Volume 83, Issue 6

Page 1



(PP. 3) U of O secures funding for Indigenous health research

(PP. 3) uOSU: A look into the 2023-2024 General Elections

(PP. 4) Faculty of medicine remembers Abeera Shahid, MD 2024


(PP. 5) A 2023 guide to Ottawa nightlife for U of O students

(PP. 6) Review: Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)

(PP. 6) Catch me in the club: UOttawa Ski and Snow


(PP. 7) Gees fall to Sherbrooke in straight sets

(PP. 7) Gee-Gees hockey loses to the best team in the division

(PP. 8) Reflecting on the most impactful sports story in recent history


(PP. 10) Catch Me in the Club: Kelpie Robotics



Jasmine McKnight

Hailey Otten

Managing Editor

Sanjida Rashid

Graphic Designer

Kai Holub


Bardia Boomer



Social Media Manager

Noah Bailey

News Editor

Desirée Nikfardjam

Arts Editor

Victoria Drybrough

Sports Editor

Brandon Adibe

ScienceS & Tech Editor

Emma Williams

Features Editor

Bridget Coady

Opinions Editor

Matthew McConkey

Staff Writer

Grace Kim-Shin

News Associate

Yannick Mutombo

6, January 2023
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U of O secures funding for Indigenous health research

“The new Faculty of Health Sciences’ building and its academic programs embrace the strategic elements of the

On Nov. 24, the University of Ottawa (U of O) announced it had received a $2.5 million donation from the Bank of Montreal (BMO).

The donation will be combined with a $2.9 million investment from the U of O towards the reIMAGINE campaign and “help transform the future of learning and research in Indigenous health and health sciences” at the U of O.

Plans for the funds include the construction of a new faculty of health sciences building on Lees Avenue, and the establishment of a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Health.

In a statement to the Fulcrum, Lucie Thibault, dean of the faculty of health sciences, said that the funds are a welcomed investment for increasing research capacity within the faculty.

“BMO’s investment into the faculty of health sciences and into the new building at 200

Lees is very much appreciated and will further enable and enhance our teaching, learning, and research focusing on Indigenous health from multiple perspectives in the faculty’s five schools: interdisciplinary health sciences, human kinetics, nursing, nutrition sciences, and rehabilitation sciences.”

“All students will benefit from this generous donation from BMO in the environment that is created to foster learning and research that aims to improve the lives, well-being, and health [of] all Indigenous people and communities.”

Thibault added that the newly-announced health sciences building and focus on Indigenous health research aligns with the U of O’s Indigenous Action Plan.

“In particular, hoops 2, 3, and 4 are key to our new spaces. Hoop 2 addresses faculties, departments, and programs: Indigenous curriculum and research development; hoop 3 deals with the physical space: aesthetics infusion, inclusion, and

improvement; and hoop 4 comprises Indigenous community: internal and external engagement.”

With regards to the appointment of a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Health, Thibault said a wide call for experienced Indigenous scholars will be made this

findings with all, including Indigenous communities. The successful candidate will also be responsible to teach, supervise, and mentor students in the field of health sciences and health research amongst Indigenous communities.”

In a statement posted to the U of O web-

search and in its relationship with communities.”

U of O Chancellor and member of BMO’s Indigenous Advisory Council, Claudette Commanda, presented a commemorative Thunderbird blanket to BMO to show appreciation for the renewed partnership. In addition, the

year, and the successful candidate will play a major role in supporting future health professionals.

“The successful candidate will be responsible for research into Indigenous health and to share their research

uOSU: A look into the 2023-2024 General Elections

site, vice-president of external relations, Jacline Nyman, said the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Health “demonstrates how uOttawa is taking action to pursue a path to indigenization in its courses, curricula, re-

atrium of the new health sciences building will be named the “Coeur Communautaire BMO |The BMO Social Heart.”

“The UOSU executive wants to ensure that the next Executive Committee is set up for success.”

On Jan. 9, the University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU) announced the upcoming general elections for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Students may run for positions on the

UOSU Executive Committee and Board of Directors, as well as the University of Ottawa (U of O) Senate and U of O Board of Governors.

