Page 1

In this month’s issue... THE CUP WIRE CUP - The Gateway - Students express relief over extended break, say remote proctoring still a concern for winter semester “In an email sent out November 26, the U of A announced that the majority of Winter 2021 classes will now begin on January 11, delaying the semester by a week in order to extend the holiday break. As a result, classes will run an extra week into April, meaning the exam period will now take place from April 19-30. Some programs — like those in the faculty of Medicine and Dentistry — are excluded from this adjustment, and will keep their original winter break schedule.”

CUP - The Baron - UNB Pro Bono and Imprint host virtual Trans I.D. clinic “UNB Pro Bono students and volunteers will work alongside Imprint to aid transgender, non-binary, and others that want to change their legal names, sex, or gender on their various pieces of identification. The advice provided is for any resident of New Brunswick and it will cover changes on birth certificates, documents such as passports, SIN numbers, driver’s licenses, Medicare cards, and the name showing on their UNB student I.D.”

CUP - The Sheaf - U of S and treaty commissioner collaborate on reconciliation efforts with Memorandum of Understanding “The University of Saskatchewan has made an agreement with the Office of the Treaty Commissioner to increase accessibility for Indigenous peoples to education and pursue higher success and completion rates. [...] Jacqueline Ottmann, university vice-provost of Indigenous engagement, says Indigenous students’ completion rates at the U of S change from year to year. Collaborating with the OTC and supporting Indigenous students are important in fulfilling the agreement, she says, which also includes increasing Indigenous people’s participation in post-secondary decision-making.”

uRacism protest coverage P. 3 UOSU executives and Jamal KoulmiyeBoyce lead rally in Tabaret Hall. Bye-bye Bytowne P. 5 Local theatre closing permanently. Denouncing fossil fuels P.7 Has the U of O held up their end of the bargain ? COVID-19 updates P.8 Read up on it! Extended offseason: Guillaume Pepin P. 9 Get to know how the basketball star is keeping busy. Opinion: The pandemic hasn’t been that bad P.11 Do you agree with Jasmine? Attention U of O administration P. 16

Take a hint from the protestors.



Paige Holland Bridget Coady news@thefulcrum.ca

“Unified front”: Sit-in protesters await for meeting with U of O president Protestors have been occupying Tabaret Hall’s lobby since Friday

In addition to the comments on the new special advisor, they critiqued the co-chair of the action and inclusion committee, Noël Badiou. “In exact verbatim from the co-chair [Badiou] of the new action committee: ‘He does not answer to us. He does not answer to the students, or the community,’ ” continued Koulmiye-Boyce. Desta stressed the importance of change on the part of the U of O administration; “we need central administration to take us seriously and actually read the demands and respond to us in a prompt manner.”

paige holland News editor

“Black lives, they matter here; Black lives they matter here, the people united will never be divided,” chanted protestors outside of Morisset Hall on Dec. 4. Roughly 20 people braved the rain and cold to partake in a protest over the legitimacy of the University of Ottawa’s new Action Committee on Anti-Racism and Inclusion. Eventually, the protest became a sit-in in Tabaret Hall as protestors demanded a meeting with Jacques Frémont, president of the University of Ottawa, and Jill Scott, provost and vice-president of academic affairs. As of the online publication of this article, the protesters had been occupying the lobby of Tabaret hall for 65 hours. Organized by the University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU) in conjunction with the Black Student Leaders Association (BSLA) and OPIRG, various student government leaders were present during the protest including student Jamal Koulmiye-Boyce, Jason Seguya, UOSU equity commissioner, Judy El-Mohtadi, former equity commissioner for the UOSU, Dilaye Detsa, University of Ottawa alumni as well as UOSU president Babacar Faye. “I am really proud of the amount of students that showed up and shout out to everyone who did,” Seguya said. “It really shows once again that we’re presenting a unified front [to the administration].” Directly addressing concerns at U of O Both Seguya and Faye gave speeches to the crowd indoors before taking some time to get comfortable for the sit-in. The Fulcrum spoke to the coordinators of the protest about the future plans for uRacism in combating anti-Black racism on campus. “We decided to do the [uRacism panel] which would give students an idea of why we came to the decision to leave the [advisory] committee,” said El Mohtadi. “The day or two days before we got to that event, there was an email saying that [the advisory committee had]

Plans to extend the protest

Image: Bridget Coady/Fulcrum

been dissolved without any consultation.” The previous advisory committee, of which Desta, El-Mohtadi and Seguya were a part of, was officially dissolved on Nov. 23. Frémont announced the creation of an action committee the same day that would have all new representatives. Continuing on this, Desta added that the advisory committee “did initially bring forth the idea” for the advisory committee to become an action committee. “They didn’t state [U of O policy] as the reason why that wasn’t possible; they just told us that ‘we can’t respond to every incident of racism that occurs on campus.’” Koulmiye-Boyce spoke about “the goal of transparency” at the protest on the first day of the sit-in, saying that uRacism organizers want students to be aware of the situation with the U of O administration. “We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, the U[niversity] of T[oronto] has a very good independent anti-racism office,” said Koulmiye-Boyce. “A lot of these changes that the University is proposing seem really good on paper but are actually extremely harmful [to BIPOC students].” Seguya seconded this thought, stating that the pro-

tests main goal is “the introduction of an anti-racism office at the University of Ottawa. At [the U of O] there’s only one equality, diversity, and inclusion department underneath the one administration.” “At a school like ours, that has a majority white leadership that is not responding to these issues is very problematic. [Since] there is not anyone who’s specific job is working on anti-Black racism on campus [there is no concerted effort to focus on anti-Black racism],” said Seguya. Eight hours into the sit-in, an IG TV video was released on the uRacism Instagram page speaking on the recent appointment of professor Boulou Ebanda de B’Béri as special advisor on anti-racism and inclusion. The video statement included Dilaye Detsa and Jamal Koulmiye-Boyce, who spoke about the issue of tokenizing a Black man for the legitimacy of the action committee. “This is a clear weaponization of identity politics. There has been a Black man appointed to the role [Professor B’Béri], yet from our conversation it is clear that he lacks the knowledge to implement real systemic change,” said Koulmiye-Boyce.

The morning of Dec. 5, the sit-in was still ongoing after protestors spent the night in Tabaret Hall waiting for Frémont and Scott. At 1 p.m. on Dec. 5 (24 hours after the protest began) the uRacism Instagram account provided an update on the protest explaining they plan to occupy the space until the U of O administration responds. Inside Tabaret Hall, Koulmiye-Boyce said, “We’ve officially been occupying Tabaret Hall for 24 hours now. We are yet to hear from the central administration with tangible action. We are tired but we will not give up until we have our demands met: decolonization and antiracism are verbs, not nouns and they must be backed by action.” As of Dec. 7 the uRacism group continued to provide updates throughout the three days that they occupied the space, with Instagram TV videos every 24 hours. Seguya spoke to the Fulcrum with an update 53 hours into the sit-in, saying that, “we haven’t so much as received an email from Jacques Frémont or Jill Scott confirming that they see what we’re saying and are in discussion about it.” “Regardless of how long it is we’re intending to put out a statement that does condemn the lack of action on it,” said Seguya. The uRacism group encourages all students to continue in the fight against anti-Black racism on campus and implores the administration to take action sooner rather than later.

Right Wing Politics club loses club status with UOSU and CVUO paige holland News editor

On Dec.6, the Right Wing Politics Club lost their club status with the University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU) and Campus Vibez (CVUO). The official decision comes after the club attempted to have self-described nationalist Tyler L. Russell speak at an event back in October. Amena el Himri, student services commissioner for the UOSU, said that the concern with the club’s activities began on Sep. 12. “They [Right Wing Politics Club] invited Tyler L. Russell to speak on campus, and that is an individual that the UOSU condemns as he does not share the same values as the UOSU constitution and the equity section of the U of O clubs code,” explained el Himri.

Official club status was granted to the Right Wing Politics Club back in Sep. 2019 after a two-step process, according to the President of CVUO, Hassan Ahmed. Ahmed said, “the [disbanding] was to be held on Oct. 2, yet was cancelled due to a change in COVID-19 restrictions by the UOSU.” As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UOSU Board of Directors (BOD) voted to suspend all in-person clubs activities on Oct. 1 in response to increasing cases in Ottawa and on campus. Alongside the The Right Wing Politics Club, the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) club was denied club status in connection with the event. They had been connected to the event in its planning stages and had their application for

club status denied due to this. The Right Wing Politics club received $150 in funding from the UOSU for the fall 2020 semester according to files provided by Ahmed. “Since their removal and the new clubs code, they’ve been asked to not spend any of the money they received that they already haven’t spent,” said Ahmed. “[They] are [also] going to be asked to return [the funding] back to the UOSU.” The Right Wing Politics club is currently undergoing an official investigation with the UOSU’s student services committee, chaired by El-Himri. The investigative report will be released later this week. More information to come later.

3 | NEWS

CVUO logo. Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum


ILSA now a registered student government Switch was approved at the UOSU’s Fall General Assembly Charley dUTIL & PAIGE HOLLAND

eDITOR-iN-cHIEF & News editor

On Nov. 12, a clear majority of those in attendance for the University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU) Fall General Assembly (FGA) voted to give the Indigenous Law Student’s Association (ILSA) the right to become a recognized student government (RSG). Motion 8.5 of the FGA moved to create the new student government and asked the UOSU to support the establishment of the ILSA as an RSG. The group will now be known as the Indigenous Law Students Government (ILSG). The designation means it is the University of Ottawa’s first Indigenous RSG resulting in a change in the organization’s rules and means of funding. The motion, brought forward by Jason Tremblay, stated, “it is important for the good governance of the University of Ottawa that there be committees, groups and associations to represent the interests of students and independent community members.” Those in attendance at the FGA voted for the motion on the grounds that “the UOSU [should] provide adequate funding for Indigenous events, gatherings and programming, as well as advocate for the provision of office space for the ILSG, in full recognition of the Indigenous presence on campus and in the faculty of law.” The ILSA had long been an association under the Common Law Student Society but its members believed it was time to become a separate self-governing body. “Our reason for [seeking self-governance] was because Canada has three legal orders, common law, civil law, and Indigenous law,” explained Chanel Carlson, a member of the RSG.

