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VOLUME 58 ISSUE 21 • FEBRUARY 14, 2018

ME, MYSELF AND I DO Exploring options for self-love, including the ultimate declaration of marrying yourself Features, page 10






United Way hosts panel on opioids

Conference sees Laurier play host to local students

Moving forward as a survivor of sexual assault

Ditch the vanilla and try something new

Laurier’s top swimmer impresses

News, page 3

News, page 7

Arts & Life, page 13

Opinion, page 16


2 •



How do you plan on loving yourself for Valentine’s Day?


The Cord




“I’m probably going to go shopping and buy myself something that I love, you know, just to cheer myself up.” –Anusha Zarin Tasnmin, economics and management

“Make the most scrumptious and tasty dinner, with the most amazing red wine. And drink it all by myself and eat it all by myself.” –Daniel Vanayan, political science


Rick Osborne looks on as he steers his team towards one final victory on home ice. Osborne will be retiring at the end of the 2017/18 season.

Want to take a crash course in journalism 101?

“I’ll be treating myself with the ladies, my roommates. On Valentine’s Day we’re going to be getting pizza, crack open a bottle of wine. You know, love yourself and appreciate that I have good friends to be with.” –Kim Chung, second year English Compiled by Sarah Spragg Photos by Sadman Sakib Rahman Check out for more of our Self-Love themed Vocal Cord! NEXT ISSUE FEBRUARY 28, 2017


The Cord is always looking to hone the skills of dedicated news reporters.

WEB DIRECTOR Garrison Oosterhof






NEWS EDITOR Nathalie Bouchard


1992: Wayne’s World debuts in theatres. LEAD SPORTS REPORTER Abdulhamid Ibrahim


1985: Whitney Houston releases her self-titled debut album.

1929: Sir Alexander Fleming accidentally discovers penicillin after dropping mold onto a plate of staphylococcus bacteria.

ARTS & LIFE EDITOR Shyenne MacDonald


1921: Canadian five cent nickel coin is authorized.

We’ll give you all the tools you need.



1929: St Valentine’s Day Massacre results in the death of seven Chicago gangster.

1999: Elton John appears as himself as a special guest star on an episode of The Simpsons.


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kurtis Rideout





Hayley McGoldrick John McMorran Luke Burrows Sara Burgess Megan Pitt Victoria Berndt Simran Dhaliwal

“Exploring intimacy” by Shyenne MacDonald

ADVERTISING INQUIRIES All advertising inquiries can be directed to Care Lucas at or 519-884-0710 ext. 3560.

COLOPHON The Cord is the official student newspaper of the Wilfrid Laurier University community. Started in 1926 as the College Cord, The Cord is an editorially independent newspaper published by Wilfrid Laurier University Student Publications, Waterloo, a corporation without share capital. WLUSP is governed by its board of directors. Opinions expressed within The Cord are those of the author and do not necessarily refl ect those of the editorial board, The Cord, WLUSP, WLU or CanWeb Printing Inc. All content appearing in The Cord bears the copyright expressly of their creator(s) and may not be used without written consent. The Cord is created using Macintosh computers running OS X 10.10 using Adobe Creative Cloud. Canon cameras are used

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PREAMBLE The Cord will keep faith with its readers by presenting news and expressions of opinions comprehensively, accurately and fairly. The Cord believes in a balanced and impartial presentation of all relevant facts in a news report, and of all substantial opinions in a matter of controversy. The staff of The Cord shall uphold all commonly held ethical conventions of journalism. When an error of omission or of commission has occurred, that error shall be acknowledged promptly. When statements are made that are critical of an individual, or an organization, we shall give those affected the opportunity to

reply at the earliest time possible. Ethical journalism requires impartiality, and consequently conflicts of interest and the appearance of conflicts of interest will be avoided by all staff. The only limits of any newspaper are those of the world around it, and so The Cord will attempt to cover its world with a special focus on Wilfrid Laurier University, and the community of Kitchener-Waterloo, and with a special ear to the concerns of the students of Wilfrid Laurier University. Ultimately, The Cord will be bound by neither philosophy nor geography in its mandate. The Cord has an obligation to foster freedom of the press and freedom of speech. This obligation is best fulfilled when debate and dissent are encouraged, both in the internal workings of the paper, and through The Cord’s contact with the student body. The Cord will always attempt to do what is right, with fear of neither repercussions, nor retaliation. The purpose of the student press is to act as an agent of social awareness, and so shall conduct the affairs of our newspaper.

Quote of the week: “Who is not busy and has a dating app on their phone?” - Photo Editor, Luke Sarazin; a man always on a mission.



• 3





The Needle & Damage Done discusses opioid crisis JAKE WATTS NEWS EDITOR

On Feb. 8, the United Way hosted a panel discussion featuring local experts to discuss the ongoing opioid crisis in the Waterloo Region. The panel discussion, part of an event titled The Needle & The Damage Done, took place in Communitech’s office space in downtown Kitchener and is one in a series of GenNext events hosted by the United Way Waterloo Region Communities. “This is about introducing the next generation to what social service and social responsibility is all about,” Joan Fisk, CEO of United Way Waterloo Region Communities, said. “We have community conversations four times a year in various places. This is one of them. There is usually a topic, there was the gentrification of downtown Kitchener a couple of months ago,” Fisk said. At this particular event, local experts discussed the stigma around addiction, harm reduction strategies as well as raising awareness and promoting citizen engagement in dealing with the opioid crisis. Among the panelists was Christine Padaric, who lost her teenage son to accidental overdose a few years ago, and has put her

It’s affecting people that aren’t just poor. It could happen at university.

-Joan Fisk, CEO of United Way Waterloo Region Communities

said. “There’s an opioid fund, so The Needle and The Damage Done is all about raising money for this topic, this hot topic about helping because we got to get at it. This money will only be dispersed to issues around opioid addiction,” Fisk said. Fisk also noted how the dangers associated with opioids can reach all corners of society. “It’s affecting people that aren’t just poor. It could happen at uni-

versity,” Fisk said. In fact, the threat of opioid overdoses on university campuses has lead post-secondary institutions across Canada — including Wilfrid Laurier University — to acquire and make available naloxone kits, which can function as an antidote in the case of overdose. Beyond this reactionary measure, Fisk iterated on the importance of taking precautionary measures, like raising awareness. “A big part of what universities can do is the awareness piece, because it’s easy when you’ve had a couple of drinks and someone gives you something — you might not think twice, you might not clearly think ‘oh man maybe I shouldn’t do that,’” Fisk said.

ed insight on where to access additional resources, such as the Consent Castles, an online comic strip which educates the general public on consent, as well as blogs like Everyday Feminism. “I think there’s a lot of tools online and a lot of information and blogs which talk through this … if you are not sure how to start this

conversation, start looking through the information because it’s there,” Pritchard said. “[Also] really think … if you are not ready to talk about consent, are you ready to engage in that sexual experience? We need to build those tools to talk and make sure that everyone is comfortable and into it before we’re actually starting it.”


support behind such legislation as Bill C-224 — a bill that, after passing, has set out protections from charges for those who access emergency services to aid themselves or others when overdosing on controlled substances. Other panelists included Violet Umanetz, manager of outreach at Sanguen Health Centre, Bill Kirby, organizing committee member for A Better Cambridge and Ruth Cameron, executive director of the

AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and area. Fisk, who helped put together the event, was clear that the desired outcome of the evening’s panel discussion was to raise awareness and garner donations. “You’ll hear from seven experts — in various ways — from various different angles on this crisis. No one thing can fix it by itself. We need a collective, and that’s what social impact is all about,” Fisk


Education on consent

Informing students on types of positive communication NATHALIE BOUCHARD NEWS EDITOR

On Feb. 12, 2018, the Centre for Women and Trans People hosted an event with the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region (SASC) called Consent Across Contexts. T.K. Pritchard, Male Allies educator for SASC, hosted the event which educated students and community members on the topic of consent as well as what consent can look like in many different contexts. In addition to conversations about sexual consent, Pritchard also educated the participants surrounding non-sexual consent such as greeting family members, consent about talking photos and uploading them online, play fighting and not being aggressive when it comes to asking folks out on dates or outings. “We were talking about consent across contexts, sexual consent, consent in long term relationships, as well as non-sexual consent,” Pritchard said. “It’s important to educate folks so that we can really respect our

partners and understand their needs and … understand that consent is more than a legal contract.” Pritchard described the purpose and importance of the event. “The purpose of the event is to get people talking about consent and the basic idea of what it is, and the basic understanding of how we actually talk to partners about consent,” Pritchard said.

We were talking about consent across contexts, sexual consent, consent in long term relationships as well as non-sexual consent. -T.K. Pritchard, Male Allies educator for SASC

“What are the barriers to consent and how [can] we move past those barriers?” Some of the barriers of consent

as discussed in the presentation include the assumption and lack of communication among individuals in relationships about what is allowed and what is not. Pritchard explained that constantly checking in with your partner or date to ensure certain actions are allowed is important to facilitating consent. A way that was described in the presentation to facilitate consent is to check in before, during and after sexual activity and talk about what events took place: what works and what doesn’t. Pritchard explained that there are various campaigns within the Laurier community and the KW community which students can reach out to in order to educate themselves on consent. “There’s some campaigns on campus like Consent is Golden, Not My Laurier, as well as the sexual violence response coordinator’s office,” Pritchard said. “Bringing agency’s like ours to have those conversations … we can do education with the Laurier campus, we can come in and really have these discussions and have conversations about why consent is important to talk about.” Ultimately Pritchard provid-


4 • NEWS




Sustaining Indigenous groups despite environmental change KARLIS WILDE FEATURES EDITOR

Forest fires and receding water levels are just a couple of the obvious ways in which climate change is having direct, adverse affect on the land and thereby on the Indigenous people inhabiting Kakisa, a small community in the Northwest Territory with a population of 45 people.

