Volume No. 33 Issue No. 3
TRIBUNE THE mcgill
Published by the Tribune Publication Society
TAKING THE 'SCIENCE' FROM SCIENCE FICTION p 10
WHERE'S MY TUITION GOING? P5
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Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Quebec Charter faces opposition in McGill community Professors start awareness campaign; Principal Fortier says limit to religious symbols “runs contrary to our principles”
Rex Brynen wearing a kippah, Darin Barney wearing a cross necklace, Catherine Lu wearing a hijab, and Benjamin Forest wearing a cross necklace. (Alexandra Allaire / McGill Tribune)
Sam Pinto News Editor The Parti Québécois’ (PQ) proposal to ban public sector workers from wearing religious symbols in government workplaces has faced criticism this past week, including an opposition campaign run by several McGill professors, protests in Montreal, and criticism from political leaders across Canada. If enacted, the Quebec Charter of Values would ban public sector workers from wearing religious symbols in government workplaces, including turbans, kippahs, and large crosses. Public sector workers who may be affected include provincial court justices, teachers, civil servants, university staff, health-care workers, and municipal employees. In addition, the Charter would require that one’s face be uncovered when providing or receiving a state service—a clause which could include students, although exact details have not yet been released. Effects on McGill As a university, McGill would have the opportunity to opt out of the ban every five years, which could be achieved through a vote in Senate. Although Principal Suzanne Fortier addressed McGill’s stance
on the issue on Tuesday, she did not directly identify the course of action that McGill will take in response to the proposition. “The university must remain a place for the free and full exchange of ideas,” she said. “The proposal to prohibit our professors and staff from wearing visible religious symbols runs contrary to our principles. The wearing of such symbols in no way interferes with the religious and political neutrality of McGill as an institution.” According to the Vice-President University Affairs of the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU), Joey Shea, McGill can address the Charter in several different ways. “[The Senate] can comment publicly on the legislation, they can officially oppose it via their internal governance processes or they could do nothing at all,” she said. “For example, a motion could be brought forth to Senate by a senator asking the Senate to officially denounce the legislation. However, Senate deals with the academic activities of the University, so such a motion would have to be framed within these terms.” Shea said she expects Fortier to mention the issue at the first Senate meeting of the semester on Sept. 18.
Since the Charter’s official announcement last Tuesday, the proposal has stimulated debate from both professors and students on campus. If McGill does not opt out, professors and university staff would be unable to wear certain forms of religious symbols to work. On Saturday, many McGill students participated in a Montrealwide protest against the Charter. “McGill’s got to fight this,” said Thomas Leenders, a PhD student in religious studies who attended the protest. “McGill as an institution has to have the interest of its employees and its students at heart, and […] fight this policy of discrimination against religious minorities.” According to SSMU’s constitution on General Assemblies (GAs), SSMU cannot take an official stance on an external policy that does not directly affect the acitivites of students. However, according to Samuel Harris, Vice-President External, SSMU can find other ways to take a stance on the issue. “Council can mandate the VP External to write a letter to the Quebec Government or a letter to the City of Montreal, expressing a certain point of view,” Harris said. “I see it as a good opportunity to go to the GA to actually debate [the Charter], because nobody I’ve talked to
doesn’t want to take a strong position on this.” Professor organizes campaign to promote awareness Catherine Lu, a political science professor at McGill, started a campaign last week that calls on professors to wear visible religious symbols to classes and lectures as an act of protest and to create awareness for the issue. Lu, who identifies as an atheist, wore a hijab to her classes last week and said she plans to continue wearing it next week to raise awareness and generate discussion in her classes. “I also take it off once I leave the classroom, so in no way am I adopting a religion and pretending to be someone who is faithful to a religion,” she added. “It’s clearly a kind of instructive act and a kind of protest because of the context of the proposed charter, which says people should not be wearing such things in the context of a classroom.” Several professors from McGill have expressed support for Lu’s campaign, including Rex Brynen, Benjamin Forest, and Darin Barney, who have all agreed to participate in the campaign. However, Lu has also received some criticism. “Some people who actually do subscribe to certain religious prac-
tices and beliefs [...] worry that this kind of idea might lead to a kind of trivialization of religious belief and practice, so they worry […] that maybe some people would just make fun of it, or find it comical because obviously I’m not Muslim,” Lu explained. However, Lu said that she does not think that McGill should opt out of the legislation if it passes, saying that this action would legitimize the bill. The Charter While it has already been met with opposition, the Charter has a long way to go before it can pass as legislation. The PQ is a minority government, which means that they need support from other parties in order to pass it. The Charter will be tabled by the PQ at the National Assembly and ready for debate within the next couple of months. According to Bernard Drainville, the National Assembly minister in charge of developing the Charter, the purpose of the proposal is to enforce Quebec’s secularism. “If the state is neutral, those working for the state should be See “Quebec Charter” on p. 3
SSMU to contribute up to $10,000 towards court case
Highlights from the Sept. 11 SSMU Council include new secretary position created to promote GAs Shrinkhala Dawadi Contributor Table de concertation étudiante du Québec (TaCEQ, or the Quebec Student Roundtable) TaCEQ Secretary-General PaulAntoine Cardin spoke to Council about TaCEQ’s participation in an ongoing case in the Quebec Superior Court, as well as the delay of a congress intended to address TaCEQ reform. A student lobbying group, TaCEQ is composed of four student member associations, including the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU). Two Quebec university students, Laurent Proulx and Miguel Bergeron, filed the case in an attempt to challenge the Quebec Act of Respecting the Accreditation and Financing of Students’ Associations, which states that every student in Quebec must be part of a student association. Proulx and Bergeron argue that the act infringes upon students’ right to free association. TaCEQ will act as a third party in the case, and will present a counterargument that supports the existing legislation. SSMU Vice-President Samuel Harris explained the reasoning behind SSMU’s support for this initiative. “[The law] would, in effect, make
SSMU and all student associations optoutable,” he said. “It truly is an existential matter for us. SSMU is so strong and does so much for its members because we are 22,000 strong together.” The Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ), and Fédération des enseignantes et enseignants de CEGEP (FEC-CSQ), are also arguing against Proulx and Bergeron in the case, as well as the other three associations in TaCEQ—Université Laval’s undergraduate society, Laval’s graduate society, and Université de Sherbooke’s graduate society. Harris said SSMU has agreed to contribute up to $10,000 to the case. “SSMU has a legal professional fees line item on our budget, I believe it’s about $80,000,” Harris said. “TaCEQ as a whole has agreed to spend just under $30,000 together. This is something we all agree on, so [...] we’d be spending less money on [it] than if [SSMU] wanted to be interveners ourselves [outside of TaCEQ].” At Council, Cardin also announced changes concerning an upcoming congress on TaCEQ reform, which was original scheduled for October, but was cancelled because the Sherbroooke graduate student association felt that the original date did not give them enough preparation time. Cardin said that an-
SSMU Council sat for the first time this academic year. (Alexandra Allaire / McGill Tribune) other congress will be planned in the near future. “The associations will meet on Sept. 21 in Quebec City to decide on a time frame and an agenda to continue the discussions,” Cardin said. “For now, the discussions will be held by each association’s representatives around the table.” Harris emphasized the need for TaCEQ to seek improved transparency and make an effort to increase bilingualism within the organization. “[SSMU wants] the TaCEQ constitution and the TaCEQ website to have a translated version so that it’s accessible to SSMU members,” Harris said. “We’ve created a TaCEQ budget which will be going public soon, which outlines specifically where the money is
going.” General Assembly (GA) To address challenges meeting quorum at previous SSMU GAs, SSMU President Katie Larson announced a new marketing program focused on advertising the event. According to Larson, a new secretarial position was created over the summer to lead the marketing program, although the position has not yet been filled. The Fall GA is set to take place on Oct. 15. Motion regarding an ad-hoc Mental Health Committee Council also passed a motion to create an ad-hoc Mental Health Committee. According to VP University Affairs Joey Shea, the goal of the commit-
tee is to draft a policy on mental health by the end of the 2013-2014 academic year. Shea stressed the importance of creating a university-wide policy as opposed to having individual faculty policies. “One in five people will experience a mental illness over the course of their lifetime—mental illness is not a faculty-specific problem, it affects all students,” Shea said. “We need an integrated policy to promote awareness about these issues, and to support all groups pursuing similar ends.” Shea also stated that the members of the committee have not yet been chosen, but will include herself, SSMU councillors, and mental health advisory board representatives, among others.
Principal Suzanne Fortier’s first week on the job quarelli Symonds (QS) International Universities Rankings. Previously ranked 18 in the world, McGill fell to 21 this year, falling behind the University of Toronto for the first time. “These aren’t very accurate scientific studies, so the margin of error is big,” Fortier said, adding that the university will examine the data from the rankings to assess the ways in which McGill can improve. “A degree from McGill right now is worth a lot, because the reputation of McGill worldwide is strong. It’s not strong based on marketing or publicity; it’s strong based on accomplishments. It’s strong because of the many, many people before us who have built the reputation of this university.” Fortier may also have to address current political issues, such as the Parti Québécois’ (PQ) current attempt to pass the Charter of Values, which would ban most religious clothing and symbols worn by government employees at work. If this legislation passes, McGill would face the possibility of opting out of the regulations for a five-year period. “One of my personal values is that
it is important, when you are part of a community, to allow that community to express itself, particularly when it comes to values and principles,” she said. “It is difficult for me, having this value myself, to declare five days into the job, what this university will do. However, I know the university has done quite a bit of work in the past on diversity and inclusiveness, and that’s what we need to refer to as a community.” Since becoming principal, Fortier has been quick to immerse herself into the community, including appearances at Open Air Pub (OAP) and the Students’ Society of McGill University’s (SSMU) Activities Night. “The centre of what we do is the learning environment that we provide to students; and to do it well, we have to work together as partners,” she said. “[The students] are the centre of this university, so you’ll see me a lot on campus because I want to learn about the community.” While Fortier is still settling into her new role, Fortier said she will be paying close attention to what is needed
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Having completed her B.Sc. and PhD at McGill, Suzanne Fortier returned to her alma mater on Sept. 5 as McGill’s first francophone principal, second female principal, and 17th principal overall. After her first few days, Fortier sat down with the Tribune to discuss how being an alumnus has influenced her life, the value of a McGill degree, and her first week on the job. Fortier grew up in Saint-Timothée, Quebec, a small former-municipality located on an island less than an hour’s drive from McGill. According to Fortier, her rural background had a strong influence on her attitude when she entered the university as an undergraduate. “One thing I had not expected coming to McGill—because I was pretty ignorant, there was no one who went to university before me in my family— was that I’d be surrounded by the best people in their field in the world,” she said. “It’s inspiring. You’re a young person […] and these giants, people whose
names you read in your textbooks, [were] there and talk[ed] to you. They were people who allowed me to think ‘I could do that, too.’ ” Following her PhD, Fortier held several leadership positions at Queen’s University including vice-principal (academic), before becoming the president of National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) in 2006. Fortier credits McGill’s international reputation with opening doors for her throughout her career, and expects it will continue to do so for students despite the challenges facing the university. Among these challenges are the $38.3 million cuts to McGill’s budget, which were announced by the provincial government last December. “Everyone here has such a strong commitment to students,” she said. “Having to take some [budget] cuts— that’s the most challenging because people don’t want to see any diminishing of the quality of the environment for students.” McGill has also recently received media attention for its drop in the Quac-
Emma Windfeld News Editor
The university’s first francophone principal discusses QS Rankings and the value of a McGill degree
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at McGill. “I’m keenly aware of the importance of human talent; that means we must try to offer people opportunities for doing their best, for developing their potential,” Fortier said. “The challenge for all universities around the world is to think about what it means to be a learning community in this century. That’s to me the biggest challenge of all universities, because it’s a transformation, probably, that we have to be looking at.” —For a full transcript of the interview, visit www.mcgilltribune.com.
Curiosity delivers. |
| Tuesday, September 17, 2012
Quebec Charter Continued from cover
“The PQ government’s plan is divisive, negative and emotional,” Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau told media. “It is designed to be that way. Quebecers will reject it.” Conservative Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney said that the federal government would make an effort to review the Charter of Values to identify whether it violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom. “If it’s determined that a prospective law violates the constitutional protections to freedom of religion to which all Canadians are entitled, we will defend those rights vigorously,” Kenney said. —Additional reporting by Erica Friesen.
among many Quebecers, with 66 per cent of residents in support, according to survey firm SOM. However, many political leaders in Montreal and across the country have denounced it. On Wednesday, the mayors of the municipal districts of the island of Montreal unanimously voted to condemn the Charter. “To reach unanimity like that, east-to-west in Montreal, is exceptional,” Philippe Roy, mayor of Mount Royal, told The Globe and Mail. “But we’re all sending the same signal to Quebec—this is not representative of what Montreal is.” At the federal level, members of all three major parties have criticized the Charter.
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equally neutral in their image,” Drainsville said at a press conference last Tuesday. However, there are certain aspects of religious life that the Charter would not affect—for example, religious symbols that are considered part of Quebec’s cultural heritage, such as crosses in the Quebec Legislature or the cross on top of Mount Royal. It would also still allow public sector workers to wear small religious symbols, such as jewelry, and opening prayer would continue at municipal council meetings. Additionally, the charter wouldn’t remove property tax exemptions for religious buildings such as mosques. The Charter has been popular
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University rankings: what are they worth? Critics suggest rankings are valuable for comparison, but cannot truly assess quality of education Erica Friesen Managing Editor Last Tuesday, McGill lost its claim as the top university in Canada to the University of Toronto, according to the 2013 Quacquarelli Symbols (QS) World University Rankings. With the release of more rankings approaching next month, the Tribune set out to understand what university rankings actually mean, and how students—both current and prospective—should approach them. Ranking systems for higher education institutions have existed for over a century at regional, national, and international levels. According to Alenoush Saroyan, a professor in McGill’s department of educational and counseling psychology, students pay attention to university rankings because of the large financial investment involved in a university degree. “There’s an absence of information about universities and a desire to have some kind of a comparison between institutions,” she said. “In the absence of any other framework that provides them with that information, the ranking exercise fills the gap.” According to Associate Registrar of Recruitment at McGill, Jocelyne Younan, there are three major rankings that compare the world’s universities—the QS Rankings, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and the Shanghai Rankings. In each case, universities
are given an overall score using quantitative data from the institutions, as well as qualitative measures of assessment like surveys. “You have to look at what a particular ranking measures—publications, presence of Nobel-prize winners amongst faculty or alumni, research activity, teaching, etc.—to determine which ranking suits your particular academic interest,” Younan said. As one of the most widely recognized international rankings, QS considers over 2,000 universities every year and ranks the top 800. Danny Byrne, editor of TopUniversities.com—the website that publishes QS rankings—said that their methodology is the result of a collaboration between journalists. “QS World University Rankings were first launched in 2004 as a way to give a rapidly expanding contingent of internationally mobile students a more objective way of comparing universities around the world,” he said. “We wanted to produce an alternative ranking that took into account areas of more direct relevance to students, like academic reputation, employability and student-to-faculty ratios.” However, international rankings such as QS have also been criticized for evaluating the quality of an educational experience based on broad and often subjective criteria such as academic reputation. McGill Principal Suzanne Fortier said that McGill’s drop from 18 to 21 in the QS Rank-
ings this year is not “significant.” “These aren’t very accurate scientific studies, so the margin of error is big,” Fortier told the Tribune. “However, we must watch to see whether this is a trend or a blip. And more importantly, we must look carefully at the data these rankings will provide us, and take advantage of these to see where we can put our efforts, particularly where it aligns with the goals of our university.”
