the journal Vol. 148, Issue 25
Students from Watts Hall outbreak discuss poor food quality, limited access to water, academic impact
Friday, March 26, 2021
Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples.
‘It was like a ghost town’: Inside Queen’s isolation residence
Queen’s using Student Code of Conduct for off-campus public health violations but
J ulia H armsworth Assistant News Editor Queen’s isolation residence is mandatory for students living in residence who are being tested for COVID-19; however, some students are concerned about the food and water quality and academic impact of isolation. Through conversations with two students who were living on the third floor of Watts Hall—Watts 3—when the University declared an outbreak David C. Smith house. of COVID-19, The Journal got a glimpse into Queen’s isolation residence, David C. Smith House (Smith) The University identified an outbreak in Watts Hall on March 11, after five students on the third negative—he hadn’t attended floor tested positive for COVID-19. the party with the student who Watts went into lockdown that tested positive. day, and all the students on the ResLife emailed Jarko at 11:30 floor were immediately moved into p.m. to say he could leave Smith at isolation. Though the JDUC was also midnight. He returned to Watts and designated an isolation residence, spent the night there, but woke up the University told The Journal it on March 11 to more emails telling hasn’t yet been used. him to go back to Smith—so he Five more cases in residence returned to isolation. plus 10 cases off-campus were Three days into isolation, KFL&A identified that week. From March Public Health started sending 15 to 21, four more cases were personnel into Smith to test the reported in residence and 56 students in isolation. Jarko tested off-campus. negative for COVID-19 that day, and Thomas Jarko, ArtSci ’24, said again a week later. he was told there was an outbreak The students from Watts who on his floor around noon on March tested positive were allowed to 10, after his friend tested positive leave the isolation residence on for COVID-19 earlier that morning. March 19 and 20. However, Jarko Five or six of the students on had to stay in isolation until March Jarko’s floor had attended the same 25 because symptoms can take 14 party with his friend, who lives days to arise. He was originally told off-campus, on March 5. he could leave March 19. When The Journal inquired “It’s like, that’s the third time about whether the off-campus you’ve told me the wrong date cases are related to the campus now,” he told The Journal. “That was outbreak, Kingston, Frontenac, a really bad weekend for me. I really and Lennox and Addington didn’t want to stay here. I really (KFL&A) Public Health said didn’t want to go through all that. I the cases on campus are “still barely touched schoolwork. I really under investigation.” couldn’t do much.” Jarko said he received an Students in isolation are email from ResLife around 2 p.m. generally not allowed to leave on March 10 telling him to pack their room—doing so results in an enough belongings for 14 days and immediate write-up and is cause move into Smith. He was tested for for expulsion. Starting on March 18, COVID-19 at the Student Wellness however, students were allowed to Services (SWS) COVID-19 testing book daily, monitored 30-minute centre in Mitchell Hall before outdoor time. he moved. Food is delivered every day That night, after a few hours around 5 p.m., Jarko said. Students in isolation, his test came back receive a hot dinner and a cold
not acts of raciscm Raechel Huizinga Editor in Chief
breakfast and lunch for the next day. Dinner is usually a protein, a carbohydrate, and a vegetable, with chips, a pudding cup, cheese, and a piece of fruit; breakfast consists of a pastry product, some fruit, cottage cheese, and juice; and lunch is a sandwich or salad with pop, more chips, and pudding cups. Jarko said that, originally, the food distribution was “really messy” and several students missed meals, especially their first one. He said the hot food has improved over time, though. “At the start of the time here we got one dinner and it was very mushy chicken and potatoes and corn, and it looked like puke and it was disgusting,” he said. “[But] it’s gotten better to the point where yesterday we got fried pork balls with chicken fried rice and that was really good.” Jarko added the snacks have become more sugary; he’s received lots of cookies, sugary cereal, and multiple cans of Coke per meal. “I’m like, I really don’t want to eat this, give me something that’s healthy for me,” he said. In an email to The Journal, Leah Wales, executive director of Housing & Ancillary Services, said the University knows being asked to isolate is “not easy,” and that Residence and Hospitality staff “are working hard to make the experience as smooth as possible for everyone.” “On Thursday, March 11, a large number of students had to go into
Inside this issue O pinions
commit to academic
Situated on the traditional lands of the
can’t impede @queensjournal
isolation quickly. This rapid move led to some delays delivering meals that day and Friday,” she said. “We immediately increased our staffing, the frequency of meal delivery, added more equipment for hot food transportation and have been delivering added snacks and special treats, as well as large water containers.” Jarko said the University’s response to the outbreak “definitely could have been better.” He said there’s also been issues with Wi-Fi access, maintenance, and water—he said the tap water ran cloudy, and bottled water wasn’t delivered to students until four or five days in. Natalie Lane, ArtSci ’24, who also lives on Watts 3, tested negative for COVID-19 and was put into isolation in Smith on March 10. “It was like a ghost town,” she told The Journal. “I kind of knew Smith as the quarantine building, and […] as soon as I walked through the doors, I was like, alright, this is it.” Like Jarko, Lane spoke to the poor food quality and limited access to water, and the effect isolation had on her schoolwork. “I was just so beyond stressed […] I didn’t do any work. It was really difficult to focus, it was very difficult to stay motivated,” she said. “I didn’t feel like I was being treated properly. Isolation’s a hard thing to do, and I wanted Queen’s to recognize that and give me proper food and water.”
Queen’s is applying the Student Code of Conduct to off-campus public health infractions, but not off-campus acts of racism. At the March 23 Senate meeting, Senator Laeeque Daneshmend, who’s also a member of the University Council on Anti-Racism and Equity (UCARE), asked for confirmation that Queen’s is applying the Code to students who break public health orders. Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Mark Green confirmed Queen’s has an arrangement with the City of Kingston and Kingston Police that, when individuals are charged under the Reopening Ontario Act or other offences related to public health, the University receives information about those students. Green said this includes students who were charged for breaking public health orders last fall and during the recent COVID-19 outbreak. “I expect in due course we will receive those names and then those will be processed in the same manner through our normal Student Code of Conduct processes,” he said. Green added the scope of the Code applies when off-campus activities affect campus operations, stating public health infractions off-campus threaten the University because they cause Queen’s to scale back operations. “So, hence, we’re able in that case to provide that direct link which meets the test of those specific cases,” he said. “That same logic would not apply if a student were in another jurisdiction and, say, broke COVID protocols. That would not apply for that.” Senator Daneshmend said his motivation behind his line of questioning was confusion about how the Code applies to acts of racism. See racism on page 3
reveal backlash over @queensjournal
2 • queensjournal.ca
Friday, March 26, 2021
After first year as director, Cynthia Gibney looks to incorporate student feedback into Student Wellness Services Gibney working with creator of “Reform Student Wellness” Instagram page
successfully integrated health and major challenges to settling into counselling services into one unit the Queen’s community. and installed new technologies, “My philosophy is to get to know including an online booking the processes as they are before system, to increase student access you make major changes. I didn’t to care. have time to do that because we Two weeks after assuming the had a change given the public position, Gibney was required health recommendations and the to shift her focus from adapting pandemic order. We had no choice,” Cassidy McMackon to Queen’s to managing the Gibney said in an interview with Assistant News Editor COVID-19 pandemic when the The Journal. University shut down. “In leadership, you want to get Following her first year as A major aspect of taking on the to know people and understand Executive Director at Student role at Queen’s involved installing where they are coming from and Wellness Services (SWS), Cynthia new technologies to adapt to the get their perspectives. That’s been Gibney said she’s looking to put COVID-19 pandemic and public challenging; you can’t get to know the needs of the students first. health directives to allow students people in the same way.” Gibney assumed the role of to access services remotely, When asked about the criticism SWS Executive Director on March according to Gibney. posed towards SWS this past 2, 2020, coming to Queen’s from Gibney cited COVID-19 as a year through Instagram account the University of Western Ontario major challenge to her first year “Reform Student Wellness,” Gibney where she held the role of director in the role. Adapting to the new said SWS is adapting to further of health and wellness for 16 years. position along with adapting to support students. In her role at Western, Gibney the COVID-19 pandemic presented One goal SWS is pursuing includes diversifying staff. “We’re really focussing on meeting the needs of the students,” Gibney said. “There are services for certain marginalized groups for sure. Can we improve? Always.” SWS currently has an LGBTQ+ identifying counsellor on staff to meet the needs of LGBTQ+ students. The Service also works with Lisa Doxtator, who is the cultural counsellor of Four Directions. Gibney also said SWS is trying to hire a Black-identifying .... continued from front considered it or have been counsellor to support BIPOC thinking about it, and I don’t have “I have been thoroughly a specific response other than to frustrated for over four years think about ways in which we can now that this University keeps on do that in individual cases as they dragging its feet and prevaricating arrive.” and obfuscating and not being Principal Deane added the clear regarding the application of Non-Academic Misconduct the Student Code of Conduct to Subcommittee has discussed racist acts that occur off campus,” the issue. he said. “Modifications to the code that The topic of applying the Code will bring racism squarely within to off-campus acts of racism was the purview of the code are not last highlighted over four years ago, only being contemplated, they will when Queen’s received national occur,” he said. attention for a racist costume The Journal reported last party. At the time, former Principal October that Undergraduate Daniel Woolf confirmed students Trustee Shoshannah Bennettwouldn’t be punished through the Dwara has been advocating for the Code of Conduct, which could only addition of a definition of racism to be applied to off-campus activities the Student Code of Conduct. that were sanctioned events. Senator Daneshmend asked “I would strongly urge both Queen’s to clarify its commitment Claudia Rupnik yourself and the principal to come to addressing acts of racism. News Editor out with a clear statement on this “I think it is perhaps a disservice matter because it is really quite to the community, and particularly Queen’s is reporting 71 active a glaring double standard that to our students, if we are not clear cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday we are applying it to off-campus as to the commitment of this evening, including six in residence incidences that relate to public institution to addressing acts of and 65 off campus. health and we are not applying it racist behaviour throughout our The University’s case tracker is to incidences of racist behaviour,” community,” he said. “Time after showing 10 new cases during the Daneshmend said. time, when I speak to racialized week of March 22-28; one of these Provost Green thanks students, they’re very sensitive cases was identified in residence Daneshmend for his to this matter, and I think a clear and nine off campus. recommendation. statement on this would go a long “Over the last few weeks, “Ever since you raised it after way in reassuring many, many Queen’s University has seen a the statement in the fall I have people in our community.” significant rise in Covid-19 cases
Modifications to the code are underway
Cynthia Gibney started at SWS in March 2020.
SUPPLIED BY QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY
students. Though it hasn’t yet been successful in hiring a counsellor for these students, Gibney said SWS has a contract with E.L. James, a counsellor in the Kingston community, who is able to support BIPOC students. Gibney said she’s meeting with the creator of “Reform Student Wellness” to ensure she’s able to hear concerns about student wellness directly from students. She said SWS is looking to collaborate with students to ensure their needs are met. “I want to face these head on. I want to hear from the students,” she said. “When I do speak to a student, I take that to the practitioner and ask to reflect on this and have had good conversations coming out of it.” Gibney said SWS has been working with the creator of the Instagram page and has also invited student leaders from the AMS and SGPS, as well as Rector Sam Hiemstra, to meetings to discuss improvements to the service. She also said SWS intends to administer a survey to student leaders to keep in touch with students on a monthly basis. “I hope they feel heard,” she said.
SWS is also in the process of creating an advisory board for students to provide feedback to the service, according to Gibney. The advisory board will consist of formalized, predetermined meetings where students will be able to share concerns with Gibney directly. The advisory board will likely be established closer to the end of April. Gibney is currently consulting with “Reform Student Wellness” to determine which student leaders will be included in the meetings. There will be an application system for other students who are interested in sitting on the advisory committee. “Moving forward, we want to have a direct connection and direct communication. Instead of anonymously posting something online, students can go to [leadership] and ask for a certain issue to be brought forward to ask to be invited to a meeting,” she said. “I think that’s where we’re going to get the most action; hearing from students directly instead of hearing from students anonymously online.”
amongst our students,” Principal Patrick Deane wrote in a March 24 statement. “This began with an outbreak in our residences but we are now seeing cases both on and off campus.” “Since the start of the pandemic, the University has worked in partnership with KFL&A Public Health, Kingston Police, the City, and Kingston Health Sciences Centre to promote awareness of public health regulations and respond to actions that put the health of the Kingston community at risk. On our campus, we have strict COVID protocols in place both within the residence community and in other areas.” Deane reminded students that asymptomatic testing is available at the Student Wellness Service (SWS) testing centre at Mitchell Hall. Students can book testing appointments Monday to Friday,
from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Appointments can be booked by calling SWS at 613533-2506; however, evening appointments—4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.—can also be booked through a new online portal. “Being able to identify cases early and implement contact tracing is key to stopping the spread of the virus,” Deane wrote. Though Deane said the “vast majority” of Queen’s students are complying with the provincial government’s regulations and public health guidelines, he also acknowledged “the poor choices of a relatively small group of students” has influenced public perceptions of the student body.
