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Volume 17, Issue 10 – February 14, 2018

The Sputnik, We Orbit Around You News, pg. 3

Features, pg. 9


Anti-abortion protesting within 50 meters banned

Couples talk about dating and current relationships

Arts and Culture, pg. 13

Sports, pg. 16

Opinion, pg. 20


It’s important to remember The perfect workout to do to give self love as well with your partner

A confession on falling in love on the popular app











DESIGN MANAGER Jamaal Owusu-Ansah








ARTS & LIFE EDITOR Alexandria Clement

VIDEO EDITOR Alex Vialette



What is your least favorite thing about Valentine’s Day?



PRESIDENT & PUBLISHER Andreas Patsiaouros







DIRECTOR Hayley H.G. Watson

VICECHAIR Lisa Irimescu



DIRECTOR Rosalind Horne

DIRECTOR Benjamin Cooke


“The idea that you’re attaching a monetary value to someone.” –Patrick Mulligan, 4, Crim&HRHD

“Don’t get me started.” –Hidaya Hassan, 4, Crim and Law and Society

CONTRIBUTORS Hyrra Chughtai Meghan Slotegraaf Julia Rajsigl Safina Husein Melissa Weaver Kaitlyn Severin Josh Adesina Hannah Kastein

Laura Bannier Mitchell Onyedikachi

“Pink. I don’t like pink.”


–Alicia Tulsie, 3, Criminology

“Just how it’s more about shopping.” –Theresa Pick, 3, Criminology

All advertising inquiries can be directed to Care Lucas at or 519-884-0710 ext. 3560.

THE SPUTNIK IS PUBLISHED BY WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY STUDENT PUBLICATIONS 205 Regina ST. N., Waterloo WLUSP Brantford 206-171 Colborne St. Brantford, ON N3T 2C9 (519) 756-8228 ext. 5948 COLOPHON The Sputnik is a bi-weekly campus newspaper intended to engage and inform the community. Started in 1999, the Sputnik is an editorially independent newspaper published by Wilfrid Laurier University Student Publications, Waterloo, a corporation without share capital. WLUSP is governed by its board of directors. Opinions expressed within the Sputnik are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the editorial board, The Sputnik, WLUSP, WLU or Centra Web Printing. All content appearing in the Sputnik bears the copyrightexpressly to their creator(s) and may not be used without written consent. The Sputnik’s primary font is Fira. We also use Utopia, Crimson and Aileron. The Sputnik is a member of the National NewsMedia Council, which is an independent ethical organization established to deal with editorial concerns. For additional information or to file a complaint, contact or call 416-340-1981. The Sputnik circulates bi-weekly. Normal circulation is 1,000. The Sputnik has an obligation to foster freedom of the press and freedom of speech. This obligation is best fulfilled when debate and dissent are encouraged, both in the internal workings of the paper, and through the Sputnik’s contact with the community. The Sputnik will always attempt to do what is right, with fear of neither reprecussion, nor retalliation. The purpose of community press is to act as an agent of social awareness, and so shall conduct the affairs of our newspaper.

“Oh shit. I don’t really have one. It’s a happy time.”

“It’s so overexaggerated and over blown.”

–Michael Del Bono, 4, Criminology

–Lynnae Brazeau, 3, Y&C and HRHD






Safe access zones comes to Brantford


Earlier last week, The Safe Access to Abortion Services Act came into effect within Ontario after receiving royal assent last October. The bill places a ban on antiabortion protesting within 50-metres of any abortion clinic. Other care facilities such as hos-


pitals and pharmacies, however, must apply for the safe access zone being that they were not automatically included within the legislation. The bill was ultimately passed in light of increased violence and protest sightings surrounding reproductive rights. Although Brantford sees minimal anti-abortion advocacy throughout the year, a bigger issue

facing those living in Brantford is the lack of abortion supports and resources available to those who wish to seek them. Amber Kinzie, co-coordinator of Laurier Brantford Women’s Centre, said that this severe lack in resources keeps women and trans people from acquiring the necessary information, support and ability to be aware of their choices. While Brant Pregnancy and

Resource Centre, one of the only main abortion care resources available, provides clients with options when considering an abortion, the centre is ultimately faith-based. “If I’m not mistaken they’re a very pro-life organization. So it’s not very much about giving them the choices,” Kinzie said. For many individuals in Brantford who choose to seek abortion care, often the closest clinics are in Kitchener-Waterloo or Mississauga. “When you’re looking at people who are younger and maybe are not able to afford or get access to transportation, that becomes a really big issue,” Kinzie said. Although cities surrounding Brantford, such as Guelph and Waterloo, have more prominent abortion care resources, these cities have also seen an influx in anti-abortion protests. In contrast, the presence of protests within Brantford has been minimal over the past few years. For example, in the Waterloo Region, protestors are seen for 40 days straight outside of Grand River Hospital’s Freeport Campus location. Despite these regular protests, Grand River Hospital has chosen to refrain from applying for a safe access zone, causing a wave of

controversy within the Region. The Sexual Health Options Resources Eduction (SHORE) Centre in Waterloo has been a public supporter of reproductive rights and has been an advocate on behalf of many community members who have experienced the negative effects of anti-abortion protestors. Being that a resource similar to the SHORE Centre in Waterloo does not exist in Brantford. The women’s centre works to provide adequate support for students. “The support we provide is just making sure that they’re aware of the options and helping them out with getting transportation or getting access to the resources they need,” Kinzie said. “Our job is bridging that gap that isn’t in Brantford — so if they have to get to Kitchener-Waterloo, we’re there to talk to them and support them and find them resources that can get them there.” It is currently unknown as to whether the Brantford General Hospital will be applying for a safe access zone. The Sputnik reached out to Brantford General Hospital to acquire information regarding their stance on safe access zones and their intentions regarding the new legislation but did not receive a response at the time of publishing.


Naval veterans remember Korean War MEGHAN SLOTEGRAAF STAFF WRITER

On Tues. Feb. 6 and Wed. Feb 7, the History Students’ Association presented their 2018 ‘People Make History’ lecture series in which three naval veterans came to campus to discuss their experiences in the Korean War. Andrew “Andy” Barber, Ron Kirk, and Mike Venzel spoke to students about enlisting in the navy and life aboard Canadian warships in the 1950s. This is the third ‘People Make History’ lecture series the History Students’ Association has run. “These ‘People Make History’ events provide us with a rare opportunity to hear first-hand accounts of those who have been impacted by the events of history that we read about in textbooks”, said David Lacey, president of the History Students’ Association. “I believe we have a responsibility to include as many voices as possible in considering history and allow it to shape our current understanding of the world.” The first event of the 2018 lecture series was entitled “Three Naval Veterans Remember the Korean War, 1950-1955” and the second was called, “From Korea and Beyond: Life Aboard Canadian Warships in the Cold War.” Together, Barber, Kirk, and Venzel brought the Korean War to life with their pictures and stories and provided students with the opportunity to learn about history from those who have lived through it. “We felt a little bit of trepidation coming here, wondering what we could do to tell you a little bit more about what you haven’t already read. But then it dawned on us, “we are history,” Barber said at the beginning of his speech. Born during the Great Depres-



sion in 1933, Barber was a child during World War II. Once WWII was over, Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union attempted to conquer as much of Europe as possible. After taking much of Eastern Europe, his soldiers moved upwards, bordering on Korea, believing that taking Korea would lead to conquering Japan. At this point in time, Korea was divided in half, with a democracy in South Korea controlled by the United States and a communist regime in North Korea under Soviet and Chinese rule. The people of Korea wanted to be united and they decided to have an election. The election determined that all

of Korea would become a democracy. The communists didn’t like this and on June 25, 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea, with the

help of the Soviet Union and China.

Barber was working at the Canadian National Railways when the war began and he joined the navy in 1951, at the age of 18, where he served aboard the HMCS Haida. Their job was to go from island to island around South Korea to check for communist troops. He recalls dead bodies floating in the salt water near the islands, their clothing indistinguishable. Kirk was also born during the Great Depression. He enlisted in the Royal Cana-

dian Navy in 1951 at the age of 17. He entered basic naval training in 1952 and was drafted to the HMCS Quebec in 1953. He served in the Royal Canadian Navy until his honourable discharge in 1957. Venzel, the youngest of the three was born during the Second World War. He joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1957 at the HMCS in Hamilton. He later went on to receive training in the electrical branch of the navy. The highlight of his career was in 1959 when he was escorting HMY Brittania with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip on board to the open St. Lawrence seaway.

Earlier that same year, he spent two days lost at sea in a life-raft 300 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia until he was later picked up. He had been testing the life raft with a few other young men when they drifted off course. While the three men served in different areas of the Royal Canadian Navy, they share a common bond from their memories of the Korean War. A sense of comradery between Barber, Kirk, and Venzel was evident. “We wanted people to hear the stories, here different perspectives that are different from what they might be reading in academic sources and be inspired by those first-hand accounts about what happened. And also, to realize how history’s not just [about] the prime ministers or the generals but it’s ordinary people who made decisions in their life and took action and that impacted not only themselves but their communities and the world, in this case,” said coordinator, Tarah Brookfield, when speaking about the importance of the ‘People Make History’ series. A creative contest is being offered to all students who attended either talk. Students are encouraged to produce a creative piece of work inspired by the talks for a chance to win a Samsung Galaxy 8” 32GB Android Tablet. Submissions may be short stories or poems, paintings, or anything else creative. The submission deadline is March 2nd at 2:30pm. Submissions may be dropped off at RCW304 or emailed to For more information, contact Tarah Brookfield at tbrookfield@






SOUL celebrates diversity on campus HYRRA CHUGHTAI STAFF WRITER

On Monday Feb 5th, the Laurier SOUL association held an event with speakers to have a talk about their own experiences. The month of February is dedicated as Black History Month. A month where people get together to remember and commemorate important achievements of African Americans through history. A few popular figures would include Martin Luther King Jr, Harriet Tubman, and Malcolm X. Each year special events happen throughout February to help remember the importance of African Americans. The five speakers were chosen to talk about their advocacy and commitment to the anti-racism activism and to celebrate the black lives and their experiences. Each speaker had something different to bring to the event. The speakers included Funke Aladejebi, from Trent University, who spoke about Issa Rae’s comment on “rooting for everybody black” and the negativity around it. Lauren Burrows, from Wilfrid Laurier University, talked about different ways to grow and heal beyond the pain of the past. Tolu Ojo, from McMaster University, had touched upon her experiences growing up and going to and working at Laurier. She talked about how she started SOUL and why it is important to have groups like this. From HigherEye Training and Consulting, Radcliffe Dockery, talked about the struggles encountered by being black and how the daily affirmation helps maintain a positive mindset. He also spoke about how to look beyond the university degrees and apply to elevate our knowledge and impact on our environment. Finally, Mary Ola, who talked about who we are and where we


come from. She talked about the importance of defining those things for ourselves and keeping them in mind towards our journey of excellence. Around 30 people showed up to the event to have a listen and to learn more about something they didn’t know. “Through our work we encourage the Laurier Brantford community to engage in meaningful dialogue on diversity, equity and race. Our goal for events like these is to bring together bright minds to give short talks about black history and the achievements of the Black Community in a way that provokes further conversations on the topic” said Pelumi Ajadi, the coordinator for the event. The group SOUL on campus, according to their Facebook page, is an association of minority students whose main objective is to explore and celebrate African and Caribbean traditions.

