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Campus Conversation Starter Initiative sparks discussion and promotes positive mental health practices at Laurier News, page 3






Waterloo lands on top ten of Canada list

Budget for renovations is approved

The Snake Pit hosts artists and vendors

What led to Nassar cannot go unchecked

Saxton proves to be a bright spot for Hawks

News, page 4

News, page 9

Arts & Life, page 9

Opinion, page 14

Sports, page 16


2 •



Who would you want to see as the next Super Bowl halftime performer?


The Cord




“Britney Spears and Beyonce.” –Rachel Reddon, thirdyear chemistry.

“Michael Jackson.” –Nicole McCourt, firstyear communications.


President-elect, Tarique Plummer, celebrates victory moments after the results from the Students’ Union’s 2018 election are announced at Wilf’s.

The semester may be

“Imagine Dragos.”

almost halfway done...

–Rob Fedorowicz, firstyear computer science.

“Drake.” –Janelle Weinz, thirdyear business administration.

But The Cord will still be there when it ends.

FEBRUARY 14, 2017



ARTS & LIFE EDITOR Shyenne MacDonald





WEB DIRECTOR Garrison Oosterhof






NEWS EDITOR Nathalie Bouchard


1969: Jim Morrison is arrested for drunk driving and driving without a license. 1949: Joe DiMaggio becomes the first baseball player to make $100,000 a year. 1964: Cassius Clay converts to Islam and is renamed Muhammad Ali.

2000: Big Pun died of a heart attack at the age of 28.


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kurtis Rideout

1964: The Beatles arrive in New York ahead of their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.

1973: The Stooges release their third album, “Raw Power”

Compiled by Erin Abe Photos by Sadman Sakib Rahman NEXT ISSUE





Nirupam Singh Evangeline Hunt Hayley McGoldrick John McMorran Victoria Berndt Tyler Curie Sara Burgess Aaron Hagey Stephanie Saunders

“Unseen not unheard” by Shyenne MacDonald

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

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

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 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

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: “You can be a girl until you are 35.” - Web Director, Garrison Oosterhof, on the topic of ‘boys and girls’ vs ‘men and women’.



• 3







On Jan. 31, 2018, Bridging the Gap, a student run club at Wilfrid Laurier University, presented their newest mental health initiative: the Friendship Bench. The Friendship Bench was made possible by the efforts of Bridging the Gap with the additional support of Sarina Wheeler, coordinator of Wellness Education at Laurier, Leanne Holland Brown, dean of students and funds from The Student Life Levy. The grand opening took place on the annual #BellLetsTalk day initiative started by Bell Canada, a telecommunications company. The event also fell on Laurier’s Thrive Week which focuses on bringing events to students that promote positive mental health. Bridging the Gap has their own initiative which brings students positive mental health programming. One of their initiatives this year was the Friendship Bench. “As a club, we like to advocate for mental health awareness,” Dylan Methner, co-president of Bridging the Gap, said. “But what separates us from everyone else is we like to do physical things that make a difference [in addition to] talking about it. This is a big piece for us to bring [the Friendship Bench] to the students.” In addition to Methner, Ashley Siegel, the other co-president of Bridging the Gap, shared her own battle with mental health to those in attendance at the grand opening of the Friendship Bench. “I began my undergrad journey at Queen’s University where I was flooded by depression and anxiety,” Siegel said. “With endless love and support I was able to make it through my first year and transfer to Laurier, where I always felt safe and supported.” “I also unfortunately know the realty of mental illness and how it can destroy lives and families. On May 29, 2015, my father lost his battle to depression. He was a social worker who dedicated his life to helping others cope with mental illness.”

Siegel explained that mental illnesses are treatable and suicide is not the only answer. The Friendship Bench is one of the two main initiatives this year of Bridging the Gap has undertaken with hopes to remind students that their mental health is a priority. “Today I not only want to honour my father’s life and remind people of the incredible man he was but [I] also [want to] turn my grief into strength and let everyone know that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary and manageable problem,” Siegel said.

Every Laurier student who walks by this bench knows that they are not alone and there is never a reason to suffer in silence ... -Ashley Siegel, co-president of Bridging the Gap

“Every Laurier student who walks by this bench knows that they are not alone and there is never a reason to suffer in silence mental illness does not need to be debilitating it is something that people can cope with and learn from and become better people because of it.” Sarina Wheeler, coordinator of Wellness Education at Laurier, explained in the grand opening presentation that there are many services at Laurier which students can access regarding their mental health. “There are numerous professional services for students to talk advantage of from one on one counselling, to crisis lines, mental health educational workshops, but it’s also vital to have a good friend to talk to, peer-to-peer connection has a big impact on student’s mental well-being,” Wheeler said. “The new your mental health matters poster which will welcome

users to the friendship bench providing a list of mental health resources.” Sam Fiorella is a co-founder of the Friendship Bench initiative as well as the father of the late Lucas Fiorella. The mission of the Friendship Bench is to inspire conversations and help in order to de-stigmatize mental health and connect more students with peers, faculty and/or professionals available to assist with mental health difficulties. “The Friendship Bench is a permanent visual reminder for students to take a minute of their day and think about their mental health.” “We’re hoping to inspire peer to peer conversations about mental health so inspire them to just breathe and take a minute out of their day to breathe and to feel a little bit more at claim and at peace with themselves so they can better handle what else is going on.” The Lucas Fiorella Friendship Bench was created in memory of Lucas Fiorella a Canadian student whom lost his battle with depression Oct. 2014. “The friendship bench was created in memory of my son, to continue the work that he was doing before he died by suicide,” Susan Fiorella, mother of Lucas Fiorella said. “After he died we learned from his friends, some that we knew and some that we didn’t, that he had prevented others from taking their life or he had prevented others from leaving school and quitting school when they couldn’t make friends.” “Some of my friends and I got together and said [it’s a] shame Lucas isn’t here to keep having those conversations, and saying hello to these people, so the concept of the Friendship Bench, is to keep his memory alive but also to keep on that legacy.” Holland-Brown explained that the Friendship Bench serves as an invitation to conversation about mental and can help students take the possible necessary step to accessing mental health resources. “The friendship bench is a reminder and serves as a symbol


to students as an invitation to conversation and a reminder that support is available and a reminder that talking about mental health is really important for students and not always an easy step for people and a really difficult step for a lot of people,” Holland-Brown said. “So, the more reminders that we can give on campus for students that we care help is available you don’t need to do this on your own.” In the center of the friendship bench is a website:; a resource which students can use which lists the mental health resources on campus which students can access.

Yellow is For Hello is a campaign by the co-founders of the friendship bench, which is why the bench is in fact yellow. The colour yellow is said by Fiorella to inspire conversations and promote discussion concerning mental health. “Yellow psychologically represents happy and conversations, so we thought what a better combination, because that’s what we’re trying to do inspire conversations, we wanted it to stand out, we wanted it to be bright so that people think ‘yellow is for hello,’”Fiorella said. “One hello can start a conversation that can save a life.”

4 • NEWS



Laurier professor investigates the true influences of politics ERIN ABE LEAD REPORTER

Jason Roy, an associate professor in the department of political science at Wilfrid Laurier University, has been conducting research on how individuals are influenced by different events or aspects of a political campaign. Roy’s research looks at how individuals change the information they seek when they’re exposed to pre-election polls and whether or not this ultimately influences their vote. “When one party is leading in poll results and one party is trailing, how does that change not just the vote but what information they then seek out?” Roy asked. Over the last five years, Roy has been conducting online experiments that track an individual’s online behaviour. The experiment tests two separate groups, creating scenarios where the only difference between the groups is one is exposed to election polls. The experiment then tracks if this poll exposure ultimately influ-

ences their vote if it does at all. Roy and his colleagues have conducted research in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and will be launching studies soon in Argentina and the United States. Research conducted so far has looked at the use of negativity in

We tend to simply accept the fact that young people don’t vote.

