In this month’s issue... An ode to our beautiful office we’ve missed so dearly when we were in lockdown
Guess who’s back, back again! P.5 Charley Dutil wins re-election. A letter to my year-ago self ! P.6 What I wish I knew at the start of this nightmare. Epidemic within the pandemic P.9 Opioid overdoses on the rise in the age of COVID-19. Ketimine proving usefull in therapy P.10 Professor Monnica Williams speaks on the future of psychedelics New Kids on the block P.12 A look at incoming Gee-Gees rookies. Opinion: Get vaccinated P.13 Its the only way we have to stopping this virus Torstar’s casino-based funding a reflection of the state of printjournalism P.18 Is starting a casino to support a newsroom ethically sound?
Bridget Coady & Paige Holland email@example.com
Performers in July’s Black Expression event had to wait months to receive payment According to report, some performers weren’t paid until November 2020 addressed this and the lack of oversight (initially) in August; as we all know, we are only receiving this report now. The extreme delay in rectifying the compensation issue matched with the extreme delay in assessing the overall issue is disrespectful.” “We just need/want the oversight committee to be clear that [it] is not simply a passive oversight issue but an active ignorance towards Black initiatives & labour. As an organization that prides itself on actively supporting the Black community this “oversight” and its subsequent report has proven to be in direct contradiction of that notion.” Finally, the BSLA was also critical of the UOSU’s Executive Committee and pointed out what they perceive as a lack of work when it comes to antiracism. “As Jason Seguya, the equity commissioner so rightfully points out, the lack of engagement from the rest of exec[utive] on anti-racism work has been a major issue.” “Then, for this report to not reflect the direct blaxploitation that occurred is even more alarming.” “This is bigger than human error but rather a structural and systemic issue that needs to be acknowledged and eradicated with this institution overall and specifically UOSU.”
Charley Dutil editor-in-chief
On Feb. 21, the University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU) Executive Oversight Committee (EOC) released a report detailing a delay in remuneration for artists who performed in the Black Student Leaders Association (BSLA) and UOSU produced Black Expression event on July 18, 2020. The report was the result of a letter sent to the EOC by Jayde Lavoie on Aug. 31, 2020. In her letter, the former UOSU Board of Director member explained that artists and organizations who had been promised an honorarium had yet to receive any compensation six weeks after the original event. Lavoie and her co-signers which included event organizers, artists, and campus stakeholders requested that the EOC undertake an investigation to look into the reasons behind the delay and make sure similar situations can be avoided in the future. “I had been keeping an eye, as had the BSLA and the other organizers of the event on the payment process and sort of noting on our own that things hadn’t been dealt with yet,” said Lavoie in an interview with the Fulcrum. “I had also [sent] a series of follow-up [emails] to UOSU … to the then operations commissioner (Ines Nour El-Huda) and copied other members of the executive committee inquiring about what that payment process was going to look like in advance of September.” Lavoie said that there were no clear timetables as to when the artists and organizers would be remunerated, but that discussions directly following the event were supposed to establish a clear process to pay them in the weeks that followed the event. According to the EOC report, all outstanding payments were made by November to artists and organizers. “I had sent emails to Babacar, to the University of Ottawa finance representative, to the then operations commissioner and [copied] the advocacy commissioner (Tim Gulliver) to try and set up a meeting to talk about what that process would look like, I want to say maybe days after the event had occurred, or even before that,” said Lavoie. “We were all operating under the impression that it would happen in the week, two, three at most following [the event] … it was when it got to four or five weeks that I started doing the more pestering side of following
Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum
up before it had to be elevated to the point of sending a letter to the oversight committee.” When asked why it took so long to remunerate artists, Babacar Faye, the UOSU’s president cited miscommunication, lack of clear procedures and disorganization. “It shouldn’t have taken that long … I think that there was a lot of miscommunication and uncertainty in regards to what the procedure was, what the process was for paying the artists as well as the different groups,” said Faye, in an interview with the Fulcrum. Faye added that the university matching the amount received from donations created confusion as to if UOSU should pay artists upfront or wait until they received the funds. According to the president, other contributing factors to the delay included panning for 101-week and a busy August schedule. “It should have been a priority to pay the artists as soon as possible,” concluded Faye. EOC report findings In its report, the EOC found that there was a lack of communication and coordination when it came to addressing remuneration with artists and organizations. “There seemed to be a lack of central coordination from the UOSU in terms of communicating with artists and organizations, collecting and retaining information required to make payments, communicating with the university’s central administration to receive its share of the donations, and proactively following up on the various parts of the process,” wrote the committee. The committee also found
that the matching funds model from the university “hindered the process and prolonged the timeframe within which the UOSU could make payments” to artists and organizations involved. It also found that there was a lack of communication from the UOSU to inform artists that they would have to wait several months to receive their honorarium. Henry Mann, the chair of the EOC, explained in an interview with the Fulcrum that the lack of central organization and communication resulted in emails being left unanswered and ultimately in a delay of payments for artists. “We found that from the executive side, there was a lack of coordination and communication and a lack of proactively following up on the various parts of the process, which was resulting in, from the organizers’ side, emails being sent that were unresponded to or responded to very late,” said Mann. “From what we looked into, it definitely seemed that there was a breakdown in the communication side. And that there was definitely room to do better on that front. And as for organization, there was probably room for it to be more expeditious and more direct so that the payments would have been quicker, ultimately.” The report recommends that in the future, the UOSU chooses a member of the Executive or administration to serve as event lead for an event of this nature. This would reduce the possibility of disorganization as the lead would be responsible for ensuring the collection of contact information of participants so that they are paid in a timely manner. This person would also
be responsible for answering any questions or concerns participants may have. On the matching donation front, it recommends that “UOSU should endeavour to use its fiscal capacity to distribute the agreed-upon amounts to artists and organizations upfront rather than waiting for the matching donations.” Finally, it recommends that UOSU offers a formal apology to the artists, hosts, and organizations who participated in the Black Expression event. BSLA disappointed EOC’s findings
Artists share their thoughts
The BSLA’s co-presidents did not mince words when it came to reacting to the situation and the EOC’s findings. In a statement sent to the Fulcrum on March 2, the association first addressed how it felt about the UOSU’s delay in remuneration for artists and organizers. “We feel the very act of them ‘forgetting’ to remunerate the artists is ironic, anti-black, and defeats the very purpose of the event, which was to uplift/empower black performers,” wrote co-presidents Jinnia Baiye and Yanaminah Thullah. The heads of the BSLA then went on to directly address the findings and recommendations of the EOC’s report. “We could simply be complicit in the report’s findings of ‘lack of communication’ but this has happened too many times before.” “While we appreciate all the recommendations regarding organizational improvements, the recommendation for an apology feels almost disrespectful at this point. We are also aware that we (student organizers including BSLA and Jayde Lavoie) had
The Fulcrum reached out to a number of artists who performed at the Black Expression event in the hopes of getting their side of the story. Reactions were mixed with some clearly disappointed towards the delay in remuneration and others simply happy to have been remunerated at all. One of the artists who performed simply said “it sucked.” They explained, they wished the situation had been “handled better” and hoped that “lessons are learned.” They indicated they were paid on Sept. 1. On the other hand, Landry Kalembo, a pre-med student at the University of Ottawa, performed spoken word and slam poems at the event had a more positive outlook on the situation. “Personally, I didn’t mind at all, I do my performance for the message and mostly for free. I was appreciative of the honorarium and didn’t mind the wait,” he wrote in a message to the Fulcrum. Kalembo said he received his honorarium for the event around the first week of August.
NEWS | 3
U of O spring open house to take place online Everything you should know about the upcoming virtual event Brendan Keane
pate in events that were previously only accessible to students from Canada.” The event, organized by the University of Ottawa’s Liaison Office, will be hosted across multiple platforms, with live presentations being hosted on Zoom and Microsoft Teams. The virtual kiosks will use Easy Virtual Fairs which is the same platform the fall open house used as well as many of the Career Corner’s virtual career fairs. Since Feb. 26, there have been live campus tours taking place on Zoom. With this new online format, attendees will be able to participate from their homes, anywhere in Canada or internationally. One such attendee will be future U of O student, Élize Earwicker. Admitted to the university for linguistics in the fall of 2021, Earwicker has signed up for the open houses to discover her department and find the residence which is right for her. Personally, Earwicker finds there are both nega-
rom March 15-20, the University of Ottawa will be hosting admission events where incoming students can learn more about what the university has to offer. In the past, this annual event has been an opportunity for students entering post-secondary education to ask questions about their programs, learn more about the admissions process, and tour the campus. This year however, due to the pandemic, the spring open house will take place entirely online. “The pandemic has required us to completely adapt how we connect and help future students with their choice for postsecondary studies,” said Michelle Beauchamp, the university’s director of recruitment and admissions. “It provides us the opportunity to test new ways to reach students and has allowed students from across the world to partici-
Image: Open house poster/Provided.
tives and positives to the change. “I do feel that I am missing out by not being able to attend a physical open house because I have only been to Ottawa once before, and it would have been nice to get to know the area in person,” said Earwicker. “Nonetheless, due to current circumstances, it is understandable that it has to be done online and it is still a good alternative.” “If there was a physical open house, I would have
taken the time to visit. However, I do feel that it is beneficial for me, as I live about a six hour drive away, that it is accessible online.” Beauchamp echoed those thoughts, sharing that the move to online can’t simply replace the in person experience but virtual is the next best thing the university could offer. “Although it cannot replace the experience students will get while coming physically on campus, the opportunity to connect with staff, current stu-
dents and professors will go a long way in helping make their choice.” There will be about 150 presentations offered over the course of the event’s five days with time slots in the mornings and evenings to accommodate both domestic and international students. The event will also be organized to give future students the most information possible as they learn the ins and outs of the U of O. “Many members from various faculties and ser-
vices across the university are participating to help future students get answers to their questions and help them determine if they would like to study at the university,” said Beauchamp. “A lot of the content will be geared towards helping them understand the next steps regarding admissions, scholarships, [and] housing.” Over the course of the open house, future students and potential applicants can also meet virtually with professors and current students with the possibility of deans or vice deans joining in on presentations. The event will also allow future students to access virtual kiosks that will include pre-recorded presentations, videos, PDF brochures, and links to web pages that should be relevant to future students. At the moment, there are currently over 1,300 individuals registered for the Virtual Spring Open House.
