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In this week’s issue... None of the above P.6 U of O student sues for the right to say all candidates suck
What’s up at the undercurrets festival? P.10 Reviews from different plays spanning many genres and ideas The sex(uality) issue P.13 How sexuality shapes us Basketball bounces back P.21 Men’s and Women’s teams win after tough losses at Capital Hoops
ADULT & YOUTH SESSIONS
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“I made my ex a powerpoint” P.26 Fulcrum column: So that’s how my life is going Safe and sexy P.28 “How do I get him to wear a condom?”
Anchal Sharma firstname.lastname@example.org (613) 695-0061 @anchalsharma_
SFUO general election 2018 unofficial results
Current VP finance Rizki Rachiq elected as 2018-19 SFUO president Graham Robertson Managing Editor
he unofficial results for the 2018 general election of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) are in, following voting from Feb. 7-9.
EXECUTIVE Incumbent vice-president finance Rizki Rachiq of the United slate has been voted in as president for the 2018-19 year with 2,826 votes. Solutions candidate Philippe Garcia-Duchesne received 2,660 votes. For vice-president operations, Axel Gaga (United) won with 2,762 votes, over Shannon Berry from Solutions, who received 2,536 votes. Paige Booth of United was elected to the position of vicepresident external with 3,351
votes, over Matthew Boulden of Solutions, with 1,931 votes. Caroline Lu (Solutions) is the newly-elected vice-president equity at 2,779 votes, over Leila Moumouni-Tchouassi of United who currently holds the position and received 1,391 votes, and Pamela Twagirayezu (independent) who received 1,027 votes. For the position of vice-president internal, Katie Zwierzchowski from Solutions won with 2,685 over Pamela Bader from United who received 2,391 votes. The new vice-president social is Faduma Wais of United, receiving 2,711 votes, over Adam Ha (Solutions), who received 2,606 votes. BOARD OF ADMINISTRATION Faculty of Social Sciences The newly-elected Board of Administration (BOA) representatives for the Faculty of Social Sciences are as follows: Omar Ahmadi (United, 783 votes), Junior Akat Akat (United, 742
votes), Jessy Azangi (United, 754 votes), Gabi Ghannoum (United, 738 votes), Rudolph Damas (Solutions, 901 votes), and Linda Lacombe (United, 778 votes). Faculty of Sciences For the Faculty of Sciences, the new BOA reps are Michel Antoun (480 votes), Priyanka Goel (United, 573 votes), and Victoria Ogden (Solutions, 518 votes). Faculty of Arts The new Faculty of Arts reps are Weays Ahmed (United, 293 votes), Sagal Dahir (United, 291 votes), and Brooklyn Patrick (Solutions, 293 votes), Telfer School of Management Salma Naser (United, 506 votes), Khalid Touijar (United, 385 votes), and Ifrah Yusuf (United, 348 votes) are the new Telfer board representatives. Faculty of Law, common law section Katline Racine of United was elected with 223 yes votes and 36 no votes. Faculty of Law, civil law section
Kevin Boyer of Solutions was elected with 117 yes votes and 11 no votes. Faculty of Engineering Rachel Harrison (Solutions, 466 votes), Hussein Hegazy (Solutions, 565 votes), and Ben King (Solutions, 513 votes) have been elected as Faculty of Engineering BOA reps. Faculty of Medicine Alexandra Birk has been elected to the board for the Faculty of Medicine with 72 yes votes and three no votes. Faculty of Health Sciences The new Faculty of Health Sciences reps are Alex Dam (Solutions, 355 votes), Maximilio Michelini (United, 324 votes), and Julia Kemzang (267 votes). BOARD OF GOVERNORS Saada Hussen received 1,645 votes for the undergraduate representative seat on the Board of Governors. SENATE Alex Harrison was elected to the Senate with 478 votes,
Rizki Rachiq was elected at 2018-2019 SFUO President.
over Mayur Tailor (344 votes). The following candidates were acclaimed to the Senate: Obay Albatnuni (Faculty of Engineering), David Gallo (Telfer School of Management), Paige Booth (Faculty of Social Sciences), Katline Racine (Faculty of Law, common law section), Emily Prieur (Faculty of Health Sci-
Photo: Anchal Sharma.
ences), Varis Gupta (Faculty of Medicine), and Tristan Lamonica (Faculty of Arts). REFERENDUM QUESTIONS Both referenda, to sponsor and help settle three refugee students at the U of O and create a new Racialized and Indigenous Student Experience Centre on campus passed.
SFUO among other student unions receiving anonymous sex toys
Incident likely an Amazon hacking scheme, says federation’s VP comms Graham Robertson Managing Editor
The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) is among other student unions in the country to receive mysterious anonymous packages of sex toys and other electronics, according to the federation’s vice-president services and communications Kathryn Leblanc. Last month, the Eyeopener, Ryerson University’s student newspaper, published an article saying that the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) has been receiving anonymous packages of miscellaneous goods, from random electronics to sex toys such as dildos and vibrators, since September 2017. The Eyeopener’s piece discusses that RSU had been receiving numerous packages, two per week at times, and that one ship-
ment even contained as many as six packages. In a statement to the Fulcrum, Leblanc shared that the SFUO has also been receiving similar packages for months, but not as frequently nor as many as the RSU. “Yes, the SFUO has received these mysterious boxes, with content ranging from cell phone chargers to sex toys. Not everything in the boxes are sex related; I’d say that the overall theme is that they are mostly electronics. We seem to have gotten way fewer boxes than other student unions mentioned in the Eyeopener’s reporting,” said Leblanc. The packages themselves have been arriving via Amazon delivery. Other student unions who have received such packages include those of Dalhousie, St. Francis Xavier, Wilfrid Laurier,
the University of Regina, and the University of Manitoba, according to the CBC. “We called Amazon and they won’t accept returns on these packages. Other student unions have learned the same thing about returns—Amazon won’t let you return a package from a third party seller (i.e. not Amazon) if you don’t know who shipped the package,” said Leblanc. The Eyeopener’s coverage notes that when members of the RSU tried contacting Amazon to find out who the sender of the packages was, Amazon refused to provide them with this information as it was a “privacy issue.” Leblanc believes that “this is most likely a hacking scheme related to Amazon and not an elaborate and costly prank on Canadian student unions.”
The Eyeopener at Ryerson University first broke the story of these anonymous packages.
Photo: Parker Townes.
NEWS | 5
U of O student sues government for fourth ballot option
David Rodriguez fighting for right to vote “none of the above” in federal elections ellie Sabourin
associate news editor In a Canadian federal election, you have a few choices for how you’d like to vote: you can vote for one of the running parties and candidates, you can spoil your vote, or you can choose not to vote at all. Second-year Faculty of Law, common law section student David Rodriguez is looking to add a fourth option: voting “none of the above.” According to Rodriguez, choosing to vote “none of the above” is different than spoiling your ballot, because you are demonstrating your dissatisfaction with the given candidates. “I learned about the option to formally decline ballots during the Ontario provincial elections many years ago. I always thought that there should be a similar option or mechanism during federal elections,” said Rodriguez. “However, it wasn’t until learning
more about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that I realized that the lack of such a mechanism can actually infringe on the rights of some Canadians.” Currently, there is no formal procedure for adding a “none of the above” option to the federal ballot. Instead, Rodriguez is suing the federal government under section 2B of the Charter of freedom of expression. His claim alleges that the Elections Act places “restrictions on democratic expression” and “prevents electors from officially expressing dissatisfaction with all of the candidates available to them in federal general elections.” Rodriguez filled his lawsuit this past November, so it is still very early in the process. “It’s possible that litigation may go on for years,” said Rodriguez. “At this moment the government’s counsel at the Department of Justice and
myself are waiting for a hearing date for a motion.” Although Rodriguez hasn’t had much help with the process so far, outside of what he has learned through his legal studies, he is hoping to set up a crowdfunding site in order to afford a small legal retainer who can review of his work so far. One of the main reasons that Rodriguez is hoping to gain traction with this initiative is to educate people on the level of dissatisfaction with the options on the ballot forms. “Most people don’t realize that the number of spoiled ballots and ballots left blank are not reported,” said Rodriguez. “Students should be aware that not voting can just as easily mean ‘any of the above’ as ‘none of the above.’” The process is ongoing and Rodriguez says that he is willing to take his case all the way to the Supreme Court.
Photo: CC,Alberto Garcia. Edits: Christine Wang.
U of O develops new partnerships with Chinese universities
Canada Learning Initiative in China subsidizes students studying abroad Eric Davidson editor-in-chief
While the University of Ottawa has been facilitating exchanges to China for years, such trips are set to see a boost with an injection of funds from both the Chinese and Canadian governments as part of the new Canada Learning Initiative in China program (CLIC). The first cohort of the CLIC program started up just last year, and includes many universities in both countries, including eight other Canadian universities. The CLIC program is seeing new levels of funding from what came before it, with the Ministry of Education of China giving money to incoming Canadian students. The program waives tuition fees, includes medical insurance, and features free housing on campus, as well as a monthly stipend. “It ends up not costing very much, or nothing to a stu-
The U of O is part of the new Canada Learning Initiative in China.
dent who wants to take part in going to China,” said Régine Legault-Bouchard, assistant director of the U of O’s international office. The Canadian government is also getting involved—after the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding about the project in December, Canada pledged $4.1 billion to support Canadians studying in China. Legault-Bouchard says there are different options for students who take part
in the CLIC program, from full exchanges to a summer group program. A third option is to take part in a research internships mostly in the science and engineering fields. “It allowed us to leverage the existing partners we had, but also create new interesting partners so that we could take advantage of the financing options,” she said, adding that through the program the U of O is partnering with top universities like Shanghai Jiao Tong.
Photo: CC, Paul Brennan, E Pluribus Anthony. Edits: Christine Wang.
Legault-Bouchard says that the program has seen modest participation so far, adding that the prospect of an exchange so far away can be daunting to students. “It needs a little bit of a promotional push to take off, but I’m thinking it’s going to gain in popularity over the years. I really feel like we’re at the age where internationalization is extremely important,” she said, explaining that “the soft skills that students develop while abroad are im-
mensely important now on the job market.” Per Legault-Bouchard, “CLIC is a good opportunity for a student that is interested in Asia, and that has a little bit less means, or who just wants to take the opportunity to do it.” Legault-Bouchard also says she would like to develop even closer academic ties with the U of O’s partners in China. “I would like to be able to develop double degree programs at the master’s level, and get that
6 | NEWS
financed by CLIC,” she said. “There are possibilities of growth.” Legault-Bouchard added that the university is working on another program outside of the CLIC program as well, like an intercultural and global competency certificate. “Basically, a student will be asked to complete certain activities—either going abroad, language courses, internships in an intercultural environment,” she said. “That’s in the works.”
