St. Thomas University’s Official Student Newspaper
April 3, 2012 - Volume 76 Issue 24
Mr. St. Thomas to leave on ‘high note’
Larry Batt stands in front of George Martin Hall, namesake from the man who gave Batt his first job at St. Thomas University. When Martin retired, he had a similar photo taken in front of the building. Now, Batt is getting ready to leave his legacy behind. “I’m leaving on a high, and that’s a nice way to go.” (Tom Bateman/AQ)
Larry Batt reflects on almost 50 years at the school he loves. See page 3. Campus
Quieting down April 6th Day House committee plans alcohol-free events as celebration falls on Good Friday Meredith Gillis The Aquinian
This year’s April 6th Day may be more like a kids’ birthday party than the alcohol-fuelled bashes of the past. The annual all-day party will feature bingo, video games and an evening barbecue, a toneddown celebration that happens to fall on Good Friday. “We’re trying to get people to see Harrington the way we see it,” said house president Caitlin Doiron, who has done a lot of the planning for Friday. “People get really drunk when nothing’s happening, so we have lots of activities planned.” The annual Harrington Hall celebration started 24 years ago after some residents
missed a concert and drank all day. The party became a tradition, but has been under scrutiny by administration in recent years, promising punishment to students who go to class drunk, disallowing house committee to buy alcohol for residents. This year’s celebration comes only three months after an alcohol ban was lifted from the residence. But having lots of activities planned doesn’t mean that people won’t drink at all. No one from Harrington would confirm rumours that most people are still planning to drink. “Now more than ever we need to stress that this is Harrington’s holiday and not about drinking. It’s about celebrating
and being proud, like Canada Day,” Doiron said. Harrington alumnus Kelly Lamrock, who is running for the provincial Liberal leadership, is expected to return and give talks to the house about why they are proud to have been Raiders and what April 6th Day means to them. “It’s a place to live, love, be yourself and make friends,” said Doiron. For some, April 6 won’t be about Harrington, because it coincides with Good Friday, the most important - and most solemn - celebration of the year for Christians. Doiron plans for a laid back afternoon. “We are a Catholic university and there is a Mass at 3 p.m., so we’re going to watch quiet
movies in the lounge from 2 to 5 p.m. and turn the music down.” Residence advisors will be on duty throughout the day to supervise the events. Residence manager Kelly Hogg said there hasn’t been a lot of concern from faculty this year about the celebration since there aren’t any classes that day. “We know it’s a really big event and like seeing that they have that much pride in their day.” Even if the celebration will be different from past years, some Harrington residents, like Katrina Jordan, are still looking forward to Friday. “It’s a lot of fun, a day you’re not going to forget.”
I N S I D E
Miss America? No, Miss Geary. Giving hell to small-towners with tiaras.
See THIS on page 8
The Hangover Part 3 As they say: What happens in Bangkok, stays in Bangkok.
See A NIGHT on page 19
Are students to blame for their debt or do governments need to give more?
See pages 17 and 5
Remember the three-year long STUSU debate? Yeah, that’s over.
See CASA on page 5
From the Editor
Out with the old, in with the 21st century
Change is good, isn’t it? Well, brace yourselves. If you haven’t heard already, I’ve been hired to run this paper next year. I would be lying if I said I thought it was going to be easy. It’s going to be one heck of a
challenge - though one I’m ready to take. I want to produce material that is interesting, gets people talking, covers all different spectrums and of course, meets a quality journalistic standard. It’s important to produce
quality material in the physical paper, but I also think it is vital to produce quality web material. I plan to change how theaq.net functions. I’d like to make The Aquinian’s website more accessible for visitors, which hopefully includes launching some new features. I like to consider myself wellversed in the internet scene. I have an extensive background in blogging. At 15, I ran my own Sportingnews blog that received
over 800,000 views. I also ran my own sports website where I did interviews with the TSN panel and multiple athletes from different sports. With this experience under my belt, I think I can mould The AQ’s website for the better. This includes adding a dedicated blog section with topics that range from sports, to video games to just about everything. Adding a multimedia section to the website is an important
feature that we should also prepare to enter. I’ve noticed that other university newspapers across Canada have explored this, and I think it’s about time we caught up. With this new section I hope to include podcasts, videos and music from STU artists. So what’s my next move? You’ll have to wait and see. But I can tell you one thing: I am thrilled to be in this position and will do everything that I can to provide STU with the best paper.
STU student encouraging kids to be creative
Program helps students have their writing read by peers while she interned at Bliss Carmen Middle School. “I just love reading student work. It’s A St. Thomas University education amazingly well-written, personal and student has started a program that’s raw,” said Davidson. But they don’t helping kids share their creative writing. often get to share with kids from other Write Across the Middle is a story- schools. trading website that gets middle school Davidson, who came to STU after students to write whatever they please teaching for two years in South and have it read by others their same Korea, said her main goal is to create a age. community. “It’s an outlet where students sub“It’s an age group that spans schools, mit any work, no restrictions, French so it’s very open and it’s taking off.” and English in writing, podcasts, comics, The website is published monthly, and animation,” said program founder like a magazine. and STU student Jenny Davidson. Write Across the Middle is run out“It’s not associated with the class- side of the classroom and acts as an enSTUDENTS! room in any way and is just kids sharing richment program. BE YOUR OWN BOSS THIS SUMMER their identity.” A teacher from each school meets Any childFOR in one of the four middle once a month with Davidson and the INFORMATION ON THE SEED SUMMER schools in District 18 can write anythingPROGRAM others that have helped build up the ENTREPRENEURSHIP CONTACT ENTERPRISE AT 444-4686 they please and have it postedFREDERICTON to a web- program, including four STU education site where it can be viewed by any other program volunteers. student who also submits work. ComAs an incentive, every student who ments can be left by other students to submits a piece of work has a chance help encourage, strengthen and im- to have their name drawn to become prove the work. the feature writer. Davidson came up with the idea Every month, the feature writer has Shane Fowler The Aquinian
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their work showcased on the website. They also get their picture taken with the principal of their school while they are presented with a special writing journal. “It’s very simple and it adds to the reward that students get just by sharing.” While the project is only halfway into its second issue, according to Davidson, it has received plenty of positive feedback from the schools as well as everyone she’s presented it to. Most importantly though, she said the program has gotten top grades from the students. “They love it so far, which is fantastic because it has become exactly what I envisioned it to be.” Davidson hopes to keep the project going after she graduates. She plans to move to Alberta to teach. “While I’m out there, I really want to start this up again and then connect the two groups. “When kids see what other kids are doing outside of their school, it lets them know that there are others out there like them and it makes them want to do even better.”
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S T U of Dthe ECanadian N T S !University Press. The Aquinian is a member
STU education student Jenny Davidson is the founder of a program called Write Across the Middle, which allows students to share their withSkids S Tcreative U Dwriting ENT ! from other schools. (Tom Bateman/AQ)
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Larry Batt prepares to say goodbye After 14 different schools, Larry Batt wanted to find some place to stay; he found that place at STU Laura Brown The Aquinian
Since 1975, Larry Batt has been reading each and every St. Thomas University graduate’s name as they walk across the stage toward the rest of his or her life. “Each student is her own person, and deserves the attention, even if it is for 10 seconds. I get the name right, I get the hometown right and I make sure they don’t trip going across the stage,” Larry said while sitting in his office last Thursday. This year’s convocation will be his last. The former registrar and now dean of students is retiring at the end of June. “That will be an emotional time for me, because it will be the last time I do something for the students.” *** His father worked in the air force, so Larry attended 14 different schools, depending on where his father was stationed. In 1963, they landed in Chatham, N.B. There, Larry went to St. Thomas High School, an all-male school, which was connected to St. Thomas University at the time. After graduating, it was natural for him to apply and go to STU. “I was such a mobile young fellow, that the idea of staying and making something my home was a good feeling.” Little did he know, his affiliation with STU would span some 49 years and counting. “It’s not just a number, it’s true, this is where I attended, this place helped create who I’ve become. “I was born in Belleville, Ontario, but I couldn’t tell you a street name there.” When STU moved to Fredericton in 1965, Larry went with it. He was the editor-in-chief of The Aquinian, a residence advisor in Harrington Hall and valedictorian of the class of 1969. His loyalty in the school travelled with him to the University of Saskatchewan in his third year, when he was granted a scholarship that allowed him to go to any Canadian university for a year. “Friends that were in my class would tease me a little bit because I was getting good marks. They said, ‘Yeah, but how well would you do in a big one, a university?’ “They’d really be asking the question, ‘How good is St. Thomas?’ So I went to the University of Saskatchewan and I got higher marks there than I had at St. Thomas.” After that, he went to Dalhousie University on scholarship to get his master’s in English. “I found that I was strong. I was in graduate school and doing graduate classes and I was fine.” He finished his master’s and started working on a doctorate before questioning what he really wanted to do. “I wrote to Father [George] Martin around Christmastime in 1970 and I said I was thinking of taking a break and looking for a job.” Larry asked for reference letters and
Larry Batt will retire this June after nearly 50 years in some capacity at St. Thomas University. He started his career as assistant registrar and will retire as dean of students. Larry said he’s leaving on a high. (Tom Bateman/AQ) transcripts. Instead, he got a visit from Martin, the then-registrar of STU. “He drove to Halifax, took me out to dinner and said, ‘How would you like to be my assistant registrar?’” According to the History of Saint Thomas University: The Formative Years 1860-1990, Batt was offered $7,500 for the position.
helping Batt with the scheduling of students, along with English professor Fenton Burke. “For 10 years...each March, the three of us would gather in my residence suite in Harrington Hall for two or three evenings,” Jennings said in an email. “Then, it was a task that involved juggling timeslots, avoiding conflicts
“You never get credit for...the bad things that never happen. There were many bad things that did not happen because of Larry.” - Patrick Malcolmson In 1975, Martin became president of the university and wrote Larry a letter, offering him the job of registrar. Father John Jennings, former history professor and chaplain, remembers
among similar courses and helping departments to schedule. It gave us also an opportunity to get together, share stories and fill the room with smoke all three of us smoked – two of us pipes
and one, cigarettes.” *** In December 1973, Larry had his first date with his wife Elaine at a STU dance. One year later, they were married. Elaine went on to work as a teacher in Fredericton. All three of their children spent time at STU. Daughters Laura and Maureen graduated with their BAs and their son John spent a year and a half at STU. Larry could name another 20 in his extended family who also attended the university. It was when his oldest daughter Laura was five that Larry was met with a struggle that redefined how he saw his job. Laura was diagnosed with cancer, which meant Larry was in and out of his office all the time. He began asking students for their phone numbers in case he had to cancel an appointment. “It was a very significant part of my career to have that happen. “It made me a better registrar to
Blast from the past: Larry Batt sits in his office many years ago, likely when he was still registrar. (Submitted)
have that happen because I was more sensitive to what people, to what students, were dealing with in their own lives.” *** Larry’s office looks out on to the upper courtyard of STU. He’s watched as buildings have popped up and as the student population increased from 299 to more than 2,000. Sitting behind his desk, he pulled out a weathered, yellowing file, thick with letters and notes of thanks from over the years. “When Father Martin first hired me, he said to me, ‘Larry, there will be people who are critical and people who will say to you, I have a complaint. I want you to start a file called commendations. “Over the years people will write and say thank you.’” Patrick Malcolmson, a political science professor, said he used to call Larry “the great fireman.” “You never get credit for...the bad things that never happen. “There were many bad things that did not happen because of Larry. “When students and their families had problems, Larry dealt with them in ways that always made it clear that STU was about treating students and their families as people.” *** It was in December that he decided it was time to leave STU. At 63, Larry has realized he won’t be around forever. “My dad was 65 when he retired. They had 10 good years of health together, until my dad came down with Parkinson’s. So in terms of their retirement life, they had 10 years [together]. There’s no guarantee of a long haul. “I’m leaving on a high, and that’s a nice way to go.”
