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VOLUME 21 ISSUE 26 April 4, 2012

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Best photos of the year (fall)

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Visiting artist takes us Cheerleaders get to 11 competition 12 for a walk

Art controversy 5

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IMAGE COURTESY SOORAYA GRAHAM

TRU’s Independent Student Newspaper


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April 4, 2012

Feature

Underrepresented!

Current senate model has limited our participation and our impact: Student senator Devan C. Tasa Ω Contributor

There is a governing body at almost every university in B.C. that holds great power over the everyday academic life of students, yet few know of its existence. This body approves the list of students who’ll receive scholarships and bursaries from the university. It determines the scale to which students are graded. It is responsible for dealing with any appeals students make against their professor’s decisions. It approves the list of students that graduate every year. It can create, modify and delete courses from the university calendar. It can do the same thing with entire degree programs. It is the senate. It has power over anything academic. Every senate has representatives from the university’s student body, faculty and administration. The student and faculty senators are elected by their peers while administration senators tend to have an automatic seat by virtue of their positions. One would expect that since the senate has so much power over a student’s academic life, it would have a sizeable number of student representatives. Before Thompson Rivers University became a university in 2005, one would be right. For every senator representing the administration, there would be one representing students and two representing the faculty. But TRU pioneered a new type of senate, one that was copied by Capilano University, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, University of the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island University when they were founded in 2008. In this model, there are only four student senators, no matter how many senators represent the administration and faculty. For TRU, that means the four student voices on the senate are but a whisper compared to the 16 administration and 18 faculty senators. For every senator repre-

senting the administration, there are only 0.25 students and 1.125 faculty members. Of all of the new universities using the TRU senate model, TRU has the lowest ratio of administration to student senators. The highest is the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, which has 0.5 students for every administration senator, while most of the others have around 0.33 students. According to the provincial government, the TRU senate model evolved out of the education councils TRU and the other new universities had when they were colleges. In colleges, the default composition of those councils is four administrators, four students, 10 faculty and two support staff. The TRU governance model has proven to be very successful and recognizes the valuable contribution of the elected student members, says the government. Two-term TRU student senator Dylan Robinson disagrees with that assessment. “I think that that’s completely ridiculous and kind of hilarious that they’d say something like that,” he said. “It’s been successful from their standpoint because it has limited our participation and our impact in the governance process.” Newly-elected TRU senator Chris Albinati agrees that by having only four student senators, the TRU senate model serves to limit student voices. “In the way they have limited us, they’ve made us a symbolic representation,” he said. TRU president Alan Shaver doesn’t think that student voices are limited at TRU. He said that student senators are quite active, bringing attention to student issues at the university. “From my point of view, they’re certainly not symbolic,” he said. “We really look to them for their opinion and for them to speak their mind.” Shaver explained that the composition of universities come from provincial legislation. “These are acts of the legislature,” he said. “They’re not something that the universities, not just ours, can change. They have to be changed by the legislature. “My sense is, from talking to people,

Current TRU Senate

Faculty Other

This graphic shows the changes proposed for senate structuring. Some current student representatives feel that four students on the senate makes students’ collective voice irrelevent in the process.

—IMAGE BY DEVAN C. TASA

that changes such as these in B.C. are very rare,” he said. As far as Shaver is aware, TRU has not lobbied the government for any changes to the legislation. Minister of Advanced Education Naomi Yamamoto was unavailable for comment before press time to discuss the legislation. The TRU student senators say because there are only four of them, they have a hard time properly representing students. “We can’t get anything done,” Robinson said. One of the reasons why is because the votes of all of the other senators can easily

For this week’s issue, we patrolled the grounds looking for your answers to this question:

What does the TRU Senate do?

Bryce Parks

Chelsea Gilfillan

Dean Evans

“I have no idea. “I didn’t even know that we had a senate. “I guess they would vote on things that would be for our well-being?”

“I heard that there was a guy on it that was sleeping in the school, wasn’t there? “I have no clue about what they do.”

“I have no idea. “I guess they’d have something to do with the politics of the school.”

Bachelor of science

Administration

Senate Proposed by TRUSU

That’s what you said

Bachelor of arts

Students

Bachelor of science

overpower those of students. “In any committee or senate body, votes count,” Albinati said. “Each vote, when you are voting on an amendment or when you’re voting on a motion, is one person one vote.” In the older style of senate, the numbers of student senators are sufficient enough that they can ally with either faculty or administration senators to get enough votes to enact change. Another reason why it’s hard for the student senators to effectively represent students is because there are not enough of them to properly cover the senate’s committees. TRU has 15 permanent standing committees. “With just the four of us, we can’t cover all of that ground,” Robinson said. “So there are holes. The institution tries to plug that. They’ll pick a random student who has expressed interest, stick them on that committee and say ‘oh, well now there’s student representation there’. “It’s a hodge-podge, ad-hoc, thrown together system where I don’t know who that student is and they don’t know who I am,” he said. When the events of a committee are referred to during a senate meeting, Robinson says he finds that most of the time he doesn’t know what happened, which means he doesn’t know which student concerns have been raised and which ones have not. The student senators believe that TRU should switch to the 1:1:2 model used by the older B.C. universities, in which there is one student senator per every one administration senator. “If you really value someone’s input and participation in a process, you’re going to give that group the opportunity to have a meaningful impact on the process,” said Robinson. “You’re going to give them the tools and the power to be able to meaningfully participate. “I think that if there were more of us, more representatives, we can actually do a better job of representing students,” he said. The Thompson Rivers University Students’ Union’s position is that TRU’s senate needs to be reformed so that it fol-

lows the 1:1:2 model, said the union’s VP external Jordan Harris. While exact numbers would depend on the number of administration senators, the students’ union suggests the TRU senate have 15 administration, 15 student and 30 faculty representatives. “We just think that for students’ voice to be heard at the TRU governance political level we need to have that proper representation,” he said. “Senate is the ideal place that we do want to have proper representation. There are only four [students] there and we do need more because that’s where the majority of decisions and discussions [happen].” If students are concerned about the fact that there are only four students on the senate, Robinson suggests that they talk to TRUSU and other organizations that represent students. “Come talk to me or any of the other student senators or the students sitting on the Board of Governors,” he said. “Talk to us. Let us know what your concerns are. We’re here to represent you.” Shaver suggests that concerned students join one of the senate’s standing committees. “I’d like to recommend that students look at these standing committees and get involved,” said Shaver. “I’d really welcome that.” To get involved in a committee, students can look at the TRU senate website at http://www.tru.ca/senate/, determine if the committee has a vacancy in its student seat, then inform the TRU Students’ Union of their interest. Albinati suggests that students look at what other universities are doing and then demand comparable treatment from TRU’s administration. “The only thing that makes Thompson Rivers University a better university is when students criticize,” he said. But in the end, it’s important to note that it was the provincial government that created and passed the legislation that dictates the composition of university senates. If students want more representatives, it’s the provincial government that must be convinced that change is needed.


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The Omega · Volume 21, Issue 26

THE

MEGA

www.theomega.ca

April 4, 2012

Volume 21, Issue 26

Published since November 27, 1991

editorialstaff EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Mike Davies

editorofomega@gmail.com/250-372-1272 BUSINESS MANAGER Natasha Slack

managerofomega@gmail.com 250-372-1272 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

Cory Hope

Editorial

I’m getting tired of writing these, but it needs to be said: Public officials line their pockets while more victims watch justice slip away

SPORTS EDITOR

Nathan Crosby Copy Editor

Larkin Schmiedl Photo Editor

Cory Hope News Editor

Brendan Kergin Roving Editor

Taylor Rocca Promotions Coordinator/Adsales

Amrita Pannu

omegacontributors Sooraya Graham, Devan C. Tasa, Amy Berard, Sofia Gay, Emma Godmere, George Feenstra, Brian Wallin, Marvin Beatty, Julia Marks, Sebasian Yoh Chern, Jonathon Petrychyn, Rani Johnston

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF * Mike Davies BUSINESS MGR * Natasha Slack INDUSTRY REP * Mike Youds FACULTY REP * Charles Hays STUDENT REP* Sadie Cox

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Literary and visual submissions are welcomed. All submissions are subject to editing for brevity, taste and legality. The Omega will attempt to publish each letter received, barring time and space constraints. The editor will take care not to change the intention or tone of submissions, but will not publish material deemed to exhibit sexism, racism or homophobia. Letters for publication must include the writer’s name (for publication) and contact details (not for publication). The Omega reserves the right not to publish any letter or submitted material. Opinions expressed in the Letters & Opinion section do not represent those of The Omega, the Cariboo Student Newspaper Society, its Board of Directors or its staff. Opinions belong only to those who have signed them.

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All material in this publication is copyright The Omega and may not be reproduced without the expressed consent of the publisher. All unsolicited submissions become copyright Omega 2012.