Queen’s reports 71 active cases of COVID-19
University confirms some students have been evicted from residence
Read the full story online at queensjournal.ca/news.
Friday, March 26, 2021
Following months of student advocacy, Smith School of Business releases EDII Strategy and Action Plan Reform Smith proposal informed action plan Simone Manning Assistant News Editor Smith School of Business released its EDII Strategy and Action Plan in March with an aim to take responsibility and hold itself accountable to principles and values of equity, diversity, inclusion and Indigenization (EDII). “The work ahead of us is both
challenging and vitally important,” Brenda Brouwer, interim dean at Smith, said in a March 12 statement. Commitments detailed in the plan fall under six core areas: responsible conduct; accessible and inclusive student experience; teaching and learning; support, resources, and capacity; research and thought leadership; and community. According to a press release on behalf of Smith, the plan includes targets and performance measurements that align with the goals and assess Smith’s progress toward achieving them. The release said progress updates will be shared campus-
Cassidy McMackon Assistant News Editor The Ontario Court of Appeal heard the appeal for the Student Choice Initiative (SCI) on Tuesday. The SCI was first introduced by Doug Ford in January 2019 to allow students to opt-out of previously mandatory fees. It was struck down by the Ontario Divisional Court in November 2019, and Ontario announced its attention to appeal shortly after. The policy designates fees into essential and non-essential groupings, leaving those related to athletics, student cards, student buildings, career services, health and wellness programs, academic support, financial offices, and campus safety programs to be considered essential, whereas fees supporting student governments, legal aid, LGBTQ+ services, and sexual health services are deemed non-essential and subjected to opt-out. The Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) filed an application to bring back the SCI on the grounds that the policy doesn’t interfere with the operations of various student associations and that the government didn’t intend harm towards student associations. In the appellant’s presentation
The plan was released in early March.
PHOTO BY MAIA MCCANN
school facilitated consultations with groups of undergraduate wide, and the action plan will students, graduate students, Smith continue to evolve as a “living staff and Smith faculty, and invited document” building on the the community to participate in an framework and maintaining online survey. “momentum toward a cultural shift.” The early draft contained “We are answerable to the recommendations from virtual community for the commitments town halls with faculty and staff; we make,” said Dean Brouwer. “It group consultations with the is through the efforts of many and Smith EDII Task Force and working support of all that we will deliver group co-chairs; the EDII alumni on the plans.” working group; leaders of Reform In a statement to The Smith; and other equity-focused Journal, Brouwer said the student groups. Smith EDII Task Force and its Reform Smith manages component working groups Instagram account @ played a key role in developing StolenbySmith and was an active draft recommendations advocacy group throughout and mapping them onto the drafting process of the core dimensions. plan. It released an Equity According to Brouwer, the Proposal last September outlining a comprehensive list of recommendations to improve equity within the business school, several of which are reflected in the Action Plan. According to an Instagram post,
the proposal was a culmination of more than 2,000 hours of research “into the best equity practices of other institutions, and consultations with Smith students, alumni, staff, and faculty.” Brouwer said it’s important the Queen’s community sees where energy and efforts have been focused. “It also sets goals and defines measures by which we will monitor and publicly report progress,” Brouwer said. “Its ultimate goal is to eliminate forms of discrimination that have perpetuated inequities in our environment, curricula, research, and administrative operations, and change attitudes that have disadvantaged and harmed some and privileged others.” The plan is anchored in a commitment to accountability, Brouwer said, with long-term objectives to drive system-wide and cultural change at Smith.
YFS, the SCI poses an existential threat for student unions due to the designation of funding for these groups being deemed non-essential under the policy. The court also heard arguments from a number of intervenors who provided statements to either present an argument for or against the reimplementation of the SCI, or to contextualize the implications of the SCI on various institutional bodies. B’nai Brith of Canada League for Human Rights (“B’nai Brith”); University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union; Start Proud and Guelph Queer Equality (collectively, the “LGBTQ+ Coalition”); the University of Ottawa, Queen’s
University, the Governing Council of the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, and the University of Western Ontario (collectively, the “Universities”); the Association for Canadian Clinical Legal Education (“ACCLE”); and the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, the Centre for Free Expression, the Canadian Association of Journalists, PEN Canada, and World Press Freedom Canada, and the Canadian Association of University Teachers (collectively, the “Coalition”) were granted intervenor status in the appeal.
Court hears appeal for Student Choice Initiative
Province appeals SCI on basis of public funding for universities
queensjournal.ca • 3
to the court, MCU attorney Sunil regards to how funding is Mathai argued the SCI didn’t distributed, and therefore target student unions and raised shouldn’t interfere with the question of what is meant by that process. “normal activities” carried about by According to Louis Century, an student associations, which was attorney representing CFS-O and a key argument presented by the YFS, the SCI oversteps the authority Canadian Federation of Students- of universities to determine how Ontario and York Federation of fees are spent. Students in the initial quashing of Century said each university the SCI. has its own legislative structure In his submission to the court, within the institution that Mathai also said that because insulates its governance as a universities accept public protective measure against funding from the Province, the provincial interference. Province has the ability to impose “This is a fundamental frameworks and restrictions on governance change to a core post-secondary institutions. practice that has been part of the At various points during the fabric of the university for more appeal hearing, Justice Grant than 50 years,” Century said at the Huscroft noted the appellant’s appeal hearing. arguments were “reaching a level In this argument, Century said of granularity that was difficult the SCI attempts to undermine to understand.” university funding and further In a follow-up interview with target third party bodies, such as The Journal, CFS-O National student unions, that are able to Executive Representative Kayla regulate their own use of funds. Weiler said the appellant’s Mark Wright, another attorney presentation was difficult to follow representing the CFS-O, argued the due to the argument’s high level SCI legislation was in bad faith and of detail. exercised improper purpose by The Canadian Federation of limiting the operations of student Students-Ontario (CFS-O) and groups instead of improving York Federation of Students the student experience through (YFS) argued against the reduced fees. Wright argued reimplementation of the SCI on the this is contrary to the Ontario basis that the policy allowed the Colleges Act, as well as various provincial government to overstep university legislations. its authority by interfering with Wright said the SCI gave fees that have been democratically the provincial government the decided by students at their executive power to interfere with respective institutions. student unions that receive no They also argued the funding from the Province. provincial government confers According to Wright and decision-making power to Geetha Philipupillia, a third universities and colleges with attorney representing CFS-O and
Read the full story at queensjournal.ca/news.
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Senate met Tuesday on Zoom.
PHOTO BY RAECHEL HUIZINGA
Queen’s administration questioned on lack of student support following rise of anti-Asian racism Queen’s hasn’t released a statement of support for Asian students Raechel Huizinga Editor in Chief At its March Senate meeting, senators questioned Principal Patrick Deane and Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Mark Green about student support following the rise of anti-Asian racism. Eight people were killed on March 16, including six of Asian descent, in a massacre at three massage businesses in the Atlanta area. Seven of the victims were women. Since, activists across the United States
and Canada have brought increased attention to the rise of anti-Asian racism since the start of the pandemic. At Queen’s, student organizations like the Queen’s Asian Student Association (QASA) immediately posted statements offering support and resources for Asian students at Queen’s. Instagram account @StolenbySmith highlighted some of its previous posts depicting acts of racism against Asian students at Queen’s. Student governments quickly followed suit. On March 18, the Commerce Society released a statement condemning anti-Asian racism, announcing its intention to donate $1,250 to #HATEISAVIRUS, a nonprofit organization supporting Asian and Pacific Islander communities, as well as $1,250 to the Chinese Canadian National Council. ASUS released a statement with a list of resources for Asian students at
Nursing Society implements virtual wellness group for nursing students Facebook group discusses mental health, burnout, clinical, and COVID-19 Julia Harmsworth Assistant News Editor The Nursing Science Society (NSS) has introduced a new avenue for nursing students to connect with one another on the topic of wellness. The NSS launched the Nursing Student Wellness Group on Feb. 11. It’s a Facebook group intended to provide additional
support for students in the School of Nursing, in which they can post about issues they’re experiencing and receive support from their peers. Students can also use the anonymous submission form to present a topic or issue to the group. “It is without a doubt that this has been an incredibly difficult year for nursing students all across Canada. The solutions being discussed come from how Queen’s nursing students have chosen to confront these issues,” Emma Harris, NSS vice-president (university affairs), wrote in a statement to The Journal. Discussions in the group include topics like mental health, coping mechanisms,
Friday, March 26, 2021
Queen’s, and the AMS donated $500 to Fight said Fialho has been reaching out to some of COVID-19 racism and $500 to Butterfly. the student groups she works with. At the time of publication, Queen’s had “That’s just another example, Petra, not posted any statements or resources for to the important example you shared,” Asian students. Tierney said. Senator Petra Fachinger asked Provost The initiative, called the Queen’s Asian Green what actions Queen’s is taking to Community Care drop-in, was advertised by support students. the Student Experiences Office on March 24, “My question is, what measures have been the day following the Senate meeting. The taken to support Asian-Canadian students Zoom drop-in session is available for Asian and students from Asian countries to undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, support them in the wake of the most recent and staff on March 26 from 12-1 p.m. Those anti-Asian racism?” interested in attending can sign up through Green said Queen’s addressed some a Google form. “specific incidents” early on in the pandemic. Green said he didn’t have “a lot of specific On Feb. 1, 2020, former Queen’s answers” for how Queen’s is addressing Undergraduate Trustee Tyler Macintyre anti-Asian racism. attended a coronavirus-themed party. “I do share a lot of concern about the Principal Patrick Deane released a short elements of racism that underlies a lot statement Feb. 3 asking students not to of what surrounds the response to the ostracize Chinese and Asian students, but pandemic.” didn’t specifically reference the party. Senator Karen Lawford asked Provost Following criticism, Deane released a Green and Principal Deane where Queen’s secondary statement Feb. 5 addressing should be communicating its support the party. and advocacy. “To my knowledge, we don’t have any “Can’t we write letters to our MP? Our [statement] other than that was specifically MPP? To the Prime Minister? I don’t done, but I think that that is something we understand why we’re so insular,” she said. should review and look at ways that we can Lawford pointed out there were people address more specifically,” Green said. present at the Senate meeting able to Senator Fachinger said she thinks navigate those federal spaces. there’s some urgency, referencing a private “Can’t we do that? Can’t we take a initiative by PhD student Clarissa de Leon leadership role? I want us to. I want you, in the Faculty of Education to offer Asian Patrick Deane, to write this letter. You and students a safe space for discussion and Mark. To write this letter and say this is support. enough, we have to deal with this. Where is “I happened to forward this email this that leadership?” morning to a couple of undergraduate Deane called Lawford’s request a students who are not connected to this “good suggestion.” particular group,” Fachinger said. “They “We’ll work on it and give it some thought.” were extremely grateful because they told Since the Senate meeting, the Smith me they felt kind of really isolated and not Commerce Society has announced a receiving support from the University, and workshop, called ‘Colouring the White were really grateful to have this kind of safe Space,’ which will take place on March 27 space to discuss ideas. I was a bit concerned from 4-6 p.m. for Asian students in the the University has not done more.” Smith School of Business. Provost Green deferred to Ann Tierney, “In this workshop, Smith School of vice-provost and dean of student affairs. Business students who identify as Asian Tierney referenced Deanna Fialho, director are invited to create, hold space, share, and of the Yellow House, or the Queen’s Centre grieve collectively.” for Student Equity and Inclusion. Tierney
The group was launched on Feb. 11 on Facebook.
burnout, and emotional help, as well as tips and advice for specific situations students are facing. The group is also meant to function as a community for nursing students, as in-person events aren’t possible during the pandemic. The initiative has been “well received” so far, according to NSS President Nathaniel Gumapac, and students have been posting multiple kinds of content including memes, Q&As, and polls. There are currently 90 members in the group. “Wellness topics, such as burnout and mental health, are not new to the nursing world,” Azra Jeraj, NSS vice president (operations), wrote. “It is a common problem in nursing that leads to attrition.” She added that nursing students face “unique stressors” compared to other Queen’s students, like the clinical setting. “In the clinical setting, there is the known fear and possibility of causing risk to patients or being deemed incompetent,” she
PHOTO BY MAIA MCCANN
wrote. “This fear coupled with the nursing course load can contribute to great mental strain for students.” Many students in the group have raised issues regarding the clinical setting, Jaraj said, especially in the context of COVID-19. “With COVID-19, nursing students are also held to extremely strict standards about their social bubbles and COVID-19 protocol,” she wrote. “Therefore, many students feel isolated and miss their friends and family.” However, Gumapac acknowledged that wellness issues aren’t unique to Nursing students. “While nursing students face immense stress due to the professional nature of the program, students in other faculties also encounter stress,” he wrote. “We encourage students and faculty in all departments to support their peers and to engage in an act of kindness. It costs nothing to be kind to one another.”
