23 November 2022

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The Official University of Manitoba Students’ Newspaper

News

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UMSU on standby Referendum results postponed temporarily

Research & Technology

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Mutual respect Language research in Indigenous communities

Editorial

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Take a breather Make time for what makes you happy

Comment

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Competitive cuts Performance-based funding is harmful

Arts & Culture

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A paw-sitive space The fuzzy world of Manitoba Furries

Sports

Students 20

Just passing through Bison QB ends uni career with all-time passing record

sowing Seeds Damien Davis & Jessie Krahn, staff photos: Ebunoluwa Akinbo, staff

Diversions

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Horoscopes

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Sports Schedule

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Nov. 23, 2022

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he U of M department of English, theatre, film & media’s (ETFM) theatre program returns with their first stage production since the spring of 2020 — Seeds by Annabel Soutar. Directed by ETFM assistant professor Katrina Dunn, Seeds follows a playwright who is unnamed throughout the play, on a mission to refashion interviews into material for the stage. Her chosen subject is Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser, who is being hit with lawsuits by biotech agri-behemoth, Monsanto. Based on a real court battle, the play poses questions about the ethics of rapid scientific development as it is outsourced to agribusiness and multinational fiefdoms carved out with antiquated patent laws. The show is a multi-media dramedy of jarring set-pieces which, overall, pull together seamlessly. Cinematic location titles projected on the

SINCE 1914

back wall, silly music to punctuate a joke and a hard-working lighting crew create an intriguing atmosphere. The rustic, pastoral set has a few Easter eggs. Audience members with a keen eye will spot a certain book by Naomi Klein tucked into a nook. Allison Holiday pulls off the heartfelt but at times damagingly one-trackminded playwright. Bill Kerr is exceedingly convincing as the salt-of-the-earth and homely Percy Schmeiser. Nadine Maranan stands out as the oily lawyer Terry Zakreshi. These successes extend to all members of the supporting cast. Everyone’s performances are energetic. Each cast member successfully shifts between multiple characters throughout the show and makes those alternate personae distinct, which is no small task. This return to a live format is replenishing and fun. The play revives the rich history

of student theatre at the U of M while exposing audiences to the medium’s possibilities. Dunn told the Manitoban that Seeds was born from a desire to introduce audiences and students to a different form of theatre. This production is a verbatim play — a genre of play that is documentary in nature, with dialogue taken from a collection of interviews, court transcripts and press recordings. Everything is word for word. Directing a production post-online learning has not been without complications and producing Seeds has not been a simple task. “Through the pandemic, the university gave us permission to do some of our classes in person, but that was only a portion of their training,” Dunn explained. “Students had a lot of Zoom classes and things, and a lot less opportunity to experience hands-on physical productions.” Cont’d p. 17 / ETFM

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VOL. 109, NO. 14


Vol. 109

No. 14

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ? editor@themanitoban.com Gillian Brown BUSINESS MANAGER ? accounts@themanitoban.com Dhruv Patel ADVERTISING CO-ORDINATOR ? ads@themanitoban.com Richard Plant

MANAGING EDITOR ? me@themanitoban.com Grace Anne Paizen

COPY DESK ? copy@themanitoban.com Ezra Taves (ed.) Morgan Heck NEWS DESK ? news@themanitoban.com Matthew Merkel (ed.) Colton McKillop (ed.) Ashley Puchniak Alicia Rose RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGY DESK ? research@themanitoban.com Elah Ajene (ed.) Robert Moshe Thompson COMMENT DESK ? comment@themanitoban.com Sarah Cohen (ed.) Braden Bristow Dina Hamid ARTS & CULTURE DESK ? arts@themanitoban.com Alex Braun (ed.) Damien Davis Jessie Krahn SPORTS DESK ? sports@themanitoban.com Katie Kirkwood (ed.) Quinn Mayhew PHOTO DESK ? photo@themanitoban.com Ebunoluwa Akinbo (ed.) Faith Peters DESIGN DESK ? design@themanitoban.com Matthew Doering (ed.) Taeran An GRAPHICS DESK ? graphics@themanitoban.com Dallin Chicoine (ed.) Jenna Solomon AUDIO DESK ? audio@themanitoban.com Harmatpreet Brar (ed.) SOCIAL MEDIA DESK ? social@themanitoban.com Jory Thomas (ed.) Violet Baker

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News


NEWS.

November 23, 2022 news@themanitoban.com

U of M community hosts Indigenous Students’ Month UMSU, UMISA, ISC celebrating Indigenous culture in November

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or the past four years, Indigenous Students’ Month has been celebrated at the U of M. This year, the University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) and the University of Manitoba Indigenous Students’ Association (UMISA) have been holding several events throughout the month to show their support for Indigenous students on campus. An open mic night was held at VW’s on Nov. 1, and on Nov. 14, UMSU and UMISA hosted the A Night With Auntie drag show and speaker night. Two days later, UMISA held a community assembly for Indigenous students in the Helen Glass Centre for Nursing. On Nov. 25, an Indigenous celebration and market event will be held on campus, where there will be drummers, bead work, food and much more. UMSU Indigenous students’ representative Ishkode Catcheway said that Indigenous Students’ Month is a way to support Indigenous students at the U of M, since many live away from their communities during the school year. “It’s a big adjustment, so

being able to uplift them in their academic journey is really important,” she explained, adding that the month is also an opportunity for all students to expand their learning. “Your learning doesn’t stop in the classroom, it should be ongoing, and this month is also a way to encourage that,” Catcheway said. The Indigenous Student Centre (ISC), a space on campus where Indigenous students from all faculties can gather and be supported in academic and personal ways, has cultural programming throughout the month. Currently, the ISC is holding weekly sharing circles primarily online, as well as fireside chats that occur every second Tuesday. There are also workshops which focus on financial well-being of students. On Nov. 24 and 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Migizii Agamik is hosting a winter market. The free event will showcase the talents of Indigenous students. Crafters are encouraged to reach out to Indigenous student advisor Vanessa Lillie to sign up as a vendor for free. Alicia Rae Kubrakovich, a

photo / Ebunoluwa Akinbo / staff

Alicia Rose, staff

Students at the Community Assembly for Indigenous Students held on Nov. 16.

fifth-year Indigenous studies student, was involved in establishing the first Indigenous Students’ Month in 2019 as then-UMSU Indigenous community representative. She said that a lack of Indigenous programming led to the creation of the month-long event. Kubrakovich said that a lot of Indigenous students are from smaller northern communities far from Winnipeg, so coming to university can be

a big adjustment. “It takes a lot of courage for Indigenous students just to leave their home, pack up their bags, leave their family and all that stuff behind just to come pursue an education,” she said. Although things have improved since her first year, Kubrakovich said that many barriers and issues still exist for Indigenous students at the university. However, she is glad to see

that Catcheway and UMISA are continuing to build upon the groundwork that she helped lay four years ago. “To be able to see that continue when I’m not in the position anymore, it really warms my heart,” she said.

