Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - Issue 11 // www.thesputnik.ca
SPECIAL ELECTION INSERT PAGE 7
Partnership with Laurier likely page 3
Reviewing Constantinescu’s tenure page 4
A mother’s determination to graduate page 5
Female Golden Hawks victorious page 14
The Sputnik // Wednesday, February 5, 2014
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The Sputnik // Wednesday, February 5, 2014
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Citizen Committee gathers to announce the creation of an award to honour local volunteers. [From the Left] Brant News multimedia consultant Stacey Farrant, Brant MPP Dave Levac, Committee Chair Derek Bond and local volunteer Vyrt Sisson. (Photo by Nathanael Lewis)
Local Lifetime Achievement Award announced
SECTION EDITORS Nathanael Lewis, News Oren Weiner, On Campus Dillon Giancola, Features Amber Richardson, A&E Kyle Morrison, Sports Cody Groat, Opinion
CONTRIBUTORS Brittany Bennett Kathleen Binder Jaclyn Brown Hannah Brunsdon Brian Holland Chris Pimentel Dran Ngo Kristen Rodgers Swathy Sooriyakumar
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Nathanael Lewis News Editor Local volunteers will finally be getting some of the attention they deserve. Last Wednesday, a committee of citizens gathered at the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts on Dalhousie St. to announce the creation of “The Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Volunteerism.” The announcement was made by committee chair Derek Bond. “I am so pleased that this important project has evolved from an idea born in casual conversation between two friends only four months ago, into an annual event, complete with a formal committee,” said Bond, adding that the committee is made up of outstanding volunteers in their own rights. A community event will be held annually during National Volunteer Week to announce the recipient or recipients of the award. This year’s recipient has already been selected and will be honoured on Tuesday, April 8 at the
Sanderson Centre at 7 p.m.. The award is through a partnership between the citizen committee and the Brantford Community Foundation to recognize and honour worthy community members who have made major contributions to their communities over a lifetime of volunteering. The award can have up to four recipients per year taken from the four local communities within the riding of Brant: Brant County, the City of Brantford, Six Nations of the Grand River or Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. “I have been humbled by the response, to the idea I offered, to celebrate the huge number of great volunteers we have in this riding,” said Dave Levac on Wednesday. “Many individuals give a lifetime’s worth of volunteerism with little or no recognition. It’s time we celebrated their contributions.” The committee is made up of active community members from all four regions,
including Derek Bond, Stephen Barker, Stacey Farrant, David General, Carolyn King, Dave Levac, Janice Mills, Helen Mulligan, Len Offless, and Vyrt Sisson. Details: • •
Any individual or group may put forward a nomination throughout the year. Nominees must reside within Brant County, the City of Brantford, Six Nations of the Grand River, or Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. Posthumous nominations will only be honoured in a situation where the death occurred after being selected by the selection committee. Lifetime Achievement Awards will never be presented to the same individual twice. No federal, provincial or municipal representative can be nominated during their term in office within any region.
20-year-old woman not assaulted
Swathy Sooriyakumar Staff
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FRONT PAGE PHOTO CREDITS: Main: Rebecca Duce Left: Cody Hoffman Centre: Cody Hoffman Right: Chris Pimentel
Last Friday, news spread of a young woman sexually assaulted early in the day before dawn. The Brantford Police Service has now confirmed an assault did not take place. The Major Crime Unit underwent an intensive investigation to conclude there is no further cause of concern to public. “Our investigators did an intensive investigation into this, and it was based on factual evidence,” reassured Const. Natalie Laing. For acts of mischievous conduct, the Brantford Police Service could press charges against the self-proclaimed victim, but due to a humanitarian decision, Police have turned away all charges.
“Looking at everything and the circumstances, it was decided to not take that route.” Although this update may bring comfort Brantford Police would like to remind the community to be aware of their surroundings. “The only positive thing is that now there has been this awareness. Once something happens, and it is out in the media … it’s time to be more aware. A crime can happen at anytime.” The Police said the woman had exited her car with her belongings when she was grabbed from behind and had her head forcefully banged into the car— losing consciousness. When the woman awoke, she had been on the ground for some time and was only partially
clothed; the clothes she did wear were in disarray. The victim had parked next to a residence, which she was able to reach and contact the Brantford Police Service. She still had her purse and cellphone on her upon waking up, and was immediately taken by ambulance to Brantford General Hospital for medical care. The 20 year-old woman claimed she never saw the attacker and Police had no suspects. Sexual assault is a serious matter. Statistics Canada has found that one-in-four girls and one-in-eight boys have been sexually abused by the time they are eighteen.
governments have created a special program dedicated to PED biosecurity under Growing Forward 2, a comprehensive federalprovincial-territorial program designed to encourage innovation, competitiveness and market development in Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sector. This program is designed to help producers, abattoirs, truckers, assembly facilities and rendering service providers in the pork industry invest in extra measures of protection. This is in addition to the existing Growing Forward 2 funding assistance program. Ontario will accept applications until Mar. 13, 2014, and administer funds accordingly. “Our government recognizes the importance of the Canadian hog industry in creating jobs and economic growth. This investment allows Ontario to utilize the flexibility of Growing Forward 2 to support producers and the industry in improving
biosecurity,” said Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture. PED is highly contagious within the pork industry, therefore it is not a surprise to be present within Canada. More cases of PED are expected to pop up in the upcoming days and weeks. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF) continues to work closely with any affected producers, the swine industry and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The virus, which circulated widely across Europe and Asia, was first noticed in the U.S. in April 2013. Short and long-term actions are being taken toward the stoppage of spreading the disease. Biosecurity remains the best tool to protect swine herds. Art by Rebecca Duce.
Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea outbreak in Ontario Kathleen Binder Staff
The Ontario government is providing $2 million to help Ontario Pork support industrywide investments to improve biosecurity measures. Canada’s first case of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) was identified in the Middlesex County a little over a week ago. Two more cases have been presented since then. PED is a virus usually fatal to piglets (whilst older pigs can recover) that damages the villi in the gut, which then reduces the absorptive surface, resulting in a loss of fluid and dehydration. The virus is not a risk to human health. “Pork remains a safe choice for consumers. Ontario farmers always roll up their sleeves and find ways to overcome obstacles, be it fluctuations in weather, or a disease like PED. And our government is here to help,” said Premier and Minister of Agriculture and Food, Kathleen Wynne in a press release. The federal and provincial
The Sputnik // Wednesday, February 5, 2014
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The Students’ Union struggles to engage students Brian Holland Staff What is the Students’ Union? What do they do? These are just some of the questions that went unanswered when students were asked about WLUSU. The Students’ Union is actually responsible for many campus clubs and events, and their mission statement is to provide the best student experience. Students pay into the Students’ Union and generally fail to take advantage of its benefits, even though the organization exists entirely for the students. “I don’t really know too much about the Students’ Union,” says first-year student Jesse Stainton. Stainton is not alone, either. A lack of advertising seems to be a concerning theme surrounding the Students’ Union. It could be that students aren’t exposed to what is offered by the Union. Students could also be benefitting from groups like the Food Bank or Night Hawks and not even know that they, like many groups, are what makes the Students’ Union. What do students know about the Students’ Union? “I know they sell tickets to student events,” says fourth-year student Chris
Williams. Williams’ comment reflects the lack of involvement from students around the campus. Some of the presidential candidates rated student involvement and the results were no more encouraging. Sam Lambert figures that 10% of students are very involved, while the same percentage are minimally involved. Justin Tabakian believes that 20% of students are very involved but also that 20% are minimally involved. The two support the widespread notion that students are not very engaged with the Students’ Union. How can only a fraction of the students be involved with the union that represents them? Campus clubs coordinator Falynn Whynacht can only guess why this might be. “This could be that they simply do not know or care about what is offered,” she said. “Or they know about what they can do and do not want to participate because they choose to do other things with their time. Or they know what is offered and do not know how to get involved with the Students’ Union.” If students want to be involved, the resources are there. Any questions concerning the Students’ Union can easily be answered, by residence life Dons, for example. In later years, the U-desk is just
one of many resources you can visit to find answers, or at least be pointed in the right direction. As long as there is a Students’ Union, there will be a need for volunteers. What it comes down to is whether or not students want to make the effort. There are reasons for not participating in clubs or events, but being misinformed doesn’t seem to be a legitimate reason. “I think that students need to realize that there is more to university than just the academic side,” stresses Whynacht. “University offers so much more freedom and opportunity. Students just have to realize this and hang on for the ride. University is what you make it, and getting involved makes the experience so much more vibrant and memorable.” Students can get involved with the school or the community without being a part of the Students’ Union. There are all sorts of activities and not all are schoolfounded or even school-related and it seems that most students simply choose other activities. This could stem from a lack of publicity or simply a lack of interest. Students don’t even seem to care who runs the Students’ Union, according to the voting numbers. In last year’s presidential election, only 29.8% of students voted, with online
voting also available for students whom could not vote at a ballot box on campus. Based on that, it would be reasonable to assume that a majority of students couldn’t tell you when this year’s elections are, which are on February 5 and 6. Regardless of a student’s level of involvement with the Students’ Union, $600 per year would encourage students to pay more attention to their representation, or at least being able to name the current president. “I guess I don’t hear enough about it or what they’re doing,” says third-year student Joseph Horrigan. Again, the lack of engagement from the part of the Students’ Union is on display. There needs to be a better way to reach out to the student population. There is no lack of reaching out to students on the part of the Students’ Union, as evidenced by the efforts. There are posters around campus advertising the election and most groups advertise on bulletin boards, Facebook, or via a kiosk. The only area they really fail in advertising is by word-of-mouth. This can only be accomplished by making oneself relevant and so far students have not been overly successful. For the sake of the Students’ Union and the students they represent, a change is needed for Laurier’s student body.
