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The Silhouette


Est. 1930

VOLUME 82, NO. 25

Drummond report reconsidered Kacper Niburski

Assistant News Editor

Jeff Trzeciak, McMaster’s University Librarian, will be ending his term on June 30


Adapting to the times Think you know Mills or Thode inside and out? With expansions, donations and collaborations, it’s a never-ending task to keep Mac libraries up to date and up to standards Farzeen Foda

Senior News Editor

Libraries are no longer storage depots for rows upon rows of books – in modern education, knowledge is increasingly outsourced to the World Wide Web. As the books that were once the essence of libraries become rare commodities, libraries must adapt to change rather than get buried beneath the dust of its bookshelves.

In this mission, Jeff Trzeciak, University Librarian, has been instrumental in keeping pace with changes in education and how those changes are reflected in the use of library space at McMaster. Trzeciak will, after 16 years at McMaster, be leaving his position to join Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri as chief librarian. He came to McMaster in 1996. He has since undertaken numerous projects to revitalize the Univer-

sity’s libraries. He identifies four primary domains to which his efforts have extended: McMaster students, other universities, donors and University faculties. In close collaboration with students and the McMaster Students Union (MSU), he has worked to maintain the focus on the student experience with every undertaking. “I am proud of the fact that we have been so student-focused,” he said of the recent developments to

the libraries, explaining that much of those changes have been in response to student requests. A strong student-body push for 24-hour library space during the exam period came as MSU president, Matthew Dillon-Leitch kept study space at the top of his agenda. Trzeciak explained that such an effort on behalf of students was the primary driving force • PLEASE SEE OLD, A4

Students will have to dig deeper into their pockets come next year. On March 8, Glen Murray, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, announced a cap raise on tuition fees by at least five per cent. This comes just 22 days after Don Drummond, chair of Commission of Reform of Ontario’s Public Services, proposed a report to mitigate financial deficits by remodeling education through a standard, universal fee for all students. If the Drummond report were implemented, many believe it would spell a loss of millions in revenue, punching a hole in an already financially tight system, and yield a loss of autonomy for Universities. For others, though, the response varied. The Drummond report tackled a very realistic problem: an ever-increasing enrolment at University. If the Province does not address this issue, sacrifices will be inevitable, most of which come to tuition grants. The proposal was scrapped on March 8, however. The Ministry instead hopes to solve – or at least delay – the problems by raising the tuition five per cent across the board. The five per cent annual increase gives universities greater autonomy in that they have flexibility to adjust individual program fees. As per the report, the increase will provide universities with extra revenue at a time when the government is expected to constrain funding. Current estimates place the funding increases to 1.5 per cent annually – a low amount, given the rate at which universities are growing. Students have expressed a sigh of relief to the news. Jessica Teicher, a second year Arts and Science student, was just glad that the announcement “delays drastic surges in tuition fees.” The current funding framework, however, has been in place since 2006, and has resulted a tuition increase of $1,480, according to Statistics Canada. This fails to mention that Ontario already has the highest average tuition of $6,640.

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PRESIDENT’S PAGE Katie Ferguson VP (Administration)

Duncan Thompson VP (Finance)

Matthew Dillon-Leitch President

Alicia Ali VP (Education)

STUDENTS SET TO RECOGNIZE THE BEST INSTRUCTORS OF 2011/2012 MSU Teaching Awards Ceremony – March 21st, 2012

Alicia Ali VP (Education) ext. 24017

The 2011-2012 MSU Teaching Awards Ceremony is next week, and I’d like to take this opportunity to personally invite everyone to this incredibly significant event. A year of nominations, class evaluations and overall enthusiasm has culminated in this celebrated occasion where we as students take an evening to recognize excellent teaching. The event will include remarks from senior administration including President and Vice Chancellor Dr. Patrick Deane, Provost and Vice President (Academic) Dr. Ilene Busch-Vishniac and Associate Vice President (Academic) Dr. Peter Smith. In addition, many students will have an opportunity to give thanks and honour the best professors across all faculty lines, as determined by students. TAC solicits student feedback

each semester from within the undergraduate population. TAC then identifies trends in the nominations, short-listing the most nominated professors across the various faculties. In person class evaluations are then conducted and the winners of MSU Teaching Awards are chosen based on a committee decision. The evening will focus heavily on recognizing the importance of teaching quality, through the bestowment of the Merit Award as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, one award for outstanding education will be given to a professor from each faculty. The event is a chance for us, as students to reflect on the personal experiences we have had with our professors and the lasting effect that teaching can have on the overall student experience. Please join us for an evening of students recognizing the incredible work that our professors continue to put into this institution and our education. All are welcome to the MSU Teaching Awards on Wednesday, March 21 from 6-9pm in Gilmour Hall 111, (Council Chambers). Appetizers will be served.


Matthew Dillon-Leitch President ext. 23885

This past weekend, McMaster was home to the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) Spring General Assembly. From March 9 – 11, approximately 60 students from nine different student associations across Ontario came together to debate and discuss policy decisions that will affect the large majority of undergraduate students over the next few years. The weekend began with an introduction from Provost and Vice President (Academic) Dr. Ilene BuschVishniac, followed by a presentation from the McMaster University Student Wellness Centre. In addition, students had a chance to set the discourse around three of our policy papers – student health, student mobility and mature students.

Within student health, the major aspects of the paper were campus health services, mental health, accessibility services, first year transition, international students, health promotion, as well as racialized, aboriginal and LGBTQ students. Each OUSA paper is composed of principles, concerns and recommendations that we then utilize to lobby the provincial government. In particular, some of our key recommendations included the creation of a comprehensive strategy on enhanced health service provision that includes institutions, student organizations and other sector stakeholders, as well as dedicated government funding for student health clinics on campus. The paper went on to cover the importance of funding for system-wide initiatives aimed at improving the mental health of postsecondary students and enhancing the transition phase from secondary school to post-secondary education. Finally, one of the most important considerations in the paper was the recommendation to have the Ontario government change the definition of disability to better reflect the episodic

nature of mental illness and ensure students suffering from mental health can still benefit from accessibility services, appropriate academic accommodations and student financial assistance. The discussions surrounding student mobility focused heavily on credit transfer between universities and from college to university, with particular emphasis on facilitating a simple, easy, free-flowing system within the post-secondary sector. Currently in Ontario, there is no standardization when transferring institutions, and it is up to the individual student to appeal when credits are not transferred over to the new institution. More often than not, institutions are unwilling to transfer credits from a different school based on varying sets of criteria, fostering a system of mobility that is completely inaccessible. Specifically, minimum grade requirements sometimes prevent students who have demonstrated sufficient knowledge to successfully complete a class from transferring earned credits to their new degree. Currently, the Ontario Council for Articulation and Transfer


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

(ONCAT) is working to facilitate and support academic collaboration and the development of transfer pathways amongst Ontario’s publicly funded colleges and universities. Our policy paper cites a commitment to working together on that front. Following the breakout sessions where we discussed our policy papers, there was also a visit from local MPP and Minister of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs Ted McMeekin, as well as MPP Rob Leone, PC Critic for the Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities. Discussions on the Drummond Report, future policy for the organization (northern & rural students, student financial assistance and students with disabilities) and a presentation on the survey results from the Quality of Education Assessment were all large priorities of conversation throughout the three-day conference weekend. The weekend was a clear indication that the McMaster Students Union is committed to putting forward educated solutions for a more accessible, affordable and higher quality postsecondary education system.



International Development

GCC inspires a challenge to ‘action-ism’ Julia Redmond Silhouette Staff

“We are all citizens of the world,” said former American president Woodrow Wilson. “The tragedy of our times is that we do not know this.” But on March 10, over 70 members of the McMaster community embraced their global citizenship and gathered in Hamilton Hall to attend the 7th annual McMaster Global Citizenship Conference. Shawn Cheung, the founder and executive director of Raising The Village, kicked off the day’s events. In his morning keynote address, he shared his story and advised the audience on how to pursue activism, in keeping with the conference theme “Activism is not dead.” “But I’d much rather talk about ‘action-ism’,” he said, referring to how change will not come about without a significant effort. His advice rested upon Malcom Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule: the idea that to master anything, it takes 10,000 hours of work. Following the opening speech were a number of short workshops with perhaps a more practical outlook, geared toward fueling change at McMaster. The Mac chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) offered a session about fair trade and the process of attaining fair trade certification on campus, while workshops were held to address electronic waste and promote sustainability in Hamilton. The panel discussions later in the morning offered a chance for local experts to share their insights on global issues. Three sessions, on water governance, the Arab Spring and indigenous rights in Canada, were moderated by Mac students. The Arab Spring panel appeared to be the favourite of the morning. It featured McMaster professors Dr. Atif Kubursi and Dr. John Colarusso, as well as former Arts and Science student Amal Abuzgaya. It began with a lecture from Dr. Kubursi, who introduced such key

issues as unemployment among youth in the Arab world. “Human rights in the Middle East begin with breakfast,” he said, quoting Senegalese poet Leopold Senghor, noting that the Arabic word for bread—aish—also means “life.” Colarusso, a professor of mythology and linguistics who has also worked in politics, brought a historical perspective to the discussion. “The transition from mythology to politics was smooth,” he chuckled. “Both have their monsters.” He compared aspects of the Arab Spring to the Soviets’ policies in governing the USSR. Meanwhile, Abuzgaya, who grew up in Libya under the Gaddafi regime, had much to say about how the people took action, including how social media facilitated the process. The afternoon saw a number of guest speakers and panel discussions, on topics including the Occupy Wall Street movement and the meaning of the sustainability. McMaster engineering graduate Boris Martin delivered the final


speech of the day. Appropriately enough, he was one of the organizers of the first GCC in 2005, which spanned three days and saw over 600 delegates. He shared some wise words about pragmatic and principled approaches to activism, drawn from his experiences with EWB. The entirely student-run conference was led by co-chairs Alessandra Robertson, Shanthiya Baheerathan and Siobhan Stewart. The co-chairs were pleased with the success of the conference, noted Shanthiya Baheerathan. Despite its success, the conference may undergo revision next year, according to one of the directors of programming. It will likely be shortened, and may be rescheduled to February. The goal will remain to inspire students to take on their responsibilities as citizens of the world. The conference was sponsored by the School of Nursing, the Bachelor of Health Sciences Program, the McMaster Science and Humanities Societies and the Student Services Program Support Fund.

Student Lobbying

OUSA calls for change Dina Fanara

Assistant News Editor

The 35th Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) General Assembly was held on campus last weekend, March 9-11. Hosted by the McMaster Students Union (MSU) and the McMaster Association of Part-Time Students (MAPS), the main topics of discussion included student health, student mobility, mature students and the beginning organizational steps for the next Assembly, to be held in the fall of this year. On the subject of student health, the main concerns brought up at the assembly were “campus health services, mental health, accessibility services, first-year transition, international students, health promotion, racialized, aboriginal and LGBTQ students,” according to Alicia Ali, the MSU’s VP Education. Some of the concerns brought up in relation to these issues include the “inadequate staff-to-student ratios at counseling centres, resulting in long wait times,” which often results to students not gaining access to services that they need at the time that they need them. Also, “disability,” as the government currently defines it, creates difficulties for students with mental illness to access the same resources that are available to students with physical disabilities, such as financial assistance or academic accommodations to meet their specific needs. To solve these issues, it was suggested for the government to collaborate “with institutions, student organizations and other sector stakeholders [to] create a comprehensive strategy for enhanced health service provision on postsecondary campuses,” said Ali. A minimum standard for counseling should be enforced, and specific funds need to be allocated to maintaining this standard throughout the province. The definition of “disability,” as outlined by the government, also needs to be changed in order to more fully encompass mental health

issues. Another issue of importance is students’ ability to change postsecondary institutions once they have begun their studies. The greatest problem is the process of transferring credits, which is currently a difficult process. More transparency and predictability in this process is demanded, and “similar undergraduate courses at the first and second year level at Ontario’s universities should have enough equivalent content and learning outcomes to facilitate transfer,” said Ali. Solutions proposed were the full recognition of credits successfully completed in first and second year courses at Ontario universities, and the use of government funds for universities to hire specific academic advisors who can “guide students throughout the transfer system, as well as facilitate orientation for incoming students,” noted Ali. The final area of coverage at the general assembly was the issue of mature students, and the need to recognize the needs of those who may be entering university later in life, and their potential need for financial aid. Ali noted that “the Ontario Tuition Grant excludes part-time learners that are mature, regardless of their financial need. Mature, parttime students are not eligible for most provincial financial assistance programs.” Equality for financial aid between mature students and those coming to university directly out of high school, or shortly after, was one recommendation brought up at the assembly, as well as the further development of the Ontario Online Institute to provide mature students with more flexible learning opportunities. Suggestions were also made to allow part-time students to become eligible for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). Ali noted that the three points of interest for the fall OUSA General Assembly will be “northern and rural students, students with disabilities and student financial aid.”



Student Experience

Old space, new uses

Library spaces across campus are working to keep pace with increasing demand Vanaja Sivakumar Silhouette Staff

The ever-growing problem of study space is an issue to which most students can attest. The truth of the matter is that student enrolment is growing each year, but the campus space is not. The library staff and the McMaster Students Union (MSU) have been taking measures to remediate the issue in the best possible way – by listening to the students. In response to the growing number of complaints regarding the lack of quiet study space and electric outlets, Thode Library has recently undergone a massive transformation to better accommodate student needs. The second floor has undergone renovations since last summer through a project that has been ongoing throughout this year. There are now approximately 400 individual seating spaces – carrels, long tables, etc. – with roughly two thirds of them having an accessible electrical outlet. “Power was the number-one goal for the Thode Project,” explained Anne Pottier, associate university librarian for McMaster’s libraries. Following suit to the Thode project, Mills Library has also concentrated their renovation projects on creating more seating spaces and power outlets. On the first floor there will now be 150 individual seats along with new tables ranging in shapes and sizes to better cater to a range of learning needs. This space will be completed and open for use on March 16. Though progress has been made, many students have expressed concern about how long these projects are taking, and fear they won’t be able to use the new study spaces before they graduate. MSU president, Matthew Dillon-Leitch, explained that a lot of the difficulty with construction and renovations comes from contacting the right people and figuring out what needs to get done. Planning and timing seem to be two key factors that have hindered these projects. “Students want things to happen quickly, and the way the university works, I believe it did happen quickly,” Dillon-Leitch confessed once questioned about the limitations of the projects. Timing issues aside, Dillon-Leitch expressed his gratification at how these renovations turned out and the students’ response to them. “It was pretty awesome to see the traditional view of a library being transformed into a more studentfriendly space, and it was all done by the students, their suggestions and input really fuelled these projects,” said Dillon-Leitch. For those students returning to campus next year, new library expansion projects include bringing the quiet space to the sixth floor of Mills Library, as keeping the lower floors quiet has proved to be difficult in




THODE LIBRARY 2ND FLOOR QUIET LEARNING ZONE (OPEN 24/7) 2 NEW GROUP STUDY ROOMS the past. The ultimate goal for the sixth floor is to compress shelving, to create another quiet study space. This will most likely happen sometime in the 2012/13 academic year. “We get the message …we need more study space and the university is most definitely working its way towards that,” Pottier said.

Libraries recognized across the board Trzeciak. He further emphasized the student transition to online sources, behind the funding the McMaster as evidenced by a dramatic decrease Libraries received from the admin- in circulation of books. istration to proceed with the initia- It is also not a rare occasion tive. Thode library is now available that McMaster is chosen as home to a collection of invaluable liter24/7 during the exam period. Trzeciak explained that with ary treasures. This year alone, the the renovations to Mills and Thode McMaster libraries received an libraries, the two libraries have extensive Holocaust Archive from become the new “hotspots” and are the Shaoh Foundation Institute and attracting a more diverse array of students. Libraries are losing their subLibraries are losing ject focus and remain prime locatheir subject tions for group as well as individual work through the diverse study focus and remain spaces available. In 2007, after the prime locations for construction of the Mills Learning group, as well as Commons, the McMaster libraries received the Rudy Heinzl Award individual work of Excellence, which was a result through the diverse of student nomination. The Mills study spaces Learning Commons remains a place for collaborative work, while within available.” the same building quiet study space remains available. McMaster Libraries have also the commercial archive from Pirate been acknowledged by other univer- Toronto, the largest collection of its sities for its user-focused approach kind. and innovative technologies, which Monetary donations stand as a include the digitization of numer- testament to the investment value of ous library collections. In 2008, the McMaster’s libraries. The libraries University’s Libraries received the received a $2.5-million gift from Excellence in Academic Libraries the Sherman Foundation to estabAward on behalf of the Association lish the Lewis and Ruth Sherman of College and Research Librar- Foundation Digitization and Presies. McMaster University was the ervation Centre. The facility will first Canadian university recipient, be located on the first floor of Mills Library. noted Trzeciak. Approximately 95 per cent of “A library should be an extenjournals are currently online and sion of the classroom,” said Trzethere are over 400,000 e-books, said ciak. The McMaster libraries have • CONT’D FROM A1

also been a close partner with faculties in the development of new programs and the support of others, he explained. The libraries played a key role in the development of the Integrated Science program, and worked in partnership with the Department of Arts and Science to support some of their classroom projects. The next step for McMaster University’s libraries is to build on the student-centered efforts, noted Trzeciak, explaining that student engagement is critical to maintaining past efforts. For the first time, the University will be hosting an open review of the libraries on March 26 and 27 in Convocation Hall. Students and faculty are strongly encouraged to attend and voice their views. “I owe Mac in a lot of ways,” said Trzeciak, crediting his time at McMaster with the expertise that made him an ideal candidate for his new position. Trzeciak will end his term with McMaster on June 30 to join Washington University, which ranks within the top 15 universities in the United States, just under many world renowned Ivy League schools. It is a research-oriented, private university with a 50-50 ratio of graduate to undergraduate students. It is unknown at this time who will be taking over as University Librarian. A candidate search is likely to begin soon. As a native of Dayton, Ohio, Trzeciak expressed, “I will be going home in a lot of ways.”

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Student Wellness

Mental health a rising priority on campus Panel discussion credits current efforts


Experts laud McMaster’s mental health awareness, but more can be done. Farzeen Foda

Senior News Editor

On March 13, McMaster University hosted a Mental Health Symposium to evaluate the mental health efforts across campus. The event featured speakers from key players in combating student mental health issues. Dr. Debbie Nifakis, associate director of counseling for McMaster’s Student Wellness Centre (SWC), John Starzynski, president of the Mood Disorders Society of Canada and Dan Johnson of The Jack Project at Kids Help Phone were among the speakers present at the event. To evaluate current efforts at McMaster and consider alternate options, seven panelists, including the speakers, expressed their perspectives. In addition to the speakers, the panelists included Deb Earl, mental health team nurse for SWC, Siobhan Stewart, McMaster Students Union (MSU) presidentelect, Mariette Lee, a McMaster student, Dr. Allan McFarlane, professor emeritus in the department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neuroscience and Heidi Muller of Student Conduct an Community Standards. Panelists and speakers discussed the state of the mental health support currently available on the McMaster campus. It has been noted that such services available on campus are of exceptional standard already, but are hindered by the lack of student awareness, noted Allan Fein, wellness education coordinator for the SWC. Discussions sought to “get some of the voices on campus together,” he said. He further explained that the event looked at ways of building awareness about the services available to students battling difficulties in any domain of university life as those often translate into adverse mental health outcomes. Fein expressed that one untapped avenue of communication with the student body appears to be McMaster student cards, which are a staple item for all students. Keeping vital contact information on

student cards may be a simple way to build awareness to such services as the Student Wellness Centre. The Jack Project at Kids Help Phone was initiated by the father of Jack Windeler, a Queen’s University student, who in 2010 took his own life in his battle against mental illness. The group focuses on the transition from high school to university. It was noted that early intervention programs might be an effective measure to help students feel better connected to their new surroundings. While some are already in place, they may be improved and/or better publicized. These efforts are aimed at “catching students before they fall through the cracks of the system,” said Melissa Fernandes, wellness education assistant for SWC. Proposals to improve mental health services on campus were a key element of Stewart’s election campaign and include the establishment of an after-hours peer support line, fall break, and implement training for mental illness following the LGBTQ Positive Space Training model. The event marks neither a starting point or an ending point in campus mental health efforts, noted Fein. Given the strong foundation in place already, there remains potential for refinement in policies and publicity of services. Considerations proposed at the event included revisions to policies pertaining to voluntary and involuntary university dropout. Currently, students forced to take leave from university either by choice or force are faced with immense difficulty when they try to return to their studies. The time off reflects negatively as a result of the current policy framework, thus often restricting re-entry for such students, noted Fein and Fernandes. The next steps at this time involve consolidating the ideas that came out of the symposium and look to the improvement of current services and the allocation of new recommendations to those parties on campus that can affect the envisioned change.

