Amen for women P. 12-13
stingers win the conference P. 18
concordiA’s striking thoughts
Stories P. 4-5
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Photo by Sophia Loffreda
life UniYu helps ease your academic life P. 7
music A therapeutic return home for Plants and Animals P. 15
opinions Profs need to integrate more technology in the classroom P. 20 Volume 29 Issue 23
CSU campaign period in full swing
One affiliated team has posters up, while the other chooses to wait Marilla Steuter-Martin & Joel Ashak Co-news editors
The Concordia Student Union’s campaign period for the upcoming elections began at 12:01 a.m. last night. Historically, poster night, when candidates rush to put up their campaign posters on the walls of both campuses, has been a competitive tradition at Concordia, but this time around one of the affiliated teams decided to take another approach. As of 9 p.m. Monday, Melanie Hotchkiss’ affiliation Concordia Could Be began tacking up posters throughout the Hall building, while Schubert Laforest’s affiliation, A Better Concordia, was nowhere to be found. CEO Ismail Holoubi said that he had given each team notice of the 9 p.m. start and that it was simply a matter of one being ready and the other not. Arts and Science Federation of Associations VP internal and presidential candidate Laforest, said in a phone interview that his goal was not to overload students with too much information all at once. “We’re taking an incremental approach,” he said. “We were focusing on other aspects of the campaign.” Laforest went on to say that he doesn’t see the team’s lack of poster exposure early in the campaign
as a disadvantage. “It just wasn’t the first priority in our mind,” said Laforest. “Students are intelligent, they will see the posters and they will decide for themselves.” Laforest said that he could not give a definite time when posters would be up, but he assured The Concordian it would be done by Tuesday night. Although current CSU councillor and other presidential candidate Hotchkiss was wondering where her opponents were, her focus remained on the campaign. “There are so many opportunities of what Concordia could be,” said Hotchkiss. “We want to be the ones who make Concordia more accessible, representative, collaborative, sustainable, empowering and fun. I want to be the candidate who is there to support both my team and the students.” The competition is not shaping out to be very fierce with 15 candidates running for the 14 Arts and Science council seats, one candidate running for student representative, three running for each of the three council seats available for Fine Arts and Engineering and Computer Science, and four candidates running for the six available seats for John Molson School of Business. At an information meeting held on the evening of March 4, of the 42 candidates running, only three showed up. The CEO and the deputy electoral officers decided to hold two debates, on Thursday, March 8 and on Thursday, March 15, that will see each candidate running for an executive position debate with his or her opponent.
The first debate will take place in the common area of the 7th floor of the Hall Bulding and the second one will be held at the The Hive at Loyola. Both debates will feature a Q&A session for students to ask questions directly to the candidates.
Who’s running? President Melanie Hotchkiss Schubert Laforest
VP Finance Stephanie Beauregard
VP academic and adVocacy Chuck Wilson
VP external aFFairs Cameron Monagle Simon-Pierre Lauzon
VP clubs and internal aFFairs Museb Abu-Thuraia
VP student liFe Lina Saigol
VP sustainability Iain Meyer-Macaulay
VP loyola Jonathan Braziller
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Got a news tip? firstname.lastname@example.org
City in brief Falling apart at the seams
People always joke that Montreal is falling apart, but an eight-by-twelve block of concrete collapsing is no laughing matter. The city’s Olympic Stadium has seen its fair share of structural mishaps but, this time, the concrete slab hit the parking lot several hundred metres from the building. On Sunday, a chunk of concrete was dislodged and came crashing to the ground because of nearby construction in the area. Government officials confirmed that the stadium itself was not affected and no one was injured in the incident.
st-mathieu exit to close
Guy-Concordia metro station’s St-Mathieu exit will be closed until Aug. 26 so that many of the exit’s features such as concrete slabs, floor and wall coverings, staircases and lighting systems can be upgraded. Guy-Concordia is the third busiest metro station in Montreal, with over eight million passenger rides recorded in 2011. The station will remain open, but only the Guy Street exit will be available to commuters.
Dawson strike vote postponeD
Amid allegations that college administrators have “interfered” in the democratic process, the Dawson Student Union postponed their strike vote, reported Canadian University Press. DSU officials are upset that a university administrator emailed the ‘No’ committee to inquire as to how prepared they were for the strike. More than 1,500 students turned up to a special general assembly on Thursday evening, which was set to take place in a cafeteria with the capacity for 500 to 600. (The quorum for special GAs at the 10,500-strong CEGEP is just over 500.) Instead, Dawson students will vote in a referendum on Tuesday. Last week, other anglophone CEGEPs like Vanier, Marianopolis and John Abbott Colleges decided to not strike or not hold a strike vote.
Finals coming up For canDiDates For JmsB Dean Two open meetings that will see each of the two shortlisted candidates compete for the position of dean of the John Molson School of Business have been scheduled. Steve Harvey, associate VP, research and dean of the Williams School of Business at Bishop’s University and Michel Magnan, professor and Lawrence Bloomberg chair in accountancy at JMSB, will compete on March 7 and March 13, respectively. The one-hour long meetings will allow each candidate to make a 15-minute presentation and answer questions from the audience. Both meetings will run from 12 to 1 p.m. in H-110. The previous JMSB dean, Sanjay Sharma, resigned a year ago to take a position at the University of Vermont, Burlington, that paid nearly $320,000.
Dragons’ Den auditions come to Montreal ConU alumna pitches ecofriendly fundraising business
Stefani Forster Staff writer Montreal entrepreneurs seeking fame and fortune auditioned for a chance to be featured on CBC’s hit series Dragons’ Den on Saturday afternoon at Concordia’s EV building. Clutching prototypes and props, over 35 hopeful entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to Dragons’ Den’s producers, as well as host Dianne Buckner. Appearing on Dragons’ Den could earn their business financial backing, advice from a Dragon and some much-needed exposure. Some entrepreneurs have had an established business for years, but wanted an extra push from the Dragons so that their business could really take off. Joyce Shanks sits on the round table at the David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise at Concordia. A Concordia alumna, this is her sec-
Hopefuls auditioned tHeir creations on saturday. pHoto by writer ond year pitching her eco-friendly fundraising business, eCause Canada, to Dragons’ Den. Shanks founded eCause Canada two years ago as a way to create Earth-friendly fundraisers for organizations and schools. It customizes promotional and marketing material, using only brands that emphasize sustainability and environmentallyfriendly production. “This is my daughter’s future and the future of the planet,” said Shanks. “I can’t go to sleep at night if I haven’t
done something to make this a better world.” Others pitched nothing more than an idea, hoping that the Dragons could help them turn raw innovation into a business. Caroline Murphey decided to pitch to the show the night before the audition. The mother of two invented a boot strap that hooks onto pants to stop her daughter’s boots from getting stuck in the mud and snow. Her friends thought it was a clever product and encouraged her to audition.
“I feel happy that I’m doing something about the invention,” Murphey said. “But I’m going to have to ask them what the heck is my next step, because I’ve got no idea.” Producer Michelle MacMillan has been with the show since its conception seven years ago and said Montreal is a promising stop on the auditions tour. “The fact that the show has inspired so many entrepreneurs to give it a go is pretty cool.” The show also held auditions for Future Now’s energy solution show airing June 3. It’s a special episode featuring energy efficient pitches, where the winner takes home $100,000 without having to give up any part of the company to the Dragons. Shanks and other eco-friendly entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to Future Now after auditioning. Video clips of the entrepreneurs explaining their business ideas will be posted on the Dragons’ Den web page. Users can then vote for who they want to see featured on the Future Now episode. The next round of Montreal auditions will be held March 24, 2012.
eConcordia a ‘vending machine’ for credits: CSU president Provost says online courses can generate profit for ConU Marilla Steuter-Martin Co-news editor Concordia’s online courses have been criticized in the past for their high cost to students and questionable quality, but Provost David Graham says he has high hopes for the future of eConcordia. Graham stated in a Senate presentation on Feb. 17 that as online courses become more popular, Concordia is continuing to develop the services it has to offer. “The flexibility of online learning is very important for some students to be able to finish their degrees,” he said during the presentation. Graham emphasized, however, that “the quality of the engagement and commitment has to be at least equivalent as our classroom expectations.” Concordia Student Union President Lex Gill, who also sits on Senate, was not so positive about eConcordia’s management. “It seems to me that there is a positive way to do online learning and an easy way,” she said. “Concordia’s business model is low quality and cheap.” Gill said the average online class size is 500 to 600 people, which creates a “factory model for giving students credits.” eConcordia exists for the sole pur-
pose of owning KnowledgeOne, a any funds gained from online course geOne, Graham remained confident for-profit entity that operates eConcor- fees go to the “general operations of the that KnowledgeOne will prove to be a dia courses. The Senate presentation university” such as student services, good investment for Concordia in the centered around Concordia’s ability to and normal academic and administra- long run. generate profit through KnowledgeOne tive operations. “We have not been as successful at by marketing similar services to other Despite concerns raised at Senate generating funds in the past as we will educational institutions. about the effectiveness of Knowled- in the future,” he said. Graham explained in an interview with The Concordian that the relationship between eConcordia and KnowledgeOne has “not always been ideal,” but said that he felt positive about the arrival of KnowledgeOne’s interim president, Tony Meti. “I think that any change in management provides an opportunity for a new relaASFA is giving out 3000$ worth of awards to deserving students. tionship,” said Graham. In an interview, Gill a) The Academic Achievement Award (4, worth 300$ each) stated that the organization of eConcordia is comparab) The Outstanding Contribution Award (4, worth 300$ each) ble to a “vending machine c) The Damon Hartung Award, (1 worth 600$) for credits.” She also criticized Meti for referring to For eligibility information and application forms, please visit students as “clients” during www.asfa.ca, and click on “downloads”. his Senate presentation. Gill also expressed conCompleted applications must be submitted to the ASFA Office (2070 cern over where the fees for Mackay, 4th Floor) by 5:00 pm on March 23rd, 2012. the 57 courses offered under the eConcordia brand Email Christina at email@example.com if you have any questions. are going. Apply Today. Graham explained that
ASFA ACADEMIC AWARDS
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Follow us on Twitter: @TheConcordian attendance
Missing meetings, without consequences
A look at the attendance records of ConU’s major governing bodies Jacques Gallant Editor-in-chief
he most recent Board of Governors meeting on Feb. 10, which ended abruptly when three student representatives left the room in protest, highlighted a serious issue when it comes to Concordia’s governing bodies: the difficulty at sometimes attaining quorum, or, the trouble at getting certain individuals to attend meetings at all.
board of Governors The BoG meeting came to a halt because with the sudden departure of student governors AJ West, Cameron Monagle and Erik Chevrier, quorum, which is 21, was no longer met, effectively cancelling the meeting before it could go into open session. Keep in mind that the BoG is comprised of 42 members, so nearly half of the body’s governors were not in attendance that day. Although the identities of those absent governors, as well as those who were missing at the January meeting, will not be revealed until the BoG approves its minutes at its next gathering on April 19, those members can at least rest assured that no form of discipline will be levelled against them. Concordia spokesperson Chris Mota indicated that neither the BoG nor Senate have consequences in place for governors or senators who regularly miss meetings. There isn’t even a formal requirement for members to inform the secretary that they will be absent. Mota explained that the “notice of the meetings always asks governors or senators to let the secretary know if they are unable to attend. Some do and some do not.” According to the approved minutes from the BoG’s September, November and December meetings (October’s was cancelled due to “quorum issues”), five governors, all of whom are external members, missed two out of three meetings during the semester: Norman Hebert, Andrew Molson, Baljit Singh Chadha, Helene Fortin and Tony
Meti. According to student governor AJ West, who has yet to miss a BoG meeting, it isn’t just governors missing meetings that is problematic when it comes to attendance. “I do notice that people leave the meetings too, which is also a problem because issues that we’ve [student governors] added to the agenda are often placed last,” he said. West indicated that there should be a clear process in place for governors to submit their regrets for not attending. “If you’re not showing up for one or two board meetings, I understand, but if you’re skipping more than half of them, perhaps governors should rethink their time commitments to the board, or their other commitments,” he said.
senate At Senate, representatives tied for the top spot of senators who have missed the most meetings are both students. Engineering and computer science representative Tina Salameh, who was elected by popular vote in last year’s general election, missed every single meeting this year except for September’s, and only officially resigned in late January. She said it appeared that Senate secretary Danielle Tessier wasn’t notified of her resignation, which is why she was marked absent at meetings when she had already considered herself as resigned. She listed school, work and health complications as reasons for leaving her position. JMSB senator Daniel Shakibaian has so far only attended the September and November meetings. He said exams, case competition work and a job interview kept him away from Senate, and indicated that “it is disappointing that I have had other commitments that have coincided with Senate meetings: unfortunately, everyone seems to think that doing things on a Friday [the day Senate meetings are held] means that you’re available.” After being contacted by The Concordian, Concordia Student Union President Lex Gill said she would ensure that a replacement for Tina Salameh on Senate be discussed at the next CSU council meeting. She also praised this year’s team of student representatives, saying “I want to point
out how incredibly active undergraduate senators have been this year compared to previous years. I think if you look at committee minutes and meeting minutes from previous years you’ll see that too.”
csu council Out of the three governing bodies that likely affect Concordia students the most -- the Board of Governors, Senate and CSU council -- only the last of the three actually has consequences in place for representatives who regularly skip meetings, and the council chair has certainly had his fair share of councillors to discipline. According to chair Nick Cuillerier, under the new bylaws that took effect March 1, councillors who miss three meetings or more are deemed to have resigned. Before March 1, the consequence would be that the councillor lose their voting privileges, but still be allowed to sit in on council meetings. According to Cuillerier’s latest tally, four councillors have missed three meetings or more since last June: JMSB councillors Anthony D’Urbano and Ariel Dabora, and engineering and computer science councillors Fares Rafali Jindali and Emran Ghasemi. Only Ghasemi responded to The Concordian’s request for comment, saying that sports and his work with the SWARM, a group dedicated to building Concordia students’ support for the Stingers, has kept him very occupied over the past few months. Although Cuillerier has kept a meticulous list of councillors’ attendance record, the same kind of organization cannot be said of the council’s meeting minutes. The minutes from several meetings have yet to be posted online, and were sent to The Concordian by council secretary Melissa Wheeler, who explained that with the recent departure of the CSU’ systems administrator, it has been difficult to find a “secure way” of uploading the minutes to the CSU’s website. Nonetheless, some of the minutes don’t include a list of councillors present, while none of them indicate who was absent, even though both BoG and Senate meeting minutes do. Wheeler explained that her method of taking attendance is the same as past council secretaries.
