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The McGill Daily Prophet Published by The Daily Publications Society, a student society of McGill University.

The losing house since 1911

Muggles playing Quidditch!

Volume 101, Issue 7

September 26, 2011 mcgilldaily.com

15, 16

Professor Teaches Charms and Potions at Toronto College 12, 13 Student returns to Hogwarts a wizarding self-help section, well versed in everything from affirmations to wacky potions, with a sprinkling of discredited sciences for good measure (phrenology, anyone?).

Centaurs discover planets Daily that may support Prop muggle life

het Rep 19 ort er Accio NDP Leadership says Saganash 6

McGill Daily Prophet reporter Daniel Smith tears away Mac Campus’ invisibility cloak. Interviews striking groundskeepers outside Forbidden Forest.

to tkey Por es tak

10 Points for Gryffintown! 20

Caretakers restrict trespassing into the Ministry of McGill Magic to students. Students attempt an Alohamora charm to no avail. Hogwarts Professor uses Sonorus charm to deliver passionate monologue on behalf of colleagues.

icke tL ines 5

at 4:30 in the Shatner Great Hall

Pick up some vegan pumpkin juice and chocolate frogs

defends the rights of Magical Creatures 7

SPEW

P

Midnight Magic Kitchen

Shatner Dungeon

General Assembly

Montreal Muggles dress up as Magical Folk 21

Gert’s Head in the

Hogwarts

Magic and Policy Exchange for end keynote 5

at the

pus am cC Ma

Mulcair apparates to

Grab a Butterbeer

today!

Demonstrators unable to access Senate Room of Requirement 3

Exclusive interview with the McGill Daily Prophet. Carrying on the legacy of Albus Layton Dumbledore, will run for the position of Minister of the NDP, so far in opposition to Rufus Topp Scrimgar. Adrian Skeeter quick-quill-quotes Saganash.

Hundreds of innocents rescued from Azkaban for Magical Creatures.


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The McGill Daily | Monday, September 26, 2011 | mcgilldaily.com

3

Demonstrators barred from Senate Discussion of ongoing labour dispute dominates first meeting of the year Queen Arsem-O’Malley The McGill Daily

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he McGill Senate held its first meeting of the year last Thursday, while nearly thirty students held a demonstration in support of the McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association (MUNACA) outside the room. The students marched from the Roddick Gates to the Leacock Building, where the meeting was held. Before the march to Leacock, Claire Stewart-Kanigan, U1 Political Science, explained her attendance at the event. “This is an institution for the students,” Stewart-Kanigan said. “If the students themselves don’t approve of the administration then I think it sends a clear message to the administration that something needs to be done.” Security initially blocked entry to the group as they attempted to enter the building, after which students found an alternate entrance. Once inside, guards allowed few spectators to enter the room, and told the majority of protesters that they would not be let in due to their potential disruption of the meeting. “There was an illegal demonstration inside the Leacock Building with participants intent on disrupting the Senate meeting,” Michael Di Grappa, VP (Administration and Finance), stated in an email to The Daily. “The participants refused to exit the building or to stop their demonstration. There were not sufficient guarantees that, if allowed into the meeting, the participants would respect the right of Senators to conduct their meeting with dignity and decorum.” Di Grappa refused to address the fact that security filmed the demonstration, explaining that the administration “won’t discuss security procedures.” Security at the scene told students that they were being filmed because they were protesting inside. Students sat outside of the meeting for an hour and half, while various participants, including members of the McGill Faculty Labour Action Group, spoke to the group. Despite the fact that singing and drumming was clearly audible from within the room, Principal Heather Munroe-Blum, who chaired the meeting, never acknowledged the protesters. Munroe-Blum did address the issue of the strike, giving a brief background of each side’s demands and calling the strike an “unfortunate

development, one that I know we all wish to resolve as quickly as possible.” “We are all proud of all members of our employee groups,” she added. Munroe-Blum then spoke about the state of McGill’s self-funded MBA program, and detailed the criteria used for national and international university rankings, and how McGill’s rankings compare to other Canadian schools. Professor Darin Barney, an associate professor in the Department of Art History & Communication Studies and Canada Research Chair in Technology and Citizenship, rose to give a statement about the impact of the strike on campus. Barney said he wanted to “fill in the gaps” in the administrations assessment of the strike’s impacts. Barney had previously authored a letter of solidarity with MUNACA, which was sent to MunroeBlum and Provost Anthony Masi, with no response from the administration. The letter is also posted on the MUNACA website. Barney’s statement detailed responses that he has received from MUNACA workers, fellow professors, and students about how the strike has affected them. “A 20-year employee of the University told me that when her several managers cross the picket line, they refuse to acknowledge or even look at her,” he said. Barney explained that he has walked with MUNACA workers on picket lines, and that “it’s the first time [some MUNACA workers] have ever felt that professors even know they exist, let alone what happens to them,” he said. Law professor Richard Janda raised a question about the University’s policy to not allow professors to teach off-campus. In an email to all staff and students last Thursday, Di Grappa wrote that, “A professor’s right to not cross the picket line does not confer the right to move classes off campus.” Janda said the email “raises great concern.” He asked how Senate could “move away from this rather polarizing moment in the life of the community,” and give professors who wish to show solidarity with striking workers the ability to do so. Barney also spoke about student concerns about crossing picket lines to attend class, and, later, asked whether provisions are made for students who may miss classes in their refusal to cross. Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) Morton Mendelson addressed the concern, explaining that students are responsible for their academic assignments and class attendance, and that “a strike

is not a normally acceptable excuse.” When asked whether it would be possible to establish a policy of academic amnesty to deal with situations like these, Mendelson said that it is “not for [him] to say.” The issue of managers shouldering extra work to make up for MUNACA workers was raised, as John Galaty, an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and Director of the Centre for Society, Technology and Development, questioned whether the “extraordinary efforts” of staff are sustainable. Munroe-Blum ended the discussion by saying that it is “not going to be productive to go into a detailed exchange on these comments [at Senate].” Over the course of the discussion, multiple Senators expressed gratification that the administration had admitted that the University is not business as usual. SSMU VP University Affairs Emily Yee Clare, a student Senator, brought forth a question regarding the effects of the labour dispute on student services, and asked what the administration is doing to consider the needs of students in their decision-making process. The question asked how students can achieve full potential “in light of critically reduced access to vital services.” Mendelson disagreed with the terminology, telling Senate that, “The vast majority of services, at least for now, have not been critically reduced.” “Frontline student services have been a priority,” he added, and cited the fact that McLennan Library is open 24 hours daily as proof. Following discussion of the MUNACA strike, Galaty asked a question about the implication of University budget cuts to teaching assistants (TAs). Masi explained that the central administration does not control how many TA-ships each faculty has, as the line item in the budget is labeled as “teaching support,” which faculties can spend on anything that falls under that category, including classroom materials. When pressed further about negotiations on the TA’s collective agreement, Masi said that the administration cannot comment on negotiations due to legal restraints. Masi, referring back to the discussion about MUNACA negotiations, added, “I have many things I would like to say to Professor Barney, and will do so in private.” — with files from Henry Gass

Students demonstate outside of Senate.

All photos by Victor Tangermann | The McGill Daily


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The McGill Daily | Monday, September 26, 2011 | mcgilldaily.com

Strikin’ in the rain Photo by Victor Tangermann Despite the recent downpour, MUNACA workers maintain their picket lines. After 26 days, the McGill administration has still not reached an agreement with the union. The next meeting is scheduled for September 26. — Henry Gass

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The McGill Daily | Monday, September 26, 2011 | mcgilldaily.com

5

Macdonald Campus on strike

Some students remain unaffected, but anticipate significant slowdowns Daniel Smith

The McGill Daily

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s the McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association (MUNACA) strike enters its third week, students, administrators, and faculty at the Macdonald campus are feeling the absence of the approximately 90 clerical, teaching, and research employees who work there. At the entrance to the campus, which houses McGill’s Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the School of Dietetics and Nutrition, a picket line has formed every day since the strike began on September 1. The group is made up of MUNACA members who work at Macdonald Campus, as well as downtown employees who live in the West Island. David Kalant, MUNACA VP Finance, explained that the impact felt at Macdonald is similar to that at McGill’s downtown campus. “I have no good way of comparing the campuses, but I suspect it’s similar. In both cases the normal functioning of the University is impossible without us,” he said. Macdonald’s Career Planning Service (CaPS) office is one of the many services at the campus affected by the strike. Callers to offices are temporarily being greeted with a recorded message that redirects them to the downtown receptionist. Susan Smith, the Office Coordinator for CaPS, expressed

regret over having to leave her job and did not see a fast resolution as likely. “I’m not under any illusions – this is going to go on for awhile,” she told The Daily. “I’m not seeing any lack of resolve on the picket line, and I think it’s just a sad situation. All we need to do is get together and talk.” Some picketers, although reluctant to comment on the strike, pointed to the suspension of inter-library loan and difficulties in Macdonald’s IT department

as signs that their absence is having an effect on campus services. Students who take classes at Macdonald expressed differing views on how the strike is affecting them, including some who said they haven’t noticed much of a difference at all. Elodie, an Agricultural and Environmental Sciences student, said, “It hasn’t really affected me in any way in particular. I can still go to class and do my labs,” although she did add that she had to wait longer than expected for her doc-

tor’s appointment. Like many offices on both campuses, the Macdonald Student Services Center’s hours have been cut as a result of the strike. Chris Borkent, a graduate student in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences, said his day-to-day life was unaffected, but expressed concern about who would handle his thesis submission if the strike continued into December. “I know that that paperwork stuff is being handled by some administrators here,” Borkent said, “but of course

Striking staff picketing at MacDonald campus.

Jessica Lukawiecki | The McGill Daily

they’ve got to do it for everybody and I won’t be the only person submitting, so it might get a little snaky.” Sunny, a U3 Arts student taking a course at the Macdonald Campus, explained that she supports MUNACA and stood on the picket line with the strikers for a day, but that she is concerned that her fellow students do not appreciate the strike’s significance. “I’ve been quite ashamed of [McGill] University during the strike, and with the lack of solidarity from other staff at McGill,” she said. “I was hoping for more support, and I’ve seen none – if [anything] I’ve seen sort of anti-strike attitudes, which I find really scary.” In an interview with The Daily, chief technician at the Montreal Neurological Institute and MUNACA member Farah Jalili was asked by a passerby why MUNACA members don’t work for themselves or another university, rather than go on strike. “McGill goes from 20 to 19, 18 to 17 [in university rankings],” answered Jalili. “We are part of that strength, that McGill is ranking higher and higher,” she said. Her companion, Aghdas Zamani, a course coordinator for the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, characterized the strike as an unfortunate necessity. “MUNACA is not pro-strike, and we do not want to put McGill into chaos or shut the University down. McGill put us here. They didn’t give us our rights for a long, long time and we decided that enough is enough.”

Mulcair speech avoids picket lines Jordan Venton-Rublee The McGill Daily

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rganizers of the McGill Science & Policy Exchange were made aware last week that the key endnote speaker for the event, Thomas Mulcair, would not be attending the event. MP for Outremont and deputy leader for the NDP, Mulcair backed out Monday morning due to concerns about crossing picket lines formed by striking workers in the McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association (MUNACA). “He said that as a matter of principle he would not cross picket lines, and if he had to, he would not be able to speak,” said Jonathan Mooney, one of the conference organizers. “We got in touch with MUNACA and Mulcair and were in open communication all Tuesday

to see what we would be able to do,” he continued. The organizers spent Tuesday in negotiations with Mulcair’s office trying to reach a solution that suited both Mulcair and the Exchange. “What we were able to do was move the entire speech to a different spot entirely, from the Faculty Club to Thomson House,” said Mooney. By Tuesday night the organizers, MUNACA, and Mulcair had come to a compromise that would allow Mulcair to fulfill his role as endnote speaker without crossing the picket lines. It was decided that the majority of the Exchange would occur at its original venue in the Faculty club, then a break would allow attendees to make their way to the Thomson House. Thomson House is home to the McGill Post Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS), who issued a statement of support for MUNACA

workers on strike at their most recent Council meeting. “We [the exchange] are supported by PGSS who supports MUNACA, so it really is a chain of support and respect,” said Janet Price, another organizer of the event. Price added that, “Mr. Mulcair actually addressed the picket lines before he went into Thomson House, so he was able to respect us by coming to speak as well as respecting [MUNACA].” “He never actually said that he [could] not come, it was that he had issues with the venue that we had chose previously,” said Monika Rak, another conference organizer. “This was a nice little in-between.” The Science & Policy Exchange is put on by graduate and postdoctoral fellows at McGill and is run completely by volunteers. The theme for this year’s conference, held at the McGill Faculty Club, was “Quebec’s Future Research: Economy and Society.”

Lindsay Cameron | The McGill Daily

Compromise reached with end keynote moved to Thomson House

Mulcair is a McGill Alum; he graduated from McGill in 1977.


