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The Silhouette


Est. 1930

VOLUME 82, NO. 17

New year, new questions Booster Juice kiosk approved

Pheonix relocation delayed

Kacper Niburksi

Brian Decker

Ever notice how, when you walk through the Student Centre (MUSC), something doesn’t feel quite right? No, it’s not the noxious, lingering smell of cheese pizza at every step. Nor is it the zoo of students bustling through its doors at any hour of the day. Instead, it is much, much worse: there are cobwebs where there should be smoothies. In September, the popular smoothie, ice cream and Jamaican patties vendor located beside Tim Horton’s in MUSC closed its doors. Under a sub-lease with McMaster Hospitality Services, the kiosk chose to terminate its agreement with McMaster last summer. With students unaware, saddened and smoothie-less, the following months saw discussions in the McMaster community, specifically the McMaster Hospitality Services (MHS), and a variety of would-be franchise owners. Many showed interest, and numerous deals were offered, but among the lot, a smoothie magnate came out on top: Booster Juice. First mentioned publically by MSU president Matthew DillionLeitch, an approved agreement between MHS and the Booster Juice franchise was reached in December of 2011. Glenn Tucker, Director of International and Non-Traditional Development at Booster Juice, said that the chain had “long coveted such a store at McMaster.” Perhaps due to Booster Juice’s commitment to providing healthy options, or maybe because of the exhilaration that comes with change, the student-run website, Macinsiders, was barraged with an array of sneers, cheers and jeers regarding the approval. On the site’s discussion forum, the post obtained near to 4500 views and received 77 replies. Among the many – some of which were emphatic, others shadowed more so in cynicism – a common complaint

Patrons looking to enjoy a pint at McMaster’s newest watering hole will have to wait a little while longer. The Phoenix Bar & Grill, originally set to move from Wentworth House to the Refectory in January, will not be moving until at least mid-February due to a handful of unforeseen construction issues. Contractors working on the move last month discovered some previously unknown piping and a large cement block, delaying the move of the campus bar for anywhere from a few weeks to over a month. “Our intention was try and move some time in January. We are going to miss that deadline,” said Graduate Students Association (GSA) president Jessica Merolli. The Phoenix will remain open in Wentworth House through the end of January. The initial plan included much of the project’s heavy construction to be completed during the exam and holiday break, while Bridges, the Refectory’s other tenant, was closed. The discovery of pipes between two walls being knocked down – likely part of the original Refectory kitchen - and a thick cement block in the centre of the building have pushed the operations back, however. “Because it’s an old building and it’s been used for a lot of different things, sometimes you take down a wall and there’s something there you didn’t expect,” said Merolli. “There are things that don’t necessarily show in the most current version of the drawings because the building is so old.” The Refectory is a heritage building and one of the original six buildings from when McMaster moved to Hamilton in 1930. “There’s no feeling that if we had access to better drawings that we’d be better off,” said Merolli, refusing to place blame on the GSA,

Assistant News Editor


Executive Editor

The Phoenix is moving, Travel Cuts is leaving & a new Booster Juice is opening in the Student Centre

Will your input be considered?


Ideas sought for Travel Cuts replacement Dina Fanara

Assistant News Editor

The Travel Cuts location at McMaster closed its doors in the Student Centre (MUSC) not long before the end of first term. Now, its space next to Union Market is up for grabs. When Travel Cuts closed, it promised students that its services would still be offered from an alternate location. Travel Cuts been in existence on campuses throughout Ontario since the 1950s, and was owned for the majority of that time by the Canadian Federation of Students, a student lobbying group, with the goal of providing discounted travel rates for students. According to McMaster Stu-

dent Union (MSU) president Matthew Dillon-Leitch, Travel Cuts made the decision not to renew their lease contract with the University, as they are currently in the process of downsizing. They are removing their on-campus locations from several other schools as well. The MUSC management team is currently receiving proposals from prospective businesses and services who have interest in renting the 500-square-foot space. Ideas are pouring in for what should go in place of Travel Cuts. But as Dillon-Leitch pointed out, “there are restrictions in the student centre on what we are and are not allowed to place.” Rarely do students have an opportunity to give their opinion on such an important matter, admits

Dillon-Leitch. “It’s a fun chance to get it right.” A decision facing the MSU is whether they want the space to house a business of their own creation or to allow the space to be leased to a private vendor. The first option involves financial risk, while the later forgoes any potential profit or significant control. Prior to the final decision being made, Dillon-Leitch would like to launch some further initiatives to find out what students would like to see in the place of Travel Cuts. Suggestions include retail, a food outlet, a grocery store, banking locations, extra seating space and a coffee shop. Student input will help differentiate between the proposals set forth, or drive management to search for further options.















This is a paid advertisement by the MSU


PRESIDENT’S PAGE Katie Ferguson VP (Administration)

Duncan Thompson VP (Finance)

Matthew Dillon-Leitch President

Alicia Ali VP (Education)

changes on the horizon for McMASTER STUDENTS Matthew Dillon-Leitch discusses gmail, the student Life enhancement fund and the upcoming MsU Presidential election

Matthew Dillon-Leitch President ext. 23885

Gmail The long awaited contract between McMaster University and Google has been signed, and Gmail is slated to replace MUSS as McMaster’s official email provider. The integration of this new system will take place over Reading Week. Your email address will stay the same, and your current emails will be migrated as well. Some of the big changes include increased inbox capacity from the 15 MB you receive with MUSS to 25 GB with Gmail, a sharable calendar, Google Docs which will allow you to save your documents and work on them with friends or groupmates online. This project began back in February 2010 as the MSU passed a motion to support a cloud based email system. Following that motion, MSU representatives met with the Chief Information Officer of University Technology Services (UTS) and discussed possible options. A student survey was launched in October, and students were able to choose between Microsoft’s Live@Edu and Google’s Gmail/Google Apps. Of the 3500 students who voted in the “No More Mail Fail” survey, 70% voted in favour of Google’s Gmail/Google Apps and the University began to work with Google to make this happen. Much like the University of Alberta, the contract negotiations took a considerable amount of time and in December 2011, the document was finalized. This project should serve as an example of the role student opinion and student government can play in improving our University.

The MSU not only passed a policy on email, it also asked students to vote on which system they wanted. The response rate was massive, especially considering it was merely a survey, but the results proved there was student support for this initiative. This is precisely how we can change things at McMaster, and by asking you the right questions on issues you care about, we can get results. What’s Your Idea? The Student Life Enhancement Fund is looking for undergraduate ideas to improve student life on campus! One of the initiatives I spoke of when I ran for President last year was investing in student ideas. Through the MSU’s work with the Office of Student Affairs and the Student Services Committee (SSC), we have found a way to make this possible. Starting this year, students will be able to submit their project concepts and funding requests directly to the Student Life Enhancement Fund. Traditionally, funding requests have only been accepted from the managers of student services and departments, but this year, students will be able to submit their own ideas. Funds allocated for past projects have ranged from a few hundred dollars, to tens of thousands, so there is no idea too big or too small for the Student Life Enhancement Fund. The purpose of the Student Life Enhancement Fund is to provide seed capital and financial support for student-run and University based service providers to expand their programming, infrastructure and/or operations. The fund targets initiatives that demonstrate a commitment to improve and enhance student life, especially projects that promote cooperation between departments. Any project/idea pursuant to a service or department under the umbrella of the Office of Student Affairs or the McMaster Students Union is eligible. Visit to view past projects, find service provider

contact info and to submit your idea(s). MSU Presidential Election Finally, MSU Presidential nominations are now open! The nomination period runs until January 19th, and the campaign will span January 23rd until February 2nd. Nomination packages and official rules are all available on the MSU Elections

department website. If you or someone you know is interested in taking on the responsibilities and opportunities that come with the position of MSU President, check out the details at The MSU Presidential Election will take place on Wednesday, February 1st and Thursday, February 2nd.

the neW ontario tUition grant has arriVeD the program comes at the cost of three existing programs, but students can count on MsU advocacy to continue fighting for more affordable education

alicia ali VP (Education) ext. 24017

On January 5th, the Government of Ontario launched the Ontario Tuition Grant – a sigh of relief for over 300,000 students across Ontario. If eligible, the new grant will mean $800 off your tuition fees for this semester, and an annual reduction of $1600 beginning in September. Unfortunately, not all students qualify for the grant. Check out to see if you are entitled to the grant. If you are on OSAP and eligible for the grant, you need not apply for this semester – your money will be deposited directly into your account by the end of January. If you are not on OSAP but still qualify, you will have to go to www. and fill out the form to claim your $800. The deadline for applying for the grant is March 31. As happy as this news is for hundreds of thousands of students, it is still disappointing to see that the announcement of this grant was accompanied by the cancellation of three other great programs; the Ontario Trust for Student Support, the Textbook and Technology Grant, and the Queen

Elizabeth II Aiming for the Top Scholarship. In addition, $100 million is expected to be recovered by providing fewer provincial grants and loans as a result of the new program’s interaction with existing grant and debt relief. The new program is expected to cost $420 million upon full implementation. Rest assured, however, that the MSU is continuously working with government officials to expand financial assistance, grant eligibility and most importantly – establishment of a new tuition framework that is progressive and fair to students. The MSU will be working closely with the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA), our provincial lobby partner, to continue to fight for students’

The President’s Page is sponsored by the McMaster Students Union. It is a space used to communicate with the student body about the projects, goals and agenda of the MSU Board of Directors.

interests at the provincial level. Currently, OUSA advocates on behalf of more than 145,000 professional and undergraduate, full-time and part-time university students at nine student associations across Ontario. The MSU and OUSA share a common vision for an accessible, affordable, accountable and high quality post-secondary education in Ontario. To achieve this vision, the member schools of OUSA come together to develop solutions to challenges facing higher education, build broad consensus for our policy options, and lobby government to implement productive change. For more information about the new Tuition Grant or getting involved with OUSA, please contact me directly at vped@msu.



University Administration

Mac Provost headed to USask Ilene Busch-Vishniac has accepted presidency at the University of Saskatchewan


Ilene Busch-Vishniac will be begin her presidency on July 1st. Kacper Niburski

Assistant News Editor

After five years of serving as McMaster’s Provost, Dr. Ilene BuschVishniac has decided to leave McMaster and become the ninth president of University of Saskatchewan starting Jul. 1, 2012. “To leave this office the last time, to leave McMaster, to leave the students; it will be all so hard.” Her decision may have come as a slight surprise to some. In November Busch-Vishniac decided that she would not complete a second term as Provost at McMaster. She did, however, state that she would spend her leave traversing the halls of JHE, “to help me return to my research and to my teaching.” Unfortunately for McMaster, this is not the case. Announced in early January, Busch-Vishniac confirmed that she would be succeeding the current University of Saskatchewan President, Peter MacKinnon, who has served for 13 years.

She leaves behind a list of notable achievements, including the revitalization of the information systems, reform of the budget model, and fostering student development. “We’ve been working hard on all fronts. The first of which was to improve information systems, and we are well underway with renewal of them. We have also worked to change the allocation of resources, which is addressed in our new budget model. We have made a lot of progress on that, to the point that we think if there is enough consensus on the model we will be able to start implementation in a year.” She added that, “We have also generally worked towards the improvement of students’ experience and we are equally responsive to the needs of the student. Most of all, I am proud that we are intentionally responding to the needs of the students.” But after a successful five-year term with only marginal hiccups, Busch-Vishniac did not wish to add to her list of accolades. “We have accomplished a lot in the five year term,” she said, “and it might be time for someone with a new perspective to come in to work closely with the President Deane on the objectives he set out in Forward with Integrity.” She further added that, “I am also in a position now which I wasn’t in earlier November to say it felt like the right time to move up. I didn’t want to put the University into a position where I signed on to a second term I had no intention of serving.” And move up she did. “As of November, I had yet been offered the position of presidency at

the University of Saskatchewan. It looked like I would finish my term at McMaster and join the faculty of Engineering, spending my leave here. I did have other opportunities pending, but I was not in a position to say anything about them at that time.” Come late November, BuschVishniac had yet to even visit Saskatchewan. However at an invitation of the University of Saskatchewan’s search committee, after which she spent touring the University and the city of Saskatoon, discussions materialized and the possibility became much more concrete. Now without a shred of doubt, Busch-Vishniac has committed to serving the Saskatchewan community. The decision, while being anything but simple, will be eased by the University of Saskatchewan’s strong leadership as well as their widespread community engagement. In life, things change. People come and go. Institutions rise and fall. Even a paragon moves on. No matter the work they have tirelessly invested in. No matter who they leave behind. No matter the accomplishments that pad their shelves. All doors close one day. But it is only a matter of time before they are reopened. This case is no different. In response to BuschVishniac’s decision to not continue a second term and the subsequent expeditious transfer, a search committee has been appointed by the Senate in late October to begin the process of suggesting a new Provost for McMaster. At this time, however, BuschVishniac’s replacement has not been announced by the University.

McMaster’s History


McMaster plans to celebrate the 125th anniversary by highlighting the university’s history. Kacper Niburski

Assistant News Editor

If McMaster University were a human being, they’d probably be dead. That’s because 125 years ago, the school celebrated its modest but nascent beginning. Arising in 1881, McMaster was financed as a Christian educational centre that focused primarily on theological training. Senator William McMaster, after whom the University is named, endowed much of these funds to house classes in Toronto. It wasn’t until 1890, however, that the first degree programs were offered. The next year saw subtle but important changes. 1892 ushered in McMaster’s first school cheer that bubbled with off the wall oneliners like “Boom on Star!” and “Boom! Fitz! Boom!” Sixteen students composed the first graduating class in 1894. The school colours were switched from a plaid eyesore of green, yellow, red and blue to the

more familiar maroon and grey in 1912. Finally, in 1930, McMaster moved to its permanent home – the Steel City, Hamilton. By no means does this brief snapshot offer a comprehensive history of McMaster. It barely scratches the surface. There were numerous accomplishments in education and research. There were times of uncertainty and hardship. There were harrowing accounts of students being drafted into the Great Wars proud but never returning. All of these events, for better or for worse, compose McMaster’s history. Without them, McMaster’s current structure would seem arbitrary and perhaps even asinine. The 125th celebration is meant to highlight this rich historical context. As an important milestone, the festivities will extend throughout the year. Many unknown contributions from both students and faculty will be recognized, as will the many necessary steps to create such an upstanding institution of higher

education. An anniversary committee presided by Karen McQuigge, director of McMaster’s alumni advancement area, will organize many of the celebrations. “There’s a lot to celebrate here and that’s exactly what we hope to do this year,” she said. This goes without saying. In 125 years, a lot can happen. Every year, there was a new story. Every year, there were new students. (And every year since 1930, the Silhouette was there spearheading news at McMaster.) But the Sil is one of many integral parts to McMaster. There is the McMaster Alumni society, the McMaster Students Union, the Student Representative Assembly, Froshweek, Homecoming, University Hall and so much more. Undoubtedly, McMaster is a budding place. Its incipient beginnings were the origin of all of things McMaster and they will be the impetus underlying another successful 125 years. “Boom! Fitz! Boom!” Indeed.



MUSS Replacement

Gmail launch set for Reading Week Student initiative and strong vote credited in transition to Google email system to test the new system between December and January of the fall semester, in order to allow UTS to work out any issues with the system McMaster students and staff will finally be before all students and faculty are to migrate seeing a new and more reliable email system to the new email system. According to Dillon-Leitch, one of the by the end of next month. In October of 2010, over 3,500 McMaster most significant changes is the great increase students took part in a referendum vote to de- in space available on the email systems themtermine which email system provider, with selves. The MUSS (McMaster Undergradua choice between Google, Microsoft, or the ate Student Services) system allowed users to current MUSS system, students would like to store 15 MB of space, whereas the new Gmail system provides 25 GB of space available for see implemented. each user. With immense frustra McMaster is one of few tion mounting quickly with institutions to have university the current email system ‘There is no cost administration gather student that is often unreliable and whatsoever’ for input and consider their needs has an extremely limited and interests when making a capacity, the need for a new students and decision of this nature. email system has been imfaculty who According to Dillonmenent for a long time. This Leitch, the successful push issue began gaining mochoose to be for the Gmail product can be mentum in the later half of transferred to largely attributed to the stu2010 the new email dent support behind the initia The push for a new tive, objectively demonstrated email system gained subsystem through the overwhelming vote stantial headway in Febin February.” in favour of Gmail as the email ruary of 2010 with efforts service of choice for students. from current McMaster Students Union (MSU) president, Matthew Dil- It’s about “asking students the right questions lon-Leitch, and SRA (Student Representive at the right time,” he noted. Assembly) Commisioner of External Affairs, Gathering student input in this manner was also adopted by the University of WashHuzaifa Saeed. After months of legal negotiation be- ington when deciding on a new email service tween Google and the University to ensure provider. As was the case at McMaster, stuthat the appropraiate standards for privacy dents at the University fo Washington were are implemented, a contract was signed and also given a choice between Google and Microsoft. finalized at the end of December. Large-scale implementation will take Students voted for Microsoft, which was place for all McMaster students and faculty implemented soon after the vote. The result was not quite as positive as expected, howduring reading week, from Feb. 19 to 25. University Technology Services (UTS) in ever. in the process of launching a pilot project, in The students at the University of Washwhich a small portion of students were asked ington largely regretted choosing the MicroDina Fanara

Assistant News Editor

Higher Education

Seminar stresses hands-on learning Fariha Husain The Silhouette

On Jan. 10, McMaster president Patrick Deane hosted a lecture, featuring guest speaker Dr. Andrew Furco, on community engagement as a part of the McMaster Seminar on Higher Learning series. The seminars were inspired by Deane’s letter “Forward with Integrity,” and were organized to address the issues surrounding the institutionalization of education at the university level and specifically to foster the development of innovative ideas at McMaster in the realm of education, teaching and student involvement. Furco, the Associate Vice President for Public Engagement at the University of Minnesota, looked at the increasingly significant contribution community engagement can make to the university institution and how it can translate into funding for universities. Furco began his lecture with an statistic pertaining to the increase in service-learning (volunteering, community internships and other activities) available in American universities, which increased from 49 per cent five years ago to 90 per cent now. The increase in such community engagement opportunities stands as a testament to the resurgence of the idea that universities and colleges are institutes that exist to benefit society. This important idea may seem obvious to many students, faculty and staff alike. Furco, however, noted that educational institutions such as the University of California at Berkley, where he was the founding director for the Service-Learning Research and Development Centre, had many world renowned experts on issues ranging from homelessness to cancer yet just across the street from Berkley there was, and had been some for time, a growing poverty issue. Community engagement in an educational context refers to the consolidation of educational endeavours into it’s implication for the surrounding community, which Furco referred to as the “so what?” factor. All of this research, education and training must be undertaken in order to accomplish certain goals and community engagement seems to be a way to do exactly this. Community engagement through servicelearning is certainly relevant in an institution such as McMaster which is located in the city of Hamilton, often regarded as one of the only cities where housing is cheaper when individuals move closer to the downtown core. Some of the poorest neighbourhoods in Canada can be found in Hamilton’s downtown core. McMaster’s reputation lingers among those of world-renowned institutions and as such attracts immense talent in its students

and faculty. McMaster is also situated in close proximity to some of the poorest districts in Canada, and is well equipped with the experience and skill to put forth the effort to create viable and long lasting change in order to meet the societal needs of this city. This fundamental goal is central to McMaster’s mission, as stated, “At McMaster, our purpose is the discovery, communication, and preservation of knowledge. In our teaching, research, and scholarship, we are committed to creativity, innovation, and excellence.” McMaster students are encouraged to incorporate community engagement in their educational pursuits in order to gain the most from their experience, explained Furco.

