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the Queen’s University

News AMS convenes for first Assembly of the year Page 5


Vol. 149, Issue 1

Monday, May 31, 2021

Situated on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples.

Since 1873

Q ueen ’ s , K ingston , and the question of off - campus housing

Page 6 Editorials Queen’s should endorse mandatory vaccines for residences Page 7

Opinions Sexual violence prevention at Queen’s Page 8

Arts JukeBox County releases debut album Page 10


Queen’s students mobilize to raise funds for grassroots organizations in India Death tolls in India have skyrocketed amidst second wave R ida C haudhry Assistant News Editor

Sports Gaels secure six spots on East-West Bowl roster Page 12

Lifestyle Reclaiming the word ‘Bitch’ Page 15


As India faces devastation at the hands of the COVID-19 pandemic, Queen’s students have mobilized to financially support those affected. Harshavardhan Thyagarajan MSc ’23, Prerna Subramanian, PhD candidate in Cultural Studies, and Myron Menezes, MASc ’21, are among a group of students collaborating with the International Students Working Group (ISWG) to raise funds for grassroots organizations in India. With at least 26 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, and numbers growing hundreds of thousands by the day, India is being confronted with the worst of the pandemic. In an interview with The Journal, Thyagarajan discussed the groups’ mobilization process and goals for the project. “We were just hoping to collect resources, amplify the call, and pass it on to places that needed them,” Thyagarajan said. Thyagarajan explained @queensjournal

that donating to fundraisers, educating oneself, and keeping the conversation going are all ways students can mobilize themselves. “Look at local political actions that are happening. It’s always a matter of being a supporter of causes and meeting others who your politics align with,” Thyagarajan shared. Initially, the group of students gathered support on Facebook and created a GoFundMe page to collect donations and provide resources for the recipients. Since May 1, the student organization has raised nearly $11,000 for Manisha Devi,

Hemkunt Foundation for Corona Relief and Rehabilitation Support, and the Helping Hands Foundation. However, the work is far from complete as the group inches towards their fundraising goal of $50,000. “In this grim time, holding onto joy is tough,” Subramanian wrote on the organization’s Facebook page. “[Sometimes] impossible but important.” The group expanded their reach by connecting with others who were passionate about the cause and educating those around them. Soon, they gained significant momentum. “The broken system will not

break us,” Subramanian’s message on Facebook continues. Subramanian told The Journal that the Indian government’s mishandling of the pandemic and the spread of misinformation resulted in a devastating second wave. The group attached a document to the GoFundMe page directing others to aid communities with no safety net or government help to survive. “In terms of future direction, we’re hoping to put a call out to existing donors and divert attention to the Palestinian cause,” Thyagarajan said.





2 • queensjournal.ca


Monday, May 31, 2021


Kingston community members gather in protest.

Student demonstrators host drive-by protest in Kingston Market Square Queen’s University student talks about organizing in solidarity with Palestine Asbah Ahmad Assistant News Editor “From Turtle Island to Palestine, occupation is a crime.” This was among the many chants echoed alongside the honking of car horns from a pro-Palestine demonstration on May 15. The demonstration took place at Kingston’s Springer Market Square. One counter-protestor attended the event. The protest was organized due to the flare-up of violence in the decades-old conflict between Palestine and Israel; specifically, the escalation caused by the pending eviction of Palestinians in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah. The fighting in the region has tragically caused deaths of both Israeli and Palestinian civilians.

“I was personally inspired by Palestinians who were protesting in their own lands despite what was happening to them. I was also inspired by protests around Canada and North America in the lead up to the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba,” Yara Hussein, ArtSci ’23, the principal organizer of the protest, said in an interview with The Journal. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, most protestors wore masks and maintained social distance; others remained in their cars. “We followed COVID protocols, we closed off the roads in downtown, and it was phenomenal to see so many people show up,” Hussein said. According to Hussein, there was a diverse group of people from different backgrounds and faiths who came out in support of Palestine. “We also had Jewish-identifying faculty and students attend, along with members of an organization called ‘Independent Jewish Voices,’” Hussein said. “Students of many different faiths attended, and we were there in solidarity for Palestinian liberation.” Hussein, who isn’t Palestinian but has

Townhall meeting answers questions on returning to campus Around 60 per cent of Kingston population vaccinated with first dose Sydney Ko News Editor On May 27, Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Public Health and Principal Patrick Deane hosted a town hall meeting to discuss questions surrounding the pandemic and the possibility of returning to in-person classes. “We find ourselves in a very interesting time, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel,” Deane said at the meeting. The town hall meeting kicked off with a presentation from Dr. Kieran Moore, KFL&A Medical Officer of Health. The presentation detailed updates on Kingston’s vaccine rollout. “Our pandemic goal is to minimize mortality and morbidity, protect the health care system, and minimize negative consequences,” Moore said.

roots in Egypt, has been heavily involved with activism and the pro-Palestine movement from a young age. “Ever since I was ten years old, I have attended pro-Palestine demonstrations. As I grew older, I learned more about the issues at play on Palestinian land and my identity in terms of that land.” “I am a Muslim, and I am a human, I believe it is my duty to advocate for human rights anywhere around the world,” Hussein said. Hussein also recognized that the protest in Kingston didn’t compare in scale to protests in larger cities like Toronto. Nonetheless, she made it clear that protesting is important to build solidarity. Another issue brought up by Hussein was the rise in anti-Semitic violence in Canada, which has caused many Jewish Canadians to feel a sense of unease. Hussein said the goal of these protests is not to spread any type of anti-Semitism or hate towards the Jewish community. “Those that spew any kind of hatred against Jewish people are not a part of the movement we are creating. We want freedom for all,” she said. Hussein added that activism does not

simply end with attending or organizing a protest. It includes raising funds, writing to politicians, such as one’s local MPs, and liaising with organizations who are working on the ground for the good of civilians and dispossessed people. “Every individual who fundraises for organizations does so in a manner that best represents their own principles. For me, that is sending money to families I know personally in Gaza.” Hussein said it’s important that student at Queen’s continues to advocate for issues they believe in. “We have immense amounts of privilege living on Turtle Island. The Palestinian movement is very interconnected as this is a fight for Indigenous rights and human rights at the most basic level.” Hussein noted that it’s important for people to continue to use their presence on social media to help fundraise and donate at their capacity. “We must also boycott any products that support the IDF [Israel Defense Force]. We also need to hold Queen’s University responsible for any assets that supports the IDF.”

immunization monitoring,” he said. “There will be ongoing masking and hand hygiene in place.” Moore also announced KFL&A Public Health will work closely with Queen’s Student Wellness Services to ensure all returning students are vaccinated. “We’ll partner with [Queen’s] to ensure that students who are not immunized get further catch up,” he said. “The number of vaccines will be ever increasing in Ontario and KFL&A.” On returning back to normalcy on-campus, Deane and Vice-Provost Mark Green said the administration will ensure flexibility in classes for both faculty and students.

“I do think everyone has the best of intention to finding themselves back in normality, but it will be difficult,” Deane said. “If individuals can work effectively from home, they should be able to continue to do that.” Deane also stated the administration will work on putting together remote working agreements for the faculties. “We will provide additional teaching support. If faculties decide to teach in person and remotely, we will offer it,” Green said. “We recognize the transitional period will be challenging, and we will be accommodating individual people’s needs and concerns,” Deane said.

According to Moore, around 60 per cent of the city’s population has received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. He said there will be a decrease in the spread of virus. While immunization has increased, Moore added it’s still important for the public to remain diligent in wearing masks and maintaining hand hygiene as the spread of viruses like the coronavirus and the common cold, will be expected in the fall. “I think over the winter, we still want to wear masks and have good hygiene because there will be other kinds of respiratory viruses,” he said. “We will be entering the fall with better knowledge of the virus and, with increased immunization rates, far lower risks associated with COVID-19.” Moore added that the allowance of large outdoor group gatherings, indoor gatherings, and indoor dining can be anticipated by August. When asked if social distancing will still be in place in the fall, Moore said there will still be limitations on classes that host large capacity, but classes can return in full. “There will be measures put in place. We will be encouraging screening and The university anticipates a full return to campus for Fall 2021.



Monday, May 31, 2020



Queen’s to join University Pension Plan on July 1 Annual university endowment report reveals Queen’s Pension Plan had nearly $100 million of direct investment in fossil fuel industries Sydney Ko News Editor On July 1, the Queen’s Pension Plan (QPP) will be amalgamated with the University of Toronto and University of Guelph pension plans as a part of the University Pension Plan (UPP). The UPP is a jointly sponsored pension plan for university faculty and staff. The plan aims to enhance the long-term sustainability that provides stable predictability for both employees and employers. In an interview with The Journal, Marcus Taylor, associate professor and head of the department of Global Development Studies, discussed the UPP and its impacts on moving towards sustainability and the university’s plan in divestment. “The idea is to have one central management fund to pull all these pension funds together,” Taylor said. The UPP has representation from all three universities, including from the employees’ side, Taylor added. The faculty associations of each university will also have representation on UPP’s Board.

According to Taylor, the shift to a coal storage and loading terminal at UPP will move the university a step Roberts Bank, British Columbia. closer to sustainability. The plan Aside from upholding Queen’s hopes to divest money from fossil commitment to sustainability, the UPP fuel companies for ethical purposes and also offers a better financial position for financial benefits. the university. “What we [the UPP] are invested “So many studies are saying that portfolios in is not contributing to greenhouse that have divested from those fossil fuel gases in ways that contravene the Paris industries have performed better over the Agreement, and which contravene the last five to ten years,” Taylor said. interests of our very students, even their In 2020, BlackRock, an American futures,” he added. multinational investment management In 2014, the University was asked corporation, released a report including by Queen’s Backing Action on Climate the depiction of a scenario where firms had Change (QBACC) to divest through divested five years prior. a petition submitted to Principal “ B l a c k Ro c k did ex te n s ive Daniel Woolf and the Board surveys and said there’s three ways of Trustees. you could have divested, and each of Ultimately, the advisory committee’s them would have had better returns,” report concluded that Queen’s Taylor said. had “no grounds for divestment “If [the University] divested in 2014, based on their Statement on Responsible Investing policy.” According to the Queen’s 2019 Endowment Holdings, the document disclosed that the QPP invested at least $100 million in fossil fuel industries. Holdings included investments in corporations like Enbridge, Canadian Natural Resources, and Suncor Energy. On May 11, the UPP had its first feedback session with Queen’s. Those in attendance spoke up on the climate issue and brought forth a universal request for the UPP to divest from fossil fuels. During the meeting, it was revealed that the QPP had increased its investments in thermal coal in 2020, totaling to $4,721,038 consistently across 2019 and 2020, Taylor added in an email statement to The Journal. Queen’s also invested $2,019,565 in Westshore Terminals Investment The chart shows the University’s 2019 direct Corporation, a company that operates investments in fossil fuel industries.

the membership would have benefited in the pocket, never mind all the ethical stuff that some of us are interested in,” he added. By joining the UPP, Taylor said Queen’s will take a position that many leading universities are already implementing. The UPP is also looking into strategizing to decarbonize its portfolio over the next twenty years. With the Paris Agreement and the pressure to decarbonize from the government, carbon intensive industries will gradually lose its value, Taylor added. “We don’t really want our pensions sat in those industries, so [the UPP] makes perfect financial and ethical sense for universities trying to reach out globally,” Taylor said.


