BFA admissions to reopen Recommendations proposed for dealing with future suspensions B y Vincent M atak and J oanna P lucinska Journal Staff Queen’s will reopen admission to the Bachelor of Fine Arts program for the Fall of 2013, Associate Dean of Arts and Science Gordon Smith said. Students were informed of the decision to reopen admissions on
June 12 in an email from Smith. “It was always a strong possibility that we would reopen admission in 2013 the way we have just done,” he told the Journal. “I think it’s important for people to understand the incredible amount of work that’s gone into this the past eight months, on the part of students, all the BFA faculty. We met with all kinds of
faculty stakeholders.” Smith said the final decision was formally announced to staff in a meeting on June 12, several hours before the email was sent. The suspension to Fine Arts was announced in November. “A review of the resources available to the BFA Programme in the immediately foreseeable future Gordon Smith, associate dean of Arts and Science said it See Fine on page 6
Photo by Gina EldEr
was heartening to receive comments from students after the suspension.
T u e s d ay , J u n e 2 6 , 2 0 1 2 — I s s u e 2
j the ournal Queen’s university — since 1873
sMootH sydenHaM Jazz
Report calls for changes
Copying concerns New copyright licence questioned
Commission seeks student input
B y R acHel H eRscoVici H olly tousignant Journal Staff
B y H olly tousignant News Editor Resources for dealing with mental health on campus could be getting an overhaul in the coming years, if the Principal’s Commission on Mental Health has any say. The commission is seeking input after releasing their discussion paper on June 18. The 57-page paper, titled “Towards a Mental Health Strategy for Queen’s,” outlines the commission’s recommendations for dealing with issues surrounding mental illness on campus. The commission’s chair, Dr. David Walker, said he was nervous about how the paper would be received. “A bunch of us sit for a year nearly and listen and write and then you wonder if you’re completely off the map, or did we leave things out, are we anywhere close,” he said. Dr. Walker was chosen by Principal Daniel Woolf to head the commission, which first convened in September 2011. The five person commission met weekly with various groups and individuals until April, when they began putting their report together. The committee was made up of faculty and administration and one student, Roy Jahchan, MPA ’11 and Law ’13. The members weren’t mental health professionals. The paper is organized in a four-level pyramid structure. Each level included specific recommendations for the University. “It’s got 80 plus recommendations,” Walker said. One part of the paper discusses the changing role of Health, Counselling and Disability Services (HCDS). “There is a long-term recommendation that the University See Report on page 5
The What’s Cheer? Brigade led a musical march during the Porch Jazz event at the Kingston Jazz Festival on Saturday. See page 11 for full story.
Photo by Gina EldEr
Students could be facing $22.50 in new student fees this fall if Queen’s signs a new copyright agreement. The agreement would change how copyrighted materials are accessed and paid for. The decision has caused a stir among student groups and other Queen’s community members. In May, Queen’s signed a non-binding letter of intent to support the model licence. The letter of intent commits Queen’s to making a final decision by June 30. Queen’s opted out of a previously proposed agreement with Access Copyright in 2011. The original agreement had included a fee of $45 per full-time equivalent student (FTE) which has since been reduced to $26 after negotiations between Access Copyright and the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), a group that represents universities across the country. See No on page 4
Student charged and in custody
Shu Wang possessed substances that could be used to make explosives, police allege B y Vincent M atak Assistant News Editor Shu Wang, ArtsSci ’14, is still in custody at a provincial detention centre after being arrested for mischief, weapons dangerous and possession of an explosive substance on June 12. Kingston Police were called to Wang’s Brock and Frontenac St. Home on June 12 at 5:30 p.m., after nearby residents heard pellet gun shots and saw damage being done to a garage door, allegedly
by Wang. The Emergency Response Unit seized what appeared to be replica pellet guns, knives and materials that could be used to create explosive devices. Wang had his first video remand on June 11. He underwent a showcause hearing, another name for a bail hearing, last Wednesday, as well as another video remand on Friday. Kingston Police Constable and Media Relations Officer Steven Koopman said he didn’t know the
outcome of the show cause hearing Koopman told the Journal on and video remands. June 13 that the maximum charges He did say, however, Wang could face are between five that Wang’s investigation is to ten years in prison. “slowing down.” “Obviously the maximums are “The immediacy and the danger rarely reached,” he said. of the crimes, as well as the loss Matthew Sullivan, Sci ’13 lived of evidence, has been relatively with Wang and four other students contained,” he said. “What we’re last year. He said Wang wasn’t a waiting for now is following dangerous person. up with detectives with search “He’d walk around the house warrants, as well as interviews with with [his pellet gun], but never the involved parties.” pointed it at you,” he told the Police are still awaiting results Journal on June 13. See Wang on page 6 from the OPP Explosives Unit.
2 • queensJournal.ca
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Protests come to Kingston
Supporters of Quebec student strike attend Casseroles Nights B y Vincent M atak Assistant News Editor As the Quebec student protests continue to gain international attention, Queen’s students and Kingston residents have taken to the streets to show their support. Since May 30, Kingstonians have gathered in McBurney Park, also known as Skeleton Park, every Wednesday at 8pm and marched through Downtown Kingston banging their household pots and pans. The event, officially known as Casseroles Night in Kingston, aims to spread awareness about the situation in Quebec, including the passing of Bill 78. The event’s name derives from cacerolazo, a form of peaceful protest that originated in Chile in the 1970s. Participant Graham Beverely, ArtSci ’12, said using pots and pans as a tool of protest is conducive to calling attention against Bill 78. “The whole idea behind pots and pans is that it’s a loud way to demonstrate that there is political discontent being felt,” he said. “It was actually used ... as a means of expressing frustration without actually doing anything directly against the government.” Bill 78, which restricts freedom of assembly, protests and picketing in Quebec without prior police approval, was passed on May 22. The Bill was proposed by Quebec premier Jean Charest and minister of education Michelle Courchesne after student protesters against tuition increases failed to
100 people gathered in McBurney park on June 6 to bang their pots and pans for the second Casseroles night.
Photo by ali Zahid
reach an agreement with Quebec and encourage them to join the march. liberal party representatives. “What we’re doing now shows Bill 78 is set to expire on the government that the issue is July 1, 2013. Event organizer and past far bigger than they ever though it Occupy Kingston protester would be,” Thornton said. Thornton said the relatively Matt Thornton called the bill a small size of Kingston allows the “national problem.” “Bill 78 sets the precedent for protest to occur spontaneously provincial and federal governments and with little organization, factors participants from lobbying or to take away not only our right to that contribute to the event’s writing to their local MPs. “Our intended target is the assemble and organize but also sets overall success. “Whereas in larger cities like people of Kingston. We’re not the precedent to take away all of Toronto they actually have to looking to get the attention of the our rights,” he said. The first event in Kingston had have people discuss it and pre- mayor or the MP or any politicians over 200 people in attendance. It plan it, we’ve just decided to do it because they’re just a part of the coincided with numerous other very spontaneously and it’s been problem. We want the attention of Casseroles nights around Canada, working great so far,” he said. “We the community,” he said. A special protest on June 22 as well as in international cities generally march through residential areas quite a bit and we try to finish marked one month since Bill 78 such as New York and Paris. The weekly protests run it on Princess to remind people that was passed. Thornton said close to for around an hour, taking there is a Casseroles in Kingston.” 180 people attended. Ted Hsu, MP for Kingston Thornton also said a growing to downtown residential and commercial areas. Participants mistrust of local and national and the Islands, said he thinks hand out flyers to on-lookers politicians have discouraged the root cause of the international
unrest associated with Bill 78 is income inequality. “It goes beyond the dollar amount of tuition fees for students in Quebec,” he told the Journal via email. He also said that steps must be made to address income equality in the region. “We understand that the protests represent real concerns and that these real concerns are not going away,” he said.
Book brings students together Incoming first years will receive a copy of Charlotte Gill’s Eating Dirt B y R osie H ales Assistant News Editor A new reading program is giving incoming students something to talk about come September. This summer, every incoming first-year student will receive a copy of Charlotte Gill’s book Eating Dirt as part of the University’s first-ever Common Reading Program. The hope, according to the Student Affairs website, is that students will use the book as a springboard for discussion when they begin school in the fall. “The program aims to introduce first-year students to our academic culture and to the kind of reading, writing and critical thinking they will be doing at Queen’s,” Arig Girgrah, Assistant Dean of Student Life and Learning, told the Journal via email. In 2011, the University introduced the Academic Plan, which advocates providing “all students, regardless of their chosen program or discipline, with core competencies.” “It also stresses the importance of building community,” Girgrah said. “Over the last few years, there has been a recognition that at Queen’s, we need to do more in and out of the classroom to
support the academic transition to life as a Queen’s student.” The Common Reading Program was created in association with Kingston WritersFest, and will be funded in part by a grant, as well as funding and resources from Student Affairs. “The program, including printing and mailing books to students as well as organizing a public speaking event delivered by the author, is expected to cost about $65,000,” she said. This is the first year of the program at Queen’s, but other schools, such as McMaster University and the University of Calgary, have Common Reading Programs of their own. The program at McMaster is in its second year. At McMaster, students receive their copy of the book during summer orientation, which is also where most common reading activities occur. “We had a good percentage participate for the pilot year,” McMaster’s program coordinator Devin Dzelme said. Eating Dirt was one of a few books shortlisted with Kingston WritersFest and it won the 2012 BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. Eating Dirt will be mailed out to all incoming full-time
first-year students, separate from other first-year mail packages. “There are activities planned to engage everyone,” Girgrah said. “We have created a Facebook group and over the summer, people can discuss the book online.” Residence dons, graduate and upper-year students, and volunteer staff and faculty will then lead book discussions during fall orientation week. Eating Dirt documents author Charlotte Gill’s experiences planting trees in the forests Photo by Gina EldEr of Canada. The Common Reading Program is being introduced Thanks to a partnership between at Queen’s for the first time. Queen’s and Kingston WritersFest, “I know that other friends Gill will speak in an event open to sharing the same extracurricular all first-year students in September. experience before she started at other schools have done it. There will also be a book signing her undergraduate degree at the It brought them together with different groups of friends,” Lewis, and an essay contest, with the University of Toronto. “I feel that my job as a writer ArtSci ’16, said. “I’m definitely winner getting the opportunity to have lunch with Principal isn’t to tell anyone how to behave going to read it. It’s a good excuse or think, but simply to describe to meet girls.” Daniel Woolf. He thinks the program will be a “We thought the lunch would how it is from my angle,” she be an interesting opportunity for said. “When I remember my own good way to connect with people students to get to know the Principal post-secondary experience, I think I of different interests. “It means that even if I don’t and he is really keen to participate in would have felt relieved if someone the program,” Girgrah said, adding had told me I could relax into have anything in common with someone then I can spark a that other contest prizes will be the experience.” Incoming first-year Ben Lewis conversation right off the bat.” announced shortly. In an email to the Journal, said he thinks the Common — With files from Gill said she would’ve found it a Reading Program will be beneficial Holly Tousignant small comfort to know that several when it comes to developing new hundred other students were relationships at Queen’s.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Photo by gina elder
Programs offered abroad give students the opportunity to learn outside the classroom.
