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Mar. 12, 2018
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In this weekâ€™s issue... Bill Nye stops by P.5 Bill Nye and Justin Trudeau discuss the environment U of O unveils new Indigenous mural P.9 Indigenous mural installed in the University Centre The Mental Health Issue P.13 Undoing mental health stereotypes Keeping Track of the Gees at nationals P.21 U of O Track and Field team competes at U Sports championship The Push is not ethical P.25 Netflix show puts extraordinary stress on unwitting participant Say hello to my little friend P.28 What to say if youâ€™re not circumcised
S A T U R DA Y , M A R C H 17T H Enjoy our daily drink specials L IVE M U S IC Ben Cooper Duo @ 3pm Dave Leroux & Kevin Roach @ 8pm
Anchal Sharma email@example.com (613) 695-0061 @anchalsharma_
Bill Nye, Justin Trudeau talk science at the U of O Federal budget, climate change among topics of discussion Anchal Sharma News Editor
n Tuesday, March 6, the University of Ottawa hosted American TV personality and climate change advocate Bill Nye and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in an armchair discussion about Canada’s investment in science in 2018.
Member of Parliament Kate Young moderated the public talk, which kicked off at 9 a.m. at Tabaret Hall and was met with a full house. The event was held following the release of the 2018 federal budget, and Trudeau’s commitment to invest close to four billion dollars into sci-
ence and research. “It takes a confident nation willing to say ‘you know what, we’re going to invest now in our young researchers who are gonna follow their curiosity because we know 10 years from now, 20 years from now, 30 years from now, that’s going to make a massive difference in the everyday life of everyone, we hope,’” Trudeau said. “But that knowledge for knowledge’s sake... is a big part of what this budget is all about.” The Prime Minister added that he’s “optimistic about the future we have in a challenging world.” A recurring theme in the talk was climate change, and Nye questioned Trudeau’s decision to approve the Kinder Morgan Pipeline, as opposed to looking into renewable sources of energy. Trudeau highlighted the need to maintain a balance between Canada’s responsibil-
ity to the environment and the growth of the economy “that still is reliant on fossil fuels and will be for another number of years.” He also made a call to students in saying, “how many years that is depends a lot on the scientists in this room as we innovate.” Following the event, Nye took questions from the media, and explained his line of questioning, saying he received emails from respected colleagues asking him to speak out against the pipeline. “I’m charmed by the term oil sand, it’s charming,” Nye said, “but everybody, it’s tar.” “It’s your country, Canada’s going to do what it’s going to do… but what we really want is to electrify all ground transportation and have completely renewable energy.” Despite Nye’s disapproval of the pipeline, he admitted his praise for Canada’s carbon
The discussion took place at Tabaret Hall on March 6.
price, saying he’s “very hopeful Canada will lead the way with the fee on carbon.” Trudeau also spoke on the importance of gender, and cultural diversity in science, which he said is “one of the fundamental advantages that Canada has
Photo: Savannah Awde.
contrasting with the rest of the world.” This was made apparent when Trudeau and Nye were later joined by Ayda Elhage, a research student at the U of O who completed her bachelor of sciences in Lebanon and is
currently researching green chemistry, and Queen’s University PhD student Caitlin Miron, who shared her developments in cancer research. A live-stream of the discussion is available on Justin Trudeau’s Facebook page.
U of O hosts Women in Leadership Summit Women in business, academics, come together to share skills Ellie Sabourin
Associate news Editor On Monday, March 5, the University of Ottawa Alumni network hosted a Women in Leadership Summit to kick off International Women’s Week. The goal of the summit was to learn how and why we should empower women in areas of business, academics, and beyond, and included a keynote address by Danièle Henkel, a businesswoman who has created a wellness company in Quebec . “I personally liked the tone of it and the sense of hopefulness I was left (with) when the summit was done,” said Habon Maxamud, a second-year accounting student who attended the summit. “A lot of ideas such as ‘stop being superwomen’ were discussed.” Henkel’s speech addressed the issues that women often feel like they have to do so much in order to be successful. She called this “being superwomen,” emphasizing that you don’t need to do many
things, but rather a few things very well. “I personally found that last point incredibly resonating,” Maxamud said. “I feel that usually as women we think we should be doing it all. And having a few slips is not acceptable, (Henkel) said it and made me feel safe and okay with the idea that I don’t have to do 40 different things to feel accomplished.” Zaineb Al-Faesly, a fourthyear civil engineering student, attended the pre-event on Saturday, March 3, along with prominent women leaders in Ottawa from Shopify, ElementAl, and other large companies. “I think it is beyond important for myself to attend events like this,” she said. “In reality, civil engineering and data science do not have much overlap, however, learning about different things, things that are outside your realm of studies is crucial to your growth.” According to Al-Faesly,
“while it is important to be knowledgeable in your field and pursue further education to specialize in your domain, learning outside of your comfort zone is where some of the best inventions come from. That is where the spark is ignited.” Other presenters included Solmaz Shahalizadeh, director of Data, Merchant Services Algorithms at Shopfiy, and Negar Rostamzadeh, research scientist at ElementAl, Iranian women who are working in the field of data science. “They mentioned to me that women are very underrepresented in this field and as foreign women it is even more difficult,” said Al-Faesly. “Regardless of that, I was extremely impressed by their tenacity. They are both very intelligent ladies who look beyond the limitations that exist and are climbing the ladder in their field, which I found very inspiring. They don’t look at the walls, they just hammer their way through.”
Photo: Courtesy of Habon Maxamud.
NEWS | 5
CARE celebrates international women’s day with fundraiser Walk In Her Shoes event raises awareness for girls in developing countries anchal sharma
news editor On Tuesday, March 6, CARE Canada, a division of an international humanitarian organization dedicated to fighting global poverty, held its second annual Walk In Her Shoes fundraiser ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8 to raise awareness for women and girls in developing countries. The event started at 11:30 a.m. on Parliament Hill, with speeches by notable individuals such as Sophie Grégoire Trudeau. Following speeches, the group of over 100 participants walked down Elgin street to City Hall, where they were greeted by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, and treated to lunch by sponsors of the event including Gabriel’s Pizza. The walk was held in solidarity with women from developing countries who often have to walk up to 10,000 steps a day to collect
basic necessities, taking up time that organizers believe can be better put towards education. Darcy Knoll, a University of Ottawa alumnus and communications specialist at CARE Canada explained that the event is part of a broader effort to address women’s needs across the organization. “We felt one day wasn’t enough,” he explained in reference to International Women’s Day, sharing that the organization is spearheading events throughout the month for their March For Women campaign. “It’s really part of this global effort to draw attention to efforts to promote gender equality and women’s rights and show that people really care about these efforts,” he said, adding that other offices are participating in countries like Niger, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and England. One of the organizers, fourth-year international development and globaliza-
tion student Leah Friedman, who got involved through the community service learning program through the U of O shared that “they’re trying to bring it in close to international women’s day because the program is for mothers, mothers’ empowerment, and combating child malnutrition.” Tuesday’s event raised $15,098 in donations from the public, which Knoll says will go towards funding nutrition work in southern Africa, including training to help women take charge of health efforts in their communities. Friedman encourages students to join the cause, even if they don’t have the economic means to donate. “It’s great to be a volunteer,” she said. “You’re still contributing through your time, you get to meet a lot of people. It’s a good way to get involved.” To learn more about CARE Canada, you can follow them on Twitter.
Photo: Anchal Sharma.
Ontario universities propose senior executive pay raise
What does this raise mean for students, support staff? Ellie Sabourin
associate news editor Ontario universities and colleges have submitted proposals to the provincial government that would allow for pay raises for senior executives. So far, plans at four Ontario universities have been approved and are posted online for public feedback. In response to the University of Ottawa’s proposed plan, which included a salary increase of over $150,000 for its senior executives, the Support Staff of the University of Ottawa (SSUO), is “vehemently opposed to the proposals in the program,” according to a March 7 statement. The SSUO represents over 1,300 support staff members at the university. Destination 2020, the university’s strategic plan, highlights improving “the student experience” as its main goal. This comes on
The university’s proposed plan includes a salary increase of over $150,000 for its senior executives.
the heels of the recent Maclean’s University Rankings which place the U of O in last place for “student satisfaction.” “It is indefensible to suggest increasing executive salaries by tens of thousands of dollars will in any way meet this goal,” said
the SSUO in their statement. “And will further degrade the low staff morale.” Students at the U of O are also concerned about the executive pay raises. Victoria Leigh, a thirdyear sociology student said that she is worried about
Photo: Jean-Luc Ducamp.
how this is going to affect her tuition costs. “I want to see my money going towards services and not just the university executives,” she shared. “As a student, most of my interactions on campus are with teachers and support staff and I’d like to see
things like wait times for services improve.” The U of O has said that the increase will have minimal impact on tuition costs. “The University manages its budget in the most diligent manner,” says Patrick Charette, director of institutional communications. “Tuition fee increases, if any, are regulated by the province and despite increases in the last years, the University always ensured to mitigate impacts on students by offering one of the most generous financial aid programs in Ontario, with more than $100M in financial support available to our students.” The university has also said that despite last year’s increase, its revenues from Canadian tuition fees remain unchanged from previous years, at 36 per cent of the operating fund. The SSUO calls the university’s proposal to in-
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crease the salary of five executive positions by over $150,000 “insulting to staff who have been suffering under increased workload and stress due to a hiring freeze.” The U of O’s plan argues that the wage freeze, put in place in 2012, has made pay levels uncompetitive for senior staff. According to the plan, “the pool of top university executive talent is not large… We have had difficulty hiring senior executives and recently lost one to another organization.” The SSUO argues that requirements for their positions are very specialized, such as a required high-level of bilingualism, but that their compensation program does not take that into consideration. “Do we not merit an increase in salary as well for this requirement?” they ask in their written statement.
A&C EDITOR Ryan Pepper firstname.lastname@example.org
ARTS&CULTURE U of O unveils first on-campus Indigenous mural (613) 695-0062 @pep_ryan
Ashinaabe artist commissioned to paint mural with pan-Indigenous theme Ryan Pepper
Arts & Culture Editor
he University of Ottawa is set to see its first Indigenous mural installed this week in the University Centre.