Pheonix Relocation

One month delay expected • CONT’D FROM A1 the university or the contractors working on the project. “These are the kinds of things you would expect to encounter in a heritage building.” While the project was considered to be on time as of mid-November, intending to have the new location operational by January, Merolli said the previous deadlines were a part of a plan to move construction along efficiently. “It was probably expected that we weren’t going to make our deadline for the end of January, but it’s also important to put those in because you want to keep pressure on your contractors,” said Merolli. “We wanted to keep them moving along as fast as possible while knowing they were going to run into things they don’t expect. “This wasn’t anything unexpected for us. You go into a project hoping for the best, but we know that [something unexpected] was likely going to happen.” A status meeting was set for Jan. 9 to examine the progress during the break and estimate the length of the delay. Current estimates for completion range from Feb. 10 to later in the month or possibly early March. “Right now we’re looking at a completion date in mid February. That date might move depending on how much work they were able to complete during the break,” said Merolli. “I will guarantee that unless something really crazy happens, we’ll definitely be open for St. Patrick’s Day.”


soft product, due to inadequacy of the software, and in fact, many chose to forward their email to other accounts. Although it serves as a source of frustration for many, the MUSS email service will still remain availbale for those who do not wish to switch to the new system. An “opt out” system in place “for students who don’t feel comfortable with the new system,” said Dillon-Leitch. Students had the option to remain with the traditional MUSS email system through the opt-out available between Dec. 19, 2011 and Jan. 8, 2012. He would also like to emphasize that “there is no cost whatsoever” for students and faculty who choose to be transferred to the new system in February. Students will use the same Mac ID login to access their new accounts as of Feb. 27, and no emails will be lost in the cross over

process: all emails will be migrated to the new system. Dillon-Leitch believes that the next step would be to look toward alumni and the possibility of offering all McMaster alumni an @ email address to use even after they have graduated. Currently, McMaster University alumni can only access their McMaster University email account until six months following graduation. According to Dillon-Leitch, “when you graduate, you should have access to a McMaster account for the rest of your life.” Dillon-Leitch would further hopes to see a collaborative calendar feature through the new email system, where students can not only keep track of personal events, but also share their calendars or subscribe to calendar updates form other users or University services.




To rent or to own?

Textbook rental services are gaining momentum with university students


Farzeen Foda

Senior News Editor

The beginning of each term brings a new rush to bookstores, with students left at the mercy of professors who insist on using new editions of textbooks, and publishers who eagerly await the opportunity to correct a few typos and sell a new edition of an old textbook at almost double the cost. is a relatively new company, which started as a proactive measure against high textbook prices. The rental service, which has been mentioned by Macleans and the Globe and Mail, was established by recent university graduates, and is currently run by alumni as well as current university students. The service also boasts a quick and simplistic rental process, “saving students up to 75 per cent off the regular textbook price,” said Jack Neary, Business Development Manager for Exorbitant prices of textbooks over and above regular tuition fees is a painful pinch on the already stretched wallet, especially when most textbooks serve little to no purpose once a course is completed. “I hate spending so much money on a textbook that I’ll never use again and have difficulty selling once I’m done with it. It’s the biggest waste of money I can think of,” said Ankita Dubey, a fourth year Psychology student at McMaster. As recent graduates or current university students themselves, those at textbookrental. ca understand this sentiment and put forth every effort to make their service as studentfriendly as possible. Students can search their textbook of interest online at the company website, using the ISBN number of the textbook, and order it at a nominal shipping rate. Textbookrental. ca subsidizes shipping fees through Canada Post allowing students to have their textbooks delivered directly to them within 2-3 business days, noted Neary. This feature is intended to save students the back-breaking labour of transporting heavy textbooks home upon purchase, he explained. Upon rental, the cost of rental varies with the amount of time the student requests to keep the textbook. Once the rental period is has elapsed, students can return the textbook

to one of many depots located in key university cities in Ontario and across Canada. Currently, depots are located throughout the GTA, Hamilton, Waterloo, Guelph, Windsor and Montreal. The company is expected to soon establish depots in Kingston, Ottawa and in the west coast, including Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver. Return of textbooks can also be done free of charge through postage as the cost of mailing will be reimbursed by, explained Neary. The Hamilton depot is located relatively close to McMaster, on King St. West, and has seen substantial business from McMaster University as well as Mohawk College students. Students can also sell their used textbooks to with a buy-back service available year-round, where “students can receive cash on the spot,” said Neary, explaining that textbook values are monitored daily to get a fair price based on supply and demand, and for buy-backs, “we value [textbooks] higher than the bookstore,” he said. A textbook rental service of this calibre is a relatively new concept in Canada with another service of its kind “BookMob” which operates similarly, however, in the United States, textbook rental services are more widespread and numerous, with as a popular service that operates in conjunction with the publishing company McGraw Hill. A simple alternative to traditional textbook purchasing does not come without its opposition. For textbook rental services, publishers remain concerned about their financial status as a result of such programs, as many services of this sort do not give any portion of their rental revenue to the publishers of the titles rented, including Collen O’Neill from the Canadian Publishers Council, in an interview with Macleans, referred to these rental programs as an “administrative nightmare” for publishers in the United States. For the purposes of students, textbook rental services tend to be fairly successful, another service operating in Canada, proved to be helpful for Stena Sothiratnam, a first year Masters in Global Health Student at McMaster who was able to find the textbooks she needed at a much lower cost than the traditional bookstore. “I’ve used and textbooks are so much cheaper,” she said.

MUSC Kiosk

Booster Juice agreement still in preliminary stages • CONT’D FROM A1 seemed to underline the discussion: the price of smoothies. To a student operating on a three-penny and bellybutton lint monthly allowance, this grievance may certainly hold water. But like many of the vendors in MUSC, such as Pizza Pizza, who have offered concessions to better fit the student lifestyle, Booster Juice may too offer a price reduction – although this has neither been confirmed nor denied by either the MHS or Booster Juice itself. Despite the excitement and consequent questions that the approval has caused, a binding agreement has yet to be signed between MHS and Booster Juice. This isn’t necessarily an uncommon practice. In most cases, the MHS buys the franchise license and then works out the details regarding the storefront itself. In this case, however, since no signed agreement has been reached, Booster Juice has delayed all documents and potential design options to McMaster University, although some preliminary documentation was sent on Jan. 10. As explained in the sent documents, the Booster Juice franchise will be established in the same location as the current smoothie

bar in MUSC but “with a slightly larger footprint,” said Lori Diamond, Director of the MUSC. Considering that the proposed location is heavily congested with students and faculty alike and that it is nested nearby an already overwhelmingly packed Tim Horton’s and La Piazza, the line-ups for the franchise will extend into a corridor that will be created between the Booster Juice and Tim Horton kiosks. To do this, the majority of construction is planned to begin in early February and extend to March if need be. Ideally, the Booster Juice kiosk is to be completed after Reading Week. Diamond reminded, however, that details such as the size of operation, construction dates, and menu offerings are not concrete without a signed agreement. Tucker mirrored this sentiment: “Until a signed agreement is in place, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on specifics.” Considering the numerous details that need to be addressed, there is still much that must be done before Booster Juice comes to McMaster. Questions need to be answered, deals need to be made, agreements need to be signed and construction needs to begin. In other words, the operation has yet to put the “smooth” in “smoothie”.




editor’s extension: 22052 letters:

Helping students? We should have known better to caffeine pills.

to melatonin pills.

to victoria.

to honey bagders.

to sushi.

to beach balls in the hallway.

to dough.

to impact bold in your newspaper. you know that’s the lolcats font, right?

to the wall in your room in brandon hall. to getting a bj in the student centre.


Have you applied for your $800 from the Ontario government yet, all you students from families earning less than $160,000 per year? In case you haven’t heard, Dalton McGuinty is trying to make it cheaper for you to go to school. He’s giving you 30 per cent off your tuition if you meet the criteria. It’s free money. All you have to do is line yourself up for a slap in the face as a voter and taxpayer in this province, because it’s becoming increasingly clear that this was not a lot more than a quick way to buy votes in last October’s election. Now this promise, which has a price tag in the neighbourhood of $400 million, is being cashed in on by students, leaving the Ontario Liberals in the awkward position of scraping together the cash to pay for it. This week, we found out the government is slashing over $66 million in funding for research grants at universities and hospitals across the country. The cuts came as the Liberals said they needed to re-allocate their resources into areas with better returns on investment. “It’s a question of putting hard-earned tax dollars into areas that are going to get surer and better returns,” said Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation. Surer and better returns? How about promising an infeasible tuition break. The return on investment there – votes – was pretty sure on that one. These research grants aren’t the only casualties. The Textbook Grant is done for, along with the Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship and a handful of other scholarships. Sure, some students will be receiving 30 per cent off their tuition, but not without costing some of the things that would have already saved those students money. You can read all the quotes you want from McGuinty and his cabinet that tell you it’s important to invest in education in rough times and that the current generation of school-aged youth deserve help with school. And that makes sense; it’s a big reason why the electorate nearly gave them a majority despite the fact that Dalton freaking McGuinty is the party leader. But anyone who can read between the lines can see the same poorly veiled patronage and broken promises that have made this party infamous. Saying your government’s priorities are investing in young people at college and university and making higher education easier to access are one thing; this is more like shifting the money that students get from one place to another that’s slightly shinier and has a few more bells and whistles. This, of course, has nothing to do with the students who are getting shafted out of the 30 per cent off because they don’t fit the criteria. In your fifth year at school? Sorry pal, you have to be out of high school for less than four years. Doing a degree after you went to college for a couple years? Thanks for coming out. Moved to Ontario with your family so you could go to school here? Nope, not for you. Maybe the government isn’t getting enough credit here. After all, they’re saying their priorities these days about finding the best return on investment. Investing $400 million you don’t have for another term in office certainly fits the billing. •

Brian Decker

to the macnab stabber.

to royal gala apples.

to anal bleaching.

to one more month before phoenix moves. another pitcher of antigravity, please.

to anal breaching. oops. you get what you paid for, i guess.

to eight hours of sleep or nothing . to the new waiter at snoots. stand-up dude. tip him lots. to the bush being back. to t-t-t-tea. to gay blood.

to the continuing devastation of antarctica’s wildlife. i got space on my couch for a polar bear. to impatiently waiting for the top five. to girls getting hit by cars. to blood-curdling screams. please be okay.

to mr. farzeen. to the importance of being an asshole. to that ghetto booty.

to sopa. to eight bucks in four hours.

The Silhouette McMaster University’s Student Newspaper

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Drop the SOPA, not the soap Andrew Terefenko Opinions Editor

As another year meets us, another glorious threat to the livelihood of the World Wide Web rears its ugly head. Unlike those that came before it, however, this new threat is not in danger of simply dissolving to the cries of public opinion. This time there is a real danger of digital catastrophe, with the only question being how we will rebuild the net in the wake of hurricane SOPA. The Stop Online Piracy Act may seem harmless at a brief glance, intended only to deter those who would otherwise steal copyrighted content for their own personal consumption. It also works on the second front of protecting the interests of intellectual property owners, but even some of those are lashing out against the bill. The real meat of the bill allows the U.S. law enforcement officials greater power in their legislative battles against online piracy. It gives them the ability to force search engines, ISPs and even other websites to block out any sites that the government feels is ‘enabling or facilitating online piracy and theft.’ That is the point that the bill becomes highly poisonous to our modern way of life. Entire digital acres of the Internet are devoted to sharing, mashing, mixing, and trashing copyrighted material for mass consumption, in the name of satire, humour and good old-fashioned trolling. Should a SOPA-like bill pass, we would cease to see most content that sites like Youtube are comprised of in their entirety. We would be left with our pick of official movie trailers, video blogs and BlackEyed Peas “music” videos. While I agree that piracy in the form of movie and television streaming has gotten a bit out of hand, given that I can watch entire seasons of my favourite shows for free within the top three Google searches, this measure is far too all-encompassing to fight such a minor battle. A revised bill should be put forth to combat websites that explicitly host or enable blatant piracy, but the SOPA bill in its current form is too volatile to co-exist with free speech. There are arguments to support even the anti-business sentiments that some feel are going to emerge from a purportedly pro-business bill. Web experts on the whole seem to believe that digital media organizations, and even some non-media-centric jobs on the net would be at risk to lose all outside funding, as most investors would back out in fear of encountering later legal troubles. The main argument that resonates with me the most is the idea that combating piracy directly is never a sensible decision, as the costs are often too high for the return. The amount of resources it would require to investigate and prosecute an offender through sites The like Google and individual ISPs would far outweigh the cost and time spent by any one individual, who can whip together an identical site in his or her free time. You can see the same effect in PC gaming, where more often than not, paying customers are the ones that are frustrated with restrictive anti-piracy measures, such as activation limits and online-only access. In the meantime pirates and the hacking/ modding community as a whole usually removes the anti-piracy measures from their copies of the game for uninterrupted, illegal fun.


Stop Online Piracy Act will give the United States government the direct power to choke the fragile internet. Resources are better allocated towards giving paying customers a better experience, making them feel like they are getting their money’s worth. I’m sorry to say this, record companies, but the average consumer does not feel that twenty dollars is a fair price for a mass-produced album that only really has three songs they like, when they can spend 3 bucks on the songs they want online, and for the more frugal, listen for free before they decide on YouTube or Grooveshark. If consumers are being met halfway with value expectations,

then piracy on the whole is less of an issue outside of the truly desperate or lazy among us. There is a good chance this bill will pass when the American Congress returns from its winter recess, and a greater chance that, if passed, the American government will urge their northern neighbours to adopt a similar bill. There is the best chance, however, that enough people will stand in the way of such an atrocity so that it never sees the light of legal day.


Blood ban becomes bothersome Simon Granat The Silhouette

At this past week’s Student Representative meeting, the Assembly voted to not endorse the End the Ban Campaign. I was not one of those representatives. The End the Ban Campaign is a nationally run campaign that advocates against discrimination. Its goal: to allow men who have had sex with other men the ability to give blood. Currently, if you are a man and have had sex with another man before 1977 and whether it’s been oral, anal, with or without a glove, you can’t donate blood. That’s wrong. My unofficial recollection was that nine other Student Representatives voted to endorse the campaign – we were not in the majority. Instead, the Assembly sent the motion to the Operations Committee for further review.

