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VOLUME 21 ISSUE 15 JANUARY 11, 2012

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Upcoming conferences

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School is back in, but do you know what it’s costing you?

And why?

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News on a student loan interest policy change 2 Student union budget accessibility at TRU 4 PHOTO BY TAYLOR ROCCA

TRU’s Independent Student Newspaper


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January 11, 2012

Feature Ottawa cuts in-study interest on federal loans for part-time students

Federal government brings part-time student loans in line with full-time regulations, while still nearing $15-billion debt ceiling graduates play on the road to this country’s economic recovery. “That’s why the Government of Canada CUP Western Bureau Chief continues to focus on helping more students reach their education goals.” The spokesperson went on to write VANCOUVER (CUP) — Part-time students will now be treated like their full- that this change is in line with previous time counterparts when it comes to stu- changes to student loans made by the government earlier this year, including dent loans. In December, the federal government increasing earnings exemptions for peoannounced that people with part-time ple with full-time student loans, allowing student loans will no longer accrue inter- part-time students with higher family inest on their loans until after their stud- comes to qualify for loans and forgiving portions of loans for ies have been comnew physicians and pleted, bringing the nurses who choose program in line with to work in rural or the full-time loan remote communiprogram. ties. “Economic recovThe NDP’s critic ery continues to be for post-secondary our top priority,” education, Rathika said Diane Finley, Sitsabaiesan, isn’t Minister of Huimpressed by the man Resources and announcement. Skills Development, “There aren’t a lot in a press release. of actual part-time “We’re helping students, so it’s not Canadians gain the actually affecting a skills and educalot of students,” said tion required to parthe Scarborough— ticipate in today’s Rouge River MP. workforce and conShe went on to tribute to Canada’s say that instead of overall economic broadening access prosperity.” —Rathika Sitsabaiesan to student loans, the Active students government needs with part-time loans to shift towards easwill still have to ing the debt burden pay any interest accumulated before Jan. 1, 2012, but won’t on students. “Instead of burdening students and accrue any further interest until they’ve either completed their studies or stopped their families, which are usually working families using all of their life savings attending a post-secondary institution. A spokesperson for Human Resources towards educating their children, [the and Skills Development Canada (HRS- government should] provide grants rather DC) stated in an email to Canadian Uni- than loans,” she said. Sitsabaiesan pointed to the fact that toversity Press that the change was prompted by a desire to achieve parity between tal Canadian student debt is close to surthe part-time and full-time student loan passing the $15-billion ceiling set by the programs, as well as to help boost the Canadian Student Financial Assistance Act. economy. “In the act, it was set that $15 billion “The Government of Canada recognizes the vital role that post-secondary dollars was the ceiling that could ever

Arshy Mann

“Having more loans available is not really going to make education more accessible.”

PHOTO BY STEVEN W. DENGLER (Wikimedia Commons) be reached for amount of [student] debt that ... could be outstanding at any given time.” According to a government commissioned actuarial report on the Canada Student Loans Program released in July 2010, the $15 billion ceiling will likely be breached in early 2013. If that occurs, the government would either have to find ways to reduce student debt or else amend the legislation in order to increase the ceiling. Back in 2000, the Liberal government pushed up the ceiling from $5 billion to $10 billion. Sitsabaiesan said that the best way for the federal government to ease the debt burden on students would be to create a dedicated post-secondary transfer fund similar to the Canada Health Transfer. Presently, funding for post-secondary education is included in the broader Can-

ada Social Transfer. Because provincial governments have discretion over how the money from the Canada Social Transfer is spent, the amount that goes to post-secondary education can vary from year to year. “There’s no stability. So [post-secondary institutions] are turning to create their own sense of stability by continuing to increase tuition fees by the max amount each year.” Back in June, Sitsabaiesan presented a private member’s bill proposing the creation of a dedicated post-secondary transfer, but it has not passed first reading. Without structural changes at the federal level for how post-secondary education is financed, Sitsabaiesan believes student debt will continue to grow unabated. “Having more loans available is not really going to make education more accessible,” she said.

Commentary: A new option for easing post-graduation financial burden? Mike Davies Editor-in-Chief

Why does our government even bother making up numbers if they’re just going to change them at will? “Back in 2000, the Liberal government pushed up the ceiling from $5 billion to $10 billion,” and I fully expect when we reach that new $15 billion “ceiling,” which is expected to be reached in 2013, they will simply do it again. So basically — if I have this right — our government is simply making it easier and easier for students to go further and further into debt instead of figuring out a way to, I don’t know…make education more affordable so they don’t have to borrow so much money to better themselves via continuing to learn? “…the Government of Canada continues to focus on helping more students reach their educational goals,” says the spokesman for HRSDC. Who is going to focus on helping them afford it, though?

Making loans easier to get — or making the loans larger — while making education more accessible, doesn’t make it more affordable. That’s the real problem with the postsecondary system in Canada right now. It’s not that people can’t get into an institution. It’s not even that they can’t afford to pay tuition costs. It’s that they can’t afford to pay tuition costs and live inside with electricity and heat and eat food all at the same time. When you combine these loan ideas with the fact that a recent study that TRU economics student Jeff Hicks conducted in partnership with the United Way showed the “living wage” (what someone in Kamloops needs to earn to survive without a desperate struggle) is in the $17/hour at 35 hours per week, it’s amazing that more people aren’t living on the street — let alone attending a post-secondary institution. So making education more accessible (by giving out more in loans) only makes it more difficult for someone coming out of school to be comfort-

able financially, when the goal (generally) of going to university in the first place is to ease the financial burden on yourself and your family by earning a higher wage because of your education. With these new loan deferrals, at least students aren’t generating interest on their debt while in school. I’ve got it! Everyone continue to take ONE class per semester at a post-secondary institution after you graduate. That way you ease your financial burden by not generating a load of interest, and can likely claim that you don’t actually have to start repaying yet as you chip away at your debt at your leisure. Note: This article is in no way intended to be financial advice. The concept of taking one class per semester after graduation to put oneself in a better financial position is purely a hypothetical one.