Friday, March 26, 2021
SOARB EDII working group addresses Orientation Week concerns brought forward by students Working group creates recommendations for making orientation week more inclusive
Kayla Melbourne and Mackenzie Birchard; SOARB and University Council on Anti-Racism and Equity (UCARE) member Dr. Laeeque Daneshmend; Director of the Centre for Student Equity and Inclusion Deanna Fialho; Campus Affairs Commissioner Charlotte Galvani; and UCARE Undergraduate Representative Richelle Ignatius. Cassidy McMackon Melbourne, who chaired the Assistant News Editor working group, told The Journal that “Stolen by Smith” and “Erased Editors’ Note: The Journal published by FEAS” were “a catalyst” for an article originally covering this implementing the working group. topic on March 5, 2021, which did “[T]his is something we not adequately report on the labour wanted to approach proactively,” and experiences of the SOARB EDII Melbourne said. “Even so, there working group. is an [amount] of retro-activeness, Following documentation in the sense that the accounts of negative Orientation Week that detail students’ negative experiences on student-run experiences have already cropped Instagram accounts “Stolen by up. It is now just a matter of risk Smith” and “Erased by FEAS,” mitigation and trying to prevent which were consistent with the these things from happening results of student surveys over again, and to allow people to have a number of years, the Senate as positive [an] experience as Orientation Activities Review possible going forward.” Board (SOARB) formed a working “Those could have been things group last summer to focus on that happened 10 years ago; equity, diversity, inclusion and however, I wouldn’t be surprised Indigeneity (EDII) issues as they if [they] were still happening in relate to Queen’s Orientation Week. some senses. I hope they aren’t. I The EDII working group was know not everyone has a positive composed of SOARB members orientation experience, so there’s
room for further investigation there to delve into some of those issues further, and see if there were any recommendations that should be made.” The SOARB EDII working group spent the last six months engaging with stakeholders, analyzing policies and procedures, culminating in a 24-page document with specific recommendations for all those involved in planning and executing Orientation Week activities. Melbourne noted the document’s recommendations are “non-exhaustive.” The most pressing issues faced by marginalized students who report feeling isolated by Orientation Week, according to Melbourne, include the fast-paced nature of Orientation Week, which doesn’t always allow students to connect with other like-minded students. “Orientation Week is super busy, and I can’t think of a [faculty orientation] week that has a schedule that isn’t busy when it’s in person. Fortunately, online people are able to get breaks […] I think that’s great for mental health, being able to get rest, and making sure you’re having a smooth and steady transition,” she said. The online format of 2020
All proceeds from the collaboration will go toward an organization of QBAS’ choosing.
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Tricolour Outlet and Queen’s Black Academic Society collaborate on sticker pack
All proceeds will go to an organization of QBAS’s choosing Sydney Ko Staff Writer After months of planning, Tricolour Outlet (TRO) launched a sticker pack in collaboration with Queen’s Black Academic Society (QBAS). One hundred per cent of
the proceeds will go towards an organization of QBAS’s choosing. Sara Abdella, marketing director for QBAS, told The Journal the main goal for the sticker pack was to spread awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement. “After everything that has happened over the summer, everything was overwhelming, so my team and I came up with some of the sticker ideas,” Abdella said. Abdella said stickers are a great way to show support with the power to show a strong message. “We didn’t want to be corny, and we didn’t want it to fake solidarity,”
she said. After receiving support from multiple campus organizations, Abdella said QBAS has decided they may put the proceeds received from the sales to Asian foundations or other POC organizations, due to the rise of anti-Asian hate. Camryn McKay, marketing and e-commerce manager from TRO, said the collaboration came to be in the summer after the Black Lives Matter movement. “Something I wanted to try out is having a lot of collaboration on campus,” McKay told The Journal.
queensjournal.ca • 5
Orientation Week gave students more opportunities to connect with students of similar lived experience. One vehicle for this was the Equity Office Open House, Melbourne said. “Angela [Sahi, AMS Social Issues Commissioner] and the [Student Experience Office (SEO)] were instrumental in implementing that, and it was really well received and was really great.” Melbourne said she thinks those who were involved in the open house can see “a lot of room” for the event to grow in future years. “If you continue to allow the gaps in the orientation schedule to allow for students that are Indigenous, or from similar lived experiences, and things like that to meet each other, that’s a really positive thing that can happen,” Melbourne said. “At Orientation week, kind of a secondary thing we identified is that it’s really great some people meet their best friends […] in the first week of university, but that’s not everyone. Some people need to find community a lot sooner,” Melbourne said. “Some people are pushing to explore community and find people that are like them a lot sooner, and if they’re not given these opportunities at orientation, it becomes a lot harder to do during the school year. That’s another factor that needs to be addressed to ensure students are able to connect with each other on a similar basis as well.” Melbourne also addressed the issue of the ownership of Orientation Week, acknowledging how its student-run nature can create problems for marginalized students. “Right now the issue that exists is students are asked to take on a lot and to be these giant people that can plan and execute an entire week, and that’s great. I think generally a good job is done,” she said. “One thing that becomes problematic is there can potentially be misaligned views sometimes with students, the orientation heads, and whoever the faculty signatory is.” Depending on the year, Melbourne said it’s possible to have leaders with personalities that don’t “jive” well, or leaders who have “very different ideas” from the faculty of what the week could be. “If you ask the students, the students will say […] the administration sets the culture so they should be in control of
promoting change for the week. The administration might say that the students are the ones doing it with the potential to create change,” Melbourne said. “Accountability and making sure these conversations are happening on a clear basis in terms of who is responsible for what aspects of the week and to make sure that gets done are essential.” Though the report contains specific recommendations for Orientation Week, the working group recognizes the changes will take time to implement. Melbourne noted the importance of hiring for leadership and planning positions in a way that ensures students who are hired for orientation positions are able to foster an inclusive week. “There’s a lot of calls for consistency when hiring and making sure that the pool for people that are getting into different positions are also incorporating diverse thinking,” Melbourne said. “One key change is having blind hiring and being able to make sure the students getting through to those positions are able to articulate why it’s important to consider diverse needs and diverse students.” Melbourne said the adoption of blind hiring, a practice that conceals an applicant’s identity from their application, is a good measure to adopt because it ensures the hiring panel sees applicants’ answers for what they are and aren’t influenced by opinions through associations with names. Though Melbourne said the proposed changes have received a positive response from senior administration and high-level Orientation Week stakeholders, the working group is also recommending the University administration increase funding for various institutional bodies within the University, such as the SEO, Institutional Research and Planning, and the Human Resources and Equity Office, so that they can expand their services and help foster a more inclusive Orientation Week. Melbourne also said the implementation of ASUS 130, a proposal for structural changes at the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) passed at referendum in January, will allow for more oversight of leadership and orientation fees and subsidization. The proposal also extends to COMPSA, PHEKSA, and CESA.
McKay said TRO is like a corporate entity, so there are many resources and funds to help raise awareness. “Sara and I both designed them,” she said. “We bounced ideas back and forth with different images and references.” With TRO covering the product cost, McKay said they were able to come up with five unique designs. “When I reached out to QBAS, my initial idea was to have a t-shirt or a tote bag, but then I thought a sticker pack would be a cool visual way of portraying messages,” McKay said. From a marketing standpoint, stickers are also effective with students because they’re financially accessible, she said. Students can also raise awareness by sticking them on a laptop or
water bottle. “As a corporate entity, we have the capacity and the means to create and collect funds for products we design for ourselves,” McKay said. “We really want this to be a continuing collaboration,” McKay said. Students can be involved in this initiative by emailing TRO’s marketing email or QBAS. “I really want students to be able to draft designs and submit them, so anyone who has artistic talent and can push some ideas—please contact us,” Abdella said. The sticker pack is currently for sale on the TRO website priced at $8. It’s also available for curb-side pickup and Canada-wide shipping.
6 • queensjournal.ca
Friday, March 26, 2020
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY TESSA WARBURTON
The New York Times had to retract his story. This Queen’s professor stands behind him. Carolyn Svonkin Features Editor Editors’ note: This story is a reflection of the individual experiences and research of those involved in the matter at hand and should not be used to generalize all forms of Islam or Muslim people. In December 2016, New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi travelled to Canada to meet Shehroze Chaudhry, an Oakville, Ontario man who claimed to have been a part of ISIS in Syria in 2014 before returning to Canada. Callimachi, a foreign correspondent who covered Al Qaeda and ISIS at the time, would turn Chaudhry’s story into the award-winning—and later largely retracted—podcast series, Caliphate. But in this moment, as she left Canada, she felt like Chaudhry simply needed someone to talk to. She put him in touch with Mubin Shaikh, a counterterrorism and extremism expert. Shaikh then called Amar Amarasingam, an extremism expert and assistant professor at Queen’s School of Religion, to give Chaudhry more support. Amarasingam first spoke to Chaudhry on Dec. 8, 2016 and told The Journal they’ve been “in touch ever since, on and off.” ***
Amarasingam didn’t intend to become an academic specializing in radicalization and terrorism. But after 9/11, which happened in his first year of undergrad, “everything changed.” The tragedy initiated interest in social movements and political violence—particularly “why people come to believe that violence is not only necessary, but […] why they come to see it as an obligation.” Amarsingam studied the Tamil community in Canada and the Sri Lankan diaspora for years and turned to Islamic extremism once the Arab Spring and Syrian civil war began in 2011. He embarked on a seven-year post-doctorate to understand the foreign fighter
phenomenon and particularly why people were leaving Canada to fight for ISIS. Amarasingam gradually began focusing on working with former ISIS fighters who had returned to Canada. Interviewing as many former extremists as possible, he asked how they became involved, what they did as members of the extremist groups, and how they left. In doing so, he started noticing patterns. “Everyone [who enters extremist movements] has a difficult upbringing, in some form or another […] but it’s very difficult to draw a causal link,” he said. He also noticed trends on the other end of people’s time in extremist groups. “Most people leave out of a kind of moral shock,” he said. “They have a turning point moment. Sometimes it’s that they had kids and didn’t want to teach them neo-Nazi ideology or jihadist ideology. Or they meet a Jewish person who’s very nice and their entire anti-Semitic worldview falls apart.” However, there remains a lack of clarity regarding the progression from normal life into extremism, making it difficult to design programs aimed at intervention. ***
In 2018, Chaudhry—also known as Abu Huzaifa al-Kanadi—began appearing on The New York Times’ podcast series, Caliphate, which was reported and hosted by Callimachi. The podcast became a runaway hit, winning awards that included a Peabody, one of the highest distinctions in broadcast journalism. Later that year, Chaudhry told the CBC that he had lied about carrying out executions on behalf of ISIS—a core fact the series had centred in its narrative. An uproar in Canada ensued, which included discussion of the matter in the House of Commons. The RCMP began to investigate Chaudhry and charged him with perpetrating a terrorism hoax in September 2020 after finding he had no ties to ISIS. The New
York Times performed an internal investigation, causing much of the story to be retracted. Callimachi was reassigned shortly after. Because Amarasingam spent so much time meeting former extremists, his interactions with Chaudhry were similar to other extremists he’d met with. He characterized their relationship as “giving [Chaudhry] someone to talk to” about readjusting to life in Canada. Amarasingam noticed Chaudhry was “still strict in terms of his ideology,” so he put him in touch with some Muslim religious leaders. During the fallout, which was heavily reported on, Amarasingam stayed in touch with Chaudhry. On the day The Journal spoke with him, he had spoken to Chaudhry that morning. “The hoax charge was quite a shock in terms of everything he told me,” Amarasingam said. “He denies it was a hoax.” However, Amarasingam has not interrogated Chaudhry further about the truth of his claims, as he does not want to be called as a witness in court. “It took [Chaudhry] a while to realize that it was a serious charge, because they didn’t take him to prison. He was charged with a piece of paper in his car and then [the police] allowed him to go back home, so I think it almost felt like a parking ticket or something to him,” Amarasingam said. “For a couple weeks, he didn’t get a lawyer.” The case has been moving slowly through the courts, and Amarasingam said Chaudhry is “waiting to see what happens.” According to Amarasingam, the case isn’t impacting [Chaudhry’s] day to day life. “He’s still going to school and work […] but it’s an elephant in the room. He feels bad his parents have to pay expensive legal fees, but because he’s not in prison it’s not registering that this can be a major issue for him.” Amarasingam said one of the reasons Chaudhry may not be taking the charges seriously is because he’s confident the RCMP
