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THE CORD THE TIE THAT BINDS WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY SINCE 1926

VOLUME 58 ISSUE 13 • NOVEMBER 22, 2017

Veritas Omnia Vincit? Controversy over Peterson clip draws national attention; President of Laurier responds News, page 3

SU GEARS UP FOR ELECTIONS

COLLEGE STRIKE CEASES

LAURIER’S HIDDEN GEMS

NOT UNDER CONTROL

HAWK EARNS OUA MVP

Increasing voter turnout has become a focus

Students return to class this week

Study spots that promote productivity

Gun concerns continuously grow in US

Gittens Jr. becomes fifth in Laurier history

News, page 4

News, page 6

Arts & Life, page 11

Opinion, page 13

Sports, page 16 MADELINE MCINNIS/CREATIVE DIRECTOR


2 •

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2017

VOCAL CORD

How would you describe the taste of matcha?

The Cord

@cordnews

@cordwlusp

CordNews

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

“It’s tasty, it’s sweet and earthy.” –Sarah Nugent, fourthyear BBA.

“It’s good, a bit sweeter.” –Troy Freibyger, second-year philosophy.

SADMAN SAKIB RAHMAN/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Golden Hawk, Kurleigh Gittens Jr. recently became the fifth person in Laurier football history to be named OUA MVP after a record setting season.

“It has a weird earthy grainy feel to it.” –Sebastian Germann, third-year political science.

“It’s tasteless. The closest thing I can relate it to is green tea.” –Ramnik Minhas, fourth-year arts.

Compiled by Erin Abe Photos by Luke Sarazin NEXT ISSUE NOVEMBER 22, 2017

CORD STAFF

Letters to the Editor Re: Controversy erupts after Laurier TA shows Jordan Peterson clip in lesson plan (Nov. 15) Laurier has found itself at the centre of a controversy around transphobia and freedom of speech. As a non-binary trans student and Administrator of the WLU Rainbow Centre, I have been disheartened by the ways this issue has been taken up in the media. Characterizing debates about the validity of trans identities and pronouns as “neutral” or “even-handed” is a misrepresentation of the power relations inherent in these discussions. In these debates, trans people are tasked with defending our humanity against arguments that invalidate our experiences of gender. This

means that our reality as trans people is contingent on our ability to argue against transphobic denials of our existence. We must understand how these “debates” enact and perpetuate violence against trans people. Trans people’s existence is routinely denied as pathological or invalid, making it difficult for many trans people to understand their gender identity. According to a 2015 study, two-thirds of trans youth in Canada have engaged in self-harm and one-third have attempted suicide. The impacts of transphobic speech in contributing to this violence must be considered. These debates about the validity of trans people and the way they have been portrayed in the media have created a campus climate that is profoundly unsafe for trans students at Laurier. Trans students are being harassed in hallways and classrooms while our safe spaces, including the Rainbow Centre, are being targeted by antagonizing posters and emails. We all have a responsibility

FEATURES EDITOR Karlis Wilde features@thecord.ca

LEAD REPORTER Erin Abe news@thecord.ca

CONTRIBUTORS

ARTS & LIFE EDITOR Shyenne MacDonald arts@thecord.ca

LEAD SPORTS REPORTER Abdulhamid Ibrahim sports@thecord.ca

Sara Burgess Megan Pitt Caitlyn Lourenco Victoria Berndt Leah Shaw Qiao Liu Sadman Sakib Rahman Will Borys Ahmad Faiq Hayley McGoldrick Daniel Johnson Serena Truong Stephanie Saunders Jacob Broz Adina Turkonje

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kurtis Rideout editor@thecord.ca

OPINION EDITOR Emily Waitson opinion@thecord.ca

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Madeline McInnis creative@thecord.ca

SPORTS EDITOR Pranav Desai sports@thecord.ca

WEB DIRECTOR Garrison Oosterhof online@thecord.ca

GRAPHICS EDITOR Alan Li graphics@thecord.ca

NEWS DIRECTOR Safina Husein news@thecord.ca

PHOTO EDITOR Tanzeel Sayani photos@thecord.ca

NEWS EDITOR Jake Watts news@thecord.ca

VIDEO EDITOR Sarah Tyler video@thecord.ca

NEWS EDITOR Nathalie Bouchard news@thecord.ca

WEB ASSISTANT Kate Weber online@thecord.ca

LEAD PHOTOGRAPHER Luke Sarazin photos@thecord.ca SENIOR COPY EDITOR Michael Oliveri copyeditor@thecord.ca SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR Danielle Deslauriers socialmedia@thecord.ca

EDITOR’S CHOICE

to create a learning environment that includes and supports trans students. –Toby Finlay

Re: Controversy erupts after Laurier TA shows Jordan Peterson clip in lesson plan (Nov. 15) Wilfrid Laurier University understands the public interest in this matter. The issues involved are complex and worthy of discussion as indicated by the media attention. The university is constrained from commenting on the personnel matters involved. As a responsible employer and educational institution, we are determined to gather all of the facts and then assess them in a deliberate and fair manner. To this end, we are engaging a neutral, third-party professional to speak with those involved and gather the facts of the situation. All parties involved have access

ADVERTISING INQUIRIES All advertising inquiries can be directed to Care Lucas at care.lucas@wlusp.com 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

for principal photography. The Cord has been a proud member of the Ontario Press Council since 2006. Any unsatisfied complaints can be sent to the council at info@ontpress.com. The Cord’s circulation for a normal Wednesday issue is 4,500 copies and enjoys a readership of over 10,000. Cord subscription rates are $20.00 per term for addresses within Canada. The Cord has been a proud member of the Canadian University Press (CUP) since 2004.

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

to a variety of university supports normally provided for students and employees. Laurier is committed to fostering a learning environment that is open and challenging, protects academic freedom and freedom of expression, as well as being welcoming, supportive and respectful of human rights. Supporting these values in a world that is changing and increasingly polarized is a challenge that Laurier welcomes and, along with many other universities, is working hard to address. –Dr. Paul Jessop, Vice-President: Academic (Acting) Wilfrid Laurier University Want to submit a letter to the editor? Letters must not exceed 250 words. Include your full name and telephone number. Letters must be received by 12:00 p.m. noon Monday via e-mail to letters@ thecord.ca. The Cord reserves the right to edit for length and clarity or to reject any letter.

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: “Yeah, I thought about it...” -Web Director, Garrison Oosterhof, to Video Editor, Sarah Tyler after she mentioned that he never attended her bake sale.


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2017

News

• 3

NEWS DIRECTOR SAFINA HUSEIN news@thecord.ca

NEWS EDITOR NATHALIE BOUCHARD news@thecord.ca

NEWS EDITOR JAKE WATTS news@thecord.ca

CONTROVERSY

Laurier TA makes national headlines Deborah MacLatchy issues formal apology to Lindsay Shepherd

MADELINE MCINNIS/CREATIVE DIRECTOR

SAFINA HUSEIN NEWS DIRECTOR

Over the past week, Wilfrid Laurier University’s response to the actions of Laurier teaching assistant, Lindsay Shepherd, has gone viral, making national headlines on various media outlets. Shepherd took her story to the media after concerns were raised over her decision to show a Jordan Peterson debate video from a neutral standpoint. It became known last week that Shepherd secretly recorded her 35-minute-long meeting with her supervising professor, Nathan Rambukkana, assistant professor in communication studies at Laurier, Herbert Pimlott, associate professor in communication studies at Laurier and Adria Joel, manager of gendered violence and prevention and support at Laurier’s Diversity and Equity Office. The meeting took place after a student or students – the number of complaints could not be confirmed due to confidentiality purposes – raised concerns over her decision to show a video of Peterson in her first-year communications tutorial. On Monday Nov. 20, The Cord acquired a ten-minute segment of the recorded meeting. In the segment, Shepherd is heard defending her decision to show the clip of Jordan Peterson by reiterating the neutral stance she took within the tutorial. “I don’t see how someone would rationally think it was threatening. I can see how it might challenge their existing ideas but, for me, that’s the spirit of the university, is challenging ideas that you already have,” Shepherd said in the recording. As Shepherd claimed, the three individuals in the meeting condemned her actions by claiming that her decision to show the clip not only caused harm to the student or students who complained, but that she also created a toxic climate. Furthermore, Joel is heard iterating to Shepherd that her actions violated Laurier’s Gendered and Sexual Violence Policy by “causing harm to trans students by [presenting] their identify as invalid or their pronouns as invalid.” “If you’re presenting something like this, you have to think about the kind of teaching climate that you’re creating … these arguments are counter to the Canadian human rights code,” said one of

the three individual present at the meeting. Rambukka is also heard comparing Shepherd’s actions to those of white-supremacists and to “neutrally playing a speech by Hitler.” However, Shepherd continued on by stating that she did not understand how her decision ultimately reprimands her as transphobic. “In a university, all perspectives are valid,” Shepherd said to the three individuals. “That’s not necessarily true,” one of the individuals replied back to her. “What’s funny is I disagree with Jordan Peterson. I disagree. But you guys think I’m like pro Jordan Peterson,” Shepherd said in the meeting. On Nov. 21, Josh Leibold, firstyear computer science and communications student at Laurier, protested outside of Laurier’s Fred Nichol’s Campus Centre, holding a poster which read “Lindsay Shepherd deserves an apology.” “I think that the university’s response to Lindsay Shepherd wasn’t acceptable. I think that since she remained neutral to an idea that she shouldn’t be condemned for it,” Leibold said. “I think that because it’s so close to us and Peterson has a large following, it’s not like it’s some niche idea that’s never been supported or is factually incorrect. I think it’s relevant and, for that, bringing up a relevant topic, neutrally, should be something expected of a university.”