Image: UOSU Facebook/Provided

Paige holland News editor Image: ISLG/Provided

“So it only made sense that we existed as our own separate entity rather than under the common law body.” Carlson shared that the next step for the ILSG is to establish a constitution that reflects their traditional Indigenous values. “We’re going to do that in a way that we bring in Indigenous legal laws and orders that have been in existence since precontact. Right now, our constitution is a Western constitution. And we have to follow the rules.” “For example, I don’t believe that our government will be a hierarchical government” continued Carlson. “That’s something that we’re all going to do together. And equally and with consultation from the Algonquin peoples and the law school.” Like any other RSG at the University, the ILSG will have to work with the UOSU on its funding structure and framework of activities. Tim Gulliver, the UOSU’s advocacy commissioner, spoke on the financial aspects of the designation.

“When it comes to finances, we [the UOSU] have committed at the FGA, to work with [the ILSG] to develop the framework to ensure they’re receiving more funding, these conversations have not yet begun but will shortly.” Gulliver then spoke about the newly minted RSG, saying that “the UOSU will not be playing any role in the internal affairs, they will be given the lead (same as other RSG’s) to determine how they want to selfgovern.” The switch has been celebrated by the ILSG as well as the Indigenous student community and the UOSU. The Instagram page for the ILSG posted an update announcing their change from student association to RSG on Nov. 12. Alongside the photo announcement, they wrote; “WE DID IT!!!!! 6 hours on zoom and worth every minute. “Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who dedicated their night to ensuring our success. We could not have done it without you.” The ILSG is expected to receive full funding and be functioning as an RSG by Sept. 2021.

The Wire: Group tries to start white student union chapter at McGill Promotional posters were hung up around campus Bridget coady & hannah sabourin news editor & Freelancer

On Nov. 26, reports of posters for a “white student union” at McGill were published in The Montreal Gazette. The next day, the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU), along with 34 university affiliated organizations, released a statement reaffirming their commitment to racial equity and inclusion.

Photo: Paul Lowry

UOSU’s pass/ fail petition hits 5,000 signatures

The posters in question depicted three white men with the words “white student union” and a URL to an associated website. The organization takes credit for “starting a branch at McGill University” as well as similar campaigns at multiple universities in Toronto as per their website. The group claims to be “combating antiwhite discrimination; fighting anti-white hate speech” at Canadian universities. As reported by CTV, the group does not seem to have gained much traction at McGill with only 16 students having applied to join. They are also aiming to meet twice a month, including one lecture and one social gathering. Their goal is to eventually hold conferences that include speaker series. In the statement posted to their website McGill’s, the SSMU condemned “white supremacy, white nationalism and all derivative structures of oppression and marginalization of Black people, Indigenous Peoples, People of Colour, and religious minorities.”

In an email to the Fulcrum, Brooklyn Frizzle, SSMU’s vice president of student life, reiterated the SSMU’s opinions and specifically pointed to a statement by a Montreal Antifacist group on Facebook. “My colleagues and I, personally, [found it] quite moving,” Frizzle said of the statement. The Facebook statement called the group responsible for the posters “little more than a minuscule group of racist militants” and reprimanded media outlets who “took the bait and produced articles that even included photos of the poster, which serves to boost the signal.” The SSMU urged people to “centre BIPOC community members in interacting with racially hateful discourse, to ensure that it is not amplified as it is condemned.” They also encouraged anyone speaking on the matter to make use of “content warnings, amplify the voices of those directly affected, and educate yourself about their lived experiences.”

The University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU) shared a petition on Nov. 20. demanding the University administration implement a modified pass or fail grading system for the fall 2020 semester, similar to the grading scheme used for the winter 2020 term. As such, the undergraduate student body has continued to echo the UOSU’s demands and as of Dec. 2, the petition has garnered over 5,000 signatures. In the petition, the UOSU also called on the University of Ottawa administration to reduce the workload and identify synchronous courses on the class search tool, so that students are aware which classes have set times. The UOSU wants to identify synchronous courses so that students can be aware of lecture time slots allowing them to better organize their class schedules. This would be especially beneficial for students residing in different time zones. Tim Gulliver, the UOSU’s advocacy commissioner, said that he is “very grateful” so many students have added their names to the petition. “Everyone I am speaking to is in awe about the sheer number of students who have agreed that this initiative is the way to go,” said Gulliver. “[UOSU] is hoping that the University will be open to the pass [or] fail recommendation, in addition to our other recommendations, which we make in a constructive spirit.” Isabelle Mailloux-Pulkinghorn, manager for media relations, spoke on behalf of the University via email, in response to the petition’s recent increase in signatures. “Last spring a decision was made by the Senate to allow the Satisfactory [or] Non Satisfactory mark to be used, given the unique circumstances of the pandemic, which hit us close to the end of the Winter 2020 semester.” Mailloux-Pulkinghorn reaffirmed in her statement that, “the University is aware of the petition and is looking into the matter.” In a press release on Dec. 2, Gulliver and co-writer Nadine Olivier, director of communications for the UOSU, highlighted the petition’s demands and compared the adjustments made by other universities to the situation at U of O. “The adaptation to online learning during the pandemic for students has created unique challenges and disruptions that could not have been anticipated,” wrote Gulliver. “The use of flexible compassionate grading options has been introduced in other universities, such as Carleton University which includes a use of Pass/Fail which we feel could be implemented at the University of Ottawa.” “Students are desperate for help, and the University has the opportunity to send a powerful signal: students are heard and understood, by offering the same flexible, compassionate grading system that Carleton students are receiving.” As of Dec 2. the University has not made an official decision on whether or not to adopt the petition’s demands.

4 | NEWS



& culture

A&C EDITOR Aly Murphy arts@thefulcrum.ca

Insta: @aly_murph Twitter:@aly_murph_

Inside Nicholas Leno’s and Norah Paton’s immersive, interactive Christmas Carol The audio play has already sold out due to overwhelming support

ALY MURPHY ARTS AND CULTURE EDITOR Listen: The Muppet Christmas Carol is one of my favourite films of any genre. But Ottawa’s getting a new Christmas Carol to shake things up. Local theatre makers Nicholas Leno (a 2016 U of O MFA directing alum) and Norah Paton have created an immersive, site-specific, audio production of A Christmas Carol to be delivered to audience’s houses in a convenient box. The box comes with surprises – props and other “little treats,” said Paton – to help audiences bring A Christmas Carol to life in their own homes and neighbourhoods. The play has, unfortunately, sold out due to overwhelming interest from local audiences. This signals a promising trend in inventive, accessible theatre as physical stage spaces stay shuttered due to the pandemic. Putting together a COVID-safe Christmas Carol has been quite the journey for Leno (who in addition to building the play, voices Scrooge in the audio component) and Paton. “We got together back in August to try and conceive an outdoor play in winter during the second wave of COVID. We started this on a warm summer evening, and that’s pretty different from what feels feasible now,” said Paton in an interview. Digital theatre has been evolving in unexpected ways since physical spaces first closed at the end of March. Podcast plays have increased in popularity, as have Zoom productions and other livestreamed initiatives.

Image: A Christmas Carol Ottawa/Provided

In creating A Christmas Carol, Leno and Paton looked for ways to get audiences out of their houses and into their neighbourhoods to explore the classic story—by themselves, with a partner, or even with the whole family. The audio play and the physical box work for a group of any size, though Leno and Paton suggest that the play is best experienced at a one box per household ratio. “We wanted to tell this story in a way that people actually want to see it,” said Paton. “It’s somewhere between a [podcast] play and a museum walking tour,” explained Leno. “It’s an actual event, an experience.” Paton added, “I was a tour guide for years, and building A Christmas Carol has been using that muscle.”

Audience members of A Christmas Carol go on a little tour of their house and neighbourhood, allowing them to see their own space in a new and whimsical light while listening to Scrooge’s story. As to why Leno and Paton decided to make A Christmas Carol their wintertime production? “It’s tradition. It’s a really good story that applies well to these unprecedented times,” said Leno. “I enjoy retelling really old stories in new ways,” he added. Together, Leno and Paton researched previous iterations of A Christmas Carol, reading Charles Dickens’ original book as well as old radio plays and films. This notion of tradition is one driving Leno’s and Paton’s production: even in the pandemic, there are

still ways to enjoy the stories we tell each year, even if that might look quite different now. The production is Pay-What-You-Choose (meaning audience members were able to name their price), though Leno and Paton specify that the physical box’s contents cost them approximately $15, and the box contains “at least $10 per person worth of enjoyment.” This measure has ensured that the production remains accessible to everyone regardless of financial standing, which is notable at a time in which many people have lost work. Audiences get to keep their boxes, so they can relive the experience over and over again. Leno and Paton worked with Lindsey Huebner, a voice actor from the United Kingdom, to breathe life into the other characters of A Christmas Carol. “The only real accommodation we had to make in putting the show together has been time zones,” said Paton. Leno and Paton also worked with U.K. sound designer, Jordan Lewis, to piece together the individual audio components. A Christmas Carol has been no small feat for Leno and Paton, theatre artists both lauded for their physical work over the past several years. “It’s new and so with inherent fear,” said Leno. “We’re usually theatre artists – it’s a new frontier,” added Paton. “It’s exciting, since we’re no longer bound by a traditional theatre space.” “Enjoy A Christmas Carol with a mulled wine, and follow your public health guidelines.” said Paton. “Traditions are flipped on their head this year: so embrace that.”

