In this month’s issue... An ode to my managing editor, Known as the glue that holds the fort, Emily, our managing editor, has been the unsung hero of the Fulcrum’s 2020-21 editorial board. Through thin and think, she was there to support every member of the Fulcrum’s editorial team this year.
Another election, another low turnout P. 3 Read our breakdown of all the events that unfolded in the UOSU Elections. Love Justice League? P. 6 Check up on our online editor’s review of Zack Snyder’s cut.
Without her editing talents, we would not have been able to publish some of our most important stories this year — stories that shaped the narrative at the University of Ottawa.
Life as a freshamn P. 7 First-years share the ups and downs of their historical virtual freshman year.
Finally, if we were able to put out nine PDFs this year, it’s in large part due to her hard work and her ability to keep me on track!
Troubled waters P.9 A look at the United Nation’s and Canada’s plan to clean up the oceans.
So from me and the rest of the editorial board: Thank you Emily! Charley Dutil, Editor-in-Chief
We are the champions P.11 Gee-Gees Rocket League win OPSE championship. God save the Queen P.12 It’s time to abolish the monarchy says Fulcrum freelancer, Erin Peter Editorial: UOSU shuld not organize the Senate and BOG races P. 15 It’s a conflict of interest!
Bridget Coady & Paige Holland firstname.lastname@example.org
Gulliver, Mohamud capture seats in another low turnout election at the U of O A combined average of just 7.6 per cent of students submitted ballots
ran unopposed was successful. As for the contested races, Sam Yee defeated Mahée Côté 209-122 in the faculty of science race, Reana Agil beat Prisca Simporé 136-74 in the Telfer School of Management race and Julia Alvi came out on top over Zineb Jouali, Max Christie and Bryanna Lavictoire. For the UOSU BOD elections, all candidates who were uncontested were also elected. In the faculty of health sciences, Anjolina Hamel and Victoria Paller were elected to the faculty’s two seats defeating Demetra Sainas and Lyazid El Fatouani. In the Telfer School of Management, Nora Al-Akwaa, Jean-Simon Lavoie-Albert and Maxime Chouinard were elected to the faculty’s three seats. In the gigantic race for the faculty of social sciences four seats, Henry Mann, Alexandra Cooper, Lewis Wilson, Sherouk Elasfar made the cut. In addition to the elections, there was also a referendum on whether students wanted the UOSU to increase the levy given to the Office of the Ombudsperson by 42 cents per student each semester. The referendum passed with 1153 (62.5 per cent) students voting to increase the levy and 692 (37.5 per cent) voting against it. For those interested in getting to further know their elected representatives, do not hesitate to go read the multiple pieces the Fulcrum published shining a spotlight on all the races for all the different elected bodies.
charley dutil editor-in-chief
It was with much anticipation that candidates and their teams of volunteers awaited the results of the 2021 University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU) General Elections to drop on Saturday night. Sadly, that anticipation was not shared by the University of Ottawa undergraduate students, as only 8.4 per cent of eligible students voted in the Board of Governors (BOG) and Senate races while an even lower 6.9 per cent voted in the UOSU Executive Committee and Board of Directors (BOD) races — a combined average of just 7.6 per cent. In spite of the very low turnout, there were some positives on the night. Students who voted elected one of the most diverse slates of candidates in UOSU history, with BIPOC candidates elected in various positions across all four bodies. Another win on the night is for women of the university, as the University of Ottawa Senate student slate is now composed of an all-female team. As for the results, Tim Gulliver was elected as the second-ever president of the UOSU. Gulliver, who was running unopposed, received 1,428 votes accepting his candidacy and 204 opposing it. Gulliver currently works as the UOSU’s advocacy commissioner and was a member of the Board of Directors for the faculty of social
The vote was from March 24 to 27. Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum
sciences in 2019-20. He was first elected in the UOSU’s 2019 by-election. On the Board of Governor’s side, Hannan Mohamud was elected on the fourth round of ballots. Mohamud is a first-year common law student who currently works with professor Boulou Ebanda de B’béri’s office on anti-racism policy. She defeated second-place candidate Liam Roche (1010-693), Sana Alamansour placed third, Keziah Oduro fourth and Adam Walji fifth. Going back to the UOSU Executive Committee, in the race to be the union’s next operations commissioner Nouria Sawadogo
defeated Ratisbonne Kazadi 917-296. Lia Bosquet (francophone affairs commissioner), Armaan Kheppar (advocacy commissioner), Ashley Wunsch (student life commissioner) who all ran unopposed, were all easily elected with each receiving 90 per cent of the vote in their respective races. Finally, Amina El-Himri was re-elected to the position of student services commissioner. The only position that remains unfilled is the equity commissioner position — the elected Executive will appoint an interim commissioner when they begin their terms in May. In the Senate races, every candidate who
A look at Tim Gulliver — the UOSU’s incoming president
‘Let’s keep staying involved and keep building a union that works for everyone’
On Saturday evening, the University of Ottawa Student Union (UOSU) published its 2021 General Election results. Current advocacy commissioner, Tim Gulliver was elected the union’s second-ever president in an undisputed race. Gulliver was elected on the back of 1,428 votes accepting his candidature — 691 students who voted in other UOSU races abstained and 204 students rejected his candidacy. Gulliver had initially launched his campaign on March 17 and accompanied the announcement with the release of his platform which detailed his plans for the 2021/2022 academic year. The platform consisted of six sections; “Building Care & Community as We Recover from COVID-19, Strengthening Student Democracy, A Union That Fights For Justice, Building Student Trust in a Transparent Union, Delivering Concrete Change, [and] How I’ll Support Your UOSU Executive.” In a live question and answer hosted by the Fulcrum on March 19, Gulliver shared that he
ran for UOSU president after seeing what student movements could achieve over the past year when they were “united and pushing issues that matter and fight for all of us, not some of us.” During the live interview hosted by the Fulcrum’s editor-in-chief Charley Dutil, Gulliver also spoke about his work as advocacy commissioner in the last year. “I’m quite proud of how we were able to get so many people to sign onto the petition calling for a pass [or] fail course in the fall and winter semesters, and we got it,” shared Gulliver. “It was one of those things where, quite frankly, no one at the university wanted it but because we put forward good arguments and came together as a student body … we were able to get that one pass/fail course for the majority of students.” Gulliver also detailed his experiences in the role that broadened the union’s “access” to the provincial and federal government. He recalled testifying at a house of commons committee in June of 2020 and believes having the ear of decision makers will be important for the union going forward. When asked why he decided to run for president Gulliver responded: “It’s hard to step away
BRIDGET COADY NEWS EDITOR
from something when you know there is so much work left to do, and there’s so much potential and so much more that you have to give.” His plans to increase support for first years include detailed plans to start a first year council to have the voices of new students heard by UOSU given that they won’t be able to sit on the BOD as elections have passed. Since the election results were made public Saturday night, Gulliver took to Facebook to congratulate his fellow candidates in other races and expressed his excitement to begin work with his elected colleagues. “I want to thank you for electing me to serve as the next president of the UOSU. And thank you for electing a great Executive team,” read the post. “Together, I believe we will be a diverse, progressive, representative Executive that will work hard to fight for all of us.” “Hope is on the way,” Gulliver told his followers on his outlook for the 2021/22 academic year. “Vaccines are coming, and as we slowly begin to return to campus life, we will do our best to rebuild the campus experience, all while making changes and fighting for accommodations to improve our lives in the remaining months of this
Profile of Tim Gulliver. Image: Tim Gulliver/Provided.
pandemic.” A number of newly elected UOSU executives expressed their excitement to work with Gulliver in the upcoming term. The union’s outgoing president, Babacar Faye, congratulated Gulliver in a comment on Facebook which prompted Gulliver to thank Faye, calling him a “mentor and inspiration”. Gulliver concluded his Facebook statement by saying, “thank you everyone for participating in this campaign and for voting. Let’s keep staying involved and keep building a union that works for everyone.”
NEWS | 3
Question and answer with Hannan Mohamud
Mohamud talks about her vision for the Board of Governors with. So yeah, I hope to be able to work with that if I am elected.
Charley Dutil Editor-in-Chief
University of Ottawa students voted in Hannan Mohamud to the Board of Governor’s. Here is a prior interview Mouhamud did with the Fulcrum to discuss the issues affecting U of O students. All answers have been edited for length and clarity. F: How do you plan to advocate for a safe return to campus for students? HM: I’m in Alberta right now and I’m pissed at the prospect that a student will have to just drop everything, specifically, our international students to come down to a city or province that they’ve never been in their whole life. And then they will find out last minute that either their classes aren’t in person and are online, or even worse, that there are no COVID-19 protections, that yes, there are inperson classes, but like, we don’t have any COVID protections. We haven’t even talked about vaccines yet … So, for me, it’s the carelessness at the level of the Ontario government, which the university sees and thinks that Iit’s okay because the government is behaving in such a negligent way to move in this type of manner. And that clearly is trying to play on the consciousness of students as a whole, as if we’re so dumb that we will not call these things out. I think that the U of O is severely underestimating us right now. And so, as a student, I’m already trying to figure out like, how the hell are we going to not only uplift ourselves and go to this place in the city and figure this out like that? But also, I think this is the part that always gets me. Why is it that we have to wait on institutions to release a plan and then critique them on that platform? Why can’t we already come up with our own proposed solution? We want the return [to be done] safely, this is non-negotiable, before they even come out with their plan. That way, when they do come up with their’s, and we say, ‘What is this nonsense’ as students, ‘We came up with this whole plan that you could have used and yet you still use something that’s worse for a pandemic.’ And I think that speaks [to] their credibility and their integrity. And that’s something that I think the university needs to get behind a lot more. I think more students need to play on that notion that you can embarrass the institution, you can make them look bad. And the only way you can do that is by taking effort …It’s based on integrity, it’s based on how far a student wants to go to hold an institution accountable. And when you lose your passion for this type of thing. It’s gone. And especially right now, it’s a pandemic, if kids are going to be coming back in September, whether or not they know it, they’re going to pay full price to see a professor or get COVID-19 for free. And that’s not something we should be playing games
We pay for the institution, that’s a service. It’s really like the minute details of it. And I know academic freedom is something that will always be beautifully brought up. But I do have to say to people that question that, you know, you’re fighting for academic freedom, I’m just fighting to learn. This is not the same issue, this is really not the same issue. So I think we need a big read that can convey these terms. So simply and clearly. And whether it be as a Black woman or any of the other representatives that can do this work. I fully applaud anyone that can tell the president, Jill Scott and the other BOG members and not waiver on that is key. And I definitely have to applaud that. I also want to point out Jamie [Ghossein and Saada Hussen] for putting out that letter in the Fulcrum as soon as it happened, because that is not something that is contestable, this was wrong. And so after we get over that, I think that’s when we can start proposing motions. Motions that actually required them to vote and publish those votes. So saying like these many people did not vote these many people choose to abstain. I know that you can’t record these meetings, and can’t type them out and have to wait for minutes. But I think the current BOG members especially can do better on this by not waiting for the Fulcrum to say that, ‘Hey, YouTube videos weren’t posted from a whole month ago.’ I think that should be on the big red flag to say, ‘Hey, what the hell?’ And like, go on Instagram, tell students through an Instagram Live that this nonsense happened today … it’s university politics. And so you cannot be sleeping on something like that.