This university was on a route to self-destruction.

-Lindsay Shepherd, graduate student at Laurier and first-year communications TA

On Nov. 21, ensuing the public release of the meeting’s recording, both Deborah MacLatchy, president of Laurier, and Rambukkana released public apologies to Shepherd. “After listening to this recording, an apology is in order. The conversation I heard does not reflect

the values and practices to which Laurier aspires. I am sorry it occurred in the way that it did and I regret the impact it had on Lindsay Shepherd. I will convey my apology to her directly. Professor Rambukkana has also chosen to apologize to Lindsay Shepherd about the way the meeting was conducted,” MacLatchy’s statement read.

What they’re doing by [posting that sign] is suggesting that being trans is opposite of wanting to have free speech ...

NATHALIE BOUCHARD/NEWS EDITOR

-Lindsay Shepherd, graduate student at Laurier and first-year communications TA

As stated in MacLatchy’s apology, Laurier has hired a third independent party to gather and assess facts of the situation in order to review the situation going forward. In addition, MacLatchy has assembled a task-force to further delve into issues surrounding both protection of speech and protection of students. Details of the task-force are said to be announced shortly. Ensuing the release of MacLatchy and Rambukkana’s apologies, Shepherd claimed that the letters were released as a result of backlash which Laurier has been receiving “I do appreciate the apology,” Shepherd said. “But with that being said, it was their only option to apologize.” Shepherd said that since the situation was publicized, she has received hundreds of emails from Laurier alumni and other individuals who have allegedly told Shepherd they will be ceasing to provide donations to Laurier and will not be recommending Laurier to potential students. “This university was on a route to self-destruction,” Shepherd said. “The university’s reputation is still permanently damaged I would say … an apology was their only option. It was damage control … they have made no long-term commitment to saying that it’s okay to talk about anything in the classroom.” Although Shepherd explained that the release of the recording comes with its risks, she feels the risk has been worth the outcome

GARRISON OOSTERHOF/WEB DIRECTOR

as a result of the quantity of positive support she has apparently received. After Leibold was spotted holding his protest sign near Fred Nichols Camus Centre, the WLU Rainbow Centre posted a sign on their window which read “Trans people deserve an apology.” The Rainbow Centre also released a statement to The Cord, which begins as follows: “By shifting the conversation from transphobia to freedom of speech, President MacLatchy has failed to address the very real impacts of these debates on trans students. The discourse of freedom of speech is being used to cover over the original problem, which is, that being required to engage in these debates constitutes a form of epistemic violence against trans people…” However, Shepherd said she stands firm in her stance that a university should be able to discuss controversial topics despite the possibility that it might offend an individual or a group of individuals.

“So trans people are upset that we can’t debate things in the classroom … that seems a little absurd. This was not about trans issues — that was what people took out of it — but the primary thing about this is just controversy in general,” Shepherd said. “What they’re doing by [posting that sign] is suggesting that being trans is opposite of wanting to have free speech. It doesn’t really make any sense … trans people are just normal people who want academic freedom too. Why do you have to have one or the other?” The Rainbow Centre’s statement continued on to address this type of standpoint: “Characterizing these debates as “polarizing” is a misrepresentation of the incredible inequity on which they are founded, requiring trans people to defend their humanity against arguments that invalidate their experiences of gender.” Statements from Deborah MacLatchy, Nathan Rambukkana as well as the WLU Rainbow Centre are available in full online at thecord.ca.


4 • NEWS

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2017

LAURIER VOTES

Election preparation begins for Students’ Union JAKE WATTS NEWS EDITOR

Wilfrid Laurier University’s Students’ Union has begun preparing for its annual elections set to take place on Jan. 30, 31 and Feb. 1. The results of the elections will determine who the Students’ Union’s new president and CEO is, as well as the 12 new members of the board of directors. The elections will also determine who will serve as the student representatives on the university’s senate and board of governors. These positions are slated to be filled by students. “All undergrad students, paying members of the Students’ Union, are eligible to run,” Muhammad Talha Naeem, one of the board’s current directors, said. Among those hopeful to occupy the position of president and CEO is Tarique Plummer, current chair of the Students’ Union board of directors and chief governance officer (CGO), who has made clear his intention to run. “Tarique Plummer is the chair and CGO of the board. And what has happened is as a chair, CGO, it’s quite unusual for a CGO to run for presidency,” Naeem said. Due to the fact that various election responsibilities typically befall

The main message is to educate students about how they can empower themselves by just giving a vote. -Muhammad Talha Naeem, member of Students’ Union Board of Directors

ALAN LI/GRAPHICS EDITOR

the chair and CGO, Plummer’s intent to run has caused some controversy. “He came up professional in terms of letting everybody know that this is what he plans to do, and that’s why the board nominated me to take on his responsibilities of being chair and CGO,” Naeem said. “[Tarique and I] had a clear conversation about [expectations],” Naeem said. “This is how we expect, in terms of professional mannerisms, and in terms of [Tarique’s] influence on the board and outside of the

board,” Naeem said. “How we are going to play fairly in terms of outlining all the elections policies, outlining all the conflicts of interest, outlining all the potential risks that are involved.” “We are going to hold all the candidates equally accountable … during the election process and everybody will be given a fair and equal chance by making sure that there is no over and above or extra favor given to any candidate at all,” Naeem said. “And that is well communicated across the board table, across the

Students’ Union, across the management team, and across all the candidates who will apply.” A recurring issue that the Students’ Union has faced with their elections has been poor voter turnout. In the past two years, less than 30 per cent of students eligible to vote cast a ballot. When asked about what they were doing to improve voter turnout, Naeem detailed several strategies that the Students’ Union will be adopting in their approach. “We have a whole plethora of

new marketing activities, initiatives, consultations and educational sessions that we are planning,” Naeem said. Some of these strategies include improving training for elections volunteers, emphasizing social media campaigns, promoting the elections in residences, and partnering with faculty to reach out directly to students by speaking in lectures. “The main message is to educate students about how they can empower themselves by just giving a vote and deciding whatever they [deem] to be the most appropriate candidate or their favourite candidate according to their own experience of Laurier life,” Naeem said.

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NEWS • 5

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2017 ANNIVERSARY

LUKE SARAZIN/LEAD PHOTOGRAPHER

Cutting of the cake at the Wilfrid Laurier Foot Patrol 25th anniversary party held in the concourse on Wednesday.

Foot Patrol celebrates 25 years NATHALIE BOUCHARD NEWS EDITOR

Wilfrid Laurier University Waterloo campus Foot Patrol celebrated 25 years of service this past Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. Foot Patrol celebrated their milestone by handing out cake and cupcakes to students in the Fred Nichols Campus Centre concourse.

The booth set up also provided activities to students who wanted to participate. “We’re celebrating 25 years of service. It is a huge milestone for us and really, for our event in the concourse, we are mainly trying to promote our service to get people to become aware of us and hopefully use [our service] a little more,” Stephen Chung, internal promotions executive for Foot

Patrol, said. “If anything, [we hope the event] just brings everyone out to have a good time and enjoy some free food, and to clear up some misconceptions about our service that have been going around over the year,” Chung said. During the event, Foot Patrol emphasized and clarified information regarding various services which students may be confused

about. “One of the misconceptions is that our van program acts as a taxi service, which is not true,” Chung said. “We serve people that live more than two kilometres away from campus and we only operate [our van] from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. and its only within those hours that we offer that van service it’s for people who live far away from campus,” Chung said. In addition to this topic, Foot Patrol also wanted to explain that there have been misconceptions about their operating hours and the qualifications of those on shift during these foot patrol walking services. “Some misconceptions are [related to] operating hours and also some of the information about our volunteers. While safety is a huge thing that we are committed to, some professors and school services are saying that all of our volunteers are first-aid trained [and] that is not true,” Chung said. “We do have first-aid personnel on shift every night, but it’s not necessarily true that all personnel are first-aid trained.” A safe walk home service has been emphasized throughout their branding on campus and in social media. However, Chung explains that the community atmosphere is important when it comes to delivering foot patrol services to students. “The importance of Foot Patrol is really just to get everyone home safe and to have everyone feel

like there’s a community feel, in order to feel like they are not alone at the end of the day, and that if they need help or anything we are always within reach,” Chung said. “We work with Students’ Union in order to promote the Foot Patrol service and safety in general.” Anthony Tomizza, vice president of programming and services for the Students’ Union, explains the importance of Foot Patrol as a safe alternative to walking home alone at night. “Foot Patrol is really important because it’s one of our essential services the Students’ Union provides to ensure that students get a safe walk home or are able to access the van service. [Foot Patrol] is just really important to ensure student safety on campus,” Tomizza said. Tomizza explained that, although Foot Patrol isn’t making any changes to its service anytime soon, they are open to feedback about foot patrol overall and how to improve their service. “Were always looking to improve our service whether that is training volunteers differently or ensure that were able to meet the [demand] of students looking to access the service, were really just looking to continue having that great volunteer culture that we’ve always had,” Tomizza said. “[The Students’ Union] is really excited that we are able to celebrate the 25 years and look[s] forward to [Foot Patrol continuing] to be a strong committee on campus.”