won’t win the case—a sentiment Amarasingam shares. “I don’t think the RCMP has a good enough case to win,” he said. “The RCMP has to show that he sought media interviews […] all with the express purpose of causing panic to the Canadian public of a future attack […] I think that’s going to be quite hard to prove in court considering how difficult it was to get him to do any media whatsoever.” Amarasingam noted that Chaudhry reportedly attempted to get Caliphate cancelled before it was published, even offering Callimachi money. Although the RCMP case is not directly about whether Chaudhry was lying or not, much of the attention swirling around the story has asked how much of, or if, what Chaudhry said about his experience in Syria was true. Shaikh, who spoke weekly with Chaudhry, told The Toronto Star in December that he believes Chaudhry never stepped foot in Syria. Amarasingam feels differently. “There are aspects to the story that he’s probably fudged over time, but I have a sense that why would you make up the entire thing that you even went [to Syria] and then go do media interviews about it.” There are some things, however, that Amarasingam is less sure about. “[Chaudhry has] admitted a few times, to me and the media, that he lied about the dates [that he was in Syria] initially,” he said. “I think this was strategic on his part to place him before the Islamic State was declared in Syria in late June 2014. So, he kind of made it seem like he went and came back before it got really bad and all the beheadings started.” Chaudhry later retracted his first set of dates and claimed he was there from November 2014 to March 2015. “It’s not clear whether he lied about the roles he had within [ISIS],” Amarasingam said. “He first said he was part of the police force, and then he said he was in and out
very quickly. It’s not clear what he was doing [in Syria].” However, Amarasingam feels he’s seen proof that parts of the story may be real. “[Chaudhry] had very emotional reactions to questions I was asking,” Amarasingam said. “Whenever he talks about the murders that he committed, he gets PTSD-style reactions. He starts shaking. If you just made it up in your head, I don’t know how you have real bodily reactions […] he’s either telling the truth or he’s a sociopath.” Many of these PTSD-like symptoms are common among former extremists. “The difference with [Chaudhry] is that he’s still kind of pro-ISIS, in a way, or at least pro-jihadi […] he vacillates in an interesting way between wishing he’d stayed and being happy [he left]. He wants to have both worlds.” Chaudhry’s parents, whom he lives with in Oakville, have not spoken with Amarasingam, but he hears their perspective on the matter through Chaudhry. “It’s mostly disappointment and anger,” Amarasingam said. “[Chaudhry’s] father often tells the media that his son is just fantasizing, that he made the whole thing up from watching too many YouTube videos.” For now, the case remains quiet, as Chaudhry’s lawyers have told him to not talk to the media. “He won’t be in the public eye until after the case,” Amarasingam said. “He’s almost done school, so he’s going to try and get a job,” Amarasingam said. “Everything is more difficult now that his name is public […] he fought a long time not to have his real name in the public space, and that went out the door with the charge. He’s worried about what that means for employment, or even in relationships and friendships.” Amarasingam is interested to see how the case unfolds, but he sees life for Chaudhry beyond this charge. “He really wants to get married and things like that,” Amarasingam said. “So I think he’ll find his way.”
Friday, March 26, 2021
The Journal’s Perspective
THE QUEEN’S JOURNAL
After a year of remote learning, professors must commit to academic accommodations
Universities can’t keep letting professors set impossibly rigid standards when it comes to coursework, especially in the middle of a pandemic. The need for extensions is inevitable, and professors must accept that. A York University professor recently came under fire after screenshots of his interactions with a student were publicized online. The student—who is currently completing online learning from his home country Myanmar—informed his professor he would be unable to complete an assignment given the countrywide communications blackout. The professor not only denied the student the extension but questioned how he “understood reality.” The professor’s inability to empathize with a student in the midst of political unrest is privileged and out of line. Violence is occurring in this student’s home country; school isn’t their priority right now. A communication blackout isn’t just “the Internet coming down with COVID”—it’s
ILLUSTRATION BY ASHLEY CHEN
a legitimate excuse beyond the student’s control. A simple Google search would have proven as much. The professor’s failure to give this student the accommodations he needs goes to show the ego embedded in academia. Missing one test in one class is not the end of the world; professors shouldn’t act like it is. York University’s statement claims the instructor disregarded school values. But merely removing the professor from his class and providing a blanket EDI statement is merely lip service. It’s problematic the University didn’t act until it received pushback online. York University should be listening to student feedback on a daily basis and be prepared to reprimand teachers as needed. Only acting when issues are made public isn’t doing its students justice. Students are struggling right now. International students, in particular, are already juggling different time zones, COVID-19, and political issues in their
respective countries. Working to ensure these students are receiving the same opportunities and education as their peers is vital—even if that means granting them the extensions they need. This isn’t just a York issue. York should certainly take this situation with the gravity it deserves—but so should other universities. Universities shouldn’t have to teach professors empathy, but given the recent situation, it’s clear standardized restrictions and guidelines are needed to keep instructors in check. Students shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to receive the accommodations they need or provide justification for why they missed a class or assignment. Empathy is a two-way street; teachers and students alike should be understanding of each others’ circum stances. In addition, universities should be actively listening to student feedback. QSSETs are a key way to gauge how instructors are teaching their classes. If a professor has a high amount of negative evaluations, that’s a good sign students aren’t being given the support they need. Students are, after all, paying to receive an education. Professors should be willing to work to make that education accessible, regardless of one’s circumstances. If instructors are failing in this respect, they should be reprimanded as such—tenured or not. Professors who expect their students to succeed without a little empathy for unforeseen circumstances are doing their classes a disservice. Students shouldn’t have to advocate for themselves; that’s the University’s job. —Journal Editorial Board
We need to start taking gendered micro-aggressions seriously
By now, it should be common knowledge In a world where girls are taught that aggression—something more extreme that that rape and misogynist culture lives on boys who bother, degrade, or touch them people take seriously? Considering the lack a spectrum not only including the worst, without consent have crushes on them, it’s of convictions in sexual assault cases, is most violent actions, but micro-aggressions easy to laugh off a sexist joke or comment. aggression even “serious” enough for us to as well. Sometimes that comment is nothing more, acknowledge the gravity of what women, This weekend, I watched the movie Moxie, but the problem is that little things add up and crucially those with marginalized and there was one line that stuck identities, experience? with me, even though the rest of the arolyn vonkin We have to not only movie drops the ball in exploring the acknowledge the connection complexity of feminism. The line is between micro-aggressions said by Lucy, who’s being harassed and the worst ramifications of by a male peer her friend says is “just misogyny in our society, but annoying.” Lucy responds, “You know stand up against it. People of that annoying can be more than just all identities must recognize annoying, right? Like, it can be code for and own this problem. It’s not worse stuff.” on women to act as a constant In an article about the movie, a misogyny check—we all need gender-based violence researcher to check ourselves. explains, “It’s not that in one As a woman, it can be category over here we have microtempting to write off sexist aggressions and dismissing of girls’ jokes or uncomfortable feelings, and then over here we have actions. These feelings are stranger rape; they’re all part of the valid. They’re oppressive same thing.” power structures at work, in SUPPLIED BY CAROLYN SVONKIN This is undeniably true. The fact. But we should want to same culture that has created conditions to an overall power structure where men live in a world where women don’t have to in which 39 per cent of Canadian women can get away with making women feel small, dismiss micro-aggressions as “annoying,” aged 15 and over have been physically using their bodies against them, and then and that means every single one of us needs or sexually assaulted has also been claiming it wasn’t serious. to get comfortable making a big deal. permissive of sexist comments and jokes, If society—and our actions, or lack allowed the objectification of women’s thereof—tells women their discomfort Carolyn is a third-year Political Science bodies, and sexualized and oppressed isn’t serious, when does it become student and one of The Journal’s women—especially women of colour—from serious? When does an “inconsequential” Features Editors. a terrifyingly young age. micro-aggression lose the micro and become
Volume 148 Issue 25 www.queensjournal.ca @queensjournal Publishing since 1873
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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
8 • queensjournal.ca
Friday, March 26, 2021
PHOTO BY MAIA MCCANN
Chaudhry believes the political divide shouldn't impede progress.
Conservatism is no excuse to ignore people’s needs Political beliefs can’t stand in the way of progress
Amidst a global pandemic and an open conversation of state-induced repression, it has become more critical than ever to analyze effective government and hold representatives accountable for their duty to the people. Conservatism is built upon a foundation of preserving traditional institutions proven to maintain prosperity effectively. As a political theory, conservatism asserts that incremental change is preferable to radical breaks from existing establishments because we should learn from our past. Conservative virtues are skeptical of human nature. Their pessimistic view of societal impulses promotes discipline, tradition, and the conservation of effective legislation through small government and low taxes. Political parties in a democracy have a responsibility to uphold good governance and hold our representatives accountable for their actions. They have a responsibility to sustain human development. Unfortunately, the partisan divide in the United States has created a tumultuous political climate. The Republican party (GOP) scapegoats conservativism to disenfranchise the public, enforce systemic repression, and encourage governmental deadlock. The 2016 election gave voice to a new wave of Republicanism
in the American political hypocrisy is evident in its realm. The elected president manipulation of voting districts. transformed party values into The GOP has continuously pushed exploitation of partisan politics and for stringent voting regulation repression of marginalized people, laws despite insufficient evidence effectively ostracizing minority suggesting any electoral fraud. groups. The GOP has normalized Their gerrymandering also the blocking of bills that facilitates the redistricting of would improve the lives of predominantly democratic everyday Americans. This areas to dilute support. Whether toxic partisanship has eroded through strict regulation for effective governance. voter registration, closing of During this national crisis, polling stations, or encouraging many Republican representatives distrust of mail-in voting, have continuously blocked relief representatives have taken every bills meant to help struggling opportunity to create obstacles citizens. Republicans opposed for equal participation in the the COVID-19 relief bill, Violence American democracy. Against Women Act, and For the People Act, which are among "Tradition is no the legislative proposals designed excuse to buckle to protect and serve the public’s down on outdated inalienable rights. norms and While neither of the two major parties in American governance is institutions that perfect, the Trumpism exacerbating often no longer serve the partisan divide has led to petty a country's interpersonal grievances being addressed through legislative ever-changing needs." voting. Party representatives have even made claims of communism Canadian politics are a eroding their country to oppose more socialized version of the democratic provisions. American system. The three main Their consistent opposition parties involved in Canadian to legislation introduced by governance—the Liberals, the Democrats has led to the rejection Conservatives, and the New of too many bills that would make Democratic Party—all support America safer. The vilification universal healthcare, extensive gun of democratic representatives control, and generally adhere to should not be the basis of their citizens' everyday needs. political maneuvers. However, critics of Canadian The Republican party’s conservatism often argue that
its approach to governance is too liberalized and strays too far from traditional values. The Conservative Party of Canada has increased its scope for federal spending to account for 13.2 per cent of the GDP, nearly a full per cent above the Liberal Party’s budget in 2005. Along with advocacy for lower taxes, the party’s support for socialized government institutions has created different perceptual issues than its American counterparts. Nonetheless, the Conservative representatives in Canada more adequately participate in the creation of an effective government. While not enough, Canada has taken substantive steps toward addressing systemic inequity during a global pandemic by providing its citizens with monetary relief and socialized medicine. Our Conservative Party’s arguably unconservative approach to politics facilitates progress by not allowing pettiness to undermine governance quite so often. Tradition is no excuse to buckle down on outdated norms and institutions that often no longer serve a country's ever-changing needs. Conservatism is no excuse to exploit the lower classes or reinforce systemic oppression. In a time of increased awareness and grievances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, social reform is necessary to increase equity,
responsiveness, and government participation. As Canadian students observing American political discourse, we must remember that prejudicial and exclusionary ideologies enable marginalized communities' exploitation—look no further than our government’s continued mistreatment of our Indigenous communities.
