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Meet your new president-elect, Denver Della-Vedova // Pages 4-8

Monday, February 1, 2021

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News Sil Sit Down: MSU President Giancarlo Da-Ré on Presidentials 2021 Current MSU President Da-Ré discusses election “what ifs?”, advice and student engagement Urszula Sitarz News Editor

The McMaster Students Union Elections department announced a one-week extension of the MSU presidentials nomination period from Jan. 14 to Jan. 21, 2021. The extension was announced the morning of Jan. 13 via social media — one day before nominations were set to close. The reason for the extension is unclear; however, it is likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The nomination period opened on Dec. 2, 2020 and ended at 5:00 p.m. on Jan. 21, 2021. The extended nomination period would delay the start of the campaigning period. Campaigning was supposed to be from Jan. 24 and end on Feb. 4 at 4:30 p.m., while the voting period would be from Feb. 2 to Feb. 4 at 4:30 p.m. However, MSU Elections announced on Jan. 22 that at the end of the nomination period one nomination had been received. Denver Della-Vedova has been acclaimed as MSU president-elect for the 20212022 term. In an interview with the Silhouette prior to the acclamation, current MSU President Giancarlo Da-Ré discussed his experiences with running for MSU president, offered advice to candidates and shared insight on how the campaign period may play out. As the MSU Elections department operates with a degree of impartiality from the MSU elected officials, including the Board of Directors, they made the decision to extend the nomination period. Da-Ré noted that earlier this year, he discussed electoral engagement with his counterparts at student unions across the country and noted that they shared concerns

of lowered engagement due to a virtual learning environment. “All the options to engage with friends and with MSU services are online. I don’t blame students for wanting a break from all that. And so we’ve naturally had to take that in consideration from the MSU, where obviously we want students to know about all of our services, all of our offerings and benefits that they have as a part of the MSU. But also we’re not trying to contribute to that stress and that Zoom fatigue,” said Da-Ré.

“ We want students to know about all of our services, all of our offerings and benefits that they have as a part of the MSU. But also we’re not trying to contribute to that stress and that Zoom fatigue,” Giancarlo Da-Ré MSU President However, Da-Ré remained hopeful that even with potentially fewer candidates, the election could see an increase in voter engagement from previous years. When asked what he hoped to see from the candidates, Da-Ré was interested to see how candidates would find new ways to campaign. “I think it’s up to candidates to ensure that they’re creating opportunities to engage with voters and for voters to engage with candidates how those voters will want to engage with candidates,” said Da-Ré. An entirely online MSU

presidential election has never happened before — a stark contrast to the typical in-person tabling that many candidates do within the McMaster University Student Centre. Da-Ré was also curious to see candidate ideas for supporting students through the pandemic. He acknowledged that students have been struggling with the pandemic and online learning, while noting how ideal supports differ among students. He expected that candidates would discuss student supports as a key issue of the campaign, similar to how the Student Choice Initiative was an issue of importance during his run for office in 2020. Da-Ré reflected on his experience running for MSU president. He noted that it was challenging at first but that he ultimately enjoyed the experience, especially interacting with students and understanding their priorities. “I had a lot of fun with it, chatting with folks, but you do feel like you are under a microscope for the duration of the campaign period. So it takes a little bit of time to get used to that level of scrutiny and then ideally, if you can kind of get past that a little bit or get used to it, then it starts to be lots of fun,” said Da-Ré. When asked to offer advice to candidates or those who hoped to run, Da-Ré shared that he sought advice and reflected a lot before his campaign. “One of the most important things for folks, just when you’re thinking about running or when you’re building your campaign or your vision, is why you want to run. What is your overall reasoning for running for MSU president? If you can really solidify your vision for campus and your reason for wanting to run for MSU President, ideally have that vision and that reasoning, that “why” is reflected in

everything that you’re trying to do,” said Da-Ré.

“What is your overall reasoning for running for MSU president?... that “why” is reflected in everything that you’re trying to do,” Giancarlo Da-Ré MSU President Da-Ré also expressed gratitude to the potential candidates for stepping outside of their comfort zones and supporting students. “Thank you to all these candidates for committing their time during school and for trying to build a better MSU community for students. Students need a little support right now and we’re doing what we can do to try and leave the MSU in a better place than we found it. I want to thank the candidates for looking forward to continuing that work and supporting students during some difficult times of tribulation,” said Da-Ré. Due to a lack of engagement seen during COVID-19, questions surrounding how many students would run for MSU president arose. If no candidates were to come forward by the end of the campaign period, Da-Ré hesitated to speculate but believed that the nomination period would likely be extended; however, the decision would be up to the MSU Elections department. If only one candidate ran MSU president, according to Da-Ré, the MSU bylaw states that the candidate would be acclaimed MSU President-Elect. “3.3.1 If the number of valid

nomination forms submitted is fewer than or equal to the number of available positions, the CRO shall declare all nominees duly elected by acclamation.”

3.3.1 If the number of valid nomination forms submitted is fewer than or equal to the number of available positions, the CRO shall declare all nominees duly elected by acclamation. On Jan. 22, the MSU Elections department announced on social media that one presidential candidate application had been received. Denver Della-Vedova has been acclaimed as MSU president-elect for the 2021-2022 term. Da-Ré took to social media to congratulate Della-Vedova. “Very excited to start the transition process and to watch Denver strengthen the undergraduate experience at McMaster,” wrote Da-Ré. @TheSilhouette

PHOTO C/O MSU ELECTIONS


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www.thesil.ca | Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

NEWS

Meet the MSU president-elect of 2021-2022 Get to know the newly acclaimed MSU President-Elect Denver Della-Vedova Adrian Salopek Features Reporter

The nomination period for the 2021 McMaster Students Union presidential election ended on Jan. 21. As the only nominee received by the elections department, Denver Della-Vedova has officially been acclaimed as MSU president-elect. Della-Vedova’s presidential term will begin on May 1, 2021. Della-Vedova is currently in his fourth year of honours life sciences with a minor in environmental sciences. In addition to his passion for guitar, gaming and seeing trails and waterfalls around McMaster University, he has been involved with student government for several years — including throughout his high school years and his past three years at McMaster. In his first year of university, he was a member of First Year Council and has been part of the Student Representative Assembly for the past two years. His passion for student government finds its roots in his drive to empower others around him and to help his fellow students get the most out of their learning institution. “I really like helping people,” explained Della-Vedova. “I like making sure people get what they want out of their learning institution. And I really wanted to be able to focus on bringing folks together, especially this year.”

“I like making sure people get what they want out of their learning institution. And I really wanted to be able to focus on bringing folks together, especially this year.” Denver Della-Vedova MSU President Elect 2021-2022

Della-Vedova was the only nominee for the MSU presidency this year, which has been the cause of discussion and debate on social media, but he is focused on looking to the future. Some students have expressed frustration over there being no student input during the process of Della-Vedova being acclaimed as MSU president-elect. To this, Della-Vedova expressed understanding — an understanding of the frustration, giving a promise to show the student body who he really is and that he is ready to serve the Mac community to the best of his abilities. “I’m really excited to move forward. As you know, obviously, it’s an issue among students with the acclamation process in policy issue. So I’m sure that the SRA is gonna work on that and debate about that. But as it stands, I’m trying to focus on the future,” said Della-Vedova. Part of Della-Vedova’s focus on the future is ensuring the student body is made aware of his campaign and plans as MSU president, something that would typically happen during the campaign period. Della-Vedova’s campaign is centered on three pillars: accessibility; bettering advocacy; and community, togetherness and support. The three come together to form his slogan, “Denver’s ABCs”. Accessibility within the university is an important issue to Della-Vedova. His passion for ensuring accessibility is grounded in his work over the past six summers at Stripe Learning Centre for Children, a physiotherapy camp for youth with cerebral palsy. He is very interested in overcoming issues negatively impacting accessibility at Mac. He is especially interested in making the reintegration of in-person learning accessible for all students. One of the main ways in which Della-Vedova hopes to improve accessibility is to try to centralize the avenues and channels students use to communicate within courses, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams

and Avenue to Learn. Although Della-Vedova’s hope to reduce channels of communication within courses is a campaign point that will surely resonate with many students, it is currently unclear how he will accomplish this. Della-Vedova also seeks

One of the main ways in which DellaVedova hopes to improve accessibility is to try to centralize the avenues and channels students use to communicate within courses. to improve and expand upon the ways in which the MSU currently advocates for students. He seeks to build upon what is already in place with regards to student advocacy and implement improvements where possible. “As for bettering advocacy, I’ve said bettering too, because . . . I love what the MSU does for advocacy,” explained Della-Vedova. “But I want to improve it where I can . . . so tuition advocacy, financial aid, international student representation and campus safety — these are all things that I think we need to advocate [more] on.” Della-Vedova believes his

“Tuition advocacy, financial aid, international student representation and campus safety — these are all things that I think we need to advocate [more] on.” Denver Della-Vedova MSU President Elect 2021-2022

background in student advocacy and government will help him achieve these goals. For example, he hopes to be able to use his position to implement ways for students to learn more about their tuition, OSAP and provincial government. He also wishes to help students have greater access to resources and events surrounding student housing and

Bettering Advocacy tenant rights. Della-Vedova also wants to better utilize student advocacy organizations such as Undergraduates of Canadian Research Universities and Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance. The MSU is a member of both of these organizations, which advocate to the federal and provincial governments, respectively. Although he has not dealt with UCRU directly,

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Della-Vedova looks forward to discussing McMaster student issues with them. “I’ve looked into what we’ve done in the past, I know there’s been advocacy that was done through UCRU and through OUSA,” explained Della-Vedova. “But I just want to lean into them a little more this year and really push.” Racial profiling by security on campus has been a concern

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The Silhouette

www.thesil.ca | Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

for McMaster students this past year, ultimately leading to SRA passing a motion calling for the removal of the head of security services and an end to the special constable program on campus.

pillar and his associated endeavours, he hopes to bring the McMaster community together for the 2021-2022 school year. Among his ideas, he plans to focus on improving mental health services, restructuring Welcome Week and addressing issues affecting MSU clubs. MSU clubs provide a

Among [DellaVedova’s] ideas, he plans to focus on improving mental health services, restructuring Welcome Week and addressing issues affecting MSU clubs.