Ryerson sharps container program offers a solution for diabetic students Michelle McNally
The Eyeopener Devan Moura seldom finds a place to safely dispose of the sharps from his insulin pump. Due to the lack of disposal containers on campus, the fourth-year business management student has always carried his used needles and glucose testing pricks in his backpack. “I don’t even bother looking for (a bin,)” he said. “I usually just pack them back in my bag and take them home for disposal.” The Sharps Containers Program, launched this week, hopes to provide a safe option for students like Moura to discard their needles. The six-month pilot has introduced 18 medical disposal units to the highestrisk washrooms in Kerr Hall, the Student Learning Centre, the Victoria Building and Eric Palin Hall. According to facilities management and development, the number of unsafely discarded needles, otherwise known as sharps, has been growing across campus. Stray needles are often found on washroom floors, in garbage bins and in bushes. Geeta Sharma, the director of environmental health and safety and risk management, says the Sharps Containers Pro-
gram will test if disposal bins are an effective means to lower the number of unsafely-discarded needles on campus. In an email to The Eyeopener, Sharma confirmed the university will determine if the disposal bins will become permanent at the end of the six-month pilot. “It is designed to help us assess if the containers will help us reduce the unsafe disposal of sharps, thereby reducing exposure to Ryersonians before deciding if this will be rolled out institutionally,” she wrote. “To that end, we will be closely monitoring the containers to see if they are being used and how often we have to replace the full bins.” Accessibility to public sharp containers remains an everyday issue for diabetics. Those with type 1 diabetes require a continuous intake of insulin, sometimes needing between three to five insulin injections a day. Afraa Mustafa, the communications director of Diabetes Canada Ryerson, hopes that the sharps disposal bins will stay for good. “I feel like we’re moving in the right direction in terms of awareness and accessibility, but just like many universities, we need to do more work to increase accessibility,”
she said. “I feel like this is something that should have been done a long time ago and something that should definitely stay permanent.” Moura was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2008 at 12 years old. Before he switched to an insulin pump, Moura was prescribed four injections a day. While he believes the campus bins will be useful for those taking insulin injectables, he says they will not change his own disposal habits. “I mean, the bins are nice to have I guess, but diabetics have been dealing with this kind of stuff their whole lives. We’re used to figuring out ways around it,” he said. “I feel like it won’t really change how I approach my diabetes on campus. I’ll probably keep packing my sharps back in my bag. It might come in handy a few times and I’ll end up using it.” Since the Sharps Container Program launched last week, Sharma says it received much praise by insulin users. “Since the program was launched, we have had multiple employees using needles for insulin commend the pilot project and have received numerous requests to install additional units closer to
A sharp disposal container in a Ryerson washroom.
them,” she said. “It’s great to hear feedback from students using the containers. To those concerned that the pilot could encourage drug abuse on campus, Sharma says the nearby safe injection site at 277 Victoria St. will facilitate the needs of drug users. Tanya Poppleton, the manager of Ryerson Security and Emergency Services, said in an email
Photo: Michelle McNally.
that the bins are focused on addressing medical conditions. “The bins are a means for services like security and community members with medical needs to safely dispose of these needles that are being left in garbages and flushed down toilets,” she said. “The purpose of these bins is to reduce the chances of being harmed by an exposed needle, so we be-
lieve they are effective in that manner.” While only in its infancy, Mustafa says that the program is an important factor in helping diabetics self-manage their condition. “It’s important that these individuals have accessibility and don’t have to hide it and can feel like the place where they spend most of their time, at university, have access.”
NEWS | 7
A&C EDITOR Ryan Pepper email@example.com (613) 695-0062 @pep_ryan
U of O student, synthpop musician Matt Radich releases new EP
Radich discusses recording process, good studios, pop music in Ottawa Ryan Pepper
Arts & Culture Editor
lectronic artist and University of Ottawa student Matt Radich, aka Townes, has released his third EP, available for streaming now.
Radich, a fourth-year management information systems and analytics student, has been making music as Townes since October 2015. His first two EPs—mainly synthpop affairs— were recorded in his bedroom, but for EP3 he made the move to a proper recording studio. Radich plays all the instruments on the album except the drums, which were done by
U of O student Mark Howells. That means Townes balances synthesizers, guitar, and vocals, in addition to writing the lyrics. The process for this EP was a bit different from his earlier ones, not just because it was done in a recording studio. He had access to better synths in the studio, and made use of multiple guitars. He admits his vocals are also a lot better. “I would just say the third one is a lot more refined than my first two. The first two were just, ‘Let’s get the projects out there, let’s just do them so I can start playing shows,’” said Radich. “3 had a lot more focus to it … I think (EP)3’s just a lot better.” “The quality of everything went up,” Radich added. The EP was recorded at Scoreboard Recordings, owned by Algonquin College graduates Bill Lepine and Will Brisebois. It
took three weekends to record the four songs, Radich said. Radich highlighted the first track on 3, “Can’t Do Much Better,” as his most ambitious track yet, with layered guitars, space-filling synths, and drums. The song, he said, was built from the ground up, with only a bass synth-line and a hook to begin with. It also avoids a simple verse-chorus pattern in favour of something a little more complex. The three other tracks bounce back and forth between guitar-centric songs and synth-heavy ones to keep listeners engaged. “Los Angeles Televangelist” is built around an infectious, distorted chord progression, while “What You Need” has slinky synth lines, pulsing chords, and a prominent drumbeat. EP closer “Tambourine” has a serious indie rock vibe to it,
with a lot of guitar. Townes stands out somewhat in the Ottawa music scene. Inundated with punk, hardcore, and metal, there aren’t a lot of pop or synthpop artists. He also performs solo, using an old sampling pad to fill in the studio sounds that are hard to replicate live. “There aren’t a lot of people who make music on the pop side of things in Ottawa,” Radich said. “When I do local shows, it’s usually a completely mixed bill.” Although his EPs are getting more ambitious, Radich doesn’t intend on making an album soon, saying that he can get the same traction with an EP as he thinks he would with an album. It’s also less of a time commitment for his listeners. EPs also allow Radich to experiment more, and it makes sure that he’s only including quality
Townes’ EP3 is available for streaming now. Photo: Felix Wong and Nicholas Wandel.
material, instead of fluffing out a full album. “I can release two EPs, four songs each, and I think getting two releases out of it is good,” Radich said. “If I put out one album, I feel it would have the
same amount of steam as one EP … I’m gonna keep doing EPs for the time being.” Townes’ EP3 is available on all streaming services, such as Spotify, Tidal, and a pay-what-youcan download on Bandcamp.
Colony VR gives glimpses of the future Little Italy business offers virtual reality adventures eric davison
Fulcrum Freelancer Colony VR, a local family-owned startup, is getting the jump on virtual reality, as the new technology rapidly enters the mainstream. The University of Ottawa is no exception to this expansion of VR technology. The new Learning Crossroads building is set to feature a VR studio, while the department of engineering has already hosted several workshops on the emerging technology. VR headsets won’t be replacing your television anytime soon, but options are starting to open up for those who want to get ahead of the curve. Among them is Ottawa startup Colony VR. Tucked away in a light industrial building on a Little Italy sidestreet, the unassuming space is now the premier spot for VR enthusiasts in the city.
Rebecca Johnston, one of Colony VR’s co-founders, explained that the business has several facets to it. The public access studio allows anyone to try out new VR tech at a reasonable price in what is essentially a 21stcentury arcade. As fun as it is, the fundamental goal of the business is to advance the young technology. “We host the VR Ottawa meetup group here—so that is essentially a discussion group intended to bring different VR enthusiasts across the entire spectrum to talk about VR,” said Johnston. “We discuss where it’s going and what its uses are while providing a community of support for different sectors where VR might be used.” Johnston explained that Colony VR also acts as a market testbed, analysing how different people interact with and understand the new technologies. “In some cases, we have
reciprocal agreements with content developers where we feed them back the user experience of their product, whether they have a sticking point or accessibility issues,” she said. “It’s all an effort to try and inform the content coming out.” Johnson stressed that virtual reality technology is still in its infancy, citing several challenges in its application that traditional software developers have been ill-equipped to deal with. However, she’s optimistic for the future of VR in education, believing that it can be a powerful tool for learning if applied appropriately. She highlighted The Body VR as an example of the power of VR in the classroom. “So you are actually a blood cell, and you go and literally float through a vein and go into a heart. Well, that’s a very different understanding of the system
A ‘Hex’ at Colony VR.
and the biochemistry involved,” said Johnston. “You can physically see the plaque and how its impeding flow. You can visualise the body in this magic school bus-type
Photo: Eric Davison.
environment.” While VR is still a far away from the cyberpunk future of science fiction, it is certainly worth giving it a spin now. The experience
is something truly unique, whether you are drifting lazily through the human circulatory system, exploring the deep sea, or blasting drones as a space cop.
ARTS & CULTURE | 9
Underground theatre takes centre stage Eclectic, experimental undercurrents festival runs until Feb. 17
Little Boxes Ever felt like you were alive but not really living, just watching life pass you by? If so, then this play may be for you. On the second day of its programming, the undercurrents festival showcased the world premiere of Little Boxes at the Arts Court Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 8. The 65-minute play, created by Gabrielle Lazarovitz and Brad Long and directed by Adam Paolozza, takes us into the passive suburban world of Paul (Carter Hayden) and Lauren (Gabrielle Lazarovitz), a young married couple who are faced with a moral dilemma following a traumatic accident behind the wheel. Little Boxes is centred around the car’s front seats, street lamps, and a pair of shoes found at the scene of the crash. The story is presented in little vignettes, jumping from fantasies of the future and nostalgic memories of the past to the horrifying reality of their present oversight. The swift shifts in mood and lighting are abrupt but not misplaced, echoing how the joys of Paul and Lauren’s younger years collide with the crippling anxiety of adulthood. The pair of shoes left at the front of the stage also do well to bridge the play’s theme of lost innocence, as well as the protagonists’ realization that they may resemble their loathed neighbors more than they realized. Young adult audiences can appreciate the nods to the Sega Genesis gaming console, high school crushes, and other references to relics from the past, as well as discussions on underemployment, student loan debt, and the housing crisis. That said, the play’s overarching motif of negotiating and reconciling the past with the present and future drew a crowd of both young and old on opening night.