-Jason Roy, associate professor in political science at Laurier

campaigning, the quality of the candidate and scandals both moral and financial in the public and private. The focus of this is to analyze

how the decision-making process changes the information that individuals look at after being exposed to the various bits of new information. “For example, the star candidate, how does that change the way you process the election, the information you seek out and how you ultimately vote?” Roy questioned. There has also been a focus on determining whether those who are more politically aware or informed are less susceptible to be affected by factors such as this. One of the biggest conclusions of the research conducted so far has been that better decisions are made when decisions are based on as much correct information one can compile before placing a vote. “When people tend to give up or take shortcuts on the information search, the decisions they make tend to be less or have a greater potential to not reflect the true preferences they would have made, had they of engaged in a more detailed information search,” Roy said. Roy began this study by looking at young people and their voting behaviour preferences.


“We tend to simply accept the fact that young people don’t vote,” Roy said. “I was interested in how different types of electoral systems led young people in particular to shift the types of information they looked at, prior to casting a ballot.” The future research hopes to reveal how the different political paths individuals take lead them to different outcomes and whether or not the path they choose can be

manipulated. “[The research is about] understanding how individuals might be manipulated to seek information or not seek, or change their preferences based on other information,” Roy said. “If only certain parts of the population tend to shift behavior, that means there is potential for some parts of the population to be making choices that might not best represent their interest.”


Waterloo Region named hot spot for millennials Point2homes ranks city of Waterloo seventh out of 85 Canadian cities as a top, thriving location STEPHANIE SAUNDERS STAFF WRITER

Millennials not only want jobs but also a progressive city and that’s really what we have to offer.

In the coming years, the Region of Waterloo may see a steady increase of millennials deciding to buy homes and settle down in this thriving city. According to real estate website Point2Homes, the city of Waterloo ranks number seven overall out of 85 Canadian cities as an up-andcoming millennial hot spot for 2018. Quebec City took the number one spot, followed by Victoria, Guelph, Halifax and Ottawa.

The housing market in Waterloo is growing at one of the best rates across Canada. -Shane Kinsella, event organizer at City of Kitchener

To determine the overall attractiveness of a city for this generational demographic, nine individual factors were weighed. These included: education, climate, crime rate, health care, unemployment rate, home price, income, percentage of millennials in the given population and overall life

-Dave Jaworsky, mayor of Waterloo


satisfaction. Shane Kinsella, event organizer for the City of Kitchener, recently made the move from Toronto and purchased his first home in Waterloo. “A lot of people seem to be moving out here,” Kinsella said. “The housing market in Waterloo is growing at one of the best rates across Canada. What you get for your money in terms of a home is substantially different than what you would be looking at in Toronto.” Data compiled from Point2Homes indicates that the average home price for Waterloo comes in at $456,198, compared to Toronto’s extremely high cost of living with

the average home selling price of $818,201. Aside from affordability, there is growing opportunity for talented graduates to launch their careers at a multitude of tech-start up companies in the surrounding area. The KW Region’s expanding technology hub is also home to massive multinational corporations such as Google, Blackberry and Shopify. “We have a youthful, hot-job creating economy here,” Dave Jaworsky, mayor of Waterloo, said. “Millennials not only want jobs but also a progressive city and that’s really what we offer.” Another big attraction is the top-notch educational institutions

situated in Waterloo. These include Laurier, University of Waterloo and Conestoga College. “All of these schools are growing their international reputations and what is even more wonderful is that they complement each other,” Jaworsky said. Waterloo ranked in at number four out of all 85 cities across Canada based on level of education – the percentage of the population with a bachelor’s degree or above. “We are Canada’s education city,” Jaworsky said. “No other city of our size has a student to permanent population ratio higher than ours. The people who live in Waterloo have a thirst for knowledge and a thirst for con-

tinuing their knowledge creation” Jaworsky said. “Moreover, the economy and jobs of the future are dependent on people having a life-long learning habit. The City of Waterloo and our institutions are prepared to provide that.” Additionally, the public transportation system is undergoing momentous development with the launch of the Light Rail Transit system this year. “The LRT will be a zero-emission, environmentally friendly transit system,” Jaworsky said. “It is going to displace 22 diesel-spewing buses.” This is expected to create a more accessible and convenient mode of transportation for residents. The implementation of this system will work to meet growing travel demand and contribute to prospering community development in the Waterloo Region.

NEWS • 5



No safe access zone enforced at Grand River Hospital SAFINA HUSEIN NEWS DIRECTOR

Grand River Hospital (GRH) has decided to refrain from applying for a safe access zone for its Freeport Campus facility despite regular anti-abortion protests which take place in the location’s vicinity. Earlier last week, The Safe Access to Abortion Services Act was officially enforced in Ontario. The bill ultimately establishes a ban on protesting within 50-metres of an abortion clinic. In correspondence with the law, clinics can apply to extend their zone’s radius up to 150 metres. Other health care facilities, such as pharmacies and hospitals, can apply for the safe access zone; however, these facilities were not included within the legislation. The law received royal assent last October in light of increased violence and protests near abortion clinics in Ontario. Lyndsey Butcher, executive director Sexual Health Options Resources Eduction (SHORE) Centre, said that SHORE, amongst many other abortion clinics, has been an advocate for safe zone access for decades. “We’ve been calling for them because we feel that no patient who is accessing healthcare should be judged or shamed,” Butcher said. It became publicly known last week that GRH has forgone their ability to apply for the safe zone. GRH’s Freeport location is a common target for anti-abortion protests. In particular, each fall, anti-abortion protestors situate themselves across the street from Freeport for 40 days from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. “We were hoping that because they are faced with regular anti-abortion protests that Freeport would apply for a safe access zone,” Butchers said. Butchers said that the SHORE Centre has had numerous conversations with GRH about broad community concerns surrounding the protests taking place. “When I spoke with them I reiterated the concerns that our patients have had in accessing care at Freeport and the number of complaints we’ve received about the protests; they still continue to say that they will not be applying for the safe access zone,” she said. Many complaints received by the SHORE Centre are from

individuals who have had to access various types of care at Freeport; the affect of the protests are not limited to those seeking abortion care. In addition, similar emotions have been brought forth for individuals simply driving by the Freeport location while protestors are present. “We know that one in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime. There’s many people who are going to Freeport who may not be there for their abortion that day, but who have had an experience of abortion in the past and they feel like they’re being judged and shamed by these protestors who have no idea what they’ve gone through,” Butchers said. “It impacts many people; not just the people who are seeking abortion care.”

We were hoping that because they are faced with regular anti-abotion protests that Freeport would apply for a safe access zone. -Lyndsey Butchers, executive director of SHORE Centre

In correspondence to the controversy which has stemmed from GRH’s decision on various social media platforms, SHORE Centre has invited community members to submit messages of support. Since creating the shared platform yesterday, SHORE Centre has already received over 200 responses. “Many are from people who have accessed abortion care at Freeport or who have had to drive by these protestors and described the impact its had on them [sic],” Butchers said. The SHORE Centre intends on delivering the messages of support to GRH next week during continued meetings to discuss the safe access zone and its importance for those seeking care at Freeport. “We want to work positively with Grand River Hospital. We’re hopeful that they’ve come to the decision on their own and they’ll reconsider and apply for the zone,” Butchers said.

