Volume 51 | Issue 15 | March 13 | 2017
Women’s Issue: 2017
Pictured is the esteemed Dr. Jean Augustine. Photography by Lubna Sadek
On Missy Knot’s new EP
TCSA Elections: Arthur editor An interview with candidate platforms Maryam Monsef Candidate platforms
Editors-in-chief Yumna Leghari & Zara Syed firstname.lastname@example.org @TrentArthur /ArthurNews
Photographer Lubna Sadek
Copy Editor Zafer Izer
Proofreader Amanda Reed
Board of Directors Chair: Anthony Moniz Secretary: Amino Yusuf Members at Large: Jordan Porter • Matt Douglas • Shanese Steele
CONTENTS Volume 51 Issue 15
March 13 2017
• Pg 3: Editorial • Pg 3: Letters to the editors • Pg 4: Smartest major at Trent • Pg 4: Modesty the new black • Pg 4: Bill M103 (NEWS)
Campus • Pg 5: Jamie Allen at Trent • Pg 6: Student Research • Pg 6: SAID Symposium • Pg 6-9: TCSA platforms • Pg 12: Shine a Light • Pg 12: TCSA platforms (cont) • Pg 13: Athletic Centre follow-up
Pg. 10: Interview with Maryam Monsef Pg 11: IWD panel hosted by KSAC & KWIC
• Pg 15: Josh Skinner & Dan Morrison • Pg 15: Jeffrey Moore • Pg 16: Contributors list
• Pg 17: Interview with Five Alarm Funk
• Pg 14: Queer Coll(i/u)sions
• Pg 18: Review: And Then She Ate Me
• Pg 14: Game development ptbo
• Pg 18: Missy Knots: EP Review
Trent Film Society Presents: The Love Witch March 22 at Artspace 7:00 p.m.
Contributors • Yumna Leghari • Shanese Steele • Samantha Moss • Berfin Aksoy • Clay Duncalfe • Jordan Porter • Josh Skinner • Tyler Majer • TCSA • Lubna Sadek •Casey Summers •Sabrina Calogeracos • Namya Tandon •Brad Daniels • Will Pearson • Jeffrey Moore • Derek-Newman-Stille • Tyler Majer • Elizabeth Thipphawong Submissions due Thursdays at 12:00 pm Articles should be subitted via email as *.rtf, *.odt, *.odt or *.txt attachment | word limit: 800 words. Letters to the editor | word limit: 100 words Listings, annoucements | word limit: 100 words Images should be submitted via email, Google Drive, Dropbox or other firesharing site. Images should be sent as attachments in *.jpeg and *.tiff formats with a dpi of no less than 300 pixels
Keep your ear out for Radio-Free Arthur, every Wednesday at 12:30pm!
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Editorial: censorship and polarity pertaining to print publications Yumna Leghari
As I pontificated on Radio Free Arthur at Trent Radio last week, it came to my attention that certain individuals were calling for a defunding campaign of Arthur Newspaper’s levy. By the time we were off the air, the post, which we now know came from a fake Facebook account created solely for this purpose, had garnered over 100 comments. Arthur thrives on the healthy debate of opposing views, but to do so through a fake account throwing threats into the ether is not exactly our idea of a dialogue. We welcome the community and student body to publish their concerns in the form of a letter to the editor. The reason for this call for a punitive financial sanction was, from our understanding, an opinion piece published by Zafer Izer in October 14, 2016 titled “Trent students must unite against white nationalism.” It is only natural to vehemently disagree with op-ed’s; the nature of an opinion piece is that someone is always going to disagree. The beauty of a free and open media is the ability to participate in it. Calling for a censoring of the only official student press at Trent that operates independent of the university is, frankly, counterproductive to the goal of having fairer debates on our campus. What’s happening here is a microcosmic example of what is occurring on a grander scale globally; polarity is leading to irrational attempts to suppress the media. Some of the same individuals advocating for “free speech” are ironically the same ones attempting to silence entire print publications. The greatest example of this is the absurd reality of the President of the United States devaluing and undermining the
very concept of journalism. In Issue 14, Clay Duncalfe wrote in an interview with the current Margaret Laurence Writer-InResidence, Michael Lista, “He believes that now more than ever, in a political climate where the Trump administration’s Chief Strategist Steve Bannon believes ‘The media should keep its mouth shut’ and ‘alternative facts’ have become synonymous with blatant lies, it is the responsibility of prominent leftist figures to be willing to stand up and speak out against political injustices, even if in doing so, they are acting against their own self interests.” As Josh Skinner articulates in his piece for this issue, “Bill M-103: Revealing the polarity in Canada”, “Campuses are where political issues are conceived... The way students engage in issues informs the rest of the world as to how they will interact with the ideas that begin on campus.” How are we to carry forward into the world if we’re not engaging in proper debate through the appropriate measures, and are stuck squabbling over how to silence each other? Newspapers play an important role in society, and to threaten the livelihood of one in a time when print media is already wavering is nonsensical. We would like to candidly point out that no one who called for the muzzling of this newspaper actually reached out with a response to the opinion piece in question. Rather, we received a single angry email, and when we asked if the individual would like their message published as a letter to the editor, we received no answer. We cannot represent views if they don’t come our way. Arthur doesn’t have the ability to create content out of thin air, and if that was pos-
sible, our lives would be a lot easier. In a recent article published in Electric City Magazine, Ryan Perks explored the ever-widening gap between progressives and the alt-right on campus: “Trent finds itself struggling to define the limits of acceptable political discourse, and of civil behaviour more broadly,” writes Perks. We have experienced this first hand, but believe that this doesn’t have to be the case. If we can combat this struggle on a campus level, we can attempt to enter public and professional spaces with the purpose of challenging the existing polarities within society. There is a rise in individuals demanding the normalization to be able to “talk about things that were previously taboo.” If individuals want to open up dialogues that target minorities and are inherently oppressive, dialogues that people have worked so hard to dissolve, than the press should have every right to publish views that counter these subjects. We cannot stress how critical the role of journalism is in society today. When a leader of an entire nation questions and threatens the freedom of the press, its citizens should be alarmed. When (presumably) a student threatens the freedom of a campus newspaper, students should be alarmed. Censorship starts at the grassroots level and works upwards, taking over as it climbs and obscures the truth. Your truth may not be the same truth, but at least you can explore it, and publish it, right? What these individuals fail to understand is that Arthur is an entity that exists independently of its editors and staff; defunding Arthur does not make sense, as it is a venue shaped by students for students. With a democratically elected editorship and a board comprised of elected
members, Arthur will always be what the students want it to be. We know that the referendum deadline has passed, and for all we know this fake Facebook account was never meant to attract anything but attention—but a time may come when Arthur is faced with this situation again. All of us should be working towards supporting the media, not silencing it. Whatever your views are, the paper is not your enemy. We are here to publish your work, and always will be.