While the nomination period began on Jan. 16, candidates will kick off their campaigns on Feb. 19, and voting will

take place between March 5 and March 9, 2023.

In a statement to the Fulcrum, current UOSU president, Armaan Singh, said he is hopeful the elections will occur according to plan and that the outgoing executive team members will provide support to successful

candidates as they find their footing within the organization.

“We hope that the UOSU general elections go smoothly, with candidates who present their visions for their student union and how it can best represent student interests and priorities. All

members will be preparing comprehensive transition reports for their successors, we will plan group and bilateral transition meetings between the outgoing and incoming Executive teams, and line up the appropriate trainings, presentations, and workshops for the incoming Ex-

Yannick Mutombo Yannick Mutombo The newly-announced health sciences building and focus on Indigenous health research align with the U of O’s Indigenous Action Plan. Image: Bardia Boomer/The Fulcrum.

ecutive team.”

The 2022-2023 academic year has been a tumultuous one for the student union, with controversy surrounding the Fall General Assembly, and a high turnover rate within the association representing the U of O’s more than 30,000 undergraduate students. As of Jan. 18, two of

the executive positions are listed as being vacant on UOSU’s website.

Despite these challenges, the UOSU Executive Committee remains dedicated to students, according to Singh.

“We fought against tuition increases, and continually advocated for the student interest to

our university administration and our provincial and federal governments. We continued to ensure that the Union was providing a wide range of high quality, accessible, and relevant services to students and chances for them to volunteer and contribute to positive change within our university community.”

“We successfully planned the first in-person 101-week since the outbreak of the pandemic, with student safety and efforts to reignite student life at heart. We continued to ensure that student funds were used to empower

Faculty of medicine remembers Abeera Shahid, MD 2024

students, that our health and dental insurance was being expanded upon to best serve students, and that we continued to create more well-paying jobs for students.”

In addition, Singh mentioned steps were taken to improve how the union operates.

“Within the union, we undertook several reforms to ensure that the organization is partaking in equitable practices and that it has a robust and democratic governance structure.”

With regard to prospective candidates,

Singh encourages students to do their research before they apply.

“I would advise that all students who are interested in running in the general elections check the constitution of the UOSU to ensure that they are fully aware of the parameters of each mandate and understand what the role entails.”

More information on the General Elections can be found on their website.

“She was loved by her research team…, front-line workers and people with lived experience who were grateful for her commitment, her listening skills, and her advocacy.”

On Jan. 10, the University of Ottawa (U of O) announced the passing of Abeera Shahid, MD 2024.

Shahid obtained a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) in Global Health from McMaster University, and had been a student at the U of O’s faculty of medicine since 2020. She was passionate about social justice and supporting marginalized communities.

Through the faculty’s Medical Student Summer Research Program, Shahid worked as a research assistant at the Bruyère Research Institute during the summers of 2021 and 2022, continuing her work during her academic years.

Under the supervision of Dr. Claire Kendall, associate dean of social accountability at the faculty of medicine, Shahid and fellow researchers from the MAP Centre for Urban

Health Solutions examined the level of support provided to Toronto encampment residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Abeera sought a career as a public health physician, as she believed this is the way [she’d] have the greatest impact on population equity. She was an exceptional young person with the personal and societal insight and leadership to improve the lives of marginalized communities,” wrote Dr. Kendall.

She continued, “[Abeera] was loved by her research team…, frontline workers and people with lived experience who were grateful for her commitment, her listening skills, and her advocacy.”

Prior to her studies in medicine, Shahid travelled extensively to countries like Senegal, Australia, and Kenya, where she accumulated relevant work experience in public health, global research, and advocacy. In addition, she enjoyed

blogging, hiking, and writing poetry in her spare time.

A statement on the GoFundMe page created by Shahid’s family reads, “She was the light in all our eyes and a precious daughter, sister, and friend to many. Our family is grateful for all the support we have received during this difficult time.”

The donations will contribute to Sadaqah Jariyah, “a gift that not only benefits others in

this life but also benefits us and our loved ones in the next,” in Shahid’s honour. The family plans to “eternize Abeera’s deeds by providing education to others.”

In light of Shahid’s passing, the faculty of medicine encouraged staff and students to surround themselves with friends and family, and to rely on available support such as counselling from the Student Affairs Office (SAO.)

