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VOLUME 21 ISSUE 16 JANUARY 18, 2012

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Okay place to be Evil Ebenezer at quarantined 2 Cactus Jacks 5

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Winter is here! Bundle up...this is what it’s supposed to feel like here

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PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIES

TRU’s Independent Student Newspaper


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January 18, 2012

Feature

#Nash74 goes viral. Literally

Sudden illness at its closing doesn’t negate the benefit and enjoyment of a national journalism conference

Mike Davies Editor-in-Chief

Thanks to the Canadian University Endowment Fund (CUEF) and a little creative budgeting, The Omega was able to send not only myself and our business manager (as was the case every other year) but also six other dedicated aspiring journalists to the Canadian University Press (CUP) National Conference (NASH) being held in Victoria last week. To those students I say this: You’re welcome. And I’m sorry. It started out magnificently. I got to f ly out there while the rest of the crew had a road trip down (because I’m the boss, that’s why! If it’s any consolation I had to be up at 4 a.m. to go to the airport), and upon everyone’s arrival and check-in at the hotel, we settled in to our rooms and cracked the conference schedule to see which of the great speakers and sessions we would each get the most out of. That was no easy task as there really wasn’t a dud in the whole lineup, and with a minimum of four different sessions happening per hour, it was not always an obvious choice. Alan Cross (look him up if you don’t know him—but you probably do) gave a humourous, honest and inspiring keynote speech opening night after the buffet, and we set to the task at hand of meeting and befriending as many future (and present) journalists from all over this great nation as we could. I’ll get this admission out of the way right now. We did this largely (though not exclusively) over drinks of the alcoholic variety. Day two saw speakers and sessions ranging from design concepts in journalism with Jason Chiu of the Globe and Mail to business writing to “Publishing with the Prince of Pot,” with Jodie Emery (yes — wife of Mark Emery) as well as various roundtable discussions on publishing and writing concepts. Keynote that night: Anna-Maria Tremonti of the CBC. I’m not going to recount the entire fourday conference for you — but rest assured that day two, as great as it seemed at the time, was a pretty typical day for what was now trending on Twitter as #Nash74. At least until the end of day four. After the JHM Awards were given out for the best-of-the-best in university journalism over the past year, Chris Jones gave a profanity-filled, belly-laugh-inducing, no-punches-pulled speech to end the night and send us off to our formalattire gala off-site at the University of

Victoria. And we were all psyched for it. Until the vomiting started. The first report came back that five students spontaneously began projectile vomiting just before the busses started loading, and were sent to their rooms (presumably to recover from what was assumed to be food poisoning, as they had eaten lunch together that day off-site). Then the first bus was loaded (which I thankfully missed) and was sent on its way. Then Mike Sholars, editor-in-chief of the Excalibur from York University Tweeted, “So for posterity, I truly believe that #Nash74 was just hit with the T-Virus. People puking everywhere. I’m seeking medicine.” And that’s when we knew it wasn’t isolated. And it spread like the plague (and that’s not a cliché in this case). Within hours, not only was the gala —Jason Schreurs cancelled, but Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) had quarantined everyone in their rooms and was tallying the sick and investigating an outbreak of what they suspected was “a Norwalk-type virus,” according to reports we were receiving via Twitter. We made the best of it and kept schmoozing with our fellow journalists upstairs. It was a bit tense, as we were all waiting for someone to lose their dinner at any moment, but it didn’t dampen the atmosphere too badly. And eventually we got tired (a bit earlier than expected or was normal for a final night of a conference) and went our separate ways to sleep.

“Even the sick people were still thanking us and saying it was a great conference.”

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIES Conference delegate Taylor Rocca taunts a seagull with his sandwich during one of the happier periods of the week.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIES The view from the room I recovered in at the Harbour Towers Hotel and Suites. There are worse places to be quarantined...I assume.

I awoke suddenly about 4 a.m. with a very real need for a bathroom. Worried about infecting my roommates (hoping they weren’t already), I didn’t linger to go into details when I told them I was “super sick,” and quarantined myself upstairs. I won’t go into the details of the next few hours here either — but let’s call it “unpleasant from both ends.” Looking back on the whole week, I certainly wouldn’t trade it for staying home. Despite the bout of what was discovered to be the Norovirus according to the VIHA, I had an excellent time, learned a whole lot and got to network and mingle with some very good journalists and allround great people. Devan Tasa, one of the delegates from the Omega crew agreed. “Nash was an excellent experience,” he said upon his return to Kamloops. “I got to meet many people either working or planning to work in the profession. I will be using the lessons learned at Nash 74 for a long time.” He added that the risk of catching the Norovirus does not hinder his ability to look at it as an extremely beneficial experience. And that seems to be almost the consensus. “The response we are getting from delegates about the actual conference has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Jason Schreurs, CUP conference co-ordinator and managing editor of Nexus, one of the two host-papers in Victoria. “Even the sick people were still thanking us and saying it was a great conference.”

