F r i d ay , M a r c h 3 0 , 2 0 1 2 — I s s u e 3 9
j the ournal Queen’s University — Since 1873
‘It is not a shameful profession’ Former sex worker says the provincial decision to legalize brothels will make sex work safer B y C aitlin M c K ay Staff Writer Sex work in Kingston will be safer thanks to new provincial legislation, says a former Kingston sex worker. On Monday, the Ontario Court of Appeal legalized brothels — allowing sex workers to operate in indoor facilities, which can effectively function as small businesses. Sex workers can also hire bodyguards or drivers for protection but a ban on communicating publicly for the purpose of soliciting sex for money was upheld. The former sex worker, who asked not to be identified, said her previous experiences demonstrate the negative effects of banning prostitution. “I worked in the strip clubs most of the time and I ran a brothel. When I ran this brothel the police came in and … the women were
taken in,” she said. “Criminal records ruin peoples lives and if you’re caught in a place where sex work is performed you’re going to get a criminal record.” She said she wants to break down the assumption that all sex workers are vulnerable.
“People seem to think that it’s just forced but there is a choice of whom you want to work with and that can be empowering,” she said. “When I worked with a client I always decided which ones I wanted to do additional things with.”
Contrary to common stereotypes, the former sex worker says her times in the industry weren’t about poverty or desperation. She said there are many reasons why women enter sex work, but it’s not always a last resort.
“Not by any means do I think I have the truth about sex work or all sex workers. I went into it because of greed. I came from a family that had quite a bit of money but I was an unreasonable girl,” she said. “When I was 17 or See Landmark on page 9
Student houses get solar panels
Local landlords honoured for good relationships with student tenants. page 3
Nine student houses, including the one above, have had solar panels installed on their roofs.
B y C atherine O wsik Assistant News Editor
A look at glass blowing in Kingston. page 14
A review of Queen’s Athletics’ 76th Colour Awards. page 20
A comparison of on and off campus grocery stores. page 24
The Student Ghetto is getting greener. Over the past year, nine student houses have had solar electric panel systems installed on their roofs. Six of these were just recently completed. Landlord Tom Adair owns the six houses that had solar panels installed. “There’s two reasons why I did this — it was partly financial because I’m hoping to secure a good return on my investment and the other part is that it’s good for the environment,” Adair said. After investing $300,000 to install the solar panels, Adair is now in the process of signing documents to submit to the Ontario Power Authority, which distributes contracts for the Ontario Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) program. The FIT program, which began in 2009, gives approved investors a 20-year contract with a guaranteed price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) that their green energy generates. It’s North America’s first guaranteed pricing structure for renewable energy production.
The current prices for rooftop “It shouldn’t have any positive solar panel systems range from 54.9 or negative impacts on the cents/kWh for a smaller system to students … the panels feed the 48.7 cents/kWh for a large system. grid, not the house,” Adair said. “I These prices are reviewed every would hope students support it, two years to account for inflation I see [the solar panels] as a sign and new technologies. of progress.” Adair said the solar panels won’t The installation takes affect his tenants or the condition approximately three days and of the house. Adair said the panels won’t need
photo by Asad Chishti
much maintenance. Local company Renewable Energy has been installing the solar panel systems in Kingston. Co-owner Brad Leonard said Kingston Hydro Corporation buys the electricity generated from the panels at about eight times the selling rate. See Installations on page 9
Random act of kindness Train passenger en route to gender reassignment surgery encouraged by Queen’s student B y C lare C lancy Editor in Chief Last month, 49-year-old Debbie Wooldridge boarded a train to Montreal to undergo gender reassignment surgery. “Leading up was the hardest part. As it got closer, it seemed like the days were getting longer,” she said. Once aboard the train, Wooldridge noticed a Queen’s
student sitting near her. The young woman had short blonde hair, curled at the shoulder, and sporting a Queen’s jacket. The train stopped in Toronto for over an hour, and Wooldridge, anticipating the upcoming surgery, used the opportunity to phone her friends. “I’m emailing, calling my friends, I can’t believe how long it’s taken, the challenges, the
struggles,” she said, adding that she was thanking her friends for their ongoing support. Wooldridge made a quick trip to the washroom and returned to her seat, when the young Queen’s student turned to her. “The student hands me this piece of paper and she said ‘This is yours,’” Wooldridge said. She paused to find her reading See I had on page 7
Friday, March 30, 2012
Fundraising campaign targets employees Campaign looks to raise $1 million in donations to Queen’s from professors, retirees and staff B y K atherine FernanDeZ -B lanCe News Editor An annual fundraising campaign, Campus Community Appeal, is aiming to raise $1 million by the end of April. All donations are put towards campus and student resources. Campaign staff co-chair Monica Stewart said it’s the only University appeal campaign that collects donations from staff, faculty and retirees.
who work “herePeople see the students as the reason to be here.
— Monica Stewart, Campus Community Appeal staff co-chair
“People can donate to all kinds of different purposes,” she said. “Many people donate to something that’s close to their own department.” Last year over 700 staff, faculty and retirees contributed to the campaign. Since it began in March, more than 610 donations have been made. Stewart said donors have the option of giving to specific funds but many choose to donate to a general pool. Every year the University decides how to spend
this money, Stewart said. Last year the appeal matched this year’s goal of $1 million, with a majority of the general pool’s money being channeled into mental health resources at Queen’s. “People who work here see the students as the reason to be here,” Stewart said. She added that when volunteers approach potential donors and are told ‘No,’ it’s often because they already donate to other organizations, or don’t think it’s an important cause. “Sometimes people might say, ‘Well I work here and I give a lot of extra time so I don’t feel that I need to give,’” she said. “Other people say I really want to give something that ‘I feel strongly about and I might as well be doing it in my workplace.’” Kathy Beers, a staff member at the Queen’s University International Centre, said she’s been giving to the campaign for the past 15 years, specifically to a fund that goes towards student scholarships and bursaries. “For a lot of students, despite what people might think about Queen’s … it is a challenge to be here,” she said. “I think it’s very important and probably is a growing need.” Beers said every year her mid-range contribution is deducted from her payroll, so she barely notices it’s gone. She declined to disclose the specific amount
photo by CoREy LAbALANs
Monica Stewart, co-chair for the annual Campus Community Appeal, says much of the $1 million raised during last year’s campaign was donated to campus mental health resources.
she donates. “My side of giving is to things like awards and bursaries rather to the bricks and mortars,” she said. “I’d like to do something that could have a more immediate effect.” Bob Burge, another co-chair for the fundraising campaign, said he thought getting involved in the campaign would be a good way to
get to know more staff. “What I’m really looking for are volunteers to help me to get the message out on why it’s so important for staff to contribute to their work environment,” he said. “Everyone who works here at Queen’s is very dedicated to their jobs and to students. I see every contact a student has with a
staff [or] faculty member as being very important.” Burge said staff and faculty are in a unique situation because they know where money should be spent at Queen’s. “We see the holes, and where can we give our small and moderate resources to,” he said.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Photo by corey lablans
Geoff and Karen Heminsley were awarded this year’s Golden Key Award by Kingston Mayor Mark Gerretsen.
Ups and downs of student-landlord relationships Municipal Affairs Commissioner says discontinued worst landlord award damaged town-gown connections B y A lison S houldice Staff Writers Cindy Kwong and her housemates say they’re taking their landlord to small claims court this month. For the last few weeks, Kwong and her housemates have been living with friends and in a hotel instead of their 72 Division St. home. A fire on March 10 damaged the house’s front area and parts of the second floor, leaving it unfit for living. According to Kwong, ArtSci ’14, over $1,500 was spent in moving and hotel fees while the property was inhabitable. Though their landlord isn’t legally obligated to pay for their accommodation, Kwong said she’s filing for emotional damages. Their landlord, Wayne Gollogly, couldn’t be reached for comment to the Journal. The AMS used to offer tenants an opportunity to voice concerns about landlords in the form of an annual award, the Golden Cockroach. Last year, there was a nomination period for the award which recognized the worst landlord in the Student Ghetto, but no nominations were received. This year, the award was discontinued. Landlord Phil Lam won the last two Golden Cockroach awards to be given out — in 2006 for his property at 288 Earl St. and in 2007 for his property at 286 Queen St. “Some of the claims that were made in nominations for the Golden Cockroach were potentially libelous. We weren’t sued, but we were certainly threatened by those landlords,” Dave Sinkinson, municipal affairs commissioner, said. Sinkinson, ArtSci ’11, said he strongly supports the discontinuation of the award. “The Golden Cockroach poisons any relationship we can have with landlords to help you fix your property,” he said. “It’s something that’s very reckless for the Society to be doing. “I don’t believe that any organization should be in the business of publicly
shaming someone.” Sinkinson said there are other ways to keep landlords accountable. “Frankly, landlord-tenant issues are best taken on by the tenant. It’s your contract with your landlord,” he said. “As a general note, having things in writing is really important. And basically keeping on them and following the law. It will work out for you.”
There is a power “dynamic, and landlording is a business. There are always going to be people who look for openings and vulnerabilities.
— Joan Jones, Town-Gown Relations co-ordinator Stephanie Kromfli and her housemates didn’t think twice about nominating their landlords for the AMS’ Golden Key Award. Formerly partnered with the Golden Cockroach, the Golden Key is given to recognize the best landlord. It was presented to Kromfli’s landlords Geoff and Karen Heminsley during a ceremony earlier this month. This year, there were 16 nominations. The winner is chosen by representatives from the AMS Municipal Affairs Commission. The Heminsleys, who own nine properties, were nominated by three separate tenants. “They go out of their way to help us. They kind of take that extra step beyond what’s required of a typical landlord,” Kromfli said. When her house had a break-in over the holidays, the Heminsleys responded immediately. “They were actually on their way to a family function, and they still came right away and helped us with the police report,” Kromfli said. “They’re always there for us to call them.” Kromfli said she often gets compliments from visitors about the condition of her house.
“[The Heminsleys] said they would never lease a house that wasn’t in a condition fit enough for their own kids to live in,” she said. “So as far as standards go, that’s the highest.” Kingston Mayor Mark Gerretsen was present at at the Golden Key ceremony on March 15. “Celebrating the successes of landlords is really important,” said Gerretsen, who’s also a Kingston landlord. “Unfortunately, just like politicians, there are some bad apples that can spoil the bunch.” But housing conditions are improving in the Queen’s area, the municipal affairs commissioner said, adding that the Golden Key will continue next year. “It’s hard for Queen’s students to see sometimes, because we’re only here for approximately four years,” Sinkinson said. “It’s hard to see significant improvement. But certainly in my time, I’ve seen things get better.” Joan Jones, the Queen’s Town-Gown Relations co-ordinator, said the most common conflicts between landlords and students stem from a lack of communication. According to Jones, landlords aren’t legally obligated to address a property standards violation until a tenant complains. “Students on the other hand, come from a different kind of experience,” she said. “At home, whoever you lived with noticed whether the tap was dripping or whether the furnace was making a funny sound.” She said communication needs to start at the beginning. “One of the key pieces is an incoming inspection,” she said. “Like you do in your res room when you look at what’s missing and what’s not functioning properly, you need to do that for every aspect of your house.” This informal inspection allows incoming tenants to identify problems and have them fixed over the summer. Jones said it’s essential that this occurs before moving in. “You don’t do that initial communication, then all of the sudden you’re in the middle of
schoolwork. And nobody has the time to do it. And pretty soon it’s January.” Jones said lack of communication is only one cause of negative landlord-tenant relationships. “There is a power dynamic, and landlording is a business,” she said. “There are always going to be people who look for openings and vulnerabilities.” Tensions can also stem from the student culture, she said. “There still is an expectation in the Queen’s culture that everybody has some kind of crazy house story,” she said. “So whether it’s about something that happened between you and your landlord, or an act of God like the flood we had last year, having a story is still really important.” Jones has been working for
Town-Gown Relations since 1999. In her 13 years on the job, she remembers one house in particular. “There were actually mushrooms growing out of the floor,” she said. “I’m not talking mould or fungus. They were literally mushroom spores growing out of the corner of somebody’s room in their house.” But she hasn’t seen a case like this in many years and says housing conditions are improving. There’s a right landlord out there for everybody, Jones said. “You need to find the person with the communication style that is going to match yours, who’s going to be helpful in the ways you find are helpful, and who’s going to stay the heck away if you want them to stay away.” — With files from Vincent Matak
Former AMS President Ethan Rabidoux presents the Golden Cockroach in 2006.
