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NEWS SLEF Improvements around campus are coming based on your votes Page 3

ARTS & CULTURE SELF-PUBLISHING HamOnt zines and the perspectives they provide are not going anywhere Page 12-13

SPORTS PATRICK TATHAM Former Coach of the Year brings his talents to our men’s basketball program Page 15

The Silhouette Thursday, June 1, 2017


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anag e r s Spea k How the p u the M p art ti SU u me m n

anag dere Page stima e r r e s4spon 5 sibil tes ities



The Silhouette

Volume 88, Issue 1 Thursday, June 1, 2017 McMaster University’s Student Newspaper







EDITORIAL BOARD editor-in-chief | thesil@thesil.ca Shane Madill @shanemadill managing editor | managing@thesil.ca Rachel Katz production editor | production@thesil.ca Catherine Tarasyuk online editor | online@thesil.ca Haley Greene sections

Sasha Dhesi news reporter TBA features reporter Emily O’Rourke news@thesil.ca news editor

opinion editor

Reem Sheet


Justin Parker Jessica Carmichael sports@thesil.ca

sports editor sports reporter

& culture editor Daniel Arauz & culture reporter Razan Samara aandc@thesil.ca

arts arts


Madeline Neumann photo reporter Kyle West production coordinator Grant Holt production coordinator Timothy Law production@thesil.ca photo editor

Yvonne Lu social media coordinator Jaime Cook online content coordinator Susie Ellis online@thesil.ca video editor

COVER PHOTO Madeline Neumann



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.

Editor-in-Chief (905) 525-9140, ext 22052 Main Office (905) 525-9140, ext 27117 Advertising (905) 920-1605 italim@mcmaster.ca 8,000 circulation published by the

It is unknown if any freshettes said yes to Dyment’s marriage proposals. Can we bring back tomato fights?

STARTING UP This is the first issue of Volume 88! Our next two issues will be on July 6 and August 3, and will resume a weekly schedule starting in September. We also accept submissions for the summer issues. Any story pitches can be directed to thesil@thesil.ca.

www.thesil.ca | Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Silhouette

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News Student Life Enhancement Fund The allocation of $150,000 will mostly be used on student centre upgrades


Shane Madill Editor-in-Chief

Every year, the Student Life Enhancement Fund, a joint collaboration between the McMaster Students Union and the university, accepts idea submissions about improvements around campus. These are vetted down and reduced to a few finalists for the students at large to vote on. In the past, this has successfully provided improvements to Compass, microwaves and electrical outlets in the McMaster University Student Centre and the fitness and boulder circuit near the track field across from Les Prince. The results from the most recent process that starting in January of this year will bring about a new round of changes. These changes will be upgrades to second floor furniture in MUSC, upgrades to MUSC atrium furniture, charging stations across campus, investment in composting opportunities and a MSU Maccess resource library.

- The second floor upgrades consist of creating lounge space and areas for collaborative work - The atrium will include longer seating, plugs integrated into the seating and a more aesthetically pleasing environment - Charging stations around campus will feature the ability to lock up phones, tablets and other devices as they charge with the ability to return to pick them up later - The composting opportunities, after unsuccessful composting attempts in the past, will provide functional bins integrated into MUSC - Resources for the MSU Maccess space has been promised to improve the ability to self-advocate and seek knowledge for self-empowerment “I think that there are limited resources across campus, and I think this is a great way to ensure student needs are being met,” said Daniel D’Souza, vice president (Finance). D’Souza explained the

financials behind the fund, “Students will pay their tuition, they’ll pay the MSU fee and then they’ll pay a [large number] of ancillary fees through the university. ... Some of those fees go to student affairs. In the past, this has been a pool of money that was used by manager of student affairs to say, ‘Okay, we want these projects.’” The fund has changed a bit since it began in its current, student-driven form in the 2011-12 academic year, but considering that it draws from student affairs, its current level of $150,000 per year dedicated to SLEF is a comfortable amount. “It’s a delicate balance between how much is for student ideas and how much should be put towards core student services like career support and health. So that number right now I think is a good number in comparison to what else is in that fund,” said D’Souza. At the time of writing, it is unknown how long it will take to implement this year’s projects.

While all of the upgrades that have been done and will continue to be done are a direct benefit, there is a major, indirect benefit as well. The ability to gauge student feedback and concerns, even if the ideas do not make it through the final voting phase, has had an influence on larger projects. In particular, the Pulse expansion and student activity building referendum conducted in March of this year may have

“I think that there are limited resources across campus, and I think this is a great way to ensure student needs are being met.” Daniel D’Souza Vice president (Finance) McMaster Students Union

been inspired by past requests. “SLEF is a platform for students to voice their concerns. I think [from] some of the things that we’ve seen in the past, it’s clear that students want more space, they want more amenities on campus. And I think those are some of the driving factors behind the building of this new student centre,” said D’Souza. He also acknowledged that some of the ideas denied in the past may be more feasible in the next few years with this increased access to space on campus. When it comes to the new student activity building, however, the Student Representative Assembly is not going to wait until SLEF to start the feedback process. “Right now, there is a committee struck by the SRA that is a student activity building consultation committee, so over the summer, they are making a plan right now to consult students on what else students want to go in this building.”