UNB-STU relationship isn’t tense: STU Outside evaluators decide how much STU pays UNB for services like the library and the Student Union Building Alyssa Mosher The Aquinian
For Barry Craig, “tension” is too strong a word to describe the relationship between St. Thomas University and the University of New Brunswick. He has yet to see a serious disagreement between the two universities since he became vice-president academic of STU four years ago. “The tension between any two Canadian provinces picked at random would probably be more remarkable than the tensions between these two universities,” he said in an interview on Friday. “It’s more a perception issue than a reality.” According to Craig, the amount of money paid to UNB tends to reflect the rate of inflation and has nothing to do with being pushed around by the big brother down the hill. STU pays UNB about $1.8 million every year to use the library, the counselling services, the South Gym and to take part in intramurals. That’s 10 per cent of its overall budget. Roughly $1.4 million of that money goes to the library alone. STU also pays UNB for heat from its steam plant, as well as plumbing and maintenance services and UNB Security. “A lot of the shared service agreements we have...have been going on
STU vice-president academic Barry Craig said he hasn’t seen a serious disagreement between STU and UNB since he started his job four years ago. (Cara Smith/AQ) ever since we have been here,” Craig said. But every so often, STU will re-evaluate how much it’s paying UNB based on STU students’ use of UNB facilities. In fact, just last week STU had the retired chief librarian of Dalhousie University come in to judge whether STU is getting enough from - or paying enough for - its library services. “If you think about buying a service
from UNB, in most cases, that would be a service they’re providing anyway,” Craig said. “They didn’t build another 25 per cent of their library because of St. Thomas.” Dawn Russell, STU’s president, met with the librarian on Friday. The Aquinian did not know the result of that meeting before press time. In an interview before the consultation, Russell said the value of shared services for St. Thomas
is not something to “be afraid of or worried about.” Anthony Secco, UNB Fredericton’s vice-president academic, told The Aquinian last week that though the “tension” between STU and UNB is mostly a playful rivalry, he said it’s time for STU to think about paying UNB more. “Inflation and the costs of services [have] reached beyond St. Thomas’ contribution,” he said in a phone interview
last week. Craig said his relationship with Secco, who is his direct counterpart, is always friendly, recognizing their respective spots on the hill. “He teases me about elements of my operation – we’re the little guys next door – and I tease him about, you know, they’re the big brutes down there or something like that, but none of that is particularly serious.” Craig said any decision-making between the two of them is data driven and as of right now, it’s hard to say if STU needs to increase the amount it pays UNB. With new electronic books, Craig said it’s especially hard to track how many STU students are actually using the library, let alone all the other services provided by UNB like the SUB. But Craig said by no means does that mean the relationship is breaking down. If anything, STU and UNB work together like no other two universities in Canada, pulling off partnerships like Congress 2011. “If the Berlin Wall was there every time you passed into a different world, you’d say, well, I’m really conscious of this difference,” Craig said, referring to STU students’ indifference to the relationship. “But you’re not conscious because it works.”
Cautious change: Starting with the top jobs New university president Dawn Russell tries to build trust with a ‘guarded’ community Karissa Donkin The Aquinian
Dawn Russell just wants to get things done. There’s no question she wants change, something the university undoubtedly needs after a polarizing strike during the 2007-08 school year. “When I came to St. Thomas, I understood there was a concern about climate and transparency and decision-making.” But she knows she can’t rush important decisions. She needs to listen and weigh her options. “I realize that sometimes in my haste to get things done, I want to move and accomplish things and can try to pressure others to move quickly. Sometimes I get [pushed] back or create tension with people by doing that. “That’s never good for relationships. I have to make sure that things are planned and time is taken into account.” Russell’s first school year as university president is almost finished. She said it’s been a hectic year, spent trying to re-acquaint herself with the university she attended many years ago. Much of her year has been spent attending events – graduation functions, public lectures and formal dinners. She regrets she couldn’t attend even more events. But the stamp Russell has put on the university during her first few months is
more than the mementos and degrees she’s decorated her new office with, an office that’s been occupied by three different people in the last three years. Perhaps the biggest change has been the names on the offices around her fourth-floor Margaret Norrie McCain Hall spot. Russell was part of hiring former civil servant Lily Fraser to fill the gap in administration left by veteran vice-president finance and administration Lawrence Durling. “She’s got tremendous experience in managing both people and budgets and she understands that need for accountability and being able to explain our decision-making.” And soon, she’ll have to fill another hole, left by Larry Batt, dean of students. Batt, who has spent close to 50 years in some capacity at St. Thomas University, is retiring at the end of June. As part of the internal restructuring Russell is spearheading, Batt was set to become assistant vice-president (student affairs) until he announced his retirement earlier this semester. When the restructure is complete, the university will have a dean of social sciences and a dean of humanities. There will be a lot of new names in higher offices. Russell laments losing Batt and Durling to retirement, but embraces the new leadership team. She sees the restructure as an accomplishment of her
University president Dawn Russell says she is proud of hiring Lily Fraser to take over as vice-president finance and administration from the now-retired Lawrence Durling. Fraser started the job this semester. (Tom Bateman/AQ) first year as president. “It will lead to a strong, academic leadership within the university, which is something the community is thirsty for.” Russell’s looking ahead to next year and has a laundry list of things she wants to accomplish that students can weigh in on. The university will delve further into building its strategic plan, which will map out the university’s direction for the next five years and beyond. From the community feedback the university has received so far, Russell
said people want the university to focus more on improving the first-year experience for students and maybe changing the first-year curriculum. One in four students who begin studying at STU won’t finish here. “We need to deepen the number of people involved in student advising [and] not just the registrar’s office. “We need to make sure that there is a helpful and friendly attitude.” For Russell, her work to gain the university’s trust is just beginning. People have been very welcoming, but they’re
also guarded and cautious, she said. Even if she did everything right from the beginning, she knows there will still be people out there who aren’t sold on her. “There’s a willingness to give me a try, to try to help out and support. I know from experience and I know in terms of my relationship with a new leader that I have to deal with that building trust takes time. “[But] I think there is a strong desire to move forward.”
CASA debate put to rest - for now STUSU votes to remain a member of lobbying organization after three-year debate Shane Magee The Aquinian
After all the heated debates, emotions, meetings, reports and recommendations, the multi-year effort to move to associate membership status in the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations has failed. Faces became red and voices became louder than normal at times in backand-forth exchanges, but the debate remained civil and focused on substance, unlike those of the past. “I feel that we’ve all made our views very clear,” said vice-president student life Alex Vietinghoff after 49 minutes of discussion. He used a procedural motion to call for an end to debate and force the vote. Three hands jumped into the air - vicepresident education Craig Mazerolle, vice-president administration Mary-Dan Johnston, and off-campus representative Ella Henry voted in favour of moving to associate membership. Colin Belyea, another off-campus representative, also voted in favour, but had given his vote to the chair when he left the meeting earlier.
Members of the STUSU vote against moving to associate member status in CASA last Thursday. STUSU voted nine to three to stay as a full member of the lobbying organization. (Shane Magee/AQ) Then came those opposed, but it was a foregone conclusion. Nine members voted to stay in the federal post-secondary education lobbying organization. And with that, it was over. For Henry, Mazerolle and Johnston, who have been on the union together since 2009, it brings an end to an issue they’ve constantly brought to the table.
“I don’t think we should turn it into a life-or-death debate here,” Henry said before the vote. “It’s a tense issue, but at the end of the day, I’m graduating in a month and moving on and would love to do other things.” Mazerolle has expressed similar sentiments in the past, saying he just wanted
a vote to happen. He made the vote a campaign promise when he ran for re-election last year. “I just really want to have the vote,“ he said in a February interview. “I just want to put it out there. If we move to associate membership great, if it doesn’t, fine. “That’s why we have an elected body
to make these decisions.” It’s unlikely membership will become a significant issue again next year based on the views of the incoming STUSU executive. Three members of the new executive attended the vote. Future president John Hoben, who is now an off-campus representative, voted to stay as a full member. Incoming vice-president education Alex Driscoll, who holds the position which mainly deals with CASA, was not at the vote. He campaigned on staying a member of the organization. Last week, Mazerolle did have some final advice. “I would really caution for next year’s council - if you think this is something you want to evaluate - it is incredibly difficult to evaluate something of this magnitude. It really takes lots of commitment. It isn’t something you can have a one page write-up [about]. “It has been my experience that after many information sessions, many visits with CASA staff and elected officials, it is very difficult to engage council unless there are votes in their faces.”
N.B. budget gives little mention to students
Youth should be a priority
Shane Magee The Aquinian
The expected budget-day bomb was a dud. Student leaders feared cuts to university funding and tuition increases before the 2012-13 New Brunswick budget was released last week. But the budget gave almost no indication of government plans. The only thing confirmed is that universities will be able to increase tuition for Canadian students by $175 next year. The lack of detail surprised student representatives. The department of post-secondary education has been reviewing student financial aid programs this year. Mark Livingstone, president of the St. Thomas University students’ union, said the department was falling behind in its review but didn’t expect such a lackluster budget. After reviewing it, Livingstone went back through the records. “This budget was the first time in about 10 years that students were not mentioned,” he said. The department of post-secondary education offered little explanation. Joey O’Kane was also unhappy. “I’m disappointed with the government falling behind,” said O’Kane, president of the New Brunswick Student Alliance. NBSA is a provincial post-secondary lobbying group representing nearly 16,000 students. “It is disappointing - they did miss an opportunity to invest in students.” Marie-Josee Groulx said there is “no reason in particular” why PSE is not in the budget or in the speech delivered by the finance minister last week.
Groulx, spokeswoman for the Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour department, said students will have to wait a few more weeks. “There is good news for students that is going to be coming in the next few weeks,” she said. She couldn’t offer any specifics, just that it’s about changes to financial aid programs. She said it will also provide things student leaders like O’Kane have asked for in meetings with the government. “There will be a lot of details when the minister does her budgetary estimates sometime this spring,” said Groulx. But that doesn’t satisfy O’Kane. “It is unacceptable if they release the budget while students are away for summer vacation,” he said. St. Thomas University is also in the dark about changes and that has left the university’s budget for next year unfinished. “We were surprised not to see any specific mention in the budget documents, as far as I’m aware of, of students,” said STU spokesman Jeffrey Carleton. “We’re waiting just like students to find out what changes.” He said the university has an idea how many students will be enrolled next year - which provides revenue - but is working to produce a budget that turns a profit. He hinted that cost-cutting measures may be coming, but would not provide specifics. “We know we’re going to have to make some decisions about priorities and make decisions about the strategic direction of the university.” Carleton said it isn’t extraordinary for the university to not have a budget in place until students are already gone. “Because of the unknowns it is too early to say what this will mean for students.”
The backlash against two budgets unveiled last week, New Brunswick’s and Canada’s, has not begun in earnest, regardless of the protests on the legislature’s lawn and the foyer of Parliament. Those demonstrations could seem like prayer circles once the details of budget cuts come out in the weeks ahead. Budget speeches and estimates offered a small glimpse at what’s to come. While not as bad as expected, it leaves our generation holding the bag. Buried amid pages of numbers, tables and other accounting pornography, the provincial budget revealed a cut of nearly $400,000 (roughly two per cent) to Student Financial Services, provider of financial aid to most New Brunswick students. The cut will squeeze the pocketbooks of increasingly desperate students further, forcing some out of university or college and hurting their chances to advance their lives in the province. Graduates wanting a career in the public service are also pressed. With the province now replacing only essential jobs after retirements, the chance for new blood to find a career in government, one of New Brunswick’s chief employers, is shrinking. Numbers for summer employment programs, like the SEED Program,
won’t be discussed until later this month. Compounding this is a provincial economy sputtering even more than usual. With inflation (projected at two per cent) again set to outpace economic growth (1.1 per cent), the private sector appears unable to keep up with the growing demand for jobs, especially among youth. While the provincial government is making good progress toward a balanced budget, its legacy rests on living up to its economic development rhetoric and creating jobs, not just cutting. The same can be said of the federal government. Its budget, titled Jobs, Growth, and Long Term Prosperity, notably cuts 19,200 jobs from the federal payroll. It provides $25 million a year to the Youth Employment Strategy for two years. With national youth unemployment at 14.7 per cent, the strategy’s success is essential for the only demographic yet to recover from the 2008 recession. The National Research Council, whose Institute for Information Technology is across the street from STU, will get $65 million to refocus on “business-led, industry-focused research.” The SSHRC program, a vital source of social science and humanities research, sees its budget stay the same.