PHOTO BY TAYLOR ROCCA Students line up to grudgingly pay their fees. They can afford it now, maybe, but will they be struggling upon graduation?


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January 11, 2012

THE

MEGA

www.theomega.ca

January 11, 2012

Volume 21, Issue 15

Published since November 27, 1991

editorialstaff EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Mike Davies

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

Editorial

It’s conference season again Two upcoming events to strongly consider

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

Cory Hope

SPORTS EDITOR

Nathan Crosby Copy Editor

Larkin Schmiedl Photo Editor

Cory Hope News Editor

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Amrita Pannu

omegacontributors Arshy Mann, Amy Berard, Ian Cowie, Taylor Rocca, Vanessa Obeng, Madelon Kirov

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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 #2 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.)

Editor’s Note Mike Davies Editor-in-Chief

Winter semester is back in session here at TRU, which means we’re leading up to conference season again! A great time for students to showcase their academic efforts (and a great time to see others’), there are two immediately relevant conferences that I urge everyone to take advantage of. The 2012 TRU Philosophy, History, and Politics Conference will take place this coming weekend (Jan. 12 to 14). Held mainly in the International Building with a few speakers and events being put on in the Brown Family House of Learning, the two-day conference is quickly becoming one of Western Canada’s premier undergraduate conferences. From the power of religion in western culture to examinations of consciousness and self hood all the way to early modern European law and philosophies developed in ancient Greece, there will surely be at least one topic (and likely many) that will hold your interest — and possibly open you up to a new area of exploration in your own studies or research. This year’s keynote speech is entitled “Cosmopolitanism and Global Citezenship” and will explore the idea of cosmopolitanism being a problematic starting point for theorizing global ethics or politics and the idea of human rights and interdependency be-

ing a far better place to begin a system of political and ethical theory. The address will be given by Dr. Barbara Arneil of the University of British Columbia, who served as senior policy advisor to the Hon. Lloyd Axworthy from 1994-1996 and has published various works on the subject of foreign policy and received numerous awards for her research and teaching excellence. The organisers ask that students interested in attending register online by following the conference links from the TRU website and then sign in at the registration table so their attendance fees are covered by CUEF subsidy. If philosophy history or politics are not really up your alley, there is another great opportunity coming up in March to show off your hard work or check out others’ endeavours. The seventh annual TRU Undergraduate Innovation and Research Conference takes place on Mar. 30 and 31 this year, and it is a great way to present anything from scientific research to creative writing pieces and everything in between. Academic poster displays and oral presentations will be judged and awards given for the best of the best in various categories, so you might end up being rewarded for your efforts (even more than the personal reward of a job well done). Check out tru.ca/rigs.ugc for registration and other information on the event, but get on it soon — the deadline for proposals is Jan. 27. Whatever your area of study or interest, there is a conference coming up where you can further your academic career and get a jump-start on your future by participating, so take advantage of these great opportunities to show off and support others’ academic efforts, too. editorofomega@gmail.com

The Philosophy, History, and Politics conference (top image) runs from Jan. 12-14 and has a wide range of topics being discussed. Get out this weekend and support your fellow academics. An even wider range of ideas will be explored at the seventh annual TRU Undergraduate Student Innovation and Research Conference this coming March. There is still time to get your proposal in, but the deadline is fast approaching.

We’re taking applications for another editorial position until Jan. 13. Check the ad on page 5 for details.

Ways to get off campus and help out in the community

Omega is on Twitter: @TRU_ OMEGA

Know Your Community Amy Berard

Several community groups in Kamloops will provide youth with a chance to get involved and give back. The opportunities to pitch in extend well beyond the TRU campus. Big Brothers Big Sisters offers students two different programs with fairly

low time commitments that will leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling. The sports mentorship program pairs you up with a Little who is between the ages of 6 and 16 years old and of the same gender. As long as you share a passion for the same sport — from hockey to skateboarding — you meet up every two weeks for a few hours with an activity related to the sport. This could mean playing the game itself, bringing them to practice or just cheering them on. The second program is in-school mentoring where you commit one hour per week to hang out with a “little” from kindergarten to grade seven. This is a chance for you to be their friend and do something non-academic like play in their school gym or work on arts and crafts. Most of the “littles” are from singleparent families and have low self-esteem, so your friendship makes a difference.