"Young people have never been more influential; our voices must hold our governments accountable."
Right-wing extremism is on the rise in Canada, riding in on a wave of pervasive Trumpism from the United States. Our job as a political driver in today’s wildly divisive world is to ensure conservatism does not further devolve into a foundation for prejudice. It cannot stand between society and effective government. Young people have never been more influential; our voices must hold our governments accountable. Partisan pettiness should never stand in the way of progress. Rida Chaudhry is a second-year Arts & Science student.
Friday, March 26, 2021
queensjournal.ca • 9
Her Last Day Written by Natara Ng, a secondyear Kinesiology student. I enter the backyard to begin my last day of work before the season is over. The early September air is laden with desperate rays of white sunlight and warm winds that brush against me as I walk past the fountain in the middle of the yard. The lily pads bathe in the water, so estranged from the rest of the garden in their little oasis, foreign in the way they never see dirt. They are so exotic and cool. I cross the yard all the way to the back to retrieve the hose, weaving between the spindly branches of the crab apple trees. The flower beds back here are full of withering carcasses, empty shells, sheaths of mesh leaves and brown, droopy petals. They are the seasonal flowers, the ones that only last for a few months. One sunflower is still alive, the weight of its seeds bending it down like a shower head about to drizzle water over the grass. Cam keeps me company as I hoist the hose across the yard to the vegetable boxes. I water what’s left of the tomatoes and cucumbers, as well as the last dredges of kale and Swiss chard. She follows me everywhere and today, as usual, she asks me questions. Her questions are invasive, like pine needles tickling my skin just light enough to add excitement, not discomfort, to my day. “What makes you interesting?” “What makes me interesting?” I ponder carefully, wanting to give her an honest answer. “Having a genuine connection with nature is a quality I possess. Being close to all living things. Didn’t we all come from the Earth anyways? I suppose I never travelled; I’ve never left this town. Travelling makes people interesting. I’d say I understand what truly matters. I don’t need other people to tell me how to think or what to think.” I finish watering the vegetables and head around to the front of the cottage to plant the tulip bulbs. “What is it about this job that makes you stay?” “The work is satisfying. My hands get dirty enough, I see the sun every day. Flowers, bushes, trees, weeds. They are intricate and complex with their carefully folded petals and symmetrical veins in their leaves, yet we don’t need to understand anything complicated to admire them. And that moment before their petals burst out from them, it looks like they could pulsate, like they could have a tiny heartbeat that begins to race faster until it explodes, bursts, and lets the flower begin to live.” After finishing with the bulbs, I head to the backyard. As I walk around the corner, the back door slides open, causing me to hesitate and slow my steps. Mr. Mortimer, my employer, steps outside, his walking cane thumping on the wooden porch as he fumbles to close the door behind him. Whenever he comes outside, which is fairly often, I pretend not
to notice him. I make myself look extremely busy, so we don’t have to talk. It isn’t anything personal, and I tell myself he knows that. He avoids me too, to an extent. We only spoke on two occasions this summer. One time was on the first day of work, when he showed me around the yard and pointed out all the dying plants he wanted me to bring back to life. The other time was in mid-July, when he asked me if I needed any more seeds or a truckload of dirt. “Do you get along with Mr. Mortimer?” “I don’t expect to make friends with him. He’s my employer, so I don’t want our lives to intertwine more than necessary.” “Why don’t you talk to him?” “I don’t talk to a lot of people.” “Why not?” “You know why.” Most people are too unpredictable with their own minds and judgements. It’s easier to be alone, or to be with Cam. Cam is different from everyone else. She always knows how to make me feel worthy and less forgotten. Today, Mr. Mortimer settles on a rusty white chair on the porch and leans back with his fingers drumming together on his chest. He closes his eyes forcibly and his eyelids twitch underneath his frown. His loose white hair is just a wisp above his wrinkly forehead as it blows in the wind. Avoiding the backyard where Mr. Mortimer sleeps, I go back to the front of the house and occupy myself with some dandelion weeds in the flower bed below the living room window. I kneel down and gently begin to dig out the thick white roots. “What will you do for the rest of your life?” “I have a vision for myself. I think one day I’ll be great. I think people will want to know me.” “What is this vision?” “I’m not quite sure yet.” “How can you not know?” “I know it happens anywhere but here.” “Then where?” “Why must you always ask such difficult questions! All I know is that I can’t spend the rest of my life here.” I pull up a dandelion impatiently, and the leaves detach from the root and crumple between my fingers. “But I’m here.” I clutch at my heart. You’re here, but you don’t belong to me. I remember when I first saw you, you were very sick and helpless. Every gesture that brought you back to life was laced with love, and that is what bound us together. You gave me a purpose. My last task of the day is to pull up the dead cedar bush that sits at the edge of this flower bed. As I go fetch a shovel from the front shed, the sun passes golden rays over the yard as it nears the horizon. It’s almost time for me to go. I push my boot into the shovel and begin to dig at the base of the cedar bush. The dirt is hard and cracked, the roots are deep and thick and intertwined around a rocky surface beneath.
I’m making a mess of the ground as the shovel scratches at rocks and barely lifts the dirt. This tree needs to come out. I pull it hard at the branches, but it remains stuck. I keep digging, I keep pulling, I continue until the light of day sweeps all the way over me and tucks itself away on the horizon, leaving room for the sky to darken. Frustrated and tired, I throw the shovel across the grass. The wind is getting colder and the time is slipping away. This is my last day of work. I can’t do this alone, but there is no one I can ask for help. Cam, I wish you could help me. I spread my hand wide on the grass and the air is cool on my palm. “Charlie, do you know that you’re the most wonderful person alive? Don’t question it, just listen to me. You’re worth everything. Don’t you know that? You’re not alone, not right now. You’re alright. You’re alright. Just rest your head here, right here. You’re alright.” I tasted the salt from my tears in the corners of my mouth and my body shuddered as I leaned my head to the side. “Charlie?” Mr. Mortimer is standing before me, hunched over his cane. I stand up quickly, panic rushing through me. I think he realized I’d been crying, and he looks away. I quickly clear the tears from my eyes. “I thought you might’ve gone home already, but I heard you…” he trails off uneasily. “The cedar.” It comes out as a croaked whisper and I point dumbly to the bush and the mess of dirt at its base. Mr. Mortimer stares at the cedar, and then back at me. Then he leans down nimbly to retrieve the shovel I’d thrown across the yard. With his back hunched over, he walks unsteadily towards the cedar and leans his cane on the side of the house. He begins to dig at the roots, throwing dry dirt all over the grass. Then he tells me to take hold of the branches near the bottom, and he takes the top, his legs shaking ever so slightly. Together we pull, and the tree gets looser, and it isn’t easy, and it isn’t peaceful as we claw at the rough bark and heave until the final root breaks loose from the stone. The dead cedar lies before us and neither of us speak for a while, until he says, “I’ll miss having you around here, Charlie. You take care of
yourself this winter.” He picks up his cane and walks away. I thought I’d given him nothing, no interesting part of me, no good reason why I liked this job, no validation of my worth. Perhaps there was something else about me, something that Cam could never see, this most human part of me that Mr. Mortimer
ILLUSTRATION BY TESSA WARBURTON
saw that deemed me worthy of a connection. Living with others is about how much you are willing to give, how much of yourself you are willing to put out there into the world for other people to see, judge, manipulate. Read the full story at queensjournal.ca
The taste of raspberries, On their lips, From the red hand painted over their mouths, The same hue as the coats of the men who have taken the land, Who have brought bombs to knife fights, And for what? The smell of gasoline, But far from a petrol station, The burning cars on the side of the road, There is calculation in its placement, A symbol of a society that has planned its own dysfunction, And for what? Mist on my face, Not a raindrop in sight, Could you please take a step back when you are preaching? There is no faith within words of abhorrence, All because you do not like her hands on my hips, And for what? Another day of black and white, The streets are empty, But the printed columns are full. There is deafening silence within each letter, That is corrupt with the omission of voices that do not draw blood, And for what? The blue pill or the red pill? The blood diamond or the burning oils? The cadences of mankind are unwavering, History loves iteration, But we do not. And for what? The procession of progression is as slow as a funeral. Carrying the weight of the dead past, Do not wait for any obituaries, It will reincarnate again, and again, again. We will speak the names of those outside of our doors, And for what? Well, You should know that by now. —Emily Clare, ArtSci ’21
10 • queensjournal.ca
Friday, March 26, 2021
Student artists during COVID-19: Mikki Barnett talks pandemic art Year after Fine Arts show cancelled,Barnett works practicum placement at Union Gallery Nathan Gallagher Arts Editor Death smells like roses. At least, that’s the case for Mikki Barnett, Con-Ed ’21, whose tenfoot sculpture Perspective—a cave built from mirrors, chicken wire, rose-dyed polyester and twinkling lights—has been left to gather dust in Ontario Hall for over a year. Last March, Queen’s Fine Arts majors were hard at work preparing their final shows when COVID-19 forced them to evacuate the studio. “They shut down the studio. Everyone had to leave, and that meant stopping working on a lot of the pieces—or all of the pieces
for me because I work really large-scale usually,” Barnett told The Journal. “Right now, the fourth-years do have access to the studio again to continue working but I do know that they’ve been working from home, and they’ve done some incredible stuff from home from what I’ve seen, so I’m super impressed by them.” While Barnett’s Fine Arts degree may have ended with a whimper, she’s currently rounding off her Bachelor of Education with a practicum placement at Union Gallery where she works to make art shows more accessible. One way she does that is by making what are called sensory boxes. “A sensory box is a tool that will help give insight into an art piece in a tactile way using materials that relate to the piece that’s being shown,” said Barnett. For example, one of the shows on display at Union Gallery right now is Second Sight by Annie Briard. It’s a compilation of distorted videos of a scene: driving through Joshua Tree.
Since it’s impossible to experience a video in a tactile way, Barnett provides sensory boxes containing “kinetic sand and imitation leaves” for viewers to play with. “The boxes and kinesthetic experiences can be really useful for a whole bunch of visitors, such as children, for helping them engage with a piece further,” Barnett said. “It’s also beneficial for individuals who may be blind or have low vision so that there’s an alternative way to experience the art.” Barnett’s fascination with tactility in art began in her third year when she fell in love with sculpting. “In first and second year, we spent first semester doing a lot of two-dimensional works and I never really excelled at that, but I really loved sculpture class. I think I was attracted to all the different mediums and techniques you could use [compared] to printing and painting.” “Sculpting, for me, is really a process of trial and error. There’s obviously a lot of research involved when you choose your materials
Natasha Beaudoin talks Greek mythology as inspiration for her subversive paintings Queen’s artist sits down with The Journal Alysha Mohamed Assistant Arts Editor Editors’ Note: One member of The Journal’s Editorial Board is an Editor in Chief of The Undergraduate Review. For many artists, historical representations are meaningful sources of inspiration for new work. Natasha Beaudoin, BFA’22, embodies this idea with her striking, subversive oil paintings which reimagine Greek mythology in a contemporary light. She was recently featured as one of the finalists for the Undergraduate Review cover art for her piece on a modern-day Athena. “For that piece, it was one of four of a series I did about topics of Greek mythology and pseudo-sciences,” Beaudoin said in an interview with The Journal. “It’s a modern-day rendition of Athena: instead of going to battle, she’s going to work.” Beaudoin’s Athena, with glossy leather pants and red heels, reimagines the Greek goddess as a working woman grappling with a male-dominated workforce. “It’s kind of a reflection on women in the work force, especially women in STEM,”
Beaudoin said. “For a lot of my friends who are STEM majors, even going to class is a struggle because of how concentrated the field is with men.” In addition to reimagining Athena, she also subverted
Natasha Beaudoin’s take on Athena.
stereotypes of the goddess Venus, who is typically seen as an image of lust and sexuality. “I wanted to do Venus in a different way,” Beaudoin said. “Venus is usually depicted as a very lustful women—naked
Barnett is a graduate of the Fine Arts program.
