venue’s echoing acoustics, Rosenstein and Moore’s quips are crisp. The plot is not elaborate. The boxers prepare for Little T’s fight, discuss dodgy Doxy and his schemes, and comment on the hierarchy of the tough men behind the boxing ring. Vinne and Rex remain on the edge of a high stakes boxing game where trust is key. Unfortunately, they both have their own agenda, which exposes their true
loyalties and leaves both scrambling. The spark that fuels the play, however, is not the outcome of the plot, but the way Moore and Rosenstein execute the nuanced highs and lows in Burke’s fast moving dialogue. Burke’s clever writing is carried by the chemistry between Moore and Rosenstein, who maintain brilliant comedic timing both vocally and physically. They establish the relationship between their characters early. Rex is the corner man who knows his way around the ropes, and is often frustrated by his apprentice Vinne, the young enthu-
siast. The director, Paul Van Dyck, choreographed the duo to perfection. He creates beautiful and varied stage pictures to illustrate the fluctuating dynamics between Vinne and Rex, never allowing them to appear static on stage. The staging is particularly effective when Vinne mimics Rex’s pacing across the ring, their footwork adding to the rhythm of their speech layering the mounting tension. Moore’s erratic physicality, and the range and speed of his voice is incredibly entertaining. He struts exuberantly around the ring, jabbing the air, his fists as sharp as his words, until Rex tethers him. As Rex, Rosenstein limps around, chewing loudly on chocolates while he curtly spits out his lines, his weight slowing Vinne down. Rex’s impatience with Vinne’s apparent lack of understanding creates moments of comedy because of its repetitive nature. Rosenstein harnesses his energy so that it is visibly simmering, ready to erupt when provoked by Vinne’s feigned ignorance. Rosenstein colours in various ways each time his character loses his temper with Vinne. He takes advantage of dramatic pauses, and has
impeccable timing, leaving the audience hanging in anticipation of his next move. While there is little to complain about Van Dyck’s superbly directed production, his use of sound to separate the play is distracting. He opens the play by blasting music, as though it is coming from Vinne’s headphones. This effectively grabs attention, but the use of the audio break to inform the audience of the boxing match during a blackout, along with the actors’ exit, lowers the energy significantly. Rosenstein and Moore are able to recapture the former intensity, but the time that it takes for the limping Rex to get back into the ring drags out the transition. From the script to the risky staging in an unconventional space, this production is polished and highly compelling on all fronts. Foulmouthed and funny, Cornered is a knockout performance. Cornered is presented by Rabbit in a Hat Productions in collaboration with Infinithéâtre, running until March 17 at Bain St-Michel (5300 St-Dominique). Student tickets $20.
Curiosity delivers. |
arts & entertainment
Push the Sky Away
Kate Nash Girl Talk
Bad Seed Ltd.
Trouble In Mind
Australian alternative rock band Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds have been a consistent musical force over the past 30 years. Their newest album, Push the Sky Away, proves that they’re still relevant, using haunting, minimalistic instrumentation to create an eerie atmosphere that holds steady over the album’s nine tracks. Despite the restrained sound, Push the Sky Away is never dull. From the threatening chorus of album opener “We No Who U R” to the moody existential crisis of “Higgs Boson Blues,” Cave’s baritone voice commands but never overwhelms. Melodies ebb and flow well enough to keep the listener intrigued. Even with the reserved sound, the album still has some grandiose moments. “Jubilee Street” ends with a flurry of strings, mimicking the level of orchestral grandeur heard on Cave’s iconic cut “O Children” from 2004’s The Lyre of Orpheus. Alongside Cave’s standard lyrical themes of nature, loneliness, and prostitution are mentions of Wikipedia and Hannah Montana. With song titles like “We No Who U R” and “We Real Cool,” one might think that 55-year-old Cave is trying to fit in with a younger demographic, but ultimately, this is his way of accepting that times have changed. Nevertheless, the rationale doesn’t make these elements any less jarring. Push The Sky Away is a departure from the louder sound of The Lyre of Orpheus and 2008’s Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!. The album proves that the band’s solid musicianship makes for a good—albeit unsettling—listen.