Male students are particularly encouraged to apply as young boys often spend one to two years on a waitlist since there is a shortage of male mentors. The commitment generally runs for the length of the school year, but it isn’t too late to sign up. After a one month screening process that is short but thorough, you can be paired up with a “little.” Kamloops Fusion Rotaract is the youth version of Rotary International. It is open to youth ages 18 to 30 and they meet every Tuesday evening at 5:30 p.m. at Flavours of India. They focus on service-type projects in our community or internationally and offer professional development activities. Love Your Neighbour is a registrytype, faith-based group that offers students a chance to sign up for activities like landscaping, moving, and construction. It’s as simple as contacting the organization, filling out a volunteer application

form, and waiting for a call that they need your help. This is a low time commitment during the semester and a chance to meet people off-campus. And of course, the TRU Students’ Union has 70 student clubs listed on their website. Interests range from pre-med to socialism and chess to moustaches. All of these clubs are on campus making them simple for you to access and it is easy enough to start your own. The union also offers a volunteer registry so you can sign up and attend a monthly volunteer activity. Take some time for yourself and the community this semester – try volunteering. 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


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January 11, 2012

News Students demand more transparency from TRUSU Access to information regarding fees collected sometimes hard to come by Ian Cowie

Omega contributor More and more student unions are publishing financial statements online. Currently student unions at UBC, UVIC, SFU, UofA and UofC publish financial statements online showing executive’s salaries and audited financial statements. However, the Thompson Rivers University Student Union holds the management of their finances much more closely. Nathan Lane, executive director of the student union, isn’t sure the TRUSU budget should be as accessible. “It doesn’t make much sense for us as a membership to publicly produce our documents,” said Lane. “We don’t distribute financial documents for a few different reasons; so that we don’t have a lot of drafts out there, but also so that when people have questions we can be there to answer them and provide some context.” The annual TRUSU budget, which is approximately $1.1 million, can currently

TRUSU’s f inances predominately be viewed in one of two ways. First, students can make an appoint- come from the student membership fees. TRUSU membership fees are among ment with Lane to see a copy of the budget or audit, provided no copies leave the the highest in Wester n Canada at $75 per semester for students taking nine or student union office. This can be difficult for a variety of rea- more credits, and $40 per semester for students taking eight sons, especially or less. These amounts considering how do not include a buildbusy students and ing levy fee (which is Lane are during why it looks like more the semester. on your f inancial inThe second way voice). to see the budget Some students feel is at the annual that a two-hour meetgeneral meeting ing with Nathan or the that takes place in shor t amount of time January each year. allotted at the annual Kiera Gonyea, a —Kiera Gonyea general meeting is not third-year advensuff icient for students ture tourism student at TRU, believes there should be more to critically examine the budget. “If students knew where and how their transparency with TRUSU finances. “I think students should have the right to money was being spent they might be view the budget whenever they want,” said more engaged in student life,” said Gonyea. Gonyea. Other schools have recently had con“Ultimately it is our money that is being f licts between student politicians and spent.”

“Ultimately it is our money being spent. ”

That’s what you said

students over how union money was being spent. At Kwantlen Polytechnic University students ar ranged a special annual general meeting to discuss and deal with a board they believed to be misusing some funds. According to the CBC, University of Prince Edward Island has also come into conf lict due to lack of transparency from the student union around the budget. This has lead to a working budget being published despite protests by the council, which is wor ried the numbers may be misinter preted by students. “Our procedure around f inances is not set by us. “It is dictated in the policy manual of the student union and in the by-laws,” said Lane. In order to make any str uctural change to TRUSU there has to be a minimum of 10 per cent of the student population or 50 members in agreement. This year’s annual general meeting is scheduled to take place on Jan 25, 2012.

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

Do you agree with the student union’s policy of keeping their financial statements to themselves or do you think that they should be easily accessible for students?

--Falk Rutha, fourth year natural resource sciences.

--Katrina McNeely, first year arts.

--Adrian Miller, third year psychology

“I think it should be available. “If I decide to look it up it shouldn’t be too difficult to look it up on the website and have a little button there. “I don’t think it matters [if the public sees it]. “The students for sure because we are the ones paying the fees so I think we have a right to know how fees are being spent.”

“I think it should definitely be accessible for students. “I think we should be aware of where our money is going. “If we aren’t educated as to where our money is going we don’t have any chance to have a say in where our money is going, but if we are educated we could have meetings as to where the money is going.”

“I completely disagree with that. I believe that transparency and accountability are key to government. “I think honesty is the best disinfectant to any allegation of wrongdoing. I would love to know what they are spending money on. “I’m aware that Mr. Lane has a very good compensation package...I’m ashamed that the student union, who often advocate transparency for the school board at TRU, is not going to be advocating transparency for themselves.”

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The Omega 路 Volume 21, Issue 15

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Omega Sponsors EDITOR WANTED For the Winter 2012 Semester Position Available: Roving Editor General Responsibilities: 1. Attend weekly staff meetings (Monday evening, usually about 1 hour). 2. Work with other staff members and volunteers to generate sufficient copy for each issue. 3. Edit/Proof submissions for style, merit, and factuality. 4. Work with the Photography and Graphics editors, if applicable, to ensure sufficient artwork is completed in a timely manner to accompany content. 5. Communicate with production staff and the editor-in-chief throughout the week about the progress of their section/assignments. We are looking for: Highly motivated, creative and innovative individuals who are passionate about writing. The position offers renumerations of: $75.00 per issue honourarium. Mandatory Requirement: The chosen candidate must maintain student status at TRU, being enrolled in at least one course in good standing. Interested parties may submit a resume, covering letter and 2-3 samples of previous work (or potential story ideas if no writing samples are available).