Meetings missed 2011-2012
Board of Governors (all external members) -
September - December
September - January
June - February
Norman Hebert - 2
Tina Salameh (engineering and computer science student) - 4
Ariel Dabora (JMSB) - 4
Helene Fortin - 2 Baljit Singh Chadha - 2 Tony Meti - 2
Daniel Shakibaian (JMSB student) - 4 Prof. M. Reza Soleymani (engineering and computer science) - 2 Prof. William Sims (arts and science) - 2 Prof. Jason Lewis (fine arts) - 2 Prof. Michel Magnan (JMSB) - 2
Fares Rafali Jindali (engineering) - 4 Emran Ghasemi (engineering) - 4 Anthony D’Urbano (JMSB) - 3
Nation in brief Marilla Steuter-Martin
reaching For the stars
Is it possible to dream too big? Sylvio Langevin, a Quebec City man who tried to sue for ownership of the Earth, the other planets in the solar system and several moons, doesn’t think so. As of last week, Langevin has been barred from filing any legal action without written permission from a judge following his latest scheme. He has filed 45 lawsuits since 2001, the latest of which filed a claim for nine planets, four of Jupiter’s moons and all the space in between. Judge Alain Michaud finally put his foot down and it looks as though he won’t be staking more claims anytime soon.
#occupymoncton comes to a close
Long after the international occupy movement died down, the last holdout in the Maritimes is finally packing up his tent. For a total of 138 days, Mathieu Bertin had been quietly occupying a small section of Moncton, N.B. Bertin even managed to keep his day job working at a courier service during his occupation, as well as relying on the generosity and support of both friends and strangers. Bertin’s passion for the cause certainly cannot be doubted after such a display, but he is now saying that after this life-changing experience, he will be moving on to bigger and better things.
kiss stuDent loans gooDBye
With all this talk of student loans and tuition hikes, wouldn’t it be nice if the government just forgot about your student debt? Don’t get your hopes up just yet, although the feds did present spending estimates last week that include writing off more than $300 million in unpaid Canadian student loans. All the cases targeted are more than 10 years old. Despite the fact that 87 per cent of student loans are paid, this move will affect more than 98,000 cases where the government said “all reasonable efforts to collect the amount owed have been exhausted,” according to Postmedia News.
let the Finger pointing Begin
Just when we thought election fraud was a thing of the past in Canada, reports of automated robo-calls popping up in 57 federal electoral ridings have politicians throwing allegations faster than they can fend them off. Elections Canada confirmed it has received 31,000 complaints coast to coast of misleading or harassing calls directing voters to the wrong polling station during the last election. Amidst the chaos, no one is coming forward to take the blame. This past week, the Tories did their best to shift the blame to their Liberal colleagues, with little success.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
World in brief Marilla Steuter-Martin
catch me iF you can
Using a fake ID is one thing, but using a fake ID with a picture of American actor Jack Nicholson, is another. Brazilian police caught a man suspected of multiple counts of fraud including being accused of presenting false identification forms and going under an assumed name. The accused, Ricardo Sergio Freire de Barros, 41, is 33 years Nicholson’s junior and presumably, didn’t think anyone would notice. It didn’t help matters that Nicholson’s photo attached to the name Joao Pedro dos Santos is already a pretty hard sell. He was arrested last Tuesday in the city of Recife, which concluded a three month police fraud investigation.
american stuDents rally For eDucation FunDing
American college students staged demonstrations on Monday in Albany, NY and Sacramento, Calif. to protest education funding. In Albany, where representatives process the budget, over 200 students and Occupy Albany protesters occupied two floors of the Capitol building for more than an hour, the Associated Press reported. In Sacramento, thousands of students rallied at the state Capitol to protest the rising cost of public universities. Some were outraged by the recent revelation that it costs less to attend the private Harvard University than to enroll at the public California State University or University of California.
Bp oil pays out Billions
Everyone remembers the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster as the biggest offshore oil spill in American history, which also makes it one of the most expensive. BP PLC, the company which operated the oil prospect which caused the drilling rig to explode, will be paying out a settlement of $7.8 billion to individuals and organizations who were affected. The spill, which occurred off the coast of Louisiana, killed 11 workers and poured over four million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over a span of several months. BP has paid for the accident already in more ways than one, losing massive stock and spending $22 billion on cleanup and damage control to date.
oBama not aFraiD to pick up the phone
It’s not every day an average American gets a phone call from the president, and when it does happen, it’s usually Will Smith on the other end. This was no action movie however, just a sympathy call made from President Barack Obama to a third-year law student who was slandered on air by Republican talk radio host Rush Limbaugh. The student, Sandra Fluke, was called a “slut” and “prostitute” by Limbaugh for addressing congress on Feb. 23 about the importance of providing contraceptives in health care plans. Limbaugh himself later apologized for “insulting word choices.” This is just a taste of the ongoing discussion regarding social policies in the U.S. as Democrats and Republicans alike prepare for battle, or as we call it, electoral season.
Over 6,000 ConU students reportedly on strike Seven student associations vote in favour of strike mandate so far Elise Favis Contributor As of this past Monday, seven Concordia student associations are now on strike against tuition hikes, after they voted to take action at general assemblies held throughout last week. These votes were held prior to the Concordia Student Union’s vote, which will take place at a general assembly on Wednesday, March 7. If that vote passes, all undergraduate students will officially be on strike between March 26 and 29. Departmental and faculty student associations that have so far cast their votes are the Fine Arts Student Alliance, the Political Science Students’ Association, the Students of Philosophy Association, the Women’s Studies Student Association, the Geography Undergraduate Student Society, the Linguistics Student Association and the School of Community and Public Affairs Student Association. FASA had 465 fine arts students attend the assembly with a clear majority favouring a strike. “The gathering was positive and constructive,” said FASA President Paisley Sim. “We received an overwhelming turnout for our vote. By joining fellow Concordia departments, we believe that this strike adds momentum to this important issue.”
a board in tHe lb buildinG keeps track of conu student associations on strike. pHoto by sopHia loffreda
The GUSS has also voted to oppose tuition fees by striking, with 37 out of the 50 students who attended the assembly voting in favour, and two against. GUSS VP finance Trevor J. Smith said the assembly was an opportunity to deal with students’ concerns over their academic experience, and believes that their opposition against tuition fees can make a difference. “We are fighting for this right, right now, and we will continue to do so as Quebec students,” Smith said. At the LSA assembly, president Yulia Manyakina said, “We had over 20 students from the [classics, modern languages and linguistics] de-
partments attending the assembly, which was great. I felt that everyone had a chance to voice their opinions and there was definitely some debate.” Manyakina believes that the strike has the momentum to make a significant change, pointing out that it would make the fight against tuition hikes gain visibility and spark debate. “It’s a way to show the government that they can’t make unilateral decisions without our consent,” she said. SoPhiA, representing 430 students, had 34 students voting for the strike mandate and six against. WSSA had an attendance of 50 stu-
dents out of the 200 in the department, and started their strike March 2. The SCPASA voted 22 in favour, two against with four abstentions. Like many other associations, the mandate was conditional on a certain number of Quebec students already being on strike, in this case 70,000. More student associations are planning to have their votes on the strike this week, including the Sociology and Anthropology Student Union and the Urban Planning Association. Weekly meetings will be held by most associations to vote again on whether or not they intend to continue their strike.
Federal student summer job centres to close, move online Action is ‘removing investments in young people,’ say critics Lee Richardson Ontario bureau chief TORONTO (CUP) — The federal government is closing job centres that help students find seasonal summer employment, shifting its services online to save $6.5 million a year. The offices, called Service Canada Centres for Youth, were open temporarily from May to August to offer job-finding advice and careerbuilding tips to youth aged 15-24. “The number of students visiting these sites has significantly decreased over the years, making them less effective and relevant for today’s youth,” said Alyson Queen, spokesperson for Human Resources and Skills Development Minister Diane Finley. “Young Canadians have told us that they want to access more government services online, so as a result we are expanding our website with more resources to help
them find employment.” While Finley announced on Jan. 27 that services were moving to the government’s youth employment site, there was no mention in that announcement that the centres would be closing. Diverse reaction has followed the announcement. “It doesn’t surprise me, because this government has shown its willingness to cut its expenses on the backs of the most vulnerable,” said Liberal MP for Papineau Justin Trudeau, the party’s critic for youth and post-secondary education. “Young people, unfortunately, are easy targets in that sense.” The centres provided career advice such as resume writing and interview techniques, and were stationed country-wide with about 100 in Ontario alone. “There might be a good reason to move important aspects of these job centres online, but the other side of it is you probably need, more than ever, good forms of training, coaching and development of skills ultimately to get around the labour market,” said McMaster University political science professor Peter Graefe. “All that is lost when we
move things online.” The shift online comes at a time when unemployment among Canadian youth is 14.5 per cent, according to Statistics Canada — almost double the rate of unemployment in all Canadians. “We need to be ensuring that youth have access to jobs and that youth have access to services to find jobs,” said NDP post-secondary education critic and MP for Scarborough-Rouge River Rathika Sitsabaiesan. “We should be encouraging our youth to find better employment, we should be providing that support, but we can’t.” Trudeau said that the issue has been brought up briefly in the House of Commons. “It came up at one point in question period and [the Conservatives’] answers have been about streamlining, offering the same quality of services, making better use of taxpayers’ dollars,” said Trudeau. “But this is not making better use of taxpayers’ dollars, this is removing investments in young people.” The Conservatives, however, are reiterating the fact that the summer job-finding services will still continue, being integrated into already
existing Service Canada offices. “What we want to be clear about is students will continue to have access to in-person service… at our Service Canada offices,” said Queen. “There is no longer the need for these seasonal temporary offices.” Also repeated by the federal government is the statement that more young people are going online. But according to Graefe, excluding those who cannot navigate the online job market could be problematic, and that while those who know how to move from the online job market to getting a job will do well, others who might not have access or experience with looking for jobs online could be left behind. “There [are] problems that haven’t been thought of,” Graefe said, adding that if youth use other mainstream online job sites to find work, support for the traditional centres may not be enough for them to stay open. “It’s a government that’s looking to cut as much as possible, in places that they think people aren’t going to feel it, and let’s face it — youth aren’t going to come out for these employment centres,” he said.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Follow us on Twitter: @TheConcordian
Quebec students gear up for three protests CLASSE releases plan of action for March Marilla Steuter-Martin Co-news editor With 123,000 students now striking in Quebec, the Coalition large de l’Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante is looking to the future. CLASSE has announced a series of protests to take place throughout the month of March and it remains to be seen whether or not the entire Concordia student body will be joining in. Jeanne Reynolds, a student at Valleyfield CEGEP and spokesperson for CLASSE, said at a press conference last Sunday that the organization is focused on uniting students throughout the province. “We need to work together to show [Education Minister Line Beauchamp] we’re serious,” said Reynolds. At the conference, delegates from different educational institutions with red squares pinned to hats, backpacks and coats, gathered to discuss the next steps of the movement. CLASSE set dates for three protests to happen on March 13, 18 and 22, which will invite community groups, families and other concerned citizens to join in. Reynolds emphasized the importance of gaining momentum and individual involvement because “every-
classe Held a press conference sunday to announce its plan of action for MarcH. pHoto by writer one is affected.” “There will be a world-wide protest in Montreal on March 13 in order to underline the ‘international characteristics’ of the strike,” said Reynolds. “The [manifestation] will begin at 1 p.m., in Victoria Square.” On March 18, CLASSE is organizing a family-oriented protest, the details of which have not yet been decided. Finally, on March 22, students will take to the streets at 1 p.m., starting at Place du Canada in downtown Montreal.
strikinG at concordia As Concordia draws closer to the Concordia Student Union strike vote on March 7, and with multiple student associations having already voted on strike mandates of their own, some
teaching associations have begun to plan ahead. Concordia University’s Part-Time Faculty Association released a document detailing how members are to proceed in the event of a general student strike. The document stated that “under no circumstances should [CUPFA members] call security. We do not wish to create any incidents on the curb which may deteriorate relations between students and the university.” CUPFA is not the only union to release this type of document. Last week, the Teaching and Research Assistants at Concordia union released a plan to outline their response to a strike, which included advising members not to force their way into a classroom or building, or engage in any
kind of physical or verbal confrontation with students. The Concordia University Faculty Association also sent an email to its members stating the association’s support for accessible post-secondary education, but reiterating the contractual obligations that require faculty to “perform regular duties.” “Withholding services at this time could be interpreted as an illegal strike and as such you are required to attend your classes and follow your course outlines,” read the email sent by the CUFA executive. “Notwithstanding the foregoing, members are not obliged to submit themselves to any physical or psychological harassment.” Concordia Student Union President Lex Gill agreed that clashes between students and security would
not be in anyone’s best interests. “The only response [security] has is to call the police,” she said. “Nobody wants that to happen.” Gill called members of striking faculties such as Fine Arts “inspiring,” and said that she was pleasantly surprised by the behaviour of protesters thus far. As for the university’s official position, Concordia spokesperson Chris Mota said Provost David Graham was prepared to encourage faculty to exercise leniency regarding class attendance for the March 22 province-wide day of protest, as he did last Nov. 10. “However, this position will not apply in the event of a prolonged boycott,” she explained. “The provost has made it clear that he will not encourage professors to be flexible and exercise leniency in such circumstances.” The CSU general assembly meeting will begin at 3 p.m. on March 7, where students are invited to take part in a discussion period followed by a vote. The CSU has booked multiple rooms including Loyola’s the Hive, the CSU conference room (Hall building 7th floor) and room H-110. Gill explained the CSU is “trying to anticipate a high turnout” and that the three rooms booked could fit roughly 2,000 to 3,000 students. The vote and discussion in each room will be live streamed. The Graduate Students’ Association’s general assembly strike vote will be held on March 6 at 12 p.m., in H-110.
MÉSRQ says tools to cope with tuition hike exist Pro-increases group accused of elitism and ties with Liberal Party Marie-Josée Kelly Contributor
s Concordia undergraduates prepare for the March 7 general strike vote, the debate over the government’s planned tuition increases is simmering more than ever, with Quebec students who are in favour of the hike blaming this divide on lack of awareness. The Mouvement des étudiants socialement responsables du Québec is a student organization that supports the tuition hike and opposes the strike. Some of their members wear green felt squares instead of red. One MÉSRQ spokesperson, Arielle Grenier, has gained considerable notoriety over the past few weeks after she told La Presse that she had been harassed by other students at UQAM for favouring the increase. She recently appeared on Radio-Canada’s Tout le monde en parle to debate the increases against Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois,
the spokesperson for the Coalition large de l’Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante. There has been controversy surrounding the MÉSRQ over ties to the provincial Liberal Party, particularly after a photo surfaced on Facebook of some MÉSRQ members talking with Education Minister Line Beauchamp, who had originally denied ever meeting with members of the group. Nonetheless, MÉSRQ says this has not slowed them down in their mission to keep the dialogue going. “Our goal is to inform students and to demonstrate that there are tools to cope with this increase — it’s just a matter of using them,” said Simon Talbot, a spokesperson for the MÉSRQ. Talbot’s family invested in a registered education savings plan when he was a child, which in turn paid for his post-secondary studies. “I think every parent can afford to invest, even as little as $1 a day, for their children,” he said. It is a program, along with others, that he believes are neglected in Quebec due to lack of publicity. Talbot also pointed out grants like the Canada Learning Bond, which combined with the RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan), can contribute to a child’s education.