Bye-bye Bytowne: Saying goodbye to a local landmark

The theatre has been open since 1947 ALY MURPHY ARTS AND CULTURE EDITOR

In yet another casualty of 2020, beloved Ottawa landmark, the Bytowne Cinema on Rideau Street, will be closing its doors permanently on Dec. 31. Owner Bruce White expressed the reasoning behind his decision in a somber social media post on Friday afternoon. “The cinema has been losing money every day since the pandemic hit,” said White in the post. “I wish things could be different,” he said, explaining his ongoing plans to retire and COVID-19’s impact on those plans. “If there’s eventual interest from [a buyer], you may see ByTowne 2.0 someday. No-one will be more delighted than me, and I’ll be there as one of you, a happy spectator of amazing movies. But I won’t be your programmer.” The Bytowne Cinema has been open since 1947 and has been run by White since 1988. The theatre has long been a favourite spot in Ottawa’s ByWard Market, acting as a crucial venue for independent film screenings. The cinema is also a key location for several film festivals in Ottawa, particularly the Ottawa

Photo: Bytowne Cinema/Fulcrum

International Animation Festival (OIAF). “The OIAF has survived a lot of challenges and will move ahead, but this news is a real heartbreaker,” said OIAF in a Facebook post in response to the announcement. Ottawa audiences have taken this news hard, flocking to social media to share their memories of the theatre. Shawn Menard, Ottawa city councillor, tweet-


ed: “City Bailout for ByTowne Cinema! Too big to fail…”, a sentiment which has been echoed by many as the public comes together to mourn the landmark. Some have called for city bailouts, a public GoFundMe (which Bruce White confirmed is not affiliated with the theatre), or a private buyer. “Bytowne” was trending on Twitter on Dec. 4, which the theatre acknowledged, saying “what

a crummy time to finally reach this Twitter milestone!”. Jean Cloutier, former co-owner of the cinema and current city councillor for Alta Vista, also took to Twitter on Dec. 4. “What a sad day. Bruce White & I bought & converted the old Nelson Cinema and opened @ ByTowne on October 1 1988.” “He has lost his passion project, staff have lost their livelihood and Ottawa has lost an important cultural alternative to mainstream cinema. We are poorer now.” It is clear that there is general interest in saving the theatre, but due to the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, it is unlikely that any independent cinema will be financially viable until people feel safe spending time in public spaces again. Those looking to donate to the theatre are encouraged to give to the Staff Appreciation Fund, which will be dispersed evenly between the theatre’s fifteen employees. “Support the in-cinema experience in any way that you can. When post-pandemic life improves, attend any cinema, see any movie. “Take chances; take friends; take a night off from Netflix,” concluded White in his goodbye letter to the public.


2020 sucks and so does Christmas music: A playlist

Ho, ho, how does anyone listen to this stuff? ciara wallace

the words right regardless. 4/5 bags of coal if you listen to this.

We’ve made it to that time of year again, with the whimsical lights, the fireplace crackling, and barrels of chestnuts ready to roast over the flames. We’ve also made it to that point of the year where the sun sets at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. feels like midnight. With the nights getting cold and dark, many of us turn to the magic of music to bring comfort and joy to our seasonal depression. Some Christmas music is really timeless, and we can listen to it year after year, but some… not so much. There are so many god-awful Christmas songs out there, so let’s acknowledge the top 10 worst Christmas songs that need to get thrown into the fire right with our chestnuts and marshmallows.

8) “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Buffet


1) “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” by Elmo & Patsy This song was originally released in 1979 and should have stayed there. Sung by Elmo and Patsy and an outlier among numerous storytelling Christmas songs, this particular single is a Christmasturned-true crime saga. If you listen to this every year, I’m asking Santa to sneak some music taste in your stocking. 5/5 bags of coal if you listen to this. 2) “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” by Gayla Peevey When we were kids, this song was a classic. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t jam out to this song as a five year-old. And if you had a Canadian childhood, then listening to this song after watching the infamous “House Hippo” commercial was even more accurate. But there comes a time where you need to leave it behind. You’re in your twenties now. Stop. 4/5 bags of coal if you listen to this. 3) “All I Want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)” by Alvin & The Chipmunks This song was written in 1944 by Donald Yetter Gardener, who taught music to children, hence “two front teeth” – which is cute. What is not cute

Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum.

is blasting the Alvin and the Chipmunks version of this song at any point during the holiday season. In fact, that goes for any Alvin and the Chipmunks cover song ever made. Just don’t do it. 4/5 bags of coal if you listen to this. 4) “Drummer Boy” by Justin Bieber & Busta Rhymes Sorry Beliebers, but in the grand scheme of Christmas music, this song does not even come close to being a classic. Justin Bieber will be remembered for other things, like his DUI’s. As for his remake of an already not-great song, it’s a miss. Pop music has taken over and we have all had to come to terms with it, but adding a back track filled with bells and drums to make it ‘Christmas-y’ and then going all out with the electronic crescendos that you hear in a nightclub does not mix. Are we in a rave? Not to mention how the song abruptly ends with no outro except for Bieber’s rapping “I’m the drummer boy so do it, do it.” No one asked you to be the drummer boy, Justin. 5/5 bags of coal if you listen to this. 5) “Santa Baby” by Madonna Picture this: you’re curled up on the couch drinking your hot cocoa, your parents are finishing up the Christmas dinner, your grandma walks in and sits down to have a nice little chat to ask how you’ve been, and “Santa Baby” comes on. This has

got to be one of the most sexual Christmas songs out there, and that’s totally up to you and your partner if you want to fetishize an old man dressed in a red suit whose only diet consists of milk and cookies. But to most people this song never applies to the vibes in the room. Let’s just pack it up and send it on its way. 3/5 bags of coal if you listen to this. 6) “Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives Okay, you may be wondering why this is on the list, but let’s be real. No one says “holly jolly” anymore, and especially with our world’s current state, having a “holly jolly” Christmas almost seems like a joke. Is it really the best time of the year? We won’t be seeing as much (if any) family this year, so spending it in a quarantined-state may not be defined as “a cup of cheer.” 3/5 bags of coal if you listen to this. 7) “Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues ft. Kristy MacColl If there was a musical form of that one drunk uncle who ruins Christmas… this song is it. Whenever this song begins (since it’s somehow jammed into your Christmas playlist), everyone always stops for a second, thinking “wait, what is this?”. Sung by The Pogues featuring. Kristy MacColl, their Anglo-Irish Celtic sounds chime through the somewhat Christmasy sounds of a drunken Christmas in New York. This song is best played near the end of your festivities, since no one will be singing

No it isn’t. Next. But seriously, this is one of the world’s most overplayed songs by far. It’s overused in movies ironically, un-ironically, as background music, in commercials, in cards. It will stay with us even after Christmas is over to advertise boxing week sales. Do yourself a favour: allow yourself to step away from this song. It will be okay. We’re here for you. 3/5 bags of coal if you listen to this. 9) “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by The Jackson 5 Yet another sexual Christmas song on this list. In case some people still believe this song is about the kids mother cheating on her husband with Santa… her husband is Santa. Now that that’s cleared up, if you choose to take part in the Santa fetish there’s no shame. Just enjoy listening to this song at your family dinner, or skipping it like the rest of us but never taking the time to delete it from the playlist. 4/5 bags of coal if you listen to this. 10) “Baby It’s Cold Outside” – Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is another holiday classic that just gets overplayed a bit too much, but this specific version has made it to the top of my naughty list. No one wants to unwind by the fire and relax while listening to the explicit consent giving of Lemanski singing “you reserve the right to say no” with an indie backtrack. Consent is sexy – the way Liza and Lemanski portray it is not. Along with the complete rewrite, the song tries too hard to be ‘quirky’ and relatable by mentioning “what is this drink? Pomegranate La Croix.” I’m sure the rest of us are sipping that on our dates and leaving right after for a real drink. 5/5 bags of coal if you listen to this. How many bags of coal will you be getting this holiday season?

Good Lovelies gearing up to stream Christmas concert presented by the NAC

They’ve charmed audiences for years and now they’re back for more Hannah SABOURIN Freelancer Juno award-winning trio the Good Lovelies will perform the first show of their virtual Christmas tour, titled Christmas Time’s a Comin’ (which is also the name of their latest single) on Dec. 13 presented by the National Arts Centre. The group will livestream performances to audiences in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, but all 10 shows will be available to anyone with Internet access, no matter where they are in the world. According to the group’s website, Caroline Brooks, Kerri Ough, and Sue Passmore, will perform both holiday classics and original songs. “A lot of the songs that we sing in our Christmas concert are covers of old Christmas songs. This lends well to Christmas nostalgia,” said Ough in an interview with the Fulcrum. “And we do sing three original songs from our latest Christmas record, Evergreen.” This year, the Good Lovelies have completed three online performances prior to their upcoming Christmas tour.


“It is a beautiful yet strange experience to perform live from my home. It is heartening that so many people tune-in to watch our performances,” said Ough. “But, let me tell you, it feels weird to sing to a computer instead of an audience.” While the impact of a venue concert is different from one online, Ough thinks performers should continue to produce virtual tours. “When you watch a live performance from home, you feel that the performer sings just for you. And that feels extremely special.” Brooks, Ough, and Passmore created Good Lovelies after they performed their first Christmas concert in 2006 before expanding their tour to London, Toronto and Port Hope. Ever since, the Good Lovelies Christmas tour has been a yearly event. And because of the concert’s popularity, the group released a Christmas record entitled Under the Mistletoe in 2009. “We had no master plan to create an established Christmas tour, but it just ballooned into something major. Some years, we perform 28 shows in Decem-

ber. We really enjoy our Christmas tour,” said Ough. Ough continued to explain that while, “they are not a Christmas band,” they perform these concerts because it is, “a traditional honouring of our beginnings. And our renditions of Christmas songs help introduce our music to people from all over the world.” Not only are Brooks, Ough, and Passmore known for their harmonies, but also known for their philanthropy. A portion of ticket sales for each concert will go to local charities: part of the proceeds from Ottawa’s show will be given to Ottawa-Riverkeeper, an organization which helps assess and monitor the Ottawa River’s ecosystem. Ten years after winning their Juno award, Ough said the group still finds the thrill in performing for an audience no matter if it’s live or online. “I will never forget the night that we won a Juno award in 2010. We never thought that was possible. Our only hope was to play music, meet our musical heroes, and find an audience in this world,” she said. “It’s difficult for me not to perform in front of

Image: NAC/Good Lovelies

audiences. This is my profession and my passion. And I’ve never gone this long without performing in a venue. So I think I might cry after our first in-person performance. I miss it so much.”