could of just stayed in my warm bed. Once our first conversation was done I hurried home and sought out statistics comparing the impact of these antiabortion signs relative to ones that offer adoption, birth, and abortion as equally respected options. I looked at the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada’s website and hoped you would too. I will need to always admit what I don’t know and perform ongoing research on abortion rates based on the social determinants of health. During our next conversation I bet you’ll ask me if I’ve had an abortion. I wonder what I’ll tell you. There will be rage that comes up. I wonder when you’ll get exasperated and want to cut off ties. I will go home exhausted and likely scream into a pillow, and/or throw some plates at rocks in the backyard. I think we have years of talks ahead of us and, hopefully, not just at these rainy or freezing Saturday morning protests. Conversations without begging or pleading for permission on how to live. Let’s leave shaming and educating in the hopes of agreement at the door. This ain’t going to be easy. You believe that I support killing, and/or is it murdering, babies. I believe your protest sign actually increases the rates of abortion and deaths of pregnant people. I don’t even know your name. We were so caught up in our discussion that we forgot common practices of civility. Next time, I’ll make sure to ask.
partisan, but pro-transparency, in politics in particular. In writing this, I would have to accept people would agree or disagree with me and that they know who I am, and people I have relationships with and people who are strangers, will have formed opinions about me based on my writings. Perhaps they may even take a gander at what motivates me to write this. I think that is fair game. In the same sense, when you post on social media, and make scenes in the community, you should expect to deal with consequences of making your personal opinions known. On top of this, when you then decide to pursue a career as a public figure, a politician, where you represent a body of people, it is important to make transparent what is known about you so that when voting comes along, people can make an informed decision about you. You should have a clear stance on issues. If you are embarrassed about your stance, maybe you should think about why that is. I get that having haters may hurt you, but if you want to be a politician, especially with controversial opinions, this will be your life. Journalism is vital to make these things transparent. With upcoming TCSA elections I as a voting member want to know if those running are being transparent so I am able to make informed decisions. Arthur is also important as a way for prospective journalism students to get this experience, and these student opportunities are in the best interests of the university. Both the writers at Arthur and student politicians are getting a taste of what their fields are like; thanks to all of you and best of luck in the upcoming elections.
Devon Jino (if that’s even your real name) it’s ARTHUR, not THE TRENT Arthur. Now, for students who would like to write to us pro-actively, please do so! The next issue of Arthur is our very last issue, so if you’ve got anything on your mind, or any reflections about the year, we’d love to hear what you’ve got to say.
Letters to the editors *Trigger Warning: discussion of pro- life propaganda and abortion Dear person who thinks abortion is murder, When we first met, there was no talk about when life begins. You didn’t ask me if I believed in God nor commented on pre-marital sex. You spoke about the importance of sexual restraint in heterosexual marriages. Thank Goddess you didn’t ask me about my sexual habits as you may have of gotten more information than you bargained for. We had just met, after all. During our first conversation, which lasted an hour, we were able to acknowledge the need to prevent abortions, focusing on issues such as poverty and domestic violence. A world where every pregnancy is wanted by the person who would carry, birth, and be connected to another human being for the rest of their life. Not just by the community or the other potential parent. We struggled around language, as not all women can get pregnant and not all people who give birth identify as women. We both ended up switching between the word ‘woman’ and ‘pregnant person.’ You asked me if I was a woman. I said yes. You didn’t ask if I could bare children. You acknowledged that there were thousands of children in foster care and that you had never considered adopting. We both expressed concern for children who felt unwanted. I admit that we didn’t get off to a great start. When I first saw you, wearing a sign that read ‘Abortion Kills Children,’ I wanted to mock you, scream obscenities, and educate you about the harm of criminalizing this incredibly important health right. That
criminalization did not prevent abortions but did increase the death toll on women. Who was your intended audience? Were you primarily speaking about the doctors who perform abortions? Your sign didn’t explain who was killing children. I wanted to scold you for telling children that there was a dark, mysterious force wanting to harm them. During another conversation with an anti-abortion folk in Welland, I was reminded of the importance of language. He said that the actual translation of the 10 commandments is ‘Thou Shall Not Murder,’ and that ‘killing’ implies self-defense. Murder, he said, indicates premeditation and malice. Did your sign acknowledge that abortion is a type of self-defense? I’ll do some more research on the wording of different protest signs as how we say things matters. Your sign reminded me of a Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical reform bus ad that showed the fetus as separate from the woman, erasing her presence, and acted as if a fetus was in some sort of balloon. An ad that might come to Peterborough. Well, explaining how a fetus ended up in a balloon will make sexual education just that much harder for the rest of us, thank you very much. We talked about masturbation and the challenges of sexual restraint. I brought up the importance of teaching children about consent, the ability to say, with words and/ or body language, at any time in an interaction that they do not want something. You expressed feeling sickened at the idea of sexual assault. You acknowledged that your sign didn’t prevent abortions. I thought, ‘WTF, why are you out here every Saturday morning? On this -20 below one? Why didn’t you just sleep in?’ I was a bit resentful, thinking I
-Casey Summers I am writing this in regards to wanna-be “public figures” who are offended by opposition. I intend for this article to be non-
