the Queen’s University
Vol. 149, Issue 3
Monday, July 26, 2021
Situated on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples.
PHOTO BY SPENCER HENDRICKSON
As Queen’s plans to return to in-person learning, the Class of ’25 is cautious and excited.
The Journal spoke with two incoming students about their preparations for the transition back to campus. Emilia Paterson, ArtSci ’25, said that while she’s excited to come to Queen’s, she’s concerned about returning to the classroom after graduating virtually from high school. “I hope they treat us with understanding as we begin university only having had half a high school experience. We spent the last year and a half
online and lost a lot of the study skills and social skills we had before COVID,” Paterson said. “I just hope [the university] understands the toll the pandemic has taken on students.” Beyond academics, Paterson is looking forward to more opportunities for socializing. “I hope that COVID restrictions will be lessened enough for us to have a somewhat normal frosh experience. I’d really like to see Homecoming in person,
and I’d also like to see the majority of classes be in-person because I think online learning has been very tough for us all,” she said. Shania Sheth, HealthSci ’25, said she’s confident she’ll be successful in this transition period. “Based on what I’ve seen from the program—the teachers, professors, and everyone in the faculty […]—they seem like they’re willing to help everyone get on the same level,” Sheth said in an interview with The Journal. Sheth added that, as a result of online learning, she believes incoming first-year students will work hard and be self-motivated. “When you’re online, it’s a different level of independence.” She added that she believes the student population as a whole will be resilient.
Expert talks new Governor General Mary Simon and decolonization
Eurocentric beauty standards and cosmetics
Preserving cultural identity on campus
A&R facilities gradually reopening
Living honestly and writing authentically
Class of 2025 prepares for in-person learning ‘I just hope [the University] understands the toll the pandemic has taken on students’ A lexa B artels Contributor
“We’ve had to overcome a lot of barriers […] Everything combined has led to us working our hardest, trying to overcome any obstacles, while having a positive outlook.” Sheth said the pandemic has fostered a shared experience between all students. She believes the Queen’s community will be able to relate to one another as a result. “We went through this together and we’re going to try to get out of it and back to normal together as well.” Sheth added that approaching the school year with an optimistic attitude will be beneficial for incoming students who are uncertain about the transition. “This is the year where we have to approach everything with a smile and try to make the most of every moment.”
2 • queensjournal.ca
Monday, July 26, 2021
Queen’s University International Centre introduces travel app for international students
iCent will be the go-to destination for international students to receive information about pre-and-post arrival in Canada.
‘We know that being an international student can be overwhelming’ Rida Chaudhry Assistant News Editor As the university plans for in-person studies in September, Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) has introduced the iCent app for international students’ return to campus in July. iCent is a travel app that includes resources and information on pre- and
post-arrival procedures, health insurance, local transportation, and events and activities to help international students acclimate to their new environment. “We know that being an international student can be overwhelming—especially when moving to a different country,” QUIC stated in a Facebook post. “There is so much to do and so much to know about, but we’re here to help you.” International students at Queen’s currently make up seven per cent of the student population. The Journal spoke with Annabel Zhu, Artsci ’22, a Chinese international student who has been attending Queen’s since 2017, to discuss QUIC resources.
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY DHARMAYU DESAI
“I think the biggest struggle for me going place to direct to will be really helpful for to an international university was the students,” Zhu said. transition to a different country and the While the app provides easy access to different language barriers as well,” Zhu said. information, Zhu questioned the impacts “When I first came to Kingston, I don’t of differing COVID-19 restrictions around think that QUIC was very helpful in the world. terms of the resources they had clearly “I am concerned about how the app available. They weren’t that easy to will adapt to all the different international access for me.” students coming in from all over the world, iCent aims to streamline the process especially during COVID-19.” of getting information directly to students The app also includes “COVIDin the most accessible way—including 19 updates” to give students maps, airport arrival information, information regarding Canada’s current quarantine support, and public COVID-19 restrictions. health expectations. Beyond the app, QUIC is also providing “With this app, I think the information a series of orientations and live online will be easy to access and read. Having one sessions for international students.
Queen’s adjusts admissions targets for incoming students Targets adjusted based on demand, COVID-19, and future infrastructure Asbah Ahmad Assistant News Editor Queen’s enrolment projections have changed for certain programs due to
Strategic Enrolment Management Group works to change the face of future admissions targets.
fluctuations in student demand and plans for future expansions. In April, the University Senate approved revisions to short-term enrolment targets between 2021-24. In 2019, Queen’s made short-term adjustments to enrolment targets. Building off this work, the Short Term Enrolment Projections (STEP) report provided detailed impacts of COVID-19 on student demand. “The number of offers of admission is based on multiple years of data and acceptance rates,” Mark Erdman, manager
PHOTO BY SPENCER HENDRICKSON
of community relations and issues, wrote in an email to The Journal. The Strategic Enrolment Management Group (SEMG) is tasked with reviewing and analyzing Queen’s applications, province-wide applications, sector trends, provincial policy issues, and annual faculty and student enrolment plans. Though Queen’s will not release the final class of 2021 enrolment numbers until November, Erdman said over 50,000 applications to undergraduate programs were submitted—a 13 per cent year-over-year growth in applications. Erdman added that Queen’s expects to fill all allotted undergraduate spots this academic year. According to the STEP report, Queen’s main concern with admissions during COVID-19 was the mobility of students from around the world. “Restrictions on international travel disrupted student travel plans and negatively impacted enrolment, especially new intake, of overseas students in 2020-21. This may continue to effect [SIC] student mobility during the 2021-2022 academic year,” the STEP report stated. The report highlighted that for the 2021-22 academic year, first-year undergraduate intake increased to 4,856 from than the previously sanctioned 4,796. This rise in admitted students was due
to increasing demand in the Nursing and Health Sciences programs, which enrolled 25 and 35 extra students, respectively. In the Faculty of Arts and Science, the total enrolment target for 2021-22 remained at the pre-approved 3,012 students. ArtSci has undergone a reduction in spots. According to the STEP report, for Science, the expected intake was approximately 854 students instead of the previously sanctioned 923 students. For Arts, intake was 1,408 students from the alloted 1,414 students. The reduction in ArtSci enrollment will be re-allocated to the Computing, Kinesiology, and Concurrent Education programs. “For 2022-23 and beyond, the total first-year direct-entry intake increases to 5,084 with the opening of a new residence building in fall 2022,” the STEP report stated. The report also highlighted that the construction and opening of new residence buildings in fall 2022 will increase the intake of students. For 2022-23 and beyond, 153 new student spots will be created in the Faculty of Arts and Science, while 60 new student spots will be created in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.
Monday, July 26, 2021
Mary Simon’s appointment ‘an opportunity to start a conversation on reconciliation’ The Journal sat down with Mark Walters to discuss the new governor general Sydney Ko Senior News Editor On Jul. 6, Prime Minister Trudeau appointed Mary Simon as the first Inuk governor general of Canada. The Journal spoke with Mark Walters, Dean of the Faculty of Law, to discuss the implications of Simon’s new role. Walters specializes in public and constitutional law. According to Walters, this appointment will spark new discourses on reconciliation and decolonization in Canada. “The Office of the Crown is central to our system of constitutional government as it exists—that all comes from a model provided by Great Britain,” Walters said. The governor general’s duties include giving advice to the head of government, holding the right to advise the prime minister and the cabinet, dissolving Parliament, and more. “In indirect ways, the governor general can take power off the Prime Minister and the Cabinet,” Walters explained.
He added that Simon’s background will also foster necessary connections between Upper and Lower Canada, with Lower Canada being more “urbanized” due to its proximity to the US border. By having a representative from the far north, Walters feels there’s a greater opportunity to give attention to and address questions regarding resource development and climate change. “It’s wonderful to have somebody in one of the central positions in our constitutional arrangement be from the far north,” Walters said. “Resource development, the impact of climate change, the change in international discourse surrounding the Arctic—to have somebody that can bring awareness to the rest of us on the special circumstances of the far north is going to be important.” Walters also believes the governor general being an Inuk woman will put the Crown and the role in uncharted territory. “It opens up the opportunity to start this conversation about a different conception of these different offices,” he said. Walters said treaty relationships between Indigenous groups and the Crown greatly impact how the Crown is viewed by Indigenous peoples.
“I think one concern from Indigenous peoples is that they have a particular conception of the Crown. There’s this deciding factor that the Crown represents sovereignty—the sovereign powers of the Canadian state.” On the other hand, he said, some Indigenous groups and individuals may view their relationship with the Crown as a potential partnership. “The Crown is much more of a partner, and there is a hierarchical relationship,” he said. “The Crown
is subject to all kinds of duties in [Indigenous peoples’] ability to govern themselves.” Simon’s appointment could lead to discussions about how this relationship can be reimagined in the context of reconciliation. “By acknowledging different Indigenous groups, multiculturalism, multilingualism, and having a g ove r n o r g e n e ra l wh o speaks an Inuktitut language itself is hugely powerful for the interests of reconciliation, but also the protection of Indigenous languages across the country.”
Expert says governor general to open conversation on reconciliation and decolonization.