Quebec invests the most money out of all of the provinces in public services in Canada, said Talbot. “The state already pays 85 per cent of the education bill,” he said. “So evidently, seeing as it’s the students who will benefit most down
the line, it’s only normal that they be held responsible for paying a small portion, and in my opinion 15 per cent seems a reasonable share.” Chris Robertson, a third-year accounting student at Concordia,
said tuition increases are not worth protesting against. “I think today, most people can afford it. I don’t see it as horribly impractical,” Robertson said. “If I can get by having an apartment, being able to pay tuition, working and have a full course load, I figure other people can get by, too,” said Robertson. David Ayache, a third-year mechanical engineering student, is against the strike but is uncertain of his position on the tuition increases. “I personally don’t understand why the proposed increase is such a big deal,” said Ayache. “I think taking out that loan, applying to receive financial aid or applying to bursaries would solve a lot of the problems I have heard across campus.” Students have raised concerns that universities are, in fact, not underfunded but that the resources invested are mismanaged. Talbot recognized this as a legitimate concern. “The proper management of the money we invest in our universities is extremely important, so there needs to be controls implemented in order to ensure that the money we put into it is handled well if there is an increase,” he said.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
ASFA elections estimated at $2,000 over budget Concerns arise at special council meeting Marilla Steuter-Martin Co-news editor
Following the announcement of new polling dates for the Arts and Science Federation of Associations’ elections, a special council meeting was called March 1 to ratify the change and discuss outstanding issues. Elections have now been officially reset for March 5, 6 and 7. These dates conflict with article 136 of ASFA’s bylaws which state that polling dates are not supposed to overlap with Concordia Student Union elections, but due to extenuating circumstances, the executive chose to proceed anyway. VP finance Laura Gomez reported that ASFA’s election was $2,000 over budget due to the unforeseen postponement of polling, which had originally been set for Feb. 15 to 17. ASFA President Alex Gordon explained that people who worked on polling days still have to be paid, despite the ballots being voided. At its most recent meeting, ASFA’s financial committee decided that the $2,000 would come from their winter student fee levy.
asfa Held a special MeetinG on tHursday to ratify new election dates. pHoto by navneet pall
“The expenses we’ll have are mainly the re-printing of ballots, the renting of computers and having to pay polling clerks twice,” said Gomez. She explained that during the first round of polling, ASFA spent about $5,000. Gomez noted that this time there will only be one computer per polling station to reduce costs as op-
posed to the two that they had before. Presidential candidate and councillor Charlie Brenchley questioned the executive during the special meeting about the establishment of polling stations in the Communications and Journalism building at Loyola. Deputy electoral officer Anthony Garoufalis responded by asking,
“Where is the CJ building?” Gordon explained that although it was recommended by the 2010-2011 CEO Nick Cuillerier, it was “too late at this moment in time to set up a station there.” There were also members who expressed reservations about candidates running in both ASFA and CSU elections. ASFA candidates are usu-
ally not allowed to campaign during the federation’s polling period, but this year it will overlap with the CSU campaign period, putting some hopefuls at a disadvantage compared to others. Candidates such as Brenchley, who is vying for a CSU council seat, would have had more exposure than those who are only running in the ASFA elections. Gordon stated that there was no reliable way to track whether candidates were talking about ASFA elections while campaigning for the CSU, but he agreed some restrictions should be put in place. “We can’t control CSU, but we can control what ASFA candidates do,” he said. Brenchley motioned to restrict all candidates running in both elections to only put up their ASFA posters for the duration of the ASFA polling period. VP internal Schubert Laforest offered an amendment to the motion that all ASFA candidates’ posters would be displayed at each of the polling stations in order to provide equal opportunity. The motion was approved by council. Presidential candidate Caroline Bourbonniere called the move a “blessing in disguise” and is hopeful that displaying all posters will encourage students to vote.
concordia makes severance packages public External auditors will review almost $3 million paid to former employees Joel Ashak Co-news editor
oncordia University is looking to hire an external auditing company to review the millions of dollars spent in severance packages paid to six former employees in the last three years. President Frederick Lowy announced the decision to hire external auditors in an email sent to faculty and staff last Friday. The decision, adopted by the Board of Governors during a conference call on Friday morning, came after a report revealing the names of five employees who received severance packages since 2009 that total $2.4 million was made public by the university. The BoG published the report on legal advice, following a Journal de Montréal access to information request, The Gazette reported. Concordia spokesperson Chris Mota said the information was made public in an effort of transparency
Severance packageS iSSued between September 2009 and September 2010 conSiSted of: $605,000 to former internal audit director Ted Nowak $639,000 to former internal assistant audit director Saad Zubair $700,000 to former vice-president of advancement and alumni affairs Kathy Assayag $332,000 to former chief financial officer Larry English $129,000 to former security director Jean Brisebois and was the natural following step in making sure senior hiring was “handled the appropriate way.” “Dr. Lowy felt it was the right time as he wants to have the process completed before a new president arrives [this summer],” said Mota. ”We already made some changes about how the university recruits administrators, but we really wanted to get an understanding of what the best practices are in this field and that’s what the external auditors will help us with.”
The $2.4 million of severance packages made public do not include the $703,500 former President Judith Woodsworth left with when shown the door halfway through her term in 2010, nor the $1 million paid to her predecessor Claude Lajeunesse, who left in similar circumstances. Mota explained that on top of the severance packages of the five former employees, the auditors will also look at Woodsworth’s, but not Lajeunesse’s. “A lot of our stakeholders have been asking questions,” said Mota.
“There certainly has been a lot of interest in the departures of some senior administrators, internally and externally. That played a role in Dr. Lowy’s decision, but he already had a perspective that it was time to do this.” An external review of the university’s governing bodies completed in spring 2011 gave positive feedback and saw a large part of the Concordia community rally behind it, Mota said. Lowy is now seeking to implement the same process for human
resources-related issues. The BoG unanimously supported the decision and gave the go-ahead to unlock a $25,000 budget in order to hire the external auditing company. “I do support the involvement of external auditors,” said student governor AJ West. “I think it’s a necessary step that gives more legitimacy to the process of auditing senior administrator hiring. The $25,000 required for the process is ‘peanuts’ compared to the millions of dollars that were given away in severance.” West also said that although he was glad some numbers were made public, he did not feel that the university should be praised for following the law and for releasing information that should be released anyway. “It’s unfortunate that it wasn’t done sooner and that there had to be such a public outcry for it to happen,” he said. Mota said the company that will provide Concordia University with external auditors has yet to be selected.
Clarifications In “Faculty show online support for general strike,” volume 29, issue 22, Concordia spokesperson Chris Mota indicated that the decision for imposing academic amnesty was solely up to Provost David Graham. After following up with Graham, Mota later told The Concordian that no one has the authority to grant a “blanket” amnesty. Instead, faculty members, while abiding by Senate regulations, can deal with individual cases. Gabrielle Bouchard of the 2110 Centre for Gender Advocacy, who was quoted in “ConU proposes plan to accept students’ preferred names,” volume 29, issue 22, requested that The Concordian clarify that she does not support the current policy changes being proposed by the university for preferred names, saying they don’t go far enough.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Write to the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org online
All for one and one for UniYu Two ConU students help create an online support network for university students Paula Rivas Life editor
t is the day before an exam. Your teacher is very strict and doesn’t allow any talking or cell phones during class, or he glares at you saying “If you want to talk leave the class― room.” Your palms get sweaty thinking about all the mate― rial that was covered in class and the notes that you missed that one day you were sick. All your classmates look nervous too, but nobody is bold enough to ask a complete stranger for help in understanding the con― cepts that were taught or for the class notes that you missed. This is the situation that one of the creators of UniYu, Michael Shapiro, found himself in during his university experience at McGill. “I didn’t know a single person in my class and I was freaking out the day before my exam that I had nowhere to turn, nowhere to go,” said Shapiro. The university experience is indeed a less personal one than high school or CÉ― GEP, where friendships are created and re― inforced over time. Instead, university is a sea of nameless faces. Shapiro, along with a team of four cur― rent and former students from Montreal universities including Concordia, shared this common struggle during their time at school and they decided to create a support network for the students by the students, so that they could share notes, homework, express their opinion and guide students to make the right choice when it comes to classes, professors or student clubs. They named it UniYu. UniYu is free to join, but you must be a student from either McGill, Concordia, Uni― versité de Montréal, UQAM or HEC Montré― al. The UniYu team wishes to expand mem― bership in the future, but they are doing the best they can considering they only started the network roughly two weeks ago. Any university student knows that suc― cess in a class depends as much on the professor’s teaching abilities as the actual class content. That is why for many stu― dents, picking an elective can be a gamble. UniYu, like a helpful friend, is there to steer you in the right direction. “At McGill, even though you could read the course descriptions and it serves as a guideline, I had to go out of my way to try to meet the older kids in my depart―
Graphic by Phil Waheed
ment and talk to them about which classes I should take and which ones I shouldn’t. I did a math major and a lot of people are really quiet and reserved so there was really no way I could go and find reviews to guide me,” said Shapiro. “[Students] can discuss and vote on their professors and classes so students can get to know others’ experiences and opinions on professors and classes,” said Concordia UniYu team member, doctoral student and graduate in computer science, Ehsan K. Asl. What is the difference between UniYu and other social network sites? “UniYu is a social network catered to students’ and academic affairs only. You need to have an active university email address to be able to join the network,” said Asl. As written on UniYu’s official website, the goal is not to share personal informa― tion, but rather to share information that is useful to others. It is not about staying in touch with friends or checking up on peo―
ple, like Facebook, but rather to meet new students and to “get the best out of your university experience.” But when it comes to sharing notes on UniYu, the website’s terms and conditions indicates that the rules of your university will prevail. Even though this network has the same feature as the popular Rate My Profs web― site, UniYu goes even further. Students who have had a class can give advice or sugges― tions about specific classes and about pro― fessors, as well as exam advice. Another UniYu team member from Con― cordia, Afshin Moazami, a graduate student in quality systems engineering with a bach― elor’s degree in software engineering, said that “UniYu offers the connections and links to other students based on their needs. Ei― ther they need to share a ride to school, information about a specific class or profes― sor, a place to stay one night in another city, etc.” So what lies ahead for UniYu? In about
a week, UniYu will develop live chats for classrooms which, according to Shapiro, will prove to be especially helpful in some Concordia lectures. UniYu has been doing well so far― Moazami said he is excited about the quick popularity of UniYu. “Just one week after the launch, we had more than 300 students from HEC Montréal and less than 20 from Concordia,” he said. Shapiro agreed that the biggest challenge is to get people involved because nobody wants to go on a website where they only see 15 people signed up and where nobody is really participating. “It is hard to convince people to sign up when it is not complete yet,” he said. “This is the kind of idea that when it catches on and everybody decides to participate, it will be amazing and people are going to love it.” If you would like more information about UniYu, visit www.uniyu.com.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Shining bright with Moment Factory
Photo by writer
Lights, sound and special effects from the Super Bowl halftime show hit Montreal Alyssa De Rosa Contributor What started off as a company by three men and financed by one credit card is now a team of more than 60 talented individuals based in Montreal developing, designing and producing multimedia environments internationally. They are known as Moment Factory, and they have recently attracted considerable attention for their design of this year’s Super Bowl halftime show. In just 12 minutes, Madonna’s stage was lit up with Vogue covers, thumping speakers and a colourful, scintillating projection of “World Peace” that took up half the football field, courtesy of this new multimedia company. Designers Tarik Mikou and Aliya Orr, who have been with Moment Factory for about two years, worked on this latest project together. “I have more of a cold style,” Orr joked. “Com― pared to Tarik’s [style] that’s more emotional and colourful.” Both only had good things to say when it came to talking about SBM—Super Bowl Madonna. “It was a huge project,” Mikou explained. “A lot of excitement surrounded the project and it was different for me because I got to work with people that I wouldn’t usually work with like ani― mators for example, who are super talented.” Because the installations can be so different, not all departments are needed on a single project. The 20,000―square foot studio, with its workshops and testing lab, is home to four departments: tech― nology, design, environment and production. Orr explained that usually, designers only get to work on the first phases of a project, but on SBM, the design team was there from “pitch to production.” “It really brought us together and was a collaborative approach,” she said. Each department, which is run by a multi―
media director, brings something different to the you want to master what you’re doing, but you TVA (the set of Le Tricheur) and Jay―Z’s concert at table. First, the technology pros are programming never get to that confident state because you’re hit Carnegie Hall. geniuses. The design team is composed of anima― with something new,” Orr explained. “But that’s Moment Factory is currently lighting up their tors, graphic designers and motion designers and what’s so beautiful about it. That’s why I think own city with La Vitrine Culturelle in Montreal’s is seen as the creative hub of the company. The we’re all here, because we are challenged in that entertainment district. They are also looking for environment department is comprised of a group way.” fresh, young talent to join their team (graphic de― of people who define the space in which an in― Mikou also had the opportunity to work on signers, animators, programmers, etc). stallation can be installed and create a model of Céline Dion’s interactive concept for her stage at The company will be holding a career day at the project to scale. Finally, the production team Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Other clients include the end of March and details will soon be avail― handles all the business aspects, ensuring the Arcade Fire at the 2011 Coachella Festival in Cali― able on their Facebook page. You can also visit right multimedia director is assigned to a project. fornia, Nine Inch Nails, the Vancouver Canucks, them at www.momentfactory.com. These departments didn’t exist when Dominic Audet, Sakchin Bessette and Jason Rodi decided to create Moment Factory in 2001. But once Cirque du Soleil got on board in 2003 and believed in the conceptual work these men were producing, the need for a bigger work― space and a bigger team was inevitable. A little over 10 years later, with LET US CREATE YOUR WELLNESS TODAY some changes in man― WITH TOMORROW’S MEDICINE agement, particularly that of Rodi leaving and the SERVICES welcoming of partner Eric Fournier, Moment Factory • Medical consultation is now a household name, • Emergency visits creating a visually, interac― • Complete laboratory services tive experience. “A lot of what Mo― ment Factory does can be understood in its name,” LABORATORY Orr said. “The ‘moment’ part of it explains the fact • Blood tests that we create moments • Screening for STDs - HIV for people and want them • HPV test to be blown away by the • Pap smear (Vaginal cytology) experience while trying to • Food intolerance screening tell a story.” “You’re never do― 2055 MANSFIELD STREET, MONTREAL, QUEBEC, H3A 1Y7 • 514 345-1356 ing the same thing twice here,” Mikou said. That can be frustrat― WWW.CREA-MED.CA ing for some. “You feel like
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
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It’s like Mardi Gras in your mouth
La Louisiane can be found at 5850 sherbrooke st. W., a bus ride aWay from the LoyoLa campus
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JOB NAME: TS ‘12 YOUNG ADULT NEWSPAPER - FRENCH
I decided to try out La Louisiane when I was desperately trying to escape winter’s cold lonely nights. What better way to do that than by devouring some spicy Cajun food with one of my dearest friends? So we got all dressed up and pretended to be each other’s hot dates. Upon entering the restaurant, we both re― alized we were a bit overdressed. Luckily, we were welcomed by a festive ambiance. The restaurant is composed of one open room with no walls or curtains separating the res― taurant into sections. Even the bar and the kitchen are annexed to the room and are to― tally exposed. The setting is actually quite interesting. Not only is the room completely open, but it is very dark with most of the lighting coming from mismatched candles. Immense paint― ings and beads add colour to the space all while reminding you of Mardi Gras in the old New Orleans. That means that you can find many colourful masks that may or may not freak you out. Consider yourself warned. The restaurant was completely packed and we sat at the bar while waiting for our table to be ready. We both took advantage of the situation and ordered a sunset on the bay― ou, a cocktail with melon liqueur, raspberry vodka and mixed fruit juices. Then we start― ed gushing over how amazing the drink was. In all honestly, we were all apprehensive of the melon liqueur especially after seeing the famous Friends episode where Ross becomes a fan of Rachel’s girly alcohol preferences. Feeling giddy, we were debating ordering more drinks or not. When looking around the room, we realized we were probably the youngest ones there and were far too ex― cited by the exotic cocktail. That’s when we switched our attention to water and tried act― ing like responsible adults. Ah, as if. Our table was then ready and we prompt― ly ordered. My friend started off with the chicken gumbo yaya while I had the Louisi― ana alligator. Oh yes, you read it correctly: alligator! While waiting, the overly friendly waiter brought some of the most delicious warm southern biscuits. They were so good that I stuffed them entirely in my mouth, not caring that I probably looked like a famished pig. Shortly after, our appetizers arrived. The gumbo was disappointing. Instead of being a thick stew, it was mostly chicken and vegetables covered in questionable brown gravy. Furthermore, the gravy―chicken ratio was off balance, leaving the chicken some― what dry and the customer wanting more stew. The alligator was actually quite tasty. Maybe my excitement of trying alligator for the first time overcompensated for the taste, but I enjoyed it very much. The meat, com― parable to the chicken, was fried and served with chipotle mayonnaise. As for the main courses, my hot fake date had the chicken étoufée while I had the shrimp magnolia. The chicken étouffée was not much of a success, being served in exactly the same gravy as the gumbo. Both dishes were extremely similar, a detail that the waiter did not point out and probably should have, especially after we told him that it was our very first visit. The shrimp magnolia was quite good. It is a classic Creole dish composed of tiger shrimp resting over penne with a white wine,
William D. Pelletier Staff writer
shallot cream and pernod sauce. I ate half of the very large portion, but had to stop as I was full and the spices were becoming far too overpowering. The desserts weren’t anything special. You can find decent lemon mousse tortes and bread puddings. As for us, we quickly paid our bills and went to enjoy some freshly made chocolate fondue instead. Overall, the restaurant is much more of a culinary discovery, rather than a delicious experience. The food is hit and miss and the crowd is very vivacious. Go for the drinks and the festive energy and maybe to sample a few Cajun delicacies like the alligator or co― conut shrimp.