6 News

The McGill Daily | Monday, September 26, 2011 | mcgilldaily.com

Cree MP representing Northern Quebec riding talks to The Daily

R

omeo Saganash, NDP MP for Abitibi-Baie-JamesNunavik-Eeyou, declared his intention to run for leadership of the party on September 16. A Cree lawyer, Saganash was elected to Parliament last May. The Daily spoke with him about his decision to run, and the future of the NDP in Quebec and Canada.

The McGill Daily: What prompted you to run for the leadership of the NDP? Romeo Saganash: Mainly the fact that I believe in what Jack [Layton, former leader of the NDP] had proposed for Canada, and what he had asked me to do. When I accepted to be an NDP candidate for the last election, he proposed to me a vision of Canada that I agreed with. So, that is the vision, that is the dream, I want to carry on with, first and foremost as an MP of course, but also as a candidate for this leadership bid for the leadership of the NDP. MD: Can you expand on what experiences and perspectives you would contribute as leader of the NDP? RS: I think that the vision that we have, that we all have as candidates, is the same as [Layton’s]… That is a given for all of us. How we articulate what we want is another story. In that sense, I have experience with the Cree and Aboriginal peoples,

which involve environmental issues – international law issues as well. I have experience negotiating agreements on behalf of the Cree governments. I have a long experience with the United Nations, since I was involved with negotiations, discussion and the drafting of the United Nations Declarations of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted in 2007. All this will bring a dimension of experience that will perhaps be required in understanding were we want to go as a party. Canadian people and people in Quebec do not realize how we have been leaders in so many issues in the past and that this present government is doing away with our leadership, is doing away with our reputation that we have around the world. That is something we really have to consider in this race as well, what is the [Conservative] government doing with our reputation internationally? [They are] giving it away. That isn’t something that has seemed to bother the [Conservative] government. Its agenda that we can see in the 41st Parliament…is very worrisome for Canadians. There is an erosion of human rights in every bill they are tabling right now in the House of Commons. And the Canadian people should be worried about what is going on here. So, yes, I may be a rookie MP,

granted, but I am no rookie in politics. So that is what I am bringing to this job. MD: What do the 2011 Federal elections results say to you about the changing desires of the people of Quebec and the rest of Canada? RS: The very first day that I arrived in the riding…I wanted to get some groceries - food and everything - for supper. And it took me not ten minutes; it took me an hour and a half to get out of the IGA I went to in Val-d’Or. That was telling because people approached me, people said, ‘We are happy that you are running, we no longer need what has been going on in Ottawa for such a long time with the Bloc [Québécois]. I am a former voter for the Bloc, and its time that we changed. We need to have a dialogue, we need to have a discussion. We need to have a public discussion on a lot of things and we want this.’ A lot of people – and this part is important – a lot of people were blase about politics in Quebec, and a lot of people for the first time voted in the last election. That is also telling because people were sick and tired of what they were seeing and they want a change. MD: Do you think the NDP’s mandate has changed now that it is the majority party in Quebec? RS: No, I think the NDP has to represent everybody in Canada,

not just Quebec. I may be a Cree – Cree background, Cree culture, Cree language – but I never asked during the last election that the Cree vote for me because I am Cree. I asked for them to vote for me because of the values, the position, and the policies that I will defend as a member of the NDP caucus, and as the official opposition. And that should remain true across the country… We should be there to represent everybody. The 59 members [of Parliament] understand that, and I think that the other members from across the country understand that as well. MD: Will your leadership focus the platform of the NDP in a different way? RS: The NDP has changed a lot. It will continue to work on protecting the rights of workers across the country. That is something that will not change, but the NDP has other issues that it wants to work on. That includes the youth, people that are out of work, the elderly, students, Aboriginal peoples, and what have you. We have an incredible agenda in front of us, and that is what we are working on. It is not just the workers; it is everybody. [Layton] said we must not leave anybody behind, and that is something that we believe in. ­— Compiled by Adrian Turcato A longer version of this interview is available at www.mcgilldaily.com.

Library staff strike ends after deal reached with admin After two weeks of picketing, staff return to work today Lee Richardson

CUP Ontario Bureau Chief

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ORONTO (CUP) — A deal has been reached between the University of Western Ontario (UWO) and library staff, ending a strike that has disrupted campus life since it began on September 8. About 50 librarians and archivists, who had been without a contract since June 30, will return to work today. “Next week, we’re back to a situation where we’re fully up and running with those individu-

als back at their posts,” said Keith Marnoch, director of media relations. “We’re happy it was negotiated.” The library and archive staff voted 36 to 7 to approve a fouryear agreement September 23, with UWO’s Board of Governors also voting their approval. “We’re pleased that the library and archive staff will be back to work on Monday,” said Helen Connell, Associate Vice-President (Communications and Public Affairs) at UWO. According to a statement by the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association-Librarians and Archivists

(UWOFA-LA), the strike began due to issues over pay. UWOFA-LA claimed there was a pay gap of 20 per cent between UWO librarians and archive staff and library staff at other comparable Ontario universities. Workload and the number of staff were also discussed. The four-year deal will see the 51 members of staff receiving a salary increase of 1.5 per cent per year. The strike, which lasted for 13 days, was the third strike-related action for the third consecutive year at UWO. Professors threatened to strike in fall 2010 before reaching a deal with the university, while, in 2009, a strike by London Transit affected

commuting students. “It’s getting tiresome,” said English student Danny McMurray. “We’re used to it, but I don’t think a lot of people are listening and they’re just getting tired of it.” Many students were affected by disrupted access to the campus, with buses refusing to cross picket lines. As a result, some routes were altered. “We’ve all been affected by it,” added McMurray. Pickets were removed after a tentative agreement was reached September 21, which resulted in normal bus services resuming. Normal library services will resume September 26.

What’s the haps

Romeo Saganash announces his candidacy for NDP leadership

SSMU General Assembly Monday, September 26, 4:30 p.m. Shatner Ballroom Come out and make your voice heard! General Assemblies (GA) are held once a semester and are open to all SSMU members. This GA has five motions to be debated and voted on, so bring your McGill ID and head up to the Shatner Ballroom. Read the full text of the motions at www.ssmu.ca, and check out The Daily’s endorsements on our editorial page. MSR International Student Club Association Information Center Wednesday, September 28, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Bronfman 178 MSR International Student Club Association is a student group representing a Montreal-based NGO, MSR International (Missions de Solidarité Responsable). The club, new to McGill this semester, raises funds and awareness for humanitarian missions to Ghana, Haiti, and Laos. They offer McGill students the opportunity to participate in these missions through summer internships in areas including arts, medicine, and psychology. Art x 9: Art Show & Workshops Friday, September 30, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday, October 1, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, October 2, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Studio BBG, 30 Milner Street Organized by Elizabeth Johnston, a local writer, artist, and Concordia University instructor, the event aims to facilitate interaction between the artists involved and the general public. People who attend Art x 9 can view the artwork and meet the artists, who have drawn inspiration from Quebec culture and environment to create the works seen in the show. The show is part of Culture Days, an annual series of events celebrating Quebec culture. Human Society International volunteering Following seizures at a Quebec puppy mill, the HSI is in need of voluteers to help with rescued dogs. If you have experience with animals, please email info@hsi.ca or benevolat@spcamontreal.com.


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The McGill Daily | Monday, September 26, 2011 | mcgilldaily.com

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Village residents petition mayor 2000 signatures call for heightened security in the borough Ines De La Cuetara News Writer

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t the September 12 City Council meeting for the Ville-Marie borough, residents of Montreal’s Gay Village presented Mayor Gérald Tremblay with a petition calling for greater security in the borough. The 2000-signature petition, collected over four weeks, points to homelessness, drug addiction, and mental health problems as major causes of the insecurity. Frustrated merchants and residents voiced their concerns that security in the Village is not being enforced to the same degree as it is in other areas of the city, and that business is suffering as a result. Measures called for in the petition include the implementation of the “Projet Nuisance” – an initiative specifically designed to deal with drug-related crime which has already been implemented in the Plateau – and a demand for direct actions to be taken by the city to help the homeless, and assist their reintegration into society. Storeowner Ghislain Rousseau initiated the petition after witnessing numerous incidents – including an event in which he himself was assaulted while trying to help a homeless man. “The problem has been ongoing, but there’s clearly been a recent

upsurge in crime, incivilities, and verbal abuse in the neighbourhood,” Rousseau explained to The Daily in French. Rousseau holds the City of Montreal government accountable for residents’ insecurities and for the increasing number of homeless people in the borough. Some worry that the petition may do more harm than good, increasing the marginalization and criminalization of those targeted. A member of Queer McGill’s Political Action Working Group, Kevin Paul wrote in an email to The Daily that he finds the petition to be a “disturbing testament to a gay, white, affluent class that has turned its back on the most marginalized individuals in the queer community.” Paul attributed insecurity in the Village to insufficient provision of resources and social services, adding that business and condo owners in support of the petition are speaking to their economic interests. “When the petitioners refer to ‘insecurity,’ they are concerned about their profits and real estate values, and not the well-being of people,” he said. When asked whether the homeless population in the Village deters business, Paul responded, “I know of many people deterred from going to the Village due to its commercialism and over-policing, but I have never heard of anyone who

avoids the neighbourhood because of homeless people.” Fuck Yeah Quebec blogger William Raillant-Clark has documented various security incidents around the Village in support of the petition. “We are asking the City of Montreal to work with the boroughs, municipalities, police, and provincial health services to ensure that the welfare of these people in need is shared equally throughout Quebec and the Montreal region,” he wrote in an email to The Daily. Raillant-Clark explained that the petition is, above all, concerned with the fact that so many homeless people are concentrated in the area and have been abandoned by social services. “Such concentration is providing drug dealers and pimps with an easy to access pool of victims, which, needless to say, is amplifying the problem,” he stated. “The city and province expect an already vulnerable community – gays and lesbians – to take on the responsibility of integrating these people back in to society.” Rousseau said that the petition is not advocating the “hunting” of homeless communities, but rather the elimination of drug dealers and gangs that bring insecurity to the area. Many agree, however, that increasing police presence in the Village is not the answer. Isabelle Rassestin, an interven-

Local businesses leading call for change. tion worker at Droits Devant clinic affiliated with Le Réseau d’aide aux personnes seules et itinérantes de Montréal, spoke to possible solutions to homelessness, mental illness, and drug addiction in the Village. She suggested creating more shelters and “sites of secured injection” in order to reduce the presence of drugs on the streets, or at the very least ensure they are consumed safely. Rousseau stated that new solutions to enhanced security, in the place of an increased police presence, must be found. “Repression just doesn’t work, and neither have the past 15 years’ policies,” he said.

Victor Tangermann | The McGill Daily

Paul shared similar sentiments, stating that “based on reports from Queer McGill members and friends, experiences of violence and intimidation in the Village are far more likely to arise from actions of the Montreal police than from the individuals targeted by this petition.” No representative of the Village’s police force at Station 22 was available for comment at the time of press. Upon receiving the petition, Tremblay stated that he was aware of the problem and that measures would be taken. However, residents have not heard from the City since Council.

Hundreds of animals seized from Quebec dog breeding facility Humane Society International underlines need for new animal rights legislation Peter Shyba

The McGill Daily

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n September 16, Paws ‘R’ Us Kennel, a rural dog breeding facility located in Quebec’s Clarendon Township, about 90km outside of Gatineau, was found to be in violation of the Quebec Animal Welfare Act (QAWA). That weekend, employees and volunteers from the Humane Society International (HSI) and Le ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) removed over 500 dogs from the facility. Rebecca Aldworth, director of HSI, spoke with The Daily concerning the conditions at the rural Quebec kennel, where over 40 breeds of dogs were found. “I have participated in removals before, and I can say that this was the largest breeding facility I have encountered, where the most basic needs of these animals, including

water and food, were not being met,” she said. The Quebec Animal Health Protection Act, known as P-42, states that, “Safety and welfare of an animal is jeopardized where [it] has no access to drinking water or food in quantity and quality compatible with the biological requirements of its kind.” The bill also states that fines for an owner or custodian of an animal whose treatment violates the conditions regarding the safety and well being of animals or the facilities in which they live, range from $400 to $3,600. According to Aldworth, an inspection on early Friday morning was “warrant for immediate removal.” Videos posted online by HSI show the condition of the dogs as they were being evacuated from the kennel. The owner of the operation, Charlene Labombard, insisted that there was no wrongdoing on her part. According to the Ottawa Sun,

Lambobard said that the seizure was part of an ongoing campaign by a former customer to slander her. In a 2009 ruling by the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario, a former customer of Paws ‘R’ Us, Lorie Gordon, was forced to pay $14,000 in reparations for slandering Labombard’s business. Gordon owned two dogs born at Paws ‘R’ Us: one was euthanized after being diagnosed with hip dysplasia – which can be easily bred out with genetic testing, a common practice with most breeders – and one which had mange, a skin disease. The crux of the case was Gordon’s online description of the business being a puppy mill. The judge used the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada (PIJAC) definition of a puppy mill to deem Gordon’s description slanderous. PIJAC defines a puppy mill as “a high volume, sub-standard dog breeding operation, which sells purebred or mixed breed dogs to unsuspecting buyers.” The definition con-

tinues to list common characteristics of a puppy mill, including the failure to provide socialization, safe housing, maintained sanitary facilities, veterinary care, and husbandry. During the evacuation, Labombard spoke to reporters, stating, “I just wanted to breed dogs so that they could go to families and be loved… I am losing my livelihood and I’m very upset.” The intervention is the latest incident that adds to Quebec’s poor animal rights record. Quebec was called “the best province to be an animal abuser” in a report released by the U.S. Animal Legal Defense Fund earlier this year. The evacuation has sparked calls for reformation to P-42. “HSI has been working with the Quebec government on new legislation that will be coming out in [the next few] days that will help shut down some of the worst offenders,” Aldworth said. Higher fines and jail sentences for offenders were among changes that Aldworth felt could be effective.