FEATURES EDITOR Amira Benjamin features@thefulcrum.ca Insta: @amira.img Twitter: @jamin_amira

Breaking down the U of O’s fight against fossil fuel divestment

What is the University doing exactly? Victoria feng contributor

Canada’s fossil fuel resources are one of the world’s most engaging hotspots for investment and development. However, they significantly contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which further drives climate change. What types of changes have been made to combat such an issue? One of the current movements is the ‘fossil fuel divestment,’ a growing campaign that fights against climate change. At the University of Ottawa, student-run group Fossil Free uOttawa, ran a fossil fuel divestment campaign from 2013-2017 that was initially rejected by the U of O Board of Governors (BOG). In 2016, the group was able to push the University to compile a report through its Finance and Treasury Committee. Now, Climate Justice uOttawa (CJUO), is taking the initiative with a petition (co-written by Carleton University’s Climate Action Carleton) to push proactive changes for the University of Ottawa to divest from the fossil fuel industry to reinvest into green alternatives by 2025. CJUO has also joined the Divest Canada Coalition along with 30 other universities to hold universities responsible for fully divesting from the fossil fuel industries. Others include Carleton University, University of Toronto, and University of Winnipeg. “Climate change is an immediate and pressing issue that can no longer be ignored and that there needs to be a drastic change in the way humans interact with the environment,” said Erica Leighton, an organizer of CJUO. “We can no longer push the climate crisis behind us to deal with another time. The era of gradual change is long gone, and we must demand progressive climate initiatives from our leaders today.” Compared to other countries, Canada is falling behind in the process of divestment as many universities in both the United States and United Kingdom had already committed to full divestment.

Photo: Matt Gergyek/Fulcrum

In particular, the University of California is one school that has fully divested and over 50 per cent of United Kingdom schools have signed to divest. Timeline of events at U of O In the University of Ottawa’s statement on addressing global warming on April 25, 2016, the BOG asked for a multitude of adaptations. “The Board rejected the idea of divestment as an insufficient response on its own to the climate challenges we face,” read the statement. “The Board has, however, asked its Finance and Treasury Committee to develop a strategy to shift uOttawa’s fossil fuel-related investments over time towards investments in enterprises, especially in Canada, involved in creating and selling technologies of the future.” In 2017-18 the University released Action on Climate Change by the University of Ottawa, another report in regards to climate change. “The University of Ottawa is not only a leading research institution, but also a responsible investor and community partner, and as such, it has vowed to

reduce its carbon footprint by at least 30 per cent by 2030 in accordance with Canada’s national climate commitment,” it read. The report did not mention about the divestment actions or plans to be carried out to 2030. Furthermore, a similar situation is happening with the Canadian government. Currently, CJUO, in conjunction with Climate Action Carleton, has already presented an open letter and a petition to the U of O and Carleton University administrations. “The University of Ottawa and Carleton University are Canada’s capital universities. Divestment would send a much-needed wake-up call to the federal government, Canadian industry, other Canadian schools, and the general public about the urgent reality of fossil fuels,” the open letter reads. Ongoing Research On Nov. 19, Canada announced their net-zero emission plan which should be accomplished by 2050 but there has not been a concrete plan for the current 2030 goal of cutting greenhouse gas emission more

COVID-19’s impact on Ottawa’s abortion services Ariane Gacionis contributor

Content warning: Abortion. COVID-19 has created a time of global uncertainty that has affected access to reproductive rights and services in Ottawa. Due to the pandemic, specific resources such as abortions and postpartum assistance have been more difficult to access. Today, two types of abortion procedures are available in Canada. These include the pill option (which can be taken up to nine weeks of gestation) and a clinical procedure (which can be done up to 24 weeks of gestation). Ariane Wylie, a medical abortion access coordinator from Planned Parenthood Ottawa (PPO), explained the added difficulties of accessing treatment during the pandemic. “Some providers have switched to phone or video appointments for part of the abortion process such as counselling [in order] to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and some clinics have slightly longer wait times due to reduced capacity,” said Wylie. She continued to explain that statistically in Cana-


da, abortion is extremely common. “Research shows that 31 per cent of Canadian women will have an abortion before turning 45,” said Wylie. “Trans men and non-binary people in Canada also access abortion care. Despite the fact that it is very common, abortion is not often discussed.” Even with that statistic, the stigma surrounding abortion care “can lead some people to feel alone in their decision to have an abortion, which can be difficult emotionally.” Julie Vautour, one of the six founding members of the Ottawa Abortion Doula Collective (OADC), explained that the pandemic has impacted abortion access in several ways. “Hospitals had to cancel what they call ‘elective surgery’ or ‘day surgery’, which has affected surgical abortions,” said Vautour. “The priority was given to [individuals] who were more advanced in their pregnancies, leaving those in their early stages with fewer options and longer wait times,” said Vautour. The pandemic also affected those in the later stages of pregnancy. “Folks who need an abortion after 20 weeks need

to travel within the country to the very few clinics/hospitals who offer them,” said Vautour. She points out that from 24 weeks on, “those looking for an abortion need to travel to the United States.” “It is already complicated to get a passport in a short period of time and has become more complicated due to the pandemic. The person seeking an abortion will also be questioned at the borders for the reasons of their trip, resulting in having to disclose the abortion, putting them at risk of being denied entry.” Additionally, those looking to access abortions services in Ontario need a valid Ontario Health Insurance Plan, which was problematic for some during the pandemic. “During the lockdown it was impossible to go to Service Ontario to get a new OHIP card, and most clinics wouldn’t accept patients without a valid ID.” Maddie, a fifth-year student at the University of Ottawa, had an abortion at the Morgentaler clinic in 2019. “Originally, I came home and had difficulty getting booked for a prenatal in my small town. I had to go to a separate ultrasound clinic in the city where I was poorly treated for wanting an abortion,” she said. “Morgentaler was more empathetic and took good care of me.”

aggressively. However, the issue is a complex one. Darlene Himick, a professor from the Telfer School of Management, researches the divestment movement. At this time, she is collecting data from around the world about the presence of movements at universities and other institutions. “This is an important global movement, but also very complex as divestment is one of a range of options that large investors have pursued,” said Himick. “For instance some investors believe that they are better off staying invested to influence the direction of those companies.” In Himick’s current research efforts, she and her team are examining the strategies surrounding the mobilization of the divestment issue. “We are trying to see how the investors respond to this pressure or whether investors even make the decisions without pressure. We have noticed that the movements do not all have the same successes and the same responses, and so we’re trying to understand how different messaging plays into that,” Himick said. Himick also explained how she and her team were developing a database to collect information and be able to analyze climate change initiatives. “For instance, on campuses, divestment campaigns are often part of a broader move towards a sustainable campus.” “Bates College in the US, for example, purchases renewable heating fuel from Ensyn, a company based right here in Ottawa, to help it move to a carbonneutral energy.” she said. “Our database will try to track how divestment becomes part of broader climate campaigns. The platform when done will be open to the public and hopefully it will be a resource for anyone interested in this topic.” Thus, better predictors and immediate change is needed for institutions to combat climate change as it is an urgent issue.

“Quarantine has been tough, although I have therapy and medications, the absence of my friends, my partner and the reminder that this past January, my baby would have been due, are factors that are making it extremely difficult.” The Fulcrum has decided to grant Maddie partial anonymity on the grounds of privacy surrounding her reproductive rights. Vautour illustrates a crucial factor impacting individuals and their mental health during the abortion process is the hospital/clinic staff. “If the person seeking an abortion feels like they are being judged or treated like a number, it will influence how they live this experience,” she said. “However, it is also important to mention that getting an abortion doesn’t necessarily lead to distress or mental health problems (like the anti-choice propaganda claims). For some folks, getting an abortion just isn’t a big deal, and that is completely okay. We need to normalize abortion.” This article has been condensed for print. Visit www.thefulcrum.ca for the full version.


S&T EDITOR N/A science@thefulcrum.ca

SCIENCE & TECH U of O announces new partnership to manufacture biotherapeutics Siena Domaradzki-Kim Associate features editor The University of Ottawa, Algonquin College, The Ottawa Hospital, and Mitacs have partnered together on a training program to help address the growing needs of vaccine manufacturing. Going under the name of The Canadian Partnership for Research in Immunotherapy Manufacturing Excellence (CanPRIME), the partnership aims to provide hands-on training to develop, test and manufacture biotherapeutics. As per the press release, “It is the only program in Canada that provides hands-on training to develop these skills in a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility.” “The University of Ottawa is proud to play an integral part in a program focused on educating and training researchers in the vital area of scientific development in the fight against COVID-19,” said Uni-

Image: Freepik

versity of Ottawa vice-president, research Sylvain Charbonneau in the press release. The program is taking place primarily at The Ottawa Hospital’s Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre (BMC), which has been successful in biotherapeutic manufacturing for clinical trials nationally and internationally for the past 10 years. Recently, BMC has been in the process of preparing for the manufacturing of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Canadian government recently announced it would be rolling vaccines out in early 2021. CanPRIME aims to train 50 people in the first five years, which will include college, university, Master’s, and PhD students, along with postdoctoral fellows. Five students have already completed the training in 2019 and are currently in a biotherapeutic manufacturing role. The Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre’s pivotal role in developing, testing and manufacturing potential COVID-19 vaccines bolsters its decade-long experience in advancing successful clinical trials,” added Charbonneau. Kristin Spong, director of business development for Mitacs, saw the potential when she was first approached with the proposal for the program. “It was one of the most exciting projects I’d heard of this year,” she said. “It was a perfect fit for our flagship program.” “We’re really happy to support this project, and we wish all the best in the next few years,” Spong said. “We want to see students using Mitacs’ program contributing to ground-breaking research, and making sure these students that are taking part in the CanPRIME program are really getting value from the program.”