Accessibility When asked about this issue, Della-Vedova explained he plans to consult the Equity and Inclusion Office and research other Canadian campus safety models to understand how to better address this situation. Although he did not directly discuss racial profiling and racism at Mac in his campaign, he did acknowledge that the fight against racial profiling has been a student-led effort and the importance of students in this conversation. “Students have been at the front of this advocacy and I think they’re a huge part of this conversation, too,” said Della-Vedova. The final aspect of Della-Vedova’s campaign is his community, togetherness and supports pillar. Through this

sense of community for many McMaster students. This year, there was a lot of concern with the MSU requiring clubs to have 25 members. Della-Vedova hopes to consult with the clubs advisory council and the MSU to address these issues. In order to strengthen the McMaster community, Della-Vedova also hopes to improve the delivery of student mental health services. The president-elect believes the key to this is the implementation of an online booking system for the

Student Wellness Centre, which would allow for empty appointment slots to be filled. Although he has not consulted with the Student Wellness Centre directly or made concrete plans for this idea, he is hoping to do so soon. Della-Vedova has many plans for his MSU presidency, although some of them may lack clarity. He has been interested in taking on the role of MSU president since his first year. He said that the Mac community has given him a lot over the past several years and he is looking forward to giving back through this role, regardless of the circumstances of his victory. “The biggest thing I’d like

The Mac community has given him a lot over the past several years and he is looking forward to giving back through this role

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“The biggest thing I’d like to say about Mac itself is the community has always kept me in a good mood,” explained Della-Vedova. “That was actually why I picked McMaster to go to.” Denver Della-Vedova MSU President Elect 2021-2022

@TheSilhouette

to say about Mac itself is the community has always kept me in a good mood,” explained Della-Vedova. “That was actually why I picked McMaster to go to.”

Denver’s ABC’s Accessibility Bettering Advocacy: Education, Equity and Equality Community, Togetherness and Support PHOTO C/O DENVER DELLA-VEDOVA

GRAPHIC BY ESRA RAKAB/PRODUCTION COORDINATOR


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NEWS

www.thesil.ca | Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

The election that wasn’t: MSU president acclaimed MSU president-elect acclaimed for the first time in at least 40 years Urszula Sitarz News Editor

For the first time in at least 40 years, the McMaster Students Union president-elect has been acclaimed. At the end of the 2021 nomination period, MSU Elections received only one candidate and Denver Della-Vedova became MSU president-elect. According to Silhouette archives, an average of six candidates per year have ran for the presidential position from 1990 to 2000. Notably, the 1994 election had 12 candidates. General Manager John McGowan, who has been with the MSU since February 2002, is not aware of a president ever being acclaimed. Oussama Badran, a thirdyear kinesiology student, and other students have raised concerns. “We’re not getting a choice in a president that definitely has power and is getting a paycheck on our dime. So I just need to know why is this happening, why didn’t [the MSU] do a better job of advertising and actually, in particular, why didn’t they just extend the deadline?,” said Badran.

“We’re not getting a choice in a president that definitely has power and is getting a paycheck on our dime,” Oussama Badran Third-year kinesiology student

The end of the extended nomination period came on Jan. 21. According to MSU Chief Returning Officer, Hargun Grewal, the nomination period was

extended to match the extended winter break and to ensure students had the opportunity to run. With one candidate, Bylaw 7/A section 3.3.1 was enforced: “If the number of valid nomination forms submitted is fewer than or equal to the number of available positions, the CRO shall declare all nominees duly elected by acclamation.”

“If the number of valid nomination forms submitted is fewer than or equal to the number of available positions, the CRO shall declare all nominees duly elected by acclamation,” MSU Elections Bylaw Bylaw 7/A section 3.3.1

The MSU Elections department is responsible for upholding and enforcing the elections bylaws of the MSU, including 7/A. They act as impartial arbiters to ensure that elections are run in a fair and transparent manner as the bylaws outline. Badran felt that there was a lack of communication from the MSU about these procedures, including the possibility of an acclamation and about the election itself. Current MSU President Giancarlo Da-Ré discussed the result and the bylaw that dictated it. “What we have seen this year is the impact of an acclamation of the MSU president. Evidently there are some students that feel that they did not get to know the candidate before the results were announced, which I think is a fair concern to have, a fair frustration from students,” said Da-Ré. The bylaws that govern the MSU and its elections are subject to change. According to MSU Associate Vice-President: Internal Governance, Michelle

Brown, the Board of Directors have tasked her and the Internal Governance Committee to do a review on bylaw 7/A.

“I think it [the acclamation] warrants a discussion at the [SRA] level where we can follow our normal democractic processes . . . I definitely think that it’s something that can come to SRA for discussion, debate and I look forward to being a part of that debate,” Giancarlo Da-Ré McMaster Students Union President, 2020-2021

“I think it [the acclamation] warrants a discussion at the [Student Representative Assembly] level where we can follow our normal democractic processes. I know that the Internal Governance Committee is aware of these frustrations from other students and as they do with other policies and bylaws throughout the year, they’re looking into bylaw 7/A to see if this is something that should come to SRA. I definitely think that it’s something that can come to SRA for discussion, debate and I look forward to being a part of that debate,” said Da-Ré. The IG committee is composed of six voting members and the AVP IG, who is the non-voting chair. The voting members include four SRA members and two non-SRA MSU members, though other MSU members are welcome to participate in a non-voting capacity. Della-Vedova is currently one of the four voting SRA members on the committee. “I think it’s important for me, as the chair of the commit-


The Silhouette

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tee, to try and stay as impartial as possible so that I can try my best to help facilitate an unbiased conversation within the committee and so that we can make the best suggestions possible to the SRA,” said Brown.

Della-Vedova is currently one of the four voting SRA members on the committee. According to Brown, a committee member will usually lead the bylaw review, conducting research and proposing evidence-based ideas. Research includes studying procedures from various organizations, like student unions and governments. The committee will discuss and debate ideas, including ideas from other members and MSU parties, until they have formed a cohesive proposal. That proposal is then circulated to the SRA, discussed and debated at assembly, then voted upon. Approval from the SRA results in bylaw changes, while a rejection would send the bylaw back to the IG committee, restarting the revision process. Deputy Returning Officer, Alison Hacker, discussed that her and Grewal as the DRO and CRO, respectively, have been invited to an internal governance committee meeting on bylaw 7/A.

“On behalf of the elections department, we believe that this is a fair conversation to be had and we are again in full support of supporting the review of this bylaw as needed,” said Hacker. “We do our best job just to uphold the bylaws, offer transparency in times when there’s a lot of confusion, such as now and offer as much support to any of these investigative processes as they work to make elections more equitable moving forward.” Another of the four SRA voting members on IG is Simranjeet Singh of SRA Science. This is his second term on the assembly. Singh believed there should be a vote of confidence for MSU president, either by the students or SRA. He also spoke in favour of a minimum number of candidates and an extended nomination period until that number is reached. Currently, he believed that the SRA would be better suited to take the vote because of the existing procedures for vice-presidential elections, which include a vote of confidence in the case of one candidate. He acknowledged criticisms of the SRA as ill-informed but believed a presidential vote of confidence could be easily incorporated. “I also fear that if there’s only one candidate, that it’s sent to a student poll, because students wouldn’t have as much background before they would go ahead and vote, we

might just get a confidence vote, essentially, no matter what. I don’t have evidence to back it up, that’s just my fear based on my understanding, so it could definitely be wrong,” explained Singh. A key distinction between MSU presidential and vice-presidential elections, particularly around acclamation, is their respective electorates. As McGowan explained, the president is selected from the general student population while the vice-presidents are elected by the SRA. “The rationale is probably due to the want of the SRA to ensure that there’s not just a candidate that comes forward, but also the diligence and screening those candidates,” said McGowan.

“The rationale is probably due to the want of the SRA to ensure that there’s not just a candidate that comes forward, but also the diligence and screening those candidates,” John McGowan General Manager, McMaster Students Union

To Singh’s fear of guaranteed confidence, in the 2020 presidential election more students abstained than voted for the third place candidate. While abstentions do not necessarily mean no confidence, there is evidence that the student body would vote with just cause.

Student government is wonderful, but sometimes you really need to listen to the people you’re representing instead of making an assumption,”

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from the source? Student government is wonderful, but sometimes you really need to listen to the people you’re representing instead of making an assumption,” said Badran. An SRA vote of confidence also raises questions on which SRA would cast the vote — the incoming SRA, as with vice-presidents, or the outgoing assembly who are now used to their roles, as Singh discussed. There are many options to consider in the bylaw revision process, including options not mentioned in this article.

@TheSilhouette

Oussama Badran Third-year kinesiology student Badran discussed a shorter campaign period in the event of one candidate as a chance for the student body to determine if they have confidence. He also believed there is merit to an SRA vote of confidence, but also discussed the importance of student voice. “I feel like this [proposed bylaw changes] is supposed to represent us. How are you supposed to represent us if you can’t get our opinions straight

PHOTO C/O JOOIN PHOTO C/O MCMASTER STUDENTS UNION PHOTO C/O MCMASTER FACILITIES


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www.thesil.ca | Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

NEWS

President-Elect platform overview and critique MSU President-Elect Denver Della-Vedova’s “Denver’s ABC’s” significantly lack detail, research and plans for execution Sanya Grover News Reporter

Urszula Sitarz News Editor

Though “Denver’s ABC’s” address some timely concerns like tuition and MSU clubs, Denver Della-Vedova’s platform significantly lacks in research, consultation and detail, both in terms of specific plans and execution.

Significant Concerns Della-Vedova hopes to use the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance more effectively to reduce tuition. Tuition is an important issue, especially with increased financial barriers during the pandemic. The MSU and OUSA are bound by their policies. The official stances of both the MSU and OUSA on tuition are: The province should freeze tuition across all programs until a faircost sharing model is restored. Then, tuition increases for all programs should be capped at inflation. Della-Vedova’s platform is in direct violation of these policies. Regardless of COVID-19, OUSA and the MSU have not changed their tuition policies. Both policies are subject to amendment by the MSU Student Representative Assembly or by the OUSA General Assembly, which would likely not meet in his term until the end of October 2021. Della-Vedova will likely face significant challenges to advocate for tuition reduction.

Della-Vedova will likely face significant challenges to advocate for tuition reduction.

The campus safety point does not address racial profiling or sexual violence prevention and response. In June 2020, the SRA, including Della-Vedova, passed a motion to call for the removal of the head of security services and an end to the special constable program. This motion became the official stance of the MSU. Yet, Della-Vedova does not promise to achieve either of these goals. Della-Vedova cited a campus climate survey and census from this year for student feedback on campus safety. However, through the Silhouette’s fact-checking, we could only find last year’s provincial government Sexual Violence Prevention and Response climate survey. Della-Vedova does not mention any past or ongoing efforts of sexual violence prevention or response. There is a significant and noticeable lack of consideration for issues of racial justice and justice for equity-seeking groups on campus in Denver’s ABCs. While there are points around international student representation, financial aid and increasing physical accessibility on campus, there are no points on justice for Black, Indigenous and students of Colour, 2SLGBTQIA+ students, women and survivors.

