See the historic rivalry on page 14
F r i d ay , S e p t e m b e r 1 4 , 2 0 1 2 — I ss u e 6
the journal Frosh on film
See queensjournal.ca for full video of Frosh Week 2011
Queen’s University — Since 1873
Up in the air
Frosh Week alcohol use in review Kingston Police, University, KGH document infractions B y Vincent M atak Assistant News Editor
The Kingston Fall Fair arrived at the Memorial Centre fair grounds on Thursday and will run until Sunday evening.
Photo by Tiffany Lam
two other publishers are together responsible for approximately 42 per cent of all of the academic journals produced in the world. Saleh said that other publishers, such as Springer and Wiley-Blackwellhavesimilarpolicies to Elsevier. “Elsevier is sometimes used as a metaphor to describe big
and predominantly in the Queen’s area,” he said. “Obviously it’s a big concern when students come back and we had to double up on officers for that night.” On Sept. 8, the last day of this year’s Frosh Week, Kingston Police issued 27 drinking violation tickets to students in the Queen’s area. Eight officers were deployed to the area on Saturday night, twice as many normally designated to the area. The University itself started collecting data regarding alcoholrelated incidents in 2002 through the Queen’s Alcohol Working Group. The 2011 Frosh Week ban was implemented following a coroner’s investigation of the death of two students, which lead to a review of campus alcohol policies. University officials at the time said the ban wasn’t a result of the alcohol review. After University administrators reviewed the effects of the ban last year, the decision was made in February to extend the ban indefinitely. The 2011 decision was part of a growing trend toward addressing alcohol issues at universities; in August, Nova Scotia’s Acadia University announced that they, too, would be banning alcohol from residence during orientation week following the 2011 alcoholrelated death of a 19-year-old student during Frosh Week. Arig Girgrah, assistant dean of Student Affairs, said since 2010, documented incidents of underage drinking in residence during Frosh Week have increased by 84 per
See Boycotters on page 7
See Police on page 6
For the first time, Kingston Police have started collecting statistics regarding student-related incidents during Frosh Week. The information will be gathered in order to determine patterns in student-related occurrences during the school year, said Kingston Police Media Relations Officer Steven Koopman. This is the second year where students, even those 19 or older, were prohibited from drinking in residence buildings during Frosh Week. In anticipation of the week, local police doubled-up on officers on patrol near Queen’s, especially in the student housing areas around the University, Koopman said. “We purposely have an increased presence on the streets
Questioning the cost of knowledge Faculty, librarians boycott publishing giant Elsevier over cost and open access concerns B y R osie H ales Assistant News Editor For almost 13,000 academics worldwide, the cost of information is too high. Professors, researchers and librarians across the world have signed a petition taking a stand against publisher Elsevier’s high subscription prices and open access restrictions. Seven of these people are listed as being from Queen’s. The online petition, entitled “The Cost of Knowledge,” allows signees to pledge to refrain from publishing, refereeing, and doing editorial work through Elsevier. “It’s not about signing the petition itself, it’s mainly about what’s behind this petition,” said Nasser Saleh, Queen’s librarian and archivist. “It’s about how this raised and created discussions.” The bundling of journals is one of the issues that Saleh takes with Elsevier. “When we deal with publishers, we don’t acquire individual journals. If I have to buy the five
top journals in one field then I also have to buy 30 other journals at the same time because they come as a package,” he said. This means that the library sometimes ends up paying for unwanted journals. “We don’t need bundles but we need to find flexibility, rather than a take it or leave it approach,” Saleh said. Saleh added that a large portion of the library’s budget goes towards the subscriptions for Elsevier, but that he can’t cancel these subscriptions because they do provide subscriptions to high demand journals. Journals are available to everybody at Queen’s, but Saleh said that mainly researchers and graduate students use them. “My standpoint as a librarian is different than my standpoint as a person,” he said. “I can’t decide to unsubscribe because I have community needs.” In a February statement entitled “A Message to the Research Community,” on the publisher’s
website, Elsevier responded by saying that “Libraries are never forced to take bundled packages” but that “Most choose large collections, however, because they get substantial volume discounts that offer more titles at a lower cost.” According to an article in the University of Toronto’s student newspaper the Varsity, Elsevier and
A look at the future of OPIRG in the wake of losing their AMS student fee. page 2
A contributor breaks down the Iranian ban on women in university courses. page 9
2 • queensjournal.ca
Friday, September 14, 2012
OPIRG presses on Seven months after fee loss, organization reevaluates B y R achel H erscovici Assistant News Editor The Kingston branch of the Ontario Public Interest Group (OPIRG) won’t give up on their mission to serve the community and the University despite their loss of funding, OPIRG Coordinator Kavita Bissoondial said. OPIRG lost their $4, opt-outable fee after 62 per cent of voters cast ballots against the fee in a February referendum, following a campaign by NOPIRG, a group that opposed the fee. OPIRG filed an appeal against the campaign through the Chief Elections Office, on Feb. 4, because of what they believed to be violations of the Policy Manual committed during the campaign. The organization still receives $12,000 in funding from SGPS and $12,000 from an agreement with other Ontario public interest research groups, Bissoondial, ArtSci ’10, said the loss of the $36,000 AMS fee has had an impact on their work. The organization had to re-budget and cut costs. They’ll only have enough funds to continue for this current year at the level they do now. During this time they’ll have to find other sources of funding to support their programs and staff. Rad Frosh, an annual month-long Orientation Week alternative was cancelled this year because of the reductions. Bissoondial said it wasn’t only the group’s financial status that was affected by the referendum; students’ perception of the group also changed, both for better and for worse. While the NOPIRG campaign negatively
influenced students unfamiliar with the group, volunteer interest has actually increased in number, Bissoondial said. OPIRG is continuing to look for ways to meet the needs of the community and Queen’s the best they can, she added. Current projects include researching and generating policies to to create more childcare options for parents at Queen’s and in the community. The program is set to start this fall. Additionally, the organization is renewing and promoting the People’s History Project, an archive of local activists history, which is found within the Grey House. “We want to continue supporting the initiatives of students and community members,” Bissoondial said. “That’s really our role, to take what students want and make it a reality.” The organization still anticipates opposition from the NOPIRG campaign when their fee with SGPS goes up for renewal this year. “We see that as an ongoing challenge,” she said. “We have a lot of support from the graduate student community … our relationship with grad students is really different than our relationship with undergraduate students.” The organization is currently being run through the Grey House. Bissoondial said they will continue to do so until a new process is put in place between the AMS, SGPS and the University to allocate spaces for shared clubs between them.
pHOTO BY Tiffany Lam
OPIRG continues to occupy space in the Grey House.