As a whole, the undercurrents festival, produced by Ottawa Fringe, lives by its tagline: “Theatre Below the Mainstream.” Theatre connoisseurs and amateurs alike can appreciate the smaller, more intimate venues, affordable prices, drinks, volunteer staff, and innovative contemporary plays. Little Boxes runs at the Arts Court Theatre until the end of the festival on Saturday, Feb. 17. undercurrents has a new paywhat-you-can option for students with the presentation of a valid student card. —Candide Uyanze, Fulcrum contributor
The Pipeline Project The Pipeline Project is a powerful, emotional, and educational performance that will leave you with a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the context surrounding the British Columbia oil pipeline projects. The play features three people who come together to work on a group project: two Indigenous people and a white man. The conversation moves to land claims and, soon enough, the tension can be cut with a knife. The Pipeline Project uses a combination of short vignettes, video clips, music, and monologues to guide the audience through the complicated issue of pipelines. The Indigenous characters, Kevin and Quelemia, slowly introduce Sebastien, the white character, to their culture and belief systems, which he struggles to understand. He, on the other hand, is righteously proud of his environmentalism but cannot understand why Kevin, Quelemia, and their First Nations communities are not willing to share their land with pipeline projects. All three characters have their flaws, and struggle to reconcile their values of
10 | ARTS & CULTURE
A rehearsal for Little Boxes.
culture, community, and environmentalism with the big trucks, Styrofoam take-out containers, and other conveniences of modern life. From the opening scene, each character admits their faults, allowing the audience to be open to addressing topics like unceded territory in B.C., residential schools and colonialism, oil spills, and consumerism. In short, informative scenes, the three characters explain the historical background of B.C. and its original people. The only flaw was that the performance would definitely appeal more to a British Columbian audience. Their examples were always B.C.-specific and were sometimes hard to understand if you were not familiar with the province. It would be even more relevant to the undercurrents audience if they offered some examples from Ontario as well. This is a small criticism, however, for an otherwise beautiful performance.
Photo: Pascal Huot.
The play doesn’t solve the issues of pipelines, and you will walk away feeling conflicted, but this is a tribute to the performers’ expertly crafted scenes that leave no topic untouched. —Janoah Willsie, staff contributor The Twilight Parade Among the more avantgarde pieces at this year’s undercurrents, The Twilight Parade is part video, part live performance, starring eight voice actors and a cast of papier mȃché puppets. The play was a community project. The puppets were built by the people of Wakefield, Quebec, and the piece was designed and performed by STO Union, a theatre group based in the Outaouais region. Given the themes of community in the video, the method of its creation was fitting. The main character is Darmagon, a dragonlike fairy. He lives with his family in a cloud-like world, and their only goal
is to collect the love of humans and spin it into silvery chains to hold up their world. Eventually, Darmagon discovers that his father is a human bartender, and so he travels to the human world to meet him. Darmagon soon finds a world lacking in love, and full of racism, anger, and megacorporation privatization. This is where the play runs into issues. At one point in the bar, Darmagon claims that he will make everyone fall in love so as to return home. That premise is quickly dropped in favour of a heavy-handed tale of racism and the dangers of privatization. The video wears its politics on its sleeve, and it’s sometimes obnoxiously on the nose. You get lines such as, “Well, what did you expect when you voted small government?” that are far too obvious. By the time ‘white man’ is hurled as an insult, it seems more cheesy than powerful. In a way, the play has
two different endings—the adventure in the human world ends when townspeople tear down the wall built around their well by the mega-corporation. The second, more fulfilling ending, is back in the fairy world, when Darmagon has the freedom and respect that he craved, free to travel to the human world looking for love to spin into beautiful threads. Those plot issues aside, there is a lot to praise in The Twilight Parade. The voice actors are incredibly talented, making each puppet a unique character, and the videography was charming and easily sucked you into this fairytale adventure. Overall, this is a unique adventure and experiment in puppetry that pushes the limits of an analog way of doing things that is anything but outdated. —Ryan Pepper, arts & culture editor Coverage of undercurrents festival will continue until Feb. 17.
Development Student Association hosts night of art, advocacy Event analyzed intersections of art and international activism eric davison
Fulcrum Freelancer Last week, the International Development and Globalization Student Association (AEDSA) at the University of Ottawa celebrated Canada’s International Development Week, and found a way to incorporate art into their education. Initially launched by the Department of Global Affairs, the initiative seeks to draw attention to Canadian contributions to peacekeeping and humanitarian missions abroad. As part of a series of events leading up to their Feb. 9-10 weekend conference, the association hosted an art performance, seeking to explore the connection between art and international advocacy. The event explored a diverse range of issues including racism, socioeconomic subjugation, populism, slacktivism, and language rights through an equally diverse spread of mediums, from videog-
raphy to poetry. While many of the week’s events focus on the technical aspects of international development, the Art for Development night instead sought to put development into a broader frame of social justice and the human experience. “We are exploring the ways people can use art for advocacy and development, but also for other social causes. So, we have people discussing mental health, people using poetry to express their own advocacy,” said Nicole Johnston, a third-year international development student and vice-president of academic affairs for the association, who is spearheading the International Development Week events on campus. “It’s a bit more alternative and not as directly related (to international development) which is something we haven’t really done before.” All the pieces on display brought a different lens
to social justice and international development. A short documentary looked at a student’s role in bringing art and music to Far North communities, while other pieces were much more avant-garde. Of particular note was a video that explained the double-edged sword of social awareness. Using a unique animation style resembling a watercolour painting, the artist criticised the complacency of online awareness campaigns while acknowledging the utility of public awareness in advocacy. Victor Pelletier, a thirdyear anthropology student at the U of O, performed a series of French-language spoken word pieces, focusing on his experiences with the relationship between one’s physical environment and overall mental health. “I try to talk about talk about all of these elements, to combine them in my poetry. One of the pieces I created called “F.C.U.K” was
Art for Development took place on Wednesday, Feb. 7.
originally for a class in CEGEP, and in it, I wanted to talk about mental health, the environment and society,” said Pelletier. “Poetry and the spoken word can do a lot to explain things that are not really possible in other ways.”
Photo: Jean-Luc Ducamp.
Understanding where different social issues intersect is imperative to come up with practical and comprehensive solutions for tackling social inequality. AEDSA’s Art for Development Night invited participants to shed tradi-
tional understandings of advocacy and international development in pursuit of a different and expanded meaning. The success of the night has inspired organizers, who hope to host similar art-centric events in the future.
ALBUM REVIEW: Justin Timberlake • Man of The Woods | 9/10
fulcrum contributor Justin Timberlake is known for his eclectic music style stemming from his days with NSYNC, and then pushing the boundaries of pop with FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006), and the illustrious 20/20 Experience (2013). Man of The Woods, released on Feb. 2, encapsulates a wide range of elements, from his signature pop style to the heavy roots of southern soul and country. The album opens with the electronic track “Filthy” in which Timberlake repeatedly exclaims, “If you know what’s good” while the backdrop of an anticipated buildup leads the song to a masterful fusion of sounds. On tracks such as “Midnight Summer Jam” and “Sauce,” Timberlake profusely combines elements of old-soul funky guitar riffs with homages to his Tennessee roots. “Y’all can’t do better than this/Act like the South ain’t the shit,” he sings over a fast electronic beat on “Mid-
night Summer Jam.” Though he gravitates towards his southern roots (there is a harmonica over the drum beat), “Midnight Summer Jam” feels reminiscent of the sounds on his 20/20 Experience album. After the barrage of electronic sounds, the album then transitions into a nature-inspired vibe, which is essentially the foundation of the album itself. The sounds of acoustic guitars, campfire-style drums, and Timberlake’s smooth vocals make tracks such as “Man of the Woods” and “Higher Higher” memorable and heartwarming. “Man of the Woods” in particular is a fun and heartwarming track dedicated to Timberlake’s wife and son, Silas: “I brag about you, to anyone outside/ But I’m a man of the woods/ It’s my pride.” There are also several collaborators on the album, including longtime producer Timbaland and The Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo) who helped craft the tracks such as the funked-up exotic tune
“Waves” and the pre-apocalyptic track “Supplies,” in which Timberlake ‘prepares’ us for apocalypse-mode, singing, “The world can end now/Baby, we’ll be livin’ in The Walkin’ Dead.” There are also tracks such as “Morning Light,” which feature R&B star Alicia Keys, as well as country star Chris Stapleton on the soulful track titled “Say Something,” another example of Timberlake connecting with his Southern roots. Following a blissful interlude (narrated by Justin’s wife), the campfire-esque track “Flannel” leads the album back into a nature-inspired mode. Timberlake then retreats to his signature pop style while continuing country themes on the tracks such as “Montana,” “Breeze Off The Pond,” and “Livin’ Off The Land.” The album comes full circle with “Young Man.” In this track, the ultimate dedication song to his son, Timberlake sings about encountering life lessons within the fast-paced world of relation-
Man of the Woods by Justin Timberlake.
ships and identity: “You don’t understand/right now you’re a young man/ but you gon’ have to stand for something.” Though Justin Timberlake may be moving away from the iconic style of pop that we’re
Photo: RCA Records.
used to, he proves that being inspired by life, nature, as well as his Southern roots is the perfect recipe to appreciating our surroundings. Man of The Woods is available on Spotify and iTunes.
ARTS & CULTURE | 11
Illustration: Alina Wang.
Unpacking transmisogyny Coping with isolation inside and outside of the LGBTQ+ community Savannah: So when we talk about transmisogyny, how is this a different thing from the kind of misogyny talked about by cis women? Fae Johnstone: I think when we talk about transmisogyny, what it’s really talking about is misogyny distinct as one experience and transphobia as one experience, and the intersection of those things. So when it comes to transmisogyny, a lot of the times trans women and trans feminine folks are put into this box where they have to walk a very tight line. So what that means is that trans folks and misogynists will say trans women are upholding gender roles, like these really sexist notions of womanhood, and so trans womens are in this position where they have to either play into that to some extent, but also push back against it. If they display overt femininity they’re told that they’re reinforcing gender roles, and if they display any form of masculinity remotely, they’re told they’re not actually a woman. And so when it comes to transmisogyny, I think in a lot of ways there are huge similarities with misogyny, right? In terms of like catcalling, harassment, sexual violence, every single thing, but I think because we have this hyper-visibility of transfeminine folks and trans women, there’s a distinct experience within that cis women don’t experience. S: Do you think that intersection makes it harder for trans folks to call out things like street harassment as not ok? F: I think the risk of violence can be higher if you do it. I think that depending on the trans woman or trans person in question, if you call somebody out that’s catcalling you … there’s a risk that they will realize that you’re trans, for one thing. And I think that puts you in a really potentially violent and dangerous situation, so there is a risk to calling it out that isn’t present to the same extent when you’re not trans. S: Do you notice transmisogyny within the LGBTQ+ community? F: Hugely, I think. When it comes to within LGBTQ+ spaces, again the outside reality that we live in a patriarchal society that vilifies womanhood and femininity still comes into play. And so if we get down to the roots of it, I think people are still afraid of assigned male at birth (AMAB) people who are proud of feminine and woman-aligned identities. I think
there’s still a gut reaction that we have a hard time articulating but exists. Again, definitely most LGBTQ+ spaces and trans spaces as well are dominated by people who aren’t being impacted by transmisogyny. So even when I’ve engaged in trans spaces, most of the time when I go to an event I know there’s going to be a bunch of trans masc(uline) folks and a couple token trans women and trans femmes. And I think that again, there’s a tendency to think about and talk about transness in a way that ignores transmisogyny and the fact that everybody within the trans community experiences transphobia, but the way in which it impacts our existence in this world differs hugely. I don’t see that acknowledged, despite the fact that so many people will talk about how they support trans women, but I don’t see the tangible efforts within our community locally, as opposed to supporting some trans woman celebrity to make that happen. S: What kind of impact do you think that dynamic has on trans representation in social movements, or in the media?