Alzheimer’s Society

Virtual tour a success Kacper Niburski

Assistant News Editor

There’s nothing popping about kernels in one’s shoes. It’s uncomfortable. It’s irritating. It’s a simulation of what dementia patients go through daily. Through a use of taped fingers, weights and glasses festooned with saran wrap, the McMaster’s Alzheimer’s Society, in partnership with the Hamilton-Halton Alzheimer’s Society, challenged students on March 13 to enter the mind of a dementia patient. As the first virtual dementia tour offered at McMaster, the event seeks to raise awareness surrounding the mental illness itself as well as to foster a relationship of empathy between someone afflicted with the disease and their care provider. Brianna Smrke, Education Committee executive, was one of the co-organizers. “We were hoping to see how the event could be adapted to engage a group of university students for which it wasn’t originally created. Our other goal was to get people to think more carefully about how they treat elders – whether they are relatives or acquaintances,” she said. This is only partly true. Besides fostering an environment where people are more conscientious of their actions toward a patient, the tour – which was originally started by P.K Beville – also develops a feeling of empathy. With cotton in one’s ears, weights on one’s

appendages and tape wrapped around one’s fingers, a participant gets a brief glimpse into the warped mind of a dementia sufferer. Karen Robins, Public Education Coordinator for the Halton chapter of the Alzheimer society, expanded on this idea. Drawing on the mission statement of the Alzheimer society, which is to offer either counseling or education regarding Alzheimer’s, she stated that, “Knowledge is power.” “We can be a voice, a soundboard,” Robins added, “not only for people suffering from the disease, but for their care partners as well. It is such a long journey. It is not all of a sudden. As long as people understand this is an illness that takes time, people will need consistent support.” In the coming years, such understanding and education is only expected to increase as the disease is getting more and more notoriety. No longer is there a stigma regarding the illness. Instead, with baby boomers entering the age of grey hair and failing memory, people are becoming more aware of the diseases associated with an aging population. Despite the success of the tour, both Robins and Smrke stressed that there is still more to be done. “It’s a great start, “ said Smrke. “It went well, but I’m already thinking of how much better it will be the next time we run it – how many more people we’ll be able to encourage to think a little differently about aging and dementia.”




editor’s extension: 22052 letters:

From the Editor:

A letter from the outgoing

The Silhouette

University’s a rare time to enjoy

McMaster University’s Student Newspaper

Editorial Board

Three years ago this week, I was leading teenagers and their parents on tours across campus, much like the ones happening hourly this week. I was in my second year of university, being paid to convince the kids that this was the place they would want to spend three to five years of their life, and the parents, in most cases, that this was where they should send tens of thousands of dollars. And sure, I believed I could do that. It was my job. People wanted answers about university, and I tried to dish them out with certainty like the expert I was. But the problem with trying to tell people how their years at school are going to work out is that it’s just impossible. You can’t figure out how it’s going to go, and even if you could, it would be beside the point. Experiencing those years is the point itself. In the rush of midterms, papers and applications to summer jobs and grad schools, people will try to do everything they can to secure whatever is next. It’s a competitive world, after all, and you don’t get into law school by stopping to smell the roses. But there’s too much to miss by rushing through the best years of your life with your head down and a screen in front of your face. The reason for this sappy, nostalgic rant is my imminent departure from the friendly confines of McMaster University. Today we will hire my replacement; in the coming weeks, we will go through the transition process, and soon I’ll be leaving Hamilton and McMaster. I see the fresh faces on the campus tours and I wish I could tell them what I know now. It’s sophomoric and pretty dumb considering I’m 22 and hardly an expert at anything, but it’s still a message I wish they could hear. Here’s what I’d tell them. Marks don’t matter. You go through your undergrad and you get a piece of paper that says you graduated with certain grades. It means next to nothing. You become employable or accepted to grad school based on your character and ability. The people that want to pay you or give you more schooling want to know if you can keep doing good work, not that you’ve already done it. Enjoy yourself. It’s different for everyone, but it’s important to find what makes you happy and embrace it. Whether it’s pursuing relationships, going to parties or playing basketball until they kick you out of the gym (and while you should probably be studying for that midterm), just find a way to do it. These things aren’t acceptable when you’re older, but you can get away with them in school. Be selfish. Know that you’ve got three to five years to make yourself into who you want to be. If you want to skip out on a party to finish that paper, do it. If you want to take a semester off to travel Europe, do it. It’s different for everyone, but it won’t be long before mortgages and car payments mean you just don’t come first anymore. Again, I’m no expert, but I believe these things. I thought of them when I saw the tour groups parading across campus this week, and when I sat down to write a sappy, nostalgic column about leaving university and what it meant to me. Originally, I meant this to be a last gasp to these kids not to make the same mistakes I did. But a funny thing happened to me when I tried to write that column, though: I couldn’t do it. It just wasn’t true. Instead of longing for years past, I found myself longing for the next stage, and certainly not because I’m sick of this place. I’ve got everything I’ve wanted from it and have no regrets. It’s time to move on, but I’m happy about it. I hope the kids being whisked around campus this week can say the same thing in a few years. It’s the best time of your life, and it’s up to them to make it that way.

Brian Decker Executive Editor Sam Colbert Managing Editor Jonathon Fairclough Production Editor Farzeen Foda Senior News Editor Kacper Niburski Assistant News Editor Dina Fanara Assistant News Editor Andrew Terefenko Opinions Editor Fraser Caldwell Sports Editor Brandon Meawasige Assistant Sports Editor Natalie Timperio Senior InsideOut Editor Cassandra Jeffery Assistant InsideOut Editor Sonya Khanna Business Editor Jemma Wolfe Senior andy Editor Myles Herod andy Entertainment Editor Josh Parsons andy Music Editor Tyler Hayward Senior Photo Editor Renée Vieira Assistant Photo Editor Joy Santiago Multimedia Editor

• Brian Decker,

Silhouette Staff

Dear McMaster, I haven’t received a letter to the editor in three weeks. I’m beginning to think we aren’t communicating well. What happened to us, baby? We used to talk it out whenever we had a problem. Now I’m cold, sad and eating taquitos alone in the dark. Write me soon. I promise I’ll put it up here, I swear.

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did we upset you this week? are we blatantly offensive and unworthy of print? is this paper only good for making into a pirate hat? let us know. send us a letter and we’ll publish it right here on the editorial page. just don’t be too mean to us. HEY YOU WANNA WORK FOR THE SIL? APPLICATIONS FOR ALL EDITORIAL POSITIONS WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON! GETCHA RESUMES READY.

to successors. good luck to you, slam. to clams for everyone. to fodagraphs. to smoked meat, bagels and good friends. to jess, chris and um. ask and you shall receive! to office ball toss. to photoshop badgers. to landing nasa. to sandro. to ted talks. to golfing weather. to wishbone, the bane of my childhood existence.

to purse dogs. to snake poo. to potholes. to lame ducks. quack. to driving snowstorms. actually driving with the middle of a snowstorm. to patios. so 2011. to my level of enthusiasm. to so many interviews. to blue shirts. to fraser’s. to golfing weather while you work in a basement. to the snoots. booooo.

to magic school bus.

to doug funny and patty mayonnaise.

to caaarrrrlllooooossss.

to arnold.

to alumni fridays.

to mega bar tabs.

to green drunkeness.

to green pukenness.




production office extension: 27117

A wildly woolly enough for it to live comfortably, or even at all, for its regular lifespan? It has been sixteen years since To what end is this research Dolly’s escapades populated world- being conducted? Is it purely for wide headlines, leaving humanity scientific curiousity? If so, we and cloned sheep enthusiasts alike in have already seen that animal awe of the scientific marvel. In her cloning is possible through the wake, very little news has graced us efforts of sheep cloning over a on the biological duplication front, decade ago. Is it to further but that wait is about to be over. research into the condi Russian and South Korean sci- tions that the mammoth entists are teaming up to resurrect a had to live in to aid our mammal that hasn’t had the pleasure understanding of living in of seeing our blue sky for over 3000 inhospitable environments? years, the woolly mammoth. Using In that case, it can probably be bones found in the permafrost- conducted without toying with the locked depths of Siberia, scientists in lives of a species that has long deboth nations have agreed to use cells parted this planet, which is no longer from the remains to incubate a new fit for them. living mammoth. The deal also brings to mind The Korean scientist spear- a significant environmental issue. heading the project, Hwang Woo- If the cloning is successful, there Suk, holds the honour of creat- might be an effort by animal rights ing the world’s first cloned puppy, groups to reintroduce the creature aptly named Snuppy, six years ago. back into the wild, which would be Though the researcher has received a cause for extreme distress in our some negative press for faking re- fragile arctic ecosystems. It is theorsearch into artificial human stem cell ized that the mammoth population creation, his credenwas responsible for tials in the field of lowering the arctic animal cloning are If we brought back temperatures, due to solid, and will be a their consumption of great asset to the pro- even one specimen, heat-producing birch is there a guarantee trees. If we were to ject. With the fact-ofthat we could find reintroduce this conthe-matter content iferous carnivore a climate suitable back into the a Canout of the way, the time has come to enough for it to live adian arctic wastediscuss the ramifica- comfortably, or even land, we would be at tions: have we fully risk of contributing considered the con- at all, for its regular to a climate shift in sequences of revivthe area, which might lifespan?” ing an extinct spenot be the worst cies? idea, given the rate The race became extinct be- of global warming, but is still not a cause it rapidly lost the climate that consequence we want to be dealing it was most accustomed to, in addi- with immediately in our current temtion to overhunting by post-Ice Age perature crisis. If you need any indihumans. If we brought back even cation, look no further than the unone specimen, is there a guarantee seasonably warm winter just behind that we could find a climate suitable us.

proposition Despite common assumption, the mammoth was NOT in fact the ancestor of the modern elephant.

Andrew Terefenko Opinions Editor

The Woolly Mammoth had 3 separate layers of fur to survive the harsh arctic climates.


Without further research into the lifespan expectancies of these clones, and ample consideration of our application of the research, it is too soon and rash to begin the cloning processes on a species that we personally kicked off our world. There are ample ethical questions as well over whether we have a right to bring an animal into the world alone with no stable future in sight, and in the face of much more immediately-useful research that can be conducted. But that is a discussion best left for those who disagree with playing God. This is all not to say that the world is not ready for the woolly mammoth. The woolly mammoth is not ready for our world.


The beginning of an end “Goldilocks” conditions fashioned into a thinking, spongy membrane. I am a chromosomal lottery, a one in 25,000 thousand shot; and luckily, If God is up there somewhere, I hope He isn’t I have a twin. reading the Silhouette. I am also different from you. That’s the Let me warn you, dear reader, this article beauty of it. Together, we make humanity’s deals with God – or more appropriately, the jigsaw puzzle. What is more is that I am as you lack thereof. Now I know that are when one asks if you believe people will not like this article in Osiris, Thor, Baal, Zeus, Loki, from the onset. The combination I stopped believing Cybele and the works. I stare of “God” and “lack thereof” in in God. It was quite at the potentially vacant jury a sentence tends to make some table carved in the clouds the sudden, really. No same way I stare mystified at a spill holy water over the nearest crippling disbelief. flower blooming. I am, I repeat, Bible or whisper Buddhist mantras underneath a shuffling of No existential crises. a human, and humans believe in mala. Who knows? Some may gods. Instead, I learned And so in that vein, I am also have already stopped reading. If you haven’t, I should say an angel with my wings clipped that cars could that in no way do I feel that this become caskets and at birth while my umbilical cord article will resolve any growing was strung out for the heavens to seconds can count hear. But the cries of an infant did debate surrounding religion, nor will it do the topic of suffering not reach the clouds. Instead they lifetimes.” logical justice. Instead, below is fell on my mother’s sweet ears. my personal view of a world that There were no words of Muhamhas been described behind worn and tired eyes. mad whispered into my navel, no praising my Because when I was thirteen, I learned that the name to any Way. Beeps of a heart monitor gods have fled and humanity remains. were my choir of angels. In my beginning, there I should begin by telling you what I am re- was no light or darkness; there was nothing but ligiously: a human. Beautiful word, isn’t it? A elbow grease and the sweat of humanity’s brow Homo sapien – one who is not so much wise as hard at work. he is inclined towards “homo” proclivities (de- I was conceived knowing as much about spite what a pastor may say). In that way, I am gods as I did about walking, quantum mechanthe same as you: 13.7 billion years of the finest ics and pooping. I couldn’t say the Hail Mary. I Kacper Niburski

Assistant News Editor

really didn’t know letting one go on the carpet wasn’t allowed. Nor was I aware that Schrodinger’s cat shared a very unique characteristic with the gods: either they were alive or dead. But my original sin of ignorance to the existence of a God soon dissipated, because as I grew, diapers went a’flying, screams went a’shouting, and I was raised as a Catholic. Then one day, with the Catechism shoveled down my throat and with many of the Saint’s names memorized, I stopped believing in God. It was quite sudden, really. No crippling disbelief. No existential crises. Instead, I learned that cars could become caskets, seconds can count lifetimes and human beings are just meat wagons with organs jingling around like loose change. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. We are not beings created from dust and divine breath. We are dust bags wheezing out the fumes of our past until we wheeze no more. It was December 22, 2005. Christmas was coming. Jesus’ birth was soon to be. Hanukkah had recently finished. People were festive. People were excited. There was so much to celebrate, but so little time. Santa Clause would be finding his way onto every street corner and parents would find themselves with empty wallets. It was going to be a white Christmas. My friend, Francesco Porto, probably thought the same. He was coming home from a hockey game with his mother, sister and cousin. • PLEASE SEE GOD, A11

INSIDE HEADTOHEAD StopKony 2012 has taken the social networks by storm. Does the forecast call for unhelpful activism?

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Feedback Mac students chime in on the need or lack thereof for Bill C-10.

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This Week in Opinions Stop Phony 2012


Nearby Paradise

Anti-Kony movements may have jumped the gun before knowing the full story. See what the twitterverse was misinformed about.

The concept of a university has changed drastically in the last few decades. How do we stack up to our academic ancestors?

Students should take the effort to check out Cootes Paradise before rapid industrialization makes it a shadow of its former self.

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Pg. A9

Pg. A11



SUTHANANDAN MEMBER AT-LARGE MCMASTER DEBATING SOCIETY K: Last week, Invisible Children released a video that went viral instantaneously. The video documented personal testimonies and accounts of issues in Uganda, specifically the crimes of Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army. The heinous nature of Kony’s crimes essentially appeals to the viewer’s emotional side, outlining the crimes of abducting innocent children from their homes and turning them into soldiers. Though Kony has terrorized Uganda for years, the Stop Kony 2012 campaign has actually brought it to youth attention. Not only inspiring hope, the campaign encourages individuals to do something about the issue and stop the tragedy from spreading. A: It is indeed nice to see youth paying attention to things other than their so-called “first world problems;” however, what it is essentially promoting is the idea that merely joining a Facebook group or re-tweeting a video can cause real social change. It can be easily agreed upon that justice for Uganda is not even close to a simple matter. The injustices occurring in Uganda and its neighbouring countries cannot be reduced to the faults of Kony alone, nor can true justice be brought to victims through simply catching one man. If youth don’t direct their positive energy toward implementing a set of workable solutions, they may be disappointed when the justice and change they’re expecting does not occur. K: It is important to note the aims of this



Silhouette Staff

Unless you have been buried under a social media rock, you have no doubt been lambasted with notification of tweets, retweets, likes and shares of Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 campaign video. It’s an effort to make the Ugandan warlord, and head of the Lord’s Resistance Army, Joseph Kony, famous to pressure the global community to track the man down. The video deftly highlights Kony’s evil: kidnapping children and forcing them into his army, performing grotesque mutilations on captives and numerous other human rights violations and war crimes. Simply put, the video clearly tells us that Joseph Kony is a bad man, he’s on the run, and he must be brought to justice. The video tell us that the best way to do this is to raise awareness is by getting in touch with influential policy makers and celebrities, and by donating to Invisible Children to further their cause. Within hours of the video’s circulation the “Monsters”, “Swifties” and “Beliebers” that dominate Twitter were so up in arms over Kony that Uganda had to move to Defcon 5; the tween demographic was prepared to invade. Of course, had any of them stopped to consider what they had just seen and asked a few questions, they might have come across the fact that Joseph Kony is not in Uganda, but in the jungles of the Central African Republic, where he has been since 2008. They also may have found that the Ugandan Army (of questionable Human Rights record itself), along with members of the African Union are in hot pursuit of Kony, whose forces are believed to be under 200 – far fewer than the Invisible Children video implies. Those calling for Western action might have discovered that in 2010 President Obama signed an agreement with Uganda committing U.S. resources and troops to the hunt for Kony up to 2014. More importantly, they may have come across one of the several criticisms of the Invisible Child organization, which was characterized by the group’s Director of Ideology, Jedidiah Jenkins, as “not an aid organization” but “an advocacy and awareness organization,” and questioned what the money they were donating (currently estimated at $15 million) was really going to be used for and how much help it would provide. In general, they would have found that this is a far more complex issue than a thirtyminute YouTube clip can acknowledge; and

StopKony 2012

campaign a worthwhile endavour or more fruitless activism?

video. They specifically talk about “changing the conversation of the media that influences us everyday.” Facebook and Twitter are everywhere, but even the smallest step towards social change is more purposeful that status updates about Snooki’s pregnancy. First and foremost, this video is about awareness and a first step to action. It is a good start and certainly directs the focus of the world to Kony’s crimes. Problems may not dissolve with the single arrest of Kony, but with the world paying attention, they can be changed. A: A campaign titled “Stop Kony” promotes youth to put to justice one man involved in starting a complicated problem in Uganda. Unfortunately, even with such a start, the majority of youth that has not actually researched the complexities behind this issue believe that stopping Kony is equivalent to stopping all the problems presented in the original video made by Invisible Children, which we all know is not actually true.When the Globe and Mail interviewed some of the actual victims of the Ugandan war, they indicated two things that were needed for true justice in their country. First and foremost, government leaders need to be responsible for the victim’s suffering (as government soldiers are alleged to have committed serious crimes against civilians such as rape and murder as well). Secondly, victims of atrocities should be compensated by those responsible. This really proves that capturing Kony is only a small part of what really

A bitter tweet Ryan Mallough



yes, all of this information is obtainable during a ten-minute Google search – less than half the time it takes to watch the complete Kony 2012 video. Ugandan political analyst Nicholas Sengoba called the movement “sinister,” believing that those of Invisible Children “have other motives they are not putting out in the open.” Yet the video is being taken at face value. Is our instant gratification-based culture at the point where we feel validated simply by sharing a message regardless of its truth? Have we become so gullible that a sinister voice and post-production effects render a message above questioning? The simple answer is both yes and no; however, underneath the Kony campaign is another factor, ever-present when taking on African hardships: “white guilt,” or perhaps more aptly phrased, “Western guilt.” The ridiculous Kiplingian notion that is the burden of the West to bring civilization to and fix all the problems of the “African sub-continent.” After all, the man has been at it for 26 years, and what has Africa done to stop him? Surely the region has been defenceless and simply watched its children be stripped from their beds; families, villages and governments praying for the West, a hero in shining white armour to come and save them and deliver them from evil. To paraphrase every mother ever, “where the hell do we get off thinking that?” The sheer arrogance behind this movement is astonishing. Of all the policy makers that Kony 2012 deem influential, only two are not American (Stephen Harper and Bun-Ki Moon) and none are African. Where is the campaign to send letters to the President of Uganda, or the Pan-African Parliament? Surely those in the region are better equipped to address this crisis than America or the West is. And where are the influential African celebrities? Even the ones who have made much of their fame in the West like Diedier Drogba (soccer player, Ivory Coast) or Akon (singer, Senegal) have a more relevant relationship to the region than the likes of Rush Limbaugh or Ryan Seacrest. If only Rudyard Kipling could have summed it up in one 140 characters or less and thrown in a catchy hashtag. Ugandan social critic Timothy Kalyegira has drawn some ire for calling the campaign “more like a fashion thing.” A trend, and is that not exactly what this campaign is doing? Trending? What happens to Africa when it stops?



needs to happen. K: Maybe the campaign needed to be simplified. If you want people to get involved and make a difference, it isn’t exactly convincing to make the goal seem impossible. By telling people they have to simply pass on a video, spread awareness and get the government involved, two benefits result. One, it reaches the ears of everyone and results in discussion like this, which gives government officials incentive to intervene, analyze the situation and find a suitable course of action. Second, if something actually happens in a situation that has been ignored, the benefits of Kony being indicted certainly outweigh the harms. Can’t partial justice be better than none? A: There are some potential harms in simplifying a complicated situation such as this. Firstly, it is actually counterproductive to make youth believe we have all the answers. Youth are better off being taught the real complexities and truths surrounding political issues such as this. Invisible Children is trying to make the war that Kony has started known to youth, and oversimplifying it may not be the right way. The recent energy brought out in youth will be a waste, and a great opportunity will be lost if it is not directed toward a real solution. When youth see that they are not making a real difference, won’t they be discouraged? Perhaps Stop Kony is a campaign with good intentions, but is not very well thought-out.

