Going off the Rails on a
Alekzia Hosein At around 7pm Monday, Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday suggested the implementation of private toll lanes to the Don Valley Parkway to the Toronto City Council. Holyday credited the idea to former councilor, Paul Sutherland, who suggested adding four centre-express lanes to the DVP for toll-paying vehicles and express buses in 2001. The council rapidly shot the idea down. Holyday acknowledged Mayor’s Ford’s opposition of toll roads, but suggested a go-around by building an entirely new lane. Even Holyday’s usual allies were in disbelief. Giorgio Mammoliti and fellow right-leaning councilors, Denzil Minnan-Wong and David Shiner were vocally skeptical about the movement as well. “Do you realize you’re driving people nuts with this motion?” Mammoliti asked.. An earlier presentation by Councillor Josh Matlow, motioning to study road tolls for non-residents on both the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway. The discussion was merely a sideshow to the main business of the day: a debate over the proposed $28-million of cuts, part of the $95-million worth of savings recommended by the city manager. The cuts come as part of Toronto’s six-month-long core services review, which aims to close a “massive” budget shortfall.
Over 4,000 anti-Ford protestors gathered outside of the building during the meeting. One major point of contention during the meeting was the size of the budget gap. Contrary to estimates of $600-million made by the Ford team in prior weeks, a figure of $774-million “is absolutely the real number,” Ford said Monday. The city’s chief financial officer, Cam Wheldon agreed that the gap has moved since the $774-million estimate was made in February, but refused to provide a more up-to-date estimate. Vehement opponents of Ford’s cost-cutting plan, Adam Vaughan and Gordon Perks pointed out an extra $80-million in the budget, unexpected revenue from the land transfer tax. “We have far more money available to us to save city services than the city manager and the mayor are saying on the floor of council today,” Perks argued. After unveiling proposed cuts in August, support for Rob Ford dropped to only 40% of Torontonians . according to poll results released by Forum Research. “If Ford were to actually start cutting services, Forum Research president Lorne Bozinoff said, “I expect support for him would drop even more.”
SMCSU Talks Money Noelle Grace The St. Michael’s College Student Union (SMCSU) has long been renowned as one of the most vibrant and exciting student unions on the St. George campus, and this year it is working harder than ever to maintain its reputation. As the 2011-2012 school year begins, many organizations on campus are struggling with the reality of economic hardships and tighter budgets, and SMCSU is no exception. Finance Commissioner Fran Turco has been working tirelessly with SMCSU to stretch the limited budget to cover a variety of events that are fun, memorable, and affordable for students. SMCSU collects its yearly budget from student fees as well as from donations and sponsorships from various community contributors. Mainly, funds come “from Student Levy ($14.00 per semester) and from any surplus created from the previous budget,” says Ms. Turco. Donations that St. Michael’s College alumni make directly to SMCSU also help fund the budget. “Certainly our social events are allocated a large portion of the budget, but their revenue leaves SMCSU and our students with substantial profits that are used to create better events in the future,” says Ms. Turco. Among this year’s most expensive events
are the Double Blue Formal and this year’s musical, Hairspray. “[These] are two events that we invest a notable amount of time and wealth in. However, their rewards are unprecedented amongst campus-wide events.” After allegations of a SMCSU budget deficit spread across campus, some have questioned SMCSU's ability to meet students' expectations in the upcoming year. “SMCSU has established a budget that has provided an exceptional brand of student-life to all members of our community,” says Ms. Turco. To control expenses, some events will cut spending. Last year, SMCSU managed its funds to not only provide services for students, but also to donate to philanthropic causes. Following the March tsunami, SMCSU donated $2,000 of its budget surplus to the Japan Relief campaign led by St. Mike’s students, and challenged other Student Unions across campus to do the same. “This year you will see an outstanding array of new and exciting events for St. Michael’s College. We hope to make [the students] proud this year and we promise to make this their best experience during their time in university,” Ms. Turco promised, on behalf of the union.
Letter from the Editor in Chief
Community Initiatives and other pretensions There is very little impact that students on a paper can make in the short time each of us work here. The fact of the matter is, the entire staff of The Mike faces a renewal every couple of years – depending on the trajectory of everyone who currently puts together the paper, not many of us will be left on the paper in five years. With such a short time to make changes and without the time to guarantee those changes will stick with the next generation of students, there is virtually nothing that can be done at any level of the paper's administration to guarantee a legacy for that particular year's changes. In addition to the brevity of the individual student's career the paper's budget is only so large, and the scope of story a student can manage whilst studying only so wide. A student paper like The Mike eventually simply becomes a service available to students interested in padding their portfolios and broadening their career horizons. In short, the paper becomes a means to an end, providing students with experience in a moderated journalism world before they enter the actual media workforce. The availability of such a service in many ways is invaluable. There are few other ways to get such hands on experience or to network at our age, especially for students at schools like the University of Toronto devoid
of a dedicated journalism program. However, there is a certain element of small-time journalism – that of community building and social justice – that I believe can be borrowed from local journalistic enterprises and applied to college papers. This year The Mike staff will attempt to support college and student initiatives that seek to improve not only the student community and the communities we live in, but also communities outside of our day to day interactions. For example, Nelly Lelany will be seeking to include more environmental pieces in The Mike through her capacity as Living Editor, and Sports Editor Sofia Rizzo has organized a charity pub night for Right to Play on October 20 with financial and volunteer support from The Mike's staff. I would like to invite all members of The Mike's readership to participate in this initiative. If there is a particular cause or event that you think deserves attention, please feel free to shoot me an email at editorinchief@ readthemike.com.