Lees campus changes municipal wards to join Rideau-Vanier Now part of Rideau-Vanier ward, rather than Capital ward Ottawa’s city council passed a motion in December 2020 which added a 24th seat to Ottawa’s city council and changed boundaries of some wards. As a result of the vote, the University of Ottawa’s Lees campus will now be part of the Rideau-Vanier Ward rather than the Capital Ward. The boundary change will come into effect just before the 2022 municipal election. It will change the riding size of both wards and have an impact on regional bylaws in the area. The U of O Lees campus currently has no residences and therefore no potential voters are being moved into the Rideau-Vanier ward by this boundary change. However, it should be noted that the university has plans to develop a series of residential buildings across from the campus by 2030. The Fulcrum reached out to the population projection consultants for the Ottawa Ward Boundary Review 2020 project and did not hear back in time for publication. The university administration confirmed that they were not directly consulted by the city on the boundary change and by extension never had a chance to share
plans for developments in the area. Back in 2020, consultant firm Beate Bowron Etcetera initially presented six options for the ward boundary review ranging from adding 25 seats to reducing the council to 17 seats. Kiel Anderson, manager of policy and business operations for the Office of the City Clerk, said changing Lees campus of ward came in the second round of public consultations. According to Anderson, the reasoning for the boundary change of Lees campus was attributed to Beate Bowron, project manager for the Ottawa Ward Boundary Review 2020. “[A] major criterion of effective representation refers to communities of interest … the information we were given is that the Gee-Gees sports field south of Highway 417 is directly associated with sports facilities to the north in the current Rideau-Vanier Ward. Since ward boundaries are not drawn around individual properties, the River became the new boundary.” “Respecting natural [or] physical boundaries is one of the components of effective representation …. another component of effective representation is achieving voter parity, that is similar numbers of people in Ottawa’s wards (while having regard for Ottawa’s urban
and rural communities).” Anderson also shared that the motion to adopt the boundary changes passed 17-6 in favour. Notably, both council members of the wards affected by the Lees campus boundary change voted against the changes. The Fulcrum’s investigation found no groups or individuals that had been directly consulted on this change. This decision has drawn criticism from the Old Ottawa East Community Association (OOECA) who sent an email to Ottawa mayor Jim Watson questioning why the rezoning occurred at all. The letter, signed by OOECA’s president, alleges “the poorly-conceived Lees campus ward transfer fails to satisfy the three criteria required for a boundary change,” and “the transfer violates what ward boundary changes are supposed to achieve.” In the group’s correspondence with the U of O, OOECA received an email from media relations manager, Isabelle Mailloux-Pulkinghorn confirming “the University of Ottawa was not involved in this ward boundary change.” When speaking to the Fulcrum, the group’s Lansdowne chair, John Dance, said the group is concerned that the boundary change will
limit their ability to advocate for the area. Dance echoed a concern mentioned in the groups letter that the boundary change does nothing to aid future voter parity in the wards. “The city has moved an area of great potential for additional people out of a less populous ward to a more populous ward,” said Dance. “It’s just lousy governance is what it is.” Dance spoke to the groups past advocacy in the area, including work to keep green spaces on the Lees campus. “Our Community Association has fought long and hard to keep [160 Lees] as a green space. And we will continue doing that. But we’re not going to have the same link with the city.” “We’re appealing this to the local planning appeal tribunal,” added Dance. “If we’re successful then the city will be forced to reverse or amend the bylaws so that that the transfer is reversed.” Dance mentioned the Action Sandy Hill community group was also not directly consulted on the boundary change. The Fulcrum confirmed this with the group’s president Susan Young. Mathieu Fleury, Ottawa city councillor for Rideau-Vanier, vot-
ed against the boundary change. In a call with the Fulcrum, Fleury said that he voted against the report due to the consultant’s work being “based on population and population growth” which he deemed “inadequate.” He also feels the OOECA letter became insignificant by being sent in January as the vote was completed in December 2020. When asked about the impact on the U of O, Fleury assumes the ward boundary consultants would have looked at the university’s property ownership to reach a decision. “I’m not necessarily against this change,” said Fleury. “There were bigger issues to me with the report.” Fleury says his vote against the suggested boundary changes was due to the fact that it did not address the work necessary in given wards, aside from the component of population size. “I represent the lowest income, the oldest low income area in the city, I have a full university campus; the fourth largest in the country, I have three shelters.” “It’s the way the wards are divided and the poor recognition of the amount of work that we have in our ward,” explained Fleury.
4 | NEWS
Bridget Coady News Editor
U of O history prof found guilty of libel in Polish court
Professor was sued for USD$27,000
“I am dismayed and stupefied,” said Grabowski on the lawsuit. Image: Professor Jan Grabowski/Wikimedia Commons.
Jelena Maric Staff Writer
he Polish court in Warsaw has found University of Ottawa history professor Jan Grabowski, along with his co-editor Barbara Engelking, guilty of libel on Feb. 21 in regards to their joint research.
The trial concerned a single paragraph in their 1,600 page research study entitled “Night Without End: The Fate of Jews in Selected Counties of Occupied Poland,” published in 2018. The paragraph in question claimed that during the Nazi occupation of Poland, Polish mayor Edward Malinowski allegedly revealed the location of Jews hiding in a forest nearby, which resulted in their execution.
The case against Grabowski and Engelking was brought forward by the deceased mayor’s niece, Filomena Leszczyńska. The study, which used the approach of microhistory by closely examining nine counties in Poland, allowed the historians to come up with precise numbers and percentages related to the Holocaust and Jewish survival rates in the areas, explained Grabowski.
“This is a very academic study,” he said in an interview with the Fulcrum. According to an ABC News article, Leszczyńska sued both
instance, have laws that restrict the scope and interpretation of historical research.” As Bélanger noted, while the case has received international recognition, Grabowski’s colleagues have been aware of the pushback and assault on his research that has been occurring for years. The U of O history department’s Facebook page and the chair’s email account have both received complaints asking for Grabowski to be fired. There have also been demands “to set the record straight” concerning his research. In addition to the department and university offering their support, the U of O Human Rights Research and Education Centre and the Canadian Historical Association (CHA) are other organizations offering their support to the professor. “We urge the Polish courts to protect accepted academic research norms and the Polish Government to protect the academic freedom so necessary to a democratic society,” read the statement from CHA. While in Warsaw, Grabowski is still “zooming heavily” and supervising his graduate students, as well as teaching a seminar and third year lecture course on Holocaust history. The Fulcrum reached out to the Polish embassy in Ottawa for a comment, but did not receive one in time for publication. Grabowski plans on appealing the decision as soon as a written justification from the presiding judge is handed over to him and his lawyers
“all warm and glowing.” “The impact his work has had in Poland, and the censorious reaction it has generated, demonstrates this truth,” said U of O president Jacques Frémont in a statement. “The University of Ottawa is committed to the sanctity of academic freedom and emphatically supports professor Grabowski’s right to pursue historical inquiry unencumbered by state pressure, free from legal sanction, and without fear of extrajudicial attack.” When it came to support from Grabowski’s department there was “no need for rallying” said DamienClaude Bélanger, chair of the history department at the U of O. Bélanger also voiced a similar opinion to that of Grabowski’s — that this is far more than just a colleague’s work. For historians, this lawsuit is an attack on the work researchers do on a fundamental level.
Grabowski and Engelking for USD $27,000 and an apology. The decision to try the pair for libel stems from a 2018 Polish law which criminalizes making false accusations about Poland’s history and involvement with the Holocaust.
Grabowski pointed out this case is much more than a simple libel case, and as a result, he fears for the future of Holocaust research in the region. A lack of access to archival resources in the country is a concern, given the fact that Poland was one of the locations of the Holocaust, explained Grabowski.
“The access to these materials here is essential for our study of the Holocaust,” he said.
“It’s the whole historical profession that is on trial here,” said Bélanger. “The various laws and … political climate in Poland that are restricting historical research are not a phenomena restricted to just Poland,” explained Bélanger. “A number of countries, like Turkey for
Both the U of O history department and the university administration have put out statements in support for Grabowski. The professor said this support has made him
Charley Dutil re-elected as the Fulcrum’s Editor-in-Chief
Becomes the first editor to win re-election since 2001 Editorial Intern
he ballots are in and it’s official: Charley Dutil has been elected to a second term as the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of the Fulcrum.
Dutil, who served as EIC since May 2020, won the election after running unopposed. His victory will see him retain the reins of the Fulcrum throughout the 2021-22 academic year. A University of Ottawa graduate, Dutil began his reporting career with stints at both CHUO 89.1 FM and La Rotonde before joining the Fulcrum in Septem-
tion debate what the Editor-inChief role means to Charley and I think that easily translates into future success.” “There’s been plenty of changes and adjustments, but he has found ways to bring the best out of both the paper and the staff. As a veteran of the paper, he knows the standard the Fulcrum needs to reach, knows what the U of O students want and need to read, and is always focused on making the coverage better.” Dutil will officially begin his second tenure as the Fulcrum’s EIC in May of this year.
According to his election debate, the current website struggles to properly portray images and infographics, an issue which he intends to see fixed. Additionally, he hopes to build stronger ties between the Fulcrum’s editorial board and contributors through nurturing the talents of new writers. According to Emily Wilson, the Fulcrum’s managing editor and chair of the Election Committee, the publication has a bright future with Dutil continuing to steer the ship. “With the results of the election, it’s safe to say the Fulcrum is in good hands,” said Wilson. “You could tell during the elec-
ing sources, and the lack of these meetings posed significant challenges for Dutil. “I think in a way the pandemic made it so we were one of the most distant editorial boards ever in Fulcrum history, but also one of the closest,” said Dutil. “We had to learn to do our jobs without the in-person aspect and learn to do journalism that way and accept the fact that it was necessary to adapt to thrive.” In the coming months, Dutil plans to improve the Fulcrum by making adjustments to the publication’s website, primarily in both its design and accessibility settings.
ber 2018. His early days as a sports writer led to him taking the reins as sports editor the following year. The knowledge and experience he gained in this role was what pushed him to run for the position of EIC. “The Fulcrum welcomed me with open arms and I’ve been thankful ever since and loved every moment,” said Dutil. Dutil’s first year at the helm, however, was not without difficulties with the entirety of his term taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journalism is a form of media that often requires face-to-face interactions, be it among the newsroom or when interview-
NEWS | 5
A&C EDITOR Aly Murphy firstname.lastname@example.org
Insta: @aly_murph Twitter:@aly_murph_
A letter to my year-ago self
A year into the pandemic, everything has changed, and yet nothing has Aly Murphy Arts & culture Editor
ear Aly from a year ago, I know.
You’re standing in the Rideau Street Loblaws. You’ve never seen so many people in one grocery store. You’re calling your mom in the United States. She can’t hear you over the hubbub, the panic, the metal carts clinking into each other. She asks if you want to come home. You don’t know — it’s too noisy, too chaotic, too much. You’re chucking things into your cart. Cookies, grapes, brownie mix, batteries, soup. Boxes and boxes of pasta. Frozen things. Non-perishable things. Not toilet paper. Not hand sanitizer. Not wipes.
You’ll hit your “digital art” phase somewhere around the August mark. Image: Aly Murphy/Fulcrum
Those are long gone.
You’ll take walks.
To this version of Aly: I know.
Even more. You’ll log kilometre after kilometre, shivering in the early spring chill but not caring, just reveling in the shift of being anywhere other than your apartment.
You check out of Loblaws with $200 worth of groceries. It’s not enough. It’s too much.
You’ll buy a Nintendo Switch. You’ll let it get dusty.
You don’t know.
You’ll finish Tiger King, then Cheer, then Love Is Blind. Cheer is actually super good, and I can report that, yes, a year later, you’ll re-watch it: you’ll romanticize those early days of pandemic.
You wonder how long it’ll take for the bananas to go bad, how long it’ll take to muster the energy to bake a loaf of sourdough, to check out Tiger King after seeing its memes all over Twitter.
You’ll wince at having just used the word “pivot,” the free space in COVID-journalism bingo. You’ll learn how to make images like the one you’re using as the header for this article. A year into the pandemic, you’ll have enough face masks to coordinate them to your outfit. Some will be fleecy, warm enough for your still-daily walks through downtown Ottawa. Some will be cotton, light enough for a sanitized workout in Montpetit.
Taylor Swift will release folklore, then evermore, then Fearless. These will be high points of not only your year, but in truth, your early twenties. Savour these albums. Scream them in car rides with your roommates.
You will change. But you’ll learn a lot about yourself, and journalism, and, yes, theatre. You’ll make new friends. You’ll advocate for improved safety and accountability in local theatres and local festivals — because even in a pandemic, some things won’t ever change.
You’ll miss it.
Your EIC will roast you for it: let him. Roast him back for his own eclectic tastes.
The University of Ottawa will close, and you’ll cry, and you’ll make sure your daily walks pass by your beloved theatre building. You’ll write love letters to the thirdfloor student lounge. A year later you’ll still remember how it smells, like perfume and paper and years of naps and homework and rehearsal.
You wonder. You wonder. To my year-ago self: I cannot possibly warn you of what’s to come. Your Starbucks addiction will get a welcome pause until approximately May — the first Pink Drink to break your fast will taste like normalcy but also loss but also terribly sugar sweet — and you’ll learn to find solace in the prepared grease of an Egg McMuffin from the McDonald’s on Bron-
try. You’ll pivot to the possibilities of digital media.