News in brief Students have chance to win funding Three Queen’s students have made the top 80 for Samsung Mob!ler, a contest for Canadian university students to fund an initiative of their choice. The contest aims to help students pursue their passions related to technology. Film student Brody Hatch, ArtSci ’14, is one of the students. Hatch must make it into the Top 20 to receive funding for his initiative — the Focus Film Festival, a video-creating contest that gives groups 72 hours to write, shoot and edit their film to be screened by a panel of judges. Hatch said he believes the added funding could create greater marketing opportunities for the event and give opportunities to all those interested in the initiative. With eight days left of the competition Hatch encourages students to support himself and fellow Queen’s students, Shayan Jawaid, Comm ’14, and Aditya Varambally, ArtSci ’14. — Rachel Herscovici
AMS to release new online systems A new system will enable students to apply for volunteer and paid positions with the AMS online. The AMS human resources office and the information technology office worked together throughout the summer to develop the new online system, which is expected to be implemented in January 2013. Real-time feedback will available on the status of a student’s application with the new system. “It’s far more environmentally sustainable to do it online when we receive over 2,000 [applications] during our spring and fall hiring periods,” Tristan Lee, AMS vice president of operations said. The AMS hopes that the new system will allow advertisements for these positions to be easily spread, enabling more students to get involved. The team is also implementing another online system, which will allow
students to book rooms in the Student Life Centre (SLC) online. The new system cost $3,000 and will allow students to be more efficient in booking without having to email the SLC offices beforehand. — Rachel Herscovici and Vincent Matak
Tricolour Outlet, Common Ground and Alfie’s undergo changes Patrons of Tricolour Outlet and Common Ground will notice changes in the offerings of the campus spots. Tricolour Outlet redesigned their marketing strategies to make it easier for students to shop with them. Customers can now buy items from all the parts of the shop at one customer service counter. Additionally, a second entrance has been opened and has allowed for a more spacious outlet and easier shopping. According to the AMS, the rebranding also aims to consolidate the three seemingly unrelated services the company provides. Tricolour also enhanced their clothing line, bringing back traditional styles. This new “retro” line is said to have been sold out multiple times. “We brought a lot of that Queen’s spirit and heritage into the store,” Becky Rose, Tricolour Head Manager said. Common Ground and Alfie’s both updated their menus and marketing campaigns. Both have taken feedback from students to meet their needs and give them the best service possible. “It’s kind of a nice thing that CoGro is student run because we know what students want,” Mackenzie Goodwin, Common Ground head manger, said. “We’re trying to solidify the business and be more efficient and consistent.” — Rachel Herscovici
4 • queensjournal.ca
Friday, september 14, 2012
Green folder to facilitate mental health referrals
New initiative will inform professors, TAs on how to identify and assist students in distress B y R acHel H eRscoVici H olly toUsiGnant Journal Staff
A new initiative from the Mental Health Working group aims to make supporting students with mental health issues easier for professors and staff. All professors and TAs received a Green Folder this week, a four-sided document that contains information on when and how to intervene with students in need, as well as a list of resources. The main situations outlined by the document include disordered eating, assault and/or harassment, marked changes in mood or behaviour, difficulty in communicating and distortions of reality and learning and academic challenges. The folder advises on how to approach students who exhibit these signs, as well as how to respond if the students choose to refuse referral. “We worked with Health, Counselling and Disability Services [HCDS] and they really were responsible for most of the content,” Ann Tierney, associate vice-principal and dean of Student Affairs. She added that the AMS and the Peer Support Centre were also consulted. Tierney said the colour green was chosen because it has previously been associated with mental health awareness on campus and because it stands out. Last year, Queen’s Wears Green, an initiative of the Commerce Society, sold
green t-shirts to raise funds for mental health groups and awareness. The new Green Folder also lists situations requiring immediate referral or reporting, such as references to suicide, threats or disruptive behaviour and drug or alcohol misuse. At Queen’s, the information in the folder is more of a guide or suggestion than an official protocol, Tierney noted. She added that the folder primarily addresses recognizing mental illness and referrals to resources like HCDS, and doesn’t advise how to deal with students after the referral occurs or how to approach students with an ongoing mental illness. The folder was inspired by the orange reference folder at McMaster University. Debbie Nifakis, clinical director of counselling at McMaster’s Student Wellness Centre, said the folder was first introduced eight years ago and is currently in its fourth edition. McMaster’s orange folder is distributed to faculty, staff and student leaders. Nifakis, who sat on the original committee that was responsible for the folder, said it’s been an effective initiative and improved people’s awareness of mental health resources. “At the very beginning, we would go around talking about it and people would go ‘What are you talking about?’ but now when we talk about the orange folder, everyone knows about it,” she said.
WINDMILLS A KINGSTON TRADITION FOR OVER 25 YEARS A student friendly restaurant owned and operated by a proud Queen’s graduate, class of ’79.
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Friday, September 14, 2012
Services get an upgrade Team JDL discusses current and upcoming initiatives B y Vincent M atak Assistant News Editor The AMS executive’s first four months in office have been marked by major renovations to their services, the team said. The AMS has spent $29,250 on renovations for the services, with the cost of the renovations being depreciated over a period of three to five years. “Alfie’s has a really nice, new industrial look now,” said Tristan Lee, vice president of operations. The renovations of Alfie’s cost $11,000 with the cost depreciated evenly over five years, while the Tricolour Outlet renovation cost $4,250 and will be depreciated over the same amount of time. “Previously the door [to Tricolour] was not the most visible and some people couldn’t tell there was a store there before,” Lee said. Alfie’s makeover included new chandeliers, wall paint and furniture. The Tricolour Outlet’s main doors were relocated from being adjacent to CoGro Express to a more central location on the second floor hallway of the JDUC. The cost of Publishing & Copy Centre (P&CC) renovations — $14,000 — will be depreciated over 38 months. Lee said the recent renovations to P&CC included installing wheelchair accessible doors, a new colour printer, new countertops and wall paint. He added that spending money responsibly is one of the main things the executive team wants to stress this year. “We have been very conservative with our budget and ensuring student dollars are going to where they should be,” he said.
The AMS executive were also involved in other initiatives through the summer months. Mira Dineen, vice-president of university affairs, spear-headed a review of the Peer Support Centre, which resulted in the creation of a partnership between the centre and Frontenac Community Mental Health Services (FCMHS). The partnership included aligning the centre’s hours with those of FCMHS and having a mobile response team aid volunteers at the Peer Support Centre in the event of emergencies. “More broadly, it’s resulted in a shift in the way that we internally think about the centre and what the goals are and what we’re trying to accomplish,” she said. Doug Johnson, AMS president, said proposals are in the works for a library occupancy app, one of the initiatives stipulated in team JDL’s platform. He said contrary to what some people may have believed, the app won’t identify how many people are sitting in Stauffer Library at any given time, but will be designed to track the traffic going in and out of the building. The AMS is currently working with companies in the US and the UK to determine an appropriate model, he said. “There are a couple of stipulations the AMS needs before we do this.” The team declined to comment on the status of many of the initiatives proposed in their 46-page platform, pending an announcement that will be made next week. See Tuesday’s issue of the Journal for an update.