HOLIDAY

Bingemans hosts annual Gift of Lights display The experience in Kitchener is the largest drive-thru holiday light exhibit in southwestern Ontario STEPHANIE SAUNDERS CORD NEWS

Bingemans is kicking off the holiday season with the second annual Gift of Lights. The exhibit is southwestern Ontario’s largest drive-thru holiday light display. Visitors can enjoy a vast array of mesmerizing lights spread out over two kilometres, featuring a 200foot light tunnel with over 30 full light static and animated holiday displays. The venue is located at 425 Bingemans Centre Drive in Kitchener. “Last year the event was extremely well received by everyone in the region, we had people coming from all over including Toronto and London,” Penny Swinston, special events manager at Bingemans, said. “It was a huge hit last year, so this year it’s bigger and better.” Gift of Lights opened this past Friday, Nov. 17 and will carry on through the holiday season, concluding on Jan. 6, 2018. The hours of operation are from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The Bingemans Gift of Lights will be extending their hours on Dec. 24 until Dec. 30, staying open from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. to accommo-

date the high seasonal demand. “On our busiest nights we see over 1100 cars drive through and that’s just between the hours of 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.,” Swinston said. Gift of Lights is a cheery holiday experience for all ages, friends, families, couples, groups and corporate events, explained Swinston.

It was a huge hit last year, so this year it’s bigger and better.

-Penny Swinston, special events manager at Bingemans

To add to the festivities, guests will be able to listen to holiday music from the comfort and warmth of their own car by tuning into Gift of Lights Radio at 100.1 FM. “We have had busses come through already this year with various groups including retirement homes and schools. They purchase a bus and ticket online before hand and all they have to do is show up,” Swinston said.

“We have a special line just for buses and limos.” To save the hassle of purchasing tickets at the gate, Gift of Lights now takes online payments prior to entrance at a reduced cost. For a single vehicle with up to eight, passengers guests have the option to pay 18 dollars online or 25 dollars at the gate. For larger groups, they offer vans that carry nine to 15 passengers and limo busses that hold upwards of 16 passengers. “It’s big savings for everyone, I highly recommend purchasing tickets online,” Swinston said. Due to the popularity of the event, Gift of Lights now offers a speed pass, which will secure guests’ entry through a priority access lane. This can be purchased online for only eight dollars and is available in order for viewers to avoid long lines. A portion of all ticket proceeds will be donated to Grand River Hospital. Before or after Gift of Lights, guests may choose to visit Bingemans FunworX Indoor Playland, or grab a bite to eat and bowl at Boston Pizza Kingpin Bowlounge. In addition, attendees can buy a multi-ticket package that enables them to go to the lights display and enjoy several times over the holiday season.

WILL BORYS/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER


6 • NEWS

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2017

CITYSCAPE

QIAO LIU/CORD PHOTOGRAPHER

University Avenue redesign ERIN ABE LEAD REPORTER

The City and Region of Waterloo have partnered up with the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College to create the University Gateway Project in order to develop a new vision for the future of University

Avenue. The project has begun and is in its first phase which focuses on community input for future projects. The first public information centre will be held on Thursday, Nov. 23 at St. Michael’s Church, where the team will begin working with the public to decide what should

be changed in the University corridor. A date of when work will begin has yet to be determined. The project will be looking at the University corridor which includes the road between University Avenue and Conestoga Parkway and University Avenue and Westmount Road, passing all three post-secondary institutions.

“University Avenue is a unique place in the city and Region,” Ric Martins, policy planner and growth management for the City of Waterloo, said. “It is often the first place people see when they visit the community.” The project team is looking to gain insight from community members. Community members are invited to attend the full launch of the project, which will feature a presentation, allow for questions and share thoughts about University Avenue and visions for the future. “The corridor area has great potential to become an even more unique place to showcase the city and the region as a centre for learning, innovation, discovery and entrepreneurship,” Martins said. “The study will aim to create an overall vision for the corridor and serve as a guide for future projects,” Martins said. Specific projects for the street have yet to be determined, although the team is working to create changes while considering the many travellers and visitors who take University Avenue. “There are three excellent post-secondary institutions located all on the same street, there are nu-

merous businesses located there as well,” Martins said. “The road is a key link for automobile and transit users and has a lot of pedestrian cyclists.”

The corridor has great potential to become an even more unique place to showcase the city ...

-Ric Martins, policy planner and growth management, City of Waterloo

University Avenue is one of the busiest roadways in the City of Waterloo and the project team is working to address its many challenges. “A public meeting is important to introduce the study to the public and to gain feedback from those who interact with the corridor most often. Feedback from the first meeting will help shape future phases of the study like what to prioritize, etc.” Martins said.

LABOUR

College faculty are sent back to work SAFINA HUSEIN NEWS DIRECTOR

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Students and faculty at Ontario’s 24 public college’s are now back in class after the provincial government passed the back-to-work legislation this past Sunday. Faculty were to report to work on Monday in order to revise their courses and prepare for the remainder of the semester, while students were able to return to their normal class schedules on Tuesday. The college strike, which went on for a duration of five weeks since its initial start on Oct. 16, is now the longest college labour stoppage to occur in Ontario’s history. Ontario’s Liberal government introduced the back-to-work legislation on Thursday Nov. 16. However, the bill wasn’t passed until Sunday afternoon. The bill was brought forth after 86 per cent of college faculty voted to reject the offer from the College Employer Council. The result of the vote was announced on the afternoon of Wednesday Nov. 15. The union and the CEC now have five days to mutually agree on a mediator-arbitrator. If they are unable to do so within five days, the Ministry of Labour has said they will be appointing one in order to negotiate outstanding issues between the two parties. “Students were in the middle of the strike for too long. We needed to put students first, and get them back to their studies. This legislation ensures students can get back to the classroom and refocus on their education,” Deb Matthew,

deputy premier and minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, said in a statement. Throughout the strike, students have been frustrated and fearful of having their semesters extended in order to fully cover all material and even of losing their semester all together. Earlier last week, a class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of students. Law firm Charney Lawyers filed the proposed law suit against the 24 Ontario colleges and apparently stated that 14 students have come forward as representatives. The class action was seeking full refunds for students who chose not to continue with their programs as a result of the strike. Ontario’s Ministry of Advanced Education announced on Nov. 20 that funds and supports will be provided for students returning to class ensuing the strike. Full-time students will be eligible to receive up to 500 dollars for costs they may have accumulated during the strike, such as additional child care fees, rebooked travel tickets or extra rent costs. As well, any students who have decided to withdraw from college as a result of the strike will receive a full refund of their tuition. For students at Conestoga College, a revised academic schedule and new semester dates will be announced shortly. However, it is confirmed that the fall semester will be extended until Dec. 22 and will resume again on Jan. 2. The college is anticipating that their winter semester will begin on Jan. 15 and their mid-winter Student Success week will not be effected.


NEWS • 7

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2017 CLUBS

CANNABIS

Support for non co-op students New initiative aims to encourage and help others at WLU JAKE WATTS NEWS EDITOR

WILL BORYS/CORD PHOTOGRAPHY

Marijuana sales ERIN ABE LEAD REPORTER

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) has announced the first 14 cities proposed to host a legal marijuana store in preparation for the federal government’s plan to legalize cannabis. Kitchener is among the 14 cities chosen and the stores are intended to arrive by July 2018. Other proposed store locations include Toronto, London, Kingston, Hamilton, Mississauga, Barrie, Brampton, Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Vaughan and Windsor. A site for the Kitchener store has not yet been identified. These stand-alone cannabis stores have been proposed to be overseen by the LCBO and sold and distributed by the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation (OCRC). “Over the coming weeks, staff from the Ministry of Finance and the LCBO are meeting with staff at the identified municipalities to discuss the guidelines and process for siting stores and local interests,” Scott Blodgett, spokesperson for the ministry of finance, said in an email statement. Once the store site is identified, a public notice will be posted on the LCBO cannabis updates website and at the physical site in Kitchener. “We are committed to ensuring a safe and sensible transition to federal legalization by ensuring cannabis remains a carefully controlled substance subject to strict rules to protect youth and young adults.” “The public will have the opportunity to submit questions and comments on the intended site before it is confirmed,” Blodgett said in the email. The Ontario Cannabis Act is proposed to make it illegal for people under the age of 19 to buy, sell, have and share recreational cannabis. This is consistent with the min-

imum age for the sale of tobacco and alcohol in Ontario, according to the Government of Ontario’s website. “The guidelines will achieve our objectives of protecting youth by ensuring stores are not in close proximity to schools while providing access within communities and addressing the illegal market,” Blodgett said in the email. Although the sale and distribution will be overseen by the LCBO, cannabis will not be sold in the same store as alcohol in Ontario.

