Volume No. lol Issue No. ;)
<3 THis. A Masterpost P :)
No More CHeese?!?!?!?!?!? VP Hofmouseter forecasts Cheddar Deficit p :(
#triblyfe • www.mcbilltraily.com See inside for...
President Obama reacts to “Barnan-gate” A. Pierre D’Ville Unpaid Intern
#TenantProblems #SSMovingOut (Goddess of Design / McBill Traily)
Tuesday, April Fools, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C and McBill/ Milton-Parc, MONTREAL QC— After weeks of speculation, United States President Barack Obama made his first public comments on the campus political scandal that has divided partisans worldwide. Opining on the incident that has come to be known as “Barnan-gate,” Obama called the situation a “total gong-show.” The incident which prompted Obama’s statement was an apology that Ryan Barnan, Vice-President Listserv and Fro$h of the Students’ Society of McBill’s Offensive Overlords (SSMOO), was forced to give in the wake of an equity complaint which alleged that a .GIF image he had sent of President Obama kicking down a door constituted a microaggression. The decision was met with much ridicule on the McBill campus, but the story seemed to have run its course before being picked up by several American right-wing blogs, bringing the story to international prominence. “It’s always interesting to hear the news from up North,” Obama said at the press conference. “As you know, my staff is generally swamped with
more important international news, which freed me up to keep a close eye on this situation as it unfolded.” “At first I thought that SSMOO Council was just cramping [Barnan’s] style by making him apologize,” the president continued. “I mean, it was really just a classic case of Barnan being Barnan. Although I later totally sympathized with students who felt— what’s the phrase—‘micro-aggressed’ by the image. But then it blew up online and I couldn’t believe the amount of [crap] that Barnan was taking for it. And now I’m just upset that they retracted the apology. It’s been a real roller-coaster ride.” “I’m just glad I wasn’t calling the shots in that situation. Yikes,” Obama concluded before being called into the Situation Room for an emergency meeting of the National Security Council. In response to a follow-up question, Obama revealed his next steps; a trip to Canada to meet with the members of the SSMOO executive. “I really feel that with this unfortunate situation finally being put to rest, the time is right to directly involve myself in it,” the president said. See “Obama” on p. 2
The Students’ Society of McBill’s Offensive Overlords is homeless SSMOO services set to relocate to President Arson’s apartment Jacqui Daniels Senior Gerts Correspondent The Students’ Society of McBill’s Offensive Overlords (SSMOO) has been forced to relocate to President Caty Arson’s apartment following the failure of a fee referendum which left the organization unable to pay rent on the Kirk Building. “We thought we would at least be given a room to operate from, but McBill said that we couldn’t get any space because we are operating at a deficit,” Arson said. “On top of everything else, we’re not sure if we’re going to get our finder’s fee back, and I mean, between you and me, we could really use that money.” The relocation, according to Arson, could not have come at a worse time, as one of her roommates has friends visiting from Queen’s,
and the other—after taking an economic statistics class last semester— has recently taken up the bagpipes. “It’s thrown off the whole team dynamic,” Arson said. “Disputes have already broken out over equitable refrigerator space allocation, and two of the execs won’t stop rearranging my furniture.” McBill University Director of Internal Propaganda Don Sour confirmed that administration is looking into other leasing possibilities, but won’t confirm or deny widespread rumors that Liquid Sustenance is hoping to expand their operations to take up the entirety of the Kirk Building. “McBill has to do what makes the most fiscal sense, after all, at this point, we don’t expect to see any reinvestment from the PQ,” Sour said. “If smoothies are the direction we need to go in right now, then we will
explore those options.” Showings have been arranged with other potential lessees, which has been a cause of great confusion for students who still believe they are scheduled to table in the Kirk lobby. Some a capella group members were verbally attacked for not being able to answer questions about internet rates, while other visitors have been strong-armed into buying tickets for year-end hip hop dance performances. The failure of the referendum question also has implications on how Gerts will operate in the coming year. There has been general unease throughout the student body, not only regarding the fate of sangria Wednesdays and throwback Thursdays, but also of forget-about-yourGPA Fridays, try-this-new-shot-Ijust-invented Tuesdays, and maybeyou-shouldn’t-be-drinking-tonight
Mondays. “No reGerts [sic], right?” U4 philosophy major Your Mom said. “But this time, there are reGerts [sic]. Who knew the results of the referendum would actually affect people? I’m reGerting [still sic] it already!” One student suggested the transition might actually improve accessibility to SSMOO. “I mean, I never even knew where the SSMOO office was in the Kirk building, but [Arson] threw a party last year when she got elected, so I feel like a lot of people would have an easier time finding her [at her apartment],” former SSMOO executive Matt Spzjzjzdja said. SSMOO president-elect Guy Without-Hat said he’s eagerly awaiting his chance to run operations out of his apartment next year, and welcomes more than just SMOO em-
ployees into his home. “Inclusivity and accessibility are extremely important to me,” Without-Hat said. “Any student who feels they have input they would like to share with the exec or myself is more than welcome to stop by for coffee, any time, day or night. But it’s bring-your-own-coffee. And I would never say no to a doubledouble.”
See “My MSN History from 2004” on p. (--___--)
From the White House
Obama plans to meet with SSMOO Continued from cover
After making an appearance at the next scheduled Students’ Society of Offensive Overlords (SSMOO) Council session, Obama will give an exclusive interview on TVM, continuing his apparent strategy of appearing in unconventional venues to promote his policy initiatives. The president brushed off accusations that this itinerary was a waste of his time. “As the leader of the free world, I take personal responsibility for democracy at all levels, worldwide,” Obama pointed out. “Besides, the alternative would have been another meeting about pipelines or something with Prime Minister Harper; and let me tell you, those are quite a bore.” Reaction on the McBill campus was mixed. “Yaaa know, this whole Bar-
nan thing…was, like, embarrassing to the university...but if we get a visit from Obama out of it, I guess that’s chill,” said Rhys Inding, a first-year Management student, between shots of Jägermeister. “I really can’t support the idea of someone who has deported so many undocumented migrants and ordered so many drone strikes being on our campus,” said Damian Maastricht, a political theory student and columnist for the self-described “underground” campus publication the McBill Occasional. “The only just response to such a symbol of the status quo appearing on this racist, colonial campus is to resist.” Meanwhile, literature student Steven Novich was unimpressed with the whole controversy.
Barnan and Bro-bama are BFFs. (Goddess of Design / McBill Traily) “You know, I find the whole thing a bit distasteful,” he said, while calmly sipping an espresso and staring pensively into the
distance. “Don’t we all have better things to worry about?” A. Pierre D’Ville reported from Washington D.C.
— Additional reporting by Stephanie Lamprey and Carter Whitby in Toronto.
Researchers at McBill use embryonic stem cells to successfully clone HMB Morty Mendel next, please Jenny from the Block Mother of Dragons On Mar. 27, McBill’s Mad Scientists Lab (MSL) scrapped their plans to cure cancer butinstead developed induced pluripotent stem cells that were ultimately used to create a fully-developed clone of former McBill principal Heather Munroe-Blossom (HMB). Aya Misou, the coordinator behind the project, explained that after many anonymous requests from members of the McBill community, she and her research team have acted on the overwhelming demand for creating an exact replica of Munroe-Blum to act as co-principal next to Suzie Forty-Hands.
“Most of those requests were very enthusiastic,” Misou said. “After publishing a paper back in September of 2013 detailing my success with cloning rodents and small domestic animals, I received loads of emails asking whether it’d be possible for humans as well. At first, I thought it was because people wanted to clone themselves, but the majority of the requests were for HMB.” Misou explained that a lot of researchers from the MSL expressed initial doubt about cloning the former principal. “The biggest concern was that the technology would be abused,” Misou said. “One of my colleagues worried that someone would use it to create some kind
of HMB army.” However, the team eventually conceded after receiving the 459th tweet with the hashtag #HMB2.0 from the McBill community. “There have been a lot of challenges in the scientific world with using stem cells to their fullest potential,” Misou said. “But the demands from the McBill community to create a second HMB to have on campus was overwhelming.” U3 Arts student and Vice President Communications of Cult #HMB Nas Talja, who was one of the many students who submitted a request, emphasized the sentiments that he and his friends felt toward having HMB back at McBill.
“We love the current principal,” Talja said. “But we also really miss the ability to refer to the principal with an acronym. It was just so much easier that way. Obviously the real HMB has moved on, but the logical solution was to just clone her so that we could have someone here who we could regularly talk about with only three letters.” HMB’s clone has not had direct interaction with the general public yet, but Misou anticipated that those interactions are very possible within the next week. The new co-principal is presently undergoing cognitive moulding which should instill in her the very same apathy towards student issues that enchanted the McBill community for a full decade.
“The procedure went very well,” Misou explained. “My team and I fully believe that once the clone is no longer lab-bound, she will be able to promise consultation and move in the entirely opposite direction—almost as if you were speaking with the real HMB.” Talja said he will be one of the first to make an appointment with HMB’s clone, and is expecting to wait at least a month to hear back from her office. “We like having our voices heard, but we also miss having them ignored,” he said. “Science has really come so far. I can’t wait for the day where we’ll be able to 3-D print a version of Forty-Hands.”
Volume No. 33 Issue No. 24
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014
SSMU drafts budget with increased prices for Gerts, minicourses Jenny Shen Features Editor Increased prices for minicourses and Gerts are possible options for the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) to balance their budget following the failure of the University Centre Building Fee referendum questions. Executives originally intended to hold a special referendum period to re-run the same question. However, bylaw limitations mean they were unable to run another referendum until September. “The fact of the matter is that clearly we were not bombastic enough with the way we were promoting [the Building Fee],” SSMU President Katie Larson said. “Could we have run a ‘yes’ campaign? Of course. But at the end of the day, I shouldn’t have to explain to students why they should find something important [....] It’s not just the executive’s fault—it’s everybody’s fault.” In light of SSMU’s financial uncertainties heading into the 2014-2015 academic year, Vice-President Finance and Operations Tyler Hofmeister developed the first draft of a contingency budget in preparation for the possibility that the September referendum question also does not pass. One change is that operations SSMU initially ran to break even could potentially be run with the goal of making a greater profit—for example, mini courses and Gerts. “We believe that we could probably keep demand [for mini courses] fairly stable while still increasing [prices] to generate a revenue,” he said. “There [would also] be increases in price for Gerts, particularly for pitchers, pints of draft beer, and potentially the end of the drink specials—we’d probably increase the price by about 50 cents.” Other proposed changes in the draft contingency budget include freezing salaries and hiring, eliminating the Club Fund and SSMU executive retreats, and reducing the SSMU
Building’s operating hours. Hofmeister noted that after-hours access to the building costs approximately $30,000 a year due to security staffing. According to Hofmeister, cuts to hours would likely include closing the building completely on weekends and closing Gerts significantly earlier. WalksSafe Operations Coordinator David Olmstead urged SSMU to reconsider that possibility, saying that services like WalkSafe and DriveSafe rely on access to the building after 1 a.m. “Cutting after-hour access would be devastating to our service,” Olmstead said. “During frosh, we had over 46 individual walks, [all of which were] entirely outside of operating hours.” Another possibility that is not currently included in the contingency budget is to replace the Nest and room 108 with commercial tenants, which could generate approximately $75,000 in revenue. “This is obviously not a scenario we’d like to pursue,” Hofmeister said. “That being said, it’s a possibility, and knowing the financial situation that we are in right now […] solutions like removing The Nest or renting out 108 for commercial space are much better solutions for keeping [SSMU] financially sustainable in the long run.” Even after cutting costs in this draft of the budget, Hofmeister said that there would still be roughly $20,000 left to cut. Council will vote to approve a final draft of the contingency budget at the final Council meeting of the year on April 10. Defending SSMU members’ right to vote Council also approved a motion for SSMU to work alongside the university to support students interested in voting in the April 7 provincial elections. The motion was brought forth in the context of recent cases where students were allegedly denied their
The contingency budget draft includes reduced building hours and elimination of the Club Fund. (Alexandra Allaire / McGill Tribune) right to vote due to interpretations of the “domiciled” requirement for all registered voters. “We’ve been going to the media [and] lawyers for help, but we haven’t gotten any help from our university or students’ society,” Arielle VanIderstine, U0 Arts and Science, said. “The motion [would] support those students […] as they exercise their democratic right to vote.” The motion mandates SSMU to publicly defend its
members’ right to vote through a press release, as well as to provide “support and resources” to students who have been denied the right to vote. Dissolving the finance committee Council also approved the elimination of the finance committee, which was previously run under the vice-president of finance and operations’ portfolio with the intension of allowing councillors and other
SSMU members the opportunity to review the budget. “A lot of these councillors […] didn’t have enough information going into these meetings,” Hofmeister said. “[There would be] very long meetings where the general manager and [VP Finance] would explain what was going on in the budget, only to do so again at Council to the exact same people [….] It hasn’t been very productive.”
Continuing education students seek improved access to mental health services
Students taking fewer than nine credits unable to opt into services fee; representative argues need for alternatives Hatty Liu Contributor Continuing education students are seeking to improve their access to McGill’s mental health services due to a lack of access to the university’s resources for part-time students. The issue is currently under review by the Student Services Office, in collaboration with the dean of Continuing Studies at McGill and the McGill Association of Continuing Studies (MACES). Mental health services at McGill are currently run under the university’s Student Services unit, funded by an automatic fee for all except continuing education students. These students qualify to opt-in if they are taking at least nine credits; otherwise, they do not have the option of using the university’s mental health resources. Jana Luker, executive director of Student Services, said students taking fewer credits do not have the option of opting-in because they often have access to other resources outside the university. “Our services aren’t set up for continuing studies,” she said. “People who are taking one continuing education course, say in the evening, they probably have their own setup in Montreal. I’m assuming most
students are working, and therefore have their own infrastructure and access to services.” However, Amine Arezki, the continuing education studies representative to Senate, said this is not necessarily the case. “Psychologists are not reimbursed by the government nor by private insurances, so the services that McGill could offer could be the only chance for those students to have access to [mental health] services,” he continued. The Student Services fee for continuing education students is $141.50 per term. The full-time undergraduate student fee totals the same amount, although graduate, part-time, medical students and residents, and post-doctoral fellows pay less, as they utilize student services less. Arezki said that mental health issues are prevalent in continuing education students due to the stresses of school work and day-to-day life. “[Continuing education] can be challenging, with international students, single mothers [or] fathers, and students juggling school with work, studies, and personal life,” Arezki said. “In a place like McGill where everybody is expected to perform at high level, mental health can easily become an issue.”
Students taking fewer than nine credits cannot opt into mental health services. (Wendy Chen / McGill Tribune) According to Luker, a possible solution is the development of a different fee infrastructure to meet the needs of this unique demographic of students. Luker argued that allowing opt-ins for all continuing education students might not be compatible with their specific needs, because the Student Services fee includes many other resources—such as First People’s House and Career Planning Services—that they may not use. “Some students in continuing studies wanted to get just access to the mental health services, and not all the services,” Luker said. “Would their needs be fulfilled under the structure we have?” Luker also argued that the cost associated with the fee would be un-
reasonable for students taking fewer courses. “Continuing studies courses can be less expensive, which is very attractive, especially if you’re only taking one or two courses,” she said. “To put another $140 fee per term, that’s a real difference.” Arezki proposed a separation of mental health from the other fees. “I believe that mental health is an essential service,” he said. “For continuing education students, it should not be put in a package with other non-essential services.” According to Luker, another potential solution involves creating different services for continuing education students. “I’ve been trying to assist continuing studies students to set
up their own services, so they can sculpt them to what the needs are in a framework they would feel would be useful for them,” Luker said. “[The Office of Student Services] is there to assist or follow through, whatever they would want.” Judith Potter, dean of the School of Continuing Studies, asserted her willingness to support review current policies. “I am, of course, in favour of improvements that would help continuing studies students,” she said. “I would very much like to sit down with MACES and Student Services to discuss the issue and to come up with a solution that works for all.”