“There’s an absence of information about universities and a desire to have some kind of a comparison between institutions” For Saroyan, the methodology of international rankings is ultimately flawed for numerous reasons. One of these is that they base categories such as university reputation on survey results. For the Times World Rankings, these surveys only have a one per cent return rate. Additionally, the use of “proxy indicators” such as the ratio of students to faculty, assumes that a university fulfilling these criteria will automatically provide a good educational experience. “If University X has a Faculty of Law [or a] Faculty of Medicine that has a very high reputation, that reputation overflows to other aspects of that university,” Saroyan said. “So even though Faculty of Religious Studies or Arts in that university may actu-
ally be pretty bad, it benefits from the overall reputation of the university.” Byrne, however, said that the measures they employ are deliberately generic. “One of the major difficulties in compiling an international ranking is that many of the data sources that make sense on a national level—say, average exam grades of students admitted—aren’t always globally available or straightforwardly comparable,” he said. “We therefore have chosen to measure broader performance areas such as academic and employer reputation, that are of clear relevance to students and of importance to all universities, as opposed to narrow and prescriptive measures that reward a given university model or system at the expense of another.” Byrne pointed to the QS World University Rankings by Subject as one way that QS has addressed the tendency of overall rankings to privilege large universities over specialist institutions. He said that ultimately students should take international university rankings with a grain of salt when deciding which university to attend. “We would never recommend that anyone base their university choice purely on a ranking table,” he said. “But they can provide an invaluable starting point in identifying institutions around the world that are strong in a given field, or in an area that is of particular importance to you.”
While the methodology of university rankings may be widely debated, Post-Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS) Secretary-General Jonathan Mooney said students are also highly aware that the financial situation McGill currently faces is a cause for unease when considering the university’s ability to maintain its international reputation. “McGill does not have the same level of funding as its peers, and cannot continue to offer a top-quality education with insufficient resources indefinitely,” he said. “I think Quebec society needs to come together and make clear that properly funding education should be a top priority.” Ultimately, Younan said there is no need to “push panic buttons” when considering McGill’s lowered position in this year’s QS rankings. She pointed to the fact that McGill’s QS score this year (90.6) was almost exactly the same as last year’s (90.43), and that McGill actually increased their score in the Shanghai Rankings from 63 to 58. However, she said McGill will continue to pay attention to their international rankings and seek to improve them as the university looks to the future. “The competition for top student and profs (sic) is global and fierce, so we need to stay in the game and continue our focus on excellence in teaching and research for which we are known around the world,” Younan said.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 |
| Curiosity delivers.
By-election to fill two vacant AUS positions VP academic and SSMU Arts representative resignations leave AUS executives taking on extra responsibilities Cece Zhang Contributor The Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) is holding a by-election for two positions, following the resignation of both the vice-president academic and an Arts representative to the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) in the past two months. The nomination period for the vacant positions will run from Sept. 6 to Sept. 24, and the election period will take place in an online vote from Oct. 3 to Oct. 8. “Both elections, which will occur in the same time frame [and] on the same ballot, will follow the same calendar, require the same
compliance with nomination, campaign, and polling regulations, [as well as] preserve the fairness and equality of the McGill election system,” Sophia Reuss, AUS chief returning officer of elections, said. Students may put forth their name for nomination if they can acquire a minimum of 75 student signatures. Only Arts students may vote for Arts representative, but both Arts and Arts and Science students may vote for the VP Academic. Former Vice-President Academic Colleen Morawetz resigned on July 29, citing personal reasons for leaving the position. “I am still very invested in the AUS, and I will be doing all I can to
help the current executives ensure a smooth transition,” Morawetz said. On Sept. 4, Steven Curran resigned from his position as one of three Arts representatives to SSMU. “[Curran] resigned on the first day of classes after realizing that courses conflicted with the AUS Council meetings, which are mandatory in terms of attendance,” Reuss said. At the Sept. 4 AUS meeting, Council voted that AUS President Justin Fletcher would be designated to sit on SSMU Council on behalf of Arts students until a new Arts representative was elected. They also determined that an interim vicepresident academic would not be
What happened last week in Compiled by: Jessica Fu, Sam pinto, and Emma Windfeld
appointed. “The executive committee at this juncture is able to handle the VP academic portfo1lio tasks,” Fletcher said, adding that training an interim VP academic who would then go up for election may be more disruptive to their yearly work plans than waiting until October, when the new VP academic and Arts representative will be elected. Duties of the VP academic include acting as a liaison between AUS and various committees and university services such as the library and OASIS (Arts Advising), as well as distributing the Arts Student Employment Fund, which provides funding for the creation of academi-
cally based job opportunities for undergraduate Arts students. Fletcher explained that AUS operations would not be greatly affected by the resignations. “The executive committee is currently handling the responsibilities of the VP academic portfolio,” he said. “I expect this arrangement to continue until the conclusion of elections, with little to no implications for the operations of the AUS. While they have required the executive committee to put forth more time, the AUS executives ran for this position in March with the understanding that it is our responsibility to serve and protect the interests of Arts students here at McGill.”
Nova Scotians demand action against mill
G20 officer convicted three years later
Yasmin Nakhuda loses court case to reclaim IKEA monkey
Montreal student released from Filipino jail
Senator Wallin pays off falsely claimed expense money
Residents of Pictou, Nova Scotia, are demanding that the Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corporation mill be held accountable for damages to health and to the environment caused by its pollution since its opening in 1967. Discussion surrounding the mill and its effect on residents has been a point of contention, as it remains a source of employment for approximately 250 residents of the area and puts millions of dollars into the economy of the region. According to residents, pollution from the mill has begun to take a toll on the environment and the health of residents. The mill’s production of paper products results in the release of toxins into the air and waste being dumped into the surrounding natural area. The town has the nation’s seventh highest rate of cancer per 100,000 residents of Canada’s 106 health regions. Residents who believe that the high cancer rate is due to pollution caused by the mill are demanding change. Two local residents have created an online petition called, “Premier Darrell Dexter: Clean up the Pictou Country Pulp Mill,” which urges the premier to address the issue. The petition has received nearly 1,700 signatures to date.
On Thursday, Constable Babak Andalib-Goortan became the only police officer to date to be found guilty of using excessive force during the G20 protests of June 2010. 1,105 demonstrators were detained by police as a result of the G20 protests over three years ago, and many have criticized police for using excessive force. Thursday’s ruling found Andalib-Goortani guilty of using violence while arresting protestor Adam Nobody and detaining him in jail for over 30 hours. The constable, whose sentence will be announced in November, faces a maximum sentence of 18 months jail time or a $5,000 fine. He is also charged with assaulting a member of the media with a weapon, a case that will proceed to trial in February. The plaintiff, Nobody, is pursuing a $14.2 million lawsuit against officers implicated in the event. Multiple other civil cases, including a class-action lawsuit launched by 1,000 people, are awaiting court dates.
On Sept. 13, Darwin, the infamous monkey found strolling around an IKEA parking lot last year, was placed in the custody of an animal sanctuary. He was seized from Nakhuda by Animal Services and placed in the care of Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in Sunderland, Ontario. Nakhuda, who had signed over ownership of the monkey to the City of Toronto earlier this year, sued the Sanctuary, claiming that the seizure of Darwin was unlawful on the basis that he was domesticated. Ontario Superior Court Judge Mary Vallee dismissed Nakhuda’s claim, citing that Nakhuda’s ownership of Darwin was no longer valid the moment he escaped from her care. “A high onus regarding provision of secure housing for wild animals is appropriate to place on their owners,” Vallee’s decision reads “Wild animals, particularly exotic ones, can be dangerous to the public.” Aptly nicknamed the “IKEA Monkey,” Darwin originally lived with his previous owner, Yasmin Nakhuda, her husband, and their two children. Last December, at an IKEA in North York, Ontario, Darwin escaped from Nakhuda’s car and, soon afterwards, an image of him wandering the parking lot dressed in a shearling coat went viral.
Université de Montreal student Kim Chatillon-Meunier, age 24, returned to Canada on Sunday after spending several days in jail in the Philippines. Chantillon-Meunier was in Manila for a government-funded internship working with impoverished women, when she was arrested on Friday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport as she was about to board a plane out of the country. Her quick release from jail can be attributed to pressure from the human rights organization KARAPATAN, and lawyers from the Philippines’ National Union of People’s Lawyers. The Philippines’ Bureau of Immigration officers took her into custody Friday night due to her participation in one of multiple antigovernment protests on July 22, many of which were deemed illegal for failing to gain a permit from the government to hold a demonstration. Chantillon-Meunier’s boyfriend Emile Kinley-Gauthier, who was not arrested, said the two were merely observing the rallies. The demonstrations fell on the day of President Benigno Aquino’s state-of-the-nation address, and were in protest of his administration’s alleged abuses of human rights.
On Friday, Canadian Senator Pamela Wallin finished paying off the last of the expenses that she had wrongly claimed, starting in December 2010 until November 2012. Wallin paid back the $100,600.98 plus interest—an additional $13,938.19—in personal cheques to the federal government. Wallin’s senate expense scandal began in May of this year, when it was found that she was using taxpayer dollars for extra travelling expenses. After paying her expenses Friday, Wallin made a public statement in which she accused the auditing firm who conducted the review of her expenses, Deloitte, as well as the Senate internal economy committee of treating her unfairly. “Evidence that casts doubt on the correctness of the amounts owing was either ignored or disregarded during the review,” Wallin said in a statement released by her office. Despie the scandal, Wallin has also said that she does not plan to resign as a Senator.
NEWS Where is my tuition going? Curiosity delivers. |
| Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Understanding your university e-bill By Cece Zhang Infographic and design by Maryse Thomas
Administrative charges McGill collects certain administrative charges that have been approved by the university’s Board of Governors. These include a Registration Charge ($7.37 per credit), an Information Technology Charge ($7.19 per credit), a Transcript and Diploma Charge ($1.31 per credit), a General Administrative Charge (up to $46.17), and a Copyright Fee ($0.85 per credit).
When it comes to paying your e-bill, you may wonder just where all that money really goes. While tuition fees vary greatly based a student’s place of residence, academic program, and degree, here is a brief description of the main categories of fees that you pay every semester at McGill.
Student service fees Including a Student Services Fee ($141.50 per term) and an Athletics and Recreation Fee ($127.75 per term), the University Student Services Fees are approved by the Board of Governors and regulated by the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU). The funds are used to provide services to all McGill students, such as counselling and tutorials, the First People’s House, Career Planning Service (CaPS), Scholarships and Student Aid, and athletics facilities on both the downtown and Macdonald campuses.
Tuition and student fee breakdown
Student-initiated fees fund services provided to McGill students by student organizations. Examples of these include AccessMcGill, which makes McGill accessible to students with disabilities ($2.00 per semester), Student Television at McGill (TVM) ($1.50 per semester), and Midnight Kitchen ($2.25 per semester). Student-initiated fees must be approved through a SSMU referenda, and are renewed on a regular basis.
University and student insurance plan SSMU offers a Health and Dental Plan, administered by ASEQ (Alliance pour la Santé étudiant de Quebec), a Quebec medical insurance company for both inprovince and out-of-province students. The annual Health Plan and Dental Plan charges fees of $120 and $100, respectively. International students are charged for the International Health Insurance plan, which is approximately $951 per student.
Student society fees
Tuition fees Tuition fees are the base fee of any student bill, and assist the university with expenses such as staff, libraries, course offerings, and maintaing facilities. At McGill, tuition fees are influenced by several factors, including residence and citizenship status. The Quebec tuition rate increased by 2.6 per cent in the 2013-2014 school year, amounting to $2,224.20. Tuition for Canadian students from outside Quebec will be charged an extra 8.5 per cent for an out-of-province supplement on their tuitions, resulting in a $4,010.70 supplement fee. International students vary in the tuition they pay according to their program, ranging from $14,949.00 for a Bachelor of Arts to $35,250.00 for a Bachelor of Commerce.
All students are included in both their respective student society—SSMU for undergraduates and Post-Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS) for graduates—and their faculty association. Student Society Fee differs according to faculty, ranging from $356.94 for Science students to $736.12 for Engineering students. Membership fees to student societies fund the various services they provide—for example, SSMU’s fee covers WalkSafe and DriveSafe, as well as funds for student groups.
Student society fees by faculty
Tuition fees by place of residence for Bachelor of Arts Quebec tuition: $2,224.20
Arts & Science $365.60
Out-of-province tuition: $6,234.90
International tuition: $14,949.00
$439.44 Tuition and student fee breakdown pie chart is not to scale. Student fee percentage in relation to tuition will vary by place of residence. Statistics from mcgill.ca.
Editor-in-Chief Carolina Millán Ronchetti firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editors Ben Carter-Whitney email@example.com Erica Friesen firstname.lastname@example.org Jacqueline Galbraith email@example.com
Forging a better future for frosh Over the past several weeks, revelations of chants involving rape and sex with minors at St. Mary’s University in Nova Scotia, and the University of British Columbia, have shone another critical light on university ‘frosh’ events—often understood as an opportunity for students to indulge in a multi-day bacchanal before classes begin. Here at McGill, frosh has been a controversial topic; criticisms of a lack of inclusivity and promotion of rape culture have persisted over the years. While there have been gradual changes to the event over the years—increased restrictions on the availability of alcohol, and more attempts to include underage students at various events—the question remains: what do we as a community need to do to fix frosh? In the view of this editorial board, there are some good reasons for a frosh to exist on campus. Ideally, such a week would give direction to incoming students, dropped as they are into a completely unfamiliar city with few to no friends. It also would provide a safe—in all senses of the word—space for new students to blow off steam in the weeks before classes actually begin.