SUPPLIED BY MIKKI BARNETT
in terms of looking for what will give you your desired effect. We had classes to learn techniques for certain materials like wood, stone, wax, and welding.” Her tragically unfinished sculpture series last year was centred around death. “During my time at school, I’ve lost a lot of people in my life, but because I’ve had so much experience with death, I’ve been able to acknowledge it as both a positive and a negative thing,” she said. Barnett’s pieces are meant to be a rich, sensory experience. Perspective would have invited
viewers to stand inside the cave and witness the bizarre and beautiful light show, a representation of passing into the next life, while the aroma of rose petals would call to mind bouquets at a funeral. “Making the pieces for my final exhibition was really cathartic and helped me understand my own emotions towards loss but also helped me see a more positive side to death and to life itself by making pieces that wouldn’t necessarily immediately guide one’s attention to the sorrow and hard parts of death.”
and nude on a bed. I wanted to paint her fully clothed in a weird posture, which was not sexualized at all.” To further subvert this idea of sex and the male gaze, Beaudoin chose to paint Venus facing away from the viewer. “She’s looking away from the viewer instead of right at them,
which also makes the image less sexual,” Beaudoin said. Beaudoin took the idea of subversion to another level when she decided to depict Medusa as a drag queen, complicating heteronormative narratives and historical representations of beautiful women. “I actually had my boyfriend dress up in drag,” Beaudoin said. “I related Medusa to the idea of drag queens after relating the depiction of snakes as hair to wigs. The painting shows a moment of a drag queen getting ready in the mirror before performing.” She primarily uses oil for her paintings, which are often layered with bright, luminous colours. “I tend to like working with oils now because they’re a lot higher quality and luminous,” Beaudoin said. “The colours that I use drive my teachers insane. I use neon colours, especially greens and blues. I really like playing with colour in skin, so that when you’re up close it’s a blur of colours and when you move away it blends into skin.” Her artistic inspirations include Matisse and Fauvin, but Beaudoin also gets inspiration from miscellaneous topics she is fascinated by. “Generally, I’ll have a topic that I’m interested in, and then I’ll make a Pinterest board where I collect images like crazy,” she said. “I’ll make a mood board and start drawing concepts in my sketchbook.”
SUPPLIED BY NATASHA BEAUDOIN
Read the full story at queensjournal.ca.
Friday, March 26, 2021
Internal emails reveal backlash among alumni, donors over Boyd firing Concerns appear to have gone unanswered by Queen’s Athletics
Dozens of alumni expressed concern regarding the University’s decision to terminate Steve Boyd as the cross country coach.
Matt Funk Sports Editor The University and Athletics & Recreation (A&R) received dozens of emails from alumni and prospective students expressing concern over former Provost Tom Harris’ decision to fire cross country coach Steve Boyd. Many of the emails from alumni indicated an intent to halt donations to Queen’s if Boyd was not reinstated or if further clarity for firing was not provided. The alumni’s concerns appear to have gone unanswered. In a comment to The Journal, the University said “The university received feedback from across the Queen’s community. All correspondence and views expressed to the university were reviewed and considered as decisions were made.” On Feb. 10, 2020, following a Globe and Mail article detailing the predatory behaviour of Guelph’s former cross country coach, Dave Scott-Thomas, Boyd engaged in a Facebook discussion with former Guelph cross country athletes in the comment section of one of the athletes’ posts. Two days later, A&R Director, Leslie Dal Cin, received emails from unidentified sources who included screenshots of the Facebook exchange and expressed concern over Boyd’s conduct in the comments section. “As we all know individuals many times use online public message forms (sic) to air grievances, spark negativity, and spread hate through anonymous or guarded vantage points. Over the last few days, Steve Boyd has very much been pushing these ideas,” read one email. Dal Cin replied that she was “looking into it” and, on the same
day, told Boyd to stop commenting on the Dave Scott-Thomas article in any form—both publicly or over private messages— and scheduled a meeting between her, Boyd, and Queen’s High-Performance Director Sean Scott to discuss Boyd’s conduct. Boyd agreed to comply and did not engage further in the comment section but expressed dismay at these restrictions. “[T]his is an issue of major significance to our sport community. There is bound to be discussion at some level,” he replied in an email. The following day on Feb. 13, Guelph’s Vice-Provost of Student Affairs, Carrie Chassels, wrote directly to Queen’s Vice-Provost, Ann Tierney, to express concern over Boyd’s conduct, as well as ask Tierney if she could encourage Boyd to stop engaging with the Guelph alumni. “[I]f there’s anything you can do to encourage him to stop, it would be great. Also… I’ve never asked a colleague to help with something like this so if I’m out of line to send this email to you, please don’t hesitate to let me know!” Tierney replied on Feb. 14 saying that she forwarded the issue to Dal Cin. “[W]e will look into this as we take these matters very seriously,” her reply read. On Feb. 18, Dal Cin wrote to Boyd to arrange a meeting. The following day, on Feb. 19, the University released a statement announcing the termination of Boyd as Queen’s cross country and track coach due to what it claimed were “numerous statements on social media berating and blaming student athletes who were themselves victims.” “In doing so, Mr. Boyd flagrantly disregarded the respect
and dignity requirements of the Queen’s A&R Coaches Code of Ethics, the OUA Code of Conduct and Ethics, and related U SPORTS Policies and Procedures,” the statement read. The decision was met with strong backlash directed to A&R from Queen’s alumni. “I respectfully ask that you consider reinstating Mr. Boyd to his position of head coach,” read one alumnus’ email on Feb. 20. “His termination was unjust. Your rationale is highly flawed. I shall be stopping all donations moving forward. I am ashamed of my Alma mater and disgusted by the misguided power you both have wielded.” “It’s simply unbelievable to me that Queen’s institutional response to criticism of another university’s tragically failed institutional response is… to fire the critic. It suggests that Queen’s has learned absolutely nothing—or perhaps taken exactly the wrong message—from the mistakes Guelph made,” read a different email from Feb. 21. “I want to voice my objection to Queen’s U using its institutional weight to silence people’s speech. I’ve been a donor to Queen’s in the past but certainly won’t resume until I see a very different pattern from the school,” stated another alumnus on Feb. 22. “Your statement that his comments only served to retraumatize students is absurd. He is correct that this major set of events needs to be widely discussed such that it can be understood, learned from and never repeated. Queen’s approach only serves to sweep the events under the rug.” “Disgusted at Queen’s position in this matter, and until this is resolved – my family is halting all financial support, will advise
PHOTO BY TESSA WARBURTON
close alumni friends to do the of Communication Brenda Paul same,” wrote another alumnus and former Provost Tom Harris. on Feb. 22. “My daughter and son “Hi. You will like this response. A will no longer keep Queen’s as an kind decent human being,” Dal Cin option in terms of post-secondary wrote to Paul on Feb. 23. education at this point.” “Tom, I wanted to share this In addition to alumni, with you. Just so we are reminded prospective students also there are kind decent people out indicated that Boyd’s firing led there,” she wrote in a separate them to question whether they message to Harris. would attend Queen’s. Several more exchanges “Prior to the news of Mr. Boyd’s occurred between Dal Cin and the firing becoming public, I would supportive messenger. have considered it a great honour By contrast, internal emails to have the opportunity to attend show no direct response to Queen’s University,” wrote a concerned alumni considering prospective student on Feb. 24 withdrawing donations to Queen’s, seeking clarity about the firing. prospective students or their Another complainant was parents, or critical coaches. an unidentified Queen’s coach In the wake of Boyd’s firing, two responding to an email from A&R cross country runners left Queen’s explaining the firing to coaches. to run elsewhere in mid-April. “[A]fter reading the articles and In a May 22 statement, the comments that Boyd submitted, Principal Deane announced that I cannot help but disagree with after reviewing the firing of Coach Queen’s University’s opinion to Boyd, he supported the decision fire him,” their email from Feb. and would not reinstate the former 22 read. “This is very upsetting coach. He acknowledged, however, as I see a valid discussion point that the situation could have been that is being shut down and then better handled. overly penalized.” On Aug. 27, A&R announced While a strong majority of it had hired a new cross country emails regarding Boyd’s firing coach, Mark Bomba. criticized the decision, some were supportive. On Feb. 23, an Editor’s Note unidentified source emailed Dal At The Journal, it is our mandate Cin to applaud the firing. to collect, edit, and distribute “Dear Leslie, I’m sure you’re information in an impartial, taking alot (sic) of flak over objective manner. the firing of Steve Boyd. I will As a member of the Queen’s not be one of those persons. I Cross Country team at the time of personally would like to thank Steve Boyd’s firing, I represent a you,” it read. “He’s an online bully. significant conflict of interest in the Period. Queen’s made the right call. coverage of his dismissal and its Well done.” fallout. As a result, I have recused Dal Cin replied to thank the myself from the editing process of person for “the encouraging all stories related to the matter. It is words,” as well as to suggest my belief that this decision reflects they voice their opinion to the The Journal’s devotion to publishing Toronto Star in a letter to the impartial, factual information. editor. Dal Cin also forwarded the supportive message to Queen’s VP — Matt Scace, Managing Editor
12 • queensjournal.ca
Friday, March 26, 2021
Sports Law & Strategy Group holds town halls for Queen’s Athletics department review Queen’s doing “all the right stuff,” group says, though fails to provide quantitative evidence
SLSG held two town halls online this week to discuss preliminary results from its departmental review of A&R.
Angus Merry Assistant Sports Editor The Sports Law and Strategy Group (SLSG) held two town halls, on March 23 and 24, designed to communicate the preliminary findings of their departmental review concerning Queen’s Athletics and Recreation (A&R). The town halls, which took place virtually, consisted of presentations by members of the SLSG concerning “safe sport” awareness, the findings from their review thus far, and a Q&A period from attendees. The review was announced by the University in September 2020. The preliminary findings presented in the town hall were gathered from research conducted over the past three months, and the final report will be published later this year. To attend the town halls, individuals had to e-mail SLSG beforehand, as specific links to the meetings were not posted publicly, nor were their times. The town halls were held using a platform called “GoTo Meeting.” As per the platform’s layout, attendees could not see other participants who were in the meeting, nor could they see what—or how many—questions were being asked of the hosts. According to LJ Bartle, a representative from SLSG, Queen’s hired them to conduct the review because “they want to become the platinum standard for developing and implementing safe sport and [Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigeneity] standards in university athletics in Canada.” Prior to explaining their preliminary findings, Bartle said Queen’s “could have absolutely postponed this review,” noting how COVID-19 has made Queen’s Athletics and Recreation far more busy than normal.
According to the SLSG, the departmental review is split into four primary parts: “planning and communications;” “gap analysis;” “stakeholder engagement;” and “findings and recommendations.” The “Gap Analysis” portion consisted of a review of the University’s practices and policies as well as an “environmental scan” of other collegiate athletic programs and their policies. “Stakeholder Engagement” consisted of surveys, interviews, and town halls done for feedback. The exposition of the “planning and communications” phase as well as the “findings and recommendations” phase was not extensive. Regarding their review, Bartle noted that Queen’s has “all the right stuff,” citing their training, employment practices, and hiring tools, like those developed by the Human Rights and Equity Office. Bartle nonetheless noted there was still “room for improvement” regarding these polices, specifically citing that there is no central location for all A&R documents, a noticeable portion of regulatory overlap, and some hiring processes can sometimes have the “unintended” consequence of actually shrinking their applicant pools. On their “environmental scan,” the SLSG found that many universities successfully benefitted from greater interdepartmental partnerships, senior leadership positions tailored to safe sport, as well as the construction of “Athletics Integrity Policies and Independent Compliance Offices.” Bartle also spoke about their feedback from their stakeholder engagement efforts. Their surveys—targeted at athletes, coaches, A&R staff, and varsity alumni from the past five years—found that “safe sport culture” ranked “very high” at
Queen’s, and figures concerning “inconsistent”—noting how discrimination and maltreatment student-athletes often receive for student-athletes were differing levels of information and “mostly low.” training about them. “Most student athletes have SLSG also stated the not experienced discrimination. A jurisdiction and application of small number have experienced various codes of conduct and it and mostly based [it] on gender complaint mechanisms has also identity or race,” Bartle said. been inconsistent. Bartle went on to say “more They also stated there’s a witnessed it than experienced “lack of diverse representation at it,” and “if they witnessed it, they every stakeholder level,” but “all said it was usually due to race stakeholders were passionate and ethnicity.” about improving the systems Regarding these surveys, the currently in place to make SLSG did not provide any specific meaningful change.” figures or metrics concerning During the Q&A period, respondents and their ans wers. attendants who chose to ask In discussing the interviews questions or provide comments they have conducted, the SLSG were given complete anonymity. concluded that individuals The questions were read by Dina found the volume of information Bell-Laroche, a partner at the SLSG. concerning safe sport initiatives Laroche did not specify how many “overwhelming” as well as questions were asked in total, and
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paraphrased questions as opposed to reading them verbatim. When asked by The Journal’s Sports Editor for further clarification on the survey metrics and their methodology for applicants, Bell-Laroche noted the focus of the town hall was not on providing quantitative data, but assured that such data will be provided in the final report in late April. As a final note, Bartle and Bell Laroche both urged attendees to reach out to the SLSG by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org if they have any additional comments or concerns. These town halls were the first public consultations taken for the review, the final report of which is due to be published at the end of the semester.