“But at the end of the day, if they continue to decline to apply, for the benefit of the women and trans people that we serve in this community, we will be applying for a zone on their behalf.” In order to apply for a safe access zone on behalf of GRH, the SHORE Centre will have to convey the reasons behind the request to the office of the attorney general. At the same time, GRH will be

able to express their views behind their decision to refrain. “It’ll be up to the office of the attorney general for which one is enforced,” Butchers said. “So we want to show there’s broad community support for the zone. The Cord reached out to GRH and received a statement about their decision pertaining to safe access zones as followed:

“Our commitment has always been to maintain access for all patients to the Freeport Campus at all times. Grand River Hospital has heard the feedback expressed in recent days. We have also reached out to a range of stakeholders to discuss their concerns.” “We will carefully consider the needs of patients and our care providers in any decision to maintain access to the Freeport Campus.”

6 • NEWS




Eventful SU board meeting Order of Ontario for JAKE WATTS NEWS EDITOR

The Students’ Union Board of Directors meeting held on Feb. 2, the day after the Students’ Union election results were announced, was particularly eventful. Starting off the meeting was a presentation on reproductive rights lead by Alicia Hall, along with other members of the group “Laurier Students for Pro-Choice.” The presentation addressed the issue of abortion generally, and then levied specific objections to the Students’ Union-funded club, LifeLink. Their presentation comes in the wake of LifeLink’s demonstration this past fall, which the presenters say caused distress among Laurier’s student population. Laurier Students for Pro-Choice concluded by presenting a set of example motions that the board could pass to affirm the Students’ Union’s commitment to reproductive rights. One such motion reads: “Be it further resolved that if clubs do not amend their constitution or

continue to plan anti-choice events or campaigns, they will forfeit their student union funding and future events and campaigns run by such clubs will be required to take place in such a way that individuals will have a choice in their level of engagement with these events or campaigns (ex. take place in closed rooms).” The board, having only included the presentation in their agenda as “for information,” opted not to consider any such motions at the meeting. Following that, the chair of the elections portfolio, Muhammad Talha Naeem, delivered comments on the recently passed election and its low voter turnout. Board members compared different explanations for the 22 per cent voter turnout, which has remained stagnant over the years. After that discussion, the board officially ratified the previous day’s election results, cementing Tarique Plummer as incoming president and CEO, as well as all of the other winners’ future roles in the Students’ Union. Plummer, who prior to the Feb.

2 board meeting was the Chair and CGO of the board of directors, set forward a motion to resign from that position because of his status as Students’ Union president-elect. The motion passed and Plummer automatically assumed the role of director. Ensuing this, there was an on-the-spot election to determine who would be the new Chair and CGO of the board for the remainder of the 2017-18 fiscal year. Director Rezkalla nominated Director Wojtanowski for the role and Director Hassan nominated Director Naeem. Both candidates were asked a series of questions and then each candidate delivered opening remarks. During this period, Director Naeem emphasized his experience as Chair of the Elections Portfolio, and Director Wojtanowski emphasized her commitment and dedication to the Students’ Union. Votes from board members, both electronic and written on slips of paper, were gathered and tallied. After counting the votes the board moved to elect Naeem as the next Chair and CGO of the board.

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Leslie Fagan, Laurier music professor, has been appointed to the Order of Ontario. Fagan is the coordinator of the voice program at Laurier’s Faculty of Music and a world-renowned soprano. The Order of Ontario is the province’s highest civilian honour and Fagan is among the 23 new members of the order this year. The new members of the Order of Ontario were announced on Jan. 29, 2018. The ceremony to appoint Fagan and the other new members will take place Feb. 27, 2018, at the Ontario Parliament Building in Toronto. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, will present the new members with a medal, official pictures will be taken and then a celebratory dinner will take place. “I don’t think that anybody receives this sort of order on their own,” Fagan said. “I would not be receiving this order if I wasn’t surrounded by a supportive community and a deeply loving family.” The award is in recognition for excellence of service and to honour what members have contributed to society, within Ontario, their community, across the country and, in some cases, around the world. Fagan will be receiving the honour along with others who have made medical innovations, first nations elders, Michael Lee-Chin and more. “When I look at those people and look at what they have contributed I’m unbelievably humbled to be in their company,” Fagan said. Fagan has an established international singing career and

has sung at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, England, and many stages across Europe and the Middle East. “I’m at the point where I have learned from some of the great masters in the world and I have the privilege now of sharing that with the next generation of singers,” Fagan said. Fagan has also contributed work to the Legacy Project along with Lorin Shalanko, to further the exploration of Canadian art song. Working to record many Canadian songs written in the classical tradition, so Canadian music can become celebrated in its classical form. “The [songs] come from all across this country and they represent the diversity that we as a culture have and celebrate in Canada; our goal is to record as many of those beautiful songs as possible,” Fagan said. Fagan has been singing since she was 15 years old. “I grew up in a very musical family, there was always singing in the household,” Fagan said. Since, she has worked with many great international singing teachers including, Madame Irene Jessner, a soprano vocalist who has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, and Ileana Cotrubas a Romanian soprano who has sung at all major opera houses and many more. “Many of the best teachers in the world I’ve been able to work with,” Fagan said. Fagan grew up in a musical family and her father Gerald Fagan received the Order of Ontario in 2011 and the Order of Canada in 2016 for his work as a choral and orchestra conductor in London, Ont.,. and internationally. “It’s a little bit surreal but completely humbling,” Fagan said.

NEWS • 7



Turret renovations to begin this May JAKE WATTS NEWS EDITOR

The Students’ Union has announced the next phase of their Turret renovations, with a $2.2 million construction project beginning this May. The Turret, a multi-purpose event space located above the 24Hour Lounge, has been the subject of renovations talk for a number of years now. “The Turret project started a few years ago when our former executive director Roly Webster and the student leadership at that time wanted to kind of enhance that space,” Kanwar Brar, president and CEO of the Students’ Union, said. “We had a group of students from Conestoga College come and give some preliminary analysis and designs and we rejected that at that time because it wasn’t what we were looking for,” Brar said. In the time since then, however, the Students’ Union has managed to put together a plan — working with an architecture firm and the university — to transform the space and the way it is used. “We will be using it both as a social venue, but also as a study space,” Brar said. “And it will be transformable, which is the biggest benefit out of it. During the day, if there are no events taking place, any student

can go up, use the Turret lounge chairs and couches for more comfortable seating, but on the Hawk’s nest side there will be more study space, group study spots, mobile whiteboards,” Brar said. Although the Students’ Union envisions the space to be similar to Wilf’s and the concourse, there are no plans to open any sort of café or restaurant within it. “Given that Wilf’s is right underneath, we’re exploring options of just having some of the food service options go upstairs so people have the option to order and have food delivered to them upstairs,” Brar said. With construction beginning in May, Brar said that completion of the project is anticipated to be fall of this year. “The projected completion date is fall 2018. I know that may seem vague; we want to try to have it ready for Labour Day weekend,” Brar said. “We do understand with construction there are some challenges sometimes and complexities, and the latest we would anticipate is reading week of fall of this year,” Brar said. Brar was also sure that the construction wouldn’t get in students’ way on campus. “In regard to any impacts, the most direct would be the floor below right away, which would be

the [Students’ Union] office space here, and all Student Affairs, but not in a way which would impact work for students or staff working in that capacity,” Brar said. With regard to the budget — 2.2 million dollars from the Student Life Levy — Brar was confident that the project wouldn’t exceed the funds allotted. “The 2.2 [million] is a very solid estimate and that’s what we’re going to focus on,” Brar said. “We don’t anticipate it being over $2.2 million dollars because the amount of level of planning and detail we’ve done — it will be below the $2.2 million in all aspects,” Brar said.