A is for Accessibility Della-Vedova promises to ensure safety of immunocompromised individuals in the return to campus. However, there are no details for how he will accomplish this. No consultations, such as with key return to campus groups, are noted in the platform. This section includes education and resources on student housing, such as tenant rights and signing a lease. He hopes to work with campus stakeholders, including Residence Life and the Society of Off-Campus Students. It is unclear whether Della-Vedova has consulted with these groups. Further, his platform does not acknowledge or differentiate between similar

Della-Vedova’s platform is known as Denver’s ABC’s. PHOTO BY URSZULA SITARZ/NEWS EDITOR

initiatives. Della-Vedova hopes to receive and address student concerns around proctoring software and to improve hybrid learning. He plans to streamline student-professor communication and he wants the MSU to be a leader in physical accessibility, such as ensuring McMaster complies with provincial standards. He hopes to advocate for parking cost changes and for more online course options to alleviate parking needs. There are no details on how he will accomplish these tasks.

B is for Better Advocacy Della-Vedova wants to continue federal advocacy for international students and provincial advocacy around tuition regulation. He plans to build upon the international student task force implemented by current MSU President Giancarlo Da-Ré and create long-term goals. He plans to create an off-campus international student seat on MSU First Year Council and work with the Student Success Centre to understand and deliver on the needs of international students. It is unclear what consultation

has been done or how he plans to achieve these goals.

C is for Community Della-Vedova’s prioritization of mental health can be appreciated with the overwhelming nature of the pandemic. He plans to create an online booking system at the Student Wellness Centre but his platform lacks detail on how this would be accomplished or if he has consulted the SWC.

Della-Vedova’s prioritization of mental health can be appreciated with the overwhelming nature of the pandemic. Della-Vedova suggests a survey to understand student struggles this year. The McMaster virtual learning task force ran the fall 2020 experience survey and is currently implementing its recommendations.

Della-Vedova does not mention this or differentiate his idea. He plans to address academic concerns for current and incoming students, discuss academics with the vice-provost on academics and include current first years in Welcome Week 2021. He plans to restructure Welcome Week with MSU Spark and Maroons; however, these services do not plan Welcome Week. He plans to continue improvements on the MSU website and create an Avenue to Learn tab for MSU updates. He does not provide further details. He plans to work with the Clubs Advisory Council on shaping the future of MSU clubs. This is timely as students were outraged this past fall by policy changes. However, Della-Vedova does not specify the changes he would like to make or provide insight into how he will accomplish these goals.

@TheSilhouette


The Silhouette

www.thesil.ca | Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

| 9

Engineering scholarship launched for Black students National Society of Black Engineers increases representation and supports for Black students in academia Sanya Grover News Reporter

Addressing anti-Black racism has been an urgent need for increased equity for Black students and professionals across academia, especially in traditionally white male-dominated fields like engineering. To tackle one of these barriers in education, the National Society of Black Engineers, McMaster chapter has launched an annual entrance scholarship for Canadian Black students entering the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University. All incoming first-years who self-identify as Black students, demonstrate strong leadership and have positively contributed to their community will be eligible for the award. The scholarship will provide each recipient with $2,500, along with a position on the NSBE executive team. The NSBE is a national student-run organization that aims to increase the number of Black engineers who excel both academically and professionally, while demonstrating valuable leadership to make a difference in their community. The NSBE team also includes other engineering graduates and professionals. Founded in 1971, the society has over 31,000 members that span over 600 active chapters in Canada, the United States and other countries around the globe. They provide academic excellence programs, social connections, leadership opportunities, additional scholarships and career networking to support Black students in engineering. The McMaster chapter is spear-headed by an executive team of McMaster engineering students. The current president is Feyisayo Enuiyin, a chemical engineering student in her final year. The chapter’s aim is to provide Black students with academic support, professional development, and networking opportunities. “For many Black students from underprivileged communities, they don’t think engineering is a space for them,” said Enuiyin. “This scholarship was

NSBE McMaster has launched an annual scholarship for Canadian Black students entering the Faculty of Engineering PHOTO C/O MAC DAILY NEWS

created for students who didn’t even know they wanted to study engineering. It creates hope for students to show they are going to a school that supports them.” The NSBE McMaster Chapter’s goal is to raise $62,500 for the award. The number of scholarships will be dependent on the funds raised. If they exceed their goal, they will provide more scholarships. They are currently accepting donations, with hopes that this award will inspire and encourage more Black students to apply to McMaster Engineering. Enuiyin explained that the scholarship aims to provide more than financial assistance — the award will also create a larger scale for representation, further showing Black students that institutions like McMaster actually care about them. “Once I was able to feel that McMaster, including the staff and faculty, really supports me, it made me feel more confident because I know that I go to a community that has my back,” said Enuiyin. To Enuiyin, this representation within the university at large, especially in academia, is important because it creates confidence. “It creates a sense of

self-awareness so that when you step into a place and you see people like you doing what you aspire to do, it gives you encouragement and motivation to know that you can do that too . . . When you feel represented in a space, like in an atmosphere of a room, you don’t think about complexion. It doesn’t even cross your head,” said Enuiyin. Enuiyin expressed gratitude towards the Faculty of Engineering for supporting the NSBE McMaster chapter and said that the scholarship is a step in the right direction. “[The scholarship] will help us move towards a more inclusive environment where a range of perspectives leads to better insights and innovation,” stated Professor Iswhar K. Puri, dean of engineering, in a McMaster Daily News article. Other efforts for inclusion by McMaster’s Faculty of Engineering include the recent launch of the Indigenous and Black Engineering and Technology momentum fellowships. These fellowships were created in collaboration with faculties at the University of Waterloo, University of Ottawa, University of Toronto, Queen’s University and Western University. The fellowships will provide

Indigenous and Black recipients of the award each with $25,000 over the span of four years to support them with their graduate studies and engineering research. Similar to the NSBE scholarship, the IBET doctoral fellowships were launched with the hope to reduce the financial barriers experienced by Black and Indigenous students. These efforts for inclusion are paired with McMaster’s announcement of a new commitment to Black academic excellence, such as the commitment to hire a cohort of up to 12 Black faculty members. This is the first initiative under the new Strategic Equity and Excellence Recruitment and Retention program, which is part of McMaster’s larger equity, diversity and inclusion strategy. Other efforts at McMaster include the development of a yearly bursary of $800 in perpetuity for Black students with financial need in the McMaster Health Sciences program. The bursary organizers include McMaster University and Mohawk College alumni and are currently also fundraising. When asked what else academic institutions can do to alleviate barriers for Black students, Enuiyin highlighted

the importance of outreach programs along with financial assistance. These outreach programs should be delivered in underprivileged communities, especially for high school students. “When students are already in universities, it is hard to change their perspectives. [By starting in high school], you can start to show them options as to what they have,” explained Enuiyin. When discussing how McMaster community members should view this scholarship, Enuiyin highlighted its importance on our society as a whole. “It’s not just about being Black or being in engineering. It’s bigger than that . . . It’s about people. When one individual progresses, the whole community progresses,” said Enuiyin. Donations for the scholarship funds are currently being accepted on the NSBE McMaster’s iFundMac website.

@TheSilhouette


PRESIDENT’S PAGE

GIANCARLO DA-RÉ President

president@msumcmaster.ca 905.525.9140 x23885

To my fellow students, I hope you are staying safe, wherever it is you call home. As if this year of remote learning and province-wide lockdowns hasn’t been ‘unprecedented’ or ‘unique’ enough, our student union experienced something I don’t think anyone anticipated; the MSU presidential election was acclaimed because there was a single nominee. I would like to express some thoughts about this year’s presidential election, or more accurately, the lack thereof. We have a President-elect; his name is Denver Della-Vedova. I reached out and congratulated Denver on his acclamation last week. I’m grateful that Denver had the strength to take this step forward during a year filled with unknowns. I want to commend him for putting his name forward as a person committed to representing McMaster students. I have tremendous

msu_mcmaster msumcmaster.ca text “MSU” to 71441

respect for people who offer themselves in service to others. Denver and I will begin the transition process immediately, and he will be taking the reins starting May 1. Denver’s acclamation has certainly raised some questions about why a vote of confidence by students did not take place, seeing as a vote of confidence is required for our Vice-President elections. I am sympathetic to these concerns and would like to address them. The short - yet not necessarily satisfactory - answer is that these differences are rules dictated within our organization’s election bylaws. As a refresher, Bylaw 7/A – Electoral Procedures (3.3.1), which governs all at-large elections, such as those for seats on the Student Representative Assembly (SRA), First Year Council (FYC), and for MSU President states: “if the number of valid nomination forms submitted is fewer than or equal to the number of available positions, the CRO shall declare all nominees duly elected by acclamation”. On the other hand, the election process for the MSU’s Board of Directors, namely the Vice-Presidents (Administration), (Education), and (Finance) are governed by the SRA. The procedure for conducting the VP elections is outlined in Bylaw 3/A - Assembly Procedures (7.5.2) which states, “in uncontested elections of the Speaker, the Board of Directors, the Executive Board, or Commissioners of Standing Committees, a confidence vote

The President’s Page is a space sponsored and used by the McMaster Students Union (MSU) Board of Directors (BoD) to communicate with the student body. It functions to highlight the Board’s projects, goals, and agenda for the year, as well as the general happenings of the MSU.

shall automatically be held”. These bylaws have been in force for decades and clearly outline our electoral procedures for the various roles and positions within the MSU’s governance apparatus. And while an acclaimed SRA seat is not new, it is an anomaly to see this situation occur during the presidential election. Therefore, it is reasonable that this occurrence has led to confusion. I have seen the frustrated comments online and on social channels and I understand that students want to know more about the person who will become MSU president in a few months. Typically, students have around 10 days, during the campaign period, to get to know presidential candidates, along with the ideas and intentions they bring to student life. This year, due to the acclamation of the President-elect by virtue of Bylaw 7/A, the results were released immediately – students didn’t get to see or hear Denver’s platform before his acclamation. This outcome seems odd I realize, nevertheless it is the correct procedure given the rule. Having said that, I believe students would like the rule revisited prior to future elections. It is standard practice for our Internal Governance committee to examine any bylaws or operating policies that cause friction. This is clearly one of those times. Therefore, I have directed the Internal Governance committee to immediately begin an evaluation of Bylaw 7/A. In addition, I have expressed my desire to have

GIANCARLO DA-RÉ President

GRAEME NOBLE

VP (Administration)

the committee’s recommendation(s) come before the SRA for debate during my term. I think this is a very appropriate discussion to have and I look forward to it. I encourage you to share concerns you have with your SRA representatives, who can amplify your voice to the Assembly. Our bi-weekly SRA meetings are live-streamed via the SRA Facebook page on Sundays at 5pm. I want to end with a message I have emphasized to Denver; let’s take this time right now to connect with each other. Denver plans to share all his campaign material and offer himself to students for feedback, consultation, and constructive criticism. I think that is a wise starting point. We must keep in mind, the MSU president is one person, but doing this job successfully is a team effort. I encourage students to take the time to digest what it is Denver has to say, and more importantly, help shape next year by finding ways, whether big or small to support our Marauder community. The global pandemic has caused a great disconnect in so many ways. Remote learning and Ontario’s emergency stay-at-home orders have undoubtedly led to a decline of engagement with the student political process this year. That said, I look forward to helping Denver transition into the role of MSU president. In addition, I strongly encourage all students to consider running for a vice-presidential role in early April.