Annie Constantinescu and students discuss her tenure Oren Weiner On Campus Editor AsStudent Union elections are on, current Union President Annie Constantinescu, as well as students around the Brantford campus, took some time to reflect on the current administration’s tenure. “It’s honestly been such a rewarding experience. Every day I’m working on something to enhance the student experience,” said Constantinescu. “Just having an opportunity to do that makes me feel like I’m giving back to the community that has given me so much.” Constantinescu took over at the conclusion of the 2012-2013 school year, starting off with a $6.8 million deficit, that she believes traces back to more than just one predecessor at the helm. Annie reflected on her platform, dating back to the last election and commenting on her progress regarding the ideas she had outlined in her platform. “I’d like to say that it’s successful as possible, bearing in mind that some things came up that I didn’t think would happen,” she said, adding, “When I ran for president, I had ideas in mind, but it’s a lot different when you’re running and when you’re actually elected.” In Constantinescu’s original platform, she outlined a desire to have monthly State of the Union meetings for each month, affording students a means to communicate
better, while being more transparent. While this program was initially monthly, the format had to change to an online medium, since student engagement was not to the desired level for the in-person State of the Union address. Regarding the undesired success of the in-person forums for the State of the Union program, Constantinescu commented, explaining that student initiative was not as expected, “I think it’s tough, but it does take student initiative and it’s so conflicting, because during student elections you hear people talk about how they wish there were more opportunities to engage with the Union.” She continued, “We gave that to them, but the uptake wasn’t as high as people seemed to make it up to be at elections. They [students] want it to be very accessible to a point where it’s impossible to appease everyone.” Constantinescu also admitted to the fact that students feel their priorities are different, and “engaging with them is not on the level we thought it would be.” As Constantinescu continues to try and create more engagement from students, she has also recently managed to partake in the implementation of a fall reading week, in response to increasing mental health concerns in the student population. Melanie Buccilli, a third-year Criminology student, explained her take on the importance of the implementation, “I think that it was a really good idea; I know my sister and my friends get really stressed out about school work, so this is
really helpful. A lot of people have jobs, so this gives students time off to catch up.” While much of what Constantinescu has accomplished is not in terms of tangible goods, she believes that her administration has provided more “value” to the programs and services that were already in existence. During her administration’s tenure, the deficit, as of January 27, has been cut by over $500,000. Constantinescu also mentioned cutting the budget initially by 25 per cent to initiate the deficit reduction process. So, fiscal efficiency was the name of the game for the current administration. The numbers might sound discouraging, but some students feel that considering the financial circumstances, Constantinescu has maintained the Student Union’s programs at a rather reasonable, if not improved, level. On the quality of the programs and services, under Constantinescu and the deficit, Kylie Wurdell, a fourth-year Contemporary Studies student, had some positive feedback, “I think they’re great; she [Constantinescu] handles it very well. It’s hard to cut down the deficits without getting rid of services or taking away from the students’ needs.” She added, “I can’t complain.” Alessandro, a first-year Law and Society student that commutes, spoke highly of her tenure as well, “It would appear that she’s found cost-effective ways of delivering services; I know from people who live here, everyone seems happy with what there is.” He continued, “I’m sure
she’s doing her best, with her term only one. It’s hard to get traction or momentum, and you have to start planning before you’re even elected.” Aware of the deficit before being elected, Constantinescu knew that is was neither going to be an easy task nor could it full of promises of major projects. “Our focus was on providing the best services that we could,” said Constantinescu. “It’s clear that the focus of this year was to provide value for students through projects and initiatives, but not materialistic, tangible goods like a renovation or new building.” Constantinescu explained that while providing lots of services and tangible products is the goal, it is not always achievable when in the position of a debt. Projects could not be over $10,000 in cost because of the deficit, which is to the university. “There are services you have to cut back on; is it unfortunate? Yes, but I think we provided value to students with services we had,” she commented. “Of course, if you ask anybody what they would do with a lot of money, they’d have an answer, and so would we, but that’s not the case.” The elections will determine Constantinescu’s replacement for the 20142015 school year. Only time will tell how the elected fares in his tenure as president, under similar circumstances.
The Sputnik // Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Dillon Giancola // firstname.lastname@example.org | @sputnikfeatures
Justin’s big move: 32 Liberal senators kicked out of caucus Cody Groat Opinion Editor
As read in an open letter written by Justin Trudeau that The Sputnik has received through being on the mailing list of Liberal Party staff member Scott Bardsley, “The Liberal Party has taken immediate action to address these challenges [an unelected Senate]. From now on, our national caucus will only include elected Members of Parliament, not Senators. All of our Senators are now completely independent of the Liberal Party of Canada Caucus.” In alternate terms, the Liberal Party of Canada removed 32 members of its total representation in the Canadian Federal Parliament, bringing their total number from 68 to 36. Although these Senators, who including former Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire, Force Commander of the unsuccessful United Nations Peacekeeping force that aimed to avert the 1994 Rwandan genocide and Charlie Watt, named a Liberal Senator by Justin’s father (former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau) in 1984, have been removed from the Federal caucus (essentially their staff), they will remain as Canadian Senators (officially “Independents”, not formally affiliated with a political party). Their political label has since been in question due to comments by Senator Jim Cowan of Nova Scotia, who states that the Senators have unanimously agreed to still refer to themselves as Liberals, even if they’re not part of the party caucus. The Canadian population at large seems to have been shocked when the announcement was made by Trudeau, including the 32 removed Senators who were only informed of the decision by the party leader a few hours before it
was announced to the rest of the nation. It can be deduced that some Senators will be more affected than others, such as the aforementioned Senator Jim Cowan, formerly the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (since they
Fraser of De Lorimier, Quebec (formally Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, $23,100 reduction annually). As of yet, no definitive statement has been released regarding the revocation of their positions within the Senate.
Senators thrown out (Art by Rebecca Duce)
had the second largest representation of Senators, behind the Conservative Party, before being removed). In his previous role, Cowan received an additional $36,500 a year on top of his $135,200 annual salary. This will no longer be granted to him. Others taking a pay cut include Senator Jim Munson of Ottawa-Rideau Canal, Ontario (formally Opposition Whip, $6,600 reduction annually) and Senator Joan
In an exclusive conversation with The Sputnik over email, incumbent Canadian Senator Nancy Ruth of Cluny, Ontario, a member of the Federal Conservative caucus, discussed Justin Trudeau’s decision. In her words, “It’s easy to do that if [you are] in Opposition. Those Senators don’t have the responsibility to pass the budget — a bill of which governments fall. Time will tell how it will all work out.
At the moment the only change seems to be that these Senators do not sit in a national caucus. And that means that some wisdom is lost to the Liberals.” What can be drawn from her statement is that Trudeau’s move may prove to be superficial, perhaps a move to benefit from some of the current dissatisfaction with the unelected Senate due to the actions of Harb, Wallin, Brazeau and Duffy. The final line seems to be the most powerful— the Liberals seem to have lost some wisdom. At the time of removal, the 32 affected senators had a total of 421 collective years in the Senate. These years, in which valuable information has been generated and powerful opinions formed, were removed from the Federal caucus in the span of one day. With backgrounds ranging from the former Mayor of Toronto (Senator Art Eggleton, 19801991) to former Residential School Prisoners and Human Rights Tribunal Panellists (Senator Nick Sibbeston) to the twice mentioned Senator Jim Munson, who was the reporter covering the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in China CTV as their Beijing bureau chief located there, 32 different histories and perspectives on matters were also lost. At the present moment, it’s hard to tell if Trudeau’s moves were a sincere policy decision or a move to win over voters in the shadow of a political scandal, but his words shine through brightly now. In his open letter, he states “these steps represent the most significant and concrete actions to reform the Senate in its history.” One can now only wonder if this concrete action will present any actual concrete effects.