Cariboo Student Newspaper Society (Publisher of The Omega) TRU Campus House #4 Box 3010, Kamloops, B.C. V2C 5N3 Phone: 250-372-1272 E-mail: editorofomega@gmail.com Ad Enquiries: managerofomega@gmail.com

(Correspondence not intended for publication should be labelled as such.)

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Editor’s Note Mike Davies Ω Editor-in-Chief “The RCMP says it regrets a decision that eventually led a judge to stay charges against a father for allegedly sexually and physically abusing his daughter and wife,” said the opening of a CBC.ca article I read last week. You regret that, do you? Oh. OK then. Thanks for regretting that. In a case described by B.C.’s children and youth representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond as “one of the most horrific instances of child abuse she had ever encountered,” according to the CBC article, the RCMP and the Crown fought over who should pay the costs for translation of the victims’ statements for so long that the case was thrown out.

So let me get this straight — we have the money to pay members of parliament (MPs) well over a living wage long after they’ve left the public sector (as long as they were there for a few years) but we don’t have the money to translate the statements of citizens who claim to have been repeatedly raped and beaten? Is this for real? Yes. According to a report published by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) in January, 2012, MP Pierre-Luc Dusseault, who was elected in the last election at the age of 19, will be eligible to collect an annual pension of $40,000 if he is re-elected once and retires at the age of 27. I can’t find the exact numbers on how much of that payout he will have contributed to that pension during that hypothetical eight years in office — but I somehow doubt that it will be in the millions-of-dollars range, which is the range of what he’ll be eligible to receive in benefits. Whether he is re-elected or not, he will be eligible to collect his $78,000 severance cheque when he leaves office, as a “thanks for your time,” from the Canadian taxpayer, I guess. There are a whole lot of calculations and graphs and footnotes and averages contained in the study, but basically it confirmed

that for every dollar an MP (or senator) contributes to his or her own pension, the Canadian taxpayer contributes $23.30. I think if these (and many other) public officials — who are already well-overcompensated during their time “serving” the public — can’t save a few bucks here and there on their own while they “work,” it shouldn’t be up to us to keep paying them after they’re out of office. Don’t we already pay their salary while they’re in office? According to the aforementioned CBC article (remember? The one about the wife and young child who were allegedly beaten and raped repeatedly by the patriarch of the family?), “RCMP superintendent Paul Richards says a now-retired commander decided against spending $40,000 to translate the statements because of the cost.” Thank you for deciding that, public sector employee. I can’t help but wonder what a commander in the RCMP receives in pension cheques. So apparently we’ve decided that public-sector employees can decide where our tax money will go, and they have chosen their own pockets over justice for families decimated by abuse. Good work, us.

the groceries yourself, just to purchase them on behalf of the senior. Another simple way to make a connection is through the “Friendly Visitor” or “Good Morning” program. As a friendly visitor, you are connected with a senior whose home you visit on a regular basis at a time that works for both of you.

The Snow Angel program matches you with a senior living in your neighbourhood that may have difficulty shoveling their driveway in the winter. Accounting students might like to practice their tax return skills by volunteering at a Tax Preparation Clinic for seniors during the spring. The Seniors Outreach Society is currently in the process of trying to develop more inter-generational projects. They want to hear what types of programs you and your friends would be willing to volunteer for. Earlier this year, the SIFE Thompson Rivers team on campus created computer workshops for local seniors to learn about programs like Facebook and Skype. If you have any ideas or would like to volunteer, you can reach the Kamloops Seniors Outreach Society at 250-828-0600. To build a strong community, we must help seniors keep their independence and stay actively engaged in Kamloops. Try to devote some of your free time to building a relationship with a senior who could use a friendly face in their life.

editorofomega@gmail.com

Closing (or at least helping bridge) the generation gap Senior citizens may comprise an age demographic in Kamloops that most of us do not interact with regularly. There is often a distinct gap between youth and seniors that can be difficult to bridge. Yet with many seniors in Kamloops facing a life of poverty or living in isolation, friendship from someone our age can mean a lot. Suzan Goguen, executive director of Kamloops Seniors Outreach Society, works with seniors facing situations of elder abuse, living in poverty or isolation and seniors who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless. “A senior can become homeless simply by having a stroke, forgetting to pay their rent and becoming evicted,” says Goguen. These situations are not unusual and it can be surprising just how many people within this age group are struggling to afford the basic necessities. Despite this, the Seniors Outreach Society offers several volunteer programs that youth are welcome to become involved in. The “Shopping Program” gives seniors the chance to have their weekly grocery shopping completed by a volunteer. You can join the group on Thursdays at Safeway and shop with a senior or for someone who is unable to leave their home. You are not expected to pay for

Know Your Community Amy Berard

Your visits can include conversation, card games, crafts, and reading or walking. In the “Good Morning” program, you make a phone call to a senior each morning as a daily check-in to say hello. There are other seasonal programs you can become involved with too.

Amy Berard is a TRU business student and the campus liaison for United Way. To get connected with the community, email her at youth@unitedwaytnc.ca.

’Cause a nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore Sofia Gay

The Concordian (Concordia) MONTREAL (CUP) — Debt. It’s that spidery little tingle-inducing word — and not the good kind — that comes just before a shudder suppresses that thought. Yet with so many of us facing it due to blindingly high-rising tuition, it’s a nearly inescapable part of student life. And sometimes, yes, it does lead to the move back in with folks. Which is not the end of the world, in a certain aspect. But with moving out being one of the hallmarks of independence and freedom, having to live with mom and pop and maybe even — shudder — sharing a room with a sibling? No thanks. It’s a situation in which more and more people are finding themselves, and they’ve even been ascribed a catchy name: Boomerang Generation. That’s where Rob Carrick’s How Not to Move Back in With Your Parents comes in. This handy book provides a wealth (mind the pun) of information on everything you never thought you’d be interested in learning — RESPs, credit loans, budgeting and insurance. Carrick brings over 20 years of experience, having penned previous tomes on finance and writing a column in The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business section. But more importantly, he provides frank advice and instruction on subjects that the average student may understand as much as, say, alchemy. “You’ll find no lectures here, just clear and unbiased guidance,” he writes. Thank God. He moves from subject to subject with ease, with chapters touching on determining whether you can afford university, how to repay a student loan and a section dedicated to weddings and starting a family. Also included are case studies from real students to illustrate some of the chapters, as proof that even that pesky $28,000 loan can be paid back without booking a room under a bridge. Carrick’s tone is authoritative and reasonable throughout the book, infusing a sense of calm into even the direst of situations. Yes, he says, it’s possible that you will fuck up, but there are ways to fix things and even prevent awful situations. His simple language is a godsend, as he writes the way many professors tell you to write your essays — as if your audience doesn’t know anything about the subject (and let’s face it, a lot of people don’t). In the end, Carrick acknowledges both sides of the argument concerning the struggle of recent graduates. While he says the grads fuel the problem because “they aren’t helping themselves as much as they could be” (i.e. they worry too much about being able to afford things they want now without thinking about the future), he rightly argues that older generations who grumble about young people expecting everything to be handed to them don’t take into account the many obstacles in the way: a job market that’s thinner than Kate Moss’ waist, the crippling cost of post-secondary education, rising house prices and a plethora of other factors. Whether you’re graduating this spring, putting the finishing touches on your first post-secondary year, or if you’ve ever broken into a cold sweat reading your credit card statement, Carrick’s book will put things into perspective. You may have to move back in with your parents at some point — but hey, that’s okay.


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April 4, 2012

News Students largely left out of federal budget

Despite focus on research and innovation, no new student aid initiatives announced in budget 2012 Emma Godmere CUP National Bureau Chief OTTAWA (CUP) — Higher education in the context of research and innovation stole much of the spotlight in the federal government’s latest budget, but students and youth seeking greater financial aid were otherwise left in the dark. “The plan’s measures focus on the drivers of growth: innovation, business investment, people’s education and skills that will fuel the new wave of job creation,” Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told reporters in advance of the budget’s unveiling in the House of Commons on March 29. But apart from a heavy focus on industry-related research and additional funding for one particular youth employment program, Canadian post-secondary students were largely missing from the Conservatives’ 2012 budget. “There’s no relief in this budget for students,” said Roxanne Dubois, national chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS). “We’re facing the highest tuition fees, the highest student debt — and it’s basically gone unnoticed by this budget.” Research and innovation

