Page 1



Table of Contents

meet the incoming FIMSSC

Openwide Through The Years

Who are these people?

We’re old



Trubama: Let’s Talk About CanadaU.S. Relations Baby

Youtube: Behind the Screens

We ship it


Ex Machina: A Text on AI and Other Human Problems Are you really in FIMS if you haven’t seen this movie yet?

14-15 Press Release The USC is low key a dictatorship.


Comment, like, subscribe if you enjoy this article


The Hollywood Age Gap: Where the Men Get Older and the Women Get Younger “She’s too young for you bro” apparently doesn’t mean a thing in Hollywood

16 Exemplar Resume for FIMS Students Please hire me

21 To My Fellow Graduates The Unofficial Fims yearbook Words from the next generation of FIMS alumni


About the cover Art done by Tracy Xie

Openwide celebrates its last issue of Volume 16 with a yearbook composite of the outgoing editorial team and some featured guests who possess special places in our hearts. Find inspiration and motivation to get by exam season with insightful quotations, and don’t forget to flip inside the pages for *exclusive* yearend content like our very own unofficial FIMS yearbook.

Issue Quote *Final Countdown plays in the background*

A Fish Out of Water FIMS students doing good work, as per usual.


When you laugh so gud u forget to write TLDR #RELATABLE


Editor’s Note Openwide is “so fims”

Editor in Chief MARWA HASSAN


“Typical fims” “You sound sooo fims” What is FIMS? Is it an insult? Despite common discourse, there is no standard of what a FIMS student is. You are FIMS because you study within the faculty. You are FIMS regardless of whether you wear a cardigan, listen to indie music, or remind your friends of the unequal treatment of people in our world. The only thing we have in common are our mandatory classes. That’s a good thing. The multiplicity of FIMS is what makes it so interesting. Recognizing that we share a common frame of reference – the FIMS learning experience – is a solid ground from which to build solidarity. Take back FIMS. It’s not an insult. It’s a descriptor for cool, unique, and a multitude of other adjectives, humans. FIMS is truly what you make of it, so let’s make it great. For all of us graduating, check out the “To My Fellow Graduates” feature the unofficial FIMS yearbook - in the last pages of this issue. A sneaky shoutout to Sasha Torres, if you’re reading this, hi and I think you’re great. Thanks for making sure the last shred of optimism I have didn’t fade away with my final critical theory course. This issue is dedicated to all the FIMS kids. You rock don’t ever change, sincerely sgordo. A special thanks goes out to all the contributors, editors, Niall, and graphics team that dedicated their spring days to this issue. And yes, I have thanked a member of One Direction in each issue of Volume 16; a gift to 16 year old me.

Letters to the editors


like Follow Write for

STephanie Gordon











jhana ellard web editor

Tracy xie Photograpy

Disclaimer: The sole responsibility of this publication lies with its authors. Contents do not reflect the opinions of the University Students’ Council of Western University (“USC”). The USC assumes no responsibility or liability for any error, inaccuracy, omission, or comment contained in this publication or for any use that may be made of such information by the reader.



Let’s have a conversation. See something in this issue you want to respond to? E-mail your thoughts, musings, comments, concerns to and we’ll either publish them on our site [] or in our next issue.

Re: Alternative spring break: why volunteering abroad won’t fix your white saviour Complex (OPENwide, v.16, issue 4) I went on Alternative Spring Break this year—to New Orleans. Our group spent a week volunteering and building houses, and at the end of each (very long) day, we sat down and critically reflected on the work that we did. We talked about white savior complex, a lot. We talked about how none of us thought that by participating in ASB, were we “saving” a group of people. We talked about how the people we were interacting and working with likely would have been fine if we hadn’t driven across the U.S. to help them. We were not ‘saving the poor people in the developing world.’ We all simply wanted to do something more meaningful than drink daiquiris on a beach over our break. At no point during or after our trip, did I think, “thank god this isn’t my life.” I did think that the residents of New Orleans were strong, resilient individuals. And more than anything, my heart was full: I just met an amazing group of people who wanted to improve the world, and residents and community members of New Orleans, who were kind, and resourceful. Is that such a bad thing? During our reflection sessions, we would often acknowledge that there are things that still needed to be done within our local community, and ASB works to help on a local level, as well. We spent a weekend volunteering all over London a few weeks before the trip. And since we’ve been back from our trip, I personally have gone to the local soup kitchen with other ASB members, and hosted a fundraiser for a local mental health organization. Additionally, the author mentions that it would be less expensive and more helpful to start by helping in Canada, but ASB has three trips within Canada to London, Winnipeg, and Thunder Bay. Why are volunteering locally and internationally mutually exclusive; why do we only get to pick one or the other? And then we get to the critique of the cost. We provided free labor on the trip, and that is what makes it possible for the costs that the organization pays to be less expensive- throwing money at the problem would not help the situation. ASB is more than just a “façade designed to make Western teenagers and young adults feel better about their own living situations,” without pitying presumably ‘needy’ children. ASB is about global and Fair Trade learning, it is about addressing community-defined needs- we do not pretend to know what’s best for the community, we ask them first and work to address those needs.   The thing that disappoints me most about this article is the absolute lack of research. I know that any member of ASB New Orleans would have been more than pleased to discuss any of these issues or any part of our trip, myself included. We had such an incredible time on ASB (it’s pretty much all we’ve been able to talk about since), so I know we would have been happy to discuss the trip, explain our reasons for going, and share what we’ve learned. Ultimately, it saddens me that the decision to use our reading week to make the world a bit brighter has been so readily disparaged. The next time the author insists on discounting the work of hundreds of volunteers, I urge her to first speak with them about their experience. She might learn that things are slightly more nuanced than they appear. Author has chosen to remain anonymous

4 //v.16.5

openWIDE// ~fims life~

meet the incoming fimssc 2016/2017

What are your goals next year as FIMSSC President? I would like our team to create a student experience for FIMS students that is complementary to what they learn in class, while fostering a sense of community that challenges its constituents and gives them opportunities to grow outside of the classroom, and have *~FUN~*. Although there are some guidelines and limitations established by the FIMSSC’s constitution, I don’t want us to only operate “by the book”. I want to push (within reason) beyond the goals outlined by our constitution, in order to not sell FIMS students or ourselves short.

How do you plan to stay grounded as a leader? I think it all comes down to realizing that some of our goals might seem daunting, but FIMSSC as a team does have the capacity to achieve them. I can count on every single individual of our team, whether exec or general member, to do their job and to operate in the interest of our constituents. I think it is also important to remember that disagreements within our team open up the floor to productive dialogue and the presence of contrasting opinions is just proof that we are all bringing pieces of ourselves to the floor, and that each member has something different to offer, which is SO valuable.

What was FIMS to you as a first year student? …and what if FIMS to you now as an upperyear student? As a first year student FIMS was not at all what I expected. I came into my first lecture for

MIT 1200 thinking I was going to be learning about advertising and marketing and media studies. Instead, it was Tim Blackmore talking about everything from “designer vaginas” to Blade Runner. Now as an upper year student, (at the risk of using classic FIMS buzzwords) FIMS is a faculty of passionate individuals, both teachers and students alike, that are teaching and learning to think critically about the world around them. In my attempts to adequately explain the MIT program (and FIMS) to family members, of friends, or anyone born before 1990, I often say that MIT takes everything that we accept about the world we live in, and flip it on its head to look at it from a different, often unpopular, perspective. Sometimes I find myself leaving classes and feeling extremely unsettled, discouraged and worried that the world has already gone to shit, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Post-secondary education should be anything but passive, and I think that FIMS provides students with the education necessary to leave their undergrad knowing how to challenge the norms, and to be anything but subdued.


