Tribune The McGill
Published by the Tribune Publication Society Volume No. 31 Issue No. 10
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
3 Town halls Abhilasha project 4 Editorials 7 Long-gun registry 10-11 Imperfect Health exhibit 13 Redmen lacrosse 18 Women’s soccer 19
Super Depanneur, page 9
McGill beats Concordia for rugby crown Council votes in MoA,
but not Shatner lease Name changes forced on 130 groups
By Anand Bery News Editor
Redmen’s rugby reign reaches six straight years atop Quebec. (Sam Reynolds / McGill Tribune)
In the early hours of Friday morning, SSMU’s Legislative Council voted on two motions with huge implications for the future of the society. In a confidential session, the council voted in favour of signing a new Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the McGill administration, and voted against accepting the administration’s current lease proposal for the Shatner Building. The MoA, which outlines the legal relationship between SSMU and the university, is up for renewal this year. The document contains a controversial section on the use of the McGill name by student groups. The result of last week’s vote to accept the document will effectively force up to 130 student associations who use ‘McGill’ in their name to rename and re-brand themselves. McGill has sought to make changes to the names of student groups on campus since the 1990s. Their chief concerns with the explicit use of the McGill name by student groups, such as the McGill First Aid Service, are related to liability and reputation. The administration argues that it is often difficult for outsiders to tell whether a group is run by students or the university’s
administration. Morton Mendelson, Deputy Provost of Student Life and Learning, expressed the administration’s viewpoint in an email to the Tribune. “The administration is ... responsible for ensuring that the McGill name continues to enjoy the same prestige that it currently does,” he wrote. “The primary beneficiaries of this are McGill students and alumni, because it is the ‘brand’ of McGill’s credentials, including degrees and transcripts, that we are protecting.” There was strong student opposition to the MoA vote at council. Groups held signs reading ‘We are all McGill’—a tongue-in-cheek reference to Principal Heather MunroeBlum’s email to faculty and students on Oct. 18. Many attendees voiced their concerns. “We are McGill’s brand, and they want to try to protect it. This rationale makes sense if we’re in a corporation, but we’re in a university,” Josh Redel, president of the Engineering Undergraduate Society, said. “As soon as we lose this, we lose many of the things we fight for.” “I feel kind of hoodwinked by my university, trying to take away the name McGill from tons of students who, like me, have done tons of effort to make this campus a betSee “NAME CHANGE” on page 2
Referendum voting opens without official opposition SSMU Council endorses QPIRG and CKUT By Carolina Millán Ronchetti News Editor The fall referendum period continues this week, with questions that put the ongoing existence of QPIRG McGill and CKUT in jeopardy. This semester’s referendum questions are on whether the
groups should continue to receive student funds and if said fees should cease to be opt-outable via Minerva and instead be refundable directly through each organization. The referendum period opened last Friday with steady campaigning by QPIRG and CKUT’s respective ‘Yes’ committees and was marked by the ab-
sence of campaigns by opposing ‘No’ committees. Rebecca Tacoma, CEO of Elections McGill, noted that several students had expressed interest in forming a ‘No’ committee but that none had followed the steps to create one. “I was kind of surprised—I
was expecting ‘No’ committees,” Tacoma said. “We’re all aware of the opt-out campaigns, especially [against] QPIRG, that went on during the fall. It seemed there are some people who are willing to take the effort on getting the word out that they don’t agree, so I was surprised that there [aren’t] any.”
Opposing students may have decided to avoid campaigning as a strategic move, noted Alexandre Meterissian, board member of Conservative McGill, CEO of the Prince Arthur Herald, and participant of past opt-out campaigns. “A lot of [Conservative McSee “VOTING” on page 2
News After months of negotiation, vote finalizes name change continued from COVER
ter place in the name of McGill,” echoed Allan Cyrill, a former executive of the EUS. In spite of overwhelming student opposition, councillors knew that the name use agreement they had reached was probably the best that they would be able to negotiate. While this year’s MoA means the loss of the McGill name for many clubs, the current agreement represents an improvement in many ways over both the 2006 MoA and the administration’s initial offers. In the 2006 agreement, new clubs could not use ‘McGill’ in their names at all, and instead had to use ‘SSMU.’ Though many existing groups will have to rename themselves this year, they will have a number of name change options which include
using the phrase ‘McGill Students.’ SSMU also fought to have the right to grandfather some names of historical importance and names which clearly imply that a group is student-run, like the McGill Debating Union. The administration will also provide $25,000 to help groups with the cost of having to undergo a name change, as some groups may have to change their official gear. Maggie Knight, President of SSMU, and Emily Yee Clare, VP University Affairs of SSMU discussed the vote with the Tribune. As SSMU’s principal negotiators with the administration since June, they felt they had a personal stake in the motion and abstained from the vote, but discussed the major points the council saw in favour of voting for the MoA.
“It was sad,” Clare said of the atmosphere in the room following the vote, “especially because I think we’re all human. The sad thing is I think we agreed with ... everything the gallery members said ... but we still had to look at the implications of not signing it and looking at what fundamentally would be in the best interest for students.” “I think we had to face the fact that it wouldn’t have been possible to renegotiate the MoA, specifically to do with the McGill name, without a substantial change in tactics or ideology on the part of the university,” Knight said. “We spent many long hours in negotiations ... expressing to them every argument we’ve heard from our constituents and every argument we could think of trying to communicate just how important
Voting continues continued from COVER
Gill] members believe that if we fight this referendum, we will push QPIRG and CKUT to get their numbers out and they will be able to hit the quorum level that they need,” Meterissian said. “Ultimately if we vote, the ‘yes’ will probably win … so we think that strategically it would be much more intelligent if we just did not campaign.” In a recent email, Tacoma addressed instances of illegal campaigning from students who support a ‘No’ answer to the referendum questions. Meterissian said he was surprised to hear of such campaigning and reiterated that members of Conservative McGill are abstaining from campaigning. Tacoma explained that the illegal campaigning consisted of a few Facebook groups that have now been closed. “We wanted to make students aware that Elections McGill was not able to ensure that any of the information there is correct, or we aren’t able to ensure that they were campaigning in a fair spirit,” she said. The groups posing the questions have mixed reactions towards the lack of official ‘No’ committees. Adam Wheeler and Camillia Elachqar, co-chairs of the QPIRG ‘Yes’ committee noted their disappointment with the illegal campaigning, but Niko Block, co-chair of the CKUT ‘Yes’ committee, emphasized the lack of official opposition as validation for CKUT. “Ultimately, I think the fact that there is no ‘No’ committee is kind of demonstrative of the fact that students by and large recognize that even if they don’t listen to CKUT every day, it does offer an incredibly
important service to the McGill and Montreal community,” Block said. Last Thursday, at SSMU Council, many gallery members voiced their support for QPIRG and CKUT, and after much debate on the referenda’s intended changes to the optout system, SSMU voted to endorse QPIRG and CKUT. Wheeler and Elachqar expressed their satisfaction at the SSMU endorsement and with student support at council. “We’re so excited. We’re glad that students value [our] work and want to see it continue in the future,” Wheeler said. “That, to me, is more of a sign that we’re doing things right.” The quorum for the fall referendum is 15 per cent of the students represented by SSMU, or 3,200 students. If quorum is not reached, both organizations may have to pose the question again in the winter referendum. Wheeler and Elachqar said they were confident quorum would be reached, but Block noted quorum was his “main concern.” Tacoma encouraged all students to vote in the elections. “It’s your school and you should have your say. It’s your student groups and your student fees, so I think it’s important to take the one minute that it takes to vote,” she said. “If [quorum] doesn’t reach 15 per cent, it doesn’t matter if the majority of people voted yes or no, it doesn’t count.” Students can vote at https:// ovs.ssmu.mcgill.ca/ Results will be announced on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m. in Gerts.
many groups feel like their names are.” Importantly, the administration did not want to renew SSMU’s lease of the Shatner Building or of the SSMU Daycare (which is a separate entity from SSMU) until SSMU signed the MoA. The previous lease expired May 31, 2011, and SSMU is currently operating in Shatner without a legal agreement. The desire to secure a lease for Shatner was an important motivator for councillors to accept the MoA. By law, universities are only required to provide student societies with a room and a phone. Council voted not to accept the lease as currently proposed. McGill offered to sign a 15-year lease and also wants to implement a new fee structure. Ultimately, the council found that current estimates of the
long-term financial consequences would strain the society. Based on their calculations, signing the lease as it currently stands would have forced SSMU to increase student fees in the long term. SSMU would have been responsible for paying an increasing portion of the building’s utilities each year, which the society says would be unsustainable. The administration wanted to sign all three documents, but Knight and Clare hope McGill will renegotiate the terms of the lease now that they have the council’s mandate to sign the MoA. —Additional reporting by Carolina Millán Ronchetti
be a con-trib-utor meetings mondays at 5:30 in shatner 110 firstname.lastname@example.org
LET US CREATE YOUR WELLNESS TODAY WITH TOMORROW’S MEDICINE SERVICES • Medical consultation • Emergency visits • Complete laboratory services
LABORATORY • Blood tests • Screening for STDs - HIV • HPV test • Pap smear (Vaginal cytology) • Food intolerance screening
2055 MANSFIELD STREET, MONTREAL, QUEBEC, H3A 1Y7 • 514 345-1356
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
SSMU solicits feedback from students on GA reform Society holds first series of Town Halls on changes to the General Assembly By Elisa Muyl News Editor Last week, the SSMU executive held a series of Town Halls to address General Assembly (GA) reform. Under a dozen students attended the Town Halls, which were intended to solicit feedback from and engage students in a discussion on various suggested changes to the GA. Most of the attendees were students already intimately involved in SSMU, who took the chance to discuss solutions to some of the key structural issues with the deliberative body of SSMU. The discussion included a debate on voting methods and on the possibility of suspending or simplifying Robert’s Rules of Order. GA reform centres around the issue of facilitating and increasing student participation. The issue at the heart of attempts to simplify the GA is the voting method. There is no one time in which students can all attend a GA, nor is there a forum large enough to hold all of SSMU’s members, should they all be inter-
ested in attending the GA. “While quorum is important, what’s really important [to me] is democracy: one person, one vote,” Zach Newburgh, former SSMU President, said. (Newburgh currently sits on the Tribune Publication Society’s Board of Directors.) Other members of the executive are nervous about a shift online, which could increase participation but would preclude any sort of debate. “I think the reality about a lot of proposals about moving things online is basically saying ‘I don’t think the GAs work and I don’t think we should have them,’” Arts Representative Jamie Burnett said. Another discussion regarding the suspension of Robert’s Rules came down to a debate over sacrificing procedure in the interest of accessibility. Participants acknowledged that students find the rules of debate confusing and alienating, and suggestions ranged from handing out printed guides before the General Assembly to adopting a modified version of Roberts Rules to intro-
ducing differently coloured placards for “Yes” or “No” votes, as well as “Question” or even “I’m confused.” However, for Newburgh, having a structure like Robert’s Rules is important because it works as a mechanism to facilitate more respectful and orderly debate, which protects minorities in potentially heated debates. “The minority, being people who are undecided and actually want to hear the debate, get lost in translation essentially ... it happens every time,” Education Representative Kady Paterson said. “But Robert’s Rules is, to a certain extent, a good safeguard against that.” At the same time, debate often finds itself bogged down in procedural issues that many members of the audience don’t understand. The onus of facilitating debate is placed on the Speakers of Council, Nida Nizam and Michael Tong. Many Town Hall participants made an effort to mention that this year’s Speakers are particularly good at striking a balance. “I think, with all things proce-
AUS revamps Bar des Arts
Change to disposable cup policy, free Gerts entry Thursdays
By Jonny Newburgh Contributor Over the last year, Bar des Arts (BdA), run by the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS), has seen a series of changes in policy that have frustrated many students. Founded in 2007, BdA is a staple service of the AUS, open Thursdays from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. The fall semester has seen a standardization of the bar's atmosphere, notably with the introduction of cup regulations. These changes have come with a crackdown by the administration on alcohol-serving institutions at McGill. In September, BdA, in conjunction with Gerts, implemented a new plan that grants free entry to the campus bar's Thursday events after students get their hands stamped at BdA. BdA's staff now dress all in black, and they serve beer behind a row of bottle openers attached by a few planks of wood, all in front of a redesigned BdA poster emblazoned with the bar's new logo. Other changes, including the bar’s new cup regulations, have inconvenienced some students. Under the new rules, students are encouraged to bring reusable plastic cups, or can buy disposable Boreal cups for $1.50, up from one dollar last
Students at Thursday’s town hall. (Sam Reynolds / McGill Tribune) dural, we’re looking at that tension of how do we facilitate a process moving forward quickly, while making sure it doesn’t become a messy disaster,” Knight said. VP External Joël Pedneault explained that the GA is a relatively new forum and flaws in its structure are in part due to the fact that the rules governing the body have been introduced piecemeal, and the current executive demonstrated a desire to move forward with the reform process constructively. “I think it’s time that we stopped to circulate [the] notion that the General Assembly is just this
place where intimidation is rampant ... it’ll become a self-fulfilling prophecy if people paint the GA as this place that people act disrespectfully to each other; I think it’s time to circulate the notion that this is the place for respectful direct democracy to happen on campus if you’re an undergraduate,” he said. Reforms will be passed in council as part of broader changes in SSMU’s bylaws. Students can contribute to the discussion by filling out SSMU’s survey—accessible via Facebook—speaking to their faculty councilors, and attending further town halls (dates to be determined).
LEADERSHIP TRAINING PROGRAM
Leadership Skills Development Workshops • Interested in gaining skills in leadership? • Involved in a student club, service or organization as an executive, organizer or event planner? • Looking for ways to expand & build on your life skills? If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of the above, then don’t miss this opportunity to sign up for the Leadership Training Program’s FREE Skills Development Workshops! These workshops were created to give you the chance to develop and build on your leadership and life skills. Attend a minimum of five workshops throughout 2011/12 academic year and receive a certificate of completion.