NDP post-secondary education critic Rathika Sitsabaiesan, meanwhile, raised concerns over the fact that the majority of the research funding outlined in the budget was tied to specific industries. “It’s all about controlling the research that’s being done in this country, which doesn’t sound right,” she said. Some money was earmarked for Canada’s three research granting councils, however: reflecting similar numbers mentioned in the 2011 budget, federal funding to the tune of an additional $37 million annually is set to begin in 2012–13. Despite this, the document noted that “granting councils will be pursuing operational efficiencies and reallocation of funding from lowerpriority programs to generate savings,” and that the government would “fully reinvest 2012–13 savings in priority areas of the granting councils, particularly in industry-academic partnerships.” The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) will see $15 million per year for patient-oriented research; another $15 million per year will be directed to Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) for partnerships and innovation; and $7 million per year will be funneled into industry-academic partnership initiatives at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). “The funding to the granting councils is targeted and it’s exclusive,” said Sitsabaiesan. “It really doesn’t give the granting councils the autonomy they need to be able to do the research that needs to be done ... Instead, they’re forcing the granting councils to fund research initiatives within the private sector and of course also they’re fund-

reported that a total of 515 projects were completed under the program, and while five have yet to be completed, no further federal funding will be provided for those unfinished projects. Katimavik funding eliminated There were youth-related cuts in the document, too. Living up to rumours that swirled in the media in the days leading up to the budget, the government cut funding to Katimavik, a popular youth program that supported young Canadians traveling the country to participate in volunteer projects. The government announced its intentions to continue to invest in “affordable, effective programming” and that Canadian Heritage would pledge over $105 million in youth initiatives, though few details were provided. Liberal youth critic Justin Trudeau, a longtime supporter and former board chair of the program, had been speaking out against the rumoured cuts days in advance of the budget presentation. “The needs for students are enormous and when they’re turning around and cutting $30 million over two years by eliminating the Katimavik program, you can see that there’s not a lot of money in there for young people,” said the Montreal MP, when asked about the lack of support for youth in the budget. “We have to make sure we’re investing in our young people and their capacity to become those productive, contributing citizens we need them to be. And this government is not, once again, living up to its obligations to the future of Canada and to our young people,” Trudeau continued.

The Conservatives instead placed a clear emphasis on innovation and research funding, namely in the form of partnerships between businesses and universities. Among their plans, they intend to dedicate $14 million over two years to double the Industrial Research and Development Internship Program, which currently supports 1,000 graduate students in conducting research at Employment issues private-sector firms. The Conservatives In the area of job also plan to send $6.5 creation specifimillion over three years cally for youth, the to McMaster UniverConservatives only sity for a health care reannounced they search project, and will would add another dedicate $500 million $50 million over two over five years to supyears to the existing port modernization of Youth Employment research infrastructure Strategy, which, acon campuses through cording to the govthe Canada Foundation —Elizabeth May ernment, connected for Innovation, starting nearly 70,000 youth in 2014–15. Paul Davidson, president and CEO ing only research that’s being tied with with work experience and skills training last year. of the Association of Universities and private sector corporations.” “It’s nice to see that that came in afThe Toronto MP also pointed out Colleges of Canada, called the investments “smart and strategic” and was that the portion of the budget that dealt ter we saw that they were closing emgenerally supportive of the research with post-secondary education often ployment centres,” said Zach Dayler, funding proposals outlined by the Con- reaffirmed plans and funding that had national director for the Canadian Albeen in play since 2006. For example, liance of Student Associations (CASA). servatives. “The Youth Employment Program “When you look at what the gov- the 2012 budget marks the end of the ernment has been considering over stimulus phase of the government’s will hopefully provide valuable work the last several months, where every economic action plan and thus the experience for students but also prodepartment was asked to present [cuts] end of the Knowledge Infrastructure vide skills development for youth who ... I think Canadian universities can be Program, which provided nearly $2 are at risk, which I think is a huge, huge quite proud and quite pleased that the billion over two years for construction thing,” he continued, adding that degovernment recognizes the central role projects at university and college cam- spite its small price tag in the context of puses across the country. Budget 2012 the budget, “it’s a start.” universities play,” he said.

“Anybody younger than

50...gets kicked in the teeth in this budget.”

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Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Parliament Hill shortly before the presentation of the federal budget, March 29. —PHOTO BY ALEX SMYTH

Both CASA and CFS reps expressed their disappointment over the lack of proposed financial aid for students, though Dayler noted that they weren’t “expecting to see any major investments” in this area for students. While the government re-affirmed their plan to forgive student loans of up to $40,000 for new doctors and $20,000 for new nurses and nurse practitioners who plan to work in rural and aboriginal communities, starting in 2012–13, this plan had already been announced in last year’s budget. Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May also said she was “very disappointed” that no greater moves were made to relieve youth unemployment and student debt in the budget, and added that she will be speaking to students on various campuses in the coming days to discuss many of these issues. “The priority is to engage people so that we can put up the kind of crosscountry response. We need to mobilize,” she said. “There’s a very bad message that sometimes goes out, that there’s nothing we can do because Stephen Harper has a majority until 2015.” Nevertheless, thanks to their majority government status, it’s expected that the Conservatives will pass their budget plan with ease. Among further plans outlined in the document: they will reduce government employment by 4.8 per cent, or 19,200 jobs, though details surrounding which departments or programs will be affected — such as the federal public service student employment program — have yet to be shared.

The Conservatives also laid out additional departmental cuts to Human Resources and Social Development (HRSDC), noting that some changes will “transform the administration of grants and contributions to enhance online delivery and reduce red tape and the paper burden for applicants and recipients.” Cuts to HRSDC in the 2012 budget start at $6.3 million in 2012–13 and jump to $183.2 million by 2014–15. No details were given as to the potential effect these cuts could have on the Canada Student Loans Program. Additionally, the government announced its plans to eliminate the penny. Pennies will no longer be produced and distributed to financial institutions starting in fall 2012, though the coins will still be allowed to be used in cash transactions. Cuts to the CBC were also laid out in the document, starting with $27.8 million in savings in 2012–13 and rising to $115 million in 2014–15. Similar to the 2011 budget, the Conservatives are aiming to lower the deficit to 1.3 billion by 2014–15 and achieve a 3.4 billion surplus by 2015–16. Dubois warned that the government was trying to “balance the budget on the backs of students and older citizens,” while May felt there was another clear message for young people among the financial proposals. “You’re the victims in this,” the Green Party leader told Canadian University Press. “Anybody younger than 50 is the part of the population that gets kicked in the teeth in this budget.”


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The Omega · Volume 21, Issue 26

News Controversial art creates cultural conversation Local artist has work torn down, “held hostage” and returned damaged, reinforcing the idea of the work itself Taylor Rocca

space as an artist, to have someone censor what I can do.” Ω Roving Editor According to Seguin, it was more miscommunication than Sooraya Graham is a normal censorship that resulted in Grastudent just like anyone else at ham’s work being removed from Thompson Rivers University the wall. (TRU). “In no way did TRU at any She goes to class and does her point want to censor an artistic assignments, just like any other piece of work,” Seguin said. “We student. honestly thought it was a poster She never realized that with being tagged up on a board that her most recent assignment she we had to investigate.” would start such a controversial The only question involved cultural discussion that would with that assertion is that Graultimately end in her art being ham’s artwork is much larger damaged and improperly rethan the size of a standard U.S. moved from a class display. letter-sized poster and was hung Coming from Northern B.C., as a part of a class display of viGraham is a Canadian Muslim sual arts assignments. and a fourth-year fine arts stuThe question remains as to dent. how it could be mistaken for a Like many other artists, all poster to begin with. she wanted to do was foster disThe TRU World staff memcussion using her artwork. ber responsible for removing With the events that have the artwork was unavailable for transpired since she first discomment. played her work, Graham has Graham wears the niqab as a people talking not only at TRU, personal choice. but also throughout Kamloops. She believes that some people “People think I am so foreign, in Canada have the misconcepso different and they can’t relate tion that women who wear the to me somehow,” Graham said. niqab are somehow oppressed “But at the same time, I’m just or forced into doing so. That is like an every-other-day Canaa part of what motivates her art. dian girl. I do the same things, I “In a lot of Western media, wear the same things just underyou often see the veiled woman neath [the veil].” as oppressed, or as a fundamenGraham’s art depicts a Muslim talist, or this pacifistic woman,” woman holding a bra. Graham said. The woman in the “And that’s not piece is wearing a the case. I think niqab, the traditionit’s something al veil or cloth that that needs to be many Muslim wombroken as a steen adorn to cover reotype.” their face. The wearing of “With my artthe niqab started work, I was trying to as a Bedouin tracreate a discussion dition, originally point,” Graham said, being more of an “for Muslim women, upper class, Midfor veiled women dle Eastern tradiand to kind of show tion as opposed light of how we are to just an Islamic just normal women. tradition. “I wanted to have In general, it is an image that dis —Sooraya Graham not enforced that played something women of Islam that every woman They were holding it hostage, I must wear the niqab. could relate to.” It is merely a choice, part of Graham completed the class guess you could say.” In an ironic twist, this devel- what Graham wanted to shed assignment and with the help of professor Ernie Kroeger, she opment was right in line with light on. “I am a huge activist for naqadisplayed her work alongside the motivation that Graham had other classmates’ assignments when she was initially inspired bi rights. “I think it should be a choice within the fine arts department to create the piece. “With art, there is always go- for any individual,” Graham on TRU campus. Shortly after the work was put ing to be a little controversy,” said. “I don’t think women should be forced to wear the on display, it came to Graham’s Graham said. “You can dislike it, you can ar- veil, but I don’t think women attention that the piece had been removed from the wall upon gue about it but to physically get should be forced not to wear the in contact with an art piece and veil either. which it was hung. “I’m just saddened that indi“We’re always told that our rip it down and destroy it, that is voice is important and that we such an invasion of my personal viduals decided that they did not can say something with our art,” Graham said. “It is shocking when someone tries to silence that.” After contacting the chair of the fine arts department, Lloyd Bennett, Graham was informed that a business card had been left behind in place of the art. The card belonged to a staff member at TRU World, and she was shocked at that revelation. “I did not expect to hear that,” Graham said. “I thought maybe [it was] someone who would not understand [the artwork] versus someone who is expected to show a different type of behaviour.” According to TRU administration, the artwork was not taken down in an official capacity. “There was an individual that was offended and she took the artwork down,” said Christopher Seguin, vice president advancement for TRU. “That TRU World staff member was acting on an individual basis.” The artwork was eventually returned to Graham, though not unconditionally. “The person [who removed the art] had gotten in contact with Lloyd and they had my image,” Graham said. “They weren’t willing to give it to me if I was going to put it back on the wall.