A mother’s determination to walk across the stage Dillon Giancola Features Editor
There are lots of stories around our campus, and others, about students returning to school at a later date to either finish their degree or start anew. There are many different reasons for coming back, and it is often inspiring no matter what the circumstances. But what if you are returning as a full-time student at the age of 23, as a new mother and working a full-time job? This is the life of Laurier Brantford student Kayla Doucette, and it is a remarkable tale of determination. “I started at Laurier back in 2008,” Doucette says with a laugh. In her second year, after the fall semester, she didn’t have the money to continue, and decided to take some time off. She began working full time at Time Hortons with the intention of making enough money to go back to school in a year. She had all her loans paid off, but then found out her and her boyfriend, who is now her fiancé, were having a baby, so she would have to wait a little longer to go back to school. Her son Connor was born August 30, 2012. “I didn’t want to be one of those people that quit school just because I had a baby. I wanted to finish what I was doing, even if there’s not
much out there,” Doucette says. She is referring to the poor job market for teachers right now, as she is hoping to teach someday. She is in the Contemporary Studies with Children’s Education Program. She decided to wait until the winter semester, and went back to school at the start of 2013, when Connor was six months old. She received loads of support from her family and friends for going back to school, and that has made it easier for her. But she does admit it is different, and at times overwhelming. She is taking three courses a semester now, the minimum for a full-time student, and is hoping to take four next semester. She has all her classes stacked on Tuesdays and Thursdays, allowing her to work on the other days. She also coaches a high-school cheerleading team at BCI. “I was determined to go back though, and want to finish my degree, to show my son that I didn’t quit,” Doucette says. She does everything right now out of necessity. Her and her fiancé are both working to provide for their family, and she does not want to work at Tim Hortons forever. She is doing the cheerleading because she
has always liked it, and wants to do something for herself and to help other kids. She doesn’t get to see her son as much as she would like, but sees this as a sacrifice she has to make for her family. With teacher’s college included, she hopes to be done with school in two and a half years. She finds she is much more focused now, and is glad that things worked out the way they did. Doucette also notices that there are many more mature and older students at campus now than she remembers, and says that helps her feel at home at Laurier. Doucette cannot say enough the value of finishing something that you started, and is glad to have the support she has and the determination to push through despite her circumstances. When asked about people going back to school after taking time off, she says, “I think people should just go for it, if it’s something you want to do to better yourself. Even if you don’t have a family and it’s just something you want in general, you should do it, and not look back.” Kayla Doucette. (Photo by Cody Hoffman)
The Sputnik // Wednesday, February 5, 2014
FEATURES Dillon Giancola // email@example.com | @sputnikfeatures
Whatâ€™s so scandalous about a scandal? Brittany Bennett Staff
We have all heard enough of these political scandals getting fed on by the media, but have we considered that the politicians are the ones reaching out with the food? Let us take a closer look into what it is that makes a political issue a scandal, and how the ones to blame handle the aftereffect. Before you run away at the mention of the over-talked-about Rob Ford, consider looking deeper into a different perspective, not of the scandal itself, but of the way he handled the scandal. He seems to have a repetitive tactic: deny, deny, deny, get proven guilty, apologize and move on to the next one. But is he really doing that bad? Yes, he has been stripped from most of his duties, but his ratings have stayed relatively the same. In late October, the month before he admitted to smoking crack cocaine, his ratings were at 39 per cent and in late November, after his admission, his ratings were at 42 per cent. Even after all the additional embarrassing videos and allegations, Fordâ€™s ratings have averaged between 42 and 47 per cent throughout January. But, why? Journalism and Democracy professor George Wootten explains that Ford differs in a big way from most other politicians that come under accusations. Although he does follow suit with the initial denial, Wootten says that, â€œNone of his remarks appear scripted because he just does stuff and I think people appreciate that â€Ś I think they find the Rob Ford style or whatever to be refreshing.â€? Wootten explains that Ford portrays himself in a way that he is not looked at as a politician, because he actually seems
genuine, whereas other media frenzy scandals such as the Lewinsky scandal, or the Watergate scandal, all obviously have public relation specialists writing out their speeches for them. Although Ford is now only mayor by title, Wootten thinks that he will not back down like most politicians would because of spite. Spite towards
the interests of the people that voted for him. Which you have to admire to a degree,â€? Wootten admits. But this means he is continuing to feed the scandals. Wootten says that if he were to resign, the scandals would soon follow suit. Wootten describes Fordâ€™s scandals to be at the second degree; the act of
Decades of political scandal. (Art by Rebecca Duce)
council and the media, but also a good type of spite. â€œHeâ€™s there to defend the interests of the people that voted for himâ€” or what he perceives to be
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the scandals do not directly correlate with his political position. Whereas the act of a scandal at the first degree breaches laws involving the political position directly. Previous President Bill Clinton related to Ford in that he had a scandal at the second degree, but Wootten explains that Clintonâ€™s tactic, or at least his public relationâ€™s tactic, was an intelligent strategy of differentiation. After Clinton did the usual denials, his damage control was getting himself out of the media and having his wife, Hillary, speak for the issue. She put the people in the position of having to differentiate between Clinton, her husband and Clinton, their
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president. Clintonâ€™s public relation specialists literally put the person most affected in the spotlight in order to prove the point of this being a personal matter. This pretty much shut the media up, and de-scandalized the scandal. Who was to say anything bad about Clinton when the main person affected was not? Now if we head backwards about four decades, previous President Richard Nixon showed us a scandal on the first degree with the Watergate scandal. Public money was used by political members of the White House for politically illegal actions. Nixon was never proven to be directly involved in the acts themselves, but he was later proven to have been aware of them and to have assisted in the cover-up. â€œThe lesson of that is that the indiscretion or the allegation of wrong-doing itself doesnâ€™t necessarily bury you, itâ€™s trying to cover it up that gets you really into trouble,â€? Wootten says. He explains that Nixon should have immediately prosecuted the ones involved and came clean to the people. Even if he was not involved in the situation in any form, Wootten believes that he should have also resigned as soon as he became aware. Although he did nothing wrong, the wrong-doings were completely to his benefit and there was no going around that. Nixon did the worst job of handling his scandal in Woottenâ€™s opinion, and yet that may have been one of few scandals that the one to blame was not actually at fault for the initial act. But Wootten does admit that his one smart decision was resigning before the councilâ€™s impeachment. Many of you may recall Ford saying, â€œI do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine,â€? or Clintonâ€™s famous line, â€œI did not have sexual relations with that woman.â€? You may even recall Nixonâ€™s denial, â€œI had no prior knowledge of the Watergate break-in; I neither took part in nor knew about any of the subsequent cover-up activities.â€? Wootten puts out a good point; it is not easy admitting wrong doing, it may even be an instinctive reaction to deny. But he explains that if these politicians were to have come clean right away, they would have surely been news, but they would not have been as scandalous. â€œWhat happens isâ€” and you see this a lot with Rob Fordâ€” the denial feeds the story,â€? says Wootten. But denial is also the first instinctâ€Ś. Can we really blame them?
Whatâ€™s your all time favourite political scandal and why? Email us at eic@ thesputnik.ca!
The Sputnik // Wednesday, February 5, 2014
ELECTION COVERAGE 2014
Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union
My goal as President and CEO of the Laurier Student’s Union is to focus ﬁrst and foremost on delivering high quality, accessible services and programing for students to enhance their Laurier experience. Focusing on ﬁnancial accountability by prioritizing spending on student services and full transparency of ALL Union spending. Fostering a safe environment for students through the development of the wellness centre, creating ease of access to physical and mental health resources in addition to increased education and support for sexual assault. Improving collaboration with all partners including food services and faculty associations. I will have a presence across both campuses to ensure representation and cultivate growth. There is a desire for expanded study space which can be achieve with better classroom access and a 24h access library. My goal is to ensure that the Students’ Union provides an enhanced experience for the students.
My goal for the Students’ Union is to bring emphasis back to you. The purpose of this organization is to advocate and represent students and their needs, and although high-level administrative issues are important, they shouldn’t be the focus. The student experience needs to be top of mind, and that is exactly where I intend to keep it. My platform is centered on ideas and initiatives that every undergraduate student can gain something from, including improved study space, more resources to help manage ﬁnancial distress and mental health issues, and an improved hiring process. I want you to engage with the Union, and to recognize what it can do for you throughout your career at Laurier. This school is what it is because of you, and you should always be the focus. If you want some more information, check out alwaysputtingyouﬁrst.com.