All that money looks modest, however, compared to the $450 million budgeted for Pan-American Games facilities around Toronto, a nearly $475-million annual increase to the Coast Guard’s budget, and the ballooning costs of the F-35 fighter jets the government plans on buying ($9 billion for 65 planes at last report). The budget’s lip service to student and youth needs was ultimately overshadowed by the cutting of Katimavik, the national youth volunteer group. Odds are, you know at least one person who went through Katimavik – he or she can tell you how great an experience it was. Its elimination is a middle finger in the face of youth who want to be involved in the community and the nation. To build a better province and nation, the governments of Stephen Harper and David Alward need to show they can support us, students and youth. If they can’t, New Brunswick and Canada will be lesser for it. This is the Political Animal’s final appearance in The Aquinian. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it and I also hope that perhaps you’ve learned something as well. Thanks to the editors who’ve worked with me the last four years and tolerated my occasional mental breakdowns and sometimes flexible definition of “deadline.” If you want to keep up with my musings on politics and life, follow me on Twitter @SeanDThompson and read my soon-to-debut blog at http://theanimalpolitic.wordpress. com/ Thanks for reading.
Grant-Harvey opening delayed again New arena for STU hockey teams expected to open in July Shane Magee The Aquinian
It’ll be a few more months before skates hit the ice at the new $29.5-million Grant-Harvey Centre. The new arena, soon to be home to both St. Thomas University hockey teams, is now expected to be complete in July, according to Greg Cook, Fredericton’s executive director of special capital projects. In November, city officials said it would be ready by April. The delay will impact the STU hockey school which will now likely take
place at the Lady Beaverbrook Rink. “The big date for us is September or late August as we’re preparing for training camps. So the July date is very good for us,” athletics director Mike Eagles said. “At the end of the day, if it’s not ready and we run our hockey school at the LBR, it’s not a big deal.” During a tour of the building on Friday, construction crews were working on the roof of the building - which is expected to be complete in two weeks – and preparing to install more drywall in the lobby where the first coat of paint has been applied upstairs.
Bright blue tarps cover the hole where the front doors will be. One thing pushing back the finish date is paving the parking lot. Cook said work on it won’t be complete until the asphalt plants start running in May. The provincial and federal governments are each contributing $3.5 million to the new building while STU will pay $1.2 million. The city will pay the other $21 million. “We are excited,” Eagles said in November about the new arena. “It’s a big addition to our program.” He said with more universities
Greg Cook, the city’s executive director of special capital projects, gives a tour of the GrantHarvey Centre. The arena is expected to be finished in July. (Shane Magee/AQ)
using newer facilities, the Grant-Harvey Centre will “give us the opportunity to get up to the level or surpass the level of facilities that a lot of teams have now.” The complex, located at 600 Knowledge Park Dr., will feature a 1,500-seat NHL-size ice surface as the main rink, and a 500-seat Olympic-size rink. Laying the cooling pipes for the Olympic-size rink is nearly complete. Crews haven’t started that work for the NHL rink, but will soon. The coaches’ offices for the hockey teams will be in the building, as will a fitness area for the players.
The new arena helped STU land the women’s Canadian Interuniversity Sport National Championships in March 2014. While there have been delays – at first, STU thought they might be in the building by 2009 – in November, Eagles said he will be happy to see the puck drop for the first game next September. “It’s been a long time coming, the city has been talking about rinks for a while and there have been a few delays…but I’m absolutely thrilled our programs are going to go into this new facility.”
The NHL-size ice surface at the Grant-Harvey Centre is starting to take shape. Both STU hockey teams will play here after it opens. (Shane Magee/AQ)
Next year’s STUSU fees still a mystery STUSU employee unionization driving fees up: Livingstone Shane Magee The Aquinian
The vote to increase fees St. Thomas University students pay for STUSU membership has been delayed – again. STU students’ union vice-president administration Mary-Dan Johnston introduced the idea of raising the full- and part-time students’ union fee by three per cent two weeks ago. It would, if approved, increase the fulltime student STUSU fee to $111.24 from $108 per year. The part-time student fee would increase to $43.26 from $42. “With costs going up, the only responsible thing to do is to increase fees – just a little bit,” Johnston said in a previous interview with The Aquinian. It was brought up again last week when she presented the proposed 2012-2013 STUSU budget. The meeting lasted two hours – normally meetings run about 30 minutes – and the fee increase was one of the last items up for discussion. Council voted to push back the vote
STUSU president Mark Livingstone focuses on the debate at last Thursday’s regular STUSU meeting. (Shane Magee/AQ) another week because some voting members had already left the meeting by the time it came up. The proposed budget projects a $755.50 surplus with the fee increase and a $7,403 deficit without it. Just under half of the unions’ expenses are for staff. Johnston said two weeks ago the fee
hike was required to cover increases in membership in Canadian Alliance of Student Associations and New Brunswick Student Alliance. The increases in the lobby organization fees will not be as high as Johnston first said. At the time, she said there would be an $8,000 increase in CASA fees over the
next few years. Last week in an email, CASA national director Zachary Dayler explained STUSU will pay about $8,000 in total once the new fee structure is in place. According to the proposed budget, next year’s council will pay $6,500, up by $1,500 from this year. The increase in NBSA fees Johnston predicted also didn’t appear in the proposed budget. “Although there was some noise about NBSA fees going up to $12,500, apparently that isn’t happening,” Johnston said as she presented the new budget. STUSU president Mark Livingstone said the only reason the fee increase was introduced was because of the unionization of the STUSU employees last spring. Under the proposed budget, 44 per cent of allocated money will be used to pay 10 staff. “The fee increase is a direct result of a process that occurred in the early weeks and hours before I started my term for president,” said Livingstone. Johnston said the increase is because of provisions in the STUSU employee
union collective agreement. Under the agreement, senior employees earn more than new employees. Add in the 20 elected representatives and that figure jumps to just over 55 per cent. According to old budgets, the 13 employees in 2010-2011 cost STUSU $108,604. That increased to $119,545.60 this year and will jump to $124,153 under the proposed budget. In comparison, STUSU is budgeting $6,000 for clubs and societies funding requests and $68,000 for student services which includes emergency bursaries, SafeRide, the Help Desk, and events such as winter formal. The budget does not factor in president-elect John Hoben’s election promise to create a new position to build an electronic bookstore or a renegotiated contract for the STUSU general manager. No funding has been allocated for the bookstore as of yet. The general manager, Tina Reissner, has worked for STUSU since at least 2003 and manages the union’s books.
‘I grew up on the stage of the Black Box Theatre’ Sam Kamras heads to the Big Apple to pursue acting in the fall. But as The AQ’s Julia Whalen finds out, her newfound passion will always be traced back to Fredericton. Sam Kamras greeted me at the door of her apartment with a smile. As I took my coat off, we talked about how we weren’t feeling so great. ‘Tis the season, we both said. Typical. When your work is due, your body shuts down. I told her I figured I was on the upswing after a 24-hour bug. “What about you?” I asked. “Pneumonia,” she said. “Now, I was serious about that tea I promised. Would you like some?” *** Kamras has been in the public eye recently after successful applications to graduate schools for acting in New York City. She accepted a spot at the New School for Drama, and will complete a three-year master’s in fine arts with a concentration in acting. “It was stressful,” Kamras said about the audition process. “I was trying to keep myself fed, keep myself hydrated, remember my lines. But it was kind of magical at the same time, I mean, who can complain about running all over Manhattan?” The doe-eyed fourth-year student applied to New York schools like the Actors Studio and Tisch School of the Arts, and she did a panel audition for the University Resident Theatre Association, which covered applications for 40 schools across the U.S. and the U.K. She also did on-the-spot auditions for Birmingham School in England and New School for Drama in New York – where she will start courses on Aug. 27. “You basically build foundations in your first year, develop them in your second year and then in your third year, at the very end, you’ll do a showcase. They invite a bunch of agents to come out and hopefully someone will like you and you’ll take off from there. “Three years of 15-hour days, plus rehearsal times,” she said with a laugh. “It’s going to be exhausting, but fun.” The way Kamras’ eyes light up when discussing her future makes you think she’s had this plan all her life. It’s like she’s one of those theatrical kids who started singing and dancing before they could talk. But theatre wasn’t always her goal. *** The daughter of an RCMP officer, Kamras moved around the country a lot before settling in London, Ont. When it came time to apply for university, her interest in writing turned her to journalism. She applied to Ryerson University in Toronto and Ottawa’s Carleton University, but she knew she wanted to move away from home and start fresh. St. Thomas University was the only school she visited, and she said as soon as she stepped on campus, she felt at home. “Small classroom sizes, friendly environment – the whole spiel that STU gives you - I just fell in love with it and I found it to be true,” Kamras said. “So I decided to go with my gut and I came here.” She had the intention of doing as much theatre as she could at STU, but her primary focus was journalism. In mid-September of her first year, Kamras auditioned for Theatre St. Thomas’ The Importance of Being Earnest. She was terrified of the process because she had just seen the David Ives show TST members had worked on over the summer. Many of the show’s actors were there for the audition and it was then, she said, the doubt set in. “It was a torturous week waiting to hear back, and eventually I got the email. I remember it was a Friday and I didn’t have class, so I was just kind of waiting. [When] the email came it was just kind of like, ‘Oh my God, I have a community now! I know
what I can do with my spare time, this is great!’ “Looking back now, thank God I auditioned. Thank God I just got the guts and I went for it because things would be very, very different if I didn’t have that.” It was this past summer, while balancing three productions, that Kamras realized she wanted to pursue theatre. It felt comforting, she said; comforting to know what she was doing at the end of her fourth year, comforting to know she was going to have a theatre family for the next three years, and exciting that she was going to give this a shot. “If there’s ever a time to do it in my life, it’s right now. So why not go for it?” But that doesn’t mean there were low points. Her first audition was at Tisch, and despite Ilkay Silk, STU’s director of drama, telling her to do otherwise, Kamras compared herself to everyone auditioning. She asked herself what the hell she was doing, convinced she was being ridiculous. She thought she looked 16 years old compared to the other women. “You doubt yourself, you doubt your motivations, and it can be a really, really low point. But you also know when you give it your best and you have family and friends who are supportive of you and who reassure you, you take a deep breath and convince yourself to keep going, and then you just hope for the best.” Her family and friends were supportive of her decision to pursue acting, but the reaction that sticks out most in her mind was that of her best friend. They went for breakfast together and Kamras announced she had some news: she was going to graduate school for acting. But mid-way through her own sentence declaring her plan, Kamras cut herself off re-enacting her friend’s reaction, arms flailing. “She just freaked out. She was more excited about it, I think, than I was,” she said with a laugh. “And she’s been right there all along.” Every once in awhile, Kamras said, her roommate stops her to tell her how proud she is. Quoting her friend, Kamras’ voice trailed upwards, holding back emotion. “That to me – that’s just so...wonderful,” she laughed. “It’s really nice to hear.” *** Kamras said she can’t imagine her life without theatre. Theatre has taught her to be on time, to come prepared and to not procrastinate - among other things. But more importantly – and perhaps more po-
“If there’s ever a time to do it in my life, it’s right now. So why not go for it?” said Sam Kamras. She’ll move to New York City in August. (Tom Bateman/AQ) Kamras said at the callbacks for New School, there was an opportunity to ask students about their experience. One said the program was exhausting because it strips away everything you’ve ever believed to be true; it takes all of your beliefs and all of the stereotypes you hold, so you’re left with a bare soul. “And so from that as you study, you work to create these characters and these worlds on-stage, then you rebuild yourself as a human with just so
“Looking back now, thank God I auditioned. Thank God I just got the guts and I went for it because things would be very, very different if I didn’t have that.” - Sam Kamras etically, she said – it’s taught her a lot about life and human truths. The great thing about theatre is how powerful and universal it is, she said. She attributes her discovery to Silk because of the way she approaches rehearsals. “Half your time in rehearsals is spent talking about historical, social and economic circumstances, and you learn so much about the world you’re trying to recreate because you want to make it as believable as possible.”
much perspective about life and about the world.” But as much as it is soul-searching, Kamras said theatre is extremely social. Through committing the hours it takes to produce a show, and the experiences the actors go through together, the process reaches an intimate level. Inside jokes are developed, friendships are made and you take “emotional roller coasters” with characters. There’s a strong theatre community in Fredericton and especially on the STU campus, she said.