This is the inspiration behind the Ka’a’gee Tu Atlas, a project between the Ka’a’gee Tu people and Wilfrid Laurier University. The project documents and researches the less obvious ways in which these changes to the climate have affected the inhabitants of the area. “I started working with them I guess in 2014 on a kind of climate change or human health project

where we explored all sorts of topics about how the land is changing and how it’s affecting the community,” Andrew Spring, research associate at Laurier, said. “So part of my work was kind of a vulnerability assessment. How climate change is affecting the community, but then more importantly what the community wanted to do about it.” The enormous effects that have

impacted the terrain are hard to ascertain exactly because a great amount of detail needs to be paid to both the environmental aspect as well as to why those changes are able to influence daily life. “In 1950 there was probably about 70 per cent permafrost coverage on the landscape,” Ryan Connon, a hydrology-focused research associate at Laurier in Yellowknife, said. “And that’s down to less than 40 per cent now. The permafrost is thawing very fast and it kind of changes the way that water is cycled and stored on the landscape.” “Permafrost can act essentially as a dam system because it’s relatively impermeable to flow.” This type of change is fundamental and it is a process that has had enormous physical effects on the land. “As soon as that permafrost body thaws it increases the amount of hydrological connectivity in the landscape,” Connon continued. “So water is essentially more free to move around the landscape and that changes the percent-age of the basin of the landscape that can move water and route water to the basin outlets.” What the Ka’a’gee Tu Atlas does is study how many of these details impact how communities live off the land. With the enormous, measurable affects of thaw, different portions of the land become less and less accessible. “We’re kind of working with the community to map out some of these areas,” Spring said. “One of the issues is, of course,

... part of my work was kind of a vulnerability assessment. How climate change is affecting the community... -Andrew Spring, research associate at Laurier

safety on the land, so if you’re going across what you think is a nice flat area but underneath is not flat due to permafrost thaw, you’re putting yourself at risk.” Without access to certain areas, life is slowly forced to adapt. Changes in terrain as forests turn into wet, boggy areas affect safety on the land, which has direct impacts on ways of life. Safety is paramount, but this can also reduce food access: traditional foods in the area are moose and Boreal — or woodland — caribou, but as safe access becomes more restricted with-in the Kakisa area, the opportunities to hunt are also lessened. In order to explore how things can be restored, the Atlas project is dedicated to exploring the human aspects. The primary focus of the work and the study is to help understand and educate. This can help with retaining sustainable communities in the midst of, and in spite of, enormous environmental changes.


Students’ Union helps create new lease agreement ERIN ABE LEAD REPORTER

On April 30. 2018, a new mandatory standardized lease will become available across Ontario for renters and tenants. The Laurier Students’ Union has worked with the Ministry of Housing and the Government of Ontario to produce the new standardized lease, ensuring it also applies to students. The Students’ Union has been advocating for the mandatory lease since last semester as it makes understanding a lease easier for students. The new standardized lease will be mandatory for private residential leases signed after the end of April. This includes single and semi-detached houses, apartment buildings, rented condominiums and secondary units — such as basement apartments. All student housing will be eligible. “We provided a student perspective and [we’re] making sure that students would benefit from this,” Stephanie Bellotto, vice president of student affairs, said. Currently, there is no standardized rental agreement in Ontario for tenants and landlords. The new provided lease features easy-to-understand language for

the convenience of all tenants and students. The lease will also be available in 23 different languages. “International students or students speaking different languages, this will be easy for them to understand as well,” Bellotto said. The lease will provide the basic, necessary information for tenants, including names, addresses, total rent and when it’s due, rules and terms of the unit and building and rights and responsibilities of both

We provided a student perspective and [we’re] making sure that students would benefit from this. -Stephanie Bellotto, vice-president of student affairs

the tenant and the landlord. The lease will also include what a landlord can and cannot instruct tenants to follow. For example, a landlord is not allowed to say pets are not permitted in the building or that tenants cannot have guests.

“If you’re a new renter after April 30, you’re allowed to request that your landlord use the standardized lease,” Bellotto said. After April 30. 2018, tenants may request to switch to the new standardized lease in Ontario. If a landlord were to decline the request, tenants are eligible to withhold rent according to the new agreement. “If you do sign a lease that’s not the standardized lease at any point during your lease you can actually ask to switch to the standardized lease as well,” Shannon Kelly, assistant vice-president of student affairs said. Laurier has been advocating for student housing since the conversation in support of the new standardized lease began Oct. 2017. “We were a part of the consolations before they announced this,” Bellotto said. Prior to this new standardized lease agreement leases were drastically different from one landlord to another. The hope is to ensure that all renters understand the lease prior to signing. This is especially important in a large community of students such as in Waterloo. “This is really beneficial for especially Laurier students, and tenants across the province,” Bellotto said. “It’s really easy to understand.”


NEWS • 5


Jury acquits perpetrator in Boushie case Community organizes Justice for Colten gathering to acknowledge murder of Indigenous youth SAFINA HUSEIN NEWS DIRECTOR

On Aug. 9, 2016, 22-year-old Colten Boushie was fatally shot by Gerald Stanley. Boushie and five of his friends drove from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation onto Stanley’s farmland property which is located near Biggar, Saskatchewan. After an altercation with Stanley and his family, Boushie was shot in the head, after which 56-year-old Stanley was charged with second-degree murder. In defence, Stanley’s attorney claimed the gun fired by Stanley was “accidentally on delay,” further known as “hang fire.” However, on Friday Feb. 9, 2017, Stanley was found not-guilty by the Battleford Court of Queen’s Bench jury, instilling emotions of fear, disappointment and grief amongst Boushie’s family and Indigenous communities all over the country. In correspondence to the acquittal of Stanley, rallies and gatherings have been taking place in communities all over Canada in Boushie’s honour. In the Waterloo Region, community members organized a gathering at Victoria Park in Kitchener on Feb. 11. “The intent of [the] gathering was to provide a space of reflection and coming together in a time where a young Indigenous person was unlawfully murdered, yet again,” Jacqueline Pelland, community organizer of the gathering, said. Approximately 40 people showed up to the gathering, which ultimately aimed to provide a space for Indigenous people and community members to show their support. Those in attendance shared songs and listened to individuals speak on behalf of the dynamics that were involved with Stanley’s trial from the beginning up until the final acquittal. “Colten’s case is not anything new. For as long as I can remember I pretty much hear yearly

All of these legal systems are stemming from a colonial basis ... and that’s not something people can ignore. -Jacqueline Pelland, organizer of Waterloo Justice for Colten event


about how Indigenous youth are either murdered by police or white community members, abduct-

There’s essentially no actual justice being brought forward in terms of the perpetrators of those crimes. -Jacqueline Pelland, organizer of Waterloo Justice for Colten event

ed, dumped in rivers, that sort of thing,” Pelland said. “There’s essentially no actual

justice being brought forward in terms of the perpetrators of those crimes.” Pelland explained that, for many Indigenous people, Boushie’s case has been a boiling point stemming from so many similar prior court rulings. “This gathering was sort of an acknowledgement of everything that’s come before the trial’s decision in terms of the quote-unquote progress that the government has advertised and supported and that the justice system has explained to be sufficient is clearly not [enough],” Pelland said. “There’s definitely a lot of feelings surrounding that as an Indigenous person, and communities all over the country are really feeling the fear from that,” Pelland said. As a result of yet another instance of a racialized youth being

murdered without alleged justice, Pelland explained that many may feel discouraged to continue attending events and gatherings that, ultimately, don’t seem to end these occurrences. However, Pelland believes that gatherings and rallies still hold meaning and value. “I do believe that there are people who want to do better. So they attend these events in an attempt to do that and to hold themselves accountable and learn how to hold the people in their lives more accountable,” Pelland said. More importantly, the words of Lori Campbell, director of the University of Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre, who spoke at the event, summed up the importance of speaking out in a time when so many voices are being silenced. “[Campbell] said that the one

thing that people can’t be right now is silent. And that’s something that’s really tied into the abuse that Indigenous people have suffered; the idea that everything will get better if you stay silent,” Pelland said. “That was told by the priests and nuns that abused Indigenous children in residential schools; just stay quiet, don’t tell anyone and you’ll survive. It was told to my Métis ancestors who were told ‘don’t tell anyone that you’re Indigenous, tell people you’re white and you’ll survive.’” In addition, at the gathering Campbell spoke to the true structure and the way in which Boushie’s case was presented within the court system. Importantly, Campbell noted the individuals by whom the information was presented. “There are people involved in the acquittal of Gerald Stanley who previously were defending a known white-supremacist,” Pelland said. With Boushie’s case, the judge was Caucasian. Similarly, the jury was made up of few to no Indigenous individuals. “All of these legal systems are stemming from a colonial basis so regardless of what sort of narrative people are working with, those are facts, those are things that exist now, even beyond Colten’s case, and they’ll likely continue to exist,” Pelland said. “And that’s not something people can ignore.”

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6 • NEWS




Waterloo Region community takes stock of the LRT ERIN ABE LEAD REPORTER

In anticipation for the new light rail transit (LRT) transit system to officially open, KW community members have begun to evaluate the new system. Throughout the process of installing the new ion train system in the KW community, there have been many critiques from residents of both Kitchener and Waterloo. The LRT will have 22 stops, along a 36 km corridor between Conestoga Mall in Waterloo and Fairview Park Mall in Kitchener. The train will pass the main shopping districts, reach both malls and pass the Grand River Hospital. The train will also pass both Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo, although some are wondering if the train will be as beneficial for students as it sounds. “[Considering] students who live on residence east of King Street, that’s a bit far for them to walk and catch the LRT, especially in bad weather,” Robert McLeman, professor for the department of geography and environmental studies at Laurier said.

The closest LRT stop to the Laurier campus is off of Seagram Drive, east of campus and called the Laurier-Waterloo Park station. “I think it comes down to convenience, in terms of placement and where you live [around campus], if it was on my street I would probably take the LRT,” Matthew Spanton, a second-year environmental studies student said. Considering the route and other transit options available, the train is perhaps believed to be more beneficial for students taking trips to the Downtown Kitchener area as opposed to everyday outings such as going to the grocery store. “Yeah [I would use it] but probably not on a weekly basis but roughly once a month, and for sure as opposed to driving,” Jack Giroux, a second-year environmental studies student said. One of the major critiques of the new system is the cost, particularly in terms of its capital cost which is $818 million according to the Region of Waterloo website. Although, considering the rapid population growth in KW over the past few decades, a need has developed for a high-quality mass transit system. “Given the options, which would

be: expanding the bus service, an LRT, or [an] underground system, [the LRT] was definitely needed and I think the choice of putting it where it is right now made a lot of sense,” McLeman said. The LRT system also provides a better quality transit experience since riders often prefer the quality of experience on a train rather than a bus. “It’s necessary in terms of the city; you can’t get much bigger without having an LRT system,” Spanton said. Community members are also concerned with how the new transit system may influence the current GRT bus service, considering the people who are most dependent on public transit are students, the elderly and retired, those with lower socioeconomic status and those who don’t own a car. “Its route will get the highest density of riders and probably serve the clientele that most needs it or is more interested in public transit at the beginning,” McLeman said. There are also implications that the new system may have an impact on the surrounding housing area. “Generally speaking, what

happens when you have access to these systems [is that] the value of those properties tend to go up,” McLeman said. “We will probably see a redevelopment of commercial and residential properties within walking distance of the LRT, and one of the impacts may be that the affordable

It’s necessary in terms of the city; you can’t get much bigger without having an LRT system.