Provincial election candidates debate university funding, Charter of Values PGSS event includes candidates from all major parties; discuss increase in international student fees Remi Lu Sports Editor The proposed Charter of Values and international student policies were at the forefront of a provincial elections debate hosted by the Post-Graduate Students’ Society of McGill University (PGSS) on March 25. The debate featured representatives from the Parti Québécois (PQ), the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), the Parti Libéral du Québec (PLQ), and Québec Solidaire (QS). QS representative Molly Alexander emphasized that mitigating student debt and impeding private sector influence is an objective for her party. “We wish to improve the financial assistance programs, [which means] a gradual conversion of loans to grants to help relieve the burden of debt on students,” she said. “[We’re] reviewing the criteria for financial
assistance and making it easier for students to qualify.” Liberal candidate Geoffrey Kelly criticized the current PQ government’s cuts to research funding at the university level. “The current government announced a $250 million cut over two years, which was announced as temporary [but] those cutbacks are now permanent,” he said. “In addition, the government cut funding to research by $60 million last year, then put $6 million back and said, ‘Aren’t we generous?’ Those cutbacks mean that new funding [and] new programs are set aside, which has a direct impact on the post-graduate researchers and other people we can attract to Montreal or McGill.” In response, PQ candidate Evelyne Abitbol referenced her party’s actions as a response to the Liberal government’s proposed university tuition increases in 2012. “Under the Liberal govern-
ment, Quebec lived the worst social crisis in recent history,” she said. “The Liberals wanted to impose an […] increase in tuition fees. Since we formed the government, we abolished the abusive increase in fees, and the higher education summit allowed [us] to re-establish the dialogue, and to settle down the social crisis.” The representatives also discussed their parties’ policies on international students, in light of the deregulation of six additional programs by 2015: administration, computer science, engineering, law, mathematics, and pure sciences. All candidates agreed on the importance of international students in Quebec, but defended the fee increase and stated the difficulty in balancing the benefits of international students with the costs of hosting them. “The tuition fees, even with the increases, compare very favourably to other indus-
trial countries,” CAQ Candidate Joseph Dydzak said. “Quebec taxpayers subsidize [foreign students] to the tune of $318 million. On the other hand, the international students bring over $8 billion to the Canadian economy. So we have to balance the tuition fees with the social and economic advantages of having international students here.” The debate also touched upon the PQs’ proposed Quebec Charter of Values and its controversial limitations on civil servants’ ability to wear religious symbols. Abitbol defended her party’s policy. “Students should not fear the charter,” she said. “They are not touched by the proposed measures [….] Students would be able to act as they would the day before.” Alexander, however, argued the charter did in fact have an effect on students. “The problem is that [the
charter] will not affect [students] in university; it will affect them when they try and get a job in public service,” she said. Secretary-General of the PGSS Jonathan Mooney said he felt the event was a success. “I thought there was some very intense debate about the Charter of Values,” said Mooney. “I was very happy that the [PQ] sent a candidate to discuss that here with the anglophone students. I’m really pleased that we were able to see that debate go forward. I was also glad we were able to raise some issues relevant to McGill about international students and about the tuition paid and health coverage of international students.” The provincial election will take place on April 7.
Curiosity delivers. |
| Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Working group aims to redefine shared space for pedestrians and cyclists on campus Recommendations to be released in April in response to criticism of Milton bike gates Chelsey Ju Staff Writer Cycling regulations on campus could undergo substantial changes following the work of McGill’s Cycling Working Group, which is scheduled for release in April. The group was created in order to analyze issues regarding bicycles on campus, with the goal of devising a well-compromised accommodation for cyclists at the university. Its creation follows widespread criticism of McGill’s current policy to prevent cyclists from using their bicycles on campus—for example, with the Milton bike gates installed at the start of the academic year. Created in Fall 2013, the group consists of faculty, staff, and student representatives, who are developing recommendations on the subject following deliberation, consultation, and analysis of the current situation. Martin Krayer von Krauss, manager of McGill’s Sustainability Office and chair of the Cycling Working Group, explained the criteria developed by the group to gauge options for allowing bicycles on campus. “Must-have criteria [include] pedestrian and cyclist safety, a happy McGill community, affordability,
and accessibility,” he said. Krayer von Krauss said there are several possibilities that could align with these criteria. “As a group we’ve applied them to three different scenarios,” he said. “[The] first [consists of] variations of a dismount policy on campus, to ensure safety of cyclists and pedestrians [….] The second deals with possibilities of a cycling path on campus [….] The third deals with a shared space approach, rather than segregating cyclists.” Amanda Winegardner, PGSS representative to the working group stressed the importance of considering sharing of spaces on campus. “The working group is really interested and has worked hard to consider effective sharing of campus space and inclusiveness,” Winegardner said. “A lot of time has been devoted to the discussion of multiple perspectives and the needs of different populations on campus as well as the external community.” Harald Kliems, member of the Flat Bike Collective, a McGill student group that teaches bicycle maintenance, said cycling would always be a popular method of transportation on campus and stressed the importance of making decisions around that fact.
McGill’s Cycling Working Group is re-thinking cycling regultations on campus. (Courtney Strouthos / McGill Tribune) “I personally do hope [that] McGill is going to continue to make cycling an even better choice for getting to work,” Kliems said. “McGill already has a comparatively high percentage of its community using sustainable modes of transport to get to school or work—and we should continue to make that even better.” According to Kliems, bike lanes are often perceived as the solution for cyclist problems, but they might not be the best in all cases.
“[Anyone who has] had a car door open in front of them while in a bike lane [or] navigated between scattered pedestrians on the Place des Arts bike lane probably concedes that [bike lanes] don’t always work well,” he said. “[It’s] important to closely analyze a given location to see if a bike lane is the right tool or if there are other, better solutions.” Krayer von Krauss noted that the recommendations are still under discussion, but that results would be
presented to Robert Couvrette, associate vice-principal university services, in the spring. “We’re looking forward to releasing our results,” Krayer von Krauss said. “All members have been working extremely constructively to arrive at some recommendations, based on evidence and demographic representations from all areas of the community.”
Prostitution laws in Canada face one year revision process
Nordic model proposes criminalization of pimps and patrons, effects of implementation debated Wendy Chen Photo Editor On Dec. 20, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled three sections of the Canadian Criminal Code regarding prostitution to be unconstitutional. The resulting one-year allowance period to rewrite these laws has sparked debate across the country on the matter of prostitution and its regulation. In the Bedford vs. Canada case of 2007, three sex-workers challenged three sections of the Canadian Criminal Code regarding prostitution: the BawdyHouse Law, which prohibited prostitutes from using a space repeatedly for work; the Living on the Avails Law, which criminalized those who had work-related relationships with prostitutes; and the Communicating Law, which made it illegal for prostitutes to communicate about their work in a public place. Sex workers argued that because prostitution itself was
legal in Canada, these peripheral laws were infringing upon their freedom and endangering them by not allowing them certain practices such as working in safe and familiar places, filtering through their clients, and hiring bodyguards. On Dec. 20, the Supreme Court ruled the three laws to be unconstitutional. “They decided that all of those things made prostitution riskier and more harmful to women and was not consistent with the principles of fundamental justice,” Christopher Manfredi, dean of Arts and Political Science professor at McGill, said. “The court is in some sense saying, we should treat prostitution—at least as it’s practiced voluntarily by adults—like any risky work and not have regulations that increase the risk.” Following the decision, the Supreme Court gave parliament a one-year period to decide on a new framework of laws on sex work. Since then, there have been various suggestions for ap-
proaches regarding this issue. “Some people are afraid that the government’s response will be to criminalize prostitution itself,” Manfredi said. “I don’t think the government will go in that direction […] because [that] is very difficult to enforce and would be a step backwards from where we are now.” In their documentary “Red Light Green Light,” directors Jay and Michelle Brock argue the importance of considering the impact of legalization on human trafficking. “There seemed to be one critical piece missing from the whole discussion [on prostitution] and that was trafficking prevention,” Michelle said. Michelle argued for a model of institution which would criminalize pimps and patrons of sex work, while decriminalizing those who sell sex, such as prostitutes. This is similar to the Nordic model that Sweden currently implements. “While some people may gain from the removal of the
provisions, for others who are more vulnerable and don’t have bargaining powers, the removal of the anti-prostitution laws might be harmful because it skews the power dynamics in favour to those who can exploit them,” she said. However, Manfredi said the Nordic model would not be a good choice for Canada. “It seems to me that embracing the Nordic model, as I understand it, is a step backward from where we are in Canada, where the exchange [of sex] is completely legal,” said Manfredi. “It seems like the women in the Bedford case were actually fighting to make their activities more legal and more able to be pursued in the open.” Beth Gowing, a current graduate student at Université de Montréal, has researched sex trafficking for over two years. She argued against the complete legality of sex workers. “What happens when prostitution is fully decriminalized is that governments will try to put
in place security techniques such as red light districts, but the danger is that there would be no real way to regulate sex trafficking, and it would be even more disguised,” Gowing said. “Statistically, in countries such as the Netherlands that have legalized prostitution, the sex trafficking rates have skyrocketed.” Manfredi encouraged students to research and understand potential directions in which the laws could be changed. “The court is open to many different options, and students should contribute to the debate and make their opinions known,” he said. Gowing agreed, noting the importance and relevance of the issue of human trafficking to students. “It can happen to anyone, and anyone is vulnerable,” she said.
Curiosity delivers. | campus
| Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Students provide feedback on proposed sexual assault policy
Attendees debate legality of “guilty until proven innocent” measures in Sexual Assault Awareness Week workshop Hatty Liu Contributor A sexual assault policy proposed by students was the focus of a workshop last Thursday. The workshop was part of Sexual Assault Centre of the McGill Students’ Society’s (SACOMSS) annual Sexual Assault Awareness Week. Publicized on March 21, the proposed policy was drafted by eight campus groups, including SACOMSS, the Union for Gender Empowerment (UGE), and the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU), following McGill’s Feb. 26 Forum on Consent. The proposed policy includes provisions on campuswide awareness campaigns and education, such as awareness training for organizers of events where high incidences of sexual assault are reported. It also calls for the policy to be made accessible online. Students at the event asked for clarification on portions of the proposal that recommended that perpetrators of alleged sexual assault be immediately subject to measures such as suspension from campus and removal from
positions of power. “If the perpetrator is in any positions of power, [such as a] faculty member, professor emeritus, member of the administration, coach, etc., they shall be removed from it,” the document reads. “This shall be done before any legal proceeding is complete and can be done as a suspension as to not interfere with external legal process.” Students expressed concern regarding the legality of such measures and the presumption of “guilty until proven innocent” that they seemed to carry. In response, UGE member Kai O’Doherty clarified that the specifics of the document had yet to be determined. “We don’t know yet what [specific measures] would look like, but [we believe] the university does have jurisdiction over what happens on campus, and can take measures like these […] so as to prevent perpetrators’ access to survivors,” O’Doherty said. “[The measures] will be made in a way that does not interfere with external legal processes.” Another facilitator of the event, Anaïs Cadieux van Vliet, stressed the importance of these measures.
SACOMSS is one of eight groups that drafted a sexual assault policy for McGill. (Wendy Chen / McGill Tribune) “[They] are part of making [a] sexual assault policy [that focuses] on supporting survivor experiences,” Cadieux van Vliet said. Attendees said the workshop was useful for clarifying the intent and meaning behind the individual clauses of the lengthy policy, which stands at eight pages with an 11-page appendix. “It’s a daunting document [on] an obviously really complicated issue, so I appreciated getting clarification on why [the
terms] look the way [they do],” Lillie Fradin, U1 Arts, said. “It [became] clear to me that McGill needs a sexual assault policy that is accessible as well as functional for the entire McGill community.” According to Cadieux Van Vliet, the students behind the policy want to expand the conversation about McGill’s services and policy procedures surrounding sexual assault. “It’s important to have a campus-wide discussion about
what good [sexual assault] services [and] policy procedures [look] like, so in order to get that conversation started, we drafted this policy [proposal],” Cadieux Van Vliet said. The proposal most go through consultation by the Senate’s policy committee before becoming a formal policy of the university. There is currently also an online petition asking for endorsements for the policy proposal.
Principal outlines research, learning environment as university priorities Demilitarize McGill protests Fortier’s address, questions openness of university administration Paniz Khosroshahy Staff Writer Strengthening research, learning environments, and the university’s connection to society is at the forefront of McGill’s priorities for the next five years, according to a March 28 address by Principal Suzanne Fortier. In front of 180 members of the McGill community, Fortier touched on improvements that are necessary in the areas of student life and learning, research, engagement, and learning organization in addition to space. “The vision for our university is an expression of how we see our mission today at McGill, building on our strengths and identity and in the context of the 21st century,” she said. Fortier explained that her priorities developed through her discussions with people and groups from across the university since she began her term as McGill’s 17th principal last September. “Since arriving on campus, I have had the opportunity to meet with many of you and partici-
pate in many activities,” she said “This has helped me crystallize the hopes, the goals and the ambitions of this community.” Nicolas Magnien, executive co-coordinator at McGill’s Indigenous Studies Community KANATA, applauded Fortier for her engagement with the McGill community. “As far as I know, no other principal has really ever tried from the beginning of their mandate to learn about indigenous issues, and [Fortier] has,” Magnien said. “She is the only principal that I’ve heard of [who] came up with this [consultation] initiative.” On the priority of a learning organization, Fortier said she seeks to build a more effective professional environment and improve the university’s physical and virtual campuses. “Our vision is for a transformed environment, for teaching and learning and for conducting research and scholarship, an environment that is sustainable, accessible, state-of-the-art and healthy,” she said. The principal also said Mc-
Gill is exploring the possibility of acquiring the Royal Victoria Hospital in the coming years as a means to address the university’s space deficit of 65,000 square meters. “Our vision of the Royal [Victoria Hospital] is as a carrefour—a meeting place that connects Quebec and the world,” Fortier said. Fortier’s address faced criticism from Demilitarize McGill, a student-run group aimed at ending McGill’s alleged connections to military research. Members of Demilitarize McGill protested outside Fortier’s presentation, accusing the administration of lacking transparency. “[Fortier] says that [the administration] is going to be open and connected and purposeful,” demonstrator Cadence O’Neal, U1 Arts, said. “We question how open McGill really is. We question the purposefulness of the weapons that McGill is trying to develop.” The protesters accused the administration of receiving over $1.2 million in funds for military research.
Fortier spoke on McGill priorities. (Laurie-Anne Benoit / McGill Tribune) In her address, Fortier emphasized the complexity of relationships between the university and its governmental and industrial research partners. “As we know from our history, [much] of the research that has been done in the past have created improvements, advanced knowledge, and benefited society,” she said. “It is important to make sure that you stay true to your values and principles and it is important as you engage in these collaborations to test and ask yourself the question of
whether they do or not.” On the topic of future challenges, Fortier acknowledged that the university continues to face financial strain. “We cannot ignore our financial challenges, but we cannot let them define us,” she said. “We will need to evolve while preserving what makes McGill, McGill. Our openness to change, I believe, will determine our future success.”