A school away from school Summer abroad programs offer an alternative to exchange B y A lison s houldice Features Editor This summer, hundreds of students will board a plane with the hopes of coming home with a course credit. For many of them, the classroom will come alive. Study abroad programs such as DEVS 305, the newly created Queen’s-Blyth partnership and a summer at Herstmonceux Castle have proved popular amongst students and offer alternatives to a traditional semester or year-long exchange. For Kelly Whiting, her trip to Havana earlier this May marked a moment of realization that the material she learned in the classroom was applicable to real life. She was one of approximately 30 students who partook in DEVS 305, Cuban Culture and Society. In the classroom portion of the course, students had learned about tensions between Afro-Cubans and Cubans of Spanish descent, two large cultural groups in the
country. Whiting said she observed the tensions firsthand, noticing racist behaviour from the police towards groups of Afro-Cubans. “It wasn’t until we were out wandering the streets in Havana that we witnessed what we had learned about,” Whiting, ArtSci ’12, said. “It became real for us.” Students taking the course spend the first two weeks in May taking classes in Kingston and the last two in Havana, Cuba. While in Cuba, students study at the University of Havana and have the opportunity to visit sites and interact with locals. “There’s nothing better than travelling,” Whiting said. “It’s the only way to learn.” Her interest in international programs marks an ongoing trend at the university towards the expansion of summer abroad experiences. DEVS 305 was Whiting’s third study abroad experience. Although the trip was worthwhile for her, she said it wasn’t her favourite.
“The Cuba experience was incredibly different from everything else I’ve done,” she said. “It’s not what I’d say an international experience is typical of.” For her, there was a strong focus on Cuba’s arts and culture in the course, but little to no recognition of the country’s history and politics. Although Whiting said she was happy with her decision to go, she also had some concerns about the pricing. She pays for her tuition through scholarships and bursaries and said the pricing was unreasonable and not transparent. In addition to hotel and flight costs, students are encouraged to bring school and medical supplies for Cuban students and pay for some of their meals while on the trip. “We’re coming from a place of financial privilege. If someone is showing me a city, I have no problem buying them a drink or taking them out for lunch,”
graPhic by ali zahid
she said. Though the prices in Cuba are cheaper than Canada, many of the places Whiting and her classmates were taken had comparable prices. “Of course I have more money [than them]. But it wasn’t fair of them to put that burden on me when I could barely pay for the course as is,” she said. Financial barriers are common problems with many study abroad options, with costs for some reaching higher than $9,000. Despite the cost, many study abroad programs are seeing increased interest. This year marks the start of a new summer study abroad option, Queen’s-Blyth Worldwide. 101 students signed up to participate this year. Both Queen’s students and non-Queen’s students are eligible to participate. 52 of the students enrolled in the program were from Queen’s. Queen’s-Blyth is a partnership between the University and Blyth Education, an organization that operates several private high schools in the Toronto area. In January 2011, an agreement was signed between the University and Blyth with the intent to partner for a program. Students spend three weeks during either May or June taking a course abroad. This year, programs are offered in Spain, Italy, France and Costa Rica. Queen’s is the only university that offers this program. Tom Gallini, Queen’s-Blyth international assistant at the International Programs Office said the strong demand for international experiences is shown through the number of applications the office receives for fall-winter exchanges. From 2008-12, there’s been a 40 per cent increase in applications from Queen’s students hoping to take part in a regular bilateral exchange. Because of enrolment limits, not all these students get the opportunity to go. The University’s summer programs, according to Gallini, offer great alternatives to exchange. Some of these programs are university-wide, such as Queen’s-Blyth, or department specific, such as ARTH 245 and CLST 409. According to Gallini, Queen’s-Blyth courses are ideal for students who are hesitant to spend a full year abroad, or who may not have the financial resources to do so. “For them it’s a really great way of still getting international
experience but not necessarily having to sign themselves up for a year on exchange,” he said. Queen’s-Blyth is looking to add additional courses and locations for summer 2013, while keeping the countries in which they currently offer courses. Although it’s too early to confirm how the expansion will occur, the office is looking to incorporate more non-European locations. Furthermore, Queen’s-Blyth is hoping to offer 6.0 credit unit courses next year, which would take place over five weeks. Currently, they only offer 3.0 credit unit courses. Through the partnership, Queen’s is responsible for all academic components, including choosing courses and instructors. Instructors are recruited from both Queen’s and outside universities. Credits received through the program are Queen’s credits. The Bader International Study Centre (BISC) at Herstmonceux Castle in England also offers summer programs for students who choose to stay on campus during the fall and winter semesters.
It wasn’t fair of “them to put that
burden on me when I could barely pay for the course as is.
— Kelly Whiting, ArtSci ’12
Digvijay Mehra, ArtSci ’14, is looking at the possibility of taking courses at BISC next summer to fulfill his program requirements. Mehra is hoping to get an international certificate on top of the major and minor components of his degree. In order to get the certificate, he said, you must spend at least a semester studying abroad. He said he sees distinct advantages in doing a summer program, as staying on campus during the fall and winter allows him to obtain enough credits for his politics major and stay involved with his extra-curriculars. Another perk for him is that BISC courses are Queen’s courses, so there’s no need to transfer credits. By going to BISC, students often give up the opportunity to make money through a summer job. Mehra said he sees it as a cost-benefit analysis. “The costs are losing out on that month or so of making money. But the benefits accrue over because you’re able to take in so many experiences at once.”
Some study abroad programs offer courses for many majors, while others are department-specific.
Photo by gina elder
4 • queensJournal.ca
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
‘No one is happy about this agreement’ already be covered. Yet, the $22.50 fee that students will pay if In May, the Board of Trustees approved the agreement is signed will apply to students a charge of up to $22.50 per student, with from all faculties, regardless of whether they Queen’s paying the difference. Under the buy course packs or not. AMS Vice-President of Operations previous agreement, Queen’s paid the entire Tristan Lee said 90 per cent of students who fee of $3.38. The AMS, the Society of Graduate and purchased course packs at the Publishing & Professional Students, the Queen’s University Copy Centre last year were from the Faculty Faculty Association (QUFA) and the Queen’s of Arts and Science. “While the AMS is happy that Access University Librarians and Archivists (QULA) are among those who have already spoken Copyright would bring down the overall cost of course packs, we are concerned about out against signing the licence. “No one is happy about this agreement. the distribution of those benefits among our Which strikes me as a reason not to sign it,” members,” he told the Journal via email. The Association of Universities and AMS Vice-President of University Affairs Colleges of Canada Vice-President and Chief Mira Dineen said. If signed, the new agreement would last Operating Officer Christine Tausig Ford said until December 31, 2015. From then on, the the pay-per-copy model doesn’t work well contract would be automatically extended for digital copying. Photo by tiffany laM by consecutive one-year terms unless schools Queen’s must make a final decision about signing the Access Copyright decide not to renew. While the AMS is happy agreement by June 30. Should any university not sign, they could that Access Copyright would This came after a motion to urge the audit at their request. face a $45 tariff per FTE, which Access bring down the overall Some of the agreement’s features include University not to sign with Access Copyright Copyright has proposed to the Copyright cost of course packs, we extending the definition of copying to was rejected at Senate on May 22. Board of Education. are concerned about the Mark Jones, a professor in the English include “posting a link or hyperlink to a The tariffs would cover the period that Queen’s operated without a licence, since distribution of those benefits digital copy” and documents sent by email. department put forward the motion. He “Under the model licence, there will feels that it would be irresponsible to sign the January 2011. among our members. be no monitoring or surveying of faculty agreement because of concerns over fees and Other schools like the University of and student e-mail communications or chat possible surveillance. Victoria have said they signed the agreement “Eight other universities have decided not rooms,” Tausig Ford clarified. “reluctantly as a strategy to mitigate the risk — Tristan Lee, AMS vice-president of operations The timing is another concern; Bill C-11, to [sign the agreement],” he told the Journal. of litigation by Access Copyright in the Those schools include the University of which passed in the House of Commons immediate future.” “Monitoring of all digital copying would on June 18, grants educational institutions British Columbia, Athabasca University, the “The concern of the AMS is that students at Queen’s will be forced to bear the cost of be intrusive, administratively burdensome, fair dealing, which means they get some University of Windsor and the University protecting against that legal action,” Dineen, and would not respect the principles of exemptions to copyright law, especially in of Winnipeg. “Obviously they do not feel that the academic freedom and privacy,” she told the regard to digital copies. ArtSci ’11, said. On June 7, the University announced potential financial consequences were going Under the previous agreement, students Journal via email. The Access Copyright agreement would its invitation for community members to to be ruinous to them,” Jones said. had to pay $0.10 per page of print for course packs to go towards royalties, but require Queen’s to keep a record of all comment on the licence through a webpage under the new agreement these fees will copies made which Access Copyright can created on the University Library website. Continued from page 1
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Principal’s Commission on Mental Health Chair Dr. David Walker said he looks forward to receiving student input.