The public will have the opportunity to submit questions and comments on the intended site before it is confirmed. -Scott Blodgett, spokesperson for the ministry of finance

The OCRC will have a monopoly on cannabis in the Ontario market and existing “dispensaries” now operating illegally will be forced out of business, according to The Toronto Star. “These pot stores that we see in our neighbourhoods today are illegal. They will remain illegal — only the OCRC could sell cannabis for recreational purposes,” Attorney General Yasir Naqvi said, according to The Toronto Star. Ontario expects to have about 80 stand-alone cannabis stores that are projected to open by July 1, 2019 and 150 stores by 2020. “We are committed to ensuring a safe and sensible transition to federal legalization by ensuring cannabis remains a carefully controlled substance subject to strict rules to protect youth and young adults,” the Government of Ontario’s website said.

A Wilfrid Laurier University student is starting an initiative to assist business students who are rejected from the co-operative education program. The initiative is called “Laurier Mentor Connect” and was started a few months ago by Syed Azam Afzal, a third-year bachelor of business administration student at Laurier. “The main purpose really is to just help students. When you get the results for not getting into co-op or for non co-op students in general, you don’t know where to go,” Afzal said. Applications to the business and economics co-op program open up to students at the end of their first-year. The program offers them three terms of work experience in addition to academic credit. Not getting in can be a devastating blow to some students, who may not know what other options they have. “Sure the Career Centre, it’s

mentioned, but you don’t know how useful it’s going to be unless someone actually has gone through the process with them where they’ve checked your resume, cover letter, mock interviews and so on,” Afzal said. “You realize how useful it is when you hear from someone else who’s done it.” This is precisely the function that Afzal thinks Laurier Mentor Connect could serve. “That’s what my main purpose is: to connect people to students that have already gone through the process and are willing to seek help,” Afzal said. “It’s really cool when you connect to a mentor, like a third or fourth-year student, when you’re in first and second year,” Afzal said. “Whenever you have questions you can ask them at any point in time, and so on. So I find that really useful,” Afzal said. Afzal initially got the idea to start Laurier Mentor Connect after completing a project in one of his classes. Beginning as an informal collection of interested mentors and

mentees, Afzal plans to bring his initiative to the Students’ Union and to make it an official club. “My goal is to — obviously the applications for the clubs are closed right now for fall — so I’m going to give it a shot next term and apply with all the members that I have and see where it goes from there,” Afzal said. He was motivated to begin the process in order to ensure that the initiative could have some staying power. “I feared that — you know, it was back in October or late September and October when the co-op results came out — and I feared that if it wasn’t somewhere at Laurier, it would just disappear as the years progressed,” Afzal said. Afzal also explained that he hopes to open Laurier Mentor Connect up to, not just business students, but to all students at Laurier. “I just really wanted to emphasize that I really started the initiative obviously to help non co-op students at first, but then also to go into helping everyone. Not just non co-op,” Afzal said.


8 • GAMES

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2017

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, should be no longer than 100 words and must be addressed to your life. Submissions can be sent to dearlife@thecord.ca no later than Monday at noon each week. Dear Life, Happy FOURTH Birthday to lil LJ. Sincerely, We loves you Dear Everyone, Hate speech is specifically speech which supports or/and insights violence. Just because I say something which offends you does not make it hate speech. We live in the real world and the way to solve problems is to intellectual discussion and debate and not be shutting me down

The Cord needs you

by calling me a racist, transphobe, homophobe or anything along those lines.

great. You are committed to your craft and we hope you keep volunteering!

If you do not agree read the laws which define hate speech in the beautiful free country of ours.

Sincerely, Someone who has noticed :)

SUDOKU

Dear Life, Sincerely, Someone who is unable to state their opinion without the fear of being labeled Dear Stephanie Saunders, You have been nothing but a great news volunteer ever since you attended our news workshop. You always put forth an exceptional amount of effort to each story you have written thus far. I hope to be able to work with you more as the year goes on. You rock don’t ever change!

Despite the flaws in the way Shepherd was reprimanded – which became apparent after a recording of the meeting surfaced via Global News – I think there is still merit in addressing the experiences of trans and non-binary students who may be personally affected by this story.

Dear Will Borys,

Regardless of how such a discussion might be interpreted, framing it in such a way that trivializes someone’s identity is not an okay thing. And yes, the implication would certainly be that if you show a video of Jordan Peterson without at least addressing the harm he has caused to the trans community, it might make some people feel uncomfortable. Is invalidating experiences really necessary?

You took such great photos for The Cord. The amount of time and effort you put into your photography is

Sincerely, Someone who wishes they could say more

Sincerely, Someone who has noticed :)

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• 9

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2017

Arts & Life

ARTS & LIFE EDITOR SHYENNE MACDONALD arts@thecord.ca

Mad about Matcha

FOOD AND HEALTH

What’s healthy, equivalent to coffee and is green all over? Matcha! And entrepreneur Brandon Chow has got it by the truckload. When I first started this “Matcha Madness” escapade, I had no idea what the wonderful green substance was. “The main difference that people don’t realize is that for green tea you just dip the leaf in the water. But with matcha you’re actually consuming the entire leaf — which ends up giving you a higher concentration of all the health benefits too.” The health benefits of matcha are immense, so after learning about what exactly it was I was eager to try. I met Chow at Balzac’s Coffee, where I had my first matcha latte. I thought it was brilliant, but Chow assured me there was better out there — specifically, his from Shiba Matcha. “I was really unhappy with the different options [of matcha] out there. Some places like David’s Tea, Teavana or Costco offer matcha. But if you look deep into where the matcha is coming from and how it tastes, it’s usually a lower grade.”

Arts & Life Editor Shyenne Macdonald helps us dive into the curious mind of Laurier’s own Matcha Man Chow explained. “I ended up buying like $800 worth of matcha from theses different places to see what was good. I managed to get one of my friends who spoke fluent Japanese to call some of the tea-farms to get samples from them too ... we all saw this as a new opportunity.” There’s been an obvious shift in the way we view health. In the past living a healthy lifestyle was viewed as a struggle worse than Sisyphus’. But now I think it’s safe to say that things are changing. Even McDonald’s is jumping on the health train with their endless salad options. That’s why matcha is becoming more widespread in North America. Let’s look at some of the health benefits packed with antioxidants, boosts your metabolism, naturally detoxifies your body, lowers cholesterol and is a natural mood enhancer. “I’m pretty into the health community. One of the things that I found was that I wanted to get that kick in the morning, but I didn’t want to take anything I would classify as ‘bad for you’. So, tea was a great alternative and I eventually found matcha. A friend had told me about the health benefits, for me it’s like coffee but without that crash later.

[

Matcha Cookies

1.

Cream butter and sugar in large bowl and gently incorporate eggs one at a time when creamed.

2.

Sift together the dry ingredients and add them into the wet ingredients while folding or gently mixing.

3.

Chill dough for at least an hour or overnight.

4. 5.

Preheat oven to 325 º F and roll the dough into a ping pong ball shape and place on a non-stick cookie sheet. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes and then cool on a rack.

ies ... n w ies o r B ook ade c d n a also matcha I’ve cha-ms. sira frie

Matcha Macarons

½ cup of softened butter  cup of granulated sugar 1 cup and 2 tablespoons of flour 2 eggs 1¼ tablespoons organic matcha a pinch of salt

There’s no additives in it, it’s natural,” Chow explained. Basically, matcha is the superman of green tea, which is why Brandon wanted to share it with everyone. “I started selling matcha online, mainly to really introduce people to something that’s a much healthier alternative to coffee,” Chow said. On Nov. 18, Chow held a popup event called “Matcha Madness” where he and his team demonstrated how to make matcha the traditional way, with the bamboo whisk. They also demonstrated different uses for the powder, such as a pre-workout drink, or even for baking. “I try to cook with ba Shi matcha as much as I can, f o ner but I’m not that good of a chef,’ , ow w Cho atcha Chow confessed. on M and r B “I’ve made brownies and cookies before I’ve also made siracha-matcha fries. But my favourite thing is matcha ice-cream and matcha macaroons.” Chow orders his matcha straight from Japan, and is in the habit of travelling North America to find the best matcha cafés. I asked Chow if he would consider opening his own matcha café in Waterloo, but he told me that until the demand for this green powder grows higher Shiba Matcha will be a strictly online store.

1 tablespoon organic matcha 1 cup almond flour 2 cups powdered sugar a pinch of salt 4 egg whites ¼ cup of granulated sugar

]

5. 6. 7.

Fold 20 times before adding another third, folding another 20 times, adding the final third and folding another 20 times. Pour mixture into a piping bag and pipe over parchment paper on a baking tray and tap hard against the table. Preheat oven to 300 º F and let sit for 30 minutes. After, bake for 20 minutes. Once you take the macaroons out, let cool and add the cooled ganache.

MACARON SHELLS

1. 2. 3. 4.

½ cup of whipping cream ¾ cup of semisweet chocolate chips 1 tablespoon softened butter

Sift matcha powder, almond flour and powdered sugar together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, separate eggs and add egg whites into a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer on medium high for four minutes. At four minutes, slowly incorporate the sugar for another four minutes where stiff peaks will form. Add a pinch of salt to the mixture and add one third of the dry ingredients into the beaten eggs and sugar.

GANACHE FILLING

1. 2. 3.

Heat whipping cream until it is about to boil. Remove from heat, add semisweet chocolate chips and mix. After a minute, add the butter and mix until glistening.