Dan Seljak Editor in Chief
St. Mike’s Campaign to Care Alex Zappone
University is a wonderful thing. It’s a place where some of the best and brightest gather to improve themselves. Our very own University of Toronto is no exception. As a future educator I take an interest in how people learn and I hope to be able to help future students grow. But you know, since I’m here, I might as well take a practice swing by offering the students of St. Michael’s college my humble advice. If you were fortunate enough to attend this year’s Chaplaincy dinner you might have caught some of what I hope to touch upon. The dinner, which occurred September the 22nd, was an evening intended to introduce SMC’s Chaplaincy team , headed by the awesome Marilyn Elphick (a group that doesn’t get half the praise they deserve for the work they do), and to have a discussion around the social teachings of the Catholic Church. Mr. Luke Stocking, an alumni of St. Mikes as well as a hero of mine, was the guest speaker who’s main message was quoted from the Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky: “The world will be saved by beauty”. Luke’s prescription to make the world a better place was for people to start displaying their individual beauty. No, he isn’t saying for girls to wear shorter shorts and push up bras with more horsepower then garage door openers and for guys to hit the gym harder than ever before; what he wants is for people to care for others. Getting back to the main goal of the article I was going to offer St. Mike’s students some advice: we need to care! I was actually quoted by Luke at this dinner for saying: “I want students to care about something more than books and booze”. What I meant by that was we can suck so much more value out of school (and life) by being involved in more than just going to class and then drinking the knowledge out of our heads. This article isn’t meant to bash drinking or studying, though both are terrible, it’s meant to make people start wanting to be involved! I’ll bet your wondering how you might be able to find something to get involved in. One great place to start looking is at SMCSU’s very own Religious and Community Affairs Commission! Run by my humble self and wonderful partner in crime, Muriam Salman, we hope to offer SMC students lots of ways to get caring! Find something your passionate about and go with it. Having already run a volunteer fair with lots of great organizations looking for help, a frosh mentorship program, and a year round donation box set up in Brennan hall, you know there will never be a short supply of ways to show your care. For more info contact Alex and Muriam at firstname.lastname@example.org Get out there and Care!
Masthead Editor-in-Chief Dan Seljak
Editor-at-Large Rachel Venturo
Business Manager Alex Greco
News Editor Alekzia Hosein
New York Manila Cairo
On September 17, protestors gathered at the Bowling Green Plaza for peaceful protest against the “greed and corruption” of America’s upper-class as part of the Occupy Wall Street initiatives led by Adbusters. A powerful typhoon sent tall waves crashes over seawalls, flooding the city and killing at least sixteen people in the Philippines. Egypt announced Tuesday that it will hold its first parliamentary election in three phases from November 21.
The Australian government removed restrictions on roles that women can hold in its armed forces.
A recent paper in Nature Climate Change warns that drifting icebergs from the continent's West Peninsula jeopardize the survival of the Fenestrulina rugulan, an undersea organism.
Quintin Peirce Oksana Andreiuk
On September 24, about 700 people gathered at the Telus Centre for Performance and Learning for TEDx Toronto. To watch presentations about Toronto's "ideas worth spreading," visit http://tedxtoronto.com/
Sports Editor Sofia Rizzo
Production Manager Micah Gold-Utting
Senior Copy Editor Vanessa Bertone
Copy Editors Ellie Daigle Ellen O'Malley Michelle Conklin Najla Popel Malina Radu Jo-Anna Pluchino Sarah Grech Stephanie Macfarlane
Illustrations Editor Vanessa Rowlin
Chris Hayes Matthew MacStravick
Joseph Frasca David Zamperin
Melissa Tarsitano Phil Zampini Can Alaluf looking to contribute? drop us a line!
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The Mike is the official student newspaper of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto, publishing since 1947. The Mike has a circulation of 2000, delivered to over 40 newsstands across the University of Toronto: St. George Campus and is published by The Mike Publications, Inc. It is printed by Master Web Inc. on recycled newsprint stock. Copyright © 2011 by The Mike. All rights reserved. The Mike reserves the right to edit all submissions.
SMCSU and Kelly Library Present: Essay Help Sessions (Kelly Library) Wednesday, September 21 Wednesday, October 26
As essays and assignments begin to pile up, Kelly Library will be hosting multiple writing seminars throughout the month to help students strengthen their writing skills. Help sessions will be addressing writing in the social sciences, humanities and sciences. See Kelly Library for more details and specific times.
SMCSU Presents: Leafs Home Opener (Brennan Lounge and Brunswick House) Thursday, October 6 at 7:00pm
Join fellow SMC-ers in Brennan Lounge and cheer on the Toronto Maple Leafs as they open this year’s hockey season against bitter rivals, the Montreal Canadiens. The night will continue afterwards at the Brunswick House where SMCSU is hosting a post-game after-party.
UTSU Presents: UofT Blue and White Spirit Days Thursday, September 29 – Friday, September 30
Run for the Cure Challenge (King’s College Circle) Sunday, October 2
Celebrate the beginning of the new school year with fellow students at a number of blue and white themed events presented by UTSU. Enjoy a club night at XS nightclub on Thursday and then enjoy a pep rally and Varsity Blues football game on Friday.
Join the SMC team and compete against other colleges and faculties as they raise money to participate in the CIBC’s Run for the Cure event.
UTICA Club’s Cup (King’s College Circle)
SMCSU is Hiring
Friday, September 30
Join UTICA for their annual all day soccer tournament at Front Campus. Compete against classmates, enjoy pizza from Pizza Nova, and try to get caught by OMNI TV’s camera for a chance to appear on television.
Monday, September 26 – Wednesday, October 5
Submit your resume for one of three available positions; scribe, speaker and chief returning officer (CRO).
Nomination Period for UTSU ByElections Begins
Friday, October 7 – Friday, October 14
Pick up a nomination package at the UTSU office if you are interested running for one of their open positions. Contact UTSU with any other questions or concerns.
Did UC the new exhibit? Tom Da Silva and Quintin Peirce
Q: The introductory texts for Angela’s gallery emphasized major themes like memory and time, which informed my perception of the first part of the exhibit: large-scale photographs of burnt books. In terms of time, I wondered how long each piece took to prepare and what year each book was published. Do you think these questions are central ones? T: Absolutely. I see three distinct moments in time being displayed: when the books were published, burned, and then photographed. Many if not all these works came out of the 1960s, a decade of immense change. Which got me thinking: why were they burned? Why were some books more scorched than others? Q: That’s assuming every detail was a conscious decision, which is understandable given such minimalism. We theorize on her process, and also draw on other associations. I thought of the infamous book-burning perpetrated in 1933 by the German Student Association as “action against the unGerman spirit,” adding another temporal layer. In any case, Grauerholz’s own bookburning feels political and/or didactic. T: Did she burn the books herself, or is that just an assumption? Q: It’s an assumption.