THIS WEEK: Dealing w/Different Personalities in Your Org’n The staff of BdA in new uniforms. (Simon Poitrimolt / McGill Tribune) year. The bar has always banned glass cups, but has only just begun enforcing the rule. Rachel Lanphear, BdA’s Publicity Manager, explained that the changes were made to ensure that the bar will be around for future students to enjoy. “Everything that we have been doing, in terms of changes, had to happen because the administration is really cracking down on all alcoholic institutions on campus,” Lanphear said. “Last year, [the bar’s staff] did not crack down as hard, which is probably why people are reacting more this year,” she added. “Being a server, there are a lot of issues with the kind of cups that people bring in,” Jason Karmody,
AUS's VP Events, said. Some students come with disposable cups and are forced to throw these out only to purchase new cups from the bar. One student, Ben Kurzius, U3 arts, had his red beer cup taken at the door and had to buy one from BdA. “It’s unfair that I have to buy a cup for a dollar fifty,” he said. "It’s another way to profit-monger.” Though they caused some frustration, the bar’s managers are confident that the new policies have positive implications for the future. “We are not making a profit, at all," said Lanphear. "We are just trying to break even so that we can keep going.”
Tuesday, November 8, 5:30-7:30
Come and check out workshops on the downtown campus:
Agents of Change: Making It Happen Tuesday, November 15, 5:30-7:30pm How do you become an agent of change and make something socially positive happen? Making effective, impactful changes is a true challenge. This workshop will provide the opportunity to explore and learn about how to be an effective agent of change.
Building Sustainable Student Initiatives
Wednesday, November 23, 5:30-7:30pm Interested in making a difference on campus? Many students have started campus-wide initiatives that have made significant contributions to the way things are done today. This workshop will focus on how we can take an initiative and passion from theory to practice.
Registration now available via Minerva! More Info:
www.mcgill.ca/firstyear/leadertraining/ or drop by the First-Year Office in the Brown Building, Suite 2100 or call 514-398-6913
Curiosity Delivers. www.mcgilltribune.com
Students and alumnus honoured for humanitarian work Three sisters win Forces Avenir award for work with underpriviledged children in India By Hannah George Contributor On a visit to India in 2004, three sisters were struck by the inequality of the country’s education system and were inspired to do something about it. In a joint venture, Zareen Ali, U3 management, and her sisters Maria and Amena, a McGill alum and a current student at the University of Ottawa, respectively, started the Abhilasha Project, an organization to help underprivileged Indian children. This year, they were awarded the Forces Avenir award for Mutual Aid, Peace, and Justice for their work. The Abhilasha Project aims to provide quality education to underprivileged children with a special focus on girls and children with disabilities. By striving for equal education, the project aims to foster more confidence and determination
in the children so they can positively affect their communities. The project has roots at McGill, Marianopolis College, and the University of Ottawa, where different chapters fundraise and mobilize support for the initiative. Since 2006, the project has donated over $40,000 to the Abhilasha School in India. In the summer of 2011, the money went towards building an annex for the school. The annex now accommodates 41 blind and 100 physically handicapped children, enabling them to receive both education and appropriate healthcare in safe surroundings at no cost to their families. Zareen, project co-ordinator and artistic designer for the Abhilasha Project, said that the excitement of the award serves as motivation to further the project. “This is a huge stepping-stone for us because we’ve finally gotten
to that place that will allow us to expand our project,” she said. “It has motivated us to work twice as hard to achieve our goal.” While the award serves as an encouraging force, the sisters continue to be motivated by the project itself. “The most important thing that we’ve taken away from this experience is that we have a community that believes in us and is there to support us in our endeavours,” Zareen said. “Hopefully, two to three years from now we will be breaking ground on the construction for the new school.” Professor Emine Sarigollu, BComm Program Director, spoke highly of the sisters’ social entrepreneurship. “I’m delighted that one of our BComm students has won the Forces Avenir award,” Sarigollu said. “We take pride in [the] academic ex-
Sisters Zareen and Maria pose with fellow member Reesha. (Zareen Ali / McGill Tribune) cellence of our students. But we are equally proud of their contribution to Quebec, Canada and the global community outside the classroom. A case in point is Zareen Ali’s project, which demonstrates her social consciousness, benevolent leadership, and entrepreneurial skills.” The project was competing
against various other student initiatives in the Forces Avenir university program. Since 1999, the Forces Avenir program has recognized the achievements of students who not only pursue their education, but dedicate time to external projects for good causes.
Societies co-host discussion on province’s ties to China International trade advisor Mathieu Cormier talks on future of Quebec-China relations
By Lisa Yang Contributor Last Thursday, Global China Connection McGill (GCC), the Asia Pacific Law Association of McGill (APLAM), the Hong Kong Canada Business Association, Junior Division (JHKCBA), and SSMU partnered with the Ministère du développement économique de l’innovation et de l’exportation (MDEIE) to host a speaker event titled “Quebec’s Venture into China.” The event featured Mathieu Cormier, international trade advisor from the China desk of the MDEIE. The MDEIE, a branch of the Quebec provincial government,
exists to promote economic wellbeing, specifically by encouraging development and innovation as a result of collaboration between players in diverse sectors. Cormier, a member of the MDEIE, was also the chief co-ordinator of a recent delegation of Quebec business representatives led by Quebec Premier Jean Charest. As part of that delegation, the government sent him to various economic centres of China, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenyang. Cormier spoke about the mission and how the general challenges faced by China and Quebec are related. He first gave students a brief background of China’s unique is-
sues as a developing nation, and then emphasized the role Quebec could play in forging a mutually beneficial economic partnership with the emerging superpower. He described Chinese, Quebec, and other international engineers working side-by-side at a Bombardier factory in Shenyang as a prime example of that sort of collaboration. “We’re going to grow together and build together,” Cormier forecasted. “If a company devises a business plan that doesn’t include a China section, they are making a big mistake.” The event gave McGill students the chance to learn more about Sino-Quebec economic relations
and possible career-related opportunities. Linda El Halabi, president of GCC’s McGill chapter emphasized the importance of the event for students. “China’s importance for North American companies cannot be overstated,” she said. “In recognition of this reality, speaker events such as [this one] allow McGill students to better understand what steps the Quebec government has taken towards pursuing stronger economic and diplomatic ties with China, and to evaluate these steps.” Students were engaged both during and after the presentation. Cormier also pointed out booming sectors significant to Sino-Quebec
relations that would be of great potential for graduating students to work in, particularly the aerospace and green sectors. “Mr. Cormier’s presentation made many students who are interested in China aware of what opportunities are presented to them both in the public and private sectors,” El Halabi said. “GCC believes raising awareness about these growing opportunities through events like these is a good way to build students’ interest in China.” The speaker event was followed by a networking session with members of McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management and student groups that hosted the event.
Sperm donors to help infertile persons Men between 18 to 40 years old All races
In good health Confidentiality assured
For information, please call (514) 345-9877 ext. 2237
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Third strategic summit held on equity and diversity Discussion at SSMU-organized event centers around promoting diversity awareness on campus By Bea Britneff Contributor Last Friday, SSMU hosted the third in a series of strategic summit meetings, this time addressing equity and diversity at McGill. Each of the monthly strategic summits are designed to tackle a different problem that affects SSMU, McGill University, and its students. Prior to the event, organizers had low expectations for turnout. “The past two [summit] topics have been big draws … I wouldn’t be surprised if less people come to this one,” VP University Affairs Emily Yee Clare said before the summit. However, over 30 students, faculty members, administrators, and representatives of relevant student services gathered and exchanged dialogue about key issues the McGill community faces with regards to managing and celebrating equity and diversity on campus. SSMU Equity Outreach Coordinator Ryan Thom and Equity Commissioner Cassandra Zawilski facilitated Friday’s summit. Thom kicked off the discussion with a
question: “What do [you] know to be true about diversity and equity?” “Equity means, regardless of social or economic background, putting opportunity on a level playing field,” SSMU Senator Max Luke said. While participants didn’t necessarily agree on all that was said, discussions fostered dialogue and a deeper understanding of the topic. “This is what I hope today’s summit will be about—finding points of contention so that we can resolve and celebrate difference,” Thom said. Participants were split into groups and asked to reflect on specific, pertinent issues that pose problems to the growth of equity and diversity at McGill. One group discussed the possibilities for more collective action in order to confront equity imbalances on campus. “Gaps exist between concept and implementation,” Frédéric Fovet, director of the Office for Students with Disabilities, said. “There has to be incentive for student groups and societies to work together [to understand differences],” Rafi Azari, Engineering
Undergraduate Society Equity Commissioner, said. In another group, participants expressed the desire to improve transparency and awareness in regard to SSMU’s Equity Policy. “A lot of work is being done in terms of policies, but students don’t know about it,” SSMU Environment Commissioner Cameron Butler said. “There’s a bit of a disconnect in terms of communicating that to students…and making sure students know which resources are available and how to access them.” Such resources include the Social Equity and Diversity Education (SEDE) Office. SEDE aims to educate the McGill community issues of diversity and equity, and to foster relationships between the university and external minority communities. However, participants also expressed frustration with the lack of channels to seek help. The SEDE Office is solely an educational body that focuses on raising awareness about issues of social equity and diversity; it does not handle specific cases. For students who wish to issue a complaint, the process is often long and confusing.
News in brief Former PQ cabinet minister launches new political party Quebec’s political landscape experienced a major upheaval last May when the federal Bloc Quebecois lost its dominant role in the province. Quebec may once again find its politics shift with the addition of a new provincial political party. Last week, François Legault, a former Parti Quebecois (PQ) cabinet minister, filed the required paperwork to initiate the Coalition-Avenir-Quebec (CAQ) party. Legault will formally announce the new party on Nov. 14 in Quebec City, and aims to bring federalists and sovereigntists together under one political banner. Although the party has not yet been launched, expectations are high. In September, the CAQ topped Léger Marketing polls, which reported that Legault could win a majority government. Legault wishes to bring about many changes, such as proposing populist policies that would include reinvesting savings in bonuses for good teachers, and getting rid of school and regional health boards. He also intends to defer the idea of another possible sovereignty referendum. “In such a long-established state, it’s interesting and encouraging that new parties can emerge with such support, and have gained such a high level of publicity, too. I think it’s really interesting that a new party would move away from this idea of state sovereignty, as it seems to have gained such momentum recently,” Mill Hanson, U3 Psychology, said. “I look forward to hearing the final action plan to see if it really
(ipolitics.ca) represents a non-centralized view.” According to the Gazette, Jean-François Del Torchio, CAQ’s media contact, confirmed that once enough signatures have been collected and a $500 deposit has been authenticated, the party will be official. Elections Quebec requires a minimum of 100 signatures to authorize a new party. The new party may even be ready to form a caucus in the Quebec National Assembly before Christmas, according to the Globe and Mail. Legault is putting in as much effort as possible to recruit members of the National Assembly of Quebec from other parties, but whether his efforts will pay off depends upon whether Pauline Marois stays on as PQ Leader. Legault ranks far above Marois in popularity according to recent polls. However, if Marois is replaced by former Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe, then Legault’s success might be challenged. –Anna Ross
“The system isn’t user-friendly … it doesn’t encourage people to come forward,” Fovet said. After administration and representatives left at 1:30 p.m., Thom steered discourse to equity and diversity in the context of SSMU and highlighted some issues within its structure. “At SSMU, there are four equity officers … who are mandated to receive formal equity complaints,” Thom said. “There is also an equity committee … but sometimes things that go through the officers don’t necessarily go through the committee.” The SSMU equity committee and officers are advisory bodies, not decision-making bodies. Any changes to the equity policy can be done only through SSMU council. However, as Thom made clear, SSMU council does not have equity training. “Not all people involved in SSMU who have to deal with equity issues are trained or prepared to deal with such issues,” SSMU President Maggie Knight said, to the surprise of many students. “That is very nonsensical,”
U3 arts student Laura Dolan said. “[SSMU members] need to have that training.” Participants also suggested creating a SSMU information package on equity. “I think people see the word equity and aren’t exactly sure what it means,” Dolan said. “A basic package would be useful for the student body to reference.” Those leading the meeting had their own understanding of equity, which they tried to impart onto participants. “Equity is a process ... it means different things in different contexts,” Clare said. Thom has tentative plans to create an organized strategy for faculty, administration, and students to send feedback and continue the discussion. Overall, he was happy with how the summit unfolded. “I was pleasantly surprised by [the] number of faculty and administration that showed up, and satisfied with the student presence,” Thom said. “Notes from [Friday’s] summit will be typed up and posted on the SSMU website,” Clare said.
On the Record
Confusing questions and unclear mandates On Thursday morning voting in the Fall Referendum period closes, and in all likelihood the QPIRG-McGill and CKUT referendum questions will pass—as long as quorum is reached. It’s rare for a fee renewal question to fail, as these referenda are more a test of whether a group can mobilize enough of its supporters than anything else. The questions ask for a renewed mandate for both groups’ fee levies, as well as a mandate to take their optouts off Minerva and let the groups themselves administer them. Yet regardless of whether the questions pass, McGill is unlikely to change the opt-out system in response. The administration isn’t going to give up on a relatively new system that’s administratively efficient and provides students with a simple, straightforward way of opting out. Beyond that, however, there’s the issue of whether a “yes” vote on these questions would constitute a clear answer to a clear and straightforward question. Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) Morton Mendelson has already indicated that the questions do not meet that standard as they are posed in a confusing and convoluted way. The biggest problem is that they conflate two issues: the renewal of their student fee levies and the form of the opt-out system. There’s no way for students to vote on these issues separately. One can’t vote for continuing to fund QPIRG and CKUT and for keeping the opt-out system as it is: transparent, efficient, and online. It would be email@example.com
Oh, Canada? Johanu Botha
Tough yet inconsistent on human rights For anybody who has been paying attention, it’s clear that the current government is injecting a new kind of fuel into Canada’s foreign policy. Prime Minister Harper, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney form a trifecta of tone transformation: they give bang for their rhetoric’s buck, and bite to its bark. The PM, in recent conversation with Macleans, said that foreign relations has “become almost everything.” Those relations are taking on a de-
ous to argue that a “yes” vote represents a clear majority on both of these issues. There may very well be a majority (of referendum voters, not students) that support QPIRG and CKUT, and also support returning to the pre-2007 opt-out system, but a “yes” vote on these questions isn’t proof of that. Yet QPIRG has argued that they are the same thing because the group can’t continue to exist under the current system. This is, of course, preposterous. Having to combat the QPIRG opt-out campaign for two weeks at the start of the semester, and not knowing their exact budget until part way into the year may be an inconvenience, and may indeed make things more difficult, but that certainly doesn’t threaten their existence. QPIRG still had about $156,000 to work with last year. Is that really not enough to do anything with? Opt-outable student groups aren’t entitled to enough money to fund the programs they want. They’re entitled to the fees of students who don’t opt out. QPIRG’s budget needs to adjust to their fee allocation, they can’t adjust the opt-out rate to fit the budget they want. If that’s such an existential problem, they can always try for a mandate for a non-opt-outable fee. Having the administration run the opt-out system makes a certain amount of sense. Crucially, McGill provides the mechanism for collecting student fees, and distributes the money to student groups. QPIRG definitely couldn’t continue to exist at McGill if they had to collect their own fees. Why shouldn’t the administration control the opt-out system as well? In all likelihood, the referendum questions will pass, and QPIRG and CKUT will continue to exist with fees that are opt-outable on Minerva. That would be the fairest outcome, and I’m sure both groups will find some way to struggle on.