F: How do you plan on actively fighting racism on campus and keeping your fellow governors to account? HM: Yeah, so just like to set the precedent, I guess, and be fully transparent. I am helping with the anti-racism committee. Like, I’m helping professor Boulou Ebanda de B’béri’s office with policy. So I’m already working there. But before that, I think it’s really important to mention that this stuff should not be placed on the shoulders of a Black professor. This should never have been forced on him. This should have been the provost and the President’s duties. The BOG should have already been talking about these things, rather than, you know, his office and a first-year law student addressing these things. And the reason why I say these things is because there’s a lot of backlash towards that office — and I mean rightfully so, students were put on a panel, and then their rights were taken away, like, that’s very serious. And the burden and the anger is now placed on a Black professor and a female Black law student, like that’s not fair for anyone — no one should have to take that burden. That should go to the institution. And so I think I want to be able to reframe the conversation around no, you students were right — so you have every right to be angry, but that rage should be redirected towards how we get action done. I think a great way that we do that, is by mobilizing, what uRacism did. I think no other, and correct me if I’m wrong, no other student group has been able to mobilize at such a massive capacity and get so much media attention and get so much, I guess, awareness on a single topic at the university, since a tuition strike that happened. So imagine that, but consistently over a semester, and it doesn’t require actual bodies being used. I think we’re moving towards a digital age where people are using social media more. And you have like great student movements across the country in Canada that we can build off of as well. Like, I’m doing great work with Windsor [University], and Carleton [University], and with Quebec universities as well, that are also trying to figure out how to get their BOG representatives to start talking about these things. I think the best way to really start doing it is literally calling out the institution. I think that’s when my Twitter profile started hitting its peak. I was literally tagging the university, tagging Jill Scott and saying, like, ‘No, uRacism, isn’t few students that are bad, no, these are students that paid money, are disappointed with the service you’re giving them. Their rights are being violated.’ When I say rights, I’m not using that word very loosely, like the Ontario Human Rights Code literally says, if you’re accessing a service, you should not be receiving a slur.
Image: Hannan Mohamud/Provided
can come to a consensus about and it’s usually like that when it comes to student issues. A lot of students were on the [President’s Advisory Committee on Mental Health and Wellness] and they were saying that they were not even directly included in these meetings, the current BOG representatives are saying that they’re left out of meetings. And so that’s not even an accessible way to hold these people accountable. And by these people, I mean, the university and other non-student BOG representatives. So I think the best way to do that is really trying to launch our own campaigns to launch our own ways of getting more awareness. A good example is what happened with uRacism within this year. I don’t thinkthe issue of antiBlack racism would have come to the forefront if it did not take students literally sleeping for 50 plus hours in a public space during a pandemic. Like, what more can you have done as students to give up your bodies? And I don’t want that to ever happen. Again, I want there to be tangible ways for students to mobilize, whether it be like a mass email campaign, whether it be to email the president of the university or the other BOG representatives consistently with student mobilization. The Okanagan Charter is a great way to start. I think other universities, the way that they were able to get them to implement it quickly, was not just showing the need, but doing a campaign surrounding that topic. But again, I do want to start out with going to students that are actually doing this work. So mental health groups across campuses, grassroot ones, sometimes they’re not even recognized as clubs as well, it’s just a few students that are just talking about mental health. So that’s a good way to start. For the full interview, please visit www.thefulcrum.ca.
F: How do you plan on working to improve mental health and wellness on campus? HM: Even before I got here, I think there were great students such as Jamie [Ghossein] and Saada [Hussen], and their predecessors before that [who] were talking about mental health,put motions forward and did that work within the system to get the university to pay attention. I want to credit that work, but at the same time, I see that it’s not going anywhere. Take COVID-19, we don’t know what’s going to happen to us and students in the coming years. And so I think I want to heighten the seriousness. And the only way I can do that is by personally being accountable. Accountability is a weird thing, a lot of people think it’s just like pointing and saying, ‘Hey, I need you to do this.’ Whereas for me, I’m going to be actually getting all of these mental health departments, all of the student mental health groups, and trying to make a separate action committee, whether it be within the Board’s mandate, or just the students coming together and saying, ‘We have an actual problem here, how are we going to fast track to 12 Recommendations?’ because I think this is something that is bigger than the board. It’s not something that all board members
All the winners from the U of O Senate and UOSU elections UOSU Executive Committee
Advocacy commissioner: Armaan Kheppar — Yes 1354 (90.4 per cent) / No 144 (9.6 per cent) Student life commissioner: Ashley Wunsch — Yes 1360 (91.0 per cent) / No 134 (9.0 per cent) Operations commissioner: Nouria Sawadogo — 917 votes Student services commissioner: Amina El-Himri — Yes 1416 (89.8 per cent) / No 161 (10.2 per cent)
4 | NEWS
Francophone affairs commissioner: Lia Bosquet — Yes 1393 (91.2 per cent) / No 134 (8.8 per cent) Senate Faculty of law: Michelle Liu — Yes 232 (85.9 per cent) / No 38 (14.1 per cent) Faculty of medicine: Maya Elkbouli — Yes 46 (79.3 per cent) /No 12 (20.7 per cent)
UOSU Board of Directors
— Yes 177 (93.7 per cent) / No 12 (6.3 per cent)
Faculty of civil law (one seat): Alexis Khouzam — Yes 89 (88.1 per cent) / No 12 (11.9 per cent)
Faculty of engineering: Balkissa Toure — Yes 133 (83.1 per cent) / No 27 (16.9 per cent) Telfer School of Management: Reana Agil — 136 votes Faculty of science: Sam Yee — 209 votes Faculty of social sciences : Julia Alvi — 216 votes — 280 votes
Faculty of arts: Celina Seguin
Linden Coles — Yes 151 (91.5 per cent) / No 14 (8.5 per cent) and Allie Skwarchuk — Yes 153 (90.5 per cent) / No 16 (9.5 per cent)
Faculty of medicine (one seat) : Toros Canturk — Yes 37 (80.4 per cent) / No 9 (19.6 per cent)
Faculty of Engineering (three seats): Emma Ballantyne — Yes 110 (83.3 per cent) / No 22 (16.7 per cent)
Faculty of health science (two seats): Anjolina Hamel — 57 votes — 96 votes and Victoria Paller — 46 votes — 76 votes
Faculty of Science (three seats: Tarasha Sharma — 96 votes, Buse Loçlar — 57 votes ans Albrightine Orsar — 40 votes
Faculty of arts (three seats):
Telfer School of Management
(three seats): Nora Al-Akwaa — 56 votes — 76 votes, Jean-Simon Lavoie-Albert — 41 votes — 49 votes and Maxime Chouinard — 38 votes — 44 votes
Faculty of social sciences (four seats): Henry Mann 128 votes — 161 votes, Alexandra Cooper 51 votes — 126 votes, Lewis Wilson 77 votes — 108 votes and Sherouk Elasfar 48 votes — 89 votes
A&C EDITOR Aly Murphy email@example.com
Insta: @aly_murph Twitter:@aly_murph_
Inside the whimsical kitsch of The Last Blockbuster
The documentary, ironically available on Netflix, remembers the video store chain’s hayday Blockbuster is but a distant memory for most of us, one replaced by the glitzier and far more accessible Netflix streaming service, and its spiralling offshoots like Disney+. The Last Blockbuster is a fun and easy watch, but the Netflix-shaped giant filtering each and every claim from the documentary’s subjects makes one question the film’s credibility: who else will streaming services squash in their journey to ubiquity? As far as films go, this one’s fine, a standard documentary about a niche and yet easily graspable subject. One wishes the film might delve a little deeper into the economics of Blockbuster’s demise, or even the greater socioeconomic implications of the monster corporation brought to its knees by a once-startup. The Last Blockbuster verges on being overly saccharine, interested in novelty alone — and that novelty doesn’t really make for a long-lasting impression. You watch it, you giggle, you look up the former chain’s (extremely funny) Twitter feed. And then you shut your Netflix tab.
Aly Murphy Arts & culture Editor Most of us remember it well. The smell of the crinkly plastic, the grease of the faux butter leaking through cardboard packaging, the perfectly vacuumed royal blue carpets. Jingly background music. Blue and yellow in all directions. This, here, was our church, our Friday night chapel of new releases and candy. This was Blockbuster. The new Netflix film The Last Blockbuster explores the day-to-day lunacy of, well… the last-ever Blockbuster. It’s in Bend, OR, and it’s a fucking trip. The store’s owner regales the camera crew with tales of failed trips to Target in search of new releases to offer for rental at Blockbuster. She guides us through the storage room, showing off the ridiculously out-of-date technology needed to run the store’s cash registers and databases. Her store is on its final leg, and the The Last Blockbuster’s narrative through-line is in the looming deadline for licensing renewal
The last Blockbuster is on sale on the last Blockbuster’s website. Image: Blockbuster
from Blockbuster’s parent network. The Last Blockbuster leans into the memeiness of the situation: it’s admittedly bizarre that this one faction of the once-loved video store chain has survived this long. The former chain’s CEO makes clear, though, that Blockbuster didn’t fail because
of Netflix. No, no, it was something else, according to him: but, at least as far as this film goes, that “something” is never made especially clear. The fact that the film is available solely on Netflix is hilarious. Like, damn. That’s adding insult to injury.
Spring cleaning: Declutter your space and mind to take on exam season Some tips to break away from the winter blues
Cook a new meal or try a new ingredient
CIARA WALLACE FREELANCER
When we’re in the middle of assignments, due dates and spending hours watching prerecorded lectures, cooking good food may not be at the top of your priorities. That’s okay, and completely understandable — we’ve all been there.