The committee raises awareness of the various ways in which black people have aided society today. The Black Lives Matter movement itself started in 2013 and was a response to the acquittal of the accused in the Trayvon Martin case. According to the Black Lives Matter website, “the project is now a member-led global network of more than 40 chapters” and their group is defined as “an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black folks’ humanity, our contributions to this society, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression” The event held very good outcomes and surprised the coordinators with how effective the event was. Everyone in attendance was so

involved in discussion that the event ran an hour longer than originally intended. “I was personally happy with the outcome. It was very interesting and informative, and we had a lot of fun. A couple of people won $100 dollars each, what’s not to love” said Kiki Afolabi, the social media and outreach member of SOUL. Events like these and their purpose are very important to groups like SOUL. It allows people with different experiences and backgrounds to come together and learn in unison. “I think events like these go a long way in promoting education of the Laurier community about black issues, encounters and victories. It helps people further understand the black community and develop an appreciation of us being who we are” said Ajadi. With such a dominant group on

campus, there is always backlash from some groups that may not seem to have the same intertwining views. “There will always be those who don’t view our issues as legitimate or choose to be ignorant, but we don’t let that deter us. Our work is too important to lose focus or concentrate on the negative” said Ajadi. “With every good intention, there will always be people who are ready to defeat the purpose. Yes, members of SOUL have encountered many terrible instances. I think SOUL is like our safe place” added Afolabi. As for the rest of February, SOUL has a few more events running. The group is inviting everyone to come join them and watch the new Marvel movie, Black Panther, and on Feb 28th they are holding the Melanin Showcase, to celebrate the battles, victories, and beauty of the black community.


It’s time to shine... on Valentine’s Day


Shinerama took part in the romantic day by selling chocolate covered roses. They threw their first ever Valentine’s themed event on Feb. 12 and 13. Set up in the lobby of the Research and Academic Center west, they sold chocolate covered roses for their event, 65 Roses. Shinerama is a club on campus


with its heart set on fundraising for cystic fibrosis. They have their annual car wash during orientation week, and a few other events throughout the year. This year, however, Natalie Rigato, President of the Laurier Brantford club, and her team wanted to have a bigger presence on campus. The booth was held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. both Monday and Tuesday.

Organizers hoped they’d raise $100 between the two days, with approximately 40 to 60 people stopping by. Along with the chocolate covered roses, there were also wrist bands, sunglasses and screen protectors available for purchase, with all the money still going towards cystic fibrosis research. The campaign was originally named 65 Roses in 1965. A woman named Mary Weiss

had three sons with cystic fibrosis and because of this, became a volunteer for the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Her job was to call every club, service and social organization for funding to help in the research of cystic fibrosis. Her middle son, Richard, would listen to her make phone calls and one day the four-year-old walked up to his mother and said he knew who she was working for. Weiss asked who he thought she worked for and Richard said, “65 Roses.” Weiss thought this was amazing - Richard thought cystic fibrosis sounded like 65 roses. This then became the way cystic fibrosis was introduced to children. “We thought it’d be cool to do 65 Roses and tie it back to the 65 Roses story,” said Rigato. Shinerama was founded at Wilfrid Laurier University in 1961, which was then known as Waterloo Lutheran University, as a way for first-year students to give back to their communities and get involved on campus. Now Shinerama is present at about 55 universities across Canada. In 1964, Shinerama joined forces with the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, so funding would go

directly to research for the disease. The founders of the foundation are both from Brantford, and created it to help their daughter, Pamela, who both suffered with cystic fibrosis. Approximately one child out of 3600 is born with cystic fibrosis. It mostly affects the lungs but can also create trouble for the liver, pancreas and kidneys. There is no known cure, but Shinerama clubs all over the country plan to fix that. Since the campaign began, schools have raised $17.5 million. The Shinerama club here on campus intends to up that amount, little by little. They are also hosting a gala on March 23 at 10 p.m. This gala is not only to raise awareness and money for cystic fibrosis, but to also show the community how far this club has come and how much more they are able to do during the year to help this cause. The gala will have dancing, music and will also have two speakers. The runner of Shinerama, Paul Enns, will be speaking as well as a young girl who’s diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, and her family. Rigato says as she gets more information on the gala, the more will be released to Laurier students to come support the cause.






On January 31 Bell Canada had their annual Bell Let’s Talk Day which centres around ending the stigma surrounding mental health. Bell Let’s Talk originally started in 2010. On their website Bell explained, “At the time, most people were not talking about mental illness. But the numbers spoke volumes about the urgent need for action. Millions of Canadians, including leading personalities, engaged in an open discussion about mental illness, offering new ideas and hope for those who struggle, with numbers growing ever year.” On Bell Let’s Talk day for every interaction someone has on social media, Bell donates 5 cents to mental health initiative. Interactions can be done


Let’s help to end the stigma


through using the hashtag Bell Let’s Talk on twitter, watching a video on Facebook, using the filter on SnapChat, or a few other ways on different platforms. This year there were 138,383,995 interactions, which broke the previous Bell Let’s Talk Day record. Because of all of these interactions, Bell will be donating 6,919,199 dollars to mental health initiative this year. For those wonder where this money actually goes, the Bell Let’s Talk website offers a 57 page list of all the organizations and places they split the money between throughout Canada. Bell Let’s Talk also promotes a 4 pillar system bring awareness and action with strategy in order to move mental health forward in Canada. The four pillars are anti-stigma, care and access, research, and

workplace health. Their website also offers multiple messages from people who have struggled with mental health themselves. This includes normal people all the way up to stars like Howie Mandel. The website offers different ways that people can help end the stigma against mental health. These suggestions include educating yourself, changing the language and words you use, being kind, listening to and asking others if they are okay, and talking about it. Not surprisingly, Bell Let’s Talk day leads to a lot of discussion about mental health, resources, and strategies on social media. On the fairly popular Spotted at Laurier twitter page, a lot of students were submitting tweets promoting conversation.

However some students took this opportunity to call Laurier out, criticizing their resources including the Wellness Centres. One tweet read, “#BellLetsTalk because the Wellness Centre turned me away for being a ‘conflict of interest’ because my sister was someone of importance in the Laurier community and that apparently trumped my mental health first year.” Another one said, “#BellLetsTalk about how a counsellor at the Wellness Centre said I wasn’t skinny enough to be taken seriously when I confided in her about my eating disorder. Don’t let the stigma define you.” However many students also submitted tweets thanking the Wellness Centre for helping them in times of need. One tweet read, “#BellLetsTalk about the wellness centre because if it wasn’t for the counsellors and doctors there, I wouldn’t be here right now.” A lot of the negative tweets had replies that tagged Laurier administration and the Wellness Centre twitter pages. On February 1 in response to this, Dean of Students Adam Lawrence sent our a tweet on behalf of himself and Dean of Students Leanne Holland Brown. The tweet offered students an opportunity to share feedback about their Wellness Centre experiences and provide feedback to better meet and respond to wellness needs. Lawrence ended the tweet with “We are committed to

listening & understanding how we can do better.” The link provided in Lawrence’s tweet linked to a letter from both Deans of Students. The letter stated, “The centres will be announcing a plan in the coming weeks to allow students to provide feedback about the resources and supports available to them.” These opportunities will include a combination of electronic, inperson, and focus-group options. Updates about these opportunities will be provided via MyLauirer, on social media, and on students.” According to the National College Health Assessment North American survey in 2016, which includes responses from 41 Canadian postsecondary institutions, the percentage of students who experience overwhelming anxiety and depression has gone up from the previous three years. In an article written by The Globe and Mail, it is mentioned that McGill University’s mental health-services have seen a 35% increase in students seeking help over the past five years. This seems to be a common trend with other universities as well. It’s no secret that a good portion of people, 1 in 5 according to Bell, struggle with their mental health. But in times of struggle it’s incredibly important to reach out to the resources available. Please don’t be afraid to seek the help you need.



Amnesty International Brantford Chapter is hoping to bring love to everyone this Valentine’s Day. The event, One Love, was held in the lobby of the Research and Academic Center west on Feb. 13 from 7 p.m. to 10 pm. “We want to show diversity of Laurier students from around the world,” said Charis Hesketh, President of Amnesty International Brantford Chapter. One Love is all about bringing people together and celebrating differences. The club hoped 50 to 70 people would be in attendance.

We want to show diversity of Laurier students from around the’s nice to be able to dress up and go to something where diversity is celebrated -Charis Hesketh, President of Amnesty International Brantford Chapter

The club consists of approximately 10 people, withmost having been a part of Amnesty International since their first year at Laurier Brantford. One Love was created three years ago by Manvir Bhangu, though it was not known as One Love until two years ago when Sinthu Vimaladasan was President.

This year the Women’s Center is helping Amnesty put on the event. “We are going to have it set up like a photo gallery,” said Hesketh. The night did not only consist of photos, but also featured a few performances. Amnesty asked a few individuals to sing throughout the night, however there was also an open mic available for people who felt inspiration. Spoken word and dance routines were also welcomed for entertainment for the night. Hesketh said she would be happy as long as everyone was entertained for the night. She wanted to have a fun, inclusive space for people to walk around in and enjoy the artwork and photos. ”It’s a photo gallery, it’s supposed to be cute,” said Hesketh. The event was also where the My Body My Rights campaign premiered. This campaign is about supporting every individual to be able to do what they want with their bodies without judgement or opinion from others. A slide show was shown during the event to show photos of the campaign, so folks were able to experience that as well as One Love festivities. The event was semi-formal, so the Research and Academic Center looked fancy with everyone in attendance in their best clothing. “It’s nice to be able to dress up and go to something where diversity is celebrated,” said Hesketh. Hesketh says this event will probably be the last of the year for Amnesty International Brantford Chapter.