Submit applications to Mike Davies at editorofomega@gmail.com

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Prospective advertisers should contact Natasha at: managerofomega@gmail.com and check out our production schedule and rate card at www.theomega.ca


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January 11, 2012

Arts & Entertainment

The Last Best West

The latest and greatest from Nick Faye and the Deputies Cory Hope

Arts and Entertainment Editor In the unlikely event that Buffalo Tom and Dinosaur Jr. were to have a love child, the resulting offspring would undoubtedly sound like Nick Faye. Of course, Nick Faye and the Deputies have managed to pull off that particular sound even without that fictitious genetic makeup, or, in the case of Nick himself, ever having heard of Buffalo Tom. Hailing from Regina, Saskatchewan, Nick Faye and The Deputies released their most critically acclaimed album so far, The Last Best West, in May 2011. The Last Best West is “an album you come back to,” according to Nick. While I thought this was an odd statement for an artist to make about his own album, it turns out he’s right. The first time I heard this CD, I enjoyed it and put it away for a short time. Then, when it came back out to the top of the pile, it was played again. Within another day it was on my iPod. It’s the kind of CD in which the enjoyment of listening to it builds, rather than peaking right away. It’s the kind of music you’ll listen to longer. Perhaps the lag time in enjoying this album stems from the opening track. While the first track of many CDs is selected to set the mood of the album, the opening track on this one, Housing, seems out of place. Housing is a slower track, which I

think would have been better placed at the end of the CD where it could have served as an outro. While it isn’t necessarily a bad song, it’s not representative of the rest of the album, and might dissuade potential listeners from continuing to listen to it. But I won’t dwell on the placement of one song. A simple change of track numbers on my playlist can fix that in seconds, and the rest of the album more than makes up for this one minor detail. When asked about the life as a musician on the Prairies, Nick was enthusiastic about the music scene in the area. With many friends in local bands, he collects their talents in the recording studio in an effort to “make recording fun.” Nick tries to balance the life of student and musician, although he admits that being in university takes its toll on the amount of time and effort he can put into touring and promoting his album. “Touring, even solo, takes its toll financially and physically,” he said. The desire to hit the road and play shows while incurring a financial toll is an indication of musicians playing for the love of playing, and it provides an authentic feel to the music. With songs about driving down the prairie roads with the windows rolled down, much of Nick Faye’s music is entirely relatable to anyone who has ever been sitting in a classroom, looking out the window and dreaming of simple pleasures. Or (obviously) those driving down the road with their windows down.

The Last Best West, Nick Faye and the Deputies’ latest album, has made its way into our arts and entertainment editor’s regular rotation, which is really saying something. He’s kind of a music snob—which isn’t a bad thing for an arts and entertainment editor. (Image courtesy Nick Faye)

Overspend over the holidays? Check out some free Kamloops venues and get some culture, too. Cory Hope

Arts and Entertainment Editor It’s that time of year again. You know the time I’m talking about. Your bank statement comes out reading the numerical equivalent of, “It’s just after Christmas and your student loan hasn’t come in yet,” which I won’t dare spell out in numbers here, in case it might embarrass you. But you still feel the need to go out and have a good time with your friends. You might have some snappy new clothes. Maybe somebody back home gave you a bottle of something fancy. The only thing missing is the finances you became so used to, way back in September when that last student loan cheque came in. So what are you supposed to do to have a good time in Kamloops when the ATM refuses to print your balance because the paper is worth more than the words written on it? Get culture. Okay, I know that sounds a but weird, but while you’re waiting for that cheque to come in, there are things that you can do for reasonably cheap, and sometimes even free, which you can do under the guise of getting culture. Let’s start on campus. The TRU art gallery changes what is displayed there every few weeks. Although it’s usually student-based works (and you might be astounded at what some of your peers are capable of ), there are at times works by visiting artists from across Canada of varying de-

grees of fame. Even if you walk into the TRU gallery, or any other gallery for that matter, and say to yourself, “That’s art? I could do that,” it should be worth your while. It might even inspire you to go out and put your money where your mouth is and make some art yourself, if it looks that easy to you. Or it might look like enough of a challenge to inspire you to try something new yourself. After leaving campus, you might want to hit up the Arnica Artist Run Centre in the Old Courthouse on 1st and Seymour. On top of being a cool-looking building, it also happens to be a place where you can go and check out more (predominantly) local artists. Make sure you drink lots of coffee before you go so you have an excuse to visit the bathrooms while you’re there. I’ve often wondered if the bathrooms were renovated after the building became a hostel a while back, but I’ve never asked about it. Bring a towel and freshen up in the showers - I dare you. Now that you’re all spiffy and clean, it’s time to go to The Art We Are and grab a tasty treat or some coffee. There are enough vegan and vegetarian options to satisfy some of the most finicky of diets, and for any naysayers who might be wondering why they might be tempted to have vegan food if they’re not a vegan themselves - you have not had vegan food. It’s delicious. Now that you’re downtown, fed and caffeinated, it’s time for you to ask yourself - is it Tuesday or Thursday, by any

PHOTO BY CORY HOPE The Arnica Artist Run Centre at the Old Courthouse is a great place to check out some work by local artists before continuing your tour of downtown free venues.

chance? If it’s Tuesday, you can head on over to the Paramount Theatre, because not only do they play some of the lesser-known films, but they also have Twoonie Tuesdays. A movie for two bucks? Yup. If it’s Thursday, you can art it up a little bit more by heading to the Kamloops Art Gallery. The KAG is open all week, but on Thursdays it’s free and open later than their normal business hours.

I’m aware that there are all kinds of places offering drink specials, and I am also aware of the appeal of this fact. My reasoning for leaving these events off of this list is that even if you don’t have these events written down, odds are at least one of your friends has the map of cheap booze written down on a napkin somewhere on his or her person. Hopefully your cheques will come in soon, and life can get back to normal, but until then, I hope these other options will carry you through the days.


