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FEATURE TWELVEIGHTY How our campus bar prices stacks up against other universities Page 6

ARTS & CULTURE BRIDAL WEAR Local designer marries her Canadian and Indian heritage in her showroom Page 18

SPORTS THINK PINK Marauder athletes discuss what Think Pink weekend means to them Page 24

The Silhouette Thursday, January 26, 2017

STAND UP, SPEAK OUT On Jan. 21, hundreds gathered at Hamilton City Hall in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington Page 3


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The Silhouette

Volume 87, Issue 18 Thursday, January 26, 2017 McMaster University’s Student Newspaper

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EDITORIAL BOARD editor-in-chief | thesil@thesil.ca Scott Hastie @Scott1Hastie managing editor | managing@thesil.ca

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Nick Bommarito online editor | online@thesil.ca Haley Greene sections

Sasha Dhesi Steven Chen news reporter Emily O’Rourke features reporter Alex Florescu news@thesil.ca news editor

news reporter

opinion editor

Shane Madill

opinion@thesil.ca sports editor

Cullum Brownbridge Lauren Beals sports@thesil.ca

sports reporter

& culture editor Daniel Arauz & culture reporter Michelle Yeung aandc@thesil.ca

arts arts

media

Madeline Neumann photo reporter Yung Lee production coordinator Nicole Vasarevic production@thesil.ca video editor Philip Kim social media coordinator Jasmine Ellis online content coordinator Susie Ellis online@thesil.ca photo editor

In the Jan. 27, 2000 edition of the Silhouette, we got the scoop on the new residences. It’s also funny to see a quote from Mary Keyes after a paragraph describing the residence that would be named after her later.

COVER PHOTO/ILLUSTRATION

Madeline Neumann/Nick Bommarito

CONTACT

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MUSC, Room B110 McMaster University 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4S4

The Silhouette welcomes letters to the editor in person at MUSC B110, or by email at thesil@thesil.ca. Please include name, address and telephone number for verification only. Letters should be 300 words or less. We reserve the right to edit, condense or reject letters and opinion articles. Opinions and editorials expressed in the Silhouette are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the editorial board, the publishers, the McMaster Students Union or the University. The Silhouette is an editorially autonomous newspaper published by the McMaster Students Union. The Silhouette Board of Publications acts as an intermediary between the editorial board, the McMaster community and the McMaster Students Union. Grievances regarding the Silhouette may be forwarded in writing to: McMaster Students Union, McMaster University Student Centre, Room 201, L8S 4S4, Attn: The Silhouette Board of Publications. The Board will consider all submissions and make recommendations accordingly.

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www.thesil.ca | Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Silhouette

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News WOMEN’S MARCH ON HAMILTON

C/O FATIMA YOUSUFI

Following Donald Trump’s inauguration, women all around the world took to the streets to protest sexism Emily O’Rourke News Reporter

One of the largest demonstrations of resistance made history this past weekend. On Jan. 21, millions of people around the world gathered in solidarity to send a bold message to the newly inaugurated president of the United States; that women’s rights and equality will be fought for, and that hatred of any kind will not be tolerated. The Women’s March on Washington, a global grassroots solidarity movement, was planned in response to the harmful rhetoric that took place during the recent presidential election. The march acts as a chance for women and allies to

defend their rights and to make an international demonstration of solidarity, diversity and inclusivity. With over 673 sister marches held internationally, including one in Hamilton, and approximately 4,603,500 people registered to participate in the movement, the Women’s March on Washington may be the largest demonstration of unity following a presidential inauguration in history. “It’s important to have these solidarity movements outside of Washington, firstly, because women’s rights are a global issue,” said Hamilton co-organizer, Anna Davey. “But I think it is also important for us to move internationally, to show each other that we have

each others’ backs, and that we will not be quiet in the face of intolerance and discrimination.” Hundreds of activists gathered in Hamilton to demonstrate solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington and to enable community building. Originally, the march was planned to begin at City Hall and move to Gore Park, organizers made the decision to shift their focus onto a high-energy and powerful rally due to accessibility concerns instead. “The march [gave] Hamiltonians the chance to make connections,” said Davey. “It gives us the chance to meet each other, to unite, and to collectively shoulder the burdens that are unfairly placed on so many in our community– immi-

grants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA Native people, Black and Brown people, peo-ple with disabilities and survivors of sexual assault.” Hamilton’s rally also saw over a dozen speakers and performers from different organizations that are involved in human rights and equity services within the Hamilton area, including the Social Planning and Research Council, the YWCA Hamilton, Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton Area) and the McMaster Womanists, ultimately inspiring and enabling attendees to move forward in protecting women’s rights. “I stood in a crowd of

around a thousand women today, not knowing a single one beside me but I felt if something were to happen I would be protected by them,” said attendee Kandel Kindred. “It’s a reminder that we are all one, all equal. No power or enforcement is stronger than another, we are all the same and that needs to be practiced on a daily basis, not just at movements such as this.” Hamilton’s march organizers will be publishing a call to action on their social media channels to provide supporters direct actions they can take to protect and advocate for women’s rights.

@theSilhouette


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NEWS

Thursday, January 26, 2017 | www.thesil.ca

What’s new with the Light Railway Transit plans Steven Chen News Reporter

For McMaster students, there is yet another update on the discussion about the upcoming light rail transit system. Recently, with intentions of optimizing LRT service to greater benefit student transport, the city of Hamilton has produced a tentative plan for a line that will run from McMaster University all the way to the Queenston Traffic Circle. More specifically, these blueprints involve a spur line that links King and James Streets to West Harbour Go Station, with the possibility of linking to the Waterfront area, along with a pedestrian walkway from King and James Streets to the Hunter Street Go station. This serves to provide an easy connection between Hamilton and the downtown Toronto area—something that may be appealing to student commuters. “LRT is going to permit people to travel easily, quickly and attractively from McMaster to downtown Toronto—from the Go hub and onwards to Union Station,” said Aidan Johnson, Councillor for Ward 1. “The plan is that in less than one hour, you’ll be able to get from Union Station to Mac.” In addition, the B-line LRT will connect residents to key destinations within Hamilton, with stops such as the David Braley Health Sciences Centre, Hamilton Place, Jackson Square,

the James Street arts district, Tim Hortons Field and Gage Park. These trains are expected to run every 6 minutes, carrying up to 130 passengers with each run. The LRT project team had originally come up with two options for a McMaster stop platform configuration. The first of these was a side-platform configuration and the second option being a centre island platform configuration. Largely based on public feedback hosted at Public Information Centres last September, a preference for the side platform configuration was acknowledged. The reasoned benefits for this configuration include: •No crossing of Main Street needed to access the LRT platform from campus •Shelter between LRT tracks and vehicular lanes available for those crossing Main Street at Emerson •A shorter crosswalk across Main Street •Location is closer to McMaster University and possible transit terminals, making transfers to other services, including Hamilton Street Railway and Go Transit more convenient.

of merging the LRT platform with the current McMaster Go station. “The question of how to get students to the stop has been first and foremost in my mind… we are now looking at combining the Go hub with the LRT stop. This permits students who are travelling to Mac to then board the LRT.” The planning does seem to make effort in keeping local McMaster students in mind. “Metrolinx and the city of Hamilton have been doing a lot of consulting with [McMaster] for years and years regarding the whole stretch of the LRT,” Johnson said. However, considering the absence of commuter student feedback in the planning stage of the LRT platform thus far, the push for further discussion with Metrolinx and the city of Hamilton is being reflected upon. “We talked about the idea of forming a committee to link the McMaster Students Union with the Ward 1 office. I think that is a great way to bring commuter students into the discussion,” responded Johnson. Discussion with commuter students sounds promising since there is still flexibility on the currently proposed plans. Major construction is not yet due until 2019 and LRT service is expected to start in 2024.

McMaster students can expect an LRT system that optimizes their trip home in the safest way possible

Option 1: Side platform configuration

The side platform was chosen to reduce the need to cross Main Street West as well as its proximity to McMaster.

