the journal Queen’s University
Vol. 148, Issue 21
Friday, February 26, 2021
Situated on the 0 traditional lands of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples.
Clanny Mugabe is a second-year student in the faculty of arts and sciences. She’s currently majoring in English and would describe herself as heavily inspired by world mythology, speculative fiction, and character design. She draws primarily digitally, and each digital painting often has a spiritual/mythological element to it. To see more of her artwork, visit queensjournal.ca/arts
Editors’ Note: Black History Month Issue The Queen’s Journal, Issue 21, was originally intended to be our first Black History Month Issue. While we campaigned for Black contributors and planned extensive Black History Month content, we were unable to garner the amount of engagement from Black students we had hoped for. We’re writing this Editors’ Note to acknowledge this lack of engagement. As a 148-year-old institution, The Journal has failed Black students at Queen’s, oftentimes creating an unwelcome and unsafe space for them. We realize this relationship cannot be remedied overnight and is, in part, one of the contributing factors to the lack of engagement with Black contributors for this issue. While we’re still publishing our Black History Month content, we wanted to acknowledge this lack of engagement to avoid tokenizing an important month in the Black community. We’d also like to express our sincere gratitude to the Black contributors who worked with us on this issue. We hope The Journal can continue acting as a platform
for your experiences, talents, and abilities—all of which should be celebrated by the entire Queen’s community and this newspaper. Raechel Huizinga and Matt Scace Editor in Chief and Managing Editor email@example.com
Moving forward, our Vol. 149 editors are excited to re-evaluate our approach to a Black History Month Issue. It’s incredibly important to us that, if we are to proceed with the issue next year, we are doing so after taking the appropriate first steps to improve our reporting on Black issues, diversify our masthead, and build relationships with campus equity organizations. In Vol. 149, the development of the Black History Month issue will only proceed if we are able to partner with a Black organization on campus and secure honoraria for those outside of staff who contribute to the organization and content of the issue. If those conditions are met, the Black History Month issue will not be put together on a normal Journal ‘press day.’ Instead,
we will compile and edit content for the issue over the course of weeks, or potentially months. Contributors will have the opportunity to learn more about our editing process, express their concerns and input wherever relevant, and access resources we have available for writing, illustrating, filming, or photographing. The issue will be released as a special digital edition on the Journal site in February 2022. Again, we would like to acknowledge that we do not want to go through with a Black History Month issue until and unless we are able to take the steps needed to begin honouring and better serving Black voices. We are excited to begin implementing a range of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigeneity (EDII) initiatives in Vol. 149 and share those activities with the Queen’s community as they develop. Aysha Tabassum and Shelby Talbot Incoming Editors-in-Chief
QBAS celebrates Blackness this Black History Month J ulia H armsworth Assistant News Editor This month, Queen’s Black Academic Society (QBAS) is celebrating Blackness and fostering productive discussions about Blackness at Queen’s. There are a series of virtual events happening on campus to celebrate Black History Month (BHM) this year, many of which were organized by QBAS. QBAS hosted Food for Thought on Feb. 18 in collaboration with Queen’s University Muslim Student Association (QUMSA). The two associations went live on Instagram together, cooking cultural Muslim food and discussing the intersectionality of being Black and Muslim. “I think too often we neglect to understand that when we look at things like Islamophobia or […] anti-Black racism, there is a place where these two come together,” Catherine Haba, president of QBAS, said in an interview with The Journal. According to Haba, both the QBAS and QUMSA representatives who ran the event self-identify as
both Black and Muslim. They went through the recipes step-by-step, so students could follow along. Viewers were encouraged to participate in the discussion even if they didn’t wish to cook. Haba said the event saw “good” turnout and that students commented that they identified with the topics being discussed. “It was mainly an opportunity for us to celebrate [this intersectionality] by having a discussion about these different topics and the experiences of Black Muslim students, which is not often spoken about,” Haba said. QBAS hosted a Soul movie night on Feb. 20, along with Queen’s Collage Collective and ResLife. The event took place over Zoom, and students could watch the movie while collaging. “We really wanted to watch a movie that didn’t have any kind of traumatic representation of Black narrative or Black story,” Haba said. “We just really wanted to go for a feel-good movie.” SEE QBAS ON PAGE 5
In this issue: Educators talk diversifying curricula, page 6 . The importance of abortion representation, page 8 . “Queen’s-Athabasca parnership doesn’t work”, page 9 . representation for Muslim women lacking, page 14 . queensjournal.ca
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Queen’s pushes start date for JDUC redevelopment University postpones student fee increase for renovation project due to delay Claudia Rupnik News Editor The University announced on Feb. 16 that it will defer the start of the JDUC redevelopment by one year to May 2022. Though the University said the design plans are complete, the ability to move forward with the project hinges on whether the required funding will be obtained. The University will contribute $11.8 million to the $62.3 million redevelopment project, including $1.8 million from its operating funds and $10 million in donor funds. The collection of donor funds is one of the conditions set by the Board of Trustees when it approved the project in March 2019. The Journal reported the University had raised just over $3 million for the project as of October 2020. The funds were expected to be in place
by Fall 2020, but the timeline for this component has been extended to June 30, with a provision for an extension to Aug. 31. “[The] Office of Advancement is working to identify potential outreach opportunities for interested alumni, donors, and potential donors this year, while adjusting to the fluid nature of the ongoing pandemic response,” the University wrote in a statement. Through graduate and undergraduate referendums in February 2018 and January 2019, students agreed to contribute the remaining $50.5 million over 25 years. “The University has stated this deferral is in place to ensure that the JDUC Redevelopment project that students voted for is not being downsized or compromised during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Jared den Otter, AMS president, told The Journal. Students began paying a mandatory fee supporting the JDUC redevelopment this year; however, the University said the plan to increase that fee has also been deferred by a year. Both the AMS and the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) approved the deferral of the fee increase. “As the project will not break ground in May, the AMS insisted the University reconsider the fee increase: we successfully
Students began paying a fee for the redevelopment in the fall.
ensured the University suspended the increase from $40 to $73.92, until fall 2022,” den Otter said. “The University still must secure $10 million for this project.” Den Otter also stressed the importance of having “more accessible and frequent communications” from the JDUC Redevelopment Project team to the student body as the project moves forward. “The lack of concrete communication from the University on this project is concerning— students deserve to know about the project they are funding,” he wrote. “[T]his project is designed to enhance the student experience. A priority for the outgoing AMS team in transition with the new executive will be focusing on key
PHOTOS BY JODIE GRIVE
stakeholders within these projects and [facilitating] the appropriate relationships from the beginning.” “This will equip the incoming team with the appropriate tools they need to represent undergraduate interests.” Den Otter said he asked John Witjes, associate vice principal (facilities), about the possibility of a question and answer period for students with the architects and project managers. “There is value in students having the ability to speak with the team working on this project,” den Otter wrote. “I have been working towards this—it will be a great way for students to gain insight into a project they are funding.”
Editors’ note: BIPOC Advisory Board This past November, The Journal formed its before they are released first BIPOC Advisory Board. An idea first We also recognize The Journal has suggested by Aysha Tabassum, incoming historically failed to be a safe space for co-Editor in Chief and current Features people of colour, both internally and Editor, the Board will bring much needed externally. We and the incoming Editors in representation from Queen’s BIPOC Chief are highly aware that The Journal’s community to The Journal’s editorial board. masthead must represent the student After taking applications in November, body it covers; while a first step, we hope The Journal welcomed Meena Waseem, the Advisory Board provides students Audrey Henry, and Aisling Martins- with representation our readership feels Ezeifeaku to represent the first iteration of understands and reflects their experiencesthe Advisory Board. -something The Journal’s upper leadership Currently, the Advisory Board is has overwhelmingly lacked in years past. and Prince Edward Counties, and reviewing Journal policy to make it more Beginning next academic year, the Leeds, Grenville, and Lanark region equitable, as many areas of our policy fail to BIPOC Advisory Board will officially shift self-isolate for 14 days upon their return. reflect the needs of vulnerable communities. to an honorarium position to properly Students looking to get tested for COVID- In collaboration with the Editor in Chief and compensate the three members who 19 can book an appointment at Queen’s Managing Editor, they will be presenting make up the Board. The hiring period Satellite COVID-19 Assessment Centre in their thoughts and ideas in the near future, for the 2021-22 iteration of the Board is Mitchell Hall through Student Wellness which we hope to implement before the currently open and closes on March 12 at Services (SWS). end of Volume 148 on May 1. These policy midnight; applicants for the position will SWS is now offering voluntary initiatives will include looking at interview be interviewed and selected by the current asymptomatic testing for students; practices, anonymity policy, and ethical members of the Advisory Board. appointments can be booked Monday coverage of vulnerable communities. The BIPOC Advisory Board can be to Friday. As well, the Advisory Board will be reached at journalbipoc_advisory@ams. KFL&A Public Health is reporting 16 reviewing The Journal’s reporting on queensu.ca active cases in the region. There have been an ongoing basis to ensure it maintains 719 cases in the region since the pandemic’s equitable practices, which we hope will Sincerely, outbreak and one death. There have been alleviate the burden from BIPOC staff three confirmed variant of concern cases. members who have historically undertaken Raechel Huizinga & Matt Scace the burden of pointing out their editors’ Editor in Chief and Managing Editor shortcomings. This will take shape in firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com confidentially reviewing sensitive stories
There are 16 active cases in the KFL&A region, as of Thursday evening.