Living in Montreal, there’s a lot to be proud of, even more to be healthily suspicious of, and sometimes, quite a bit to complain about. Construction blocking your path for the fifth time this week? Narrowly avoided getting sideswiped by a rampaging cabbie yet again? Tuition fees continuing to rise while your wallet only gets lighter and lighter? These are all valid concerns, and are all felt by many of us here at McGill. Sometimes, however, people get up-in-arms about something so trivial that it begs the question of why anyone cares in the first place. The latest controversy to stir
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However, even in its purportedly improved form, frosh as we know it today falls far short of this ideal. The continued emphasis on heavy drinking substantially reduces the number of meaningful friendships that come out of the festivities, and the week often presents an experience not just unreflective of the rest of life at McGill, but in many ways wholly divorced from the reality of it. Many students have described frosh as a sort of multiday blur, with participants often feeling like cattle in a herd—deindividualized and acting out of a desire to fit in. Often, one of the main contributors to this problem is the behaviour of frosh leaders. Too often the position of frosh leadership attracts a certain kind of student—someone who had a good time during their own frosh in their first year, who wants to relive that experience with their friends. The problem with this is that frosh leaders with these motivations are often unconcerned—or, at least, not sufficiently concerned—with the needs of the young adults they are supposed to be leading. Some leaders will not take the time to ensure that all the students in their group are adjusting
well and interacting with others; they don’t provide a proper framework for the participants to drink responsibly, and make no or minimal effort to accommodate underage students, or students who would prefer not to drink. As in the cases of the offensive chants brought to light at the two universities, responsibility for the offensive behaviour exhibited during frosh weeks is as much—if not more—the fault of
up the community comes courtesy of a recent project by McGill University Services, which some see as an attempt to build an imposing, fortress-like enclosure out of our once peaceful and scenic campus—no doubt with the intention of frightening the university’s 38,779 students into simultaneous obedience. “What could possibly be so terrifying and/or dramatic?” you may wonder. As it happens, bike barriers were installed at the Milton Gates over the summer. Three foot tall, dinky, metal bike barriers. ‘Gate’ is a bit of a misnomer, considering that anyone with an agenda can easily barge (or cycle) right on through if so desired. They even swing. As anyone who has wandered down University Street can attest, the Milton Gates entrance is jampacked full of students, professors, and assorted Montrealers on any given day. If you were to poll a random sample of these commuters, chances are very few would welcome getting run over by a speeding
cyclist, which is why these barriers were installed in the first place. A recent article by the McGill Reporter describes “at least four incidents of collisions between cyclists and pedestrians in recent years,” as well as numerous anecdotes about nearmisses; the implementation of these bike barriers, modest though they may be, is purely in the interest of public safety. And even if it weren’t, these gates are so unobtrusive that for most of us, walking through them doesn’t even register as an event, much like opening a door, or putting on pants in the morning. If ever there was a definition of anti-climatic, it is the gentle brushing aside of a weakly protesting turnstile. The whole process is forgettable and insignificant in the extreme, yet these gates’ mere existence has provoked members of the student community to the point of necessitating a 700word essay denouncing them (in which, by the way, these relatively innocuous turnstiles are painted as instruments of anti-environmental,
“Options for students leery of the excesses of the standard frosh experience are often well under the radar ”
frosh leaders as of participants. Furthermore, options for students who seek a welcoming orientation but are leery of the excesses of the standard frosh experience are often well under the radar of even current students—let alone newly arrived first-years who are just settling into residence or an apartment. Froshes not coordinated by the
SSMU or faculty associations are generally under-publicized—leaving first-years with the impression that it is either standard frosh, or nothing. There are some paths to improvement; the development and ongoing culture of frosh, year after year, is a self-replicating process— those who enjoyed the event when they participated are the ones who themselves made the conscious choice to join the bodies that help shape it in future years, making reform a longer process than it otherwise should be. Those who didn’t enjoy frosh can provide a more critical perspective, and suggest the sorts of improvements that would make the event more inclusive. In addition, this editorial board feels that SSMU, along with other student groups, need to do a better job of not simply publicizing, but normalizing what we currently consider to be the “alternative” frosh options, so that all incoming students, regardless of their personal beliefs or disposition, will find a diverse environment that is not only inclusive, but more generally conducive to a psotive university experience for everybody.
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anti-francophone, and anti-intellectual sentiment, all in one go). The fact that such an argument is considered worthy of anything but the paper shredder indicates one of two things: a lamentably slow news week around McGill’s downtown campus, during which absolutely nothing of note occurred— or, failing that, the beginning of the end for journalism. Between its vibrant social scene, dubious political schemes, gang presence, monetary issues (felt especially at McGill), and more, there’s quite a bit to write about in this city, and even more to gripe about, if one were so inclined. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t protest things with which we disagree; that’s how democracy works, after all. If you don’t like something, tell the people in charge and if enough people share your view, that something may get changed to a better something. But whining about bike gates? That’s just a waste of time.
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Erratum A story in the Sept. 10 issue (McGill emerges victorious in Shaughnessy Cup showdown) incorrectly identified the McGill and Concordia football teams’ Shaughnessy Cup series record as 36-36. This tally, in fact, reflects the two teams’ all-time record. The Tribune regrets the error.
columnists A lament for the Laptop Lending Program
Mary Guay Commentary At the beginning of the semester, my roommate found herself without access to a personal computer for seven days. She managed to juggle switching classes and registering for conferences by running to the library between lectures or borrowing a laptop from a friend for a few hours. If this had happened last year, she could have avoided this hassle by participating in the library’s Laptop Lending Program (LLP). However, recent budget cuts have forced McGill to make substantial reductions to library services. These include the end of 24-hour
Syria situation demands critical analysis
In my final year of high school, I took a course on current affairs. My teacher was very enthusiastic about instilling an interest in being informed, but recognized our unwillingness to spend hours reading and writing during the dog-days of spring before graduation. Thus we spent most of our time debating social issues about which we were already relatively knowledgeable, and stayed away from discussing international issues that would require more in-depth background research to truly understand.
Assad against the world
“I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war.” On October 3, 2002, a young state senator gave an impassioned speech at an anti-war rally in the face of interventionist musings by the Bush White House. Two weeks later, the United States House of Representatives passed the Iraq Resolution, a move that began one of the longest military blunders since the Vietnam War. On the bright
access to libraries, the move of the Life Sciences Library, and the cancellation of the LLP. The LLP has since been replaced with a bursary fund that can be accessed via the Minerva financial aid menu. While the first two cuts doubtlessly affect more students than the latter, surprisingly few people are discussing the repercussions of losing the LLP. The bursary fund, though more cost-effective to the university than the LLP, is nowhere near as accessible. The fund is unable to help students whose laptops have been stolen or broken just before an important due date. It also adds another hurdle for students who do not have the means to purchase a laptop on their own. The financial aid process is already filled with lengthy applications that take up a great deal of time to complete. The single greatest divide in education today is social class. Students from wealthier families have been shown more likely to succeed academically than their poorer class-
mates who lack the resources needed for academic assistance. McGill, consistently ranked as one of the top 25 universities in the world, certainly is wildly cheaper than its American counterparts—but for many students, the costs of tuition, books, rent, and living are exorbitant. The financial burden placed upon students can be offset by loans and scholarships, but these simply cannot cover everything. Students still find themselves unable to afford an apartment close to campus or a summer-long unpaid internship. The LLP managed to offset the costs of a computer without the paperwork or hassle of applying for funding. Under the new Bursury fund, students with financial difficulties will be forced to spend late nights at the library, using slow computers instead of working at home while they wait for approval. McGill students seem to have little trouble rallying themselves around a cause; our campus has witnessed countless protests and dem-
onstrations over the past few years. McGill students are also in the midst of a massive campaign for equity and inclusivity. While ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and values are all acknowledged, we seem to gloss over the practical challenges of socio-economic differences. In this respect, the playing field can never be truly equal, but the loss of programs such as the LPP
only widen the ever growing gap of inequality amongst students. For a community so focused on action, equity, and inclusivity, it’s unclear why McGill students are more focused on minute matters such as the installation of bike gates than they are the loss of such a beneficial program for their community.
It is not surprising that some tend to shrink away from international issues. The world is a complicated place, full of cultures and political systems totally unfamiliar to us. This lack of familiarity in turn can deter people from staying informed—there may be a wealth of information out there, but the breadth of such information in and of itself is intimidating. Where do we start? What sources do we trust? How much do we have to know before we can express an opinion without it getting shot down by someone who knows more, or who has more conviction in their ideas? In August, we learned of accusations that the Assad regime in Syria had perpetuated a mass chemical weapons attack on its citizens. The attention dedicated to this event made it more of a faux pas to remain ignorant about foreign affairs. There are several reasons for this. First of
all, the nature of events like this are easily compartmentalized and made accessible. It is a lot easier to read breaking news on the UN’s investigation in Syria than it is to follow the day-to-day logistics of its twoyear, brutal civil war. Moreover, people are naturally more inclined to tune in when it seems that the news might affect them personally—the tense negotiations between the U.S., Russia, and Syria have left many Western citizens and scholars uneasy about the prospect of international war. This leads to the question of whether or not our periodic interest in these crises overseas actually increases our overall awareness about the topic in question. What is the true effect of reading a New York Times article or two about Syria? It could be highly informative, or procure some unintended consequences. When people only pay atten-
tion to current events at such crisis points, it leaves them more vulnerable to unreliable and biased information. At best, critical consumers will acknowledge these limitations when forming opinions. At worst, we might ignore it, and proceed to make assumptions that undermine the complexity of the issue at hand. American public opinion on Syria, for example, has been shaped enormously by the effects of war fatigue from Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the effects of the Arab Spring. The anniversary of the 9/11 attacks also impacted many opinions on the prospect of negotiations and a possible military strike. As often occurs with such controversial topics, politicians, media outlets, and ordinary citizens alike have a disconcerting tendency to make demons of important players in the struggle—comparing President Bashar al-Assad to Adolf Hitler or insinuating that
the motivations of rebel groups are purely jihadist. The reality of Syria’s civil war is far more complex than these statements imply; while many acknowledge this, harsh rhetoric that whitewashes difficult issues create sound bytes that leave lasting impacts on unsuspecting consumers of information. At the basic level of consumption that most people employ, there will always be a trade-off between the acquisition of knowledge and the inadvertent acquisition of false premises that we use to construct our opinions. This does not mean that we must comb through every possible news outlet to form an opinion, or otherwise avoid the news at all costs. Rather, we must always be curious, but humbly acknowledge our own ignorance and remain skeptical of everyone, including ourselves.
side, the political gods smile favourably on the few who challenge such neoconservative attempts at nation building. The state senator, Barack Obama, went on to win his 2004 Senate race and gain edtraction in the 2008-election cycle. It is doubtful that Obama would be where he is today had he championed a campaign that shed inconceivable amounts of blood and treasure. His election brought a collective sigh of relief to the global community—not only because we fell in love with his words, but also because we believed he would stand for a foreign policy in which facts and reason would triumph over passion and greed. Thirty-two years before the great orator condemned the invasion, a young Alawite general came to power in Sunni-dominated Syria through a bloodless coup. Hafez al-Assad began
a 30-year rule that oversaw massive economic growth, the establishment of a neutral foreign policy, and the empowerment of women and children through secularism and public education. However, his regime would be stained by a single, brutal event: the Hama massacre. In 1982, a siege on an Islamist stronghold saw Assad’s air force kill 20,000 militants and civilians. This tragedy is not disputed, but the western media typically neglects to mention what led to it. From 1976 to 1982, Syria experienced an Islamic uprising led by the Muslim Brotherhood, in which civilians, government officials, and, most notably, schools for girls, were targeted by suicide bombings and assassinations. The horror of this insurgency, amidst Assad’s attempt to build a modern Arab state, terrified secularists, liberals, women, and reli-
gious minorities, the same groups who today fear what a rebel victory could bring. That state senator is a different person today. Now president, Obama has advocated launching a “tactical strike” on yet another Arab nation, an incursion that will likely cost billions, devastate an already-crippled state, and provide Islamist rebel groups favourable conditions necessary to massacre countless Alawite, Christian, and Shi’ite Syrians. Clearly, Bashar al-Assad fails to meet the western standard of statesmanship. However, the current media image of him ignores the bigger picture. The regime he inherited in 2000 was one of the most progressive in the Arab world, and Bashar alAssad liberalized Syria’s economy and press to an extent unthinkable under Hafez, while simultaneously welcom-
ing back and liberating thousands of Syrian exiles and political prisoners. Although he has been merciless in preserving the nation that his father built, it is inconceivable to think that a sharia state would be a suitable alternative to the modern society that still endures in the Fertile Crescent today. It is laudable that the Obama administration is now taking a step back from its earlier threats of military action. It appears that Secretary Kerry, who once was on good terms with the Syrian dictator, has been leashed following brash statements which wildly oversimplified the situation. If he is any student of history, specifically the fates of American leaders who intervened in internal foreign conflicts, the president would leave Syria alone.
(Ruidi Zhu / McGill Tribune)
Science & technology TECHNOLOGY
3D printing takes the stage in modern market
Technology revolutionizes manufacturing and production, from hearing aids to children’s toys Kieran Steer Contributor In the future, children may not be pasting their coloured pictures to the fridge. Instead, parents can breathe life into these drawings by adding a 3D model to their kitchen. Lately, the hype around 3D printing—the technology used to create these models—has exploded with buzz about its extraordinary capacities and potential to revolutionize industry. 3D printing is an additive manufacturing process that constructs a three-dimensional solid object from a digital model. However, the process is far from new. In 1983, the same year that the camcorder and the CD were invented, inventor Chuck Hull developed the concept of 3D printing. He founded the company 3D Printing Systems in 1986—though this technology’s real economic and so-
cietal impact did not come to life for almost 30 years. There are two original components that drive Hull’s idea today: the novel method of additive manufacturing, and accessible computerized blueprints. Additive manufacturing is unique to 3D printers. While traditional manufacturing methods relied on melting, molding, and breaking down large pieces of plastics and metals into a final form, the new additive mode of manufacturing efficiently builds up the desired object using micro-layers of plastics and metals. By taking a blueprint of an object, the 3D printer adds layer after layer using powdered plastics or metals that are solidified via a laser or UV ray into a final form. Beyond these benefits of efficiency, digital 3D printing is also more accessible to the public and manufacturers than immutable
molds and leviathan manufacturing machines. The technology is moving in a direction where the general consumer will have more access to its uses, compared to the past when only high technological engineering firms used these devices. There are even 3D printers available for personal use, going for less than $1,300. The accessibility of 3D printing technology to the public is exactly what restricted Hull’s technology in the ’80s and has allowed it flourish in the past few years. Far more in depth than our everyday printers, the three-dimensional systems require special computeraided design (CAD) software in order to design the object through the computer. In the 1980’s, this kind of software was far more esoteric and less efficient, taking months to generate a single prototype. 3D printing has spent much of its lifetime trucking along in specialized engineering
firms. Today’s more advanced computer technology has expanded the horizons of 3D printing systems. The printers have made their way into numerous branches of industry including medical work, military, and other forms of research. For instance, because of the printers’ ability to build unique objects from a malleable blueprint, the technology has proved invaluable in building medical apparatuses including hearing aids and orthopedics. Since every patient has slight differences in form and structure—such as in ear size and shape—additive manufacturing has assisted in creating devices like hearing aids by adjusting a blueprint for each patient, making hundreds of plastic molds. This technology has also been used in the military sector. The VICE videos on YouTube went viral showing functioning assault rifles built
through the 3D printing process. Researchers at McGill have also used the technology to design precise prosthetics that attach to a dancer and play music as the performer moves. Some critics, however, remain skeptical of the new process’ future in manufacturing. For example, Terry Gou, head of Foxconn electric manufacturing goods, stated to Taiwan media that, “3D printing is a gimmick [….] If it really is that good, then I’ll write my surname ‘Gou’ backwards.” Offering to rewrite the spelling of one’s family name is a bold statement in Chinese culture. Despite some doubt, 3D printing has surfaced as a novel and promising technology. Where precision and selection are needed, 3D printing has proved an invaluable technology, continuing to expand the horizons of modern manufacturing.