PHOTO SUPPLIED BY MARK WALTERS
Indigenous Learners in Health Sciences looks to promote students’ interest in healthcare ‘Indigenous knowledge isn’t at odds with the careers students are going into’ Asbah Ahmad Assistant News Editor
for improvement in the way certain course content is taught within the Faculty of Health Sciences. “In our global health courses, we touched on Indigenous health and the medicine wheel—a framework for Indigenous health--personally, it didn’t go as far as I wanted it to. We didn’t have the opportunity to hear any actual Indigenous voices talk about the subject matter,” Instrum said. “We were touching on the subject, but it wasn’t coming from an authentic voice.” Instrum hopes the ILHS will be able to advocate for students and create more opportunities to understand healthcare matters with
Indigenous populations in a culturally safe manner. “I want to maybe approach the director of my own program and see what we can do to have an Indigenous knowledge course,” Instrum said. “Interpersonal skills and working with Indigenous populations is valuable for all students.” Along with advocacy work, Instrum hopes the ILHS will provide valuable experiences that strengthen the Indigenous student population interested in healthcare as a profession. “I envision a mentorship component. I have spoken to various Indigenous students
Indigenous Learners in Health Sciences (ILHS) is a new organization that hopes to bridge divides between Western medicine and Indigenous medicine while amplifying the voices and experiences of Indigenous students interested in careers in healthcare. The student-run organization was created in May after consultations with members of the Faculty of Health Sciences. “I initially had the idea to create this group to amplify voices that have previously been overlooked in the healthcare field. I felt there was a need to create a space in the healthcare field like how engineers have Aboriginal Access to Engineering,” Caroline Instrum, HealthSci ‘23, said in an interview with The Journal. Instrum, who has Métis roots from Nova Scotia, said her goals in creating the ILHS began with a conversation with Jane Philpott, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, in January. “Dean Philpott sent out an invitation to have an informal chat with Indigenous students in the faculty, and I think having some of us together made me realize how helpful it was to have us together,” Caroline Instrum highlights the goals of Indigenous Instrum said. Learners in Health Sciences.reconciliation and Instrum acknowledged that there’s room decolonization.
PHOTO SUPPLIED BY CAROLINE INSTRUM
in many programs, such as medicine and clinical psychology, and partnering with upper-year mentors will be really empowering,” Instrum said. Instrum feels that, along with the mentorship component, having workshops with healers and elders that are accessible to Indigenous students is important in their journey to understand their own cultures. “It can be intimidating to come to Queen’s and want to participate and learn more about your own culture. There is a certain aspect of imposter syndrome, and I am an example of this,” she said. “Growing up in a white-urban area I felt some imposter syndrome, and organizations like [Four Directions Indigenous Student Center] do an amazing job of inviting you to fun activities, but some people can hesitate because they don’t feel Indigenous enough.” Instrum added ILHS is an informal space where everyone, including herself, can continue learning. “Some of our events might be Indigenous-only to be a protected space, but we will definitely have events for everyone,” Instrum added. ILHS also isn’t exclusive to health sciences students. “We recognize that Indigenous students in the Faculty of Arts and Science may want to pursue careers in health as well. So, we would want to make sure Indigenous students from these areas are included in our initiatives and events,” Instrum said. “I want students pursuing careers in healthcare to know that their knowledge isn’t at odds with the careers they are going into. We need to embrace our Indigenous knowledge; it is only going to enhance our abilities as health providers.”
4 • queensjournal.ca
Ontario government cut back $400 million in funding for OSAP in the 2020-21 academic year.
Monday, July 26, 2021
JOURNAL FILE PHOTO
OUSA writes letter calling on Ontario government to cease OSAP cuts ‘We will continue to use our voice for the betterment of all students attending post-secondary education’
to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). The “clawbacks” referred to the provincial government’s $400 million reduction in OSAP expenditures for the 2020-21 year, publicized in April 2021. In April, the federal government announced the Canada Student Grant (CSG) would be doubled to assist post-secondary students impacted Cassidy McMackon by COVID-19 nationwide. Staff Writer OUSA’s letter recommended that the Ontario government stop any On May 5, the Ontario University disbursement as federal investments in Student Alliance (OUSA) wrote a letter student assistance programs increase to Ross Romano, then the minister of and invest any savings garnered colleges and universities. OUSA called by the Canada Student on the province to stop “clawbacks” Grants funding back into the OSAP
program to “provide more direct support for students that need it the most.” The letter stressed the importance of OSAP funding to Ontario post-secondary students who require financial assistance in completing their studies, indicating concern that students accessing funding through OSAP will not feel the positive impact of the federal policy change.
“We are concerned that the federal government’s investments in OSAP have been used as a cost-saving opportunity for the provincial government,” the letter said. The letter also cites the importance of an increase in funding available to students in relation to the pandemic. “[I]n the context of mass job loss and income disruptions during a global pandemic, provincial OSAP spending has decreased. Given that OSAP calculations factor in student and parental contributions, the financial impact of COVID-19 suggests that provincial spending should have increased.” “Students are concerned that the provincial government will continue to claw back provincial funding to OSAP and use the federal government’s additional CSG funding as a cost-savings mechanism for the next two years.” As of July 21, there has still been no response from Jill Dunlop, the recently-appointed minister of colleges and universities, according to Jacob Marinelli, commissioner of external affairs of the AMS and OUSA Steering Committee member. The OUSA Steering Committee is hopeful that Dunlop will be more responsive to the advocacy campaigns for student assistance programs than her predecessor, Romano. “With the ongoing focus on COVID19, especially regarding return to campus and vaccination plans, we hope the clawbacks will not continue to be overshadowed and that our advocacy campaign will push the new minister to respond,” Marinelli wrote in a statement to The Journal. “We will continue to use our voice for the betterment of all students attending post-secondary education.”
Kingston Peace Council holds panel to discuss colonialism ‘We must undermine the idea that this is all happening over there’ Rida Chaudhry Assistant News Editor On Jun. 29, the Kingston Peace Council held “From Turtle Island to Sheikh Jarrah: A Panel on State Violence and Palestine.” The panel hosted Yara Hussein, ArtSci ’22, Adnan Husain, associate professor at Queen’s, and Miguel Figueroa, president of the Canadian Peace Congress. Sean McNeil, panel moderator, asked speakers a series of questions about settler colonialism and decolonial action that Canadians can take moving forward. Panelists began by providing
“From Turtle Island to Sheikh Jarrah” brought together speakers from various academic backgrounds.
context on the lasting impacts of imperialism and its relations to various social movements today. “Bringing all social movements—the working-class movement, the women’s movement, the Indigenous peoples’ movement—together and finding a common basis is finding a common enemy. That common enemy is imperialism,” Figueroa said. “Imperialism superimposes on people to forment division and profit from their own interests. From the perspective of the Peace Congress, we say we’re an anti-imperialist organization for this reason.” McNeil asked how it makes a community feel when their story is only told by those outside their community. He referred to instances where non-Palestinian NGOs, companies, and Canadians speak on what Palestinians need and should do. “I’m not Palestinian or Indigenous
but sometimes we’re conflicted with the complexity of the issue and seeing both sides. The cause for justice is very simple when you see dispossession and genocide on one side, that is settler colonialism,” Husain said. “When you express solidarity and attempt to be an ally, it’s crucial to understand the leadership of the struggle and the demands being made.” McNeil also asked what Canadians can do to be allies for marginalized populations here and abroad. “See how the Canadian government is involved in diplomacy and international bodies, look at how Canadian companies’ relationships link to oppressive powers and consciously act accordingly,” Husain said. “We must undermine the idea that ‘this is all happening over there.’ Imperialism functions here and abroad.” Hussein added that actions
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like encouraging universities or places of work to stop supporting oppressive entities can all help reduce oppressive messaging. “Governmentally, we must vote for leaders who are not so open in supporting white supremacy or colonialism and put pressure on current leaders who do support these ideals wherever in the world.” Figueroa reaffirmed that Canadians are becoming more conscious now of how they may contribute to colonialism and imperialism. He referred to the recent spike in attention being drawn to Canadians’ perception of Palestine and Palestinians. “My sense is there has been a palpable change in the way a lot of Canadians are understanding the question of Palestine.”
Monday, July 26, 2021
Queen’s releases 2021 Campus Climate snapshot report QCC details findings from student experience survey Asbah Ahmad Assistant News Editor This article discusses sexual harassment and may be triggering for some readers. The Journal uses “survivor” to refer to those who have experienced sexual assault. We acknowledge this term is not universal. On Jun. 29, the Queen’s Campus Climate (QCC) 2021 snapshot report, which details findings from the student experience survey, was publicized to students in an email from Principal Patrick Deane. The survey was conducted in March by soliciting email responses from students across campus. According to the QCC, this initiative came in response to the August 2020 Declaration of Commitment to Address Systemic Racism.
made some progress, “ Webuthave we know we need to do more”
The survey is planned to be repeated every two years, according to an email sent to The Journal from Corinna Fitzgerald, assistant dean of Student Life and Learning, and Stephanie Simpson associate vice-principal (Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusion). According to the QCC, 5,469 students—including full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students—participated. Out of this group, 696 first-generation students, 467 international students,118 Indigenous students, 1,429 racialized students, and 641 students with disabilities responded to the survey. “We will be completing faculty-level and other analyses that further detail the experiences of certain demographic groups to ensure alignment of efforts across campus. Faculties/schools will be able to use the data to also inform their practices, processes and action initiatives,” Fitzgerald and Simpson wrote. The QCC also collected data on student experiences with harassment and discrimination. Five per cent of respondents reported experiencing harassment or discrimination at Queen’s. In response, the University is considering how to improve harassment and discrimination policy.