Journal file photo
Worst winner Landlord Phil Lam won the Golden Cockroach Award two years in a row. In 2006, he received the dishonor for his management of a student house at 288 Earl Street. The next year he won again for property at 286 Queen Street. Tenants complained of mould, insects and structural issues. One tenant of 286 Queen St. said people had been living uninvited in their back shed, keeping warm with candles, the Journal reported
in 2007. Then-Municipal Affairs Commissioner Ryan Quinlan Keech said Lam’s property was the most poorly-cared for property he’d seen. “In terms of the worst of the worst, 286 Queen Street takes the cake,” Keech told the Journal in 2007. “I can’t believe people are living there.” — Terra-Ann Arnone
Friday, March 30, 2012
Forum looks to improve accessibility on campus Equity advisor Heidi Penning says concerns will be published in a public document by end of semester B y J Oanna P lUCinsKa Staff Writer In honour of Disability Awareness Month, the Equity Office held a town hall meeting at Robert Sutherland Hall on Wednesday to facilitate discussion on issues surrounding accessibility at Queen’s.
The event spearheaded by Equity Advisor Heidi Penning aimed to engage community members in brainstorming strategies on how to make Queen’s a more accessible institution. “The primary goal is hopefully that the people leaving these two hours are recommitted to a sense of purpose around building an
inclusive community with a shared purpose and shared responsibility so that accessibility doesn’t reside solely in the Equity Office,” Penning said.
is to “keepMythegoalcommunity
informed, so that they’re consulted and collaborated with.
— Heidi Penning, Queen’s equity advisor
After breaking out into work groups focusing on each of these themes, those attending proposed solutions to accessibility concerns at Queen’s. Penning said the point of the town hall was to encourage discussion and the sharing of past issues from participants in order to begin the implementation of the framework. “We need to hear of these stories in order to plan that they don’t happen again in the future,” she said. Concerned parents brought up issues in allowing for private housing accommodation for those with disabilities or facilitating tours
around campus, which are more sensitive to the needs of those with disabilities. Others called for a need to create more discussion amongst students and faculty members on campus around issues of disability. The University’s major goals are laid out in the Queen’s Accessibility Framework, a document designed to reflect the main tenets of the Accessibilities for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) on campus. The document focuses on five key aspects that affect accessibility — customer service, information and communications, employment, built environment and education. Penning and her co-workers aimed to inspire those attending the town hall, a mix of community members, students and faculty, to reflect on how to improve in each of these areas at Queen’s. In Dec. 2011, a new accessibility framework was approved and aims to encourage the Queen’s community to achieve accessibility goals combined with fiscal responsibility. There are four main goals listed, including developing plans, establishing shared accountability and responsibility, providing
educational opportunities on accessibility awareness and continuing efforts to incorporate accessibility issues in university initiatives. The organizers of the event hope to maintain an ongoing conversation on campus through more town hall meetings of the same nature. “If they’ve got ideas, we have an open door policy. My goal is to keep the community informed, so that they’re consulted and collaborated with,” Penning said. As Jennifer Dutra, MA ’11 said, students with disabilities like herself oftentimes have to actively seek out help without much guidance. “People may question whether or not you have a disability,” Dutra said. While this experience may be alienating, Dutra also outlined some of the positive steps people can take to help those with disabilities. “One of the things one of my professors did was disclose to me that she’d worked with people with disabilities in the past, and that they’re successful today,” she said. “That gave me a little bit of a positive space to say, ‘I can have a conversation with you.’ ”
Terrorism not biggest threat Natural disasters, human error threaten critical infrastructure, says study B y M eaGhan wray Assistant News Editor Suggestions to improve Queen’s accessibiliity included making campus tours more accessible.
photo by CoREy LAbLANs
Canada’s critical infrastructure isn’t adequately safeguarded against terrorism and other threats, a
Queen’s-affiliated study suggests. Critical infrastructure refers to governmental assets including electricity generation, telecommunication and water supply, which have the opportunity to threaten or enhance the well- being of Canadians. According to the collaborative study entitled ‘Canada’s Critical Infrastructure: When is Safe Enough Safe Enough?’ modern services and systems within Canada rely on critical infrastructure, which can be impacted by natural disasters, human malice and error. Andrew Graham, adjunct professor in the School of Policy Studies, co-authored the national study with Douglas Bland, a Queen’s defense research fellow. The collaborative study between Queen’s University, Simon Fraser University, the University of Calgary and the Macdonald-Laurier Institute for Public Policy was released on December 2011. Graham said he was asked by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, an Ottawa-based public policy think tank, to analyze the relative safety of Canada’s critical infrastructure. “We’re talking about financial structure, electricity, our movement of oil, our bridges, our hospitals,” he said. “I was able to identify a couple of issues arising … there’s a huge interconnectivity among the various parts of the infrastructure.” Graham said that communication between government and industry is lacking and ways to strengthen Canada’s critical infrastructure include things like tax incentives and investment
in research. He said initially the study’s main focus was terrorism in Canada. But he said terrorism isn’t as big of a concern in Canada as it’s sometimes been made out to be.
There’s a huge “interconnectivity
among the various parts of the infrastructure.
— Andrew Graham, adjunt professor in the School of Policy Studies
“Between 9/11 and now, we’ve not [had] a lot of that kind of thing going on in this country,” he said. What is more concerning, Graham said, is the concept of domestic terrorism, including organized crime. “There’s a higher potential for domestic terrorism than there is for international terrorism,” he said. Graham said the study combined interviews with government officials and literature reviews — the studying of past research analyses of similar topics. At this point, Graham said he has no plans to follow up with officials on the research study findings or whether or not they will be influencing policy. “I’m providing research, I don’t have to follow up with anything,” Graham said. “Our job is to put these ideas in front of leaders.” — With files from Jake Edmiston and Katherine Fernandez-Blance
Friday, March 30, 2012
CAMPUS CALENDAR Friday, March 30
Monday, April 2
Queen’s Symphony Orchestra Grant Hall 5:30 p.m. $5 for students/seniors, $10 for adults
Implementing the Provost Model at Queen’s BioSciences Complex, room 1103 7:30 to 9 p.m. Free
Saturday, March 31
Tuesday, April 3
Earth Hour 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Esi Edugyan, winner of the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize: public reading and panel discussion Agnes Etherington Art Centre 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Maple Madness Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area 9 am. to 4 p.m. $5.50 for adults and children over 12 Sunday, April 1 April Fool’s Day Riverdance 7 to 10:30 p.m. K-Rock Centre
Wednesday, April 4 GradBash 2012 Grant Hall 2 to 4 p.m. Free with your student card Chinese Film Night Kingston Hall, room 200 7:30 to 10 p.m. Free
Want live updates during exams? Follow @QJnews on Twitter
ORDER YOUR COPY NOW! The entire 2011-2012 year of the Journal is now available in one nicely bound Journal, embossed with your name. Deadline: April 2, 2012
Friday, March 30, 2012
Alfie’s looks to boost booze security December theft of liquor bottle prompts examination of alcohol storage at Alfie’s B y VinCent M ataK Staff Writer
and the official proposal was put forward at the March 15 Board of Directors meeting. “We need to be able to make sure our Alfie’s is looking to install gates over its bars inventory is as safe as possible as well to prevent theft of alcohol. because liquor is expensive,” Eagan, BFA ’11, At last night’s Board of Directors meeting, said. “It’s part of our inventory and that’s the decision to install gates was tabled something that will affect the finances of the because the meeting didn’t reach quorum. services.” The motion to install the gates came after If the motion passes at the next Board alcohol was stolen from the nightclub over of Directors meeting on April 12, the winter break. retractable gates will be installed behind the “There was a theft, but unfortunately we Alfie’s logo on top of the two bars inside the were unable to identify whom the theft was nightclub. The gates would incur a cost of committed by,” Ashley Eagan, AMS vice- $7,650 depreciated over five years at $100 president of operations, said. per month including labour. According to Eagan, discussions on Eagan added that the motion also came installing gates at Alfie’s began in December, forth to adhere to “industry standards.”
NEWS IN BRIEF Plans in place for AmS fee increase At the March 15 AMS Board of Directors meeting, the $68.80 mandatory AMS specific fee was called into question. Discussions surrounded the need to increase the fee to support future AMS initiatives and rising salaries for the AMS full-time staff. Ashley Eagan, AMS vice-president of operations, said an increase in the fee would fund AMS operational budgets and allow further growth of AMS services. “The fee would cover operational increases to the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 budgets including IT infrastructure, market, the new SMART service under the Municipal Affairs Commission,” Eagan, BFA ’11 told the Journal via email. It’s estimated that the fee will need to increase by approximately $10 to $16 to cover the growth within the AMS over the past several years. In order for the fee increase to pass, it would have to be brought to AMS Assembly. The report wasn’t brought to AMS Assembly on March 22 due to time constraints. “Waiting until next year will allow for more financial forecasting in order to best assess how much of an increase is necessary,” Eagan said. — Kate Shao
Queen’s partners with Bombardier The Queen’s department of civil engineering has partnered with Bombardier Inc. to build and evaluate monorail train track in Kingston. The project involves a test track in Mill Haven, 21 kilometres outside of Kingston. Bombardier is testing a new technology — fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) bars and rods which reinforce the concrete beams used for monorail tracks. Made from tiny fibres of glass and bound together with a resin, the technology will replace the steel found in concrete supports, which is prone to rust and lacks longevity. Engineering professors Amir Fam and Mark Green have helped develop the technology and are project leaders in the partnership. Bombardier chose Queen’s as its partner university because of a pre-existing relationship between the company and the department of civil engineering, Fam said. “The opportunity came when they decided to build a new test track in their Mill Haven plant here near Kingston,” he said. Currently only one Queen’s graduate student is involved in the project, but in the future, the project could involve more students from Queen’s as well as St. Lawrence College.
The funding for the project is provided for the most part by Bombardier, according to the terms of their research contract with Queen’s. Fam is currently applying for a collaborative research and development grant for additional funding from the Canadian government. Queen’s administration has been instrumental in making the project happen, Fam said. “Vice-Principal Steven Liss, along with the Director of Innovation Park Janice Mady should take a large credit in that they facilitated the opportunity and they have been involved in putting significant resources at our disposal to help with communication and documentation with Bombardier,” Fam said. The agreement has been in planning for a year and a half. In a year’s time, Bombardier will bring in their latest monorail trains to test the track in Mill Haven. — Jordan Ray
requirement for Dean’s List lowered The Dean’s Honour List now includes students with a 3.5 GPA or above, lowering the minimum from 3.8. The change was made at Tuesday’s Senate meeting due to student concerns over the fairness of the current system. On March 22, concerns were raised at a Town Hall meeting organized by Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science Alistair MacLean. “The purpose behind the Town Hall meeting was to be sure that all students were given a chance to have their say,” MacLean said. There were approximately 50 students present at the meeting from all faculties. Students also raised concerns about scholarship requirements and the appearance academic standings on transcripts when applying to graduate schools and jobs. Jeff Galbraith, ArtSci ’14 and Sci ’14, attended the Town Hall meeting. He said the switch to the GPA system last year has affected his grades. “My percentage grades are good enough to renew my scholarship but my GPA doesn’t reflect that,” Galbraith said. — Kate Shao
“It’s something that has been discussed for a few years now,” she said. “If you look at any other nightclub or bar, they actually all have more secure ways of storing their alcohol.”
There was a theft, but “unfortunately we were unable to identify whom the theft was committed by. ” — Ashley Eagan, AMS vice-president of operations
Arrangements have been made with Commercial Door Systems Ltd. to install the
doors immediately if the motion is passed. Members present at the Board meeting spoke in favour of the initiative. Eagan said the gates will feature specific designs that match Alfie’s “aesthetic appeal.” “We’ve talked about little tiny circles or squares but nothing big enough so that you could get a hand in or anything like that,” she said. “We don’t want it to be an ugly grate we have to pull down.” TAPS Head Manager Faye Yachetti declined to comment on the new security provisions.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Student petition brought to meeting Students, faculty call for ambitious goal for carbon-neutrality by 2050 B y C aitlin M C K ay Staff Writer Queen’s held the first open-community forum to discuss the University’s Climate Action Plan on Monday. Student-run group Queen’s Backing Action Against Climate Change (QBACC) presented the administration with over 800 student signatures in support of the plan. “This petition shows student support for carbon neutrality by 2050 as part of our overarching plan,” Eric Shoesmith, ArtSci ’13 and co-chair of QBACC, said. “What the students really want is an ambitious goal to be set.” There were over 60 students, faculty and staff in attendance at the event that was organized by the plan’s advisory committee. Shoesmith said poor scheduling was to blame for a lower-than-expected turnout. “The committee and administration said that the major
purpose was to get students’ opinions. But this scheduling at [noon] to 1 [p.m.] on a Monday, is not conducive to most students’ schedules,” he said. In February 2010, Principal Daniel Woolf signed the University and College Presidents’ Climate Change Statement of Action for Canada. Through this document Woolf pledged to make tangible changes to increase campus sustainability. “The committee provides the recommendations but ultimately the administration has the final say,” Cassandra Cummings, a student representative of QBACC, said. This year, Queen’s missed the two-year deadline set by the Presidents’ Climate Change Statement — the University had planned to have a set list of goals and targets for sustainability initiatives. “Just the fact that they’ve missed this deadline shows that
Cassandra Cummings, MSc ’13, says QBAAC put up awareness posters to remind the administration of their committments to climate action on campus.
the administration isn’t taking this seriously,” Cummings, MSc ’13, said. QBACC responded to the missed deadline by putting up posters on campus. The posters, showing a wolf with the phrase “What time is it Mr. Woolf?” were displayed in all major buildings. Cummings said the posters raised awareness about the issue and reminded the administration of their commitments to sustainability.
