Volume 72, 72, Issue Issue 5 Sept. Seppt. 22–29, 22–29, 2011 2011
Great temptations p. 14
INSIDE: BOA changes constitution, p. 5 Unbearable book prices, p. 26
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Mercedes Mueller | email@example.com | (613) 562-5261
LETTERS Open letter to Allan Rock DEAR PRESIDENT ALLAN Rock, The senate is the supreme governing body on all academic matters at the university, charged with determining the educational policy of the institution and the implementation of its academic mission. The University of Ottawa Act, 1965, mandates you, the president, to be the chair of the senate. This is therefore your most important statutory and leadership role in the university community as part of the university’s collegial governance. This is true for both new and continuing senate members, especially at the beginning of the fall semester, when we are all looking to get off to a fresh start in our work on campus. Therefore, I am worried that the proper respect and functioning of senate is at risk when you do not come to meetings or when you leave before the meeting has finished. You were absent from the May and June 2011 meetings of the senate, without providing explanation. At the meeting of last Monday, Sept. 12, you left the senate early. This was your third unexplained absence in a row, on the important first meeting of the semester. You also missed the November and December 2010 senate meetings, meaning that you have been absent or partially absent from five of the last nine meetings of the senate. Such systematic absences of the chair are unprecedented at our institution. The president’s attendance for full sessions of the senate’s meetings is of great importance. This includes the “For Information” section, where individual elected senators, representing entire constituencies on campus, often announce future senate work and concerns that the chair, who is also the chief executive officer of the U of O corporation, should be aware of. As president, chairing the senate is a primary responsibility to the institution, as per Article 16(1) of the University of Ottawa Act. Could you please inform the members of senate of what business you had at 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 12 that required you to leave the senate’s first session of the fall 2011 semester? It is troubling to see your absence continuing into the new semester. I hope that the members of senate can look forward to a year of fruitful work with you as chair to lead their monthly meetings. Joseph Hickey Graduate student senate representative, sciences Open letter to U of O faculty and students DEAR UNIVERSITY OF Ottawa faculty and students,
I write to you in a most urgent of times, because on Sept. 15, the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) is going to appoint new student senators to fill vacant positions without an election. I have been interested in representing my fellow students in the Faculty of Arts for months. When I discovered the SFUO’s decision to hand-pick senators at their own choosing, I was appalled at the lack of respect for the principles of justice, equal opportunity, and democracy. What has caused the behaviour of the SFUO to become so corrupted? Instead of holding fair elections, the SFUO will be selecting new senators only on the “merits” of a curriculum vitae and letter of interest—a feeble attempt to conceal their ability to arbitrarily choose anyone of their liking. It’s not a difficult exercise to realize that the SFUO is using this pathetic criterion as a sham so that the appointment of their “favourites” merely appears legitimate—albeit in a very weak sense. I, for one, and surely other students will not be so easily fooled by this poorly veiled deceit. Is it too much to appeal for fairness? If appeals to fairness aren’t enough to check the integrity of the SFUO, then decrees of the senate should, and I invoke the Senate By-law on composition of the senate No. 1(b). The bylaw clearly states that, “One fulltime student elected by his peers in each of the Faculties of the University of Ottawa and one student for the two sections in Law; the method of election and the period of mandate to be determined by resolution of the Senate.” Therefore, I encourage everyone to put pressure on the SFUO for violating a senatorial decree and ignoring important tenets of just political process. We cannot afford to be laissez-faire at this critical juncture. The SFUO cannot be allowed to simply install individuals at its subjective discretion into positions of considerable authority and power; the senate governs almost every aspect of university affairs. Let there be elections so that students may vote for their representatives! It is everybody’s duty to not tolerate injustice and hold the SFUO accountable for its actions. Have courage, for we need to move swiftly and rally immediately at this eleventh hour before the SFUO goes ahead with the appointments. I, myself, contest this insult to democracy by specifically calling on Liz Kessler, vp university affairs of the SFUO, who is responsible for this matter to intervene and reverse the SFUO’s decision on not holding honest elections. Students simply ask for objective votes, not subjective views. Give us the freedom to choose our leaders. Hoang Pham Third-year classical studies student
Open letter to Liz Kessler DEAR VP UNIVERSITY Liz Kessler, As you are aware, Senate By-Law No. 1, 2008, “A By-Law governing the composition of the Senate” states: “It is hereby decreed as a By-Law of the Senate of the University of Ottawa as follows: 1. The following persons are members of the Senate of the University of Ottawa pursuant to sub-section (h) of Article 15 (1): ... (b) One full-time student elected by his peers in each of the Faculties of the University of Ottawa and one student for the two sections in Law; the method of election and the period of mandate to be determined by resolution of the Senate.” This bylaw is available here: Web5.uottawa.ca/admingov/documents/senate-bylaw-number-1-2008-cl.pdf There are currently vacant seats in senate for students from the faculties of arts, medicine, and education. We stand firmly by the position that all senate bylaws must be followed. It is not an option for senate to disregard its own bylaws. Therefore, you have a responsibility to organize a proper byelection immediately in order to duly fill the needed positions. Please do this without further delay. Joseph Hickey Student Senator, Faculty of Graduate Sciences Hazel Gashoka Student senator, Faculty of Social sciences Open letter to Dave Molenhuis, Chair of BOA DEAR CHAIR, IT has come to my attention that there is a motion before the Board of Administration to dissolve the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO)’s Student Arbitration Committee (SAC). Please consider that, within the SFUO, should the Board of Administrators dissolve the SAC, it would be analogous to the Parliament of Canada abolishing the Supreme Court by majority vote. As per By-Law No. 8.2 of the SFUO Constitution, the SAC is the “judicial authority of the Federation,” and according to By-Laws No. 8.2.1 to 8.2.3, it has the power to “interpret the By-laws, the policies, and resolutions of the Federation; decide upon the constitutionality of any action taken under the Constitution [...]; impose sanctions on any member of the Federation.” The SAC is of fundamental importance to the integrity of the federation and one of its most vital and well-known mandates is to handle allegations of election rule violations in the election of SFUO executives and
other student representatives to the federation. Independence of the SAC arbitrators is essential to enable an effective role within the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa, as highlighted by an understanding of the provisions of the SFUO constitution, and I believe that, in the current context, I have done everything possible to ensure the independence of arbitrators and of the committee. There have been serious concerns with respect to the manner in which political figures within student government have tried to exercise influence on previous elections and, therefore, I am firmly opposed to the dissolution of the SAC. Given that the bylaws have not been changed, I will continue my role as interim chief arbitrator. According to By-Law No. 8.3.4, “the President of the Federation, the Chairperson of the Board of Administration and the Chief Arbitrator of the Student Arbitration Committee shall recommend arbitrators to the Board of Administration which shall ratify them as vacancy occurs.” At this time, all the positions—except for chief arbitrator—are vacant. As such, I will schedule interviews with the 40 applicants and I trust that you and the president of the federation will be present during these interviews. Such is the law until the bylaws are changed. I would urge you to stop violating the bylaws and to actively ensure that the bylaws are respected. For actions to be taken implying that the bylaws will be changed is irresponsible, disruptive, and disregards our rules. Hazel Gashoka Interim chief arbitrator of the SAC Graduate Studies, sciences
contents News 5 | Arts 9 | Features 14 Sports 17 | Opinions 25 | Editorial 27
Changes to the SFUO 5 constitution BOA cuts SAC, president’s tie-breaking vote
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Bring back the SAC 27 New changes to the SFUO constitution cause more problems than they solve
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CHANGE IS IN THE AIR BOA members discuss motions at Sept. 18 meeting
BOA removes presidential veto, SAC Christopher Radojewski | Fulcrum Staff
THE BOARD OF Administration (BOA) sat on Sept. 18 for their first official meeting of the semester. It was also the first meeting headed by Dave Molenhuis, the new BOA chair. The Fulcrum took a look at the two motions that made amendments to the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa’s (SFUO) constitution. Tiebreak vote removed Sarah Jayne King, vp finance of the SFUO, put forward the first motion of the meeting, which called for the removal of the SFUO president’s tiebreaking vote during BOA and SFUO meetings. “If there literally is a tie, the president
has an extra vote on top of the vote they had already cast,” said King. “Essentially what this motion does is remove that power from the president.” “[The motion is] acknowledging that the president is elected by the same students and represents the same number of students [as other executive members]. They do not have an extra power in decision making at the board.” Brendon Andrews, BOA representative for social sciences, disagreed with the motion, voicing his concern during the debate period. “If you choose to say that the president doesn’t get the deciding vote, you are deciding that a motion does not pass,” said Andrews. “Basically, you are saying that the motions don’t get passed along when this could be an important motion.” Other board members spoke in favour of the motion, hoping the removal of the presidential veto would encourage cooperation between members as opposed to the president making a final decision on behalf of many. Amalia Savva, president of the SFUO, also spoke in favour of the motion.
“At the executive level, it is important for [the] executives to try and find consensus when we meet and make decisions,” she said after the meeting in an interview with the Fulcrum. “Decisions of the executive affect a lot of the day-to-day things of the student federation. It is important that as an executive we’re strong and united when it comes to making decisions.” “I think it is really good that one person doesn’t have a higher power than everyone else,” she continued. “One person having the ultimate say … I think that is wrong.” After some discussion, the motion carried 29 to one, with Andrews voting against the change. The end of the SAC Sarah Jayne King put forward another motion on behalf of the ad-hoc Constitutional Committee that recommended the abolishment of the Student Arbitration Committee (SAC). The committee served as an unbiased party, interpreting and reviewing the laws that govern the board and the executive, as well as launching investigations and implementing sanctions when necessary.
“The Student Arbitration Committee is something over the past three years we haven’t seen properly filled,” said King. “SAC is an undemocratic body that is not actually accountable to the SFUO in any legal sense and can literally overturn the elections or a referendum process with two people,” said King. “What this motion has done is removed the SAC and put in place a Constitutional Committee as a standing committee that would take on many of the same powers, but be a committee of the board.” The Constitutional Committee would be made up of five SFUO directors chosen by the BOA and two alternate members from the BOA in the case of a conflict of interest. Brendon Andrews, BOA representative for social sciences, spoke out against the motion and argued for maintaining the SAC. “The board in general has been moving the power structure [and] augmenting it in a way that makes it less inclusive. They use things they haven’t done successfully in the past as reasons for changing the structure and I don’t think that’s right,”
said Andrews. “We can’t use the same people [who are] making the rules. There are systems of checks and balances that have been created in western economies for a reason. It will create a biased system if we don’t [have the SAC].” Members of the BOA argued there was a need for greater democracy with regards to the SAC and that appointments were not in line with a spirit of the SFUO constitution. They claimed having elected members fill such a committee will serve in the best interest of the students who elect BOA and SFUO members every year. “As board members are democratically elected by students, the board will decide which of those students will sit on this committee. Just like other committees of the board, [they] will be able to make decisions when it comes to constitutional changes that might need to be made or in the case of an impeachment,” said King. Amendments were made to the motion after much debate and confusion over its wording. The motion carried 29 to one; only Andrews voted against it. f
6 | news
thefulcrum.ca | Sept. 22–28, 2011
You’re screwed Campaign highlights job issues for students
Nepean student charged after hazing incident OTTAWA—A NEPEAN HIGH-school student has been charged under the Highway Traffic Act for failing to report a collision after he drove into the back of a fellow student’s bicycle. The accused, along with two other students, was participating in hazing events by throwing eggs from his car at other students. His car struck the Grade 9 student walking his bike. The driver was subsequently suspended from classes and is now pending a transfer to a different school. The two other students who were in the car at the time of the incident were also suspended but are not facing charges. Approximately 40 students protested the punishments last week, asking the accused be reinstated at his original school immediately. According to the striking students, hazing often happens without consequences. —Andrew Ikeman Students fear consequences of staff strike ONTARIO—WITH THE ONTARIO Community College support staff on strike, students are fighting to have their say. The Ontario College Student Alliance is pushing for a settlement, concerned with the impacts of the strike. The workers currently on strike represent about 8,000 staff members in charge of positions like food services and registration offices among Ontario’s 24 colleges. After rejecting an offer of an increase in average salary to more than $59,000 a year, the chairman of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union bargaining committee stated that the support staff union’s demands simply are not reasonable given the present economic environment. Already feeling the strike’s impact, the student advocacy group said that numerous students from Ontario colleges are experiencing difficulties attaining administrative and educational services. The colleges will remain open while the bargaining committee tries to come to an agreement. —Brianna Campigotto
Student convicted of manslaughter returns to UBC VANCOUVER (CUP)—UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH Columbia (UBC) student Sasan Ansari was convicted of stabbing his friend, Josh Goos, 33 times in a parking lot outside of a West Vancouver country club after a monetary dispute in 2006. He was charged in 2008, completed his sentence last year, and has returned to UBC to finish his degree this year. Ansari was admitted to the school’s law program and attended UBC before being convicted. He even won a $1,000 scholarship during that time. UBC does not deny admission to or expel any student for committing a criminal act off campus. “Sanctions for criminal offences are established by our judicial system and it would not be appropriate for UBC to act on its own in adding an additional sanction—denial of access to education—to those already imposed by the courts,” wrote James Ridge, associate vice-president and registrar, in a statement about the student’s return to the university. Bijan Ahmadian, a business and law student who takes classes with Ansari, argued that he should be allowed to attend UBC. “I had a chat with him and had I not known from the news, I wouldn’t have guessed,” said Ahmadian. —Arshy Mann, CUP Western Bureau Chief RIM stock continues to topple WATERLOO, Ont.—RESEARCH IN MOTION Ltd. (RIM), a Waterloo-based company known as the developer of BlackBerry phones, announced disappointing revenue results for the second fiscal quarter, continuing a downward trend for the technology giant. Despite analyst predictions of $4.5 billion revenue in the second quarter, RIM managed to bring in only $4.2 billion. A drastic drop in share prices by 16 per cent followed. RIM’s stock has lost almost half its value since January, and Bernstein Research analyst Pierre Ferragu said that if the trend continues, he expects investors “to lose all confidence in RIM’s earning power.” RIM is scrambling to reverse the trend. This summer, the company revealed plans to lay off some 2,000 workers, and a “cost-optimization program” cost RIM $118 million in the second quarter. The future looks brighter for the company as RIM’s newest line of smart phones, including the latest version of the BlackBerry Bold, have been selling well and some analysts, including Ferragu, think the stock will pick up soon. —Joseph Boer
illustration by Kyle Hansforth
Jane Lytvynenko | Fulcrum Staff
HAVE YOU EVER wondered about job security for university graduates? Launched by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), the How Screwed Are You campaign is expected to pull the issue of employment to the forefront of the upcoming Ontario provincial election, catering to the needs of university students and recent graduates. The website, Howscrewedareyou.ca, features videos, a game, and a “screwed” calculator to educate visitors about labour issues, such as discrimination, stability, and low wages for those who work in the public sector, in a humorous manner.