Cajun alligator, gumbo and more at La Louisiane
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Kiss me through the phone
Graphic by Sean Kershaw
The pros and cons of long-distance relationships Judy-Ann Mitchell-Turgeon Contrtibutor
Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? When it comes to long―dis― tance relationships, to be or not to be is the question. It’s hard to imagine a relationship where your significant other lives miles away, espe― cially when you’ve been so used to seeing your partner regularly in person. Couples sometimes have no choice but to have LDRs because of endless opportunities such as job offerings or the chance to study abroad. Luckily, technology has made it incred― ibly easy to maintain these kinds of relation― ships. All those who have experienced it will tell you that instant communication is really the best tool to bridge the gap. An interesting study conducted by The Cen― tre for the Study of Long―Distance Relationships on 450 university students showed that 20 per cent of them were currently in LDRs. Of those involved, 56 per cent spoke on the phone sever― al times a week, 53 per cent emailed daily and a small minority said their relationship was worse because of the distance factor. For those who have never been in a LDR, you might assume that they lead to cheating and lies. But according to Montreal sex therapist Dr. Rachel Toledano, this isn’t the case. “People who are prone to cheating will cheat whether or not their partner is nearby or miles away,” she said. “Distance cannot therefore be blamed for infidelity.” Unfortunately, trust issues can easily destroy a couple’s long―distance relationship. If the rela― tionship is poisoned by jealousy and drama, it will never be healthy. For example, if you inter― rogate your partner every time he or she does not return your call or does not message you all
day, you will make yourself miserable. work,” she said. Yes, being in a LDR is tough, but they aren’t Toledano said, “LDRs can create a lot of But sometimes that kind of devotion can impossible. You can find numerous websites frustration because as time passes, one accumu― prove to be too difficult. Concordia human en― that offer tools to survive them. They inform lates different positive and negative emotions vironment student Yuka San said, “LDRs are readers about texting etiquette, how to write regarding the relationship.” This is true for ev― very unhealthy. I’ve done it and it was terrible. love letters and gift ideas. ery relationship because jealousy will push your Of course I would commit to a LDR if I had no If you’re considering a LDR, it is important partner into more accepting arms as a result. choice, but I would try and avoid it. And the to remember that every relationship is different. Journalism student Jamie―Lee Gordon, challenges to LDRs is that there is absolutely no It’s the amount of commitment you put into it who’s boyfriend lives in Switzerland, says she sex.” that matters. entered the relationship thinking it wasn’t going to last because of the distance. After a few months apart, she realized her LDR wasn’t as hard as she had imagined. “I don’t think there is any― thing unhealthy about The Sprott MBA delivers a high quality management education with the choice long―distance relation― and flexibility to fit your program to your personal career goals. ships. If anything, it has made [our] relationship Choose from concentrations in: so much stronger. We t'JOBODJBM.BOBHFNFOU essentially have the t*OUFSOBUJPOBM#VTJOFTT same relationship that we always had, with t*OUFSOBUJPOBM%FWFMPQNFOU.BOBHFNFOU some modifications and t.BOBHFNFOU"DDPVOUJOH $."
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Write to the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org cinema politica
What makes the man a woman?
This week’s Cinema PoliTiCa sCreenings are of The films Switch and OrchidS,
Two docs explore the stories and struggles of transgender individuals Brandon Judd Staff writer
oncordia has, over the past couple of years, been slowly adapting their policies to the needs of the transgender community. While the university has misunderstood the problems transgender students face at Concordia and has occasionally appeared insensitive, effort is, by and large, present. Confusion about pronouns and salutations is common for those without a trans friend or colleague. Even the most cautious of inquirers can be apprehensive about asking questions, lest they be inane or offensive. While the basics aren’t difficult to explain, it’s often a mystery to those without the fortune of knowing a trans person. If you’re curious, the two films at Cinema Politica next week will answer your questions. You could call Monday’s offering a diptych: the two films—Switch: A Com-
whiCh helP To answer some quesTions abouT Transgender individuals.
munity in Transition and Orchids: My Intersex Adventure—both present tensions between sex and gender. The autobiographical documentaries deal with the same broad issue, but the source of tension comes from fundamentally different places. In Switch, Brooks Nelson—the film’s director, who also serves as its protagonist—is undergoing a transition from female to male. The film’s opening scene is perhaps its most poignant. Brooks’ girlfriend asks her four-year-old nephew whether Brooks is a man or a woman, and the child’s response illuminates the contrived nature of gender better than any textbook could: Brooks is a man “because he has short hair and wears boy clothes.” Obviously there’s more to gender than this, but when a child is ignorant of socially constructed gender, he or she assumes it is based on choice. Switch looks at the community in which Nelson lives, and how its members handle Brooks’ transition. It’s a hopeful film, as we see a wide spectrum of people understand, at different rates, the importance of a person being comfortable with their identity. Perhaps most encouraging is the church congregation that seems almost uninterested in the transition; as far as they are concerned, the clothes Nelson wears or the shape of his body have nothing to do with his
character. While this may miss the deeper lessons of how society treats genders and the LGBTQ community, it shows the willingness of regular people to ignore appearances. If nothing else, it’s a strong foundation to teach on. But those closest to Nelson have their own issues they need to work through about his transition, and these may not be so obvious. For a friend who takes great comfort in having a fellow butch lesbian to identify with, Brooks’ transition feels somewhat like a betrayal. For Nelson’s mother-in-law, the doubling back of her daughter from having a girlfriend to having a boyfriend is confusing. But neither takes long to clarify that their issues are short-term and paltry. Orchids presents a similar issue, but somewhat more complicated. Phoebe Hart, the subject and filmmaker, tells us about the rare condition she has called androgen insensitivity syndrome, which makes her intersex; she has both male and female reproductive tissue. She developed testes in the womb—and was born with them—but her body was resistant to androgen and so it never developed into the male form. She has no uterus, but otherwise is physically a woman. Hart’s issues focus largely on how her parents have treated the issue, which was to hide it and encourage their daugh-
ters—Hart’s younger sister also has the condition—to do the same. They don’t seem embarrassed by their daughters, but they do seem sheepish about their condition. This is understandably painful for the younger Harts, and they set off on a road trip to reconcile their doubts and reaffirm their identities. When it is boiled down, the subjects in both films face the same marginalization: name-calling and insensitive confusion about their sexual orientation. While Hart doesn’t get the sideways looks Brooks does, the reaction to her condition, when explained, tends to be stronger. In the end, both subjects come to the same conclusion: their identity pushes people to a choice, and those who abandoned ship weren’t worth it in the first place. In a lot of ways, “transitioning” describes their friends and families as well as it describes them, or perhaps more so: Brooks and Phoebe know who they are, despite what their bodies look like and now its up to those around them to prove who they are in their actions and reactions to their transgender peers. Switch: A Community in Transition and Orchids: My Intersex Adventure are showing on March 12 at 7 p.m. in H-110. For more information, check out www.cinemapolitica.org/concordia.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
In the land
Celebrating the fairer sex in the arts world
f you subscribe to early ‘90s gender theory, men and women hail from different planets (Mars and Venus, respectively). But when it comes to leaving their mark in the arts, there’s no disputing that the recognition goes two ways. Whether it’s Clara Bow gracing the silver screen in her cupid-lipped glory, or the works left by Sylvia Plath—which, after the oven debacle, made her the first poet to win a Pulitzer posthumously—women have, through history, shaped the arts in ways that are embedded in our subconscious. They are the reason why we can’t look at a subway grate without also picturing a white dress (Marilyn Monroe), have a single name at our lips at the sight of a unibrow (Frida Kahlo), or look at a cone-shaped bra and not complete the image with astoundingly toned arms (Madonna). Immortalized through their works and achievements, the women below took Helen Reddy’s words (“I am woman, hear me roar”) to heart and for this year’s International Women’s Day on March 8, we are honouring them.
Orlan An artist among artists, Orlan considers the operating room her studio. She deconstructs our ideas of beauty by serving herself up as the canvas—having volunteered her body for many unnatural alterations. A self-described neo-feminist, she had nine plastic surgeries in the early ‘90s, which referenced beauty in traditional western art. Some of her alterations include implants to mimic the Mona Lisa’s protruding forehead, changing her mouth to look like François Boucher’s The Rape of Europa, and modifying her chin to look like The Birth of Venus by Botticelli. Born in 1947 in Saint-Étienne, Loire, Orlan first engaged in this form of surgery-art when she was preparing to speak at a symposium in 1978 but had to be rushed to hospital. She almost died because of an ectopic pregnancy (where the fetus is outside the womb and cannot survive), but while the surgeons were removing the fetus to save Orlan’s life, she insisted that she remain conscious and that the film crew she brought with her be able to film it. The images on film inspired her career. Orlan is a well-known multimedia artist in France and her work questions whether what we project is a reflection of our real selves, or a fabrication based on what is seen in the media. Her interest in cosmetic surgery has seen her labeled as anti-feminist by some, but the unique product of her alterations are clearly only cosmetic in name.
- Elysha Del Giusto-Enos
Sophia Loren Sophia Loren’s life makes the scandals and achievements of modern-day stars pale in comparison. After all, how can a coke-induced breakdown compete with being involved in a bigamy scandal, rejecting a marriage proposal from Cary Grant and racking up 50 international awards for your acting in the process? Breaking out in the ‘50s, Loren quickly became the most famous Italian actress in the world, making heads in Hollywood turn with her wit and exotic beauty (in her earlier films, her name appeared as Sofia Lazzaro because people said her looks could raise Lazarus from the dead). Her strong chemistry with actor Marcello Mastroianni gave way to 14 films together, making them one of the most realistic couplings ever captured on camera. Yet she was devoted to her husband, film producer Carlo Ponti, who was 22 years her senior—they met when she was 14 and he was a judge in a beauty pageant she’d entered—and whom she married twice because of the aforementioned bigamy situation. She stayed with him until he died. If the names of her contemporaries are delicately written in the history of cinema, Loren’s is positively gouged in. Whether she’s portraying a prostitute to Mastroianni’s commitment-phobe player in Marriage Italian Style, a protective mother in the harrowing Two Women, or a countess in Charlie Chaplin’s last film, A Countess from Hong Kong, Loren’s screen presence is powerful and unforgettable, with her fierce gaze practically being seared into your mind. After all, what else could you expect from the woman who famously credited her body to spaghetti?
- Sofia Gay
Aretha Franklin You’d be wise not to mess with Aretha Franklin. She demanded R-E-S-P-E-C-T in the ‘60s, a less-than-idyllic era for African Americans. Poet Nikki Giovanni called Franklin “the voice of the civil rights movement, the voice of Black America.” “Respect” remains her biggest hit and solidified her spot as the original sassy sister. She was the first woman to be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987; she is the winner of 18 Grammy Awards and the recipient of two honorary Grammys, the Legend and the Lifetime Achievement. Forty-five of her singles have reached the Top 40. Her influence on the industry and artists who have followed in her pioneering footsteps cannot be ignored. There would not have been a Whitney, a Mariah, a Mary J., to name a few, if it weren’t for Aretha. In the No. 9 spot, she is the highest-ranked female on Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest artists of all time list (the next woman on the list is Madonna at No. 36). What makes Aretha a super special woman, though, is that her career started as a girl at age 14 in 1956. She is pushing 70 and released an album in 2011 through her own record company, Aretha Records, which she launched in 2004. In the immortal words of Ms. Franklin herself, sisters are certainly doin’ it for themselves.