The survey provided a measure by which Queen’s assessed its adherence to Equity, Diversity, and, Inclusion (EDI) policy. [The] university is committed “Your voices will help inform and measure to working with relevant the way Queen’s addresses equity, inclusion, anti-racism, and anti-violence initiatives,” stakeholders on sexual violence Deane said in the original email sent to students. and harassment in response to “We have made some progress, but we the QCC findings” know we need to do more.” The QCC looked at perceptions of campus diversity and inclusion along with “As part of ongoing implementation experiences of sexual violence on campus. of the university’s new harassment and
Queen’s plans on consulting stakeholders to combat campus issues.
discrimination policy and procedures, a working group is developing actions to help raise awareness of the policy, the complaints process, and more broadly, issues related to harassment and discrimination,” Fitzgerald and Simpson wrote. The survey also dedicated a significant portion to sexual violence on campus—including asking re s p o n d e n t s questions on bystander responses, reporting to campus authorities, and the ability to obtain support.
The university’s Sexual “Violence Prevention and Response Task Force (SVPRTF) [...] will review all of the data related to sexual violence and determine responses to the findings”
start to identify actions and co-develop a student engagement strategy for the fall term and beyond,” Fitzgerald and Simpson said. Fitzgerald and Simpson added members of the group have a wide range of experiences that allow for the student perspective to be adequately represented. “Members of the group are student leaders who have valuable lived experience and/or roles on campus that reflect a wide range of student groups and perspectives. Some are currently working in student staff roles at the university and are involved in this capacity; the others are being similarly compensated for the time, energy and input.”
“ We will continue to engage the campus community in the fall, and provide regular updates on actions”
According to Fitzgerald and Simpson, the university is committed to working with relevant stakeholders on sexual Fitzgerald and Simpson added violence and harassment in response to that the survey and report are also the QCC findings. being shared with other relevant “The university’s Sexual Violence student and faculty groups. Prevention and Response Task Force “The snapshot had been shared (SVPRTF), whose membership includes widely with departments, units, several student representatives, and campus stakeholder groups, will review all of the data related to including the SVPRTF, and the Provost’s sexual violence and determine Action Group for Gender and Sexual responses to the findings.” Diversity, to engage the campus The QCC report stated the in actions moving forward.” Student Advisory Group will work to Fitzgerald and Simpson stated. identify actions which will create a “We will continue to engage the student engagement strategy for the campus community in the fall, and return of students to campus. provide regular updates on actions.” “Since the release of the snapshot report, the Student Advisory Group has met throughout the summer to
PHOTO BY SPENCER HENDRICKSON
6 • queensjournal.ca
The Journal spoke with an entrepreneur, a researcher, and a student on the consequences of Eurocentric beauty standards..
Monday, July 26, 2021
ILLUSTR ATION BY VIOLETTA ZEITLINGER FONTANA
How Eurocentric beauty standards get under the skin Women of colour are disproportionately affected by harmful chemicals in beauty products
into standardsof beauty that never had us in mind anyway,” Shamsa Hassan, co-founder of Afiya beauty, said in an interview with The Journal. Afiya Beauty was founded in 2018 by Hassan and her sister Kaltum to provide women of colour with a natural, safer alternative to conventional beauty products.
[Black women] apply way “ more hair products and
Julia Stratton Features Editor The use of chemicals and potentially toxic makeup to meet societal expectations of beauty isn’t a new phenomenon. From ancient Egyptians who wore toxic eyeliner, to women in the 19th century covering their faces in opium while they slept, beauty products have been compromising health for centuries. Recently, cosmetic companies have become more cunning in disguising the harmful effects of their products. With the advent of the Internet and photoshop, Eurocentric standards of beauty have become more unrealistic—especially for women of colour. Beauty standards in Western cultures favour certain European features—including long straight hair, large eyes, a small nose, and high cheekbones. Black women in particular are pressured to use more cosmetics and hair care products to meet Eurocentric standards of beauty. Products targeted to Black women also tend to be more toxic— exposing them to higher levels of dangerous chemicals which can result in serious health issues. *** “[Black women] apply way more hair products and skincare products just to fit
skincare products just to fit into standards of beauty that never had us in mind anyway” “The inspiration came after I had my first son,” Hassan said. “[I was] learning about different topical ingredients that were incredibly carcinogenic and unsafe, especially at the time I was pregnant, so I was really worried.” The toxic ingredients found in cosmetics are broadly classified as endocrine disruptors—toxins that can interfere with hormone regulation systems in the body. “Because fertility depends in part on a pattern of hormone activity, alterations to hormone activity can alter fertility,” Sari van Anders, Canada 150 Research Chair in Social Neuroendocrinology, Sexuality, & Gender/Sex, wrote in an email to The Journal. “They can bind to hormone receptors, which can reduce typical hormone activity or increase it among other mechanisms [...] Some of the downstream effects can include changes to hormone signalling required for gamete development or release.” Fertility issues disproportionately affect women of colour compared to their white counterparts. These issues aren’t often discussed in
communities of colour, which can make women feel isolated and neglected. “It’s sad to me because I’ve suffered through really difficult pregnancies, and I never felt heard or seen. [...] My issues were just swept aside and made me feel like I was the anomaly,” Hassan said. She expressed frustration with the lack of action taken to protect women of colour from chemicals shown to affect fertility. “I don’t think there’s been enough of a movement to link those reproductive health issues, especially in communities of colour, to the types of products that we are using every single day.” One of Afiya Beauty’s main goals is to teach people how to make safer choices when choosing beauty products. Although choosing natural products can be more expensive, Hassan believes the health benefits are worth it. “It’s not just [an] investment into our business, it’s also an investment into [the customer’s] own health,” she said. “We cannot compete with drugstore prices, but that’s not our market and that’s not what we do. Once we give [customers] the transparent list of ingredients that we use, why we use [the ingredients], how we source the whole process of how we make our products, they’re a lot more willing to invest.”
seeing all these photos “of myI’mmom with me as a little kid [...] I’m like, this woman is gorgeous and I don’t have anything to worry about long-term in terms of going short and taking care of my hair in its natural state.”
Considering the ubiquity of harmful chemicals in everyday products, it can
be difficult to begin making changes to reduce exposure—but it’s possible through education and making small changes over time. “Be mindful of what you are consuming. It’s not hard to make quick, easy switches,” Hassan said. *** Personal care products and cosmetics are not just for vanity—they’re also a way for women to express their culture and identity. Moreover, self-care rituals can be important traditions and routines within families and communities. “It was a thing that we did together,” Hassan said. “Sundays was the time that my mom, my grandmother, my aunts, my sisters, we all sat around, and we would make our hair masks and our facial masks.” These family traditions were important to Hassan because they provided a space for her family to focus on self-care in a way that wasn’t governed by Eurocentric beauty standards. As a Black woman, Hassan feels that she and, by extension, her family members, aren’t equally represented in the beauty and wellness industry. “We took care of ourselves in the way that we defined wellness,” Hassan said. “We don’t fit into the stereotypical standards of beauty or wellness and we never saw ourselves represented in that space.” One of the most toxic kinds of beauty products marketed primarily to women of colour is hair care products for colouring, bleaching, and relaxing. “Black girls from a very young age are altering their hair texture or using extensions or excessive heat on their naturally kinky, coily hair in order tomake it straighter,” Jada Hollingsworth, ArtSci ’22, said in an interview with The Journal. “I think the goal in going through many of these processes of straightening, relaxing,
Monday, July 26, 2021 perming, or the use of extensions [is] to meet certain societal standards.” Recently, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), an American research entity, established the Skin Deep initiative, which aims to inform the public about hazardous cosmetic products. Notably, this analysis found that within the category of hair care products targeted toward Black women, there wasn’t a single product that was classified as ‘low hazard.’ *** While Eurocentric beauty standards loom large, women of colour are often empowered and influenced by the elder women in their families such as mothers and aunts. “[My mom] rocked a short look, when she was in her 20s entering into her 30s,” Hollingsworth said.