joUrnal filE Photo
Report includes over 80 recommendations be harsh, we can set the example here by showing that you can combine high should look to raise funds to create a new academic standards and a community that Health and Wellness Centre,” Walker said. cares for itself and accepts that some people In addition to the relocation, the will have mental illness.” commission recommends health and Walker said the commission is most counselling be integrated and a review of interested in hearing what students have to HCDS be done. say about the recommendations. Walker said moving the services into the Natalie Munn, ArtSci ’13, has already ARC, or somewhere nearby, is one possibility had a chance to look over the paper. Munn for the relocation. has experience in mental illness-initiatives “It should be in a place where you can herself as a member of the Mental Health wander in there, and you can wander off and Awareness Committee (MHAC), but she get a Tim’s and chat with friends, rather than offered her opinions as a student at large. having to go sit in that sad building,” he said. “While the commission notably Another significant recommendation is recommends changes to academic policies in introducing a 13-week Fall term compared hopes of alleviating student-wide stress levels to the current 12-week term. The and gaining an overall promotion of wellness, proposed new term structure would begin I was disappointed to find that the paper on a Thursday and end on a Wednesday, focused much more on general health of the and would include the opportunity for a student body than it did on critical mental fall break. illness,” she told the Journal via email. The question of a fall reading week was Munn said she would like to see brought to AMS referendum in 2007 but contact-based education, which includes the was rejected by students. Had the vote passed, sharing of personal stories from those with the decision would have been non-binding. mental illness, implemented to reduce stigma. “Queen’s is one of the only universities in HCDS Director Dr. Mike Condra said Canada that has a 12-week term, so it’s really he thinks the recommendations regarding packed,” Walker said. HCDS are promising. “These are services that have been on A fall break, he added, still wouldn’t solve the campus now for 40 plus years,” he the problem of overly condensed courses. “I’m not sure people will buy that, but it’s said. “The environment around them keeps a discussion point.” shifting and changing.” The paper also touches on stigma. Walker said he hopes to see Queen’s Feedback on the report can be submitted to become an example for others by reducing firstname.lastname@example.org until October. mental health stigma on campus. “While the rest of the world may still Continued from page 1
Mental health recoMMendations Towards a Mental Health Strategy for Queen’s includes over 80 recommendations. Here are seven of them. • Enable students to drop marks that are negatively affecting their transcripts and their confidence. • Adopt an upper-year buddy program where senior peers with shared interests can offer advice or support to younger students. • Give first-years the opportunity to stay in their assigned room for a few days in the summer to ensure their smooth transition to campus life. • Develop a “neighborhood advisors” program where upper year or graduate students offer support to students living in the community. • Lobby the government for student loan flexibility so that in the event of breaks from school money isn’t lost. • Develop systems to identify first-year students in academic difficulty and create a program to help these students improve their academic standing. • Health, Counseling and Disability Services should review their opening hours to meet the different needs of students. — Rosie Hales
6 • queensJournal.ca
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Fine Arts decision eight months in the making Continued from page 1
indicates that they are not sufficient to sustain the current programme,” Smith wrote in a November email to students. Following that announcement, many students expressed concern over the future of the program. They held protests against the decision outside Robert Sutherland Hall and Summerhill, where they petitioned and held up paintings in an attempt to convince Queen’s administration to restore the program. “We were really heartened and helped by a lot of the feedback on this decision, the interest in the program and a lot of really constructive comments in and around what it’s done to the BFA,” Smith said. Following the announcement, AMS Assembly voted in favour of a motion to create a committee to investigate the university’s decision, and to work to restore enrolment to the program. The committee consisted of faculty members and one student from each year, with Smith as the chair.
The committee has discussed possible changes to the program, including allowing Fine Art students more opportunity to take electives. He said merging the program with other creative arts departments is something that has been brought up, but no official plans have been made. “That’s certainly something that the creative arts departments — that would be music, drama, media, fine art — have talked about from an administration perspective,” he said. He said the committee wouldn’t have agreed to reopen admissions if they weren’t optimistic about the future of visual arts at Queen’s. “The climate we’re in, nothing is safe,” he said. “All programs have to sort of rise to the challenges and that’s what we’re doing.” David Woodward, BFA ’13, sat in on a few of the weekly meetings the committee has held since November. He said members discussed a possible restructuring of the program, with a potential merge with the Film department. “There were ideas of merging
it with some components in the Film program and making it more of an open media BFA program and embracing more modern based work,” he said.
The climate we’re in, “nothing is safe. ” — Gordon Smith, associate dean of Arts and Science
He thinks this would tarnish the program’s reputation as it specializes in traditional art forms. “The Fine Arts program at Queen’s is primarily known for printmaking and painting and any kind of restructure like that could possibly be detrimental to its reputation,” he said. Last month, a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Academic Development (SCAD) released a draft proposal of recommended procedures for the suspension of admissions to academic programs. AMS Academic Affairs Commissioner Isabelle Duchaine, who acts as the AMS representative on SCAD, said she thinks the document was the result of a
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previous lack of clearly-outlined procedures for the suspension of admissions. “The complication that arose last year was that there was no clear indication of what that process was,” Duchaine, ArtSci ’13 said. The draft, which is available online through the University Secretariat, includes seven recommendations, including consulting affected individuals and groups, ensuring that alternative options to suspensions are explored and ensuring students currently enrolled in the program at the time of suspension are able to meet graduation requirements. The committee announced
last month that they’re seeking further input from the university community before sending the recommendations to a final vote in Senate in November. Duchaine said it’s especially important for students to have their say on the recommendations. “As the governing body of the University, students should have a powerful opportunity to make sure our voices are heard,” she said. “As in all aspects of university life, we must be consistently engaged, striving to remain active versus passive members of this community.”
Wang has a ‘big heart,’ friend says Continued from page 1
One of Wang’s former floormates, Lindsey Kaplan, alleged that Wang had a machete-style knife in his room in first year. Despite this, she never thought he was a dangerous person. “I could see him being kind of weird and trying to fit in, he tries to be all gangster and stuff, but I don’t think he would ever harm a person,” Kaplan said. Meg King, ArtSci ’14, also lived on Wang’s floor in Victoria Hall. “Although Shu has an interest in weapons, I don’t think he would ever use them to harm anybody.” she said. “I think he just didn’t
understand the gravity of his actions.” King said Wang always had a “big heart.” “He’d walk me home from the library if it was late at night,” she said. “Shu would do anything for his friends. He’s a very kind and protective person.” Wang and his family weren’t able to be reached for comment. It’s currently unknown whether whether he will face a trial. —With files from Katherine Fernandez-Blance
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Editorial Board Editors in Chief Katherine Fernandez-Blance
Assistant News Editors
rosie hales rachel herscovici vincent MataK
Megan cui alison shouldice
Assistant Arts Editor
Assistant Sports Editor
Postscript Editor Photo Editor
Janina enrile gina elder
Assistant Photo Editor
Editorials — thE Journal’s PErsPEctivE
“ultimately, the risks of this proposed program outweigh the benefits of innovation.”
Accelerated growth T
he Arts and Science Faculty Board’s recent proposal to implement an accelerated medical program at Queen’s is innovative, but requires more consideration. The current proposal presents countless risks that could lead to medical graduates that are too immature and ill-equipped to perform their duties as doctors. The accelerated program would accept students based solely on high school grades and allow them to begin medical school after only two years of undergraduate education. This isn’t nearly enough time for them to gain the life experience and maturity necessary to become full-fledged medical practitioners. The program is undoubtedly attractive to Queen’s because it’s so unique. Furthermore, it moves closer to medical programs in Europe and Asia that have proven to be successful.
However, the criteria for acceptance still aren’t stringent enough. Acceptance to a medical school out of an undergraduate program is extremely difficult for a reason — it ensures a standard of quality that only the best-equipped candidates can meet. There must be some sort of guarantee that those accepted to this program are of the same academic caliber as students accepted with a Bachelor’s degree — a guarantee that will be difficult to make. Results from standardized testing of some sort, preferably the Medical College Admission Test, must be included in the evaluation process for the students to ensure this consistency is met. The proposed program also fails to take into account some of the major challenges and
upheavals that students face in their undergraduate careers, like managing stress and building relationships with their peers. An undergraduate degree is an important time of exploration for students — a time for students to decide who they want to become and what path they want to pursue in life. By deciding that they want to pursue a career as a medical doctor in their grade 12 year of high school, the students are denied that important time of exploration. Ultimately, the risks of this proposed program outweigh the benefits of innovation. Faculty Board can’t simply go forth with this proposal because it’s the first of its kind — they must fully consider all of the potential liabilities before making a final decision.