Ottawa’s racialized communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 Siena Domaradzki-Kim Associate features editor While COVID-19 has impacted everyone, immigrant and BIPOC communities have particularly been affected by both the health and social impacts of the pandemic. As a result, multiple studies have found that racialized communities are being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. According to a study conducted by Ottawa Public Health in August, the reasoning is due to systemic health and social inequalities. The information cited lines up with similar provincial reports released for the province. Another study conducted out of John Hopkins University states that some of the leading reasons are housing problems, working in essential fields, and chronic health conditions and subsequent difficulty accessing health services. On a local level, 25.8 per cent of Ottawa’s population identifies as a visible minority as per the 2016 census with seven per cent identifying themselves as Black. Yet, Ottawa’s Black population makes up a large number of positive COVID-19 cases in the city, (approximately 37 per cent). The statistic raised alarms in the city and a motion was brought to the Ottawa Board of Health to recognize racism as a public health issue. Back in June, Councillor Shawn Menard posted a tweet about the motion. The details of the motion asks for all people involved in healthcare to partake in anti-racism training and ensure fair and equal treatment for people of all ethnicities. Councillor Rawlson King, is not surprised by these

findings. “Often unfortunately, there’s kind of this correlation between race and income. A lot of that was predictable, and it is unfortunate, especially with newcomers working in what are essential work and don’t have proper housing for larger families.” King states his worry about resource allocation to health and social services, but he is happy to have seen changes in recent times. “There has been acknowledgement from public health agencies and other social service agencies and there has been a strong movement towards response.” Additionally, he believes working with community oriented organizations like Somerset West Community Health and Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP) is key. All three organizations have been working on directly engaging through information kiosks in apartment complexes, going door to door, and directly engaging these communities. King believes that door to door check-ins help increase access to healthcare especially for immigrants. “The key thing they’ve really been working on here is the program for direct community engagement,” King said. “This is especially important for newcomer or immigrant communities, cause you can’t just show up in traditional ways, it requires a higher level of personalization.” Still, King emphasizes the need for a “serious plan” to be implemented to combat the stats. “There’s still a lot of work to be done, to ensure there’s a serious plan in place to really address the continuing challenge of COVID and manage infection in communities on the way to a program of vaccination across the city.”

Heckle: Spammed with stupidity

The switch from Gmail to Outlook continues to be a bumpy road BRIDGET COADy NEWS editor In July 2020, the University of Ottawa announced it would be switching email servers for students. Since then, student email accounts have been migrated from Google’s Gmail service to Microsoft’s Outlook system. The switch to Outlook has led to a number of complaints from students with the most recent being a noticed increase in spam emails since their accounts have been moved. As part of the switch, the University promoted Outlook as being more secure. However, many students said that they never received spam before the move and are now finding dozens of unwanted emails in their inboxes each week. To combat any issues due to the migration, the U of O’s Information and Technology (IT) department has a number of resources for Outlook. However, the IT department’s FAQ page offers multiple links that lead to inaccessible web

pages. The decision to switch students’ emails to Outlook was partly credited to the fact that the University’s staff and faculty were already using the service. Having the University only use the one system was more cost effective but students have not seen any changes in their yearly fees. In a semester relying on the schools internet infrastructure more than ever, IT resources are illusive and a new mailing system has a long list of complaints. Many of these spam emails, if not treated properly, present risk for hacks. The U of O’s administration looked for an opportunity to save money while outsourcing as many costs as possible and made no visible efforts to translate these savings to students. I’m sure U of O students are sick of reading headlines about the University’s unempathetic choices surrounding the fall 2020 semester. The administration chose to undertake a transition of this magnitude amidst so many ongoing issues they are leaving unaddressed.


Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum



SPORTS EDITOR Jasmine McKnight opinions@thefulcrum.ca

An extended off-season: Guillaume Pépin

Insta: @j.mcknight08 Twitter: @Jazzle59

Baller reminds himself of his goals to stay motivated during the pandemic Jasmine McKnight Sports Editor

The Gee-Gees men’s basketball team ended the 2019-2020 season with a loss to the Dalhousie University Tigers at the U Sports National Championships at TD Place Arena. Not too long after the heartbreaking loss, a global pandemic shook things up even further for the Gee-Gees. Guillaume Pépin led the Gee-Gees with 23 points in the quarterfinal loss. Throughout his first two seasons at the University of Ottawa, Pépin has been a reliable member of the team—particularly in reeling in rebounds and scoring points. “Last season we lost our last game at nationals against Dalhousie. We had been working all season for that game, so losing that game was obviously heartbreaking,” Pépin said. Heading into his third year with the team, Pépin’s experience has been much different as all sanctioned games for the 2020-2021 season have been cancelled.

Because of COVID-19, teams have been forced to adapt to changing rules and restrictions. Gee-Gees athletes training has been subject to guidelines established by Ottawa Public Health and the U of O. “During the summer, we started doing Zoom workouts with our strength and conditioning coach,” Pépin said. “Other than that, we had to send in videos of ourselves shooting and ball handling to show that we were doing it and still in shape. This year so far, we have one or two hours a day of workouts and some ball handling and shooting.” As such, Pépin has continued to focus on training and has set himself both long term and short term goals for his basketball career. “Long term, I’d like to play professionally overseas and make a living out of that. Short term, I’d like to bring the University of Ottawa an Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championship and a national championship,” Pépin said.

“Keeping that in mind makes me feel motivated to go shoot and workout everyday.” Pepin’s impact off the court is also something noteworthy, especially through the eyes of his teammates. “Guillaume is a very good basketball role model to look up to,” said Cole Newkirk, a second-year forward on the squad. “He always helps lead and encourage the team, he’s one of the most talented players I’ve ever played with.” “He was a big part of creating the family away from home feeling for me, and I’m sure my other teammates feel the same.” Without 22 regular season games, playoffs, and a championship tournament to play, Pépin has had some extra hours to focus on other things as he waits for the green light to return to his regular routine. “Obviously basketball takes up so many hours during the season, so usually there isn’t much time to do much else besides basketball and school. Since we’re not playing games and stuff, I’ve started working a part-time job,” he

Image: Rame Abdulkader/Fulcrum

said. “It can be difficult to do school online, but for me it’s still going well. To be honest, I’m looking forward to having this [pandemic] out of the way so that we can have campus life back.”

Ont. Gyms seek collaboration with government to stay open during pandemic

“Gyms have a role to play in actively fighting this pandemic” jasmine mcknight sports Editor

On Nov. 18. a coalition between community gyms and medical doctors from throughout Ontario wrote a letter proposing a partnership with government and public health officials at the federal, provincial and municipal levels. The letter, which was sent to the Fulcrum, explains the goal of keeping gyms safely open and safe during the ups and downs of COVID-19. Peter Shaw, co-owner and trainer at CrossFit NCR formed this collective due to the impact that COVID-19 has made on small businesses, gyms in particular. While the government has offered support to businesses during the pandemic, COVID-19 has ruffled the gym industry, with various small businesses at risk of falling into bankruptcy. “From a business perspective, we’ve had to adjust our business plan on the fly as we’ve opened and shut,” Shaw said to the Fulcrum. “Everyone is being affected in some way, shape, or form.” “Mainly the thought came to mind during the second shutdown, we’re eight or nine months into this pandemic and we’re starting to see more evidence about COVID-19 in terms of how it spreads, more evidence in terms about who is more likely to experience symptoms, and so on and so forth.” The letter includes data presented by the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory

Photo: Bridget Coady/Fulcrum

Table which revealed that only five per cent of COVID-19 cases in Ottawa are related to exposures in gyms. Higher risk areas include schools, daycares, long term care and retirement homes. While Ottawa gyms currently remain open, gyms in ‘red zones’ and lockdown areas have been forced to completely close. As gyms follow COVID-19 guidelines, the data from the Science Advisory Table shows that gyms have proven they are not a COVID-19 hot spot. Dr. Kwadwo Kyeremanteng, who

works at the Montfort Hospital in the ICU and at The Ottawa Hospital in Critical and Palliative Care is one of the medical personnel who signed the letter. In addition to praising those in the gym industry for their efforts to protect clients, Dr. Kyeremanteng mentioned the nonphysical benefits of going to the gym. “This is a great way for people to deal with the mental aspect. Mental health often improves with physical activity.” “We think of a lot of young people that aren’t having as much socialization as they once had because there’s no school [and] there’s no university,” said Dr. Kyer-


emanteng. “We need to do a better job at addressing the problem, gyms aren’t a problem spot.” “For me, it’s really important to drive the message that gyms can be a part of the solution instead of part of the problem,” continued Shaw. “I think where that starts is with policy makers recognizing that that’s the case and then we can come in together and form a partnership.” As expressed in the letter, gym owners hope to form a partnership with the government and health officials in order to discuss and plan the best ways to continue to stay open while simultaneously keeping the community safe. Shaw referenced talking with shareholders on how to “fund and implement ground level safety protocols” so gyms can stay open and help communities “stay as healthy as possible.” “This is a great way for health promotion and really ensuring that citizens do their best to stay as healthy as possible,” Dr. Kyeremanteng said. “The main point is that gyms have a role to play in actively fighting this pandemic,” Shaw said. “We know that we can be safe and that we have been safe up to this point.” “We want the policy makers to come to the table and give us a chance to discuss potential ways we can continue to keep the community safe from COVID-19 spread.”


Sue Hylland on Varsity Athletics department’s work during the pandemic

With teams unable to compete, time is being used to focus on other issues jasmine mcknight sports Editor

2020 has not been easy for university sports. Across the country, we’ve seen cancellation of leagues, championship tournaments, and for a while, teams were unable to even train together. Through all this, what has the University of Ottawa’s Varsity Athletics management been up to? Sue Hylland, the director of Varsity Athletics at the U of O touched on numerous projects the department has been working on throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Ensuring student experience remains a priority and keeping programs and teams operating are both focal points. “A big part of what we’ve been doing is managing how we can deliver our sports programming on campus during the pandemic. We’ve created a Varsity COVID Implementation Committee charged with implementing our Varsity Reintegration Plan on campus,” said Hylland. “We’ve been operating on campus since mid-July. It has been very successful and uOttawa has been very supportive.” Other tasks include on-going meetings with U Sports and the provincial conferences Gee-Gees teams play in, working to address critical social issues like the Black Lives Matter movement and adapting to a new structure under Student Affairs. “At the same time, we’ve been working at the national and conference levels regularly looking to the future.” “We [have] to figure out how we can move forward next season to compete.