Become one of the people who makes Kingston work. You are invited to apply to participate on one of Kingston’s local boards, commissions, or citizen committees. On Tuesday, Sept. 25 the City will host a Volunteer Recruitment Information Sharing Event in Memorial Hall, City Hall commencing at 6 p.m. At this event, the public will have an opportunity to meet elected officials and senior staff, and speak informally with Chairs and Vice Chairs and receive formal presentations regarding the Corporate Strategic Plan, volunteerism and committee chair remarks. A question and answer period will follow the presentations. Light refreshments will be served. Although registration is not required, please help us plan this event by letting us know if you can attend by Friday, Sept. 21 by contacting Diane Jackson, Records Clerk, at 613-546-4291, ext. 1375 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested? Apply to serve on: • Arts Advisory Committee • CRCA Lemoine Point Advisory Committee • Appeals Committee • Housing and Homelessness Advisory Board Committee • Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) • Grand Theatre Community Advisory Board • Taxi Commission • Kingston Environmental Advisory Forum (KEAF) • Kingston Frontenac Public Library Board • Kingston Municipal Non – Profit Housing • Kingston Police Services Board • MacLachlan Woodworking Museum Committee • Municipal Accessibility Advisory Committee • Municipal Heritage Committee
Deadline for applications is Friday, Sept. 28 Find out more and apply to serve at: www.CityofKingston.ca/committees or contact Kevin Arjoon, Deputy City Clerk, Tel: 613-546-4291, ext. 1262
6 • queensjournal.ca
Police report 27 Frosh Week alcohol violations Continued from page 1
cent, which she attributes to the policy’s expectation of increased
diligence on the part of dons. She also noted that there has been a 13 per cent drop in reported
The Police deployed eight officers to the Queen’s area on Sept. 8, twice the number deployed on a typical night
Journal File Photo
cases of students possessing or consuming large amounts of alcohol in residence and a 75 per cent reduction in documented cases of dons having to talk to residents about issues such as alcohol overconsumption. According to Girgrah, information was gathered and assessed over a 10—year period prior to implementing the policy in residence. “Proper rigorous assessment and research requires longitudinal studies and long-term data collection and analysis and we’re committed to that,” she said. According to an optional survey emailed to first-years last year, 59 per cent of students felt the new drinking policy reduced the pressure to drink in residence, with 64 per cent saying it helped them make more safe and responsible choices. There was a 43 per cent response rate, with prize incentives for participation. “Students are getting the message that alcohol shouldn’t be the most important part of Orientation,” Girgrah said. AMS Vice-President of University Affairs Mira Dineen said the AMS hasn’t taken a stance on the policy this year. “We’re waiting for further information about how the week went this year before drawing further conclusions,” Dineen, ArtSci ’11 said.
Friday, September 14, 2012
cor facts This year, the Campus Observation Room (COR) saw 36 students admitted during Frosh Week, with 41 students total accessing services, including telephone consultation services. The COR is a harm-reduction program that monitors and assesses intoxicated students located in Victoria Hall, and is operated by Queen’s Health, Counselling and Disability Services (HCDS). “It’s going to take time to see any patterns and changes,” HCDS Health Promotion Coordinator Kate Humphrys said. She added that the majority of students who come in to the COR are first-year students living in residence, while those that call the COR seeking advice tend to be students who live off-campus. During Frosh Week 2011, 46 students were admitted, with a total of 56 total students seeking COR services. In 2010, prior to the ban, the COR admitted 32 students, with 40 students total accessing services. “We think it’s important for people who need the services use it,” she said. “We’re not in the business to draw conclusions.” In total, the COR treated 173 students in the 2009-10 academic year, with 280 students treated in 2010-11, and 234 students in 2011-12. The number of students treated for alcohol poisoning and alcohol-related injuries at Kingston General Hospital (KGH) has also seen a decrease, according to hospital representatives. Last week, a total of ten students were treated, including one 17-year-old, three 19-year-olds, two 20-year-olds and one 22-year-old. In 2010, 20 students were admitted to KGH during Frosh Week. The same amount were treated during the same time in 2011, with ages ranging from 17-years-old to 26-years-old.
YOUR CALLING. CANADA’S NEED. According to the Fraser Institute, Canada is facing an imminent physician shortage, specifically in primary care. Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) is helping to meet this need by training physicians who are entering nearly every area of medicine, including the critical demand in pediatrics, internal medicine and family medicine. • RUSM provides clinical rotations at afﬁliated teaching hospitals in the US. • RUSM has proudly graduated more than 9,000 physicians who are practicing across the US and Canada. • Provincial loans are available to those who qualify.
ATTEND OUR INFORMATION SEMINAR Saturday, September 15, 2012 • 10 am Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel To register, visit RossU.edu or scan this QR code. For comprehensive consumer information visit www.RossU.edu/med-student-consumer-info © 2012 Global Education International. All rights reserved.
RUSM-Print-Queens Journal-Final-10w.7.5h.indd 1
8/24/12 2:13 PM
Friday, September 14, 2012
Boycotters oppose Elsevier’s prices Continued from page 1
publishers,” he said. Although the petition received over half of its signatures in the first two months of creation, since then, signup has been slower. “I think that one of the problems is that the petition was targeting one of the publishers only, Elsevier. It wasn’t about the general publishing industry,” he said. The petition was created by Tim Gowers, a professor of mathematics at Trinity College Cambridge. Gowers stated in a January blog post that Elsevier’s high prices, “bundling” practices, lack of negotiation and support of the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, were behind the reasons for
the petition. Academics must go through a peer review process before their article can be published in a journal, a process called refereeing. Some of the Queen’s signees have chosen to continue reviewing their peers’ articles. Jean-Michel Nunzi, a chemistry professor, signed the petition in early April. Both Saleh and Nunzi chose to refrain from publishing and doing editorial work through Elsevier. They both chose to keep refereeing articles published by Elsevier. “I will not refuse the reviewing work because then I give a penalty to my colleagues and I don’t agree to this,” Nunzi said.
pHOTO BY Tiffany Lam
Librarian Nasser Saleh says the library must often purchase journals in bundles because of Elsevier’s price structure, which results in the University acquiring unwanted journals.