PHOTO BY JODIE GRIVE
11 active cases of COVID-19 at Queen’s University reports 100 total cases of virus Claudia Rupnik News Editor Queen’s is reporting 11 active cases of COVID-19 off-campus as of Thursday evening, including one new case this week. The University reported 10 new cases during the week of Feb. 8-14. There has been a total of 100 cases reported since Aug. 31, including 90 off-campus and 10 in residence. The University is requesting students, staff, and faculty who leave the Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox and Addington (KFL&A), Hastings
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Former AMS Social Issues Commissioner Bunisha Samuels awarded legal scholarship to pursue anti-racist efforts Samuels credits her experiences at Queen’s as critical to her success Cassidy McMackon Assistant News Editor Bunisha Samuels, ArtSci ’20, has been named one of the first recipients in a new Scotiabank program for law students intending to pursue anti-racist advocacy in their legal careers. Samuels, who is currently a first-year student at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, is one of two recipients in Scotiabank’s new Program for Law Students, which has committed $500,000 to award to students over a period of five years. Though this year the award was given to Samuels and Baneet Hans, a student from the University of Victoria, law schools across Canada will be awarded funding on behalf of Scotiabank to support students who hope to pursue anti-racist advocacy in their legal careers. The application process focused on applicants’ experiences and previous advocacy work with an emphasis on experience in
equity and anti-racist work within their communities, according to Samuels. Samuels noted she focused on her prior work bringing racialized experiences into conversations about sexual violence, food insecurity, creating accountable spaces, and more that include racialized individuals to better represent these individuals. “A lot of times when you look at the faces in the room with these experiences, it predominantly neglects to acknowledge racialized experiences,” she said in an interview with The Journal. “It’s super important that we talk about things like sexual violence on campus where a lot of racialized students don’t feel like they have a safe space to be able to talk about their experiences because they don’t feel represented within the system.” Samuels further credited her motivation for pursuing a legal career to wanting to promote the representation of racialized voices in the legal system and alleviate the isolation endured by racialized
individuals who go through it. “For me, in terms of short-term goals, I want to address that gap, to call attention to that gap, to be in conversation with that gap,” she said. “Even when we talk about anti-Black racism within education, I know for me that law school has been very much so about incorporating [these conversations] into singular topics or singular workshops, and I think the problem with that is it makes it seem like anti-Black racism or anti-Indigeneity is in a silo; instead of understanding how these things are connected to the entire system.” Samuels, who studied political science and global development at Queen’s, held the position of AMS Social Issues Commissioner (SIC) during the 2019-20 academic year. She credits this experience as being critical for her development in understanding how institutions are held accountable in promoting safe spaces for racialized students. “Being SIC was important because it helped me to learn
Queen’s to receive additional $195,800 provincial funding for student mental health Ontario post-secondary institutions receive additional $7 million in mental health funding Cassidy McMackon Assistant News Editor Queen’s will be receiving additional funding from the Ontario government to increase mental health resources for students. The provincial government announced on Feb. 9 it would be investing an additional $7 million to increase mental health resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. Queen’s will be receiving approximately
$195,800 to put toward mental health supports. Conversations surrounding increasing mental health supports have dominated the Queen’ sphere this year, with emphasis on the University obtaining better resources to offer students during the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and BIPOC students. In a written statement to The Journal, Student Wellness Services (SWS) Executive Director Cynthia Gibney noted that, though the University is still in the process of determining how to use the funds, the extra funding will “certainly increase our capacity to meet student mental health needs.” “[This] includes continued supports for our increasingly diverse population, whether that’s increasing staff resources or helping improve access to care through the implementation of online appointment booking,”
Gibney said. When asked about whether the University will be implementing measures recommended on behalf of the Instagram account ‘Reform Student Wellness’ and the petition launched by Queen’s Backing Action on Climate Change (QBACC), Gibney stressed the importance of student feedback. “Feedback from our students is important to understanding where we can focus efforts to improve, and I welcome it,” she said. “I have met with @reformstudentwellness representatives and will continue to do so. I am also open to additional suggestions and feedback for improvement to the service.” “There is a feedback form on the SWS website, and a survey is sent monthly to students who have used the service. I encourage students to use these channels to provide us with their input, or they can contact me directly.”
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all about the things I needed to Samuels was also involved continue to educate myself on. with the African and Caribbean It also presents a very strong Students Association (ACSA) systemic level analysis of how throughout her undergrad, sat post-secondary spaces work and on the University Council on how they create spaces,” she said. Anti-Racism and Equity, and was She pointed to a couple of involved with the Black History events that happened on campus Month Council, Queen’s Female last year as examples of how Leadership in Politics, and post-secondary schools Queen’s National Model United approach systemic change, Nations Conference. including the COVID-19 party and Samuels is currently involved in the Chown Hall incident. the Black Law Student Association “[W]hen we talk about Chown and has helped organize events Hall: are we continuing to still for Black History Month. She’s also talk about the ramifications or organized campaigns and events procedures or steps we’re taking detailing Black resistance and to create more safe space for what it means for different people. BIPOC students?” she said “For some of us, it just means “[L]ast year it was a huge being present in law school and deal; it was all everybody being present in these spaces talked about, and it was seen where power is held,” she said. as being big on the agenda of “For others, it means speaking the AMS, the SGPS, as well as out against the system and having administration. My question is our voices heard. This includes where have these conversations activism and work on the ground gone afterwards, and how are and trying to incorporate all we, as students, holding our these different perspectives into a academic spaces and institutional unique narrative for Black History spaces accountable?” Month this year.” At the Feb. 4 AMS Assembly, it needs to expand resources in Principal Patrick Deane said the this area. University has been petitioning to Given the new funding, Gibney increase mental health funding for said SWS has expanded its efforts students suffering from pandemic- to better support the needs of related strains on mental wellness. BIPOC students. Deane also noted that counselling for BIPOC students is a “critically important” issue on campus, Read the full story at and that the University has queensjournal.ca/news known since the summer that
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ACSA Culture Show goes online “One of our strengths as a club is our ability to bond with those in our community,” ACSA Co-President says Simone Manning Assistant News Editor Amidst the pandemic, the African and Caribbean Students’ Association (ACSA) has worked to transfer its annual Culture Show to an online platform. Viewers can expect a combination of singing and dancing from students and non-students at the show, which will be hosted Feb. 28. “We made an extra effort to encourage those interested in sharing their talents with us, regardless of their cultural background,” Abigail Yee Ken, ACSA co-president wrote in a statement to The Journal. Spotlighting in the upcoming culture show include ACSA Dance Team, Queen’s Momentum Vocal, a high school student from our mentorship program, as well as additional performances. The Culture Show centers on a theme of Unity and Resilience, according to Yee Ken, with an aim of encouraging conversations around injustice and the ability to rise to the occasion despite personal challenges. “All the events of 2020 and its predecessors sparked and need for us to bring attention to the strength of our community,” Yee Ken wrote. “We like to think of ourselves as a home away from home for students belonging to minority groups or those having trouble finding a safe space in the Queen’s community. Our extended family is considered to be all those belonging to the African and Caribbean diaspora in Canada.” Regarding the transition online, Yee Ken recognized the challenges of virtual connection with Association members and the greater Queen’s community. Yee Ken said the change resulted in a lot of interest expressed by potential performers without much follow through. “Regardless, we are excited to showcase the talents that were sent in. Logistics behind the show itself required lots of meetings and late-night practices but it was definitely worth it,” Yee Ken said. “One of our strengths as a club is our ability to bond with those in our community, creating an open and safe space for those that want or need it.” Yee Ken acknowledged the tough transition to a virtual platform but said the ACSA Executive Team was incredibly supportive in event organization. Yee Ken said information was shared at a faster rate than usual, owing to the increased activity on social media by prospective performers and attendees. While a remote platform allowed for more flexibility for meeting organization and discussion, Yee Ken said it was more difficult to connect with others, especially new members, without in-person introductions. “We will be making an extra effort in our upcoming events to encourage more interactions,” Yee Ken wrote.
An event run by the School of Religion was subject to a racist and homophobic Zoom hacking in early February.
PHOTO BY MAIA MCCANN
String of Zoom hackings across Canadian universities appear to be racially motivated
Queen’s, University of Saskatchewan among five universities recently targeted by racist Zoom bombings Aysha Tabassum Features Editor Early in February, a Queen’s event run by the School of Religion was subject to a racist and homophobic Zoom hacking. Zoom hackings have occurred throughout Canadian post-secondary institutions since the start of the pandemic. Though the platform has implemented measures to prevent such attacks, it claims it’s extremely difficult to do so, especially in cases where a perpetrator comes from within an organization.
Recently, there’s been a rise in Zoom bombings targeting universities. Many of these cases appear to be racially motivated. Attacks have been carried out during anti-racist or cultural events at Western University, Dalhousie University, and the University of Waterloo. Two of these attacks occurred in the last month. The day after the incident at Queen’s, a vigil for victims of the Quebec mosque shooting held by the University of Saskatchewan was Zoom-bombed. In all cases, the hackers used bigoted language—including racial, homophobic, islamophobic, and anti-Semitic slurs. Attendees of the affected events at Queen’s, the University of Waterloo, and the University of Saskatchewan also reported the hackers sharing their screens to broadcast violent and disturbing images. Patti McDougall, vice-provost (teaching, learning, and student experience) at the University of Saskatchewan, told The Journal
two other incidents of Zoom hacking occurred in recent weeks during lectures. “Unfortunately, we are not aware of any means that would permit us to identify the digital traces of those who entered these gatherings and perpetrated disruption and harm. The fact that we do not hold a license for Zoom means that we don’t have any direct connection to the vendor beyond being able to report an incident on-line as any other individual user might do.” Like Queen’s, the University of Saskatchewan is more widely publicizing its guidelines for safety and security as a result of the attacks. “We have been in contact with other universities in Saskatchewan to share best practices.” In an email to The Journal, Constable Ashley Gutheinz confirmed Kingston Police is in the early stages of an investigation regarding the incident at Queen’s. “The incident involved a Zoom meeting where unknown parties entered and sabotaged the end of the meeting during question period. The meeting was ended as a result of this hacking. As for content of interruption, it was pornographic (adult) in nature and contained hate based content. This is why the meeting was abruptly ended. The investigation is ongoing.”
Gabrielle Cotton Staff Writer
Justine Aman secured a 99.3 per cent vote of confidence.
PHOTO BY GABRIELLE COTTON
Justine Aman secures second term as SGPS President
19.5 per cent of voters cast a ballot in election
As voting for the Society of Graduate and Professional Studies (SGPS) election closed Feb. 12, incumbent Justine Aman won a vote of confidence to continue for a second year as the President of the SGPS. Aman ran uncontested for president for the second year in a row, receiving a 99.3 per cent vote of confidence. 19.5 per cent of eligible students voted in this election. “I want to thank everyone who ran and everyone who voted in this election. I really appreciated having the vote of confidence in this election and I look forward to representing the students in the 2021-2022 year,” Aman told The Journal after the election results were released. Anthony Lomax will also be returning to the SGPS executive as Vice-President (Community). Newly elected representatives Jennifer Li, vice-president (professional), and Emil Matiss, graduate student senator, also received a vote of confidence. Courtney Bannerman won the only contested position for Vice-President (Finance and Services) by 1 per cent over candidate Gina Azer.
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Julia Harmsworth Assistant News Editor Queen’s Senate met Tuesday over Zoom to discuss the sinking of Laurentian, the University’s mission, and the plan for returning to campus. A report on the revised sessional dates for the 2021-22 academic year was brought to Senate for information, reflecting similar changes to those made in the 2020-21 academic year. The first day of fall classes will occur on Sept. 7 due to the suspension of “large, in-person orientation activities,” according to the report. The first day of summer classes will be delayed by a week to May 10. The fall midterm break will be extended again from two to four days and aligned with Thanksgiving to run from Oct. 12 -15. Principal’s report
In his report, Principal Patrick Deane discussed Laurentian University’s decision to file for creditor protection and the suggestion that the Ontario government may try to control financial management in the university sector. “This is a really important moment for universities in our province, partly because the roots of the Laurentian crisis are in the historic underfunding of universities in the province of Ontario,” Deane told Senate. Listing other funding issues faced by universities, Deane cited enrolment declines and the “dramatic” impact of the COVID-19 pandemic—Ontario has provided COVID-19 relief funding to students, but not institutions. He also said this issue raises “numerous questions” about respect for the autonomy of institutions and the boards governing them. “It’s a very challenging moment […] because what it says about the precariousness of financing in the province and also the threats to university autonomy that can follow from situations of this sort,” Deane said. He said the Council of Ontario
to the process of making this stuff happen.” Provost’s report
Principal Deane joined Senate over Zoom on Tuesday.