Photo: Ellen Bond/Fulcrum

Those conversations are happening at the national level, and in our conferences in Quebec and Ontario.” While Gee-Gees teams have been unable to compete as they normally would, teams have been able to practice and train under rules and regulations set out by Ottawa Public Health and the U of O. The loss of sport competition on campus has not only affected teams, but without notable games like the Panda Game, Colonel By Classic, or Capital Hoops, students and alumni miss out on times where it’s exciting to come together as Gee-Gees. “It has been hard for students, student athletes, coaches, employees. It hasn’t been an easy year to miss out on that competi-

tive piece, but at least we were able to allow our student-athletes and our programs to continue operating on campus as much as we can,” Hylland said. Without the normal planning of close to two hundred events on campus, Varsity Athletics has been able to turn its attention to things they were unable to really focus on regularly. “Some of this time has maybe allowed us to get to projects and plans we haven’t been able to get to because we’re hosting so many events a year,” Hylland said. “We’ve been doing work around the Black Lives Matter movement, but fell short here. There is much more to be done, and we are working with our Black leaders, coaches

and students, to build a strong plan of action that contributes to the much needed societal change we all want in this area,” Hylland said. In addition, time has been spent making sure the change from U of O Sports Services to Varsity Athletics is not missing any details. Varsity Athletics includes operations of the 32 sport programs, Alumni Development, IT, Events and Sports Info. “We are really spending time taking a look at the structure to see if there are any gaps with the change we made from Sports Services to Varsity Athletics.” “Yes, during the pandemic and because we are not competing, there have been vacant positions and we have deployed some staff from one sector to another to fill a gap in the short term, but the plan is to get back to normal soon,” Hylland said. Without sports, there is a lot missing from some students’ university experience. But Hylland reaffirms that Varsity Athletics are using their time to ensure teams can still operate safely in the future. “We’ll be back at one point competing,” Hylland said. “Maybe we don’t have as many games, maybe we adapt our conferences so there’s no overnighting. It’s all being looked at now. But we will be back.” “Our overall vision is to be perennial national championship contenders. This can only be done if we show success both on and off the field. We want student-athletes leaving the University of Ottawa having had a great experience that helps them grow as individuals and good citizens.”

U of O alum Rachel McBride is breaking through barriers and championships

At 42, the non-binary athlete is still focused on developing their game jelena maric staff writer Former University of Ottawa student Rachel McBride has been a professional triathlete for 10 years and has already established themselves as a force in the sports world. A three time Ironman 70.3 champion, they won their first half Ironman triathlon at 32, they are a two time Ironman bike course record holder, a Canadian national champion and the seventh female over the age of 42 who qualified for KONA. In 2019, they came in first at the Cascade Gravel Grinder and the Fort Langley 1K. In 2020, McBride came second in the Burnt Bridge Gravel Classic, losing by only 24 seconds. They came in third in the Canadian Tri Pro Championship earlier this year. They also hold two university degrees and are an accomplished cellist. Growing up, McBride moved around a lot: from Tacoma, Wash. to Germany before they came to the U of O for their undergraduate degree. “I was a shy kid but was quite physically active even at a young age,” said McBride in an email statement. It was at the U of O where they discovered their love of biology and research. McBride ended up working for a research lab in Germany before deciding to pursue their masters in developmental genetics. They eventually found their way to their dream career as a genetic

counsellor. While they were physically active as a child, McBride dropped most sports to focus more on their creative and artistic side instead. “I got more and more into punk, goth and riot grrrl music and began expressing myself creatively through clothing, hairstyles and other art mediums like music, photos, poetry and paintings,” they said. After moving to Toronto, McBride began getting heavily involved in the music and arts scene in the city which resulted in them partying a lot and “never getting more than [four to five] hours of sleep a night.” Before their shift to a healthier lifestyle, McBride struggled with an eating disorder, as well as being a drinker and smoker. It

Photo: Trent Dilkie/Provided

wasn’t until they turned 27 that they decided something had to change. They ran their first marathon in 2005 and recognized the need to start prioritizing their health and wellbeing. “I did really well in that race – so well that I qualified for the Boston Marathon and my mentor at the time suggested I could be an elite triathlete. Even though I was bordering on ‘too old,’ I realized if I wanted to pursue this professionally, I would need to start taking my body, health and athletic career more seriously,” they said. A major lifestyle change McBride made was adapting a predominantly plant-based lifestyle, which has had a substantial impact on their


physical and mental well-being. “Over the past decade I’ve learned so much about my body – becoming plant-based has had profound impacts on my wellbeing and I would say it’s been a prominent factor in my success as an athlete.” Turning towards a plant-based lifestyle has allowed McBride to solve digestion issues that they were not able to tackle before, saying “growing up I didn’t have a good handle on what my body needed to thrive.” McBride is also identifies as non-binary, a gender identity in which an individual does not identify exclusively as male or female. “Identity and authenticity are topics that are incredibly important to me and I’m proud that I’ve been able to be involved in modernizing the world of sport – whether through having a voice in the conversation around gender in sport, or even around dietary practices as a plant-based athlete,” said McBride. McBride continues to share their story and is grateful for the fact that they have this platform and are able to inspire others. They are passionate about sports becoming more inclusive and inspiring others to be true to who they are and be proud of it. “Be yourself and be proud. Be confident that you, too, have a right to be recognized and celebrated in whatever endeavors you commit yourself to,” they said. “At 42, I’m fitter and faster than ever. Age is truly just a number.”




opinions@thefulcrum.ca Insta: @j.mcknight08 Twitter: @Jazzle59

Just hear me out: Not everything about the pandemic has been bad Plenty of positives have come out of the pandemic

Jasmine MCKNIGHT OPINIONS EDITOR Back in January, I had one of the most fun days of my life—my birthday of course. I thought it was going to be my year, and 2020 was going to be filled with unforgettable memories and tales for the ages. Those unforgettable moments turned out to be a lot different than I once thought on that cold January day. Rather, I missed out on crazy nights at the club with my friends and thrilling games with my ultimate frisbee team over the summer. Instead, clubs were closed, the season was cancelled, and everyone was stuck at home for months. It sucked. Eight months later, it still doesn’t feel real. I go on and on about the awful things that have come from COVID-19 from not being able to play sports, to adapting to a new kind of loneliness, not to mention the lives lost and families unable to see each other for the holidays. 2020 has been unforgiving. It’s easy to look at the bad, but in reality, there have been some positives. The first thing I realized was that life isn’t so bad. When everything was taken away and we were quarantined in our homes, it was a pretty big reality check. With our everyday routines shaken up, and being unable to do all the things we enjoy, I

Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum.

found myself realizing how little I was appreciating things. We need to appreciate being able to go out to eat, going to the movies, going to class, or even being able to smile when we pass someone on the street. There is an endless list of things we take for granted. The pandemic has also given us time to focus on important social issues, and really promote them on social media where people

would see them and take the time to learn about them. Notably, the Black Lives Matter Movement, which flooded social media, made sure that people were aware of the issues taking place. 2020 brought to light so many things that are wrong in the world, but has allowed us to become more aware, more educated, and to take action. Then there’s the little things. I’ve spent more time taking walks, and I’ve reached out

to friends and family I haven’t been in touch with in a while. I tried new things, and I learned new skills. I was able to take a break from life for a moment, take a breather, and reset. I was reminded how much I truly enjoy things that had begun to overwhelm me. I was able to take some time to practice some major self-care and get closer with the friends in my bubble. Most importantly, I was lucky to have made a number of realizations about myself. Over the past few months, I discovered things that I am genuinely passionate about, things that I might not have come across if it weren’t for a global pandemic. And, I discovered that there are things that I was doing that I truly did not enjoy or might not have been so good for me. I’ve been able to focus on the things that I am passionate about, or at least plan for them. Again, it’s easy to focus on the negatives, but a little reflection on the past eight or nine months might make you realize that not everything has been awful. Take the time to flip your mindset into a positive one and you’ll be sure to see the brighter moments 2020 had to offer. Hopefully everyone has found at least a little bit of positive light in these trying times. It has not been easy, but there’s always something to look back on and smile about.

Opinion: Campus could be a ghost town in the winter 2021 semester A callout by the Fulcrum discovered students are leaning towards returning home ences, or because they don’t have reliable Wijasmine mcknight Fi at home to complete online courses. Others opinions editor are simply required to be on campus for work Since the University of Ottawa announced that the winter 2021 semester will be held online, many students have been considering whether or not to return to campus after the holiday break. Personally, I would rather spend the semester in Ottawa with my wonderful roommate than in the middle of nowhere, Saskatchewan in my parent’s house. I’ve moved my life to Ottawa, and even if courses are online, it makes more sense to be near my workplace, my club, and friends. I’m not the only one who feels this way. A callot posted on the Fulcrum’s Instagram revealed that “the homies” are the reason some students will return to campus this winter. In the midst of a pandemic, being around friends – safely, and within your bubble of course – has made a huge difference in my mindset. Seeing friends gives me something to look forward to, and can be a nice break from classes or work. Some students will be returning to campus for academic reasons like avoiding time differ-


or because they’re working on their thesis, or taking courses with an in-person component. Although there are a handful of reasons to stay on campus for the winter semester, there are just as many to stay home, and according to the poll, it seems more students are leaning towards being off campus. Why? For starters, there is a pandemic, and many students feel safer at home. Some students would even have to fly to Ottawa in order to return to campus, and may not feel comfortable travelling. Some simply don’t feel it’s worth the travel or cost. The most popular reason might be money. The costs of being on campus can be pretty hefty. Why pay for rent if you don’t have to? Why spend money on groceries when you can stay at home and have your parents do it for you? Remote learning is a great opportunity to save some money. Campus was already significantly quieter than usual throughout the fall semester, but it seems that there may be even less action at the U of O in the winter.

Image: Rame Abdulkader/Fulcrum


Opinion: Instead of virtual concerts lets refine the live concert experience Wine, steak, mash potatoes and live music, why not? charley dutil editor-in-chief One of the things I was looking forward to the most this summer was the annual Bluesfest festival held at Lebreton Flats. I had bought my tickets all the way back in February as soon as tickets went on sale. I was stoked to see some of my favourite bands such as blink-182, Billy Talent and Crown Lands, as well as a bunch of other artists who feature in my Spotify library such as Big Wreck, Rage Against the Machine, Jack Johnson and the National. Hell, I was even excited to see Alanis Morissette! Sadly, a pandemic had to happen and Bluesfest was cancelled and pushed back to the summer of 2021. Concertgoers were given the choice of keeping their bracelets for 2021 or a full reimbursement—I chose to keep my bracelet. However, even with positive news on the vaccine front, I’m doubtful that the 2021 Bluesfest will take place. Musicians have had to face the reality that live concerts – for many, their lone source of income – would not be a possibility for a while. The music industry as a whole has had to find innovative ways to put bread on the table in these challenging times. In the summer, innovation led to bringing new life to drive-in theatres with live concerts in front of crowded parking lots. These concerts, although not great, were an interesting experience for both those performing and

Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum

those attending and were worth the low admission prices. With the weather changing, outdoor concerts – in Ottawa at least – are done for the year. This means artists wanting to perform in front of live audiences have had to do so virtually over Zoom and even the much dreaded Google Meets. Last week, the first ever virtual CityFolk festival took place whereas last year, I went to CityFolk in person with a friend and saw both Our Lady Peace and Robert Plant. It was a cool experience, the Lansdowne arches really pro-

vided a good background to the festival. The only negative was that finding parking in the Glebe was impossible and we had to walk for a while encountering large crowds. This year, CityFolk was held online and featured acts that, let’s be honest, weren’t as cool as the former lead singer of Led Zeppelin. Featuring eight artists (only one that I have heard of) the festival had a price tag of $17.50, a hefty price for students. Now, this is not to shit on the artists — they need to feed their families — but paying $17.50 for an experience that I can pretty much get for free on YouTube is not enticing in the least.