The mural is a joint initiative between the Indigenous Students Association and the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO), following the suggestion of the federation’s president, Hadi Wess, after the Black and Trans mural was painted in 2016. “Hadi Wess had a lot to do with it. He was the one who brought the idea to the Indigenous Students Association, and then it went from there,” said Marissa Mills, a fourth-year communications student who serves as the university affairs executive for the Indigenous
Students Association and the Indigenous students’ representative for the SFUO’s Board of Administration. “Just to go in line with representing Indigenous people and Indigenous students here and having more visibility.” The Indigenous Students Association also organizes cultural and educational events like powwows, Metis jigging, Inuit throat singing, and the popular Indigenous Speakers Series. After Wess proposed the mural in late 2017, the Indigenous Students Association began the selection process for an artist. After narrowing down the potential names, they decided to go with Anishinaabe artist Isaac Noganosh. Mills said the committee wanted to represent the Algonquin people upon whose land the U of O is built, and, as Mills says, the Algonquin people are Anishinaabe as well. The mural has a pan-Indigenous theme, said Mills,
although it does pay homage to the Algonquin people of Ottawa, and is informed by Noganosh’s Anishanaabe heritage. “It’s not just focusing on one nation,” Mills said. “It will be a grandmother, or a mother holding the Earth,” Mills explained prior to the mural’s unveiling. “It’s just in line with connection to Mother Earth, and just that female figure holding earth and that connection to Mother Earth is all across Indigenous nations.” The mural was painted on Friday, March 2, and had a softunveiling at the Awazibi Powwow hosted by the U of O last weekend, which also featured dancing, drumming, and vendors. It will soon be mounted in the University Centre where it will stand permanently. Mills shared that the mural is happening because of Wess’ own advocacy for Indigenous issues, and because the U of O administration now has staff in charge of increasing visibil-
The mural being painted.
ity and services for Indigenous students. This has allowed the Indigenous Students Association to worry less about administrative issues and more about student events and, as Mills put it, allows them to “build more relationships.” The mural’s function is twofold: To let Indigenous students know they are represented on campus, and to raise awareness
among non-Indigenous students that we study and live on Indigenous land. “We definitely want Indigenous students to feel that they are represented, and especially Algonquin Indigenous students, because this is their territory. We can’t have this big space on this territory without that recognition or visibility,” said Mills. “This will be in a
Photo: Christine Wang.
space where thousands of people will go by it everyday.” Mills also pointed out that the mural was painted on wood so that it will outlast the University Centre, which will eventually be redone. “We don’t want to see that art piece getting destroyed,” Mills said. “This will be like a living thing, so we want to preserve it as long as we can.”
People’s Republic of Delicious dedicated to veganism, reclaimed food
Campus club cooks free vegan meals on campus, promotes sustainability Ryan Pepper
Arts & Culture Editor Looking for a way to combat food waste, practice sustainability, and make delicious vegan meals? The People’s Republic of Delicious (PRD) has that covered. PRD is a club at the University of Ottawa that meets weekly, preparing vegan meals with food that would have otherwise been thrown out. They get most of the food from Herb and Spice, a grocer on Bank St., and cook free meals on campus. “It was started by a small group of activists on campus who just wanted to highlight how much food waste accumulates in grocery stores and on campus,” said club cocoordinator and fourth-year health sciences student Andrea Zukowski. The club uses reclaimed food and keeps tabs on how many pounds of food they prevent from going to the landfill. It’s “pre-dumpster,” Zukowski put it, as the club partners with grocery stores to get blemished or near-expired food.
The PRD team preparing a meal.
“We collect food from Herb and Spice and other local grocery stores that would actually go to the landfill,” said Kori Liversage, a fourth-year psychology student and co-coordinator with the club. “People from all over can come and
Photo: Parker Townes.
join. It’s an all-inclusive space. Community members, faculty members, students can all just come, they learn different skills about how to cook different vegetable meals.” Liversage added that through their work, PRD is
“rescuing anywhere from 30– 70 pounds of food a week.” Using food that looks bad but is still fine to eat also teaches students about their own food waste. This isn’t an issue that only exists in grocery stores, Zukowski and Liver-
sage pointed out. Individual homes create a large amount of food waste, something that PRD hopes they can decrease. PRD also fills an advocacy role, hoping to change the way grocery stores think about their food waste. This year, the club received a grant from the Alex Trebek Innovation and Challenge Fund that they want to use to start a dialogue with the large grocery stores. “The action of taking this food that would have otherwise been thrown out is a political act,” said Zukowski. “Just to say that yes, we are reclaiming this food that you think is not good but we do.” They hope that by expressing interest in this food headed to the dumpster, the group can incentivize grocery stores to make their food more accessible, which will have large impacts on people who have difficulty affording food in the store. “Food is a basic human right, and it shouldn’t be just, okay it’s either in the grocery store or
nobody gets it,” Liversage said. The club also promotes veganism, although many in the group are not vegans themselves. On one hand, this is because most of the food they use is vegetables, but they also promote veganism as a more sustainable lifestyle, and hope to dispel common myths about vegans. “It’s just dispelling that stereotype that only hippies and people who are interested in the environment and just passionate about this one thing can promote environmentally sound practices. As you can see in there, there’s a diverse group here,” Zukowski said, who admits she held stereotypes of vegans before she joined the group. The group meets every Wednesday in Déjà Vu to cook. They usually prepare stir fries over rice, salads, and potato dishes, but the meals can also be a surprise. This week, for instance, they made vegan poutine. “You just get to learn to cook,” said Zukowski. “What’s better than that?”
ARTS & CULTURE | 9
U of O student brings Brazilian circus-theatre to the stage Caravan of Illusion features music, clowning, ‘street performance’ aesthetic a forked path, but this time the have no leader so they have to decide which way to go. This then gives a voice to what they want in life … the tradition that their family has been carrying for a long time starts to be questioned.” The play was popular in Brazil as a subtle critique of the ruling dictatorship, but the questions it asked about the role of art in that oppressive society were left behind when the dictatorship fell. People wanted to put those days behind them and create a new culture, explained Mar Dos Reis. “The themes that we see throughout the show are: what is an artist, what does it mean to live an artistic life, do we value art,” said Mar Dos Reis. But those themes are fitting in Canada, particularly in Ottawa where institutions like the National Arts Centre, Canada Council, and the federal government must make
decisions about art funding all the time, Mar Dos Reis said. It’s also fitting in university, as STEM careers are routinely touted over the arts. “This questioning of art and artists matters a lot at school,” she said. “I’ve done my BA in acting before, the master’s, and those questions actually keep popping up.” The play persisted as a popular street performance after it fell out of favour in large theatres, and that street performance element bleeds into this stage production. “The aesthetics of the street where you kind of get everything together is something that we brought (into the play),” said Mar Dos Reis. For instance, the actors play a homemade tambourine and cigar-box guitar instead of store-bought instruments. “The simplicity and the assembly and the size, we borrowed from (the street).”The play strikes a balance between quiet and loud, tender
and funny—all the things, Mar Dos Reis said, that a skilled artist needs to be able to do. Mar Dos Reis, who trained in Brazil, initially found the English-Canadian theatre process jarring. She wanted to be collaborative whereas her Canadian actors expected her to come in knowing
exactly what she wanted. Eventually, she struck a balance. “Yes, I prepare everything, but I always find time to collaborate with my actors,” said Mar Dos Reis. “Their creativity gets sparked, and then I see what they bring together as a group … and then I start negotiating.”
published, I found it was even better the second time around. Though there are plenty of reasons for this, I think they can all be summarized in the phrase ‘density.’ By this, I mean the novel is overflowing with so many spectacular attributes that you have to look from afar to see them all. On its surface, you can read Crime and Punishment as a great thriller. If all you’re looking for is suspense, then Dostoyevsky has plenty to offer. The stakes are high, the motivations are believable, the conflicts are clear, and beneath every confrontation lurks a tangible feeling of absolute oblivion. In that sense, it has all the page-turning qualities that most readers of fiction look for in a novel. All of the characters are distinct, memorable, and, in a manner exclusive to Russian literature, terribly tragic. Much like Dickens, Dostoyevsky’s characters are fictionalized representations of real personality types you encounter every day. It’s
difficult to keep the characters together in your mind, as each of them has three names that sound incredibly similar, but their personalities are distinct enough to remind you which character is in what scene, even if you don’t get the names quite right. A second reading provides you with the opportunity to truly appreciate what Dostoyevsky is doing. C&P is fundamentally a work of philosophy, very similar to the dialogues of Plato. Famously, Plato’s method of writing about philosophy was just to write about people talking about it. Dostoyevsky is doing essentially the same thing. He’s examining philosophy not through arguments but through fiction—by personifying philosophies and having them interact in the ‘real’ world. Dostoyevsky represents every philosophy fairly. Even the main target of his philosophical attack, nihilism, is given plenty of time to develop itself and demonstrate why it’s appealing. He builds no straw men; every
philosophy he tackles is built from a strong base and completely understandable. Ultimately, however, it’s a sad novel, with a level of emotional brutality that’s hard to convey. To get over it, a warm fire and a Pixar movie might be necessary. Other Russian authors, such as Nikolai Gogol, opted to find humour in the tragedy, and created that dark comedy typical of Russia. But Dostoyevsky left no place for laughter in his novel. His message, among many, is clear: actions have consequences. And some consequences can drag you into the unimaginable depths of hell. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Underlying the entire novel is a feeling of hope. No one talks about it, but it’s always there. It’s the only positive quality in a novel focused almost entirely on the deepest and most destructive vices of mankind. For Dostoyevsky, that hope comes from faith. Whether or not you accept that conclusion is up to you.
Arts & Culture Editor A taste of Brazilian circus-theatre is coming to the University of Ottawa with a lively production of Caravan of Illusion, set to open Tuesday, March 20. The Brazilian play, written in the early 1980s when Brazil was under a military dictatorship, follows three itinerant artists and circus performers, a mute musician, and a traveller woman. The three circus performers are brothers with a lifetime of circus experience behind them, but with the death of their father, they are forced to find their own path in life. “It’s the story of three artists that are brothers, plus a musician that walks with them,” said Ludmylla Mar Dos Reis, a master’s of fine arts student in the theatre department, and the director of the play. “They are travelling artists, and they see
Caravan of Illusion runs March. 20–24.
Photo: Ryan Pepper.
“My favourite thing about directing was to be able to assemble all of our ideas together and then find my way to get a vision from everyone’s voice.” Caravan of Illusion runs March 20–24 at 2 Daly Ave at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students and can be bought at the door or on Eventbrite.
IT’S LIT IN THE LIBRARY: Crime and Punishment • Fyodor Dostoyevsky Connor Chase Staff Contributor
During the school year, when you feel like readings are piled up to your ears, reading for fun can seem like a ridiculous idea—but it shouldn’t. Reading is the fastest way for you to make an escape into the world of your choosing, and expand your vocabulary without even knowing it. The underappreciated world of literature offers endless benefits, so without further ado, check out this week’s read. The title of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment is fitting. At its simplest, it’s the story of a man who convinces himself it’s okay to murder someone, and then lives with the consequences of doing so. It’s about a crime, and punishment of those crimes. Sounds unremarkable, but it’s heralded as one of the greatest novels ever written for a reason. Like most works that are still worth reading long after they’re
10 | ARTS & CULTURE
Photo: Penguin Random House.