Volume 51 | Issue 15 | March 13 | 2017
The science is in: the smartest major at Trent Is…
Brad Daniels The Trent Experimental Society (TES) has conducted a study to answer the fiercely debated topic of which major at Trent University has the smartest students. The study consisted of a surveyed filled-out by almost 200 Trent University students who reported their major and then completed an intelligence quotient (IQ) test. The results are in, and the highest scoring IQ major was… Canadian Studies! In a close second were Psychology majors, followed by a thirdplace tie between Archeology and Indigenous Studies majors. Finally, a debate 50 years in the making (as old as the school itself) is brought to an end. We now know the smartest major at Trent University; all hail the glorious geniuses of the Canadian Studies program! Or should we say: genius*
statistics (or even identify them as outliers), and therein lies our exploitation of the great logical fallacy: science is objective. Numbers and statistics might be our gold standard for measuring objectivity, but science is about the interpretation of those numbers, and interpretations of such are an inherently human, and therefore subjective, endeavour. Other notable limitations which could have as easily gone unmentioned but were nevertheless impactful in our study were biases in sampling (Google the snowball technique) and the violation of virtually every type of validity when it came to measuring the construct of intelligence (i.e., using a short internet IQ test). But what if we ended this article after the first paragraph? Would you have believed our results? Regardless of your response, we can likely
agree that at least some people would certainly take such media proclamations to heart, often in support of their already preconceived prejudices and animosities towards out-groups. The ultimate aim of the study, and indeed this consequent article, had always been to demonstrate first-hand the erroneous tendency for people to place a great deal of misguided trust in anything accompanied with the word “science” (we chose the headline of this article carefully). Science possesses the danger of acquiring a dogmatic overtone… if we don’t collectively understand that it is a human construct which ultimately relies upon entirely subjective human logic and reason. If you would like to know more about the Trent Experimental Society, please contact its president (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
ful attempt to cater to the Muslim market. This line evoked excitement to Muslim women with a taste for high fashion, as it maintained the style of every other Dolce and Gabbana collection while preserving modesty. Although the Italian fashion house did adopt diversity, and while a few other brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY, Oscar de la Renta, Mango, and Monique Lhuillier have followed suit, many designer brands still remain blind to the Muslim market. At New York Fashion Week in 2016, Muslim designer Anniesa Hasibuan made history in adorning every model with a unique, luxury hijab. Not only was the newcomer the first Indonesian designer to be invited to the event, she was also the first to present a collection of hijabs on the runway. Receiving a standing ovation for her success, Hasibuan brought Islamic fashion
into the mainstream. Her show was a huge leap forward in what is becoming known as the modesty movement of fashion. As much as these designers have received praise for their embracing of diversity, they have also received a great amount of criticism. Conservative Muslim groups claim that the hijabs and abayas designed by fashion designers are too modernized, and as a result are not Islamic enough. Dr. Eva Nisa, professor of Islamic studies at Victoria University, stated that the essence of Muslim dressing is to preserve modesty and decency. She expressed the belief that Muslim women must dress in a way that does not attract the attention of men. With this reasoning, Muslim fashion designers are not always considered in a positive light. Although this critique is understandable, I do not believe that it holds a candle
to the cause of bringing such long-overdue diversity to the fashion industry. Hijabs and abayas are not only religious symbols, but also a part of many Muslim women’s identity. Not only have these collections struck Muslim women, but also non-believers and those of different faiths. In light of recent events, many veiled women have voiced their fear of being targeted in public. It is no secret that dozens of women have been and continue to be harassed for wearing the traditional Muslim headscarf. Perhaps bringing these garments into the fashion industry may change the perspectives of many from believing that they are tools of oppression into believing that they are symbols of modesty, expression and solidarity. As these designer garments are introduced into the mainstream fashion, they may bring a sense of comfort and confidence to Muslim women. The inclusion of this Islamic apparel in high fashion promotes the acceptance of Muslim women in Western society. In my belief, introducing religious garments into the high fashion industry can only be an advantage. Of course, there are those that disagree, but bringing diversity into an industry where it is long overdue trumps all. In a world where Islamic attire causes intense debate and evokes feelings of prejudice and hate, fashion designers should unite to bring this apparel into a positive light, and normalize garments which should have never been considered otherwise in the first place..
that Canada should be combatting. The vigorous discussion surrounding bill M-103, has been centered on a topic all too familiar to those at Trent University; one of free speech. For conservative politicians like Chris Alexander, M-103 is limiting the ability of Canadians to criticize Islam, which he sees as linked to “the number one threat in the world today which is Islamic jihadist terrorism.” Those who oppose the bill take issue that the bill does not actually define Islamophobia, which they believe creates a vagueness around the issue of Islamophobia, serving to delegitimize any conversation pertaining to Islam. Ezra Levant, the founder of Rebel Media echoes this sentiment “The deliberate blurring of having a dissenting opinion, labeling anyone who dares to even have a public conversation about the real issues of Islam, whether it’s the treatment of women, the separation of Mosque and state, non-violent solutions to problems, proper integration and assimilation of refugees, proper vetting of refugees, terrorism...”
