Tribune The McGill
Published by the Tribune Publication Society Volume No. 31 Issue No. 4
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
HEC scandal Most famous McGillian Editorials Opt out debate Dexter preview Awkward encounters Moneyball review
4 4 7 8 13 15 18
Pop montreal wrap-up pages 9-12
Fall General Assembly passes three motions before losing quorum Eric Mauser News Editor Monday marked the first SSMU general assembly of the year. To the disappointment of SSMU executives and students, the number of attendees dropped below a hundred after the first hour, bringing the GA under quorum and limiting the rest of the event to deliberation only. The assembly adjourned over an hour and fifteen minutes earlier than scheduled. During the brief hour that the GA managed to maintain quorum, three motions were passed. The first motion was put forward by SSMU President Maggie Knight. The resolution was concerned with the bylaws for SSMU’s Board of Directors. The motion outlined the powers, roles, and responsibilities of each director. With no speakers in opposition, the backing for this resolution was nearly unanimous and passed with a vote of 99 to two with several abstentions. The second motion, put forward by Aryeh Canter, a student at the GA, which mandated an annual sustainability report, was received with similarly widespread support. The resolution allows for the creation of a new report on sustainability to be written by the Sustainability Coordinator. This would better organize SSMU’s sustainability efforts. It passed by a vote of 115 to two with five abstentions.
Student votes at GA. (Sam Reynolds / McGill Tribune)
The third and final motion passed by the GA was by far the most contentious. The resolution, which was put forward by a group including SSMU VP Internal Joël Pedneault, called for a gradual reduction and eventual elimination of all fees for higher education, and protests against tuition fee increases. The resolution drew several speakers both for and against. Pedneault, speaking for the proposed resolution, said, “This [resolution] would ensure that anyone, regardless of financial means or background, can enjoy access to university.” “Education definitely is a right. It is not a privilege,” declared one impassioned proponent of the resolution. “We not only have to vote for it, but we have to fight for it,” the anonymous student added. In opposition, Brendan Steven, a political science student and member of Conservative McGill, cautioned against the impact that passing such a resolution could have. “If we take the stance that we are going to oppose any and all legislation that would increase our tuition in any way, we’re off the [negotiating] table ... all because we’re going to take a hardline, no negotiation stance,” said Steven. Though vocal, the opposition to this resolution was not strong enough to cause its defeat. After the resolution passed, a group of those who See “assembly” on page 2
MUNACA: strike update, week three
McGill files injunction, MUNACA supporters disrupt Senate, McGill accused of hiring scabs McGill was granted an injunction by Quebec courts Friday to control protesting at campus entrances. Striking MUNACA workers are now forced to stay four metres away from the university gates. The number of protestors will also be capped within the four metre boundary. Additionally, noise makers,
such as loudspeakers or air horns, cannot be used within 25 metres of university property. Michael Di Grappa, the university vice pesident of Administration and Finance, explained why McGill pursued an injunction in court. “Because of activities in the past week where we felt that the
safety and security of our students, faculty, and staff was at risk, where we felt that the university wasn’t able to operate properly ... because of complaints that we received from students due to the noise ... we felt that we had to act,” Di Grappa said. MUNACA could not be reached for comment. The MUNACA web-
site has issued a statement on the injunction. “We will respect the ruling, but we will also show McGill they can’t shut up 1700 employees exercising our right to freedom of expression,” the statement read. The statement also declared the injunction to be a positive sign.
“[I]t means that it has not been ‘business as usual’ at McGill. In fact, we’ve been so successful at expressing our dissatisfaction that McGill went to court to try to shut us up.” While MUNACA viewed the injunction as a sign of its impact on See “Update” on page 2
News Update: Week three Continued from COVER the university, Di Grappa disagreed. “I think what the injunction shows is that their activities were against the law,” said Di Grappa. According to him, the injunction was “absolutely not” a sign of hostility toward MUNACA. He also said it should not affect negotiations because it has not changed the terms. SCAB REPORT RELEASED Last week, reports surfaced that McGill had engaged in hiring scab labour and an investigator from the labour board of Quebec (Commission des normes de travail) began by pursuing information regarding to an original 57 complaints, though he uncovered many more complaints during the investigation. At the conclusion of the 12-day investigation, the CNT found the university guilty of hiring scab labourers. The CNT investigator, Thomas Hayden, investigated over 100 cases in which MUNACA workers were replaced by non-MUNACA workers. Of these, he discovered 26 instances of scabbing in violation of Sections of article 109.1 of Quebec’s Code de Travail. Some of these incidences of scabbing were cases in which members of the Association of McGill Undergraduate Student Employees (AMUSE) had filled in for MUNACA workers on strike.
AMUSE president Fariddudin Attar attributes this in part to the nature of AMUSE members’ employment. “[Many] casual workers at McGill ... don’t have job descriptions, fixed hours, [or] contracts; they can be whatever their employers want.” Perhaps another issue is that AMUSE is currently involved in its first contract negotiations with the university. As such, the union is only beginning to standardize AMUSE working hours and job descriptions, among other things. “We know that AMUSE workers [have been working] a lot of MUNACA hours ... whether that’s legally scabbing or not could be a gray area ... the division of labour between what a MUNACA worker does and what an AMUSE worker does is not quite clear.” McGill, however, is unfazed by the investigator’s findings. From the outset, the university has maintained that it has done nothing illegal. There are instances in which McGill can replace striking workers in accordance with Quebec’s labour laws. These include managers and unsolicited volunteers, as outlined on the University’s Human Resources website. According to Di Grappa, this report will hold little bearing on the University’s actions. The outcome of the report, which is not legally bind-
ing but rather provides the grounds for MUNACA to file a law suit. Hwever, this is not likely to change the way in which the university behaves. “We believe that everything we’ve done is in compliance with the law,” Di Grappa said. “there are clear cases of factual error [in the report] ... and in other cases, [the investigator] has a different interpretation of the law and of our rights” MUNACA, which did not return calls for comment, displayed the labour report findings prominently on its website. DISRUPTION AT SENATE McGill senators making their way into last Thursday’s senate meeting were greeted by the sound of MUNACA supporters chanting and drumming. A group of over 20 vocal protesters congregated outside the senate’s meeting room but were denied entry on the basis of maintaining order at the meeting. There was much discussion regarding the labour disruption at senate. Principal and senate chair Heather Munroe-Blum expressed the administration’s desire to quickly reach a fair settlement with MUNACA, acknowledging that “McGill is proud of all of its employees.” Senator and Professor of Communication Studies Darin Barney
spoke against the administration’s ‘business as usual’ apporach during the strike, which he believed to be inaccurate. He spoke of managers who refused to even acknowledge their striking co-workers as they crossed picket lines and managers overworked to maintain seeming normalcy. Many senators wanted to know how McGill foresees continuing into the strike with an increasing burden on managers who have been delegated much of the work normally done by striking workers. When Munroe-Blum declined to comment, suggesting that Senate was not the correct venue for such discussion, many senators drummed on tables as a form of respectful protest. A number of MUNACA supporters walked out. “McGill revises its contingency plans on a daily basis,” Di Grappa said in a follow-up interview. “We will be able to keep it up.” STUDENT-LED PROTEST At noon on Monday, approximately 50 students sat at the Y-intersection on McGill campus in protest of the injunction levelled by the University against the MUNACA strikers. They were soon joined by students from Michelle Hartman’s first-year seminar. Hartman, an Associate Professor of Islamic Studies,
was leading a discussion about the strike when a student brought up the ongoing demonstration. “The class unanimously decided that we wanted to come out and support MUNACA,” said Brinn Davies, a U0 student in the seminar. “This was organized independently of MUNACA,” said Joël Pedneault, SSMU VP External, of the strike. An administrative member from the office of the Dean of Students reminded students that although McGill is technically a carfree campus, they were occupying an emergency vehicle route and had to be aware in case any cars came through. Security members were present, including one who held a video camera, but did not interact with the protestors. The demonstration ended with a march to the James Administration building. —Compiled by Anand Bery, Eric Mauser, Elisa Muyl, and Holly Stewart
General Assembly Continued from COVER voted against the resolution walked out. Accompanied by other students who had voted for the resolution, the GA fell 45 members below quorum and could not pass any more legislation. The remaining GA attendees did, however, continue to discuss issues of workers’ solidarity as a deliberative body, most of whom were in favour of a motion that would mandate SSMU to support all current and future campus unions on strike. Solidarity with striking workers enjoyed widespread support amongst remaining GA members. There was some debate over whether or not it would be wiser to deliberate each future labour dispute individually, instead of passing the blanket motion. “I don’t think we can ever say that democracy is not necessary,” David Benrimoh, a Faculty of Medicine student and speaker against automatic support, said. Benrimoh elaborated that while he is staunchly pro-MUNACA and the MUNACA strike, he is more prodemocracy and pro-consultation. However, the right to vote on
support for unions on a case by case basis was defeated, but since quorum was not reached, the vote was non-binding. The remaining motions will be deliberated and will be decided upon at the next SSMU Council meeting.
(Sam Reynolds / McGill Tribune)
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Wave of unionization hits campus MUNACA one of many in negotiations with Administration By Elisa Muyl News Editor Of all of the labour disputes on campus, the MUNACA strike has most tangibly affected students. For some, this is limited to the awkward process of crossing picket lines for class. For others, the strike has substantial implications for their research, labs, or graduation schedules. The MUNACA strike is only part of a larger trend toward union activity on campus, as many groups are in talks with the administration. The Association of Graduate Students Employed at McGill (AGSEM), which represents teaching assistants, has been in contract negotiations with McGill as of last spring. Their demands include an increase in TA hours, the reservation of TA positions for eligible TAs (as opposed to course lecturers or undergraduates), regular meetings between TAs and course supervisors, and a wage increase to match inflation. Jonathan Mooney, a member of AGSEMâ€™s teaching assistant bargaining committee, noticed that the administration took a more co-operative tone in the most recent round of negotiations, held on Sept. 16. Previously,
the University requested that AGSEM table its main demands. â€œThey seemed really willing to speak with us,â€? Mooney said. â€œThey wanted to add as many [negotiation rounds] as possible [and] want to meet on weekends if weâ€™re available ... [thereâ€™s a] sense of urgency,â€? Mooney said. The Association of McGill Undergraduate Student Employees (AMUSE), is writing a collective agreement with McGill after unionizing in 2009. The casual nature of their employmentâ€”to be standardized during negotiationsâ€”complicates recent reports of scab labour during the MUNACA strike, which McGill contests (see â€œMUNACA,â€? cover). The outcome of negotiations has implications for the strike, and vice versa. â€œIf McGill concedes ... it shouldnâ€™t be too difficult to ask them to concede on other issues of the same principle,â€? AMUSE president, Fariddudin Attar said. A common issue is wages; these negotiations must be taken in the context of broader changes at the university level. Citing financial issues, McGill has been cutting back. â€œWhat is the same is the economic and financial context in which
we find ourselves,â€? Michael Di Grappa, VP Administration and Finance at McGill, said. He added that the Quebec government allows for a 1.2 per cent wage increase in its budget. â€œAny [additional funding] the university would have to find from other sources. Theyâ€™ve also made it clear that we canâ€™t take any money from the tuition increase ... We have to manage the budget globally.â€? These claims have been contested. SSMU recently pledged its research resources to verify McGillâ€™s financial predicament. Nonetheless, these cutbacks have heralded a wave of union activity on campus. In an unprecedented level of inter-union activity, regular meetings have been held between workersâ€™ and student unions. AMUSE and the Association of McGill Undergraduate Research Employees were involved in the Sept. 16 rally through their affiliations with the Public Service Alliance of Canada. â€œPeople are realizing more and more that if democracy in a public education institution is to work, it needs active and meaningful participation,â€? Attar said. â€œ[That] begins with organizing [and] achieving agency for ourselves.â€?