HSI is also calling for people to stop buying dogs and cats at pet stores, especially ones who do not actively trace the origin of the pets they sell. Aldworth said that the onus is on pet owners to be aware of where their dog is coming from. “People don’t really know what they’re buying. They see a cute little puppy in the window and have no idea where that dog comes from.” Katherine Macdonald, an employee at the Montreal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and the president of McGill’s Animal Liberties Club, tied the weekend seizure to a lack of public awareness. In an email to The Daily, Macdonald wrote, “The closure of Paws ‘R’ Us is yet another example of the overpopulation problem, especially in Quebec…there aren’t enough inspectors to cover all of Quebec, making the probability of a puppy mill being discovered slim.”


8

Commentary

Tadamon! responds A group voices concerns about the opt-out campaign’s unfair tactics and skewed facts Sam Bick, Claire Hurtig, and Rami Nakache Hyde Park

O

nce again, conservatives on campus are urging students to withdraw their support for progressive student groups at McGill. The main target of this ongoing campaign is QPIRG, a student-run organization that supports various working groups that address a variety of progressive issues. These include the rights of refugees, indigenous people, migrant workers, and queer people, as well as environmental justice, gender equality, and the struggle against police brutality. As in the past, Middle East solidarity collective Tadamon! (“solidarity” in Arabic) is one of the main groups that the conservatives focus on in their attacks on QPIRG. The opt-out campaign’s attack on Tadamon! is rooted in the claim that we support the Lebanese resistance movement, political party and social organization Hezbollah. This is a patently false accusation designed to vilify and obscure the

real work of Tadamon!. Tadamon!’s guiding principles, posted on our website, clearly state that “we reject nationalism, its exclusions and its tendency to exploit, rather than challenge, oppressions based on class, gender, ‘race’ and ethnic or religious affiliation. We do not support any government or political party.” Furthermore, all of Tadamon!’s actions are consistent with our collective’s vision and principles, articulated in our Basis of Unity: “We strive for a world in which every human being is free to live and flourish in dignity and justice. We oppose all systems of oppression whether based on gender, sexual orientation or class, and we reject racism in its various forms, including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.” The opt-out campaigners claim that Tadamon! supports Hezbollah because, in 2006, Tadamon! began a process of critical analysis of Hezbollah’s inclusion in the Canadian government’s “List of [terrorist] Entities” with the intention of informing the public, raising critical awareness, and presenting a case for the delisting of Hezbollah.

like Hezbollah as terrorist organizations, it has consistently defended the Israeli Defence Forces’ repeated human rights violations. Second, the List seeks to undermine any nuanced, critically grounded, and non-ethnocentric understandings of events in and related to the Middle East. Third, the List contributes to the marginalization of racialized communities through scapegoating, ‘racial’ profiling in policing and state security operations, and through institutional forms of discrimination, all of which work to maintain structural inequality both locally and internationally. We believe these are among the consequences of the “List of Entities” which would likely cause Canadians some concern. Tadamon! discontinued this campaign in 2009 as part of a strategic reorientation towards sustained, active participation in the international campaign for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). This campaign was launched by Palestinian civil society in 2005 to pressure the Israeli government to respect Palestinian

human rights and international law. We continue to believe, however, that Canada’s “List of Entities” should be critiqued, questioned, and challenged. Contrary to this spirit of open critique and debate, the destructive opt-out campaign asks students to suspend questioning, critique, and reflection on serious issues such as a government’s decision to label certain groups – and not others – as “terrorist.” This is anti-intellectual and contrary to the spirit of lively and healthy debate on which the university and education itself should be founded. Students should not support the opt-out campaign, which attempts to elicit emotional and ill-informed responses to shallow and baseless accusations. This type of campaign contrasts sharply with the spirit of an organization like QPIRG, which seeks to create opportunities for challenging, nondominant, critical ideas and views to be heard, aired, and debated. Tadamon! is a Middle East solidarity collective. More information can be found online at www.tadamon.ca.

Darling,

Errata Due to an editorial error, in the printed version of the article “HEC Montreal Froshies wear blackface” (News, September 22, page 4), it is stated that some of the HEC students were wearing monkey masks; in fact, one student was carrying a stuffed monkey and wearing a monkey hat. The Daily regrets the errors.

This campaign was based on our view that Canada’s “List of Entities” – established under the Anti-Terrorism Act and within the context of Canada’s participation in the global “war on terror” – is an instrument of governmental power that perpetuates an analysis of the Middle East that is based on stereotypes, misinformation and cultural and class bias. Our critique of the “List of Entities” focused on three main points: First, as an instrument of power, the “List of Entities” delegitimizes and demonizes particular political groups in the Middle East region by labeling them and their actions as “terrorist” – in isolation of context, conditions and history – while at the same time legitimizing and validating by default the actions and claims of other actors in the region. Hezbollah plays many roles within Lebanese society, from providing services like daycare and basic infrastructure to poor families to carrying out armed resistance to Israeli imperialism in the region. It is interesting to note that, while the Canadian government has listed resistance groups

In “Opt-in to campus diversity” (Editorial, September 22, page 15), we wrote that QPIRGMcGill receives $7.50 a semester from each student; actually, the QPIRG fee is $3.75 per semester. The Daily regrets the errors.

We miss you so much. Come back to us.

Hugs and Kisses,

letters@mcgilldaily.com


The McGill Daily | Monday, September 26, 2011 | mcgilldaily.com

9

Support a plurality of voices on campus Our Campus, Our Community explains the importance of diversity at McGill

W

hether you’re new to McGill or it seems like you’ve been here since dinosaurs roamed the Earth, you’ve probably come to the same conclusion that everyone else has: the best part of being here is not your time spent doing school work. It’s not the time you spend studying in the library, attending class, or slaving away in a lab. What really makes your experience here enjoyable takes place outside of Leacock 132 – it’s the communities you become a part of, the groups you join, the awesome events you attend, and, of course, seeing the result of the incredible extracurricular work that your fellow students do. The great thing about being at a university like McGill is the

resources available to anyone with energy and a curious mind: do you want to learn to make radio and host your own show? How about cook and serve up a vegan lunch to fellow students? Interested in exploring issues of gender, sexuality, and feminism over delicious tea, or perhaps dishing out some great video footage on the internet for all to see? Or maybe you’d like to make your studying really count, and connect your school project with a community organization through the Community University Research Exchange? Imagine a campus without these opportunities – not just for yourself (if none of those experiences interest you) but not for anyone at all. Imagine a campus

where the only time you truly felt like part of the McGill community is when you’re stuck studying in the library during exams with everyone else. Imagine a campus without a sense of community. Imagine a Montreal without the passion and energy of students at McGill. Imagine a school where only one side of the story was heard, where no space existed for a diversity of opinions to develop and flourish. If you’re involved in any club or organization on campus, you can easily imagine the horror of that situation. Yet the groups who provide opportunities such as the ones described above can only exist and can only continue to supply such valuable experiences to McGill students with student

support. They are all funded by student fees and they are all run by students. They’re for all twenty thousand of us. There’s strength in that number, and it binds together this community in a way that’s not quantifiable. In the same vein, the numerous groups of Our Campus, Our Community have joined together with a common message and a common goal. Whether they are services under the umbrella of the SSMU or independent student groups, they all exist to foster a meaningful campus experience for students and to bring in a little bit more of Montreal into the McGill bubble. These groups are all a vibrant part of our campus and our community, just like every

McGill student. Even if you’re not an active member of any of the groups below, you probably know someone who is, or you’ve experienced the joy of seeing your own activities make an impact at McGill. In that spirit, help support providing great opportunities to all students in all capacities. Help create an empathetic McGill, and participate in a campus that’s truly a community.

Signed by the collectuve Our Campus, Our Community, which includes the following groups: CKUT 90.3 FM , McGill Nightline, TVM – Student Television at McGill, The Midnight Kitchen, QPIRG, Queer McGill, and The Union for Gender Empowerment (UGE).

Amina Batyreva | The McGill Daily

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10 Art Essay

The McGill Daily | Monday, September 26, 2011 | mcgilldaily.com

Nicole Stradiotto


The McGill Daily | Monday, September 26, 2011 | mcgilldaily.com

COMICCON 2011

11

Photo Essay

Alyssa Favreau


12 Features

What not to teach An image consulting class at a respectable Toronto college goes off the rails Kate McGillivray Features Writer

D

o me a favor. Stand up, wherever you are, and repeat the following mantra aloud: “I allow myself to be whoever I am. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the goddess.” If you’re a man, feel free to substitute “god” for “goddess.” Now repeat it several more times, and, each time you do, ramp up the volume and quavering emotion – because you are a god/goddess. I’ll bet you didn’t know that. Do you feel better about yourself? I didn’t either. I have an embarrassing confession to make: this mantra represents, in a nutshell, the content of my summer. I return to McGill a human self-help section, well versed in everything from affirmations to wacky health regimes, with a sprinkling of discredited sciences for good measure (phrenology, anyone?). How did this happen? Neither a careerenhancing internship nor a profitable job awaited me when I left Montreal last May – I had zero prospects. As a last resort, I enrolled in a five-week image-consulting program at George Brown College in Toronto, a short subway ride from my house. I wanted to add a line to my CV, while spending five weeks talking about clothes. And, at first, I got exactly that. It began as all classes do, with the purchase of an

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overpriced course pack, followed in short order by filing awkwardly into a fluorescent-lit classroom with a bunch of strangers. My class was composed of twelve women, ranging in age from 20 to mid-50s, some fresh out of school and some looking to reboot their flagging careers. That first day, I listened with rapt attention as our teacher, a beautiful South Asian woman in a perfect pant suit, took us through the rules of dressing different body types. I answered questions and took notes, happy to discuss who can wear tweed, and whether a tall man should wear a suit with a high or low chest closure (high, by the way). When I came home that afternoon, I was happy to report that at the very least I would walk away with a good understanding of style and design, able to play “what not to wear” with every person I saw. A few days in, things took a decidedly weird turn. As style class ended, so did the sensible advice about patterns and tailoring of the previous days. With the same teacher, we began “personality style” class, which turned out to be bland in name only. What we were actually studying was physiognomy – the practice of using someone’s physical attributes to infer things about their character and personality. According to the charts in our textbooks, features such as “large dreamy eyes” or a “high aristocratic forehead” lump you in to one of six personality types: classic, creative, aristocratic, natural, romantic, or dramatic. The descriptions of the personality types were accompanied by some cultural stereotypes in bullet point form. For instance, the natural type was described as “passionate about the environment,” while the dramatic type was said to be “a lover of expensive restaurants and nightclubs.” Mainly, though, which category you fell into was determined by how you looked – the shape of your nose, the texture of your hair, your height. Our job as image consultants, we were told, was to assess which category our clients fell into and then steer them towards their true natures. No resistance on their part should stand in the way of their re-education. (Physiognomy, long considered a pseudoscience, has been revived by reputable scientists in recent years. One study, for example, showed that men with wider faces had higher concentrations of testosterone in their saliva, making them more aggressive. Nothing in the new wave of physiognomy, though, points to the kind of weird specificity of the George Brown version.) In order to practice, we were called to the front of the room one by one. We stood there silently as the rest of the class determined what category we most resembled. While the class discussed my delicate wrists and fine, thin hair, I was both totally mortified and perversely pleased with the attention. Others seemed to be on the same page – they were embarassed, but they returned to their seats grinning. Superficially, physiognomy is an appealing concept – it’s fun in the way reading your horoscope in the paper is fun. It makes you feel special to be placed in a category, unique and yet safely ensconced in the herd. But if you accept the notion that a nose or a chin is a viable method of making inferences into that person’s true nature, physiognomy opens the door to something ugly. As personality style class wore on, the glow of inclusion cooled rapidly. It was replaced with a sense of horror that physiognomy was still around, and, even worse, was being taught in a publicly funded, usually well-regarded college, such as George Brown. There we were, studying a largely discredited cousin of eugenics that would horrify the average person (to say nothing of the average client). The strangest part? Everyone seemed pleased, and nobody raised a single objection. As the sound of diligent note taking filled the room, I took to rolling my eyes at the wall – I had no partner in outrage. It only got crazier from there. Our next teacher, Bryan (not his real name), was a thirtyish, baldingish, handsomish