- Chris Hanna
To the American ex-p novative painters like Pica to those across the globe w perimentation with the En something akin to a “tast are now part of widesprea artists around her realize of their self-expression. W were worth millions of d With her partner, Alice B. be shown in an upcoming was an artist in her own r style that plays on the mu Alice’s perspective, but p century art and literature in modern artistic express the art of a generation, an
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
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d of Women Patsy Montana Patsy Montana was the first woman in country music to sell a million records with her 1935 single “I Want to be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart.” But, with that face and that yodeling, who wouldn’t want to be her sweetheart? The single also became a mainstay on the National Barn Dance on Chicago radio station WLS for many years, a station of which she was a cast member in the early ‘30s. She was influenced by the music of “America’s Blue Yodeler” Jimmie Rodgers, and as a child she learned to yodel and play organ, guitar and violin. Montana was also a star of the stage; she appeared in numerous western films, including one with the “Singing Cowboy” Gene Autry. Her success in the music and film industry encouraged the traditionally male-oriented country music business to welcome and respect the female performers that followed her. She was known for making extensive tours and played many radio engagements during the ‘40s. Women in those days weren’t supposed to travel alone without their husbands or a male family member, but this was not going to stop this cutie from moving forward. She did it anyway and broke some ground by doing this. Yes, she was that badass. Montana’s intricate yodeling inspired many other female singers throughout the years and she was inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996, the year she passed away and became a yodeling angel.
- Giselle MacDonald
pats living in Paris in the ‘20s and ‘30s, she was an editor and a mentor; to emerging and inasso and Matisse, she was a midwife who helped to shape and guide their artistic ventures; who read her works and were intrigued or disgusted by her non-linear, non-grammatical exnglish language, she was a literary curiosity. Pop history might venture to call Gertrude Stein temaker” for a generation, but although the modernist works she produced and encouraged ad taste and considered classics, Stein is perhaps best described as someone who helped the e their capacity to move forward into a new moment in art, take risks and explore the limits Working from her Paris salon, where she bought Picasso and Matisse pieces long before they dollars, she edited and mentored such greats as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. . Toklas, she amassed an art collection that showcased the best of modern art, and which will g exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, entitled The Steins Collect. She right as well, penning, among others, the poem “Tender Buttons,” the experimental written usicality and tonality of language, as well The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, written from providing invaluable insight into the history of one of the most exciting moments in 20th history. Although editors of her anthologies often joke about the pervasiveness of “Steinese” sion (think of sayings like “a rose is a rose is a rose”), the truth is that Gertrude Stein shaped nd the tastes, attitudes and culture which arose with and after it.
- Rebecca Ugolini
Mayim Bialik Actor, writer, neuroscientist, spokesperson, mother, certified lactation educator counsellor, co-founder and chair of the youth branch of the Jewish Free Loan Association are just a few of the labels Mayim Bialik can be headed under. Best known for starring as Blossom in the 1990s sitcom of the same name and currently as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory, Bialik is a highly regarded member of the arts community. Her first book comes out March 6, and when she’s not busy writing or acting, she’s taking care of her two boys. The horrible tales of what happens to child actors after their shows end have been assuaged slightly by Bialik’s amazing success story. Not only is she an exceptional actor, but she represents the myriad of possibilities available to women, proving that you don’t have to stay within a label, and that you can do virtually anything you want. Bialik currently holds a PhD in neuroscience and is consistently getting involved in new projects. She represents a woman who not only wears many hats, but excels in everything she’s involved in.
Phoebe Greenberg is an innovative force behind the arts in Montreal. Not only has she founded the DHC Gallery, the theatre company Diving Horse Creations and the PHI Centre, but she is also a film producer, most notably working on the 2010 Oscar-nominated Incendies. Greenberg studied theatre at Concordia University before moving to Paris to study under Jacques Lecoq and work with LEM (Laboratoire Étude du Mouvement). On her return to Montreal in 1990, she started Diving Horse Creations, which offers parody-based theatre that is quite unique, integrating visual art, theatre and the great classics into original productions. She founded the DHC Gallery in 2007 and it has since become, according to tourism website The Montreal Buzz, one of the city’s go-to destinations for contemporary art. The gallery aims to provide a platform for young Canadian artists, but also attracts works by world-renowned artists such as Marc Quinn and Jenny Holzer. Greenberg’s current project is the PHI Centre, which will open its doors in the spring of 2012. The PHI Centre’s purpose is dedicated to fostering, producing, promoting and distributing original, artist-driven projects. Greenberg’s passion and dedication to serving all of the different facets of Montreal’s artist community make her a true woman of the arts.
- Amanda L. Shore
Patti Smith Where does one begin to describe Patti Smith? You could list the many endeavours she’s taken on—artist, poet, singer, playwright, author, actress, music critic—or maybe name drop the famous individuals she’s rubbed elbows with, including Salvador Dali, Jimi Hendrix, Allen Ginsberg, Janis Joplin, Sam Shepard and dozens more. But even that wouldn’t quite cover it. Smith’s story is riveting, from her exodus to New York City in the ‘60s after giving up her child for adoption and promising Joan of Arc’s statue in Philadelphia that she’d make something of herself, to touring the world with her band as The Patti Smith Group, earning the moniker “Godmother of Punk” for her unique hybrid of poetry and rock. She had an intense relationship with controversial photographer Robert Mapplethorpe—which she recounted in 2010’s Just Kids—and was a presence in legendary ‘70s New York City landmarks, such as the lobby of the Chelsea Hotel and CBGB. An artist through and through, her decades-long career led her to an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the title of Commander from the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the highest honour France bestows to artists. Her debut album Horses—for which Mapplethorpe photographed the iconic cover—has been featured prominently in many “greatest albums of all time” lists, including Time magazine and Rolling Stone. Perhaps what makes Smith such a remarkable artist is her dedication. The ‘80s saw her with a husband and kids, away from the spotlight. But when she came back, she did so by touring with Bob Dylan, putting out more albums and scribing more poetry. Needless - Sofia Gay to say, Joan of Arc would be proud.
- Amanda L. Shore
Brie Neilson The lovely and talented singer-songwriter and painter Brie Neilson does not have to do much to make an impact on the musical community as her creamy alto voice does it for her. One lady with a guitar is not a new musical formula, though Neilson has managed to make it a category of her own. Unlike the angst that can sometimes accompany a woman going solo, Neilson’s music resonates with thoughtful lyrics and beautiful melodies that allow the listener to enjoy her music without feeling obliged. Beyond her solo work, which you can now hear backed by her band, Brie Neilson and Her Other Men, Neilson also lends her voice to the 10-man gypsy-circus-folk band (never ordinary!) The Unsettlers. It was her friend B.W. Brandes, the frontman of The Unsettlers who, long before the band had come to be, encouraged Neilson to nurture her songwriting talent. But why stop at voice? Neilson is also a talented painter. Her interest in art began during childhood after finding she was not as adept at sports as she would have liked. Expressing herself in other activities such as finger painting and choir, the artist inside had begun to bloom. After attending the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, she supported herself by selling oil paintings of flowers for a commission. Never one to be ordinary, Neilson’s floral paintings go beyond what the average eye sees in a flower: “My interest in taking familiar objects and examining them in a new way, allowing the viewer to re-encounter them—close up, out of context and reframed—is an ongoing objective in my painting.”
- Sara King-Abadi
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
have a little SIPa or drink it all in Concordia theatre’s biannual play series starts this Thursday Amanda L. Shore Assistant arts editor Erasing memories, pregnant nuns, dead babies and disenfranchised youths are just a few of the themes being played with at this semester’s SIPA (Student Initiated Production Assignment) Short Works Festival. “You have all these projects that are directed, written or performed by students and so it’s really just a way to see where the students are and what they’re doing,” explained SIPA writer and performer Josh Williams. The Concordia festival takes place once a semester, in the fall and winter. This semester’s event runs from March 8 to 11, showcasing four student productions, Naomi in the Living Room, In Memorium, Anonymous Sin and Greedy Graffiti. All but Naomi in the Living Room are student-written shows that run between 20 and 50 minutes. Naomi in the Living Room was written by Christopher Durang, but is being re-staged by third-year performance and theatre student Kendall Savage. Savage plays Naomi who, along with her family, is struggling to cope with the death of five children. It’s a dark comedy, but one that Savage hopes will shed light on the healing power of laughter. “I decided to do the play as a part of my healing process.The show itself is about a family who has gone mad due to the death of children and I myself lost a baby last year and I’ve been struggling with it,” she said.
Greedy Graffiti was wriTTen and direCTed by CJlo hosT ariel lefkowiTz. In Memorium is written and performed by third-year theatre students Josh Williams and Vanessa Nostbakken. Based on a fictional procedure called “neuro-synaptic rearrangement,” which can erase your most terrible memories, In Memorium follows the encounter between procedure enthusiast Aries and dissident newcomer Nemo. Aries tries to convince Nemo that the procedure is a positive thing, while Nemo takes the opposite stance. The crux of this piece stems from exploring what kind of world would result from having this procedure available. Anonymous Sin is written and performed by Charles-Smith Métellus, a fourth-year theatre student. The play tells the story of a pregnant nun who gives up her baby and what happens when 18 years later, that baby finds
out the truth. Inspired by a friend’s anecdote about a man who dressed up as a pregnant nun for Halloween, Métellus plays both the nun and her son at age 18. “I am approaching multiple roles—both roles. They are very contrasting, especially when it comes to a pregnant woman, but I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by an exclusively female production team, so they gave me some input in regard to a woman’s body language, especially that of a pregnant woman. I was also fortunate in my psychology class, to have lectures given by a woman who is about to give birth. So I was able to observe her during the lectures,” said Métellus. Greedy Graffiti is written and directed by fourth-year theatre student Ariel Lefkowitz, and tells the story of several disenfranchised
16-year-olds who find support in one another’s company. Lefkowitz, who hosts a radio show on CJLO by the same name, is the only director to have cast members from outside the theatre department. The cast members come from the departments of music, history, finance, and marketing, making her show the first crossdepartment SIPA show. This show is also the longest of the four, but speaks directly to the Concordia community. It attempts to spread the message about the importance of art and how it’s crucial get out of your comfort zone in order to get your art noticed. The SIPA/Short Works Festival runs from March 8 to 11. Tickets are $2. Visit theatre. concordia.ca for the full schedule.
Light as a feather, stiff as a board Students go light and heavy with Art Matters exhibit Rebecca Ugolini Staff writer Email has replaced letters, FaceTime on iPods stands in for face-to-face conversations and the matte finish of an e-reader screen is edging out old-fashioned paper as the new medium for the printed word. With the modern experience becoming increasingly digitized, the complaint that the physical elements of everyday life are falling by the wayside is often heard. Although new technology and media are often blamed for this change, it is precisely the new media arts which inspired Florence Vallières, the curator of Studio Béluga’s newest exhibition WEIGHS. “[The exhibition] came from my research and involvement with new media art, where there is a certain concern for the presence of the body, whether it’s the participants’, visitors’ or the artist’s own,” Vallières explained. “I wanted to put together a show that would involve the body, its sense of balance and gravity.” Bringing together pieces from 11 Concordia fine arts students from disciplines as varied as ceramics, fibres, sculpture and studio arts, Vallières has curated WEIGHS as a mostly sculpture-oriented exhibition whose pieces are often suspended from the ceiling, feature heavy metal elements or otherwise evoke a sense of heaviness, lightness, suspension or gravity. The pieces contemplate the
Janna Vallee’s Anchor/crAdle plays with lightness, with the work hoVering aboVe the ground.
divide between mind and flesh, the ethereal and the physical. The care with which WEIGHS has been curated is evidenced by the variety and ingenuity of the works which, while they all centre around the theme of weight and the question of the role of the physical in everyday life, are highly different one from the other. Janna Vallee’s Anchor/Cradle, for example, features a suspended cocoon-like bed seeming to hover inches from the floor, while Melodie Reay’s Marion Helen is a sculpture of an elderly nude corpse curled into the fetal position to represent sleep, its skin exhibiting all the wrinkles and folds expected, creating an impression of something at once delicate and weightless and morbid and heavy, though not sad. Marie-Pier Malouin’s (38x2)+15+19 consists of a series of white square veils hung one after an-
other as on a clothesline, each cloth featuring a series of thin concentric circles that are made larger on the middle, lowest-hung cloths, and smallest on the ones at the head and tail of the clothesline. The overall impression is one of weightlessness, but also one of impossibly thin layers building up to a visual, if not physical, sense of occupying a large amount of space. Remarkably for an exhibit that seems so thematically-focused, Vallières described the process of curating WEIGHS as being one that developed organically as works were submitted, and a clearer picture of the exhibit as a whole began to emerge. “Instead of artists submitting to a specific theme with its own demands on the medium, we did not divulge the themes we wanted to work with, and were therefore encouraged to adjust the themes according to what we saw,” she
explained. “The submissions which ended up speaking most straightforwardly to my themes—and this should have been obvious—were sculptures,” added Vallières, for whom sculpture was a new and exciting medium with which she had not often previously worked. “The idea behind my choices was to make the show representative of student art in Concordia,” Vallières said, commenting on WEIGHS’ role in participating in Art Matters 2012, the ongoing Concordia arts festival. “Student work which is part of Art Matters is shown in professional and underground galleries all over town, including storefronts in the Mile End [Block Party] and the Art Matters van [Vehicular Commodities],” Vallières said, “so the festival really makes the artwork visible.” “In the context of the student strike, which has just been voted for by fine arts students, I feel that Art Matters takes on another aspect,” Vallières said, talking about the relevance of the recent tuition hike protests and questions of funding to projects such as those participating in Art Matters. “It’s another way to showcase student work and involvement and show the benefits of accessible tuition and resources,” she added. WEIGHS’ open house event on March 2 featured an exploration of artworks by Geri, an eclectic Montreal-based artist active in the ‘50s. Artist Stéphanie St-Jean Aubre will close the exhibit with a show of her artwork Béton for WEIGHS’ finissage on March 16. WEIGHS runs until March 16 at Studio Béluga (160 St-Viateur W., #508A). For more information, see weighs.tumblr.com.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
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Not yet The End of That for Plants and Animals Mile End boys to play album release show in their old stomping grounds
Elizabeth Mackay Assistant music editor
lants and Animals play and sound like a band that has lived through decades together. But there is a good reason why a band with only three full-length albums, the first of which released as recently as 2008, sounds so mature. Bandmates Warren Spicer and Matthew ‘Woody’ Woodley first met as 12-year-olds in Halifax, N.S., but they found their missing piece, Quebec native Nic Basque, over ten years ago in the depths of Concordia’s music department. Combined, they bring a tight, red-hot gospel/soul sound that escaped rock somewhere between the ‘80s and today. Woodley’s skittering, feet-flicking drum beat and Basque’s classic-rock-country trilling guitar provides the canvas for Spicer’s gargling, soulful voice and easy-to-relate-to tales of ecstasy, disappointment and growing older. Since their debut album Parc Avenue got shortlisted for the 2008 Polaris Prize, Plants and Animals have toured Europe and North America extensively, played the summer music festival circuit, and opened for Grizzly Bear, Gnarls Barkley and The National—to name a few. Despite hobnobbing with industry elites
and dealing with the distractions of rock ‘n’ roll life on the road, Woodley claims that his bond with Spicer and Basque has only strengthened. “The one thing that’s changed the most is we’re more comfortable being open with each other,” revealed Woodley. “We’re not afraid to say what we think to each other, not too shy and don’t take things too personally.” Fresh off the shelves, The End of That has already garnered significant commercial attention. The album was featured as CBC Music’s Album of the Week, its first single, “Lightshow,” was Amazon MP3’s Song of the Day on Feb. 29, and the band stole the cover of several Montreal publications in February alone. While Parc Avenue was Plants and Animals’ love letter to Mile End, and La La Land (2010) revealed the gritty truth of touring around Los Angeles, The End of That is a therapeutic return home. Vocalist Spicer dealt with some life issues through the lyrics. In “Crisis!” he returns home to find “everyone is getting married or breaking up / And the stroller situation on the sidewalk / is way out of control,” while on “The End of That” he reflects on his foray into cocaine. “I don’t think that we wanted to be happy-go-lucky,” said Woodley, “but we wanted
to put something out that hit people in the heart a little more quickly, not such a slow burn.”