news@themanitoban.com

New committee offers Indigenous women safe transport Indigenous women’s group partners with taxi companies for initiative women being victimized by this affects Indigenous indiviA women’s Indigenous cab drivers, whether that is duals. “How would you feel if it action group has partnered soliciting for sexual acts or with both Unicity Taxi and even physical violence,” she was your women being treated this way, disregarded in this Duffy’s Taxi as well as the City said. R o b i n s o n - D e s j a r l a i s way, when you’re supposed to of Winnipeg’s Vehicles for Hire program to ensure safer explained that many Indig- provide a service that should rides for Indigenous individ- enous women have been left provide safe transportation?” stranded before they reached Robinson-Desjarlais said uals. According The action to the group’s group, which “It’s a story that I’ve heard time and time press release, has yet to be and time and time again of our young cab companamed, said in nies and the a press release women being victimized by cab drivers” city “agreed to that Indigea statement of nous people, — Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais, commitm ent particularly safe transportation committee member to reconciliawomen, girls tion that conand two-spirited individuals, have long their destinations, sometimes tains some key initiatives.” These include a new avenue had a “strained relationship” at early hours of the mornwith taxi companies in Win- ing, or have been forced to pay for Indigenous girls, women before receiving service. and two-spirited people to nipeg. She said that many Indig- safely file complaints or conShaneen Robinson-Desjarlais, a member of the commit- enous representatives and cerns about services that the tee, said that sexual violence groups have called for a solu- city regulates — such as taxis and harassment from taxi tion to be found, “but noth- — as well as options for restordrivers has affected the Indig- ing ever happens and noth- ative justice when Indigenous enous community for a long ing ever goes anywhere.” The people are victimized. committee engaged in converThe group also suggested time. “It’s a story that I’ve heard sation with the presidents of that companies should impletime and time and time and Unicity Taxi and Duffy’s Taxi, ment a required course to time again, of our young and explained how deeply understand the effects of colo-

photo / Faith Peters / staff

Ashley Puchniak, staff

nialism. Ishkode Catcheway, the UMSU Indigenous representative, said that many Indigenous youth have fears regarding taxis and expressed her own hesitancy concerning cabs. “If I’m going to be completely honest with you, I haven’t taken cabs in a really long time because of my distrust with them,” she said. Catcheway believes that the program will not only benefit Indigenous students going to

and from university, but also Indigenous youth who attend social events and need a safe ride home. She said that many Indigenous women keep tabs on each other when taking taxis, as they feel that they cannot trust the person driving them. “So, I really hope that that comes to an end with this program that they’re doing.” news@themanitoban.com

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NEWS

Vol. 109, No. 14 news@themanitoban.com

UMSU board meeting update Nov. 17 Holiday hampers, referendum presentation delays, student advocacy, student events Matthew Merkel, staff

UMSU Holiday Hamper UMSU vice-president community engagement Elishia Ratel and vice-president student life Tracy Karuhogo detailed plans for the annual UMSU Holiday Hampers Program, which helps out students and their families by providing food and toys during the holiday season. This year, the program will supply student applicants with a mix of grocery gift cards and small hampers containing toys and hygiene products. Ratel explained that the inclusion of gift cards for groceries instead of food was implemented during the pandemic, and that hamper recipients appreciated the ability to tailor their hampers to suit their needs. Donations of new toys for children up to 14 years of age, as well as hygiene products specified on the UMSU Holiday Hamper webpage can be made in-person at the UMSU Service Centre. Additionally, financial donations can be made both in-person and online. UMSU will also be hosting a few fundraising events in December in support of the hamper program, like a movie night and a holiday-themed karaoke night. The deadline for all hamper donations will be Dec. 4 at 11:59 p.m. “It’s a very basic program but it does really help a lot of

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students in need,” Ratel said.

Referendum presentations Eric Johnson, chief returning officer of UMSU’s recent referendum regarding the Canadian Federation of Students, noted that the side in favour of leaving the federation came out as the winner, and that around 25 per cent of UMSU members voted. He went over the entire referendum process and made recommendations, which included the recommendation that future CROs be hired up to two months in advance of a referendum.

Reports of the executive Rykiss’s report detailed that equity, diversity and inclusion training for UMSU staff had been delayed, but will be rescheduled for a future date. UMSU vice-president advocacy Victoria Romero shared that she and Rykiss would be attending the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations Advocacy Week in Ottawa, Ont. from Nov. 21 to 25. At the conference they will both receive advocacy and lobby training, and meet with members of Parliament as well as senators. She also reported that the Manitoba Alliance of Post-Secondary Students (MAPSS) is continuing to fight for free international student health care, and added that the organization has included free international health coverage in its budget policy recommendation document, which will be presented to members of the legislative assembly. Ratel’s report highlighted a

graphic / Dallin Chicoine / staff

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he University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) held their biweekly board meeting on Thursday, Nov. 17.

Nov. 29 event of November put on by UM until January. “It’s a very basic program but it does Selected Career Servireally help a lot of students in need” pieces are ces and Onyx scheduled to Initiative, an — Elishia Ratel, orga niza tion be painted that supports during winter UMSU vice-president community engagement Black students reading week. in their career development Wi-Fi by streaming simultan- Karuhogo announced plans and prospects. The event will eously. The events will take to table with UMSU women’s Christine allow students to learn more place on Nov. 29 from 2:30 to representative about Onyx and opportun- 4:30 p.m. in room 122 of the Yasay in University Centre in ities within the organization, Drake Centre, as well as Nov. honour of the International and students can register in 30 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. in Day of the Elimination of Vioadvance online. Theatre B at the Bannatyne lence against Women. On Nov. 25 at 11 a.m., a tree Ratel also discussed a campus. couple of events put on by the Students who attend can will be set up where students U of M information services expect free food and a chance will be able to read stories and and technology department at several $50 U of M bookstore calls to action of victims and aimed at testing the wireless prizes. UMSU vice-president survivors of violence, and also capabilities on the Bannatyne finance and operations Brook write their own messages. and Fort Garry campuses. Rivard detailed the schedule Participants must register for murals to be added to the for each event, both of which third floor of University Cenare limited to 100 people. tre. A call for submissions news@themanitoban.com Attendees will stress test the will take place from the end


NEWS

November 23, 2022 news@themanitoban.com

UMSU referendum presentation at federation postponed Presentation in Ottawa to be rescheduled virtually Matthew Merkel, staff federation would need to of directors meeting, Rykiss he University of Mani- accept the referendum results announced that the union toba Students’ Union and allow UMSU to defeder- had brought forward an emergency motion to leave the (UMSU) was unable to present ate. In an email sent on Nov. Canadian Federation of Stuits recent referendum results at the Canadian Federation 15, Canadian Federation of dents. The motion was supof Students’ National General Students chairperson Marie posed to be presented at the Meeting in Ottawa, Ont. near Dolcetti-Koros said that the closing session of the conferthe start of the fall term break. National General Meeting had ence, but was not due to the The presentation did not “temporarily recessed, as pro- session being delayed. When asked why the closoccur because the conference gramming was altered durwas unexpectedly suspended ing the in-person meeting ing plenary was delayed, in order to attend to various Rykiss said he had not been for unrelated reasons. given a reason. UMSU’s referendum, which delegate needs that arose.” She said that a virtual meet“I can’t comment necessarasked students to vote on whether the union should ing will be scheduled soon, at ily on why because they didn’t remain a member of the Can- which time UMSU would be tell us why they cancelled it,” adian Federation of Students, able to present the results of Rykiss said. “What we know is that it was saw the UMSU-board-sup- its referendum. At a Nov. 17 UMSU board cancelled the night of or the ported “vote no” side emerge night before. victorious with There were just over 54 “Our team continues to maintain that some issues per cent of the that went on vote. the [Canadian Federation of Students] at the conferAfter the ence. I’m not referendum, is not adequately serving the needs of going to comUMSU presiment on them dent Jaron University of Manitoba students, and now,” he said. Rykiss stated “I will say that the results that withdrawing from this organization UMSU was not would be preinvolved in the sented in is the best course of action in service issues that had Ottawa durhappened.” ing the federato our members” Rykiss said tion’s national he was told conference, — Jaron Rykiss, that the closand was adaing plenary mant that the UMSU president