man, who began his class on personal development with the following announcement: “When I meet people, I know a lot about them already. I’ve had this ability since I was born.” Not only was Bryan psychic, he was deeply paranoid – everything from the American Medical Association (complicit with the media and government in the great vaccination cover-up) to sugar (“one of the biggest challenges we have in the world now”) found a way into his bad books. Even tofu was suspect. Its crime? Frequently making Bryan “sleepy.” Thanks to the Fukoshima earthquake in Japan and the resulting radiation, he advised us not to swim in the ocean. Or in pools. Or drink tap water. (Oh wait, that was because of fluoride.) The class ooh-ed and aah-ed appreciatively at each new revelation. Yet again, the women in my class raised startlingly few objections. It could have had something to do with the way he spoke. When one women dared to ask if krill oil (krill oil?) was really the safest fish oil to consume, and that she had read otherwise, his ever-present all-knowing smile melted away and he thundered: “FALSE. WHAT’S THE SOURCE? FALSE.” That put an end to that. He spoke with enormous confidence, over-enunciating and emphasizing words with reckless abandon. It was as if he had created a no-gravity zone for logic – within the confines of our classroom, where he was always and absolutely right. He had a habit of saying something, then repeating it ever so slowly while looking each person in the room in the eye, elevating whatever he said to mantra status. “It’s okay to be risky,” he’d say, referring to nothing in particular. “It. Is. O. K. To. Be. Risky.” I hated holding his gaze and, yet, I found myself smiling and nodding along, hoping for approval. Perhaps, I thought, my classmates failed to object for the same reasons as me. Maybe they too silently seethed as he told us that prehistoric times “were debatable,” but found his rock solid conviction and vortex-like gaze impossible to overcome. Lunches with my classmates dispelled that theory. Sitting outside in the sun with the others, I would ask what they thought of the course. “I love it!” was the most frequent reply. “It’s not what I expected, but it’s so interesting!” was another. I liked these women. They were friendly and warm, eager to share stories about their families and jobs. They seemed to share a set of beliefs with our teachers – with Bryan especially – that I couldn’t imagine buying into. In their view, the body was full of toxins, in desperate need of purification. The news was falsified. Doctors were not to be trusted. Facial shape determined personality, and sugar was the root of all evil. They told revealing stories in class. One talked about travelling through time in her sleep. Another described successfully willing herself to never get parking tickets. It soon became evident that all of our teachers were espousing slightly tweaked versions of the same life philosophy – and that my classmates loved it. You may have heard of “The Law of Attraction”– it’s the premise of the mega-popular book and film The Secret, as well as a philosophy cherished by Oprah and a panoply of self-help authors. The basic idea is that if you have good energy, you attract the same – love, health, and money all come easily. Negative energy, on the other hand, brings nothing but sickness and misery. At first glance, this all seems well and good. As a fridge magnet, “The Law of Attraction” sounds great. Have positive emotions! You are powerful! Expanded from bumper sticker to life philosophy, however, and it starts unravelling. It demands a super-human level of control over the events that shape your life. Bad luck happens. And things are made all the more difficult if you can only blame yourself for not being positive enough. Bryan went so far as to insist that good energy alone could, among other things, restore vision and conquer cancer. Another teacher claimed that, thanks to “high level energy,” her unvaccinated children were able to resist any illness that came their way, from polio to scarlet fever. Should her child come down with measles, would she blame them for letting their energy slip below the “high level” mark? Despite the patently ridiculous physiognomy classes, the crazy health advice, and my objections to “The Law of


The McGill Daily | Monday, September 26, 2011 | mcgilldaily.com

Attraction,” I still felt guilty. Every night I’d regale my friends or family with the day’s latest, whether it was a hilarious Bryan quote or a story my classmate told (one said her lowest point involved over-exfoliating her face). I worried that I was exploiting them for cheap laughs – that I was being too critical, and not open-minded enough. The class had departed wildly from its original purpose – image consulting was barely mentioned on the Bryan days – but if my classmates were enjoying themselves and felt they had gotten their money’s worth, then who was I to sit there, shaking my head? After all, people rely on all sorts of belief systems to help them understand their lives and to help cope with the curveballs. Here I was, a stuck-up McGill undergrad, attending community college by day only to make snarky comments to my friends at night. My guilt might have continued, were it not for Bryan, who took care of it for me in his final class, “The Business of Image Consulting.” I took the first day off, citing my mental health, in order to justify watching a season of 30 Rock in my basement. I arrived on day two to find a monumental shift had occurred in the tenor of the class. Somehow, Bryan had convinced the other women that they should all go into business together as image consultants. Their name would be Image Goddesses. “Your group is exceptional,” he told them. “You could tell everyone on the planet and no one else could create it.”

There was an awkward moment when Bryan asked my plans after graduation: would I pursue image consulting? I admitted I wasn’t sure. “That’s okay,” Bryan said, giving me an insipid smile. “Kate doesn’t want to be a partner anyways.” He then described in detail what he thought the women’s website should look like, how he thought they should set up, and how much money they would make. “Can you say Cha-Ching?” he said. At lunch that day, my classmates excitedly discussed their business. I worried for them silently – four weeks of physiognomy and paranoia did not a successful image consultant make. That goes especially for a group of women who barely knew each other. I wondered at Bryan’s motives – why was he so intent on convincing them they could be successful? The answer came on our final day. Bryan, alternating between stories about his brushes with the spirit world and praise for the Image Goddesses concept, began making allusions to future meetings with the women. “In two weeks,” he said “we’ll continue discussing networking possibilities for you ladies.” I was presently reminded that Bryan, in addition to teaching, made money as an “empowerment specialist” – coaching clients on how to improve their lives and businesses. It appeared to me that, on that first day, he had pitched the Image Goddesses idea to my classmates with the intention of becoming their paid business coach. When one of my fellow

13

classmates asked if Bryan had ever coached his students in the past, he admitted that he had, many times. Were they currently successful image consultants? He hemmed and hawed, finally disclosing that, no, in fact, they weren’t. A couple had quit on him. One of them that had remained, he reported, found herself more in need of his life coaching skills then his business counsel. She had spent several months working through her personal issues with him while, presumably, her career went nowhere. My guilt was gone. Who cares if I snickered at his zany theories? Whether the business sank or swam, Bryan would be there, charging consulting fees. His charisma suddenly seemed menacing. I felt a growing concern for my classmates as we filed out of the classroom on that final day. I wished them the best, and meant it. As we said our goodbyes, I couldn’t help but think the realization that good energy doesn’t move mountains would dawn on them sooner rather than later. When I emerged from the college into the bright sunshine of an August afternoon, I felt relieved to return, finally, to the real world, where no one gives a second thought to krill oil or physiognomy. Still, sometimes Bryan’s teachings filter up through the transom of my mind. So if you catch me whispering a self-help mantra in the hall, look away. I went through a lot this summer.


Sports

The McGill Daily | Monday, September 26, 2011 | mcgilldaily.com

14

Unstoppable:

Can one rugby star lead the Martlets to Nationals? Madeleine Cummings The McGill Daily

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rianna Miller was the name on everyone’s lips on Sunday, September 18 at Macdonald campus’ McEwen field. There, the McGill women’s rugby team played the University of Ottawa. Whispers from the sidelines led to cheers and, eventually, a team-led birthday serenade – all for the second-year flyhalf. By game’s end, Miller had led her team to a 38 to 0 victory with 3 tries and 4 conversions. By now, she’s probably used to the attention. She’s been named McGill’s athlete of the week for three weeks running and was named the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec’s university athlete of the week earlier this month. Last year, the University Rugby League named her rookie of the year, and a member of their 2010 all-star team. She has even represented Canada as a member of the Under 20 (U20) team at the Nations’ Cup this past July in Santa Barbara. Miller gushed, “Oh my God, it was an amazing experience. I met a lot of people from all over Canada… People that love the sport just like me.” Like all student athletes, Miller divides her time between academ-

ics and athletics. She shuttles to and from her downtown physical education classes, home games, and practices at Macdonald Campus, as well as away games throughout Quebec and Ontario, and her home on the West Island. Her life, like those of her teammates, is incredibly busy, but she seems happiest when surrounded by like-minded athletes. Her boyfriend is also a McGill rugby player who competed in the U20 Nations Cup. While watching her play last Sunday, it became immediately apparent that Miller certainly is talented. Her coach, Vince DeGrandpré says she’s “one of the team’s spark plugs, with the ability to fire up her teammates through her explosive offensive abilities.” He points out that after switching positions – from fullback to fly-half – her vision and decision-making has improved. Playing as a fly-half on the Canadian team further attested to her success in the position. After the game, Miller was happy to discuss her start in rugby. She credits her high school gym teacher, Marc Faubert at St. Thomas High School in Pointe Claire, for introducing her to rugby. Her three older brothers also all played at the same school. Despite the amount of tackling in rugby, she’s been seriously injured only once. She broke her ankle in grade nine, but that

McGill, in green, gains a victory over the University of Ottawa.

didn’t stop her from playing the next year, she announced proudly. Sometimes people question her sport of choice because she’s small (5’5 and slim), but her speed and agility are great assets on the rugby field, and have brought her great achievement in the sport. This year, Miller and the rest of the Martlets hope to make it to Nationals, which is no easy feat considering that they lost during the Quebec conference semi-finals last year. “Martlet Rugby is in a semi-rebuilding process this year,” explains DeGrandpré. Half of this year’s roster is comprised of rookies. Even so, the Martlets are currently undefeated this season, and, according to Miller, rival teams, Laval and Concordia, “don’t know what’s coming for them.” It’s a sport that requires toughness. You get the ball, you get tackled to the ground, you get back up, and you keep going. Of course, Miller avoids spending too much time on the ground, preferring instead to deke around her opponents and sprint down the field to score tries. Nothing stops her, especially on game day. “When I want to do something, I’ll do it,” she says with a big smile on her face. The Martlet’s next home game is Saturday October 15 at 1:00 p.m. against Bishop’s at McEwen Field. Get there on the 211 bus heading west from Lionel Groulx Metro.

Brianna Miller post-game.

Photos by Andra Cernavskis | The McGill Daily


Sports

The McGill Daily | Monday, September 26, 2011 | mcgilldaily.com

15

Canadian Quidditch World Cup moved to Carleton McGill Quidditch Team’s efforts to host the Cup thwarted Kelsi Lix

Sports Writer

I

f you’ve ever walked by lower field on a Saturday afternoon, you’ve likely seen a group of people adorned in red, running with brooms between their legs. This particular spectacle is brought to you by McGill’s Muggle Quidditch Team, a group who play a sport similar to the one described in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels. The game, barring some slight modifications to account for the players’ lack of magical abilities, follows the same rules as Rowling’s fictional version and requires the same athleticism and skill. Although the team itself is a SSMU club, Quidditch is considered a very real sport by players and fans. The sport has its own governing body, the International Quidditch Association (IQA), that oversees hundreds of teams around the globe and organizes various tournaments, including the Quidditch World Cup, an international tournament attended by dozens of teams. Four Canadian universities currently host active Quidditch teams: McGill, Ryerson, the University of Toronto, and Carleton. Competition between these teams is fierce, yet McGill, 18th in the overall IQA standings, outranks the others by far. The IQA, sensing increased interest in Quidditch in Canada, wished to sponsor a tournament held north of the border after witnessing a strong showing by the four Canadian teams at the 2010 Quidditch World Cup in New York City. McGill’s team stepped up to the plate, announcing that the Canadian Quidditch Cup would be held on McGill’s campus on October 22, 2011. “McGill…was the logical choice [to host the tournament],” explained Jonathan Cohen, coach of the McGill Quidditch team. “We had been around the longest, we were at the second World Cup three years ago, and we were, frankly, the best Canadian team at the cup.” McGill finished 12th out of 46 teams at the 2010 World Cup, outperforming all of their Canadian counterparts. The team started to make arrangements for the tournament in late May, but, by the middle of August, it was apparent that it would be impossible to host a tournament in Montreal. Shortly after the team began to plan the event, problems arose. The

team easily booked fields for the weekend of the proposed tournament, but, shortly thereafter, things became more difficult. “Insurance, in terms of getting it on [lower] field was the biggest problem because none of the insurance companies really know what Quidditch is… It’s not something they want to get involved in, I guess,” said Laura Diebold, one of the Quidditch team members involved in organizing the event. “The only company that we were able to get a quote from had a sports exemption clause,” she continued. Quidditch is a full contact sport, and players are subject to certain risks uniquely affiliated with the sport, making the acquiring of insurance very difficult. Reid Robinson, President of the McGill Quidditch Team, chimed in, explaining, “The only

stopping point in the event was with the McGill Risk Management Office. We were told that we were going to need to have an insurance policy if we wanted to have the event, due to the nature of the sport. We received one insurance policy but it included a ‘sports participation exemption’ and was rendered not suitable for our event.” Neither the team nor McGill’s Outdoor Events Office, which oversees all requests for events of this nature and directs applications to all the necessary organizations at McGill for approval, would host such a risky event without having proper insurance in place. Insurance wasn’t the only obstacle preventing the tournament from occurring. “We need to have a lot of facilities that we need to get together. For instance,