As told to Savannah Awde features editor Illustration: Christine Wang.
F: Even now I have a hard time naming older trans folks that exist in our spaces, and so there’s an intergenerational loss when there isn’t that representation. Because again, any trans person struggles when it comes to existing or coming out as their chosen gender that they are, but I think that transfeminine folks and trans women don’t have those local role models, and so I think representation at the end of the day really does matter. Again, our discourse around transness is one that has a few hyper visible famous trans women, and everyone can name them. Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, and a few other folks, that are like journalists, or have radio shows … but then every other level of representation around transness focuses on transmisogyny exempted folks. And so I think that has an impact on trans women and transfeminine folks feeling like they can come into trans spaces, and having the role models to help them do that. S: How do you cope with facing transmisogyny? F: I get angry about it a lot (laughs). I keep my friend group to people I know I can trust and I know
I can trust their politics around transmisogyny, and as much as I can I try to develop relationships with other transfeminine folks and other trans women because I think that is a really powerful and meaningful thing to have shared spaces where we can have shared experiences. We don’t always get that in trans spaces, and there are a lot more broader LBGTQ+ or trans spaces that are not ones that are specific to trans women and transfeminine folks. S: Do you feel transmisogyny is a factor that may dissuade young people from coming out as trans? F: Definitely. There are statistics around, I believe trans women tend to come out a lot later in life. And the reason for that I would hypothesize is that a lot of folks need to make sure their lives are in order because of the fact that there’s so much more risk involved. So on one side there is, transmisogyny dictates that trans women are more likely to have negative experiences when they come out. Because again, in a patriarchal context, we have more of a problem, to some extent, with feminine boys than we do with slightly masculine girls. So like girls can wear jeans, but if a dude shows up to a high school in a dress, I don’t even want to know where that goes. I think that creates a messy cocktail where, since we don’t allow AMAB folks to express themselves in different ways, and we police their expression, again, within a patriarchal context, to such an extent that it’s very difficult for people to come out as transfeminine or as a trans woman. S: Do you find campuses provide enough formal or informal education around transmisogyny? F: I think student unions tend to do what they can to some extent. Again, as a Carleton student I haven’t had negative experiences working with the folks at the service centres or the Carleton University Student Association, but again I think it’s hard to
address that specific intersection because there are so many interconnected issues to it.
causes that are by trans women and transfeminine folks is also something that we need more of.
The patriarchy and toxic masculinity play into it hugely, transphobia, and there are so many interconnected issues that unfortunately campuses would have a very hard time knowing how to address. I know that they’ve done a lot of work to create trans spaces like the Pride Centre, and we have the Gender and Sexuality Resource Centre at Carleton, spaces which are blatantly in support of trans women and transfeminine folks.
S: How would you define effective allyship, from either within or outside of the LGBTQ+ community?
But it’s again the outside forces of transmisogyny, meaning that there aren’t a lot of trans women they can be reaching out to and supporting. The population of trans women and transfeminine folks in Ottawa that are out and engaging in spaces is very much smaller than that of trans populations more broadly. S: Do you think the responsibility to combat transmisogyny lies more at an individual level then? F: It’s privilege and oppression 101, everybody comes into a space with significant amount of privilege and significant amounts of oppression. I fundamentally believe that your responsibility as somebody who exists in these spaces and pushes toward progressive, anti-oppressive goals, is to do the allyship to those communities in which you have a privileged relationship to. As a white person, if I’m organizing something, I have a very clear responsibility in terms of not being blatantly racist during my organizing, but also being aware of the space that I take up, and all of that jazz, and I want to see those similar kinds of conversations happening within similar, broader trans and LGBTQ+ spaces, as well as feminist spaces. It is on an individual and community level, but I think also more active support for organization and
F: First of all it’s unpacking your own biases, because we live in a society that does teach misogyny and teaches transphobia, and teaches a very unique intersection of those things, so doing the legwork and educating yourself around what that is and what that looks like. A lot of people will say that they support trans women, but it’s like, ok but you still talk and engage in a way that doesn’t. So even talking about body parts in a way that doesn’t essentialize all women having vaginas, and not all dudes as having penises, that is something that needs to happen. And that supports all trans folks. So in a lot of ways, allyship to trans women and transfeminine folks is allyship to broader trans communities and broader women communities. I think it’s about acknowledging in trans spaces, that if you’re having an event and it’s only trans masc folks involved in running, planning, and delivering that event, that’s a problem. An easy to unpack example of transmisogyny is the bathroom debate. Because every single piece of conversation on the bathroom isn’t about trans dudes going into men’s washrooms, it’s about the scary predators that are trans women going into women’s washrooms. So I think that paints a very clear picture. So trans exclusionary radical feminist (TERF) ideas and ideologies are still much more embedded in our feminist and trans spaces. For example, it’s easier for a transmasculine person to access women’s shelters, than it is for trans women. Which, again, I think trans dudes will also often face violence no matter where they go, but not to the same extent that trans women will. So if a trans woman goes into a women’s shelter, there is a good chance she will not be allowed in. But if she goes to a dude’s shelter? That is a nightmare that I don’t even want to touch with a 10-foot pole. And so I think that the fact that we’re more comfortable with transmasculine folks talking about feminist issues than we are with transfeminine folks talking about feminist issues, is a problem to me. It’s rooted in TERF politics, where it’s this idea that trans dudes in relation to transfeminine folks do have privilege. And yes, that goes hand in hand with transphobia. But we need our trans spaces to unpack and wrestle with that, and we need feminism to unpack and wrestle with that. Fae Johnstone (she/they) is a public speaker, consultant and community organizer with a background in queer and trans advocacy and education, nonprofits, social work and youth mental health. You can learn more about Fae’s work at https://faejohnstone. com/.
On pansexuality, and not letting anyone uproot you
Common misconceptions around an oft-overlooked sexual orientation
I started out identifying as bisexual in high school, because that was the terminology I had access to. At the time though, it was “trendy” for girls to like girls so it made it hard for me to be taken seriously. I later started identifying as pansexual, and people took that as me trying to “other” myself to make myself even more unique and special from the bi community and the general population. People think I am being too sensitive, too politically correct, for insisting that I am pan and not bi. Many of my friends who also identify as pansexual want to keep their sexuality on the down low, or will just say they are bi because they are scared of being perceived as “trying too hard” or being too sensitive. This was especially hard when coming out to my parents/grandparents/any older people because they (barely) recognize what bisexuality is, so to identify as this DIFFERENT but similar thing, I’ve heard a lot of people tell me to just identify as bi. And I have!
I still to this day will tell new people that I’m bi because it is exhausting to have to constantly differentiate between the two, and it is not my job to educate everyone on the diversity of sexuality. But at the same time, I feel terrible doing this because if I identify as bi, I’m erasing my pansexual identity and there is enough bi/pan erasure in the world as it is!
“straight passing,” that I don’t understand the struggle of being gay because I can have heterosexual relationships, that I get a “free pass,” that’s it’s “just a phase” and I just haven’t decided if i’m gay or straight yet.
These are things I’ve heard in spaces that are meant to be safe, but there is definitely a hierarchy in the LGBTQ+ community that panI never feel gay sexual people don’t fit enough, and I definite- into. ly never feel straight enough. What I feel like People think being a lot of people find sur- pansexual means we prising is that I have felt are attracted to literally as unsupported by the everyone. Anyone with LGBTQ+ community as logic would know that I do in the heterosexual this is ridiculous. I have community. I definitely been called greedy and am not straight, so ob- more likely to cheat. In viously I searched for most of my intimate solace in the LGBTQ+ relationships, my sigcommunity, the people nificant other has exwho (you would think) pressed concern for me would understand. cheating because I have “more options,” but beErasure occurs with- ing polysexual does in the gay community not equal polyamory. too, and I do a lot of re- Pansexual people can minding to people that have successful mothere are other letters nogamous relationships of importance besides if they want them and the L and the G. As a should be able to do so cis femme woman, I without having their have been told I’m too integrity questioned.
I have also been called desperate, in the sense that I couldn’t get boys/girls/whomever, so I decided to open up my options, which further perpetuates the idea that pan people are greedy. If whoever I’m with thinks I’m going to leave them for a person of a different gender, often I feel like it is my fault for possibly putting that insecurity into their head. The more this becomes my lived experience, the more I realize that representation matters because they have a pre-conceived notion of a pansexual person that is incorrect and they are looking at my identifier, not me as a person.
mind my friends and family that no, I still like all genders and that doesn’t go away just because right now I am seeing a cis male (or whoever.) I feel like I’m shoving my sexuality down people’s throats by always talking about it, but it is an integral part of who I am as a person and that needs to be seen as valid. With other people consistently questioning my intentions, it makes me question myself as well.
I’ve had nights where I break down, where I think, am I really this way? Maybe I am just searching for attention? Maybe it would be better if I were just I, and a lot of other straight or just gay, inpan folks are constant- stead of feeling like I’m ly having to come out. in limbo, in LGBTQ+ Coming out is a very purgatory. serious form of emotional labour, and the At the end of the day, act of constantly hav- I love who I am, but I ing to reaffirm your would be lying if I said sexuality to others I didn’t question every(and yourself) can have thing sometimes. I have drastic effects on your learned that to find mental health. Who- peace, I had to plant ever I am seeing, that myself in what I know is how I reflect to the to be true and not let world, so I have to re- anyone uproot me.
I’m asexual…and yes, I have sex
Melissa Salisbury Fulcrum Contributor
On staying true to your sexuality while dating in university I began identifying as asexual during my second year of university, but this road to self-discovery was not an easy one. After all, coming from a small town where no one talked about, or even knew about, obscure forms of sexuality, it took a long time to figure things out. As I was with my high school boyfriend during my first year of post-secondary, I never really dated until my second year of university, which marked the real start of my dating life. It wasn’t until I started dating that I realized just how far from “normal” I was. Instead of being attracted to anyone in a physical or sexual sense, I found myself drawn to people through intellectual or emotional connections. I’ve come to learn that you don’t need a physical connection to love someone fully. I remember dating someone and they kept questioning why I wasn’t a very physical person and so I thought about it and realized I never really had been. That night, I went online to see if something was “wrong” with me and that’s where I found out about asexuality, and all the pieces started to fall into place. Throughout my research, the one thing that came up over and over again was the fact that asexuality manifests itself in many different forms. This is because sexual and romantic orientation are different and on a spectrum.