-Matthew Spanton, second-year environmental studies students

housing right now might go up in price.” Many growing pains are also imposed on the community when installing a major transit system, as there has already been many in terms of the construction of the tracks.

“A lot of the businesses have disappeared along the construction route, just looking at Uptown Waterloo, a lot of the business on King Street have turned over in the last 18 months,” McLeman said. Another concern of community members is the direction of the LRT line, which essentially runs along the King Street corridor, which is only north and south. The train also stops in Kitchener and does not continue on to Cambridge. “We will have to seriously consider expanding it to include some east/west feeder lines and extending it down to Cambridge so that it becomes the main component of public transit in the KW region,” McLeman said. Looking into the future, after the first track is up and running, considering the next expansion of the track that will follow is important. “A critique might be that you will want to expand the LRT to an east/ west, along say Erb Street in Waterloo or Victoria Street in Kitchener so people can be fed onto the main north/south line,” McLeman said. “This shouldn’t be seen as the final step, we will have to continue a commitment to the LRT street railways.”

NEWS • 7


ABS holds annual conference for racialized students Beating the Odds helps educate high school students about their options in postsecondary NATHALIE BOUCHARD NEWS EDITOR

On Feb. 9 2018 The Association of Black Students hosted their thirteenth annual Beating the Odds conference for racialized high school students in the Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge area. The annual conference is meant to give back to the community by creating presentations and workshops that is meant to educate students about post-secondary options, self-development and motivation. The conference programming included breakfast, two keynote speakers: E.B Reinbergs and Dr. Majola Omole, workshops, networking panels, a hot lunch and a photo booth.

A lot of the times black students dont really feel like they have a place on university campuses. -Abigail Appiahenen Afriyie, president of Laurier ABS

The theme of this year’s conference is “I can.” This theme is meant to allow students to gain insight on facing adversity. Sharon Bemono, chair of the Beating the Odds conference, explained that the theme relates to the motivational aspect of the conference and how students can face obstacles regardless of the barriers put in place. “This conference is held every year to help students beat the odds, our theme this year is ‘I can’ and what we did with [the theme] is ‘I can beat the odds’ no matter what barriers you are going through, and the obstacles that you are facing,” Bemono said. “You [may not] necessarily jump over those [barriers] but you can go through them and there are going to be trials and tribulations but the purpose is to not give up based on your race [and/or] socioeconomic status and just to keep pushing through.” The conference was started by David Green, Wilfrid Laurier University alumni, in 2005. The conference was created in response to alarming statistics concerning students of African descent in the Kitchener-Waterloo region. “[David Green] found that there [was a significant amount] of black high school students were dropping out of high school between grade nine and 10,” Abigail Appiahenen Afriyie, president of the Laurier Association of Black Students, said. “Because this was such a high rate, they wanted to start the conference to motivate the black youth to continue going to high school [and then] pursu[e] post secondary.” “A lot of the times black students don’t really feel like they have a

place on university campuses,” Appiahenen Afriyie said. Appiahenen Afriyie explained that there is a lack of representation of black people within the university administration. This factor may contribute to students feeling discouraged when seeking post-secondary opportunities. “I think it’s a lack of representation for the most part. Even when you look at recruitment services, not to call anyone out, but its not a very diverse selection that is going on, so sometimes when they aren’t seeing themselves in these roles they aren’t feeling like they fit in,” Appiahenen Afriyie said. In addition to the workshops for high school students, Lauren Burrows, the education and inclusion coordinator for the Diversity and Equity Affice at the Brantford campus, hosted a workshop for the educators in the community. Burrows explained that educators can do two things in order to support racialized students. “I think that teachers can support racialized students by doing two levels of work,” Burrows said. “By doing, [for] one, anti-racism work and by also doing inclusion work, which celebrates and highlights the experience of racialized students,” Burrows said. “Also [it’s important] that you are doing the work of anti-racism in the classroom in terms of relationships.” The main goal of the programming for Beating the Odds was to ensure that students are encouraged to share their own experiences and attend the event again in the future. “The main goal is to attract more people to come, year-in and yearout, just so that we are making an impact and encouraging students to pursue post secondary institutions,” Bemono said. “As participation increases popularity increases and when that increases people are really getting the message out there because they want to come here to hear

Even when you look at recruitment services, not to call anyone out, but its not a very diverse selection that is going on. -Abigail Appiahenen Afriyie, president of Laurier ABS


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something that will motivate them and feed them to last the rest of their high school careers.” The Association of Black Students chose inspirational programming because students would be encouraged to follow their passion and pursue there dreams instead of just sticking to the status quo. “We chose inspirational [programming] because we realized that its sometimes easier to knock yourself down ... for things, or [to] follow your parents dreams.”

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Dear Life Dear Life is your opportunity to write a letter to your life, allowing you to vent your anger with life’s little frustrations in a completely public forum. All submissions to Dear Life are anonymous and therefore do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Cord or WLUSP. They should be no longer than 100 words and must be addressed to your life. Submissions can be sent to no later than Monday at noon each week.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018 Dear Sarah,

Sincerely, Jim Dear Pizza Pizza, I don’t know if you have been to visit your neighbour Starbucks lately, but they do not seem to brew blonde roast at nighttime. What the heck is that about? Do your employees drink Pike Place during the late shift? Because that doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.


You are the sun not the rain! Stay happy! you are awesome and insanely talented. I swear putting up with me is the toughest part of the job and you slay it. Sincerely, The Goose Dear Dani, Super kind and thoughtful, you are killing it. I don’t know anyone I would rather have in your position. Please stay next year!

Sincerely, Jim Dear Kate,

“Oh! Speaking of lobotomies!” Sincerely, Dwight K. Shrluke

You are a terrific worker, funny and a fantastic addition to the team. Really happy to have you around the office and making things even better.

Dear Starbucks,

Sincerely, The Goose Some of it’s magic Some of it’s tragic

Why don’t you brew any blonde roast at nighttime? All I want is a nice cup of complex coffee to keep me awake past 9pm. Pike Place is not great.

Sincerely, The Goose

But I had a good life all the way

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing

Sincerely, Jimmy

‘Cause I’ve built my life around you Dear Skylar,

Sincerely, Jim

But time makes you bolder

Dear Booster Juice,

Even children get older

Can you please let your neighbour (Starbucks) know that they should brew blonde roast at night? Sometimes a person doesn’t want to drink Pike Place.

And I’m getting older too

You can change your name, you can change your hair, you can change your clothes, you can change locations, but you are never gonna change how I feel.

Sincerely, older

Sincerely, Todd

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The Cord Cast

10 •



Features Editor Karlis Wilde takes self-love sologamy, the unusual phenomenon of

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” It’s unusual how much the modern world looks to Jane Austen. Whether or not you’ve studied English at any level, it’s likely that you’ve heard or read these words — the opening line to Pride & Prejudice — in some context. The problem is that when we take Austen’s words superficially, we examine them as a means to establish the imperative of romance rather than discourse, and we problematize their intended meaning. For our purposes here, the key word is must. That a single man must be in want of a wife. Because surely in the archaic age of 1813, that kind of marital pursuit would be seen as paramount to life’s success. Even if Austen meant to grapple with bigger concepts and issues, these words are at least superficially relevant to their times. And yet, if we move a couple hundred years into the future, these platitudes still seem to apply, which raises a question: why do we commit so uncompromisingly to archaic ideals? Today, a woman is no longer merely ‘a wife’, and a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a multitude of different things — a yacht, a Tesla, maybe world peace. Just the same, a single woman may be looking for different, more pertinent things by which to validate herself than a simple, bumbling husband.

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD MYSELF In 2015, British author Sophie Tanner decided that enough was enough; she concluded that the notion of settling down was far too outdated to remain so culturally fundamental and took the plunge, declaring a commitment to herself in a reworked version of the Christian vows. When the minister was scripted to ask, “Now, do you Sophie Tanner take Sophie Tanner to be your wife? Do you promise to love her, comfort her, honor[sic] and keep her, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sadness and in joy, to cherish and continually bestow upon her your heart’s deepest devotion, as long as you shall live?” Tanner’s response was scripted: “I do.” The scene took place on the steps of the Unitarian Church, surrounded by fifteen bridesmaids, some family, a friend dressed up as the Pope, and a large gathering of strangers. It was a public display, performed both as ceremony to herself and as part of the Brighton Fringe Festival. Obscure and seemingly pointless, this type of declaration

might set off a thousand bells. Some might even see it as deluded, arrogant and self-indulgent, but this demonstration of self-love is something that Tanner sees as the polar opposite of narcissism. “Narcissists don’t actually love themselves,” she explained. “They don’t have a sense of self worth and they’re very insecure. Whereas I see marrying yourself is more about self-worth — which is not vanity.” The theme of celebrating self-worth was what drew Tanner to the idea. Following the worst of a bad breakup, after a bit of time, she found that she was finally beginning to see her real self once again. “I suddenly was just feeling my sense of self returning and starting to feel optimistic and back to my old self,” she said. “And I thought, god, this is such a good feeling. There’s no real way to celebrate that.” Unlike there have generally been for couples — and even in some cases larger groups — no self-evident event existed by which an individual could celebrate this feeling, akin to a union with the self. That sent Tanner out on a search to find the greatest bond with the self. That is what led her to sologamy.