Students may also contact the 24/7 Crisis Line or Good2Talk outside of SAO working hours. The U of O held a celebration of life for Shahid on Jan. 19.

Yannick Mutombo Prior to her studies in medicine, Shahid travelled extensively to countries like Senegal, Australia, and Kenya. Image: CA Creative/Unsplash. UOSU President Armaan Singh said he is hopeful the elections will occur according to plan. Image: UOSU/Provided.


A 2023 guide to Ottawa nightlife for U of O students

Where to find the best drinks, music, and vibes in Ottawa

Some people think Ottawa is a boring city. Here at the Fulcrum, we disagree.

If you know where to look, Ottawa has a number of great spots for students on a night out. It’s important to consider that bars, clubs, and their reputations change — we published an article similar to this one in 2016, and while most of the places on our list are new, it seems one bar is a repeating favourite among U of O students.

Read on to see some of the Fulcrum’s current writers’ thoughts on Ottawa’s best places for a night out.

The Show

The Show is one of those places that you either love or you hate. You can’t go too often, or you’ll grow to absolutely hate it. Although, it is probably the closest thing that you will get to a true club experience in downtown Ottawa. No matter what anyone says, we think it’s worth experiencing The Show at least once or twice, especially if you’re a new student in Ottawa. It’s located fairly close in the ByWard market, so if the line gets too long, you can always check out the other bars nearby.

Let’s just say everyone and their mother is at The Show — so consider yourself warned if you

don’t want to see anyone and just want a fun girls night out. If you want to run into your ratty ex and the girl he told you not to worry about, go to The Show. Luckily, the main bar is pretty big, so it’s never too hard to get a drink, and the dance floor is always a good time… when you’re not being hit on by random, middle-aged men. In conclusion, I’ve never left The Show sober or tearless. I’ll catch you there next weekend.

Lieutenant’s Pump Lieutenant’s Pump is a popular pub located on Elgin Street. I would say that Lieutenant’s Pump is very comparable to Heart & Crown in ByWard; they give off

reminds me of a tavern — the ceilings are super low, and there are lots of twists and turns. The good thing about this is that there are plenty of bars to choose from and plenty of seating. If you ever get to go during the summer, the patio is always fun. Although Lieutenant’s Pump is always a good go-to for a night out, the line tends to get pretty long. If you want to skip the line, it might cost you a twenty. And don’t even try flirting your way in with the bouncers — this isn’t The Show. Elgin Street is also home to Happy Fish, which is conveniently right across the street if you’re looking to barhop.

Heart and Crown

end shenanigans, you are guaranteed to have a good night at Heart and Crown. The student-loved Irish Pub often features live music, with genres ranging from country to classic rock. Here, you can finally put to good use all of the classics you grew up singing with your dad. This is also not one of the ByWard Market’s typical pubs — Heart and Crown consists of not one, not two, but five different bars under the same roof. You’ll never have to wait very long for that first drink before hitting the dance floor. If you’re looking for some fun on a Friday night, Heart and Crown truly is the best place to be and will leave you counting

Blue Cactus Bar and Grill

The perfect place for strawberry margaritas and a good night out with friends, ByWard Market’s Blue Cactus Bar and Grill is at the top of everyone’s list. Located in the heart of the Market, the bar features all-day happy hour snacks and an extensive cocktail menu. This spot is famous for its ten-dollar triples, making it one of the best deals a student can find for drinking with a budget. Upbeat music, enthusiastic servers, and prime location make it both a good stop before beginning your night of barhopping or clubbing in the Market, or the perfect place to celebrate the end of a hard semester.

the same vibes, and you’ll probably get lost in both.

The inside of Lieutenant’s Pump is pretty big and

Whether it’s the stage calling your name for Wednesday night karaoke or your typical week-

down the days until your next night out. We’ll see you there next weekend!