Theatre opportunities are available to people regardless of what they’re studying or how old they are. With these opportunities and the encouragement of Silk and University of New Brunswick director of drama Len Falkenstein, Kamras feels her life wouldn’t be the same if she hadn’t moved to the East Coast. “I grew up on the stage of the Black Box Theatre. It’s where I learned what I wanted to do.” *** Sitting cross-legged on her couch with the sun pouring in the window, Kamras said she’s ready to move on. Moving away from home and her family, with whom she said she’s “ridiculously close,” was hard. But between friends, professors and everyone else she’s met in Fredericton, she’s made a home here too. “I would like to come back, eventually. I just need to spread my wings a bit and see what it is that I can do.” After finishing her call backs at the New School of Drama, Kamras walked down Sixth Avenue with her headphones in. Hey Rosetta!’s “Young Glass” came on, and the line, “It’s the boulevard and the hum of her hard lights” made her stop. “I just took a moment and I was like, ‘Wow. I could be doing this every single day for the next three years,’” she said with a laugh. “It was one of those moments. It was good.”
UNB Ensembles - Spring Concert @ Memorial Hall, UNB Campus, April 3, 7:309:30 p.m., tickets $5 adults, $3 seniors and free for students with a valid student ID La Mesa Hispana, practice your Spanish @ James Dunn Hall, April 4, 11:30-12:30 p.m.
This is Miss Teen Geary, not Miss America
Just like our neighbours or maybe not
The AQ’s Mackenzie Heckbert was once crowned Miss Teen Geary. But when she went back to the rural community, she realized the small-town pageant isn’t so glitzy
Merton Book Club presents Lawrence Scanlan’s A Year of Living Generously: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Philanthropy @ BMH rotunda, April 11, 7-9 p.m. All are welcome STU Jazz year-end concert honouring local musicicans @ Kinsella Auditorium, McCain Hall, April 11, 7:30 p.m., admission by donation
Gallery: Victoria Moon Joyce’s Rivers and Tides and Hockey! Our Game @ Gallery 78 Brody Leblanc and Monica Lacey’s Werkstatt @ The UNB Art Centre, runs until April 20
Playhouse: Chris Donnelly @ 7:30 p.m., April 3, tickets: regular - $26, under 19 - $13, member - $22
Film: Cinema Politica Fredericton presents Who Shot My Brother? @ Conserver House, 180 St. John St., April 6, 7-9 p.m., by donation
Music: Thursday Jazz @ the Cedar Tree Café featuring the Cedar Ensemble, with Mark Lulham (sax), Don Gorman (upright bass), and introducing Matt Gray (guitar) & Anthony Savidge (drums). Thursdays, 7-9 p.m. Gravity Strike (members of GTB & Slate Pacific) @ Wilser’s Room, April 4, show at 10 p.m., free for students, $5 otherwise FUCC presents Comedy Night @ Wilser’s Room, doors at 9:30 p.m., show at 10:30 p.m., $5 at the door Yukon Blonde, Library Voices and Great Bloomers @ The Capital, March 29, show at 10:30 p.m., $12 adv. tickets Girls Night Out @ The Phoenix, April 6, free for ladies, martini specials, request DJ & more
Returning to Geary as an advocate for past Miss Teen Geary queens, Mackenzie Heckbert was targeted by a pack of angry women for forgetting to mention some names. (Submitted) I stepped off the stage feeling like I had just finished an awardwinning performance. Trevor Doyle, local radio personality, announced my name like I was some kind of star. “Ladies and Gentleman, Miss Mackenzie Heckbert.” I developed my love for public speaking in 2005 when I was crowned Miss Teen Geary, and since then I’ve delivered several memorable speeches to the community. I was chosen to be the advocate for the past queens at this year’s pageant, and with four years of university and a new job in radio under my belt, it seemed logical. I had worked all week compiling stories about past Miss Teen Geary Pageant royalty so I could show the community and the pageant contestants how successful many of the women had become. I planned the perfect speech and delivered my masterpiece with mild stumbles and sweaty palms. When I finished, the audience erupted in thundering applause and I immediately forgot all of my mistakes. I waltzed down the steps and past the first row of people, not aware that many of the women who sat in the crowd were less than pleased with my speech. I heard my name called harshly above the applause and doubled back to the row where many past Miss Teen Geary Pageant queens were sitting. Kim, Miss Teen Geary 1989, stared at my star-studded smile with a furrowed brow that spelled out P-I-S-S-E-D. “You do realize you forgot some of the girls, right?” the
former queen spat. Her words snapped my smile in half, and my heart (which had just started to slow down) began to pound rapidly against my chest. It was the moment when my love for small towns quickly began to dwindle. I’ve always considered Geary my home. I was an army brat and had spent most of my early childhood moving, so I never maintained friendships. I liked the quaintness of Geary; how everyone who passed you on the road waved the same threefingered way; and how on any given day, you could see horses trotting past your driveway or a tractor chugging slowly on the main “highway.” But unless your last name was Carr or Smith, you were never truly accepted. “You forgot my daughter in your speech,” said a short, stout woman, putting her face in mine. “She’s in the front row and the only past queen you forgot, and just so you know, she’s really upset.” With everyone looking over in my direction, I could feel my face wash over with embarrassment. Making my way for the door, I heard my name called sharply like the snap of a whip. “Mack!” I turned around to face three women grabbing at my arm and the sight of one of my old friends crying in the Geary Lions Club washrooms. I had forgotten to mention her too. I felt like I had travelled back in time to middle school where I had spent many lunch hours hidden beneath my desk in the
classroom, trying to escape from bullies. But this time there was no table for me to hide under. This time I had to face the confrontation that I tried to avoid my whole life. “My daughter suffers with anxiety and depression,” the short woman screeched, as tears streamed down my face. “You made her feel left out. It’s things like this that are triggers for suicidal thoughts.” I kept apologizing for my jumbled notes and nervousness. But between her tears and insults, I realized I wasn’t 12 anymore. I’m 21 years old, and I didn’t need to say sorry for an honest mistake. This is Miss Teen Geary, not Miss America. Two other women stood at her side as if they were her back up, ready to pounce on me at any moment. Passers-by stared. I even heard someone mumble that I wasn’t welcome in Geary anymore. At that moment I hated that ridiculous town with its petty small-time drama. Any sort of controversy was addictive to them, and I felt stupid it took me 15 years to figure that out. It took me everything I had in me to choke out the only insult I could muster: “F**k you and f**k this town. This is why I never come back here.” Thinking back to the shocked look in their eyes leaves a delicious smirk on my face. It was the rudest thing I can remember saying to anyone in my life. Needless to say, it will be a few more years before I head back to a Miss Teen Geary pageant again.
Justin Cook The Aquinian
Canada’s music scene has had a rough puberty, but it seems it’s fulfilling the potential faithful fans always knew it had. Canadians have traditionally bought music based on what’s hot in the United States, but bands like Arcade Fire, Metric, the Sheepdogs and Broken Social Scene are changing the status quo. Take a look at some of Canada’s most popular bands. Nickelback took off after Creed already had platinum certifications in both the U.S. and Canada. Sum 41 hit it big years after Blink-182 popularized the pop-punk scene. Even our beloved Neil Young first gained notoriety as a member of Crosby, Stills & Nash. He revitalized his career in Canada and the States with the Americanthemed album Freedom. And The Guess Who’s biggest single in both countries was “American Woman.” Canadians have a sad history of supporting Canadian bands that have connections to America, or sound like popular American bands. Rob Pinnock, a DJ on The Fox FM and a rock history teacher at the University of New Brunswick, thinks this is unavoidable. “They’re our closest neighbour. Yes, we’re separated by a border, but it’s a relatively open border as far as neighbouring countries are concerned.” He also pointed out musical centres in the U.S. (Detroit, Boston and New York) and Canada (Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver) are all near the border. Despite America’s influence on our music, Pinnock believes Canada stands out. “Canadian music has a unique identity. We are starting to tap out our own little corner of the global spotlight.” Arcade Fire is the most notable example. They have certified albums in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada. The Suburbs hit number one in six countries and won album of the year at the Grammy and Juno awards. Pinnock credits the internet for helping the success of new Canadian creativity. “Once the internet got involved it was like the wild frontier. It changed a lot of things.” Besides commercial success, more Canadian acts are getting a spot on online end-of-year album lists. Areas throughout the country, particularly Montreal, are becoming musical hotspots. It remains to be seen if Canada’s music will continue rising internationally. “We’re probably in a better position than we ever were as far as putting our own mark and stamp on it,” Pinnock said. “I think a lot of Canadians are glad they’re not Americans. It’s kind of cool up here.”
Ajax, Ont. band Sum 41 burst onto the scene after Blink-182 popularized pop-punk. (Submitted)
Fredericton mayor to hit the college catwalk
New Brunswick College of Craft and Design instructor Joanne Venart works with a student on her line for the upcoming fashion show. (Tom Bateman/AQ)
New Brunswick College of Craft and Design hosts fashion show in April Meghan O’Neil The Aquinian
Gisele Bündchen for mayor? Well, not quite. The New Brunswick College of Craft and Design will hold their annual fashion show April 21, and Fredericton mayor Brad Woodside will be walking the runway. “I made a call to a friend who made a call to him, and he was in just like that. He’s right next door so he can come in for his fittings. I’ve got his holster and his badge, so everything’s all ready to go,” said Patricia Galbraith. Galbraith is in her final year of the two-year fashion design program at the college. Woodside will be sporting a look out of her Wild West-themed line. The college’s 14th annual fashion show, “Designed to the Nines,” will be held at the Fredericton Convention Centre. There will be eight graduating students and one student in advanced studies presenting designs on the runway.
“I’ve been working on it since January, so about three months of sewing,” Galbraith said. “The design part and trying to figure out what we were going to do was all done before Christmas. In the new year we kind of just jumped right into it.” Galbraith’s line draws from Gunsmoke, a television series set in a small, western town in the 1870s. Galbraith created fictional characters and designed her pieces around those characters. Woodside will be playing the role of the town marshal. The event is open to the general public, and the money raised goes to scholarships for students attending the college. Last year, a scholarship was given out to both a first- and second-year student. The lines expected from graduating students for this year include lingerie, ballet and evening gowns. Part of the evening will also display work from alumni. “We really try and tie in alumnus,”
said Joanne Venart, an instructor at the college. “We always try and stay in touch with our graduates, so the fashion show is a great opportunity to get together. It’s kind of like homecoming in a way.” The first-year students will be using unexpected materials. Last year they were required to work with plastic, and this year the students must create a garment using only paper. Anything goes, said Venart, from cardboard to tissue paper. One design from each designer will be displayed in a downtown shop window a week before the event. Participating locations include Robert Simmonds Clothing and Westminster Books. “The show gives an opportunity to the general public to see what is going here, and it’s a place for designers to showcase their talents,” said Galbraith. “It’s a fun and entertaining evening.” Individual tickets for the event are $15 and are on sale at Reid’s Newsstand, the UNB Campus Shop or NBCCD. For more information call 453-5997.