counted Woodley. “It isn’t the fact that it’s in France, the city close by, or even the river down the street. It’s the space itself and what it felt like that made it “We got there after playing a so special.” With roots in show at two in the morning, improvisation, turned on the lights, and realized Plants and Ani‘Oh man, we have to work here mals are known again, we’ve got to settle down.’ ” for seducing crowds to the - Matthew “Woody” Woodley dance floor with their loud, jamWoodley and Basque often have their mu- rocking live shows. They take their albums’ sic charted out before Spicer brings the lyrics work to the stage on an entirely different into the studio, which Woodley admits com- level. pletely changes the way it plays out. “There’s nothing like [playing] live,” “It’s kind of an obtuse feeling when a professed Woodley. “It’s in the moment, it’s song hits, and when you put words on top, about the people.” they can really change the message of the This time around, the Mile Enders wanted music,” explained Woodley. “Sometimes I to produce an album that already reflected as find it’s an adjustment, playing it, coming to much of their live material as possible. grips with it.” “I think you might find the live show as The band recorded the album at La Frette, close to the album as we have ever gotten,” a manor just outside Paris where they ate, said Woodley. “It’s still louder, and still rockslept and played while touring in France. ier, but it’s closer in character.” “We got there after playing a show at two in the morning, turned on the lights, and re- Plants and Animals play Le Cabaret du Mile alized, ‘Oh man, we have to work here again, End (5240 Parc Ave.) on March 10. Tickets we’ve got to settle down and do it here,’” re- are $17 in advance or $20 at the door.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Outdoor music festivals You’re probably already dreaming about summertime, and outdoor festivals go hand in hand with our season of preference.
Andrew Guilbert Staff writer
We Weren’t here
Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters raised some eyebrows last week after expressing his opinion of Britain’s policy on the Falkland Islands, located off the coast of Argentina. In an interview with Chilean journalist Amaro Gómez-Pablos, Waters said he believes the Falklands, which have been under British rule since 1833, should be considered Argentinean territory. He also slammed both former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s and current PM David Cameron’s handling of the situation. Thatcher declared war in 1982 when the Argentinian army occupied the islands. They were ultimately chased out by the British. “There’s nothing they like more than to toe the line in the Houses of Parliament and stand there with hand on hip and say: the Falkland Islands are British and they always will be and the Falkland Islanders’ wishes are paramount and as long as they want to be British ... Bullshit!” said Waters.
Allie Mason Music editor
10. Osheaga Music and arts Festival; Montreal, Quebec, Canada Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without the mention of our own Osheaga Festival right here in Montreal. Held every year in Jean Drapeau Park on beautiful Ste-Hélène Island, Osheaga has been bringing together musicians, artists, and music and art lovers since 2006. Although the annual summer festie doesn’t boast onsite camping, festival-goers build a sense of camaraderie through the commute from downtown to the park via shuttle, bicycle or footmobile.
>>> tupac: the musical!
A new musical featuring the work of the late Tupac Shakur is currently in production, according to a recent casting call on playbill. com. The musical Holla If Ya Hear Me will be a retelling not of the rapper’s life, but of his music from his extensive catalogue. In an interview with PBS, director Kenny Leon explained how powerful he thought Shakur’s music was and that this musical was a way for him to allow others to see his vision of the rapper’s message. Leon also expressed his belief that the production would “change the face of musical theatre” and urged any young black actors with rap and guitars skills to try out.
>>> sounds like a fair deal
During an interview at the NME Awards last week, Johnny Marr, guitarist for cult band The Smiths, proposed an unusual trade to the current British government. “If this government stepped down, I’ll reform the band. How’s that? That’s a fair trade, isn’t it?” said Marr in jest. “I think the country would be better off, don’t you? I’ll do it if the coalition steps down.” The Smiths picked up the NME prize for best reissue for their Complete box set, beating out competitors like Nirvana’s Nevermind and Manic Street Preachers’ National Treasures.
less monkey for the
Davy Jones, singer for ‘60s pop group The Monkees, passed away from a heart attack last week at the age of 66. Jones, who was on a solo tour at the time, had been complaining of chest pains when he was admitted to a Florida hospital on the morning of Feb. 29. A post on the musician’s website, written by his family, expressed how important Davy’s fans were to him and that “he would want his fans to remember him with laughter and not tears.”
9. exit Festival;
Novi Sad, Serbia Exit Festival keeps people up all night long with big name acts like Iggy Pop, the Beastie Boys, Snoop Dogg, M.I.A., Deadmau5, Portishead, Wu-Tang Clan, Bad Religion and tons more. What makes Exit different from other festivals? Firstly, it began as a student-initiated project against the Milosevic regime in 2000. Secondly, it has been hosted at the beautiful Petrovaradin fortress since 2001, and finally, the music doesn’t start until late at night, with musicians performing until dawn.
al Parque; Bogota, Colombia As one of the longest established festivals on this side of the Greenwich Meridian, this Colombian festival has been, well, rocking the park for 17 years. With that kind of longevity, you know it’s got to be good. The festival’s international and inter-genre flair sets it apart from other festivals that boast more mainstream or specialized genres. The three-day-long festie has hosted musicians from France, the Netherlands, Germany, Peru, Jamaica, El Salvador, Spain, the U.S. and plenty more.
sxsW Music cOnFerence Festival; Austin, Texas, U.S.
If finding new, emerging and upcoming music is your schtick, then SXSW is, hands down, the festival for you. For five days, over 2,000 musicians take over practically every venue available in Austin to showcase their talents for the festival’s 45,000 patrons, 2,941 media members, as well as an undisclosed number of industry bigwigs. In addition to non-stop live music, SXSW also holds musician workshops and conferences, and features big name speakers like Nas and Bruce Springsteen.
6. Big day Out; Australia and New Zealand This multi-city festival goes on tour every January, hitting up Auckland, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth between the last week of January and the first week of February. Taking place in prime southern hemisphere summertime, the festival secures huge acts like Kanye West and Soundgarden, who, no doubt, are drawn to the festival to escape the cold and soak up some of that warm, golden Australian sun with up to 50,000 festival attendees.
5. Burning Man; Black Rock Desert, Nevada, U.S. Burning Man is the most elusive festival in North America—maybe even the world. This week-long arid experience is so much more than a music festival, with many attendees left unable to explain their time at Burning Man. It’s more like an experiment that happens to include some amazing music and art. The temporary community is built upon “radical self-expression and radical self-reliance” with each year dedicated to a different theme (2011’s was “Rites of Passage”). There are no rules, and money is of no value. At the end of the festival, a giant effigy of a man is burned to the ground, hence the name of the festival.
4. sasquatch! Music Festival; George, Washington, U.S. Held every year in the awe-inspiring Gorge Amphitheatre on the Columbia River, Sasquatch! Music Festival’s four stages are graced by some of the biggest names in music. Foo Fighters, Death From Above 1979, Modest Mouse, the Flaming Lips, Kings of Leon, Nine Inch Nails and countless others have played during the four-day long festival, but tons of in-
die bands get their beginnings there, too.
3. cOachella valley Music and arts Festival; Indio, California, U.S. As one of the largest outdoor music festivals in North America, you’d better believe Coachella is a damn good time. While camping at the festival is the most popular (and arguably the best) way to experience Coachella, those who can’t live without their hair straighteners and who prefer to have daily showers also have the option of shuttling into the festival grounds from nearby Los Angeles. The festival is held over two weekends every April, so if one weekend doesn’t work for you, then you can catch the same acts the next weekend—or why not go to both?
2. BOnnarOO Music and arts Festival; Manchester, Tennessee, U.S. So, I’m a little biased in placing this festival so high on the list—after all, I did meet my significant other here and if you ask me, I’ll tell you that my time at ‘Roo changed my life. Literally. Located in the heart of Tennessee, a mere 90 minutes from Nashville, Bonnaroo is an epic experience of music, art and community. With 80,000 campers, over 100 acts, including stand-up comedians, on more than 10 stages spread over 700 acres of lush Tennessee farmland, Bonnaroo will soon become your gospel.
1. glastOnBury Festival OF cOnteMPOrary PerFOrMing arts; Pilton, Somerset, U.K. Although the beloved Glastonbury is not happening this year, its triumphant return is scheduled for 2013, and rightly so. As the largest outdoor music festival in the world, this festival has been rocking the masses since 1970, the day after Jimi Hendrix died. With over 40 years in the game, dozens of stages and upwards of 140,000 attendees, Glastonbury is the festival of all music festivals.
Photos from Flickr
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
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FrOM March 21 until March 25, tOrOntO Will Be taken Over By Bands FrOM all Over canada and the rest of the world during the
nation’s biggest music industry event. The conference is celebrating its 30th birthday this year and will bring together not only a ton of musicians, but will also provide conferences, workshops, a comedy festival and an award show, on top of delivering Canada’s biggest new music festival. The Canadian Music Festival includes more than 900 bands from over 40 countries, performing at more than 60 live venues in downtown Toronto. Unfortunately, as students, most of us either won’t have the time or the money to attend, so as an absolutely incomparable consolation prize, I’ve compiled this mixtape to simulate being there. I’m sorry and you’re welcome, all at once. Listen to the mixtape here: 8tracks.com/the_concordian/CMW2012
Canadian Music Week Compiled by Allie Mason Music editor
SIDE A: Homegrown
SIDE B: Come From Aways
1. “Leaves, Trees, Forest” - Dan Mangan - Oh Fortune 2. “Body Parts” - The Pack A.D. - Unpersons 3. “Paddle and Row” - Gabrielle Papillon - The Wanderer 4. “Hope for the Flowers” - Rich Aucoin - We’re All Dying to Live 5. “Tiger” - The Balconies - Kill Count 6. “Seed of Love” - Ben Caplan & the Casual Smokers - In the Time of the Great Remembering 7. “Panorama” - Daniel Lanois - Belladonna 8. “Took a Train to India” - Eight and a Half - Scissors 9. “Fever Stricken Night” - Gloryhound Electric Dusk 10. “Missing” - Hands & Teeth - Hunting Season
11. “Make Light” - Passion Pit Manners 12. “Stay Useless” - Cloud Nothings Attack On Memory 13. “Down River” - The Temper Trap Conditions 14. “Old Friend” - Caveman - CoCo Beware 15. “Put Some Red On It” - Spoek Mathambo - Single 16. “Travel As Equals” - Joseph Arthur - Redemption City 17. “Young Man Blues” - The Bright Light Social Hour - New Year’s Live 18. “Vampires in Love” - A Great Big Pile of Leaves - Have You Seen My Prefrontal Cortex? 19. “Drive By” - Train - Single 20. “Lighter Side” - Benjamin Winter The Wind Blows Way Up High
Plants and Animals - The End of That (Secret City Records; 2012)
Field Music - Plumb (Memphis Industries; 2012)
Farewell Republic - Burn the Boats (Unsigned; 2012)
U2 - The Joshua Tree (Island Records; 1987)
Montreal rockers Plants and Animals return with a more stripped-down sound on their third full-length album The End of That. Unlike their previous records, this album leaves behind the realm of orchestral psychedelia for a more mellowed out sound with hints of early 1970s rock ‘n’ roll. Lyrically, the record finds the band dwelling on times past, loves lost and the difficulties of adulthood. From his Lou Reed-esque cadence in “The End of That,” to the no holds barred wail of “Lightshow,” vocalist Warren Spicer demonstrates his ability to use his voice as an extra instrument, greatly adding to the overall effect. Even so, while still featuring some solid tunes, it gets lost somewhere around the halfway mark with the last four tracks melding into one big rock anthem.
I feel it is my duty to warn you that Plumb may possibly be too wacky for public consumption. The fourth studio effort from Sunderland natives Peter and David Brewis is a progressive poprock frenzy. With 15 tracks crammed into 35 minutes, there is an indelible sense that these songs were constructed by someone with a seriously short attention span. Best described as a collection of half-congealed ideas piled on top of each other, with hooks that rise but then are quickly discarded, this album is nothing more than an unmemorable mess. It’s a shame, because the Brewis brothers seem to have a real knack for writing quirky, hooky little numbers. There were moments when I decided that Field Music may, in fact, be Queen’s long-lost hipster nephew. With a little Ritalin and some production assistance, there may still be hope for these boys.
Farewell Republic’s debut brings a new addition to the post-punk scene. Hailing from Brooklyn, N.Y., Sivan Jacobovitz and Brian Trahan make up the permanent members, while a rotating cast of live and session musicians aid in creating the musical landscape that is illustrated on the album. The music has an almost film-soundtrack quality in its composition. However, the sheer chaos, which would make an excellent backdrop to an art-house film, becomes quickly draining, almost numbing the senses. The listener’s ears bleed at times from the sound generated from the noise of layered guitar feedback. Even the dissonance is reflected in the album cover’s imagery. However, there is still hope for the band, that once they mature, their narrative voice and artistic vision will no longer be lost in the white noise. Hopefully then it will enjoyable.
When I think of the best rock album, I think of The Joshua Tree, U2’s fifth album that has earned itself a spot among the best albums ever made in the history of music, up there with Abbey Road and The Wall. The Joshua Tree was released in 1987 and was immediately acclaimed as the album that transformed U2 from great to superstars. Just naming the classics on this CD makes me shiver: “With or Without You,” “Where the Streets Have No Name,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” and so many more. The songs on this album are what make thousands of people wait days to see U2. The Joshua Tree encompasses so many real emotions and it has touched many around the world.