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Thursday, June 1, 2017 | www.thesil.ca

Supporting each other within the Student Union The McMaster Students Union’s past troubles with supporting their employees and what is being done to mitigate the situation

Services, part-time managers and you Sasha Dhesi News Editor

The McMaster Students Union employs dozens of students through part-time positions in various services with flexible hours. These often attract the best and the brightest within the student union. But working for the student union is not without its own hiccups, and students are speaking up. Following the end of her term as part-time manager for the Peer Support Line, Zeinab Khawaja, a fourth-year Health Sciences student, presented a statement to the Student Representative Assembly. She expressed concerns about the expectations the MSU holds for their workers. In her statement, Khawaja argued that part-time managers have not received adequate training before their roles began and subsequently did not receive adequate support from their higher-ups. She took particular issue with the expectation many held for parttime managers that they would willingly work over their hours without compensation. “My job description contains the line ‘Time demands may exceed stated hours of work’ and there is an expectation that I will not be paid for this. This is unhealthy, unfair and quite probably in violation of labour laws,” she said at the SRA meeting on April 9.

Whether you were aware or not, you have probably used an MSU service at some point during your undergraduate career. The MSU offers over 30 services for all members. These range from leadership-oriented services such as the MSU Maroons and the Creating Leadership Among Youth conference to advocacy-driven services such as Diversity Services and Maccess, which aim to promote equity for marginalized groups on campus. MSU services are largely run by fellow students, many of whom work as parttime managers for the each service. Broadly speaking, parttime managers are in charge of hiring executives, managing finances and coordinating events for their service. Every service has specific needs and different services require different jobs from their respective part-time manager. For example, part-time managers for advocacy-related services such as the Women and Gender Equity Network and Diversity Services are often expected to work with other equity-related groups on campus such as the Ontario Public Research Group and the Presidents’ Advisory Council on Building an Inclusive Community. The majority of part-time managers are expected to work for roughly 10 to 14 hours per week depending on the service with the majority of their terms beginning May 1 and ending April 30. Some exceptions exist.

One manager’s experience Some part-time managers are paid for more hours such as the Emergency First Response Team director, or different, shorter terms for seasonal part-time managers such as the Shinerama Campaign coordinator whose job is finished after Welcome Week is over.

This is unhealthy, un fair and quite probably in violation of labour laws.” Zeinab Khawaja Fourth-year Health Sciences

Peer Support Line is an anonymous and confidential support line where any McMaster student may receive emotional support from trained volunteers. PSL saw a marked increase in usage this year, and Khawaja ran into new, unprecedented problems with her own safety being compromised at times due to her association with the service. “Our usage more than doubled from last year, meaning we were much busier than we have been in the past. I was repeatedly talking to security services/police because of certain unprecedented situations, and I often had to drop academics or other commitments to do so due to the urgency of the situation,” she said. To ensure the service ran smoothly and that her volunteers were also being supported, Khawaja had to work over her paid hours repeatedly. Because of this, she asked for retroactive pay from the Executive Board, the MSU committee responsible for the day-to-day operations of the student union. Khawaja asked for three extra hours per week from Sept. 1 to March 26, and was denied this request. This denial sparked her desire to speak up about her working conditions. In Khawaja’s last Executive Board report for PSL, she expressed her lack of compensation for the work she and her executive team had put in throughout the year, but received little support from the board. “When I shared the things

we were struggling with, I got no support. I explicitly said that I needed help with a few things, but there was no feedback, follow-up or guidance provided. In fact, none of the concerns I brought up at EB throughout the year were ever mentioned again unless I actively brought it up multiple times,” said Khawaja. “It feels like our dedication to our services is used against us, because it is known that we will continue to do the work and put in the hours even though we are not being compensated fairly for it. … Yet going above and beyond in our roles — something implicitly expected of a “good” part-time manager — is not rewarded, and instead deemed a ‘personal choice’ of the part-time manager that was never explicitly asked of us.” Khawaja also expressed concern about part-time manager training, since they were not explicitly trained to do the day-to-day activities expected from them such as filling out a purchase order, working with the MSU Underground for promotional material and booking spaces on campus. Many other part-time managers came to Khawaja to learn how to do these tasks. “These are basic tasks that all part-time managers have to be able to do. This not only indicates that the training provided to us did not prepare us for our jobs, but also that there wasn’t a supportive environment where part-time managers felt they could ask for help


www.thesil.ca | Thursday, June 1, 2017

What is being done

without fear of being judged,” she said. While Khawaja was the only part-time manager to speak at the SRA meeting, she states she has the support of other parttime managers who were not comfortable speaking up. “I didn’t ask anyone be included because I know it’s difficult and no one seemed very excited to be included. Some people explicitly said they didn’t want to be named. ... I’m someone who’s comfortable and it was really important to me to bring this to attention so that it would hopefully change, and I know that how other people feel,” she said.

While Khawaja was the only part-time manager to speak at the SRA meeting, she states she has the support of other parttime managers who were not comfortable speaking up.

Preethi Anbalagan, the current vice president (Administration), cannot comment on Khawaja’s statement since she is not at liberty to comment on closed meetings or disclose similar information. She does, however, plan to support part-time managers through various other means and pointed out that there are steps in place within the union to support part-time managers. All part-time managers are expected to report to the Executive Board, a committee consisting of the board of directors, some SRA members and some of the full-time MSU staff. Part-time managers are expected to meet with EB regularly and submit EB reports. These EB reports are typically two to four pages in length and discuss updates, service usage, budgeting, volunteer retention, successes and challenges and similar topics. “You do have that nine person panel, where you are supposed to talk about some of the challenges you face on a day-to-day basis or put them in the EB report so that nine people around that table are able to look at those challenges and provide some recommendations and how part-time managers can navigate the challenges they’re facing,” Anbalagan said. Anbalagan also plans to implement an anonymous feedback form where employees may comment on how she can improve in her role as their support. This will exist in tandem to the traditional one-on-ones vice presidents (Administration) have held in order to support their workers. At this time, however, it is unclear whether issues concerning compensation and unpaid hours will be addressed by the upper management of the MSU. Part-time managers continue to work diligently to ensure their services run smoothly and grow. With Khawaja’s statement ringing in the ears of the higher-ups, there is hope more safeguards will be put in place to maintain a more equitable work environment for all MSU employees.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017 | www.thesil.ca