Option 2: Centre platform configuration

The centre platform was rejected due to the safety concerns of crossing Main St W. C/O OFFICE OF AIDAN JOHNSON

@steven6chen

Since then, the city has been discussing the possibility

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NEWS

www.thesil.ca | Thursday, January 26, 2017

McMaster’s newest program: is it worth the cost? Saad Ejaz Contributor

McMaster University’s new health sciences-engineering program, while offering a unique education comes with an unexpected fee. Launching in the Fall 2017 term, the new Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences program is the first of its kind in Canada. It will offer students an interdisciplinary education that will build on a strong foundation in both the engineering and health sciences. The application process consists of two components that will be used to assess students for the program. This includes a competitive admission average and a supplementary application component that will consist of three unique questions – two video responses and one written response. Students will be given only one chance to answer all three questions in a closed time

period. The supplementary application will be administered by an external third party company called Kira Talent, who will be evaluating and scoring each applicant’s answers. The supplementary application to the new IBEHS program will cost the high school or transfer student an additional $40 on top of the Ontario University Application Centre fees to apply. This would entail $150 plus $40 if the program choice is a part of the students top three preferred university programs, or $50 plus an additional $40 if the program is an additional preference after the top three. The additional fee for the program has generated mixed reviews from students and has raised questions on why the program is set up to include a supplementary application with a $40 price tag. Prof. Hubert de Bruin

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The new interdisplinary program offered by the faculties of health sciences and engineering promises a new kind of education, but comes with an unexpected application fee

explained that grades alone are no longer a reliable tool to assess students, and the supplementary application will help find students that are more than just the average student with competitive grades. This includes competence in areas such as leadership and professional dialogue. He mentions that while the cost could be an added burden to students from low-income households, the worth is incomparable. “$40 is pretty small potatoes when you consider the cost of even going into an education endeavour,” he said. Applying to the new IBEHS program would cost an applicant nearly double compared to other university programs without supplementary application fees. Taaha Muhammad, a fourth-year health sciences student mentions how the additional fee conveys the notion of prestige and legitimacy to the program, while creating a spec-

tacle of deterrence to students who may be considering the program. “...The downside is that if students are unsure about which programs to apply to – especially if they are considering a program like this, it may kind of dissuade them – the fact that you have to pay double just for this program,” he said. The program will be accepting applicants from across Canada, and the university expects thousands of applicants to the new IBEHS program for a total of 140 estimated seats. Although the program may be among one of the most competitive undergraduate programs across the country, Delsworth Harnish the associate dean from the faculty of health sciences mentions it is likely there are many applicants that would thrive in the program that are unable to make it. The notion poses the question of whether the supple-

mentary application process is effective in achieving its intended purpose, as the rejected students are likely just as qualified as the accepted ones. “The Bachelor of Health Sciences has a supplementary application and what we continually tell students after they get here is that it was a bloody lottery - that in truth we could have taken a different 160 students and they would be just as successful,” he said. Although the program has a limited number of seats, Paul O’ Bryne, the dean and vice president from the faculty of health sciences mentions that over time the program will expand to enroll a greater number of students similar to the expansion of 80 to 240 students in the health sciences program. The new program is expected to help students prepare for Canada’s newly emerging biomedical engineering industry. @TheSilhouette

The new interdisciplinary program offered by health sciences and engineering to prepare students for the biomedical engineering industry. C/O MCMASTER ENGINEERING

1011 King Street West, Westdale Village 905.546.0000

snootyfox.ca


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FEATURE

SETTING THE BAR

Thursday, January 26, 2017 | www.thesil.ca

How does TwelvEighty, McMaster’s campus bar, stack up to other university pubs in Canada

C/O MADELINE NEUMANN / PHOTO EDITOR

Jack Hauen National University Wire

The only tried-and-true method to win over a university student’s heart is to build them a kick-ass bar. That’s why, though they vary in myriad ways, student unions across Canada have all strived to create the most welcoming spaces they can — without hemorrhaging money. Some are steeped in nostalgia, and some are brand spanking new. Some are beloved by all, and others... meh. Here’s our roundup of a few of the more notable student bars in Canada.

TWELVEIGHTY

TwelvEighty resides in the basement connecting Togo Salmon Hall and the McMaster University Student Centre. Previously it was known as Quarters until a rebrand in 2009 as one can see from the retro photos. TwelvEighty is known as a place to eat during the day while studying and a fun place to go to for of its club nights. In the summer the patio opens into the space below the arts quad. How much for a beer? $4.25 for a domestic bottle and

$5.95 for a domestic pint How much for a burger? $8.99 for a Charbroiled beef burger, the Veggie Burger is also $8.99 Google rating: 3.8/5

THE PIT (UBC)

The Pit has theme nights five days a week, but it’s best known for its Wednesday evening “Pit Nights” — a fascinating display of first-years experiencing their first drops of alcohol and student politicians emerging from their offices in a frenzied rage, desperate to punish their bodies with hard liquor. The current Pit is actually the second iteration of the well-known pub, as it was moved and completely rebuilt along with the new student union building. How much for a beer? $4.75 for a pint of T-Bird (socially acceptable Coors Light) How much for a burger? $12 for a bacon-cheddar burger, before their menu moved upstairs to the other bar. Now the only food available is pizza from Pie R Squared, for about $2.50 a slice. Google rating: 3.7/5

THE DEN (University of Calgary)

The Den just underwent a major $480,000 renovation after the University of Calgary Students’ Union decided it was time for a refresh. It’s known for “Thursden,” U of C’s Pit-style night of debauchery. The pub’s Facebook page is also hilariously active, serving as the U of C’s one-stop shop for embarrassing memes. How much for a beer? $4.75 for a pint of “Den Lager” How much for a burger? $13 for a classic cheeseburger Google rating: 3.7/5

DEWEY’S (University of Alberta)

Dewey’s resides in the space of the former PowerPlant, the music venue that the Graduate Students Association opened in 1978 and operated until it was no longer financially feasible in 1997. The student union, UASU, then took control of the pub, which has been plagued with financial problems since. Dewey’s has existed in its

current form since 2008, when the university reclaimed half of the bar in exchange for reduced rental fees for the UASU. The size reduction totally changed the atmosphere of the bar, according to The Gateway, turning it away from its nightclub roots into more of a lunch bistro spot. How much for a beer? $4 for a Grasshopper during happy hour. How much for a burger? $9.75 for the 6oz. Dewey’s Burger, which comes with a fried egg and a tomato. Google rating: 4.1/5

LOUIS’ (University of Saskatchewan)

Louis’ has definitely worked hard to build itself a nightclub reputation. Just looking at the bar’s recent event history — concerts from Dragonette, STRFKR and Said The Whale in a three-month span — it’s clear that they’re trying to attract students and frankly, they’re doing a hell of a job. Folks on their reviews page seem to treat them less like a student bar and more like a legitimate concert venue. How much for a beer? $6 for a domestic bottle

How much for a burger? $12 for a bacon-cheddar burger on a pretzel bun Google rating: 3.9/5

THE QUEEN’S PUB

The student-run bar in Kingston isn’t too concerned with hosting events and shows, instead focusing on solid prices (the cheapest burger in these rankings) and a cozy, welcoming atmosphere. Important note — this place started rolling out the holiday drink specials on November 17, which is at once egregiously early and a-okay by our standards. How much for a beer? $5 for a domestic bottle How much for a burger? $6.50 for a plain Jane hamburger. Facebook rating: 4.5/5

GERT’S (MCGILL)

Founded in 1974, Gerts is the most well-known student bar at McGill. It’s known for its Wednesday night Sangria specials, where pitchers are $12 before 8 p.m. and $14 afterward. Stop by — you never know when you might run into someone famous.


FEATURE

www.thesil.ca | Thursday, January 26, 2017

C/O LARA KMECH / THE GATEWAY

C/O LOUIS’ / FACEBOOK

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C/O LARA KMECH / THE GATEWAY

C/O WILL MCDONALD / THE UBYSSEY

How much for a beer? $6 for a pint How much for a burger? No burgers, but $6 for a Philly steak grilled cheese Google rating: 4.5/5

THE GRAWOOD

The Grawood, established in 1972, is the go-to student bar for the folks at Dalhousie University. It’s famous for selling beer by the yard and excellent trivia on Wednesday nights. It also played host to the Arkells a few years ago — a fact of which it was, rightfully, very proud. How much for a beer? $4 for a Bud Light or Keith’s How much for a burger? $9 for the 6 oz. Grawood burger Google rating: 4/5

C/O THE QUEEN’S PUB / FACEBOOK


PRESIDENT’S PAGE

BLAKE OLIVER

Vice President (Education) vped@msu.mcmaster.ca 905.525.9140 x24017

We’ve all heard the old adage that you’re supposed to drink eight cups of water a day. Even if this advice isn’t entirely accurate, we can definitely all agree that drinking moderate amounts of water is good for our health and something we should make an effort to do. But while it may be good for our health, what happens to the environment? Walking around on campus, you can always find someone drinking from a single-use, disposable plastic water bottle. After all, they’re sold almost everywhere on our campus. These bottles are made up of a type of plastic called polyethylene terephthalate (PET). In McMaster’s most recent waste audit report, PET bottles made up 55,867 kilograms of waste to landfill annually, representing a sizeable portion of McMaster’s waste. It’s not just the waste that makes an

January 26, 2017 | thesil.ca

impact: producing bottled water takes an estimated 2000 times the energy required to produce tap water. Last January, Justin Monaco-Barnes was elected MSU President on a platform of environment sustainability. Since then, we as your Board of Directors have been working on various different projects to ensure that sustainability is at the heart of the work that we’re doing here at the MSU. Part of this is looking at our own services and making changes from within. With that being said, Union Market will soon eliminate the sale of single-use plastic water bottles.

gle-use plastic bottles, we have also been piloting boxed water at Union Market. So if you’re on campus without your reusable bottle, but want to make an en-

vironmentally friendly choice, please check it out! We can make change at McMaster, but we need your help. As the box says: Boxed Water is Better!