— Journal Editorial Board
Web and Graphics Editor
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012 • Issue 2 • Volume 140 The Queen’s Journal is an editorially autonomous newspaper published by the Alma Mater Society of Queen’s University, Kingston. Editorial opinions expressed in the Journal are the sole responsibility of the Queen’s Journal Editorial Board, and are not necessarily those of the University, the AMS or their officers. Contents © 2012 by the Queen’s Journal; all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior permission of the Journal. The Queen’s Journal is printed on a Goss Community press by Performance Group of Companies in Smiths Falls, Ontario. Contributions from all members of the Queen’s and Kingston community are welcome. The Journal reserves the right to edit all submissions. Subscriptions are available for $120.00 per year (plus applicable taxes). Please address complaints and grievances to the Editors in Chief. Please direct editorial, advertising and circulation enquiries to: 190 University Avenue, Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3P4 Telephone : 613-533-2800 (editorial) 613-533-6711 (advertising) Fax: 613-533-6728 Email: email@example.com The Journal Online: www.queensjournal.ca Circulation 6,000 Issue 3 of Volume 140 will be published on Tuesday, July 31, 2012
ILLUSTRATION By HENRy LIU
Commitment to clarity T
he recently announced restoration of admissions to the Fine Arts program for 2013 is shrouded in mystery, demonstrating a lack of transparency from university administrators that has become a troubling trend. It’s a theme that has persisted since the program’s admissions for the upcoming academic year were suspended in November with little explanation or student consultation. Back then, the suspension was justified by the administration as a funding and enrolment problem — something students in and out of the program were quick to counter. While administrators might’ve hopedthattheissuewoulddiequietly, students were phenomenally active vocalizing the flaws in the policy. They did so through petitions and protests, effectively notifying the administration of their disapproval. This outcry has helped
admission into Fine Arts return, and take active steps to listen to but the full reasoning behind the what students have to say. Positive strides are already being decision remains cloudy. We don’t know whether the taken with the Senate Committee Fine Arts program will return on Academic Development’s recent in its original form next year or draft proposal on suspensions to as a shadow of its former self. program admissions. While the We also don’t know how these document recommends seeking budgetary issues that caused the input from the broader community initial suspension were cleared up before carrying out a suspension, this draft is coming too late. so quickly. There are two parties that Admissions to Fine Arts remain hold responsibility at this school suspended for 2012-13. The administration needs to to ensure that the return of the program is carried out correctly make sure that they seek student — the students and input and present any changes to the program openly before the administration. Students need to continue making further decisions about fighting to have their questions academic programs. Students answered. They succeeded at deserve transparency. raising their concerns effectively in the past. There’s no reason — Journal Editorial Board the same methods shouldn’t be implemented once more. At the same time, the administration needs to open up
he subject of sexual assaults is an uneasy one to approach, but, that kind of thinking is what keeps us from supporting the victims and giving them the courage to speak up. I remember how lonely and confused I felt as I struggled to cope with my assault, the most dreadful night of my life. I felt like I couldn’t come forward and cringed at the idea of someone else knowing what happened. According to Statistics Canada, sexual assault refers to “all incidents of unwanted sexual activity, including sexual attacks and sexual touching.” I was deeply unsettled when I saw that over 58 per cent of victims didn’t report their assault because they felt it wasn’t important enough. People may know what sexual assault means, but it simply isn’t a topic discussed amongst most individuals. Sexual assault is one of the most highly unreported crimes, with only 10 per cent of all cases reported in Canada. This is particularly worrying because, as reported by the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, nearly one in four women will likely experience sexual violence in their lifetime. People tend to conflate sexual assault with rape, forgetting that every manner of attack is different. These differing levels of severity can cause insecurities in the victim, leading them to question whether or not what happened to them was important enough to report. But, I believe that every incident is a crime no matter how big or small and should be treated as such. Just because someone stole a pack of cigarettes as opposed to a car doesn’t make them any less of thief. The same can be said of unwanted sexual advances. I understand why a victim may not want to go through the legal process — they would be stripped of their dignity as they relayed every detail of the crime committed against them. There must a dialogue between survivors and society — something that first requires reducing the stigma that surrounds sexual assault. Victims of any crime deserve justice. Victims of sexual assault are no different. Whether you choose the legal system or not, one thing I’ve learned on my journey is that there are others out there and we won’t be silent. Rachel Herscovici is an Assistant News Editor at the Journal.
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012
oPinions — Your PErsPEctivE
talking heads ... around campus PHoToS By TERENCE WoNg
What team are you cheering for at Euro Cup 2012? GRAPHIC By ALI zAHId
Magnotta video treads fine line Alleged recording of murder and dismemberment leads our panelists to debate how much gore is too much
Marie-Pier Guay, M.a. ‘13 german authorities arrested Luka Rocco Magnotta, the main suspect in a gruesome Montreal murder at a Berlin Internet café at the end of an international manhunt. Magnotta was extradited back to Canada on June 18 and is facing several criminal charges including first-degree murder of Jun Lin. An alleged video of the murder and dismemberment was shared on the Internet, resulting in gross misuse of technology and disrespect to the victim. The video shouldn’t have been given as much widespread attention as if it were ‘Call Me Maybe’. When it comes to striking criminal actions such as in the Magnotta case, various forms of media such as the video shouldn’t be used for entertainment purposes. It’s a realm that only the authorities should use as a way to monitor a certain situation. Linking his case to technological misuse, the alleged murder video wrongly appealed to and still appeals to an audience that feels entitled for this form of entertainment. What good exactly did a Montreal teacher expect when showing this video in class? What is there to learn or experience from the video? Whereas this media should have remained a private piece of evidence for the authorities. Social media websites for instance, appeal to most because we can exercise our right to freedom of speech and expression. Mark Marek, owner of ‘Best gore’, a website that hosts gory videos did go to the police with the video, but the authorities did not consider the video credible. Marek stated the purpose of his website was “educating” the public on the morbid capacities of human nature. But, he had no right to post the video in the first place. When the argument of freedom of speech and expression has been used to justify the existence of the video in public domain, the victim and his family are placed on the backburner. What about them? They have no input into the everlasting exposure of this video, because of course nothing ever gets erased once uploaded on the web. In another case involving explicit media, Quebec filmmaker
Remy Couture has been awaiting his trial for the past three years on the counts of corrupting morals through possession, production and distribution of material deemed obscene by way of depicting a fictional psychopathic murderer and rapist in extreme graphic ways. Couture recently said in an interview with the Globe and Mail that “there are some people who appreciate these extremes. There’s a clientele for everything and people who want to watch.” In contrast to the Magnotta case, Couture’s produced a fictional film for an audience. Lin was murdered. I consider fiction to be art; which therefore entails no criminal intent on the part of the filmmaker. However, Best gore instead presented the gruesome reality we allegedly know about today. What’s disturbing is that there’s a growing audience and market for these types of extreme deviant actions to be seen on the small or big screen. Are we now turning to reality rather than fiction in order to satisfy these needs? A line must be drawn somewhere between fiction and reality. As people take part of a growing technological society, they must therefore critically review the purposes for which everyday technology is used. Subtly, this entertainment tool entails a double-edged weapon as a form of surveillance because it’s always traceable. There’s no doubt that today’s Western societies are increasingly dependent on technology and media, as demonstrated by the Magnotta case. Perhaps Magnotta should’ve also reconsidered the value of how he last made use of technology since it ironically placed him in the café where he was caught researching himself. on the other hand, throughout this entire case, authorities used technology more effectively; as a social control tool rather than for entertainment in order to apprehend their number one suspect. In all, let’s respect the privacy of Lin’s family rather than perpetuating the circus show that Magnotta allegedly aimed to create in the first place. Use technology wisely. Marie-Pier Guay is a Master’s student in the department of Sociology.
Christian rojas, M.a. ‘13 The alleged killing and dismembering of Jun Lin in Montreal by Luka Rocco Magnotta, has been a source of great controversy. The displays of attention sought by Magnotta, (allegedly producing a video of the crime, having it go viral and mailing pieces of Lin’s body to different government offices and schools,) creates something unique in their own right. The facts around this case question the regulations of technology and whether the public should be kept away from pieces of evidence like this one. However, rather than going through cumbersome measures of regulation and surveillance, treating technology as an educational opportunity should be a key endeavour to better educate the public on issues of crime and crime commission. Calling for regulations on the use of technology in certain situations by limiting it to police investigation is cumbersome. Technology doesn’t cater to one specific population or deviant subculture. Rather, it grows and moves forward everyday, hoping to appeal to anyone that can make a use of it. The fact that it’s often used to promote acts of criminality is something that is bound to happen, and impossible to regulate. Perhaps, rather than regulate the results produced by the usage of technology, only making them available to police, criminalizing technology that assists in the committing of crimes would be a better tool. It’s also important to note that as the world moves forward, so does entertainment. We’re moving from a world that years ago sought silent movies as the premiere form of entertainment to today where reality-oriented television is at the forefront. This raises a question for the future; will “actual reality” become the main form of entertainment? The move to actual reality forms of entertainment can be seen by the controversy surrounding Mark Marek, the owner of “Best gore,” a website that specializes in reporting “on real events that take place at various places around the world.” Simply put, this site is where individuals can upload
videos of actual gore. It’d be speculative to say that the website is run for entertainment only. As Marek has reported, he wants to educate the public on the human condition through his website. It must be understood that social media websites cater to different groups of people, and thus, to place them all in one category is simply wrong. The video contains elements that can be used as “partial” education tools. Criminologists are trained to understand different socio-structural and personal issues that lead to different types of criminal behaviour. Having a look at Magnotta’s familial and personal background, a number of criminological theories are able to explain the alleged crime. When audiences untrained in criminology get a hold of this video, it becomes a partially educational experience. The partial educational experience creates “tunnel vision” for the audience, as they are only exposed to the commission of an act and not to its explanation. When these videos are made available, they should contain educational material that offers insight into the commission of a criminal act. At least by providing such information, the public could make a more informed decision on the side they choose. This partial educational experience was seen a few days ago when a Montreal middle school teacher was suspended for showing the Magnotta video, after a majority vote from students. Rather than just showing the video, the teacher should have given a deeper insight into the human condition to explain such acts of crime. To simply argue that technology should be regulated to keep the public from seeing these sorts of things is an impossible and controversial endeavour. By no means am I arguing that the alleged crime should be excused, rather, my argument is that people should be better educated about the reasons why these acts are committed to make a better judgment on this and future cases. It must be noted that criminal justice policy is reactive in nature, meaning it spurs from an act already committed. This case is extreme in nature, and it’s generally the extreme that leads to policy changes. Christian Rojas is a Master’s student in the department of Sociology.