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Jonathan Fielding (Chair), Anand Bery, Abhishek Gupta, Adrien Hu, Steven Lampert, Chris Liu, Carolina Millán Ronchetti, and Simon Poitrimolt
In provincial election, student issues absent
On April 7, Quebec will go to the polls to elect a new government. The campaign has been marked by claims and counterclaims of voter suppression, voter fraud, duplicity, and an overall tone of nastiness. What it hasn’t been marked by is attention to issues relating to university students. That said, this editorial is not a lament that this election isn’t about student issues. With a semi-credible threat of another sovereignty referendum in the event of a majority government by the Parti Québécois (PQ), it is understandable that other issues have taken a backseat in this election cycle. What makes this shift particularly notable, however, is that the last provincial election in 2012 revolved around a “student issue”—tuition fee increases proposed by the previous Jean Charest Liberal government. Those increases—seemingly substituted with punishing cutbacks to the budget for higher education funding—are now history, as is any discussion of university education. The only university students that have appeared in this cycle have been, para-
Morgan Alexander, Laurie-Anne Benoit, Aidan Carroll, Matthew Eidenger, James Gutman, Lauren Konken, Hatty Liu, Chris Lutes, Jack Neal, Courtney Strouthos, Ruidi Zhu
Suite 110, 3480 McTavish Montreal, QC H3A 0E7 T: 514.398.6789 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 critical as the charter is in any fair evaluation of the PQ’s handiwork over the past year and a half, just as important is remembering the party’s reversal on university funding.” tuition increases, in terms of their effect on students. Course cuts and library closures have marked the past year at this university, and much of the blame lies with the provincial government. A useless summit on higher education and the enactment of indexed tuition increases too small to actually undo the budget cut damage did not help. On the issue that
brought them to power in the first place, empowering and improving university students, the PQ have come up far too short. One last student issue that has been under the radar is the PQ’s reduction in the tuition tax credit for students. The adjustment, which cuts the tax credit from 20 per cent to eight per cent, was actually supported by some student unions, and there is a public policy case to be made that tax credits are a highly inefficient means of assistance to most groups. However, the relative lack of coverage of the change only goes to underscore the low profile student issues have had this campaign, and the responsibility of voters to inform themselves when exercising their vote next week. A healthy dose of skepticism aside, there are real differences between the parties, and whatever choice is made next week will have real, tangible effects for students. Presuming eligibility, to abstain would be unfair, and to vote without informing one’s self would be irresponsible.
An open letter to the new student representatives
increases proposed by the Liberal Party were rescinded, the government followed that up with punishing cuts to university funding—felt especially hard at McGill—that were, at best, equivalent to if not worse than
Prativa Baral, Max Bledstein, Wyatt Fine-Gagné, Osama Haque, Eman Jeddy, Chelsey Ju, Paniz Khosroshahy, Alycia Noë, Kia Pouliot, Aaron Rose, Samiha Sharif, Julie Vanderperre, Elie Waitzer, and Natalie Wong
Shatner University Centre
doxically, out of province students, part of an attempt by elements in the PQ to revive the idea that nefarious outsiders are trying to usurp the electoral process. With all of that said, here are a clear set of issues that students should look to come election day. The first of these is the proposed Charter of Values, which would ban public sector employees from wearing large religious symbols, and has lingered as one of the biggest political stories in the province since it was first officially proposed last Fall. While the charter is a broad issue, its effects specifically on universities, such as restrictions on the ability of professors of certain faiths to gain employment, as well as the potential for increased stigmatization and discrimination against students of the Muslim, Sikh, and Jewish faiths, are of particular importance As critical as the charter is in any fair evaluation of the PQ’s handiwork over the past year and a half, just as important is remembering the party’s reversal on university funding. While the original tuition fee
Welcome to the fold—or should I say, welcome to student politics at McGill. Some of you may be new to this process, and some of you may be veterans; but either way, you’re now involved in the decision-making process within this university. Some of you have more power than others in that you have direct access to the administration, principal, and deans. Some of you have more indirect clout, with relationships to your respective department chairs, field coordinators, and support staff. No matter which level of student governance you find yourself in, you have some tie to the administration. Do not, for one second, take this link—or the potential for one—for granted. This is the key to student governance at all levels. As representatives—myself included as outgoing vice-president academic of the Political Science Students’ Asso-
ciation—we have a voice; and when we are united, we are powerful. Our input is heard. It’s no secret; many of you ran for your position to improve your resume. You might have also thought to yourself, wouldn’t it be great to have access to some serious money to plan killer events for your friends? You might be in it for nothing, but I beg you to reconsider, and realize that your position is one that can enact real change. I urge you to realize that your position is not meant for you. You are there for the people you represent, be it a small department or the entire student body. You are their voice. Some departments, faculties, and even SSMU itself are set aside from the administration they’re supposed to work alongside. Some are further removed from the students they represent. This is a two-way street that has been ripped apart by bitter politics and poor decision-making in the last two years, if not longer. Rebuilding the bridges between the student body and the administration should be your priority. This might sound vague and ambiguous, but consider it: you should be a known face to your direct superior. You should be a name on an email
your department chair knows; you should be able to show up at a key decision maker’s office and talk to them; you should also hold office hours or be otherwise approachable by students. As representatives, you are the bridge between two groups of people who believe they have two very different visions for this university. The administration believes in a top-down approach; student representatives, bottom-up. It is your job to help both sides realize that these aren’t mutually exclusive: we need both, and the dynamism that can arise from working in concert would prevent future gridlock and repeated gaffes as we’ve seen in the past term We as an institution can only move forward if SSMU reaches out to the faculty associations, and beyond that to the departments at the grassroots level, and vice versa. We all have our connections, no matter the level at which we function in student politics. Many of the poor decisions this year have been made because of a disconnect between the various levels of student governance. The faculty associations are out of touch with the needs and direction of their departments, as are the departments with the inner workings of SSMU decision-making.
Success in an educational facility such as McGill is universal; it applies to everyone and comes at no one’s expense. We can be successful if we stop viewing ourselves as separate bargaining parties engaging in zero-sum game negotiations. We all have a lot to give, we all have different resources, and together, we can represent a united front on issues such as course cuts, budget cuts and union negotiations if we remain engaged with the issues. The year has been long and difficult, particularly in recent weeks. It will not get easier. We all have important choices to make, no matter the level of student governance we work in, but if we make them in an informed united manner we will be able to move forward productively. This starts with the terms you are about to begin as student representatives on May 1st. Hit the ground running, stand united on all issues facing McGill and reach out to your counterparts. Throw out notions of a hierarchy in student politics, engage with the stakeholders, and use the varied levels of access we have in student representation to accomplish the real, much-needed change that McGill deserves.
opinion James Gutman and Matthew Eidinger
On March 21, 2014, students voted 53.6 per cent and 60.8 per cent, respectively, against both parts of the proposed SSMU building fee. Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) President Katie Larson, in a recent interview with the Tribune, condescendingly accused students of ignorance, saying students “did not do their part.” During last week’s SSMU Council, Larson continued to place the blame on students. “I shouldn’t have to explain to students why they should find something important,” Larson said. “It’s not just my fault, it’s not just the executive’s fault—it’s everybody’s fault.” The blame does, in fact, lie with Katie Larson and the SSMU executive, and not with the undergraduate student body. The former were the ones who did not do their part. Why should someone run to become a student politician? To represent students, advocate for them, and provide leadership. If the SSMU executives were truly fulfilling this role, they would not be chastising students for the student society’s imminent financial self-destruction. As former and current elected representatives of students in this university, we find the buck-passing of blame to students unacceptable. When you are the president of SSMU and responsible for representing and leading over 20, 000 undergraduates, the buck stops at your office, Katie Larson. We condemn you for your remarks towards students. Furthermore, the lease of the University Centre itself is shrouded in mystery. The SSMU executives made no attempt to explain it while it was being negotiated or after it had been negotiated. All that students were told was that it had been finalized after several years of negotiations. There was no mention of specifics. Most civil society organizations, such as labour unions, would set public demands during a negotiation, even if the negotiations were confidential. If the negotiating conditions themselves were unjust, they might even run a public campaign. People might disagree about tactics, but no one can deny the results that these methods would yield. Except SSMU, as the executive clearly thinks its members can’t handle the information. As a result of SSMU’s screw-up, there will either be massive budget cuts to essential services or an eviction from the University Centre building. This
SSMU showcases continued incompetence, contempt for students on building fee could mean life or death for SSMU. Shouldn’t they think that this is worth fighting for? The SSMU Council remains indecisive to the whole issue, preferring to merely present options at their last (March 27) meeting instead of taking action. Third, there was no effort made during the campaign period by SSMU to provide a strong voice for
“The blame does, in fact, lie with Katie Larson and the SSMU executive, and not with the undergraduate student body. The former were the ones who did not do their part.” the “Yes” vote. The SSMU executives have no right to blame students for not understanding the importance of this issue. As Larson says, “People clearly didn’t read the context of the question.” We ask, how are students supposed to understand the context of a question if their elected representatives didn’t bother to inform them of its importance? No doubt the vast majority of students do not want student services, especially ones such as Gerts and the Student-Run Cafe (SRC), to disappear or be cut back. Nevertheless, student leaders are entrusted with the duty of informing the student body of these issues in advance. There should have been more of an effort to disseminate information and push for a “Yes” vote. Fourth, it’s offensive that the SSMU executive expects students to simply vote “Yes” to everything posed during a referendum period just because they deem it to be important. Instead, demonstrate the importance of the issues and advo-
cate for the path that is deemed to be the most beneficial to all students. If SSMU is a democratic civil society organization then, like any democratic civil society organization, it is the leadership’s responsibility to explain what is going on. SSMU members pay the salaries of the SSMU executives; these executives therefore have a duty to inform us. In this case they did not fulfill that aspect of their mandate. It is our belief that the SSMU executive should first and foremost formally apologize for attempting to place the blame on students for the result of this referendum. Second, they should more clearly inform students of the importance of this issue as it continues to develop throughout the rest of the semester—and possibly longer. This brings us to our third point: the SSMU executives need to rectify this problem immediately. As students who use— and enjoy—the services provided by SSMU, we cannot imagine a year without them. What will happen to our beloved student bar, Gerts? Will the newly-opened Student-RunCafé close down within a year of its opening? What will happen to the children who spend their days in the SSMU Daycare? Will there be another referendum? Will SSMU proceed with the drastic cuts in costs that were talked about at last week’s council meetings? A decision must be made; the time for debate is over.
James Gutman is a U3 History student and former Arts senator, Matthew Eidinger is a U3 Political Science student and current president of the McGill Political Science Students Association. Their views are their own and do not represent those of their respective organizations.
Legal Information Clinic Clinique d’information juridique @ McGill
Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, April 8, at noon in the LICM office (Room 107, University Centre, 3480 McTavish) All members are invited to attend (all fee-paying McGill undergraduate and graduate students on the downtown campus, except those registered in the School of Continuing Studies, are members of LICM). For more information, email email@example.com. We hope to see you there!
Student living Student of the Week
by Natalie Wong
U3 Honours Investment Management
(Wendy Chen / McGill Tribune)
When Michaela Hirsh was in grade 10, her teacher told her she wasn’t cut out to pursue a career that involved math. Six years later, she’s in the math-heavy finance program in the Desautels Faculty of Management, with a job at J.P Morgan lined up for this summer. “When people tell me not to do something, it makes me want to do it,” Hirsh says. “So I said, ‘You know what, I’m going to do it anyway.’ In grade 12, something just shifted and I just started to get math [….] I found a passion for it.” Hirsh studies honours investment management, where she finds a passion for both the critical thinking and risk-laden aspects of finance. “In class, if you’re given a problem, you can solve it […] but in practical finance like investing, you never know what the right answer is until you invest in something and it either goes well or it doesn’t […] it’s exhilarating,” she says. “[But] when you dig into a company and you get to know everything about it, it’s not so much of a gamble anymore […] so I also like the analytical aspect of it.” Her interest in finance extends
to various executive positions on campus. Hirsh is vice-president sponsorship of the McGill Investment Club, a financial markets columnist for the Bull and Bear, and a participant in various case competitions. She also co-started a series of workshops that helps students around McGill learn the basics of networking, interviews, and analyzing stocks. Hirsh is particularly driven to increase respect for women in the male-dominated field of finance. “There are all of these hurdles that women face, and people don’t necessarily realize it,” she says. “I’ve been really trying to [encourage] women in finance—especially younger ones I’ve met in the faculty—to […] apply for the jobs they want and to never say, ‘I don’t want to apply because I don’t want to get rejected.’ It’s always better to go for things.” Hirsh recently spoke at the National Women in Business Conference and was awarded the 2013 HSBC Women in Business Leadership Award. Hirsh’s adventurous and outgoing spirit drives her to pursue and
experiment in many different outlets outside of business. For example, she was vice-president events for McGill’s Make-a-Wish foundation in her first year, is currently involved with the Commerce Administration Student Charity Organization (CASCO), and participates in intramural sports. As Hirsh looks forward to her up-and-coming future as a graduate of McGill, she notes her excitement but admits her fear of leaving the place she’s called home for the past four years. “I’ve been realizing that my friends at McGill mean the world to me, and I’m so afraid that once we leave this amazing environment it’s just not going to be the same,” Hirsh says. “I think that’s the hardest part—[leaving] the lifestyle [where] I’m able to get involved in such a diverse array of things.”
nominate a student of the week! Email us at studentliving@ mcgilltribune.com
McGill Tribune: If you could go back to any time in history, when would it be? Michaela Hirsh: One hundred per cent the dinosaur [era]. They are so cool. MT: Who would you like to shake hands with if you could go back in time? MH: Margaret Thatcher [….] She actually didn’t even want to run for prime minister; someone convinced her and said, “you are the most capable person for this” so she stepped up and did it. I think she’s pretty awesome […] I’d also like to talk to Frank Sinatra. MT: What’s your guilty pleasure? MH: Definitely binge watching Law and Order SVU. MT: What is your favourite sport to watch? MH: To watch, I’m a huge hockey fan. [My favourite team] is the Leafs […] it’s hard to love them sometimes, but it’s like a boyfriend—you go through ups and downs. MT: Who is your favourite musician at the moment? MH: I think Pitbull is just so funny, anything by Pitbull gets me going.
Restaurant Maïs takes tacos to the top Chefs Cody and MacNutt’s Latin-inspired restaurant is a hit with Mile End foodies Alycia Noë Staff Writer Ever since opening in December 2012, Maïs has been an instant hit as for foodies in Mile End. Their tacos are so delectable that they have amassed a cult-like following. William Cody and Gilbert MacNutt, two inventive guys from the Maritimes, are the chefs behind the counter. Customers sit in the small dining space overlooking the kitchen as the chefs prepare their modern, Latin-inspired dishes. “We’ve all worked in the industry for a while, so we know what works and what doesn’t,” MacNutt says. “We are cooking for cooks and people who really enjoy food.” Maïs creates delicious food and accommodates all diners. Most tacos are gluten-free, and the menu boasts a healthy range of vegetarian and vegan options. One standout is unquestionably the mushroom taco—a mix of sautéed and fresh mushrooms stuffed into a warmed tortilla and topped with jalapeño salad, cilantro, and an incredible house-made spicy crema (Mexican crème fraîche). I order their fish because—like true Maritimers—the chefs always
impress with their seafood. They certainly know how to make delicious fish tacos; the pan-seared Artic char taco showcases my most-loved ingredients: homemade guacamole with pickled cabbage and carrots. Another fish option is the imaginative charred squid taco topped with jalapeño salsa, pickled red onion, and cilantro. Don’t be misled; the chefs still love their red meat. Most tables are adorned with a bowl of chicharrones. These bite-size chunks of deep fried pork skin are the perfect combination of crunchiness and saltiness, and are the most gluttonous indulgence. The braised pork belly taco is another meatcentric dish topped with pickled black beans, cilantro salad, chili slices, and crema. The textural contrast between the fillings and the soft tortilla shell is tantalizing. The carnitas taco offers another delightful selection, filled with a generous helping of tender, confit pork, onions, coriander, and salsa verde. The owners take pride in the sustainable use of resources at their restaurant. All the restaurant’s furniture is made from recycled materials, like their tables and chairs, which are built from the wood of an old deck in Westmount. There is also an undeniable cre-
Maïs is known for their delicious fish tacos. (bouchepleine.com) ative vibe, as their staff is mostly made up of artists who have helped develop the decor. As MacNutt remarks, “The whole restaurant has been built by artisans.” One of the more remarkable aspects of the restaurant is their rooftop garden, which supplies the chefs with fresh produce throughout the year— currently chili peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, and herbs. MacNutt and Cody claim that their passion for local pro-
duce comes from their upbringing in the Maritimes. The chefs want diners to leave not only with a full belly but also with an excellent experience. “We’ve really stripped [the experience] down [to] where it is not pretentious,” MacNutt says. “We want people to have fun, and we want to make people happy.” Stop by at Maïs for a light and refreshing meal perfect for the warm
weather and to supply some heat to this never-ending winter. Before you prepare your outing however, make sure to bring cash because the restaurant does not accept credit cards. 5439 Saint-Laurent Tue. – Wed. 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Thu. – Sat. 5:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Closed on Sun. and Mon. 514-507-7740
Does Tinder have a shot at conquering the realm of social discovery, or is it just a passing fad?