K: I will agree that the Stop Kony campaign does not provide a comprehensive solution to the issue at hand. However, that is simply not the point.The campaign does not expect youth around the world to come up with a well-developed political strategy to end civil dispute in Central Africa. The point is to inspire awareness; how viewers choose to define their involvement is another concern. Stop Kony is a chance to truly dedicate oneself to an issue, rather than just acknowledge it and walk away. Many catastrophes reach the news and become forgotten once they are out of the headlines, becoming an “out of sight, out of mind” situation. The difference is that this video inspires action and involvement. Non-profit organizations like Free the Children show that when emotion is channelled into action in a manageable way, it makes a difference. Building schools, donating a few dollars, these things don’t make nations educated, they don’t end poverty. However, they do build on situations that need repairing, just like Invisible Children’s campaign is using the power of awareness to build involvement that did not exist otherwise. A: The Stop Kony campaign has brought extensive awareness to the situation, and there is value in what the campaign has done thus far. However, only time can tell if this campaign will actually bring change, and what value this campaign has for the actual victims we are trying to help – the people of Uganda.



The worth of an education Rob Hardy

Silhouette Staff


The arch on campus signifies an era of education that is not really comparable with the effort we put forward today.

Discussion about the institution that is a university becomes quite complex, and many opinions exist. As I researched and interviewed a large number of faculty and staff, it is clearly a contentious issue, especially since the concept has markedly altered a great deal. Nevertheless, what follows is my own take after a fair effort to look at the big picture, and an attempt to challenge some of my more dogmatic views. First off, it is important to take a step back to examine how this institution came into being. The word ‘academia’ harkens back to Ancient Greece, where philosophers expounded on many interconnected topics dealing with the big questions of life that ultimately inform our moral choices on a daily level. Works by Plato and Aristotle have survived for over two thousand years, and were one of the cornerstones of what became the first universities in Europe. ‘University’ comes from universitas magistrorum et scholarium, meaning a union of masters and students. The University of Bologna seems to be the longest running university still in existence, as its first school began in 1088. The universities of the medieval era were monastic institutions where Latin was the universal language of lecturing, and they were centred on a standard curriculum. The Trivium contained the basic education, involving grammar, rhetoric and logic (dialectics), and prepared students for the Quadrivium, consisting of arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy. Specialization in a specific field still involved some mastery of subjects that we today may be inclined to mistakenly view as irrelevant. One may conjecture this was to ensure that scholars were of a certain calibre, and able to draw from different disciplines in their work. It is from this European tradition from which Harvard University was partially modelled; as the oldest university in America, founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1636, it influenced

later Ivy League colleges. One can see that our ideas have greatly changed, though this is only evident if we look beyond what we’ve been told. The university today is no longer really a provider of moral guidance. One can hope we take Plato to heart, but our concerns in this hyper-economy involve viewing our post-secondary careers simply as a means to an end, not something that may throw unwelcome wrenches into our plans as we discover things about ourselves that may be inconvenient. The increased enrolment in university is also indicative of the recognition that a degree is a status symbol. There are actually significant differences between concepts like education, intelligence and knowledge, but our society narrowly accepts that a degree must indicate a higher rung on the ladder. That someone may have coasted through their courses is not immediately evident, nor is the independently learned scholar who dropped out viewed with much respect if their consumption of literature equates to a Masters level but is not “proven” and achieved by passing through the system. This opens up questions of class, where even an earned degree is of little worth if you are not climbing the prescribed path of your profession in a socially acceptable way and “doing something with it.” Today, education is being pushed as a necessity regardless of the fact that the job market cannot even accommodate every worker seeking a job, let alone jobs requiring a degree. Thus, the case for limited enrolment. The opportunity to pursue higher education needs to be more thoroughly determined prior to granting admission. Those seeking employment opportunities also have the option of enrolling in skills-specific college programs rather than pursuing scholarship that requires an aptitude and interest that may be inherently lacking. With the policy of No Child Left Behind, however, the testing ground for academic rigour is no longer the high school, as grading curves become inflated. This has only led

to a woefully unprepared freshman class whose presence drops the standard for many others. During my first undergraduate program at UofT fifteen years ago, for instance, professors were not as forthcoming about what may be on the final examination as they are today: failure was a real possibility. Though I think McMaster is an outstanding school in every sense, I do feel that the narrow passageways going through MUSC have gotten a bit too crowded. But this then also touches upon the University’s current need to financially survive. A book published last year, Academically Adrift, offers a very bleak picture of education in America, where too many first-year students enticed to experience college life wind up dropping out, indebted. Two recent articles in the New York Times surmise that we have betrayed intellectual culture, and I tend to agree. As someone who has seen every single Woody Allen film, my idea of the intellectual is somewhat informed by his account of professionals in Manhattan during the 1970s and ‘80s, as they discussed complex issues, waiting in line for tickets to a Kurosawa film. This was before the era of American Pie and its successors shaped a revamped vision of Animal House as the new theme for college campuses across North America. Not all are partying, however. Some are barely getting by as they work and try to pass their courses. Others are multitasking, involved in clubs and sports, and interning for free. Though one may achieve a stellar resume, it’s clear that our education is also getting co-opted by higher societal demands. Without the freedom to delve further beyond the syllabus into at least the few subjects that truly interest us, how wellrounded are we really? When else will we get a chance to be students and be valued for that if not while in university? For both the slackers and the serious, it’s clear that the less time we spend on actual academics, the less the degree we earn is ultimately worth.



Compiled by Andrew Terefenko and Renée Vieira


Is Canada too safe for Bill C-10?

“I personally don’t feel that Hamilton streets are safe at night.” -Gurpreet Pabla Marketing II

“I feel that streets are safe and crime rates are dropping, so the bill is political grandstanding and will not make Canada safer.”

“I think we should spend more money in crime prevention than short-term solutions like punishment.”

-Lindsay Godard Psych IV

-Ibrahim Hasam Psych III

Awareness of a right tivists, academics and human rights organizations. The charge of anti-Semitism In an article that appeared in last against the organizers of IAW is week’s Silhouette [“The wrong preposterous. It represents nothing kind of awareness” – March 8], but a sleazy attempt to stifle the the author conveniently dismissed voice of those that dare to speak out Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) as against Israel. It is as absurd as la“petty ignorance” and “nonsense,” beling the movement against South and alleged that it promotes anti- African apartheid ‘anti-white’ or Semitism and hate speech. ‘anti-Protestant,’ or dismissing So, in the spirit of education, criticism of Saudi Arabia and Iran let’s get some facts straight here. as ‘anti-Muslim.’ This charge also A recent report by ignores the realthe United Nations ity that IAW has concluded that IsApartheid is not backing of promraeli policies in the inent Jewish orjust an Palestinian terriganizations such tories “exhibit feaas Independent analogy; it is a tures of colonialJewish Voices and crime against ism and apartheid.” Jewish Voices for humanity as B’Tasleem, Israel’s Peace. This year’s leading human keynote speaker defined under rights organization, at McMaster was published in its international law.” an Israeli Jew who report Land Grab once served as an that Israel “has creIDF soldier. There ated a system of legally sanctioned are only so many Jews that can be separation based on discrimination dismissed as ‘self-hating.’ that has, perhaps, no parallel any I did not witness the hatewhere in the world since the apart- speech that allegedly happened on heid regime of South Africa.” campus in 2008. If the allegation is Furthermore, the Human Sci- true, then I strongly condemn it as ences Research Council of South one of the organizers of IAW this Africa conducted a study examining year. I know with certainty that the legal applicability of apartheid such remarks have no tolerance crimes to Israel. It found that “Israel amongst the IAW leadership, espehas introduced a system of apartheid cially considering some are Jewish in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” New York-based Human Rights Watch documents Israel’s racist policies in its latest report Separate and Unequal. The Russell Tribunals on Palestine, which were held in Cape Town, South Africa, also found Israel guilty of apartheid crimes. The greatest support for Palestinians has come from the birthplace of apartheid itself. The earliest critics of Israel’s policies were anti-apartheid activists from South Africa who actually felt the Palestinian situation was far worse. This list includes Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu, Fareed Esack and John Dugard. Israel has maintained its belligerent occupation of Palestinian lands since 1967, which is in clear violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and international law. It continues to confiscate land from Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and bulldozes their homes to make room for illegal Jewish-only settlements. It subjects settlers to Israeli civilian law while indigenous Palestinians in the same area are accountable to brutal military ones. It has effectively created cantons like the Bantustans of South Africa – Palestinian Arabs living in one area and Israeli Jews on the other – with first world standards on one side and subhuman living conditions on the other. Israel has connected Jewish settlements through a network of super highways on Palestinian land, yet these roads are off limits to the average Palestinian. It has taken control of water reserves and deprives Palestinians of the minimum requirements set by international standards. Check points have been set up throughout the West Bank severely restricting the freedom of movement; young IDF soldiers humiliate and debase Palestinians at these check points on a daily basis. All this is guised under the false pretext of ‘security’ – any resistance to the occupation is deemed as ‘terrorist activity.’ The misinformed article is the greatest proof for the continual need for having Israeli Apartheid Week on campus; most people reading this article will also be shocked to read the facts mentioned here. As the Israeli propaganda machine, with unequivocal support from Canada and the U.S., continues to sugar coat its oppressive policies, the responsibility of raising awareness rests on acWaleed Ahmed The Silhouette

themselves. I will, however, acknowledge that there is a small faction of people who mistakenly assume that Israel represents all Jews and that its oppressive policies are sanctioned by the Jewish faith. Thus, these people wrongly direct their anger towards the Jewish people, as opposed to the state of Israel. This logic is unacceptable, and part of IAW’s goal is to educate people so they can dissociate Judaism from the actions of the Zionist state; this was highlighted in the keynote lecture this year. IAW organizers actually work to suppress anti-Semitic rhetoric on campus, instead of propagating it. Apartheid is not just an analogy; it is a crime against humanity as defined under international law. More and more legal scholars are issuing the guilty verdict against the State of Israel. Israel’s apartheid policies are a reality, not rhetoric, and it’s about time people start calling it what it is. If you are offended by the term, then I encourage you to reconsider your stance on this issue. You don’t want to look back in history and realize you took the side of the oppressor. Israeli Apartheid Week will continue to be commemorated on campuses across the globe as long as the Palestinians are not given the freedom, dignity and rights that all humans deserve.



A paradise in our backyard


Cootes Paradise is rife with seemingly untouched areas that are sure to impress the nature nerd or heavy hiker, until it is tainted by industrial progress, of course. Laura Sinclair The Silhouette

Imagine an isolated lake in the middle of a big city; it is surrounded with beautiful forestry and vegetation that the various animals of the Canadian wilderness call home. The lake is calm, and at certain parts of the day, beautiful swans can be seen on it. Now imagine this exact scene is located right in your backyard. In the case of us McMaster students, this is our exact situation. We are so fortunate at McMaster University to back on to such a beautiful landscape that might not always stay that way. It is important for us to go out there and

experience it for ourselves, before it is too late. “Before it is too late” is referring to the amount of time we have to experience Cootes Paradise before it is not so pretty anymore. Although it is already polluted to a certain extent, it is still beautiful to look at, but one day it will be so polluted that all of the animals that live in or around Cootes will no longer inhabit the area. Mac Care is doing a great job at maintaining the harbour and keeping it relatively clean, and it is great to see just how much people care about the environment and the various ecosystems of Cootes, but it is also evident that a lot of people could not care less, which is to be expected

in a school of 20,000. That is fine; you do not need to be a tree-hugging-animal-loving-environmentobsessed person to get out there and see something truly beautiful that happens to be attached to our campus. But consider the location of McMaster in relation to other universities in Ontario; we are in a location that is a combination of cement and green space, which creates a happy and natural feel to our school overall. Now compare this to other universities, like the University of Toronto, The University of Ottawa and Western University. These schools are mainly concrete, and do not have the privilege of being attached to a beautiful area or

body of water like Cootes Paradise. The students at these schools are not able to look out their window at a beautiful view of the forest; they do not have the privilege of walking around campus and witnessing deer casually eating on open spaces like Faculty Hollow. Wouldn’t it be great to take a couple of minutes out of our busy schedules to observe this up close and personally? Wouldn’t it be great to get the word out that McMaster is a really beautiful school and should be recognized not only for its outstanding academics and athletics, but our location and scenery as well? Cootes Paradise might not always be considered a “paradise”

to some, but it is a paradise to many in the here and now, and as McMaster students, we should be familiar with it. Why not get out there and explore? It is evident that we lead very busy lives, which sometimes makes it hard to find a good way to relieve stress. Never underestimate nature’s power in being the perfect stress relief. A walk in Cootes Paradise can help you to clear your mind and put things into perspective, and the best part about it is that it is free. Just remember: behind all of the stress and hustle and bustle of school, there is a beautiful and incredible world out there that is just waiting to be explored. You should get out there and see it for yourself.

God’s sake comes at a high price There was some intricate design that had been laid mysteriously for us all. We were They were caught up in the beauty of the all vital to it, although we’d never know white Christmas, apparently. As all beauti- it, nor would we ever know what that plan ful things turn into disaster, they swerved was. In fact, everything was vital to that into a snow squall that was conjured plan, from the smallest rock to the largest straight from a Robert Frost poem. Another star. So, Francesco had to die for God’s car hit them in a head-on-head collision. blueprints in the sky. Want to hear a joke? They died soon after. Read that last sentence again. I never said goodbye. I never will. After looking into the empty eyes of a Sometimes I wonder what I would say if I friend, waiting for him to wake up, I can could see him again. Maybe I’d finally say say I humbly disagree with that idea of any goodbye. Maybe he’d finally say, no, see plan. But if you believe in it: fine. Music you later. was never meant to be heard by some ears. Maybe. The greatest composer of all time was deaf, I don’t mean to sound so terse and list- for Christ’s sake. less when writing all that. I just don’t feel However, I do understand that some words have enough weight to correctly people find God after misfortune, and some capture what happened. Even if they did, I consider Him a necessary stick to lean wouldn’t want to use them anyways. What on. For me, this seems even more ridicuwould it matter if I fit the Armageddon lous than finding Him in the best of times. into a sentence? It’d be the The idea of God punishing end of the world anyways. someone because He loves And on December 22, it Some people find them or is testing them is was the end of the world. like not wanting a romantic God after misfor- relationship until a member A mother disappeared. A son disappeared. A sister tune, and some con- of the opposite sex punchdisappeared. A friend dissider Him a neces- es you in the face, or not appeared. A cousin. A lover. buying a dog until it gives A wife. A smile. Everything sary stick to lean on. you rabies. and everyone disappeared. For me, this seems Don’t get me wrong here. At the family’s fu- even more ridiculous It’s not that I don’t believe neral, while I attempted in any God exactly: there to act like a man would, than finding Him in could really be something stoic and indifferent to the the best of times.” floating in the sky. Shiva world, something else discould exist. So could Iris. appeared: my faith in God. However, if there is His hand wasn’t holding mine. My mom’s a god, one of which I chose to capitalize was. His arms didn’t cradle my friend’s throughout the article because I am used to body in the bolted-down coffin. Some of the Roman Catholic conception of Him, I his family was. Most of all, God’s saving hope December 22 haunts him for the rest grace sat idle during it all: the tears, the of His or Her or Who-The-Fuck-Cares’ incries of “Francesco was too young” and finite life. At least that way, it’d make up the storm of screams bellowing from a car for the fact that a child was buried before steering into the wrong lane. He didn’t do their parents, that a thirteen-year-old boy anything. He didn’t even show up for the learned that the taste of death are the tears funeral. that fall down his cheek, and those tears Some people did try to console me, that crashed to the ground like atom bombs though. They told me that God had a plan. spoke louder than any God ever did. • CONT’D FROM A7

There are only TWO issues left of the Silhouette this academic year, so don’t forsake your chance to be included in our Spring 2012 swan song. For more information contact


SpeculatoR The Hamilton

Thursday, March 15, 2012



The amount of sandals on campus.


Toenail clipper availability, apparently.

Paying the idiot tax since 1968


March “Meh”dness ready for speculation The gambling debt season is underway as we enter the long-awaited beginning of March Mehdness, a yearly tradition of placing bets on overwhelmingly terrible Ontario community college basketball teams. This year we kick off the season with the inaugural match hosted by the Burlington Brosefs, who are squaring off against the reigning last-place Hamilton One-Ways. “I think we really have a chance at keeping our pristine no-win record intact this year. We’ve seen no signs of quality performance or team spirit and look forward to a season full of expected casualties and fans can expect to see the regular amount of crying on our side of the court, as usual,” said Domino Debris, One-Ways coach and regular leader

Round 1 March 16, 2012

of consistently losing teams. The league favourite, the Walkerton Thirst, has been seeded against strong performer the Victoria Virus. “I think we’re up for some truly sick games this season. People in the stands are seriously going to get a peek at the illest plays in the league,” replied their infectious leader and Thirst power backward Reed Koleye, in a recent press conference. Last year’s event held the final showdown at Charlottetown, where the CT Potato Peelers faced off against the league underdog Caledonia Blockades, in an explosive match that is still resonating in the 2012 bracket. The match was ended early as an incident broke out outside the stadium where ticket vendors were at a standoff with PEI P.D., in a

Round 2 March 23, 2012

Burlington Brosefs

Final Four March 29, 2012

head-turning scalping incident. The match-up causing the most controversy this year is without a doubt the intense rivalry between the Markham Lucky 13’s and Blind River Navigators. “Blind River will certainly find their way to the tournament from their strength at the charity stripe, debrailling any teams in their sights,” said team manager Mark Polo. “We will certainly meet the Navigators at the field of battle head-on, showing them that they couldn’t find their way out of a knockoff paper bag,” replied Mao Chongding, team center and eager benchwarmer. This year’s officials have made a special reservation for two new teams, the Iqaluit Illnesses and the Whitehorse Wads, to play in

Showdown April 3, 2012

Final Four March 29, 2012


a special bracket of their own in lieu of their late arrival to the tournament. “We pretty much assumed people forgot that Nunavut was a province, but we are glad that our basketball players will be able to travel to warmer climates for their certain loss,” said Chuk Nalik, team bus driver and emergency coach. For all legal and money-losing purposes, the Speculator has prepared a bracket (seen below) where fans can fill out their predictions, and proceed to not watch any games and lost a shitload of money. We warn all readers that gambling is a serious concept and should not be approached lightly, but in the worst case scenarios, invest in prosthetic leg futures.

Round 2 March 23, 2012

Round 1 March 16, 2012

Sudbury Urethras

Hamilton One-Ways

Montreal Muck-a-D’s

Markham Lucky 13’s

Halifax Harlots

Blind River Navigators


Gander Homebrewers

Saskatoon Poons

Regina Yeast Infections

Oakville Deck Shoes

Vancouver Riots

Guelph Robocalls


Iqaluit Illnesses

Ottawa Potholes

Whitehorse Wads

Victoria Virus

Walkerton Thirst

Kimmy, What did you learn this week? “These guys drop more trays than a

clumsy waiter.” Disclaimer: Stories printed in The Hamilton Speculator are fact. Any resemblance to persons real or dead is likely intentional and done out of spite. Opinions expressed are those of The Speculator and if you disagree with them you are wrong. And stupid. Possibly ugly as well.



The Silhouette



Sil Sports’ Maggie Cogger-Orr sits down with Marauder rugby rookie Cindy Nelles in this week’s edition of ‘Meet a Marauder’. See S5.



Two Marauders suit up for the national U-20 squad. See S2. TYLER HAYWARD / SENIOR PHOTO EDITOR



Lindsay Carson overcomes a long personal struggle for health and form to pick up a gold medal as McMaster competed in the CIS Track and Field Championships. Katie Anderson added two silvers for the Marauders. See S3.

Marauder captain Cam Michaud reflects on his time with the team. Details on S4. PHOTO C/O RICHARD ZAZULAK


Men’s Rugby



Sticking with youth

Mac rugby sends pair to New recruits, same attitude for Mac football U-20’s Maggie Cogger-Orr

Brandon Meawasige

Silhouette Staff

Assistant Sports Editor

After a gruelling two days competing at the CIS sevens tournament held in British Columbia, most of the McMaster Men’s Rugby team returned back to Hamilton – all except for sophomores Andrew Ferguson and Cam Stones who shifted their focus to the U-20 National Team. The two left the tournament to go train with the U-20 Team as they prepared for two test matches against both the Romanian National Team and its U-20 variation. A big challenge for both players was transitioning back to the fifteens game – a game of 80 minutes – from the sevens version – a game of a mere 14 minutes. “I’d have to say the biggest challenge was the time change from seven minute halves to 40 minute halves,” said Stones. “Even though the halves in sevens are so much shorter, I still felt more prepared to play a 40 minute half. It really says something about the fitness level of the guys that play on the sevens circuit.” Both Ferguson and Stones were selected to start the first game against the Romanian Senior National Team, which, although they would lose 30-22, presented a great opportunity for both players to compare themselves to senior players of international calibre. Stones was also selected to start the second match, which the team would also lose 23-6. Although the results on the scoreboard were not the most desirable, the overall experience was a positive one for Stones. “I really enjoyed training sessions and getting to know the guys that are new to the team,” said Stones when asked what the best part of his experience was. “The new facilities in Langford are also incredible and it was really cool to see an entire stadium, gym and office building dedicated to rugby. The Saturday night game in Langford brought a lot of support from the BC rugby community which you don’t get to the same level here Ontario.”