“Either Spain or Germany.” tim clutton, coned ’10
“Italy!” leo eRlikhmann , aRtsci ’14
“England. Until they lost.” stephanie Johnson, aRtsci ’10
“Really close, but I’d pick Germany over Spain.” GeRGely mucsi, sci ’13
“They play soccer in Europe?” Rees BlanchaRd, aRtsci ’12
Have your say. Comment at queensjournal.ca
Tuesday, June 26 2012
Restricting choices creates more problems Recent policies take on a paternalistic approach that push individuals towards rash decisions
CraiG DraeGer, artsCi ’13 The Byzantine Emperor Leo VI prohibited his subjects from eating blood sausage in the 10th century because he found it “offensive and blasphemous.” Sadly, Leo’s philosophy of enforced public virtue is alive and well today. History has been littered with examples of righteous authorities attempting to shape the behaviour of individuals, for often ill-advised reasons. Each one of these attempts has come with unintended consequences and we are no stranger to this phenomenon today. Toronto’s city council just approved a ban on plastic shopping bags, with a goal of making shopping more environmentally responsible. This legislation was wellintentioned, but the cold reality is that most reusable plastic bags require the same amount of plastic and energy to produce as 28 single-use bags (subsequently taking much longer to break down in landfills).
history has been littered with examples of righteous authorities attempting to shape the behaviour of individuals, for often ill-advised reasons. Research also shows that only about 10 per cent of people take advantage of the reusable shopping bags they own. This will only get worse as competition pushes down prices and reusable bags get increasingly treated as single-use. Furthermore, reusable bags have been linked to health problems like norovirus — one study showed that 12 per cent of all bags contained E.coli bacteria a result of people failing to use them properly or clean them. None of this invalidates the use of reusable shopping bags of course, but people should be able to make the choice that is best for them — a harder decision when an authority restricts their options. This type of prohibition is happening everywhere. New york City has proposed a ban on the sale of large sugary drinks in order to fight obesity and related diseases. San Francisco banned Happy Meals last year to curb childhood obesity. Closer to home, Queen’s will cease to sell bottled water at campus outlets starting this fall, in accordance with a 2010 proclamation by Principal Daniel Woolf. While it’s undoubtedly within the rights of the university administration to ban bottled water on campus (within the confines of their existing contracts), is it really the right thing to do? Bottled water is a service as well
Queen’s will be stop selling plastic water bottles on campus, Toronto recently banned plastic bags and the administration is currently reviewing Queen’s alcohol policy.
as a good — people are actually purchasing the convenience of having a portable drink. When the Toronto District School Board instituted a trial ban, they found that most students switched over to soft drinks rather than drinking from fountains and a 2006 study showed that 70 per cent of adults purchase bottled water as an alternative to other bottled drinks. It’s seemingly not a substitute for tap water. At Queen’s, it’s also likely that many students will bring bottled water from home or buy it off-campus. But the ban is actually about symbolism, some say, and taking a stand against commercialization. Clean water must be a right for everyone, not a commodity for corporations to package and market like other consumer goods. Consider this however: producing one litre of domestic bottled water requires two to three litres of tap water. By comparison, one litre of soda takes 10-300 litres of water to produce, based on its ingredients. A litre of fruit juice can require over 600 litres of water to produce. If only a small portion of students choose to buy a bottle of soda or juice instead of drinking from a fountain, much more water will be expended than if they could simply purchase bottled water itself. If the purpose is to make people think about water as a human right, the ban will be a failure because more water will be used as a result. What good is a symbolic gesture that actually causes environmental harm? The symbolism argument also puts the cart before the horse — instead of trying to change a culture and make individuals more responsible for the decisions they make, banning products is a feeble attempt to legislate problems away. If you want to change minds, you can’t do it by limiting choices alone, but by confronting the root issues. otherwise, you’ll merely push people to go a greater length to get what they want. This summer brings another example of Queen’s frail attempts at prohibition. Throughout the upcoming months, the Alcohol Working group will be evaluating proposals to stem alcohol-related
incidents on campus. This may ultimately include closing campus bars before the legally required time or prohibiting certain kinds or quantities of alcohol from being sold there. Again, this would be completely within the rights of the university, which holds the liquor license under which campus bars operate, but is it the right thing to do? The stakeholders of the group have noble goals, but anything they propose that restricts student choices is not a solution, it’s a Band-Aid that may yield dangerous consequences. Putting the cookie jar on top of the fridge doesn’t make the child desire cookies any less; it just encourages them go to unsafe lengths to get what they want. The same is true in this instance — if students can’t get what they want in a safe and comfortable location, it won’t change their preferences, it will push them to go someplace unsafe. Changing rules on alcohol isn’t only a paltry stopgap measure, it’s a transparent attempt to disown liability for future events. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Leo VI wanted to improve people’s wellbeing, New york and San Francisco want to make people healthier, banning plastic bags and bottles is meant to make people less wasteful and restricting alcohol is intended to curb anti-social behaviour.
Putting the cookie jar on top of the fridge doesn’t make the child desire cookies any less; it just encourages them go to unsafe lengths to get what they want. But the world doesn’t work that way. If the objective of the water bottle ban is to reduce the use of bottles, then all bottled beverages must be banned, or else the only effect will be to shift consumption habits by removing choices. If the objective of the Alcohol Working group is to guide students toward making safer choices when drinking, the answer certainly isn’t to encourage unsafe choices. In both cases, there is an alternative — to take on the
underlying issues of personal responsibility to ourselves and each other. It wouldn’t be nearly as easy as wishing away our troubles, but it’s the only way to meaningfully
GRAPHIC By ALI zAHId
achieve our objectives. Personal responsibility cannot simply be engineered by ruler or legislator alone.
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Tuesday, june 26, 2012
graphic by ali zahid
Movie watching under the stars Students on a budget can enjoy their summer evenings with Downtown Kingston!’s Movies in the Square B y S avoula S tylianou Arts Editor Crowds were singing along to the crazy lyrics of “We Go Together” blaring in Market Square as Danny and Sandy sang to each other during the final carnival scene of Grease. Going to the movies was no longer a solitary experience. People weren’t reminded to turn off the lights — the sun would take care of that. This was the case last Thursday when over 200 people gathered for the first film viewing of the summer, put on for Downtown Kingston!’s Movies in the Square event. Movies in the Square is more than an ode to outdoor movie experiences that have been around for several decades — it’s a chance for community bonding. With an array of selections ranging from sports film
favourites to family friendly flicks, the event has been offered free of charge for the past six summers. Downtown Kingston!, an organization that puts on free local events are the masterminds behind the weekly summer event. They’re also responsible for events like FebFest and the Buskers Festival. Fourth-year student Leah Macnamara attended last Thursday’s viewing and Grease wasn’t the first film she had watched in Market Square because last summer she saw Father of the Bride. With no car, Movies in the Square offered Macnamara the experience she had always craved. She said the difference between movie theatres and outdoor movie viewing for her is that she’s able to talk to her friends without getting looks from other movie-goers. “You’re going for the social aspect just as much as for the
movie. You can have an area where you can sit and talk to your friends and still get a good view of the film,” she said. Project manager for Downtown Kingston! Alex Amodeo said movies that are shown in the square are chosen based on appropriateness. “People who come to the movie know what they’re coming for, but anyone can just be walking by and we don’t want tourists walking through Market Square with their ice creams and seeing nudity,” she said. Amodeo added that it is her goal to make sure no movie that has already been shown at a previous
Movies in the Square event gets repeated. Those who want to stroll down to the Market Square can do so with their lawn chairs on Thursday nights. Viewers can include anyone from families with little children to seniors from retirement homes. “My favourite thing that I’ve ever seen was this one woman who brought her five kids to a movie. She had this big bag and she sat the kids down and handed out five paper plates, then five napkins and then pulled out this big bucket of KFC,” Amodeo said. Local radio stations 98.3 Fly FM and 98.9 The Drive collaborate with Downtown Kingston by
posting a top 20 list of movies on their sites. People can then go on the website and vote for a top three. Grease proved to be a popular movie choice — by the end of the movie, people were dancing by the fountain in the square to the final song of the film. Some of the movies that will be playing this summer are Edward Scissorhands, The Lion King, The Sandlot and The Wizard of Oz. Movies will be shown in Market Square every Thursday until Aug. 30. A full schedule can be found at downtownkingston.ca
From tragedy comes triumph One band member’s break up inspired Parlovr’s second album B y M ark l ouie Assistant Arts Editor
Parlovr are one of 40 artists on the long list for the 2012 Polaris Music Prize this summer with their sophmore studio album titled Kook Soul.
photo supplied by chris becker
At the end of a love story fraught with woe and misfortune, Parlovr continues their pursuit of a happy ending through passion and musicianship. With a self-described ‘anti-romantic’ feel and vibe, Montreal-based band Parlovr splashed across the music scene with their sophmore album Kook Soul — a bonafide “breakup” record with just enough misery to make Adele weep. The lyrics may result in a flurry of tearstains, but make no mistake, they’ve got personal growth attached to their limericks, inspiration which can be traced to the personal lives of the band’s own Alex Cooper and Louis David Jackson. Cooper’s romantic past, a primary source of inspiration for the album’s concept, chronicles the
musician’s experience, drawn out as a progression of still lenses for the listener to view in full. “Alex went through a really terrible breakup and Louis had some really tough personal times of his own, so there’s some really tragic, depressing material lyrically,” drummer Jeremy Maccuish said. Cooper and his lady had taken on the world for the first time as 19-year-olds. They had lived together and had even dwelled on the prospect of marriage. The roots were set deep for a stark upheaval; but what could only have felt like the most forlorn of dénouements would give birth to a deeply contrasting artistry. After the couple stayed together through Cooper’s illness, they broke up in 2010 after a change of heart. The remedy for the heartbreak hangover is nothing but a good dose of “sloppy pop”. To See It’s on page 12
Tuesday, june 26, 2012
Downtown Kingston gets a taste of jazz Annual weekend event includes performances on porches and verandas around town B y S avoula S tylianou Arts Editor The usual peace and serenity of the Sydenham neighbourhood was pierced by the sound of cymbals and trumpets as they traveled into the streets on Saturday. This outdoor music performance, appropriately titled Porch Jazz, is one of the regular events at the annual Kingston Jazz Festival. I joined the group of jazz lovers at the Hochelaga Inn to hear the Skeleton Bones Quartet perform first, thinking every stop on the way would include smaller musical groups performing jazz standards on their veranda or porch of choice. But I was wrong — the stand out performance of the Saturday afternoon event came from the group that performed in between each of the porch stops. As we were walking along Sydenham St., the What Cheer? Brigade, hailing from Providence, Rhode Island, dominated the middle of the street with their loud tunes. There was no way to miss this group of 18 musicians holding their instruments and wearing black on a sweltering hot afternoon. Though the brass and drum band was a group of misfits with numerous piercings, tattoos, mohawks and ripped clothing between them all, their musical
The What Cheer? Brigade came from Rhode Island to perform at the annual jazz festival.