Justin Tabakian My Presidential Platform consists of two overarching branches that will enhance the opportunities, resources and leadership provided by your Students’ Union. By utilizing student feedback and opinion, I have created a strategy that will address important issues and promote positive change within the Laurier community. 1. Communication & Transparency - Remodeled Students’ Union website - Weekly On-Campus Availability - Integrated Laurier App 2. Enhancing the Goldenhawk Experience - Improved ITS Services Campus-wide - Bike Share Initiative - Terrace Patio and Green Space Through my experiences at Laurier I feel like I would be the ideal candidate to represent the average student. I believe the Students’ Union should operate from a holistic student standpoint. A Students’ Union should emphasize strong value of the student experience. I recognize mental health, campus safety and ﬁscal responsibility as priorities for the Students’ Union to advocate for. My fresh perspective is ideal for leading the Students’ Union towards a successful future.
Important dates to remember: Wednesday, February 5: - Voting opens for WLUSU at 8 a.m. online - WLUSP advanced polls in RCW 12 - 3 p.m. - WLUSP AGM 6 p.m. -WLUSP voting 7 p.m. - WLUSP election results announced shortly after
Thursday, February 6: -WLUSU voting closes 8 p.m. - WLUSU election party (results announced)
The Sputnik // Wednesday, February 5, 2014
ELECTION COVERAGE 2014
Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union
Planning for presidency The WLUSU presidential candidates talk about their plans for Laurier in the year ahead
Oren Weiner On Campus Editor Only a few short days away from the election, the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union (WLUSU) presidential candidates continue to campaign, hoping to lead the Students’Union in the 20142015 academic year. This is their chance to create their own vision of how the student environment should be. There are four potential presidents, Chandler Jolliffe, Sam Lambert, and Justin Tabakian. Each one will look to implement their ideas and improve upon the current WLUSU system. “My goal as president of the Students’ Union is to essentially focus it on the needs of the students on a day-to-day life. Essentially our organisation is to provide services that the university can or can’t,” said presidential candidate, Chandler Jolliffe, a fourth year Political Science and Philosophy student. “I feel as if the Union has become more invested in its own interests and has drifted away from helping students on a day-to-day life.” One of Chandler’s priorities is restructuring the Students’ Union budget. However, before addressing this, Jolliffe explained the necessity to create transparency, enabling his administration to look the numbers before making desired changes. The next step is to combine the currently divided budgets, one of which is for $610,000 for student services and the other $8.9 million in staff salaries, business operational costs and other budgetary expenses. As a result of the combining process, Jolliffe feels that funds can be shifted more easily around where necessary, instead of designating a set amount for each purpose. “One of our biggest challenges currently is our financial deficit. There is not much we can do about our debt, other than continue to make payments, but we need to restructure the budget,” said Jolliffe. Jolliffe also emphasised the need to reinstate services that were cut and stop cutting services. As for the Brantford campus, Jolliffe feels that “the issues seem to revolve around space.” While the campus expands over
the next few years, his goal is to connect better with students in Waterloo’s younger sibling community and to create more representation for its inevitable expansion. Regarding safety issues that linger for students in the downtown that has had a reputation for being unsafe in the past, Jolliffe said, “Looking at our Foot Patrol programs, we need to ensure that our program has the resources to meet student needs.” On the nature of his platform for election, the candidate campaigning in blue commented, “My platform was focused on very specific goals, where I’ve outlined my plan of action; not overarching, broad goals.” Sporting the red cloak over his campaign, we find Sam Lambert, fourth year Business student at the Waterloo campus. “My end goal is to get the Student Union back into the student focus. I want to make sure the average student is benefiting from the changes,” said Lambert of his intentions if elected. An important part of Lambert’s platform revolves around creating more student engagement. He believes that, currently, 60 per cent of students are only somewhat engaged, while 20 per cent are very engaged and the remaining 20 are completely unengaged. This is something that is a necessity to Lambert, which he intends to address if elected and even before, while campaigning. He is also looking to ensure more communication with students if elected, with weekly video logs and social media posts, whether on Facebook or Twitter. “I want to make sure more students are engaged in the Union,” he said. Lambert discusses not being afraid to outright cut programs that generate little interest. He acknowledged that programs, even if only benefiting one student, are valuable, but in the grand scheme, if it is not drawing enough interest for their funding, some programs would have to be cut. Lambert pointed specifically to Williams
Fresh Cafe on the Brantford campus as a serious financial burden to the Union, something he is strongly considering making changes to if there isn’t fiscal improvement. He also acknowledged that the process of dealing with Williams would take more than a one-year presidency to accomplish. For the campus south of Waterloo, Lambert would like to first find what the need are of the Brantford students, then “assimilate” the two cultures in Waterloo and Brantford together. “It’s difficult to connect with students in Brantford, but I’m looking forward to engaging the students there,” said Lambert. “I value Brantford students just as much as I do Waterloo students.” With students in Brantford frustrated over the lack of direct transportation between campuses, Lambert admitted that it could be a possibility for part-time shuttle bus going in-between, although stated that “financially, it doesn’t make any sense, although I can understand the desire for it.” “I think I can do the best job at this school for representing the average students,” fourth-year Communications student, Justin Tabakian, stated. “The Union should operate from a well-rounded, holistic perspective to make sure even students whom aren’t engaged have their voice heard.” Like Lambert, Tabakian is hoping to create more awareness by making himself more available to the student body. One way of doing this, according to Tabakian, would be to be present in high traffic areas to be accessible to students for inquiries. According to him, only 10 per cent are very engaged, while 80 per cent are somewhat and only 10 per cent are not at all engaged. Along with student-president interaction, Tabakian believes that transparency in both finance and general activity is essential. Financial documents would be provided either online or through request forms. That decision is yet to be made. “I’ll be keeping them [students] up
to date on what the union is working on through,” said Tabakian. He added, “I think it’s important that students know where their money is going.” Tabakian is also endorsing fiscal responsibility, fully aware of the current deficit that the Student Union is running. If a program is not in enough demand, Tabakian believes that it should be reconsidered. “We need to re-examine the services we’re providing, to see if they’re effective,” he stated. “If a program is not effective, then we can adapt it or, since we have bills to pay, discontinue funding it.” As for programs currently in existence, Tabakian emphasised that the mental health initiatives are a “serious concern” and require further promotion. He is also endorsing a current bicycle program for the Waterloo campus. Tabakian, like his fellow candidates, is hoping to become better connected with the Brantford community. If elected, Tabakian stated that he would dedicate an entire day to being present in Brantford, at least once every week. With any spare time, he could also come down, trying to be more available for students to voice their opinions. For a Brantford-Waterloo shuttle bus service, Tabakian stated, “I like the idea of both campuses being interconnected, but we also need to be strategic with how we spend our money.” In regards to the concerns over Williams’ financial burden, Tabakian is not ready to relocate or outright shut down Williams. Instead, improvement of the fiscal numbers could be made through more marketing and communication means. Waterloo currently also has a Student Life Levy, a group that lobbies for Union funds to be provided for student projects, something the Brantford campus does not have. “I’d like to add a Student Life Levy to Brantford for the long term,” said Tabakian. Elections will be held online on February 5 and 6 for Brantford and Waterloo.
Senate Candidates Alicia Appleby
Sujaay Jagannathan Nikhile Mookerji
Board of Governors Candidates Frank Cirinna
To see the Senate and Board of Governors platforms, check out thesputnik.ca!
The Sputnik // Wednesday, February 5, 2014
ELECTION COVERAGE 2014
Yoad Avitzer: My name’s Yoad and I’m a third year Political Science/Philosophy student. The main reason I’m running for Board is because I value representation and transparency, speciﬁcally between the Board and the student body. I’ve noticed that students who aren’t involved in WLUSU don’t have anywhere near the level of awareness and inﬂuence as students who are. This needs to change, as WLUSU exists to represent all members, not simply the vocal ones. It will be my duty to reach out to the entire student body to truly represent their ideals. In the past year, the Board has drastically reduced the amount of conﬁdential meetings to increase transparency. However, we can go further by communicating directly to the student body about our meetings, not only putting minutes on a hard-to-reach website. Finally, I believe in ﬁscal transparency and prudence, as students have the right to know how their fees are spent.
Shawn Okum: If I am elected to the Board of Directors, I will ensure that I am constantly engaging with students and providing their feedback to the rest of the Board. I believe that the most important factor in this position is to keep students as engaged and involved as possible, as they will be able to know that their opinions matter. I will also work hard to ensure that the money we pay is being used effectively and that it is going towards programs students actually want to see. My ultimate goal is to ensure that Laurier continues to maintain its reputation as one of the best school communities, and a place where everyone feels welcome.
Board of Directors Candidates
Rochelle Adamiak: My name is Rochelle Adamiak and I have always been highly involved with the school; an executive on both BACCHUS and University Affairs, a Student
Publications co-ordinator and VP: Laurier Arts Scholars. As a result I understand Laurier is made up of diversiﬁed individuals, my goal is to represent these individuals on a personal basis, but also tackle problems affecting the whole student population. If elected, I am here to represent the entire student body, not merely my own opinions. I want to forge a stronger bond between the students and the Students Union by ensuring transparency in our actions; we are here to represent you. Lastly, I’m passionate about education; it is the reason why we are all here attending university. This is why I will ensure the president works towards accomplishing the 1st end, ‘an affordable, accessible, high quality academic experience’.