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graphic / Jenna Solomon / staff

session would now take the form of a virtual meeting, although he stated that he did not know when it will take place or how it will work. He added that as long as the Canadian Federation of Students still allows UMSU to present its motion at the virtual closing plenary, the motion should still be debated during the session. “Our team continues to maintain that the [Canadian Federation of Students] is not adequately serving the needs of University of Manitoba students, and that withdrawing

from this organization is the best course of action in service to our members.” While UMSU continues its attempts to leave the Canadian Federation of Students, the union is being sued by the federation over $1 million in owed membership dues, which the federation alleges UMSU has not paid since 2018.

news@themanitoban.com

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NEWS

Vol. 109, No. 14 news@themanitoban.com

Province pauses performance-based funding plans Proposed funding model has faced fierce opposition from post-secondary faculty Colton McKillop, staff he provincial government has halted plans to implement a performance-based funding model for Manitoba’s post-secondary institutions. Last Tuesday’s throne speech did not mention the funding model, and later that day Premier Heather Stefanson told reporters that the province needed to take a step back from that approach. Manitoba currently funds schools through annual grants, but the governing Progressive Conservatives (PC) have proposed moving toward a performance-based funding system modelled after Tennessee in recent years. Such a model would see public funding for higher education allocated according to performance metrics such as retention and course or degree completion, although the province has offered few details on which metrics it would use, the amount of funding that would be tied to performance or what the timeline for implementation would look like. Michael Shaw, a senior instructor in the department of biological sciences at the University of Manitoba and an executive member of the Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations (MOFA) — an organization representing around 1600 post-secondary faculty members throughout Manitoba — is encouraged by the province’s announcement, but worries that the PCs might still try to roll out performance-based funding in the future. “I’m very worried that they might implement this type of model, they’ve been very keen on it since it was first brought up by Brian Pallister,” he said. He noted that Stefanson’s statements on the proposal were “nowhere near as emphatic” as her repudiation of Bill 64, a controversial education reform bill proposed under previous premier Brian Pallister. In her comments to reporters on Tuesday, Stefanson said that although she still supports performance measures, the province was stepping back from implementing them to focus on what schools need to continue operating in the wake of challenges caused by COVID-19. Brant Batters, press secretary for Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration Jon Reyes, told the Manitoban in an email that “our government is committed to improving Manitoba’s public post-secondary education funding to ensure stu-

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photo / Faith Peters / staff

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dents have access to affordable, high quality education while strengthening oversight of post-secondary institutions.” “An audit by the Office of the Auditor General in 2020 recommended the province should be tracking institutional outcomes using resultsbased performance metrics.”

reduces diversity within the student population,” Forbes explained. “It favors the wealthy and the white, to be blunt about it, and it raises barriers for traditionally marginalized students.” Forbes argued that this model also gives right-leaning governments “political cover” to justify cutting post-secondary funding by placing the blame on institutions for failing to meet performance standards. He described it as “a tool to defund higher education.” “More often than not, the introduction of perform-

to attend were removed.

University presidents speak out

The presidents of the University of Manitoba and Brandon University (BU) both sent letters to the government this year expressing their objections to the measures being proposed. University of Manitoba Post-secondary faculty president Michael Benarroch vocally opposed wrote to the government in The model is no stranAugust following a June conger to controversy. Since first sultation meeting, and asked brought forward, faculty assothe government to “refrain from specifically tying fundciations, university presidents ing to metrics” in order to avoid and student groups have been vocal in their unintended opposition c o n s e “I’m cautiously optimistic, but I’m not to performquences such going to be fully optimistic until the as reducing ance-based accessibility. funding. next provincial election has occurred” AccordHe also asked the ing to Scott — Michael Shaw, Manitoba Organization Forbes, presiprovince not of Faculty Association member dent of MOFA to impose and biology metrics based professor at the U of W, the ance-based funding is associ- on factors outside of univerresearch makes it clear per- ated with cuts to public higher sities’ control, such as the formance-based funding education,” he said. employment and income of “simply doesn’t work.” A decrease in public fund- graduates. “The whole idea is that ing can shift the burden of The Oct. 14 letter from BU institutions are supposed to funding universities onto stu- president David Docherty get more efficient at churning dents in the form of tuition explained that because the out graduates, you churn them increases. university admits any student out better, faster, cheaper,” he Forbes said that the gov- who completes Grade 12 in said. ernment formulated its plans order to provide education for However, Forbes argued without “a great deal of con- those “who would otherwise that university administrators sultation” with post-second- be left out of the system,” its instead “screen students for ary faculty. measurements on some acaacademic quality” to manipuThe University of Win- demic metrics are lower than late the numbers and game the nipeg Faculty Association other schools. system. Research on the fund- left partway through a virDocherty objected to the ing model in American insti- tual consultation regard- use of graduation rates as a tutions shows that it has little ing the province’s post-sec- performance metric, arguing to no impact on retention and ondary accountability frame- that many who begin schoolgraduation rates, shifts fund- work in June, due to frustra- ing at BU move on to other ing away from support for tion that their objections to larger institutions after they low-income students to schol- performance-based funding choose a specialization, and arships for high-achievers and were being ignored. MOFA that looking only at graduaraises entrance standards. representatives said that they tion rates would obscure the “The data shows that as you were not invited to the meet- contributions BU made to introduce these systems, it ing, and those who managed their education.

He also stated that “as an access institution,” the school services many mature students, who may take longer to graduate as they are returning to school or learning new skills for their careers. Additionally, many Indigenous students may come to school seeking employable skills rather than a degree. Docherty also pointed out that using post-graduate earnings as a metric ignores the many BU students who return to rural communities for work, where pay is often lower than in cities. Research shows that performance-based funding increases financial disparities between smaller and larger institutions. “The larger institutions with more financial capacity are able to respond more flexibly and shift resources around to work with the performance metrics,” Forbes said. He explained that smaller universities like BU are the ones that “really suffer.” “We know that people in the Brandon University community are concerned that if this goes ahead, Brandon University might not survive,” he said. Shaw believes the government doesn’t “want to anger people who have been very clear” in their opposition to its plans, and has backed off for now in order to focus on issues that are more likely to help them in elections. “I’m cautiously optimistic, but I’m not going to be fully optimistic until the next provincial election has occurred.”

news@themanitoban.com


RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGY.