We’ve reached the final stretch of the winter semester, and as exams are fast approaching, it’s easy to feel burnt out, exhausted, and deflated. So how can we recharge our batteries to feel prepared and refreshed? A deep spring clean. Here are a few ways to get a jump start on your spring cleaning, which will improve your mental health and boost your productivity. Stress can take up a lot of mental space, especially during the end of the semester. Many of us have grown accustomed to it, rather than trying to find new ways to de-stress. A great way to develop some healthy coping skills to improve mental health is through finding activities which may alleviate stress. During these hard times, it’s important to practice self-care. Here are some ways to recharge your mental battery:
Try planning ahead of time, and give yourself a break to spend an hour making a favourite dish, or even try out new ingredients that you might have always wanted to try. You will feel accomplished and have a great meal to fuel your body.
those tabs you have open, organize your class files, and even clean your desk space. And don’t forget about the Marie Kondo method: if it doesn’t spark joy, you don’t need it.
Meditation comes with the preconceived notion that you must be cross legged on the floor, in a quiet room, with absolutely nothing going on in your mind. Although some people meditate best that way, that’s not the case for a lot of people.
Try out a new routine As much as we might hate them, routines are a huge part of maintaining and regulating our productivity. It’s important to try out new routines in order to discover what works for you. A routine can be as simple as waking up an hour before your class, making tea or coffee, or doing a workout once a day. The basics to a great routine are simply staying consistent.
If you’re having trouble waking up in the morning or sleeping at night, take some time to make a special playlist completely by you, for you. Fill it with all the songs you love and have a connection to. Name your playlist for vibes you enjoy, like “waking up on the beach” or “sleeping in a rainforest,” which will help you clear your day-to-day worries and draw
Since most of us are taking classes virtually, it is important to have a space where we can work on those last-minute assignments. A great way to reset yourself and prepare for exams is to declutter your desktop, delete all
attention towards any intentions you set.
Create a morning and night playlist
Reclaim the space around you
There are many ways to mediate, such as focusing on a physical object in front of you, closing your eyes and laying down, or even visualizing a place from memory. Take some time (it can be short or long) to breathe and go on a mental break.
ARTS & Culture | 5
This week in Fulc music: Taylor Swift, Evanescence, and The Maine Aly murphy & charley dutil
Aly – 5/5
arts editor & editor-in-chief
This album’s artwork alone may remind you of past summers spent at Warped Tour, with its Twenty One Pilots-esque skulls and Hot Topic font. But this album is so, so good. The Maine blends styles effortlessly, leaning into the occasional acoustic lament when the lyrics call for it. “Take What You Can Carry,” a jaunty first track, gives way to the more mellow “Birthday in Los Angeles” and regretful “These Four Words.” The album, released in 2013, has aged beautifully, not at all sounding like a product of its pop-punk context. This band was a joy to discover, and I look forward to doing so further in the coming weeks. New disovery: “Drinking in L.A.” by Bran Van 3000
Aly Murphy — Arts editor: When no one picked up our weekly new music column for this week, I was admittedly a little intimidated. I don’t always keep the best track of new releases: I tend to find things I like and then listen to them on repeat for months on end. Then Taylor Swift announced yet another surprise single release. She picked a great week to do it. As the Fulc’s resident Swiftie, I paired up once more with our editor-in-chief Charley Dutil to take a blast to the past with this week’s selected hits. Sorry, Charley, in advance. Single of the Week: “You All Over Me” by Taylor Swift (feat. Maren Morris)
Most of this album, though, seems to pick up right where the band left off in 2006 with their album The Open Door. Evanescence has barely changed: for diehard fans, that’ll be an exciting treat, but for me, a middle-school-aged angst machine turned slightly-more-mature university student, the stagnation in style and lyricism feels a little odd.
Charley – 0/5
Aly – 3/5 I’m really, really excited for Tay’s Fearless re-record, which drops on April 9. So when I heard she was prematurely releasing one of her “from the vault” songs, a collaboration with country legend Maren Morris, I was admittedly pretty stoked. This song, for me, is just ok. The production is solid, but the lyrics are as cheesy as ever. Commendably, the track does indeed take us right back into Swift’s Fearless sound and style: there’s jangly guitar, adolescent metaphors, and a killer hook. You can hear Aaron Dessner’s producing influence, too — he’s done a great job mixing the vocals to make Swift and Morris sound clean and in sync. But the song is lackluster after nearly a year of Swift’s folklore era. I found myself missing, in this track, the evocative storytelling skills Swift’s so mastered over the course of her more recent albums. This song is fine, but it’s pretty forgettable.
Charley — 5/5
Embark on a music adventure with our EIC and arts editor. Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrumtesy
The question here: from what song did Taylor Swift and Maren Morris (who?) lift the repeating guitar riff? The Pixies’ “Where is My Mind” or the Smashing Pumpkins’ “Today?” Your guess is just as good as mine. I’m not even going to get into the lyrics. Album of the Week: The Bitter Truth by Evanescence
I was scrolling through my feed on TikTok last week, like a real GenZ’er, when I came across this song, and I was like, “damn, this fucking slaps.” So, I looked it up on Spotify and gave it a listen, and it was amazing. The vibes it gave off were immaculate. The chorus is so catchy, as I’m writing this, all I can think about is “What the hell am I doing drinking in L.A./At twenty six?”. So, being me and curious as fuck, I decided to look up everything about Bran Van 3000. This is when I sadly realized that they have never actually written anything good since. But I did find some interesting things: for example, they don’t have a set genre and all their songs are super different from each other. They’re also from Montreal, and refer to themselves as a music collective rather than a band – probably the most Montreal thing I’ve ever heard. So yeah, credits to TikTok for giving me a song that I can vibe to while in the shower. Thanks.
Charley — 1/5 I was never an Evanescence fan, but, you know, I thought “Bring Me To Life” was a banger. But The Bitter Truth is that this album is boring. It lacks any semblance of a single and it is repetitive as hell. The vocals are depressing, the guitars are in drop D, and it’s monotone. There are a couple of nice guitar tones, but that’s about it, honestly. It’s not for me.
Aly – 3/5 Whoa. 2003 called and they want their band back. Haha. Just kidding. But wow, Evanescence has not aged at ALL. Their new release is that same brooding, haunting soprano we came to know and love on tracks like “Bring Me To Life” and “My Immortal” from the band’s first smash album, Fallen. “Yeah Right” shows a little stylistic growth, with a more prominent percussion line and a more 2020s style, for lack of a better term.
New discovery: Forever Halloween by The Maine
REVIEW: Zack Snyder’s Justice League
How we got here, and how it all turned out online editor
Last week, my boyfriend announced we’d be spending our Thursday afternoon watching Zack Snyder’s Justice League. I can’t lie: I was not excited. We’d already spent the previous few days re-watching Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v Superman (2016) — the previous two Snyder-directed films in Warner Brothers’ fledgling DC Extended Universe — and I was feeling thoroughly underwhelmed. The hope of fans and critics alike was that Justice League would see Snyder correct his missteps and say ‘so long’ to the sad Superman and murderous Batman of films gone by and say ‘hello’ to the ultimate superhero blockbuster. However, near the end of Justice League’s production in 2017, Snyder stepped down from the film and Warner Brothers hired in his stead Joss Whedon, director of Marvel’s Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Warner Brothers hoped that by hiring the director of Marvel films, they may be able to compete with their suc-
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slow-motion and dramatic framing finally make sense here, as his Justice League is depicted as our modernday pantheon of gods. Though I was initially skeptical, the 4:3 aspect ratio quickly grew on me as I saw the power the framing injected into the heroes’ figures. Unlike in Whedon’s theatrical cut of the film, the Flash is not a cheap Spiderman knock-off, Alfred is an active (and funny!) character, and Cyborg is not a dry, one-dimensional add-on. In fact, Cyborg and his father become central symbols of the heart which was so lacking from both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. Due to the pandemic’s destruction of my attention span, I frequently pause movies to ensure I’m actually following the plot. Each time I paused during Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the care Snyder paid to his characters and plot became increasingly clear: we understand Steppenwolf’s motivations and pain, we have a real fear that everything may not work out in the end, and we meet a beautifully changed Joker in Batman’s ‘knightmares.’ For every great franchise film that
cess. The result was a huge disappointment. Whedon’s theatrical release of Justice League in 2017 was a far cry from the two Snyder-directed predecessors. Gone were the muted color palettes, stylish cinematography and philosophical subtext of Snyder’s films. Instead was… well, whatever made the Avengers so great. Except, Whedon’s Justice League wasn’t great. Between its sexist jokes and superficial plot, the film was a mere husk of what could have been. After a passionate campaign by fans, the film’s stars, and even Snyder himself, Warner Brothers agreed to release the Snyder Cut — Zack Snyder’s original version and vision of the Justice League film — on March 18, 2021. This brings us back to last Thursday on my living room couch. What began as a reluctant screening of what I expected to be another disappointment, quickly became a thoroughly engaging, exciting, and heart-wrenchingly beautiful experience. Snyder’s style of near-excessive
Need I say more? Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum
what the DC universe could look like on film — a weird, realistic, and challenging sci-fi rendition of nearly century-old characters. It breaks my heart that this is the end of the Snyder-verse, but it remains an absolute must-watch film for any DC fan or average person looking for an immersive escape from reality and a jumpstart for their imagination. After all, how else are you going to spend four hours?
studios like Disney and Warner Brothers put out, there are at least two more which only barely manage to get the job done. The Snyder cut serves as a reminder that the priority of any great work should be the vision of its creators, not what will manage to pull the most cash at the box office. Zack Snyder’s Justice League is the unhinged and unapologetic fever dream of a DC fan who has waited their whole life to see their heroes on the big screen. It represents the beginning of a singular vision of
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A calendar of complications: First years look back at fully virtual freshman year First-years reflect on a freshman year unlike any other
better’ or ‘don’t procrastinate’ has always felt unrealistic, downplaying and patronizing,” suggested Glen Wang, a first-year computer science student. “I can’t stress enough how much people need breaks, and how criminally often that gets overlooked.” “Every Monday I tell myself ’all I’ve got to do is get through this week’ because every week is a nightmare,” added Gingras. “I stress myself out trying to learn concepts I can barely comprehend … and then I fall behind in other courses because of the extra time spent educating myself through YouTube just to complete an assignment.” In an attempt to make the potential upcoming online academic year smoother, here are tips from students who might find themselves overwhelmed next year. “Keep yourself organized in all your subjects. Write your deadlines for assignments on a planner or even discuss your study plan for the day with a friend,” said Imaan Nahaboo, a first-year international management student. “Personally, I find it more motivating if a friend is following the same plan that I am as it feels less lonely, and we can always mutually ask for help.” One key tip is to step away from the computer altogether, take breaks, and maybe even enjoy some sunshine outside. “Since you’re constantly in front of a screen and online courses can be very overwhelming, take much-needed breaks during the day, go for walks, do activities that make you relaxed and happy, take care of yourself. of course you should study a good amount of time to succeed but don’t be too hard on yourself,” said Celine Wan, a firstyear computer science student. “It [is] easier to adapt and plan your weeks so that you could still be able to have a healthy life. It is important to study for classes, but it is also important to take breaks to avoid burning out or overworking yourself,” added Ramkhalawon.