The math proficiency test is ‘a slap in the face’ for student teachers

Student teachers talk new certification requirement and its discriminatory nature.

Queen’s ConEd students speak to the Math Proficiency Test Sydney Ko News Editor “This is a slap in the face.” Olivia Malito, ConEd ’19, had this to say when asked about the new math proficiency test (MPT) implemented by the Ontario Ministry of Education. The MPT was created by the Ministry of Education, developed and administered by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO), and mandated by the Ontario College


of Teachers (OCT) as a requirement for certification. All student teachers must take the test, regardless of the subjects they specialize in. According to the MPT requirements, student teachers in Ontario who become certified between Mar. 31, 2020 and Aug. 31, 2021, will earn their certification only if they pass the test by the end of August. Applicants who fail to pass will not receive their certification, with no extensions or exceptions. In September 2020, when the Ontario Progressive Conservatives passed legislation to mandate the MPT, the Ontario Teacher Candidates’ Council (OTCC)—an organization representing teacher candidates and temporarily licensed teachers—submitted a

judicial review to the Superior Court of Ontario. The judicial review aims to challenge the validity of the MPT itself. “We were under the impression that the test would not run this year, just because of the lawsuit,” Kate Malefant-McNeice, ConEd ’19, said in an interview with The Journal. The judicial review submitted by the OTCC stated that the “test is not equitable, fair, justified or backed by data.” The organization also stated that the EQAO office has been “rushed into creating a massive test” in just under a few months. “The government kind of surprised us,” Malefant-McNeice said. According to the Ontario Ministry of Education, the MPT tests math skills up to grade 9 concepts. The test lasts three hours, allotting two and a half minutes to complete each question. Despite the information given to the teacher candidates, the limited timing has left many uncertain of their ability to perform well on the test. Another concern is that the MPT may be incorrectly categorized as “standardized testing.” A standardized test uses the same questions for everyone, but Malito said the student teachers were told the MPT would take questions from a bank—meaning

each student would receive a different set of questions. “How are they developing and researching these questions to maintain [the MPT’s] fairness?” Malito questioned. “The chief lesson that we are taught as teachers is to give our students authority in their own learning and part of that means choices. We were not given a choice when this thing was reinstated.” In an email statement to the The Journal, Peter Chin, associate dean of the Faculty of Education, said the faculty has expressed their concerns about all facets of the MPT, including implementation issues, during meetings with Ministry officials. “Our response has been ongoing throughout the year but is now ramping up to support our teacher candidates,” Chin wrote. Chin added that the faculty has arranged five sessions related to preparing for more “challenging elements of the math curriculum.” Since its initial announcement, Chin said the faculty has continuously raised their concerns about the purpose of the MPT. “What makes a good teacher is not their knowledge and their subjects, but it is their pedagogy—it is how they teach and what they teach,” Malefant-McNeice said.


4 • queensjournal.ca

Monday, May 31, 2021

Queen’s students find different career paths in the face of pandemic uncertainty A generation of students navigate uncertain job prospects.

Two students talk job search difficulties Asbah Ahmad Assistant News Editor This article discusses mental illness and may be triggering for some readers. The Canadian Mental Health Association Crisis Line can be reached at 1-800-875-6213. Each election cycle, Canadian youth hear promises of gainful employment. but COVID-19 has caused a deep schism between those who are seeking employment and the available jobs on the market.

Despite rising employment rates in Canada following the pandemic, young people face the slowest rebound. For many graduating and current students at post-secondary institutions across the country, there has been an increase in anxiety surrounding the uncertain job market.

“Everything went to hell with COVID, I couldn’t even find a remote job in my second year,” Taylor*, Comm ’22, said in an interview with The Journal.

and [extracurriculars] did not help in my experience.” As a student who’s currently studying abroad, Taylor couldn’t rely on personal connections; she had to be creative in her job search. “Instead of just applying to job openings, I found companies that I would really love to work at, and I just sent in an email.” Individuals seeking a career in finance or banking understand the importance of networking and the value it can bring to the job search. COVID-19 has made creating new networks more difficult and less accessible for many. “I am much more personable in real life, and Zoom can impact that [...] I feel like it is really hard to do coffee chats with people, and because everyone is working from home it feels a little bit less formal and people are less likely to want to hop on a zoom call,” Taylor explained

am only getting paid for “18Ihours. But it is completely


But it is completely legal since they are a non-profit organization.” Some students feel Queen’s resources haven’t been helpful in the jobhunt. “I don’t know if I wasn’t able to see it or access it, but a lot of the fourth-year emails I got weren’t really personalized or gave direct resources,” Emily Clare Elliot, ArtSci ‘21, told The Journal. “I also did not know who to reach out to, and the thirty-minute academic advising sessions weren’t very helpful in my case since I was looking into journalism post-graduate programs.” Combined with jobs resources, mental health resources offered by Queen’s have disappointed some, especially during the pandemic.

of the student wellness “ One services counselors said, ‘I can’t help you,’ so I had no choice but to go private.”

they work that does not allow for adequate support to be given to students. “One of the Student Wellness Services counselors said, ‘I can’t help you,’ so I had no choice but to go private. I was paying $140 per 45-minute therapy session, which is not tax deductible,” said Elliot.

made me say, ‘let’s “ COVID choose option number three and go straight into more education,’”

Due to the pandemic, both Taylor and Elliot were prompted to consider graduate studies. Elliot chose to pursue a master’s degree in journalism from a leading institution. “COVID made me say, ‘let’s choose option number three and go straight into more education,’” Elliot explained. Like many students, Elliot has learned the importance of navigating uncertainties about the future with a backup plan. Elliot noted that it’s important for people to learn from past mistakes and be prepared for anything.

“The lack of control I experienced this year was debilitating,” Elliot said. “I lost three jobs in one day.” “I don’t want to hate on Student As a first-year, Taylor couldn’t gain Taylor noticed the job market has also Wellness, but they weren’t there for me, so relevant work experience in the finance seen a rise of unpaid internships. I had to go to the private system, causing industry. No one was hiring first-year “[Unpaid internships] can be quite me to gain some debt.” *Name has been changed to protect the safety students. She had to rely on waitressing and exploitative,” Taylor said. Elliot recalled an experience where of the interviewee working at bars. According to Taylor, even paid internships a Student Wellness Services counsellor “The few interviews I did have, can undercompensate their workers. Taylor didn’t feel comfortable supporting her. they loved my grades, but it was my said her current research position requires However, she said the blame isn’t on the journal_news@ams.queensu.ca experience which held me back. Firms 35 hours of work per week. people working at SWS, but really wanted paid internship experience “I am only getting paid for 18 hours. rather the system in which

legal since they are a non-profit organization.”

Monday, May 31, 2020




AMS considers changing its mandate in first assembly of 2021-22 school year ‘I need to be the leader you folks elected me to be,’ AMS President Zaid Kasim says at May assembly Asbah Ahmad Assistant News Editor Editor’s Note: The Journal’s Editors-in-Chief were involved in the circumstances prompting the discussion item “Queen’s Journal Discussion” at Assembly. The Editors in Chief were distanced from the editing process of this piece. Described as “pivotal” by AMS President Zaid Kasim, the AMS held its first Assembly of the summer on May 20. AMS Assembly was slated to consider various issues on the agenda, including standard executive reports, the Board of Director’s report, the student senate caucus chair report, and other statements by students. The start of Assembly was postponed by an hour due to technical errors and eventually convened at 7:00 p.m. with a motion moved to discuss The Journal’s retracted statement on Palestine solidarity first. Members-at-large shared lived experiences on matters affecting Palestinians at home and abroad.

We should have been more “ educated [...] Our mandate is old, the AMS is old, it’s time for a shift in how our organization is structured.”

Following statements made by members-at-large, Kasim moved for a discussion on the issue of neutrality to be discussed in a closed session. This is a procedural move that allows the AMS and other faculty’s executives to discuss pertinent issues at a certain level of confidentiality. The closed session on neutrality intends to determine whether the AMS should change its mandated constitution to allow the organization to take a stance on matters deemed political by the Society. According to RTZ, changes in this portion of the mandate would mean the AMS could depart from neutrality. “We should have been more educated [...] Our mandate is old, the AMS is old, it’s time for a shift in how our organization is structured,” Kasim said. “This year will be the year a shift will occur in our mandate, and we are going to listen to Palestinian voices, and we no longer want to be reactive.” Further testimonies were stated from attendees following the president’s statement, with proposals raised on divestment. Kasim took the unprecedented step to have a motion on divestment moved to closed session. No further elaboration was made with respect to divestment. This is the first time the AMS has gone into closed session since 2015. In response to making future political statements, the AMS and other faculty groups said they would reach out to Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) Queen’s to organize educational training sessions that include monetary compensations. Computing Students’ Association (COMPSA) president Sanindie Silva said it will also host consultations with equity-based clubs on campus once hiring for the executive team is completed. “We will definitely reach out to SPHR

AMS Executive to meet in closed session to discuss mandate changes and policy review.

and ‘CC’ any emails with Patrick Deane [...] I really want to extend my support, I really do,” Kasim said. Kasim also responded to the Society’s role in accusations directed towards SPHR’s activities on campus earlier in the year, as well as issues of free speech and hate speech on campus. “I must acknowledge our lack of education on this matter,” Kasim said. “I want to learn more about this before making a commitment.” In reference to the JDUC redevelopment plans, members at large raised concerns about whether the building’s prayer space will be affected. Kasim emphasized prayer spaces for Muslim and Jewish students will be protected and kept safe, as well as all other places of worship on campus. “We are going to advocate with other groups on campus to get space, this includes keeping space in the JDUC. We will not take ‘no’ as an answer from the admin if we receive push-back,” Kasim said.