What’s your favourite FIMS class? I really liked Warren Steele’s MIT 2500: The Meaning of Technology (classic). And I’m taking Amanda Grzyb’s MIT 3931: Century of Genocide, which is verrrryyyy cool.

How can someone reach you? Add me on Facebook! Or by email:

v.16.5// 5

openWIDE// ~fims life~

our student body, and I will aim to widen the methods through which students can have their voices heard, provide suggestions and criticisms, and engage in discussion with council members.

What are your goals for next year? My main goal for next year is to address the separation between Council and FIMS students by expanding our avenues of communication and widening my role to not simply managing what is being said to students, but encouraging them to speak back to us. I would like to create more opportunities for students to have their voices heard by the FIMSSC so that we can better address their needs through the events and initiatives we offer. Hopefully, students will feel encouraged to engage in a dialogue surrounding what we may be doing well or not in order to serve them better and increase the level of interest and involvement that they feel in their home faculty.

What was FIMS to you as a first year? And what is FIMS to you now as an upper year student?


A lot of students feel disconnected from their student council, what are your thoughts on this? In your role, how would you approach this?

What’s your favourite FIMS class?

This is something that I feel strongly about, and was a large factor in deciding to run for VP Communications. In order for a student council to run effectively, it needs to first and foremost have a well-established and positive relationship with its constituents, something that could always be improved. We need to increase the level of feedback from

Selma Purac’s Consumer Society 2151 or the late MIT 1500.

How can someone reach you? I can be reached at, through the MIT/MTP/ MPI Facebook page, or through

AAlot of students feel disconnected

What are your goals for next year?

from their student council, what are your thoughts on this? In your role, how would you approach this?

a) Make events oriented towards

career goal setting, job searching, and job applying. b) Make a series of events to teach FIMS students digital media skills like photo editing and video production. c) Create a stronger relationship between FIMS students and their Faculty and Administration. d) Encourage controversial discussions

6 //v.16.5

I applied to MIT with a “why not” mentality, and it’s the best last minute decision I have ever made. Lets put it like this: FIMS to me as a first year student was like learning how to drive. I was excited, but I had absolutely no idea what I was doing behind that wheel as I made jerky starts and stops in an empty Walmart parking lot. Nearing the end of my third year of undergrad, I’ve learned what most of these buttons do and at least know to always check my blind spot for unseen and fast-approaching deadlines, which is great because I accidentally merged onto the 401.

Marisa cho VP academic

This is absolutely, and unfortunately, something I agree that many FIMS students feel. I would like students to have a better relationship with student council next year by ensuring that I shamelessly promote myself as the VP Academic to every FIMS student that I encounter. Social media is also a great outlet for advertising Council and all it does,


however, nothing works quite as well as personal human interaction to help students feel more connected to the council that is supposed to represent them.

What was FIMS to you as a first year student? …and what if FIMS to you now as an upper-year student? As a first year student, FIMS was this incredible

exploration of topics and theories that were often unspoken about, as well as an infinite number of questions that never seemed to have answers.As an upper-year student, FIMS is still an exploration of the unknown, but I’m starting to like the fact that there are no clear answers.

What are your goals for next year?

openWIDE// ~fims life~ What’s your favourite FIMS class? My favourite theoretical FIMS class is the now extinct

1200 Media in Society with Tim Blackmore. Very cool readings, great sweaters, and a brilliant man.

How can someone reach you? I prefer to be contacted by telegram, but I understand these days digital methods of communication are much more popular. Email:

FIMS or Western community, make sure you submit an application!

There are an incredible number of financial resources available for students who seek them out; however, while the information might be out there, it is also incredibly overwhelming to filter through. I am hoping to create a curated resource booklet that will make sure that FIMS students—and the Western community at large—has the most key information all in one place (with helpful tips and tricks learned along the way)!

What was FIMS to you as a first year student? …and what if FIMS to you now as an upper-year student? I was a nervous first-year FIMS student. I was so set on succeeding—which in my mind, meant acing every assignment and final exam—that I forgot to the enjoy the entire learning process. I had to remind myself (as I continue to today) to take it slow and enjoy the discomfort that comes with learning. It might be hard or unsettling to feel like a fish out of water in a class or a faculty that you are passionate about and want to succeed in, but just remember to enjoy it! It might have taken me four years, but that’s what I see FIMS as now: a place to grow.

What’s the Undergraduate Student Fund (USF)? What are the possibilities of it for the average FIMS student? A great question, because so many students aren’t quite sure what this pool of funding is for. The USF is a pool of funding each students contributes to (with a fee that is included in tuition). The funding pool goes towards subsidizing and making possible all of the student-run initiatives and events that are held on campus—for both the FIMS and broader Western community.

eliot kulach VP finance

Where funding is often an obstacle for students who hope to run or spearhead new events on campus, the USF is a means of removing this barrier. Any student can submit an application for funding, and the events and initiative vary greatly: from the FIMS academic conference, to FIMS formal, to “Sticky Foreheads” and bingo in the Grad Club. If you have an idea that will positively contribute to the

What’s your favourite FIMS class? John Reed’s “Politics and Representations of Food”; if you have stopped thinking about where your food comes from (as I had), then you have to take this course.

How can someone reach you? You can reach me however you so desire! Facebook (my last name is not my middle name—I’m not hiding, I promise), e-mail (—but please don’t spam me…), in class, at the gym. Wherever! My role as VP Finance might be to oversee council and faculty spending, but it is also to make sure that students are able to see their ideas come to fruition; with the USF, we can make that happen together!

v.16.5// 7

openWIDE// ~fims life~

What was FIMS to you as a first year student? …and what if FIMS to you now as an upper-year student?

What are your goals for next year?

I want FIMS to team up with another faculty for at least one event. The joining of forces will bring people together to contribute to the same cause and hopefully get FIMS students to literally step out of their narrow boxes. In addition, I want FIMS to develop a strong presence through well-organized and exciting events attracting students from all faculties.


A lot of students feel disconnected from their student council, what are your thoughts on this? In your role, how would you approach this?


It is always disheartening to hear that students feel disconnected from their councils. The problem is people get what they give, and a lot of students expect to be heard even when they are not actively reaching out. As VP Events I will be doing my best to bring council to the student body through social events but it is up to the individuals themselves to speak up during those times.

In first year I thought FIMS was a program where I wrote more essays than all my friends and somehow was constantly dumbfounded by what I learned. Now I realize the FIMS equips students with the ability to think in isolation of the trends and the majority. Although it doesn’t teach you how to survive in an advertising firm it teaches you how to be smart and progressive about your ideas and the way you use them.