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On March 18, 2020, virtual learning had taken over the screens of Canadian university students, including those at the University of Ottawa. One year later, we marked a year of online education as well as nearly the end of an entire virtual year for most first-year students who have never experienced in-person learning. With the uncertainty the pandemic caused, virtual education may continue for the next academic year. And as that uncertainty lingers, many first-year students reflected on their experiences and provided useful tips to tackle issues they faced. For some, virtual learning meant flexible education with more freedom and given independence but for others, adjusting to time zones, feeling more excluded in classes and struggling with WiFi were everyday problems that made it less enjoyable. Opinions varied for the better or worse. “Online courses are really easy to follow and allow you to have more time to revise the lectures,” said Drishti Ramkhalawon, a first-year commerce student. “It would have been great if the university would have put into consideration the time difference for the exams especially the finals for the international students.” “My favorite part is [that] online classes [are] very positive and that there is no anxiety as I can re-watch the [asynchronous] courses,” said Alexia-Rose Grégoire, a first-year linguistics student.
The Stanton, Marchand and 90U complex. Image: Rhea Verma/Fulcrum
said Adam Brown, a first-year chemical engineering and computing technology. For some students, the frustration that came alongside virtual learning stunted any desire to partake in the main objective of university: learn. “If I could, I’d get out of [online learning] as soon as possible. These are a waste of money. I am not getting the same level of education with online courses and … I barely have the motivation to work because of everything,” said Alexzander Gingras, a first-year software engineering student. “I would say that my experience has been anything but enjoyable. When online classes first started, I would happily attend all my lectures,” said Hamza Israr, a first-year data science and mathematics. “I found it easier to teach myself the material rather than attend classes, and because of that, both my mental and physical health have gone down the drain.” Looking ahead to the 2021-22 academic year,
Challenges Aside from the positives, there are still many challenges and complications that came with online learning that still needed to be addressed. “I dislike not having the classroom atmosphere, as it would help with focusing during lectures. [I] had professors not sharing their screen and ignoring messages, then getting upset with students when we’re trying to let them know,”
many students hope that universities and professors can take the past year to adjust to improve online learning. Given the fact that the switch from in-person to online was so abrupt, the transition was anything but smooth. “The professors haven’t made a proper and comfortable transition to online learning,” said Israr. “I wish for all professors to be more understanding that, because of this pandemic and online learning, the stress on students has only increased.” “Dealing with family while attending lectures in the same household may be tough for some students like me. A lighter workload would be nice as it would reduce some amount of stress on students.” But how does one find the solution to a new learning landscape that, while being around for one year, is still seemingly brand new? One tip: ask the students. “If people are burnt out and have lots of things due, saying things along the lines of ‘organize
Raccoon and Goose tie to become UOSU’s new co-commissioners
‘We didn’t want to recount the votes,’ said the Election Committee amira BENJAMIN TOMATO EDITOR Following a tightly-contested race for the new position of nature and sustainability commissioner, both Blueberry the Goose and Squat the Raccoon have been declared the victors. With a 98 per cent student vote turnout — a new record for the student union — both Blueberry and Squat have each secured 50 per cent of the vote. After 20 hours of counting and confirming votes, the University of Ottawa’s Student Union Speedy Ballots team
Di Daniels, a third-year environmental sciences student, who is also Squat’s campaign manager, is fairly disappointed in the results but still optimistic for Squat’s future. “We broke a record for most obnoxious Facebook posts for a campaign,” said Daniels. “But Squat definitely deserved the position, he’s more passionate about garbage than anyone I know. Let’s just hope that Blueberry is cooperative.” The two candidates will combine their platforms and release a new press release
decided to make both candidates co-commissioners. “I did not want to spend another day staring at my screen and recounting votes for a raccoon and a goose, so I suggested we make them co-commissioners,” said Speedy Ballots secretary Papry Cutiss. “Our president suggested it to the election committee and there we have it.” “I think I did them a favour, to be honest.” “They’ve been very friendly during the entirety of the campaign and really enjoyed each other’s ideas,” Cutiss continued.
in the following weeks. Blueberry and Squat will also host a translated Instagram Live on April 1 to hear student criticism and opinion.
Images: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum
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The digital therapist: How video games help with self-therapy during the pandemic
From Animal Crossing to Final Fantasy, video games can ease individual stress The importance of balance
Idmane Moussa Ali Contributor
A full year after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic, millions of people have had to stay at home and find new forms of entertainment or turn back to their old hobbies. Video games were a highly favoured form of escape. Video games are often seen as a form of relaxation, almost like a reward after a long day at work or school. But in the present context of COVID-19, people use them more as a stress reliever from their day-to-day homeschooling and telecommuting as well as a way to meet new people. “Video games give me a sense of achievement that I would not get outside,” said Clara Sedzo, a fourth-year political science student at McGill University. “Especially with COVID-19, I find it hard to feel productive or see value outside of work and I feel that video games help with this.” Consequently, the gaming industry has seen record sales in recent months as more people are told to stay at home. In turn, video games have become a tool to help society gather and bond with old friends or meet new ones while respecting COVID-19 standards. To Andrew Boctor, a fourth-year political science student, video games are a good source to take your mind off things, forget about reality for a short while and let go. “It creates a safer place where someone who feels stressed or has life problems can escape and spend some time with his friends and forgets about the rest,” he said. For Zach Goldstein, a fourth-year biotechnology student and co-president of the U of O’s Esports club, video games allow people to open up, especially people who are having a hard time with school. “We’ve [become] sort of a haven of sport
for people who are having a tough time dealing with school, especially in the first-year category, because they can find like-minded individuals to play video games with,” he said. For Goldstein, gaming is seen as more of a help than a hindrance in terms of self-therapy “because the opportunity to escape difficulties surrounding your life is almost invaluable.” Besides the human aspect, there is an educational aspect. Video games are a great source of learning; they initiated the “discovery of real or fictional worlds and learning new things [and] developing skills” said Bartosz Chmura, a fourth-year international economics and development student. It also promotes technology exploration, helps develop patience through repetition and it even helps developing reasoning and logic skills. Having to make important decisions throughout certain games can allow players to develop ethical and moral judgment.
Images: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum Against all odds, video games can give great life lessons. For example, games can teach that failure is inevitable and to adapt accordingly by developing coping skills. In fact, players are probably confronted with many failures during their playing time, which would encourage them to develop new survival tactics and thus develop their capacity to adapt and understand that the most important thing is not to fall but to get up again. Talking about the cognitive aspect, research from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, M.A., has proven video games were an important tool in psychotherapy due to their widespread popularity. In the medical world, their calming properties help young patients be more cooperative. This seems to be accurate to some students like Clara Sedzo that finds “Some games very soothing with their music and graphics.”
Videogames certainly have their positive points but it should not be forgotten that anything done excessively is a danger, especially to mental and physical health. As part of 10 negative effects of video games, excessive gaming playing can lead to physical pain but also mental. It can produce a dopamine addiction and alexithymia, an emotion due to constant suppression of negative emotions such as fear, worry, or shame. “[Gaming can] allow your mind to recover, your outlook and attitude to be the best it can be especially during difficult times,” Goldensteinsaid, discussing balancing screen time. “But if you dedicate your entire day to gaming and put aside other [important] aspect[s] of life, it can be detrimental.” In this regard, research has shown excessive video playing often leads to negative emotions, low self-esteem, a preference for solitude, and poor school performance. It can also create a social disconnection and relationship issues with people surrounding you who don’t necessarily play video games. In attempts to combat this, it is generally advised to set limits to how much screen time you consume and try to be involved in other activities outside video gaming. This is often achieved by doing internal reflection. “[When] dealing with the video games as self-therapy, you need to look at the individual and how self-disciplined they are. If my mom didn’t tell me every second ‘you got to go to class’, I would’ve dropped out in grade 11 to get really good at League of Legends,” said Andrew Leblanc, the vice-president of the U of O Esports club. “If one is using games as a self-therapy it could become a self-harm … but if one is intelligent with how they supposedly use video games as an escapism, then it is something that is incredibly important to development.”