Three fictional characters with real mental illnesses Why mental health representation in television matters Anchal sharma news editor
We all know that representation in television matters, and there have been a lot of conversations about cultural and racial diversity in both TV and film. But what about representing an invisible minority? When it comes to representation, mental health may not be the first thing you think of, but luckily, the creators of these shows have. BOJACK HORSEMAN You might not relate to his flashy Hollywoo lifestyle, or the fact that he’s a horseman, but if you’ve ever been depressed, then you’ll recognize yourself in some of this washed up actor’s antics. This is no silly cartoon, despite the fun animation and cheesy jokes. Unlike most animated shows, BoJack Horseman sticks to a plot that gets better every season. While his depression was established early on, the most jarring—and exceptional—portrayal of it was in season four’s episode, “Stupid Piece of Shit.” The episode immediately lets you in on Bo-
Jack’s thoughts as he’s waking up, a private world we could have only guessed at before. The shock factor here is that his self-loathing monologue is entirely too relatable. “You’re a real stupid piece of shit,” it starts. “But I know I’m a piece of shit, that at least makes me feel better than all the other pieces of shit out there who don’t know they’re pieces of shit. Or is it worse? Breakfast.” All this before the opening credits. You constantly hear that other people are going through the same things as you, but that’s usually just in the form of a statistic. It’s a welcome change to see an honest depiction of what being depressed actually feels like, especially when it’s coming from the horse’s mouth. The best part is that it wasn’t intentional. In an interview with the Huffington Post, the show’s creator, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, shared that it was never his intention to create a show about depression, explaining that “BoJack Horseman is not trying to capture this thing (depression) as
much as it is trying to capture this character and what he is.” Living with depression is hard, but it doesn’t define you. This show recognizes that people with mental illness are more than that, they are four dimensional characters, and that’s refreshing. LOVE Love is a show about addiction, in the best possible way. It’s not corny, it doesn’t use mental illness as a plot device or metaphor—it’s simply an honest portrayal of the life of an addict. It follows the main character, Mickey, as she grapples
with being a sex addict, an alcoholic, and a junkie. The show follows her interactions with her friends and roommate, and allows her to be a well-rounded character who recognizes her flaws. Like BoJack, Mickey recognizes that she has a problem, and she takes important steps to recover, like attending Alcoholics Anonymous and motivating herself to stay sober. Mickey may be an addict, but she’s functional, has a job, and maintains her relationships, albeit not all well. Love gives audiences a real picture of what addiction looks like to some people, without factor-
Photo: CC, Netflix.
ing in unnecessary drama. JESSICA JONES A Marvel show, Jessica Jones follows the titular character in her struggle to recover from a history of trauma, from witnessing the death of her family, to surviving rape and abuse by season one’s villain, Kilgrave. Jones is more of an antihero than a superhero, and despite her super strength, being strong isn’t always easy. This is especially true whenever she is faced with her abuser. The show does a phenomenal job of depicting life as a trauma survivor, with Jones strug-
gling with feelings of guilt, dealing with vivid flashbacks triggered by certain words or instances, and self-medicating through alcohol and sex. It also does a good job of showing how the people close to her handle or mishandle her trauma. One example is her adoptive sister, Trish, who means well by trying to get Jessica to face her fears, but often just worsens or triggers her illness. Like BoJack and Mickey, Jones is a four-dimensional character, despite being straight out of a comic book, and her struggle with mental illness is not a just a gimmick.
Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards winners announced
Ottawa event recognized producers, actors, musicians, advocates Ryan Pepper
Arts & Culture Editor The recipients of the 2018 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards were announced on Thursday, March 8 at an event hosted in the Canada Council building. The Performing Arts Awards recognize achievements in theatre, film and television, music, acting, and arts advocacy. They are divided into three categories—a lifetime achievement award, the National Arts Centre Award for any artist at any point in their artistic career, and the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism. This year’s laureates for the Lifetime Artistic Achievement award are Andrew Alexander, a theatre, film, and television producer who worked with Second City and SCTV; Genevieve Bujold, an actress with a 50-year career; Peter Herrndorf, former CEO of the National Arts Centre; Angela Hewitt, a pianist renowned for her countless J. S. Bach recordings; Ginette Laurin, a pioneer in contemporary dance in Canada; and Murray McLauchlan, one of Can-
ada’s leading singer-songwriters. The Award for Voluntarism went to Florence Junca Adenot, who founded Quebec’s first permanent contemporary dance venue, and pop duo Tegan and Sara won the National Arts Centre Award. In a short video, Alexander summarized the role of the Canadian government in his career as “No Canada, no career.” The federal and provincial governments fund countless arts organizations and foundations, including the Canada Council, the country’s primary art fund. “The structure that we have for the arts does the same thing as all the foundation grants in the United States. It’s more philanthropic and private in the United States,” said McLauchlan, who scored a hit single in 1972 with “Farmer’s Song.” “Our model of having the government participate in funding for the arts, I think is really terribly important because we don’t have that kind of (private) infrastructure.” In a country lacking in private foundations, the prestige, capabilities, and possibilities of art in
Canada is fully in the hands of the government. McLauchlan praised federal organizations for keeping politics out of it. As he said, he was never forced to match the taste of the current political party. McLauchlan started his folksinging career in the 1960s, at a time when Canadian culture was nascent, and barely funded. Most Canadians with an artistic bent went overseas to make it big, which is why it’s still stunning to see an event this large for Canadian culture. Canadian nationalism steadily grew, but it took time. “My emergence does predate a lot of the institutions that are a part of the culture industry now,” said McLauchlan. “When people like myself emerged in Canada, we were kind of riding a wave of emergent cultural nationalism.” This was true for many of the nominees in the lifetime achievement category, who played critical roles in our entrenched institutions now, but who often surpassed them in age. At the same time cultural nation-
The winners were announced March. 8.
alism grew, so did Canadian radio, which McLauchlan attributes to making stars out of many early Canadian artists. Radio hosts would play Canadian music late at night, he said, which meant it was picked up by a lot of university students.
Photo: Ryan Pepper.
Most singer-songwriters, including McLauchlan, played their first major shows on university campuses. The recipients of the 2018 Governor-General’s Performing Arts Awards will receive their awards at a gala on June 2.
ARTS & CULTURE | 11
Illustration: Alina Wang.
From my personal experience as a Chinese-Canadian, I find that mental illness and mental health are issues rarely (if ever) discussed in Chinese and East Asian households. It continues to be considered a non-serious issue and taboo subject, resulting in its highly stigmatized state. This piece is a study of the impact of culture, family, and heritage on the way I approach and experience my mental health and identity. I have grown up believing in the mentality of “I’ll get over it,” and this thought process is one I still work to beat. There is a tension between my Eastern identity and the influence of my cultural upbringing, growing up in a Western environment. I wish to be able to communicate with my family regarding mental health, yet I’m still unable to overcome the uncomfortableness that has been ingrained and taught. —Christie Shen, fine arts student at the University of Waterloo.
Illustration: Christie Shen.
No, EDs are not just a skinny white girl problem
Adjusting common assumptions of what those living with EDs look like
Nadia Drissi El-Bouzaidi Associate Features Editor
Whether it’s Heather Duke from the 1988 classic Heathers, or the more recent Lily Collins-starring To the Bone, we’re all familiar with eating disorders (ED) through the lens of movies and T.V. EDs began to grab headlines in the 1970s with Jane Fonda’s confession of her 20-year battle with bulimia, and the death of musician Karen Carpenter from complications related to anorexia.
with bulimia in her memoir, Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat.
Since then, Hollywood has churned out dozens of melodramas about young girls and women battling these disorders. Generally the afflicted are white, emaciated (but still beautiful), and financially well-off.
Culture is an important factor in all mental illnesses, but especially for eating disorders because “sometimes these disorders manifest slightly different in different cultures,” said Ivanova.
However the scourge of eating disorders touches more diverse kinds of people every day. More and more young people are opening up about the stigma of living with an eating disorder and coming from a non-white background. Unfortunately, since there aren’t any data that release information on the incidence of eating disorders based on ethnicity, we often have to rely on anecdotal evidence. “The only thing we had in common was the eating disorder,” said Anahi Ortega, a MexicanAmerican woman who battled anorexia for several years. “I felt so different in a room full of white girls. When we talked about eating disorders, I could relate. When we talked about home, I couldn’t.” Author Stephanie Covington Armstrong detailed her experience as a black woman dealing
“I’d say these days it’s a lot more diverse,” says Dr. Iryna Ivanova, a clinical psychologist at the Centre for Eating Disorders Research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. “We’re certainly seeing people with much more diverse cultural backgrounds and certainly socio-economic status.”
However according to a 2006 study, clinicians were less likely to diagnose non-white patients with eating disorders. In the study, 91 clinicians read 1 of 3 fictional passages about the disordered eating patterns of a young girl. The researchers found that the clinicians were less likely to diagnose African-American girls with eating disorders than white or Latina girls. While culture is an important variable, there is still a very potent impact of Western media all over the world, according to Ivanova. Several years after the introduction of American T.V. in a province in Fiji in the 1990s, rates of eating disorders began to rise. Another factor that often leads to silent sufferers of eating disorders is the weight of the individual itself. The DSM-5 lists a condition called atypical anorexia nervosa in which the individual demonstrates all the behaviours of an-
orexia such as restricting food intake and partaking in excessive exercise, but they are not underweight. “I think it’s deceiving often, to have weight as a variable,” said Ivanova. “You can have major disturbances in the way you see your body for example, without the weight.” Another important factor that could be linked to cases of atypical anorexia is a shift to varying body ideals in pop culture and social media. “Going from the thin ideal to the more muscular toned ideal, I think neither one is good or bad, both can be damaging if taken to the extreme,” said Ivanova.
This can also leak into the medical profession, as McDermid noted that her doctor told her that she would still have to lose more weight before he would be concerned about her health. Evidently, those who suffer from EDs in reality aren’t necessarily the same as those we see fighting these disorders on the big screen. The homogeneous representation of EDs in pop culture might seem benign to the onlooker. But in reality, lack of accurate representation translates to a lack of support, in both family relationships and the medical environment, for those who are suffering under the radar.