Sustainability is at the heart of the work that we’re doing here at the MSU. While this may seem like a small change, it’s something we think is quite significant. Almost half of Ontario’s post-secondary institutions have a total ban on single-use plastic water bottles, and we know the students at McMaster care about sustainability. So we’re asking for your help: we want to see McMaster join other institutions in the province and implement a single-use plastic water bottle ban. These bottles make up a sizeable profit for business units on campus, but students can show that they are willing to forgo this convenience by bringing reusable bottles. As an alternative to sin-

MSU_McMASTER

MSUMcMASTER.ca

@MSU_McMASTER

/MSUMcMaster

TEXT ‘MSU’ TO 71441

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


www.thesil.ca | Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Silhouette

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Editorial Who benefits from paying it forward? The idea that we should pave the way for future students ignores the modern financial reality Scott Hastie Editor-in-Chief

It is old hat by now: the value of post-secondary education has drastically changed since 2000. So why do some talking points remain? I have heard and read people arguing in favour of the Pulse expansion and new student activity building by saying that the student centre and athletic centre were paid for my students who would not use it. Now, some say, it is our turn to pay it forward. To clarify, this expansion project would not immediately ask students to start paying the full fee, but there would be a $95 increase next year if option A or B passed. This logic is dripping with privilege and needs to be reconsidered. I can appreciate that people ahead of me have helped pay for the office that I currently write this piece from, but that was a different time.

The cost of education was not as high as it is now and the job prospects were significantly better. Students leave university with more debt and accept jobs with less security now. An increasing number of students have issues with food security. The list of issues goes on and on. It does not make any sense to ask students to pave the way for future generations of students when we are leaving current students behind. Why are we so concerned with building a new activity building when we have students who cannot afford food? And let’s consider whom we would actually be helping. If post-secondary costs continue to increase, post-secondary education will price out more and more students because they cannot afford to attend university. Assuming that rising costs would dissuade students from lower-income backgrounds,

this student activity centre and new recreation centre would be for those who come from privileged backgrounds that can afford to attend university. What I am saying is: are we building something on the backs of students who can barely afford university, pricing out low income people, and then wealthy students will be the only people who afford university and use these facilities? And yes, I know the Ontario government changed their policy to give “free tuition” to students from lower-income families. In fairness, it is not actually free tuition; they are providing grants for about $8,700 towards tuition. We need to consider what it means to “pay it forward” because not everyone can afford to collect that payment down the line. Some cannot even afford to pay it now. Until – or if – university educations are affordable for all, we should be cautious when raising costs.

to T-Welch. Congrats on the engagement, dude.

to Big Telecomm. (This one is serious. Do something, CRTC.)

to onion gurl.

to J.V.’s pick and roll defence.

to medieval cures. to peanut brutal. to the candidates. Good times. to “500 Miles.” to Aziz Ansari’s monologue. to being called a “cuck” online.

to the rapid pace of Trump jokes. One day it was “period” and then the next day it’s “alternative facts.” to “giving him a chance.” to the Cootes boardwalk condom. to the Argos.

to Facebook Live.

to the end of January.

to the end of presidentials.

to dirty peacoats.

The Silhouette is hiring for next year’s Editor-in-Chief!

All of this could be yours.

If you have a passion for journalism, writing, media, design, coffee and good times, this job could be for you! The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for overseeing the entire Silhouette media operation, including the weekly print product, the website and all multimedia projects.

Print product

Managing money

Moving forward

Leadership

The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for coordinating and creating the newspaper each week during the school year. This includes making pages on InDesign, helping with layout, writing an editorial, and deciding where ads should go.

As Editor-in-Chief, you are responsible for paying bills, preparing purchase orders and creating the budget for the following school year.

Consumer expectations for media are changing. The Editor-in-Chief is the captain of the ship and will set the direction for the Silhouette. You should be comfortable with emerging forms of media and have a vision for the Sil’s future.

The Silhouette currently has 18 paid part-time staff members. As Editor-in-Chief, you are responsible for leading this group through training and mentorship.

For more information, visit msumcmaster.ca/jobs!


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HUMANS

Thursday, January 26, 2017 | www.thesil.ca

According to you what is the best way to make someone smile?

ming, I think it is something that I could do. I believe that teachers are not given enough credit. Being in high school, you would always try to look for someone who could provide you with good and valuable information about life and university. They mould us into who we are. I think that part of reason we are the way we are really depends on our teachers as well. They are given the opportunity to impact someone’s life in a good way. I would really like to be someone’s role model and inspire someone. I would want to be a teacher who cares about her students and instead of just teaching, I want to be able to help in learning.

Kristen Carson Biology III

I like giving hugs. I get from my mom. Even now when I go home, she always says, “Where’s my hug?”. When I was younger my mom always used to cuddle me, and I think of it as being a long and amazing hug. I think that hugs work in any situation. Weather someone is sad or happy, you can always give them a hug and share that feeling. I think hugs are really warm and they give you a fuzzy feeling. Sometimes I am not quick with coming up with a joke to make someone laugh. I just give a hug, and only if I know that the other person is comfortable with it.

Yung Lee Photo Reporter

What do you want to do after you have graduated from university? When someone goes into science, they would usually want to be a Doctor. I know that I wouldn’t want to do research because I cannot be in a lab all day. So, I thought maybe I should be a Midwife, but that would be another 4 years of school. Finally, I think I want to be a teacher. I think its really cool that you get to give someone wisdom, and since I am a life guard and I teach swim-

GAGANGEET KAUR/ PHOTO CONTRIBUTOR

Jacob Playfair Commerce V

KYLE WEST/ PHOTO CONTRIBUTOR

McMaster has changed in me in various aspects, such as life, studies, social and work life. McMaster made me realize that they are a lot of like minded and different minded individuals, which allows me to grow as an individual. McMaster allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and allowed me to join various extracurriculars specifically the McMaster Barbell club, They taught me how to weightlift, which is a big part of my life. Although McMaster is far from home, it taught me to step out of my comfort zone, and do things that i wouldn’t necessarily do back home. With this comes growth, and McMaster allows me to grow. To be unequivocally me. In high school you are forced to interact with the same people, all day, all year. You can’t choose who to be friends with at school. I think that begins to affect your image of yourself. I felt like i need to constantly adhere to the norm, to what my peers were doing and saying and thinking. People kept telling me university was different, and that it was where you “found yourself ”. Dumb high school me tried to fit in wherever i could, when in reality what would make me happier, and more proud of myself, was just doing me.

Vlad Gritsichine Engineering II


www.thesil.ca | Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Silhouette | 11

Opinion Accessibility isn’t just a political tool Poor responses from every candidate during the first debate raised major concerns Alex Wilson Contributor

The following piece is based on the candidates’ responses to the debate question: “Classroom and campus accessibility is an essential part of student life, as well as a priority in the long term advocacy plan. For candidates who do not include accessibility in their platforms, why not, and to those who did, what research or consultation did you do?” Every year, accessibility becomes more and more of a buzzword in McMaster Students Union politics. It becomes this catch-all term for when you need a catchy way to market yourself as a good person. I’d like to try and disambiguate what this word truly means in a McMaster setting, why it matters and why our six candidates for MSU president simply don’t get it. Accessibility can be defined as the degree that people with and without disabilities can access services, goods and work, physical, social and educational environments without encountering barriers. But if you were at the debate or tuning in online, you would think accessibility meant a “late-night shuttle bus” by Aquino Inigo’s answer, “a space for Bread Bin” by Shaarujaa Nadarajah’s answer or that it had something to do with “the second floor of MUSC” by Patricia Kousoulas’ answer. While none of the candidates are wrong, they erase those who originally and still organize around the fight for access. Focusing on these initiatives in the context of this question decenters and further silences those who are fighting to be listened to. Food security, safety and opportunities for student involvement are all important discussions, but they were not the one we were actually trying to have. Accessibility is embracing