A lack of racial data collection

McMaster is one of 63 Canadian universities that cannot provide a breakdown of its population Shane Madill Editor-in-Chief

In April, two reports based on racial equity in education involving data from the Toronto District School Board were published. These detailed a number of issues facing Black students including an increased likelihood of being streamed into non-academic programs, a higher likelihood of suspension due to attitude rather than behaviour and higher drop-out rates. These reports mainly concerned high school policies. These issues of racial equity are hypothesized to continue at a post-secondary level given that the pathways to this level have these concerns. The influence of high school policies can be observed, but the effects of universities’ policies cannot. As revealed by a CBC News investigation in March, 63 out of 76 Canadian universities could not provide a breakdown of their student populations by race. The data is not there to draw any conclusions from. “How can you decide if access programs are working if you have no way of measuring the population that should be most affected by these access policies?” said Karen Robson, head of the Gateway Cities team and the Ontario Research Chair in Educational Achievement and At-Risk Youth. The Gateway Cities Project, a four year program funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, is centered on examining the determinants of post-secondary pathways for high school students in five cities: Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago, New York and London, England. One of the main concerns brought up by Robson is this inability to access pathways from the perspective of Canadian post-secondary institutions. McMaster is one of the 63 could not provide a breakdown. They do not ask students to provide information about their racial identity. There are a few reasons why there is opposition to this in Canadian universities. The first is that there is misinformation about the legality of collecting the data. Concordia

How can you decide if access programs are working if you have no way of measuring the population that should be most affected by these access policies?”


Karen Robson Ontario Research Chair Educational Advancement and At-Risk Youth stated it is illegal to ask in Quebec in the CBC investigation, but this is not the case. Robson mentioned that there is a lot of misinformation that universities have about the legality of asking for data even if they did not state this upfront. “A lot of administration believes that collecting race data is a violation of human rights when in fact, it is not. I don’t know where this came from, I really don’t, and it’s a total red herring.” The “Policy and guidelines on racism and racial discrimination” paper created by the Ontario Human Rights Commission, approved in 2005, mentions that the collection of data about race is permissible and recommended. The second issue is the threat of being seen as racist. The investigation stated Mount Royal University had this worry, and University of Waterloo explained it does not collect the data because the school does not discriminate based on race or any other grounds. “It’s not so surprising that we’re not collecting race data if we can’t even have conversations about race without feeling like we might be being racist just by talking about it,” said Robson. There appears to be some progress being made at McMaster towards collecting data. “McMaster’s not particularly special in that they don’t collect race data. … I’m working with admin on retention strategies. I have brought this up, and they are receptive to collecting this kind of data,” said Robson.



CONTACT TIM SCHOFFER, TODAY! University Property Management Services: Phone: 905.304.8075 Email: houses@machousing.com


www.thesil.ca | Thursday, June 1, 2017



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The Silhouette’s next steps We made a lot of changes last year based on your feedback. Here’s what’s next Shane Madill Editor-in-Chief

Last year was great. After the results of our Silvision campaign back in early 2016, we started the process of bettering our content with the advice given from readers who took the time to let us know what they think. If you contributed to this, we appreciate it. Most notably, your feedback helped us with the direction for two of our four current major print sections. Merging Lifestyle with ANDY to create a more conventional Arts & Culture section and refocusing the majority of the content to Hamilton helped raise the quality and relevancy of the paper. The previously broad nature of Opinion was something that I agreed had to be changed as the section’s editor last year. We believed it was single-handedly bringing down the reputation of the paper. The section hasn’t had bad or even average editors in the past, far from it, but it was an unfocused mess that meant nothing except an article or two to be embarrassed about publishing every week. Focusing on McMaster and topics related to McMaster students has resulted in a large deal of success.


The Silhouette

We respect that this was only the beginnings of laying the foundation. You should expect those sections in particular to continue to improve in the future. However, I anticipate there would be a few issues with doing a similar feedback campaign now. We might do it later in the year, don’t get me wrong, but hear me out for a second. The main worry is that we have no real way of getting feedback from the average reader. If you have cared enough to reply about feedback in any situation, then you have cared more than the majority of people. We received a decent number of responses, but it was low compared to the thousands of copies printed per issue and the stupidly high amount of people who use the website. Maybe investment in the product has increased since retailoring the sections, but I don’t want to get trapped continuously catering to our hardcore readers and forgetting a silent majority. Let us experiment and take the initiative for a bit. The promises and plans for the upcoming year are based on a few educated guesses about what you like. We swapped out a News Reporter position and added another Production Coordina-

tor position. Our news content should not suffer as we can accept more volunteer pieces than last year, but the quality of our layouts will increase. The quality of articles should also increase as section editors will have more time to dedicate to writing, editing and volunteer management. A full-time CFMU/Sil position will be hired. This person will aid in video, graphic design and online to increase quality and quantity across the board while increasing collaboration with partners around campus. You should expect more videos and lots of other multimedia to come. Our online schedule will no longer be bound by our print. Instead of a mass of articles on Thursday, you will see new articles uploaded Monday to Thursday during the fall and winter terms. This one will take a bit of time, but we’ll get there. Those are the big ones. We are not planning a complete revamp like last year, but we are going to improve on the fundamentals and see what happens. The bottom line is that you should continue to expect more. @theSilhouette

We are hiring! We have a spot open for a paid part-time News Reporter. The position is open for McMaster students taking 18 units or more. Deadline is June 23. Visit msumcmaster.ca/jobs to find the job description!