“We can be kind of depressing sometimes,” said Hesketh, laughing. “So, it’s nice to have one really happy event. And with everything

The club hopes to be just as successful in the future and is happy their happiest event gets to end the year

that’s been happening, it’s nice to have a positive reminder [that we celebrate diversity].” The main focus of the event is to bring inclusiveness to the Laurier BRantford community and to et students know that differences are celbrated. Diveristy is something that Amnesty International strives to promote every day and this event is no different.. She says Amnesty had very successful events this year including their Stop Torture booth, which happens annually. The club hopes to be just as successful in the future and is happy their happiest event gets to end the year. Also having One Love near Valentine’s Day is the perfect way to set the mood for the following day – love everyone and celebrate differences.








Tarique Plummer takes majority vote TAYLOR BURT EDITOR IN CHIEF

As the Students’ Union starts to shift in leadership, Tarique Plummer, new SU elect, has plans to make Wilfrid Laurier University a better place. “It feels like an absolute honour. It feels like all the hard work I put in, I’m finally getting the reward,” said Plummer. “When you commit yourself to your community, you can expect your reward to be more work, but at the end of the day, you feel incredibly satisfied.” Plummer was very adamant in his platform that he is for the students and wants many things to show far at the end of his term. He wants to advocate for marginalized students on campus and hopes that more inclusivity will become apparent on campus. He didn’t take the win all for himself, saying that it was a win for many other groups as well. “It wasn’t just a victory for myself. It was a victory for international students. It was a victory for marginalized students. It was a victory for students who want to see more direct benefits from the Students’ Union. It was a victory for those folks on campus who wanted to have further representation. It was a victory for those students who value wellness…” said Plummer. When asked how he felt about a majority win, Plummer says that he was only thinking about a win or loss. When the result came that he

won with 52.35 per cent, he said he couldn’t believe it. “It feels so surreal. When May first comes and everyone walks into that office and it says President and CEO, Tarique Plummer, I feel like at that point it will completely sink in,” he said. Plummer says he cannot take full credit for the win because his campaign team put in a lot of work to help him win. He says he owes them so much for how many connections they made and how many people they brought on board. As soon as he was elected,

It feels like an absolute honour. It feels like all the hard work I put in, I’m finally getting the reward -Tarique Plummer, SU President elect

Plummer needed to start hiring for the 2018/19 year. “Hiring processes are going well so far. There are a few applications that we reopened,” he said. Plummer says the final list of hires will be released Feb. 14. He said he is excited to build the team that will help him achieve the vision he has for Laurier with the students interests and wants put at the top

of his priority list. “The first few things I want to start working on are the Student Ambassador Multi-Campus, the diversity and inclusivity program as well, so those are paramount,” said Plummer. He said he’ll work on his first five tasks, then another five, then another, making sure students’ get what they were promised. “Something about my leadership is it’s hard to be contained in the office for me,” said Plummer. “So, my habit is you’ll see me majority of different areas around campus. You’ll see me on both campuses as well. There will be a lot of times where there will be club meetings or events and I’m just going to pop up.” Plummer says he plans to communicate with students directly to hear their thoughts, adding that he hopes the Students’ Union can become more engaged with the student body. “I truly hope that after the communication of new ideas and kind of already speaking to a few individuals that we’ll be able to bring up the interest of students, or at least make them aware of what’s available to them. So, that’s absolutely key,” said Plummer. One thing that is of the upmost importance to Plummer is bringing the two campuses closer together. “That multi-campus perspective is deep imbedded in me,” said Plummer, adding that he’ll be on the Brantford campus after the reading week to celebrate his win as he has not had the chance yet.






WLU’s Student’s Union election 2018 PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY THE CORD






CIG hosts Valentine Scavenger Hunt SHREYA SHAH NEWS EDITOR

Looking for something to do on campus this Valentine’s day? Head over to RCW from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a Valentine Scavenger Hunt.

The scavenger hunt has consent, self-love, and non-heteronormative themed valentines hidden around campus for students to find.

The Facebook page for the event describes, “On Valentine’s Day, we invite you to participate in our annual: CRUSHING (the patriarchy, white settler-colonialism, heteronormativity, interlocking systems of oppression) EVENT! This year we aren't hosting a booth, rather a scavenger hunt. Find some snazzy valentine's on campus, and feel free to share them with the folks you care about, hang'em on your wall, or post about it on social media (#consentisgolden).” The event, titled Crushin’, is being hosted by the group Consent is Golden, which is run by Advocates

for a Student Culture of Consent (ASCC). ASCC is a research and action group supported by the Laurier Students’ Public Interest Research Group (LSPIRG). The scavenger hunt has consent, self-love, and non-heteronormative themed valentines hidden around campus for students to find. Taylor Berzins, co-founder of ASCC and former Laurier Brantford student, states, “This is our third annual version of handing out consent-oriented Valentines. It started three years ago with a booth, and we focused most of our energy on making consentthemed and feminist materials. As we’ve grown more in our own academic and activist work, so has this project. We’re very focused on portraying a wider representation of consensual loving, as well as self-love, queer and trans love, and decolonial love. This is our second year calling the project “Crushin’” because we love that whole early-2000s vibe of “Crushin’” (you know, like “I’m crushin’ on you”), mixed with the idea of literally thinking through the act of “crushing” systems of oppression through messages of love.” Consent is Golden works to bring information to Laurier students around the importance of consensual sex and what it means. The group’s website has a detailed and thorough descrip-

tion around sexual consent that includes, “It’s an essential part of sex. We’re talking all kinds of sex: sex with your hands, sex with your mouth, sex with toys, plus all those acts that may lead to sex like cuddling, sexting or making out. Consent is a must for all of this hot stuff. Everyone has to get ‘the okay’ before getting busy in any way.” The scavenger hunt encourages Laurier students to think about consent through finding, sharing, and posting the Valentine’s cards hidden around campus.

With a day that is focused around love, Berzins explains the importance of consent on Valentine’s day

“This event is important because it offers a rupture of the typical narratives we’re force-fed on Valentine’s Day. It is important to explore the concept of “love” in ways that push our imaginations, and offer us something to think through. Valentine’s Day sucks for folks who aren’t partnered, it sucks

for folks who are feeling lonely, and it sucks for folks who see overrepresentations of “love” that totally leave their bodies, sexualities, and experiences of love out. We also really like the idea of riffing off of the cheesy kitsch of Valentine’s Day aesthetic to remind people that they’re loved, and that they’re seen!,” states Berzins. With a day that is focused around love, Berzins explains the importance of consent on Valentine’s day. “Check in with whoever you’re hanging out with (be it romantically or with a friend) even in nonsexual circumstances, like asking where someone wants to go for dinner, what they like, etc,” states Berzins. “ Consent is all about communication, checking in, and making sure that everyone involved is comfortable and feeling good to actively participate. Do your best to not make assumptions about how anyone else is feeling, and regardless of how awkward you might feel, check in! Whether it’s about what to eat for dinner, a date venue, or getting hot and heavy- a quick, “how’s this feeling,”“do you like this,”“Is it cool if I (blank)?” or “are you into (blank)?” are all excellent practices of consent. Also, always respect someone’s answer, and if an answer is unclear, or if you’re sensing that they’re not vibing, ask again. Trust your gut- if someone seems like they’re

hesitating or not into something, or maybe they’ve had a lot to drink, don’t pressure them. There can be lots of unfair expectations on Valentine's Day but respect boundaries, respect limits, and respect that yes means yes and no means no!,” she states.

Consent is all about communication, checking in, and making sure that everyone involved is comfortable and feeling good to actively participate -Taylor Berzins, co-founder of ASCC

Consent is Golden also provides information and helpful resources for those who have experienced sexual assault, or who have been confided in by someone who has. Upcoming events include a sexpositivity campaign promoted by ASCC and a workshop in residences on International Women’s Day. For more information on upcoming events, visit ASCC’s Facebook and Instagram pages. For more information around consent and sexual assault, visit www.









Interracial couples: The inside scoop DELLESIA NOAH MANAGER OF OPERATIONS

It’s been 51 years since the 1967 Loving v. Virginia trial -- a landmark civil rights decision made by the Supreme Court, striking down laws that inhibited interracial marriage. The trial revolved around Mildred Loving, a black woman; and Richard Loving, a white man who had been sentenced to a year in prison for marrying one another. Their “radical” act of love violated the anti-miscegenation statute and the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 which prohibited marriage between those classified as “White” and those classified as “Coloured”. The decision made by the supreme court opened the floodgates for those of different racial backgrounds to get married and 51 years later people are still overcoming racial differences to celebrate their love. That civil fight the Loving’s won began a movement around the world to love whomever one loves. It’s 2018, and couples here at Laurier are able to take that step into dating another person from another race without fear of isolation, imprisonment, and hatred coming from every damn direction. Jasmine Romany and Jack Birss, like many young couples took a couple attempts to get it right. They dated back in 2015 and tried it again in 2017. “We had different needs back then,” Romany said. Romany and Birss met back in high school and got close while working on a play together; “I was a drama student throughout high school and in my third year I met a girl [Romany], who happened to be the stage manager of the musical I was in. At the time she was one of the many girls in my life but

after a series of mishaps, I realized she was the one for me,” Birss’ said. “He was complaining about being lonely and I gave him my number and I fell for him,” Romany added. Jack Cooke and Sanjana Edge’s love story is more of a modern tale. And like many modern love stories it began on Tinder. “It’s a modern day meet cute,” Edge said, “We were messaging back and forth, I asked him what he was looking for? He said ‘cute dates’, I was looking for the same thing too.” Edge and Cooke’s first date was at the Blue Dog -- a local coffee shop here in Brantford -- followed by a romantic stroll through the conservation area. “It was really nice,” Cooke added. Neither Cooke or Edge, were looking for anything serious in the beginning but after only five

Don’t fear the differences

-Jasmine Romany

months of dating they both agree they can see this being long term. Romany identifies as biracial, her mother being white and from Ireland and her father is black and from a Trinidadian background. Birss identifies as white his lineage coming from the British Isles. Romany and Birss both agree that there was no apprehension to the

other’s race when first getting into their relationship. “I think society has progressed enough that seeing two individuals of different colour does not make one think that they can’t be together,” Birss said. Edge identifies as Indian but she was born and raised here in Canada. Cooke identifies as white, he is seventh-generation Canadian; his family coming from Ireland and Italy. Edge had no apprehension about getting into a relationship with Cooke; already coming from parents who were both interracial and interreligious. “My mom she didn’t marry an Indian man and he [Edge’s father] was also Christian,” Edge said, “there was no controversy with that [race], there was more controversy with me actually dating and getting serious with a guy, but they’re okay with it now, they just want me to be happy.” For Cooke, their racial differences was not something that he thought of often. Both couples are completely comfortable in their relationship, but a relationship isn’t just two people and their interactions, it engages with the outside world. Friends, family, and sometimes complete strangers will have an opinion on one’s relationship. Romany and Briers both agree that they really don’t have to deal with backhanded comments; “familial jests, yes, but actual comments no. Plus, actually, I’d be kind of pissed. That kind of trash isn’t okay anywhere,” Birss said. I asked Romany and Briss if they had to deal with people flirting with their significant others because they thought they weren’t together. Romany and Birss say that people haven’t assumed that their not together because of their racial differences, “I’m really thankful it hasn’t happened but it totally can.