Crowdsourced journalism raises reliability concerns Scientists search for ways to verify credibility of social media news Abhishek Gupta Contributor Every minute, there are 3,600 more photos on Instagram to like— and that’s not even including images posted on Facebook. Inspired by the volume and speed of information generated online, the browser Qmee, in collaboration with Social Media Agency mycleveragency, pulled together a detailed infographic to illustrate what transpires in the minute you spend turned away from your screen. The vast amount of digital information available online is growing more rapidly each year. This growth places us in a unique position; for the first time in history, the rate at which news travels around the world has exceeded that of the traditional media. Websites like Facebook or Twitter play off of humanity’s documentary instinct, allowing individuals to quickly share their experiences with members of the Internet community all over the globe. However, with this culture of citizen journalism comes the question of credibility. If everyone can be a ‘journalist’ online, how much of the information posted can we trust as entirely true? When an earthquake of magnitude 7.6 hit Costa Rica on Sept. 5 2012, the shock waves took about 60
seconds to reach the capital of Nicaragua, Managua. Within the next 30 seconds, the first tweet reading “tremor” appeared online. In the case of recent events in Tahrir Square, where former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced his resignation, Twitter exploded with tweets documenting the event. This form of social media played an important role as a means of communication within a volatile environment, as journalists were forced to leave the area due to safety concerns. Journalists paid particular attention to following certain ‘Tweeple’ (Twitter people), designating them as ground-level sources for the events unraveling moment by moment. Knowing which of those profiles were credible was quite a task—there were tens of thousands of tweets floating around as the situation transpired. To address this issue, programs were used to track social media and verify its credibility. Andre Pannison, a network scientist at the University of Turin, created a visualization of all the tweets with the hashtag #jan25, the suspected date of Mubarak’s resignation. Each tweet is represented as a node and ‘re-tweets’ are mapped as lines between these nodes through the use of a program known as a Gephi Graph Streaming
plugin. By analyzing the image, the credibility of the source could be inferred from the number of lines emerging from each node, proving an amazing tool in the hands of journalists striving to paint an accurate portrait of the situation as events progressed at Tahrir Square. Evidently, there is an interesting shift in the dynamics of content-generation and consumption. With the widespread capacity of sharing thoughts online, there is an abundance of information in times of crisis. The role of the journalist has expanded to not only covering events through one’s own eyes, but also acting as filters and synthesizers of news from relevant and credible social media sources. We, as students and consumers of web-based social media, are responsible for contributing to and receiving a large portion of social media—and often credibility—questionable. One method of addressing this issue is looking for alternate sources confirming the information or reporting a similar story. This summer, when a sinkhole developed on Ste. Catherine while construction was in progress, social sites were abuzz with a particular photograph of the incident that seemed to have originated from the camera of a passer-by. It was shared
Pannison visualized all tweets with #jan25, the suspected date of Mubarak’s resignation. Dots represent individual Twitter handles. (Gephi.org) by Virgin Radio’s Facebook page and then by McGill students. Over and over again similar photos were posted online, all showing different angles of the same sinkhole shared on Virgin Radio’s page. In this case, the consistency and volume of evidence established the credibility of the incident. In contrast, last year McGill was abuzz with people claiming they had spotted Tom Hanks on a private tour of the campus in relation to enroling one of his children at McGill.
This time around, not only was there no photographic evidence, but also a lack of consistency with respect to reports of his clothing and tour group; this diminished the story’s credibility. As consumers of social media, we are responsible for critically assessing the credibility of information posted online. Even then, the facts remain blurry, and we must tread a little more carefully before accepting any information online as the truth.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 |
science & technology
| Curiosity delivers.
Taking the ‘science’ from science fiction: Iron Man 3 Emerging technologies resemble superhero Tony Stark’s holographic blueprints Alexander Messina Contributor Science fiction is a genre known to warn us of the dangers of technological progress, but sometimes it acts as the one to inspire it. In the ’60s, viewers of Star Trek would never have imagined that small pocket phones, microwaves, or automatic doors could be possible in 20 years. Although we can’t pinpoint exactly what inspires the scientists of today, it is always interesting to look at what technologies are included in modern movies and how close we are to achieving them. This week, we take a look at some of the science that may have inspired Iron Man 3, released this past summer. 3D User Interfaces: One interesting feature the Iron Man films continue revisiting is the concept of a 3D user interface. Throughout the series, superhero Tony Stark plays around with holograms of his blueprints in order to design his weapons. Though currently just a novelty on screen, this technology has the capacity to play an especially useful role in many
fields today. Inventor Elon Musk and his team at SpaceX, a California space transport company, recognized this application when they designed a 3D user interface to aid in modeling and designing rocket parts and engines. The program uses a Leap Motion controller—a small device with two cameras and three infrared LEDs which allows users to interact with the wireframe of an object that is projected on a screen, similar to Stark’s manipulation of his blueprints. The model can then be produced using a 3D printing technique called Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS). The user currently only has rudimentary motion control of the model, but this is simply one application of the technology in action. There are other examples of 3D user interface concepts currently in use that have been developed by other groups. The applications range from controlling a robotic arm to browsing an anatomical model during surgery, all of which are accomplished by manipulating a wireframe on screen. Regenerating Limbs: Another interesting idea in
McGill’s medical clubs Caity Hui, Science and Technology Editor
There are a variety of medical clubs at McGill that provide undergraduate students with resources and unique opportunities. In case you were overwhelmed at Activities Night, SciTech interviewed two of these organizations to find out what they’re all about.
Medical Direction Medical Direction is one of McGill’s Pre-Med clubs that reaches out to any undergraduates interested in a career in medicine. The club hopes to act as a reliable source for students considering the field by providing them with as much information and resources as possible. “Ultimately, we want to help students make an informed decision and guide them in the right direction,” VP Academic Marian Chen explained. One of the most popular services offered by Medical Direction is their shadowing program, which provides students with the opportunity to interact with doctors and gain a better understanding of the profession. Through Medical Direction, students can also get involved with Global Medical Training (GMT) —a program that provides students the opportunity to observe and assist in healthcare for medically deprived communities in Central American countries. With so much work in the classroom, GMT offers students the chance to apply their knowledge by participating in medical assessments and treatment of patients who have limited public healthcare systems. Chen encourages all students passionate about healthcare to look into the program. Medical Direction’s next event is a medical school symposium on Thursday Sept. 19 from 6-7:30 p.m. in Leacock 132. You can find more details about the event at md.sus.mcgill.ca
Elon Musk of SpaceX demonstrates a 3D user interface. (YouTube.com) Iron Man 3 was the Extremis project, developed by Iron Man’s enemy, the Mandarin, to regenerate body parts. The super strength and fire breathing abilities were fun in their own right, but the way it restored amputated limbs was the truly interesting and much more realistic application. Salamanders and other animals like starfish are able to regenerate their limbs. In fact, adult salamanders can regrow their spinal cord, heart and even parts of their brain. The regeneration observed in organisms like the salamander is accomplished through a complex sys-
tem of chemical reactions and immune cells working together at the injury site to repair the wound. It also involves the de-differentiation of cells to their original state: the stem cell. Unlike other cells, stem cells have not yet differentiated into a particular type of cell—like a heart or muscle cell—meaning they have the potential to proliferate into any type of tissue. Therefore, stem cells can adopt the properties of the salamander’s lost tissue in order to replace the limb. A similar regeneration system is present in mammals; however, due to the scarcity of stem cells, the
effect is not quite to the same capacity. Nonetheless, it is well documented that fingertips in humans can heal to about their original state after an accident. Recent studies in genetically engineered mice suggest that the Wnt-signalling pathway, a signaling system that transmits information from outside the cell to within, is involved in the regeneration of amputated fingertips. Assistant Professor of Dermatology Mayumi Ito from the New York University’s School of Medicine reported his discovery of self-renewing stem cells located in the nail matrix (the part of the nail bed that stimulates nail growth) in a paper published June 2013. This finding, among others, supports the concept that fingertips are able to regenerate to their original state after injury. The regeneration of limbs is not a novel idea, but it has been researched extensively in recent years due to advances in genetic and biological techniques. These new studies have offered an outlook on the biology of regeneration that may even lead the way to one day restoring an amputee’s limbs.
Student Association for Medical Aid The Student Association for Medical Aid (SAMA) is a non-profit, student run organization at McGill. It provides students with the opportunity to actively participate in various healthcare initiatives with the goal of helping vulnerable individuals and communities around the world. According to U2 quantitative biology student and three-year member Alex Hofkirchner, SAMA has two main focuses: promoting local initiatives and medical aid abroad. During the school year, the club devotes its time to fundraisers for its summer projects, such as club nights, samosa sales, and its annual Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction. However, it also participates in various Montreal-based volunteering initiatives like Santropol Roulant, which provides a “meals-on-wheels” program to older citizens. Over the summer, SAMA sends its members around the globe to carry out humanitarian aid projects. Hofkirchner explains that the focus of the projects is the organization of a temporary mobile clinic to screen and treat individuals in the most impoverished communities. Current projects are planned for Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda. Hofkirchner joined SAMA because it stood apart from other clubs with similar goals. “I noticed how close existing SAMA members were. Meetings felt more like class reunions than weekly gatherings,” he said. He also liked that SAMA gave its new members a variety of responsibilities. “Even in my first year with SAMA, I was taking on responsibilities from scheduling fundraiser shifts to helping with coat checks and designing promotional posters. The inclusivity of the group
Hofkirchner spent time with children in Namatala, Uganda, while assisting with a three-day medical clinic in the village. (Cassandra Morin / SAMA Member) really drew me in.” Like many members, Hofkirchner’s favourite part of his involvement was the trip abroad. “Along with three other members, I travelled to Namatala, Uganda where we organized a three-day medical clinic that treated 1633 individuals,” he explained. “The experience was truly incredible.” SAMA’s recruitment meeting will take place this Thursday at 7 p.m. in McIntyre Medical Building Room 522
Curiosity delivers. |
science & technology
| Tuesday, September 17, 2013
â€œTony Stark plays around with holograms of his blueprints in order to design his weapons. Though currently just a novelty on screen, this technology has the capacity to play an especially useful role in many fields today.â€?
(Joyce Siu / McGill Tribune)
A peek into the lives of undocumented immigrants
By Jessica Fu
On Feb. 21, the Toronto City Council passed a motion declaring Toronto a “sanctuary city.” According to the Toronto Star, the motion establishes a formal policy allowing undocumented individuals access to city services regardless of status. The statistics surrounding illegal immigration in Canada are unclear, but current estimates by Professor Peter Showler, director of the Refugee Forum at the University of Ottawa, conclude that between 35,000 and 120,000 undocumented immigrants live in the country. Discussion of legislation to address a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants has not been introduced to Parliament in recent years. With an estimated foreign-born population of 6.8 million, Canada is known as an immigrant-friendly destination, but there are still issues that the undocumented face. South of the border, the issue has seemingly reached a tipping point. Immigration reform has not only been addressed in Congress, but has also seen overwhelming support from activists, labour unions, employers, and the president himself, all of whom are demanding comprehensive reform. Earlier this year, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 was introduced in the United States Senate. On June 27, 2013, the bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support,
with 68 senators, of both parties, for and 32 Republicans senators against. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) introduced the Act and it was, in turn, written and rewritten by a group of another seven senators, known collectively as the “gang of eight.” The bill would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants—of which there are an estimated 11 million—while setting up provisions that would strengthen American border security. Other parts of the Act address visa backlog and increasing work permits. Currently on the table at the House of Representatives, the Act has proved divisive amongst voters and members of Congress. Given the socially conservative nature of the Republican-led House, the future of the Act remains unclear.
Struggles faced by the undocumented Fletcher* arrived in Canada on a business trip from China. Instead of returning at the end of his trip, he overstayed his visa and settled into life without legal status, living with friends and, occasionally, distant family. He received a Temporary Resident Permit and eventually gained citizenship. He now works as an insurance salesman and has three children. They live in a suburban neighborhood in the Greater Toronto Area.
Fletcher’s motivations are often shared by many in similar situations: the prospect of employment and a better life for his children. “My father’s dream was to come to Canada, and that [had] been my dream, too,” Fletcher says. “I came here […] for the chance to achieve [that dream].” As posted by the Wall Street Journal, unemployment in China rests at an estimated 9.2 per cent,. Unemployment in Canada, however, has been reported by the Financial Post to be around 7 per cent since the recession. When taking into account the population disparity between the two countries—1.3 billion to 34.8 million—the problem becomes much more clear. Despite varying motivations, immigrants typically face similar struggles: lack of access to health care, vulnerability to exploitation in the workplace, and the constant fear of having their lack of status revealed. Without legal status, Fletcher worked meticulously to stay healthy. In the few times he experienced prolonged illness, he chose to pay in cash and upfront for services at health clinics. Between lacking the right to work legally and requiring a job to get by, Fletcher was stuck in limbo, working diligently for each week’s under-the-table pay, yet unable to use his skills as leverage for fair wages. Undocumented immigrants often find themselves in vulnerable
positions, unwilling to disclose cases of abuse or harassment, as doing so would put themselves at risk of exposing their status. On Jun. 17, the Washington Post reported that the owners of multiple East Coast 7-Eleven stores had employed over 50 undocumented workers under false identities, while pocketing portions of their wages and requiring rent in cash for living in their homes. This is just one example of the precarious situations immigrants often face. “I did not have to pay rent to most of the friends who allowed me to live with them. Others [in my situation] are not so fortunate,” Fletcher recalls. “But I was still wiring funds home to my parents, and there was never a week when I thought, ‘this week I did enough work.’” In addition to financial difficulties, undocumented individuals face a number of social and emotional tolls. Despite contributing to the economy through taxes on purchases, property, and employment, undocumented immigrants face race-based discrimination, stigma, and blame in matters such as unemployment rates and welfare.