style was upbeat and inspired those on the street to dance along as they were walking from one location to the next. For jazz connoisseurs who were accustomed to a more structured jazz experience, the rest of the weekend provided formal indoor performances showcasing jazz artists from far and near. This year’s festival is the first to expand its horizons beyond North American acts. “We want to try to bring in a bigger spectrum of the top artists
really. That is, to get the best players in the world to come to Kingston,” said City of Kingston Cultural Director Brian McCurdy. On Saturday night, Swiss jazz trio Homburger/ Guy/ Niggli played at the Baby Grand Theatre as part of the festival. They also performed at the Ottawa Jazz Festival the next day. The band’s visit was funded through the government of Switzerland’s Arts Council and was made possible because they were playing more than one gig while away from home.
photo by gina elder
“We were approached by the Ottawa Jazz Festival to partner in having them perform,” McCurdy said. The trio is known for their eclectic mix of bass, violin and drums and their use of improvisation during their performances. This weekend marked the
second year the Kingston Jazz Festival has run since it took a break in 2010. The festival was previously run through the Kingston Jazz Society alone, but due to financial challenges, McCurdy said the festival came to a temporary halt. Last year the festival returned for the first time since its hiatus, with brand new sponsorship. It partnered with Skeleton Park Music Festival, another event that showcases local Kingston talent, to hold a jazz event later as part of the Skeleton Park Festival line-up. “It was timing. They have a whole weekend of events falling at the exact same time,” McCurdy said. “So we tried to work together to sort of have this jazz slot from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Saturday.” McCurdy added that Kingston can hold its own amongst bigger jazz festivals like the ones in Toronto and Montreal. “Kingston is much more intimate — you’re not going to be trampled by crowds,” he said. — With files from Leanne Gardner
Skeleton art in Skeleton Park Art show exhibits paintings, jewellery and ceramics B y vincent M atak Assistant News Editor Death doesn’t necessarily have to be a taboo subject — sometimes it can be rejoiced. When I first saw the work of artist Sherri Nelson, I found out that she drew most of her inspiration from the “Day of the Dead”, an annual Mexican holiday celebrated around the world that honours the dead. “I like the idea of portraying death in a positive light,” she told
me. “Death is so negative in North America, but it’s an inevitability, so why not celebrate it?” Sherri showed her work at the annual Skeleton Park Art Show, which took place on Saturday alongside its bigger artistic sister — The Skeleton Park Music Festival. The music started late, and I was left listening to the voices of artists and onlookers as they discussed, admired and bargained for different pieces of art. I walked up to Sherri as she
The cloaked victim on the surgical table in Modern Medicine represents Sherri Nelson’s belief that doctors don’t view patients as real people.
photo by colin tomchick chatted with the neighbouring Artist Sherri Nelson (right) stands with her daughter vender — a thin, elderly woman at the Skeleton Park Art Festival. Nelson says her art is inspired by death. who sells used Roxy and Joe Fresh t-shirts for twice the price. work on exhibition. People were soulless figures of death who treat Their conversation ended, and I scattered across the spotted, dewy us like we’re not people.” The Saturday art show grass and their voices echoed and moved in. was juried with a panel of “I’ve always been rather reverberated off the trees. It seemed fitting that Sherri’s judges consisting of two artists, twisted,” she commented. “I’ve always liked to paint stuff that was work was displayed at Skeleton one art professional and one a little out of the ordinary, stuff that Park, a park known to be the community member. Festival organizer Greg Tilson resting place of hundreds of puts people on their edge.” Sherri, who graduated from bodies below its serene setting of said the Skeleton Park Art Show usually sees between 30 to 40 Queen’s in 2003, said her degree in lush grass. All fifteen of her portraits hung artists and artisans come to exhibit Women’s Studies got her interested consecutively in a line from the their art during the free show. in alternative history. “It’s a really affordable “From that I became back wall of the tent. Much like interested in other cultures and the grass beneath her, the vivid way for artisans to present to their traditions which lead depiction of life stood in complete the neighbourhood and the me to become interested in the contrast to the haunting skeletal community,” he said. Tilson added that submissions “Day of the Dead” style art,” figures, complemented by the to the art show can range barren, lifeless dirt. she said. Not all of Sherri’s portraits from all different kinds of “It’s the story of poor and disenfranchised people and the derive their inspiration from the artwork like paintings, jewellery and ceramics. fact they view something we’re “Day of the Dead”. Tilson added that keeping the so terrified of as being happy and One work in particular portrays three skeletons dressed in hospital festival local is a priority for the celebratory, it’s inspiring.” Bright colours set the gowns peering over a cloaked body organization team. “We try to select a group of background for eerie skeletal on an examining table. It is meant figures dressed in party to protest against the Canadian artists that reflect the community attire — portraits which blended medical system. The piece is and reflect the different kinds of art being made there,” he said. “Every life and death. The skeletons, entitled Modern Medicine. “I painted it after I found out year we feature local artisans and figures of death, were celebrating, someone I was close to passed away local musicians. It’s always been relishing in the merriment of life. In the midst of the looming as a result of a medical procedure,” a collaboration.” oak trees of Skeleton Park stood she said. “It wasn’t done in a proper — With files from rows of white pitched tents way, and this painting depicts our Savoula Stylianou where artists were putting their medical system and our doctors as
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Tuesday, june 26, 2012
‘It’s bold with a ramshackle rock and roll sloppy pop’ Continued from page 10
achieve that effect, the band infused poppy, uplifting sounds with their haunting lyrics to counterbalance and create an inevitable juxtaposition. “It’s bold with a ramshackle rock and roll sloppy pop,” he said, adding that the band has “less
flick” than what a lot of indie rock sounds like today. Despite playing with big name acts like Franz Ferdinand and the Artic Monkeys on their cross-Canada tour, the band still stay in humbling accommodations. “Because we’re too poor to afford hotel rooms, we go on tour and most of the time, we
don’t know where we’re gonna be sleeping,” he said. “So after shows, even if we’re exhausted and we’re sweaty, we try to make as many friends as possible and then we end up crashing on someone’s floor.” The band will be making their way to Kingston to play at this year’s Wolfe Island Music Festival
from Aug. 10 to 11. For lovers of their sound, their tour and new album is not the last you’ll hear from them this summer — Parlovr is planning to release 10 songs “leftover” from their album. The band’s latest album, Kook
Soul, has also been long-listed for the Polaris Music Prize honour. Parlovr is playing at the Mansion on June 29.
Keep up to date on Kingston’s art, music and theatre scene
Follow @QJArts on Twitter Get Out there Theatre Grand Theatre The Be Good Tanyas July 25 at 8 p.m. See kingstongrand.ca
Little Tiny Hearts and Outshined July 6
The Mansion Alex Leggett CD Release July 21
The Mansion Alex Bien Band July 7
The Grad Club Chad Van Gaalen July 25 at 10 p.m. $15 See ticketscene.ca
Music The Mansion Take Me to the Pilot + Fairview + Man Club July 4 at 7 p.m. $8, all ages The Mansion Amos the Transparent +
The Mansion Ianspotting + Purpine July 11 Time to Laugh Comedy Club Blind Witness + Betrayal July 15 at 6 p.m. $12
The Mansion Teddy Geiger July 28 at 7 p.m. All ages
What We’re Listening To Put on your patriotic hats because your July first just got a little bit more colourful. The Journal brings you songs for the ultimate Canada Day BBQ playlist. 1) ‘Loyal Man’ by Yukon Blonde 2) ’O Canada’ by Classified 3) ‘The Hockey Song’ by Stompin’ Tom Connors 4) ‘Fireworks’ by the Tragically Hip 5) ‘Prairie Wind’ by Neil Young
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Gaels seek edge Queen’s teams face summer challenges B y N ick Faris Assistant Sports Editor Men’s rowing captain Rami Maassarani is on the water at the Kingston Rowing Club seven days a week. For him and many other Gaels, the end of the school year doesn’t signify a time to rest. “We’re on the water at least once a day, usually twice,” said Maassarani, who’s entering his fifth season with the Gaels. In addition to two or three weight-lifting sessions a week, rowers cross-train through a variety of other exercises, including running and cycling. The greatest obstacle the Queen’s team faces over the summer season is a lack of available bodies, which leads to an extended adjustment period when the team reconvenes in the fall. Unlike Queen’s, many OUA teams are composed primarily of students from the area, allowing them to train together during the school off-season. Most Gaels rowers return home for the summer months, preventing them from training in larger crews. In team sports such as soccer and rugby, players can continue to play in competitive leagues at home. Rowers, conversely, are separated from the same team environment with their hometown clubs. Water training sessions are instead focused on improving individual times and technique. “You have to trust that everyone else on the team is putting in the same amount of work as you are, for the same common goal — the OUA title,” Maassarani said.
The men’s hockey team recruits prospects from as far west as British Columbia. Prospect Point, located in Vancouver’s Stanley Park, is pictured above.
The Queen’s wrestling team faces a similar exodus during the summer, which allows its members to concentrate on personal fitness training. Most wrestlers tailor their off-season workout plans around maintaining or dropping mass in order to slot into a certain weight category for the upcoming season. Many are eager to cut weight in order to use their existing strength to their advantage. “I’m trying to go down one category because I feel more comfortable using my strength against smaller girls,” said Yi Quan, a third-year wrestler on the Gaels women’s team. To drop weight while maintaining strength, Quan and her teammates focus their workouts on endurance and power. “Wrestling matches are only two minutes long, so you have to do a lot of explosive workouts,” Quan said. “I think strength is the main component.” Although the Queen’s team trains with the Kingston Wrestling Club during the OUA season, their partnership ends for the summer.