‘I had no regrets going in’
Debbie Wooldridge received this note from a Queen’s student on a train who overheard Wooldridge talking to her friends about her upcoming gender reassignment surgery. Continued from page 1
glasses, thinking she’d dropped a piece of paper when she’d gone to the washroom. As she put on her glasses, Wooldridge opened the note, which read “I couldn’t help over hearing during our stopover in Toronto – and it was inspiring. Never forget the journey; it’s the beginning of gratitude.” The young woman who had handed over the note had disappeared. “It was overwhelming, tears came to my eyes,” Wooldridge said. “It was pretty amazing she would hand me that note as she got off the train. “Even though I had supporters along the way, here’s someone who became an ally and I hadn’t even spoken to her once.” Wooldridge said she was so touched by the note that she carried
photo by CoREy LAbLANs
“I had no regrets going in, if something were to happen … I was being the person I was. I couldn’t live my life the way I was living … Even though I had It’s hard enough being who you are supporters along the without being who you aren’t. way, here’s someone “All the work, all the pain, it’s all who became an ally worth it,” she said. “It should have and I hadn’t even been that way all my life. It felt so natural.” spoken to her once. Now, Wooldridge is in the — Debbie Wooldridge process of a month-long recovery at her home in Hamilton. She still “That note went with me as reads the note every day. close to surgery as I could take it,” “It’s important for them to she said. “That was the last thing know that what they did meant a I read.” lot,” she said. “She respected me Wooldridge said she wants as a person. the anonymous note-giver “I’m a big McMaster supporter, to know how much her act of but that day I had some Queen’s pride.” kindness meant. “That day I was really alone,” she said. “Here’s a person who showed some real human kindness.” On March 7, Wooldridge woke up from surgery as a woman. it with her in the days leading up to her surgery.
“We’re at the position now where Queen’s can stand up and be a leader and actually create a climate action plan,” Cummings said. “Or we could just make it about image.” As part of the Presidents’ Climate Change Statement, Queen’s Climate Action Plan was launched in February. Consulting firm Delphi Group assisted Queen’s in developing the plan. It details strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and implement sustainable practices in the University. The plan’s advisory committee was formed in January 2012 and is comprised of 22 Queen’s faculty members, students and staff. Queen’s Sustainability Manager Aaron Ball is a member of
photo by CoREy LAbLANs
the committee. He said that while they still need to work on the plan’s final logistics, committee members want to solicit feedback. “The plan is really for Queen’s by Queen’s,” Ball said. “We don’t want this to be done in isolation, we recognize climate change is important to a lot of students and we want their input.” The committee has been reaching out to the community through a number of mediums. “We’re involving students through forums but also through social media,” Ball said. “[The Sustainability Office has] a Facebook page and a Twitter page, which we use as tools to present our ideas and get feedback.”
Friday, March 30, 2012
Friday, March 30, 2012
Landmark decision to change Kingston’s streets
The Sex Worker Action Group (SWAG) is based out of HIV/AIDS Regional Services on Princess Street.
Kinder said. “Now they have the option to work inside and it is safer because sex workers can hire body guards or drivers and 18 I wanted a $200 bag and expensive things. someone will know where they are.” I was a very loud person and I was a star in Kinder said she’s disappointed the courts my own world.” didn’t also strike down the solicitation law, When she enrolled in university, she In all small communities, slowly moved away from sex work. like Kingston, there is a huge which would allow sex workers to discuss their services without fear of arrest. “I left because it was difficult to make climate of shame that is “This legislation leaves street-based money during the day,” she said. “I liked to associated with workers behind,” she said. “They are the work at night because the day wasn’t part of sex work. most vulnerable. Now we’ve made them the excitement and when I went to university vulnerable again.” it was difficult to balance my life with work.” Though Kinder considers this ruling a While it wasn’t traditional work, she said — Deb Kinder, HIV/AIDS community development breakthrough, she thinks Kingston’s attitude it was work that she was happy doing. co-ordinator at HIV/AIDS towards sex workers needs to change. “I chose other things, like university, that Regional Services “In all small communities, like Kingston, interfered with my work,” she said. there is a huge climate of shame that is The woman now has an 11 year-old son. “If I was not in a committed relationship “In Kingston about 10 per cent of sex associated with sex work,” she said. “We and if I could negotiate a good contract, I work is street-based and the majority of need to get the message that it is not a don’t see why I wouldn’t do sex work again.” the violence is against street-based workers,” shameful profession.” Continued from page 1
Deb Kinder, women and HIV/AIDS community development co-ordinator at HIV/AIDS Regional Services said the decision has real impacts.
photo by CoREy LAbLANs
Critics of the new legislation claim the ruling goes too far because it victimizes women, according to Jackie Davies, a gender studies professor. “There are two sides. People who oppose the decision speak of prostituted women, they speak of people who are involved in sex work as victims who are oppressed,” Davies said. “The people who agree with the decision consider this to be a labour issue and the discrimination of a workforce.” While both sides want to make sex workers less vulnerable, stakeholders disagree about what makes them vulnerable, Davies said. “Critics of the decision say it’s the activity that makes sex workers vulnerable,” Davies said. “The sex workers say it’s the people who want to control sexuality.”
Installations bring financial and green incentives and 48 panels it will displace the energy that the house uses,” Leonard said. “We usually “Most people will receive anywhere from a look for a south-facing roof because those 10 to 12 per cent return on their investment,” are the most economically viable.” Renewable Energy began selling solar Leonard, ArtSci ’95, said. “There’s a high return right now so people will be interested, panels in 1993, and as the technology has evolved, Leonard said sales have increased. but it will drop.” “Back then nobody had heard of solar Leonard said the size of the solar panel system directly depends on the size and panels,” he said. “Now people are getting direction of the roof. North sides of roofs into it from an economic standpoint.” Leonard said he hopes to eventually see aren’t suitable for solar panels because they solar panels on one in five roofs. don’t generate enough sunlight. “We’re green-ifying the Ghetto.” “If we can put up anywhere between 44 Continued from page 1
Workers install solar electric panels on the roof of 309 Earl St., a student house that was one of six houses recently fitted with panels.
photo by AsAd Chishti
10 •queensjournal.ca About The Journal
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Pinterest and Tumblr have recognized their influence and want users to be responsible when uploading content.
Pinterest makes progress S
ocial media site Pinterest privately-owned sites that can words related to self-harm like adjusted its Terms of Service moderate content as they wish. “pro-ana,” “thinspo,” “thinspiration” to ban all content that encourages Tumblr released a statement and “purge” yield a PSA with self-harm and self-abuse. The saying, “We are deeply committed encouragement to find help. “Eating disorders can cause March 23 announcement to supporting and defending our follows a similar move from Tumblr users’ freedom of speech, but we serious health problems,” the PSAs do draw some limits. As a company, read, “and at their most severe can in February. It’s a change targeted at we’ve decided that some specific even be life-threatening.” Links to thinspo boards — thinspiration kinds of content aren’t welcome help lines or online resource are also included. includes photos, notes and on Tumblr.” In 2010, the United Kingdom’s These sites have decided mottos that encourage viewers to lose unhealthy and extreme to condemn glamouized shots Royal College of Psychiatrists amounts of weight. Thinspo has of people who are unhealthy released a study drawing attention to the cultural causes of eating close links to pro-anorexia and and emaciated. Pinterest and Tumblr have disorders including anorexia pro-bulimia communities. While it’s debatable whether recognized their influence and nervosa and bulimia. The study called for a new this change will help to reduce want users to be responsible when “editorial code” to end promotion eating disorders, it’s important uploading content. for Pinterest to take a firm Sites have values and of the thin body ideal. Pinterest and stance. Restricting content can be user-generated content needs to Tumblr’s decision to put an end to thinspiration isn’t a cure-all for troublesome for free speech, but comply with these values. Pinterest should follow the lead self-image issues, but these sites are there’s no space online for sites that set by Tumblr and display public making strides towards building a encourage self-harm. Online communities are service announcements (PSAs) culture with a healthier perspective. often mistaken for public forums, alongside certain search results. On Tumblr, searches for but Pinterest and Tumblr are
Justin Chin Asad Chishti
Assistant Blogs Editor
Staff Writers Megan Cui Ally Hall Emily Lowe Vincent Matak Caitlin McKay Joanna Plucinska Jordan Ray Alison Shouldice
Holly McIndoe Becky Pero Kate Shao
Business Manager Daniel Weinshenker
James Bolt Katherine Pearce
Friday, March 30, 2012 • Issue 39 • Volume 139 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 40 of Volume 139 will be published on Thursday, April 5, 2012.
Jessica Munshaw Terence Wong
Friday, March 30, 2012
Pageant rules need revamp M
iss Universe Canada announced on March 23 that 23-year-old contestant Jenna Talackova was removed from the competition for failing to comply with the competition’s guidelines. Contestants need to be “natural-born females,” and Talackova is transgender. Talackova struggled from a young age to accept herself as a male, the Toronto Star reported on March 27. By age four she knew she was a girl and began hormone therapy treatment at age 14. This was followed by sexual reassignment surgery at 19 years old. In 2010, Talackova represented Canada at Miss International Queen, a transsexual/transgender beauty pageant held in Thailand where she placed as a finalist. The Miss Universe pageant had a chance to step up and make a bold political statement. Instead, they shied away, bringing brought into question the competition’s relevance.
Beauty pageants can be written off as vain competitions that seek to fulfill male fantasies, but they can also be fulfilling for those who see them as an opportunity for empowerment. Miss Universe is meant to represent the ideal of feminine beauty and Talackova’s disqualification is discrimination. It amounts to stating that transgender women aren’t real women and aren’t beautiful in the ideal feminine sense. What the disqualification ignores is that a single ideal of feminine beauty simply doesn’t exist. There doesn’t seem to be logical reasoning behind the pageant’s decision. If being born male gave an unfair advantage to a contestant then it may be grounds for disqualification, as in some sporting events. But being born male doesn’t provide a leg up in a competition of feminine beauty. If someone identifies as a
woman, it shouldn’t be necessary to check her birth certificate or baby photos. If an individual self-identifies as a woman, then she is a woman. A change.org petition has recorded over 40,000 signatures demanding that the decision to disqualify Talackova be reversed. The public outcry gives the pageant more power than it deserves in deciding what’s beautiful. Miss Universe is a competition married to archaic ideas and norms that simply aren’t relevant anymore. The Miss Universe pageant can set contest rules, but to stay relevant, pageant organizers should revamp their qualifications to fit evolving views on beauty and femininity. “I regard myself as a woman with a history,” Talackova said during her interview for Miss International Queen. It’s time we accept that a woman’s history is more important than how she looks in a swimsuit.