Many people who identify as asexual refer to themselves as aces. There’s the ace of hearts, which refers to people who experience romantic attraction, but not physical. The ace of spades is reserved for those who don’t experience any romantic attraction at all (also known as aromantic asexuals). There’s also the ace of diamonds, which refers to people who experience either a romantic or sexual attraction with someone they share an emotional connection with (also known as demi-sexuals). Finally, there’s the ace of clubs, which refers to people who rarely experience romantic or sexual attraction, if at all (which are also known as greyasexuals). Now, getting to know yourself is great, but dating in university while identifying as asexual, that’s the hard part. Dating is complex and it’s always hard to know when you should tell that new special someone that you’re asexual. Every time I started seeing someone new after identifying as an asexual, I made sure I was very upfront and open about it.
ing as an asexual. However, this isn’t the case for all aces as everyone’s experiences and needs vary.
there is eventually going to be a lack of understanding of what dating an asexual entails.
First, there’s always a general lack of knowledge of asexuality amongst the general public.
No matter how upfront I am with the person I’m dating, eventually my asexuality has always turned into a problem. Most people I’ve dated eventually begin to complain that I don’t initiate sex enough or that it’s not frequent enough. What they fail to understand is that I am more than capable of having sex but my emotional needs have to be fulfilled first as it’s more than just a physical connection.
Anytime I talk to someone about the fact that I’m asexual, even now after graduating, it’s always a conversation that leads to educating the other person about asexuality. Most of the time I’m often met with confusion and blank stares because they truly don’t understand how physical attraction is not something I think about. What people don’t seem to get is that my attraction to people I date largely comes from an emotional attraction, whether it’s that I think they’re funny, smart, or genuine. Secondly, unless you’ve found a diamond in the rough,
There were a few guys I dated that were still virgins, and those were actually the best relationships I had, since sex was never a problem. It was everyone else I dated where I found myself with issues. Based on my experiences, there are two major issues you come across while dat-
Illustrations: Christine Wang.
At the end of the day, dating as an ace is hard. A lot of people just don’t understand. But I find the best way to get past it is just take everything with a grain of salt and stay true to yourself. And lots of cake. That helps too.
Five things not to say to a bisexual person So your friend just came out to you as bisexual, and as excited as you are, you also have some questions and preconceptions about what this means. Bisexuality is not the most straight-forward sexuality (excuse the pun), especially as it often means something different for everyone who identifies as it. Although it’s often completely okay to ask your friend about their sexuality and what it means to them, below are five things to not say to your bisexual friend. Note that some of the terminology used in this article (e.g. queer) can be seen as offensive to some, and it’s best not to use it unless you identify as queer yourself or know that the person you are talking to is comfortable with these terms.
1. “SO, THAT MEANS YOU’RE REALLY INTO THREESOMES, RIGHT?” Sexuality and interest in threesomes are not related. Although there are some bisexual people who are into threesomes, there are also many who are not— just like there are straight, queer, pansexual, and any other sexuality you can think of that includes people who are into having sex with multiple partners at once and those who aren’t. Sexuality does not determine this and it’s time to accept that different people are into different things in the bedroom, no matter their sexuality.
2. “EVERYONE’S A LITTLE BISEXUAL!”
3. “BISEXUALITY IS JUST A PHASE.”
Although this is often well-intentioned, it tends to erase the fact that bisexuality is a valid sexual identity. I truly do believe that everyone is sexually fluid, and as much as that can be a part of someone’s bisexuality, there is more to it than that.
This is a tired old stereotype that further invalidates bisexuality as a valid identity. There are definitely people who identify as bisexual at a point in their life and later identify as homosexual or heterosexual—this could just be a part of their sexual journey and it’s important to recognize that sexuality can be fluid.
Bisexuality is an identity that is part of what makes someone who they are—it is a label that can help people become comfortable in their sexuality and allow them to explore what that means to them. Saying everyone is a little bisexual can actually work to further erase an identity that already has issues with visibility.
That said, what should you do for your bi friends?
This does not, however, mean that all bisexual people will eventually end up homosexual or heterosexual—even if they end up with a same-gendered or different-gendered partner long-term. Your sexuality is not determined by your partner—it is determined by who you are attracted to. This means that people who are bisexual can always be bisexual, no matter who they date or marry.
4. “BISEXUALS ARE ALL EASY/SLUTTY/DECEPTIVE.” Bisexuality does not determine someone’s desire for sex. If someone is bisexual and wants to have lots of sex, that’s great! If they only want to have sex with one partner, that’s also great! Bisexuality is not equal to sleeping with multiple partners, but even if that is how someone lives their life, who cares? People also call bisexuals deceptive or untrustworthy because they might leave a partner for a new partner of a different gender. This doesn’t make a ton of sense to me, since this can happen in any relationship, no matter the gender or sexuality. If you feel threatened by your partner’s sexuality and don’t trust them, you may have some bigger issues going on. Reevaluate where these trust issues are coming from and talk openly with your partner rather than blaming them for their sexuality—nothing good will come from this.
Remember, sexuality is fluid and can change throughout someone’s life. Labels are often used to cope with the binary system we’ve created to view sexuality, so it’s most helpful to talk to your queer friends about what their sexuality means to them rather than making assumptions based on harmful stereotypes. Biphobia and bisexual erasure are issues found both in the queer community and outside of it and the easiest way to combat these harmful stereotypes are to talk openly, ask questions, and believe people
Allegra Morgado Fulcrum Alumna
5. “BISEXUALS ARE HALF ‘NORMAL’ (MEANING HALF STRAIGHT) AND HALF GAY!” I had to include this one because someone said this in a class I took, and although I addressed it then, it was one of my first personal experiences with biphobia. First, let’s address how “normality” is a concept that we’ve been socialized to believe is true and natural and that all sexualities are actually natural. Being bisexual, queer, etc. does not make you abnormal—and being straight does not make you normal. Let’s also address the idea that bisexuality is just a mix of different sexualities rather than a sexuality on its own. One way to view sexuality is on a scale, from being attracted to members of your own gender to members of other genders. Bisexuals could be seen as falling somewhere closer to the middle of said scale, whereas homosexuals and heterosexuals could be seen as falling closer to the edges; however, everyone’s sexuality is fluid and does not necessarily fit into a box, as much as we would like it to. Rather than trying to fit bisexuality into an alreadyexisting category, why not ask your friend what bisexuality means to them?
DISHING WITH DI: SEXUALITY WE TAKE A TRIP THROUGH THE FULCRUM ARCHIVES TO UNEARTH SOME CLASSIC DI WISDOM Dear Di,
My girlfriend recently told me she wants to start experimenting with girls. I know every straight guy is supposed to have the “lesbian fantasy,” but the thought of my woman with anyone else—male or female—makes me feel sick to my stomach. I don’t see the difference between “experimenting with a girl” and “cheating.” Am I in the wrong here?
I’m a gay man who came out of the closet at eight years old, so imagine my surprise when I started a new job one month ago and promptly became sexually infatuated with one of my female co-workers. I have never been attracted to a woman before, so I’m really confused and I think something might be wrong with me. I don’t want to be straight at all, yet I can’t help but wonder if I should explore these feelings. On the off chance something happens between my coworker and me, can you tell me what to do with a vagina?
—Call it Like I See it
—Gay Man in Straight Man’s Land
Dear CLIS, I don’t think you’re in the wrong here at all. What constitutes cheating in a relationship is different for everyone and it’s up to the couple in question to determine their own definition of the word. I can’t fault you for equating your girl’s desire to “experiment” with being unfaithful—I’ve always been a little skeptical of my male friends who say they’d hand their girlfriend a get-outof-jail-free card if she were to engage in a little vagina-on-vagina action. Sure, the lesbian fantasy can be hot, but it’s not unreasonable to expect your partner remain committed to experimenting with your genitals and not those of anybody else. I suggest you share your concerns with your girl. Why is she interested in getting up close and personal with pussy? Is she more than just a little curious? You need to be honest about your feelings and let your lady be truthful, too. Maybe your girl isn’t really serious about wanting to sample the sushi bar; however, you deserve to know if she is. While I firmly believe everyone has the right to explore their sexuality, I don’t think it’s fair to ask a significant other to sit by idly while the exploration goes down. If your girl wants to venture out into previously uncharted terrain, that’s her prerogative—but you’re going to have to decide if you want to stick around while she checks out other chicks.
Dear GMSML, Never fear, pseudo-doctor Di Daniels is here! My diagnosis? You’re completely normal. Breathe a sigh of relief and relax. Almost everyone experiences something that makes them question their sexuality, if even for a moment. You’re not the first gay guy to grow a little hard at the sight of a sexy lady, nor will you be the last. I am a firm believer that human sexuality is never a black and white subject. For many people, sexuality is fluid, or malleable at the very least. Sure, you’ve been drinking the homo milk for as long as you can remember, but that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you if you happen to feel the urge to sample some other flavours. If you do decide to taste test some vagina, your best bet is to ask the owner of said vagina what she likes done to it. A few key things to remember: the clitoris is located at the top of the lady taco. It’s uber sensitive, so make no direct contact with the love nub until your woman is sufficiently warmed up. To stimulate a girl’s G-spot, put two fingers inside her and make a “come hither” motion. Otherwise, let your lady lead and trust your own instincts. Don’t beat yourself up if something goes wrong; after all, you’re navigating uncharted waters. Maybe you’re bisexual, maybe there’s just something special about this particular gal, or maybe you’ll look back at the situation next year and laugh. Regardless of what happens, stay calm, follow your gut, and rest assured you’re perfectly and wonderfully normal.
Illustration: Alina Wang.
SPORTS EDITOR firstname.lastname@example.org @FulcrumSports
Women’s Basketball dominates in the paint to win after Capital Hoops Ribarich and Lefebvre-Okankwu post double-doubles in the win zack goobie
associate sports editor
he University of Ottawa Women’s Basketball team tippedoff against the 5-14 Laurentian Voyageurs in Ontario University Athletics (OUA) eastern conference play. The Gee-Gees were looking to respond after a recent tough loss to the Carleton Ravens at Capital Hoops Classic.