Cooke pointed out that Edge -who identifies as both Hindu and Christian -- and her family and their views on religion have played a big role in their relationship. Cooke was raised Catholic but no longer identifies with that religion; ”That wasn’t even something that I even considered with partners before.” Edge mentioned that a past ex had wanted her to convert to Judaism, but she couldn’t go through

He said ‘cute dates,’ I was looking for the same thing too

-Sajana Edge

with it. “Now, I want to be true to my religion, be true to myself.” Both couples mentioned that they don’t have to deal with any harassment from being out together. Which is honestly a blessing that couples get to enjoy that wouldn't be possible 51 years ago. Cooke mentioned that for them, “It’s just something people notice.” Cooke acknowledges his white privilege when he engages in other social settings. “I’ve definitely had people say things to me that are offensive, not about her [Edge], but they assume that I’m okay with them being offensive,” Cooke said, “ I feel like now I have more of a reason to speak up and say something even though I’d like to think that I would have done that before” Cooke and Edge say that when

the time arrives that they have the communicative skills to take about issues such as white privilege and white supremacy. With Birss being the half of the couple that is both white and white-passing, he mentions that when it comes time to discuss white privilege and white supremacy, “it’s usually me that brings it up.” Romany adds that between the two of them it hasn’t really been an issue, “we see each other as equals and our worth is not only skin deep.” For Romany, she’s more conscious of how the world sees her, “I think a lot of it is not grasping how people still think that being racialized makes us [less than]. I have more fears about being accepted or looking a certain way to fit westernized standards. Cooke and Edge say that despite the challenges that they like seeing and making each other happy. Cooke values communication and self-sufficiency and feels like he achieves that with his relationship with Edge. When it came to advice for other young interracial couples, Edge said, “don’t worry about it. It it is 2018 and we’re within the melting pot but be aware of your own parent’s stigmas and reactions.” Cooke’s advice was to not let the differences hold you back from making a connection because you think you’ll have nothing in common. Romany says that the best thing about their relationship is their love for one another and Birss says that Romany is always super supportive and passionate. Romany’s advice to other young interracial couples would be to learn all the differences that the other has, “don’t fear the differences.” And Briar’s advice sums it all up, “love trumps, yo.”







LGBTQ Romances This Valentine’s Day

LGBTQ people are often left out; include some of these romance films and books into your V-Day ALEXANDRIA CLEMENT ARTS AND CULTURE EDITOR

It’s Valentine’s Day – a day for romantic dinners and movies, and time with your significant other. Members of the LGBTQ community are often underrepresented players in these romantic scenes we watch play out on screen and on paper, so this Valentine’s Day, try to include some of these movies, books and TV shows whose key romances feature LGBTQ people. And if you’re LGBTQ yourself, you might be tired of the tragic endings many LGBTQ films feature, so those featuring an asterisk are happy-endings. Carol (2015)* dir. Todd Haynes Carol garnered 6 Oscar nominations, including Best Actress and Best Supporting for Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. It’s based on the 1952 novel “The Price of Salt” by Patricia Highsmith. It was noted in its time for having a happy ending – a first for a novel featuring explicit same-gender romance. The film graces its viewers with impeccable costume and set design, and a romantic winter mood that follows them out of the film and into the world. Carol, who is going through a messy divorce, and Therese’s love story begins in a New York department store before Christmas, and takes them on a road-trip through the snowy American 50s. Boys (Jongens) (2014)* dir. Mischa Kamp This coming-of-age film follows two Dutch high school athletes experiencing the tribulations of secret crushes and relationships together. Sieger and Marc are on the track-team together, and share a moment together while swimming in a lake. Soon after, Sieger begins to suppress his feelings for Marc on-andoff and the two go through their secret relationship while working together on their relay-track team. If you’re looking for a sweet take on first love this Valentine’s Day, this is the film for you. Maurice (1987) dir. James Ivory This British romance might have some familiar faces if you’re a fan of British film – James Wilby and Hugh Grant play characters who fall in love in 1909 Cambridge, and Rupert Graves (a familiar face to any fans of BBC’s Sherlock) plays a rough garden-hand to Wilby’s estate. This film is based on a novel by E.M. Forster (who also wrote A Room With A View) which was only published after Forster’s death, as it was considered unpublishable during his lifetime due to the typical views on same-gender relationships. The film is long and gives interesting and important insight into the attitudes on gay people in turn-of-the-century England and its effect on relationships during this time. Moonlight (2016)* dir. Barry Jenkins


This film has its iconic moment at the 2017 Academy Awards, when it won Best Picture over La La Land, despite the award being given mistakenly to La La Land beforehand. Based on a play by Tarell Alvin McCraney, Moonlight was the first LGBT film (as well as the first film with an all-black cast) to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. The film follows the life of Chiron from his childhood to adulthood, going through his experience with identity and sexuality, as well as the emotional abuse by his mother. The film’s primary relationship, between Juan and Chiron, begins in early childhood, and is shown in adolescence and adulthood. The film is quietly, yet achingly, romantic and its cinematography is striking. Brokeback Mountain (2005) dir. Ang Lee People are still surprised to see this neo-Western romance on lists of recommendations, but then again, most “I wish I knew how to quit you” jokes come from those who either haven’t seen the film, or are unable to understand or sympathize with its tragedy – the film is a tale of secret romance and closeted gay men in Conservative ranch-America culture. A movie that was consistently mocked during its release (you’ve surely heard the jokes), it houses a tragic and vital tale of an entire tragic romance, and a reality that is hard to face, unraveling before the viewers’ eyes, and behind the backs of the rest of the characters’ lives.

Holding The Man (2015) dir. Neil Armfield This Australian film is based on a memoir by actor and activist Timothy Conigrave, detailing the 15 year romance between him and his partner John Caleo. Timothy and John met in high school and the film begins as a coming-of-age tale regarding their sexuality and social freedom in Australia, and turns into the experience of both men contracting and living with AIDS. T imothy Conigrave passed away ten days after finishing the memoir, which is widely regarded as one of the best Australian books ever published. The Handmaiden (2016)* dir. Park Chan-Wook This South Korean film is based on a British mystery-romance novel, reworked to be set in Japanoccupied Korea. This unique thriller presents a psychological, fast-paced mystery focused around a Korean princess and her newly-hired handmaiden, who is actually a trained thief. It’s a long movie that unravels its truths slowly, so hold on for the whole story. The mystery/thriller/romance combination presents a unique and interesting film for any viewer. Books The Song Of Achilles (2011) by Madeline Miller It took Miller over ten years to write this critically-acclaimed novel. It is a reworking of The Iliad told from the perspective of Patroclus,

Greek hero Achilles’ childhood friend and lover, detailing their life together from childhood to their famed time with the Trojans. The book offers a new look at characters you may already be familiar with, as well as a coming-ofage tale from the eyes of infamous two tragic heroes. While England Sleeps (1993) by David Leavitt A gripping novel set in Britain during the war, this novel focuses on the romance between two men from different backgrounds. It details one of their first experience with communism and political ideology, following them to Spain and around the civil war there. The novel is not particularly uplifting – what war novel is? – but its story counters the struggle with self-acceptance with first true, lasting love, and the lengths we will go to chase it. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café (1987) by Fannie Flag Fannie Flag’s famous novel was made into a film in 1991, which does censor a good amount of the hard truths and realities the novel is known for. The film however was nominated for two Academy Awards. The novel follows many storylines in the small town it’s set in, focusing on racism, abuse, aging, family and love between the two main women and their son. TELEVISION Eyewitness (2016)

USA Network Eyewitness, though short, tells the complex and thrilling story of two young men who witness a triple homocide while together at a cabin in the woods, but must remain secretive about it in order to avoid being outed to their small town. The series is a highly suspenseful and dark tale of a serial killer loose in a rural town, and it never tells just one story - one of the boys is the foster son of the sherriff, and she is dealing with her own past and post-traumatic stress at the time of the investigations. Skam (season 3) (2015-2017) NRK (Norway) Skam’s third season tells the story of Isak, who is struggling to accept and understand his sexuality, and his relationship with older student, Even. The season also deals with prejudice and mental illness, which creates complications in Isak’s relationships with Even and the rest of those around him. Isak’s earnest experience with accepting that he is gay, and feeling isolated from his friends for much of the season, can be comfortably relatable for many, and leaves a positive feeling in the viewer. FÉMININ/FÉMININ (2014) LSTW (Montreal) This Montreal-based web-series is both French and English, and features the daily lives of many diverse lesbian and bisexual women in the city, and their relationships within their groups.






It’s important to give yourself love too

Valentine’s Day can get carried away with buying for others, but don’t forget about yourself on this day MILES SMITH STAFF WRITER

This year there will be 11 million people who will be single on Valentines Day in Canada. For many, this spells a death sentence: another day absent of companionship and the very companionship they are missing is everywhere on this cursed day in February. For many other singles, including myself, the 14th is a day of self reflection and care. This practice of self-love or self-dating may seem lonely and strange to some outside viewers, but it actually promotes self-confidence and is proven to be a much healthier emotional outlet for the lonely hearts on Valentines Day than avoidance or repression. First things first: what is selflove? What constitutes a date for one? The answer to that depends on you. Simply put it is whatever you want to do, and you look your best while doing it. It could be seeing that movie that you finally want to see, it could be finally going to that fancy restaurant downtown, or seeing that specular sunset from the top of the Peak in Dundas. Anything that you’ve ever wanted to do on a date but never got a chance to – this is your chance. You dress up as much as you want, (I find for me the classier the better), and you go out as your best self. While you’re out, it may feel strange at first, being surrounded by couples while you are alone. It may feel a little awkward, at first,

demons you battled, and the fears you overcame, and all the secrets and concerns you have, then, and this is important, you don’t judge them. You just let them float away like clouds in an endless blue sky. You don’t assign them any power over you, you’re just reflecting, and it’s in this mindfulness practice that you really begin to understand what makes you tick. You use

What is self love? What constitutes a date for one? The answer to that depends on you. Simply put it is whatever you want to do.


but you need to remind yourself – this is your “you time”. This is your experience and you have to listen to what you need. You can laugh when you need to laugh, cry when you need to cry, leave when you want to leave. You can release yourself completely. You are with “someone” who understands all of your quirks and wants and desires as soon as you do, who’s been there with you for your lowest lows and your highest highs. It’s someone who you know, and will continue to get to know – who knows, you might even learn something new about yourself on

your date. A date can take many forms. You can go out for drinks the for the night, or start the umpteenth Friends marathon with pizza and wine in bed, or both in one night. It’s up to you. This self love doesn’t mean flaunting yourself or forcing yourself to go out, it’s all about the things you know will make you happiest; the dates you never got to have. I remember a self date I had was an hour long bubble bath, complete with candles, music, mood lighting, and pizza. I then took an

hour to get dressed in my most stylish outfit and went out and saw that one movie that I wanted to, but no one would go with me. I finished it off with a quiet walk downtown, which was completely empty. I went home, did some writing, and felt recharged and refreshed. The important part of a selfdate comes at the end, when you have a quiet moment, and you’re winding down from your date and you just reflect. You reflect on all the times you felt alone, or all the times you felt like you were on top of the world. You think of the inner

this time to cry or scream or do whatever you need to do to reflect on these emotions, these experiences, these wounds, and then you just let them go. This may seem like a daunting prospect, but I can assure you, these things feel a lot better once you’ve unpacked them – cleaned the wound so to say. This is not a time to get yourself down, or focus on all the mistakes you may have made over your lifetime, this is a chance to appreciate who you are, all of the twists and turns and bumps that makes up the road map of your life. Try a self date this Valentine’s Day, trust me, you’re worth it.