and phthalates, “and[Parabens, BPAs] are located in some of our most commonly-used products, from many paints to nail polish to shampoos to plastic food containers”
“I’m seeing all these photos of my mom with me as a little kid [...] I’m like, this woman is gorgeous and I don’t have anything to worry about long-term in terms of going short and taking care of my hair in its natural state.” Reassurance from older women in the family is bolstered by trends within Black communities that push for more natural hairstyles. “Natural hair movements tend to follow civil rights movements,” Hollingsworth said. “In the 60s and 70s, there was a big push for natural hair [and] again in the 90s for a little bit.” “Today you’ll see a lot of content online, with the purpose reaching into that natural beauty, teaching women of colour who may not have had experience dealing with their natural hair ever in their lives [...] how to manage their hair, nourish it, what to eat in order to make it grow and behave in a certain way.” As more research is brought to light about how certain products damage the hair of women of colour over time, many have been advocating for hitting the reset button. “There’s also a big phenomenon within Black online communities called The Big Chop, which is essentially getting rid of hair that has been damaged over time due to excessive product use and starting [with] a new, typically shorter, head of hair, treating it from its virgin state and making it into what it can become,” Hollingsworth explained. Despite the appeal of The Big Chop to many women of colour, it’s not feasible for everyone. “Certain people are in positions where it’s easier said than done,” she said. “Certain schools, certain employment places, and jobs will straight up ban certain hairstyles, and, if not completely banned, discriminate on the basis of somebody wearing their hair in a way that isn’t necessarily presentable.” “You really do have to assess the position you’re in to be able to do that Big Chop.” *** Some of the most common endocrine disruptors found in cosmetic and personal care products are parabens, phthalates, and bisphenol-A (BPA). Although many people may recognize these ingredients from shampoo bottles and other household products, manufacturers have concealed their harmful nature under an obscure, scientific-sounding name. “Endocrine disruptor exposure is
nearly universal now because [parabens, and phthalates, and BPAs] are located in some of our most commonly-used products, from many paints to nail polish to shampoos to plastic food containers,” van Anders said. “There are individual actions people can take to reduce their own load, but major regulatory change needs to happen [...] at federal and international levels to make the bigger difference.” A loophole that many companies use to avoid disclosing endocrine disruptors in their products is to list them on ingredients lists under “fragrance” or “perfume.” Fragrances are kept as trade secrets and, as a result, companies do not have to disclose their composition in the list of ingredients to keep competitors from copying their signature scent. Even if the manufacturers maintain the concentrations of chemicals in their products below a certain threshold mandated by regulations, there is still the possibility of combination effects—additional harmful effects that occur when certain chemicals are present together. As a result, the cocktail of endocrine disruptors may have more adverse health effects that would not have occurred with a single chemical. While everyone is affected by these gaps in government regulations, people of colour tend to have the highest body burden, yet they tend to be neglected in research. Many studies have found that women of colour are exposed to higher concentrationsof neuroendocrine disruptors, however little to no research has been done on why these differences occur. Many hypothesize that differences in cosmetic product choice and usage contribute to these disparities. This hypothesis has not been confirmed, however, research on the contents of these products gives good reason to believe that cosmetic products are a likely culprit. *** The health consequences of beauty products take time to manifest and are neither visible nor obvious. This makes looking for safer alternatives seem like a non-pressing issue. “If something works, you don’t fix it if it’s not broken,” Hassan said. “If your hair looks great, your skin feels great and you’ve used it, and your mom’s been using it, and your aunts have been
using it, your girlfriends use it—that’s all you know.”
[The cosmetics industry] catered to a very specific, very Eurocentric, white-centric version of beauty and anybody else who’s on the periphery got the shitty product.” Hassan hopes that Afiya Beauty will start a conversation that will get people to re-evaluate what products they use every day. “Nobody wanted to come in and provide better alternatives because there just there wasn’t a disruption in the beauty industry. [The cosmetics industry] catered to a very specific, very Eurocentric, whitecentric version of beauty and anybody else who’s on the periphery got the shitty product.” Afiya Beauty is unique in that they hold the health of their customers as one of their central values and target their natural products toward women of colour.
“Our unique value proposition is that we really do have the best health interest in mind of women and women’s reproductive health,” Hassan said.
is better education “andIf there awareness around these
issues. I think that people will make better decisions.”
Although competing with large companies that use harmful ingredients in their products can be daunting, Hassan believes it’s within reach. “It’s really unnecessary for these larger companies to use such harsh chemicals and such harsh parabens in their formulas because there are alternatives,” she said. “If there is better education and awareness around these issues. I think that people will make better decisions.”
8 • queensjournal.ca
Monday, July 26, 2021
Monday, July 26, 2021
The Journal’s Perspective
Queen’s community must unite to encourage confidence in personal cultural identity
THE QUEEN’S JOURNAL Volume 149 Issue 3 www.queensjournal.ca @queensjournal Publishing since 1873
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Aysha Tabassum Shelby Talbot
Families house cultural roots, passed on from parents to children for generations. Moving away from home can make it difficult to continue these traditions and to preserve one’s personal cultural identity. Think of it this way: coming to Queen’s, your new community will differ from what you’re used to. After the initial culture shock, it’s natural to mimic the accepted behaviours around you. When you return home, you may feel a disconnect with the culture you grew up with. Time away at school might replace some of your family’s loved customs with other new routines. But you shouldn’t feel guilty for being pressured to “forget” your culture. Assimilation can become a defense mechanism that echoes the surrounding community’s prejudices. Students can feel pressured to filter their culture, hiding aspects that are misunderstood or not accepted by others. Because of the 2020-21 remote learning year, many first- and second-year students will be arriving on Queen’s campus this fall for the first time. Finding the fragile balance between fitting in and preserving their identities will be a concern for everyone. It isn’t going to be an easy process, either—too often, both safety and comfort are compromised. In a space where home often doesn’t support social culture, while society rarely supports household cultures, the perseverance of personal cultural identity must come from within the person. While Queen’s is far from perfect,
This piece mentions abortion/sexual violence and may be triggering for some readers. The Canadian Mental Health Association Crisis Line can be reached at 1-800-875-6213. Even in the progressive Western world, there are women who are fighting for a chance to survive, let alone thrive. In Canada, we live in a healthcare haven, with a government that respects one’s extremely private decision about how to handle a pregnancy, while our neighbors down south refuse to rightfully empower women. On May 19, the Texas legislature passed the “Heartbeat Act,” a bill banning abortions six weeks into a woman’s pregnancy. No exceptions will be made for victims of rape, abuse, or incest. The time window offered by Texas representatives harshens this slap-in-the-face bill. At six weeks, most women wouldn’t even know they’re pregnant. The bill undermines a woman’s right of choice whilst effectively empowering those who may abuse the civil action system. The Texas government made a clever yet devious bounty offer to those who know anyone who wanted to or helped someone obtain abortion services. Any self-righteous “pro-lifer” can now take these people to court and sue them for $10,000. The potential lawsuits force family and friends into obedience. Even someone who simply drove a woman to an abortion clinic could be sued. Many other states, including Ohio,
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Georgia, and Louisiana, have passed similarly restrictive bills, banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected. However, these states exclude the civil action accompanying Texas’ legislation. The heavily Evangelical presence in Texas Republicans fosters a disregard for the rights and the well-being of women in the name of God. Men in positions of privilege persist in imposing their will on American women, despite having virtually no stake in the matter. The rhetoric portraying abortion as a human rights issue, advocating for the lives of unborn fetuses, is a thinly veiled façade ignoring the issues we should be addressing. These issues include bettering the lives of the Americans who are facing hardship after hardship. Not to mention the economic climate created by the U.S. for-profit structure, where childcare is a
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privilege the financially less fortunate must work hard to afford. In a country where reproductive healthcare is exorbitantly costly, paid maternity leave is a faraway dream, and the foster care system is deeply underfunded, there are no desirable options for women experiencing unwanted pregnancies. The Heartbeat Act is an active suppression of women’s rights. Postpartum depression can already create a fragile state of mind for women after giving birth, and this will only increase with this bill. This bill not only changes the course for Texas women, but also doesn’t consider the repercussions potential children may face when growing up in neglectful and often abusive homes. Clearly, sanctity of life isn’t what Texas government representatives are chasing. Abortions at all pregnancy stages are legal across Canada, regardless of the reason. Action Canada is pushing to increase access to this necessary medical procedure. The correct support and privacy are currently extended to those seeking an abortion in Ontario, yet our fellow citizens living in rural and remote areas are yet to be provided with helpful access. The imperfections in our system indisputably exist. Yet, we must recognize our privilege in the face of conservative American politicians attempting to eradicate abortion access for all in their country. Rida is a third-year Politics student and one of The Journal’s Assistant News Editors.
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resonate with—be that religious, spiritual, or other—embrace it. Remember the reason why you’re preserving your connection to your culture. It’s okay if that reason differs from others’. You’re establishing your own comfort and your own home away from home. Remind yourself that the first day in residence doesn’t necessarily promise meaningful connections—building a comfortable group may take time. A freely diverse community doesn’t happen overnight. But if everyone accepts both their own culture and the cultures of others, we can build towards an atmosphere where everyone on campus can feel safe.
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there are many ways to maintain connections with different cultures on campus. Finding a student group that practices the same customs you’ve grown up with can be beneficial—both as a connection to home and as a reminder of what made home special. At the same time, there are many opportunities to branch out and learn new things while finding your place in the Queen’s community. The antidote for an environment that encourages assimilation is respect and acceptance—not just tolerance of other cultures, but a desire to learn about them and understand them. Respectful questions may help others feel safe and accepted. Not everyone will be willing teachers of their culture, though. Respecting personal boundaries is key. Whatever aspect of your culture you
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Want to contribute? For information visit: www.queensjournal.ca/contribute or email the Editor in Chief at email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Please address complaints and grievances to the Editor in Chief and/or Managing Editor. The Queen’s Journal is printed on a Goss Community press by by Metroland Media in Toronto, 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.
10 • queensjournal.ca
Monday, July 26, 2021
SUPPLIED BY ALMA MATER SOCIETY
Laura feels a contested election will bring much-needed awareness to the importance of the Rector position.
The Rector is the greatest unused asset at Queen’s All years are eligible to be Queen’s 38th Rector With the 2021 Rector Election coming up in September, students and the university must be aware of how integral the position is. “Princeps Servusque Es: Be a leader and a servant” is the motto of the Office of the Rector. This aphorism combines historical traditions, as well as a path to the future ahead, capturing the sentiment of this position. Talking about the Rector often elicits one of two responses from students. Either they don’t know about the position, or they believe it’s entirely ceremonial. Let’s start with the basics. By the traditional order of ranking at Queen’s University, Principal and Vice-Chancellor Deane are at the head, followed by the Chancellor, and then, a student. This student sits on numerous committees and the Board of Trustees, and acts as the ultimate resource for undergraduate and graduate students. Rather fittingly, this student is the binding glue between the three major governing bodies of Queen’s: the University Administration, the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS), and the Alma Mater Society (AMS). This student is called the Rector, the 3rd highest-ranking official at Queen’s University, and the lead figurehead of graduate and undergraduate students at the institution. This year, there are several unique opportunities for students to engage with this position—running for, voting for, or interacting with the office. This is the third year I have worked on elections, and this time around I’m leading the Office of the Secretariat.