8 • QUEENSJOURNAL.CA
Editorial Board Editors in Chief KATHERINE FERNANDEZ-BLANCE
Assistant News Editors
ROSIE HALES RACHEL HERSCOVICI VINCENT MATAK
MEGAN CUI ALISON SHOULDICE
Assistant Arts Editor
Assistant Sports Editor
Assistant Photo Editor
Web and Graphics Editor
Assistant Blogs Editor Copy Editors
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2012
CHLOË GRANDE CARLING SPINNEY
EDITORIALS — THE JOURNAL’S PERSPECTIVE
“There is no guarantee that the app may not also attract users with less reliable intentions. ”
he recent release of a texting app that allows students at the University of Regina to get in touch with a random, anonymous texter isn’t a bad idea, but poses certain risks to users. The app, called URconnecting, is easy to sign up for — all one needs to do is provide their University of Regina email address, age, sex and major to connect with other students on campus anonymously. Admittedly, this app isn’t a revolutionary invention. It’s similar to other social media networking tools such as Omegle, Grindr and Chatroulette, in that it allows individuals to connect with others without revealing much of their identity. These examples all have some positive aspects to them — mainly they’re used to help people connect with one another with some degree of anonymity, allowing individuals to form more honest relationships. Yet they also all have a reputation for sometimes attracting people with questionable motives, especially when accessible to any member of the larger public. URconnecting, which went
public at the beginning of September, aims to reduce these risks by limiting users to ones at the University of Regina. While this app may help students meet others on campus, whether it is with friendly or romantic intentions, it also could allow for the creation of a network that can be abused for dishonest and suspicious motives. Someone can easily lie about their identity, for example, causing problems if individuals take their connections past the app and agree to meet in person. It’s still unclear whether this app will take off — its fate may be the same of programs such as LikeALittle, which became popular for a year at Queen’s, and then quickly fell to the wayside. If it’s successful, users should be cautious. While the app may allow one to make new friends with honest, well-meaning people, there is no guarantee that the app may not also attract users with less reliable intentions.
— Journal Editorial Board
ILLUSTRATION BY OLIVIA MERSEREAU
Contributors JORDAN CATHCART SABA FARBODKIA
Business Staff Business Manager GEROLDINE ZHAO
JENNIFER CHE FANNY RABINOVTICH-KUZMICKI HANK XU Friday, September 14, 2012 • Issue 6 • Volume 140 The Queen’s Journal is an editorially autonomous newspaper published by the Alma Mater Society of Queen’s University, Kingston. Editorial opinions expressed in the Journal are the sole responsibility of the Queen’s Journal Editorial Board, and are not necessarily those of the University, the AMS or their officers. Contents © 2012 by the Queen’s Journal; all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior permission of the Journal. The Queen’s Journal is printed on a Goss Community press by Performance Group of Companies in Smiths Falls, Ontario. Contributions from all members of the Queen’s and Kingston community are welcome. The Journal reserves the right to edit all submissions. Subscriptions are available for $120.00 per year (plus applicable taxes). Please address complaints and grievances to the Editors in Chief. Please direct editorial, advertising and circulation enquiries to: 190 University Avenue, Kingston, Ontario, K7L-3P4 Telephone : 613-533-2800 (editorial) 613-533-6711 (advertising) Fax: 613-533-6728 Email: email@example.com The Journal Online: www.queensjournal.ca Circulation 6,000 Issue 7 of Volume 140 will be published on Tuesday, September 18, 2012
More than hospital beds E
ating disorders and mental illnesses are clearly issues that receive far too little funding and attention in our community. However, throwing money at the issues isn’t what’s going to solve them. In a recent article published by the National Post, Sam Rashid laments the lack of funding that is available for the treatment of eating disorders, specifically, the fact that there are only 10 hospital beds allocated to treating patients with eating disorders in the entire GTA area. Eating disorders are complex problems — while there are many associated physical health risks that can be treated in a hospital, many of the roots of the illness require more than just a hospital bed to overcome them. For some, outpatient treatment centres and community support networks have proven to be safer, more comfortable places for recovery and treatment Unfortunately, these centres are also extremely underfunded and lack resources, with waitlists that go on for months. The debate over funding can be circular. Many things, especially in the medical field are underfunded — the treatment of so many illnesses would benefit from greater financial investment. Funding aside though, by changing the conversation surrounding the issues, there are things that can be done to help those suffering from eating disorders. Eating disorders are mental illnesses and face the undeniable stigma of being a
“privileged” problem. There’s a stereotype that only ‘poor little rich girls’ suffer from these issues — a stigma that’s counterproductive in the fight to overcome them. It’s the responsibility of community leaders — teachers, politicians and parents — to discuss these issues and create a safe space for those suffering from them
within their own communities. We need to paint this issue as more than just a privileged problem. If we acknowledge that it’s something that touches everyone’s life in some way, shape or form, we can build effective support systems within our own communities. There should be a rise in funding for these issues. Outpatient
centres, community programs and educational campaigns would all benefit from additional funds. Adding a few more hospital beds isn’t going to solve the problem; a thoughtful investment in the community and in conversations surrounding the issues is needed rather than simply throwing money at the issues.
— Journal Editorial Board
the multi-billion dollar enterprise. I’ll take her back in a heartbeat of Yes, we allow NHL executives to course, but the lockout is validated fly off to Miami bungalows and by our own collective belief that sip aged whiskey, in exchange for a fans’ voices are unimportant. beer and a hockey game. The NHL and the players union If we learned to exist without ultimately call the shots, but purchasing NHL products this year, disregarding loyal customers can’t maybe they’d feel more inclined to be good for business. ETER ORROW reach a decision. It would at least It makes little sense to be damage NHL Commissioner Gary okay with losing our passion Bettman’s $8-million salary, which unnecessarily and in the name has more than doubled since the of stubborn indecisiveness. Fans last lockout. desperately need to express ockey fans — let’s take it While players seek to increase themselves, otherwise we’re setting personally this time. their riches, owners seek to reduce ourselves up for heartbreak. The unconditional love we them. Meanwhile, fans nauseatingly Spend your lockout year feel for our mistress, the NHL, wave the finger of blame between however you please. Go to is unrequited. As if that wasn’t the two, as we inch back quietly a Queen’s hockey game, find a obvious enough in 2004, the first into NHL hibernation. Sadness relationship, ditch that beer belly time she disappeared, only to quickly turns into indifference — or don’t. return a year later yelling “Puck, and forgiveness. While you’re at it, tell the NHL how I’ve missed you!”, we still took We’re lovestruck fools, too how you really feel — stop buying her back. blind to see we’re being fully taken their products, get feisty on online Now the NHL lockout looms advantage of. message boards, do whatever you again, as the NHL owners and Our vulnerability lies can. We’ll follow the NHL when it Players Association can’t decide somewhere between being comes back, but that doesn’t mean how to share revenue. Both parties Canadian, too forgiving, too we won’t keep her in check. stand firmly entrenched, hence the generous, too obsessed and always If there’s one thing you can’t do, numbing déjà-vu we feel closing in. too hungry for NHL action. She’s it’s forgive. Hockey lovers are hopeless, but giving us the old “It’s not you, it’s we’re not entirely powerless. me,” which in this case means “You Peter Morrow is Sports Editor at the The oft-forgotten fact is that took me back last time, you’ll do Journal. fans are clients, customers who fuel it again.”