What’s your favourite FIMS class? 3208 Women’s Television with Tiara Sukhan or 3902 Alternative Media with Atle Kjosen

How can someone reach you? Shoot me an email: Add me on Facebook: Marie Scholz Heck, you can even direct message me on insta if you want: @mariescholz

MESSAGE FROM THE OUTGOING PRESIDENT We did it, FIMS. We made it through another year of inappropriate office attire, hair flipping, final papers, and singing along to Sean Paul in a museum. As you go into another year here or leave this place to enter the Real World™, never forget that “we are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dream.” Never stop never stopping. Mel, Outgoing FIMSSC President 8 //v.16.5


OPENWIDE The first ever mitZine was published in 2000. It was created as an alternative student publication based out of the Faculty of Information and Media Studies. Initially, it was created to provide an alternative to on-campus media, such as The Gazette, but has grown to be so much more. In the early 2000s, it was a small publication, printed in black and white on regular paper. It averaged 10 pages per issue. The publication now is a 24-page magazine with a colour cover. It even underwent a name change late in 2012 from ‘mitZine’ to ‘Openwide.’ The change was to be more inclusive of all the streams in our faculty: MIT, MPI, and MTP. That’s why our MITSC became FIMSSC, and mitZine became Openwide. The magazine used to be funded by advertisers. Out of all of the Volume 6 staff, 12 students from the team were dedicated to advertising. It was the primary source of funding to cover printing costs. This was in 2006 before the Undergraduate Student Fund (USF) was established. In many of our MIT classes, we learn that an advertising presence has an indirect influence on content. Though most of the sponsors were local


shops (i.e. City Lights Bookshop or The Boardshop), using part of your staff to constantly find sponsorship takes away from time that could be spent refining an article. It is also problematic for a mainly student publication to be inundated with advertisements. Though most FIMS students are media literate, to be thought of a consumer first, reader second, is not the relationship Openwide wants to have with its readership. Why the history lesson? This year, Openwide put in a proposal for a multi-year funding from the USF (btw anyone in FIMS can apply). In our application we stressed this history – Openwide isn’t just a magazine; it is part of the FIMS experience for so many of us. As previous editor-inchief for mitZine in 2006 put it, the approval of the application will allow future editors to “see a new generation of FIMS’ students contributing critical and engaging editorial without the worry of whether or not they’ll be able to keep their publication alive year by year.” You are part of something so much bigger, and the committee seemed to agree. Our proposal got approved and for the next 3 years we will have no mo’ money problems! To create a direction for the future, we have to know where we have been. As I graduate, my gift to Openwide is my memory of it throughout my time in FIMS. v.16.5// 9





The year Openwide officially got its new name. The editor-in-chief also ended up becoming the FIMSSC president, and overall this was a pretty badass year for the publication.



~Volume 13~ doesn’t exist because he didn’t remember what the count was. We’d like to believe he was a superstitious guy and that’s what you will tell people if anyone asks (which they probably won’t), but it really was a blooper in Openwide’s history. His “Western Inc.” boob cover caused some controversy, but it really didn’t because no one formally complained – but we did run into issues when we tried to post it online on Issuu. He is also responsible for building the current wooden stand in NCB.



Great content was published such as articles about the Black Student Experience and UWOFA contract negotiations but only three issues were printed this year. The first cover was the most memorable with former FIMSSC president holding a “quality education FOR SALE” sign in front of UC tower.



I resurrected Zine Canada – my favourite section from Volume 12. Our team made buttons for the holiday issue. And if anyone noticed, this should really be renamed as Year of the Shia because we tried to incorporate him into every issue. Currently every issue since 2010 is available online through our Issuu [] and some articles have been re-published on the blog []. I encourage everyone to dig around, look at how far we’ve come, maybe read some #tbt articles.

OPENWIDE fun fact: the cover is based off the Adbusters aesthetic 10 //v.16.5


Trubama: Lets talk about Canada-U.S. Relations Baby //ARJUN SINGH

“I wish someone looked at me the way Trudeau looks at Obama.” This is a perfect way to summarize the budding friendship between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Barack Obama. Trudeau became the first Canadian Prime Minister in nineteen years to receive a State Dinner at the White House. This visit was marked historic for different reasons but all anyone can talk about is how there is something about the pair that makes them seem right for each other. The good people of the internet quickly started referring to the “bromance” between the two leaders. Now it is important to analyze this label, this “bromance” between two world leaders. President Obama is on his way out after serving two terms as America’s President while Justin Trudeau is in the infancy of his first prime ministerial term. It can be argued that Obama sees a lot of himself in Trudeau. Media and political pundits have drawn comparisons between the two in how they campaigned and achieved their positions. Obama had “Change We Believe In” while Trudeau had his “Sunny ways.” The two leaders also represent the left side of the political party spectrum in both their countries. The left, statistically, has been known to appeal to younger viewers. The bromance coverage could be how younger voters choose to interpret the event, based on the frames of reference they are equipped with - frames from pop culture. While similar, there are differences, such as how Obama was the first black president while Trudeau represents tradition, having been the son of a former Prime Minister. A way to look at this bromance is that Obama passing along his endorsement for the prime minister. He has chosen Trudeau to be his successor in terms of promoting common values and agenda points in terms of climate change and equal rights for everyone. Yet, this is just one interpretation of the bromance.

Another interpretation of this label is that it is just another way the media is making light of Trudeau’s leadership. A good chunk of media coverage is focused on his physical appearance and his ability to look amazing no matter what. The panda visit in Toronto or cover shoot with Vogue become headlines while most of his policies do not. Since the beginning, some media has taken to infantilizing Justin Trudeau. Like seen in the Conservative Party ads when they would

address him by just his first name, Justin. Some of the media and opposition have always tried to diminish the seriousness of his leadership and capability to lead his party and now the country. The term bromance can sometimes distract from political policy discussions. When there was an analysis of Trudeau’s Washington trip, the term Trubama and the discussion about the relationship between the two leaders came up way more than the discussions they had about climate change, trade, and cooperation in the fight against terrorism. I had a hard time finding any policy briefs or talking points about what the two leaders discussed and talked about because talks of their emerging bromance took center stage. Even their speeches took time to poke fun at each other and each country’s respective stereotypes, with quips about where the Stanley Cup is. A fantastic piece of news for Canadians is that Obama has agreed to address the Parliament later this year and so we will all get to see Trubama happen again, this time in Ottawa and Rideau Cottage (Trudeau’s residence) instead of Washington and the White House. I hope this time Internet is generous and also tweets and talks more about the policy discussions that happen in this visit.

v.16.5// 11

youtube: behind the screens //Ksenia Kolodka & Stephanie Gordon Youtube as an Online Community

Part of Youtube’s growth can be attributed to the reposting of existing media content – like ripping scenes from television shows or newscasts – but a large part of Youtube is original content. People making videos for other people. They come in a variety of formats such as vlogs (the video blog), tutorials from Photoshop to makeup, homemade lyric videos, fan videos, webisodes, original sketches, gaming videos, challenge videos, parodies, pranks, education videos (shout-out to KhanAcademy) and many more. Youtube has become more than just a video platform, it has become its own online community. Conventions, similar to Comic Con, have been established across the world for Youtube. Vidcon in Anaheim, California is one of the most well-known; in 2015 it saw 21,000 fans, creators, and industry leaders come together for the 3 day conference. Toronto’s own “Buffer Festival” is hosted every October and celebrates everything online video.

Exponential unchecked growth?

Youtube’s popularity is forever increasing – in 2015, revenues reached $1.51 Billion US dollars; more videos are uploaded to the site every 60 days than the 3 major US television networks have produced in the past 60 years (Quora). In 2013, it was recorded that marketers spent $2.8 billion to advertise on Youtube, which is more than what they spent to advertise on broadcast television (Quora). It’s no surprise that Youtube is big, but the potential of this platform is still relatively new. However, with so much potential, is Youtube really changing the game? Is it the democratizing platform some praise it to be or it is perpetuating existing problematic media trends?