For the past two election cycles, including one Rector election, I have seen individuals and teams thrive and excel in their roles as new student leaders. One of my favorite memories at Queen’s was election night 2020—when I saw the tradition of the Rector robes being passed from one leader to another. Seeing candidates post-election, with looks of relief after having been told that they’ve been successful, is a satisfying note to end on. Just know the work doesn’t stop there—and students will hold you to that. The Rector acts as a wealth of knowledge when it comes to referring students to resources on campus. Whether walking into the Rector’s office hours during a normal year or emailing them about your situation, they can offer free and confidential support while referring you to the correct bodies on campus. From academic grievances to legal issues, the Rector is a multi-faceted position that strives to support students. As a full-time compensated position, this individual is here to provide necessary supports to all the branches they lead. Throughout my tenure at the university, interaction with the Rector’s office has been low. This is despite the fact that, for key issues that student groups are looking to advocate for, sometimes the easiest route to the administration is through the student elected to do so. Empty office hours and email inboxes take the position through paths of bureaucratic mundaneness. It's the element of passion, individuality, and
resourcefulness to students that brings this position to life, and it all begins with the election. An uncontested election for an honor as high as Rector would be embarrassing. The Rector also has the privilege of being both the first and last student leader you see at Queen’s. They are there during Orientation Week and there when you leave at Convocation. This position is a longstanding tradition, mixing the historic roots of Queen’s with the bright notion of advocacy at the highest level for the future. Before the position of Rector was passed to students, Queen’s Rectors included the likes of former Prime Minister R.B. Bennett and first chairperson of the CBC Leonard Brockington. Everyone from Deans to trustees to students need to understand the value of this position and how it affects them. The three bodies that the Rector reports to are all evident changemakers in the Queen’s community. First, the Rector works directly with students on AMS Assembly, including the Society’s executive, and elected leaders of the ten different faculty societies. Next, they sit on the SGPS council, with their commissioners and representatives of recognized groups. Perhaps most importantly, they attend the Board of Trustees and Senate meetings, being one of the limited number of students to do so. Assuming the position of the Rector means you work closely with Queen’s Principal Patrick Deane and Chancellor Murray Sinclair, having the chance to represent and advocate for students with them.
As 35th Rector Nick Day put it, having the ear of the university administration “[is] about using influence to try and affect change”. It’s also evident that the administration can use the position more—while they listen to what the Rector says, the lack of student input on procedures such as in naming policy shows there's a lot of work to be done for representation. Rectors can also take on and see through personal projects in the role. Last year, Rector Sam Hiemstra founded the Rector’s Equity Grant to provide funding to groups on campus. The initiatives the Rector takes on are limitless: they chair the Agnes Bendickson Tricolour Award committee, host events drawing student input, provide strategic planning and guidance for the three bodies they are a part of, and assist in the selection and disbursement of many bursaries and grants to allow other students to excel in initiatives they are most passionate about. As well, the Rector helps with drafting numerous policies at the university level, including academic and alcohol policy. A contested election is all it takes to endear 24,000 Queen’s students. Last year, there was only one individual that ran to be the Queen’s Rector, and the position was voted in confidence. Yet, with a very subdued turnout of 28 per cent, the reception of the 2020 Winter Election wasn't high. Often slid in with the AMS Executive Election in the Winter, the Rector election doesn’t shine on its own, nor has it gotten the attention it deserves in the past two years. Traditionally, the Rector
position is very well contested, and the high stakes for those involved fuel a healthy sense of competition to win over the entire student population. And that's what we’re looking to see this year. Through August and September, there will be many chances for you to interact and learn more about the Rector and elections process. On Aug. 25, the AMS and SGPS are hosting a panel with past Rectors to dive more into the history of the position and how it led them to where they are now—doctors, politicians, philanthropists, and advocates of the world. This will also be a great chance to ask more questions about how being Rector will be mutually beneficial for you and Queen’s. If you’re thinking about if you should run, the answer is yes. The campaign period can be challenging, but it's where I’ve seen students flourish. From meticulously thought-out platforms, dynamic interviews with CFRC and The Journal, to lively debate—the election period makes for a month of fun for the community. It also creates meaningful discourse. When we hear from new student leaders, experienced or not, it makes us stronger than the day before. All years are eligible to be Queen’s 38th Rector—from first-years to post-grads. Nominations open in early September. Check myams.org/elections for more details. Laura Devenny is a fourth-year Politics student.
Monday, July 26, 2021
SUPPLIED BY RYAN RANDALL
Randall is a master behind the camera.
Ryan Randall wins cinematography award for ‘Workhorse’ Queen’s faculty member discusses documentary and film-making process Ben Wrixon Senior Arts Editor Ryan Randall is an accomplished film and media technician. He works in Queen’s department of film and media teaching production fundamentals as an adjunct lecturer, and serves as the technical director of the Vulnerable Media Lab. He’s also the cinematographer behind Workhorse, winner of the 2021 Best Cinematography in a Feature Length Documentary award from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. “[Workhorse] is a documentary I made with my long-time collaborator and best friend, Cliff Caines,” Randall said in an interview with The Journal. “We met in arts school on the very first day. We were getting our ID photos taken and just happened to be next to each other in line and started chatting.” This friendship between Randall and Caines—which began at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD)—has since bloomed into twenty collaborative films. Workhorse is their second feature-length documentary, and its success reflects their relationship.
Reading has the power to bring people together.
“Film-making is a collaborative art,” Randall said. “It’s not just one person doing anything. Collaboration is key to how effective and creative things can really be. [Caines and I] don’t need to say too much sometimes; we know what each other is going for.” The initial idea behind Workhorse came from Caines observing a horse pull. “He was at an agricultural fair in the fall of 2014,” Randall explained. “A horse pull is a team of horses, and they hook them onto dead weight, a sled. They try and drag it fifteen feet. The weights get up into the tens of thousands of pounds.” “[Caines] saw, in that moment, that connection between human and animal, and the histories of that relationship through all of time. That was the starting point.” While Workhorse started as visual documentation of a horse pull, it quickly became more nuanced. “As the idea started to develop, we looked more at other uses of horses,” Randall said. “It’s a film built out of three vignettes, three little stories.” The first focuses on a forest logger. Randall explained how using horses is much more environmentally sustainable than machines—they can drag fallen trees out of the woods with minimal damage to the forest floor. The film’s second vignette highlights
PHOTO BY SPENCER HENDRICKSON
KFPL’s Reading Buddies program now includes seniors Kingston Frontenac Public Library has expanded their popular initiative Ben Wrixon Senior Arts Editor The Kingston Frontenac Public Library (KFPL) recently expanded their Reading Buddies initiative to include seniors, beginning this July. The program,
popularized by its work with children, connects volunteer readers with those who enjoy listening. Anne Hall, programming and outreach librarian for KFPL, spoke with The Journal about Reading Buddies, the value of connecting people through literacy, and how they’ve expanded this normally in-person initiative during pandemic times. “We had to come up with a virtual version,” said Hall. “In discussing how to do that, it was
farmers using horses in their fields. Not unlike logging, the use of horses provides many sustainable advantages. “They grow the wheat that feeds the horses, then the horses drop manure in the fields that helps fertilize the fields,” Randall said. “It creates a closed-cycle system.” The film’s final act showcases the horse pull. This portion is meant to entertain viewers by providing them with a visual spectacle. However, accurately depicting the size and scale of the horses remained a priority for Randall across all three vignettes. “These horses are massive. In terms of cinematography, one of the early things [Caines and I] were discussing was shooting it to be on the big screen. We were reviewing other documentaries and feature films that used horses to get the sense of scale.” “That was something we wanted to translate visually: the scale, the enormity of these lovely beasts.” The film’s visual aesthetic reflects this intention. “It was shot in widescreen, 4k throughout. It was meant to be presented big.” Unfortunately, pandemic-related theatre closures quickly relegated Workhorse to small screens after its initial release at the Montreal Documentary Film Festival in October of 2019. Workhorse has prevailed despite an
suggested that we expand the program, not to just have teen volunteers reading to children, but to do a similar program with newcomer youth and seniors.” From this suggestion, Hall identified an opportunity in the senior demographic. “We were looking mainly at seniors who might be in retirement residences or nursing homes, who may not, even now, be having a lot of contact with the outside world.” The need for social interaction isn’t age-exclusive. However, many seniors don’t engage with technology as frequently as their younger contemporaries, making it even harder for them to stay connected to their communities during the pandemic. Having volunteers read to seniors therefore represents a valuable social experience. Having one-on-one interactions could make their day. The Reading Buddies program is an opportunity for these seniors to engage with new people through literacy while staying safe. “Even if you have to settle for a virtual connection, it’s still a live
atypical festival run. Winning the 2021 award is not only a testament to Randall’s excellent cinematography, but also some well-earned recognition for the entire team behind the documentary’s creation. “[The award] is something I share with my collaborators,” Randall said. “It’s the culmination of a twenty-year friendship with Cliff. My entire team as well—the camera operators I use, my assistants, my gaffer [are] people I work with regularly. It’s the culmination of the effort of the whole team.” Workhorse has allowed Randall to reach desirable heights. Beyond collaboration, he stressed the importance of humility when asked to advise aspiring filmmakers. “How you carry yourself is critically important. Be a good collaborator, be a good person. [It’s important] to realize the frivolity of making motion pictures, how lucky we are to focus our life passions into something like that rather than struggling for safety and food.” Young creatives shouldn’t take their situation for granted. “You have that privilege, so work with it and do it,” Randall said. “Don’t fear failure.” Read more about Workhorse and where it can be streamed on its website.