Those in favour of the motion see this movement against bill M-103 as prime examples of exactly why there needs to be a motion that condemns Islamophobia. It should be noted that a very similar bill was passed in 2015 condemning Anti-Semitism in parliament, which speaks to a double standard for religious communities in Canada. There was no mass hysteria about free speech from those on the right back then, meaning that they aren’t concerned with an inability to criticize all religions, rather, just the inability to criticize Islam. This is Islamophobia on full display. Iqra Khalid, the Liberal backbencher who put the motion forward describes Islamophobia as “the irrational hate of Muslims that leads to discrimination.” The protests against Bill M-103 are not protests to protect Canadian values, but are displays of discrimination against Muslims that prevent them from having the same right to safety as other Canadians. Supporters of the bill also point out that M-103 is a motion and not a law, which means that the findings from the issued
report will be in no way binding. The fact that the counter protest greatly outnumbered those advocating for free speech on March 4 reveals that at the very least, people living in downtown Toronto can see through this tactic. This protest also debunks a narrative established in the alt-right media that campus debates have no weight in the real world. Debates regarding the lines between free speech and hate speech used to be framed in terms of safe spaces and snowflakes. Now, they are framed in terms of motions in parliament and city hall protests. What university students should take away from this debate is that regardless of where they stand on an issue, their opinions and convictions are neither trivial or childish. Campuses are where political issues are conceived, grow their teeth, and eventually walk out of the door and into the “real” world. The way that students engage in issues informs the rest of the world as to how they will interact with the ideas that begin on campus. Student’s should be given more credit in this regard.
Genius? Yes, singular. Our data indicated that only one person from the Canadian Studies program filled out our survey and, while likely quite clever, that person’s IQ score represented all Canadian Studies students in our analysis. Now, you might say, “that’s just dumb”, and you would be right. However, our collected data was normally distributed and scientifically valid in regards to sample size as well as the typically employed margin of error (p <.05, response distribution = 12%). Technically, of course, that one response from the Canadian Studies major would have been considered an outlier, but not one worthy of omission from our data since it neither significantly altered our distribution nor violated any statistical assumptions. It is therefore to the discretion of the researcher to decide whether or not to report such
Modesty is the new black: on fashion and the hijab Namya Tandon
Being a non-believer, I tend to tread lightly when discussing religious garments in worries of offending anyone due to my lack of knowledge on the topic. Nonetheless, it saddens me to admit that nowadays, wearing garments and clothing that clearly identify one’s religion attracts a disproportionate backlash. Out of the variety of religious garments that adorn the bodies of men and women, hijabs, burkas and abayas often seem to generate the most controversy. In spite of its prevalence amongst women, this type of apparel is does not usually attract the attention of Western high fashion, although it should. Designers from the West that create the most luxurious and elegant collections should also cater to those from opposite ends of the world. Not only would it diversify the fashion industry, but it would be beneficiary for business as well. It’s no secret that Muslim women have been some of the most valuable customers to designer labels, spending obscene amounts of money on high fashion apparel. Fortune Magazine reports that in 2013, Muslims spent around $266 billion solely on attire, exceeding Japan and Italy combined. They predicted that the figure would amount to $484 billion by 2019. Also, back in 2011, Reuters stated that Arab women were believed to be the largest buyers of haute couture. In 2016, Dolce and Gabbana capitalized on the benefits of inclusivity, revealing a new line of hijabs and abayas in a success-
NEWS Josh Skinner
On March 4th, over 1,000 people gathered outside of Toronto’s city hall to protest and counter protest bill M-103. The protest was comprised of two factions, those who were protesting against the bill from Canadian Coalition of Concerned Citizens (CCCC) and those who were engaging in a counter protest. Witnesses estimated that the counter protest outnumbered the protestors by a margin of 3-1. M-103 is a motion to investigate and condemn Islamophobia in Canada. This motion was tabled in the House of Commons shortly after a mass killing in Quebec that saw six Canadian-Muslim citizens murdered while praying in a mosque. The bill looks to do a few things involving quelling a climate of hate and fear, condemnation of Islamophobia*, and conducting a study with policy suggestions for eliminating Islamophobia*. The asterisk denotes that alongside Islamophobia, the bill also incorporates systemic racism, as well as religious discrimination as issues
Bill M 103: revealing the polarity in Canada
Infrastructural Imaginaries with artist and researcher Jamie Allen Photo by Samantha Moss
On Thursday March 2nd, community members packed Traill College’s Bagnani Hall to hear from Canadian artist and researcher, Jamie Allen. A fascinating crosssection of the Peterborough and Trent communities had been compelled to come and see Allen speak. From the community there were researchers, artists, musicians, and novelists, while representation from the university ranged from professors, undergrads, and PhD candidates in the sciences, English, and Cultural Studies. No matter their faction, each attendee found themselves enthralled with the presentation Allen brought with him. In anticipation of his appearance, Allen provided a ‘suggested readings’ page so that those looking to engage in active discussion might have something to reference. The document was over 300 pages long, however Allen playfully chuckled when a member of the audience
voiced their regret that they did not get a chance to get through the whole thing, saying it was not necessary to do so. Allen’s goal for this discussion period was to tease out how the audience felt when thinking about the way media and communications technologies dynamically link perception, individuals, and communities to global ecological and geological effects and phenomena. However, the roller coaster ride of this session kept the conversation leaping from one topic to another by the minute. Born in Canada, and working primarily between New York, the UK and now Copenhagen, Jamie Allen has been involved with emerging technologies as a designer, researcher, artist and teacher for over a decade. Allen says he likes to make things with his head and hands through a variety of different channels, including investigations into the material systems of media,
electricity, and information. He has been exhibited internationally, with projects from Eyebeam in NYC, to The Foundation for Art and Creative Technology in Liverpool, to SIGGRAPH Asia in Yokohama, Japan. Allen has hosted lectures all across North America, Asia, and Europe. He is currently working on Shift Register, a research project that is dedicated to investigating how human media technological infrastructural activities have marked the earth. He also curates an online journal called Continent, an open platform for discussion and thought exercises on how our current age of media is effecting traditional operations of society such as politics, art, film, and philosophical thought. Allen led the lecture in a casual, unorthodox manner, fostering a welcoming and seminar-like atmosphere in which attendees felt like more of a panel than an audience. Allen enthusiastically encouraged