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SSMU Strategic Summit SSMU hosts first in series of summits
By Eric Mauser News Editor This past Friday, a SSMU meeting designed to foster communication and openness among university groups became the latest display of student-administration tension. The meeting was the first in a series of â€œStrategic Summitsâ€? planned by SSMU president Maggie Knight, which are designed to foster discussion on solving concrete problems related to SSMU and McGill. This summit focused on improving communication between SSMU and students as well as between students and the administration. Nearly 50 students participated over the course of the afternoon. Knight began by discussing steps to facilitate campus dialogue. â€œOne of the big things we talked about was the need to engage people who arenâ€™t already engaged,â€? Knight said. She hoped the meeting would serve to ease communication and increase involvement at McGill. â€œSomething we suggested earlier was having a CaPS/myFuture basis for volunteer opportunities, committee positions,â€? explained
Kady Patterson, U3 Education Representative to SSMU. The meeting was designed to be an open forum. â€œI think it is a really exciting initiative that the president is bringing forward ... this level of discussion doesnâ€™t usually go on for SSMU,â€? Jaimie Burnett, U2 Arts Representative, said. However, the discussion eventually grew heated between students and the administration. Burnett said during the summit that he felt frustration that the administration didnâ€™t share studentsâ€™ views on issues important to students. â€œIf we really are in a situation where our administration doesnâ€™t see that [the students] are concerned [about] having an accessible university, then maybe we should be talking about how [to] get administrators who will be concerned about those issues,â€? Burnett said. Another summit participant called for democratic elections of administration, which caused several students to snap their fingers as a form of applause. Representing McGillâ€™s administration was Morton Mendelson,
Deputy Provost for Student Life and Learning. â€œIâ€™m going to hold up a mirror just to show that this moves in two directions,â€? Mendelson said, in response to criticism of the administrationâ€™s unwillingness to compromise on issues such as the MUNACA strike and tuition fees. He pointed out that once SSMU has taken a stance, it is equally inflexible, and that the administration and students will not always see eye-toeye. Nevertheless, Mendelson was enthusiastic about the meeting. â€œI think [the summit] went well,â€? Mendelson said. â€œI think it is addressing a concern for students and for the administration. The format was inviting and open, which was useful for a lot of the students represented. I was really pleased to be invited to it, to be able to hear what people had to say firsthand, and to be able to express my opinion.â€? Other students were not so enthusiastic about the administration. â€œI think itâ€™s kind of the same old â€Ś the administration has their stance and itâ€™s very obvious that they donâ€™t care what we have to say,â€? Patterson said.
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Scandal at University of Montreal business school Humanitarian complaint filed over orientation activity
By Bea Britneff Contributor Haute Ă‰tudes Commerciales (HEC), the business school at the University of Montreal, is facing a human rights complaint after students painted their bodies black for a Jamaican-themed back-to-school sporting event. The event, organized by HECâ€™s sports and leisure committee, was hosted at the University of Montrealâ€™s football stadium. Each group of students that partook in the event represented a different Olympic sport. HEC Communications Director Kathleen Grant explained that the group of students given track and field had â€œdecided to honour the Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt.â€? The students in question painted their arms, legs and faces with black paint, dressed in Jamaicaâ€™s national
colours, and waved Jamaican flags. McGill law student Anthony Morgan was on the University of Montreal campus at the time of the event. He initially saw some of the students in question on the street, and later made his way over to the stadium, where he began filming in the stands. â€œI couldnâ€™t believe what I was seeing,â€? Morgan, who is of Jamaican descent, said. â€œIt was [â€Ś] a total situation of life and cultural illiteracy. Students were chanting â€˜smoke more weed, ya man, ya man, ya man!â€™â€? A student wearing a monkey hat greeted Morgan and exclaimed, â€œWe have a real black here!â€? Morgan felt â€œdeep disappointmentâ€? at the behavior he witnessed. â€œThese students are so underexposed that, to them, it makes sense to reduce humanity to mere cosmetics,â€? Morgan said, expressing concern
that the perpetrators were not just university students, but in business school. â€œThese are going to be the people managing the corporate world. Is this where theyâ€™re starting?â€? While Morgan believed there was â€œno direct maliceâ€? or racist intent in the costumes, he challenged the claim that the eventâ€™s theme was â€˜Olympics.â€™ Morgan also saw groups dressed as fishermen and cheerleaders. â€œThese are [clearly] not Olympic teams,â€? he said. Morgan plans to file a human rights complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission. â€œThey have the resources and expertise to do a proper investigation [â€Ś] and provide suggestions and policy recommendations about how [this behavior] can be avoided in the future,â€? Morgan said. The HEC took the situation very seriously. â€œThis is the first time
we have had to face this kind of issue,â€? Grant said. â€œThe event was a bad idea, we agree â€Ś it was perceived as [racist] and we completely understand why.â€? Concerning the students involved, both Morgan and Grant agree that the appropriate course of action is education. â€œThere is a discussion that needs to be had,â€? Morgan said. â€œI think [the HEC] should take this as an opportunity to discuss the place and presence, or lack thereof, of race and multiculturalism in their university.â€? The HECâ€™s plan of action reflects Morganâ€™s recommendations. The students who painted themselves in blackface will have to attend a compulsory training session on intercultural sensitivity. â€œThis is the first step,â€? Grant said. The HEC intends on eventually making these new courses available
to the rest of the student body. â€œWe want the program to be durable, not only for this fall, but for the years to come,â€? Grant said. â€œWe will propose that the community [gain] more awareness about these issues, which are important in our society.â€? The student body of the HEC is diverse, with students hailing from over 100 countries around the world. Grant hopes that as a result of the new program, incoming students will be better prepared for their exposure to new cultures. â€œWe look at the situation as being bad now, but a year from now, we will be stronger because of it,â€? Grant said. In light of the recent events, Morgan hopes students across Canada will also organize cross-cultural public discussions around the place of race and multiculturalism in their university.
Most famous McGillian named
Chang takes the cake, followed by Cohen and Rutherford By Julian Moss Contributor Do you know who McGillâ€™s most notable graduate is? The McGill Alumni Association does. In honour of McGillâ€™s 190th anniversary, the association initiated and facilitated the nominations of over 700 alumni for the title of Greatest McGillian. After months of intense deliberation and almost 60,000 votes, the top 20 McGillians have finally been identified. Dr. Thomas Chang, BSc â€™57, MDCM â€™61, PhD â€™65, secured first place with a resounding 7501 votes and multiple nominations. Chang, who still teaches in the Faculty of Medicine, is credited with having invented the worldâ€™s first artificial cell. The early stages of his invention were conducted in his dorm room in Douglas Hall during the late â€™50s. â€œ[Thomas Changâ€™s] invention of artificial cells was the forerunner of modern nanotechnology, nanobiotechnology, and nanomedicine,â€?
wrote Professor Satya Prakash, who nominated Chang. Second place was awarded to poet and songwriter Leonard Cohen, BA â€™55. Cohen, a former president of the McGill Debating Union, has received extensive critical acclaim for both his music and literary works. In response to having received such a high ranking, Mr. Cohen said via his publicist that he was â€œdeeply honoured.â€? Nobel Prize winner Ernest Rutherford clinched third place for his groundbreaking research in chemistry and physics. Rutherford discovered the half-life of an atom while teaching at McGill, a breakthrough which directly led to his 1908 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The physics giant worked alongside notable contemporaries Hans Geiger and Neils Bohr to create the foundation of modern chemistry. The illustrious nature of the list is matched only by its sheer diversity. â€œWhatâ€™s really amazing is the
comprehensive nature of the list. I mean, in first place you have an esteemed scientist, Dr. Chang, and in second you have someone from a completely different field: the acclaimed artist Leonard Cohen,â€? Derek Cassoff, Director of Communications of McGillâ€™s Development and Alumni Relations, said. For example, celebrity William Shatner placed 14th, and Wilfrid Laurier, Canadaâ€™s first French-Canadian prime minister, placed ninth. The field of athletics was well represented, with James Naismith, inventor of basketball, and Olympic gold medalist Jennifer Heil both making the list. Last but not least, the founder of the university, James McGill, came in at seventh place. The works of these great men and women give a sense of identity to the university, as well as highlight its stellar international reputation. The winners will be commemorated on Oct. 16 as a part of this yearâ€™s homecoming.
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011
The search for post graduation employment Graduation may be months in the past, but the search for work is on-going By Eric Mauser News Editor The class of 2011 has left McGill, diplomas in hand, eager and career-ready. However, realizing these goals has proved to be challenging for some. The current economic climate, combined with the fact that college students typically experience a period of unemployment after graduation, has caused a great deal of anxiety among both recent and soon-to-be grads. “In terms of the job market, since graduation, and even during fourth year, when many students are interviewing for jobs, it has been tough,” Erik Reed, a graduate of the class of 2011 with a joint degree in physics and history, said. Reed, who is pursuing a career in business, has been looking for a job since graduation. So far, he hasn’t found one. Michael Ammendolia, a 2011 graduate from the faculty of management, has a job, but agrees with Reed. “Not many companies are hiring, so the job hunt is competitive,” Ammendolia said. The current unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher in Canada is 5.5 per cent, according to Statistics Canada (which does not keep a record of unemployed recent graduates). In the United States, unemployment for the same demographic was 4.6 per cent for the month of August, up 0.3 per cent since June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to Thomas Velk, professor of economics at McGill, graduates today may be unprepared for the working world. “I think [the job search] is okay if you have been studying something pretty serious. For example, if you can do software design, if you can call yourself a specialist in mathematical finance, if you can do hard
things, if you have a serious accountancy degree, if you have a serious engineering degree. I think students [from fields like engineering and accounting] are getting good jobs … However, if you have not trained yourself for a really useful occupation, you’re in a lot of trouble,” Velk said. Velk adds that there is a skills mismatch between what companies are looking for and what applicants have. While jobs are available, they may be difficult to obtain. “I think it’s always been true that, during the worst phases of the business cycle, only the most talented, aggressive, hardworking, gifted, et cetera, students get jobs. Unless you’re in that fraction, you either have to accept something a lot less remunerative than you thought or you go back to school and train yourself in one of these other occupations.” This could explain why Ammendolia, who has a degree in management, an in-demand field, found a job, while Reed, who does not have an in-demand degree, did not. “In some cases I can chalk it up to the fact that I’m not a bachelor of commerce,” Reed said. “[Graduates like me are] just not offering [employers] the type of [easily-employable] plug-and-play graduates they’re looking for in this market.” According to Gregg Blachard, Director of McGill Career and Planning Services (CaPS), this is to be expected. “Arts students have to do more work because they have to do that focus and targeting, and their degree doesn’t match their industry,” Blachard said. This is by no means cause for arts students to despair, according to Blachard. “The message is: it will work out, but it takes energy and thinking and work to get a job.”
Canadian employment over the past few years. (statcan.gc.ca) Blachard explained that McGill’s CaPS program could help students with their search for a job, and encouraged all students to take advantage of the services offered to them by McGill. “People who use our services will have a better chance of finding a job than those who don’t,” Blanchard said. Ammendolia echoed this sentiment. “Speak with a career adviser about how your resume looks and compare it to what your career is looking for in terms of experience and knowledge,” Ammendolia said. From the business perspective, companies are hiring, but the workers they are hiring tend to be highly specialized, according to Andrea Gilpin, a representative for Pfizer, one of the Montreal area’s largest employers.
“It’s a combination of education and previous work experience,” Gilpin said about the type of skillsets that Pfizer looks for. Even with the highly specialized nature of their employees, Gilpin indicated that the economy has made labour abundant and finding workers easy. “There’s a bit of a surplus of people looking for jobs. The industry ... has had a number of layoffs. There’s a good number of people right now who are skilled who are looking for work,” Gilpin said. Some recent graduates, like former SSMU General Assembly Speaker Cathal Rooney-Cespedes, had advice for students on how to better find employment. “If you know exactly what you want to do, do it before you graduate by way of internship. This is by far the most successful method to get-
ting a job,” Rooney-Cespedes said. “As a BA student, it is very hard to attract an employer simply because you have a certain degree. Find the extracurricular opportunities at McGill that you know will look good for your career and make the most out of the experience, all the while enjoying it.” Blachard had similar advice. “Develop skills and interests in the McGill community,” Blachard said. “Get involved—in what you love, and not just to get it on your CV … and [have] achievements in that activity, not just [by] being a member but becoming a ‘changer’ [in] that group [through] developing activities, moving in a new direction, [or] developing a new strategy.”