More than human
umans it seems are becoming more mechanized. Technology is allowing us to progress farther than we ever have before, but I worry that our advancements have outstripped our humanity. The camera has long been an extension of the human eye and prosthetics are used as extensions of the body, but when they perform better than the natural body, are we still human? Machines have their benefits from hearing implants, to headphones, to contact lenses. But what the newest waves of technology have done is externalize a number of human tasks. In the last several decades, machines have begun to offer mental support. How much of your “memory” is stored externally on a cell phone, hard drive or other gadgets? Countless moments, trivial and magnificent, are stored outside your brain. This is both fascinating and disturbing. The definition of a machine doesn’t cover mental power, but it should. The human brain is remarkable but circuit boards and the Internet have facilitated a phenomenal expansion beyond the tangible grey matter within our skulls. But all of this technology makes the concept of feeling difficult. The concept of memory retention, especially within classrooms, is being questioned. Why learn to solve cubic roots when your calculator can do that for you? Why bother taking notes when your camera can capture an entire chalkboard? Steven Mann, a professor at the University of Toronto, was described as “the world’s first cyborg” as one of the pioneers of wearable computing, webcams in particular. The webcams he works with serve as an extension of the human eye, allowing us to see wavelengths we couldn’t before, extending the spectrum that the “human” eye can see. Technology allows us to do more, but its problem has always been accessibility. With affordable technology such as the $35 touch-screen tablet from India, the technology gap is shrinking. Not everyone may have an iPad, but everyone could potentially have a touch-screen device. What I hope when everyone is wired and computerized, is that we never forget the simple things: fistbumps and ice cream on sunny days. What we need more than ever is not better technology, but more humanity.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Talking heads ... around campus
Perspectives from the Queen’s community
Photos By Terence Wong
What do you think about installing solar panels on student houses?
Health-care costs deter top talent Queen’s should adopt public health coverage for international students to compete for the best students and faculty
B ecky Pero, P h D ’15 H olly M c I ndoe , P h D ’15 Health-care insurance costs for international students and faculty may be hurting Ontario universities’ ability to attract top talent from outside the country. It’s a problem that could have enormous implications for Queen’s 2011 Academic Plan, with Principal Daniel Woolf leveraging an international strategy as part of the solution to financial constraints and increased competition from other Canadian universities. “I believe that part of the solution for addressing some of these current pressing challenges will be to extend Queen’s global reach,” Woolf said in a 2010 issue of Queen’s Alumni Review. But the health-care situation for both graduate and undergraduate international students, as well as faculty, is one of the areas where the administration needs to provide greater support. Currently, international students and staff pay for both basic health care and supplementary health care. Even though they pay taxes for the duration of their residence in Canada, thus contributing to Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) costs, international students haven’t been eligible for
OHIP since 1994. In the wake of deregulation in the 1990s, the Council of Ontario Universities created the private University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP), providing their international students, faculty and staff with a basic level of health-care coverage. It’s an expensive option for many international students. UHIP costs between $684 and $2,820 per year on top of tuition — which ranges anywhere from $12,000 to $68,000 per year. Although UHIP was set up to provide equivalent coverage to OHIP, it’s not universally recognized by hospitals and clinics in Ontario. Hospitals that aren’t part of UHIP’s Preferred Provider Network (PPN) can charge up to 2.5 times more than what will be reimbursed. In an emergency, someone in a critical condition may not have time to choose the cheapest option. The situation for international students is even worse with regards to doctors: according to a December 2010 Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance policy paper, practitioners can charge international students well over the amount covered by UHIP. Adding to the problem is the fact that UHIP premiums fluctuate wildly. In 2007, for example, single students saw premiums increase by 30 per cent, while faculty members with one dependent faced a 58 per cent jump. Salaries and funding packages
are not adjusted to help mitigate these unanticipated and unavoidable extra costs. The problem of healthcare insurance for international students isn’t new. In 2009, the Council of Ontario Universities and students together lobbied the Minister of Health to reinstate UHIP contributors to OHIP without success. But the issue seems to have slipped down on the Univeristy’s agenda.
Attracting and retaining top talent ... is a critical component in enabling Queen’s to become a world-class institution. The reality is that the costs of UHIP to international students put Ontario universities at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to attracting international talent. In Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, international students are covered under provincial health plans either immediately or after a six- or 12-month waiting period. Three of the top four international host countries — the United Kingdom, France, and Germany — offer public health care to international students. Rather than providing a sensible safety net for our international scholars and academics, UHIP acts
as a disincentive to many potential applicants to Queen’s: it narrows candidates down to those who can afford it rather than those who excel in their fields. And, even if you could afford it, why would you choose to study somewhere where you had to pay unpredictable premiums for a second-tier service? The fact that other Canadian provinces cover international students under their respective provincial plans acts as a further disincentive to come to Ontario. Principal Woolf ’s active and continued endorsement of public healthcare for international students and faculty is a prerequisite to realizing his aspiration for a genuinely diverse, international campus. Attracting and retaining international talent goes hand-in-hand with nurturing a diverse campus. It’s a critical component in enabling Queen’s to become a world-class institution. Queen’s must become a leader in advocating for a switch to OHIP coverage for international students. If we don’t, we risk falling behind out-of-province and international universities in attracting global talent.
“It’s a good idea that will pay off in the long run.” Paisley Mattes, ArtSci ’15
“How do I get one for my house?” Alex Mansourati, ArtSci ’13
“I don’t know much about it. I’m indifferent.” Aviva Webb, ArtSci ’13
Holly McIndoe is the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) international student affairs co-ordinator. Becky Pero is the SGPS international student affairs commissioner.
Letters to the Editors Homelessness campaign criticism undeserved Re: “Charity campaign needs to improve” (March 23, 2012) Dear Editors, We are writing to address the various criticisms raised in last week’s editorial concerning the 5 Days for the Homeless campaign. We agree with the editors that “it is important to look at the campaign critically.” Below are some of our thoughts. Criticism that the campaign was not “a true emulation of homelessness” misses the point. The goal of the campaign was never to provide a cathartic personal experience of what it is like to be homeless, nor was it to project an accurate depiction of homelessness onto the community. The goal of the 5 Days campaign is to raise money for local youth at risk, and to raise awareness of the
matter more generally. The 13 of us who brought this initiative to Queen’s for the first time surpassed our original goal of $5,000, and we are proud that we ended up donating over $8,600 to the Kingston Youth Shelter. Further, arguing that the 5 Days campaign did not make an “adequate attempt to educate people on what it really means to be homeless” calls for an easy response: you’re right. We didn’t make an attempt to educate people for two reasons: we are well aware that we are in no position to do so, and it was never our goal to do so. What we did do was raise money — a lot of money. This money will help the youth in our community, and give them a safe place to put their heads down at night. The concern that the money raised will “repair beds and bathrooms, but it won’t affect homelessness’ root causes” is also answered simply: of course it won’t. Does that mean it’s better to sit back and do nothing at all? To criticize our charitable efforts
because our aim was to improve the plight of homeless youth in the community, rather than to implement preventative measures or address greater systemic issues, is unproductive. By that logic, one could argue that money spent treating AIDS or any other illness is somehow less important because it is a treatment rather than a cure. Alleging that “it shouldn’t be necessary to take part in a spectacle to raise money for a cause” mistakes why the campaign was a success. Advocates often take extraordinary measures to attract attention to their cause. In a perfect world, people would take an interest in a cause for the utility of the cause itself, but the fact remains that through sleeping outdoors and soliciting donations we raised thousands of dollars that we would not have without these efforts. Of course charitable efforts — similar to most things in life — can be improved across the board, and of course there are important systemic issues that should continue to be advocated
for. But it’s important to remember that it’s easier to be an armchair cynic than it is to take action and get involved in the community. There are two types of people in the world: those who say “look at how far you have to go,” and those who say “look at how far we’ve come.” The charge that the campaign “needs to make changes if it takes place again” is true: it needs to get even bigger, it needs more students from more faculties to participate and it needs to make even more money for a great cause. Again, we are eternally grateful for the love and support that the community showed us during our campaign. We’d like to thank everyone who supported us, and we look forward to the growth of the 5 Days for the Homeless campaign at Queen’s in the years to come. Ben Adelson, JD ’12 Dana Carson, JD ’13 See Online on page 13
“It’s a step in the right direction.” Jerry Xue, ArtSci ’12
“We use panels to heat the pool at the farm.” Avalon McLean-Smits, ArtSci ’12
Nine student houses have installed roof-mounted solar panels as part of the Ontario government’s Feed-In Tariff program.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Friday, March 30, 2012
Online resources must be considered Continued from page 11.
Re: “Online learning puts revenue first” (March 23, 2012) Dear Editors, In his Op-Ed, Professor Jones’ omissions seriously distort the total picture. For example, on transfer credits, Jones ignores Queen’s long history of transfer credits and how they expand students’ academic experiences. He also overlooks faculty regulations governing transfer credits, preserving a Queen’s degree’s integrity. “Online learning” (it is really instruction with online resources) is Jones’ greatest concern but his critique, especially of Continuing and Distance Studies’ (CDS) initiative to develop more online courses, is selective and partial. What’s missing is critical. Queen’s is among the oldest distance education providers in North America. Not long ago, distance students could complete degree programs exclusively through correspondence. Students
around the globe, of varying socioeconomic status, completed degrees even when they could not afford living on campus for part or all of their studies. CDS made Queen’s more accessible. The precipitous decline in CDS offerings over the last two decades changed accessibility. The reduction was not due to courses’ academic rigour, assessments of student progress or quality of learning. It was simply a reallocation of resources (one currently being reconsidered). The increased accessibility that CDS growth offers is positive — not negative. Jones argues that because “ordinary” and online courses do not require separate curriculum committee approval, “an online course may have little in common with the on-campus version” beyond title, number and credit value. This is true of every Queen’s course, not just online courses. Once courses are approved, instructors determine their content based on the course description. Two sections of a course taught by different on-campus instructors, different instructors in different
Journal File PHoto
Online learning is an important element of university-level education and should be embraced, professor Rob Beamish says.
terms, or the same instructor in different years may differ considerably — far more than an on-campus course and its CDS version. In reality, there is significant overlap, often outright duplication, of the material in on-campus and CDS courses. Most important, the academic integrity of Queen’s courses resides with their instructors. Is Jones questioning Queen’s instructors’ integrity? Not long ago, departments’ “integrated commitment” to on-campus and CDS courses meant that on-campus instructors taught correspondence courses. When departments eliminated integrated commitment, CDS had to secure the instructors for many distance courses. If Jones worries about the correspondence between on-campus and distance courses, he should advocate for a return to departments’ integrated commitment — not denigrate CDS’s growth. Online courses are Jones’ main concern. For decades distance courses were paper-based. Course notes, serving as one-on-one student/instructor tutorials, guided students through course readings. Students’ assignments were submitted, evaluated, and returned with detailed comments; students and instructors or tutor-markers conferred by telephone, the mail, email, etc.; students completed invigilated examinations. About all that distance courses lacked were blackboards, an in-class lecture and, as technology advanced, overheads. But lecture rooms have changed dramatically and so must
CDS courses. The Internet provides distance and on-campus instructors with numerous opportunities to enrich students’ experiences; digital media help stimulate interest, convey material, and provoke deep learning. Only a crude technological determinist would claim that online instruction is necessarily inferior to on-campus delivery. University-level teaching and learning centres on the instructor’s and students’ commitment to course material, the quality of that material and student engagement. In many courses, online instruction offers learning opportunities well beyond lecture style teaching (and the Internet allows instructor/student interaction in real time eliminating a major difference between distance and on-campus instruction). Good instructors carefully assess the media that will encourage and facilitate student learning; today online resources must be among the media considered. Finally, Jones dismisses the blended learning initiative without indicating what a “blended learning” course is and why it is self-evidently bad. For those who have developed courses over decades, using multiple media, stimulating student engagement in different ways, blending an enthusiastic instructor’s knowledge and passion for course material with texts, PowerPoints, unique audio-visual presentations, active learning experiences, and Internet resources is an opportunity to improve upon what we already do well. In the appropriate courses,
instruction using online resources, in a blended-learning format, will enhance the learning experiences Queen’s provides students on-campus and around the globe. That is the total picture! Rob Beamish, Queen’s sociology professor
Keep yards clean Dear Editors, Queen’s students are proud to belong to their university. It is indeed a wonderful institution with great professors, great friendships and great times. I am a Kingston citizen who walks through the campus to work at Queen’s and I would like to ask students to ensure they have a great reputation with the public. Certain front yards in the Ghetto are disgusting. How about everyone ensuring that before they leave Kingston, they clean up the garbage in front of and behind their house? I realize that sometimes it is a case of missing garbage pickup — how about ensuring that garbage is put out on the day of pickup, and put in the right containers? Then when myself and other people are walking through the Ghetto this summer, we can say, “Queen’s students really have something to be proud of!” Joy Obadia, Queen’s Writing Centre tutor
Friday, March 30, 2012
Musical muse Virginia Clark shares her passion for bringing music to the Grad Club and the Kingston community B y A lly H all Staff Writer I arrived a few minutes early to meet Virginia Clark on Friday. With the familiar creak of the Grad Club door, I stepped around bodies and band gear to find her in the venue’s main space. Her back is turned, attention fixed on Rich Aucoin — the artist she’s booked for the night. He needs a piece of wood to build his keyboard stand on. Spinning to fling open a nearby door, she’s sure she has just the thing in one of the Grad Club’s three basements. “Well, are you coming?” she asked, holding the door open towards me. After a short wood-scavenge and debate on the validity of glass as a safe alternative, an arguably sturdy Sleeman sign made its way with us up the stairs. “I’ve played on beer signs before,” Aucoin said. It’s a team effort to put on a show at the Grad Club, that much is clear. Born and raised in Kingston, Clark spent time in France before returning to study sociology at Queen’s — she’s an ArtSci ’94. On a trip home after tree planting in B.C., she hopped on the ferry to Wolfe Island to visit friends. Clark never expected the trip would amount to her career at the Grad Club when she unexpectedly ran into the club’s manager on the island. “I was struggling in Vancouver just getting minimum wage, not really that happy,” she said. “I just lucked out. This awesome woman named Connie [Morris] was managing the place at the time and she just took me under her wing, we hit it off. It’s over 10 years now.” Those who know of the Grad Club know Clark, by proxy. Evidence of her work paints the town. Concert billings splash bulletin boards and doors around campus, the Wolfe Island Music Festival, church shows, Flying V Productions — all of this is Clark See The Grad on page 19
Mischka Alexi Hunter (left) and Mariel Waddell (right) took about 30 minutes to make a small lampshade for a local vendor.