“We tried to make something that people would come to for several reasons, whether it’s to play with the calculator to see how screwed they were or to play the game,” said Randy Robinson, OPSEU’s political economist. “I think [the campaign] applies to just about everybody. It is meant to be lighthearted [and] it’s meant to be fun, but the issues are serious.” According to Robinson, both students and their parents should get educated on the downsides of part-time and temporary jobs, as graduates are unlikely to enter the workforce at a stable, full-time level. “If you look around at what’s happening in the economy right now, five out of eight jobs are actually permanent, full-
time jobs. So what we’re trying to do is grapple with the whole issue of what’s happening in the work force these days,” said Robinson. “These concerns about not only the quality of jobs that are out there today, but the quality of jobs that will be there tomorrow.” On average, part-time employees get paid less than full timers. Robinson believes that’s a big issue when it comes to discrimination against part-time and temporary workers, adding that if the wages were the same for both types of employees, there would more job stability. “In Europe, [paying full-time staff more than part-time] is against the law. It’s seen as a form of discrimination,” said Robinson. “If employers will not discriminate against part-time and temporary workers, there will be a lot more full-time jobs created.” Though a few political parties are addressing the issue of job creation at the provincial level, Robinson said none of them are focusing on the discrimination aspect; however, some are attending to other issues of interest to students. “At least the NDP and Liberals are arguing over who has a better plan to reduce tuition, which I think is fantastic. We’ve also got all of the parties trying to put the future of jobs on the agenda,” said Robinson. Robinson encourages students to help themselves, as the job situation is unlikely to change by the time they graduate. He said youth should talk to candidates, go to debates, and raise the question of jobs and tuition fees. “Find out which candidate in your riding is going to do the most to solve these problems,” said Robinson. f
Dead celebs at an ice cream shop ANDY WARHOL USED to trade paintings for desserts at Serendipity 3, a popular New York City ice cream parlour that has been visited by the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable throughout its 57 years in business. Serendipity 3 owners and a select group of guests are planning to reconnect with the ice cream parlor’s famous past by holding a seance. Char Margolis, a well-known psychic medium who famously revealed Kelly Ripa’s pregnancy on live TV, will lead the group. Other guests include Oscar-nominated actress Sylvia Miles and James Warhol, Andy Warhol’s
nephew. Margolis can’t guarantee any of Serendipity 3’s famous patrons will speak at the seance. “It depends who has something to say—it might be a former waiter who wants to speak,” Margolis told the Huffington Post. Even if a famous star like Monroe did appear, those present aren’t likely to get the inside scoop on the circumstances of her death. Margolis explained spirits who make appearances are those who have a message for someone in attendance. But the attendees aren’t all interested in asking the dead big questions. One
woman wants nothing more than Monroe’s stuffing recipe. TV producer Jimmy Floyd, on the other hand, wants to know if sex is great in the afterlife. Of course, the seance has its skeptics. There were those who doubt Margolis’ ability to connect with the dead, but Floyd thinks having pessimists at the seance could be valuable. He compared the mix of skeptics and believers in a room to the mix of positive and negative charges in a battery—it’s essential for a balanced flow of spiritual energy used to summon ghosts. —Abria Mattina
thefulcrum.ca | Sept. 22–28, 2011
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The grass is greener on our side Matt Anthony Field is now environmentally friendly IT SEEMS THE grass is now greener at the University of Ottawa. After years of wear and tear, the lawn of Matt Anthony Field has been replaced. Rather than a cheap fix, the university invested in a sustainable option for the field, mostly made up of recycled materials. “The field had reached the end of its life cycle,” said Jonathan Rausseo, sustainable development manager at the U of O’s Campus Sustainability Office. “After 10 years, you lose performance in terms of the bounciness of the field, the quality of the turf, and so forth.” The new field is composed of parts of the old field and rubber soles of recycled running shoes, which were collected by Sports Services. Recycling old goods allowed a more vibrant and cutting-edge turf to be put in place, while producing as little waste as possible. “Eighty-seven per cent of all the materials in the old field were recycled—more than any other project that I know of on campus,” said Rausseo. The rubber soles of the shoes were cryogenically frozen and melted down into pellets before they were used in the construction of the field. “We recycled about 800 to 1,000 shoes
and a little bit of [them were] used in the field so far,” he explained. “Most of [the shoes] will be for future use on the field. Every time someone gets tackled, a bunch of the little pellets get knocked out and now we have our own supply to add to the field.” The artificial turf, made up of plastic polyethylene, was placed on top of this layer of rubber pellets and sand. Another inch or two of rubber pellets was put down to help the field absorb shock from falls. By using the old field, a lot of materials were saved from going to the landfill. “We saw that 87 per cent of the waste generated from this construction activity was diverted from the landfill,” said Trevor Freeman from Halsall Associates, one of the firms involved in the project. “In terms of weight, that means about 475 metric tones.” The new turf is not the only environmentally friendly aspect of the fieldreplacement project. Steps were taken to ensure the transportation of goods used to build the field limited their carbon footprint. “The consulting firm that installed the field actually chose to ship a bunch of their materials by rail instead of by truck,” said Freeman. “In doing that, [they] prevented a considerable amount of carbon emis-
photo by Mico Mazza
Part of the new U of O turf is made from recycled shoes sions [from being released]. We expected them to have close to 3,500 kilograms of carbon dioxide emitted if they shipped it by road. Instead, shipping by rail, it was close to 300 kilograms.” The field, which meets FIFA’s Two Star field turf standard, is a major accomplishment for the U of O, both in terms of the
quality of the field and the way in which is was built. “It now meets all the requirements for world-class soccer,” said Rausseo. “The national team could come practice here and the standard this field meets would be the exact standard they would be using if they played [at a FIFA-rated field] anywhere
else in the world.” “The field not only sets the bar high in terms of quality, but it does so for its environmental footprint as well,” he said. “From an environmental point of view, this marks the dramatic improvement in the way construction projects on campus are conducted.” f
In theory, if sexual selection allows for harmful genes to be bred out faster than random mating, you’d expect less of those harmful genes in the fl ies allowed to mate selectively. Instead, Rundle found there were no differences between populations, and for a few genes, there were less copies of the harmful genes in the randomly mated population—completely the opposite of what you’d expect.
When males breed with healthy females, they inject the latter with proteins that put their reproductive systems into overdrive. Th is brings down their fitness compared to the females carrying the defective genes, hurting the healthy females in the long run. Th is problem in studies of sexual selection has long been abundant with theories and absent in data. Experimental biology is fi nally catching up to theory and providing answers to the consequences of mating. f
What’s she building in there? Why we woo Allan Johnson | Fulcrum Contributor
The problem THE LONG, COLOURFUL tails on peacocks; the loud, distinctive cry of birds; the useless eye-stalks of some fl ies: All these traits are found in nature, even though all of them make the bearer an easier target for its enemies. But still, these traits are passed on through generations, making researchers wonder about their purpose. Evolution is full of species that have naturally selected—and potentially dan-
gerous—physical traits. Female peacocks, for example, prefer males with large and colourful tails, even though they make them easier for predators to spot. A question arises: Why and how do animals choose their mates (something scientists refer to as sexual selection), and how does this selection affect the species? Does it hasten the removal of harmful genes, or does it promote diversity and speed up the development of the species? The researcher University of Ottawa biology professor Howard Rundle looks for logic behind sexual selection. Evolution happens at a different rate for different species, based on how long each generation lives and
breeds. By using fruit fl ies for testing, with their short life cycle, he tracks evolutionary changes in populations in years instead of millennia, allowing him to watch evolution as it happens. The project Rundle set up many populations of fl ies and controlled for how they mate. For each population, he allowed some groups of fl ies to pick their mates themselves, while others were forced to select mates at random rather than according to their normal preferences. After data from several generations was analyzed, it became clear how genes harmful to the fl ies were passed on. The answer surprised the researchers.
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The key With further analysis, the reason for the contradiction became apparent. While female and male fl ies both chose mates without the harmful genes, there were unforeseen consequences.
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Not your typical rock ’n’ roll band Paint mixes more than just colour Jessie Willms | Fulcrum Contributor
PAINT IS A band that, despite the brevity of their name, is not readily defi ned in a single word. Sonically, the indie-rock quintet features elements of the mid1990s Brit-pop movement, but trades the shoegaze phase for energetic live performances and challenges the “sound wall” that originated from the period. “We’re not your typical rock and roll band,” says Robb Johannes, the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist, in an interview with the Fulcrum. Originally formed by Johannes in Vancouver during 2008, the band relocated to Toronto one year later, and is now rounded out by Mandy Dunbar on guitar and vocals, Marcus Warren on bass, and Andre Dey on drums. The band’s name was inspired by the early Brit-pop movement, where band names were made up of a single word— Blur, Oasis, and Pulp. The band’s fi rst rehearsal space was also under renovations at the time, meaning they would leave smelling, unsurprisingly, of paint.
According to Johannes, Paint’s energetic sound is “the product of being from Vancouver. People go to bars, but don’t pay attention to the band.” Born of necessity, Paint’s sound is heavy on guitar with soaring melodies, backed by expressive and story-driven lyrics that break the barriers of unfamiliarity between artist and audience. A member of various bands since the age of 14, Johannes also spent many years rallying for different causes as a social activist in Vancouver. Transitioning from activism to music was not challenging for the front man. “You never really turn that energy off. Instead, it’s a matter of channeling it into a different form of communicating,” he explains. “Music for me has always been a form of release, of empowerment.” The band’s newest album, Where We Are Today, was created over the course of a year and a half and stage tested, adding a level of cohesiveness that portrays Paint’s youth as a band. “I tend to write all the lyrics, but musically, it’s the four of us,” says Johannes, when asked about the process of writing and composing songs for the band’s latest record. The recording of their latest CD went relatively smoothly. Ian Smith, who helped craft the band’s unique sound, produced the 10 tracks featured on the album. “[He] created this environment that
photo courtesy Marcus Warren
READY TO PAINT THE TOWN RED Vancouver-bred, Toronto-based band to perform in Ottawa was so friendly and so comfortable that we didn’t need to have a lot of conversations about what we wanted to achieve with the record, and instead just focused on how we could get there technically,” says Johannes. “I can’t say I’ve [previ-
ously] had an experience like that.” The result of this easygoing relationship between band members and producer is evident—just listen to the record. “We’re very proud of the album. It just captured our energy so well,” re-
f marks Johannes. Paint’s most recent album, Where We Are Today, is available at Paintband.com. The band plays in Ottawa on Sept. 23 at Zaphod Bebblebrox with Arms of the Girl and The Aesthetics. Tickets are $6.