Pub 101

If you can’t decide between wanting to spend a night out dancing

Victoria Drybrough, Mackenzie Metson, and Sophie Long Bardia Boomer/Fulcrum.

or sitting down chatting with friends, Pub 101 is the place for you. The first two floors have tables, but the top floor is open for dancing. Each floor also has its own bar. Right at

the edge of the ByWard Market, Pub 101 fills up on weekends, but won’t have you waiting in line all night. Out of all the places in the Market, this one has what I consider to be

the best music. For the most part, it’ll be a night of 2000s hits, so if that’s your style, you’ll definitely enjoy yourself.

Even in just the last few years, the places

Review: Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)

A visual spectacle with a forgettable story

If there’s one word I’d use to describe Avatar: The Way of Water (2022), it’s blue. This movie utilizes the full spectrum of blues, both in character design, setting, and story.

The long-awaited sequel to the box-office-breaking first Avatar (2012), Avatar: The Way of Water is a true testament to what CGI can do. But it might not be all it’s cracked up to be.

The 2022 sequel follows Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), and their five

children, two of whom they adopted, including the child of the late Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang).

They’re still rebelling against the Resources Development Administration (RDA) on Pandora, until a clone of the Colonel is sent on a mission to quash these rebellions by capturing two of their children. Forced to run away, Jake and Neytiri seek refuge for the remaining kids at the Metkayina reef. They are granted asylum, but it’s not long before the fight finds them, forcing them back into the fray one

more time.

To say the visuals are amazing is an understatement. Unlike the first Avatar, the CGI movement isn’t nauseating to watch, meaning there’s more enjoyment in watching the Na’vi and the newly introduced Metkayina. The colours are vibrant, but not overpowering, still making it an aesthetically pleasant watch. The film feels fluid and less clunky, leading to a more comfortable experience.

The plot is unfortunately where the movie falls flat. Filled with overt themes of anti-whaling and anti-forestry, The

Catch me in the club: UOttawa Ski and Snow FIRST FULL SEASON SINCE PANDEMIC

If you are looking for a fun activity this winter season, then the University of Ottawa’s Skiing and Snowboarding club might just be for you.

Founded in 2011, the UOttawa Ski and Snow Club’s mission is to bring students together in enjoying the thrill of the sport.

“We are really just here to have a good time and meet new people, ski and hang out,” said club executive, Matt Cottam.

This winter season, UOttawa Ski and Snow kicked off their first full season since the COVID-19 pandemic. In their full return, there has

been nearly a threefold increase in student interest, and the club is running more buses than ever before.

If you’ve been hunting for a fun activity this winter season, then look no further. The club tackles the slopes of Mont Tremblant every Sunday until mid-April. With busses filled with both U of O and Carleton University students, the winter club strives to build a sense of community amongst uni-

versity students, and sets aside the sports rivalry between the schools when hitting the slopes. From the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., the club allows students to take a break from their school work, meet new people, and explore our very own winter wonderland.

The annual Snowbutter weekend is the winter sports club’s biggest event. Taking place in late January, with a twonight stay in a Mont Tremblant Village, it is definitely

to be and to be seen in Ottawa have changed — bars rise and fall, and clubs can be full one weekend but empty the next. If your favourite spot isn’t on this list, consider yourself

Way of Water does not understand nuance. Director James Cameron lacks trust in his audience to understand his shallow messages, resulting in an (almost) eye-roll-inducing amount of pro-environmental themes. While the message is well-meaning and definitely deserves to be highlighted, across three hours, it becomes a bit much. The second act of the film also slows to an unbearable halt, making the viewer blue, which is thankfully saved by a bombastic third act full of action. The underlying messaging of the struggles of

ahead of the curve. Maybe next year, we’ll have a whole new list of hot spots.

people displaced by conflict adds nuance to Jake Sully’s heavily criticized character, moving him a bit further away from the white saviour narrative that was so prevalent in the original.

If you were a fan of the original Avatar and are looking for a good weekend movie, The Way of Water is a decent way to spend an afternoon or evening. But try and see it while it’s still in theatres to fully experience this visual treat.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

a weekend you won’t want to miss. With growing interest, the club is eagerly awaiting the multi-day trip.

Promoting a welcoming atmosphere geared towards enjoying skiing, snowboarding, and all that the winter weather has to offer, the club is open to all members of all levels of experience, whether you’re a seasoned skier or are just starting out.

“We are very committed to keeping

an open, friendly atmosphere, no matter your ski level,” said Cottam.