photo by corey lablans
The art of moulding glass The Kingston Glass Studio and Gallery brings to life the ancient practice of glass blowing B y A lyssa A shton Arts Editor You may not have been to the Kingston Glass Studio and Gallery, but Bob Dylan has. “I’m thinking to myself, you gotta be kidding, Bob just walked in,” said glassblower Mischka Alexi Hunter, who owns the studio that the legendary singer-songwriter visited when he was in Kingston for a show in 2008. Dylan is one of many people who’ve been drawn into the studio for its glass blowing demonstrations, an art form dating back to the Phoenicians in 50 B.C.E. When you walk into the Queen Street Studio, you’re overwhelmed by the heat. The studio racks up a $1,600 monthly utilities bill to power the three furnaces involved in glass blowing. The first furnace holds the glass, with the glass blower sticking their pipe into the furnace’s crucible to pull out the molten glass. As the glass blower moulds the glass, it begins to cool, so they must stick the pipe in the second furnace called the glory hole. This reheats the glass to keep it malleable. Once the product is finished it’s put in the annealer, the third furnace which cools the glass for approximately 12 hours. The furnace holding the clear glass is heated to 900 C, explaining why Hunter and co-owner Mariel Waddell were wearing flip flops and short sleeves on Wednesday,
despite the single-digit temperatures outside. The pair were working on creating lampshades for the grand opening celebration of a local business. Waddell explains that glass blowing is all about teamwork, making it less surprising that the pair are actually a couple, who plan to marry next year in Waddell’s native Trinidad. The two met over a decade ago at Sheridan College’s crafts and design program. “We complement each other,” Hunter said. He laughs as he describes Waddell as having the necessary mind for numbers, since he failed Grade 9 math. Their bond is obvious when you watch the pair perform the delicate act of blowing glass. As Hunter moulds the glass on the work bench, Waddell assists him using the paddle to shape the end of the glass. She knows what he needs before he even asks for it. The duo are perfectly in sync with each other, which is necessary when both are wielding pipes of hot glass. Hunter worked on the lampshade from the bottom up — the way all glass structures begin. He said all glass blowing is basically the same, pieces just differ in their colour application. This is where Waddell comes in. Waddell dips her pipe with hot glass on the end into frits — tiny condensed pieces of colour which melt into the glass.
The colour in glass blowing is unique in comparison to other glass, like the glass found in a beer bottle. If you break a beer bottle, the glass is all one colour throughout. But in glass blowing, the colour is only a thin layer on the outside of the glass. After the glass cools in the annealer, it moves from the hot shop of furnaces into the cold shop. This is where any holes or other additions are put into the glass — like the rusty screws seen in Hunter’s work New and Used, inspired by his aunt and uncle’s farm. Hunter originally went to Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont. for ceramics and had to pick an elective out of furniture, textiles or glass blowing. He said he chose the latter because he was intrigued by the art, quickly becoming addicted. “It was the heat,” he said. “Whatever it is you make in the hot shop you can see it the next day, it’s quick. For people who are impatient, it’s nice. Furniture guys would spend all semester making a rocking chair. We could, it was kind of a joke, I wouldn’t recommend it but we could pull something off pretty quick at the end for critiques at the end of the semester.” The gallery’s current exhibit Urban Manipulation displays glass from Hunter, Stewart Jones’ oil paintings and Rick LaPointe’s steel sculptures. Hunter describes the
exhibit as “metal heavy,” with the nails in his glass works, the metal in Jones’s buildings and the abstract structures of LaPointe’s, one of which was rented for the 2012 film Total Recall. “It’s an interesting combination of glass and steel,” Hunter said of New and Used. “Glass can potentially outlast metal. Each has its own weakness, but also its own strength.” Hunter and Waddell opened the gallery six years ago, needing time to raise funds for all the equipment, with the furnace alone costing $40,000. Waddell said most of the tools have been around for centuries. The newest and most inexpensive tool is a pile of newspaper sprinkled with water, used to cool the glass while moulding. Since hiring a curator to run the gallery, the couple only have to work nine to 10 hours a day instead of the 15 to 16 hours they did before. In that time they can make 70 glass bottles or two larger pieces. Hunter hopes that he will be able to continue his hobby for the rest of his life. “I hope I’m 85, 90,” he said. “I may not be making the biggest pieces, but glass tumblers or candy canes for the grandchildren.” Urban Manipulation is at the Kingston Glass Studio and Gallery until June 15.
From left to right: Mariel Waddell uses a pipe to grab molten glass from the furnace and Waddell uses a hot pipe to put the hole in the top of the lampshade as Mischka Alexi Hunter assists with the jack.
photos by corey lablans
Friday, March 30, 2012
Musical checks and balances The Bright Light Social Hour maintains a democratic process for musical decisions B y VinCent M AtAK Staff Writer
Bright Light Social Hour played at SXSW last week alongside the Sheepdogs, the Cult, Black Taxi and Matthew McConaughey.
Creating accidents Chrissy Poitras’ exhibit Bits and Pieces explores impulsivity B y s AVoulA s tyliAnou Assistant News Editor When I first walked into Modern Fuel’s State of Flux Gallery, I wasn’t sure what I was looking at. But with the impulsive nature of the art, that’s not surprising. Chrissy Poitras’ exhibit Bits and Pieces is a collection of 12 silkscreen and encaustic pieces entitled Shimmy and Shake, paired with seven watercolour paintings also called Bits and Pieces. At first glance the exhibit appears as a muddle of small shapes and dark colours thrown onto a plain backdrop. “I work on impulse, accepting whatever it is I place on the canvas,” Poitras wrote in her artist statement. The encaustic method used in the 12 Shimmy and Shake pieces involves painting with wax colours and using a sharp utensil to create the lines and shapes in the pieces. It’s an impressive showing of Poitras’ skill, but the muted colours she used like light pinks and pale blues didn’t draw my immediate attention. The watercolour collection is what draws you into the exhibit with the vibrant shades
of pink, green and blue. Each watercolour has a large black streak, representing the accidental marks Poitras sees in her world. With her brush strokes, Poitras seems to create her own accident. In Bits and Pieces III, streaks of color collide to accidentally resemble human legs. In Bits and Pieces VI a group of colour spots form a crescent moon. This bright piece kept me circling back to it over and over again. Many of the abstract shapes were outlined in black, showing how creativity can flow from the black and often unfortunate marks in life. Despite the vibrant colours, I was left feeling bleak — there was no clear point to the exhibit. “The focus of these works isn’t to create a unified, well-balanced composition, but to allow the viewer to follow trains of thought,” Poitras writes. I’m not sure I followed the train of thought. Bits and Pieces is in Modern Fuel’s State of Flux Gallery until April 14.
Chrissy Poitras’ Bits and Pieces at Modern Fuel is a collection of 12 silkscreen and encaustic pieces and seven watercolour paintings.
photo by asaD chIshtI
For Austin-based The Bright Light Social Hour, writing their “ass-shaking rock and roll music” is a democratic effort. The quartet plays off each other’s personalities — some are organizers, idea-givers and others just criticize everything, said the band’s vocalist A.J. Vincent. But for the band, allowing for collective contribution is integral when creating authentic music. “Everyone contributes to everything,” he said. “The fact that it’s democratic is good because there are checks and balances in the music we are making.” The band formed in 2006 as an underground “hardcore spunky crazy [band] with screaming and stuff.” But at the hands of democracy, a new style evolved in 2007 when the band changed its lineup, losing member Thomas Choate and eventually Ryan O’Donoghue the following year. “So far since then, everything we’ve done together has been a little workshop,” Vincent said. The band’s musical influences are more personal and eclectic than political. For Vincent, musical influences bounce from classic rock to Motown to old-style electronic and even verging on to contemporary indie-rock and electronic music. This diversity in musical influence is brought together with on-the-road inspiration, crediting days off and time on the bus as their inspiration. “After being on the road … it’s about different feelings about being away from everything, being in outer-space kind of, but at the same time not hopeless,” Vincent said. “It’s just about feeling out there.” It’s for this reason that The Bright Light Social Hour is playing in Kingston for the
first time. Adventure, for the Texas band, is as much a part of their musical outlook as their democratic construct. According to Vincent, the band’s preference for playing in old-style theatres echoes this sense of adventure. The natural acoustic quality of these venues allows for a more dynamic and vibrant experience for both the band and their fans. “A theatre-type [venue] has a naturally acoustically awesome set up,” he said. “In Life, Keith Richard’s autobiography, he talks about how theatres are his favorite places to play just because it sounds so amazing.” The band’s complementary combination of talent and tenacity led them to win an Austin music competition in 2008 out of 1,500 contestants. From there, the band gained increasing popularity after releasing their self-titled album in 2010. The band’s popularity after the album release allowed them to broaden their tour destinations, starting in Miami. “We ended up booking things a whole lot easier and we started going to New York and went out west for the first time,” he said. “Now we’re running into here where we signed up with a Toronto and New York agent and now we’re touring way more with bigger shows.” As for right now, The Bright Light Social Hour plans to “bounce around” Canada and the United States, expanding their shows and reaching out to audience-members across the continent. Vincent said their ultimate goal is to keep expanding their tour further. “We hope to just continue playing a bunch of shows, playing at festivals, working and releasing our next album, and hopefully get to see Europe and maybe even Australia.” The Bright Light Social Hour play the Mansion tonight at 9 p.m.
Friday, March 30, 2012
ChArLIe BrOwn SerIeS
• Director profile
• Actor profile
• Stage crew profile
Balancing Peanuts on a budget Brittany Allan tackles her first time as a producer, trying to balance money with a creative a show worthy of the iconic Charlie Brown series B y C Aitlin C hoi Assistant Arts Editor The cast of Charlie Brown may be rug-rats, but for the production team it isn’t all Peanuts and play. “On the artistic side you get to play,” Brittany Allan, producer of Blue Canoe’s You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, said. “But what I’m sure a few people don’t know is that theatre is a business. And that’s my job, to run it as a business.” Allan, ArtSci ’13, held an apprenticeship with Kingston’s Dalliance Theatre Company in the fall, where she gained experience shadowing another producer. The third-year drama student said she left Dalliance with an “I can do this” attitude and was given an opportunity by Blue Canoe’s artistic director Michael Sheppard. “Heavy responsibility on my part because you’re playing with a lot of money,” Allan said. “And it’s not play money, it’s real money that I’m working with.” Typically, a producer’s job is to make sure the show is financially successful — projecting ticket sales and tracking expenses. Out in the “real world,” independent production is a risky business, and it’s no different with student theatre. “It’s a balancing act between the money and wanting a good show,” she said. “That’s where [director Alysha Bernstein] and I do work pretty closely together. She wants the best show she can have creatively and I want the same, but for a reasonable price.” One of Allan’s first tasks was sitting down with different members of the production team to determine who needed what. Despite her extensive planning, several last-minute expenses have come up with only days left before the show — a painted picnic bench will take the place of the real piano they were expecting to use. “The job is a lot about being, I wouldn’t say firm but, standing your ground,” she said. “It’s constantly … plugging in those numbers and being willing for them to change every other day.”