Another TRU delagate, Julia Marks, who fought symptoms of the virus on her trip home, praised the handling of the unfortunate situation. “Even through the chaos the coordinators and delegates were doing their best to help those who had fallen sick,” she said. “Even through the awful eight hours of grossness I could look on twitter and see that everyone else was going through the same thing, or they were already getting over it and were making jokes. “This experience will make for great stories at next year’s NASH 75.” Clearly the last fraction of the event being what it was will not lessen what the event turned out to be, considering that even those caught in a virus outbreak are already looking forward to next year’s event. If you’d like to follow along with events in a virtual time machine, log on to Twitter, search #Nash74 and follow along chronologically from about Jan. 10 onward. Delegates generally kept their great sense of humour intact through it all and this social media resource was used to keep everyone informed of the progression of things, and steps being taken to help as well. “It will take quite some time to read — I’m pretty sure we were trending nationally at one point — but it’s a great story if you stick with it. Well done, #Nash74 and everyone involved. Kudos, and we’ll see you again for #Nash75 in about a year.

theomega.ca or @TRU_Omega on Twitter


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January 18, 2012

THE

MEGA

www.theomega.ca

January 18, 2012

Editorial

Volume 21, Issue 16

Published since November 27, 1991

editorialstaff

An apology, a clarification and a medical update

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

SPORTS EDITOR

Nathan Crosby Copy Editor

Larkin Schmiedl Photo Editor

Cory Hope News Editor

Brendan Kergin Promotions Coordinator/Adsales

Amrita Pannu

omegacontributors Amy Berard, Edward Dodd, Mercedes Sharpe-Zayas, Francesca Handy, Tannara Yelland, Susanne Golby

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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

letterspolicy

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.

copyright

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.)

Omega is on Twitter: @TRU_ OMEGA

Editor’s Note Mike Davies Editor-in-Chief

Just a few short but genuine things for this week’s “editor’s note.”

First I’d like to offer my sincere apology to Vanessa Obeng, who contributed a piece to last week’s Omega. At the end of Vanessa’s piece entitled “Christmas, where are you?” I made an “editor’s note” that read as follows: “I’m not sure if this is satire. Take it how you will — and I will do the same” My intent was to point out that tone is difficult to convey in a purely text-based form and that the piece could be read either in a satirical light, or could be taken as a genuine statement about the nature of the Christmas season. My statement clearly did not convey that message, as I had a few questions as to its purpose. I will certainly be more careful in the future as to the phrasing of

TRU students continue to get involved in the community TRU students have utilized their community organizations across Kaskill sets and applied their education mloops. This semester, a visual arts class will to create several innovative programs with a social impact in the community. partner up with an early learning site in Over the past several years, various Kamloops so kids ages three and four can learn to draw what student groups have parta healthy city looks like nered with United Way to them. This artwork to create positive change will be displayed at the in Kamloops. provincial “Cities Fit for Six years ago, TRU Children” conference nursing students realized hosted here in Kamloops there were kids between this upcoming May. the ages of zero to six that I previously wrote did not celebrate their about the living wage birthday because their project and its strong families could not afTRU connections. The ford to. As part of their initial work was compracticum they created pleted by an economics “Birthday Blessings,” a student, Jeff Hicks, on program where families his summer co-op work can ask to receive a speterm. “The amount and cial birthday party bag Amy Berard method of redistributhat includes presents tion of wealth are imand a cake. The Kamloops Homelessness Ac- portant discussions in economics, and tion Plan is a popular project for stu- through the Living Wage I learned the dents since it began two years ago. detailed mechanics of how the govBusiness students created the market- ernment performs those tasks,” said ing campaign that raised awareness for Hicks. His work was then turned into the launch of the plan into the commu- a special topics course and three more nity. Since then nursing, human ser- economics students continued on with vice, social work, and more business his research last fall. And every summer, non-profit orstudents have contributed research and communications skills to move the ganizations across Kamloops add a summer student to their staff, usually plan forward. Every year, human service diploma from TRU. These students help somestudents coordinate a conference for one with a mental health issue tend to young women through the Boys & a garden, lift someone in a wheelchair Girls Club. Last year, more than 80 onto a horse for a riding lesson, or hang at-risk females between the ages of 15 out with youth slightly younger than to 18 attended and participated in their ourselves who have already spent time in juvenile detention. workshops. As someone with new, youthful Nursing students collaborated during a practicum to create a Google map ideas and a post-secondary education, of Kamloops showing all the family- you are exactly the type of person to friendly local businesses available to make a difference. Do not hesitate to parents. This was done in partnership reach out and work on your own imwith the “Success by 6” initiative fo- pactful project. Change starts with cused on the development of children YOUth. ages zero to six. Amy Berard is a TRU business stuMore nursing students have already started work on the maintenance and dent and the campus liaison for United promotion of the Access Kamloops Way. To get connected with the comwebsite. This resource directs people munity, email her at youth@unitedin need to the services provided by waytnc.ca

Know Your Community

commentary, as this is not the first time (and likely not the last, despite all possible efforts) that it has been pointed out that editorial content produced has been misinterpreted. My sincere apologies to those who misunderstood, and please know that I value and appreciate all contributions (solicited or not) that come our way here at The Omega, and will do my best to print them in a professional manner befitting the institution. The second apology/clarification is to those of you who went to an Omega stand to pick up the paper on Jan. 18 and found the edition from Jan. 11. Omega staff and contributors were attending a conference in Victoria last week where there was a virus outbreak, and due to circumstances beyond our control, this week’s Omega was delayed getting to print. For details you can see my feature

on the opposite page, and follow it up with a recounting from others who were involved coming up in next week’s Omega (most mainstream news organizations have been running pieces on the events as well). All delegates from TRU who were at the conference are now symptomfree, and have been for long enough that they are well past the contagion period. Only two of us ever showed symptoms anyway, though we recognize that fact doesn’t mean we still couldn’t carry it or pass it on. This means you can’t catch it from them, so let’s all hear what they have to say about their experience (they learned a lot and are open to sharing that knowledge) rather than keeping your distance and treating them like they snuck off a leper colony. editorofomega@gmail.com

Reviewing a year in review Why do media regurgitate last year’s news until we’re sick of it? Edward Dodd