Patience with student “ leaders is important. We are learning and unlearning publicly, but please hold us accountable.”

“When we advocate for safe spaces, that means having posted security members through the student constables, since we know that Queen’s security has a reputation as being a predominantly older white male population,” Tiana Wong, vice-president (operations) said. “Our student constables are more representative of our student population.” In a verbal commitment, the AMS said the Society will be held accountable by logging

and releasing all actions to the public to increase transparency. Roshael Chellappah, Residence Society president, also mentioned that she will work with equity-based organizations and otherorganizations to ensure the residence experience is inclusive and safe for all. Following the statements made by members of Assembly, Omar Baboolal, Commerce Society president, said he’s excited about working to provide better communications. “Patience with student leaders is important. We are learning and unlearning publicly, but please hold us accountable,” Baboolal said. Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) President Alyth Roos said her inbox is always open to receiving students’ suggestions and input. “This is just the beginning of our dialogue and I thank everyone for coming out,” Roos said. Students and AMS executives also spoke to the importance of protecting the Jewish community and students of Jewish faith on campus. “I don’t think the two things are mutually exclusive. I can make my statement in support of Pa l e s t i n e and Palestinian voices, but at the same time make Jewish students feel comfortable, safe and heard as well,” Kasim said. “I want to make sure there is support available for students.” The closed session will be held by next Thursday at the latest, according to the AMS. “I need to be the leader you folks elected me to be. I am listening, and I will advocate,” Kasim said. “These are not empty words, and real change will happen. I want to assure everyone of this.”



6 • queensjournal.ca

Monday, May 31, 2021



Students are paying high prices for low-quality houses.

Off-Campus housing is only getting more expensive As Queen’s adds more students, ‘demands keep going up [and] supplies stay the same’ Kirby Harris and Julia Stratton Features Editors

For students living in Kingston, the norm is to pay exorbitant prices for substandard housing. It’s become a rite of passage for Queen’s students to move out of first-year residence and scramble to find housemates and sign leases before the best houses are gone. According to Queen’s off-campus housing resources, students should expect to pay between $475 and $950 each month per room plus utilities. The price is determined by space, number of roommates, distance from campus, and overall quality of the unit. For students looking to live alone or with one other roommate, it’s common to be paying well over $1000 per month. The pandemic has put students in tough situations with their off-campus housing. Many upperclassmen were stuck paying rent despite them never returning to Kingston during the 2020-21 academic year. A decreased number of students returned to Kingston during the pandemic, but the city saw a surge of first-year students who chose to rent off-campus. Luke Emblem, ArtSci ‘21 worked for local rental property management company MacKinnon Development during his undergrad. His experience gave him unique insight into the inner workings of the Kingston rental market and student housing crisis. “Queen’s isn’t taking in as many first-years as they usually

take into residence,” Emblem said in an interview with The Journal. “They’ve only taken half. So you have an extra 3000 first-years that are looking for housing now, and that’s made it a lot more competitive.” “[First-year students] reached out a lot earlier and they seem to be a lot more eager.” In a normal year, about 95 per cent of first-year students would live on campus in Queen’s residences. During the pandemic, residences have only accepted about half of their normal capacity. First-year students who wanted to live in Kingston looked elsewhere for housing, keeping rental properties competitive and prices high. As more and more students flood Kingston’s rental housing, the city’s permanent residents are forced to compete with students who are paying upwards of $700 per month. In the early 20th century, Queen’s was the main provider of housing for Queen’s students, with most students living on campus in gender-segregated residences. In the 1960s, the on-campus model failed with a surge of over 10,000 students enrolling faster than Queen’s could construct new residences. Over the next few decades, students began renting off-campus. By the 1980s, off-campus housing for upper-year students was the norm. C u r r e n t l y, Queen’s upperclassmen don’t have the option to remain on campus unless they choose to work in residence. The university introduced its first-ever upper-year residence program in 2015, and upper-year students could apply for a lottery to live in a limited number of rooms in Jean Royce Hall and Smith House. The 2020-21 academic year saw a pause on this program that will likely continue until residences can return to full capacity. The Queen’s Residences website states they “strongly

encourage” students to find off-campus housing for the 2021-22 academic year. The Mayor’s Housing Task Force Rental Market Analysis, published by the City of Kingston, states that “to maintain a well-balanced, strong community and ensure long-term sustainability, it is vital that municipalities offer a wide range of housing options for a broad range of income groups, including a provision for rental housing and affordable housing.” Despite the acknowledgement of this need, Kingston faces serious barriers when providing the community with affordable housing—including concerningly low vacancy rates and an increasing number of renters. Vacancy rates represent the percentage of rental units occupied in a certain location. Low vacancy rates tend to drive up renting prices and limit housing options for all market segments. A healthy vacancy rate for a community is 3 per cent. The current vacancy rate in Kingston is 0.6 per cent. Kingston needs to dramatically increase the amount of available housing in order to return the city’s vacancy rate to a normal range. Low vacancy rates are exacerbated by increasing student populations. Enrolment at Queen’s, St. Lawrence College, and the Royal Military College continues to increase, limiting rental supply and driving up rental prices despite new condos being built in downtown Kingston. A long-term analysis of Kingston’s rental housing published by the City of Kingston in 2020 estimates an increase of over 10,000 in the student population in the next 25 years. In order to accommodate this increase, an extra 3,300 off-campus rental properties will need to be built by 2046. Although student populations are increasing at all three of

Kingston’s post-secondary institutions, Queen’s shows the greatest growth. Queen’s added over 7000 full-time students between the 2010-11 academic year and the 2020-21 academic year. According to the Rental Housing Market Analysis, “occupancy trends by institution suggests approximately 80 per cent of student renter household growth over the forecasted period [2020-46] will be driven by students attending Queen’s University.” Emblem feels that Queen’s isn’t doing enough to help the community manage rental prices. After first year, most students migrate to the student ghetto—consisting mainly of the area south of Princess Street. Due to the close proximity to campus and the high concentration of students, these houses are in high demand. However, due to an increasing student population and low vacancy rates, these highly competitive properties tend to be fraught with issues despite maintaining an expensive price tag. “Queen’s isn’t helpful at all. They just keep adding students,” Emblem said. “After first year they don’t really care where the students go. They know you’re going to go to the [student] ghetto and if you want to pay for the ghetto, you’re going to have to pay a lot more.” As vacancy rates remain low and the student population increases, students are left with no other choice than to live in expensive rental units with poor living conditions. “I was paying like $740 a month [and] our floors were crooked. We had a hole in our floor. The landlord never came and fixed that,” Emblem said. The City of Kingston’s plan to increase rental availability for post-secondary students

is to increase the number of purpose-built rentals. Purpose-built rentals are rental properties built to be long-term rentals, unlike houses, which can be rented one year but not the next. The City plans to build most of these rentals in Central Kingston, in the area around Queen’s University and downtown Princess Street. This location would allow students to be close to campus and amenities. The report states: “to accommodate the growing student population, there need to be more higher density dwellings in the form of purpose-built rentals.” The city projects that Kingston will need 5,700 purpose-built rentals to meet demands by 2036, with 1,800 of those units needed over the next five years. “The city’s starting to change a little bit because now everyone’s paying high rent, including the locals, especially north of Princess, but it’s still a very slow process,” Emblem said. Emblem explained that the city needs to build more high-density housing to accommodate the increasing student population. “All these single-family homes are just not sustainable.” Recently, Kingston has built many purpose-built rentals in the form of condos. Although these condos create more rental units, they tend to have very high rental prices that are not affordable to many students. “The condos aren’t going to help very much because they’re all priced at a luxury price point,” Emblem said. Not only does the City of Kingston need to continue to build purpose-built rentals, but they need to build purpose-built rentals at a variety of price points to accommodate all market segments. Put simply, as Emblem explained: “Demands keep going up [and] supplies stay the same.”

Monday, May 31, 2021


Editorials The Journal’s Perspective


Queen’s should implement a vaccine mandate for students living in residence this fall While Canada’s vaccine supply is growing, so is speculation about and pushback against requiring vaccinations on campuses. Last week, the University of Western Ontario was the first major Canadian post-secondary institution to announce its intention to implement a mandatory vaccination policy for all students planning to live in residence this fall. Queen’s should do the same. Western also stated that students who must opt out for reasons protected under the Human Rights Code can do so by applying for an accommodation. Western’s vaccination policy is a necessity. Students living in residences deserve to feel safe, and a vaccine mandate protects

all students living on campus, including those who are medically unable to receive a vaccine themselves. It’s in Queen’s best interest to follow in Western’s footsteps, especially considering the number of COVID-19 outbreaks in residence our university has seen in this last year. Furthermore, a position that encourages vaccination for students living on campus would be appropriate coming from the university—pro-vaccine equals pro-science. Without a clear picture of what Fall 2021 will look like, a vaccine mandate for residences would provide Queen’s students with structure during a period of confusion. Knowing that students living on campus will be vaccinated and safe will

When I woke up on April 21 and checked Instagram, every account affiliated with Queen’s was running one eye-grabbing headline: “Queen’s ranks first in Canada and fifth in the world in global impact rankings.” I didn’t even read up to the “global impacts” part of the headline—I was just shocked we beat out schools like Cambridge and Princeton. After all, last fall, Principal Patrick Deane referred to Queen’s global academic rankings as “depressing.” Immediately, I investigated the background of the rankings we topped. The Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, run by the “esteemed” THE publication, is a global ranking of universities based on their advancement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Within minutes, I found glaring issues with the ranking’s methodology. Furthermore, how Queen’s advertised its rankings results seemed dodgy, peculiar, and even dishonest during the peak of the 2025 admissions cycle. THE evaluates university performance on 17 SDGs—broad metrics which are subdivided into categories targeting different issues within the SDG. Each of these smaller subcategories accounts for a certain percentage of a university’s performance in a given SDG. The SDGs range from topics like “quality education” to “clean water and sanitation.” Concerningly, Queen’s has serious problems which are not fully accounted

for in the metrics—making the rankings less credible. For example, the “gender equality” metric measures the extent to which women are systematically integrated into the university community. 15.4 per cent of the section’s score focuses on senior women academics. However, Queen’s has shown time and again its hostility against these academics. A good example is professor Adèle Mercier’s


fight against the university for alleged gender discrimination. Worst of all, this ranking lacks an intersectional approach. The “zero hunger” metric assesses a school’s tendency to research hunger and instill scholars with relevant knowledge on the subject. But how relevant is this to students attending the university? Meanwhile, Queen’s has systematically gutted the funding to on-campus food banks