PHOTO BY JULIA HARMSWORTH
Senate: University planning full return to campus in Winter 2021 Universities (COU) is working to bring these concerns to the provincial government. Deane then brought a draft of his Strategic Framework to Senate for feedback. The document includes a statement of mission, a statement of vision, a list of strategic goals, and a list of values for the University. The document is a result of The Conversation, Deane’s campus consultation project. Following a year of campus consultations, he prepared a report revealing
the various issues facing Queen’s. The framework aims to provide an overarching sense of direction to guide the University in tackling these issues. Deane plans to present the document to the Board of Trustees for approval at its meeting next month. Immediately following approval, he said working groups will be struck to determine “what this would look like on the ground.” “This is an attempt to give edge and point
QBAS was “really okay” with decreased engagement during COVID-19 ...continued from front. After the movie, the organizers held a discussion about the representation of Blackness in Soul and in film in general. For example, they discussed how the Black narratives most commonly represented in film are tropes, like the slave narrative. “It’s only in the last few years that we’re starting to see more positive representations,” Haba said. “And […] in some animated films, the Black characters only live within their Blackness, or their physical, representational Blackness, for only a small period of time, and then they’re turned into animals. So an example of that is Princess and the Frog. For the majority of the movie, they’re frogs.” QBAS and Queen’s Reads will be hosting a discussion forum Feb. 27 over Zoom on remembering Blackness and anti-Blackness at Queen’s. The event will feature a panel of five undergraduate Black student leaders discussing their experience with, and the history of, Blackness and anti-Blackness at Queen’s. After the discussion, attendees will be able to ask questions to the panelists. “They will be welcome to [explore] the erasure of Blackness which has occurred in part because of the quick turnaround that happens, and the limited amount of time that we’re able to be on the campus, and also in part by the fact that the University can choose what they remember and what
is forgotten,” Haba said. She also said the discussion will work to “resist this idea that Queen’s is a white space only” and “really create a space of learning.” According to Haba, QBAS anticipated decreased student engagement in their events this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but they were “really okay with that.” “Because we work for the flourishing of the Black community, the kind of engagement we get doesn’t necessarily matter, and we make sure in terms of who does come to our events that we provide an environment that adds value and provides that community,” she said. QBAS expanded their programming for Black History Month through the whole month this year; usually, it’s contained to one week. They’re also focusing on amplifying other events hosted by other groups on campus this month. In addition to these bigger events, QBAS is working on small projects and initiatives this month. For example, they started the Love QBAS initiative to deliver free wellness packages to self-identifying Black students in the Kingston area. QBAS is also working with MUSE Magazine, a student-run campus publication, to create a zine that hopes to amplify Black voices and function as a collection of Black thoughts, celebration, creativity, and artistry. “One thing also that this COVID time has taught us is the fact that Black History Month
Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Mark Green updated Senate on Queen’s back-to-campus plan in his report. Since Kingston moved into the green zone Feb. 10, Green said the ARC and Stauffer Library have opened and the return to residence is “going well.” Green said the University is still recommending that those who return to Kingston from outside of the Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) region self-isolate for two weeks and that students keep their social interactions contained to their household alone. “With the good position we are in now, the next two weeks will be critical, and we certainly can’t let our guard down,” Green told Senate. He said things are looking “much more optimistic” for the upcoming academic year. The University is planning a “gradual return to activity,” with small classes, labs, and tutorials being offered in-person in the fall—with safety protocols in place. The University is also planning a full return to normal, in-person, on-campus operations next winter, pending vaccine roll-out, according to Green. Green said the University hasn’t yet made any policies regarding whether students will need to be vaccinated to return to campus but that there have been “many high-level thoughts on how to handle it.” Other Updates
Senate voted to approve the proposed modifications to the Graduate Diploma in Professional Inquiry and the Professional Master of Education (PME), in the Faculty of Education. Effective Sept. 1, the diploma will be renamed the Graduate Diploma in Education, and the capstone course will be made mandatory for the PME program. Concentrations that currently exist in the professional master will be extended to the diploma. A new concentration in Education Administration will be added, the Education Abroad concentration will be renamed to Global Education, and the Aboriginal Education concentration will be renamed to Indigenous Education.
and celebration is not limited to being in person, and that Black creativity, Black the University. QBAS is also focusing on joy, remembrance of Black contribution, “taking a moment to recognize and situate transcends the physical and geographical Black contributions.” bounds, and is something that is still being “We’ve tried to encourage people to really celebrated […] despite not being able to see take a moment to celebrate Blackness each other in person,” Haba said. and to recognize that this month and the She added a major theme QBAS celebration should not be limited to the is focusing on this month is wellness, month of February, and is something that specifically ensuring Black students receive should be ongoing,” Haba said. the care and support they deserve from
6 • queensjournal.ca Aysha Tabassum Features Editor Alana Butler believes that as classrooms from kindergarten to post-secondary become more diverse, it’s crucial for teachers to consider the unique needs of all students—especially racialized students. “Teachers, in [the faculty of] education in particular, have a responsibility towards cultural competence. I think that it is part of the duty of care to students to be able to reflect their cultural and racial identities in your teaching practices,” the assistant professor in the Faculty of Education told The Journal. A core aspect of addressing white supremacy in universities is addressing how curricula is delivered, whose voices are privileged within courses, and how classrooms are made safer for vulnerable groups. Jenn Carpenter, director of the Office of Global Health, is currently working to develop courses that better reflect a wider range of ways of knowing, rather than just western European ones. “I’ve really tried to do some reflection on colonization and the fact that colonization still very much exists today in our structures, in our healthcare, and in our educational systems.” Meredith Chivers, associate professor in the Department of Psychology, is excited that she’s seeing a similar shift in psychology, which has historically been driven by one dominant perspective. “[If] our collective goal as psychological scientists is to make discoveries and advance knowledge about human psychology, we need to ensure that we are, in fact, representing all humans in our science,” she said. The Journal spoke with six professors across three different faculties about how they would envision more equitable curricula, as well as the efforts they’ve already put in to give life to these ideas. The impact of white supremacist curricula
Before students come to Queen’s, they have likely gone through a Canadian education system deeply rooted in anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism by privileging white European worldviews and ways of knowing while ignoring others entirely.
“What we’re truly fighting is a fight against white supremacy. Nobody calls it that, because we’re afraid of that term, even though that’s what it is. Our curriculum is very reflective of that.”
According to Butler, this creates a negative flight pathway which drives internalized racism in minority students. That acts to either deter them from further education or
Friday, February 26, 2021 disconnect them from their race and culture. Recent reports released by Carl James, professor in the Faculty of Education at York University, have further confirmed this is the case in Ontario. This system also shelters white students from learning about how white supremacy and colonialism impacts their worldviews, making them more likely to perpetuate racism in the future. The colonial nature of our school system is clear to Lindsay Morcom, associate professor in the Faculty of Education. “When we’re talking about bringing in dealing with anti-Black racism, dealing with Islamophobia […] what we’re truly fighting is a fight against white supremacy. Nobody calls it that, because we’re afraid of that term, even though that’s what it is. Our curriculum is very reflective of that.”
“80 per cent of data in psychological science was based on WEIRD samples, but WEIRD people represent only 12 per cent of the global population.”
Morcom noted how this white supremacy seeps into the voices brought into the classroom—in readings, visual material, and ways of knowing. Whiteness is the norm. This can often come down to elements as simple as only studying the works of white scholars. “A lot of times things like [Michel] Foucault and [Allan] Bloom are just taught like they’re absolute truth, and people don’t stop to question the fact that they’re still very much couched in culture, but it’s culture that gets erased because it’s so dominant.”
Whether it be in STEM or the humanities, the authors often viewed as foundational come from a narrow range of backgrounds. The term for this is ‘epistemic violence,’ coined by theorist Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and furthered by philosopher Kristie Dot. It involves refusing and concealing the perspectives of vulnerable peoples, viewing the knowledge and ways of knowing of a dominant group as inherently superior. Chivers said psychology is no different. “Psychological science has long been criticized for its biased knowledge base. That is theory about human psychology based on data gathered from “WEIRD” samples; people who are Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic.” Chivers feels it’s time for this Eurocentric approach to take a bow in order to make way for a more inclusive perspective, as it’s not adequately representative of what the world looks like. “According to the American Psychological Association in 2010, 80 per cent of data in psychological science was based on WEIRD samples, but WEIRD people represent only 12 per cent of the global population.” Pushes for curricula which better address the needs of marginalized students have not been absent in the past at Queen’s, but they’ve been inconsistent, according to Michelle Gibson, assistant dean (curriculum) for Undergraduate Medical Education. The Faculty of Health Sciences has always had a mandate to address diversity and has seen positive initiatives in the past in the area—like releasing content aimed at better treating Queer patients—but these initiatives were usually done as one-offs and were often driven by the work of students.
Crafting equitable curricula with care Educators at Queen’s speak to the need to decolonize and diversify learning, and how they’ve worked to accomplish that goal
Changing the ways we teach One of the initiatives undertaken by the Faculty of Health Sciences this past summer involved compiling a database of images pertaining to treating people of different races. When it comes to something like a skin rash, for example, medical students are underexposed to what illnesses look like on darker skin tones. Gibson recognized that initiative as one of many needing to be pushed forward as biases come to light.
“We’re in a time and place where we really need to think about whose voices it is that we are centering and where those perspectives are coming from.”
In terms of recognizing those biases, while the burden shouldn’t be on professors or students of colour to expose where curricula fall short, diverse classrooms lead to diversity of perspective and allow for students of colour to better relate to the material they’re learning. That’s just one reason to give scholars of colour the space they deserve at institutions like Queen’s, as well as in elementary and secondary education, Morcom said. “Most children of colour probably won’t have a teacher who is co-ethnic with them,” Morcom said. “And we know, particularly for Black and Indigenous children, even having one co-ethnic teacher as a child has serious, measurable implications for school achievement later in life.” Thashika Pillay, assistant professor in the Faculty of Education, is cognizant of the barriers in place which prevent racialized folks from entering academia and is working to amplify their voices. In her classroom, whenever she is about to cite the work of a white man, Pillay tries to find and amplify the work of a scholar of colour instead.
“Because Indigenous people have been here forever, Indigenous knowledge should be treated differently and should be included in a different way.”