challenges, criticisms, or new ideas from the group and listened with great interest. With honours degrees in both mechanical and electrical engineering, coupled with a Bachelor of music and composition, Allen is an unmistakable lifelong learner. His appreciation for all fields of knowledge helped him connect with many of the different types of people in attendance that evening. To kick off his presentation, Allen took the audience through a few of his artistic passion projects that aim to provoke critical thinking about how, and more importantly why, our society works the way that it does. When trying to illustrate this point, Allen used the example of water coming out of our taps as an acknowledgement of our ignorance about how things in our everyday life truly work, despite our fluent capabilities in using them. “[These types of things are] transparent in terms of how we use them but opaque in terms of how they work.” Simply put, we know that if we turn on the tap water comes out, but we have no idea why or how and most of us likely never will. After a few hours of stimulating conversation and some seriously abstract thinking at times, organizer Michael Eamon invited all who attended back to The Trend for finger food and beverages, with the added bonus of a chance to pick the brain of Jamie Allen in an even more casual and relaxed setting. Jamie Allen has been involved with many different projects in his over twelve years of developing emerging technologies. These can be found on his website at www.jamieallen.com
Showcasing students’ impactful SAID Symposium success community-based research Clay Duncalfe
It’s a common challenge faced by university students; how do you shake the feeling that your academic work exists in a bubble, seen only by you and your teachers, never making an impact other than on your transcript? At the Trent Community Research Centre, we help to overcome this problem by providing opportunities for students to do for-credit research projects in the service of local community groups. Non-profits, arts organizations, government agencies and other groups in Peterborough come to us with research questions, and we help to develop projects that students can do to find the answers. Students get academic credit, while contributing valuable research that can have an impact in the community. Often, students finish their projects saying that it was one of the highlights of their University career. This year has been one of the busiest ones ever at the TCRC, and soon you’ll have a chance to learn about all the great community-based research projects students have been working on with us. Our annual Celebration of Community Research is March 31, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Champlain College Great Hall. Over 75 students will be there presenting their original research. This is an opportunity for students to share their work with their peers in the Trent community, as well as the Peterborough community at large. In community-based research, the questions come from the community itself. This means the projects on display at our celebration will reflect the diversity of
Peterborough; students have partnered with organizations like Peterborough GreenUP, the New Canadians Centre, the Youth Emergency Shelter, Camp Kawartha, and the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre to produce a wide range of research projects in many different academic disciplines. These projects all answer questions that the people working to make our community a better place are asking right now. The event will also feature a keynote address by Brianna Salmon, executive director of Peterborough GreenUP. Brianna will speak about the value of community-based research in Peterborough at 11:30 a.m. Following Brianna’s talk, we will present awards to students for outstanding work in community-based research. You’re invited to join us for this event to see what research looks like in action. We hope the projects on display will inspire you to get more involved with your community, and maybe even to sign up for a community-based research project of your own. Most students connect with us through a community-based research course offered in their home discipline, but it’s also possible to do a project independently under the supervision of a faculty member (similar in structure to a reading course). If you’re interested in earning academic credit while contributing to the life of the Peterborough community, visit our website (www.trentcentre.ca) to browse a list of the projects we currently have available. If a project catches your eye, fill out an application form and you could be producing crucial research that your community can really use.
March 3rd marked the Politics Society & Students’ Association in International Development’s second annual Undergraduate Symposium. This event gave undergraduates in the IDST and Political Studies departments a chance to share their research with fellow students and professors through presentations regarding a topic of their choosing. All those in attendance were treated to not only an afternoon full of bright ideas and lively discussion, but also a delicious, free lunch. Of the presenters featured was Arthur’s very own Josh Skinner, a fourth year in Political Studies whose presentation entitled “Get Over Yourself: A Compromise Between Academia and States” offered a pragmatic solution to the obesity epidemic within western countries. Skinner, whose address included just the right mix of humour and thoughtprovoking ideas, asserted that government bureaucrats and academics ought to put their differences aside to facilitate the legal conditions in which major food corporations are required to subsidize diet-related public health services. Lawrence Leblanc’s presentation, “Closing the Gate on the Gates Foundation” provided a critique of the rise of “venture capitalism” and institutions such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation being used as a tool to provide healthcare to countries within the global south. Citing various relevant criticisms of the Foundation, Leblanc was able to eloquently challenge the often-espoused notion that market solutions are the ideal approach to remedying social issues such as healthcare and poverty reduction. The final presenter was Ashley Fearnall,
who also serves as the TUPS President and was a key organizer of the event. Fearnall’s address, entitled “Alternative Facts: The Politics of Data” sought to make a connection between White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway’s now-infamous “alternative facts” gaffe and the increasingly relevant topic of “big data”. Other presenters included IDST students Roham Droom and Kamal Mirani. Droom’s presentation touched on grassroots resistance movements within Canadian Indigenous communities as a response to state and corporate oppression of the past and present, while Mirani evaluated an alternative system of organic South Asian agriculture. A series of question periods were also held throughout the day. These Q&A sessions gave presenters a chance to expand on their concepts and to engage in further discussion with those in attendance. “We spend most of our time isolated in our own research papers, projects, and community-based learning, but we know learning at Trent includes discussions, dialogue, and communities to parse difficult ideas. The Symposium is a fantastic and important space for students to learn how to communicate their ideas in an effective way,” Fearnall explained after the event had wrapped up. “We need to discuss big ideas more than ever and find ways to communicate research to a wider audience. I’m happy that students in Political Studies and International Development Studies offer a space for community research to emerge, and hope it continues for many years in the future.” If you are a student and have a piece of research you are particularly proud of, or you simply enjoy being surrounded by intelligent people with great ideas, be on the lookout for next year’s Symposium.