“Often times the tendency to be perfectionistic will drive individuals to take it to that extreme, as an effort to try to control some things they feel are not controllable.” In fact, some might see drastic weight loss in overweight people as a positive change to their health. However, as demonstrated by ED sufferers like Nicole McDermid, this assessment fails to account for the person’s mental state during the extreme weight loss. “No one really got the extent to which it was torturous in my head,” McDermid recounted to ABC News. “All they really saw was that I was losing weight and this was a really good thing for my health.”
Illustration: Christine Wang.
Your high-achie not immune to Why stereotypes prevent the people who “have Graham Robertson it all” from accessing treatment Managing Editor
Wake up. School. Extracurriculars. Work. Study. Party. Sleep. Sounds like a familiar routine for many of us, doesn’t it? Balancing all of this can often seem like an impossible task, especially while trying to eat right, maintain our relationships with family and friends, and keep our health in check.
“ONE COULD LIKEN IT TO A MASK” For Joseph Senaratne, a second-year finance student at Ryerson University, his struggles with mental illness began when he started feeling like he had lost his sense of home and belonging while growing up.
But trying to excel in all areas of your life, or at least perform somewhat successfully, can often be impacted by a mental illness, and maintaining some semblance of stability as a high-functioning student can indeed have negative impacts on your own mental health.
“This confusion brought upon a horrible sense of despair and developed into anxiety, which prevented me from doing things that before could have been done with ease,” he says.
As someone who has worked part-time for three out of four years of my undergrad, taken full-time classes, been involved in a variety of campus clubs and extracurriculars, all while trying to stay healthy and have good interpersonal relationships, I can definitely attest to the effects that all of this can have on a person’s mental health. There are days when you look at your to-do list and wish you could just go back to bed, but you know that you have to power through because you have a duty to yourself and to others to get the work done. To some, a “high-functioning mental illness” can sound strange. We’ve all heard the stereotypes, that people with mental illnesses are lazy and thus can’t possibly succeed in school or other areas of their lives. How can someone with mental health issues be high-functioning? These misconceptions make high-functioning people less willing to reach out for help—the stereotypes surrounding mental illnesses tell us that we’re weak if we speak openly about our struggles. That we’ll wreck the image that people have of us as accomplished and, pardon my French, that we have our shit together. But high-functioning mental illnesses are more common than you may think, and the reality is that the girl who’s president of her club and acing six classes, or the guy working two jobs and on his school’s dance team could very well have struggles of their own.
Coming from a South Asian background, Senaratne highlights the cultural expectations of his family, specifically his father, and that it was almost impossible to discuss his mental health, which only made things worse. “I am the son of the only son on my father’s side … I am expected by my father, my grandfather, and everyone around me to be the same. From a young age my father has drilled into me that I must be big and strong, and he forced me to play sports and work out.” This expectation to be strong resulted in his father dismissing what he was going through, and being seen as “weak and needy” and not wanting to work hard. “I grew hopeless, and the inability to treat my anxiety caused depression,” he explains. Thankfully, his mother was more receptive to what he was going through and helped him get treatment, which is the reason why he is able to lead a high-functioning life today. Senaratne notes a complex balance between working in a senior-level retail position and living with anxiety and depression, which he describes as a “disassociation.” “One could liken it to a mask, where while I’m at work I have a separate retail personality which aids in making sales and ignoring emotionally taxing customers and tasks. This in itself is emotional labour.”
When it comes to school, Senaratne shares that his mental health can negatively impact his performance, which results in losing sleep to catch up on coursework. While he admits this might be toxic and unhealthy behaviour, he says that “slipping away from my emotions and having to focus on something … is an escape in itself.”
Senaratne shares the negative stereotypes regarding his mental health in relation to his work, namely the idea that “people with mental illnesses are flight risks to employers and are often unable to pull their weight in groups.” “I’ve found the best way to deal with the stereotypes was by proving them wrong as best as I could,” he says. “By effectively holding out on the fact that I am living with a mental illness and simply working well, the stereotype of being lazy or a flight risk is dissipated upon me revealing the reality of my mental state to those I’m working with.” THE STRUGGLE OF TAKING A DAY “I can’t remember what it is like to be in school and not have some sort of mental health issue occurring at the same time,” says Emma, a third-year conflict studies and human rights student at the University of Ottawa, who has dealt with an eating disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and faces an ongoing battle with anxiety and depression. Emma has chosen to keep her last name private in this publication. “In a way that has helped me develop into the student I am today, I am hyper aware of my own personal needs and I am not afraid to put school or my social life on the back burner to take care of myself, but it has been difficult to get to that point today.” Emma found herself able
eving friends are mental illness On staying true to your sexuality while dating in university to balance school, a part-time job, and being a competitive swimmer in high school while dealing with an eating disorder, which she attributes to the support of her family and friends, but acknowledges that this wasn’t the case in her second year at the U of O when she developed PTSD.
The disorder manifested itself after a boy drowned while Emma was working as a lifeguard at a beach during that summer. “I found it too triggering to return to my job at the university pool, so I quit, and I also left my swim team. I struggled to focus enough to study or to sit down and write my papers, all I wanted to do was keep busy so I didn’t have to deal with my trauma. School was challenging and I missed a lot of class that year.” Eventually, with therapy, the right support system, and understanding professors, Emma found herself able to get back into swimming. She credits her ability to maintain a healthy social life, good grades, and fitness routine to plenty of self-care, such as journaling and meditation. But achieving this balance and performing well doesn’t always mean pushing yourself to your limits. Emma shares that she has to be patient with herself, and taking the time to find the right path to recovery was crucial to getting to the point she’s at today.
faced with all of my mental health struggles is that everyone assumes I am doing great and I don’t have very real needs that I am working hard to address,” she says. “I have managed to stay full-time in school, keep up my regular fitness, and socialize with my friends, but I don’t like to reach out to my peers when I am struggling and sometimes that gives the impression that everything is going well in my life.”
else it’s always important to let them know that it’s wrong to associate such negativity and hate to people who really haven’t done anything to them.”
For Emma, stereotypical beliefs that people with mental illnesses are lazy or low-functioning lead to her facing judgment when she needs to take a day off to prioritize her mental health.
Unfortunately, despite our efforts to dispel these myths, they still have a way of seeping into even our positive conversations surrounding mental health, and the ways we try to raise awareness.
“I know that I’m lucky to be able to maintain the lifestyle that I have, but it has taken years of therapy and self-reflection and patience to be able to function the way that I do, and it takes work every day to keep making progress and not letting mental health struggles overcome my life.”
“When I think about posters that I see outlining the signs and symptoms of mental health issues, sometimes I find myself second-guessing my own issues because they don’t always fit the norm,” says Emma.
These stereotypes are found across our society when it comes to mental illness, though we often tend to hear more stories about issues such as eating disorders, depression, and anxiety. To better combat these stereotypes, we need to hear from high-functioning people with mental disorders that we tend to avoid discussing, or simply don’t know much about. MAKING ROOM IN THE CONVERSATION FOR HIGH-FUNCTIONING FOLKS
Her process of healing is ongoing, but she notes one major barrier standing in the way of this, which are the stereotypes about people with mental illnesses.
Matthew Garber, a third-year psychology student at the U of O, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the eighth grade, and falls on the high-functioning end of the spectrum.
“I think one of the hardest misconceptions I’ve
“I can still function in social settings, I am verbal, and I’ve learned to mask my behavioural signs well enough that if I didn’t tell you I had ASD you probably wouldn’t know,” he explains. Some of these behavioural signs include difficulties in social settings and following regimented routines and patterns in daily life. He notes that there are plenty of stereotypes facing those in the autism spectrum community. “Spend half an hour in any chatroom online and you’ll find someone referring to someone else as autistic or retarded. They seem to believe that it’s funny to denigrate others who may be acting childish or stupidly by calling them developmentally disabled.” “Luckily that tends to die out pretty quickly when people are better educated, so I don’t really face that here on campus. Whenever someone does call something or someone retarded or autistic or whatever
Both Emma and Garber believe that awareness is key to combating these stereotypes, and Garber suggests that the best way to start is to get to know someone with a mental illness.
“We need to talk about the other end of the spectrum—the people who throw themselves into school or work or sports as a way of coping with their anxiety or depression or to fend off panic attacks or flashbacks.” “As one of those people, it’s hard to feel validated in my experience of PTSD, depression, eating disorders, or anxiety because it doesn’t always fit the ‘poster image’ of mental health issues. There is no right way to be depressed, just as there is no right way to get better. If you need more sleep and more therapy to recover than someone else, that’s okay— just as it’s okay if instead of finding yoga relaxing you find lifting heavy at the gym or running sprints to be the thing that keeps everything in check.” As Senaratne puts it, “I wish people understood that mental illness does not dictate someone’s entire ethic and personality, it’s simply a part of it. It’s impossible to segment someone’s entire being into labels—it’s like building a brick house without mortar to hold them together. I am not my mental illness but more importantly, I am not just a person living with mental illness, I am a person.” Changing our conversations around mental health is essential if we want to be more inclusive and supportive of those who don’t fit the stereotype. Not everyone with a mental illness spends all day in bed, and recognizing this is key to making highfunctioning people with mental illnesses more willing to speak out about their struggles. Sometimes all it takes is reaching out to the person who seems to have everything together, and letting them know that they aren’t alone in what they’re going through.
Illustrations: Christine Wang.
Hold the PMS jokes Savannah Awde Features Editor
Legitimizing the mental health impacts of PMDD
Growing up, I found periods often acted as both the butt-end of the joke, and an unspeakable biological function rivalling He Who Must Not Be Named. In high school, there was no shortage of dudes yelling “whoaaaa, PMS much?” to their friends who publicly expressed anger or sadness. To this day, I roll my eyes when my male family members use the phrase “lady things,” because apparently saying the words “tampon,” “pad,” or “Diva cup” is just too much to bear. It’s almost comical, how we feel comfortable using PMS jokes to belittle people’s emotions, and yet none of us really want to talk about the subject of periods beyond that. But when you consider the farreaching impacts of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), there’s good reason to put the PMS jokes and the period stigma aside, and get serious about understanding mental health in relation to menstruation. I had actually never heard of PMDD before starting this article. In hindsight, that’s largely unsurprising given that there aren’t many researchers in Canada who study this disorder on any extensive level. Researcher
Jean-Michel Le Melledo is one of the few who isn’t afraid of “lady things,” and studies PMDD at the University of Alberta. I caught up with him to shed some light on what PMDD means, and why this disorder is no joke. So, if you aren’t afraid of a little blood, let’s dive on in. Savannah: First of all, what is PMDD, and how is it different from PMS?