LAYOUT BY: ALAN LI/GRAPHICS EDITOR PHOTOS BY: QIAO LIU/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER & CONTRIBUTED IMAGE


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2017

10 • ARTS & LIFE POPULAR CULTURE

Holy Justice League movie, Batman! CONTRIBUTED IMAGE

SHYENNE MACDONALD ARTS & LIFE EDITOR

On Nov. 17, I was one of the few others that went and saw Justice

League, the newest instalment of the DC-Extended Universe movie series. When I say “few others”, I mean that. The theatre wasn’t nearly as packed as compared to when I saw Thor: Ragnarok, the week previous. And by now we’ve all heard how poorly Justice League has done in box office sales — only $94 million in revenue. Which sounds like a lot, until you hear that the movies

production budget totalled to an estimated 300 million dollars. I, however, remain an adoring fan of the film. Of course there are things I would’ve liked to see done differently and things I would’ve liked to never have seen period. But still, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. So, without further ado, here’s my review of Justice League — spoiler alert for anyone still interested in seeing the movie. I’m not going to criticize Zach Snyder for stepping down from the film half-way through production, as it was his daughter’s death that took him away. I will openly and vocally criticize Joss Whedon, who — in my humble opinion — hasn’t done anything noteworthy since Buffy the Vampire Slayer. If you haven’t read his script for what would have been his version of Wonder Woman check it out. I don’t understand how someone who made a character as iconic as Buffy Summers turned Diana Prince into such travesty. But I digress. I’ll first focus on Batman’s scene, wherein on a rooftop he stalks an unnamed criminal. I loved this scene purely for how it demonstrated how cool Batman can be. Instead of turning Batman into a glorified battering ram, they actually utilized the stealth aspect of his character. The fight scene that ensued was underwhelming — all fight scenes are underwhelming.

Which is disappointing, because as much as I hate when it’s endless fight scenes in action films I also think that well done ones are worth the watch. The scene ends with the criminal commenting how the world has fallen apart since the death of Superman. Then it switches to a series of scenes that demonstrate how lost the world is. What I loved was how it was a mirror to our world, with things like islamophobia, bombings and gun violence. Just when someone is about to commit a shooting, Wonder Woman comes and saves the day. That was the moment I fell in love with the movie, because it reminded me what it was I loved about super-heroes. It isn’t the zany adventures in space, or even their internal conflicts that give us enough angst to last a life time. Most superheroes were created in times of conflict. The Shadow — a major character inspiration for Batman — was created during the Great Depression when people couldn’t depend on the police. Captain America was created during World War II to literally punch Hitler in the face. So, rather than shying away from all our problems in our terrifying world, I loved that they had Wonder Woman stepping in to save would-be victims. The characters shown in the movie were so accurate to those

that I’ve read in the comics: Clark Kent was a dork, Bruce Wayne was sarcastic and wholly aware of his mortality, Arthur Curry was still a dickhead, Diana Prince was exhausted with the men she works with and Barry Allen was awkward and out of place. Victor Stone, who technically doesn’t join the Justice League but instead leads the Teen Titans, was obviously too young for the group — and in turn for the business of saving the world. But there are flaws and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention them. There are way too many — frankly unnecessary — shots of Wonder Woman’s underwear. Also, the CGI that covered Clark’s moustache was weird — like I don’t know how hard it is to grow a moustache but you’d think they could just shave it off. Like any movie, there’ll be flaws. But I don’t agree with people who say it’s the worst movie yet, I mean Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was just an embarrassment. I’m excited to see how DC plans to move forward in light of the scathing reviews, but I hope they don’t turn to the exhausting and tried formula that Marvel has adopted. DC and Marvel have always been different — with the former always leaning toward the darker side of things. If DC keeps utilizing these inherent differences and carves out a way to stand apart, I think they’re going to be okay.

GAMING

The wizards, the gambling and the probability of D&D SARAH SPRAGG CORD ARTS

One night about two years ago, my sister announced to my family that she had started to play Dungeons and Dragons — and I thought that she had reached the pinnacle of her status as a “nerd”. She began printing out player sheets and then moved on to drawing her character and doing online campaigns on Friday nights. At that point in my life, I never thought that I would someday be interested in playing or even wanting to know about what it takes to create the gameplay and how to earn the title Dungeon Master. However, that all changed this year with my friend and Dungeon Master (DM) Kevin Pattison. A couple weeks ago, I was able to interview both Pattison and his mentor and fellow DM, Zackery Roos about the process of becoming a Dungeon Master and how Dungeons and Dragons is so much more than what stereotypes make it out to be. “Anyone can play it — you just have to have the passion and enthusiasm,” Pattison said, in response to a question relating to the types of people that can play D&D. Pattison had begun playing as a part of campaigns run by Roos, and when both players went off to different universities, Roos continued to run campaigns in St. Catherine’s where he goes to Brock University and Pattison decided to

try his hand at being a DM. When I asked Pattison what the hardest part about becoming a DM was he said: “It’s honestly making sure that I do it right.” Both Pattison and Roos have taken on more creative routes, in terms of the way that they have created their game play.

You just got to be excited to try something new because you are stepping into someone else’s shoes in the game. -Kevin Pattison, Dungeon Master

Roos explained that he has chosen to create his own deities and some of his campaigns, but also uses other resources for maps and references to create characters. “I have found some time out of my day and I’m taking a more creation pathway and it generally takes a little bit longer and referencing — as a dungeon master, it’s your rules and you don’t have to follow the book — it’s your choice” Before talking with both DM’s, I didn’t know what the main difference between being a DM and

ALAN LI/GRAPHICS EDITOR

being a regular player was. I learned very quickly that the amount of work that goes into creating or finding campaigns that are enjoyable for the players is not always an easy task — acting as DM can be very daunting if you have only ever been a player before. “I joke with my players that I play every other character that they interact with — players explore the world and the DM makes it,” Roos said. After hearing how much effort and thought that each DM puts into playing their roles, I could not figure out how they balanced their time. As a student who struggles with time management, the thought of juggling school, extra-curricular’s and a separate virtual world

seemed like insurmountable task. But each DM explained, in similar ways, that D&D does not have to act as another “chore” or responsibility in your day, but can be a stress reliever. “D&D is an escape from reality and you can be the hero and not have to follow the set path of life,” Roos said. Roos and Pattison are both DM’s who want to create the best platform for their players to have fun and enjoy the experience of playing Dungeons and Dragons, but — as they both expressed — it ultimately does come down to how the players interact with the game. “You just got to be excited to try something new because you are stepping into someone else’s shoes in the game,” Pattison explained.

Dungeons and Dragons may be known as a game that strictly caters to a niche community. But Pattison and Roos have both taught me, not only how much work goes into becoming a DM, but also how this game can be played by people from all different walks of life. All you need is some creativity, imagination and confidence to step out of your comfort zone. After learning the basics and opening yourself up, Roos explained that “D&D can be an amazing time with the right people and a good attitude.” Which makes me even more excited to start some campaigns with my friends and see where I can make it as player in the world of Dungeons and Dragons.


ARTS & LIFE • 11

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2017 EDUCATION

Study seclusively and in secret trees.

The Smile Tiger Café If you are looking to move away from the busy campus, a great café to study at is The Smile Tiger Café. This is located right beside the Kitchener Via Rail station. I found that this café is nowhere near as busy as the small cafés located in Uptown Waterloo, and it is much larger in comparison. They offer customers a relaxed vibe and with lots of large tables. It is a great place to be productive!

KATE WEBER WEB ASSISTANT

Does everyone remember back in January 2017 when students petitioned for more study spots in Lazaridis Hall? Well since they finished construction on Laz Hall, study spots haven’t magically become a surplus at our small campus. This is why it is important to know the best places to crank out your next assignment that you are unsure about.

The Solarium This spot is notorious for the heat that it brings. It gets hot enough — via the glass walls and ceiling — that the blanket scarf you brought with you for comfort is better off left at home. But, on the literal brightside, the solarium is a bright and calm atmosphere for studying. If you are not one to enjoy a dead quiet study spot and gets intimidated from the prospect of

SERENA TROUNG/GRAPHIC ARTIST

silent study, I wouldn’t recommend this area to you. But if you are like me and like to get in your zone when studying, this area will be ideal. The all glassed-in area offers really good and bright natural light. The best part about it is that its close proximity to Starbucks for all of you coffee lovers out there!

Lazaridis Hall Taking advantage of the brand new business building no matter your program is always another option. The second floor’s long tables

around the perimeter offers ample room for studiers, with nice natural lighting during the day and overlooks the lower open floor. If you enjoy people watching, however, I do not recommend this spot for you. With its completion this year, it has become a high traffic area, which means there’s plenty to distract you. This building also offers lots of group study spaces with big tables and white boards.

Bricker Academic The upper floors of Bricker

Academic have ample places for studying. Big tables are placed around classrooms and do not fill up as quickly as areas like Laz Hall or the Concourse. This is probably one of my personal favourite study spots during busy times such as finals, where it can feel near impossible to find a study spot. Night-time is the best to work in this area if you are looking for a quiet space, since classes are no longer in progress. When in doubt, this building connects to the science building where tables are placed under a group of very aesthetic looking

Your own Home! Lastly, if you are one to enjoy your own personal space never underestimate the ability of an at home study session. This year, with a proper desk and dim lighting, I found that I had the ability to close myself off from the world tune into my music and really focus on what I needed to do. The comfort of your own space can be wonderful. No matter how ugly your lounging clothes are, you can rock it. Personally, the close access to food and zero annoyance from my surrounding peers are my two favourite parts of studying at home.