Swipe right, swipe left. This isn’t Mr. Miyagi’s new mantra in the latest Karate Kid sequel, but if you’ve used the mobile app Tinder, it may resonate with you as a mantra of sorts. Perhaps you’ve opened up Tinder on your phone before, only to realize 10 minutes later that you’ve slipped into a hypnotic, meditative cycle of swiping that you hadn’t planned on doing at all—perhaps even wondering: “What was I doing here in the first place?” For all intents and purposes, Tinder is a social discovery app. The homepage of its website affirms this with their confident slogan: “Tinder is how people meet. It’s like real life, but better.” But once you move past the vagueness of an umbrella-term like “social discovery,” there is a more concrete reality that exists—one that the creators of Tinder don’t seem to acknowledge. “Tinder is a social discovery platform, not just a dating platform,” wrote Tinder Cofounder and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Justin Mateen in an email to the Tribune. “All we are doing is facilitating an introduction between two people— what comes out of that introduction is entirely up to you.” Honest as Mateen’s statement may be, it fails to address the remarkable shockwave that Tinder has sent through the world of dating and hook-ups since its launch in September 2012. Aside from all the dates and one-night stands the app has facilitated, the company is aware that at least 300 marriage proposals have been spawned from a Tinder match; that athletes at the Sochi games were using Tinder in the Olympic village to find desirable companions to spend their downtime with; or even that Sean Rad—one of Tinder’s other co-founders—is dating someone he was matched with by using his own app. The service that Mateen described as “an introduction between two people” actually does a lot more than simply introducing them: It gives them a hope—a fairly realistic one—that they’re talking to someone who finds them attractive.
The Tinder basics
Tinder facilitates its interactions with a double opt-in system that is tailored to appearance-based validation. The only people you can talk to through the app are those who have approved your profile and vice-versa. It’s a process that—aside from minimal information about someone that is hidden when their profile first appears—makes a small set of photos the sole criteria for judgment. A swipe to the right of someone’s profile on the touch screen counts as a vote of approval, and a swipe to the left says ‘No, thanks.’ Users don’t rate each other at the same time, meaning that the fear of ‘face-to-face’ rejection is eliminated—a big part of what makes Tinder fun and stress-free to many users. If both have swiped each other right, Tinder informs them that they’ve matched and can begin communicating through the app. We’re faced with ‘yes or no’ questions all the time in our everyday lives, often trivial ones like “Are you watching the Habs game tonight?” or “Do you want fries with that?” On Tinder, that question becomes, “Based on some very limited information and a few photos, is this someone I’d like to talk to?” As of January 2013, Tinder had enabled over one million matches, which by December, had ballooned to 500 million. Now, the company claims to have recently crossed the billionmatch threshold, continuing an exponential cycle of growth that shows no immediate signs of slowing down. “Once Tinder’s user base started to take off, we had major scalability issues,” wrote Mateen. “In fact, we had to [restructure] the entire back-end so we could handle the growth.”
Tinder’s launch actually took place at the University of Southern California (USC), a decision that Mateen explained was in line with the marketing strategy of the app. “We knew that if college students— who already live in a socially-charged environment—find value in the product, that everyone else would as well,” wrote Mateen. “We also knew that it would be easier to create value in a tight network where people have many friends and interests in common [….] Today we have a huge number of users in all age categories including the 13 to 17-year-old demographic.” Although getting college students to buy into a form of technology-based dating has traditionally been very difficult, U2 Management student and Tinder user Thomas Brag pointed out that Tinder wasn’t marketing itself as a dating app. “I think the fact that they didn’t really target themselves as a dating app might’ve been what caused [the app] to get [interest from] for the younger crowd,” Brag said. “I’m guessing that the way [Tinder] started it might’ve been what made dating online go from being un-cool to cool.” In this ironic fashion, Tinder has broken new ground without specifically trying to do so. Without any guidance, college students—and other demographics—have implicitly harnessed the potential of Tinder as a means of improving romantic prospects in a simple, straightforward way. “I see it as a hook-up app—that’s what I describe it as,” said Brag. “Personally, I don’t take it very seriously and I feel like [from] most people, when you ask them ‘Do you use Tinder?’ you get a laugh or something—it’s not really something serious.” In fact, because of the high volume of profiles that a user can scan through and judge at once, the experience of using Tinder is often equated to playing a game. “They’ve kind of ‘game-ified’ it,” explained Brag. “I think [because] you have a list of your matches, people kind of see it as your score or something [….] That makes it implicitly gameified—you want to have as many matches as possible.”
Can you judge an app by its cover?
While some may be lured by the prospect of matching with masses of people that have already validated their profile, others, like U1 Arts student and previous Tinder user Ariel Lieberman, are turned off by the app’s methods. “The first thing you see about the person is their picture,” said Lieberman. “You don’t see their phrase or anything else about them [right away]; you judge them solely based on how they look, which, unless you’re looking for models or something, doesn’t really tell you anything.” Mateen countered the criticisms of the Tinder swiping process’ superficiality. “Tinder is honest and emulates human interaction,” he vouched. “For instance, when you walk into a coffee shop, the first thing you notice about [people] is their appearance—you’re either drawn to them or you’re not.” Mateen went on to explain that even though the initial contact between two people prioritizes looks, it needs to be quickly fuelled by more than that in order to succeed. “Once you engage in conversation, you look for commonalities such as mutual friends and common interests which help establish trust between two people,” Mateen wrote. “I suppose anyone who would consider Tinder superficial is really calling humans in general superficial.” If we are to take Tinder for the social discovery app as the company says it is, then it shows that Tinder is factoring appearance quite heavily into the formation of relationships that may turn out to be purely platonic. When a user’s purpose on Tinder has nothing to do with finding a romantic partner, Tinder’s minimalist interface presumably offers much less value than other online methods of social discovery would provide. Jui Ramaprasad, an associate professor of information systems in the Faculty of Management, not only graduated from the same USC campus Tinder was born at, but has also conducted extensive research in the field of online dating. She commented that Tinder’s looks-based validation doesn’t work quite the same way in a platonic
context. “If I say to somebody, ’Let’s go play tennis tomorrow’ and they say ’No,’ it’s not going to break my heart,” said Ramaprasad. “I don’t think you see as much inhibition in those kinds of things [platonically]. Sure, when you live in a new city you have to take advantage of meeting new people [through things like Tinder]. But there are many platforms out there that do that [which] have been very successful.” Currently, the only feature on the app that gives the user any autonomy beyond the basic swiping and chatting is an option to make lists of various people that they’ve matched with, the idea being that matches can be compartmentalized into groups based on what they represent (i.e. joggers, people living in the Plateau, etc.). But on several occasions, the founders have alluded to future changes they plan to introduce to the basic Tinder interface that will make it more conducive to meeting people for specific reasons, giving users more of an incentive to turn to Tinder for something like the tennis match mentioned by Ramaprasad.
A new direction for Tinder?
For the past three years, Brag has been co-developing an unfinished social discovery website called Passion Snack, which aims to connect people in Montreal based on common interests. He feels that Tinder might have a lot to gain by proactively encouraging its users to use the app for interest-based purposes in a similar fashion. “I think that could be a good way to grow,” said Brag. “Because I feel like a lot of people who use it just want to mess around with dating and maybe get tired of it after a few weeks. So maybe that could help it grow in the future and not become a fad, because I think that it’s in risk of having that happen.” He was also quick to provide ideas for how to possibly implement that change. “The thing right now that’s cool is that it’s very simple to use,” explained Brag. “So if they want to add things like being able to find sports partners or start a band, they should make sure that it stays simple and maybe categorize these
different interfaces.” Lieberman said that Tinder could only succeed in this respect if it added something more substantial than photos to the swiping process. “If you wanted to use it for [interestbased] purposes, you should be able to register as a journalist, or an artist, or a musician,” said Lieberman. “If you’re a musician, you could put up songs, and people could swipe through your songs; if you’re a journalist, people could swipe through your articles.” Even though Tinder has maintained its idealistic stance of being a platform for any type of introduction, Ramaprasad noted that it’s more difficult to stick to that mandate as a company tries to grow, bringing up the example of Friendster, a social networking and discovery website that launched in 2002 before going offline and eventually re-launching in 2011 with more of a social gaming angle. “Friendster tried to mix online dating with social networks,” said Ramaprasad. “That was their goal, but nobody knew it; they just thought they were a social network. Maybe it’s a bit different today, but I think that trying to have multiple identities gets a little complicated.” She also noted that Tinder needs to think seriously about how it will generate a profit before it makes any major changes. “[The creators] need to figure out how to monetize themselves […] based on the dating because that’s where they have the biggest market,” Ramaprasad said. Maybe it is in Tinder’s best interests to capitalize on what users have gravitated most toward early on and corner the dating or hook-up niche, or maybe it should continue to ride the wave and experiment. In any event, they have already conquered one of an app developer’s main challenges. “One of the biggest issues for most [online] social platforms is the chicken and the egg problem,” explained Brag. “To get users, you need users [….] The biggest problem is how to start that viral loop that causes it to spread.” Tinder solved that problem a long time ago with its simplicity and mass appeal, bulldozing through the difficult college demographic. The users are there, but the purpose isn’t. Up until now, people have been able to make what they want out of Tinder; to play with it, use it strategically, or perhaps just to feel validated by the number of matches they have. There’s no way of knowing whether Tinder’s flame will burn out like other fads before it, or if it will end up being to social discovery what Facebook is to social networking—a platform that has been accepted by pretty much everyone with internet access. It’s a long shot, but some people forget that Tinder is essentially selling the game that Mark Zuckerberg unveiled from his Harvard dorm room. “That’s what [Facebook] was,” said Brag. “It was a way for you to rate how people look, and Tinder is pretty similar to that concept.” It certainly is, except it also gives you the assurance of being validated in return before you even talk to someone; and evidently, that can go a long way.
11 | FEATURES
Bringing Tinder to campus
How will the Charter of Values affect you and the people you know?
Sikh women are glorified with equal privileges [to] men. As a member of the Khalsa, [a] collective body of baptized Sikhs, I am blessed with five articles of faith, and my turban is one of them. Every day when I wear this gift of our Guru, it is like a royal crown that both reminds me of how I should conduct myself and allows me to stand out as a Sikh. My turban is not a mere piece of cloth, it is an inseparable part of my physical and spiritual self. If the state-mandated discrimination [is] enacted through the proposed Charter of Values, I will have no option other than to terminate my PhD in Rehabilitation Science at McGill University and to leave Quebec.
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Julian Paparella U3 Biology
The Charter of Values affects me and those around me by restricting one of the most fundamental elements of our identity: our faith in God and our ability to express it in our daily lives. It turns something beautiful that enriches life and culture into something untrustworthy that antagonizes and raises suspicion. It prioritizes the interests of a political agenda over the interests of individual conscience. Government is meant to safeguard and uphold the rights of its citizens, not limit them for the sake of imposing a collective ideology.
Matthew Miller U2 Jewish Studies
Gurdeepak Singh U3 Engineering
It’s sad to see [the] [Parti Québécois (PQ) trying to fulfill their political agenda by attempting to restrict the minorities who stand up for their unique and different identities in the first place. I’m glad to see so many people already speaking up for freedom of expression of their fellow citizens. Why should we let our cultural or religious differences act as barriers to celebrating diversity and equality in our democratic society if we all share the basic values of humanity? Ironically, it seems that opposing the Charter of Values is accomplishing what [the] PQ says the charter would accomplish. Go figure!
Sukhmeet Singh Sachal U1 Anatomy and Cell Biology
One of the reasons I moved to Montreal was because McGill has the highest rate of international students. Diversity is something I have tried to promote since I moved to Canada in 2002. Heck, I even gave a TEDx talk on diversity. This charter will diminish all that Montreal and Quebec has to offer, which is a place to explore and understand new cultures and backgrounds. Personally, the charter will be going against my religious views of not being allowed to wear a turban. If this charter does become law, I will have to move back to Vancouver.
Rabeea Siddique Masters Counselling Psychology
I moved here from Toronto in August, although my family lived here [for] 15 years. My mother used to reminisce about Montreal as being the friendliest place she’s ever lived in, but I can’t say I felt that when I moved in. I think the charter talk has really had an impact on changing the social climate of Quebec and Montreal for the worse, and this has been really salient to me over the last few months, as well as to the friends I’ve made here, both Montrealers and not. It also completely upended my plans of one day permanently moving back and working here.
Mariam Hachem U2 Chemical Engineering
The charter limits my options to work in Montreal (in Quebec, to be general) so that I can’t work in positions in the public sector as long as I’m veiled. I don’t plan on changing my faith or removing my veil; and so, the charter limits my ability to live here after I graduate. Personally, I believe that every state has the right to impose whatever restrictions it should see fit, in terms of secularity, etc., and as an individual, I have the power and choice to work around these restrictions. However, at the same time, I hold the following view: how does my veil, turban, yamaka, cross, shorts, skirt, or print t-shirt infringe upon the rights or limit the freedom of other individuals in our community? Montreal is renowned for its variety in culture, and physical expression of faith is a major signifier. If we take that out of the equation, the government is effectively limiting my ability to reside here for pointless reasons.
I, as well as many of my Jewish brethren, [am] deeply concerned about this proposed legislation. This concern extends beyond my own religious community and how it will be affected, but also extends to those in other faith communities, since their religious freedom is also being restricted. We must stand up and say “no” to such prejudiced and unreasonable legislation.
Navaldeep Kaur PhD Rehabilitation Science
13 | FEATURES
With the provincial elections coming up on Apr. 7, a major issue on many people's minds is the Quebec Charter of Values. McGillography approached several members of the McGill community to talk about their views on the charter.
Benjamin Butz-Weidner U1 Political Science
As a foreign student, and as someone who cannot fully participate in the political decision-making of Quebec, I cannot say that the Charter of Values will truly affect me. However, I do think that the Charter is wrong; rather than tucking away religious difference in the “cause” for equality, I think religious diversity should be promoted. As a country of immigrants, it is startlingly xenophobic to note that such legislature could take place here. This is going to polarize people into camps, more so than has previously occurred. The only way to achieve true tolerance and diversity is to embrace the differences that make people culturally and religiously unique and different. Sweeping religion under the carpet is just going to produce some animosity-laden dust bunnies that will require more difficult cleaning in the future.