24-Hour Comics Day Local artist set to host internationally celebrated event Keeton Wilcock | Fulcrum Staff
IN THE SUMMER of 1990, Scott McCloud, an American graphic artist, suggested an interesting solution for his friend and fellow artist Steve Bissette’s creative block: Create a 24-page comic in 24 hours, working at a rate of one page an hour. Bissette took McCloud up on the idea, and 24-Hour Comics Day was born. Two decades after its inception, 24Hour Comics Day is celebrated in over a dozen countries around the world. For the last three years, the contest has included a group of creative-minded people right here in Ottawa. “I’d been looking at the 24-Hour Comic Day website and I thought, ‘I really want to do it, maybe there’s one in Ottawa,’” says Suzanne Marsden, Ottawa-based
graphic artist, writer, and designer. “The closest one I could find was in Kingston. I thought, ‘Well, maybe I’ll just do it at my house—Dragonhead Studios!’” From 10 a.m. on Oct. 1 until 10 a.m. the next day, illustrators, writers, and art fans alike are welcome to join Marsden in Kanata for the local branch of the international event. “You’ll never find a more creative opportunity to really dig into yourself,” explains Marsden. Many people read comics every day without realizing the amount of hard work and deep thinking that go into their creation. Potential participants should be prepared for an experience unlike any they’ve had before. “It’s a lot harder than you think it will be. You will never have enough time, but it’s worth it,” she says. “You’ll find out things about yourself that you come up with at 3 a.m. that are completely different than what you think about at 11:30 in the morning when you’ve had your coffee.” Frustrations aside, Marsden assures potential artists there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. “You make it through that dark night, and there’s nothing fi ner than when the sun comes up and you’re done.” For those interested in working on
comics, but are unable to make it to the 24-Hour Comics Day event at Dragonhead Studios, there is more than one opportunity to get involved. Ottawa Comic Jam is a group that is sponsoring this year’s 24-Hour event, and they also host a comic jam on the last Wednesday evening of each month at the Shanghai Restaurant on Somerset Street. “Basically someone draws a panel, passes it to your friend, they draw the next panel, and crazy stories happen,” explained Marsden. “It’s free, paper’s provided, and it’s a really great way to meet other comic artists and just have fun.” If you don’t have a lot of talent or are hesitant to draw a comic, don’t worry. Everyone is welcome at 24-Hour Comics Day—all you need to bring is a love for art. “No experience necessary: You don’t have to have done it before. You don’t even have to be an artist,” Marsden says. “Anyone can do it and it’s not something that you regret. You may be tired or upset during it, but it’s a very rewarding expef rience.” For the 24-Hour Comic Day at Dragonhead Studios, attendees are asked to confirm by Sept. 28. To register, go to Comixjam.tripod.com
illustration by Natasha Oickle
10 | arts&culture
thefulcrum.ca | Sept. 22–28, 2011
movie reviews I Don’t Know How She Does It
AS A DEVOTED Sex and the City and Sarah Jessica Parker fan, I was overwhelmed to see SJP outside of her Carrie Bradshaw role and secretly hoped to see a great deal of fashion. Parker plays Kate Reddy, a Boston-based workaholic with two children and a loving husband. She is trying to do far too much: The kids’ bake sale, birthday parties, family reunions, and a killer schedule at work. Kate is thought of as a superwoman—one minute she is flying to New York for a conference, the next she is at home juggling her domestic tasks. But she is not as perfect as people think. The breaking point comes when she has to leave her in-laws’ country house on Thanksgiving night for a business trip. Can she pull it off ? I Don’t Know How She Does It is one of those movies that doesn’t have a plot or an obstacle. The entire movie is too focused on Kate’s daily struggle with work and family. Without any realism, the movie fails to draw sympathy from the audience. As much as I love SJP, her exaggerated acting and clichéd mannerisms in this movie are hard to bear. The monologues of characters might work in Sex and the City, but they add nothing inspiring to this movie. The glamorous Carrie Bradshaw as a dull professional makes for a boring movie. —Quan Wen
HEAR THE DUELING banjos faintly playing in the background? How about a town local whispering in your ear, “You got a perdy mouth”? This may not be Deliverance, but it is pretty darn close. Starring James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, and True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgård, Straw Dogs is a revived 1970s cult classic horror about Los Angeles screenwriter David (Marsden) and his wife, Amy (Bosworth). The two move back to Amy’s hometown of Blackwater, Miss., for David to write his newest screenplay, but Charlie (Skarsgård) and his band of hooligan followers make it increasingly difficult for the couple to settle in. From beginning to end, the film will have your stomach in knots. There was a scene that had the entire theatre disturbed and people began to walk out; only those with a strong stomach endured the rest. Although the acting was not amazing—with the exception of James Woods (when is he not amazing?)—the story accomplished what it wanted to do: It keeps you on edge and goes out with a bang. If you like other cult classics, like Deliverance and the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, then you will enjoy this movie. If your stomach is weak and you’re easily offended, then perhaps a light comedy will tickle your fancy. —Dani-Elle Dubé
he best way to describe director Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion is to imagine 28 Days Later without the zombies. Much like in the Danny Boyle film, a highly contagious virus is unleashed onto the public and no one on earth is safe from its deadly effects. Except, in this case, the virus does not send the infected into a homicidal rage—it causes them to suffer a slow, excruciating death. An all-star Hollywood cast is thrown into the middle of the fray, including Laurence Fishburne who plays a doctor from the Centre for Disease Control, Kate Winslet as an epidemic intelligence officer working to contain the pandemic, Jude Law as a slimy freelance journalist, and Matt Damon as a father who is desperately clinging to his humanity after tragedy strikes. Those who despise movies that feature large, star-studded Hollywood casts should not dismiss this film because of its advertising. Soderbergh does his best to suck all the glitz and glamour out of his stars. Gwyneth Paltrow (Damon’s wife) wears next to no makeup in most scenes, Law has some weird crooked teeth added for effect, and Fishburne sports a creepy moustache that is sometimes more terrifying than the virus itself. They all look like real people, which adds to the raw, ultra-realistic tone that remains consistent throughout the film. Despite its drama, the film never finds its emotional centre. It is such a scientifically minded movie that the audience never feels connected to the characters. Although the science behind the virus is interesting, this also means that we spend less time with relatable, everyday Matt Damon, and by doing so, the film loses a bit of its humanity in the process. Soderbergh may have had success with large ensemble casts in the past (Traffic, Ocean’s series), but here he fumbles on the execution. While everyone in Contagion turns in a solid, believable performance, the cast is stretched thin and not all the characters are given a satisfying conclusion to their story arcs. Despite its shortcomings, Contagion is a decent film that makes you feel an overwhelming paranoia that the world that is under attack by an invisible enemy. Needless to say, this movie is every germaphobe’s worst nightmare. I wouldn’t blame any movie goer if they feel compelled to load up on bottles of Purell after the credits roll. —Kyle Darbyson
epic fail fail
Our Idiot Brother
IT’S NOT HARD to love brother Ned Rochlin in Our Idiot Brother. Starring Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, and Rashida Jones, the fi lm tells the story of Ned (Rudd), a man who just tries to see the best in people. After being released from prison for selling marijuana to a uniformed police officer, Ned attempts to go back to the farm he worked at prior to the arrest, but Janet (Kathryn Hahn), his ex-girlfriend, refuses to take him back. He spends the night at his mother’s house before deciding to roam each of his sisters’ couches. Ned’s philosophy in life is, “If you put your trust out there—if you really give people the benefit of the doubt, see their best intentions—people will rise to the occasion.” His trust in humanity is inspiring, as is Rudd’s performance. Th is movie has the rare ability to get both laughs and inspire a belief in our fellow man. Although you sometimes have to question the idiocy of Ned, this uplift ing movie will make you chuckle. —Andrew Ikeman
AFTER SETTING OUT to see Olivier Megaton’s Colombiana, I’ve got to say: If you’re a hardcore movie buff with a taste for bloodshed and steamy sex, then this is not the fi lm for you. The lucid and overdone plot is about the death of Cataleya’s (Zoe Saldana) parents, a loss that makes her become an assassin and seek vengeance for her parents’ deaths. If you’re familiar with Megaton’s other works as a director, such as Hitman or Transporter 3, it’s not surprising to discover that Colombiana is just another style-over-substance action flick. The nature of the violence was too subdued and the no-panty-dance I was anticipating from Saldana never came. The extent of character development was also expectedly weak . If you are in the mood to go to the movies, check out what else is playing. —Tina Wallace
thefulcrum.ca | Sept. 22–28, 2011
arts&culture | 11
Local theatre taking flight The GCTC presents Amelia: The Girl Who Wants to
Fly Joshua Pride | Fulcrum Staff
Sofia Hashi | Fulcrum Staff
THE PRINCE EDWARD County Theatre Company’s production of Amelia: The Girl Who Wants to Fly soars above and beyond a standard retelling of the life and times of Amelia Earhart. Amelia, performed at the Great Canadian Theatre Company, is a two act jazz musical written and composed by Canadian playwright John Gray, who also wrote Billy Bishop Goes to War, winner of the Governor General’s Award for Drama. Amelia gives its audience an unconventional glimpse into the personal and public life of Amelia Earhart through effective direction and solid performances. Audiences are brought into the world of the 1930s as soon as they take their seats in the very intimate Irving Greeberg Theatre Centre as period music fi lls the small auditorium. Sarah Phillips, the director of Amelia, has triumphed in creating what seems to be a very simple production that allows the audience to use their imagination to full effect. When Amelia is flying, it rests on the actor’s delivery of Gray’s text, full of vivid imagery and simple lighting changes to recreate her flying experience. The set consists of a small stage area and a riser complete with 1930s furnishings. How-
SOARING TO NEW HEIGHTS
photo courtesy GCTC
Amelia: The Girl Who Wants to Fly takes the stage this fall ever, the main attraction of this set is the piano upstage upon which the pianist and musical director Michael Barber accompanies the actors throughout the production on stage. The cast of three actors have truly created colourful and memorable characters through their energetic and realistic performances. They demonstrate a mastery of their craft through a wide acting and vocal range in a comedic show that also demands moments of intense emotion. The troupe, Eliza-Jane Scott (Amelia
Earhart), Karin Randoja (Midge, Amelia’s Sister), and Steven Gallagher (G.P.), captivates the audience through emotionally versatile performances. They bring Gray’s words to life by presenting the life of Earhart, while discussing the themes of women’s roles in 1930s society, the danger of celebrity, and the harsh realities of America’s most renowned Aviatrix in a highly entertaining production. f Amelia runs until Oct. 2 at the GCTC. To purchase tickets visit Gctc.ca or call the box office at (613) 236-5196.
AFTER A TWO year partnership, Vancouver’s Amy Kirkpatrick and Ajay Bhattacharyya, also known as the electro-pop duo Data Romance, are finally coming to town. Known for their heavy electronic beats and slow, melodic, whispery lyrics, Data Romance does the unthinkable by mashing up Kirkpatrick’s soft folk vocals with an edgier dance club beat, arranged solely by Bhattacharyya. Having released their self-titled EP this past June, a follow-up album to the widely popular Life Cycles, Data Romance has been busy promoting their new CD and fi lming a music video for their lead single “The Deep”. Although 2011 has been a busy year for this duo, Kirkpatrick and Bhattacharyya don’t plan on stopping just yet—expect a new record from them before the year’s end.
BEGINNING SEPT. 23, the Ottawa Art Gallery will present Decolonize Me, an exhibition comprised of several Canadian artists including local artist Bear Witness. Borrowing inspiration from documentarian Morgan Spurlock’s wellknown fi lm Supersize Me in the naming of the display, the exhibit examines and explores the affects colonization has had on Canadian and indigenous identity, as well as how decolonization impacts our society. Consisting of photographs, videos, sculptures, and performance art, the display focuses on the relationship between aboriginal Canadians and the original European settlers. It sheds light on past wrongdoings in the colonial era, shared histories, and fi nding the voice of the native people.
Sounds like: A blend of synth-pop vocals and electronica or dance music similar to Florence and the Machine.
Looks like: Videos, photographs, and sculptures depicting colonization and decolonization in Canada.
Check them out: Oct. 16 at Raw Sugar Café.
Check it out: Sept. 23–Nov. 20 at the Ottawa Art Gallery.