Before each CIS football season, programs from coast to coast compete in a recruiting frenzy for the nation’s premier high school in order to develop for the future and address team needs with hopes of building the next Vanier Cup contender. For the McMaster Marauders, as defending Vanier Cup champions, this year’s recruiting season provides an opportunity for the coaching staff to establish connections with high school players based on a winning reputation alone. Adding to their already youthful lineup, head coach Stefan Ptaszek and his staff has been aggressive, making waves recently by releasing a star-studded list of 16 defensive prospects from around Ontario. “It is all about personal relationships and getting to know the best players around the country. Certainly the big trophy in my office and the Vanier cup rings may help break some of the ties in the competitive recruiting wars, but there is still a lot of elbow grease in getting to know these kids around the country,” said Ptaszek. It would appear from the announcement that the emphasis lies on the defensive side of the ball for the Marauders, especially on line, which was one of the most experienced units for Mac in their Vanier Cup run. “Defensive line is an area that we need to address. There are three or four young men coming to camp that will provide some depth, help keep us afloat and in the longterm become excellent football players,” said Ptaszek. “One kid in particular to note is Zach Intzandt from London. He is one of the best Dlineman in that city and it is good to get him away from the evil empire [the rival Western Mustangs] down there is a big victory for us,” he continued. Intzandt, a 6’4” 275 lb. beast from London’s St. Thomas Aquinas, leads the group of defensive recruits, but offensively there remains some grey area for Ptaszek and his staff. “We are going to announce some receiv-



Running back Christopher Pezzetta contributed as a true freshman last season. ers in the coming weeks that are going to add some value,” he shared. The coach did however stay tight lipped about both the remaining targets and players that have already committed that he is interested in. As expected, there are plenty of question

marks surrounding certain offensive positions, namely at quarterback, with pivot Kyle Quinlan on CFL draft boards after competing at this month’s combine in Toronto. Regard• PLEASE SEE PTASZEK, S6




Meet a Marauder

Carson grabs CIS gold

Rugby rookie Nelles speaks about life off the field

Rookie Marauder Cindy Nelles achieved about as much as one could hope in a freshman season. She racked up 99 total points in her first campaign in Maroon and Grey, and was subsequently named as the OUAs Rookie of the Year as a result. Sil Sports’ Maggie Cogger-Orr catches up with the rookie to discuss rugby, video games and dance moves. Maggie Cogger-Orr: What made you decide to come to McMaster? Cindy Nelles: Mainly because it had the program I was interested in (Engineering) and a great rugby program. The facilities also were a big part of what drew me in. Also seemed like the place I would fit in the best. It was the place to be. MC-O: Obviously you’re only in first year but what so far has been your favourite rugby memory at Mac? CN: Probably training camp. A bunch of things stick out, ranging from meeting all the other rookies to dropping a weight on my toe in the first two days and having my coach think I was completely stupid. The trip to CIS nationals with the whole team was also a great time. MC-O: Do you have any pre-match rituals? CN: I mostly just try to do the same thing I do every morning, eat my regular bowl of After coping with a variety of injury problems in the past two years, Lindsay Carson enjoyed a national breakthrough. cereal. I also like to be by myself for a bit Fraser Caldwell achievement for an athlete whose health is- women over the course of the weekend were before a game, thinking about game goals. Sports Editor sues had held her out of competition at the enough to place the team ninth in the nationnational level during the fall cross-country al field of 21 squads. MC-O: Who’s your favourite international Lindsay Carson has battled for the better part season. For her part, Carson indicates that win- rugby team to cheer for (other than Canada)? of two years to find her health and her run- Carson’s podium-topping performance ning her long-distance event was far from ning stride, but that struggle was met with during the Friday session of the three-day her mind as she entered competition in CN: I guess England for the women’s game. resounding success on March 9. event was one of three medals garnered by Manitoba, as her priority lay in performance I really like watching Maggie Alphonsi The fourth-year member of the Ma- the Marauders. The other two came by way alone. [England’s open side flanker] play. For rauder squad topped the field in the 3000m of Katie Anderson, who won silver medals “My approach to the race wasn’t associ- men’s rugby I don’t really have a favourite. event at the CIS National Track Champion- in the 1000m and 1500m races on March 9 ated with a place, it was associated with an I just like watching quality rugby, although ships hosted by the University of Manitoba. and 10, respectively. The golden finish stands as a remarkable The combined efforts of the Marauder • PLEASE SEE CARSON, S8 • PLEASE SEE INSIDE, S5 PHOTO C/O PETER SELF



Men’s Basketball

Meet a Marauder

Michaud bids farewell to Mac Inside the life of Cindy Nelles Scott Hastie


The Silhouette

When the buzzer sounded at the end of the McMaster-Carleton Final Four matchup, something bigger than a basketball game had ended. Cam Michaud, team captain and veteran forward from Grimsby, Ontario had played his final game as a Marauder. After four years as a member of the basketball program at McMaster, Michaud hangs it up, retiring after what he called his favourite year playing basketball for the university. “It was different than before, we were more of a family,” said Michaud of his most recent season. The rookies coming in were great. They made me have a good time for my last year.” A second team OUA all-star last season, Michaud had a major impact whenever he stepped on the Burridge Gym hardwood, averaging 12.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game this season. His consistency is something the team relied upon heavily, and his leadership, especially with such a young team, was a key to this year’s OUA Final Four run. Michaud’s durability – highlighted by playing in 22 games and starting in 21 – aided the team in keeping that consistency. He also gave praise to current teammates and expects them to fill his shoes in terms of leadership in the coming years. When asked about the future of this team, the veteran forward was very optimistic, pointing to both the recruits coming in and the current first-years the team has as evidence of the Marauders’ ability to build off the success of the 2011-2012 campaign. “The goal was Final Four this year,” said Mi chaud. “I’m hoping that next year they win the Wilson Cup and then compete for the National Championship.” With CIS Rookie of the Year Adam Presutti and other stand out young players, the ceiling is high for this team and Michaud spoke about what the squad needs to do to take that next step. “We’ve got to bring intensity,” said the captain. “We have to play 40 minutes of basketball and we will do really well if we can.” The future is bright and it’s unfortunate for the fans, teammates, and the coaching staff to see

I guess I was cheering for New Zealand during this year’s World Cup. MC-O: Do your teammates have a nickname for you? CN: One of the vets started calling me Snelles (pronounced snell-es) which is basically just my first initial and my name...I don’t really know how it started. I’m also called ‘greyhound puppy’ by one of our captains along with Tash [Natasha Turner] because we’re both tall and lanky and tend to goof around together and wrestle. MC-O: Do you have any pet peeves? CN: When people sit around you in a lecture and they start speaking to each other in a language other than English and they operate as though they can’t be heard just because they are speaking another language. When people can clearly hear them! Or people who play Tetris in class on their laptops ahead of me. I have Tetris A.D.D. and I get so distracted. MC-O: What’s your perfect Subway sandwich? CN: Ham sub on brown bread, with lettuce, cucumbers, pickles, green peppers and mustard. PHOTO C/O RICHARD ZAZULAK

MC-O: If you could only have one video game to play for the rest of your life what his gratitude towards the coaches he played would it be? under and the teammates who played with him during his career in the Maroon and Grey. CN: I feel like I’d have to go with Tetris. McMaster is losing one of its finest players, who could always be counted on the MC-O: That doesn’t really count. I mean like bring his utmost effort on every game night. Nintendo or Playstation. Michaud was a player who brought his teammates up and lead by example, and his leader- CN: Oh okay. Definitely Super Smash ship brought the team an eight-game winning Brothers then. Only for the Nintendo 64 streak at the end of the season. though. The forward will be sorely missed by the Marauders, and McMaster faithful can only MC-O: What’s the top played song on your hope that a leader of Michaud’s stature can be iPod lately? moulded from the returning line up of the Maroon and Grey. CN: Well I don’t actually own an iPod but

Cam Michaud was one of the most consistent Marauders on the court this season, averaging 12.5 points and 4.4 rebounds. one of the vital pieces walk away. Michaud was quick to answer when asked about coming back to watch his teammates in action next year and said he will certainly be back in the Burridge Gym stands to take in Marauder basketball. “I’ll definitely be around,” exclaimed Michaud. “I can’t fully cut myself off right away. It’s going to be tough for sure. That was four years of my life.” Through even a brief conversation with the forward, his passion for the sport and the school is obvious and admirable. As he walks away from the Marauders, it was important to find out what McMaster’s

Cam Michaud will miss the most. Michaud spoke about the importance of being a member of McMaster athletics and what it meant to be a part of that community. “This was pretty much my second family,” said Michaud of his fellow Marauder athletes. “For four years I spent everyday with these guys. I lived with a couple of them, and I’m going to miss hanging out with them in the change rooms all the time.” Michaud also gave compliments to the coaches for their support of the players and thanked them for always being there to have their back. For parting words, Michaud emphasized


Cindy Nelles who is used to breaking tackles with grace on the rugby pitch-- also dances like an “awkward white girl”. the songs I’ve been listening to a lot lately are probably ‘Take Care’ by Drake or ‘Starship’ by Nicki Minaj.

what did you want to be when you grew up?

MC-O: What’s your favourite pump up song for before a game?

CN: I wanted to be a vet since I was in kindergarten, but then I realized you had to spend all day with sick animals and I reconsidered.

CN: I don’t really listen to a whole lot of music before games but if I do, it’s got to be Eminem.

MC-O: If you were a dance move what would you be? Like the running man or the sprinkler.

MCO: What’s your favourite type of drink?

CN: The awkward white girl dance.

CN: Chocolate Milk

MC-O: How would you describe that to our readers?

MC-O: When you were in elementary school

CN: Basically it’s awkwardly swaying to the music with various hand movements and clapping. MC-O: What was the last book you read (for non academic purposes)? CN: Over Christmas I read Paper Towns, which was pretty good. In the near future though, I really want to jump on the Hunger Games bandwagon and read those books. MC-O: If you could have any super power what would it be? CN: That’s so easy. Teleportation obviously!




Men’s Rugby

Ptaszek hopeful for recruiting season

Stones, Ferguson rep Mac

• CONT’D FROM S2 less of whether he returns for his final year of eligibility, the Marauders are beginning to prepare for life after their star, which may be an easier transition that originally thought. During this past season backup Marshall Ferguson, who was a highly touted recruit in his own regard, emerged as a more than suitable successor to fill the large shoes left by Quinlan. McMaster is also interested in a pair of quarterback recruits, including local standout Alex Hill from Stoney Creek’s Cardinal Newman. The Marauders missed out, however, on local standout quarterback Will Finch, who chose the Mustangs after a successful high school career at Burlington’s Nelson High School. Traditionally, recruits are forced to choose between playing time on the field and program prestige, which is not the case at Mac. “All six years that I have been here, we have had at least 15 or more true freshman dress and play every single year. This year was no exception with players like [Linebackers] Aram Eisho, Nick Shortill and [Running Back] Chris Pezzetta starting and playing every down,” offered Ptaszek. Looking to continue with his tradition of developing talent through experience Ptaszek is sticking to his faith in youth. “McMaster’s philosophy has always been if talent is equal, the young man who is going to be here the longest is going to get the majority reps. We are hoping to bring in a talented group where 15 or more can dress and contribute again. I’d suspect well have some that are pushing to start right away,” he added. In most cases, schools are looking to improve on their results from last season. For the Marauders, sticking to their philosophy of emphasis on youth seems to be the most effective strategy, as it paid off in 2011 eclipsing the pinnacle of CIS football in 2011. For Ptaszek and his staff, rounding up recruits for next season’s squad lends itself to the old adage “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.”


Cam Stones was one of two Mac players to participte in U-20 program. Canada tryouts and pushing me to get to that • CONT’D FROM S2 level,” said Stones. With only two years of varsity rugby un- When asked about how playing against der their belts, Stones credits the McMaster OUA powerhouses has helped him adjust to rugby program with helping him develop higher calibre rugby, Stones indicated that into the player he is today. Ontario’s varsity athletes stacked up well “Before coming to Mac, I hadn’t had the with their international counterparts. exposure to national level players like there “The size of the guys in the OUA is reare here. There were quite a few guys on ally underappreciated,” said Stones. “I’d say the team that had represented Canada at the some of the guys in this league are much U-20 level. Coach Phil White really does a bigger than international teams I’ve played.” great job of attracting players and develop- With two years at least left in his time ing them into national level athletes,” said here at McMaster, Stones has a lot on his Stones. mind when it comes to goals for himself; He also is quick to acknowledge 2010 which in true student athlete fashion, don’t OUA Coach of the Year Shaun Allen, who solely revolve around his time at the Back was his coach in his rookie season. 10 fields. “Shaun also played a huge part in my “School wise, I’m majoring in Political first year getting me ready for the U-20 Science with a minor in French, and if all

goes well some grad work too,” said Stones. “Hopefully I won’t stray too far from Hamilton in years to come and I’ll be able to give back to the McMaster program like many of the veterans do. “We’re really fortunate that the alumni give so much time into developing the program, and we even get the benefit of having ex-players come back to coach who have been to World Cups.” In terms of rugby, the biggest question for Stones is whether he will focus his time in fifteens, the traditional Canadian rugby game which he plays at McMaster, or sevens, which has recently been included in the Olympics. When asked where he planned to focus, Stones noted that the more traditional fifteens game would be his mainstay for now. “I haven’t played the game of sevens as much as I would like and it’s something I hope I have the chance to represent Canada in,” said Stones. “Sevens is now an Olympic sport and will be in the 2016 Olympics. That’s certainly something I’d love to be considered for. But for now, fifteens is where most of my time is being dedicated.” With the 2011 season ending with a disappointing fourth place finish, the program is coming to a crossroads of sorts with a new generation of players, such as Ferguson and Stones, stepping into the shoes of heroes past such as Shaun Windsor and Keegan Selby. When asked about his thoughts on the fourth place finish, Stones acknowledged that the team was looking to improve. “I agree that it wasn’t the result we wanted,” said Stones. “Going from first to fourth wasn’t what we set out to do. The program is full of guys who are top quality players, and I think if we can continue to mould together, there is a great core group of guys that in my opinion have the ability to win another OUA title. “We have a few guys returning next year, some didn’t play this year, and that’s going to be a huge boost in our favour. This season past does not reflect the program’s potential at all.” Both Stones and Ferguson will look to continue to be a part of the U-20 program throughout this season, and hopefully eventually compete in the Junior World Trophy this June in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is easy to say though, the more experience both these players have at a higher level, the brighter the future looks for McMaster rugby.




Egypt should look to English example Fraser Caldwell Sports Editor

Arab Spring seems so very long ago now. A grainy memory for those of us thousands of kilometers removed from the violence, activism and optimism of African revolutionaries. Regimes fell and Western observers quickly closed the case on the epoch-making moment in African history. It was a whirlwind series of events that spoke to the resolve of protestors and the revolutionary potential of social media. It was a truly inspirational time for all of us, both near and far from the activist epicenter. But as governmental reins changed hands and the fighting abated, so did the international news coverage of the phenomenon. Mubarak had been ousted and Gaddafi – golden gun and all – was dead. And quite naturally, the eyes of the world turned elsewhere. That is until soccer of all things brought the political turmoil of Arab Spring back into suddenly and painfully sharp focus on Feb. 1. Egypt, the country in which the larger activism of the Arab Spring had germinated, was to be the site of an eye-opening riot of historical proportions. When an otherwise meaningless match in Port Said between Cairo’s Egyptian Premier League-leading Al-Ahly and local club Al-Masry came to a conclusion with the latter winning a shock decision, the latent political tension in the country came to the forefront in the most violent of ways. Rival supporter groups began to chant increasingly incendiary slogans at one another as the final whistle was blown, and soon enough the situation became a stampede as heavily armed fans launched themselves at one another. The litany of weapons produced in the skirmish is horrifying, running the gamut from the simplest of bludgeons and knives to full-scale swords. With such destructive force at their disposal, and as packed together as they were within the confines of a well attended soccer stadium, the two sides quickly found the confrontation they were seeking. In such conditions, the human toll of the event was colossal, as a total of 74 people lost their lives and hundreds of others found themselves wounded to one degree or another. And tellingly, very little has been done in


No legislative effort has yet been made more than a month since. The game of soccer is no stranger to violence. Indeed, as the world’s most revered and hotly contested sport, it has seen its fair share of deadly riots and stadium debacles. The difference thus far between those previous events and this one can be found in the consequences. A good contrast can be found in the example of the Hillsborough disaster of 1989, in which fans of Liverpool and Nottingham Forest clashed during an FA Cup match staged in Sheffield. Designed similarly to other stadiums of its day, Hillsborough featured standing terraces on which fans would pack together without the organization and support of installed seating. In addition, the existence of high fences separating the playing field from the stands would prove fatal when fan altercations erupted during the Apr. 15 match. A rush of incoming supporters would cause those at the front of entrance pens to be crushed against fencing, and the absence of police to direct the wave of humanity al-

to address the Port Said riot that ended lowed for the pressure to continue unabated. By the time of its eventual conclusion, the catastrophe brought about 96 fatalities, and injured 766 other fans. It was a horrific event, and the official response to it reflected that reality. The British government was appalled by the events at Hillsborough, and immediately appointed a committee to lead an inquiry into the reasons for their transpiring and the means by which future instances of stadium violence could be better controlled. The findings of that inquiry were contained within the Taylor Report of Aug. 1989, which denounced the passive role of police throughout the course of the disaster, and successfully brought about the abolition of the open, unseated terrace system. Those recommendations were quickly enforced and led to the installation of comprehensive seating at English stadiums and the more vigilant and numerous policing of soccer matches. Since the release of the Taylor Report, England has not experienced a soccer riot of the scale of Hillsborough. A similar course of action must be un-

in the deaths of 74 soccer fans. dertaken in Egypt in the wake of the debacle at Port Said. Criticism from both sides of the incident have pointed to the aloof nature of stadium police throughout the Feb. 1 incident, which allowed fans free rein in their pursuit of a violent course of action. In order to answer those who hint at outright police complicity in the massacre, tangible measures must be undertaken to punish those involved and legislate a stricter enforcement policy for future matches. Thus far, soccer itself has been the target of the Egyptian regime’s plan of punishment. Games within weeks of the event were cancelled, and on Mar. 10 the Egyptian Premier League season was wiped from the schedule altogether. 40 fans from both sides of the divide have been arrested, but officials seem reluctant to question the underlying systemic issues that allowed the fateful events of Feb. 1 to occur in the first place. But for a fledgling regime that is struggling to gain legitimacy among the disillusioned populace of Egypt, inaction in this case could be crippling.




Carson finds strength in team • CONT’D FROM S3 effort,” said the fourth-year runner. “So my strategy was to run as relaxed as I could and by doing so I could save energy in my legs and save energy mentally. If I could do that I could really get up for the last few laps.” Carson’s first reaction upon crossing the finish line was to assume that she had lost, ignorant of the fact that gold medal favourite Tamara Jewett had dropped out of the race midway through. “To be honest, when I crossed the line I knew that I had given it my all but I sincerely thought that I had come third,” said the veteran Marauder. “I didn’t know that Tamara had dropped out, and I think not knowing actually boded well for me during the race. I didn’t have the pressure of knowing that I could actually win. “I was gunning for second or third and finally started believing in myself in the last five metres of the race. I tried to out-lean [Guelph’s Andrea Seccafien] and I didn’t think that I got her. I thought that it was a valiant effort but that she got me at the line. It ended up being a photo finish and on paper we had the same time. That rarely happens in a distance race.” The closeness of the finish aside, Carson finds herself in possession of a CIS gold medal after a lengthy period littered with injuries had the Marauder veteran doubting her running future. She indicates that the result – coming as it does after such struggle – is particularly sweet. “It was very satisfying,” said Carson of her podium moment. “I was extremely happy with it from the finish but I think it became more satisfying each and every time another person came up to me and was genuinely happy with the performance. It’s not the fact that I won but the fact that a lot of people know and recognize the adversity that I’ve faced for the last two years. “They know that I’ve struggled and to break through with this performance makes it all the more satisfying.” Carson was lent support in that protracted struggle by her teammates, who formed a formidable long-distance squad for the Maroon and Grey this season. While the competitive environment of the track ultimately makes the Marauders’ efforts individual ones, the presence of strong training companions pushed Carson and her teammates forward.


Lindsay Carson will look to use the momentum generated by her indoor success to perform well in the outdoor circuit. The veteran member of the Maroon and Grey argues that the training benefits offered by her team were particularly potent this season as multiple representatives at the 3000m distance qualified as late as the CIS meet. That meant continued high-level companionship as Carson laboured toward nationals. “It does help having more than one maroon singlet on the line and we had three in that race,” said the veteran of her medalwinning race in Manitoba. “Approaching the race itself it’s a very individual process, but throughout the season is where your teammates help. For your practices and workouts it really helps having others around you working at the same distance. “Also, the fact that we had three at the CIS meet meant that we trained together longer throughout the season. If you’re done after OUAs, then you’re not training any more. With all of the girls making it to the CIS level, we kept that big, vibrant group.