Volume 51 | Issue 15 | March 13 | 2017
Trent Central Student Association Spring Elections Disclaimer
As an important voice for students, the TCSA is committed to the well being of its membership. We advocate for student rights and services to make the most of the Trent experience. The best part is that it is all student-led! Becoming involved in the TCSA is one of the most rewarding responsibilities a student can undertake in their time at Trent. Included below are Referenda Questions that have been submitted by your fellow students, and Candidacies for the upcoming Spring Elections. Please show your support by participating in one of our electoral events this week. The TCSA is proud to host Elections & Referenda Speeches on Wednesday, March 15 from 1:00p.m-3:00p.m at Sadleir House in the Hobbs Memorial Library. We are also hosting debates from 5:00p.m-8:00p.m in Champlain College on Thursday, March 16th. Look for us in the Great Hall! Questions from the audience are welcome. Please email email@example.com if you have any questions. Voting will begin on Monday, March 20. Ballots can be found in your @trentu emails as of 9:00 am. Voting closes on Thursday, March 23rd at 4:00p.m. Vote to have your voice heard!
Trent Central Student Association Spring Elections & Referenda Electric City Hacks
Do you support initiating a refundable levy of $3.00 that will be used to host Electric City Hacks at Trent University? Electric City Hacks is seeking a $3.00 refundable levy to support its annual Hackathon event. Electric City Hacks successfully hosted over 200 students from Trent and across Ontario to come together and work collaboratively to build a successful tech prototype. Projects ranged from sign-language-to-text translator, automatic sandwich maker and various smartphone applications, to name a few. Electric City Hacks is organized and run entirely by students at Trent. The event ran for 37 hours in the Gzowksi College atrium and First People’s House of Learning to host workshops and a collaborative learning environment. This event was able to pull sponsorship from Trent alumni, PanColleges, TD, Blackberry, SAP, FreshBooks and the Greater Peterborough Innovation Cluster. With the generosity of the Trent and Peterborough community as well as national and multinational corporations we were able to create a barrier-free event for students constrained financially. If the Electric City Hacks levy is voted in, Electric City Hacks will be committed to putting money and opportunity back into the Trent and Peterborough community. We pride ourselves in the local business community as seen in our event last year where local restaurants were showcased to students from Queen’s, Western, Waterloo and UofT. Students enjoyed meals from Whistle Stop Cafe, Island Cream, Ariyana and Simply Delicious. Electric City Hacks was successful in bringing major companies and businesses to Trent and gave the opportunity for participants to network and create lasting relationships for their future. Admittedly, Electric City Hacks took a lot of time, money and effort from the organizing members, and as such, money was secured through sponsorship, which unfortunately, cannot be guaranteed every consecutive year. The levy would ensure financial aid to go towards transportation, food and other logistical efforts. As a levy group here at Trent University, we would be committed to bringing tech opportunities to the Trent and Peterborough community and put Trent on the map for tech innovation. With the help of a levy, the event would have the ability to grow in participants and bring more of an interest to Trent from different companies. We hope to double our event next year to over 400 students from Trent and beyond. We are committed to supporting minorities in STEM as well as relevant issues concerning the environment. Hackathons are rising in popularity with many leading universities across Canada and the United States having at least one Hackathon. Many of these events have be-
come beacons of innovation and research as well as viable and promising networking events for both employers to scout amazing talent and for students to search for prospective jobs. Our goal is for this to be true for Trent University. With the financial support of the levy along with the support of the Trent and Peterborough community, we know this can be achieved. Trent Radio
increase because we are at a point in our growth where we need to meet new costs associated with technological upgrades and gear; complete physical maintenance upgrades and improvements on our physical space; and meet the staffing needs of our ever-growing volunteer and participant base. If you want to know more about Trent Radio or have any questions feel free to contact us by calling (705)-741- 4011 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit us during our regular office hours at Trent Radio House, located at 715 George St. North in downtown Peterborough. TUEFRT
Do you support increasing the annual non-refundable Trent Radio 92.7 CFFF FM levy by $3.00, from $19.81 to $22.81? Trent Radio is a not-for-profit, cultural and educational organisation with a Community Broadcast License, and Radio Production Studios. We serve the Trent and Peterborough communities by acting as a community-minded media outlet, and by providing educational and hands-on experiences to our volunteers through the opportunity to broadcast Producer Oriented Radio. Trent Students pay a membership fee through levy charges to sponsor and support the services provided by Trent Radio. Community Members can also become members of Trent Radio by paying their fees. Trent Radio invites both Trent Students and Community Members to Produce weekly Radio Shows live from Trent Radio House, to be broadcast at 92.7 FM in Peterborough, and online at www.trentradio.ca. The costs associated with maintaining and improving a physical space that is not on campus, especially one that includes specialised audio production and radio broadcasting gear, are on the rise. Along with technical upgrades and maintenance costs, Trent Radio is working to improve our physical accessibility, and to one-day create a barrier free environment that meets the AODA standards. This past year we have invested in upgrades to install one power-assisted exterior door, and a fully accessible washroom facility. Trent Radio is requesting a $3 increase to our current levy fee rates from Trent University Students. We are asking for this
Do you support increasing the annual nonrefundable levy for Trent University Emergency First Response Team (TUEFRT) by $1.50, from $6.34 to $7.84? The Emergency First Response Team is a vital asset to the Trent Symons campus with fast response times and trained students on call 24/7. Although the responders are volunteers, TUEFRT is given a budget for purchasing medical supplies and training their volunteers. Over the past four years, expenses needed to run our organization have increased significantly, and we have not had a levy increase since the 2011-2012 academic year. Annual costs of training, certification and medical supplies alone have increased by over $8,000 and are only anticipated to rise over the next one or two years. To maintain 24/7 emergency coverage and a sufficient standard of care for a growing Trent University population, TUEFRT began the process of applying for a levy increase. We have succeeded in bringing this to the referendum voting sheet and would like to use this opportunity to educate students about TUEFRT and our place within the university. We are here to provide support and medical assistance for students on Symons campus for any level of medical emergency, from big to small.. We want to keep that support going as strongly as possible and believe a levy increase would be beneficial to this. A major aspect of this increase is also attempting to upgrade from Emergency First Responder (EFR) to an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) certification; we tried to raise this standard of care in the 2015-2016 school year, but could not afford to sustain that certification due to the additional costs of training and equipment. We will not be able to make a permanent switch to EMR, on par with most other Ontario university response teams, without an increase in our yearly levy. An Emergency Response Team is an asset to every university because medical emergencies can happen to anyone, anywhere. If you need us, call us. If you’re not sure, call us. 705 748 1333.