So many questions, so little time

When we began writing this article, we had a hard time narrowing down what to talk about. There is so much one can say about Youtube, but we wanted to focus on how we know Youtube – through its original content and respective online

12 //v.16.5

community. In particular, we wanted to focus on Vloggers. Ordinary people that have become not-so ordinary through Youtube. Through our discussions we learned that not all vloggers are the same, and there seems to be this growing gap between established “big” vloggers and upcoming “small” vloggers. Isn’t Youtube for everyone? It’s free - anyone can pick up a camera, or phone, and upload something! While Youtube for the most part is an open and welcoming platform, and this cannot be ignored, there are structural aspects that arise complicating things.

Biased Algorithms?

For starters, the online platform itself had to re-evaluate the way it rates and displays videos. It’s no surprise Youtube privileges early adopters. It was much easier to cultivate an audience when you were among 1000 vloggers rather than 1,000,000 vloggers. Now, the audience pie is bigger and it’s harder to get a slice. Before 2012, the homepage used to rank videos was based on view counts. However, view count is a poor indicator of quality and relevance to the viewer, especially when so many people can game the system. The measurement becomes meaningless when people upload clickbait, misleading thumbnails and video titles, or pay for views. As a result of decreasing relevance, most users chose to bypass the homepage and go straight to their subscription feed or favourite channels. This made it harder for new content to get through, and content with low view counts struggled to appear in search results. The structural algorithm, much like Facebook’s engagement algorithm, favoured some content over others. In a video posted by Computerphile entitled “Youtube’s Secret Algorithm,” Cristos Goodrow from YouTube explains how the algorithms are changing to deliver more relevant content to viewers. In October 2012, a new algorithm was unveiled “aimed at rewarding video content that really engaged viewers and kept them on Youtube for as long as possible” (Reelseo). View count became less important than watch time. Goodrow explains in the video how if you click on a video and it’s not what you expect it to be, you will not stay and watch it. However, if you click on a video and it is what you were searching for, you will watch it. Therefore watch time becomes a new measure for viewer engagement and preference. Other measures include audience retention (how much time someone spends on your videos) and session watchtime (how much time someone spends on Youtube after watching your video, regardless if what they’re watching is on your channel). All these metrics favour time spent on

Youtube, which could help explain why Pewdiepie is one of the biggest accounts out there. He is a Swedish gamer who uploads video game commentary, and the length of some of his videos can reach up to 41 minutes. It’s easy to spend hours on his channel, and the algorithm rewards him for this by having him appear in “recommended” or “popular uploads” more often than other Youtubers. This type of strategy is evident with other vloggers who have end screens that link to their other videos, encouraging viewers to stick around and continue watching. While it’s an improvement from the archaic metric of a view count, it is not without its complications.

Beauty Standards

Fancy algorithms aside, there are many aspects on the vlogger side that contribute to this divide in vlogger popularity. Famous Youtubers and conventional beauty go hand in hand. Many Youtubers have fans because they’re hot – allowing for teenage fantasies to bloom a bit more easily. These fans are the ones that accompany their favourite Youtubers to conventions, and participate in social media communities dedicated to honouring them. Drastic change to appearance is generally limited, even with makeup. Without the “proper” genetics, it’s necessary to work a bit harder to be unique. This can also give the wrong message to viewers, suggesting that one needs to be conventionally beautiful in order to be successful.

The Clique

Additionally, many popular Youtube creators also have connections with those in the similar subscriber range - or at least, create them. Through collaboration videos and cross promotion, they are able to bounce off of each other’s successes and collect a higher following. There are many niches like this on Youtube, such as members of the British Youtube community who all live relatively close to one another, and are thus able to collaborate in real life. Connections are key, but without them, it becomes difficult to get the word out about a channel. However, there is nothing about the Youtube collaboration community that seems exclusive. From a viewer standpoint, it looks as if you can message someone whose channel you admire and ask to collaborate on a video. Yet, you might have a harder time getting through to their inbox if you’re relatively unknown. The old fashioned way, plugging your own channel on someone else’s video, can come across as spam, and is looked down upon by other users for being annoying.

HQ 720p

As the quality of videos on Youtube increase, high quality equipment becomes another prerequisite for Youtube popularity. DSLR cameras, tripods, lighting, and editing

openWIDE// ~fims life~

software are all essentials in creating the best videos. Without this kind of equipment, establishing a following becomes even more difficult. Gone are the days for which viewers would settle for quality less than 720p or audio that is hard to hear. What this does is increase barriers to access, as quality equipment and accessories do not come cheap. iPhone quality is comparable, so not all is lost. But it is also a privilege to have the time to create and edit videos. For earlier vloggers who have yet to make money from this hobby, it’s all investment and no payback for a while, and this is not feasible for those that rely on working full time to make it through the month. This means that contributors with great ideas are sometimes overlooked simply because they don’t have the resources, or great contributors do not start a channel because the bar has been raised.

Not all is lost

Youtube can be seen as a space where existing media trends are recreated. Where the rich, beautiful, and well-connected rise to the top of the homepage. Where music channels such as Vevo unfairly dominate feeds. Where pre-roll ads rack up view counts even though they’ve paid to be there. Or where vloggers and their audiences are sold to the highest bidder in terms of product placement or ghostwritten books. However, as creators, fans, and Youtube itself continue to reflect on their platform, these issues are constantly addressed with solutions always on the horizon. Youtube still is used simply for a way to express creativity, and it’s a great platform. Many people don’t mind having less than 10 views on their videos if it means they can still put out their content for free. It’s a useful platform that connects like-minded individuals and provides them with means to communicate, by creating content or through participating in discussion. Youtube, and online video, offers a more active viewer experience. Communities and fandoms have sprung up as a result of Youtube, and these positive consequences should not be tossed aside. Youtube is a business, but that’s not all it is. As long as people continue to care about Youtube, it will continue to be nurtured and grown into a platform we can’t even predict.

v.16.5// 13

: a n i h c a


M x E



Ia A n o ext


14 //v.16.5


Hu r e h t O

Alex Garland’s Ex Machina (2015) is a psychological thriller, and mirror to all the complexities we must face in a new future where humanity and machines will walk amongst each other. It presents an unsettling representation of gender as Ava (Alicia Vikander) uses her allure and charm to seduce Caleb (Dohmnall Gleeson) into thinking that she has consciousness, and later, helping her escape. Why must Ava achieve her goals and pass the Turing Test using allure and charm and not intelligence and wit, which she clearly possesses? In comparison, we know of other cyborgs and forms of AI in films who identify as male who use their intuition and strength to demonstrate sophistication. Evidently, the double standards of men and women are not excluded from the world of AI. (Notice how I attribute Ava with the personal pronoun ‘she’, when really ‘she’ is an it). We use female pronouns to address a machine that inherently possesses no gender, yet we assign one because Ava exemplifies the appearance and gender stereotypes of a woman. Moreover, in order to make sense of a complex apparatus, we assign it a gender in the form of a voice or physical features. For example, Siri is identified as a female because of its feminine voice. Also, the film in its entirety is an example of everything discomforting about the effects of the male gaze. Nathan (Oscar Isaac), Ava’s creator, represents the scientists and mathematicians of today who are creating a future of AI. Of whom, are predominantly male. Ava was created to embody Caleb’s male desires, thus she is an example of how AI is subject to the male gaze like any other product or service. The tech industry is no exception to serving the male fantasy. The evaluation of women and machine as synonymous, is no coincidence considering most AI forms are characterized as female. The idea that men understand women as a separate species may explain this parallel.

em l b o r an P

//bianca huang Also, the original Turing Test, also known as the Imitation Game, started off as a simple game involving three players where one (Player C) would have to distinguish which of the two other players is a man (Player A), and which is a woman (Player B). Turing concluded that if a woman can easily convince someone she is a man, then a machine can convince someone they are a human.