THE QUEEN’S JOURNAL positively contribute to mental and social student wellbeing. Furthermore, this decision would communicate that Queen’s cares about the general safety of Kingston community. The vaccination efforts could serve as a bridge between the university community and the city, hopefully ameliorating locals’ dissatisfaction with previous student pandemic misconduct. The ability for students who can’t receive a vaccine due to medical restrictions to still have the option to live in residence a vital addition to any vaccination policy. But Queen’s must make clear decisions about the bounds of exemptions—strict regulations and repercussions must be maintained to discourage abuse of the system. Choosing not to be vaccinated for personal reasons is a privileged decision that affects more than just the individual. Queen’s would be well within its right to require students in residence to be vaccinated—living in residence is a privilege for most, not a necessity. However, every Queen’s student who wants a vaccine and to live in residence should be able to get their doses. Otherwise, the system disadvantages students who face barriers to accessing vaccines. It’s encouraging that Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health intends to work with Student Wellness Services and the Kingston Health Sciences Centre to ensure vaccine accessibility to students and staff. For this to be truly effective, though, the University must also provide a robust information system about the benefits of vaccination and where on campus and in Kingston students can receive their shots.

Volume 149 Issue 1 www.queensjournal.ca @queensjournal Publishing since 1873

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Queen’s needs to stop defending its academic prowess through privileged metrics Asbah Ahmad


as a result of the disastrous Student Choice Initiative (SCI). Only 4.8 per cent of the “zero hunger” metric accounts for students’ access to food banks. What a shame. Based on an intersectional approach, access to food and campus resource centers, particularly relating to sexual assault and reproductive health, are crucial to student well-being. THE makes no mention of food insecurity with respect to the “good health and well-being” metric. Concomitantly, only 7 per cent of the SDG concerns access to sexual and reproductive care, overshadowed by “smoke-free policy,” which constitutes 8 per cent of the metric. Queen’s THE Impact Rankings score was showcased with flashy headlines that drew equivalence to the THE World University Rankings. This was a stunt, a band-aid to a larger problem. Queen’s attempts to increase global rankings in the midst of an epic fall in academic rankings should result in better collaboration with the amazing faculty and researchers on campus. These people are the key to increasing rankings through student satisfaction, output and quality of research, and internationalization efforts. Queen’s, please don’t mislead current and future students. And don’t use privileged metrics to keep important shortcomings from view. Asbah is a second-year Computing student and one of The Journal’s Assistant News Editors.

For information visit: www.queensjournal.ca/contribute or email the Editor in Chief at journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca 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: journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca Please address complaints and grievances to the Editor in Chief and/or Managing Editor. Contents © 2021 by The Queen’s Journal; all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior permission of The Journal.


8 • queensjournal.ca


Monday, may 31, 2021

Your Perspective

Allen believes Queen’s approach to sexual violence prevention on campus needs revision.


Sexual violence prevention on campus must address power structures, not just individual behaviours Student leaders are the University's biggest asset while navigating the pandemic Ashleigh Allen 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. I approach the writing of this report from the standpoint of a Queen’s alum. I have witnessed and experienced first-hand the pervasiveness of sexual violence and harassment on this campus. I also must acknowledge the position of privilege from which I come to know and learn more about sexual violence—specifically as a white, heterosexual, cisgender, settler, middle-class, and able-bodied individual. The intersections of these privileges situate my comprehension of sexual violence, and more importantly, necessitate a high degree of reflexivity in undertaking this work. A post on @consentatqueens's Instagram reads “It wasn’t until months later—when I finally broke down and cried, hard, while telling a friend what had happened—that I realized I had been sexually assaulted, and that it was clear to me how traumatic this had been. Every femme person I know at Queen’s has a story of sexual violence or sexual assault on campus. It’s f—d.” The sexual violence prevention approach at Queen’s prioritizes

changing individual attitudes and behaviours by championing a campus culture of consent and ultimately fails to address the structural root causes of sexual violence and harassment on postsecondary campuses. In March 2019, the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities released a summary report presenting the key results of the “Student Voices on Sexual Violence Survey” conducted the previous year. The report indicated that 71.4 per cent of survey respondents at Queen’s had experienced some form of sexual harassment one or more times since the start of the 2017-18 academic year—the second-highest rate in the province next to the University of Western Ontario. Queen’s also ranked fourth in sexual assault prevalence rates provincially. National news forums, student-run journal articles, and social media accounts such as @consentatqueens have expressed outrage for years at the climate of sexual violence perpetuation at this institution. Much of this work pays close attention to the shortcomings of survivor supports on campus and the experiences of students with the formal reporting process at Queen’s. What is largely missing from the prevention approach at Queen’s is a look at the structures and systems perpetuating sexual violence and harassment on campus. The Sexual Violence Prevention and Response (SVPR) Task Force was formed in 2013 under the oversight of the Division of Student Affairs. The group has since recommended the initiation of several programs, services, and resources related to sexual

violence, including launching awareness campaigns focused on teaching consent for new students during Orientation Week, creating a SVPR staff position, and launching the official Sexual Violence Prevention and Response website in 2017, among other efforts. In 2019 the Task Force, in collaboration with several campus-based organizations, published a framework report which outlines the University’s overall philosophy and strategic focus in the prevention of sexual violence on campus. The document details five key areas of strategic focus: education and awareness, skill-building, culture of support, policy and procedures, and community. It then lists and briefly describes each of the initiatives connected to prevention, connecting them to areas of strategic focus. In conducting an analysis of which initiatives are rooted in which areas of focus, I discovered that, of 26 total initiatives, 24 (92 per cent) are categorized as education and awareness, with 11 out of 26 (42 per cent) centered around education and awareness only. Moreover, 38 per cent of initiatives were rooted in fostering a culture of support, 27 per cent in skill-building, 8 per cent connected to policy and procedures, and a lone initiative (3.8 per cent) based in the notion of community. Queen’s is clear in its approach to sexual violence prevention as a means of education and awareness connected to individual behaviours and attitudes. Literature in the field of sexual violence prevention emphasizes the many limitations to prevention programs that seek to change only individual attitudes and behaviours rather than those

dually seeking to alter structures of senior university leaders are and relations of power. white. Only 7.7 per cent are from Though things like consent, racialized groups, and all of these building healthy relationships, individuals are men. and bystander intervention are On the SVPR Task Force, only 7 all important concepts, they are of 32 seats are held by racialized matter of individual behaviour. women, and many of these are One-dimensional definitions of student advisory members. consent such as an enthusiastic Despite the wide array of and verbal “yes!” fail to consider initiatives related to sexual how practical aspects like violence prevention at the culturally informed social cues university, members of the Queen’s shape negotiations of consent in community continue to share sexual interactions. their experiences of the approach Prevention approaches are simply not working. less effective when they fail to The epigraph at the opening of contextualize consent within this piece is an example of wherein larger, intersectional structures of a student-run Instagram account power and marginalization. in the fall of 2020 compiled dozens Teaching consent on of narratives of the endurance of postsecondary campuses like sexual violence at Queen’s. Queen’s ought to be inextricable By prioritizing aspects of the from considerations of inequitable prevention approach related to administrator and faculty changing individual attitudes representation on the basis of and behaviours through the gender, race, and class, as well as goal of establishing a campus the pervasiveness of anti-Black culture of consent, the approach and anti-Asian racism on campus. at Queen’s lacks an orientation Instead of a strategic towards significant conversations prioritization of creating a campus regarding the structural root culture of consent, Queen’s causes of sexual violence. stands to benefit significantly For effective sexual violence from a critical analysis of several prevention to occur, the institution structural factors at play in the must deeply understand the perpetuation of sexual violence dialectical relationship between on campus. structures of power and individual Firstly, the prevention behaviours in creating the approach should consider the conditions under which sexual social positionalities of those in violence ensues. leadership roles who make key True prevention simultaneously decisions regarding prevention addresses individual attitudes and at Queen’s. Literature in the field behaviours, structural implications, of sexual violence prevention and supports for survivors. True widely demonstrates how a prevention is the effort to stop gender and racially diverse sexual violence from happening in institutional administration the first place. can more effectively integrate the intersectional experiences Ashleigh Allen, ArtSci ’18, is of marginalized folks into their currently pursuing a Master of programs and policies concerned Education degree at the Ontario with prevention. Institute for Studies in Education at Recently published datasets the University of Toronto. show that at Queen’s, 92.3 per cent


Monday, May 31, 2021





Volume 1 stands to be the first of many for Quilt.

‘Quilt’ launches inaugural issue New undergraduate publication features both academic and creative writing Ben Wrixon Arts Editor Editor’s Note: One member of The Journal’s Editorial Board contributed to Quilt. The first issue of Quilt launched on May 7. Founded by the 2020-21 English department student council, Quilt is the first publication on campus to publish both literary essays and creative writing. Editors-in-Chief Daniel Green and Larissa Zhong, both ArtSci ’22, sat down with The Journal to discuss the challenges of bringing their inaugural issue to life during the pandemic. Green described the name of the publication as a metaphor. “Quilt is about quilting those two disciplines [of academic and creative writing] together that are more co-related than you might initially think.” “We made it our mission to bridge the divide between the two genres,” Zhong told The Journal. “We dispersed essays, poetry, and creative writing in a way that made

thematic sense to us.” Green and Zhong first pitched Quilt to the English department in late 2020. They spent much of their winter break that year planning and recruiting staff. However, while the concept of blending writing disciplines in Quilt resonated with many in the English department, starting a new student-run publication during the pandemic proved challenging. “Doing everything online makes everything more difficult than it should be. It takes more time to communicate with people via email or [Facebook] messenger,” said Green. Being online-only didn’t make pitching their idea any less daunting either. “We were going in blind,” Zhong explained. “We didn’t have any previous experience with Quilt.” However, Green and Zhong could not ignore an opportunity in this adverse time. “As stressful of a year as it was, there was a lot of downtime. We didn’t have to commute to class. There wasn’t a lot going on,” Green said. “Doing [Quilt] this year was a great opportunity to build a community, virtually,

in a time where it was pretty necessary.” “It was especially important to network and communicate with people during this dark, solitary year.” To help fight this loneliness, Zhong sought to provide some positivity for students by shining a spotlight on their best academic work. “I’ve always felt student papers are a little underappreciated,” she said. “We work really hard on them, but they often stay between us, our TAs, and the professors who mark them. I’ve always wanted a platform that showcases amazing academic work. [Quilt] was a great way to bring students together and make them feel connected through writing.” As successful as Quilt has been, Green thinks it will improve as vaccinations slow the spread of COVID-19, allowing their staff to meet in person next year. He hopes to someday host a live reading for the work featured in Quilt and eventually distribute a print issue, too. “I’m excited about what we can do in the same room in creating a fun, educational environment. I’m excited about the possibilities in person.”