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SCIENCE & TECH
S&T EDITOR Hannah Sabourin Science@thefulcrum.ca
Ontario’s Medical Laboratory Technologists labour shortage alarms MLPAO There are not enough medical laboratory technologist graduates to replace retirees Hannah Sabourin SCIENCE AND TECH EDITOR Ontario hospitals are in the throes of a Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT) shortage. Since September 2020, the Medical Laboratory Professionals’ Association of Ontario (MLPAO), has called on the provincial government to help increase the amount of working MLTs. In a letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford, the MLPAO explains that 70 per cent of Ontario laboratories were short-staffed from the beginning of the pandemic. As a result of the shortage, Ontario MLTs are now responsible for the completion of at least 78,000 COVID-19 tests per week on top of regular duties. MLTs are responsible for the identification of diseases in patient tissues, blood, and fluid samples. These tests allow doctors to accurately diagnose and treat patients. MLTs specialize in one of five fields including, clinical microbiology where they study parasites and bacteria, hematology where they identify diseases in blood cells, transfusion medicine where they identify blood types and conduct blood compatibility tests, histology where they prepare tissue samples for disease detection, and clinical chemistry where they analyze blood and fluid samples for chemicals, drugs, and hormones. “The main issue right now is that MLTs are overworked and they’re stressed and there’s a percentage that contemplate early retirement,” explained Michelle Hoad, CEO of the MLPAO. As a result of the shortage, 86 per cent of technologists have experienced burnout after a year of intense COVID-19 testing. “For 15 years [we have] asked for assistance and they’ve never fixed the problem,” said Hoad. “Now that we’re in a pandemic, you would think that now is the time for the government to do something, because COVID-19 testing is done by
There is a shortage of practicing medical laboratory technologists in Ontario. Image: Edward Jenner/Pexels
MLTs — but no.” Origins of Ontario’s MLT shortage This labour shortage stems from two main issues. First, the technologists are retiring at alarming rates and there are not enough MLT graduates to replace them. “Forty-three per cent of practicing MLTs are eligible to retire in the next four to eight years,” said Hoad. Thirty-seven per cent are contemplating early retirement, and 44 per cent are considering stress leave.” Second, there are not enough Ontario MLT programs, nor are there enough student placement opportunities. Given the fact that only 157 students graduated from Ontario MLT programs in 2020, Hoad finds the situation alarming. Looking at the current landscape, “there is an immediate need for 245 MLTs across the province,” according to the MLPAO. There are not enough MLT graduates “because the college programs can only take-in so many stu-
dents… In fact, every MLT program in Ontario currently has a waitlist.” One of those five programs is offered at Cambrian College in Sudbury whose program only accepts 64 students per year. At this same college, only 35 to 40 of MLT students are expected to graduate yearly, a 100 per cent of whom receive jobs in their field. These graduates are, therefore, in short supply but high demand. To increase the size of Cambrian’s MLT program, “We would certainly welcome [more funding] … given the current shortage and the vital role [they] play in the health care system,” said June Raymond, the dean of Cambrian’s Health Sciences and Emergency Services. Additionally, Raymond supports the MLPAO’s efforts to raise awareness about the MLT shortage. “I certainly agree with the MLPAO plan. [This group] is actively seeking feedback on [how to] increase clinical placements to support …. students in MLT education programs across the province,” said
Raymond. Like Cambrian, St. Lawrence College in Kingston has a fairly low acceptance rate for prospective MLT students. “We accept about 60 students every year. But we get at least three to five times the amount of applicants,” said Robin Thompson-McAvoy, the academic coordinator of the Medical Laboratory Science program. According to Thompson-McAvoy, these programs have low acceptance rates because there are not enough Ontario MLTs to train students during their placements. Thus, even for students who are accepted into the program, “there doesn’t seem to be as many placements for them as there used to be,” said Thompson-McAvoy. “Medium-sized hospitals used to be able to train students. But now, not all medium-sized hospitals engage in the clinical disciplines students need to for training,” she explained. “So, larger hospitals must take-on more students … which I assume increases the workloads of MLTs responsible for training.” According to Hoad, these structural issues cannot be solved if the government does not prioritize the technicnologists. “MLTs are not seen as a priority in healthcare … the lab has always been hidden,” Hoad explained. “If a patient goes to the hospital, they’ll get registered by a nurse and then they’ll see a doctor. MLTs are never a focus because [patients don’t see the work they do].” “They’re hidden heroes, because nobody hears them and nobody sees them. Yet, a technologist finds out, before anyone else, what is wrong with a patient.” Through their efforts, the MLPAO hopes the government will join laboratory professionals, educators, and employers to form a plan to eliminate Ontario’s MLT labour shortage.
Troubled waters: Federal government to improve ocean health by 2030 In March, the United Nations (UN) launched the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021–2030 plan to improve global ocean health. The UN’s plan involves solutions for sustainable ocean development to benefit future generations. Days prior to the launch, the Canadian federal government hosted a virtual event to celebrate this plan. At the event, Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans (DFO) and the Canadian Coast Guard explained the focus of the initiative. “The Ocean Decade is an opportunity for marine nations to work together to turn the tide on ocean health by using science to tackle the many challenges facing our marine environment,” said Jordan. Given that Canada has the longest coastline in the world, the protection of Canada’s oceans is a difficult task. A DFO report indicates that the Arctic Ocean’s temperature has increased by 2 C since 2000. This temperature change decreases the amount of ice in the ocean which then impacts the migration patterns of sea animals.
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enous traditional and local knowledge, and local perspectives across Canada,” said Victoria Waizmann, media relations officer at the DFO. “These [Ocean Decade] outcomes aim to help inform ocean policies and decisions to conserve our ocean and support sustainable development,” she added. The aim is to improve the relationship that Canadians have with the ocean. To accomplish this culture shift, the government will promote ocean literacy amongst diverse groups all while highlighting Indigenous peoples’ cultural relationship with the oceans. In the spirit of the UN’s plan, Waizmann said the federal government believes it is important to educate society on this issue. “Canada actively participates in global efforts to share knowledge, information, data, technologies, and expertise through arrangements with individual countries, organizations, and other types of institutions around the world.” When asked how Canadians can help improve ocean health, Waizmann said “it’s important to remember that even if you don’t live by the ocean, your actions can still have a meaningful impact.” “Canadians can help improve the health of our oceans by taking simple steps to reduce
According to the same report, Canada’s ocean acidity levels are also on the rise. This is linked to the carbon dioxide levels in the air, which negatively impact oxygen levels, and make oceans inhospitable for marine animals. The UN’s plan is to help remedy some of these issues and build a global culture that values the ocean’s health. In 10 years, the UN hopes the global community removes pollution sources, restores marine ecosystems, and works together to generate knowledge about the changing ocean. In accordance with this plan, Jordan said the federal government will, “foster international cooperation, share scientific research and create more innovative technologies, [so that] the world will be better positioned to grow its blue economies. Only by working together can we turn the world’s Sustainable Development Goals into reality by 2030.” “The problems facing our oceans are global and therefore our solutions must be as well,” said Jordan. In particular, Canada’s efforts will turn to the advice and knowledge of various community groups across the country. “Canada’s conservation efforts continue to be grounded in the best available science, Indig-
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their environmental footprint, for example reducing their use of single-use plastics, recycling, and choosing sustainable products and energy sources whenever possible,” she continued. Even if you’re not throwing plastic directly into the ocean, the mere use and disposal of plastic can harm the ocean. For instance, a 2016 Canadian literature review says plastic particles are prevalent in waters which border large coastal cities. But, they are also prevalent in remote regions like the Arctic, because plastics are swept by the wind and, over time, are pushed into the Arctic ocean. Additionally, a 2014 Irish study, reports that 94 per cent of 470 samples of Northeast Atlantic Ocean water samples contain plastic particles. This means that, while naked to the human eye, plastic sediments exist in at least 12,700km of the Atlantic. Moving forward, the federal government will host a workshop from May 10 to 14 during which participants can reflect on the unique strengths that Canadians contribute to the Ocean Decade. More information about the upcoming public workshop is found on UN Ocean Decade webpage.
Inventions at U of O: In orbit with the Mars Rover Team
U of O’s Mars Rover Team designed a rover for System Acceptance Review competition Nicholas Schmidt Contributor
On Feb. 18, NASA successfully landed the Perseverance Rover on Mars — the newest and most advanced technology to enter the red planet’s orbit. It is this sort of event that temporarily reminds us of the wonders of space exploration. But for a team of students at the University of Ottawa, thoughts about space exploration are constant. In fact, the U of O’s Mars Rover Team is so interested in space technology that they created their own Mars Rover project. Hridyansh Sharma, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student and co-captain of the Mars Rover Team, explained, “it was in 2018 when NASA released an open source version of their rover.” In other words, NASA created a well-documented model of the Rover intended for high school and university students who want to construct models they can modify with accessible components and technology. Shortly after NASA released this information, the U of O’s Mars Rover Team decided to take on the challenge. Eventually, they entered their rover in the 2020 and 2021 University Rover Challenge (URC), an international competition normally held in the deserts of Utah. To qualify for the URC2021 Finals, the team submitted their most recent deliverable, the System Acceptance Review (SAR). However, on March 25, URC organizers announced that that compe-
U of O students build their own Mars Rover. Image: U of O Mars Rover Team /Provided
tition will not take place in-person due to COVID-19, and it is still unclear how the virtual event will unfold. Cameron Paul, current co-captain of the team and fourth-year mechanical engineering student has been on the team since 2019. “[We are] a very unique team,” Paul said. “There isn’t any other team like it being able to design something that’s supposed to go on another planet.”
cal engineering, electrical and computer engineering, physics, and other key fields that help in the development of the model. As per the University Rover Challenge guidelines the U of O’s Mars Rover Project must perform four different functions. Life detection, to collect soil samples and then perform experiments on them, is one of the four functions the model must perform. NASA does experiments on soil to determine if it can support life or can be used to support life. The model rover must also perform the extreme retrieval function. So, the team must remotely control the rover over a mix of different ‘mars-like’ terrain and pick things up from the ground. At the competition, the U of O’s rover will have to “collect certain items along
A complex project with diverse functions Because this is a complicated project, the team needs students from various academic backgrounds to assemble a functional rover. Students involved in the project study software engineering, mechani-
the way, like a hammer for example, and drop them off at a specific location,” explained Sharma. Equipment servicing, the third function the rover should perform, means the robotic arm onboard the rover can flip a switch, type on a keyboard, and lift a weighted object. Autonomous traversal, where the rover needs to drive itself over terrain as it searches for checkpoints, is the final and most challenging function to build. Perseverance and looking ahead
Sharma said, for this year’s competition, the U of O team “signed-up to be recognized as an engineering team under the John McEntyre Team Space (JMTS)” because this is where they built the rover.
The JMTS is a space on U of O’s campus where students collaborate and prepare for a variety of international STEM competitions. However, because the JMTS is closed to the public in accordance with Ontario’s COVID-19 protocols, the team cannot access their model, nor can they access JMTS equipment — this complicates how they prepare for the competition. Nonetheless, the team of students rely on their creativity to develop their project without the tools they would normally need. “Not being able to access the rover, we were given the idea to design a little more,” said Paul. “We weren’t at school and didn’t have access to the school facilities,” explained Sharma. “So, [Paul] bought a 3D printer, and some others bought one too.” Also, the team largely relies on Computer Aided Design, which is design software, to model the rover. Not only did these tools help them through the development of their project, it was also the ingenuity and flexibility of each team member. “Many of the team members wear many hats in the rover’s [development], which means everyone is involved in all components of the rover,” said Sharma. Even though they could not work on their project in person, the team got to know each other better through virtual meetings. Now, they are more friends than they are teammates. The team continues to integrate new students on the rover project. Interested students can join the team via their website.