Motivating factors to illegally immigrate Gillian’s* father, originally a citizen of the Philippines, met his
first wife through an arrangement by his family. In exchange for $1,000, he married her, applied for a green card, and then applied for a divorce. A few years later, he swore the Oath of Allegiance and became an American citizen. Years later, he met another woman, an American living in Guam, who would later become his second wife and the mother of his two children. They have since relocated to the Pacific Northwest. Although this situation is very real for some immigrants, it has been frequently used as a comedic plot point. On television, Tom Haverford’s marriage to Wendy on NBC’s Parks and Recreation is a source of peculiarity and plot development. In film, Sandra Bullock’s outrageous and longwinded pursuit of Ryan Reynolds in The Proposal is based on her expired work visa and desire to remain in the United States. But media portrayal of marriage fraud has rarely explored the harsh realities that face its participants in real life—motivations that drive them to break the law. Marriage fraud is just a snippet of a larger thread of issues surrounding the difficulties of immigration.
“Undocumented immigrants often find themselves in vulnerable positions, unwilling to disclose cases of abuse or harassment” In Canada and the United States, the decision to commit marriage fraud, to overstay a visa, or to cross borders without documentation is not one made with ease. Motivating factors range from access to education to employment opportunities. The consequences, if marriage fraud or lack of status is discovered, are accordingly drastic; they include deportation or the revocation of citizenship, as well as a ban from the country. These individuals have emigrated from countries around the world and cite an array of reasons for their displacement. Those who choose to eschew the route of obtaining an immigrant visa and immigrate through a legal manner do so in the face of a number of obstacles in achieving legal immigration, including financial difficulties and lengthy wait times. Immigration in Canada is not subject to country-specific quotas, but visa processing can still take up to four years depending on an immigrant’s location. According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the cost of immigration depends on many factors, such as type of visa, fees that can cost up to $550 per person, and additional legal consultation fees. Wait times for green cards in the United States depend on a number of factors, including type of immigrant visa and country of origin. Due to per-country allowances, a citizen of the Philippines, like Gillian’s father, may have to wait up to 20 years for permanent residency
on a work permit. Within such a time frame, the immigrants remain affixed to the terms of their visas, which bind them to their employer, their area of work, and a geographic region amongst other stipulations. Marriage, on the other hand, is not subject to quotas. Permanent residency can be gained within a year of application, and the wait to apply for citizenship is shortened for those married to citizens. Hence, immigrants sometimes attempt to forgo the long wait and complicated process through marriage fraud.
Long-standing consequences Oftentimes, whole families will immigrate and live under the shadows, and as a result, many children end up facing another range of issues, which can include social isolation and anxiety. Fears of deportation and separation from parents take immeasurable tolls on children, who as a result, may do worse in school, have more physical and mental health issues, and find themselves alienated in their community. Growing Up in the Shadows: The Developmental Implications of Unauthorized Status is a journal article published by the Harvard Education Publishing Group. “Poor work conditions, such as low wages, lack of access to benefits, and limited opportunities for employment, which are more prevalent among unauthorized adults, are associated with low academic achievement among their middle school and high school children,” the journal reported. “It is likely that living in a community where family members or friends’ parents have been detained or deported heightens insecurity and may undermine a sense of belonging and trust. If the child is a citizen, her sense of belonging to the nation could be undermined as its authorities actively seek to expel his or her parents, siblings, and other loved ones.” Given the divisive nature of the issue, a decision of immigration reform can only be predicted warily. As the debate goes on, undocumented immigrants continue to contribute to our communities, while struggling with the technical barriers and emotional tolls of living in the shadows. Life becomes one of contradictions: living under a constant cloud of fear, while trying to maintain an outward appearance of normalcy. The priority becomes living, working, and growing in a country known for its fundamental freedoms while remaining cautious day in and day out of what can be revealed and who can be trusted. *Names have been changed.
Information on the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act collected from congress.gov
in the USA
Immigrants who received permanent residency in May 2013 have waited up to
Adult siblings coming from the Philippines Married adult sons and daughters of American citizens from Mexico Married adult sons and daughters of American citizens (not from India, Mexico, China, nor the Philippines)
Unskilled workers (not from India, Mexico, China, nor the Philippines)
Spouses and unmarried minor children of all countries of origin
Potential Immigration reform
Increase in skilled work visas
11 million +
Undocumented immigrants will be given legal status and a pathway to citizenship Source: the Wall Street Journal
Student living This week’s Student of the Week is Tricia Olson, a U2 double major in biology and computer science. She was nominated for her involvement in a wide range of McGill clubs. Some of her roles in clubs this year include vice president of Gamers’ Guild (a club about board and card games), advertising executive of the Symphonic Band Club, member of Epilogue Book Club, and member of the McGill Mafia Club (a club for the party game known as Mafia or Werewolf).
the student ofweek
by Leah Brainerd
Tricia OlsOn U2 Biology and computer science (Wendy Chen / McGill Tribune)
McGill Tribune: Do you have a favourite part about one of the clubs you are in? Tricia Olsen: Playing in wind quintet through band was loads of fun. I really liked getting to play in a small group, and I [didn’t have] the chance [to do so] in high school. MT: Do you have a favorite piece of music that you’ve played with the band?
TO: [Anton Reicha’s] Op. 91, No. 4, the woodwind quintet, mostly because I felt we had it well polished by the time we got to the concert.
MT: What is your favourite game to play with the Guild? TO: If we’re talking board games, probably Dominion, a deck building game. MT: What is your dream job? TO: I like to think I could get into artificial intelligence research with my degree, but we’ll see. I could also be a trophy wife or wealthy heiress, if the opportunity arose. MT: You’re having a good day. What would be your theme music? TO: The entire works of Bonobo— kind of a jazz-influenced electronic artist. It’s excellent music, but pretty low-key so I could concen-
trate on other things.
MT: Sherlock or Watson? TO: BBC’s Sherlock, the character, is great—clever, rude, and hilarious. That show is so well done; I love it. MT: Favorite place to study on campus? TO: Hiding in the Gamers’ Guild office in SSMU. MT: If you had a superpower what would it be? Would you be a hero or a villain? What would your name be? TO: My superpower would be the ability to apparate*. I would be a minor villain who apparates into bank vaults and people’s houses to steal small amounts of money, so no one notices. But, I would still
go by Tricia Olson because having a villainous name would likely attract attention. MT: What website do you procrastinate on the most, excluding Facebook? TO: Reddit, by far. MT: What would be your choice of weapon in the zombie apocalypse? TO: A terrible virus to extinct humanity, because if there are no humans left, the zombies will all die of starvation from lack of brains! There are no flaws with this plan. *For those not versed in Harry Potter terminology, apparating is a method of transportation akin to teleportation.
nominate a student of the week!
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alicia Noë Contributor
Not your average ‘royale with cheese’ (Michael Paolucci / McGill Tribune)
If you need a new go-todestination for your next burger bonanza, consider the delectable Burger Royal. Located on St. Laurent between Roy and St. Cuthbert, this lesser-known joint serves up succulent burgers with imaginative toppings. Since their opening in December 2012, the owners have vowed to produce quality products using only inseason Quebec-grown ingredients and freshly ground meat. At Burger Royal, no small detail is overlooked. The restaurant has a casual atmosphere with hand-painted, silly, burger-themed graffiti covering the walls. The servers are friendly, inviting, and eager to accommodate requests and answer any questions. The owners strive to maintain a mom-and-pop feeling, encouraging others to enjoy their delicious food.
There is a burger for everyone on this menu—including beef, chicken, and vegetarian options, which you then customize from an extensive selection of toppings. These include traditional toppings like lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle, but also more intriguing options such as spicy mayo, guacamole, jalapeños, peanut butter, and cheese curds. Burger Royal has also created specialty burgers that regulars rave about. The Mac Attack Burger is topped with mac and cheese, bacon, and ketchup. For poutine lovers, there is a Royal Poutine Burger. For those looking for even more decadence, there is a Foie Gras Burger—a burger stuffed with goose-liver pâté, and served with melted Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, and Dr. Pepper BBQ house sauce. Finally, there is an off-menu meat-lover’s
burger loaded with hot dogs, chili, foie gras, and bacon—a secret furtively divulged to me by my waiter. My personal choice was the relatively simple Classic Royal Burger with sharp cheddar cheese, spicy mayonnaise, and ketchup. The burger consists of a welltoasted sesame seed bun with one beef burger stacked below a large, ripe tomato slice, crisp lettuce leaves, and red onions. It is the perfect amount of bread so as not to overwhelm the burger flavour. Just from the appearance of my burger I expected a delicious first bite; when I did dive in, I wasn’t disappointed. Juices began to run down my hands and wrists—a sure sign of a respectable burger. I also ordered French fries, which were thinly cut and fried to a perfect level of crispiness. You can choose to accompany the fries
with homemade dipping sauces, such as honey mustard and mayonnaise. It is important to note that, aside from burgers, there are many other tempting items on the menu at Burger Royal. There is chili packed with red kidney beans to which you can add extra toppings like the house-made cheese sauce. Additionally, the creative genius of this burger joint has turned out various playful milkshakes made with milk flavoured by favourite childhood breakfast cereals including Captain Crunch, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, or Fruit Loops; many people come in just for these shakes. Burger Royal is far from the traditional burger place, offering unbeatable fresh meat, wildly creative toppings, and an overall enticingly delicious meal. This hidden gem offers a tempting burger
Burger Royal is located at
3820 Blvd. St. Laurent, Montreal, Quebec
Mon-Tues: 11:00-22:00 Wed-Fri: 11:30-23:00 Sat: 12:00-23:00 Sun: 12:00-21:00
at a reasonable price, and, fortunately for students, they deliver too. Their own slogan sums up the experience perfectly: Natural. Simple. Delicious.
Curiosity delivers. |
y b b i r T Ask Dear Tribby, This summer I met the most amazing guy at my internship in California. We met on the first day of work and hit it off immediately. While he’s studying finance at UCLA, I’m a management student at McGill. We still communicate through Skype and text messages every day, but I feel like the distance between us is getting farther and farther. We never defined what was going on between us or talked about our plans after the summer. Is this just a summer fling or an actual relationship?
—Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder? Dear Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder: Summer flings—they end as fast as they come. They’re fun while they last, but aren’t too serious. Before you get too bogged down by what he’s thinking, ask yourself where you want this relationship to go; you’ve got some stake in this too. If you’re unsure of what he thinks of you, try
| Tuesday, September 17, 2013
If you’re missing those summer nights or worrying about pantry mites, Tribby is here to help. looking for hints through your conversations with him. Did he ever refer to you as his partner? How did he introduce you to his friends in California? If he hasn’t made it clear that he wants this relationship between you two to continue, there’s a good chance he viewed this relationship as a summer fling. Also, what makes you feel like you’re drifting apart? Could it be that you’re preoccupied with the start of classes and a new semester? Does he start replying in one-word texts and constantly have reasons to postpone your Skype sessions? This may also tell you what he thinks about this relationship, and whether he values it as much as you do. If you feel like the desire to stay together isn’t reciprocal, let it end and enjoy the new school year at McGill! Who knows what will happen next? However, if you feel that both of you want to take this relationship to the next level, keep in mind that although the long distance is difficult, it certainly isn’t impossible. Making it last requires a lot of communication. Discuss with him your plans
for your future with him and what you want out of this. You have to make sure that both of you are on the same page for your relationship to work. Whatever ends up happening, just remember that you had a great summer meeting this amazing guy, and make the good memories last.
Yours truly, Tribby Dear Tribby, I came back to my apartment after a summer away only to discover little bugs in my dried oats and pasta that I kept in my kitchen cabinet over the summer. What are they and what should I do about it? Help!
Although they contain a ton of protein and nutrients, they contain even more bacteria and induce allergic reactions in some people. Don’t be too hard on yourself though; whether or not you’re completely devoid of hygiene, these insects probably weren’t your fault. Often food from the supermarket contains insect eggs, which only hatch in warm and humid summer conditions. With bugs in your dried oats and pasta, chances are there are also bugs in other food items that you left behind over the summer. My suggestion for you is to look through your entire kitchen—toss those old Oreo cookies that you left in your cabinet, and throw away that carton of milk you forgot about in your fridge! Turn it into a kind of spring—I mean fall—cleaning!
Yours truly, Tribby
Dear Bugged Out: Throw it away! It is never a good sign when there are bugs in your food.
Got a question? Need advice? Ask Tribby!