“As Turing made amendments to his game, the woman in the scenario was replaced with a computer furthering the connection between women and AI.” When Nathan explains how Ava obtained her knowledge of the modern world, he says, “My competitors were fixated on monetizing search engines…But actually they were a map of how people were thinking” (Ex Machina). For AI to be as competent as Ava in the film, they will have to have access to a multitude of information datamined in search engines we use everyday. Just as you click Google, an AI will be able to skip the clicking and navigating of the internet and immediately be able to acquire knowledge. Language, geography, history, social interactions, and economic markets will be accessible by nature for these cyborgs. Machines will have access to everything we know, and more. As Nathan notes, search engines are a map of how people think, not what they think. Our search history, purchases, movements, and locations are all a part of big data. We would like to believe that this information is inherently ours to keep, or it simply disappears as we delete our history. Larger corporations and powerful players,


“Does the movie’s plot by exposing human emotion as some sort of weakness make a comment on the superiority of AI and rationality? Maybe all our questions about AI are helping us find out more about humans, what it means to be human, and what is a human exactly.” like Nathan, do not have sympathy for our desire for privacy and frankly, most of us have come to accept this electronic panopticon as inevitable.

“As Nathan notes, search engines are a map of how people think, not what they think.” However, if we are aware of what the AI is using for feedback, the procedure could be corrupted. For example, Microsoft’s recent disastrous ‘Tay’ experiment of a chat bot tweeting racist and hateful rhetoric is a real life example that highlights the complexities of AI. As much as the AI was ‘thinking’ for itself, it was also mirroring without questioning. The nuances of inflated “internet speak” were lost on this experiment, and it resulted in problematic responses from Tay. Tay’s dialogue was based on crowdsourcing online interactions between millennials. This experiment actually reveals more about humans than defective chat bots. Here, an AI’s formulated responses illustrate how humans can produce self-destructive and toxic rhetoric. The Tay experiment warned us about the slippery slope of AI just as much as it took a mirror to human’s behaviour on the internet.

“This experiment actually reveals more about humans than defective chat bots.”

If Raymond Kurzweil, a partner of Google and futurist, sees people as simply information that can be transferred into a highly intelligent, and eventually autonomous metallic vessel, how as humans do we compare? Can a mind be reduced to information? In Ex Machina the sophistication of Ava came not from her ability to aggregate data, but to manipulate human emotion. Ava appealed to Caleb not through rationality but the complete opposite, and Nathan sees these interactions as deliberate. Ava intentionally mirrored the logic of humans which, contrary to the enlightenment belief, is not rational. Ava used emotions to pass the Turing test because that is what humans (and Caleb) are the most responsive and weak to. Does the movie’s plot by exposing human emotion as some sort of weakness make a comment on the superiority of AI and rationality? Maybe all our questions about AI are helping us find out more about humans, what it means to be human, and what is a human exactly. Ex Machina does not tell us about AI, it reflects human’s view of AI. While we make great strides in developing the first Ava, we must recognize our own value as human beings. Through algorithms and data, we can easily teach a machine to be proficient in any task. But will there be a way to program human values such as empathy, love, and other complex emotions? Values that are so integral to the human experience? How can we be sure artificial intelligence is not just imitating these values, like what Caleb saw in Ava? There are always more questions than answers, but maybe this time, AI won’t have the answers.

v.16.5// 15


The Hollywood Age Gap: Where the Men Get Older and the Women Get Younger //KIA ANDERSEN

In a March interview on The Howard Stern Show, Olivia Wilde revealed that she was turned down for a role in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street for being “too old.” Wilde was 28 at the time, while DiCaprio was 37 – meaning Wilde was nine years younger than her male costar. The role ended up going to Margot Robbie, who was only 22 at the time. The Wolf of Wall Street is just one of many examples in Hollywood. Large age gaps between male and female actors have been normalized in the industry for years. For example, in Third Person there is a 34 year age difference between stars Liam Neeson (63) and Olivia Wilde (29), while Steve Carell (46) and Anne Hathaway (26) in Get Smart have a 20 year age gap. The problem is not these age gaps themselves; a relationship between two consenting adults is good, and any kind of diversity (even in age) should be encouraged in the Hollywood industry. The problem is that this trend is one sided.

The trend of older male actors paired with younger female actresses has become normalized, while the opposite pairing remains stigmatized. Movies that feature older female actresses and younger male actors almost exclusively define the relationship based on age. The plot almost unfailingly centers on the woman’s predatory, cougar-like behaviour and why she, psychologically, chooses a younger man; implying something that is wrong with her (seen in How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998), or Prime (2005)). These movies are often filled with cringe worthy disapproving comments, or jokes about older women dating younger men.

16 //v.16.5

Leading ladies in Hollywood face a mysterious casting cutoff around the age of 35. GraphJoy did an analysis on age gaps by looking at the top 20 male actors and their movies with romantic interests from 1980-2015 and they found that there is a relatively low age gap until the age of 35. After these male actors became older than 35, the age gap between their romantic interests increased dramatically. For example, Tom Cruise; his average age gap is one year from the beginning of his career until he was 35. But his average after age 35 jumps to a shocking 12 year average gap. This type of data is mirrored in the careers of Denzel Washington, Harrison Ford, Bruce Willis, and Michael Douglas. On this trend, Helen Mirren commented

“Fucking outrageous! As James Bond got more and more geriatric, his girlfriends got younger and younger.” Unfortunately, on-screen relationships seep into the industry and shape public perception. The message these trends send is that women’s value comes from their looks.The mysterious age of 35 is placing an expiry date on women – one that does not exist for male actors.

Hollywood values have real life consequences for real life women, whose appearances are valued above their abilities, talents, and experiences. This leads to discrimination in the workplace (check out the tumblr blog shitpeoplesaytowomendirectors) and in society as a whole. All because of something as simple and unavoidable as aging. Hollywood finds sexiness and beauty in aging male characters. The love that Hollywood has for “silver foxes” should be given to their sexy “silver vixen” counterparts.

Fish Out of Water



Almost four years ago Gloria Zhu landed in Canada on a bright summer day at Pearson Airport. A tall, white, friendly man with two beautiful children gave her a toonie because she was short on change to get a cart for her luggage. This was Zhu’s first impression of Canada that she still remembers to this day. But her first impression of Canada was soon challenged as she started to settle in. “I I always friendly, called

thought of Canada as a welcoming, immigrantdiverse country but after living here as a sovisible minority I realize Canada might not be as much of a diverse place as I initially presumed,” Zhu says.

Zhu decided to come to Canada because she thought there were better opportunities here that would lead to a better future for her. “Also, just the idea of being able to leave that city I spent most of my life in excited me,” she adds. Originally from China, Zhu believes that although we celebrate diversity and the stereotypical Canadian—such as the man she met in the airport—there is racial segregation, stereotypes, and marginalization that many people experience. “The State has not put enough effort into welcoming and helping immigrants with adapting to their new environment,” she says. Specifically, Zhu decided on Western University because she believes her passion resides in helping people and striving to make the world a better place, which is a big part of the Media and the Public Interest (MPI) program. In the past year, Zhu’s passion has extended from outside of the lecture hall and onto what started as an online project called “A Fish Out of Water”.

v.16.5// 17


Her project started as a Facebook page and a blog with the basic idea that is featured on the Humans of New York (HONY) page, except her version features international students at Western University.

Zhu knows that it sounds like a similar idea but she believes that it’s much more than that.