The Carillon (U of R) REGINA (CUP) — I am so sick of reading last year’s news. If you read most newspapers from the last week, you’ll basically be bombarded with 2011 in review. Unfortunately, the press seems to fear that if it doesn’t talk about the new year, it looks like it is totally unaware that anything occurred. Even before Christmas, the press was blaring on about the year in review. I had the misfortune of watching SportsCentre (and then five or six reruns of the same SportsCentre episode since apparently my sportsobsessed brother needs to watch the same shitty stories repeatedly), and aside from its clichéd and overdramatic coverage of the Russian junior hockey team, it was presenting its standard rundown of the top 40 plays from the last year. What a valuable experience I’ve added to my life: repeatedly watching one play after another with no real context and nothing but an announcer yelling excitedly. Aside from SportsCentre, there was an array of year in reviews from all the other channels. One of my favourites was CTV News’ coverage of the year in review, which amounted to quickly recapping the day’s news event in five minutes so that they could get to what was really important: Jacqueline Milczarek awkwardly trying to contribute to a discussion with two comedians about why men are stupid. Following another five-minute interruption of current events — something about shootings in Nigeria — we were subjected to Richard Crouse talking about the movie year in review, which would be fine if there was anything aside from that.

It felt like a solid hour of Richard Crouse, news, Richard Crouse, news, Richard Crouse, and so on. The only entertainment I could wring out of his segment was yelling at the TV with my brother, demanding to know the real news, i.e. how Crouse had broken his arm. When news channels do get down to reviewing the year in news, they all gravitate towards the same stories. This makes a lot of sense; it should be obvious which news stories were important. But it makes watching the news irritating in the extreme since they are all doing the exact same thing and covering the same stories again. We would be much better served if the news channels took turns recapping the year while the others did something different. The only coverage that kind of looked interesting was CBC’s recap of 2011 through Peter Mansbridge’s interviews from the last year. While it was still a review piece, at least it was something other than quickly running down what happened last year. It was an interesting, creative twist on the idea of yearly reviews — something sorely lacking in other coverage around this time. As far as I am concerned, a yearin-review segment is nothing more than a newsroom indulgence and a reminder of all the things that can happen in a year. Such a reminder should be solely for a little entertainment, and should not take up nearly as much time nor carry as much weight as the media likes to give it, but these year-end practices are by now deeply entrenched in newsroom culture. At the end of next year, I will just have to resort to the one thing I know will work: turning off the TV until the middle of January.


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January 18, 2012

Arts & Entertainment

The bottom five movies of 2011

Our resident movie guy goes the other way with the annual film rundown Cory Hope

Arts and Entertainment Editor Every January I find myself unable to avoid Top Ten lists from the previous year, and the winners are never any of the ones that I would have chosen. Rather than join in the top ten in the traditional fashion (you know, making a top ten list myself ), I decided instead to make a list of the five worst movies I had seen throughout the year. Because it’s my list, and I didn’t waste too much of my time actually going to see many movies that came out in 2011, I’m just making a list of the five worst movies I saw in 2011, not taking into account what year the movies actually came out. Since most of the movies I saw listed this year seemed to be sequels, remakes, reboots, re-imaginings or whatever other new word they want to use to say we’ve seen it before, I think it’s fair for me to be able to make a list of movies from years past.

So, in no particular order, here are the worst movies I saw in 2011.

The Roller Blade Seven. Just because you’ve got a high pain tolerance doesn’t mean you’ll make it through this particular piece of crap. I’m actually quite surprised my DVD player didn’t decide to end its own existence when I loaded this into it, in a fit of, “This is what my life has come to?” The Roller Blade Seven’s lack of a coherent story was far from its only problem, but when the main selling point of a movie is a mummy on roller skates who plays the banjo while other characters are engaged in really poorly choreographed battles for no readily apparent reason, you’d do well to watch this one with friends. Movies this bad are a bonding experience.

Cremaster 3.

The Cremaster series is not readily available on DVD, unless you are willing to shell out a minimum of $100,000.00. That’s right. Over a hundred grand to subject yourself to this nightmarishly pointless tripe. How does one get away with this? First, you have to market it as art. Being a famous artist to begin with is probably a key point here. Next, make sure everyone knows that you’re only making 20 copies, all in custom packaging, then sell them as art. Finally, this ends in you drinking shots of bourbon distilled in unicorn hearts, rolling your own cigarettes using hundred-dollar bills, and laughing to yourself while everyone you know tells you how brilliant you are. Don’t worry. You won’t actually have to be brilliant. Just be pretentious and refuse

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

What was the worst movie you saw in 2011?

to explain anything about it. Just claim people, “Don’t get it,” or something like that. You’ll be fine.

The Expendables. How it came to be that somebody decided to reanimate the corpses of the careers of the likes of Dolph Lundgren and Steve Austin, pair them up with other 80s-era action stars whose careers are currently dodging the coffin with every crap role they ever get, and try to make it sound like the project is epic in proportions is totally beyond me. By and large, the main “stars” of these films are the worst part of them, and the idea of putting them all together should have been the idea behind a National Lampoon’s movie mocking the hell out of the whole lot of them. If I learned anything from The Expendables, it is that in order to save one beautiful girl from the torment of life in a third-world country, it is entirely acceptable for a group of mercenaries to kill and destroy everything she has ever known. The less she has to go back to, after all, the more likely it is that she’ll stay with a dolt like one of them.

Immortel. I’m going to have to admit that this is absolutely the worst film I saw all year. It is the one time where I was seriously considering not seeing the movie through to the end, but the rules of Bad Movie Night

--Stephanie Viventi. Second year human service. Skyline had to be the worst movie I saw, because there was no ending. It just stopped. There was no conclusion. They didn’t exactly leave it open for a sequel, it’s like they just stopped. Like they just ran out of budget, and I was so disappointed because it had the makings of an excellent movie and they just didn’t live up to [it].