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12 •

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2017

Editorial

OPINION EDITOR EMILY WAITSON opinion@thecord.ca

Editor’s Note: Holding back are most likely ignorant of their experiences. While I think it’s critically important to address the group of people who are likely going to feel the repercussions of this situation first-hand, I think it is equally important to let the story develop on its own, naturally, without weaving my own narrative throughout. In situations such as this, I think it is important for us to respect our duties and responsibilities as members of the media and to report on things as they are happening, reflecting on them accordingly, when the time is right.

KURTIS RIDEOUT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

The debate on campus surrounding TA Lindsey Shepherd has been difficult to navigate based on a lack of information as well as a multitude of other existing factors. Being a part of student media at a time like this is a constant struggle between knowing when to speak up and use this platform accordingly and when to just let the coverage of these events speak for itself. Before writing this, I drafted several articles detailing the possible problems that incidents like this might pose to trans students on campus, but I have found that, even then, I am letting my emotions do the talking at a time when facts still need to be disseminated to the public and to the student body. Referring to the incident in questions specifically, I understand and do appreciate the value of neutrally presenting facts in favour of allowing people to come to their own conclusions. But this incident has also taken place during a time where trans and non-binary people are in need of community support and understanding, and this outcome will no doubt have a negative effect to that end. It goes without saying that trans people don’t exist as a vehicle to drive discussions on the topic of free speech, and yet now every trans student has to either engage with this controversy that trivializes their identity, or remain silent amongst a group of people who

... I think it is imperative to let the news reporters and editors at The Cord construct an accurate, unbiased narrative, before speaking on behalf of myself or the editorial board at large.

ALAN LI/GRAPHICS EDITOR

To that end, this story is one that is still continuously unfolding; crucial updates have been coming in on a consistent basis, and the narrative is subject to change at a moments notice. With that being said, given the time to reflect, I am positively certain that my opinions aren’t subject to change. But for the time being, I think it is imperative to let the news reporters and editors at The Cord construct an accurate, unbiased narrative, before speaking on behalf of myself or the editorial board at large.

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Signing off social media TANZEEL SAYANI PHOTO EDITOR

Before I even start, I am going to acknowledge the irony, knowing that this is going to be posted on Facebook eventually. We now live in a time where everyone and their grandparents are on social media. It is an amazing tool to keep in touch with friends and meet new people, or is it? On average people in America spend over five hours every single day on social media, and this number has been going up year after year. That is completely understandable because the goal of the creators of these platforms is to make them as addictive as possible. Social media addiction may not seem real but studies have shown that simple things such as receiving a ‘like’ or a comment on something you posted create a dopamine rush. If you still don’t agree, let me tell you why your smartphone is the new cigarette. You keep it in your pocket, you don’t leave the house

without it and you panic when it runs out of battery. Every time you are bored, stressed or frustrated you take your phone out because it gives you a reward the same way cigarettes do. Dopamine, in simple words, is the feel good chemical; it is the thing that motivates us to do things that make us feel good. It is what makes us feel excitement and drives us to seek out things such as food, sex and drugs. By posting on social media and getting likes, you get a dopamine rush and feel validated. You get stuck in a dopamine loop where you are left seeking more likes and more followers with no end. One of my major issues with social media is the false sense of the world it presents to us. Now, maybe you are bombarded with countlss photos of people having amazing lives and that only makes you feel worse about your own situation. While we all know that what we see online does not really represent reality, it still definitely lowers our self-esteem. This is a vicious cycle which leaves you with a stronger need for external validation; you don’t feel good enough about yourself if your post doesn’t get likes. Not only is social media affect-

ing your happiness and/or the way you perceive your life, it is also rewiring your brain in a way that has never been seen before. Have you ever felt your phone vibrate but then realized that it had not? This is called Õûphantom vibration syndrome and it has been claimed that nine out of 10 people have experienced this sensation. We are so used to our phones that they have almost become a part of us. While is it great that anyone can publish their thoughts and ideas online, the part where these people are able to influence kids who have grown up with social media is concerning. But step back and ask yourself, what are you really gaining by pouring hours of your day into social media. Is people’s validation that important to you? Would you rather just not have a conversation with a friend than check your phone every minute? If you feel like any of what I’ve mentioned above is even remotely true for you, try to stop posting on social media for a period you are comfortable with. I have personally challenged myself to go an entire month without posting on social media and it has been liberating.


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2017

Opinion

• 13 OPINION EDITOR EMILY WAITSON opinion@thecord.ca

too much history around gun ownership in the States — the United States is actually the biggest gun owning country in the world. Stephen Paddock had several guns with him and most rifles were fully automatic. Could this have been prevented with a background check? A gun control law? Other countries have proven gun control laws are a possible solution to gun violence.

What the United States obviously needs is better gun control. This incident has become the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in the States. Gun Violence Archive, a website that tracks occurrences of mass shootings across the states, has provided individuals with accurate information on gun related violence in the United States. The website states that the total

recorded number of incidents of gun violence in 2017 is 54,504 at the time of writing. The total number of deaths recorded is 13,745. The total of mass shootings is 321. There are also 655 deaths of children by gun violence and teenagers are up to 2,886. And the year isn’t quite over. Countries like Japan and England prove that strict gun laws work in lowering the number of homicides. Walter Hickey, a writer for Business Insider stated, “In 2011, the U.K. had 0.07 gun homicides for every 100,000 people; the U.S., by contrast, had 3 gun homicides for every 100,000.” England and Japan are not the only ones as Australia took action in banning and restricting access to guns. Australia proved a decline in homicides and decrease in mass shootings. The problem right now is that anyone in the United States has the ability to buy guns online or at shows and swap meets due to the fact that background checks are only required under federal law for sales conducted by licensed dealers. Background checks have proven over and over to be essentially important. Yet, this problem seems to never be fully addressed or attempted to be fixed. The counter argument to gun control is that there are too many privately owned guns and there is

expanded tournament leads to a less difficult qualification process, therefore increasing the odds that notable teams will qualify. When teams like the Netherlands or Italy fail to qualify for the tournament, soccer fans should not despair they should rejoice. The failure of these teams indicates that even established soccer powers can fail to live up to the standards to which they are held. The current qualifying process creates uncertainty which, in turn, contributes to an even more exciting tournament for fans. Furthermore, the 2026 qualification format for the tournament will enable continents to send a greater amount of teams to the tournament. For example, Asia and Africa will be able to send three and four

more teams, respectively, to the tournament. Historically, the World Cup has disproportionately favoured European and South American teams in the qualification process by granting them more slots to qualify from. Since 1950, out of 17 tournaments, only once has an Asian team progressed to the semi-finals. Never has an African, North American or Oceanic team progressed past the quarter-finals. Maybe the reason why teams from less reputed confederations are underrepresented is that they deserve to be underrepresented. They simply don’t possess the talent to compete effectively in the tournament. European and South American nations can boast of more eminent

domestic leagues that allow their homegrown players to accumulate the talent necessary to compete on the world stage. Nations in other parts of the world lack this soccer infrastructure. As a soccer fan I’m always rooting for the underdog. But by expanding the number of underdogs in the tournament, the more likely it is that those teams that didn’t deserve to qualify in the first place will succumb to teams like Germany or Brazil and leave embarrassed. This 2026 expansion of the tournament, which seemingly helps promote the interests of disadvantaged nations at the expense of the integrity of the system as a whole, is harmful to the spirit and competitive nature of the FIFA World Cup.

ings in the United States. In a recent incident, a gunman opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 people at a concert at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada on Oct. 1. 58 people died, 546 were injured and the gunman took his own life after the massacre. The question remains on how the gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, was able to smuggle several rifles into his suite in the Mandalay Bay hotel.

ALAN LI/GRAPHICS EDITOR

Regulating guns ADINA TURKONJE STAFF WRITER

There are people who have firm stances when it comes to gun control and then there are few people that know about it well enough to take a stance. The goal of gun control is to decrease gun violence, crimes and deaths from mass shootings. During a midnight film screening of The Dark Knight Rises on

July 20, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado, a gunman stormed into the theatre setting off tear gas grenades and shot numerous people with multiple firearms. 12 people died and over 70 people were injured in the mass shooting. It was considered one of the largest mass shootings because of the casualties. But then in December of 2012, a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and killed 20 children, six adults and then took his own life. Since Sandy Hook, there have been more than 1,500 mass shoot-

The question remains on how the gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, was able to smuggle several rifles into his suite in the Mandalay Bay hotel.

England and Japan are not the only ones as Australia took action in banning and restricting access to guns.

Something must be done to decrease the violence because ignoring the problem, not knowing about the problem and most importantly, arguing that gun control isn’t a good solution isn’t helping anybody. It is easy to argue against something rather than provide alternatives. My only advice is to take action. There is information online and it’s all at your fingertips.