Your interpersonal relationships will fracture, but so will everyone’s. The entire world is feeling that same overwhelming dread you feel creeping into your bones, the dread that’s leaching into your writing no matter how hard you try. You’ll forget how to write about things outside the context of the pandemic. You’ll try — you’re a trained theatre critic, you know better than to get wrapped up in the sentimentality of calamity — but eventually, COVID-19 will take over, and you won’t be able to ignore it.
You’re scared. You’re wondering if you should fly home — for only a few months, right? Surely this will blow over by summer, by autumn, by 2021 — or if you should weather whatever this is in the crumbling walls of your Centretown shoebox.
You’re not alone.
To my year-ago self, stranded in the Rideau Loblaws, wondering how on earth you’ll get all these groceries home: things are going to be okay. It’s cheesy. I know.
You’ll interview for a Fulcrum job on a whim. You’ll get it. You’ll love it.
A year from now, you’ll be in the same Loblaws, mask-clad and drafting this Fulcrum piece in your head.
But a year from now, you won’t mind a bit of cheese: it’ll get you through the long, long days of socially distant living and learning. You’re going to miss theatre and live performance with all your heart, but you’re also going to find success in the ashes of the decimated performance indus-
To my year-ago self: everyone will be feeling the loss of work, of art, of socialization.
There’s a wild ride ahead. But you’re going to get through it.
All my love from the frozen food aisle of Rideau Street, Aly
ARTS & Culture | 6
Films you should have seen: Becoming by Michelle Obama
Nearly a year after its release, Obama’s post-White House documentary still topical as ever georgiana ghitau freelancer
Based on Michelle Obama’s memoir of the same name, Becoming is a 2020 Netflix documentary which follows Obama’s life post-White House. In the film, she discusses her life, hopes for her country, and countless connections with others she’s fostered over the years. First of all: wow. I definitely recommend this film! I was utterly flabbergasted and at a loss for words following its conclusion. This inspirational film is exactly the push and the motivation needed to continue the good fight with the Black Lives Matter Movement. Black History Month may be over, but we must continue shedding light and battling injustice as much as we can: Black History Month is every month. This film is a rare and up-close look at the former first lady’s life. It’s a candid, intimate 90 minutes, capturing all of the moments of her life delicately chosen to share with the public, including star-studded guest appearances from Oprah Winfrey, comedian and television show host Conan O’Brien, late-night host Stephen Colbert, tele-
vision personality Gayle King, and many more. The opening of this documentary takes place in 2019. Obama and her crew are in Chicago, the first stop of a 34-city book tour (including visits to Vancouver, Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto) for her 2018 memoir Becoming. We can already tell just what type of person the former first lady of the United States (FLOTUS) is: down-to-earth and loving. She treats her staff with respect, asking about their days and referring to them as her family. She encourages Melissa Winter, her chief of staff, to express her emotions, telling her: “you don’t have to keep it together, you don’t have to. You can go ahead and cry your eyes out.” For her, and those who are along the journey, it’s overwhelming. Directed by Nadia Hallgren, the film takes viewers on a stoic journey with Obama as she embarks on her book tour. She intends to use the time to reflect on her eight years in the White House and “to figure out what just happened.” And while it’s hard to believe that someone who has been in the public eye for so long can actually be “unplugged,” Obama’s
multi-city conversations are invigorating, offering more personal insights and showing more poignant sides to her signature charm and humour. The main objective of her tour was to get to know and speak to young people, mostly students from various backgrounds, in order to become more connected to her community. “How I relate to people, it helps me stay connected?,” she explained. Many of the young Black women she encountered asked her how she overcame the sense of isolation that haunts many Black women as they move through the world. She at-
tributes her confidence to her parents, who allowed her to ask questions and made her feel visible. “I am from the south side of Chicago. That tells you as much about me as you need to know. It was a typical working class community,” she said. “We can’t afford to wait for the world to be equal to start feeling seen.” Obama then goes on to state that in order to be seen, we need to stop focusing so much on “stats and [more] on the story.” “What makes you more than a stat is once you see yourself more than a stat and you truly start thinking about who you are,
what do you care about and what brings you joy?” She hopes that her story urges women to see the power of their own story and to own that. This amazingly unapologetic and true-toherself woman imparts her countless racist encounters growing up as a proud Black woman and as the first Black first lady of the United States. She says that even though the Obama’s “presence in the White House has been celebrated by millions, others reacted with fear. “Many were overlooking the racism and tribalism that was tearing our nation apart,” she said.
“Barack and I lived with an awareness that we ourselves were a provocation [of violence and racism].” She goes on to mention and show a multitude of Black lives that were lost, but not forgotten — “young people with the robbed possibility of a long and fruitful life such as Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Freddie Grey, Eric Garner, Treyvon Martin, Sandra Bland. We must say their names and not let their deaths be in vain,” mentioned Obama. If there’s one thing that we must keep in mind from Michelle Obama it’s the importance of listening and learning everyone’s story in order to become something of ourselves. “We should open up a bit more to each other and share our stories, our real stories, because that’s what really breaks down barriers,” she said. “But, in order to do that, you have to believe that your story has value. You need to be vulnerable. Dare to be vulnerable. We’re at a crossroads where we really have to think, who are we as a nation?” So, who are you becoming?
U of O alum Nile Séguin talks comedy and COVID-19
Séguin’s success is much more than he could have ever imagined beles lezina
“It was meant to be more of a side thing, but after I did my first set it was like ‘oh, pretty good.’ It came pretty easily to me,” he said. “[After that] I basically was just doing stand-up whenever I could in the evening and doing course work during the day.”
As the pandemic drags on, the age old saying “laughter is the best medicine” has taken on a whole new meaning. Now more than ever, comedy has been a source of escape for audiences around the world, with comics stepping up to the plate to offer us a laugh in our time of need. Just ask University of Ottawa alum Nile Séguin. The Second Jen actor spoke with the Fulcrum about working during COVID-19, and how his success on the Canadian comedy circuit earned him his big break as an actor and writer for some of Canada’s funniest TV shows. It’s much more than the former U of O student could have imagined while pursuing his bachelor’s degree in psychology. In an interview, Séguin reminisced about his time at the university and his first time getting on stage during his second year at the school.
7 | ARTS & Culture
After graduation, Séguin continued performing at comedy clubs across the country, eventually booking gigs at the Halifax Comedy Festival, Winnipeg Comedy Festival, and the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal.
But he has stayed true to his roots. When asked where his favourite place to perform has been, Séguin cited Absolute Comedy Ottawa as one of the places where he felt the most love from his audience.
“If you did okay anywhere else, you would be a rock star at Absolute Ottawa. It was so surreal.” Séguin’s success onstage eventually landed him a place in the writer’s room, starting with CBC’s The Hour before branching out to Comedy Network’s The Beaverton and CBC’s Still Standing, for which he earned a Canadian Screen
Award nomination. In fact, it was his writing that won him his current role as Alister on Omni 2’s Second Jen. The show follows two Asian-Canadian women in Toronto and the hilarity that ensues after they move out of their parents’ home to live on their own for the first time. After a wait of nearly three years, the show returned to television for its third season on Feb. 14. Séguin credits the show’s success to its diverse cast and ability to add a comedic flair to serious topics such as racism and sexism. “I think a part of it is that it addresses issues but it kind of does it in a fun way. It’s a good mix of funny and smart content.” Séguin plays the kind-hearted yet clueless Alister, a character far removed from the persona the comic takes on during his sets. “You have to see the world from his point of view to sell it. I kind of see it as he’s just a guy who likes clean lines. He likes order and he
thinks that’s best for everybody. He’s kind of that quirky dude that comes in and says weird stuff.” Although the comedian’s career has grown considerably since his first shows as a U of O student, Séguin still feels the most comfortable onstage. With the comedy scene making the necessary adjustments in light of the pandemic, he has taken to performing shows over Zoom for audiences to enjoy. “I’ve got a few Zoom shows coming up. A lot of comics hate on Zoom shows but I like them. Sure, it’s not the same as a room full of people, but it’s something.” As for students who are considering a career in the entertainment industry, Séguin has a simple piece of advice. “Don’t do it”, he jokes. “But if you’re going to do this, go as hard as you can.” You can catch Séguin on Second Jen Saturdays at 11:00 p.m. on Omni 2.
This week in Foo-lc music: Foo Fighters edition
Medicine at Midnight is the band’s tenth studio record
better than everyone else for listening to this song and the Foos — yes, I was that kid. Ten years later, this track is still a jam, and great to listen to when you’re having a bad day. It makes you feel like you’re the shit — and that’s a great feeling when you’re feeling down.
Amanie slama & Charley Dutil Contributor & EIc
New Foo Fighters listener Amanie Salama on the Foo Fighters I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but before this week, I had no idea who Dave Grohl or the Foo Fighters even were. Despite that, I’ve been a fan of Nirvana for years, and have recently rediscovered my love for rock ‘n roll. I’ve curated a playlist of classics by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pixies, Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam, Oasis, AC/DC, and now… the Foo Fighters. Although I wasn’t a fan of every song I listened to for this article, I’ll share with you a few of the ones that have made it into my playlist. The Fulcrum’s Foo Fighter-inChief Well, as opposed to Amanie, I’ve been listening to the Foo Fighters for a long time. I own a number of their CDs, and they are mainstays in the middle of my car’s armrest. My favourite Foo records are their self-titled debut, The Colour and the Shape, Nothing Left to Lose, Wasting Light, and Sonic Highways. A little disappointed with their previous release, Concrete and Gold (2017), I went into Medicine at Midnight with rather low expectations. But before I did, I decided to review some of the Foos’ classics. “I’ll Stick Around” – Amanie 4.5/5, Charley 4/5 Amanie: This song, as well as many others on the Foo Fighters title album, are quite reminiscent of Nirvana’s sound: that’s probably why I liked them so much. There’s a sense of urgency, rage, defiance, and bitterness in Grohl’s voice on “I’ll Stick Around.” You can just tell he’s fed up as he screams “I don’t owe you anything” over and over again in the chorus. However, the song shifts back and forth between the fast and hard chorus to the slow and soft verses, utilizing the same loudquiet dynamics often seen in Nirvana’s discography. Charley: This was for a long time — mainly in high school — my favourite Foo Fighters song. I’ve always loved the hardhitting drum intro, as well as the raw heaviness of the distorted power chords. For those who really like the studio recorded version of this song, I definitely recommend checking out the live version that the first iteration of
8 | ARTS & CULTURE
Medicine at Midnight — Amanie 2.5/5, Charley 1.5/5 Amanie: As I listened to some of the Foos’ newer stuff, though, I started to lose interest. It seems that as the band progressed to the modern age, they’ve adopted a more pop-oriented sound. This is especially evident on their newest album, Medicine At Midnight, which to be frank, I didn’t love. That’s not to say that there isn’t something to be admired about their courage to explore and try out different sounds after all this time. For that reason, I gave some of the newer songs a listen, and even found a few catchy, like “Waiting on A War” and “No Son of Mine.” I just prefer their older music. Overall, the Foo Fighters started off employing many of the same methods and dynamics as Nirvana. However, their sound has evolved as distinctively their own over time. They’ve been able to maintain tremendous longevity, and have established themselves as a force to be reckoned in the world of rock.
The Foo Fighters released Medicine at Midnight on Feb. 5. Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum
the Foos played at the Brixton Academy in 1995 — it slaps, and is great for intense workouts. Sadly, in my early twenties, I’ve mellowed a little bit from my angsty teens, and have fallen a little bit out of love with this track — that’s not to say I don’t think it’s great, I just think other Foo songs like “Aurora”, “For All the Cows” and “Hey, Johnny Park!” are better.
This song encompasses everything there is to love about the Foos. It’s got an electrifying, hardcore rhythm, accompanied by beautiful lyrics that you can belt out along with Grohl. I particularly liked the build-up to the last “And I wonder.” But honestly, I already knew I was going to like this song as soon as the first chord came through in the intro. Charley: The Foos’ greatest hit, this is up there with “Live Forever” by Oasis and “Black” by Pearl Jam in the conversation of the best song from the 90s.