At the meeting there was a presentation by two student representatives, Joshua Weiner and Riaz Sayani-Mulji. In attendance there was a representative from the local AIDS network, interested students, and members of campus clubs. The Assembly heard them all support the campaign, but sadly the majority of your student elected officials did not seem to care what students think. What concerns me, and should concern students of McMaster, is that if you don’t stand up against discrimination – even if you’re apathetic – you let hate continue. That’s what the SRA did this past meeting; by not taking a stand, they let discrimination continue here at McMaster. The members let down the students who packed the back of the room at the last Assembly meeting. They spoke against the ban, they spoke against discrimination. And

they did it on behalf of the many students at McMaster who are not allowed to donate blood because of their sexual orientation. Frankly, I don’t understand how anyone’s sexual preference can have any impact on what they can do in society. How can we not take a stand? But that’s what we did. To be fair, the sticking point for many representatives was that a student advocacy group, the Canadian Federation of Students, supports the campaign. McMaster students, through the MSU, are members of opposing advocacy groups. But End the Ban offered us literature that we could edit for content, from which we could remove the CFS logo, and that we could use to make our own literature. The truth is that the CFS is a left-wing advocacy group, whereas the ones that we pay into are rightwing advocacy groups. The battle to support End the Ban was polit-


ical. Representatives felt that by participating in a left-wing campaign, they would be supporting a left-wing organization. My opinion is that fighting discrimination and hate should not be confined to partisan political squabbling. Most students don’t care who our advocacy association is. Most students never see it. But many students have had to face discrimination or hate. Supporting the End the Ban campaign is something that should unite people together. Instead, we saw student representatives ignore students, experts, and a national movement. Representatives were too spooked by a leftist boogeyman to take a very important action that would help so many students here on campus. If you would like to speak up in favour of the End the Ban Campaign, please email your representative, or attend the next SRA meeting and have your voice heard.

The Travel Cuts space is now vacant, what should fill the space to best serve student needs?

Page A10

Feedback Students on campus chime in on what they feel should replace Travel Cuts.

Page A10

This Week in Opinions Occupy Elsewhere

Breaking the break

RE: Feminism

The Occupy McMaster movement has the right message, but it may be sending it in a way that confuses some people.

How we approach the winter break as students changes as we progress in university, but just how drastically?

Last issue’s look at feminism has gathered some attention. We look a contrary opinion to flesh out the argument.

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Occupy another name please

New world ‘12 Ryan Mallough Silhouette Staff


Rachel Harvey The Silhouette

Well, they’re still there. Since November students have been “occupying” McMaster’s student centre in what they say is a move to encourage the McMaster community to “stand in solidarity with the Occupy Movement occurring around the planet to address the systemic injustices engrained in our society” (taken from an Occupy McMaster poster on their Facebook page). While this is a noble effort to fight the good fight, I can’t help but wonder if this statement is too vague and idealistic. This has been a common criticism of Occupy Movements around the world, and the Occupy Wall Street movement in particular. What exactly is it they are fighting for? Everything? How does one go about addressing everything? Seems like a monstrous task that can’t be solved by a bunch of prolonged sleepovers. Perhaps it’s less productive to favour an all-inclusive approach to societal problems over each location’s specific needs. Perhaps Occupy McMaster, for instance, could do more by focusing on specific injustices the student body wants to see changed at McMaster instead of simply supporting everyone (well, the 99 per cent), everywhere. But maybe I’m being too judgmental. Vague goals aside, at least these students are

doing something, and they’re really friendly. Besides, all I know about the movement is what I learned in discussion with an occupier and what I read on their Facebook page and blog – information that the average student at Mac could know. Yet I can’t shake the feeling that, while the idea of creating a student community for discussion of social problems (and taking action) is great, the Occupy name soils these good intentions. Let’s take a critical look at the word ‘occupy’ for a moment. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of the word ‘occupy’ is that it seems to insinuate one doesn’t belong there in the first place. To occupy a place is much different than to live, dwell or stay in a place. It is to claim, to (as told me) “take possession and control of a place.” Ironically, McMaster students are taking possession of a place that is already designated for them. It’s open 24 hours a day, for students to use. I find it funny that, on Occupy McMaster’s blog, the occupation of the student centre is made to sound dangerous: “eviction is a possibility that we constantly face.” Unlike the students at University of California, who got pepper sprayed during an Occupy sit-in, the students at McMaster are visited regularly by a security guard to make sure they’re warm and cozy. Another issue arising with the use of the word ‘occupy’ to delineate what is going on

The freedom to ponder the meaning of free Shaun Ng

The Silhouette

Freedom is a perplexing abstraction, a vague concept, possibly non-existent – or is it? The more time we spend on the Earth, the more we realise that we are confused, confounded by reality. There must be something more. What is life? What is right? What is freedom? What is the purpose of all this? All the ‘bigger’ questions in life essentially boil down to one thing: truth. I believe that there is freedom to be found in truth. As the saying goes, “the truth shall set you free.” At the core of our reality is the truth – ‘veritas’ in Latin. We are confused because we desire to know it and to search for it, but we do not know what it is, or where it is to be found. Contrary to popular belief, truth exists, and it is constant and unchanging. If something was right now and wrong tomorrow, it could not be truth. Similarly, if it is morFreedom can be ally wrong found in knowing for me to steal, for the truth, which instance, I believe we all then it must innately desire to be wrong for you as know.” well. If this were not so, truth would not exist. However, truth does exist, and it is absolute and freeing. Freedom means many things to many people. It could be a physical liberty from physical bondage. It could be liberation of the mind from stress. It could be deliverance of the soul, of our being. (Sometimes we just feel the need to be free, as though we need to be released from something that is holding us down.) Or it could be many other things. If people are not free, they are slaves to whatever is binding them. When I first heard about slavery, I was astounded that this was actually happening in Canada. In a developed, peaceful and (mostly) pleasant country like this, my wildest dreams would have placed something so revolting many miles away. But, it has actually been happening in our backyard. It is also not a recent reality to Canada; it has been around much longer than any of us have lived. Thankfully, however, there are people currently taking action to fight

against human slavery. International Justice Mission (IJM) Canada seeks to raise awareness of a particular type of slavery: human trafficking. IJM’s Eastern Canada Regional Director, Scott Forbes, will be addressing this topic on January 19th at 7:30pm in MDCL 1105. Human rights proponents or anyone who is appalled by this blatant disregard for humanity (as we all should be) should be interested in attending. This upcoming event made me think a little about freedom and what it really means to me. Many of us often view freedom as being able to do what we want to, when we want to do it. But that sort of autonomy is not exactly freeing. In fact, it could and has made people feel enslaved and even more in need of freedom. Take, for example, the recent exam period that ended just a few weeks ago. Everyone was just longing to be done with exams, to be free of them. When it was done, freedom was sweet. We could do what we wanted when we wanted. We played some video games, hung out with friends and had fun for a day, or two or three, and then the sense of relief gave way to dissatisfaction. The longing for something more – for true freedom – crept in. Ultimately, we can be physically free, and mentally free, but our soul also requires freedom, and we will never be truly satisfied until we acquire it. Freedom can be found in knowing the truth, which I believe we all innately desire to know. This longing is present in every human being, and we seek it in many ways, knowingly and unknowingly, consciously and unconsciously. We have all sought truth in one way or another. We have all pushed the boundaries to expand our freedom, with our parents, with our friends, with social norms. But if we really question our motives, we may find that what we truly seek is something more – the truth that sets us free. If we keep searching, I trust we will eventually find it. I too have searched, and have found that this truth can be found in God, a sovereign being that created us all, that is good and is still present in the world today, watching over us all, longing to give us freedom from the abounding bondages that we have; He waits for us to seek and find this freedom in Him, the God who possesses absolute truth and gives absolutely true freedom.

in the space came up in my class on postcolonial theory. We talked about how, because we live in settler colonies, we are already occupying the land. This is a heated topic that I won’t go into detail about, but it is surely something to ponder, particularly in light of North American Occupy Movements. The Occupy Movement was partly inspired by the Arab Spring, social movements in countries such as Tunisia, Egypt and Syria, whose protestors risked/risk their lives to take a stand against things like dictatorship, human rights violations, government corruption, extreme poverty and food shortages. Issues like “I refuse to work at McDonald’s” that have been spurred on by those sneaker-wearing Adbusters folks look petty in comparison to “I don’t have enough food to feed my family.” Oh, Occupy. While the students of Occupy McMaster are opening up popular dialogue to address issues of systemic injustice through their “occupation” of the student centre, perhaps they could be more productive with less hippy-dippy stuff and more hard-hitting critical approaches to the issues that fellow students – and the world – are facing. They should drop the “Occupy” brand and take on a name that embodies their own agenda: “Apathy to Action.” A good ‘ol dose of reality might also be warranted; an end to all oppression would be great. Maybe they should start by keeping their blog updated.

Economic experts will tell you that doctors, lawyers and morticians have recession-proof careers. But early forecasts are predicting that it is the fortune-telling industry that should expect to see a boom this year, one of apocalyptic proportions. While predictions range from Mayan Armageddon to Global Warming to nuclear war to a Ron Paul presidency, there’s no telling how the world will end. (Smart money says that everything really goes to hell in 500 million years, but who will be around to collect on that bet?) But if 2012 does happen to be the year of the fall of human civilization, look no further than 2011 – “The Year of Stuff” – for the set up. 2011 had it all. There were natural disasters and nuclear meltdowns in Japan; Conservative triumphs, Liberal defeats, and NDP surprises at home; a royal wedding; and a failed rapture. The Arabs found Spring and cities were Occupied. Dictators fell, icons were lost, and a Kardashian raked in $10 million for a 72-day marriage. As a result of the year’s events, there are three key scenarios to play out in 2012, and the world is left standing at edge of the precipice, holding its breath and hoping not to fall. The Arab Spring, for all its great success in removing long-standing dictators, has reached its boiling point. There is uncertainty abound in the new Libyan regime and a military that refuses to give power over to civilians in Egypt, where protestors have remained in Tahrir Square for the past 12 months. The Syrian government is primed to topple next as it enlists street gangs to attack protestors, and the American withdrawal from Iraq has • PLEASE SEE WORLD, A9



The break behind us

Looking forward into this year we can now reflect on ways to bide our time until the summer break. Erin Chesney Silhouette Staff

The holiday season is usually associated with spending quality time with family. The festive dinners and joyful celebrations, regardless of religious affiliations, is the perfect forum for enjoying the company of our loved ones. My experience during the winter break throughout my upbringing was consistent; I had always accompanied my family on a yearly migration to Florida during the cold December days. As a child, this vacation was always the light at the end of the tunnel. During those four grueling months of enduring fractions and colouring, two weeks without the burden of school was a beacon of hope and a reassurance that there is a way to enjoy life after grade two. However, as I grew up, my perspective began to change. Throughout high school, spending time with my family in general was no longer fun, but an expectation. With my new and improved hormone-induced attitude, I began to resent the forthcoming December leisure period. These were weeks during which, instead of seeing my cool, new and very important friends, I was being forced into a torturous cycle of eat and sleep, rinse and repeat, for 14 days in a row. It was shocking that child services did not make me their top priority. This very unappreciative and selfish outlook only manifested during my first year of university. With the introduction of res life,

parties and all that accompanies a cliché freshman year, going on a family vacation was the least of my concerns. Nevertheless, Dec. 20, there I was in the sky on route to the sunshine state. My gloomy and ungrateful attitude transcended into my actions and, to say the least, I was no joy to be around. That is why this year, when deciding on vacation plans, my parents gave me the option to opt out of our 19-year tradition and do my own thing. I took them up on their offer and made arrangements to travel to New York City, my favourite place in the world, with two of my very close friends. Although I thoroughly enjoyed myself on this trip and take pride that I was successfully responsible for ensuring that all the travel arrangements were in order, the independence was not as rewarding as I had thought it would be. Something felt missing, and it was this experience that initiated some necessary self-reflection. In my opinion, I believe that our attitude towards family is very telling of our current stage in life. For me, at least, the period when I thoroughly enjoyed these yearly trips was when I was young, naïve, but appreciative. It was a time where my mom and dad where not just authority figures, but my friends as well. But after being thrust into the world of secondary education, my family seemed to loose that status. It was not ‘cool’ to hang out with your family, and my peers became the most important and influential people in the world. This separation that was forming between my


family and myself was magnified after being given the opportunity to live in a separate location. Now I had complete independence where I could do whatever I pleased without fearing their consequences. However, something has begun to change in my second year at McMaster. Since the initial joy of freedom has now subsided, I am now beginning to change my outlook on life. I no longer yearn to party and be surrounded by peers, but rather take pleasure from participating in some alone time. A year ago, if you were to tell me I would be watching an old movie on a Saturday night, I wouldn’t have believed you, and I would have returned to hanging out with my friends. Although I love my friends, I have now begun to experience an appreciation for a different type of independence; I am now enjoying independence from a seemingly teenage, rebellious social life. Even though I have been reverting back to my childhood phase of viewing my family as my friends, I believe this is the most mature relationship I have ever formed. This is a new stage in my life and I speculate that I am not the only one having this experience. In my opinion, at some point during their university lives, many Mac students will get bored of a certain lifestyle, whether it be partying or something else, and begin to realize the important things in life might not be just their friends. So I pose this question to you: Did your winter break plans reflect your current life stage?

World on the new horizon • CONT’D FROM A8 set the stage for an Iraqi civil war. For all the ambiguity surrounding the North African states, the entire continent could be thrown into a state of perpetual uncertainty, should the democratic sentiment that sprung the Arabs spill south into the heart of the Africa. While the expansion of democracy on the African continent would be a welcome development, the potential for bloodshed similar to Libya or Syria in the transition would put the Western and United Nations doctrine of the “responsibility to protect” at centre stage, and could force Western military involvement in Africa for years to come. While all eyes are have been focused on the Arab Spring, the world’s two greatest wild cards – Iran and North Korea – are becoming an increasing threat to global stability. Iran has promised to continue to pursue its nuclear program while maintaining its open disdain for Israel, which has great potential to ignite a war, pre-emptive or otherwise. With the passing of their “Dear Leader,” the ever enigmatic North Korea is under the supreme leadership of an unknown, untested, and inexperienced 27 year old with the world’s largest army at his disposal, and his father’s ideology as his guide. If there was ever the potential for the nearly 60-year cease-fire to come to a loud and explosive end, it is now. Finally, there is the financial crisis that grips the West. With the 2012 presidential election in November, America may take a drastic economic turn that could make or break the nation’s ailing economic superpower status.  Meanwhile, the European Union has a decision to make regarding Greece’s increasingly farcical financial structure, while France and Italy teeter on the brink of economic collapse, leaving Germany – not unwounded itself – to foot the bill for the entire continent, and the entirety of the Western economy in jeopardy. As the Western economy goes, so too goes its global hegemony. With all of the potential for downfall this year, it should not go unrecognized that there is also potential for a great peace and recovery and great potential for new leaders and facilitators of democracy. The world is not going to end in 2012 – probably. But the direction it takes will define us. Here’s hoping that the only boom this year is in stability.

Feminism’s other side Leanna Katz The Silhouette

Last issue’s article “The feminism schism” [Dec. 1] was deeply problematic. Not only are there issues with the truth and logic, but the author is also perpetuating inaccurate and damaging ideas about feminism. The author, Nour Afara, begins by incorrectly arguing that feminists believe that men and women are “the same.” Men and women are, of course, different, physical differences being the most obvious, and feminists openly acknowledge this. But she twists logic to fabricate an argument against feminism. She uses the premise that men and women are different to argue that the two sexes are not, should not and cannot be equal. She says, “the idea that males and females in our society can be equal is just a fairytale, an impossible notion, and quite frankly something that should not happen.” Afara seems to be confusing differences between males and females with grounds for equal rights. Just because men and women are different does not mean that they should be given unequal treatment, opportunities and rights. I am not arguing that men and women can or will do all of the same things, but rather that institutional, legal, social and normative frameworks in our society should treat both men and women fairly. A problem throughout Afara’s article is that she takes obscure (and some invented) notions in radical feminism and uses them to dismiss feminism in one fell swoop. She fails to acknowledge that feminism includes a collection of movements that works toward equal political, economic and social rights and opportunities. Feminist views range from liberal feminism to Marxist feminism, post-modern feminism and Islamic feminism. She picks on radical feminism instead of recognizing the spectrum of feminist views. Moreover, she does not acknowledge some powerful aspects of radical feminism like consciousness-raising practices, which allow women to discuss the implications of patriarchy in their lives. Not everyone agrees with every tenet in radical feminism, but Afara’s interpretation is inaccurate and, in some

instances, just plain false. The author tries to support her argument against feminism by referring to “bra burning” in the 1960s. First of all, bra burning never actually happened. It is an urban legend, and one that is used by opponents of the feminist movement to create an image of feminists as eager to shock the public by using their sexuality. Anti-feminist regularly use “bra burning” to trivialize and discredit feminist movements. She goes on to say, “Too bad they didn’t know a fellow woman invented the bra.” It’s a debateable statement at best. Some trace the origins of the bra to Henry S. Lesher in 1859, who preceded prototypes developed by women. But more significantly, the author is missing the point. Even if a woman invented the bra, it does not mean that all women want to wear one. What is important is that women have the agency to make their own decisions, from what to wear, to what career to pursue. It is not the act of wearing or not wearing a bra that makes a woman liberated. It is having the social and legal freedom to make this decision. What is significant is whether the woman is acting on her own agency, dressing the way she deems appropriate and the way she feels comfortable. A man’s perspective is not the standard here. Liberation means that a woman is deciding her actions based on her own values. While arguing that women’s liberation should not be judged based on male standards, I do not reject the role of men in feminism. Afara says that “men [a]re seen as awful beings who think only of sex and rape, and decide on a woman’s behalf if she’s allowed to have an abortion or not.” This is not my sense of feminism, nor is it prevailing perspective among many. Men have been among the strongest feminists, from John Stewart Mill to a large number of males on our campus who identify as feminists. This was published in the same week as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. When the author propagates misleading information about feminism, she is complicit in spreading such harmful, anti-feminist ideas.