“It’s not to say that there aren’t white scholars doing interesting and important work, but we’re in a time
ILLUSTRATIONS BY SHELBY TALBOT
Friday, February 26, 2021 and place where we really need to think about whose voices it is that we are centering and where those perspectives are coming from.” Morcom said around three quarters of the resources used in her class are purposely chosen Indigenous scholars or scholars of colour. She also noted the importance of separating Indigeneity from other considerations regarding minority students. “We need to fight battles together because there’s an issue in curriculum—eurocentrism and white supremacy—but understanding as well that because Indigenous people have been here forever, Indigenous knowledge should be treated differently and should be included in a different way.” Carpenter, in a new course she’s developing, is working on a module that would help students search grey literature—research produced outside traditional academic channels, typically by individuals and groups outside of the dominant culture. “So much of the stories and histories that we would want to learn about aren’t published in the mainstream journals, and so it’s a skill to try and find those stories.” Chivers works with the Queen’s Sexuality and Gender Lab team, which strives to make research as inclusive as possible. She has also adapted her seminars in the past year to examine the intersectional implications on racialized and gender minorities when studying sexuality and gender. In her clinical psychology course, students have the opportunity to explore the mental health of minoritized people and the impacts of racism, classism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression. “My goal is to encourage students to ask the question ‘What role does inequity play in mental health?’ when they are learning about mental disorders.” Crafting equitable curricula will also involve more large-scale change. That will involve completely rethinking aspects of education largely taken for granted. That can start with assessments, which by their nature—according to Morcom, Butler, and Pillay—are used more as a ranking system than a feedback or growth mechanism. That can be discouraging for students of colour, or any students facing barriers to meeting the rigid deadlines and deliverables that come with university life; not everyone is able to or wants to learn in the same ways, and a grading system that judges all work by the same rigid standards neglects this. In Pillay’s classroom, the pandemic has allowed her to rethink the nature of assessments. This year, in her grad
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course, she’s adopted consistent verbal feedback throughout the semester. For the first time, she hasn’t had a single student refute a mark they received. Morcom’s policy is that if a student doesn’t get an A the first time they submit an assingment, they can return it to her for feedback and resubmit until they do. “Why would I want them coming out of my class knowing less than 80 per cent of what I want them to know?” Assessing the effectiveness of change
Over the past few months, Queen’s has initiated numerous task forces across faculties relating to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) similar to the one formed by the Smith School of Business as a result of public pressure from students. The purpose of these groups includes adopting changes in curricula to form more equitable classrooms, but many are in the infancy of evaluating whether these changes are actually effective. Gibson acknowledged this shortfall within equity efforts in the Faculty of Health Sciences, which is actively seeking expertise from the Dean’s action table and other sources to create evaluation criteria for EDI initiatives moving forward. The faculty also provides an anonymous portal where students can submit feedback about their experiences. Gibson felt it was important for faculties to provide a pathway for students to express frustration without having to confront individuals who may have acted in a discriminatory manner. Students in the Faculty of Education are also able to make an anonymous complaint through the EDI committee. Additionally, students across the University can complete evaluations of their learning experiences for each course they take. Unfortunately, these surveys, due to their anonymous nature, can often be a source of racism for educators of colour. These kinds of mechanisms are also dependant on students making the effort to call out instances of racism when they see it, which can mean painfully slow change that depends on students to create equitable environments. Butler pointed out that this burden shouldn’t fall on racialized students. Professors, regardless of the faculty or courses they teach within, will have to make an active effort to assess whether their equity efforts are impacting students positively, and adapt accordingly when they’re not. To aid students of colour, professors should ensure the classroom is a space where they can learn without feeling attacked or tokenized according to their racial identity.
For white students, as well as non-Black and non-Indigenous students of colour, an equitable environment will mean accepting a level of discomfort when bringing in longerased perspectives to curricula.
“The students may not always be comfortable in the classroom as we’re doing this learning, and I had to come to terms that that was okay.”
For Pillay, this shift has been difficult but necessary to cope with. “The students may not always be comfortable in the classroom as we’re doing this learning, and I had to come to terms that that was okay. Over time, they would come to understand and appreciate the process that we went through.” In the same vein, students will have the best chance at learning difficult material when they have a positive relationship with their professors. It’s important that they’re able to be held accountable for things like racial bias without prioritizing their guilt over personal growth. “We work really hard to develop meaningful relationships with the students, because that needs to be at the basis of hard learning.” Morcom said. “If I present them with this kind of knowledge and they don’t trust me to be open about what they’re experiencing, and they don’t feel welcome in my classroom, then I’m not going to be able to get through.” Doing the work
Since last summer, following the work of student activists that shed light on issues of racism at Queen’s, much of the work being done within EDI has been downloaded to racialized students and educators. More equitable classrooms will require a wider effort, and people can no longer expect this crucial work to be done solely by the vulnerable.
“If you’re speaking about a community, or a population, you need the input from that community or population, but the last thing you want to do is tax their time more without proper compensation.”
In refreshing GLPH 271, Global and Population Health, Carpenter started by attending workshops through the Centre for Teaching and Learning to learn how to decolonize curricula.
Through these workshops, she met Lindsay Brant, educational developer (Indigenous curriculum and ways of knowing) with the Centre for Teaching and Learning. Brant has helped inform changes to these courses, with a focus on centering the voices of Indigenous peoples. “We’ve worked really hard on using examples from marginalized communities and also bringing in learnings and teachings from different communities,” Carpenter said. “All the way along, almost every single word that goes into the modules, [Brant] has helped us frame them in the best possible way.” At the same time, Carpenter recognized the importance of not over-relying on faculty and students from marginalized groups to inform initiatives. “If you’re speaking about a community, or a population, you need the input from that community or population, but the last thing you want to do is tax their time more without proper compensation.” Gibson acknowledged that it may be intimidating to start this process but said it is currently much easier to ask for help than it was a year ago, though it’s important not to heavily rely on the help of the same few people—particularly racialized educators.
“If you don’t do it then you’re very explicitly showing your commitment does not extend to all of your students and does not extend to BIPOC communities.”
As a white, cisgender, queer woman, Chivers echoed the need to use her own position of power to increase representation in curricula and in research. For those getting started on the path of self-education, she recommended students should first look at the visual and textual materials being used in classes. “If humans are a necessary part of your field and represented in your teaching materials, are the examples, cases, knowledge, etcetera, about those humans representative? If not, make changes.” Butler would like to see more people taking this initiative and doing the work on their own. This means taking advantage of the resources and readings available to them at Queen’s, like the anti-oppression guide made available by the Concurrent Education program. Pillay emphasized that this is no longer optional, but a requirement for educators as classrooms become more diverse and demands grow to dismantle white supremacist curricula. “There’s no excuse not to do it because if you don’t do it then you’re very explicitly showing your commitment does not extend to all of your students and does not extend to BIPOC communities.”
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The Journal’s Perspective
Onscreen abortion representation is vital, but has its limits
Abortion isn’t just a right; it’s a choice made by women every day. Mainstream media should represent the procedure as such—at the very least an option, if not a decision made—though we can’t rely on Hollywood to do the heavy lifting when it comes to improving access to abortion and contraceptives. Abortion isn’t palatable for mainstream television, which is probably why onscreen women, in the event of unwanted pregnancy, default to keeping the baby. Many of these fictional characters don’t even consider abortion, let alone go through with the procedure. Every woman is different , and there’s no right way to deal with an unexpected pregnancy. In real life, many women do choose to keep their babies, but many others choose abortion. Yet, onscreen, you wouldn’t know it. Onscreen representation of abortion is needed, although it’s not the be-all-end-all to making abortion less stigmatized and more accessible. While abortion is a plot point in many television shows, it’s usually not treated favourably. Cristina Yang in Grey’s Anatomy, for example, is depicted as cold and
that abortion is something to be mourned, but to the contrary, many feel relieved after the procedure Both these feelings are valid, but no one should be expected to feel one or the other. Being cognizant of the nuances of abortion and exploring the complexities of these situations in full is also important when it comes to onscreen representation. All these emotions and experiences are valid. Depicting them onscreen will allow women in these positions to feel seen and help fight abortion stigmatization. Sex Education and Bojack Horsemen are examples of shows promoting positive representation ILLUSTRATION BY ASHLEY CHEN of abortion scenes onscreen. unfeeling in her decision to abort her baby, That said, we can’t expect representation ultimately shedding a negative light on to do all the work for us. the choice she makes. These negative Abortion is healthcare, and the fact that representations of abortion can’t be the only access to it is still difficult and stigmatized ones we see in mainstream television. Other for many is an issue that goes beyond times, abortion scenes are sensationalized what’s represented on screen. Hollywood or unrealistically frightening. On the flip side, is controlled by capitalism and good some television shows tend to romanticize ratings; leaving it to film tycoons to solve unwanted pregnancies. abortion issues is unrealistic, even if proper Although abortion is a right in Canada, representation has its merits. society often expects women to feel remorseful or fraught when choosing to —Journal Editorial Board exercise it. Television reflects this ideal
Looking for a job this summer? Think about tree planting. Angus Merry
Being a university student is tough, especially during the summer, when most of us aren’t actually studying. For those of us who can’t find—or aren’t in the right faculties for—lucrative internships or experience-building research positions, the summer can be an outright slog, characterized by low pay, high work hours, and little personal or professional fulfilment. With COVID-19 only adding more uncertainty to an already uncertain job market, finding something worthwhile this summer will be tough. But it doesn’t have to be. Although nowhere near a “perfect job,” tree planting ticks a lot of the boxes many of us are desperately looking for in our summer occupations. Good pay,
close with the people around you and enjoy the experience all the more. Finally, tree planting can act as the perfect escape for those who just need a change of scenery. Maybe you’re tired of working inside or being in the same city, or you just need to get away from the stresses of early adulthood for a while. In any case, there’s no better way to recoup some peace of mind than by getting outdoors—even if it means doing so for three straight months. As an added bonus, current tree planting camps, in accordance with COVID-19 safety precautions, have little PHOTO SUPPLIED BY ANGUS MERRY exposure with the public. So, fun times, and perhaps most importantly if you’ve become increasingly now, time spent away from COVID-19 and anxious over the past couple of months, know potential infection. that taking a planting position would mean Let’s start with pay. At an overwhelming far less risk than working in a populated majority of companies in Canada, tree public area. planting is piece work, meaning you get paid Of course, after listing the numerous per tree you plant. Rather than an hourly positive aspects of tree planting, it should be wage, which sees you make the same amount noted there are innumerable negative ones of money regardless of your performance, too—among them repeated physical and as a tree planter, you’re incentivized to work mental exhaustion and constant exposure hard. The harder you work, the more money to the elements. But as any veteran planter you make. will attest, these are crosses generally worth In addition, the work atmosphere around bearing for the overall experience tree tree planting camps is far deeper than planting affords you. any workplace you’d find in cities. For the duration of the season, you live in camps of Angus is a fourth-year History student and 75 or more and work in crews of about 15. The Journal’s Assistant Sports Editor. By living and working day in and day out together for three months, you get incredibly
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Want to contribute? For information visit: www.queensjournal.ca/contribute or email the Editor in Chief at firstname.lastname@example.org Contributions from all members of the Queen’s and Kingston community are welcome. The Journal reserves the right to edit all submissions. The Queen’s Journal is an editorially autonomous newspaper published by the Alma Mater Society of Queen’s University, Kingston. Situated on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples. The Journal’s Editorial Board acknowledges the traditional territories our newspaper is situated on have allowed us to pursue our mandate. We recognize our responsibility to understand the truth of our history. 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. 190 University Ave., Kingston, ON, K7L 3P4 Editorial Office: 613-533-2800 Business Office: 613-533-6711 Fax: 613-533-6728 Email: email@example.com Please address complaints and grievances to the Editor in Chief and Managing Editor. The Queen’s Journal is printed on a Goss Community press by Performance Group of Companies in Smiths Falls, Ontario. Contents © 2021 by The Queen’s Journal; all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior permission of The Journal. Circulation 1,500
Friday, February 26, 2021
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OPINIONS Your Perspective
PHOTO BY ELIZABETH GAUDET
Eliza belives Queen's students deserve better.