Jean-Michel: Both PMS and PMDD involve symptoms that occur after ovulation … and the symptoms typically peak around two days before the menses, and disappear within a day or two of the occurrence of the menses. A lot of women show symptoms for their menses, but PMDD involves significant impairment of functioning, either at home, or at work, or while studying. Women suffering from PMDD, their problem is not that their estrogen or progesterone is too high or too low … the women who suffer from PMDD have an increased sensitivity to changes in the hormones. So what we find is the women who are hypersensitive and suffer from PMDD are also more likely to suffer from postpartum depression, and are more likely to develop pre-menopausal depression. It’s a very important group of women, with very significant consequences when we don’t detect or treat PMDD. And to give you an idea of the severity sometimes of the symptoms, I have some women who are very talented, happily married, but at the time of their premenstrual symptoms, the husband will leave the house and live in a different apartment … This is the extreme, but to show how disturbing it can be in terms of functioning. Illustrations: Christine Wang.
S: From my research, it appears there isn’t a consensus among researchers on whether or not PMDD is a legitimate mental health issue. In your mind, has PMDD gained enough recognition as a disorder? JM: The (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition) was released two or three years ago, and in that manual, PMDD was classified among emotional disorders. So it’s a new recognition for the disorder, and I had the chance to speak about this with someone instrumental in developing the DSM-4, and at that time PMDD was only in the annex of this DSM. We have well-defined criteria, we have treatment, blind and controlled studies show that biological treatment works. So all the criteria to make the disorder were already met at the time, but the guy told me that they didn’t put it in the DSM-4 because they were afraid what feminists would think about it. They were afraid there would be a political response against it. S: Wow, that’s almost counterintuitive to what I would think today’s conception of feminism would argue. JM: I was doing research in PMDD, and I actually had a lot of feminists participating in my study, because at that time, the thinking was that women are different from men ... we therefore need to investigate the disorders that are specific to women.
In the past, the right strategy for feminists at the time was that women are equal to men anyway, so they should be treated the same. Now actually, when I apply for grant funding for a research project, I have to make sure that I have both males and females in my study. S: When I mentioned doing
this interview to friends, a lot of people had no idea about PMDD. Why do you think there’s this lack of knowledge in the general public about it? JM: It depends … a lot of people will say “yeah, I know what PMS is.” But the problem is that there are many jokes about PMS from stand up comedians and so on. It’s kind of taking it lightly, but for some women the symptoms are very extreme, and they really suffer a lot, so the mischaracterization of the term PMS has not helped recognize the significant influence of PMDD. The researcher also must raise their findings, speaking to committees, speaking to the media, maybe we should do more of that. I think that’s a good way to make sure women who suffer from these symptoms are comfortable talking about it and finding help for it. Sometimes when I speak to my patients, they say, “yeah I realize now I had PMDD a long time ago, but at the time I did not realize what it was.” S: Anything else you think people should know about PMDD? JM: They should know that some medications have been very well tested, such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, drugs like Cetaline or Zoloft for example. Not everybody responds to it, but it makes a huge difference for many women. And what’s unique sometimes is that if a woman’s symptoms are really limited to one week, instead of treating with the one medication for the whole menstrual cycle they can treat only for two weeks. The oral contraceptives with a high dose of progesterone or estrogen, typically they can induce changes and sometimes make PMDD worse. But there are two hormonal contraceptives … that can help PMDD, so there is another type of treatment.
THE FYI ON OCD NO, YOU’RE NOT “SO OCD” I don’t have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This is something I need to start with as there are probably a million stereotypes I may be missing, or parts of the disorder I don’t understand.
That being said, two of the closest people in my life—my partner and my father—both have OCD, which makes it a disorder that is particularly close to my heart. It is also a disorder that people talk about a lot (if you haven’t said that you’re “so OCD” at least once in your life, you at least know someone that has), but don’t understand. I’d like to break this down and discuss it so you understand how OCD really affects people—and why it’s not the joke that people tend to think it is.
particular about how you you, OCD also requires this format your essay. and is often ignored because it’s not as “popular” of a menHaving OCD can have se- tal health disorder. rious impacts on your own life and those around you, This can be especially chaland downplaying it can lenging as a child. I didn’t make those who have ex- understand why my father’s perienced it—either them- hands were always cracked selves or through others— from cleaning them comfeel misunderstood and like pulsively or why he would they are not being taken se- check the door multiple riously. times throughout the night to ensure it was locked. Another misconception These seemingly small acis that the disorder simply tions can have larger iminvolves an obsession with pacts on your health—both certain things, commonly physical and mental—and counting or cleaning. OCD the lives of those around can involve obsessions like you. these, but thinking of it this way misses out on an exOCD is not a joke, and it’s tremely important part of not about loving organizathe disorder—the compul- tion. It’s a disorder that temsions. porarily pushed my family
Allegra Morgado Fulcrum Alumna
apart, but also made my father one of my biggest supporters when I found out I had generalized anxiety disorder, since anxiety is such a large part of the OCD. If you have OCD, remember there are people out there who understand you. And if you have a loved one or know someone who has been diagnosed with OCD, support them by informing yourself and calling people in when they make jokes about it. We can only fight the stigma of mental health if we fight it together—and fight for all people, no matter the disorder they experience. Want to learn more about OCD? Check out AnxietyBC’s article on OCD.
Growing up with a parent with OCD meant dealFirst, let’s start with one of ing with these compulsions the most common miscon- all the time. Just like many ceptions about OCD—that mental health disorders reit is simply a desire to like quire an understanding and things a certain way. I’m sor- patience from those around ry to break it to you, but you cannot be “so OCD.” First, that grammatically makes no sense. But the worst part of this common phrase is how it downplays the seriousness of this disorder. Just like saying “I’m going to kill myself” in a joking way, or “I’m so depressed” when you’re a bit sad, saying that you’re “so OCD” implies that OCD is a not a disorder but simply a habit or act that everyone experiences. OCD is a serious disorder that can have significant impacts on the people who have it—it’s much more than liking an organized desk and being Illustrations: Christine Wang.
Isolation and good in t e n t ion s
Putting the “men” back into mental health Despite an apparent increase in the public’s awareness and understanding of mental health concerns, recent improvements in mental health statistics have not had an evenly distributed effect across all populations. As study after study gets published, it has become increasingly apparent that mental health concerns among Canada’s men have not received the attention they are due.
Even in 2018, Men are still significantly less likely to admit to facing mental health issues and even less likely to seek professional help. A constantly perpetuated culture of merciless independence, a general lack of resources, and a problematic standard of what constitutes “real” mental illness has led to a society where men are often expected to suffer alone in silence. Even pinpointing the frequency of mental illness among Canada’s men has proven to be a challenge due in part to a lack of understanding in how it is expressed across gender lines. The anxiety attacks and bed-bound depression that dominate awareness campaigns do not appropriately capture the ways in which mental illness manifests itself in men. Far more commonly, it comes out as aggression, substance abuse, and social isolation. These issues are often addressed as a patchwork of interconnected, but ultimately distinct problems, rather than direct
symptoms of an underlying illness. When homelessness is blamed on being lazy, drug abuse is blamed on a lack of fortitude, and anger is an
able issue, it turns asking for help into a shameful surrender.
When mental illness is turned into a challenge to be overcome rather than a diagnosable and treat-
socially beneficial position does not make you immune to problems or u nwor t hy of support. Mental illness does not discriminate, and spaces for men to address their issues rather than letting them fester are essential if we are to solve the culture of unnecessary independence that perpetuates the men’s mental health crisis. Mental illness affects people from all walks of life and the world benefits when we can all understand and empathise
unavoidable personality trait, an attitude is created where illness becomes a character flaw, both in society and in the sufferer’s mind. For men who acknowledge they have a problem, building up the courage to seek help is a challenge in and of itself. Western men have grown up in a society that bombards them with the belief that they are the ultimate masters of their fate. Rarely does a movie star save the day because of a strong support network or mutual sympathy for others. The grit, determination, and ingenuity of the hero always brings victory to the world that was depending on him. The girl of his dreams is never a pivotal part of his decision making, or a source of comfort; she is a reward for demonstrating his independence and perseverance.
Men that finally make the tough decision to make the call and ask for help face yet another hurdle: a critical lack of productive resources. A shortage that is ironically caused by their traditionally dominant and privileged role in society. Gendered resources for mental health are essential in order to address the radically different ways men and women experience illness. Recent years have seen a global
rise in women’s support centers, gender specific crisis lines, and government assistance programs aimed at providing safe and understanding spaces in a society that often fails to understand them. However, the prevalence of these invaluable resources are not mirrored for men and proposals for their creation are often met with harsh opposition. Men and women alike often attack men’s spaces as breeding grounds for toxic ideas and a way to perpetuate the current gendered hierarchy. Changing this requires a complete overhaul of the way social privilege is understood and a general acceptance of the fact that a
with each other’s experiences. The internal and social pressure many men are under to remain independent eats away at them, often without their knowledge. Radical reform will come in time, but people experience these pressures every day right now. If you suspect someone you know is struggling with mental illness, approach them first. Small acts of empathy are the start of widespread change.
Illustration: Alina Wang.
SPORTS EDITOR Daniel Birru email@example.com @FulcrumSports
U Sports Track and Field championships sees Evans qualify for 600m final
More Gees action coming up in day two and three zack goobie
associate sports editor
he University of Ottawa Track and Field team will be participating in the U Sports National Championship from March 8 to 10, coming into the meet with 12 athletes. The Men previously finished seventh at the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championships, while the Women finished sixth, and are now ranked 10th nationally.
The Gees will sport two athletes for the first time in the shot put and weight throw individual events at the national level. Ty Coulter, the program record holder was the first Gee-Gee to compete, plac-
ing seventh in a competitive weight throw event. Coulter’s best throw of the day came in at 15.09 metres long, slightly off a silver medal performance at the OUA Championships and record throw of the year at 15.87 metres. Tolu Makinde entered day one coming off a silver medal performance at the OUA Championship and started off on the right foot with a seasonal best 7.09 in the 60m dash. However, he suffered a huge blow by not landing a jump without a fault to gather zero points in that event and now sits at 11th place. Stephen Evans was a shining light on day one, qualifying for the 600m final, looking to build on his 11th place finish last year. He ended up in fifth place, qualifying with a time of 120.12. He will run in the final this Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Maeliss Trapeau fell just short of qualifying for
the Women’s 600m final in her first time at nationals with a time of 131.27, which was good enough for seventh. Madison Clarke returned to the National Championship, but did not qualify with a time of 131.94, putting her at ninth. Day two of the U Sports 2018 Track and Field Championships will feature more great Gee-Gees action. Makinde’s heptathlon performance will come to an end, Christina Hertner will throw shot put, and Kiera Christie-Galloway will look to stay on the podium after a silver medal at the OUA’s, while the first of two Gee-Gees relay teams will compete in the Women’s 4x800 relay team. The Gee-Gees will look to add to the U of O’s U Sports medal count for this year after the Women’s rugby gold medal and medals by Davide Casarin and Montana Champagne in swimming.