Anastasiya Voloshyn U1 Science
[The Charter of Values] affects many of my friends—especially my Muslim friends. I think that the charter has some good points, such as promoting [secularism] in the public institutions, but I think that it’s way too rigid in doing so. People should not be prevented from wearing a religious sign—that is part of who they are.
Anna Savittieri U2 Political Science
The charter conflates my identity as an atheist and one who supports the public good by demonizing the markedly religious as those against secular values of fairness and reason. The charter wrongly differentiates between religion and state secularism, creating an ‘Us’ and [a] ‘Them’. As long as this legislation persecutes minorities through methods of division, majorities will remain unaffected and ignorant to the suffering of their fellow citizens.
arts & entertainment POP Rhetoric
It’s hard to explain why you do it. Why, at some point during a concert, you will feel the need to pull out your phone—with its lackluster picture and video-taking ability—and snap a picture or a 30-second video that doesn’t do the artist any justice whatsoever. Sure, part of it is some notion of preserving the moment for nostalgia’s sake, but the more likely reality is that you’re just going to upload it onto whatever form of social media you partake in, hoping to get a few likes. Live music is a uniquely enriching experience, but when half the people at a show are busy coming up with a sweet caption to accompany their next Instagram upload, a lot of its value gets derailed. Technological advancements such as mp3 files and YouTube have revolutionized the ways in which the average person listens to music. There is so much access to free music through the internet that the process of physically going to the store and buying a CD has become the exception, not the norm. Amid the rapid changes brought on by technology, concerts have been perceived as being safe from going obsolete. There remains nothing quite like immersing yourself completely in live music and soaking up the intimate experience of a concert—it’s something that technology can’t replace. Although concerts remain as popular as ever, they are being compromised
by the very thing from which they seemed to be immune, and the all-engrossing experience they offer is getting harder and harder to achieve. I challenge you to think of one concert you’ve been to recently at which you were not bombarded by a plethora of smart-phones throughout the performance. Now I’m not saying that I’m 100 per cent guiltfree on this, but I do think there is a way to go about it with a little bit of decorum. Here’s how not to do it. I was recently at Kodaline’s show at the Corona Theatre, and I ended up standing behind a girl who watched the entire two hour show through the three inch screen of her iPhone. Aside from the fact that she kept her arm up for the entire time, I was astounded that she made the conscious decision to alienate herself from the musicians onstage for the whole performance. Not only did she—and everyone behind her—have a worse visual experience, but when you place a barrier between yourself and the stage, it’s pretty damn hard to connect. It’s not just audience members who get irked by an obnoxious use of cell phones at shows—musicians have been speaking up about it, too. While on tour last year, bands like The Lumineers and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s both made announcements during their shows in response to their plugged-in audiences. In one instance, Lumineers front man Wesley Schultz stopped mid-“Ho Hey”
Concerts are beginning to look like press conferences. (Ruidi Zhu / McGill Tribune) to ask fans to quit filming the concert on their phones—a bit of an abrasive tactic, in my opinion. The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s on the other hand, posted a sign that read: “PLEASE DO NOT WATCH THE SHOW THROUGH A SCREEN ON YOUR SMART DEVICE/CAMERA. PUT THAT S--- AWAY as a courtesy to the person behind you and to Nick, Karen and Brian. MUCH LOVE AND
MANY THANKS! YEAH YEAH YEAHS.” The message was then reiterated when vocalist Karen O gave a photo-op during one song and then asked that phones get put away. I think that’s a happy medium. There’s no doubt that a rapt audience vastly improves any performance. The more you keep your phone out of sight, the more freedom you have to
truly connect with the music in whatever way is meaningful to you. Putting your phone away will enhance the experience of everyone around you. As is the case with any human interaction, the best ones occur when you are fully engaged, and live music is no exception. Allow yourself to disconnect from your phone, and by extension, fully connect with the moment.
Eastern premises serve Wes Anderson well in The Grand Budapest Hotel Retrospective story of a fictional country’s seasoned hotel is an Anderson classic
Chris Lutes Contributor The central characters in Wes Anderson’s films have always had a deep and inextricable connection to the places they love: Max Fischer had Rushmore; Royal Tenenbaum had the house on Archer Avenue; Steve Zissou had his ship, the Belafonte. Despite their usually roguish natures, these connections hint at some kind of deep sadness and longing beneath their charismatic façades. For them, these places are more than houses and boats and boarding schools—they represent something friendly and welcoming. They know that the world can be a cruel, cruel place and all they can really ask for from life is somewhere to call home— a sanctuary. For M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) of Anderson’s remarkable new film, the titular location of The Grand Budapest Hotel is just that. Largely set in the fictional Eastern European country of Zubrowka, the film uses four distinct timelines, each filmed in a different aspect ratio and colour palate precisely layered together. The first takes place in present
Multiple timelines keep this hotel booked up. (garite.files.wordpress.com)
day, and features a young girl walking through a garden to reach the tomb of an accomplished writer. Next is a flashback, in which the the writer talks directly to the audience about a time in the past when he visited the hotel. The third follows him in the 1960s, a young man at the time, through the hotel—a fading relic of a once vibrant and glorious past. There, he meets owner Zero Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham), who tells him of the hotel’s history and the hyper-competent concierge, Gustave, who is its main attraction. The final and longest timeline picks up in 1932
and follows Gustave and Zero, now an inexperienced lobby boy, as Gustave inherits a priceless renaissance-era painting after an elderly socialite with whom he was sleeping is murdered under mysterious circumstances. What follows is a deft blend of genres— caper, murder mystery, prison break, and screwball comedy being the most recognizable. At the centre of the story is M. Gustave, a typical Andersonian hero. He’s witty, gregarious, and empathetic. He is also, for lack of a better word, quirky: he recites romantic poetry to
his employees, wears a liberal amount of perfume, and has a near god-like ability to anticipate the needs of his guests. What sets him apart from other Anderson characters, however, is his edge: he drinks, gets into fights, and relishes in the use of well-delivered profanity. In turn, this makes his sympathetic qualities stand out much more. He, above all else, understands that the unkindness of people comes from fear or institutional obligation rather than hatred. He is portrayed brilliantly by Fiennes, who attaches a human sadness to this incredibly touching role, while seeming to have the most fun of his career. Filling out the rest of the cast is the usual cavalcade of Anderson actors—Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, and Owen Wilson all get minor roles—and seemingly every established character actor alive, including Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Tilda Swinton—in spectacular old-age makeup—and Tom Wilkinson to name just a few. Deserving special attention is newcomer Tony Revolori as Zero. He brings a nervous energy to the film that works as a counterpoint to Gus-
tave’s ever-composed nature. The film also features some of Anderson’s most experimental camera-work. He moves the camera beyond his usual whip-pans and tracking shots to create some of the most dazzling, empathetic filmmaking I’ve seen in recent memory. One particular standout shot features Zero’s love interest, Agatha, looking directly at the camera with swirling lights around her head, representing the dizzying high of young love. He also uses his common techniques to great effect: every shot is beautifully and meticulously composed, and the script supplies a steady stream of locations for him to showcase his talent – a museum, a mansion, a prison, and especially, the hotel—all rendered in a high level of minute detail and shot in a distinct cinematographic style. The Grand Budapest Hotel is a fun romp with a complex, emotional centre and is not to be missed. The Grand Budapest Hotel is running at Cinema du Parc (3575 Parc) between 1-9 p.m. until April 3. Student tickets are $8.50.
Curiosity delivers. |
arts & entertainment
| Tuesday, April 1, 2014
for Nuit Blanche k c a t t a t r a n a s t SSMU building ge at McGill’s most diverse annual art even k r o w r i e t ff th
wo Musicians, wr iters, actors and visual artists sho
here aren’t many places—the Tribune’s Arts & Entertainment section being excepted—where one can find visual art, performance art, interactive art, and live music all together at McGill. In order to reconcile the lack of a formal fine arts program at the school, each year the Arts Undergraduate Society’s (AUS) Fine Arts Council hosts Nuit Blanche, an events showcase featuring different student artists and performers from the McGill community. This year’s theme was Tableau Vivant: “a silent and motionless group of people arranged to represent a scene or incident.” I began my night in Room 108 of Shatner—the building where Nuit Blanche took place—and immediately noticed Roland Selinger’s interactive art presentation. A screen and projector were set up, allowing artists to free form or just trace along with the images that were displayed. from. This was a fun concept that allowed for visitors to immediately immerse themselves in the artistic mood that dominated the night. The room featured a handful of photographs by Andrew Kittredge and Lucy Ava Liu; the latter’s work caught my eye for its club-pink tint that added an otherworldly effect to a simple photo of a girl standing on the side of the road. Working upwards through the build-
ing, the next stop was the Madeline Parent Room, which housed Fridge Door Gallery’s (FDG) winter vernissage. There were photographs, paintings, drawings, collages, and a projector running a series of pieces against the main wall—not to mention complimentary wine and cheese. FDG’s showing felt like a true art exhibition and was particularly interesting because of the disjointed harmony of all the pieces displayed. While I appreciated the more refined aspect of the vernissage, the setup as a whole seemed oddly removed from the rest of the event, almost as if it had been designed as its own event, only happening to coincide with Nuit Blanche’s exhibition. Next door to the vernissage was a participatory art exhibit, Liu’s second display of the night. The concept was simple: put two strangers in a room and have them act out a pose for the camera. I decided to participate; I went into the empty room where Liu and another photographer waited and was instructed to chat with my partner while they chose the photo we would be replicating. Though slightly awkward, it was still a fun experience, and afterwards, I spoke with Liu about her inspiration for the project. “You saw that viral first kiss video that was going around?” asked Liu. “What
By Morgan Alexander I didn’t like about it was that it seemed so staged, you could tell each montage was edited to make that element of closeness. I wanted something that was a more real representation of two strangers put into an intimate setting.” Liu’s approach was to have strangers recreate intimate photos, such as the ones famously taken of David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor. Even though the poses were staged, they still captured the real performance element of the photo subjects—as long as the subjects didn’t treat it like a joke. “People take it seriously,” Liu said. “Of course, some people less so than others, and it depends on who the people are and what picture they’re recreating. It’s interesting though, I’ve seen a lot of different reactions.” There was also a lot of action going on upstairs in the ballroom. I listened as Montreal’s Blank Bullets gave an acoustic performance of songs from their latest EP while simultaneously looking at the works by artists from McGill’s Market Cooperative, an organization which was created to help support local artists from the Montreal area—including designers, jewellerymakers, painters, and bakers. Nuit Blanche offered a fantastic display of McGill artists working in multiple
mediums, and this variety ensured everyone found something they liked. However, Nuit Blanche would have benefited from consolidating the works into fewer rooms. For instance, having more of the visual art displayed in the back of the ballroom where the live music was playing would have allowed for a more inclusive feel, as it seemed that while many styles of art were featured, they were categorized and separated—thus causing an overall fragmented feeling. It was also frustrating that not all of the artists were clearly identified. I find one of the best parts of an exhibition is being able to easily identify and meet the person who painted the portrait that immediately caught your eye. Despite these minor shortcomings, I can’t deny that just being at the event seemed to be inspiring people to let a little more creativity into their lives. I noticed a few seated people doodling into journals, others were mesmerized by some of the projections in the Madeline Parent Room. When I ended my night in the SSMU lounge watching McGill Improv, I got to see friends and strangers laughing together. Ultimately, it’s always a pleasure to view artwork; and among the rooms full of musicians, craftsmen, painters, poets, photographers, and designers, you were bound to see something you loved.
Photos by Laurie-Anne Benoit, McGill Tribune
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 |
arts & entertainment
ALBUM REVIEWS DEEP CUTS
Tokyo Police Club - Forcefield
Compiled by Max Berger April Come She Will Artist: Simon & Garfunkel Album: Sounds of Silence Released: January 17, 1966
The light flurry of fingerpicked guitar that opens this track is a sonic representation of the feeling that comes over you when you realize for the first time that winter is truly over. Although the lyrics are guiding you through the story of a love that blooms in spring and dies in the fall, it all starts with the soothing words “April, come she will/ When streams are ripe and swelled with rain.” The whole song features some of the most beautiful, elemental language in the S&G catalogue.
April Fools Artist: Rufus Wainwright Album: Rufus Wainwright Released: May 19, 1998
You might not guess from Wainwright’s free-flowing alt-pop sound that he once studied classical composition at McGill, but that’s what he was doing before he left behind the constricting academic life to pursue a professional music career. Singing about a failed relationship that started going downhill after Valentine’s Day and came to a halt on April 1, Wainwright deftly strings together his verses with seemingly effortless phrasing and pinpoint tonal precision, while the chorus is catchy enough to stay stuck in your head until Victoria Day.
April Artist: Imaginary Future Album: Fire Escape Released: May 14, 2013
It’s a simple track that expertly embraces and makes the most out of a more subdued sound. The decision to slightly mute the Lumineers-esque drum kick that plays throughout the song allows listeners to take in the lingering resonance of fingers sliding across the frets of a guitar. “April” speaks to the hope for renewal that has become associated the month with lyrics like the chorus’ closing words, “April take me from your heart and cut me clean.”
April’s Song Artist: Real Estate Album: Atlas Released: March 3, 2014
A lot has to go right for a four-minute instrumental track to succeed when it’s placed in the middle of an album, but “April’s Song” is a perfect interlude for the shimmering sounds of Real Estate’s most recent release. The track unfolds with cheerful rhythm guitars and clean drum beats providing a steady backdrop as a psychedelic-toned lead guitar fills in for the absent vocals. It makes for an upbeat final product that still manages to have a calming effect; April’s a lucky girl to have this song written for her.
Mom & POP
These indie rockers from Newmarket, Ontario have had some time to craft their indie-punk sound and style since their first full-length album, Elephant Shell, was released in 2008. It’s for this reason that it comes as a surprise to hear that on latest release Forcefield, Tokyo Police Club go lighter on the crunchy riffs and punchy pop verses that characterized Champ (2010). Forcefield has a clean and chorus-focused sound that puts emphasis on Graham Wright’s keyboard playing and Josh Hook’s driving, punk-inspired guitar. On Forcefield, Tokyo Police Club has given their music a pop-oriented feel that tends to play it safe. Engineered by Doug Boehm, who has worked with Miley Cyrus and Fall Out Boy, songs like “Hot Tonight” and “Miserable” work with a steady bass line that builds into bright choruses that don’t take chances musically or lyrically, but
Songs to make the cruellest month go by a little more easily
karmin - pulses
| Curiosity delivers.
provide an entertaining tune with simple yet memorable lyrics. Though this release feels a lot like an attempt to appeal to a wider pop audience, Tokyo Police Club’s musicianship and production quality are evident. Songs like “Tunnel Vision” and “Argentina (Parts I, II, III)” showcase smooth instrumentation and production that allows for a crisp and defined sound. Overall, Tokyo Police Club delivered an entertaining album that strays from the sound created by the band on their previous releases. With high production value, catchy lyrics, and some stellar moments on the keyboard, Forcefield marks a departure from more grungy pop-punk roots towards a sound engineered to be in the Top 40, and subsequently, a more polished pop sound that isn’t all that exciting. — Aidan Carroll
EPIC After rising to global fame through their YouTube channel, the band Karmin— made up of couple Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan—was signed to record label Epic, released a string of EPs and, finally, debuted their first full-length LP, Pulses. Characterized by a unique image, Heidemann’s seemingly unparalleled rapping style, and Noonan’s solid production, the pair seemed destined for greatness having finally ‘made it’—but Pulses suggests that they still have quite a way to go. In a whirlwind of songs that is part Nicki Minaj-tailored lyrical flow, part Katy Perryesque overproduction, and one hundred per cent electronic, Pulses takes listeners on a journey of tireless rapping and intermittent piano ballads. Album single “Acapella” is an electronic-heavy number with odd backing vocals, autotune work, and unenthused lyrics like, “Once upon a time, I met the perfect guy; he had that Colgate smile, he had that suit and tie.” “Night Like This” sees Karmin trying to impersonate One Direction’s musical style with lyrics about “Rocking your body to the beat like this,” and then there’s “Pulses,” a synth-heavy song that sees Karmin comparing a heartbeat and pulse with
their undying love for each other—hardly an original theme. It isn’t until “Neon Love” that Heidemann’s vocal capability becomes apparent—which is a shame, considering she’s clearly refined her talent. But maybe that’s the problem; in taming their sound and production, they’ve forgotten the originality that made Karmin notable in the first place. Noonan sings on “Pulses” that he’s going to “Make sure that you’re alive,” however, listening to this record will do the opposite; Pulses got Karmin’s large fan base buzzing because of the band’s quirkiness and the mutual appreciation that the band and its fans have for each other, yet on the album, their uniqueness fails to shine through. This album is a little too much of everything—too electronic; too produced; too keen to sound mainstream, and therefore, too plain. On “Neon Love” we hear them sing that “This neon love is destined to die,” and I fear that based on this effort, the Karmin brand might suffer the same fate.