“Monkey Wrench” – Amanie 4.5/5, Charley 4/5 Amanie: This one’s super intense! It has a really aggressive and hostile rhythm from the start, as a thrilling, speaker-detonating riff plays out. Also, the bridge on this track is insane. The first time I heard it, I was utterly shocked. I’d love to see a one breath challenge of “One last thing before I quit” trending on TikTok. That’d be cool.
Amanie: This song offered a nice change of pace from the Foos’ usual explosive riffs, forceful drumming patterns, and fiery scream sessions. The gentle acoustic on “Walking After You” is soft, sweet, and melodic. And the lyrics are as sappy as ever. What’s not to love? Charley: The song that immediately follows “Everlong” on The Colour and the Shape, this track is a welcomed change and one of Grohl’s early attempts at writing a slow love song. It took some time to grow on me, as it is a clear departure from the rest of The Colour and the Shape but i’m not a fan of this track. Would I say it’s one of my favourite Foo Fighters songs, no, but I think it is a respectable effort.
“Times Like These” – Amanie 5/5, Charley 5/5
Amanie: Seeing as this may be the greatest Foo Fighters song of all time, I had to give it a listen, and it’s safe to say that it’s worth the hype.
Amanie: Going from drummer to frontman couldn’t have been easy, but Grohl definitely grew into the role as time went on. This growth is evident here as the vocals and lyrics on “Times Like
Charley: Released in the aftermath of 9/11 and at the start of the war in Afghanistan, this was a tune with a very uplifting message and hopeful outlook. In 2002, releasing a rock song that wasn’t about a relationship that had fallen to pieces — may that be sung in an emo or buttrock fashion — was revolutionary. Grohl, at a time where most were either emulating old grunge aesthetics or going emo, released a song with a positive outlook, and it was a massive hit. I mean, what’s not to like, a catchy riff and a happy message — a perfect recipe for a great song.
“Walking After You” – Amanie 4/5, Charley 3/5
Charley: I agree with Amanie: I’d love to see a one-breath challenge of “One last thing before I quit” on TikTok. A little bit like “I’ll Stick Around,” this was a song I really liked in high school. As a wannabe guitarist who loves playing the same three chords, playing this song was chill. As for its musical value, I mean, it holds up — the bridge is amazing — but again I don’t think that going forward in my twenties this is a song from the Foo Fighters that I will listen to much. It’s very loud, and as Grohl ages, I expect to see it less and less in his live sets. “Everlong” – Charley 5/5
These” are noticeably better than those of earlier endeavours. This song is also oddly optimistic, as Grohl sings “I, I’m a new day rising / I’m a brand new sky / To hang the stars upon tonight.” If you were to only listen to one of the songs I’ve mentioned, I’d recommend “Times Like These.” It’s the perfect mid-tempo number — a universal anthem with a hopeful message.
Charley: Honestly, Medicine At Midnight is nothing special: it’s a meh record. It feels like the Foos put out this record simply to put out a record. It’s not bad, but it’s not good. Concrete and Gold had its highs and lows, “Dirty Water” and “The Sky is A Neighbourhood” were good, but this record just doesn’t have any very strong moments. It feels tired. The message isn’t there, and that’s bad for a band like the Foo Fighters. Their best songs, think “Everlong”, “Times Like These”,”Best of You” and “These Days” are good because they are built on emotions first and foremost — this is not the case here. A couple weeks ago, I praised Weezer for putting out a record in which Rivers Cuomo released songs about feeling vulnerable. There is no sense that Grohl is emotionally invested in any of these songs. This doesn’t feel like a pandemic record, it feels like a butt-rock Nickelback sort of record, and I’m not a fan. It is very vanilla. And it breaks my heart as a long time Foo Fighters fan. It feels like the magic is lost — it’s boring.
“Walk” – Amanie 4/5, Charley 4.3/5 Amanie: The accelerating tempo on this track is what drew me in. It starts off pretty slow, but quickly ramps up and by the end, Grohl is manically screaming “I never wanna die!” “Walk” is essentially the story of Grohl’s rise from the ashes. It’s nostalgic, profound, and optimistic. Charley: Damn, hard to believe this track is 10 years old this year. For those who don’t know, the video for “Walk” is amazing, and I encourage everyone to check it out. When this song came out, I was in grade eight, I remember thinking I was so much cooler and
FEATURES EDITOR Amira Benjamin email@example.com
Insta: @amira.img Twitter: @jaming.amira
The epidemic within the pandemic Opioid overdoses continue to make an impact during COVID-19 Siena Domaradzki-Kim Associate Features Editor
Content warning: Addiction, mental health, overdosing and excessive drug use. As COVID-19 continues to concern Canadians, another threat has medical professionals worried: the opioid crisis. Between April and June 2020, there were over 1,628 opioid toxicity-related deaths, resulting in a startling 54 per cent increase from the year before. Nearly 97 per cent of these deaths were found to be accidental. One of the major players leading to this high death toll is fentanyl. Normally used for pain management, this highly potent drug is often mixed with other drugs like heroin, cocaine, and marijuana for a stronger high. As a result, it makes it very easy for people to overdose, which is why 75 per cent of opioid toxicity deaths in Canada in 2020 were linked to fentanyl. This is additionally concerning as a new yellow fentanyl has appeared in Brockville and Smiths Falls. Sonya Lockyer, the CEO of Canadian Treatment Centres, referred to this crisis in an interview as a “poisoning crisis.” “It’s not an overdose crisis. It’s not just an overdose crisis; people don’t know what is in drugs they are taking and often don’t have a choice because safer options are not available to them,” she said. “We’re currently battling an epidemic within a pandemic.” The result of more potent drugs and a nationwide lockdown created a dangerous combination for opioid users. Lockyer attributes the high number of fatalities to various reasons, but boiled it down to three prime factors; mental health, lack of oversight and access to hospital services, and the stronger substances on the market. Mental health during the pandemic has proven to be difficult for many Canadians, especially for people with substance use disorders. According to a survey by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, one in two Canadians with underlying substance use disorders reported moderate to severe symptoms of depression since March 2020. Lisha Di Gioacchino, a knowledge broker for the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, believes the increase is due to strict social distancing guidelines. “Increased isolation leads to increased opioid toxicity fatalities,” she said. “One of the main harm re-
FEATURES | 9
The opioid crisis continues as users grapple with lockdown measures and lack of access. Image: Stock pills/Deposit photos.
duction measures is to have someone with them when they’re using a naloxone kit. So when people are in isolation, they’re less likely to use it with others. They’re also less likely to be checked in on and less likely to have access to naloxone (from harm reduction centres).” One of the main reasons Lockyer attributes this increase in fentanyl and stronger substances, is disruptions in the drug industry. COVID-19 affected drug imports and caused drug shortages in the legal market was felt by the illegal drug market, she concluded. Because of this, many drug dealers resorted to creating synthetic replacements to add to ‘drug cocktails,’ which includes fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamines, marijuana, etc. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime noted that there have been disruptions on drug trafficking in a 2020 report, including the import of opium derived products due to air traffic disruptions. They also write that most opiate and heroin trafficking in the Americas are now done internally, creating synthetic opiates on hand has become easier and cheaper. “Everyone’s become a chemist all of a sudden,” Lockyer said. “When you consider quality control in the illicit drug trade, it does not exist. Dealers are not in the business of killing their clients, but are often creating cocktail drugs that are deadly. Our patients sometimes learn they are taking fentanyl for the first time when they overdose or when they show up to start treatment.” Di Gioacchino calls these mixtures “designer drugs” or novel psychoactive substances, and points to them as the illegal market’s solution to the difficulty of trafficking drugs
during the pandemic. Colleen MacPhee, the director of addiction and mental health at Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services, agrees with the fact that many of these overdoses are completely accidental and a symptom of a more toxic drug supply. “They never had an intent to overdose, they were just using what they normally used,” she explained. “But there’s an absence of a safer illegal drug supply.” Lockyer also points out how the lockdown has negatively impacted drug users. “The concept that the pandemic has forced people into isolation, their mental health is suffering as a result of it, and selfmedication is an answer,” she said. “Anecdotally, there’s no doubt that our patients are suffering more because of lack of services, lack of access to loved ones, and the stress of the pandemic and as a result, there’s lots of instability in our patient base, more than we’ve ever seen.” She adds that she’s seen many missed doses and relapsing throughout 2020. Gerry Schmidt, chief operating officer of Valley Healthcare Systems in West Virginia, agrees with this, saying he’s seen a similar trend. However, he notes this isn’t a new phenomenon. “It comes in trends, heroin was a big deal in the early 70s, post-Vietnam War all those young women and men coming back from Vietnam addicted to heroin. Then we saw LSD, then you saw cocaine became an issue then methamphetamines, crack and then pot. And now we have heroin again,” he said. “It’s driven by demand, if you don’t decrease the demand then you really won’t stop the flow. It’s a vicious cycle really.” MacPhee touches on this “heart-
breaking” reality. “Some of them are caused by just using them alone. People used to be able to check on you and knock on your door and they have a naloxone kit. That socialization was really important.” Lockyer also adds that the stigmatization of drug use has further pushed people into isolation. “No one wants it in their neighbourhood [or] ‘not in my backyard.’ So that further stigmatizes these people.” The beginning of the pandemic also saw a drop in hospital visits related to overdoses or mental healthrelated incidents. Lockyer believes this to be due to the fear of getting COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic. “People were scared, they had to choose ‘do I go to the hospital or do I stay at home’ and they stayed at home and dealt with it alone.” But she says she’s been seeing a rebound in cases. MacPhee adds to this, saying that she’s seen an increase of people coming into her clinic later in 2020 and currently. “We’ve seen a significant increase now with people who are reaching out for help with addiction and substance use.” “We have people calling us now who are alone, isolated, probably not noticing how they were doing with their addiction and people who had been substance-free or been in recovery have had issues with relapsing because of the loneliness and isolation,” she said. “They used to have access to more support, and now all of a sudden they’re on their own. And then if they had mental health issues it would then be a bit more intense trying to deal with that by yourself.” Lockyer believes the future will
be quite grim if nothing is done to fix the growing problem of opioid use nationwide. She estimates a lower overall life expectancy in the country, and the impact will soon touch everyone in Canada. “Just because a person uses drugs does not mean their life doesn’t count. The grieving associated with parents losing children does not change when it is drug use because of their loss. The grief and the mourning in our communities is tangible, you cannot open a paper these days without reading about the tragic loss this crisis is causing,” she said. “It’s just a matter of time given where the death rates are going that everyone will be impacted by this crisis. Even now, most people I speak to know someone who has a problem with opioid use.” She adds to this by saying her current concern of temporarily stopping the epidemic is the longterm impact we’ll be seeing on users. The key is educating and destigmatizing substance use. “Many of these prescription opioids are now ending up on the street for resale. Our fear is that while we may be reducing overdose deaths in the moment, we may also be contributing to the next wave of the opioid epidemic?” Schmidt also emphasizes the importance of education, especially for young people and children when combating the stigma and spreading information around substance use disorders. “We need to get people to understand it can be corrected, it can’t be cured, but going forward we need to educate more especially early on,” he said. “We have to remind people that these drugs may temporarily make you feel better but it won’t correct the problem. I hear from patients that using drugs was the first time in their life they felt normal. We need to show there is a way to achieve that without introducing drugs into their system.” One of the first tips, MacPhee adds, is to teach more of the population whether in the healthcare field or not, about a naloxone kit as they can be the key to saving someone’s life if they have an overdose. “We need to be educating the public more on (naloxone) kits, especially if there could be someone in your life who could be or have a history of using,” she said. “Get a naloxone kit, just have it in case you need it. You hope you never have to use it but if you do, you have access to it.”