“I don’t think women

should be forced to wear the veil, but I don’t think women should be forced not to wear the veil either.”

TRU Artist Sooraya Graham poses with the work that was returned to her damaged after being removed from the fine arts wing by an offended viewer.

like this discussion and that they did not want to participate in this discussion,” Graham said. “They wanted to take it right off the table, or the wall.” Graham uses her art to try to give a voice to the Muslim woman. Despite Canada being such a multicultural and welcoming country, this event is just one example of how unrest and controversy can still exist within such an accepting place. Canadians often pride themselves on being such vibrant, welcoming people who don’t discriminate against or judge individuals or groups that might be different from them. For the most part, there is a lot of truth to that. Unfortunately, discrimination still exists within our country and the extent to which this inci-

—PHOTO BY TAYLOR ROCCA dent rose to is what alarms Graham the most. “That’s what I love Canada for. I will fight for your right to argue with me on everything. I will fight for you [to be free] to not like something,” Graham said. “That’s part of being Canadian; it’s to create a discussion point. If we stopped talking about things just because we don’t like it or it makes us feel uncomfortable, we would get nowhere. “This is such a multicultural country and I had pride seeing that veiled woman up on the wall because it did create discussion in my classes and I was able to explain more about the veil and the history of the veil.” As of Apr. 2, Graham’s artwork has been put back on display in the TRU Art Gallery.


6

April 4, 2012

News In case you missed it, Kergin’s got you covered: Things you probably didn’t see happening around you last week Brendan Kergin Ω News Editor

Global • Aung San Suu Kyi The country known by some as Burma and others as Myanmar is looking at a brighter future, at least as far as democracy and its citizens are considered. Opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi looks to have won a seat in the lower house of parliament in her country. The pro-democracy leader had spent decades under house arrest while a military junta ruled the country, crushing dissent. Her fight was watched by many outside the country, hence her Nobel; her fight gained extra attention after U2 dedicated the song Walk On to her. Suu Kyi’s seat will place her in a powerful position as opposition leader in the poor nation, better able to challenge the party in power, which is primarily composed of militaryfriendly politicians. Read more on bbc.co.uk/news • Sitting is unhealthy A recent study suggests sitting for most of your life could shorten that life.

The Australian study looked at 200,000 people over 45 found those who sat longer than 11 hours per day were more likely to pass on than those who sat for less than 4 hours. They also took into account the health of those studied and found that the result held. The study’s lead author suggests interrupting long periods of sitting could help. That could be done as simply as putting regularly items out of reach or just not being a couch potato. Read more at ottawacitizen. com

National • Penny gone Actually, it’s pretty likely you heard this, but if you haven’t, here it is: they killed the frickin’ penny, dude. The federal budget released last week made one announcement that hurts little kids’ piggy banks everywhere. The penny will be discontinued, currently schedule to go out in 2013. While people feel an attachment to the little copper-coloured coin, it makes little fiscal sense to make the little fiscal cents. Use all your puns now. Read more at cbc.ca

Please allow me to introduce myself: a letter from the new chaplain on campus I have been hearing a buzz on campus. Differing perspectives are being aired. Some are supportive of a campus chaplaincy, others are not. As a new chaplain at TRU, I welcome this conversation. It offers a wonderful opportunity for me to introduce myself as an interested and implicated participant. In May of 2010 my partner and I travelled to Europe. As part of our experience we went to the Dutch village where I was born. While there I visited the church in which I had been baptized as an infant. Touching the font gave me a profound sense of having come full circle. I have lived through a great range of experience and learned many things about myself and the world in which I live. My life’s experience includes countless stories of encounters along the way. I meet people easily and make friends quickly. In each person I meet I look for signs of faith adequate to the multiplied challenges of modern life. Where such faith seems to be absent I do what I am able to stir it up. Where faith is weak I offer encouragement and where it is strong I am encouraged. Speaking of faith I refer to the active presence of freedom, responsibility, creativity and courage by which persons are made able to realize the full potential of a unique

identity and destiny. My choice of these four characteristics derives from many years of study in the texts and traditions of the earth’s diverse peoples. In my pocket I almost always have a clown nose. With it I have brought smiles to the faces of the very young, the very old and persons of all ages between. The red nose signifies for me the gift at work in Rudolph. That poor young reindeer suffered the pains of being different. In the critical moment that difference turned out to be the most necessary thing. My sensitivity to difference is rooted in my experience as an immigrant, my childhood years on social assistance in the inner city and a decade of itinerancy in and between the cities of Western Canada. My passionate advocacy for full inclusion of those who are different is informed by deep and committed reading and study in the disciplines of social justice and the gospel by which they are shaped. You will discover that I am a gentle and compassionate person with spiritual gifts appropriate to the task of encouragement and enablement for the realization of your vocational aspiration. Hoping to meet you along the way. Rev. George

• Ontario budget It looks like the Ontario provincial gover nment, led by their Liberal par ty, has lear ned a little from its Quebec counter par t. They released their budget last week and, while making some cuts to student aid and assistance, didn’t hit the tuition grants. However, what student aid is being cut is a pretty decent chunk — with bursaries for inter national students being hit hard. Both major opposition par ties spoke of their disappointment in the budget. Read more at cupwire.ca

Provincial • Van Dongen Recent f loor-crosser John van Dongen is catching some heat from his for mer compatriots. The now-Conser vative Par ty MLA (for merly Liberal) doesn’t seem to have a friend in Liberal house leader Rich Coleman. Coleman was on a radio show Sunday suggesting that van Dongen was a common leak for provincial political bloggers. Whether that’s tr ue or not remains to be seen, as evidence

is yet to come for th, but either way it’s an interesting reaction from a leader in the political par ty leading the province. Read more at vancouversun. com • Cyclist insurance A recent stor y out of Vancouver has highlighted the importance of knowing your insurance. It tur ns out that if a cyclist is in an accident with a motor vehicle, they are responsible for proving who was at fault. If they are at fault, then they’ll have to pay the ICBC claims. Running into a Mercedes could cost $5000. Stand-alone insurance for cyclists is rare in BC, if it exists at all, but it can be found in home owner or tenant insurance. For students planning to ride this summer it may be an idea to inquire fur ther about coverage. Read more openf ile.ca

at

vancouver.