Kate Nash seems to embody what London is all about. Although she was born in the northwest of the city, her thrift-shop dresses are more East End and Shoreditch, with their small art galleries and open air markets. When she released her first album Foundations, her distinctive cockney accent and poppy melodies provided an ideal contrast to perfectly polished American tracks On her third album, Girl Talk, Nash sounds like a woman releasing all the tension and stress after a harsh long day of work. The songs seem a lot less polished than on her previous two records, and Nash displays her real musical personality to the listeners. The record heads in a rock ‘n’ roll direction, as great guitar riffs and strong drumming replace the piano ballads of her two previous albums. Although Nash kept the distinctive poppy sound that made her reputation with songs like “Foundations,” she now seems to have moved from the edgy, colourful, and funny East End, to the punk rock, Amy Winehouse territory of Camden Town. The album is replete with amusing references the singer makes to her previous song “Mariella,” such as on “Are You There Sweetheart,” while her distinctive vibrato and 1960s inspired style recalls some of her former work. This mix brings a good balance between musical exploration and fidelity to her own style. Girl Talk embodies the idea of a modern, real-life young woman ,trying to make her way in the world. To assist her, Nash has nothing but her cheeky sense of humour and her devil-may-care attitude for what others think.
Frank Maston has created a fast-paced, intriguing, and peculiar album with his band Maston’s latest release Shadows, one calling to mind The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and 2012’s breakthrough act Tame Impala. The album is whimsical and dreamy, zipping through to its conclusion before you know it—only one of the disc’s tracks clocks in at over 3:30. Although this quick pace renders Shadows as an easy, breezy listen, a few of the tracks meld into somewhat of an indiscernible blur. Instrumental tracks like opener “Strange Rituals” and “King Conrad” lag and drag the album into a bit of a fog—and not an inspiring, drug-induced one either. The record has a unique and playful sound, experimenting with brass instruments, and inflections of polka music. Standout tracks “(You Were) In Love,” “Young Hearts,” and “Judge Alibaster” keep the album flowing, and contain a more sincere attempt at dynamic and clear vocals. Still, one of Maston’s major downfalls is the lack of vocal consistency on the rest of his tracks— his voice is often muddled and lost in the echoes and wall of sound that he has created with unnecessarily layered instruments. Unfortunately, some of the songs on the LP never reach their full potential, and instead of leaving the listener wanting more, the short lengths come across as confusing and under-developed. Despite this flaw, the album is worth a quick listen, if only to conjure a wistful, sunny California day in the middle of this dreary Canadian winter.
— Mathilde Milpied
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
| Wednesday, March 13, 2013
— Diana Wright
What does it mean to be a fan? by Matt Bobkin
t’s a question that is asked hundreds of times per day: “Are you a real fan?” For everything that can be enjoyed, there are those who scrutinize their fellow fans, and attempt to create a distinction between ‘true fans’ and those who are merely capitalizing on the act’s popularity in order to seem cool. This artificial distinction is everywhere, including sports teams, television shows and, especially in my daily life—music. Even when I discovered The Who as a teenager, my newfound fandom was met with old anecdotes from my parents and jeers of not being a “real fan.” This is a scenario that many music lovers find themselves in during at least one point in their lives, especially when dealing with bands that are only a decade or two past their heyday. In early February, legendary alternative rock band My Bloody Valentine released m b v, their first album in 22 years, and the followup to 1991’s Loveless. I had heard of the band before, but the first time I listened to them was after the recent surge of publicity sparked by m b v’s release. Even though I chose to listen to Valentine’s albums chronologically, and enjoyed what I heard, was that enough to deem me a fan? I read an essay by Pitchfork writer Jayson Greene discussing the moments leading up to his first listen of the new album, condensing 22 years of waiting into 900 words. The emotional impact for Greene was something that I cannot yet fathom, as I have been alive for less than 20 years. A week after m b v’s release, some friends and I trekked to Portland, Maine to see reclusive indierocker Jeff Mangum, former frontman of Neutral Milk Hotel. At the concert, we noticed the disparity between the adults, who would casually mention that they remembered when his album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea was first released in 1998, and the many other collegeaged kids, including us, who had only discovered Mangum in recent years. The community of Mangum fans was divided by age and date of discovery, and witnessing this divide in person helped to reignite the debate that had been burning in my mind since childhood. Unlike some of my fellow con-