one, and that still seems to make a lot of difference,” Hall said. The idea itself has been a hit since day one. Unfortunately, moving the Reading Buddies initiative online has created some licensing complications. “In pre-pandemic times, when we were reading in-person, we could pretty much read whatever we wanted,” Hall said. “We would acknowledge the title and author of the book, but just reading aloud wasn’t in any way violating copyright. To read online, even if you’re not recording or saving the reading, you [need] permission from the publisher.” Given the ease by which recorded media can be distributed online, unregulated recordings often threaten publishers’ businesses and the integrity of their authors’ work. Luckily, many publishers have provided solutions. “Early on in the pandemic, publishers set up websites to make it easier to source, making it easier to get [their] permission,” Hall explained. She believes the majority of Reading Buddies’
technology-related kinks have been ironed out. She said seniors will have plenty of support when working their devices. As ‘Reading Buddies’ continues to bring people together through literature, Hall believes the program highlights the value of having public libraries in 2021. “A lot of people believe [public libraries] are their best-kept secret,” she said. “They’ll tell their friends about all this great stuff you can get at the library.” During normal times, Hall described libraries as social spaces. “People are often surprised by how busy it is. You might have kids who are coming in for a program, but you also have kids who are studying a course or an exam. We have lots of kids who get together to do their homework in a library, and that goes up to college and university students.” Be it by offering students a place to work or by connecting people through the Reading Buddies program, the relationships created by KFPL are more valuable than ever.
12 • queensjournal.ca
Monday, July 26, 2021
Skeleton Park Arts Fest hosts second ‘Next Door’ exhibition Curator Nicole Daniels discusses the exhibition’s improved equity Mackenzie Loveys Assisstant Arts Editor Skeleton Park Arts Festival (SPAF) is an annual Kingston summer solstice tradition. However, the circumstances of COVID-19 forced the team to alter their festival plans last year. Now hosting their second iteration of their temporary public art exhibition, SPAF is presenting Next Door 2021 in the Skeleton Park neighbourhood. The exhibition is running from Jun. 16 to Aug. 16 and features 26 Katarokwi/ Kingston artists. Its 16 installations include paintings, sculptures, performance art, augmented reality, audio pieces, and interactive works. Next Door Curator and Queen’s ArtSci alum Nicole Daniels met with The Journal to discuss the exhibition’s unique presentation of diverse art. “There’s quite a variety of work, which is really fun, and I’d say intentional,” Daniels said. “It’s not the type of show that has a set theme. It’s the kind of show that really showcases the different types of artists we have here.”
This year’s artists were selected by a committee of representatives from SPAF and community organizations like KEYS, Central Public School, and Black Luck Collective to ensure adequate representation and equity. “The whole process has aimed to present PHOTO SUPPLIED BY NICOLE DANIELS a fuller view of what our community looks SPAF’s exhibition showcases work from Katarokwi/Kingston artists. like and be more representative of the community itself,” Daniels said. City’s “Neighbouring Tightwire”—or more community by giving them this shared She used a performance-based installation indirectly through pieces like Clelia Scala’s communal experience. by Kemi King, ArtSci’21, as an example. The exploration of the underappreciated “We have such a thriving art scene here piece speaks to the experience of being a members of our community’s ecosystem in and I hope people who maybe aren’t as Black queer-woman in an environment “Micro Macro.” close to that scene are able to see that and that lacks diversity in both BIPOC and Through its diverse selection of appreciate that and maybe feel a little bit LGBTQ+ representation. artists, installations, and topics, Next closer to it,” she said. King’s “Waterworks” discusses the Door has given its contributors a flexible, Daniels also hopes to see members of detrimental stereotypes experienced by judgement-free space to display their art the community join in on the unique display Black folks through audio alone. publicly, while breaking away from the of art. “It’s really amazing that she was not often-restrictive platforms put forth by “What would make me the most happy only able to put together this wonderful traditional galleries. is if we started seeing artworks popping up performance, but also to translate that to “[Next Door] provides a platform for on people’s front lawns and hanging from audio, which I think is really stunning,” artists who might want to get into public their trees and in their doorways. I think Daniels said. art—to get that sort of stepping off point that’s always been an internal hope for this One of SPAF’s major priorities has been and be able to start getting that experience,” exhibition on all of our parts.” drawing attention to overlooked community Daniels said. Information on Next Door can be found on members—be it through featured artwork SPAF hopes Next Door helps SPAF’s website, including images and audio from incarcerated women in Abolition connect people to the artists in their clips of installations.
Kingston art thriving in Martello
PHOTO BY CATHERINE ROSE
Founder David Dossett discusses the inspiration behind his local showcase Catherine Rose contributor
Queen’s alumni David, ArtSci ’83, and Wendy Dossett, Con-Ed ’87, launched Kingston’s Martello Alley back in 2015. Martello is an immersive installation featuring the works of local Kingston artists, while also challenging the formal atmosphere of traditional galleries. In an interview with The Journal, David Dossett credited the inspiration
behind the showcase to his late father. “He used to spend all his time on the water in a little boat his dad made for him,” Dossett said. “He was a very interesting person. He liked art, he could fly, he learned how to play music and everything, and he painted.” Dossett ultimately found they shared a love for painting. “He painted this picture of this French street, a copy of a Maurice Utrillo painting, and it always struck me. I never knew that I could paint, and I discovered I could paint, and that was the inspiration for this spot,” Dossett said. “[Martello] is to honour him.
Unfortunately, he died two years before I opened this up, but I know he would have been beyond thrilled with this place.” When engaging with gallery visitors, Dossett is always telling stories about the art in Martello and Kingston’s history. Being bilingual in both English and French allows him to connect with his visitors on a personal level. As an artist himself, Dossett understands the importance of having local artists run Martello rather than salespeople. While art galleries often draw people in for what’s inside, Martello attracts visitors with its exterior art. “When you see limestone in Quebec City, they always have bright colours with
it—yellows and blues and greens and reds. I thought we’d bring that here,” Dossett said. “We had the basis of it, we had the old stone walls and the beautiful courtyards, but they were very dark.” Realizing Dossett’s vision for Martello involved strenuous work. The restoration prior to its 2015 opening proved arduous, with Dossett doing much of the work himself. “One of the first things I did was paint the ground, which took a month on my hands and knees.” Martello isn’t the only art space in Kingston the Dossetts have revived. They also took over another store on Brock street, now known as Martello on Brock. After transforming it into a thriving art shop and gallery, they invited the space’s previous artists back to share and sell their work. Despite receiving little attention early in the pandemic, Martello has since implemented technological innovations that have kept their sales and engagement at pre-pandemic levels. Those who visit the Martello website can now explore the gallery in augmented reality with 360-degree viewing. It allows potential buyers to see how a piece of art will look in their home before purchasing it. Both pick-up and shipping are offered. “We have to bring art and art galleries into the twenty-first century,” Dossett said. Nevertheless, for Dossett, the work behind Martello was never about making money. “It’s not to have a store to sell stuff to people,” he said. “When you’re here, you’re always talking to an artist, always. The story is the critical thing. There is a ton of history all around you. This place has a story. Kingston has a story.” Dossett emphasized the importance of patience and consistency in building community. For some of Martello’s featured artists, making art is an important emotional outlet. “You make a difference in people’s lives, and to me that’s what it’s about.”
Monday, July 26, 2021
thrilled to be able to continue to build and work with the current team and everyone that helps out.” Bruggeling has been in the sport of rowing for over 20 years as both an athlete and a coach. She was a varsity coxswain at Clemson University, and she previously coached at the University of Oklahoma—both NCAA Division 1 schools. Bruggeling’s experience ranges from club to national level rowing. From coaching roles with the Kingston Rowing Club to the 2020 CanAmMex team with Rowing Canada, she’s eager to carry the diversity of her rowing background into the head coach role at Queen’s. “I really feel like the combination of all those different experiences have helped shape my philosophy and have helped me gain the technical expertise to help lead this program,” Bruggeling explained. “I’m really excited to apply all those different PHOTO SUPPLIED BY KATIE BRUGGELING experiences in this context.” As the assistant coach, Bruggeling led the men’s and women’s rowing teams to bronze at the 2019 OUA Championships. Also under Bruggeling, the Gaels took home an impressive medal haul at the 2019 Canadian University Rowing Championship, earning four silver medals. When asked about her vision for the program moving forward, Bruggeling emphasized that athletic performance and personal growth will continue to be a big part of the culture, both in terms of the team and the pursuit of excellence. Becoming a consistent leading program in Canada is also on Bruggeling’s mind. “Through a combination of PHOTO BY SPENCER HENDRICKSON academic and athletic excellence and integrity of character, we’d be a consistent top contender in a way that’s very strategic and systematic with a group of passionate people that we already have.”
Katie Bruggeling named Head Coach of Queen’s Rowing Bruggeling brings over 20 years of experience to new role Natara Ng Assistant Sports Editor On Jun. 22, Athletics and Recreation announced Katie Bruggeling as head coach of Queen’s Rowing. She replaces Rami Massarani. For the past three years, Bruggeling has been the full-time assistant coach of the rowing team, where she played a major
role in recruiting top-level rowers and managing logistics and fundraising. In an interview with The Journal, Bruggeling said she ‘s very excited to have the opportunity to continue with the program in this new role. “I really feel like we’ve built something special over the last three years and we’re just on the cusp of it all coming t o g e t h e r, ” she said. “ I ’ m definitely
Students will be able to return to the ARC on Aug. 3.