We use that energy during races, but there’s so much to think about during a race that you have to focus on yourself.” In the wake of her national triumph, Carson is determined to take the wave of momentum she is currently riding into the spring and summer outdoor track season. Having built a measure of stability and race readiness through the indoor season, the veteran is confident in her ability to achieve even more outdoors. “Right now I have a pretty clear view of my goal going forward,” said Carson. “I used the indoor season as a stepping stone to get me back on the circuit, get me back into racing and get me back into a positive relationship with running. Thankfully I ended the indoor season on a positive note and I can take that into the outdoor season. “With that outdoor season approaching in May and June I’ll be getting some longer intervals in before the sharpening comes before competition.”

With another year remaining in her tenure with the Maroon and Grey, Carson hopes that continued success on the track will translate to the cross-country sphere. After what she and her teammates believed to be a disappointing cross-country campaign this past fall, Carson and the Marauders will be looking for an all-around improvement on the trails. “For McMaster, hopefully I’ll have a great outdoor season and be able to take that momentum into the cross-country season,” said the fourth-year veteran. “Because I think I can talk on behalf of the rest of the McMaster girls when I say that we were very disappointed in our finishes across the board. “I think we’re all very hungry for next year and ready to improve.” If indeed Carson can find another gear on the track, she has frightening potential in her final year of competition for the Maroon and Grey.




production office extension: 27117

Sustainability starts at home

Amanda Watkins Silhouette Staff

Every graduation, celebration or Oprah special tends to hammer home a common point: ‘the world is in our oyster,’ Sure, it may feel a little overused at times, but it is used so frequently for a good reason – it’s true. There are many problems present in today’s society that our generation will be tasked with solving – poverty, war, economic deficits and global warming to name a few – that all seem overwhelming to take in and unrealistic to solve. But, some of these challenges are not as out of reach as they seem. We have the power to make a difference through small actions and incremental changes such as reconsidering the way we use energy. Dave Braden, a homebuilder, environmentalist, candidate in the most recent federal election and energy innovation enthusiast says taking on these tasks is more than doable. “We are going to change this world for the better,” says Braden. “There is no mystery to what needs to be done and what is being done.” Braden is a well-known member of the Hamilton community whose business, Braden Homes, has developed some of the most energyefficient homes in Canada. Along with his own home, Braden has developed many other properties and is currently working to build 4 of the most energy efficient townhouses in the country within the next year. As a noted professional in the field of energy conservation, Braden’s primary interest is not only in developing homes, but also in sparking the interest among today’s youth to continue his efforts and pursue finding a way to help the earth while we can. “I want young people who are interested in making a difference to know that there are other people who are helping make this change happen. I want to provide them with some practical examples of why there is hope that we can fix the problem of energy being very ex-

New green initatives mean stepping into the sustainability without pensive and the fact that the use demic programs, extra-curricular of this energy is causing a lot of options and is known internationtrouble,” explains Braden. ally as one of the best places to As a life-long learner, after be- receive an education, but there are coming a planner as well as a certi- still many little steps that we can fied builder and developer, Braden take to help make our school and continued to pursue his education our community an environmentally during the 1990s at the University conscious setting. of Waterloo. We are taught in school to go Although many modern-day out and make a difference and to schools like Waterloo had a strong pursue new innovations and ideas. academic centre, he couldn’t help And with this in mind many stubut notice an imbalance between dents do often discuss the possibilwhat was being taught at the school ity of implementing changes to our and what was actually being done. energy choices and access to green “There was a real emphasis on technology, but these plans only academia, thought and research, follow through on rare occasions. and very little emphasis on making Braden believes that “what unithings happen,” notes Braden. versity communities need to do is to As a student here at McMaster, really take charge and not see themI can’t help but notice that the same selves strictly as an academic instiimbalance is sometimes present in tution but as an institution that has a our own community. It is more than commitment, a real commitment, to reasonable to say that our school making a change.” offers an outstanding range of aca- Based on the ideas that have


ever having to leave your house. been put forth by students past and explains Braden, a longstanding present – such as a green roof initia- Hamilton councillor, who says the tives and a residence-wide energy federal government does not focus challenge – there definitely is a bud- primarily on finding greener alding interest in making a healthy ternatives. change to our energy sources and “For those that put [the environideas on conservation. ment] off, I don’t think we are going “Thought, understanding, and to have a choice. implementation,” are the three steps Quite simply, your generation Braden explains to be essential in is going to have to solve this one,” making a change. states Braden. Since this interest does exist, “You really can do this,” says the next step in actually producing Braden whose own teenage interest action and achieving a notable out- in the environment led him to decome is to inform the student body velop his business. of what is going on and pursue the “I would love to see McMaster task from there. along with other schools move for An idea is great, but there is no ward with their goals in this field,” way of making it reality without a he explains. group of people who are willing to It is time to turn talk into action go out and take hands-on action to and pursue making a change. We make it happen. need to get involved with what is “We really are not getting this going on in our communities and emphasis anywhere across Canada use what is being taught and said to and definitely not from the city,” implement change.

So, you say you want to be a doctor? Kacper Niburski

Assistant News Editor

There’s a moment when it happens: everything changes. The dream fades. Reality takes hold. And a person finds themselves overtop a mess of blood and flesh armed only with a scalpel. Maybe at that moment they are whispering some form of incantation. Or maybe they kissed a good luck charm before. Whatever they did, they know that the little metal tool in their hand, their manual dexterity and seven years of knowledge are the only things that delineate the line between life and death. It is the life of a doctor. And that life is dedi-

cated to saving other lives. The reality of the scenario cannot be overstated. While not all doctors are surgeons, and consequently do not feel the gravity of their profession to such an extent, all have the power to help a patient convalesce. A person trusts a doctor – a perfect stranger – with the thing most dear to them: their health. For this reason, doctors are some of the most respected and highly paid professionals in the world. Yet perhaps because of the prestige, the payroll, or a combination of the two, the competition to become a doctor is cutthroat. Besides having stratospherically high GPAs, an excellent score on the

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and a continual involvement in a variety of clubs, hopeful candidates must fulfill numerous application processes and participate in interviews where it seems that the content of their character – not simply their intelligence – is placed under the lens of scrutiny. Even within McMaster’s Medical School, home to one of the leading pediatrics emergency care units in the country, this seems to be the case. Applicants must complete CASPer, the Computer-based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics, which is a series of online videos followed by short question that is meant to provide a

better representation of the student than traditional autobiographical submissions. The same could be said of the Multiple Mini Interview, which involves about ten different stations where students encounter “actors” who present scenarios that test their communication skills and grasp of ethical principles. Originally named the School of Medicine in 1965, the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine enrolls 203 students into their Undergraduate Medical Program each year. Focusing on an unconventional pedagogy dubbed as problem-based learning (PBL), students learn in sequential blocks on a caseby-case basis. McMaster Medical

School is also unique in that it is a three-year Medical Degree (MD) as opposed to four, and thus boasts 11 months-a-year rotations. But McMaster’s flagship Medical Program is different from other medical schools insofar as it neither exacerbates competition nor enhances it. This is not to say it is not competitive. Last year there were around 3500 applicants, 550 interviewed, and the final class size of 203. Rather there are only three necessary requirements to apply: a student must have a minimum of three years of undergraduate studies completed, must have a cumulative GPA • PLEASE SEE DOCTOR, C4

Partners in change

Find your method

Change can take a toll on your relationship. Learn to cope.

Figure out which type of birth control will work best for you and your partner.

Pg. C3

Pg. C6



ThreadCount Courtney Hum

Third Year MolBio & Genetics

Describe your style: Whatever fits What do you look for in a significant other? Humour, patience and ambition

Shirt: American Eagle - $30 Shoes: Steve Madden - $90 Purse: Michael Kors - Gift

Photos by Tyelr Hayward




The times, they are a-changin’ Dealing with life transitions need not come at a cost to your relationship Natalie Timperio

Senior InsideOut Editor

Making changes in your life can at times seem menacing, particularly when it comes to romantic relationships. Major life transitions can weigh heavily on your relationship, and so it’s not surprising as to why you, or anyone else, would fear change. When we’re young, we really do learn so much and often what we once knew we liked could easily change overnight. Getting to know yourself—your likes and dislikes, what you want and don’t want out of life—is only natural, though, and shifting preferences is nothing out of the ordinary. But this may not so easily be said for relationships. Perhaps you – or your partner, or both – are graduating in a couple of months, or making some other significant change in your life. Sometimes, someone is making a change and this can definitely be worrisome. If you’re like me, you may be anxious about this fact.

In a couple of month’s time both my boy- Perhaps you fear your partner meetfriend and I will be graduating, though from ing someone else, someone better than you, different schools. I know that graduation will someone who does fit in to your partner’s new bring with it a completely different life than life. Maybe you even fear losing interest in the one I’ve grown so accusyour partner, never mind them tomed to. But it’s a life that losing interest in you. I’m both nervous and excited The point is, adjusting to Even if the two of something for. new can be uncom Perhaps it’s spring fever, you aren’t remotely fortable. Don’t feel guilty if but I’ve also noticed that many on the same path you do feel this way, though. couples are breaking up, and is like change’s after graduation or evilInsecurity most of them just so happen to twin; it exists, it can stop be going through a transition whatever the change you or anyone else from enjoyof some sort. What this means, may be, this does ing something, and if you try I’m not sure—it could just be to kill it, well, good luck with not mean that your that. It’s a slippery foe that is a series of coincidences. But I am sure that change relationship cannot not all too easily buried. But it can make even the strongest can be done, and this is how: prosper.” relationship fragile. Don’t deny; recognize: Naturally, a person may Denial won’t do you any feel that their partner may good. It’s easy to suppress begin to lose interest in them; they are explor- realization of a fear or problem. Denial is ing a new or different life that you just don’t almost an inevitable part of fear of change, seem to fit in to. particularly when it comes to something that is so close to your heart. However, know that acceptance will come, whether you will it or not. And when it does finally come, chances are you’ll feel a whole hell of a lot better. Honesty is the best policy: This cliché really does say it all. It’s not so easy for most people to be honest with others, however. If it was, chances are you would have cleared up this issue long ago. But think of it this way; if you care enough about your

relationship to worry about it, then chances are your partner does too. And, if not, chances are your partner has already noticed that you’re worried about it or something at least. So, what really is the worst that can happen? Just don’t text your partner about it, though. Face-to-face interaction is always more sincere. Don’t hesitate to communicate: Assuming your honesty was well-received, don’t let fear continue to get in the way of simply talking to your partner about the change. It’s happening and there’s more than likely nothing you can do to stop it, so letting your partner in on your feelings is key to maintaining a healthy and positive relationship. It’ll not only provide you with peace of mind, but your partner as well. Sharing really is caring. Say yes to stress: Don’t wallow in self-pity at the thought of change or the change happening, but acknowledge the fact that more than likely you will experience some degree of strain in your relationship on account of the change. Anticipating this will help you prepare from any curve balls. You can’t predict what will or will not happen in or to your relationship, but you can help to alleviate some of the blows. Even if the two of you aren’t remotely on the same path after graduation or whatever the change may be, this does not mean that your relationship cannot prosper. Finding confidence in yourself again may be all that you need.


Don’t let change create a divide in your relationship.



More than meets the eye Despite the stereotypes, Hamilton has a lot to offer Laura Crump The Silhouette

Two years ago, I came to McMaster University as a first-year student in the Arts and Science program, and, as a first-year, I rarely found a reason to venture off campus. Why leave when I had classes, food, residence and more all within just a few feet of where I was living? Why bother with seeing Hamilton when I was busy with classes and campus events? In my second term, I was encouraged to see more of Hamilton. To help me branch out, a friend of mine recommended Community Volunteer Action (CVA), a working group of OPIRG that offers over 30 weekly volunteer groups assisting community organizations throughout inner city Hamilton. I began volunteering at the Eva Rothwell Resource Centre’s afterschool program in North Hamilton with a group of McMaster students helping to facilitate and monitor the program, and generally just interact with the kids that attended. My volunteer experience each week was always different; every day, I met new kids and did different activities. Through these kids and the people at the agency, I also learned more about Hamilton’s downtown core. As someone who eventually wants to work with kids, I gained valuable experience that I can one day use when applying to professional school or summer jobs. I also learned more about the socio-economic issues af-

Pop the McMaster bubble and get to know a different, more serene side of your Hamilton community. fecting Hamilton. By the end of term, I found myself looking forward to volunteering. I was beginning to see past Hamilton’s bad weather and “steel city” reputation that all of my relatives had warned me about. Volunteering also encouraged me to continue to experience more of Hamilton - like its monthly art crawls, great concerts, farmer’s markets and amazing waterfalls and hiking

Doctor difficulties • CONT’D FROM C1

of at least 3.0 out of 4.0, and score a minimum of a six on the Verbal Reasoning section of the MCAT. Granted admitted students for the 2011/2012 year had a mean GPA of 3.75 and mean Verbal Reasoning score of 10.58, these few requirements have broadened the base of applicants. In McMaster, no longer is the medical field restricted strictly solely to the hard-sciences. While this has certainly drawn criticism from other more traditionally founded schools, and may be counter to the changes coming to the MCAT in 2015 - which eliminates the writing component in substitution for two sections focusing on the psychology and social implications of medicine - McMaster medical school has proven otherwise. A degree in philosophy, for example, compared to one in biology, may very well benefit an applicant as they are exposed to a wealth of academic experiences that a science degree would not provide. Learning areas of study such as philosophy and history can prepare an applicant for the soft skills of medicine like ethics, patient communication and the necessary writing components. Thus, a focus on alternative students may in fact be valuable for medicine, at least according to one student. Or so at least one student has argued as much. “There is a lot of value in gaining exposure to the Humanities as an undergrad student,” says Raman Kumar, a first-year med student at McMaster. As a graduate of Arts and Science Program at McMaster, Kumar is a prime example of this innate value. Before settling on Medicine in his third year of university, Kumar waffled between Law and Medicine. “What really sold it for me was attending a seminar about Medical School. Medicine appealed to me because the work involved is very concrete… you can see the results. That interested me more than law.” Like most students, medical school had been a dream of Kumar’s since childhood. “Both my parents are doctors and seeing them work in rural India really inspired me to pursue medicine,” he said. Due to the immense competition, however, he never expected to get into medical school. In fact, he was hesitant to even apply. “I was very surprised when I was accepted. When I first applied to medicine, I gave myself only a ten percent chance of being accepted. There is so much hype about how difficult it is, and in some respects that is true. But you really have to filter all that out and focus on making yourself the best candidate possible.” Although Kumar gave himself very slim chances, he established a high GPA, received his Bachelor in Arts and Science,

took a MCAT review course where he spent three months of the summer just studying the MCAT, and organized trips to North Eastern India for students to learn about another country’s medical practices. And despite his modesty, he was accepted to Western, Queens, and McMaster, choosing McMaster because of “its PBL curriculum.” Kumar’s decision to pursue medicine, however, was not for any prestige or respect associated with the title. It was primarily grounded in his longing to establish rewarding connections with patients and to see them grow and develop as human beings. For Kumar, it isn’t enough that he wants to help people; he wants to help people get better. “It’s difficult for med students at first,” he says, “because we generally aren’t used to having very involved discussions with strangers about personal illnesses. But that’s what we have to learn to do as physicians … to learn how to extrapolate medical information while building rapport and trust with the patient.” For many, medicine is considered a vocation. No doubt one does need a great driving passion in order to help people, to overcome the intellectual struggles of medical school, and to continually learn about the most innovative treatments for old ailments. But medicine is more than some calling or a career. It becomes a way of existence. As a doctor, a person must be willing to sacrifice themselves for others because being a doctor is who they are, not simply what they do. Although doctors know how to take care of others, there may be times when they have to forget about themselves. Those are during the 28-hour shifts, the sleepless nights, and the experiences of death and trauma that will shape a person forever. Kumar embodied this exactly. During the interview, he had strep-throat and an inner ear infection, yet said he had to keep working, keep going, and keep moving forward. In the end, being a doctor is realization that the world isn’t sterile. It’s messy. Some cuts don’t heal. Some people will die. But a doctor must try, try, and try again, if not for themselves, then for the patient. Because a doctor is a means not to any end, but in a way to prevent ‘the end.’ Kumar mirrored this sentiment in his closing comment. “When you first arrive in medical school during orientation week, you have no or very little medical knowledge. By the time you’ve ended your first year, you have seen very serious illness that inevitably transforms the way you view the human condition. Your worldview may change because you come into very intimate encounters with death and suffering. Those experiences deeply influence how you develop as a person.”

trails. As a member of CVA, I’ve become part of a community that is trying to address the problems that are affecting Hamilton, and while it is true that volunteering once a week at an afterschool program, a soup kitchen or a long term care facility may not generate immediate change, it’s the first step in achieving it.


As students at Mac we’re integrated into the University community with campus events and opportunities, but we also become members of the Hamilton community - even if it is only for three or four years. It’s important that we break out of the McMaster ‘bubble’ and see what more Hamilton has to offer, and who knows, maybe you’ll be surprised by what you experience!



Word of the Week

“Adverblasting” Definition

When a commercial’s audio is much louder than the program you’re watching.

Used in a sentence “Wow, that silent film just got a whole lot louder.”

Top or bottom, the label shouldn’t define sexuality conception that being submissive is equivalent to being weak also exists. Again, this is an unfair connection to In this article the term “queer” is used as an draw, for being willing to submit yourself umbrella term for any relationship that falls to the lead of another person takes possibly outside of heterosexual norms. more strength than actually taking said lead. If you’re queer, then the meaning of the With this new knowledge in mind, we terms “top” and “bottom” are likely common can form more accurate definitions for these knowledge to you. It is also likely that you terms. We can now say that a top is the partner assume that everyone else understands them who is exerting a dominant role in the sexual as well. This is not true. experience, while a bottom is the partner After being asked multiple times about who is taking on the more submissive role. how things “work” in a same-sex relation- Are things starting to make a bit more sense? ships, particularly the sexual aspects, it Great. became very clear to me that this concept, Now, if you’re queer, you have likely also while clear to myself, is not understood by been asked whether you’re a top or bottom, most people. Don’t worry; I will try to ex- and if you’re straight you may have been the plain. one doing the asking, whether using those Taken in a literal, albeit exact words or not. one-dimensional, sense the While the appropriateness term ‘top’ refers to the partof such a question can be While some may ner who is on top in a sexual it is likely that you insist that you must debated, situation, or ‘giving it’ as have at least considered your fill one role or the answer, whether it was verI’ve heard it been described. Conversely, the term bottom balized or not. For some, this other, it is would then refer to the partanswer may be simple. For ner who is on the bottom, or completely possible others, neither term may exfor a person to ‘taking it.’ clusively describe them. Now, many people think take on different As humans we like to have that the conversation ends nice neat labels and categorroles at here, but these roles are more ies for people; it allows us to complex than simply the more easily understand them. different times.” positioning of one’s body. In But the world, and people, are fact, they transcend sexual rarely that simple. position. While some may insist that you must fill At their core, topping and bottoming are one role or the other, it is completely possible about dominance and submission. But this for a person to take on different roles at differgeneralization takes us into dangerous ter- ent times. ritory. People who think a top is simply the Maybe you like to top about 80 per cent ‘man’ in the relationship are making a very of the time, and bottom the rest. Or vice versa. common misconception. Maybe your time spent exploring your dom It is the misconception that dominance inant and submissive sides is fairly equally and masculinity are the same thing. If you split. Maybe your role changes from one relajust realized that you have been making this tionship to another. misconception yourself, please stop. I can tell But really, your preference doesn’t always you right now, there is no man in my relation- matter. As hard as it may be for some people ship, but the aspect of dominance is alive and to wrap their minds around it, versatility is an well. extremely legitimate aspect to one’s sexual Think of it this way: have you ever been activity. on top of your partner, but they are still hold- As we queers know, things are rarely ing the control in the situation? In this case, black and white, particularly when a person’s you would still be the bottom, regardless of sexuality is involved. your location. So whatever role you fall into, in what It is also important to note that there is a ever combination, embrace it. And enjoy it. stigma attached to being a bottom, for a mis- You might even learn something. Chantal Cino Silhouette Staff


Familiarize yourself with what it means to be queer.