S&T EDITOR Hannah Sabourin Science@thefulcrum.ca
SCIENCE & TECH
Insta: @Hsabcann Twitter: N/A
Study finds ketamine can help patients manage depression and PTSD Associate professor Monnica Williams on the future of psychedelics in psychiatry Hannah Sabourin
SCIENCE AND TECH EDITOR
Content warning: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and race-based discrimination
n March 2, associate professor Monnica Williams, who is also the Canada research chair for mental health disparities at the University of Ottawa’s School of Psychology, led an online seminar entitled, “Psychedelics, Therapies, Research, and Training.” During the seminar, Williams explained how ketamine, a dissociative drug that can distort one’s environment and thoughts, can help patients overcome anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In her study, Williams wrote that ketamine can reduce depressive symptoms in patients and these benefits can last for nearly two weeks. Also in this study, Williams explains why ketamine alleviates symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Ketamine, “produces [an altered] state of consciousness, promotes relief from negativity, [and produces] an openness to new perspectives.” During her presentation, Williams analyzed a case study that showed how ketamine helped an African-American woman, Robyn (a pseudonym), overcome the PTSD she developed in response to racebased discrimination at work. “Robyn’s symptoms included hypervigilance, intense recollections, and anxiety … she also expressed hopelessness around her mental health challenges,” said Williams. According to an American study, people who endure race-based discrimination at work experience higher levels of stress and adverse health problems compared to people who do not. Additionally, a recent Statistics Canada survey found “three in 10 participants experienced [racist incidents] in the workplace or when applying for a job.” As race-based discrimination is both prevalent and harmful, Williams believes it is necessary to include people of colour in psychedelic drug studies so they can hopefully overcome this sort of trauma. “There’s a common misconception that you pop this pill and then you see rain-
SCIENCE & TECH | 10
Research shows ketamine reduces symptoms of PTSD and depression. Image: Pexel
was able to move through difficult memories and emotions rather than letting them consume her,” said Williams.
bows and then you’re better,” said Williams. However, she explained, this is an intensive treatment process. Robyn’s treatment lasted 13 days. Along with the administration of ketamine, Williams’ team employed functional analytic psychotherapy and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy to help Robyn through her trauma.
The future of psychedelics in psychiatry Williams said her study picks up where psychedelic researchers left off in the 1960s. Around 70 years ago, more than 1,000 clinical papers emerged that described experiences with psychedelics. However, from the 1960s until now, psychedelics were often left out of psychological and psychiatric studies in North America because these drugs were “associated [with] political and cultural upheavals” — commonly known as the hippie movement. U of O sociology professor Ariel Fuenzalida said, “there is still stigma around these illicit substances.” However, he believes, “we are in the beginning stages of a cultural shift in our understanding of these substances.” While studies from the mid 1900s hold important information about the healing power of psychedelics, Fuenzalida believes researchers should also study how psychedelics are used as healing agents in the Amazon. The history of psychedelics in Amazonia is completely different from the history of psychedelics in North America. The psychedelic of choice in the Amazon is ayahuasca, “a psychoactive plant mix-
“Robyn set an intention to break the distressing and ruminative cycles in her head about her traumas,” said Williams, who believes psychedelics are most effective for patients set intentions for their treatment.
“When she received the ketamine, she reported feeling profound feelings of relaxation and I encouraged her to stay in the [mental space] where she was relaxed.” Williams thought enjoyment was important for Robyn to experience, “because so much of her life had revolved around doing work and feeling stressed.” So, for a few moments, ketamine allowed Robyn to experience peace. Through this treatment plan, Robyn was able to “reconceptualize her trauma. She
ture used in ceremonial contexts.” Fuenzalida believes ayahuasca traditions might provide researchers with insight into how psychedelics are useful in therapeutic contexts because Amazonian’s have used psychedelics to gain spiritual insights and healthy mental states since the early 1900s. “For Amazonians, psychedelic substances are used to unleash deep and powerful experiences,” said Fuenzalida. Ayahuasca is typically consumed in a highly ritualized setting. For example, after a drug-induced mind-altering experience, Amazonians attempt to make sense of their experiences through deep contemplation.
Fuenzalida learned that Amazonians who experience psychedelic “visions, require a therapeutic session so that they can propel their healing process forward.” He therefore argues that psychedelics are therapeutic aids and they cannot dispel trauma on their own. The individual who consumes the psychedelic must make a conscious effort to work through their trauma.
Future 6G wireless network technology could extend reality
Researchers hope to one day develop smart factories, hologram communication, internet of senses
This is where artificial intelligence (AI) comes into the equation. Erol-Kantarci said AI is an important component of 6G technology because it makes-up for what engineers cannot accomplish. This is what makes newer telecommunications systems more efficient. “We have so much equipment, so much hardware and software components that are trying to work together. So, there has to be a decision-making algorithm that can make autonomous decisions [without the need for human intervention].” While 6G technology is in an early stage of development, it is expected to eventually replace 5G technology in approximately 10 years. In this early development stage, ErolKantarci explained that researchers try to decide what other applications 6G technology could perform. The key is to think ‘futuristically’ and predict what consumer needs will be in the future. “For example, when 5G development first began 10 years ago, the idea was to reach one millisecond latency,” said
What will 6G look like? Image: Pexels
of Ottawa (U of O) have already started to think about 6G telecommunications technology. Engineering professor, Melike ErolKantarci, who is also the Canada Research Chair in AI-Enabled Next-Generation Wireless Networks, is a leader in 6G technology. “Wireless communications systems are getting more and more complicated. So much so that they are becoming out of human reach and interpretation,” said Erol-Kantarci.
In 2020, Rogers, Telus, Videotron, and Bell became providers for 5G network technology in Canada, and six other Canadian carriers will provide this technology within the next two years. 5G technology is designed to deliver fast telecommunications connections. While this technology was launched in 2020, engineers from the University
Erol-Kantarci. Latency is a telecommunications technology’s lag-time between when the user commands a task and when the command is executed by that technology. Currently, 5G is not yet able to reach one millisecond latency so, “the new goal is for 6G to reach 1 millisecond latency.” Beyond the question of latency, with 6G technology, the future could see “smart factories, holographic communications, and the internet of senses (which allows a user to experience four senses through airwaves, these include sight, sound, smell, and touch).” Medhat Elsayed, a U of O PhD student who works with Erol-Kantarci said “6G could also potentially be used to create extended realities.” An extended reality melds a virtual world with real life. In the scope of an extended reality, digital items and physical objects can exist in the same space. “Imagine visiting a store virtually to touch fabric or … imagine smelling a
perfume before you buy it online,” explained Erol-Kantarci. “Another example could be smart homes and anything that has to do with sensors that communicate with each other,” added Elsayed. The perks of this advanced technology according to Erol-Kantarci, is a need for extended realities — especially for people who require medical attention but cannot visit a health centre. This technology could help “populations who struggle with disabilities […] or who live in remote communities [and have trouble] accessing health care.” Theoretically, this could allow healthcare workers to conduct virtual consultations and operations for people who are unable to go to a doctor’s office or hospital. Still, lots of research is needed to push beyond the current limits of technology and get the most out of the future inventions. “Our predictions might not make sense 10 years from now, [but] we have to do this exercise,” said Erol-Kantarci.
Australian journalists reflect on Facebook’s news blackout
For six days, Australians were not allowed to read or share news on Facebook to negotiate commercial agreements. This means that Facebook will pay certain Australian news outlets directly without government involvement. However, news outlets can still request support from the Australian government if they cannot form an agreement with a media company on their own. News outlets need facebook — Facebook does not need news outlets Smaller news outlets like Woroni rely on Facebook, more than Facebook relies on them, to generate revenue. In fact, according to Facebook, news content accounts for less than four per cent of user activity in Australia. This statistic reveals that Facebook’s news blackout was bravado — a performance to show that it does not need Australia’s news media to survive. Woroni’s editorial board was relieved to find out that the bargaining code became law on 24 Feb., and they were also relieved that the Facebook ban was over. However, after not having access to the platform for days, the board did wonder if they relied too much on Facebook to distribute content. “We quickly realized that [the news landscape is] adaptable and that there are many ways to get news out that does not involve Facebook,” Rowley said. Also, Woroni’s news editor, Charlotte Ward explained “it was
Hannah Sabourin science & tech editor On Feb. 17, articles from Woroni, the Australian National University’s campus newspaper in Canberra, were removed from Facebook. In response to the situation, Ben Rowley, Woroni’s managing editor, was shocked by Facebook’s restrictions. Additionally, he was equally shocked by how well they handled the disruption. “Three weeks ago, if someone would have told me that Woroni’s posts were going to get wiped from Facebook, I would’ve freaked-out. And although it was a stressful day, we handled it quite well,” said Rowley. Woroni was banned from Facebook along with all Australian news outlets from the 17 to 22 of Feb. As a result, for six days, Australians could not read or share news on the social media platform. The decision from the tech giant to ban news from its platform was in response to Australia’s News Media and Digital Platforms Bargaining Code — a code which requires large technology companies like Facebook and Google to pay for news content shared on their platforms. To remedy this dispute, on Feb. 23, Australia’s government created an amendment to the code that encourages news organizations and large media organizations
during the media blackout that [they] decided to launch a weekly newsletter.” “We needed to find new ways to distribute our content because all of our information gets seen through Facebook. This is why we were badly hit during the blackout.” Like Woroni, the University of Western Australia’s publication the Pelican, also relies on Facebook to share content. Millie Muroi, co-editor in chief of the Pelican said, “Facebook is our biggest platform for sharing content and keeping in communication with our readers. So, for us, the ban was a bit of a hassle.” In the wake of Facebook’s news blackout, Muroi’s team pushed more of their content on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Despite Pelican’s attempt to connect with their readership through different avenues, website traffic “was lower without access to Facebook,” said Muroi. “This shows us the impact that banning Facebook can have on media outlets like ours.” Even in Canada, small media outlets rely on Facebook to connect with readers. For example, Carleton University’s student newspaper, the Charlatan, is a publication that relies on multiple social media platforms to promote articles and gain readership. However, according to Editorin-Chief Olivia Joerges, their primary platforms of use are Twitter,
Facebook, and Instagram — with the latter seeing the most action. They even hired a social media manager in attempts to promote their reach. “As social media trends change, we have seen an uptake in our Instagram engagement from our readers so have tried to focus our attention to posting stories and reels in order to engage our growing audiences,” she said. “With growing cognisance of video’s importance for audience engagement, we have also recently started a Tik Tok to try broadening our social media presence and outreach.” For the Charlatan, Facebook comes in second. “Our Instagram account reached 1,497 accounts in the last 30 days [and] 802 of those accounts interacted with our content. Our Facebook only had slightly more overall engagement from our audience with 2,099 post reaches and 1,010 post engagements,” said Joerges. The Charlatan understands the importance of social media engagement, so they hope to “put more resources towards social media” and see a potential “uptake in digital engagement.” Critiques of the media bargaining law Tamir Israel, a staff lawyer at the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic in Ottawa, is a critic of Australia’s bargaining law. “The Australian government
argues that news content shared through the social media platform contributes to the financial profitability of companies like Facebook,” said Israel. As such, the government believes, “news organizations should have a right to share in that compensation.” Even though Stephen Guilbeault, heritage minister of Canada, wants to develop a law that resembles Australia’s media bargaining code, in Israel’s opinion, “the bargaining code is not a viable long-term solution to save the news business.” The danger of this sort of law is that the government chooses which sites are responsible for the distribution of news. This therefore “cuts-off opportunities for innovation which could create new and persistent funding streams for Canadian news,” said Israel. Another critique of this law is that it might not benefit small news outlets in the same way that it benefits large news outlets. Andy Yin, a science and technology columnist for Woroni, believes the bargaining code might not benefit small media companies. The bargaining law will not help small outlets because, “it is set-up so that news companies can bargain with Google and Facebook, which means that a news outlet would need legal experts on hand to know how to open negotiations with these companies.”
SCIENCE & TECH | 11
SPORTS EDITOR Jasmine McKnight firstname.lastname@example.org
Insta: @j.mcknight08 Twitter: @Jazzle59
Rookie register: Meet some of the new faces representing the Garnet & Grey next season
Nguyen, Delorme, and Louis-Jeune ready to make an impact Jasmine McKnight Sports Editor
Every year, a group of University of Ottawa Gee-Gees will wear the Garnet and Grey for the last time before moving on with their careers. While we say goodbye to those athletes, we get to welcome fresh, young talent to the U of O. Looking ahead to the 2021-22 season, there are plenty of recruits throughout the university’s various teams who are sure to make an impact on the athletics program.