Colin Aitchison: My name is Colin Aitchison and I am seeking re-election to your Students’ Union Board of Directors. After serving a term on the Board, I feel that I am wellsuited to continue to represent the needs of students on both the Waterloo and Brantford Campuses. If re-elected, I will bring a level of experience back to the Board table. I will be able to draw on my experiences, such as chairing the Policy Review Procedures Committee, and will continue to engage fellow undergraduates to ﬁgure out the issues that are important to them. In addition, if re-elected I do intend to utilize my experience by pursuing a leadership role on the Board, speciﬁcally that of Vice-Chair. If I am fortunate enough to be re-elected, it is my intention to utilize my experience in a leadership role that will beneﬁt the functionality of the Board.
Keegan Goodman: My name is Keegan Goodman I am a Third year History and Philosophy Student. I have been active in the Students Union in my Three years at Laurier. It’s
time for my next step. I want to continue the great work of the Students Union by becoming a director. If elected I will ensure that the President acts in the best interest of the students. By holding the President accountable and by ensuring the students are made aware of the activities of the Students Union. This will be accomplished through open forums, ofﬁce hours, and increasing the Board’s social media presence. I want students to be aware of the importance of the Board as they are the Stake Holders of the Students Union. If elected my goal will be to represent students to the best of my abilities and to ensure the continued success of the Students Union.
Jonathan Ricci: My name is Jonathan Ricci and I am a 2nd year Political Science student born and raised in Oakville, Ontario. I have been involved throughout Laurier in areas such as the Political Science Association, Bricker House Council and Hawk Weekend. I addressed students concerns throughout my experiences here at Laurier. My platform consists of 3 pillars. One is Advocacy; the Board of Directors needs feedback from students. If elected, I will ensure that all Laurier students’ are heard during critical debates. Secondly is Accountablity, I will ensure that the President’s agenda is on track and that he or she properly utilizes the Union’s budget. Lastly, we need Approachability. The Directors have to be easy going and approachable to ensure they can perform efﬁciently. Brantford, if you are looking for a student who is enthusiastic, approachable, outgoing and responsible. Vote Jonathan Ricci for Board of Directors.
Matt McLean: Over the past year, I’ve served as a director for your Students’ Union. During this time, I have sat on four different committees, one of which I’ve had the privilege to
chair. It is this leadership and experience that has led me to seek re-election. In the upcoming year, it would be my duty to help guide the Board in monitoring the president’s execution of the strategic plan. Following feedback from the student body, the Board will ensure that the president and their team moves towards accomplishing the goals it sets out. In doing so, it is the Chair and CGO who will act as a liaison between the Board and the president. Should I gain your support and be re-elected, it is this position that I will seek. On February 5th and 6th, cast your ballot for proven leadership and experience. The choice is yours.
Nick DeSumma: My name is Nick DeSumma and I am a Concurrent Education student running for the Board of Directors. I am from London, and currently live in Brantford for my studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. I would be an effective member on the Board of Directors, dedicated to both Laurier Brantford and Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo). My peers describe me as passionate, cooperative, and determined, the qualities necessary for this role. I have always had a strong passion for politics, and embrace all opportunities and challenges with a smile on my face. Sir Wilfrid Laurier demonstrated leadership with the skills of conﬂict resolution and compromise. If elected, I will work with the WLUSU team to be a strong advocate of his principles, and my own principle of connectivity between both campuses. For me, connectivity means communicating with each other and improved cooperation between campuses. Help me, help you. Vote Nick DeSumma.
Spencer Gibara: My name is Spencer Gibara, and my platform circles around ﬁnancial accountability. Our current Student Union is millions of dollars in debt, meaning that
the student body itself is in debt. This greatly harms our ﬁnancial reputation in the eyes of the university, the students, and public. Going forward, I aim to ﬁght for reduced student spending until the Union becomes more economically stable, and ﬁscally responsible. Furthermore, I want to argue for spending caps in order to insure an annual reduction in debt that will continue until the Student Union has a surplus of funds. I want the Student Union to continue to provide an incredibly fun and exciting student life for my Laurier friends on both campuses, while simultaneously staying guarded against overspending.
Sujaay Jagannathan: Hello, my name is Sujaay Jagannathan. I am currently in second year studying Health Science, hoping to represent Laurier students as a Board of Director and as a representative on the Senate next year. Having had a great time serving Laurier as a Footer, Responder, O-week volunteer and the Farmers’ Market Executive of Laurier Food Bank, I strive to make university one of the best experiences in students’ lives. I believe Advocacy, Transparency and Equal representation of students in both campuses is key in Laurier’s success. I plan to reach out to my fellow students and work closely with the Students’ Union and the Senate to resolve administrative, operational, and academic issues at Laurier. I will make sure the President’s role is closely followed, the four Ends of the Union are prioritized and that all funds are put into use with the students’ best interest. Remember, your Vote Counts!
Melody Parton: My name is Melody Parton and I am running for the Board of Directors for the 2014-2015 year. One thing that’s really important to me is being an advocate
for students from both campuses. I pride myself on my ability to express my opinions and I want to use my position to bring forth opinions of the students that don’t have the opportunity to express their own. I also want to increase transparency. I would really like to make it easier for students to know what is going on within the board and what we’re doing over the course of the year. Keeping with the low level of in-camera sessions is also a goal of mine. Last, I want to make sure that there is open and free communication within the board itself.
Davis Bretz: If elected, my focus will be on actively engaging with the student population in order to understand their needs and best represent their interests within the Students’ Union. I will be forthcoming and transparent in my actions and hold myself, the President, and the rest of the Board Of Directors accountable to the students. I will be responsible and do my best to be informed when conveying student’s opinions within The Union. With a strong presence on campus and informed decision-making, I believe that I would be a positive and motivated member of the Board.
Warren Trottier: I am a humble, yet driven, individual (fourth year student – double major: Political Science, Communication Studies; double minor: Law, French; double research
option: PO, CS) who values integrity and wishes to share with you a wealth of experiences and wisdom while offering to enhance your capabilities as a privileged university student. I lust to fearlessly represent and advocate on behalf of ALL students while encouraging group proactivity when it comes to ensuring the responsible development and implementation of policy which will safeguard and promote the interests of Laurier students. Pledging for an accessible, safe and empowering environment, I will provide ethical oversight to a receptive and responsive Student Union. Throughout my years at Laurier I have involved myself with, and have represented, a multitude of campus clubs and student organizations. I am now prepared to dedicate myself to assist in the competent management of WLUSU.
Mohammad Ali Malik: My name is Mohammad Ali Malik and I am proud and honoured to run as a candidate for the WLUSU Board of Directors. I am a third year Political Science major and I am very passionate about being involved in my community. I believe that my experience in management, my upbringing in three foreign countries, and my own insatiable quest for truth, knowledge and justice will resonate well on the Board. My presence on the WLUSU BoD will be one that is devoted to the perpetual improvement of your experience as a student. No concern is too unimportant, and no question is too tough to ask. I will help raise the already high standards of Laurier by being the bridge of open communication that will represent the diversity of our great school. I am inspired by the struggles and achievements of those around me.
Salman Rona: Over my past two years at Laurier, I have had the opportunity for close encounters with our student union, faculty, Laurier administration, and even our President at
Breakfast with Blouw. Having been engaged with the Waterloo entrepreneurship community as well as serving as President of a campus club, I believe that there are few universities as good as ours. I wish to serve on the Board of Directors, as an advocate to maintain unique nature of Laurier as well as build on its weaknesses. To you, my peers, I offer voice, direction, and transparency. Your Voice – to be heard where it matters, Direction – to realize long term goals, Transparency – of your Student Union to You. My focus for the upcoming year will be building on cohesiveness of our multi-campus university.
Christopher Marshall: This candidate did not submit a platform.
The Sputnik // Wednesday, February 5, 2014
ELECTION COVERAGE 2014
Wilfrid Laurier University Student Publications
Presidental Candidate Dani Saad
In the past year, I have built relationships with people I work with at The Cord and in other departments. As an editor, I have learned how hard volunteers work to produce quality work and how much support is valued from the President position. There needs to be improved communication between the executive and departments in addition to a broader understanding of organizational goals. There also needs to be more thorough training for board members and improved communication between the board and departments, particularly surrounding issues with operational impact. Through past positions and I have attained excellent communication and interpersonal skills, which will be highly valued in this setting. I have experience in policy development work and am comfortable establishing and working towards long-term organizational goals. I have experience in corporate fundraising and event planning, which are typically undervalued skills. We need to come up with alternative revenue sources to reduce dependence on non-renewable grants and other discretionary funding. I can relate to those going through the volunteer experience next year. As someone who walked into an Editor position I have a ﬁrm grasp of the learning curve and the value of effective volunteer training. Financial prudence and sustainability are crucial, but there needs to be a balance between ﬁnancially motivated decision making and the preservation of culture and quality. Financial sustainability should not come at the cost of lower production standards or a diminished volunteer experience. The good news is that with the right leadership, it doesn’t have to.