Friday, March 26, 2021
Best late-night Kingston eats Students share their go-to meals for the late hour cravings Kingston has plenty to offer in terms of delicious spots to eat. Sometimes, though, hunger strikes late at night after most restaurants have shut their doors for the evening. To help you find a tasty place to eat after hours, The Journal asked students to share their favourite late-night meals. ***
To me, nothing beats an evening out to The Mansion with friends, especially when it’s accompanied by a platter of their Fully Loaded Nachos and a schooner of Moosehead. The nacho platter is big enough to share with friends—though you could also have it by yourself, I won’t judge—and it’s perfection to the tastebuds: savoury, crunchy goodness with a generous amount of melted cheese, veggies, and a bit of a kick from the jalapeño and banana peppers. The Mansion has comfy couches and a great vibe inside, especially when they have live music. But once the weather allows it, they open up the massive patio wrapping around the building, which is perfect for
warm summer nights. In my opinion, it’s a true Kingston staple. —Geneviève Nolet, Staff Writer
The fried chicken sandwich at Red House’s downtown Kingston location is sure to send you off to bed with sweet dreams and a satisfied stomach. Located just a brief walk from Queen’s campus, Red House is a tavern serving locally-sourced foods ra n g i n g f ro m delicious salads to s avo u r y sandwiches until 2 a.m. T h e i r fried chicken sandwich is an unparalleled fusion of different textures and tastes that will leave you wanting more. Their super crispy chicken is placed across a dollop of sweet honey mustard with finely sliced pickles on top of their signature buttery biscuit. Order a side of their match-stick fries as an ideal accompaniment to the sandwich or enjoy their fresh arugula salad. There are truly no chicken sandwiches in the area quite like Red House’s, and with their
The Tricolour Sex Column: Oral sex Advice for giving and receiving cunnilingus The Assistant Kinky Scholar The opinions expressed in this piece reflect only the experiences of a white straight cisgender woman who has only engaged in heterosexual sex. No article, author, or publication can accurately reflect the experiences of all women. Please read with caution and kindness. When it comes to sex, there’s no getting around the awkwardness that comes with two people who are completely naked and trying to get each other off. But making sure both parties are being equally pleasured can set the stage for something magical. That’s why I’m going to give you some advice for giving and receiving cunnilingus. Having sex with someone with a vagina can add a level of complication to any sexual interaction due, in large part, to a lack of representation of what women’s pleasure really looks like. Understanding and researching the variety of ways you can make sure your reciprocation game is on point can help to rid some of the stigma around a woman’s pleasure.
Does it taste okay? Is he bored or just trying to get me ready for intercourse? Am I moaning enough? All the worrying will make it hard to enjoy yourself, and even harder to have an orgasm. I can’t personally say I love giving blowjobs, but the idea of giving someone else pleasure and showing them I care makes it worth it. If the only thing on your mind is whether or not he’s enjoying eating you out, try and focus on why your partner offered to do it. I can assure you my partner is not concerned about my jaw hurting, he’s thinking about how great it feels.
proximity to campus and warm ambiance, it’s the perfect place to satisfy those nightly cravings. —Patrick Wilson-Smith, Staff Writer
My choice for late-night Kingston eats has to be a student staple: Tommy’s. An atmospheric diner located right across from the Metro on Princess Street, Tommy’s serves a delicious variety of munchies, meals, and, best of all, all-day breakfast. Its location is so central to Kingston’s nightlife that it’s the
ILLUSTRATION BY SHELBY TALBOT
perfect stop after a night out or, amidst current circumstances, to pick up late-night takeout just past the edge of the University District. You can’t go wrong with any of Tommy’s breakfast items—though it’s important to note that their hollandaise isn’t available Make sure to communicate
This one goes out to both the giver and the receiver. If you’re performing oral sex, asking if what you’re doing feels good will only benefit both partners. A simple ‘Do you like that?’ can open the conversation up for an ‘Actuallly, no. Can you do this instead?’ Researching tips on different methods of cunnilingus makes it easier to find what feels good, as each vagina and person it’s connected to is totally different. I wish I didn’t have to say this, but a woman suggesting you try something different doesn’t mean it’s time to give up all together. You’re not bad at oral because she’s asking you to move up a little or trying to add some hand stuff. Consent is key
Consent is the most important thing to keep in mind with any sexual act.
past 5 p.m.—but my recommendation is the Fried Egg Peameal BLT with a side of homefries. There’s a uniquely rebellious feeling that comes with eating breakfast for dinner—the later in the evening, the better. And, really, if you’re eating eggs and bacon after midnight, I’d like to think you’re getting a head start on the day ahead. —Shelby Talbot, Lifestyle Editor
Personally, whenever I eat lots of food late at night it’s a guarantee that I'll wake up the next morning cranky and exhausted. So, instead of gravitating toward McDonalds, I usually go for a regular pearl milk tea from Sharetea. While it maintains shorter hours now, pre-pandemic Sharetea was often open as late as 1 a.m., and it’s not too far a walk from the student ghetto. Something about that first sugary sip and perfectly chewy tapioca just hits the spot. Pro-tip— if you get your drink with no ice then you not only get more drink, but if you don’t finish you can refrigerate it overnight and it still tastes pretty good the next morning. I’m super excited for next semester when there might be a Chatime on Princess & University joining the late night bubble tea gang. —Aysha Tabassum, Features Editor
You can ask for oral, but if someone says no, any sort of convincing is off the table. It can be upsetting to hear someone say they don’t want to eat you out because “it’s just gross” or “it’s emasculating,” but if that’s the case, you’re allowed to take that as your sign to peace out. It’s not any one woman’s job to break down those patriarchal ideas for a man, and it’s not our job to convince men that vaginas aren’t scary and we want pleasure, too. Similarly, if you ask a woman to eat her out and she declines the offer, accept it. Many women are uncomfortable with their own vaginas—let alone the idea of being eaten out—and other than asking what you can do to possibly make them more comfortable, if she doesn’t want it, she doesn’t want it. Oral sex is awkward, weird, and one-sided, but those aspects are also its benefits. It’s vulnerable, open, and can show your partner you really care about their pleasure regardless of the transactional nature of most heterosexual sex.
Allow yourself to let go
Women are often trained from a young age to please everyone around them, and receiving oral sex is no different. When I first started receiving oral sex, I was always concerned with making sure my partner was having a nice time down there.
The ins and outs of eating out.
ILLUSTRATION BY SHELBY TALBOT
14 • queensjournal.ca
Friday, March 26, 2021 Virtual games
Games nights can be played in-person or over the internet.
PHOTO BY JODIE GRIEVE
Point/Counterpoint: traditional vs. virtual games Debating which form makes for a superior game night Traditional games There are a lot of things that we can get on the internet, but a good, hardy laugh from in-person game nights isn’t one of them. One of my favourite in-person games is two-person charades where the charade is performed by an unknowing ‘puppet’ and a ‘puppet master.’ One time my dad used me as his puppet for the “home run” card and almost dislocated my shoulder.
You just can’t make those kinds of memories over Zoom. There’s something about being around people that makes everything more fun. If it’s a competitive game of euchre, you can’t stare down your rival family member over Zoom because they can’t tell if you’re looking at them. It’s also much harder to call a bluff virtually because you can’t observe someone’s telling nervous foot tap or inability to look you in the eye. Other games like Cards Against Humanity and Cranium intended to make you laugh don’t have the same effect virtually. There’s nothing like the bonding moments you get from having to do something awkward or embarrassing in-person. It makes
you feel closer to the friends who still want to keep you around after you do something silly. While virtual games are better than nothing, they usually leave me feeling drained from looking at a screen rather than reenergized from laughter or intense competition. Although I’m always down for a game of Jackbox or Drawphone amidst social distancing, I’m looking forward to having game nights complete with snacks and some good music when restrictions are lifted.
by March 10. What was thought to be a once-in-a-lifetime financial event had happened again. Groves told The Journal that the significant loss in unrealized gains from the first time the stock had peaked had taken quite a toll on his mental health. He was ready to get out. Having covered his position when the stock hit the $40 range, Groves sold his remaining shares at $300, averaging a 750 per cent return on his original investment. Sam Alton, Eng '22, who bought in during the high $300 range in January, is the only student investor The Journal spoke with who’s still holding their position. Since it was a riskier play for him from the start, he’s decided not to sell unless it’s for a profit. Currently, there’s a new question: what drove the second squeeze—and are there more to come?
buy it for $10. You make a profit of $5 minus the premium, and the person on the other end loses $4. If it never goes above $10, you only lose your premium of $1. If the share price rises close to or past the strike price, market makers often buy shares to offset their own losses in case you exercise your right to buy the share. If there are enough call options, this can significantly drive up demand for the stock and, in turn, its price. This is what happened with GameStop. Traders took advantage of the suddenly low prices of GME to buy thousands of call options for very low premiums. Combined with the relatively high short percentages and continued devotion of retail traders to GameStop, the second squeeze was put into motion. While it never hit the highs of the initial squeeze, GME is still hovering around $200 USD, a 1000 per cent increase from the beginning of this year. Can we expect more GME spikes to come? While we can only speculate, Hansen Liu, Com ’22, and Nolan Breault, ArtSci ’21, agreed that another GME spike can’t be ruled out completely. Breault noted that there currently is still a high number of call options. Liu believes Wall Street may still be moving behind the scenes, based on recent portfolio decisions and
—Julia Stratton, Staff Writer
What unites families and friends while simultaneously keeping all parties separated? A spectacular virtual game night. Other than the fact that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, online games guarantee the safest option for gatherings, there are many advantages that come with virtual game nights. Virtual game nights facilitate flexibility; family and friends who live in different places or time zones have the ability to attend these events from home, no travel required. And the more the merrier—more participants create more engaging, memorable evenings. Furthermore, there exists an infinite amount of free card and board games online which means those in attendance aren’t limited to the handful of games in their possession. In-person game nights cannot compete in this category of flexibility. Hosting a traditional game night usually requires preparations—and can be quite time-consuming. In comparison, for virtual game nights, there’s less hosting responsibility. On Zoom, there’s no pressure to have the cleanest, nicest looking place or to provide food for your family and friends. Additionally, there’s no need to coordinate a designated driver or worry about how your friends are getting home. Anyone can pop open that bottle of wine they’ve been eyeing throughout the week and not have to be mindful of who’s driving who. It’s also easier to meet new people online. In a situation where someone brings one of their friends, it’s much easier to break the ice because the awkwardness and social pressures of meeting in-person are lessened over a call. Considering virtual game nights are conducted from the comfort of your home, they’re uniquely comfortable for everyone involved. The bottom line is that, when it comes to game nights, virtual games offer a glimpse into the future. This trend toward online socializing will unquestionably linger long after the pandemic is over. —Nicole Sobolewski, Contributor
The Lazy Economist: GME and a second short squeeze
Queen’s students discuss the future of the stock and takeaways Kaitlyn Danielle Contributor This is a two-part series on the GameStop stock short squeeze and how it unfolded in the eyes of Queen’s students.
We last left our student investors watching the GameStop (GME) shares come tumbling down from their $500 USD peak on Jan. 28, a trend that would continue well into February. For many retail traders, it was time to cut their losses and sell. Aidan Yang, Eng '21, was one, suffering an 85 per cent loss when he sold for $70 USD a share one week after the squeeze peaked. Logan Groves, Eng '21, who had over $7 million in unrealized profit for a brief moment at the peak, continued to hold. The number of shorts was still around 27 per cent of publicly available shares, and short squeezes had been successfully pulled off on far less. Then, in the third week of February, GME prices doubled overnight on February 23 from $45 USD to $90 USD. The following week, the price climbed to over $350 USD
The Gamma Squeeze
During the second squeeze, it wasn’t just shorting that drove the GME price to surge—it was also thanks to call options. To buy a call, you pay a premium—let’s say $1—to a market maker for the right to buy a share at a set or “strike” price—say $10. If this share rises to $15, you can exercise your right to
bot activity on social media, among other things. The takeaway
Short squeezes are nothing new, but what makes the GME short squeeze unprecedented is that it marks the first time retail traders successfully took on Wall Street, which lost a combined $15.31 billion from the start of this year. It doesn’t mean Wall Street’s days are numbered, but it revealed cracks in the system. For Brynnon Picard, CompSci '21, Robinhood’s trades restrictions acted as a reminder that “the financial system is not set up for the individual investor.” Moving forward, Yang passed on some advice to other retail investors: “Make your investments based on your intuition and your homework […] don’t fully trust the media [or] random people on the internet.” Meanwhile, Breault extended encouragement to those who have lost money. “Don’t let this deter you from seeking knowledge […] make sure that you are well educated and know what you are doing because it can be quite important for your financial future."