November 23, 2022 research@themanitoban.com

Toronto professor talks unconscious biases in academia Seminar emphasized the need for diversity and inclusion Elah Ajene, staff representation is common in in the email, with a greater ast Tuesday, the U of M the academy, and in every sec- degree of bias against anyone faculty of science hosted a tor we look at in Canada, cer- perceived to not be a white seminar on “Recognizing and tain groups are underrepre- man. The speaker also highMitigating Unconscious Bias sented,” Andrade said. Although there have been lighted a student evaluain Academia” at its Fort Garry campus. The session featured advances in gender equity tion survey given in the early other disciplines, days of classes, in which guest speaker Maydianne across Andrade, a biology professor Andrade highlighted that this female professors were conat the University of Toronto progress has been slower in sidered less knowledgeable Scarborough and president of science, technology, engin- than their male counterparts the Canadian Black Scientists eering and mathematics in despite classes having only comparison, and additionally, just started. Network. These biases reiterate an Andrade discussed the ways “progress has been primarour biases, stereotypes and ily for white women, not for assumed lack of competence preconceptions can uncon- women of intersectional iden- and knowledge, where oftentimes women of colour need sciously have an impact on tities.” A significant problem, to prove themselves again and our decisions and cause us to support systems that exclude which Andrade described as again in academia. Andrade also noted genspecific groups of people from a “logical fallacy,” is the comacademia, specifically in the monality of assuming that der differences in letters of when women or certain racial- recommendation, in which sciences. “In Canada, we’ve been ized or cultural groups are women are often described talking for a long time about underrepresented in a specific in terms of being hard-workdiversity in very vague and field, it is simply due to a lack ing or friendly, whereas men are often described in terms of quiet ways, usually with- of group interest. “People look at patterns of their intellect, talent and outout any demonstration of the representation and they slip comes. data,” Andrade said. These gender biases result “But really, diversity is just into this mindset where that is an explanation for the under- in negative effects within acaa statistic,” she explained. demia, and “What pro“We need everyone to be responsible for end up filterportion of ing people out people do equity inclusion, it can’t just rest on of the system. we see in our the shoulders of the people from the Andrade organizations s t r e s s e d from entry underrepresented groups” the need to level through acknowledge to leadership, — Maydianne Andrade, and recognize and ideally, president of the Canadian Black Scientists Network barriers that does that certain groups reflect the proface due to these biases. portion of different identity representation,” she said. These patterns of uncon“This is not a problem of groups we see on the sidescious associations and biases just one group of people, this walks of our cities?” Equity is embedded in the arise toward marginalized and is a problem of people,” she groups, said. law in Canada and supported underrepresented “That’s why I talk to indiby legal frameworks. Edu- often leading to consistent viduals,” Andrade continued. cational institutions like the negative outcomes. Andrade cited an experi- “Structures are important, but University of Manitoba have statements regarding their ment with cold emails sent individuals can actually have commitment to equity, inclu- to graduate school professors a huge effect on inclusion in in the United States, which their local environments.” sion and diversity. To combat these barriers, “Despite those kinds of showed racialized and genstatements, despite our laws, dered differences in response Andrade encourages individit is the case that under- rates based on the names used ual effort and equitable intake

photo / Ebunoluwa Akinbo / staff

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in academia to reverse monotypic classrooms and deficit narratives that reinforce unconscious biases. “We need everyone to be responsible for equity inclusion, it can’t just rest on the shoulders of the people from the underrepresented groups,” she said. Andrade emphasized that diversity is not the final objective. “The end goal is that the people that we see in our organizations also feel that they are valued, and from a selfish perspective, that we have structures that allow us to ensure that their unique ideas and capacities are actually

valued and used in the organizations to improve our outcomes,” she said. “We will only get the benefits of diversity if people of diverse backgrounds have a seat at the table, if they’re actually being listened to, and their ideas and their innovations are being considered in our decision making.”

research@themanitoban.com

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RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGY

Vol. 109, No. 14 research@themanitoban.com

What it takes to research an Indigenous language Mutual respect, relationship building an important part of research Robert Moshe Thompson, staff

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graphic / Dallin Chicoine / staff

he number of speakers of Indigenous languages in Canada has fallen steadily over time. However, increased attention to these languages has changed that. Since 2006, the total number of Indigenous people in Canada who can speak an Indigenous language rose by 3.1 per cent. Census data suggests that young people in particular have been learning Indigenous languages as a second language. Four of the nine research professors in the U of M’s linguistics department have experience with at least one Indigenous language. Nicole Rosen, head of the linguistics department at the U of M, wrote her doctoral thesis on Michif, one of the languages spoken by Métis people. Although it is often thought of as one language, there are multiple varieties of Michif. According to Rosen, awareness of the diversity of Michif has increased since she first began her research over a dec-

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ade ago. is important to give time and First Nations or Inuit peoples. Back then, there was very space to researchers from the Many linguists develop little research specifically on community, while still being long-lasting relationships as Métis topics such as health available to provide support if a result of their field work. research. Before this changed, communities ask for it. Rosen has become close Métis communities were often Another major change in friends with Michif speakers not consulted or involved in the past 20 years is that for- she has worked with, and such such investigations. mal research ethics protocols friendships would not be posRosen stated that it is have been developed by and sible without mutual respect. important for Indigenous for Métis people. At the U of M, fourth-year communities to take the lead For example, the Métis Cen- linguistics students have the in the research process, and tre of the National Aboriginal opportunity to take a course for linguists of settler des- Health Organization created called Field Methods. In this cent to respect course, they the wishes of learn how to “In my opinion, you want to do the work Indigenous do field work so that you’re not needed anymore, and communities. by interacting Sometimes, with a speaker so you’re not involved anymore” this involves of an unfamilstepping back iar language. — Nicole Rosen, from research In Winlinguistics department head at the U of M altogether. ter 2023, Field “In my opinMethods will ion, you want to do the work a document that describes be taught by Kevin Russell, an so that you’re not needed guidelines for ethical Métis associate professor in the U anymore, and so that you’re research, and which outlines of M’s department of linguisnot involved anymore,” she six principles that a researcher tics. He has done field work in explained. “It should be should follow when investi- Indigenous languages such as empowering.” gating Métis topics. Guaraní, a language of ParaNow that more Métis people The document also guay. are doing research them- addresses the specific needs Although the university selves, Rosen spends less time of Métis communities. These has standards to ensure the studying Michif. As a non-In- needs may differ for other well-being of consultants in digenous person, she feels it Indigenous peoples such as research projects, provid-

ing data to linguists — a process known as elicitation — can still be tiresome. In Russell’s paper about Paraguayan Guaraní, he referred to the speakers’ patience as “superhuman.” To avoid elicitation exhaustion, Russell normally only works with each consultant for an hour or two total. Because of this, linguistic field work cannot be completed in a few days or weeks. Russell has also made longtime friends as a result of his research in Indigenous languages. “The Cree speaker I’ve worked with the most has become one of my best friends, the Guaraní speaker I’ve worked with the most has become one of my best friends,” he said. “If you’re spending that much time together, if you’re remotely compatible as people, you’re not going to end up as strangers.” research@themanitoban.com


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.EDITORIAL

Vol. 109, No. 14 editor@themanitoban.com

Plans are not set in stone

graphic / Jenna Solomon / staff

What you need may not be what you think

Sarah Cohen, staff

I

think that most of us reading this are at the age where we feel like we are doing what we think we need to do, but not what we actually need to do. Coming from an academically rigid college town on the outskirts of Los Angeles, California, it always seemed like my path was clearly laid out for me. I would finish high school, go to a four-year university, get a graduate degree, then start a career. Life would fall into place from there. That was my plan. During November of my senior year, I applied to the University of Oregon, the University of La Verne and the University of Manitoba. I got into all three, with the two state-side schools offering me substantial financial aid. The path was laid out in front of me. Hesitant about moving to Winnipeg, I accepted the offer from the University of La Verne. Shortly after the calendar turned to March 13, 2020. The early months of the pandemic were tough in California. I finished high school at 10 p.m. on a Wednesday, slumped on a couch. My future felt like it was paused. During summer 2020, I decided to defer from La