T: We don’t know for sure though. But yes, it’s human to use our imagination to fill in the blanks. The book that really interested me was “The Gutenberg Galaxy” by Marshall McLuhan. His “global village” concept predicted the internet 30 years before its invention. The book-burning alludes to society’s fear of progressive thought and its attempt to eradicate it from our collective consciousness. The intro texts mentioned the “imprecise nature” of Angela’s photography. This could allude to our imprecise memories – they’re never accurate, but always blurry. Angela’s fascination with blurring was literalized in the rest of the exhibit. How did that technique affect your viewing experience? Q: Well, it undermined the realism that was present in the first section. Suddenly, technique became as important as the subject. Definitely more abstract. The blurring made a more immediate commentary on memory. T: Agreed. Ironically, only though technology can we achieve “real” semblance of the past. The giant chest of pull-out photos was visually striking. Q: And it gave us the power to select what to view, much like a photographer selects what aspects of the world to capture.
However, gripped with the desolation in each photo, our helplessness humbled us. It was a very sad part of the exhibit – particularly the photo of the empty fairground. Also, the photos had such relentless undertones of perversion, but were so contained and neat in the drawers. Gave me the willies. T: Haha...willies. The empty fairground was eerie enough. But not seeing any signs of life in these photos was especially disheartening. As if every person in the world vanished, leaving only their constructions–a house, a model of the Eiffel Tower, a memory. The evil undertones you mentioned could be related to Angela’s preoccupation with the Holocaust. The lack of people suggests massacre and eradication. It’s a theme that you and I both observed throughout the exhibit. Q: As well as constructions, they also leave their conventions behind. In the dining room, the chair at the head of the table was larger and had arms – a suggestion of patriarchy. But even that convention was too transient to remain. And what about the open door in the background? It suggests freedom, but the black-and-white presentation made it look grimmer than that. “A Jewish Cemetery” was disturbing; so crowded. It stayed with me for the rest of the exhibit. Even images of the abundance of nature were overshadowed by death. T: Interesting. The spectator is always an integral component of art. Consider “The Library,” a photo of two men observing a wall of books. Despite its name, the men are the focal point, blurring the line between spectacle and spectator. Q: Maybe that’s the point. In doing so, Angela also blurs inventor and invention, victimizer and victim. Ultimately, it’s a question of responsibility. T: Speaking of which, it’s my responsibility to kick your butt on Angela’s chess set. Q: Little do you know I gained the rank of “Amateur” on Chessmaster 3000. Game on. T: I’ll bring the mop.
It was the candy man:
A review of Jeff, Who Lives at Home Micah Gold-Utting
Jay and Mark Duplass premiered their first Hollywood project to audiences at TIFF on Wednesday September 14. Jeff, Who Lives at Home follows in the footsteps of the brother’s past projects bringing the mumblecore feel of Cyrus to a full budget film. However, comparisons to the Duplass’ indie cinema roots may actually detract from enjoying Jeff. Jeff stars Jason Segel as the titular Jeff, a stoner who lives in Susan Sarandon’s (his mom’s) basement and spends screen time philosophising into a tape recorder while sitting on the can. Ed Helms plays Jeff ’s relatively successful, emotionally useless brother. As much of the movie consists of talented comedic actors Segel and Helms playing off each other as they wander around Baton Rouge, Louisiana it is tempting to say that it is their chemistry which carries the movie. However, it is more their chemistry with the mumbly script which makes the movie succeed.
The Duplass brothers create a story which forces absurdity and destiny to exist in a very real world. The story follows Jeff as he is forced from his basement in order to fetch wood glue for his mother. The Duplass brothers create a story which forces absurdity and destiny to exist in a very real world. Beyond all the indie film gloss, when you take off its horn rims and suspenders, Jeff, Who Lives at Home is a stoner comedy. But the horn rims do make it look classy, and the script succeeds at establishing its characters as real. Jason Segel owns both styles. The contrasting elements of the film mirror Segel’s own career as the freak from Freaks and Geeks who grew up into the goofy but caring husband and friend Marshall on How I Met Your Mother. His comfort with the material enables him to imbue the movie with a degree of physical comedy often missing from similar films. The movie isn’t revelatory and won’t win awards or change the industry. However it succeeds on every level as a feel good romp. Where similar films are punctuated by chuckles, Jeff has moments of pure hilarity. And where other films have moments of insight, Jeff has moments of true honesty. While definitely a stoner comedy, the Duplass’ film presents a dynamic range of emotion that creates an atmosphere that is much truer and more relatable than what is to be found in Apatow style films. While this doesn’t necessarily make it a better film, it certainly makes it a welcome addition to the genre.