“If that changes by any means, we will reassess options at that time, whether that’s changing some of the furniture or anything. But as of now, the amount of thorough planning we’ve done with the architecture firm, with the university, we will not be going beyond $2.2 million,” Brar said. If there are, however, any hiccups in the process, Brar iterated that the Students’ Union would communicate that to students. “And in the case that we see any potential delays, we will be communicating that to students, but as of now we expect to open for fall 2018,” Brar said. Overall, the project has been


An artist’s rendering on what the interior of the Turet will look like after the renovation is complete.


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long in the making, with many different student leaders working on it through the years. “This project’s been years in the making with a lot of former student leaders,” Brar said. “This year I had the opportunity to kind of spearhead it working with the architectural firm to finalize some of the conceptual designs, what it looks like and securing the funding, which was the biggest struggle in the past,” Brar said. “And with the funding secured, I think we’re in very good shape moving forward,” Brar said. “And this is something students will benefit from for a really long time.”

Find out how on

8 •

Arts & Life



Raising awareness for the HIV/AIDS infection EVANGELINE HUNT STAFF WRITER

On Wednesday, Jan. 31, the Wilfrid Laurier University Centre for Women and Trans People held a HIV 101 information session in conjunction with the AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo & Area (ACCKWA), with the purpose of further educating students about HIV. In a statement released to The Cord, the WLU Centre for Women and Trans People gave information about the talking-points of the session. The coordinators discussed the basics of the virus, including, “how HIV can attack the cells that help the immune system fight off infections. If left untreated, individuals are more likely to get infections that the body is unable to fight off, signalling that the individual has AIDS, the final stage of HIV infection.” Common myths about the transmission of HIV were also addressed and debunked. “It is only through certain bodily fluids … that HIV can be transmitted,” presenters reiterated. “HIV is not transmitted by touching, sharing toilets, or sharing dishes with someone who is HIV positive. HIV cannot be transmitted by mosquitoes, or via the air.”


HIV is most commonly transmitted by having sexual encounters with someone who is HIV positive without using a condom or taking preventative medicines. Sharing needles or syringes with someone who is HIV positive is another way that the virus is transmitted. HIV can live in a used needle for up to 42 days after use. After discussing how the virus is transmitted, the coordinators moved on to talking about preventative measures to avoid the transmission of HIV. As is often the case, abstinence is the only 100 per cent effective HIV prevention method. But proven methods such as using a condom at all times


HIV is not transmitted by touching, sharing toilets, or sharing dishes with someone who is HIV positive. -Wilfrid Laurier University Centre for Women and Trans People

and using sterile needles will also greatly decrease the risk of HIV transmission.

For individuals that are at a very high risk of contracting HIV (such as having a sexual partner who is HIV positive), taking a preventative medicine know as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is highly effective at lowering the chance of getting infected with HIV. Daily PrEP reduces the risk of contracting HIV from a sexual encounter by more than 90 per cent, and reduces the risk from those who inject drugs by more than 70 per cent. Combined with using condoms and other prevention methods, PrEP becomes extremely effective at preventing HIV transmission. Despite the availability of these medicines, it is not always

easy for individuals to access them. The stigma around HIV means that individuals often feel uncomfortable asking for preventative medicines, or even getting tested. Laws surrounding HIV disclosure further increase the stigma surrounding the virus. They promote misinformation about how the virus is passed, and put the entire responsibility of protection and safe sex on the HIV positive individual. Organizations such as ACCKWA hope to break this stigma and offer support to individuals affected by HIV, whether they be carriers or family members of those affected. On their website, ACCKWA gives details about the origins of HIV in the Waterloo region. During the AIDS epidemic individuals living with HIV faced discrimination due to AIDS-phobia, while testing and treatment remained inaccessible. Over 25 years later, ACCKAW runs support groups, hosts weekly testing clinics and delivers harm reduction services, such as their needle exchange program. They have evolved to offer targeted prevention through various strategies, such as the Gay Men’s Sexual Health program and the Women & HIV/AIDS Initiative. The WLU Centre for Women and Trans People offers resources regarding HIV in their centre, and is open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Justin is bringing what now? SHYENNE MACDONALD ARTS & LIFE EDITOR


Here’s a question: does anyone watch the Super Bowl just for the football anymore, or are we all collectively more invested in the half-time show? To be fair, historically speaking — and yes, Lady Gaga’s performance last year was indeed historic — the shows are vastly more interesting than the first half of the game. Especially when the Patriots are playing. This year’s half-time show was Justin Timberlake, a man I’ve been in love with since NSYNC’s halcyon days. By now I’m assuming we’re all aware of the weird transformation JT has been going through as he released his newest album Man of the Woods. I’ve never been entirely embarrassed by JT; sure he’s made mistakes over the years but my blind loyalty has always seen it through. However, after listening to Man of the Woods, I was ready to revoke any claims of love that still domi-

nated my heart. Then I watched the half-time show and was pacified once again. It’s not that JT’s performance came close to Lady Gaga or Beyoncé in terms of pizazz — seriously, his outfit made him look like he’d just jumped off a train car and headed for the big city — but there was also something genuine in his show that made it seem like he was there for a good time; that he was having as much fun as those watching him. I just hate that this doesn’t translate to Man of the Woods. “Supplies”, which is the seventh track on the album and inarguably the worst song, is exactly what I would expect from NSYNC. He describes it as “classy trap” in the behind-the-scenes and, frankly, I think it was rude of him to insult trap music like that. The only song I’ll put on repeat is “Filthy”. There’s a reason JT opened with it during the half-time show. The music video as well can attest to its greatness. It was directed by Mark Romanek; whose name you might recognize from other visual works of art like “Hurt” by Johnny Cash or “99 Problems” by Jay-Z. The music opens with some serious Steve Jobs imagery which leaves us all with questions. Is JT

trying to say that if Steve Jobs had never died iRobot would be a real occurrence? Or is he calling himself the Steve Jobs of music? If that’s the case Justin, why would you say something so bold and yet, so accurate? The song itself can be described as flawless. We all know that JT sings about sexy well— no one needs to be reminded of “SexyBack”, it was iconic enough that it has remained in our hearts for 12 years. There’s a pretty vast disconnect between how I view JT’s half-time performance versus how I see his album. The fact that these two things have occurred within the same week is mind boggling. Because, while Man of the Woods is the perfect example of a mid-life crisis, JT’s half-time performance reminded me why I love him. Through the dancing and the music, it’s easy to see how he’s stayed famous for most of his lifetime. Clearly JT is making some bold — and definitely unexpected — moves in his music. But, at the end of the day, I think we can all at least applaud him for trying something new rather than doing what’s expected.



Unseen not unheard Waterloo’s underground music scene is alive and thriving



In every city there’s two kinds of art scenes. There’s the obvious one, with the bands that play in the public square — you can bring your own lawn-chair and your kids can play with the puzzles drawn in to the concrete. It’s nice and idyllic, the type of art scene that helps build a community and bring people together. But then there’s the other, and this is what sustains a community, where people find the place they belong. It’s maybe a bit more unknown, but if you squint it’s there — in every city, beating like an under-utilized heart. “There’s tons of music in this community, it can be difficult to find places to play if you don’t fall into a particular category. There’s

lots of promoters who are doing great things but there are a lot of bands in the past, that we know, have struggled to find places to play,” said Stacie Robinson, who — alongside her partner Christopher Walton — hosted the Tri-Cities first punk-rock flea market at a local venue ominously dubbed ‘The Snake Pit’. “Here we have bands that aren’t that mainstream, so we set up shows and try to be as inclusive as possible. We have tons of different bands that come out, people from all walks of life.” A come-as-you-are scene, where anyone and everybody is welcome. But maybe BYOV — that’s bring your own vice. Punk-rock flea markets are popular in surrounding cities — London ON, just had their third one this summer with a wide turnout.