Junior Finance Minister

VP - External Relations

VP - Promotions

Q: What kind of service should fill the recently-vacated Travel Cuts space? Matt: We from Mac Debate would like to welcome you to the New Year, full of new beginnings, resolutions and hopefully new business for the McMaster Students Union. Travel Cuts, which was in MUSC between Union Market and the pharmacy, has left. It’s exciting to think of all the possibilities that lie before us. My favourite one has to be the suggestion for a new restaurant chain. Yes, perhaps this is the most obvious and lacklustre proposal, but I think it carries with it a few benefits that other suggestions do not. First of all, I do not think it would hurt to increase the diversity of the food services on campus, maybe by having a Mexican food restaurant or a Vietnamese place or a place that sells falafels – just something that we cannot ordinarily get on campus. If we can’t get diversity, though, then at least having another pizza parlour or burger joint could provide competition to drive down some of the prices at Bistro or La Piazza.

Violetta: One of the most important facets of the campus to emerge recently was the McMaster Farmstand. The farm stand gave students the opportunity to eat locally and support the partnership with McMaster’s sustainability and hospitality services. Around campus, it is hard to find a wide selection of fresh fruits; looking at a sometimes unappetizing basket of oranges and apples in La Piazza should be enough to prove that. It is also hard to find some more simple treats like spreads and jams produced locally without making the trek to the downtown market. However, the farm stand is only available a couple times a week and may sometimes be hard to access, as it is located outside, when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Having the Farmstand located inside, with the possibility of opening for a few more days out of the week, providing a more accessible, convenient and healthy alternative would be a great thing for McMaster. Apart from improving our environment, local economy and health, there are a variety of reasons why the Farmstand has been a wonderful part of campus. Why not upgrade the location and help spread the word (and jam)?

McMaster University has 295,979 square metres of assignable space

From that, 35517 sq metres, or 12%, are classified as “other,” and include things such as food, book and service locations

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Wendy: It’s likely that you’ve heard about the overcrowding problem at McMaster caused by too many prospective students accepting their admission offers for 2011. If not, maybe you’ve caught wind of how upper years planning to stay in residence this year were offered financial incentives to find offcampus housing in order to make room for an unusually large influx of first years. Or, if you didn’t know about either of these issues, maybe you’ve simply noticed (and been aggravated by) how hard it can be to get a seat in the student centre to eat a quick lunch or do some work between classes. The fact is that there are more students at McMaster than there were before and as a result free sitting space is hard to come by during the high-volume midday hours. MUSC is the hub of the entire McMaster campus, but people can’t take full advantage of its various food services and central location if they have to scour the floor in search of a clean table and a seat. That’s why converting the Travel Cuts location into an additional area with tables and chairs, complete with power outlets for students to eat, work, or just sit and relax, is the best way to use it. There may not be any of the novelty that comes with a new vendor or service, but it is something that could be used by all students, at all times and at no cost, both to those occupying it and the university.






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Animal Storage, Rifle Ranges, etc


23.3% Food Services C 7.5% Tech/Support 6.7% Books & Merch 1.7% Health Services


Amanda: The area previously occupied by Travel Cuts in the student centre should host a beauty salon because it is a service that truly serves the needs of the McMaster community. A beauty salon in the student centre would cater to students by charging affordable budget-friendly prices and offering basic salon treatments. The beauty services offered, such as haircuts, manicures, pedicures and fake nails, among others, would allow students to conveniently take care of their aesthetic needs. The beauty salon’s location would make it easy for students to access the services that it offers. Students could stop by the salon on their breaks and get their haircut quickly. Many students put off beauty treatments such as basic haircuts while they are at school due to their busy schedules and the inconvenience of having to find a barber shop/beauty salon in a city that they are unfamiliar with. The salon would also cater to students taking their graduation photos, as they could more easily get their hair and makeup done before their session at the photography studio in the student centre. A beauty salon would serve a wide range of students at McMaster by offering treatments ranging from basic (such as haircuts) to more complex ones (such as waxing).

Among the departments are some that exhibit surplus space and some that desperately need it


Recreational Services 85% Computing Services 84% Assembly Facilities 79%

HAS TOO MUCH Research, Staff Offices -49% Classrooms -42% Library Collection -34%

The Travel Cuts re-allocation will have an impact on these numbers, and your daily student lives, so make sure to make your vote count @

Compiled by Andrew Terefenko and Ricardo Padilla


“Another barber shop so students don’t have to travel far for a haircut.” -Guiseppe Mammone, Geography III

“McMaster needs a food place with less expensive prices.” -Shaun Ng, Biology II

“A technical support shop to help fix student computers.” -Keel Buhlau, Humanities I

“A healthier food place that uses fresh ingredients daily.” -Zamour Johnson, Social Sciences I



Let Lucy and her staff help you! LUCY CALUORI

Your Mom away from home!

The Personal Injury Lawyers

New writers join paper! The humble campus soapbox welcomes a new wave of talented volunteers as it embraces the new year. The Silhouette, however, is still looking for more writers on a daily basis, for all its sections.

Our Team... On Your Side. STEPHANIE WERNER





Auto Insurance: The government regulates the prices insurance companies can charge for auto and other insurance. On September 1, 2010 a lot of changes were made to your auto insurance. Even though there are now far fewer benefits available to help you recover if you are injured in a car accident, you probably didn’t see you premiums go down. For a complete list of the changes and the contact information for your Member of the Ontario Parliament, call us! We can help.



Several interested students Should direct any general inquires to to ask the hard questions And for The section-specific inquiries, you should look no further than sending an e-mail to, with your section of choice in place of the word, such as

Don’t waste any more time! Send a quick email to News, Business, Andy, Sports, Inside Out or even Opinions and seize this chance to be heard.


Major writing opportunities, deeper campus involvement.



The Silhouette


Now a regular member of the national sledge hockey team, Kevin Rempel overcame family tragedy and his own personal demons to find success in sport. See S4-5.




Marauders claim wins over Waterloo and Brock to move to 9-2. See S3.


Mac shows improvement in a losing effort in St. Catherines. Details on S6.

Marauder coach Stefan Ptaszek signs a new five-year contract to remain at the helm of his national championship team while Offensive Coordinator Jon Behie is promoted. Details on S2.



Women’s Basketball


Big home victory for Mac

Coach rewarded with five-year deal


Marauder Hailey Milligan had 10 points and 11 rebounds in Saturday’s win. Ben Orr nights later. The split sees their conference Silhouette Staff record go to 5-5, as the squad has been consistent thus far this season, never being more Just like every McMaster varsity team, the than a game below or above .500. women’s basketball squad faced the task of Perhaps too consistent, as they have been competing at a high level after a month off unable to capture positive momentum and from competition. put consecutive wins together. Unlike every other team, however, they Before conference play restarted, the were forced to go on the road against the Maroon and Grey hoped to shed any holiday defending national champions in their first rust they were carrying by competing at the game back from the layoff. UQAM tournament in Montreal. The women The Marauders would fall to the Wind- opened play against the always tough Laval sor Lancers 68-57 on Wednesday night be- Rouge et Or, and despite Taylor Chiarot’s 19 fore rebounding and defeating Waterloo three points and 6 rebounds, Laval outpaced Mac

73-69, behind Elyse Jobin’s game-high 26 points. Next, McMaster capitalized on strong play from Liz Burns, who sprung for 18 points and five rebounds, as they defeated the host UQAM 70-55. Jaklynn Nimec was also good for double digits, adding 12 points of her own. The Maroon women used a balanced attack to stay on the heels of Acadia in their third exhibition game, before falling 7971. Hailey Milligan, Burns, and Chiarot all contributed 17 points in the loss, with point guard Vanessa Bonomo scoring 12. After going 1-2 in tournament play, the Marauders were welcomed back to OUA conference play with a visit to Windsor and a date with the defending national champion Lancers. After sticking with the Lancers in the first quarter, the Marauders let Windsor run away in the second, going into the locker room at half down by 12. There must have been something in the Gatorade, as Mac came out blazing in the third quarter, outscoring the second-ranked team in the nation 18-14 and closing the margin. The Lancers would show their character in the final stanza, however, fending off the comeback and taking the game 67-58. Chiarot once again led her team in scoring in the losing effort, with Milligan tallying a double-double by way of 12 points and 10 boards. After dropping to 4-5, the last place Warriors must have been a sight for sore Maroon eyes as Waterloo came to Burridge Gym on Saturday night. The game was never close, as veteran Chiarot and rookie Abby Hurd shot lights out, carrying their squad to a 39-26 halftime lead. The second half saw more of the same, as the Maruader shooters continued to have success. Another balanced attack saw the women cruise to a 79-51 victory. Hurd would finish with a game-high 18 points. Milligan would score her second consecutive double-double, doing her best Kevin Love impression by scoring 10 points and 11 rebounds. Next up for the Maruaders are the Brock Badgers next Wednesday in St. Catherines. The Badgers lead to OUA West with a 9-1 record, and will surely set a benchmark as the season progresses.

Fraser Caldwell Sports Editor

Stefan Ptaszek’s contract may have been expiring, but after the colossal accomplishment of his squad this past season, the future of the Marauders’ bench boss didn’t remain uncertain for long. McMaster’s Department of Athletics and Recreation announced the signing of Ptaszek to a new five-year contract on Dec. 14, along with the promotion of offensive coordinator Jon Behie to the role of Assistant Head Coach. The move comes as no surprise after the Marauders stormed to victory in the Vanier Cup under the leadership of Ptaszek, and with the considerable contribution of Behie’s CIS-leading offensive unit. McMaster’s Director of Athletics and Recreation, Jeff Giles is adamant however that the decision to keep Ptaszek at the helm was made long before the Marauders’ welldocumented playoff success. “It wasn’t so much about winning for us this year, whether you define ‘winning’ as taking the Yates Cup or however you want to define it,” said Giles of the new deal. “It was about showing that we were moving towards our goals. And obviously we did that – we did more than that. “I offered [Ptaszek] an extension before the Yates Cup, because I wanted him to know that it didn’t matter if we won or lost at that point. We had shown progress.” For his part, the Marauder coach explains that the news of his rehiring was a great weight off his shoulders, coming as it did at the conclusion of McMaster’s conference season. The impending end of a contract is a stressful time for any coach, for whom the job is his livelihood and that of his family. “This is how I feed my family, and the joys of coaching and the privilege of working with these young men is not indefinite,” said Ptaszek. “It comes with some stress, and renewing contracts is a big deal in this industry. “For every coach that you see who has a 20-year career in Canada there are hundreds that fell short of that. The only way to do this job right is to think long-term and invest in these young men on a long-term basis. Unfortunately, your contract doesn’t always reflect • PLEASE SEE PROMOTION , S8



Wednesday Round-up

Women’s Basketball

Mac 58 @ Brock 60 With this loss the women’s team falls below .500 in conference play with a record of 5-6 in those games. The Marauders will look to the weekend when they host the Windsor Lncers who beat Mac when the two met last by a score of 68-57.

Men’s Basketball

Mac 103 @ Brock 91 The Men’s Basketball team improves to a record of 9-2 with the 103- 91 victory over the Brock Badgers in St. Catherines at Bob Davis Gymnasium. Guard Victor Raso chipped in with a game high 29 points while rookie forward Nathan McCarthy dropped 17 with a team high 7rebounds.

Men’s Basketball

Back to the basics for Mac Brandon Meawasige Assistant Sports Editor

With a sizeable lead in the third quarter of Saturday’s game against the Waterloo Warriors, the Marauders looked all the part of an 8-2 OUA basketball team who, fresh off a disappointing loss to Windsor, were poised to defend their home court. An enthusiastic turn out at Burridge Gymnasium and solid performances from key players Cam Michaud and Joe Rocca, who scored 21 and 29 points in the game, respectively, made it difficult to notice that despite the victory, the young Marauders are still learning some of the finer aspects of the game that will make them a CIS contender. This critique is at least according to McMaster’s head coach Amos Connolly, who made sure his team remembered his message during a third quarter timeout. After his team had taken a double-digit lead and looked to be poised to run away from the overmatched Warriors, the Marauders gave up an offensive rebound an easy basket at the end of the third frame – a play that did not please the second year coach. “I said defend and box out five times at the top of my lungs,” recounts Connolly of the not-so-pleasant message he had for his team. “They haven’t had that from me in a timeout yet. I really wanted to shock them and see if they responded.” That injection of intensity seemed to at the very least close out the game for the Maroon and Grey who eventually defeated the visiting Warriors by a score of 97-84. Inconsistency in rebounding and on defense has been a concern for Connolly all season, but he shies from blaming the inexperience of his team. “It’s not a coincidence that there are inconsistencies as a result of the youth on our team, but what it comes down to is as a coaching staff, are we going to accept that as an excuse? We don’t” says Connolly. Although the team may not exactly be struggling in the OUA West standings, currently sitting third behind Laurier and Lakehead, the upcoming schedule is cause for some concern. Success down the stretch is going to be indicative of the work put in by the coaching staff to iron out all of the wrinkles in the Marauders game. Scoring is not the issue for this team, so it is the fundamentals on defense and without possession.


Forward Cam Michaud scored a game-high 21 points in Saturday’s home win. “There needs to be some evaluation. The higher the level you get to, it becomes like chemistry equation, when really it comes down to fundamentals. To me it is just how do we teach it? And how do we make it stick?” Connolly asks somewhat philosophically. Helping shoulder some of the load for his young team, Connolly questions his own involvement in helping make sure that this team continues to develop while making a push to contend. “What I am questioning is what I need to do as a coach to get us playing back to the same level defensively as we were earlier in the season. All of a sudden we’re giving up 15 more points a game and it’s all about how were playing on defense.” After a few days of practice and a game against Brock, this weekend will give the Marauders a chance to not only put their

focus on fundamentals and turn up the intensity but also avenge their loss against the Lancers, who will visit Burridge on Saturday, Jan. 14. In their Jan. 4 loss to Windsor, the Marauders had difficulties with their one on one defense, which Connolly pinpoints as the main area of need. “If we contain our guys one on one, it makes it easier on the rest of the defense and it will bring us closer to being a complete team. It’s all about being a complete fundamental basketball team,” says Connolly. With twelve games remaining in the schedule, including two against Lakehead and Laurier, there is still a possibility for this season to go either way for this young Marauder squad. For Connolly, that success depends not only on the fundamentals of his team, but his own coaching attitude in teaching them.





“In that moment everything just froze... When I crashed I knew once again that my life was going to change.”

Tough sledding

Fraser Caldwell Sports Editor

Paralyzed in a dirt biking accident in 2006, Kevin Rempel refused to give in to his injuries and found success after embracing sledge hockey PHOTO C/O IIHF/HHOF AND HOCKEY CANADA

individual before the crash, but had never experienced the sled variety. When a friend introduced him to the sport, it took only moments before he was hooked. “I had played hockey for about 14 years before I got injured, but by no means did I have a future in it,” said Rempel. “I was just playing in beer leagues and recreational leagues. It was two years after my accident before I heard about sledge hockey. “As soon as someone told me about it I wanted to try it, and as soon as I got on the ice, I knew that this was something I wanted to do for a long time.” Rempel began to play with the Niagara Thunderblades team out of St. Catherines in 2008, and very quickly took to the game, ordering his own custom sled and gaining the attention of coaches at Sledge Ontario. Battling through a prescription medication addiction to make the provincial squad, the new convert continued his climb to the very top of the national sledge hockey ranks. Within two years, a man who had known nothing of the sport saw his name on the roster of Team Canada. Not only is Rempel donning the Red and White these days, he’s thriving as part of the successful team. Most recently, the Canadians won the World Sledge Hockey Challenge in

December, and look poised to be at the top of the heap when the World Championships roll around this year. Despite the fact that the majority of his teammates are similarly paralyzed, Rempel indicates that the atmosphere in the locker room is never one of commiseration. Rather, the athletes enjoy making light of their shared situation. “We’re all troopers,” said the 29-year old of his teammates. “We’re all so strong in getting to this point. To be on Team Canada and to reach this level with a disability means that we’re pretty strong as it is. If anything, we poke fun at each other and joke about our disabilities. “You’ve got to have that attitude, not just in the locker room but in life as well. You can’t take these things too seriously.” In his continued search for improvement, Rempel works with the training staff at McMaster’s Pulse Fitness Centre, being led in his routines by experienced trainer Jeremy Steinbach. Steinbach indicates that the sledge standout’s success derives from his competitive attitude, a determination that sees him persevere despite his physical challenges. “He is motivated to get better, that’s the main thing,” said the trainer of his charge’s

mentality. “He works his tail off and comes in here with a good attitude, and is never afraid to try new things. We’ve tried things before and they haven’t worked because of his disability, but we troubleshoot things as we go.” New things have come in droves for Rempel since his accident, and he has discovered a talent outside of sport that he never knew he possessed. Since the crash, the Dundas native has begun motivational speaking, through no design of his own. “It was a total fluke that I got into it,” said Rempel of his public speaking engagements. “Just by talking to people, they told me that I had a powerful story and that I should be a public speaker. It was through my college coop program – where someone knew me and my story – that I was asked to do my first event. “I did my five-minute speech and suddenly I was getting a standing ovation. Someone noticed me, got me my next gig, and I thought, ‘Wow, I guess I’ve got something here and people like hearing it.” Now, when he’s not on the ice, Rempel is mounting the stage at schools and convention centres across the region to tell his story. He hopes that through his example, audience members can find the strength to overcome their own obstacles.