Muggles attempt to fly in a Quidditch game on lower field...

getting restrooms was a problem because they weren’t going to allow us access to the ones [on campus],” continued Diebold. The team was also having a problem finding accommodations for the eight to ten teams they were expecting to attend. “Unlike Middlebury, where we stayed for the World Cup two years ago, McGill residences doesn’t…have a way to let people stay… It’s different for an urban university,” said Cohen. McGill residences are filled to capacity every year, and the school doesn’t have space to offer hotel accommodations during the school year. The team felt that finding accommodations for the 200 or so players who were expected to attend was a challenge they could overcome, but their efforts were brought to a halt by insurance issues before this

could even arise as a real problem. Cost was another issue for the team. The Quidditch Team, while one of the more popular clubs on campus, doesn’t charge membership fees. “Our primary funding is samosa sales,” Diebold explained. “We don’t have enough money to pay a couple hundred dollars for security guards and port-a-potties, not to mention chairs and delivery and the construction crew,” Cohen added. The team estimated the total cost of the event to be around $4000. To help with the costs, they had planned to apply to the Campus Life Fund, as well as to the Green Fund, to offset a large portion of their costs. McGill’s Outdoor Events Office expected the team to cover costs for the entire event, but the team didn’t get far enough with their continued on page 16

Photos by Victor Tangermann | The McGill Daily


16 Sports continued from page 15 plans to even construct a full budget. The Outdoor Events Office also required that the team meet a number of requirements if they were to host a tournament on campus. “There were a lot of qualifications,” Cohen said. “If we were going to host it we would need X number of chairs, hire X number of security guards, use X number of port-a-potties… It seemed like every step closer we got, it was like two steps back. There were more things lying in the framework that we needed to do.” Despite all of the organizational issues, the team had grand designs and expectations for the tournament. “We get hundreds of spectators on a Saturday afternoon at two o’clock when it’s just our team playing. I couldn’t imagine if we had two hundred people here, with music and referees and broadcasters that we could have had,” said Cohen. However, they didn’t intend to limit the event to the McGill community. “I know that tons of people from the city would have come out. You can’t just pass by a bunch of people running around on broomsticks and be like ‘Oh, I’m just going to walk right by that!’ I think we could have had a really big crowd,” said Diebold. Cohen added, “This would have

The McGill Daily | Monday, September 26, 2011 | mcgilldaily.com

been an event that would have been really great for the University, really great for the University’s image and publicity, and really positive just for clubs in general on campus.” After McGill’s Outdoor Events Office turned them down, the team turned their attention elsewhere, and made attempts to host the Canadian Cup off-campus. Unfortunately, booking fields with the City of Montreal turned out to be a greater challenge than booking space at McGill. “Once we failed with the school we tried to go to the city and they just weren’t much of a help,” Diebold explained. Robinson added, “We spoke with the city of Montreal about using the ‘Reservoir’ (actually called Rutherford Park), but I believe they said the field is slanted, and thus it would be unsafe to play on. We were a bit perplexed by that.” The team, facing a looming deadline to report back to the IQA and still lacking a venue, were forced to call the tournament off. Hosting duties were quickly transferred to Carleton University in Ottawa, where the Canadian Quidditch Cup is currently scheduled for October 29th. Carleton’s team was able to make arrangements for the tournament quickly, and the original date was pushed back by only one week.

The McGill Quidditch Team, although suffering from funding restrictions, is taking this loss in stride and still intends to participate in the Canadian Quidditch Cup. “I’m glad that there is a Canadian Cup being hosted, and it’s really amazing that Carleton was able to take it up so quickly, from the middle of August,” said Cohen. However, the team is still disappointed over the fact that, as Canada’s top team, they were not able to host the tournament. Diebold laments, “We would have rather had [the tournament] here… I think we have more to offer than Carleton does. We have the city of Montreal, and that would have been a lot of fun.” W hen a ske d i f Mc Gi l l Quidditch would attempt to host the Canadian Quidditch Cup in future years, Diebold expressed enthusia sm and sa id, “Maybe we’ve learned a few things, maybe we can figure something out differently… It’s a possibility.” Cohen remains optimistic. He asserted, “assuming the Canadian Cup happens again, I want it… I want to host it and I want to win it and I want to hold up the trophy on lower field, hoisted aloft by our team.”

...but remain grounded.

What’s the spin on women’s tennis? Discrepancies in technique make all the difference for men’s and women’s tennis Olivia Lifman

Sports Writer

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or those who champion genderparity in sports, the professional tennis world is controversial, at best. In recent years, tennis has made significant strides towards equality: since 2007, men and women earn the same prize money; both sexes get similar media attention in Grand Slam tournaments; and, with endorsement deals making seven of the nine women featured on Forbes’ list of topearning female athletes tennis players, both men and women are able to become household names. The actual tennis games, however, differ greatly. The depth of talent amassed currently on the men’s side of the game is, uncontestably, the best ever. Although some would criticize the all-mens Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tour as “top-heavy,” with either Djokovic, Nadal and Federer claiming the number one spot and winning all but three Grand Slams since 2004, such consistency across contests has garnered a massive fan-base for the sport. Moreover, within this formidable group, there is a great variety in play. Jonathan Jacobs, a thirteen-year tennis coach at Bayview Country Club in Thornhill, Ontario, points to these striking differences between the three top men of Tennis. He argues, “Novak Djokovic is the best mover on the court,” while Rafael Nadal’s thumping athleticism makes him “the best defensive-offensive tennis player, ever.” Lastly, Roger Federer, with his balletic classicism, embod-

ies “the graceful serve and volleyer.” Whether or not Andy Murray, who is currently ranked number four, can use his scrappy, stubborn, and sometimes junkball style of play to stake out a place in the game’s elite – and make the “big three” a fearsome four – adds even further interest to the ATP tour. But, if the top men’s players are crowding everyone else out, the women’s game is more welcoming, as their rankings fluctuate more than the men’s. Since 2004, 11 different players have claimed the number one ranking. Furthermore, of the six women to achieve this spot since 2008, four have never won a Grand Slam title. Jacobs says such “fluctuation is inexcusable… How can you have a number one ranked player who hasn’t been able to overcome the hump of winning a major?” If too many women are constantly vying for a number one spot, they may lose the attention of fans. The return of veterans like Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters to the game, time after time – even after long lay-offs – further highlights this fluctuation in rankings. Even though they are unfit, shaky, and unranked after the time off, they are constantly the favourites to win, displaying the lack competitive matches. Such reappearances of old champions also highlight a growing trend on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) tour: the best players seem to be keeping a light schedule and letting their rankings slip, comfortable in the knowledge that if they face one of the top-seeds early in a major tournament, they will have an excellent chance to win.

The striking discrepancies between the ATP and WTA tours begs the question: can such differences in the game be explained on a technical level? Bryon Weinberg, who is a tennis coach in Toronto and serves as a hitting partner for both the men and women on tour, when they come to Toronto, believes it can. Weinberg emphasizes spin as a key difference in games. The men’s heavy top-spin gives their ball a “higher height over the net in order to have some time to get back into the court.” The women, he explains, “tend to hit the ball extremely flat with a low margin of error, [which makes] the ball arrive to their opponent extremely quickly and, therefore, gets back to them even quicker.” While Weinberg notes that this style of play does not apply to all women, he stresses that it applies more to women than to men and is a “huge strategic mistake.” Weinberg feels that such a mistake is a result of habit. “When hitting with the women players,” he says, “the mini tennis warmup is extremely brief, and, right when the first ball is struck at the baseline, it is hit with such pace and no spin that these habits begin to form.” Men do not follow this routine. In their warm-ups, the “ball is hit slower and with more spin…to get some rhythm and a feel for the ball.” Here, Weinberg observes, “exceptions apply to the top women.” Just who those women are, however, remains to be seen. Without the “star power” of the older

generation, women’s tennis receives little individual attention aside from its 100-plus decibel shrieks. The recently completed US Open is testament to this parity-bred anonymity. This year, most of the hype centered on comeback stars, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, not the newlyminted Grand Slam champions of the year, Li Na and Petra Kvitova. Perhaps this is justified; Na and Kvitova were knocked out in the first round, while Williams made it to the final. Even the little media coverage of the older generation of players is not flattering to the women’s game or to its players. Serena recently made headlines for verbally abusing an umpire, which was not the first confrontation for Williams, who has been on Grand Slam probation for a similar assault at the US Open in 2009. Sharapova, for her part, has always been portrayed to be more about glamour than game: her numerous

sponsorships have attracted more attention than her biggest wins, and commentators prefer to remark on her beauty than on her skill. Lastly, the WTA darling, Clijsters, is, yet again, sidelined due to an injury. The tennis world wants to change the women’s game. Macleans’ recent story on the women’s game began as mock-up of a wanted ad, reading “one, preferably two, dominant and consistent female tennis players. Someone who can handle being the centre of attention (if only for a couple of hours every few weeks), is able to withstand high-pitch screams or grunts, and is capable of winning at least one Grand Slam title a year. Please inquire within, at the Women’s Tennis Association.” If only it was that easy for the WTA to find a couple of big-name superstars, who could hopefully put a new, positive spin on the game.

Nicole Stradiotto | The McGill Daily


Science+Technology

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arps and scaffolds may mar the Redpath Museum’s façade, but the red fabric signs are as vibrant as ever. The construction did not disturb the event being held inside from September 12 to 16, at which hungry students and professors showed up en masse for the 12th edition of Soup and Science. The popularity of the event is understandable; where else can a starving student satisfy their appetite for both food and learning for a grand total of $0.00? The event – held at the beginning of every fall and winter semester – is organized by undergraduate research officer Victor Chisholm. Chisholm’s goal in holding the event is to “introduce undergraduate science students to the breadth of research and inquiry…around McGill.” He pointed out

Monday The 6 per cent yield you get in your organic chemistry lab is not just a result of your slightly-less-than-perfect lab technique, but also stems from the fact that chemical reactions are not highly efficient in general. When expanded to large scale industrial processes, this waste is unsustainable. Professor Jean Philip Lumb has devoted his research to combating this problem by looking at the way plants make molecules, and then, using those mechanisms to make molecules in the lab. He stressed the importance of finding sustainable sources of chemicals, especially in light of decreasing petroleum stocks. You’ve probably passed by the subject of Professor William Minarik’s research thousands of times. Maybe you kicked it or possibly just passed by these rocks peacefully, but did you ever think to learn something substantial from them? Minarik’s research with the world’s oldest rocks – found right here in Quebec – help him understand how the Earth works and how the continents got started. Our current environmental crisis underpins the important of geology and Minarik reminds everyone that everything – from fertilizer to iPhones – comes from materials taken from the earth. “The earth is the ultimate in history,” says Minarik. It contains records of a mysterious past, remnants of our present, and the basis for the future.

The McGill Daily | Monday, September 26, 2011 | mcgilldaily.com

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that students in one program often don’t know about research being done in others. The event provides a chance for students to discover various research opportunities that might interest them. Chisholm also hopes to attract non-science students as well as members of the community outside McGill. “I think it’s really important for us to communicate science to the public in any way that we can,” says Chisholm. In doing so, Chisholm is trying to fight a new wave of “false science”, a phenomenon that he believes is on the rise, especially due to the power of the internet. All in all, the event was an unmitigated success; the room was packed, and Chisholm said “It’s been a great week… we’ve had over a hundred students every day… we had to turn people away!”

Tuesday Have you ever wondered what exactly is happening in your brain when you look at a green Jedi knight? If this question has been plaguing you for a while, you may want to talk to Professor Erik Cook – his research revolves around understanding the the “pop-pop” of neurons firing electrical signals. Understanding this code is no small feat – even recording the firing patterns can be tricky. In a single cubic millimetre of brain tissue, there are 100,000 neurons – but even that number seems insignificant when compared to the 100 million synapses that happen in the same piece of tissue. What the general public knows about earthquakes is limited. We know their seismic waves are huge and rumbly, they’re often destructive, and they involve movements in the earth’s crust. But what Professor Christie Rowe knows about earthquakes is very different. She tells us that she is described by a colleague as an “earthquake archaeologist,” attempting to find evidence of ancient earthquakes, of which there are only subtle records. She tells us that the seismic waves that we find so powerful represent only 5 percent of the energy generated in an earthquake. “The other 95 per cent of the energy is trapped and consumed in the rock,” said Rowe. This has long term consequences for the evolution of the earth, playing an important role in shaping the earth’s mantle.

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

What comes to mind when the subject of fluid mechanics is brought up? Probably not clothes fluttering in the breeze, nor the bursting of soap bubbles. But Professor JeanChristophe Nave used these demonstrations to present his research on the evolution of surfaces, mostly for fluids and the motion of cloth. His work centres on finding ways to solve complex equations that predict the movement of fluids in an efficient manner. Nave hopes the algorithms he develops will be general enough to be applicable to many different computational problems, hopefully allowing scientists to predict and model things such as the force produced by airflow over an airplane’s wing.