Friday, September 14, 2012
Opinions — Your Perspective
Talking heads ... around campus Photos By Terence Wong
How are you going to celebrate the Queen’s vs. Western game?
In August, multiple Iranian universities changed approximately 80 courses to male-only, which range from BA to BSc.
“Celebrating with my residence floor.” Henry Barron, ArtSci ’15
Our contributor breaks down the Iranian university ban on women in almost 80 programs
Saba Farbodkia The first female scholars admitted to the University of Tehran were in 1934. Reza Shah, the founder of the Pahlavi dynasty, was successful in implementing the modern values that were previously melded into Persian society by its intellectuals. Now in 2012, almost 100 years after such ground-breaking movements, multiple universities in the Islamic Republic of Iran have closed almost 80 university programs to women. They’re a mix of courses, but many are in engineering and sciences. Though these fields have traditionally been male-dominated, they have also led women to employment and admission at Western universities. While the government of the Islamic Republic isn’t directly responsible for the changes in university courses, the influence that it holds over educational institutions cannot be understated. So what happened to cause a modern society to regress in educating women? Simply, it may be the fault of the extreme religious ideology on the part of the Iranian government. It has certainly played its role in supporting a multitude of prejudices against women that have resulted in the gender-restrictive class changes. These beliefs support pre-defined feminine roles that restrict women to households. Along with the ignorance
against female capabilities in general, Iranians are inundated with biased propaganda and education from the Islamic Republic. This reinforces false ideas about women that have been ingrained in Persian society for centuries. There is no single form of Islamic ideology that all Muslims agree on, but in the forms that are mostly practiced in Iran and most Islamic countries, women are (although not very explicitly) regarded as sexual objects created for the purpose of pleasuring men.
While the government of the Islamic Republic isn’t directly responsible for the changes in university courses, the influence that it holds over educational institutions cannot be understated. In the process of following this ideological tunnel vision, economic consequences have been ignored. A study from the World Economic Forum indicates that in communities where women aren’t recruited into the structure of society as much as men, the economic growth of a country falls short. In its current form, the Iranian regime is based on fundamentalist Islamic values and teachings that limit the education of its people, thus shutting down discussions on women’s status and rights in society. These decisions to shut out women may have been
justified by the regime as matters of protection — ensuring women follow set Islamic ideals. Whatever the justification, the restrictive nature is problematic in practice. When Abdu’l Baha, the Persian founder of the Bahá’í faith travelled to the US in 1912 to communicate his vision for the future, he spoke these seemingly outdated words: “Woman’s lack of progress and proficiency has been due to her need of equal education and opportunity. Had she been allowed this equality, there is no doubt she would be the counterpart of man in ability and capacity. The happiness of mankind will be realized when women and men coordinate and advance equally, for each is the complement and helpmate of the other.” At the time of Baha’s speech, there were still universities that didn’t allow women in certain programs. In the US, Columbia University didn’t admit women to Engineering until 1942. Queen’s first held classes for women in 1869 and had women graduating with degrees as early as 1884, although women weren’t admitted into Engineering until 1942. The words of Abdu’l Baha were definitely progressive for the time period and still hold relevance today. This is especially reinforced by current interpretations of Islam that have resulted in this controversial change in educational policy. The attitude of Shiite Islam towards women’s education is mixed. Examples from certain Islamic hadiths praise men who raise their daughters with education, but there are also those that indicate that men
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should teach women nothing but the Qur’an. Iranian women remain discriminated against both culturally and religiously. Ultimately, the Iranian government can be recognized as the most important factor in preserving such patriarchal views — the very views that have led to the banning of women in so many productive fields of study.
In its current form, the Iranian regime is based on fundamentalist Islamic values and teachings that limit the education of its people, thus shutting down discussions on women’s status and rights in society. The root of the problem, therefore, is not that Islam devalues women. It’s that the most powerful decisions made within a country are based on the ideologies of a group that prescribe their own understanding of the ‘truth’ upon their citizens. Unfortunately, this version of ‘truth’ is often something not supported by logic or science. This is a serious problem and as long as this is what women in Iran face, the reality is the same regardless of who is making the decision. Fundamentalist ideologies don’t belong in the education system. Saba Farbodkia is a graduate student at the Queen’s Centre for Neurosciences.
“Pancake party before the big win!” Nausheen Sadiq, MA ’14
“The ConEd Charity Pancake Breakfast” Philip Lloyd, ConEd ’13
“Inviting other university friends to party here.” Michelle Johnston, ArtSci ’13
“Fuel up with pancakes then watch Western suffer!” Colin Robinson, ArtSci ’13
We’re looking for panelists! Contact our Opinions Editor at email@example.com
Friday, September 14, 2012
Do the creep, Kingston The Creepshow is moving away from their older horror material B y K atherine Fernandez -B lance Editor in Chief The last time psychobilly punk rock band The Creepshow came to Kingston, some audience members started punching people next to them in the face. So says Sean McNab, the stand-up bassist and singer of the five-piece Toronto-born band. Their beat-heavy and mosh-worthy songs may have sinister undertones, but McNab insists the group is totally ordinary. “We’re not rockstars on a bus or anything, we’re just five douchebags that want to have a good time and play music,” he said. One thing that sets The Creepshow apart from other musicians, next to their frightening band name, is their moniker stage performance names. The lineup of the band includes ‘Sickboy’ on upright bass, ‘Ginty’ on keyboards, ‘Pomade’ on drums and ‘Hellcat’ on guitars and vocals. Kingston has become a regular pit stop for the band since they formed in 2005 and they usually fill out their venue with both
people who love their music and people who are just curious. Initially, McNab would look out to only a 15-person audience, but year after year numbers grew to reach over 100.
not rockstars “onWe’re a bus or anything,
we’re just five douchebags that want to have a good time and play music.
— Sean McNab of The Creepshow “The last couple times it’s been pretty rowdy,” he said. The band uses a stand-up base to channel 1950s musical spirit, which adds to their otherwise Buffy the Vampire Slayer-esque, charged sound. When you listen to the band’s old musisc from 2009, you can see the juxtaposition between the scary song names, but sweet and sassy sound of the vocals. In their seven years together they’ve gone through two different lead singers, both with sugary
Sean McNab says the psychobilly genre is a lot more popular in Germany and the rest of Europe than it is in North America.
pop voices and tattooed femme fatale looks. After lead singer ‘Hellcat’ got pregnant in 2007, her sister took over the singing in the band and she was given the stage name ‘Sin.’ McNab said recently, the group has strayed away from their previous horror-movie-inspired lyrics. “We decided to tone it down a bit,” McNab said. “We still keep
kind of a dark theme.” For the band, their psychobilly genre isn’t as popular in North America compared to overseas. “For a while we toured more in Europe than anywhere else,” he said. “It just seems like there’s more of an appreciation for underground music there.” Germany, is a particular soft spot — it’s where the band got
their shots with labels and booking agents back when they first got started. “The genre psychobilly has been popular in the underground there for 30 years, and here it’s more of a new thing.” The Creepshow plays the Mansion on Sept. 14. Doors open at 9 p.m.