Making the call when it comes to alcohol M-SERT explains how to take care of a friend if your night out takes a turn for the worse (Michael Paolucci / McGill Tribune) Marlee Vinegar Student Living Editor Although frosh has come to an end, the consequences of frivolous alcohol consumption are an ongoing reality for many university students. Often the responsibility of caring for a queasy companion falls on a friend or a residence floor-mate. During this year’s frosh and Orientation Week, the McGill Student Emergency Response Team (M-SERT) acted as the primary first-aid coverage for the week’s events. A group comprised of 55 student volunteers who are all certified first responders, M-SERT treats emergencies from muscularskeletal injuries to anaphylaxis, but the majority of their calls pertain to alcohol and drug-related problems. M-SERT’s chief objective during this year’s frosh was to get out the message that as soon as an individual recognizes an emergency situation, one should call for help rather than try to handle the situation themselves. Students
should call M-SERT if it occured at a McGill event or in residence, and an ambulance if it’s elsewhere. “In the past, we had issues where coordinators and frosh leaders were in the way of the call and trying to [give treatment] themselves,” Director of M-SERT Thomas Schamhart says. “Legally, [if you’re giving any form of first aid, as a responder] you’re completely liable for anything that happens if you’re neglectful and drinking alcohol.” As a preventative measure to stay safe, students should be prepared and know in advance where they’re going, with whom they’re going out, and how they’re getting home. Schamhart’s advice is simple: “Never be alone; you need someone to recognize that you are [in] a first-aid emergency.” In cases where you do find yourself alone, Schamhart recommends McGill’s Walk Safe and Drive Safe services, which facilitate safe travel at night. If you’re in a situation where you think a friend has had a few too many drinks, the number one
thing to remember is communication. The first step is to assess their level of consciousness—is the person alert and responsive to voice, to pain, or not responsive at all? “Ask them: do they know where they are; do they know their name; do they know what day it is? If [someone] can’t answer those questions, that’s a bad sign,” Schamhart explains. For this reason, checking in and re-evaluating your friend’s state is crucial. If you’re familiar with a friend’s reaction to alcohol, it may be easier for you to determine whether this is actually a cause for concern or not. For a person you are less familiar with, communication is even more important. Asking an individual if they want an ambulance is one way of evaluating the situation. “People kind of forget [that] it’s a good question to ask, even if it’s your friend,” Schamhart explains. “It also saves you from making the decisions. They’re the one making the decisions. They’re the one
[ultimately] going to the hospital.” Also look out for and inquire about other potential injuries. You should ask questions like “Did you fall?” and “Did you hit your head on the counter?” says Yassmin Behzadian, M-SERT vice-president training. “Head injuries are very serious, it’s almost immediately 911.” The same goes for vomiting up anything abnormal, like blood, she added. When a friend just needs to turn in for the night, there are other ways you can help out. You may want to get a blanket or sweatshirt, because alcohol depresses activity in some areas of the brain, thereby dulling the senses, and your friend may not realize how cold they are. Consuming alcohol also causes dehydration, which may be compounded if a person is vomiting. Giving a friend a glass of water will help re-hydrate them and reduce symptoms like headaches, muscle cramps, and dizziness. Once your friend is in bed, try to check on them once in a while to make sure they’re okay, and that they haven’t rolled over into a
weird position or vomited in their sleep. The M-SERT staff stress that students should not hesitate to seek help, whether it is from a sober roommate, floor fellow, MSERT, poison control (mainly in the case of drug use), or 911. According to Schamhart, people are often deterred by the potential repercussions of being caught using substances. “Do not be afraid of the consequences, as keeping your friend healthy is the most important choice you can make,” Schamhart advises. If you’re not in a condition where you can provide that care, it’s your responsibility to find someone who can. M-SERT’s office is located in room B23 in the SSMU Building. A team is situated in Molson and La Citadelle Residences every evening from 6p.m.- 6a.m. They can be reached by contacting McGill Security Services at (514) 398-3000. Office telephone: (514) 398-5216.
arts & entertainment MUSIC
McGill alumnus Mary Alouette explores gypsy jazz on a lark Singer-songwriter adapts creative roots in Montreal to New York showbusiness Max Bledstein Contributor What would gypsy jazz and electronic music sound like together? Singer-songwriter Mary Alouette provides the answer on her latest EP, The Lark. “I love both genres of music, and their styles complement each other well,” Alouette says. “The combination is a way for me to realize musical interests that I have and to see them all. I feel a little bit cheated if I’m only doing one—why not do everything that you enjoy?” Her casual approach undersells the remarkable cohesion that she finds between the two styles in her music. Alouette’s fusion of the genres was part of the natural progression of her career. She found gypsy jazz by answering a Craigslist ad, after which it became a constant source of fascination for her. “It’s funny how Craigslist can change your life,” she says with a laugh. Alouette had always been inter-
ested in making electronic music, but until working in a New York City recording studio, she hadn’t learned how to do it properly. She took a job doing mixing and sound engineering, which led to her aquiring the necessary tools to create her own electronic music. A Maryland native and McGill alumnus, Alouette graduated in 2008 with a major in vocal performance and a minor in drama and theatre. During her time at McGill, Alouette went by her birth name of Mary Kavalauskus, and later adopted Alouette as a stage name. Currently, she lives in New York, where she can usually be found performing, recording, or composing. Alouette sees a sharp contrast between life in Montreal and her life now. “Montreal’s francophone culture has had a profound influence on me, almost to the point where I feel like I’m from Montreal more than from where I [actually] grew up.” “It’s much more businessminded here in New York,” she con-
tinues. “In Montreal there’s much more time to be creative. There’s more governmental support of the arts and rent’s less expensive. In New York, money is a major factor, and people are all about making it. I feel like you have to push harder to make ideas come to you and be creative here.” Still, Alouette has also benefitted quite a bit from her current home. “I thrive on the energy of New York. It’s always moving, and it suits me well. It’s big—there are so many cultures that are brought together here. A lot of young artists are established here, and it’s great because there’s a huge network of artists. Most of my friends are artistically involved, so we all collaborate and work on projects together to build our own portfolios. Ideally I’d spend half a year in Montreal creating, then come back to New York and promote the material the other half of the year. I love them both dearly.”
Mary Alouette’s subgenre of jazz mimics her nomadic lifestyle. (maryalouette.com)
The dirty dozen
Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave is gut-wrenchingly brilliant Chris Liu Contributor
12 Years a Slave is agony in the fullest sense of the word. Chronicling the life of Solomon Northup, a free black man from New York kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841, the film sees director Steve McQueen (Hunger; Shame) at the very zenith of his formidable artistic talent. It takes a horrific portrayal to capture a horrific institution. 12 Years is a mesmerizing, intoxicating tale of man’s capacity for both unspeakable cruelty and incalculable courage. Solomon (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is first introduced as a prosperous and cultured family man. After temporarily traveling to perform with a pair of unscrupulous circus performers, one bad night of drinking is all it takes for him to wake up in chains. Initially, Solomon is defiant and indignant, as one might expect. “I don’t want to survive,” he says; “I want to live.” This attitude is quickly beaten out of him. This, in fact, is the main reason why 12 Years a Slave is easily one of the most agonizing films of the year. McQueen has never been known to pull punches, and he cer-
12 Years a Slave tackles an inhuman era in America’s history. (USA Today)
tainly doesn’t here. The violence is swift, brutal, and often unexpected. There are several scenes so ghastly, so terrifying, that I trembled and flinched in ways I have never done before during a film. Yet, the pain one feels sitting in the audience is infinitesimal to the misery experienced by someone born and sold into slavery. This is the absolute worst aspect of the film’s on-screen cruelty: the entire time, one’s mind is racing with the words, “This once happened. People did this. People still do this.” It is true that Solomon’s story
is full of wickedly inhuman humans; as Paul Giamatti’s slave trader says, “My sentimentality extends the length of a coin.” Yet, this brutality also makes the flashes of courage all the more formidable and inspirational. Lupita Nyong’o gives a breathtaking performance as Patsey, a slave encountered by Solomon once he is sold to the Epps plantation. Patsey is a raw personality within an equally raw film, and Nyong’o captures the character with a fullness and deftness that belies her relatively nascent career.
The other knockout performance comes from Ejiofor. He succeeds in imbuing the role of Solomon with gravitas and grace, but Ejiofor’s best moments are when the fragility of the character shines through. Solomon is neither hero nor saint, and Ejiofor’s portrayal is entirely human. The twin powerhouse performances of Ejiofor and Nyong’o are impactful even with an exceptionally talented supporting cast (including the always-onform Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt). The smart screenplay by John
Ridley is impressively nuanced, capturing much of the complex intersections of race, gender, and economic status that existed among slaves and slaveholders. Hans Zimmer’s score features deliciously dissonant percussive turmoil, in addition to the typical panoply of melancholic strings. These aspects, as well as the film’s impeccable pacing, editing, and cinematography, makes 12 Years one of the crown jewels at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Here, Steve McQueen achieves one of the holy grails of cinema—12 Years a Slave holds up a mirror to the darkest forces of humanity, and forces us to look. I shed tears, not just for Solomon Northrup, but also for the countless souls who have suffered and continue to suffer under the barbarous practice of slavery. And judging by the chorus of sniffles rising from the audience, I wasn’t the only one. 12 Years a Slave received its world premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, winning the People’s Choice Award. It is set to be released Oct. 18.
Curiosity delivers. |
arts & entertainment
| Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Blue Jasmine: a riches to rags story Cate Blanchett joins the Woody Allen pantheon as one of his finest leading ladies Max Berger A&E Editor Jasmine French—the character that Cate Blanchett is already generating serious Oscar buzz for portraying in Blue Jasmine—behaves like she could have been plucked right off the set of another Oscar-caliber film: Titanic. Jasmine is an obnoxious, narcissistic social climber who, like the Titanic itself, is sinking dramatically throughout the movie. In Woody Allen’s new release, Blanchett’s magnificent performance is the main attraction in Blue Jasmine, but there’s plenty more to like about the film. She is flanked by a strong cast that includes Alec Baldwin and Peter Sarsgaard; also in the mix are comedians Louis C.K. and Andrew Dice Clay. Though some of its plot intricacies seem slightly farfetched––notably in the romance between Blanchett and Sarsagaard’s characters––Woody Allen delivers an engaging story that oscillates between light comedic phases and disturbingly heavy ones. In keeping with the Titanic analogy, Jasmine’s iceberg is the arrest and imprisonment of her extravagantly wealthy husband Hal (Bald-
win), who is exposed for being a Bernie Madoff-esque scammer. The meteoric fall from pampered New York trophy wife to menial laughingstock takes a serious toll on Jasmine: she has a nervous breakdown and develops a tendency to publicly talk to herself, in the persona of her former social identity. With few assets left, Jasmine flies to San Francisco to move in with her adopted sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins). Despite having no other safety net, Jasmine brings her snobbish ways across the coast, and continues to act like she is above the lifestyle of her working-class sibling. Ironically, one of the film’s many flashbacks reveals that Jasmine actually prevented Ginger and ex-husband Augie (Dice Clay) from being moderately wealthy when she convinced him out of pity to invest some modest lottery winnings in one of Hal’s projects rather than starting a business. Now it is Jasmine’s turn to be pitied, as Ginger finds her a receptionist job and tries to transition her back into life without luxury. Blanchett’s greatest triumph is allowing us sympathize with the insufferable Jasmine—the flashbacks reveal past circumstances that somewhat explain her current
instability. Her husband has long been having affairs with many of the women Jasmine socialized with, in addition to his noticeably shady business deals. But Jasmine’s biggest character flaw is her willful blindness towards anything that could threaten the lavish identity she had cultivated for herself. Even as things implode around her and she must confront reality, Jasmine never fully grasps that there is no returning to the illusion of her idyllic life. Blanchett adeptly depicts these inner struggles and exposes an acute sensitivity in an unlikable, self-absorbed woman who is afraid of losing her elite status. Jasmine’s continuing struggle to regain social composure creates a dramatic feel in Blue Jasmine, but Allen leaves room for comedy in the script as well. Juxtaposing Jasmine with Ginger’s blue-collar crowd often makes for amusing back-andforth quips between them. The cast’s two comics take advantage of limited screen time to make an impact. Dice Clay’s forceful personality is perfect for unleashing the animosity for Jasmine that Augie still harbors as a bitter victim of Hal’s scheme. C.K. makes a more humorous and subtle impression as a goofy but
A rare moment of calm from Jasmine. (USA Today)
savvy rich man that woos Ginger at a party Jasmine is invited to. Allen is quick to raise the stakes—even when things start to seem a little implausible. For instance, Jasmine stumbles upon a widowed diplomat (Sarsgaard) at the party who takes an immediate liking to her, and never bothers to verify any of the substantial lies she feeds him before their relationship gets serious. He also fails to probe her very much after noticing the Xanax she has been taking in his presence—a bit of a red flag for a guy with federal government aspirations. When the movie reaches its harsh climax, marked by another unlikely plot twist, these such developments are a regular occurrence.
It is a classic adage to say that rich people have problems too, but Blue Jasmine finds a way to freshen up that tired idea by unraveling the complicated threads of its unstable protagonist’s story. We may not like Jasmine, but Blanchett still has us rooting for this troubled character to vanquish her inner demons, which periodically bubble to the surface in dazzlingly painful moments. Unrealistic as some of Allen’s plotlines are, the film’s rising action and climax make our acceptance of them well worth it. Blue Jasmine is playing at Cinema du Parc (3575 Ave. du Parc) until Sept. 19. Student admission is $8.50.
A fresh angle on human relationships Fahmida Hossain Urmi’s kaleidoscopic palette is visually dramatic but regettably brief Jack Tockarz Contributor Visitors pass through a small room, full of bold, layered colour, that leads them into to Fahmida Hossain Urmi’s contemporary expressionistic Angles of Relationships exhibition at Ame-Art. Ame-Art is a non-profit collective that houses Mile End artists’ work and displays one gallery at a time, currently Urmi’s second exhibit. After receiving her masters in art in her native country of Bangledesh, Urmi moved to Canada to create and display her work, slowly integrating with Montreal culture after learning French and English. At the vernissage of Angles, Urmi explained that her greatest joy from the show is finally feeling like a true member of the art community. Urmi’s paintings portray this theme of interpersonal connections through layered colour and inconsistently-shaped bodies. They are made with thick layers of paint, creating a
heavy effect. “Each colour represents the synopsis of a feeling,” Urmi explains. The paintings are so full because people always carry many emotions, but only present the one currently felt the most. Without faces, or even defined shapes, the colours express the entirety of the paintings’ message. There are some human forms silhouetted in several pieces, but they have neutral stances and only convey expression through their surrounding colour and proximity to similar silhouettes. Each painting presents itself as a collection of distinct shapes and colours that somehow flow together and evolve with further examination. “They capture an emotion. Certain moments we feel, but don’t notice. Then there’s a spotlight and you realize your connections to those around you,” Urmi says. Angles of Relationships 06, 07, and 08 are a set of paintings which centrally feature what is vaguely the
same facial shape outlined in black, with an assortment of individual colours and details. Each o f the three display a different feeling based on the same shape: 06 is chaotic, 07 is playful, and 08 is inspiring. These three pieces include magazine pictures, making them the only ones to include a medium besides paint. The picture on 08 includes the caption “Life’s Too Short,” and, painted underneath, “Live it!”. These are the only words in the entire exhibition. Of Urmi’s 23 pieces, 11 bear the title Angles of Relationships, while the rest are either Sans Nomer or from her previous exhibition, Prismatique Relations. These other paintings are not as dramatic as her newer work, but add to the theme of the gallery. Regrettably, even with these additions, the works only take up one room. Although this exhibition in-
cludes inne) (Wendy Chen / McGill Tribu teresting paintings that may be enjoyable block or two of the to ponder, there is only one room galleries, they might want to take a at Ame-Art, and the quality of the few minutes and peek inside. art does not make up for its small Angles of Relationships is on at quantity. For this reason, Angles of Ame-Art (5345 Ave. du Parc) until Relationships does not merit the 20 Sept. 22. Admission is free. minute bus or bike ride from McGill campus. However, if somebody were to find themselves within a
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 |
arts & entertainment
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could be good
MUSIC Herbert Grönemeyer Germany’s all-time best-selling musician Herbert Grönemeyer, fresh from the release of his new album I Walk, plays one of two Canadian dates of his live tour in Montreal.