The forced partnership between Queen’s and Athabasca University takes advantage of students Courses at Athabasca cost more and offer less
Queen’s encourages students to enrol at Athabasca University to make up credits when completing them at Queen’s is not a timely or viable option. This forced partnership is not working and doesn’t serve students. Queen’s School of Computing sends students to complete courses at Athabasca University, an online university based in Alberta. Students must earn at least a 65, or a Queen’s C to get their transfer credit. Courses taken outside of Queen’s show up as “TR” or transfer on an official transcript and cannot be counted towards their GPA. There are many reasons why a student may not complete a credit at Queen’s, whether that be because of a reduced course load, a failed course, a schedule conflict, a semester on an exchange, or a semester taken off. Especially during COVID-19, students are turning to their academic advisors for options and flexible ways to complete their degrees in ever-changing circumstances. In smaller faculties, like computing, courses are offered once an academic year or less. Say a student missed a course typically offered in the winter semester, if that course is a core requirement or prerequisite for the subsequent faculty courses, that student may
not be able to take any degree requirements in the fall, and only take co-requisites in the winter semester. This would delay their estimated graduation by a year. For many Queen’s students, this means another year of hiked rent in the student district, another year paying for textbooks, and another year of tuition, student fees and loans. An academic advisor would recommend taking the corresponding course online at Athabasca University. Computing alone offers 14 equivalent courses. However, one 3.0 credit course at Athabasca University for a new student costs approximately $1,040. This includes the general application fee ($118), tuition fee ($510), course administration and technology fee ($139), course materials fee ($51), students’ union and alumni relations fee ($13.25) and the out-of-province fee ($209). Granted, residents of Alberta do not pay the province fee, but everyone is on the hook for the unlisted cost of an invigilated online exam. The recommended platform is ProctorU, on which a three-hour exam costs roughly $35. As if that wasn’t enough, the Letter of Permission needed by Queen’s for the course transfer has an administrative
fee of $60. A 3.0 credit in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences for domestic students is roughly $600, meaning one course at Athabasca University is shockingly expensive. Another year spent pursuing your undergraduate degree has its costs, too. Students in stressful situations are being put in impossible positions by the administration. Their options are to take another year to wait for a mandatory course or pay a premium at a separate institution. Enrolling at another university is not seamless, either. Queen’s scholarships and other financial support may not carry over. The student now has another email to monitor, another student portal to navigate, and more university protocols to learn. As with their first-year at a post-secondary institution, new students at Athabasca must work to understand university and department expectations. Students must obtain at least a C in their course or it will not be recognized by Queen’s, but are likely trying to do so without knowing who to contact for support, if needed. All these concerns are heightened by the isolation of an entirely online environment and an entirely new university. Imagine a situation in which taking a
summer course at Athabasca is a necessary evil. It’s an unfamiliar school full of unfamiliar people, but still beats the alternative—until the stark differences in academic quality become clear, that is. Queen’s University is consistently ranked within the top universities in Canada, while Athabasca University is ranked is 45th. The expensive course includes reading a PDF textbook with fleeting hopes of meeting the learning goals. There’s plenty of reason to wonder why Athabasca has such prestigious status at Queen’s. University is tough. There should be options for students regardless of how well they fit into the course cadence offered by their faculty. Athabasca, a university that costs more and offers less, should not have such a monopoly on Queen’s students. Queen’s is failing students by not offering a comprehensive and flexible course calendar. Toting equivalent courses at Athabasca University as a good option is reckless and, at times, insulting. If there was ever a time to offer better support for all students, it’s now. Queen’s, it’s time to do better. Eliza is a fourth-year Computer Science student
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Conversations with Queen’s legend Jock Climie Queen’s hall of famer, retired CFL all-star, and labour lawyer speaks with The Journal about his life Angus Merry Assistant Sports Editor For Jock Climie, self-congratulation isn’t really a thing. Even though he boasts a laundry list of accomplishments transcending three professions, the length of which would require the lungs of an Olympic swimmer to speak in one breath, he doesn’t pat himself on the back for them. And he never will. “We all have our strengths,” he said, “and what we owe ourselves is to maximize the potential we were given.” “We don’t get a pat on the back for that.” In 1988, as a third-year on the Queen’s football team, Climie set the all-time single season record for receiving yards in all of Canadian university football. Two years later, after being admitted to the Queen’s School of Law, he was chosen as the fourth overall pick in the 1990 CFL draft. Climie completed his law degree while competing as a top receiver in the CFL. Breaking the mold from most collegiate-turned-professional Lew Hayman trophy award winner motivational drivers responsible athletes, Climie didn’t drop (the distinction given to the top for his success, as well as some out of school. Instead, he sat Canadian player in the CFL’s East unforgettable stories from the past down with the Dean of Law and Division), and, at the time of his 30 years. asked to complete his degree retirement, ninth all-time in career One story is a 1993 CFL part-time— doing a semester of receptions. He also finished in the game where Climie took it upon school every off-season—and to top 20 all-time in receiving yards. himself to relax more than usual his surprise, the Dean said yes. After his retirement in 2002, before a matchup against the It was the first time in the Climie took up practicing law Saskatchewan Rough Riders. faculty’s history something like full-time while working as a CFL Ragged-on for being too uptight by that had been allowed. analyst for TSN. Only dropping the one of his teammates, Climie chose Over the next 12 years, Climie latter post in 2017, Climie is now to ditch his compulsive pre-game graduated law school, articled at a partner at the same law firm he rituals in favour of a laissez-faire a law firm, studied for and passed started working at 20 years ago. attitude to see whether it would the bar exam—all while playing The Journal sat down with improve his performance. in the CFL. Predictably, he was no Climie to learn more about his “So, I had a beer before the slouch there either. inimitable career, both on and off game,” he said, citing a break in Over his 12-year career—far the field. During the discussion, one of his cardinal rules. “I was longer than most—Climie was a he spoke at length about his totally relaxed, I was just walking three-time East Division all-star, personal philosophy, some of the around like it was nothing, went
SUPPLIED BY JOCK CLIMIE
into the game laughing, joking with the guys.” “Second play of the game […] Tom Burgess throws me a ball. It bounces off my hands, off my helmet, up in the air. [Saskatchewan’s safety] picks it off, runs it back to the one yard-line. Next play, they were in the end zone—we’re down 7-0.” After that, Climie said he went back to the sideline and did all of his pre-game rituals to get back in the zone. He finished the game with two touchdowns and 160 receiving yards. The story served as a manifestation of one of Climie’s personal philosophies: to
constantly develop resilience. For him, the measure of an athlete isn’t how far they can throw a ball or how high they can jump, but rather whether they have the determination to achieve a task after they’ve failed at it. This, however, is only a small part of what makes Climie who he is. In more instances than one, he said a central part of his attitude is only looking at what’s directly in front of him. “A lot of people get caught up in thinking about the bigger picture,” he said. “If you’re going to a Junior A [hockey] tryout and you’re already thinking, ‘I can’t wait to score 50 goals and make it to the first round of the NHL,’ then you’re not thinking about what you’re doing in that first practice.” Climie stated that whatever he was doing—whether it was being in the gym, or studying at the library, or even partying with his friends—he always tried to be present and focus on the task directly in front of him. Even now, as a CFL and TSN retiree, Climie tries to keep busy and apply that same philosophy, although he’s starting to look further toward the future. Even though he’s accomplished everything he wanted professionally, he said the idea of sitting down holds no appeal to him. But now, he’s getting to pursue some of the things he hasn’t previously had time for. “I want to do things that allow me to start enjoying the fruits of my labor,” he said, “and not feel like I’ve got to be on this treadmill, which has been rolling at a pretty high rate of speed for a long time.”
CREDIT FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: JOURNAL FILE PHOTO, QUEEN’S LAW
Friday, February 26, 2021
Hugh Fraser: a trailblazer beyond a reasonable doubt adjudicators at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and has since worked at the 1990 Commonwealth Games and 2016 Olympics in Rio. His role in sports has continued in other facets as well, namely in keeping sports clean. Following Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson’s infamous positive drug test after winning gold in the 1988 Olympics, the Matt Funk Canadian government established Sports Editor the Dubin Inquiry, investigating performance-enhancing drugs When he was seven years old and (PEDs) in sports. new to the country, Hugh Fraser Serving as an advisor to the had the Canadian right of passage board, bringing the issue of PEDs of experiencing his first snowfall. was something of a bittersweet “I remember running outside experience for Fraser, knowing and jumping without even putting he had competed against ‘dirty’ on my coat. It was something I’d athletes as an Olympian—one PHOTO BY JODIE GRIEVE only seen pictures of.” Hugh Fraser has had a remarkable career from being an Olympian, to a lawyer, to a Judge. of which was Johnson, who later 17 years later, he was entering eclipsed him as the Canadian 100 Montreal’s Olympic stadium for metre champion. the 1976 summer games donning It wasn’t until his final years of that he’s an avid watcher of The This time it was more than a But for Fraser, competing dirty red and white. He was just high school that the eventual Crown. setback. It was the end of a chapter. had never been a thing he ever getting started. Olympian got his formal start in Unfortunately, injury struck “It was really demoralizing. I remotely entertained. track and field, a team which he again just weeks prior to the was just so down and said at that “I would never be satisfied if *** wasn’t good enough to make in his Olympics while competing point I’m just going to hang this up.” I didn’t believe I was competing first two years. in London, England. Fraser Yet, while one career was clean and it might have cost me a Born in Jamaica, Fraser While Fraser was building his had reinjured his right ending, Fraser was just getting few positions, no question. But I spent most of his early profile during his senior year of leg—the same one from started. believed that my body shouldn’t be childhood being raised by his high school, garnering offers from high school. treated that kind of compromise, grandmother, while his father top American schools, he suffered “You’re just thinking ‘oh no, not *** regardless of who else was Cecil—Queen’s first Black law a devastating setback: tearing his again,’ and knowing how long doing it.” graduate—worked on his studies hamstring. The recovery was long the first injury had taken to heal, While a late bloomer to in Canada, accompanied by Hugh’s and tenuous, lasting his first year at I thought my Olympics were sprinting, Fraser was a young *** mother, Rose. McMaster University. done—done before they talent as a lawyer. At 41, he was At the age of seven, he and his For his second year of even started.” appointed to the bench and served Cecil Fraser never considered brother made the voyage from university, Fraser moved back to However, after weeks of as one of the few Black justices in himself to be a trailblazer, but Kingston, Jamaica to Kingston, the town where his life in Canada rigorous therapy, Fraser’s leg was the province. his son does. Reflecting on his Ontario, becoming the setting began, at Queen’s University. He ready to compete—albeit with Prior to being a judge, he sat past, Hugh noted that his father’s where Fraser has most of his was drawn back by his memories some wrapping. He sat out of his on the Canadian human rights ability to break into the very childhood memories, playing of the school’s traditions while his favourite event, the 100 metres, tribunal, and the first case he white profession of law and be