“I want to promote the idea that everyone could be a fish out of water at some point; thus we need to listen to their voices about how they feel and what kind of life they live.” “By doing that, I encourage people to break the assumption that being a fish out of water means someone who has a different skin colour. I want to share stories of people being marginalized by media and society, as well as challenge the idea that Canada is such a diverse country by showing the fact that we have alive and rampant racism issues right here in Canada.” Not only does Zhu use social media platforms to host her project, she now has her own radio show on CHRW. “I want to give people a place to share their stories and their voices,” she mentions. Zhu’s personal experience as an international student is shared with several others as they often struggle with homesickness, language barriers, and lack of support.

“It takes a lot of courage to move to another country on your own and to force yourself to learn a new language in order to fully function in society. There are millions of international students out there just like me: starting over without any support in a strange country,” she says.

Gloria Pasau is one of those millions who often feels like a fish out of water. Specifically in class where she feels that “there is less chance for me to share my previous life

18 //v.16.5

experience just because my experience is not relevant to the class discussions, which most of time revolve around Ontario issues,” she explained, “I have to Google how those cities look like and how the economic market is like.” Pasau, originally from Jakarta, Indonesia, decided to go to Western because of the work/life balance that was advertised heavily to her. After having a representative from Western come to her high school she decided to apply for this journey. Now, in her third-year of geography, Pasau has realized that “the Western bubble can sometimes make class discussions close-minded and neglect International Students’ past experiences.” Pasau thinks that students and professors can do something about this problem by embracing diversity and internationalism on campus. She also adds that “international students perspectives are important and valid because their opinions resemble the real world we live in today—the globalized world.” One thing Pasau does to combat this issue is by making sure that the professor is aware that she is an international student at the beginning of every new course. She believes that “group discussions should be more inclusive and not just Canadian or worse Ontario & GTA based.” Not only is the issue of inclusive discussion a problem for Pasau she also has a hard time finding Indonesian/ Singaporean restaurants here. Not to mention missing out on the opportunity to watch her little brother grow up because of the expensive flight tickets and tight school schedule. On the other hand, Rukun Wang’s experience has been extremely positive. He had no idea what to expect when he come here for the first time back in September, 2013. “I showed up in Canada with a blank slate,” Wang says. Wang is a third-year chemical engineering student currently 13216.5 km away from home. Originally from China, home for Wang is Gaborone, Botswana—a city in northern South Africa. The 30-hour trip home between Wang and his family has been the hardest part about being away from home for him, aside from the heat and savannah shrubbery which London lacks.

It seems that nothing could have set Wang up for the climate difference he was going to experience here in London. “This is rather stereotypical, but it’s definitely a thing. I come from a very hot, arid, desert-y place, so my first winter in Canada was definitely a shock,” he says. “Never in my life had I experienced such cold climates.”


everyone must partake in. I guess the take away of all of this is to make the best out of a situation, which at the time might seem imperfect, but in the end could turn out to be one of the most enriching experiences one could ever have.”

It may be easier to stay within your Western bubble but Wang always knew that he wanted to go somewhere far these students believe that branching out is a necessity to for university and after narrowing it down to Canada, grow. the United States, and Australia he decided that Canada seemed like the right place. “As for Western, it was Pasau encourages students to understand that “embracing probably the pictures of diversity is not just about campus that I could get my Pasau encourages students to un- being ‘nice and polite’ to the hands on that made me set derstand that “embracing diversity international students but on Western,” he mentions. also when social inclusion is not just about being ‘nice and po- by local students is present. Wang has experienced lite’ to the international students but Local students should keep Western as a welcoming also when social inclusion by local in mind that there are fellow place that has allowed students is present. Local students international students in him to become part of the their class.” should keep in mind that there are culture. “I was assimilated into the local environment fellow international students in their Asking simple questions to very quickly; I guess I was find out more about cultures class.” lucky,” he says. besides your own can help you embrace diversity. Wang’s experience living in Delaware Hall in his first-year also allowed him to meet other international students A question that Wang is routinely asked is, what should who were also experiencing a big change in location. I do if I go to South Africa? He responds that “you must Delaware Hall has an international student floor and although Wang did not live on this floor, he connected with many of the students who did in his first-year. “It helped me. Most of the internationals I met and still stay in contact with are in the engineering faculty,” Wang adds. Pasau did live on the international student floor in Delaware in her first year and feels that it was a nice experience to live with people from around the world who are experiencing similar things. “They just know how it feels to be very far away from home.” She also found it helpful because she was able to explore Canada with friends on her floor. Zhu has also met many international students through her A Fish Out of Water project and through her job at Western International where she has the opportunity to help and interact with international students directly. A student featured on Zhu’s blog post number five gives insight on the importance of branching out, “I find it healthy to branch out and broaden a person’s knowing of others. It is definitely one of those social necessities

see the beaches and safari tours. Oh, and braaied meat. It’s basically the equivalent of barbeque here—it’s amazing.”

Zhu finds that the first reaction she receives starts with someone asking questions about China and the language. Although, “there are some very ignorant questions and assumptions as well. For example, one time this guy asked me if I was from China, the real China. I was like, is there a fake China that I am not aware of?” Questions are welcome, but a friendly reminder that these students are just like local students. Ignorance towards a culture can easily be avoided by asking questions like the former and not the latter. At the end of the day, students from around the world come to Western and may experience racism, missing home, language barriers and cultural differences. But whether you are a student coming to Canada and learning about Canadian culture or a Canadian native learning about an international friend’s culture, it’s always beneficial to embrace diversity on campus or beyond by welcoming everyone in and accepting differences.

Because you never know when that fish out of water may be you. v.16.5// 19


press release

//Erica wallis (905) 673-6943 @OPENWIDEzine

For Immediate Release: 01/04/2016

Openwide Publication Renounces Ties To Rogue Employee Renowned Student Publication Experiences Staff Upheaval

London, ON: A press conference was held today in the FIMSSC offices of Western University to announce the official dismissal of Openwide’s former creative editor Erica Wallis. This unprecedented mid-semester dismissal follows the shocking events of March 1, 2016 when it was revealed that Wallis had swapped out all the articles in Openwide’s winter edition with copies of Ayn Rand’s essays on objectivism and capitalism. Openwide has never seen an outrage of these proportions, and was swift to remove the threat. Wallis is not welcome to work on any subsequent FIMS publications, nor has she been seen in NCB since the incriminating event. On the containment of this issue, Editor-In-Chief Stephanie Gordon said, “We’re doing all that we can to ensure that an obscenity of this scale never touches this publication again. It was shocking to us all to learn of the extent of Wallis’ betrayal, but I can assure readers that our background checks henceforth will be extensive”. Having successfully eliminated the capitalist threat from its editorial team, Openwide will commence production of its final issue of the academic term, and will seek to win back the trust of its readership. Volume 16, issue 5 will be released in one month on news stands around Western, absolutely free of charge. About Openwide: Openwide Zine has been an integral part of the student voice since it’s conception in 2000 as an alternative student publication. It is a striking work of journalism with critical articles that cut right to the heart of the Western student experience.

20 //v.16.5


Bryson Parks

519.867.5309 | Experienced media professional accomplished in communication, writing, and let’s be honest, you’re not even reading this are you? I’ll just throw in a couple buzzwords in case you’re skimming like crossdifferentiated sales experience. Another good one might be motivated self-starter if that’s not played out yet. Please just hire me. I’m good at working.