Thursday, Sept. 19, 8:00 p.m., le National (1220 St. Catherine). Tickets $35$102.50. DANCE Loops
Sheryl Crow Feels Like Home
The Weeknd Kiss Land
Man Man On Oni Pond
Sultans of String Symphony!
Since Sheryl Crow debuted in the mid ‘90s, she has tried on a number of different personas: earnestly personal, politically charged, and now—with her latest offering, Feels Like Home—folksy country. The subject matter checks most of the usual boxes for country music—passionate flings (“Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely”), casual alcoholism (“We Oughta Be Drinking”), and the allure of the open road (“Shotgun”)—but fails to say anything interesting or original about them. At times, it feels like every line is a cliché. Nothing on the album is worse than the cringeworthy line, “Thank god they make waterproof mascara / ‘cause it won’t run like his daddy did.” Thankfully, some tracks are much more grounded than that, namely with the one-two gut punch of “Homesick” and “Homecoming Queen,” two emotionally honest tracks about lost love and the compromise that comes with fading glory. The closing track, “Stay at Home Mother,” which Crow whispers through, is also hauntingly beautiful. Here, the ostentatious content of the rest of the album gets stripped away in favour of a more personal and real sound. Sadly, the same can’t be said for most of the other tracks which are overproduced in the most inoffensively bland, radio-friendly way possible. It’s a shame that the album as a whole can’t rise above these few isolated moments of greatness—but the saccharine arrangements torpedo any nuance that might have otherwise managed to shine through.
“This the s**t that I live for, with the people I’d die for.” This catch phase is sung with as much excitement as the melancholic Abel Tesfaye can muster. It’s the hook in “Live For,” the single off of last week’s Kiss Land—Tesfaye’s first major label debut released under his better-known alias The Weeknd. Featuring Drake, the hook reaffirms Drake’s ‘You Only Live Once’ (better known as ‘YOLO’) empire, of which fellow Torontonian The Weeknd is a member. It’s easy to imagine teenagers hearing echoes of it on the radio, quoting the line on Instagram along with pictures of their friends. Despite the title of his album and its seemingly cute “XO” emblem, The Weeknd is anything but friendly on Kiss Land. The album is moody and dark, and any offers of hugs or kisses are strictly passiveaggressive. The Weeknd’s smooth R&B vocals are the common denominator when vocalizing both his problems and pleasures, softening edgier tracks and sharpening gentle serenades. “Belong to the World,” another single off the album, exemplifies this. It’s a love song about a prostitute—a modern “Roxanne” with a lifted Portishead sample of aggressive “Machine Gun” drums. The best songs of Kiss Land come across like a futuristic Michael Jackson, with funky production and heartfelt vocals. Other moments are duller: otherwise clever, self-conscious sappiness occasionally drips into cheesy territory, with lines like “I’ll admit, baby/ I’m a little camera shy/ but exceptions can be made baby/ ’cause you’re too damn fly.” Kiss Land, as a foray into the mainstream spotlight, is a smooth and assured debut, but unfortunately lacks the rawness and hunger of Tesfaye’s earlier mixtapes. —Will Burgess
The more their career has progressed, the more Philadelphiabased experimental rock band Man Man has reined in their sound. Whereas their first LPs, The Man in a Blue Turban with a Face and Six Demon Bag, were full of frenetic yelps and bursts of energy, their latest release, On Oni Pond, finds the band following the polished direction of 2011’s Life Fantastic. On Oni Pond finds the band at its most stripped down in every way, most notably its lineup. Instead of the full band featured on past albums, only gravelly-voiced lead singer Ryan “Honus Honus” Kattner and drummer Chris “Pow Pow” Powell are featured. Their early efforts had the tendency to overwhelm, but On Oni Pond demonstrates calculated complexity: it retains layers and hooks without the spasticity of the band’s back catalogue. This refined sound is best exemplified in tracks “Pink Wonton” and the fervent “Loot My Body;” they’re both ripe with accenting horns, guitars, and keys, but still maintain melodic focus. Other songs, including the plucked string-driven “Head On” and sombre ukulele ballad “Deep Cover” show the band diving headfirst into more mainstream pop territory. The album’s largest drawback is its lack of cohesion between songs; it alternates between high-and low-energy tracks with jarring transition, making it difficult to digest all at once. Man Man’s refined sound maintains the energy of their earlier albums, allowing each song to shine without being overcrowded with frenzy. While the record tends to cover too wide of a musical berth, the individual songs prove that the duo’s penchant for hooks still shines through. —Matt Bobkin
Sultans of String have always had an interest in expansion. Though the band started off in 2007 as a duo, they eventually grew to a quintet. On their latest album, Symphony!, they take that growth to a new level with the addition of a full symphony orchestra. It’s a risky gambit that pays off remarkably. Though performances by non-classical musicians with orchestras frequently feel gimmicky or forced, the combination has yielded rich, evocative arrangements for the Sultans’ music. This isn’t to imply that the compositions would have been dull without the addition of the orchestra. The fluidity with which the Sultans transition between, and combine styles from around the world, is extraordinary. Opening track “Monti’s Revenge” has a rhythm that is heavily influenced by Klezmer music, a Yiddish/Isreali genre, while the next track, “Palmas Sinfónia,” starts off with a funky guitar lick reminiscent of Nelly’s “Ride Wit Me” and quickly moves to a rumba-like rhythm. On “Emerald Swing,” the Sultans manage to combine a Western hoe-down feel with a gypsy jazz-inflected melody. Unfortunately, the Sultans don’t always play to their strengths. Certain aspects of the album’s four ballads are enjoyable; “Sable Island” sounds like the love child of David Gilmour and Graham Parsons, and the strings on “Luna” call to mind Arcade Fire’s “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels).” But overall, these songs are fairly indistinguishable from one another. Thankfully, in general, the Sultans, stick to a brightly paced and highly interactive musical pastiche, making Symphony! an engaging and worthwhile listen.
Originally performed underground, in Montreal’s metro system, Loops is a reflection on the fast pace of daily urban life. This time around, it makes its premiere on stage in Montreal after a successful series at the Lincoln Centre Institute in New York City.
Thursday, Sept. 19, and Friday, Sept. 20, 8:00 p.m., Montréal, arts interculturels (MAI) (3680 Jeanne-Mance). Student tickets $15. FILM films4peace Old Montreal’s PHI Centre screens films exploring the subject of peace, for World Peace Day (Sept. 21). Mediums of film include 33 mm live action, experimental animation, and fine art.
Saturday, Sept. 21, 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., Centre PHI (407 Rue Saint Pierre). Admission is free. MUSIC The In ‘n’ Outs Montreal trio The In ‘n’ Outs play the grand opening of local rock climbing centre Zéro Gravité, following the release of their album Zero Gravity this past year. In an acrobatic performance, the band promises live music in mid-air for the duration of their show.
Saturday, Sept. 21, 8:00 p.m., Zéro Gravité (4519 Papineau). MUSIC The Cheap Speakers Toronto rock band The Cheap Speakers play for the second time in their Canadian east-coast tour in Montreal, with Montreal trio Dany Laj and the Looks, following the release of their new album Switches and Levers last spring.
Saturday, Sept. 21, 9:00 p.m., Bistro de Paris (4536 St. Denis). Admission $5.
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SOCCER — McGill 1, UQTR 0
Martlets build momentum after statement weekend Forwards find net, end goal-scoring drought Osama Haque Contributor The McGill Martlets (1-2) bounced back from a disappointing first weekend of RSEQ action with a victory over the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes (0-3) on Friday night. The Martlets swept the Patriotes in season play last year, and will play them once more on Oct. 20. The Martlets frontline was sharp for the entire first half, with passes that made it behind flatfooted Patriotes defenders. The key to their offensive attacks came from persistence in pushing the ball up the sideline. By doing so, the Martlets were able to spread out the visitors over the entire width of the field. The hosts took advantage of their opponents with a patient playing style which led to accurate passes. Consequently, the Martlets managed to keep the Patriotes entrenched in the visitors’ own defensive end. Despite enjoying ball possession for most of the game, McGill was confronted by a resilient UQTR squad led by their star defender, Pascale Lapointe, who was able to
Midfielder Hannah Kirby controls possession in a heated encounter. (Cassandra Rogers / McGill Tribune) deny Martlet attacks on multiple occasions. The Patriotes’ defensive game-plan was clear: impose their physicality on the hosts. However, their aggressive disposition resulted in a yellow card at the 33rd minute to UQTR defender Marie-Gaelle Grenier. McGill goalkeeper Victoria Muccilli tallied four saves en route to a shutout, and was vital to the Martlet defence as both a stopper and a release valve. Muccilli was
In case you were too busy trying to figure out where the end of the line was at Activities Night or where the entrance to Redpath Library is, here’s what you missed…
called upon frequently to rotate the ball and lead attacks from the back as McGill attempted to maintain possession. Martlet Head Coach JoseLuis Valdes was frustrated with his team’s sluggish performance at the start of the game. “[The] first half was difficult, and we made it difficult on ourselves,” he said. Both teams came out of the halftime huddle with a greater sense of urgency. As the clock ticked away,
the Martlets began to find more and more cracks in the Patriotes’ defensive scheme. However, the problem in the second stanza was an inability to hit the target. McGill had nine shots in the second half but six of those failed to be directed on goal. Junior attacker Meaghan Borque was finally able to break through as she converted on a corner kick by fellow defender Kelsey Wilson. In nerve-wracking fashion that mirrored the rest of the game, the
Premier League The Barclays Premier League witnessed a classic weekend of soccer, as powerhouses Manchester United, Arsenal, and Chelsea, all graced lesser teams with their presence. England deemed that Wayne Rooney looked kingly as he slayed the Crystal Palace by scoring the game-winning goal. Rumours following the match suggested that the Commonwealth would do the only reasonable thing and knight him; unfortunately this did not happen. Meanwhile, Welshman Aaron Ramsey floated across the field while scoring two goals for Arsenal as they defeated Sunderland 2-0. English football fans became excited about the prospects of having Ramsay join Gareth Bale on England’s World Cup Squad— I mean, Great Britain’s Olympic squad. And championship favourite Chelsea lost. Wait, what?
viewers. McIlroy’s sub-par showing has prematurely ended his PGA Tour Championship, a genuinely unexpected event for golf fans. As it stands, Jim Furyk leads all golfers with a score of -13, with Steve Stricker, who holds a score of -12, hot on his heels.
Golf The BMW Championship was rained out of an exciting finish on Sunday, postponing the final round to Monday, Sept. 15. The lead storyline of the weekend involved Rory McIlroy, reigning winner of the event. McIlroy kicked off the tour with rounds of 7877, a jaw-dropping result for golf
NFL The National Football League held its third Manning Bowl, widely lauded as the greatest sibling rivalry this side of Mario and Luigi. Peyton Manning proved once again that he is actually just a robot wearing a human costume as he carved up the Giants to the tune of 307 yards and two touchdowns as his Broncos won 41-23. For the big, bad and (feeling) blue, it was revealed that Eli Manning and Tony Romo had taken part in a body-swap experiment for the past two weeks. This was accepted across the league as the only possible explanation as to why the Giants’ quarterback had thrown seven interceptions and wilted in the clutch to start the season. MLB The American League wildcard race continued on, because the MLB isn’t content with playing 82 games like other professional leagues. Six different teams are
Martlets were forced to hold their breath as the shot redirected off of a Patriotes player and made it past UQTR keeper Garbrielle Lamer in the 77th minute. The victory was a clear sigh of relief for the McGill players as they clinched their first win of the season. Although the team’s performance was above average, they did just enough to secure the three points. “[The] second half was better,” said Valdes. “The tempo of the game was better. We got into a flow. We played quicker and faster. It was a win.” McGill followed up its first victory with a dominant showing against the Concordia Stingers this past Sunday. The Martlets exploded for three consecutive goals in the second half, en route to a 3-1 victory. Valdes has now acquired his first two wins as Head Coach of the Martlets, and hopes to build momentum from this match to set the tone for the season. Meanwhile, McGill will continue on its journey to reach the RSEQ playoffs. They play the Bishop’s Gaiters (2-2) in Lennoxville on Sept. 20 in what will be a critical match for both teams.
within four games of a spot going into the weekend. The Orioles picked up a win to fly past the Yankees in the standings, although they were playing the Blue Jays, so it hardly seems fair. As for the Bronx Baby Boomers themselves, they faced their best friends, the AL East-leading Red Sox in both of their contests. Adding insult to injury, slugger Alex Rodriguez was forced to leave Sunday’s game with a tight calf in the fifth inning. So maybe it was really adding injury to insult; or injury to injury; or maybe karma is finally punishing A-Roid. Hmmm. Boxing Floyd Mayweather makes it look too easy. He has been dominant for so long that viewing his fights is basically a clinical tutorial in dismantling an opponent. This past Saturday witnessed one of the most hyped up fights this side of the the Thrilla in Manila. Mayweather faced Canelo Alvarez: a young underdog who had been marketed as the golden boy who would take down King Midas Mayweather under the bright lights of Las Vegas. Instead, Alvarez fell to the haymakers like many before him. Legend has it that Money Mayweather can only be beaten by Rocky Balboa.
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Sports briefs By Mayaz Alam and Remi Lu
Redmen Baseball Vs Concordia The Redmen baseball team took to the diamond Wednesday against the Concordia Stingers for their third meeting of the season. After tying up the season series earlier this month, McGill lost to the Stingers to the tune of an 8-1 blowout. Concordia dominated the hitting differential 9-4, capitalizing on a porous Redmen defense to
The McGill Redmen (2-1) thoroughly dominated the Mount Allison Mounties (0-2) in a 48-17 victory in Sackville, New Brunswick this Saturday. The victory marked the second season in a row that McGill has blown out the maritimers. Quarterback Jonathan Collin was instrumental in the outcome of the tilt as he threw for 367 yards while also totalling three touchdowns— two passing and one rushing. Sophomore
convert eight out of nine hits into points. Vs Carleton The Redmen took on the Carleton Ravens at George Springate Park in a Sunday afternoon doubleheader. McGill kept the first game close, losing 4-3 to the Ravens as Charlie Crabb tossed a complete three-hitter game. However, the Redmen surged back in the second game to blitz the Ravens 15-7 for
running back Luis Guimont-Mota ran for 141 yards for his third straight week topping the century mark. The Redmen defence pitched a shutout in the second half by stifling the Mounties’ rushing attack and forcing the opposing quarterback into bad passes. McGill now faces Sherbrooke at Molson Stadium on Friday, Sept. 20 in a pivotal game that may have playoff implications.
their third win of the season. Adam Gordon sparked the victory for McGill as he hit a three-run homer to left field in the fifth inning. It was a complete team effort as McGill tied its overall record at 3-3. The Redmen will face cross-town rivals Concordia once more this Wednesday, Sept. 18 at Gary Carter Field.