Cinema History in 15 Hours: The Story of Film Movie Mark
A train hurtles toward the audience in the Lumiere brothers’ 1895 slice-of-life film Arrival of Train at La Ciotot. Contemporary audiences cowered in terror. Flash forward to 1924 as John Ford’s The Iron Horse roars across the screen. Flash forward again to Sergio Leone and the pure filmmaking of Once Upon a Time in the West, the exultant strains of Morricone music searing across Charles Bronson’s wind-bitten face in innovative big close-up. With clips from these and films and hundreds of others, as well as interviews with the likes of Robert Towne and Lars Von Trier in addition to his own footage, author and filmmaker Mark Cousins ingeniously transcribes his great 2000 film tome The Story of Film to construct The Story of Film: An Odyssey, a fifteen-hour documentary which screened in various segments throughout the Toronto International Film Festival this year. In traversing filmic innovation over the next hundred years of filmmaking following those early 1900s shorts, Cousins masterfully finds the confluences in the evolution of cinema around the world. To return to the train motif, for example, over the course of the film Cousins connects films based on the technique of the phantom ride, where a mounted camera gives a first-person view of a train. The selections are as diverse as George Smith’s original 1899 phantom ride film A Kiss in the Tunnel, to a 1985 documentary about the Holocaust called Shoah, to The House is Black, a groundbreaking 1963 documentary by Farough Farrokzhad about a community for lepers, where the camera
glides through the daily activities of the people in the village. This is just one of many examples where Cousins is able to reconcile formally and contextually disparate films through the universal language of the cinema. Cousins uses simple, metaphorical visuals to align concepts, including his own phantom ride shooting on subways, trains, and buses around the world, as well as thematic inserts for certain eras of film—upside-down L. A. landscapes for what he calls the “topsyturvy” period of New American Cinema in the late 1960s. He teaches us the helpful term ‘punctum,’ from the criticism of Roland Bart, in describing the accidental inclusion of something eye-catching in the film frame. Much of the travelogue footage is like this, buttressing the film-clip material and the theme of the loss of cinema’s essence in a global consumer culture. The passionate and playful narration by the director also helps carry the film. Ultimately, after sitting in the dark for 15 hours I realized that film spectatorship is a major way in which humans perceive the world, all around the world. And for the serious cinema student, the film is a reminder of that every understanding of cinema is too shallow; while a young art form, it is one of the most vibrant, maybe capable of reproducing the whole nexus of experience, definitely a thing of beauty. The Story of Film: An Odyssey is a love letter to that beauty. It is too massive in scope to really encapsulate in a review. It must be seen.
Hipster HoeDown 2011 Riley Carter
Last Monday, a small army of skinny jeans and deep V-necks converged in downtown’s historic Masonic Temple for the Polaris Music Prize, the annual celebration of Canadian Indie Music. Since 2006, the Polaris Prize has aimed to find the year’s best Canadian album release. Ignoring sales figures, music videos and radio playtime, a Grand Jury of 11 influential music journalists, bloggers, and broadcasters spend the month of August attempting to trim down the mass of amazing Canadian artists. Starting with a long list of forty nominees and some 200 jurors, the list is trimmed down to ten performers and eleven Grand Jurors in early July. To add a dash of suspense and mystery, the final decision is made during the awards show. No one has any clue which artist is going home with the $30,000 prize until the very end. Jointly hosted by 2009 Polaris Prize Winner and MuchMusic late-night host Damian Abraham (often referred to as “the greatest reason to watch MuchMusic at 2AM on a Thursday”), and veteran CBC Radio 3 broadcaster Grant Lawrence (who managed to avoid such ridicule), this year’s gala was quite interesting. Though the show ran over three hours for just one award presentation, it was not at all time wasted; each of the ten nominated acts were given a great introduction by the jury member most passionate about them, time to perform a two-song set, and a lovely commemorative poster, all on top of a $2,000 runner-up prize. Not bad. This year’s nominees were a diverse group, which lead to a fairly eclectic set of sensational performances: from Austra’s dark haunting gothic dance music, to Braids’ abstract melodic dreamy pop tunes, no two nominees were even in the same musical strata. Particularly impressive were Quebecois rockers Galaxie, who overcame a language barrier to deliver an energetic set to a mandatorily-seated audience; no easy feat. The journalist who
introduced Galaxie mentioned a philosophy of theirs: they want for you “to leave their shows drenched in sweat and yearning for more.” While a 10-minute set at a music gala presents a challenge to this ideal, the band performed with an intensity suggesting that given 30 minutes and a rowdier venue they could easily have met their goals. The incredible performances really highlighted that these artists are passionate about their music, and honoured by the opportunity to perform at such an event. Ultimately, the only thing that could’ve improved the performances would’ve been more of them: only six of the ten nominees performed. With three of my personal favourites occupied with the business of touring, and Arcade Fire logistically unable to perform, the gala did lose some brilliant forces. For an event that is primarily about bringing attention to generally unnoticed Canadian bands, it’s unfortunate that four of the nominees (Arcade Fire, Destroyer, Colin Stetson, and The Weekend) didn’t get a chance to perform. But such is life. In the end (surprising no one), Arcade Fire won this year’s prize. Some would argue that the Polaris Prize is intended for emerging artists, but to quote a recent Polaris Prize winner: “just because you’ve heard of a band doesn’t mean they suck.” Cementing the Polaris Prize as being “all about the music,” the band intends to put the full $30,000 into their Montreal recording studio, where Timber Timbre, and Colin Stetson recorded their shortlisted albums. Frontman Win Butler closed off the gala with a touching speech, and a detailed explanation of his hopes for future Polaris Music Prizes: he wants Canadians to just keep making great music.
I emailed director Mark Cousins some important questions about the cinema. This is what he had to say:
Welles. I saw it as a kid and adored its atmosphere, its mysterious geography, its maze.
Why is performance of such over-arching interest to young filmmakers in your opinion? Performance is just so brilliantly made. It's so non-theatrical: it doesn't talk about identities merging, it shows them merging, through shots, cuts, and dissolves. And it's about creativity, about tapping into the creative well in people.
What would you say is the state of film today? Cinema is in good shape today, I think. Digital has democratised the medium, which means that the new Francois Truffaut, where ever he or she is in the world, is more likely to get to make films than ever before. And film became so global in the 70s and again in the 90s, which enriches the medium. The usual dangers remain: that films are underimagined or that cinema is underrated.
Was there ever one particular lifechanging film which spurred your interest in cinema? For me it was Touch of Evil by Orson
Yep, that’s right. The recent one in the spring was for the federal government though-- this one is for the province of Ontario. Election Day is October 6th. You might be wondering who to vote for, where to vote, and why should you even bother? Well, The Mike is here to help. As long as you are a Canadian citizen and are 18 or older, you can vote. If you did not receive a voter registration card in the mail, don’t fret. All you need to do is show up on October 6th with some photo ID (your driver’s licence or your passport works best) and fill out a brief form. If you are a commuter, you need to vote at home, wherever that may be. For the rest of you that live on campus, you are voting here in the Toronto-Centre riding. On Election Day your voting station is 25 Adelaide Street East, on the fourth floor.