It was a tight game early on, but Laurentian initially had a 13-10 lead, with 3:43 left to play. Turnovers were hurting the Gees with four giveaways before the end of the first quarter. After going down 16-10, the Garnet and Grey brought the score to 19-17 for the Voyageurs before
an open three from Laurentian to make it 22-17 with less than a minute to play. That score would remain, the story of the first 10 minutes was the Gee-Gees’ inability to keep the ball. They gave the ball away five times and Laurentian converted seven points off those turnovers. Despite having a huge height advantage in the post, the Gees couldn’t generate any offence from that spot in the first minutes of the second quarter. The U of O stuck to their game plan and kept feeding their post players and Lefebvre-Okankwu and Ribarich led the way with 10 and six points respectively to give the Gees a 35-27 lead. That didn’t last long, and Laurentian brought it back to 37-34 with 20 seconds left, the Gees had the last shot of the half at the buzzer, but the three-pointer went long. Throughout the season, the Gees had great success scoring
from inside the arc, shooting 55 per cent, but only converted one of eight attempts from long range in the first half of this game. The Voyageurs scored the first bucket of third quarter, reducing the Gees’ lead to one point just 36 seconds into the second half. Ultimately, that was as close as Laurentian would get. The Gees kept pulling away. A three-pointer by Amélie Hachey and a mid-range jumper by Isabelle Dion gave the Gees a controlling 58-48 lead going into the final 10 minutes. Ribarich kept up her strong game, collecting an offensive board and finishing in traffic to restore the Garnet and Grey’s advantage at double digits just over a minute into the quarter. The Voyageurs reduced the Gees’ lead to less than 10 points on two occasion in the final frame, but the Gees never let
The Gee-Gees soundly beat Laurentian.
them gain any momentum. It was a pretty dominant effort for the Gees coming off their loss to the top-ranked Carleton Ravens at Capital Hoops. Using their height in the post and in
Photo: Parker Townes.
the paint proved to overwhelm the smaller Laurentian squad. Ribarich recorded a career and game high 19 points to go along with 10 rebounds, LefebvreOkankwu also had a double-
double to pace the Gees. The next home game for the Gee-Gees will take place on Feb. 16 against Queen’s University at Montpetit hall, tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Men’s Basketball wins important shootout on the road
Six Gees reach double-digits to beat sixth-ranked Laurentian Zack Goobie
associate sports editor Following an emotional loss to the Ravens at the Canadian Tire Centre, the GeeGees responded by defeating the sixth-ranked Laurentian Voyageurs in foreign territory on Feb. 9. Even the league’s highest scorer, Kadre Grey, couldn’t beat the Gees despite putting in a Trae Young performance by dropping 38 points to go along with 14 dimes. It was an incredibly tight first quarter, but it didn’t get off to a good start for the Gees, with a turnover on the opening possession of the game, resulting in an open transition three-pointer for Grey who found his stride early. Jean-Emmanuel PierreCharles gave the Gee-Gees a one-point lead less than two minutes into the game, thanks to a great individual effort collecting the offensive rebound and finishing un-
der the basket. Neither team could pull away, as neither side could manage higher than a three-point lead all quarter. Laurentian had jumped out to a seven-point lead halfway through the second quarter, before Gage Sabean responded with a fast-break pullup three. Sabean caught fire afterwards, scoring two more threes in less than two minutes, giving the Gees a 3836 lead. After two made freethrows by Mackenzie Morrison it was a 40 all with 2:14 to go. It was a 43-42 Laurentian lead going into an impressive second half. Pierre-Charles led the way for the Gees with 12 points and Sabean was key with three shots from behind the arc. The second half proved to be an offensive onslaught, an early block by Pierre-Charles resulted in two made free throws by Brody Maracle to
The Men’s Basketball team won a tight game with Laurentian.
take an early three-point lead for the Gees. Calvin Epistola hit a three-pointer two and a
half minutes into the quarter and previewed hit impressive 13-point quarter. Grey kept
Photo: Greg Mason.
pacing the Voyageurs with a pull up three from past NBA range to cut the score to 63-61,
but the Gees answered with a reverse layup by Maracle. Jean-Louis stretched the GeeGees’ lead to a slim 67-63 with the final points of the quarter. Brandon Robinson hit a three-pointer to give the Gee-Gees a 10-point lead after crossing up the Laurentian defender three-minutes into the final quarter. That 10-point cushion was huge as the Voyageurs never got within more than five points. Five three-pointers from the Gee-Gees were big in obtaining the win and en route to scoring 32 points in the final quarter. Epistola scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half, and proved to be exactly what the Garnet and Grey needed to take down their Ontario University Athletics rival. The next home game for the Gee-Gees will take place on Feb. 16 against Queen’s University at Montpetit hall, tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.
SPORTS | 21
THE BOXSCORE: BOUNCE BACK BASKETBALL(W) BASKETBALL(M) VOLLEYBALL(W)
FRIDAY, Feb. 9, 2018
FRIDAY, feb. 9, 2018
SUNDAY, FEB. 18, 2018
THURDDAY, FEB. 8, 2018
FRIDAY, Feb. 16, 2018
FRIDAY, JAN. 5, 2018
Saturday, FEB. 17, 2018
SUNDAY, FEB. 18, 2018
For detailed game coverage check out the Fulcrum’s website at www.thefulcrum.ca.
FulcFit food series
Valentine’s Day chocolate mousse
Ahh, Valentine’s Day. One of the first things that comes to mind for most people during this time of year is chocolate. Whether it’s a heart-shaped box of chocolates for that special someone, indulging in chocolate cake with your BFFs for Galentine’s Day, or sad and alone watching Netflix in bed and gorging yourself with chocolate ice cream straight from the tub (I really hope this isn’t any of you), chocolate is pretty much a necessity. But if you’re trying to eat right or stick to a diet, how on Earth do you treat yourself? Don’t fear—not only is today’s FulcFit recipe vegan and low in processed sugar, it’s also delicious and quick to prepare, with just a couple ingredients that you likely have lying around in your pantry and fridge. So ditch the overpriced, fancy restaurant, and impress that cutie from chemistry class with this perfect end to a home-cooked dinner instead. Or, grab three friends and double the recipe for all of you to share, because who needs a relationship anyway? And if you have no s/o and no friends, then just eat all of it yourself, because you deserve to. 22 | SPORTS
Graham Robertson, Managing Editor
During the school year, it’s all too easy to let your eating habits slip. To get you back on track, the Fulcrum has some essential recipes so you stay full and fit all year long.
Ingredients • Two large avocados • Three tablespoons of cocoa powder • Three tablespoons of honey or maple syrup (the pure kind, none of that processed stuff) • Half a teaspoon of vanilla extract • Three tablespoons of almond milk • A few raspberries Directions 1. Throw all the ingredients, minus the raspberries into a food processor 2. Blend until you have a silky, smooth texture 3. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving 4. Serve the mousse into two wine glasses or any other aesthetically pleasing glass or bowl 5. Garnish with raspberries and enjoy!
Serves two. Remember, if you’re single this Valentine’s Day, that’s nothing to be embarrassed or sad about. Don’t let relationships and dating define your self-worth!
Note: The candle is optional.
Photo: Graham Robertson.
Gee-Gees swim teams pick up medals in OUA finals Champagne, Casarin lead men, Vandal leads women eric davidson editor-in-chief
The nationally seventh-ranked Gee-Gees Men’s Swimming team has been putting up strong performances all season, always staying in the U Sports top 10. Ranked second in their conference, they were poised to pick up some medals. The Gees lived up to their expectations early on, winning a gold medal on the first day of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) finals in London, Ontario. The early hero was Davide Casarin, an international student from Mirano, Italy, who took home gold in the men’s 200 metre freestyle race with a time of 1:47.25. While it wasn’t his best time, it was enough for first place. Not content with just one medal, Casarin would go on to win a bronze medal as part of the men’s 400 metre medley relay team, alongside Montana Champagne, Miles Ruttan, and James Cormier. But it was on day two of the finals that the team really exploded, winning a total of eight medals. Early Friday evening, Delphine Vandal won a silver
medal in the women’s 400 metre freestyle, while fellow Gee-Gee Mackenzie Finkbeiner took the bronze. The pair would set the tone for the evening. But they weren’t finished, taking bronze in the women’s 200 metre freestyle relay team event with teammates Alina Yli-Juuti and Morgan McCartney to rack up the Gees’ medal count. The day would also see a strong performance from Casarin, who started off by winning gold in the men’s 400 metre freestyle. Not to be outdone, Champagne would win a gold of his own in the men’s 200 metre butterfly, edging out Casarin, who took silver. Overall, it was a great day for many Gee-Gees. Ruttan would win bronze in the men’s 100 metre backstroke, and Marco Tanasijevic, along with Champagne, Casarin, and Ruttan, would take silver in the men’s 200 metre freestyle relay. Day two also saw many Gees put on strong performances and top 10 finishes. James Cormier took fifth in men’s 400 metre freestyle, Samantha Mallow took eighth in the women’s 200 metre
The Gee-Gees swim team has picked up medals at the OUA finals.
breaststroke, with Lauren Shearer coming in ninth. Dawson Konrad came fifth in the men’s 200 metre breaststroke, with Ethan Rice coming
Photo: Parker Townes.
in sixth and Isaac Jacob in ninth. Claudie Richard came eighth in the women’s 200 metre butterfly. In addition to their strong performances in the OUA fi-
nals, many Gee-Gees qualified to compete at the national U Sports championships. For further updates, please visit the Fulcrum’s website.
Men’s Hockey continue winning streak going into playoffs
Strong offence by O’Brien lifts Gees past Queen’s Gaels Eric Davidson editor-in-chief
The University of Ottawa Men’s Hockey team picked up a crucial fourth-straight win on Feb. 9 against Queen’s University Gaels. The team is fighting for playoff position in the final weekend of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) regular season, currently sitting in fifth place in their division. It was an inauspicious start to the game, with the Gees running into penalty trouble early. Kyle Domingue was sent off for tripping six minutes into the first. The Gees have had a strong penalty killing unit as of late, and managed to generate some offence on the PK, with Jacob Hanlon speeding off on a breakaway before being stopped by the Queen’s goalie. But the Gees wouldn’t be so lucky on the penalty kill later, as Queen’s put one home on the power play with seven minutes left in the first. In the second period, both
The Gees took home a big win against Queen’s.
teams played defensively, eliminating many scoring chances. However, with only two minutes left in the period, a slapshot by Gee-Gee Jacob Sweeney beat the Queen’s net-
Photo: Parker Townes.
minder and tied the game up at one apiece. It had been a fairly quiet game after two periods, but that would all change in the final frame. Seven minutes
into the third, Gee-Gee Quinn O’Brien scored his 14th goal to give the Gees the lead. It was his fifth goal in four games. But O’Brien wasn’t done yet. Just two minutes later, he pot-
ted his second goal of the game to give the U of O a two goal lead halfway through the final period. Finally, Kevin Domingue would put the game on ice by scoring an empty net goal. His 19th goal of the year puts him among the league’s top goal scorers, tying him with Concordia’s Anthony Beauregard, second only to RMC’s Riley Brandt, who has 21. It was a slow start to the game, but a fiery third period would give the Garnet and Grey a 4-1 win on home ice. At the time this article was written, the U of O sits fifth in the OUA eastern conference, with 34 points. Concordia sits in fourth with 37 points, and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) sits in sixth with 33 points. McGill leads the conference with 43 points. Ottawa is currently on the longest winning streak of any team in the division, at four games.