cidedly edgier look. Along with the usual Canadian peacekeeping presence during interventions, the world has just seen a Canuck general lead an intervention in Libya. And once downright genteel UN speeches are now fire and brimstone sermons. One such speech came late September when Baird harangued supporters of Palestine’s statehood bid. The tirade described new outcroppings of anti-Semitism, likening it to pre-World War II fascism. It then moved right along to declaring that Canada will not appease Libya’s former Gadhafi regime, and neither will Canada stand for Syria repressing its own citizens. Finally, Baird drove his point home by stating that his government will not “go along or look the other way when a minority is denied its human rights or fundamental freedoms.” All very touching, and honourable. But does
Sometimes, during the middle of midterms when one’s diet consists of a problematic number of Tim Horton’s bagels and too much coffee, and the dirty laundry pile is functioning as a chest of drawers, one decides to take a small adventure. A small midterm adventure, to be precise. The small midterm adventure has many functions. It can help preserve sanity. It can provide some much-needed fresh air or vigorous exercise. It may even allow for some camaraderie with a friend who has also disappeared into the black hole that is McGill during midterm season. The small midterm adventure may also be used to help restore one’s sense of coolness, or patch up the illusion that a life outside of school exists. My midterm adventure consisted of all these things. Being in a stressed out, easily peer-pressured state, I was quick to agree to biking down to Allez-Up, the climbing gym located practically a trillion miles away from my apartment. So, when my friend said, “Hey, let’s go climbing on Sunday. We can bike there!”, I didn’t say, “No, that’s okay, I don’t actually know how to climb and I’m above average on the awkward-clumsy scale.” Nor did I say, “No, actually, the seat of my bike is five inches too low for me and I have been too lazy to change it so instead I keep the bike in my closet and never actually ride it.” Instead, I said, “Yes, I would love to do all of those things.” I told myself that it didn’t matter that midterms had me down; I could be good at other things. I imagined myself cycling down
busy streets full of cars like those really intense people that wear a lot of lycra. I imagined myself scaling walls with ease. It did not occur to me that to be really good at things, one must first know how to do them. Because of this, my actual midterm adventure was significantly less impressive than the imagined version. What began as an attempt at a leisurely fall bike ride with a friend very quickly became a sweaty, terrifying journey, and my only goal was to survive. I know that “awwmaagawd Montreal drivers are the worst! Gaah!” gets old quickly, but I shall amend that to “awwmaagawd Montreal drivers are really scary but they’re the least of my worries when my bike is too short and the chain keeps coming off in the middle of the street and for every slight incline I need to dismount and walk my bike because I am 700 per cent less fit than I imagined myself to be. Gaah!” For honesty’s sake, AllezUp is actually located pretty close to St. Henri, which is significantly less than a trillion miles away. The trip there is also mostly downhill. Feel free to pass judgement now. Upon arrival, completely exhausted and with nerves as raw as sushi, I continued in my pursuit of a Sunday afternoon that I could call my mom to brag about. I decided to attempt some rock walls. About three-quarters of the way up a particularly tough one, hanging on by two fingers and teetering precariously, begging to come down, I decided that maybe my friend and I should have just gone for coffee. As excited as I had been about my epic midterm adventure, I soon realized that not everyone is cut out for such adventure, and sometimes a leisurely chat—or going back to the library—is just better. I learned that if midterms have you down, an intense expedition might be the cure. Or might not. Also, the way home was uphill, so we walked our bikes.
it depend on where, exactly, said abused groups reside? Minister Baird lamented the struggles of Chinese Christians, Burmese Buddhists and Muslims, gays and lesbians in Uganda, and the Bahá’í in Iran. Strangely, he breezed past the plight of women in the Arabian Gulf, glossing over one country in particular: Saudi Arabia. This is a state where a victim of gang rape by seven men was sentenced to six months in jail, plus 200 lashes, because she was accompanied by a man who was not her ‘guardian.’ It is a place where women have recently been allowed to vote in municipal elections, but aren’t allowed to drive. Many are skilled and educated, but are frequently barred from working. Two days after his UN rally, Baird did condemn a Saudi decision that sentenced a woman to 10
lashes for driving her own car, but refrained from publicly emphasizing the point through the Commons’ foreign affairs committee. His reluctance to press the Saudis on this incident can be summed up by this curious news excerpt from the Toronto Sun: “The oppression of women in Saudi Arabia has received much attention since Riyadh quietly tried to prevent Canadian broadcasters from running an ad promoting Alberta’s oil sands as an ethical alternative to Saudi-produced energy.” Women’s rights in Saudi Arabia popped up as a useful throwing tool against Saudi Arabia only when they reacted negatively to our oil. How instrumentalist is this ‘rights rhetoric’ in other situations? When Minister Baird throws around minority abuse cases at the UN when talking about the Palestinian case, is he using the legitimizing power
Around the World Kaiti O’Shaughnessy firstname.lastname@example.org
A midterm adventure
Interested in photojournalism?
Join our photographers in covering news, arts, student living and sports. Email email@example.com for details. of human rights to further another agenda? Surely with human rights, as the man said himself, you cannot just “look the other way” when standing up for them doesn’t suit economic expedience. But apparently Canada can: Saudi Arabia is our second largest export market in the region. “Trade and economic interests continue to be at the forefront of Canada’s bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia,” says our government’s website. There might be nothing wrong with giving some fangs to Canada’s international presence. One must, after all, be able to act on the values one proclaims. But the problem starts when those fangs pretend to champion human rights on the one hand, while ignoring their flagrant abuse on the other.
Editor-in-Chief Shannon Kimball firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor Sam Hunter email@example.com Production Manager Iain Macdonald firstname.lastname@example.org News Editors Anand Bery, Elisa Muyl, and Carolina Millán Ronchetti email@example.com Opinion Editor Richard Martyn-Hemphill firstname.lastname@example.org Features Editors Kat Sieniuc and Kyla Mandel email@example.com Arts & Entertainment Editors Ryan Taylor and Nick Petrillo firstname.lastname@example.org Sports Editor Adam Sadinsky and Steven Lampert email@example.com Photo Editors Ryan Reisert and Sam Reynolds firstname.lastname@example.org Senior Design Editor Kathleen Jolly email@example.com Design Editor Susanne Wang firstname.lastname@example.org Online Editor Victor Temprano email@example.com Copy Editor Marri Lynn Knadle Advertising Manager Cori Sferdenschi firstname.lastname@example.org Publisher Chad Ronalds
TPS Board of Directors
James Gilman (Chair): email@example.com Johanu Botha, Kathleen Jolly, Shannon Kimball, Iain Macdonald, Alex Middleton, Zach Newburgh
Rebecca Babcock, Bea Britneff, Noah CaldwellRafferty, Graeme Davidson, Jeffrey Downey, Trevor Drummond, Hannah George, James Gilman, Christopher Nardi, Jonny Newburgh, Michael Paulucci, Lauren Pires, Simon Poitrimolt, Reid Robinson, Brandon Romano, Anna Ross, Bea Santos, Alex Shiri, Akiva Toren, Lisa Yang, Josh Zigler
Tribune Offices Editorial Shatner University Centre Suite 110, 3480 McTavish Montreal, QC H3A 1X9 T: 514.398.6789
Advertising Brown Student Building
Yes for funding, no for offline opt-outs This week, students will have the opportunity to vote for the continuation of student funding of the McGill chapter of the Quebec Public Interest Research Group (QPIRG) and CKUT, the campus radio station. The referendum questions have each demanded a change to the current opt-out system so that students will have to opt out of each fee in person, rather than on Minerva. The Tribune endorses the funding of both of these groups in optoutable systems. QPIRG provides funding to several important groups on campus, such as Greening McGill, and in the community, such as the Montreal Media Co-op. Likewise, CKUT is a not-for-profit radio station that is committed to playing content outside of the mainstream
and gives McGill students opportunities to participate in broadcast journalism, a program not offered at the university. We encourage all students to vote yes for both questions in the upcoming referendum and support the existence of these organizations. Some members of our editorial board are opposed to funding QPIRG because of its funding of Tadamon!, which is why a practical and accessible opt-out system should be in place. However, the proposed opt-out systems for each group do not seem as practical or accessible as they could be. Students opt out of fees for several reasons, including financial strain and personal beliefs, and we question whether students will be comfortable opting out in person.
We welcome QPIRG and CKUT’s initiatives to have a table in the lobby of the SSMU building for five of the 15 days of the opt-out period. This would enable students to opt out at a more neutral location than each organizations’ office. Nevertheless, we question if this system will be practical either for students who prefer to retain their anonymity or for these organizations, which will need to man these tables for long hours, with the potential of having to deal with confrontation from those who oppose their views. We also have serious concerns with how these two questions have been posed. QPIRG and CKUT each had to pose a referendum question this year in order to continue to receive funding from students, but by
adding in the change to the opt out system they are merging two issues that ought to remain separate. Just like members of this editorial board struggled to reach a decision, many students will struggle to decide between cutting off funding entirely from organizations which largely benefit student life or imposing an impractical opt-out system. Given that these referenda are not legally binding, even with a strong student mandate there is no guarantee that the McGill administration will act on QPIRG and CKUT’s requests. However, this newspaper has faith that the administration and both student organizations can, through compromise, come to an agreement over an improved optout system for the two groups.
The McGill (students’) Tribune backs the MoA Sometimes you have to give in order to get. That’s exactly what SSMU’s Legislative Council did last Friday by voting in favour of signing a new Memorandum of Agreement (MoA), (see “MoA”, page 1). This particular MoA has been in negotiations for a long time, mainly because of a section that seeks to limit how student groups can use the McGill name. Knowing that the administration was firmly committed to stopping student groups from explicitly using the McGill moniker in their names, the council voted to accept the MoA, even though most of its members are politically and philosophically against what it stands for. By doing this, council has gained two important things: one, they’ve gained concessions on the use of the McGill name, including one significant improvement from 2006’s MoA, which stipulated that
no new student group could use the McGill name in any way. Under the new MoA, many student groups can continue to use the McGill name, as long as it is qualified by “students(’),” “SSMU,” or “@.” Secondly, the unsigned MoA was a barrier to a new lease agreement being reached between SSMU and the administration for the Shatner Building. The lease expired on May 31, 2011. Later on Friday, the SSMU Legislative Council voted not to sign a 15-year lease extension which would have necessitated SSMU taking over utility payments for the building on a gradual basis, which they do not currently pay. There were concerns that the lease as proposed would require an increase in students’ SSMU fees. Under the terms of the new MoA, up to 130 student groups will be forced to change their name to conform to the new standards. Since many will be faced with the
cost of new domain names, merchandise, etc., McGill has agreed to give $25,000 towards these varied expenses. The administration’s reasons behind the changes are twofold: limiting liability, and guarding reputation. Though it’s difficult to speak on the legal implications of the name change, the second argument is questionable at best. There is no way that any scandal involving a McGill student group won’t be instantly tied to the university by the media—regardless of whether it’s the “McGill Hooligans” or “Student Hooligans at McGill.” The “We are all McGill” campaign had the right idea, but the realities of the situation, and the extent to which universities, like McGill, will go to control their brand proved too difficult to overcome. This is not uncommon, as, for
AIDS advocacy, Campus Crops, alternative frosh activities, etc), to coorganizing events with other student bodies on campus like the SSMU, to providing a space to student groups on a campus where student space is hard to come across, it's impossible to deny the integral role that QPIRG plays in our campus community. This role is upheld through QPIRG's independence, just as the Tribune's independence from SSMU and the University administration guarantees its vital role. Despite the false claims of certain cynical and fringe groups on campus, QPIRG is a democratically and accessibly run organization that all students are voting members of. QPIRG is, undeniably, a valuable partner to anyone trying
to improve student life on campus, whatever form that may take. I hope the spirit of campus community triumphs at McGill and that all students who care about the university get involved.
example, Queen’s athletic website has a section devoted to a “Visual Identity Guide” for their sports’ teams clothing and restricts not only which teams/clubs can order Golden Gaels’ brand athletic wear, but also the dimensions of the Queen’s logo, and even the proportion of colours on the jerseys (for home uniforms, it’s 75 per cent gold, 20 per cent blue, and 5 per cent red). Though agreeing to the new MoA may prove to be an unpopular decision, SSMU’s Legislative Council did the best they could for the student body when confronted with an impossible situation. SSMU couldn’t have achieved better terms by holding out; therefore, the Tribune applauds the Council’s decision to vote yes to signing the MoA, even if we, or they, aren’t entirely satisfied with it.
Suite 1200, 3600 McTavish Montreal, QC H3A 1Y2 T: 514.398.6835 F: 514.398.7490
Letter to the Editor
The McGill Tribune is an editorially autonomous newspaper published by the Société de Publication de la Tribune, a student society of McGill University. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of The McGill Tribune and the Société de Publication de la Tribune. and does not necessarily represent the views of McGill University. Letters to the editor may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and must include the contributor’s name, program and year and contact information. Letters should be kept under 300 words and submitted only to the Tribune. Submissions judged by the Tribune Publication Society to be libellous, sexist, racist, homophobic or solely promotional in nature will not be published. The Tribune reserves the right to edit all contributions. Editorials are decided upon and written by the editorial board. All other opinions are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the McGill Tribune, its editors or its staff. Please recycle this newspaper.