Redmen Soccer Redmen soccer earned four points out of a possible six over the weekend. In the first match against UQTR(1-1-2), McGill (1-21) opened the scoring in the first half as defender Dominic Bell, who had previously been injured, slotted home a pass from fellow freshman Valentin Radevich. However, the
| Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Rugby McGill’s rugby programs travelled to the other side of Mount Royal in consecutive matchups against the Montreal Carabins. The Redmen (2-0) showed resiliency in a 10-6 victory in another tough test to start the season. Senior Joshua Blair and sophomore Estello Nap-Hill provided the offence to help lead the team to its seventh consecutive win, dating back to last season. In the other match of the day, the Martlets (2-0) once again dominated their opposition by a score of 35-12. Star fly-half Brianna
story of the game was undoubtedly the sending off of sophomore goalkeeper Max Leblond in the 59th minute. The penalty that resulted from the captain’s dismissal led to the Patriote goal. The final score was a disappointment, given that the Redmen had the upper hand for most of the match. McGill followed up the loss by defeating the Concordia Stingers (1-2), 4-2, for
Miller led the effort for McGill with 15 points, 10 of which came from her 5-5 performance on conversions. Miller, the game’s MVP, had ample help as four other Martlets scored tries in a well-rounded team effort. The Redmen and the Martlets have the opportunity to extend their winning streaks at Molson Stadium in the home opener for both squads as the Martlets kick off at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, while the Redmen will play at 4:00 p.m.
the squad’s first win of the regular season. Freshman forward Massimo De Ioia was a force of nature as a hapless Stingers backline was unable to stop him from scoring all four of McGill’s goals. The Redmen will now make the short trip to UQAM (2-1) to take on the Montreal Citadins on Sunday, Sept. 22.
Cross-country — Martlets Third, Redmen sixth
McGill runners climb to respectable finish on Mt. Royal Martlets look to maintain RSEQ superiority; Redmen face uphill battle Remi Lu Sports Editor The McGill Martlets ran their first meet this past weekend, taking to Mount Royal to begin the 20132014 cross-country season. Thirdyear runner Jessica Porfilio topped the leaderboard for the Martlets, coming in 11th place with a final time of 14:57. McGill finished in third place overall among 21 teams. The Martlets are welcoming a number of fresh faces to the team to round off a roster that is still fairly young. Head Coach Dennis Barrett, in his 29th season leading McGill’s cross-country team, has high hopes for the women’s roster. “We have a couple [of] top recruits[…Emma Norman[...]competed for the University of North Carolina. She’s now at McGill. She ran, but she’s coming off a big injury,” he said. McGill did well at the Mount Royal meet, with five women finishing in the top 30. Rounding out the score-sheet after Porfilio was Georgia Hamilton (16th), Jullien Flynn (22nd), Norman (26th), and Evelyn Anderson (27th). The Martlets proved to be the strongest group in the province as they finished first among their RSEQ rivals, beating
Runners eagerly await their first race of the season. (Luke Orlando / McGill Tribune) out fourth-placed Laval by a margin of 35 points. Barrett was satisfied with McGill’s finish despite not having a complete squad. “We were not at full strength. We had a lot of people that couldn’t be around[….] From what we had, and where we were coming from, it was not a bad outing,” Barrett said. After finishing a strong 20122013 season that included multiple podium sweeps and an RSEQ Championship, the women’s cross country team aims to build upon that success this year. Their hopes on re-
peating as champions rest upon the shoulders of 2012 RSEQ Runner of the Year, Porfilio. However, for the team to secure the title, the influx of freshmen need to likewise perform at a high level. On the men’s side, the Redmen cross-country team finished sixth of 23 teams this Saturday at Mount Royal. History major, fourthyear Alexander Ray led the way for McGill, coming in 12th place out of 298 runners. Ray finished the sixkilometer race in 19:27, 34 seconds behind first-place runner Dany Racine from Laval.
Freshman Benjamin Forestell (20:05), and sophomore runner Vincent Parent-Pichette (20:11), rounded out the Redmen top three in 28th and 29th place, respectively. McGill placed behind their top conference rivals for this season, the second-placed Laval Rouge et Or, and the Sherbrooke Vert et Or, who placed fourth overall. Both teams will pose a challenge for the Redmen at the RSEQ and national levels. Barrett is unsure of whether his squad will have the legs to beat the powerhouse team from Quebec City,
but is confident in the team’s ability to challenge Sherbrooke for the runner up spot. “[Laval was] second or third last year at the National Championships, so they will probably go back and be in the top three again this year[….] We will battle with Sherbrooke, maybe, but I expect Laval to be number one.” With the slew of new faces that are now running for the Redmen, Barrett believes that the team has enough strength to improve upon their 16th place finish at last year’s CIS Championships. “We had one of our worst races last year at Nationals, and [with the team] we have this year, we can definitely do better and improve upon that,” he said. Furthermore, Ray is set to make a big leap this season after a rigorous off-season in which he sought to improve upon his skills as a runner. “Alex from last year to this year has improved greatly. We need our athletes to train and compete over the summertime, and he did,” Barrett said. The Martlets and Redmen are set to compete once more on Oct. 5 at the Rouge-et-Or Invitational in their second of five meets this season.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 |
THIRD MAN IN Last month, the NFL reached a $765 million settlement with retired players over concussion-related brain injuries. The settlement will be used to compensate retired players and their families who have suffered from serious diseases such as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy, depression, and other cognitive diseases. Despite reaching a settlement, one of the principal terms in the agreement addresses the issue of blame for the post-retirement fallout.. “The agreement cannot be considered an admission by the NFL of liability, or an admission that plaintiffs’ injuries were caused by football,” stated the NFL. The league has taken a firm stance; they want players to take their money and move on, essentially attempting to sweep the entire issue under the rug. The NFL will be content as long as nothing changes the game that generated over $9 billion in revenue last year. Commissioner Roger Goodell has set a precedent with this landmark ruling to a problem that isn’t isolated within just the NFL. The NHL and
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Keeping their heads in the game
(The Washington Post) the NCAA both face similar issues about player safety. While the NFL may seem like the villain, it is unfair to place all the blame on the league. Football will always be a dangerous game due to the violent nature of the sport. If all body
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contact was removed, the sport would effectively be a shell of its former self, and its entertainment value would plummet. Such a scenario would almost certainly cause the league to fold. However, NFL should take re-
After a winless 2012 season in which the team was shut out in half of its 12 outings, the Martlets have their work cut out for them this year as they continue to face extremely stiff competition within the Ontario University Athletics league (OUA). Their journey out of the cellar
(Luke Orlando / McGill Tribune)
The McGill cross-country program looks to bounce back from a disappointing finish at Nationals last season with high hopes surrounding the young Martlet and Redmen squads. The Martlets started last season in dominant fashion, winning five of their first six meets. This period included multiple podium sweeps, as well as a triumph at the RSEQ Championship.
ers may choose to ontinue playing the sport that they love or use it as a gateway to living a lavish lifestyle. Elite student-athletes in college and in high school face the most difficult decision of all. These players have invested time and effort toward their craft, oftentimes at the expense of academics. For most of them, school is just an opportunity to play football. Their choice is whether to take the dream job with a high risk of injury, or to abandon that plan for the rest of their life. Parents of young children also are confronted with an increasingly grim dilemma. Should they allow their children to play football? The United States’ most powerful parent, President Barack Obama, said that if he had a son, he would be wary of allowing him to play football, given the detrimental impact the game has been proven to have. Simply put, the players will keep on playing. By putting a price tag on the health and well-being of its employees, the NFL is trying to solve a problem that will never truly go away. — Adam Taras
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sponsibility of its players. Neurological research should be at the top of the agenda to ensure that franchises are equipped with the knowledge to diagnose and treat concussions, thus preventing them. The NFL must also decree a mandate to teams that any behavior risking the safety of athletes will not be tolerated. There have been admissions from front offices that organizations have repeatedly ignored advice from team physicians to rest players. Going forward, the onus falls almost entirely on the players. The NFLPA has evidence that the physicality of the game puts athletes at an extremely elevated risk of suffering from cognitive impairment. It is thus up to the players to decide whether playing football—and the money and the fame that can come with it—are worth the risk. For most players, the decision to continue playing will be a ‘no brainer.’ Many professional football players come from less fortunate backgrounds. For them, the chance to line up on Sundays affords them the opportunity to make sure their families are provided for, and that the vicious cycle of poverty can be broken. Oth-
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will not be made any easier by the fact that Helen Thompson and Emma Whitehall, the team’s two leading scorers, will not be returning. Despite their departure and a large number of new arrivals, there are still familiar faces on the squad’s roster that should provide a solid core. The Martlets have already had a year to grow together as a team, which serves to strengthen their chances. Key returnees include veteran Sarah Main and returning
goalkeeper Marianne Emler. Coaching duties will be split this year, as former assistant coach Vimal Patel joins John-Pierre Turpain behind the bench. Turpain, a fixture of the program and 2008 OUA Coach of the Year, will need to bring back the magic touch from that season as he looks to right the ship this season. Early results have been cause for cautious optimism, as McGill won all three of its pre-season
matches against Queen’s and UPEI. However, the Martlets proceeded to stumble its first two regular season games over the weekend against Western, 0-2 and Waterloo, 1-4. The story of this season could either be one of redemption, or one of further disappointment for the Martlets. Their next stop is Varsity Stadium in Toronto, where they will take on the Guelph Griffons on Sept. 21.
However, they could not transfer their earlier success to Nationals, finishing in seventh place. The Martlets should once again be a contender for the RSEQ Championship. They are spearheaded by returning Conference Runner-of the Year, third year nursing major Jessica Porfilio. Other standouts include sophomore Caroline Pfister, who has previously represented Canada at international age-class competitions. Head Coach Dennis Barrett also believes that the young roster has the potential to improve upon last year’s
final standings. The men’s cross-country team faced a similar fate as their female counterparts. A strong regular season highlighted by second-place finishes at the McGill Open, the Laval Open and the Conference Championships was undone by a 16th place finish at the CIS Championships. Søophomore Benjamin Raymond was crucial in last season’s efforts en route to winning the Quebec Rookie-of-the Year accolades. The Redmen have a promising young core beyond Raymond that includes sophomore Charles Litwin and
junior Michael Abramson. The team has also added numerous freshmen to the roster, hoping to create a youthful dynamic. If early season results are any indication, both the Martlets and Redmen will need to make big improvements should they hope to contend at a national level. While the Martlets are in a good position to repeat as RSEQ champions, the Redmen face a tall task against powerhouse intraprovince squads Laval and Sherbrooke.
Curiosity delivers. |
| Tuesday, September 17, 2013
LACROSSE — McGill16, Carleton 4
Redmen ground Ravens in dominant fashion McGill midfield overpowers Carleton with ease Mayaz Alam Sports Editor This past Saturday, the McGill Redmen (4-0) lit up the scoreboard in a 16-4 victory against the visiting Carleton Ravens (0-3) in an Eastern Division matchup held in Molson Stadium. Over the past few years, Head Coach Tim Murdoch has turned the program into a powerhouse, overwhelming opponents with superior depth and skill. This overt dominance was on display throughout the length of the affair, as McGill proved outstanding in all facets of play. Sophomore midfielder Christian Barker attributes the strong start to a renewed sense of focus and intensity following a rigorous preseason. “I think that we avoid complacency because of the depth of our team. Even when we put out the third or fourth lines, the guys are always hungry to get out there and play,” Barker said. With the exception of a spirited first quarter in which the score was 4-2 in favour of McGill, the Ravens
Co-captain Nolan Prinzen looks to set up the Redmen attack. (Luke Orlando / McGill Tribune) were muzzled in their attempts to move the ball up and down the field. The Redmen employed a zone defence that stretched the entire length of the pitch, and looked to contain any fast break opportunities in hopes of decreasing the likelihood of any easy goals. McGill was able to combine a stout defence with patient attacking play that exhausted their opponents’ backline. In his first year playing for the Redmen after transferring from Lehigh University, attackman
Kevin Donovan led the charge with a whopping six goals, pushing his points tally for the season to 14 and landing him at the top of the CUFLA points leaderboard. With the way the Redmen have played to start the season, no team has emerged as a viable threat to challenge their reign as Baggataway Cup Champions. It appears as though the only way the team will falter is if they succumb to mental errors. After imposing their will on Carleton to begin the game, McGill
conceded two goals in the final three minutes of the first quarter. From there, the crisp and precise passing featured early in the game devolved into ground balls and turnovers as time elapsed. In one such instance, in the middle of the fourth quarter, Carleton capitalized on a Redmen miscue and raced up the field. The Ravens, led by Bryson Goodman and Jay Gallant, established a fast break and were able to score in transition with Gallant firing it into the net for his second marker of the night. Co-captain Alex Rohrbach was able to shift momentum back in McGill’s favour as he responded quickly with a wrap-around goal—his third point of the night—squashing any hope of a desperate comeback. With the exception of Gallant, the visitor’s midfielders were unable to create opportunities for the rest of the team. This was primarily due to the play of the duo of McGill captains manning the middle: Brandon Maclean and Ossie Long. Maclean, last year’s Baggataway Cup MVP, dominated the faceoff circle, ensuring that possession was consis-
tently in McGill’s sticks. Long set the physical tone for the squad, but ended up conceding four penalties. The last quarter also reaffirmed to the rest of CUFLA that the program is in good hands. The lineup, primarily consisting of freshmen and sophomores, was able to extend the final score despite playing significant time with a man down. The game against the Ravens was McGill’s second of the weekend and the first leg of a double-header that took place in Molson Stadium. The squad made the short trek to Concordia prior to Saturday’s contests and blanked the Stingers in a 22-0 victory. The defending national champions capped off a dominant weekend by brushing aside Nippissing 20–2 in an exhibition game. The victory is the 14th straight win for the Redmen dating back to last year’s regular season loss to Bishop’s University. McGill has an opportunity to avenge the defeat on Sept. 19 as they travel to Lennoxville to take on the Gaiters in a heavyweight showdown between the past two Baggataway Cup winners.
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