MADELINE NEUMANN / PHOTO EDITOR

universal design. Accessibility is podcasted courses, buildings students can actually enter with dignity and seating and desks for all students regardless of if they use a mobility device. Accessibility is varied assessment in your courses, timely and prioritized snow removal and lifts that don’t leave you trapped for hours. Accessibility is bursaries because being a disabled student is, on average, significantly more expensive than being a nondisabled student. And yes, accessibility is timely, effective and appropriate counselling and medical support. Misunderstanding accessibility is not an answer. Deflecting the subject to an ill placed “accessible shuttle bus” is not an answer. When you ignore a conversation this large, you actively tell students that they are simply not important enough to warrant even the basic Google search of a term and solution. No candidate on that stage, at any point in the debate or otherwise this week, even began to scratch the surface. No candidate showed any clear interest in doing so. Not only does that invalidate the identities of the students’ they are

campaigning to represent, it effectively silences them. Passion drives conversation, and clearly accessibility disparities are not glaring enough to ignite a simple Google search instead of pivoting to barely related platform points or to nothing at all. Not being “an expert,” as mentioned by Kousoulas, is not an excuse. Not having to think about accessibility every day is a privilege. The belief that you can come up to students after you become president and try to accommodate their needs without understanding is hurtful and invalidating. It treats real people with real experiences as campaign props to be used and thrown about to garner votes. It’s nice that you “want to work with the experts on campus,” mentioned by Kousoulas, or “work with groups on campus to make sure their voices are heard and that I’m not speaking for them,” mentioned by Inigo. You’re right, we need to talk more, but it’s ignorant to pretend there haven’t been those talking and fighting for years. There is no excuse for not knowing how inaccessible campus is. The MSU website has Accessibility forum re-

ports from the past two years with feedback from over 100 students. Last year, the Student Representative Assembly passed a lobbying policy to advocate to the university on the grounds of accessibility. It will be your job as president to advocate using this policy. Please do talk to students

The belief that you can come up to students after you become president and try to accommodate their needs without understanding is hurtful and invalidating. It treats real people with real experiences as campaign props to be used and thrown about to garner votes.

once you are elected, but it’s disrespectful and dishonest to pretend you haven’t already had the chance. Collaboration requires both parties and if you’re not going to do any work, then you are just reinforcing the idea the president acts as a figurehead instead of an advocate. Admittedly, some candidates did have some points related to accessibility. But they don’t get points for doing the bare minimum. “I may have not addressed directly accessibility with respect to physical environment or accessibility with respect to educational resources, although I do still think it’s a priority for the student union,” was stated by Shaarujaa Nadarajah. Presented solutions such as improving access to the Burke Science Building from Chukky Ibe or wheelchair accessible seating from Leanne Winkels are amazing ideas, but they regurgitate existing requests with apparently little consultation. Candidates who do have ideas have no plan for achieving their goals. Students have been asking for these changes for decades. If you are going to tokenize our struggle for some votes, at least come with a plan.


12 |

OPINION

Thursday, January 26, 2017 | www.thesil.ca

More than counselling McMaster Students Union presidential hopefuls need to dig deeper instead of relying on Band-Aid solutions

SILHOUETTE ARCHIVES Connor Blakeborough Contributor

A major topic in this year’s McMaster Students Union election is student mental health, and rightly so. The number of students who suffer for weeks on end without support is sickening, and as committed as I am to bettering the lives of those students, I think there’s a fundamental misunderstanding in the role a counsellor should play in any person’s treatment. The medicalization of mental health has resulted in one-dimensional thinking when approaching the results of one-on-one counselling. I’ve had troubles expressing myself verbally my whole life. I’ve never felt comfortable talking about emotions. Only recently have I found what works for me:

speaking about my problems and emotions loudly, in a way that makes me feel empowered. This revelation is the result of friends convincing me to seek out help for some thoughts I was having. Immediately after my appointment, I called a great friend of mine and vented about how little it helped and how it

Let’s start by changing how we approach this issue, and stop acting like we’ve had the right answer and just no money to fund it.

was a waste of time. I was completely wrong about how much counselling would help me. I’ve heard the same criticisms I made echoed time and time again. Conversations with friends and peers have revealed a pattern of discontent and dissatisfaction after counselling at the Student Wellness Centre. They tell me how they never receive any real solutions to their problems, and they just end up repeating themselves over and over again. These are totally valid criticisms of counselling as a method of treatment. Believing in the process requires a certain amount of agreement to be indoctrinated. You’re believing that this stranger can help you with very little tangible evidence to grasp onto upon leaving their office.

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Sometimes they don’t help at all, and sometimes they completely change your life. Stop thinking of counselling as a final solution. Think of it as a part of a process, and a part of your journey to self betterment. It’s an opportunity to express yourself in an environment that’s different than a friend-friend or family-family dynamic, and an opportunity to say what has really been bothering you without worrying about the other person’s feelings. Part of the benefit of counselling is the cathartic nature of saying what’s bothering you out loud, and knowing a doctor is listening to you. The MSU campaigns do little to change this narrative of counselling being the solution for everyone’s mental health concerns. If anything, they

promote it by highlighting it when addressing mental health. If you want to get serious about mental illness, let’s take a look at the university environment that resulted in this spike of occurrence, and stop putting counselling Band-Aids on the gaping wound that is poor mental health amongst students. You’re not doing anybody any favours by leveraging mental health as a platform point. You’re doing a disservice to the struggles that students face everyday, while offering solutions that do little to change a system that is failing so many students. You want to make a change? That’s fantastic, glad to hear it. Let’s start by changing how we approach this issue, and stop acting like we’ve had the right answer and just no money to fund it.

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OPINION | 13

www.thesil.ca | Thursday, January 26, 2017

I don’t know who’s running and I don’t care

C/O iStock Owen Angus-Yamada Contributor

I have a friend at McMaster with whom I debate on every subject from what’s the funniest pick up line to how reforming our education system can bring about better learning. During one recent conversation, I brought up the McMaster Students Union presidential election. He put a kibosh on the debate and replied, “I don’t know who’s running and I don’t care.” I had to agree with him, and with voting rate of 44.5 per cent in 2016 it seems that the majority of the McMaster student population also agrees. This lead me to two big questions: are the candidates not properly informing the masses of their platforms and qualifications, or do the McMaster students see the MSU president position as something with no real impact? Being a third-year Honours Commerce student, I can say that I have had only one MSU candidate, Shaarujaa Nadarajah, come in front of one of my lectures and give a quick summary of her MSU presidential platform and relevant experience. Going back to first year, I remember seeing all the MSU presidential candidates come before lectures and give a two-minute drill on their platforms with many candidates making multiple appearances. Where did all the in-person politics go? The fact that students who are not actively seeking information regarding the election are not being properly informed could be the reason for low voter turnout and some of those who do vote, 6.2 per cent in 2016, vote for abstaining. It is also possible and more probable that students don’t care to vote because the MSU president seems to have has little to no effect on most of them. It’s hard to blame students

for not seeing the MSU president as a nonfactor in their daily lives. The MSU presidents have a track record of promising big ideas that become white noise after their election. The first MSU president I voted for, Ehima Osazuwa, campaigned to bring gender neutral washrooms and lower tuition costs. The latter is more unrealistic, but neither promise is close to being realized. Other MSU candidates have brought even more ludicrous ideas to the table that span from bringing a grocery store and movie theatre onto campus to building another student centre. In my third year now, I can say that the only significant change brought on by the MSU was finally bringing debit machines on campus so I can better waste my parents’ hardearned money on $2 coffee. Other than that, I couldn’t name another thing the MSU has done. First years experience more exposure to the presidential candidates because they are more optimistic and believe that the candidates will make good on their propositions. Unless you actively follow the elected president’s activities like some sort of political brownnoser, you may assume that they are doing nothing at all. That statement may sound harsh, but for most students the reality is that no matter whom they vote for the school remains largely the same, for better or for worse. Year-round two-way communication is essential in getting students to vote and take the election process more seriously. Students don’t care because they simply don’t know. Most students have no clue what the MSU president really does for them or where they are in the process of making good on those campaign promises. The communication between the MSU president and McMaster student population

should be a continuous process throughout their entire tenure. The use of social media question and answer periods where students are notified and encouraged to participate through mass email is one way to achieve that two-way communication. It encourages student involvement and will allow the MSU president to update the student population on their actual changes or reasons why certain changes have not yet been made while allowing the student population hold the president accountable for any of their larger promises.

Are the candidates not properly informing the masses of their platforms and qualifications, or do the McMaster students see the MSU president position as something with no real impact?

If students are the future of Canada, then democracy’s future is grim. Federal election turnout has gradually dropped from 79.2 per cent in 1963 to an all time low of 58.8 per cent in 2008, and if the MSU presidential elections are any indicator, then the next generation of voters can expect a voting turnout below 50 per cent. Students need to be properly informed on why we should care about who becomes the new MSU president. It’s time for McMaster students to change their voting mindset.