We may not realize it but a lot happens behind the scenes – or perhaps more accurately beneath the skull – when decisions are made. These different aspects of brain function are the subjects of Professor Yogita Chudasama’s research. She tries to “understand what neural circuitries are dysfunctional or deregulated when we’re trying to make complex decisions.” She also looks at how these normal functions break down in disorders such as schizophrenia and depression. This goes hand-in-hand with her desire to understand the brain’s organization – something she says is still best determined by “good old fashioned neuroanatomical methods.” This work is essentially the central dogma of brain science: linking mind to brain, seeing how the brain’s structure and neurochemistry result in our decisions, our thoughts, and even our very identities. Professor Ted Milner introduced the idea of robot-assisted rehabilitation. Milner shared his research on the brain’s control of movement. He says his field excites him because “everybody moves,” and he wants to know how the neural circuits involved in movement allow mastery of certain movements, and how he can help people who lose motor functions. He’s been trying to answer the question: what is the mechanism by which learning occurs in the brain? He thinks the next big discovery in his field will be to fully understand the neural circuits in the brain, which neurons are involved in learning, and how to use neuroplasticity and “influence circuits” so we can make them do something different – such as restoring motor function to a part of the body that had previously lost it.

Mixing together two solids and watching them melt in a supernatural process and undergo chemical reaction is not in the domain of science fiction but, rather, is in that of solid state chemistry. Professor Tomislav Friščić explained the possibility of making the chemical industry “a thousand or ten thousand” times more efficient. Aging is a process many of us dread, and go to great lengths to avoid, but, for the most part, we have accepted it. However, muscle degeneration is one of those things many of us probably hope to postpone. Professor Russell Hepple wants to understand why the adaptability present in our younger days degenerates over time. Hepple’s research could work miracles at preventing falls and other symptoms of muscle atrophy. Although medicine has done a great job of lengthening the average lifespan, the goal now is to keep quality of life high for people for as long as possible.

12th annual Soup and Science

Illustrations by Alyssa Favreau | The McGill Daily

Although the 12th annual edition of Soup and Science has come to an end, the message of such an event will not be forgotten. Undergraduate research is often overlooked when students think of the opportunities that their university years will offer them, but events like these help to bring those possibilities to light. Maybe you are among the few lucky enough to have impressed a professor enough to be accepted into their lab, or maybe

these talks have inspired your creative minds and your future plans. But these are fringe benefits, really. Soup and Science allows students to step outside their heavy course loads and assigned readings for half an hour, and enjoy a varied set of lectures solely for the sake of curiosity. And this may actually be Soup and Science’s greatest offering – not counting the soup, of course. — Compiled by Anqi Zhang and David Benrimoh


18 Science+Technology

The McGill Daily | Monday, September 26, 2011 | mcgilldaily.com

Capturing the “megapixel myth” Evaluating the trend of cameras with increasingly numerous megapixels Sci-DE BAR

Ryan Lee

Science+Technology Writer

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oday’s consumers are always in search of the newest piece of technology on the market. This insatiable desire for faster, smaller, smarter, and better products could simply be part of our human nature. However, it seems that much of this demand is fabricated by mass marketing that makes our current possessions seem obsolete and inferior. Often times, there are few primary statistics that both consumers and producers use to measure the quality of products. It seems that, no matter the quality of a product, today’s mantra is: bigger is better. When it comes to digital photography, the crux of a camera’s performance is thought to be the number of megapixels it has. It is believed the more megapixels you have, the better your pictures will be. In fact, many camera when producing new models, save for the number of megapixels it has. Does having more megapixels really result in better photos? Or is there a “megapixel myth” created by companies to continue selling their products? Digital photos are made up of tiny elements known as pixels. A megapixel is equal to one million pixels. The more megapixels a photo has, the higher its resolution – the number of pixels per unit area – will be. However, resolution only becomes important when one wants to print large images. This phenomenon is comparable to watching a standard resolution video versus a high definition version; the difference is only visible at a larger scale. When viewed on smaller screens, the difference becomes irrelevant. Media companies that need to display images on large screens, for example, may want a higher resolution in order to have crisp, clear pictures. These images can be blown up to huge building size posters and still be detailed. The resolution of a photo has absolutely no bearing on the quality of the photo

The 6th annual Lorne Trottier Symposium: investigating pseudoscientific and paranormal claims All week On canalsavoir.tv Explore the differences between science and “pseudo” science. Aided by the internet pseudoscience’s reach has spread like wildfire. Famous communicators discuss various aspects of this dangerous trend and give guidance on how to separate the two.

Mini-psych: what goes on in the minds of anxious students? All week On canalsavoir.tv The theme of this year’s broadcast is mental illness in children, adolescents, and young aduls.

Pixelation is a common problem for most photographers. itself, it simply means that there is more flexibility with the scale of production. Even when it comes to resolution, megapixel count is not an accurate indicator of performance. A photo with three megapixels (or three million pixels) will have a resolution of approximately 2048 x 1536 pixels. One might think that a doubling the number of megapixels would double the resolution, but, in fact, a photo with six megapixels will have a resolution of approximately 2816 x 2112 pixels. This is actually a less than 40 per cent increase, which is hardly noticeable in image quality. In addition to this, photographers must remember that the more megapixels a photo has, the more storage space it will require on your memory card and computer. For many photographers, the trade-off of reducing the potential number of shots in order to gain a small improvement in image resolution is just not worth it. Too many megapixels may also even lessen the quality of a picture due to an increase in the graininess of an image. Victor Tangermann, Photo

Editor for the McGill Daily, said, “sharpness, contrast and especially colours have been lagging behind in terms of quality compared to the exponentially rising number of megapixels that the sensor can pick up. When I went to South America in 2009, I took a 3.2 megapixel Panasonic with me (a model from about 2003), which at the time could have been easily considered a very low number of megapixels. I was surprised to find that the contrast and colour far surpassed the contrast and colour of my current dedicated camera equipment, which I left at home.” It is also important to note that cameras only actually capture a third of the pixels that they claim to have, creating the other two thirds with a complex algorithm known as Bayer interpolation. The use of Bayer interpolation has a huge effect on the quality of an image, but has nothing to do with how many megapixels there are. Bayer interpolation is just one example of the technologies that affect photo quality much more than megapixel count does. Essentially, the number of megapix-

Victor Tangermann | The McGill Daily

els a camera has is not the deciding factor in a camera’s picture quality. This raises the question of whether the megapixel myth was formulated by camera makers and companies as part of a marketing strategy? While companies do nothing to dispel the “megapixel myth,” they are also responding to consumer demand. Consumers have believed the “megapixel myth” because of their desire to simplify everything. All of us want to be able to judge the quality of an object based on a very limited number of factors: price, singular product specifications, and model number are all examples of this. When it comes to digital photography, this assumption lends itself to potentially disappointing pictures. Much of what makes a good photo is controlled by the photographer, not the camera. Photography, like any other art form, is not defined by the sophistication of one’s equipment. It is an expression of the photographer’s imagination and creative vision. The spirit captured in photos has nothing to do with whether they are displayed with 2 million or 12 million pixels.

Come to the dark side. You can’t resist our massive gravitational pull. scitech@mcgilldaily.com

Mini-music: making old things new All week On canalsavoir.tv Listen to this broadcast unravel centuries of technological and musical evolution, excavate century-old instruments, and much more. They will ultimately unearth longforgotten, but no less magical, musical treasures.

Food for thought: protecting your brain Tuesday September 27, 7 p.m. Raymond Building, H9X 3V9 The second 2011 lecture in the Food for Thought series. Stan Kubow will look at the occurence of toxins in food and their potential role in neurological illness.

Green Drinks Montreal Tuesday September 27, 7 p.m. Thompson House Restuarant The PGSS environment committee presents Waste Land, a 2010 Academy Award nominee for best feature documentary. The film portrays the lives of those who work with one of the world’s largest landfills – in the metropolis of Rio de Janeior.

Open Minds Across Canada Symposia Saturday, October 1, 1 p.m. Osler Amphitheatre Presentations include: • Shaping who we are: the effects of stress on child. • Genes, the family, and the environment in the eating disorders: DNA, TLC, or MTV? • Smoking and drug/alcohol addiction: why is it so difficult to quit?


Science+Technology

The McGill Daily | Monday, September 26, 2011 | mcgilldaily.com

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This one is just right (almost) Recent findings bring the possibility of extraterrestrial life closer than ever before The McGill Daily

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he family of confirmed planets that exist outside our solar system gained fifty new members last week when the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) team announced new discoveries at the Extreme Solar System Conference in Wyoming. This announcement described a planet that may orbit around its star in a habitable zone, known as a “Goldilocks zone” because it is neither too hot nor too cold, allowing liquid water to form. Liquid water is a necessary precondition for life as we know it, so finding planets that may have it is an obvious first step to finding evidence of extraterrestrial life. This brings the total number of known exoplanets – planets that exist outside our solar system – up to 685, with thousands more potential worlds waiting to be confirmed by various scientific missions. This plethora of exoplanetary discoveries has seriously challenged scientists’ ideas about planetary formation. The traditional model has planets forming around the same time as a newly born star, accreting from the same disc of dust that rotates around the proto-

star, an early phase in the formation of a star. But with new discoveries, it became clear that current models were unable to predict the diversity of planets in the galaxy. “These models are crap. They may be the best we can do, but they are still crap,” said Hal Levinson, an astronomer speaking at the annual American Astronomical Society meeting in January. Scientists use a variety of techniques to actually detect these planets, ranging from directly imaging them with powerful telescopes to more indirect meth-

of “super earths” (planets with masses of up to 10 times that of earth). However, the radial velocity technique doesn’t reveal anything about the density of the planet, which means the “super earths” could range from puffy gas balls, such as those found in our own outer solar system, to more compact, rocky planets like earth. The radial technique for detecting planets favours finding very large celestial bodies closely orbiting their suns. Many of the early exoplanet discoveries using

acts like a Jupiter-sized comet, leaving a superheated ‘tail’ of planetary debris that gets blown away by the stellar wind at more than 35,000 kilometers per hour. The transiting technique is a more direct way of measuring planet size. This technique watches stars for periodic “eclipses” caused by the planets moving in front of the star. The tiny drop in the intensity of the star’s light can be detected, and from that the physical size of the planet can be deduced. Of course, this only works when our telescopes

One such method detects the subtle periodic wobble of a star and its planet as they rotate about each other in their cosmic dance ods. One such method detects the subtle periodic wobble of a star and its planet as they rotate about each other in their cosmic dance. This tiny effect can be measured from hundreds of light years away. It also allows astronomers to figure out the mass and orbital period of the planets. This is possible even in solar systems with multiple planets. The HARPS team has found dozens of planets, including a considerable number

this method were of these “hot Jupiter” planets, which orbit their stars far closer than our own Mercury, with masses considerably larger than Jupiter, at about 318 earth masses. These enormous planets would have surface temperatures reaching upwards of a few thousand degrees, whose ‘year’ could be as short as a few hours because of their tiny orbits. One planet the HARPS team found gets so hot that it actually

are on the same orbital plane as the extrasolar system. The laws of probability tell us that this lucky alignment would only occur about 0.5 to 10 per cent of the time, depending on the planets distance from the star. In order to appreciate the miniscule change that occurs, imagine being able to see a poker chip placed in front of the search light in downtown Montreal all the way from Toronto. The transiting

Edna Chan | The McGill Daily

Andrew Komar

technique is not only able to do this, it does it on the scale of trillions of kilometres. The newly operational Kepler spacecraft uses this method to find planets, watching about 145,000 stars constantly to detect these small drops in brightness. Even though it has only been in operation since 2009, it has already detected over 1200 candidate planets, including dozens of “super earths” and a couple within the habitable zone of their stars. Kepler has even detected a planet that orbits around two stars at once. Like the fictional Star Wars planet Tatooine, no two sunsets on this planet would ever be the same, because the two stars would be orbiting around each other as the planet rotates around the pair! The transiting technique also offers scientists an opportunity to directly measure the atmosphere and temperature of the exoplanet, because the spectral signature of the starlight changes when there is a planet obstructing it. With ever-increasing telescopic power comes an increasing chance that we will finally detect a sister planet with a similar size, temperature, and atmospheric composition as Earth. This is one of the explicit missions of the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which is the successor to the immensely successful Hubble Space Telescope. The JWST will have a resolution of over 20 times that of the Hubble, which would make it theoretically sensitive enough to directly image a planet with compoarable size to earth. Funding for the JWST was recently called into question, citing cost overruns and mismanagement, but the project was ultimately allowed to continue. However, the earliest possible launch date for the JWST isn’t until 2019. With the continuation and progression of all these various detection methods we truly are on the cusp of detecting a planet orbiting another sun that would be capable of supporting life as we know it. With the next generation of telescopes, we will be able to probe the atmospheres of some of these potential Earths. In doing so, we may even find a telltale chemical signature that would be incongruous with our model of a lifeless planet. Considering that scientists now know that planets can be found on up to 40 per cent of sun-like stars, and that there are billions of these stars in our galactic neighbourhood, it is virtually certain that there is extraterrestrial life in our cosmic backyard. And it will almost certainly be weirder and maybe even more wondrous than we can possibly imagine.