RYAN TSE

VP (Education)

JESSICA ANDERSON VP (Finance)


The Silhouette

www.thesil.ca | Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

| 11

Editorial Not as I do: politicians in a pandemic In between setting new stay-at-home orders and dolling out fines to businesses for violating pandemic protocols, politicians across Canada continue to not listen to their own advice

Justin Parker Editor-in-Chief

Do as I say, not as I do. An old idiom that traces its origin back to the 17th century, but continues to ring true to this day. In these times enduring the pandemic, it rings even more true — with possibly dire consequences. Do you know how many politicians in Canada went on vacation outside of the country over the last 10 months or attended gatherings not permissible according to federal or provincial guidelines? Barely a week into 2021, there was already a handful of politicians on the federal and provincial level that left Canada for one reason or another. This is not limited to one party either. Liberal, Conservative and NDP

alike from Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and more have left the country or illegally attended large gatherings. While some politicians had somewhat understandable reasons for travelling, including visiting spouses or attending memorials, there are some who went simply on a warm tropical vacation and a few openly bragged about their decision to disobey their own government’s safety protocols. While we can laugh at these people as they are exposed, publicly shamed and stripped of responsibilities, dismissing them as just another hypocritical politician (what a surprise), this is not just another example of hypocrisy. During a pandemic that refuses to go away, it is more important than ever for everybody to follow the rules and regulations. As frustrating as they may

be, we are incredibly reliant on each person’s ability to follow the rules and do what is right. As much as we are all capable of thinking for ourselves and making our own informed decisions, it would be nice to see a little accountability from our elected leaders who are actively telling us what we should be doing. Ultimately, everyone is able to choose how they will handle themselves on an individual level, utilizing the information we now know about COVID-19 and how it spreads to assess their actions and weigh the risks of what they decide. If they can do something with minimal health risks to themselves and others, that is beneficial for everyone. If someone decides to break government rules or protocols for whatever reason and does not endanger others, I’m not too

concerned about their actions. If you leave the country but isolate yourself afterwards and follow the testing and quarantine protocols, then you did what you were supposed to do. But if you are someone who has been entrusted with making wise decisions for people and representing their best interests, then there is a higher level of responsibility. You must lead by example. Don’t just do the bare minimum, but follow your rules over 110%, be extra careful and show others a pristine example of what you can do. Sadly, this is just another instance where we have been let down by those who we have collectively entrusted to be smart and make the best decisions for us all. How can we trust our politicians to make the best decisions for us when they can barely make a rational decision

to winning a ticket to NASH

to Betty Crocker red velvet cake

to Bernie and his mittens

to Zoom murder mystery parties

to YUTA

to section editors trying on new hats

to #BillsMafia

to watching Harry Potter in class

to wholesome DMs over Zoom chat

to handwritten notes from small businesses

to Andrew’s customer service voice

to WallStreetBets TO THE MOOON

to great coworkers

to the 2021 Raptors

to Master’s apps

to writer’s block

to missing the playoffs again

to artist’s block

to expired baking soda to Valentine’s Day to disorganized archives

to being late for every Teams meeting

to paper hands

to a never-ending stream of video chats

to bothced vaccine rollouts

to not bubbling your sports league

to British Mini Coopers to Chloe Kim’s continued dominance

to Patrick Reed’s continued tricks to forgetting what outside is like to forgetting what you need to bring with you when you leave the house

for themselves? More than ever, we are extremely reliant on one another making smart informed decisions — our health and safety relies on it. If we ever want things to return to some semblance of ‘normal’, we must think logically and selflessly. Myabe someone should tell politicians that.

@TheSilhouette

to the Sil Archives to great soup to the COVID vaccine to the continued McConaissance to morning shakes to a new NCAA football video game (finally!)

to salt stains on my Vans to not knowing what you want out of life to EA Sports taking forever to release a follow up to NCAA 14 to soaring gas prices


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www.thesil.ca | Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

OPINION

Opinion No more tests in the middle of the night We should be accommodating for inconveniences caused by time zone differences Jiahe Deng Contributor

The 2020 fall semester was drastically different from what we are all used to. Different individuals faced a unique mixture of challenges, which made the past semester rough for many. As an international student staying in my home country where the local time is 13 hours ahead of eastern standard time, the time zone difference was a huge burden to learning and sadly, there is no substantial change happening for this term. I returned to my home country in July 2020 and decided to stay there during online schooling since I thought it’d be better for my mental well-being. As the fall semester started, I found studying 13 hours ahead of Hamilton’s time more challenging than I thought. First of all, it was tough for me to find a routine that worked. A friend of mine usually goes to bed at 8:00 p.m. and consistently gets up at 3:00 a.m. He was able to attend all his classes and it worked perfectly for him. However, this didn’t work for me. If I attended all my classes, I wouldn’t see any daylight. After two weeks of trial-and-error, I finally decided to only watch one course live and watch recordings for the other classes. Next, I needed to find ways to deal with in-class midterms and exams after 1:00 a.m. I first tried to change my sleep schedule on the date of the tests. I wrote one test at 1:30 a.m., but this resulted in three unproductive days in a hectic week since I needed to sleep extra hours the day before the test and felt exhausted two days after the test. Unfortunately, this wouldn’t work for me. So I contacted my professors to see if I can write my 2:00

a.m. tests and 5:00 a.m. exam at a different time slot. Although my professors eventually agreed to this, I was also told that it was a university-level decision not to have a policy to guarantee accommodations for time zone differences. I found this decision to be unreasonable. My family is in my home country and I chose to stay here so that we could support each other through this unusual time. I’m sure many international students feel similarly in terms of wanting to stay in their home country, but also wanting to write tests at a normal time. Thus, I believe this problem deserves a systematic solution. Although some of us stay up late from time to time, it is unjust if students are required to attend classes or take tests in the middle of the night. To make my point, we first need to reflect on our circumstances. Right now, courses are almost exclusively online, so we should interpret our classes as “online school” instead of “taking in-person classes in digital form.” If we “take in-person classes in digital form,” then it’s reasonable to expect everyone to show up for every class just like when we are attending school in-person, with the only difference being the delivery switched from in-person to online. However, this expectation is unrealistic. Instead, we should look at this as “online schooling.” This means we need to respect the fact that not everyone has a quiet place to study all the time and that not everyone is in the same time zone. If we disrespect this fact and choose not to be flexible, then we systematically make it harder for students who don’t always have access to quiet space, who live in another

ESRA RAKAB/PRODUCTION COORDINATOR

time zone and who have limited internet access, to thrive. Second, not giving accommodations for a time zone difference is unjust and puts students’ health in jeopardy. Without accommodations, it implies that the university expects students to write a test at inconvenient times, say at 4:00 a.m. However, it’s reasonable to assume that an average person is not able to function to their average ability at that time. Therefore, it’s obviously unjust to test students when clearly some can’t function normally. On the other hand, without accommodations, a student may have to switch their sleep schedule often. I don’t need to over-emphasize how important a consistent sleep schedule is. Even people who work night shifts can have several days off after their shifts. However, after writing a test at 4:00 a.m., students often don’t get a break since the course goes on. Thus, I believe not giving accommodation has systematically put students’ health in jeopardy. One argument against

giving accommodations is integrity. As much as I agree that integrity is crucial, I insist it is necessary to accommodate time zone differences. After all, testing that is equitable takes precedence over integrity. Additionally, Student Accessibility Services students have the ability to get their tests rescheduled, so there must be ways to balance rescheduling and integrity; for instance, having different versions of the test. Another concern is that when international students write exams at time slots convenient to them, there might not be staff available to answer questions, which is against university policy. However, if the instructor can let the student know rescheduling might result in no staff available during the test, this concern can be resolved, since students waive the right of that policy. Ideally, I think all courses should be designed to adapt for online learning and if some courses must be taught synchronized, there should be a notice on that before the

semester starts. However, at this point, I think what could help is a formal statement from university officials that acknowledges that a time zone difference is to be accommodated and encourages students to contact instructors for accommodations. We need to respect people’s decisions. If international students think staying in their home country is the best for them, then what others can do is to support them. To adjust to remote learning, I selectively chose courses with lectures in the morning and during last semester, I dropped one to cope. Those are my efforts and I’m sure others are trying their own ways to thrive. But personal efforts or merely encouraging instructors to accommodate simply isn’t enough. There needs to be a policy change that allows tests and exams to be accommodated for if there is any inconvenience caused by time zone difference. This problem is systematic and it deserves a systematic solution. @TheSilhouette


www.thesil.ca | Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

The Silhouette

| 13

The erasure of Tamil Eelam and the silence that follows Despite the civil war ending in May 2009, the genocide of Tamils’ identity on the island of Sri Lanka continues to this very day

Protestors occupied University Avenue in Toronto on April 29, 2009 protesting against the Sri Lankan Civil War. PHOTO C/O TORONTO CITY LIFE

Krishihan Sivapragasam Sports Editor

Content warning: genocide, blood and gore, PTSD This article was originally published on January 21, 2021 and has been edited down for print. A full version is available at www.thesil.ca. It has been exactly 4218 days and counting since May 18, 2009 — the end of the Sri Lankan civil war — and family members still yearn to discover the truth about their loved ones’ disappearances. The Sri Lankan government announced this past January that more than 20,000 Tamils who went missing are dead, further solidifying the notion the government committed war crimes. An investigation report by the United Nations in 2014 found that war crimes were committed by the government from 2002 to 2011. Three years later, Sri Lankan Lieutenant-General Shavendra Silva was appointed

as commander of the army. He also has been accused of many war crimes, in which the 58th division he led allegedly shelled the Putumattalan hospital, where wounded Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were residing. It is against international humanitarian law to target someone who is defenceless and sick or injured. With Silva’s appointment as commander, the United Nations supposedly banned his army from partaking in “non-essential” peacekeeping missions due to his alleged war crimes; however, in just a few months after this ban, this very same army was deployed on a UN peacekeeping mission to Mali. It brings me and many other Tamils to question the responsibility of the UN, especially with the recent destruction of the Mullivaikkal memorial at Jaffna University on Jan. 8, 2021 by Sri Lankan authorities. The Mullivaikkal memorial was a monument built to honour the thousands of Eelam Tamils killed during the Mullivaikkal massacre on May 18,