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14 |

OPINION

Thursday, January 26, 2017 | www.thesil.ca

Tasty, nutritious and accessible, but at what cost? Presidential campaigns still lack a solid plan for food security

C/O Medifast Rebecca Abelson Contributor

At the beginning of each week, I find myself in a familiar corner. Making promises to pack daily lunches to avoid cafeteria lines and innutritious meals is an increasingly familiar undertaking. And time and time again, I find myself with $8 or $9 receipts pouring out of my coat pockets. The fact of the matter is that purchasing food on campus is often an unavoidable phenomenon. For students with busy schedules, it can be challenging to commute home with such short durations between classes. If you’ve even so much as brushed over the presidential

platforms, you have probably noticed two widely held viewpoints: lower costs and healthier food options. While food availability on campus is widespread, the selections tend to be limited. The omnipresence of expensive campus meals has captured the attention of several presidential hopefuls with many promising to bridge the gap between cost-effectiveness and healthy food options. While each candidate proposes unique solutions, most discuss their initiatives alongside food security. The prevalence of this buzzword within presidential platforms raises several questions. What is the hysteria surrounding food

practices? How feasible are the solutions proposed by the 2017 MSU presidential candidates? It appears that the solution to food insecurity at McMaster University will not come easily. As most students are well aware of, consuming healthy, nutritious dishes can be more expensive than eating at quick, fast food restaurants. Evidently, the problem of food security on campus is threefold. Firstly, McMaster University would be tasked with replacing greasy spoon options with fresh, locally sourced meals. Ideally, these services would be offered at a reduced cost. Furthermore, practices of food security call for environmental

Call For Nominations McMaster University invites nominations for the President's Award of Excellence (Student Leadership) This annual award recognizes deserving undergraduate students who have made a significant contribution in improving and developing the intellectual, social, cultural and/or athletic fabric of the McMaster community. Nominations are open to undergraduate students who are in their graduating year. Nominations may be made by faculty, staff and students. For more information on the award, or to obtain a Nomination Form, visit http://studentaffairs.mcmaster.ca/president_award_student.html

THE DEADLINE FOR RETURN OF NOMINATION FORMS IS FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017

and sustainable considerations. From a brief overview, it becomes apparent that these objectives act in contention with one another. The feasibility of striking a balance between healthy food options and cost-effectiveness is continuously challenged. Upon implementation, practices of food security on campus would demand mass subsidies to offset the costs students are paying for their meals. Aside from Chukky Ibe’s expansion of the Good Food delivery program and the commonly held proposition of dismantling the Paradise Catering contract, the solutions put forth by presidential candidates are vague and do not tend to the

specificities of food security. Rather, they propose idealistic ends without providing the sufficient means to do so. While their efforts are respectable, campus food security must be tackled by multiple levels of government. Perhaps MSU presidential candidates should work alongside the McMaster Board of Governors to renegotiate food contracts with a multitude of companies offering more feasible and sustainable food options. Despite the aforementioned challenges, campuses should devise new methods of providing healthy meal options without compromising the financial well-being of their students.


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EVENTS CALENDAR Women’s Self Defense Course When: January 27, 2017 at 05:30PM until February 10, 2017 at 07:30PM Where: David Braley Athletic Centre Gain confidence, be prepared and get empowered! Suitable for any fitness level, this 3 evening, hands-on workshop is presented in a respectful, comfortable and relaxed manner. Instructor: Tosha Lord. Get more information at www.marauders.ca/instructional

MSU Charity Ball When: January 27, 2017 from 08:00PM Where: Hamilton Convention Centre Save the date on Friday, January 27th, 2017 for a modernized twist on a childhood classic adventure filled with music, live entertainment, a games centre, a silent auction, and so much more! Proceeds from the event will be donated to Food4Kids

Consensus Decision Making Workshop When: January 28, 2017 from 01:00PM until 03:00PM Where: McMaster University Student Centre Room 230 Part of OPIRG McMaster’s Activist Skills Development Series 2017 Baghael Kaur is passionate about the importance and power of living consensus in meetings, in relationships and in political spaces too. After 10 years of facilitating workshops on consensus, she still receives so much expansion and joy from the learning process that occurs during workshops. Pre-registration is required. Register at www.bit.ly/OPIRGpassiontopower

Community Volunteer Action Join a Weekly Volunteer Group! When: January 30, 2017 from 12:00PM until 01:00PM Where: MUSC 2I5k CVA is a network of weekly groups where you volunteer with other McMaster students at placements across Hamilton. Your group facilitator helps you find your way to the placement and facilitates a discussion for 15-20 minutes after each volunteer session to help you reflect on your experiences and how these relate to larger societal issues. We currently have 10 weekly groups that are in need of volunteers, so visit our website to view how you can get involved: www.OpenCircle.mcmaster.ca/volunteer


The Silhouette

www.thesil.ca | Thursday, January 26, 2017

| 17

Arts & Culture Good things grow in Farmer’s Market Two must-visit market stands discuss their love for fine food, flowers and market community C/O MICHELLE YEUNG

Michelle Yeung A&C Reporter

Over the four days that the Hamilton Farmer’s Market is open each week, crowds flock to the lower level where the Eat Industries, Henry Brown’s Small Batch Ice Cream and Pokeh stalls are located. While many people make a bee-line to one of these popular spots upon entering the market, dozens of other stalls that offer interesting products and eclectic finds are neglected along the way. Here are two businesses to keep on your radar the next time you stop by. Gourmet Veggie Foods Gourmet Veggie Foods is dedicated to all things vegetarian – with a twist. Rather than the traditional vegetarian options that Western society is accustomed to, owners David So and Joyce So offer Southeast Asian-styled vegetarian options that include mushroom chicken, veggie steak and

delectable steamed buns, among a variety of other products. Four years ago, feeling limited by retirement, So left his wife and son in Markham, Ont., and moved to Hamilton on his own in order to realize his dream of introducing southeast Asian-styled vegetarian cuisine to others. He has since opened his stall at the Hamilton Farmer’s Market, all the while accumulating a solid customer base and hosting “veggie nights” every month, where customers are invited to So’s house for a vegetarian potluck dinner. “My products are very special; not too many people in Hamilton recognize [southeast Asian-styled] vegetarian cuisine. To be honest, I’ve been struggling for the past two years because business [hasn’t been that great]. But my purpose here is not to make business. At this point, I’ve [sort of accepted] that business won’t be great. It’s just a little wish of mine to promote [my style of vegetarian cuisine] to people… let’s say

there are [half a million] Hamiltonians.” So explained that if he could convince ten percent of those people to try his veggie products, and another one percent actually cut down their meat consumption by once a week, many animals could be saved. Currently, So is offering a healthy and tasty ginger tea concoction that he brewed up himself. “This is what I call the Gourmet Double Ginger Tea. It uses tamarind, two different kinds of ginger and is marinated with honey. The tamarind and ginger improves your immune system,” said So. “There is a saying in Chinese that goes: ‘ginger is the poor man’s ginseng.’ Essentially, ginger is [an ingredient that has many health benefits]. If one eats two slices of ginger every day, you may even look younger – like me! I recommend this drink, and ginger in general, to all ages. Come by and have a try.”

Fenwick Flowers John Snieder, the owner of Fenwick Flowers, is known at the Hamilton Farmer’s Market as one of the most personable and charismatic vendors around. Having worked in wholesale for forty years prior to opening his stall, Sneider is able to offer the best quality products for great prices. His years of experience in the industry has given him a great working knowledge of what is available; his store is always blooming with ravishing flowers of all types and a variety of succulents that are perfect for students who can’t seem to keep any plant alive. When asked how he enjoys the switch from wholesale to retail at the market, Snieder expresses nothing but joy. “I love it. It’s very enjoyable. It’s a great atmosphere… there are lots of friendly people and I have a great working relationship with other vendors… I have customers who have become good friends… I look at the market as not just a place

“I look at the market as not just a place to shop but a place to build relationships. It becomes an experience.” John Snieder Owner Fenwick Flowers to shop but a place to build relationships. It becomes an experience. I often tell my wife that Hamilton is known as the Steel Town but the market steals your heart.” Although he recommends all of his products, Snieder says customers shouldn’t just come to him for his flowers and foliage. “I want people to swing by my little shop and just enjoy the experience. Wouldn’t it be nice for everyone to just [pause for a moment] in their busy days and stop to smell the roses?”