Gees look to add to medal count in Windsor.
Photo: CC, Pexels.
Strong basketball season comes to an end for the Gees
With the playoff run over, Gee-Gees still have work to do moving forward Daniel Birru sports editor
After losing a heartbreaking game against the McMaster Marauders by a score of 47-46 on Feb. 28, the Gee-Gees Women’s Basketball season has come to a brutal end. The Marauders’ final basket came with eight seconds remaining, and Ottawa will now have to wait all summer to get a chance at advancing farther in the playoffs. Overall, the Garnet and Grey’s year looked quite decent, with their 15-8 record through 23 games. Their 30 points were good for third place in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA)’s East division, right behind the Carleton Ravens and the Queen’s Golden Gaels, who ended first and second, respectively. The season kicked off in November with a win at home against the Algoma Thunderbirds. It then became a series of ups and downs for Ottawa with winning and losing streaks for most of the season,
effectively ending it with 15 wins and eight losses. However, the two toughest losses undoubtedly came against their cross-town arch-rivals Ravens, on the road in November and at the Canadian Tire Centre in February. The Gee-Gees came into the playoffs having won three of their last four games in the season, as they started off by facing the Toronto Varsity Blues in the first round. After getting the best of the Blues at home by a score of 73-50, the Gees went on to meet the Golden Gaels in the quarter finals. Although Queen’s ended the season higher than their opponent in regular season standings, the Gee-Gees once again came out victorious, this time by a tighter score of 74-63. The semi-final matchup against McMaster, which took place in the team’s home city of Hamilton, looked to be promising, given that the two teams had a 10-point difference in the standings. However in this game the Marauders got the
The Gee-Gees will look to build on this season’s success to go farther next year.
last word over the Gee-Gees, with a tight score of 47-46. As the game was winding down, with the Gees up 4645, Ottawa native Brooklynn McAlear-Fanus’ foul gave the Marauders two free-throws with eight seconds remain-
ing in the fourth quarter. The home team converted on both, putting a harsh end to their season on the road. The season’s scoring title was won by forward Brigitte Lefebvre-Okakwu, who ended the season with a total of 259
Photo: Remi Yuan.
points, 142 rebounds, and 20 assists. She, along with her teammate Amélie Hachey, who finished second with 243 points, mentioned that their great performances this year were due to the consistency of their teammates. “We
wouldn’t have been able to score that many points without them. They all contributed in us earning a successful season this year,” said Hachey. “I think what hurt us the most this year is the beginning of our season. We lost games we should not have,” said Hachey. “At the same time, I think we learned from those losses we had in the early season and it gave us an opportunity to regroup and improve as time went on.” The players agree they should work on familiarizing themselves with their roles for next season, knowing what they each should work on and move forward from there. “Trusting each other is definitely an asset,” LefebvreOkankwu said. This summer will see plenty of practice and hopefully more improvement for the GeeGees, as the players will be looking to build on and learn from this season’s mistakes if they want to go even farther next year.
SPORTS | 21
Jean-Emmanuel Pierre-Charles named OUA all-star
Gee-Gee praised for his consistent play, strong shooting eric davidson editor-in-chief
Jean-Emmanuel PierreCharles, a fifth-year social sciences student and a forward on the Gee-Gees basketball team, was named to the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) second all-star team last week. The OUA praised PierreCharles for his consistent play, noting his 13 points and 8.9 rebounds per game averages, with his rebounding putting him fifth overall in the OUA. He was also recognized for his strong shooting, with his 59 per cent accuracy from the field enough to earn him fourth in his conference. Pierre-Charles said that being a well-rounded player is an important part of his game. “I always took pride in playing both sides of the floor defensively and offensively, and to be recognized for doing that, that’s pretty cool,” he said. “That’s what I’ve based my game around, being able to affect all aspects of the game.” “The coaching staff, my
teammates, everybody putting me in a position where I can succeed, and then me just trusting myself and having the confidence that what I do, and doing that night in night out, hopefully you get recognized but if you don’t you keep grinding.” Pierre-Charles touched on several successes this year. “Obviously I got recognized individually. And just my presence on court, people kind of know who I am.” He added that in his final year, his driving motivation was making sure the team did well as a whole. “This year I really just wanted to focus on getting the team wins, I didn’t really take an individual aspect as much as my fourth year,” he said. “Ironically, when you do focus on what helps the team work, you play better individually… it goes hand in hand.” Despite strong performances all year and accolades from the OUA, Pierre-Charles’ final season did see some hurdles to overcome, as he missed several games due to injury in the middle of the season.
“The challenge was being hurt, and playing through injuries, and coming back a little sooner since it’s my fifth year and I didn’t want that to go to waste,” he said. “I got injured more than I usually do, so it was tough playing with injuries,” he added. “But I think I did the role the team needed me to do. It’s always fun being a leader on a team as well… I had a lot of fun this year for sure.” Pierre-Charles said that over his time as a Gee-Gee, he’s become comfortable in a leadership role. “(In) your fifth year you put all the pieces together, and you can lead other guys and you can tell them what you’ve been through. It’s cool when it pays off for the young guys,” he said. Pierre-Charles said the best part of his final year was working with his teammates. “Just the comradery, I mean the long bus trips, and guys joking around, that kind of stuff,” he said. But also when we can look at a teammate’s eyes and know that you’re going to go to war with him,
Jean-Emmanuel Pierre-Charles was named to the OUA second all-star team last week.
I think I’m going to miss that the most.” “There were a lot of good times during this year, I think we really had a brotherhood, and that’s why we wanted to go deeper into nationals, because a lot of guys cared about
FulcFit food series Asian fusion stir-fry I’m someone who loves Asian cuisine, and I’ll admit, even if it’s from the mall food court. Whether it’s Thai, Indian, Chinese, you name it—they’re all so hard to resist! But not only is eating out expensive, you really don’t know what ingredients are going into the food you’re consuming, and let’s face it, we can all agree that take-out isn’t the healthiest choice. If you’re like me and want to get your Asian food fix while still eating healthy, then this is the perfect dish for you—the Thai sauce, Indian shrimp recipe, and chow mein noodles are sure to have your taste buds thanking you.
Graham Robertson, Managing Editor
each other on this team.” While his time with the Garnet and Grey may be over, Pierre-Charles isn’t done with basketball yet. He’s currently looking into where he’s going to play next. “(My plan is) hopefully line
Photo: Eric Davidson.
up some agents, try to go pro, see where I could play, what options are there for me, how long I could play, it’s an exciting process,” he said. “Take it day by day and see what’s out there, but I definitely want to keep playing, that’s for sure.”
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 • One bag of shrimp (roughly 30), deveined (optional for anyone who doesn’t eat seafood) • One teaspoon of turmeric powder • One teaspoon of chili powder • One teaspoon of salt • One teaspoon of black pepper • One teaspoon of ginger paste or grated ginger • One bag of uncooked chow mein noodles (any grocery store should carry them) • Half a bag of snap peas • Six or seven mushrooms • One bell pepper • Half a block of firm tofu • One tablespoon of cooking oil • Three tablespoons of Thai chili sauce
Directions 1. Thaw the shrimp as per the instructions on the bag, remove the shells, and marinate in the turmeric, chili powder, salt, black pepper, and ginger for at least two hours prior to cooking 2. Cook the chow mein noodles as per the instructions on the bag 3. Cook the marinated shrimp in a wok or large pan for a few minutes on each side until tender and golden 4. Chop the tofu, snap peas, mushrooms, and bell pepper into bite-sized pieces and add to the wok 5. Once the noodles are cooked and strained, add them to the wok and carefully fold the ingredients in together 6. Add the Thai chili sauce and mix everything one last time
This dish is a simple but delicious blend of Indian, Chinese, and Thai flavours. Photo: Graham Robertson.
22 | SPORTS
And there you have it! This recipe should serve four people, or is enough for several dinners for yourself, because let’s face it, most of you reading this are probably meal prepping for the week anyway. Happy cooking!
An Exploration of Sportation: Gaelic Football Edition Christine Wang Visual Editor
If I were to hand in my resumé in sports, it would have just one line that says “Did gymnastics. Plays badminton. Historically has been able to correctly guess the difference between a soccer ball and a basketball about 50 per cent of the time.” In other words, apart from the two niche sports that I’ve played, I know literally nothing about all other sports. So why did I decide to start a sports column? Well, for exactly that reason. All my life, I’ve played niche sports that I wished more people would care about. So hopefully you can occasionally laugh, possibly cry, but definitely cringe along with me as I bring attention to different non-mainstream sports by probably being unsuccessful at them. This week I overcame (or at least, tried to overcome) my fear of Death Via Projectile Spherical Objects in joining my friend and Fulcrum arts & culture editor, Ryan Pepper, at the Ottawa Gaels, a recreational Gaelic football club. My whole preparation for this experience was a
This week, I tried Gaelic football.
10-minute crash course on the rules that Ryan gave me on our bus ride to the field. I learned that Gaelic football was essentially a mixture of volleyball, rugby, and soccer. Two teams try to score on the other’s goal, which is a hybrid of a football post and a soccer net. To pass, players either punt the ball like a volleyball, or kick the ball like they would in soccer. A goal is achieved when a player either gets the ball into the net (three points) or through the uprights (one point) of the opponent’s goal. This was not exactly fantastic news to me as my foot hasn’t touched a ball since sixth grade gym class when I accidentally scored on my own team. I had
Illustration: Christine Wang.
vowed then that I would never play soccer again. Unfortunately, we were already on a bus heading to Gatineau so there was no turning back. We started off practice with a light warm-up jog, then went directly into a Gaelic football game. I spent the first 15 minutes running back and forth on the field trying to figure out exactly where I was supposed to go, simultaneously trying to catch the ball and stay out of its way. Soon enough, I began to understand the game and even caught the ball a couple times before I was tackled and it was taken from me. After a short intermission, I was given the opportunity to play forward. The first time someone
passed me the ball, I kicked it right into the open arms of an opponent, lost my balance, and almost toppled over. However, a couple minutes later, the ball came at me again. It was as if time slowed down and I could see it right before it happened: I dropped the ball and kicked it as hard as I could. The ball soared over the arms of the goalie and sailed right through the posts. Scoring that one goal was, and will likely forever be, the highlight of my Gaelic football career. Against all odds, I came out of the experience with no injuries, apart from a slightly bruised ego. But I had gained some valuable insight on the sport, experienced the joy of work-
ing together as a team, and even felt the rush of adrenaline as I watched the ball clear the post. Dermot Guinnane is the organizer of the Ottawa Gaels and of the Eastern Canadian team for the 2016 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship. Based in Dublin, the Gaelic Athletic Association is the governing body of a range of Irish sports and cultural activity, with Gaelic football as the most popular sport, along with hurling. “Canada went through a rough patch for a while when we didn’t have a team. With the economy going into the gutter in Ireland, there was an influx of immigration. A lot of people from Ireland ended up in Toronto so
their team ended up being very strong,” Guinnane said. Throughout off-season, the Ottawa Gaels do crosstraining. On Saturday nights they play a mix of Gaelic football, handball, and soccer, with open drop-ins for anyone who wants to try out the sport. On Tuesdays they do fitness and Gaelic-specific training. During the summer, their schedule turns to mostly Gaelic practices. Their warmth to new players is undeniable. “We’re always open for new players and it’s a mixed level,” said Guinnane. “It’s a sport that I love playing. It’s always fun to see new people playing it and having a good time.”