FOR BETTER AND FOR WORSE A system of marriage is generally set to unify assets between multiple individuals, so there is no official, legal avenue for a person to marry themselves, and it’s likely that there may never be. There might not ever need to be that legal recognition. That unofficial status doesn’t undercut the purpose of the celebration. But so much of the Western, cultural idea of marriage is rooted in a specific idea of religion, or even tradition. Because of this, the individual is able to pick and choose segments of their prescribed text in order to legitimate their particular understanding of this union. Unfortunately, that kind of understanding is often weaponized. When an idea is so strong, and so rooted to a person’s perception of themselves, resources like the internet allow them to express vitriol and anger against things they perceive as offensive.



e to the next level by diving into the world of f people choosing to marry themselves

And, while the lack of official documentation and rights that come along with the marriage totally and completely nullify it at a legal level, that hasn’t stopped some people from showing antagonism, especially in public comment sections across the web. “I was surprised, generally, at reactions about it,” Tanner said. “Some people obviously find it hilarious and bonkers and crazy, which is fine — but I think what surprises me more is the anger towards it.” “The kind of backlash that I get can be quite upsetting because I think that people miss the message as I mean it.” Restricting how a person expresses a romantic connection with the self can often be connected with religious expression of marriage. After all, much of the idea of a wedding is in tune with specific religious cultural practices. But by recognizing unions of people to themselves as an extrapolation of themes rather than a blasphemous interpolation of dogma, isn’t there something more positive to be found there? Maybe even something worth celebrating?

JUST — AND ONLY — MARRIED I reached out to an event planner, Carolina Soares, at the Event Firm, to see how one would go about planning a sologamous wedding here in Waterloo. Her approach was as direct and casual as one would expect, taking a simple approach to framing a custom wedding to the needs of the person. As with any other wedding, even a sologamous one would begin with an understanding of what the individual was looking for. “[We would] probably look into the motivation for that,” Soares said, outlining the approach. “We do all custom design in our company so kind of put together a vision.” I was a little surprised to find that a sologamous wedding could be approached just like any other, and it couldn’t help but cause me to wonder how that impacts marriage as a whole: is it now less a unifying of assets, and more just a simple cele-

bration of a deep, personal connection? We’ve come a long way from the landed gentry of Austen’s age, and the effects of that are still rippling through the currents of our culture. A person here no longer marries because it is a social imperative. They no longer marry in order to finally have acceptable sexual relations with their partner. They no longer (at least usually) marry to gain access to a fortune, because people of all types are now able to participate in society and build their own fortunes. As a celebration of something beautiful, is sologamy really any different than any other kind of marriage?

UNTIL DEATH DO ME PART The good news of sologamy is that, due to its minuscule connection to legality, anyone is able to marry themselves. It binds a person to wonderful ideas of self-love and self-respect, yet it doesn’t disqualify them from participating in other romantic relationships in their life. Beginning from the theory that sologamy couldn’t possibly be anything more than a silly, pointless and maybe even desperate attention-grabbing Instagram technique, I’ve come to recognize the real value inherent in establishing a connection with the self. Why would a person marry themselves? I suppose the question could apply to any union in the same way: why would anyone choose to marry anyone? Marriage is a declaration of commitment and respect. Marriage is working hard to build a life on a platform of consideration and giving of the self. None of us necessarily need to go out and funnel our finances into putting on an enormous public display of that — the weddings at the Event Firm, Soares commented, have ranged from $5,000 to $80,000 — but the sentiment that sologamy suggests, as well as the enormous significance of making that sort of declaration for the self can be a truly beautiful thing. As the script from Sophie’s wedding indicated, as was set to be spoken by the minister: “This is about Sophie’s growth as an individual. With care, respect, responsibility and knowledge comes the affirmation of her own life’s happiness. With respect for individual boundaries comes the freedom to love unconditionally.” Sologamy sounds silly. But loving and being true to yourself through expressions of respect and independence is really anything but. What sologamy represents is fundamental to being human. Without self-love, we truly have nothing.


12 •

Arts & Life



Celebrating the trials of long-distanced love EVANGELINE HUNT STAFF WRITER

Valentine’s Day: a day where couples around the world celebrate their love for each other with cards, gifts and perhaps a nice dinner out. Even though I do indeed have a Valentine, my day will not consist of the above. Instead there will be an extra-long FaceTime, given the special occasion. My boyfriend lives 3,000 miles away in England, where I’m from, and we have been going long-distance since I moved here at the end of August. People often say to me, “Oh I don’t know how you do it!”, or, “I couldn’t do that!” The reality of the situation is that I don’t have a choice. If I want to be with my boyfriend, and I also want to continue this year abroad in Canada, then long distance is the only option. Six months in and while I wouldn’t say that I am enjoying the distance, I am used to it. We have both learned a few


things that help make the situation easier. One of the very few “pros” of the situation is that I feel like I have a lot more time on my hands without a boyfriend around. I especially notice this in the morning. I have no reason to stay in bed for hours over here, as the only thing in my bed is my many stuffies — yes, I’m 22 and I still sleep with stuffed animals. To be honest that is probably the only pro of the situation. But having more time on my hands enables me to do things like write this article, which is a great experience in my eyes.

When you are in a long-distance relationship, it’s very easy to focus on the negatives. For the first time in my life I really miss someone, to the point where I can almost feel it as a real sensation rather than an emotion. Instead of feeling upset over all the things that are not possible to do together, I have found it helpful to find new things that we can do “together” to replace the old things. For example, me and my boyfriend used to love cooking together. Obviously, we can’t do that, but instead, we often FaceTime over dinner, and chat about the food that we have made separately.

We even managed to watch some Netflix over FaceTime. When the original Stranger Things came out, we binged watched it in a weekend. So once the second series came out, we just watched it separately at the same time while on FaceTime with each other. It sounds silly, but all it required was a carefully timed “go!” on the play button to avoid spoilers. In case you hadn’t noticed, FaceTime is our best friend. But communication is key, and it’s hard to gauge someone’s mood over the phone. We have definitely had a lot

more emotional chats while apart than we ever would have when we were together, but I guess that is to be expected. At the end of the day it just comes down to the value that you place in your relationship. Yes, I miss my boyfriend every day, but if we broke up I would miss him even more. For me, there is no doubt that this is worth it, which rings especially true when we do get to see each other. We are now so much more grateful for the time that we get to spend together. Over reading week we are going to Mexico together, which is something that we would never have done if we were both in England together. I haven’t seen my boyfriend since the Christmas holidays, so I have been counting down the days for a few weeks now. They say that distance makes the heart grow fonder, and I agree with this. Looking back at the trivial things that we used to argue about when we were together makes me laugh a little. But I must admit, I am looking forward to those silly arguments when I am back home, especially if it means we won’t be separated by the Atlantic Ocean.



A couple days ago, I sat down with my roommates and started talking about the idea of going out to dinner on your own. Of course, knowing my friends, they mused themselves with jokes about the stereotypical tropes about the dos and don’ts of dating — make sure that you keep off your phone and give yourself your undivided attention, ask yourself lots of questions, and finally, be yourself. But, after all the laughter, we finally got down to figuring out why this was such a “taboo” or joke-worthy topic. What made the idea of going out alone seem so odd? On Valentine’s Day being single can seem like the worst thing for many people. As we all know, couples will be barraging social media, public places, etc. with exaggerated displays of affection that, on any other day, would seem absolutely ludicrous. Nevertheless, I think that this day can be opened to not only

celebrating the love for another person, but also, the love for oneself as well. Presently, self-love has become a topic that circles around the internet as people are highlighting more on the importance of it with regards to mental health and well-being. Many people tend to believe that it can be tasking to take time out of your day or week to solely put focus on yourself when you have so many other things to think about. Amidst the turmoil of essays, midterms and everything else, we are pressured to keep pushing forward and to prioritize many different things at once. But often, people forget to pull themselves into the picture and their needs go to the wayside. In a recent study about the relationship between self-compassion and well-being conducted by German psychologists at the University of Manheim, research showed that participants who were high in self-compassion, or self-love, were more likely to live better lives and sustain a sense of well-being. And so, I move back to the idea of “taking yourself out on a date” and how that can give you a day, or even just a night to destress and give yourself some of the care that you deserve. Although it seems pretty far-


fetched to connect all of these ideas around self-love back to just going out on your own, what I’m getting at is that caring for yourself does not have to be incredibly complicated. That’s why just to prove my own theory, I went to a movie at the Princess Theatre and then a dinner last month, completely solo — and honestly, being able to eat an en-

tire bag of popcorn to myself was one of the most satisfying movie experiences that I have ever had. Therefore, I think it can be one of the best feelings to just go out and treat yourself. So, this Valentine’s Day, or whatever day you want, I challenge everyone to do something for themselves because it is never a bad day, moment or time to care about your well-being.

Valentine’s Day is not just for couples and neither is going out on dates. Both of these things can be made into whatever you want them to be and if that means making reservations at your favorite restaurant or even just buying yourself chocolates, then do it and do not be afraid of what others might think.

ARTS & LIFE • 13


Exploring Intimacy Arts & Life editor Shyenne MacDonald discusses moving forward after trauma Content warning: this article contains potentially triggering information regarding sexual assault. When I was young I used to have petit mal seizures, they’re not serious and have only happened twice since beginning my adulthood. But, from my understanding, if I get too stressed my body will shut down. I lose my vision and hearing, then ultimately consciousness. I always called it the possum syndrome, because I was basically playing dead. I feel like, for the last six years, I’ve been slowly shutting down. I’ve been blocking out memories, praying to just forget what happened. At the same time, in my fear to admit the truth, I’ve blocked off those who care about me most.