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Opinion On the Record
Opt-in-and-out burger Over the past few years, “optouts” have emerged as one of the most contentious issues in campus politics. For two weeks every semester, students have the option of opting out of certain fees, and, like clockwork, for those two weeks the debate over one opt outable fee in particular starts to resemble a bar brawl. As predictable as it is polarizing, the debate over the Quebec Public Interest Research Group (QPIRG)-McGill’s student fee has become a regular fixture on the campus political calendar. The anti-QPIRG campaign was back again this semester, and although it doesn’t target Students’ Society or faculty association fees, such campaigns lead to increased opt outs across the board by drawing attention to the opt-out process itself. Greater awareness of the ability to opt out of these fees is by no means a problem. The issue is when students opt out of fees without fully informing themselves of what they are or aren’t supporting. This year a group of student associations joined together to launch an “opt in” campaign with the reasonable and admirable goal of ensuring students are informed before choosing whether to opt out. While the opt-out system isn’t perfect, it serves its function. The default is to pay the fees, but almost no one disagrees with the option to opt out. Students under financial pressure or those who have a strong moral opposition to a particular group should be able to get those fees back. The associations behind
Oh, Canada? Johanu Botha
Don’t burn down the justice system They’re finally doing it. The Conservative government, despite the colossus of evidence brought forth by enraged Canadians and the warnings of our neighbours to the south, is cracking down on crime in the most draconian way possible. The Safe Streets and Communities Act, which will appear in Parliament
the opt-in campaign want to avoid blanket opt outs, where students opt out of every fee without paying attention to what each fee goes to support. I learned from reporting on opt outs in 2010 that there’s plenty of evidence that this happens. QPIRG and Radio CKUT usually have somewhat higher opt-out rates than any of the SSMU fees, for example, which tend to be consistent across the board, suggesting that while there is a certain segment of the student body opting out of QPIRG and Radio CKUT for ideological reasons, blanket opt outs account for the majority of the numbers. Additionally, opt-out rates have steadily increased since the current online system was introduced in 2007, which reflects growing awareness of the existence of the opt-out system. Taken together, this suggests that the only thing standing between most students and blanket opt outs is knowledge of the opt-out system. Those of us in the campus political bubble tend to overestimate campus engagement. The number of students who think carefully about which fees to opt out of is probably relatively small. We also overestimate our influence outside of a limited population of engaged students. Keep in mind that to blanket opt out one has to opt out of each fee individually and navigate past a page explaining what each fee is for. If students are ignoring the information about the fees on Minerva, will a Facebook page really make a difference? Those students who are likely to pay close attention are those that already know plenty about opt outs, while those that blanket opt out are just as likely to ignore the campaign as the information on the Minerva opt-out page. I’d love to see the opt-in campaign stop the growth in blanket opt outs, but I’m not optimistic.
this fall, is a Herculean overhaul of a machine that needs only nuanced tweaking. By defying lawyers and crime experts, and astounding international onlookers, Harper and his cabinet will engulf Canada in debt and make themselves look incredibly stupid in the process. First, the facts: measures included in the bill are keeping young offenders in jail for longer, eliminating pardons for some serious crimes, stroking out house arrest for property crimes, and tougher penalties for drug-related offenses. One can quibble about the scope of punishments, but there’s a larger problem here. None of these elements tackle the societal problem of crime at its roots; they merely try to stamp out its effects.
Around the World Kaiti O’Shaughnessy
Jean Paul Gaultier’s haute solutions I am not a lover of fashion, so when I had to visit the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for a French class, I tried to keep an open mind. I told myself that if all cultural education failed, at least the exhibit would be pretty. For $9 and three hours, I felt that I could at least expect “pretty.” Despite being convinced that JPG had nothing to teach me, I was shocked by everything that I didn’t previously know about the man. In order to broaden your intellectual horizons, I’ve summarized everything I learned in three hours into three short paragraphs. Jean Paul Gaultier ended gender inequality: According to one of the signs at the entrance (which I am paraphrasing after translating awkwardly from French to English), Gaultier singlehandedly created a new movement—post-feminism—by creating the cone bra corset. Women may have brought about the first wave of feminism, but we should give credit where it’s due. According to the sign, we should all be thankful to Jean Paul Gaultier for attaching two party hats to a model’s chest. The cone bra corset: erasing gender inequality since JPG thought it up. Jean Paul Gaultier created environmentalism: Jean-Paul Gaultier loves the environment so much that he created dresses out of garbage bags for a runway show, and that was the start of environmentalism. He must have
In mid-August, the Canadian Bar Association looked at the bill and turned up their noses in disgust. Their biggest concern was that the bill could widen the gaping hole into which Canada’s system often throws mentally ill offenders. The bill has no alternative provisions for crimes committed by the mentally ill, and in effect, clinical psychologists are traded for prison wardens. The crime rate in Canada has steadily declined since 1973, and the majority of Canadians would like to see that trend continue. But does tabling this bill mean that Harper and his cronies are doing, as they are claiming, what Canadians want? To interpret May’s Conservative majority election results as a message from Canadians that they support
had quite a busy career. Gaultier’s use of endangered species as materials—giant tortoise shells as handbags and a cheetah pelt for a dress— gave me the imporession that he believed in resource exploitation, not conservation. We’re still waiting to find out how he’ll stop global warming, but it’ll look fabulous, however he does it. Jean Paul Gaultier ended racism: Racism is over. “Le couturier orchestre par le vêtement le dialogue entre les cultures,” reads a sign in the exhibit, roughly translating to, “Jean Paul Gaultier creates intercultural dialogue through clothing.” He also really likes different cultures. He is so open-minded, he even has a special room in his exhibit called “Urban Jungle” to demonstrate his love for other cultures. All of the mannequins, except for one, look like white folk wearing the ‘traditional dress’ of somewhere they are not from. On a creepy sidenote, all of the mannequins are very realistic and many mannequins in the other rooms have interactive digital faces that speak, but in his cheetah pelt and tortoise shell Urban Jungle, the only mannequin with an interactive face is styled like a bird and makes strangled parrot noises. Who could ever accuse JPG of colonialism or endorsing resource exploitation and the oppression of indigenous people? The man believes in cheetah pelt dresses on silent models— where is his Nobel Peace Prize? Jean Paul Gaultier, creator of feminism, environmentalism, intercultural dialogue, and the cone bra, has so much to teach each and every one of us. If, however, for any reason you cannot make the exhibit, I recommend that you spend three hours and $9 slowly throwing pennies out of a second floor window to simulate the learning that would have occurred at this exhibit.
the Safe Streets and Communities Act requires a certain amount of political illiteracy and obstinacy that could only be expected from the Harper government. According to The John Howard Society of Canada and the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, both advocacy groups for convicts’ rights, “In order to prevent more men, women, and especially children, from being marginalized, victimized, criminalized and imprisoned, Canadians are telling us and politicians that they would rather see their hard-earned tax dollars spent on public housing, child care, pensions, health care, mental health services, public education, victims, and other social services.” These are the things that will decrease crime, much more so than
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simply stuffing more people in jail for longer, which, by the way, will cost millions. In a strange flip-flop of characteristic Conservative action, the Tories are hoping to launch a state-guided project with national scope, one that will expand correctional facilities at the estimated cost of up to $2.1 billion. This is the very, very last thing the government should spend money on. And it’s the very best thing to do if they want to look brutally outdated and misinformed. Like a child who fixes his playing-with-fire mistake by trying to blow out the burning building, the Conservative party has forgotten that simply starting by learning how to use a match—and when not to strike it—might suffice.
Editor-in-Chief Shannon Kimball firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editors Sam Hunter email@example.com Holly Stewart firstname.lastname@example.org Production Manager Iain Macdonald email@example.com News Editors Anand Bery, Eric Mauser, and Elisa Muyl firstname.lastname@example.org Opinion Editor email@example.com Features Editors Kyla Mandel and Kat Sieniuc firstname.lastname@example.org Arts & Entertainment Editor Ryan Taylor email@example.com Sports Editor Adam Sadinsky firstname.lastname@example.org Photo Editors Ryan Reisert and Sam Reynolds email@example.com Senior Design Editor Kathleen Jolly firstname.lastname@example.org Copy Editor Marri Lynn Knadle Advertising Manager Corina Sferdenschi email@example.com Publisher Chad Ronalds
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Contributors Rebecca Babcock, Johanu Botha, Bea Britneff, Noah Caldwell-Rafferty, James Gilman, Alex Knoll, Ricky Kreitner, Steven Lampert, Julian Moss, Christopher Nardi, Kaiti O’Shaughnessy, QPIRG, QPIRG Opt-Out.
Tribune Offices Editorial Shatner University Centre
Don’t bring the Patriot Act to Canada Shortly after being elected, the new Conservative majority government pledged they would pass an omnibus crime bill, which includes provisions making it easier for police to track a citizen’s Internet usage. Specifically, police would be allowed to access a person’s Internet history without a warrant. These disturbing clauses infringe directly upon the rights of Canadians. If introduced, bills C-50, C-51, and C-52 would allow the police to intercept any user’s communications over the Internet. Furthermore, they would require that Canadian Internet service providers set up infrastructure enabling the police to wiretap customers’ communications. It would
Professor Michelle Hartman, a member of the McGill Faculty Labour Action Group (MFLAG) has recently come under fire for holding a seminar off campus in the Plateau. The Islamic Studies professor supports the MUNACA strike, and wanted to avoid crossing the picket line—a symbolic gesture of solidarity—by teaching her classes offcampus. Hartman felt that she had a moral obligation to respect the picket line, both because of her personal beliefs and the subject matter of her classes, which deal with revolutions in the Middle East and economic inequalities. Practical and legal complications were brought up by students and the administration. Hartman’s students complained about the inconvenience of commuting and the
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two men were indicted in an international sting; and in 2009, 25 Canadians were arrested in a similar operation. However, the perpetrators’ civil rights were not violated in any of these cases. The Tribune acknowledges that there are criminals in this country who must be brought to justice, but it is not clear that the Internet surveillance clauses of the bill would significantly increase the number of cyber-criminals apprehended. Furthermore, these provisions infringe on the rights of Canadians as stated in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; specifically sections seven and eight, which guarantee citizens the right to life, liberty, and
security of the person, and the freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. The Internet surveillance provisions were omitted from the bill tabled last Tuesday, which is a step in the right direction, and an indication that public outrage over the clauses is effective. But given the Conservative party’s ruthlessness in pushing their “tough-on-crime” bills, there is no reason to believe that these clauses are gone for good. Every citizen is entitled to privacy, and unconstitutional, unmerited infringements on that privacy which allow the government to spy on its citizens are worrisome. Citizens must ensure that these provisions do not make it into law.
Hartman’s intent admirable, but misdirected
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also require Internet service providers to disclose customer information without a search warrant, even in cases where there is no active investigation. The Conservatives have no justification for the specific clauses of the bill, but have stated that as a whole, it will make “streets safer for Canadians.” Canadian crime is at a 50-year low, but the Conservatives march onwards with their blanket crime bill, which is expected to cost taxpayers billions of dollars. One of the main uses of the bill may be to enforce child pornography laws. In early 2010, Ontario police arrested 35 people involved in a child pornography ring; last March,
possibility of missing other classes, and students are not covered by McGill’s insurance policy once they are off campus. Article seven of the Charter of Student Rights states that students are entitled to safe and suitable conditions for learning. Without insurance protecting students or a convenient location for classes, Hartman violated the charter. The university responded to Hartman’s actions by threatening her salary, citing these violations of university regulations. The university also makes strong practical arguments for these regulations: Hartman’s actions inconvenience students, and they pose a liability problem for students and the university. Practicality aside, Hartman’s efforts to avoid crossing the picket line entangled her students in a mess in
which they may have preferred not to be involved. Her students, by attending a class off campus, became implicit in Hartman’s stance against the university. No student should be forced to make a political statement in order to attend a class in which they are enrolled. Hartman’s actions are commendable, but misdirected: by holding class off campus, she impacted her students more than the ongoing conflict itself. It is important for McGill students to attend a university in which professors teach real-life lessons inside and outside of the classroom, and Hartman’s actions have raised broader concerns about the efficacy of faculty support of MUNACA. We, as students, should attend an institution in which our academic leaders are active members of society. If
Think outside the picket lines The university may indeed make strong practical arguments against Michelle Hartman’s decision to hold classes off campus in order to avoid crossing the picket line, but those practical concerns only thinly veil the underlying normative issue—did Hartman sacrifice the educational merit of her class and her academic duties in order to fulfil a personal moral obligation? Whether Hartman’s actions are interpreted as those of an idealist supporting the people who make her job possible, or those of a McGill employee aware that the deteriorating compensation in the benefits package for any fellow employees could set a dangerous precedent for her own salary, it remains that she undertook the least disruptive action that would significantly help the strikers’ cause, a
faculty members can’t make an important symbolic gesture without risking their salaries, then the university has left them in a tight bind. There are, however, other ways for faculty members to speak out: walking alongside strikers, writing letters to the university and local media, and speaking to their students directly about the issues. Students and faculty alike are feeling the effects of the strike and hope that the university and MUNACA will reach a compromise. However, faculty members further disrupting student life is unlikely to make that happen any faster. The Tribune hopes that Hartman and other members of MFLAG find a more constructive way to support the strike.