The importance of sex education in Ontario

Sex education is an important learning stage for Canadian youth - so why are people so divided? ALEXANDRIA CLEMENT ARTS AND CULTURE EDITOR

Sex education is a crucial point in young people’s lives. Sex education can help prevent unwanted pregnancy, protect against STIs and other sexuallytransmitted conditions. The truth is, many people, contrary to what television might tell you, do not experience the “sex talk” sit down with their parents, and even if they do, their parents are often not as open-minded as you might like to think. Many are into their teens before they understand the risks of unprotected sex beyond pregnancy, or are able to talk about masturbation without shame. This goes double for lesbian, gay or bisexual people, who are often excluded from these “basic” conversations about the birds and the bees. In conservative areas, frank conversations about sex might be put off even longer, if they exist at all. Ontario changed its sex-ed curriculum in 2015, to include stereotypes, consent issues, gender identity, pleasure, masturbation, sexual orientation and contraception. This caused a protest in many areas – many religious groups opposed the curriculum change for not aligning with their values, and parents who felt the curriculum did not coincide with what they wanted their children to know.

Stephanie Morris, a seventh grade teacher in Barrie, said she did not experience much parental upset over the sex education curriculum. “We did have the odd parent here and there that wouldn’t want their kid involved in the sexual education program,” said Morris. “But those are parents, pretty much, who would’ve been opposed to any kind of sexual education regardless of how simple it was.” Morris says that this generation’s involvement and reliance on social media brings a greater importance for sex-ed. “So much of what these kids at that age rely on is social media,” said Morris. “There’s so much sexual connotations to a lot of what they’re seeing on social media that I think they need the education to go along with that... If they don’t have the education that goes with growing up and what growing up fully means, then they’re going to be in a lot of trouble,” Morris said she’d like to see the issue of consent and safety addressed more strongly. “We have a big reliance on the facts, with regards to sex education, but I guess, we need the idea of the responsibility of sex education,” said Morris. “With all this stuff with ‘Me Too’ that’s going on, there’s not enough of that perhaps that’s embedded in it.” Under the current Ontario cur-


riculum, sex education technically begins in grade 1, wherein students will be able to identify all body parts. Later, grade 7 students are taught about STIs, the emotional and physiological considerations that need to be taken with regards

to sex, and the issue of consent. By grade eight, they are learning about contraceptives, sexual orientation, and what it means to be in a healthy sexual relationship. Sexual education has a vital role in early education – schools have consistent contact with students,

and are often their main source of social learning. Schooling during childhood and adolescence holds a unique position to teach students about safe and healthy sex, as stated by the Public Health Agency of Canada.






Black History Month through movies MILES SMITH STAFF WRITER

February is the month of love, and I love great movies. So, in recognition of Black History Month, and my love of great movies, here is a list of five examples of excellent movies by black directors. Black Panther We start off with possibly one of the biggest movies of the moment, Black Panther. Although there have been a small amount of black representation in previous superhero films such as Blade and Steel, nothing to the magnitude of the MCU. Director Ryan Coogler, most known for this work, but has also directed Creed, and Fruitvale Station. Coogler knows how to make a movie more than a movie -- an experience, and Black Panther is no exception. This Oakland-born director

wears many hats including producing, screenwriting, and even sound department. His 33 award wins and 23 nominations speak for Coogler’s almost micro-managerial style, and make sure that his products are of the absolute highest quality. Fences Although many people’s first thought when they hear Denzel’s name may be his extensive filmography as an actor, Denzel has had equal success as both a director and a producer. Directing films like The Great Debaters and Antwone Fisher, Washington is most known for directing and producing Fences which received three Academy Award nominations last year, including Best Motion Picture of the Year. This film speaks for itself, with heartbreaking moments (many by Denzel himself ) – tense dramatic pauses, and a plot that will keep

you hooked until the very end, this is a must watch. Moonlight This is an amazing film. Full stop. This is on my top 10 movies of all time list. Winning three Oscars last year, including Best Motion Picture of the Year. Based on the semi autobiographical play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney, It is a chronicle of the childhood and burgeoning adulthood of a young African American gay boy growing up in the rough neighborhoods of Miami. Writer/Director Barry Jenkins leaves nothing left with this breakout directorial piece (although being recognized many times by the African-American Film Critics Association). Get Out I don’t do well with horror usually. I don’t mind admitting that, but

for me Get Out is a very different kind of horror. More of a psychological thriller Get Out follows Chris Washington as he reluctantly agrees to meet the family of his white girlfriend Rose Armitage, and finds something sinister bubbling below the surface. A gripping thriller from start to finish Get Out is definitely a must-see. Written and directed by Jordan Peele, known for his comedy acting career, this movie is a masterwork. Though seemingly a step out of Peele’s comfort zone, his solo directorial work received a whopping 175 nominations and 99 awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, and Number One Film in 2017 by the African-American Film Critics Association. Selma I’m going to be honest. Selma is not a film that can be viewed lightly, you need to know

what you are getting into when you sit down, it’s a heavy film. Heavy, but absolutely fantastic. Selma chronicles Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1965 campaign to secure civil rights and equal voting with his march from Selma to Montgomery. Directed by the powerhouse Ava DuVernay, who would go on to direct 13th this film is exactly the pace that it needs to be. Winning a plethora of awards from the African-American Film Critics Association, including Best Picture, not to mention an Oscar for Best Original Song in 2015, DuVernay (winning an award for herself as Best Woman Director with the Alliance of Women Film Journalists the same year) really has her finger on the pulse. With the Academy finally beginning to give black artists the recognition they deserve, I look to seeing more and more excellence from not only these directors but the plethora of black talent in Hollywood.



New Year was celebrated at Laurier Brantford this past week on Feb. 9 in St Andrew’s Church. The celebration took place to celebrate the international students at Laurier Brantford. Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, is celebrated around the world in Chinese culture. This year is the year of the dog, starting on Feb. 16. The event hosted a speaker who spoke about the meaning of the dog and how it

I think it’s necessary because there are so many Chinese students here -Cedric Zheng, international student

became. The annual event was sold out this year with almost 100 people in attendance. Students, both international and domestic were welcome at the event, which hosted many different things. “I think it’s necessary because there are so many Chinese students here,” said Cedric Zheng, and international student from China who is also a peer mentor at Laurier International. Lunar New Year is similar to Christmas to domestic students, said Zheng. So when students are not able to be with their families or fly home, Laurier International brigs everyone together to celebrate with the Laurier family. “It provided opportunities for domestic students to know East Asian Spring Festival and celebrate it with East Asian

students together. The event also encouraged domestic students and international students communicate with each other,” said Shirley Zhang, event coordinator. The event included, food, performances by many and even a raffle. Students were able to win dentistry gift cards, Tim Hortons gear, gift cards to Sunset Grill and even month passes to Moksha Yoga. Emma Ruetz, a student at Laurier Brantford, said there was a performer who sang Chinese opera. She explained that it was a great look at the culture and really enjoyed it. The event also consisted of a dumpling making station. This is the first year this station has been present at this event, and folks who attended found it entertaining and tasty.The Intercultural Students’ Association of Brantford (ISAB) also brought in people to the event to help celebrate. Laurier International is planning to throw a few more events in honour of Lunar New Year, including a tea ceremony and a music showcase.Laurier International is also hosting their annual MultiCultural Gala on March 16. No information is out about the event yet. “It is huge. Everyone’s invited,”

It’s huge. everyone’s invited

-Emma Ruetz student

said Emma Ruetz, a student at Laurier Brantford. “We get food from all sorts of different cultures, we have got a traditional wear fashion show, performers, awards.”







Recap of the Eagles’ Super Bowl Win From new records set, to all the significant plays, to the halftime show highlights . . . read about it all here. HANNAH KASTEIN SPORTS WRITER

The 2017 National Football League (NFL) season is now over and the final game was a nail biter. The 52nd NFL Super Bowl was held on Sunday Feb. 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. One of the leagues most successful teams and the favourites to win, the New England Patriots, faced the Philadelphia Eagles who looked to win their first ever Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is always one of the most watched and biggest events every year in the US and once again it didn’t disappoint. On average, 103.4 million people watched it in the U.S. and the estimated cost to air a 30 second commercial to air during the game is $5 million. Before the game started, singersongwriter Pink sung a beautiful rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It was even more impressive after reports came out that she was suffering from flu like symptoms during her performance. The game started with the Patriots winning the coin toss and electing to kick first. After both the Eagles and Patriots’ first drives resulted in field goals, the game was tied 3-3. The first touchdown of the game came from the Eagles and only took three plays including a 34-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nick Foles to Alshon Jeffery. The first half was very back and forth with the Eagles scoring another touchdown and the

purple lighting that morphed into Prince’s trademark. 106.8 million people in the United States watched the halftime show, outnumbering the amount of people who watched the game itself. Sales of the songs Justin Timberlake performed during the show went up by 534% in the United States. The Patriots started the second half with a touchdown; Rob Gronkowski catching five passes for 68 yards on the drive. The second half was back and forth just like the first half with the Eagles scoring a touchdown, then the Patriots, and then the Eagles responding again with a field goal.