Western University | London, Ontario | 2012-2016 • Courses include Crash Landscape, Designing and Critiquing Research Methods, Bubble Pop Electric: Japanese Visual and Technoculture, and Comic Book Culture: From Pulp Fiction to Post Modern Legitimacy • Seriously, I don’t know either. BROADCAST JOURNALISM

Conestoga College | Kitchener, Ontario | For a couple years • Courses include Interpersonal and Group Dynamics, which is actually quite useful when you enter the real world and realize that most people have no clue how interact with another human being. • Anchored morning newscasts and provided in-field reporting for CJIQ-FM’s 12 listeners. • To be honest if I worked a little harder here instead of getting drunk at The Duke, I wouldn’t be in this mess.

Skills and Strengths • • • • • •

Owns Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Powerpoint 511,990 high score on Tetris with 411 lines cleared. Professional underhand volleyball serve. Over 1500 hours logged on Netflix. Sat on a couch with Steve Martin once and acted pretty cool about it. Grilled cheese.

Work Experience


• Planning and management for faculty recruitment events during Western’s Fall Preview Day and March Break Open House, including volunteer co-ordination, logistics, activity facilitation, and media coverage. • Instructional design of the FIMS Undergraduate Internship Program into a streamlined digital portal via Sakai OWL. • Data collection and statistics analytics on faculty programs and classes to assist Dean’s Office on development of future programs. • Office administration including record keeping, archiving, appointment scheduling, and academic inquiries from current and prospective students.

v.16.5// 21






HYPE. GET REKT. IT’S LIT - LISTEN UP: In downtown London, construction is underway for a new bar called Residence. Bouncers will be dressed in purple RA uniforms with the bar’s slogan on the back “Bring Back Rez Parties” to help distinguish them from actual uniforms. Western Student Cards will be accepted at the door as valid ID and students will be able to use their Flex Dollars at the bar. There will be no glass bottles allowed in the venue, and the bar is being made out of closet doors to create a “Residence aesthetic.” However, rumour has it the music played next door will always be louder. Other features include dirty communal bathrooms and a ‘Saugeen Shot’ that has 50% more alcohol than other drinks. The owner Hou Sing revealed that the guest list for next O-Week is already at capacity, but promises that all first years are guaranteed a spot in Residence. Unfortunately, Western sophs will have to pay for a place inside. Ceiling tile damage will be factored into the cost of admission and must be paid by the end of the night before students leave Residence. A fire alarm has been scheduled for Opening Night, which will allow club goers to stand outside in the cold and contemplate the consequences of committing dance floorcest. The staff at Residence are excited to welcome the incoming class and any upper years that wish to relive their best days. Residence, the bar, will have their own soph team during O-Week that will act as a promotional arm for the venue. For more ongoing updates please visit the “Residence - Bring Rez Parties Back” Facebook Page or download the Residence App.




MIT STUDENT DOESN’T USE A MAC Asked repeatedly if they’re in the right class







Sells textbooks for ca$h change

MAN WHO TRIPPED OVER SHOELACES AND DIED 400 people dead in Yeman unavailable for comment


TICKET SALES FOR SCIENCE KEYNOTE SPEAKER FAILS AFTER STUDENTS INTERPRET VIDEO AS A PRANK “We don’t know how we’re going to pay John Cena for his time” - SSC President

WELDON INSTALLS PHONE CHARGER STATION 40 phones and counting stolen in the first week

CAMPUS BRIDGE TIRED AFTER SECOND SEMESTER, TAKES A READING WEEK Receives better health accommodation for stress than student body



MUSIC CAREER *Correction: Will Finch



TRUDEAU/OBAMA FANFICTION HITS NEWS STANDS Most read fic entitled “Climate Change Debate Gets Too Hot”



FIMS ALUMNI STILL ASKED FOR DONATIONS DESPITE 80% UNEMPLOYMENT RATE Calls stopped going through after a majority default on their phone bills


Tells you they will give you rent in a couple of weeks


THREATENS TO STEAL MOON “It is going to strengthen the American economy” -Trump supporter




Event planned as a way to raise funds for candidate’s campaign

Shea Ho also has longest snapchat story in recorded history





“Wow what a resounding display of ethics” - FIMS Student

STUDENT ASKS FOR EXTENSION ON A TEACHER EVALUATION “Miss I have to do one of these for every single one of my classes”






FACEBOOK HEADQUATERS No Problem Getting Into the Personal Data of Millions


Sorry there are no outside drinks allowed





Enlightens graduates about the keys to success


#westernU #letsstaytogether #like4like #f4f #westerncrushwednesday


v.16.5// 23

To My Fellow Graduates

//future fims alumni

As the graduating class of 2016 becomes the alumni of tomorrow, we wanted to give a chance for people to leave their mark. After four years of listening and learning from our professors, we cannot neglect another source of learning – each other. We tried our best through Facebook and our own networks to include as many graduating voices as we could, but it’s a busy time of year, so this is not all of us. Please visit for an online version of this yearbook that will continue to be open to submissions from any graduates that wish to send one (to - Marwa x Stephanie

Edie Kalman

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” - Angela Davis

Avery Nicholson

Are we done with MIT yet? I can’t BESTAND this anymore.

Antoinette Taranets

When people ask me why I chose Western, I always say the same thing: because that is where FIMS is. I cannot express in such a small amount of words just how much my time in MIT has meant to me. But I can say, without hesitation, that it was the students and professors who make up this small but mighty Faculty, who shaped my experience the most. Thank you to those who forced me to question everything and reminded me that I truly know nothing. Here’s the secret: we ARE employable and we CAN make a difference. We already have in the lives of each other. Proud to call myself a member of the graduating class of 2016.

Sam Aleboyeh

What got me to the end? FIMS friends (thx for the intellectual dialogue), keening (lots of it), recycling journal articles for different essays (thx Judith Butler), the amazing professors (almost all of them), and paper extensions (oh thank god for the extensions!)

Heather DuMaresq

We did it – we made it through! From John Reed’s 1500 to Warren Steele’s 2500, all the way through to Compton’s 3100, we can finally say hello from the other side. MIT was one of the most wonderful surprises. I wasn’t quite sure what exactly the program was upon entering first year, but I can happily say that I can somewhat describe my program to a stranger now (if he or she has 10 minutes). We are critical thinkers, we are innovators, and we are kickass communicators (thank you term papers). The skills we’ve gained through MIT, I know, are absolutely indispensable. Although we are often the butt of all jokes, we are a unique group who will go on to do amazing things. Thanks, FIMS, for an awesome four years.

Kate Avery

“I HAVE AN EXAMPLE!” - jk, I love my FIMS fam.

Cindy Soerensen

“Capitalism? More like crapitalism. Am I right ladies???” - Karl Marx probably

24 //v.16.5

Melissa Peterson


*insert pink shirt girl emoji, waving* It’s been fun, folks. A real four years. Keep on keeping on and never shy away when you make eye contact with someone taking a selfie. Peace n love, Mel

Katya Rogers

“Voted most likely to overthrow the system” - FIMS Grads 2016. Congratulations Grads! #panopticon #singularity #FIMS

Anna Denys

Thank you to my fellow Mothers In Training for preparing me to create the best Marxist babies a girl could ask for. Can’t wait for our feminist centred play dates in the future.

Brittany Tilstra

So long and thanks for all the fish.

Melody MacRae

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

Meredith Pow

I came to Western with a set of ideas about how university was supposed to be. Four years later, I leave with my expectations surpassed and my eyes widened. I take genuine comfort in knowing that I share a critical perspective on the world with my FIMS peers and this is something I will really miss. So, where do I go from here? I don’t have the answer… no seriously, I have no idea. But I’m excited to see where life takes each of us. Let’s go do great things.