With the pandemic dragging on, artists and promoters need to find a better way to deliver live music. One idea could be gigs in socially distanced venues, complete with food and drinks — a little bit like a comedy club. This would create a much better safe atmosphere, audiences would definitely be willing to pay a little more to see the artist (especially if the ticket includes food) understanding that it will be a much more intimate experience. Most musicians could adapt their performances to these venues very easily by playing unplugged sets. This would require actual talent which may weed out some artists, just saying. Others who perform electronic sets would struggle to adapt to the setting, but I’m sure people would be intrigued by the sheer fact these are in person concerts. This would be great for artists who perform with guitars and could lead to some very cool arrangements in genres such as RnB and rap. Instead of having electronic beats, rappers could perform with beatboxers. Overall, having socially distanced cafe style gigs could also be a way to revitalize local venues so they can operate and make minimal revenue — enough to pay rent. While it’s one way to combat the pandemic preventing live concerts, pricey online events aren’t really worth it and artists need to figure out a way to deliver live music to their eager fans.

Heckle: Take course evaluations seriously!

Completing course evaluations is beneficial for students and professors alike serge patenaude contributor It’s that dreaded time of the year where all students have papers, projects — oh who am I kidding — it’s course evaluation time! Every year the school asks its students to give their honest thoughts on professors and how they teach their courses. You simply log into the portal, answer some questions and boom you’re done. But I find that many students decide to skip the evaluation as they don’t think their opinion will matter. To them, I say you’re wrong. Course evaluations serve different purposes, they help the professors improve, or for the students to voice their opinions. Here’s why completing these course evaluations will help you and future students. It benefits the students By evaluating your courses, you are not only helping the professor, but other students who will be taking that class in the future. Instead of always referring yourself to RateMyProf to see if a professor is bad, you can talk to your friends and get direct feedback instead. If the professor uses the criticism provided from the course evaluations, it will only benefit everyone taking that class in years to come. Criticism provided from previous years is addressed. It also provides the students with an

Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum

outlet to make their voices heard. Too often students are fed up but with nowhere to voice those concerns. The course evaluation does just that,benefiting students that have felt neglected and giving them a direct connection to a professor they may hate or enjoy. It helps the professor understand what needs improvement

By either saying positive or negative things, the professor will be able to take that information to make the class better. I personally have ripped professors apart during course evaluations as their classes have been rather awful. But I have also written positive criticism to certain professors I have enjoyed. By doing this you’re able to give them the proper information so they can fix their course for the following year or semester, and some


professors do appreciate the feedback. Now, more than ever, course evaluations are important. The COVID-19 pandemic has made us all adapt to online learning. Some professors have adapted to it very well, while others have completely bottled it. You can’t simply go to office hours and tell a professor how you feel in person, as the pandemic has shut down campus. By using the course evaluation, you are able to voice your opinion for the betterment of academia. I evaluated my courses the other day and told one of my professors that their class has taught me very little, and that there needs improvement in the structure for next semester. Now this may be harsh, and some eyebrows may rise, but this is why the course evaluation exists. They exist for you to improve classes for future students and to provide your professors with good or bad criticism. All of what you say is anonymous, and no one will know if you said something mean, nice, etc. These are the reasons I evaluate my courses, and these are the reasons you should too. Course evaluation closes Friday, Dec. 4, so you have a week left to go and evaluate those courses. Go get it done!




editor@thefulcrum.ca Insta: @cduts98 Twitter: @CDuts98

Virtually educated

U of O online courses raise concerns about whether student needs are being met kate heartfield former news editor Originally published on March 4, 1999. As the University of Ottawa joins other schools across North America in developing Internet-based courses, the increasing use of information technology is causing excitement and raising concerns. There are now over a hundred courses at the U of O that use Internetbased materials in some way, whether it be a World Wide Web site, online discussion groups and professor interviews, or posting of assignment information. The technology is found in all faculties, including arts and social sciences. This year, half of the students in the U of O’s first-year micro-economics course are using a new Internet-based course. Economics professor Victoria Barham, who designed the course, predicts that all first-year economics courses could be using the technology as early as next year. The program the course uses is a “virtual classroom” that functions much like an e-mail listserv – it allows students and professors to post messages in a common online forum asking questions, discussing homework, or even complaining about problems in the course. “One of the things that is wonderful about this new technology is that it really facilitates cooperation between students,” said Barham. “Collectively, they’re a lot smarter than they are individually.” The advantage to what Barham calls “the new pedagogy” is that students work when it’s convenient for them. Barham noted that students tend to log on late at night, and that students who are quiet in class find it easier to ask questions online. Jack Houseman, director of the U of O’s Teaching Technologies Services – the department that deals with all Web or Internet based-courses at the University – says that the oft-raised concern of equal computer access doesn’t seem to be a problem so far. Whereas most students in Internet-based courses logged on from campus last year, this year 76 per cent log on from elsewhere. “The kinds of problems we’re going to have are different levels of access [depending on the capabilities of different computers and servers],’” said Houseman. “There’s always a potential problem, but I think we’re doing pretty well.” Ease of access is not the only issue raised by the new technology. “One of the biggest fears out there is that it’s what I call ‘extremedistance education’, where the student never sees the professor,” said

Image: Christine Wang/Fulcrum

Houseman. “I don’t think that’s going to happen. What is going to change is what’s done in the structured classroom time. I think it’s a positive change, but it would be negative if it went to the extreme.” Barham does not think that the human side of education is in danger, since students quickly became accustomed to close contact with their professor. “The students in sections [that use this technology] have a far more personal relationship with their professors. There’s so much more contact, with both professors and teaching assistants,” she said. She added that there was an obvious difference in the students’ perception of how well they should know the teaching staff in a course. “When we got the evaluations back [in December], students complained that they didn’t get to know their teaching assistants (T.A.) [personally]. That’s amusing because in a traditional class, they don’t even know their T.A.’s names,” she said. However, it is possible that technology will allow universities to enroll more students in each section, since, according to Barham, the impetus behind these changes is that the growing size of classes makes them difficult to teach.

To the alumni of the University John Beahen First-ever editor in cief Originally published in February, 1942 Content Warning: Sexual abuse. You were students in years gone by; you studded your scholastic days with achievements that have carved for you a lasting niche in the hearts of all who pledge loyalty to the Garnet and Grey… Many of you are now covering yourselves and your Alma Mater with glory by your unfailing adherence to the principles instilled into you during your college days. Many of you are in the front line of this war: you are blocking with your very lives the fissures that have broken in the dike that protects man from a deluge of bestial philosophies. To you especially, the student of to-day look into admiration; you are adding gloriously to the distinguished record of the sons of your college. To all of you, our alumni and unfailing friends, we are privileged to dedicate this college paper. The desirability of a newspaper for the English speaking students of the University has long been recognized. It is with legitimate pride that the English Debating and Dramatic Society now announces the publication of this college journal. This initiative at a time when college days are

crowded with more activity than perhaps ever before may surprise some. It will be, however, heartily applauded by those familiar with the tireless endeavours of the former executives and members of our Debating Society for the realization of the project, as well as by those who have witnessed the enthusiasm and unprecedented team-work of the students in the preparation of this first issue m Carleton University It is our hope that the Fulcrum will accomplish credibility the mission suggested by the definition of the word “Fulcrum”, “that by which influence is brought to bear.” We look to the day when the “Fulcrum” influences to an appreciable degree the relations between student and his University, the day when this paper bunds the student more closely to his fellows and to the enjoyment of a fuller, richer student life. For those no longer with us, we hope that, through the news of our alumni, through the glorious games of the Garnet and Grey played once again in our columns and through the contacts re-established with professors and class-mates, they will live again the happy hours of their college days. The Fulcrum will be published eight times in the course of the college term. Its publication involves, —among other things—no small financial responsibility for the Debating Society. To defray expenses the Society must count on the gifts and subscriptions of former students of the University. We ask them to send without delay the yearly subscription fee


Pat McCurdy, v.p. of internal operations of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa, said the students of the future could take a course without going to class, seeing the professor, or even living in Ottawa, but says this would be going too far. “I still think that the didactic relationship with the professor is important. I still like learning in the classroom setting,” he said. “The relationship between student and professor is important and I wouldn’t want to see this technology separate it.” Fun Facts about this Article - Published March 4, 1999 – almost 21 years before COVID-19 struck Canada - Kate Heartfield graduated from the U of O in political science, and got a Master’s degree in journalism from Carleton University - Heartfield is now a published author of fantasy, horror, and science fiction - Heartfield is a professor of journalism at Carleton University

of one dollar with their names and address, to “The Fulcrum”, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada. We shall be grateful for any larger contributions. The Fulcrum is your paper, dedicated entirely to the interests of our students of today and yesterday. It has come into being in answer to repeated and persistent requests that such an organ be established. It is founded with the hope and expectation that you, sons and friends of Ottawa U, will lead to it the support you have never failed to show to your College and to the course of Catholic education. Facts about this article - This article was featured on the front page of the first ever issue of the Fuclrum back in February of 1942. - John Beahen was the first ever Editor-in-Chief of the Fulcrum. Beahen later went on to become a Catholic bishop and was accused of both sexual abuse and sweeping sexual abuse allegations under the rug. He died in 1988. - The Fulcrum hit newsstands for the first time in February of 1942, founded by the English Debating and Dramatic Society and led by Lorenzo Danis, who went on to launch the U of O’s Faculty of Medicine.