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The Omega · Volume 21, Issue 15

Life & Community Christmas, Where Are You? A not-too-late reminder of the bah-humbug of the season Omega Contributor It’s been a long time coming, however 2011 was the year it all became clear. I am too old for Christmas. Or I should rather say I’m too old to act like a kid at Christmas. Gone are the days when my aunts and uncles would bring me ar mfuls of gifts and ask what Santa brought for me. Now if I were to receive gifts aplenty outside of my nuclear bubble, it would be evidence in the trial of a spoiled individual. This holiday season is for the young and apparently it is my time to step aside and let others shine. This year it was all about essentials. No extravagant or long sought after gifts, just ever yday things. I’m ashamed to say this resulted in a minor meltdown on Christmas mor ning — thinking about f irst world problems — but as the shock subsided, I remembered the real reason I go

home each year...and it’s not for presents, but the fabulous meal. The food is always exquisite and, as it should be, plentiful. I mean I really didn’t go all that way for pyjamas and socks. That being said, I know I’m diff icult to buy for. No one asks anymore. Money is too impersonal (it’s not, but I’m being polite) and realistically, I know I can buy the things that I want for myself. If I want that $300 pair of Uggs or a trip to Vegas, I’m just going to have to save up the funds. Bah humbug. This is how I know I’m getting old — I don’t even need my parents to be in attendance for both par ts of the “be a big kid” speech. I should simply move onto the topic of responsibility and becoming a homeowner. Is it too late to wish for a time machine? I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at how quickly it all tur ned around. Christmas has never been a

International Days

February 6–10, 2012 MC115597

Looking for Volunteers International Days 2012 requires the help of many enthusiastic volunteers doing a variety of jobs.

Some volunteer perks include:

• Meal vouchers • Volunteer T-shirt • Certificate of recognition • Hours can be applied towards the Global Competency credential

• Adds volunteer experience to your résumé • Helps create a globally-minded campus • Networking opportunities • Make new friends

Volunteer Orientation Sessions: Date

Time

Place

January 23

4:00–6:00pm

TRUSU Boardroom

January 25

3:00–5:00pm

OM 1761

January 31

3:00–5:00pm

TRUSU Boardroom

February 2

4:30–6:30pm

TRUSU Boardroom

To apply or for more information contact: Krista Bergmann, Events Coordinator 250.852.6449 or email: internationaldays@tru.ca

facebook.com/international.days.2012

www.tru.ca/internationaldays

really big deal in our household, as I was often told in my youth, “It’s baby Jesus’ bir thday, not yours.” I didn’t even know that you put stuff in a stocking until I was seventeen. My father abhors the ritual of holidays and says they should be treated it like any other day of the year. Yeah, that might work for Scrooge McDuck, old man, but I love Yule time joy and family together ness (read as “drama”). Unfor tunately for me, Daddy Dearest is no longer tolerant of childish behaviour. So I give up.

www.theomega.ca

Vanessa Obeng

Christmas is for the little children. You know, the cute little bastards who r un around the house destroying things and tr ying to be the center of attention at ever y tur n. It’s all about them. They are the ones who will lose their minds when the wrapping paper has been tor n to display the toy or electronic device of their desire. That is when it is exciting. That is Christmas. However, I would still like to mention that I can go wild over gifts - but an Easy-Bake Oven just isn’t my style anymore.

I realized the best way to survive the loss of Christmas presents is to replace them and star t my own traditions. Thus, on Christmas Day, I thanked my mother for the small treasures, ate dinner with loved ones and on Boxing Day I shopped and saved my way back into the Christmas feeling. Editor’s note: I’m not sure if this is satire. Take it how you will — and I will do the same. Happy new year to you all.

Community Calendar Friday, Jan. 13 - Evil Ebenezer with Bangers & Mash @ Cactus Jacks

Monday, Jan. 16

- Human Library at the Smorgasbord Deli - 225- 7th ave downtown

Tuesday, Jan. 17 - Philosophers’ Cafe at the Smorgasbord Deli 225- 7th ave downtown

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 keep them at the top of the list.


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January 11, 2012

Arts & Entertainment

Hey writers, Munsch on this!

Acclaimed children’s author offers advice on how to succeed in the field of creative writing

Madelon Kirov

The Concordian (Concordia) MONTREAL (CUP) — Yes, it can be frustrating, difficult, and extremely exhausting to cultivate a wonderful piece of writing. But despite the obstacles of writer’s block and trying to find widespread success, wellknown author Robert Munsch encourages young writers to keep working at it — as he continues to do so himself. “I have over 200 unpublished stories that I am working on,” the eccentric and beloved author told The Concordian in an interview, as he shared details about his life in storytelling and offered young writers advice on the art of writing. Many have grown up reading Munsch’s short stories as children. Munsch, 66, is an American-born, now Canadian author who currently lives in the city of Guelph, Ont. A member of the Order of Canada since 1999, he has published over 47 children’s books, including The Paperbag Princess and Love You Forever, that have sold more than 18 million copies across North America. As an elementary student, Munsch almost failed Grades 1 to 5. In fact, he claims to have never learned how to spell properly and graduated from Grade 8 still counting on his fingers to do simple addition. He was generally “not a resounding academic success,” in his words. He began writing poetry in elementary

school, which sparked his interest in literature. In high school, he did not get along with anybody and after seven years of studying to be a Jesuit priest, he decided that it was not his calling. On the topic of post-secondary education, Munsch said, “I liked university better than any other schooling. I think it was because I was interested in what I was learning and had finally taken responsibility for my education.” Every successful writer begins small. Munsch recalls how difficult it was to get published. “I never have had an agent and I sent stories to nine different publishers before one said yes,” he said. In 2008, Munsch suffered a stroke that affected his speech, though over the years, he has slowly recovered and can now do public readings again. His writing career has, however, been put on hold until a full recovery. When asked what he believes is a writer’s greatest enemy, Munsch answered, “Trying to find an agent or publisher!” He added that the most important skill needed as a writer is perseverance and a willingness to accept criticism. But before getting to that point, writers need to start at square one. To write successfully, Munsch said to “write about something you love, something you feel strongly about or something you know about.” This makes all the difference in the delivery of the piece; the higher the interest level of the writer, the more effort, care, and love is put into the writing.