Rejected headlines “Mo’ PTMs, mo’ problems” “Managers in Paris — That shit cray” “Little big bowls filled with good stuff” “The fiend scream teen green screen zine of Hamilton” “Here’s Scotty!” “Tatham and the boys — Cracking open a cold championship”

to taking on big ticket to hitchhiking and thumbing things irl to Monday night chicken winds to May 26 to plates to the fact early 2017 is almost here

to the HSR summer bus schedule to summer jobs only lasting three weeks to my eyes hurting after leaving the basement to DOORS MAY BE HARD TO OPEN to large windows

to The Mighty Ducks, the underappreciated trilogy

to people who punch the wrong phone extension in

to the number of incoming students who want to contribute

to med school. Stop stealing our staff

to Koop

to varied temperatures in MUSC

to gymtroverts

to no decoration

to cleanliness

to hot dogs in unusual places

to Pop Punk Nightmares to pillows to you, the fans

to these youths making too much noise to scheduling delays

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The Silhouette

Opinion Guaranteed residence requirements McMaster’s guaranteed residence policy assumes high school never ends Rachel Katz Managing Editor

The beginning of June is an exciting time for Grade 12 students in Ontario. The first of the month marks the final day they are able to accept an offer to a university program and the beginning of the end of high school starts to feel real. For future Marauders, June 1 is also the deadline for applying to residence. Students with academic averages above a certain point, 83.33 per cent for the 2017-18 school year, are guaranteed a spot in on-campus accommodation for their first year. Those with averages below this point are also welcome to apply. They are not assured a place in residence and may spend a large portion of the summer before beginning university in housing limbo: unsure of whether or not to sign a lease or take a gamble that they will make it to the top of the residence waiting list. There are several reasons why this is a poor, outdated system, but many of these shortcomings are intertwined. In order for these initiatives to have some gravitas on campus, the university needs to acknowledge, right from the beginning of a student’s first year, that they are worth more to McMaster as an institution than a student number and a grade point average. As instances of mental illness and stress levels related to academics continue to rise, slogans about how students are more than their academic performance appear in support spaces from online communities to campus services. Multiple McMaster Students Union services, including the Student Health Education Centre and MSU Spark, lead initiatives that encourage students to have a balanced lifestyle that includes schoolwork, but not at the exclusion of everything else. Currently, McMaster sends the opposite message for the


arts faculties, Humanities and Social Sciences, along with Biotechnology and Process Automation. These are the only first year programs that admit students with academic averages below the 83.33 required for guaranteed residence. Other programs have acceptance averages around the residence cutoff, but none are clearly below that point. For reference, Humanities and Social Sciences require a 75 per cent average. Process Automation and Biotechnology each require a 78. These are completely respectable averages that students need to work hard to achieve. By granting these students admission, but not guaranteeing them residence, the university sends the message that it values these students, but not as much as someone with a slightly higher GPA. For arts students, this message coupled with the newly opened L.R. Wilson Hall and the revamping of the

Faculty of Humanities brand sends a confusing message to incoming students about how much McMaster actually cares about what they have to offer the campus community. This system of “who’s-inwho’s-out” of residence can be equally uncomfortable for those relatively few first-year students from these programs who do end up in on-campus housing. I lived in Les Prince Hall in my first year, and I think I can name almost all the other arts students in my building. In a building of almost 400 students, there were that few of us. It was one of the reasons I was never comfortable in residence, and if I could do my first year over knowing that I would be one of so few Humanities I students in my residence, I would likely have considered other options more carefully. The structures of high school and university education are different. Students who flourished in high school

Basing a first year’s projected university success on their high school marks is about as relevant to their deservingness of a residence space as household income. may burn out in university, while those with less impressive averages may flourish in the post-secondary environment. Basing a first year’s projected university success on their high school marks is about as relevant to their deservingness of a residence space as household income. The irksome thing about

McMaster’s current residence admission policy is how easy it is to fix. Currently, McMaster cannot guarantee every interested student a spot in residence; something the university is working on with the construction of the Living Learning Centre and other residence initiatives. Until then, instead of having an entire system based on high school GPA, all incoming first years interested in residence could be entered in a lottery for residence space. If the university wanted to continue some kind of “reward” for students with higher averages, they could be guaranteed their first or second choice room style. High school students should be rewarded for the hard work they put into their final year of studies prior to post-secondary education. But none should feel like their admission to McMaster has less merit than someone else’s.

T H E 2 1 ST A N N U A L


All proceeds will benefit the MSU Shinerama Campaign and the MSU Child Care Centre


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The Silhouette

Thursday, June 1, 2017 | www.thesil.ca

Arts & Culture Unbeliva-bowl food on John Two new restaurants promise healthy, on-the-go meals without breaking the bank Shane Madill Editor-in-Chief

Over on 225 John Street South, these two different concepts are located in the same place with the same chefs with a similar emphasis on fast, healthy food served in bowls. All the ingredients are locally supplied. All the bowls are light on your stomach. The most surprising part is that all promise to be wellpriced, high quality options with plenty of quantity without any of these attributes lacking. Little Big Bowl, open from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., focuses on breakfast options with yogurt and fruit bases. These can include things like pomegranate, toasted coconut, starfruit, coco nib and espresso granola. Simple, well-crafted bowls that are a step above what you would expect first thing in the day. It is described as the little-brother of Eatwell. Eatwell, open from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., focuses on lunch and dinner time with different vegetarian and meat options. This also includes the ability to tailor your meal the way you want it with selectable options like semolina noodles, char grilled peppers with aged vinegar, steamed shrimp salad

with lemon and pink pepper and a classic demi-glace sauce with Madeira wine.