You don’t owe anyone your story. You have nothing to be ashamed of, you have nothing to hide and you did nothing wrong. -Sarah Scanlon, sexual violence response coordinator

This works the same way cauterizing a wound works: it hurts and it’s not pretty, but the bleeding stops. However, now I’m learning that sometimes it’s better to let healing be a slow process. “Sometimes it’s better to learn to sit in the pain,” is how Sarah Scanlon, sexual violence response coordinator, explained it to me. I thought that by avoiding it I could be okay and that eventually things would go back to normal. But as I try to grow and move forward with my life, I’m realizing how much worse off I’ve been by not admitting it. “I think one of the big things I hear from folks I’m supporting is how do they talk to future partners about their experiences of trauma?” Scanlon said. “And one of the things I always say to people is ‘you don’t owe anyone your story. You have nothing to be ashamed of, you have nothing to hide and you did nothing wrong. But you don’t owe anyone your story’.” I don’t owe anyone my story, it’s true. But after all these years I think I’m finally ready to share it. It happened when I was fifteen. I keep saying ‘it’, because even now I still can’t even write it, much less say it out loud. I’ll try again. When I was fifteen I was raped. We were hanging out after school, messing around the way that teenag-

ers do, but when things started going too far I told him I wanted to stop. He didn’t. He was stronger, a lot stronger, and pinned me down easily. I’ll save the gory details for the therapist I undoubtedly need, but one thing that has been burned in my mind is the clock. I was watching a clock the whole time, those digital ones with a laser that shines onto the ceiling. It took three minutes, then he pushed me off the bed and ordered me out of his apartment. There it is, my horrific truth. Now where do I go? In a search to answer that I came across an article: “The Difference Between Healing and Curing” by Dr. Michael Lerner. Lerner states the following in the article: “Even if we're losing ground physically, there's extra-ordinary emotional, mental and spiritual healing that can go on. One of the most toxic new-age ideas is that we should ‘keep a positive attitude’. What a crazy, crazy idea that is. It is much healthier, much more healing, to allow yourself to feel whatever is coming up in you, and allow yourself to work with that anxiety, depression, grief. Because, underneath that, if you allow those feelings to come up and express themselves, then you can find the truly positive way of living in relationship to those feelings. That's such an important thing.” Lerner’s article helped me see the difference between moving on and moving forward. I can’t change what’s been done to me, but I can choose whether it defines me. “One of the biggest things is figuring out, on your own, what you need before hand. Thinking about your body, thinking about how you’re going to talk about it, think about how you’re going to debrief or process or find support,” Scanlon said when the focus of the discussion shifted towards moving forward. Inevitably, I will want a romantic partner. Actually, I asked somebody out for the first time since, and despite a rejection, I still took it as an enormous victory. Afterwards, the conversation between Scanlon and I shifted; if I have taken that small step, that means that one day intimacy will be on the horizon. As some who have experienced harm or have been assaulted understand, the thought of being touched in even the smallest way — like a hug — can be terrifying or even revolting. “There’s different touch and trust exercises you can try. On Wendy Maltz’s online content she has a video on ‘Relearning Touch’. It has different touch exercises that are adaptive to different stages of healing,” Scanlon said. “[It focuses on] being able to sample intimacy, and not just slam into it, because for some people who try to rush it too fast it can feel like your setting yourself back.”

Wendy Maltz is an American sex therapist and an expert on the sexual repercussions of sexual abuse. She has several books centered on recovering from different forms of abuse and harm, as well as educational videos on YouTube, which is where I’ve been consuming the bulk of her knowledge. “The idea of [intimacy] is hard, but I think there’s a bunch of prework that can be helpful. One thing that is a part of the trigger-map is taking time in being intimate with yourself. Which for some folks, particularly those who identify as women, it’s not something we’re normally comfortable with,” Scanlon said. “We’ve gotten socialized to not see ourselves with a lot of desire or intimacy for ourselves.” I’ve found, through research and self-exploration, that having that rush of desire can be confusing. “Nobody tells you that you’ll feel guilty the first time you have a crush on a guy after your rape,” C.J. Hale, author of “12 Things No One Told Me About Sex After Rape”, wrote. How everyone heals is different. Some find their agency again by going out and having lots of sex, others start with porn to introduce themselves. I’m neither of these people. And if you’re like me — still struggling with the idea of intimacy even on a personal scale — Scanlon suggested this: “I would start by having a bath, just touching or caressing your body to see how that feels. Then maybe moving toward masturbation, in a way that feels comfortable or safe to you.” When I told Scanlon why I was writing this article, something so personal and potentially ruinous, I explained that no problem is unique. What I’ve been through I know others have as well. I know how lonely and painful silence can feel. All my hopes and fears, I’ve seen reflected in others I’ve spoken with and articles that I’ve read. At the end of the day, despite the pain I’ve expressed, this article is about healing. Because I’ve been thinking about it — struggling to write it — for so long. But it’s only now that I’ve been able to. Maybe it’s because of the #METOO movement and seeing the bravery of other women. Or maybe I’m just finally ready. There’s no allotted time to how long it will take you to begin healing; there’s no right way. After I ended my interview with Scanlon she gave me a deck of cards that had inspirational notes on them. At

first, I thought it was kind of kitschy, like those kitten posters that tell you to hang in there, but there’s one I keep coming back to. “Sometimes clarity comes slowly, sometimes clarity comes all at once. Sometimes clarity doesn’t come at all. All are okay.” For a long time, I blamed myself for what happened. If I had just gone home that day. If I had listened to my dad when he said, ‘boys only have one thing on their mind’. If, if, if. It runs endlessly through my mind, even now.

Even if we’re losing ground physically, there’s extraordinary emotional, mental and spiritual healing that can go on. -Dr. Michael Lerner, authour of “The Difference Between Healing and Curing

My clarity came when I began to understand this isn’t my fault. It came again in a form of trust that when my family reads this, even if they’re angry, they’ll forgive and love me. But it comes and goes, it’s working in tandem with healing and I don’t think we ever stop healing. If you or someone you know has experienced any form of sexual assault, you can find various resources in the region, including: Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region (SASC) (519-741-8633) and Waterloo Region Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centre (519-749-6994).


14 • ARTS & LIFE



Defining the line of cheating KATE WEBER WEB ASSISTANT


Micro-cheating: the newest trending term to hit the pop culture dating. After doing some brief research on the definition I was taken aback and came to the conclusion that I am a lot happier being single in 2018 than I thought I was. Essentially, micro cheating is the act of thinking highly of someone in any sexual manner, it is not the physical act of cheating but the innuendo behind it. Micro-cheating is not to be confused with emotional cheating, which is often referred to as an affair of the heart, wherein you develop an emotional connection to someone, but no physical act of intimacy occurs. The definitions that I have found have been on a completely different end of the

spectrum, following from being a normal genuine human to being physically unfaithful. Examples from sites like Pop Sugar describe micro cheating as lying about your relationship status, contacting someone without your partner’s knowledge while attempting to mask the evidence, or sharing secrets with someone you’re attracted to outside of your relationship. These can be confusing at times as they may be seen as a daily activity for one. For those in a relationship they can easily be seen as the start of an unfaithful and distrusting courtship. Urban Dictionary defined micro-cheating in 2008 as “when someone cheats on a partner, but just a little bit”. I can confidently say that I disagree with this definition and that physically cheating is always in fact cheating. The only thing separating cheating and micro cheating is this void of the physical action. Another example I found on Urban Dictionary of holding a door open

for someone came as the biggest shock to me. If we are in a relationship, are we then obligated to terminate our compassionate morals? If a relationship will strip me of my ability to be open and friendly with others you can bet that I am currently online looking through cat adoption posts! The larger issue found within micro-cheating is its potential to escalate to the physical actions of cheating. We all have personal thoughts based on some persons physical appearance and this is okay, it is mostly in our human nature to think this way. What isn’t okay is not being able to face the facts that your current relationship might not be the best for you. The longer these thoughts continue, the harder it is going to be cut the ties. At the end of the day it is your relationship. Relationships work when both participants communicate effectively and equally. You are the only one that knows what is best for you.


Finding Mr. Right President and Publisher Andreas Patsiaouros covers popular apps LUKE SARAZIN/PHOTO EDITOR

Grindr Navigation: Scroll up/down How it works: you are limited to a single profile picture and a 250-character bio. You are given a large variety of stat options to fill out (height, weight, body type, position, relationship status, etc.). This goes into heavy detail and reveals all your secrets right away. You also have standard settings for age-range and distance, etc. My experience: It was my initial go-to app for exploring the world of online dating when I came out of the closet, mostly because it was the only gay-specific dating app I had heard about. While scrolling through local men, you’ll notice a broad mix of smiling faces, torsos and unclear faces or blank squares. This in itself speaks to the variance in expectations people have when using this app and the possible frustrations it can cause for users. I think the notion of how many people use the app as a platform to remain anonymous speaks to something greater. Grindr acts as a hub that provides a comfortable space for men to explore their sexuality while only showing face at their own pace. On the other hand, Grindr has a reputation for being a hook-up app. This also brings some issues into play though, with the many unsolicited dick pics and creepy sexual messages you’ll receive. Just because you’re comfortable with sharing photos of your genitals, doesn’t mean other people are comfortable with receiving them. Consent is key, gentlemen — remember that. Ranking: 4/5

Tinder Navigation: Swipe left, swipe right, swipe up How it works: You can display up to six images on your profile and write a bio with a 500-character limit. You’ll modify settings based on what you’re looking for — distance, age, gender, etc. My experience: It’s a fun app — we all love playing the swipey-swipe game that is Tinder. I’ve had friends find their partner just three swipes into using the app. As happy as I am for them, I’m mostly just bitter that I don’t have that kind of luck. That being said, Tinder has been the most successful for me for connecting with other guys, having interesting, in-depth conversation and landing dates. Surprisingly, I found that the majority guys on here choose to pursue dates over hooking-up. The greatest obstacle with Tinder is that in a smaller city, like Waterloo, you can run out of local guys to swipe fairly quickly, so you might want to raise your maximum distance pretty high and try hitting up some dudes from the GTA. Note: You can’t send photos over Tinder, so choose your profile pics wisely. Ranking: 3.5/5

Bumble Navigation: Swipe left, swipe right, click the heart for Super-Swipe (you have to pay for this which is BS and not worth it) How it works: This app is widely known for straight-couple dating where women hold the agency to send a message within 24-hours of matching or the connection expires. The rules change a bit for same-sex dating. Upon matching, either man has 24-hours to start the conversation, followed by a 24-hour reply-time by the other individual. If the clock runs out, it sucks to be you. My experience: Bumble is my third highest ranked dating app. Most guys are looking for dates over fooling around. My biggest issue with this app is that guys seem to be less engaged, which is problematic because of the time-limit you have to initially answer someone before they vanish into oblivion. I’m also the type of guy to get distracted and have a day or two where I don’t check a dating apps, which also didn’t mesh well with Bumble. There’s literally nothing worse than being busy for a day, checking back on Bumble and realizing you’ve forever missed your chance to talk to a potential suiter. I could have literally missed out on meeting “the one” and now I’ll never know because they’re nothing more than a faded icon on my screen. All I can do is look at it and wonder if we would have been married one day. Ranking: 3/5


• 15



Dating in school Coming from the type of place where I wanted to see our relationship succeed, I supported an ex-partner’s ill-advised and very short-lived tenure at Laurier. This brings me around to my main point: many of the people who are in post-secondary are in the process of finding themselves and, I know it sounds corny, but they are often times still learning how to be comfortable with who they are — how to love themselves. Many exceptions in my experience involved established mature students who began their program with their partners support and sought to finish things the same way. The key word is “established.” When I was 18 and entering university my mom still did all of my laundry and made sure I ate every day. To a varying to degree, I am confident in assuming that many of my peers in the postsecondary setting are coming from a similar place. But I was like “fuck that, I’m grown,” and I dove headfirst into the most toxic relationship of my life, as did roughly three quarters of my friends, which brings me around to my second and final point: if you don’t know what’s best for you, how could you possibly know what’s best for someone else? My experience doesn’t make me an expert, so I can’t tell you how to live your life – nor do I want to. I can tell you, that if you are encouraging your partner to stay in school because you want to be around them, and not because that’s truly what is best for them, your behaviour is toxic. There are any number of ways that toxicity can manifest in a relationship and I realize that this example is very specific to my own experience. But on Valentine’s Day this year, I implore you, take some time to think about the relationships you have fostered here at Laurier. Are you supporting the people you love unconditionally and encouraging them to be the best person they can be? Or are you just trying to get the benefits out of having someone’s emotional support without doing the legwork to return the favour?