Second-year NBCCD fashion design student Patricia Galbraith has been sewing pieces in her line since January. (Tom Bateman/AQ)
STU prof up for ECMA Dylan Hackett The Aquinian
Fine arts professor Steven Peacock’s Duo Cantilena has been nominated for classical album of the year in the upcoming East Coast Music Awards. (Tom Bateman/AQ)
A St. Thomas University professor might be bringing an East Coast Music Award back to campus. Fine arts professor Steven Peacock’s music duo, Duo Cantilena, has been nominated for the upcoming awards. The duo’s latest album, The Green Bushes: Dances, Airs & Lullabies, is nominated for classical recording of the year. “The nominations are juried and the nominated projects this year are all very strong, so we’re
pleased that ours is among them,” said Peacock. Peacock has been teaching guitar performance and music theory since 2007. His duo partner, Sally Wright, who is based out of Moncton, has been principle flute for Symphony New Brunswick for over 10 years. As a professor, Peacock said the reaction on campus has been extremely supportive and excited. “We’ve had lots of congratulations from our colleagues, students and friends here at STU.” The ECMAs have traditionally been an excellent outlet for
underground East Coast music to make itself known to the public and award artists for their hard work in a competitive industry. “It’s true that the ECMAs are largely devoted to more commercial forms of musical expression,” said Peacock. “The nomination is still helpful as we negotiate concert bookings in and beyond the Atlantic region for next year and down the road.” With his St. Thomas community behind him, Peacock and Wright are looking forward to the annual awards ceremony, which takes place April 15 in Moncton.
When Disaster From Swiss Air S
to the tsunami in Japan, disasters happen near and far. But as The AQ’s
explains, there’s no telling how they’ll touch a life.
haken, he told me he didn’t know what to do. Neither did I. He felt helpless and sad. I felt nothing. For many people, Peggy’s Cove is the most iconic tourist attraction in Nova Scotia: the postcards, restaurant, crashing waves and lighthouse. For Dad and me, it has always been a getaway. The sun sets in a particular fashion on the bay. On a clear night, it’s like a burning medallion, slipping down below the edge of the horizon. You can go there and think about nothing or everything. Peggy’s Cove is whatever you want it to be. The area’s mostly quiet at night, though some tourists still run around its rocks. Signs warn them to stay off the black ones, the ones splashed by cool Atlantic waves, but it’s like a magnetic pull, a challenge, to see how close you can get to the edge, forgetting its potential danger.
The crash of Swiss Air Flight 111, 11.3 kilometres off the coast of Canada’s Ocean Playground moved my dad more than my family expected. At nine, I had never seen his sad emotions. I didn’t really think he had them. But when 229 people are killed after a plane crash rumbles your home 10 minutes away, you’re bound to feel something. *** They say the unexpected is just around the corner and your destiny is closer than you think. I was 16 when I got my surprise. We were doing a group project in English class and I got stuck with the “other” category. For whatever reason, I chose to do a video. Our topic was “hope and loss” and I decided to draw on the disasters that affected people my age – Hurricane Katrina, 9/11 and Swiss Air Flight 111. I interviewed peers, directed shots and
chose music and archival photos. I remember spending hours on Windows Movie Maker making sure the shots lined up with the music, the music with the words on the screen, the words with people’s interviews. And before I knew it, I had produced an eight-minute documentary. Talk about surprise. After receiving such positive feedback, all I could think was, “What am I doing?” There was something totally fascinating about disasters and why they happen. I wanted to know the science behind these unexpected tragedies that so often included death. And what intrigued me most was what it all meant for the people involved – or those notso-involved, like the case of my dad and Swiss Air Flight 111. I wanted to hear those stories behind the initial shocking news. By Grade 11, I was confused about my future. I thought I always wanted to be a
s s h h w -
, ” t t d r -
11 Left: People look out onto a Peggy’s Cove sunset. (Alyssa Mosher/AQ) Below: Mosher and her father, Jeff, at St. Thomas University in Mosher’s first year. (Submitted) The Swiss Air Flight 111 memorial now sits among the rocks at Peggy’s Cove. (Submitted)
Strikes political analyst (mega cool, I know), but then started toying with the idea of psychoneuroimmunology, the study of the brain (my sister was studying it at Acadia and I thought she was the greatest). But that small little project in September of my Grade 11 advanced English class suddenly made everything clear: journalism was the abyss I was about to drop into. *** “Are you going to take this one, Alyssa?” “You should probably do something about it.” “Someone needs to phone his friends.” “I can do it if you don’t think you’ll have time.” “Okay,” I replied to our business editor at the time, Lily Boisson. Student athlete Andrew Bartlett had passed away after a rookie party and as
news editor of The Aquinian at the time, I froze. This was a disaster, right? That same “story behind the story” was staring me right in the face and it was mine if I wanted it. But all I could do was ignore my responsibilities, shy away and cower in the corner. Later that year, two very different cataclysms affected people at St. Thomas University. One former student told us about the fear she had for her immediate family who lived in Japan after the earthquake. She was glued to the news, always waiting to hear more about the worst-case scenario. But then she talked about the hope she found in survivors of the disaster. “We’ll rebuild Japan this time again,” an older man said on the TV as he climbed out of the wreckage. Later that year I spoke with another
former student. She was working at a news station in Abu Dhabi and the government had cancelled all national and international news out of that channel. She knew it had something to do with the protests that originated in Tunisia and Egypt. “I used to tell my professors…that I was really, really scared of going back home and practising…our [Middle Eastern] journalism,” she told me. Listening to these stories first hand made me realize that no matter how many clips I saw on CNN or CBC, I didn’t get it. And part of me thinks I was afraid to even try. But now all I want to do as a journalist is convey those emotions most of us can’t even fathom; all I want to do is show that I’ve overcome that fear, helping people – including myself – understand. *** They say photography shows us what
the eye can’t see. I beg to differ. When I take pictures of Peggy’s Cove, I can only hope my shooting will capture what I see, what I feel. Whether it’s of the low-lit sun or the crash of a wave, there’s always something mysterious about those photos and what they can never show. For some, Peggy’s Cove will always be that getaway, a tourist attraction, a nice day in the sun. But for me, it’s become much more. When I snap a photo and post it on my wall or even this story, it’s like I’m trying to capture something that’s not there anymore, this abyss, these yearnings - all of which have led me to where I am today. Like everything else, the impact of a disaster is relative to the experiences of people around you. And if we don’t understand that relation, we’re more than a world away from something that happened only kilometres down the road.
TA L K B AC K Re: “Good Riddance”
Shopping in post-penny Canada
Graphic by first-year STU student Brandon Hicks
Destination: Friend zone
My guy friends are gorgeous. Really, if a St. Thomas University 201213 male calendar existed, they’d be on it - and I’d own 20 copies. I’ve fallen madly in like with many of them (not my fault they were blessed with spectacular genes), but it was never returned - ever. I called it wedding bells, they called it 100 per cent platonic. Reality Check: We’ve all been launched into the friend zone. And most of the time, we stay there forever. The friend zone is equivalent to a fly trapped on those sticky strips hanging on our grandmother’s front porch in the summertime: you’re stuck there with nowhere to go. The friend zone is a dark and gloomy place. It often contains repressed sentiments, comfort food and Taylor Swift-themed songs playing in the background. Many times,
we ask ourselves how we subjected ourselves to this category. It doesn’t make sense, we’re perfect together and we have a great connection. But we’re still just another fly. Eventually, we come to terms with our fate. Sure, we assure ourselves we’ll be best friends, but our first instinct certainly isn’t to give a high five or a pat on the back when seeing our “best friend” mingling with someone else. We’d much rather shove our heads into a brick wall. Part of the problem is that we often can’t take the hint we’re migrating to the friend zone. So we push for something that isn’t there, and fall under the illusion that we’re taking our friendship to “the next level.” We interpret a casual hang out as a romantic getaway; we see an innocent text message as a
poetic love letter; we take a simple compliment and turn it into a confession of their everlasting love. They have no idea we’re one step away from tattooing a wedding band on our ring finger. But before we send out those marriage invitations, here are a few “friend zone” warning signs: 1. They refer to you as their sibling, cousin or parent. 2. They talk to you about people they’re currently interested in. 3. They say: “If only I could find someone like you,” but it’s never… you. 4. They fist bump you, as opposed to purposely brushing their hand against yours. 5. When introducing you to others, they refer to you as “just a friend.” We get it, friendships are great - but Facebook says we’ve got enough of those. It would be nice to provide our relationship statuses with a bit of excitement. And sometimes all we really want is to be someone’s everything, rather than just another fly on the wall.
First, there are women who are perfectly comfortable with their breasts and bodies overall. Stating that “no girl’’ is comfortable with them is not only contradicting to your “letting loose” concept but promoting ideas that women are constantly insecure about their bodies and that we have a reason to. When there is nothing to be insecure about, women are women in all sizes, shapes and colours. Second, stating that men approve or not of the choices a woman makes during her sexual encounters is once again, underestimating the ability of women to choose for themselves what they like and prefer. Women have transformed themselves for decades over to mass production of man’s desire and the approach needs to change. It’s not about whether they approve or not, just as women are not approving or not of men who do not take their shirts off during sex (which happens). Furthermore, if the idea was about the general perception of women wearing a bra or not, then homosexual women should also state what they think about it, although your sex column is directed to heterosexual couples only. Overall, I understand the message you are trying to convey, but your use of wording is patriarchal and destructive to women’s attempt to have egalitarian relationships. Third, you continue to say that if women feel insecure about their breasts they should also feel the same about their “belly rolls, floppy arms, big hips and thick tights.” I am uncertain as to who exactly is your audience. Are you trying to self-assure curvy or unfit women? Furthermore, it pretty much states that only women who are of bigger complexion suffer these kinds of insecurities and it promotes those whose self-esteem is already stumbling to (on top of having to deal with this society’s constant reminder that skinny is the only pretty) worry about those areas. Fourth, your ironic “ego tip” to wear a paper bag is simply ridiculous and once more feeds on chauvinist jokes that men have sex with ‘ugly women’ because they can put a paper bag in their heads and just sex them, like objects. I advise you to be more careful with your language. I understand your desire to share your ideas and opinions about sex with the university community, nonetheless, as a writer you must take in consideration that the spread of information is a way to educate and create change. I do not think that is your intention to undermine us and rather to promote for us to let go of the things “silly girls” do. Nonetheless, I question if your personal experiences and thoughts apply to all of us. I recommend that you become critical in your analysis of sexual interaction and that you take in consideration our diversity as women and as sexual beings. For the full version of this letter, go to www.theaq.net. Maite Loria
Re: “Get off my Facebook, Grandma”
I’m writing to express my dismay at something published recently in the Aquinian. Some foolish young person wrote a piece called “Get off my Facebook, Grandma” that is offensive and presents a very poor image of STU to the wider community. You will not be happy to realize that it was discussed on Facebook. It was poorly written, oblivious of facts and disrespectful to people over the age of fifty. St Thomas University is ahead of the times by being one of the few universities to have a respected Gerontology Department. Publishing such a silly piece in the Aquinian doesn’t fit with STU’s image, and I request that you ask the author to print an apology. Wendy Rogers
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Men’s hockey head coach Troy Ryan reflects on his first season behind the bench
Men’s hockey head coach Troy Ryan, pictured in his office, answered questions recently about his time at STU. (Tom Bateman/AQ)
Overall, how did you find your important, using our stage to connect recruit an average player just to fill a rosHow will the new arena help great. The one thing people don’t see is first season in charge? with the community or connect with ter spot and then be stuck with him for the men’s hockey team? that we can make all these changes we I think this year’s been interesting. I was hired very late, came into Fredericton and really by that time...all other teams had pretty much done its recruiting, so we scrambled to try and find some recruits who were looking to play some university hockey. I was very happy with the recruits I was able to bring in. if you watched a lot of our games you’d notice that a lot of our top line players were all first years like Steve Sanza, Bonneau, Poulin and probably three of our top-five scorers were first-year guys. And even depth-wise, role-wise, guys like John MacDonald and Robert Zandbeek were great guys just to come in and fill a role on the third or fourth line. So very happy, under the circumstances, how we were able to recruit. Other things though, I think we completely increased our role in the community, we did a lot of community involvement stuff like school visits, minor hockey, all of those sorts of things. Like food bank drives, Run for the Cure, Terry Fox Run and I think that’s
youths or connect corporately. All those little things that build a program besides wins and losses. Having said all that, we didn’t win enough games this year, but I think [that] comes when you build your program bringing proper recruits in. The future looks good.