With the score at 32-26 for the Eagles, the Patriots took the lead for the first time of the game with a touchdown, making the score 33-32 Patriots. However the Eagles responded yet again and, with 2:21 left they scored another touchdown. At 1:05 the Eagles’ defensive end Brandon Graham stripped the ball from Brady and recovered the ball, which lead to a field goal for the Eagles, adding to their lead; 41-33. Brady tried to make one last push and with nine seconds left on the 49-yard line, threw a long pass up the field to the end zone but came up short and time ran out making the Philadelphia Eagles the Super Bowl LII champions. This was an impressive win from the Eagles because not only were they facing the New England Patriots’ 5-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, but also because the Eagles were without their number one quarterback, Carson Wentz. Nick Foles was forced to take his place in week 14 after Wentz was hurt. Foles completed 28 of 43 passes for 373 yards, 3 passing touchdowns and 1 interception. He was named Most Valuable Player of the Super Bowl. It was a very exciting Super Bowl until the very end and set the record for most yards gained in an NFL game by both teams combined: 1,151. The celebrations in Philadelphia went on all night as they won their first Super Bowl in franchise history. The parade was held on Feb. 8 after a long wait for the fans of Philadelphia.

In 1996, the sprinter competed in the Olympic Summer Games in Athena. He won the 100m men’s final with a time of 9.84 which was a record at the time. He is still the Canadian record holder of the distance, tied with Surin. He won a second gold medal at the men’s 4x100m relay.

From 1997 to 2001, the sprinter continued his professional carrier but was forced to take breaks because of injuries. Bailey’s last race was the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton, where he didn’t qualify for the final because of a serious knee injury.


Patriots retaliating with a field goal and then a turnover which led to a touchdown. One of the most exciting parts of the game came with 38 seconds left in the first half when Philly had the ball and faced fourth and goal on the 1-yard line. As Foles stepped up to the running back position, Clement took a direct snap and pitched the ball to tight end Terry Burton. Burton then threw the ball perfectly to Foles, who was wide open in the right side of the end zone. Foles caught the football, making him the first quarterback ever to catch a touchdown pass in a Super Bowl. The first half ended with the Eagles up 22-12.

Justin Timberlake headlined the 2018 Super Bowl Halftime Show. He preformed many of his hit songs, which included: “Filthy”, “Rock Your Body,” “Senorita,” Sexyback,” “My Love,” “Cry Me A River,” “Suit & Tie,” “Until The End Of Time,” “Mirrors,” and “Can’t Stop This Feeling.” The best part of the performance came when Justin Timberlake did a tribute to the Minneapolisnative, Prince. He sang a Prince song called “I Would Die 4 U” while a video of Prince performing the song played in the background, projected onto a large multi-story sheet. An aerial shot showed downtown Minneapolis covered in


Honouring the life of sprinter Donovan Bailey Giving the career highlights of a significant Canadian athlete. LAURA BANNIER SPORTS WRITER

Donovan Anthony Bailey is a retired Canadian track and field sprinter. He was born on Dec. 16, 1967 in Manchester, Jamaica. At age 12, Bailey immigrated to Canada with his father and older brother, O’Neil. They settled in Oakville, Ont. While he was attending Queen Elizabeth Park High School, Bailey won the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) championship four times in boys’ long jump (1980, 1981, 1982 and 1984). His passion was basketball, but the athlete also competed in football and 100m races. At age 16, he clocked 10.65 seconds in the 100m. Bailey then attended Sheridan College in Oakville and graduated from Business Administration. He played basketball for the Sheridan Bruins during the 198687 school year. When he left school, Bailey started working for an importing and exporting clothing company. He was a property and marketing consultant. In 1990, the former high-school

athlete was motivated to go back on the track by watching the Canadian Track & Field Championships. He realized that when he was in high school he had beaten some of the athletes who were competing. He then returned to part time competive sprinting.

His passion was basketball, but the athlete also competed in football and 100m races. At age 16, he clocked 10.65 seconds in the 100m

His first success was in 1991 when he won the 60m race at the Ontario Indoor championship: a performance that allowed him to be chosen to represent Canada at the 1991 Pan American Games that were held in Havana, Cuba. He was part of the 4x100m men’s relay that

brought a silver medal back home. In 1992, the sprinter finished second at the men’s 100m race at the Canadian Track & Field Championships. The following year he won silver in the 200m and bronze in the 100m. In 1994, Bailey represented Canada in two international events. The Francophone Games in Paris, where he won the gold medal at the 4X100m competition and a silver medal in the 100m; and the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, where he won the gold medal at the 4X100m and set a record time of 38.39 seconds. On April 22, 1995, the sprinter set the Bernie Moore Track Stadium record with a time of 9.99 seconds and set a Canadian record, 0.03 seconds faster than Bruny Surin’s time of 10.02 seconds. On July 16, he beat his Canadian record time at the Canadian Track & Field Championships in Montreal with a time of 9.91 seconds. At the 1995 World Championships, Bailey was the first Canadian to ever win gold. In the 100m men’s final he posted a time of 9.97 seconds. He also won a gold medal with the 4x100m Canadian team.








A medicine ball workout for couples JESSA BRAUN SPORTS EDITOR

runner and your partner becomes the resistance.

Need a way to spice up your gym life? Looking for motivation to even set foot in the weight room? In search of a fun, active and unique date for you and your Valentine? On this page is a series of medicine ball exercises that are perfect for a spunky gym date with your partner. In fact, it doesn’t even need to be done at the gym. If you have one or two medicine balls at home, these exercises are simple enough to do anywhere, anytime. This workout is also entirely doable with a friend if you are single or your partner does not want to go to the gym. Complete each exercise for a full minute and run through this circuit two to three times. This workout will help build your relationship and helps with a positive partnership.

4. MED BALL TANGO: Sit down back-to-back. Shape your bodies in “V” formations and raise your feet slightly off the ground. Twist and pass the med ball to your partner, who will twist with it and pass it back to you on your opposite side. At thirty seconds, switch direction.

1. HEART-TO-HEARTS: Stand about four metres apart. Bring the medicine ball close to your chest. Like a chest pass in basketball, throw the ball to your partner’s chest. Keep throwing the ball back and forth. 2. LUNGES OF LOVE: Stand about a foot apart, facing each other and each holding a medicine ball. While your right leg lunges backwards, your partner’s left leg lunges forward. Then your partner’s left leg lunges backwards and your right leg lunges forwards. Keep repeating. After thirty seconds, switch legs. 3. RELATIONSHIP TENSION: Hold onto the handles of a resistance running band while your partner stands in front of you, holding a medicine ball, with the middle of the band around their pelvis area. Your partner runs forward while you lean back and pull lightly on the resistance band. After thirty seconds, you become the

5. PUSH-UP PARTY FOR TWO: Get into push-up position sideby-side, your partner on your right side, with enough room for each of you to go down into a pushup. Begin with the medicine ball under your right hand and do a push-up. Then roll the med ball to your left hand and complete two push-ups. The ball is then rolled back to your right hand to do one more push-up. Once that’s completed, roll the ball to your partner’s left hand and your partner completes the same procedure while you wait in plank position. Continue the pattern and quicken the tempo. 6. “I GOT YOUR BACK”: Get into regular squat position (heels, knees and shoulders all in line, toes pointed slightly out, weight on your heels), but lean on your partner’s back as you squat up and down. Both partners complete the exercise simultaneously.

7. TOE MUCH LOVE: Stand roughly a foot apart, facing each other, with the med ball on the ground between you. At the same time as your partner and as quick as you can, tap the top of your half of the med ball with your left toe, right toe, left toe, right toe…. 8. GOOD MORNING, SUNSHINE: Facing each other, get into regular sit-up stance with your toes touching your partner’s. You hold a medicine ball while your partner does not. Complete a sit up in unison. When you come back up, toss the med ball to your partner. Then you both complete a sit up again. After that your partner tosses the ball back to you, and so on. Try and do each workout at a tempo that is challenging for you, but not fast enough to make you lose proper form. Form is much more important than speed. Encourage each other and use one another to keep pushing through each exercise. Also remember to do a warm up before your workout. Just as importantly, don’t forget to stretch and foam roll afterwards. Remembering to do these things is more important than the workout itself. Without completing warm ups and cool downs, you’re much more likely to get injured and have aches and pains down the road.




Students: to be or not to be promiscuous JOSH ADESINA CONTRIBUTING WRITER

As a young person it seems as though having sex is everything. We tend to feel like we’re unattractive if we don’t have a sex life. The girl or guy that has a lot of sex can be the envy of a lot people. Not to mention that our sex drives are at an all-time high. Regardless, don’t you ever stop to wonder what the cons are of being promiscuous?

I’m not here to judge people and their sex lives, but it is important to consider both the pros and cons of promiscuity.

Believe it or not, there are some issues that come with having a lot of sex. As a teenager, I would always wonder why many of my friends were sexually active at such a young age. My male friends were not even that friendly, but the girls still liked them and gave them what they lusted after. It didn’t take me long to notice a particular trend in their personalities. They were confident, but they sought after sex to make up for deep rooted issues that they had.

Some of them were insecure and others had family issues. They sought after love and affection that they were not getting from their friends and family through sex. This isn’t to say that all promiscuity is linked to psychological issues. However, there are many young people that use sex as a short term solution to problems in their lives. I’m not here to judge people and their sex lives, but it is important to consider both the pros and cons of promiscuity. People often believe that male and female students are likely to have different opinions about premarital sex, but to be honest I see them thinking very similarly these days. Having several sexual partners as a male can do wonders for your ego. Your male friends will hold you in high regards, and you’ll come off as confident to females. However, being promiscuous as a male can change the way you look at females. It can have a negative effect on the relationships you have with them. Especially if you are always trying to get in their pants. On the other hand, females can enjoy sex just as much males do. Females are generally more social than males, and can reap rewards in the bedroom because of it. Despite this, there seems to be more stigma around the idea of promiscuous females in comparison with promiscuous males. The idea of females sleeping around still seems to make people uncomfortable. Furthermore, females can stand the risk of preg-


nancy without protection. There is also the risk of STDs, but the risk is equal for both males and females. I’ve also heard a lot about females having emotional attachments with their partners. It is definitely not true that females are too emotional to be promiscuous, but this can be a con for both males and females. It gets messy when fun turns into emotional trauma and attachment. There is a clear difference in how people react to promiscuous males and females. Regardless of this, I believe we have done a good job of understanding the similarities. I knew a lot of promiscuous

male and female students at Laurier Brantford, and the stigma is the same for people I work with in their late twenties. You are a student and you want to enjoy your short time at university. However, you need to know that there are complications that come with promiscuity. Sleeping around may seem like fun until you run into some issues. Besides protecting yourself and treating each other with respect, there is the emotional stigma to be considered. People assume that promiscuity can be linked with lack of

emotion. As I mentioned earlier in regards to females, this can be the case for some but not all. We have all met the student that sleeps around with no emotions involved whatsoever. Think about it.If you choose to be promiscuous would it do you any good getting emotions involved? You be the judge. The most important thing to understand about sex is that there is no pressure. There are students that have a lot of sex, and others that have none at all. Whichever category you fit in makes no difference in your worth as a person.