certgoers in Maine, I hadn’t been waiting for 15 years to see Mangum. The timeline of my first listen of m b v, immediately followed my first listen of Loveless, was unlike the decades traversed by Greene, and many other Valentine fans. But with that understood, can my contemporaries and I still achieve true fandom? My answer: does it really matter? While I’m sure that not all of the adults who saw Mangum with me that night appreciated the horde of teenagers singing along to every word, or potentially reducing the number of tickets available for their friends, they must also be aware that enjoyment transcends time. While the factors surrounding someone’s appreciation differ from person to person, it is not necessary to create a hierarchy of true fandom. Especially in the aforementioned cases, where chronology is a major factor in separating groups of fans, what’s the point of creating this distinction ,other than to further one’s own social standing? Classifying fandom brings the classifiers down to the level of those who they attempt to belittle. Rock mainstays, Queens of the Stone Age performed their 1998 self-titled debut record in its entirety during a handful of 2011 tour dates, despite most of the performing band members not being present during the album’s recording 13 years prior. Reviews of the tour were positive, uniting fans old and new, and allowing them to ultimately listen to good music together. Having seen bands such as Arcade Fire, Japandroids, and The Black Keys before, and after their mainstream breakthroughs, I somewhat understand the plight of the older fans. The venues are bigger and less personal, and the newer crowds are rowdier and more prone to shouting obscenities in between songs. But few things beat the feeling of everyone staring wide-eyed at the artists who have caused such joy in the lives of all the attendees. For just a few moments, it doesn’t matter when and how one discovered the artist, all that matters is that everyone is enjoying them together. Pretension makes way for sheer musical enjoyment, and that’s what it’s all about in the first place.
SPORTS From the
By Joshua Freedman
Sun, sports, and snowbird seniors
hile the city of Montreal is caught up in the excitement of a dominating start for their Canadiens, I caught up on some Grapefruit League spring training baseball in Florida during reading week. Spring training is a time for seasoned ballplayers to shake off any rust that may have accumulated over the winter; it also represents a chance for young prospects to make a name for themselves. The first game I attended took place in Jupiter, Florida—home to the St. Louis Cardinals. Located on the grounds of Florida Atlantic University—which also boasts a stately golf course—Roger Dean Stadium provided an intimate setting for an interleague matchup between the mighty Cardinals and the lowly Minnesota Twins. While most Cheap Seats writers watch games sitting in the nosebleed sections, spring training tickets provide great seats for dirt-cheap. For the reasonable price of $30, yours truly found himself sitting in the second row, behind home plate. After a booming rendition of the national anthem, I finally had a chance to look around. The crowd was mostly made up of retirees, thrilled by the opportunity to see an afternoon ball game in 70 degree Fahrenheit weather—characteristic of most spring training contests. Though the Cardinals played most of their starters, while the Twins primarily suited up prospects, Minnesota surprisingly dominated the game 7-0. Nevertheless, the relaxing
environment was the perfect way to take in a pre-season baseball. Plus, it was great to see Cardinals Canadian wunderkind Oscar Tavares look sharp in the outfield. The next stop on my baseball tour took place in Fort Myers, Florida, where I had the chance to see the Boston Red Sox take on Team Puerto Rico in an exhibition game. Playing in the brand new facility at JetBlue Park, the Red Sox have built a near perfect replica of Fenway Park, complete with an imposing “Green Monster” in left field. As opposed to the quiet afternoon crowd of the previous day, the nighttime atmosphere at JetBlue Park was buoyed by a contingent of passionate Puerto Rican fans. The game felt a lot livelier, with coordinated cheers and music being played in the crowd. Sporting $15 tickets three rows above the Puerto Rican dugout, the Blue Jays fan in me recoiled at the sight of Alex Rios, but reveled at the sight of one of my childhood heroes, Carlos Delgado. The game itself was a back-and-forth affair, with Boston finally pulling out a 4-3 victory on the backs of Will Middlebrooks and Mike Napoli, who each hit monster home runs over the replica Green Monster. The next day I was back at JetBlue Park, ready for a matinee game between Boston and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The crowd was packed with AARP members, most of whom left at the end of the sixth inning, presumably to score an early bird special on dinner.