When it comes to writer’s block, Munsch explained he makes up random unrelated stories on the spot from which more ideas expand, and often ends up finding inspiration in the original material. For those interested in children’s literature, Munsch shared some more of his insight on this specific target audience. “Kids are so new. They’re so open-ended. I can look at a kid and wonder what they’ll be,” he said. “The job of children is to be profession-

ally appealing to adults. That’s how they get what they need.” Finally, when it comes to improving and maintaining a budding writer’s skills, Munsch provided wise and valuable feedback. “Keep on writing. Write a diary, write short stories. “You don’t learn to swim by reading about it and you don’t learn to write that way either. If you want to learn how to write, write a lot and you will get better at it.”

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9

The Omega · Volume 21, Issue 15

More News

In case you missed it, Kergin’s got you covered: Things you probably didn’t see happening around you last month

Brendan Kergin News Editor

Global *Sharks Sharks, the notoriously perfect aquatic killing machine, may be trying to upgrade their biology. While sharks have barely evolved over eons, Australian scientists are noticing some interbreeding going on between species. They figure this is due to climate change, as the new hybrid sharks are able to live in a wider variety of climates. That’s right humanity, we are are inadvertently breeding more loveable, cuddly sharks. That’s how everyone thinks of sharks, right? *Iowa Caucus America, land of the extended political process, was showing off its Republican candidates last week. In a surprise twist, Rick Santorum did a lot better than expected as he was one of the nobodies. In a campaign that has seen a constant rotation of front-

runners rallying against the inevitable choice of Mitt Romney, Santorum may be the newest. But the more interesting part of his story is the definition of his name online. Go ahead, go Google Santorum. We’ll wait.

National *Senators Stephen Harper has named seven more senators to sit in the chamber’s upper house. This will raise the number of Tory senators in the red chamber to 61, while there are 41 Liberals and a couple of independents in the 105 seat room (well, there are probably more, but 105 that matter). The new appointments have been called everything from “remarkable Canadians” (by Harper) to “Conservative buddies and failed candidates” (by the NDP). None of the senators were filling seats in B.C. *CEO paycheques The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has released its annual report on Canadian

CEOs and their paycheques. By the time you read this it’s likely (by the Centre’s estimates based on 2010 numbers) that the CEOs will have made more in 2012 than you will for the next decade. The telling figure in the report is the estimate that by noon on the first working day of 2012, the CEOs will have made more than the average worker will all year, which is just over $44,000. As students, all we can say at The Omega is, “I wonder what it’s like to have $44,000?”

Provincial *Riot The first conviction has been handed out more than six months after the post-game seven riots singed Vancouver’s rather clean image. The 20-year-old man has pled guilty to his role in the June 15th riot. In comparison, when London, England had riots last summer, they got arresting, charging and convicting started right away, with court proceedings still going on, but they’re dealing with thousands

of charges. Of course, Syria and other Arab Spring countries have expedited convictions quickly by shooting the rioters on site... so there are issues with justice handed out TOO quickly.

*Racism Last week in Victoria antiSemitic graffiti was sprayed on a number of gravestones in a Jewish cemetery. CBC also obtained a video of an attack of an African-Canadian man being beaten by a Caucasian man, believed to be racially motivated as well, connected to the neo-Nazi Blood and Honour group. As if that doesn’t bode well for race relations here, Gatineau, Quebec has had a series of vandals attack a mosque. Canada is supposed to stand as one of the few places multiculturalism has worked. Shame.

Local *Weed In the ongoing saga of the local compassion club, the owner of the recently forcibly closed shop

has appealed to the courts to get his stash back. Carl Anderson is looking to regain 900 grams of his marijuana, which was seized in November. While the bud may be a little dried out, he was hoping the court would lean in his favour as he has an exemption to posses over a kilo of the green stuff. Unfortunately for him, the courts are holding out for a bit longer while police continue their investigation. The evidence can be held for up to 90 days. *Occupy Occupy Kamloops has decided that it will occupy the internet. While it won’t occupy the whole thing, it is registering its own little corner, at occupykamloops. com. The Occupy movement has hit some stumbling blocks in recent times, mostly due to un-occupying a bunch of places, either voluntarily or due to legal moves by cities and police forces. The Kamloops group is looking to become a major source of information for locals and to continue its cause from home. So...competition for The Omega are we?

Simon Fraser Student Society officially ends CFS membership After three years of legal disputes, both groups reach ‘amicable’ out-of-court settlement

David Dyck

The Peak (SFU) BURNABY, B.C. (CUP) — After three years of conflict and more than $450,000 in legal fees, the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) has officially left the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS). The membership issue goes back to 2008, when 66.9 per cent of SFU students voted to leave the CFS. The CFS, which is the largest student lobbying organization in Canada, contested the referendum’s legitimacy, and the SFSS has been dealing with a series of legal disputes ever since. Although a court date had been set for Feb. 12 for a lengthy and expensive trial that was expected to last approximately six weeks, the dispute was settled out of court in late December. Both parties released a short statement that described the settlement as “amicable.” “As part of this resolution, it is agreed that the membership has ended,” the statement read.