“... it doesn’t have to be your run of the mill food. It can be using fresh, seasonal ingredients, ever evolving and that’s really good for you, really healthy and full of flavour.” Josh Wortley, Restaurant Chef Little Big Bowl/Eatwell

With both of these concepts, there is a large deal of confidence when it comes to finding the balance between speed, quantity and quality. “You end up getting about a litres worth of food for the price. So where we want them to get that fast, casual brand style of food, it doesn’t have to be your run of the mill food. It can be using fresh, seasonal

ingredients, ever evolving and that’s really good for you, really healthy and full of flavour,” said Josh Wortley, the Restaurant Chef for the location. Wortley previously worked as an Executive Chef at the Hair of the Dog Pub and Beerbistro, which are both located in downtown Toronto. Despite this Toronto background, he is excited about making his mark on the Hamilton food scene. “The amount of restaurants that have opened up, and the quality as well of the restaurants that have opened up, it’s starting to put Toronto to shame, almost. ... It’s great to be a part of that, and it’s great to starting something that hopefully will be a cornerstone of the food scene to come.” Josh Wortley will be working with the Executive Chef Mark Andrew Brown, best known for his work in Waterloo winning awards for Best Food at the 2015 Kitchener-Waterloo Food and Wine Show and Top Restaurant at the Waterloo Region Iron Chef Competition, on both of the concepts. @shanemadill


The Silhouette

www.thesil.ca | Thursday, June 1, 2017

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Searching for Petronius Totem Humourous and absurd, Unwin’s newest novel adds Hamilton flair to ridiculous situations Shane Madill Editor-in-Chief

In humour, the want to stay fresh and unique should always be present. If you steal jokes or concepts, you are deemed a plagiarist. If your topics lack originality, you are uninspired. What separates a good comedian from a great comedian is how well they can make relatable events extraordinary and how they communicate its amusement and uniqueness without losing what the audience identifies with. Peter Unwin’s newest novel, Searching for Petronius Totem, finds this balance with Hamilton flair. The basic premise is grounded and simple. The main character, Jack, retreats to a rooming house in Hamilton, then sets off across the country find his life-long colleague who has disappeared after his memoir was revealed to be filled with lies. There is also some understandable tension between Jack and his wife, who will likely shoot him on sight should he ever return home. Nothing is too out of the ordinary when it comes to a premise, and would make a decent novel with that base to work with. However, the more substantial situation at hand is what will likely catch your attention. The world is being taken over by a multi-national Fibre-Optic Catering business that creates chicken-like food matter that flies. It is absurd. “There’s a certain sort of repetitive quality to novel writing now. It tends to tell the same story with the same degree of earnestness, and I definitely did not want that. I wanted something that broke the mold,” said Unwin. It works because of the attention to detail given to the basic premise. Even aspects as seemingly minor as the main characters being from Hamilton and a decent portion of the book taking place in the city have consistent influences throughout the novel. The dialect, how each character is perceived and the mannerisms of those characters are all affected. “There’s a hierarchy of hipness or something about where we stand. Hamilton’s sort of gloriously outside of that hierarchy. Middle finger, we don’t


care where we stand, we’re the Hammer, and this is us.” As Jack travels across the country, this manages to come up time and time again. The reputation that Toronto and Ontario has plays into the book’s humour on top of these mannerisms. Even though Hamilton is portrayed as being outside of that hierarchy, there remains resentment when people misinterpret where the characters are from or stereotype them as a result. It becomes a clever and realistic gag that comes up consistently in the middle of preposterous situations. “People are proud of where they’re from regardless of how small the town is or how ugly. And that sort of pride in place, like when Jack goes to Vancouver, he just thinks Vancouver is a backwater. He’s from Hamilton. It could never be as good as Hamilton.” This attention to detail remains present in its absurdity. This Hamilton influence continues to be a key factor in largerthan-life situations. It becomes a way of interpreting edible flying mechanical chickens as a metaphor, and most of the humour can hit home even when it does not initially feel like you can identify with it. “To a large extent, the book is about things coming to an end, like a dystopia, end of the world type of book, getting there. And also, in a sense, the end of the novel or the death of the novel. You set this within Hamilton, it’s fair to say it has

this reputation that’s passed now, is a city that’s suffered from this breakdown in industrialized industry.” Honestly, it is unknown if someone outside of southern Ontario or Canada would

find the novel funny. While you could relate through other points, this is a home-grown and tailor-made novel for its audience, and it is unapologetic about being locally focused. It is not for everyone. How-

ever, considering you are reading an Arts & Culture article in a student newspaper that attempts to cater all of its content for the students of McMaster and the Hamilton community, it is likely that you will like it.





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Thursday, June 1, 2017 | www.thesil.ca

The zine scene of Hamilton

Five people, five perspectives on finding a voice in an inclusive community Adrianna Michell Contributor

The city of Hamilton is often associated with art, growth and income disparity, and all of these are reflected in the self-publishing scene. Specifically, zines offer local artists, writers and creatives not only a venue for expression, but a community as well. Zines grew from the basements of outcast punk rockers to the photo clipping scattered floors of underrepresented creatives everywhere. Self-published works are made and disseminated unprofessionally, and often through friend circles, organizations or through specific shops like record stores and niche bookstores. Zines can cover many themes, but are generally an art form of subversion where artists are able to share ideas not seen in mainstream forms of media. The artists that live and work with Hamilton use zines to interact with the politics of the city. Unique voices and perspectives outside of what is acceptable on the shelves of bookstores can be freely shared.