cause she clearly believes in. Other faculty members are walking alongside strikers, writing letters to the university and local media, and speaking to their students directly about the issue, but how much effect do any of these actions have? None or next to none, and the one complaint no one can level against Hartman is that her decision didn’t, at the very least, draw plenty of attention to the cause she supports. Strikes, by nature, are disruptive, and it’s no accident that this one coincided with the busiest administrative time of the year. But when it comes to strike supporting actions, there’s a sliding scale between being ineffective and overly disruptive, and holding classes off campus lands in a balance between those two poles. Hartman’s only mistake was hold-
ing her class so far off campus that it created unmanageable conflicts in students’ schedules. It’s indisputable that making it impossible for a student to get to another class detracts from their education; however, if Hartman had moved her classes to Lola Rosa, for example, the complaints of inconvience would have been baseless. Education can take place anywhere, and holding the seminar off campus may have stimulated class debate. The argument that students couldn’t be provided with “safe and suitable conditions for learning” outside of campus is tenuous at best, and based on the notion that teaching can only happen on McGill’s grounds. Educators should move away from that kind of institutionalized, archaic fine print. By being forced to debate, confront, and take action on an on-
going labour dispute in an academic setting, the students in the seminar had an opportunity for real-life learning. The very fact that faculty members are taking action to support MUNACA and that students are aware of the inconveniences imposed by the strike are powerful tools when a labour dispute relies on the currency of public image. These editors of the McGill Tribune believe that Hartman was within her rights as an educator to hold her class off campus, and in so doing, fulfilled all academic obligations to her students. —Sam Hunter, Kathleen Jolly, Marri Lynn Knadle, and Holly Stewart
Curiosity Delivers. www.mcgilltribune.com
Commentary QPIRG Board of Directors The Opt-Out Campaign led by some members of Conservative McGill likes to paint hysterical and misleading pictures of Quebec Public Interest Research Group and its projects. Most recently, the Opt-Out Campaign has targeted the work of the Chaotic Insurrection Ensemble, a QPIRG working group. CIE is a group that raises spirits at a wide array of demonstrations by using music for social change. That the CIE (along with groups such as Campus Crops) is organized according to anarchist principles seems to terrify the Opt-Out Campaign. In sum, these organizing principles mean that every member of the group has an equal say; we would love to hear what the Opt-Out Campaign finds so alarming about it this. The Opt-Out Campaign’s compulsive mischaracterizations of Ta-
damon! (another QPIRG working group) as supporters of terrorism is particularly heinous. In a 2006 campaign, Tadamon! critiqued the Canadian government’s “List of Entities,” which includes Hezbollah, as unaccountably perpetuating scapegoating and racial profiling. Tadamon! has repeatedly clarified that this criticism of the “List of Entities” does not equate to a statement of support for Hezbollah. Nonetheless, the OptOut Campaign continues to mislead students about the nature of a campaign that was launched five years ago. Indeed, the Opt-Out Campaign thrives on students being confused and misinformed. We believe that this strategy is part of a well-funded, nation-wide initiative committed to cutting services and stifling free speech on campuses. Another unfounded allegation propagated by the Opt-Out Campaign is that QPIRG is not democratic and does not represent McGill students. In fact, QPIRG is administered by a student-led Board of Directors elected once a year by QPIRG members (that is, every student who doesn’t opt out). Our decisions are made by
building consensus and a collective analysis. QPIRG’s working group participants are dedicated members of our campus and our community who make decisions with considerable thought and care. For some historical perspective, QPIRG was responsible for bringing recycling to McGill, a campaign that also incited its fair share of controversy in the ‘80s. QPIRG also took a leadership role in organizing the movement to boycott South African apartheid. Even then, some conservative students attacked the groups who worked with QPIRG. This is the kind of work our groups have done for the past 30 years, and it is the work we continue to do today. Though not all students use our groups and services, we believe all students benefit from the positive social impact of these spaces and services on their campus and community. Don’t let the Opt-Out Campaign succeed in strangling progressive organizations, especially when we need them most. Think before you opt-out.
Have opinions? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Off the Board Sam Hunter
In defense of newspapers Dear Ricky, I felt a strong impulse to respond to your column from last week (“Pay No Attention,” Sept. 20, 2011). I’d also noticed some of the same things you alluded to: writers fill newspapers with stories, regardless of whether newsworthy events have occurred since the issue prior; and a person’s choice of reading materials is, at times, not much more than a fashion statement. But I drew different conclusions than you did based on my own experiences. When I was about six and a half years old, there was a day I remember when I was as sad as I thought it was possible to be. I learned to read when I was six and instantly became addicted. For the next six months I read like it was my job—anything with words on it that came near me: books, comics, newspapers, menus. Hell, even the ingredients and instructions on soup cans were fair game. I disliked not reading so much that I simply refused to stop. When my parents took me shopping I would always bring a book. Then, using my peripheral vision to keep a parent’s pants in sight,
I would cruise around the store on an invisible tether reading, completely oblivious to the world around me. This got me in trouble once when I followed the wrong pair of pants around a store for 45 minutes, but it wasn’t a habit I was willing to give up. This is because I harboured a secret ambition—I was going to be the most well-read person in the world, and I was going to accomplish that by reading everything. Every book. Every newspaper. Every soup can. But, six months into my master scheme, I learned a lesson in perspective: someone brought to my attention just how many new things were being written every year. This revelation shocked and depressed me. How was I supposed to read everything if writers were producing new material faster than I could read the old stuff? I cried for hours. The point of this story is not that I was a kid with weird aspirations, but that I, like so many other people, love words and the knowledge that they seem to promise. Whatever convinced me to read everything in the entire world is also what drives the machinery of publishing. As I write this late on Monday night, I can’t argue that dealines and the need to fill space don’t have a part to play, but what truly drives the industry are desperately curious consumers; people who want to devour the day’s news the way I wanted to devour the world’s words. Of course, news doesn’t happen according to a production schedule, so the newsworthiness of articles vary, but it’s
no conspiratorial plot. It’s the hopeless attempt to fulfill curiosity. It’s this curiosity that fuels most of my reading, and it’s curiosity that led me to reflect on your second point—that reading is, at times, not too much more than a fashion statement. I’m as guilty of this selfconsciousness as anyone. Whenever I know I’m going to be reading in public, I’ll think twice before selecting a book—I don’t want to be seen reading the pulpy science fiction novels that I eat up at home, but at the same time I feel awkward toting around high brow books in case people think I’m just doing it for the effect. The copy of Barney’s Version that I bought at a second hand bookstore over the summer was probably the most embarrassing dilemma. A fantastic book that I struggled to put down, it had “NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE” proudly emblazoned on the front, leaving me very open to the imagined possibility of some shmuck thinking I wasn’t a Mordecai Richler fan before I saw the movie. But the vanity exposed by my reading choices still doesn’t change anything. I’ll read some things in public and others in private because I care what people think of me, and books, just like fashion—and as one graffiti artist on campus seems to think, friends—are all accessories in how you’re perceived. But if appearances’ sake is the be-all and end-all for why you’re reading what you’re reading, then that’s a damn shame.
Commentary QPIRG Opt-Out Campaign Every year, the Quebec Public Interest Research Group (QPIRG) relies on hundreds of thousands of dollars of your money to promote its extreme politics. But fortunately, you have a choice: you can opt out of paying for QPIRG. You can refuse to fund a group which considers Canada an apartheid state and celebrates “anti-Canada Day.” [Editor’s Note: a testimonial by a member of a QPIRG working group claims on the QPIRG website that Canada is a “system of apartheid.”] You can refuse to fund a group which has supported calls for Hezbollah—terrorists who deliberately target civilians—to be removed from Canada’s list of terrorist organizations. You can refuse to fund a group which urges McGill students to involve themselves in a “militant student movement in Quebec.” These are just a few examples. But in short, you can refuse to fund causes you object to and beliefs you find repugnant. Established 23 years ago, QPIRG was supposed to conduct research on issues of public concern
Letter to the Editor
On Sept. 14, the Tribune ran the article, “Gert’s Event Conflicts With SSMU Equity Policy,” which detailed the recent confusion over Coyote Ugly 2.0, a Gert’s-hosted party themed after the eponymously named romantic comedy. The article stated that, “Concerns that the women were being sexually objectified almost resulted in the event’s cancellation. Instead, the event has been postponed and will include male dancers as well.” For clarification and transparency, SSMU Equity would like to add some commentary: Neither SSMU’s Equity Officers nor the Student Equity Committee has found the event description of Coyote Ugly 2.0 to be at odds with the Equity Policy, nor was there any real consideration on SSMU’s part in cancelling the event. An individual presented concerns of possible sexism at Coyote Ugly; unfortunately, a miscommunication resulted in the organizers cancelling the Facebook event before a decision had been made. The concerns of all parties have since been resolved, as Coyote Ugly’s organizers have clarified that the inclusion of male dancers has been part of their
and undertake appropriate public action. It has failed in that mandate. Rather than promoting causes that the majority of McGill students can support, QPIRG exploits unawareness of the opt-out system to fund its extreme politics. And QPIRG knows this. That’s why they have consistently opposed your right to opt-out, threatening McGill’s administration with legal action to take it away. That’s why last year, a QPIRG board member damaged Opt-Out Campaign materials. We do not wish to attack the small number of laudable causes that QPIRG has funded. But unfortunately, only QPIRG decides which groups receive your money— and many, if not most, do not fit that description. Though QPIRG claims to pursue “social justice,” its actions and beliefs make a mockery of that term. We should also be clear that we do not support opting out of fees that positively contribute to student life on campus. We simply encourage students who disagree with QPIRG—in our opinion, the vast if often silent majority at McGill—to take their money back. Remember: this semester, you have a choice. It takes only a few seconds on Minerva to opt out of funding causes that you object to. So get your money back today.
event programming from the start. Equity takes a sex-positive stance. A provocative event is not necessarily sexist. The presence of both male and female dancers also reduces possible heteronormativity and widens the audience for Coyote Ugly. Additionally, Gert’s administration has since consulted Equity in order to develop strategies to ensure that both dancers and party goers are safe at all times. It is important to note that Equity has no power to cancel, censure, or unilaterally change any group or event at SSMU—such responsibilities lie with SSMU Council. Equity is an advisory body and an education and resource centre. We are not here to dictate what students may or may not do, but rather to provide people with the information they need to make our school a safer, more equitable place. Cassandra Zawilski is SSMU’s Equity Commissioner and a U3 Psychology, Social Studies of Medicine, and Canadian Ethnic and Racial Studies student. She can be reached at email@example.com. Ryan Thom is SSMU’s Equity Outreach Coordinator and a U2 Social Work student. He can be reached at equity.outreach@ssmu. mcgill.ca. Both will be attending Coyote Ugly as participants and observers.