Local • CRTC and CBC The Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Com-

mission (CRTC) approved the CBC’s application for a station and transmitter in Kamloops. The CBC says it will be producing 12 and-a-half hours of local material each week. That includes road conditions and weather. The rest of the time will be f illed by CBC Radio 1 material. Despite cutbacks from the federal budget to the CBC, the station is expected to move forward with hiring and location. Read more on broadcaster magazine.com • TRU president’s report Our own Dr. Alan Shaver released his March repor t Mar. 26. In it he highlights the achievements of various faculty members and the Students in Free Enter prise recent success’ in regional competitions. He also touches on a variety of events that have happened or will happen involving TRU such as the Africa Gala held by the Pan-Africa Club in March or the upcoming TRU Sur vivors 6.0. Read more at tr u.ca/president

Undergrad conference highlights research and innovation Posters, lectures and communication of ideas brings over 100 to campus on a Saturday administrators who came out to suppor t the students by acting Ω Editor-in-Chief as moderators, evaluators, and commentators,” as well as the over two dozen student volunThe seventh annual TRU Unteers who were co-ordinated by dergraduate Research and InFiona Brown and Brittany Nelnovation Conference took place son. Mar. 30 and 31 at various loca“The conference was def initetions across campus. ly a success, and as Will GarTopics covered the spectr um rett-Petts (TRU of almost ever yassociate dean of thing that could be ar ts) said in his studied at TRU. closing remarks From the sexuSaturday evening, alization of the the quality of stufemale body to dent work at this Canadian war ar tannual event just ists to the Nor thseems to keep geter n Secwempec —Elizabeth Rennie ting better,” said Treaty to wetland Rennie after all conser vation, any was said and done. academic was sure Retur ning students should It was no accident that the to f ind a topic of some interest. There were even a broad range sessions were ver y diverse. Ac- look for their oppor tunity to of approaches to subjects within cording to Rennie, much time get involved in the event when the organized and categorized and effor t was put into the or- it surely rolls again next year, ganization of each session to in- as it is a great oppor tunity to sessions themselves. There was a session of pre- clude presentations from a vari- showcase your hard work during your time spent in academia, sentations titled Forest Explo- ety of disciplines. “Par ticularly impressive,” ac- and get together with students rations, for example, which according to Elizabeth Ren- cording to organizer and TRU from other disciplines who you nie, instr uction and outreach English professor Ginny Ratsoy, have more in common with you librarian at TRU as well as one “were the number of faculty and than you may think.

Mike Davies

of the conference organizers, “saw a histor y student speak about David Thomspon’s expeditions, a group of Business students present on Canfor Forest Products, and an interdisciplinar y studies student discuss the small city quality of place repor ting system as it applies to Prince George.”

“The conference was definitely a success.”


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The Omega · Volume 21, Issue 26

Arts & Entertainment Year-end art show coming up

Eighteen graduates display their hard work beginning Apr. 20 in Old Main

Cory Hope

Ω Arts and Entertainment Editor I’ve been harping on you for a while to go to the art galleries and various other events, and we’re getting close to my last opportunity to get you out to see something new and interesting. With that in mind, read the next words with care and attention: The visual arts graduating class is having their year-end show, titled Every Part is Crucial on Apr. 20 in Old Main. Now, read the next words carefully as well, and obey them: Make sure you go to see it. This year’s graduating class consists of eighteen students, each with their own style and practice, and they have spent the entire year building a body of work that has been geared towards this show. The show will be set up using several rooms of the art wing of Old Main. The Art Gallery, the fourthyear studios, multiple other studios and even one of the darkrooms are being used to properly display the works being presented, and there will be food and (non-boozy) drinks served as well. And just what might you see at the show? The visual arts students choose their own disciplines and mediums based on their own interests and skills, so a wide variety of work will be displayed: paintings, sculpture, photography, woodwork, printmaking and installation. In catalogue-ical order (the order they are listed in the catalogue) Yidong Xiao attempts to piece together fragmented childhood mem-

ories through a 3D animation. Felicia Lin “relates [her] own journey from childhood to adulthood through the metaphor of metamorphosis for a butterfly,” through the creation of costumes. Emily Hope “blends the roles of artist/historian/archivist in the creation of a personal museum celebrating the Wild Man.” Krista Vorley has been using unusual printmaking and photographic developing techniques to explore the idea of the night, “capturing the stillness and absence within it.” Candice Blakely explores the backcountry through photography, using acrylic medium transfers on Plexiglass. George Tseng “has constructed [his] own shelter to represent the memories of [his] home.” Through the creation of dioramas, Brenna Stonehocker “[uses] both natural and man-made materials... to parallel our society’s construction of ‘nature’ as we view it today.” Renata Knights “[aims]... to alter original identities, or in some cases create new narratives for selected handcrafts and objects.” Liz Huntington uses lace to critically examine her “grandmother’s ideals of feminine livelihood; be trim, be proper, be silent, be discreet.” Allen Okoye uses his identity “as the foundation and research for [his] art making and art practice.” Jo Wyers uses her backyard as her muse, and “maintain[s] a sense of humility in its presence.” Caitlin Sturgess tries “to capture, then emphasize, the repetition of shapes and colours that [she] see[s]

in nature while reducing the landscape down to its most basic formal elements.” Kathleen Chartrand’s work, “based on first and second hand knowledge of specific walking locations, [intends] to express the emotion and memory of these walks, combining the real and the imagined.” Kerri-Ann Lowe seeks, through photography, “to find a parallel between women in today’s society and women in ancient societies.” Through painting, printmaking and sculpture, David Jacob Harder “raises the dilemmas implicit to the practices of extraction, transport and fabrication of excavated resources.” Jasprit Bhander portrays her Kamloops family “through abstract portraiture with a sense of the carnivalesque.” Alison Barrett explores the devastation of the logging industry around Seymour Arm through unique methods of quilting and printmaking. Kajal Bains’ body of work includes three series of photographs which “represent a new beginning... welcoming [her] fiance, apologizing to [her] father, hoping he wears a turban to [her] wedding and thanking [her] mother for her sacrifices and guidance.” Admission is free, so is the food and there will be live music as well. If you could ask for more at the end of the school year when you’re broke as hell, I can’t imagine what that might be, so get out and support the graduating visual arts students and say thanks for all that cool stuff you see in the hallways as you’re walking by.

Ye Olde Canadian Music Corner Taylor Rocca

Christian Hansen & the Autistics are catching people’s attention all across Canada. First off, the name doesn’t exactly fly under most radar. What people don’t know is that the name of the group comes from lead singer Christian Hansen’s experience working with people who have disabilities. Hansen named the group out of respect for the creativity that he saw in the individuals he worked alongside. Considering themselves a collision of disco and punk, Christian Hansen & the Autistics hail from Edmonton, Alta. The band features Christian Hansen on lead vocals and guitar with Molly Flood on keyboard and backing vocals. Doug Hoyer plays bass and Doug Organ takes care of the drum kit during live

performances. The band’s only full-length album to date, Power Leopard, was released in Mar. 2009. It features the singles Cocaine Trade and Pump It. Cocaine Trade was the fourth-most requested song of 2009 on Edmonton’s SONiC 102.9 FM and was named Song of the Year by the Edmonton Journal. Swans is the band’s most recent release. An EP, it was unleashed to fans on Jun. 4, 2010. It features the catchy tune Jessica, a song about teenage heartbreak and Don’t Leave Her Out, a synthy slow jam. Fans of the group can expect a new full-length album sometime in 2012. In 2009, Hansen won the award for Support Worker of the Year from the Autism Society of Edmonton.

Brendan Kergin

While most indie rock musicians these days opt for a small sound led by guitars, the winner of the 2006 Polaris Prize has made a name for himself with sweeping string arrangements which create an incredibly unique signature. Owen Pallett, formerly a.k.a. Final Fantasy, is a solo artist based out of Toronto. He’s been making his classically-based music for about a decade now after graduating from the University of Toronto with an honours bachelor of music composition. Since then, aside from his more pop music based projects he’s also written classical pieces for the Vancouver Symphony and other classical music organizations. On top of those two directions,

he also helps other bands with their string arrangements. If you’ve heard other Canadian indie bands like Fucked Up! or Beirut using strings there’s a chance you’ve already been introduced to Pallett’s style of music. 2006’s He Poos Clouds, which has some songs covering Dungeons and Dragons, was the piece he was honoured with a Polaris for. While it is excellent, it may not be the easiest access point. For a particular track to get into this mix of string quartets and indie music Lewis Takes Action is a suggestion. For those with more curiousity, try He Poos Clouds off the album He Poos Clouds. It’s not as infantile as one might imagine.

Ω Roving Editor

Ω News Editor

Be sure to check out Every Part is Crucial, the fine arts department graduating class exhibition which opens Apr. 20 in the fine arts wing of Old Main (just off Student Street by Tim Hortons).

—IMAGE COURTESY VFA GRAD CLASS

The Omega

Is now accepting applications for editorial positions for the 2012/2013 academic year. Various positions are available for those of varying interests! We’re not going to tell you what they are — but they’re exciting, and you want to be a part of them. Submit cover letter, resume and any writing samples you may have for our perusal to: Mike Davies, Editor-in-Chief

editorofomega@gmail.com We’re at least as busy as you are, so keep that in mind while you’re waiting anxiously by the phone — actually, just don’t do that. Interviews will commence mid-to-late April.


8

April 4, 2012

Best of 2011/12

Photo Gallery

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Celebrating some of the best photographic contributions of the academic year this week in the best of 2011/12. THIS WEEK: VOLUME 1 - 2011 PHOTO CREDITS:

LEFT: BRIAN WALLIN TOP LEFT: BRENDAN KERGIN ABOVE: CORY HOPE BELOW: MARVIN BEATY


9

The Omega · Volume 21, Issue 26

Photo Gallery

PHOTO CREDITS: ABOVE: CORY HOPE RIGHT: MARVIN BEATTY BELOW RIGHT: JULIA MARKS BELOW LEFT: TAYLOR ROCCA LEFT: MIKE DAVIES THANKS TO ALL OUR CONTRIBUTORS THIS YEAR, AND KEEP ‘EM COMING... WE’VE GOT THREE MORE ISSUES! WATCH FOR VOLUME 2 2012 COMING SOON.