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Verne until they could assure Looking back on that period went by without a hitch. I in-person classes. The week- of time, I can truly say that I loved every day that I spent by-week flipping from asyn- was doing what my mind and hiking, tanning and learning. The pandemic halted the chronous to synchronous body needed me to do. During the mornings when seven years of competitive figbrought no peace of mind to myself or any of my class- we didn’t hike, as well as after ure skating I had under my mates going through the same my friend left for school, I belt. Then in July of 2021, a spent a couple of hours on former co-worker asked me process. I allowed myself to realize the deck tanning with a book. if I wanted to work as a figure that my plan was not neces- California spring — February skating coach at the ice rink through April — is the per- where I had skated my entire sary for me to succeed. By September, things were fect climate to spend hours in life. I accepted, and I absolooking up. I was nannying the sun. I spent hours outside lutely loved coaching. I made two brilliant girls, working at reading book after book, fill- my own schedule and wage, a preschool and enjoying time ing my Goodreads shelf in no and I got to pass on my love of ice skating to kids. off from university. However, I time at all. I also read while watching I was doing everything that still felt as if some things were I needed. I was missing in my being active, life. I allowed myself to realize that working, doing I realized what those my plan was not necessary for me to succeed things I found joy in and things were exercising my in February of 2021. A few mornings a week, the girls I nannied. We would mind. So, you are probably cona good friend and I would read together. I would read to hike the Sycamore Canyon them and I read while they did fused about how I ended up in trail, a seven-kilometre path their work, even half-reading Winnipeg. My life was estabwith steep elevation. She and while they watched Good Luck lished, and I was doing what made me happy — and in the I talked about complex things Charlie and Big Time Rush. Still, I felt as if I was missing right place to be a sun-baby. in our lives, as well as books we I believe that the best way were reading. We spent hours something. I realized that my mind to get everything out of the getting away from electronics and truly enjoying nature. wasn’t getting the workout short years we have on earth is Hiking made us feel good, and it desired. I needed to learn. to prioritize things that make thankfully we didn’t run into I registered for some asyn- us happy. interest-piquing I wanted change. So, I some of the more poisonous chronous, courses at Pasadena City Col- reapplied to the U of M and California wildlife. Moreover, I was able to be lege and began learning at my decided to move up north. However, I am here for school, with someone I genuinely own pace. The rest of the school year as my parents emphasize enjoyed spending time with.

the importance of getting a degree. While I do think that degrees are important, I think you should pursue a degree in a subject that you are passionate about. Thinking about the past three years, I can see how happy I was. I needed change, but was that move what I actually needed? In some ways. It taught me independence and made me insanely grateful for what I had at home. So you may be wondering, “Sarah, what is your point?” My point is this: things you actually need, like socialization, fresh air, exercise and doing whatever you enjoy doing are just as important as doing what you think you need. Do what makes you happy. Get that degree in whatever subject will make you happiest. Go on that trip, get that pet, read that book. Prioritize what brings you joy and don’t let life’s stress overwhelm you in the pursuit of what you think you need.

editor@themanitoban.com



.COMMENT

Vol. 109, No. 14 comment@themanitoban.com

Performance-based funding harms education Model sees education as a luxury rather than a necessity Braden Bristow, staff

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graphic / Dallin Chicoine / staff

erformance-based funding — an educational funding system where funds are based largely on how “successful” a school is determined to be — is a concept likely to hurt our education system that has been considered by Manitoba governments in the past few years. Under this model, the proportion of graduates to dropouts, number of credit hours completed and other markers of classroom success are used to determine the majority of funding universities receive. In short, the better you do regarding these metrics, the more money you get. The general idea is that using money as a reward for schools that perform well will itself raise performance in schools, as well as help the province to determine which institutions are deserving of more funding. However, this raises a lot of issues and ques-

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funding model prioritize the ence greater exclusion, as tions. For one, a perform- acceptance of students who their forecasted success may ance-based funding scheme are already likely to get high not align with an institution’s can create a scenario in which grades and graduate in a short desired results. Performance-based fundeducation financing is a com- amount of time. One could, and should, ing may also result in less petition rather than a necesreadily critique a university funding overall for post-secsity. The fact of the matter is that for creating barriers-to-entry ondary institutions. Alberta there is only so much money to for marginalized peoples, has already instituted pergo around. With multiple pub- and this is what the perform- formance-based funding, and lic universities in Manitoba, a ance-based funding scheme following this action, post-secperformance-based funding may encourage. It is a fact ondary schools experienced severe finanarrang ement cial cuts. If we could create a We should be creating an environment are not caremajor issue, as ful, this could each of these in which education is treated with institutions be repeated in importance and respect Manitoba and would likely across Canada. need to find Universities educate stuways to improve their success that economically marginalmetrics to stay competitive ized and Indigenous peoples dents and provide opporwith one another. in Canada often experience tunities for those that attend One of those methods may lower rates of graduation and them that otherwise would involve making education academic success because of not be available. Post-secondary education fills an importmore exclusive. social factors such as poverty. Forbes said that in a per- ant economic and social role Scott Forbes, U of W biology professor and president of formance-based fund- in our society that should not the Manitoba Organization of ing arrangement, it is pos- be incentivized to exclude cerFaculty Associations, stated sible that people belonging tain individuals for cash. Post-secondary education that universities with this to these groups could experi-

is important to everyone in the province, especially students and educators. Having an accessible institution in which one can gain access to opportunities and push the boundaries of knowledge is critical. A performance-based funding arrangement could change all this for the worse. If our province truly cares about education, it should leave the funding arrangement alone, or better yet, fund institutions based on needs and opportunity for growth. We should be creating an environment where education is treated with importance and respect, and where institutions are not forced to dance for the support of the provincial government.

comment@themanitoban.com


COMMENT

graphic / Jenna Solomon / staff

November 23, 2022 comment@themanitoban.com

CAN you get out of U.S. politics? Canadian residents’ meddling in U.S. politics Sarah Cohen, staff

I

’ve noticed how invested Canadians are in U.S. politics, and how that investment has turned to involvement. I have a foot in both camps. I am American and Canadian, and have lived in Canada the last six months. Since being in Canada, I have heard and cared more about U.S. politics than when I lived in the U.S. It makes sense. More than 90 per cent of Canadian residents are living within about 160 kilometres of the U.S.-Canadian border, and it seems like many Canadians have relatives living in the states or who hold citizenship in both countries. Additionally, recent U.S. politics are proving the genre of speculative fiction. Abortion bans across multiple states are restrictive and deadly. In the recent U.S. midterm elections, Louisiana voted against banning slavery. Currently, rights concerning autonomy, 2SLGBTQIA+ communities and diversity

are all being put into ques- U.S. House Speaker Nancy that each and every one has tion. And then there is the Pelosi. The assault left him a connection to one of them whether we are aware of it or recent presidential campaign hospitalized for several days. These attacks are not just on not. And those four things are announcement from former a single party. Trump belongs just the tip of the iceberg. president Donald Trump. But then again, I do see why I am concerned about all of to the Republican party and these things, and I think I have Pelosi is a Democrat. These Canadians are concerned with every reason to be. Though, all events don’t change anything what goes on in the United I can personally do in my pos- about the political climate in States. The U.S. and Canada serve ition is vote. I did and I will the states, they only hurt indiagain in every future election. vidual people. Republicans as key allies to each other. However, Canadians have and Democrats will both con- They have an enormous trade been taking U.S. matters into tinue to produce legislation relationship, and they share a border and their own environmental hands. Back in Absolutely nothing good will come from ecosystems. 2020, a QueI understand bec woman violently trying to take matters how the U.S. was accused into your own hands serves as the of mailing a perfect case poison known study for a multitude of hisas ricin to then-President that can harm the country. Trump. Ricin can kill humans Why are Canadians so torical, sociological, political within hours of exposure. The invested in the states? Canada and economic concepts. woman is also facing 16 char- has more important things to A large portion of Canges for attempting to send this worry about beyond the U.S. adians also worry about U.S. democracy — something I respoison to Texas officials. political landscape. More recently, a CanCanada is facing issues onate with — and what its curadian-born man is facing involving equitable housing, rent state and tenuous future charges of elder abuse, assault policing and addiction, to will mean for Canada. and attempted kidnapping name a few. These issues are I feel like the states and after a violent attack on Paul present in the immediate life Canada have an almost Pelosi, the husband of then- of Canadians, and I am sure older-younger sibling power

dynamic — a “the U.S. did it, so why can’t we” type of relationship. I do understand the global interest in U.S. politics, I just believe that meddling in the politics of other countries is dangerous and ineffective. If you are eligible to vote in U.S. politics, do it, locally and federally. As a U.S. citizen, you can inspire legislation, call your representatives regarding important issues, sign petitions, and lobby to make your voice heard. If you’re Canadian and want a hand in U.S. politics, support people from the states, encourage them to vote and help spread correct information. Absolutely nothing good will come from violently trying to take matters into your own hands.