Zhong echoed these sentiments. “I’m excited to see Quilt grow into a more mature publication. Ideally, one that more people on campus know about and want to be involved with. One with a bigger editorial board and design team to make everything more streamlined than this year, too.” As Quilt looks ahead to next year, there are ample opportunities for students both looking to join the executive team and hoping to submit their work for publication. Students eager to get involved should tune into the Quilt Instagram and watch for their forthcoming website. “We’ll be taking submissions by the fall this time around,” said Green. “If we could have all the pieces prepared by January or earlier, that would be amazing.” Green and Zhong concluded by thanking their staff and the English department for believing in Quilt. None of this happened alone. “It’s an incredible feeling knowing our work paid off,” Zhong said. “I’m just really grateful to our team, the department, and our student authors.” Quilt’s inaugural issue is now live on Issuu.

Sadiqa de Meijer turns hardship into creativity Kingston poet discusses finding inspiration during the pandemic Mackenzie Loveys Assistant Arts Editor Sadiqa de Meijer is a talented writer of poetry, short stories, and essays. Her work has been published in The Walrus and Poetry Magazine. Like many, de Meijer found herself challenged by the pandemic—both as a writer and a mother. “I’m fortunate as a writer that I was working at home anyway, but the timing of things [in life] has changed,” de Meijer told The Journal. “Things were fairly close to normal, other than all the same anxieties and missing people that everyone was having.” Last year, de Meijer was commissioned by Kingston Poet Laureate Jason Heroux to write about the uncertainty of COVID-19. Her poem, “Chronology of the Emergency,”

is about adjusting to the changes brought forward by the pandemic. 2020 also saw de Meijer release her poetry collection, The Outer Wards. It discusses topics of motherhood and illness, drawing from her experiences parenting her young daughter while recovering from a severe concussion. “I couldn’t parent really at all or very effectively,” de Meijer said. “I felt like it really heightened some of the things that parenting and mothering brings you up against anyway, like the fears of not being enough or not being present—the idea that your kid needs you and you’re not answering that need.” Living with this serious injury inspired de Meijer to write about heavier topics. “It really led to a lot of thoughts about death. And I think that was partly the degree of the disability I had,” de Meijer said. “I think there’s something about brain injuries

de Meijer’s story is proof that perseverance pays off.

that things can get very dark in combination with the physical of it.” She feels fortunate to have ultimately persevered through this concussion, as many people never fully recover from their physical or mental health challenges. “I can talk about what that felt like, whereas some people who go through it don’t get to come back and tell that story. And that’s what The Outer Wards is for me,” de Meijer said. De Meijer released another poetry collection, alfabet/alphabet: a memoir of a first language, six months after The Outer Wards. It explores her relationship with her native language, Dutch, which she’s maintained a strong connection with since moving to Canada at age 12. “The book sort of talks about the echoes that a first language leaves,” de Meijer said. “In many ways, a first language can make much stronger contact with our emotional selves


and with our earlier experiences than the second one does.” de Meijer is currently writing a book of personal essays. “A lot of what I’ve worked on so far is autobiographical in nature and written in confessional verse, and I guess I wanted to shift from that a little in my new project,” she said. These newest pieces will cover a range of topics, from medical education to burial practices of the dead. She is currently working on an essay about interracial families rooted in her personal experiences of being mixed race and raised by a white mother. While her future essays remain personal, de Meijer is hoping to incorporate a fresh perspective into her upcoming work. “I’ve been trying to look outward more and use myself as an observer but write less introspectively.”


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Monday, May 31, 2021

JukeBox County releases debut album

Tyo’s reflective personality comes alive in his songs.

This is music for mental health—both in business and its lyrics Ben Wrixon Arts Editor This article discusses addiction and mental illness and may be triggering for some readers. The Canadian Mental Health Association Crisis Line can be reached at 1-800-875-6213. JukeBox County, the stage name of Kingston’s own Rich Tyo, sat down with The Journal ahead of the release of his upcoming debut 10-track album, Inner Space Outer Space. Everything Tyo does radiates quirky creativity, and the name JukeBox County is no exception. “You look at a jukebox: it has this spectrum of emotion and music,” Tyo told The Journal. “I like making music that sounds different. When you look at the album, every song kind of has a different feel to it.” This statement isn’t an oversell.

The track “Need a Bit of Spacetime” is an upbeat tune driven by rocking guitar leads and a sing-along hook, while “Pluto” is a somber ballad dense with southern jazz and country influences. Both tracks from Inner Space Outer Space are quite different yet maintain the free spirit that is central to JukeBox County’s music. “It’s fun, it’s joyous. You can dance to it.” Fewer artists are valuing the album format during the current era of music streaming—most release frequent singles to maximize listener retention. Each single also presents an opportunity to sell new merch collections. However, Tyo feels this format allows for cohesion as his songs paint of a wide canvas of styles and thematic territories. “This is more of an album where songs go into each other,” he said. “You’re sort of on this journey from the beginning to the end. I’m really trying to bring back [the album format] and pay homage to people who really appreciate it as well.” For JukeBox County, the songs are just the story’s beginning. Leading up to the release of Inner Space Outer Space, Tyo will donate 25 per cent of the money raised for his album’s release on


Indiegogo to several mental health initiatives in Kingston, including Pathways to Education and the Kingston Youth Shelter. The connection between Tyo and this community runs deeper than music. “When I first moved to Kingston, I got onto the crisis team [at Addiction and Mental Health Services],” Tyo explained. “It was pretty heavy, seeing the stuff that no one else will see.” During his time with AMHS, he responded to non-criminal police calls to assist with everything from crises to psychosis. Tyo learned to alchemize these experiences into music that could hopefully help people in need. “I started doing music groups in the psych ward and different shelters. That led to doing mental health education with youth groups. [Those experiences] really informed why I find mental health important, and why it’s so important to talk about it and break down the stigma.” The ways JukeBox County’s music challenges these contemporary conceptions of mental health come from an honest and authentic place. Tyo was open about how much work it has taken to manage his own mental health over the last few years.

“Whether it’s just day-to-day life or just exposure to trauma in my work, I work hard to practice what I preach. I can show people what [the things I preach] look like through trial and error.” Music’s capability for driving change is not lost on Tyo. “It’s a really cool way to break the patriarchal way of looking at mental health. What if mental illness is a reaction to a [flawed] system?” Next for JukeBox County is to translate this energy into a live setting as the slow-approaching end of the pandemic makes such events possible. “My home base for music is Wolfe Island. Some friends have bought the hotel there and are revamping it into a great live venue. There will be some shows there whether that means streaming it online or doing some in-person that are COVID-safe.” Some time to smell the roses is also well-earned. “I’ve never done this kind of stuff before,” said Tyo. “I’m [excited] to get the music out there and see how people are connecting to it.” Inner Space Outer Space is out May 26th on Wolfe Island Records.


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• 11

Steven Heighton releases debut album ‘The Devil’s Share’ The acclaimed author and poet discusses the creative challenges of songwriting Nathan Gallagher contributor

Steven Heighton, Queen’s MA ’86 and accomplished author, had no interest in performing his own songs until the owner of Wolfe Island Records heard him play. Heighton’s latest work, The Devil’s Share, is a delightful change of pace—a full-length studio album that recalls the style of great singer-songwriters like Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen. While Heighton is quite acquainted with doing public book readings, he told The Journal that taking his songs to the stage will be a different beast. “I’ve played guitar in front of people at parties and I used to busk and played a few small gigs, but this’ll be a new thing,” he said. Heighton doubled-down on

writing when he graduated from Queen’s with a Masters in English, allowing his passion for music to fall by the wayside. In dusting off his guitar, he discovered that his inner songwriter never truly left. With his debut album, Heighton is opening a new creative chapter in his life—one that he finds deeply rewarding because it’s daunting. “It’ll be scary the first time, which is a good thing. I believe as a creative person you have to walk in the direction of your fears.” Wolfe Island Records originally planned a fall 2021 tour that would’ve taken Heighton across Canada and parts of Europe. Even if the pandemic allows him to play in Canada this fall, The Devil’s Share won’t be performed abroad until 2022. Heighton’s music career has


Music is Heighton’s current creative pursuit.

been gestating for a while, dating back to his first gigs at The Queen’s Pub during his time at Queen’s from 1981-86. Despite that, this album likely wouldn’t have happened without an annual hockey tournament on Wolfe Island called the Lake Ontario Cup. Heighton organized a team of writers to take on some of Kingston’s musicians. At the after-party, he met Chris Brown of Wolfe Island Records. In the years that followed, Heighton’s musical inclinations rose to a fever pitch. “I finally decided about a year and a half ago, I have some new songs,” he said. “Songs are coming, they’re spilling out of me one after the other as if they’ve been there for years just waiting to emerge. I’ve got to do something with it. It’s now or never.”

Fueled by this urge to share his music, Heighton called Brown and played him some songs that now have a home on The Devil’s Share. While Heighton initially wanted to turn his songs over to more experienced guitarists and singers, Brown ultimately convinced him that only their creator could do them justice. The results speak for themselves. The Devil’s Share is a terrific blend of folk, rock, and blues built on the foundation of Heighton’s tender-yet- searing poetry. Finishing the album proved to be a harder challenge than writing one of his many books. “The album was a bigger thing,” Heighton said. “It’s always an ordeal to get a book done and you always feel relief when you hold the book.” “It always feels nice—never as good as the first time. You know, in

1989 when I held [my] first book in my hands, that was a very special thing. But finishing this album was a bigger thing for sure because there was hardly ever a moment during the whole process that I didn’t think the whole thing was going to fall apart.” Where his vast experience with writing poetry and prose has given him a sense of security, this new musical endeavour required Heighton to completely leave his comfort zone. “This is something I basically put off for most of my life. I wanted to do this when I was 18, 19, 20 years-old […] There was a greater sense of relief when finishing it.” The Devil’s Share has allowed Heighton to fall in love with songwriting. He promised more records are to come.