“There wasn’t really anything like this happening in town, but we’ve had show’s [at the Snake Pit] for a little while. We’ve been trying to build up the community here, so we thought we’d host a miniflea market and see how it’d go,’ Robinson said. Community is the key aspect of it all. Without it, and any artist is all too aware of this, you’re lost. Currently, the Tri-City art community is in the midst’s of what feels like a transformation. A great deal of this I would, without a doubt, attribute to people like Robinson and Walton. People who have been working tirelessly to prove the importance of supporting local artists. “We’re trying to get everyone to get to know each other; [to] help build connections between different kinds of artists and vendors.

People who can work together on projects and such.” So, what exactly does a ‘punkrock flea market’ consist of? This is what I — a woman who doesn’t have a single punk-rock bone in her body, although I’m trying — was wondering when I showed up fresh-faced and full of wonder. “We’ve got tons of different vendors, we have people selling music, LP’s, tapes. People selling DIY bath products and pins. Some kitchy stuff like garage sale finds mixed with handmade sewn goods, like t-shirts.” There were poets who featured their original works, musicians sampling their upcoming mixtapes and live music for everyone to enjoy. “We’re all over the map. We’ve got noise artists, some hard-core, punk — there’s some, what I call

weirdo music, it doesn’t fall into a particular category,” Robinson said, explaining the dichotomy of bands. They were all local bands, like Death Party Playground, getting a chance to perform in their own community. “I think we’d like to try and do another one, probably at a venue that’s more accessible. We wanted to do a test run and see what the interest was. There’s been a fair bit of it, from vendors to people wanting to see the music. With the size of the place we can only host so many people, but our goal is to do another event — one or two a year at least,” Robinson said. So if you’re experiencing FOMO, don’t stress too much. The local art community is sure to see a flourish; all we have to do is pay attention the pulse. LAYOUT BY: ZACH GUITOR



100 years in the making SHYENNE MACDONALD ARTS & LIFE EDITOR

On Feb. 3, Juno nominee Alex Pangman performed at the Jazz Room in the Huether Hotel alongside the Benny Goodman Quartet. Admittedly, jazz isn’t something I’m interested in or something that I “get”. At seemingly random and innocuous points the audience would get really “jazzed” and start clapping over a particular string of

notes. Maybe you need to be musically educated to truly understand the nuances of its form. Whatever the case, I found myself awkwardly cheering alongside the audience members as they respectfully and excitedly whispered about the saxophone player. Truthfully, the only time I could confidently clap and cheer was when Pangman came up to sing. Pangman has been dubbed the “Canadian Sweetheart of Swing”

and undoubtedly the most passionate jazz-aficionado I’ve ever met. “There’s a song for everybody,” Pangman explained her love for the music. “If you’re happy or sad. If you want to get high, if you want to meet somebody or have sex … Jazz is music for everyone, it’s music of the humanities.” While Pangman is 100 years too late to really be in the heart of jazz,

her beautiful voice and passion for the music reminds us what we’ve been missing out on. “There’s just something more to jazz, it’s so giving … I wanted something that was pure, honest, simple and organic. That’s what jazz is to me.” Pangman has five albums and one EP named “Alex Pangman’s Hot Three”. While her albums are great, it’s the EP we have to talk about. Because Pangman is so dedicated the authenticity found in jazz music that she even recorded her EP in a similar style to the 1920’s. “If you go into a studio these days there’s so many knobs and tubes, like smoke and mirrors that you can employ to alter and enhance the way a song sounds. Sometimes all that studio trickery takes away from the energy and the honesty of a track.” “What I did is, I took away all of that. I used one single microphone and we made a record. We actually cut the groove in the same room that the band was standing. There was no editing — for all intents and purposes we were live recording.” Recording in this style meant

that Pangman and the band had to perform it perfectly in one go. The room for error was minimal, and if something happened — like say somebody sneezed halfway through a song — they would have to start all over again. And wouldn’t you feel like the asshole if you were the one who sneezed? “We really tried to recreate the conditions underwhich people first began making recordings. Some of those early recordings from the 20’s and 30’s had a wonderful energy to them. This was our attempt to catch that energy.” Even just sampling “Hot Three”, it’s easy to tell that the EP is amazing. I don’t want to be dramatic but it’s probably the most captivating work I’ve heard this year. “In high school it was Paula Abdul and boy bands on the radio. Anything that had been concocted by a committee behind closed doors and was all pre-fabricated.” “When you’re talking about listening to, say a record by Billie Holiday that was recorded in the 1930’s, it’s not fabricated. It’s just honest, there’s a depth to the lyrics, there’s a depth to the melody playing.”

10 • GAMES



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GAMES • 11


Dear Life Dear Life is your opportunity to write a letter to your life, allowing you to vent your anger with life’s little frustrations in a completely public forum. All submissions to Dear Life are anonymous and therefore do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Cord or WLUSP. They should be no longer than 100 words and must be addressed to your life. Submissions can be sent to no later than Monday at noon each week. Dear Life, His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy Assist, lit his record already, Mitch is ready Sincerely, Maple Leaf Dear Lando, Daylight I wake up feeling like you won’t play right I used to know, but now that shit don’t feel right It made me put away my pride So long

You made a nigga wait for some, so long You make it hard for boy like that to go on I’m wishing I could make this mine, oh If you want it, yeah You can have it, oh, oh, oh If you need it, ooh We can make it, oh If you want it You can have it Sincerely, Childish



Dear Life,


I wake up feeling ... .. .. . and make me out away my pride


Sincerely, what?


Dear Life, I’m just glad to sit in this office and listen to loud ass music while I ‘work’ with the best people in the world.



12 •



Failure means... media on a campus scale, let alone a national one, so I get that. In expressing my disappointment, I may be speaking to a small demographic of people that have a vested interest in this debacle. But as the Editor-In-Chief of a student newspaper in Canada, the story that has unfolded feels way too close to home for comfort. In as few words as possible, the Editor-In-Chief at The Baron published a highly questionable Q&A piece with Michael Thurlow, the leader of the National Socialist Canadian Labour Revival Party – someone who is comfortable with being labelled a Nazi. My own reservations with the lazy-ass, clear lack of journalistic integrity that goes into compiling Q&A interviews aside — the decision to follow its publication with an unedited op-ed from Thurlow cemented this move as one of absolute, resounding distaste. The since removed Editor-In-Chief at The Baron submitted an editor’s note justifying its publication, spouting the same “free speech” rhetoric that has fueled so many debates on university campuses as of late. I’m not looking to address the free speech argument. Instead, I just wanted to point out the lack of consideration that leads to the publication of Nazi propaganda. Student papers are the learning grounds for some of Canada’s future top journalists and, as some have noted, they are the place where you can fuck up and then learn from it. But to publish an article verbatim, one that contains vast unchecked and troubling statements — some alluding at holocaust denial, and some implying that residential schools were a positive thing — hints at a lack of journalistic integrity on a fundamental level of understanding. In favour of offering solutions, I would suggest that publishing any interview requires two essential things: heavy contextualization and a whole lot of scrutiny/fact checking. But, if it were me in the shoes of The Baron’s Editor-In-Chief? Well, I just don’t really believe that Nazi’s need another platform to spew hate, so this ‘story idea’ wouldn’t have made it passed the status of an email notification on my desktop.