--Bonnie Klohn Fourth year bachelor of inderdisciplinary studies. The worst movie I saw in 2011 was Due Date. It was just terrible. It was the kind of thing that fourteen-year-old boys laugh at, and had no more humour than that. It was totally implausible and stupid.

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--Elias Rumley Fourth year bachelor of science. Computer science and mathematics. My Bloody Valentine. People just started dying right away and I didn’t know what was going on. It had nothing redeeming about it. The actors just were at a party, and then everyone started dying. I didn’t even finish it.

(an event held once a month with some friends), decree that all movies must be watched to their end, and there’s no such thing as walking away without somebody pushing pause. I don’t really remember anything about the plot of this movie. I think I have honestly been able to suppress the memory of everything except the constant showing of the gods’ codpieces. All I can really say about this f lick is if you really feel like you have to see it, for the love of whatever god you pray to, don’t invite me to your house that night. I don’t care if it’s a naked cheerleader party night. Keep me the hell away from that movie at any cost. I don’t think I need to continue after that one, now that I think about it. Maybe a bottom four is good enough, and I’m certain that those were the worst movies I saw this year. My own personal to-don’t list of things to re-watch in the future. I also gave up the secret of Bad Movie Night, which means you know I subject myself to these movies intentionally, but with a support group of my peers. I started off saying that this was a Top Five list, though, and I think you deserve a fifth movie. Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus? Mega Python vs. Gatoroid? The Asylum keeps on pumping out these gems, and some of us will continue to watch them, no matter how much it hurts.

Want to review a TV show? Film? Album? Theatre production? Take some pressure off our guy. cory.hope@gmail.com or editorofomega@gmail.com with your ideas


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The Omega · Volume 21, Issue 16

Arts & Entertainment Evil Ebenezer at Cactus Jacks Apparently he’s a good hip-hop guy Cory Hope

Arts & Entertainment Editor I am not, generally speaking, a fan of hip hop. Or bars. Or crowds. I like people, though, or at least watching them, which is one of my favourite reasons to go out on a Friday night. Cactus Jacks was the place in question, and on this Friday the 13th, Bangers and Mash were playing an opening set before Evil Ebenezer took the stage. I was early getting there, and was initially surprised at how few people were out. If ignorance was truly bliss, however, I’d be a really happy person all the time, because my surprise at how dead it was soon turned to surprise about how busy it was. I watched the crowd. I watched as two girls danced with Alex, a wheelchair-bound man I met earlier in the evening. All were smiling and having a good time. Behind the bar, another Alex, last name Adams, was putting four years’ worth of f lair bartending skills to good use as he f lipped full bottles of booze around. I could have sworn he was going

to drop one of them a few times, but those fears were unfounded, it turns out, and if he broke anything I wasn’t there to see it. I was watching other things. I watched as Chris Lynch, the promoter of the show, made his way around the room, making sure everything was running smoothly. I watched as the crowd got bigger and bigger. The dance f loor, previously occupied by one brave soul, was now packed, and gone were the days of selecting a urinal at random. Now, it was “choose the first urinal that doesn’t have somebody sitting at it” time. A quick aside – I’m quite surprised at how clean they manage to keep the bathrooms there on a Friday night. Way to go, CJs. Lastly, I watched as Evil Ebenezer took the stage. I don’t know when the last time I watched a hip-hop show was. It was probably... This was my first hip-hop show. Because I’m not a huge fan of the genre, I wasn’t sure exactly what I’d be seeing, but I had read online that Evil Ebenezer is a Vancouver-based underground hip-hop artist, and if his tour schedule is anything to judge by,

he’s kind of a big deal. Using the crowd as my gauge, I would have to say Evil Ebenezer played a great show. The dance f loor remained packed, the crowd enthusiastically dancing or singing along. (Can I call it singing if it’s hip hop, or is that offensive?) I watched as hundreds of people had a great night. It wasn’t for me, though. Not that I didn’t have a good time, but I think that my first-ever hiphop show is going to serve as my last-ever hip-hop show, as when it comes right down to it, it’s a scene I’m too far removed from to appreciate seeing live. I’ve had the opportunity to see a few shows at Cactus Jacks this year, and I hope to see more of them. It’s a fun place, full of people having a good time, and the staff has always been nice to me as well. Check it out at least once while you’re here. For those of you who might be thinking, “You call that a review? I could do better than that!” - or maybe even yelling it out loud at the paper in front of your faces, the Omega will happily accept and consider submissions from you. See the ad on page four.

Are you a TRU club that wants some ink? We have a deal for you. Contact us for details!

PHOTO BY CORY HOPE Evil Ebenezer braves the flash going off in his face while playing at Cactus Jacks on Friday the 13th.


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January 18, 2012

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7

The Omega · Volume 21, Issue 16

Life & Community

Community Calendar Friday, Jan. 20

Tuesday, Jan. 24

- Co-op information session (Business students) TRUSU boardroom 2:30-3:30 p.m. - Co-op information session (Science students) Science bulding 203 5:30-6:30 p.m.

- Networking 411- ARTS 4:30-6:30 p.m. Speed dating for career advice and how to use their arts degrees effectively.

- BC Hip-Hop fest sponsored by 12 Stones featuring five BC hip-hop artists Contact Tonye at: brownt118@mytru.ca for details

- DODGEBALL! South Sahali Elementary (Up accross from 7-11 on Summit Dr.) Contact Garrett Horvath garrett.horvath@gmail.com for details

International Days

SING AND SHARE: If you were on campus Friday afternoon you might have heard Jonny Daybutch (left) and Justin Young (right) “Singing and sharing.” Jonny joined the Walk For Nations in July, 2011, and walked from Ottawa to Campbell River. He finished the walk on New Year’s Eve.