What did you enjoy the most personally? I enjoyed the level probably most. The AUS hockey is probably the best hockey in Canada. I’ve watched a lot of junior A hockey, I’ve watched a lot of major junior hockey and I would take the hockey the AUS provides over anything, so just being involved in that league. I’ve also enjoyed the little changes I’ve been able to make here, maybe in the atmosphere on a daily basis, stuff that the average people may not see, but the players do.
four or five years. So I gambled a bit and said, “Let’s just go with our 12 forwards, six D and a couple goalies and hope for the best.” We did have some injury trouble. We lost Matt Eagles [and] we had Van Laren suspended for eight games, but guys just seemed to battle through. But our lack of depth is why we lost so many of those close games.
What needs to improve the most for next season?
I think it will be good, but it just doesn’t always correlate with championships or success...What it does do is put us back on a level playing field. You know, our players, they’re excited about it, but it’s not the be all end all to them. They grew to like the LBR, they enjoyed their time there…but I think what will happen in the future. It gives us a nice clean slate to kind of rebrand a lot of things. Bigger than anything, it gives us an opportunity to tap more into corporately and have more events. We have an opportunity to just brand the facility...bring in money corporately [and] host events for our alumni a little better than we were able to do at the LBR, so I think it’s going to be good for our program.
Powerplay, without a doubt. We lost over 10 games by one goal and in three quarters of them we never scored a powerplay goal. Everyone tells me this is a recruiting league and a special teams league so we have to do a better job at recruiting and bringing in quality players and if you bring in quality players, you imDo you think this team could prove your powerplay. We didn’t really contend for a playoff spot next What was the surprise of the have powerplay units this season. Like, if season? year for you? I loaded up one line we would be so bad We better, yeah! You know, I think at The biggest surprise for me was that the next shift. You live and die by it, but times this year we potentially could have. Please note some answers were shortwe were able to survive the season with it is what it is so I didn’t get too stressed The level of difference between our team ened and not all questions asked are resuch a short bench. I just didn’t want about it. and some of the other teams was too ported here. Compiled by Matt Tidcombe.
Final men’s hockey team statistics: Assists:
10 Randy Cameron 23 Stephen Sanza 51 Jonathan Bonneau 11 Brad Gallant 21 Robert Zandbeek
13 12 10 6 4
want, but so are the other schools. Right now, the teams that are ahead of us, like St. FX, they aren’t going to just lay over and let what happened to them this year happen. They’re going to improve. Dalhousie is going to improve. So I guess it depends on what rate they improve at. I want to make playoffs, but next year I think it’s very important to make sure we find a way to make it into the playoffs because the bottom line is, the campus... the community, aren’t going to accept this much longer. But this is a three-tofive year process. If we’re unable to make playoffs next year, it’s not the end of the world to me. But everything we’re doing, that’s our priority. Our first step is to make playoffs, our next step is to get into the top four in this league and from the day I started, I think both are very possible in that five-year plan.
3 Felix Poulin 11 Brad Gallant 10 Randy Cameron 51 Jonathan Bonneau 14 Jordan Scott
17 10 9 9 8
10 Randy Cameron 3 Felix Poulin 51 Jonathan Bonneau 23 Stephen Sanza 11 Brad Gallant
22 20 19 18 16
Goalies: 35 Justin Collier GAA 3.57 Wins: 1 Losses: 3 31 Charles Lavigne GAA 3.92 Wins: 4 Losses: 20
Nathan Paton, left, won the John Frederick Walls Memorial award. Ashley Bawn, middle left, won the most outstanding female athlete of the year. Kayla Blackmore, middle right, won the Cathy Wadden award for commitment. Nathan Mazurkiewicz won most outstanding male athlete of the year.
The LeRoy Washburn Award for Community Service was awarded to the cross country team.
The graduating players from all STU teams stand with their awards.
AWARDS Men’s basketball player MacKenzie Washburn took home the top defensive player award.
Ashley Bawn, left, won the women’s basketball team’s MVP award.
All photos by Keith Minchin/ Faces of the World. Courtesy of STU Athletics.
Francis Sirois, middle, picked up the men’s volleyball MVP award.
Mike Corby was named MVP of the men’s soccer team.
The women’s rugby team MVP award went to Emily Nearing.
Nathan Mazurkiewicz won the men’s basketball MVP award.
Awards by team Golf Top Golfer: Ryan Cooke Women’s soccer Rookie of the year: Brittany Jenkins Unsung hero: Alisha Benedict MVP: Thomas Wardell Men’s soccer Rookie of the year: Alex Fredericks Unsung hero: Ryan Boyce Leadership award: Liam Clarke MVP: Mike Corby Men’s rugby Rookie of the year: Jamie Logan Most improved player: Shawn Mather MVP: Dylan Marche
Women’s cross country Rookie of the year: Jenna Hamilton Most improved athlete: Katie Hamilton MVA: Kyla Tanner Men’s cross country Rookie of the year: Jeff Amos Most improved athlete: Brendan Bannister MVA: Nathan Paton Women’s hockey Rookie of the year: Danielle Miller Most improved: Carly Critch Top defensive player: Courtney Fox MVP: Kayla Blackmore Men’s hockey Rookies of the year: Steve Sanza and Jonathan Bonneau
Best defenceman: Felix-Antoine Poulin Most sportsmanlike player: John MacDonald Unsung hero: Robert Zandbeek MVP: Charlie Lavigne Women’s volleyball Rookie of the year: Nicole Munro Most improved player: Chelsea Bringloe MVP: Ashley Jordan Women’s rugby Rookie of the year: Kaela Grant Most Improved: Mary Galvin Heather Leonard Memorial Award: Rosalynn Alessi MVP: Emily Nearing
Richie Wilkins, left, was named men’s basketball rookie of the year.
Men’s volleyball Rookie of the year: Thomas Tremblay Most improved: Colin Briggs MVP: Francis Sirois Women’s basketball Rookie of the year: Brittany Gilliss Most improved: Hillary Goodine Top defensive player: Laura Anderson MVP: Ashley Bawn Men’s basketball Rookie of the year: Richie Wilkins Most improved: Will Kowalsky Top defensive player: Mackenzie Washburn MVP: Nathan Mazurkiewicz
CCAA Academic AllCanadians 2011-2012 (Conference all-star and National Scholar) Ashley Bawn (women’s basketball) Dylan Hughes (men’s soccer) Francis Sirois (men’s volleyball) Kelsey Knowles (women’s volleyball)
Men’s hockey goalie Charles Lavigne, middle, picked up the team’s MVP award.
Get a goal and go for it This is my last column, and if there is one thing I hope people take away from it, it’s that you can achieve anything if you set goals. Pick a goal for your health or fitness
level, and decide when you want to achieve it by. Then all you have to do is plan how you’ll achieve it, and work toward it until it’s done. I weighed 150 lbs from most of high
school to this past summer. At six feet, I was pretty skinny. I set a goal to gain enough muscle mass to weigh 180 lbs by the end of the school year, and I achieved it. I ate a lot more protein, a lot of healthy foods, and gave myself time to sleep and recover after workouts. If your goal is to burn off excess fat, pick a date when you want the corners of your abs to show. After that, consume less calories than you use during the day.
This means lots of exercise, and meals that fill you up with healthy proteins and healthy fats (eggs, nuts, beans, etc.) Your body will need as much energy as it can get if you’re eating less than you normally do. Goals are powerful motivational tools, too. Studies have shown that when you commit to a goal by telling friends about it, you’re a lot more likely to stick to it, because of the fear of failure in front of your
peers. It also helps to have a constant reminder. Write yourself a note to put on your computer screen so you see it every day. Rather than approach your goal with the big picture in mind, focus on getting through each day. Say you’re quitting smoking or cutting out a certain food, just remind yourself you only have to make it to the end of that day. Then repeat the next day. We all have some relapses; it’s perfectly natural, so don’t feel horrible about it. Just don’t let your relapse become a habit. The same goes for skipping a workout. It’s fine if you have to miss one once, but not if you’re missing that day every week. Keep in mind that when you set these goals, you need to have a realistic timeframe. I knew that gaining 30 lbs of muscle couldn’t be done naturally in a couple months, so I gave myself eight months. At the same time, you don’t want to give yourself a goal that is too far away in the future. You might not spend enough time chipping away at it, or lose interest. I want you all to set a goal for your health and fitness levels, no matter how impossible it may seem. If another human body can do it, then it’s very likely that with the right training and motivation, yours can too. Once you make healthy modifications to your life, the rest will all fall into place over time. Alex Vietinghoff is a certified ski instructor, works at the J.B. O’Keefe Fitness Centre and is currently studying to be a personal trainer through Fitness NB. He is also vicepresident student life of the St. Thomas University students’ union. Questions or comments about his column? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In an age where academic institutions have to sell themselves, what does a small liberal-arts university have to offer? Lauren Bird The Aquinian
Rapper Jay-Z and pop-star wife, Beyonce, applied to have their newborn daughter’s name trademarked in January. No one will be able to use the name in connection with cosmetics, recording, baby products, video games or films— yes, Blue Ivy Carter is her own brand— even before she’s her own person. As much as we’d all love to roll our eyes at the couple’s seeming hubris, maybe they have a point. Bill McGrath, CEO of OrangeSprocket, an agency that helps companies develop brand strategy and identity, said branding is one of the most important marketing attributes for any organization – and even any personality. “Branding is really creating an experience,” McGrath said. “Once you have all the pretty stuff in place, it’s about telling the story from beginning to end and being consistent in that.” Brands are the face of a company and its product so why should post-secondary education be any different? After all, it’s a competitive market: students have more choices about where they go to school than ever before and academic institutions have to grab their attention somehow. Harvard University recently launched a campaign defining its brand. In it, the school outlines its “enduring attributes” with a video of students talking about
their experience at Harvard. “Your brand is your essential promise,” Christina M. Heenan, Harvard’s vicepresident of public affairs told the Harvard Crimson. St. Thomas University has also worked hard to create its own unique brand and promise in the last decade. It boasts small class sizes where students aren’t just a number. It’s a school where you’ll “gain perspective” and learn to “think critically.” (although neither of these are particularly unique to liberal arts institutions.) “What makes a good brand is more about the philosophy than anything else,” McGrath said. Jeffrey Carleton, communications officer at STU, doesn’t like the word “brand.” It’s more complicated than that, he said. “I mostly talk about St. Thomas University in terms of profile, in terms of image, of student experience,” said Carleton. A school’s brand is much more than a sweatshirt with a logo or coffee mug with a crest—it’s even more than the education it provides. It’s about selling the experience a student will have during their four years at the institution, about the feeling of community and closeness—a reason to buy a T-ring. In their essay, Defining the Essence of a University: Lessons from Higher Education Branding, Arild Waeraas and Marianne Solbakk write, “In the face of increased national and international
competition, universities and colleges in all parts of the world have begun a search for a unique definition of what they are in order to differentiate themselves and attract students and academic staff.” McGrath sees nothing wrong with commercializing education; in fact, it’s a necessity. “As a consumer when I compare products – and university is a product like any other – I look at that and part of comparing your product, not only is the quality
May, Liu will return to China to sign an agreement with the China University of Political Science and the Law, one of the top universities in the country. “You want to grow the international population on campus, you want diversity,” Liu said. But is the promise of “critical thinking” enough for students coming from China and other cultures? “Liberal arts is not easy to sell when it comes to certain cultures…In India and
“Branding is really creating an experience. Once you have all the pretty stuff in place, it’s about telling the story from beginning to end and being consistent in that.” - Bill McGrath of what you’re building, but it is the philosophical values as well.” It’s also a way for universities to sell themselves on a global market. Haoyang (Lucas) Liu has been a recruiter for STU since August. He’s travelled to China twice since then building up the school’s reputation and encouraging students to come. On his trips he also tries to form relationships with universities in China. In
China, the students more want to go into business or commerce or science, engineering computer science, that type of program.” Liu said the small percentage of students interested in liberal arts are drawn toward communications, journalism, economics and languages. “There’s a reason they go to university to get a degree, it’s to get a job. Which
one is easier to get a job?” Even Carleton admitted journalism is an easy sell to parents looking to send their kids to university, citing its accomplished faculty and partnership with the CBC. The programs are “new and innovative ways to study the liberal arts and apply them,” he said. If the vocational programs are drawing the students from Asia, then the Catholicism, in part, has been draw for students from South America. “They’re not looking at it in the sense that they’re expecting a Catholic education that Catholicism is going to be taught or there’s going to be mandatory chapel or anything like that,” said Ryan Sullivan, director of international recruitment. “There’s a certain brand that comes with that, more with the parents understanding that brand.” STU is the only university in Canada devoted exclusively to the liberal arts. According to Carleton, the first-year class-size enrolment has increased for the last three years, and STU had a nine per cent increase last year—the largest in the province. Whether St. Thomas is moving in the direction of more vocational liberal arts training and playing the Catholic card in hopes of attracting international and domestic students, branding professional McGrath has a word of caution: “You can never make a claim on a brand that’s not true.”