With lines and rhymes, it’s poetry time Capital Slam off to a solid start this season Sofia Hashi | Fulcrum Staff
HER WORDS CAME fast and abruptly. She didn’t stumble or stutter through the performance and kept the audience wide eyed and at attention. The subject matter: Ironing. Laundry may seem like an unlikely topic for a riveting poem, but slam poet Megan Ward made it work this past Saturday night at the Mercury Lounge. “[Poetry] is just something that I do,” she says. “It’s the way that I process my life and it’s the way that I interpret the world around me. When big things in my life happen, I write … When little things happen, I write. It’s turned into a career that I love.” Hailing from Victoria, B.C., Ward has been part of the Victoria slam scene for the past three years and recently took home the title of the 2011 Victoria Slam Champion. Although she is an established member of the slam poetry
community, her start in slamming was unintentional. “I was writing a lot of poetry since I was a kid. My grandma gave me a journal [when] I was eight and I started writing right away,” says Ward. “I never performed until my friend brought me to a spoken word open mike, but the people there started telling me that I should slam and so I started slamming right away. Th at fi rst year I got on a team and I grew a lot through that experience.” Mercury Lounge is home to Capital Slam, a poetry series that showcases local and national poets every other Saturday. This past Saturday was the second poetry showcase for the 2011–12 season. Anyone is welcome to perform. “Everyone has something to say, even if they bottle it up and keep it behind locked doors,” says Rusty Priske, Capital Poetry Collective director and local poet. “We give them the pulpit and the
Poetry is the outlet, spoken word is the voice, and slam is the excitement that draws the crowd. —Rusty Priske, Capital Poetry Collective director and poet
audience. Poetry is the outlet, spoken word is the voice, and slam is the excitement that draws the crowd. The audience is part of the art and together we create a feedback loop of art and inspiration. Falling back on my own philosophy—if not for art, why exist?” Capital Slam sends its top five poets to the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word each fall, a competition the team has won the past two years. According to Priske, poetry brings people together and offers an outlet for people to express themselves. “Poetry is important to the community because poetry is important to people. The ability to fi nd a voice and share everything that is rattling around in your head is amazing,” he says. f Catch Capital Slam on Oct. 2 for the next show, and every other Saturday after, at the Mercury Lounge (56 Byward Market Sq.). Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $7.
Have strong opinions?
12 | arts&cultures
thefulcrum.ca | Sept. 22–28, 2011
Say that again? How students can preserve their native language on campus Tamara Tarchichi | Fulcrum Contributor
THERE ARE MANY students on campus whose first language isn’t French or English. This news may not be groundbreaking considering multiculturalism is a defining feature of life in Canada. “We are blessed to have multiculturalism in Canada because all institutions encourage culture,” says Abdallah Obeid, U of O professor of Arabic studies. Although Canada is practically synonymous with multiculturalism, students may face obstacles to keeping their native tongue here on campus. Whether there are enough people to practice with or not enough class hours in which to study the finer points of the language, some U of O professors shed light on how to practice speaking in your native language. Obeid points out that confidence is key to preserving a language. Many students who speak Arabic at home or with friends will gain the confidence necessary to continue speaking their native language later on in life. It is fair to apply this rule to all languages, not necessarily Arabic alone. “Languages are best practised in social settings. However, if a club or conversational circle is not feasible, you can find forums and ‘tandem’ partners in your language online,” explains Joerg Esleben, University of Ottawa modern language professor.
Students can also look towards social networks such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, which help students engage in the communication development of processing information in their first language. Video sharing, email exchanges, and even music can help enhance the listening, reading, and writing process. “The Internet offers a more mediated alternative. In particular, online comments and discussion forums from the target culture are a treasure trove for slang and idiomatic expressions, as are pop songs, ads, and TV series targeting young people,” says Esleben. After analyzing language courses offered by the University of Ottawa, as well as the written and oral habits of students, the question arises as to whether the courses offered on campus are enough to maintain students’ mother tongues. “The problem is that the [Arabic and other languages] courses that are offered at the University of Ottawa are on the basis of four hours per week. Students practice their grammar, structure, and are able to write some exercises… but they have difficulty in speaking it,” explains Obeid. “You can see the big difference here. There are no places for these students to go and practice [except for the] scholarships to travel [abroad] ... to get some practice.” Students also need to examine their mo-
tivation to excel in their language studies. If the courses offered at the U of O aren’t enough, then it’s up to the student to take the initiative to keep on practicing their language. “The most important asset in learning a language is self-motivation. Don’t wait passively for instructors or textbooks to fill your heads with the language; go out and find and organize other learners and speakers of the language, make your own personalized use of the wealth of print, audiovisual, and online materials around you,” says Esleben. Obeid encourages students to get more involved in the University of Ottawa cultural clubs, particularly those which encourage linguistic studies. To maintain and enhance full practice of students’ native languages, Obeid supports students in beginning a club from scratch at the U of O that will bring students together to share same-language conversation over coffee. “I encourage all [students] to learn their [native] language first, and then learn English and French as well. It is important to be immersed in both official languages. I encourage you to read more books, and mistakes are natural even if people laugh. Learn more than one, two, or three languages because competition is fierce in the f employment field,” he says.
SPEAKING IN (MOTHER) TONGUES
photo illustration by Mico Mazza
Students face difficulty keeping native language
the lens Sofia Hashi Fulcrum Staff answers from p. 21
Getting our sexy back MSN TRAVEL RECENTLY dubbed Ottawa as the eighth worst dressed city in the world. Ottawa my have beat out Vancouver, a city reprimanded for their outfits based solely on the lululemon franchise, but that did not stop a debate over whether or not Ottawa is fashionable. Shortly after describing our nation’s capital as a “city populated by suit-andtie civil servants,” and “the least sexiest city in Canada,” I started wondering about fashion in the city. Is Ottawa fashionable? Are we an avant-garde, cuttingedge city like Tokyo or London? Sadly, no. No, we’re not. Here in Ottawa, we’re not a chic or suave city like Paris—we’re more like its dowdy, frumpy little sister. Although it’s entirely debatable whether we’re simply a boring, stuff y government town, I’d have to concede that Ottawa just isn’t a fabulously decked out city. Yes, we do have specialty boutiques where one-of-a-kind fi nds are a dime a dozen, and yes, we have some talented
local designers—but is this enough? Personally, I feel as though dressing well has less to do with the resources offered and more about attitude. Ottawa may boast an annual fashion week and we may have some blogs worth checking out on the subject, but it’s only a step in the right direction to be considered fashionable. In the nation’s capital, you can get away with wearing sweatpants or yoga pants on a Saturday night—trust me, I’ve seen it happen. While it’s understandable that we all can’t look like Victoria Secret models all the time, it’s not understandable looking like you’ve dressed in the dark every day. After spending time in abroad in Europe, I realized how much more effort people of other cities put into looking good. Whether they were trying out a new trend or sticking to the tried and true, these people always looked impeccable. They made me believe there was such thing as a fashion police, and they
would fi ne you for being an offender. It’s safe to say these cities have almost the same amount of resources as we do. We may not have as many designer clothes, but it’s what you make out of fashion—not what it makes out of you. Having the resources is only half of the equation of looking good. You also need the skill, confidence, and motivation to dress well. Although I do agree with MSN. com’s label for Ottawa as a not-so fashion forward city, I wholeheartedly disagree on us being ranked worse than Jersey Shore. Do we really deserve to be ranked worse than the city of spray tans, fist pumping, and women squeezing into dresses two sizes too small? No, we do not. And to those other cities that count us out, I say: Don’t—not just yet. Because just like Justin Timberlake once sang, we’ll get our sexy back. email@example.com (613) 562-5931
thefulcrum.ca | Sept. 22–28, 2011
thethryllabus Music Sept. 22: Andrew W.K., HellBros!, Street Meat, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, and Holy Sons play Mavericks (221 Rideau St.), 9 p.m. Sept. 23: Paint, Arms of the Girl, and the Aesthetics play Zaphod Beeblebrox (27 York St.), 8 p.m. Sept. 23: Whitehorse (Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland) play Mavericks (221 Rideau St.), 9 p.m. Sept. 24: Blind Witness, Stray From The Path, Vanna, Liferuiner, Affiance, and Tyrants Rise play Mavericks (221 Rideau St.), 6:30 p.m. Sept. 24: Good2Go and the Jeers play Irene’s Pub (885 Bank St.), 9:30 p.m. Sept. 27: The Dead Letters and Woolfolk play the Elmdale House Tavern (1084 Wellington St. W.), 9 p.m. Sept. 27: Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto plays at the National Arts Centre (53 Elgin St.), 7 p.m. Sept. 29: The Joey Only Band and The Mudplots play Zaphod Beeblebrox (27 York St.), 8 p.m. Sept. 29: Protest The Hero, Today I
Caught The Plague, Denounced, and Perjury play Ritual (137 Besserer St.), 6:30 p.m. Sept. 30: Sandman Viper Command, The Paint Movement, and Celery Troff play Café Dekcuf (221 Rideau St.), 9 p.m. Sept. 30: Gramercy Riffs play Zaphod Beeblebrox (27 York St.), 8 p.m. Oct. 1: Visions and Voices: The Dark Bazaar play Westboro Masonic Hall (430 Churchill Ave.), 7 p.m. Oct. 2: Trailer Park Bingo and Hot Fudge Sundays play Zaphod Beeblebrox (27 York St.), 7 p.m. Oct. 3: Strike Anywhere, Dead To Me, The Copyrights, and Male Nurse Band play Mavericks (221 Rideau St.), 7 p.m. Oct. 4: Sloan play Mavericks (221 Rideau St.), 9 p.m. Oct. 5: PS I Love You, Suuns, and Valleys play Mavericks (221 Rideau St.), 8 p.m. Visual art Sept. 29: Barbara Gamble presents
Want your event listed on the thryllabus? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
New York Stories at the Cube Gallery (1285 Wellington St. W.)
Sept. 24: Pulp Fiction plays at the Mayfair Theatre (1074 Bank St.), 9 p.m.
Sept. 30–Oct. 30: Peter Shmelzer’s High Value in Hard Times displayed at La Petite Mort Gallery (306 Cumberland St.)
Sept. 25: Maniac plays at the Mayfair Theatre (1074 Bank St.), 9 p.m.
Now–Sept. 27: Beth Ross’s Passages displayed at the Shenkman Arts Centre (245 Centrum Blvd.) Now–Nov. 25: Camille Brisebois and the National Capital Network of Sculptors displayed at the Shenkman Arts Centre (245 Centrum Blvd.) Now–March 18: The works of Louise Bourgeois displayed at the National Gallery of Canada (380 Sussex Dr.) Now–Oct. 2: Slava Mogutin and Brian Kenny’s Interpenetration displayed at La Petite Mort Gallery (306 Cumberland St.) Now–Oct. 15: Chris Simonite’s Mansongs displayed at Gallery 101 (301 1/2 Bank St.)
Sept. 26: Doctor Zhivago plays at the ByTowne Cinema (325 Rideau St.), 7:10 p.m. Sept. 28: Ivory Tower plays at the ByTowne Cinema (325 Rideau St.), 8 p.m. Sept. 30: Red State plays at the Mayfair Theatre (1074 Bank St.), 9 p.m. Sept. 30: Dream House, 50/50, What’s Your Number?, Margaret, and Take Shelter released to theatres Oct. 1: Senna plays at the ByTowne Cinema (325 Rideau St.), 6:55 p.m. Oct. 3: The Blair Witch Project plays at the Mayfair Theatre (1074 Bank St.), 9:30 p.m.
Film Sept. 23: Horrible Bosses plays at the Mayfair Theatre (1074 Bank St.), 7 p.m. Sept. 23: Abduction, Killer Elite, Moneyball, and Puncture released to theatres
Theatre Now–Sept. 24: The 39 Steps plays at the Gladstone Theatre (910 Gladstone Ave.) Now–Oct. 1: Inherit the Wind plays at the Ottawa Little Theatre (400 King Edward Ave.) Now–Oct. 2: Amelia: The Girl Who Wants to Fly plays at the Great Canadian Theatre Company (1233 Wellington St. W.) Oct. 5–22: Speed-the-Plow plays at the Gladstone Theatre (910 Gladstone Ave.) Miscellaneous happenings Now–Sept. 25: The Ottawa International Animation Festival takes place at various venues throughout the city Sept. 25: The Gift of Life walk to raise awareness about organ donation takes place at Andrew Haydon Park (3127 Carling Ave.), 10 a.m.
Oct. 4: Fright Night plays at the Mayfair Theatre (1074 Bank St.), 8:45 p.m.
Sept. 28–Oct.2: Ottawa Fashion Week takes place at the Ottawa Convention Centre (55 Colonel By Dr.)
Oct. 5: The Big Lebowski plays at the ByTowne Cinema (325 Rideau St.), 7:15 p.m.
Oct. 2–5: Ottawa Community Record Show (523 St. Anthony St.)
sept. 22–oct. 5
Journalism is literature in a hurry.
Risky business (The practice Dani-Elle Dubé | Fulcrum Contributor THE FULCRUM
The U of O’s independent English-language student newspaper
MANY OF US admit to doing it at least once and most of us believe we will never be caught or properly disciplined. It is a crime that is supposed to be
Main Page Contents Featured content Current events Random article Volunteer for the Fulcrum
taken seriously but is sometimes swept under the rug; it’s an offence that tarnishes reputations and lands students in a world of trouble. No, we’re not referring to the amount of indecent exposures that
occur during frosh week. We’re talking about pla-
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Contents [hide] 1 The basics 2 No one will notice... right? 3 Students share their stories 4 Cracking down 5 Plagiarism punishments 6 Confused? Ask for help! 7 Play it safe
No one will notice... right?