Nammi Nguyen Women’s soccer
A newcomer to the U of O women’s soccer team, Nammi Nguyen competed in the Saskatchewan Regional Excel Program (SK REX) that offered a higher level of soccer that her high school program did not offer. While focussing on soccer, Nguyen ran cross country and track and field for Walter Murray Collegiate. Nguyen notes that the highlight of her soccer career so far was at the Western Canada Summer Games where she captained her team to a medal finish and led the tournament in goals. While Ottawa is a few provinces away from Nguyen’s native Saskatchewan, Nguyen knew she wanted to expand her horizons. “I was especially drawn to Ontario because the OUA conferences are extremely high level and competitive,” she said. “Learning about all the success the [Gee-Gees] team had, and all the former players who played professionally, I could easily infer that this team would push me to reach my full potential.” While the program was a major selling point for the U of O, Nguyen took other aspects of the university into consideration when deciding to join the Gee-Gees. “Choosing a university isn’t just about sports, it’s also the
There are plenty of recruits throughout the university’s various teams who are sure to make an impact on the athletics program. Collage: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum
place where I’ll be spending four years learning and getting a degree,” she said. “As a French immersion student, continuing to practice the language is really important to me.” “After finding out that the University of Ottawa was the largest English-French bilingual school in the world, I knew that this was the place I wanted to be for the next four years.”
Jerry Delorme – Football After a high school football career with Ottawa’s Colonel By Cougars, Jerry Delorme will be joining the Gee-Gees football team in the fall. While Delorme did not have the picture perfect experience in high school football due to an injury during his sophomore year, he overcame the obstacle and had a great junior season. “Working out consistently, training in the summer, and getting some extra reps after practices were what really helped me have a great junior season,” Delorme said. “Patience and trusting the process also helped me persevere through
my first two seasons until I was given the opportunity to showcase my skills.” Unfortunately, Delorme did not get a senior season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet instead of falling into a negative spot, Delorme continued to work hard. “My grades went up, and I’ve invested a lot of my time into the gym and training so I could be as ready as possible before heading into university.” For Delorme, there were numerous reasons to commit to the U of O. Particularly, the Gee-Gees were one of the first schools to reach out to Delorme and continued to keep in touch with him. When he visited, Delorme enjoyed his experience meeting players and coaches. “With the arrival of coach [Marcel] Bellefeuille and the incoming transfers and recruits, I feel like we have a really strong, title contending team,” Delorme said. “Learning and competing with all these players during practice will only help me grow as an athlete.” As a local athlete, Delorme is eager to grow as a player and person at the U of O, contrib-
ute to the community, and of course, for game days — particularly Panda games. “I always thought it would be amazing to be able to say in the future that I helped bring the national championship back home to Ottawa.”
Quincy Louis-Jeune – Men’s basketball The Gee-Gees men’s basketball team is welcoming Quincy Louis-Jeune to the program after an outstanding season with College Montmorency in Laval, Qc. The guard will be sure to provide talent and skill to the U of O team, coming off MVP and All-Star acknowledgements after his final CEGEP season. “The recruitment process was fun,” Louis-Jeune said. “I just remember working really hard in the classroom and putting some extra hours in the gym which made me a lot better.” Louis-Jeune had a successful season even though it was cut short due to COVID-19. Still, he has continued to think about the game, and work towards getting better for his arrival with the Gee-Gees.
“I’ve been on a constant grind to get better mentally and physically, and just learn about the game and striving to be a better player so I can have an immediate impact and be ready.” Louis-Jeune wanted to play on a national championshipcontending team — one of the main reasons he chose the U of O. He also already developed a good relationship with the GeeGees coaches and players. “I like their style of play and the culture here in general,” Louis-Jeune said. “Also, I am a french speaker and the fact that I can take my classes in French here influenced my decision a lot.” Heading into the fall, LouisJeune is looking forward to being a part of the team and building his connection with coaches and teammates while working to be a better player and person. “I’m looking forward to winning games and to play at nationals, and even win the title one day.”
Sports | 12
OPINIONS EDITOR Jasmine McKnight
email@example.com Insta: @j.mcknight08 Twitter: @Jazzle59
OPINION: Getting the vaccine is the least you can do developing antibiotic resistance is far less than the expected reward of vaccination: immunity for all and eradication of the disease.
Finally, more diseases are coming. Whether we like it or not, animals will continue to produce harmful bacteria all over the globe. Vaccines are currently the best way we have of staving off the virulent diseases we know about. Cameron Lamoureux contributor I understand many people have various refutations against the COVID-19 vaccines. With that said, despite the ongoing public debate, I think we should all inject ourselves gratefully. First, we’re incredibly lucky to have a publically funded healthcare system in Canada. We should do our best to maintain and uphold standards of public health which benefit us, especially our vulnerable populations, consisting currently of both young and old citizens. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the least we can do to protect and immunize our-
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the least we can do to protect and immunize ourselves. Image: Nataliya Vaitkevich/Pexels
selves as well as this vulnerable demographic.
Second, after waiting over a year for a vaccine to become available, the idea that some might simply choose not to take it (if given the opportunity) is absurd. Not only does this negate the purpose of the long-awaited vaccine, it essentially makes all the time and effort that went into making it, including our waiting for it, useless. Get the vaccine. Third, you might now think, ‘No, you idiot! If we vaccinate ourselves now the virus will mutate (as it already appears to have done), creating antibiotic resistance and ultimately leading to a deadlier virus, the need for a new
vaccine, and all this effort would be wasted as we’d have to repeat the process all over again ad infinitum (much like the current status of tuberculosis).’ While you may be right, but, unless we vaccinate ourselves now, the virus will continue getting stronger and deadlier anyway. That’s what viruses do. The best we can do right now is vaccinate and maintain public health standards and guidelines to ultimately eradicate the virus. There is perhaps no guarantee that current vaccination will be enough to end COVID-19, but it’s a fair shot, and the best option we’ve got. As it currently stands, risk of the virus
Finally, more diseases are coming. Whether we like it or not, animals will continue to produce harmful bacteria all over the globe. Vaccines are currently the best way we have of staving off the virulent diseases we know about. That’s why we get shots throughout highschool and before travelling, the world is full of diseases that mutate and harm us. Giving the viruses free reign would be negligent of our obligations to each other, no matter where you live or who you are. Getting the vaccine when it becomes available to you is the least you can do to protect yourself and the ones you love. Do it. It’s that simple
Heckle: It’s fine for folks to wear a band’s shirt if they don’t listen to their music People don’t need to know every song on Vs. to wear a Pearl Jam shirt Charley Dutil Editor-in-Chief As a fan of alt-rock music and legacy acts, I proudly wear band t-shirts — I must own over 50. Everyone who works at the Fulcrum knows about my love of Nirvana, Oasis, Weezer and blink-182 among many other bands. I personally buy t-shirts of bands I love, but as opposed to many, I don’t go out of my way to discourage people to buy a band’s tshirt if they don’t know 100 per cent of the artist’s discography. This attitude is counterproductive and in my opinion, it drives people away from actually listening to the bands that are on their t-shirts. Imagine wearing a Metallica t-shirt and someone aggressively quizzed you on the album Kill ‘Em All. This wouldn’t motivate
you to listen to their music. This would just put you off the band, and make you think that all their fans are greasy douchebags. As alt-rock lovers, our goal should be for people to discover artists and bands on their own, trivializing them for wearing a t-shirt of an act they don’t know anything about won’t amount to anything. You are not part of a certain select group for liking a band — liking or not liking a band does not make you better than anyone else. You should not be angry to see someone wearing merch from your favourite band or artist. If anything, you should thank them for buying a t-shirt with your favourite band’s logo on it. This will help the artist financially. Consider this, many artists are currently reeling for cash — small and big groups are strapped for cash at the moment since they can’t tour due to COVID-19. Giv-
en the appalling state of the music industry, selling merch is about the only source of income for a number of artists. More income for artists most likely equals more new music for you. Chances are that people who buy an artist’s t-shirt without knowing much of their discography, will eventually be beholden by their curiosity and look them up on Spotify to discover their music for themselves. Further to this point, people who listen and enjoy a certain artist’s music are more likely to share this music with their friends and entourage. This will only help grow your favourite artist’s following. We as music fans do not want to turn away people from our favourite artists’ music, we want as many people as possible to listen to it so we can discuss it with as many people as possible. There is no better feeling than interacting with someone
OPINION | 13
who has the same love for a band as you do, the more people who discover an act the better for this type of discourse. So get off your high horse and next time you see a person wearing the t-shirt of a band you like just say “cool shirt.” This will most likely make their day and compel them to listen to artist’s music if they don’t. And if they do, you may have a cool conversation on your hands!
As alt-rock lovers, our goal should be for people to discover acts on their own, trivializing them for wearing a t-shirt won’t amount to anything. Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum
Opinion: Getting a job after university isn’t easy — in a pandemic, it’s close to impossible The university has done frustratingly little to prepare its COVID-19 graduates for a working life post-university
Arts & culture Editor It’s March, I’m a fifth-year student, and I graduate in two months. This should be really exciting. But in the current job market, it’s a nightmare. COVID-19 has obliterated the workforce — that’s old news. But there’s a new, even higher hurdle for imminent graduates who’ve not been able to network in person for over a year. Students have been robbed of a year of international exchanges and in-person job placements, labs, and classes. We’ve forgotten how to act in professional settings: the last year has let those skills atrophy. As an arts student, I’m especially concerned. My Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre is about to be even less useful than it was prior to the pandemic. Students like myself have migrated to LinkedIn and other jobfinding sites to help the search, but without that in-person networking and interviewing experience, positions are simply hard-
er to find than they used to be. “It’s absolutely harder this year,” said Elizabeth McDonald, a fourth-year English major and another imminent graduate. “There’s no way for students to interact with any kind of facility in a face-to-face scenario. We as students have been educated in a system where you learn to be personable, where you learn how to interact in a public setting — how can you learn something like that through a screen?” McDonald is lucky — she’s found a part-time gig with a film company in her hometown — but the university has still done frustratingly little to prepare its COVID-19 graduates for a working life post-university. As a result, some students, myself included, have opted to pursue graduate studies instead — prolong the need to find full-time work until such a time as theatre has returned to “normal,” in my case. But not everyone wants (or even needs) to attend graduate school for their chosen field of
study. In a normal year, students with awesome social skills might have had the chance to shine at job fairs, research symposiums, or shadow days. They wouldn’t need to prolong the inevitable by attending expensive, increasingly competitive graduate programs. This year, it’s all one big digital question mark. LinkedIn is the industry standard for finding work, and yet its paid version is ridiculously expensive and often inaccessible to students new to the workforce. Zoom’s quickly becoming the standard video conferencing app, and yet its free version is insufficient for longer meetings. Resumes have become harder to perfect in the age of automatic recruitment algorithms. Why hasn’t the University of Ottawa done anything to offset these costs or these increases in expected labour from struggling students? How can we be expected to be competitive when the world eventually expands beyond the parameters of Zoom? Why have we paid for mostly
LinkedIn Premium is expensive and often inaccessible to recent graduates. Image: Dasser Kamran/ Fulcrum
closed sports services this year, and yet not received any sort of help in terms of mitigating the hardships caused by the need for newer and better technology? Students like me are scared. We’re entering the “real world” in a matter of weeks — a real world that’s expecting graduates who are ready to take on the digital world. And we aren’t. We’ve been set up to fail. This problem needed to be factored in when the university made its pandemic plans last year. Or, at the very least, the university needed to attempt to find solutions as the academic year
went on. The pandemic isn’t new. Last-minute Zoom meetings with a small handful of (mostly STEMoriented) recruiters don’t bridge the gap between us and last year’s graduates. “I’ve just felt lost,” said McDonald, speaking of the job search process. She’s not alone — that’s how most of this year’s graduates are feeling, unsupported by our university and desperately missing the opportunities our older peers had before us.