Student debt, student’s problem It’s not easy, but there are ways around the crushing debt so many students face Justin Cook The Aquinian
Jon Eddie has $9,000 worth of student loans and readily admits it’s partially due to his lack of preparation. “I’m kind of unorganized. I just kind of chuck everything into a drawer and hope it goes away,” said Eddie, a firstyear student at St. Thomas University. Eddie also owes $2,200 to the university, which he said was a result of excessive drinking and spending in first semester. He blamed his debt on a “lack of organizational skills and a general apathy for things I should care about.” Every year, students collect more debt from student loans. A pile of money is deposited into their bank accounts in exchange for an IOU. And sometimes they forget that those IOUs have to be collected at some point. Circumstances and bad choices will leave many in a place where they spend years paying for it. But how did it get to this point? Should students blame themselves? The average debt of a university graduate is around $27,000, according to the Canadian Federation of Students. But this doesn’t mean that all students are in debt. Some students manage to escape university unburdened by student loans through year-round employment, scholarships or a combination of both. Andrea Peters can often be found in front of a computer, proofreading her professors’ papers or doing research for them. Sometimes she does translation work. Peters works 25-30 hours a week for three employers, all while attending
Some students pinch their pennies to make ends meet while staying out of debt. (Cara Smith/AQ) classes, maintaining a 4.0 grade-point average and fitting in time to exercise. “Most of my fun time happens at the library,” said Peters. She wakes up at 4:30 a.m. most days. “I didn’t want to take student loans. I’d rather work a lot and have a mediocre social life for four years rather than have a lot of debt when I get out.” While Peters doesn’t drink, she said bars can be a huge contributor to debt. Freshmen like Eddie, who are away from home for the first time, are particularly prone to this. Although she works, Peters doesn’t think unemployment should be blamed for some students’ debt. “It’s doable, but it’s really hard. I don’t think a lot of students are ready
or willing to go to that extent to not have debt. For some people it’s just too much.” Eddie considered getting a part-time job, but ultimately decided against it. “With how I’m dealing with the current workload, I don’t think I’d be able to deal with a part-time job on top of that,” said Eddie. Still, working doesn’t automatically guarantee you’ll be debt free. *** Ciera Taufiq is an international student from Boston. This means her tuition is a lot more than the standard $4,770. Plane trips home, health insurance and other expenditures add up too. Still, she said it would be even more
expensive for her to attend university in the United States. Taufiq said her debt is somewhere between $26,000 and $40,000. She doesn’t have a work visa so she can only work for the university, which have a limit of 10 hours per week. She’s thought about getting more than one job like Peters, but like Eddie, Taufiq thinks her grades would suffer. With her rapidly rising debt, she said next year she may not “have as much of an option.” “The idea of coming out of school with over $100,000 that I owe to the government is a little frightening. I’d love to win the lottery and just pay off all my student debt. It worries me a lot.”
Taufiq is majoring in psychology and plans to go to grad school after she graduates. Her goal is to be a psychologist at an elementary school, but she worries she won’t be able to afford such a low-paying job because of her debt. Taufiq does go to bars on the weekends, but believes it’s okay because she budgets her money. “I feel like if my entire life was about school and if I never took that opportunity to go out and have some fun, I would go crazy.” *** It seems as if it’s hard for students to accept their debt as something real. Many also have no experience with credit and its effects. After a hard week full of papers and readings, there’s always that urge to go The Cellar, or to the iRock. And there’s always that movie coming out that you just “need” to see. Andrea Peters hasn’t been to the mall in two months. She dumpsterdives for food and budgets everything. Her only social time is often between 8:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. every night. But she is an exception to the rule. Most students think they couldn’t function or be happy living this way. If there were resources to help students understand their financial situations better, it may lesson spending. St. Thomas doesn’t have services to help students budget. STU’s employment coordinator has some resources to help people learn how to manage their debt, but that’s it. Not only would this service allow students to know how much they could spend, but it would also help make the debt more tangible.
Crossroads at Victoria Station
I left Fredericton after my second year of undergrad. Born and raised in the city, it was time to get away. I had stayed here after high school to go to St. Thomas University for its journalism program. But I didn’t love the program or the school or even journalism. For me, it all seemed like an extension of high school, and really, isn’t high school long enough? So in September of 2009 I packed my bags and boarded a plane for the motherland. I took a couple Benadryl and closed my eyes and slunk into Ryan Adams’ Rock N’ Roll album. I woke up as the sun streamed through my tiny porthole window and the 747 thumped the runway at Heathrow Airport. I came out of the Underground
at Victoria Station and my feet touched London concrete. The station was high and wide and airy. Coffee shops lined the walls of the atrium and big notice boards with numbers and city names hung over the room like a crucifix. I had some time to kill so I grabbed a coffee and headed to Trafalgar’s Square. I stood on the steps of the National Gallery and beheld Nelson on his column and the four docile lions guarding him. From there I could see Big Ben and the London Eye. Streets stretched on for miles between tall, stone buildings. I felt like I was standing at the crossroads of my world. *** When it was time, I headed back to Victoria Station to collect my
things and catch my train to the north. I spent nine months in the U.K. Its sunsets aren’t like any I’ve ever seen. In the winter months, by mid-afternoon the sun hangs low in the sky, its orange light mirrored on plunging hills. In March, some friends and I went backpacking. We made our way through the continent. Paris, the South of France—Barcelona was a whirlwind. As the weather improved, we left our thick sweaters and warm clothing behind in hostels and cheap hotels. We substituted food for coffee and walked from dawn till dusk and danced till dawn again. The Coliseum left me breathless and the Pyramids in awe. The sunlit diamonds that sparkled on the Aegean blew me away. It felt like On the Road, there were no rules and no limits (except money). As we trotted through cities and countries, learning words from a
new language every other day, I was overwhelmed by the sense of freedom that must only come when everything you need is on your back and by your side. We were stranded in the south of Spain when the ash-cloud struck Europe. Some in our group took trains to Germany or managed to get flights back home. But my best friend and I sat on the beach for a week in Picasso’s hometown and ate canned corn and rice cakes. *** A few months and another couple of countries later I found myself, once again, in a STU classroom. My skin was tanned and my wardrobe had changed completely. I was the new girl in a group of journalism students that had been together for a year. I thought my year away would lead me in a different direction, taking me far from College Hill and far from Fredericton. But here I was. I knew I would be here for two
more years and that seemed like forever—but it hasn’t been. I wrote a story for The Aquinian that October. I had never had anything published and the thought of someone reading something I’d written made me want to puke and I almost did. It was about the love of my life: baseball. It’s funny, how my first love led me to my second love; how the storied game led me to tell stories and through it, and several more stories, I’ve found I made the right decision in coming back to STU. I ended up having a university experience beyond classes and curriculum—something I didn’t expect. And so as I ready to leave the redbrick of St. Thomas and let my feet touch the concrete of the real world, I finally know the direction I’m heading. It’s not that I don’t dream of great architecture and cathedrals anymore, but I’ve learned you have to build them one story, one friendship, at a time.
Anthony Peter-Paul says honour fighting was lost after his generation. “It sickens me to see a real street soldier fall against a group of cowards.” (Tom Bateman/AQ)
Fighting for the honour
The AQ’s Anthony Peter-Paul has given up street fighting and advises others to do the same It was around three in the morning when I woke. Rarely am I woken unless I experience a catastrophic dream or have to take a mammoth piss. I stood at the foot of my bed in just my shorts, trying to figure out why I was awake. I heard screaming. It sounded like a woman. I looked around the room, the bed was empty, the TV off. I opened the bedroom door an inch, nothing there. I thought maybe my confusion was a flashback from a lingering nightmare. Then I heard it again, this time it was a man. I looked out the window and found the source of the disturbance. A large young man was shouting at two smaller guys from across the street. A frantic young woman grabbed the larger man, attempting to end the dispute. The young woman’s cries of terror intensified his fury. The larger man stepped into the centre of the street and pulled off his shirt. The two guys across the street signaled they didn’t want to fight. One of the guys walked towards him with his arms
forward and palms out pleading for amity. The aggressor put his fists up and started dancing like a boxer. I prepared for a slaughter. The woman told the smaller guy to leave because of the obvious danger. He listened to her and was saying something when out of nowhere, the shirtless man laid a sucker punch to the smaller guy’s face. From across the street came the other small guy with his fists up. The big guy, in a petrified manner, retreated back and fell on his ass in the snow. The smaller guy jumped on top and administered a ground-and-pound. The woman had to pull the small guy off the big guy. The dispute was over. As the two men left the scene, the bigger guy laid in the snow bank and whimpered while his woman comforted him. These are the kinds of events that remind me why I quit fighting. Not because of the brutish behavior or the violent acts, but because of the lack of honour. I believe in one-on-one fighting. No weapons, no words, just two people resolving a dispute that only fists can settle.
But many combatants have no honour or dignity. Most only fight after they consumed enough alcohol that their muscles and balls magically grow. Most fights I witness are at a watering hole; usually it’s between two men or boys who bump shoulders. If they were sober, they would have apologized and carried on like gentlemen. Another pathetic type of fighter is one who only fights while their friends are present. These guys I really hate. Alone, they are usually quiet and too afraid to speak up if insulted. They’ve held back all their lives, and are internally angry with themselves. But while sheltered behind a wall of friends, they are suddenly tough. When a lone soldier stands up to the guy, he must deal with him and his friends, reducing his chances of victory. And then there are the Facebook warriors. They say pretty much anything during an online brawl. A face-to-face encounter would never happen with these types. They are protected behind a computer screen while they pummel you with ferocious messages. They will also talk
dangerous on the telephone or behind your back when you are 1000 miles away. I was raised in a community where we had to dodge fists for breakfast. My father told me, “It’s not how many you win, it’s how many you show up to.” My father is not a violent man, but I wouldn’t recommend challenging him. We always wrestled when I was just a young boy in britches. Shit hit the fan when my cousins visited. We played hard, but learned a lot in the process. During my teen years, I fought anybody who dared put their fists up. I wasn’t a kid who argued, I always bit before I barked. But I was humble about it. I never started a fight, they found me and I finished it. I enforced the law unless someone started trouble with my family. Now as an adult, I dislike fighting— both physical and verbal. You will not see me fighting on the street or at the bar anymore. I have already proven myself and I care less about those who challenge my abilities. I train Muay Thai boxing, jujitsu and MMA. And I have learned a great deal about self-control outside of
the gym. I’ve decided it is the weak that fight and the strong that walk. There is the odd noble man who will fight in self defense or against a larger opponent. But the majority of fights observed in society are performed by people who cannot fight if their life depended on it. I feel honour fighting was lost after my generation. It sickens me to see a real street soldier fall against a group of cowards. I honour those who take on unimaginable odds. Whoever that little guy was the other night that put the bigger guy in his place, I respect him. He took on the larger aggressor and placed him on his ass where he belongs. To those who have something to prove, go to the gym and learn to fight. Then you will prove to yourself that strength is not manufactured by fighting, but rather by training. For those who intend to stay ignorant, you will never become the warrior you desire to be. You will only end up meeting the wrong guy at the wrong time and get your ass handed to you.