It’s open for business from 9am to 9 pm. Voting is important. The province is in charge of things like electricity, healthcare, taxes, and most importantly, tuition fees and OSAP! Some parties are talking about freezing tuition fees , some are talking about raising them, and at least one is promising to remove tuition fees altogether. Politics matter to you, so lay down your KD, log off World of Warcraft, get your butt out of your dorm, and vote on October 6th! So who do you vote for? Well, The Mike met up with some of the candidates and had a little chat. Here’s what they had to say.
Liberal Candidate, Glen Murray I: Please briefly explain your party’s history (when it was formed, why it was formed etc.) “Liberalism started in Ontario as a free speech and liberal movement, in order to give people more freedoms from the aristocracy here.” II: What have you done personally for the Toronto-Central riding? “As current MPP, my colleagues and I have had numerous infrastructure and social programs established in the riding. Too much to begin really; all our information is on our website. We hope to continue development of Toronto-Centre after the election. ” III: What are the main points in your party’s platform? “Continuing improving healthcare, investing in green jobs and green energies, building strong communities, improving
our successful education system, and continue to build Ontario’s economy.” IV: What do you plan to offer university students? “I think I have been strong for university students.... U of T is the largest recipient of Research funds and R & D grants. A 30% grant for all students and capped the debt level at $7,000 to reduce student debt.” V: When all is said and done, why should U of T students vote for you and your party this election? “On the most important issues we offer the best opportunity for economic prosperity, stronger healthcare and education, green energy, clean air, and restoring bio-diversity. We have fared well through the worst recession in recent history, and when the USA recovers, our economy will accelerate.”
Progressive Conservative Candidate, Martin Abell I: Please briefly explain your party’s history (when it was formed, why it was formed etc.) “It formed in 1854 in the John A. MacDonald era. Our party has governed Ontario for 80 years, nearly half of its existence. We also governed for a large chunk of time between 1943-85. We hope to regain that legacy on Oct 6th.” II: What have you done personally for the Toronto-Central riding? “I am a concerned citizen. I'm a parent, neighbour, coach, volunteer for the homeless, environmentalist, born and raised in the riding.” III: What are the main points in your party’s platform? “Relief to families through income tax breaks. We want HST off your hydro, investment in healthcare and in education. We also want a responsible, transparent government.”
IV: What do you plan to offer university students? “We want to increase spaces in the post-secondary system. We want to raise the OSAP threshold limit so more middle income families can send their children to college/university.” V: When all is said and done, why should U of T students vote for you and your party this election? “We can do better in government offerings and deliver better, more efficient services. The liberals can't do that, after what we have seen with the Ehealth scandal. We can end that with more transparency and better ministers that achieve objectives. It would be a big step forward for Ontario. We can also create many more jobs, all we need to do is get government out of the way of business.”
NDP Candidate, Cathy Crowe I: Please briefly explain your party’s history (when it was formed, why it was formed etc.) “The CCF was the original origins (The Co-operative commonwealth federation was a union movement formed in the 1930’s that eventually developed into the NDP).” II: What have you done personally for the Toronto-Central riding? “I have worked on advocacy for emergency shelters with my colleges.... We issued a declaration that homelessness was a national disaster, which led to new federal program which helps homeless through funding and social programs.” III: What are the main points in your party’s platform? “We offer affordable change for the average person. For all we offer affordable housing, childcare, jobs, while eliminating the HST. We are also going to upload public transit, housing, and social services, which will make them the responsibility of the
Green Party Candidate, Mark Daye I: Please briefly explain your party’s history (when it was formed, why it was formed etc.) “It was formed in 1983 as a response to the environmental movement of the 1970’s.” II: What have you done personally for the Toronto-Central riding? “I have lived here for seven years. I have always felt it is important to be a member of the community and getting involved in politics. I have also got involved in volunteering. I started a blog a few years ago and haven’t looked back since. I also got a bike rack installed at the church street beer store! After the election I will still be very involved in volunteering and environmental work. More to come.”
province, rather than the city.” IV: What do you plan to offer university students? “The NDP platform is calling for a tuition freeze. They are offering to take off the provincial interest on OSAP, which will make it more affordable to families and students. We are also offering a $5000 dollar tax credit to business that creates a job-which is good for graduating students.” V: When all is said and done, why should U of T students vote for you and your party this election? “Students care a lot about social justice and things that are important like ending poverty and creating good – jobs. Sadly we have seen low voter turnout in campuses. By large though students are open minded. Jack Layton's passing showed your vote matters. It is a great time to plant seeds for community involvement later on.”
III: What are the main points in your party’s platform? “1. Creating 21st century jobs. 2. Safe affordable energy. 3. Promoting access to quality sustainable healthcare. 4. Feeding communities with local farms, even in urban areas. 5. Delivering transparency in government.” IV: What do you plan to offer university students? “Freeze tuition for 2012-2013 while maintaining the university budgets. Then have tuition be raised on par with inflation, plus increasing investment in co-op and apprenticeship programs. Also expand certification programs for things like green buildings and new green technologies in post-secondary institutions.” V: When all is said and done, why should U of T students vote for you and your party this election? “Were a party that offers something different and is looking to the future – and is not stuck in the past.”
Learning in a Recession Fatima Syed
ARE GAMERS BECOMING THE NEW SCIENTISTS?