Mazda’s 1st time Buyers Program NEVER HAD A CAR LOAN? NO CO-SIGNER?

February 6–10, 2012 MC115597

Looking for Volunteers

NO PROBLEM!

CALL DAWNA and drive a new car away TODAY!

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: 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

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January 18, 2012

Life & Community Your union does things!

Upcoming events that you’ve paid for, so you should know about

Brendan Kergin News Editor

A legendary Canadian broadcaster, national Day of Action and the AGM are all on the student union’s docket for the upcoming semester. With classes returning, the first month of the winter semester may be TRUSU’s busiest one all year. The first is the biggest for all fans of CBC. Peter Mansbridge, arguably the most famous news man in Canada and host of the National, CBC’s f lagship news program, will be at TRU to discuss Canada’s place in

the world, and where we fit into the globe. “I think Peter Mansbridge...is going to be right up there,” says TRUSU Executive Director Nathan Lane. “We do one large lecture for Common Voices.” Mansbridge will be speaking in the Campus Activity Centre at the Grand Hall on Jan.19. Tickets, if still available, are free to students at the TRUSU desk near Common Grounds. The annual general meeting arrives the next week, on Jan. 25. This is a chance for TRU students to see what their student union is doing and to see more of the inner workings of the organi-

zation. “There’s a presentation of the annual report, and that will probably be a 30 or 40 minute presentation. “It’s basically everything we’ve done since last January,” said Lane. “It also goes into a published [form] that we haven’t done in the past, it’s just been a presentation.” The published report will be around 45 pages and include the projects the union has been working on since January. The other large item on the AGM is the budget discussions. The council will be presenting the audit for the 2010-2011 bud-

get and discussing how last year went fiscally. After that they will be presenting the 2011-2012 budget. This will be the first time most students will get to see the current budget. Lane said this is so councillors aren’t reporting on a budget which is completely their own and is also to increase responsibility to the budget. Also at the AGM the TRUSU is looking to create an advocacy position for graduate studies, with the long-term goal of one day creating an organization for grad students. “The number of graduate students are growing on campus,

so we’re setting it up so that we can begin the process to start a graduate student collective,” says Lane. A week later, as a member of the Canadian Federation of Students, the TRUSU is organizing participation in the national Day of Action. This is an event CFS member schools hold to protest for lower student fees. “We’re doing a day of action on campus regarding post secondary education,” says Lane. The council and collectives will be continuing work on projects with more events for students throughout the rest of the school year.

The dying breed of dive bars

A search for authenticity in the urban nightscape

Mercedes Sharpe-Zayas The McGill Daily (McGill)

MONTREAL (CUP) — It was one of those cold nights in the city, the kind that leaves your eyes with a tearful glaze. Frustrated with the bitter wind, I dipped into the warm refuge of Bar Primetime for a quick kick to keep me going. Drifting past the clattering echoes of the pool table, I settled down amidst the ranks of older men lining the wooden bar and ordered what I considered a classic — rye and ginger. “What the hell is rye?” the bleary-eyed waitress laughed, staring at the liquors behind the bar in utter stupor. Evidently, drinks were not their specialty.

Finally, a bearded gentleman lifted his gaunt finger from the weathered pages of a book to point out a hidden bottle. “It’s the rye content that gives the whiskey its name,” he muttered as he tucked his head back down. Anita, the waitress, prepared the drink, asking what brought a young girl to the bar by herself. Upon mentioning my interest in dive bars, she took one quick glance around the room and winked, “Well, honey, you came to the right place.” The topic of dive bars elicits a multitude of reactions, most drenched in mild apathy. “Oh, the greasy spoon of bars,” remarked Rebecca Borkowsky, a McGill English lit-

erature student, “Yeah, I don’t do those.” While some students would never step foot into the dark depths of an elusive dive, others praise them for their eclectic atmosphere, cheap beer, and impressive collection of nineties rock. “I’ve revealed some of my deepest secrets over a pitcher at this place, usually to the soundtrack of a soft-rock ballad,” recounted Aaron Vansintjan, a philosophy and environmental studies student and former McGill Daily design and production editor, during a night out in the dim wooden tavern of Aux Verres Stérilisés. The quintessential image of rustic grit associated with a neighbourhood dive can be either appealing or appalling, depending on perspective. For some, these residual spaces are seen as archaic and anarchic in contrast to the postmodern veneer of gentrified brandscapes. For others, these misconceptions of blight are folded into a portrait of urban authenticity, inspiring nostalgia for an unspoken history. As I took a sip of my drink back at Primetime, a young guy by the name of Neal Wilder jostled up next to me wearing a suit and tie, asking for a pen. Having grown up in the area, he gave me a brief history of the street, “All of Parc used to be owned by the Greeks, with parts of it being bought out by the Jewish communities. It wasn’t until the past 10 or 15 years, though, that you began to notice a real change.” As the rents were driven up and storeowners could no longer afford their units, a wave of traditional shops closed down. Primetime was one of the few bars that managed to resist the postmodern push of gentrification. “If you’re looking for an authentic experience, this is it,” Wilder insisted. “One of the few places that stayed true to the authentic spirit of Parc.” What puts these dives on the “cuttingedge” of the fast-paced, post-industrial barscene is, ironically enough, their resistance to the forefront of change. These alternative nightlife spaces aren’t the work of designers or expert mixologists. Rather, they’re socially constructed and collectively imagined by a marginal voice — those members of the community who may elsewhere feel isolated, but here, feel at home — evoking a strong sense of place beyond their gritty façades. When Wilder returned to his game of pool, the well-dressed man sitting beside him picked up where the conversation left off. He went by the name of Marco, and claimed to be a “secret partner” of Primetime. “It’s the politics of dive bars that give them