SPORTS | 23
OPINIONS EDITOR David Campion-Smith
email@example.com (613) 695-0062 @davidcs96
To improve work environment, SFUO needs clear internal rules Policy moves from BOA and execs with input from staff are needed Eric Davidson editor-in-chief
ou’ve probably heard by now how some Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) service centre employees have complained about a toxic work environment.
The solution to this problem is not too far out of reach. The SFUO has already done a governance review at the executive level this year. It needs to do something similar at the staff level. After the federation laid off a lot of its staff to avoid bankruptcy, the organization should have looked at its current staffing levels, and the expectations on those staff. If the expectations are in line with what was decided when there were more
staff in the past, they should be revised to reflect the actual number of people the SFUO employs in certain departments. This is especially important as the SFUO plans to make more use of its staff in key roles like human resources, budgeting, and management as a result of its governance review motion. In addition to revising responsibilities, the SFUO should have an external consultant look at how it sets deadlines and enforces discipline, as well as other elements of management, in addition to what it does now. This should be in everyone’s best interests. The staff would obviously benefit, but so would the SFUO managers and executives, who could meet their objectives more easily. Students would benefit from a more efficient and effective student union. How can the SFUO go about it? First of all, it can collect key information. By talking to staff and the employees’ union to make sure everyone’s clear on what goals can be set based on
staffing levels, employees can have a more comfortable work environment. The Board of Administration and executive can look at any relevant policy documents, whether in the constitution or internal documents like the executive work manual, and make sure they reflect the intention of setting fair and clear expectations for staff. And after the election, the current team can make sure to keep incoming members close to the process to ensure that the progress continues next year. And there’s more that can be done by the board on the policy side to prevent these problems from happening again. As the SFUO has various people in leadership roles, like the president, vice-president finance, other executives, executive coordinator, and staff managers, the board can make sure the organization’s policies clearly say who is in charge of overseeing what, so that no one oversteps their boundaries. By working with staff and
A voting booth that could have a “none of the above” option.
executives, the board can also hammer out an internal communications policy. Staff complained that they could not get in contact with their own bosses, which clearly inhibits productivity. Again, setting clear rules about when managers need to respond, and creating extra opportunities for staff to get in contact with them will
Photo: Parker Townes.
be critical. There have also been other allegations about online behaviour. To solve this, the SFUO can put in place clear rules about what executives and staff can and can’t do on social media. This way, if there is a dispute, there are concrete criteria that can be used to solve the problem. It is important for
the executives to remember that the executives, who are elected representatives of the student body, should have all students’ best interests in mind. There’s a lot to do, but setting up clear rules and structures within the SFUO will go a long way towards improving the organization in general, as well as its work environment.
Voters need a “none of the above” option
Option gives voice to frustration in political system Marissa Phul
Fulcrum Contributor A student at the University of Ottawa has recently made national headlines with his appeal to the Federal Court for a “none of the above” option on ballots. This initiative is an indication that voters don’t believe their voices are being heard. In a democratic system, the opinions of the people determine political outcomes, so disillusioned voters pose a real issue to the democratic process. Last year, Liberal member of parliament Wayne Long was kicked off of two parliamentary committees as a consequence for opposing the Liberals’ tax change proposals. He was punished because he chose to vote based on the needs of his constituency. When partisanship has precedence over the needs of the voter,
“none of the above” is a clear way to voice distrust in the establishment and call for electoral reform. It’s rare to completely agree with the entirety of a politician’s platform. Values and beliefs can be situational and can seldom be defined within one distinct ideology. This leaves voters in a situation where they often choose to settle for their least objectionable candidate. Our elections are a battle of compromise. It is illogical and naïve to believe that we will ever be fully satisfied with a democratically elected leader. A “none of the above” option is a call for conscientious, selfaware, and community-oriented politicians, instead of our current out-of-touch ones. There is a clear misunderstanding in elections. Voters select a representative that best suits their needs but what often occurs is a vote for the
A voting booth that could have a “none of the above” option.
leader of the party, rather than the local politician themselves. We need to place a focus on our local politicians. We’re not just selecting a leader, we are choosing the person who is supposed to fight on our behalf. They are supposed to vocalize our needs,
and ensure our voices are heard. If we continue to vote with a focus on the prime minister, our voices fall away into the background. The 2015 federal election is a prime example of this narrative. We all called it an election,
Photo: CC, Alex Lee.
but it was really asking “should Stephen Harper be re-elected?” The answer for the most part was overwhelmingly against Harper, and the Conservatives lost 60 seats. Studies by the Canadian Election Society have analyzed this question and
determined that our current government is only in power because we voted someone out, not because we voted them in. Elections are usually a choice for the lesser of two evils. Parties or leaders are voted out, not in. Each party has their base, the loyal subscribing supporters, the rest of us vote for change. Or for who we think is most likely to cause change. In the real world however, change is just a buzzword used far too often entirely for show. It seldom comes to fruition. We should demand more from our democracy. Our system is called a representative democracy for a reason. If anything is clear at this point it is that this situation will not be fixed by a party or a politician; it can only be done by you and me. Creating a “none of the above” option is a way to begin to fix things.
OPINIONS | 25
I made my ex a PowerPoint presentation about why we should get back together So that’s how my life’s going Anchal Sharma News Editor
Hello, I’m glad you could join me today! This week, we’re going to dissect some of my cringiest memories. Some of you might be in happy, loving relationships, in which case, get away from me. For those of you who are single and gave up on Tinder, it might be tempting to hit up an ex, because it’s Valentine’s Day or the Mercury retrograde. I’m here to prevent you from rekindling that old flame by oversharing parts of my personal life. If you’ve read any of my past articles in this column then you know that I’m a bit of a disaster. Luckily, I’m a shameless disaster so here we go. The other day I was scrolling through my Google Drive when I stumbled upon an unnamed PowerPoint presentation. I opened it to a repressed memory from May when I made my ex-boyfriend, Let’s Call Him Paul, a slideshow about why we should get back together. Let’s Call Him Paul and I had something of an on again off
again relationship, and while it wasn’t all bad, it’s safe to say it was pretty dysfunctional. The last time we broke up was on April 1 because my life is a joke, but somehow we managed to draw that out until the end of May. It was long-distance, with him being in Torontoish and me being in Ottawa, and we would hang out, talk on the phone, and send each other memes like this was completely normal behaviour. Think Celeste and Jesse Forever. We were best friends and also idiots. I’ll be the first to admit this was mostly my fault. For context, our weird friendship came to a breaking point and we had to make a decision. Enter PowerPoint. Let’s Call Him Paul went to a concert and said we could talk later, so of course in the time he was gone I made him this slideshow and presented it to him over Skype when he returned. Ah, the joys of modern love. To save you time, yes, it worked, and our honeymoon period lasted all of two days before we broke up again, but that’s not the point of this story.
This article is both a cautionary tale, and an ode to the effort I put into this PowerPoint; probably more effort than I put into any of my schoolwork for the past 15 years. It was funny, it was compelling, and of course, it was cringey. Naturally, I started it off with an introduction featuring Bob Ross pictures that I stole from the internet (see above). The rest consisted of quotes from some of Let’s Call Him Paul’s favourite shows and movies, e.g. Bojack Horseman, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, and various anime (we were dorks), along with some videos of when we were a happy couple. For balance, I also added some reasons it wouldn’t work of which there were two: 1.
My psychic thought it was a bad idea (but what does she know anyway) We didn’t know it wouldn’t end badly
Clearly, I was biased. In retrospect, Alma knew a hell of a lot more than I gave her credit for and I will never doubt her again.
The pros were a lot more fun, and a little more abundant. 1. Things are different now 2. We have changed 3. 3rd time’s a charm To wrap this up, allow me to explain myself. Why I did it: I’m insane. I actually did suffer a head injury the day after I presented this to Let’s Call Him Paul by falling down on a bus and flashing other passengers on my way to the beach. A box of donuts and Anndee Hoover saved my life, and we did not make it to the beach, but that’s a story for another edition of this column. What I learned: I dodged a bullet, and obviously so did he. Conclusion 10/10 would not recommend. If you’re lonely this Valentine’s Day, remember, it could be worse. You could have made a PowerPoint presentation for your ex.
Illustration: Alina Wang.
26 | OPINIONS THEFULCRUM.CA
No one votes in 2018 SFUO general election
Poll clerks use intricate lies to keep up election myth
David Campion-Smith said Craig Hagen, a poll clerk in the lobby of the Faculty of Opinions editor In a surprising turn of events, it appears that no students voted in this year’s general election for the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO). After weeks of fierce campaigning by numerous candidates from opposing slates, voter turnout has finally reached an all-time low of zero per cent. While many students reported seeing lines near polling stations on campus it appears that this was a series of almost unbelievable coincidences, and a few tricks. “We just had a lot of people asking us for directions. It was like many of them had never been in the building before,”
Social Sciences building. Later on during voting week, when the lack of completed ballots became more apparent, Hagen and his colleagues got creative. “We couldn’t count on students asking for directions all the time to help us appear busy. It got to a point where we actually just got our friends to hang around the table so there’d always be people there, just in case,” he explained. Those working the voting stations weren’t the only ones who had to handle the lack of votes. “No one was sure how to tell the candidates that no one was voting so all the ballot counters just sat in a room and watched Netflix
all night. It was pretty great, we finished a season of Black Mirror, so not a total waste of time,” said Jordan Edilstein a third-year accounting student. Some students are saying that they would have voted if there had been better incentives for doing so. “When I found out that there were coffee coupons for Café Alt I was a little disappointed,” said third-year political science student Raphael Penguin. “Would Timmies have been possible? It is Roll Up the Rim season after all, and I want my democracy to come with the chance of a free bad donut.” Concerns about food and giveaways weren’t the only reasons students reported for keeping them from going to the polls. “Voting is pretty
No one waiting in line to vote.
Photo: Eric Davidson.
boring you know? There’s a lot of reading involved, every slate is essentially the same and they tend to frown on
writing profanity on the ballot,” said Julius Pepperwood, a second-year computer science student.
Whatever the reason for not voting it seems that students are saying loud and clear, “S-F U-O.”