2009, the final day of the war. Several university students and the Mayor of Jaffna protested, yet were berated by Sri Lankan police. There have been international pleas for years from Eelam Tamils living around the world in Canada asking their respective governments and the UN to hold the Sri Lankan regime accountable for their actions. While there has been some outcry by some government officials, the United Nations has yet to release a statement condemning the Sri Lankan government for their actions. Despite the civil war ending over 11 years ago, the presence of cultural genocide is existent. This brings me to raise attention to the film Funny Boy by Deepa Mehta, based on the book of the same name by Tamil author, Shyam Selvadurai. As this film was originally nominated as Canada’s entry for best feature international film for the Academy awards — now redacted due to not meeting the minimum criteria — it still came with quite some con-

troversy. The main issue with the film was the lack of Tamil casting in the film. For a film to discuss the plight of Eelam Tamils during the 1983 riots, it seems quite baffling to not cast a single Tamil as part of the main cast. In addition, casting Sinhalese individuals as Tamils is quite the slap in the face to Eelam Tamils around the world, where Sinhalese individuals comprised the majority of the army. Despite claims by Mehta saying that casting and dubbing were appropriately done, many Tamils have found that the spoken language is difficult to understand. As Tamils around the world continue to protest to this very day against the war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan government, it is also of significance to myself and others to show our gratitude to the fallen soldiers who stood up to the regime. While the Sri Lankan government continues to restrict Eelam Tamils commemorating Maaveerar Naal on November 27, the UK government stood

with Eelam Tamils when projecting the Karthigaipoo — the national flower of Tamil Eelam — on their parliament walls. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Eelam Tamils around the world show their thanks to the fallen through online events, as McMaster Tamil Student Association hosted this year’s Maaveerar Naal over Zoom in November 2020, an event they hold annually to give students and faculty the chance to pay their respects and commemorate the fallen soldiers, or our Maveerars. With a significant Tamil student population at McMaster, it is important that a space is provided to them to grieve and subsequently, raise awareness among the McMaster and Hamilton communities regarding the Tamil genocide.

@TheSilhouette


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www.thesil.ca | Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

OPINION

How online school is fuelling revenge bedtime procrastination Students are procrastinating bedtime in order to deal with the high stress of virtual university Novera Shenin Staff Writer

While the now universally recognized COVID-19 pandemic rages on, there is another, far more common disease that has fully sunken its claws on McMaster University students: revenge bedtime procrastination. COVID-19 may at least have a chance of defeat against your physique’s loyal antibodies, but this disease engulfs your mind entirely until it is in a constant battle with itself between what you desire versus what you need. What is revenge bedtime procrastination, you may ask? This phrase was originally coined in China by workers as a sort of personal retaliation against their 12-14 hour workdays and describes the phenomenon where one purposefully “procrastinates” and delays a practical bedtime to avoid repeating the same exhausting weekday routine time and time again. The purpose of this action is to somehow accommodate leisure time in what is otherwise an extremely exhausting work schedule. In fact, our mental, physical and spiritual need for leisure is so valued that we are willing to sacrifice another equally valuable and necessary component of our lives: sleeping. Despite knowing the horrible outcome of RBP in one’s everyday life, people, specifically students, simply cannot stop engaging in willful self-destruction in a high-pressure environment like McMaster. I believe we can attribute this phenomenon to the way our educators and McMaster have structured online education. There is a common misconception that online university, due to its moderately unsupervised nature and selfpaced learning style is somehow easier. Yet, this could not be farther from the truth. In order to compensate for the in-person university experience and to not compromise the quality of education, professors

have deemed it suitable to give out the same amount of work, if not more than they would usually give, as we are spending all of our time at home. However, what our professors have failed to consider is that an in-class experience is not directly translatable to an online environment. Now that students are forced to teach themselves through hours and hours of modules, read online textbooks and constantly be on Zoom and other social media to stay connected, many are unwittingly finding themselves spending a good 12-14 hours of their day at a desk in their room in an effort to keep up with all the work. The constant flow of content behind a screen at an unprecedented rate (pun intended) has left students scrambling to cling on to any precious facet of their life that is not bound to

the stark white chains of Avenue to Learn. Some of us have stopped exercising, reading books for pleasure, making art and music, spending time with our families and living in the present moment. Rather we are so exhausted from the demands of online school, that we have given up on the hobbies we truly love, which used to keep us intellectually stimulated and gave us an identity. The only thing we have the energy to do after a long workday with minimal effort is to spend even more time on a screen, in the form of mindlessly scrolling through TikTok. Our perpetual exposure to blue light during the day and at night huddled under the covers on our phones only exacerbates RBP by disrupting our natural REM sleep cycle as countless

healthcare professionals have warned. McMaster’s students are human as well and we are deserving of work that can be completed within normal workday hours without severely impeding our sleep and leisure. When the spirit of the student body is crushed, it brings down the very quality of the university itself. Dear professors: When you post a nice message encouraging us to take breaks and go on walks, please sincerely allow us an opportunity to do so. Because until you do, the RBP way of life will be the only one students will know for the foreseeable future. @TheSilhouette

GRAPHIC BY SYBIL SIMPSON/PRODUCTION EDITOR


www.thesil.ca | Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

The Silhouette

Welcome to DIVEST 1A03

| 15

Student

This article is written by members of McMaster Divest and originally published on...

An introduction to the divestment movement at McMaster History of MacDivest

...Thursday, January 21, 2021.

NATALIE PALUMBO, NICOLE GRAZIANO, MYMOON BHUIYAN AND ADEOLA EGBEYEMI, Contributors

Welcome to the Winter 2021 one-reading course: DIVEST 1A03! In the context of higher education, fossil fuel divestment involves universities removing their investments in stocks, bonds and other forms of invested funds from the fossil fuel industry. Like many universities, McMaster University currently invests in fossil fuel companies, At McMaster, the divestment movement traces back to 2013 when OPIRG project Fossil-Free McMaster began to advocate for divestment from fossil fuel companies. Although the efforts of students and faculty of Fossil-Free McMaster led to McMaster creating a committee to evaluate the possibility of divestment of endowment funds, ultimately no further action was taken.

Instructor: OPIRG Group McMaster Divest Email: macdivest@opirgmcmaster.ca Lecture: One-time reading

Divestment Misconceptions NATALIE PALUMBO, NICOLE GRAZIANO, MYMOON BHUIYAN AND ADEOLA EGBEYEMI, Contributors

Next Steps Misconception 1: “But when we divest from these companies, we lose our seat at the table as shareholders, we can no longer engage and advocate for them to be more sustainable!” Sustainability is avoiding the depletion of natural resources to maintain Earth’s ecology. There is no amount of advocacy that can make a company, whose goal is the antithesis of this (ie. mining natural resources), environmentally friendly. Even if we could, the activism coming from McMaster’s tiny investment could not change a company’s mind anyway. Misconception 2: “If our investment is so tiny, then what is the point? You won’t make a difference with divestment, so why bother?” McMaster’s investment is small in terms of financial capital, yes, but is massive in terms of social capital. Divestment looks to devalue social capital by sending a message that investing in fossil fuels is not okay. In addition, divestment is becoming an increasingly sound investment decision to make, no matter how small. Fossil fuel is seeming to be an industry in decline, seeing increasing amounts of trouble regularly. Misconception 3: “Oh, that’s real nice. You want McMaster to divest from fossil fuel companies, while the whole campus uses fossil fuels to run! Very hypocritical for the consumers to divest from the suppliers.” First of all, if McMaster wanted to research, plan and conduct a smooth, equitable transition to a fossil-free campus, we would be all for it! But McMaster obviously isn’t a top world research university, so that’s silly talk. Divestment isn’t mutually exclusive from going fossil-free, we’re just a part of the worldwide movement for this particular systematic change. Misconception 4: “I know investment funds and tuition money are two separate pools of funding. But it’s still university money that should be diversified for a balanced portfolio.”

Hopefully you, the reader, are now on board with the fossil fuel divestment movement. You’ve aced the exam and secured that 12! Now what? You can keep up with MacDivest work to move McMaster away from unsustainable investments on Instagram and Facebook. You can sign this petition calling on McMaster to take divestment action. You can even simply spread awareness within your friends and community by, for instance, by sharing this article. As individuals, it would be difficult to convince McMaster to divest. However, as a collective group, in the McMaster community and worldwide, working towards an actual brighter world is possible.

@TheSilhouette

We agree! Loss of diversification is not good. That’s why there are companies in the energy sector that can be invested in that do not emit carbon dioxide! In fact, MacGreenInvest is a group of McMaster faculty that has been working since 2015 for reinvestment of these divested funds into sustainable initiatives. The benefits of divestment is McMaster can begin to actively, mindfully and genuinely invest into green companies and start-ups, forming a reciprocal relationship with the technology and energy sources we want to see thrive in the future. We know we haven’t answered all the misconceptions about divestment at McMaster. There are still well-placed concerns about the complexities of removing pooled funding and monitoring progress year-by-year. But once you start thinking about the complexities of how to divest, you’ve already agreed then that divestment is necessary.

GRAPHIC BY SYBIL SIMPSON/PRODUCTION EDITOR


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www.thesil.ca | Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

A&C

Arts & Culture Student dance group steals the show Vie Division blends mainstream and old school hip-hop in online concept videos Sarah Lopes Sadafi Staff Writer

Established in 2014, Vie Division is bringing old school hip-hop to a student audience. The semi-professional dance crew, which consists entirely of McMaster University students hopes to create a community through dance in the Hamilton area. As ‘vie’ means to strive towards a goal, their name signifies the group’s continuous progression towards their goals, whether they be in terms of personal growth or in dance. “We’ve always strived for helping each other towards goal setting. Early on in our term, we would set goals for each other, both as a person and as a dancer and we always try to work towards that,” said Addi Sanjuan, a Vie Division director and multimedia student. Welcoming students from a variety of dance backgrounds, Vie Division focuses on a fusion of hip-hop and contemporary styles. Taking advantage of team members’ unique skill

sets, the group has created a style that is uniquely their own. “What we’re basically trying to do is just create an open community where you can share your ideas through dance. After high school, I was accepted onto Vie Division and I’ve just been growing and seeing and learning from there with my post-secondary community,” said Azia Naguit, a Vie Division director and fourthyear life sciences student. Typically, the team plans their semester around regional hip-hop and urban dance competitions. Early in the fall semester, they select songs as a group and rehearse choreography until early spring. Working up to performances, they bring in Vie Division alumni to help with their creative process. Due to COVID, Vie Division has recently shifted their focus from competition to video production and concept videos. The videos showcase Vie Division’s student choreography and experimentation with different styles of dance. In a recent concept video entitled Vie Throws It Back, the group

Vie Division has adapted to the pandemic by becoming more skilled in filmography and video editing. PHOTOS C/O JACOB ARCAS

experimented with house, waacking, vogue, dancehall, litefeet and traditional hip-hop techniques. As the group has adapted to the pandemic they’ve become more skilled with their filmography and video editing. In their most recent video, dancers unable to attend due to COVID protocols were inserted into the video seamlessly through

videography by the group’s photographer and videographer Jacob Arcas. For students looking to participate in dance classes, Vie Division has several free and paid online videos and workshops available. The group recently held their auditions for the winter semester and hope to hold a virtual showcase in the near future.