As the founder of the movement for the independance of the McGill Tribune from SSMU, a former Tribune columnist, SSMU VicePresident, councillor, and member of the AUS council, I'd like to take a moment to speak up for the valuable role as an ally of student life on campus that QPIRG McGill plays as an independent, student-run organization in the McGill community. From funding student-driven research, to campaigning for new initiatives on campus (think: recycling programs,
—Max Silverman McGill Tribune Columnist (2008-2009, 2009-2010) SSMU VP External (20062007, 2007-2008) Arts Representative to the SSMU (2005-2006)
Got commentary? E-mail opinion@ mcgilltribune.com
Curiosity Delivers. www.mcgilltribune.com
Letter to the Editor
Students at McGill should consider themselves lucky. For the cost of a cheap pint, they can claim a stake in an organization that has been a force for so much good on campus and beyond. We have QPIRG McGill to thank for starting or supporting so many widelyappreciated initiatives: composting and recycling and tasty vegetarian food on campus, more accessible education, and countless political campaigns for human rights and equality. Some of these causes seem in one decade controversial or even untouchable, and in the next mere common sense. By all means, disagree with some of QPIRG’s causes, activities,
Off the Board Kyla Mandel
There is never a case for bullying Bullying awareness and ‘it gets better’ campaigns have been gaining momentum this year. So when I read the news that the state of Michigan passed an ‘anti-bullying’ bill, I was shocked and greatly disappointed. This bill essentially justifies bullying if it’s based on a strongly held religious belief or moral conviction. I’m confused as to why this is even classified as ‘anti-bullying.’ Michigan is one of only three
Off the Board Iain Macdonald
Why I’m voting no This fall’s referendum features two questions which are almost identically worded; one regarding the McGill chapter of the Quebec Public Interest Research Group, and one about CKUT, a radio station run by McGill students. Both questions call for the renewal of the groups’ opt-outable fees, but both also demand a change in the way students opt out of these fees. The questions bundle together two vaguely related issues: the funding of a campus group and the way in which opt-outs are conducted. In an article published in the Tribune last week, (“Referendum
or tactics. I certainly do. But it’s possible to maintain a strong disagreement over a few issues while still acknowledging QPIRG’s many good works for the campus, community and environment. And if you dislike entirely what QPIRG McGill stands for, then at least consider the organization’s role in fostering debate and diversity. University is one of the only places where you can’t wrap yourself in a political cocoon. For four years, you’re confronted everywhere you turn by opinions and positions different than yours— often jarringly. Sometimes you’re surprised by how much you learn from a conflicting viewpoint; other times this helps you refine exactly what sets you apart. Appreciate it.
Letter to the Editor
scrutiny. Universities have a particularly important role to play in this, as places of critical thought, inquiry, and activism. Public Interest Research Groups, which operate on campuses across the country, help bring a badly-needed focus to social justice and environmental concerns, thereby expanding the debate and raising challenges to the established order. As the media seems to move ever farther to the right, and real public debate seems to be ever shrinking, QPIRG (and the other PIRGs across the country) provide a small but vital space for keeping meaningful democracy alive.
—Martin Lukacs ‘08 Montreal Media Co-op working group at QPIRG McGill
The referendum on continued student funding for QPIRG is important, because QPIRG—the Quebec Public Interest Research Group —has been a key campus organization at McGill advancing alternative ideas on environmental, political, and social issues. The need to explore alternative ideas has always been important, but perhaps never more so than now. The federal election last May put in place the most right-wing government in Canada’s history. With inequality rapidly increasing, and environmental problems now threatening the very viability of the planet, it is essential that the mainstream agenda be challenged and held up to
states in the U.S. that does not have any true form of anti-bullying legislation, and the Republicans have made multiple demands to ensure a particular agenda is maintained in Michigan. These include not requiring schools to report bullying incidents, no particular provisions for teacher training on the issue, not holding administrators accountable if they don’t act on known bullying incidents, and refusing to identify specific groups of students who may be more susceptible to bullying, such as gay students, as well as racial and religious minorities. This new bill is a slap in the face to those who have fallen victim to bullying. No one asks to be bullied, and no one deserves to be bullied based on their sexual orientation, religious belief, or race; or for any reason, for that matter.
There has been an incredible effort to raise awareness of bullying and to help students understand that it will get better. This movement has brought together the public, celebrities, and the government. But when a state government enacts a law that basically gives students free reign to bully a peer just because they don’t agree with the type of person their peer is, little faith can be found in this government. Turning this bill on its head reveals just how narrow-minded and hypocritical it is. Imagine this hypothetical scenario: a Muslim student is bullying a fellow peer because they are Christian. Would this law defend this Muslim student as quickly and certainly as it would defend the Christian student if the situation were reversed? If the religious belief or moral conviction does not
fall into line with the predetermined beliefs and morals found within the Michigan government, can we say that that student will be guaranteed to get off scot-free with bullying their peers as this law suggests? What’s more, who’s to say what the convictions are that lay behind the decision to bully someone? Only the bully him or herself can attest to this, and as no one can truly know someone else’s thoughts. It’s possible for bullies to lie about their intentions. Intentionality is the key to this law, yet no one can know for sure what the bully’s intentions were unless they can be proven through repeated physical manifestations of that belief. And even then, does that make it okay to bully someone? This bill was a last-minute clause added to ‘Matt’s Safe School Law’ —a law named after Matt
Epling, an East Lansing teenager who committed suicide after being bullied for being gay. This law requires all school disctricts in Michigan to have an anti-bullying policy. However, this clause is an insult both to the memory of Matt Epling and to the anti-bullying movement itself. It is nothing more than a cruel joke. Surely any law named after a gay person who committed suicide precisely because he was bullied for being gay should bring more, not less, protection to those students out there who are suffering at the hands of bullies motivated by religious or moral convictions that tell them homosexuality is wrong. I can only hope that this law is a momentary lapse in judgement and will be repealed as soon as possible.
period opens with ballot on CKUT and QPIRG,” Nov. 1, 2011), Anna Malla, QPIRG’s internal director, argued that “[QPIRG’s] very existence is at stake with the current system.” She said that QPIRG spends too much time and energy defending itself during the opt-out period, and that the group aims to reform this process now. Caitlin Manicom, CKUT’s funding and outreach coordinator, cited similar concerns. These referendum questions are manipulative, irresponsible, and represent an attempt to separate opt outs from the fee payment system— and that’s the main reason I will be voting no. While I disagree with some of their political views and the mandates of some of their working groups, I am not against their right to exist in an opt-out system where students are fully informed. However, should these referendum questions pass, they will take the opt-out system in entirely the opposite direction.
Under the current system, students can log into Minerva, navigate a series of menus, and click a button to opt out of all of the fees they wish. Logically, students should be able to opt out of fees in the same place they originally pay them. This system causes some issues for less controversial groups, as students begin to “blanket opt-out,” when they learn of this freedom. However, many students don’t know about the opt-out system; I didn’t until my sixth semester at McGill. The referendum questions attempt to marginalize students by further obscuring this already confusing process. A better system would require students to make informed decisions about where their money is going, but not inconvenience them in the process. There is no clear avenue for informing students about the in-person opt-out system. Furthermore, many students may be intimidated by having to visit the groups’ offices. Requiring that students take 20 minutes
instead of two, and walk up the hill is a subtle attempt by QPIRG and CKUT to create a new, more subjugating opt-out system. QPIRG cites the drain on human resources as one of the reasons it can no longer weather the current optout system. Yet changing the opt-out system won’t end the QPIRG optout campaign. Additionally, it will only increase the amount of work QPIRG has to do during the opt-out period. In addition to defending their fee, QPIRG will also have to keep track of thousands of students opting out, and staff the opt-out stations they have advertised. With all of today’s modern conveniences, taking opt-outs offline is a step backwards. This is the 21st century, students should be able to opt out of a student fee online at the same place they originally spent their money—Minerva. If QPIRG and CKUT are suffering so dramatically from opt-outs, perhaps it’s time to increase the fees. Based on data
from last week’s Tribune article and McGill enrollment figures, a 75 cent fee increase would allow both groups to receive about as much money as if no students opted out of the current fee. Or perhaps the groups should cut back spending on certain things. It is unfortunate that QPIRG and CKUT have posed what should be routine fee renewals in such a manipulative way. By doing this, both groups jeopardize their very existence. The last QPIRG fee renewal passed by only 1.9 per cent, which suggests that resistance to QPIRG is much stronger than opt-out numbers might indicate. While I support some of QPIRG’s activities, and disagree with others, I entirely disagree with their proposed changes to the optout system, and that’s why I’m voting no. I encourage all students to inform themselves about QPIRG, and about what a change in the optout system would mean.
Follow us on Twitter. @mcgill_tribune
—Linda McQuaig Toronto
Student Living gizmos and gadgets
Five technological wonders of the academic world Weighing in on different apps this exam season
By Anand Bery News Editor Here are five handy apps to make your academic career that much easier.
LeechBlock Procrastinate much? This browser plug-in might just change your life. Completely free and available for Firefox, LeechBlock blocks a user-defined set of websites over a set period of time, keeping you off YouTube and Twitter during finals. You can also block a site after spending a certain amount of time on it, allowing you to allocate no more than two hours a day to mindless Facebook stalking. A determined timewaster can always turn the blocker off, but at least they’re left feeling
guilty that they’ve enabled their own procrastination. The LeechBlock Firefox addon is available at addons.mozilla. org/en-US/firefox/addon/leechblock
LogMeIn and LogMeIn Igni-
Cloud services are all the rage these days, and Google Docs makes it easy to share written work. There’s always a time, however, when you wish your own PC was close at hand. LogMeIn sets up a link between the computer you’re currently using and your target PC at home. The online portal lets you control your home PC as if you were sitting right in front of it. The basic version is free, though the pro version adds neat features like file-swapping and remote print-
ing and sound. What’s even cooler is that iPad, iPhone, and Android users can all use LogMeIn Ignition to access every file and program on their computer. It’s like having a fully-functional PC on your iPad or smartphone. The app plays especially nicely with the iPad’s large screen, allowing you to productively complete work on your home computer while out and about. LogMeIn Free and Pro are available at LogMeIn.com. The pro version costs $69.95 per year. The mobile Ignition versions are available on the Apple App Store and Android Market.
KeepVid YouTube’s licensing doesn’t permit a ‘save video’ function. Don’t fret though—KeepVid is perhaps the
easiest way to save YouTube videos for a presentation or a bus ride home with spotty Wi-Fi. The process takes at most three clicks. All that is required is to enter the video URL, click download, and choose a format. Keepvid also supports videos from sites like Megavideo. The site does the rest. keepvid.com
Wordreference This site was built for language students. There likely isn’t a more comprehensive online dictionary than Wordreference’s EnglishFrench dictionary. There are fifteen dictionaries in all, ranging from Japanese to Czech. Wordreference’s online forums are equally impressive. Native speakers of many different languag-
es help each other with translation, writing, and grammar. It’s an invaluable resource for your upcoming Spanish paper. Wordreference.com; An Android app is available on the Android Market and an iPhone app on the Apple App Store.
Foxit Reader Adobe Reader on a PC is clunky, large, and often sluggish. Foxit Reader is a fast, lightweight alternative to Adobe, allowing PDFs to open in tabs. It also boasts free features like annotation, which allows you to digitally mark up and highlight your lecture slides with ease. foxitsoftware.com/Secure_ PDF_Reader
AROUND THE TOWN
Super Dep: a well-known and well-loved local store An interview with Mcgill ghetto depanneur owner, Hanna Lee
By Reid Robinson Contributor This week I got a chance to sit behind the counter at a depanneur famous for its exceptionally friendly owner, Hanna Lee. As many McGill students know, Super Depanneur— or as it is more commonly known, “Super Dep”—is one of the best places to pick up the student life essentials: a six pack of PBR, a bag of all-dressed potato chips, and a can or two of Red Bull. But what many people don’t know about this depanneur is just how personable the owner is, and how hard it is to run. When asked how she got into the depanneur business, Lee said, “when you come to Canada as an immigrant, you don’t have a lot of
choices.” She explained that “you just need to be nice and smiling and know how to say how much the bill is.” After moving from South Korea to Canada in 1994, Lee and her family arrived without any knowledge of English or French. Her uncle, who previously owned the depanneur, showed her the ropes. She says that she learned most of her language skills in the store, talking with customers. Today, Lee runs the store with help from her mother. Throughout the years, Lee has experienced her fair share of problems. She explained that one of the most difficult things about working in a depanneur is the occasional trouble maker who tries to steal something, or causes a ruckus. Lee told a
story of how “two years ago around Halloween some student came in and started spraying whipped cream around the store. While it may have been fun for them, it was certainly not enjoyable for me to clean up.” Yet she doesn’t let these problems affect her. Lee explained that her favorite part of working at Super Dep are the customers, and that she really cherishes the relationships she builds with them over the years. She knows one student who comes back every year for the Formula 1 races and always makes sure to come by and say hello. She also described a family whose children, all regular customers, went to McGill. Over the course of six or seven years, she has come to know their parents as well. Occasionally the whole fam-
Super Dep is at Parc and Prince Arthur. (Ryan Reisert / McGill Tribune) ily comes in and she sees them all together. As for the future of Super Dep, it doesn’t look like much is going to change. “I have looked into opening another location in the ghetto but it
is a lot of work,” Lee said. “With a larger depanneur you don’t get to have a personal relationship with your customers like you do with a smaller depanneur, like I have here.”