In line with the loose theme of this issue — self love — I feel that it is important to talk about the phenomenon that is dating in a university setting. In my experience, dating in university felt kind of weird. Dating in high school was pretty weird too. Actually, dating in general has always been weird for me, but it was a lot weirder when I felt pressure coming from any sort of social setting. An educational institution is not the ideal setting for fostering a healthy romantic relationship. I think this is true for — at least — two reasons, both of which are conclusions I have come to based on my own personal experience as well as the experiences of those around me. It’s also important for me to address the fact that there are always exceptions to the rule. For all of the failed, tumultuous relationships I witnessed implode during my tenure at Laurier and then Conestoga College, there was always plenty of those couples who plastered their romantic success across social media and interjected it into every conversation. It’s just that, when we take a step back and think about why we are here to begin with, investing all of our free time into making a relationship work can become distracting and unhealthy for the parties involved very quickly. And don’t get me wrong, if you have a healthy, supportive partner and effective communication skills, you can just sit back and reap the benefits of the relationship. But when you are stressed out about finding a job, you have five assignments to hand in and then your partner gets hit with a sudden existential crisis, its hard to drop everything you are doing to come to their aid. I should know, because I experienced this. I learned a very hard lesson about how to be emotionally supportive in a relationship and how to not.




PRESIDENT Andreas Patsiaouros

DIRECTOR Hayley H.G. Watson

FINANCE MANAGER Randy Moore randy@rcmbrooks. com

DIRECTOR Rosalind Horne TREASURER John Pehar

ADVERTISING MANAGER Caroline Lucas care.lucas@wlusp. com

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Lakyn Barton lakyn.barton@wlusp. com HR MANAGER Paige Bush WEB MANAGER Sam Nabi



Have you heard of the Laurier Society for Open Inquiry (LSOI)? It’s a club that Lindsay Shepherd recently started with a handful of undergraduate students. On her twitter account, she describes it as “a club to promote the open exchange of ideas”. As more information about the Shepherd controversy was released, I found myself increasingly in the camp that disapproved of Shepherd’s actions and the way they were portrayed in the media. I didn’t have high expectations for LSOI, but for the sake of being fair, I decided to attend their first meeting and tried to be open before drawing conclusions. On the evening of Jan. 31, I trekked across campus to the science building. Shepherd and some of the club executives stood by the door. They smiled at me as I went in. Inside, the large hall was a little over half full. The audience was mostly composed of male students. Some Laurier faculty members and non-Laurier students were in attendance as

well. Many of them were dressed nicely and there was a sense of excitement in the air. After Shepherd and the executives introduced themselves and the club, they moved to the projector to set up. The audience settled in for the focus of the meeting — a full screening of the The Agenda’s episode on Bill C-16. “Hey Anton [one of the club executives]”, Shepherd interjected coyly, “is heckling allowed?” To heckle means to interrupt the presentation with jeering, cheering or applause. According to the executives, heckling was not only allowed, but encouraged. This caused a wave of laughter to ripple over the audience. Despite that however, most of the episode was watched in a respectful silence. When it finished the executives turned on the lights. Anton peeked through the door and jokingly congratulated the other executives for “playing a full Jordan Peterson clip without SJWs bursting into the lecture halls”. The executives then opened the floor for discussion, which to me consisted of familiar sentiments about how “the radical left can’t handle rational debate,” and how “neo-Marxist ideology is overtaking campus.” At about the 30-minute mark, I left. I think I get it. This is a group

of students with divergent views who feel unsafe expressing their opinions in the classroom or on campus. And LSOI is a space for this minority group to exercise their freedom of speech in a “constructive” manner. It helps them gain visibility on campus. While those things are good, it’s hard to believe that this “free speech club” will ever generate meaningful debate. For example, I doubt a student who supports Bill C-16 would feel comfortable speaking up after listening to the audience cheer on Jordan Peterson for an hour, or hearing the club’s moderators constantly crack jokes about “social justice warriors”. Maybe I am drawing premature conclusions — this is only LSOI’s first event. But I firmly believe that free speech is not enough to bridge the gap between polarized groups on campus. The quality of the discourse — whether multiple perspectives are represented, whether the conversation is moderated in a sensitive way that encourages people to contribute their opinions — makes the difference. If this first meeting is indicative, I don’t think LSOI will challenge the opinions of it’s members. It’ll only help them disappear further into the rabbit hole of their own pre-existing ideas.

16 •



Treating your heart with love and care ments and there are mental health services at the Student Wellness Centre that will provide assistance for a plethora of needs. Most importantly, stay positive and realize that failure is a part of the process of trying to achieve anything. If you slip-up in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, just get back on track the next day.


Your heart is one of the strongest muscles in your body and with your help it can remain that way. Taking care of your heart is one step closer to loving yourself, as it helps you release good energy throughout your body and maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are many different steps you can take towards ensuring that your heart is healthy — and happy. Checkups on your blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol levels are essential to keeping your heart beating healthily. If you’re having difficulty maintaining a healthy lifestyle, ask your doctor to help you get on a great schedule that will push you in the right direction. Exercise cannot be avoided and is always recommended by doctors. Studies show that getting at least 15 to 30 minutes of daily movement will help individuals feel better. Take a daily walk or head to the Laurier gym where plenty of equipment is available for students who want to better themselves. Walk around your room reading or listening to an audio


book — it has been proven that movement and studying can help students remember material. Drink more water so you can stay hydrated. Not only will you be helping your heart but you will be helping your skin become healthier and your muscles become stronger. Eat healthy and make healthy choices habitual. This means you should stock up on foods that meet your nutritional needs and make them your first grab from the pantry or the refrigerator. Healthy foods that you should stock up on are vegetables and low-fat snacks. Foods that are low in cholesterol levels are important, so check the labels when you’re shopping. Some suggestions are

lean meats like chicken and turkey. Healthy fats are good for you, but stay away from trans fat. Cut down on the salt as well. Check the label and examine it for less sodium. Cut back on sugar too, as it will decrease your risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Get your vitamins in and allow yourself to receive some sun, so open up your blinds while you’re studying. Good dental hygiene and sleep are just as important as the rest. Gum diseases have been recently linked with inflammation in the blood vessels. We are learning more and more that flossing and dental check ups for cavities are essential to your wellbeing. Perhaps one of the most important factors in this equation is


Being kinky isn’t a bad thing JOSH GOEREE STAFF WRITER

Valentine’s Day is a day where loving couples and Tinder matches all over campus meet up to express their undying love for each other - or to have a quick bone session before going back to midterm

studying. It’s a day for chocolates, flowers, romantic dinners and the only time of the year that is deemed acceptable to get kinkier with your partner. And that’s the problem- it’s only one day a year. There is an overwhelming stigma and endless judgment over the idea of kinky sexual activity. When most people think of ‘kinky,’ a sex scene from 50 Shades of Grey comes to mind. Being ‘kinky’ is more than just black

leather, whips, chains, restraints and foot fetishes. Kinky, in a broad definition, is typically chalked up to “unusual sexual behaviour”. The problem with this definition is that everyone has their own idea of what is “usual”. To some, having sex with the lights on is unusual. But to others, unusual could mean having two people role-playing cartoon characters like Grimace and Ronald McDonald. People who “kink shame” are

sleep. Seven to eight hours of sleep is what doctors normally recommend for most individuals. Sleeping less hours has been linked with heart attacks and sleeping too much is known to make your heart less active. Get on a good sleeping schedule and study in the morning with a healthy breakfast. On top of all this, its essential to manage your stress by taking study breaks to stretch, socialize, or just have some simple fun. Create a schedule to manage your studying habits and your breaks. There are also numerous resources on campus that are dedicated to helping you maintain your mental health. The Writing Centre will help you with your essays or any assign-

basically chirping people who like to add something new to their sexual routine. If someone does something that’s kinkier or more taboo than usual, whose concern is it to anyone else, really? Unless someone is forcing another person to do something they are not comfortable doing, nobody really gets to complain. For some people, plain old “vanilla” sex is enough, but others need something more stimulating. Having a kink can be at times like drinking; over time you will need more to get the same feeling. For some, it starts off generic and “normal”. But as time goes on, the same routine or amount isn’t quite enough. Engaging in a kink allows us to engage in new ways of finding pleasure. Exploring new things is really exciting; a person may find their kink, or they may not. But shaming others for exploring what the human body can do is pointless and actually kind of hurtful. When someone likes to do things in a way that the rest of the group sees as unusual, they often feel like what they are doing or feeling is wrong. This shame or guilt can manifest into much more than self doubt, and lead people into feeling ashamed about their feelings and their behaviour.

Taking care of your heart is one step closer to loving yourself, as it helps you release good energy throughout your body...

Reward yourself with your favourite snacks here and there when you feel you have made a successful step forward. Just don’t get carried away. Your heart matters and it’s in your hands. Work towards a healthy lifestyle with some of the aforementioned ideas and goals and you will be amazed at the changes that you can bring out yourself.

The biggest question I have for people who kink shame is this: How do you know that you don’t

If someone does something that’s kinkier or more taboo than usual, whose concern is it to anyone else, really?

have a kink? Roger Smith from American Dad said it best: “Everyone has a kink. You just need to find yours.” How do you know that you don’t enjoy sucking on toes or having hot wax dripped on your back until you give it a shot? So, this Valentine’s Day, don’t belittle people for getting a little freaky. In fact, why not try something more outside of your comfort zone? Be it with the love of your life, or someone you swiped right with; let loose on this day of love. And if you’re single, that’s okay too. Not every kink requires two participants.