Play safe, there’s a method for everyone Amanda Teseo Silhouette Staff

Ladies, we are all familiar with at least a few methods of birth control that prolong our entrance into motherhood, but did you know that modern technology is offering new and exciting ways to control the path of mother nature? Precautions should be taken whenever you are sexually active, but it doesn’t hurt to choose the precautionary measures that work best for you from the wide array of options available. Ella is a new FDA approved oral contraceptive that lasts 5 days after engaging in intercourse. Ella is a prescription-only version of plan B that prevents pregnancy for two days longer. If you’re curious, head to your nearest pharmacy and use it as an alternative to plan B. Contrary to popular belief, using plan B or Ella repeatedly does not harm your health in any way. Dr. Lisa Masterson, a gynecologist from the popular show The Doctors, explains that no research has confirmed a correlation between the use of emergency contraceptives (like Ella and plan B) and the development of a health issue. Dr. David Archer, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Eastern Virginia Medical School and a collaborator in the development of Ella, assures consumers that the product is safe, but should not be taken more than one time during the same cycle. He stresses that Ella is strictly meant for emergencies. If you are repeatedly relying on the medication to remain baby-free, it may serve you to look into other birth control options that offer a more continuous defense against pregnancy. From the birth control pill to plan B, girls have always carried the burden of pregnancy prevention, but now guys can do a little more than supply the condoms. New research has encountered a novel method of birth control that involves the ingestion of a pill four times a year for guys. Israeli researchers are currently testing an oral contraceptive that kills sperm before it can reach the egg. This method of birth control is at the beginning stages of development, so we shouldn’t expect it to make an appearance in drugstores any time soon. Carelessness surrounding contraception is the cause of more than half of accidental pregnancy. You may think you are being careful and taking the necessary precautions associated with your birth control methods, but you could be putting yourself at risk. For


Learning everything you need to know about the pill can help make a happier you. example, skipping a few birth control pills, portant because of the many side effects as- Did you know that oral contraceptives avoiding condom use, taking the pill at differ- sociated with the pill. could alter your sexual inclinations? Women ent times every day all increase the likelihood Professor Jayashri Kulkarni, from on the pill, or anything similar to it like the of pregnancy. Monash University’s School of Psychol- patch or ring, experience a decrease in sexual If you are contemplating utilization of the ogy, Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine, arousal. However, this varies greatly bebirth control pill as a contraception technique, conducted a study in March 2005 compar- tween individuals. Along with this, due to spend some time finding the right brand for ing users and non-users of oral contracep- their fluctuating hormones, women who are you and don’t forget to read through the fine tives. Both groups had no clinical history not on the pill respond more to strong masprint. Your gynecologist cannot accurately of depression. Results show “57 percent of culine features, like musculature, a narrow predict the effect a particular brand of the respondents reported mood swings, 63 per waist, broad shoulders and a v-shaped. Again, pill may have on your system. We all have cent were irritable, 65 per cent experienced this is an overall trend and does not apply to very unique and complex body chemistries irrational crying, and 69 percent felt anxious everyone. and thus, your response to a particular brand and depressed after taking hormonal contra- Ultimately, birth control, if done correctly of the pill may not mirror your neighbor’s or ceptives.” Overall, women taking oral con- and consistently, is very effective. However, your aunt’s responses. Make a list of all the traceptives report a multitude of different side disillusionment following a pregnancy scare brands your gynecologist recommends, and effects. However, ultimately the side effects is enough to induce serious stress. So, keep then take some time to experiment until you you experience depend on the brand of pill researching new methods of birth control that find one that suits you. This is especially im- you take. So choose wisely. fit your lifestyle.

Eye Oh Tidbits Smooth Talker

President Kennedy was the fastest random speaker in the world, speaking at 350 words per minute.

Walk it Out

In the average lifetime a person will walk the equivalent of five times around the equator.

Cat Nap

Cats sleep sixteen to eighteen hours a day. It’s more of a coma than a nap.

Life After Death

When you die, your hair still grows for a couple of months.

Lonely Lobster Syndrome

1 in 5,000 North American lobsters are born blue and have to stand out on their own.

Born to Rule

Mary Stuart became Queen of Scotland when she was six days old.



Find the fun in flexibility Maryann Ashley SHEC Media

We should all know by now that physical activity plays a very important role in having a healthy lifestyle. Judging by the overflow at the gym for the several weeks after New Year’s, I’m guessing that most of us realize that we should probably be making a regular appearance there, or going outside for a brisk walk, or something. But when we think about exercising we tend to get obsessed with either getting skinny, or getting bulky, or something similar. It’s impressive to see people lifting twice their body weight, but when I really stop and stare is when someone is able to go down into a perfect split or they’re able to contort their bodies and their heads are almost touching their butt. How often do we focus on our flexibility at the gym? As a woman, and having been a dancer for many years, flexibility is important to me. Back in high school, when I would bend myself in half, all of my male friends took this as some sort of sign of my freaky ability to do wild kinky things in the bedroom. I never really understood it until I saw the Seinfeld episode “The Gymnast.” Jerry starts dating a former Romanian gymnast and after watching a videotape of her competing (which the audience never gets to see) Kramer tells Jerry that he has to sleep with her because she would be very “flexible.” So maybe this is the kind of thing my friends had in mind, and they’re definitely not the only ones. All you have to do is go to a Google image search and type in flexibility and look at the different motivational poster memes and you’ll notice that there is a common opinion on just how sexy flexibility can be. If flexibility is so sexy, how come we don’t see everyone at the gym lined up in front of mirrors trying to casually spy on the person beside them to see who can lift their leg the highest? And how come this sexual flexibility stigma really seems to be onesided; why don’t we expect men to do crazy bendy bedroom tricks? In fact, some would say that being flexible is more important for the man because he needs to be able to have a lot of movement in


Flexbility can make you more than just a good acrobat; it has many positive effects for your health as well. his hips, climb over and around his partner, and do a lot of pumping motions. Essentially, when your flexibility goes, so does you sexual luster. So, what is flexibility and how can you get it? Flexibility or limberness is referring to your absolute range of movement in your joints and length in muscles that cross the joints. Flexibility is very individualistic, you can only do so much with what you’ve got. Your flexibility can be improved through exercise and stretching, but don’t hurt yourself by trying to stretch as far as your friend, some people are just more naturally flexible than others. Your gender, age, genetics, muscles, skin, and even your body temperature are just a few aspects that play a role in your stretching abil-

ities. Now that you’re reading about how important stretching is, you shouldn’t just start doing in right away. Stretching should only be done when your muscles and body are already warmed up. You’ll be able to stretch farther and you won’t be as likely to hurt yourself. When you are stretching try and hold your stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. The expression “No pain, no gain” does not apply here. You want to feel the stretch, not a searing pain. Stretching is usually grouped into four different categories: Dynamic (e.g. low lunges), Static-Active (e.g. controlled leg lifts), StaticPassive (e.g. the splits), and Ballistic (this one is a little more demanding and should only be done by professionals and with the help of a

trainer). Good flexibility can have many positive rewards such as reduced muscle soreness, improved posture, increased blood flow and nutrients to body tissues, and improved muscle coordination. Plus it might also mean that you could attempt some of those crazy looking Kama Sutra moves you’ve always wanted to try. Want to get more flexible but don’t know how? Try going to a yoga class, or a dance class, or going to talk to a trainer to ask about some stretches that might work for you. Sounds like too much effort? Go to Google. Type in “flexibility exercises” and you’ll get over four million hits, and there’s videos on Youtube aswell. So get out there, get warm, and get stretching. Your health and your sexual reputation will thank you for it.






production office extension: 27117

A tale of two degrees

News around Do post-graduate studies lead to employment prospects? the world Telecommunications The Harper Conservatives announces plans to lift restrictions on foreign-ownership laws for the country’s mobile sector. Although this applies only to companies with less than 10 per cent market share, the decision will have a significant impact on Canadian firms, such as Rogers, Bell and Telus. It was announced that the government has allocated a quarter of the available spectrum primarily for new entrants to the market, which means that smaller competitors will challenge the big three. The decision aims to promote access to additional foreign capital to be used for the purpose of securing a valuable spectrum (airwave frequencies), allowing new entrants and smaller firms to compete against established corporations. Consumer spending trends Students are no stranger to the aches and pains of having an empty wallet and a heap of debt, and a new survey by WSL Strategic Retail suggests that growing financial concerns have young people aged 18 to 34 increasingly reluctant to shop. Weakened consumer confidence among this age bracket has hurt sales in retailers such as Urban Outfitters Inc. and Aeropostale Inc. According to the survey, roughly one quarter of young shoppers do not have sufficient funds to cover basic needs, including payments for rent and groceries. With a lack of funds, even to cover basic necessities, it’s no surprise that retailers are seeing a drop in sales for lavish brands. Federal Reserve Board

Many students struggle with the decision of whether or not to pursue post-graduate studies. Sonya Khanna Business Editor

Whichever way you choose to slice it, the ultimate goal of pursuing some form of post-graduate education is finding a job. Whether you decide to take on the challenge of completing your MBA or a post-graduate diploma, the experience should provide you with a sense of satisfaction in knowing that the time invested has substantially increased your skill set. Most importantly, along with finding a job, you want to ensure that you can establish yourself in a career that you enjoy. How will each school provide you with a unique experience to diversify your experience and knowledge? There’s no doubt about it, completing a Master of Business Administration is quite a popular route for many university grads. An increase in pay and even prestige may spawn from an MBA, along greater career opportunities. The downside is the financially cumbersome aspect of the degree. Rather than furthering education at a hefty cost, it may be more appealing for an individual fresh out of university to work for some time to pay off existing student loans and

save up for the future. However, when students invest countless hours and money into the completion of post-graduate education, they have their eye on the prize. “While completing my MBA I have found that it has opened up the doors to greater possibilities in terms of jobs,” says McMaster MBA candidate, Reva Pellerin. “I’m learning things that have helped me a lot in my current job, and I have expanded on the things that I have learned about in my undergrad. It definitely takes work, but I feel that if you put in the effort and you have the right drive you will get more out of it than you anticipated. The knowledge that I am able to take back and implement in the workplace is substantial.” According to a survey conducted in 2007 by the Corporate Recruiters, employers are willing to pay up to 84 per cent more for candidates with an MBA. Furthermore, the survey suggests that employers have a definite plan to increase their hiring of MBA holders and scale back on candidates that only have an undergraduate degree. “Doing my MBA has benefited me by exposing me to so many different people from different edu-

cational work backgrounds in different industries, and moving into different areas,” says Pellerin. “An MBA lets you meet people interested in different lines of business as well, such as accounting and marketing, so you get a view of the different priorities and views of the different parts of a business.” Networking opportunities are abundant for MBA students, as they meet and study with up and coming professions. However, despite the existing benefits, a Master of Business Administration is not everyone’s cup of tea. “I always knew that I wanted to do some type of post-graduate education, but when I graduated, I realized how difficult it would be for me cover the costs,” says McMaster alumnus, Sabrina Singh. “I weighed the pros and cons and realized that I would need to work for a few years to pay off outstanding student loans and save up for graduate studies. What I realized when I started working was that as I became established in the workforce I felt less need to pursue further education. I ended up taking a few courses specifically geared toward my field of work and they really helped me out.” An alternative to a postgraduate degree is a postgraduate diploma. In Canada, postgraduate diplomas can

The Federal Reserve Board joined Twitter on Wednesday under the appropriately titled name @federalreserve. The decision to hop on the social networking bandwagon comes as the Fed has expressed the desire to increase transparency. Folbe completed in just one year and lowers of the Fed will be bombarded offer students the advantage of spe- with press releases, speeches, testicializing on a particular subject. mony, reports to the congress and Zoning in on a specific part the Monthly Report on Credit and of the industry allows students to Liquidity Programs, along with the broaden professional skills; post- Federal Reserve’s weekly balance graduate diplomas offer a practical, sheet. hands-on approach. A Bachelor’s degree or dip- Research In Motion loma is a mandatory prerequisite for completing a post-graduate dip- In recent months, RIM has faced loma. Students may see benefit in multiple hits, threatening the image completing a more specific, focused of the company. Since mid-2008, form of education also due to lower Research In Motion Ltd. shares costs of education and the fast com- have lost more than 90 per cent of pletion. their value, with no sign of a turn Many post-graduate programs around as BlackBerry prepares to offer a work placement to provide announce its earnings. According students with the practical experi- to data compiled by Bloomberg and ence that employers demand. stock exchanges, at the end of Feb The average tuition fee for ruary, short interest in RIM rose to completing a post-graduate diploma 59.2 million shares, its highest since in two semesters is roughly $5,200 January 2004. Although the recent for domestic students; approximate BlackBerry 7 models have offered tuition fee for a Canadian citizen to an innovative improvement to precomplete an MBA full-time is ap- vious models, RIM has struggled to proximately $29,800. regain share of the market, losing At the end of the day, the issue is sales to Apple’s iPhone as well as to not so much which avenue will lead devices running Google’s Android to a better job as it is about which software. In January, RIM’s share would be better suited for you to of the U.S. market slid to 15 per meet your career goals and satisfy cent, down from 17 per cent in the your financial situation. Each offer previous quarter. great prospects and with determination, all paths will ultimately lead you to the same destination. JOY SANTIAGO /MULTIMEDIA EDITOR

This Week in Business Job Seeking Blip

Casino Fever

Recent survey suggests job seekers in Canada are on the decline, leading to a drop in unemployment.

With the portions of Ontario Place set to close, talks of replacing the Toronto venues with a casino are in full swing.

Pg. C10

Pg. C11


Survey shows a decline in job seekers Lewenza has expressed cauBusiness Editor tion, urging government and policy makers to delve into the intricacies According to the latest release from of the national unemployment rate the Labour Force Survey by Statis- as a precise indicator of economic tics Canada, employment remained health in Canada. The flaw in the steady in February; however, de- unemployment rate is its inability clines in the number of job seekers to account for the quality of jobs on slid the unemployment rate down offer, and it also disregards individ0.2 points to 7.4 per cent. uals who have thrown in the towel Ken Lewenza, President of the in the search for employment.WorkCanadian Auto Workers Union, place standards, as well as the overhas expressed concern over the de- all quality of work, have diminished cline in job seekers, seeking prompt given substantial alterations to the action from Ottawa. As greater structure of the labour market, innumbers of Canadians cluding the loss exit the workforce, of over half a Lewenza has sugmillion manufacWe’re in the midst turing and progested the need to enact a national good of a full-blown crisis cessing positions. jobs strategy. ConThe issue of real in this country. The wages remaincern from Lewenza spawned subse- alarm has been ring- ing static, as well quent to the Statisas an increase in tics Canada monthly ing for years, yet the shaky forms of survey, indicating a Harper government employment, indrop in the national cluding temporlabour market par- just keeps hitting the ary and contract ticipation rate to jobs, contributed snooze button.” its lowest level in a further to the indecade. sufficient work According to Statistics Canada, place standards. employment for youths aged 15 “Workers, in all sectors and to 24 slid in the month of Febru- across all skill levels have been raisary, while increases were exhibited ing their voices for so long many among individuals aged 55 and have lost their breath,” Lewenza over. said. “Canada has no jobs plan. Our Although employment in Ongovernment seems blissfully ignortario for the month of February reant of the plight of working people mained unchanged, the unemployment plummeted by 0.5 per cent, in the real economy. I want Jim Flato 7.6 per cent. Nation-wide, the herty to announce in the budget that unemployment rate was lowest for the government is organizing an the Province of Alberta, standing urgent multi-stakeholder, national at 5.0 per cent. Since March 2002, good jobs summit. That summit fewer Canadians have sought em- should then translate into a national ployment; in the previous month, good jobs strategy. Anything less is a smaller portion of the working a gross injustice to Canadian workage population, 66.5 per cent, were ers.” looking for work. Lewenza said According to Lewenza, the these figures should send a warning obligation to demonstrate leadercall to federal and provincial gov- ship is with the federal government. ernments. The upcoming federal budget will “We’re in the midst of a fullgenerate movement among blown jobs crisis in this country,” Lewenza said. “The alarm has been Canadians and will be the deringing for years yet the Harper fining moment, indicating how government just keeps hitting the fully aware the government is of the gravity of the jobs situation. snooze button.” Sonya Khanna


Interested in writing for the Sil business section? Come out to our weekly Wednesday meetings at 1:30 in MUSC B110. Email us at for more information.



Out with the old, in with...casinos? Assessing the viability of having a casino replace Ontario Place


There are individuals in support of and against the decision to set up a casino in the Toronto, in the former Ontario Place venue. Felipe Senisterra The Silhouette

Another polarizing issue has emerged in Toronto in the past few weeks, and this one, much like the ongoing transit debate, promises to be fueled by both ideological and economic interests. The Province of Ontario announced last month that it plans to close numerous Ontario Place venues while it attempts to revitalize the site over the next five years. Many members of Toronto’s city council wasted no time in viewing this location as a frontrunner in relation to the most recent plans of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. OLG chair Paul Godfrey has made it public in recent months that the closure of underperforming facilities to enable the open-

ing of new ones in more attractive locations will be carried out as a component of an expansionary strategy, and the province’s capital easily stands out as an investment goldmine. Not only does the possibility of a Toronto casino offer access and proximity to a larger customer base offered by other cities in this province, the potential revenue to the city also has many councilors excited about the possibility of such gains during a time when its budget is drawing increasing concern. However, questions remain whether a city council currently overrun with infighting is in good enough shape to ask itself all of the necessary questions that must be addressed regarding such a polarizing issue. While significant revenue increases from the construction of a casino can enhance the city’s financial standing and create flexibility

with other required expenditures and developments, it remains to be seen to what extent the revenues brought in by a casino can be offset by the economic detriments it may bring. A venue of such magnitude poses the benefit of boosting many nearby businesses and enabling the emergence of additional ones, but, as casinos align more closely with some types of businesses than with others, the municipal and provincial governments must ensure that such an establishment can coexist with the local economies of surrounding areas. Much as the economic success of surrounding neighborhoods must be complemented rather than hindered by a casino, the prosperity of other cities should also be taken into account. These can range from those within short driving distance of Toronto to a city as far away as Niagara Falls. In the past decade, Ontario’s government has made significant efforts to increase Toronto’s connectivity to the border by enhancing economic ties and transit between the two cities. As licensed gambling is a key contributor to revenues in Niagara Falls, it must be ensured that a new casino in one city won’t draw more than a reasonable number of customers away from a casino in the other.

A question that seems to have been given limited attention since the emergence of this issue is whether alternatives to a casino exist that can make similar (or better) contributions to the balancing of Toronto’s budget in the near future. Money brought in by a casino is very difficult to match by other means, but a combination of several other options may not be out of the question. Toronto’s current budget isn’t going to balance itself without decisive and reasonable action, however the fastest and, possibly, most currently accessible contribution may not necessarily be the healthiest. As a city with one of the most rapidlygrowing downtown cores in the world, the dynamics of Toronto’s citizens, businesses and neighborhoods are far from easy to assess. Additionally, the city’s continuing development and financial recovery must also rely on strong relationships with surrounding areas. Whether one supports or opposes the possibility of a casino at the waterfront, Downsview Park or another location in Toronto, a decision made with limited evidence can be just as dangerous as the lack of any action towards the solution of a problem. Currently, both sides of the argument are in need of additional information.

Did you know? Warren Buffet started out as a pinball repairman.

Walt Disney World generates about 120,000 pounds of garbage every day.


The creator of the NIKE Swoosh symbol was paid only $35 for the design.


Now you know.



MARKET ST. ARENA March 11th - 16th students live homeless for 5 days to support the Hamilton Good Shepherd Youth Shelter



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

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

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

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


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

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

the lit issue


thursday, march 15, 2012

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

Contributors: Aaron Joo, Marco Felice, Kacper Niburski, Robert Revington

Cover: Jonathon Fairclough

coming up


The Ring of Fire Homegrown Hamilton 9:00 p.m.


Edgar Breau This Ain’t Hollywood 9:00 p.m.


Waster The Casbah 8:00 p.m. Rich Aucoin The Casbah 8:00 p.m.

The Sunshine Boys Player’s Guild of Hamilton 8:00 p.m. 80 Queen St S. Hamilton, ON. (905) 529-0284 Wingfield Lost and Found Theatre Aquarius 8:00 p.m. 190 King William St. Hamilton, ON. (905) 522-7529


Jeff, Who Lives at Home Casa de mi Padre 21 Jump Street



Oral Groove The Casbah 9:00 p.m.

may 4-19


The Weeknd TwelvEighty 8:00 p.m.


mar 7-25


Julie Doiron This Ain’t Hollywood 9:00 p.m.



andy’s ticks


in the hammer

steven tyler=dead transvestite, winter ain’t done yet, hillbillies, good tripod: velbon, hicks, okonomi house, gros morne, nfld rprsnt, momofuku milkbar, popular in newyork, it’s really hipster, cowboy henk, cheech wizard, jufran: banana ketchup, one thing jon, you work for the sil?, balmy weather, lip bomb, carl sagan

“Your very

flesh shall be a great poem”

this week in music history...

March 16, 1996: The Ramones performed what they claimed would be their last ever date in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They later played one more date in L.A.