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BASEBALL — The World Baseball Classic got underway this past week, as most of the world’s best are competing for their countries in baseball’s only international competition. Canada opened the competition with an embarrassing loss to Italy, 14-4, but quickly bounced back by defeating Mexico 10-3. However, the real story from Canada’s second game was the wild brawl that broke out between the teams during the ninth inning, to which we all thought, “c’mon guys, let’s be friends for Nafta, ok?” The Canadians were unfortunately eliminated from the tournament after suffering a 9-4 loss to the United States. The remaining teams in Pool 1 include Japan, Netherlands, Cuba, and Chinese Taipei. Team USA, Italy, Puerto Rico, and Dominican Republic make up the second round Pool 2 participants and will battle for the right to advance to the Championship round on Mar. 17-19. Also, the MLB regular season opens in just over two weeks, so get excited.
In case you were too busy enjoying your reading week or travelling to North Korea with Dennis Rodman, here’s what you missed this past week in the world of sports …
Although the game itself was uncompetitive—and former Jays prospect Travis Snider went 0-2—it was hard not to enjoy myself in such a beautiful setting. Another plus of the ballpark was its free SPF 50 sunscreen dispensers, which were just ripe for overuse. If you’re ever in Florida over reading week, definitely try to attend some of the spring training festivities. The games were all very cheap, were free of drunken hecklers, took place in great weather, and featured prospects and reclamation projects that you never get to see during the regular season. I’m hoping to go back to Florida—or even try out Arizona, home of the Cactus League—to take in some more preseason baseball next year.
hrblock.ca | 800-HRBLOCK (472-5625) © 2013 H&R Block Canada, Inc. *Average is based on all student returns prepared at H&R Block in Canada for 2010 tax returns. The average refund amount calculated for students was over $1,100, cannot be guaranteed and varies based on each individual tax situation. $29.95 valid for student tax preparation only. To qualify, student must present either (i) a T2202a documenting 4 or more months of full-time attendance at a college or university during the applicable tax year or (ii) a valid high school ID card. Students pay $79.99 for Complex/Premier return. Expires 12/31/2013. Valid only at participating locations. Additional fees apply. SPC cards available at participating locations in Canada only. Offers may vary, restrictions may apply. For full terms see www.spccard.ca.