Consent is always necessary during sexting MELISSA WEAVER CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Feb. 6, 2018 marked International Safer Internet day. This day is a reminder for parents of teens, that the Internet can be a dangerous place.

Sending pictures without having consent from the other person first is not okay.

It is a day to recognize cyberbullying and put further efforts towards combating it. It is a day to recognize child exploitation on the Internet. This year, it has included a discussion around sexting. In a CBC interview with Faye Mishna, a professor and Dean of Social Work at the University of Toronto spoke on a study she is currently working on called the Non-Consensual Sharing of Sects: Behaviours and Attitudes of Canadian Youth. In her study, Mishna identifies the two working parts of sexting - sending and sharing. Without consent, both can be

problematic. There is nothing worse than going about your day, reaching for your phone and there is an unsolicited picture of a dick on your screen. Maybe you are in class, maybe you are at work or maybe it just makes you feel uncomfortable. Sending pictures without having consent from the other person first is not okay. It is also not okay to distribute a picture that someone has sent you without their consent. Too often, there are headlines from high schools claiming a “sexting epidemic”, discussing non-consensual sexting. There were countless instances of this in my own high school. Typically, a girl would send their partner a picture and their partner would send it to their friends without her consent. It would spread through the school like wildfire - everyone would be discussing her body and making assumptions about her sexuality etc. It was disheartening, even moreso, to hear that it continues into university or college and beyond. This has to do with the objectification of female bodies. Mishna said including sexting into the sexual education curriculum would educate youth about “sending; how and when and what to make it okay but sharing sext, non consensual, needs to also be talk about but separately because that’s more about doing something that’s not okay.”

The very hallmark of being sex positive is consent. Sex positivity means all sex is good sex as long as it is consensual. Nude photographs have always been used as an expression of the human form, limited by nothing but the artist’s imagination. We see a re-emergence of this in the popularity of boudoir photoshoots. It is a way to feel empowered and liberated in your body especially when it does not fall into the category of conventional beauty. Sex positivity works against

shaming people for what they like to do or how they choose to portray themselves. Like most sexual education taught in schools, abstinence has become the preferred method to employ when teaching about sexting. Mishna, however, believes that method is as ineffective as discussing abstinence and sex, explaining, “And while most teenagers are told to stop [sexting] in order to avoid problems, that puts the blame on the person who sent the message, rather than the individual who shared it without consent.”

Let me say it a little louder for the people in the back - telling youth to stop sexting puts the blame on the person who sent the message instead of the shame put on the person who sent it without consent. Consent must always be part of the conversation when two or more people are involved. This Valentine’s Day be sure to establish boundaries with your partner(s) and enjoy being a beautiful, sexy, desirable human being. Happy sexting (or not - because that is also totally OK)!






It is okay to not have sex - there is no rush ANONYMOUS CONTRIBUTING WRITER

“I’m 20 years old and I’ve never had sex.” I know it’s unpopular. It’s something that you probably won’t hear me screaming from the bar, jotting down in my Tinder bio, or mentioning between classes. It used to be because I was really embarrassed… But now, it’s mostly just because I don’t care about it as much as the rest of the world obviously does. For anybody reading, perhaps other virgins themselves, I’d like to make a note of the fact that the opportunity has come up for me a few times, each to be stopped by some instance or another. Either way, the sun has always come up the next morning, no significant other in my bed, and virginity still in tact. My friends used to get this weird look on their faces; eyes so wide you wouldn’t think that it was even physically possible for them to look any more surprised when I would remind them of my lack of sexual experience. Their eyebrows would furrow and they would pout their lips, as if they were a little sad, mostly for me. And it wasn’t until I started university when I realized that there was a really big problem.

Because somewhere in between recess and graduation and growing up did sex suddenly become the only tangible way to measure social success. Or rather, personal success in general. I spent a good chunk of first year trying to change myself. Trying to rack up as many ideas in my head as I could. I was intrigued… Somehow, for some reason that I really could not explain, I needed to become more appealing for others. New makeup? Or liquid courage? Clothes? And I became unhappy. I realized after chasing something which was quite obviously not going to happen as much as I kept obsessing over it, that it really wasn’t that big of a deal whether it happened or not. Being a virgin is a label. It’s a label which has since attached onto itself a wild assortment of less-than- ideal meanings and stereotypes. It’s like, somehow, just because you’ve never had sex, you’re suddenly incapable of love. Or too immature. Or too fragile to take anything with anyone to the next level. And I’m sick of it. I’m tired of explaining my case. Of justifying just why I haven’t had sex. Of trying to reassure my closest

friends that there must be something wrong with the universe, or maybe just with people in general, because I definitely should be getting some… I’m just not. But it’s okay. It’s okay to not have sex. It’s okay if you choose that you’d rather go out for a million coffee dates instead of kiss and tell. It’s fine if you prefer to steer clear from girls or guys in general because you’re “just not into it”. For a long time I believed that I was like everyone else, my circumstances were just unfortunate. I would lose my virginity eventually- I just needed a goal: August… then, it was November. And then, January. We’ve come full circle since then. I just want you to know that there’s nothing wrong with not having sex. Whether you’re too busy to fit it into your schedule, you’re holding off for a special someone, or it just really isn’t a priority in the point of life that you’re in, it’s more important to explore what makes you feel whole before you go seeking it out in someone else. I’m going to take my time in finding someone… And if you’re anything like me, I hope you do too.


Always ‘be present’and talk about consent SHREYA SHAH NEWS EDITOR

Sometimes when I’m cooking, I need noise in the background other than music. This is how, one

evening, while randomly looking for a podcast on Spotify I came across Krystyna Hutchinson and Corinne Fisher. These two ladies are New-York based stand up comedians who have a weekly pod-

cast called “Guys We F****d.”Don’t judge me, I was just randomly pressing buttons. I had no idea what to expect from this podcast. Was it going to be a couple of girls gossiping about their sex lives,


or something about the sex lives of others? Was it going to be a vent session about how male-oriented mainstream pornography is? I had no idea what I was getting into, all I knew was I needed something to get me through my weekly meal prep. 10 minutes in, and I was hooked. The girls are funny, unabashedly vulgar, and honest to a fault. And they are completely relatable – no matter what your sexual experience has been. They talk unashamedly about those early teen experiences with kissing and holding hands, to exploring your sexual identity, and that first real relationship. When it comes to sex, it’s almost impossible to be a university student – or even just to be someone who remotely pays attention to the media – and not think of sexual assault. Or maybe that’s just me, but everywhere I look these days I am blown away with stories, whether celebrity or civilian, about people coming forward about their sexual assault experiences. And then, I started seeing it on campus. Yes, my campus, this campus, your campus, our campus. I’m talking about being at club NV and seeing that guy kissing that girl who looks extremely uncomfortable. I’m talking about those 3 a.m. conversations with your friends when someone reveals that they have experienced assault. I am also talking about those conversations with your male friends about experiences they’ve had, because sexual assault is not an exclusively female experience. And then, it turns into those conversations that are a grey area. ‘Yes, that made me uncomfortable, but was that sexual assault?’ Or, ‘everything was technically consensual, but I don’t know, I just felt weird,” and of course, the ‘I was drunk, and I wanted it. When I was sober, I didn’t feel the same way.” A prime example in the media was the story about Aziz Ansari. The

popular comedian was accused of sexual misconduct (which is the word that everyone seems to have settled for) by a woman he met at the Golden Globes. I won’t go into the details of the encounter because that’s already been analyzed to pieces – and of course, everything you want to know is already online. I want to talk about the two sides of the coin. The woman felt violated. The man felt that this wasn’t his intention. It’s that grey area. The outrage that this woman, like many before her, felt that she was assaulted. And, if we’re being honest here, there are the men who are aware that they are violating someone and do it regardless, and then there are the men who like Ansari, feel like they were on a different page. So, what is the answer here? How do we ensure that our experiences and the experiences we provide others, are consistently and constantly consensual? And not just consensual for both parties, but enjoyable? Is there an answer? And this is where the ladies of “Guys We F****d” brought me a new perspective. First, they highlight that it is not up to us to validate or invalidate someone’s experience. And then, they say, “I wish more people would take the time to be present during sex.”Be present. If that guy at NV was present, there’s no way he would have missed how uncomfortable the girl looked. If you pay attention, and you’re mindfully present, you will feel your partner’s vibes and pick up on their non-verbal cues. As humans, we are constantly communicating whether intentionally or unintentionally. Observe these cues. And of course, talk to your partner. Ask them what they want, or don’t want. This is not just your experience, it’s a shared experience.





Having sex after being sexually assaulted One woman’s journey in coping with a traumatic experience, and how she was able to overcome it JULIA RAJSIGL STAFF WRITER

One in four women and one in five men has been sexually assaulted in North America, but not everyone who has been assaulted copes or reacts in the same way. Having consensual sex after being sexually assaulted can be a very personal and complicated process.

My friends always remind me that I am not a burden and neither is my story.

Some may choose to have consensual sex as a way to replace traumatic experiences with new, positive ones. Others may choose to avoid all physical interaction, not just sex, but any kind of touch, for a long time. There is alsoa multitude of experiences within this range and survivors may choose or need different approaches in different approaches. There is no right or wrong way to deal with an experience like this. It is a process of finding out what works for you. I wass sexually assaulted. I was young and had no concept of what sex was. It took me a long time to learn that what had happened to me wasn’t sex: sex requires consent and what happened to me was not consensual. It took even longer to be able to rebuild my sexual identity. I started with therapy, which was a great tool for me. There I was able to focus on the feelings of shame

and self-resentment that the assault had brought up in me; coming to terms with the fact that what happened was not my fault. This process did not happen overnight, but did help me to make strides with my mental health and learning to love myself again. Everyone will tell you that a support system is essential, and I am no different. Because of my specific situation, I was not able to rely on my family for support. So instead, I found my support system in my friends. Through the ups and downs, the lying and hiding, the many long and tearful conversations, my friends were always there for me. When I came to university, my support system expanded to include my new friends as well. Being able to confide in these people became a large part of my healing process. Sometimes it can be hard to bring up traumatic experiences in conversation because I worry it will make other people feel uncomfortable. My friends always remind me that I am not a burden and neither is my story. This has helped me to become comfortable telling my story and in turn, has helped me deal with it. Not only did they help me learn to trust and to love, but they also taught me about what a healthy sexual relationship should be. With the help of my friends and my therapist, I was able to slowly rebuild my sexual identity. I learned about who I was and what I wanted. Walking down the street one night with my roommate and best friend, I confidently declared that I was ready to have sex. This did not mean I was going to jump on the next guy I saw, but meant that I had finally reached a mental and physical state where the thought of having sex didn’t make my skin crawl. Having sex was something I could finally do for myself. For me, it was easier to think of having sex with someone I didn’t really


know and wouldn’t have to see again anytime soon. There was no particular reason

I no longer associate my assault with sex because I have learned that they are two very different things.