These days, Kevin Rempel is best known for his exploits on a sled. But in 2006, it was another vehicle entirely that changed Rempel’s life unalterably. The Dundas native lived to ride his dirt bike. Not only did he ride, he sought most to bask in the pure, adrenaline-fueled freedom of the motocross jump. Four and a half years ago Rempel realized this dream, only to see it quite literally crash down around him. Losing control of his bike in the midst of a jump, he found himself plunging to the ground. And when his fall had come to an end, Rempel knew that his life would never be the same. He had experienced the reality of paralysis since 2002, when his father Gerald suffered an accident while hunting and became a paraplegic. Four years later, it was the younger Rempel’s turn to experience a life-changing injury. “I remember staring up at the sky and thinking ‘oh crap, I’m paralyzed’,” said the 29-year old of his fateful crash. “In that moment everything just froze. I recall that when I saw my dad fall out of the tree, my life was going to be little bit different forever in dealing with his injury. “When I crashed I knew once again that my life was going to change.” Horrible as it is to say, Rempel’s previous experience with the harsh reality of paralysis served him well in the aftermath of his incident. That’s because in the wake of his 2002 accident, Gerald Rempel had struggled and ultimately failed to cope with his disability. He spiraled through depression and a resulting gambling addiction, and eventually ended his own life. When it came time for the younger Rempel to do the same, he chose to pursue a different path. “My dad was a great person, and I have nothing negative to say about him as a father,” said Rempel. “But unfortunately, he let his accident defeat him and he became a victim of his disability rather than seeing the bright side in that he still had a lot to live for. “I took that experience and decided that I didn’t want to live like that. In my recovery I wanted to do the opposite and live a prosperous life regardless of what the outcome was going to be from my injuries.” Two years after his accident, Rempel discovered the sport that would come to dominate and redefine his new life. He had played hockey as an able-bodied Rempel has found a previously unknown talent as a public speaker, and uses it to spread his success story to those in need.




Men’s Volleyball

Break allows for rehab, rotation Fraser Caldwell Sports Editor

The results don’t make for the most impressive reading, but the Marauders believe that their experience at the EBWM Invitational in Saskatoon will help them transition well into the second half of their conference campaign. Matched up against three of the toughest teams in the country in an event that spanned Jan. 5-7, including the 2011 national championship finalists from Calgary and the perennial Quebecois powerhouse Laval Rouge et Or, McMaster emerged from the prairies with a bronze medal to their name. After consecutive losses to the Rouge et Or, Dinos, and the host Saskatchewan Huskies, the Marauders rebounded strongly to claim the consolation match in four sets versus Calgary. However, coach Dave Preston argues that the progress shown by his squad over the course of the compressed three-day event is more important for the Marauders’ long-term plans than their results. He believes that much of McMaster’s struggle to find form in the early matches comes as a result of their scant preparation time. “Every event is unique and this one was definitely unique for us, because we only had three days of prep work available to us,” said Preston of the Saskatoon tournament. “Laval for instance kept their guys until the 22nd and brought them back on the 27th. Our December was a bit different, although I would say that we probably had the most productive December in as long as I can remember. “That’s a pretty critical time in your season. You can fall behind pretty quickly, you can stay steady, or you can actually move forward. And I think that we actually moved forward this December. The guys got the break that they needed but we also kept the rust off.” Having to balance the need for holiday training with the rehabilitation demands of a team that was suffering from a litany of injuries at semester’s end, Preston kept the workload light for his charges and required only that they each attend six of 12 workouts scheduled between Dec. 6 and 22. While this setup worked wonders for the hobbled members of the squad, it understandably bred a degree of rust in the Ma-

training volume underneath it, you can’t fake that. “The nice thing for us was that our middles got progressively better all weekend to the point that I think we hit 65 percent against Calgary down the middle – up from the minus-22 percent we were at against Laval.” In addition to the play of McMaster’s central players, Preston noted a marked improvement in his squad’s ball movement from the serve-receive position, and a steady increase in their defensive efficiency. Equally important as the on-court improvements to the Marauders’ game witnessed over the course of the Christmas break was the desperately needed rehabilitation time that the post-exam period allowed. While nagging issues remain, the team saw the re-entry of several players into the squad’s rotation, including outsides Jeremy Groenveld and Brendan Dennis. “Luckily we have one of the best physio clinics in the world right here in our own building,” said Preston. “We’re pretty fortunate in that way and our guys are making full use of those facilities. “I think we’re getting healthier, but that’s a battle that we’re going to have to fight all season long – as is everybody else. In a six or seven-month season, these guys get beat up. The difference between ‘hurt’ and ‘injured’ will be substantial for us.” One of the by-products of playing with a widely wounded lineup has been a fairly frequent policy of rotation among the Marauders’ players, and that practice is a double-edged sword of sorts according to Preston. The coach knows full well that he must maximize the benefits of a revolving squad while attempting to minimize the cost to the team’s performance. “The luxury of moving your lineup around is that it creates good depth for you, but the cost of it is that it doesn’t allow you to be as consistent,” said the Marauder bench boss. “What we have to work on now is how we can become more consistent and still be Tyson Alexander and the Marauder middles worked off rust in Saskatoon. able to manage those personnel changes.” rauders’ collective game. However, despite Preston. “But you could tell that within a The maroon and grey will continue to their sluggish start in Saskatoon, Preston competitive model, it had caught up with us strive for that dependable form as their conference schedule resumes with a weekend was pleased by the rapid improvement he a little bit. witnessed over the course of the three-day “In the first match that we played against doubleheader on Jan. 13 and 14. event. Laval, our middles started off pretty slowly. McMaster plays host to the RMC “I wasn’t too concerned coming in with That’s a volume thing. Our middles need a Paladins and Queen’s Gaels as part of the only three days of preparation, because we lot of training volume because it’s such a school’s Marauder Weekend celebration. did have such a strong December,” said precision-based skill. If you don’t have the Both matches are set to begin at 8 p.m. JEFF TAM / SILHOUETTE STAFF



Women’s Volleyball

Improvement comes despite result Fraser Caldwell Sports Editor

Their level of play was devastatingly high at times, and yet the Marauders came away from their Jan. 6 battle with the Brock Badgers empty handed. Over the course of five hard-fought sets in St. Catherines, the visitors from McMaster demonstrated marked improvement from the brand of volleyball that had seen them drop three consecutive contests to conclude the first semester. Gone were many of the mid-match errors, miscommunications and mismatches that had seen the Marauders convincingly beaten by the Ottawa Gee-Gees and Queen’s Gaels. Also absent was the one-way offensive traffic that had allowed OUA rivals to hone in on Marauder attackers in the opening half of the season. Indeed, it was the visitors who proved more adept on the block at the Davis Gym, as the Marauders stockpiled nine solo stuffs and 18 block assists in the Friday night loss. Offensive output from McMaster’s wing players was another area of noticeable improvement on Jan. 6, as three Marauder wing players reached double-digits in points (Kailee Stock, Mira Krunic and Lauren Mastroluisi). In the end though, the visitors lacked the necessary execution in the clutch to seal the fifth set of the Friday contest and grab two needed points against a strong Badger side. While the results remain lacking to this point, McMaster’s veteran middle hitter and co-captain Shannon McRobert believes that her team’s improved play will bear fruit in the near future. “I think it was a 100 per cent improvement,” said McRobert of the Marauders’ Jan. 6 effort. “I definitely have to say that we worked really hard over the Christmas break and there’s a huge difference in the way we played. “Obviously the game didn’t go the way that we wanted it to, but I feel like you could see the difference and that it bodes well for us in the second half.” According to McRobert, much of the Marauders’ improved play in their return to competitive action can be traced to the team’s holiday excursion to Florida. While they competed at the Innisbrook College/University Invitational in St. Peters-


The Marauders hope that their team-building efforts over the holdiays will translate to success on the court. burg and came away with bronze medals, the team’s off-court activities were arguably of equal if not greater importance for a group that has struggled to effectively assimilate a hefty rookie class. “I think in this case, with this team, [the trip] has helped us immensely,” said McRobert. “I feel so much closer with a lot of the girls that are younger and I know that it’s really going to help us. Of course there was a lot of volleyball and we worked our butts off, but there’s the bonding time too that’s so important. “Just getting to be with the team without any outside distractions really helps. When we come back here, we bring that experience back with us.” The hope on the part of the Marauders is that the cohesiveness that such team-building activities foster will aid them in their efforts to find consistency on the floor. Although it was hardly a perfect first attempt, McRobert believes that the Jan. 6 result showed a McMaster team beginning to find stability. “I feel like consistency sometimes has to come from older players, which we don’t

have a lot of,” said the fourth-year middle hitter. “But in this case, I think it can come from gelling together as a team. It’s taken us a while to get together, but we’re getting there now and you can see the runs of play that we’ve been able to put together. “I think we’re getting to the point where we can build on those runs and improve our overall performance.” It would be easy for the Marauders to be disheartened by their struggles on the scoreboard to this point in the OUA season. However, McRobert indicates that the attitude among the players remains positive, and has been rejuvenated by the events of the Christmas break. “There is a bit of frustration involved,” said the veteran of her team’s losing ways. “But at the same time, you look to your teammates for support and they really help you out. After Christmas training it really feels like a new start. I feel like everyone is more motivated and more determined to win. “It’s a very different feeling around the team and it’s exciting.” The Maroon and Grey’s next weekend

of work presents an opportunity for redemption on home soil, as the Marauders will welcome the RMC Paladins and the Queen’s Gaels to the Burridge Gym on Jan. 13 and 14. For McRobert and her teammates, the familiar confines of the home floor bring added confidence to the prospect of avenging two November defeats. “I think home court is always something of an advantage,” said McRobert. “Personally, I think this team loves to be at home and always has. I’ve been here for four years and I think we’ve always done much better at home than we’ve done away. “We have chemistry, a new way of playing and I’m looking forward to playing at home against teams we can get some revenge against. Hopefully it can turn out in our favour this time.” The McMaster faithful will share that hope as the Marauders host the Kingston outfits as part of Marauder weekend. The Maroon and Grey clash with RMC is slated to get underway at 6 p.m. on Jan. 13, while the Queen’s contest will tip off at the same time the next night.




Promotion recognizes Behie’s role • CONT’D FROM S2 that.” In that respect, Ptaszek’s new five-year deal allows him significant latitude, particularly with regards to recruiting, where the assurance of stability at the head coaching position could be a major selling point for potential athletes and their families. “The nice thing about McMaster is that the majority of the staff has been here for closer to 20 years than five,” said the Marauder coach. “Isn’t it nice to be able to come in here and know that your positional coach will probably be here until you graduate? It’s pretty unique to have that stability. “It makes a difference when you’re in a mom and dad’s living room and they know that you’re going to be there for the duration. If they decide that they like you, then they know that you’ll be there to direct the ship for the next four or five years.” With the new deal comes an inevitable salary increase for the championship-winning coach. The most recent public salary disclosure figures from 2010 list Ptaszek as having earned $131,870 in that fiscal year, which made him the second-highest paid head coach in Ontario for the reporting period behind UWO’s Greg Marshall ($131, 937). However, Giles indicates that the reported figure was unusually high as a result of an “extra-ordinary payment.” While declining to disclose the exact financial figures involved in the new contract, the Athletic Director did admit that they represented a marked increase. “He got a bump,” Giles said of Ptaszek’s compensation. “Part of the process was talking to the other Athletic Directors in the OUA and talking about what their coaches make – coaches that have similar track records to him. “I think the offer we settled on is more than fair and it compensates him along the lines of his coaching brethren and what they’ve achieved as well.” While Ptaszek enjoys a renewed role with the program, his resident offensive guru Jon Behie has seen his importance within the Marauder football hierarchy reaffirmed. The coordinator – whose creative and devastatingly effective offense dominated the country’s statistical charts – is now offi-


The relationship between Behie and his star quarterback allowed for one of the most potent offenses in recent memory. cially recognized for what has long been his de facto role as Ptaszek’s overall assistant. On the topic of his promotion, Behie is quick to express the degree to which he is gratified by the confidence in him shown by his head coach and the department as a whole. “I’m only 28, so to have that title [as Assistant Head Coach] at this point in my career means a lot,” said Behie. “It tells me that Stef and Jeff Giles appreciate the work that I’ve done and that they’ve recognized it. So it’s pretty cool.” The newly promoted coach indicates that the greatest change inherent in his new role will be an administrative one, as he continues to learn the nuances involved in running a varsity football program. “On a day-to-day basis there aren’t many changes to my role,” said Behie. “I might be poking my nose in a little bit in terms of the behind the scenes stuff, just because I want to make a life-long career out of this. That means understanding how the financial side works on the basis of what Stef

does. “I’ll be looking in for observational purposes to understand how a program really works. I think I have a pretty good idea already, but there are always going to be unexpected things if I make that next step, and I’d like to be as prepared as possible for that whenever it comes.” If there is one thing that the new role for Behie indicates, it is that Stefan Ptaszek has a very apparent understudy on hand, and one that is uniquely homegrown for a McMaster program that is traditionally used to looking elsewhere for coaching talent. While his lengthy contract makes no mystery of the fact that he intends to remain with the Marauders for the foreseeable future, Ptaszek also recognizes the value of having a talented veteran of the program on hand. “McMaster, in choosing its head coaches in recent history has gone outside of the program,” said the Marauder bench boss. “I take tremendous pride in the fact that we’re starting to develop some of our bright

student athletes and retaining them so that the next time this program is looking for a head coach, they don’t have to look outside of the Maroon and Grey.” Behie makes no secret of his desire to one day become a head coach in the CIS, and the fact that such an opportunity at the school he once donned the uniform for would be the stuff of dreams. However, the coordinator has no intention of unseating a man he enjoys working with, and one under whom he has flourished. “My goal professionally is to become a head coach at the CIS level,” said Behie. “That’s what I want to do and what I’ve wanted to do since I finished playing. This place means more to me than any other place in the world ever could. Ultimately, it would be great to accomplish that goal here. “But at the same time, Stef is one of the best head coaches in the entire country and I really enjoy working with him. He gives me the freedom to do what I think is necessary offensively, and I’ll work under him happily for as long as he’s around here.”




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The truth behind mental illness Natalie Timperio

Senior InsideOut Editor

What do you know about mental illnesses? Did you know that one out of every five Canadians is affected by mental illness at some point in their lives? Did you know that only one-third of the people affected by mental illness seek any professional help? Perhaps this knowledge is nothing new to you. Or perhaps it is. For many, mental illness is a fact of life. However, only recently has it been acknowledged as being so. Where mental health disorders were once thought to be a result of demonic possession or some such other aliment, science has now proven otherwise. But this doesn’t make the stigma any less real. Students are at high risk for mental health disorders, particularly if there is a hereditary predisposition at play. The high-stress environment of university coupled with poor lifestyle choices such as irregular sleeping patterns and substance abuse can make a student particularly vulnerable to mental illness. ‘Max,’ whose real name has been withheld, is one such individual who can attest to students’ vulnerability to mental illness. A schizoaffective bipolar type, Max stated that frequent drinking and use of marijuana contributed to his mental illness. After being diagnosed with bipolar type two, Max explained that he used marijuana as a mood stabilizer. However, marijuana contributed in part to his eventual diagnosis of schizophrenia: “it’s very important to know that 40 per cent of people using the marijuana today are going to receive some forms of psychosis ... people don’t realize how strong marijuana has become as opposed to the hippie days 30 or 40 years ago.” Excessive sleeping, up to 18 hours a day and thoughts of suicide preceded Max’s diagnosis of bipolar disorder: “all of a sudden life was so dark, the things I loved before I no longer had the energy to do and people seemed dead to me.” Schizophrenia, on the other hand, caused Max to have “a lot of hallucinations and delusions of things that I perceived to be my reality and


There are an abundance of services available to those with mental illnesses perceived to be real based on what I had learned and what I was told.” After intense therapy and use of medication, however, Max now lives a gratifying life. In fact, he appears no different from anyone else, indicating that mental health disorders need not impair someone from living well. Max explained that though it “sucks” having a mental illness it’s something that, with a little bit of patience, can definitely get better. There’s been a concerted effort to dispel the stigma of mental illnesses, particularly within our local community. Mood Menders Sup-

port Group, which provides support to those with depression and bipolar disorder, has been operating within the Hamilton community since 1985. Since then not only has Mood Menders provided a formidable support network to those with mental health disorders, as well as to their families, but it has also made strides toward educating and bringing awareness to mental illnesses. Charles Cino, President of Mood Menders, says that “stigma instils fear in someone’s life ... it’s based on unfounded facts. It hurts

individuals with a mood disorder to the point where people sometimes believe that the way they’ve been stigmatized is the truth.” Seeking to educate the uneducated, Cino explained that “as a society we have to give the brain the respect it deserves to be allowed to become sick. We accept the fact that other body parts can become ill ... if other organs in the body can become sick then we have to recognize that the brain too can become sick.” Cino further noted that mental illness is indeed receiving greater attention in the media as well

amongst high profile people, and not a moment too soon. “From a medical science perspective this is the last frontier. The 21st century is going to be the explosion of research and a much better understanding of [mental illnesses],” said Nirankar Prasad, Director of Mood Menders. Yet Mood Menders is not alone in making a difference in the lives of those afflicted with mental health disorders as well as promoting education. The Student Wellness Centre (SWC) at McMaster University provides personal and psychological counselling, mental health support, medical services and wellness education. Debra Earl, mental health nurse at SWC, said that “historically people with mental illness have not been very high functioning … so they were shut away and they weren’t able to be an active member of society ... mental illness was a very negative thing.” Amongst students, Earl noted that popular indicators of mental health disorders include isolation from the outside world, mood change such as extreme sadness or irritability, changes in sleeping patterns like excessive sleeping or lack of sleeping, and changes in nutritional habits such as binge eating or loss of appetite. However, this is not to say that if you are experiencing these symptoms that you have a mental illness. Cino explained that “two people can experience the same thing. Take death, for example. One person will experience sadness, but never come below that bar, while the other one will go into clinical depression. It’s the way their mind recognizes the problem.” For students, making positive life style choices is key to ensuring mental wellbeing: “making good choices about getting good sleep, eating well, and building up a support network of friends and family to make sure people are looking out for you when you crash. Engaging in activities is another positive thing [students can do],” explained Earl. The lives we live as students aren’t often conducive to good mental health. And while the choices we make for our physical health often get the attention, it’s our mental health that is often even more at risk.