p a r
Clockwise from top left: Fucked Up, Arcade Fire, The Balconies, Miracle Fortress, The Paint Movement, Play Guitar, Kid Koala, Duchess Says, Tasseomancy, Japandroids
Fucked Up In hindsight it seems silly to have expected any of the shows at the late night L’Église POP venue to be anywhere other than the basement of L’Église Saint-Édouard, but it was still disappointing to see Toronto punks Fucked Up relegated to the space, if only for how awesome it would’ve been to watch them play upstairs amongst the saints. Can you imagine lead singer Damian “Pink Eyes” Abraham prowling through pews whilst growling lyrics about religious corruption? Aside from the missed venue opportunity, the 2009 Polaris Prize winners delivered a raucous 1:30 a.m. set drawing heavily from their latest rock-opera, David Comes to Life. Abraham continues to have one of the biggest personalities in music today, and it was on full display Thursday night, from teaching the crowd a Yo Gabba Gabba dance (he was a special guest on the show
Arcade Fire Arcade Fire proudly put on a remarkable show for the thousands of people that crowded the Quartier des spectacles on Thursday night. The band’s passion for their beloved hometown shone through in their performance, and it was clear how happy they were to pay tribute to the people and city that have supported them over the years. Starting the set with the appropriately titled “Ready to Start,” it was immediately clear how exciting the show was going to be. After expressing their pleasure in performing the show—“Our hearts are very full,” Butler said—they proceeded to play an old favourite, “Keep the Car
Running.” The whole set was a flawless mix of songs from their three albums. There was a common thread connecting each of the songs, the order of which seemed to be meticulously planned out to illustrate a narrative, especially coupled with black and white strobing images playing on screens behind the band. The mood of the audience changed with every song, from swaying calmly to the slightly subdued “Modern Man,” to dancing ferociously to “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out),” before which Butler encouraged the polite and well-behaved crowd to let go of its inhibitions. The band played for over an
hour before coming back for an encore of “Rebellion (Lies),” which ended with Will Butler repeatedly smashing his floor tom on the stage, and “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains),” where the band launched LED beach balls into the crowd. The band’s music lends itself to anthemic group sing-a-longs and it’s difficult for even the most hardened cynic not to be moved by the cathartic chorus of “Wake Up.” At once a thank you and a celebration, it was a show not likely to be forgotten.
a few weeks ago), to debating which hot dog to buy from La Belle Province post-show, to dismounting the stage to climb on the merch tables mid-show. The man is a captivating performer. While Abraham was off being Abraham, the band turned in a tight performance, notably on “Turn the Season” and “Crooked Head,” and a blistering performance of “Son the Father.” Perhaps the oddest and best moment of the evening was watching sweaty punks shout along to a cover of “Jingle Bells” as the clock inched closer to 3 a.m. The reason for an early outpouring of holiday cheer? The band was recording the song for an upcoming Christmas special later in the week in New York. The host of said Christmas special is celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. Clearly, Fucked Up is a band that knows no bounds. —Ryan Taylor
Peter Hook Peter Hook and The Light, playing Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures (and more), were warmly received on Sunday night by a full house at the spacious Club Soda. The crowd was an eclectic set— men outnumbered women five to one—and an age demographic skewed strongly toward two poles: fashionably-dressed 20-somethings and original Joy Division fans who were those 20-somethings in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Peter Hook soaked in and stoked up the crowd with arm-waves and poses in between his vocals and choice morsels of excellent bass work on his red-and-cream Eccleshall Viking. Hook’s son Jack Bates, sharing and swapping out bass parts for Hook on a red Yamaha, proved himself to be adequately prepared to follow in his father’s footsteps. Nat Watson on guitar, Paul Kehoe on drums, and Andy Pool on synth each held their own and shone without outshining. Both “Transmission” and “Dig-
ital” whipped the crowd into a furor of raised hands and appreciative shouts. Hook played the stage like a pro, showing off his string technique especially close to the faces of those lucky enough to be down right of stage. “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” Joy Division’s best-known track, saw the audience at its most enthusiastic. Fans seated in the wings rose to dance, and girls were lifted up on shoulders for a full-throated audience sing-a-long as the floor turned into a dance pit roiling with bodies and marijuana-scented smoke. Peter Hook seemed pleasantly surprised by the crowd’s reception toward the end of the show, humbly offering a few refrains of “merci” before he came back for one encore, and then a second. He wrapped up with two New Order songs, leaving the audience crying out, clearly still hoping for more, until the very last amp was clicked off. —Marri Knadle
tUnE-yArDs tUnE-yArDs is a project orchestrated by Merrill Garbus, who respects musical conventions about as much as she respects typographic rules. The band played (in this writer’s opinion) the best show of POP Montreal on Friday night in the hottest and most humid venue of the whole festival. Despite the discomfort, not a single audience member looked like they regretted purchasing a ticket to the sold-out show. No one but frontwoman Garbus could turn a microphone stand and two drums into a full kit, play a ukulele with more ferocity than Hendrix played guitar, or make one woman’s
voice sound like a full choir ensemble. Recording, looping, and layering her drums, ukulele, and vocals, Garbus was accompanied by her bassist, Nate Brenner, and two saxophonists who were picked up for this tour which is in support of her latest album, w h o k i l l. Sporting silver facepaint, Garbus mesmerized and captivated the audience with her powerful stage presence and astounding vocal range. During one song, she began with an African-influenced vocal collage, then screamed the chorus at the audience, “Do you want to live?” The crowd, enthralled, shouted back.
Watching Garbus piece together a song from scratch, recording each vocal track on the spot, is infinitely more rewarding than listening to a piece of tUnE-yArDs’ recorded music. Those, like myself, who were alienated by the lo-fi sound and complex layering on her first album BiRd-BrAiNs, which was put together using a hand-held Sony recorder and a laptop, can’t help but be converted into diehard fans after seeing the energy that Garbus puts into each song live. —Holly Stewart
Photos and graphics by: Chloé Laëtitia (Popmontreal.com), Ryan Reisert (McGill Tribune), Sam Reynolds (McGill Tribune), Holly Stewart (McGill Tribune) and Popmontreal.com
Japandroids POP Montreal got off to a loud start Wednesday night with a soldout set from Vacouver rockers Japandroids. With a new album to be released at the beginning of next year, the band took the opportunity to preview some new songs, promising to “get them out of the way first” so they could save the old favourites for last. None of the new tunes were drastically different than anything on their debut, Post-Nothing, and found the band playing to its strengths: energetic, sloppy rock with big hooks and sing-a-long choruses. It’s been said before but it bears
repeating: Japandroids make a lot of noise for just two people. Guitarist Brian King strums ferociously and drummer David Prowse (no, not Darth Vader) hits his drums so hard they often end up a few inches away from where they started. Their intensity eventually incited a mosh pit that lasted for the rest of the set, sweaty bodies bouncing off each other with joyful abandon as King encouraged the crowd to act like they didn’t “have a care in the world.” From there, the choruses to “The Boys Are Leaving Town,” “Rockers East Vancouver,” and “Young Hearts Spark Fire”
were sung with anthemic conviction, which is exactly what they’re designed for. No matter how loud the music got, the response from the crowd came close to matching it, as each song was met with rapturous applause. The band seemed genuinely taken aback by the warm reception and gave their sincere thanks throughout the night. Whether or not the audience heard it is another question. —Ryan Taylor
Laura Marling Laura Marling’s stage banter at Theatre Corona on Saturday night was as endearing and honest as her music, drawing the audience right into her performance. Self-aware at first and claiming to be terrible at witty banter, she warmed to the audience and eventually confessed to a long-standing obsession with Canada and Canadian culture. The soft-spoken blonde often gets asked what her lyrics mean or what inspired them, and so she explained that many of them are inspired by other people or events, and not necessarily her own life. “My husband did not leave me last night,” she said, referring to the song, “I Speak Because I Can,” which begins with the line, “My husband left me last night.”
“I don’t want you to think I’m a liar,” she joked. Audience favourites included “Blackberry Stone” from her 2010 album I Speak Because I Can and “Ghosts” from 2008’s Alas I Cannot Swim. Marling was accompanied onstage by a keyboardist, cellist, upright bassist, banjo player, and a drummer, all of whom left the stage while she played a short, quiet acoustic set including the songs “Salinas” and “Goodbye England (Covered In Snow). Other songs like “Rambling Man” and “Sophia” are surprisingly rock-and-roll for Marling’s genre of British indie-folk, but they were sporadically and strategically placed throughout her set to keep up the crowd’s energy.
Towards the end of her playlist, Marling paused the band’s performance and told the audience apologetically that they would not be coming back onstage to play an encore. “We’re not rock-and-roll enough for an encore,” she joked. “So if you wanted an encore, then this is the last song, and if you didn’t want one, then it’s the second-to-last song.” Although Marling and her band never perform encores at their shows, it made for an anti-climactic ending to an otherwise enchanting performance. Overall, her performance was exactly like her music: emotional, sweet, and engaging, something no Laura Marling fan could be disappointed with. —Holly Stewart
Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements If you’re going to make a documentary about a band, you generally need at least two things: music, and interviews with the band in question. Color Me Obsessed features neither. Instead, director Gorman Bechard tells the story of famed ‘80s punk band the Replacements via interviews from those close to the band and fans both famous (Colin Meloy,
Dave Foley, Goo Goo Dolls) and not. The anecdotes reveal a band that was as dysfunctional as it was brilliant. Take their MTV appearance, where they shaved and then painted on eyebrows, albeit slightly higher, so as to look surprised throughout the interview. Or the video for “Bastards of Young,” a three-and-a-half
minute shot of the song playing from the speaker once they found out they weren’t contractually obligated to appear in the clip. Or that fans never knew whether they’d be sober enough to perform. All of them paint a picture of a self-sabotaging band that could’ve achieved greatness had they actually wanted it. While the stories of chaos are
amusing, interviews about the meaning of the band to the average fan cut to the emotional core of the film. These are stories of self-discovery, regaining self-confidence, and feeling comfortable with your imperfections. There’s no doubt the Replacements both saved and enriched lives. So while it might seem mis-
guided to make a Replacements documentary without the Replacements, ultimately it works. After all, it doesn’t matter who the Replacements thought they were, or even are—what a band becomes lies in the hands of those who listen to its music. —Ryan Taylor
A&E book review
Nothing to look foward to in looking back
Julian Barnes’ new novel shows the complex processes of memory and history
By Ricky Kreitner Contributor Though stuffed into only 150 pages, Julian Barnes’ new novel, The Sense of an Ending, is a very big book. This thin volume trades in themes one might only expect to find in a real doorstopper of a book, a fat Bildungsroman, a sweeping history of a life. Barnes’ book is none of these. If you are looking for scenes well set, characters comprehensively drawn, or the general ambience of 1960s Britain artfully construed, this is not that book. Barnes—through his self-admittedly untrustworthy narrator, Tony Webster—has a very specific story to tell, and is loath to write about much else. And yet the book’s sweep is indeed magnificent: death, sex, friendship, youth, maturity, history, literature, family, memory, the past, love, regret, illusion, time, philosophy, suicide, intellect, music, conformity—these massive topics, and many more, all come in for the basic Barnes treatment: close inspection, direct interrogation, complete reworking.
As the book opens, Tony Webster is in grammar school. His clique has recently expanded from three to four with the addition of Adrian Finn, “a tall, shy boy who initially kept his eyes down and his mind to himself.” Tony is captivated by Adrian’s emotional and intellectual maturity (“He gave the impression that he believed in things”) in contrast to his own pubescent insecurities. While Tony and his friends assume a rebellious posture against the world they still know nothing about, Adrian is eager to engage. “The three of us considered school sports a crypto-fascist plan for repressing our sex-drive,” Tony reports. “Adrian joined the fencing club and did the high jump.” Tony further admires Adrian’s intellectual honesty, his application of thought to life. Adrian would work a problem out in his head, announce that something was “philosophically self-evident,” and actually implement his conclusions through concrete action, while his less mature friends only affect seriousness. But when Adrian steals his girlfriend, Tony is less than amused. He scrawls out an angry letter to his exfriend and ex-girlfriend, expressing
hopes that “you get so involved that the mutual damage will be permanent” and that “acid rain [will] fall on your joint and anointed heads.” The damage is indeed permanent: within a few months, Adrian has cut his wrists and bled to death in the bathtub, leaving behind a complex philosophical argument defending a person’s right to refuse the unwanted gift of life. All this has happened by page 47. The rest of the book has Tony married, divorced, and, in lonely old age, obsessing over these episodes from his past. On the surface, he is attempting to reconstruct the story of what really happened, something he only accomplishes on the last page of the book, arguably not at all. More importantly, he is attempting to construct stories of the pasts of the people he once knew, stories that agree with the story he has told himself of his own life. He digs through old letters and pictures and faulty memories, interviews his ex-wife and, repeatedly, the ex-girlfriend Adrian stole, trying to craft a more comfortable narrative of the past. Given the overwhelming evidence of his culpability, however,
Tony finds the task too difficult. He may have lived longer than Adrian, but in a way he lived less, too. Meditations on the ambiguities of memory, the non-linearity of time, laments for lost youth are common. What is unique about The Sense of an Ending is Barnes’ treatment of these themes, and the accessible, clear, almost epigrammatic way he has of writing them into his narrative. Those meditations do not sacrifice clarity for complexity. Throughout the book, Tony seems to waver between considering maturity a welcome improvement of life, an achievement, and moments when he laments his lost youth, and more, regrets the years since that have robbed him of his ideals and replaced them with pitiable excesses of complacency, stubbornness, and undeserved self-satisfaction: “We thought we were being mature when we were only being safe. We imagined we were being responsible but were only being cowardly. What we called realism turned out to be a way of avoiding things rather than facing them.” Coming from a 65-year old British novelist (and an admitted Francophile) that will have to suf-
fice as a contemporary substitution for “Aux barricades!” If Tony’s meditations waver back and forth and conclude on a note hardly more convincing or final than previous, contrary assertions, Barnes has at least drawn a moving picture of the doubts and lamentations that precede death. They are essentially the unwanted rewards of ordinary life. Tony’s belatedly acquired wisdoms fill most of the final third of the book. He apparently needed to live a full life before discovering them: “When you are young, you think you can predict the likely pains and bleaknesses that age might bring… But all this is looking ahead. What you fail to do is look ahead, and then imagine yourself looking back from that future point. Learning the new emotions that time brings.” We can’t learn these emotions by reading about them. But The Sense of an Ending rewards the reader with a peek, however brief, at what we can look forward to looking back at. It’s not pretty.