18 |

FEATURE

Thursday, January 26, 2017 | www.thesil.ca

MANI K. JASSAL Designer blends cultures to create something new Sasha Dhesi News Editor

Among the many South Asian designers in the greater Toronto and Hamilton area, one shines out with her ability to blend the splendour of the culture with the modern looks of Toronto: Mani K. Jassal. Situated between a small biryani shop and a skating rink in the heart of a small subdivision in Brampton, Jassal’s showroom stands out with a bright white sign announcing her name. The showroom itself is full of vibrancy and colours ranging from royal blue to neutral beiges, with different collections adorning the allwhite room. Hidden away in the storeroom and garage, multiple sewing machines and a full-size cutout of Toronto singer and rapper Drake idly sit. The collections themselves at first appear to be traditional South Asian bridal wear, but upon closer inspection, one notices a few distinct deviations: bustier tops as opposed to the typical cropped t-shirt, deeper plunges and the use of leather in place of cotton all deviate from

the traditional styles, but work well with the pieces. Jassal herself stands behind a small desk, contrasting the colourful room in a black t-shirt dress and a pair of Birkenstocks. The Mani K. Jassal brand is wildly popular among the South Asian diaspora in North America; she currently has a showroom in Brampton, Canada and Los Angeles, USA. She typically sees three to four clients per hour, and has recently expanded her business by hiring others to help her with consultations. While Jassal maintains a serious evening wear brand, she’s still tongue-in-cheek; her Instagram page features both her work and pictures of her and her Drake cutout, modeling her latest designs. Jassal, the daughter of Indian immigrants, began designing at the age of 11, sketching out designs for characters she admired like Cinderella. It was during high school when she decided to learn how to make clothing herself, both from her seamstress mother and the fashion design classes her high school offered. Despite her clear talent, Jassal originally did not plan on going into fashion

design. Jassal experienced a similar predicament many South Asian creative youth go through when deciding their career path; on one hand, she was invested in succeeding and creating a stable life for herself within Canada, but found herself drawn to the risky arts. “I was really good at math and science… [my parents] wanted me to be an engineer or a lawyer. I thought fashion design was a dream and applied for engineering programs,” Jassal said. Jassal ultimately applied to the notoriously difficult fashion design program offered at Ryerson University, which is rated as the second most difficult program at the school, after electrical engineering. Once she was accepted, Jassal took it as a sign and decided to take the plunge and pursue fashion design seriously. Interestingly enough, Jassal did not initially plan on focusing on South Asian bridal wear. Before her fourth year at Ryerson, Jassal planned on going into evening wear, focusing on

I used fabrics like leather, techniques like laser cutting and used unconventional colours like black and white. Mani K. Jassal Designer and Owner, Mani K Jassal Showroom

couture dresses. But after being exposed to the sartorial world in India, she decided to do her final collection on Indian bridal wear. Her work was an instant hit; her use of experimental, non-traditional colours and sexier silhouettes reinvigorated the market and changed the way people view South Asian bridal wear in general. “I used fabrics like leather techniques like laser cutting and

used unconventional colours like black and white. Maybe not now, but at the time, more scandalous silhouettes,” Jassal said. Following her undergraduate degree, Jassal was faced with a choice: either move out of the province to take on a job in Montreal or Europe, or stay and create her own brand. “I tried looking for a job in design and it’s so hard in Toronto unless you move away, and even then, you’re not going to get paid,” she said. Jassal opted for the latter option, and opened up her shop about a year following her degree. Since then, she has been met with immense success. All her pieces are all ethically made within Canada, and Jassal uses a range of design techniques such as laser-cutting to create precise designs. Her prices mirror those of most ethically produced clothing stores, such as White Elephant, where a blouse goes for about $160. Jassal’s brand is unique in the bridal wear world for its experimental colours and palettes and always wanting to push boundaries. Typically, South Asian


FEATURE | 19

www.thesil.ca | Thursday, January 26, 2017

C/O BALJIT SINGH

bridal wear consists of crop top and full-length skirt, called a lengha or sari depending on the region. The colour palette sticks to auspicious colours such as red, yellow and green. “I really do want to push the boundaries because when you go into Indian stores you see the same stuff again and again,” she said. “And we would wear bustiers with our western wardrobe, so why not be a little sexy with our Indian wardrobe? I do have other options, but it’s just about being different,” Jassal said. Much of Jassal’s clothing and presentation contrasts the more traditional pieces which come from local South Asian tailors and seamstresses. While their designs tend to be loud and full of multiple colours, Jassal’s pieces follow stricter colour palettes and include unconventional colours such as black, white and neutral shades. Her influences span from the architecture of the Rajasthani city of Udaipur to Drake and M.I.A., which she cites to be the reasons why her work feels so fresh. Jassal still maintains much of the integrity of the traditional styles; she just adds something new to it. “I incorporate two cultures

I really do want to push the boundaries because when you go into Indian stores you see the same stuff again and again. Mani K. Jassal Designer and Owner, Mani K Jassal Showroom

into [my work]; I’m Canadian and I’m Indian and so it’s like both worlds,” she noted. The two cultures are strikingly clear throughout her work. While Jassal is officially a South Asian bridal wear designer, she by no means wants her pieces to be limited to that label. For example, the styling of all her pieces in her Los Angeles showroom drastically differ from

the styling of her Brampton showroom, where the pieces are styled as gala outfits as opposed to bridal wear. Much of her latest collection deviates from most, if not all, traditional bridal wear. Her latest bridal collection incorporates the traditional red South Asian brides typically wear, but the pieces themselves include tufts of fur and fringe and are cut in a way that teeters the line between outerwear and lingerie. Jassal plans on venturing into other markets in the coming years. She hopes to expand into menswear, homeware and lingerie and eveningwear in the near future, and eventually have a shop in every major city. But her work remains the talk of the South Asian diaspora in the greater Toronto and Hamilton area, with her evocative, elegant designs.

@SashaDhesi

Mani K. Jassal’s newest collection incorporates the traditional red that South Asian brides typically wear. SASHA DHESI / NEWS EDITOR


20 |

A&C

Thursday, January 26, 2017 | www.thesil.ca

Mix & match Centre 3 exhibit reminisces about family, home and Spanglish culture Razan Samara Contributor

Inspired by Mexican-American heritage, Spanglish culture and the beauty of domestic space, ¡Pa’delante Mestizaje! makes its Canadian debut at Centre 3 Print and Media Arts. Texas-based artist Wendi Ruth grew up in a world of blended cultures. Her environment was hybridized and communication was bilingual. A recent graduate from Wichita State University’s School of Art, Ruth spent four months creating ¡Pa’delante Mestizaje!, Spanish for ‘Onward Mixed Race’. Housed in Centre 3’s main gallery, the exhibition embodies nostalgia for one’s home, culture and family. The theme of the show was partially inspired by Ruth’s grandmother’s constant reminders to never forget where she came from. “I was a bit hesitant about talking about Hispanic art because once you are labeled that, then that’s all that you are,” said Ruth. “I was really hesitant about that, [but] after thinking about what my grandmother told me, it didn’t matter… this is who I am and I don’t need to hide away from that. If people want to label me that, then okay, but that doesn’t limit me as an artist.” The Centre 3 exhibit consists of two installments, Nuestra Yarda, Nuestra Tierra (Our Yard, Our Land) and Wall de Memorias (Wall of Memories). Nuestra Yarda, Nuestra Tierra is where everything started. Growing up in a bilingual household, Ruth would refer to her yard as ‘yarda’ believing that it was a Spanish word. It wasn’t until she visited family in Mexico that she learned the commonly used word is not really Spanish, but rather Spanglish. Embracing her unique Spanglish culture, Ruth’s first piece is centered around the word ‘yarda’. The piece is an installment displaying cacti, fruit, fauna and a ‘mowersito’ in a triangular yard, with the background adorned with tiny Aztec-inspired motifs. Wall de Memorias was inspired by Ruth’s grandmother’s

sacred wall that was composed of pictures of her children and grandchildren, as well as their accomplishments. The piece is composed of fragments of Ruth’s own memories, as well as her family’s. The piece depicts drawings of objects that were important to her and others could recognize and relate to, such as her grandmother’s rosebush, an Etch-a-Sketch and even her entire kitchen in a scene called "Lunch is Ready". This last scene was especially important to Ruth’s mother. “[During my reception in Wichita] my friend came up to me and said ‘[Ruth], turn around, your mom is crying’ and I was like, ‘What? Why is she crying?’ It was just a huge response, and I hadn’t spoken to her about any of our memories… I wanted my work to touch people, I wanted it to speak to people but I didn’t expect anyone to cry and I didn’t expect it touch [my mom] so emotionally,” said Ruth. Ruth hopes that by sharing her own cultural experience, she can touch others who identify themselves in that intersection between Spanish and English speaking cultures. “A lot of children are growing up in the Spanglish culture and are trying to find who they are. [The culture] is gaining momentum and popularity but it’s also making a root in history now. For me, it is about recognizing that [history and] our own experiences and sharing that with everybody else,” she explained. Ruth hopes to continue sharing her narrative, but she also wants to continue to explore the idea of what happens when artwork is brought into a home, not just in a frame hanging on a wall, but rather in harmony with the personal identity of the space and individuals who live within it. Her art portrays the memories, culture and people associated with domestic spaces, and so Ruth naturally envisions her art being displayed in that space, rather than just in a gallery. ¡Pa’delante Mestizaje! will be on display until Feb. 18 at 173 James Street North. @theSilhouette