“The agreement was motivated by a desire on the part of all parties to resolve all outstanding issues.” It further stated that neither party would make any public statements regarding the settlement. There was no mention made of the amount of the settlement. B.C. Supreme Court judge Richard Blair, in an official court document released in August 2010, explained that he was unable to reach a conclusion about the case at that time, citing an overwhelming amount of evidence. Blair advised that either a second referendum be conducted, or that the dispute should be settled out of court, as either option would be more financially feasible than going to trial in February. Late last year, the SFSS board argued that the society was running

oversight committee. The referendum, therefore, was not considered by the CFS to be legally binding, and for the SFSS to accept it breached their contract. J.J. McCullough, chief electoral officer for the independent electoral commission that was appointed by the SFSS, oversaw the 2008 referendum. In an interview with The Peak, he stated that he was still unsure if legal separation was the best route for the union to take, financially. “If you hate the CFS to a really in —J.J. McCullough tense degree, you still have to be able fees to the CFS, not including legal to look at these things from [the perspective of] a cost/benefit analysis,” fees. The dispute began as a result of said McCullough. “The question is: how much more a 2008 referendum question, which the CFS claimed was not done in than half a million have we paid on accordance with CFS bylaws, since this whole battle? ... I think you can it was performed by an SFSS-ap- only really judge student politics in pointed independent electoral com- terms of the short term, and on the mission and not the CFS-mandated terms of how much student fees are a projected deficit as a result of the pending lawsuit, for which funds had to be set aside in the event the case was lost. The loss of the trial could have resulted in a payout of approximately $1.5 million in unpaid membership

“...how much student fees are being extracted from students right now...”

being extracted from students right now to pay for some myopic political feud. “That’s the kind of thing that concerns me.” McCullough did admit that, were the numbers in favour of the SFSS, settling would probably be the right choice. Although the amount of the settlement has not been disclosed, the total amount spent by the SFSS on legal fees from the beginning of the dispute until November 2011 was $454,149. “I’m glad that it’s over,” said former SFSS president Ali Godson. Godson’s term was from 2010 to 2011, but she served in other capacities in the SFSS for several years prior. Godson ran for, and won, the position of university relations officer in 2008, with a pro-CFS platform. She told The Peak that there was no mention of a settlement during her time on the board. She pointed out that most of the current board, with the exception of Internal Relations Officer Jordan Kohn, were not a part of the original CFS dispute in 2008.


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January 11, 2012

Coffee Break 6 5 8 3 2 5 8 9 5 7 8 1 4 5 7 9 1 3 6 5 7 1 3 9 1 2 7 3 2 SUDOWEB.COM

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1. Occurred 4. Acropolis figure 10. Cancels 14. Cast 15. Longs for 16. Barbershop call 17. Mine find 18. Cautionary item 19. Passionate about 20. Redo happily? 23. Pinnacle opposite 24. With a steady hand 25. Moose or mice, e.g. 28. Unconscious 30. Broadcasted 31. Hindu garment 32. “Not to mention ...” 36. Improve a server? 39. Pendulum paths 40. Alternative to acrylics 41. Chip away at 42. Additions 43. Talking points? 44. Rounded style of writing 48. Fall mo. 49. Disloyal cover-up? 55. Arduous journey 56. Soft palate tissues 57. Dissenting vote 58. Latin 101 verb 59. “What fools these mortals

be” writer 60. ___ cry 61. Abbr. after many a general’s name 62. Desk item 63. “Cut Piece” artist Down 1. Pronoun in a Hemingway title 2. Halo, e.g. 3. Hunt for 4. Award 5. Go places 6. Any port in a storm 7. By any chance 8. “Cool!” 9. Weakness 10. Cartoon art 11. Arc lamp gas 12. Glorify 13. Expressionless 21. Exit 22. Actress Plumb 25. Medic or normal? 26. Pinocchio, at times 27. ___ acid 28. Highlanders, e.g. 29. Eyes, poetically 31. Level 32. Religious nectar 33. Golden Triangle country 34. Fries, maybe

35. Horace volume 37. City on the River Garonne 38. Turn up again 42. Amniotic ___ 43. Scratch up 44. Absolute 45. Care for 46. Colgate rival 47. Signed 48. Undersides 50. Maintain 51. Charlie, for one 52. Data 53. Indian bread 54. Apprentice

last week’s answers A S S A M B L I P A N A T

L L A M A

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Notice anything wrong with the Omega? Bring it to our attention and win a prize. We may have done it on purpose just to keep you on your toes...or you might just be helping us get better. Either way...you win!


11

The Omega · Volume 21, Issue 15

Sports

Women’s basketball at .500 and showing their claws Colonna and company push for the playoffs

Nathan Crosby Sports Editor

During the third quarter of a Nov. 5 game against UFV, Kailey Colonna fouled out and had to watch the WolfPack women’s basketball team win their second game over the Cascades from the bench. “I want the playoffs,” Colonna said. This is her final year of her career wearing orange and black, along with forward Michelle Dimond and guard Kaitlyn Widsten. After beating up Manitoba and Winnipeg in the first weekend of January, Colonna’s goal of taking this team to the post-season is inching towards a reality with a 5-5 record. “It’s funny, you never think about the end but now there are a single digit amount of games left in my career,” she said. “We’ve waited five years to make the playoffs and we feel we have the group that can take us there.” The fifth-year forward was thrilled her team beat the then-