Students share their stories
As described by the website for the University of Ottawa’s Office of the Vice-President Academic and Provost, plagiarism “refers mainly to using words, sentences, and ideas from various sources and passing off them as your own by deliberately or unintentionally omitting to quote or reference them correctly.” This is not to be confused with academic fraud, which is defined by the university as “an act by a student that may result in a false academic evaluation of that student or of another student.” Plagiarism has likely been around since the fi rst caveman picked up a writing utensil and went to work on the side of a rock, but the birth of the Internet has caused the instances of plagiarism to grow exponentially. A simple Google search of the phrase “free essay” results in 19 million hits, and when inquiring to purchase an essay, that number jumps to 24 million. Some websites require potential plagiarizers to create a profi le, while other sites won’t grant access without a credit card number. The fi rst hit after searching “free essays” on Google is the aptly named AllFreeEssays.com. AllFreeEssays comes complete with a search bar, allowing students to quickly fi nd hundreds of papers on any subject they choose. A search for essays on J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye results in 414 free essays, most of which are riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes. Given the quality of work available online often leaves much to be desired, why would students choose to plagiarize?
Although the most common excuses for plagiarism include fear of failing, time constraints, and pure laziness, Jennifer Panek, an associate professor in the U of O’s English department, feels it is “impossible to generalize” why someone would plagiarize. “One student might buy a paper from a cheat site because they’re desperate to pass a course that they’re failing. Another might copy a sentence from something they found online because they like the way it sounds and they don’t stop to think about the fact that it’s plagiarism,” she said. “Probably the only thing that students who plagiarize have in common is that they all think they won’t get caught.” Justine LaBelle, a recent University of Ottawa graduate who holds a degree in communications, believes every student has had a momentary lapse of judgment in their academic careers. “I think all students get tempted to plagiarize at some point,” she said. “I admit even I have countless times. Sometimes it’s easy to say, ‘I’ll just use this small section—they won’t even notice,’ but then reality sets in and you reconsider.” LaBelle thinks students plagiarize “because sometimes writing a decent paper can be stressful and demanding.” She notes stress often plays a part in a student’s decision to plagiarize. “[Writing a paper] is challenging at times and some students cannot handle the stress,” she said. “It’s normal. We are students; we run into situations we feel we cannot handle and we do inappropriate things to solve our problems.”
When a student commits plagiarism, intentionally or not, the effect can be devastating on an academic and personal level. U of O student Leah Peters* found herself in the hot seat after making a simple mistake in a paper. “In my introduction I didn’t use quotation marks when quoting a statistical figure,” she said. “Instead, I referenced the author, date, and page of the article following the statistical reference in brackets. Due to this reference error, I was accused of plagiarism.
“Probably the only thing that students who plagiarize have in common is that they all think they won’t get caught.” —Jennifer Panek, U of O English professor “After I had handed in my assignment, I was called into my professor’s office two weeks later,” Peters continued. “That’s when she informed me that I was accused of plagiarism and that I would have to go see the dean of the health sciences faculty.” Although Peters tried to explain she had simply made a mistake in referencing, her professor had no interest in listening to her and simply said the dean would decide her fate. When meeting with the vice-dean of the faculty, Peters received good news.
“The vice-dean took my fi le and shredded it,” she said. “He said there would be no account of this incident on my transcript, nor would I be penalized for having misreferenced the article.” Peters chalks the incident up to experience. “Needless to say, the outcome of this terrifying and traumatic experience has taught me that, unfortunately, something so small as misreferencing a statistical figure is in a way seen as plagiarism,” she said. Sabrina Manuel*, a fourth-year student at the University of Guelph, admits to resorting to plagiarism on several different occasions. “I found people who took the same classes I was in, but during previous years,” she explained. “I would get their essays and model mine after theirs. I also copied their references so I didn’t have to do the research.” When her roommate registered in the same online course Manuel had taken the semester before, she quickly offered up her old work. “I gave my roommate all of my answers to the online postings we had to do,” she said. “She copied and pasted them when she took the class the following semester.” Manuel was never questioned about her actions. “I never got caught and I never really worried about it,” she said. “I didn’t feel guilty because I didn’t think it was a big deal.” Christopher Ralph, a recent graduate of Carleton University, experienced plagiarism from the other side of the fence
of plagiarism) when his own work was stolen. “A close friend, who happens to be a year behind me in law, asked to borrow a paper I had written the year previous on a particular topic, as the professor does not change the curriculum year to year,” he said. “She asked to borrow my paper from the year previous, as it had earned an A. When over at her house the weeks following, I noticed my paper, word for word, on her coffee table with an A- grade on it. It put a real strain on our relationship and almost caused us to never speak again.” Ralph made sure to alert their mutual friends of the incident and refused to let his friend borrow his work again.
Cracking down Finding plagiarized work can be as simple as typing text into a search engine or as difficult as hunting down a particular sentence or phrase from a book. Regardless of their chosen method, most professors are experts at spotting stolen work. Although some chose not to disclose their plagiarism-catching secrets, Heather Murray, assistant professor in the Department of History, revealed the most common red flags. “Often the language is too sophisticated, but other times it is obvious markers like misnumbered footnotes, font changes, and drastic change in tone.” Michael Strangelove, communications professor at the U of O, avoids the plagiarism problem by asking his students to present their work in non-written formats. “I used to run into [plagiarism] fairly often when I accepted research papers,” he said. “Now I don’t [accept papers] because of plagiarism. [Students] have to do video documentaries instead … I don’t have take home fi nal exams; they must write them in class with nothing but a pen and paper.” Upon making the change, Strangelove noticed an interesting change in his students’ grades. “The minute I [stopped accepting written papers], my class average dropped from an A- to a B,” he said. “It showed that students didn’t master the material without something in front of them.” Suzanne Bowness, a part-time instructor and PhD candidate in the English department, thinks people who plagiarize simply lack common sense. “I’m constantly surprised when students copy from the Internet, which is a common form,” she said. “Don’t they realize I have access to the same sites they do?”
Plagiarism punishments Each professor deals with plagiarism differently. Bowness gives students the chance to explain themselves. “I have options: I can give an assign-
ment a zero or turn them into the faculty to be dealt with at that level,” she said, although she prefers to “gather the proof and present it to [the student] and ask why this happened.” Other professors, like Panek, have a different perspective. “First of all, I get angry. Tracking down and proving plagiarism is a huge waste of a professor’s time,” she said. “Besides, it’s insulting. Not only has the student proven to be dishonest, but he or she clearly thinks I’m stupid enough not to notice.” Panek takes the case to the next level. “What I do next is report the plagiarism to the chair of my department, who refers it to the faculty,” she said. “A case of proven plagiarism goes on a student’s record, so there can be increasingly stiff penalties if there’s a second or third offence.” According to the University of Ottawa’s academic regulations, there are several ways a student can be punished for handing in work that is not entirely their own. A guilty student may receive a mark of zero on the work in question; a mark of zero for the course; between three to 30 credits added to their graduation requirements; the loss of scholarship opportunities; or suspension from their program. Expulsion from their faculty is the worstcase scenario for a plagiarizing student. Although plagiarism is usually regarded as an intentional act, there are instances when a student is unaware of what they have done. Most professors make an effort at the beginning of the semester to ensure these problems are avoided by encouraging students to read the university’s resources regarding plagiarism; however, human error is sometimes inevitable. Some professors are willing to let students correct innocent mistakes. “There are always students who still get it wrong, so my rule of thumb is that if your paper shows that you’ve made an honest attempt to cite your sources … I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt,” said Panek. “Th is means that I’ll email you and require you to submit a revised version of your paper, with proper references, before I’ll give it a grade.” Students who have been accused of plagiarism but want to fight their case should visit the Student Appeal Centre. Mireille Gervais, director and senior student appeal officer, reports in the past 12 months “the Student Appeal Centre was consulted on 39 cases of academic fraud, 22 of which were successful, meaning either that no sanction was imposed or that the outcome was to the satisfaction of the student.”
Confused? Ask for help! Although plagiarism is a black and white subject, many students do not take the
A black and white subject Students are responsible for informing themselves about what constitutes plagiarism
photo illustration by Mico Mazza
The top four most stupid mistakes made by plagiarizers So, you know your nasty little habit could lead to expulsion, but you aren’t scared. You’ve been plagiarizing since your first week of school and you’re going to continue to do so, damn it! Well, if you insist on ripping off other people’s hard work, at least be smart enough not to make the following stupid mistakes: 1. Stealing from an article written by your own professor Good luck explaining your way out of this one! 2. Copying and pasting something from the Internet without removing the links See all of those underlined blue words? Yeah, that’s a bit of a giveaway. 3. Failing to remove someone else’s name from the work No, telling your prof that you’ve recently applied to legally change your name is not going to save your ass. 4. Forgetting to change the font of the stolen work to Times New Roman If phrases written in Comic Sans are sprinkled throughout your essay, consider
yourself royally screwed.
time to figure out what it entails. LaBelle suggests students who are confused by the defi nition of plagiarism consult their professors. “Professors encourage students to ask them if they are unsure about how to paraphrase or what they need and don’t need to cite,” she said. “If you’re uncertain, ask! There’s no harm in informing yourself. As a student it is our duty to inform ourselves and do the proper research in order to be successful.” The website of the Academic Writing Help Centre (AWHC) echoes LaBelle’s statements, stating it is the student’s “re-
sponsibility to acquire the knowledge necessary to avoid plagiarism.” Helping students understand and avoid plagiarism is one of the AWHC’s many specialties, and students are encouraged to make an appointment to meet with one of their trained advisors if they feel they need clarification. If you fi nd yourself wondering if what you are doing is wrong, take the time to make sure you’re in the clear. It’s better to dedicate a minute of research to ensure academic honesty than to spend weeks fighting your case with your professor or faculty.
Play it safe Despite being tempted in the past, LaBelle argues plagiarism simply isn’t worth it. “I would never go through with it because it isn’t worth the potential consequences. As university students, I feel that we should be able to cite sources correctly,” she said. “Some consider plagiarism to be an easy way out; however, it’s actually just an easy way to get yourself expelled.” f —with files from Kristyn Filip *Names have been changed
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Keeping tradition Women’s soccer team remains victorious against Carleton in home opener Ali Schwabe | Fulcrum Staff
THE GEE-GEES WOMEN’S soccer team faced their cross-town rivals in the home opener at Matt Anthony Field on Sept. 14. Going into the game, the Gees trailed the Carleton Ravens, ranking fi ft h in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East standings while the Ravens held fourth. The game was key; not only did the Gees have a 16-year winning streak against Carleton to defend, but they were also playing without head coach Steve Johnson, who was absent due to his father’s death. The Gees had multiple opportunities to score, keeping the home crowd excited with every shot, and tense with every miss. At the 30-minute mark, secondyear Gee-Gees forward Elisabeth Wong broke away from Carleton’s defence.
Ravens goalkeeper Rachel Bedek made an impressive save, but couldn’t hold on to the ball. Wong went for her own rebound and buried the ball into the back of the net, scoring the fi rst goal of the game. “It’s all about timing,” explained Gees assistant coach Stuart Barbour. “[The Ravens] were organized and efficient, and we just [have to] learn from that to be a little sharper.” Despite provoking whistles for seven offside calls during the fi rst half, the Garnet and Grey were dominant in the Ravens’ half of the field, managing to get just as many shots on the Ravens goalkeeper Rachel Bedek as offside calls. Barbour admitted the number of offside calls could have been a problem for the Gees, but was impressed with their ability to overcome the Ravens’ starting line. “When a team plays a good offside trap, it’s a little frustrating,” said Barbour. “We said to the players at half, ‘Just don’t get frustrated, keep trying it.’” “There were [fewer] off sides in the second half. We made some adjustments, trying to get midfielders to run through and forwards to come back, trying to create a little interchange and they did it.” The second half saw the Gees tighten up their offence, controlling the play and limiting the offside calls against them to two. With 25 minutes left to play, thirdyear forward Sarah De Carufel scored the game-sealing goal, taking advantage of the Gees’ dominance and her own speed to rush past the Ravens’ defenders. “We came in [to] the game knowing that [offside calls were] going to be one
photo by Colette Joubarne
HOLDING THEM BACK The Gees women’s soccer team pushes through the Ravens for a win of the challenges,” said Wong. “[We had] to see it happen, get used to it, and adjust. I do think we got better in the second half.” The team was especially happy with their momentum from the win, something they hope to carry into a weekend on the road. But most importantly, the Gees were proud to have honoured Johnson with the win. Despite the head coach’s absence, the team recognized his importance and paid tribute to the
passing of Johnson’s father by wearing black armbands on the field. “[Johnson has] done so much for this program over the years, from its inception when it was a club team and getting the university to turn it into a varsity program, and he’s just put so much into it,” said Barbour. “He hasn’t missed a game or a practice in all those years, and the girls here know that and they respect that.” Fourth-year defender Gillian Baggott
echoed Barbour’s sentiments. “Steve is an awesome coach and he was there in spirit. We have great assistant coaches that stepped up, and all of our team came together as a unit and worked together, thinking of him the whole time,” she said. “[We] played for him.” f The Gees also played Nipissing, winning 6-0 on Sept. 17, and Laurentian on Sept. 18, losing 1-0. Their next home game is against RMC on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m.