their character,” he explained, “these face-toface interactions between the patron and the owner create authenticity.” Anyone who has spent a night out at Plage Montenegro (formerly Miami) can relate to this, with the owner’s infamous reputation for pouring free drinks to keep the conversation flowing. And it’s these conversant proprietors who are our city’s true historians, scattering obscured chronicles of drinking cultures across the city. Back in the day, the advent of advanced dishware sanitation was a major attraction for drinking establishments in Montreal. Taverns in the 1930s and 1940s would hang large billboards boasting “Verres Stérilisés” to all who walked the streets. Yet as the years moved on, these taverns were torn down, one by one, until only the façade of “Aux Verres Stérilisés” remained on the corner of St. Hubert and Rachel. “This bar has been open since the 1940s, passed down from grandfather to father to son,” the bartender explained in broken English, as he placed a single white rose on the cash register. “People are gathering from the neighbourhood, they’re drawn by the conversations and the cheap drinks.” When I ventured out to St. Henri, a similar trend towards neighbourhood identity was taking place. The dolled-up waitress at Le Black Jack Bar would go back and forth between answering my questions and fact-checking with the regulars, creating an unconventional sense of community. This is not meant to glorify dive bars as the last saving grace of community spirit. While these bars might stand in solidarity against the problem of public alienation, they are not always doing so in legal terms. The limited profits accrued from VLTs, jukeboxes, pool matches and inexpensive drinks often suggest alternative means of income to sustain business. “It’s a controlled environment, but it’s corrupt,” Wilder hinted. Fortunately for the dives, dystopian representations of the urban city often entice the younger crowds in search for a cheap thrill. “The real problem arises when you reach a certain carrying capacity,” Marco warned. “If too many students started coming to Primetime, it would no longer be true to itself. It would kill the spirit.” As a result, these holes in the wall must limit their advertising schemes to word of mouth and unassuming awnings. It’s a strategic game of survival, maintained by an age-old cautionary tale: With any public declaration of authenticity, an obituary is soon to follow.


9

The Omega · Volume 21, Issue 16

Science & Technology

University of Calgary professors develop method to help clean tailings pond water

Lab-grown biofilm offers improved water reclamation measures

Tannara Yelland

Prairies & Northern Bureau Chief SASKATOON (CUP) — What started in 2009 as a side project with low expectations has quickly yielded impressive results and garnered funding from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. University of Calgary biochemistry professor Raymond Turner began working with Howard Ceri, a U of C biology professor, on creating a biofilm that would assist in the detoxification and reclamation of some tailings pond water left over after oil sands excavation. While Turner is not working on providing a “solution to the tailings ponds,” as he worries some coverage has painted it, he and his team have grown a biofilm capable of assisting in the reclamation process of tailings water that has been taken out of the ponds for eventual release back into the environment. The problem with this water is that while it has settled into different layers of sediment, there are still many metals and compounds present that make it unsafe. “We gave the project six months

to see if it would work,” Turner said, laughing. “I never thought it would work in a lab... Where we are now is where we thought we would be in five years.” Turner and Ceri teamed up to use their respective specializations — Turner has been studying metal-resistant bacteria for 14 years, while Ceri has focused on biofilms — to create a biofilm that would absorb the heavy metals in tailings water without being degraded by them. Biofilm is a group of microbes working in concert. They occur frequently in nature; tooth plaque is an example. Turner was initially skeptical of the entire project because it was unknown when they began if they would even be able to create biofilm in a lab setting, but Turner said he was “actually able to grow a fairly good percentage of the community” he was dealing with, growing between 400 and 500 of the 900-odd organisms that were part of the community he was studying. It was important to the group that they work with biofilm as opposed to the individual organisms that comprise it because many other groups are already working with isolated organ-

isms, Turner explained. Studying a single organism, or a family of organisms, prevents the resulting research from taking full advantage of the biofilm’s ability to degrade dangerous elements in tailings water. The organisms work together in nature for a reason. Since the project proved successful at creating whole biofilm in a lab, they have worked on making it more metalresistant and metal-absorbent, testing it by growing it in various conditions — with and without oxygen, and with different amounts of fertilizer. The different conditions are important because tailings ponds are not in any way uniform. From company to company and even pond to pond, the water can have markedly different levels of alkalinity and acidity, as well as different organic compounds. “The biofilms we have are incredible hardy,” Turner said. “They are able to accumulate lots of metal.” Turner likened the biofilm’s function to the ballrooms many fast-food restaurants have for children: the biofilm is grown on small ball-bearings, and dirty water flows through them. As it passes, metals that are in the

PHOTO COURTESY SUSANNE GOLBY An example of the University of Calgary professors’ biofilm work. The darker coloration is the organics and oil droplets and bacteria biofilms are growing on the droplets.

water stick to the biofilm-laden balls. Once the biofilm is removed from the balls, it can be run through a smelter to extract the metals, many of which are precious. This makes Turner’s work not only beneficial environmentally, but economically.

Turner and Ceri have almost concluded their work on this project, but that is simply the first step. They have struck up a partnership with two engineers at the University of Alberta who will soon begin testing the biofilm in a water treatment facility to see how it works in practice.