As a producer, you are the “realist of the group. ” — Brittany Allan, Blue Canoe Productions For Allan, it’s a lot more than just crunching numbers. She said she had personal relationships with several of the actors they cast and that those connections are all part of the process. “That’s kind of more so my job too,” she said, “the personal relationships with people, whether you establish them on campus and in the community.” The same kinds of collaborations happen in Hollywood — think the Coen brothers and George Clooney (O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Intolerable Cruelty and Burn After Reading). And don’t forget, it’s often the producer who accepts the Oscar for Best Picture, or in this case the Tony. The budget for Charlie Brown is just around $5,000, which, according to Allan, is on the lower end for a production of its size. “When you are producer and you’re working with someone else’s money, from my point of view, you’re trying to keep [the expenses] as low as possible so that more money can go into the next show or you know, you’re breaking even at some point,” Allan said. “Theatre is a very expensive thing to put on and it wasn’t something I really realized until I got these numbers.”
Brittany Allan has dealt with last-minute issues including substituting a piano with a painted picnic bench.
This may be especially true for Blue Canoe, since the organization has taken on a not-for-profit status over the last six months, Allan explained. Blue Canoe is a community-based theatre company aiming to provide opportunities to young actors. Any profits from the upcoming show will be funnelled into the next production. “You never actually turn a real profit,” Allan said. “Like, Blue Canoe just had a really successful run with Cabaret, the money made off that paid off the rights and all of the stuff they had to pay for it and anything left went into Charlie Brown.” Considering that 80 per cent of the budget went into getting the rights and renting a space, that doesn’t leave Charlie Brown’s creative team with a lot to work with — the remaining 20 per cent has to cover everything from costumes to set design. “The biggest challenge in this show for me was the set,” Allan said. “There were many things that [Bernstein] really wanted — and as a theatre lover … I really wanted them for her — but, realistically, there was no way that we were going to fit all of it into the space that we have and there was no way that we were going to be able to afford it at that point.” From there, it was local sponsorship to the rescue. In the end, Lowes provided all the wood for Bernstein’s “extravagant” set for free. Spin Dessert, Terra Foods and Tommy’s are also among the production’s investors. “As a producer, you are the realist of the group,” Allan said. She embodies the realist role, projecting a minimum of a 40-person audience at each show — half the capacity of the 80-seat Baby Grand Theatre, where Charlie Brown is set to run. “That’s not to say that I’m not hoping for the stars and a sold-out show every night … I mean, it’s always been my goal that we come out of the show breaking even, but even better would be to know that you’re helping the next show or know that you’ve made somewhat of a profit,” she said. “To have a successful show that people are reacting positively to is a huge weight off your shoulders because you’re very much the whole time worrying about ‘Is this going to work? Are we going to sell tickets? Are people going to come? Are they going to
like it?’” From tracking numbers to making tough choices, no doubt the wisdom Allan’s gained will outweigh any measure of success. The young producer said she wouldn’t call it a test run, but Charlie Brown was definitely a learning experience.
photo by corey lablans
“Time wise, execution wise, I would go do something, but I would go about it in probably the worst way possible,” she said. “If you haven’t done anything more than five times, everything is a learning experience, so this one especially was for me.”
Friday, March 30, 2012
From left to right: Catherine Owsik, Ben Bankas, Helen Bretzke, Owsik, Matthew Davis and Bankas in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
photos by corey lablans
Confrontation and comedic farce Impromptu Productions brings a dueling couple, awkward silences and brandy to the Kingston Yacht Club in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? B y M egan C ui Staff Writer Lies, games and violence are the necessities of modern entertainment, making it seem like we have to constantly crank up the intensity just to feel something. But Edward Albee’s Tony award-winning play, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, brings out a range of emotional responses, from laughter and compassion to shock and horror, no longer thought possible with our contemporary sensibilities. Director Carl Jackson and a small cast of four brings a rendition of Albee’s play to the Kingston Yacht Club, recreating a night of drinking that quickly turns sour. Scathing words and the occasional physical threat fly between older couple George and Martha, as their guests, young couple Nick and Honey, watch on with equal embarrassment and interest. Local veterans to the stage, Matthew Davis and Helen Bretzke play George and Martha, showing off impeccable comedic timing. The
duo snap back and forth from one emotional extreme to the next, yet always reel the audience back to the status quo just when either their violent confrontation or comedic farce is teetering on the edge of excessive. The young members of the cast, Ben Bankas and Catherine Owsik play Nick and Honey, demonstrating immense potential as stage actors. Their ability to play off of one another allows them to keep pace with the more experienced Davis and Bretzke. Owsik is an Assistant News Editor at the Journal. The tiny auditorium at the Kingston Yacht Club provides an intimate environment in which the audience becomes a part of the action. You feel like an uninvited voyeur privileged to the unfolding of private arguments and touching hilarity. The intimacy allows the audience to feel the same self-consciousness as Nick and Honey while watching the domestic shouting match escalate to physical confrontation. Scored to nothing but the steady clink of ice in brandy glasses, Who’s Afraid of Virginia
Woolf? doesn’t shy away from the awkward silence, but uses these moments of tension to let the cast’s faces and movements do the talking. In a three-hour production that is entirely played out in a single set with four actors, it can be easy to lose the audience by sheer tediousness. Yet the cast doesn’t fall into the
trap of overcompensation by overacting, nor do they ever allow the audience a moment of inattention. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? plays tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday at the Kingston Yacht Club. General admission is $20 and $17 for students
The Journal is currently looking for members to sit on next year’s Journal Board of Directors. We need: Three student-members at large from the AMS One student-member at large from the SGPS One industry representative
photo by corey lablans
Matthew Davis and Helen Bretzke play George and Martha, a dysfunctional couple whose arguments continually escalate throughout the play.
If you’re interested in having a role in the policy and business side of the Journal email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Nomadic rock Yukon Blonde have surrendered their home life in British Columbia for life on the road B y C lARe C lAnCy Editor in Chief Sending Yukon Blonde fan mail isn’t easy — the nomadic indie-rock quartet replaced home addresses with tour life. “We just gave up places, left and got some storage space,” frontman Jeff Innes said. “We just crash with friends now.”
we’re on tour “weWhen get guaranteed beds and food and stuff. It’s more of a home.” — Jeff Innes But Innes said the perks of touring don’t go unnoticed — it’s more lucrative than being in their hometown of Kelowna, B.C. or their Vancouver base. “When we’re on tour, we get guaranteed beds and food and stuff,” he said laughing. “It’s more of a home.” The band’s sophomore album Tiger Talk speaks to life on the road, with pop-rock songs like “For L.A.” and “Oregon Shores” referencing loneliness and isolation. The full-length release came together in bass player John Jeffrey’s parents’ basement on Vancouver Island. “[It was] kind of tucked away in the woods,” Innes said. “We’d just
GraphIc by JUstIn chIn
wake up at 10 in the morning and finish at 10 at night, just jam all day. We did that for about two weeks.” Released on March 20 by Dine Alone Records, Tiger Talk offers up a different sound from the band’s self-titled debut, which was on the Polaris Music Prize long list in 2010. Tiger Talk is closer to Yukon Blonde’s live shows, Innes said, adding that the dance-friendly songs make for a “night album.” “There’s nothing worse than going to see a band that’s boring,” he said. “We always just want our live shows to be fun and engaging.” That goes for the band’s pre-show ritual as well. Along with a group hug, Yukon Blonde has a habit of finding “fun inspiration” before each show, Innes said. “A while ago we threw out random years to kind of get into a vibe, like someone would yell out 1993 and we’d all … just try and get into what that brings to mind, like grunge bands or Pearl Jam. We’d just try and hone in on that. “I don’t know if it makes a difference at all, it’s just a really fun thing to do.” With 12 sets at South by Southwest music festival (SXSW) in Austin, Tex. earlier this month, the band isn’t in danger of slowing down — the festival attracts superstar performers like Jay-Z. “It was insane,” Innes said. “It’s such a hard thing to explain,
Until 2008 Yukon Blonde went by the moniker Alphababy, before changing it with the advice of singer-songwriter Jon-Rae Fletcher.
it’s almost a phenomenon sort of level.” It was the band’s second year at SXSW and they arrived fresh off of European and Australian tours. “The reception overseas has been amazing,” Innes said. He added that Yukon Blonde will be in Europe on two different tour legs during the summer and plan to return there again in the fall. “We’re really trying to get out there.” Yukon Blonde will play a sold-out show at the Grad Club on Saturday at 10 p.m.
KeeP UP tO DAte On the LIMeStOne Art SCene
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Friday, March 30, 2012
‘The Grad Club is my heart and soul’ Continued from page 14
and her team. What you can’t see nestled behind the Grad Club bar when you step up for a pint, is her office, where she said she often spends both days and nights. “When you’re running a business … it’s constant troubleshooting, that’s my day,” she said. “And dealing with great people. The community that comes here, we have a lot of regulars. It’s almost like a family.”
in their “life,Anybody they find out what they love, and they do it. I’m living my dream.
—Virginia Clark Clark’s work affects Kingston’s rep as an arts hub. It wasn’t always this way. She comes from the Kingston community of live music when bands like Weeping Tile and the Inbreds could be found playing the Toucan. “It was the birth of my love of live music,” Clark said. “But at that point they weren’t really doing live music anymore … nothing was really happening on campus as far as live music went.” Aiming to provide variety, Clark asked musically-inclined pals to come entertain, like local Spencer Evans. “I asked Spencer, ‘You want to come play on Thursday nights? We’ll make a night of it, I’ll make martinis upstairs and you come down and play,’” she said. “It started there, just asking friends.” After a chance call from a then up-and-coming agent Rob Zifarelli — he now represents Feist and Broken Social Scene — Clark booked her first show. “No idea what I was doing at all,” Clark said with a laugh. Sitting back in her chair, she points to
a poster near the ceiling. “It was Stephen Stanley, from Lowest of the Low. That was my very first show, it’s like my first dollar bill.” The walls of the office are lined with posters from Ok Go, Stars, Constantines and Wintersleep, all indicating the heavy history built from Clark’s initial efforts. Now, she said she’s inundated with offers and proposals for performances. On show days, the rooms transform. Tables shift, chairs pile, the stage folds out. “It’s not the ideal venue,” Clark said. “It’s a living room. The physicality is quite odd because you’re playing almost to two different rooms. “But it’s so intimate and hard to find. It’s hard to find that kind of connection, people want that connection.” When shows get too big, Clark relocates to accommodate larger audiences. Lately, the talent she books is spreading across genre, as she combs through new artists for both the Grad Club and the upcoming Wolfe Island Music Festival. “I do curate it,” she said. “When the Grad Club does a show here, it’s not just any show. It’s going to be what I hope people would consider to be a really good show. “I like the fact that a lot of students have gotten to perform here and have gone on to succeed in the music industry.” Clark shared sincere love for working with students, her face lighting up talking about the community’s significance. “The Grad Club is my heart and soul, I love this place so much,” she said. “It’s been a big part of my adult life. The Grad Club treats us really well. The students treat us really well.” There are countless Queen’s alumni who will cite the Grad Club as integral to their experience in Kingston. It’s something Clark doesn’t take for granted.
“It just makes me so happy, that this is here for students. I base my tastes on that,” she said. “I try to be as diverse as I can be, but also try and angle it so that people are going to find it interesting and not the same old.” Clark said people often ask her why she hasn’t moved to Toronto yet. Given her success here, city-dwellers assume she’s missing out on a bigger piece. With property on Wolfe Island, in Skeleton Park and 95 acres on the Canadian Shield, she said she looks no further for happiness than her close, dear friends around her. “I love my community, it’s part of me. I love my lifestyle here,” she said. “Living on the lake and living on Wolfe Island … I’m very fortunate that way. That to me is a priority. Doing what you love to do, doing it with who you love and living where you love to be.” Later in the night, the lights fall and there’s a sense of organized chaos. Aucoin’s set comes to a close, employees bustle, patrons fly around the room and I spot Virginia in the audience. Beaming, she floats through the crowd collecting empties.
ASK VIRG Next time you’re at the Grad Club, ask Virginia about that one time … … she missed her chance with Johnny Depp. … band members broke out into a fight on stage at the Grad Club. … Ben Harper’s manager bought her a beer. … the club hosted Final Fantasy and Grizzly Bear. … she shared a room with rock stars at SXSW, and lived to blog about it.
sUpplIeD by tIM Forbes
Among the many shows Virginia Clark puts on in Kingston is the annual Wolfe Island Music Festival. Last year’s lineup featured Stars, Shad, PS I Love You, Plants and Animals and Jennifer Castle.
“I feel a sense of pride. I enjoy, because I love music,” she said. “That’s really what it’s all about, what you love, right? Anybody in their life, they find out what they love, and they do it. I’m living my dream.”