Board of Directors - Acclaimed Shelby Blackley Since May, I’ve experienced the highs and lows of this organization and what it takes to make every volunteer experience run smoothly as a currently member on the board of directors. While at times it has been challenging, my experience dealing with the hardships surrounding this year will help me if I am elected for another term. WLUSP has, in all senses of the phrase, become my second home, and I would love for nothing more than to help steer the direction of the organization for 2014-15 and beyond. With a returning board member elected, I can help with a smooth transitional period so the board can help WLUSP continue its invaluable contribution to students. I hope to continue to help mold the face of Student Publications for the future, and I will focus on being able to provide consistency while helping mend the issues WLUSP tries feverishly to eliminate.
Abdiasis Issa For the past six years I have had both the pleasure and honour of being a community leader and youth advocate in Toronto. For several years I have lead and oversaw numerous youth initiatives, committees, and organizations. I was elected the past president of the Etobicoke-High Park Youth Council in partnership with Toronto Community Housing Corporation. I also served as a youth liaison on several committees and groups while creating and maintaining lasting partnerships with public organizations and agencies such as the Toronto Police Service, Toronto Community Housing, and Government of Ontario. If elected on the board I would use my past experience and knowledge as a youth leader and combine it with my thoughts and perspectives as a new student to Wilfrid Laurier University. I will use my experience to assist the President and other directors on how to create a holistic and robust strategic plan on how to move WLUSP forward and reach its full potential.
Board of Directors - Not Acclaimed Emily Crump I would like to express my intent to run for the Board of Directors in the upcoming WLUSP elections. I have been working for Radio Laurier as a member of the street team and as a host on the morning show and hope to expand my contributions via The Cord next year. I will bring board experience, energy and a fresh perspective to the board. As a three-term high school president and liaison to an economic development corporation and several committee boards, I have developed project management and team building skills. I intend to use these skills to build more partnerships and encourage between all WLUSP programs. Although my time here has been short, I have already met and learned from many talented volunteers who have a variety of skills and knowledge to share. Through this position I intend to meet and learn from more volunteers and help others do /
Taylor Berzins As a Laurier student, I began my studies in Waterloo, and am ﬁnishing them in Brantford. The transition has allowed me to see the integral role WLUSP plays in student life across campuses. I’ve been involved in Laurier’s media scene as a volunteer, writing for The Sputnik. If elected to the Board of Directors, it would be my objective to strive for growth and to keep WLUSP relevant within the constantly evolving landscape of student media. I will work continue the production of innovative, quality, student-driven publications. Each campus has a voice, and it is vital to ensure that each campus continues to have the tools and resources to make that voice heard. WLUSP plays an invaluable role at Laurier, and it’s important to ensure well informed, connected and representational content is produced. I look forward to the prospect of representing Laurier’s students on the Board of Directors.
Neha Soni As the social media manager of WLUSP on the Laurier Brantford campus, my focus has been to strategize and curate our publications to the student community through various platforms. In a digital age, it is vital to maximize coverage as media saturation becomes more pervasive – a challenge I ﬁrmly take on. In addition, I am a strong advocate of strengthening the bond between Laurier Brantford and our sister campus in Waterloo. We are two distinct campuses – but we are one institution and WLUSP, as we say, is our voice. As a prospective board director, it would be under my jurisdiction to ensure that WLUSP on both campuses serves the student interest with transparency; exempliﬁes diverse campus representation, nondiscriminatory, and quality work. Methodical and proactive by nature, I will work relentlessly to propel WLUSP forward while keeping a tenacious grip on core values, secure policies, the digitization of our media, and /
The Sputnik // Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Amber Richardson // firstname.lastname@example.org | @sputnikarts
The heart of Canadian culture Kristen Rodgers Staff Have you ever studied Aboriginal artwork? If you haven’t, you are missing out on a large part of Canadian culture. The Aboriginal settlers as you may know were the first people to settle in Canada. Unlike many cultures, the Aboriginals’ culture does not come from other parts of the world such as England, France or India. The art they create is an expression of Canadian history and the stories they tell have been passed down throughout several generations. Story telling is precious to Aboriginal people and as you will often notice, the majority of their artwork will tell you some sort of story. When an Aboriginal tells a story, it is not like they are reading a book. When one retells a story, they have the ability to turn it into something new. Drew Hayden Taylor, a Canadian author, once suggested that, “much like a writer, a story teller uses his body, voice, and imagination to take the audience on a journey.” When artists use a story within their artwork, they are encouraged to research the story’s cultural origins before elaborating a new artistic meaning. Storytelling has always played an important part of cultural
identity because the stories are told in order to teach valuable lessons, strengthen cultural ties and to keep history alive. Aboriginal art has a critical role in shaping Canadian history. It expresses creative skill, imagination and Canadian culture. Some of the most common Aboriginal art occupations are artisans, craftspersons, painters, sculptors and other forms of visual arts. In addition, Aboriginal artists work in both traditional and contemporary art forms. They may use mediums such as paint, leather, weaving, soapstone, wood carving and mask making. A well-known type of Aboriginal artwork is Woodland art. Woodland symbolism is spread throughout the early work of Aboriginal Canadian artist, Norval Morrisseau. When looking at a Woodland piece, there are clues the audience should look for. For starters, Woodland art often shows lines of power radiating from the bodies and heads of people and animals. The variations in length and intensity represent the quality of power. In addition, animals and people may be connected with one and other through flowing lines. This
often indicates relationships. The majority of the lines, circles and/ or details of the artwork will be a piece of the story the artist is trying to tell. There are many opportunities for students and members of the Brantford community to further their knowledge on Aboriginal artwork. The Woodland Cultural Centre located on Mohawk Street in Brantford is an educational museum focusing on Aboriginal artwork. The Centre has a mission they would like to fulfil, to ‘exist to present, encourage and promote contemporary First Nations art to a global audience’. The Centre was built in October of 1972 under the leadership of the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians after the closure of the Mohawk Institute Residential School. The Centre has had many accomplishments throughout the years. One in particular is their annual juried art exhibition First Nations Art which features First Nation artists, both established and emerging, from across Canada and the United States. The Centre also works closely with performing artists in the community.
Students from Laurier Brantford also have the opportunity to learn more about Aboriginal art at the Aboriginal Student Centre located on Darling Street. The Centre offers several programs that allow students to learn about and get involved with different mediums used within Aboriginal art. Every Monday from 2:30 p.m.- 3:30 p.m., the Aboriginal Student Centre hosts a ‘learn to hand drum’ workshop taught by Val King EdebwedOgichidaa of New Credit. That is not the only workshop they offer; the Aboriginal Student Centre also hosts workshops for threading and weaving. Do not be afraid to try something new. The next workshop for threading takes place on February 25 and the next workshop for weaving is on Feb. 11. You can learn more information regarding the workshops on the Aboriginal Student Centre’s Facebook page. Now that you have gained more knowledge about Aboriginal artwork, The Woodland Cultural Centre and the workshops taking place on campus, do not be afraid to get engaged. Understanding Aboriginal art is a great way to learn about Canada’s original settlers.
Hidden treasure: The Arts Block
The Brantford Arts Block. (Photo by Cody Hoffman) Jaclyn Brown Staff I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, perhaps something that embodied the stock images in my head, the ones I’d retained from the pages of glossy art magazines. On a frigid Tuesday afternoon, my curiosity about The Brantford Arts Block was about to be delightfully satiated. After stepping into the building I was completely overwhelmed by its eclectically artistic energy. The rawness of the exposed red brick combined with the wood ceilings created a coincidental ambient glow. The Arts Block is located on 11 Sherwood Drive, a simple five minute bus ride from campus straight down Colborne Street. Just around the corner sat Gerry Lafleur, the current operations manager at the Brantford Arts Block. Greeted by a handshake and the sounds of his soothingly raspy voice, he showed me the building and told me the story of the Arts Block. “My impression of Brantford was a rust belt city, about eighty or ninety years past its industrial glory years,” said Lafleur, noting the important role of arts in the community. “In my mind, this feeling that Brantford was a sports town. So its kind of cool to see in a place like this that people are interested in art. After moving here from Kitchener in
2005, he learned about the arts block from passing by and he had read about the people who were trying to get something going with a space for collaborative arts. After his theatre company later partnered up with the Block, his involvement began to snowball. At the ripe age of nearly 100, the building bares an unusual triangular shape, which fosters pristine acoustics. It features the left wing as a display for local art, and the right wing for art classes. The centre of the building bears the most endearing recording studio, a velvet couch and an antique rug giving it an inviting attic-party demeanor. The second-hand mixing board has even graced the presence of artists like Bob Dylan, U2 and Neil Young. The Art Block’s previous location on Dalhousie Street, where The Works currently resides, couldn’t quite produce ideal lighting for the theatrics the block wanted to display. What makes The Brantford Arts block stunningly unique is the open forum. “If you don’t take up that discipline yourself, you connect with someone. The ideal was always to be collaborative and to share with audiences so there the aspect of participating,“ said Lafleur.