• Walt Whitman

quick! get out of the sun... ...write for andy meetings are held on tuesdays at 2:30pm in musc b110 e-mail your submissions to

editorial andy editors pick their favourite reads

thursday, march 15, 2012

the silhouette’s art & culture magazine • D3

While The Crying of Lot 49 may be a tricky read for some, its hallucinatory 1960s vibe remains utterly stimulating. The story centres on Oedipa Maas, a Californian housewife who’s been requested to serve as executrix for a former lover’s estate, multi-millionaire Pierce Inverarity. However, his holdings yield a labyrinth of deeper roots, and soon Oedipa is left unraveling a strange conspiracy involving an ancient postal feud – one that not only stretches back to 15th-century Europe, but also every crevasse of her supposed journey. Pynchon’s intent is never to confine meaning; rather, he playfully parades his story with popping puns and satirical swagger. The book’s brilliance, and longevity, derives from his ability to synthesize esoteric historical cues, rock and roll singers, cryptic symbolism and drug use into an offbeat, swirling prose of run-on sentences and existential explorations. Densely written under 200 pages, the book nevertheless invites literary cleverness and social commentary amongst a backdrop of absurd situations and perplexity. Will you everyone get it? Probably not. All I can guarantee is you’ll have a groovy time trying.

In a society that prides itself on complexity and unrelenting progress, simplicity becomes an often overlooked virtue. Rarely has a one’s vision of our place in the cosmos been as sober, insightful and simplistic as Henry David Thoreau’s in Walden. Walden, upon first inspection, is a lucid journal documenting two years of self-sufficient living by a quiet pond on the fringes of society. However, the essence of the book is Thoreau’s roaming, conversational introspection. The book invites us to take part in his own journey of self-discovery, and in the process we discover a humble expression of life entirely foreign to the modern world. Although brilliantly human and optimistic, Walden is wrought with a foreboding undertone. Thoreau was weary of the industrialization taking place across America and highly critical of the idea of progress as intrinsically positive. A century and a half later, time is running dangerously short if we are to redeem the simplicity and community Thoreau believes we deserve. • Josh Parsons, Music Editor

As an Honours English major, sometimes acquaintances assume that my knowledge of the Canon is vast, that my taste in literature is refined, and that my judgment of mainstream, contemporary authors may be harsh. This is not the case. My all-time favourite book – or rather, book series – is Harry Potter. This comes as no surprise to those who know me well and have witnessed (endured?) me talk at length about the plot, characters and overall brilliance of J.K. Rowling’s opus. I feel like I grew up with Harry, Ron and Hermione (I started reading the books when I was seven) and have an intense attachment with the novels that no other book has been able to replicate; I’ll wager that none ever will. While they may not have the sophistication or respect of the authors I now study here at McMaster, I’m confident that I can credit my decision to pursue an English degree to the Harry Potter books, 1 through 7. So thanks, Rowling. • Jemma Wolfe, Senior ANDY Editor and Muggle

• Myles Herod, Entertainment Editor

the big tickle

what is your favourite book?

compiled by myles herod & tyler hayward

“have a little faith” jennifer stever

“do androids dream of electric sheep?” elliott o’brien

“you’re different and that’s super” cristina monachino

“the extended military history of afghanistan” samira king

“song of soloman” justin raudys

D4 • the silhouette’s art & culture magazine

thursday, march 15, 2012

and the winner is...

The submissions for this year’s annual ANDY’S SHORT STORY CONTEST were a diverse mix of styles and plots, all of which worked with the theme of GREED in unique ways. Congratulations to the winners. ILLUSTRATIONS BY JOY SANTIAGO, MULTIMEDIA EDITOR

1 H st

A Small Act of Sacrifice By Aaron Joo

The room is dark and smells of rank excrement and the sharp ammoniacal scent of urine. There is a large recliner in the center of the room, and a ghostly, ethereal blanket of polarized light from the flat-screen TV outlines its shape. Two women, whose demographical identities has one immediately imagine them as the kind of people who think sex is dirty, speak in that methodical way characteristic to North American media, emphasizing nearly every other word. The two are engaged in a casual, but scripted conversation, and the one says to the other (though this is clearly directed towards the audience) “…and can you believe? Only two easy payments of $19.99!” The slim figure of Mrs. Briard is hunched over in the recliner, a thin film of mucous building up around her dead, open eyes. A milky line of spittle (possibly post-mortem upchuck) trails down her chin, parallel to her carotid artery. She clutches a BMO credit card in her hand. On a foldout table next to her there is a universal remote control, a Styrofoam takeout box, a pack of Camels, a lighter, English bourbon, and an empty, plastic pill organizer with individual compartments for every day of the week. A bloated flesh fly has been swinging itself around in large circles around her temple for the past few minutes, attempting to land near her half-open mouth. *

Dr. Alice Lambert stands arms crossed, shivering, with a clipboard held to her breast. The morgue is kept at a mandatory 2ºC and it always takes employees a few minutes to adjust to the temperature. Alice’s hands however, always remain bone-chillingly cold. Currently Compartment-3 of the ‘Refrigerated Containment Unit’ (which is just a drawer/shelf for dead bodies) is open, and Alice is pulling out a heavy examination table, which slides out smoothly like a long tongue. Almost every part of the Containment Unit is a dull silver-grey. The touch of the table’s edge under Alice’s palm is especially freezing. A slender female body is laid flat on the table1. The body looks as if it’s collapsing into itself: what Alice is sure once used to be a prominent nose is inclining slightly over grey-blue lips; high, arching brows are beginning to fold over swollen eyelids; the chin is angular and sharp, but the neck is leather-like and heavy with creases. The hairs, of the chin, the brows, the eyelashes, are laced with a fine, crystalline frost. There is an identification tag attached to the wrist2. She pushes the table back in and reaches for the pen she always keeps held between her cheekbone and the temple arm of her glasses. She rolls the tip of the pen on her tongue before scribbling a quick signature of authorization. As she walks towards the fridge (there are two, three if you count the one holding the bodies: one for chemicals and another for communal use3, both clearly marked with script written in a black Sharpie on

It is a function of rhetoric that we refer to the dead as “bodies,” neither a he nor a she, removing from them all associations with life. They become nameless, lacking will and sentience, become mere husks of flesh without causation, without possession. This is especially frustrating for myself in writing this since there are no pronouns with which to refer to the dead besides ‘it’.


Often generally assumed that such ID tags (which always conjures up images of something you tie to luggage at airports) are solely affixed to toes, though this isn’t universally true; Dr. Lambert herself used to believe it was disrespectful and impersonal, thus the wrist bracelet.




Although many in the past have complained about the possible risk of contamination and the mixing up of consumables with non-consumables, not to mention the fact that it’s just plain creepy to have to step into a room full of cold, dead people for one’s leftover chicken casserole, no action has been taken by anyone to simply move the food fridge to another room. The consumed blood thinners belonged to the late Mr. Briard, who worked as a quantity surveyor for a large construction company and ultimately died not of a heart condition, but a dreadful on-site accident when he momentarily removed his hard hat to wipe the sweat off his forehead. The rest? Let’s just say he had to be carried out because there was no way he could have walked on his own after the claw of a hammer became lodged in his skull.

bright-yellow signs about the size of a postcard in dimension, which read ‘POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES’ and ‘FOODSAFE :)’ respectively, the latter complete with that minimal, symbolic happy-face, the purpose of which I can only suppose is to suggest some nominal feeling of well-being), the heels of her flats click across the cold, sand-blasted tiles, so treated to improve grip and as a result reduce potentially hazardous slips and falls. She opens the (correct) fridge to get at her stash of carbonated beverages that advertise a healthy dose of taurine and triple the amount of caffeine found in a single cup of coffee. She cracks it open with the nail of her index finger, the sound ringing crisp and metallic against the acoustics of the morgue. She exhales sharply and imagines she sees her breath condensing, and sips at her drink slowly, birdlike. The word ‘immoral’ is currently projecting in her mind. The hand holding the drink is now numb. Around the workplace Alice is secretly referred to (although she was already aware of this since the beginning) as the Iron Hand: ruthless, precise and meticulous. Nothing slips past Alice’s omnisciently pervasive administrative radar. If there is anything worth knowing about, Alice will not only have already heard about it, but will have actively examined the issue, and will have sent a representative in her place to deal with said issue. Many who have passed through here immediately disliked her within minutes. But this is not who Alice really is. There was a time when Alice was considerate, kind, gentle, Whether the mistake was indeed innocent or not is a question Henri had to later face while he was cleaning out his mother’s apartment. In her bedroom vanity he found the expired prescription bottle, and he first had to wonder, why did she not throw it out years ago? Was it to serve as a self-reminder? But then he had to wonder, if this was true, then how was it that she neglected realizing that she was filling her vitamin tube with expired medication? Was she that drunk to not notice? But then how would she have been able to close the bottle properly and place it back in its original place? And her vitamins were kept in her kitchen…it dawned on him then that his mother’s death could have been a very sober, deliberate and intentional act. 5

aware, at times emotional—but there are few who know this. But it was precisely because of her disposition that for every day she came into work she had to perform role of the Iron Hand—that is, if she intended to preserve her sanity. Now, after many years, this has taken its well-due effect on Alice. She feels she no longer has any control over who she is and what she wants to become. She feels that the bodies stored here are no more alive than she is. Alice made the all-too-well-known mistake of getting too close to the extended family of the deceased quite recently. This kind of thing is taboo in all professional fields but happens nonetheless. Alice herself remembers being warned of such events many times prior, but the reason being that working with the dead was not an easy task for normal people, that as time went on it became harder to detach yourself. No one ever said anything about the reverse, about losing all capability to feel, and how to get it back. The mistake was between herself and Henri, who was younger than her by ten years. How they met was through an unfortunate event involving a night of heavy drinking and an innocent mistake of confusing blood thinners for vitamins. I speak here of Henri’s mother, of course4,5. Since the death of her husband, Henri’s mother had, little by little, removed a part of herself from the rest of the world and shut them up inside of her, living in isolation. Eventually she stopped leaving her apartment completely when she discovered she could hire a delivery service that did all her shopping for her, bringing everything she could possibly need in the form of prepared meals, liquor and cigarettes straight to her door, and the entire transaction being made through the mail slot so that there was minimum human contact. Even then Henri continued to send his mother monthly cheques, working two part-time jobs to keep both their lives economically afloat, all while attending the local community college. One should note that Alice didn’t intend for this relationship to happen. It just happened. Never had she felt so much pity for another living thing; never had she felt something that moving in a long time. Perhaps it wasn’t very healthy for either of them What this vacuum entails, or how it came to be in the first place, Alice is unsure of. 6

Possibly because Alice was under the impression that self-conscious young men with low self-esteem like Henri almost always tried extremely hard at everything they did, and in that sense she may have been acting rather salaciously, but nevertheless envied Henri’s ability to feel such emotion. 7

to begin a relationship over a recent death, but Alice genuinely believed Henri needed someone to be there for him at that point in his life, for he had no one else, and if she could allow herself to be that someone, if she could fulfil that role for Henri, then perhaps she could somehow fill the dormant vacuum she carried in herself6. Seeing his mother’s semi-frozen body on an examination table was too much for Henri. He despised her, truly, passionately despised her for everything: despised her when she blew all the money his father’s compensation insurance gave them on alcohol, despised her for shutting herself up from everything in the world, from himself, never passing a voice of concern or care or even a word of gratitude, the selfish bitch just sat there in her chair (which he paid for, by the way), eyes glued to her TV (again, which he paid for), until Henri finally decided he couldn’t put up with her relentless neglect any longer. But he had still cried over her then and there in the morgue, a genuine, sorrowful cry that involved his entire being. His shoulders heaved, tears dribbled down his face, and he cried all the harder at how embarrassed he was at letting a strong, competent doctor like Alice, who clearly had all her emotional shit in check, see him so vulnerable, so human, and he found himself apologizing profusely for it. This self-deprecating attitude of Henri’s was something Alice curiously found herself extremely attracted to7. She reached out and placed her hand on his. It was cold enough for Henri to take notice of it. Some may view what happened next as unethical. But are such desires really? Is it wrong if Alice decided to just selflessly be there for someone and, out of consequence, simultaneously feel good about being needed, wanted and passionately desired? And is it really greed if Henri chose to forget his mother just for a moment, chose to forget about her needs, and acted on his own want and volition? Is it really greed if a person actively sought out a connection with another human being just to feel alive? Their hands converged, each giving into the other, and stayed there suspended in stasis over the body of the late Mrs. Briard8. For once in a long time, Henri felt good about himself. He thought the implications of this through as he was dressing the next morning in Alice’s kempt bedroom. When he returned to his own cave of an apartment, having walked the entire way with a steady, confident stride, he approached his door and swung it open with such vigour that what was stuck in his mail slot flung itself into a corner of the room with a thud. He picked it up, surprised by its density, and his heart dropped as he turned the compact package over in his hands to notice the smeared words, ‘Shopping Channel®’ stamped across the plain, brown wrapping 8

2 H


Bourgeois Jihad By Marco Filice

Eye-shutters open, all I see is a blur. Which is it now? Outside I hear the wind’s blowing stir. In front of me colours brighten, and forms crisp out their edges. Ugh, this one. Shit. The flat screen ten feet in front of the waking man flickers images of a vast expanse of desert. Cut to: a caravan of nomadic herders trailing through the sand, toddlers riding and giggling on wagons. The bleating of sheep, and cowbells clunking under the necks of moaning cows. They approach overreaching palm trees and a small pond where a group of children run ahead of the others to have a quick sip of the fresh water. The frame of the image zooms into the travellers: they are families, communal members of an idea borne of the land. Their concept will soon shatter. The caravan scatters, and the animals lose their lead and squeal and jump in all directions. The women and children scream and cry out at the iron structures rolling in. The tanks and trucks surround the caravan; soldiers pour out like a blacksmith tips over a barrel of molten metal. All the bushels of produce are thrown out, vegetables burst onto the dry clay ground, wheat bits fly into the air and settle into the blackened cracks of the dried desert floor. The women are grabbed, pulled aside and slapped, and the children tossed about because of the ease of their weightlessness. The men are leapt on and subdued like rodeo animals. The villagers are tied and blindfolded, and then hurled into temporary jail cells on wheels. The foreign machines take the human cargo away, and nothing left of their existence remains except for animals scurrying in panic, shattered pieces of farm machinery, splattered crops and the cameraman’s record of the scene. A camel, under the weight of some man’s belongings, observes indifferently. It spits and walks off screen to the west.


The man lifts the TV controller and clicks the red button. The screen turns black instantly and silence pervades the air. He glares at the ghost of his reflection in the TV screen, stretches out his stiffened limbs and stands up, groaning. He brushes his trousers at the knees and fans out the wrinkles on his sleeves. Here a solitary figure stands alone, observing his surroundings. The faint glow of lampshades casts a fine layer of sapphire upon the sparsely furnished condo. Creamy loveseats repose like lazy animals around the perimeter, their leather scent still fresh in the air. The complex itself is

like a luxurious cave: onyx painted walls, occasioned by framed portraits of apes cuddling, a lion in the long grass and an eagle soaring. Behind the TV is a mural of the Saharan desert just before dawn; curling sand dunes pose like waves. The hardwood floors are natural bamboo, with ferns and large banana leaf pots giving the corners the illusion of a tropical oasis. He moves to the window. It’s a massive panorama of the metropolis down below, and the entire partition from the left to the right walls of the loft is a pane of thin glass. The other side of the translucent barrier is a marble-floored balcony, about thirty feet in length and ten in width, with wicker seats and silk cushions under a canvas canopy. The scenery beyond is covered under the massive duvet of night, and the bed underneath is of twinkling lights, as if the nerve-endings of the empire’s political organ are burning with hostile fervour. He turns back to the couch and the heels of his loafers tap lightly on the smooth bamboo surface. With the coffee table at his knee, he lifts his glass from the pile of international newspapers and gulps the rest of his drink. His face doesn’t squint. His eyes are heavy and he bellows a deep sigh. He turns and paces to the mahogany liquor cabinet between the windowpane and the TV; it is lit up like a display at the Versailles. The doors are thin glass and the shelves glimmer like prisms with all sorts of crystal bottles and clear chalices. He opens the cabinet, reaches in and reverently carries a bottle of Louis XIV brandy from the front. With the concentration of a Zen master he fills the cup with this historic beverage. The soft brandy trickles like a spring into the cup. It is full to the rim, he puts it on an empty space on the glass shelf, twists the lid back on the Sun King’s own and returns the near-empty bottle to its place setting. He pulls his beverage out and shuts the cabinet. Just inches away from his eyes a chunky platinum ring sits on the top shelf, with the insignia of an ancient symbol not many people on the planet have seen. His vision touches upon it briefly, his eyelids flicker and his upper lip curls with tension. He sips his brandy to distract himself. He stares into the bottom of the glass as if waiting for a reply, but it doesn’t come. Instead, he turns the key on the cabinet’s lock and again reaches in, this time for the bottom shelf. He pulls out a red mahogany humidor of Gurkha cigars and opens it quickly. They are symmetrically aligned, all their labels are parallel, and the aroma of rich tobacco rises into his nostrils. He closes his eyes and slightly grins; nostalgia is one of the only values left to him. The man takes one from the left side and closes the wooden box and slides it back on the shelf before locking it.

Reaching into his left chest pocket, he pulls out a gold-plated Zippo with a sentimental quotation inscribed on it. He gently rubs the cigar with the inner moistened parts of his crusted lips and snips the end with a cutter. He puts the exposed end in his mouth and lights the other. As he takes his time inhaling, he pauses for a moment, and then smoke gusts out of his nose like a tired dragon. A cloud of white covers the glass in front of him and he can’t see his reflection from the cabinet. He walks over to the cityscape. The emotions that once inspired him with impulse have alienated him. The $2,000 drink and his $1,500 cigar are not setting the tone they once did. He stands still, like a statue, a cast of his former self filled with regret and grey obscurity drowning his existence.


A light knock cuts his retrospective daydream short and he turns his head swiftly. Slipping off his shoes, he tiptoes to the nightstand, puts the cigar in an ashtray, rests the half-filled glass back on the moist rings of the stacked newspapers and glides to the door. He pulls out a Glock that was tucked under his belt, points it at the lock, and places his naked, blood-shot eye in front of the peek hole. He spies the disproportionate and lopsided image of a massive bald figure on the other side of the door. Sighing relief, he opens the door— he recognizes the young man. He tucks the pistol back into the back part of his belt, greets the visitor and gestures him to come in. The dapper-looking fellow takes one step and gently shuts the door. The man walks back to his smoking cigar and brandy and offers the adolescent some as well. The young man begins to speak. “No thanks. You know why I’m here.” He stares then blinks at the youth who is dressed in an all black, doublebreasted suit. He notices the satin tie; it reflects the lampshades’ sapphire tint. But it’s the hands that took the man back: the visitor is wearing black latex gloves. “No, not now,” he says, his shoulders collapsing into his body. “When did you think it was going to happen? You knew what you were getting yourself into when you joined the club.” “Could I use the phone?” “This isn’t allowed. Don’t act like you don’t know.” “You can’t at least grant a man the last words to his love?” The youth doesn’t reply. The man picks up the phone—it’s dead. “I could give you a few moments to—” The man drops the lifeless

D6 • the silhouette’s art & culture magazine CONTINUED FROM D5 handset on the coffee table and turns around to look at the city again. It offers no solitude. “You know,” he starts, “I had no choice. It was the only way to get us out of that mess.” “Regardless, you know protocol. Don’t be a hypocrite.” The man speaks to the window’s reflection of the young man. “I lost family and friends for those bastards! You wouldn’t be standing there if it weren’t for—” “Stop. You made an oath when you took the ring; you knew the consequences. I paid my dues in training not to be conquered by my conscience now.” Defeated, the man turns around to face the young man. His eyes are blood-shot and glossy, his voice sullen. He pulls out the