— Jack Neal
The Tribune is currently accepting applications for SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY EDITOR & DESIGN EDITOR until Tuesday, April 15 at 5 p.m. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details
Science & technology
With summer ahead, it’s the perfect time to start planning your applications to graduate school in science and engineering. Whether or not you’ve decided that you’re ready to apply, read on to learn more about what the application process entails and what you can do to improve your chances of getting in.
Before applying Seek out research experience: The number one thing you can do to show grad schools that you are ready to undertake a graduate program is to get some research experience. While there are different types of graduate programs, most of them are researchbased with just a few required courses. Having previous experience demonstrates that you are capable of doing research and that you know what it entails. It’s also the best way of finding out whether or not you will actually like graduate school. If you don’t have any research experience yet, start now! Ask professors if they need volunteers in their labs, find a job as a research assistant this summer, or do a semester-long research project to fulfill requirements for your major. If you have the option to apply to an honours program, this is also an excellent opportunity to spend a year working in the lab. In any case, having some experience is a must if you want your graduate school application to be successful.
Decide where to apply: While undergrad programs are relatively broad, graduate programs are more specialized, and the research that you undertake will be extremely specific. For this reason, you should begin your search by deciding what research topics you are interested in and then look for schools that have professors doing research on those topics. Instead of trudging through a maze of university websites, ask professors and graduate students what the best institutions and programs are for your field. Once you’ve decided on several programs to apply for, write down all the deadlines and all the requirements for each school. Do this early in May so that you won’t be caught by surprise by application deadlines that can fall as early as September. Find a supervisor: A supervisor is the head of a lab or research group who mentors graduate students throughout their degree. Some programs will require you to find a supervisor before you are accepted, while others will only ask you to list supervisors that you would be interested in working with. Finding a supervisor you work well with is important because you will be working with them for several years depending on the length of your degree, and their research interests will dictate the type of work you end up doing. The best way to find a supervisor is to ask for recommendations from professors you already know, and then to read several of their most recent papers. If you can see yourself working on projects similar to those
my application checklist Research programs and write down application deadlines Contact potential supervisors Apply for funding Register for the gre Ask supervisors or professors for reference letters Order transcripts from minerva Update your cv with relevant researach experience Write your personal statement Submit your application
already published, then it’s a sign that you may enjoy research in the lab. If there is more than one professor that you are interested in working with at a university, don’t be afraid to suggest a co-supervision. This type of collaboration can result in really unique research projects, and provide the opportunity to work on a close basis with multiple researchers. Although having a great supervisor is important, it’s not the only thing that will determine whether or not you will enjoy your graduate student experience. You will be spending most of your time in the lab or students’ office, so try to meet other students in the program and get a feel for the environment before you make your final decision. Apply for funding: The best part about pursuing a graduate degree in the natural sciences, health, or engineering is that you can often receive funding to support you financially as you complete your studies. Funding can come from internal or external sources. Internal sources of funding are your program and your supervisor, who may pay you an annual stipend in addition to covering or subsidizing the cost of tuition. External sources of funding include scholarships, fellowships, and grants, which must be applied for separately from graduate applications. While it may sound easier to rely on finding a program that guarantees internal funding to all of its students, it is always better to obtain your own, external funding. Doing so makes you extremely attractive to application reviewers because it saves them money, it makes it easier to get more funding later, and it shows that you are capable of writing a successful research grant. Deadlines for external funding are often much earlier than deadlines for graduate schools (September to October), so make sure you plan early and add these dates to your master list. Funding applications usually ask for a one-page research proposal, copies of your transcript, and a short description of your research experience. If you haven’t decided on what grad programs to apply for yet, apply with your undergraduate research supervisor or professor. If your application is successful, you can always transfer the money to your new project. Well-known funding agencies in Canada are the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research
Council (NSERC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
Completing the application
Although graduate programs will differ in their individual application requirements, nearly all programs will require the following basic components. Transcripts: Most schools require an official transcript sent directly from the registrar’s office, so order these from Minerva early and make sure that they are received. You don’t want your application to be rejected because your transcript was late or never arrived. GRE and subject GRE: The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized test used by graduate schools to compare students from different universities on a normalized scale. This is the grad school equivalent of the MCAT or LSAT. Most programs only require the general GRE, which tests students on quantitative reasoning (math), verbal reasoning (vocabulary and passage understanding) and analytical writing (essay writing). However, some programs may also ask for the subject GRE, such as the Physics, Psychology, or Biology GRE. A test centre in Montreal offers the general GRE twice a month, but subject tests are only offered once in September. In both cases, it’s best to register early because test dates will sell out. The best way to prepare for the GRE is not necessarily to learn the material, but to learn how to take the test. The same types of questions will come up very often on the GRE, so if you learn how to do those questions, you will be more at ease on test day. Workbooks or preparatory courses are highly recommended to help you prepare. Curriculum Vitae: Adapt your CV to highlight your research experience. Separate “Research Experience” from “Work Experience” and put research at the top. Include any information that would show your interest in research like conferences you have attended, presentations you have given, and publications you may have. Don’t forget to list any funding or awards you have received.
Letters of recommendation: Graduate schools usually require two or three letters of recommendation. The best people to ask for a reference are those who are familiar with your capabilities as a researcher, namely previous supervisors. Make sure that you ask for letters at least a month in advance, and don’t hesitate to send a reminder email when the deadline is two weeks away. Out of Canadian students who plan to continue their education within five years of graduation...
...plan on attending grad school. The percent of graduates intent on professional programs is... ...want to take further undergraduate studies. Statistics from the Canadian University Survey Consortium
Personal statement: The personal statement, also called the statement of purpose, is the most important part of your application. This is where you can demonstrate to reviewers that you weren’t just entering data that summer you worked in a lab. The personal statement asks you to describe your background, research experience, and your reason for applying to graduate school in one to two pages. Focus on your research experience and elaborate on specific things that you did to move a research project forward. Link this experience and your future goals to your background in order to create a cohesive statement. Finally, mention specifically why you chose to apply to the program in question and which supervisors you are interested in working with or plan to work with. Once you have written one personal statement, it will be easy to modify this section for subsequent applications.
Visit McGill’s Career Planning Service (CAPS) website for more resources about applying to graduate school: mcgill.ca/caps/students/gradschool
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 |
science & technology
| Curiosity delivers.
UsefulScience bridges communication gap in research Developed by McGill alumnus Jaan Altosaar, the site sources scientific studies with a touch of whimsy Caity Hui Science and Technology Editor Science communication today is like a game of broken telephone. Data generated in the laboratory quickly spreads from one social media site to the next until ionized alkaline water boosts energy levels and eating ginger cures cancer. “We’ve had the Stone Age, we’ve had the Bronze Age, we’ve had the Iron Age, and now we have the Information Age,” said the Director of McGill’s Office for Science and Society Joe Schwarcz. “Sometimes my feeling is that our ability to produce data through scientific experimentation has outstripped our ability to interpret what that data means.” This rising concern within the realm of scientific communication is no stranger to researchers. As information travels frantically on the Internet, the public’s ability to determine its value and reliability struggles to keep pace. “We need a filter system to show people what is worth reading,” Schwarcz said. “And then there’s the second aspect, which is to interpret it for them because most people are not adept at reading the tough language in scientific journals.” This is exactly what McGill BSc. Graduate and current PhD Physics student at Princeton University Jaan Altosaar hoped to do when he launched the website UsefulScience in January 2014. “One of the questions we asked was, ‘What would a website look
like if every fact was cited?’” Altosaar said. “Science reporting is becoming more quantitative now, but there is still a lot of work to be done. We are trying to be really conscious of the [lack of sourcing in scientific websites]. I haven’t seen any websites that do that well, so we are kind of trying to fill that gap in science reporting.” With its one-sentence summaries of the most recent scientific discoveries, the site threatens the most seductive of pseudoscience pages available on the Internet. By linking each sentence directly to the study it summarizes, UsefulScience provides readers with a reliable source of information. “We are trying to make it really accessible,” Altosaar explained. “When the New York Times cites something, you can’t just click a link to see the study.” The website also boasts another kind of accessibility, which is its translation of the language of scientific experiments into meaningful changes people can make to their lives. Altosaar recognizes that one of the leading causes of miscommunication between the laboratory and social media is the complexity of papers published in journals, and the difficulty the public may have in interpreting these studies. Therefore, each 25-word sentence published on the website is aimed at anyone with a basic high school education. “I like to think of contributing to UsefulScience as using my superpowers for good,” said McGill Neuroscience PhD student and Use-
The website posts at least seven summaries per week concerning recent study releases. (jaan.io) fulScience writer Maryse Thomas. “My superpowers being the ability and patience to read and understand scientific articles.” Currently, UsefulScience is run by a group of 25 writers who aim to post collectively at least one summary each day. The site has received 77,000 visits to date, where the average duration of a visit is two and a half minutes. Considering most users spend less than a minute per website, Altosaar counts this as a huge success towards readers actually taking the time to learn something about science. “I want to know what science can tell us,” Altosaar said. “I have always tried to live my life in a scientific way. I read studies and I try to apply it to my life. You know how in Montreal it’s really depressing in the winter? Well, I read studies about
seasonal affective disorder, and I learned about one of those light therapy lamps. This all involved a lot of research personally, but there was no website I could use as a single resource for scientific discoveries. So this is something that I have been thinking about for years now.” In many respects, the success of the UsefulScience is no surprise. Its sentences are short and sweet, and they fit right in with the fast bursts of information we have become accustomed to in this Information Age. It’s a space that translates studies such as “Exploring the effects of ambient noise on creative cognition” into accessible blurbs like “The optimal noise level for carrying out abstract thinking and creative tasks is 70 dB, which is the average noise level of a coffee shop,” resembling a scientific cross between Reddit and
Twitter. “The real challenge is to take reputable scientific information, put it into short segments without trivializing it but making it digestible,” Schwarcz said. “And if you can add a bit of entertainment to it, even better.” While UsefulScience is currently non-profit, Altosaar is looking for funding opportunities so that the site can expand and in the future act as a solid resource that people could use to keep up with the latest discoveries in science. For more on UsefulScience, check out their tumblr: usefulscience.tumblr.com, and twitter feed: twitter. com/usefulsci Full disclosure: Maryse Thomas is a design editor at the McGill Tribune
By Caity Hui
Miniature brains, major movements in microcephaly
For 10 months, scientists from the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) fed and cared for a tiny cluster of cells. With the correct mixture of nutrients, chemical environment, and appropriate coaxing, the researchers successfully cultured miniature brains that are still functioning today—10 months later. The brains were grown from human stem cells derived from the skin. Researchers identified growth conditions that helped the stem cells differentiate into several types of brain tissues. They grew the stem cells on a synthetic gel that resembled natural connective tissues found in the brain and elsewhere in the body before placing
these clumps of cells in a spinning vessel, known as a bioreactor, in order to enhance nutrient absorption and infuse them with oxygen. The purpose of this research was to develop a model by which to study developmental brain disorders, including microcephaly, a condition that results in stunted brain growth and cognitive impairment. Microcephaly is difficult to replicate in rodents due to speciesspecific differences in brain development. These miniature brains provided a resource the team could harness in order to grow and study human organs affected with the disorder. According to developmental neurobiologist at the University
of California, Arnold Kriefstein, in an interview with Nature, the study confirmed many prevailing theories about microcephaly. The brains grew to a smaller size than expected, but replicating the disorder in these model tissues allowed scientists to discover other potential causes for microcephaly than previously discussed. Although the miniature brains do not function as a cohesive unit—normal brain maturation requires growth signals from other parts of the body—scientists may be able to develop larger and more complex neural-tissue clumps in the future. These tissues could be used to model other disorders besides microcephaly, especially if researchers can learn more about
The neural clumps grew to resemble fetal brains over two months (news.bbcimg.co.uk) controlling cell growth reliably. “This whole approach is really in its early stages,” Kriefstein told Nature. “The jury may still be out in terms of how robust this [technique] is.” These miniature brains are not the only model organ currently being grown. Scientists at a variety of prestigious institutes around the globe have recently announced
success in steps towards engineering functioning organs from stem cells. Researchers in Japan have developed functional human liver tissue in a petri dish from reprogrammed skin cells, while several teams have reported progress on developing kidney tissue in a similar fashion.
Mayaz Alam Sports Editor
In case you were too busy trying to figure out the difference between Winter and Spring in Montreal, here’s what you missed in the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight...
Wisconsin Badgers— For the first time in Head Coach Bo Ryan’s career, the Wisconsin Buzzcuts have made the Final Four, knocking out pre-season favourites Arizona in overtime, 64-63. Frank Kaminsky led the way with 28 points, proving that un-athletic and gangly ‘athletes’ with mop-tops do, in fact, have a place in basketball. Wisconsin, usually known for its slow-paced, grind-it-out, decidedly ugly brand of basketball, actually has a team that is worth watching this year. Nevertheless, Ryan has continued to scowl despite the success of the squad this season, because scowling is the one thing that Bo Ryan can do better than coach basketball. Florida Gators—The Florida Gators are the only team to not break any brackets this post-season, and have advanced to the Final Four. The team grounded the Dayton Flyers 6252 to enter the final weekend of the season. The Flyers had already beaten Ohio State, Syracuse, and Stanford—a who’s who of college athletics—before falling to the Gators, a team that trots out four senior starters. For Southerners, it’s a reminder that there is life after college football, and that non-football playing student-athletes deserve to get paid, too. If only Florida’s football season had gone this well.
University of Ottawa
Your future? It’s down to science. Thinking about pursuing graduate studies? Already applied? Come and explore your program of interest and meet a potential thesis supervisor. Travel grants available.
www.discoveruOttawa.ca under “Meet with us”
Connecticut Huskies— No, that isn’t Kemba Walker; it’s Shabazz Napier, apparently doing his best impression of the current NBA player. The senior has put the Huskies on his back so often that it’s surprising he’s still able to stand up straight. The latest act of heroism came in Connecticut’s 60-54 win over the Michigan State Spartans—President Barack Obama’s National Championship pick. At this point it is certain that anything is within the realm of possibility for the Connecticut Napiers. Kentucky Wildcats— The Kiddy Cats started the season in the top four and are going to be ending the season in the Final Four after an unprecedented streak of play that belies their youth. Kentucky ousted last year’s national runner-up Michigan 7572 in a back-and-forth affair in the Elite Eight. It was fitting that the Wildcats beat the Wolverines, as the last team to make it to the Final Four with an all-freshman starting lineup was the “Fab Five” of Michigan in 1992. Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari proved that talent beats hard work— when the talent comes in the form of seven All-Americans.