The ups and downs of a career in software engineering and development we are in a tech market, so there’s a lot of local demand,” said Yelle. The demand for these workers is so high that the job market is more competitive for employers than it is for job seekers. For this reason, Yelle said, “many [software engineering and computer science] students receive offers after their placement from their co-op employers.” According to the U of O, 89.6 per cent of university software engineering grads and 100 per cent of computer science graduates find jobs in their fields two years after graduation. But, just because software engineers and developers are in high demand, it doesn’t mean this career path is easy.
Hannah Sabourin SCIENCE AND TECH EDITOR
Software engineers and developers create software applications, systems of records, and telecommunications software among other systems — and they are needed in almost every industry including government, security, healthcare, and research. The Government of Canada projects that from 2019 to 2028, there will be approximately 27,500 job openings for software engineers and development in Canada. However, the government also projects that there will only be 24,000 job seekers within that time — who are either recent university graduates or migrants. The government labels this trend a “labour shortage”, which means that there are more jobs in this sector than there are workers. According to this report, job openings in these fields, which have a median pay of $45.67 per hour, are expected to increase faster than most other fields in Canada. This is good news for Canadian computer science graduates because there is great possibility for job security. In fact, 99.6 per cent of all University of Ottawa software engineering students received a placement in the 2020/2021 school year, according to Chantal Yelle, a team lead with the U of O’s co-op program. “We are able to have these fabulous results, even during the pandemic …
students learn how to write reports, communicate effectively, and engage in collaborative projects. Yelle also said, “employers are interested in students who are involved in [extracurricular] work.” This is why employers are likely to notice applicants who “teach themselves programming languages, who participate in hackathons, and who work with their student association.” Dominic Gagné a University of Guelph alumnus with a master’s in computer science. In conjunction with his academic achievements, Gagné pushed himself to learn as much as he could before and throughout his career. Now, he is a software developer for one of the largest multinational technology companies in the world. “One aspect of my job is to manage resources for other companies, which means that if there’s code that is not working as expected in a data centre I am expected to help fix that problem,” said Gagné. “I also do software development for clients who request a feature, which means that I work with the project manager to determine how best to create it,” he continued. “Then we come-out with some sort of diagram to see how it’s going to look, and then we write the code for it.” “It’s really interesting work … I enjoy it.”
Attracting prospective employers Often, employers have high expectations for their employees. More specifically, employers want to hire wellrounded employees who have passion for their work. “The trend in the last five years has been that employers are seeking employees with soft skills. They also want to make sure [new hires] can communicate, write, [are] emotionally intelligent, and are able to participate in a group,” said Yelle. For this reason, software engineering program coordinators added a mandatory class entitled, “Professional Communication and Responsibility” to the course sequence. In this class,
While Gagné enjoys his work, he believes there are some tradeoffs. “I think the work-life balance for this kind of career is way worse than the average job. You have to dedicate the majority of your time and mental energy to the job,” he said. According to a 2017 study in Finland, employers generally expect a lot from software developers, which leads to stress, anxiety, and burnout. Gagné said that it is normal to feel a lot of stress at the beginning of one’s career. For him specifically, the learning curve was intense when he first entered the job market. “At my first job, the first six months were really rough. I couldn’t believe how much there was to learn,” he said. “[My work was] so much different from what we learned in school. I was completely overwhelmed.” According to the aforementioned study, apart from the learning curve, software developers are likely to experience heightened stress when their tasks are too large and if the deadline for these tasks is too short. Another common stressor is if the worker is not equipped with the right training and tools to complete their work. The good news for future developers is that not all software jobs are high-pressure environments. For example, Cameron Thompson, another Guelph alumnus with a computer science degree, and a junior soft-
What to expect entering the job market
ware developer at Magnet Forensics (a company that develops investigative software for police), promotes employee work-life balance. “I am not expected to work late into the night or anything like that, which helps a lot. My company does a good job of prioritizing employee health more than deadlines and profit,” said Thompson. While their work experiences are different, Thompson and Gagné have similar advice for students who want to become software developers. “Get an internship or even, try to code a solution to a problem on your own. You’ll learn so much from that and you’ll show a potential employer that you’re interested in this stuff and that you know the basics of it,” said Gagné. Also, “find time to practice and work on projects that you enjoy to hone your skills.” Further, Thompson reflects on the abundance of opportunities for software engineers and developers in Ottawa — a tech hub where approximately 11.3 per cent of Ottawa residents in the workforce are employed for tech companies. “There are a lot of good opportunities out there for people who are new to the workforce,” said Thompson. “Facebook and Google are not the only good tech companies to work for, there are tons of local tech companies that look for new talent, especially in Ottawa.”
SCIENCE & TECH | 10
SPORTS EDITOR Jasmine McKnight email@example.com
Insta: @j.mcknight08 Twitter: @Jazzle59
Sports Confessional: Gee-Gees athletes share their most memorable moments “I ended up finding it more fitting for me to just be humble and lead by example, instead of forcing and imposing myself where I went.” Looking back, Minger admits this interaction not only made him a better player, but also a better teammate and leader.
Amanie Salama Contributor
Do you ever find yourself replaying your favourite memories in your head? Well, so do many of the University of Ottawa’s student-athletes. Participating in sports has provided many of them with meaningful connections and cherished memories that’ll last a lifetime. Yet this year with many sporting events being cancelled, postponed, or highly restricted due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we couldn’t help but feel a bit nostalgic. So we asked some Gee-Gees to share their most precious memories with us. Here are some of the moments they’ve picked out from their careers.
Ketsia Kamba – Women’s rugby
Milana Grahovac – Women’s volleyball Amid the chaos of a game in her third-year, Milana Grahovac remembers one particularly intense, adrenaline-packed moment where her team only needed one more point to finish a set. Grahovac was serving and former teammate Dana Bulloch, was the front row middle. As soon as the opposing team received the serve, they set the ball to their middle who was gearing up to hit it right back at Grahovac. “I knew that they would target me to hit it as I was not the defensive specialist our libero is,” said Grahovac, who is a middle blocker. However, in that moment, with her team alongside her, Grahovac’s energy and determination was amplified. “In my mind my only thought was ‘she is not going to score right now.’ And as I expected she hit [the ball] right at me and I somehow dug it up, Dana set it to our left side, and our left side scored to close the set!” Now in her fourth-year, Grahovac once again
What’s your favourite athletic memory? Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum
finds herself motivated by her teammates during the pandemic. “It wasn’t easy hearing that we couldn’t have any seasons games this year, but seeing how hard everyone was working to stay in top shape and make great strides in their development individually and as a group, motivated me to be my best self for them,” she said. “I could still leave feeling proud of my four years.” Borys Minger – Men’s basketball Having always dreamed of playing basketball at a higher level, Borys Minger’s most memorable experience was getting recruited from French Guiana to play basketball in Canada at the age of 15. A year prior, Minger missed out on a big opportunity to go play basketball in France, so coming to Canada gave him “a brand new and unexpected future to look forward to.”
Since then, he has had far more emotionally intense experiences, but this event remains the most memorable in his athletic career as it was so life changing. “It was my most memorable because it’s with me everyday, it has become part of who I am,” he said. This singular event propelled Minger to where he is today and has provided him with many opportunities for personal growth and development. He recalls his first interaction with U of O alumni, Johnny Berhanemeskel and Calvin Epistola, stating “I met them both when I first came to the U of O in 2017, I was in the midst of transitioning from prep to university level.” At the time, Minger was quite boastful. “My original game plan was to come and let it be known that I was ambitious and ready to challenge anyone to get [to the top], but [Berhanemeskel and Epistola] led with so much humility while also being the best when it was game time,” Minger explained.
In her first year, Ketsia Kamba played one of the “funnest and hardest” games of her life at the 2019 Réseau du Sport Étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) Women’s Rugby Championship. With a successful high school career in basketball and rugby, Kamba was aware of the level of intensity and competition that she would face at the university level. As a result, she gave 120 per cent at practices, scrimmages, lift sessions, and games. “I had to give it my all whenever presented with the opportunity to showcase my athletic abilities.” The biggest opportunity to do so presented itself as the championship game neared and the team’s starting lock was injured. This meant that Kamba, a substitute, would have to step up. Yet despite her prior athletic achievements, Kamba still had her concerns. “I wasn’t sure I would have the ability to play the full game because I’ve never played in such an elite level of rugby in my life.” However, at that moment, Kamba was in her element. “My first tackle is something I’ll never forget because it felt like I woke up from a dream,” she said. Ultimately, she played the whole game and made a wonderful memory as the team emerged victorious. This article has been condensed for print. Visit www.thefulcrum.ca for the full article.
Gee-Gees Rocket League win OPSE title St. Pierre invited to CFL Combine
Beat Sault Cougars 4-2 in final series Jasmine McKnight Sports Editor
On March 22, the University of Ottawa Esports club made its mark with a championship performance in the Ontario Post Secondary Esports League (OPSE). After making their way to the finals of the OPSE Rocket League, the Gee-Gees came out victorious over the Sault College Cougars 4-2 in a best of seven series. Finishing tied for first place after regular season play, the Gee-Gees only had two losses under their belt. Jean-Daniel ‘Solize’ Proulx, a player on the team, attributed turning those losses into motivation for the team’s success. “We started practicing more regularly, and I think that’s what produced good results,” Solize said. “Whenever we got beat by another team — or almost got beat — it motivated us to be better and address our flaws.” With a promising regular season record, the team did not slow
down during the playoff season. On route to the finals, they beat Concordia University, Queen’s University, the University Toronto, and Lambton College before meeting Sault College in the final game. Raymond ‘Hexki’ Octavious, who contributed a consistent stream of goals through the playoffs, explained that the team focussed on playing the way they practiced. “We knew we could take down any team in the league as long as we stuck to our game plan and had a positive mindset,” Hexki said. The Gee-Gees opened up the championship series with a quick goal from Julien ‘JChan’ Chan. The Gees made it a 6-0 lead with goals from across the roster before Sault could find the back of the net. The U of O easily secured game one. In game two, it was the Cougars who pocketed the first goal. Stronger defence prevented the Gee-Gees from finding a lead, but with 3:04 left on the clock, Solize
tied the game up at 2-2. It was Hexki who scored next, earning the game two win for the Gee-Gees. Game three wasn’t as hot for the U of O, and while the Gees were the first to put points on the board, the Cougars went on a run to close out the game 5-2 and earn themselves a win in the best of seven series. The next game looked much like the first with the Gee-Gees piling up goals. JChan put up four to secure a 6-1 win for the U of O. Sault held on though, despite facing a match point situation, and limited the U of O to only three goals. The Cougars took game five to send the series to game six. A single goal was all that was on the scoreboard and enough for the U of O to claim the win. Winning the series 4-2 over Sault, the Gee-Gees not only earned the championship title but the players earned scholarship money that goes towards their tuition or payments towards student loans.