Culture

The McGill Daily | Monday, September 26, 2011 | mcgilldaily.com

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From hardship to hip

Joseph Goodman explores Montreal’s Griffintown Borough This article is the first in a new Culture series exploring the culture and history of Montreal’s unique neighbourhoods. Keep an eye out for the next installation exploring the borough of St. Henri in an upcoming issue. s some Montreal residents know, Griffintown, the industrial area between St. Henri and the Lachine Canal, is currently experiencing a wave of gentrification and consolidation, as boutique hotels, contemporary condos, and rustic restaurants replace the relics of Victorian industrialism. Meanwhile, with projects going up by the month, the neighbouring St. Henri is already replete with furniture shops, a vibrant dining scene, and postmodern architectures. Urban planners are focusing on preserving the history of the area while adhering to au-courant aesthetics and the ecological priorities of sustainable development. In 2007, Radio-Canada released a report predicting that the redevelopment of Griffintown would cost at least $1.3 billion, cover 1.1 million square feet, and include roughly 4000 housing units, as well as additional sites for theaters, music venues, cinemas, office spaces, and hotels. Developers at Devimco (a commercial real estate developer) have been working on the Programme particulier d’urbanisme (PPU) with the City of Montreal and the Southwest borough in a continual effort to make the neighbourhood appealing for young professionals and families. Yet despite this overwhelming emphasis on the future of Griffintown, the borough’s cultural history remains significant. Every town has legends, and Griffintown certainly has some definitive ones. Every seven years, a group of local residents convene to recount the tale of the murder of Mary Gallagher, which occurred in 1879. A folkloric presence in collective memory, Gallagher is believed to make a septennial visit in ghost form. As the story goes, Gallagher and her friend, Susan Kennedy, both prostitutes, were competing for a client one evening. Susan, upon finding out that Mary succeeded in her seduction, proceeded to take an ax and decapitate her associate. The tale lives on, and forms part of the gothic backdrop of the area. Griffintown acquired its name from another Mary, Mary Griffin, who commissioned land surveyor Louis Charland to map out the region in the early 19th century. The land was originally supposed to belong to Thomas McCord – however, Griffin illegally obtained the lease and claimed the geographic region as her own. Griffin’s husband, Robert, who was active in the manufacturing business, went on to have a prolific career at the first Bank of Montreal (now a design studio located on Notre-Dame). Formerly a working-class Irish neighborhood, the population of

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Griffintown consisted largely of labourers who worked along the Lachine Canal, the Victoria Bridge, and the Port of Montreal. While Griffintown was settled as primarily Irish, a larger number of Italian, Jewish, and French immigrants began to call the neighborhood home towards the end of the 19th century. The Irish potato

The proximity of Griffintown to the Lachine Canal had economic benefits and complications. The canal provided an efficient transportation route, as well as a surplus of cheap labour, prompting manufacturing industries to set up shop in and around the area. The opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959

opers had little incentive to build property in the area, since expensive projects demanded builders to pay additional seigniorial charges. Fires erupted in 1852 at a local carpenter shop that decimated local streets and businesses. The fire ended up having drastic consequences, forestalling subsequent urban planning and develop-

Photos by Sergey Tsynkevych for The McGill Daily

famine prompted a rise in population, aggravating the already low housing security standards in the borough. Residents in the early half of the 20th century reported persistent flooding, overcrowding, and slum-like dwellings. To get a sense of the conditions of the time, consider that Montreal had one of the worst infant mortality rates in the Western world by the end of the 19th century.

facilitated coastal traffic, yet, depleted local industries. St. Gabriel’s Church in Pointe-Saint-Charles, a neighboring district, saw a decline in attendance, while Martin Kiely, one of the forerunning entrepreneurs in the tobacco industry, suffered economic losses. J.R Weir was another large employer that eventually had to cease production. After several catastrophic events in the 19th and 20th centuries, devel-

ment. Delays continued well into the 20th century, especially during the Second World War. On April 25, 1944, an RAF Bomber crashed into a building in Griffintown, and the city took no initiative in rebuilding the surrounding domestic dwellings in light of the astronomical cost of the project. By the early 1960’s, more buildings were shut down to accommodate the construction of the Bonaventure Expressway.

Since the city officially designated the zone as an “industrial area,” developers were prohibited from building homes to accommodate individuals and families. Efforts to repeal legislation and overturn regulation succeeded, as the area is once again home to individual citizens and families. In light of these conditions, many buildings, local areas, and businesses suffered losses and faced extinction. Le Quartier St. Ann and the St. Ann’s Church were seminal districts and institutions that simply could not survive the changing times. Le Quartier St. Ann was founded as early as 1698 and from its inception, the church castigated the St. Ann’s neighbourhood inhabitants as a demographic prone to vice and drunkenness. To accommodate the influx of Irish settlers – by the 1850’s, over 80,000 Irish immigrants came over the St. Lawrence river onto the island of Montreal – who began to establish homes on the canal, Bishop Bourget opened the St. Ann’s Chapel in 1848. From its inception until the 1890’s, St. Ann’s remained under the direction of the Sulpician Fathers. Charlie Blixstead, a longtime resident of Griffintown, remarks in Richard Burman’s documentary “Ghosts of Griffintown,” that, after the neighbourhood’s many trials and tribulations, “the congregation [of St. Ann’s Chapel] had diminished to a point where it was not economical to keep the church.” The church was eventually torn down in 1970. While churches were significant religious forces in Griffintown, celebratory events were essential to the social life of citizens. Until the Second World War, Griffintown was home to a large number of festivals and public gatherings. St. Patrick’s day parades involved performances by musical groups, often conducted in taverns and local pubs. Minstrels and ballets were a formative part of entertainment at the St. Ann’s parish. Today, if you walk along NotreDame towards the water, modernity disguises history. Jenna Mooers, a night manager at the popular restaurant Griffintown Café, reports that there has been a massive transformation in the area since the opening of the restaurant in 2008. According to Jenna, “three years ago there was a fraction of the walking traffic. Now on a Saturday at noon it’s packed – lots of people out, about, and shopping. There are new boutiques and restaurants popping-up every month.” With consistent refurbishment, the area will continue to witness dramatic changes in demography, culture, politics, and public life. With the current tide of regeneration and gentrification, long gone are the days of Mary Gallagher, factories, and low-budget housing projects. Yet hopefully, in the face of continual change and modernization, the community will retain its cultural heritage and unique urban mythology.


Culture

The McGill Daily | Monday, September 26, 2011 | mcgilldaily.com

21

Larger than life Montreal Comiccon shows super human growth Amina Batyreva

The McGill Daily

“M

a’am – out of the way!” is all I hear before a man in a camouflage army uniform barrels past me, arms flung out to sweep bystanders from his path. A contingent of similarly-dressed men march through the middle of the aisle where I’d just been standing, followed by a wave of people clutching cameras and convention pamphlets. A ripple of clicks and flashes chases their wake, along with the buzz and murmur of gossipy interest. The man who’d just been escorted by security across the convention hall floor was Stan Lee – the industry legend who, in the late fifties and early sixties, fathered the biggest names in Marvel’s roster, including Spider-Man. He was the guest of honour at this weekend’s Montreal Comiccon (MCC), but he was by no means the only impressive name on the guest list. In attendance was DC legend Neal Adams,

platinum blonde James Marsters of Buffy fame, kick-ass superheroine writer Gail Simone, and the Batman and Robin actors from the eponymous sixties show – along with a host of other big names from industries spanning science fiction, bande dessinée, manga, and horror. “Christian Bale? No. Adam West is my Batman,” enthused the middle-aged man beside me as we stood shoulder-to-shoulder ogling the 1966 Batmobile. Around us, the crowd pressed claustrophobically close, many dressed like they had stepped straight out of their respective fictional universes. Wolverine walked beside a Storm Trooper; a flock of Robins chattered as they passed; a tiny Batman trailed after his parents – the irony of which was a little heart-breaking. In the midst of all these colourful characters, I was struck by the diversity around me. As MCC balances precariously on the edge between a local con and world-class event, so too does it inhabit the ambiguous twilight zone between various cultures

Montreal Comic Con attracted comic book fans of all ages. and fandoms. The uniqueness of MCC as compared to, say, San Diego Comiccon or the festivals de bandes dessinée – large comic book festivals in Europe – is that it exists within the cultural mélange of Montreal. “The global nature of the industry means that this stuff is more or less merging,” said Thierry Labrosse, a French-Canadian comic artist and the author of Ab Irato. As an artist who exhibits at the colossal comic festivals of Europe, he explained that MCC has the potential to serve as an anchor between the North American comic scene, the East Asian graphic novel style, and the European bandes dessinées. The Place Bonaventure hall is three times the size of the one used last year, but it was still crowded with attendees. At mid-afternoon, the admissions line looped back on itself six times in the cavernous room right outside the convention floor. While waiting in line for my media pass, I overheard MCC staff inform an irate man that they’d had to turn people away on Saturday because they were over capacity. It’s a little mind-boggling to imagine that this convention, which in 2007 reported a mere 700 attendees, swelled nearly 30 times in size to boast an attendance of over 20,000 this year. Without fail, every exhibitor and artist I talked to said that it was their first year attending the MCC, many having heard about the success of last year’s show through the convention grapevine. “The media coverage was good,” said Walter Durajlija, owner of Big B Comics in Hamilton. “The convention was covered by CBC, CTV, and the

Photos by Alyssa Favreau | The McGill Daily

local papers picked it up... The organizers went all out this year.” When I querried local artist Sanya Anwar about the MCC’s growth, she pronounced: “Montreal has been waiting for a con like this.” This thought echoed Durajlija’s opinion that while metropolitan areas like New York City

and San Diego have their respective world-class cons, Montreal has always lacked one of its own. The unvoiced implication I discovered in every interview I conducted over the weekend is that, if MCC’s exponential growth continues, it may just well become Montreal’s own world-class con.


22 Culture

The McGill Daily | Monday, September 26, 2011 | mcgilldaily.com

Opinions on opera, among other things Félix Le Dem gets to know a grand dame of the Montreal Opera

Nicole Stradiotto | The McGill Daily

L

iving in Montreal as students, we often forget the amount of culture nearby. I walk past the Redpath museum, the Montreal Musée des Beaux-Arts, and the McCord everyday and have never been inside. These places remain as treasure chests of sorts, just waiting to be opened. I usually convince myself that I don’t have the time, or that it isn’t for me. However, I just love to pretend that I am immersing myself in Montreal culture when I’m drunk on St. Denis. In addition to the inebriated escapades, there’s one other cultural cache that enriches my life: Montreal’s classical music scene. The new OSM concert hall, for example, truly is a Montreal gem. For a better perspective on this scene, I sat down with voice coach and rehearsal pianist Esther Gonthier. The McGill Daily: So what exactly do you do? Esther Gonthier: I’m a “master coach,” as they say. I work with singers, mainly classical singers. Many opera singers passing through Montreal come see me, as well as McGill voice majors. I also work at the Montreal Music Conservatory. I am a pianist that fills in for an orchestra during rehearsal periods of opera singers. MD: So you’re a singing coach rather than a teacher? What’s the

difference? EG: The work of a coach is all that’s not the technical aspect of a voice. So, I make sure students sing the right notes, the right rhythms,

work between the coach and the professor – all great singers have both a coach and professor with whom they work regularly. MD: So you mostly work with