ontreal addresses the scrapping of the long-gun registry
n Oct. 25 Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative government introduced Bill C-19 to the House of Commons. This bill, known as the Ending the Long-gun Registry Act, seeks to abolish the current longgun registry. If passed, gun owners will no longer be required by law to register rifles and shotguns. Furthermore, Bill C-19 would ensure the destruction of all existing records of these weapons in the Canadian Firearms Registry. The Conservative government’s motivation to end the long-gun registry lies in their conviction that the registry is both wasteful and ineffective. They say that it does not reduce crime rates in Canada because it targets lawabiding gun owners instead of criminals who don’t register their guns. As Jonathan McDaniel, President of the McGill Conservative Association, explained in an email to the Tribune, “It treats rural farmers and hunters who rely on the use of their long guns for a living as criminals. We often forget that long guns are not just sporting goods for many rural Canadians, but necessary tools for living. Government resources should be used to target real criminals and serious gun crime, not law-abiding Canadians.” In addition, because its focus is on law-abiding citizens, the Conservatives say there is no reason why the records should be available for use. The proposition to destroy all past records would ensure that no future government would be able to reinstate the registry. Long guns, as opposed to handguns, are a firearm which is braced against the shoulder when firing, and have a longer barrel than a handgun. Long guns are classified as a nonrestricted type of gun. According to multiple sources, they are the guns most often used for killing police officers, for suicides, and to kill and terrorize women. Furthermore, the Quebec Municipal Police Federation and the Montreal
Police Fraternity assert that the registry is a valuable resource for the police, who consult the registry more than 11,000 times a day. However, as McDaniel asserted, “As far as the registry goes, the truth is that it has not been effective in preventing gun crime.” If this bill passes, only the names of gun owners would need to be recorded, and not the type of guns they own. As Heidi Rathjen, spokesperson for the Students and Graduates of Polytechnique for Gun Control, explained, “There’d be no information on what guns are circulating. [But] that’s only a piece of a comprehensive gun control law. You also have to know what guns they own, otherwise somebody could legally buy 50 weapons and then sell them on the streets and there’s no way to link it back to them.” A national gun control movement began in response to the shooting at L’École Polytechnique in Montreal on Dec. 6, 1989. After six years of lobbying, the movement convinced the government to create a gun registry. The gun used in the Polytechnique massacre was a long gun; the Ruger brand mini-14. It helped Marc Lépine kill 14 women in
22 minutes. The same type of gun was used in the Utoya, Norway shootings on July 22, 2011. “That very same gun would be deregistered with this legislation from the Conservatives. So it would become invisible,” Rathjen said. According to Rathjen, scrapping the longgun registry would make it easier for people to obtain guns. While all guns start out legal, “If you don’t have a way of tracking them, then
Photos from great-lakes.org, antiwarsongs.org, cupwire.ca
they’re going to fall into the wrong hands and appear on the black market a lot more easily,” Rathjen explained. However, “Ending the longgun registry is not ending gun control in Canada,” McDaniel said. “Strict laws are still in place governing the possession and use of prohibited weapons such as handguns and automatic rifles. Likewise, long gun owners will still be required to hold a firearms license, undergo a background check, and pass all necessary firearms training courses in order to possess firearms.” Gun crime has decreased significantly since the government enacted the registry. Overall, the number of those hurt or killed by guns in Canada dropped from 1125 in 1995 to 723 in 2007. The number of women killed by guns was reduced by 70 per cent, from 85 deaths in 1991 to 26 in 2007. “We register our cars, our dogs, our cats, why can’t we register something that’s more dangerous than all of [these]?” Hayder Kadhim, a survivor of the Dawson shooting, asked. On Sept. 16, 2006, Kadhim was shot and put into a coma by a long gun; a Beretta TX4 Storm. Anastasia de Sousa, Kadhim’s friend, was killed that day by the same long gun. In a song entitled “Survive Today,” which begins dramatically with the sound of gun shots and ambulances, Kadhim raps about his experience that day. He asks in his song, “How will this corrupt government explain it to the people?” After the shooting, Kadhim wrote Prime Minister Harper a ten-page letter, and in response, got a page and half. “I didn’t feel like it was a direct response. Mr. Harper just restated what they always say, which is ‘yadda, yadda, yadda, the gun registry is very expensive, we would like to find better measures of tackling violence ... Nowhere did I read anything about ‘yes, guns are dangerous and they need to be strictly controlled,’” Kadhim said. In the past, it cost over a billion dollars to support the registry. McDaniel says it costs taxpayers millions of dollars per year. However, responding to the claim that the registry is too expensive, Kadhim asserts that it currently costs the Canadian public less than a penny per year per person. “[This] is nothing in the government’s pocket,” Kadhim said. “So what are you really saving after all? What’s the value of your bill to destroy such a registry?” On Nov. 4, a press conference was organized by Quebec Solidaire at Dawson College to demand the Charest government launch legal action against the Conservative government.
In response to the Dawson shooting, the Quebec government passed the Anastasia Act which further tightened gun control and works alongside the federal law. As Rathjen stated, “Jean Charest has promised to do everything in his power to save the registry or the information ... if the government wants to be consistent with its public position, then it should launch legal action immediately.” Activists demand legal action because it is seen as the only channel, given the circumstances and time constraints, that will be able to save the registry and the data it contains. On Nov. 1 the bill was forwarded to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security for a vote on its second reading. Expedited hearings and limited testimonies are expected during the third reading and final vote, set to occur within the coming weeks. “It is clear that the Harper government refuses to listen and also refuses to negotiate or compromise on the issue of the registry,” Rathjen said during the press conference. She went on to state that the Conservative government distorts and removes facts, as translated from French; “They lie with impunity about the costs, about the nature of the crimes, and about the legal issues.” Louise de Sousa, the mother of Anastasia, was also present at the press conference. “I can’t stand hearing all the [mis]-information and propaganda being spewed by the Conservatives. I mean, give me a break. I’m no expert, but this is a no-brainer,” de Sousa said. JeanFrançois Larrivée, the husband of Maryse Laganière, who was killed at Polytechnique, exclaimed in French, “We’re counting on you, Mr. Charest.” In September 2010, the Conservative government tried to push the bill through parliament but it was defeated by one vote. “Last year when the bill didn’t go through, it was a big relief,” Kadhim said, “because it felt like finally our MPs stood for the voice of the Canadians.” Because events like Polytechnique and the Dawson shooting occurred in Montreal, the public support for the registry is significantly louder in Quebec compared to other provinces. However, as Rathjen pointed out during the press conference, “The fact remains that more people support the registry than oppose it in all Canadian provinces.” “Now, this year they have their majority government and it’s flowing like water for them,” Kadhim said. “From an emotional perspective, it’s disappointing, disgusting, [and] it’s despicable,” he said. “People like me and other survivors of the shooting were directly effected. I still keep a bullet in my neck. I have scars on my body from the shooting ... I feel like it’s a very insensitive move to those people
[affected by gun violence].” “Not only will it be a huge blow to public safety, but I think also to our morale,” Rathjen expressed when asked about the impact Bill C-19 would have on Montreal’s population. “Quebec society was deeply effected by the shootings at L’École Polytechnique, and following that, other school shootings, and this gun control law was the one good thing that came out of all that.” Joshua Freedman, U2 political science student at McGill, recognizes that this bill will be viewed with distaste in Montreal. “However, I believe Marc Lépine had legally acquired the gun he used in the Polytechnique massacre,” he said in an email to the Tribune, “so I don’t see how the [long-gun registry] would have prevented that. Similarly, I think the guns Kimveer Gil used in the Dawson shootings were registered in the program, once again showing how ineffective it was.” Multiple media outlets confirm that Lépine’s gun was bought legally and that Gil’s guns, including the Beretta TX4 Storm, were registered. “I’m just wondering how would the Conservatives–Harper and [his] gang–feel
“We register our cars, our dogs, our cats, why can’t we register something that’s more dangerous than all of [these]?” Hayder Kadhim a survivor of the Dawson shooting
if they had a family member, or if they were directly effected, if they were shot or if they had a [family] member lost to guns,” Kadhim asked. “Would they feel the same way about it? Or would it still be a question of money, money, money?”
Curiosity Delivers. www.mcgilltribune.com
Top fashion blogs for every level of style expertise Working your way up in the sartorial blogosphere By Bea Santos Contributor Getting into online fashion news and street style photography is not as overwhelming as one might think. Whether you’re just trying to stay ahead of monthly magazines or are considering starting your own site, here are five blogs for any level that will help kick off your newest hobby: Essentials for a Beginner These are the blogs you should be familiar with if you’re just getting acquainted with the fashion blogosphere. These sites will help you learn the vocabulary of the industry in addition to pointing out what is hot right now. Study these blogs as a crash course in Fashion Cyberspace 101. 1. The Sartorialist – This is the original street style blog photographed by the founding father of the art itself, Scott Schuman.
2. Style.com – The authorial presence of online fashion media; the CNN of fashion news. Style.com is the one and only place for photos, videos, recaps and interviews after fashion week. 3. Jak & Jill Blog – Canadian photographer Tommy Ton showcases his foot and accessory fetish outside of couture shows. The site is currently under construction, but Ton’s photos can be viewed on Style.com and GQ.com (where he replaced Schuman in the fall of 2009). 4. Lookbook.nu – The best place for outfit inspiration and to see what’s going on with budding style bloggers all over the world. Lookbook is a sort of fashion Facebook. 5. Fashiontoast – A highly popular and idiosyncratic blog that showcases the personal style of Japanese-American Rumi Neely. As a result of her blog’s success, she now works as a stylist internationally while also maintaining Fashiontoast.
Refreshers for the Savvy Intermediate Once you’re well versed in the basics, it’s time to take some tips from the trendsetters. You’ve seen all the major FW11 shows and you’ve already begun spotting the “it” shoe on several different blogosphere celebrities. 1. The Man Repeller – The concept behind self-proclaimed “man repelling” Leandra Medine’s blog is that it’s difficult to be in high fashion and attract a man. She chooses fashion every time. 2. Stylebubble – Londonbased Susanna Lau’s blog has a uniquely cutesy vibe. Her photography is some of the best in the biz and her outrageous personal style has won her notoriety fair and square. 3. WhoWhatWear – A downtown version of Style.com which, unlike its elitist sister, includes DIY ideas, non-couture clad celebrities, and advice. 4. CollegeFashionista – A sar-
torial that allows users to check out what college-aged guys and girls are wearing around North America and the world. 5. The Style Rookie – Tavi Gavinson was barely a teenager when she began blogging about her love of Yohji Yamamoto and early ‘90s pop culture. Her wit and sarcasm, both way beyond her years, along with compelling fashion sense, have garnered a cult following. Touch-ups for the Pro By now, you have your own budding style blog and are at least familiar with all of the blogs above. At this point, you get all of Leandra Medine’s jokes and can differentiate between a Wang and a McQueen without any hint. 1. Style by Kling – A euroversion of fashiontoast that is less artsy Californian and more corporate-chic. Whether or not she was a socialite to begin with, her ward-
robe certainly aspires to that realm of fashion. 2. Garance Dore – The girlfriend of Scott Schuman is a talented fashion illustrator in her own right. Dore’s blog gives a refreshing take on fashion and style from an endangered medium. 3. Refinery29 – After Style. com and WhoWhatWear, Refinery29 is the third pillar in the holy trinity of fashion news. 4. Advanced Style – This unique selection of photographs by youngster Ari Seth Cohen showcases the style and elegance of eccentric and flamboyant elderly women. 5. Nowness – Not just a fashion-based site, Nowness collects culturally influential photos and videos. It’s fresh, with a clean style personalized to each user’s own tastes. Honourable mentions go to the Cherry Blossom Girl, the Beauty Department, Sea of Shoes, Cupcakes and Cashmere, and the Blonde Salad.
From James McGill’s crest to Molson stadium An examination of the martlet’s significance and how it became McGill’s symbol By Noah Caldwell-Rafferty Contributor During the national soul-search last week surrounding the dire question of “beaver or polar bear,” I felt left out. National symbols embody the spirit of a distinct people, and despite three glorious years now spent in Canada, I am still indubitably and irrevocably American. Thus, forgoing the right to soliloquize about Canada’s furry friends, I turn my eyes to McGill, and assume the task of dissecting our own proud animal symbol, the martlet. The heraldic martlet is actually semi-mythical in that it is usually graphically represented without legs or claws; it is a bird that is never grounded, and always seeking the skies in a never-ending pursuit of knowledge and adventure. In reality, ‘martlet’ refers to the diminutive form of the martin, which is similar to a swallow. This passerine bird is common on all continents and is remarkable for its adaptability to urban environments, and memorable for the occasional pop culture soiree (“African Swallows are non-migratory”). The martlet, therefore, is a graceful blend of inquisitiveness, cunning, myth, and reality. Its place among the annals of McGill symbolism dates back to James McGill himself. James had long employed martlets on his crest,
and when he lent his namesake to the university, so too did the three stubby birds grace its new coat of arms. The difference between the crest and the coat of arms is that the crest is an armorial image given to and used by an individual, and the coat of arms an armorial image granted to an institution. The martlet is now prominent in the visual center of the McGill’s insignia, a passing glance makes the chirpers seem like the bold heart of an almost 200-year-old university. Long after coats of arms left mainstream symbolism, universities continue with tradition and historicism to keep old images like the martlet alive. But where do these majestic flutterers show themselves in our daily campus life? When was the last time you took pride in the three bold birds which will ultimately grace the top of your diploma? The answer is not so simple, and I’d be remiss to give anyone the idea that our only campus symbol is specious or fake, a bird and no more. The martlet is not a mascot per se. It is a symbol. It exists because of intellectualism and tradition rather than the chants of a raucous crowd at a hockey game. Unfortunately, mascots are often mistaken for symbols because they are plastered on T.V. screens after NCAA games in the United States. Next to Yale’s Bull-
dogs or USC’s Trojans, the martlet seems to be on the periphery of campus collective consciousness. We do our best to fill the stadium for the Martlet’s matches, but will never get the 100,000 fans that the Michigan Wolverines turn out. While it does not have hype, the martlet has untouchable clout, rooted in the basic foundations of the campus and its heraldic progenitors. Far from some self-conscious mascot who needs weekly reinforcement and validation, our three little birds coast along
confidently, feeding off of a student’s casual glance and their own immortality. I think I was wrong to liken a nation’s symbol to that of a university. A campus is impermanent in its population of students, and trying to pigeon-hole the spirit of hoards of 20-year-olds changing every year is a futile endeavour. Although both the beaver and the martlet are on the periphery of our student consciousness, the former describes what a nation is, and the latter alludes to what
a student can be, an indefatigable pursuer of knowledge and perpetuator of adventure. There is no need for you to now take a sudden interest and pride in our admirable yet aloof trio of martlets. The point is that they exist firmly in the campus consciousness and memory without trying too hard. Give them a slight nod the next time you pass under a McGill banner, or tread on a coat of arms acting as a doormat.