football, baseball, and hockey father was a student, but more but competed in the 100 metre presided over made its way to successful made the path seem with classmates and friends on importantly by long-time track relay and the 200 metres, making the Canadian Supreme Court, less imposing. the street. coach Rolf Lund, who churned it all the way to the finals in where ultimately Fraser’s verdict In truth, the Fraser’s are a It was also the first time he out provincial and national titles the former. was ratified. family of trailblazers, from Cecil remembers being underestimated. and would one day coach at “The Olympic experience was As a justice in 1992, Fraser Fraser to Hugh Fraser, down to Upon coming to Canada, Fraser the Olympics. just so incredible, to be in your presided over the hearing of an Hugh’s son, Mark, who broke was enrolled in elementary It was here where Fraser home country, to meet the Queen.” OPP officer who shot and killed barriers to achieve a career in the school, picking up where he left hit both his literal and While spectacular, being Dudley Moore, an Indigenous NHL, one of professional sports’ off in Jamaica, in the second grade. proverbial stride. hampered by his injury was activist, at the Ipperwash protests, most white-dominated leagues. However, his school principal “[Lund] was really like a second also frustrating. He set his sights ultimately finding the officer Fraser believes this comes from thought he ought to repeat first father to me,” he said. four years down the road to guilty of criminal negligence a strong belief in perseverance. grade, assuming the education Fraser looks back on his time the Moscow Olympics. In the causing death. “It comes from feeling Fraser received was inferior and at Queen’s fondly, having formed run-up to those games, he was In addition to sitting as a judge, that you shouldn’t assume that he might need some time lifelong bonds and learned the in the best shape of his life and Fraser has also moonlighted that any particular doors are to readjust. art of balance between sports, believed it to be his best shot at as an adjudicator for the Court closed to you. It may be hard “My mother was furious with academics, and Olympic pursuits. the podium yet. However, of Arbitration for Sport at the for us to get through some of that,” he said. At times he found the mounting the boycott of the Olympics, settling debacles that them, but part of that was just After meeting with the principal, expectations of him overwhelming, Moscow Olympics dashed need swift yet sound judgment. to believe.” Fraser’s mother argued it would but Lund was always ready Fraser’s hopes. He was one among the first-ever only be fair to base his grade level with advice. on some form of test. The principal In the summer before arriving agreed and began selecting papers at Queen’s, Fraser was back from around his office for Fraser to read his injury and building a name for aloud, on the spot. himself on the national stage. “That’s one big memory I still But it was during his time as have,” Fraser said. “He had some a law student at the University papers in his office and asked me of Ottawa where the Olympics to read that. And I read it. And entered Fraser’s sights. Rather then he got something else and I than take time away from his read it flawlessly.” studies to reach his peak sprinting “[The Principal] apologized to performance, Fraser decided my mother and said, ‘you know, he would do both—become a he’s already reading at a level lawyer and an Olympian—at the higher than the kids his age, so same time. I’m actually going to put him a “I literally organized my year ahead.’” bathroom breaks because I just And so, Fraser, who was didn’t have time to flitter away on already small for his age, began his anything else.” schooling as the new kid among His bet paid off, and in 1976 ‘big kids,’ in a new country. he was entering Olympic stadium Fraser discovered his love with Team Canada to raucous for running while working as a cheers of the 85,000 attendees in foul ball retriever for Kingston’s Montreal, and in front of millions semi-pro baseball league. They more eyes around the globe. paid him 50 cents per game, and Fraser was also one of a few he had a knack for it. athletes selected for dinner on “I never lost a single ball,” he the Royal Family’s yacht. Having said, giving the sense that small talk with Queen Elizabeth, the achievement still holds he said, was just about as a spot in his mental trophy memorable as his march into case all these years later. Olympic stadium—especially now
Queen’s alumn details his journey from the Olympics to the courtroom and back
12 • queensjournal.ca
Queen’s Student Diversity Project shines spotlight on Black identities in fashion QSDP to host fashion show on Instagram Nathan Gallagher Arts Editor For years, Black artists have been criticized for fashion choices that are now celebrated in the mainstream. Fatou Tounkara, ArtSci’21, is challenging that narrative. She’s president of the Queen’s Student Diversity Project (QSDP), a club created in 2017 with the aim of increasing and promoting diversity on campus. “For Black History Month, we wanted to create an event to celebrate Black culture, Black identities,” Tounkara told The Journal. “As you know, last year was a very hard year for the Black community, and so what we wanted to do is a more lighthearted event where we can still celebrate Black culture and also highlight the issues that Black people face but in a fun way,” she said. The upcoming fashion show “Melanated Trendsetters” is part of “The Gamechanger Series,” which examines the impact of Black identities on major industries. It will take
place live on QSDP’s Instagram on Feb. 28 from 1-3 p.m. Tounkara will be discussing the history of Black identity in fashion and Black experiences in the fashion industry. She encourages people to participate by sending her their favourite outfits and showing off traditional African attire. “That’s something I know as a Black woman I used to be embarrassed about wearing. Now, I’ve embraced it,” Tounkara said. She noted how lots of nspiration for fashion styles comes from Black culture. For instance, the hair styles and baggy shirts that Black hip-hop and rap artists rocked in the 90s were looked down upon at the time. But now, that style is seen as a fashion statement when white artists appropriate it. “There are a lot of people who are now praised for the style […] they have or the creativity that they have, but a lot has come from Black people and what they were looked down upon for,” Tounkara said. “Now it’s seen as cool—as a fashion statement. You see that [style] back in music videos with Lil’ Kim or Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Belair. That’s something we embrace in the Black community that was looked down upon for so many years.” QSDP is all about carving out a place
‘Citizen: An American Lyric’ challenges readers with the reality of casual racism Claudia Rankine’s poetry confronts the intricacies of being Black in America Alysha Mohamed Assistant Arts Editor Claudia Rankine’s voice is nothing short of transformational. Her volume, Citizen: An American Lyric, is a book-length poem which illuminates the uncomfortable reality of Black citizens’ everyday lives. There’s an overwhelming feeling in
Right: Claudia Rankine.
the collection of taking up too much space—of being too visible and invisible all at once. Her words inspired me as a poet, informed me as an ally, and changed me as a reader. Rankine draws on pop culture, street names, real experiences of Black citizens, and police brutality to weave together themes of race and racialization. She delves into the ways in which Black people are perceived and judged, regardless of how they may try to appeal to the white gaze. However, what separates Rankine from other authors is her ability to articulate the weight of glances and offhand remarks that people of colour hear every day. The discomfort of witnessing instances of covert racism through Rankine’s masterful
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY TESSA WARBURTON
Friday, February 26, 2021
SUPPLIED BY FATOU TOUNKARA
for different identities in a predominantly white school. Tounkara is aware of how discouraging it can be for prospective students when they hear the narrative that Queen’s is not a welcome place for all. “When you do say those narratives, it erases the experiences of other people, people of colour, people of different economical backgrounds or sexuality,” she said. “There are so many experiences at Queen’s, and I think it’s a shame to just ignore that, so that’s definitely what QSDP is about.” One of the club’s missions is to encourage high school students to apply to Queen’s. “We just wanted to change that discourse by talking to high school students who are interested in Queen’s and telling them that there is a place for everyone, and they shouldn’t just miss the chance to have a
really good education […] because of what is said about the university.” On a personal note, Tounkara said she found her footing when she joined the diversity project. “Before, it was kind of hard for me to find a community and genuine friends who I could relate to. But QSDP really helped me find genuine people […] It helped me realize that there’s so much to do at university and sometimes it’s better to just do it than to complain about it.” Tounkara remembers asking Nicole Osayande why she founded QSDP. “She said [it was] because she realized what was lacking and instead of complaining about it for four years, she wanted to do something about it. That has been my mentality ever since—creating my own experience instead of accepting what is.”
language is an experience all readers should put themselves through—both because the writing is stunning and because it’s a necessary education. The book is filled with moments which have truly lodged their way into my psyche and continued to impact my understanding of racism as a cultural phenomenon.
of extreme discomfort and pain—was enough to bring tears to my eyes. These experiences are woven throughout the book, interspersed with instances of violence and police brutality. Although Citizen was written in 2014, it’s as relevant now as it was during its publication. The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor could heartbreakingly fit perfectly into Rankine’s descriptions of police brutality. “Because white men can’t / police their imagination / black people are dying,” Rankine writes. For Queen’s students, I think one of the most applicable references Rankine makes is of Glenn Ligon’s Untitled painting, which was on display at the Museum of Modern Art in 2021. The painting itself draws inspiration from Hurston’s novel How it Feels to be Colored Me and Ellison’s Invisible Man. In bold black font, Ligon’s prints read, “I do not always feel colored;” “I feel most colored when I am thrown against a sharp white background.” This, I feel, is the crux of the book—experiencing race and racialization against the “sharp white background” of the majority. Citizen is one of the best pieces of literature I have experienced because it pushes the boundaries of form and understanding. It is activism through the lens of incredible poetry, combining historical and contemporary instances of racism with the depth of human emotions.
“Rankine draws on pop culture, street names, real experiences of Black citizens, and police brutality to weave together themes of race and racialization.
In one section of Citizen, Rankine describes the experience of a Black woman meeting her therapist for the first time. “The new therapist specializes in trauma counseling. You have only ever spoken on the phone,” Rankine writes. The speaker describes the house before ringing the doorbell and waiting outside for her therapist to answer. “When the door finally opens, the woman standing there yells, at the top of her lungs, Get away from my house! What are you doing in my yard? Then she pauses. Everything pauses. Oh, she says, followed by, oh yes, that’s right. I am sorry. I am so sorry, so so sorry.” Rankine’s ability to personalize this experience of racism—this moment
Friday, February 26, 2021
queensjournal.ca • 13
Danielle Hope Edwards: gospel-inspired sound and the healing power of music Alysha Mohamed Assistant Arts Editor Edwards’ two recent singles are infused with love. Her songs “Love Stands” and “Your Truth” are filled with stripped down lyrics and the musical influences of soul, gospel, and R&B—giving her a unique voice as an emerging Canadian artist. “Whether you are willing or not to act in love, love is always there,” said Danielle (Danni) Hope Edwards, Con-Ed ‘24, in an interview with The Journal. “I want to put love out into the void.” Edwards started writing music at the age of six, influenced by her musical family and her experience singing in church. “It was a way for me to express whatever I was feeling in that moment,” Edwards said. “I was just singing what I felt, and I made it rhyme.” The artist has always gravitated towards gospel music, and that influence is palpable in her art.
“As I continue to get older, I don’t think about anyone hearing my songs, I just write for me”
“I just loved the energy from gospel, it just gets you in the mood to sing and dance,” Edwards said. “I also loved the richness and hope of the lyrics—how every line is intentional. A lot of gospel is about overcoming struggles, and a lot of negro spirituals are associated with the genre.” While expressing her feelings
giddy feeling. Love is an action.” Being one of the only racialized individuals in a predominantly white community growing up has also influenced the themes in Edwards’ writing and how she chooses to approach her activism. “I grew up in Prince Edward
“The main message is to walk a mile in your neighbour’s shoes.”