Love Loves Us, Love By Kacper Niburski

The first thing you feel is panic. It’s overwhelming. Your fingers shake. Your eyes bounce around. Everything feels stiff and loose at the same time. The back of your throat is like a desert but even if you wanted to drink, you couldn’t. Instead of pouring water down your throat, you’d drown. Nothing works right because nothing feels right. It’s chaos. Unadulterated, immitigable chaos. In its very climax, when you feel the panic coursing through your veins, you reach for the water – hoping that you do indeed drown. The next is fear. People around you start screaming. They run around hysterically in an attempt to save themselves. It infects you. Their idea of salvation. If only for a little while, you think that everything will be all right. You pray. You whisper. You spill your neighbour’s orange juice as a blessing. But it doesn’t work because all you can think about are the things you haven’t done, the things you’ll never get to do. You’re scared

thursday, march 15, 2012

gold Zippo from his chest pocket and says, “I guess this meant nothing.” The youth looks down, remains silent. “You’ll see. When you’re running through the smoke of the burning jungles, choking out what feels like your last breaths, you’ll start thinking for yourself, too. Those you’ve killed will turn your dreams into nightmares, because we aren’t animals or machines. When we’ve soaked the earth with blood it’s in our nature to stop and ask what we’ve done.” “No, power is.” The man turns again and scans the sparkling concrete jungle in front of him into the dimly lit horizon. The magnitude of the cityscape almost for a moment looked like a bag of white diamonds and multicoloured jewels splayed out on a king’s carpet. “Power,” he murmurs. “Indeed.” “If I could go back in time, and it was between the rebels or the club, things would be different.” “See? The treason is in your blood.” “No, child. Your conscience is not your nemesis, it’s your ego. Our conscience is the voice of the world trying to preserve itself. The things you’d learn from the people of the wilderness.” “The only thing I’ll be seeing is their bowing before us.” “You’ve got it all wrong; their paradigm is aligned with nature. And we, with our mad ideals of spectacle, mystery and authority, are destined to end. Our idea isn’t universal—theirs is.” The youth blinks at him for a few

moments. “This paradigm,” he replies, “of which you speak, will be eclipsed by our idea. When I look into the microscope or telescope I don’t feel awe or wonder—I see opportunity. What’s in front of me is here for the taking, and if it means destroying my father for it, then so be it. Such is the law.” The man glances at a picture on the coffee table. “Where did I go wrong with you?” “You went soft when mother died. It’s you who took a wrong turn. Be proud that it’s me ending it for you.” “Those fighters brought me back to my childhood. I’d die for them any day.” “Lock the door when I close it. If I don’t hear anything in ten minutes I’ll make it look like armed robbery and visit your woman.” “Don’t you dare, I’ll—” “Ten minutes.” The man knows his fate. With only one option left to save what fragments may be left in his son’s soul, he ponders, then utters, “the wheel of karma keeps turning, you know.” And his son replies: “as it does, so will we shatter the spokes.” The young man steps backward, careful not to expose his back. He opens the door from behind him, keeping his eyes on his father. Shutting it slowly, their eyes are locked and the edge of the titanium threshold severs the last fragment of their bond. The door utters a silent gasp. He paces back from it and stands against the wall across the hall. Moments pass by and the door clicks. He sets his face on the carpeted floor. He lifts his wrist to his

eyes every so often. There is a gentle wind caressing the door from the inside as the night’s air seeps into the condo. He reaches into his breast pocket and takes out a cell phone. He touches the screen and asks, “Do you see him?” His gaze is on the door’s peekhole. He blinks. Waits with stoic composure. A metallic voice replies, “it’s done.” The son walks down the corridor into the stairwell. He descends hurriedly toward the basement and reaches the central power center. He twists back two ends of a broken cable and, back at the condo, the unhinged phone emits a stern dial tone. The sound of the wind wails throughout the dim hallway. No doors open.

and you know it. You’re afraid that you’re going to die. Regret soon follows. If only you could go back. Things were simpler once. You always bragged that you never regretted anything, but then again, you never thought you’d die so quickly and without warning. Death was supposed to be something that happened to other people. You went to their funerals. You gave your condolences. Your death wasn’t supposed to be like this. It was reserved for old age on a mahogany porch with a piece of wheat dangling in your mouth. Not on a plane. Not here. Not now. Finally, there is happiness. For a second just before impact, it’s like the world has frozen over. The people being torn violently from their seats look like ballerinas, flight attendants contort into oddly dressed gymnasts, and debris floats around like confetti. If you didn’t know better, you’d think you were at a circus in space. No gravity. No air. Just the emptiness of the universe to comfort you. And it’s funny because time feels like it can rewind itself if only you could find the right button. But instead you buckle your seatbelt, brace

for the worst and smile. Because even in death, there’s something to be happy about. *

flying over the Spanish coast when some malfunction in the engine occurred. Apparently the engine was shipped from a known producer of faulty parts somewhere in Japan and a full investigation was currently underway. Jasmine couldn’t exactly hear the finite details of the crash, however. Everything had faded. What was once a conventional morning all of a sudden became something foreign. The toast went stale. The boiling kettle of water went unnoticed. It became night in a heartbeat. For an infinity and back, Jasmine sat perfectly still. Perhaps she was in shock. Perhaps she was paralyzed emotionally. Or perhaps she was just waiting. Waiting for everything to go back as it was, as it should be, and as Frank promised it always would. *

Jasmine heard it on the news first. Before, it was just a regular morning. She was enjoying her coffee, admiring the cherry-blossom sunshine, and congratulating herself on the fact that despite reaching the age of 36, she had retained a slim figure. Her selfgratification wasn’t vanity though. Far from it. Instead it was an aging woman’s waning wish to hold onto something familiar in a changing world, a world that she felt was beginning to escape from her grasp. This morning was a testament to that mutable world, though she didn’t know it at first. She thought that it would be a good day. That she’d be constantly smiling. Even that the morning’s bright sun was a reflection of her mood. But that was before the news came on and before she learned that Frank, and 211 passengers on his plane, were dead. A news anchor whose pink business suit didn’t quite match the severity of the story said that his plane had been

* Sitting on the edge of the balcony is the crystal chalice, its clear caramel tint rippling and staining the marble floor. The cigar, still burning at the end, lightly rolls away from the cup and into the blur of the city’s flashing lights. But leaning against the glistening cup is the gold Zippo. The inscription reads: Gold breeds strife, enslaving all men, and in the servant’s death everything ends. But as the world has already ended, so it has never started. For blood is life, life is eternal, so forever is our bond.

Few people came to the funeral. It’s not that Frank didn’t have many friends. He was one of the most well-known business analysts in the country, not to mention an avid golfer and active volunteer.

thursday, march 15, 2012

the silhouette’s art & culture magazine • D7

CONTINUED FROM D6 Jasmine just decided it would be best if she didn’t tell anyone that he had died. In a way, she couldn’t accept it herself. The only people who came to offer their condolences were a paid priest, a group of co-workers who had somehow heard, and an elderly couple that Jasmine had never seen before. Despite their unsteady feet and a persistent cough, the couple never let go of each other’s hand. They flashed a solemn smile her way while Frank’s empty coffin was being lowered. From the way their sandpaper lips curved, it was as if they were trying to tell her that they were sorry that not everyone had their luck. In a world of fleeting mortality and colossal heartbreaks, not everyone can grow old with the one they love. * For a week, Jasmine stayed in bed. For two, she cried. * The house was a tomb of the past. The walls were painted with memories of his work. The bathroom was littered with his hair. She had to leave. She had to move on. Jasmine didn’t deny that it would be difficult. With each box and piece of memorabilia packed away, emotional exhaustion swept over her. It couldn’t be helped. Frank was everywhere and in everything. But he would have wanted her to move on. He would tell her that just because he was dead, it didn’t mean she had to die with him. So with a lifetime stored away in the back of her dilapidated car, she left the comfort of familiarity. Where she was going, she wasn’t sure. She got on what seemed to be an endless highway and continued driving as the trunk of her car tussled back and forth from the numerous boxes banging against each other. For most of the drive, she didn’t think of anything. Nothing seemed important enough to clutter the catacombs of her mind. But at one point as she passed by the diner where Frank and her first met, she lost it. She screamed. Just one word. Fuck. She was so afraid. So, so afraid. * She should have filled up on gas. After six hours of driving and two hundred kilometers later, she found herself on an interstate she didn’t quite recognize. Blurred cars passed on either side of her. As red, blue and black flashed in all directions, Jasmine felt as though this had all been a mistake. Where was she going to go? What

His name was Frank Jennasen. * The first words he said when he was discovered were, “She kept me alive. My wife. She kept me alive.”  *


was she going to do? She had no plan, no aspiration. Instead, she gave into the greed of her grief, selfishly trying to run away from her ghost. Her husband. Her Frank. His idiosyncrasies were the favourite part of her day. He was the one who said her smile was a question mark he wanted to spend his entire life answering, the one who laughed more than complained, listened more than talked and loved more than hurt. Now, he was the one who she missed more than anything. He would’ve known what to do. He always did. Even when he was presented with a novel problem, Frank would analyze the scenario with absolute authority. Jasmine thought back time to when he fixed their old lawn mower. With the precision of a surgeon, his sturdy hands fiddled with previously unknown tools and trinkets. Oil stained his fingertips and sweat collected on his forehead. He was engrossed in the work yet beamed as Jasmine brought him a drink. He whispered a sweet I love you, and then kissed her. At the time, she didn’t say it back. It was because back then she believed in the sanctity of love. To her, it was something to be preserved. Now, as she found herself lost on some highway, she never regretted anything more. If only she whispered I love you back, maybe he wouldn’t have died. * “Hello, Misses.” A muffled voice awoke Jasmine from her reverie. She had fallen asleep on the side of the highway. “Car’s broken, eh?” A man with short blonde hair, a cigarette in his mouth and a leather jacket stood outside her window. He looked as if life had hardened him up but left him with some inner kindness. His chin protruded slightly as he spoke. “I can help ya fix it, if ya want.” His southern drawl bounced around Jasmine as she remained somewhere in between her memory and reality. She barely noticed the man. She simply kept nodding and nodding, wondering what she could’ve done differently to keep Frank


The man laughed, realizing that he was being ignored. Jasmine froze. That laugh. “All right, Miss, but the next gas station ain’t for 100 kilometres either way,” he said with a grin. Jasmine turned to the man, the perfect stranger, and demanded, “Do that again.” “What?” he replied, confused. “That. That laugh.” He did it just as before. Jasmine couldn’t believe it. The man had Frank’s laugh. * They say that falling in love is easier the second time around. After a first love, no longer does one believe in Hollywood fantasies. There is no knight in shining armour. No dragons to slay. A second love is just two people with feelings for each other. Or so Jasmine felt as she was picking at a plate of spaghetti, sitting across from a man she met six years ago on a highway. The relationship wasn’t perfect, but he made her happy. After fixing her car six long years ago, he took her to dinner and showed her around the town. He was so pleasant, so easy going. His gentle character made Jasmine feel like nothing else mattered in the world except her at that moment. Even now he smiled Jasmine’s way as she played with her spaghetti, only stopping to raise his glass. “I’d like to offer a small toast to our marriage,” he said aloud, “and more importantly, to our future. To making mistakes. To fighting over wedding cakes. To a lifetime of each other. To not saying ‘I love you,’ but instead saying ‘love loves us, love.’” Jasmine blushed. * It made the news across the country. Most called it a miracle. Others said it was evidence of God’s existence. Because ten years after a plane accident killed 211 people, a survivor had been found on a small island in the Pacific on the coast of Spain.

Frank spent the entire night tossing and turning to the tune of a radiator. Now he stood on a doorway with a dozen roses, wishing for something better – something to capture the ten-year separation perfectly. In his dreams, he saw her every night. Her yellow hair, her rosy cheeks, her smile. Her. He wore the best and only suit he had. Although the airplane company had paid him exorbitantly, he decided to buy one, simple suit. It was charcoal and covered in mustard stains. He remembered that she used to love when his clothes were dirty. Knock. Knock. After ten years of waiting, after hearing the storms of the sea battering against the coast, after struggling to survive, and after an entire world crashed and burned, two knocks was enough. * Behind its wooden frame, Frank heard the sound of children screaming that someone was at the door, which was followed by the scurrying of feet towards the knocking. A door opened. A woman stood. A man stared. A TV fired off somewhere in the distance.  * Jasmine gazed out the doorframe into the eyes of a dead man. He stood silent, wondering, waiting. Yet he finally managed to whisper, “Leave with me.” She held her tongue. She shook her head. “I can’t.” “Leave with me,” he said again, holding out his hand. “Please,” she replied. Her hand stretched behind her as if to show him that this was her life now, that she was a mother, that she was safe, that she didn’t give into the selfish desire for love, but instead, someone selfishly loved her. She looked down at the floor, unable to meet the greedy eyes of the man who simply wanted to spend some time with her, to hold her hand, and to keep his promise that he’d always love her. Tears rolled down her face. “Please.” And so the man did the hardest thing he had ever done in his life; he brushed off his mustard stained suit, threw the roses aside, and walked away from the woman he had been waiting on for ten years.

D8 • the silhouette’s art & culture magazine

4 H


Alister By Robert Revington

A few porchlights shone in the darkness, and leaves rustled in the wind, making a whistling noise like a kettle. None of this made any impression on Danny Alister, as he sat with his face hunched forwards, eyes pointed down, and his hands dangling in front of him, while his legs restlessly tapped the house’s concrete front steps. A door creaked behind him, and then shut, making a protracted metallic tingling sound on its spring. Chad Miles walked down the steps, and Alister shifted his body to one side to let his friend pass. Once at the bottom, Miles spun and then faced Alister, whose eyes remained pointed at the walkway in front. “I once put both my socks on the wrong feet,” said Miles. Alister’s faced shot up. “Sorry,” he said. “I wasn’t listening.” “Never mind,” said Miles quickly. “You look like you’re thinking about something. Anything deep?” Alister shrugged his shoulders. In the distance, he heard a car screech at some intersection, rock music blaring, and then its sound faded. Miles leaned back, his head resting in his hands. “I was thinking too,” he said. “If Jane Austen and Lucy Maud Montgomery got in a sword fight, who d’ya think would win?” Alister said nothing. “Danny?” Alister shook himself out of his stupor, and his back straightened. “Sorry,” he said again. Miles studied him. “Let’s go for a run,” he said. “Where to?” “We’ll know when we get there.” And so, the two of them began to jog, but after they had done this a few minutes, Miles spoke again. “Know what’s a conspiracy?” he said. “Wind chill.” “Wind chill?” “Yeah, you know. I think they made it up. They say, ‘It’s minus-two degrees out there, but with the wind chill it feels like minus-six.’ Feels like? It either is, or it isn’t. Is a tofu burger a real burger? I ask you.” He paused. “But you know what really gives it away? They’re not consistent. Ever heard of a soft summer breeze? I have. How come you never hear, ‘It’s 30 degrees out there, but with that nice breeze it’s only 28’? It’s ‘cause wind chill isn’t real. They made it up, and then they made up humidity, just so all the weather stations could say the weather was way worse than it really was, and make people feel worse about their lives, and give them better ratings.” Again, Alister shrugged his shoulders. As they turned down another street, Alister gazed back at Miles. “Are we going anywhere with this?” said Alister. “The conversation or the run?” “Both.”

“Maybe,” said Miles. Miles cleared his throat. “Actually Danny,” he said, “there is something I wanted to talk to you about.” “What?” said Alister. “Rhianna Pickwell.” Miles continued to jog on the spot. “I know you don’t want to talk about her,” said Miles. “And I know also that’s what’s been bothering you the last while. You know what Cyrus is really like. So why don’t you go tell her the truth? And tell her how you really feel because—” Alister jumped in. “Do you know anything about women, Miles?” His face reddening, Miles said, “As a matter of fact, yes. I can tell you … maybe from experience, maybe not … that if you take a Christmas card, one with a nice snowy reindeer scene, cross out a few words, write ‘Happy Birthday,’ and give it to her in June … for some reason, you don’t get complimented on your fiscal responsibility.” “I might’ve guessed that.” “Especially if it was really your anniversary.” Alister eyed him strangely. He had never heard Miles mention being married. Yet something about the intensity of his friend’s gaze told him not to ask. Miles went on. “Getting married,” he said, “is a lot like hosting the Olympic Games. There’s all this fuss over a comparatively short period of time, a ton of money spent, and all these promises about how great things are going to be after the event is done … but when it’s over, what are you left with? A lot of stuff—dresses and gifts or stadiums and tracks— that get used once and then just sit around. Sometimes marriage just seems like flour and egg whites that get thrown into a blender and made into a soggy mess, each ingredient losing what made it good before.” “But mixers lead to good cakes.” “So do weddings. Sometimes. Sometimes they taste like plastic.” “That’s a little cynical, no?” said Alister. At this, Miles shook his head. “No, Danny. I say a lot of things, but if there’s anything I don’t downplay, it’s love.” His stare seemed to Alister like an electric drill on a sidewalk. “A lot of people these days,” said Miles, “they just don’t get it. They think love is about sex. It’s not. In fact, if anything the prerequisite of love is that you enjoy someone before sex even enters the equation. Otherwise it’s like … I don’t know. It’s like someone who goes to some beautiful place, a wonder of the world or Niagara Falls or somethin’, and is more interested in going to the giftshop for all its tacky postcards and T-shirts. You can get those anywhere; if you try hard enough, you can order them at home. Love is something bigger than that; it’s identifying something or someone as being truly special. I know this because I’ve seen it. Felt it even.” Miles let out a long sigh. In the two decades since they had met in elementary school, Alister had never heard his friend speak about anything with such tenderness. Yet here,

thursday, march 15, 2012 as he studied his friend’s face and listened to his words, there was none of the usual sardonic bite. His voice was now barely a whisper. “Love,” said Miles softly, “is what makes people spend money on things they can’t really afford, because they know it will make her happy. Or visit the same person day after day in the nursing home, when they don’t remember who you are and won’t remember that you came.” Miles began to rub his eyes with his hands. “I’m sorry, Danny,” he said. “It’s just that … I know you love her. And for you to sit there and not do anything, when you know what Cyrus Thatcher really is, what he’s done … and just let it pass. It’s not right.” “She … she wouldn’t believe me if I tried,” said Alister. His fists jerking out, Miles gave him a sudden shove. “Bloody hell, Danny! This is your whole friggin’ problem! You always let yourself be the bloody victim!” Alister took a step back, but made no reply. His mind was elsewhere again. Once the 3:00 bell had rung, Cyrus Thatcher made his way through the maze of students bustling to their lockers down the secondary school’s long hallway. He cut a path straight through the centre of the hall, forcing people to move to one side and let him pass. Thatcher’s ears tuned in to the voice of Chad Miles, and he stopped, cutting to the side of the hall, listening with rapt attention to a conversation about six feet behind, though to any neutral observer it would seem he had chosen to leaf through his agenda. “Don’t you see?” said Miles. “It’s utterly stupid. English has the potential to be the best subject. But they teach things so stupid, I can’t even put words to it, Danny.” Alister had a slight smile. “Is that a failing of the curriculum?” The two friends spoke together off to one side, in one of the spaces in the hall that was near a classroom with no lockers immediately around it. His brow furrowed, Miles invented a recitation on the spot: “I just don’t like how our English is taught / There aren’t enough books where people get shot.” Satisfied he had made his point, Miles exited the building. Alister, meanwhile, stayed rooted to his spot. Soon, there were only a few students left. One of them was Rhianna Pickwell, who was organizing her locker, disposing of waste paper in a grey garbage can behind. There was a gaze in her direction, from Alister, unnoticed by anyone else except Thatcher. A look of longing. Thatcher had seen them before. Pink and red ribbons hung were hung all over the hall in lieu of the Valentine’s Day semiformal in a week. Thatcher watched as Alister examined his typically ragged clothes, and doubted if Alister had anything suitable to wear to the event. Thatcher found it pathetic. On their way out, a few friends passed by Pickwell, waving to her and sharing short snippets of conversation. Through all this, Alister did not step forward, continuing to stand alone. His eyes were pointed down at his feet, and he

seemed to be mumbling to himself as he looked down, his hands giving faint gestures. About ten feet from Pickwell’s locker, Alister put a foot forward, but then swiftly retreated a few steps. From his vantage point further down, Thatcher continued to behold the scene with silent interest. He guessed Alister was practicing his invitation. Pickwell turned in Alister’s direction. “What are you doing?” she said, giving him a searching look. Alister hesitated. “Nothing.” He turned away from her, and stared at the wall, his face now obscured from Thatcher’s view. Still facing the wall, his back to everyone else, Alister knelt down and opened his backpack, and began to shuffle through the pages of his binders. But he did not leave. Finally, Alister turned back to Pickwell. By now, the halls had almost cleared out, except for the three of them, and a few other students spread here and there like trees up the side of a mountain. Her back to him as she continued to arrange her locker, Alister opened and closed his mouth, but no sound came out. Summoning some resolve, he blinked, and walked forward. “Rhianna,” said Alister. When he said her name, Alister’s voice had not carried far, so he repeated it. The second time, she heard him, and turned back to face him. “What are you still here for?” she said. Her tone was curt, direct. Alister’s reply was mumbled, indecipherable, and Pickwell turned away from him again, and deposited another stack of paper from the previous semester into the bin. Thatcher smirked, as Alister wouldn’t jump in, wouldn’t come to her and ask the question. So, Cyrus made his move. He hustled down the hall and reached Pickwell from the side opposite Alister, moving right next to her. “Cyrus?” she said, stopping. “What are you doing?” Smooth and polished, he said, “I was wondering if you would give me the honour of taking you to the Valentine’s semiformal.” Pickwell studied him. “Well, no one else has asked me yet,” she said. Dense and muscular, Thatcher put his arm over her shoulder, while at the same time watching Alister skulk back, timid. “I’ll pay for you ticket, Rhianna,” said Thatcher. After she closed her locker at last, he began to lead out to the door at the other end of the hall. As they exited the doors at the end, Thatcher turned around, and, unseen by her, he glanced back at Alister at the far end, and winked at him, a wink that he knew Alister could make out. Alister hunched forward, his hands dangling in front of him, as his eyes dropped back to the tiles of the floor in front of him, which suddenly became much more of a pleasant thing to look at. After he heard the door shut behind the other two, at long last, Alister bent down and picked up his backpack again, put it on, and walked out the opposite hallway doors. Each step he took was slow and made little sound as he found his way out through the emptying school. Back on the street, Alister glanced back at Miles. “All right,” he said. “I’m going.”

The Silhouette - March 15  

The March 15 edition of the Silhouette

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