Riding the musical waves Polaris Prize nominee Bahamas says playing in a church will “get people’s attention” B y J oanna P lucinska Editorials Editor When I began my interview with Afie Jurvanen and asked him to introduce himself, I was met with a short reply. “I play guitar, isn’t that why you called?” I was taken aback by his abrupt
Afie Jurvanen, a.k.a. Bahamas, says his second album is “more concise.”
answer, but the simplicity of it was indicative of him as a performer. When Afie Jurvanen comes to play Chalmers United Church tonight, he’s banking on back-to-school cash to stage a lively show. “It’s September, October November. Students have a lot more OSAP money so they seem
photo supplied by Daniel Gillespie
to drink more alcohol … young people have lots of energy — it’s a good energy to be around.” Jurvanen performs with his band under the name Bahamas, and his latest release, Barchords is his second studio album since his first release in 2009. This summer, I decided to take a listen to some of the albums nominated for the Polaris Prize. Barchords stood out to me for its easy listening power and simple melodies, which made its soft-spoken love songs a staple in my work playlists. “It’s a stronger, more concise record. From start to finish, it has a much tighter groove to it,” he said. Even though I was a bigger fan of his 2009 album Pink Strat, this album brought many of the same elements that I fell in love with the first time around, like his soothing vocals that got him his Polaris Prize nomination. The new album has taken him and his band on a world tour this year, with concert dates in the UK, US and Canada. “Getting a chance to go over to the UK to play shows has been a highlight of this tour,” he said. Though he won’t pick up as many Air Miles during his trip to Kingston this weekend, Jurvanen’s set will be hosted inside a church — something he’s not
phased by. “It gets peoples’ attention before we start playing. People have a lot of respect for those buildings. They’re expecting to sit down and experience something meaningful and I hope that they do.” While Jurvanen may just play guitar, it’s his careful delivery on “Lonely Loves” and heartfelt, but
Bahamas’ first album Pink Strat was released in 2009.
upbeat lyrics on “Okay Alright I’m Alive” that make his musical simplicity just enough. Bahamas plays Chalmers United Church on Sept. 14. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
photo supplied by Daniel Gillespie
Friday, september 14, 2012
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Queen’s Go Abroad Fair Study. Work. Intern. Volunteer. Language. Teaching.
Opportunities abroad. Wednesday, September 26 10:30 am - 3:00 pm
JDUC, upper & lower céilidh
A new Union Gallery oﬀ-site exhibit called Transit Pass is about the eﬀects of transportation on society. See the Journal on Sept. 28 for a review of Phoebe Cohoe’s installation.
photo by tiFFany laM
What We’re Listening To The Journal recalls their favourite wayback playback tunes: 1) ‘Semi-Charmed Life’ by Third Eye Blind 2) ’Hard Days Night’ by the Beatles 3) ’Layla’ by Eric Clapton 4) ‘Blue’ by Eiffel 65 5) ‘Radio Gaga’ by Queen
Friday, September 14, 2012
From Sundumb to Slow Commotion Jay Harris is back in action with a second album that furthers his signature Americana sound B y S avoula S tylianou Arts Editor You know you’ve made it when you’ve got fans acting as audience recruiters for your show. For folk country musician Jay Harris, that became a reality when he had an encounter with one particularly star-struck fan. “We had a woman out last time on our final night in the bar and she came to me after the show and said she had been stopping people on the street and directing them inside to hear us play, so that was really cool and very funny.” It’s that same kind of passion that drove this university psychology major to pursue playing music after graduating university. Harris, who graduated from Queen’s in
2001, said he purposely didn’t study music while he was here. “I’m more interested in roots music rather than classical or jazz,” Harris said. “Queen’s School of Music is fantastic, but not where I would look to pursue a degree,” he said. Harris met his wife Tanya while at Queen’s and now the duo work together on his music with Tanya as his manager. Three years after his first album Sundumb came out Harris is back with his sophomore album Slow Commotion. “The new record is more stripped down,” he said. The Kingston local’s newest work is reminiscent of Blue Rodeo’s early days, with echoed vocals on tracks such as “Scar” and “Poor Broken Love.” His latest release proves true to his
Jay Harris says he met his wife while they were both at Queen’s. She’s now his his music manager.
photo supplied by McCully Images
Americana style of folk music, which stretches from blue-eyed soul to country.
I’m more interested in “roots music rather than
classical or jazz. Queen’s School of Music is fantastic, but not where I would look to pursue a degree.
— Jay Harris The new album includes the CBC radio-played song “1955,” a slow-paced tune which is the lead single off Slow Commotion.
“Be Your Lover” is a standout in the album, not only for its sweet soulful lyrics, but its background harmony vocals provided by Sarah Harmer. “I met Sarah while we were both at Queen’s and we’ve been friends for many, many years. We played together a lot in the mid-90s,” Harris said. The collaboration for the timing was right, he added. “I just heard her voice on that song and she happened to be in town and we had her in to do the vocals.” Jay Harris will be playing the Mansion on Sept. 28.
Friday, September 14, 2012
Justin Chapdelaine helped Queen’s thrash Western 37-0 in the 2011 regular season finale.
JOURNAL FILE PHOTO
JOURNAL FILE PHOTO
Queen’s topped Western at Richardson Stadium to win the 2009 Yates Cup.
Meeting the Mustangs The running game will decide tomorrow’s tilt at Richardson B y N ick Faris Assistant Sports Editor
Quarterback Billy McPhee completed 67 per cent of his passes in Queen’s first two games.