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox look poised for another deep playoff run after bringing home the hardware last year. Centre-fielder Jacoby Ellsbury left for the greener pastures of Yankee Stadium, but with the addition of Grady Sizemore and the emergence of Jackie Bradley Jr., the Sox won’t regret letting Ellsbury walk. Expect the 21-year-old Xander Bogaerts to flourish at shortstop and for Boston’s deep lineup to carry them late into October— and maybe another World Series— if the pitching staff stays strong.
central Detroit Tigers
Gone is Prince Fielder and his oversized contract; welcome Ian Kinsler, an AllStar second baseman. With the swap, the Tigers’ lineup shouldn’t miss a beat and should continue to smash the baseball. First baseman Miguel Cabrera is coming off of two straight MVP trophies and doesn’t look like he’s about to stop—he has hit .337/.425/.612, with 156 homers over his past four years. On the mound, Detroit brings back two Cy Young-winning flamethrowers Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, who will both look to continue their success. This team is built to win now and should return to the playoffs.
The A’s are the winners of two straight division titles, and will be the favourites in 2014 despite a pitching rotation filled with new faces. Bartolo Colon left as a free agent, Brett Andersen was traded, Jarrod Parker is out for the year following Tommy John surgery, and A.J. Griffin is starting the year on the DL. Despite this, General Manager Billy Beane has created a roster that just keeps winning, by exploiting every loophole imaginable. The team will need strong defence, but a third straight AL West title could be in the cards.
Tampa Bay Rays
New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Seattle Mariners
The Tampa Bay Rays have been a model of excellence for small-market clubs since 2010. The quirky Joe Maddon has been a proponent of extreme defensive shifts and statistical analysis to make sure that the Rays are always competitive. The offence is getting better, and Wil Myers should take another step in his development at the plate after a phenomenal rookie campaign last season. David Price returns to captain one of the league’s premier pitching staffs, and if Evan Longoria stays healthy, the Rays look to be set for another 90+ win season.
With just two seasons above .500 in the past 19 years, the Kansas City Royals have not been the standard for a successful MLB franchise. However, the positive is that one of those winning seasons happened last year, with the majority of that roster returning this season. The Royals have a balanced lineup that is surprisingly dangerous, and welcomes the addition of Norichika Aoki and Omar Infante to the first two spots to provide speed and contact. James Shields anchors an otherwisemediocre rotation that could stand between the Royals and a playoff spot.
Texas made plenty of noise this offseason, with numerous changes to its offensive core. The team’s biggest move was shipping franchise mainstay Ian Kinsler to Detroit for slugger Prince Fielder. This, combined with the signing of Shin-Soo Choo will give the Rangers muchneeded power from the left-handed side of the plate. Injuries mean that a couple of pitchers will start the season on the DL, but once healthy, the pitching staff should be quite good. Manager Ron Washington has been promising during his tenure with the Rangers, and should lead another talented and determined ball cub.
The Yankees expect to field an Opening-Day lineup without a player under the age of 30—and with age comes injury. Although the Yankees stole Jacoby Ellsbury from the Red Sox, their biggest deal brought in 25-year-old Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka on a seven-year, $155 million contract. With Mariano Rivera enjoying retirement and Derek Jeter announcing that this will be his last season in Yankee pinstripes, the evil empire’s dominance is squarely coming to an end.
Fans from the most unlucky sports city in the United States have found a bright spot with the Indians. Former Red Sox Manager Terry Francona came in last season and changed the culture of the organization, bringing with him championship experience. The initial results were promising, with Cleveland making the playoffs, and the lineup that powered them to success returns this season primarily intact. No batter averaged above .300, but the Indians get on base and have the power to bring runners home. Scott Kazmir and Ubaldo Jimenez are gone from the rotation, leaving Justin Masterson as the only proven starter—a problem that could prevent them from advancing far in the post-season if they get there at all.
Success for the Halos this year depends more on how their returning players can bounce back than the contributions of new additions. Mike Trout should deliver another MVP-calibre season, but the Angels will be in trouble if Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton—who are making more than $40,000,000 combined in 2014—can’t improve on their disappointing 2013 campaigns. The Angels are talented, but their talent needs to return to form. If they are able to do so, a playoff spot is not out of the question.
The Baltimore Orioles are certain to impress fans with a plethora of powerful bats in their lineup this year. The burning question for the Orioles is what to expect from Chris Davis after the 28-year-old burst onto the scene with 53 homers last year. The Orioles added Ubaldo Jimenez this off-season to help shore up a weak pitching staff, but Jimenez is one of the league’s most inconsistent pitchers. The addition of Nelson Cruz should add even more power to an alreadyloaded lineup, but iffy pitching could be this team’s downfall. Expect the Orioles to miss the post-season in an incredibly tough AL East division.
2005 must be starting to feel like 1917 for baseball fans from the south side of Chicago. Eighty wins might be the team’s ceiling, and a playoff appearance is out of the question. The biggest addition this past off-season was Cuban defector Jose Abreu, who brings a reputation of light-tower power. Injuries have robbed the Sox’s rotation of any consistent production behind left-hander Chris Sale. However, building blocks are in place, and Chicago could be just a year or two away from making noise in the post-season.
All eyes will be on newcomer Robinson Cano this summer in the Emerald City. Cano left the Yankees to sign a 10-year, $240 million mega-deal with the Mariners this off-season. There will be serious pressure on Cano to perform. The move signaled that Seattle is serious about competing, but wins are far from a guarantee. The offence’s success depends heavily on whether former top prospects like Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley can finally put it together. Pitching and defence shouldn’t be an issue in the Mariners’ cavernous stadium.
The Toronto Blue Jays didn’t change much this off-season after an embarrassing, injury-ridden 2013 campaign. Nonetheless, Canada’s team is talented and has the potential to do some damage. Unfortunately, with an aging Jose Bautista in right field, an injury-prone Jose Reyes, and a very questionable pitching staff, the team looks to be in for another sub-par season with John Gibbons behind the bench. Expect Colby Rasmus to have a phenomenal season on a contract year, while RA Dickey should bounce back after a disappointing 2013 season. Ultimately, the Jays will struggle early and eventually blow up the team before the July trade deadline.
Even if the Twins see solid production from sluggers Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer, they lack depth throughout the rest of their roster. A lacklustre starting rotation, coupled with a mediocre bullpen will make things difficult for Minnesota. Unlikely sources will need to step up if the Twins have any chance in the Central.
Houston was little more than a punch line in 2013, and not much has changed thanks to its commitment to a long-term building process. Casual baseball fans likely won’t recognize a single name in either the Astros starting lineup or pitching staff. Catcher Jason Castro provides the lone bright spot after finishing 2013 among the league’s best.
Image sources: nationalsportsbeat.com, seeklogo.com, phombo.com, graphicshunt.com, sportsgeekery.com, sportslogos.net, wikia.org
After a disappointing 2013 campaign saw the Nationals finish well out of playoff contention, GM Mike Rizzo went out and pulled off the heist of the off-season, trading away a few odds and ends for controlspecialist Doug Fister. The addition of Fister strengthens an already-potent rotation that includes Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, and Jordan Zimmerman. The Nationals’ batting order will remain largely unchanged on paper, but offensively, time is their best friend. The Nats should cruise to the division title this season, and Bryce Harper has the potential to take home the NL MVP.
central St. Louis Cardinals
What more can be said about the Cardinals? Every year they come into the season looking decidedly average, and every year audiences somehow continue to watch Cardinal baseball well into October. This year, the strategy will rely a little less on luck; after all, a team can’t be expected to hit .330 with runners in scoring position two years in a row. With highly-touted rookie Kolten Wong getting the start at second base, and top-hitting prospect Oscar Taveras expected to break into the Majors this season, the Cardinals are only getting younger and scarier. This is a team that has no weaknesses.
Los Angeles Dodgers
One of the biggest headlines during the off-season came from the Dodgers when they signed Clayton Kershaw to a seven-year, $215 million contract extension. Kershaw’s average annual salary of $30.7 million is the highest in baseball history, and the left-hander will be key to any success the Dodgers have this season. Offensively, look for Matt Kemp to bounce back after starting the season on the disabled list, and for Yasiel Puig to keep on electrifying the big leages. The Dodgers will also rely on a deep lineup to recover from the team’s disappointing NL Championship Series loss last season.
The usually self-reliant Braves were forced to spend on the inconsistent Ervin Santana after losing what seems like their entire 2013 rotation to injuries over the off-season. With pitchers Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy out for the entire season, the Braves will have to rely on promising youngsters Julio Teheran and Alex Wood to anchor the team. Now for the good news: if B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla are able to find even a semblance of their former selves this season, the Braves would suddenly find themselves with one of the scariest lineups in the division. Don’t count the Braves out this season.
New York Mets
Bartolo Colon will play his first full season of National League ball after signing a two-year, $20 million deal with New York this off-season. This may have been GM Sandy Alderson’s shrewdest acquisition so far; the former Cy Young winner posted a sparkling 2.65 ERA over 190 innings for the A’s last season, despite throwing his fastball a whopping 84 per cent of the time. Clearly, he knows something we don’t. If Ike Davis can stay healthy for the whole season, and catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud breaks out, look for the Mets to make a run at the second Wild Card berth.
The Marlins aren’t going to finish anywhere near the top of the NL East this year, but they’re going to be a fun team to watch. Giancarlo Stanton will most likely be traded at some point before the deadline, but until then, tune in to watch him crush monstrous home runs with nobody on base. Things look brighter for the Fish on the mound. Last year, we saw Jose Fernandez dominate the league at age 20, to the tune of a 2.19 ERA over 28 games. With elite pitching prospect Andrew Heaney in the pipes, look for the Marlins’ rotation to make some noise this season .
Things don’t look too good for the Phillies this season. They’ll open the year with All-Star Cole Hamels on the disabled list, and a rotation full of question marks. Offensively, the lone bright spot will be the development of Dominic Brown, who finally broke out last season with 27 home runs and a promising eight steals. Hopeful fans shouldn’t bet on resurgences from veterans Jimmy Rollins or Chase Utley. Speed doesn’t age well, and historically, players entering their age-35 seasons don’t put up big numbers. If you’re a true Philly fan, hope that GM Ruben Amaro Jr. blows up the roster this year in exchange for a few prospects.
San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres
The Pirates rode NL MVP Andrew McCutchen’s bat to their first playoff appearance in 20 years last season. At 27 years old, McCutchen is only now entering his prime. The duo of Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker combined for 52 home runs last season and represent a dynamic scoring threat in the heart of the order. If Starling Marte—recently locked up to a six-year extension—can prove that last season’s breakout was for real with another all-star calibre season, this club should capture another Wild Card spot in 2014.
Pablo Sandoval will be key to San Francisco’s upcoming season. The 27-year-old infielder will be playing for a new contract this year, and after making headlines with his offseason weight loss, may be set to put up big offensive numbers. The Giants constantly have live arms in their rotation and this year there are five capable starters to test batters across the league. San Francisco struggled with its offence last season, and will need to impress if they hope to return to the World Series after last year’s sub-par finish.
Las Vegas has the Reds finishing second in the division, but Joey Votto’s super-human abilities may not be enough to see this team to the playoffs. The rotation— topped by the one-two punch of Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey—remains fearsome, and rookie pitcher Tony Cingrani should fill in nicely for the departed Bronson Arroyo. However, the loss of ShinSoo Choo and his .423 on-base percentage leaves a huge hole at the top of the lineup. Unless Brandon Phillips and Todd Frazier overachieve their projections significantly, the Reds are going to be stuck with a lacklustre offence beyond Votto and Jay Bruce.
With Patrick Corbin’s seasonending elbow injury, the Diamondbacks will need to rely heavily on pitching prospect Archie Bradley if they are to experience any success this season. Beyond Bradley, Arizona has only Brandon McCarthy, Mark Trumbo, Trevor Cahill, and a handful of decent players to rely on. Corbin’s injury is a huge hit to the Diamondbacks’ playoff hopes. Arizona may have to bank on the luck of the wildcard this season to experience the playoffs.
It’s hard to know what to expect from Ryan Braun this season., following his 65-game suspension. However, even if a clean Braun returns and posts a 40/40 season, the fact remains that the rest of the Brewers offence is anemic— just look towards the first base platooon of Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay. The pitching staff looks solid, with sleeper Marco Estrada sliding in at the fourth starting spot, and the bullpen is deep and talented. Barring breakout seasons from Khris Davis and Carlos Gomez, however, this squad is destined for mediocrity.
Key off-season acquisitions for the Padres included Joaquin Benoit and Alex Torres, who will help shore up San Diego’s bullpen. Jedd Gyorko and Yonder Alonso are two other players to keep an eye on this season, with both athletes entering the beginning of their prime. Gyorko’s penchant for home runs will be a much-needed boon for the Padres, who currently have a roster riddled with injuries and PED suspensions. San Diego will have to rely on its young players to step up if they are to experience any success this upcoming season.
It’s not going to happen this year. Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro are likely the only hitters on the Cubs being drafted in fantasy leagues this season, and both have failed to live up to their potential thus far. Both players, however, are just 24 years old. The rotation may feature a few established names, but the Cubs’ Opening Day lineup doesn’t have a player over 30 years old. With Cuban defector Jorge Soler almost ready to bring his raw power to the team, the Cubs should see their team improve slowly but surely over the coming years.