Danielle Hope Edwards.
has always been a driving force in Edwards’ song-writing, it has only become more nuanced and refined over time. “I would say the relationship between my music and mental health has kind of become more intertwined as I get older,” Edwards said. “In my teen years, I felt like I had to close up and it showed up in my lyrics. I was just trying to write something that sounded nice.” “As I continue to get older, I don’t think about anyone hearing my songs, I just write for me— it’s kind of like therapy in a way,”
Edwards said. Edwards described the heartfelt process of writing “Love Stands” in July when the song became a response to the political and social issues around the world. “When I wrote ‘Love Stands,’ it was very recently after the murder of George Floyd. I was thinking about Black Lives Matter and the protests, and the Wet’suwet’en blockades, and the poverty of children in Yemen,” Edwards said. “There were all these global issues in my mind, and I had an opportunity to write something
Documentary at Kingston Canadian Film Festival highlights the history of trans icon Billy Tipton The Journal talks trans equality with directors Chin-Yee and Joynt Mackenzie Loveys Contributor Billy Tipton’s reputation as a talented jazz musician was altered by the media when he died in 1989. Now, co-directors Chin-Yee and Joynt are setting the record straight. NO ORDINARY MAN: The Billy Tipton Documentary focuses on the life of late jazz musician Billy Tipton, an impactful and iconic figure in trans history. Co-directors Aisling Chin-Yee and Chase Joynt uniquely capture the story of
Tipton’s life as a transmasculine musician in the 20th century, while opening a dialogue about the impact of Tipton’s story within the trans community. “As trans creators and people interested in music and history, we have all become accustomed to one particular version of Tipton’s story. So, as a team, we were really excited to tell the underexplored and untold story about Tipton’s life, and more importantly, the lives of those who[m] he potentially impacted,” co-director Joynt stated in an interview with The Journal. No Ordinary Man discusses the negative impact the media had on Tipton’s legacy after his death in 1989. A great deal of judgement, disrespect, and scrutiny arose when his gender identity became highly publicized. This documentary excels in setting history right as it shows the real
story behind the life of Billy Tipton rather than the hateful claims about Tipton’s gender identity made by many media outlets in the 20th century.
Whatever your entry “point to Billy’s story, to
trans history, to what’s going on today, I hope that it has some kind of resonance.”
“For so long, the details of Tipton’s life in particular were controlled by talk and tabloid media. Our project is an example of what can happen when you tell a story from a trans perspective,” Joynt said. The film features a group of diverse voices, such as actor and activist Marquise Vilsón,
SUPPLIED BY DANIELLE HOPE EDWARDS
because I want to get a message out there.” “Love Hurts” is an emotional ballad backed by simplistic piano and heightened with motivational lyrics that are still personalized to Edwards. The song speaks to change driven by unconditional love. Edwards’ lyrics are centered around empathy and human collaboration, offering that “Unity is when we choose to walk in a shared name / And let love be that name.” “The main message is to walk a mile in your neighbour’s shoes,” Edwards said. “Love is not just a who guides viewers through the history of Billy Tipton while discussing various experiences that often come with identifying as transgender in a predominantly cisgender environment. This discourse allows for a critical evaluation of how society’s perception of the trans community has evolved and progressed in some ways over time, as well as how it has remained unchanged in the 21st century. No Ordinary Man creates an opportunity for multiple trans voices to be heard and provides a modern outlook on the significance and impact of Tipton’s story through a collection of diverse thoughts and personal stories. “Billy Tipton’s story becomes a vehicle for people’s interpretations and voices and experiences, so it was a way to look at this historical figure but also to be able to frame it in a contemporary lens. And he’s not here to talk about himself, there is no diary or record of how he identified, so it’s us looking at who Billy is from multiple points of view,” co-director Chin-Yee stated. This documentary also highlights the importance of including trans perspectives in conversations about topics like art and history. The film is an excellent example of why it’s necessary
County, and my family is literally the only Black family for 30 minutes,” Edwards said. “Being one of the only Black children in school made me feel really isolated.” Growing up, Edwards was constantly made aware of how different she was from the rest of her peers. “A lot of the things that were different about me were pointed out, sometimes in microaggressions and sometimes in flat out discrimination,” Edwards said. “I wanted to write something to express this, not in a way to condemn those who have hurt me, but in a way that I can express my healing.” Inspired by Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys, and Ella Fitzgerald, Edwards plans to channel her emotional growth into her lyrics and release her first EP of original songs soon. “It’s going to be an expression of me,” Edwards said. “I’m really excited to put more of my original songs out into the world, and hopefully someone will be able to relate to the lyrics.” to be inclusive behind the camera and in front of it. “We believe that stories should feature and focus on those most impacted by the narrative choices, so it feels unethical and careless to tell a story about Tipton’s history without trans people,” Joynt said. By welcoming a diverse and inclusive range of viewpoints and forms of representation, No Ordinary Man fights against the heteronormative and often transphobic mould of society. “We feel strongly that collaboration is the future, and that’s cis people and trans people collaborating together to tell stories and always working intersectionally to be paying attention to how race, class, and gender impact how we tell stories and who we tell stories about,” said Joynt. This documentary has the potential to educate viewers on trans history or may possibly inspire them to embrace their own unique sense of self, just as Tipton and the featured speakers have chosen to. “I hope they experience the film, they learn something, it inspires discussion. But whatever your entry point to Billy’s story, to trans history, to what’s going on today, I hope that it has some kind of resonance,” Chin-Yee said.
14 • queensjournal.ca
Friday, February 26, 2021
‘February is the month of Black History Month, but it’s also the month of love’ Queen’s student kicks off digital platform with a video roundtable discussing Black women’s experiences dating at a predominantly white institution Seven women from Queen's talk about their experience in the dating scene in Black Beauty Tech's first full video.
Shelby Talbot Lifestyle Editor This article contains words from the video “Black Women Dating at Predominantly White Institutions,” but is by no means a comprehensive summary of the diverse scope of its content. Nicole Osayande, ArtSci '21, launched her YouTube channel and digital community, Black Beauty Tech, this week. Her first full video, titled “Black Women Dating at Predominantly White Institutions,” is a roundtable conversation featuring seven Queen’s students. In the video, the group of women discuss their experiences as Black women in Queen’s dating and hookup culture. “[Black Beauty Tech] is essentially a space for me to talk about everything I love—Blackness, beauty, and tech—but it’s also to create a space for Black women to be authentically themselves in the tech space,” Osayande told The Journal. Osayande said the intention behind her first video is to help people understand what it’s like to be a Black person in the dating scene at a primarily white institution such as Queen’s. “I wanted the first thing that I talked about to be Blackness and to speak to a wider audience in the Black History Month. February is the month of Black History Month, but it’s also the month of love. I thought it would be a really good idea to bring those two topics together.”
“My goal with this [...] isn’t to accuse anyone or make anybody feel targeted,” Osayande said. “I think there's power in having a conversation or listening into a conversation that you've never really thought about yourself. I feel like when people watch [the video], whether they're a Black person or not, they'll think twice about their interactions in hookups and dating apps.” The video begins with Jessica Somersall, ArtSci '21, introducing some of the issues she’s faced trying to hook up at Queen’s: “It’s not fun, especially because you’re one of the only people of colour, and a lot of the time, when you’re trying to hook up with another person of colour, they’re too busy with white women.”
don’t really have the confidence to walk up to people and be like, ‘Hey, are you Gay? I am.’” Ifekwe said it’s a common experience that when you’re interested in someone else, they’re either unavailable or uninterested in you “because you’re a person of colour.” Danielle Edwards, ConEd '23, described how, when it comes to speaking out about topics including dating at Queen’s, she’s grateful for the support of other Black women: “For me, I still remember that I am going to be seen as this or that [...] it can really don on your self-confidence and your mind. But even with that burden, it’s so helpful to have fellow people of colour, like in the Black community, with you.”
Somersall said this can cause her to push herself outside of her comfort zone in terms of who she’s having these interactions with—which can be a good thing, but it also leaves her “susceptible to a lot of fetishization.” “You’re putting yourself out there, and you might get hurt.” Jalisa Thompson, ArtSci '21, described the “love-hate” relationships she has with dating apps for similar reasons. Thompson said that, while she finds people she’s attracted to on these apps, those same people may not
reciprocate because “they’re looking for somebody else.” “If I do match with people, they’re very quick to bring race into it,” Thomspon explained. “I’m not interested in that aspect, and they’re very disrespectful about it sometimes.” Outside of dating apps, Catherine Haba, ArtSci '21, said she’s found navigating dating at Queen’s “very difficult.” “I think there’s still very much that idea that you’re going to come to university and find your person,” she said. “As much as I would like to say that I didn’t necessarily have that in mind, [...] going to a predominantly white university and just being in such a small town, it’s very difficult [to meet people] when you’re not on dating apps.” Haba explained that being familiar with the Black community in Kingston can come with its own dating challenges: “Because you know each other and you know your friends, if one guy has messed around or dated another person within that community, because I’m most likely friends with that girl, or just because I know her, personally I just don’t want to go there.” Osayande reiterated that dating options at Queen’s can seem limited. “As Black women in the dating scene, you do really feel like you have maybe fifty people to choose from—a hundred if it’s a good year.” Lois Ifekwe, ArtSci '21, explained how Queerness adds an extra layer to the experience. “When you’re new to your sexuality, you’re exploring it, and you’re shy, you
Growing up, I was always ecstatic to see a Muslim character, no matter who they were. Looking back, though, the few characters I clung to were all portrayed in the same way. There was only one way a Muslim woman could exist on North American television: she would have to start out as a helpless hijabi, and then she would have to be liberated by a white romantic interest. I started noticing this kind of representation in teen shows like Degrassi and, nearly a decade later, I’m seeing similar critiques about ‘progressive’ Netflix shows using the exact same trope. This isn’t only disappointing to Muslim women everywhere who feel like we have to abandon our religion to be empowered. It’s also disappointing that these depictions influence how non-Muslims view us. With the release of the latest Ms. Marvel
from Marvel Comics, this is slowly changing. The series depicts a teenage girl named Kamala Khan. She’s Muslim, but not hijabi. She’s religious and still empowered. She comes from a conservative family with a very traditional brother and still has their love and support. Ms. Marvel is a win, but even the depictions of Islam in the comics are hesitant. When we see the implication that a hijabi character might have been forced to wear a headscarf, we’re immediately told that her father is actually against it. These are comics written by Muslim American women. These are real experiences—but they’re experiences that are too afraid to depict the ways the Muslim community can and does oppress women. I understand why. There are so few chances for Muslim women to see ourselves on screen. If, in those few chances, we’re critiquing Islam, it will enforce Islamophobia under the guise of women’s liberation. The fact is, for many women, neither of these two experiences represent us. I’m Muslim and still identify with some
of the traditions of my religion. I still find empowerment within it, but it’s been deeply traumatic for me in a lot of ways. Muslim men have physically and sexually assaulted me. My family has forced their religion on me and made me feel inadequate for resisting tradition. Plenty of devout Muslim women have slut shamed me or ridiculed my Queerness. Those are all very common experiences. In the same way we can depict issues within organized religions like Christianity on-screen without generalizing all Christians, we should be able to do that with representations of Muslim women. Beyond the need for critiques of Islam, depictions of Muslim women are also often of South Asian or Arab women—and this is not the reality. Muslims come in all races and ethnicities, and also from many different sects. We need more nuanced representations of Muslim women, and that starts with more representations overall. We need to see their experiences as independent of Islam itself, and be willing to hear their stories without trying to shame or liberate them.