Morally driven serial killer is back for a sixth season Dexter will have to balance his family life with his obsession for cutting people up
By Iain Macdonald Production Manager After spending time off battling cancer, Michael C. Hall is back for another season of Dexter. The show’s sixth season premiere is scheduled for Oct. 2 at 9 p.m. on Showtime. Dexter Morgan is a serial killer who hunts down and murders other serial killers. Dexter’s victims must satisfy a strict set of requirements, which the Miami Metro PD bloodstain analyst verifies using police resources. He also has a family, including two step-children and a biological son. Dexter’s wife, Rita Bennett, was murdered by a victim he was pursuing in a shocking twist ending to season four. Season five saw Dexter with a new acquaintance, Lumen Pierce, a woman who was kidnapped and raped by several men. While captive, Lumen witnessed one of Dexter’s killing rituals and upon discovering her, Dexter couldn’t bring himself to kill the innocent witness. The two teamed up to track down and kill each of Lumen’s assailants. At the end of the season, Lumen an-
The writing’s on the wall. In this case it’s in blood. (sho.com) nounced she could not continue their vigilante justice as her “darkness” had left her, a decision that left Dex-
ter feeling abandoned. If season six is as exciting as the previous five, there’s a lot to
look forward to. There will be a strong religious theme to the season, with a number of new characters,
including Brother Sam (Mos Def), a potential victim turned ally for Dexter; Professor Gellar (Edward James Olmos), and Travis (Colin Hanks), a teacher and protégé commiting crimes in the name of God. In addition, Dexter hires a new nanny in an effort to avoid exposing his young son Harrison to his darkness. The nanny happens to be the sister of Detective Batista, one of Dexter’s co-workers. Dexter’s step-children, Astor and Cody, will also be living with their murderous father, after spending time with their grandparents last season. All this leaves Dexter juggling his family life and his dark side. While the plot line seems a bit Da Vinci Code-esque, producerClyde Phillips has shown time and again that the Dexter writers can make exciting TV. Whether the writers are flirting with Dexter being caught by his co-workers or with Dex’s targets going after his family, the show is exciting, smart, and at times gruesome. The suspense and mystery have kept viewers coming back in droves season after season, and the next won’t be an exception.
Student Living Environment
The big bad wolf The BC government lifts hunting restrictions on its wolves
rights groups, including the Canadian Wolf Coalition, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, and Valhalla Wilderness Association, are alarmed. Their main concern is that the legitimization of killing BC’s wolves will foreshadow a violent extinction of the species altogether: a true war of attrition. But as is the case in most wars,
motive appears to spring from politics and not fact. Science and research have been disregarded in place of anecdotal information. Statistics show that there is insufficient evidence that wolves are a serious threat to cattle. The Vancouver Sun revealed that in 2003, between 93 to 95 per cent of cattle killed was not by the wolf’s jaw, but in fact due to a plethora of other factors including “disease, toxic flora, calving problems, bad weather, getting hung up in the ubiquity of barbed wire fences, hit by vehicles, or killed and butchered by rustlers.” Wayne McCrory, a biologist with the Valhalla Wilderness Society, recently told the Vancouver Sun that although wolves occasionally attack or kill livestock, they more commonly feed on the cattle that have already died from these other causes. And so the wolf becomes the perfect scapegoat. Meanwhile, the BC government has failed to recognize that wolves are a critical part of the predator-prey ecosystem, and that offsetting this balance of nature in an obvious prioritization of human interests will only have dangerous repercussions in the future. But for now, so continues the classic debate of who has the greater right to the land: man, or beast? Christy Clark should take some advice from Leopold and his Land Ethic, and maybe all won’t be lost.
the community continues to evolve. Recently, the younger generation has begun to open businesses more concurrent with 21st century urban life—bubble tea shops and glitzy lounges with sleek black leather couches. Despite these new establishments, Chinatown remains unadulterated. There is a timelessness that percolates through the streets, the same low hum found in a small Quebec parish, a farming town in Nebraska, or any place where families stay for generations. A distinct way of life is preserved in these families’ every day habits, and the term “local business” isn’t just a marketing ploy. However, every town has its odd duckling, and Chinatown’s is Johnny Chin. Tucked away in a tiny stall, Chin sells dragon beard candy from a counter seven days a week.
“I’ve been doing it for 21 years now,” he says, “Just look.” On the wall is a smattering of newspaper articles chronicling his unique talent over the years. Dragon beard is a powdery vanilla-coconut treat that melts in your mouth, revealing a peanutty interior. Chin is the only one in Montreal making it, a feat all the more impressive considering that Chin’s brother had to bribe one of the few remaining masters in Hong Kong for the recipe. Chinatown grew in order to provide sanctuary for Chinese Canadians. Today, this is still the case. As my meditative friend told me, “Many who do Falun Dafa in China are persecuted by the Communist Party. There have been executions.” With that he smiled and looked gratefully over the ground where he and others peacefully stand and practice almost every single day.
By Kat Sieniuc Features Editor Although fairy tales have given wolves a bad name, it may be unwarranted. Canada’s First Nations population has revered the wolf for thousands of years: Traditional Yukon First Nations’ social and political organization is based on two clans—the Crow and the Wolf. Contemporary culture is also steadily providing the animal with good press. From Wolf Haley, to werewolves, to Alan’s lone wolf speech, our generation has been “crying wolf” more than ever. So why, then, do these appreciative cries go unheard in favour of more villifying charges? In today’s rendition of Aesop’s fable, the wolf remains the villain. At least in British Columbia it does. But the cry originates not so much out of the white lie of a child as it does the politics of selfish cattleherders and big-game hunters. Ranchers seeking compensation for lost cattle in British Columbia’s Cariboo and Chilcotin region, which covers approximately one-third of the province, have been persistent in their indictments against wolves as the chief harassers of their livestock. Big game hunters also join the wolfhating bandwagon, as removing nature’s canine predators artificially increases the caribou and elk populations to their benefit. The result: the BC government has declared a
(myabodeni.com) war on its wolves. Under the guise of predator control, new wildlife regulations in BC permit open season hunting of wolves in 10 different “management areas” ranging from 100 Mile House to Williams Lake, Quesnel, and the Chilcotin. This wolf management plan rescinds BC’s previous bag limit of three wolves per year, and
allows for the limitless use of leghold traps. The Humane Society of Canada denounces leg-hold traps because of their infliction of unnecessary pain and suffering; in an attempt to escape, animals will often starve or batter themselves to death, even chewing off their own limbs to break free. Environmental and animal
Around the town
The evolution of Chinatown There’s more to this district than meets the eye
By Noah Caldwell-Rafferty Contributor “Is it religious, what you’re doing?” I asked the young man who had just finished a stint of standing meditation in a plaza off of de la Gauchetière Street. His fellow practitioners milled about nearby, either preparing for another session or taking a well-deserved rest. “Not at all!” he answered, eyes widening. He gestured to the pamphlet he was holding, on which the words truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance were written under the title Falun Dafa. “These are what we look for, and there’s no religion about it.” He and his companions are there almost every day, their eclectic practice blending perfectly into the surroundings. This is Chinatown, where the smell of dumplings, spring rolls, and medicinal herbs
from storefront apothecaries take over as downtown Montreal fades away. Chinatown’s business hours are later than most because of its tourist status, and you can feel it. At 7 p.m., de la Gauchetière was still brimming with people. BMX bikers playfully twirled nearby and a palm reader in a black track suit attracted clients with a singing doll. But despite the area’s tourist hours, the passing street-folk were almost exclusively Chinese; residents buzzed in and out of small family-owned grocery stores, grabbing last-minute dinner necessities. Chinatown used to be a Jewish neighborhood. At the end of the 19th century, Yiddish-speaking immigrants created an enclave of synagogues, libraries, and theatres, becoming the unrivaled centre of Montreal’s Jewish culture for several decades. But true to the urban
habit of new arrivals clustering together, Chinese immigrants began settling in the same area. A Chinese Masonic Temple sprang up, parades began to frequent Dorchester Street (René- Levesque today), and the Beth David synagogue became a Chinese Presbyterian church. The Chinese population grew rapidly in the 20th century. The community absorbed both new immigrants from China and those coming from Vancouver. Small businesses opened, and eventually the neighborhood became immovable, encircled by four paifang (gates) on every side. Chinatown’s growth was not without its setbacks, however. From the 1970s onward, it felt the brunt of Montreal’s redevelopment, and several acres were taken for city projects, including the colourful Palais des Congrès. Now geographically smaller,
Curiosity Delivers. www.mcgilltribune.com
Caffeine pick-me-ups at Pikolo The McGill Ghetto welcomes new espresso bar By Marri Lynn Knadle Copy Editor After three months of successful service, Pikolo at 3418 Avenue du Parc marked its official opening with a celebratory fête last Wednesday. The occasion featured an in-house DJ and white balloons, along with a crowd that was even larger than usual. Despite the rush, the service was characteristically swift and the atmosphere was warm. Owner Marie-eve is often behind the bar, ready to tell you about what’s brewing. The first time I stepped in, the shot of the day ($2.75) was a honey-processed Panama that boasted considerable crema and a multifaceted flavour profile that delighted the tongue; no scorched beans or dishwater swill here. The café filtre ($2) is as masterful as the espresso, needing no cream or sugar to please the palate—though if that’s not your cup of java, all the amenities, including soy milk and brown sugar, are available on the bar. There are also two self-service jugs of cool, filtered water that offer refreshment between espressos; one jug is routinely flavoured with cucumber slices.
Cafe Pikolo serves up hot coffee in a cool environment. (Sam Reynolds / McGill Tribune) In addition to their espresso and café filtre, Pikolo offers macchiato, cappuccino, latte, and its smaller signature “Pikolo latte,” which tasted velvety and rich, even with soy milk. Each latte is adorned with a fern leaf design, a humble but skillful nod to latte art without obeisance to the trend’s full measure of extravagance. This conscientious minimalism suits Pikolo’s interior aesthetic,
which combines faintly industrial burnished steel accents and exposed bulbs in its light fixtures with pale wood furnishings. The chairs and tables are comfortable and well-spaced; the open concept is embraced by high ceilings and ample natural lighting afforded by the large street-facing window. Shaped like a bowling alley, as so many of Montreal’s shops and houses are, Pikolo nevertheless
makes good use of its narrow spacing with wall-aligned seating and a few extra sets of tables and chairs in a raised mezzanine at back. The view from the mezzanine is the best in the bar, affording coffeesippers and home workers a view of the action behind the counter, and the colorful patrons sitting below. The soundtrack is as mixed and appealing as the crowd itself, featuring Bedouin Soundclash one
day and Phoenix the next. Pikolo also offers baked goods in the form of croissants, muffins, and more, each batch made locally and provided to Marie-eve before they’ve hit the oven so she can bake them herself. That way, they’re warm and fresh when they’re served. In case you’ve had too much of a good thing and feel the caffeine trembles starting, Pikolo also has a wide selection of smoothies ($4.75) and teas ($2). The plum oolong is especially delicious, served in a tetsubin, a Japanese cast-iron pot. Enjoy your tea and pore over some of the many industry magazines available at the front rack: BeanScene, Fresh Cup, and others. All of the little details in Pikolo, from its ambience, and the approachability of its owner and her patrons, to its sublimely stellar espresso, invite one to get comfortable and stay a while rather than sip on the run. But when it’s finally time to leave, you can take home bags of beans roasted in Calgary by Phil and Sebastian, or get a last cup to go. This gem in the caffeinestarved student district is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Gizmos & Gadgets
Social networks go head-to-head A closer look at Google+ and Facebook By Iain Macdonald Production Manager Last week Google+ was made available to the general public after months of restricted access, which led to some calling the network Google-. On the same day, Facebook unveiled big changes to its News Feed, among other things. The two social networks are now competing for the public’s attention. Which should you subscribe to?