A win and a loss Men’s baseball team splits doubleheader at home Keeton Wilcock | Fulcrum Staff
SUNSHINE AND A new home stadium set the mood for the University of Ottawa’s men’s baseball team’s doubleheader against the John Abbott College Islanders on Sept. 17. The Gees entered the games with a solid 4-1 record, moving to 5-2 for the season. The first game of the day ended in disappointment for the Gees, as the hometown crew fell 9-5 to a talented Islanders lineup. While the Gees gave the Islanders credit for their hard-fought win, Ottawa’s head coach Larry Belanger was disappointed with one aspect of his team’s game.
“We didn’t play very well defensively,” said Belanger. “We know we’ve got offence, but defensively we didn’t play nearly as well as we’re capable of playing. It looks like we’re going to grow though.” After a short break, the teams were back in action, with the Gees out for redemption. The top of the first saw the Islanders open with a pair of runs, but Ottawa was quick to reply. Third-year infielder Steve Kutcher led the inning for the Gees-Gees, cracking a single to right field. A few short plays later, Kutcher crossed home plate for the first of what would be seven Gees runs in a huge first inning, finishing with a score of 7-2. The Garnet and Grey didn’t look back, going on to take the second game of the day 16-6. First-year pitcher Max GeorgeLane led the Gees with a strong performance on the mound, backed up by an explosive offence. “We’ve got a very deep, deep batting order. One through nine is strong,” said Belanger, remarking on the competitive club’s offensive lineup. “We jumped on them for seven runs in the first inning, so that makes it tough on any team to come
back to pitching after that.” Player of the game for the Gees was third-year outfielder Dante Cacciatio, who went two for four at the plate and contributed four runs batted in. “I think it was a little bit of [a] vendetta for us.,” said Cacciatio. “We wanted to come out strong and show them we could actually play ball, especially our fans. We can hit the ball and that’s usually what we do.” Despite the Gees’ attempt at promoting the game, the team’s impressive position in the Canadian Intercollegiate Baseball Association’s standings, and the game taking place a short bus ride away from campus at the Ottawa Fat Cats Stadium, less than 200 fans were on site to cheer on the Gees. Cacciatio is one of the many players hoping for more fan support in the future. “We want to get more people out to the games if we can, to come see what we can do,” said Cacciatio. f The team will be playing their next home game on Sept. 24 when they will host the University of Concordia Stingers in a doubleheader at 7 p.m.
HITTING IT HOME Gees come back with a vengeance at home opener Sept. 17
photo by Mico Mazza
18 | sports
thefulcrum.ca | Sept. 22–28, 2011
Off to the big-time league Two U of O students play in professional soccer Dan Cress | Fulcrum Contributor
ON A COOL September night, Ottawa’s newest professional sports franchise, Capital City Football Club, laid a beating on the St. Catharines’ Roma Wolves, defeating them 6-0 at the Terry Fox Stadium. Despite the temperature, the modest crowd in attendance had no difficulty staying warm; they were up and out of their seats early and often with Capital City escalating their offence in their third last home game of the Canadian Soccer League (CSL) season. Even with their starters resting, including two University of Ottawa stars, Capital City looked unbeatable. Capital City has fared extremely well in their campaign as part of the 14 team First Division CSL, and this night was
no exception. From the opening kickoff, Capital City dominated the play, controlling possession and using their speed to force the Wolves into defensive mistakes. Nineteen minutes in, Capital City forward Mahir Hadziresic found the back of the net with a strike. Four minutes later Hadziresic sunk his second goal, with forwards Sullivan SilvaOliveriva and Nathaniel Foster each adding two goals of their own later in the game. Two key athletes who have made an impact on Capital City’s success can be found walking the halls right here at the University of Ottawa. Midfielder Damiem Merette-Rolon and defender Francis Letourneau-Mathieu are fulltime U of O students. Merette-Rolon is a second-year biochemistry student who returned to Ottawa after playing in Brazil, and Letourneau-Mathieu, a third-year communications and business administration student, is currently playing for his first professional team. Both must deal with the dual commitments of academics and athletics, something they both find challenging and rewarding. “It’s tough,” explained MeretteRolon. “I have practice in the morning with the team, leave a bit early, shower quickly, go to class, get home, study, train a bit more, and then do it all over
again. Teachers try to help as much as possible, scheduling in advance so I try not to get behind.” “It keeps me busy trying to arrange my schedule to find a balance,” said Letourneau-Mathieu. “Playing here is great. I never thought Ottawa would have a team and it’s my dream to play at the same time as earn my degree.” Merette-Rolon discovered Capital City after one of his chemistry exams. He had been looking for a competitive team to join since returning from Brazil, where he was playing professionally. “Doing an exam afterwards I came home and heard about a tryout for this professional team I had never heard of. I couldn’t make the tryout because of my exam, but I went to the second tryout over the weekend and I made it. It just fell out of the sky, it was perfect,” he said. The students’ hard work is paying off on the score sheet. Head coach Shaun Harris noticed their impact early on in the season, commenting on their talent and future. “We are trying to get them back on the short foot from a playing standpoint,” said Harris. “[They are] two very inspiring players and they’ve had their moments both this season. I think it’s been good for them, and we have four or five players like that who are the future of this organization.” f
photos by Dan Cress
GOING PRO Capital City FC pulls a win Sept. 17
Getting into the game mentality
az M o ic M by n ti o ra st illu
[With] the suicide last year ar in Ottawa, we just wanted to raise awareness reness of that and make sure more people le are talking about [it],” explained Searle. e. Andrea Nelson, second-year d-year shortstop, felt the dedication made an important impact on the team, eam, noting that everyone was able to relate to the issue of mental health in some way or another. “The importance of mental health is universal, and although h many girls on our team are studyingg psychology, the importance of mental health, especially in youth, is still just st as relevant to players studying education ion or physical activity and health for example,” she explained. The team also participated ed in a clinic called Bridge to the Futuree for younger athletes, where the Gees talked about mental health while teaching hing the kids fundamental soccer skills, helping them improve their hitting, bunting, and throwing. The women’s softball team hopes this weekend made an impact on the DIFD organization, as it has had an impact on them. “Our head coach Searle is a passionate supporter of DIFD,” added dded Nelson. “We adopted it as our own, n, and we are very honoured to have done so.” f
IT HAS BEEN proven time and time again that the University of Ottawa GeeGees are more than just athletes. The women’s softball team is a competitive club who has dedicated their Sept. 16–18 games to the Do it for Daron (DIFD) organization. The DIFD was founded after Daron Richardson, a 14-year-old girl from Ottawa, took her life last November. The goal of this city-wide organization is to raise awareness and remove the stigma associated with mental illness in youth. The team, geared up in purple (Richardson’s favourite colour), played three doubleheaders that weekend. The doubleheader Friday resulted in two wins against the Carleton Ravens—the second being a 17-1 win—while the Saturday and Sunday games consisted of split scores with the Gees winning and losing a game to Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo, respectively. With a team made entirely of fi rstand second-year students, head coach Scott Searle noted this weekend was the highlight of the season so far. “We got off to a slow start last week against Western. Western is the de-
fending champion from last year so it’s tough,” he said. “We also have a very new team … Which is awesome for the future, but this year will be a learning curve.” Taylor Roguish, a second-year third baser, agreed this past weekend marked their best games yet. “Our games went pretty well. Friday we blew Carleton out of the water, Saturday we struggled quite a bit, then Sunday it was like we were a whole new team. We were more energetic and excited to be there. We are coming together—getting better and better everyday,” she said. The DIFD dedication was meant to recognize and raise awareness of the statistics related to mental illness: One in five youth are affected by mental illness, while only one in six of those affected actually receive treatment. Suicide is among the leading causes of death in 15–24-year-olds in Canada. Searle, a high-school teacher himself, was greatly influenced by this campaign and decided to take up the cause. “I think it’s one of the biggest tragedies in society, and I think a lot of people, increasingly students, are being affected by mental health. It’s one of those things that isn’t talked about very often.
Katherine DeClerq | Fulcrum Staff
Softball dedicates weekend to youth mental health alth
thefulcrum.ca | Sept. 22–28, 2011
sports | 19
You are what you eat?
Richard Fong | Fulcrum Contributor
STUDENTS ARE BUSY by nature. With classes, exams, work, and the occasional party or two, students seldom have time to eat, let alone eat healthy. At this midSeptember mark, students usually give up on all things green and leafy and resort to grease. Th is week, the Fulcrum sat down with the staff of the Health Promotions office to learn how students can eat better without sacrificing their time or money. Here are a few pointers to help you avoid the infamous freshman 15 and to live and feel healthy throughout the
Take advantage of the Ottawa Good Food Box Want to be able to pick up fruits and vegetables on campus? Well, now you can. The Ottawa Good Food Box is a non-profit, community-based initiative that offers fresh fruits and vegetables at wholesale prices. It offers a box fi lled with fruits and vegetables produced by local farmers, which sell for $10, $15, or $20 depending on the box size (and until November, they also sell an organic box for $25). You can order your Good Food Box during the first week of the month at the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa Food Bank located in room
Avoid processed foods, go natural Processed foods are high in sugars and fats and they do not fi ll you up. Instead of a bag of chips, opt for healthier snacks such as a nut mix at the supermarket or pick up a bag of apples or oranges—like they say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” They all have a long shelf life, and are affordable and easy to take on the go.
Shop smart The number one rule to eating healthy is to surround yourself with nutritious options. If you only have healthy food at home, chances are you will eat more vegetables and whole foods. Avoid the temptation to walk through the middle aisles at the grocery store—yes, where all the junk food is. It is also wise to shop later on at night when stores are looking to get rid of their stock and sell items at discounted prices.
0015 of the Unicentre, and pick it up on the third Wednesday of the month.
Health Promotions talks about avoiding the freshman 15
Plan your meals Spend a little time on the weekends to plan and prepare what you are going to eat in the next week. Get some whole wheat bread, ham, lettuce, and tomatoes at the supermarket and make a couple of ham sandwiches. Have carrots and celery sticks with some hummus as a snack. You can also prepare dinners and freeze them in individual portions. Another important prep step is to ensure you have enough food to last you the week. The worst thing you can do is to go home and fi nd out there is nothing left to eat and then resort to ordering a pizza and devouring it all by yourself. We’ve all been f there.
Foolproof fitness scoreboard
Grouping it up Sarah Gisele | Fulcrum Contributor
WHAT DO THE words “group fitness” conjure up in your mind? Do you picture overly enthusiastic people stepping in time to the chants of a man with an afro and glittery shorts? Th ink again, my friends. As a big fan of the group fitness classes the University of Ottawa Sports Services offers, I’d like to bust some myths and encourage you to check these classes out. Myth #1: Group fi tness classes are expensive Some classes—such as indoor cycling, kickboxing, and weight training—do require registration and have a cost associated with them, but group fitness classes are included with the gym membership wrapped into your tuition fees. Th at’s right—there is no additional cost to join a class, and thus no excuse not to join. The schedule of classes in-
Football cluded with your gym membership can be found at Geegees.ca under Campus Recreation. Myth #2: Group fi tness classes are a girl thing Don’t expect to see women wearing neon thong leotards and leg warmers, exercising delicately so as not to break a sweat. Although the majority of participants in the classes I attend are women, the workout is far from “girly,” and it’s a great way for anyone, man or woman, to break a sweat. Guys may have to up the intensity a bit depending on their fitness level, but instructors are glad to demonstrate modifications. Myth #3: There’s no variety False—there are three different stepclasses as well as Cardio Sweat, Tae Cardio, Total Body Conditioning, All Ball, Boot Camp, Everything in One, Skip It, Yoga for Fitness, Yoga Fit, Zumba,
Aquafit, and Kick n’ Jam classes. Since the classes are included with a gym membership, you can try something new every day and figure out what you like best. Myth #4: Other participants will judge me if I’m a newbie At my fi rst Cardio Dance class, I was nervous as hell. Although I’m fit, I’m uncoordinated and uncomfortable working out in front of others. Sure enough, I messed up the moves and ended up looking like I drank some NyQuil and then tried to do the dougie. But you know what? Unlike Grade 8 physical education, no one laughed or made fun of me. There is a wide range of sizes and abilities in each class—not everyone is an athlete or a size zero. In fact, you may even fi nd the encouragement of others is a great motivator. I know it keeps me coming back week f after week.