PHOTO BY COLIN TOMCHICK
NFL campaign arrives at Queen’s League seeks to attract Canadian fans B y J ulia Vriend Assistant Blogs Editor North America’s most prosperous sports league is on Queen’s campus for four days, but they’re not exactly out there. NFL on Campus, a marketing initiative that’s visiting several universities across Ontario and Quebec to promote CIS football, is working towards engaging new and existing fans. The NFL on Campus crew
Visually representing the history of the Queen’s-Western rivalry. PAGE 14
Journal beat reporter Jordan Cathcart dissects the Gaels’ first four games. PAGE 15
Queen’s and Western are separated by just one spot in the national football rankings. Tomorrow, they’ll face off at Richardson Stadium — and in doing so, set the tone for the 2012 season. Through two weeks, both teams have played the equivalent of an extended preseason. Queen’s steadily dismantled York and Laurier, while Western boasts a pair of walkover wins against Waterloo and Toronto. It’s entirely possible that all four of those teams will be left out of the OUA playoffs. The Gaels’ and Mustangs’ spotless records are nothing more than a precursor for the first bit of legitimate football they’ll play this season. Fifth-year quarterback Donnie Marshall leads an otherwise youthful Mustangs team, one that’s lost a litany of key players from 2011. Standout running back Nathan Riva graduated, CIS Rookie of the Year Tyler Varga transferred to Yale, and three linemen moved on to the CFL. Western entered the season ranked fifth in the country, but face persistent questions about their potential in a pseudo-rebuilding year. Standing at just 5’8, Marshall is an aberration in a conference populated by pro-style
quarterbacks. He doesn’t possess the versatility of York’s Myles Gibbon, Laurier’s Travis Eman or McMaster’s Kyle Quinlan, nor the pocket presence and strong arm of Billy McPhee. Marshall’s strengths are more intangible than physical, and they shouldn’t be significant against Queen’s defence, which has already beaten better quarterbacks this season. Western’s real offensive strength lies in its multi-pronged rushing attack. Nearly all Canadian teams favour passing in order to maximize their three downs, but Western’s offense is predominantly run-oriented — as well as terrifyingly effective. New starter Garret Sanvido is currently tied for the CIS’ lead in points, backup Tyrel Reid is a viable option in short-yardage situations, and rookie Yannick Harou will be groomed as the future starter. Even Marshall’s greatest asset is his ability to run the ball, ranking first among CIS quarterbacks in rushing yards in 2011. The most fascinating positional matchup in tomorrow’s game will be Western’s vaunted backs against Queen’s defence, which is the perfect counterpoint to the Mustangs’ ground game. The Gaels are anchored by a relentless front seven assembled specifically to smother the run. In a matchup of the country’s greatest running offense and defence,
something has to give. Whichever unit holds strong will win their team the game. While the Mustangs possessed the province’s most potent offense in 2011, their defence was more in line with that of a borderline playoff team. Western’s 7-1 record was deserved, but also deceiving: they barely eked out several victories over pedestrian teams, surrendering a combined 80 points to Laurier, York and Guelph in a three-week stretch. Even discounting a meaningless shutout in the season finale, Queen’s was outplaying Western by the end of last year. That advantage should carry over to tomorrow. Neither defence has been tested in 2012, save for a couple slipups late in blowout victories. The Gaels return practically intact from 2011, when a dominant McMaster squad derailed a promising season. Western started hot, began playing down to its competition and was finally pasted by the Marauders in the Yates Cup. Rolling through the likes of Waterloo and Toronto shouldn’t quell any doubts. Ultimately, Saturday’s matchup will answer many questions, but few of those answers will be finite. Tomorrow’s result could be irrelevant by the end of October — but at the moment, it’s all that matters.
previously visited Laval and Windsor, where spirits were reportedly high. Rachel Sarchielli, one of NFL Canada’s Brand Ambassadors, said they received a consistent flow of people arriving to play Madden NFL 13, some coming back more than once. “We would see the same people over and over again,” Sarchielli said. “I’d be like, ‘Don’t you guys have to go to class?’” The initiative is spearheaded by NFL Canada, a subsidiary of the United States’ National Football League. This year, the program has expanded, spanning eight weeks during the CIS football season. So far, the NFL’s visit to Queen’s hasn’t been entirely successful. Student turnout was sparse on Wednesday, the program’s first day in Kingston, partially due to their obscure set-up in the ARC. Initially, the Brand Ambassadors had three Xbox consoles lined up adjacent to the main lobby, but the set-up was later moved further down the hallway to an area with minimal student traffic. The NFL on Campus program is visiting Queen’s until Wednesday. Students can play the video See Engaging on page 15
game Madden NFL 13 on Xbox consoles in the ARC.
PHOTO BY TIFFANY LAM
Friday, September 14, 2012
Friday, September 14, 2012
ON DECK CIRCLE FOOTBALL
Saturday Sept. 15, 1 p.m.: Gaels (2-0) vs. western Mustangs (2-0)
Saturday Sept. 15, 3:15 p.m.: Gaels (2-0-1) @ Trent Excalibur (0-2-1)
Saturday Sept. 15, 1 p.m.: Gaels @ Guelph Gryphons
Sunday Sept. 16, 3:15 p.m.: Gaels vs. Carleton Ravens (4-0-0)
Saturday Sept. 15, 1 p.m.: Gaels (2-1-1) @ Trent Excalibur (1-1-1) Sunday Sept. 16, 1 p.m.: Gaels vs. Carleton Ravens (2-1-1) WOMEN’S RUGBY Saturday Sept. 15, 1 p.m.: Gaels (2-0) vs. Toronto Varsity Blues (1-1)
Saturday Sept. 15, 3:15 p.m.: Gaels @ Guelph Gryphons
Sunday Sept. 16, 1 p.m.: Gaels @ waterloo warriors
Saturday Sept. 15, noon: Queen’s Invitational
Sunday Sept. 16, 3:15 p.m.: Gaels @ waterloo warriors
Saturday Sept. 15, time TBA: Carleton Invitational
Saturday Sept. 15, 10 a.m.: Alumni Game
Engaging students Continued from page 13
An apparent disconnect between NFL Canada and Queen’s Athletics led to the abandonment of a potential flag football tournament, which is one of the events advertised on NFL Canada’s website. The coordination of the tournament is left up to the school. Since Queens’ intramural sign-ups don’t begin until Sept. 17, it won’t be run this week. According to Queen’s Athletics, the tournament may be revisited later this year. In return for allowing the program to set up on campus, NFL Canada will make a $4,000 donation to the Queen’s football program, in addition to providing
the school’s intramural program with NFL apparel. The visit also helps the NFL study the composition of its fan base. While many Windsor students are supporters of the nearby Detroit Lions, Queen’s is heavily populated by Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots fans, said the NFL reps. “We just want to help support CIS football and represent the NFL,” Sarchielli said. “We want to make you a bigger fan.” On Saturday, NFL on Campus will be set up at Richardson Stadium prior to the Queen’s-Western game. — With files from Nick Faris
Sunday Sept. 16, 11 a.m.: Queen’s Invitational
Don’t press the panic button Evaluating the women’s soccer team through four games
BY JORDAN CATHCART CONtribUtOr The Queen’s Gaels women’s soccer squad is maintaining a cool demeanor, despite a rocky 2-1-1 start. The thought of not repeating as national champions hasn’t seemed to cross the minds of the Gaels players or coaching staff, although many issues still linger with the team. The most pressing issue so far is the consistency of Queen’s offensive attack. The Gaels have had no issue with scoring against teams at the bottom of the league, beating RMC 5-0 and Ryerson 4-0, but have had trouble mustering up shots against more competitive opponents. In the loss to the GeeGees and the draw with the Varsity Blues, Queen’s managed only to fire six total shots on net. The issue with the offense may relate to the injuries to strikers Breanna Burton and Jackie Tessier. Burton’s fitness level isn’t 100 per cent, while Tessier sat out last weekend’s games against Ryerson and Toronto. Tessier is a proven goal scorer who can instantly add firepower to the Gaels attack. Midfielders Riley Filion and Alexis McKinty
must lead the offense, as the the play in the match, completely timeframe of Tessier’s return outclassing Queen’s in every aspect. Strikers Burton and Tessier is unknown. On the other side of the played sparingly in the loss, while pitch, the Gaels defence has been Carew looked shaky in net as two absolutely stellar. The back line has long lob shots stuck the crossbar. Queen’s defenders looked surrendered just three goals on the season, all of which were scored disorganized at times, which also contributed to the loss. The game by Ottawa. A highlight for the defenders has may have been much closer if the to be limiting Toronto to one shot Gaels were healthy and playing on goal in their draw last Sunday. their signature tough defence. Queen’s head coach Dave For them to reach the level of play they did last season, the defence McDowell makes sure to mention will have to remain organized and after every game, regardless of the result, that the Gaels are continue to play aggressive. Gaels head coach Dave still building. The players, coaches and fans McDowell has been experimenting with a three-goalkeeper rotation, all know the talent and level that featuring third-year Sabrina Carew, this team can reach. As long as second-year Rachel Burton and everyone is healthy and the team is clicking, the Gaels are poised to first-year Madison Tyrell. This has been instituted to make another deep playoff run. replace Chantel Marson, who graduated after winning MVP honours at the 2011 national championship. All three keepers have been playing well, with Carew getting the bulk of the time in between the pipes. For the team to reach a high level of play, they need to have confidence in whichever keeper McDowell eventually names starter. The match against Ottawa exposed vulnerabilities on both ends of the pitch for Queen’s. The Gaels displayed poor ball movement, with many of their JOURNAL FILE PHOTO attempted passes intercepted by Striker Breanna the Gee-Gees. Ottawa controlled Burton scored six goals in 2011.