Kingston’s True North Tattoo grapples with lockdown uncertainty

“Don’t forget about your local small businesses when we reopen”

Cassidy McMackon contributor

Over the last year, shutdowns implemented in response to COVID-19 have rocked Ontario businesses. For Wayne Murrill, owner of Kingston’s True North Tattoo, these lockdowns have highlighted the importance of Canadians supporting local businesses. Murrill, who has been tattooing for the last 27 years, opened True North Tattoo in July 2010. The studio employs Murrill, along with four other artists, and is set to take on another in June. However, the restrictions imposed by the pandemic have forced the shop to pivot operations. “The biggest change is operating by appointment only and keeping the front door locked [to prevent walks-ins],” Murrill told The Journal in an interview. This limited environment is new for True North Tattoo. The shop is usually buzzing with customers and the sound of their artists hard at work.

The stay-at-home orders implemented by the Ontario government have also required True North Tattoo to pause their operations on several occasions. While the initial two lockdowns created a backlog in scheduling appointments, the demand for new appointments has decreased since the third lockdown began on April 8. “We are getting less contact from potential customers in this lockdown. The last lockdown, I was getting contacted by people wanting to set stuff up or wanting to set a date for when the lockdown ended,” Murrill said. “We were getting people contacting us for pricing and we’re still getting that, but it’s decreased from the last shutdown.” He attributes this notable decrease in business to potential clients’ frustration with the pandemic’s unpredictable nature. “I think it’s because when people want to book an appointment, people don’t want to book an appointment and put a deposit

down for some time in the future that they’re uncertain of.” Murrillsaidhecan’tfaultcustomersfortheir newfound hesitation. “When people are thinking about getting a tattoo, they’re like ‘why am I going to put down a deposit now when they can’t even tell me what date my appointment is for? I’ll just wait until everything is open.’” The unpredictability of the current lockdown has impacted how True North organizes their own business, too. Murrill was only allowed one preparation day before closing his shop in April. He told The Journal that he has yet to reschedule his current bookings. “During the first lockdown, I rebooked all of my appointments twice because they extended it. I’m booked three months ahead, so that’s a pain in the ass,” he said. “This time around, I didn’t do that.” Though a few of the experienced artists working at True North have been compensated for lost tattooing income

through various art commissions, Murrill noted how difficult the pandemic has been for younger tattooers just starting their careers. “Younger artists are struggling more, because they are establishing clientele and building their skills,” he explained. Despite the lockdown halting business for tattoo shops and challenging local artists, Murrill acknowledged that tattoo studios aren’t the only businesses that have been hurt. “Tattooing has been adversely affected by this, like most businesses that have been shut down or have been having a hard time. I don’t think in any other way it’s been different for any other industry or trade.” Murill knows businesses like his own need local support to keep thriving. “I would ask people to just remember to, once we reopen, support small businesses [like ours] as much as possible.”

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Monday, May 31, 2021



Palermo playing for the Gaels.

Queen’s volleyball players selected for Volleyball Canada’s NextGen Women’s Program Gaels Arielle Palermo and Hannah Duchesneau are gaining national-level experience Natara Ng Assistant Sports Editor Arielle Palermo, ArtSci ’23, and Hannah Duchesneau, ArtSci ’24, two outside hitters from Queen’s women’s volleyball, have been selected for the Women’s NextGen Program with Volleyball Canada. The NextGen Program, hosted at the

National Training Center in Richmond B.C, engages nineteen selected athletes in a high-performance training environment with a focus on technical and tactical development. It serves as an entry point for players aspiring to play for Canada and acts as a gateway for the Senior National team. In an interview with The Journal, Palermo said she is honoured to be selected for the roster and to be able to represent Canada in this capacity. “I’m very excited for this new experience being able to meet new people and be training with the top athletes across the country as well as the coaching staff that is very talented out here as well,” she said. Duchesneau said it “feels amazing” to be selected and she is excited to get back onto

the court with a consistent schedule for both training and lifting. “It’s going to be so much fun. Lots of hard work but it’ll be so much fun,” she said with a laugh. The two Gaels began the 10-week program on May 24. They describe a typical day beginning with an 8 a.m. training session, a 2 to 3-hour break around midday, and either a workout or practice to round it off. Normally, the NextGen team would see some form of international games. These had to be wound down due to COVID-19 restrictions. Palermo attributes her preparedness for this program to her talented coaches and teammates who make up the competitive atmosphere at Queen’s. “My team at Queen’s throughout every year I’ve been there has always been very high-level and had a very high-level training environment which has always challenged me and pushed me in good ways,” she said. Palermo said the lost 2020-21 season

Men’s football represented on both sides of the ball Natara Ng Assistant Sports Editor Six Queen’s football players were recognized by the 2021 U SPORTS East-West Bowl roster earlier this month. Queen’s, along with the University of Alberta, Wilfrid Laurier University, and McGill University, lead all schools in number of selections. One hundred ten players were jointly selected by U SPORTS and the Canadian Football League (CFL) to join the roster. The East-West Bowl celebrates the next generation of Canadian football prospects, where selected players are standouts for the 2022 CFL draft. Selected to Team East are running back Rasheed Tucker, receiver Sakhia Kwemo, and offensive lineman Jacob Butler on the offensive side. On the defensive side, middle linebacker Gabriel Boucher, defensive end Anthony Federico, and linebacker and punt returner Nolan Bedard were honoured. In an interview with The Journal, Tucker, Comm ’22, a 2019 OUA Second Team AllStar, said he is honoured and grateful for the recognition, and that playing in the EastWest Bowl has been his goal since watching the game in high school. Boucher, ArtSci ’21, also panned back to his high school days, saying it feels “really good” to be recognized among athletes he’d played with or against in those years. Being named to the East-West roster means a lot for Federico, ArtSci ’23, 2019


Six Gaels recognized on 2021 East-West Bowl roster OUA Second Team All-Star and 2020 winner of the Orrin Carson Trophy for Most Outstanding Defensive Lineman. “Ever since I started university football, this has been a huge goal of mine to complete,” he said. “Honestly, it’s a huge, huge, huge checkmark off my list of goals I’ve set for myself.” Bedard, Comm ’22, told The Journal how it felt to be honoured amongst his fellow teammates. “I feel very privileged to be recognized as an East West candidate. And more so than that, I feel pretty privileged to be recognized amongst a group of other great Queen’s athletes,” he said. Kwemo, Sci ’22, said the recognition has taught him a lot about perseverance. He second-guessed himself after not dressing

for the team in his first year, which pushed him to develop a rigorous work ethic in the offseason. He became a starter in his second year, and now he has arrived at this moment. “It just taught me that like it doesn’t matter like where you start or how good you are when you started as long as you just like put in the work it’s always going to come back to you eventually,” he explained. This year, the selected athletes won’t have the opportunity to play the actual game, which has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While disappointment is in the air, it wasn’t a surprise to these athletes who have been dealing with inconsistencies and cancellations for the past two years of their football careers.

due to the pandemic was “not ideal for myself and I’m sure a lot of other athletes,” reflecting on the difficulty associated with not having a set training program. Focusing on what she could control, which included at-home workouts and recovering from ongoing over-usage injuries, she said that the time-off has only fueled her excitement. “[It] has helped me prepare to be in the spot I am right now with training this summer and I’m very excited to be able to get out there again,” she said. Being named to the NextGen Program is a notable step for the two talented players, whose eyes are set on achieving success at the national level and with the Queen’s team. Palermo, who had a stellar 2019-20 season where she was named to the OUA East All-Star list, hopes to play pro volleyball overseas after finishing her five years at Queen’s. Her biggest goal is to work her way up to the Senior National Team and compete at the Olympic Games. Duchesneau, a beach and indoor player, was captain of the Youth National Team and competed at the 2019 U18 World Championships. Her long-term goal is to play on the National Senior A team. “For more short-term goals playing pro overseas is a huge one. Also winning an OUA championship. That’s for sure a huge goal at Queen’s with the women’s volleyball team,” she said. Having joined Queen’s in 2020, Duchesneau has yet to play a full season as a Gael. She’s looking forward to gaining experience in the NextGen program to bring to Queen’s for next season. “What I hope to bring back to Queen’s is the intensity and pursuit that I will gain from this program to enhance both the volleyball and social environments on the team,” she said. Palermo has a similar mindset. “I’m very excited for myself and Hannah to come back to Queen’s and contribute to the high-performance level that’s in the gym and bring that high-level to our teammates so that we can dominate next season.”

“I’m a little bittersweet about it, I for sure would love to go out there and display my talents, display my strengths, go test for the scouts and stuff like that. But I understand like, it’s not safe to do so right now,” said Federico. The players share their roster recognitions with Queen’s Football, attributing much of their athletic and personal development to the program’s environment, teammates, and coaches. “The whole routine and environment of Queen’s Football is pretty insane,” Kwame said, speaking highly of the program’s support system and the “amazing” coaching, strength and conditioning staff who have contributed to his success. “I would definitely never be here without all my teammates that literally are the reason I go to practice I go to workouts and the reason why you do that extra repetition,” Boucher said. “Because you know they’re going to do it for you, you want to do it for them.” Tucker said his experience with Queen’s football is the primary reason he was able to achieve this recognition. He was avid to give a shout-out to his offensive line, who’ve “helped me to develop and given me the opportunity to perform to the extent that I have.” Bedard echoed these sentiments, crediting the program’s dedication to all its athletes’ as a major contributor to being named to the East-West Bowl roster. “I believe it was coach Snyder [who] told us, you know, it’s one of the few times in your life where you’re going to have a coach or mentor, a teammate, even like a co-worker, who really wants you to succeed as bad as the guys on the team and the coaches do […] it’s rare that you find people being that passionate about your own success.”