You’re putting yourself out there, and you might get hurt”
We need more nuanced representations of Muslim women When there are few chances for representation, we miss out on a wealth of experiences Aysha Tabassum Features Editor Whenever we talk about representation of a minority group, we always talk about how to do it ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ It’s no different for Muslim characters—we need them to be perfectly imperfect. We need them to represent us in the way that brings us tolerance and acceptance. This often means that we’re only ever portraying one or two kinds of Muslim women, leaving out a ton of important experiences, including mine.
ILLUSTRATION BY SHELBY TALBOT
confidence is " Yourwithin you”
While all these experiences can have a negative impact on self-perception, Fatoumata Tounkara, ArtSci '21, said she has benefited from looking inward. “I started to have confidence when I stopped actually focusing on the outside, focusing on how beautiful I am and who I’m attracting and stuff, and just focusing on me and my energies, and how I felt with my body,” Tounkara said. “Your confidence is not built based on the people you attract or how many people you date or how many people are interested in you. Your confidence is within you.”
Friday, february 26, 2021
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY TESSA WARBURTON
Olivia Wilde and Harry Styles.
Stop criticizing Olivia Wilde over Harry Styles The narrative surrounding this suspected celebrity relationship is one rooted in patriarchal values Patrick Wilson-Smith Contributor Between his androgynous style and ambiguous song lyrics, Harry
Binge-watching reveals the cracks in reality TV’s appeal Ben Wrixon Opinions Editor If video killed the radio star, then streaming should kill reality television. The appeal of reality TV is undeniable: humans are inherently nosy creatures. There’s a vicarious thrill in watching other people live their lives. While memorable personalities often keep viewers returning, reality TV is most successful when it exploits our curiosity. Unfortunately, this curiosity can’t make ordinary people less boring. Without guaranteed intrigue to keep viewers hooked episode after episode, reality TV would be like watching paint
Styles has always been known as a rule-bender. Recently, however, Styles has gained acclaim for bending a whole new set of rules: those of a younger man dating an older woman. In January, the 27-year-old singer and actor reportedly started dating 36-year-old Olivia Wilde, the director of Don’t Worry Darling, a highly-anticipated film Styles is set to star in. This news broke following pictures of the two holding hands at a wedding, causing the internet to go berserk with several
news outlets reporting on their possibly romantic relationship. The issue here isn’t simply about whether people are too invested in their reported relationship, because people have long been enthralled with celebrities and who they may—or may not—be dating. Rather, the attention cast on their potential romance combined with the gendered narrative surrounding it highlights a deep-rooted double standard imposed by patriarchal norms targeting women dating younger men.
The way the media has portrayed Wilde and Style’s potential relationship has ingrained, gender-based flaws. Tabloids and Twitter users alike have painted Wilde as a bad mother and cougar preying on a young, vulnerable man, while famous men like Leonardo DiCaprio are rarely criticized for dating women over 20 years younger than them. We accept that male celebrities will date significantly younger women, but we’re uncomfortable when that power dynamic is subverted. Jason Sudeikis, Wilde’s older former fiancé, has the same age difference with Wilde that she has with Styles. Social media was quick to acknowledge this point, as one Twitter user commented: “People can stop calling Olivia Wilde a cougar now… the age difference between her and Harry Styles is the same as the gap between her and Jason Sudeikis.” This isn’t the only double standard that’s been applied to women linked to Styles—or women celebrities at large. When Styles' and Wilde’s hand-holding made headlines, fans of Lizzo pointed out that few people assumed that Styles and the singer were dating when they held hands at an award show last year. This demonstrates a facet of the intersectional struggle women of colour have long endured, because it sheds light on the belief that male celebrities have specific ‘types’ of women that they date—which excludes women of colour. One Twitter user wrote, “When Harry held hands with Lizzo they were just friends. When Harry holds hands with someone who is apparently “his type” they’re dating. Y’all see the problem??”
Another added: “interesting that the media and articles have automatically assumed that harry styles has dated/been with every single woman he’s friends with EXCEPT Lizzo…wonder why that is.” Hollywood offers a long history of actors and actresses dating one another with varying age gaps—some that have raised some eyebrows, others that go overlooked. But upon closer examination, it’s clear the trend of age-gap disapproval lies predominantly with women dating younger men, as the notion of female submission to men’s apparent wisdom and prestige has become normalized. The Hollywood age gap phenomenon isn’t just a matter of the public obsession with celebrities and who they romantically engage with. Instead, the phenomenon shows where we’ve gone wrong in forging judgments about our favourite celebrities by interpreting stories with a patriarchally inculcated bias. Our focus on female celebrities like Wilde should be appreciating their skill and contributions to the entertainment industry. Wilde has proven herself as a talented actress and filmmaker. Women have long been at the centre of gendered narratives for the wrong reasons. Going forward, we should keep an open mind and stay aware of where our criticisms come from when we judge celebrity relationships like this one. We should also focus on allowing consenting adults to have the relationships they want without casting judgment—even if doing so goes against our interest in their personal lives.
from this artificial suspense. Unfortunately, with minimal effort and creativity being put into the majority of present-day reality TV, this hypothetical stands as an exception to the rule rather than the norm. As consumers of entertainment, we’ve become pickier than before. Non-reality TV used to be where acting careers went to die. Gatekeepers often labelled TV as a lesser medium to film, treating it like an immature younger brother. Sitcoms, while popular, were doing little to move the needle toward respectability. Enter the last two decades of television. Iconic shows on
pay-per-view networks such as The Sopranos and Breaking Bad legitimized TV for a new generation. Despite ultimately being a colossal disappointment, the finale of Game of Thrones rode in on blockbuster hype. More recently, shows like Stranger Things have dominated pop-culture while existing only on streaming services. The internet makes the entire history of TV easily accessible; streaming services are moderately affordable avenues to unlimited high-quality content. With endless options at our disposal, watching anything less than the best TV is a waste of time. Shows today don’t need between-episode intrigue. Their characters may be played by actors, but the drama is often far more authentic than reality TV. The need for reality TV is dying. Streaming should be the final nail in the coffin.
Streaming should be the end of reality TV
dry. For producers creating these shows to make money, the choice between scripted and genuine reactions is easy. Nonetheless, something is alluring about tuning in every week to see what happens, even if it’s another half-hour of scripted drama. Viewers become so invested in the lives of strangers that they start to feel like friends—or in some cases, enemies. Reality TV relies on artificial suspense created by the time between episodes. The near-extinct cable television model had programs air once per week, turning reality TV into a scheduled
event. However, when this anticipation isn’t building every week, the cracks start to show. When shows like Survivor and Big Brother popularized reality TV in the early 2000s, the only way to watch new TV was as it aired. For many viewers, speculating between weekly episodes was often just as fun as watching the show itself. This system tricked viewers into believing their enjoyment of the whole rigmarole meant the show was actually good. This isn’t to say reality TV can’t be enjoyable television; when done right, reality TV can surpass genre clichés and stand independently
16 • queensjournal.ca
Friday, February 26, 2021
Clanny recalls her experience in high school.
You’re not the ally you think you are Clanny Mugabe Contributor I’ve found that white people are often more worried about being called racist than they are about actually being racist. I’ve known white people who throw fits at the mere suggestion of being labelled racist—‘allies’ who flip out without addressing the racist thing they said or did. To them, the label is more offensive and damaging than the actual harm they caused. These white allies are the kind of people who unironically post “I’m not racist, I have a Black friend!” and make a point to exploit said Black friend until they’re no longer useful to them. I’ve been that Black friend. ***
For most of high school, I felt like someone’s accessory—someone’s shield from racism. I was in a friendship, then friend group, where I was the only one who seemed to care about racism at all. Being the ‘token Black friend’ means you’re always trying to find a balance between educating your friends on topics of race and protecting their fragile feelings. If you’re too harsh or too openly critical of their ignorance, they
The token Black friend
push back. If you dare suggest they behaved in a way that’s racist, they shut down the conversation, shut you out, and flip the script to accuse you of being too cruel or too critical. In high school, I had to coddle my friends' feelings more than I could protect my own. I couldn’t express myself in a politically turbulent time because I became too angry and aggressive for them to talk to me, because my opinions offended them. I couldn’t be myself because my Blackness offended them. In that battle between catering to white people’s feelings and being true to my own experience, I was the one who lost.
I spent most of high "school silent when I shouldn’t have had to be"
I was too afraid of losing the few friends I had. I was too afraid of the backlash of seeming too radical, too aggressive. I was painfully aware of how I looked when I became upset—a disagreement could turn into an argument, and an argument could turn into a situation where I became the angry Black woman that I always tried to avoid being stereotyped as. I spent most of high school silent when I shouldn’t have had to be. I dealt with each microaggression with a smile, even though they stung.
They rolled their eyes when I talked about my anger"
On its own, a microaggression could be as insignificant as a paper cut. But over time they sting more and more, and the cuts never seem to heal. ***
It's difficult to look back on those years I spent dealing with and accepting ignorance. It’s been two years since I graduated high school, and those people who hurt me have moved on. I haven’t. Despite my fading memory, I can still recall the pent-up anger, still feel the ache that came with not being able to say anything. I can still remember the way each comment—each cut—chipped away at my sense of self and the trust I had in my ‘friends.’ They crossed so many lines and didn’t consider for a second that they might be doing something wrong. They invaded my space and touched my hair without permission. They spoke about other people of colour in derogatory ways. They had conversations about my own people, not to defend my right to exist, but to debate my right to exist—like it’s something up for debate—right in front of me, as if I wasn't there to listen to them dehumanize me.
They rolled their eyes when I talked about my culture. They rolled their eyes when I talked about my anger. I can't always remember the exact words they said to me, or every micro and macroaggression, but I remember the hurt, and I remember the alienation. Despite being their ‘friend,’ those people from high school never made me feel safe.
You have to do more "than befriending Black people"
I know that my ‘friends’ didn’t think they were racist people, and they never pretended to be activists—some shared some anti-Black Lives Matter sentiments—but they genuinely thought they were progressive and stood for civil rights, simply because they accepted the presence of Black people around them. I wouldn’t even say they were malicious—just deliberately ignorant. By choosing to be ignorant, their true intentions were made clear to me: they were happy with the status quo and didn’t care about the issues Black people face today. *** I’ve become exhausted with white allies. In my experience, the recent
ILLUSTRATION BY TESSA WARBURTON
trend of speaking out against racism is just that: a trend. For them, it’s just a way to get likes and retweets, to appear like you care about the pertinent issues that are discussed today. But none of those online statements matter if you don’t bother to care about the Black people around you. Racism takes many more forms than saying slurs. Our society is built on a strong foundation of bigotry, and the things we consume has been and continues to be bigoted and spread bigoted messages. White people are particularly susceptible to this, because the society we live in caters to them and validates their existence at the expense of people of colour. To be truly anti-racist, you have to do more than just play lip service to the cause. You have to do more than befriending Black people. Chances are, if you surround yourself with people of colour but refuse to acknowledge your biases and your racist actions, all you are doing is creating an unsafe and uncomfortable environment for them. If you’re quick to call out racism online but can’t handle the suggestion that you might have internalized racism as well, then you’re not the ally you think you are.