Opinion: The 2021 Golden Globes showed improvement for Hollywood’s representation problem Many issues, however, still remain
The event was not without controversy this year. Image: Golden Globes
Howard Lo contributor The Asian-American entertainment community experienced huge success in the most recent installment of the Golden Globes. The award for best director of a motion picture went to Chloe Zhao, a born-and-raised Chinese director, making her the second Asian director and the first Asian woman director ever to receive this prestigious award. On top of that, Minari, an American film about a Korean family struggling to adapt to the “American” way of life, won best foreign film.
These successes on the world stage of the Golden Globes can provide hope to the community of Asian entertainers. This year’s Golden Globes serve as proof that there’s a place for Asian creators on the coveted awards show stage (virtual though it may be this year due to COVID-19). Not only that: this year’s winners also included Black actors and creators Chadwick Boseman, Andra Day, Daniel Kaluuya, and John Boyega. These wins are significant in the aftermath of 2020’s
Black Lives Matter demonstrations: Black excellence has finally been celebrated on the world stage of the Golden Globes. This year’s results are widely suspected to be organizers’ collective response to last year’s criticism for the lack of representation of minority actors, writers and creators. This decision, made by a panel of 87 judges in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), shows a willingness to provide a platform for minorities to receive the recognition they have been fighting for decades. Although we can celebrate the success of the winners on the night of the ceremony, this year’s event isn’t without any controversy. Cinephiles questioned the choice for James Corden’s nomination for his role in The Prom and the fact that the critically divisive TV show Emily in Paris received two nominations enraged many viewers. The most controversial of them all is the fact that Minari was snubbed from the best drama feature category due to being a “foreign” film. This raises questions about the nature of the categories in question: although the film was shot in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the majority of the film is in Korean. Should that mean the film is no longer eligible for the Best Drama Feature category? Many film goers and actors question how the fact that a film made in the state of Oklahoma
OPINION | 14
could still not be considered an American film. Asian Canadian actor Simu Liu said in an interview on the matter: “it [Minari] is a beautiful story of an immigrant family trying to build a life from the ground up. What could be more American than that?” However, this was not the only time that the qualification of the categories was questioned by the masses. The Farewell was also placed in the Foreign Language film category, even though the majority of the cast and crew was American. Director of The Farewell, Lulu Wang, addressed this year’s controversy tweeting: “It’s a story about an immigrant family, IN America, pursuing the American dream. We really need to change these antiquated rules that characterize America as only English-speaking.” The fact that this conundrum has raised questions within the industry shows that attitudes towards minorities are pushing for more major change in Hollywood. What constitutes as American? Does being American or Canadian mean speaking fluent English (or French in some places)? Or does having experienced North American society make a person “American” or “Canadian”? So far, the Golden Globes organization has refused to comment on the controversy and the qualification of the categories.
Dear Di: Can I still catch COVID-19 if I have sex with a mask?
FEATURES EDITOR Amira Benjamin
firstname.lastname@example.org Insta: @amira.ing Twitter: N/A
The simple answer is yes Dear Di, I am not very promiscuous — I rarely have sex — but last week I matched with this person on a dating app and they are clearly out of my league but want to hook up. I am hesitant as this person is not in my bubble and there is a chance I could contract COVID-19 from them. I was wondering if wearing masks and even sunglasses or goggles while we have sex will eliminate the risk of transmission? – I Wear My Sunglasses at Night
Dear IWMSGAN, Wearing a mask while having sex will reduce the chances of COVID-19 transmission but it will not eliminate them.
However, if you really want to have sex with your match, do wear a mask and make sure to take the necessary precautions. This means, make sure to ask them if they have any symptoms or have been in contact with anyone who has COVID-19. This way you’ll have a general idea of who you’re about to meet up with and how important COVID-19 safety is to them.
In September, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, recommended that couples do not partake in kissing and wear masks when having sex — especially if their partner is not someone they currently live with. Dr. Tam also believes that the safest sexual ac- Finally, remember that if you live with people who are tivities at the moment to prevent the spread of the virus immunocompromised, it may not be worth it to put them at risk for a quick hookup. It’s always important are the ones done by yourself. to take into account the health of others in your bubble Remember, when it comes to eliminating the risk of with COVID-19 and this also applies to having sex with strangers. transmission masks are not 100 per cent effective, but they do help. Double masking is a safer option but it may be a very cumbersome one. The truth is, when it comes to having sex with strangers, the safest time will be after everyone is vaccinated.
DEAR DI | 15
Editor-in-Chief Charley Dutil Editor@thefulcrum.ca insta: @cduts98 Twitter: @cduts98
Live from the Archives: The University of Ottawa : Past… Present… Future… Peter Mandia
were divided into two clerical provinces — one French speaking and one English speaking. The university was given to the Oblates of the French province. In 1930, the English Oblates founded St. Patrick’s College. The exact reasons for the division and subsequent changing hands of the university’s control, seem to be covered by the dust of the years.
former Editor in Chief Originally published on April 16, 1964. The following article is an attempt to briefly outline the history of the University of Ottawa, its present situation, and its plans for the future. The author also gives his impression of the university’s present structure, and a proposed solution to the financial dilemma which faces the University of Ottawa.
The beginning On December 29, 1843, a letter arrived at the residence of Bishop Phelan, auxiliary administrator of Kingston; it was from Bishop Bourget of Montreal. He wrote: “I expect great developments in our two dioceses, and I am convinced that the Oblates will not have many years in Bytown (Ottawa), before they will have been able, by obtaining help from Europe, to establish college, covenants, and schools that will be to the advantage of the inhabitants of the Ottawa Valley, who are deprived of the great benefits that the church dispenses to her children elsewhere.” The five years which followed this letter saw these hopes become a reality, and on September 27, 1848, the first Bishop of Bytown, Joseph Bruno Guigues, founded St. Joseph’s College of Bytown. It was a three-story wooden structure, built just behind the present basilica, and had an enrollment of 80 students. The college was bilingual, for it was the wish of Bishop Guigues to establish a college “that would offer equal educational opportunities to the two elements of the population and would attract the young men upon whom Providence would call later to play an important role in the affairs of the country. These young men, living and growing up together would soon come to know and to esteem each other, and while preserving their national idiosyncrasies, would learn to wage side by side the good fight for God and country.”
Illustration: Christine Wang/Fulcrum
ways and established new pedagogical methods, and devised a new curriculum which for those years was almost hearsay. His new program included a classical course where the arts and sciences shared the teaching hours in a well-conceived proportion. The staff rallied around the new ideas, with faith in the new program, and it turned out to be a success. Given Charter
In 1849, the college became simply the College of Bytown. But, the first few years were difficult ones. Until that time, no one had faced the complexities of the Canadian duality. Nearly every year the entire teaching staff changed, and problems in this new experiment in education mounted until 1853. In that year, Bishop Guigues discovered a very promising young priest, Reverend Henri Tabaret. The bishop removed him from parish work, and set him at the head of the new college. From then on, the growth of the College of Bytown was assured. “The mingling of the two languages offers a difficulty which is not insurmountable,” said Father Tabaret as he began his 30 years of devotion to what was to become the University of Ottawa. Under Father Tabaret’s leadership, the new college flourished. He departed from traditional
In that same historic year, the wooden building which housed the college for five years was abandoned. The new structure was of stone, located on the present site of LaSalle Academy on Sussex St. Three years later the college again moved, this time to Sandy Hill to an edifice on the same spot as the present administration building is located. In 1861, the college became the College of Ottawa, changing its name with the city’s name change, and in 1866 the Union, government of Canada granted a University Charter to the Ottawa College, and there was the proof that Tabaret’s hopes had not misled him. By an act of government, a bilingual university was established in the bilingual capital of a bilingual country. Henri Tabaret guided the university until his death in 1886. Had he lived three years longer he would have witnessed what for him would have been the “brightest crown” for a catholic college; for in 1889 the college was honoured by Pope Leo XIII when he raised it to the rank of a Pontifical University.
16 | ARCHIVES
among the best in Canada, and the university taught physics, chemistry, mineralogy, geology and astronomy in its new science faculty wing; the faculties of theology and philosophy were also founded. As the 20th century arrived, the future of the university appeared bright. The little wooden college had become a university.
But on December 2, 1903, the University of Ottawa was a mass of twisted, blackened stone and timber, razed by a disastrous fire. The magnificent edifice which housed all the faculties and classes burned to the ground. Records of that fire indicate a peculiar yet perhaps prophetic incident which occured on that distressing day. When the fire had ravaged the entire edifice, observers noticed something rather startling. Amid the rubble of the fallen building, the bronze statue of Father Tabaret, near the central door, remained unaltered. It still stood as if to say, “the work must go on.” And it did. The hopes of Father Tabaret did not die, and the slow laborious process of rebuilding began. Plans were made; funds were raised; and in 1904, the cornerstone was laid and a group of fireproof buildings arose. English-French It is interesting to note that in the early years of the University of Ottawa, it was administered by both the French and English Oblates of Mary Immaculate. One of the first rectors of the university was father Timothy Ryan (1866-1867). Others were fathers James McGuckin (1889-98) and William Murphy (1905-11). And, it is almost inexplicable, but nonetheless factual that at the turn of the century, and indeed up to World War I, the student body at the university was nearly totally English-speaking! But the tide soon turned for about this very time, the Oblates
New building In those early years, under Father Tabaret and his successors the Catholic University of Ottawa, as it was sometimes called, grew and prospered. The main building on Wilbrod St. was enlarged; the academic program was revised to qualify students for liberal and scientific professions; scientific laboratories were developed and ranked
The Sandy Hill campus continued to grow. In those years between two world wars new buildings, faculties and schools were added. A faculty of canon law was added in 1929, the normal school in 1930, and a school of music in 1931 (now defunct). In 1933, the Ontario Legislature revised the University’s Civil Charter and the Pontificial Charter was revised the following year. Nursing (1933), a faculty of political science and one of library science (1936), were also added to the institution’s list of studies. Summer courses, correspondence courses and courses in experimental psychology were also introduced in those years. In 1942 the Guidance Centre was founded, and a school of medicine was formed at the university. The following year a school of pure and applied science was built, and the same year, the Ontario Government gave the University of Ottawa its first educational grant, for the faculty of medicine only. The precedent was set. Progress was not always in proportion to ambitions, efforts, hopes or sacrifices, but as the university celebrated its centenary in 1948 — billed as “100 years of catholic education” — the Oblates had great faith in God and the future. The University of Ottawa then consisted of five faculties and 12 schools and institutes, with ambitious plans. The construction boom began. The faculty of medicine was installed in a new building on Nicholas St. in 1950, and in 1956 the new faculty of arts building on Waller St. was opened. The science campus also began to emerge about this time. Electrical engineering (1957), chemistry (1958), and biology (1960) buildings began to round out the hopes for the future. The ecclesiastical faculties (sedes sapientiae) on Main St. were also constructed (1959). The drab grey buildings which in many ways characterize the University’s appearance started sprouting up over Sandy Hill. Embryo years In looking back over what might be themed the embryo years of the University’s growth, it is of interest to note some of the “claims to fame” which can be made. In 1879, the first bilingual alumni organization was formed; in 1884 the College of Ottawa boasted of being the first in America to utilize the incandescent electric light.
LFTA: A look at the issues that plagued the U of O in 1964 (continued)
Today Today in 1964 the university’s growth continues. A new residential tower is under construction, and there are even hopes for the success of the expansion program and fundraising program. The University of Ottawa now boasts of being able to offer almost a full cycle of courses. It has ecclesiastical faculties (theology, philosophy and cannon law); and civil faculties — arts, law, medicine, pure and applied science, and social science. There are also schools of nursing, psychology and education, library science and a high school. The school of graduate studies has some 20 departments. There are summer courses, extension courses, and correspondence courses. Eleven affiliated colleges are also included in the university’s organization, with four of them in Saskatchewan, one in Alberta, five in Ontario and one in Quebec. The total enrollment of the university is over 10,000. The character of the university continues to be bilingual. Courses are taught in both languages. The University of Ottawa is administered by the French Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and is the only bilingual university in Ontario. But what of the future?