10

April 4, 2012

Arts & Entertainment

Omega staff finds B.C. students launch anonymous photo dating site a new hobby Peeked Interest allows users to post candid photos in the hopes that they might see, respond and eventually meet in person

Sebastian Yoh Chern The Ubyssey (UBC)

VANCOUVER (CUP) — Darryl McIvor, a recent global business graduate from the University of Victoria, will be the first to admit that breaking the ice with an attractive stranger isn’t easy. Finding that his friends and many other forlorn bachelors and bachelorettes had the same problem, McIvor created a website to smooth out the problem. Working with Frans Kouwenhoven, a University of British Columbia software engineering student, McIvor developed the website Peeked Interest, where university students can post candid photos of others in the hopes that they might see, respond and eventually meet in person. “I see and fall in love with five girls a day, but I would never have a shot at just going up to them at eight in the morning on the bus. How responsive are they going to be?” said McIvor. “Why can’t it be sometime a little later when they might be more responsive?” Although the idea of non-consensual photography is off-putting for some, McIvor assured that it’s the only part of the affair that users won’t have control over. “You don’t give out any personal information unless you choose. When someone sees their picture, there are two options, and the buttons are right there. They can ‘Report’ it and we’ll take it down, or curiosity gets the best of them and they click ‘This is Me.’”

If you select the latter, the poster can see your profile picture and then confirm that you are the person they took a photo of. If you get this far, you get to see their profile picture, UBC email address and real name. At that point, you can either never talk to them again and avoid them on campus or contact them and maybe eventually have a complex and meaningful relationship. “Even if you’re confirmed, you’re still in control of your information. You [can] see me, and you [can] say, ‘Fuck this guy. I’m not going to give him my information. I don’t know who you are.’ Basically, you’re in control,” said McIvor. The site has already caught the attention of quite a few UBC students, receiving about 650 hits a day, not to mention a fair amount of amateur photography. “I was a little skeptical about whether people would be willing to take pictures and if they thought this was an intrusive way to meet somebody. But, honestly, from what we’ve found, people are already signing up and posting pictures,” McIvor said. McIvor and Kouwenhoven are doing their best to make sure things stay positive on the site. Peeked Interest doesn’t have a rating system or open commenting and posts are deleted if they’re deemed inappropriate or in any way defamatory. “Our ultimate goal is to have people want to be seen on the site. If you see yourself on it and somebody said something positive about you, it makes you feel good.

If your friends see it, they’re almost a little jealous because they didn’t get hit on and you did,” said McIvor. “One of the biggest things for us is to try to get as much feedback now at an early stage to make people as comfortable as possible.” As of now, Peeked Interest is only available for those with UBC email addresses. However, McIvor said they’ll be opening up at UVic and Simon Fraser University in the near future. “Having that validation of actually going to university makes a big difference. You know it’s a fellow student that’s interested and not, who knows, some guy that just gave a random name and a random email,” McIvor continued. “For the foreseeable future, we’re just going to stick with universities and expand within universities. It’s about creating small communities, which universities are perfect for because everyone’s trying to meet new people. Especially for people coming for their first and second year, where you don’t know that many people, Peeked Interest could be a good outlet.” At the end of the day, Peeked Interest is about meeting new people and giving students a chance to interact with individuals who they might be otherwise too shy, busy or afraid to approach. Who knows? You might just find yourself snapping a picture of that cute guy or girl you’ve been seeing around campus, and if the planets align in the right way — and they aren’t too disturbed — maybe you’ll finally get to talk to them.

Hollywood stock exchange is a game we can play intermittently - because we don’t have time for actual virual interraction

Brendan Kergin Ω News Editor

A new social media game is sweeping the Omega office. It’s not a farm based RPG or something with supreme graphics. We’ve been playing a fake stock exchange. The Hollywood Stock Exchange (www.hsx.com) or HSX for kids in the know is an elaborate game and market research tool, depending on who you are. For the gamer, it gives you two million dollars (no — fake money) and sets you up as a stock broker to…er, of the stars. The economy is film based, and you get to treat celebrities, actors and actresses like the objects they’re already treated like by society. The HSX uses complex math formulas to give each future film a price, and the game/stockbrokers buy, sell, short and cover the films until their release date. When the film is released, the data from the real world inf luences the share price. If a film makes a ton of money at the box office, expect a jump in the share price. For example, the recent success of the Hunger Games has been a boon for those who bought in early on that project. Already the two future films of the trilogy are trading high. In addition to trading film, stars are given prices based on box office returns from films they are in. Pick a star of an indie

film which explodes, make money, then sell before they make a dud. Think the stars of the Twilight franchise are over priced? Short them and make money when their acting career hits the ditch. This complex game of pop culture and math hides the money making scheme of HSX. Players don’t pay for the game. It’s film marketers who fund the exchange. The data the traders create by their buying and selling films and stars gives the marketing departments information on who’s hot and what could be a hit. As those participating are often film buffs and paying attention the film world, their opinion carries some weight, and with the sheer number of participants it creates plenty of raw info on trends. For those of us currently battling for those precious fake digital dollars though it doesn’t matter as much that we’re a somewhat small cog in a marketers’ tool box — mostly because a trader looking to make money isn’t going to trade what they like. As the recent Kamloops Film Festival coverage might suggest, the Omega is a bit of a fan of indie and somewhat less-thanmainstream fare. Therefore, the trading and banter around the office is more of guessing game of what people who go see blockbusters will want and less a debate on whose shirtlessness we’re looking forward to seeing on the silver screen.


11

The Omega · Volume 21, Issue 26

Arts & Entertainment Visiting artist leads head-turning excursion downtown Cory Hope

Ω Arts and Entertainment Editor Do you remember being a famous explorer when you were a kid? The uninhibited adventures you had, stomping around without a care in the world, excited about everything you saw around you? Visiting artist Elinor Whidden led an expedition from the Kamloops Art Gallery out to Riverside Park on Mar. 30, braving a light wind, a little bit of rain and questioning glances from non-participants who were all wondering what this otherwise normal-looking group of people were doing, walking around downtown with walking sticks equipped with rear-view mirrors. Don’t bother re-reading that. You got it right the first time. Elinor’s current work “investigates myths about the western frontier as a way to critique contemporary car culture.” With maps in hand, she led her group of anxious explorers away from the art gallery and off to explore our own town on foot. Clad in a mixture of her own contemporary clothing and scavenged bits from her adventures, Whidden stopped to ask questions about local history, for photo opportunities with absolutely anyone who asked and at

every point of interest to her. A walk that could have been done in fifteen minutes took almost an hour and a half, and that seemed to suit everyone just fine. Whidden describes her art as: “Fabricated from scavenged car parts, my sculptural assemblages reference modes and accessories of transportation used during the opening of the western frontier: canoes, dogsleds, knapsacks, walking sticks and snowshoes. These objects are then portaged, dragged, or carried along early fur trade routes.” She gathers materials for her work in a variety of ways. Arrangements she made with auto service centres allowed her to inherit items like used windshield wiper blades, which she used to create a tent. While driving from Toronto to Banff, she stopped along the highway, picking up scraps of retread tires from the sides of the road, which she called “pelts.” She used the bits of tire to create a pair of snowshoes that are as long as she is tall. Drawing stares from passersby on the sidewalks as well as the streets, Whidden and the rest of the group were all smiles and cheerful words to everyone who asked about the Rearview Walking Sticks. One woman, close to the end of the walk, missed her traffic

Elinor Whidden and a crew of urban adventurers pose for a photo on the pier at Riverside park during their excursion through downtown Kamloops Mar. 30.

light because she was so curious. After the group was done talking to her, she pulled out her phone and began taking pictures. Attending the walk was free and fun, costing only two hours out of a Friday afternoon. I got to go for an interesting walk with an eclectic group of

friendly people who were each willing to shamelessly indulge their childhood explorer persona. While the school year is almost over, I can only encourage you to keep your eyes open in the hallways and newspapers here or wherever you end up next, and

—PHOTO BY CORY HOPE try to make a point of attending at least one of these events in the near future. After all, it might not be something you’d do by yourself, but if everyone else has something like a rearview mirror on a stick, you won’t feel out of place playing along.