Event to take place virtually Jasmine McKnight Sports Editor
Due to constant adaptations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Canadian Football League (CFL) Combine and draft will look different this time around. Rather than athletes hitting the field for drills and live interviews, evaluators will be looking through sets of film for each individual prospect and reaching out to athletes virtually to get to know them. After spending his university football career with the Gee-Gees, the University of Ottawa’s Dylan St. Pierre has been invited to participate in this year’s combine. “To be one of the players picked was really an honour,” St. Pierre said on the selection.
“It has been a goal of mine since I first got into university.” “When I got the call I was really excited for the opportunity to showcase my ability in front of all the CFL teams.” From Ottawa, the wide receiver says being a GeeGee is something special to him. “I was lucky enough to have some really great coaches and teammates that helped me develop both on and off the field the last five years and teammates who became more like brothers over time.” In preparation for the combine, St. Pierre has continued to train with the Gee-Gees lead varsity performance coach, Joey Kwasniewsky.
Players are required to film and send videos of themselves performing the individual drills they usually would complete in-person as well as medical documents, and a questionnaire. On the other end, CFL evaluators will be looking through the film sent to them and clubs are responsible for reaching out to scheduling interviews with athletes. “It’s definitely something new to have the combine be virtual,” St. Pierre said. “But my preparations haven’t really changed from what it would have been in person.” Teams will have from now until the draft at the beginning of May to reach out and interview players.
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OPINIONS EDITOR Jasmine McKnight
firstname.lastname@example.org Insta: @j.mcknight08 Twitter: @Jazzle59
OPINION: Part-time students deserve accessible education
Many are ineligible for numerous financial resources and employment opportunities Leyla AbdolelL Online Editor
One year ago, I went from being a full-time student to studying part-time. The University of Ottawa classifies a part-time student as one who takes fewer than 12 course units in a semester. Typically, when I tell people I’m part-time, I’m met with laughs and remarks about “all my free time” from students and staff alike. This misconception about the reality of why students choose to study part-time carries heavy consequences. In 2020, nearly 14 per cent of all undergraduate students at the U of O were enrolled on a part-time basis. The decision is not made lightly, and it’s not uncommon for students to choose part-time studies out of necessity. Studying part-time can mean more time to take care of sick relatives and our own medical needs, the ability to take more shifts to pay rent, and minimize interaction with a vastly unaccommodating virtual classroom experience. However, the decision to study part-time has also made me and thousands of other part-time students ineligible for numerous scholarships, bursaries, CO-OP opportunities, international exchanges, employment oppor-
The U of O is a microcosm of a nationwide neglect towards part-time students. Image: Rame Abdulkader/Fulcrum
tunities on campus, and government-funded summer employment. The U of O prides itself on having “one of the most generous [scholarship programs] in the country,” yet the vast majority of funding is available only to full-time students. This leaves over five thousand part-time undergraduate students with severely limited options for financial support. This is yet another symptom of an administration with little care for its most vulnerable students. Statistically, part-time students are far more likely to be financially independent, work full-time, or have children of their own. These conditions are often intersectional with students who are low-income, racialized,
or disabled, to name a few — communities that are well-known to be cast aside by postsecondary institutions. While there is little data on Canadian postsecondary institutions, parallels can be drawn from the comprehensive analysis of the state of part-time students in America done by the Center for American Progress. Just over half of students who are enrolled part-time for a portion of their postsecondary career eventually earn a degree, as opposed to 80 per cent of their full-time counterparts. The disparity in graduation rates between full- and part-time students is, in part, a reflection of how little attention and resources are paid to these students.
Living through a pandemic, more students than ever are faced with extreme circumstances and are in desperate need of financial support and employment opportunities. Going part-time is often seen as a “setback” in a student’s academic career, but this is only true so long as universities continue to give up on students who do not fit the traditional mold. Students must not be punished for studying part-time, but provided with support to succeed regardless of their circumstances. The U of O is a microcosm of a nationwide neglect towards part-time students. This neglect makes it more difficult for part-time students to complete a postsecondary education and maintains the status quo of university graduates (and, as a result, those in positions of power in the workforce) being those with the financial and social means to pursue a “typical” full-time degree. Scholarships and bursaries account for only eight per cent of the U of O’s annual expenditures — a stark contrast to the 65 per cent attributed to salaries and benefits, especially considering the hundreds of millions of dollars in tuition revenue. If the U of O is truthful in its commitment to supporting and uplifting its most vulnerable students, the university must, at the very least, expand its financial support to better include part-time students.
OPINION: It is time to abolish the Monarchy Society has changed... erin peter Freelancer In an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry discussed the details of their experiences as members of the British royal family, including the palace’s failure to correct false tabloid reports about Markle, provide help when she experienced suicidal thoughts, and address racism within the institution. The interview exposed the Royal Family’s biggest flaws and proved why it is finally time to abolish the monarchy once and for all. While many have taken to social media to voice their disbelief of Markle’s claims, I found them convincing, after all, it’s easy to believe that an institution built on racism, classism, and misogyny isn’t jumping at the opportunity to discuss such issues. Although the monarchy is often cited as a representation of the British people, the Commonwealth, and a uniting force between the two, it is just the opposite: an elite group whose only purpose is to cause further division among the population for their own benefit. The only people they can claim to represent are the rich and white. The Royal Family has never had to think of the issues that the average person faces every day, never mind care enough to help solve
them. They receive top education and healthcare services, they have personal chauffeurs, maids, and chefs to ensure that they never break a sweat. They live in palaces and wear actual tiaras and all of it is funded by taxpayer dollars! Don’t let their titles confuse you, the term ‘working royal’ is an oxymoron. Hosting garden parties, banquets, and touring the countries their ancestors colonized isn’t exactly a grueling job description. They know nothing of what it’s like to take unreliable public transport to a minimum wage job every day and still worry about affording tuition, medication, and rent. They surround themselves with those who are just like them: wealthy and privileged white people. This is hardly an accurate representation of Britain or the commonwealth, which are populated by diverse groups of people with different cultures, religions, languages, and experiences that the royal family couldn’t presume to understand. Their very existence operates on the assumption that some people are born into higher positions than others based on the will of God and that no amount of hard work (or lack thereof) will change that fact. How can any nation ever achieve equality when its highest power rules by divine right? How can the monarchy claim to represent its people when they weren’t elected into power in the first place? Simple, it
can’t. You may argue that the Royal Family’s philanthropic efforts are admirable and clearly they hope you focus on this, as their website mentions their links with hundreds of charities, military associations, professional bodies and public service organizations. However, the numerous photos of the beaming royals posing in new hospital wings or with underprivileged children seem more hollow than heartwarming when you consider the fact that their outfits alone cost thousands of dollars. During her interview, Meghan Markle highlighted the hypocrisy of the monarchy when she described the isolation and suicidal thoughts she faced when she was in the royal family. Despite asking senior officials for mental health care, she was refused. In recent years, the Royal Family have emphasized the importance of mental health, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge creating the Heads Together initiative, which is designed to “tackle [the] stigma and change the conversation on mental health with fundraising for a series of innovative new mental health services.” Markle’s comments prove that the royals’ practises are inconsistent with the goals of their charities and that it’s likely they only take on charity work for the sake of grasping to a shred of legitimacy that confirms their places
OPINION | 12
on thrones they never earned. Finally, the monarchy is already largely irrelevant, especially in Canada. In fact, except for the annual Christmas address, the only times people seem to care about the Royal Family are during scandals. From their affiliations with Nazis and sex offenders to lusty affairs and bitter divorces, the monarchy has become less of a form of government and more of a cheesy soap opera. Their misdoings only serve to weaken the image of Britain and Canada. Although the Queen is our head of state, she only really serves as the face of our money and an occasional visitor. Any of her duties concerning government can easily be carried out by an elected Governor General and/or parliament. It is clear that the Royal Family will do as they please regardless of how their actions may affect their image because there are few people who can hold them accountable for their actions. It’s outrageous that in 2021 a so-called developed country has been governed by the same woman for 67 years without ever electing her. The British monarchy is outdated and out of touch with the people it is meant to serve. Members of the Royal Family live in luxury, while commoners struggle to make ends meet. They exemplify privilege and hypocrisy and only further divide us. It is time to abolish the monarchy.
DISTRACTIONS The age old question: Can I be friends with my ex? Dear Di,
FEATURES EDITOR Amira Benjamin
email@example.com Insta: @amira.ing Twitter: N/A
I’ve been in a handful of failed relationships (something about me being high maintenance?), but I’ve never kept in touch with my exes aside from a few drunk texts and calls here and there. However, my most recent breakup was with someone who was my friend before we started dating. We have the same circle of friends and we got along amazingly in the friend group. I don’t know if it’s a good idea to try and rekindle our friendship after a breakup, would it be weird to reach out? Is it even possible to be friends with an ex? -Ex Friend
Dear EF, Navigating the waters of friendships and relationships is not an easy task. Once the added pressure of a relationship is introduced to a friendship, it’s very difficult to make the embers of attraction die down, even after a breakup. Obviously, there are a lot of factors and a lot of situations that could lead to a different answer to the question. Can you be friends with an ex? Probably not. Things can get confusing. Trying to be friends with an ex is likely to make you overthink every interaction and conversation you have with them, especially at first. Did they say that in a flirting manner? Do they still think about all the things we used to do? Do they still have feelings for me? Do I still have feelings for them? Not to mention the likelihood of them seeing someone else and you being forced to be there for them as a passenger in their new relationship.
If you think you’re capable of going through all that — and more — without being jealous, weird, or awkward, then there’s definitely potential to preserve a friendship with an ex. If you were good friends before taking your relationship to the next level, it’ll probably be easier to ease back into a friendly tone. If your relationship was very intense, it might be a bit harder to set those feelings and memories aside in order to have a healthy friendship. Remember, don’t rush a friendship after a breakup. It can be difficult to sort out feelings and get over a person you’ve been dating if you see them or talk to them frequently, even if you’re just friends. To be completely honest, unless it happens naturally, being friends with an ex is rarely ever worth it. It causes unnecessary drama and often does more harm than good when it comes to one’s mental health of even your sanity.