As the end of the school year looms closer and closerm, I have found myself getting more introspective with each day. Understanding what it means to be the Editor-In-Chief at a student paper has been the primary thought of concern for me over the passed year. I have personally found that, at the end of the day, this job is all about serving two primary functions: offering a platform for students to voice their opinions and providing valuable experiences to students who want to pursue careers in media. It’s straight forward in that sense, but as I inch closer towards the end of my one-year tenure as The Cord’s chief editor, my focus has shifted away from function and moved towards identifying the failures and successes that earmark this role on a grander scale. Through conversations with fellow editors from student papers across Canada I have come to realize that failure in this setting can mean any number of things, none of which are clean cut or objectively identifiable. For example, missing out on a potentially huge news story, or creating a working environment that fosters toxic relationships; these types of failures are visible when you analyse them long-term, but in the moment, they could be attributed to anything from a lapse in judgement to general lack of understanding. At the end of the day, we, as lead editors, are here to learn too; to hone our skills on a level that is applicable. It’s like real-world experience with the soft cushion of a ‘student’ designation to fall back on. At the same time I have also found myself enthralled by a controversy that recently unfolded on the University of New Brunswick’s Saint John campus surrounding their independent campus paper, The Baron. Now, the average student doesn’t have as much of a stake in the innerworkings of student




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FINANCE MANAGER Randy Moore randy@rcmbrooks. com

DIRECTOR Rosalind Horne TREASURER John Pehar

ADVERTISING MANAGER Caroline Lucas care.lucas@wlusp. com

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


Keeping up with pregnancies NATHALIE BOUCHARD NEWS EDITOR

Last September, Kylie Jenner was spotted out in Los Angeles supposedly concealing a baby bump. Then began some good old fashioned “aliens live among us” conspiracy theories. Pregnancy, especially out of wedlock, was once something that was shameful to a person’s reputation; now pregnancy is something that is only shameful if you hide it. The rumour mill and pop culture conspiracy theorists quickly jumped on the Kylie pregnancy wagon citing that her and boyfriend Travis Scott were expecting their first child together. Kylie confirmed her pregnancy on Feb. 4 with an 11-minute video, as well as numerous photos of her baby bump skewered all over the Instagram and Twitter-verse. What stood out to me was not that Kylie was able to hide her pregnancy from her fans and paparazzi successfully, but that she had to apologize to everyone for keeping it a secret. Ultimately, the fact that Kylie had to apologize to fans is problematic. Pregnancy is a very personal time for anyone experiencing it. The fact that she couldn’t leave her house without a carefully planned escape

route as well as housekeepers attempting to take photos of her in her own home is seriously disturbing and shows society’s obsession with pregnancy; particularly in cases where privacy is valued. A person should not have to have their pregnancy policed by the public, but in our pregnancy-obsessed society that’s just the way things are. Pregnancy is a state where the person experiencing it is continuously judged and expected to ‘perform’ during their pregnancy in a certain way. Persons experiencing pregnancy are now expected to have a grand gender reveal, a host of baby showers, diaper keggers and baby brunches along with the constant stream of comments about breastfeeding or bottle debate. And the worst of it all, belly grabbing. If a person experiencing pregnancy decides to experience pregnancy in private, they are deviating from the norm and it’s often assumed they’re for ashamed of their baby or simply not fit to parent. In Kylie’s case, she simply wanted to have her pregnancy out of the public eye to reduce her stress, with the health of her baby resting at the core of her decision. Due to the constant paparazzi stalking, questions on television directed to her family and friends, as well as the negative narratives surrounding her short-term relationship with Travis Scott, she had no choice but to remain private. Kylie did decide to have a small

baby shower with family and friends — and the fabulous North West. There was a drone flying in the fucking sky taking photos of her in her own home. It’s seriously disturbing that people are policing her pregnancy to the point where they would risk the safety of her and her guests just to snap a few pictures. Fortunately for her, enough of the chic design silk pajamas — which were provided by the lip kit mogul — were all one size too big for guests, providing her with the ‘covered baby bump’ comfort look. Pregnancy used to be a reminder that women engaged in sexual activity and were, therefore, impure, tainted or property of the husband who they belonged to. Pregnancy is socially acceptable if you are correctly performing your pregnancy. People experiencing pregnancy are now subjected to increased surveillance around outfit choices, exercise, their food and beverage consumption, as well as how they are acting. People experiencing pregnancy are encouraged when they are pregnant to drink kale smoothies, not stay out past 9 p.m. and apparently to only wear New Balance running shoes. The fact of the matter is, it’s no one’s business how someone decides to experience their pregnancy besides theirs and their OBGYN. I think, however, amidst all of all this controversy, we can all agree that Kylie Jenner and her baby did indeed win the 2018 Super Bowl.

• 13




Ram’s commercial exploits Martin Luther King Jr.

the overall hypocrisy of an ad such as this, a speech in which King condemns capitalism and car commercials specifically was placed over the Ram ad instead. In it, he says, “Now the presence of this instinct explains why we are so often taken by advertisers. You know, those gentlemen of massive verbal persuasion. And they have a way of saying things to you that kind of gets you into buying. In order to be a man of distinction, you must drink this whiskey. In order to make your

neighbours envious, you must drive this type of car. In order to be lovely to love you must wear this kind of lipstick or this kind of perfume. And you know, before you know it, you’re just buying that stuff … I got to drive this car because it’s something about this car that makes my car a little better than my neighbour’s car. … I am sad to say that the nation in which we live is the supreme culprit. And I’m going to continue to say it to America.” The King Centre and Bernice King

have since distanced themselves from the problematic Super Bowl ad and have released statements saying that they are not in charge of approving his words for the use of the advertisements or entertainment. Though I do not believe the initial intent behind the commercial was malicious per se, it was a foolish gamble that Ram ultimately lost, by cheaply employing a speech made “50 years ago today” as a means to empty the wallets of drunk football viewers and vaguely moved consumers suddenly on the lookout for a new vehicle that can withstand harsh outdoor conditions. Underneath the video on YouTube, part of their statement reads, “In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ram truck owners also believe in a life of serving others.” And that is the only disingenuous proclamation I need to read in order to believe that not only is this multi-million dollar company abusing the efforts of a man who peacefully fought for justice, freedom and equality for their own fiscal gain, they are shameless in their efforts to thinly veil it as pure, altruistic integrity. No matter how you want to spin it, Martin Luther King Jr. should not be lowered to the standard of a truck commercial, especially when it goes against so much of what he stood for.

ensemble black cast is undeniable, even from the trailers and hype surrounding the movie alone. As a white man, I can recognize that I have never lacked for representation on screen. Cinema is littered with white role models and heroes that I have spent my entire life watching, imitating, learning from and wanting to be more like. I am represented in basically every movie that I watch and I recognize the immeasurable privilege that I have in being able to say that I have never had to look too far to find positive portrayals of characters who I can look up to. Films that give credence to pos-

itive POC representation in media are what should be given credit. Movies that provide greater recognition to their existence as more than just being the face of their struggle in period pieces or stereotypical sidekicks alongside the white lead in action flicks. Inclusion, especially in a non-stereotypical manner, is incredibly important in giving people – especially youth — a greater number of images that can provide them perspective. When Whoopi Goldberg was nine years old, watching Star Trek, she noticed Lieutenant Uhura on the television. In a time where POC representa-

tion on television and movies was nearly non-existent, she stated, “I looked at it and I went screaming through the house, ‘Come here, mum, everybody, come quick, come quick, there’s a black lady on television and she ain’t no maid!” Everybody deserves to have role models and witness strong, complex, three-dimensional characters come to life on the big screen that are relatable. Black Panther looks to become a juggernaut of pan-Africanist cinema, presenting a positive and unapologetically afro-centric example that will hopefully set precedent for the future of superhero movies.