Health problems not simply the result of lifestyle choices

Researcher points out issues in our environment ‘that create the conditions for disease’

Francesca Handy

The Cord (Wilfrid Laurier) WATERLOO (CUP) — The growing number of “sugar-free,” “no transfats” and “reduced salt” products in grocery stores suggest that Canadians are trying to make healthy choices. However, according to Dr. Bruce Lanphear, a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-funded researcher currently studying the the environment’s effect on health, there are some factors that people have little control over and of which they may not even be aware. Dr. Lanphear has been involved in research for almost 20 years and while he focuses on industrial pollutants and

environmental chemicals, there are many other important environmental factors that he tries to take into account. He defines the term “environment” broadly, explaining it involves “thinking about the environment as those conditions, those pollutants that either cause disease or disability or make it convenient or inconvenient to adopt healthy lifestyles.” As the environment is often something most people have little control over, Dr. Lanphear emphasized that the federal and provincial government have a duty to correct the current conditions affecting the health of citizens. “Lifestyle is sort of a crutch. It’s easy for a federal agency or [World Health Organization], for example, to blame people for their own problems

— ‘That person chose to smoke, that person chose not to be physically active,’” he said. “When we think of environment, often times in public health we think about those things that create the conditions for disease, so it’s not so much blaming people for their lifestyle choices but things like how close [somebody lives] to the highway or an industrial plant, and the industrial pollutants that are emitted which they can’t control.” Factors that affect health and can lead to problems such as heart disease — the leading cause of death worldwide — include air pollution, lead exposure, blood lead levels and tobacco exposure. “There have been a number of stud-

ies that show when you ban smoking in public places there are fairly striking reductions in acute heart attacks,” said Dr. Lanphear. “Even low levels, levels that we thought were innocuous even a decade ago, we’re now beginning to recognize can have a profound impact on disease and even death.” Lead exposure is also much more damaging than is commonly believed and is also linked to heart disease and other health issues. “In other cases, like with mental health problems, ADHD or criminal behaviour — anti-social behaviours, as we call them — there are other factors like lead exposure again, which people have relatively little control over,” he added. Lanphear suggested some simple

short-term solutions to help people reduce the potentially harmful effects of their environment, advising people to buy fresh foods to avoid pesticides that conventional produce might contain, avoid smoking and permitting smoking in their households, and finally, to try to take advantage of public transportation. “What we ultimately need to do is to find ways to dramatically reduce the allowable levels of industrial pollutants and environmental chemicals in the air and in our foods in particular, but also in the water we drink,” he said. “For that, we really have to rely on federal agencies or provincial government to help control those kinds of exposures because it’s really beyond the ability of most of us.”

Mansbridge is coming This & other events MC00115628

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Across 1. Shuttlecock 5. Ho Chi Minh City 11. Calendar abbr. 14. Brother of Jacob 15. Burning 16. Chemical ending 17. Developer 19. Pilot’s announcement, briefly 20. Watery motion 21. Watch the bottom 23. Tree under which Buddha was born 24. Storage cylinder 26. Textile designer and printmaker Albers 27. 1545 council site 29. “Cheaper by the dozen” actress, Hilary 32. Kind of room 33. Crumb 35. Plane, e.g. 37. Parked oneself 38. Real estate listing information, often 41. Cow or sow 43. Kind of palm 44. Low card 45. Microscope part 47. Study, say 49. Medieval light 53. Four Corners state 54. Ancient alphabetic character 56. Before, of yore

57. End of boyish period 61. Potato measurement 63. Track action Commodore’s lyric, “She’s ____” and home description 64. 66. Be off base 67. Ending 68. Boxer Spinks 69. Jamie Foxx’s legend 70. Out of it 71. Sheltered, at sea Down 1. Bidding 2. Meteorologist’s line 3. Talk aimlessly 4. The Everly Brothers composition 5. Riyadh resident 6. Away from home 7. Under the weather 8. Moves restlessly 9. Foreboding 10. Roman fiddler 11. Gentleness 12. Wave catcher 13. One not wearing rose colored glasses 18. Eating places 22. St. Louis pro 25. Alfresco 28. Parent’s order

30. FYI part 31. Contractor’s measure 34. Ski lift 36. Opposite of sophisticated and advanced 38. All the renters on an estate 39. It may need massaging 40. Jersey call 41. Type of party 42. Greek woman who was a social climber 46. “Quiet!” 48. Clout 50. Fill up the tank again 51. Defoe character 52. Satellite of Saturn 55. A natural juice 58. Clods 59. Life lines? 60. Bond opponent 62. Kind of nut 65. 007 creator Fleming W H O M

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11

The Omega · Volume 21, Issue 16

Sports Women’s basketball team drops two despite gutsy effort Nathan Crosby Sports Editor

A wrestling tournament moved the basketball teams to the old TRU gym last weekend, and the women’s team adapted despite losing twice to the number-three-ranked UBC Thunderbirds. “It’s a tough loss. They are the number-three-ranked team in the country,” WolfPack guard Jen Ju said. The first game on Jan. 13 saw a fired up TRU team score early and aggressively. Coming off back-to-back wins over Winnipeg and Manitoba, TRU’s energy was ground down trying to keep up with the highlytouted Thunderbirds. The ‘Pack shooters weren’t getting the lucky bounces, and finished the night shooting 33 per cent from the field, losing 74-58. WolfPack forward Diane Schuetze finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds and added to her resume of Canada West MVP. Redemption, though, comes in many forms. The women came out the next night and put UBC on the ropes only to come up short in a 59-55

thrilling loss on Jan. 14. The ‘Pack played their best ball in the third and fourth quarter of the second game, outscoring the TBirds 34-33 to tie the game at 55 with under a minute to play. Unfortunately, WolfPack guard Kaitlyn Widsten, who played one of her best games of the year, missed a three pointer that forced TRU to intentionally foul UBC guard Kristen Hughes. “We had faith when Kate took that last shot and everyone thought it was going in, but you know what — that’s tough luck,” Ju said. Hughes went to the free throw line up 57-55 and iced the game by going two for two to make it a two possession ball game that the ‘Pack had 10 seconds to convert on. A miracle wasn’t in the cards. “I’m pretty confident we didn’t think for a moment we were going to lose that game,” Ju said. “We got more than enough shots but they didn’t go in. If were to convert on those, we would have, may have got the W.” Kaitlyn Widsten would finish with 15 points and five rebounds and only one personal foul. She was named player of the game.