Athletics and Recreation increases outdoor capacity, plans to reopen indoor facilities Outdoor facilities ease restrictions and the ARC is set to reopen in early August Natara Ng Assistant Sports Editor After a summer of gradual expansion, the use of outdoor facilities on campus has returned to near-normalcy, and gym-goers will soon be back at the ARC for the first time since March. Effective Jul. 19, Athletics and Recreation (A&R) increased the capacity of outdoor programming and facilities in line with Step 3 of the Reopening Ontario Plan, while indoor fitness and
gym facilities at the ARC will re-open on Aug. 3. Step 3 allows the reopening of both indoor and outdoor sport and recreational facilities for everyone—not only for professional and amateur athletes as seen in Step 2 regulations. To align with the new regulations, masks are no longer required for outdoor A&R programming and field capacity has increased to 100 people. Contact will also be permitted in outdoor leagues and games. While Step 2 restricted personal fitness and training to the outdoors, Step 3 allows fitness classes and personal training to move indoors with maximum 50 per cent capacity. At the ARC, indoor facilities will gradually increase in capacity and usage over the course of August
and September. While fitness and gym facilities will open at 50 per cent capacity on Aug. 3, the Q-shop and Q-Sports Medicine Clinic are set to re-open on Aug. 9. Pool and changeroom facilities will re-open on Sept. 7. Masks are still required to be worn at all times indoors and the ARC remains modified to accommodate for physical distancing—to use the facilities, one must reserve an activity pod with a 50-minute time limit. Pre-entry screening, attendance tracking, and daily self-assessments using the seQure app will be required for both indoor and outdoor facilities. A&R will align further expansions and reopening plans with KFL&A Public Health, University guidelines and sport requirements, and provincial plans and directives.
Queen’s Professor provides insight into racial abuse following EURO 2020 loss The Journal discusses the intersectionality of race and sport with Professor Courtney Szto Natara Ng Assistant Sports Editor On July 11, Italy defeated England in a tense penalty shootout to win the UEFA European Football Championship (EURO) 2020. As Italians celebrated, the aftermath in England saw the beautiful game converge head-on with racism. England’s loss incited torrent online racist abuse from fans towards Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka—the three players who missed their penalty kicks, all of whom are Black. The Journal sat down with Courtney Szto, Assistant Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, to discuss the factors underpinning this reaction from England soccer fans. “It kind of seemed like a regular day in sport unfortunately,” Szto said. As a professor who explores how sport can be used to address issues of injustice, she’s used to stories like this appearing on her Twitter feed. The idea of citizenship is key to understanding why England fans were so quick to pin the blame for their team’s loss on Rashford, Sancho, and Saka. Szto explained that citizenship is a way to figure out who is “us” and who is “them,” and sport is one way we can draw that line. To read the full story, visit queensjournal.ca
14 • queensjournal.ca
Feminine and androgynous fashion do not start with Harry Styles.
Monday, July 26, 2021
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY DHARMAYU DESAI
Men of colour paved the path for Harry Styles’ genderless fashion Let’s credit the racialized men who spearheaded androgynous expression Alysha Mohamed Senior Lifestyle Editor
When I saw Harry Styles on the cover of Vogue wearing a dress, I knew the moment was monumental. His editorial, though striking, was also reminiscent of androgynous looks previously spearheaded by racialized pop culture icons. Immediately following his Vogue cover, the media exploded with coverage of Styles’ periwinkle blue gown and what it meant for the future of gendered
fashion. But in this cultural conversation, there seemed to be an erasure of men of colour who paved the path for Styles’ sartorial choices. I immediately thought of men like Jaden Smith, Prince, and Freddie Mercury. Styles’ cover represented something revolutionary for fans. In a sea of social media coverage, I vividly remembered Jaden Smith’s decision to model
as the face of Louis Vuitton in 2016—wearing a skirt. His decision made me question the confines of masculinity, and appreciate art and fashion in a completely new light. Then 17-year-old Smith, son of the unforgettable Will Smith, grappled with intense backlash online at the intersection of racial and gendered expectations. Nicolas Ghesquière, creative director of Louis Vuitton, told the New York Times in an interview that Jaden Smith “represents a generation that has assimilated the codes of true freedom, one that is free of manifestoes and questions about gender. Wearing a skirt comes as naturally to him as it would to a woman who, long ago, granted herself permission to wear a man’s trench or a tuxedo.” Harry Styles was not the first to start conversations about freedom through fashion and genderless style, even though he is one of the most notable recent fashion icons. Long before both Styles and Smith, Prince completely disrupted ideas of gender in his fearless fashion choices. Sporting high heels, ruffled shirts, crop tops, and lace gloves, the singer who gave the world “When Doves Cry” also gave us unapologetically eccentric looks—worn with confidence and charisma. His most famous outfits were feminine, elaborate, and unprecedented—including his unforgettable pastel sequined
suit topped with a pink feather boa. In Rami Malek’s brilliant portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, we were reminded of Mercury’s quintessential costume looks, which also arguably paved the path for Styles to shine. Stylist Charlotte Pilcher described Mercury’s style as “very single-minded and always tight.” Mercury’s style was, to be blunt, unheard of. He pushed every boundary imaginable, especially when he wore a plunging silver sequin jumpsuit in 1977. His dynamic looks were even more meaningful when considering the fact that he was born to Indian immigrants. He defied cultural expectations to become an international phenomenon in a very homophobic and racist world. Harry Styles is undoubtedly talented, dreamy, and continuing the legacy of androgynous fashion. However, it’s important to credit his racialized predecessors, who bent the rules of gender and fashion and championed individual expression regardless of the backlash. Instead of revering Styles as the pioneer of genderless fashion for our generation, it's important to credit his racialized predecessors who have been working towards artistic freedom for decades—and celebrate Styles as one part of the fashion evolution.
It’s time to pursue more intimate, meaningful relationships in person Though dating apps allowed me to explore my sexuality, they also pushed me to commodify myself Cassidy McMackon Staff Writer I’m in the throes of a hot, healing girl summer. Having both finished my undergrad and accepted an offer to the Master’s program of my dreams, I’ve been enjoying a period of limited responsibilities. Whereas I spent the early months of 2021 locked in my bedroom, my summer off has blossomed into a period of lake-bound evenings and enjoying the thrill of making small talk with strangers. My position as a vaccinated woman has allowed me to pursue dating again. Although I’m relishing the ability to talk to people in person, I’ve also fallen back into the Tinder trap to meet new people. I’ve been on and off Tinder since I was in first year. As a naive 18- and 19-year-old girl, I’d swipe through
Tinder pushed me to present a specific image on my profile. profiles of lanky engineers, varsity athletes, RMC students, and the odd boy visiting from out of town — secretly hoping that sparks would ignite and we would form a real connection. My period of hopeful first and second dates soon digressed into mediocre hookups. While I was lucky enough to meet a few guys whose wit complimented my own, the idealistic expectation I held towards dating apps quickly fizzled out. More often than not,
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY DHARMAYU DESAI
my interactions felt forced and awkward. I’d accepted the reality of dating apps but maintained the habit of monotonously swiping on nights I find myself looking for a little extra company. I no longer swiped with the hopes of finding anything long term, but would throw up a profile when I’d feel inclined to explore. Tinder allowed me to pursue more casual romantic experiences, giving me the platform to enjoy flings, regardless of the brevity of the new relationships.
As much as I now like to shit on the app, Tinder allowed me to explore both my sexuality and various romantic situations during my undergrad, that I’m not sure I would’ve been able to if I relied on meeting people in person. This summer, however, I’ve felt a shift in the ways I’ve been continuing to explore romantic relationships. I’ve found that my Tinder profile acts as a way of commodifying myself to potential partners. The more I’ve used the app
this year, the more I’ve felt like I’ve had to tailor my personality to present a specific image on my profile. The commodified version of myself appears relaxed, worryfree, and slightly goofy. In an effort to maintain the most desirable version of myself, I’ve filtered out the parts I’ve deemed ugly or undesirable. All of my hot takes would be toned down when I first met someone and I’d use my sense of humour to deflect any real negative feelings I had about anything. I was on an app designed to foster new connections, but presenting myself as consumable crushed the prospects of meaningful connections. I’m now prioritizing the healing aspect of hot-girl summer as we approach the latter days of the season. Emotional intimacy remains scary, but by focusing on the moments of even platonic intimacy I experience in my existing relationships, I’m hoping to feel more comfortable being vulnerable and honest in future relationships. While dating apps will likely remain part of my romantic toolbox, I’m excited to pursue more opportunities for intimate, meaningful relationships in person.
Monday, July 26, 2021
The practice has been deeply embedded in Chinese culture for a millennia Larissa Zhong Contributor Gua sha has taken over TikTok and Western beauty industries in a frenzy of rose quartz and green jade, promising sculpted jawlines and glowing skin in a matter of days. As Western corporations adopt practices from the Eastern health and wellness sphere, it’s important to note where they come from—because they didn’t start with TikTok. Despite its recent rise to fame in the Western beauty sphere, gua sha isn’t something new. Its earliest recognizable form dates back to Paleolithic-age China. Commonplace gua sha tools have historically included smooth rocks and chinaware, while today’s gua sha tools are most often made of ox horns. In traditional Chinese medicine, gua sha is a form of physical therapy used to treat everything from heat exhaustion to rheumatism. The tool stimulates
Gua sha dates back to Paleolithic-age China.