HOCKEY — We’re more than halfway through the shortened 48-game NHL schedule. To no FOOTBALL — The fun has just begun for NFL FILE NAME: 12-HRB-033-BW-RF-E-13 TRIM: 3.9" x 8.9" as one’s surprise, the Chicago Blackhawks went fans. The draft combine came and went, DATE: Feb 1 REV #: 0 BLEED: – their first 24 games without losing in regula- teams scouted and interviewed some of the ARTIST: ID COLOUR: 1/0 SAFETY: – tion, collecting 45 out of a possible 48 points— league’s future stars, while free agency opened like, no big deal. They’ve since lost CD: two straight AD: on Tuesday CW:afternoon. Some PP: of the big SM:names AM: regulation games, so maybe it’s time to panic— on the open market this year include: Steven PUBLICATION/LOCATION: or not. Also to no one’s surprise (at this point), Jackson, Reggie Bush, Dwight Freeney, Greg McGill Daily ConJennings, and Mike Wallace—although all rethe Montreal Canadiens lead the Eastern ference with 38 points, backed by strong scor- ports suggest that Wallace will sign with Miami. ing depth and a hot goaltender, Carey Price. If While the destinations of most of these players they keep this up, retailers on Ste. Catherine remains uncertain, two major trades involving may want to board up their windows come star wide receivers occurred on Monday. First, playoff time. Finally, the Philadelphia Flyers Minnesota traded all-purpose threat Percy and Washington Capitals are stuck outside the Harvin to Seattle for a slew of draft picks. As a playoff picture, while the Vancouver Canucks, result, we’re for putting money on 2012 MVP St. Louis Blues, and the defending champion Adrian Peterson putting up over 3,000 yards Los Angeles Kings are all struggling to separate next season. Second, the Super Bowl Champion themselves from their lottery bound Western Baltimore Ravens traded Anquan Boldin to the conference foes. Maybe we should reconsider; team they beat in the big game, the San Francisco 49ers, for a measly sixth round pick. We this is all very surprising. imagine Boldin is excited to get a chance to play under Coach Harbaugh. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013 |
| Curiosity Delivers
cis Men’s basketball championship
Redmen earn respect for McGill, Quebec at CIS Final 8 RSEQ champions take down Cape Breton, Victoria en route to consolation championship; future looks promising (Continued from Cover) “If you come here and go 0-2 it’s going to be the same old story, same old song. ‘Quebec isn’t good enough’ if we don’t win,” Redmen Head Coach Dave DeAveiro said. “It would be easy to play these [consolation] games and have them mean nothing to us. But they’re not. This is a measure of respect.” McGill qualified for the CIS Final 8 in thrilling fashion, dispatching the Bishop’s Gaiters 77-74 in front of a packed crowd at Love Competition Hall. The conference title was McGill’s first since 1986. With the RSEQ banner in hand, the Redmen were granted Quebec’s only slot in the national tournament and were placed into the number six seed out of eight teams. Friday’s quarterfinal may have featured the richest of storylines of the entire tournament. Upstart McGill travelled to the nation’s capital to face the No.3 ranked University of Ottawa Gee-Gees. But this was more than a David vs. Goliath battle; in this case, ‘David’ was literally McGill Head Coach Dave DeAveiro, who left his position as head coach of the Gee-Gees to lead the neardormant Redmen program. The opponent: his former assistant James Derouin, and a team with designs on wresting the big trophy from their cross-town rivals and eight-time champion Carleton Ravens. Although it took a few minutes to adjust to playing under the Scotiabank Place lights, McGill settled into a groove in the first half and trailed by just one point at the break. In the second half, however, the older and more experienced Gee-Gees began to take over. A three-pointer late in the game by Ottawa’s Warren Ward was the dagger to the Redmen’s faint title hopes and sent them into the consolation bracket. “We’ve been resilient the whole year; I’m extremely proud of our kids. We played a very good
team today,” DeAveiro said after the game. “They’re one of the best teams in the nation. … The way they’re playing right now they’re a pretty focused bunch. You don’t want to play that team right now; they have a great chance of winning the whole thing.” One of the many promising signs for McGill in the first game, however, was the play of secondyear point guard Vincent Dufort. He was named “Player of the Game” in front of a large cheering section of friends and family from nearby Smiths Falls, Ontario. “I actually find it very helpful to have all that support,” Dufort said. “There’s a lot of people who made the trip up, friends and family. Just to know they’re there makes me feel kind of at home.” On Saturday, the Redmen tipped off against the No. 2 Cape Breton Capers in “the game no one wants to play in”—the consolation semifinal. No one told the McGill players that, as they were determined to win a game at the national tournament. While they played a deep Ottawa team in the quarters, all they had to do against the Capers was focus on one player: AllCanadian James Dorsey, who posted a dominant 39 points. McGill’s more balanced attack found a way to answer him as the teams fought a back-and-forth battle all the way to the end of the fourth quarter. In front of the orange army Cape Breton supporters section and trailing by two points—the school of just 2,800 students bused over 100 students 25 hours from Sydney to Ottawa to support the Capers—Dorsey was fouled with 0.2 seconds left on the clock and made both free throws to send the game to overtime. After Cape Breton jumped out to a six point lead, Dufort and fourth-year point guard Adrian Hynes-Guery caught fire, combining for eight points and putting McGill up two once again in