“What we’re basically trying to do is just create an open community where you can share your ideas through dance.” Azia Naguit Director, Vie Division “We’re super accommodating and welcoming to anyone who is interested in pursuing dance and giving them a light to see how it is possible [to balance dance and school] . . . As much as we are a dance team, we’re also just a bunch of students trying to survive

university, so we’re definitely a huge support to each other as students and as people outside of dance,” explained Emma Powell, the Vie Division captain and fourth-year mechanical engineering and management student. By watching and participating in what Vie Division has to offer, students get to explore dance culture through the ages.

“As much as we are a dance team, we’re also just a bunch of students trying to survive university, so we’re definitely a huge support to each other as students and as people outside of dance,” Emma Powell Captain, Vie Division @TheSilhouette


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www.thesil.ca | Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

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Affordable and fun jewellery — no prob! Recent McMaster University graduate’s new business No Prob Co. is making jewellery both affordable and fun

Nisha Gill A&C Reporter

Fashion choices, including jewellery, are inherently personal but can also be an accessory to explore and have fun with. However, jewellery especially is often seen as a luxury that is out of reach to students as affordability can often constrict choices. Businesses such as Emily O’Rourke’s No Prob Co are helping to make jewellery both more affordable and fun. O’Rourke is a recent McMaster graduate and was the Editor-in-Chief of the Silhouette during Volume 89. She is currently working in media, but about a year ago when she had some time off during the holidays, she began to explore jewellery making. A few months later when the pandemic began and she had more time, her hobby snowballed into No Prob Co. “It’s very much a nice passion project. I think I would put it that way. I love doing it and

I love having that time to craft or to make things that I like . . . it’s more of a fun thing to do instead of something I focused on as a business,” explained O’Rourke.

“It’s very much a nice passion project. I think I would put it that way. I love doing it and I love having that time to craft or to make things that I like . . . it’s more of a fun thing to do instead of something I focused on as a business,” No Prob Co. focuses on amaking jewelerry accessible for students.

Emily O’Rourke Founder, No Prob Co.

PHOTOS C/O EMILY O’ROURKE

O’Rourke mostly makes jewellery and hair accessories, but she has recently branched out into home goods, such as candles. All her products are made by hand and are available through her Etsy store. The reception has been increasingly positive, particularly over these past few months with O’Rourke now receiving orders from across Ontario. “I really enjoy making things that are fun and exciting and part of my own personal tastes. Like things that I would wear myself or things that I’d buy myself, so I’m glad to know that other people share the same taste as me,” said O’Rourke. While suggested prices are listed alongside each product, No Prob Co operates on a paywhat-you-can model. Financial accessibility is important to O’Rourke and part of what inspired the name for her business. “I say no prob and no problem all the time and also I really wanted this to be like an accessible business . . . Accessi-

bility is part of the “no prob” in the name because it’s something that I feel I’ve definitely been relaxed about instead of like “these are my prices, this is what you have to pay”,” explained O’Rourke.

Financial accessibility is important to O’Rourke and part of what inspired the name for her business. As a recent graduate, she understands that affordability is of particular concern to students when shopping for jewellery, whether it is for themselves or loved ones. “I think when I was a student, I was very disappointed when I couldn’t find things that I could afford that I liked . . . [but] if somebody else is making it and I can pay what I want, I think that’s a lot more accessible and a lot more like inviting

for students particularly,” said O’Rourke. O’Rourke acknowledged that while it might not be the most sustainable business practice, No Prob Co is more of a passion project than a business. She wants it to be something enjoyable not just for her, but for others as well. “I really want someone to walk away with something they really like and I think at the end of the day that’s why I make these things because I really like to make them. So people who maybe like the same things I do can buy them at the rate they want to buy them at and can walk away with something that they can cherish,” explained O’Rourke.

@TheSilhouette


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A&C

Mac student represents Black identity through apparel Clothing designer Aaron Parry celebrates African-Canadian history, identity and culture Subin Park Staff Writer

Art can serve as a vehicle for expression, healing, education and social change. It can help create spaces for underserved communities and promote representation. Amidst the current fight against racism, creatives like Aaron Parry are doing their part to celebrate Black identities. Parry is a fourth-year student at McMaster University studying anthropology and Indigenous studies with a minor in African and African diaspora studies. In the summer of 2019, right before his third year, Parry turned what initially began as customizing clothing with fabric markers into ISAIAH III, an online clothing brand that highlights Black culture, history and identities in Canada through apparel and stickers. The name ISAIAH III was inspired by the pseudonym he previously used to post art and poetry. His parents considered Isaiah when naming him and the numeral refers to him being the third child of his family. Parry launched ISAIAH III

because he wasn’t seeing existing clothing brands that focused on Black issues, history and activism. Through his work for ISAIAH III, he not only recognizes different aspects of Black identity, but he has also helped to create a sense of belonging for African-Canadian students. The shop currently has three collections: the classics collection, the Black history collection and the Black Canadian Colleges and Universities collection. The Black history collection is the latest collection. It focuses on important Black figures and events in Canadian history such as Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. The BCCU collection features merchandise for Canadian post-secondary institutions with designs inspired by African art and culture. The concept also drew inspiration from historically Black colleges and universities, which are post-secondary institutions mostly saturated in the southern US that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to serve African-American communities. Prior to 1964, most African Americans were denied or

The BCCU collection features merchandise for Canadian post-secondary institutions with designs inspired by African art and culture. inhibited from pursuing higher education. Although Canada does not have institutions like the HBCUs, Parry wanted to help promote a positive sense of Blackness and Black identities within Canadian universities and colleges through his BCCU collection. “I know that a lot of people want to be able to actually rep their school and reflect McMaster, but might not be totally for what’s sold in the campus store. They might think that it doesn’t represent them. I had a lot of people telling me, specifically Black students and other racialized students saying: “I actually feel like this design makes me proud to actually rep the school that I go to, or actually wear

PHOTO C/O JESSICA HARRIOT


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stuff that tells people that I go to McMaster. I feel like it actually encapsulates me being a student but also being a Black or racialized student”,” said Parry. Operating the business as a

“I had a lot of people telling me, specifically Black students and other racialized students saying, “I actually feel like this design makes me proud to actually rep the school that I go to”,” Aaron Parry Founder, ISAIAH III student and during the pandemic has been challenging for Parry. It can be difficult to balance school and his community work with ISAIAH III while avoiding burnout, something numerous mentors from the Black community have warned Parry about. “As Black and racialized students, we are often very much tasked with the responsibility of trying to dismantle anti-racism, which definitely shouldn’t be our responsibility. But, we’re often tasked with that responsibility and also doing the kind of community work that we want to do

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or doing the different cultural work that actually is meaningful to us,” explained Perry. Fortunately, ISAIAH III also acts as a creative outlet for Parry to keep himself motivated and look after his mental health. “Everyone has their own outlets of dealing with [burnout] and [ways] of finding healing and time to actually rest so that you can reenter the world. Art has always been mine for that. I think developing a business that reflects my creative interest and my community interest is kind of a daily reminder to actually do art to be creative and to look after myself,” said Parry. Communicating and

“I think developing a business that reflects my creative interest and my community interest is kind of a reminder to actually do art to be creative and to look after myself,” Aaron Parry Founder, ISAIAH III connecting with others through the experience has also taught him to be mindful of his actions and conscious of how his work reflects not only his but other

PHOTO C/O AARON PARRY

people’s identities. Additionally, he appreciates being able to encourage and support other Black-owned businesses through his platform. ISAIAH III has helped to solidify his interest in community work and activism. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Parry also started an Instagram art account to expand his creative activities and give more attention to mental health. He loved being able to share whatever he wanted to create without having to worry or be constrained by designing prints that would look good on clothing. Many of the art pieces

he posts are inspired by events happening around the world and the Harlem Renaissance, an art movement during the 1920s in Harlem, Manhattan, New York, dubbed the “golden age” in African-American culture and arts. After graduating from McMaster, Parry is hoping to pursue graduate studies focusing on African and African diaspora studies or find meaningful work in the community. Whichever path he goes on, his work with growing and transforming ISAIAH III is far from over. Parry is looking forward to

expanding and growing ISAIAH III, particularly his BCCU collection. Parry will continue to be an agent for representation and change through his art.

@TheSilhouette

PHOTO C/O AARON PARRY


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A&C

www.thesil.ca | Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

McMaster alumnus inspires hope through photography installation Thomas Brasch’s popup photography installation is making art accessible in these dark days

Nisha Gill A&C Reporter

This article was originally published on Jan. 21, 2021. Art is often something we turn to when things are difficult, something we seek comfort and solace in. Not only is art something bright during the dark days, but it also can tell us stories that help us to imagine brighter days for ourselves. These stories become part of our own, giving us new courage and strength to face these trying times. One such story is Thomas Brasch’s popup photography installation at 267 King St. E., which is making art more accessible while also bringing some hope and light to Hamilton. Brasch graduated from McMaster University with an honours bachelor of arts in french literature and returned to McMaster to complete a masters of business degree. He went on to become a high school teacher. During his time as a teacher, he developed an interest in photography. After retiring, he travelled extensively and began to explore and experiment further with photography. Brasch primarily takes photos of nature and architecture and then transforms them into these round images, similar to kaleidoscopes or mandalas. “One curator said [to me] that mandalas are actually memory palaces and your walk through them [helps] you meditate. So again, it’s this idea of calming . . . it’s not just the image. In fact, it’s never about one image. It’s about a whole series of images that actually tell the story,” explained Brasch. Stories are important to Brasch and a large part of why he creates art is to share these stories. From a distance, each of his photos may be beautifully abstract but if one takes a closer look they may be able to recognize the original image and see the story built into it.