When most people think of video games, they think about whatever zombie-killing, enemy-decimating, win-the-highestachievement games are around. Many people think that playing games just rots the brain and wastes time. However, there is a new game in town that has the potential to solve problems that have been irking scientists and researchers for years. In this case, a workable model for a proteincutting enzyme, a retroviral protease that, when identified, may prove useful in treating HIV. They know it’s there, the only catch is they don’t know what it looks like. Despite working for decades, the model eluded them. Dr. Firas Khatib, a researcher, and Dr. David Baker, professor of biochemistry at the University of Washington, thought as complex as computers are, they do not have human intuition. They decided to see if crowdsourcing, using large groups of people could create what they needed. Human intuition
and 3-D spatial orientation may be the crucial missing piece in creating this model. In a recent article published in “Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.” Gaming scientists at the UofW Center for Game Science created a game called Foldit. In this game, players started with “base models,” the closest science had been able to come to identifying the structure of the enzyme. Foldit allows gamers to manipulate the model in a 3-D environment. They play in teams that compete against each other to solve the puzzle. Thousands of people worldwide participated in this challenge, most of them knowing little or nothing about genetics or molecular biology. They start off with simple abilities of manipulation, and were given guidelines on how to fold and tunnel through the model. Within three weeks the gamers were able to come up with several almost completemodels. The researchers were then able to
refine them into a single workable model. Identifying this enzyme means it may be possible to create medicine to treat retroviral diseases like HIV by creating ‘lookalikes’ that attach themselves to and replace the enzyme, rendering the virus useless. It doesn’t stop there. “The ingenuity of game players is a formidable force that, if properly directed, can be used to solve a wide range of scientific problems,” says Dr. Khatbib. It may be possible to use this game and others like it, for research on diseases involving disfigured proteins, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and other diseases. The game can also be applied to other non-medicinal problems. The helpful possibilities are just beginning to be explored. To see how you can get involved go to “http://fold.it/portal/”. Instead of saving the Princess, or unlocking that next achievement, you could help save millions of lives.
The Big Payoff Mihir Vaidya
in sight: no grants, then higher fees, and eventually astronomical feIn the midst of the longest economic epidemic since the Great Depression, university graduates are becoming increasingly skeptical of the benefits of an university degree. Despite the Canadian economy’s notable resilience to the crisis’ effects, this disillusionment is widespread even within our country. According to the Financial Post, the main reason accounting for this skepticism is Canadian publicity of American graduates’ poor employment prospects. As the US media represents a staple of the Canadian cultural diet, many Canadian graduates have had regular exposure to the grim US economic backdrop. This has consequently fed their cynicism over the benefits of higher education. Mr. Craig Alexander, chief economist at TD Bank, describes this notion, "Once I asked [one Canadian youth] where he was getting his information from, it was all U.S. media. In the United States it is horrible. There are an awful lot of youth there that have just left the employment market." Fortunately, raw statistics fully nullify the skeptics and clearly show the benefits of higher education. As stated in the Financial Post, median after-tax income for university graduates was $35,168 and $27,741 for college graduates. In comparison, the median after-tax income for high school graduates was just $19,744 and only $15,523 for people who didn't complete high school. Additionally, the rate of return on an undergraduate degree was shown to be 9.9% for men and 12.1% for woman. This is significantly higher than the borrowing costs associated with student loans. Hence, student loans’ are generally positive return investments. In spite of these largely positive statistics, graduates’ skepticism over the job market is unlikely to be disappear anytime soon. Apart from
The recession is everywhere we look. The widespread and varied effects of the ‘economic downturn’ are across all sectors, with education being one of those greatest hit. Whether you’re a school pupil, a university student, a teacher, a lecturer, a researcher, a library worker, an admin clerk, a canteen worker, you’ve all been confronted with the real effects of the current economic situation. Some universities were on the brink of financial ruin prior to the recession, but so many more are now under even more economic stress now. The situation is close to nonsensical in its irony; universities are saying they need money, and blaming the economic crisis on silly people borrowing "beyond their means" and crazy bankers lending recklessly. The irony is that at the same time they're telling students to embrace even higher debts! Politically, preliminary indicators show that most nations have not yet resorted to uncoordinated cutting of funding for higher education that we generally see. In fact most countries still see higher education as a key to short-term economic recovery, and in doing so are using the recession as a way
to accelerate reform policies solely focused on improving the quality of universities. Public universities in Georgia, Virginia, and Washington have all raised their tuition by about $1,000 for the fall semester. Public colleges in Florida, Louisiana, and Nevada are cancelling hundreds of classes for lack of state funding. California has simply shut the door on hundreds of thousands of its high school graduates and workers hoping for new skills. College officials in troubled states such as Louisiana are girding for further cuts that will be difficult, painful and destructive. Students are bidding goodbye to crowded classes and overburdened professors. The University of Oregon, for example, has seen the number of applicants from budget-crunched California jump from 4,600 to 7,000. It’s going to be a problem in the future if education keeps being ignored through the capitalist system. According to 2006 UNESCO projections, by 2015, the target date for universal primary education, at least 29 million children will still be out of school. At the same time, 776 million adults remained illiterate
in 2006, representing 16% of the global adult population, two-thirds of them women. The Great Recession has had a devastating effect on higher education, forcing many students across the country to pay more for colleges that offer less. Yet the downturn has also penalized individuals who don't spend the time and money to get a college degree. Even in today's weak job market, the unemployment rate for college graduates is less than 5 percent, about half the rate for those with only a high school diploma. It’s an utterly grim situation, but what choice do we students have? There is not a win situation in sight: no grants, then higher fees, and eventually astronomical fees, with insufficient returns – a limited education and a limited job market after that. But there is still hope; the seeds of a fight-back are there. In the last month alone, teachers are on the verge of a number of strikes and boycotts, students are protesting and higher education workers across the sector are taking industrial action against job cuts this year.
Fornication in Urbania Sarah Gagliano
No love for Disposable H2O Annette Gagliano
the media, the long-term nature of educations’ benefits compared to the short-term nature of its costs exacerbates the issue. Mr. Alexander explains this effect, "The problem for students is the cost is up front and the return is over the rest of their lives. The debt is a huge shock for students and something they've never had before and have to manage." Thus, for every recent or soon-to-be graduate: if your shortterm prospects appear bleak, remember that your education was a long-term investment.
"Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink.” This notorious quotation from 19th century English poet, Samuel Coleridge, is not applicable in all locations. This year, students and staff at the University of Toronto will go with flow and get all their water straight from the tap. This academic year, as a result of a student-led initiative, the University of Toronto has made a commitment to ban the sale of bottled water at the St. George campus. Most food service outlets and vending machines located on campus will no longer be selling bottled water. The University's Mississauga and Scarborough campuses will be phasing out bottled water in the next three years. Resorting to tap water for drinking water and using reusable water containers to store the water is the type of culture that the University of Toronto wishes to instil. “The move away from bottled water sales illustrates the university’s commitment to sustainability as well as the power of student engagement,” said Anne Macdonald, Director of Ancillary Services at the University of Toronto to the Toronto Sun. However, this public water initiative is not unique to the University of Toronto. In fact, in Canada, more than one hundred municipalities and eight school
boards have banned bottled water. For instance, in April 2010, the Government of Nova Scotia banned the sale of bottled water at all government facilities. More recently, this September, the Toronto Catholic District School Board has also initiated a bottled water free culture. Banning bottled water addresses two predominant issues: environmental protection and social justice. From an environmental perspective, there are obvious advantages to the bottled water ban. By not purchasing plastic water bottles, less waste will be produced, which means that less waste will end up in landfills. Water is a natural and public resource. From a social perspective, equitable accessibility to water is a right. Selling bottled water is a form of privatization, and therefore, goes against the fundamental right to water. “Consumption of bottled water not only creates enormous waste, it represents the privatization of a basic human right,” Sandy Hudson, a June 2010 University of Toronto graduate and current chairperson of the Canadian Federation of StudentsOntario, told Study Magazine in a recent article. Banning bottled water at Canada’s largest academic institution should very well inspire other institutions and organizations to do the like.
Sex in the City, not to be confused with the TV show Sex and the City is a first year course being introduced by UC One that is quickly catching a lot of public attention. And with a racy name like that, who can blame them? The course code (since I know some of you are already intrigued) UNI104Y1: Sex in the City, will be taught by the associate director of sexual diversity studies, Dr. Scott Rayter. As for the content that will be covered by the Sex in the City course, according to the course description found on the UC One website, “Students will learn about the sexual politics of the city and how cities and their neighbourhoods become sexualized spaces”. After reading the full course description available on the UC One website and being asked for initial impressions regarding the course, Marian, a fourth year life sciences student at UofT said, “I think that studying the origin and development of sexualized spaces makes it clearer to define the appropriate measures to help those who are prostitutes and sexual predators to revert to more respectable ways of life.” (Note that for privacy reasons an alias has been given to this student.) However, one must not be deceived into thinking that this course is only for “sexual predators”. In fact, all of the UC One courses will follow the same guidelines
as other university courses. The difference: according to the UC One website, these courses are “dedicated to teaching fundamental academic and real-life skills.” Dr. Scott Rayter told The Mike via email, “They [students] will also do a group presentation on sex in the city, either focusing on historical sites or on ‘sex today.” UC One was launched in September 2011, and it currently offers first year students a choice of four courses, with one of these courses being Sex in the City. These courses offer first-year undergraduates a small seminar setting, limited to 25 students, which according to the UC One website will “enable students to develop strong critical and writing skills, intellectual independence and creative imagination”. The first term involves weekly presentations given by faculty and guest speakers. It is not until the second term that students will split into their specific selections. Dr. Rayter will begin lecturing to the students on the Sex in the City stream in the second term, beginning in January. For more information on Sex in the City or on UC One courses in general, visit http:// www.uc.utoronto.ca/content/ view/1043/2862/.
Where has Drew Gone? Sofia Rizzo
There is something amiss in the locker room of the Los Angeles Kings. The advent of hockey season means a healthy Kings lineup will be lacing up their skates with the sense of serenity that accompanies getting back into old routines. However, the recipe for success is missing one key ingredient: Drew Doughty. It has been over a week since the Kings began training camp and the twenty-one year old is indefinitely absent. Doughty, who became an unrestricted free agent on July 1, will continue to steer clear of the Staples Centre until general manager Dean Lombardi satisfies his request of a $7 million contract. Lombardi, however, has made it clear that the Kings will not pay Doughty more than first liner Anze Kopitar, who makes $6.8 million per year. The elite defenseman is a key aspect of the club’s powerplay unit and produces well when paired with fellow Olympian Jack Jackson. For this reason, head coach Terry Murray is eagerly awaiting Doughty’s return, stating: “…I’m really hoping things get worked out. If he’s here two days before the season, he’s in the lineup.” A key feature of Doughty’s play is his grit. Often changing the pace of games in an instant, Doughty has proved his worth time and time again. Last season, despite missing six games from reoccurring concussion symptoms, Doughty tallied eleven goals and forty points in seventy-six games, for a plus thirteen rating. While his performance fell short of his stellar sophomore season, Doughty still
garnered more attention and was included in many Norris Trophy discussions. The Kings, understanding Doughty’s contributions to the roster, have been pragmatic and proposed $6.8 million per year over a seven-year period. If accepted, Doughty would become the fourth-highest salary cap hit among defensemen, behind the likes of Shea Weber, Brian Campbell, and Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. But for the Guelph Storm alum, it’s no dice. This begs the question; when will it be enough? It is worth noting that Doughty’s stalling will inevitably lead to a reduction in the Kings’ offer, as per the terms of the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. Training camp is factored into players’ salary and with Doughty’s $6.8 million contract; the herculean defenseman will forfeit $25,000 for every missed day of training camp. In the same vein, Bobby Ryan was at an impasse last year after becoming a restricted free agent. Ryan was after a higher paying contract while the Anaheim Ducks were indisposed, reluctant to pay the forward more than Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Ultimately, Ryan conceded and a deal was signed. As Ryan recalls; “To know they were going to be starting without me eventually drove me [nuts]…what you play for are the guys in the room. I think hockey is a brotherhood more than any other sport. If you can't look the guys in the eye and say you're doing the right thing by
Curbing your App-etite Katie Uniacke
It seems that every day there's a new App out there that's taking the world by storm. And what a range there is available on iTunes! The Apps Store has many categories ranging from Books and Education, to Medical and Navigation. I have seen people using Apps to find stores, read books, Tweet and browse the yellow pages. Not to mention the games. That's what everyone seems to be in for, the games. I have yet to browse through an iPod that didn't have Angry Birds, Cover Orange, Zombie Farm or ZombieSmash. There are Apps for everything! My father has an App for finding Starbucks and my mother recently purchased Bubble Pop. My sister and cousin have three pages worth of games, many of which they have yet to play. But do the games really have any use besides stunting
them, you don't deserve to be in the room." Take note, Drew. Eventually, one’s unbridled passion for the game of hockey and all it includes transcends contracts and money. As for the Kings, defensemen Thomas Hickey and Viatcheslav Voynov continue to play with fluidity as they vie for a spot on the roster. In a contest which saw an effective powerplay unit and strong presence in front of the net, Voynov shone and earned high praise from Kings captain Dustin Brown. A former all-star with Manchester
human conversation or causing procrastination? I never really bought into the whole craze that is to say that I was pretty much too cheap to buy Apps. Occasionally, I would download free versions of some Apps, let the novelty wear off and then promptly delete them. Maybe it's because the only thing I associate with my iPod is music and I want to leave as much free space on the device for my tunes. Perhaps the games just don't excite me as much as other people. All the successful games seem to follow the same basic idea. Flick your finger across the screen and launch A at B to knock B down and gain points. Whoop... That can really keep you busy for five hours can't it? The main point of a music device is the music, right? Or am I just too old to understand the appeal of
the games? They seem to attract a youth based market, but that's not to say that the adults haven't been sucked in. “It's addicting,” one mother says. “You see the kids playing and want to try the Apps out for yourself.” What I find most surprising is the huge market of App associated merchandise. At Hot Topic you can buy an Angry Bird hat or various tee shirts with other game references. Not to mention at various toy stores one can find an actual Angry Bird stuffed animal (good for throwing at the roommate). Maybe it's the next level of amusement, the 21st century pastime that leaves the 'oldies' in the dust. But whether or not I personally buy into the idea of Apps, the fact of the matter is that they're there and they're App-ening.