For those who are interested in tackling the Tremblant hills, the club encourages all new and returning members to follow their Instagram (@uofoskiandsnow) and to sign up through the link in their bio. The details on pricing, including membership fees and lift tickets, can also be found through the same link.

For the 2022-23 year, Cottam states that the UOttawa Ski and Snow club is “looking forward to a full ski and snowboard season for the first time in a long time.”

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Mackenzie Metson


Gees fall to Sherbrooke in straight sets

Gee-Gees volleyball record falls to 3-8 after loss to Vert et Or

150 fans braved the cold and found a way to Montpetit Hall to show their support for the Gee-Gees women’s volleyball team, despite the elements. The fans who made it out were quickly treated to an entertaining first set.

The set, which saw the Gees start off serving, began with some good hitting, forcing Sherbrooke’s libero Ariane Fortin-Haines to make a couple of huge digs to keep the set close. Those digs led to points for Sherbrooke, which helped them get out to an 8-5 lead.

This was the moment Nicole Hildebrand caught fire with serves.

Hildebrand helped the Gees get three points in a row. On the fourth serve, though, Sherbrooke changed their strategy to protect Sophie Tremblay, who was having a rough time receiving Hildebrand’s serves. This worked in their favour as they stopped the run and regained the lead in the process, making it 9-8 for the Vert et Or.

Ottawa kept the momentum up, amplified when Denae Bristow had a huge stuff at the net to put the Gees in the lead 11-10. The team would then widen their lead to 13-10 before Sherbrooke brought it closer at 16-14. After Sherbrooke made a pinch server substitution, they got back in the set. Although Bristow was still being a force on the attacking end,

it was Shebrooke’s middle blocker, Marianne Boucher, who began to heat up, getting a block and a kill back to back to bring the set level at 17. The Vert et Or would score one more before U of O elected to use a timeout. However, the timeout was not enough to slow down the trajectory of Sherbrooke in the set, as they would go on to win the opening set 25-22.

The second was much tamer, with Sherbrooke controlling the set all the way through. However, the Gees did bring it close in the middle of the set at 15-13 with significant contributions from middle Janae Mckay and Avery Hughes. Sherbrooke added to their lead, bringing the score to 20-16, when they decided to

Gee-Gees hockey loses to the best team in the division

Gees fall 3-1 to hot UQTR team

On Saturday afternoon, the University of Ottawa men’s hockey team played host to the Université du Quebec Trois à Rivières Patriotes (UQTR). UQTR is one of the hottest teams in all of U Sports, coming in on a seven-game winning streak. The Patriotes also sit top of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East division.

The team from Trois Rivieres started the game well defensively, as they made it tough for the Gees to get clean entries into the offensive zone,

swap their setters.

Emma Bergeron, who had 23 assists in this contest, was subbed off for Emilie Dumetz, who was making her homecoming return as an Ottawa native in front of friends and family. Whether it was jitters or a bit of rust off the bench, Dumetz had an unfortunate start, with her first touch being a double touch, then a pass went array. However, she would sort it out by getting an assist and then an ace to seal the second set for the visitors.

In the third set, it was the Langevin and Bristow show with great sets and deadly kills. The set was hotly contested and was tight up until it was 15-14 for the away team. Sherbrooke would go on a four-point run, which was

capped off by a ferocious jump serve by Camille Theriault down the line and went untouched. The Gees would push to make a late comeback, bringing them within three, however it was too little, too late, as the Vert et Or would win the match and take the Gees down in straight sets.

The Gee-Gees can hold their heads high knowing they were in every set of this game, and they can definitely be proud of performances from Bristow, who had a game-leading 11 kills and Langevin, who tallied 29 assists. The team will look to cause an upset on the road against the top team in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ), the University of Montreal.

Brandon Adibe Brandon Adibe Image: Bardia Boomer/Fulcrum.

even on the penalty kill. They also would get the first quality chance of the game, which came on the powerplay after Jean-Robin Mantha took an interference call. The Patriotes rang one off the post from a point shot.

Right after the penalty expired, the GeeGees had a breakaway, but it was denied on the backhand attempt.