Colorado boasts a heavy lineup this season, with Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, and Nolan Arenado leading the Rockies. The team will look for Arenado to take the next step, with the already spectacular third-baseman showing promising signs of a powerful bat. Pitching prospects Jonathan Gray and Eddie Butler are exciting young arms who could help the Rockies in a playoff push. With a competitive NL West, Colorado’s season could go either way. The team’s success will depend on the health of their big stars and the potential of their pitching prospects.
he ball clanks off the back iron and falls into Sebastian Beckett’s hands. The seconds tick off the clock but the cheering has already started. The 2013-2014 McGill Redmen assembled across the foul line to accept their RSEQ Championship medals. Redmen Head Coach David DeAveiro cuts down the final strand from the net for the second time in as many years. But this season is different. This RSEQ Championship marks the end of the team’s gruelling eight-month journey. For 10 of these young men, the journey started when they first stepped onto a collegiate basketball court seven months earlier. It’s the middle of August, frosh is still weeks away, and last-minute cramming for finals is a thing of the distant future. For most people, it’s baseball season, but not for these 10 freshmen. While fathers and sons play pitch and catch in front yards, the athletes sweat in stuffy gymnasiums while running suicides, breaking only after exhaustion has set in completely. Their tongues hang out of their mouths and sweat beads down their foreheads as DeAveiro separates the boys from the men. It’s time for them to make the jump. Though their journeys are all different, these Redmen have all found collective success. For starting swingman Michael Peterkin, the transition to the collegiate game was difficult, but he received ample playing time as a starter. Other athletes, such as redshirt freshman Thomas Lacy, spend their entire first season on the sidelines watching from afar. However, few people understand the magnitude of this transition better than point guard Jenning Leung. Leung, a native of the Philippines, was by far the best player on his team in Manila, and almost always the most skilled player on the court. As a point guard, the biggest challenge for Leung was the speed and timing of the CIS game. “That was the major adjustment,” Leung said. “Just how much faster you have to think.” The fast pace of the CIS game has left Leung watching from the bench for the majority of the season as he works behind Simon Bibeau and Ave Bross, the team’s two veteran point guards. This was tough for the freshman, who was used to being in the limelight for his high school team. “At the start of the season, my confidence was low,” Leung explained, after a 63-56 victory over Concordia in which he posted double digit points for the first time. “I just had to find the perfect [balance] between knowing [that] I wasn’t going to be ‘the guy’, but also
By Aaron Rose, Staff Writer
knowing I have to go out there and prove myself.” Ari Hunter, basketball coach at Crescent High School in Toronto and former McGill Redmen (1997-2000), believes this balance between overconfidence and lack of confidence is the hardest concept for new student athletes to grasp. “If you’re going to be an elite athlete […] you have to have an edge on you [and] you have to believe that you’re the best,” Hunter said. “So you can’t lose that ‘I can do this, I’m a badass’ attitude, because then you lose that little extra [edge] that makes you excellent.” While seeing limited playing time might not have been what Leung had in mind when he committed to McGill, he now understands his role within the team. “During practice, I have to go at [Bibeau and Bross],” Leung explained. “It’s nothing personal [….] I’m pushing them […] because they don’t want to lose their minutes […] but at the same time, I know I’m getting better.” The transition to the collegiate level has been much different for Peterkin. He was thrown into the fire from day one and was asked to respond. “I was pretty surprised when coach put my name in the starting five in the NCAA game against Sacred Heart,” Peterkin said. “I’ll always re-
member that moment [.…] I’m glad [DeAveiro] believes and sees something in me for this year, and hopefully the future.” While Peterkin doesn’t deal with a lack of playing time, at times playing against bigger and better players has been overwhelming. “It’s crazy thinking that a year ago I was the oldest guy [on the court],” he said. “[Now] I’m battling against guys who have played basketball longer, who are older than me, and guys who have developed more than me. It’s been tough at times.” Peterkin quickly realized that he couldn’t rely purely on athleticism to succeed at the collegiate level. “In high school, if I didn’t play at my best, I was still […] at another level compared to some guys. But here, I have to play at my best and compete,” he explained. While Peterkin has struggled to score this year, his strong defensive abilities have made him a regular in the Redmen lineup. The same cannot be said for Lacy, who never saw the court in his first year at McGill. Coming from Vermont—a state that only produces a handful of college basketball players each year—Lacy was a regular in his high school team’s starting lineup, and was named captain of the varsity team in grade 10. Not seeing game time was tough, but being left out of practice was
harder. “There were days when I didn’t even get to touch the ball at practice,” Lacy said. “That was the hardest part for me – sitting and watching. I couldn’t handle the thought of being the worst player in the gym, because I knew I could change that with time.” After countless hours in the gym last year working to improve his game, Lacy earned the chance to play this season. “There were days when I’d show up at the gym at 6 a.m. for practice and wouldn’t leave until after noon,” Lacy said. “One of our assistant coaches last year, [Daniel McCue], really took me under his wing. He put me through drills and workouts for hours after official practice was over [.…] Having put in so much work last year to improve my game, it felt amazing to finally get minutes this year.” With the support of his teammates, Lacy found his way onto the court, even scoring a career-high 30 points in a game at Laval earlier this year. Despite having a stellar season this past year, Lacy knows that he needs to continue to get better if he wants to hold onto his playing time next season. “I earned a role this year, but every year is different,” Lacy said. “Each new season is a new story. I know my spot can be taken at any moment if I don’t continue to improve.”
(Derek Drummond/McGill Athletics)
SPORTS | 22
“For the most part [...] high school players are not ready to play at our level.” - Redmen Basketball Head Coach David DeAveiro.
The same goes for the rest of the freshmen. With Bibeau leaving this year, Leung expects to take on a bigger role next season. Lacy understands that he will have to wrok hard and fight for playing time next year, while Peterkin hopes to take his game to the next level in his sophomore year. Making the jump is about adapting to an increased intensity. CIS basketball demands a higher level of preparation, focus, and effort than these athletes have ever seen before. “There is a reason the Olympic motto is citius, altius, fortius – faster, higher, stronger,” Hunter said. At the university level everything is faster, higher, and stronger than high school, and together, the increased speed, size, and skill creates a more intense level of play. The ability of this year’s crop of freshmen to adapt played a key part in the Redmen winning the RSEQ Championship. Despite their collective success this year, immediate achievement is not guaranteed in the slightest. The transition from high school to university is one that studentathletes struggle with and must adapt to. Every minute must be earned, and every moment must be cherished. For these 10 freshmen, the first part of the journey is over. But for countless others in gyms, courts, fields, and rinks across the country, it will will begin anew in the Fall.
From left to right: Jenning Leung in high school; Michael Peterkin in high school; Thomas Lacy in his rookie season at McGill. (With permission from Jenning Leung and Michael Peterkin; Remi Lu / McGill Tribune)
Muc h hip. such art. So Living. POP Rhetoric Chel$ea $mith Unpaid Intern There’s been a ton of effort over the years towards making McBill an inclusive space, and I thought we had achieved this goal. But all of that changed the day Gerts stopped listing “Timber” on its jukebox. I don’t know how this authoritarian operation that is the Students’ Society of McBill’s Offensive Overlords (SSMOO) got the idea into its head that it’s acceptable to deny students the opportunity to serenade a bar with the greatest single since “Crazy Kids.” But I don’t plan to just sit around waiting for another bland Sangria Wednesday while the most important issue to hit campus all year remains unresolved. Students of McBill, let this Pop Rhetoric serve as a rallying cry: you better move, you better dance, and you sure as heck better take action. Before I tell you why we need to put an end to Timber-gate, let me share my story. A mere four years ago, I wasn’t the fun, hip, yolo-ing Chel$ea
Why I’m yelling about “Timber” going down
$mith that most know me as today; I was just plain old Chelsea Smith. But then, on Jan. 1, 2010, Ke$ha released Animal and my whole world changed forever. Suddenly, I didn’t want to stay home on weekends and study to get into dentistry school; instead, I was all about brushing my teeth with a bottle of Jack. By June, I had legally changed my name and was voted by my high school peers as most likely to spend a night in jail. Life was good. It got even better when I came to McBill. In first-year, I had an unforgettable experience living in Pabst Hall; for the first time, I was surrounded by the party ani-
mals that I had so desperately craved for the past eight months. Aside from getting banned from Korova’s in second-year, my time at McBill has been a non-stop sequence of making the most out of nights like I was going to die young. And above all, I was grateful for the opportunity to spend four years in an inclusive environment that claimed
Gerts would make the executive decision to censor it altogether, rather than let it stand for the masterpiece that it is. It hasn’t been easy finding solidarity on campus. People laugh when I tell them that I’m selling samosas in order to raise enough money to get “Timber” back on the Gerts jukebox. The only student group that’s given me any support is the Woodsmen team on the Macdonald campus, but I had to stretch the truth a bit and tell them that my “Timber” campaign would provide them with extra wood for practices. Otherwise, it’s been a lot of blah, blah, blah for nothing. Maybe after all the fuss about bike gates, PPOP’s, and Save Gerts meetings, students are a little burnt out, but I know that we still have one last cause left in us! Let’s make this campus an inclusive space once again and stand up for the right to swing our partners round and round to the greatest song that 2014 has to offer. I’m not asking for much; just the chance to dance to “Timber” at Gerts one more time before I graduate.
By Swarlee Salt
As I write this, it has been 1 day, 13 hours, and 24 minutes since I last played 2048. For those who have never heard of 2048, the new single-player video game first launched in Italy in March,
to support everyone’s identities—even Ke$ha acolytes like myself. But now, my faith in SSMOO has been shaken. How am I supposed to fully express myself on campus if I can’t play “Timber” on the Gerts jukebox? Two years ago, I put up with all the mindless students who insisted on constantly playing “Call Me Maybe,” knowing that soon enough, Ke$ha would rise from the ashes like a tipsy phoenix with the next great charttopper. Little did I know that her success would be so overwhelming that
2014. The objective of the game— started by 19-year-old Gabriele Cirulli—is to combine numbered tiles on a grid to create the 2048 tile. It seems like a fun, simple, and predictable procrastination tool. But it has spread
across the globe like a raging epidemic, destroying the lives of countless misinformed people. Two week ago I noticed a friend’s Facebook status stating that he had just won 2048. Prior to this, I was
sheltered and ignorant to the game’s appeal. Out of curiosity I clicked on the link and began arbitrarily tapping my arrow keys. After closing the window, I thought little of the incident as I went about the rest of my day. With some spare time between classes the following day, I opened the link on my browser for the second time. Little did I know then that this exact moment would trigger my rapid downward spiral. The rest of the afternoon is a blur. Fuelled by Tim Hortons coffee, I found myself lost in the sea of orange squares in the early hours of the morning. Every combination of numbers gave me a feeling of satisfaction and I yearned for the exhilaration when navigating out of a nearly filled grid. Soon, it became the first thing I did in the morning and the last thing I did before bed. In the library, instead of studying for my economics midterm, I passed minutes and then hours trying to reach that golden number. I distanced myself from friends and family. I stopped listening during conversation with my thoughts entangled in my urge to play the next game. The combination of 2048 while watching Parenthood on Netflix was even more precarious, and I’d go on daylong binges completely enthralled and stuck on an emotional roller-coaster that I never wanted to end. Nonetheless, no one seemed to notice that anything was wrong— friends even encouraged me to play. But the game began to haunt me— even when I wasn’t actually playing, it
was on my mind. In class, as I drifted in and out of sleep, I visualized the game behind my weary eyelids. This isn’t the first time a video game has taken over my life. In high school, my vice was Tetris. All throughout grade 11, I watched the coloured geometric Tetris blocks float through a black abyss in my dreams, until eventually I had to make a clean break from the game. I realized I needed to do the same for 2048. I deleted the app from my phone and installed Self Control so that I could blacklist the website. I’ve had one relapse since then. There are many other students across campus struggling with the same demons. At first glance you may not even realize that someone’s a player, but sit behind them in just one lecture and it will soon become clear. Preliminary statistics reveal that one in every one students has tried playing 2048 at least once in their life, and twenty forty-eighths of these have described feelings of extreme satisfaction when playing Unfortunately, we can only support those who decide for themselves that they are ready to make the transition to a 2048-free life. As I finish my confession, it has now been 1 day, 20 hours, and 48 minutes.
Swarlee has been out of contact for last three days. Sources have spotted her hiding in McLennan playing Doge 2048. Much problematic. Very sadness.
SPOOOOORTZ MIDTERM — BIOL 202 2048, SSMOODents 0
Phone call proves turning point in midterm defeat Students aim to avoid procrastination, apathy in Finals rematch Kevin Lent Unpaid Intern 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… Silence. Pens dropped in frustration. Hands wringed in pain. It was over and there were no survivors. Students slowly trudged down the steps of Leacock 132 to hand in their midterms. They emerged from the cavernous venue after their BIOL 202 midterm this past week, disheartened and frustrated. Professor XX pulled out all the stops, with just that one jerk leaving before time was up. “I think the worst part is that if I’d had one more day I know I would have crushed it,” U2 Biology major 270382048 said. “At this point I just hope everyone else did as badly as I did so I can ride the bell curve to a decent grade.” Early reports, however, have suggested that a student-friendly bell curve is unlikely. Professor XX has stated that he feels the exam was definitely fair. Its format has been widely criticized, with stu-
dents grumbling about its lack of questions in the multiple choice section, and the exam’s focus on material that seemed unimportant in class. “Come on, that stuff was barely on the lecture slides,” U1 Physiology major 204820482 said. “I just ended up making something up, so hopefully I won’t end up with a zero in that section.” Students were offered no compensation for the distractions that arose during the allotted time. With less than 10 minutes left on the clock, the supervising TA’s phone began to ring. “He just picked it up and started talking,” 204820482 said. “Unbelievable. How was I supposed to focus on my test when he kept going on and on about the series finale of How I Met Your Mother.” According to one group of friends who were seated together, the ringing sound could not have come at a worse time. “That phone call was the final straw,” 270382048 said. “We tried
At 5’4”, Percy Shuttlecoque doesn’t exactly have the ideal build for a varsity badminton player. But what he lacks in size he makes up in finesse. With an arm like a whip, Shuttlecoque can fire the birdy anywhere on the badminton court with ease. Along with an impressive vertical leap, Shuttlecoque attributes his dominance to simple practice. “I’m usually on the court at dawn every day, rallying with my dad or my brother,” Shuttlecoque said. Son of badminton legend Jeremiah Shuttlecoque, Percy hopes to carry on the Shuttlecoque legacy at McGill as a redshirt freshman next year. This season, he was suspended for conduct detrimental to McBill SPOOOOOORTZ after attempting to use Marty the Martlet as his birdie.
Bilateral Trade Agreements
In a surprise announcement, NCAA President Mark Emmert and CIS President Leo MacPherson held a joint press conference at the scenic border town of Niagara Falls. The two collegiate athletics power brokers shocked the sporting world by announcing that the winner of the NCAA Tourna-
This dude failed. Hard. (Professional Instagrammer / McBill Traily) to ignore it, but when people started murmuring, it was just too much. There’s a limit to how much papershuffling someone can tolerate. You would think that the TA would be the one making sure the midterm went smoothly, but obviously he blew some calls.” The midterm was suffocating over the full three hours of regulation, holding the class of over 200 to a stingy 65 per cent average. During the first half, students were
overwhelmed by the absurdity of the content. The second half proved no better, as Professor XX reported that most students left around two to three questions completely blank. Perhaps the most telltale sign of the difficulties that students had is the sheer number of people claiming they were just glad to have it over with, while simultaneously reassuring one another that it probably went fine.
Noted Creighton Fighting McBuckets fan and part-time multi-billionaire Warren Buffet made waves earlier this year when he announced that he would award $1 billion to anyone who was able to fill out a perfect March Madness bracket. Unsurprisingly no common citizen has an unscathed bracket. Every citizen except for an 83-year-old multi-billionaire from Omaha, Nebraska named Warren Buffet. However, Buffet forgot to join his own competition. As the NCAA Tournament moves into the Final Four, Buffet has been seen pacing the offices of Berkshire Hathaway waving around a thus-far perfect bracket and loudly cursing himself much to the detriment of office morale.
ment will have to face the winner of the CIS Tournament, the Carleton Ravens, in a winner-takes-all super-final to determine the North American champion. The Ravens, who won their 10th CIS Championship in 12 years, were awarded the opportunity to beat the eventual NCAA champions by virtue of their 95-82 victory against the Wisconsin Badgers in the pre-season. There were also talks to have future Vanier Cup winners play the winner of the College Football Playoff.
Reggie Bibeau and Cheryl Bibeau: Bibeau wonder-siblings decide to open up a fashion parlour due to their sick flow. Laurent Pro-Jour: Choosing to follow his beard rather than his heart, Pro-Jour decides to forgo his NFL career and promising medical career to lead the McGill Woodsmen to a four decade stranglehold on the Woodsmen Championship. Harmony Daoust: Having acquired a taste for gold, Daoust decides to pursue a career in mining investments, specifically avoiding companies that mine silver or bronze. Ossie Short: Lax slang enthusiast Ossie Short announces plans to stop using words in the english dictionary by 2015. Coach Dennis Parrot: Taking matters into his own hands, Parrot enrolls in a PhD program and joins the McGill cross-country team after a lacklustre recruiting season.
“I think I’ve earned a bit of break after today,” U2 Anatomy major 216322048 said. “I put off studying for this midterm until the last minute, but that definitely won’t happen for the final.” Despite the unfavourable results, students were confident that they would ace the final, which will take place on Apr. 27 in Love Competition Hall.