Trial track: “The End of That”
Trial track: “A New Town”
Trial track: “Wake”
Trial track: “Where the Streets Have No Name”
- Cora Ballou
- Paul Traunero
- A.J. Cordeiro
- George Menexis
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Write to the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org basketball
Stingers men best in Quebec
The ConCordia STingerS men CelebraTe a SeCond ConSeCuTive rSeQ ChampionShip. ConCordia will be heading To halifax wiTh Seven oTher TeamS To play in a TournamenT for The naTional ChampionSh
Concordia heads to nationals after 30-point rout of UQAM Julian Mei Sports editor
It was a great night to be a Concordia Stinger on Saturday. A sold out gymnasium was electric and loud. The team was fired up and the end result was a centre court celebratory team dance off after the game, as Concordia enjoed its second consecutive RSEQ title that will send the Stingers to the national championship tournament in Halifax as the No. 3 seed in the eight-team playoff. Concordia left nothing to chance on Saturday, blowing out the UQAM Citadins in what was perhaps Concordia’s best performance of the season at the best possible time.
“We were better prepared tonight mentally and defensively we were great,” said Concordia coach John Dore. “I think tonight we were able to dictate the tempo of the entire game. We sped things up when we wanted to run, and slowed things down when we wanted to.” This is Dore’s third trip to nationals in the last five years and his experience no doubt helped in preparing the team before the game. “I just told the guys this is what we work for all year,” he said. “I told them to just look around, have fun and get ready to play.” UQAM had upset a higher seeded McGill team earlier in the week, but couldn’t muster anything against Concordia. “Give Concordia credit, there’s 40 minutes in a game and they played 41 tonight,” said Citadins coach Olga Hrycak. Concordia’s swarming defence held UQAM to just 18 points in the first two quarters, allowing the Stingers to take a command-
ing 12-point lead. While the Stingers have let their guard down at times this season and allowed teams back into games, Saturday was a consistent effort from the opening tipoff that finished with an exclamation mark when Concordia outscored the Citadins 2713 in the fourth quarter. The moment peaked when Evens Laroche finished an alley-oop that brought the sold out Concordia gym to its feet. One of the loudest ovations came in the final minutes of the game when Dore subbed out his fifth-year players, guard Decee Krah and forward James Clark, who walked off their home floor for the final time in Stingers uniforms. “It was a great feeling,” said Clark. “With the sold out crowd and the support, it was something I’m going to cherish forever and it was just a great night and I’m definitely going to miss it.” Dore also acknowledged the special careers of both players after the game.
“I appreciate those guys,” he said. “They’ve been not only good basketball players, but good citizens. They’re both graduating this year and I’m very proud of them. They’re making their third trip to nationals in five years and not a lot of athletes get that opportunity.” The tournament gets underway this weekend in Halifax. Concordia will be in tough as they face St. Francis Xavier University in the first round at 7:15 p.m. on Friday. While Concordia has the higher seed in the tournament, StFX was above the Stingers in the CIS rankings for the entire season. StFX has already beaten Concordia once this year and will be playing in front of a home crowd in Halifax. The road to a championship is also likely to go through perennial powerhouse Carleton, who went undefeated this season. It will be a difficult road to glory for the Stingers in Halifax. Fortunately for them though, difficult and impossible are not the same thing.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
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Stingers head to Prairies for must-win games
ConCordia beaT biShop’S buT loST To mCgill in The rSeQ finalS. phoTo by navneeT pall
Concordia loses in RSEQ finals but gets second chance at nationals Julian Mei Sports editor
phoToS by navneeT pall
After losing in the RSEQ finals to McGill on Friday night, the Concordia women’s basketball team finds itself down, but not out. Given the format of CIS women’s basketball, Concordia will have an opportunity to play in a four-team consolation tournament going on in Saskatoon from March 9 to 10. Whichever team wins the two-game, single-elimination tournament earns a seed at the national championships in Calgary. Concordia will be facing the University of Regina on Friday night and if they win, they will face the winner of the other semifinal game, either Brock or the University of Saskatchewan, in the finals. Concordia will be in tough however, as Regina was the No. 1 ranked team in the country, but was upset in the Canada West final against UBC. If the Stingers run the table in the tournament, they will head to nationals in Calgary beginning on March 17. A loss sends Concordia home to reflect on a season that was perfect after six games, before an injury-filled, tumultuous second half began to derail the team. Much like the regular season, the RSEQ playoffs were a roller-coaster ride for the Stingers. Beginning last Tuesday night, Concordia was facing Bishop’s at Concordia’s gym. The Gaiters jumped out to an early 24-7 lead after the first quarter, silencing the
home crowd, and filling the gym with an uneasy tension amongst the Stinger faithful. It looked as though Concordia would be playing its final game of the season. Then “the Kaylah Barrett Show” began. The league’s MVP took the team on her shoulders and led the Stingers back into the game. Barrett scored 10 of her game-high 21 points in the second quarter. She was also a menace on the glass, grabbing 11 rebounds in the game, six coming at the offensive end of the floor. Concordia outscored Bishop’s 20-7 in the frame and had retaken all the momentum and pulled to within three points at halftime. Concordia would never look back. The Stingers amassed a nine-point lead by the end of the third quarter en route to the 6553 victory. Playing in the RSEQ finals on Friday in the home gym of crosstown rival McGill, it was a similar situation for Concordia. The Stingers once again found themselves down early, trailing 16-6 after the first quarter. Unlike against Bishop’s, though, the Stingers couldn’t make the same surge against the first-place Martlets. Concordia went into halftime trailing by 14 and fell behind further in the third quarter. To the Stingers’ credit, they played hard until the very end, outscoring McGill 20-8 in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late as McGill won the game 56-49 to clinch its first RSEQ championship since 1996, and secure a berth in the national championships. Kaylah Barrett again led Concordia in scoring with 24 points. Natasha Raposo came off the bench and scored 13 points in just 17 minutes on the court.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
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Vote, you’ll be glad you did This Wednesday’s strike vote is one meeting you won’t want to miss This Wednesday, Concordia undergraduates will pile into three rooms -- two at SGW and one at Loyola -- to vote on whether or not they wish to join much of the rest of the province’s angry students in a general strike against tuition hikes. Already, many departmental associations, and even faculty groups such as the Fine Arts Student Alliance, are on strike, and may remain so for some time. These students have sent a clear message to the government that it must back down from its controversial tuition increases, which would up tuition by $325 a year between 2012 and 2017. The vote will be a definitive moment in Concordia’s history; you can already guess what the result will be. Nonetheless, students from both sides of the tuition debate (because yes, there
are indeed students who support the hikes, and no, they’re not all at school on Daddy’s dollar), need to be at this Wednesday’s general assembly so that Concordia undergraduates can finally have a frank and honest discussion, face-toface, about this tuition-induced maelstrom that we’ve all been inevitably thrown into. Some members of the associations that have already voted to strike have complained that quorum for voting is too low, that the 45 or so students from the Political Science Students Association who voted in favour of the strike did not represent the will of the department’s 1,600 students. Some students who are against the strike say they didn’t bother showing up to their association’s vote because they were positive such a thing wouldn’t pass, while others simply shelved the potential for a strike at the back of their mind, hoping the idea would eventually just go away. But the fact that several thousand Concordia students are now on strike should not only send a message to the Charest government, it should
also send a message to the rest of Concordia’s student population: if it can happen to them, it can happen to you. So if you’re in favour of striking until your lungs give out, go vote on Wednesday, March 7, at 3 p.m. If you’re against the strike and would prefer to remain in your warm -- or not-so-warm, if you’re at Loyola -classes, go vote on Wednesday, March 7. It has become painfully obvious that every vote and every opinion matters in this bubbling debate. Mainstream newspaper editorials, including a scathing piece recently published by The Suburban weekly newspaper, will tell you that if you strike and complain about the increase in tuition, you’re nothing but a “whining, mewling, puking infant.” Don’t listen them -- hell, you don’t even have to listen to what this editorial is saying. Vote with your own conscious, and not based on what others are telling you. Even at the end of every CBC broadcast of the strikes in Quebec -- which have so far been surprisingly objective in their coverage --
the reporter still feels the need to add “Quebec students, even once the increases are complete, will still be paying the lowest tuition fees in the country.” That may be so, but that’s certainly not a reason to back down from fighting the government. Because as we’ve seen through history, all it really takes is for someone to get angry to eventually change up the old ways of doing things. If students succeed in pushing the Liberals to reverse their decision on increasing tuition -and perhaps even look at how to better manage the funds they’re already pouring into universities -- then maybe this will inspire students in other provinces who pay through the roof for tuition to demand change from their governments. Ideally, this would be important to keep in mind ahead of the March 7 vote. But again, your decision on whether or not to take to the streets should be based purely on your own views. So do yourself a favour and vote.
Catching up with the times It’s time to improve technology in the classroom Myles Dolphin Opinions editor
he first time I saw a laptop in a classroom, it looked like it weighed twenty pounds and the noise from the fan and keyboard was unreal. I was tempted to physically assault the person who owned it, but I was also curious about the benefits of using that technology in the classroom. Twelve years later, technology has improved leaps and bounds, and bringing a laptop to class in order to facilitate the learning process is second nature for many. Unfortunately, learning often takes a back seat to social media and distraction kicks in pretty quickly. That’s why it’s time for professors to not only embrace the technology that is at their disposal, but to integrate it into lesson plans by engaging the students who use it. More technology doesn’t mean more distraction: the issue is reform. Schools have been using the same approaches to teaching for a very long time, and they are finding it harder to adapt to rapid, technological advances that put powerful tools in the hands of students. It’s time to leave the Norman Rockwell classroom, which consists of wooden desks and pencils, behind. A recent study conducted by Concordia researchers found that classrooms which embraced computer technology to support teaching had a “small to moderate positive” impact on learning. While this may not come as news to you, the 40-year retroactive study makes an impor-
tant point: it is time to re-conceptualize the classroom and take advantage of the tools that are available to teachers. Consequently, an increase in participation and engagement from students will lead to fewer students drifting away during class time. They key is integration. Students are suffering from information overload these days, and professors need to find ways to use that to their advantage. Last November, B.C. Education Minister George Abbott took steps to rectify that. He announced a new teaching plan for the province that aims to modernize schools and “promote personalized learning, critical thinking and quality teaching,” according to the Vancouver Sun. He is promoting a greater
use of tablets, smartphones and other electronic devices to assist learning in the classroom. Abbott’s reasoning behind this decision was simple: integration. “Often we will lose students in Grade 9, 10, 11 because somehow we don’t connect with them on what their real passions and interests are,” he told the Sun. Faculties at the university level have to promote the same kind of reform. Technology can be used in so many different ways, from helping to explain complex biological concepts to deciphering psychological issues. Encouraging new ways to integrate students and their laptops into lesson plans would facilitate the teaching process; failing to do so risks leaving students behind by not latching onto their
interests. As it stands, computers in classrooms are not being used to their full potential and because of our limited attention spans, it’s very tempting to jump onto social media or YouTube for a quick fix. It’s not technology’s fault; our values are different than the previous generation’s, and we live in a time where many of the jobs today simply didn’t exist a generation ago. By shunning technology, professors are doing a huge disservice to students who have already brought the tools to the classroom: now, it’s a question of using it properly. The Concordia study concluded that teaching aids such as PowerPoint presentations didn’t really affect how students learned. “It’s not really different from a blackboard or an overhead projector or a printed page,” said Richard Schmid, chair of Concordia’s education department, to The Gazette. He said that technology had an impact on students when it actively engaged them as a communication tool and used for simulations or games that “actively manipulate their environment.” These interactive environments would also allow boys, whose brains are more spatiallyoriented than girls, to really harness the technology. As with any new teaching reform, it’s important to set rules of acceptable conduct. Engaging 30 to 50 students at a time isn’t easy. While I certainly do not advocate replacing skilled professors with computers, I think there needs to be a greater cooperation between the two in order to get students to participate as much as possible. Computers are just one solution, but we can’t forget interactive whiteboards, tablets and digital media. Look into the future: Do you see classrooms full of paper and pencils? Probably not. Technology is ubiquitous. It’s time to prepare our students for what lies ahead.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Follow us on Twitter: @TheConcordian politics
Mind your own business!
Mexico is safe, but travel smart
Popular destination shouldn’t be avoided yet Erika Heales Contributor
Graphic by Sean Kershaw
All citizens, including politicians, deserve privacy André-Joseph Cordeiro Staff writer South of the border, the raging war of words known as the Republican primaries is tearing cities, towns and families apart. Between the four major candidates—Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul—it is almost impossible to focus on the issues, as campaign ads and speeches sling dirt on other candidates. While dirty politics of this kind have been the norm in the U.S. for quite some time, the situation has been a lot more docile here in Canada. Political grandstanding and attacks are prevalent in Canadian politics as well, but the general rule of thumb has been that one’s personal life is off limits. This, of course, is negated if politicians’ private lives involve shady, illegal dealings. An MP spending his or her office budget on their personal home would warrant whistleblowing, but revelling in the details of an MP’s divorce would not.
Former Liberal staffer Adam Carroll was behind a Twitter account named Vikileaks that revealed the juicy details of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews’ divorce. Created in response to the draconian legislation of Bill C-30, Vikileaks tweeted information found in a Winnipeg courthouse that was available to the public. The account gained popularity when mentioned by Liberal MP Justin Trudeau to his 116,000 Twitter followers. Regardless of whether the information was public or private, reaching into the personal lives of politicians to dredge up dirt on them is both tacky and tasteless. Citizens, instead of focusing on the issues at hand, are now subjected to a TMZ-like circus, which takes away from the political process. “Just as interim Liberal leader Bob Rae was building up a real head of steam levelling credible allegations of electoral tampering against the Tories during last spring’s federal election, his own party’s dirty tricks pulled the rug out from under him,” wrote Calgary Herald columnist Licia Corbella. Some might argue that Toews should have been prepared for any subjection to public scrutiny, especially given his heightened notoriety due to his staunch defence of Bill C-30. I
say to those people: mind your own business. We need to criticize politicians based on their political words and actions, not their personal lives. Sometimes people fail to realize that politicians are people, too. Why should we care whether Toews’ had a messy divorce or a mistress? For all intents and purposes he may be a bad person, but that really is not our business. Unless he is breaking the law, it is not of our concern. Would I enjoy seeing my personal life spewed over a Twitter account for everyone to peruse and scrutinize? Absolutely not and neither would you. Now, all the efforts made to educate the public on Toews’ legislation has been torpedoed. Instead of focusing on the issues of Bill C-30, the Conservatives now have the perfect retort with Carroll’s actions. Postmedia News columnist Michael Den Tandt said it best: “Vikileaks, and Trudeau’s early, tacit endorsement of it, notwithstanding his denials of same, are the reason why what looked to be an unbeatable Liberal thrust at the Tories’ soft underbelly, has now devolved into big a pile of mush. Last week the Conservatives were rocked back on their heels. Now they’re firmly planted and counterpunching.”