@ Frank Clair (Sept. 24, 1 p.m.)
Soccer (W) Gees
@ Matt Anthony (Sept. 21, 7 p.m.)
Rugby (W) Gees
@ Matt Anthony (Sept. 25, 3:30 p.m.)
*Home opener* A news story should be like a miniskirt on a pretty woman: Long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to be interesting. —Anonymous
Hockey (W) Gees Next:
@ Sports Complex (Sept. 22, 4 p.m.) *Exhibition*
20 | sports
thefulcrum.ca | Sept. 22–28, 2011
Q&A with a QB
from the sidelines Katherine DeClerq Sports Editor
We don’t have dumb jocks
photo by Mico Mazza
A conversation with offensive leader Aaron Colbon Katherine DeClerq | Fulcrum Staff
THE GEES ARE back for yet another season, and having already won two of three games, the U of O football team is well on its way to the Yates Cup. But who is the leader of the offensive lineup that has played such an instrumental role in these wins? Aaron Colbon, a fourth-year psychology and leisure studies student at the U of O and veteran player, was recently offered the position of starting quarterback. With some pretty big shoes to fill, Colbon was excited to sit down with the Fulcrum and talk about the person behind the uniform. The Fulcrum: Why did you choose to study psychology and leisure? Aaron Colbon: Actually my first choice was human kinetics, but I couldn’t get the marks coming out of high school. I started
with a general bachelor in social sciences to find out what I was interested in besides human kinetics [and] to get the marks I needed for teacher’s college. When and how did you first get into football? I actually started [playing] in Grade 10 of high school. I had been playing soccer and hockey most of my life, but I really had a passion for football. I loved watching it and my whole family was into it, so I decided to make the switch. Did you always play quarterback? My first year I played running back and receiver; I was kind of everywhere on offence. In Grade 11, I moved to quarterback. Do you want to get into professional football? Yeah, that’s always the dream. Let’s see how my [interuniversity] career goes, but that’s the dream. Seeing Brad [Sinopoli] do it gives me the motivation—maybe I can make it into the CFL. It must be difficult following Brad Sinopoli, or anyone who is drafted into the CFL. How do you handle it?
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Well, I try not to think about it that much. I think about the positives. I got to learn from a guy like [Sinopoli] who is always professional, a hard-working guy, and a great leader. I got to see him every day, and I try and do what he did. What are your personal goals for this season? Just for me, I want to be a great leader for this team. Lead the guys to work hard every day, get better every day, and motivate the guys to win a championship. Is there anything you want to change regarding the offensive plays for the remainder of the season? Things have been going pretty well so far. It depends on who we are playing. Maybe to run the ball a little more, be a bit faster, but I think we’ll keep things the way we’ve been playing. It’s been pretty successful so far. Any predictions for the upcoming season? We always want to make it as far as we can. Yates Cup would be amazing. Vanier Cup is always the constant goal. We’ve always had confidence in our team … We know what talent we have and we have some great athletes. I do think we can go all the way. f
LAST WEEK, THE CBC published an article on a frosh event at the University of Montreal in which students dressed up as Jamaican track runners while doing a black-face routine during their annual athletic week. This caused some controversy, notwithstanding the fact that the students were overheard saying things like “smoke more weed.” The event was supposed to encourage students to get involved in extracurricular activities on campus, including sport teams. Disregarding the obvious racist connotations of the incident—something I won’t even touch upon—these students chose to “encourage” first years to join sport teams by adhering to the most stereotypical side of athleticism: The jock who has it made off a scholarship and doesn’t do anything but smoke, party, and… well, that’s about it. While the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the United States may be a bit more comparable to this stereotype (being part of a varsity team there is basically considered a program in its own), the Canadian Interuniversity Sport organization is not. From my experiences talking with the Gees, I can say with absolute certainty not one of them represents that stereotype. Most are studying human kinetics, biology, political science, or psychology. They follow a strict training schedule and are able to balance
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their grades, all the while competing across the province and sometimes Canada. Even our coaches are firm on academic excellence. Representing athletes in any other way is disrespectful. Life isn’t an Archie comic—you can be more than just an athlete. Most athletes don’t smoke, (they are more nuts about health than students studying to be nurses) and they don’t consume large amounts of alcohol. These are called stereotypes for a reason: They are generalizations that cannot be interpreted as true for all people. Students come from all over the world to play on our sport teams, and it is unfair to use their culture as material for a joke. To portray athleticism as comedic to impressionable first years is despicable, and to portray the international aspect of athleticism even more so. The article mentions the possibility of a student making a human rights complaint based on the actions of this frosh event—something rarely associated with the realm of athletics. So, for now I’ll say: Congratulations, University of Montreal for making a fool of yourself and varsity sports. We all appreciate it! And I hope they mark the sarcasm. firstname.lastname@example.org (613) 562-5931
News is something someone wants suppressed. Everything else is just advertising. —Lord Northcliff
FEATURES Kristyn Filip | email@example.com | (613) 562-5258
Dear Di, I usually talk to my friends about sex, but I have a secret I could never reveal except under the guise of anonymity. To put it bluntly, I’m really turned on by Gee-Gee, the school mascot. I can’t explain it, but I just find him really sexy and I feel aroused whenever I see him. This isn’t the first time I’ve found myself attracted to mascots. Please tell me you’ve heard this before and I’m not the only one out there who feels this way about Gee-Gee! —Giddy Up, I Guess Dear GUIG, I won’t lie to you—I have never had a reader fess up to feeling frisky at the sight of our gallant Gee-Gee. But sexual attraction to mascots in general? Sure, I’ve heard of it, and probably more often than you’d think. Breathe easy, GUIG. I suspect what you’re feeling is simply a little furry love. Although not mainstream, the furry world is alive and well, and will likely be willing to welcome you with open arms. In the simplest of terms, a furry enthusiast is someone with an interest in anthropomorphic animals (animals with human attributes). Th is interest may
manifest itself sexually, artistically, or otherwise. Many furry lovers create their own personas, costumes, and artwork, while others simply have an appreciation for anthropomorphism. I strongly encourage you to peruse a few online furry communities. Doing a little research will help you understand and accept your attraction and will connect you to others who share your affi nity for fur. The fact that Gee-Gee gets your juices flowing may make you feel a little alienated from your friends, but I’m inclined to believe you will fi nd you fit right in with the furries. Love, Di
Dear Di, My boyfriend is really awful at oral sex! He just doesn’t get it. I’ve been faking orgasms and now he thinks he knows exactly what I like down there. Truthfully, he has no idea. How can I fi x this, Di? —Regretting that I Faked it Dear RIF, First things first: Stop faking it! You may deserve a Best Actress award, but you certainly won’t be winning in the sex department. Not only are you missing out on earth-shattering orgasms, but you’re also denying your boyfriend the thrill and pleasure of genuinely rocking your
world. Your man mistakenly believes he knows all the right buttons to lick, kiss, and suck in your nether regions. It is now your job to save him from his delusions and introduce him to reality. The most efficient way to do this is shockingly simple: Speak up! If you’re worried about hurting your boy’s feelings, you can avoid blatantly bashing his skills by telling him you just read about a new technique or you recently saw something different in an oral sex scene of a porno. If beating around the bush (no pun intended) isn’t your style, feel free to ask for what you want in the heat of the moment. The next time your guy heads south on your highway, seductively suggest he try doing whatever it is you’ve been itching to experience. When he gets it right, reward him with a moan of pleasure. If vocalizing your desires doesn’t help, it may be time to offer your boyfriend a visual. Touch yourself in the area he’s been neglecting and tell him how badly you want to feel his tongue there. I suspect he’ll be more than willing to oblige. Love, Di
Puzzles provided by BestCrosswords.com. Used with permission.
Questions for Di? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on Twitter (@Dear_di) or Facebook (Di Daniels)
A person uses all 34 face muscles when French kissing. kiss Sounds like my kind of o exercise!
It happened this week in history
Across 1- Sheet of stamps; 5- Egyptian goddess of fertility; 9- Sir Newton was an English mathematician; 14- Iowa city; 15- Potato preparation; 16- Electromagnetic telecommunication; 17- Tranquil; 19- Exclude, remove; 20- Unsnarl; 21- Roofing stone; 22- Person with new parents; 23- Counterfeit; 24- Apr. addressee; 25- Plant of the buttercup family; 28- Call; 31- Made a mistake; 32- Manipulate; 34- Circular band; 35- Spanish river; 36- Calamitous; 37- Are we there ?; 38- Small tree; 39- Conical native American tent; 40- Cassock; 42- Pouch; 43- Soprano Lily; 44- Detained; 48- Clothe; 50- Link together; 51- Pay for; 52- Mammary gland fluid; 53- Speed; 54- Nights before; 55- Corm of the taro; 56- Ruhr city; 57- ___ majeste; 58- Deli breads; Down 1- New Guinea; 2- Change for the better; 3- Cool!; 4- Fleeing; 5- Likenesses; 6- Fine fur; 7- Land in water; 8- “ loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah”; 9- Erin; 10- Italian sausage; 11- Mine entrance; 12- Adjutant; 13- Cedar Rapids college; 18- nous; 21- Clogs, e.g.; 23- Rub vigorously; 25- Dispute; 26- Journey; 27- Green land; 28- Ask invasive questions; 29- Hastens; 30- Aware of; 31- Merits; 33- “Fancy that!”; 35- Baron; 36- Wine flask; 38- Become more muscular; 39- Stories; 41- Bring up to current moment; 42- Bristly; 44- Bundles; 45- Behind time; 46- Chopin composition; 47- Band’s sample tapes; 48Ages; 49- Capone’s nemesis; 50- Bay; 51- Common article; 52- Animation unit;
Sexy Sidenote: Side
“YouTube Parties” | XKCD
answers on p. 12
by Luisa Lee
1992 THE FULCRUM
1846 THE WORLD
“Gees stomp on Ravens: Ottawa takes unnecessary penalties but Carleton is so pathetic it does not take much to win” is published in our sports section.
Bytown officially becomes a part of the city of Ottawa.
Prime Minister Brian Mulroney makes a formal apology to the families of the Japanese Canadians who were held in internment camps during World War II.
French astronomer Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier and British astronomer John Couch Adams discover Neptune.
Ainâ€™t no party like a Fulcrum party Make sure to save the date: Oct. 12 at the Honest Lawyer
OPINIONS Jaclyn Lytle | email@example.com | (613) 562-5258
Youth and the elderly Appreciating your elderly WHEN IT COMES time to head on over to grandmother’s house, are you happy to tag along or forced away from your day kicking and screaming? Considering our appreciation of the senior citizens in our lives—or, in some cases, the lack thereof— the Fulcrum asks: How often do you visit your grandparents? Students say: “Not as much as I should!” —Courtney Bernard
CAPTION Second line photo by Mico Mazza
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF EXTRA TIME They won’t be around forever
Too late may be sooner than you think Jaclyn Lytle | Fulcrum Staff
THIS PAST DECEMBER, after a gruelling battle with a lengthy repertoire of ailments and illnesses, my maternal
grandfather fi nally passed. Though the death of Grandpa Beeman was, and still remains, one of the most affecting losses of my life, I could not help but think to myself in a quiet moment alone at his wake, “I’m so much closer with my other grandparents. How much worse will it be when they die?” Never in a million years did I think I would be forced to revisit that question so soon, but after fi nding out two short weeks ago that my paternal grandfather has been diagnosed with chronic leukemia, the fear of loss has again come unexpectedly and undesired into my mind. Not all youth are as close with their grandparents as I have had the chance to be with mine—this I know. But there is
one other thing I have that many young people do not: Fair warning. I knew for a long time my now deceased grandfather was not long for this world. Despite years of a practically non-existent relationship, I was given time to cultivate not only a familiarity with my grandpa, but a closeness and insight I still feel he shared only with me. Now, though I’ve no idea how long I have until I will be speaking at another funeral, I have again been given the chance to make the best of what time my living grandfather has left , be it years or merely a few short weeks. Thankful as I am for this time, I can’t help but think of all the people my age who have not had this chance, people
whose experience with their grandparent’s death has been or will be a process of regret rather than fond memories. It is not my place, nor my desire, to preach to the student body about the importance of spending time with our elderly before time runs out. It is the gift of my experience, however, to assure you despite how close you may be with your grandparents now, the life of a student has a way of obscuring what is really important in life and keeping us from seeing what our real focus should be. The other day, a fellow editor quoted the following to me: “Whenever a senior citizen dies, it’s as though a library burns.” Why not read a page or two of that library f now before they all turn to ash?