“You don’t have to go to the OSM or to the Opera...there are a lot of small concerts that are very cheap with student discounts, but students don’t try and find out about them and it’s really important that they do.” Esther Gonthier Voice coach and rehearsal pianist the right words. I correct pronunciation in French, English, Italian, German, Spanish, Czech, Russian. I try for my singers to have a broad spectrum. There are so many different styles – how to sing Mozart for example, as opposed to Verdi, or Puccini, or Massenet. They’re not sung the same way. The voice is an abstract instrument, it’s just two little strings in here (motions to throat). Opera singing is a joint

singers rather than pianists? EG: Yes, I would say about 95 per cent of the time. Sometimes the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (OSM) is supposed to practice a piece with a violinist, a piano, and a conductor. So if I know the piece well, I’ll go and play the piano part. Another job I do is replacing the orchestra during practice. So, there is a conductor who conducts the singers, and then there’s me,

because it would be way too expensive otherwise. 300 years ago you would do it with an orchestra, but today you can’t anymore. I often rehearse with the director of the OSM, Kent Nagano, and four singers. MD: Besides your work at the OSM and the Opera de Montreal, what is your affiliation with McGill? EG: I teach some McGill students too. McGill is fun because I have the advantage of living so close to the school and having my own piano and my extensive material on singing for the students to use. I have dictionaries, books on diction, everything. So instead of going to McGill and finding a studio with a piano that’s not as good as mine, I work from here. MD: That must break up the routine for McGill students… EG: Yeah, it’s a nice change of scenery, and no one is listening at the door. The McGill music school is an old building. There is a new building, but the old part is still the one that is most regularly used and you can hear through the walls. Here, only my neighbors are listening but they’re not here to judge. MD: I read that you were born in Levis, Quebec. When did you move to Montreal, and has your profession taken you anywhere else? EG: Yes, it’s on the south shore

of Quebec City. It’s beautiful. I moved to Montreal 23 years ago. At one point in my life, I worked for a little in Lorraine, France at an opera and a theatre company. It’s a beautiful career and a job where you are always learning. This summer I went to Italy for a month to work on Italian diction in singing. MD: Are the subtleties of pronunciation and diction that important considering the audience may not speak the language, or not understand at all? EG: Well, the point of all this work is for the audience to both understand the lyrics while still finding the music beautiful. MD: If you speak the language and still can’t understand, is this a problem with the singer’s diction? EG: Yes. When singers go into ultra-high pitched notes, they have to change the diction. For example, a high pitched “I” would discomfort the audience’s ears, so singers adapt their singing. Today, we have subtitles at the opera, so people can follow the story in their languages. MD: I wanted to talk about the fact that students hardly ever experience live classical music. I think the fear of not understanding is part of what keeps McGill students from trying the opera. What are your views on this? EG: I think it’s awful. The worst is that even the singers and musicians don’t go because they don’t bother to find out scheduling times. You don’t have to go to the OSM or to the Opera [de Montréal], which are a bit more expensive. There are a lot of small concerts that are very cheap with student discounts, but students don’t try and find out about them, and it’s really important that they do. I used to bring my sons to anything cultural – theatre, opera, concerts, ballet, museums, the circus. When they were young, telling them that one day they will be happy to have a cultural background. Its part of who they are. Now my sons are in a death metal band called Eyeless. I go see their shows too. It works both ways. MD: What would you like to tell McGill students? EG: I think you have to try. Not just young people, but everybody. We are so often in our own little comfort zone that we need to force ourselves out of it. Myself, I don’t know contemporary dance very well and I recently subscribed to Danse, Danse. I don’t really understand the movements in contemporary dance like I do in classical dance. But, I subscribed to this magazine, telling myself that ‘I will understand at some point.’ If we stay in our own little world, we will never evolve. —Compiled ­­ by Félix Le Dem


The McGill Daily | Monday, September 26, 2011 | mcgilldaily.com

EDITORIAL

volume 101 number 7

editorial 3480 McTavish St., Rm. B-24 Montreal, QC H3A 1X9 phone 514.398.6784 fax 514.398.8318 mcgilldaily.com coordinating editor

Joan Moses

coordinating@mcgilldaily.com coordinating news editor

Henry Gass news editors

Queen Arsem-O’Malley Erin Hudson Jessica Lukawiecki

Negotiate in good faith Despite their expressed commitment to follow Quebec labour laws and negotiate in good faith to reach a fair settlement with MUNACA, the McGill administration has demonstrated that this is not the case. On the first day of the strike, the University fired three course lecturers who were also MUNACA members. The dismissals were justified by a rare interpretation of the Quebec Labour Code, which says that an employee holding two positions in the University cannot be on strike in one position and employed in another. Moreover, McGill has a history of using this code in an anti-union way: it was implemented during a TA strike in 2008. Several casual workers in the University have also reported that they’ve been asked to do the work of striking MUNACA members. This constitutes scab labour and undermines the strikers.

features editor

Eric Andrew-Gee commentary&compendium! editors

Zachary Lewsen Olivia Messer culture editors

Christina Colizza Fabien Maltais-Bayda

science+technology editor

Equally alarmingly, the McGill administration has been threatening the salaries of certain professors who try to express solidarity with MUNACA workers. In a recent interview with The Daily, Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) Morton Mendelson said that the relocation of classes would not be an issue during the strike. Professors wishing to avoid crossing picket lines by teaching off-campus would be able to do so. However, Mendelson later retracted his statement. The administration has, in fact, been threatening the pay of professors who choose to relocate, citing a McGill policy document and arguing that teaching off-campus represents a “dereliction of duty.”

Jenny Lu

health&education editor

Melanie Kim sports editor

Andra Cernavskis photo editor

Victor Tangermann illustrations editor

Amina Batyreva production&design editors

Alyssa Favreau Rebecca Katzman copy editor

Peter Shyba

All these actions, past and present, are starkly anti-union. As the effects of the strike take a heavy physical and mental toll on staff and students, we urge the administration to negotiate with MUNACA in good faith and to reach a fair agreement as soon as possible.

web editor

Shannon Palus le délit

Anabel Cossette Civitella rec@delitfrancais.com

These anti-labour practices, among the figures currently in McGill’s administration, are not exclusive to this year. In 2007, while working as VP Services at Concordia, Michael Di Grappa, who is now McGill’s VP (Administration and Finance) and is intimately involved in negotiations, was ordered by the Quebec Labour Board to formally apologize to the Concordia University Support Staff Union after contacting union members directly during a 2007 strike while he was VP Services at Concordia. His actions directly violated Article 12 of the Labour Code, which forbids employers from trying to influence and have contact with union members during negotiations. It doesn’t bode well for the current negotiations that someone with such a marked history of antiunion activity should be so intimately involved with the negotiations on the administration’s side.

cover design

Victor Tangermann Alyssa Favreau

Contributors David Benrimoh, Sam Bick, Lindsay Cameron, Edna Chan, Madeleine Cummings, Felix Le Dem, Ines De La Cuetara, Clara del Junco, Olivia Lifman, Joseph Goodman, Anna Foran, Claire Hurtig, Rachael Kim, Andrew Komar, Ryan Lee, Sohyun Lee, Kelsi Lix, Kate McGillivray, David Ou, Cole Powers, Daniel Smith, Nicole Stradiotto, Colleen Stanton, Sergey Tsynkevych, Adrian Turcato, Jordan Venton-Rublee, Anqi Zhang

The Daily is published on most Mondays and Thursdays by the Daily Publications Society, an autonomous, not-for-profit organization whose membership includes all McGill undergraduates and most graduate students.

3480 McTavish St., Rm. B-26 Montreal, QC H3A 1X9 phone 514.398.6790 fax 514.398.8318

Boris Shedov Letty Matteo Geneviève Robert Mathieu Ménard

advertising & general manager

sales representative ad layout & design

dps board of directors

Marie Catherine Ducharme, Joseph Henry, Tyler Lawson, Sheehan Moore, Joan Moses, Aaron Vansintjan (chair [at] dailypublications.org), Debbie Wang

The Daily is proud to be a founding member of the Canadian University Press. All contents © 2011 Daily Publications Society. All rights reserved. The content of this newspaper is the responsibility of The McGill Daily and does not necessarily represent the views of McGill University. Products or companies advertised in this newspaper are not necessarily endorsed by Daily staff. Printed by Imprimerie Transcontinental Transmag. Anjou, Quebec. ISSN 1192-4608.

The Daily’s GA endorsements Motion Re: Democratic Reform of the SSMU Board of Directors Yes. This motion is procedural, and we’re in support of keeping SSMU efficient and law abiding. Plus, this motion helps to ensure that SSMU retains its liquor license, so that Gerts can remain under their purview.

Motion Re: Institutionalization and Documentation of SSMU’s Leadership for Sustainability Yes. Sustainability and environmental issues are some of the largest struggles facing us right now. Students should be on the forefront of the environmental movement, and so we support this attempt to make the SSMU Sustainability Assessment more complete, and to make SSMU’s commitment to sustainability more accountable and thorough. That being said, we hope that the effects of this motion are not limited to mere “assessments,” but, rather, that SSMU takes action on the Sustainability Assessment that this motion would mandate.

Motion Re: Accessible Education Yes. This motion will also renew a policy that rightfully commits SSMU to support “highquality, universally accessible post-secondary education.” With Quebec students facing a tuition increase in 2012, and all McGill students facing potential tuition increases, this motion seems particularly timely. We hope that students also pay attention to the call to action included in the motion, and attend the November 10 demonstration against tuition increases.

Motion Re: Supporting Workers’ Struggles Yes. This motion renews a policy passed in 2006 supporting the struggles of workers at McGill. It’s important for students to show solidarity with the employees that provide essential services on campus, and allow McGill to run smoothly. Indeed, this support seems more relevant than ever, considering that, since 2006, new unions, such as AMUSE and AMURE, which have many student members, have been created at McGill.

Motion Re: Student Consultation in Re-Appointments of the Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) Yes. Student consultation should be required when the administration makes a decision that affects student life. Extending the contract of a Provost, Deputy Provost, or Vice Principal clearly affects student life as these positions are integral to the day to day function of the University. That the administration chose to extend Morton Mendelson’s contract without any student input is egregious, as the office of Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) entails a particular responsibility and accountability to students. Thus, it is particularly problematic that the administration chose to extend Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) Morton Mendelson’s contract without any student input. Hopefully, this motion can prevent the administration from taking similarly unilateral actions when hiring or renewing senior positions in the future.

23


Compendium!

The McGill Daily | Monday, September 26, 2011 | mcgilldaily.com

Lies, half-truths, and basking in the joy of Arcade Fire!

24

SAQ profits off frosh First-years forced to buy beer outside of frosh events D. B. Mooter

The McGill Daily

S

AQ and dépanneur profits are soaring after Frosh beer-pricing move. Local SAQ’s and dépanneurs are reporting windfall profits after the university administration’s decision to charge for beer on a per unit basis at this year’s Frosh Week. Frosh activities traditionally built the cost of beer into a general admission fee, contributing to the perception of ‘free’ beer and encouraging an all-you-can-drink atmosphere. The move to charge $2.50 per

beer drove cost-savvy students to seek cheaper alternatives. “Sales of Bootlegger [a popular rum-flavoured malt liquour] went through the roof,” said Christian Depguy, owner of a dépanneur in the Milton-Parc community. The proprietor also reported an increase in sales of Black Bull, Molson, and Labatt 1.14 liter beer bottles, colloquially known as ‘forties.’ The SAQ was perhaps less prepared for the new policy. “They came in droves, dangerously sober and unsure of what they wanted,” said one SAQ manager. Pausing for a moment to reflect, he continued: “it was harrowing; these weren’t yuppies looking

for a bottle of their favourite wine. It completely took us by surprise.” The University offered no comment. Critics of the Frosh changes cite the stress on discount liquor supplies as yet another example of an administration unwilling to consult with the community at large. “We heard a story of Froshies trying to catch a bus to the SAQ Dépot at Crémazie,” reported one community organizer. “They ended up in Anjou.” It’s hard to tell what will await the next generation of cotton-mouthed first years. Needless to say, store owners will surely stock up for September 2012.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Think you’re funny? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA compendium@mcgilldaily.com HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Get out your pencils, it’s crossword time!

The Crossword Fairies The McGill Daily

Across

1. Sort 5. On ___ of 11. Parenthesis, essentially 14. Case for 47 across 15. Amant 16. ___-tzu 17. Put six feet under 19. White wine aperitif 20. Bill 21. Hook and eye 23. Michael Caine in The Italian Job 26. muliple 11 down’s 28. Blood of Christ 32. A pint, maybe 33. See red? 34. Jack’s inferior 35. Travelled by horse 37. If you can’t ___ me by the phone... 39. MK main course 43. Self-funded degree 45. Not just “a” 46. Egg cells 47 Use this to get to the point in your writing 53. Property recipient, at law 54. About 55. Carried a torch (for)

Porinne Carker | The McGill Daily

Prove it.

Bikuta Tangaman | The McGill Daily

56. Munsch or Frost 60. Trick taker, often 61. Travel plans 66. “Quotation is a serviceable substitute for ___.” (Oscar Wilde) 67. Less of a Mess 68. Land unit 69. Wilbur’s home 70. Dances like a horse? 71. Cheap shampoo

Down

1. Mauna ___ (Hawaiian volcano) 2. “___ alive!” 3. Wave frequencies 4. American nappy 5. Dubstep essential 6. Polish language? 7. Better 8. Noah’s landfall 9. Authorize 10. Melanin concentration 11. Acid neutralizer 12. ___ bran cereal 13. Body 18. Chesterfield, e.g. 22. Gardens 23. Alexander or Nicholas II 24. Beyonce hit 25. Decorated, as a cake 27. ___, rinse, repeat 29. Spirit

31. Poet’s “below” 36. Host 38. When doubled, a dance 40. Colour quality 41. All square 42. Witches’ dermal development 44. As an oath 47. Papaya variant 48. Draw out 49. Math skillz (5x2)(7+3 - 1) 50. Kind of number 51. Legal prefix 52. Bag 57. “I’m ___ you!” 58. Page 59. Is human 62. Oolong, for one 63. “Rocks” 64. First person singular of 59 down 65. Congeal

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