Western connection Men’s hockey coach Brett Gibson looks outside Ontario to recruit B y Peter M orrow Sports Editor It’s no coincidence that the men’s hockey program has a Western Canadian core. Men’s hockey coach Brett Gibson’s player recruiting strategy looks westward to avoid the cluster of Ontario’s 18 other university hockey programs, all competing for top players. Ten of the team’s 26 players in 2011-12 hail from the west, and others are set to join in 2012-13. “When I took over this program, I knew I had to find a niche,” Gibson said. This recruiting niche starts in Manitoba and stretches out to B.C. It’s a vast area, and a road largely untraveled by most coaches in the OUA, who are attracted mainly to the OHL — Ontario’s top junior hockey league.
See Maintaining on page 15
Men’s rowing captain Rami Maassarani begins training at 5:15 a.m. every day.
PHOTO BY GINA ELDER
PHOTO BY GINA ELDER
“I was walking around the rinks in Ontario, and I’m tripping into [coaches from] 18 different schools in the OUA.” Gibson said. “Whereas I go out west, and I’m one of the only guys out there. But now we’re seeing a lot of schools [this year] starting to copy the trend — we’re seeing York and a couple others out west now.”
I took over “thisWhen program, I knew I had to find a niche. ” —Brett Gibson, men’s hockey coach
Six years ago Gibson tabbed former captain Jon Lawrance as his first Western Canadian recruit. A Winnipeg native, Lawrance went on to score 100 points during his Gaels career. Through Gibson’s own playing and coaching careers, he developed a network of contacts out West. His primary scout is former Gaels captain Jeff Ovens, who’s employed by the school to find the top hockey players in the Western region. Gibson provides Ovens with a preliminary list of potential recruits every winter. After Ovens makes his recommendations, Gibson travels to Western Canada to decide which players best fit the Gaels program. But attracting the diamonds in the rough of the Western junior leagues is still a tough challenge. Gibson said he lost six players to NCAA schools in the United States this year alone. Tier 1 junior teams are considered professional teams under NCAA legislation, preventing them from recruiting former Canadian Hockey League players. But many higher-end tier 2 players choose the American route because of athletic scholarships,
which aren’t offered in the CIS. “The challenge is dealing with those [NCAA] schools, which you completely avoid in the major junior leagues [such as the OHL].” Resorting to tier 2 junior leagues to find players can be risky, as the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) is widely considered the most skilled junior league in Canada. But when the best of tier 2 are up against the lesser of tier 1, player comparison is more subjective. “I’d rather have a top tier 2 player who played on the powerplay, played on the penalty kill, played a regular shift.” Gibson said. “He’s more prepared to jump in right away, compared to the OHL player who only played seven minutes a night.” Among the top Western recruits for next season is Andrew Wiebe, captain of the Portage Terriers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL). Gibson also recruited defenseman Jordan Auld of the OHL’s Brampton Battallion.
have “a I’dtoprather tier 2 player
who played on the powerplay, played on the penalty kill, played a regular shift.
—Brett Gibson The Gaels finished eighth in the OUA’s East Conference last season, and Gibson says the team won’t settle for eighth place again. “Recruiting is crucial nowadays. You’ve got to have good players to win and it’s getting more competitive across the country.” Wiebe and Auld are two big names, and they’ll be joined by at least four other rookies come September, totalling to 14 players from Western Canada.
14 • queensJournal.ca
TUESDAY, JUNE 26, 2012
Can Kingston support professional basketball? Kingston’s not known as a basketball city, and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. On May 31, the National Basketball League of Canada announced that it received applications from five Ontario cities for potential expansion franchises: Kitchener, Mississauga, Ottawa, St. Catherine’s and Windsor. The NBL is looking to expand following its debut season, featuring seven
teams in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes. Conspicuously absent from the list of interested cities was Kingston. The city was slated to field an expansion team for the 2011-12 NBL season, but was unable to reach an agreement with the proposed ownership group. With the application deadline passed, there’ll be no NBL team in Kingston for at least another year.
By Nick Faris Assistant Sports Editor
By cLark arMstroNG Contributor
Poised to expand into an untapped Ontario market, the NBL should look no further than Kingston. The four-year-old K-Rock Centre would be the primary attraction for any prospective franchise. With just one other tenant — the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs — occupying the arena, there should be no trouble accommodating another sports team. The NBL team’s 18 regular-season home dates would have to be scheduled around the Frontenacs, but the logistics shouldn’t hinder any negotiations. Five of the NBL’s seven franchises split arena time with their respective local junior hockey teams. While the Frontenacs’ struggles to attract university students to their games have been well documented, the club has done little to mobilize the Queen’s community. A new NBL franchise could partner with the Gaels’ basketball teams and hold exhibitions at the ARC, a move that could spur interest in both the pro franchise and the Queen’s basketball program. To have long-term success, the NBL and its teams must be committed to fostering basketball development at all levels. It would be wise for the new NBL team to form a relationship with the Kingston Impact, the largest youth basketball organization between Ottawa and Toronto. With over 600 players and 17 competitive teams, the Impact’s success demonstrates that there is a flourishing market for basketball in Kingston, one rivaled by few Ontario cities. By offering ticket deals to local recreational and competitive clubs, the NBL team would engage players and their families, turning young athletes into dedicated and potentially long-term fans. The presence of other professional sports teams, most notably, Kingston FC, shouldn’t deter the NBL from expanding to Kingston. While the Canadian Soccer League season ends in early October, the NBL doesn’t tip off until November. An NBL franchise wouldn’t be faced with the same challenges as Kingston FC — particularly, the difficulty of surviving as a summer team in a town largely sustained by its university population. By mandating that each team carry at least two Canadian players on its roster, the NBL has committed to promoting the development and success of homegrown basketball players. At the same time, it’s essential that the league strive to develop the game of basketball within Canadian cities. With a lively student population, burgeoning youth programs and a beautiful new arena, Kingston is ready to accommodate a professional basketball team.
In May 2011, seven basketball teams joined together to establish Canada’s NBL. If the development of the league was unknown to you, don’t worry — the league has largely failed to garner widespread media attention or fan interest. Spanning a geographic area from Southern Ontario’s London Lightning to Halifax’s Rainmen — including the likes of PEI’s Summerside Storm and New Brunswick’s Moncton Miracles — the NBL seeks to become no less than “one of the leading basketball leagues in the world.” Kingston may be amongst the next crop of cities to join the NBL as it looks to fulfill its ambitious mandate. There are still several reasons why it should refrain from joining at this time. The NBL hasn’t proven itself to be a commercially viable or sustainable league, and there’ve been many failed sports leagues in North America that have expanded too quickly for their own good. The original National Basketball League, for instance, was founded in 1993. Despite the anticipation surrounding its inception, the league folded midway through its second season. Professional basketball itself is far from a proven commodity in a country where hockey rules. A city as big as Vancouver couldn’t even sustain a team in the NBA, the world’s most prolific basketball league. A local basketball team risks oversaturating Kingston’s sports community, which includes the newly-established Kingston FC pro soccer franchise. Kingston FC needs ample time to develop a distinct fan base before other professional teams move into the city’s limited sports market. Given that most NBL teams play in larger venues, Kingston’s team would presumably play its 18 home games at the K-Rock Centre with its 5,700 seating capacity. With no alternative venue, sharing the arena with the Frontenacs could pose a problem, because their seasons would coincide. The NBL has largely been concentrated in the sparsely populated Maritimes, where professional sports options are few and far between. In larger markets like Quebec and Ontario, better-established and higher-quality sports leagues dominate the competition for fan support. This isn’t to say that the NBL is an unfeasible undertaking. Rather, its expansion into new markets must be undertaken with considerable caution. For as long as basketball is a shadow in the Canadian sports community, Kingston isn’t the place for an NBL team.
7,521 fans attended the June 9 rugby test match at Richardson Stadium.
PHOTO BY GINA ELDER
Canada tops US Gaels program plays role in important test match B y Peter M orrow Sports Editor Rugby Canada can add yet another Can-Am trophy title to its history books. Canada defeated the United States 28-25 on June 9 in front of 7,521 fans at Richardson Stadium. It was their 23rd Can-Am Trophy triumph out of 34 meetings since 1977. Canada’s victory came with a price, when a key starter got injured five minutes into the game. Former Queen’s player Sean Duke saw his day end early when he collided with a US forward off the opening kick-off, sustaining a concussion. Five minutes after the hit, Duke said he realized the injury was serious. “I just remember lying there with his leg over top of me, then I tried to get up and just fell.” Duke said. “I don’t remember what
happened, and I only remember two of the scores from the first half.” The match had the imprints of the Gaels rugby program all over it. In addition to Duke, current Gael Liam Underwood and head coach Peter Huigenbos are with Team Canada for its summer exhibition series. Former women’s rugby coach Jon Phelan led the local organizational committee that brought the match to Kingston. Duke suited up for the Gaels from 2006-07, before transferring to the University of Victoria to train with the Victoria-based Canadian national team. He was named Canada’s 2011 Rugby 7’s Male Player of the Year. In 2009, Underwood helped lead the Gaels to their first OUA title since 2001. At the Canada-US match, Underwood sat as See We on page 15
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
‘We came through at the end’
Follow @QJSports on Twitter.