“One curator said [to me] that mandalas are actually memory palaces and your walk through them [helps] you meditate. So again, it’s this idea of calming . . . it’s not just the image. In fact, it’s never about one image. It’s about a whole series of images that actually tell the story,” Thomas Brasch Artist Recently, Brasch reconnected with one of his McMaster classmates, Maya Premlata Rao. She loved Brasch’s art and the current installation was her idea. The building where his installation currently is belongs to Rao. The installation features unsold pieces from two of Brasch’s previous collections, Out of Darkness and Tapestry. “I think the whole goal with Maya and I was to share this with people in Hamilton. Yes, initially, there was the allure of getting more exposure and maybe somebody would show an interest or something. [Maya] is one of these people who is into good energy and everything. There was a good energy coming off of this,” said Brasch. This installation is Brasch’s

way of giving something to the community during these trying times, but it has also helped him realize the need to make art more accessible, especially to those who would not be able to visit a gallery, even if we were not in lockdown.

This installation is Brasch’s way of giving something to the community . . . it has also helped him realize the need to make art more accessible, especially to those who would not be able to visit a gallery, even if we were not in lockdown. When Brasch was first setting up the exhibition, a passerby stopped to admire the art and asked if Brasch had an artist’s

postcard to share. He hadn’t planned on having one and as such didn’t have one to offer to this passerby. “He said, “Well, I’m a little short of cash and I collect these” and that’s when the veil got pulled away from my eyes. I had the big aha moment . . . I thought, “Here I am, I have the opportunity of sharing this art with somebody who actually enjoys it”,” explained Brasch. Brasch strongly believes that art is meant to be shared. More than that though, he believes the stories behind art are also meant to be shared, particularly stories of hope. “The source image is from a prison, but the prison is the oldest prison in Uruguay. It closed in 1986 [and] it’s become an art gallery. So it’s that whole idea of something bad coming into something good. It’s a

place for people, for creation, [for] freedom of expression. All of this is able to be there,” explained Brasch. These kinds of stories are something he feels is sorely needed during these times, but more generally he hopes that people will come away from his art feeling a bit lighter and having found what they needed.

“I just want somebody to go and be able to take a look and just feel, even if it’s just a little bit, a little bit of a feel-good moment. They may not know the whole story. They may not have checked the website or anything. If it looks like Christmas ornaments to them, that’s fine,” said Brasch. While the current installation is only on display until the end of January, Brasch said he would like to extend it’s residency if the opportunity arose. @TheSilhouette


www.thesil.ca | Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

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PHOTOS C/O THOMAS BRASCH


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SPORTS

Sports The tragic ending for upper-year athletes Last games are always sad for any athlete, but these student-athletes didn’t even know they played in their last game until it was over

SYBIL SIMPSON/PRODUCTION EDITOR

Jovan Popovic Staff Writer

In the 2018-2019 women’s basketball season, the Marauders won the national title for the first time. In the 2019-2020 season, they had made noise in the playoffs, but couldn’t get by the first-seeded Western Mustangs, losing by only one point. One additional basket at any point in the game could’ve changed that, but it was too late. Having come off two back-to-back strong seasons, the 2020-2021 season could’ve come with another title push. Unfortunately, the women’s basketball team will miss the chance this season and for some fourth and fifth-year students, they will never get that chance again. Sarah Gates, a member of the team who was named a third-team all-star last season, spoke out about a fifth-year player who won’t get their

chance to play again. “For our one fifth-year on the team, she didn’t even know her last game was her last game and that’s heartbreaking . . . We couldn’t even have a big celebration for her and everything she has been through as an athlete at McMaster,” said Gates. Missing the final year of eligibility has been difficult on many athletes, not just from the women’s basketball team. Brandon Chong, a fifth-year athlete on the men’s baseball team, discussed his final season, disappointed with how it ended. “When we ended, I was injured actually, as I had hamstring problems, so I didn’t play as much as I could . . . I wish it didn’t have to end like that. At least one more at bat,” said Chong. When asked about the missed season, he added that he would miss playing with his team. “I was hoping to get a healthy season at least and get

to spend the last games with my whole team, because everyone has been great. The coaches have been great and we worked really hard for this,” said Chong.

“When we ended, I was injured actually, as I had hamstring problems, so I didn’t play as much as I could . . . I wish it didn’t have to end like that. At least one more at bat,” Brandon Chong Men’s baseball team The baseball player also stated that he will miss the Ontario University Athletics championships. “We had a really good team — just the way

that our team looked, it was just like man, we have a chance this year.” Chong not only missed his final year due to virtual learning, but the last season he played ended in a disappointing fashion, having not been able to finish on the field with his teammates. Certainly not the way he expected his university career to finish. Joshua Nardini is a fouryear member of the men’s basketball team. Between the missed season this year and the uncertainty headed into the next season, he might be another athlete that won’t have his final opportunity to play ball. However, he shared a very different perspective in these difficult times. “It is unfortunate the situation that everyone is in, especially in terms of our situation of athletes not being able to have that opportunity to have that final year, or that one shining moment. One thing this

pandemic has given me is a lot of perspective and if the worst thing that has happened to me this year is not playing basketball, then I’ll be okay,” said Nardini. If Nardini had in fact played his last university game, his last time on the floor would have come as a 44 point loss, certainly not the way someone would prefer to finish their university career. That is the unfortunate reality for many graduating students, who didn’t realize they had played their last game until it was over. They won’t ever get that second chance to redeem themselves, or have that one big game they always dreamed of.

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Construction of Student Activity Building resumes during COVID

Despite a global pandemic, the construction of SAB and fitness expansion returns back to normal Krishihan Sivapragasam Sports Editor

In March 2017, the vote to expand the Pulse fitness centre and construct the new Student Activity Building was passed with a near 60 per cent student vote in favour of the construction. Construction began in October 2018 where expansion occurred at the David Braley Athletic Centre and Ivor Wynne Centre. On the east end, a brand new gym will be constructed. On the west side, there will be an expansion to the Pulse fitness centre as well as the creation of the brand new Student Activity Building. One of the main instigators for starting this project was a space survey the McMaster Students Union conducted almost six years ago. Debbie Martin, assistant vice-president and chief facilities officer, praised the MSU’s key leadership role in the project from the concept design to working with facilities and the construction committee. The students union also implemented campus-wide surveys and focus groups on communicating student needs to a tangible project, with multiple

representatives on the architect selection, HUB (new student centre) design and construction committees. The MSU will be the primary managers of the HUB once open. Unfortunately, building plans had to be put on hold in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in which construction of this project was deemed “non-essential”. Originally, construction was to be complete by June 2020; however, due to unfortunate circumstances from budgeting, this date was shifted to November 2021.

Originally, construction was to be complete by June 2020; however, due to unfortunate circumstances from budgeting, this date was shifted to November 2021 “We [shifted the date] due to some initial costing that

was done when we hired our construction manager, Stuart Olson. When they came onboard, they did some costing for us; we were targeting to be over budget. So we went through a value-engineering process with Olson on the project and that expanded our timelines a bit, which pushed us to November 2020, with the west end to be done in September 2021,” said Martin. The completion of the east end addition has now shifted from November 2020 to April 2021 due to unforeseen obstacles due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The site had to be shut down for a period of time due to the provincial regulations and all of our projects have experienced some delays in getting materials, due to delays in manufacturing and other facilities . . . It is a trickle-down effect because of COVID,” said Martin. The plan is to refine these estimated dates after further meetings with Olson. With that being said, within the current provincial lockdown, construction projects involving education are allowed to continue operations. “We’re working with [a]

consultant right now on the schedule. They have indicated [an estimation completion date of] April for the east gym, so we anticipate the east gym being well open by September [2021]. Now, we’re working with them on revised deadlines for the project,” explained Martin.

“They have indicated [an estimation completion date of] April for the east gym, so we anticipate the east gym being well open by September [2021]. Now, we’re working with them on revised deadlines for the project,”

Overall, many of the obstacles that the team encountered throughout construction have been due to the pandemic. Fortunately, Olson indicated that no workers have contracted COVID-19. With that being said, the future is promising for the construction project. While all parties involved in the project continue to have ongoing daily conversations with each other, Martin explains there is still a yearning for students to be able to return back to school in September and use these facilities.

@TheSilhouette

Debbie Martin Assistant Vice-President and Chief Facilities Officer, McMaster University

ANDREW MROZOWSKI/MANAGING EDITOR


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SPORTS

Staios: from Westdale to the Hamilton Bulldogs From minor pee-wee hockey to the NHL, Hamiltonian Steve Staios takes us through his 18-year career and beyond. a magical run into the Stanley Cup Finals,” said Staios. Krishihan Sivapragasam Sports Editor

Growing up around the area of Main Street West and Haddon Avenue South, former National Hockey League player Steve Staios began his hockey journey playing in a minor hockey league for the Hamilton Huskies at Wentworth Triple rink. It was not until Staios was seven years old when he began playing hockey. Over the years, he managed both soccer and hockey as two main sports until he devoted his undivided attention year-long to the ice rink at 15 years old. Staios was drafted into the Ontario Hockey League by the Niagara Falls Thunder; a year later, he was drafted into the National Hockey League. With that being said, the transition was definitely not an easy one to endure. “The transition from the OHL to professional hockey was a steep curve for me. I got injured in my first year. I tore my [anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament], so I got reconstruction knee surgery. So, it was off to a pretty tough start. I played in the minors for three seasons and then I found my way to pro hockey,” said Staios. Despite Staios bouncing around several teams within the league during the beginning of his career, it was not until he found a home in Edmonton with the Oilers where he spent about 10 years of his life there. Staios also had an opportunity to play for two more Western Canada teams, the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks. As an Oiler, Staios’ trip to the Stanley Cup Finals was arguably his greatest moment but also greatest disappointment. “In 2006, the team we had was a close knit team. We qualified for the playoffs as an 8th seed. We weren’t expected to do a lot, but then we went on

“The transition from the OHL to professional hockey was a steep curve for me. I got injured in my first year. I tore my [anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament], so I got reconstruction knee surgery. So, it was off to a pretty tough start. I played in the minors for three seasons and then I found my way to pro hockey.” Steve Staios President Hamilton Bulldogs Losing their starting goalie Dwayne Roloson in game one to a series-ending injury created a massive challenge for the team. Despite that, the Oilers were able to force a game seven, where they unfortunately came short of being a Stanley Cup Champion. To put it short, the emotions during their run were “machine-like”. “When you go on a run like with a team, as an individual, you become sort of a product of your routine and environment. These emotions become consistent. You have butterflies before the game, you have the vigour and energy of competing, and then you have the rest before the next game. The emotions afterwards were

incredible. Whether you win or lose, all these athletes and teams go through it,” explained Staios. Staios exclaimed such emotions are also of similar nature on the international level, to which he won two gold medals playing the national team at the World Champions in 2003 and 2004. “One of the greatest memories is holding my two kids on the blue line singing the national anthem after winning a gold medal in Prague wearing a team Canada jersey. It is the most incredible joy and feeling that I will never forget,” said Staios.