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A holiday in Mexico is supposed to consist of a week or two of fun in the sun—unlimited drinking, eating and partying until the wee hours of the morning, without being attacked. But recent reports of Canadians being beaten or even killed in the country have left many people wondering if attacks are becoming part of the package deal. According to an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between Jan. 30 and Feb. 1, 2012, 74 per cent of Canadian participants felt that Mexico is a “serious safety and security problem” and said they were “hesitant to book a trip to Mexico.” It is unfair to completely write off a trip to Mexico because of recent attacks. It is first and foremost important to look at Mexico’s geography. The country is fairly large (almost three times the size of Texas) and is divided into 31 states and one federal district; crime within these states varies considerably. The escalation of violence and crime has been linked to the current drug war in which the government is trying to stop the trafficking of narcotics and other unlawful activities. This war is being waged primarily in the north and north-western part of the country, although there are outbreaks of violence elsewhere. Regions including popular destinations such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Mexico City and Los Cabos are relatively safe. Places to avoid include Acapulco, Veracruz, Ciudad Juarez, Guadalajara, Chihuahua and Jalisco. Walter MacKay, a Mexico City-based safety consultant, told the CBC that in 2010, there were 300 deaths per 100,000 people in the city of Ciudad Juarez. He made it clear that Ciudad Juarez “is not a tourist area. Tourists who remain in tourist areas such as Cancun will be mostly safe.” Pan Express travel agent Christine Tassé recently spent a week at the Hotel Riu Emerald Bay in Mazatlan, the same resort in which Canadian Sheila Nabb was beaten unconscious in January. Tassé noted that “not once during my seven-day stay did I ever feel as though my security was at risk or being jeopardized.” However, Nani Demirdjian, a travel agent for the House of Travel, does not think Mexico is a safe destination. She stated that she always tells her clients to stay on the hotel property for security reasons, but she noted that tourists are now even being attacked at the hotels. Tourists “are not safe anywhere.” Nabb’s attack, however, was considered isolated and not related to the drug wars. Rodolfo Lopez Negrete, chief operating officer of the Mexico Tourism Board, stated in the media that it was a type of crime that could also happen in the U.S., Canada or Europe. Tassé agreed, explaining that she does not think this attack “should be a reason to write off Mexico or Mazatlan as a travel destination. Security measures are in place to protect Canadian travellers.” People must remember that tourism is an important part of the economy in these countries. The tourism industry does not want to lose tourists because it will inevitably translate into a loss of revenue. But tourists should be vigilant at all times. As Demirdjian explained, tourists are easily identifiable, noting that “your face says it all: you’re not Mexican.” Tourists should not wear jewellery when going out, should not carry large amounts of money, should remain in well-lit areas and should always travel in groups. These recommendations are not just for Mexico; they are guidelines for safe travelling in general. The key is to just play it smart.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
There’s nothing competitive about yoga
Organization pushing to include yoga at the Olympics is missing the point Alyssa Tremblay Staff writer
et on your hands and knees. Push your hips up towards the sky, straightening out your arms and legs as you coax your body into an inverted “V.” In yoga, the downward-facing dog stretches what feels like every muscle in your body; those of you who have practised yoga before can attest that this posture isn’t as easy as it looks. Now imagine doing downwardfacing dog with a panel of judges taking note of every flinch, wobble and crooked limb. Welcome to the world of yoga asana competitions, where people are ranked and awarded by how accurately they can perform a series of yoga postures. Anyone who’s taken the most basic class knows that yoga is a personal practice. The point is not to compare your own abilities to anyone else in the room, as most yoga instructors will gently remind you during the session. Yoga requires that you focus inward, concentrating on how your body feels and adjusting yourself accordingly. It’s useless to silently despair about the middle-aged guy on the next mat who can headstand like a boss. The idea of reducing yoga, a com-
plex physical, mental and spiritual practice, into a ridiculous Survivorlike challenge is insulting to those who practise it. Regardless of the oxymoron, “competitive yoga” lovers have big dreams: the Associated Press reported last week that the United States Yoga Federation is petitioning to have yoga asana recognized as an official sport at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Yoga asana markets itself as a sport rather than a practice and has drawn criticism from other yoga practitioners who feel that competitiveness goes against the nature of yoga itself. Lisa Griffin teaches yoga at Concordia, where skill levels vary greatly from mat to mat. In her classes, Griffin says the emphasis is on achieving personal well-being rather than perfectly replicating a posture; sometimes, you have to tweak or adjust a pose to suit your own body. All that aside, the problem with accepting yoga asana as an Olympic event lies with the so-called sport itself. USA Yoga founder Rajashree Choudhury was quoted in the AP story as praising yoga for “teach[ing] people to be non-judgemental,” an incredibly contradictory statement when the yoga asana competitions
she organizes are contests where people are, quite obviously, being judged. Judging yoga is an inherently un-yoga-like thing to do, especially based only on the physical practice, which ranks below simply breathing properly in importance in the eight limbs (or levels) of yoga. While certainly ambitious, what USA Yoga is gunning for is not impossible. The Olympics, despite their centuries-old roots, are surprisingly flexible; the number of sports fea-
tured since the first modern Olympiad in 1896 has grown from nine to 26 in this summer’s London games. Yoga asana isn’t even the zaniest sport to make a bid at becoming an Olympic event—that distinction goes to pole dancing, described lovingly in a Sun Media article as “vertical gymnastics.” If fans of yoga asana want to get themselves in the Olympics, go ahead, but change the name. How about “extreme endurance posing” instead?
The Ten oddesT former olympic evenTs Tug of war 1900-1920
Motor boating 1908
Rope climb 1896, 1904, 1906, 1924, 1932
Live pigeon shooting 1900
Club swinging 1904, 1932
Pistol duelling 1906
Solo synchronised swimming 1992
Long jump for horses 1900 - via The Guardian
The Etcetera Page Drink of the week
Tuesday, March 6, 2012 Vol. 29 issue 23 Jacques Gallant
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Last week it was announced that Nicole ‘Snooki’Polizzi, one of the most tanned women on Earth and “star”of Jersey Shore, was pregnant. Well it didn’t take very long for Tweeps to react and start one-upping each other by making fun of her and her unborn … well it could be anything, so we’ll wait and see.
Joel asHaK marilla steuter-martin
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@badbanana: Weird to think we’re just fifteen
amanda l. sHore
years away from Snooki being a grandmother.
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@the_moonface: I somehow doubt
gay marriage is destroying the family when something called a Snooki is allowed to reproduce.
Assistant music editor firstname.lastname@example.org
@JordyHamrick: With Snooki pregnant, the
father could be Jionni, Vinny, any other Italian, a Honda Civic, jar of mayonnaise, toothpaste, toohbrush, teeth.
@EliBraden: Will Snooki’s baby pretend to be
@FilthyRichmond: In the tradition of Blue
Ivy, the child has been tentatively named Orange Skeezy. @anthonyjeselnik Snookie is pregnant? This
calls for a fist pump, within the first trimester.
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1 oz. dark rum 1/2 oz. Cognac A drop of maple syrup Milk (fill to desired volume) Crushed ice (optional)
1. Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake. 2. Pour into a tall glass.
- Jitika Shah
“It basically looks like a glass of milk... which is cool, because it’s misleading”
This week’s impossible crossword
Photo editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Graphics editor email@example.com
marissa miller HeatHer riminGton elizabetH tomaras
Copy editors firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer barKun soPHia loffreda Kerry macKinnon
7141 Sherbrooke St. W. - CC.431 Montreal, QC H4B 1R6 514.848.2424 x7499 (Editor-in-Chief) 514.848.2424 x7458 (Newsroom)
514.848.2424 x7404 (Production)
1- June 6, 1944; 5- TKO caller; 8- Garage sale sign; 12- Green land; 13- Having auricular protuberances; 15- Ammo; 16- Thin stratum; 17- Babble; 18- _ kleine Nachtmusik; 19At once; 22- One circuit; 23Writer Hentoff; 24- Blue hue; 26- Reebok rival; 29- Kitchen; 31- Admiration; 32- Sleep disorder; 34- Rice dish; 36- Beaver creations; 38- Small mountains; 40- “James and the Giant Peach” author; 41- Sag; 43- Device with 88 keys; 45- Sticky stuff; 46Sheath; 48- Bigshot; 50- “From _ according to his abilities…”; 51- Not ‘neath; 52- Equipment; 54- Pass through; 61- Singer Sedaka; 63- Functional; 64- Bargain; 65- Rice-shaped pasta; 66Farm machine; 67- Hostelries; 68- Abound; 69- Condensed moisture; 70- Carry;
melissa Kate GaGnon
Business manager Interim advertising manager email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
business and advertisinG
1455 de Maisonneuve W. - H.733-4 Montreal, QC H3G 1M8 514.848.2424 x7420 (Office) 514.848.7427 (Fax)
brennan neill emily WHite cindy loPez ruben bastien
Board of Directors email@example.com
staff Writers and contributors
Down 1- He loved Lucy; 2- Per _ ; 3- Composer Khachaturian; 4- Aden native; 5- _ avis; 6Part of Q.E.D.; 7- Celebration; 8- Enzyme ending; 9- Cudgel; 10- New Rochelle college; 11- Pace; 13- Tomb inscription; 14- 4th letter of the Greek alphabet; 20- Arp art; 21- Quick
Assistant opinions editor firstname.lastname@example.org
sharp bark; 25- Put _ on it!; 26- Alert; 27Withdraw money from use; 28- Long-billed sandpiper; 29- Australian cockatoo; 30- Lout; 31- Append; 33- Actor Wallach; 35- Andy Capp’s wife; 37- Caribbean dance music; 39Meddling person; 42- Agreement; 44- Dedi-
cated to the _ Love; 47- Small tree; 49- Accept as true; 52- Gnarl; 53- Able was _ ...; 55- Not much; 56- Egypt’s river; 57- Killed; 58- “All The Way To _ “, song by REM; 59Pessimist’s word; 60- Additional; 62- Actor Herbert
Marie-Josee Kelly, Elise Favis, Stefani Forster, Judy-Ann Mitchell-Turgeon, William D. Pelletier, Alyssa De Rosa, Sara King-Abadi, Giselle MacDonald, Rebecca Ugolini, Elysha Del Giusto-Enos, Brandon Judd, Andre-Joseph Cordeiro, Paul Traunero, Cora Ballou, Andrew Guilbert, Alyssa Tremblay, Erika Heales, Jitika Shah, Sean Kershaw, Phil Waheed, Maya Pankalla
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+ART MATTERS- Vernissage (7240 Clark)-18h00 +THEATRE-The Leisure Society-Le Bain St. Michel (Tue-Wed)-20h00 +THEATRE-The Game of Love and Chance-Centaur Theatre-20h00 +MUSIC - Silver Dapple - Le Divan Orange - 21h00 +MUSIC - Bristlecone + Marathon - 20h30 +ART MATTERS-Vernissage-Les Territoires (372 Ste Catherine O.) 18h00 +THEATRE-The Game of Love and Chance-Centaur Theatre-20h00 +MUSIC - Hate Eternal - Foufounes Électriques - 20h00 +DANCE-Petites Pièces de Poche-3680 Jeanne-Mance #426-20h00 +THEATRE: So you think you can Improv-Comedyworks-20h30 +MUSIC - Atlas Sound - Le Cabaret du Mile End - 21h00 +MUSIC - Rococode - Le Divan Orange - 21h30 +ART MATTERS-Block Party-General 54/Annex Vintage-17h00 +ART MATTERS-Surveying Space-WWTWO (170 Jean Talon W. #206)-18h00 +ART MATTERS-Subject to Change-Espace Projet (353 Villeray)-18h00 +ART-Jen Delos Reyes Art and Social Practice Lecture-EV 6.720-18h00 +THEATRE-The Leisure Society-Le Bain St. Michel-20h00 +MUSIC - Papermaps + MAK - La Sala Rossa - 20h00 +THEATRE-Seven Stories-Dawson College -20h00 +COMEDY-John WIng-Comedy Nest-20h30
+LITERATURE- Professional Development Day panel discussion- de Sève Theatre-14h00 +ART MATTERS-Open House-Saint Henri-17h00 +ART MATTERS-The Poupart Gallery-Coatcheck and Three Times (3 X 7 X 52 X Y)(5180 Notre-Dame O.)-17h00 +THEATRE-The Leisure Society-Le Bain St. Michel-20h00 +THEATRE-The Game of Love and Chance-Centaur Theatre-20h00 +MUSIC - Young Prisms + Boyfriend + Goose Hunt - Le Cagibi - 20h00 +THEATRE-Seven Stories-Dawson College -20h00 +THEATRE-H.M.S Pinafore with Cox and Box-Louise Chalmers Theatre-20h00 +MUSIC - John K. Sampson - La Sala Rossa - 21h00
+THEATRE-The Game of Love and Chance-Centaur Theatre-14h00/20h00 +MUSIC - Plants and Animals - Le Cabaret du Mile End - 21h00 +ART MATTERS-From That Time-STUDIO 303 (372 Ste Catherine W.)-18h00 +ART MATTERS-Vehicular Commodities-Location to be disclosed on twitter @thevanistheart +THEATRE-The Leisure Society-Le Bain St. Michel-20h00 +THEATRE-H.M.S Pinafore with Cox and Box-Louise Chalmers Theatre-20h00 +MUSIC - Titan + Brute + Dark Circles + Teethmarks - L’Absynthe - 20h30 +THEATRE-Seven Stories-Dawson College -14h00/20h00 +THEATRE-Steers & Queers Gay Ole Opry-Il Motore-21h00 +ART MATTERS-Block Party Art Crawl-Mile End-12h00 +THATRE-Vigil-The Segal Centre-13h30 +THEATRE-The Leisure Society-Le Bain St. Michel-14h00 +THEATRE-H.M.S Pinafore with Cox and Box-Louise Chalmers Theatre-14h00 +THEATRE-The Game of Love and Chance-Centaur Theatre-14h00 +ART MATTERS-Weighs-Studio Béluga (160 Saint Viateur E. #508A)-16h45 +MUSIC - serial-numbers + glassEYElashes - 20h30 +LITERATURE-Void Magazine Submission Deadline-00h00
+THEATRE-The Leisure Society-Le Bain St. Michel-20h00 +THEATRE-Vigil-The Segal Centre-20h00 +MUSIC - Hedley - Centre Bell - 18h00 +MUSIC - The Plague Baby From Demon’s Souls - McKibbins Pub - 20h00
Join the team The Concordian is now hiring for 2012-2013. All editorial positions are now open for applications. Managing Editor • Editor-in-Chief • Production Manager
News Editor Music Editor Graphics Editor Opinions Editor Photo Editor
Webmaster Sports Editor Social Media Coordinator Online Editor
Send your CV, cover letter and a writing sample to directors @theconcordian.com
* Deadline for Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor and Production Manager is March 9. Application for all other positions must be submitted by March 16 for consideration.