The McGILL Tribune presents
Overheard on WebCT
A&E visual art
Building health from the ground up CCA exhibit finds connection between architecture and health issues By Marri Knadle Copy Editor Our environment has a deep impact on our mental, physical, and emotional health. A new exhibit at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) called Imperfect Health: The Medicalization of Architecture explores the numerous ways in which this truism has, and could, manifest itself in the arenas of structural and urban design. Bring an open mind, curiosity, and a notebook. The variety of ideas present and the quality of their actualization, even in prototype, should tickle interested minds. Architecture students, epidemiologists, urban planners, medical historians, and design students (among others) will especially enjoy what Imperfect Health has to offer. Each instalment is unique, and all creative media are well-represented: photography, film, papercraft, architectural models, drawings, and the printed word. Each installation presents a unique angle on the exhibit’s broad questions of what constitutes a healthy or a sick space (whether that space is a home or an entire city), and how much, and in what ways, health considerations can and should inform our future design practices. Aging, obesity, cancer, viral epidemics, and allergies are but some of the particular facets of health concerns which have been brought to our social attention es-
Exhibit puts forth some “out of the box” ideas on health and space. (Conceptual design model for Imperfect Health: the Medicalization of Architecture, Canadian Centre for Architecture, 2011. © Office Kersten Geers David Van Severen, Brussels, Belgium.) pecially after the modern marriage of medicine and architecture. Walk through the transparent arenas of the exhibit, partitioned only by glass, and discover past and future built solutions to these diseases, and others. We bring certain illnesses into our dwelling-places, but some of our dwelling-places contribute to our illness; Imperfect Health explores how we experience and might circumvent both eventualities by exploiting our capacity for creative architectural design. The diversity of the exhibit material provides numerous departure-
points for flights of imagination and discussion. Here there are building skins which gather air pollution into a fuzzy carpet of dust particles on their exteriors, saving our lungs (if not our sense of aesthetics); places where you can go deep underground into a salt mine or high into the alpine air to mend already ill lungs; buildings which integrate office space with vertical hydroponics; glimpses of under-used urban space where slowly waving trees peek from around stucco corners; lifesized paper livestock that remind us how large-scale factory farms have
become animal cities of disease, and much more. Be sure to take advantage of one of the CCA’s guided tours, as I did, for a comfortable introduction to the exhibit. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss each installation with your guide alongside your group of fellow visitors. This turns a simple tour into a seminar-style discussion which, during my visit, ended up being an enjoyable accompaniment to the exhibit itself. Once you’ve enjoyed a tour, give yourself time in order to double back and explore the exhibits again
more thoroughly. At a leisurely pace, the tour itself takes an hour, but still leaves a lot of in-depth reading and contemplation to be done at each installation. Or instead of doubling back, feel free to visit and spend more one-on-one time with the installations on a different day. With a student ID, admission is free. Several public events will accompany the exhibition’s run, which aims to bring together experts and the public in a discussion about unique topics related to “the spatial and physical implications of health issues.” (The CCA website has further details.) A companion book will be published in spring 2012, edited by CCA curators Mirko Zardini and Giovanna Borasi, providing a new way to enjoy the ideas presented by Imperfect Health – from the comfort of your own couch. With its rich menu of ideas and their stylish, effective spatial presentation, Imperfect Health is an excellent thought-provoker and conversation-starter of an exhibit. While it might be tempting to put off a visit because of its long run, don’t wait. The questions raised in the corridors of this CCA exhibit are perfect to mull over while stuck indoors during the long winter that lies ahead. The Canadian Centre for Architecture’s Imperfect Health runs until April 1 at 1920 Rue Baile.
Pop Rhetoric Why judge music?
Music is everywhere. One can’t go an hour without hearing music at the mall, from an alarm clock radio, or even when someone’s cell phone inadvertently rings in class. Music has completely permeated our culture in every respect, with intentions to soothe, to market, and—although it’s rarer—to create art. It therefore comes as no surprise that we talk about music constantly. Whether it’s a stale insult tossed at Rebecca Black, album reviews in the Tribune, or religious devotion to the Beatles, we not only talk about music but we assert judgments about it all the time. Not only do pretentious connoisseurs like myself judge the quality of music, but, as philosopher and sociologist Simon Frith notes in his phenomenal
book Performing Rites, “‘good’ and ‘bad’ are the most frequent terms in everyday cultural conversation.” How do people approach these conversations? Many claims are made about music but rarely do we step back and think about these judgments. Can one pass judgment? Are our conclusions completely subjective? If so, how can there be any coherent conversation about music at all? There are qualities in music that many use as criteria for differentiating the “good” from the “bad,” such as originality (“Lady Gaga is just a rerun of Madonna”), creativity (see: Vivaldi or Nickelback), and sincerity (have you ever read the lyrics of any Black Eyed Peas song?). But none of these are without exceptions: Bach rearranged Vivaldi’s violin concertos for organs and harpsichord, yet those works are considered timeless; The Lonely Is-
land’s hit singles contain everything but sincerity. So where can we make our judgments? We use argumentation to defend our musical tastes, but do they really have meaning? It seems clear that proving an objective aesthetic is fruitless. Music is emotional. Creating categorical norms for such emotional experiences not only seem useless but counterproductive in understanding what music means. Furthermore, we owe much, if not all, of our musical taste to our environment. I have a strong dislike for country music, but I probably owe that more to my hipster, middle-class upbringing in Seattle than any objective judgment. It seems at this point we should throw up our hands and admit defeat. Music is whatever I want it to be! No one can tell me otherwise. But, this sort of musical nihilism makes me wary as well. Let’s take an analogy: Imagine I walk into
a production of Romeo and Juliet in the very middle. After watching one scene in the second act, I walk out shouting, “This is a piece of junk! Do you even hear what they’re saying?!” I certainly didn’t get a very good experience and no one would say I was in the position to make a judgment at all. I lacked a certain fundamental experience and understanding. Now carry this analogy over to music. After listening to one stanza of “Hey Jude,” I turn it off and say it’s horrible. Again, would anyone say I was in the position to judge that song? I’d be hard-pressed to find someone who would legitimize that judgment: did I know the rest of the lyrics? Did I discover how the music develops? It’s through these intuitions that we can discern what’s fundamentally important in making judgments about music. Appreciation of the whole and its parts is crucial.
Though I may find the jarring atonality of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire unpleasant, only when I take into the account the poetry of the lyrics, the system of composition, and the development of the instrumental parts can my subjective take be somewhat validated. Listening to 30 seconds won’t cut it. I am by no means condoning an objective aesthetic. Far from it. Rather, I’m arguing that subjective judgment is not simply a sensory experience, but should be a personal take on the work as a whole. Art is indeed in the eye (ear?) of the beholder. We should all be more reserved in our assertions and our language, giving ourselves room for error even in our own narrow experiences. – Akiva Toren
Curiosity Delivers. www.mcgilltribune.com
Art beyond the canvas
Local artists at the Fresh Paint pop-up gallery make their pieces interactive
By Nick Petrillo A&E Editor Down on St. Catherine, a block east of Foufounes Électriques, is Cease It 2, a pop-up art gallery sponsored by Montreal’s CEASE art collective. Seventeen featured artists have taken over Fresh Paint’s open floor space for a free exhibition that’s open to the public. But before observing the installation, the building alone presents some remarkable qualities of its own. The gallery space looks like an abandoned warehouse at first glance. The cold, concrete floor is left exposed, the doors are propped open with cinder blocks, and the cracking brick walls suggest the building has fallen into a state of disrepair. The distinct smell of paint hits you quickly and powerfully, since much of the art was created on the spot as little as two weeks ago. The building’s impression of urban decay by no means detracts from the art. On the contrary, it was the artists’ intent from the beginning to incorporate the building’s unique features into their work. Among the first floor pieces is
Adam Vieira’s “Maple Syrup Can,” a Warhol-influenced pop art laminated to windows that read “Pure Maple Sizzurp” in the identical lettering of Quebec’s staple product. Nearby is Nathan Brown’s “Regulator,” in which the room’s collapsing fireplace serves as the palette for a black ghostly figure that spans the height of the 15-foot wall. Perhaps the eeriest piece at Fresh Paint is Zilon’s aptly labeled “Enter at Your Own Risk,” which transforms a small room into a dark cavern littered with cynical, fortunecookie length commentary on the state of art. These quotations are packed with disgust at art’s monetization and hold little optimism for its salvation: “Pica$$o, Pri$on = mu$eums, Van Gogh waz not A nut ca$e (you are!!)” are a few memorable examples. The smell of spray paint intensifies by the stairwell, which is fully adorned with paintings along the railing leading upstairs. The second floor prominently displays Regimental Oneton’s “Marilyn Mural” of aerosol, acrylic, and latex components, another clear homage to Warhol but with a 21st century, urban aesthetic.
Bubble Tag, an aerosol piece by the artist COPE2. (Nick Petrillo / McGill Tribune) There are more displays within the two vast floors of Fresh Paint. Some of them are simply affixed to the wall, but nearly all of them stretch beyond the normal limits of typical wall space, creeping up to the ceiling, onto the windows, or even sliding down under your feet. The messages within the paintings are powerful, and audiences won’t
have to look hard to find hints of anti-consumerism, nihilism, and other modern art fare in a good portion of the pieces. But most importantly, the exhibit’s main goal is to present art that cannot be observed from a single vantage point. Because of this, anything within the confines of the building is fair game. One should also consider that these pieces, as
meticulously crafted as they are, most likely are not permanent. Another temporary gallery will eventually occupy this floor space, leaving these pieces to be taken down, thrown away, destroyed, and lost forever. Cease It 2 runs until Nov. 26 at 180 St. Catherine E.
Mother Mother wants you to pay attention Vancouver band isn’t stuck on genre By Lauren Pires Contributor Vancouver indie-rock band Mother Mother released their third album Eureka earlier this year, and have just concluded a European tour and summer festival circuit. The band consists of brother and sister duo Ryan (guitar and vocals) and Molly Guldemond (vocals and keyboard), plus Jasmin Parkin (keyboard and vocals), Ali Siadat (drums), and Jeremy Page (bass). The band formed while Ryan Guldemond was in music school studying jazz guitar. He began writing songs as an escape from studying and, after finding himself enjoying the experience, decided to pursue it professionally. He was living with his sister at the time and they began playing with a college friend. “It was just a stripped down arrangement we were playing,” Guldemond admits. “Lots of open mics and stuff. And then it just kind of expanded into a rock band.” Mother Mother first received significant recognition following the release of O My Heart in 2008, but their latest release may be their most shining achievement to date.
“We wanted to make a record that was confident, bold, and punchy, and I think we did,” Guldemond says. “We wanted it to be more emblematic of the band, and not use very many outside sounds or musicians outside what the band was able to create.” Mother Mother’s sound is eclectic and varied. It’s rock with a folksy undertone, which can easily switch to the gentle hum of a heartfelt, stripped acoustic piece. “We do a lot of genres, I mean, if you pick up an electric guitar, turn it up, and throw in a drummer, it becomes rock. Throw in some Dixieland splashes, then it becomes experimental indie rock, and soon it gets a little ridiculous with all the cross-contaminated genres. I guess at the end of the day we’re a rock band that dabble[s].” Guldemond does not consider genre or what he thinks songs should turn out to be when writing lyrics. His creative process is to let the song do the talking. “There’s not a real process of reconciliation, we try and serve the song,” he says. “Whatever the song calls for, we give. We listen to what the song is asking for. I guess I write from experience, but it’s really not
Mother Mother pays little interest to music industry norms. (Todd M. Duym) very autobiographical stuff, it’s kind of fictitious stuff. It’s elaborate stories about characters. I prefer not to write about myself in any obvious fashion because, I don’t know, I can conjure up many more exciting things that are unreal, rather than my own account.” Despite the success the band has had of late, they’re still as frustrated with the state of the music
industry as when they began. They chose their name to embody the sentiment—“Mother, Mother” is the cry of the orphan, symbolizing the alienation the band feels in the commercial world of music. “There’s so much we’d like to change [about the music industry],” Guldemond says. “I guess the demand for immediacy would be the best way to put it—the idea
that songs have to be so concise and formulaic as to digest them in a very immediate fashion. I guess I would change people’s ability to tackle more elaborate schemes in the form of pop songs.” Mother Mother plays Cabaret Mile-End on Nov. 12. Tickets are $19.50.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
A cultish heroine
Olsen sister’s sobering film debut By Graeme Davidson Contributor
Los Campesinos!: Hello Sadness If the title alone doesn’t give it away, it only takes a cursory glance at the tracklisting to know Hello Sadness isn’t going to be the feelgood album of the year. Not that Los Campesinos! have ever really been all sunshine and rainbows—they have a knack for putting biting lyrics to upbeat melodies—but they’ve always been a good listen regardless of subject matter, and this effort, inspired by a break-up, is no different. Musically, Hello Sadness continues where predecessor Romance Is Boring left off—guitars, keys, strings, and horns—albeit with less sonic experimentation and instantly catchy songs. “By Your Hand” is the most initially agreeable of the bunch; a bouncy, keys-based track that nods at their twee roots, but the rest have a greater sense of melancholy, revealing their merit with repeated listens (“Every Defeat A Divorce (Three Lions),” “To Tundra”). The lyrics are fresh, not in the sense that they bring anything new to the game, but that singer Gareth Campesinos! rewrote everything from scratch following a break-up with his then-girlfriend just two weeks before recording began. They’re not as consistently sharp as on previous releases, but this better serves the subject matter—it’s raw, unprocessed sentiment delivered in as close as you can get to real time. Anger? Check. Confusion? Check. Self-loathing? Check. Spite? Check. An ember of hope for a rekindling of the flame? Check. It’s not fancy, it’s not profound, but Hello Sadness is a cathartic and welcome release.
Down with Webster: Time to Win, Vol. 2 When it comes to Down With Webster, a party ain’t a party without red cups. If you’re not familiar with the band by name, there is no doubt you’ve heard one of their previous hits; Canadian radio loves them. The energetic six-man group comes through with their sophomore album Time To Win, Vol. 2, full of catchy hooks, guitar solos, and witty rap verses. The lead single off the album, “She’s Dope” immediately caught the attention of fans across Canada with its poppy synth and head-bopping background guitar. While this second album is more toned down in relation to Time To Win, Vol.1, the group keeps true to the rap-rock genre throughout its 13 tracks. Many tracks on the album keep with the theme of women, such as “Jessica,” which has the insanely catchy hook, “We can be best friends, but I want your best friend.” Other tracks like “I Want It All” deal with their increasing status in a true rap discussion on the effects of fame. “Royalty” and “White Flags” start off slow, in the vein of fellow Canadian rapper Drake, before transitioning to rock choruses. Overall, the album is a solid effort, but the group needs to expose themselves to a wider audience if they really want it to be “time to win.” They have the potential to do so with this album, and if you’re looking for a fun and catchy addition to your fall playlist, look no further: Down With Webster has you covered.