“I visit them almost every weekend.” —Aleisha Maloney “[A] couple times a month.” —John Nickerson “Weekly. Why does the Fulcrum want to know?” —Gianmarco Basile “Every day.” —Taryn Beeman
In the eyes of an elderly care worker One woman’s experiences with youth and the elderly Jaclyn Lytle | Fulcrum Staff
MARY ANN SHAULE has worked as a senior recreation therapist for over 22 years. Forced to deal with her mother’s earlyonset Alzheimer’s diagnosis at the age of
15, Shaule found herself thrown into the field of elderly care. With her focus in life rapidly changing from that of an average teenager to that of an adult child with a sick parent, Shaule has considerable experience with illness and aging not only from the perspective of youth, but also from the view of the elderly.
young] appear to be more accepting of seniors and more flexible in their expectations. [Other] youth tend to be “guarded” around seniors as they don’t want to hurt them in any way or be unkind. As “respectful” as this may seem, I fi nd it unnatural and does not allow the senior to truly feel valued.
The Fulcrum: In your years working in this field, what impression have you cultivated about the way youth or younger family members tend to treat their elderly? Mary Ann Shaule: I found that, in my experience, young people are generally afraid of nursing homes and probably afraid of the unknown. Youth that have had opportunities to visit grandparents in nursing homes [when they were
Why is it that youth tend to disregard the elderly in their lives? We live in a world where outward appearance takes precedence over knowledge [and] experience. I don’t think youth have a high regard for seniors as they would not fit into what would be considered beautiful [or] youthful. Plus, our seniors don’t speak the same language as our youth. Youth don’t give seniors a sec-
ond thought as they don’t think they have anything to contribute that may be worth listening to. What do you think youth should know about the impact this disregard has? Unfortunately, youth cannot [envision] the future and that they too will one day be a senior. If they could predict or have vision into the future, they may treat seniors differently. The impact on the seniors is that they feel low self-worth and feel that their views are no longer valued and so, in some instances, [they] become very quiet and stop making decisions for themselves. They become, in essence, a shell of their former selves. The impact on the youth is that they are disregarding the amount of knowledge
and experiences that these seniors have [and could be sharing]. Why should youth care more for the elderly people in their lives? Many, many life lessons can be learned by being with a person who has had many life experiences, and in some ways, youth can avoid some life errors if they would take the advice of someone who may be able to direct them down the right path in life. It also feels great to be a part of someone’s life in which you have cared for them or visited them until they die. That friendship or being close to a grandparent is meaningful and lasts forever. f For an extended version of Shaule’s commentary, visit Thefulcrum.ca/category/ opinions/.
26 | options
thefulcrum.ca | Sept. 22–28, 2011
Poor and embarrassed Not every student is rolling in loan money Jaclyn Lytle | Fulcrum Staff
LAST TUESDAY, I went to class ready to learn. I sat myself square in the front row, pulled out my notebook and pen, and got into full-on concentration mode. Fifteen minutes later—and 10 minutes late, I might add—my dishevelled professor fi nally waltzed into class and quieted everyone down. Beginning his lecture, he asked the class to pull out their textbooks and wrote a few dates on the board. Turning back to the now silent class, he pointed at little ol’ me and demanded to know whether I’d simply forgotten my book or not bothered to bring it. While I answered him politely enough at the time, quickly explaining that I’d not yet had a chance to obtain the book, I’ve since been fuming about the incident. Who the hell does this professor think he is to make an example out of me in front of the entire class, and how much money does he think the average student actually has on hand to pay for books? Taking four classes this semester, I have a list of no fewer than 23 books to obtain in the fi rst week of classes. Yes,
23 different books, all of which I am expected to purchase within 48 hours of attending my fi rst lecture of the year despite two-hour-long lines outside and inside the bookstore and only one paycheque to accommodate my extensive list of reading materials. Sure, I could have gone into the bookstore ahead of time and picked up a few works with my last paycheque to avoid paying for them all at once, but that plan was quickly blindsided by the fact that half of my professors have declared they do not “believe” in email and the other half being too unprepared to actually order enough books for the entire class. Check my grade point average: I am a damn good student. I go to class, I read ahead, and I fi nish almost every single assignment upwards of a week before they’re due. Of all the students to pick on, I feel strongly I may have been the least deserving in that entire class. Sure, I had no book that second day to pull out when I was told to, but neither did about 50 other people in the room. Is this the thanks I get for actually coming to class? Screw you, professor. Try picking on someone with your own income. f
photo by Sean Campbell
DROWNING IN DEBTS That five bucks has to last for the next week!
The more you have, the more you pay U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK Obama has announced his intention to propose a new tax hike for Americans who earn over $1 million annually. If approved, those that break the million mark will be taxed at least the same amount as Americans in the middle-income range. Many high-earning U.S. residents have avoided paying mid-range taxes as money earned through investment is taxed at an extremely low rate. Is Obama inciting “class warfare” as one politician has accused him, or is he finally finding a way to bridge the gap between the poor and the wealthy in America?
Jaclyn Lytle | Fulcrum Staff
Who assaulted whom? LAST WEEK, THE Fulcrum reported on a questionable incident involving the alleged assault of Hugh Styres, a down-and-out resident of the Ottawa streets, by two police officers who had been called to remove Styres from the sidewalk where he was sleeping. A Special Investigations Unit probe, which concluded mere days ago, has found both police officers called to the scene guilty of assault. In light of the incident—and the growing number of accusations of this kind being levelled against the Ottawa Police—who do you think is a bigger danger to Ottawa residents: The fear-mongered homeless population, or the police?
Hey! Why aren’t you at our BBQ?
How dangerous is apple juice, really? TELEVISION PERSONALITY MEHMET Oz is being accused by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of over-dramatizing and potentially fabricating his facts. On a recent episode of his popular show, Dr. Oz, Oz claimed tests conducted by a New Jersey-based private facility found dangerously high levels of arsenic in popular apple juice brands. Responding to the subsequent anti-apple juice hysteria the show sparked, the FDA assured Americans their own tests of the same brands, and even the same batches, no arsenic was found. Is Oz getting desperate for higher ratings, or is the FDA hiding something?
Italian PM apparently into paying for sex ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER Silvio Berlusconi has repeatedly assured the media he has never exchanged money for sex. Contrary to these claims, new evidence in an investigation surrounding the prime minister reveals not only is he in the habit of exchanging goods and favours for sex, but he is at the centre of a prostitution ring that has been draining the money of Italian taxpayers in order to pay for and fly around a number of models and sex workers. Is the media mogul and politician within reason for spending money on upwards of 20 sex parties, or should Berlusconi fess up and step down so someone more responsible can take over politics in Italy? Care to comment? Tell us what your opinion is at Thefulcrum.ca/category/opinions/.
U of O blogging
Now that you’re moved in, it’s important to find out what your rights—and responsibilities— are as a tenant. From forgetful landlords to rowdy neighbours, the Fulcrum has you covered.
Services, administration, and professors are turning to blogging instead of traditional websites to let students know what’s up. Find out why the U of O is joining the blogosphere.
For the love of serial killers True Blood just ended and Dexter is around the corner—our online editor sounds off on why shorter seasons rock television.
This week on our website Check out Thefulcrum.ca for this and more
Get your butt over here! 631 King Edward Ave., Sept. 22 @ 2 p.m.
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Mercedes Mueller | firstname.lastname@example.org | (613) 562-5261
Volume 72, Issue 5, Sept. 22–28, 2011
Bring back the SAC
Chastising copycats since 1942. Phone: (613) 562-5261 | Fax: (613) 562-5259 631 King Edward Ave. Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5 Recycle this, or get an F.
staff Mercedes ‘my own work’ Mueller Editor-in-Chief email@example.com Michelle ‘MLA’ Ferguson Production Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Jaclyn ‘look it up’ Lytle Executive Editor email@example.com Mico ‘works cited’ Mazza Art Director firstname.lastname@example.org Jane ‘APA’ Lytvynenko News Editor email@example.com Sofia ‘I didn’t do it!’ Hashi Arts & Culture Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Kristyn ‘ fabricated’ Filip Features Editor email@example.com
by Devin B
Katherine ‘dire consequences’ DeClerq Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlotte ‘check your sources’ Bailey Online Editor email@example.com Christopher ‘quotation marks’ Radojewski Associate News Editor Ali ‘suspended’ Schwabe Copy Editor Keeton ‘first-time offender’ Wilcock Staff Writer Sam ‘copyright oblivious’ Cowan Staff Proofreader Daniel ‘cheater’ St.-Jules Webmaster firstname.lastname@example.org Danielle ‘ripped-off assignment’ Vicha General Manager email@example.com Deidre ‘banished’ Butters Advertising Representative firstname.lastname@example.org
contributors Devin ‘thief ’ Beaureguard Jessica ‘con artist’ Bennett Joseph ‘borrowed words’ Boer Sean ‘ctrl-c, ctrl-v’ Campbell Dan ‘can’t help but copy’ Cress Kyle ‘defrauder’ Darbyson Dani-Elle ‘double check’ Dubé Richard ‘filch’ Fong Sarah ‘swindler’ Gisele Kyle ‘ forgery’ Hansforth Andrew ‘expelled’ Ikeman Allan ‘misappropriate’ Johnson Colette ‘counterfeit’ Joubarne Jaehoon ‘gleeping’ Kim Nicole ‘lifted’ Leddy Mathias ‘ripped off ’ MacPhee Natasha ‘real original’ Oickle Natasha ‘plagiarism’ Pirani Junyho ‘Google it’ Ryn Tamara ‘pinched’ Tarchichi Tina ‘got caught’ Wallace Quan ‘replicate’ Wen Keeton ‘not my writing’ Wilcock Jessie ‘burglarize’ Willms
ON SUNDAY, THE Board of Administration (BOA) voted to dissolve the Student Arbitration Committee (SAC) and replace it with the Constitutional Committee, which will be made up of Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) executives and BOA members. Before its demise, the SAC consisted of nine students: Two in common law, two in civil law, one in administration, and four from other faculties. The students who filled the SAC were recommended by the president of the SFUO, the chairperson of the BOA, and the chief arbitration officer, and these appointments were subsequently ratified by the BOA. The SAC served as an independent, unbiased body tasked with the interpretation of the bylaws, policies, and resolutions of the federation; determination of the constitutionality of these documents; imposition of sanctions on members of the federation and its groups; and ruling on disputes involving the federation. The SAC, more or less, oversaw the work of the SFUO and BOA, and in doing so, one of the most valuable qualities of this committee was its independence from the bodies it advised. But the foundation of the SAC’s autonomy is the reason it’s been deemed
undemocratic by the BOA: It was made up of appointed individuals rather than those chosen through an electoral process. And so, as of Sept. 18, the Constitutional Committee—which will consist of five SFUO directors and two alternatives in the case of a conflict of interest—became responsible for arbitrating disputes and interpreting the rules that govern our student federation. Perhaps allowing unelected students to make important decisions without the consent of the student body is undemocratic; however, if the election of BOA members implies the student body has faith in the ability of those members to represent their interests, then it stands to reason students trust their ability to ratify the appointments made by the SAC and to challenge them when necessary— right? I mean, that’s the principle behind representative government after all, and while it may not be perfectly democratic, it is more legitimate than allowing a governing body to act as a check on the decisions it makes. Th is decision is analogous to eliminating the Supreme Court of Canada in favour of members of parliament acting as the country’s highest court of appeal.
What if a problem arises within the SFUO or BOA itself? How will issues be investigated, mediated, and regulated? It would be difficult to trust the Constitutional Committee with this task, especially if making one decision instead of another is in the best interest of the board or the executive. There’s a reason those responsible for interpreting the law aren’t elected, and there’s something to be said for apolitical arbiters of the laws made by partisan lawmakers. The SAC is not without its problems. For the past three years, the committee has not been fi lled. Whether it’s been because of a lack of applicants or irresponsibility on the part of the hiring committee, this body has ceased to exist—even when students have needed it the most. But broken or not, the committee is governed by the right idea: Impartiality of its members—members who have no vested interest in the outcome of a decision because it does not directly affect them. Can the same be said of the Constitutional Committee, where members would be expected to thoroughly investigate and rule on issues when their fellow directors are involved? Th is concern is exacerbated by the
rapid realization that the BOA is fi lled with like-minded individuals this year. Although great minds think alike, it’s diversity of opinions that allows for intellectual discussion and change where necessary. And when a motion such as this one passes 29 to one with the debate limited to its wording, it is obvious diversity of opinion is lacking on the BOA. Students need to realize the dissolution of the SAC means that if an issue arises with the SFUO or the BOA, they now have no impartial and unbiased body through which they can launch a formal complaint. These bodies, though democratically elected, just voted to become their own judge and jury in cases where they may be the defendants—and out of 35,000 students at the university, only one attempted to stand in the way. If students don’t demand accountability, nobody will. If this issue is not brought to light, then this significant change will go unnoticed. Opting to eliminate the SAC over addressing its weaknesses will only cause more problems in the long run, and it’s time students realized this and took action. email@example.com (613) 562-5261
Published on Sep 15, 2011