DEAR DI | 13
Editor-in-Chief Charley Dutil Editor@thefulcrum.ca insta: @cduts98 Twitter: @cduts98
Live from the Archives: U of O paper gains independence Stephen Hui
former CUP Bureau Chief
Every year, student papers on campuses across the country win or attempt to gain independence.
Originally published Jan. 13, 2004
After months of planning and years of positioning, the University of Ottawa’s English language student newspaper has won its independence.
Students at the University of Nothern British Columbia in Prince George voted to separate Over the Edge from their student union in a November 2004 referendum.
Editors of the Fulcrum watched nervously as the student union Board of Administration voted unanimously, with one abstention, on Jan. 9 to transfer ownership of the paper to the newly created Fulcrum Publishing Society (FPS) as of May 1, 2005.
Since the Gateway at the University of Alberta in Edmonton won its autonomy referendum in 2002, the paper has been more innovative commercially and independent editorially, said business manager Don Iveson.
“I was shocked it passed like that,” said Mary Cummins, editor-in-chief, as Fulcrum staff gathered at a bar to celebrate, “because the feedback I got before the meeting was telling me that they weren’t for it.”
Illustration: Christine Wang/Fulcrum
The 10,000-circulation, weekly publication sought separation from the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) to protect its journalistic integrity and take on legal responsibility for its content and finances, production manager Marcus McCann told the BOA. “The SFUO-Fulcrum relationship, as it stands, is flawed,” McCann said.
the paper, about three years’ worth, as part of the autonomy agreement. The paper has agreed to purchase its assets from the SFUO.
After lawyers review the autonomy agreement, it will return to the BOA for final ratification.
While a new Board of Directors elected by students will govern the FPS, it will continue to collect the paper’s $2.64 per semester student levy and operate out of the same building. If the Fulcrum goes bankrupt or breaches the agreement, its assets will revert back to the student union.
Board members raised concerns about the Fulcrum’s financial planning, liability issues and editorial content, during the one hour and 20 minutes of discussions leading up to the vote. Editors assured the board the hiring of a business manager was already increasing ad revenue and autonomy would encourage them to put out an even better paper.
Phil Laliberté, president of the SFUO, said at the meeting he had been working with the Fulcrum to hammer out the autonomy agreement since last summer.
“The current situation, where the paper reports on the student union’s activities and the student union signs editors’ and other staff’s paycheques, creates an ‘inherent conflict-of-interest, ‘ “ he explained.
“In the end, no one gets the short end of the stick, the Fulcrum gets to survive as the SFUO does,” Laliberté said. “I think it’s a fair agreement.”
To help the FPS get on its feet, the SFUO will buy $40,000 of advertising credit in
“Editorially, I think the level of care and attention is higher because of that ability,” noted Iveson. Iveson’s advice to the Fulcrum: “baby steps. Don’t try to set everything overnight.” Fun Facts about this article -Stephen Hui who was CUP’s National Bureau Chief from May 2004 to April 2005, is now an author he is set to release a travel novel entitled Destination Hikes In and Around Southwestern British Columbia in May.
The Fulcrum’s records show the paper was interested in autonomy as early as 1978. In the 90s, the paper created a publishing board and won its own student levy.
-Marcus McCann is now an Employment & Human Rights Lawyer, he has also published numerous novels.
The SFUO’s decision means the Fulcrum, which dates back to 1942, will no longer be one of Canada’s largest non-autonomous
-Mary Cummins is a deputy registrar at the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority.
Tomato : University casually decides its re-opening in fall despite cloudy plan see the possibility that perhaps we will have students returning to campus. That is unless we don’t do that,” said Manderson.
Natalia Maximo contributor With the 2021-22 academic year quickly approaching, the University of Mattawa announced plans for a return to in-person classes. Yet even with the announcement, the reality is still cloudy. Guy Manderson, the current spokesperson for the Office of Campus Uncertainty, spoke to the Tomato about the proposed plans. “There’s a very good chance that we could
14 | ARCHIVES
“We’re in talks to make a committee that could oversee the meeting to make the proper plans, but they’re still fairly early on.”
“It’s reassuring to hear now that we could be going back, but also sad that we could not be.” Manderson could not comment on when the university will be able to commit to a concrete return to campus plan and share information with students.
U of M students anxiously await further information regarding the status of campus for the fall semester, which has been primarily remote since March of last year.
“We know for sure that there’s a chance that we might,” he said, as he adjusted his collar nervously.
“I really just want some clarity, which I’m happy to see now,” said Misteer.
Though he was asked for further information regarding which services and classes might see a return this September, his only comment was that students can expect “some courses, maybe some services, probably”.
When asked for more details, Mr. Manderson seemed unclear as to the scope of the plans.
Third-year accounting student Richard Misteer, spoke about his hopes.
“We’re mostly sure about it all, except for all of the things we’re not, which is most of it.”
Volume 81, Issue 9, March 29, 2021 The University of Ottawa’s independent student news outlet since 1942. Instagram: @instafulcrum | Facebook: The Fulcrum | Twitter: @The_Fulcrum
Charley “Q.C.C.I“ Dutil Editor-in-Chief firstname.lastname@example.org Emily “Cold b“ Wilson Managing Editor email@example.com Bridget “Digit” Coady News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Paige “Lisa LaFlamme“ Holland News Editor email@example.com Aly “Semicolon” Murphy Arts and Culture Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Amira “Grey it” Benjamin Features Editor email@example.com Siena “Umm“ Domaradzki-Kim Associate Features Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Jasmine “I gotta stream“ McKnight Sports & Opinions Editor email@example.com Hannah “Sorry I’m late“ Sabourin Science & Tech Editor Science@thefulcrum.ca Dasser “Notifications off” Kamran Visual Director firstname.lastname@example.org Leyla “Yep!“ Abdolell Online Editor Online@thefulcrum.ca Jelena “Sparkle emoji“ Maric Staff Writer email@example.com Sam “Dude“ Coulavin videographer firstname.lastname@example.org
The Fulcrum would like to thank: Rhyanna Melanson Idamane Moussa Ali Victoria Feng Ciara Wallace Erin Peter Amanie Salama Nicholas Schmidt
for their contributions to this issue.
Board of Directors
Kalki Nagaratnam Kate Murray David Campion-Smith Benjamin King Brendan Keane Ngan Le Ryan Pepper
The UOSU should not be organizing the BOG and Senate races It’s an inherent conflict of interest
n March 21, the Fulcrum hosted a debate between the five candidates for the University of Ottawa’s Board of Governors (BOG) undergraduate student seat. The debate was livestreamed on the Fulcrum’s Facebook page and watched by over 1,200 people. It was the source of numerous reactions from the virtual audience who got to ask questions and share their opinions on the race and the candidates. The debate touched on a number of important issues for students such as mental health, racism on campus, sexual violence on campus, and divesting from fossil fuels. But one issue that was not addressed during the debate was the lack of coverage, promotion and overall structure of the BOG election. For one, this race was organized by the University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU), which was also holding elections for representatives on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors. These races — especially for the Executive Committee — were covered much more. For instance, the UOSU, hours before the Fulcrum debate, held a question and answer (Q&A) with the candidates for the Executive Committee, this event was held in both languages. The Fulcrum was the only platform to give candidates for the BOG the opportunity to share their plans and ideas with the student population. This should not have been the case as this did not give Francophone students the same opportu-
Cover: Dasser Kamran.
Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum
taking place at the U of O. This led to an extremely low turnout — only 6,2 per cent of eligible students voted.
ing process and elections need to be re-examined so that everyone can get a clear picture of what exactly is happening.
The turnout was once again extremely low in 2021 with only 8.4 per cent This was the responsibilThe BOG race is just as of eligible students voting in ity of the UOSU’s Elections Committee who failed the important as any executive the BOG race, but it is clear BOG candidates, and the race — if not more. The un- there was a lack of awarestudent body, by not host- dergraduate student repre- ness surrounding this race. ing a bilingual Q&A or de- sentative on the BOG gets to However, awareness is not bate. Regardless of if the vote on the university’s pol- the only factor that led to Fulcrum hosts a debate, icies, finances, procedures, such a low turnout. In truth, promoting the race and the and represents the student holding the race at a time candidates is the Elections body as a whole. They can that is favourable for stuCommittee’s responsibility. directly help enact concrete dents would certainly help By not organizing a bilin- change at the university. improve the turnout. gual debate for BOG candi- The same could be said for Perhaps September could dates, they failed the U of the Senate and BOD races. be an option worth observO’s francophone students. Furthermore, to the av- ing. In September, students But this speaks to a big- erage student, the terms are just coming back to ger issue: the BOG race Board of Directors and campus and they are open should not be organized Board of Governors are to discovering new things. by the UOSU as it is an in- interchangeable — most They are also not stressing herent conflict of interest don’t know the difference. over midterms and quickly — student Governors and Elections for the two UOSU approaching exams. It is a Senators are not UOSU rep- bodies should not be held at new semester filled with resentatives — they are in- the same time as the elec- hopes and excitement — dependent representatives tions for the two University there is an overall sense of of Ottawa administrative renaissance. of the student body. bodies. Having the races separatThe University of Oted would also help students In 2020, the BOG election tawa should not be taskget a better understanding took place in June, which ing UOSU with organizing of what body they are votwas problematic since most races for its administrative ing for and what exactly students were off for the bodies. Not only was it an this elected body does. As summer and not actively inherent conflict of interest, things stand, it is a confuspaying attention to events but the UOSU’s Executive
We can’t continue having only six to nine per cent of students vote in BOG elections. How are elected student representatives supposed to hold accountable their fellow Governors and Senators if they have the backing of less than 10 per cent of the student body?
nity as their Anglophone counterparts to get familiar with the candidates. There should have been another debate or at the very least a Q&A in French with the BOG candidates.
Committee and BOD elections completely overshadowed the BOG and Senate elections — and with reason — an organization will first and foremost promote elections for its own elected bodies.
This needs to change, students need to vote, but the people organizing the elections also need to make it as easy as possible for students to do so. They need to help students understand what they are voting for and shine a light on the candidates — this was clearly not done this year’s election period. Editorials are written by the Fulcrum’s thirteen-person Editorial Board. To share your own views, email email@example.com. To view past editorials, please visit www.thefulcrum.ca
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