Could Be Good
Lou Reed & Metallica: Lulu Lou Reed is a strange fellow, so nobody should be surprised that Lulu would be a characteristically bizarre release. But who knew that a joint effort between Metallica and the former Velvet Underground legend could be so poorly executed? The album opens with the line, “I would cut my legs and tits off when I think of Boris Karloff and Kinski.” The 90 minutes that follow are no less disconcerting. The lyrics are silly and occasionally laughable, but they are ultimately innocuous. Metallica’s contribution, on the other hand, is downright contemptible. James Hetfield, rather than belting out heavy verses or adding some much-needed commercial appeal, poorly mimics Reed’s vocal inflections. He concludes “The View” by repeatedly insisting, “I am the table,” while his bandmates add little more than background noise for the duration of the album. One of the few redeeming qualities of Lulu is Reed’s persistence, and he absolutely deserves credit for pursuing this project with such conviction. As for Metallica, they sat on their hands and watched, proving themselves to be little more than yes-men to Reed’s stylistic ambitions. This is an experiment in avantgarde metal that only the staunchest of Reed’s devotees or the most pretentious of music snobs could stomach without any complaints. Collaborations of this magnitude are always exciting, but it was clear prior to Lulu’s release that it never had the enthusiasm of Lou Reed fans nor Metallica fans. And if the diehards were never interested, what’s the point? —Nick Petrillo
Amnesty International Poetry Slam
Making a film that deliberately attempts to confuse its audience can be a tricky thing. Not only is there the risk of repelling (or simply boring) viewers, but the incoherence can overwhelm the purpose of the trickery. Fortunately, first-time director Sean Durkin was able to avoid most of these complications with his psychological drama Martha Marcy May Marlene. The film follows Martha (Elizabeth Olsen; yes, sister to those Olsens), a 20-something who flees from a cult led by the charismatic Patrick (John Hawkes), located in the Catskills. Martha is taken in by her older sister Lucy (Sarah Paulson) and Lucy’s husband Ted (Hugh Dancy) at their summer house in Connecticut. After Martha’s escape, her psyche continues to unravel, while flashbacks detail some of the experiences she had with the cult. Olsen is excellent in her first major role, projecting child-like petulance and naiveté without being grating. The movie rests upon her ability to express the thoughts and memories she refuses to vocalize to her sister, and she delivers. It’s impressive work, especially for a first-timer. Despite deciding to leave the cult, it nevertheless dominates her personality. She is offended and repelled by the opulence of the lake house, which contrasts sharply to the lifestyle of subsistence farming she experienced in the Catskills. This creates conflict with her sister and her husband, a posh British architect. The tenuous living arrangement is only further strained by Martha’s
deepening paranoia that Patrick and his other followers are seeking to forcibly re-abduct her. While her erratic behaviour generates concern, her unwillingness to divulge her experiences prevent Sarah and Ted from realizing the depth of her psychological problems. In the latter half of the film, scenes from the lake house and flashbacks alternate more rapidly. The cuts between the two locations and times are smooth, and any references that might establish a sense of continuity are deliberately removed. The editing and divergent storytelling do cause confusion, but they also create a palpable sense of paranoia, with neither Martha nor the audience sure of how much is, or was, imagined or real. The sparse score and the cinematography only enhance the tension; shots are frequently framed against open expanses, or with the object in focus placed to one side, seemingly suggesting the imminent arrival of something—anything—in the background. Arguably the film’s greatest achievement is the feeling of inevitability it builds, but still manages to undercut in a terrific ending. Ultimately, Martha Marcy May Marlene suggests an interesting theory about its central character: that she may be better suited to be “Marcy May,” the name Patrick bestows upon her, than Martha. As Martha, she has a distant sister with a rich husband, and the prospect of life in a world in which she is not suited to operate. As Marcy May, she’s a leader and a teacher—as she angrily tells her sister—and perhaps, she’s saner.
Black Star (Mos Def & Talib Kweli)
Les Trois Minots, 3812 St. Laurent
Theatre Outremont, 1248 Bernard West
Theatre Olympia, 1004 St. Catherine East
Friday, Nov. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 12, 8 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 13, 7:00 p.m.
This GAMIQ-nominated folk crooner beat out Arcade Fire, Handsome Furs, and Austra to win this year’s ECHO Songwriting Prize. Not bad. Come judge for yourself this Saturday when she plays a hometown show in support of her latest album Montebello. $24.24.
If you have the extra coin, underground backpack rappers Mos Def and Talib Kweli will be performing at Theatre Olympia for their Real Hip-Hop Tour. And rumor has it that their longawaited second album could be right around the corner. $59.99.
Amnesty International’s McGill chapter will host a human rights-centric poetry slam. Spoken word performances, musical guests, and drink specials are featured all night. Tickets are $3 and benefit Amnesty International.
Sports SOCCER — redmen 1, uqtr 0 Redmen 2, montreal 3
Capolungo caps successful season for McGill Late goal sends Redmen to CIS National Championships
By Adam Sadinsky Sports Editor While McGill and Percival Molson Stadium play host to the CIS Women’s Soccer national championship tournament, another team of red-and-white-clad soccer players will be gunning for glory on the other side of the continent. A late goal from Yohann Capolungo made the difference as the Redmen secured their berth in the CIS Men’s Soccer national championship Friday night with a 1-0 victory over the UQTR Patriotes. The weekend ended on a sour note for McGill, however, as they dropped the RSEQ final by a score of 3-2 against UdeM. McGill heads into the CIS championship, located in Victoria, B.C., seeking their first national title since 1997. The Redmen look to improve on their last performance at the tournament, two years ago, when they lost to Laval in the finals. Head Coach David Simon said that his team remained composed and put in a great playoff performance to qualify for nationals. While Friday’s scoreline indicates a close-fought game, McGill was dominant as they put a great deal of pressure on the Patriotes, registering 14 shots, nine of which were directed towards the goal. Captain Thomas Lucas was impressed with his team’s play early on. “We played really well and came out firing in the first 25,” Lucas said. “We wished we could
1-0 win over UQTR sends McGill to Victoria. (Sam Reynolds / McGill Tribune) have put in a few early but we do well at keeping it tight.” Not allowing themselves to get discouraged after so many failed
scoring attempts, the Redmen finally broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute as fourth-year midfielder Yohann Capolungo took a beautiful cross
from substitute Alex King and sent it flying past UQTR keeper Vincent Guay-Cote for the goal. “We came through in the end,” Lucas said.
“We haven’t been able to do that in years past and I’m very proud of my guys.” Capolungo, originally from France and a product of Ligue 1 AJ Auxerre’s youth academy, understood the magnitude of the contest and showed that McGill’s stars can rise at the game’s most critical moments. “I haven’t had a really good season,” said Capolungo, “but I am here for the big games and that’s good for the team.” The Redmen forward hoped that the momentum they gained from the late-goal victory would carry over into the RSEQ final last Sunday and help McGill win their first Quebec title since 2002. Capolungo’s hopes for a carryover effect were dashed quickly on Sunday as UdeM scored two goals in the first 25 minutes to build a lead that they would never relinquish. Alexander Trotsky had a two-goal afternoon, each time cutting Montreal leads in half, but that was as close as McGill would come to knocking off the Carabins. The Carabins, winners of six of the last nine RSEQ crowns, fired a staggering 26 shots at McGill goalkeeper Charles Kelly, who played both playoff games in relief of the injured Matt Gilmour. McGill will have four days to get ready before taking on Canada’s best as the national championship gets underway on Thursday at Victoria’s Centennial Stadium. Additional reporting by Brandon Romano.
from the cheap seats Border hopping, beer, and Buffalo Bills ORCHARD PARK, NY — For the home-grown New York Jets fans concentrated across the Empire State, a trip to their divisional and cross-state rivals, the Buffalo Bills, involves a mundane and often lengthy commute across forest-rich, upstate New York. However, for the avid Canadian fan located in Montreal, the prospect of viewing a duel between these two teams offers a far more exciting and revered rite of passage: the roadtrip. This is where I found myself this past weekend, loaded up in a Chevy Cruze with friends, making our way across Southern Ontario and down into the land of opportunity to
see the Jets take on the Bills in an implication-rich match-up at Ralph Wilson Stadium, located in Orchard Park just outside of Buffalo. Leaving Saturday afternoon and spending the night in Toronto, I hopped across the border Sunday morning to catch the waning end of the famed NFL tailgate. And despite some questionable navigation and a border officer convinced my friends and I were working for a Mexican drug cartel, we managed to reach the stadium just in time to crack a cold one and make it to our seats for the opening kickoff. This was the first time I had been to an NFL game, and the scene that first struck me, as I walked through the tunnel and down to the seats, will remain with me indefinitely. Thousands of supporters clad in blue and white jerseys, with a healthy number of the green Jets
faithful mixed in, lined the field and were cheering deafeningly from the start of the action. This initial mindblowing atmosphere only died down a bit over the entirety of the action, even as the Jets sealed the victory, much to the chagrin of the hometown crowd. Due partly, I’m sure, to the fact that the Buffalo Bills have failed to factor into the playoff scene in the AFC since 1999, the two teams have never truly formed a heated loathing, unlike with those despicable Patriots. The clashing sides of the crowd ribbed almost entirely in good nature with each other up to the final whistle, which served only to cement a resoundingly positive feeling. We gleefully walked back to our car to a chorus of “Sanchez sucks.” For those considering making a trip down south to catch an
The happiest place in Buffalo. (panoramio.com) NFL game, Buffalo offers a strong market for consideration. The trip is easily managed in a day, clocking in at about six and a half hours, and the ticket prices are incredibly cheap relative to other NFL teams. Whereas in other stadiums of similar distance, such as New York or even Boston, which have soaring ticket
prices for sub-par seats, in Buffalo we sat 20 rows back off a corner of the endzone for $55 face value. You’ll just have to put up with the persistent buzzing of their signature chant, “Let’s go Buffalo.” —Jeffrey Downey
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
rugby — redmen 28, concordia 7
Beast mode: McGill wins sixth straight title Redmen add another RSEQ championship to their overflowing trophy case By Josh Zigler Contributor In recent years, “McGill rugby” has become synonymous with “Quebec University Rugby League champions,” as the team captured their sixth straight title on Sunday afternoon. The Redmen dominated their cross-town rivals, the Concordia Stingers, in a lopsided 28-7 victory. After finishing first in the RSEQ men’s rugby league with a record of 6-0-0 and outscoring their opponents 191-34, the Redmen entered their finals matchup with high expectations. The home fans did not leave disappointed, as the sun shone on these traditional rivals in a match full of thunderous hits, electrifying runs, and intricate strategy. The Stingers came out applying considerable pressure on the Redmen in a half where McGill barely eked out a lead. The first 25 minutes saw fairly evenly matched play until a thrilling behind-the-back pass by Daniel Levin and a ground-shaking hit by Sam Skulsky brought the crowd to life and sparked the Redmen. The first half ended 3-0 in favour of the Redmen on a Gideon Balloch penalty kick with just under two minutes remaining. The late points shifted momentum towards McGill. From the beginning of the second half onward, the Redmen didn’t look back. At the outset they took complete control of Concordia with an impressive try by Balloch, who finished with 13 of McGill’s 28 total points. Quentin Pradere also stood out as a key player assisting on a try at the end of a bruising run and
SCOREBOARD (Scores since Nov. 1) *Denotes Exhibition REDMEN BASKETBALL * Lost 75-41 @ Cincinnati MARTLET BASKETBALL * Lost 59-51 @ Cornell REDMEN HOCKEY Won 3-2 vs. Toronto Won 4-3 (SO) vs. Nipissing MARTLET HOCKEY * Lost 2-1 @ Syracuse Won 1-0 vs. Concordia REDMEN LACROSSE Lost 13-11 vs. Brock (CUFLA semifinal) REDMEN RUGBY Won 28-7 vs. Concordia (Quebec final)
All smiles for Redmen after winning the conference championship. (Sam Reynolds / McGill Tribune) scoring one of his own after evading a number of tackles and breaking through several more. Tensions began to boil over shortly after a second enormous hit by Skulsky with 19 minutes remaining in the second half. A fight broke out between the two teams in which referees were forced to intervene. Sunday’s bout demonstrated the animosity that is inherent in the rivalry. Head Coach Craig Beemer kept things simple when talking to his players at halftime. “It wasn’t anything I hadn’t been telling them all season. Just to relax, focus on the
little things, and to play the same rugby that they have been playing all year,” Beemer said. It worked, as McGill’s second half play was dominant. Craig Beemer received the RSEQ Coach of the Year award, and humbly attributed the success of his team to the work ethic and talent of his players as well as the foundation that previous Head Coach Sean McCaffrey built. “Most of [the credit] is on the guys. I am privileged to coach a group that comes to improve their game every day no matter what I
throw at them. We’ve got a bunch of smart, athletic, gifted rugby players here at McGill which makes it a fun job for me,” Beemer noted. Fans applauded and cheered as the players sang, “In the Arctic parts of Canada here the yanks have never been,” a snippet from their customary victory song. McGill fans, players, and coaches left MolsonPercival Stadium ecstatic as McGill University took its 19th title since 1989, continuing the dynasty that McGill rugby has become.