From Heather MacInnis: Update from Lung Camp A thanks to St. Thomas University for the help and support as she heals Let me start this off with a huge thank you to the students, faculty and staff at St. Thomas University. My first thank you is to Alison Belyea who got the ball rolling on fundraising for me and exposure for Cystic Fibrosis and Organ Donation. Thank you Derek Simon for your kind words to the newspaper and your hard work. Thank you to Sylvia Hale and Corinne Hersey for your efforts in fundraising. Thank you to Danielle Connell, Susan Sears, Becky Soffee, Margie Reed, Jocelyne Legresley, Ferne Stewart, Linda Arseneau, Rebecca Phillips, Barbara Haines, Shauna Foote, Carrie Montieth Levesque, Marina Nedashkivska , Toni Stewart, Sarah Calhoun, Pauline McIntyre, and Christina Cail, for your work with the Toonies for Heather
fundraiser. Finally, thank you to the students of St. Thomas, who donated their much needed coffee money to me and my journey. What a journey it has been. As many of you know by now I have cystic fibrosis. It’s a genetic disease that I was born with and have battled all my life. When I was a baby my parents were told I wouldn’t live to be six and in June of this year I’ll turn 26. I have a lot of people to thank for that, starting with my parents who adopted me, cared for me and never once told me I couldn’t do something “because you’re sick.” My mentality (thanks to them) has always been that I can do anything I set my mind to, it just might take me longer than other people. That
way of thinking probably saved my life this year. I was in and out of two ICU’s and told multiple times I might need to be put on a respirator to survive until donor lungs were found . But I fought my way out of the critical care units a few times and held on to the hope that my new lungs would come through in time. Some may not consider me a lucky person due to my health problems but I am definitely not one of them. I see myself as one of the luckiest people ever. I have a big supportive family that has been with me every step, and an incredible boyfriend who has been my rock through this roller coaster ride. He never failed to be positive and encouraging. I have amazing friends who helped with fundraising and sent
constant messages and cards and I have a school and community who donated their time and money to help me get through all this. I feel like I could write a book of just thank you’s to people and it would probably take the rest of my life. This experience has been anything but easy. There was a time when we thought I might not make it and the doctors confirmed that after my surgery, had I not received the new lungs, I would have had about two weeks left to live. Thanks to luck and a lot of prayers from a lot of people, I did get the new lungs. I cannot describe what it’s like to take a deep breath, laugh without coughing or be able to walk around without gasping for air. It’s incredible and it is a gift this university played
a part in giving me. I’ll never be able to repay the kindness that has been shown to me and my family but I will also never forget it or stop being grateful for it. I have always loved my school and I look forward to returning and finishing the degree I started in 2004. My hope is to share what I’ve been through with others so there is increased awareness about cystic fibrosis and organ donation. I also hope to help future transplant patients with their own journeys, because nobody can, or should have to, go through something like this alone. I have felt hopeful, scared, happy, worried and miserable at times but I never felt alone. Thank you to everyone at St. Thomas who played a role in that.
One crazy night in Bangkok The AQ’s Kevin Stewart spent time in Thailand last summer - perhaps The Hangover isn’t so farfetched.
Kevin Stewart, left, is on his way to a Bangkok ping-pong show, and no, it’s nothing like the sport. (Submitted) There were four of us on the trip to Thailand last summer. We had a doctor, a dentist, a musician and a journo – not the most likely crew but, hey, we all wanted to see the world and we certainly all liked to party. We decided pre-trip we were going to wing it. So when we arrived in Bangkok we set up camp at the backpackers hot spot, Khao San Road. Khao San is like nothing I imagined. It’s a dirty, old road lined with shops, hostels, massage parlours and, of course, bars. The street never sleeps. At night, the lady boys and hookers are everywhere and they only ever have one thing to say: “You want boom-boom?” The first day we just tried to take it in. We wandered the streets and checked out the shops. We quickly realized if you’re white in Thailand, you can’t take a step without someone coming up to you, calling you some sort of celebrity and trying to sell you something. My friend the musician, who has long hair, would always get: “Hey Captain Jack, want to buy a suit? Come on Joe Sakic
shopped here!” Avoiding scams and trusting no one was all we could do. Even the places that seemed like legitimate tourist companies ripped us off. The number one rule in South East Asia is to always keep your wallet and passport on you. Even when you think you’re safely on a bus, someone could be underneath you in the luggage compartment rifling through your stuff. Trust me it happened. While wandering the streets, we heard there were Muay Thai fights happening that night at a stadium not far away. We figured we’d check them out. Muay Thai is a combat sport, similar to the UFC, minus all the rolling around on the ground. Once again, when we arrived, we didn’t know what to expect. The stadium was fairly small, tucked in between two buildings on a basic city street. Outside we grabbed a couple beers, which we were allowed to bring in. Walking in, there was a metal detector set up, but no security paid attention to it and I’m not convinced it even worked. We were ushered to our ring-side seats
the lady convinced us to buy for $20. Two young Thai boys, who couldn’t have been much older than 12, hopped into the ring and did a sort of pre-fight dance ritual. I remember thinking, “Oh, this must be the pre-show.” Wrong. Once the dance ritual was done, the boys squared off and fought. Watching two 12 year olds beating the hell out of each other was one of the most awkward experiences I’ve ever had. As the fights went on, the fighters’ ages increased, our drinking increased and the number of knockouts increased. If you wanted to meet a fighter, all you had to do was go grab a beer. The fighters got ready in a big open room next to the beer stand. People were able to walk right through the room and you could even stop and have a smoke if you wanted. The last fight of the night gave us an unexpected surprise. Every fighter so far had been Thai, and this match had a Thai fighter squaring off against a white guy from Sweden. I assumed he’d lose.
Wrong again. He broke the Thai fighter’s leg with a hard kick in the first round and followed it up with the most over-the-top celebration I ever saw. When the fights ended, we followed the crowd out of the stadium and down the street, drunk with no game plan in mind. We stopped and debated taking the subway, when this took-took driver started yelling at us that he would drive us. We paid no attention to him till he dropped his price to about two dollars and we couldn’t resist. We crammed in the back of the tooktook, which is a motor bike, with a small carriage attached to it, built for two people, not four fairly big guys. We asked our driver where the good clubs were, but it was only 9 p.m., so he recommended we catch a show. What kind of show? “Ping-Pong show.” What happens there? “Girls open coca cola with pussies.” Sold. We pulled down a dark alley with absolutely no lights – extremely sketchy, but we were drunk so we didn’t care.
Walking in, the doorman told us the price. We didn’t have enough, but he took what we had and let us in. What we saw next was either the most outrageously funny or disturbing thing I will likely ever see in my life. There were about 100 people gathered around a small stage, some laughing, some gaping in disbelief, all staring at two people front and center having sex on stage. We settled in at the back. Our waitress got us drinks and tried to get us to go out back with her. We politely refused and turned our attention back to the stage. The show was half an hour, starting with intercourse, where the man does a cartwheel while having sex and moving on to different girls coming up and showing off their various talents. Some of the tricks involved Coca Cola bottles, Ping-Pong balls, darts and glow in the dark beads. After 30 minutes, it restarted and they did it all over again. We quickly decided once was enough and headed back to Khao San Road to party the night away.
Introducing sex toys: Fellas, don’t be jealous By now, we should all know – or at least kind of know – that women are incredibly complex creatures. I’m not only talking about what goes on in those analytic heads of ours, we’re complex in other ways too. Most women have a hard time climaxing through intercourse alone – it’s no fault of any man, it’s more of a biological thing. This isn’t the case
for everyone, but there are plenty of women who know exactly what I’m talking about. So how can we all enjoy our sexual encounters a little bit more? Well, by mixing things up a bit. One great way to do that: sex toys. Introducing sex toys into the bedroom can be a tricky thing to do without hurting anyone’s feelings. Some
men are the ones who bring it up first, and to those men I say, Bravo. Depending on the guy, when women broach the subject it can be taken as a sort of slap in the face. I understand why some men take it that way, but I highly doubt your lady wants to bring along that vibrator of hers because you’re clueless in bed. If you really were clueless, she’d probably be going to bed with someone else. Bringing it up doesn’t have to be a big deal coming from either side. Girls who already have toys are obviously okay with the idea, and let’s face it, we’ve come a long way since kindergarten: we can share our toys.
Guys, if this is something you want to try, just say so. I doubt your partner will turn down the prospect of more pleasure—that would just be silly. There’s no need to be jealous of that little best friend that makes your partner moan. Nothing beats being intimate with another person, so it’s not like anyone is going to be replaced with a Battery Operated Boyfriend – otherwise known as BOB – because BOB can only do so much. Sure, he can give you incredible orgasms, but only if you make him. Bringing sex toys into the bedroom isn’t only for the ladies. Men can benefit too once they get comfortable with the
idea. Vibrating rings exist and make sex extra fun for both parties, going around the penis and hitting a girl’s c-spot. This is probably a better option for guys who are a little weirded out by the idea of bringing in a full-fledged vibrator – baby steps, you know? Once everyone is comfortable, sex toys can make your scandalous moments great. So fellas, don’t be jealous if your lady wants to bring a toy to bed. You do a great job, but it’s hard to do it all at once. Let the vibe take care of the sweet spots and you can worry about the rest. With a combined effort, you’ll really make that partner of yours sing.
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The Hunger Games: Stop comparing it to Twilight, please Joy Watson The Aquinian
While waiting in line for The Hunger Games, I thought about how great it is that the best stories are coming out of the young-adult genre these days. It’s awesome kids and adults are putting aside their differences on issues like candy for breakfast and are instead uniting over series like Harry Potter or His Dark Materials. (Plus, a film that makes it socially acceptable for a grown woman to stride around in public wearing a Mockingjay towel like a toga is something I’ve been dreaming of since infancy.) The story follows a dystopian future nation that requires 12 districts to provide two “tributes” to compete to the death in brutal hunger games. The supporting cast is a stunner: Woody Harrelson rocking Kurt Cobain hair, Elizabeth Banks as Effie, and Stanley Tucci vamping as the Regis Philbin figure of the Capitol of Panem (which in Latin translates appropriately to “bread and circuses”). The rock-solid centre of the movie is Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. Her steady gaze and pragmatic attitude are impeccably embodied by Lawrence, if a bit toned down to boost her audience appeal. I’ve repeatedly heard people comparing Katniss to Twilight’s Bella, but I feel insulted they’d even be in the same sentence. Katniss is an independent thinker and fierce protector, while Bella would likely win the Hunger Games by boring the other tributes to death, endlessly listing adjectives describing her boyfriend’s bod. Is there really so few female-driven series that these two characters can be compared? The great acting manages to transcend clumsy directing. Director Gary Ross goes for eight camera angles when one would’ve sufficed. And he botches District 12’s fiery entrance into the arena by making frantic love to the zoom button - complete with flame effects that looked like they were created in a Sears photo studio. Another issue is the characters’ relationships with food, or lack thereof. The book explicitly expresses how much starvation has affected District 12’s citizens and Katniss’ identity in particular, yet in a flashback where Katniss is apparently comatose with hunger, she appears a bit drunk instead of starving. Hunger is her motivation - it’s why she doesn’t have time for romance or friendship. By removing the hunger from the Hunger Games Katniss ends up looking a bit cold hearted. People haven’t been happy with the effort to make it okay for parents to bring their offspring to the theatre, having the movie downplay the visceral nature of the violence in the book. I have to agree. If this story is going to serve as a parable for the way children are used as political and military pawns in the horrific conflicts around the globe, the brutality can’t be airbrushed. And should it really be the case that when any child but Katniss, Peeta or their allies is killed, there’s an odd sense of relief instead of “the horror, the horror”? Most viewers have read the novels, so why would filmmakers try to protect us? As the audience burst into confusing applause while the credits rolled (do they think the actors can hear them?) I was struck with what’s so brilliant about going to the movies: leaving your comfy home and loved ones behind to enter into a lair of fantasy and wonder… into the company of wackjobs. Let’s hope we never lose this.