The Tomato’s interview with a nickel On the stress of being a coin David Campion-Smith opinions editor After recent proposals to get rid of the nickel, much like the penny in 2013, the Tomato decided to sit down with a nickel to learn a bit more about them, and understand their views on how Canada’s monetary system should change. Tomato: How do you respond to people who say you’re just not practical? Nickel: “I know we’re not super practical, I mean how many times do you need exactly five cents for something? But there’s a sentimental value, we’ve been around for so long! T: Where do you think that sentimental value comes from? N: Seriously? We have a beaver on our coin. There’s nothing more Canadian than a beaver. Look at any other coin, you’re gonna keep the dime around because it has some boat on it? How
many people even know what the boat’s called? Or what about the quarter with the caribou? You know everyone thinks it’s a deer, right? T: Okay this is obviously a sensitive subject. Let’s talk about what you think you bring to the lives of the average Canadian. N: I’m not even sure where to begin. I bring a visual reminder of wealth. People feel so rich when you see the collection of useless coins on a table in your room, and that’s because of me. Well, me and those stupid dimes, but who needs them anyway? I’m also the useless money you can give a child when you want to feel generous. T: If it was up to you how would you change the Canadian coin system? N: I would definitely get rid of the dime, if that’s not clear already. In fact, I would suggest taking the best of our coins and just using it for everything. Let’s
Tomato reporter with full-time nickel Nicholas Elliott.
get rid of these different coins, no more quarters, no more loonies, no more toonies, just different sized nickels. Every coin would have a beaver on it to keep it simple, and we’d just go by size
instead of some obscure measurement like monetary value. T: Do you have any plans on how you’ll spend your retirement, either forced or voluntary?
Photo: Christine Wang, CC Jerry Wood.
N: I’d probably get really into Bitcoin. Money is a young coin’s game and I don’t have the energy to do it in real life. But if I can still coin from the comfort of my home, that sounds perfect to me.
THE TOMATO | 27
Dishing with Di: Not quite saints
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have quite the romantic origins that most people would assume. The holiday dates back to the glory days of the Romans, and was originally the feast of Lupercalia. It didn’t get the name of St. Valentine’s until Emperor Claudius II executed two men named Valentine on Feb. 14 in the third century. These two men were named saints by the Catholic Church, and in an effort to clean up the debaucherous image of the feast of Lupercalia, combined the two events. Throughout history, the holiday became more lovey-dovey and was romanticized by big wigs like Chaucer and Shakespeare. It didn’t take its modern form until Hallmark began massproducing cards in 1913. Ah, nothing sexier than capitalism, am I right?
FEATURES EDITOR Savannah Awde
firstname.lastname@example.org (613) 695-0062 @s_awde7
My partner and I have been going steady for a few weeks now, and everything is great except he seems really condom-averse. Since I’m on birth control he thinks he doesn’t need to, but I’m still pretty paranoid and feel a lot better doubling up. In addition, he doesn’t think he needs to get tested, since he’s only had one partner before me. What are some sexy ways to bring up staying safe?
—Rubber Lover Dear RL, Contraception can be a touchy issue among some couples. As you may already know, condoms are the only type of contraception that protects both against unwanted pregnancy and STIs. However many men (and a lot of women) report that using condoms reduces sensitivity during sex, and puts a damper on the whole show. The first thing I would suggest to get your guy into condoms, in a more delicate manner, is make sure he’s using the right size. He might be complaining about comfort because his penis is being choked for air, or on the other hand, isn’t appreciating its poncho. Guys can get touchy about size though, so try to be sensitive. You could also make picking out condoms something fun you two do together. Splurge on some crazy-scented condoms you find online or in your nearest sex shop. With products like J&D’s bacon-scented condoms, or McCondom whiskey-flavoured condoms, the opportunities are endless. I would also recommend trying out female condoms. While they may get a little pricey as you get more adventurous, using condoms can save you a lot of stress and cash in the long run. Next, don’t be afraid to add condoms to your foreplay! First, make sure they’re easy to reach. The last thing you want when he’s eating you out is for him to come up for air, and dig through his wallet for an old condom. Pick your favourite flavour, and then put it on for him. Use one hand, two, your lips or your tongue, find a friend—anything that will get that condom on, and turn you both on. In terms of getting your partner to get tested, it’s normal for things to feel a little awkward. Regardless, it’s important that he’s listening to your concerns, and you listen to his. See where his apprehension is coming from. Even if your guy has only had one partner before, he probably isn’t thinking about oral sex, or any other type of non-vaginal penetration that can still result in the contraction of an infection. Often times, pulling up facts from a third-party, let’s say a Laci Green video or a Planned Parenthood article, can help your case. Alongside with your concerns, try to communicate that this process is happening because you want this to work out. Offer to get tested with him, if this would make him feel more at ease. Get him a cake afterwards and offer to eat it off his body, if that’ll do the trick. A lot of communication and a little bit of foreplay can often go a long way.
28 | DISTRACTIONS
FEB. 12-18, 2018
MUSIC EATS SPORTS & WELLNESS FUN THINKING ARTS
Monday Feb. 12 Muggy Mondays, free coffee for whoever brings a reusable mug, Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS) building 2nd floor landing—8:30 a.m. Free yoga, 90 University residence, room 140—5:30 p.m. Tuesday Feb. 13 The Authority Trap, Faculty of Social Sciences building, room 4004—12 p.m. Les Miserables, National Arts Centre—8 p.m.
meal, hosted by the People’s Republic of Delicious, Deja Vu kitchen (between Thompson and Morisset)—9 a.m. Black History Month Comedy Night/Open Mic, Cafe Nostalgica—7 p.m. Thursday Feb. 15 Entrepreneurship Concepts Competition, Colonel By building, room A 04—4 p.m. Muslim feminists DGD, Women’s Resource Centre—2:30 p.m.
Wednesday Feb. 14 Friday Feb. 16 Free home-cooked, healthy, and vegan Pet therapy, 90 University
residence, room 152—11 a.m. Alone, Together: Arts + Crafts for the Tired and Tender, Black Squirrel Books & Espresso Bar—7:30 p.m. Saturday Feb. 17 Spotlight on Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Canada—2 p.m. Homesick: Emo Night Ottawa, the 27 Club—11 p.m. Sunday Feb. 18 LGBTQ Family Day, Ten Oaks Project—2 p.m. Mattie Leon // Amanda Lowe // Patrick Rock, Pressed—8 p.m.
DISTRACTIONS | 29
30 | LETTERS THEFULCRUM.CA
EDITORIAL Volume 78, Issue 19, feb. 12, 2018 Having wild sex since 1942. Phone: (613) 695-0061 | Fax: (613) 695-9006 631 King Edward Ave. Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5 Recycle this paper or we won’t invite you to our orgy.
Eric “The Squat” Davidson Editor-in-Chief email@example.com Jaclyn “The Sultry Saddle” McRaeSadik Production Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Graham “The Man Trap” Robertson Managing Editor email@example.com Anchal “Reverse Cowgirl ” Sharma News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Ryan “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” Pepper Arts and Culture Editor email@example.com Savannah “Woman On Top” Awde Features Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Sports Editor email@example.com David “Cowgirl” Campion-Smith Opinions Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Christine “Butter Churner” Wang Visual Editor email@example.com Social Media Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Ellie “Speed Bump” Sabourin Associate News Editor email@example.com
EVERYTHING IN MODERATION? The debates for the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) general election looked a little different this year. Instead of having members of the editorial boards of the Fulcrum and La Rotonde moderate the debates, as is tradition, this time they were moderated by SFUO president Hadi Wess and executive coordinator Vanessa Dorimain. Sure, at first it felt a bit like being ghosted that person you’d been on a couple dates with. Wow, I thought those debates together went well, what happened? Was it something we said? But after thinking about it, there are some pretty legitimate reasons that having the student media moderate the election debates is a better system. So, what are the benefits of having media moderate the debates? Impartiality, for one. Despite what some students (and American presidents) might think, reputable media outlets don’t do
what they do to advance anyone’s political agenda, and the same is true with the student media. This isn’t an insinuation that having internal members of the SFUO asking questions will carry an explicit bias, but I know that as a student I would feel more comfortable that an outside party was asking the questions. It also means that the people asking the questions aren’t involved in the process, and can step back for a more objective look. It’s true that most outsiders don’t have the same level of familiarity with how the SFUO works that insiders do. However, I can say from personal experience that people involved in student media know more than any person could possibly need (or, in some cases, want) to know about their student unions, and have heard information and input from all the sides you can think of, and a few that you can’t. Student journalists work tirelessly day by day to gather facts
and keep a watchful eye on the politics of our campuses. We know the ins and outs of our student unions, and the university administration itself. Having the campus media at the centre of elections for our student unions, by asking tough questions and ensuring that candidates are prepared for any issue that may arise if elected, is critical to the proper functioning of an open and transparent student democracy. By moderating election debates, our goal is to help the student body find those candidates whom they can place their trust in, and likewise, we expect the SFUO to place that same trust in the media, by helping us achieve that goal. When the debates are moderated by members of the federation itself, it sends across a message that these debates are a closed process, where outside scrutiny is not welcome. In previous years, the elections office has contacted the editorial boards of the campus pa-
pers to receive the questions in advance, to screen them, likely for anything that may directly target an individual candidate. This is a valid concern, however this year, when the Fulcrum was only informed that we wouldn’t be moderating the debates as usual two days before they began To an extent, excluding the media from the debates breaks the trust between the SFUO and the campus as mentioned earlier. Outside of the U of O, other student unions look to their campus media to moderate debates as well, like the Eyeopener does at Ryerson. Even looking outside of student politics, you see the trend. National debates aren’t hosted by a government agency or the civil service, but by the major news organizations. So when it comes to SFUO elections, let’s have the involvement of the executive in moderation, just not in debate moderation.
Nadia “The Manhandle Her” Drissi El-Bouzaidi Associate Features Editor Zack “Edge of Heaven” Goobie Associate Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Parker “Sexy Spoons” Townes Staff Photographer email@example.com Videographer firstname.lastname@example.org Chafik “The Galloping Horse” Kassis Head Web Architect email@example.com Lucas “Corridor Canoodling” Ghosn General Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Kaylum “The Good Spread” Bobal Advertising Representative email@example.com
Alina “The Magic Bullet” Wang Jean-Luc “Doggy Style” Ducamp Eric “69” Davison Perushka “Missionary” Gopalkista Janoah “Planking” Willsie Candide “Amazon” Uyanze Melissa “Crab” Salisbury Hayley “Thigh Tide” Wallace Allegra “Sybian” Morgado Marissa “Washine Machine” Phul
Board of Directors
Raghad “Pump“ Sheikh-Khalil Katelyn “Dancer” Murray Jonathan “Bodyguard” Rausseo Fadi “Backseat Driver” Azzi Spencer “Sofa Surprise” Murdock Maggie “See Saw” Gollish Cover Credits: Christine Wang.
Photo: Anchal Sharma.
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