REDMEN SOCCER Won 1-0 vs. UQTR (RSEQ semifinal) Lost 3-2 vs. Montreal (RSEQ final) Redmen qualify for CIS National Championship MARTLET SOCCER Lost 3-0 @ Sherbrooke (RSEQ semifinal) Martlets qualify for CIS National Championship MARTLET VOLLEYBALL Lost 3-0 vs. Laval (15-25, 19-25, 21-25) Lost 3-1 @ Montreal (25-15, 30-32, 20-25, 22-25)
Third Man in Parity, please One of the most commonly discussed themes in sports over the last decade is parity. One issue in the current NBA lockout is the perceived inequality between franchises. The 2004-2005 NHL lockout brought new rules and a new salary cap partially intended to address the issue of playoff and payroll parity. We are currently in the seventh season since the dawn of “The New NHL,” and I wanted to explore this notion of parity. The main focus of my analysis is playoff turnover. This season, seven teams currently occupy playoff spots that missed the postseason last year. Two of those
seven teams, the Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers, finished last in their respective conferences. The season is still young and I don’t expect teams like the Panthers, or the Maple Leafs for that matter, to still be playing hockey in late April. In the six seasons since the lockout, there has been an average turnover of 4.67 playoff teams. In the six seasons prior to the new collective bargaining agreement, the average turnover was 3.83 teams, which indicates that parity has indeed increased. The greatest indication of increased parity is the reduced impact of dominant teams. In the six seasons leading up to the lockout, seven teams made the playoffs in every
single season. In the new NHL, only two teams have managed that feat: the San Jose Sharks and Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings are the only franchise to have made the playoffs in each of the past twelve seasons, while the Sharks, Devils, and Flyers have each missed the postseason only once during that time. Regardless of this new parity, these four teams have managed to reign supreme. Though the teams in the middle of the pack have become more competitive, there is still a problem among those lower down in the standings. Before the lockout, eight teams made the playoffs only once or less in six seasons. Since then, seven teams have failed to qualify
at least twice, indicating that some franchises still struggle with a large competitive disadvantage. Although 14 teams must miss the playoffs each year, runs of futility can be tough to stomach for fans and ownership. Interestingly, Toronto and St. Louis have gone from dominant to pitiful. Each team made the playoffs in all six seasons before the lockout, but since then the two teams have combined for just one playoff appearance. Other teams such as the New York Rangers and the Nashville Predators have seen their fortunes change in the opposite direction. These rises and falls could be perceived as a further indication of increased parity or simply the ebb and
flow of success that most teams outside of Detroit and San Jose are used to experiencing. Success before the lockout and unsuccessful performance afterwards doesn’t necessarily relate to parity. Overall, however, I think the hard cap has had some effect and has certainly increased parity. However, there are still teams that are perennially terrible. In some cases, such as that of the Maple Leafs, bad management is to blame. But in cases like Florida and Columbus, other factors may be at play. No matter the cause, the NHL must continue to address the difficulties that many teams face in their quest for relevance. —Trevor Drummond
Curiosity Delivers. www.mcgilltribune.com
LAcrosse — redmen 11, brock 13
Badgers take a bite out of Redmen’s title hopes Christopher Nardi travels with the team to the Baggataway Cup
with less than his usual astounding win percentage of 80), although he redeemed himself in the second half by not only winning most of his faceoffs, but by scoring a great goal on a one-man effort. McGill’s loss came as a surprise to everyone on the team, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve given up on bringing the first Bagattaway Cup to McGill. Even Brock’s captain remarked to McGill captain Ryan Besse that McGill was easily the best team they played all year. The fact that bitter arch-rival Bishop’s won the championship this year only hardens the Redmen’s resolve to come back better next year and win it all. “We’re losing five key guys [during the offseason], but we have 30 guys returning, which is the greatest group of returning guys we’ve ever had,” Murdoch explained. “Not winning the championship just fuels the drive for next season.” There is no doubt that next season will be another great one for McGill lacrosse. The team should dwell on the past only long enough to build for the future, and that they should let Coach Murdoch’s words echo continuously in their heads: “You have what it takes to be champions.”
By Christopher Nardi Contributor LONDON, ON — As I embarked on the team bus heading out to London, Ontario, for the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association’s (CUFLA) championship weekend, I couldn’t help but notice the smiles on the faces of each Redmen player I encountered. Spirits were high as the bus left Montreal for what would be a 10-hour ride to downtown London. “You have what it takes to be champions.” This was repeated countless times by Head Coach Tim Murdoch throughout Friday and Saturday, before McGill’s semifinal game against the Western conference powerhouse Brock Badgers, who’ve won 18 of 26 total CUFLA championships. The players believed him, the assistant coaches believed him, and the parents believed him as the team prepared on Saturday morning for the Badgers. “It’s awfully hard to win a championship. Extremely hard. I don’t care on what level. It takes a huge sacrifice by the whole team,” said Murdoch while the team travelled to City Wide Field for their semifinal matchup. “You need luck, you need commitment, you need great coaches, you need people behind you, and you need your parents
(Barry Miller / www.miller3.phanfare.com)
behind you. You have all kinds of factors that go into it. And you have what it takes to be champions.” Murdoch’s words were still resounding in my head as the final whistle sounded, marking the end of McGill’s dream season with an upset 13-11 loss to Brock. The game was one of the most exciting the Redmen have played all season, with McGill never trailing by more than two, tying at one, two, three, five, six, eight, nine, ten, and 11 before Brock scored three unanswered goals and left the field with the win. All-star performances from Alex Rohrbach,
who dominated the opposition with a hat trick and three assists, Nolan Prinzen, who won the award for team MVP of the game for his three timely goals, and captain Mike Ting, who added two spectacular goals and strong offensive zone play, were some of the bright spots for the Redmen. Despite the loss, goaltender Riley McGillis also played superbly, making some extraordinary saves to keep his team in the game, especially in the fourth quarter. Yet a few flaws in the Redmen’s game became apparent during this semifinal matchup, none as bla-
cis Women’s soccer nationals
Martlets welcome nation’s finest McGill hopeful as championships come to Montreal By Rebecca Babcock Contributor Canada’s best women’s university soccer teams and their fans will descend on McGill University this weekend as the school prepares to host the CIS Women’s Soccer National Championship Tournament. As tournament hosts, the Martlets punched their ticket to the big dance before a ball was even kicked this season. The opposition will be strong but McGill is hoping that their loyal fans will give them the boost that they need to win their first ever Gladys Bean Memorial Trophy. Last year, the McGill Martlets Women’s Soccer Team was expected to qualify for nationals. They were undefeated throughout the season with a 9-0-5 record. Due to a heartbreaking defeat in the RSEQ semifinals, their dreams were cut short despite their incredible regular season success. With a record of 8-3-3, this year featured more ups and downs. They dominated in games against
rivals Bishop’s and Concordia. They continued their success against Laval, but struggled with UQTR and with UQAM. They have yet to beat the University of Montreal, having tied twice, or the University of Sherbrooke, who they lost to twice in the regular season and again in the conference semifinal. “This team has some quality but is inconsistent and we play probably the best team from the toughest conference in our first game,” Head Coach Marc Mounicot said. “Trinity [Western] has won two CIS championships in the last three years and is loaded with talent. Our team can challenge the best team and has demonstrated this during pre-season but they have to believe they can do it.” Although they will be facing Canada’s best, the Martlets do have some star power that will be key in McGill’s attempt to defend their home field at this year’s competition. Fourth-year forward Alexandra Morin-Boucher leads the team with nine goals and four assists. Rookie
midfielder Alexandria Hoyte is making her presence known with three goals and four assists. These two will be a challenge for any defenders they face this weekend. The Martlets also have a strong defensive wall led by Julia Bahen and Kelsey Wilson in the back, along with goalkeeper Victoria Muccilli. Not only have these players played consistently throughout the season, but they have all been named RSEQ all-stars. With these players, along with the rest of the Martlets, McGill has a strong core that could potentially make them a dark horse at nationals. “We need to play solid, perfect games, [and] have the players show up for all three [games],” said Mounicot. “It’s no tomorrow at nationals [so] once you lose, it’s all over. No errors and having luck on your side is the way you win a championship.” The Martlets’ quest for gold begins Thursday night against Trinity Western at 7:30 p.m.
tant as McGill’s inability to retrieve loose ground balls. “I guess I didn’t anticipate that they would dominate the ground balls so much as they did,” Murdoch admitted. “That was probably the one factor that allowed them to stay with us, and then eventually beat us.” The defence also struggled mightily on occasion, and they had great difficulty clearing the ball out of their zone because of the constant pressure Brock’s offence put on each defenceman. J.J. Miller, the team’s faceoff expert, also lost an unusually high number of draws in the first half (he finished
championship schedule T hursday , N ov . 10 Q uarterfinal 1: D alhousie Quarterfinal 2: Queen ’ s
vs . vs .
Quarterfinal 3: M ontreal Quarterfinal 4: M c GILL
Ottawa – 10:30 a . m . A lberta – 1:30 p . m .
vs . p.m.
Laurier – 4:30 p . m .
Trinity Western – 7:30
F riday , N ov . 11 C onsolation 1 – 4:30 p . m . C onsolation 2 – 7:30 p . m .
S aturday , N ov . 12 S emifinal 1 – 1:30 p . m . S emifinal 2 – 4:30 p . m . 5 th - place
– 7:30 p . m .
S unday , N ov . 13 B ronze N ational
– 1:30 p . m .
– 4:00 p . m .
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Lacrosse team is second family for Tim Murdoch
Redmen head coach has raised team from humble beginnings By Christopher Nardi Contributor While talking to Head Coach Tim Murdoch over the weekend, I was astounded to learn that every McGill lacrosse coach is a volunteer. A successful consultant helping Canadian companies enter American markets, Murdoch still finds the time, between August and November, to lead a group of over 30 McGill students through a gruelling three-month journey, culminating in the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association (CUFLA) championships. For the last nine years, Murdoch has put in an average of five hours per day, and up to 50 hours a week during the recruitment and championship periods. He defines his role simply: he’s been here since its second year to build the team up from its humble beginnings. “Personally, I take the lead in recruiting, I keep the relationships with McGill athletics, I work with the parent and alumni groups to create interest in supporting our team financially,” he said. “I guess I’m acting as much a coach as a builder and a leader in terms of taking the program to the next level from scratch 10 years ago.” And as a father raises his children, Murdoch is a source of guid-
ance for the McGill lacrosse team. From its roots as a team he describes as “more of a fraternity, with a lot of beer drinking,” who held their practices in a parking lot, Murdoch has brought the team to elite status. His most recent achievement is obtaining the best record in the eastern conference this season (9-1-0). Murdoch also led McGill to a national finals appearance, the closest the Redmen have come to winning it all. Despite his immense role in developing the program, Murdoch is always quick to credit much of his success to his supporting cast of assistant coaches. In 2007, Murdoch and his assistant coaches Brendan Simeson, Sean Steinwald, and Jason Martin won the award for coaching staff of the year, and they should win it again this year after the work they’ve done leading the Redmen to an eastern conference title. He has developed such faith in his assistants over the years that he hardly, if ever, makes a coaching decision without first reaching a consensus amongst the entire staff. Having attracted such a knowledgeable coaching staff to McGill, Murdoch has been able to devote more time to two extremely important aspects of creating a successful sports team: recruiting and fundraising. “It’s a balancing act between external activities I need to engage
Murdoch addresses the Redmen before a game. (Barry Miller / www.miller3.phanfare.com) in to keep the team at a high level, particularly with the recruiting, and with the financial fundraising. Then on the internal side, motivating the captains to keep the team going is another important role I have. Then working carefully with the volunteer coaches to make sure they have what they need to coach the team,” Murdoch said of his particular role within the organization. Utilizing both the connections he made during his studies at Princeton, where he played varsity lacrosse, and the Harvard School of Business where he was a player coach in 1989, and continued contact with lacrosse alumni, Murdoch has a vast network
of financial supporters for the team, allowing him to spend more time recruiting rising stars instead of constantly chasing funding. It’s easy to say that Murdoch gives this team his all, but the question remains, how does a man with a family and a full-time job devote so much time and energy to volunteer coaching work? “It’s definitely an inner drive that I have, fuelled by both my passion for the game and by the opportunity that I have to have a direct impact on a group of guys that are at an important time in their lives,” Murdoch said. “Not only on the lacrosse field but going through Mc-
Gill and thinking about their career opportunities and thinking about the challenges they’re facing personally. So I used to call it being a big brother, but maybe I’m now a young father to these guys. I really enjoy helping these guys out, and we’re lucky to have such a smart group of players, guys who are highly motivated themselves, which gets me motivated to continue to coach.” It isn’t hard to devote yourself to a cause as powerfully as Murdoch does, especially when that cause becomes another family that you love to take care of.
2011 CIS Women’s Soccer Championship preview Alberta Pandas Conference: Canada West Why they’re here: Conference runners-up Regular season record: 9-4-1, 3rd place National championships won (last): 3 (2001) Leading scorer: Heather Lund, 11 goals Head coach: Liz Jepsen Fun Fact: The University of Alberta has won more national championships in all sports combined than any other Canadian university. The Pandas’ mascot is named Patches.
McGill Martlets Conference: RSEQ Why they’re here: Hosts Regular season record: 8-33, 3rd place National championships won (last): 0 Leading scorer: Alexandra Morin-Boucher, 9 goals Head coach: Marc Mounicot Fun fact: A martlet is a mythical, heraldic bird with no feet. The martlet’s inability to land symbolizes the McGill student’s unending quest for knowledge and a national title.
Conference: AUS Why they’re here: Conference champions Regular season record: 9-3-
Conference: RSEQ Why they’re here: Conference champions Regular season record:
1, 3rd place National championships won (last): 3 (2000) Leading scorer: Rieka Santili, 7 goals Head coach: Jack Hutchison Fun fact: A third of Dalhousie student athletes had a GPA of 3.45 or above last year. Dalhousie was founded using 7,000 pounds sterling of treasure seized from American privateers by the Royal Navy.
12-0-2, 1st place National championships won (last): 0 Leading scorer: Éva Thouvenot-Hébert, 18 goals Head coach: Kevin McConnell Fun fact: In English, “carabins” means “sawbones.” This refers to a cavalry soldier who carries a rifle. The University of Montreal teams are named after the Carabiniers MontRoyal, who today are the Fusiliers de MontRoyal.
Ottawa Gees-Gees Conference: OUA Why they’re here: Conference bronze medalists Regular season record: 12-3-1, 2nd place OUA East National championships won (last): 1 (1996) Leading scorer: Elisabeth Wong, 10 goals Head Coach: Steve Johnson Fun fact: The name Gee-Gees refers to the University of Ottawa’s school colours of garnet and grey. Gee-gee is also the name for the lead horse in a race.
Queen’s Golden Gaels Conference: OUA Why they’re here: Conference champions Regular season record: 13-1-2, 1st place OUA East National championships won (last): 1 (2010) Leading scorer: Jackie Tessier, 12 goals Head coach: Dave McDowell Fun fact: The Queen’s University rallying cry is “Oil Thigh,” a song in Gaelic that Queen’s fans sing whenever their teams score.
Trinity Western Spartans Conference: Canada West Why they’re here: Conference champions Regular season record: 12-
1-1, 1st place National championships won (last): 3 (2009) Leading scorer: Daniela Gerig, 6 goals Head coach: Graham Roxburgh Fun fact: Trinity Western is located in Langley, B.C. and is Canada’s largest privately funded Christian university.
Wilfred Laurier Golden Hawks Conference: OUA Why they’re here: Con-
ference runners-up Regular season record: 12-2-0, 1st place OUA West National championships won (last): 2 (1995) Leading scorer: Krista Celucci, 10 goals Head coach: Barry MacLean Fun fact: When they became the Golden Hawks, Laurier acquired a stuffed hawk, which was spray-painted gold and now sits on the fireplace in the football office. —Adam Sadinsky
On November 10th 1PM, Roddick Gates: March for accessible education. March against tuition hikes. March with US!
The Quebec government has announced that tuition fees are going up at least $1625 over the next five years. Come protest against this unnecessary and unfair decision which will exclude thousands of students from university, and sentence thousands more to years of debt. For more information, contact email@example.com
The November 8, 2011 issue of the McGill Tribune