comment@themanitoban.com

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COMMENT

Vol. 109, No. 14 comment@themanitoban.com

More people, more problems Overpopulation must be addressed during climate discussions Dina Hamid, staff he earth hit the population milestone of eight billion people on Nov. 15. According to the United Nations, the world’s population will reach 9.7 billion people in 2050, and may peak at about 11 billion by the end of the century. These figures raise concerns about overpopulation, which has long been warned of as a threat to our society. As our population continues to grow every year, we face questions about what this means for us, our environment and our future. The good news is the world population’s rate of increase has been steadily declining since the 1960s, from two per cent to just under one per cent in the last 50 years, and developed countries including Canada are seeing fertility rates drop. So, where is most of the current growth happening? Most of the population growth seen in 2021 was observed in sub-Saharan Africa, followed by Central and Southern Asia and then Eastern and South-Eastern Asia. However, even in these regions there has been an overall decline in fertility rates compared to previous decades. Even though the numbers suggest that we are moving in the right direction, we must take into account the fact that while our population is growing, resources are being used up at an unsustainable rate due to overconsumption. This is alarming, since the problem of overpopulation will put further strain on our depleting pool of resources and produce more emissions. However, overpopulation is currently being overlooked in favour of the overconsumption problem that many developed countries are facing. This problem is trouble-

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graphic / Jenna Solomon / staff

T

some by itself, since humans are presently using the resources of about 1.75 planets, and consumption will only be further exacerbated as the population increases by one or two billion in the upcoming decades. Although the two issues may not appear to be related because overconsumption is more pronounced in wealthy developed nations where growth has slowed, 34 per cent of immigrants from developing nations move to developed nations. This impacts the population density of these locations, and will therefore have an effect on the amount of resources consumed in those regions, as more people will require homes, food, clothing and energy.

Additionally, immigrants to developed nations who would have been causing less emissions before relocating will eventually adopt their higher-emitting neighbours’ habits and lifestyles, which in turn will contribute to a faster depletion of resources. This is all to say that overpopulation is a global issue, and is not just contained within developing regions. Just because birth rates are significantly lower here does not mean we are free from the consequences that overpopulation has on our environment. We are doing a great disservice to our planet by ignoring overpopulation and pitting it against overconsumption. Climate change is not a

multiple-choice question with only one right answer. The climate catastrophe is being caused by a variety of reasons, all of which must be addressed if we are to have the maximum chance of surviving. Even though population growth is inevitable at this point, there are still steps that can be taken to further slow it down while simultaneously reducing our ecological footprint. Nations should support and fund family planning initiatives, encourage and facilitate access for more women and girls to receive education, provide more employment opportunities for women, provide sex education and make contraceptives more readily available.

All of these things are benefits that are mutually advantageous to nations and their citizens, while also supporting the health and development of these regions and reducing the global birth rate. I don’t advocate for controlling and limiting birth rates or stopping immigration, but if there are practical, ethically sound and advantageous ways to moderate the population growth, I don’t see why we shouldn’t at least try. As billions more people will be born in the upcoming decades, what state will the world be in when they get here?

comment@themanitoban.com



.DIVERSIONS

Vol. 109, No. 14 graphics@themanitoban.com

From our archives 100 years ago phdcomics.com

How to annoy scientists: refer to all hypotheses as “fan theories”

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THINK YOU’RE A POET? THEN SHOW IT! Send your poetry and short stories to the Manitoban today! Contact: me@themanitoban.com

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A CALL TO ALL

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ARTS & CULTURE.

November 23, 2022 arts@themanitoban.com

Horoscopes for the week of Nov. 23 Zodiac tips for navigating life at the U of M Damien Davis, staff

ARIES

CANCER

LIBRA

CAPRICORN

When the smoke clears and you’ve done all you can do, who is it that takes care of you? Do n o t be a victim of your own determination. Getting A’s is satisfying, sure, but not at the cost of your well-being. When studying in Dafoe on the second floor, remember — the stacks can hear you sigh. Politely ask the older books to muffle the noise of other students and they will.

Creativity and stability are ready to be your companions, but remember to exercise careful thinking. When water starts to rise, return to your burrow. Heed the patterns of the tides. Should you require inspiration to let loose your thoughts to paper and break from your everyday life, go to the School of Art Gallery. Gaze at Open Structure and discover what it means to rid yourself of the confines of your hardened shell.

Balancing acts are what you’re meant to excel at, and this week that proves true. Yes, the academic year hasn’t been kind to you, but you’ve pulled through magnificently. You’ve woven and patched together an ecosystem of success in every class. Where else can you find a circle on campus? Go there and stand directly in the middle, within the sparkling snow. Think about this: do you prioritize beauty or success?

Do not be greedy this week. Be humble and graceful in your accomplishments and opportunities. Should you forget this, the Earth will remind you. Can you face yourself in all your faults and acknowledge that this is what it means to be human? Accept that graduation will be a long road and you will find that it’ll come faster.

TAURUS The tunnels are not your friends this week, though normally they would be. Something lurks in there between the shuffle and shoving of students and the static of the ever-present radio. You will find yourself too tired, and too late for your classes. Remember — you’re not known for looking behind you, only stubbornly going ahead. Do not listen to the echoes of concrete walls. Tune in to 101.5 UMFM to learn secrets of the underground.

GEMINI What comes to you this week will come in twos, as it has your whole life. When making your decisions, rely not on what you understand as instinct. Do not second-guess your m a j o r. Remember what passions brought you here, and when on the path between St. Paul’s and St. John’s, sit between them under the trees and think carefully on your next move. What good comes from your impulsivity?

LEO

SCORPIO

Why is striving for perfection seen as a flaw? You perform at your peak, academically and socially. When you laugh with your friends in your study group on campus, you laugh loudly and clearly. This week will challenge your perspective on priorities. Did you remember to check the due dates for your assignments? Tie your hair back and assess your plans.

The visions you’ve seen when staring up at the stained-glass windows in Tier will not come to pass. The things that haunt the interior of our skulls do not always stem from truth, but rather out of melancholy. This week, try not to focus on the success of others. Worth is not meant to be measured. Drinking the poison from your own tail used to be fun, but surely, it’s lost its charm.

VIRGO

SAGITTARIUS

Not everything can be logical, you must leave room for imagination. Blackbirds may rest on telephone wires, but you are constantly on the move. If you find yourself restless, you should turn that feeling into productivity that nurtures the spirit. Perhaps in the blue water of the campus swimming pool you can exhaust the tension. Take to the shallow waters, watch the light move.

With the new moon in Sagittarius, you will find it easier to manifest and rejuvenate. What is it you desire? And do you have the courage to take it? All that worries you will fade into the sound of laughter and comfort. Slide into a booth at VW’s during the day and gaze out i n t o the snow-covered prairies — you will be at peace with yourself. Your intellect isn’t underappreciated or misunderstood, but don’t weaken it with pointless arguments.

AQUARIUS You’ll find yourself craving knowledge this week. You will be dissatisfied with your studies and will crave information more than ever. You anticipate a future of freedom without chains, but freedom starts inside yourself first. Don’t seek the guidance of graffiti on washroom stalls. The oracles of the Fletcher Argue bathrooms can’t help you with your goals.