Monday, May 31, 2021


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J. Cole is unapologetically confident on 'The Off-Season' The illustrious rapper takes a stylistic turn and reminds us who is at the top of the game Teagan Sliz Contributor J. Cole’s new album, The OffSeason, is a proclamation of the rapper’s immense success and his desire to continue competing in the rap game. The album’s title accurately reflects its sound: an upbeat meditation on the rapper’s legacy and what’s to come. As Vulture eloquently states, the album is a “sort of a training montage, a bladesharpening exercise not unlike Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. At the age of 36, J. Cole is a seasoned veteran in the rap scene. Releasing his last few albums without any features, the rapper proved that his talent alone was of the caliber to carry an album to platinum success. With The Off-Season, J. Cole is at a point in his career where he can

J. Cole returns with The Off-Season

reflect on his life and where he’s headed from a position of comfort and stability—and that’s exactly what he does. Having established himself as a force to be reckoned with in his own right, J. Cole welcomes artists including 21 Savage, Morray, Bas, Lil Baby, and 6LACK onto this album. The featured artists elevate the rapper’s heavy lyrical sound, which sometimes sounds like a long lecture backed by a soft beat on his solo albums. While this unique sound is what J. Cole is known and adored for, the wide range of voices and styles on The Off-Season make


for an even more captivating listening experience. The Off-Season’s themes of achievement and continued growth are exemplified in tracks like “95 south,” where the lyrics and beat convey a feeling of invincibility, and in “applying pressure,” where J. Cole alludes to his own success by calling out younger rappers for flaunting riches and clout they have not yet earned or achieved. On “amari,” J. Cole oozes feelings of triumph as he brandishes how far he has come from his rough childhood in Fayetteville, North Carolina,

to be “at the Garden sittin’ half court.” J. Cole exudes selfassurance in his new album. Unapologetic confidence is new for the rapper, whose albums historically focus on heavy selfreflection and social ills he has both experienced and observed, including racism, poverty, and addiction. In comparison to J. Cole’s previous releases, The Off-Season is most similar to his first studio album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, which first earned the rapper notoriety in 2011 through its fun sound and

catchy, single-worthy songs including the hits “Work Out” and “In the Morning,” featuring Drake. With his next album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, J. Cole reflects on his journey through soulful songs such as “No Role Modelz” and “G. O. M. D,” which focuses on the rapper’s challenging adolescence. J. Cole’s following two albums, 4 Your Eyez Only and KOD, released in 2016 and 2018, respectively, coincided with the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and the conversation around pervading racism in America. They take on a serious and touching tone as J. Cole takes a lyrical approach to activism on tracks like “Neighbors” and “Once an Addict.” After a three-year break—a literal off-season—J. Cole has returned with an album that showcases a pleasantly surprising stylistic turn. The Off-Season potentially represents a shift towards a more lighthearted and up-beat sound, increased collaboration with other artists, and a move away from dark, though important subject matter. If The Off-Season was just the training montage, I can’t wait for the season opener with his forthcoming album The Fall Off.

Goodbye sweatsuits, hello spring fashion Three spring trends you should invest in Alysha mohamed Senior Lifestyle Editor When it comes to spring fashion, designers are ditching neutrals for pastels and diving headfirst into the world of patterns. This season’s trends take a swift turn from the typical stayat-home aesthetic, which, for me, includes sweatpants and a (sometimes) stained hoodie. Spring fashion in 2021 is vibrant and bold, playing on street-style classics and pushing fashion lovers to step outside of their comfort zones. To help you champion your style this season, I’ve compiled a short list of the most iconic trends plastered across runways and social media. Bodycon dresses (bonus points for cut-outs) After a year of living and working in sweatsuits, it isn’t hard to see the allure of a fitted bodycon dress. A classic bodycon silhouette is one that fits snug to your body, ideally accentuating your figure to highlight the curves.

Mugler and Off-White showcased stunning cut-out dresses in their spring runway shows, and similar styles have filtered down to brands like Zara, H&M, and Princess Polly. SZA was recently seen sporting an intricate black dress with cut-outs around her chest and waist at the Billboard Music Awards. One side of the dress was cut at her upper thigh, elevating the look by flattering not only her waist, but also her legs. If you’re looking for a timeless piece to add to your collection, the bodycon silhouette will never go out of style. Feel free to opt for a more classic dress without the cut-out details—it will stand the test of time. This trend extends past dresses to include fitted tops with fun patterns and rib-knit midi skirts. Consider looking at your local thrift store for items that hug your figure in a way that feels comfortable, and if you’re feeling daring, play with some ’70s-inspired prints.

true staples of the season are roomy trousers that feel like sweatpants. Baggy jeans, popularized by Black American culture and rooted in the ’90s hip hop era, are another variation of this trend that radiate a more laidback feel. For the ultimate baggy jeans, look for a pair that fits your waist but doesn’t hug your thighs. Wear them with a crop top, matching blazer, or t-shirt—the possibilities are endless. They’re great for sitting and lounging, but can also be dressed up for a special occasion.

Micro-influencer Imrose Bhullar often sports wide-leg ripped jeans with a patterned top and baguette bag. For more inspiration on how to wear wide-leg pants, check out Harry Styles and Hailey Bieber’s model-off-duty looks. Pastels Last but not least is the pastel trend, which resurfaces every year and is extremely easy to emulate. This year, the must-wear colour is sage green. Brands like Aritzia have tapped into our obsession with sage by offering their most

popular dresses and shorts in multiple light green shades, acting as the hub for all your pastel desires. If you’re like me and more comfortable in neutrals, look for small ways to add colour to your spring outfits. A great place to start is with accessories like shoulder bags and sunglasses. You can also spice up a monochromatic fit with a colourful necklace or set of earrings, especially if you want to dip your toe into the trend before diving in.

Wide-leg pants I’m always down for pants that are comfortable and stylish. If you are too, you need to cop a pair of wide-leg pants for this spring. It seems low-waisted jeans were a microtrend, and the

Your guide to spring fashion in 2021



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Monday, May 31, 2021

To stay relevant, the Golden Globes must recognize diverse talent Meaningful reform takes more than a year Alysha Mohamed Senior Lifestyle Editor The Golden Globes has always been a glamorous, privileged, and whitewashed night during awards season. In the last year, Hollywood’s biggest studios, most prominent PR firms, and revered actors have publicly exposed and criticized the Golden Globes’ lack of diversity. Tom Cruise even went so far as returning his three Golden Globe trophies in protest. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) is a group of 87 international journalists who control and

vote for winners of the Golden Globes—and it has zero Black members. The group has also been criticized as an amalgamation of insiders who dismiss the talent of racialized actors, often snubbing Black-led Oscar contenders for nominations. The HFPA’s treatment of Netflix’s Emily in Paris, which received mixed reviews from critics, is the perfect example of the group’s track record with favouritism. The Los Angeles Times revealed that in 2019, over 30 HFPA members were flown to France to visit the Emily in Paris Set and were treated to “a twonight stay at the five-star Peninsula Paris hotel.” Months later, the show received two Golden Globes nominations over HBO’s acclaimed series I May Destroy You. This snub is far from the first time incredibly talented Black creatives have been

The Golden Globes take a necessary hiatus for 2022. sidelined in favour of stories that center whiteness, but the decision sparked an uproar like no other. After increasing negative attention and many Hollywood figures pledging to boycott the next event, the HFPA announced it would not be airing the 2022 Golden Globes. “We continue to believe that the HFPA is committed to meaningful reform,” read a statement from the network. “Change of this magnitude takes time and work, and we feel strongly that the HFPA needs time to do it right.” The statement was bold but vague, with the network providing little information as to what meaningful reform will look like and how they plan to restructure

Billie Eilish’s ‘Vogue’ cover is a celebration of individual expression

Cassidy mcmackon Contributor A mere six minutes after Billie Eilish posted her cover of British

Vogue to Instagram, the image surpassed one million likes. The photo, which features Eilish posed in soft-hued 1950s pin-up lingerie with platinum hair, broke the internet as it ushered in Eilish’s sophomore album, Happier Than Ever. Like many women in the public eye, Eilish’s body has been subject to public discussion since she entered the limelight. Eilish has previously deviated from fashion norms by sporting

the awards on a more inclusive and diverse foundation. I can spot performative activism from a mile away, and I hope the HFPA commits to seeking out diverse, qualified candidates to judge the awards, rather than attempting to mask internalized racism by handing out trophies to visible minorities. The undeniable struggle for racialized actors in this political era is that any professional win will also be a political one. The HFPA needs to dismantle their racial bias, recognize the power of vibrant, diverse storytelling, and include judges of colour in decision-making. I’m hesitant to believe this kind of reform can be achieved in a year, especially because


Eilish broke the internet with her recent 'Vogue' cover.

Eilish embraces her body and femininity in 'British Vogue' cover


oversized outfits and lime-green hair. Fans related to Eilish on social media when she revealed she wore baggy clothes to avoid public speculation as to what her body looks like underneath. Eilish’s figure and fashion choices are often analyzed online, whether she is praised for her modest fashion choices or body-shamed for wearing shorts and a tank top. Since the release of her Vogue cover, Eilish has been at the forefront of public

attention—this time, perhaps, for a better reason. At a base level, Eilish’s Vogue cover celebrates her coming-of-age and allows her to explore varying forms of self-expression. Her transition to more traditionally feminine ‘Old Hollywood’ curls and lingerie represents a pop star affirming her adulthood and the dawning of a new chapter of her career. Looking deeper, it’s clear that Eilish is willing to explore new looks in the public eye. While she had taken care to purposefully conceal her figure to spectators, the artist may be alluding to a newfound perspective towards her body by stepping

the HFPA seems to be riddled with ethical misconduct even outside of its veiled racism. When an organization is ingrained with privilege and tangled with scandals, it will l ikely take more than a year to unravel the mess and create tangible solutions to complex issues. For the Golden Globes to stay relevant in a time where award shows are becoming increasingly irrelevant, the HFPA needs to champion diversity and move with the times. If the HFPA is hoping for a ceremony in 2023, meaningful reform needs to start now—and keep going long after the next Golden Globes.

out and revealing a little bit of skin. In an interview with British Vogue, Eilish admitted to feeling apprehensive about the photos, despite the wardrobe for the photoshoot being her idea. Though many women often run the risk of being slut-shamed when they show more skin, Eilish pointed out feminine expression ought to be highlighted. Rather than appealing to the male gaze, embracing femininity and form-fitting clothing serves as affirmation that a woman can feel comfortable in her own skin. Eilish has presented herself as a relatable celebrity throughout her career. She’s been vulnerable by speaking out on mental health challenges, openly discussing her Tourette syndrome, struggling in the music industry, and dealing with body-shamers online. In her cover shoot for Vogue, Eilish demonstrates a level of confidence that ought to be celebrated. She’s inspiring her fans to find empowerment in showing their bodies, too, if that’s something they’d like to do. In transitioning from a loosely-clothed silhouette to flaunting her body on magazine covers, it’s clear Eilish is becoming more comfortable being in the public eye, more comfortable embracing her femininity, and more comfortable highlighting her body publicly. Young celebrities shouldn’t be seen as exempt from having varied relationships with their bodies, and Billie Eilish is no exception. Seeing Eilish assert her confidence is a triumph for fans everywhere. Bodies should be celebrated, whether that be through exposing more skin or simply trying something new.