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Friday, September 14, 2012
photo supplied by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
The Mars rover Curiosity landed in August. It will analyze rock and soil samples on the surface of the red planet. Its eventual destination is Mount Sharp (above).
When Curiosity gets the best of us While a NASA rover explores the surface of Mars, we on Earth are left to wonder about what’s beyond B y J anina E nrile Postscript Editor
Ancient Romans named Mars after the Roman god of war. The Curiosity rover’s landing site is called Bradbury Landing after science fiction author Ray Bradbury. The solar system’s tallest mountain sits on Mars — Olympus Mons is almost three times the height of Mount Everest. “We named it; we name every feature,” he said. With the Europeans, Carson said naming landscapes was a total obsession. It’s not far from what we see today. According to Carson, Mars exploration is part of a mission to push society forward. It contributes to the “doctrine of progress” — something that influenced Europe’s colonization of the Americas, some historians say. “Space exploration is a real indicator of progress,” he said, “And all that progress is thought of as technology and improvement of the human mind.” He cautions against the dangers of what exploration can bring to new lands. “When the Europeans came to America, they carried with them … microbes that killed the Natives,” he said. “If you take that scenario and apply it to Mars, what unintended consequence is our intrusion on this world going to have?”
According to Sergio Sismondo, the reasons behind human curiosity are nearly impossible to pinpoint. Despite its potential biological explanations, explaining curiosity is near meaningless, he said. Sismondo, a professor in the department of philosophy, said future efforts to exploit the land on Mars might not be so fruitful either. “It doesn’t seem like it’s a practical endeavour,” he said. “Sure there might be precious minerals on Mars, but the cost of transporting precious minerals from Mars ends up being so enormous they cease being precious.” Still, certain issues remain with the Curiosity rover and other Mars missions. “I think the big ethical issue here is whether we want to invest this kind of money in this project — a project that is fueled by a small dose of curiosity and a large dose of other things,” Sismondo said. Human curiosity, according to Sismondo, remains an important thing for the species. “It’s advantageous for humans to be curious,” he said. “It is worthwhile because we have that drive.”
The Mars rover (left) is the first of its kind to investigate the possibility of life ever existing on Mars. Its cameras have sent back the first high-definition photos of the planet’s surface (right).
Photos supplied by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
When NASA’s rover Curiosity landed on the surface of Mars this August, astronomy enthusiasts everywhere rejoiced. David Hanes was one of them. “It was miraculous,” he said. Hanes, head of the department of physics, engineering physics and astronomy, has been studying astronomy since the late 1960s. He’s been curious about space since he was a child. It’s what most astronomers will confess as their reason for getting into the science, he said. “I think the biggest driver of all is intellectual curiosity,” he said. “It’s really just for the love of the knowledge.” Curiosity is the first rover to investigate the possibility of life’s previous existence on Mars. For the next two years, Curiosity will analyze rock and soil samples to see if Mars’ environment could have ever supported life. The NASA mission can also lead to new possibilities for Earth’s population. If Mars is proven to have been habitable at one point, a new future for humankind may be on the horizon. “If something terrible happened to the Earth, then species would survive in this other location,” Hanes said. “Mars just happens to be the nearest planet we can
imagine doing that on.” This yearning for knowledge about space has been around for a long time — Ancient Greeks were among the first to attempt to explain the patterns of celestial bodies. “We’ve always been curious about things,” Hanes said. “It’s been with us since the birth of the human species.” In the Early Stone Age, curiosity fueled the discovery of using fire for survival purposes. In a 2009 article from The Economist, Harvard University’s Richard Wrangham argues that cooking with fire was key in the evolution of modern humans. Interest in what lies in the unknown was never limited to space exploration. In the 15th and 16th century, one of the most innovative methods of exploration — sea travel — resulted in the European colonization of the Americas. “It was for empire,” James Carson, a professor in the department of history said. While explorers gathered information on these voyages to the New World, the ultimate purpose was more materialistic, Carson said. “The gathering of knowledge always leads to the gathering of resources,” he said. “The reason you gathered and disseminated [knowledge] was to motivate
people to go to … the Americas, to exploit it for resources.” According to him, rovers like Curiosity can lead the way to using resources from Mars. “It’s all about finding and inquiring but then you look at future plans and you think, well, maybe a base can be built on Mars,” he said. “Maybe it can be mined.”
The gathering of “knowledge always
leads to the gathering of resources.
— James Carson, department of history professor
When the Europeans colonized the Americas, there were also searching for resources to use. With exploration of new land comes the desire to claim ownership, Carson said. The Europeans would typically erect something like a flag or a cross wherever they landed. In modern times, six American flags remain on the surface of the moon — monuments from the manned Apollo missions of the late 60s and early 70s. “That’s part of the underlying colonial spirit,” Carson said. He said there are parallels that can be drawn to Mars today.