No changes for FIFA JACOB BROZ STAFF WRITER

Since 1998 the World Cup has consisted of 32 teams. For the 2026 edition FIFA, the international governing body of professional soccer, has moved to expand the tournament to 48 teams. FIFA is expanding the tournament to encourage the development of teams from “underrepresented” federations, such as Asia, Oceania and Africa. This expansion may assist nations to play on the world stage, but it will only serve to dilute the quality and prestige of the competition. I love soccer. Never have I experienced such emotional peaks and valleys as I do when Croatia, the team I support, plays. Fortunately, despite being a small nation of four million that has to endure a challenging European qualifying process, they have qualified for the World Cup that is being held in Russia next summer. However, Croatia’s road to qualification was steeped in difficulty due to an incompetent coach and apathetic players that didn’t fully utilize their athletic gifts.

If Croatia had failed to qualify, which was almost the case, I would have been very sad. Despite this I would have still realized that, if they didn’t perform well in the qualifiers, they probably wouldn’t have deserved to compete in the tournament. For the upcoming tournament the Italian, Dutch, Chilean and American national teams all failed to qualify.

This expansion may assist nations to play on the world stage, but it will only serve to dilute the quality and prestige of the competition.

iiiiSome of the top stars of the game compete for these teams. Their absence from the tournament will surely be missed, but it is also necessary. The World Cup shouldn’t be a tournament where more prominent and star-studded teams — such as the Italian and Dutch teams — are entitled to play in. An

CONTRIBUTED IMAGE


14 • OPINION

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2017

Self-care isn’t always simple EMILY WAITSON OPINION EDITOR

As we transition into the colder months, I’ve noticed an increase in the amount of Buzzfeed articles and Tumblr posts that are shared about self-care. Ways that people can tackle the winter blues and combat their mental health issues are commonly reduced down to beauty items and junk food that you can buy at your local Walmart. Self-care has become an oversimplified concept that’s portrayed to be a one-size-fits-all treatment for anything from a bad day, to clinical depression. Many of the things I read — though well-intended — completely miss the mark for what the term can mean for the people they’re trying to reach. Although there are days where having a bubble bath courtesy of a stress-reducing Lush bath bomb and a drugstore face mask will make me feel better, they aren’t magical cure-alls to my mental health problems.

Understandably, self-care will be different for every person. No one is exactly the same and how we cope and look after ourselves, especially mentally, is going to depend on the individual. Posts that merely encourage you to stay in all day on an unmade bed, cancel plan after plan and watch Disney movies aren’t the only ways selfcare should be promoted. Realistically, self-care isn’t a picturesque Pinterest post that’s worthy of soft lighting, a nauseating caption and some fairy lights. It can be extremely difficult, tiring and mundane, at least to some extent. What should be added to these trite lists of Amazon products to buy in times of mental hardship and candles to light when things are tough, are the not so pretty aspects of looking after yourself mentally that may not seem entirely noteworthy or easy to discuss. For some, that may mean regularly taking prescription medication. It can be not letting your laundry pile up into a disgusting heap, going to school when you don’t want to, cutting toxic people out of your life who cause you nothing but pain and stress, talking to therapists, or eating a meal when you’d

rather skip it entirely. It isn’t always an option to simply shut off and avoid responsibility. While taking time outs for your mental well-being is crucial when you need it, it’s important to remember that not everyone has that luxury and it isn’t a realistic option to resort to all the time. Maintaining some level of stability in everyday life is challenging enough. It’s made all the more difficult when the basic understanding that’s portrayed about mental health care is a luxurious spa day and memes about cancelling plans. I am by no means the foremost authority for deciding how to properly label self-care. Making consciously thought out decisions regarding your mental health is what is most important and there shouldn’t be a disconnect between that and avoiding the problem all together. Self-care can be an exhaustive labour of effort and resources. It’s not something that can just be diminished to a “treat yourself” shopping trip or an ordered-in pizza. Not everyone functions the same way and it’s destructive to assume that we would care for ourselves mentally with methods confined to a few points and nothing more.

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QIAO LIU/CORD PHOTOGRAPHY

Night-night, Nikon

Canon’s campaign puts Nikon to shame

MADELINE MCINNIS CREATIVE DIRECTOR

If you’re up on the camera world — or even if you’re not — there are probably two standout brands that come to mind: Nikon and Canon. When I was buying my first DSLR, the choice came down to which brand shot better in low light in my budget. It was Canon. Fast forward three years, I get paid to take photos and I exclusively use Canon products. These past few months have solidified my opinion on the brands and it would take something drastic to change my viewpoint now, especially on such a large and important purchase. A few months ago, Nikon raised eyebrows for their selection of photographers to promote their new camera. They picked 32 photographers from Africa, Asia and the Middle East to head up the PR campaign — and every last one of them was male. It doesn’t take long to see that women are already underrepresented in this field of work. Need a close to home example? Look at the photographers in this newspaper alone. Places like this are where photographers can get a leg-up in the industry and build a portfolio, and it’s genuinely disheartening that there is a lack of diversity in volunteers. Women, I know you’re out there, please take some photos. I’ve only really had the opportunities I’ve had because of the faith last year’s editor-in-chief of The Cord put in me and the fact that I made the largest purchase of my life in a camera I couldn’t really afford as a high school graduation gift to myself. I suppose an argument could be made that it’s progressive to have photographers from the geographical areas Nikon selected and it is. However, you can’t just check “yes” on one minority card and move on. I guarantee that there are very talented female photographers in these geographical areas too. No one falls into just one identity category. The more diverse the people

a company chooses to represent them, the more diverse the output will be. With Nikon’s lapse of judgment — or them simply not caring at all — it’s disheartening to be in a position like mine. However, with no doubt in my mind that these are connected, Canon has released a whole campaign embracing female photographers. When I was waiting to see Thor: Ragnorok, there were two ads for Canon after the lights dimmed both of which featured women behind the lens. Normally I’m not a fan of using people’s hardships and controversy to sell products. I think it’s a cheap way to point to an already downtrodden group of people and make an example out of them in the hopes of drawing sales from acknowledging their problems.

With Nikon’s lapse of judgment — or simply not caring at all — it’s disheartening to be in a position like mine.

The thing that’s different about Canon’s new campaign is that it’s so natural. They’re not talking about the woes of trying to make it as a female in a male-dominated industry. The ads are about their cameras. It just happens to be women that are using them. I’ve written countless articles in the past about how normalizing people in certain areas and fields is important to actually seeing equity in the first place. The fact that Canon recognizes that — cash grab or not — is a step in the right direction, especially compared to their big-time competitor. So what’s picture perfect? Inclusion. Thanks Canon for making that a reality — and I’m also glad that your cameras take better pictures in low light.


• 15

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2017

Sports

SPORTS EDITOR PRANAV DESAI sports@thecord.ca

MEN’S BASKETBALL

Hawks split weekend series

Tanner Graham would nail a dagger three pointer with 1:04 left. Ali Sow would answer with a layup to cut it to one but Laurier just wasn’t capable of closing it out this time.

their foot on the gas, finishing the quarter up 70-59. The game got interesting in the fourth as York would find life once again; they started on a 7-1 run to cut the lead down to five in the first couple of minutes. After three free throws from Ntore Habimana of Laurier, the Lions would go on a short 6-0 run and keep the lead to at least four for a few minutes. In the end, Laurier proved to be too much for the Lions, pulling away with stifling defense and key baskets late in the game when it mattered most. The final score was 87-75. “I thought at the end of the game

we were good. It was more the third quarter really, early in the fourth,” Serresse said. “It goes back to the first half … it’s finishing the first half stronger. It’s just being able to extend and really it’s just mistakes. We have to give them credit, they’re a pretty good team.” Next up was the Queen’s Gaels on Saturday night and the Gaels showed up motivated as ever, coming off an 87-75 loss to the Waterloo Warriors the night prior. The first quarter was tight, as the Golden Hawks matched the Gaels pretty much bucket for bucket. That would be the case until the Gaels pulled out of the first quarter with a 25-19 lead following a nice jumper to end the quarter by Jaz Bains. The second quarter brought along a strong push by Queen’s to really create separation from the Hawks. They quickly jumped out to a 10-point lead and lead by at least six for more than half of the quarter. Laurier answered, cutting it down to one, but Queen’s would go into halftime up 44-41 with momentum following a layup at the buzzer from Quinton Gray. The third quarter was a similar story as Queen’s would hit Laurier early, coming out to a 10-point lead at one point and going into the fourth up 60-55. In the final quarter, Laurier came out swinging as they attempted to recover the lead, eventually tying at 74 points. With the game tied at 74 though,

tivated her to do well for her team at large. “I am so proud of Laurier as a whole because the entire team supports each other and everyone’s strength and determination is inspiring,” Boucher said. “This led us to our best placing ever at a national event, which is an honour to be a part of.”

Though the team had a great showing at this year’s national competition, Boucher and the rest of the Laurier XC team are hungry to improve for next year. “I am so excited for next year because we have such a solid group this year,” she said. “A struggle for everyone is putting in work through the

winter where the weather adds an obstacle and most importantly the summer where distractions may interfere with training.” “By competing in races through the indoor track season — which starts Dec. 2 — I know our team will make progress over this year and make even greater achievements next cross-country season.”