With just over a minute left in the first period, the Gees took a cross-checking penalty, which UQTR capitalized on after a nice role out play giving them the advantage going into the break.

The second period started with another penalty, this time coming from defenseman Keenan MacIsaac for a hooking call. But this time around, the penalty kill unit would kill it off.

Later in the second, the game started getting a bit chippy, with both teams making it a point of emphasis to finish their checks, which caused a flurry of bodychecks in quick succession.

The period also included three great saves by the goaltender of the night, Jean-Philippe Tourigny, who kept the score tight.

With so many checks, it was bound for one to get disciplined, and it was Mantha once again who would head to the sin bin, this time for a boarding call. It was once more nullified by the team.

Late in the second, the Gees got a golden opportunity on a two-on-

one, where Justin McRae tucked it home on the feed from Nick Bowman. This gave life to the GeeGees, as they went into the break tied up. Midway through the third, the Gees got a powerplay of their own and almost got the goahead goal on a scramble in front of the net, but the puck stayed out.

With seven-anda-half minutes left in the frame, the Gees would take a too-many-men pen-

alty, giving the lethal powerplay of UQTR another chance with the man advantage. They would score with 6:19 left in regulation.

The Gees would try to get the tying goal late after they called a timeout in the offensive zone with 20 seconds left and their goalie pulled, but it would be UQTR who scored the next goal, as the puck got cleared down the ice from their own face off dot into the net, put-

Reflecting on the most impactful sports story in recent history


Almost every household on the first Monday of 2023 had one of two things playing (for some of us, both.) The first option: the incredible performance by Team Canada at the World Juniors.

The second option: Monday Night Football.

The Buffalo Bills were suited up in Cincinnati to face the Bengals. There were many layers of hype to the game: the AFC playoff picture, star

young quarterbacks Josh Allen and Joe Burrow going head to head for the first time, and the finale of Monday Night Football for the 2022 regular season. It was sure to be a thrilling, unpredictable matchup.

Perhaps you were on the couch with your family, or snuggled in bed with your laptop. Maybe you had some buddies over for drinks, or were out at the bar to watch.

Regardless of your situation, the same shock, confusion, and multitude of questions likely came to your mind.

Just a few minutes into the game, Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed after a hit. The field was rushed by team trainers, first responders, and an ambulance. For ten minutes, everyone watched a terrifying scene as Hamlin was receiving CPR, and the cameras panned to players with indescribable expressions on their faces.

What began as the biggest game of the NFL season had quickly transformed into something much greater — a collective moment of hope for Damar Hamlin’s health

and safety. Immediately following Hamlin’s collapse, players from Buffalo and Cincinnati mutually agreed to halt the game. The response to this decision was generally warm. Notably, many Twitter users offered their support and encouragement for the Buffalo Bills’ safety, with all 32 NFL teams changing their profile picture to the same image of Hamlin’s jersey.

Following the cancellation of the game, the global response to Hamlin’s situation continued. One of the more no-

ting the game to bed.

The Gees would drop their next match; meanwhile, UQTR stayed hot, winning their eighth in a row, firmly solidifying their place at the top spot in the OUA East division. UQTR have widened their cushion at the top of the division to five points over second-place Ontario Tech.

The Gee-Gees’ next game will be against Nippising at home on Friday, Jan. 20.

table developments was the support for Damar Hamlin’s personal charity, a toy drive he started named Chasing M’s. Prior to the Monday Night Football game, Chasing M’s had almost hit their GoFundMe goal of $2,500; currently, the charity has received almost 9 million dollars in donations. Damar Hamlin’s situation is undoubtedly the global sports story of the year. It represents a moment when everyone — both sports fans and non-sports fans — was able to come together and wish for the same thing.

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Matthew McConkey & Jasmine McKnight Image: Bardia Boomer/Fulcrum.

On Twitter, one of the more divisive platforms, many users were aligned in their hope for Hamlin’s safety.

However, some social media users were still quick to exploit Hamlin’s situation. Some claimed that the on-field collapse was not a direct result of the game; rather, it was caused by the COVID-19 vaccine. The unfortunate nature of these anti-vaccine claims is that they promote harmful conspiracies and detract from what is actually important — Hamlin’s safety.