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22 |

GAMES

Thursday, January 26, 2017 | www.thesil.ca


www.thesil.ca | Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Silhouette | 23

Sports Smashing down doors to success A sit down conversation with members of Mac Smash, a group on campus that has seen tremendous growth over the past two years Cullum Brownbridge Sports Editor

It started last year, with one commerce student, Eric Hill, along with his two friends and his laptop on the second floor of the McMaster University Student Centre. Minutes later, eight other students – who were complete strangers to Hill – and an extra laptop showed up, all of whom were playing Super Smash Brothers Melee together, just outside of Clubspace. This eventually led to the creation of the McMaster Smash group, which is run by thirdyear commerce student Ian Coomes, who was one of the eight students Hill met in this encounter. The growth of the Smash community at McMaster should come as no surprise. eSports as a whole, such as “League of Legends,” “DOTA 2” and “Overwatch,” have grown in popularity at the international level, with the top players in the world competing for over millions of dollars in cash prizes, some of which is crowd-funded by the respective communities. Fighting games such as Project: Melee and Super Smash Brawl have enjoyed similar success. McSmashter was an annual event held at McMaster that ran for four years, attracting players from all across North America and was watched at an international scale. But it wasn’t until the creation of Mac Smash in 2015 where the community at McMaster started to grow. And McMaster Smash is one group that has seen a steady rise in popularity since its creation in 2015. “Before we started doing anything, we knew that there was some interest in Smash at Mac because of McSmashter,” Coomes said. “We thought it had already been established here. But it was mostly Americans and other Ontario students that came to the event.”

The Mac Smash group runs weekly tournaments on Wednesdays, attracting McMaster students and others across Ontario. C/O JEFF MAHIEU

“The fact that when we got here that there was nothing established was so surprising to us, given the size of McSmashter,” Hill said. Fast forward to now, and the McMaster Smash group has grown in popularity and notoriety within the Smash community. When the group started their weekly tournaments, they were only able to attract 10 or 15 people per week, most of whom were mutual friends of Coomes and Hill. Now, their weekly events typically see about 100 people from across Ontario, some of whom are renowned within the community as the best players within the fighting genre. Each week’s event is labour-intensive, with tasks that include creating new brackets based on rankings and transporting heavy equipment to campus. “We used to take shopping carts and cart these heavy TVs from my house to the event and back, until all of them made their way to campus,” Coomes said.

But all that work has paid off. More and more students come to the events, and those who cannot go often stream the tournaments online. More impressively, many of the top rated Smash players attend the weekly events hosted by Mac Smash on a regular basis. “This year, we have had at least five of the top 10 Smash players in Ontario show up to every single weekly event we have held except for one,” Coomes said. “It is unreal that the Smash scene has gotten so popular in Hamilton, of all places.” “I remember someone from around Hamilton telling us that our scene was non-existent and that it sucked, because he could beat everyone,” Hill said. “Now, at this point, Hamilton is probably one of the best scenes for Smash in Ontario.” Most of the money comes from the Smash community itself, with players willing to pay to compete in tournaments. This has allowed the group to expand their events and attract even more attention from those

“How much can we work with other universities in building up some sort of league system? How much can we do in order to make this game really explode in the North? Ian Coomes President McMaster Smash interested in playing Smash. “The scene in itself for Smash Bros has always functioned on its own, based off of the community’s own merit,” Hill said. “Everyone just loves the game, and they don’t want it to die out.” The money that players pay as an entry to compete in the weekly tournaments run by Mac Smash goes towards cover-

ing cost for renting equipment, such as older televisions. Any money left over goes towards their large yearly event, Frozen Phoenix, which takes place at McMaster from March 24 – 26. So as the Smash community grows at McMaster, what’s next for Coomes, Hill and the Mac Smash group as a whole? “If we keep growing, then really the next question is how many medium events can we hold? How much can we work with other universities in building up some sort of league system similar to the US?” Coomes said. “How much can we do in order to make this game really explode in the north?” Now it is feasible to dream about the expansion of University Sports and varsity sports within McMaster to expand to include eSports in the mix. And it all started with a few students, a couple of laptops, and an underlying passion and love for the game. @Curtains1310


24 |

FEATURE

Thursday, January 26, 2017 | www.thesil.ca

Marauders swap maroon for pink Last week McMaster’s Athletics and Recreation departments hosted their annual Think Pink event, a week dedicated to raising awareness and funds on behalf of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. A part of national fundraising efforts since its inception in 2007, the event has established a tradition of bringing together student-athletes from across the university for a worthy cause. While each has been touched by cancer in a unique way, their stories offer a glimpse into how the battle against cancer unites us, and what we can do to help.

Lauren Beals Sports Reporter

Lexie Spadafora mid play in a a game against York University. C/O KYLE WEST

“I have had friends that have lost their parents to breast cancer,” said Rebecca Steckle, a fifth-year outside hitter on the women’s volleyball team. “To dedicate something so small, that seems so meaningless like a volleyball game... you really gain perspective. You go into [it] wanting to win and working hard and focusing so much, but to step back and say this is for something so much more… is a really special thing” Steckle was part of a team effort that produced back-to back wins in Burridge Gym last weekend, both of which were dedicated to raising awareness for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. A part of the campus-wide Think Pink initiative, the women’s volleyball team played two of the eight games hosted by McMaster varsity teams over the course of three days, all devoted to the Think Pink cause. But for Steckle, her reason to participate goes even deeper than her own personal relationships. “I work with cancer patients, and I see the way they fight through their disease,” said Steckle. “It doesn’t overcome them. I see their strength… as athletes we are privileged to be

here, so anything we can do to give back and use our platform to fight back is really special and we have an opportunity to do that.” An oncology nurse in local hospitals, Steckle got involved with Think Pink through McMaster Athletes Care, a student-run organization that aims to use sport as a catalyst for inciting social change. Each year, student-athletes partner with the McMaster Athletics and Recreation department to coordinate a wide-range of fundraising events. Not only have they been able to successfully draw in local members of the community, the partnership of varsity athletes across sport has created a culture of cooperation and family, something Steckle can attest to. “My coach said in his speech last year that ‘family is not confined to space and time, so when a weekend like this comes, and family gets back together, we have a chance to do something really impactful.” This “family” of student-athletes has been something Steckle has been a part of from the start of her career as a marauder. When asked about any memories of Think Pink that really struck a chord, she recalled her first experience with the cause.


FEATURE

www.thesil.ca | Thursday, January 26, 2017

| 25

The women’s volleyball team rocked pink laces during Think Pink week. C/O KYLE WEST

“In my first year we would have a game or two were we dedicate it to the Think Pink campaign. I still remember my first year, we would get shirts and get to write someone’s name or a group of people we were playing for… it was special to feel so connected to something because everyone is touched by cancer in some way.” “Everyone is touched by cancer in some way,” said Lexie Spadafora, a fourth-year guard on the women’s basketball team. “For our team especially.” Since arriving for her first year at McMaster in 2013, Spadafora has seen the development of Ontario University Athletics all-stars, an all-time leading scorer, and been a part of three OUA playoff runs in a deep division. But tough opponents would not be the only challenge her and her team would do battle with. In 2015, head coach and 22-season figurehead of women’s basketball Theresa Burns would announce the return of her battle with breast cancer. Undergoing treatment throughout the 2015/2016 season, these Marauders have seen up close the fight and perseverance anyone who has been touched by cancer experiences. “[Think Pink] means a lot to her, it means a lot to us,” said

Spadafora. “It is always in the back of our mind, we are doing this for her.”