TCSA Club & Groups Do you support increasing the annual non-refundable TCSA Clubs Levy by $1.50, from ($7.74) to ($9.24)? The TCSA has requested this levy increase for two main reasons. First of all, the Clubs Fee has not increased other than by inflation for the last few years, though during this time we have seen significantly more clubs come into existence and clubs holding larger events. Currently, there is an informal funding limit of $1000 per semester per club. Though there are some exceptions to this rule, funding has been following this pattern for the last few years. However there are now several clubs, in particular regional groups that need more funding than that limit to serve their membership. Increasing the amount of funding available will allow more groups to get larger amounts of funding while also maintaining funding for groups with small budgets and allow for growth in the club system. Secondly, the Student Centre is opening next year and within the building there is a specific clubs space. The levy increase would also allow the TCSA to offer more programing to the clubs operating out of that space. This could include offering art supplies and other club supplies for the clubs to use in that space. Other programming could also include holding club socials in that space and working with clubs on university advocacy projects. Peterborough Coalition Against Poverty (Defund) Do you support removing the Peterborough Coalition Against Poverty Levy of ($1.11), and empowering the TCSA Board to oversee that any remaining funds of this non-existent levy group are distributed to appropriate causes, if the board supports the motion? The Peterborough Coalition Against Poverty (PCAP) levy has not been active in the last 5 years, and during that time they have not picked up their levy cheque from the Trent Finance Office. With the removal of this levy, all remaining money that has been previously collected by the Trent Finance Office on behalf of PCAP will then need to be dealt with. The referendum question indicates that the TCSA board will oversee the distribution of these funds, and our plan is to donate the money to initiatives that are in-line with the antipoverty mandate of PCAP. Currently the plan is to donate half of the money to the Youth Emergency Shelter downtown, and work with Trent Finance to use the other half of the money to contribute to the University’s emergency bursary program. This will be organized during the summer, and the TCSA will communicate via our website as to where all the money is distributed.
TCSA Presidential Candidate Platforms
Annette Pedlar Presidential Candidate Aanii, hello! Thank you to the Anishinaabe people for letting me live and learn on this land. My name is Annette Pedlar and I am excited to present my platform for President of the TCSA. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a fourth year Indigenous Studies and Poli-
Brandon Remmelgas Presidential Candidate Hi There! I am so excited to announce that I am campaigning to be your 2017-2018
tics student, and a Co-President of Traill College (All Hail Traill!). Throughout my time at Trent I have had the privilege of representing the school on the varsity volleyball team, and have also been active in social and environmental justice organizing as a Board Member of OPIRG. This past year as Queer Commissioner for the TCSA I gained valuable institutional knowledge about the Association and its potential.
My platform consists of four main focuses that I have repeatedly heard as concerns from students: health, advocacy, accountability and strategic vision. Healthcare on this campus, and especially mental healthcare, is not good enough. Because healthcare effects so many different spaces, solutions need to be found in multiple places. Introducing a Mental Health Commissioner to the board, and by providing more consistent Mental Health First Aid training as President, I would take strong steps towards creating an association that protects and advocates for the mental health of students. Lobbying the university to increase the number of peer support groups, and pressuring them to develop an off-campus crisis response plan would ensure that no more students are being left behind. As the largest student organization, the TCSA also has a responsibility to act as an advocate for the student body. This includes pressuring the university to maintain affordable international student’s tuition, increasing the diversity of programing and staff of O-Week, and ensuring that the Human Right’s Center is well funded and run. As President, I would also make a concerted effort to open up
lobbying systems at Trent to not just TCSA board members. Having a webpage, otherwise known as Student Advocacy Portal, that explains the complicated university decision-making spaces would ensure that if you have an idea you could have the autonomy to bring it forward with or without the TCSA. For the TCSA to be an effective body it needs to remain accountable to the students. I believe accountability is founded in transparency and communication, and therefore increasing the coverage of the TCSA in Arthur would help students feel more confident about the going-ons of the Association. If the TCSA wants to be an effective organization that impacts student’s, we need to not just think about the Association for the next year, but also for the next 10 years. As President, I would complete a strategic plan for the TCSA that would work to engage students in what they want/ need from a student union. Thank you for taking the time to read and consider my platform. I have so much more on my website so check it out by following this link: https://annettepedlar.wixsite.com/tcsa2017 See you one of my Meet and Greets on Monday and Friday!