Other users exploited the situation by shifting the focus away

from Hamlin and towards the execution of the NFL’s schedule. Popular sports analyst, Skip Bayless, questioned the cancellation of the game, tweeting, “this late in the season, a game of this magnitude is crucial to the regular-season outcome.” Similarly, sentiments along these lines detract from what the actual focus should be.

Nevertheless, within the context of this 2022/23 NFL season, the Hamlin situation is a massive event in what has been a turbulent year for both the city of Buffalo and the Buffalo Bills. Prior to the season, a racially motivated shooting at

a Buffalo grocery store claimed the lives of 10 residents, and more recently, during the winter storm in Buffalo last December, 37 city residents passed away.

This season has been anything but easy for the Bills. But having positive updates about their teammate in Hamlin has definitely provided a boost for the team heading into the postseason. Hamlin has been active on social media, supporting his team, even stepping foot in the facility to see his teammates days before their first playoff game. Seeing positive updates have been wonderful, but

Hamlin is still focused on his recovery, and there is surely a long road ahead.

When Hamlin first woke up, he asked “did we win?“

The fact that we were all waiting to hear if he’d be okay, but the first thing on his mind was who won the football game really puts things into perspective.

While professional athletes like Hamlin live the dream of many, and every athlete can relate to the notion of putting everything on the line for the team and to win the game, there are risks, and there are tragedies behind the glory. We’ve

been reminded that Hamlin, like other athletes, is human.

This weekend the divisional round of the NFL playoffs begin. Perhaps the most notable game of the weekend is the Sunday (quasi) rematch between the Bills and the Bengals. The two teams look to face off again for the first time since their cancelled game in week 18. One of the highlights of this game is bound to be Damar Hamlin’s attendance for the first time since his collapse.

Damar Hamlin in the hospital following his on-filed collapse. Image: Damar Hamlin’s Twitter (@HamlinIsland).


Catch Me in the Club: Kelpie Robotics



What is a robot, really? No, seriously. I asked google this morning, and I got some mixed results.

Sources claim that at its core, a robot is a machine controlled by multiple programs and algorithms working together that allow it to carry out complex tasks. Others swear it’s a series of electrical components, like resistors and capacitors. But is a robot just the sum of its parts? Perhaps not, but rather a magnificent and fascinating nuanced interaction between both its code and components.

Robots are also famous for reasons beyond their engineering complexity, mainly because of a not-so-nice term, “killer robots,” that is largely associated with

the idea that robots will eventually rise up against us and kill everyone we love. This idea was partly inspired by movies like The Terminator and I, Robot, but why must we villainize robots? They can’t be all that scary (except you, Boston Dynamics dog, you are insane.)

Fears aside, the Fulcrum spoke with the University of Ottawa’s underwater robotics team to discuss the ins and outs of Kelpie Robotics and what’s next for them.

Who is Kelpie Robotics?

The team is broken down into four subteams including, electrical, mechanical, software, and business, however, leading the brigade is team captain (or chief executive officer) Juan Hiedra Primera, a fourth-year electrical engineering and computing technology student. With-

in the electrical sub-unit is Mohamad Ali Jarkas, a fourth-year electrical engineering student who is responsible for electrical systems design. Last but not least is Kaitlyn Dompaul, who is in their final year of computer engineering at the U of O and their first year at Kelpie Robotics.

The name Kelpie, explained by Ali Jarkas, is based on a water-shapeshifting spirit in Scottish folklore. It has also been described as a black horselike creature, able to adopt human form. Within said form, kelpie retains its hooves, leading to its association with the Christian idea of Satan ― not too far off from the killer-robot aesthetic.

Internal Structure

Much like Formula uOttawa, a lot of engineering involves breaking big projects into smaller

ones, hence the need for subteams within Kelpie. “This allows for people to focus on their particular tasks and encourages a multidisciplinary approach to engineering, which we strongly value,” said Primera.

Notably, the competition requires that they structure themselves like a company, and in all briefings, it refers to the team as “the company.”

Think of the team like a start-up company. “When it is first formed, its more permanent members must occupy a jack-of-all-trades type of role. When the company’s goals become more rigid, [its] members’ roles must become more specialized. After our first competition, we realized the importance of specialization and dividing the team into more organized subteams,” added Ali Jar-


How to build a robot for dummies?