TANZEEL SAYANI/PHOTO EDITOR

ABDULHAMID IBRAHIM LEAD SPORTS REPORTER

Following a win against Ottawa and a blowout loss to Carleton last week, next up for the Wilfrid Laurier University men’s basketball team would be the York Lions. Utilizing good ball movement, efficient scoring and good defense, the Hawks jumped on the Lions quickly to start the game, coming out of the first quarter with a 24-16 lead. Moving into the second quarter it would be much of the same, as Laurier would maintain a near — if not — double digit lead. Near halftime though — and up

12 — Laurier would surrender a 3-pointer to York’s DeShawn Montaque giving the Lions a feeling of momentum and life going into halftime down 49-40. “I thought we gave them life in the second quarter. We were unable to stretch our lead,” head coach Justin Serresse said. “It goes from one point at 14 or something like that and then back to nine … we were at 12, we go back to nine. We kept playing that game.” The third quarter began with a 9-2 run for Laurier, as they pushed their lead to 16 just over two minutes into the quarter. From there, they would keep

It’s just being able to extend and really it’s just mistakes. We have to give them credit, they’re a pretty good team. -Justin Serresse, Laurier men’s basketball head coach

The Hawks would fall 77-76 after a missed three-point attempt at the buzzer for the win. “We had no urgency on the game plan,” Serresse said. “At the beginning of the game we were supposed to do some stuff to take away their shooters. We didn’t.” “We let them get going and then, against a team like that, they’re going to make up some shots; they’ve got confidence,” he added. “We thought we were resilient, but once you give them life, it’s going to be really, really hard.” The Hawks will take on the University of Toronto Varsity Blues and the Ryerson Rams in Toronto this weekend as they look to improve their 3-4 record.

CROSS COUNTRY

Blazing Boucher HAYLEY MCGOLDRICK CORD SPORTS

The Wilfrid Laurier University varsity cross country team made a successful trip to British Columbia on Nov. 11 for the U Sports Cross Country Nationals. Laurier finished 18th out of 22 teams; the best finish the school has ever had and an improvement on their 21st-place finish at last year’s nationals. The top finisher overall for Laurier was third-year veteran Bettina Boucher, who finished number 22 out of 151 runners with a time of 29:49 on the eight kilometer course. Boucher has been named the XC team MVP for both the 2015/2016 and the 2016/2017 seasons, as well as a 2017 OUA Cross Country Second Team All-Star. On the male runners’ side of the Laurier team, fourth-year runner Joe Sheridan led the men of Laurier with a time of 33 minutes and 18 seconds, which gave him a 62nd place finish. Finishing in the top 15 per cent of runners, Boucher had to find the perfect strategy on how to keep

a steady pace and not tire herself out. She reflected on how she achieved such a feat, stating, “The race was four laps of two kilometers, in such a long race of eight kilometers it is important to stay patient and relaxed at the beginning and to stay strong through the third and fourth laps where it is easy to lose focus.”

I am so proud of Laurier as a whole because the entire team supports each other and everyone’s strength...is inspiring. -Bettina Boucher, Laurier women’s cross country runner

Boucher was also extremely proud of her Laurier teammates, as they were not only moral support for her doing so well, but they mo-

CONTRIBUTED IMAGE


16 • SPORTS

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2017

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Morrison breaks records, leads to win ABDULHAMID IBRAHIM LEAD SPORTS REPORTER

Following a 1-1 weekend last week, the Wilfrid Laurier University women’s basketball team was looking to go 2-0 this time around. First up in their two game weekend was the York Lions, who would present quite the challenge. The first quarter was evenly matched as both teams had an answer for the other consistently throughout. Going into the second quarter up 21-17, both teams knew they could have done more in the first, but York would come out trying to prove a point. Laurier had managed to stick around for most of the quarter until the Lions started to find themselves. Led by star Lindsay Shotbolt, who had a double-double by halftime, York played good defense and found efficient looks with good ball movement. They went into halftime up 39-25. As per usual, Laurier would not go down easily. Laurier opened the third quarter on an 11-2 run less than three minutes into the third quarter to bring the score to 41-36. The issue? York would answer with a 13-0 run of their own over the next four minutes, pushing the lead to 18. An answer would materialize though, courtesy of Nicole Morrison of Laurier. Morrison went on a

QIAO LIU/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

10-0 run of her own for the Hawks, finishing out the last three minutes of the quarter with a score of 54-44. Come the fourth quarter, York proved too much as they would stifle the Golden Hawks. The Lions would come out on top with a final score of 69-58, led by Lindsay Shotbolt who had 17 points and 19 rebounds. “Overall [it’s a] disappointing effort,” head coach Paul Falco said. “I think we got out-competed for stretches of that game.” “We made really difficult decisions with the basketball which either led to a turnover or a low percentage shot and it’s tough to play defense if they’re running the other way, running 2-on-1 layups.” Next up would be the Queen’s Gaels, ranked tenth in the league. Laurier, looking to bounce back,

came out as motivated as ever. The Hawks played well on defense, which gave them a 16-12 lead at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter was similar, with both teams playing aggressively on defense and Queen’s keeping themselves in the game throughout. The score going into halftime would 30-29. The third quarter is where things got interesting. Nicole Morrison came out firing, scoring 11 of Laurier’s first 13 points and assisting on the other two points. She would go on to score 19 in the quarter as both teams enjoyed offensive bursts but the Hawks would be up 61-53 going into the fourth. Fast forward to the 3:37 mark of the fourth quarter: Emma Ritcey of

Queen’s brought the score to 69-67, Laurier up. After a three-pointer from Morrison, giving her 37 for the game to make it 72-67, Veronika Lavergne of Queen’s would get a layup and one to make it 72-70. Unfortunately for the Gaels, they would not be able to capitalize and Laurier would come out on top with the statement win. “I think what you saw today was a team that battled for 40 minutes and that was our number one goal, win or lose,” Falco said. With her 37 points, Nicole Morrison would break the OUA all-time single game scoring record of 32 points. “I think you remember more about a team effort than you do individual statistics, but that’s just my opinion,” she concluded.

FOOTBALL

Kurleigh Gittens wins OUA MVP DANIEL JOHNSON STAFF WRITER

As the clock struck zero in the contest for the Yates Cup, the Golden Hawks fell short of being able to call themselves champions. But time has passed and perspective has been gained for Golden Hawks receiver Kurleigh Gittens Jr. “We’ve been through a lot of obstacles,” Gittens Jr. said. “But all those things … without us going through all those obstacles we wouldn’t be the team we are, in the Yates Cup.” “Obviously, we didn’t get the result we wanted to but I felt like it was a successful season, not everything ends with winning. You have to grow in order to win, so that’s what I think we did, we grew,” he said. The reality of the game is that only one team gets to be content at the end of the year. Not every year is going to end in championships, that’s what keeps things interesting. Even when teams fall short they can still find high points on the season, looking to obstacles overcome and challenges met. The work of third-year receiver Kurleigh Gittens Jr. was perhaps one of the team’s highest points. His efforts totaled for 953 yards

on 75 receptions and six touchdowns, earning him the title of OUA MVP. This makes Gittens Jr. the fifth Golden Hawk to ever win the award. “It means more to the team than me because without my quarterback, without my other receivers, without the o-linemen none of it could have been possible so I got to thank everyone.” Gittens Jr. understands that in football all achievements are team achievements — and that his ability to do his job relies on the abilities of 11 others to do theirs. “So it’s not just me,” he said. “It’s people, it’s my coaches, it’s my teammates too. It’s nice to get [the MVP award], it feels good; it’s a nice little confidence boost.” Kurleigh Gittens Jr. came into this season wanting to contribute more to his team. “Last year the season didn’t go the way I wanted, but this year I kind of had a chip on my shoulder,” he said. In order to be the player he wanted to be he had to make changes in the offseason, this included getting bigger. “I really focused on getting bigger. I was just focusing on upper body, I wasn’t proportionate. So that resulted in last year me having hamstring issues throughout the whole year.”

But adding extra mass not only helped Gittens Jr. stay healthy throughout the season, it helped transform his game. “As a first-year receiver I was a fast guy, a speed guy. Second year I didn’t really find my identity because I was hurt … [I] wasn’t myself,” he said. “And this year, I developed into an all-around receiver, which is speed, running every single route tree there is and just blocking and also adding to the return game.” As receivers age, they get better at separating from cornerbacks and, for Gittens Jr., gone are the days of just being faster than the other man. He has transitioned from being an excellent deep threat receiver to being a dangerous all-around receiver that defensive coordinators have to game plan for. “That’s what this season truly dictates,” Gittens Jr. said. “That I am an all-around receiver that I can do everything … and that’s more dangerous than anything else.” How defenses have decided to play number 19 for the Hawks changed throughout the course of the year. As the season progressed teams needed to allocate more attention to stop Gittens Jr. “So it started off with just man on man and then once [we got] a couple games in they shaded

SADMAN SAKIB RAHMAN/CORD PHOTOS

a mesh guy, sometimes it would be the safety. And then one guy presses me and then one guy over him,” he said. Football can be a numbers game and, the more defenses try to stop Kurleigh Gittens Jr, the easier it is for his teammates to get the ball. Gittens Jr. isn’t all that concerned with how teams play him, as long as the end result is a win. “If I don’t get the ball that means

my other guys are open and I am 100 per cent sure they’re going to make the play,” he said. Even with all the accolades, Gittens Jr doesn’t find himself taking much time to bask in past achievements. “I am always hungry … that’s really my focus for next year and in life too. Just focus on what I can control and everything else will follow.”

The Cord Nov. 22, 2017  

Volume 58, Issue 13

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