for this except that I am not really a relationship person. I don’t require a personal or emotional connection to feel comfortable with the idea of having sex with someone. So, one night, I went out with my friends and I met this guy at a bar. We flirted, we talked, and when I was sure we both wanted to

leave together, I told him that I had been previously assaulted. This was a big moment for me because I felt confident in what I wanted, but was also incredibly nervous. He immediately took his hands off of me, worried that he had crossed a line. I made my limits very clear and I would tell him if I felt uncomfortable in any way. This moment was key for me. I outlined my boundaries without having to give an explanation for them and he listened. It was a quick, but vital conversation and I would not have been able to move forward without it. I was terrified that he was going to just walk away and decide that this was too much to handle, that I was too much to handle. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised with his reaction, or more a non-reaction. He reassured me that he had heard what I said, and was willing to continue the night if I was. And I was. My first sexual experience after being assaulted was great. I can’t say that it was completely

physically painless, but it hurt in the way that all of my friends had warned me about, but not in a way that made me think about my past experiences. After years of learning about myself and learning to love who I was, I went into my first time feeling comfortable with myself and the situation. It was a totally new feeling. This positive experience has helped me to make new memories that could replace the old ones. I no longer associate my assault with sex because I have learned that they are two very different things: my assault was this awful thing that happened to me, but sex is this positive, consensual decision that I had made and continue to make. While I realize that this may not be a shared experience for all survivors of sexual assault, seperating healthy sex from sexual violence was a pinnacle moment in my healing process. And while the assault will always be a part of my story, it does not hold me back from having sex when I want to.

Laurier: slipping on salting their sidewalks SPOTTED: Laurier Brantford student’s are seen falling on icy sidewalks in front of school buildings MEGHAN GAUVIN OPINION EDITOR

Winter has finally caught up with us here in southern Ontario

and mother nature is not holding back. We really shouldn’t be surprised considering this tends to be the trend every winter. As sson

as we start to believe we might be free of the horrid weather it comes raging in right on schedule. That being said, could it be that Laurier Brantford was not pre-


pared for the harsh snow and low temperatures? The past few weeks on campus have been utter chaos in terms of slipping and falling on icy sidewalks in front of school buildings. I am not sure if the school attempted to salt and or shovel the sidewalks in front of their buildings but there were definitely a few days in the past couple weeks where the walking conditions were quite dangerous. I have witnessed multiple slips and falls in front of Grand River Hall in particular. It’s hard to say who is at fault in this situation. Should the city be responsible or the university? Considering this is a school building, one which serves as a residence as well as holds offices and lecture halls, it seems that the school should take responsibility. It got to a point where my roommates and I would leave the house each morning wishing each other ‘good luck’. On one particular night, I was on my way home from the student’s centre and decided to take a shortcut through Victoria Park.

I couldn’t have been more than halfway through when I realized the entire park was basically an ice rink. I looked back and saw that I had come too far to turn around; I needed to go on. At the very least there was no one around to see me fall flat on my back if it came to it. My game plan was to continue as if I were skating without skates and just sort of pushed my boots along the ice. Although there were a couple times where I almost came crashing down, I managed to make it to the slightly less icy sidewalks across the street. In recent, the sidewalks on campus have been in much better condition than they were the infamous night of skating through Victoria Park. Hopefully this means that either Laurier or the City of Brantford has stepped up and order to keep all students, and the rest of the community, safe. However, everyone should remain careful during these winter months!





Falling in love on Tinder : a confession MEGHAN GAUVIN OPINION EDITOR

For a long time it was hard for me to tell people that I met my boyfriend on Tinder. In all honesty, I still don’t feel completely comfortable when asked about it. For someone who usually is quite confident and open with my personal life, I often greet this question with an awkward laugh followed by a nervous pit in my stomach as I wait to see how the questioner will react. I genuinely feel embarrassed – that in some way I am admitting to some wrongdoing. After almost three years of dating, I don’t associate any part of my relationship with Tinder, which is why it’s always such an unwelcomed surprise when people ask me, ‘so how did you two meet?’ Today, it is widely more accepted and common for people to have started their relationships via Tinder and yet I still face these questions with a tinge of resentment for the ones asking. I recently have attributed these feelings to my 20-year-old self and the way she viewed and used

Like all good things, Tinder soon lost its novelty and we quickly became irritable zombies swiping through out of boredom and convenience more than anything lse.

Tinder when it first came out. I realized that I had found a boyfriend on an app that my friends and I had used as a game. Tinder was always a joke, and so this led me to believe that my relationship would be seen as a joke. So without further ado, this is the story of how I fell in love on Tinder, and why I hate talking about it.


Back in 2015, when Tinder was first up and coming, it was widely viewed as the ‘hook up’ app. I had never been one for dating, never mind online dating, so it is safe to say this was not really my cup of tea. That being said, having just come out of my first year of University, I was feeling cool as hell and ready to try anything. It started out as the greatest game ever. My friends and I would get together and drink poolside while swiping left and right all day long. We would compare matches and discuss the different ways people would try to start up a conversation over the app. Often times, we would get bored with the mundane conversations and would switch things up a bit. The game went from how many cute people can we flirt with to whom can we freak out the most. I don’t believe that my friends and I were alone in this tactic. I’m sure many of you are familiar with the nights where you sit around in a circle with your best pals and pass your phones off to the weirdest friend in the group to let them go wild. If I learned anything during

my time on Tinder it was that men were a lot more interested in the crazy things we had to say – and also, I’m that weird friend. It was the perfect setup because everyone on the app had a mutual understanding of why we were there – to flirt with people and say ridiculous things without embarrassment or consequence. It was all fun and games until it wasn’t anymore. Like all good things, Tinder soon lost its novelty and we quickly became irritable zombies swiping through out of boredom and convenience more than anything else. It was during this time that a darker side of Tinder reared it’s ugly head. Basically, all hope was lost. Even though I was never looking for anything serious, I started to seriously doubt humankind. Between dodging unsolicited dick-picks and once being called ‘nothing more than a Tinder 5’, I was fed up. After three short months it was time to quit Tinder. To this day, almost every woman I know has deleted this app at least twice because of creepy conversations with an endless amount of weirdo’s. Same fish holding picture, different white guy who will probably

send you unwanted sexual content until you snap and he lashes out with a hurtful and aggressive insult. It’s hard to see why anyone would subject himself or herself to this kind of ‘game’. And yet, after a few weeks had passed I re-downloaded the app with a new mindset. This was supposed to be for fun and I was determined not to let a couple of ass holes ruin this fun for me. Looking back, I think Tinder was a way that I could get atten-

I met my first love on a dumb app with a horrible reputation, but I wouldn’t change a single day spent with him.

tion without really having to put myself out there. And even though sometimes that attention was really negative, that risk was worth it

for me. This isn’t something I necessarily feel proud of which probably plays a part in my feelings towards the app today. So, it was round two with Tinder and things were going pretty okay. People were being fairly pleasant and I was a lot better at identifying jerks and weeding them out of my matches. That being said, the conversations with random strangers were becoming shorter and less enticing. Then one day, everything changed. Someone I had been talking to for a while but was never overly interested in called me out on my shit. He said something like, ‘just out of curiosity, do you have any interest in asking me questions about myself?’ I was floored. I was not expecting this kind of boldness from the guy who had spent the last week asking me about school and my favourite hobbies. I found his honesty hilarious and although I was a little embarrassed I found he was completely justified in his question. I went back through our conversation and saw that I was putting in very little effort. Often times I would just answer his questions and move on with my life. Then he’d send me another question and I would answer. I never felt compelled to ask him anything in return. Reading back I felt like a complete jerk but instantly became more interested in him. I apologized and blamed my lack of interest on being busy and quickly assured him I was interested. To this he responded, ‘Perfect. Because I’ve always wanted to try archery.’ Three years later and I don’t think Adam has ever even held a bow and arrow. The beginning of our relationship was in no way something out of a romantic comedy, and yet, I have so much pride when I look at the life we have built together. I met my first love on a dumb app with a horrible reputation, but I wouldn’t change a single day spent with him. To me, there is nothing embarrassing or ridiculous about that.

Buying sex toys for your significant other KAITLYN SEVERIN CONTRIBUTED WRITER

Let’s get to the bottom of this - Valentine’s Day revolves around sex. Yes, it’s also about the love, passion and intimacy you share with your partner, or many partners, or someone you just met on Feb. 13, but don’t let the Cupid cutouts, cinnamon heart candies or sales on chocolate change your perspective – it has always been about sex. Born in the middle of November? Your parents most-likely conceived you on this day of lovemaking. Congratulations! So instead of showering your significant other with the expected, like flowers or jewelry, why not get something you know will give them endless amount of pleasure? Why not get something for the both of you, and make it a Valentine’s Day tradition? Yes, you’re absolutely right - I’m talking about sex toys. Now, hear me out - this is just a suggestion, maybe on the occasion you start to freak out because you can’t buy your $200 massivelystuffed Costco teddy bear in time. So, before you run to the nearest

sex store and buy the first (or the biggest) thing that pops out at you, take some things into consideration - sexually, what does your partner like? Would they want to use the toy just for themselves or to share with you? What’s their expertise with sex toys? Are they even comfortable using a sex toy? Make sure to communicate with your partner and know what they like, and base their interests and kinks off that. If necessary, let them pick out the toy and buy it for them. Nothing screams romance like going to the sex shop and surprising your partner with their favourite Vibrating Anal Power Beads. Some may find it a bit nervewracking to use a sex toy with someone else, but remember that these toys are designed to spruce up your sex life, and not as a replacement. A 2016 study conducted at Chapmen University found that those who reported to feeling satisfied in their relationship and in their sex lives with their partners were more likely to use sex toys together.

So, a certain toy may give your partner multiple orgasms, or they may find it difficult to even get started without some warming lube, but those are just part of the production - you’re the real star of the show. There are a number of factors that can go into buying a sex toy for your partner - the budget, their comfortability, the material of the toys - so make sure to do your research! If Google doesn’t give you an answer, check out your local sex store and ask an associate for recommendations on which toys to get based on your budget and kinks. Finally, try and have fun with your purchase! Toys, lubes or any sexual wellness product can help you and your partner bring a new sense of intimacy, both in and out of the bedroom. Even if you or your partner decide to use sex toys separately, they can help you communicate your sexual desires to each other. So instead of splurging your cash on heart-shaped chocolate boxes and roses, give them the gift that will keep on giving.


February 14 2018  

News and stories from Laurier Brantford's independent student voice.

February 14 2018  

News and stories from Laurier Brantford's independent student voice.