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY DHARMAYU DESAI
Gua sha is more than a TikTok trend blood flow and circulation, drawing out toxins from the body, and relieving tension in muscles and tendons. The gua sha tool is lubricated with oils and used to scrape the skin, which bursts the capillaries beneath the surface and leaves trails of red and purple petechiae
behind. Gua sha was born as a medical practice with little aesthetic value, but over the past few months, it’s been repackaged to look like a beauty miracle. Gone are bruise-like petechiae across shoulders and backs, and in their place are TikToks and
We should all do our best to be chivalrous Exploring how chivalry manifests in 2021 Madeleine McCormick Assistant Lifestyle Editor As a feminist, I’ve always wondered if chivalry exists anymore, and whether or not accepting and appreciating it conflicts with my moral compass. I believe that all working individuals—women, genderfluid, and non-binary individuals alike—should receive the same pay for the same job, but that shouldn’t mean that I can’t appreciate it when a man holds the door for me. We live in a society that appreciates public displays of generosity and respect from men towards women. The practice of chivalry originated from the medieval times and references knightly behaviours, like bravery, loyalty and the protection and respect of women. These courtly displays are now an ingrained aspect of our dating process. But what does it really mean to be chivalrous today? According to a hilarious article, “20 Examples of Modern Chivalry You Need In Your Life,” when a man
texts you during the day, turns off his phone when you’re together, and offers you thoughtful gifts, he’s a keeper. The valorous standards of chivalry have clearly shifted—asking for a girl’s number instead of her snapchat on Tinder is our modern swash-buckling fight in defense of our honour. As feminists, if we value independence and respect from
others, why would chivalry be a problem? Some women may find it obnoxious and patronizing. It’s the 21st century, I can open my own car door. And as women, we have all been in the position where a man holds the door for us, gives us a creepy smile, and the seemingly respectful action suddenly feels like he just wants to stare at your figure. Perhaps because I appreciate
Walking the line between feminism and chivalry.
Instagram reels celebrating gua sha’s face-lifting and anti-aging effects. Beauty brands, even indie, Asian-owned brands like Mount Lai and Pithy Apothecary, are capitalizing on the gua sha trend and selling the idea of affordable luxury through polished gemstone
it more when attractive or non-threatening men are chivalrous towards me, I have become more aware that chivalry is very primal in nature. If a man picks up the tab at dinner, he’s really demonstrating that he can afford to provide for his date. When he holds her hand in traffic and defends her, he’s proving that he can be protective. This process reminds me of a peacock dance—the male birds fluff up their feathers, do a fancy dance, and squawk. Men push our chairs in and offer to pick us up, while we peahens simply put on our lucky cute bra and watch the scene unfold. A mating ritual. I have questioned whether it’s
tools and matching essential oils. However, gua sha became a popular folk practice because of its accessibility. While there are professional gua sha clinics present in China, home gua sha with the help of family members is popular as well. Even the purchase of tools is optional. Any non-abrasive item with smooth, rounded edges and a lubricating oil or lotion is a functional combination. For example, ceramic spoons and safflower oil, which are staple items in many Chinese homes, are a favored option. Many of us are familiar with the '20-year rule,' which describes the cyclical nature of fashion and beauty trends, but the rise of social media and e-commerce has significantly accelerated trend cycles. With today’s ease and immediacy of consumption, brands and consumers are adopting new trends quicker than ever. Consequently, the trend floods social media all at once, driving consumers to fatigue, and rapidly ending the trend's marketability as quickly as it began. Gua sha’s oversaturation on TikTok, Instagram, and digital publications like Vice and Teen Vogue is part of a recognizable pattern, one that suggests the beauty industry and social media’s obsession with gua
an unfair expectation that men should pay the bills on dates, carry the heavy bags, and hold the doors for everyone. The answer may be that we all need to be more laid back with our standards of chivalry. Women and non-gender conforming individuals can be chivalrous too. Men can be platonically chivalrous to other individuals. If a man doesn’t open the car door for his date every time, no biggie. E-transfer me for half the meal, whatever. We’re all broke university kids fumbling our way through the complexities, beauties, and irritations of dating as young adults anyway, so we might as well all do our best to be chivalrous.
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY VIOLETTA ZEITLINGER FONTANA
16 • queensjournal.ca
Monday, July 26, 2021
PHOTO BY SPENCER HENDRICKSON
Daniel Green reflects on his journey as a writer at Queen's.
Living honestly, writing authentically: Learning to be truthful with myself Coming to terms with who I am when nobody is in the room Daniel green Staff Writer All I did in my first year of university was lie to myself. I didn’t know what I wanted to do socially or academically, but I kept telling myself I did. I was unsure of what I wanted to study, who I wanted to befriend, and my relationship. I put on a mask of faux-extroversion and tried to convince myself that I loved my frosh group and my floormates. I kept telling myself that I was happy, that I knew what I was doing. I kept lying.
I received a C+ "onWhen my first assignment, I was shocked.
Deep down, I knew that I was unhappy with my environment and found myself craving others’ approval. One of the few times I trusted my gut in first year was with my decision to major in English. I wanted to read more books. I wanted to write more. I applied to Carolyn Smart’s Creative Writing in Prose class in the summer going into second
year and was accepted. I thought admission into this course and doing well in my high school’s Writer’s Craft class marked me as a champion writer. When I received a C+ on my first assignment, I was shocked. She doesn’t understand my writing, I thought. She’s a poet first and foremost. What does she know about prose? I called my father, a novelist and creative writing professor at Western University, to refute Carolyn’s claims that my writing had “too many adjectives” and was “heavy handed,” but he agreed. I wasn’t as good as I thought I was.
hiding from " I was my deepest
thoughts—stories only I could tell—and was limiting myself both on and off the page. My father was honest with me. Carolyn was honest with me. She’s one of the most honest people I’ve ever met—maybe the most. Her final words of feedback to me were: “Don’t be disheartened. Push yourself further.” And that’s exactly what I did. My work improved throughout the year, and I was continuously humbled by the writing of my talented classmates. The highest grade I received was an A-, and I ended the course with a B+. Overall, I don’t think I was a standout student in my first creative writing class.
I would assess myself as slightly above average, promising, and having decent technical command over language, but my work was missing the unexplainable, emotional pinnacle real art contains—one that I’ve come to believe is sheltered within honesty and raw emotion. I was living dishonestly, and my writing was dishonest as a result. I was just writing—for lack of a better word—stuff. Not only did I fail to understand the perspectives I was writing from, but I also didn’t try to properly incorporate emotions I did understand into those perspectives. I wrote the odd piece that was grounded in my own history or emotion, and they were my most well-received pieces. But even then, I was hiding. It’s one thing to engage with your surface thoughts, and another thing to engage with what you’re really thinking. I was hiding from my deepest thoughts—stories only I could tell—and was limiting myself both on and off the page. Carolyn’s honest feedback introduced me to a rawness that I hadn’t been exposed to before. It was in her class, on a subconscious level, where I started realizing that I wasn’t living authentically. When the pandemic hit, I was forced to face that subconscious emotion. I started to come to terms with who I was when nobody was in the room. I hit a breaking point when I admitted to myself that I was unhappy in my relationship. I confided in my mother, and she pointed me to Kids Help Phone.
I remember picking up the phone, about to speak, and I couldn’t get a word out. I just started crying. I wailed. I sobbed. I remember the woman on the other line amazed by the amount of emotion I’d pent up. For the first time in my life, I realized I was a person in the grand scheme of things—that I mattered, that my feelings mattered, that what I wanted mattered just as much as other people. I told the truth. After this moment of honesty, I ended my relationship, quit my job, and lost friends. This behaviour looked pretty destructive from the outside, but it wasn’t. It was reconstructive. When I began to write again later that summer, it was with honesty and conviction. There was no more hiding who I was or holding back from what I wanted in my outside life. I wrote a poem, “She Must,” about my insecurity of letting go of a new relationship that had just began that September. It was an honest confession— it won The Journal’s 2020 poetry contest.
I held my breath and wrote down the words: “I think my father is going to die soon.”
The next piece I wrote was a short story titled “Ballad of a Thin Man.” While staring at a blank page trying to start, I heard Carolyn’s advice come back to me: always
write for yourself. For the first time, I told myself that I wasn’t going to show this piece to my father. This one was for me. I held my breath and wrote down the words: “I think my father is going to die soon.” When I finished it, I wasn’t sure what to make of the story. I had never written anything like it. I submitted it to Carolyn first, then showed it to my father—he loved it. Carolyn gave me my first A+ and invited me to Advanced Creative Writing. I had finally written for myself, I had finally let it out. “Ballad of a Thin Man” was published alongside another short story of mine in Lake Effect 10, and won the 2021 McIlquham Foundation Prize in English. I am now writing a novel, working title Thin Man, because of the award. Because I was honest with myself. Because I did, said, and wrote what I wanted to write.
unapologetically " Live and be honest with yourselves.
My final note to frosh and anyone else reading this: live unapologetically and be honest with yourselves. It’s necessary and decent. Whether it’s about your major, your romantic life, or the friends you’ve made, trust your gut. Even if it’s telling you the scariest things. Maybe even write down what it’s saying. It worked out for me.