PISCES This week, people will take your solitude and silence as weakness, but friends know that’s not true. When you walk through the overwhelming crowds of University Centre, you do it fluidly. You’re not invisible, you’ve simply mastered your environment and the people that exist within it. People underestimate fish because they don’t know what lies in the deep sea. You do know. arts@themanitoban.com

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Cont’d from front page

“So, for some of our students, even if they’re in second or third year, they’ve never worked on a ‘show’ show before, but they’ve been learning theatre.” While full-production shows are making a return, there has been discussion within the university’s theatre department on how they are meant to look and run post-pandemic. Dunn said that the decision to offer free admission was a “logistic” one — the mechanisms previously in place to set up a box office and sell tickets were lost to the pandemic. Whether the disrup-

tion will become a permanent change is still up for discussion among U of M theatre staff. “I think it’s a question for us in the theatre program, as we kind of look at going forward, whether payment for shows will come back or not,” she said. “While paid admission has been the history at the university, it could be the next change for the theatre post-pandemic. Dunn hopes viewers walk away with a new perspective on where their food comes from and an appreciation for the hard work of artists adjusting to a new theatre world after COVID-19 shutdowns.

“It is political theatre,” she said. “As with any political theory, you hope people come away discussing things. I don’t want people to shy away from the show just because they think they don’t maybe have the same opinions as what [they think] the show’s statement is, because this style of theatre shows all different sides.” Seeds runs until Nov. 26. Admission is free.

arts@themanitoban.com

photo / Ebunoluwa Akinbo / staff

ETFM theatre program returns to in-person format

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ARTS & CULTURE

Vol. 109, No. 14 arts@themanitoban.com

UMFM show spotlight: ‘Signal Distortion’ Host Luc Mayor explores internet-core Alex Braun, staff For Mayor, the unifying emo. Recent episodes of Signal rowing up in the world communities of fans are “a of rhythm gaming and demographic of people online Distortion have featured artthe online forums surround- that listen to very, very musi- ists like yeule, Parannoul, ing it, computer engineer- cal artists spanning over a Drain Gang, Radiohead, Charli ing student Luc Mayor built number of genres that have no XCX, 8485 and Black Country, New Road in the wide-ranging an interest in the unique, correlation to one another.” These fans, congregating mixes. genre-bending sounds of In fact, the name for the the internet, which he terms on sites like Rate Your Music, Last.fm, Twitter and Discord, show came from this eclecti“internet-core.” Mayor was inspired to start form the chief fanbase for the cism. “The sounds were very his radio show on UMFM — new and niche genres that Signal Distortion, which airs Mayor’s internet-core concept clash-y, bombastic kind of sounds, which can be kind of Thursdays at 2 p.m. — by encompasses. “The community that I equivalent to a sort of distor“a lack of programming on UMFM that was correlating to really made this show mostly tion,” Mayor said. Genres like hyperpop have [his] musical interest.” Start- for, hyperpop and digicore, all ing only a few months ago of their music is, their com- seen some mainstream acceptance in recent in September years, but their 2022, Mayor “I really personally like sharing music with influence is has already still mostly developed a people” marginal. unique voice Mayor feels in playlisting. — Luc Mayor, that this niche Mayor ’s status is just Host of ‘Signal Distortion’ chief interdue to a lack of est, his classification of internet-core, munity is wholeheartedly on exposure. “While this appeals to a is not defined by traditional Discord,” he said. Other genres cited by Mayor very niche subset of listengenre markers, but rather by the niche online communities as part of his vision include ers, I think that really, the reaPlugg, shoegaze and Midwest son that it’s appealing to only that make up its fanbase.

G

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photo / Luc Mayor / provided

this niche group of people is because it hasn’t seen that light-of-day exposure,” he explained. “I don’t like to be the type of person to gatekeep artists or stuff like that, so I think that I really personally like sharing music with people.”

Signal Distortion airs Thursdays at 2 p.m. on 101.5 UMFM. Archival episodes can be streamed on umfm.com.

arts@themanitoban.com


ARTS & CULTURE

photo / Ebunoluwa Akinbo / staff

November 23, 2022 arts@themanitoban.com

Manitoba Furries persists through COVID paw-in-paw How fandom builds community in hard times Jessie Krahn, staff

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hen circumstances get hairy, humans rely on each other for support. Fandoms offer a place for people to forge those crucial and supportive connections based on mutual interests. Manitoba is home to a thriving furry fandom. “Furries” is a term that applies to anyone with an interest in anthropomorphic creatures like Bugs Bunny. While the fandom encompasses all levels of interest, some furries are just fans. Some furries’ engagement with the fandom goes deeper. Furries sometimes choose a “fursona” — an animal-inspired persona — for self-representation. Perhaps the most famous form of expression in the furry community is the construction of fursuits. The suits are elaborate and very costly costumes. Manitoba Furries is a group organized by individuals who act as dedicated liaisons, event planners and more for the furry community in the province. Tyler Neplyk, community director of Manitoba Furries, explained that he is tasked with anything from intra-group conflict resolution to acting as the first point of contact for new members of the community. Neplyk described his role as the “fetching of other ani-

mals and organizing meets, lockdowns was relatively easy Though, Neplyk added that and discussing stuff with to do because of his standard Manitoba Furries’ adherence communities and removing organizational practices. In to social distancing and maskdrama.” particular, contact tracing was ing during in-person events He estimated that Mani- nearly identical to Neplyk’s received backlash from some toba Furries is comprised of eight-year-long habit of ask- members of the community. over 500 members, but added ing attendees to sign in at “Those people have either that it is difficult to truly deter- meet-ups. been separated from our mine membership numbers For in-person events group since then or have still across different social media throughout the pandemic, been belligerent about what services. Neplyk stressed that abid- has been happening recently,” Manitoba Furries generally ing by the provincial and fed- he explained. “And we’ve tried participates to make it work in three kinds for them, but “We have to socialize, we’re animals” of in-perthey are still son events. — long story — Tyler Neplyk, First, public short, they’ve Community director for Manitoba Furries fur meets are kind of been often located quiet.” at Assiniboine park, a bowling eral governments’ mandates Part of Neplyk’s job is to alley, movie theatre or some and ensuring members’ safety defang threats to the comother public space. has been of the utmost impor- munity’s safety who seek to Second, semi-private fur tance. infiltrate and take advanmeets are held at the home “Every time we would have tage of the group’s culture of of one of the group members, a meet, we would always start acceptance. and invite members to partici- off with, ‘if you’re feeling sick, “We’re good with dealing pate in baking, movie nights don’t come over,’” Neplyk with dangerous groups like or art. said. zoophiles and neo-Nazis and Third are the less-frequent “We made sure that it was pedophiles,” he said. “They’re conventions, with panels, safe for everyone.” like, ‘hey, I’m with you guys game rooms and other activThe group strove to combat too,’ and then we learn that ities. social atomization through they’re a skinhead or someManitoba Furries has even uncertain times by translating thing and I gotta kick them offered advice to parents of some of its typical program- out.” children who are furries and ming into virtual formats. Neplyk said that many have a budding interest in the “We have to socialize, we’re non-furries erroneously confandom. animals!” Neplyk empha- flate furry fandom with zooThe COVID-19 pandemic sized. “We’ve got to meet each philia. has periodically disrupted the other, we’ve got to see what’s “I always ask [non-furgroup’s programming. going on, and so literally we ries], ‘what is the rudest thing However, Neplyk said that just found ways to communi- you know about furries and adapting to constantly shift- cate, and a lot of them were how did you first hear about ing safety protocols during online.” them?’” Neplyk said. “It’s

almost always like, ‘oh, they screw dogs and they all get in costume and have sex in a giant room because I saw that on CSI.’” Neplyk also highlighted a study that found that nearly 80 per cent of furries do not identify as straight, and noted that the stigma attached to the community may be driven by homophobia. “I’ve also heard the one that all furries have AIDS because we’re all gay,” he continued. For Neplyk, a self-described extrovert, the furry fandom gives him ample opportunity to connect. “I’m wrangling a zoo of creatures,” he said. “It’s fun to have a zoo!” Neplyk added that while it would be nice to be paid for his efforts, he is serving as Manitoba Furries’ community director for reasons other than money. “I’m doing it strictly to get people interested in the fandom, being happier about themselves and being open about themselves and just having a good time,” he emphasized. “I just want to find more people to party with.” Manitoba Furries can be found at https://manitobafurries.org/. arts@themanitoban.com