the final seconds. Fittingly, Dorsey took the last shot, but this time he missed, giving McGill its first win at nationals since 1977. Redmen captain Winn Clark— who graduates this coming spring— was named “Player of the Game.” He said the victory was one of the biggest of his career. “That [win] definitely ranks up there. The win against Bishop’s to come here was a pretty big one as well,” Clark said. “The program over the last four years has grown. We’ve been improving every year and it’s kind of a statement win that we’re here at nationals and we can compete. They’ll hopefully be back in the years to follow.” On Sunday morning, the Redmen took on the Victoria Vikes, one team looking to build on its consolation success, and the other with one foot on the plane back to B.C. McGill hit a season-high 12 threepointers to take down the Vikes 80-68 and secure a fifth-place finish. The end of the season marks the end of the university careers of two Redmen players: Clark and Aleksandar Mitrovic. While they will be missed, Coach DeAveiro has a team that has gained experience in the spotlight and looks ready to return to Ottawa next March—not just to fight for respect, but to also challenge the nation’s best. “If you look at the first time Carleton went to the nationals, they won the consolation games. This will hopefully be a stepping stone, a building block to where you want to be,” he said. “We’re laying the foundation and trying to get to the promised land and the championship game.” The Carleton Ravens defeated the Lakehead Thunderwolves on Sunday to claim their ninth national title in 11 years. The Martlets take the court in the women’s Final 8 this weekend in Regina, Saskatchewan.
70 M cGill
84 Cape breton
(Simon Poitrimolt / McGill Tribune)
RSEQ women’s hockey final (Game 3) — Montreal 2, martlets 1 (Carabins win best-of-three series 2-1)
Martlet hockey season comes to stunning end in final Undefeated in previous 29 games, McGill misses out on nationals for first time in 10 years David Stein Contributor After a devastating loss in Game 2 of the RSEQ women’s hockey finals, the McGill Martlets were back at McConnell Arena on Mar. 3 to battle the Montreal Carabins in the deciding game of the series. Thanks to hundreds of fans who made it out to support their beloved Carabins, the atmosphere was charged with passion and intensity both on the ice and in the stands. Unfortunately for the Martlets, the Carabins were able to feed off this support en route to a shocking 2-1 victory, clinching a berth for the CIS national championship. Following a scoreless first period with few chances and some chippy play between whistles, both teams looked more focused and determined to start the second period. Just two minutes in, Carabins forward Josianne Legault opened the scoring with a power play marker after the Martlets were able to survive several shorthanded sequences. McGill answered just over a minute later when Joanne Cagianos deposited her first goal of the playoffs, completing a beautiful threeway passing play spearheaded by Leslie Oles and Mélodie Daoust. However, with less than five minutes to go in the third period, Legault tallied her second of the game, and
The Carabins shut down Darragh Hamilton and the rest of the Martlet attack. (Remi Lu / McGill Tribune) third of the playoffs, to put a stranglehold on the series. Despite McGill’s valiant effort to force overtime, Carabins goaltender Elodie Rousseau-Sirois continued to stand tall, capping off a 37save performance and ensuring her team’s victory. With their loss, the Martlets were eliminated from advancing to nationals to compete for a CIS title, a disappointing result after an undefeated regular season. McGill watched as the Carabins skated around with the RSEQ championship banner on McConnell ice—an experience that garnered several
teary eyes on the Martlet bench. When the dust settled, Martlet Head Coach Peter Smith indicated that his team was fighting nerves during the final two games. “Well, I thought that we were a very nervous group on Friday night,” he said about the loss. “They had nothing to lose; they threw it all out there, and they played real well,” Smith said, speaking about the Carabins’ upset victory. “Today, it was a heck of a hockey game. I thought lots of good things happened, [but] we just didn’t seem to get a bounce going our way. It probably would have been good. ... But I’m really
proud of the team.” Smith also mentioned that he encouraged his team to stay calm, even when it seemed like the officials missed a few calls. “I told them to try to keep an even keel, try and stay focused on the things that we can control, and to stay away from getting emotionally involved with the officiating,” he said. “I reminded the team that the officials were doing everything that they were capable of.” Team captain and fourth-year veteran Darragh Hamilton believes that this experience will benefit the Martlets in the future.