Phoebe Taylor As a Hamilton based OCAD university alum, illustrator and printmaker, Phoebe Taylor uses zines as autobiographical works. Her experience in the world as a woman is the thesis of her self-published material. This comes through as she collects her words and illustrations, and sometimes decorates them with dollar store gemstones.

I think zines are a form of being pissed off, right? Phoebe Taylor OCAD university alum, illustrator and printmaker

“I guess its like hyper-femininity,” Taylor says of the 3D component of her zines, “... that’s just another way of [representing myself]. It’s just like a little piece of me that I’m putting into it.” “[Self-publishing] for me, it’s definitely making an artwork that is 100 per cent self-serving and something I can share with somebody that isn’t necessarily to represent ... a fully formed idea. ... [It’s] like when you’ve got an itch and you just need to get it out of your system.” While the personal self-expression of zines is important to Taylor, so is the community that she has built through these creative works. Taylor connects to creators on Instagram and is in touch with the Toronto artist community, but her favourite is the Hamilton Feminist Zine Fair. The Sexual Assault Centre of Hamilton and Area, a centre that provides services to survivors and community events, organizes the fair each year to showcase marginalized voices. The free event has allowed Taylor to meet zine-makers and local artists as well as readers who resonate with her messages. “[SACHA’s zine fair is] an environment where everyone is willing to give you a little bit of themselves,” Taylor says. “[It’s] a lot of giving and receiving of love.” Despite the love that Taylor has experienced at zine fairs, she also realizes the political nature the format. “I think zines are a form of being pissed off, right? ... I’d be curious in the next few years what people have to say about, you know Hamilton’s LRT. ... I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody’s writing about gentrification of downtown.”

Amy Edgerdeen After moving to Hamilton in 2013, Amy Edgerdeen has found community through self-publishing. As a cofounder of SACHA’s feminist zine fair,

she knows the importance of connecting with others in the community over arts-based activities. Edgerdeen is an artist, bookmaker and community worker. Edgerdeen works in women’s shelters and youth groups to facilitate self-expression through art. In her zines and other art works, Edgerdeen includes themes of “feminism, imagined futures [and] storytelling.” “I want to focus on creating spaces for people to be involved in their own storytelling.” Edgerdeen likes the passion that goes into zine making. Without the incentive of money or a large audience creators are able to express ideas outside of popular conversations. Zines allow people to talk about things that they have strong feelings about, and topics that may not have a place among the bookstands. “I love that they exist outside of commercial media, which means you don’t see ads. No one is trying to make you buy something. You can be honest and speak your mind. ... Zines are about freedom.” Collaboration is important in Edgerdeen’s creative process. Through the collaborative zines Edgerdeen facilitates in women’s shelters and annually at the HFZF, she is able to use her skills to help others share their stories. Collaborative zines are able to gather a variety of lived

I want to focus on creating spaces for people to be involved in their own storytelling. Amy Edgerdeen Feminist zine fair cofounder SACHA

experiences into one art piece, and therefore are a community building practice. By curating zines that source material from local artists, shelters and youth groups, Edgerdeen allows underrepresented groups to come together and share their ideas. “The zine and politically engaged communities in Hamilton, like most places, have a lot of overlap. Lots of zine makers are also on the front lines of fighting against inequality and injustices.”

Sahra Soudi “Zines typically have narratives that aren’t shown, and usually those narratives come from marginalized voices, and I think that’s important,” says artist, activist and third year multimedia student Sahra Soudi. Soudi has displayed their narrative-based zines at HFZF and has space at HAVN. They are currently working on a zine that revolve around themes of uncertainty as well as their personal experiences in Hamilton and regarding oppressions. Their zine is about “overcoming assimilation and then turning that into revolutionary thought.” While zines provide Soudi an outlet for their ideas, they note that their narrative would not be shown in large bookstores or more mainstream, monetized forms of publication. Soudi connects the tradition of trading zines to the political issue of gentrification. Soudi looks at “art exchange and art trading as opposed to very capitalist exchange with money, like currency and art, and the importance of that, then comparing that to themes of marginalized struggles.” “Within my art practices ... [I include] community organizing,” Soudi says. “I seek for communities who do the same work, and I also seek other people who do the same work.” Soudi uses their art works, zines included, as activism.

Zines typically have narratives that aren’t shown, and usually those narratives come from marginalized voices, and I think that’s important. Sahra Soudi Artist, activist and student Third year multimedia

“I guess with zines, I don’t want to say it’s combative, but it is. ... and so it almost always seems appropriate for Hamilton to be a part of [that].”

Jessica Felicity Jessica Felicity is a Hamilton based artist and community organizer. Currently attending Ryerson University for English, Felicity uses zines as a way to reclaim conversations she has felt excluded from because of her identity as a Black femme. “You can do whatever you want with a zine. It’s pretty much free space. It lets me have more of a voice.” Zines allow Felicity to carve out space for herself within the Hamilton arts community, but the medium also allows her to confront the systems that exclude marginalized artists. “[Zines] combat popular media with different, alternative messages, because you can just make a zine by yourself.” Regardless of how politicized or personal her zines are Felicity always bases her work in real experience. “The foundation is truth. You need the truth, not filtered, edited versions. I think with

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zines also it doesn’t have to be curated through an oppressive lense. It’s more free, like everyone’s true and messy selves.”