Continued from page 14
one of the new members of Team Canada but didn’t dress. A week later, Underwood became the 20th player from Queen’s to suit up for the Canadian national squad. He dressed as a reserve against Italy on June 15 in Toronto, but didn’t see the field. The game featured several generations of rugby players who took part in the action. The half-time show featured games played by the Kingston Panthers rugby club’s youth teams, while a full match between alumni of the Canadian and US national teams preceded the game. The alumni game was also won by Canada. The first half of the Canada US match — ranked 13th and 17th respectively by the world International Rugby Board — saw Canada leading 20-18 in an end-to-end offensive battle. Although Canada controlled play, the Americans capitalized on turnovers to keep the game close. “We got into how they were playing, a bit frantically, and they made us pay for it,” said Kieran Crowley, head coach of the Canadian national team. In the slower second half, Canadian fullback James Pritchard kicked a penalty conversion to top off his 13-point game. In the 71st minute, Canada’s DTH van der Merwe returned a kick, broke two tackles and made a pass to first-time Canadian captain Aaron Carpenter for the game-winning try. The Americans responded with a try and a conversion in the 78th minute, but the match ended 28-25. “We tried our best to chuck it away I think, but we came through at the end,” Crowley said. Canada lost 26-12 to Italy on June 15 in Toronto, and defeated Georgia 31-12 in Burnaby, B.C. on June 23.
PHOTO BY COLIN TOMCHICK
Canadian fullback James Pritchard scored 13 points against the United States on June 9 at Richardson Stadium.
For cANAdA-US MATcH HigHligHTS, go To QUeeNSJoUrNAl.cA/SporTS
Maintaining form Continued from page 13
To combat the monotony of individual weight training, wrestlers work out in pairs or find ways to train outside of the gym — Quan, for instance, works as a lifeguard. Gaels lacrosse players also face their own unique offseason challenges. Although Canadian teams compete in field lacrosse in the fall, there are no organized outdoor leagues in the summer. University players are forced to turn to box lacrosse, which is played indoors on a floor the size of a hockey rink. “Field lacrosse is a lot more strategic,” said Zane Yassein, who’s going into his second season with the Queen’s men’s team. “Since
the playing surface is so big, you can spread out and run more plays. Box is much faster-paced, and you’re only on the floor for short bursts. You really have to rely on instinct and vision.” Because box lacrosse is played in a significantly smaller area than field lacrosse, passing and shooting skills are greatly enhanced. Although Yassein won’t suit up in a competitive field game until he returns to Kingston in September, he believes that a summer spent indoors will only benefit himself and his teammates. “Once you’ve made the transition to field lacrosse, the skills developed from playing box definitely make you a better allaround player.”
SPORTS IN BRIEF National champs join kingston Fc women The Kingston FC women’s team has added nine players from the Queen’s two-time national champion women’s soccer team. The club, which competes in the Ontario Women’s Soccer League (OWSL), has 11 current or former Gaels on the roster this season. Gaels strikers and OUA all-stars Kellie Chamberlain and Jackie Tessier have returned to the team this summer. Kingston FC has also welcomed OUA player of the year Riley Filion, who leads the team in scoring. Queen’s goalkeepers Sabrina Carew and Chantal Marson, midfielders Chantal McFetridge, Julia Cory and Heather Ridgway and defender Mikyla Kay form the other new additions. Former Gaels Sarah Buckham and Shannon Hyslop are also members of Kingston FC. The additions promised a significant boost for the club, who finished third in the WSL’s Eastern Division last year, losing in the first round of the playoffs. Despite the influx of national champions on the team, they’ve had a mediocre
start in season play, with a record of 1-2-1. The team has started stronger, in League Cup play. Kingston FC secured two victories and a draw in the first cup tournament, held in Bolton in early June. “We’ve really started to gel as a team,” said Gaels midfielder Riley Filion. “It’s easy to play well when you’ve been playing with most of these girls for a while.” The Kingston FC of the OWSL isn’t affiliated with the men’s team of the same name. — Jordan Cathcart
Aprile returning to Queen’s After a brief stint in the CFL, Giovanni Aprile is returning to the Gaels. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers released Aprile on June 21 upon his own request. Drafted 16th overall by Winnipeg on May 3, Aprile recorded three tackles in two preseason games before deciding to come back to Queen’s. “[The Bombers] were kind of disappointed, but were behind me
finishing school,” Aprile said. A potential long-term solution at safety for the Bombers, Aprile was unlikely to see playing time outside of special teams this season. With one year of CIS eligibility remaining, he’ll return to a Gaels squad whose core remains mostly intact. After finishing 6-2 in 2011, Queen’s was eliminated in the OUA semifinals by McMaster, the eventual Vanier Cup champion. “We’ve come together a lot as a team,” Aprile said. “There’s great experience with our starters, and we’re hoping to go a long way this season.” — Josh Burton
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Last Issue’s answers
16 • queensjournal.ca
Tuesday, june 26, 2012
poStScrIpt The Sexual Health Resource Centre is an on-campus retailer of BDSM toys, like a trick belt (left), leather cock ring, harness kit and leather ball stretcher (right).
Photo by gina elder
When domination rules the bedroom Local group Kingston Kinksters is a social and educational outlet for people interested in BDSM B y J anina E nrilE Postscript Editor Soft-spoken and well-mannered, the voice on the other end of the phone isn’t what people typically see as someone who enjoys BDSM — a practice that encompasses bondage, discipline, domination, submission, sadism and masochism. I’m speaking with Gaelach, a single mother in her 40s. She has a nine-to-five job and, now that the summer weather is here, regularly attends barbecues with family and friends. Gaelach is her “scene name” — an alias used by those who wish to protect their identity for what’s often still seen as a sexual taboo. Gaelach and her partner Renshu regularly engage in BDSM in the bedroom. “We met through friends who were also into BDSM,” Gaelach said. It was a friend that first introduced her to the BDSM community. “That person had recognized in conversation … things I had said about the way I thought [and] the way I felt about things,” she said. “[They] recognized that I was a person who might be on a different side of things, and who kind of exposed me to the community very gently.” Gaelach and Renshu are part of the Kingston Kinksters, a group of people with similar alternative sexual interests. The umbrella term of BDSM covers a wide variety of activities. It can range from restraints and blindfolds to psychologically humiliating actions — like using degrading comments in bed. The common factor here is that use of these consensual actions end in sexual arousal. The Kingston Kinksters provide social and emotional support for people interested in BDSM. The group was started in early 2011 and now has upwards of 250 people involved, including some Queen’s students. “They provide a lot of education and activism and fundraising in the local community so that people who practice alternative sexuality aren’t persecuted because of their forms of expression,” she said. Outside of these communities,
Gaelach has faced the cold shoulder from her peers. “I personally have experienced some difficulty because of my choices [from] people who have found out just through conversation … or they suspect something,” she said. “Not everyone takes it well.” While bestselling books like 50 Shades of Grey help bring BDSM into the public eye, Gaelach said the media helps propagate a negative image of the community. “The public generally think everyone wears six inch thigh-high boots and carries a whip, that kind of thing,” she said. “Really, if you met most of our BDSM friends, you wouldn’t know if they were different from anyone else.” Film and TV shows typically represent BDSM practitioners as people who are into leather and pain — a very strict image of what it means to have a certain sexual preference.
you met most of “ourIf BDSM friends, you wouldn’t know if they were different from anyone else.
— Gaelach, BDSM practitioner
BDSM activities are said to date as far back as the second century. The Kama Sutra, an ancient Indian Hindu text on the art and practice of sexual love, describes pleasure-inducing hitting practices that could be seen as precursors for today’s idea of BDSM. Despite the practice’s public image, Gaelach says it involves developing a genuine connection between partners — much like any other intimate liaison. Through communication and trust, Gaelach says that this sexual expression helps her feel closer to her partner. “You develop a relationship with a partner, not a kink, and it’s really about trust and communication and intimacy just like any other relationship,” she said. Though achieving closeness may be the end goal with some BDSM relationships, Meredith Chivers, assistant professor in the department of psychology, said there are certain things that make a person more likely to try BDSM.
“The people who gravitate on campus. everyone participating is consenting towards BDSM are people who Sexual Health and Resource and informed of any risk that might have a certain degree of openness Centre (SHRC) Director Marvin be involved,” he said. to new experiences and are a bit Ferrer said a lot of BDSM-interested To avoid any danger, Ferrer sensation-seeking to begin with,” clients wonder if they’re normal. suggests using a safe word. she said. “We reassure them that there’s “It’s more useful if you’re Chivers has researched no such thing as weird, especially engaging in some sort of role play peoples’ responses to atypical in the realm of sexuality,” Ferrer, or activity where someone will sexual interests. PhD ’14, said. say ‘no’ where they mean ‘yes,’” While there’s no concrete The SHRC stocks items like he said. hypothesis that illuminates the floggers, whips and restraints — all “To get around the consent psychological reasoning behind of which sell well. issues there, you use a safe word BDSM, Chivers said her research While anyone is free to explore to signify when you really, really has revealed that interests BDSM, Ferrer said one must mean no.” sometimes emerge from an remain risk-aware. earlier experience. “Every interest is okay as long as “There are some individuals who will have a narrative that describes some kind of key childhood experience or adolescent experience that for them seemed to galvanize a sexual interest,” she said. “For example, I remember talking to one person who’s a rubber fetishist and he was a masochist as well. “He had recalled very fond memories of a rubber raincoat he had when he was a child.” Although infamous serial killers like Paul Bernardo and Russell Williams have been noted as sexual sadists, Chivers said there’s a big difference between being criminally sadistic and sadistic in the BDSM sense. “It has to do with how antisocial they are,” she said. “People who … commit sadistic sex crimes, part of that interest is in being coercive.” There are many things that are incorrectly perceived about BDSM, according to Chivers. “One of the common beliefs about BDSM is that sadists are always sadists or masochists are always masochists,” she said, “but my experience has always been that there’s always flexibility. “People may always have their preferences but it’s not uncommon for people to switch.” Though some say that the media portrays BDSM negatively, Chivers says the media has helped BDSM become less of a taboo. “I think that it’s become a lot more mainstream,” she said. “I think that [50 Shades of Grey] is proof — I think it’s very interesting that a book that has so many BDSM overtones is selling like hotcakes.” With BDSM’s increasing public Photo by tiffany lam exposure, students may find it It’s not uncommon for people to switch preferences useful to seek sexual education between sadism and masochism when it comes to BDSM play.
Volume 140, Issue 2 -- June 26, 2012