Once you’ve organized yourselves and delegated roles, the next step is ideally building, no? Wrong. There tend to be a lot of conversations around the design table that need to happen next. Moving forward, engineering teams will work separately on individual parts, and then come together later to really build out the project ― this is all standard in terms of project design and implementation.

What sets underwater robotics apart from terrestrial robotics is the need for waterproofing and buoyancy. As Ali Jarkas put it, “this opens a whole new world of constraints. The first being electronics which don’t particularly enjoy being wet, which unfortunately, have been proven by kelpie team members by the use of the scientific method.”

“We need to ensure that all the parts are waterproof and it can stay dry and can still function. The enclosure should also be able to withstand the pressure of water,” added Dompaul.

The second is wireless communication which Ali Jarkas explained is much more complex over two different mediums (air and water). This is because radio waves attenuate, reflect, refract, and do a lot of other black magic stuff that exponentially increases the complexity of our system

Emma Williams Kelpie Robotics ROV Stefan Todorovic/Provided.

design (thanks electromagnetics.)

He continued, “a third constraint would be colour, since wavelengths are distorted the deeper you go. This means that any task requiring any kind of colour accuracy is instantly more complicated. In short, controls, communication, navigation, or simply just being submerged in water, adds a lot of extra complexity to the design process.”

A word of advice

for anyone looking to pursue engineering would be to accept challenges as they come, and in Kelpie’s case, “part shortages and supply line uncertainties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have been a regular issue for our team, and have led to some pretty tight timelines,” explained Primera.


According to Primera, “the MATE ROV International Competition

is an underwater robotics competition where teams from all over the world compete in making a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that can accomplish tasks meant to simulate real-world tasks.”

In previous years the tasks have been simulated maintenance of mechanical and electrical systems through stand-in parts, environmental assessments of mock plants and animals, and visual identification tasks.

Last year, the team struggled with “computer vision and autonomous movement tasks, as they require a lot of intricate sensors and camera systems to make sure we’re able to accomplish those,” he added. In terms of changes for the upcoming 2023 competition, the team is working on redesigning the entire assembly of their ROV and more accurate stabilization and control systems. If you’re

looking to get involved but aren’t sure, Dompaul says, “I wouldn’t say it’s exclusively for engineering students. We have a large and knowledgeable team that can help you get yourself sorted, get your tasks done, and lots of team collaboration!”

For more information about Kelpie Robotics, visit their website here.

Team Photo from left to right Stefan Todorovic, Juan Hiedra Primera, and back left to right, Jason Gonzalez Pulido, Mihir Jahki, Sebastian Larrivee, Ethan Bowering, Rikki Romana Stefan Todorovic/Provided.


The sexual politics of Netflix and chill

How much thought should you put into a movie you won’t actually be watching?

Dear Di,

Help! I have someone coming over to “watch a movie” or whatever, and I have no idea how to pick a movie to not watch. I know the first 20 minutes have to be entertaining enough for the dance of small talk as we get comfortable with each other, but it should also not be so entertaining that we genuinely get invested. Any recommendations?

Norah Maker

Dear Norah,

The movie choice for a hook-up is more important than people care to consider — we need a balance of not being so terrible or so great that it pulls focus. For such a situation, I typically advise sticking to 3 genres: action, rom-com, or horror.

For action movies, you should have an intense soundtrack and a quickly set-up plot, so that you can still follow if you miss an hour of the movie. I would say this is great for a situation where you may not know your partner that well and don’t want to leave room for awkward silence.

If you go the route of a rom-com, you can expect happy endings and lots of build-up. These may include more quiet moments of longing or a sex scene that makes you feel bored or gives you a chance to make a move.

And finally, if you go with a horror movie, you’ll have a reasonable cover story for burying your face into them. You can also expect the film to have scenes with heavy breathing for yours to blend into. The only drawback of horror films is the potential for jump scares to cut through and interrupt.

Get through some of your awkward small talk by choosing that movie together. Give them an idea of what genre you’d like and let them choose, and judge them on what they choose based on that information.

I wish you luck with this challenge.

12 thefulcrum.ca



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