Friday, March 30, 2012
photos by justin chin
From left: Women’s volleyball outside hitter Natalie Gray poses with the PHE ’55 Alumnae Award for the top graduating female student-athlete; the women’s soccer team celebrates with the Jim Tait Trophy for outstanding varsity team; football defensive lineman Osie Ukwuoma smiles with the Jenkins Trophy for outstanding male student-athlete.
Women’s soccer dominates Colour Awards National champions selected as top varsity team for second consecutive season B y G ilbert C oyle Sports Editor The women’s soccer team headlined the 76th annual Colour Awards at the Ambassador Hotel on Wednesday night, earning two of the six major prizes.
McGill wins men’s hockey title The world’s oldest hockey team won its first-ever national university championship on Sunday in Fredericton, N.B. The second-ranked McGill Redmen had gone 135 years without a title, but fifth-year captain Evan Vossen potted an overtime winner to clinch a 4-3 win over the Western Mustangs in this season’s CIS final. The Redmen came close to a national title last year, falling to the University of New Brunswick in the gold medal game. But this year, the top-ranked Varsity Reds finished behind the Mustangs in the round robin and failed to reach the final. In the round-robin stage, the Redmen beat the Moncton Blue Eagles 6-3 and lost to the Saskatchewan Huskies 4-3. All three teams were tied with two points, but McGill advanced to the final on goal differential. Redmen forward Francis Verrault-Paul earned tournament MVP honours with three goals and two assists, but almost blew the game for his team on Sunday. With McGill leading 3-2 halfway through the third period, Verreault-Paul picked up a five-minute penalty and a game misconduct. Western scored to send the game to overtime. The Redmen, OUA champions, beat the Queen’s Gaels four times this season. The teams met in the first round of the OUA playoffs, but McGill swept Queen’s in two games. — Gilbert Coyle
In front of athletes from all last season’s award after winning 13 varsity teams, Queen’s Athletics the national title in 2010-11. recognized this season’s most They came back even stronger impressive accomplishments — this season, picking up an OUA selecting the best varsity team, title to go with a second straight top performance of the year, best CIS championship. male and female student-athletes “We only talked about and top male and female rookie [repeating as champions] once student-athletes. at the beginning of the season,” head coach Dave McDowell said. Jim Tait Trophy for “Repeating is tougher than just outstanding varsity team: winning a national title.” women’s soccer The Gaels finished top of the OUA East in the regular season Queen’s only national champions before winning playoff games were selected as the team of the year against the Carleton Ravens and for the second consecutive season on the McMaster Marauders. In the Wednesday night. OUA final, they beat their rivals, The women’s soccer team won the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks,
in a shootout. tournament MVP. At nationals, the women won “As a coach, sometimes it’s hard three more games, defeating to sit back and enjoy watching, but the Montreal Carabins in the when I did get the chance I enjoyed CIS final after the game went to it very much,” McDowell said. penalty kicks. “The team has lots of pace, is very Winger Riley Filion was named mobile [and has] just a tremendous OUA East MVP, rookie Jesse De competitive attitude that pervades Boer was OUA East Rookie of that team from top to bottom.” the Year, forward Jackie Tessier was the province’s leading scorer Outstanding Performance of for the second straight season the Year: Joren Zeeman, men’s while six players were selected as volleyball OUA all-stars. At nationals, goalie Chantal Fifth-year men’s volleyball player Marson, Tessier, Filion and Joren Zeeman already had four co-captain Brienna Shaw were all prolific seasons under his belt at named CIS championship all-stars Queen’s, having won OUA Rookie while Marson was also named See Rookie on page 22
Men’s fencing cleans up at club awards Squad repeats as Queen’s best club after second straight OUA title B y E mily L owe Staff Writer About 320 athletes from 20 different varsity clubs gathered at the Ambassador Hotel on Tuesday night for the varsity clubs portion of the 76th annual Colour Awards, but the men’s fencing team picked up almost half the accolades. The varsity clubs night was the first half of a two-day gala honouring varsity sports at Queen’s. While many varsity clubs take part in OUA and CIS competition, they’re a notch below varsity teams because they receive less funding from Queen’s Athletics. Although each club handed out its respective awards, five major honours were up for grabs on Tuesday night — the Award of Merit for the top varsity club, the Jack Jarvis and Marion Ross Trophies for the
top male and female studentathletes, and the Alfie Pierce Trophy for the Male and Female Rookies of the Year. Award of Merit for top team: men’s fencing
Marion Ross Trophy for top female athlete: Emily Young, figure skating Fourth-year figure skater Emily Young added another trophy to
her stack of Queen’s awards. In her four years with the team, the co-captain won four OUA gold medals, three silver medals and four bronze medals. She was See Fencing on page 23
For the second straight year, the men’s fencing team was named Varsity Club of the Year. The award comes after the team earned its second consecutive OUA Championship banner by beating the University of Toronto Varsity Blues in a tiebreak fence-off at the ARC on Feb. 12. The Gaels medaled in every competition they attended this season, but Alfie Pierce Rookie of the Year Al Quinsey said the team’s goals will be just as high next year. “Most of our best players are returning,” he said. “I’m expecting Supplied by queen’s athletics that we will be able to get the The men’s fencing team picked up its second men’s banner next year.” straight varsity club of the year award on Tuesday night.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Lunchtime game nears fourth decade Since 1973, students and faculty have congregated at noon to play pickup soccer games B y K atherine Fernandez -B lance News Editor In the middle of a pickup soccer game on Tuesday afternoon, a Queen’s student dropped to the turf to complete 10 pushups. It’s part of a long-standing
tradition that has seen students, faculty and staff, called the Nooners, meet for a friendly soccer match every weekday. The game started with a group of faculty and staff from the computing department and ITS in 1973. When a player makes a rookie mistake, the others call for pushups.
The Nooners have assembled for weekday lunchtime games since 1973.
“It’s a joke but it’s also, ‘Yeah, okay I deserve to be disciplined for being such a twit,’” Queen’s IT staff member Mike Smith said late Tuesday afternoon. When the Nooners first started playing almost 40 years ago, it was three-on-three. Now, it’s common to see up to 52 players on Tindall
Photo by justin chin
Field on a warm day. Anyone can join the noon-hour game. Teams are split up at random, and they only play for pride. Smith, the group’s commissioner and organizer, has been involved with the Nooners for almost as long as it’s been around. “I sort of ended up being the person in charge, partly because I was willing to carry the cones and the balls to the field,” Smith said. As the official rulekeeper of the Nooners, Smith has to enforce some unusual policies. There’s no sliding, no contact and no goalie. “To score a goal, the ball has to cross the line, it cannot be higher than the waist,” he said. “There’s no offsides, there’s no referee.” Although Smith touts the game’s inclusivity, the field has a limited female presence. Smith recalls a time when there were more women on the field. “We had a group we called the Soccer Moms, but they sadly have pretty much all stopped playing,” Smith said. “Because there are so many younger guys around, they felt that it was maybe more aggressive than they really wanted.” On Tuesday, Sinead Early, PhD ’14 was one of two females playing in the game. She said the most she’s seen on the field since she began is four. “I really enjoy playing with guys,” she said, adding that the Nooners are a high-skilled group. Max Vernet, a retired Queen’s French professor, has been involved with the Nooners since he was a Queen’s graduate student in the 1970s. “I don’t know if I’m one of the 10 earliest [players,] but I’m
certainly one of the oldest now,” Vernet said. This year has seen an infiltration of younger players, Vernet said, especially when the weather gets warmer. “The younger guys are taking over,” he said. “We have to tame them.” Vernet said part of what makes the Nooners special is the banter between players on the field. “You don’t take this stuff seriously if you’re a Nooner,” Vernet said. “Every day somebody makes a mistake, usually me.” Initially, the Nooners were relegated to the cricket field in front of the Frontenac County Court House near the corner of Barrie and Union Streets. “The ground was very uneven,” he said. “Lots of leaves, lots of ankles got twisted on that field.” Since Tindall Field’s renovation in 2008, the group has played on the artificial turf during good weather and inside the ARC during the rain or the cold. Vernet said the Nooners are unique to Queen’s. “It’s a great integrator. We’ve had people from all over the world — from Japan, from Iran, from Nigeria,” he said. “They don’t know anybody, all they know is they can play soccer and they see this game and they come in and they integrate.” Ahmad Blharram, ArtSci ’11 and MSc ’14, said the older players are generally good company. “They can be annoying,” he joked. “Their rules are really annoying, but they joke a lot, they’re fun. It’s just meant to be fun, really.”
Unique challenges for Atlantic schools Schools from Eastern Canada struggle to compete with bigger, better-funded schools B y G ilbert C oyle Sports Editor When the top-ranked University of New Brunswick men’s hockey team fell in the national tournament last weekend, it didn’t just end their quest for back-to-back titles. It also marked the first time since 2007-08 that the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) conference failed to win a national championship in any sport. The AUS, an 11-school league that spans the four Atlantic provinces, has to overcome geographic isolation, a smaller talent pool and smaller budgets to compete with top-tier Canadian university programs. This season, it was the least competitive conference in Canadian Interuniversity Sport. According to AUS Executive Director Phil Currie, the biggest deterrents to winning national trophies are financial restrictions. “It’s always money,” Currie
said. “Our members are always struggling with finding the funds to remain competitive, to scout blue-chip players and student-athletes.” Despite not winning a national title this season, Currie said the conference is still very strong, adding that the depth of quality has improved in recent seasons. “If you look at the results, we’re right there [during national tournaments],” he said. “There’s growth in the conference and we’re happy about it.” In certain sports, like volleyball and football, the AUS can only field three or four competitors. To compensate for the lack of competition, the conference teams up with a Quebec conference in an interlocking system where cross-conference games count in both Quebec and AUS league standings. “It’s been going on for almost 10 years,” Currie said. “We’re
The AUS-champion Dalhousie Tigers fell in the first round of the men’s volleyball national championship earlier this month at the ARC.
looking to renew [existing deals] and it looks like we have another deal for women’s volleyball … to start next year.” Dalhousie Tigers men’s volleyball coach Dan Ota said it’s crucial for men’s volleyball to maintain this arrangement with Quebec because Atlantic teams otherwise struggle to find suitable competition. This season, the Tigers placed first in a three-team AUS conference to earn a spot at nationals, but were swept in the first round by the eventual champions, the Trinity
Western Spartans. “On the East Coast, it is challenging to get out and play more teams outside the region,” Ota said. “That’s just the reality of what it’s like in Canada — being on the coast, it’s very cost-prohibitive.” There’s also a smaller player pool to choose from in Atlantic Canada — Halifax is the biggest AUS city with a population of just under 400,000, but the only other cities with over 100,000 people are St. John’s, N.L. and Moncton, N.B. As a result, coaches must leave the region to find talent.
journal file photo
This season, eight of the Tigers’ 14 players came from Alberta and Ontario. But Ota said Dalhousie is focusing on local player development by setting up club programs for teenage players. “Compare [our numbers] to Ontario, it’s apples and oranges … but it’s getting better slowly,” Ota said. “One of the biggest challenges is having good quality coaches, but we’ve done a good job for the past three years and we’re seeing the benefit.” Some AUS sports still rely See East on page 22
Friday, March 30, 2012
Rookie award winners set sights on next season Continued from page 20
of the Year once, as well as OUA East all-star and second-team CIS All-Canadian three times each. But he saved his best performances for his fifth year, earning the OUA Player of the Year award while being named a first-team CIS All-Canadian. He was also a tournament all-star at nationals earlier this month. The Cambridge, Ont. native led the OUA with 4.5 points per set this season. He will graduate from Queen’s with the team record in career kills, with 111, and single-game kills, with 31. Zeeman, who represented Canada at the World University Games in Shenzhen, China last August, said he’s considering an attempt at a professional career in Europe next year. “Hopefully I’ll try and go play pro, but I have no contract offers,” he said. “That will all be figured out in July or August.” Jenkins Trophy for outstanding male student-athlete: Osie Ukwuoma, football After spending a season away from Queen’s, football defensive lineman Osie Ukwuoma stormed back to win the Jenkins Trophy for outstanding male student-athlete this season. “It’s an awesome award to win,” he said.