Her one assist came on a hardworking effort as she wrestled the ball out of two Thunderbird player’s hands on the ground. She then quickly passed it off to Diane Schuetze who finished the play. It jolted TRU’s offence and got the team back in the game. Holding the high-flying Thunderbird offence to 59 points wasn’t easy, but the play of veteran forwards Michelle Dimond and Kailey Colonna made it irritating for the T-Birds to score points. Colonna would finish with a team-high six rebounds and two blocks while Dimond finished with three rebounds and two steals. “I thought we executed our defence really well, we had a lot of good defensive possessions, but our shots didn’t go in this weekend but they will next weekend,” Jen Ju said. The two losses move the WolfPack to a 5-7 record that ties them with Victoria. Trinity Western sits ahead of the two teams for the final playoff spot. The ‘Pack will hit the road to Alberta, Saskatchewan and a showdown in Langley with the Spartans to see if they are for real and destined for the playoffs.

PHOTO BY CORY HOPE Guard Jorri Duxbury makes her way by the defender to work the ball upcourt on Jan. 13 at the TCC.

King injured during men’s basketball two-loss weekend Nathan Crosby Sports Editor

Retro weekend was tough on the Wolf Pack men’s basketball team as they fall two games under .500 by dropping two games to the number-f ive-ranked UBC Thunderbirds. The ‘Pack lost 83-66 on Jan. 13 and 78-54 on Jan. 14 at the old TRU gym. It didn’t help that their star player didn’t play the second game. For ward Justin King, the CIS scoring leader, injured his right hand in the four th quar ter of the Friday game against the Thunderbirds and didn’t dress for the Saturday loss. “Injuries are par t of a basketball game,” Wolf Pack head

coach Scott Clark said. “There was an injur y and people need to step up and respond. “At times it happened, but obviously not enough.” Wolf Pack training staff believes the hand isn’t broken, according to Clark, but said when King is ready to go he will be put back in the lineup. King’s absence put the pressure on the Wolf Pack to match the high-scoring Thunderbirds offence, but it was too much for TRU to handle. “We have to have someone we can go to when it’s money time and I felt that we really never had that,” Clark said. Wolf Pack for ward Chas Kok sunk a three in the f irst moments of the game to give the ‘Pack their only lead.

UBC answered with a tenpoint r un until Wolf Pack guard Akeem Pier re went on a tear, sinking a three ball, a lay-up and a jumper all within four minutes. He would f inish with nine points and f ive rebounds after fouling out in the four th quarter. The game also saw many of the young ‘Pack players get serious cour t time. Post Ivan Bozinovic made two baskets in the second quar ter within seconds of each other, one of which was smoothly fed from rookie Zach Usher wood. The third quar ter was when things got nasty. UBC for ward Balraj Bains went one-on-one with Chas Kok and cut across to beat Kok, set-

ting himself up for a huge dunk. Bains’ momentum swung his body sideways while he was still hanging onto the net. By this time rookie post Ivan Bozinovic had caught up to the play and was unfor tunately caught in Bains landing area. A scr um ensued and Bains was clearly upset. Despite apologizing, Bozinovic was ejected from the game, charged with an intentional foul. “I don’t think the kid (Bozinovic) had any intention there, but I don’t think we responded well to that. “Sometimes when you’re a young team, you can be wowedout by something like that,” Clark said. The event f ired up Bains, who

followed it up with two more dunks that shook the moorings of the old TRU hoops. Blaz Bosinonvic got in on the fun and gave the crowd some energy with his own monster jam. “UBC came out and ground us away and executed, but it’s not a 24-point ball game, per se, it got away a bit on us at the end,” Clark said. TRU for ward Chas Kok f inished with 19 points and 12 rebounds, but UBC out-rebounded the ‘Pack by ten boards. The veteran lineup of Doug Plumb, Nathan Yu, Balraj Bains and for mer Wolf Pack player Kamar Burke dug into the WolfPack all weekend and wore out the home team’s energy. The ‘Pack drop to 5-7.

WolfPack Prowl Basketball

Volleyball

Women’s

Women’s

Saturday Feb. 11 5 p.m. @ TCC vs UBCO

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

Men’s

Men’s

Saturday Feb.11 7 p.m. @ TCC vs UBCO

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

(LAST HOME GAMES!)

Hockey Friday Jan. 20 8:30 p.m. Memorial Arena vs Okanagan College Coyotes PHOTO BY CORY HOPE Brett Rouault goes to the hoop to keep it close early, but the ‘Pack dropped both games to fall below .500.


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K / COLOURED BACKGROUND www.trusu.ca/section/183

unemployment is 16.2%, more January 18, 2012 than double the overall rate

TRUSU Membership Advisory

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 1.0) 1.1) 1.2) 1.3) 1.4) 1.5) 1.6) 1.7)

Call to Order Approval of the Agenda Presentation of the Annual Report Special Resolutions (available at trusu.ca) Presenation of the 2011-12 Budget Presentation of the 2010-11 Audited Financial Statements Appointment of the Auditor Adjournment

You shouldn’t have to choose between tuition and groceries Packages available at the Members’ Services JAN. 25,in12PM, TRUSU Boardroom Desk the Students’ Union Building

N WHITE BACKGROUND

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The January 18, 2012 edition of the Omega

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