of the American Hockey League, Voynov plays with skill and finesse while Hickey is showing signs of improvement as he adapts to the fast pace of the NHL. In the end, there is no shortage of talent for the Kings to choose from. Traditionally the club opts for speedy young players and Voynov and Hickey seem to fit the bill. If Doughty has intentions of returning to the Kings he should not dely. After all, the show will go on.
TTC – Time To Change Inayat Singh
The lockout effects are still lingering as players continue to get injured. Teams like the Chiefs and the Colts cannot stay healthy, Dolphins cannot handle the heat, and the Giants are faking injuries. Offenses around the league are dominating; defensive players look a step behind..
The Leafs preseason opener kicked off well against Ottawa, winning by a score of 4-2. Against Philly, we saw Kessel/Schenn face off against their brothers even though we split the series. As for Buffalo, they may have lost both games, but they were close. It is great seeing Sidney Crosby having fun again and it seems like he is getting closer to being cleared for contact–the biggest remaining hurdle being his recovery from a concussion that has sidelined him for over 8 months.
Edwin Encarnacion closed out the Jays’ final home game of the season on a positive note with a walk off HR against the Angels. Meanwhile, Brett Lawrie fractured his finger and will be out for the season, but he will be ready for 2012. Check out the new Jays logo! Congrats to the Arizona Diamondbacks, going from worst to first in the NL West this year!
The Hot Corner
1. The NBA has cancelled 43 pre-season games, as they have not reached a new labour agreement. If you were wondering, the NFL only cancelled one preseason game. Things are not looking good. 2. Farewell to one of my favourite NHL players, Mike Modano. When nobody signed him after July 1st, he knew it was time to hang up the skates. He finished his career with 561 goals and 1,374 points, tops amongst all-American players. 3. Sources have indicated that MLB will be increasing playoff expansion to five teams by 2013, in the form of a one game knockout round. Also, the Houston Astros are likely to be moved to the AL, so there would be 15 teams in each league. Great news for the Jays. 4. NFL Films gave us a treat with “Bill Belichick: A Football Life.” He was filmed for the entire 2009 season. That is great for any football fan. Belichick even dressed up as a pirate for Halloween! Download or YouTube it… seriously.
Another day, another delay so it seems as daily commuters adjust to the many problems surrounding the city’s unpredictable transportation. But that not all folks, Rob Ford is planning yet another service cutback this year outlined for the 2012 budget. In addition to reducing services, there are talks about a potential annual fare hike. The change in service cutbacks affects the workforce and commuting students, but especially those living outside the downtown core. So buckle up for what may be another year of outrageously overcrowded trains, and longer waiting periods! One of the projected cuts is aimed at reducing the Blue Night Service in various routes. It is troubling, that a city with such a large commuting population can’t strive to afford a frequent 24/7 subway. Since Toronto is one the metropolitan cities of the world, our transportation is simply not a functional one. The city obviously doesn’t shut down at midnight. So, Torontonians rely on the TTC as their only means of transport, even it that means leaving just as the parties start to heat up. In a world, where New York trains and the Copenhagen metro run 24 hours a day, our trains halt at a meager 12:30am, some a tad bit later. Getting around Toronto would be much easier, with leisure of a
convenient around-the-clock subway system. This summer, the TTC introduced the new Rocket Subway Trains, as impressive as they are, the trains will be implemented in the course of three years. But, with good news comes bad, and it is unreasonable for commuters to pay a price for these necessary upgrades with service cutbacks. It is clear, that the TTC needs a plan of action that allows commuters, and all subway users to efficiently travel. With respect to the environment, it is crucial that we have a convenient transit system, so people can avoid driving and opt to travel in less-crowded trains. It is inevitable to have minor technical glitches, and crowd during rush hour but Toronto’s population is growing. The change in TTC needs to take in account the world’s efficient transit systems, and move forward. Transportation is key aspect of everyday life, and it should be a priority for the city of Toronto. The final decisions for the TTC 2012 budget won’t be finalized until February. So, further debate is still questionable and unpredictable. For now, I suggest keeping your iPods charged; it’s going to be a long ride home.
2011-2012 University of Toronto Students Union
OPT IN & OPT OUT your health PERIODS Students STARTING in SEPTEMBER:
AUG. 29 - OCT. 7, 2011 Students STARTING in JANUARY:
JAN. 3 - FEB. 3, 2012 OPT OUT at: studentplans.ca OPT IN at: U.T.S.U. 12 Hart House Circle For more information: Dan Gillespie firstname.lastname@example.org 416-978-4911 ext. 227