SPORTS | 23
The Push is not ethical
OPINIONS EDITOR David Campion-Smith
firstname.lastname@example.org (613) 695-0062 @davidcs96
Netflix’s new show is traumatic, not entertainment connor chase
etflix’s new show The Push centres on our capacity to commit murder. The streaming platform is at this point no stranger to psychologicallyoriented shows that like to ask the big questions, think Making of a Murderer. But The Push, aside from its dreadfully unmarketable name, is different from any other show Netflix has to offer, if only because it’s pitched not as entertainment but as an experiment.
Show host Derren Brown, using around 70 actors, sets
up extremely elaborate and choreographed scenarios, all of which are designed to push certain buttons on Chris, the subject of the ‘experiment’ who thinks everything he sees is real. Chris doesn’t know he’s being filmed, and throughout the special he stumbles like clockwork from one scenario to the next, all of which build in psychologically tormenting ways. By the end, all of the social pressures culminate, and Chris goes from being unable to save a man to being told he is justified in killing someone by pushing them off a building (which is where the name comes from). While The Push may make for interesting television, it is by no means ethical. Chris is put in an extremely stressful situation for our entertainment. We as the audience are in on the secret; Chris, meanwhile, thinks someone actually just died in front of him and that he had something
to do with it. Such a thought process is pretty traumatic. While the program ends for us after an hour and we can get on with our lives, it’s not so easy for Chris. The show is only popular because it does indeed ask interesting questions. How susceptible are we to complex social pressures? Moreover, given the right circumstances, are we willing to do something in the heat of the moment that we would normally consider wrong? Unfortunately for this ‘experiment,’ to a large extent, we already know the answers to both of these questions. The field of psychology has made great progress, and recent theories from the likes of John Haidt suggest that we are far less rational and have far less agency than we like to believe. If you were to point out that humans are suggestible in extreme social situations, you would get a decent mark on a psychology exam.
The push premiered on Netflix last month.
But there’s a larger problem. Even if The Push was a perfect sociological experiment, which it’s not, it actually doesn’t offer anything of value to the psychological community. Have you ever heard of a scientific experiment with a single subject? Chris’ own peculiarities and personality is the only thing
under examination. The show doesn’t offer a conclusion that can at all be safely generalized to all of humanity. If the show actually wanted to contribute to the discussion, it would have to be run hundreds, thousands of times with a wide array of people reacting to the same scenario again and again.
That’s a lot of people put under a lot of stress. I’m not saying you shouldn’t watch The Push. It is, if nothing else, interesting. But don’t hope to learn anything from it. And, more importantly, don’t get used to inflicting life-altering trauma on people for your own entertainment.
Don’t take away phones at concerts Concert goers should have the choice David campion-smith opinions editor
If you’ve ever been to a concert or any live performance in the era of smartphones, you’ve definitely seen large crowds of concert goers using their phones instead of focusing on the artist. Some performers, such as Jack White, have had enough of this phenomenon, and are now using a service called Yondr to keep people away from their phones during shows. But this misses the point of attending a show. Yondr requires concert goers to put their phone in a locked pouch. If at any point during the show you need to access your phone, you can take it back to the venue lobby to have the pouch unlocked. It’s easy to understand what these artists are trying to say. They’re aiming to create a space for fans that focuses on experience and lets people live in the
moment, rather than being lost in their phones, trying to capture a moment to save for the future. However, many fans using their phones aren’t trying to escape the concert, but simply want to enhance their experience by sharing it through social media. While Yondr does offer “spaces for emergency calls,” that isn’t enough. Who really cares if people want to snap their favourite song, or post some pics on Instagram? Those moments don’t take concert goers out of the experience, but give them a chance to share that experience with others. No one is arguing that performers can’t make requests. It’s entirely different if artists request that fans put down their phones. But all artists really should do is make their opinions known, rather than forcing paying customers to do anything. Concerts and performances are an opportunity for people to
engage with their favourite artists in person. In an age where most media can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home, let’s make it a space for people to engage with the music however they’d like, rather than forcing them to follow the guidelines laid down by artists. These concert goers paid money to be at the show, so they should have the freedom to experience it however they’d like. We can have a larger societal conversation about how much we use technology in our dayto-day lives, and whether that removes us from actually experiencing life. The important part of that phrase, though, is that it’s a societal conversation, changing perceptions of what is appropriate behaviour. If we as concert goers decide that it’s not appropriate to use a phone at a concert, much like we have with movie theatres, then we can do that, but right now, we shouldn’t let artists tell us what to do.
Photo: CC, staboslaw.
OPINIONS | 25
A very special episode: I tried to kill myself S o t h a t ’s h o w m y l i f e ’s g o i n g Anchal Sharma News Editor
In April of 2017, I was in a pretty bad place. It was Brantford, Ontario, where old white people go to retire. My parents had moved there earlier that year, and I was home for a weekend in between final exams. That’s where I tried to take my life. I’ve suffered from depression for as long as I can remember, and while I’ve been in and out of therapy since the 10th grade, I had never been formally diagnosed until recently. When I was younger, I thought it was circumstantial, and something I could control; If I just moved out of my parents’ house, or fell in love, or got the job I wanted, or thought positively, something would just click and I would finally be happy. I’ve since learned that it’s more nuanced than that. I could go months on end feeling perfectly healthy only to slip back into depression at a moment’s notice. I felt myself falling back down the rabbit hole near the end of my second year of university when I was trying to juggle work, school, and the aftermath of a toxic relationship. The final nail in the coffin, so to speak, was a dumb fight with my parents. I landed myself in Brantford General that night, and had the pleasant experience of drinking liquid charcoal and answering invasive questions from various medical professionals before passing out in a hospital gown. I woke up to an IV in my hand and another doctor telling me that I probably damaged my kidneys beyond repair, but we’ll just wait and see. Three days later I was deemed physically healthy enough to be
moved to the mental health ward, which felt like something out of It’s Kind of A Funny Story, only less quirky and more just incredibly bleak. There were no locks on any of the doors, including the bathroom and shower, you had to wear your hospital gown for the entire stay, the windows didn’t open, and you weren’t allowed to have any chargers in your room with you, lest you try to hang yourself. On top of that, it was strongly suggested that you don’t leave your valuables unattended as other patients would likely steal them. A staff member would also check on you every half hour, and sometimes I would think about just standing on the window sill, facing outside when I knew they were coming, which is a really good way to never ever leave. But you gotta make yourself laugh, you know? Part of me wondered if I’d actually died because that mental health ward was hell. All I could think was, “I don’t belong here.” Now, if you recall, this was early April and I was missing my final exams, so between trying to convince doctors I was cured so I could get out of there, I was frantically emailing my profs and my faculty to inform them of my absence, request deferral forms, and send them pictures of doctor’s notes. Everything was up in the air and all I could do at that point was wait. Thankfully things worked out for me in the best possible way. I got most of my exams deferred, a great family doctor, referrals to counselling services to tide me over until I could get an appointment for counselling through University of Ottawa Health Services (which takes
months, by the way), and prescriptions for antidepressants, which frankly, felt like a rite of passage. As much as I wish it weren’t, depression has, in some ways, become a part of who I am. I have come to accept that it’s going to stay with me, likely forever, and while no amount of medication, floating, or wholesome memes will change that, they definitely help. While there are still days where getting out of bed and going to work or class feels like an impossible task, I know that in a way, I got off easy. I have a family that means well and supports me the best way they can, and friends who let me be myself, black cloud and all. Not everyone is so lucky. Mental health is becoming more and more prevalent in everyday conversations at various levels, but somehow universities are still missing the mark. Most recently, Carleton University forcibly dismissed one of its students for suicidal ideation and that is downright shameful. I contemplated not returning to school; I quit a co-op placement, gave up my housing lease, and turned down a job offer. For some people taking some time off might be the right choice, but personally coming back to school is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself, and that’s just it, I made that decision on my own. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have someone tell you that you can’t complete your studies because of an illness that you can’t control. Despite the resources available on campus like counselling and the Student Academic Success Service, it’s very easy to fall off the radar.
Depression makes everything feel billions and billions and billions times worse than it actually is, and it takes a toll on you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Reliving traumatic moments in therapy isn’t always how I want to spend my Thursday mornings, and drumming up the energy to go to those sessions is tough. I can only imagine how much harder it is to get treatment while jumping through bureaucratic loopholes. In hindsight, everything seemed to fall into place for me, but it didn’t feel so easy at the time. Accessing mental health services, however much they’re advertised, is surprisingly difficult, especially when you’re not motivated to seek help. Waking up in a hospital is as good a wake up call as anything, and if I had to take something away from this experience, it’s that suffering in silence is both draining and isolating. I felt helpless to the point where I thought I had nothing to lose, and that’s dangerous. In some ways, waking up in that hospital is the best thing that ever happened to me, because it acted as a catalyst for my recovery. If you’re suffering from depression, know that you’re not alone, that there are resources available to you, but that finding the right ones can be challenging. It’s rough having to explain yourself constantly when you’re at your lowest, and testing different medications to find one that works for you with minimal side effects can be exhausting, but any step forward, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction, and a good way to start is by being honest with yourself about what you’re going through.
Illustration: Alina Wang.
Photo: Parker Townes.