Glee: not as queer-friendly as it pretends to be Jonathan Petrychyn The Carillion (U of R)

REGINA (CUP) — I fucking hate Glee. “But Jon,” I hear you say, “You can’t hate Glee. You’re gay. Don’t you just think Kurt and Blaine make the cutest couple and are the best role models for young gay kids?” No, no I do not, fictional straw person. I think Glee, just like Modern Family, just like Degrassi, makes a spectacle out of their gay characters, sanitizing them into easily digestible, safe, harmless and often delightful characters that any straight man or woman can love. “But Jon,” I hear you say again, “Isn’t that a good thing? Don’t you want gays to be accepted?” Yes, you’re right. I do want gays to be accepted. But you aren’t doing queer kids any favours by showing them that they only way they can exist is to exist like everyone else. I hate to break it to you, but everyone else (that means you if you’re straight, probably you if you’re gay and want to get married) has been participating in a system that has, since the Victorian era, been oppressing and marginalizing queer folk. Telling me that I’m allowed into this oppressive group doesn’t make me feel better, because I’m only allowed into the group if I conform to what you, the heterosexual community, deem acceptable as “queer.” What does this have to do with Glee? Let’s look at Kurt and Blaine. Now, I’ll confess I gave up on Glee about three or four episodes into Season 3. The only thing that

kept me going was Kurt’s story arc, which was the most compelling of the entire series. I bawled when Kurt’s dad married Finn’s mom. I was emotionally invested in the show, just like everyone else was. And then I realized: I shouldn’t be invested in the show just like everyone else. I’m not just like everyone else. I’m a queer man. I am different. And Kurt, like me, shouldn’t want what everyone else wants. He’s different. And we need to recognize this difference and not cheer him on when he enters into a relationship that is basically just Rachel and Finn’s, but with two guys. It’s everything our mothers wanted from us, and this is exactly the problem. Kurt’s relationship with Blaine mirrors the relationship of every heterosexual couple in the series. This is perhaps shown no better than in the episode where Kurt loses his virginity at the same time Rachel does. Kurt gets a relationship just like Rachel does, and we all cheer for acceptance. But is this really acceptance, or are we just oppressing Kurt in a more subtle, more harmful way? What we’re telling Kurt, and other queer males (don’t even get me started on the queer girls; Santana is a complex phenomenon in Glee that would warrant a whole other column) is that if you want acceptance, you have to be just like every other heterosexual couple out there. You have to want a monogamous relationship, with a wellpaying job, a couple kids, a dog and a white picket fence.

Sounds awfully conservative, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. Glee may be the most conservative show I’ve seen in the last six months, and I’ve watched the pilot of Work It. Glee isn’t nearly as progressive as we want to think it is, because its idea of “acceptance” is telling Kurt and Blaine and other gay males that you’ll be accepted if you want the same things your straight counterparts wants. Instead, I think it needs to work something like this: we need to recognize the difference that is queerness. Queer folk are not like heterosexual folk. We need to recognize this. Denying us the ability to define ourselves, by telling us that we’re just like you, denies us the opportunity to truly define who we are. Unfortunately, the queer community has bought into this line. We push the “we’re just like everyone else” line so often, when, in fact, we’re not like everyone else at all. We shouldn’t want to be part of the system that has single-handedly oppressed us. How do we do that? How do we get out of that system? The first step would be to speak out against Glee, and stop deifying it as this bastion of acceptance and progressive values. Let’s be queer. Let’s take the opportunity to look at these heterosexual institutions and rework them so they work for everyone, and not just those who fit the mold. You never know; it just might create the post-sexuality world we want.

—IMAGE COURTESY FOX


12

April 4, 2012

Sports Cheerleading team takes big step in Vancouver Nathan Crosby Ω Sports Editor

For the first time ever, the WolfPack cheerleading team represented TRU at a competition. The group went to the 2012 Sea to Sky International Cheerleading and Dance Competition at the Vancouver Convention Centre over the last weekend of March and finished second in the Open Level 4 division. Approximately 100 teams from around Canada and the United States participated in the weekend event and after years of injuries and missed opportunities, the TRU team finally got its chance to compete. Three-year veteran and head coach Shannon Blakely said it was satisfying to see the team finally perform and get the experience of a real competition. “It’s been a goal of the team for the last six years to get to this competition and we haven’t been able to get there due to injuries or we’ve lost too many people; we’ve had a lot of setbacks,” she said. “Personally I’ve been working towards this for three years.” During the dance on the evening of Mar. 31, the music cut out on the Wolf Pack. “It was the worst thing that could have happened,” Blakely said. Yet the team pulled through. She admitted on the Thursday before leaving for Vancouver that the trip was meant to give the team experience and that they were really going to try to learn from the other team’s routines. After the competition, she couldn’t help but express how proud of her team she was. “They did absolutely amazing.” The team is self-funded but the TRU athletic department does fund the team’s gym rent so they have a place to practise.

Nathan Weissbock is one of two male members of the ‘Pack team. His dad was a cop and his family moved around a lot. Growing up, Weissbrock’s preferred sport was football. It wasn’t until 2011 when he got into cheerleading. “It always interested me and I didn’t think I should get into it,” he said. “What can I say, it’s so different.” The team has been practicing four times a week this year, each time starting at 6 a.m. Tourism student and team member Kaityn Lohr said the preparation leading up to the competition is the reason the team was able to make the trip to Vancouver. “Cheerleading is not your average sport, we don’t have any wellknown things we go to,” she said. “By going to this competition we can show off what we can do.” The Wolf Pack cheerleaders took part in every Wolf Pack event this year; whether it was inside the warm comforts of the Tournament Capital Centre for basketball or volleyball, or outside in the freezing rain for the cross-country championships or in the sub-zero climate of Memorial Arena for the hockey team. The team also worked with the Kamloops Blazers and took part in several ceremonies at the Interior Savings Centre including the welcoming of the Grey Cup. They also took part in the Wendy’s Dream Lift Day, Run For the Cure and other community events. Shannon Blakely comes from Armstrong, B.C., and it was her commitment to the team that inspired her younger sister Meaghan to join. And that pleases Blakely, who has been one of the hardest workers in growing cheerleading at TRU and now she’s getting to see it pay off.

The WolfPack cheerleading squad finally got to go to the competition they’ve been training for since inception, and Cory Hope caught up with them one early morning at the Kamloops Gymnastic and Trampoline Centre at the TCC while they got ready for the trip. Despite some technical difficulties with their music, the team took second place in the Open Level 4 division at the Sea to Sky International Cheerleading and Dance Competition in Vancouver at the end of March. —PHOTOS BY CORY HOPE


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The Omega · Volume 21, Issue 26

Sports

Alex the great

TRU baseball veteran excels on the field and in the classroom Nathan Crosby

erything is ready for the game.” Condon grew up in Victoria and did his first year of school at UBC. His parents certainly taught Alex Condon is what every him the value of education; his coach wants his or her player to dad is a retired high school teachbe. er and his mother is a high school The Wolf Pack’s six-foot-four, counsellor. 220-pound third baseman is about But he always had an interest in to graduate with a degree in ecostudying economics and then law. nomics and a sizzling 4.30 GPA. “A lot of our society is based on He is in his third year with [economics and law] and I think TRU’s baseball team and is fresh they work well tooff winning the gether and there’s lots Dr. Roger H. of stuff that you can Barnsley Scholar/ do with them since Athlete Award for they are open discihis school work plines,” he said. and on-field perHis ability to multiformances. task is another valuHe is also the able attribute that his only Wolf Pack coach sees. player to win the —Alex Condon “You’re going to Rud Haar Memofind him in the lirial Scholarship brary, you’re going to from the B.C. find him in the weight Premier Baseball While it may be pre-emptive room or you’re going to find him league. for Condon to decide whether he in the batting cage,” coach ChadBaseball, gym, study. Repeat. “It’s busy, but you find a way to wants to go to the Varsity Blues, wick said. “He’s got more raw ability than the Hoyas, the Quakers, the Bobdo it,” Condon said. He has two walk-up songs when cats or the Blue Devils, he isn’t anybody we’ve had in the nine years I’ve been here. I don’t know rushing his decision. he approaches the plate. “My roommate is a big Duke if we’ve had anybody that has Sometimes it’s “God is Going to Cut You Down” by Johnny fan so he’s pulling for them,” Con- worked as hard at all the different things.” Cash. Sometimes it’s “King of the don said with a laugh. Condon said it’s his teachOn Mar. 28, Condon hit an inRoad” by Roger Miller. I’m a man of means, by no the-park home run at Norbrock ers and coaching staff that have Stadium. He finished the night helped him become the player he means, king of the road. He said he would never miss a hitting four for five and scored is. “We’ve had really good coachbaseball game for school and if so, three runs. He said baseball and school ing, especially Ray and Frank [Inhe will bring his homework. gram] and Scott [Nevison] and Pat “It’s not odd to see him at prac- comes down to one thing. “With [baseball and school], it’s [Brown] and Dave [Arthurs],” he tice in the morning, in between with a book,” Wolf Pack head all about the preparation,” he said. said. “I’ve had really good profs all “In school, you have to prepare coach Ray Chadwick said. Condon, who graduates this for a test. In baseball, it’s about the way through, so it’s easy when June, has some big decisions to honing your swing and honing you got people helping you out make in the next few months. His your skills and making sure ev- like that.” high GPA has him landing acceptance letters to study law from some of the biggest sports schools on the continent. The University of Toronto is a possible candidate. But so is Georgetown University in Washington D.C., the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, NYU in New York City or Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Ω Sports Editor

“It’s busy, but you find a way to do it.”