Sunday’s Super Bowl played out like any other, with forgettable and memorable moments that notably included the commercials that were aired during it. One of those commercials was a tasteless Dodge Ram advertisement that incorporated a speech from Martin Luther King Jr. that was played over a series of clips, presumably aimed to inspire those wishing to purchase one of their trucks. The complete outrageousness of using a Civil Rights hero and legendary historical figure’s words to sell cars was not lost on many of the appalled people who watched it, but the fact remains that Dodge created and aired the ad in the first place. I think there’s something underhandedly unsettling about watching an advertisement on television that boasts the slogan “built to serve” utilizing the speech of a man who fought for human rights and paved the way for the Civil Rights Movement as a means to persuade people to purchase their product.


A snippet of arguably one of the most impactful voices of our time, booming out, “Hatch a new definition of greatness” slotted over a truck driving through mud, is nothing short of disrespectful and careless. The ad is an exploitive example of tacky commercialism, reducing the original intent behind MLK’s speech down to a shallow Mad Men-style sales pitch that detracts from the overall significance behind his words. In an attempt to further prove


Black Panther, the first Marvel superhero movie with a predominantly Black cast, comes to Canadian theatres Feb. 16. The movie has been long anticipated, since the emergence of King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) in Captain America: Civil War introduced many strongly-written characters who are people of colour. But for all the excitement the movie has stimulated, there has been a festering blight on sites like Facebook and Rotten Tomatoes from various alt-right groups — which have been the focus of numerous attempts to sabotage the film’s release and inflict as many negative reviews on the film as possible, using hashtags like #DCOverMarvel and #BringDownDisney. These efforts have been speculated to be a thinly-veiled attempt at legitimizing negative discourse and have been recognized as an obvious scapegoat, hiding clearly racist and bigoted opinions. For those who share these views, Black Panther stands to be a daunting problem, especially since

the enthusiasm for the film has opening-day box office projections estimating it will be the highest selling superhero movie to date. To compare, The Avengers made $207 million on opening weekend and Black Panther is projected to make close to that on opening day. But why is Black Panther such an important movie? Is it the fact that it’s Marvel’s first film directed by an Black director, Ryan Coogler? Or is it the primarily POC cast, which is a statistical minority in most media today? It’s these elements, combined with a more crucial component, which have captivated critics, comic connoisseurs and cinema consumers alike. There have been few movies which have had the ability to boast as impressive and well-written POC characters as Black Panther aims to. Black Panther himself, who was shown to be incredibly composed, highly intelligent, with strength on par with the other Avengers, has already set the stage of what is to be expected in the upcoming feature film. Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya and Forest Whitaker, are all talented black actors who star in the film and who should not be critiqued for anything but their acting ability. Their collective power as an






Larry Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University sports medicine doctor, will be sentenced 40 to 125 years in prison for criminal sexual conduct. He is already serving 60 years in federal prison for a conviction related to child pornography charges in a separate case and will spend the rest of his existing life behind bars. There is currently little doubt surrounding the nature and severity of his crimes and he has been deservedly shown no sympathy — especially from Judge Janice K. Cunningham — the woman who handed down his sentencing. Her lengthy statement to Nassar was impactful, stating that, “the conduct of the defendant has robbed these girls and women of one of the most truly important human qualities: trust.” Denouncing any chance she thinks he has of reforming and focusing predominately on the suffering of his victims, she effectively

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demonstrated exactly how the case should have been handled and hopefully set precedent for cases like this in the future. Nassar pled guilty to a combination of ten counts of sexual assault, as well as pleading guilty to other federal charges. At a victim count that was thought to be closer to 200, the current number has risen to 265 victims who have come forward accusing Nassar of molesting them during his time as a gymnastics doctor and supposed medical professional. More than 150 women publicly confronted him in court with personal impact statements at his sentencing. Judge Cunningham provided all women who wished to speak with the opportunity to share what Nassar had done to them. The result was disturbing and incredibly upsetting. Providing the option of tweeting and live streaming, she ensured that it was accessible to all affected individuals who wished to participate in the process. The last woman who spoke at Nassar’s third and final hearing, was the first person to publicly bring forward their allegations against him, Rachel Denhollander, who addressed his crimes back in September 2016. She originally told her story to the Indianapolis Star, which instigated the flood of numerous accusations that came out after her own. Most of the disgraced doctor’s victims were teenagers, with at least one victim that was younger than 13-years-old. The unsettling nature surrounding Nassar’s crimes is extensive, bringing more questions than answers. Questions as to how a man like this was able to continue abusing the girls and women who trusted him for medical care even when the police and eventually the FBI, were made aware of his abhorrent actions. Brianne Randall reported Nassar to the police for sexual abuse in 2004 when she was 17. During a second visit with the doctor where he touched her inappropriately — an exam in which he claimed to be treating her for scoliosis — she told investigators that he attempted to penetrate her with his ungloved fingers and cupped her breasts. Nassar admitted these accusations to the investigator who interviewed him, claiming that it was a medical technique called “sacrotuberous ligament release” for which he provided a PowerPoint presentation explaining the process. In the presentation, he included photos of him performing the procedure himself. After viewing the presentation, Randall’s mother was contacted and told that the charges against Nassar were being dropped due to the “facts” he presented. Meridian Township, Michigan, has since released a public apology to Randall for how they originally handled the case. The FBI were notified about Nassar in July 2015 with a report that listed three victims. Two of those victims were not interviewed by agents assigned to the case for nearly a year. During that time, according to the New York Times, Nassar was free to continue abusing and molesting at least 40 girls and young women.

Quickly becoming one of the worst known sexual predators in American sports history, USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University are being sued by multiple victims who want answers for how this monster was permitted to continue committing his crimes without any legal action taken until recently. USA Gymnastics kept notoriously quiet despite being made aware of what Nassar was doing to numerous women for years, and the remaining board members have been forced to resign since the president stepped down in March. Suspicions regarding Nassar have existed since the 1990s and Michigan State University is facing immense scrutiny because of their neglect as well. The failures of these institutions are indicative of a problem that will continue to exist until safety and transparency standards are drastically re-evaluated and sexual assault charges are taken as seriously as they should be when officials are originally made aware of them. It should not take over 200 women coming forward and a no-nonsense female judge with basic levels of human decency and empathy to rightfully convict a man who is nothing but a soulless criminal. Nassar is not the first, nor will he be the last man to abuse his power to inflict pain and suffering onto those he sees beneath him. The #MeToo movement and the recent decrease in tolerance for sexual assault has triggered a growing attitude that has been severely lacking for far too long. It should not have to take a Harvey Weinstein or a Larry Nassar to shock people into opening their eyes and seeing the injustices that exist in our society regarding victims of unwanted sexual behaviour. These men are the reasons why women don’t initially come forward when they are assaulted — because when they do, they aren’t taken seriously. Their abusers are believed over them or the authorities take such a long time to make progress that numerous other victims are targeted in the process. Unlike the Brock Turner case and countless other ones like it, Larry Nassar was not pitied or sympathized with by the person in charge of his sentencing. He was not humanized, because he had that right taken away when he chose to spend his career destroying the lives of at least 265 women. When a devastated father lunges across a court room because three of his daughters have been molested by someone they thought they could trust — and when women have to stand in front of their abuser tearfully asking what they did to deserve being treated so terribly at the hands of a man that was supposed to provide them medical care — there is a fundamental problem that exists and needs to be resolved. Instead of questioning the victims over why they waited to speak or not speak or why they behaved in a certain way when they were abused, direct those inquiries toward Larry Nassar. Ask why he did it to begin with and how he was able to get away with it for over 20 years.