features@thefulcrum.ca Insta: @amira.ing Twitter:@ jamin_amira


As the holidays come around, I’m forced to acknowledge arguably my worst skill—gift giving. Birthdays, holidays, or whatever occasion, I struggle with finding the right gift for anyone. There’s so much pressure to come up with a thoughtful gift. This holiday season, I want to give my partner a gift they’ll actually love, something meaningful—not just one of those pre-wrapped gift boxes you can find in the mall. How do people find such good gifts? -World’s Worst Gift Giver

Image: Christine Wang/Fulcrum

Dear WWGG,

While the art of gift giving does not come easy to all, finding the right gift for your partner can be made easier with a few tips. Before I get into it, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get the ‘perfect’ gift. For the most part, the recipients of your presents will be glad you were thinking of them and appreciate the gesture as long as they can see some effort being put in. Just listen to them As far as getting your partner a gift, the most important thing is knowing their interests, or knowing some of the things they might need. This can be easily done by listening to them a little extra around gift giving season. People usually enjoy talking about themselves, and you should be able to get a few ideas from the things your partner talks about. If you’re lucky, they may even drop some hints. Reach out to friends Another trick to gain gift giving intel is to reach out to your partner’s friends. Of course, this is dependent on if you’re comfortable with talking to people in your partner’s circle. Chances are, their friends will have a handful of great ideas for gifts and might even


be willing to help you decide on something nice to get. Let the gift come to you Sometimes, the best thing to do is head to the store and let the gift come to you. If you feel you’ve exhausted all your brainpower and still can’t think of the right gift, then maybe you need to just head out and look at things. The best gift might be something you never would have thought of without seeing it first. Make use of a card A card really ties together a gift. To make a gift even more meaningful, add a card that says something your partner would appreciate. Bonus points if you make it yourself! In the end, if you put in the thought and the effort to find your partner something meaningful or useful, they’ll appreciate it no matter how big or small. Make sure you and your partner have a mutual understanding as far as budget goes, and you shouldn’t run into any problems. Good luck!

- Love, Di

DEAR DI | 14

TOMATO EDITOR Amira Benjamin features@thefulcrum.ca

Insta: @amira.img Twitter: @jamin_amira

New Ottawa snow removal policy

Mininum three feet required before removal

Amira Benjamin Tomato EDITOR The Snow Negation and Organization Watchboard (SNOW) of Ottawa has changed its policy for snow removal in the city, requiring at least three feet of snow before plowing. “Instead of plowing immediately following the snowfall, our plows will now wait for precipitation to accumulate,” said SNOW director, Frosty Z. Snowman. The change follows the irregular snow patterns and drastic weather changes of previous years, which made plowing inconvenient for the company. “It’s simply more efficient to clear it all at once than going out, waiting a day or so, and then clearing again.” “We would often receive calls for plowing as soon as snow would begin,” explained Snowman. “But you can’t clear something that isn’t there.” Snowman went on to remind residents

Di Daniels not a real therapist Clarification made just last week

Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum

Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum

and business owners to not shovel snow onto their neighbours’ property. “We haven’t gotten many complaints about this, but I’ve experienced it firsthand. It’s especially annoying when you let out your pets and they dive into a large pile of snow, so thanks for the extra work, Martin.” Di Daniels, a Sandy Hill resident and second-year common law student, is one of several residents who have protested the change. “Why do we have to wait for three feet for the roads to be cleared? I’m only 4’11, I could very easily drown in it,” she said. “Also, what about people with cars?” SNOW claims to have coordinated this arrangement with the city of Ottawa following several months of discussion. “I can assure everyone that our sixemail long thread with the city was very extensive and communicative,” said Snowman.

cute people in your Zoom lectures,” said Daniels. “But there are couples therapists who are gladly taking new patients.” Lauv Gooru, a licensed couples counsellor and friend of Daniels, has been promoting her services in the ‘Dear Di’ column at times. “I’ve actually had a decrease in patients lately,” said Gooru, who has been a couples counsellor for 20 years. “So I’ve been trying to redirect some of Di’s submissions my way. For some reason, people don’t like talking to trained professionals.” Daniels says she will delete any submission she deems above her paygrade. “I feel bad, but at the same time, my job is really to just get people laid. Sometimes you have to be accountable for your own problems,” she said.

Amira Benjamin Tomato EDITOR Sex and relationship advice columinist Di Daniels has recently announced that she is not a therapist. The announcement comes following dozens of emailed questions that Daniels knows she’s not qualified to answer, many of which concern her. “I once received eight [emails] in a week all about financial issues in students’ marriages,” she said. “I barely know how to manage my own financial problems, much less anyone else’s.” Daniels, while reiterating that her column is a safe space for all, admits she cannot fix everyone’s relationship problems. “Someone talked about whether or not they should divorce their wife because she spoke Simlish for half a month.” “I’m simply here to give you tips about the gluck gluck 9000 and how to ask out

CHECK OUT OUR ONLINE WORK! As we approach the ending of another calendar year, the Fulcrum took a look at all the biggest stories from 2020. It’s been a turbulent and eventful year to say the least, but in the end, the most important thing to remember is to take care of each other. Check out the article on our website. We will see you all in 2021! - TOMATO | 15

Fulcrum Editorial Board


EDITORIAL Volume 81, Issue 5, Dec. 7, 2020 Written by the Fulcrum ghost since 1942. Instagram: @instafulcrum | Facebook: The Fulcrum | Twitter: @The_Fulcrum King Edward Ave. Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5

Attention U of O administration: Continuously creating committees with little-to-no action won’t get us anywhere

Three day protest at Tabaret shows lack of accountability and action when it comes to tackling racism at U of O

Charley “What’s Your Name “ Dutil Editor in Chief editor@thefulcrum.ca Emily “The Glue“ Wilson Managing Editor content@thefulcrum.ca Paige “Comatose” Holland News Editor news@thefulcrum.ca Bridget “Not Gay Lorax“ Coady News Editor associate.news@thefulcrum.ca Aly “Red Wine” Murphy Arts and Culture Editor arts@thefulcrum.ca Amira “BTS” Benjamin

Features Editor features@thefulcrum.ca Siena “Road Tripping” Domaradzki-Kim Associate Features Editor associate.features@thefulcrum.ca Jasmine “Warzone“ McKnight Sports & Opinions Editor sports@thefulcrum.ca Dasser “To The Stars” Kamran Visual Editor visual@thefulcrum.ca Leyla “Bird Lady“ Abdolell Online Editor Online@thefulcrum.ca Jelena ”Bad B*itch” Maric Staff Writer staff.editor@thefulcrum.ca Sam “Teal Sheets” Coulavin Videographer videographer@thefulcrum.ca Dorian “Back Again” Ghosn General Manager manager@thefulcrum.ca


The Fulcrum would like to thank: Victoria Feng Hannah Sabourin Ciara Wallace Serge Patenaude

for their contributions to this issue.

Board of Directors

Justin Turcotte Kalki Nagaratnam Kate Murray David Campion-Smith Benjamin King Ryan Pepper Julia D’Silva

Cover: Bridget Coady.

Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum

The Fulcrum Editorial Board In a tale that seems to be as old as time, the University of Ottawa administration has once again come under attack for not doing enough to fight anti-Black racism on campus. When caught in a public relations clusterfuck, their response is usually to create an advisory committee that promises real change on paper. The twist is that these committee’s (while promising on paper) bring little to no change in reality. Take a look at the former President’s Advisory Committee for a Racism Free Campus (PACRFC) that was created as a response to Jamal Koulmiye-Boyce being handcuffed and detained by campus security for over two hours in June of 2019. Although the creation of the PACRFC seemed noble, former members of the now-dissolved PACRFC described feeling exploited as the committee meetings discussed their trauma in regards to racism. According to Jason Seguya, who sat on the committee, an immense amount of trauma mining was present. Seguya, the UOSU’s equity commissioner was joined on the PACRFC by Judy El-Mohtadi, former equity commissioner of the UOSU,


and Dilaye Detsa, U of O alumni and former director of community engagement for the BSLA. In attempts to implement real change, U of O students and various student government representatives wanted to transform the PACRFC into more of an action-based committee. This idea was highlighted in a letter to the editor sent to the Fulcrum by Jamie Ghossein and Saada Hussen, the undergraduate representatives on the University of Ottawa’s Board of Governors. On Nov. 23 the PACRFC was officially dissolved however, instead of finding ways to be more involved in promoting an anti-racist campus, the U of O administration reverted to creating yet another new action committee to meet the bare minimum of students’ requests. The catch? This time it excluded previous members from the former PACRFC according to Seguya. The new committee – entitled Action Committee on Anti-Racism and Inclusion (or ‘action committee’ for short) has its goal as “review and assess University resources, programs, policies, processes, and practices to understand how they contribute to systemic racism; provide recommendations that will further the inclusion of BIPOC (Black,

Indigenous and People of Colour) members at the University; and eliminate barriers on campus.” Basically, another list of public relations jargon. A number of the old committee’s members have newly formed uRacism — a group protesting the action committee’s legitimacy, aiming to hold the University administration accountable for its inaction on racism at the U of O. Now this is taking action. And it illuminates the stark contrast between what the U of O administration has deemed reasonable and what students want. Since Friday afternoon in the Tabaret Hall lobby, uRacism-led protesting is questioning the legitimacy of the new Action Committee on Anti-Racism and Inclusion. “We reject the invitation to participate in their Action Committee on anti-Racism and Inclusion and do not recognize its legitimacy,” wrote uRacism on Facebook. Sitting down and protesting against the committee and demanding a meeting with the administration’s top officials is a prime example of the action that students are hoping to see from their University’s administration.

The fact that they have had to sit-in for three days and still haven’t spoken to anyone in the administration speaks volumes. This is a visual example of the lack of accountability and action when it comes to tackling racism at the U of O. There is a need for real change on this campus. We cannot keep going through a vicious cycle of racist incidents to excuses to promises with no subsequent action. The University must be transparent and accountable to BIPOC students and create a permanent and independent antiracism office as suggested by the members of uRacism. We need sustainable change that ensures a campus that is safe for BIPOC folks and free of discrimination.

Editorials are written by the Fulcrum’s twelve-person editorial board and express the shared opinion of Fulcrum’s editorial staff. To share your own views, email editor@thefulcrum.ca.


Profile for the-Fulcrum