26 | OPINIONS THEFULCRUM.CA
Federal budget 2018 includes munchies tax credit
Funding provided for Doritos, other snack foods
David Campion-Smith Opinions editor
The 2018 federal budget was released two weeks ago, and contained more than a few surprising announcements. One of the more unexpected expenses the government has budgeted for the upcoming fiscal year is the $50 million set aside to provide Canadians with help to combat their munchies. With the national legalization of marijuana set to take place this summer, providing quality snacks to Canadians has suddenly become a priority for the government. “Our government is proud to have a dedicated budget section that will provide all Canadians with bags of Sweet Chili Heat Doritos, Cheetos, and any other weird cravings they may have,” said Prime Minister Trudeau through a cloud of smoke. “We couldn’t just legalize it and not care about supporting people through their cravings, that’d be wildly irresponsible.” Government sources say
that this aspect of the budget would originally have also provided Canadians with comedy movies to subsidize the country’s stoner comedy industry, which has been led for many years by Canadian Seth Rogen. That portion was removed after some Members of Parliament advocated for funding be placed towards nature documentaries, animated shows, and conspiracy documentaries that “totally make more sense after a few hits.” The munchies provision of the budget has seen opposition, with some believing it to be controversial. “Couldn’t this part of the budget have allocated funds for local Canadianproduced munchies, such as ketchup or all dressed chips?” said federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer. “I believe that Canadian munchies should be met with Canadian products, or at least Cool Ranch or Zesty Cheese.” “While this provision does show real caring for Canadians it doesn’t show caring for Ca-
nadian fast food workers,” said the leader of the New Democratic Party Jagmeet Singh. “How are those workers supposed to fill their time if they don’t have to meet large orders of nuggets or spend 10 minutes watching you stare at the menu?” While the budget has provoked some political controversy, many Canadians have greeted it with joy. “I’ll take some free Doritos, especially if they could deliver them to me, it’d really save the walk to McDonalds,” said third-year economics student Samuel Grahamson. “Personally I’d appreciate getting some chicken nuggets delivered if I could, but I’ll take whatever,” declared fourthyear history student Mia Wallace. Eligible Canadians can apply for the munchies tax credit during tax season. So if it’s not too much work, try and remember to keep your cravings under the influence, or at least hold onto receipts.
PM Trudeau indulging in Doritos, and presumably weed. Photo: CC, theimpulsivebuy, Mohammad Jaganda. Edits: Christine Wang.
THE TOMATO | 27
Dishing with Di: He who shall not be named
Back in the Middle Ages there wasn’t much to do for entertainment, so it wouldn’t surprise many of you to learn that the alleged foreskin of Jesus Christ became a legendary relic in the Catholic World. The holy foreskin drew many people to visit it in a city near Rome. However, over time, several imposter foreskins popped up over European churches claiming to be an authentic piece of Jesus. The Vatican forbade the mentioning of Jesus’ foreskin in the 19th century, threatening to excommunicate those who didn’t comply.
FEATURES EDITOR Savannah Awde
email@example.com (613) 695-0062 @s_awde7
I’ve started going out with this super sexy guy, and I’m head over heels. The only thing is, I’m not circumcised. I don’t really have a problem with my foreskin, but I’ve had some awful sexual experiences because of it. How do I tell my man about it without freaking him out?
—Say Hello to My Little Friend Dear SHMLF, While the rate of circumcision is dropping in Canada, foreskin-a-phobia is still a very common issue. For those who aren’t well-versed in this underappreciated body part, the foreskin is a tiny flap of skin that covers the head of the penis, and protects it from the wear and tear of everyday life. In addition, the foreskin is also home to thousands of nerve endings, making it extra sensitive during sex. Despite these positives, there is a long cultural and religious tradition to getting newborn sons circumcised. However circumcision only became a medical practice in the U.S. and U.K. in the 19th century. Nowadays about a third of boys are circumcised in Canada. While some researchers claim that circumcision helps prevent the prevalence of urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted infections, there is very little consensus on the issue. In fact, the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) first published a statement not recommending circumcision as a routine procedure in 1996. They have since updated the statement to clarify all the positives and negatives of the procedure. In terms of your love life, the best way to approach a partner about your foreskin worries is to keep it casual. I know you’ve had some bad experiences but, trust me, if you don’t make it a big deal they probably won’t either. But you should also let your partner know that when getting hot and heavy with someone uncircumcised, they should handle the foreskin with care, because as mentioned above, it is extra sensitive—this can lead to maximum pain or pleasure. It’s also important to remember to keep your foreskin clean, both for your own health reasons and so you don’t repel your man. Whenever you shower, make sure to gently pull back the skin and rinse it with warm water, to prevent the build-up of bodily fluids and oils, and dead skin cells, otherwise known as smegma. While some surprise vis-a-vis your foreskin is to be expected, don’t let your partner foreskin-shame you. If he can’t learn to love your mushroom cap, then he doesn’t deserve you!
28 | DISTRACTIONS
MAR. 12-18, 2018
MUSIC EATS SPORTS & WELLNESS FUN THINKING ARTS
Monday March 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, room 140—5:30 p.m.
People’s Republic of Delicious, Deja Vu kitchen (between Thompson and Morisset)—9 a.m. Zero-waste workshop, Alex Trebek Alumni Hall, room 116—12 p.m.
Tuesday March 13 Modifying your Program of Studies: a How-to Guide, Simard Hall, room 129—2:30 p.m. Gallery 115 Presents: WITH|IN|SIGHT, free admission, Gallery 115—9 a.m.
Thursday March 15 Solidarities without borders, screening of documentaries with directors in attendance, Faculty of Social Sciences building, room 4006—4:30 p.m. CEO of the Year Breakfast with Kevin Ford of Calian, Desmarais Building, room 4104—7 a.m.
Wednesday March 14 Free home-cooked, healthy, and vegan meal, hosted by the
Friday March 16 Soulful Expressions 2018, hosted by the Black Student
Leaders Association, Tabaret Hall—6 p.m. Pet therapy, 90 University residence, room 152—11 a.m. Saturday March 17 U of O International Gala 2018, the Westin Ottawa—5 p.m. Antoine L. Collins, Nature Boy: The Music Of Nat King Cole Album Release Party, Mercury Lounge—7 p.m. Sunday March 18 Learn the basics of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Montpetit Hall—9 a.m. Bath bombs with Zoe, learn how to make your own bath bombs, Nu Grocery—11 a.m.
DISTRACTIONS | 29
30 | LETTERS THEFULCRUM.CA
EDITORIAL Volume 78, Issue 22, Mar. 12, 2018 Watching Bill Nye the Science Guy 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 let you watch Bill Nye with us.
Eric “Probability” Davidson Editor-in-Chief firstname.lastname@example.org Jaclyn “Buoyancy” McRae-Sadik Production Manager email@example.com Graham “Garbage” Robertson Managing Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Anchal “Pseudoscience” Sharma News Editor email@example.com Ryan “Sound” Pepper Arts and Culture Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Savannah “Motion” Awde Features Editor email@example.com Daniel “Eyeball” Birru Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org David “Earth’s Crust” CampionSmith Opinions Editor email@example.com Christine “Digestion” Wang Visual Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Social Media Manager email@example.com Ellie “Biodiversity” Sabourin Associate News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
PROMOTING THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) has been hosting General Assemblies (GAs) since 2014. However, at two GAs per year, so far there has been only one that has met quorum and been able to vote on motions. Even after that successful GA, the momentum was immediately lost, as the following event failed to meet quorum, even after it had been reduced from one percent of the student population to 0.75 per cent. Having had a successful GA should be something to build on, not a blip in an otherwise unsuccessful string of events. Especially this year, when SFUO members have noted that the federation is starting to try and rebrand to better connect with students, the GAs, an important outlet for the voices of students, should be a major part of that strategy. With that in mind, what can the SFUO do to make the GAs successful on a consistent basis? One easy thing the federation
can do is more constant advertising. Compared to past years, the advertising hasn’t been bad, but there’s still a lot that could be improved, even just posting about the GA earlier on social media. This year, an event was created on Facebook on March 8, which doesn’t leave a lot of time before the event, especially for students in the throes of midterms at this time who might miss it. Increasing the frequency of posts and putting the idea into peoples’ heads earlier would help boost participation. Another thing the SFUO can do is encourage students to get involved in the process itself. In past years, the federation has advertised GA committees that are open to the public, so that more students know how to get involved and participate, and get more of a sense of ownership of and involvement in the event. This would be a good tradition to promote, and advertise well ahead of the events to give students a sense of involvement.
Another important thing the federation can do is address student concerns about the process. Last year, the structure of the GA was changed so that it was not longer the “highest decisionmaking body of the SFUO,” and so that motions passed at the GA would have to be ratified by the SFUO’s Board of Administration. The SFUO argued that the changes were made to fulfill legal requirements. As the student federation, even if you feel the changes are necessary, it’s important to recognize that many students have concerns about what these changes have done to the effectiveness of the GA. As such, addressing these publicly and giving legitimate reasons why students should care about the GA is essential. A good way to do address issues like this would be to use town hall style meetings, especially around the time of the GA. The idea of town halls has been bandied about several times, but this would be a very effective use.
It’s also important to be clear with motions to be presented, posting them in advance to generate excitement. Last GA, it was advertised that there would be no motions at the GA until the day of the event, when it was announced that there would be two new ones. If motions are displayed to the public earlier on in the process, it gives students more reasons to get excited for the GA, and to tell other people to make time for the event. One thing we’ve learned from the lone successful GA—students are more likely to show up if they feel like their presence will make some kind of impact. GAs can be a healthy way for students to get more involved in important decision made on campus, like how the health plan and U-Pass are administered, and many services they receive. It also lets all students feel like they have more control over their experience at university, which is something that should be encouraged.
Nadia “Gravity” Drissi El-Bouzaidi Associate Features Editor Zack “Cells” Goobie Associate Sports Editor email@example.com Parker “Outer Space” Townes Staff Photographer firstname.lastname@example.org Eric “Seasons” Davison Videographer email@example.com Chafik “Structure” Kassis Head Web Architect firstname.lastname@example.org Dorian “Simple Machines” Ghosn General Manager email@example.com Kaylum “Phases of Matter” Bobal Advertising Representative firstname.lastname@example.org
Alina “Flight” Wang Thomas “Skin” Sequeira Connor “Dinosaurs” Chase Christie “Magnetism” Shen Allegra “The Moon” Morgado
Board of Directors
Raghad “Wind“ Sheikh-Khalil Katelyn “Static Electricity” Murray Jonathan “Light Optics” Rausseo Fadi “Food Web” Azzi Spencer “Chemical Reactions” Murdock Maggie “Heat” Gollish Cover Credits: Christine Wang.
Photo: Kyle Darbyson.
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