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Golden Hawks gear up for the playoffs ABDULHAMID IBRAHIM LEAD SPORTS REPORTER

Coming off a run where they won three out of their last four games, the Wilfrid Laurier University women’s basketball team was looking to continue their strong play into Wednesday where they finally got their rematch with the visiting Brock Badgers. Having lost the first matchup 65-60 in the season opener, both teams have led two different years with Brock four games out of the playoff race and Laurier in the fifth spot in the division. In the first quarter, it was clear both teams were going to rely on their defenses to try to win them this game. The one aspect of Laurier’s game that Brock was not able to match was ball movement. Even when it seemed that Brock had them with good rotation on defense, Laurier stayed patient, managing to find the holes in the Badgers’ defense. “I thought we did a good job on handling their ball screens defensively so we had a bunch of turnovers and some 24-second shot clock violations with some better ball screen defense,” coach Falco said. In the second quarter, the story became whether Brock could take the lead or Laurier could distance themselves. With Brock relying on their inside game, they managed to keep cutting Laurier’s six-seven point leads down to two or one but then Laurier would create distance. Through the back and forth, Laurier went into halftime up 31-25. Much of the third quarter resembled the back and forth of the first half, until the last couple of minutes, where the Hawks created distance and kept it. Pushing the lead from seven to 12 in the last bit of the quarter, they put the pressure on the Badgers to see if they could recover. Unfortunately for the Badgers, that recovery never came as the

Hawks pushed their lead to 18 at one point and went on to avenge their season-opening loss with a 73-58 win. “Offensively, we moved the ball well, we had 20-some odd assists which usually means we’re moving the ball well and hitting the open person,” head coach, Paul Falco said of his team’s offensive performance. “So, whenever you do that, you get a good chance to gap a team and that’s what we did in that second half.” Next up was a tough rematch against the no. 9 ranked Windsor Lancers. The last matchup between the Lancers and the Golden Hawks saw Laurier lose 71-60 on the strength of Lancer Emily Prevost’s 30 points and 12 rebounds. The game-plan for this one led to a different outcome, at least for Prevost.

We had a couple things we set out to do against Windsor defensively and I thought we did a good job on Emily Prevost, their All-Star. -Paul Falco, Laurier women’s basketball head coach

“We had a couple things we set out to do against Windsor defensively and I thought we did a good job on Emily Prevost, their AllStar,” Falco said. “I think she had 30 in the first game and we held her to around six points in the second game. We set out to do some things against her that worked.” Unfortunately for the Golden Hawks, they couldn’t muster up much. The first quarter started out well, as Laurier kept it close for the


first few minutes. That changed quickly as the Lancers went on a 9-0 run and closed the quarter up 18-11. In the second, Windsor turned it up as they had their way from the perimeter on offense, hitting six three-pointers in the quarter alone. Playing well on the defensive end to boot, Windsor closed the first half up 40-23. “What we didn’t do is, we didn’t stop the three-point shot and that was one of our other keys, was to limit their 3-point opportunities, and they had a good day from the three-point line; that obviously hurt us,” Falco said. Not too much changed in the second half as Laurier was given plenty of trouble on offense due to

Windsor’s stingy defensive play in addition to holding their own, not allowing any sort of runs or comeback attempts like the previous matchup. With Nicole Morrison kept in check and also in foul trouble, the Lancers were able to take the win by a score of 67-50. “The other thing that hurt us was our offense. We had trouble getting high-percentage shots and then when we did we weren’t finishing well. Also, they took Nicole out of the game a little bit. She got into early foul trouble and it was hard for her to get into a flow,” Falco mentioned. Next up for the Golden Hawks is a rematch against the Western Mustangs on Feb. 7 at the University of Waterloo.




Kaitlin Saxton is exceeding all expectations JOHN MCMORRAN STAFF WRITER

pretty good, we work well together. I think building on that will allow us to have a better season next year.”

As young children we first experience the difference between winning and losing, learning that competitive sports is a zero sum game. For every game that is won, there must be a team that loses. The Wilfrid Laurier University women’s hockey team has been on the wrong end of this equation for more than their fair share this season, with an overall record of 5-16-3. But, even though the season has not been a winning one, that does not mean that there haven’t been any bright spots.

Our teamwork on the ice is pretty good, we work well together. I think building on that will allow us to have a better season next year. -Kaitlin Saxton, Laurier women’s hockey player

with its bumps and bruises, but the level of play has never proven too great for Kaitlin. Nor for the rest of the Golden Hawks. Of their 16 losses, Laurier has lost by two or less goals 11 times, three of those losses coming in overtime. But as much as the losses sting, Kaitlin explained that veteran presences like Cassandra Calabrese and Jamie Watson do not let the team dwell on them.

When asked what the veterans do to keep the team motivated Katilin said: “Keeping warm-up the same every game, trying to keep [consistent], [just keeping] everyone's levels of positivity up.” When your team is losing, optimism can be hard to come by, but optimism is in no short supply for this roster, as Kaitlin detailed Laurier’s strengths being team cohesion and united play. “Our teamwork on the ice is

With four games to go and out of playoff contention, everything Laurier does from here on out is about next year. Speaking to this Kaitlin said: “[We want] to end on a high note and have everyone playing their best hockey, I think that would be the best way to end. A strong end will allow us to have a strong beginning next year.” The season has not been favourable for the Golden Hawks, with so many close losses and elimination from playoff contention well before the regular season’s conclusion. But, we must remember that losing does not equal failing. There have been a number of positives for Laurier this year, silver linings during a losing campaign. And who knows, maybe with a great off-season and a little alchemy, those silver linings can be transformed into a trophy of gold.

two wins over this season. The main battle will take place defensively, as the team has given up over double what they have scored this season. “To score more, we need to

shoot more and we need to fight for space in the scoring areas,” coach Puhalski said. The team has scored 21 goals against Waterloo this season in both non-conference and regular

season play, and will be looking to end their losing streak against them. “A key for us to beat Waterloo, or any other team, is for us to focus on our own play and what we need to do.”

The intensity of the game, as well as the physicality and the speed of the game has been the biggest transition for me. -Kaitlin Saxton, Laurier women’s hockey player

One such bright spot has been the play of Kaitlin Saxton, who is tied for second on the team with two goals, one of them a game-winner, and has proven herself to be a defensive force on the ice. All this as a rookie, who is only


going to improve as she continues to adapt to U-Sport hockey’s heightened level of play. When asked about the biggest difference between playing for her home club — the Stoney Creek Junior Sabers — and the Golden Hawks, Kaitlin Saxton had this to say: “The intensity of the game, as well as the physicality and the speed of the game has been the biggest transition for me.” Of course every transition comes



The Laurier Men’s Hockey team has had a rocky ending to their season as with only two games left the team is on a six-game losing streak. They are still 14-14-4 overall and 13-10-3 in conference play, but have recently come off losses from Toronto, Western, Guelph and Waterloo and have gone scoreless in their last two games. Even with stellar goaltending from both Colin Furlong and Chris Festarini, who have each only allowed one goal in the last two games, the offense just could not find the back of the net on the other end. The team’s leading scorer, Anthony Sorrentino, has just one goal in the last six games, and points leader Brandon Robinson has only one goal and one assist. Yet on the defensive end, the team has let 23 goals get past them when only scoring nine themselves. Coach Puhalski realises his team’s downfall and has said in order to end the season strong “we need to keep playing and stay with our game plan in order to turn

the page. We have not scored the last two games and we have given up two goals in the last two games. There’s good and bad.”

A key for us to beat Waterloo, or any other team, is for us to focus on our own play and what we need to do. -Greg Puhalski, Laurier men’s hockey head coach

Laurier’s next game is a final Battle of Waterloo on Feb. 7 at the Kitchener Auditorium. Although they lost in overtime 5-4 to the Warriors on Jan. 20, that is the team’s only loss to the Warriors and they have three wins over them this season in total. The Golden Hawks’ final game this season is against Lakehead in Thunder Bay, who they also have


The Cord February 7, 2018  

Volume 58, Issue 20

The Cord February 7, 2018  

Volume 58, Issue 20