Friday, March 26, 2021
HBO Max’s resurrection of 'Justice League' is a win Ben Wrixon Opinions Editor Zack Synder’s Justice League is a reminder that the good guys always win. Back in 2017, the original version of Justice League limped into theatres. An all-star cast couldn’t save the movie from becoming an all-time-worst superhero box-office flop. Reviews for the film ranged from lukewarm to downright terrible. Behind-the-scenes controversy plagued the production team. After then-director Zack Snyder stepped away from the film following his daughter’s death, Warner Brothers hired Joss Whedon of The Avengers to do the finishing touches—and he inexplicably reshot most of the scenes to create an entirely different product. Whedon’s mistakes aren’t limited to butchering Snyder’s vision. Cyborg actor Ray Fisher condemned Whedon’s on-set behaviour after the movie released, prompting a full-blown investigation by the studio into potential misconduct. The 2017 version of Justice League deserved to be forgotten. Yet, over the course of three years, HBO Max spent over $70 million to revive a failed movie.
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY TESSA WARBURTON
The heroes of 'Justice League.'
‘Zack Synder’s Justice League’ deserves its second chance It took considerable convincing to get this endeavour approved. One petition to release the so-called ‘Snyder Cut’ collected over 100,000 signatures in less than a week back in 2017. Zack Snyder himself had confirmed his version’s existence by 2019; Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) even joined the fight on Twitter in favour of its release. On March 18, 2021, Zack Snyder’s Justice League aired on HBO Max. While bloat was inevitable given the film’s four-hour runtime, it’s undoubtedly a better movie
Canadians are getting married later than ever.
than the original—a resounding redemption story for everyone invested in the film, from the fans to the cast. The over-arching plotline is relatively unchanged: Batman (Ben Affleck) must assemble a team of superpowered allies to defend Earth from an impending invasion with Superman (Henry Cavill) dead after his sacrifice in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. He and Wonder Woman recruit The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and Cyborg to fight the intergalactic conqueror known
ILLUSTRATION BY TESSA WARBURTON
Is Gen Z rejecting marriage? Most young people want to get married—eventually Kirby Harris Assistant Lifestyle Editor Today, university undergraduate students are being thrust into an uncertain world. With a grim outlook on future careers for pandemic graduates, stability isn’t anywhere in sight. In the past year, grad school applications in Canada have gone up by 30 per cent in some
programs. In a very polarized world, there’s one thing that most young people can agree on: we have no idea what our future holds. Fifty years ago, post-grad plans for Canadian undergrads looked different. In the early 1970s, the average age of first marriage was 23 for women and 25 for men. The average age of first birth for women was between 23 and 24. By their mid-20s, most Baby Boomers were married homeowners with children. At the same age, we’re grappling with entry-level jobs, roommates, and grad school.
Over the last five decades, Canadians have been getting married later and later. From 1981 to 2011, the percentage of 25 to 29-year-old Canadians who had never married jumped from 26 per cent to 73 per cent. The average age of marriage in Canada is estimated to be in the early 30s. Between 2000 and 2017, the number of first births between ages 40 and 44 doubled. Obviously, these statistics are not from our generation. The oldest members of Generation Z are barely in their mid-20s. However, it looks like we’re going to continue the trend.
as Steppenwolf (voiced by Ciarán Hinds). This version’s extended runtime is used to flesh out the characters, many of whom were making their big-screen debuts, and their backstories. Cyborg is a standout; the relationship between him and his once-absentee father becomes the film’s emotional heart. Batman’s journey from cynical recluse to optimistic leader is also better realized. They also fixed Henry Cavill’s moustache removal fiasco. The heroes are worth rooting for in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. There are a lot of proposed reasons as to why young people might not want to get married. Critics say online dating has made us too picky, we’re terrified of divorce, or afraid of commitment. There’s also something to be said about the piles of college debt, the rising cost of housing, and job instability. However, changing social structures are making marriage less of a priority. Millennials and Gen Z are also increasingly less religious than older generations, making young people less inclined to tie the knot. While fewer and fewer weddings are centred in religious practice, marriage is still a religious institution. An increasing number of less traditional couples don’t believe they need a ceremony to commit to one another. It’s also become easier for women to not marry if they don’t want to. For generations, it was nearly impossible for most women to comfortably support themselves. Marriage was not just a love contract, but an economic agreement. Women needed the economic support of a man because even if they did choose to work, options were limited and salaries were low. While the wage gap still exists, women can now live a bachelor lifestyle if they choose. Younger generations are also dating longer. Millennials and Gen Z have embraced casual hookups and date around for years before settling down. Once
Their thoughtful development allows them all to shine in the film’s explosive final act. The new version of the League’s penultimate confrontation with Steppenwolf is more exciting. However, it’s Flash’s reworked role in the grand finale that steals the show in the blink of an eye. These foundational improvements don’t fix everything, however. The all-powerful Mother Boxes are still a lazy McGuffin done better in Marvel movies. Steppenwolf’s added motivation and redesigned appearance still lack in comparison to Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. Worst of all, the movie’s extended epilogue sets up sequels that have been cancelled. Nonetheless, movie fans should support Zack Snyder’s Justice League. It’s worth celebrating that his vision ultimately prevailed over studio meddling. The hype surrounding a movie long enough to be split into two separate films is also refreshing; streaming services can enable more filmmakers to tell their stories without the limitations of a theatrical release. In its current form, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is proof that prioritizing attention spans over delivering a quality product is a bad business decision. People enjoy long movies when the content they’re watching is worth their time. The Snyder cut saved the day—and the film industry is the real winner.
they finally meet the person they want to marry, they’ll wait around five years before tying the knot. Despite concern from older generations, young people are finding there are good things about getting married later in life. While people have been getting married much later, they’ve also been getting divorced less. The divorce rate in Canada peaked in 1987 and has been dropping ever since. Studies say waiting until your 30s to get married lowers your chance of divorce. Some say waiting until your 30s to have children allows people to emotionally mature before they become parents. Going childless in your 20s also allows freedoms—like travelling, staying out late, and taking financial risks—that our grandparents didn’t have. For a generation that’s unsure if they will ever get to retire, a few years of freedom in youth is marked as essential. Still, most members of Gen Z want to get married—there’s just a lot of other things we hope to do first. A lot of those things are not exactly up to the individual. Wanting a stable job, a home, and finding the right partner isn’t a radical rejection of the institution of marriage, but very real fears about what our future might look like. Ultimately, Gen Z isn’t an anti-traditional or radical generation, it’s simply a cautious one.
16 • queensjournal.ca
Friday, March 26, 2021
PHOTO BY JODIE GRIEVE
Angus reminisces about a fateful trip abroad.
Tracing my roots back to my Grandfather’s childhood home in Scotland
My unexpectedly eventful night trying to find where it all began Angus Merry Assistant Sports Editor Two years ago, in a small suburb outside of Glasgow, I had an evening I’ll never forget. It was reading week, 2019, and a close friend and I were on the second day of our week-long trip around the United Kingdom’s northern jewel. Tired after a day of walking through the vast expanse of Glasgow’s parks, museums, gardens, and neighbourhoods, I glanced at Google Maps to get a bearing of how best to get back to the Airbnb we’d rented for the night. Instead, by chance, I noticed we weren’t too far from a neighbourhood I’d been told of before I left Canada: Maryhill. For most tourists, seeing the name Maryhill probably wouldn’t inspire any bit of excitement. But it did for me, and for one particular reason: it was where my maternal grandfather grew up. Born in 1922, my grandfather, Stewart, lived in Maryhill until he joined the navy as a 20-somethingyear-old. After earning a degree in engineering, he decided to pack his bags and make for Canada. Landing on the shores of my Toronto in 1948, he met my grandmother two months later at church. Sadly, he never returned to Scotland. I didn’t have the chance to meet
my grandfather, and considering I was the only other person besides one of my aunts to ever travel to his home country—let alone his own home city—I knew I had to do something to learn more about him. And there I was, standing in the middle of Glasgow’s botanical gardens with the name “Maryhill” on my phone screen. We set off immediately. And far sooner than I liked to admit, the plan went a little awry. First, Maryhill was located much farther away than we anticipated. Rather than a 10-minute walk, it was a 35-minute one, and though this wouldn’t have been a problem at any other point in the day, we’d set off for the neighbourhood in the late afternoon, right as the sun began to set. More problematic still was the fact that as we walked further outside the city’s centre, the neighbourhoods we passed through became distinctly less friendly. To top it off, right as we reached the bottom of the hill for which that neighbourhood was named after, my phone died. And, of course, my friend had opted to go without a data plan that covered anything besides texts and calls.
I jogged to the next “house, expecting to
finally feast my eyes on what was once my grandfather’s home”
So, sitting on the outskirts of Maryhill with only one phone, no maps, and only a street address to go off of, night began to fall, and our situation was looking a bit dicey. But we persevered.
After another 15 minutes of combing through the maze of winding streets to find the street name which matched the one I had been given, we breathed a sigh of relief. Triumphantly, I began to stroll past the unending sets of tightly packed houses, carefully counting down the numbers to the address I was looking for: 24 Viewmount Drive.
I began to pace up and “down the street, hoping the numbers would change after my second or third look”
As I got closer, counting the house numbers from 34 all the way down to 26, my smile widened, expecting to finally set my eyes on the house I was looking for. And then… Nothing. The houses stopped at 26. What came immediately after was a small building that was clearly not a house. Seeing that the house numbers continued past the small structure, I jogged to the next house, expecting to finally feast my eyes on what was once my grandfather’s home. On it, it read: 22 Viewmount. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” I thought. I began to pace up and down the street, hoping the numbers would change after my second or third look. My friend started to press that it was getting dark, and we’d better call a cab before her phone died, too. Ever obstinate, I asked her to hear me out one more time. By that
point, we’d aroused some attention from one of the houses that sat quietly on the street, and as I saw its residents looking curiously at us from their living room window, I had an idea. I smiled and motioned enthusiastically for the people inside to come and out and talk to us. Slowly but surely, a mother and daughter came out, asking if something was wrong. I explained the situation and asked whether they happened to know what had become of 24 Viewmount Drive. They answered without question: “Oh yes, that address would have been torn down to make way for the school there. Well, it isn’t a school now, it was when it was first built. Now it’s just a bunch of flats.” My heart sank. As it turned out, though, there was one person on the street who might be able to offer some consolation to me. According to the pair, there was an elderly woman on Viewmount who had lived there her entire life, and, old as she was, she might have known my grandfather when he was growing up.
an evening I’ll “ It was never forget”
We went straight to her house. And after we’d knocked on her door a few times—to no result—I thought the whole endeavour was done for. Yet, just as my friend got on the line with a local cab company, I saw a little head peek out from behind a set of curtains with a suspicious look. Noticing that
she was speaking into a phone, I became worried that a set of cops might show up sooner than our cab, so I earnestly tried to signal that we were friendly. Slowly, she came out. To our relief, she said that she had only been speaking with one of her close friends and was more than happy to chat with us about my grandfather. Sadly, she too confirmed that his house had likely been torn down to make way for that school. To my further dismay, she said that she would have been just a girl when he left for Canada, so she didn’t know him personally. All the same, however, she did say that she travelled up his way fairly often when she was a toddler, so there was a chance that they once crossed paths. Slightly defeated, I thanked her for time and wished her well. But just as we started to leave, she stopped us. “Well, but would ya like to come in for a cuppa’ tea?” So we did. And for the next three hours, we sat with her, and she told us about her life: how she had lived in Maryhill since the day she was born, how she’d met her late husband right down the street when she was just a teenager, and how she was never able to travel to North America like she wished. It was an evening I’ll never forget. And although I was never able to learn more about my grandfather’s life in Maryhill, learning about Aileen’s—that was her name—was just as incredible as anything else I could have hoped for.