Double-standards with sex talk EMILY WAITSON OPINION EDITOR

I overhear conversations almost daily — to be honest, usually from straight men — who recount their latest lay or sexual conquest like they’re David Attenborough narrating a mating ritual on a BBC nature documentary, only with significantly less English finesse. Commonly accompanied by var-

ious hand gestures or aggressively self-assured proclamations of their prowess in bed, I constantly hear snippets of sexcapades like they’re showcasing a proudly acquired trophy collection. Women — as I’ve often noticed — discuss sex with each other much differently. Rather than puffing out their chests and recounting weekends spent seeing their Tinder dates with brazen and brash pride, I typically hear them parroting details of their nights with hushed disappointment. If their words are positive, then they’re almost always focused on the fact that their partner actually

made them orgasm. Or, equally disappointing, surprised statements about how they were treated with basic respect, dignity and weren’t reduced to making the “walk of shame” after their no-pants-dance rendezvous. This problematic phrase is one that I see commonly used in saturated romantic comedies that depict sex solely as a missionary, lights-off, one and done affair and I take issue with it being used to begin with. It reduces women to objects of embarrassment for having consensual sex with a partner of their choosing.

Regardless of whether they regret it the next day or not, I have yet to hear it ever applied to a man after a one-night stand. I am by no means saying that all people do this, no matter how you identify. But it’s become such a commonality — one that’s seemingly paired with being a young twenty-something adult — that it’s difficult not to see the disparity in how different genders talk about and view sex. While many heterosexual men are loudly blasting their weekly fuck numbers to their bros without an ounce of self-awareness, those identifying as women are typically looked at with surprise or apprehension when they merely mention having sex. It’s a different territory entirely when women actively seek out sex for their own personal pleasure, especially if it’s outside of a relationship. Slut shaming, as much as many loud and proud 4chan users would like to disagree, is something that exists and it’s not something that should ever be appropriate. I couldn’t care less what someone chooses to wear on a night out to a bar or club, much less who they decide to Netflix-and-chill with. It really isn’t anyone’s business what someone does between the sheets, and if they enjoy doing it, then all the power to them. Blue Valentine, a painfully realistic and depressing romance film, includes a very tamely orchestrated oral sex scene between the leading couple. Ryan Gosling goes down on Michelle Williams with nothing

more than an implied venture into a common sexual act, but the filmmakers had to fight for the movie not to be given an NC-17 rating because of it. I cannot recall the last movie I saw that included a sex scene that wasn’t solely utilized for the gratification of a male character. I will never understand why people treat women as interchangeably sexual and non-sexual beings — especially in the entertainment industry — but I digress. Last semester, I had to read a history textbook that detailed views on sex in antebellum America. To the surprise of no one, it contained archaic outlooks, mostly from men, on female anatomy, sex for pleasure (not procreation), the “self-polluting” ways of masturbation and the general disgust exhibited towards those — women especially — who chose to have sex on their own terms. Thankfully we live in a time where exposing my ankles and using my body as something other than a baby-making-incubator won’t get me labelled as a whore. But it’s worth recognizing that women haven’t had it easy in reclaiming their sexual identity and it’s still not even close to being perfect. Sex isn’t just what’s depicted in American Pie and low-quality PornHub videos. It’s an act that means something different to every person who does it. And it shouldn’t be a shock that people can enjoy it equally, no matter how they choose to identify or express themselves.

Embracing love and relationships after depression AARON HAGEY STAFF WRITER

Valentine’s Day is an oddly comforting time for me. It’s a holiday that has dramatically shifted with my own personal growth over the years and I now recognize why I see it differently. It has become more of a celebration of the relationships I have built than what it used to be — which was an ever-present reminder of my loneliness. But my thoughts about Valentine’s Day, much like my opinions on love and relationships, are now the polar opposite. To put it bluntly, I used to be quite bitter about the concept of love. I fooled myself into thinking that love was a stupid feeling and that it served no purpose in my life. With a set of divorced parents, my faith in lasting relationships wasn’t very strong to start off. I often recited the “50 per cent of marriages end in divorce” mantra to myself, as a reminder of why love — and relationships — were pointless to begin with. I was resigned to the fact that I would live out the rest of my self-hating existence not needing to be in a relationship, because that simply wasn’t who I was, nor


was it who I was meant to be. Coincidentally — if you couldn’t already tell — I was also extremely depressed during that period of my life. During high school, there were a series of factors that lead to my bleak outlook on love. My chronic illness drained all of my daily energy and the steroids and various medications that I was placed on caused my weight to fluctuate constantly.

My self-esteem wasn’t the strongest because of it, and my latein-the-game pubescence made me the stereotypical target — an underdeveloped nerd who was mocked for being weird and not masculine enough. Since receiving treatment for my depression — talking to professionals, loved ones, as well as being in a healthy, committed relationship — these opinions have changed.

What were once the fundamental foundations of my personality — like the cringe worthy cynicism that I thought would protect me from getting hurt — were broken down by one person who showed me that I was actually worth something. And it has been the best thing to ever happen in my life. This aspect was what made me very unlikable in high school. It made me a closed off and un-

pleasant person and it’s something that bothers me when I think too much about it. But as I have been working towards becoming a healthier person overall, it has made me realize certain things about love. What I used to think made you weak, I now understand makes you strong. Love offers a reason to reach out to others — to connect on a deeper, more selfless level. It gives you the motivation to wake up in the morning, to be able to give something to somebody else without the expectation of reward. Loving, like helping someone, provides you with the opportunity to look outside of yourself for once. Valentine’s Day has become so much more than a day of pathetically feeling sorry for myself because my high school crush didn’t send me an overpriced candy-gram. It now gives me the opportunity to appreciate the people in my life who matter most and to enjoy the sappy occasion for the simple reason that it exists in the first place. My depression used to hold me back from connecting with people, because it convinced me that there was no point in even trying. I’m now in a place where I’m in a committed relationship and I have friends and family who I don’t have to think twice about showing love to. I’ve come to realize that love is an easy choice, and that’s exactly how it should be.

18 •





weekend taking eighth place overall for women’s and ninth place for men’s with 157 and 139 points respectively. The meet began with a pace-setting slow start on Thursday, although there were some highlights: Raines beat her own record in the 100m breaststroke — although that

was only good enough for a second place finish, falling to McMaster’s Olivvya Chow. Laurier’s men’s team was present, but their success was less pronounced: only Max Hughes competed in any Thursday final, finishing 13th in the 400m individual medley. Still, the 4x100m medley relay team of Ethan Locis, Kenney Tam, Nicholas Misner and Jacob Eby was able to finish in sixth, setting a new school record with a time of 3:53:83. “The people that we did have … we did an outstanding job,” coach Hans Witolla said. “We had five — six actually — team records were set at the meet, which was pretty good.” Despite overall average scores, Witolla reflected on the significance of individual performances: thanks to leadership from within the team, communicating realistic goals to motivate everyone for the event, 41 personal best times were set at the meet. Capitalizing on her success last year where, as a rookie, Raines won two gold medals and also set an OUA record in the 200-meter breaststroke, she continued an exciting streak by beating her own record in that race by 0.13 seconds with a final time of 27.50 seconds. Fortunately, this was more than enough to take the gold medal for that event. Raines, the Golden Hawks’ highest charting swimmer this year, feels good about the successes that Laurier had. “We did very, very well,” she

playoffs as the fourth seed and will look to knock off Brock University who slot into fifth. Laurier and Brock split the season series this year, with the home team winning each of the two games. Head coach Puhalski’s comments only cement the anticipated style of the series, as he touched on how he expects the first round to be very evenly played. The Golden Hawks boast the fourth strongest power play in the league, at 21.5 per cent. Though their man-advantage is effective, Brock will retaliate with their 84.8 per cent penalty kill, which leaves

them fifth in the league. In regard to what level of scoring to expect, both teams are on the lower end of goals against with only 72 against Brock, and 77 against Laurier. The two shape up to be strong defensive opponents, a characteristic that may result in low scoring and possibly nerve-wracking contests. In terms of success against Brock, Puhalski noted: “Keys for us are good energy and discipline.” Both the Badgers and the Golden Hawks don’t usually have a problem staying out of the box, but now it’s playoff hockey, anything


Raines (middle) at the podium after winning gold for the 200 metre breaststroke at the OUA Championships.


Following a series of enormously competitive races, as well as some adequate results across the board, Golden Hawk Jasmine Raines made a number of impressive splashes at this weekend’s OUA

Swimming Championships, held at Western University. The event, as has been the case for the past 15 years for men and five years for women, was dominated by University of Toronto’s Varsity Blues. But the Golden Hawks put up a consistent, decent effort over the

said, outlining successes both on her part and on that of her teammates, which at least trended toward individual improvements for our athletes, if not significant victories across the board.

Just keep doing what I’m doing. I would say also ... but winning the 200-meter breast all four years I’m here would be pretty cool. -Jasmine Raines, Laurier swimmer

For Raines, her own success, especially in her win, was something she was excited about. She sees positive results to her efforts, and this is something she hopes to continue, as outlined by her simple future plans: “Just keep doing what I’m doing,” Raines said. “I would say also, I mean, we’ll see where the next year takes us and stuff, but winning the 200-meter breast all four years I’m here would be pretty cool.” Feb. 22-24 will hold the next event for the swimmers: Raines, along with Connor Norval, will participate in the national U Sports Championships, which will be held at University of Toronto’s Varsity Pool.