“Everyone has one goal, and that is to beat cancer. For us to do it in a sport we love, and for a coach we love and look up to... that’s a good way to do it.” Lexie Spadafora Fourth-year guard, McMaster women’s basketball Even before Think Pink, women’s basketball has been at the forefront of breast cancer initiatives. Whether it is wearing pink socks and warm-ups on game day, running the CIBC Run for the Cure, or raising over 20,000 dollars for “Team TB” in 2015, these Marauders are doing everything in their power to make a difference. “We just want to get everyone involved as much as we can,” said Spadafora. “Everyone has one goal, and that is to beat

cancer. For us to do it in a sport we love, and for a coach we love and look up to... that’s a good way to do it.” And they aren’t alone. Over 400 fans packed Burridge Gym for the Think Pink games against York and Queen’s, a testament to the tight knit community the women’s program has created. But if there is one thing Spadafora wants to emphasis it is that those games were just a starting point. “This is something that shouldn’t just happen this week,” said Spadafora. “It should happen all year. This week kind of promotes it, but it is important for students and members of the community to know that they are always other ways to contribute.” “There are always ways to contribute,” said Ethan Saunders, a fifth-year veteran of the men’s rugby team. “That is one of the things that makes it so great.” Involved with Think Pink since his first year, Saunders noticed the week as one of the volunteering opportunities brought to athletes by McMaster athletes care. “I was looking for a way to have an impact beyond the field,” said Saunders. “Because I realized early on that’s a pretty limited number of people I can

Run in unison with marauder alumni weekend, Burridge Gym was packed with returning players, coaches and members of the community who were able to partake in the week’s fundraising initiatives. affect there… [Think Pink] is a broader scale for sure.” For the duration of the week, Saunders spearheaded an athlete run promotion station in the David Braley Athletic Center. Ditching his rugby gear in favor of a pink ballet tutus and matching neon tights, Saunders did everything from pass on information about the cause to selling raffle tickets and t-shirts. He also helped run daily fundraising events such as “Pink Balloon Pop”, and “Dodge For A Cause”. “My favorite event each year has been pie-in-the-face, I find it absolutely hilarious,” said Saun-

ders. “I had a chance to throw my first pie this year, instead of being on the receiving end of the pies… its just good to have all the other athletes out and have everyone coming by.. it is just such a good community event, what more could you ask for?” No stranger to helping others, Saunders was the recipient of an OUA community service award last year for his volunteer work with the McMaster Student Therapist program and as a team representative for McMaster Athlete’s Care. Saunders also voiced his support for the timing of Think Pink this year. Run in unison with marauder alumni weekend, Burridge Gym was packed with returning players, coaches and members of the community who were able to partake in the week’s fundraising initiatives. “It is cool to have [students and alumni],” said Saunders. “It is kind of a past and present thing which is very reflective of what you are dealing with with breast cancer as well, it is a unifying issue, so there is some neat messaging there… but the more people you have around campus the better” @theSilhouette


26 |

SPORTS

Thursday, January 26, 2017 | www.thesil.ca

Marauder wrestler aims for return to succes Omar Ahmed is once again ready to achieve OUA glory on the mat Eamon Hillis Contributor

Omar Ahmed, a third-year McMaster varsity wrestler, suffered a hamstring injury at a Guelph wrestling tournament on Jan. 21. Despite pulling out of the event, Ahmed is confident about his status moving forward. “I should be ready to go for OUA’s,” Ahmed says. “My goal is to win a Gold medal. It is what I have been working for, and it is always my goal at every tournament. That is what I expect of myself, and I always train towards that.” Ahmed is no stranger to injury. In fact, he just returned from a major wrist injury that kept him out last season, and into the first half of this season. To fix the issue, Ahmed had surgery in April 2016. Since then, his return to form has been exceptional considering the severity of his injury. Ahmed attributes this in part to the support he received at McMaster throughout his rehabilitation process. “I spent three months in a cast, then three more months in therapy. The resources available here at Mac are great. I attended sessions a few times a week and it really helped me in my recovery,” said Ahmed. Ahmed was the 2016 Ontario University Athletics champion in the 68kg division, and took silver as a rookie in 2015. Part of what drives Ahmed, whether in competition or in recovering from injury, is his consistent and unyielding work ethic. Coaches and teammates have come to not only admire his exceptional attitude towards work, but also his quiet leadership on the team. “I don’t feel I need to lead vocally, so I tend to lead by

“I don’t feel I need to lead vocally, so I tend to lead by example. I focus on working hard and developing my own ability, ... trying to be a role model in that way.” Omar Ahmed McMaster men’s wrestling example,” Ahmed says. “I focus on working hard and developing my own ability, and trying to be a role model in that way. When some of my teammates look over and see me putting in extra work, I feel it encourages them to put in extra work too. When a teammate needs help with a technique, I am always willing to help out.” Ahmed’s return has been important in McMaster’s success throughout the second half of the season. In the most recent University Sports rankings, the Marauder men rank second in the nation behind Brock University. The women are ranked ninth. The men will look to upset the Brock Badgers on Feb. 11 and recreate their 2015 OUA victory. The Brock Badgers are the 2016 defending men and women’s Porter Trophy winners and have dominated in the Ontario circuit for the past three decades. Brock has taken home 25 of the past 32 men’s and women’s titles, meaning an upset by McMaster would be a remarkable achievement. @theSilhouette

Omar Ahmed captured Gold at last year’s OUA finals in the 68kg division. C/O DOK VOANLANDER

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TRUDEAU CONTROVERSY Justin Trudeau was at my house and only spoke in barks A5

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NOTSPEC.COM

Shorts season is BACK!

Januar y 26, 2016

With the weather consistently above zero degrees celsius, weird dudes across campus are wearing shorts again SHIT HASTINGS Has a nanny and is #TeamCorn

Despite what President/expired Cheeto Donald Trump would tell you, climate change is very real and one of the most terrifying impacts is being felt on the McMaster University campus. Temperatures are unseasonably warm in Hamilton, and it is causing boys to put away the two pairs of pants they own in favour of the many ugly shorts. By most standards, it is still too cold to show your walking sticks, but not for these dudes. “Seriously, it is warm. People just need to suck it up and enjoy Canada, man,” said Frederick Simons, EngPhys V. “Wearing shorts makes me feel more comfortable and I think everybody should be allowed to feel comfortable.” According to our sources, who wanted to remain anonymous for they feared retribution from the shorts-wearers, the hot spot for shorts is the John Hodgins Engineering building. (Honestly, we didn’t need sources to confirm this but we wanted to do it anyways. Makes us seem more legit.) The majority of shorts appear on dudes hailing from engineering, but there has been a steady rise in humanities kids who are electing to show a lil’ skin. This trend has become concerning for university officials. “This trend makes me reconsider my entire profession,” said McMaster president Datrick Peane. “We are trying to educate future generations and we emphasize critical thinking

The shorts are back in town.

and logic. Now, it’s four degrees and we have these kids wearing shorts. What am I even doing this for? Fucking millennials.” We went to TwelvEighty on Thursday night to talk to some clubbers about the shorts controversy. Unfortunately, no one was there, so we went to the Phoenix to do some interviews. “I think it is ridiculous but I’m fine with it,” said Tessica Boatwright, Commerce III. “I just don’t get the appeal. I mean, you have to be cold. I feel like that’s just science. But you’re also drawing attention to yourself. Like, ‘why is that guy wearing shorts? What is wrong with that guy?’” Unfortunately, it looks like this shorts controversy will be here for a long time.

MEN’S SHORTS, RANKED 1. Chino 2. Board 3. Jorts 4. Spandex 5. Sweat 6. Booty(?) 7. Fleece 8. Basketball 9. Biking 10. Running 11. Cargo

POLL: favourite presidential cliche? Building community

They are an outsider

Popping the MSU bubble

Lowering student costs but proposing tons of projects

DISCLAIMER: This is the Speculator, a joke page. The stories and continuing plot lines are fake. If you fell for this, you have been banned from voting in MSU elections for the next three years.

“We are trying to educate future generations and we emphasize critical thinking and logic. Now, it’s four degrees and we have these kids wearing shorts. What am I even doing this for?” Datrick Peane McMaster University president

IF YOU HAVE SEX IN COOTES DON’T LEAVE THE CONDOM ON THE BOARDWALK A3 ALTERNATIVE FACTS IS MY FAVOURITE INDIE BAND A7 M.C. D-L C2 VODKA+WATER+MIO B2 CAN WE MOVE THE CAMPAIGN PERIOD NEXT YEAR SO THE PRINT PRODUCT ISN’T A WEEK BEHIND THE RESULTS? D9

FEATURE This rebellious youth thinks politics don’t matter! A10-11

Tweets to the Editor Westdale Theatre is where the bodies are buried. - Largs, 74

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PER ISSUE: Some chamomile tea, please :)

The Silhouette - January 26, 2017  

Another thicc issue of the Sil for you! Following the inauguration of Donald Trump, Hamilton joined in the Women's March on Washington and o...

The Silhouette - January 26, 2017  

Another thicc issue of the Sil for you! Following the inauguration of Donald Trump, Hamilton joined in the Women's March on Washington and o...

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