The good, the bad, and the compromise sibility has caused us both countless sleep-less nights and a strong sense of independence. We are eduUniversity is the time period in cated, privileged individuals with which individuality is fostered. We the world at our fingertips yet it make our way through the hallways seems that no amount of education of life discovering an infinite self- has prepared us for the bitter sweet depth as we cultivate our funda- challenges of love, relationships, mental values, dreams, goals, and and compromise. ambitions. The burden of respon- Relationships have the potential Cassandra Jeffery

Assistant InsideOut Editor

to be exciting and self-benefiting, however on the contrary, relationships (when you’re finally out of the honey-moon phase) can be challenging, difficult, and potentially heartbreaking. We allow ourselves to love fully aware that one day, love could turn its back on us. Optimistic as we are, the search continues for the right candidate. The perfect

Learn how to keep to your resolutions Not all resolutions need to be an utter failure. Pg. C3

lover that will understand, accept, and enhance our unique characteristics. However, finding the perfect love does not come without compromise. True relationships require compromise, but should we compromise the individuals we’ve become in order to salvage a relationship?

Yoga 101 Yoga proves to be a psychologically and physcially beneficial workout. Pg. C4

Commitment to a relationship produces an overwhelming sense of vulnerability. The compulsion to divulge your most embarrassing character traits and flaws seems an innate quality of being human. Whether both characters mesh perfectly in sync depends on the overall affect the relationship has on • CONT’D FROM 7



ThreadCount Renée Vieria Fifth-year Biology

Favourite quote: “It’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” Favourite band: Angus and Julia Stone Describe your style: androgynous at best, boyish at worst What do you look for in a significant other? Adventure Jacket: J. Crew - gift Shirt: thrift Camera: Canon F-1 Jeans: Jacob - $30 Boots: J. Crew - $150

Photos by Tyler Hayward




New Year’s resolutions In 2011 things were lackin, 2012 is the year to make it happen Amanda Teseo Silhouette Staff

As we chime in the beginning of 2012 and wait for the plaguing aftermath of new years to subside, we find ourselves looking forward to a fresh start in a novel year. Popular culture has instilled the idea of vowing to uphold a “New Year Resolution” with the beginning of each year. For this reason, the start of January marks the commencement of dietary regimens, the creation of personal promises, and the onset

of a skyrocketing increase in purchased gym memberships. The custom of creating New Years Resolutions dates back to as early as 62 BC, during the time of Julius Caesar in Rome. Resolutions were mostly made with moral intentions of being good to others. Later on, in the 17th century, the Puritans began each New Year by reflecting on the past year and contemplating the future year. Through this practice, our modern understanding of New Years Resolutions has evolved. In contrast to the Romans, the Puri-

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tans focused on forming resolutions to better themselves, develop their talents, and practice avoidance of habitual sins. Today, people form a multitude of different resolutions with various degrees of commitment and strategies for success. Dr. Jill RachBeisel, M.D. and Dr. Hinda Dubin, M.D. study the psychology of resolution creation at the University of Maryland Medical Center. They report that the most effective way to successfully uphold a resolution for at least 365 days is to “prepare yourself psychologically.” “Focus on realistic goals with measurable results,” says Dr. RachBeisel. “You need to break things down into small steps that you can manage. If your goal is too big, you’ll feel defeated before you even get started.” For example, instead of setting a goal that you want to develop a body like Ryan Gosling, start with a more specific, measurable and realistic goal like gaining two pounds of muscle. Start from there and then slowly increase the amount of muscle you want to gain. In this way, you will maintain motivation and track your progress. Another popular mistake associated with resolution maintenance is “psyching yourself out.” After the initial spark of hope subsides, reality begins to weigh heavily on your shoulders as you realize that the accomplishment of your goals requires discipline and hard work. A simple and effective solution to such a slump is to start immediately. “Action precedes motivation, not the other way around,” says Dubin. “People often think that they should wait until they are motivated to start doing something good for themselves. They say, ‘I’ll start that diet or fitness program when I’m really well rested and have a lot of energy’. But it doesn’t work that way.” Make an action towards your goal first and then inspiration will follow. The initial action acts as momentum to propel you towards your goal. The old saying of “the first step is the hardest” holds true psychologically.


This new year, really put some thought into your resolutions.

Tips to keep on track in the New Year 1. Avoid perfectionism: You may set out to get all 12’s this term, but you also might be setting yourself up for disappointment. Try focusing less on a particular grade point average and more on improvement, like bettering your study habits. 2. Don’t stress too much about any setbacks you may encounter: They are lessons to be learned and opportunities for growth. Use any mistakes you make as methods of improving your strategies for success. 3. Avoid absolute resolutions: For example, instead of vowing to steer completely clear of junk food, promise to eat less of it. 4. Find ways to keep motivated: Keeping on track towards your NewYears goals can be difficult so make sure to construct a way that will help you succeed. 5. Make sure your resolutions are meaningful to you: This might be the most important tip to follow. Your resolution should be something you want to change instead of what other people or influences in your life want to change. Internalize your goals and insure that they make sense to you. Overall, the idea that a new year constitutes a fresh start has been around for centuries. The only difference is that today we have a multitude of resources at our fingertips to help us experience success in upholding our resolutions. Why not make 2012 a year of success?



Eye Oh Tidbits


Yoga has proven to keep the mind and body sharp

Under the blob Blobs, bottom-feeder fish resemble gluttonous masses of flesh and expend almost no energy as they have very little muscle. They’re rarely seen by humans and there are few left due to over-fishing. When in Ethiopia While many believe the Garden of Eden to be figurative, there are also many who believe that such a place really does exist. There are hints in the Bible of the Garden’s location: near Ethiopia. Ain’t no shame in sugar The majority of studies done show sugar and hyperactivity have no connection. Double-blind studies have shown that children with different amounts of sugar in their diet do not behave differently. Even children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder remain unaffected.


Master the art of yoga to achieve physichological and physical benefits. beneficial in physical terms, but also psychologically. The psychological benefits of yoga are Strengthening oneself physically, mentally extensive - a brief list of benefits includes and spiritually, yoga is an extremely self improved concentration, attention and focus, disciplinary form of exercise that will keep enhanced memory, social skills and relief of your body in peak condition. Having been stress. Arguably, the most sought after psychpracticed for over 5,000 years since its cre- ological benefit of yoga would be to relieve ation in ancient India, close to 11 million stress. Americans are enjoying its health benefits. Certain meditation techniques within Yoga is a diverse form of exercise con- yoga work to eliminate the chattering thoughts sisting of numerous different styles that are that clutter our minds on a daily basis, such as all unique from one another. For example, concentrating solely on breathing. yoga poses called asanas work to stretch the It is not uncommon for students pracmuscles in your body, releasing tension, stiff- ticing yoga to suggest that not only do they ness, pain and fatigue. experience a more attentive ability to concen At the same time, it explores the different trate, but also feel a change in mood. movements of your body, Similarly to any other form teaching your muscles to of exercise, yoga reaps health stretch and increase the benefits in relation to the heart Yoga is diverse ranges of motion and has shown improvements joints are able to perform. especially beneficial in the symptoms of chronic to athletes Each pose within yoga medical conditions, such as serves a purpose. Whethasthma, back pain, arthritis and because it er it is downward dog, clinical depression. concentrates on upward dog, plank pose or The soothing relaxation of a stretching pose, they are deep rhythmic practicing yoga has proven to all particularly designed to breathing in order lower blood pressure in indistrengthen certain muscles viduals who suffer from high to create within your body. blood pressure, risk of stroke or Many yoga poses may heart disease and slow the heart seem intimidating and exrate. clusionary to individuals of McMaster Athletic and Rea certain age or body type, but surprisingly, creation programs offer various yoga classes flexibility can be improved at any age. that range from beginner, intermediate, ad For instance, there are more calming vanced, power yoga, athletic conditioning styles of yoga that focus strategically on the and contact yoga, which involves a partner. alignment of poses, such as lyengar or hatha, Each class is unique in terms of the physical while still providing strength and muscle poses, emphasis on technique, movement and toning. It is also important to consider that pace. yoga is not a competitive sport, but more Access to instructional programs, such about individual accomplishments. as yoga, in the athletic facilities at McMaster Yoga is especially beneficial to athletes are available to students with a facility membecause it concentrates on deep rhythmic bership, but also students, members of the breathing in order to create relaxation, but it McMaster staff, faculty, alumni and the comalso works to enhance lung capacity and im- munity who are not facility members. prove athletic performance. Prices for instructional programs range Especially in a heated room, hot yoga re- between the different levels of yoga, as well quires the strategic concentration of breathing as facility membership. deeply and slowly in order to find oxygen in Relaxation is a rare commodity that an overwhelmingly humid environment. The can sometimes be lost within the hustle and style of yoga aimed at athletes would be ash- bustle of everyday life. Practicing yoga retanga and power yoga. minds individuals of the importance in creat These two styles of yoga are a great deal ing time for oneself, not only to better your more vigorous than others, focusing primarily health physically, but also improve your state on improving muscle tone. Yoga is not only of mind . Why not reap the rewards today? Katherine George Silhouette Staff



In the Kitchen

Authentic caesar salad dressing Tastes: Delicious! If in doubt, add more cheese! Convenience: Easily stored in your grandmother’s old jam jars, but it takes a while to prepare so make the dressing in advance. It can keep for a few days afterwards in the fridge.

Cost: Cheap if you plan to make the dressing again. Some of the ingredients are rather special, like the mustard powder, but consider it an investment for your next salad.


Eat like the Italians and try the authentic Caesar dressing tonight for dinner.

Aaren Fitzgerald Silhouette Staff

Caesar dressing: 1/3 cup slivered or sliced blanched almonds 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed 3/4 pound silken tofu 1/4 cup olive oil 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 heaping tablespoon capers 4 teaspoons caper brine 1 teaspoon of sugar 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder salt Croutons: 1/4 cup olive oil 4 cloves roasted garlic 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 medium size loaf French or Italian bread 1/4 teaspoon salt Salad: 1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped Freshly cracked black pepper Handful or two of spinach and arugula, rip into bite size pieces. Cooking Terms: Pulse- to turn a food processor on for a brief moment then off and repeat, on/off, on/off untill desired consistency is reached. Prepare the dressing: Pulse sliced almonds in a food processor or blender until crumbly. Empty the ground almonds into an airtight container that you’ll be using to store the finished dressing. Blend the garlic, tofu, and oil in the food processor or blender until creamy. Add lemon juice, capers, caper brine, sugar, and mustard powder and salad to taste. Pour into container with the ground almonds and whisk to combine. Cover and allow the dressing to chill in the refrigerator for a minimum 30 minutes, optimally 1 to 1.5 hours. While dressing is chilling you can beginning with roasting the garlic. Roasting garlic: Cut off the top 1/2 inch of the bulb so that the cloves are showing and drizzle olive oil in (about 1 tablespoon). Wrap tightly with foil and bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 375 F. Prepare the Croutons: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the olive oil, roasted garlic and lemon

juice in a large bowl. With a fork or immersion blender, mash or blend the mixture until creamy. Add the torn bread and toss to coat each piece with the oil mixture. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle salt if desired and bake for 12 to 14 minutes until golden brown. Toss the croutons twice during the baking process. Remove from the oven and cool the croutons on the baking sheet. Assemble the salad: The original Caesar Salad did not contain anchovies; rather the creator Caesar Cardini used Worcestershire sauce to gain a similar flavour. This starter has become a staple for family style restaurants since its creation. Its longevity and enduring appeal can be attributed to its simplicity. Julia Child was known to have had Caesar himself prepare her a salad at his restaurant, she remembers it as being distinct because it was to be prepared in front of the guests and used two coddled eggs allowing for a rich, creamy taste and texture. When I was a kid I loved when we had Caesar salad for dinner. For one it was fun to make and it meant we could use the massive wooden bowl that my siblings and I believed was given to us by the giant trolls who lived under the bridge near our house. They were of course the generous cute trolls with the colourful hair. After all, why would our parents be friends with the gruesome ones? I lived in Caesar salad bliss until I became a vegetarian and began reading the ingredients of packaged foods. I was crushed to discover my favourite Renee’s dressing contained anchovies! For years I searched around for alternatives but what I found was either too salty, not creamy, or had a strange tangy aftertaste. Then my brother and mom made this dressing and it shocked my senses at how familiar it tasted. I have been a vegetarian for quite a few years now so I can admit I have forgotten exactly what a beef burger tastes like but I will never forget Caesar salad. This rich, creamy, delicious salad dusted with fresh parmesan can match the real thing and I’d argue with the croutons beat Boston Pizza’s with ease! It is technically vegan (which is surprising, as one might think Caesar dressing is basically the antithesis of vegan dressings) so all can enjoy it…for self-proclaimed meatatarians bacon bits or chicken can add weight. I dare anyone who loves Caesar salad to try it.



Make a part of your New Year resolutions with the Silhouette. Come out and write for InsideOut. Volunteer meetings Wednesdays @ 3:30 or email

What are you willing to sacrifice? they are passionate about in order to enrich their relationship. Hypothetically, you have the both parties. “A healthy relationship should opportunity to travel abroad or affirm who each partner is and you’ve been accepted into a Masallow each person to meet his or her ter’s program on the other side of needs together with the other,” says the country. Would you compromMark D. White, author for the jour- ise your education or dreams for another individual? Is there a certain nal, Psychology Today. In contrast, if one individual point in a relationship when it bebegins to compromise too much, the comes okay to compromise aspects relationship can encourage resentment and hostility rather than love and affection. True to our For example, asking your partunique qualities as ner to compromise a fundamental value such as religion or education humans, we all have can severely damage the prospects diverse opinions on of a healthy, communicative relawhat exactly tionship. On the other hand, we are forced constitutes a good to compromise throughout life in relationship and general, which means remembering to tidy up after yourself is a rather level of mundane compromise. compromise.” When in a relationship, one must always remember to differentiate from the good versus the bad of your individuality in order to compromises. A relationship is the benefit your partner? unification of two people, however Essentially, the type of person it is crucial that each person main- determines the capacity of compromise one is willing to put forth. tains their individuality. At our young, impression- For some, traveling is a dream you able age we are easily influenced could never compromise, despite by our partners, often re-arranging the amount of love you may feel for our thoughts to match those of our your partner. True to our unique qualities as lovers. This becomes a dangerous, gray humans, we all have diverse opinarea in a relationship because most ions on what exactly constitutes a often, individuals feel they are sac- good relationship and level of comrificing what they believe or what promise. • CONT’D FROM C1

“The right relationship does not force demanding compromises,” says Natalie Pozniak, a third-year Communication Studies and Multimedia student. On the other hand, Master’s Student Simon Erker suggests, “in a good relationship, compromise is always possible.” The realm of compromise in a relationship is a tricky subject because one can argue that giving up the love of your life for a job is a significant compromise. The saying, ‘you want what you can’t have’ certainly applies in such situations. Battling with the infamous ‘pro versus con’ list is sometimes a catch-22; you want both the relationship and the dream but unfortunately, love doesn’t always conquer all. What remains most important here is the idea that you find something to love outside of a relationship. Fixating yourself solely on a person will force you to lose sight on what makes you authentic. Despite what Hollywood portrays, relationships are difficult and they demand effort and compromise. The challenging part is not in deciding on what defines a bad compromise versus a good compromise, rather the challenge becomes prevalent when attempting to figure out what is most important to you as an individual. Thus, complicating our lives further we have the good, the bad, and the compromise.



Darfur Now - Film Screening Jan. 16, 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. Health Sciences Centre 1A4 Tickets $5 for McMaster students and $10 for community members.

Lunchtime Talk by Artist Jan. 17, 12:30 p.m. - 1:20 a.m. Alvin A. Lee Building Lecture Hall Lunchtime talk by artist Ramona Ramlochand. Free admission.

Freedom with Purpose Jan. 16, 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. TwelvEighty Broadway actor Bruce Kuhn performs The Gospel of Luke.

Students Crossing Borders Trip Jan. 17, 6:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. MUSC 224 Info session. Come out and volunteer abroad!