Dr. Emily Bennett N.D. Dr. Emily Bennett is a naturopathic doctor and birth doula that runs a community wellness centre on the west side of Hamilton. Ever since the wellness centre, Island Island, opened its doors, it has had zines displayed in the waiting room in place of traditional magazines. With poetry and illustration replacing fad diets and home décor, Bennett has given a space for zines to be presented to an otherwise unwitting audience. “I wanted [to] offer a variety of reading material on topics that wouldn’t normally be covered in journals or magazines. Things that are a bit more niche, personal stories, stuff that would make people feel comfortable when they came in and saw their unique experience reflected in the reading material.” Bennett’s centre offers community acupuncture and services on a sliding scale in order to accommodate people who may otherwise find the help they need inaccessible. “Zines relate to wellness in that they are a vehicle for personal expression and maybe processing things that are challenging. ... I kind of see zines as one of the many tools for dealing with things that could be challenging in our life or

traumatic.” Zines as self-published and financially accessible material relates to Bennett’s sliding scale practice, as both are able to connect people, regardless of economic situation, to community and wellness. “It’s not infrequent for zines to be sold on a sliding scale or for barter or pay what you can or that sort of thing, so it does kind of match our overall aesthetic that we’re trying to operate outside of the conventional consumer system with the way we offer our services. And I think zines kind of reflect that as well.” Zines hold a history of Hamilton’s artists in their messy, photocopied pages. Excluded artists and uncreative folks alike can find community through the collaboration that goes into the creation and dissemination of the medium. Zines aren’t a James Street North novelty, and they aren’t going anywhere.



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Thursday, June 1, 2017 | www.thesil.ca

Scott Helman’s return Three years after his EP, he returned to talk about his new album and his progression and growth as a person Shane Madill Editor-in-Chief

When we interviewed Scott Helman three years ago, he was a young Torontonian on the rise after the release of his EP, Augusta, and his major label debut. There were a few consistent themes from then that persist to today. His inspirations such as Leonard Cohen, his enjoyment for songwriting and his talent all remain. One of the most curious things since our interview three years ago, however, is his development as a person. It is obvious that Helman has grown in a positive way and matured over the years leading up to his first major studio album, Hotel de Ville, released on May 12. “At the time, I felt like everything was given birth from art. I felt that art was the starting point of everything. I know I’m being super conceptual, but I felt that art was the point and that everything was the result of it.” These larger concepts are continuously on Helman’s mind when looking back at his development. His main inspirations have continued to lead him towards the history of music and its influence over the decades, and ponder what songwriting means to him and the world as a whole. This internalization of ideas and the perspective he has as a successful artist has changed his thoughts about music and the industry as a whole. “Now, after having been a songwriter and artist for enough time, I feel like it’s the other way around. Life happens,

then art is the byproduct, and that’s when art is beautiful is when it is the soundtrack and not the focal point.” This comes through in his newest album. While most of the tracks are upbeat and enjoyable to listen to no matter what the mood is, there is almost always a double meaning or hidden depth to it. It works with a strong balancing act. He incorporates his own life and uses art as a way to process it, think about it and work through it. His continued idealism feels natural in his songs despite these larger, heavier considerations. “If I make a song where those things exist strongly, I feel like I’ve succeeded. ... I definitely feel like that is a central focus of my music to make that a reality.” Over the years, he has received Juno nominations and success on a national scale across Canada, but seems to remain grounded. He has been involved in an organization called The Global Class where he talked with students in Durham, Zambia and St. Petersburg, Russia about music’s influence around the world. His microsite called Solve the Solvable continues to promote the exchange of ideas on how to take local action to contribute to global issues no matter how big or small they may be. Despite all of this, the music will always be first. “I think music is always there for you, and that’s why it’s so beautiful.” He plays at Club Absinthe on June 8.



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Sports Tatham time for men’s basketball The 2016 Coach of the Year brings his talents to Mac


Shane Madill Editor-in-Chief

The results speak for themselves. After being added as an assistant coach in 2010 to the Ryerson Rams, the team achieved consistent Ontario University Athletics Final Four and Quarter-Finals appearances. The Rams continued to surpass high expectations when he served as interim head coach in 2015-16 to win the Rams’ first Wilson Cup title as OUA champions. U SPORTS, known as Canadian Interuniversity Sport at the time, awarded him the Stu Aberdeen Trophy as Coach of the Year. Tatham is the only Ryerson coach in its program’s history to be awarded the honour. He then took a professional development leave from Ryerson for the 2016-17 season to become an assistant coach with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League, affiliated with the Boston Celtics. They reached the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in its

short history before losing to the eventual champions, the Raptors 905. While McMaster has had a successful program in the past, Tatham’s hiring brings a new hope to return to the upper echelon of Canadian men’s basketball programs. “Patrick has established himself as one of the rising stars among all Canadian basketball coaches and we are looking forward to his building on the great tradition of McMaster Marauder basketball,” said McMaster Director of Athletics and Recreation Glen Grunwald. This tradition and established history of the program at McMaster is something that Tatham mentioned is on the forefront of his mind. “I think that anytime you get an opportunity you get an opportunity to leave your mark on a program, especially one like Mac, it’s a no brainer. I can’t even use excited anymore, I’m so elated.” Tatham also cited Joe Raso, who served the Marauders as

the coach from 1992 to 2010 and achieved 12 national championship tournament placements, as a source of inspiration. Since then, Amos Connolly led the team to a 151-66 record over his seven-year tenure as Head Coach, and received the OUA West Coach of the Year award in 2014 after leading McMaster to a third place finish in the conference. He will remain in the program as a Recruiting Coordinator and Player Development Specialist. “Changing roles, while it may be unconventional, provides me the opportunity to stay connected to this great program in a way that lines up with my strengths and goals as a coach,” said Connolly. This ability to recruit is evident when looking back at what he helped accomplish for the program. First-year players Adam Presutti and Rohan Boney won OUA West Rookie of the Year honours in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Presutti also won the Dr. Peter Mullins Trophy as U SPORTS Rookie of