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.SPORTS

Vol. 109, No. 14 sports@themanitoban.com

Bison quarterback sets passing yard record Des Catellier leaves his mark on and off the field

Katie Kirkwood, staff

Katie Kirkwood, staff

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es Catellier heads out of his final season leaving behind a legacy that will change how the Bisons play football for years to come. Catellier is the Bisons’ star quarterback. He has been with the Bisons through thick and thin throughout his seven years on the team. Starting off as a rookie when he was just 18 years old, over the years he has grown into the strong, fearless leader he is today. As one can expect however, those seven years were not entirely smooth sailing. In the 2021 season opener game against the University of Regina Rams — the first game back since COVID began — Catellier took a nasty hit to the lower half of his body, resulting in an ACL tear. In the nine months that followed, Catellier made sure to show up for himself and the team. He never missed a rehab or training session and built back his strength, confidence and ability day by day. Catellier emphasized the fact that improvement was not seen every day. Healing his injury was about “not losing sight, not thinking too big picture.” All of his hard work paid off,

as he had one of the best seasons of his life this year. Despite this being Catellier’s last year with the Bisons, he went out with a bang, setting an all-time program record for passing yards. This was a large feat to achieve, and yet he still has bigger and better dreams of going pro and playing with the big boys in the Canadian Football League. “I want to play in the CFL,” Catellier said. “That’s what I’m going to take on for the next year, at least.” “It’s always been a goal of mine, it’s always been a dream of mine, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do for sure. You don’t see a lot of Canadian quarterbacks make it pro.“ He knows all the challenges he will face, but he is just as motivated as ever to eat, sleep and breathe football. When asked about how the culture of the team has changed over the years, Catellier said that when he first started, there seemed to be a disconnect between the older and younger players. He saw that this was causing some issues on the field and addressed it with some of his teammates and the coaches. From that point on, the Bisons worked on becoming

a family on and off the field, resulting in major rewards like making championships, setting records and growing its program’s reputation. It’s times like these that Catellier looks back on fondly. He loves the environment in the locker room, and even calls it home. Catellier is originally from Calgary, and has spent his whole adult life finding comfort and inspiration in the Bison locker room, an environment that was created from his hard work and dedication to his teammates. The games, the laughs and the love that was shared between teammates is something that he will carry with him for life. A perfect example of this camaraderie comes from offensive lineman Halem Hrizai, who discussed some of his favourite memories with Catellier. Hrizai joined the program a few years after Catellier and has always looked up to him, except for when it comes to ping-pong. Playing ping-pong is a crucial part of being a Bisons football player and according to Hrizai, Catellier is “a very mediocre ping-pong player.” Catellier made sure to clear up the rumours, and clari-

Bisons volleyball

photo / Ebunoluwa Akinbo / staff

fied that he is “definitely an A-league, top-tier ping-pong player.” We may never know who to believe, but this is just one example of the fun and love the players on the Bisons football team have for one another that is sure to have helped the team bond into a multi-year playoff run caliber club. sports@themanitoban.com

Sports teams’ schedules U of M Bisons — Women’s Basketball Bisons @ Regina Cougars Bisons @ Regina Cougars

Nov. 25 — 7 p.m. Nov. 26 — 7 p.m.

U of M Bisons — Men’s Volleyball Brandon Bobcats @ Bisons Brandon Bobcats @ Bisons

Bisons @ MacEwan Griffins Bisons @ MacEwan Griffins Saskatchewan Huskies @ Bisons Saskatchewan Huskies @ Bisons

Nov. 18 — Final: 3 – 2 Nov. 19 — Final: 5 – 1 Nov. 25 — 7 p.m. Nov. 26 — 3 p.m.

Nov. 18 — Final: 3 – 0 Nov. 19 — Final: 2 – 3

U of M Bisons — Swimming

U of M Bisons — Women’s Hockey College Cup

Nov. 25 – Nov. 27

U of M Bisons — Track and Field Brown and Gold Intersquad

Nov. 25

U of M Bisons — Women’s Volleyball Brandon Bobcats @ Bisons Brandon Bobcats @ Bisons Regina Cougars @ Bisons Regina Cougars @ Bisons

Nov. 18 — Final: 0 – 3 Nov. 19 — Final: 0 – 3 Nov. 25 — 6 p.m. Nov. 26 — 5 p.m.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers Grey Cup: Toronto Argonauts @ Blue Bombers

Bisons @ Regina Cougars Bisons @ Regina Cougars

Nov. 25 — 9 p.m. Nov. 26 — 9 p.m.

U of M Bisons — Men’s Hockey MacEwan Griffins @ Bisons MacEwan Griffins @ Bisons Bisons @ Saskatchewan Huskies Bisons @ Saskatchewan Huskies

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Nov. 18 — Final: 1 – 7 Nov. 19 — Final: 2 – 7 Nov. 25 — 7 p.m. Nov. 26 — 7 p.m.

Nov. 20 — Final: 24 – 23

Winnipeg Jets

U of M Bisons — Men’s Basketball

Anaheim Ducks @ Jets Pittsburgh Penguins @ Jets Carolina Hurricanes @ Jets Jets @ Minnesota Wild Jets @ Dallas Stars Jets @ Chicago Blackhawks Colorado Avalanche @ Jets

* All times CST

Bison briefs

Nov. 17 — Final: 2 – 3 Nov. 19 — Final: 3 – 0 Nov. 21 — 3 – 4 / OT Nov. 23 — 6 p.m. Nov. 25 — 7:30 p.m. Nov. 27 — 6 p.m. Nov. 29 — 7 p.m.

This past weekend both the Bisons men’s and women’s volleyball teams went headto-head with the Brandon University Bobcats. Both teams played at the Investors Group Athletic Centre on Nov. 18 and 19. The women’s team took home two wins despite its recent losses against the University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat. In the first game of the weekend, the Bobcats put up a good fight with set scores of 18-25, 22-25 and 12-25, but the U of M won them all. Great hits were seen by Ella Gray, who had 11 kills this game. As for the team’s second game of the weekend, there was a greater point differential than the game from the previous night. The Bisons swept up all three sets again, showing no remorse on the court. This game, Raya Surinx cleaned up with 11 kills and two aces. This put the women’s volleyball team at a game ratio of 4-4. The men’s volleyball team was not as lucky in the first game, losing all three sets to the Bobcats. Coach Arnd Ludwig said this game was the result of injuries that kept the team from practicing as a complete unit last week. Despite this, the herd fought hard, coming close in all three sets but just missing the edge that would have secured a win. The team didn’t let this first night discourage it, as it came back even more fiercely than the day before in the second game against the Bobcats. This game went into five sets, with U of M winning the first, U of Brandon winning the next two, and U of M finishing it off by winning the last two sets to secure the win. This game was intense and exciting to watch as each team put up a great fight, both wanting to win more than anything. Redeeming itself from its loss the night before, the Bisons left the court glowing, improving its record to 4-6. The women’s next game is Nov. 25 against the University of Regina Cougars and the men’s next game is Dec. 2 against the Mount Royal University Cougars.

sports@themanitoban.com