Alfie Pierce Trophy for top male rookie: “There’s a long line of great athletes who’ve Women’s volleyball outside hitter Natalie Matt Christie, men’s rowing won it and I’m just really excited to be part Gray didn’t hesitate recalling her favourite memory from her Queen’s career. of it.” “Winning that OUA banner, when It didn’t take long for Matt Christie to Ukwuoma finished his undergraduate degree after winning the Vanier Cup in [outside hitter] Becky [Billings] hit the ball establish himself on the men’s rowing team. 2009. In June, he was cut from the Canadian off some hands and out of bounds,” she In his first season as a Gael, Christie was Football League’s Calgary Stampeders. But said. “I remember just dropping to the the team’s top-ranked rower, capturing when he returned to Queen’s as a law floor and everyone running in to tackle us an OUA bronze with the lightweight eight boat before winning a gold medal in the student, Ukwuoma rejoined the team and celebrate.” Gray could have chosen a number lightweight single at the Canadian University this year. “Coming back, there were lots of guys of top moments this season — the Rowing Championship. On Wednesday, Christie took home the I didn’t know, but they accepted me with fourth-year Nursing student led the Gaels open arms and I didn’t regret [returning] for with 3.6 points per set while earning the Alfie Pierce Trophy for top male rookie. “I’m really glad to be part of the team, a second,” he said. OUA Award of Merit and the OUA’s Therese This season, Ukwuoma led the OUA with Quigley award for academics, athletics and I’ve enjoyed my time at Queen’s already,” six sacks, earning OUA first-team all-star community involvement. On Wednesday, Christie said. “We had a crew age average of status while winning the J.P. Metras award she won the PHE ’55 Alumnae Award for 19 this year, so next year we’ll be that much older and that much stronger.” top graduating female student-athlete. as Ontario’s top lineman. This summer, Christie hopes to train with “I’m pretty humbled … it’s a great In five seasons with the Gaels, Ukwuoma was a three-time All-Canadian, a four-time accomplishment,” Gray said. “I never Rowing Canada. “It all depends on how I perform in April,” OUA first-team all-star and a two-time J.P. thought four years ago that I’d be standing he said. “We have a time trial that tells us if Metras award winner. up here.” “It’s bittersweet that you only get five Gray said this season was her favourite we get to go into the national team or not.” years to play,” he said, “but I’ll be leaving at Queen’s, adding that she wouldn’t have Alfie Pierce Trophy for top female this place with a couple of degrees and some predicted an OUA title before the season. On rookie: Jessie De Boer, women’s soccer great memories.” Wednesday night, she was visibly emotional about the end of her Gaels career. “I loved every minute of it,” she said. Women’s soccer rookie Jessie De Boer came PHE ’55 Alumnae Award for top graduating female student-athlete: Natalie “Being a Gael has meant so much to me and to Queen’s as a midfielder. But with co-captain and central defender I know I’ll be missing it come September.” Gray, women’s volleyball Brienna Shaw sidelined with an early-season injury, De Boer filled in at the back. When Shaw returned, De Boer moved into her preferred position in midfield. By the end of the season, she was a regular starter, scoring five goals and winning OUA East Rookie of the Year while helping her team to a second consecutive national title. “I just wanted to come out this season and do my best,” De Boer said after winning the Alfie Pierce Trophy for top female rookie on Wednesday night. “It was hard to come into a team that won [the national championship] last year and wanted something better than that, but we just had so much confidence in ourselves.” Even though the team will graduate certain key players, De Boer didn’t rule out a three-peat next season. “We’ve got a lot of returning positions,” she said. “If we keep up the same confidence and the same team dynamics we’ll have a good chance.” photos by justin chin
From left: Men’s volleyball player Joren Zeeman picks up the Outstanding Performance of the Year award; men’s rower Matt Christie (centre left) and women’s soccer midfielder Jessie De Boer (centre right) pose with the Alfie Pierce Trophy for top rookies.
East Coast isolation Continued from page 21
heavily on imported talent — 40 Ontario athletes played men’s basketball in the AUS this season, while Nova Scotia had the next highest representation, with 31. Niagara Falls native Justin Boutilier — who played three and a half seasons with the Acadia Axemen before quitting last Christmas — marks it down to a better youth system, claiming that Basketball Ontario has better basketball infrastructure than anything in Atlantic Canada. Boutilier said he was surprised to get recruited by the Axemen while he was in high school. “Before [the Axemen coach] called, I had never even heard of any East Coast school other than the [St. Francis Xavier X-Men],” Boutilier said. “But as soon as you get here, it’s absolutely beautiful.” The Axemen also enticed Boutilier with scholarship money. While schools like Queen’s can only offer $4,000 athletic scholarships, AUS teams often cover players’ entire tuitions. Boutilier said he got a free education from Acadia through athletic and academic scholarships. Boutilier also thinks university basketball
is pretty good out East. This season, the Axemen finished fifth at nationals while the X-Men earned a bronze medal. “It’s pretty good quality [in the AUS], nothing any different than the other conferences,” Boutilier said. “In Ontario, Carleton’s the best in Canada but [Royal Military College] is the worst.” There are other perks to being out East — Kirsten Jones, a fifth-year player for the St. Francis Xavier X-Women, said AUS sport is often the biggest show in town. “We’re pretty much the community’s entertainment, we’re their pro team,” she said. “We have a huge following, especially in Halifax with so many alumni there. “I grew up in Scarborough and it never even crossed my mind to see a varsity basketball game,” Jones said. “After games here, kids are coming in for autographs.” The X-Women placed fourth at nationals in 2010-11, and Jones thought they were pretty competitive with the top CIS teams. “We’re a little undersized, but especially in these past couple years, the conference has improved a lot,” she said. “It would be great if there was another time [in the season] when conferences were able to meet.”
— With files from Justin Chin
Friday, March 30, 2012
Fencing rookie gets award In his five years with the track and field team, Nishiyama won also a three-time team MVP and three OUA silver medals and academic all-star. qualified twice for individual On Tuesday, Young teared up events at nationals. But he said the when talking about her career with Jack Jarvis award still surprised him. “I really didn’t expect to win this the team. “It’s been one of the best award,” he said. “It’s an amazing experiences of my life,” she said. way to end my season and my “[Coming to Queen’s] allowed me career at Queen’s.” Even though Nishiyama is to pursue my academic goals as well as my athletic goals while leaving the team next season, he’ll continuing the sport I love still be at Queen’s finishing up his master’s degree. so much.” “It’s sad to leave Young credited her teammates competition-wise but ... I’ll still run for much of her athletic success. “It’s a very peer-based and train with a lot of the guys,” team,” she said. “I he said. gain motivation, ideas Alfie Pierce Trophy for top and inspiration from the female rookie: Haley other skaters.” Smith, cycling Jack Jarvis Trophy for top male athlete: Michael Nishiyama, track Smith had an outstanding rookie season, winning every competition and field she raced in while leading Fifth-year track and field co-captain the cycling team to its second Michael Nishiyama won the Jack consecutive provincial University Jarvis Trophy after posting his Cup Championship. “I had a really good season best-ever result at nationals — a sixth-place finish in the 1,000 outside of school last year metre race. Nishiyama was also and I was hoping it would part of the 4x800 metre relay team carry into [this season],” she that finished ninth. said. “It feels really good to be Continued from page 20
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recognized when you feel like you’ve achieved something.” Despite this season’s individual and collective accolades, Smith said she’s already looking forward to next season. “I want to win again.”
Alfie Pierce Trophy for top male rookie: Al Quinsey, fencing In his first season with the men’s fencing team, Quinsey picked up a ninth-place individual showing in the épée division at the OUA tournament while helping Gaels to their second consecutive OUA title. Although Quinsey said he was surprised to win the Alfie Pierce trophy, he said he felt prepared and confident entering this season. “Before I came to Queen’s I had five years of experience,” he said. “Most of the people on the university circuit are also on the national circuit [so] I’d fenced most of the people before.” Quinsey said he learned a lot from épée team captain Karl Gardiner. “[He’s] one of the top épée fencers in Canada,” he said. “Fencing with him is just an amazing experience.”
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acROss 1 Gaucho’s weapon 5 Apprehend 8 ‘Little Women’ woman 12 Related (to) 13 Ostrich’s cousin 14 La Scala solo 15 Back to zero, on ‘Wheel of Fortune’ 17 Bantu language 18 Grommet 19 Small church 21 Listener 22 Warmth 23 Despondent 26 Water barrier 28 Place for a watch 31 Overly proper one 33 Fleur-de- — 35 Unmatched 36 Supermarket section 38 Mimic 40 Big Apple abbr. 41 Freeway access 43 Blond shade 45 Fluffy dessert 47 Paycheck increases 51 Swiss mountains 52 All of a sudden 54 Ceremony 55 Bill and — 56 Agony 57 Throw 58 ‘In what way?’ 59 Curved molding DOWN 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Movie about a pig Fine Fragment of dialogue Monitor location, maybe On neither side Pump up the volume Sundance’s pal Charity events
9 10 11 16 20 23 24 25 27 29 30 32 34 37 39 42 44 45 46 48 49 50 53
Volcanic outbreak Mah-jongg piece Drag behind Peruse Chop Hot tub ‘Entourage’ role Causes chaos, maybe Actress Farrow Crafty Sleuth, slangily Optician’s product Small songbird Type measures Birthright barterer Clingstone, e.g. Zoo favorite Shopping center Medley Unescorted Author Wiesel ‘Auld Lang —’ Halloween shout
LAST ISSUE’S ANSWERS
Friday, March 30, 2012
Grocery Checkout and student favourites Metro and John’s Deli were compared for selection, pricing and quality of food offered. Here’s how the grocers measured up.
With the recent addition of the Grocery Checkout Fresh Market store in the Queen’s Centre, students can now buy groceries on campus. But does the closest store offer the best shopping experience?
Grocers get checked Despite a modest space, Grocery Checkout has managed to fit an impressive amount of food into the store. For a small chain store operating on campus, the prices at Grocery Checkout are reasonable. The highlight is undoubtedly the bulk food section located at the back of the store. Chocolate-covered pretzels and loose-leaf teas are just a few options. Food sold in bulk offers students quick and cheap snack options, which works well for a store located in the Queen’s Centre. Other snacks and prepared foods can also be found here. Veggies and dip, full salads and crackers and hummus are all available. It’s obvious this store puts an emphasis on fresh food and steers away from non-perishables. Packaged foods such as crackers, cookies and canned soup are limited. For health reasons this may be a good thing, but non-perishable items are often essential for students on a budget. The main constraint of this store is the limited selection of food. While they do make good use of their space, Grocery Checkout tends to only carry one brand of each item and lacks some necessities. When I was there, I wasn’t able to find two items on my shopping list — baby carrots and Oreos. If you’re looking for less common items or a specific brand of food, it’s best to shop at a larger store.
Because of its large size and relatively convenient location, Metro is the go-to option for many students living in the Student Ghetto. It remains popular, but Metro has without a doubt the most expensive prices. Although high prices are usually a turn-off, Metro offers an extensive selection of food, especially when it comes to fresh produce. As a vegetarian, I’m always interested in the selection of meat substitutes. Metro has by far the most extensive selection, with an entire shelf dedicated to meat alternative products such as tofu and tempeh. This can be a draw alone for those of us whose diet is largely composed of these items. One thing Metro lacks is a bulk food section. The same types of food usually offered in bulk can be found pre-packaged, but at steeper prices compared to Grocery Checkout. Pre-packaging also doesn’t allow a student to decide the quantity of food they purchase. A store as large as Metro could easily add a bulk section, which would make these popular foods more financially accessible. Considering Metro is a national chain, it’s not surprising it has the best selection. For those who prefer to buy all their groceries at once, this may be the best shopping experience.
John’s Delicatessen and Meat Market, known as John’s Deli, is located on Princess Street between University Avenue and Alfred Street. It’s a bit farther from campus than Metro, but has major advantages for grocery shopping. The bulk food section at John’s is quite impressive. It offers more than the typical bulk foods like dried fruit, nuts and trail mix. Some of the items offered in bulk are tailored towards alternative diets. Wheat alternatives such as spelt flour and potato flour are offered for those who require gluten-free food. John’s also has more local and organic options than Metro and Grocery Checkout. They have a selection of bread, baked goods and soups from local Kingston companies, and a wide selection of organic products. The one drawback of John’s is that it offers little frozen food selection. Outside of this, I would highly recommend John’s for its reasonable prices and wide selection of fresh food. After visiting all three stores, John’s Deli appears to be the perfect compromise. It balances variety with prices. Because it’s an independent store, you’re also able to support the community by buying local products. Although it’s a farther walk from campus, shopping at John’s is worth the extra effort. John’s Deli is located at 507 Princess St.
Metro is located at Brock and Barrie Streets. Grocery Checkout is located in the Queen’s Centre.
*Price checks were conducted on Sunday, March 25 and don’t account for sales or discounts.