One of the trademark characteristics the Block seeks to promote is eradicating artistic inhibitions. Lafleur explained how the safe and collaborative environment coaxes out hidden talents, “We want people to be encourages to jump in and do things, not necessarily in a formal way, It’s more like just get over your fear and just go and do it. See what happens.” As I asked him about the challenges of being a not-for-profit, he explained that the City of Brantford has been exceedingly supportive of the Arts Block. Many community art stores often step up to donate as well, but Lafleur noted that pushing economic boundaries is half the fun of the artistic process, as they often seek to re-purpose antiquated items into canvas. “We are the beneficiaries of an incredibly generous grant from the city of Brantford.” Said Lafleur graciously. The Arts Block also caters to a variety of demographics. Emmy award winning and renowned Cirque du Soleil choreographer, Debra Brown, hosted a circus camp there in the summer. The Arts Block also hosts various recording sessions with local musicians, guest speakers, workshops for the elderly and a variety of skills classes.
The Arts Block is completely receptive to all varieties and disciplines of artistic expression, and there is truly no better time to relinquish some of those nagging artistic cravings. In the words of Gerry Lafleur, “If you’re an artist, come up with some kind of crazy idea- and let’s do it.” Stepping back into my truck, I felt completely invigorated. My perspective slightly altered, for the first time I really opened my eyes to Brantford. Looking out the window, each little landmark I passed seemed to be swelling with artistic potential. Gerry Lafleur shed a new light on what I thought was Brantford, I even felt a touch ashamed of my previous impression of the arts community. I can only relay that this hidden treasure is an organic and unique resource that I hope students will explore. To keep up to date with everything going on at the Arts Block or for volunteer information, check out the Brantford Arts Block on Facebook. The block is featuring a jazz band performance on Valentine’s Day, and Taming of the Shrews will also be performed at the end of the month.
The Sputnik // Wednesday, February 5, 2014
The Sputnik // Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Kyle Morrison // email@example.com | @sputniksports
Shootout woes plague men’s hockey team at UTSC Chris Pimentel Staff
A shootout is a tough task to handle for any team, as most people believe it’s a 50/50 chance at best and some teams that are built to grind out wins are not suited for the shootout. For the men’s extramural hockey team at Wilfrid Laurier, that is what defined their tournament at the University of Toronto Scarborough. The men’s team opened up their tournament against Centennial College out of Etobicoke. Within the first two minutes of the game the men’s team took two penalties and had to kill a five-on-three power play. After killing off the first one, they allowed a goal and were quickly down 1-0 in the first period. Laurier’s goalie Ben Brenner was able to keep his team in the game for a majority of the first period, stopping a 2 on 0 rush and numerous chances in the slot. In the second period, Laurier was able to use their speed in order to control most of the play and dominate in the offensive zone. Laurier was able to tie the game in the second period and put the go ahead goal in the same period as well. Laurier would put another goal in the third period to put themselves up 3-1. But Brenner was beat high glove through a screen to put the game at 3-2 and Centennial was able to add another to tie the game, forcing the game to go to a shootout. In the shootout, nobody was able to score, they went through nine rounds and neither team was able to put one past the goalie. Finally after a marathon of shooters, Centennial was able to score and get the extra point needed for the win. Captain Dave Howe after the game talked about the style his team played defensively. “We were making bad pinches and the forwards were not supporting enough and eventually we got caught with it,” Howe said after the game. Andrew Fullerton, who normally plays forward, was called up for the tournament on Friday and played defense, agreed with Howe in terms of being smart with pinching on defense. “The style of play that best suited our team today is a stay at home defensemen because of the speed we
Jake Milligan is battling for puck position against Humber.(Photo by Chris Pimentel)
had on offense.” Laurier’s second game showcased a lot of the team speed that they had. Brian Holland was flying throughout the game and was able to score off a bouncing puck. Clay Chalmers went end to end as well and put the team up 2-0 for the final score. Laurier was able to play smarter defensively and it paid off in the second game. Facing a must win game against Humber, Laurier went back to a run and gun style of offense that features more risk taking but more scoring chances. Their third game was very chippy, with both teams getting into numerous scrums with each other. After two periods the score was 5-4 for Laurier who were trading chances the entire second period. The final period was moving at a much slower tempo. It seemed like Laurier was able to control the play more often and they pushed that style by clogging up the neutral zone.
Humber was able to have their chances late in the period but they hit the cross bar. In the end, Laurier was able to move onto the semi finals with a 5-4 win over Humber. In the semi finals Laurier played Georgia Orillia. Again, Laurier went back to the run and gun style that helped them beat Humber and for the most part it was working for them. They were able to control the play early on in the game. The Orillia Bears would tie things up in the second period after a clearing attempt by Laurier was unable to get out of the offensive zone. The game was tied 3-3 after three periods and Laurier ended up going into another shootout. This one was shorter than the earlier one in the tournament. Both teams exchanged goals early on, but eventually Orillia was able to put one in with Laurier missing one blocker side. After the game, captain Dave Howe gave the tournament puck to Kevin
Lamplough who had three goals in the tournament. His teammates recognized that he was grinding all tournament. Howe was extremely upbeat after the game. “It was an unreal effort by everybody involved and I don’t have a negative thing to say about the team,” he said. When talking about the style of play going forward, Howe said, “The run and gun style is something we can stick with and suits us. Last year we had a lot more skill but this year we have more speed so we can generate more chances off the rush.“ With the men’s team winning at the Challenge Cup last year, they now automatically qualify for the tournament in March. For now, however, they will try and figure out the right style and the right balance that suits the Golden Hawks.
The Sputnik // Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Kyle Morrison // firstname.lastname@example.org | @sputniksports
Female Golden Hawks victorious in latest hockey tournament Chris Pimentel Staff
Players win games, teams win championships. This is one of the most used clichés in all of sports. When most people hear this they roll their eyes and give it no attention. After the Wilfrid Laurier women’s hockey team won the University of Toronto Scarborough tournament on Friday, that cliché now has some backbone. The Golden Hawks opened the tournament with a 4-1 win over Seneca College. Scoring came from all four lines on the team and the Golden Hawks hit the ground running from the start. After the game Katrina Moczerad said, “Instead of having one power line that scored the goals, all three lines I think were on the ice for one of the goals.” Unfortunately, they weren’t able to carry that over into the next game. They played Humber College and lost 4-1. Humber opened the scoring off a two on one that featured a nice deke move to beat the defensemen. Humber continued to control most of the play in the first period, but Natasha Trzebinski was able to keep the game close after the first period. Humber scored to put the game up 2-0 after a bad pinch by the defense, but Laurier was able to respond quickly to cut the lead in half. After that, the Golden Hawks couldn’t generate much offense and Humber added two goals to end the game winning 4-1. Even though the women’s team lost to Humber, they were able to move onto the semi-finals against the host team, the University of Toronto Scarborough. Laurier opened the scoring early on in the first period, but UTSC responded to tie the game up midway through the first. During the second period, both teams exchanged goals leaving the game tied at two going into the third period. Laurier opened the third period by scoring early off a rebound in front of the net. The Golden Hawks were then able to get a power play and potentially kill some time off the clock, but they took a hooking call and that negated any chance they had to run off some more time. With time running down in the third period, UTSC pulled their goalie and called a timeout. With the face off in Laurier’s zone, the tension rose. Laurier was able to win the face off and
Melissa Briden scores the go ahead goal against USTC to put Laurier ahead and into the finals. (Photo by Chris Pimentel)
get the puck out of the zone only for it to be called icing. 30 seconds left in the game and Laurier was facing another important face off in their zone. Laurier was able to win it, pushing the puck into the corner and they were off to the finals. After the game, when asked what Laurier has to do in order to win in the finals, Moczerad said, “We have to play as a team, and if it comes down to it make some sacrifices.” The theme of team above the person came through again. In the finals Laurier was set to face Sault St. Marie College (Sault College). Laurier opened up the scoring in the first period. Sault responded by scoring, tying the game up in the first period. The second period saw an intensity starting to pick again, with both teams exchanging goals. Laurier also lost a player midway through the game; Hayley Baptiste suffered what may have been a concussion, giving Laurier an even shorter bench. The third period of a tied championship game is usually when the intensity picks up and this one definitely lived up to the hype. With
both teams not wanting to give up the goal, they both played very tight. Midway through the period, with Laurier on the penalty kill, there was an issue with Natasha Trzebinski’s goalie equipment. Unable to fix the problem, backup Madison Scott was forced to come off the bench and try and kill the penalty with her teammates. Scott was able to hold her own and keep the score tied for the Laurier team until Trzebinski could return to the game. Late in the third, Sault College had the best chance; the captain was on a breakaway looking to force the go ahead goal. But Chelsea Linseman dove and was able to lift the stick allowing her goalie to make the easy save. A showcase of great hustle by Linseman ensured that the game would still be tied going into overtime, one of the biggest plays of the game. “In my mind at the time, I was thinking, ‘Dive and don’t let the puck go in’,” says Linseman after the game. The game was tied at the end of three minutes and this meant that overtime was around the corner. The Laurier team was able to control the action in the neutral zone and then Moczerad
was able to get on a breakaway. The first shot was stopped, but she was able to bank in the rebound and give Laurier a 3-2 win in overtime. After the game, Moczerad said that all that was going through her head was, “I was praying to God my shot went in.” After the game, team captain Amy DeSilva expressed nothing pride. “I am so proud of our team today, especially after everything that happened before this that forced people to play positions that they normally wouldn’t play.” In this tournament, the Golden Hawks showcased great depth in their ability to score from multiple lines. They had players playing in different positions throughout the tournament. There were only 16 players that were dressed and lost one in the finals, on top of everything else. Players dove with the game on the line and Laurier had to play goalies in the final game. When you combine all of those factors, you can’t help but think that the best team won the tournament.