The Wilfrid Laurier University men’s hockey team found themselves playing with purpose in their final game of the regular season, as a 4-1 win over Lakehead on Feb. 10 secured the fourth seed in the western conference and home ice advantage in the first round of playoffs. Following their victory in Thunder Bay on Saturday evening, the Golden Hawks settled to 15-10-3 record for the season. While looking ahead to the near future and the beginning of OUA playoffs, there is also reason to reflect on the 2017-18 season. As does any hockey team, the Golden Hawks handled their fair share of ups and downs that resulted in where they stand today. On the offensive, Brandon Robinson led Golden Hawk scoring with nine goals and 14 assists through the year. In the crease, goaltending tandem of Colin Furlong and Chris Festerini shared the role with only four minutes’ difference in total ice time. Furlong finished the season with a 2.32 GAA and a .927 save percentage, leaving him top three

in the league in both categories. Come the beginning of the season in October, Laurier got off to a hot start and found themselves with an attractive 10-4-2 record at the holiday break. Following said break, and a brief three-game win streak in early January, things took a turn for the worse. Beginning with a 5-0 battering from Guelph at the Frosty Mug, the Golden Hawks went on to lose the next five straight, only salvaging one point in an overtime loss to the Waterloo Warriors. Though it may have been a measly consolation at the time, that one point would be critical in playoff seeding. That six-game skid also kept head coach Greg Puhalski at the 99-win mark for nearly two weeks. Finally, on Feb. 7, after one final victory in the Battle of Waterloo, Puhalski reached the 100-victory milestone. “100 wins as a coach is 100 wins for the program,” Puhalski said when asked what the occasion meant to him. “I want to win like everyone else. It's always great when you do it together.” Winning is what they want and winning is what they’ll need to do. Commencing on February 14th, the Golden Hawks enter the OUA


can happen. With game one kicking off on Feb. 14, the teams will match up for game two on Feb. 16 in St. Catharines, then head back to Waterloo on Feb. 18 if a third game is required. The playoffs are an entirely different animal, and though their regular season play got them this far, the Golden Hawks are entering a different level of competition. Laurier could find themselves sent home within three days and that’s just the reality of the postseason. As coach Puhalski put it: “Playoffs are a day-to-day living.”



Golden Hawks clinch home court advantage The Laurier men’s basketball team seals a playoff berth with a win against the Guelph Gryphons JOHN MCMORRAN STAFF WRITER

It would be extremely difficult to describe the Wilfrid Laurier University men’s basketball team’s season in one word. There have been times when the team has shone — like their five-game win streak early in the second semester — and there have been times when the team has slumped — like the five game losing streak that preceded that very winning streak. The Golden Hawks have won and lost offensive shootouts — winning 106-92 against Bishop’s, and losing 106-89 against Laurentian — and they have won and lost defensive struggles — winning 62-52 against Algoma and losing 73-69 against Brock. They have faced long road trips to Bishop’s, Concordia and Ottawa, and played more than a month’s worth of home games in venues other than Laurier’s athletic complex, their home gym having been damaged in a flood. The Golden Hawks have persevered through a season of ups and downs, a season too interesting to warrant summation with a single word. Instead, the season should be described by what the team has done and what the team has left to do. When asked about the first semester’s struggles, second-year guard Tevaun Kokko said: “I think because we're a young team — I think [we have] eight rookies — a lot of it is just getting to know each other, understanding [each other] on the court, getting to trust each other. “I think in the second semester we've built that trust and that belief in each other,” Kokko said.

I think because we’re a young team ... a lot of it is just getting to know each other, understanding [each other] on the court ... -Tevaun Kokko, Laurier men’s basketball player

Although the Golden Hawks have a winning record this semester, having won six of their last 10 games, the road is not without its bumps. The Hawks were recently in the midst of a three-game losing streak, which started with a close loss of 73-69 against the number two ranked team in the country, the Brock Badgers. Speaking about the Brock and Western games — both of which occurred during the slide — Kokko said: “The Brock game, we were playing the number two team, but I think, even though at one point we were up by four, there were a few mental lapses that

didn't allow us to complete the game.”

It’s one game at a time and when that game is over, that’s it. Just have that urgency about it.

-Tevaun Kokko, Laurier men’s basketball palyer

“The game against Western I think was just preparation,” Kokko continued. “We weren't prepared for some big moments, and those are some things we need to be ready for in a playoff game.” The three game slide hurts, but sitting in fourth place in the OUA West conference with two games left to play, Laurier is assured a playoff spot. Furthermore, with their win over Guelph on Feb. 11, the Hawks have clinched home court advantage in the first round. However, what they do with that playoff spot remains to be seen. “I think that in the west we can compete with anyone. I think that we have got to dictate what we do and if we end up dictating the pace, the defense and the offense,” he said. “If we dictate [those] then I don't think there's anyone we can’t beat.” The Golden Hawks have stood toe-to-toe against some of U Sport’s highest-ranked teams, losing close games to Brock, Western and Laurentian, and going 1-1 in their two matchups against Ottawa. They have skill at every level on the floor, and are especially talented at the guard position, where Tevaun Kokko and rookie Ali Sow are one and two on the team for points, assists and steals. The Golden Hawks are equipped both mentally and physically for a deep playoff run, and what’s more, they know it. “It's one game at a time and when that game is over that's it. Just have that urgency about it. We can make a deep playoff run if we're all locked in,” Kokko said. The season is not yet over, with two regular season games to go before playoffs get under way. With their win against Guelph, the Hawks can finish no lower than fourth in the OUA West. However, where they finish shouldn’t matter too much if the Hawks play to their full potential. Throughout the year, this team has shown that they can compete with any team if they play to the best of their abilities. As such, the word to describe Laurier’s season has not yet been decided, as there is still so much that needs to fall into place. Hopefully, once playoffs have come and gone, the one word to sum up the Laurier season will be “winning.”



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Hawks get ready for the playoffs ABDULHAMID IBRAHIM LEAD SPORTS REPORTER

Following a 65-48 loss to Western on Wednesday, Feb. 7, the Hawks were looking to rebound against the Guelph Gryphons with a chance to improve their ranking. If there was any additional motivation this team needed, it also happened to be Senior’s Day, a day where Laurier honoured seniors Nicole Morrison, Lauren Jamieson, Melissa Pare, Sarah Dillon, Irena Rynkiewicz and Alex Spadaro. “Obviously it’s great to be able to do that with their families coming down and recogniz[ing] their careers,” head coach, Paul Falco said. “I mean, there’s six players and our athletic student trainer who put a lot into this program right? They spent a lot of time on and off the court … and to be able to recognize them in that fashion is always nice.” Unfortunately, there wasn’t much else they could smile about as this game got out of hand quickly with Guelph winning 74-56. Using a combination of great ball, and off-ball movement as well, Guelph blew the doors open within the first five minutes coming out to a 12-point lead and never looking back. Laurier had their moments in this game, managing to cut the lead down to under double digits in the second half a couple of times, but to no avail. “It was a game where our finishing wasn’t very good and then when we finally started to make layups and make jump shots and also our defense got better, that’s where we were able to close the


gap,” coach Falco said about his team’s performance. “But there were too many stretches where we weren’t executing or weren’t finishing offensively and then it seemed to affect our defense. We lost our man a few times and our defense in transition wasn’t good. That was a bad combination and allowed them to really gap us again,” he added. Even having had an off game, Nicole Morrison managed to break Meaghan McGrath’s single-season scoring record of 425, now having 426 points with two games remaining. She will also have a chance to break McGrath’s career scoring record of 1371, as she now stands with 1358 points. With a solidified position in the

playoffs — now sixth seed — and Lakehead also having the #3 spot locked up, Laurier’s opponent has been secured for not only the final two games of season, but also the first round of the playoffs. “We’re going to take a day off [and] regroup, but you know, I told the girls ‘we’re not done and I think we have more in us, we’ve got to find a way to go up to Thunder Bay and play three good basketball games so that we could get the result we want,’” Falco said. “So we’re going to have to work hard starting Tuesday to do that.” Led by forward Leashja Grant, the leading scorer and rebounder in the OUA, Lakehead proves to be a tough matchup, regardless of how well these teams may get to

know each other by way of playing each other twice right before the playoffs. “We know they’ve got the top scorer and rebounder I think in the province if not the country in Grant, so we’ve got to do some work to prepare,” Falco said. “We’re probably going to have to try multiple things against her to slow her down and I know that they have other pieces too that could hurt you.” The road to glory doesn’t get any easier for the Golden Hawks as they will have less than a week to prepare to play Lakehead on the road in a span of six days, with the first two games being played on the 16 and 17. The playoffs will begin Feb. 21.


Honouring Rick Osborne



Goodbyes aren’t always easy and if you make an impact on someone’s life, they shouldn’t be. That’s the case when it comes to women’s hockey coach Rick Osborne, who has been with the team since 2003, as he coached his last home game for the Golden

Hawks on Saturday. Osborne has won nine OUA championships and even won a CIS championship with his 2004/2005 squad. He has also received the honour of OUA Women's Hockey Coach of the Year five times and Laurier awarded his 2013/2014 team with the Glenn Caroll Team of the Year award. His wins and losses currently sit

at 263-94-24 and his playoff stats are 57-26. Although coach Osborne has had much success in his tenure at Laurier, not every season went so smoothly, including this year. The team this year is currently 7-16-3 with only two games left in the season. Though the season may not have gone like the winning ways of the

past, coach Osborne is still very proud of the girls, as he said that this year’s team “is so young and did not have the luxury of a lot of older and experienced positive role models like most of our past teams had.” Still, he notes the positives that can be derived from this year’s experience. “I have seen the emergence of some of our second and third year players into real consistent performers game in and game out in the second half of the season,” he said. This year’s squad however has won their last two games — including coach Osborne’s final home game as women’s hockey head coach in an upset win over Queen’s — and three of their last five. “Our group has played so many OT and close games all season long, and we really believe that we can compete with the teams in the OUA; Cassie Calabrese and Morgan Bates have been strong leaders inside the locker room, and we have worked through some key players missing due to injuries,” he said. “Maybe the biggest factor for our modest winning streak has been the accelerated development of goaltender Hannah Miller; she is playing like a seasoned vet and the

players have rallied around her,” he added. Though many girls have gone through the WLU women’s hockey program throughout the years, some even coming out victorious like the CIS title winning 2005 team, every team holds a special place in coach Osborne’s heart, including this one. “The players on this team are good people and that is what I will miss the most,” Osborne said about the current team. “For the future, it is important for the players to remember that it never gets easier; university hockey or any sport is more like a business than they are used to in minor hockey,” he added. “Making tough decisions [is] part of the process, they are never personal; they are made to do what is best for the team/program.” Although Osborne coached his last home game for the team, the team still has two more games left in the regular season against Nipissing and Laurentian, and both games are being played up North. Laurier has already met both teams only once this season, but both games resulted in a loss. Now with the momentum on Laurier’s side, Osborne is looking to end his career positively.

The Cord February 14, 2018  

Volume 57, Issue 21

The Cord February 14, 2018  

Volume 57, Issue 21