“Hands down, there’s an OUA championship or at least an OUA final four birth in the next three years. There’s no ifs, ands or buts, that’s a must.” Patrick Tatham Head coach Men’s basketball the Year as McMaster’s first-ever winner of the award. Though the team had a disappointing season last year, they finished with an 8-11 conference record, became plagued with injuries to top players and failed to make the OUA Final Four, Tatham acknowledged the positives he has to work with. “The foundation of the men’s basketball program is rock solid…. I think it’s all set up in the right way now.”

Connor Gilmore, who earned a spot on the OUA FirstTeam All-Star list, and David McCulloch, the team’s minutes leader and a model of consistency, will both return for their fourth years. Tatham steps into his role with a young roster that wants to succeed on a provincial and national level. Tatham’s resume, the program’s former pedigree and the current state of the team should come with high expectations. Though the team has not achieved an OUA final four since the 2013-14 season, Tatham responded with enthusiasm when asked about his expectations over the next three years. “Hands down, there’s an OUA championship or at least an OUA final four birth in the next three years. There’s no ifs, ands or buts, that’s a must.” Moving forward, Tatham will also be working with Canada Basketball as the assistant coach for the Cadet Men’s National Team over the next two summers.

RIOTS AT STUDENT NEWSPAPER 80s Power Hour replaced with Emo Forever as civil war looms AF1



HAMILTON SPECULATOR Standing at the dance floor ’s outsk ir ts since 1934

June 1, 2017


Local incoming freshman attempted to reinvent self

They ended up with the same persona. No one is surprised SAINT PETER VEGAS Blessed be your Motown Wednesdays

Taylor Keihanaikukauakahihulihe’ekahaunaele, 18, thought it would be a good idea to start the rebrand while transitioning to university. New experiences with new social situations and lots of possibilities awaited, and this called for a new, better version of themselves. After two weeks, it turned out to be harder than originally thought. “One minute I’m eating junk food and slacking off, the next I’m still slacking off and eating junk food. I never saw it coming.” Kei started off small with minor adjustments with a promise to get back into running long-distance and drinking exclusively from boxed water instead of plastic bottles. These, unfortunately, required effort and were replaced by low effort solutions. This mirrored their state before the attempted rebrand. What a coincidence. While Kei did not end up making any changes to their regular schedule, the moments of inspiration continued. “What if I finally got my shit together? Life would be so good. Becky with the good hair would fall for me.” These often occurred during that weird lull at house parties. Not the first one where people who no one knows start showing up or the second one where someone passes out early on a random couch, but the third one where the host starts cleaning and people do not take the hint to go home. Periods like this were often followed up with drunk crying, and saying “I’ll miss you all so

THE ARTIST IN HIS STUDIO BY REMBRANDT. Haha, get it? See, crossing out the M and the T makes it so the painting is by “Rebrand,” which is what the subject of the article is trying to do. It could also be an allegory to how Taylor Keihanaikukauakahihulihe’ekahaunaele is considering what is on the canvas of their life without actually taking action. What a great piece of art that has been adapted for satirical means! #deep

much next year” while the host became increasingly agitated. When asked the next day about the incident, Kei would always state they had no recollection of the event because they were totally trashed. When it comes to these recent rounds of inspiration, Kei was inspired to leave behind a ridiculous last name. It was often shortened to “That name isn’t white enough for me” by future Queen’s University students. They feel as though students at the university level will not care if Kei is too embarrassed to mention it in the first place.

POLL: is Riverdale a good show? Yes

Why are you asking this?


If Jughead starts to crush more burgers, it will be

Kei also wants to leave behind a legacy of awkward moments. These mainly consist of moments they will spontaneously remember five years from now while trying to fall asleep. This not the first time they have been inspired with minimal follow up. New year’s resolutions, the start of each school year and that one time Becky slapped them in the face out of disgust have also led to mini-existentialist crises. The only progress that has been made is the music they listen to after each one. Well, progress is a strong word.

“I’ve moved on from childish bands like Fall Out Boy to the more mature and classic nuisances of My Chemical Romance. They understand what I’m going through more. They really get me, you know?” You can follow this story as it develops through their social media accounts as they post an introduction to the Class of 2021 – McMaster University – Official Verified, attempt witty jokes on Twitter before deleting them if they do not receive enough favourites and through their Snapchat stories containing wacky fun times at their parents’ house over the summer.


PER ISSUE: A tip about how you can use this issue to wipe up spilt water in an emergency

Tweets to the Editor THIS CANNOT CONTINUE

This hooligan of an EIC keeps blasting music and it’s ruining my workflow.


- Jason, 34, local janitor

Disclaimer: The Hamilton Speculator is a work of satire and fiction and should not under any circumstances be taken seriously. Please do not contact us with complaints about how relatable it is. That is just a coincidence, Thomas.

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The Silhouette — June 1, 2017  

In our first issue of Volume 88, we look into part time managers at Mac and what is being done to help our services. Opinion talks grades an...

The Silhouette — June 1, 2017  

In our first issue of Volume 88, we look into part time managers at Mac and what is being done to help our services. Opinion talks grades an...

Profile for thesil