Facebook Tried and true, Facebook is the social networking, time-wasting
website du jour. With over 750 million active members, most of your friends, family, and even professors likely have profiles. Additionally, your favourite bands, movies, and celebrities all have pages. Facebook helps you stalk all of these people with the News Feed, and the site has a great chat system as well. You can make groups, lists, pages, and events to help keep track of all of your friends in all of your different social groups. Just last week, Facebook introduced several improvements to the News Feed. Now, your Feed goes with you everywhere on the site, where it sits just above the chat list. Additionally, your News Feed will be tailored based on how long you’ve been off Facebook. If you haven’t checked in for a few days, the top stories will cover that time frame. If you’re online more frequently, you’ll see more recent material. This helps you keep up with all of your friends, all the time. With all of these personalization
features, it’s no surprise that Facebook has been the target of recent concerns about personal information privacy. While the company has made it much easier to keep track of your privacy settings in recent updates, Facebook’s handling of personal information is a bit dubious and confusing for some users. Facebook is always changing, so the best way to avoid losing a job offer is to always be careful about what you do and don’t put on Facebook.
Google+ When it comes to social networks, Google+ is the new kid
on the block. Google generated a lot of buzz a few months ago when it announced the project and launched a private beta. Despite all the excitement, last week’s public opening of the website flopped. Google+ offers a number of features similar to those found on Facebook, like their version of a News Feed (called a Stream), and chat. Google+ also has a few things Facebook doesn’t, like Hangouts, which are slightly glorified Skype sessions. Despite all the excitement about Google+ in July, the “social network” isn’t as social as it should be. Many people simply haven’t migrated over from Facebook; or they started to, but never actually set up a profile and added friends. The general mentality is if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and for many, Facebook just ain’t broke. Until Google+ gets more members, it’s a social network minus the network. While Google+ hasn’t encountered the same privacy concerns as Facebook, it hasn’t been
tested as thoroughly as Facebook, so there is no way to know if they really are handling your data better. One redeeming factor for Google+ is that your mom isn’t on it. Yet.
Winner Facebook. It’s going to take a lot to unseat the king from its throne, and Google+ just doesn’t have what it takes yet. For social networks, many just follow their friends, and Facebook’s massive user base gives them the upper hand in this battle.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Odds and ends
To text or not to text
How to handle an awkward encounter
By Kyla Mandel Features Editor When it comes to running into past acquaintances, you never know how it will turn out. If you knew them at one point in time, maybe even became Facebook friends, but then never spoke again, chances are it will be awkward. While the courteous thing to do would be to walk right up to them and say hello, many of us opt instead for the classic textand-walk-straight-ahead technique. As Facebook lets us remain “in contact” with many people we otherwise would not, when faced with a non-Internet encounter, what are we supposed to do? There is the option of actually talking to them, but this usually consists of a rather short and forced conversation. The obvious “how are you?” and “how’s school going?” questions are asked, followed by an awkward pause. Each of you then says you have to be going and continues on in your respective directions. Painful? Yes. Harmful? Not so much. The other option is to pretend you don’t see this person. While risky, there is high pay-off when executed properly. The best way for this to work is if you notice the person well enough in advance and
immediately pursue your plan of action. Some people may choose to simply cross the street. However, if the acquaintance in question sees you do this, you have failed. Another option is to wear sunglasses or pretend text-message. This technique lets you remain on the same stretch of sidewalk while completely avoiding eye contact. Sunglasses act as a natural barrier, so you can both look forward and keep an eye out at the same time. The texting technique on the other hand, in our technologically addicted age, is both polite and believable. This person does not know you are any different from the hoards of others glued to their iPhones and Blackberries. What’s more, if they decide to say hello to you, all you have to do is act surprised and put your phone away. It’s as simple as that. One thing to remember, however is that once eye-contact is made, the jig is up. Even if it’s just for a split second, you must say hello. It can be as easy as just smiling and saying hi as you each walk past, or as awkward as forcing a conversation in the middle of a busy street. Where conversation is absolutely necessary however, is when the both of you are confined to one space. This can happen anywhere, from riding the
Alexandra Allaire avoids Charlie Katrycz at all costs. (Sam Reynolds / McGill Tribune) same bus to being in the same class. In this situation the only option is to acknowledge each other and have a pleasant conversation. Unless you constantly text or look out the bus window, contact is inevitable. In a classroom, this is even more true. Sure, one of you could switch classes due to sheer awkwardness, but realistically you two will be in
this room for three months, so you might as well buck up and establish friendly relations. What is important to remember is that everyone does this. When avoidance techniques are successfully executed, no one gets hurt. You may feel bad ignoring someone, but chances are they’re doing the exact same thing to you. As long as neither
of you realizes the other is snubbing you, everyone is in the clear. And while everyone knows what it feels like to see someone blatantly ignoring you, chances are you’d have done the same thing. Who knows, maybe the inventor of the cell phone just really wanted to avoid someone.
Canada geese take flight Migration patterns to be affected by global warming By Kyla Mandel Features Editor Last Friday’s autumnal equinox officially marked the arrival of fall, and with it the beginning of the seasonal migration of Canada geese. Living in Canada, hearing the unmistakeable honking of the geese, and seeing their characteristic V-formation signals a turn in season. Even in the busy city of Montreal, it is hard to miss the geese overhead. Fall wouldn’t be fall if it weren’t for the flight of these birds. However, changes caused by global warming affect the migration of the Canada goose. The freezing of northern waters, where the geese nest during the summer months, triggers them to begin their migrations south. Able to fly up to 1000 kilometres in a single day, these geese are usually seen as far south as the southern United States and Mexico during the winter. Yet with warmer fall and winter temperatures, some populations
will find it unnecessary to travel as far south in order to find open water and adequate food supplies. Milder climates, combined with increased farmland (which provides a comfortable food source and shelter from predators) may render the need to migrate unnecessary. This has already happened in areas of California and the Great Lakes. What’s more, geese populations have started taking residence in parks, golf courses, and even near airports, which could easily change the birds’ reputation from harbinger of seasonal change to pest. While these shifts do not threaten the size of populations, they do affect the relationship between the birds and their environment. The timing of events in nature is intricately linked: chicks hatch and find caterpillars ready to eat, which had been feeding on the available spring-time buds. A disturbance in this sequence means drastic change. If the geese’s temperature-changetrigger occurs earlier or later in the month, by the time the birds arrive
at their destination the insects and plants they rely on may have blossomed or hatched too early—or failed to do so at all. In addition, global warming will affect the wetland shorelines of the St. Lawrence River, an essential habitat for migrating geese. The cumulative effect of global warming therefore will change many of the areas suitable for breeding, feeding and nesting. If Canada geese no longer need to migrate to escape an inhospitable environment, we might not see many V-formations in the sky. While the effects of global warming may seem distant for many, they are a pressing and tangible threat. For Canada, to lose such a distinguishing feature like the flight of the Canada goose seems unimaginable. Let’s hope that we continue to see more than just Canada Goose jackets as a marker of winter.
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Sports redmen hockey—McGiLl 4, UPEI 5 (Shootout)
Early season test proves tough for Redmen Panthers prevail in shooutout as McGill embarks on challenging exhibition slate By Steven Lampert Contributor The Redmen opened their exhibition schedule on Friday night at McConnell Arena against the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers. The Redmen, ranked second in the CIS this year, are looking to build on last season’s success, which saw them finish second at the CIS championship. UPEI provided the Redmen with their first test of the season, defeating McGill 5-4 in an exciting overtime shootout. The game was filled with lead changes and momentum shifts, but UPEI’s resilience was key in topping the Redmen. While he was disappointed with the loss, Head Coach Kelly Nobes was optimistic about his team’s play and understands they are still working out facets of their game. “It’s our first game of the season and we worked on some parts of our system. We saw some good things … this is a building process to get better as a team every day,” Nobes said. The first period was highly competitive. Both teams looked anxious to start their respective seasons on a high note. Rookie Guillaume Langelier-Parent opened the scoring after third-year forward Jean-Francois Boisvert made a beautiful move around a defender and fed Langelier-Parent with a great pass in front. UPEI answered back later in the period by scoring two goals to take the lead going into the first intermission. Max Langlier-Parent noted that the Redmen weren’t pleased with their start. “We weren’t that happy with
the first period. I think we lacked intensity and we weren’t too sure where we were supposed to be on the ice at all times. But it’s our first game of the season and we’ll continue to work to improve,” he said. Both teams were noticeably more physical in the second period. Six minutes in, UPEI was granted a penalty shot, but Redmen goaltender Hubert Morin made a difficult sliding pad save to keep McGill within one goal. The Redmen helped their goalie out by scoring two goals later in the period courtesy of Boisvert and Max Langelier-Parent. UPEI withstood further damage by killing off multiple two-man disadvantages, led by goaltender Jhase Sniderman. On a powerplay with under a minute left in the period, the Panthers evened the score at 3-3 on a great shot from the point by forward Jared Gomes. Nobes anticipated this early season test for the Redmen. “One of the things we have done in our preseason is schedule games against tougher teams. UPEI is a real solid team and we are going to play three NCAA Division I schools. So we have given ourselves a tougher preseason in order to better prepare ourselves for the regular season,” Nobes said. From the third period onwards, the Redmen felt this test. The Redmen outplayed UPEI for most of the third period as they controlled the puck and prevented any real scoring chances against them. With seven minutes remaining, freshman Justin Ducharme received a pass from Benoit Levesque in front and onetimed it past Sniderman. But, as pre-
viously seen in this game, UPEI’s resiliency prevailed. With under two minutes to go, forward Brandon Biggers chipped home a goal after a scramble in front to send the game into overtime. Overtime settled nothing, and the game went to a shootout. Redmen captain Evan Vossen thought the team responded well to the pressure that came with overtime. “I think it was good. For us, anytime you play a close game, you can take away little things to build on.... It was definitely a good test for us,” Vossen said. The shootout was a challenge for the Redmen, as UPEI denied all three of their shooters. Panthers forward Matt Carter buried a wrist shot over Morin’s short side that proved to be the game-winner. Vossen was happy with how the team progressed through the game, but knows that they will need to improve since expectations are high. “I think definitely with the success we had last year, we have expectations from a lot of people and from ourselves. We know that every team is going to give their best effort since they want to beat the best, but we’ll continue to work on our game so we can answer those efforts,” Vossen noted. The team will continue to be tested with their exhibition schedule. After a second straight loss to UPEI on Saturday, they now head south for a three game stretch against NCAA schools. The Redmen open their regular season on October 7 against Lakehead. Langlier-Parents team up for four points. (Ryan Reisert / McGill Tribune)
Third Man in Where does Indianapolis go from here? Fourteen years of consistency have come to an abrupt halt. Entering week three, the Indianapolis Colts stand 0-3 for the first time since 1998. The harsh reality is that their franchise quarterback is out for an extended period of time, leaving the team in a state of flux. Peyton Manning underwent neck surgery on May 23 to repair a cervical spinal issue. The injury was initially kept quiet, overshadowed by the NFL lockout, but his rate of improvement in rehabilitation was slower than expected and the Colts declared him out indefinitely.