Laurier Brnatford’s womens hockey team posing after a victorious championship run (Photo by Chris Pimentel)
The Sputnik // Wednesday, February 5, 2014
OPINION Cody Groat // email@example.com | @sputnikopinion
The Canadian classroom attendance crisis Hannah Brunsdon Staff
There is something you should know about me before you start reading this article, for a bit of context. I am one of those students who sits in the front of the classroom with their hand glued to the ceiling, answering every single question, and reminding the teacher (or professor) if they forgot to check the homework. I always have been and I always will be. So, I apologize in advance if you ever have a class with me, but I take my education very seriously. I have noticed, however, that there are a few of my fellow students out there who don’t. I don’t want to criticize them or anything along those lines, but I have some pretty strong opinions when it comes to appreciating education. Mostly, I have a problem with the fact that the majority of my classmates use their class time as their they would their personal time to roam the bowels of the Internet, that is, if they even actually show up. There are many reasons this bothers me. First of all, it’s just a plain old waste of money. It has been estimated that the average student will spend around $80,000 on their undergraduate degree when all expenses are considered. During Orientation Week, I saw a presentation about the breakdown of our tuition and, as it turns out, each class comes down to about $25 for an hour and 20 minutes and $50 for those good ol’ 3 hour classes. So, for each class you skip, you are literally wasting between $25 to $50. And I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to waste that kind of money. Please don’t think I’m trying to tell you to go to class if you don’t want because that is not what I’m saying. I
know that if you don’t want to go to class, you don’t have to. We’re all adults now. But if you do attend when you don’t want to, you are way more likely to be on Facebook, Twitter, playing
could jam it. There are so many distractions, and there seems to be so little self-control. I’ve seen rows of students texting, working on other assignments, even playing games, and I always won-
Slacker. (Photo courtesy of college.monster.com
Candy Crush Saga, browsing Pinterest, YouTube, or on Skype, distracting the whole class while also disrespecting your professor at the front of the room. Dr. James LeClair, a Health Studies professor, teaches BF290 (Brantford Foundations- Academic Literacy: Social Sciences) this semester and has definitely experienced this frustration. I asked him about his opinion when it comes to students in class through an email and he provided a very insightful answer. He stated, “When I arrived at Laurier-Brantford in 2007, we didn’t have wireless internet. I wish that we still didn’t, or there was a way that I
der, ‘What’s the point of being here?’ Showing up to class is not the same as attending class. It’s an incredible waste of time, money and opportunity. As one of my colleagues puts it, ‘when people around the world are desperate to get an education, and in some cases put their lives at risk to get it, is it too much to ask our students to come to class and pay attention?’” I think there needs to be a serious attitude shift around how lucky we are to have the opportunity to get an education. Also, it is not all about just getting the credit, doing the minimum, or whatever excuse people use to not go
to class. It’s about educating yourself, enjoying and appreciating the opportunity you have and respecting yourself enough to give yourself the tools to succeed. And yes, you are incredibly lucky to be here and have the option to go to class. Some people don’t have the option at all. With the recent media stories around Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani girl who advocated for her right to an education and was shot in the head by the Taliban as a result in mind, I think we should really try to take a step back and appreciate the fact that we can choose if we want to go to class or not. It’s not just children like Malala who have to fight for their right to get an education, there are even students here at Laurier Brantford who are part of a program called World University Service of Canada (WUSC) that, according to Laurier’s Council for Social Justice’s website, “is an international NGO [Non-governmental organization] that works towards promoting education around the world…. through the Student Refugee Program. [...] which sponsors students living in refugee camps to come study in Canadian universities”. Even though I don’t personally know any of these students, I am pretty sure that they understand the gift of education and probably try to attend as many of their classes as possible. I wonder if some realize how incredibly disrespectful it is to someone who was not chosen for this program, who may have sincerely been hoping to attend, to find out that you are taking advantage of this opportunity they may never have. Think about that.
I’m dreaming of a perfect teaching career Dran Ngo Staff
On January 17, a woman from the state of California released a YouTube video claiming that her former middle school teacher sexually abused her multiple times during her years as a student. The teacher that abused her had since been promoted to the role of vice-principal and ended up resigning from her position without having confirmed or denied the issue prior to hanging up their boots. I felt grossed out, even disgusted, with the thought of a teacher sexually abusing a student. I decided to do a little bit of research and was faced with countless search results based on teacher-student sexual assault cases. It also got me thinking. Most of the reported cases were involving male staff. But what if some of these men were innocent? Some of them had to resign from their position and had their teaching license revoked, but maybe they were innocent through the entire situation and were forced into leaving based on (as of yet) unverified accounts such as the case that began a fortnight ago in California. In my high school, there was a rumor of a teacher, specifically a male teacher, who once taught at the school was accused of being a pedophile. The
issue got so steamed up and tons of girls were reporting that he looked at them sexually or sexually abused them, the man ended up committing suicide. The story later said that the experience of the pedophile accusation ruined his life; it devastated his career and his relationships with the other faculty at the school. From what I’ve grasped, it was unverified. I’m starting to reconsider my career choice now. I’m a third year student in the Concurrent Education program. I am enjoying my practicum experiences, but now I’m terrified of being accused of something I didn’t do because I’m male. I find it so appalling that these false accusations even exist. When I was younger, I was so naïve about the alleged stories that girls discussed regarding a teacher I had in the eighth grade. I don’t know if they were ever true, but at the time I knew I was simply going along with it out of the entertainment, going along with the what the crowd was saying (as you do at that age). The concept that these rumors passed on by hundreds of children could cause such a tension between their work life and their personal life never crossed my mind.
Their life may be legitimately taken away from them because of unverified accusations. One comment could have destructive ripples. Don’t get me wrong, I know sometimes it actually happens and some of the reported allegations end up more disturbing than some may anticipate. From what I remembered, it was never the young teacher that just got hired, of course he’s good looking, he looks younger, so students try and flirt with them. It was the male teachers who were older who tended to have the accusations directed at them. In today’s world, it seems that a look or interaction from a male school staff member can be viewed multiple ways, negatively being near the top. Any little look can call for grounds of harassment by a teacher. It seems stupid, really. It’s discouraging when hoping to becoming a teacher, who happens to be male. People may say “you’re a male, you have a better chance of being hired”, but no one adds “you might be accused of harassment, because you’re a male”. Yes, I understand I am only speaking for the males behalf and I understand that female teachers have been accused of the same sexual abuse
chargers, as with the case in California. But speaking from a male’s perspective, nothing makes me angrier than having students ruin the lives of teachers for reasons proven false. It also makes me angry that there happen to be male teachers who are actually sexually abusing students, abusing their positions of power. You’re ruining it for the other male teachers who are actually innocent who need teaching for a living, who see the value and joy in educating youth. You’re disgusting. You’re failing what teachers actually stand for. In the future, I hope teachers colleges and programs like the Concurrent Education program educate student teachers about the current situations happening in our school system. They need to address what can happen if a teacher is accused, or even falsely accused, of such allegations. Society needs to think before they accuse; we all jump to the most extreme conclusions about such stupid things. All I’m asking, in conclusion, is ensure you’re comments are grounded in fact before you voice them.
The Sputnik // Wednesday, February 5, 2014
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