WolfPack point guard Kailey Colonna (Photo courtesy of TRU Athletics)

overrated number-nine-ranked Fraser Valley Cascades twice in the opening weekend back in early November. The ‘Pack had meanness in their game and Colonna, despite her one-too-many fouls, was one of the main reasons UFV ran back to Abbotsford shocked and scared. That WolfPack meanness lost its mojo in November. The next weekend against Calgary the ‘Pack committed 25 personal fouls and lost their first game of the year, 76-61 to the Dinos. The next day, the team got on the bus and travelled down Highway 2 to Lethbridge, poised to beat the vulnerable Pronghorns. The offence dried up and the ‘Pack went into a four-game losing streak that included a forgettable road trip to Victoria that put the ‘Pack’s record at 2-4. It had erased that perfect weekend against UFV. “The games that are going to haunt us are the two Victoria games and the Lethbridge game,” Colonna said. Not wanting to go into the Christmas break on a downward skid, the ‘Pack were able to run over the Brandon Bobcats 114-58 on Nov. 25. The next night, they came close to beating the number-one-ranked Regina Cougars, losing by five points, which included a last-minute “gimme” basket by Regina. Optimism for 2012 was higher thanks to a hard-fought weekend against the class of the CIS. “Our first game (Nov. 4 vs. UFV) was still the best game we’ve played this season,” Colonna said. “That is good and bad, I guess, because we have a lot of potential that I don’t feel we lived up to completely. Our last game (Nov. 26 vs. Regina) was our second-best and I think we then found our place again.” Colonna has a mean edge to her

game that resembles a wolverine more than a wolf. She always sticks out in the defensive end as a 6’2” sheriff who will do anything to wrestle the ball out of the opposition’s hands. She is the unsung hero of a women’s basketball team that sits with a 5-5 record at the halfway point. She is a nightly candidate for the Leader of the Pack award because of that meanness and polarizing presence in the paint against the best in the Canada

WolfPack post Diane Schuetze (Photo courtesy of TRU Athletics)

West. She has been a loyal member of TRU’s growing athletic community her entire career. Her belief in her teammates to get through the tough second half is strong because of what she has seen her rookie players do on the court. It was the Nov. 25 game against Brandon when rookie guard Jade Montgomery exploded off the bench for 19 points. “Jade finally had an opportunity to show what she can do. She’s such a good offensive player,” Colonna said.

“Our rookies and our team dynamic is probably the best it’s been in the five years I’ve been here. Taiysha (Worsfold) plays much older than she is and I think that’s because she’s been a prodigy of Scott’s for so long.” TRU’s offence ranks second in scoring averaging 75.1 points per game. They are the first team in the Canada West to score more than 750 points this season. Defence ranks near the bottom in scoring, tied for third-last with Lethbridge with 68.2 points allowed per game. Following the ‘Pack’s thrashing of the Bobcats, the 58 points they had allowed against Brandon wasn’t forgotten in the postgame interview with TRU head coach Scott Clark. Defence will have to be tightened up this semester if Colonna and the ‘Pack are going to get that playoff game, said Clark. Offence clearly isn’t a problem, thanks in part to the most feared post in the division, Diane Schuetze. She is the number-one scorer in the Canada West with an average of 19.6 points in 10 games. Guard Jen Ju is fifth, averaging 15.3 points per game. Schuetze is first in rebounding, averaging 10.3 per game. Forward Tracy Kocs is in the top twenty with 5.9 per game. Second-year guard Jorri Duxbury is third in assists. Kristjana Young of UBC, who will be paying the Tournament Capital Centre a visit this weekend when TRU hosts the 6-2 Thunderbirds, comes into the weekend second only to Schuetze in points, averaging 19 per game. After that, the ‘Pack are off to take on the 7-3 Alberta Pandas in Edmonton and the 5-4 Sas-

WolfPack Point guard Jade Montgomery (Photo courtesy of TRU Athletics)

katchewan Huskies in the same weekend. The ‘Pack will then have a much-needed bye week at the end of January before heading to Langley for a weekend series against the 4-6 Trinity Western Spartans. The ‘Pack finishes the regular season with a home and home battle with the 2-6 UBCO Heat. TRU is tied for the wild card spot with Winnipeg and Victoria and will need a healthy starting line up if they are going to get through a tough January to play past February. “Part of the reason we all came this way and why I am still here is because of the ties we formed in first year. I hope because we have a big recruiting class this year that can grow together,” Colonna said. She has eight regular season games left in her college career to rally her team and bring some claws to the Canada West as the Wolf Pack make the push to the playoffs.

WolfPack Prowl Basketball

Volleyball

Women’s

Women’s

Friday Jan. 13 6 p.m. @ TCC vs UBC

Friday Jan. 20 6 p.m. @ TCC vs Brandon

Men’s

Men’s

Friday Jan. 13 8 p.m. @ TCC vs UBC

Friday Jan. 20 7:45 p.m. @ TCC vs Brandon

Hockey Friday Jan. 20 8:30 p.m. Memorial Arena vs Okanagan College Coyotes PHOTO BY CORY HOPE Diane Schuetze goes up to tip possession the ‘Pack’s way to open the Jan. 6 match at the TCC.


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January 11, 2012

TRUSU Membership Advisory Jan 19 • 7:00pm • Grand Hall

Post-Secondary Education Fact:

In 2011/12 the government will fund each student at UBC by $6,637 more than a student at TRU

An evening with:

Peter Mansbridge Canada and Canadians in a changing world

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January 11, 2012  

The January 11, 2012 edition of the Omega