WolfPack third basemen feels just as at home in the library as on the diamond, which is evident when you see his list of future prospects for law school.

—PHOTO BY MARVIN BEATTY Although Condon wouldn’t say which university he is leaning towards to study law, he expects to have a decision by the end of May on which school he will take his talents to. In the TRU athletic circles, Condon is known for showing up

with the rest of the baseball team to support the other Wolf Pack sports and for bringing his books to study during the breaks in play. “That’s a bit of a myth,” Condon said. Coach Chadwick disagreed. “No it’s not.”

Weekend slugfest for TRU Baseball

Nathan Crosby Ω Sports Editor

The baseball team won three of four over the weekend and it did so by crushing the ball practically into the South Thompson River. TRU improved to 5-3 on the year, and the team is starting to look more comfortable at bat, much to the satisfaction of head coach Ray Chadwick. “There was no panic in the dugout at all. They came back out and swung the bats like they’re capable of doing,” he said. The Wolf Pack won its first game over Okanagan College in a double-header on Mar. 28 in the ninth inning off a pop-fly ball from catcher David Hole that scored two runs to win 2-1, despite a freak wind storm almost causing delays halfway through the game. Starter Denver Wynn surrendered one run over seven innings and comeback kid Tyler Lowey had a single in three at bats. “Bad weather, good weather, that’s the way it goes, you play as hard as you can and cope with it,” catcher David Hole said. In the second game, TRU pitcher Cam Strachan got off to a rough start, surrendering four runs in the first inning, but settled down to keep the Coyotes from scoring again.

The ‘Pack’s offence exploded in the second, with David Hole, Jimmy Semaschuk, Levi Kerns and Rob Morrison all getting on base. Then Kyle Sandulescu stepped up to the plate: First pitch a strike; Second pitch a ball; Third pitch out of the park. According to Chadwick, it was the fourth grand slam that he had witnessed since coming to TRU. Later on in the game, third baseman Alex Condon had an insidethe-park home run. “After the second game I didn’t have a comment for them because that is what I am expecting and hopefully we keep it going.” Chadwick said. The ‘Pack closed out the weekend splitting a two game series with the Prairie Baseball Academy, losing the first game 7-3 on Mar. 30. Travis Nevakshonoff was the losing pitcher. The team bounced back two days later, winning 4-0 on Apr. 1 at Norbrock Stadium. During that game, Jimmy Semaschuk and Rob Morrison smashed two home runs in the same inning in an early Sunday morning game and Denver Wynn got the shut out win. Check tru.ca/athletics for the upcoming baseball schedule.

TRU outfielder and Whitehorse, Yukon native Jimmy Semaschuk has a go at one over the weekend at Norbrock Studium. The WolfPack won three of four during the homestand and improved to 5-3 on the season. —PHOTO BY CORY HOPE


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April 4, 2012

Life & Community

An open letter to TRU students: Community Calendar Stressed about retirement planning? Federal budget makes changes to pensions, causing a shift in the way people plan for their financial future Rani Johnston Ω Contributor

Every day I get closer to thirty, and every day I realize that I am no closer to being financially ready for retirement. Actually, every day I get further away from being a member of the Freedom 67 club. This seems to be a problem with many people around my age. We know that we need to start saving for retirement but we either put it off or we just can’t afford to save enough. In attempt to rectify my situation, I have recently taken some courses in accounting and economics, and believe that I have a simple and financially sound way to make sure that you are well provided for into your golden years. This retirement proposal requires no action or thought until you are actually ready to retire. All you need to do when you hit 65 is commit a crime — preferably a crime that has both a minimum sentence of twenty years and one that will cause the least amount of harm to society (as we are retiring, we don’t want to have too heavy of a conscience, after all). Be sure to leave lots of evidence that points right to you and then just wait. This is all you have to do to have a completely secure retirement. During your stay in a secure

facility you will have many ways to pass the time. Recreation and entertainment is provided on a daily basis, as are three nutritious meals a day. Residents are also encouraged to avail themselves of the free college education; current research out of Harvard University claims that a good way to keep our minds young is by continuously learning and exercising our brains. Many elderly people are tossed into retirement homes by ungrateful children and money hungry family members. By taking accommodations in a correctional facility, you will not have to take this risk. These facilities have private rooms that only you and staff can enter. You will still be able to see your friends and family when you want, but it will be under supervised conditions for your safety. No more rotten relatives trying to take advantage of you. The staff will see to that. In prison there is higher caregiver to resident ratio, too. There are on average 5 inmates to every guard, where in retirement homes the ratio is closer to 10 to 1 and getting worse all the time. So by choosing prison over a rest home you will be twice as safe from your family. Our health is probably one of

Wednesday,

Friday, Apr. 6

• TRU Survivors information pick up Student Street 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Black Mastiff, The Counter Culprits and Alamogokus Dirty Jersey 9 p.m. $5 cover

Apr. 4

our biggest concerns when we reach retirement. But have no fears because this plan covers this as well. While in residence at a prison you will have access to the best medical and dental care possible. You will never have to wait for your treatment or your medications. You will always receive the best care and will always be at the front of the line if a trip to the hospital is deemed necessary. And to top this off, all your expensive prescriptions are also covered in your medical plan. The cost of this service is absolutely free! Imagine the best medical and dental coverage you don’t even have to pay for! This is my retirement plan and I am sharing it with you at no cost — I make no financial gain whatsoever by sharing this information. I have no ties to the health, dental, or justice system. By sharing this retirement proposal with you I hope only to enrich your life and perhaps alleviate some of the stress about your retirement. See you at Club 67!

Thursday, Apr. 5 • TRU Survivors registration Student Street Opens at 10 a.m. • Retro Après Party w / Virtue, Crusher & Liam Ellicott Cactus Jacks Funky Toques, Stylized One Pieces & Neon Jackets worn when you were 8...highly encouraged! $5 cover

Friday, Apr. 6 • Easter Sunday w / Josh Dekay Cactus Jacks No cover! Know of upcoming events the student body should be aware of? Get them in the calendar for free! Contact: editorofomega@gmail.com “Community calendar” in the subject line will help ensure they get to the campus community.

Rani Johnston is a first-year arts student at Thompson Rivers University. This article is not intended to be used as financial planning advice (in case that wasn’t obvious).

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The Omega · Volume 21, Issue 26

Coffee Break

MYLES MELLOR and SALLY YORK

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62. Mythological ferryman 63. Cunning 64. Popular Serbian folk singer 65. Gunks 66. Broke off 67. Experienced 68. Brickbat 69. Check 70. Reno calculation Down 1. Primatologist’s study 2. Mouthful 3. Cigarette brand 4. Bundle 5. Long bone 6. Back talk 7. Hunts 8. Establishes 9. Diacritical marks 10. Israeli port city 11. Fully cooked 12. Agitated state 14. Live peacefully together 20. White wine aperitif 21. Start of a refrain 24. Jolting therapy, for short 25. Wrap 26. Black tea 28. Buck passers? 30. Mawkish 31. A-list

34. J.F.K. overseer 35. Says “When?” 38. Poisoning from tainted grain 39. Mosque officials 40. Gave way 41. Bother, with at 46. Feudal sovereigns 48. Excessively 51. Jeer 53. Ptychozoon 54. Musical pieces 55. Carbon compound 56. Ancient colonnade 57. Fries, maybe 58. Posited Big Bang substance 59. E-mail, e.g. 60. ___ coffee 61. Hebrew letters

M A R T B L I B I S D E C A T U T H R O E D R O M A H A D A V I T D R I V E R S E D A A N D F O L I O O V E R A C C A T C H E P A R G O S L Y O N

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LAST WEEK’S ANSWERS

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16

April 4, 2012

TRUSU Membership Advisory End the year with a .....

H S BA CAMPUS COMMONS APR 12TH • 12AM-4PM

Worried about Finding a Summer Job? Make an appointment with Career Education and get help developing your resume, building your interview skills, and more. Check out

tru.ca/careereducation for more information!

Done with your books this semester? Post your used textbooks on the Book Exchange and save money!

Sign up at www.trusu.ca

Post-Secondary Education Fact: Approximately 3,000 elligible Aboriginal students are denied funding for post-secondary education each year.

This Week:

• Pride Parade • 90s Dance Party • TRUSU NRS Club Fundraiser Check out the Events Calendar at trusu.ca for details!

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April 4, 2012  

The April 4, 2012 edition of The Omega

April 4, 2012  

The April 4, 2012 edition of The Omega

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