“One of the greatest memories is holding my two kids on the blue line singing the national anthem after winning a gold medal in Prague wearing a team Canada jersey. It is the most incredible joy and feeling that I will never forget.” Steve Staios President Hamilton Bulldogs

After Staios’ playing career ended with the New York Islanders, he was provided with an opportunity by then General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Brian Burke, to take on a managerial role for the team. Staios was eventually hired as a player development advisor. During his three seasons with the team, Staios transitioned from advisor to manager and then eventually to the director. But Staios’ managerial

career took a turn when head coach Randy Carlyle was fired and Staios was placed behind the bench as an assistant coach. “It was incredible. Working for the Toronto Maple Leafs is something I didn’t set a goal to do, but it was unbelievable and a learning experience. Credit to the entire staff and leadership, getting to work with some incredible people,” said Staios.

“It was incredible. Working for the Toronto Maple Leafs is something I didn’t set a goal to do, but it was unbelievable and a learning experience. Credit to the entire staff and leadership, getting to work with some incredible people.” Steve Staios President Hamilton Bulldogs Staios’ time with the Maple Leafs allowed him to explore the different aspects of the organization from bottom to top, which helped him currently run the Hamilton Bulldogs. When Staios left the Maple Leafs to become the president of the Bulldogs, he received some mixed reaction from individuals attempting to persuade him to stay with the NHL team. With that being said, being

from Hamilton and persuasion from Bulldogs team owner, Michael Andlauer, he was convinced to put junior hockey “back on the map”. “We just haven’t had great success in junior hockey in Hamilton. I felt sort of an underdog and wanted to put junior hockey back on the map in my hometown,” said Staios.

“We just haven’t had great success in junior hockey in Hamilton. I felt sort of an underdog and wanted to put junior hockey back on the map in my hometown.” Steve Staios President Hamilton Bulldogs As Staios mainly had a background in playing as opposed to the business operations of the team, there was still a lot to learn as president and general manager of the team. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still some uncertainty regarding the 20202021 OHL season, where with the new provincial lockdown, the season is delayed even further. Staios still hopes that with the rollout of vaccines and return-to-pay protocol, a season can be salvaged this year. With that being said, there is still great optimism within the team. @TheSilhouette


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PHOTO C/O HAMILTON BULLDOGS Staios on the Oilers.

Staios and family at the World Championship.

Staios behind the Leafs bench.

Staios with Canadian broadcaster Ron MacLean.

Staios hoisting the J. Ross Robertson Trophy after leading the Bulldogs to winning the 2017-2018 OHL Championship. PHOTOS C/O HAMILTON BULLDOGS


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HUMANS

Esther Liu Photo Reporter

This article was originally published on Jan. 21, 2021. What is the IMPACT study? Marla Beauchamp: With the start of COVID-19 and the public health recommendations on social distancing and staying home as much as possible, one of the things that concerned us was: “How could this be affecting older peoples’ mobility and their social participation?” We know that mobility is a really really critical aspect of health for older people and when you lose mobility, you’re at risk of falling, of negative health outcomes, of hospitalization. So our team wanted to understand the impact of these social distancing recommendations on peoples’ mobility and participation over time. Brenda Vrkljan: Our sample is focused on people in Hamilton and one of the things that we wanted to do with this study was to be very thoughtful about who is gonna be included in the study. We aim to have a random sample, but that’s a very loose term because when you say “I want a random sample,” it’s not really that random because you still need to obtain informed consent and those kinds of things [and] you still need to recruit people. But what we did was we sampled people in different areas of the city, different economic statuses, different social determinants of health.

Monday, Feb. 1, 2020 | www.thesil.ca

How did this study come into existence? Beauchamp: I do a lot of work with people with chronic Lyme disease. Some of the guidelines for people include that you should remain at home completely, you should not go out at all. And so I was really concerned that we were telling people not to move, right? And I wanted to understand the impact of staying at home and not going about doing their usual activities, what that could do to their health. So that was part of the reason for doing it. Also, Brenda and I are always talking about ways that we can support older people to live in their homes and to live independently. So if we were going to think more long term about this pandemic, we really needed to understand what has been the impact: what are people doing, what are people noticing? Vrkljan: Like any good idea, there tends to be what I called the idea stack. So, Marla goes: “I have an idea,” and I go: “Oh what if we did this too?”. This might draw some other people in too and then what hopefully happens is that it’s picked up in a better place. One thing we have is that we involve older adults in our initiatives. Of course, we might talk to our families, but that’s not quite the same as talking to somebody who’s not so close to us. Marla and I have parents who are aging . . . and we also had an older adult partner who said that we’re asking her lots of questions, but one thing that we’re missing out on

was the impact of the quarantine. We were missing out on the experience of living through a quarantine. So we’ve added interviews to our study with questions about their lives before the pandemic, during the pandemic and how they foresee their lives after the pandemic. We’re calling it the trilogy approach — it’s not quite Star Wars — but this idea of thinking about your life in segments and trying to understand how people manage is our next step. We want to see what strategies people are using that are helping them do really well and see if those strategies could be implemented to help more people.

“We’re calling it the trilogy approach — it’s not quite Star Wars — but this idea of thinking about your life in segments and trying to understand how people manage is our next step. We want to see what strategies people are using that are helping them do really well and see if those strategies could be implemented to help more people.”

Marla-Beaucamp C/O HAMILTON SPECTATOR

time — their ability to do things that are important to them. For example, being able to get out to Tim Horton’s could be really important to some people, that could be where you get your socialization. When you can’t do those things, it could mean that you’re not getting rest, that you’re not moving around as much. So together, we’re very interested in how people manage their mobility and manage their social participation because we want to leverage that. Resilience is something . . . interesting as well. It’s interesting to see that some of our participants actually reported that they’re having such a hard time that they would actually have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s not a diagnosis, but it’s a real struggle. Now, we don’t know how they were doing before, but we just had

their snapshot in time. Beauchamp: I just want to emphasize that it is a small proportion of people, but obviously concerning still and not nontrivial. Another big concern with our study is that almost half of respondents said that they were very worried about falling and of the people that had a fall in previous years, almost 40% said they had a fall in the last 30 days. That is a high number of calls during a pandemic where you’re supposed to be with your family at home and less in the community. So it just speaks to the fact that if you’re less active and you do have problems with mobility, it can really have an impact on your health. These are all routes highlighted by the survey that are going to be important concerns going forward as we come out of the pandemic.

Brenda Vrkljan Professor Department of Rehabilitation Science What are some highlights from the study so far?

Brenda Vrkljan C/O MCMASTER FACULTY OF HEALTH SCIENCES

Vrkljan: As an occupational therapist, I’m very interested in things that occupy peoples’

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The Silhouette

www.thesil.ca | Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

GAMES

OnlineCrosswords.net

This is the Daily Crossword Puzzle #2 for Jan 30, 2021 Across 1. "Cheri" novelist 8. Take a ___ (try) 14. Jean-Bertrand Aristide, for one 15. Stately Faure composition 16. Fox News reporter based in Miami 18. Soprano feature 19. Runs with a style, such as old-school 20. Kentucky food critic turned household brand name 24. "___ Blinded Me With Science" 26. Controversial flavoring 27. T as in Terpsichore 28. MTV's "Sunday ___" 29. Durango maker 31. Damsel in distress's cry 33. He sang with Santana during the 2005 Oscars 37. Wrestler Jerry who carried a publicized feud with Andy Kaufman 38. Dis 39. Two piece? 40. Palette selection 41. Opposite of "gentleman" 44. Took a lunch break 45. Character actress who plays Tabitha on "Passions" 50. More out of one's gourd 52. With 49-down, "The Rutles" songwriter 53. 1973 blaxploitation film about a female secret agent busting drug traffickers 57. Potato sack cloth 58. It was scaled in just over eight hours in 2004 59. Say yes 60. Beginnings

Find the solution at https://onlinecrosswords.net/8177

Down 1. Refrain 2. Following crew commands 3. Purple shade 4. In-flight stat 5. Element after indium 6. "Cujo" kid 7. Stringy white mushroom with a small cap 8. Key under the B 9. Peace conference goings-on 10. Budget competitor 11. Kids slide down it 12. Detested thing 13. Your, to Yvette 17. It fun to live in

18. USN officer 21. Make up 22. Lowest point 23. ___ Boss 25. "Babe" extras 28. Cinematographer Nykvist 29. Total idiot 30. "This is only a test" org. 31. One end of a boar 32. Relevant, in legalese 33. Actor who played a sitcom Lothario 34. Bowflex makers 35. People born in the early 1960s 36. Analgesic target

41. Q player in recent James Bond films 42. Top celebrity groupings 43. Svc. that uses a phone line 45. It's symbolized by a red circle on white 46. Inappropriate 47. Allow to escape, as blood 48. Like some factory seconds: abbr. 49. See 52-across 51. Cleat location 53. Minor league hoops org. for the Idaho Stampede and Dakota Wizards 54. 5th or Madison, e.g. 55. Common shortened girl's name 56. Salem's st.

| 27


ACCLIMATION VS. ACCLAMATION HOW ONE SMALL LE T TER TORE APART A NEWSROOM D12

MONDAY

THE

HAMILTON SPEC PECULATOR ULATOR TRYING TO JOIN A TEAMS MEETING SINCE 1934

March 338, 2020

NOTSPEC.COM

GET YOUR QUARANTINGO CARD!

Fill out this card to gameify your isolation and get through another 20 minutes

Googled “Acclamation means?”

Wondered when you’ll get vaccinated

Fell down a Wiki rabbit hole

Signed up for TikTok

Told your boss you People thought wanted to run for you were the MSU president, impostor — but but just missed the you were just deadline

“You’re on mute”

Failed sourdough starter

Baked far too much

Woke up after 2:00 p.m. yet was still tired

Left your house (LOL, JK)

Addicted to the Bachelor series

ABCs?

Watched an obscure foreign sport

lost

“Does this mask go with my outfit?”

Wondered when that campus skating rink will be built

FREE SPACE

“My internet broke”

Hoping the FBI agent watching me is okay with me crying

Your bedroom now has 5 new purposes

Wait, Missing the Sil’s annual what election? Hot Ones

Hope the Watched literally EVERY- campus cockroaches aren’t THING on Netflix lonely

Disclaimer: The Hamilton Speculator is a work of satire and fiction and should not under any circumstances be taken seriously. Life’s a joke, but it has not been funny for a while.

I’d do anything for Baby Yoda

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The Silhouette - February 1, 2021  

In this special MSU Presidentials "digital print" issue of the Silhouette, we have everything you need to know about the MSU Presidential El...

The Silhouette - February 1, 2021  

In this special MSU Presidentials "digital print" issue of the Silhouette, we have everything you need to know about the MSU Presidential El...

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