Accessorize this winter season Chanèle Jordan Silhouette Staff

It’s that wonderful time of year again. You know, when the weather plunges below zero degrees and we have to bundle up in a million layers in order to keep warm. During these extreme temperatures (though it has strangely started to warm up again), we tend to not focus so much on style and instead become more concerned with ensuring that we don’t freeze. Until this year, that is. Accessorizing has become an important part of winter wear, a trend that’s quite noticeable both on and off campus. From headbands to handwarmers, wintertime is not only about staying warm—it’s also about stay-

ing fashionable. Here are some of the season’s most popular accessories. Turban Headbands: These knitted headbands can be found in a variety of colours and patterns at popular stores like Aldo and H&M. They’re usually quite thick, perfect for keeping your ears warm. I find they are also great to throw on when you’re having a bad hair day. Fur Handwarmers: Originally a winter staple for royalty, they have now become popular amongst us commoners. If you haven’t already seen one, it is a fur “tube” in which there is a place on each end for you to insert your hands. Although very warm, complete usage of your hands is lost. Legwarmers: Females, pair legwarmers with your favourite boots to add a vintage look to your ensemble. Whether your boots are tall, short or mid-calf, legwarmers are sure to add that finishing touch you’re looking for. Roots ‘Striped’ Socks: A popular trend lately has been to wear them all the way up so the colored stripe appears right above the top of your boot. If you’re in need of warm winter socks, I definitely recom-

mend these ones. Neck Tubes: They fit tight around your neck to ensure it is kept nice and toasty. It can also stretch up to around your nose when you need some extra coverage on those extra cold days. If you are an avid fan of the ‘ski mask’, I’d try out a neck tube as it provides the same coverage but in a more fashionable way. Circle Scarves: Also known as infinity scarves or wrap around scarves. There’s no denying that this item has taken over the fashion world by storm. A favourite by females and males alike, the circle scarf is a great addition to practically any outfit. You can find one almost anywhere, in a variety of colors, patterns and textures. Fingerless Gloves: The name says it all. Although quite trendy and allows for you to text with ease, they aren’t very useful in extreme temperatures as our fingertips are usually the first things to go numb! So now that you’ve been educated on the top winter accessories this year, what are you waiting for? Try out one or more of these trends to get through this winter in style!


The dropping temperatures don’t have to reflect your style.





BUSINESS Shama Kassam The Silhouette

‘Team-buying’ websites have been picking up speed over the past few years, offering consumers a way to save up to 95 per cent off the regular price of a multitude of different products and services. Websites such as,, and have become common ways to take advantage of group purchasing power. The theory behind it is that any establishment that chooses to market its products or services through these websites serves to benefit by attracting these customers to come back again and pay full price. It encourages a new demographic to come in and people who might otherwise never know about a business can try out different places at a great discount. If they are satisfied with the service, they can come back and become regular customers at full price. This, in theory, should work flawlessly. Group-buying websites benefit from being the middleman, with the idea that bringing buyers and sellers together is mutually beneficial. In actuality, the stock price of in specific has been steadily decreasing and has plummeted to 45 per cent below the IPO (initial public offering). The problem is, Groupon has questionable profitability. For small businesses especially, team-buying deals give them money up front from the coupons bought, but require them to offer their product or service at a deep discount for the following year or pre-assigned period. Companies end up losing way more than they make initially and companies with unstable cash flows have even closed down after making a team-buying deal available. In essence, these websites offer companies a loan, with a very high interest rate.

production office extension: 27117

T h e money they make up front often blind sides companies to the commitment they have made to maintaining this low price until the purchased coupons have run out. For a company, expenses usually increase when they have more customers, fixed expenses stay the same and variable expenses such as paying wages and expenses used to running the business increase. At the same time, they are taking in far less money and have likely not allocated their initial money to last for the following year. Trouble ensues. The problem with the market now is that with a ‘sluggish economy’ businesses are keen to use Groupon as a way to make money up front. After the deal closes, and customers begin coming in to cash this deal, they are out even more money than they had initially anticipated and they still need more money. This often leads them to a cycle of following up for subsequent Groupon deals. It puts small businesses into debt and puts them in the same situation as individuals who don’t have the money to pay their credit card bills, max out their card, and then apply for a new card. For team-buying deal users, keep this in mind. When you go to an establishment be aware of the fact that they are giving you a large discount and tip according to the original service price if in a service establishment. If you enjoy the product or service, try and go back again and pay full-price and definitely recommend it to you friends. In these small ways we can help to turn our economy right-side up again. JOY SANTIAGO / MULTIMEDIA EDITOR

Surviving post-holiday financial blues Plan ahead to avoid putting yourself in a finacial rut after the holidays “If you keep yourself organized consumer trends for the 2011 holi- most Canadians are starting 2012 on and plan ahead, you’re probably not day season depict optimistic results the right foot, without holiday debt likely to get caught up in the con- with 76 per cent of households loads getting in the way of their big When one thinks of holidays, sumerism of the holidays,” says spending less or the same time on picture financial responsibilities or thoughts invariably turn to the eco- Gina Stornetta, blogger for Disfunk- holiday gifts, trips and entertaining aspirations.” than in 2010. Christmas just passed and nomic aspects of those days, with shion Magazine. consumerism being at the forefront It’s a new year so you’re basic- “The latest numbers are a I’m sure you got everything you ally starting from the beginning to very positive sign that Canadian wanted or needed, don’t be tempted of any celebration. But the holidays are now over which means it’s time for the recovery period from holiday consumption. In a year of economic uncertainty, interest in Christmas holiday spending, shopping, buying and retail sales predictions were particularly strong in 2011. According to Statistics Canada, December is traditionally the most important month for many retailers. Christmas is a time of giving and you may be spending excessively, possibly even going over your budget without even knowing. Then after all the pre-Christmas spending comes boxing day, which means more holiday consumption adding to your visa bills. The 2006 holiday season, with its Ho Ho Hos and Merry Christmas cheer, saw around $28.7 billion spent in retail stores in the month of December alone. So how does one recover from all the holiday shop- To avoid putting a strain on your wallet, stick to a strict budget and try not to deviate from it. ping sprees? The first thing you increase your savings account or households are both setting realis- to do more shopping, especially need to consider is set realistic goals paying down your visa card(s), once tic spending limits, and also stay- if you’re a student with a limited for the year ahead, in regard to fi- again. It’s time to start saving and ing on budget, which is especially income. nancial management. Post-holiday spending smart; know your limits, important during a busy spending Maria Parker, McMaster Hufinancing woes can be difficult to spend within them and save the period like the holidays,” says Vice manities student, says, “It’s rough, overcome, if the proper steps and a rest. According to a recent survey President of Bank of Montreal, being a student and working partreleased by BMO on Wednesday, Su McVey. “This also indicates that time. With the income I earn from financial plan are not in place. Rachael Ramos The Silhouette


my minimum wage job, it is hard to save because even eating out is expensive.” Saving money for a student can be difficult, but even putting away $50 every paycheck to your savings can add up for that rainy day when you’ll need it most. BMO suggests tracking your spending and spending only what you have to help keep your financial priorities on track heading into 2012.According to National Retail Federation’s 2011 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, consumers planned to spend an average of $832.36 on holiday-related shopping, up a paltry 1.9 percent over last year’s $816.69. Consumption and consumerism will always play a part in our daily lives but you must take control of your financial spending, so you don’t end up in a hole deeper than expected. It seems the holidays exist to enhance the economic stability of the marketplace. About 97 per cent of Canadians buy presents, and holidays generate 19 per cent of all annual retail. So if you don’t make too much money and you spent all your earnings by getting sucked into the consumer frenzy of buying gifts for the family and friends, remember to make a budget, check it twice, and stay focussed to ensure you’re keeping yourself right on financial track to financial stability.



Local Business Profile

Basking in the joys of Basilique Alizeh Khan The Silhouette

With quality food, a great atmosphere and a name that has become grounded for the McMaster and Hamilton community, Basilique is more than just a place for great food. Gourmet pizzas, shawarma and delicious vegan dishes are just a few reasons or rather menu items that have made the restaurant a hit throughout the city. Completing 12 years in February 2012, the restaurant has expanded far more than just its menu items. Executive chef and owner Mamdouh Dahab brings to his business his expertise in professional French cuisine, as seen with the revered quality and freshness that the restaurant is known for. The restaurant is a hotspot for takeout, dine in and catering for students from the university and the neighbouring community. Having spent over a decade running his business, Dahab says that it was hard work and determination that helped him persevere throughout the years. Struggling during the first two years, it was patience and consistent quality that remained important as ethics to run his business. Despite fluctuations in the rise and fall of running the restaurant, the business remained to garner popularity for its promise of quality food. Having been offered in the meal plan for McMaster students for quite some time, Dahab said it is through student initiation and word of mouth that there has been an influx of students. Students made it apparent that they wished for the restaurant to be incorporated as a choice for their meals, and Dahab says that a large part of the customers he serves are students. “If you are a big fan of cheese, go to Basilique,” says fourth year McMaster student Shahinaz Youseff. In addition to this, throughout the year Dahab says that new first year students have visited, eaten and come back for more. He has seen an increase specifically in

new students, and says that the busy time for the restaurant has yet to come in the summer months. Popularity has spread through word of mouth, and little advertising. Throughout the years Dahab says he has learned that quality is important, as is time. The customer wants “something quick” and he in turn has never given up striving for quality, whilst learning how to manage the time it takes to process orders and meet client demands. Through his constant efforts, Dahab maintains his business. He finds that though he has staff to overlook his work, he bears the larger responsibility. “I close the door and come back and open the door again,” said Dahab in regards to working many, if not all days of the week, with long hours, opening and closing the restaurant. For Dahab it isn’t “hit and run” where his sole purpose is to simply make money. Good labour remains an important aspect for him, and finding it he says can be difficult. With a fast paced environment it can get stressful, and for him managing time remains his utmost goal alongside good food. Little details pertaining to business are important, he says, and freshness and quality Basilique has maintained a respected image in the Westdale community. remains the driving force through which he runs his business. The local community has also been of great support. Though students come and go with the terms, the neighbouring community has familiarized itself with the restaurant. There is a great deal of respect within the community, and Dahab remains a financial supporter of various schools and the university. The local police and the Ministry of Health are but a few of the local institutions that not only order from the restaurant, but are frequent customers. “I’m very happy with the business and clientele we have,” Dahab says. Presently he says his goal for the business remains to try new menu items, which he aims for every year. He has expanded the vegetarian selections he has, and hopes to continue to serve customers with high quality food and service.

The Sil business section wants you to write for us! It’s what all the cool kids are doing. Come out to our weekly meetings, Thursday at 12:30 in MUSC B110. Email us at for more information.







B U D DY P ROGRAM We have over one hundred children and teens with special needs waiting to spend time with a volunteer buddy. Matched buddies spend eight hours a month pursuing a hobby, playing sports, or enjoying other activities in the community. Gain volunteer experience, have fun, and share a special friendship with a young person with special needs!

RECREATION PROGRAM We offer a minimum of six recreation events each month, providing respite and opportunities for fun and friendship in the community. We bowl, play laser-tag, go rock-climbing, and challenge each other in all sorts of fun ways. We have a great bunch of volunteers who assist at these events and are always happy to welcome more!

INTERESTED? V I S I T O U R W EB-SITE, FIND US ON FACEBOOK OR CONTACT US! w w w. e x tendafamilyhamilton.synthasite .com 905.383.2885 e a f (Buddy Program) e a f . c o n n e (Recreation Program)

Every Canadian citizen had the right to vote through the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 1:3 Canadian women and 1:6 Canadian men will experience sexual assault in their lifetime.

45% percent of female college and university students say they’ve been sexually assaulted since leaving high school.

The victim and the accused are known to each other in 82% of cases – as friends, acquaintances or family

But… I am not alone! SACHA (Sexual Assault Centre, Hamilton& Area) is there with 24-hour confidential support, information or accompaniment @


Voting is frequently inaccessible to those with physical and sensory disabilities.

DOES PUBLIC ATTITUDE LIMIT FREEDOM OF CITIZENSHIP? Student Accessibility Services 905-525-9140 ext 28652 | TTY 905-528-4307 | McMaster University Student Centre (MUSC) B107

best of twenty-eleven part one


thursday, january 12, 2012

Senior Editor: Jemma Wolfe Entertainment Editor: Myles Herod Music Editor: Josh Parsons

Contributors: Paul Fowler, Marco Felice, Cooper Long, Farhang Ghajar, Abhinab Shirvastava, Peter Kneulman, Simon Marsello

Cover: Ricardo Padilla

coming up


Ben Caplan Casbah Lounge 8:00 p.m.

jan .20

Lee Reed & Adam Bomb This Ain’t Hollywood 9:00 p.m.


Hysteria Siberania Temporary Projects Gallery 9:00 p.m.

Redneck Riot The Casbah 9:00 p.m. Monster Truck This Ain’t Hollywood 9:00 p.m.

feb 10-25

Indian Handcrafts Casbah Lounge 10:00 p.m.

The Memory of Water Player’s Guild of Hamilton 8:00 p.m. 80 Queen St S. Hamilton, ON. (905) 529-0284 The Pitmen Painters Theatre Aquarius 8:00 p.m. 190 King William St. Hamilton, ON. (905) 522-7529


Beauty & the Beast 3D The Iron Lady Albatross



feb 8-25

Magic Shadows This Ain’t Hollywood 9:00 p.m.

jan. 21

jan.13-14 jan.14



andy’s ticks


in the hammer

rerere, naked lunch, fully-clothed brunch, tiny hats, cinco inc., peppermint tea, german(land of the odd), where the fuck is hot chocolate, photosteal=angry jon, kevin elliott, evening in guelph, parsons pale ale: two weeks, the garrison dive, existenchial, the newbeats, no more bread and butter, fuck colds, global warming

Now is the time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.”

this week in music history... January 13, 1979: The Y.M.C.A. sues the Village People over their single Y.M.C.A. The suit was later dropped.

Mark Twain

free beer if you... write for andy meetings are held on tuesdays at 2:30pm in musc b110 e-mail your submissions to


thursday, january 12, 2012

the silhouette’s art & culture magazine • D3

welcome to twenty-twelve It’s been over a week now since the start of the new year, and if you’re like me, your body is still recovering from Frost Week while your mind is struggling to get back on track with unforgiving classes. It’s hard to find the time for a little nostalgia about the year past, or to wrap your head around the vastness of the year ahead. Allow me, then, to quickly recap. On a somber note, 2011 marked the ten-year anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks; coincidentally, it also marked the death of Osama bin Ladin. Political revolution took over countless nations across the pond, Occupy Wall Street exploded across North America, we said goodbye to Elizabeth Taylor and Steve Jobs, and Kate and William tied the knot.

the big tickle

As we welcome in the Year of the Dragon, a look ahead is also in order. In 2012, Daniel Radcliffe will attempt his first film since the finale of the Harry Potter franchise, Peter Jackson will finally release The Hobbit, and hopefully summertime comedies will be better than last year. (Really, could they get much worse?) Fingers crossed, there will be a calming down of Skrillex-esque dubstep fever, horrible collaborations of desperate old fogeys will stop (yes, Lou Reed and Metallica, I mean you), and Rebecca Black will forever hold her peace. Next month, we’ll see the first February 29 in four years and another crop of Leap Year babies. June will see the convocation of thousands of McMaster grads, and will mean

a sad goodbye for two particularly exceptional ANDY editors. In September, I’ll reach my twenty-first birthday. (Where did the time go?) Come December, absurd apocalypse prophesies will inevitably take over the media – prepare not for the end of the world, but for the end of rationality. As we reflect on the year past and look tentatively into the moths ahead, forget the half-hearted resolutions, the clichéd goals and the false sense of leaving-it-all-behind that January 1 seems to generate. To quote President Patrick Deane, let’s simply go forward with integrity into this new year. • Jemma Wolfe, Senior ANDY Editor

have you ever followed through on a new year’s resolution?

compiled by ricardo padilla & josh parsons

“no - eating healthy” shami benjamin

“i’ve never had one” val kuri

“i don’t make them” sarah yohannes

“yes - hit 220 lbs”

“yes - going to the gym” saif tee

nico jones

D4 • the silhouette’s art & culture magazine

thursday, january 12, 2012

andy’s best of 2011 picks

In this

part one of a two-part series, ANDY examines the best of film and music from the year past. From Shame to Terri, Kurt Vile to Destroyer, the tenth to sixth place winners represent an eclectic mix of works that moved us, shook us and simply entertained us. Tune in next week for the top five in each category.

Kurt Vile


Youth Lagoon



10. Shame

9. Warrior

8. Young Adult

7. The Adventures of Tintin

6. Terri

10. Smoke Ring For My Halo Key track - Ghost Town

9. Glass Swords Key track - Flashback

8. The Year of Hibernation Key track - Daydream

7. Metals Key track - Graveyard

6. Kaputt Key track - Kaputt

Steve McQueen’s recent collaboration with Michael Fassbender follows the life of Brandon Sullivan, a sex addict who is emotionally (and sometimes physically) unable to maintain meaningful relationships. His undiagnosed illness has led him to a string of detached, shallow sexual encounters, often with strangers. In the third act, Brandon experiences the haunting consequences of his neglectful relationship with his deeply troubled sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan). McQueen masterfully allows his talented cast to play with longer takes throughout the film. This gives the sequences a theatrical feel; silence becomes a powerful tool that can evoke everything from intense sexual tension to distressing signs of the Sullivans’ broken childhood. Shame offers an uncensored, brutally honest perspective into the life of a narcissistic sex addict. It’s explicit, it’s patient, and it’s nicely bundled up in 2.35:1 celluloid with minimalistic art direction and compelling performances.