Kyle Simons

In my time at Western I got to take fascinating classes and meet great people. FIMS is full of some of the coolest, brightest, and most interesting students and professors I’ve ever met. However, after four years of studying the pitfalls of capitalism and the horrors of consumerism, I’ve decided to pursue a career in advertising. Sorry!

Riley McNair

“The sky had never seemed so sky; the world had never seemed so world.” Thank you FIMS for the past four years, and thank you Coraline for putting those years into words for me. I love you both, very much.

Emma Stewart

“’The worst thing about FIMS was the dementors!’ - Michael Scott” - Emma Stewart. Thank you Michael Scott for helping me through the past four years; I couldn’t have done it without you. Also, thank you FIMS for helping me be me.

Martin Pacyna

“Just stepped in, matter fact I just stepped out.” - Big Body Bes

Courteney Bone

“Critical thinking is thinking about your thinking while you’re thinking in order to make your thinking better.” - Richard W. Paul

Riley Wong

After four years of studying cultural theory, I still don’t know what a Panopticon is. Just kidding...kind of. Also, shout out to Selma Purac, the fun aunt we all wish we had. My life in MIT was nothing like what I was expecting, but a real blast nonetheless. Thanks to everyone who made it what it was, I’ll miss you and all those off topic class discussions. Good luck, and see you at the reunion (is there a reunion)​. #FIMS4LYFE”

v.16.5// 25


Bryson Parks

FIMS is one of the biggest shams Western sells to those bright-eyed 16 year-olds that walk through our recruitment fairs and open houses. They come in thinking they’ll be the next E-Talk host or fashion editor. In two years’ time when they’re ass-deep in Derrida and trying to figure out if the thing is really a thing, their dreams die alongside their innocence and notions of how the world really operates. And thank god for that. If FIMS has done one thing, it has made me a better person – more open, understanding, and empathetic. We are so #blessed to have an engaged faculty and supportive cohort to help us understand and defend against the perils of misogyny, racism, and neoliberalism. Difficult as it is, please hold on to this – never stop learning, and never forget. Oh, and I was 30 years old this whole time and none of you knew.

Gloria Choo

Be critical, but stay humble. You do not only come here to learn that you’re on the privileged side and we live in a ruined world, you also come here to learn how you can make this world a better place. This is a desperate world to live in, but one should never lose hope and kindness. Don’t look down on people when they don’t understand what “hegemony” means and why this world is in trouble, then you become the person you’re criticizing for your whole university life. Also if there is any advice I can give you: explore the world, sleep well, eat a lot, take care of yourself, and then you can care about the world much better.

Eric Maydo

I have one last question before I graduate, what does Technoculture mean anyways? Peace out MIT, see you all in the real world, AKA the Panopticon.

Jackie Anderson

from Gangnam Style to Beyoncé’s ‘Formation’, we’ve experienced the worst & (possibly) best things during these past four years, FIMS family. Keep on in’ on

Jessica Kaiyi Ye

It’s been four wonderful years in MIT. I can’t imagine time flies so fast and it’s time to leave. Graduation is a time of completion, of finishing, of ending. However, it is also a time of celebration of achievements and a beginning of a new journey. Wish you all the best in the future, and good luck in your adventure!

Carly Sythes

“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, to stumble and fall, cause most of the time, the greatest rewards come from doing the things that scare you the most. Maybe you’ll get everything you wish for. Maybe you’ll get more than you ever could have imagined. Who knows where life will take you. The road is long and in the end, the journey is the destination.” - Whitey Durham

Jennifer Feldman

“If you don’t love something, then don’t do it.” - Ray Bradbury. Future FIMS grads, while you may not love every book you have to read, or every essay you’re required to write, be sure that you’re loving the overall life you live.

Stephanie Gordon

FIMS – it has been a love/hate relationship. What we learn can sometimes turn into a paralyzing pessimism, but we can’t let it prevent us from doing something. The world may seem like a dark place, but it becomes brighter with you in it. I’ve sat in class with so many of you, and your thoughtful intelligent contributions never cease to amaze me. Can’t wait to see what this batch of critical, yet kind, humans can do. Go forth and FSU. Oh and DFTBA.

Avery Page

Thanks to fims, I am a nerd. I don’t mean nerd in the sense that I can’t wear breathe-right nasal strips at night without getting a rash (although I can’t). I am a nerd in the sense that I talk over MadMen to explain to my parents the socio-political context of Roger’s acid trip- even though they were alive in the sixties and I wasn’t. I wasn’t always this way. I’d like to thank all of my talented and supportive professors, who quite simply are also nerds, for inspiring and shaping me so expertly into the nerd I am. Thank you to Madelene for swallowing late night hours and bottles of cheap wine with me. Thank you to Lewis for keeping me sane, to Ian for stirring the insane, and to all the others who from the beginning made me feel like their homes were my home too.

Erin Murray

It occurred to me in my final year. One Tuesday night in NCB at approximately 8:23pm, when John Reed went on a tangent about how he recreated the shining with his seven year old daughter and her friend, that FIMS was the right choice for me.

Julia Sobkowicz


“Long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead.” - John Maynard Keyne

Marwa Hassan

Eight, twenty-five or seventy years from now, you and I will lock eyes in the midst of a bustling metropolis lit up by thousands of artificial light sources - aka iPhones 20 and onwards. Two things will happen during our interaction: we’ll share the same flash of recognition, followed by this dialogue. Me: “Nihilism?” You: “Heidegger.” *excited intakes of breath* You: “Panopticism?” Me: “Foucault.” *soft, knowing smiles paint both of our faces* Me: “After all this time?” You: “Always.” Thank you for understanding when no one else did - or ever really will. I’ll be seeing you

Sheba Birhanu

Know Yourself. Trust yourself. Take advice with a grain of salt. You know you better than anyone else. And don’t be afraid to leave anywhere or anything just because it’s inconvenient. You know what’s a lot more inconvenient? Regret. Also, 94% of all the cliche advice you’ve ever been given is true.

Samir Kashyap

where you be in your life thank you for it. wherever you lay your head down tomorrow be thankful for it. whoever you hold, whoever you can’t - be thankful for it. my years here have been peaceful. i’ve gotten a chance to be true in front of loved ones - i have loved ones here. so wherever you all go, whether we spoke little or not at all or you shared my home or my head, just know that i say peace shall be upon you if you r compassionate. pick up animal crossing (again). also, support marginalized communities. i took a lot of naps man. thanks for letting me stretch my legs as long as they are and pull out the most meaningful stuff in me, the really good stuff, and the bad stuff too. thanks for not touching my hair. yo for real we’re gonna have to describe the world in vivid detail tomorrow and i for one am looking forward to it. believe survivors. listen to rap. Peace

Gabriella Teixeira

I think many of us have a love/hate relationship with FIMS. FIMS is like a really bad 4 year relationship that is full of tears and anger but also some beautiful moments that keeps you coming back. FIMS was emotionally, physically and mentally taxing and I loved every moment of it. I can’t imagine a better group of students and instructors to struggle and grow with. Thank you to everyone who stood by me through this journey and I hope you never lose your curiosity.

Here’s a blank space for you to fill up with your own words and then give this issue to someone. Or ask someone to write in your “yearbook.” We just wanted this issue’s last words to mean something more.

v.16.5// 27




OPENWIDE v.16.5  

In this issue: the unofficial FIMS yearbook with quotes from the graduating class, the film Ex Machina and AI, Youtube: Behind the Screens,...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you