Monday, May 31, 2021




Eilish broke the internet with her recent 'Vogue' cover.

The Tricolour Sex Column: Birth control Side effects of birth control are often overlooked THE KINKY SCHOLAR Contributor The opinions expressed in this piece reflect only the experiences of a brown queer Muslim woman whose upbringing included poor access to sex education and reproductive

healthcare. No article, author, or publication can accurately reflect the experiences of all women. Please read with caution and kindness. The first time my gynecologist asked me if I wanted to go on birth control, I was 12 years old and my mother was standing next to me, red in the face. I originally went on the hormonal birth control pill to regulate my periods, and I’ve been on it for about eight years.

Every night at around 11 p.m., my phone alarm goes off reminding me to take it. I never questioned this process until very recently. With reports coming out that the AstraZeneca vaccine had a miniscule chance of causing blood clots, a debate about continuing to administer the vaccine arose. Birth control users played an active role in this discourse. Some studies put the likelihood of developing blood clots from the birth control pill at 250 times the likelihood of developing blood

clots from the AstraZeneca vaccine, but there’s rarely any widespread discussion on whether we should halt prescriptions of the pill. Fellow pill users will also know that blood clots aren’t the only potential side effect. When you open a new pack of birth control, you’ll see a pamphlet that lays out, in tiny font, every possible complication from using the pill—from abdominal pain to seizures. During the AstraZeneca debacle, I opened a pamphlet and discovered it was large enough to cover my twin sized bed. Among other things, the pill I’m on can cause mood swings, nausea, and severe migraines. Though I haven’t experienced major side effects, I often get

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migraines, and anyone who knows me will tell you that I live in mood swings. I don’t know if any of these issues I have are caused by birth control. All I know is that, up until this year, I never knew that they could be. I’ve asked doctors, friends, and my own mother about how I might improve these parts of my life, but no one ever suggested I try going off the pill. This probably has something to do with the fact that most people using the hormonal birth control pill are assigned female at birth, and there’s very little attention paid to their reproductive health. Concerningly long periods and horrible migraines are seen as just a consequence of womanhood. I’m looking into other forms of birth control now. Some seem terrifying—I definitely don’t want an IUD shoved inside me— and others seem confusing. I’m happy to be doing research and considering going off the pill, but it does bother me that it took so long. It’s also concerning that the side effects of birth control are only now entering public discourse, and you can find many more well-written and accessible articles on the COVID-19 vaccine than on alternate forms of birth control—despite our concerns with AstraZeneca arising so recently. I think we’d all be better off if we stopped accepting the pill as the default form of birth control for women, and if our doctors were more proactively providing information to us. And we'd be much better off if we didn’t prescribe the pills to 12-year-olds without letting them know about the side effects.

Reclaiming the word: “Bitch, please” Tracking the etymology of “bitch” from mythology to pop culture Madeleine McCormick Assistant Lifestyle Editor The slang term “bitch” is a staple of today’s vernacular, especially for members of Gen-Z. We use it as both a term of endearment and as a derogatory remark: “Bitch, I love you,” and “god, you are acting like such a bitch,” have wildly different connotations despite their rhetorical similarities. While the word is as versatile as it is popular, “bitch” historically served to undermine the power of women. The term “bitch” originated in Ancient Greek mythology with Artemis, the goddess of chastity, the moon, and hunting, who travelled with a pack of dogs. Threatened by her power, men compared the goddess to her companion dogs, her “bitches,” as an attempt to disempower her. Today, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines “bitch” as both a female dog and a derogatory description of a lewd or sensual woman. Negative connotations make a not-so subtle appearance in the verb “bitching,” which the OED defines as being “spiteful, malicious, or unfair [...] to deceive (in sexual matters).”

Calling a woman a bitch in both its traditional and modern usage connotes undertones of untrustworthiness, inferiority, and promiscuity. If you’re still confused as to why “bitch” has sexist roots, consider the immediate emasculating and degrading effect of using the word to describe a man. Why? Because by calling your friend “a little bitch,” you’re suggesting that he is being weak and—dare I say it—feminine. In the 2016 American presidential election, many Trump supporters framed opponent Hillary Clinton as "The Bitch" in an attempt to challenge her popularity, professional status, and her legitimacy as a candidate. Many saw this derogatory usage as an opportunity to shift the meaning of the word. In a 2016 New York Times opinion piece entitled “The Bitch That America Needs,” Andi Zeisler reframes Clinton’s “bitch” nickname into a “bad bitch” mentality, highlighting her inspiring and revolutionary progress and actions on behalf of women. The term’s etymological shift is emblematic of a larger pattern where members of marginalized

communities have begun to reclaim the derogatory slang used to put them down, subtly challenging hierarchical patterns through language. Understanding the term’s distinctly patriarchal and sexist connotations allows us to err with caution in our ever-growing use of the word “bitch.” We should have the right to call our friends “bitches” as a form

of endearment—if our friends are comfortable with that and understand the word’s redefined connotations. “Bitch” has some serious etymological baggage; however, many women today have reclaimed the term as a big "fuck you" to the patriarchy. Women have earned our right to the word “bitch,” and we should be able to use it as we please.

How the slang term "bitch" has evolved over time.

Is it only acceptable for women to call other women bitches? Where do genderfluid, nonbinary, and transitioning folks land in this unspoken, linguistic cluster? There’s no single right answer to these questions, but before you start throwing the term around, reflect on your own gender identity and those you are speaking to.



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Monday, May 31, 2021



Brant House residence building.

A silver lining: How COVID-19 introduced me to my closest friends The pandemic allowed me to form meaningful relationships with my peers in residence Hilary Fotheringham Contributor The most incredible aspect of living in residence is the opportunity to influence, and be influenced by, people you would’ve likely never met otherwise. As I’ve often been told by my parents, advisors, and almost every news source, this last year was and continues to be unprecedented. With all the changes and restrictions, my expectations for the opening chapter of my undergraduate degree were lowered.

even during " AttheQueen’s, summer, I could feel excitement and possibility around me.

However, with no distractions, my peers and I had no choice but to meaningfully connect with our ‘household bubbles’ as first-year students in residence. With this came

a multitude of lessons I never expected to learn. During the winter months of my senior year of high school, I remember carefully deciding which university to attend in the fall. My friends and I weighed factors from prestigious reputations of schools to proximity to home. We shared feelings of anxiety, excitement, and uncertainty. Throughout this process of selection and elimination the most asked question we faced from our families, friends, and teachers was: “So, where are you thinking for next year?” With no answer, the question would nag at us as we fell asleep. I consider myself fortunate not to have experienced the longterm stress of the university selection process. My dad took me to tour Canadian universities during the summer before my senior year. Our tour of Queen's was sandwiched between visits to the University of Toronto and McGill. While the prospect of living in a bustling new city excited me, it was the filling of this university-tour-sandwich that left me feeling truly at home. I experienced an immense amount of school pride coupled with a strong sense of community—it just felt right. Friends and family told me stories of GPA bar achievements, Homecoming, St. Patrick’s Day, and the birth of long-enduring friendships. When the time came, I

enthusiastically accepted my offer to Queen’s. I began to count down the months until school started, awaiting my turn to be a part of all of those memorable first-year experiences. This year was completely different than I had ever imagined. When it was decided that classes would be delivered virtually, I understood but was disheartened. The saving grace was Queen’s announcement to open residence halls at a reduced capacity.

Within my first week, I "could match a name and hometown to everyone on my floor, which had already defied my expectations coming into the year."

I optimistically filled out my application to be placed in residence but reading over all the COVID-19-related terms and conditions made my excitement plummet. I figured it would be nearly impossible to socialize and make meaningful connections with floormates, and that my experience in residence, if anything at all, would be having a quiet place to study and gain independence. Eventually, I was offered a room in Victoria Hall’s A Wing. All my Queen’s connections assured me that Vic Hall was famously fun, and

so I decided to pack up and head off at the end of August to begin my undergraduate experience, unsure of what to expect. Only a few hours after move-in, all my skepticism and hesitancy melted away. Yes, there were rules and restrictions; however, it seemed like everyone in Victoria Hall had tacitly agreed to make the best of it. Even with masks on, faces quickly became familiar because everyone was so eager to introduce themselves. The Residence Life team implemented a recommendation that we stick to socializing within our ‘households’—floor wings, in the case of my residence. At first, I worried this would be extremely limiting. Instead, the restrictions led my floor to become very close. We spent each evening in our common room recapping classes and simply enjoying each other's company. I learned all sorts of things about my floormates, from their most significant life experiences to things as trivial as their taste in music, television, and sports. Under the unique conditions of this year, I not only became acquainted with my peers, but was forced to get to know each one of them on a deeper level. There was a don from Mexico who played both hero and villain, a hockey savant from Kanata with a knack for politics, and a nextdoor neighbour with a genuine kindness to name just a few.

This year was a mixed bag. It came with pandemicrelated difficulties in the form of lockdowns, dining hall and gym closures, and the absence of meaningful Queen’s traditions including Homecoming. Despite my uncertainty, these limitations created opportunities to find enjoyment and appreciation in the simplest of things shared within my floor bubble.

most important " The takeaways from a

first year experience in residence are the meaningful connections and friendships I made. Though the fancy events and accessories would’ve been nice, it was the fundamental relationships and the effort that went into making these bonds that made this year special in its own regard. Maya Angelou famously stated: “If you can’t change your situation, change your perspective. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by individuals with this same philosophy. For that reason, I believe the class of ’24, at Queen’s and beyond, will always be bonded by this highly atypical first-year experience

Profile for The Queen's Journal

The Queen's Journal, Volume 149, Issue 1  

The Queen's Journal, Volume 149, Issue 1  


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