Gavin O’Connor’s Warrior is one of the best dramatic films of 2011. Of course, you might think it’s just another cheap action flick exploiting the grotesquery of a blood sport, but believe me, this is true cinematic art. The plot is complex, interweaving various issues that concern the modern family: a bitter mixture of the long-term effects of alcoholism, a low-performing American economy, the feeling of betrayal and regret from military service — I can go on. In essence, the story tackles societal dilemmas through the enmity of two brothers. Warrior uses religious undertones of brotherhood rivalry to re-imagine archetypes, remind us of our roots and reconcile our differences. Interestingly, one scene contains a picture of Friedrich Nietzsche. The existential thinker professed that true love is gained through struggle with our loved ones. In my opinion, Nietzsche’s philosophy has been beautifully cinematized.

Young Adult is the first collaboration between director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody since their highly acclaimed Juno. The picture centers on a Mavis Gary, a fiction writer stuck in adolescence. Man-child? Think woman-child. Theron stars as the 30-something writer, looking to rekindle a romance with a former boyfriend (now married with kids). Edgy, and confrontational, Young Adult undercuts the conventions of female-centered comedies at each turn. This time around, Diablo Cody scores brownie points for imbuing her characters with depth. Theron delivers a brave, bold performance as a one-time alpha female realizing that life is passing her by. In her scenes with the wonderful Patton Oswalt (a former high school nerd), Theron drops her character’s mask of mean girl poise, revealing the loneliness and fear beneath. Props to Reitman for contrasting her buxom looks against a personality as heinous as her transformation in Monster. With Young Adult, he’s captured the second best performance of her career.

Steven Spielberg, in his first foray into animation, creates a spellbinding adaptation based on the classic comic books by Belgian artist Georges Remi (pen name Herges). A smart and witty animated feature, it compares favorably to films aimed at an older audience (like, say, The Fantastic Mr. Fox). Tintin, a newspaper reporter, finds the adventure of a lifetime when a buys a model ship in a downtown market. With his trusted terrier Snowy, the help of new friend Captain Haddock and the impotent and bumbling detectives Thompson and Thompson, a mystery is bound to be solved. While those who have read and loved Tintin would immensely enjoy every frame of the movie, those who are being introduced to the character the first time around are likely to be delighted with its brimming sense of awe and wonder. This is a movie that will be enjoyed by all ages and spans a spectrum of movie tastes.

In 2011, we saw Kurt Vile Dropping his lo-fi fetish for sleeker production, resulting in a record that was much more melancholic and atmospheric in tone. It was surprising at first, but soon enough everyone got it. We realized that buried beneath the reckless production of his prior works were true, timeless American heartland rock ‘n’ roll classics, and Smoke Ring serves only to confirm this. It’s hard to resist the infectious nature of “Jesus Fever,” which, minus the mountains of dreamy acoustic guitar, could pass as a prime cut from the catalogue of Tom Petty. What is most impressive is that Vile acts as if he can write like this effortlessly. Nearly every track is an anthem to idleness, championing a lazy afternoon of doing nothing. In the end, the album proves to be inexhaustibly relatable, showing that in a society obsessed with complexity, simplicity can still break the surface and provide a brief shelter from the chaos.

It’s vibrant, colourful, monolithic journey through neon-tinted vibes. Unquestionably, this is one the finest dance albums of 2011; a pulsating example of the modern “everything goes” aesthetic, molded into what could be classified as ‘club music.’ Glass Swords is such an anomaly because it manages to cater evenly between dance floor denizens and IDM disciples. It’s accessible without sacrificing its intelligence or offbeat charm. Although considered part of the ‘wonky music’ genre (instrumental grime/dubstep), it is highly melodic in contrast. In terms of production, this is some of the best around, with ethereal anthems like “Ultra Thizz” and “All Nite” sounding massive and, at times, strangely like a start-up screen to a Super Nintendo game. Rustie, a UK native, has forged glistening dance aesthetic with this release, bridging the gap between cerebral and visceral. This is a work of complex flow, a melting pot of battered funk and hip hop - attacking loud and shamelessly catchy.

It is often difficult to separate the impact of music from the circumstances of its creation. The Year of Hibernation is indisputably gorgeous dream pop, but the personal struggles of its creator give the album added poignancy. Youth Lagoon’s mastermind, Trevor Powers, openly suffers from debilitating anxiety. Knowing the album was created in self-imposed isolation makes it impossible not to hear these fragile, yearning songs as outstretched hands. Powers is cautiously seeking human connection through his music and succeeds by tapping into universal and powerful emotions. Nostalgia dominates The Year of Hibernation. It is conjured with whistling synths and reverb-heavy guitars that, on standouts like “17” and “July,” build and build to heartbreaking heights. Powers’ vocals also set the mood. Childlike and warmly distorted, they somehow manage to be both distant and intimate. There was a lot of homerecorded indie and electronic music released in 2011, but none as heartfelt as Youth Lagoon’s bedroom symphonies.

As fall faded into winter, the moody melodies on Feist’s stellar Metals slowly unfurled into a lush, warm blanket of pop perfect for the colder months. At the centre of each track, Feist’s honey-sweet voice peaks through a cloud of sadness as she searches for a sense of comfort and peace. Despite the delicate arrangements and reflective lyrics, Metals never feels downtrodden. On “The Circle Married the Line,” Feist’s longing creaks with a flicker of optimism as she croons, “I’ll head out to horizon lines, get some clarity oceanside.” And for anyone still complaining that Metals doesn’t include anything as enjoyable as The Reminder’s smash hit, “1 2 3 4,” just listen to “Cicadas and Gulls,” easily 2011’s most stunningly beautiful acoustic ballad. Feist has already proven she can deliver sugary pop. On Metals, Feist did something even harder: she crafted a delicate, sophisticated and endlessly rewarding pop album that stands among the year’s best.

• Farhang Ghajar

• Marco Filice

• Abhinav Shirvastava

• Peter Kneulman

Here’s a movie that remembers high school – warts and all. Credit director Azazel Jacobs for building a case for Terri, the story of a large and lonely 15-year-old who cares for his Alzheimer’s-stricken uncle. With repeated detentions and a wardrobe of pyjamas only, Terri becomes the pet project of the school’s bumbling Principal (John C. Reilly). Soon the despondent cherub learns to reciprocate the attention, extending his newfound chivalry to other misfits, including Heather, a pretty blonde who becomes ridiculed for her sexual passivism in class. If anything, Terri is a tougher, edgier version of Napoleon Dynamite – European in its preference for character over plot. It is an unsprung comedy, slowed down to real life where scenes linger with poignancy, the loss of innocence and awkward truths. Newcomer Jacob Wysocki is astonishing. Thanks he and the director’s observant touch, the film moves with the same uncanny grace as its titular true-blue character. You never know quite where Terri is taking you, but you’ll be moved by how palpable it feels. • Myles Herod, Ent. Editor

• Josh Parsons, Music Editor

• Myles Herod, Ent. Editor

• Cooper Long

• Paul Fowler

Dan Bejar’s prolific side-project Destroyer brought a refreshing vibe to this year’s indie scene with the release of their ninth full-length album, Kaputt. Equal parts modern indie pop and 1980s synth, Kaputt unfolds an eerie landscape that straddles the line between hand-clappy beats and the disturbed musings of a jaded thirtysomething who has evidently seen it all. Nevertheless, the album heaps on track after infectious track, staying strong well into a particularly effective second side. Chunky basslines and dreamy sax solos drift around Bejar’s laid-back vocals, while various influences jump to the forefront – among them Roxy Music, David Bowie and Jackson Browne. Highlights include opener “Chinatown,” mournful title track “Kaputt,” and spacey closer “Bay of Pigs (Detail),” whose synth-driven melodies and free-time vocals perfectly counter lengthy spans of negative space. Though one could hardly dream up a band name more contrary to its musical aesthetic, Bejar’s brainchild has once again reminded us of its status as a force to be reckoned with. • Simon Marsello

D6 • the silhouette’s art & culture magazine


thursday, january 12, 2012

being earnest director andrea pohlmann spills about her passion for theatre, taking risks and what to expect from her upcoming production of the importance of being earnest


Andrea Pohlmann has a lot on her plate this term. This first-time director is in charge of two shows premiering in early 2012 – The Importance of Being Earnest and Into the Woods – two drastically different but equally fantastic plays that have her more excited than nervous about the responsibility of getting these productions on their feet. The Importance of Being Earnest is the first play of the New Year in the world of McMaster theatre. Pohlmann is directing for the McMaster Thespian Company, a well-respected MSU club that is known for its revivals of classical Elizabethan and Victorian works. Now in its ninth season, McMaster Thespian Company’s decision to stage Oscar Wilde’s iconic work was something Pohlmann was very excited to hear about. The Importance of Being Earnest follows Mr. John Worthing, a Victorian gentleman with a secret – he leads a double life un-

der the alias of Ernest Worthing. Worthing’s dual identity gets complicated when his nosy best friend Algernon Moncrieff discovers his secret and tries to use it to his advantage to woo Worthing’s charming ward Cecily. Meanwhile Worthing, desperately in love with aristocratic Gwendolen, must struggle to keep up with his double life in order to win the hand of the woman he loves. The ensuing chaos is a witty satire of repressed Victorian society and a hilarious romp through the eternal issues of male/female courtship. As Pohlmann says, “there are family issues and there are romantic issues, but it’s also just so funny.” Pohlmann is mostly sticking to conventions with TIOBE, which aligns with her self-identified classicist style, but admits she is taking some directorial risks. Accents will be used, as well as some gags that are being kept hush-hush, but that Pohlmann promises

will bring big laughs. The element of scandal in the play is also something she’s interested in emphasizing, starting with promotional posters that feature her cast in the nude. “Yes, we’ve seen The Importance of Being Earnest, but we haven’t seen The Importance of Being Earnest like this,” she explained. While the actual production will see the actors fully clothed, this edgy marketing brings a modern twist to an old classic steeped in Victorian-era sexual tension and social scandal – themes Pohlmann points out to be incredibly timeless: “Everyone wants to watch people fall in love.” In regards to casting, “I got really, really lucky,” Pohlmann enthused. Her production showcases known names in the McMaster theatre scene, including Sarah Granger, Grant Winestock, Harrison Cruikshank and featuring Jimmy Skembaris in traditional drag as Lady Bracknell. “I’ve been excited

about interacting with the cast and helping them grow as actors as well as helping them grow as characters,” she said, “and now I’m most excited about watching it come to life.” “[When you] come see the show what you’re going to see is as if I had taken my heart out of my chest and put it on stage and let it beat for you.” Passionate words from a passionate director. • Jemma Wolfe, Senior ANDY Editor

The Importance of Being Earnest plays January 19th, 20th, 21st at the Robinson Memorial Theatre (CNH 103, McMaster), and January 26th, 27th, 28th at the Baltimore House (43 King William St., Hamilton).

thursday, january 12, 2012


the silhouette’s art & culture magazine • D7

blast from the past these days, most band reunions just can’t cut it

The Stone Roses, 1989 An interesting part about living through a decade is that, in hindsight, you have the advantage of now seeing things exactly as they were, despite your lack of insight at the time. What would you tell yourself if you could go back ten years? I’d say, “Lose those fucking frosted tips.” Now a whole two years removed from the 2000s, I think it is safe to conclude that in terms of music, no other corporate cash-grab was milked as hard as the reunion tour. Look no further than The Who, a band of strolling bones who have been coaxed by the dollar out of retirement more than once in my short life alone. I could spend hours listing the countless atrocities that the past decade has spawned but I’ll spare myself the pain. Besides, focusing entirely on the horrible reunions would take away from the handful of truly brilliant reunions that took place, like Pavement or the Jesus Lizard.

At the Drive-In, 2000

But even in 2012, it is becoming increasingly clear that this trend is far from over. This past October, after years of bitter denial, the legendary Stone Roses announced a series of festival dates across the UK. Just this week, the most hyped band circa Y2K, At the Drive-In, announced a full-on reunion at this year’s Coachella Festival. So what makes bands with such a bitter history suddenly decide that its time for a reunion? I’d like to pause for a moment and reflect on the variety of reasons that influence such a decision. Clearly, money plays an enormous factor in the decision to reform a band. But to say that this is wholly taboo would be wrong. It really comes down to what the money is being used for. In the case of the Stone Roses, the psychedelic-dance legends from the early ‘90s, a reunion is clearly an empty attempt to cash in on their recent popularity

renaissance. The success of the three-disc 20th anniversary reissue of their self-titled album in 2009 was an obvious indication that a reunion tour would be a success. Singer Ian Brown has enjoyed a successful solo career since the end of the band and is currently one of the most recognizable faces in British rock music. The rest of the band has also enjoyed plenty of attention in the British press over the past decade. On the other hand, the reunion of At the Drive-In seems less self-serving but equally contrived. Mastermind Omar Rodriguez-Lopez has spent the last decade releasing an endless stream of music to an excitable niche market. His output ranges from Grammy-winning to borderline unlistenable, and for the past decade he has released several albums a year as a part of a variety of projects. Each year since At the Drive-In

hung their hats under “indefinite hiatus,” Coachella has offered Rodrigues-Lopez mountains of cash to reform the band. For an artist this prolific, an offer like this would eventually become irresistible. And this seemed to be that year. Regardless, one of the fundamental characteristics of both of the bands, as well as most of the bands enticed into a reunion, was their youthful energy and innocence. Sometimes it’s simply heartbreaking to have your ideal of a band crushed when you see a bunch fat forty-somethings serving up a poor imitation of their past glory. Hopefully these two bands, as well as others who care to announce a reunion soon, can pull it together and do the past catalogue justice. As for me, I’ll be staying home and pretending that these bands are still as awesome as the once were. • Josh Parsons

D8 • the silhouette’s art & culture magazine

most overrated film of 2011

thursday, january 12, 2012

descending into mediocrity saccharine sentiments from hollywood’s elite The Descendants Directed by: Alexander Payne Starring: George Clooney

HH From beginning to end, everything that happens in The Descendants feels forced. I’ll let you in on a little secret: the unspoken danger of a film as well-reviewed as Alexander Payne’s newest is that it can rarely live up to its hype. An Oscar frontrunner, the familial dramedy imposed here is just as manipulative as it is manufactured, pulling at our heartstrings with forceful tugs and false tears. The story follows Honolulu lawyer Matt King (George Clooney), the prosperous offspring of a Hawaiian family who is dealt a hand of personal blows. “Paradise can go fuck itself,” he aptly bemoans in voiceover. Turns out that a waterskiing mishap has landed Matt’s wife, Elizabeth (Patricia Hastie), in a coma. His two daughters, the precious tween Scottie (Amara Miller) and hard-living teen

Alexandra (Shailene Woodley), are beyond his authority, with Alexandra in possession of potentially devastating news. “Dad, Mom was cheating on you!” she vents in a heated exchange, conveniently setting the film, and Clooney, on a mission to discover the identity of his wife’s lover. The awkward script, penned by four co-writers (which may account for the film’s uneven tone), manages to be simultaneously superficial, simple, mawkish and cliché. It’s a shame, and a shock, for a man like Payne – so talented, so biting in his previous Election and About Schmidt from years past – that he would wait seven to fashion such a banal dud. Try as it might, the film’s attempt at humour is largely entrusted to dad jokes, or cheap laughs, like Alexandra’s stoner boyfriend Sid (Nick Krause), a character of great irritation and inexplicability. Truth be told, his presence and stilted delivery nearly ruins every scene he’s in, making portions of the film’s scenic beauty undercut by Payne’s unwillingness to let up on Sid’s idiotic quips. No family in their right mind would allow a doofus like him to tag along when dealing with

personal betrayal. It’s simply poor writing. Aside from that agony, the film finds Matt unfairly belittled by his surly, hard-nosed father-in-law (Robert Forster), a man who blames him for Elizabeth’s accident. Adding to Matt’s responsibilities is the decision (as head of the King family trust) to sell or bequest a large plane of unspoiled Hawaiian property, inherited from ancestors. The two narrative strands cross when Matt discovers that his wife’s lover (Matthew Lillard), a yuppie realtor, is miraculously vacationing with his wife (Judy Greer) and kids adjacent to the rendezvous where Matt is meeting with family, most memorably his breezy cousin (Beau Bridges), to finalize their soon-to-be fortunes. Coincidence or contrivance? Despite the talented cast put together by Payne, The Descendants boils down to mediocrity of the highest order. My suspicion is that the film hit me wrong, but, perhaps, will hit some just right. Look no further than its seemingly universal acclaim. I have liked other Payne movies about middle-aged men on journeys of self-

discovery, but I couldn’t buy the convenient storytelling and erratic tone that litter this one. Clooney, always the affable star, gives the film’s best performance, establishing a soft-spoken and refreshingly weary look, decked out in high-waisted slacks and floral-printed shirts. In terms of real acting, however, it’s nothing new for the man, who relies on his expressive eyes and constantly pursed mouth, so common in better films like Up In The Air and The American. Having seen it at TIFF in September, where it premiered to upbeat enthusiasm, The Descendants has gone on to reap praise for its enlightened sensitivity. Best Picture predictions abound; this film, not unlike Slumdog Millionaire, encourages audiences and studios to feel good about themselves. Not me. Save for Clooney’s solos with his comatose wife, the film’s pathos left me cold and certain. In five years, The Descendants will be forgotten.

• Myles Herod, Entertainment Editor

The Silhouette - January 12, 2012  

The January 12, 2012 issue of the Silhouette, McMaster University's campus newspaper

The Silhouette - January 12, 2012  

The January 12, 2012 issue of the Silhouette, McMaster University's campus newspaper