There are both present and future issues that the franchise must consider. The team is off to the aforementioned abysmal start led by Manning’s replacement, quarterback Kerry Collins, who was signed out of retirement to replace Peyton when news of the severity of his injury broke. So far, so bad. There are two legitimate paths the Colts can take this season. The first option is to continue trying to win games and remain somewhat competitive. Even without Manning, the team still has key pieces in wide receiver Reggie Wayne and defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. The ideal scenario would be if the team gets increased contribution from key players and Collins somehow rediscovers his service-
able backup quarterback prowess, leading the Colts to seven or eight wins. However, the Colts have five games remaining against legitimate Super Bowl contenders: Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Atlanta, New England, and Baltimore. Yikes. This could save the team from embarrassment, and winning without Manning would provide a confidence boost for the rest of the players. More importantly though, this would probably leave the Colts out of the playoffs and with a mediocre draft pick. As a result, contending this season should not be Indy’s priority. Instead, the Colts should vie to be in position for a top-five draft pick. This way, they can target Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, who
is the consensus top player in the upcoming draft. Some would argue that drafting a quarterback when you’ve just committed $90 million over the next five seasons to Manning would be a bad move. This is not completely untrue, but the frightening part of Manning’s injury is that it’s a spinal issue. Post-surgery, he will require therapy on his neck to regain losses of function, mobility, and strength. It is difficult to predict how Peyton will respond to this treatment and how vulnerable his neck will be to future injuries. This uncertainty means that drafting a quarterback for the future should be a priority. There are advantages to this, as any quarterback would benefit by learning from a future Hall-of-Famer. After all, the reigning Super Bowl MVP, Aaron
Rodgers, sat behind a Hall-of-Famer for three seasons. Speaking as a football fan, Manning’s injury is unfortunate, especially in an era of great quarterbacks. For the Colts organization, players, and their fans it stings even worse. There is no doubt that it’s virtually impossible to replace a fourtime MVP winner. Colts fans should remain hopeful: even if Manning cannot regain his form and the team doesn’t get the chance to draft Luck, the front office can make a trip to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to seek out a certain Wrangler jeans model to save the franchise. —Steven Lampert
Curiosity Delivers. www.mcgilltribune.com
The statistical revolution caught on film
(Scores since Sept. 20)
Brad Pitt stars in adaptation of Michael Lewis’ story of stats, baseball, and money By Adam Sadinsky Sports Editor Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane had just witnessed one of his favourite prospects, catcher Jeremy Brown, pick himself up off the dirt and circle the bases after tripping over first base on a home run he didn’t realize he had just hit. “It’s hard not to be romantic about baseball,” Beane says to Paul Brand, his assistant. It’s hard not to be romantic about a great baseball movie either. Moneyball certainly captures the romance of baseball and has all the hallmarks of a classic baseball film: a washed-up pro trying to make a name for himself, a team no one believes in surpassing expectations, and a montage of the epic winning streak that turns the season around. Moneyball should join the ranks of esteemed baseball flicks like The Natural and Bull Durham, but it also has something
they don’t: a lasting impact on the way we think about the game. Well, the book did anyway. Moneyball is based on Michael Lewis’ 2003 work of the same name, which turned the baseball world upside-down. Moneyball is the story of the Oakland Athletics and the efforts of their front office to be competitive in a league where their payroll is one third that of other top teams. Inspired by Bill James, a security-guard-turned-statistical-guru (seen just once in the film), Beane (Brad Pitt) embarks on a quest to prove to the baseball establishment that everything they believe and everything they do is flawed. Adopting a philosophy that values statistics previously believed to be irrelevant, such as on-base percentage and slugging over batting average and runs batted in, the A’s attempted to find the players no one else wanted, to turn them into superstars. A rag-tag group of
REDMEN BASEBALL Won 14-9 @ John Abbott Won 6-4 vs. Concordia Lost 6-4 @ Carleton Won 7-5 @ Carleton Lost 7-4 @ Ottawa Lost 8-2 @ Ottawa
play. However, the movie takes a strange angle on his family life by playing up the storyline of Beane and his daughter, while his wife is only mentioned in a quick phone conversation. The father-daughter relationship feels unnecessary, as the story of Beane’s pro career and subsequent failure would have been enough personal drama to make the film resonate with non-sports fans. While there have been many criticisms of Moneyball over the years, namely the failure of the A’s to win a World Series and the rampant steroid use in their clubhouse, the book changed the way many people look at baseball, and the movie captures that. This is a must-see for anyone who considers themselves a baseball fan, but they should see it soon… the playoffs start Friday.
guys without “the good face” or all of the “five tools” is assembled for bargain salaries, allowing the A’s to hang around with the Yankees and make the playoffs. The movie does a good job at turning what is essentially a jazzed-up economics textbook into an inspirational movie. Writers Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian were able to take some of the more personal moments of the book and weave them into a movie script. Fans of the book will undoubtedly be disappointed that “the fat catcher” Jeremy Brown’s only mention in the film is in the afformentioned scene, and that math-whiz, Assistant GM Paul DePodesta is reduced to the generic Brand, played by Jonah Hill. Brad Pitt plays a convincing Billy Beane, whose eccentricity comes through in the scenes where he is seen driving his car and avoiding watching his team
MARTLETS FIELD HOCKEY Lost 6-0 @ Toronto Won 3-2 vs. Waterloo Tied 2-2 vs. Western REDMEN FOOTBALL Lost 12-4 @ Laval REDMEN LACROSSE Won 12-11 @ Bishop’s Won 13-6 vs. Carleton REDMEN RUGBY Won 21-13 vs. Concordia MARTLETS RUGBY Lost 32-8 vs. Laval REDMEN SOCCER Lost 1-0 vs. Sherbrooke Won 3-1 vs. Montreal
DO YOU LIKE SPORTS AND DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS?
MARTLETS SOCCER Lost 2-1 vs. Sherbrooke Tied 1-1 vs. Montreal
mlb prediction Contest!!!
As the MLB playoffs near, we want to hear from you! Send your predictions for each series of the playoffs to sports@ mcgilltribune.com by noon on Friday Sept. 30. Pick the winner of EACH series and as a tiebreaker indicate how many games the World Series will go. The champion will win a signed baseball!
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Soccer—Redmen 3, Montreal 1 • Martlets 1, montreal 1
Martlets, Redmen prove worthy foes for UdeM Redmen win, Martlets draw against wily Carabins By Christopher Nardi Contributor Sunday evening featured a McGill soccer double-header, with each team facing highly ranked Université de Montréal squads. Both the Redmen and the Martlets wanted to bounce back from losses against Sherbrooke on Friday, but faced higher caliber opponents in the Carabins. The fourth-ranked Redmen began the evening with a resounding 3-1 win over the number eight Université de Montréal squad, in a game in which tempers were running high from start to finish. The first half saw offensive domination alternate, as McGill kept it mostly in Montreal’s zone for the first 25 minutes, and then generated few offensive chances until the end of the first half. First year defender Alexis Pradie opened up scoring at the 45th minute with a penalty kick obtained after UdeM’s Maxime Pinton received a red card. The goal was Pradie’s first of the season, and gave the Redmen the boost they needed heading into the second half. The Redmen got off to an excellent start in the second half with a 49th minute goal by Sebastien Monroe, assisted by Alex King. Although
The Redmen tackled well in their 3-1 win. (Ryan Reisert / McGill Tribune) the Carabins were down a man, they never let up the pressure. In the 62nd minute of play, Vincent de Bruille scored on a great kick that lept over Redmen keeper Matt Gilmour. Sensing the game was finally within reach, the Carabins took their foot off the gas, forcing Gilmour to make a tremendous save at the 78 minute mark. “It’s always difficult to play a team that’s one man down, and even
two, because they have nothing to lose, so they don’t think, they just work,” Head Coach David Simon said. “We survived that pressure, so that’s good.” Things started getting out of hand for the Carabins when they were handed three red cards in the final eight minutes of play, including one to Montreal Head Coach Pat Raimondo, an ex-Redmen head
coach. McGill’s man advantage led to a breakaway goal by Axel Dovi in the 89th minute of play, tripling the Redmen’s lead and ruining any chances of a UdeM comeback. “We worked our butts off. We’re usually a second half team, and sometimes it takes us a little bit to get out of the starting gate,” Gilmour revealed. “But I think we started strong today and got that penalty that obviously helped, and we came out strong the second half, and obviously scored that quick goal.” With the win on Sunday, the Redmen are now tied with the Carabins for first in Quebec. ***** The Martlets also had heavy competition when they hosted the second-ranked Carabins and they rose to the task, coming out with a 1-1 tie. McGill, ranked sixth in the most recent CIS rankings, put the pressure on early and were rewarded quickly when Alexandra MorinBoucher scored on a quick feed from Alexandria Hoyte in the fifth minute of play. This was the first goal that Montreal keeper Martine Julien had allowed this season. Montreal struck back with a tying goal by Isabelle Dumais at the 38th minute, after a well-executed give-and-go between Marylise Mon-
chalin and Éva Thouvenot-Hébert. Both teams had golden chances to score again. A shot by the Carabins was miraculously saved on a diving effort by Martlet Kelsey Wilson. McGill had a great chance to take the lead when Wilson was tripped by UdeM’s Emmanuelle BeliveauLabrecque and rewarded a penalty shot. Keeper Martine Julien worked her magic again and came up with a huge save to preserve the 1-1 tie. Although the Martlets played a sound defensive and offensive game, Head Coach Marc Mounicot couldn’t hide his disappointment. “Our entire team played well defensively, so did the forwards, who did their job. I’m very happy. You have to understand our three best defenders are not playing tonight, they are all injured (including starting goaltender Victoria Muccilli),” Mounicot said. “It was a very good performance tonight; I’m just a little bit disappointed because I thought we deserved to win.” All in all, the weekend was a very successful one for the two McGill soccer squads, who were pitted against formidable opponents. Both teams play their next game on Friday, Sept. 30 against UQTR in Trois-Rivières.
redmen rugby—McGill 21, Concordia 13
Redmen pull out late victory over Stingers Thirteen points in last fifteen minutes the difference for McGill
By Rebecca Babcock Contributor Last Sunday, the McGill Redmen rugby team won their home opener against the Concordia Stingers. The game wasn’t pretty, but it ended well with 13 unanswered points for McGill in the last 15 minutes, putting the Redmen ahead at the final whistle 21-13. Thirteen minutes in, Gideon Balloch converted a penalty kick to put McGill up 3-0. A minute later, the Redmen gained possession of the ball, but fumbled it away. The Stingers took advantage of McGill’s defensive lapse to score an uncontested try and made the conversion for a 7-3 lead. For the next three minutes McGill dominated in rucks, executing their offence well. Second-year Cameron Perrin broke through with McGill’s first try of the game but the Redmen failed to capitalize on the conversion, making the score 8-7 McGill. McGill was called for an endless array of penalties in the first half, which gave Concordia oppor-
tunities to score. When Concordia executed a successful maul, McGill was called for a penalty. The Stingers decided to take a penalty kick and scored to go up 10-8. The Redmen’s biggest problems were knock-ons caused by fumbling and missed catches. They had excellent chances to score, but there were instances where nerves got the best of them and they dropped the ball. The Redmen’s line-outs were the best aspect of their game. Not only did they execute their own line-outs well, but they were able to make key steals on Concordia’s. Tensions mounted at the end of the first half, as the play crossed the line between hard-nosed and chippy. Late in the second half, a Concordia player kicked Redmen hooker Keelan Chapman in the head. After a little tussle both players were sent to the sin bin. “There’s always been a lot of hot blood between McGill and Concordia and the games are always so close that we expect it to be a rough game,” Perrin said. After another penalty by
McGill, the Stingers again opted to take a penalty kick. They scored and increased the lead by three to 13-8. These little mistakes by McGill gave the Stingers easy opportunities to score. However, the Concordia kicker missed two penalty kicks, allowing McGill to stay in the game. In the final 15 minutes, McGill turned up the intensity. A nice offensive play created the opportunity for second-year wing Nick Santo to score a try, which tied the game 1313. McGill dominated the offence for the rest of the contest and Perrin took it to the house again with about four minutes left. The conversions proved difficult because of their placement, and both were unsuccessful but McGill kept their 18-13 lead. The Redmen widened the gap with a successful penalty kick by rookie centre Quentin Pradere, making the final score 21-13. Although this wasn’t McGill’s best effort, the win places them firmly in first place in the RSEQ standings. “I think we got a little nervous
The Stingers couldn’t keep the Redmen down as McGill rallied for the win. (Abir Shah / McGill Tribune) at the end of the game and decided to pick up the intensity but we put ourselves into that position with all the dropped passes,” Head Coach Craig Beemer said. “There were a lot of handling errors and it was a sub-par performance by us.”
McGill’s winning streak now stands at five games, including two victories from last year. Their next home game is against the Sherbrooke Vert-et-Or at 1 p.m. on Oct. 2.
Sun sets on summer By Ryan reisert