“I think we played great today. We really pushed the puck forward all the time,” Hamilton said. “We got lots of shots on net, [but] just didn’t get the bounces. If we got a couple bounces here and there, it could have been a totally different game. It stings right now, but it will just make us stronger next year.” Smith noted that he is very proud of his players, despite the crushing result. “I told them that I’m real proud of them. Not just for this game, but for the whole season. I told them to remember everything about this season. All the good stuff, because there was a lot of good stuff that happened,” he said. “It was a great team. They work hard; they’re young, impressionable, and coachable, with great leadership. But I told them to remember everything, including standing on that blue line, watching the other team get that trophy. If that doesn’t inspire them, then nothing will.” Now that their season is over, the Martlets will have a few months to reflect on the loss and prepare for next year. While there might be some fresh faces in their lineup next season, the core members will return—hungrier than ever to complete their mission of winning a national championship.
Track and field CIS CHAMPionship — Redmen, Martlets Place 19th
McGill disappoints at national championship meet Pentathlete Alana Battiston finishes fifth; Guelph and Calgary take first in male and female divisions, respectively Jeff Downey Sports Editor “As long as our present group continues to strive for excellence, we should be in good shape next year and beyond,” McGill track and field Head Coach Dennis Barrett, said. “It will indeed be exciting with the talent we presently have.” His comments came in light of the general enthusiasm for the future of his program, as the 2012-2013 campaign ended last weekend at the CIS National Championships in Edmonton, Alberta. McGill sent a total of 20 athletes to the event, and finished 19th of 21 and 22 competing teams, in both the men’s and women’s divisions. Despite the mediocre result, Toronto native Alana Battiston finished an impressive fifth overall in the Pentathlon on the first day of the meet. Her result broke her previous McGill record of 3515 points—
which she set last week at the RSEQ championship, by amassing a total of 3558 points. “It was a very spirited performance,” Barrett said. “Alana’s fight and determination surely was motivating for the team; she ran a very strong 800m to finish her [pentathlon].” The Martlets in particular were searching for more, having been crowned RSEQ champions just two weeks prior. Yet, despite their early success, the team failed to convert Battiston’s spirit into any additional top finishes over the next two days of competition. On the men’s side, the lone highlight for McGill came in the form of the 4x800 metre relay team, comprised of Benjamin Raymond, Nathan Goldstein, Michael Abramson, and Vincent ParentPichette. The team clocked in at 7:54.15, good for sixth place. But, in the end, the day be-
longed to the Guelph Gryphons and the Calgary Dinos, who claimed the male and female divisions, respectively. The Gryphons ran clear of the competition, en route to their third title in seven years, while the surprising Dinos reached the top of the podium for the second time in six years. To go along with her team gold medal, Calgary’s Rachel Machin also earned the title of most Outstanding Athlete of the Meet, after turning in a four-medal performance with two golds and two silvers. On the men’s side, Sherbrooke leaper Olivier Huet captured the award, with a gold in the triple jump and a bronze in the long jump. With the year now finished, McGill must come to grips with losing Battiston and long-distance runner Sarah McCuaig to graduation. The departures of both are a huge loss both on and off the track; but with the cores of the teams still intact, McGill may find themselves
Battiston impressed at nationals. (Sam Reynolds / McGill Athletics) competing more feverishly on the national scale next season. “The main aspect [to the national scene], beside the number of athletes, is having top end athletes— which at this point, we do have,”
Barrett said. “[We’re still] a very young team, however. With only two graduating ... the opportunity is there,”
McGill Tribune Marh 13 2013