17 | ARCHIVES
The University of Ottawa can become the symbol of Canadianism — living proof of the experiment of bi-culturalism that succeeded. It can be an example of Canada’s duality, the dream of Father Tabaret — realized at last. The Canadian nation is really going on trial every day in the lecture halls of this university, and the country cannot afford to have this experiment fail. Let Catholicism and its traditional “search for the truth” be the principle which will lead this university to its maturity. The University of Ottawa can be the bilingual university, in the bilingual capital, of a bilingual country, or it can be a small, second rate Catholic college in a small Canadian city. The choice will be made in the months and years ahead.
The answer to the dilemma lies not with the government’s policy, but rather with the university’s. Provincial grants are a necessity, unless the university is content to offer a second-rate Catholic education. But the solution is not secularization! This is a rash and unwarranted response to the problem which presents itself. The university’s Catholicism is an integral part of her essence and history, and not something that can be demolished quite so easily. Nor does the answer lie in watering down the Catholicism to the point where we try to dupe the government into believing we are no longer Catholic; we cannot change a few subjects, have religion courses no longer compulsory, and pretend the crucifixes aren’t on the walls. The solution however, is found in a realistic and common sense approach to Roman Catholicism at the University of Ottawa.
Fun facts about this article Peter Mandia, the Fulcrum’s editor-inchief in 1964 founded Hamilton’s Theatre Aquarius. He died in 1994. The “war barracks” mentioned in the story were part of the U of O’s efforts during World War II. After joining the war in 1939, the Canadian government tasked universities with assisting in the war effort, which led the U of O to build barracks and train officers The majority of U of O’s barracks were constructed to house some 400 members of the Canadian Women’s Army Corps Some staff members keep some salvaged materials from the barracks where their buildings were originally located In 1965, the Oblates relinquished administration of the University and it became a provincially funded secular institution. Contrary to what the original author stated, Assumption University still exists as a Catholic satellite university of the University of Windsor Technically, the author’s idea ended up coming true, as the Catholic University of Ottawa that he attended still exists as Saint Paul University. According to Saint Paul, they are the original U of O and the modern U of O was created in 1965
Re-organize The university must reorganize itself on a college basis, with the formation of a secular arts college which would offer a nondenominational education to any student desirous of it. On the other hand, the university would continue to offer a Catholic arts education in a Catholic college run by the Oblates. It would, of course, mean that the Oblates would have to relinquish some of their present control over the university, but essentially the Catholicism which of the very essence of the university will remain, unadulterated, within the confines of the college. But above all, what it will mean is that the Ontario government will give the university provincial grants; grants are given to the university as a whole, which is allowed to distribute them among its colleges as it sees fit, providing the university as such is not religiously affiliated. This is not what happened to Assumption which is now the University of Windsor. It doesn’t mean abandoning Catholicism, but rather changing the university’s structure to meet the needs of a changing country. Catholicism must not be the stumbling block to the future of the University of Ottawa, but rather its guiding light to a more realistic approach to education.
The university’s debt is mounting. Each year the Oblates of Mary Immaculate cover the ever-increasing debt; it cannot do this indefinitely. Expansion is needed, but the funds are not available. Any university’s main source of income is the provincial government, but the University of Ottawa’s professed Roman Catholicism prohibits its receiving its full share of the province’s educational grants. The question has been asked — who is wrong? Should Ontario change its policy on religious institutions and fill the U of O coffers? Or should the University of Ottawa give up its religious affiliation and become eligible for Queen’s Park funds? Or is there not another alternative? Ontario’s policy, and indeed the policy of all of Canada’s provinces with the exception of Quebec is quite clear; if the church wishes to run a university — let the church pay for it! Separation of church and state — a valued part of democracy — is the basis of the government’s refusal to support churchowned universities. In fact, the Ontario government has gone around this very policy by giving money to the science and medical faculties on campus; the reasoning is simply that it is difficult to teach Catholic physics
In this year of our lord, 1964, the University of Ottawa must re-examine its position as a university and a Catholic university. In the middle of the 20th century, no private organization can be expected to run a university unless it has unlimited funds. The Oblates do not. Without government subsidy, the university cannot provide its student body with the proper facilities, and indeed with a proper sound education. This is a problem which our institution must face. The facilities on the Sandy Hill campus are far from adequate. In the science and medical faculties, students are provided with all they need to become professional scientists and doctors because those faculties are supported by provincial grants. But in the field of the humanities, unsubsidized by government money, the university of-
Shortly, this university will be forced to decide its own future. If it chooses Catholicism as its spirit and changes its structure to a new and more realistic one, then it will be able to fulfill its role as a Canadian university and a Catholic one. If, however, the university decides to remain as it is, then Catholicism will be its shroud.
or biology. Yet there are those who feel, and with some justification. That the Ontario government should not have made that exception. But in the field of the humanities it is a different case. The legislature remains firm on its tight money policy, for a scrutiny of the arts curriculum certainly betrays the university’s catholicism. Anyone who is realistic cannot hope that someday the government will change its policy. We are the only religious university left.
fers little. The satisfactory, and top priority should be given to the construction of a Humanities Library. The university has no theatre school, and indeed no theatre. The academic hall is an elaborate lecture hall, but not a theatre for university drama. We lack a school of music; no liberal arts college is complete without offering a degree in music. Early in its history, in fact, up until the early fifties, the university did have such a school. At the time, it was demolished, they sold the piano and the space was cleared for the construction of the new law school which has never begun. In the realm of sports facilities and a social centre, the University of Ottawa is far behind every other institution of higher learning in Canada. All it can offer is one gym, the Minto, and two old houses for a student centre. These things are an integral part of a university education; yet this campus cannot offer them to its student body. Space is at a premium. Classes are being held in a converted liquor warehouse on Nicholas St.; the law school is on the fourth floor of the Arts Building; social science is in the Administration Building; domestic science is located in the old Arts Building on Waller St.; and even on the government supported science campus, classes are still being held in wartime barracks. Lists of other insufficiencies could be enumerated, but the point has been made. The University of Ottawa is desperately in need of money if it is to serve this country as a university, and serve the needs of its students. It is not fulfilling that role now!
From 1885 to 1892, the football team was six times Dominion Champions, often provincial and interprovincial champions, and, in fact, did a great deal to popularize the sport in Canada. However, on the other side of the ledger, it is probably one of the last universities in the country to have an established students’ council (early fifties) and an autonomous, uncensored student press (which occasionally seems dubious even today). Further, girls were not allowed admittance into the University of Ottawa until the middle of the last decade. In fact, the original charter states … “for the purpose of endowing a college for male education and for no other purpose whatsoever…”
Volume 81, Issue 8, MArch 8, 2021 Questioning, commenting, and insulting since 1942. Instagram: @instafulcrum | Facebook: The Fulcrum | Twitter: @The_Fulcrum
Charley “I’m a genius” Dutil Editor-in-Chief email@example.com Emily “I hate La Roto” Wilson Managing Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Bridget “Beneficiate” Coady Co-News Editor email@example.com Paige “I’m Bilingual” Holland Co-News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Aly “Anxt” Murphy Arts and Culture Editor email@example.com Amira “Ciao” Benjamin Features Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Siena “talk to you gays later” Domaradzki-Kim Associate Features Editor email@example.com Jasmine “Fleur de Lis” McKnight Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Hannah “I can’t do words today” Sabourin Science & Tech Editor email@example.com Dasser “Ottawa poutine sucks” Kamran Visual Director firstname.lastname@example.org Leyla “Ok perf” Abdolell Online Editor Online@thefulcrum.ca Jelena “Weezer Rocks” Maric Staff Writer email@example.com Sam “The kitchen sink” Coulavin videographer firstname.lastname@example.org Trevor “It’s a French thing” Oattes Editorial Intern email@example.com
The Fulcrum would like to thank: Brendan Keane Howard Lo Victoria Feng Cameron Lamoureux Beles Lezina
for their contributions to this issue.
Board of Directors
Justin Turcotte Kalki Nagaratnam Kate Murray David Campion-Smith Benjamin King Ryan Pepper Ngan Vu Thanh Le Brendan keane Danika McDonald
Cover: Dasser Kamran.
Torstar’s casino-based funding a reflection on the state of print-journalism Company behind Canada’s largest newspapers announced intent to start an online casino
orstar Corporation — which owns newspapers such as the Toronto Star and Hamilton Spectator — has embraced gambling, of all things, as a way to fund their operations. This development offers a sobering look at the realities of modern journalism and the shaky potential for the survival of print news.
In a press release published on March 1, Torstar revealed their plan to “provide a unique and responsible gaming brand,” ostensibly to get in on some of the $500 million spent on online gaming within the province. According to Paul Rivett, Torstar’s chair and co-owner, one of the goals of this project is to “support the growth and expansion of quality community-based journalism.” This is just one of many alternative funding models that are popping up in the news world. Models that have ranged from government grants and non-profit models to worker-owned media co-operatives and crowdfunding. While creating an online gambling platform is a unique answer to the issues faced in funding print media, it is important that we recognize the troubling questions that are inherent with such a design. Gambling is a highly addictive habit. At times, it can even go as far as to ruin the lives of those afflicted with addiction as well as their families. The high risk, high reward action inherent within the activity can affect our brains in ways
similar to drugs or alcohol. While a night at the casino or a game of poker are relatively harmless acts, it is important to remember that these games of chance are designed to manipulate our behaviour by stimulating the pleasure and reward systems in our brains. Whether Torstar’s efforts to create an online casino are justified is up to you. We would be remiss, however, if we didn’t discuss why print journalism is in such dire straits, and hopefully shed light on why media is more important now than ever before. It all started with the rise of the internet. To say that the journalism industry was caught off guard by the internet would be an understatement. It took just a few short decades for blogs and online forums to force open the iron-fisted grip that the news industry had held on current events. News went from being the sole domain of hard-nosed reporters to
a free and flowing online discourse where anyone could contribute. The advent of social media drove yet another nail in the coffin for print news, as now people could post information as fast as their fingers could type it. It didn’t take long for advertisers to notice the shift. The estimated revenue of American newspapers from advertising and product circulation dropped from over $42 million in 2006 to just over $14 million in 2018. For context, 2006 was just two years removed from the founding of Facebook in 2004. But the internet was not the only culprit in the slow death of print news. The 2008 recession brutalized the American newspaper industry, causing $20 million in losses from 2007 to 2009. This one-two punch of online competition and economic recession has left print media halfdead and clinging to life. While massive print publications like the Toronto Star or the New
York Times have weathered the beating, local c om mu n it y-fo c u s e d news brands have largely succumbed. Community newspapers now disappear with regularity in Canada, and this has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Larger newspapers now have to stretch themselves even thinner to try and cover these smaller communities. In addition to all of this, the media now serves a public that largely distrusts it, thanks in part to the “fake news” fiasco that was Donald Trump’s presidency. Only 52 per cent of Canadians claimed that they had “trust in news overall” as of 2019. The rise of disinformation has also eroded trust in the media, as the weaponization of filter bubbles, confirmation biases and echo chambers cause readers to reject information that does not fit their predetermined beliefs and ideologies. With all of these issues beating down on print
news, perhaps Torstar can be forgiven for embracing the potentially exploitative revenue that is online gambling. If their casino keeps the lights on in the newsroom and allows them to continue putting out honest journalism, then maybe that’s a good thing for the industry as a whole. The path forward for print news is incredibly unclear and may require a throw-it-at-the-walland-see-what-sticks approach. Still, it would be wrong to entirely let Torstar off the hook for their casino model. But, should print journalism survive to fight another day, we may have to avoid both condonation and condemnation. Editorials are written by the Fulcrum’s 13-person Editorial Board. To share your own views, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDITORIAL | 18