TCSA President! The TCSA has been a part of many amazing things over the last two years and I am excited and ready to be a part of the greatness the TCSA, and Trent Students as a whole, will achieve in the future. My goal during this election and
during my term as TCSA president will be to operate in a way that is transparent, inclusive, and educated by feedback. During my experience in three of Trent’s Colleges, I have discovered that transparency can often resolve conflict. Understanding the decision making process leads to an understanding of that decision and can help clear up any concerns and confusion. As such, it will be my goal to be critical of the decision making process, and ensure that it is one that is fair, equitable, and educated by the proper resources. When it comes to intersectionality, I recognize that I come from a position of privilege. However, I am not uneducated or ignorant towards issues concerning inclusivity, and I will strive to be as educated, aware, and sensitive as possible if I am elected. It is my wish to foster a campus environment where all can feel included, and know what resources they can access if they do not. Further, as a politician, it is inappropriate for me to speak on behalf of those whose shoes I do not fill. I aim to educate my campaign, and presidency on the feedback of others by administering surveys and continually seeking the opinions of Trent students to ensure that the decisions I am overseeing are viewed through as diverse a lens as possible. I want my voice to be the voice
of the students. Regardless of our identity, college affiliation, or major, we are all Trent Students and we are better together. Politics, even student government, can be very polarizing. It is always yes versus no, or good versus bad, or one person versus another, but that is not how I think it should work. I believe in diplomacy, and debate, and disagreement, and picking the best candidate not only for you, but for everyone. Next year is going to be a busy one for us all. As a fourth year student, I know the impact the closure of Bata Library and the opening of the Student Centre will bring. Please know that this is the very first of my concerns and I am going to be focusing my efforts on how to transition through this busy time while still providing quality student services to all. If you have any questions, concerns, comments, queries, or advice, please reach out! I want to hear from as many students as possible! You can email me at email@example.com, message me on Facebook (Brandon Remmelgas), tweet me (@tcsaBrandon) or stop me on campus if you see me walking by. I look forward to seeing you all at the Speeches, the Debates, and around campus. Remember Trent, we are #bettertogether.
Asgiga Corriveau Presidential Candidate
students and by being a part of all Trent related discussion. It is essential that the TCSA represent student voice, such as situations like the Library closure and the Athletic Center discussion; where in students were under informed by the TCSA and did not give adequate representation. As the president for the TCSA, it is important to me to have student input and the best way to get that is through student outreach. I would like to better utilize the Brand Ambassador Team, working with Arthur, creating an inclusive space where students could come and speak. I will also encourage and support equity commissioners to meet with their respective constituents and collaborate with Clubs and Groups. Another thing I would like to bring to the table is creating a proper Foodbank that is accessible to Trent Students. I will make this an initiative with the Trent administration, as the one that originally supported Trent students was through OPIRG and that has since closed down. There is so much to do and I will get it done!
I am a student in the Psychology and Sociology program. I am running for the position of President for the TCSA. There are many things I will work on through this position, I will talk about a few for the time being, and you are welcome to find me on Facebook or email me at asgigacorriveau@ trentu.ca if you have any questions or concerns. I am always open for discussion and helping students advocate. I will look into the By-Laws and Operations for the TCSA and commit towards expanding and updating them. Also, I will be looking to add clauses and by-laws on confidentiality, as there was a situation this year and the Board was left unprepared to handle it. I will make sure the TCSA meets all provincial and federal laws, and that regulations have been applied properly and to date. The TCSA has been more reactive than proactive this year. I would like the TCSA to be proactive through better outreach to
Volume 51 | Issue 15 | March 13 | 2017
TCSA Elections Equity Commissioner Platforms
Henry Eccleston Vice President University & College Affairs Candidate I am a second year philosophy student at Trent university. I am affiliated with Lady Eaton College, and am a Trent fencer. I consider myself a feminist as I believe strongly that (insofar as what positions a person should hold, how much they should be paid, etc.) individuals should be judged for their own virtues and vices, not for mere accidents of birth such as skin colour, gender, or sexuality. My previous work experience includes multiple years as a camp councillor at Dogwood Acres wilderness swim camp, work as a summer labourer in Fort MacMurray at Northland Forest Products Ltd. and various volunteer positions in my community. I served on the student parliament in high school, as head of fundraising. I believe in government that is fair and governs without bias for or against any group or policy, that looks out for the benefit of all of the people it governs. I believe in the harmonious cooperation of institutions for the benefit of the people served by them, and I believe that it is the duty and honour of those entrusted with responsibilities by their peers to fulfil their responsibilities to the best of their ability and without reluctance or brashness. As such, my platform can be summarized as follows: if elected, I will do as the position of Vice President of University and College Affairs requires, without bias towards or against any group or policy, to the best of my ability and with all appropriate enthusiasm for this role. I will aim to: accurately represent the TCSA as the position of VP of university and college affairs requires, wherever required, liaise with the Colleges on behalf of the TCSA to ensure effective, efficient cooperation and coordination between the two, and keeep my fellow students engaged throughout the year by helping organize events and activities within the scope of my position
Shanese Steele Vice President Campaigns & Equity Candidate
Lea Rogers-Balgobin Vice President University & College Affairs Candidate
Aaniin, Tawnshi. Being a queer Black Indigenous woman, and returning for a 5th year at Trent, I have spent my time here looking and fighting for equitable spaces on campus. Last year Trent students voted to elect me as their Anti-Racism Commissioner. I spent my time in this position advocating for students on and off campus by creating a campaign for students to report incidences of discrimination they have faced. Also this year I was able to be a part of the planning and enacting of the “Peaceful protest against discrimination” on campus. During the fall term of this academic year I also had the opportunity to experience what it means to be in the position of VPCE. While filling the role of interim-VPCE for 2 ½ months, I took part in organizing the “National day of action” against tuition fees as well as organizing the “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women” chalk vigil on October 4th. Over the past two years I have also been afforded the chance to learn the ins and outs of the Canadian Federation of Students and feel that I will be fully capable of properly promoting and supporting their campaigns on our campus. This means advocating for the International students to be reintegrated into OHIP, promoting consent culture and helping to create spaces for racialized, trans and students with disabilities on our campus. So what is my platform? First and for most my main focus is ensuring our students here at Trent come first. This means returning the focus back on to students and away from putting the wants and needs of admin first. That means advocating for a freeze on the international student fees, lobbying students governance and the people making the decisions to stop increasing their already high fees. Creating more avenues for students to voice their concerns and opinions during things like focus groups or meet and greets with equity commissioners. The second thing I wish to accomplish is partnering with the Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Accessibility to create campaigns, events and supports for students who are dealing with mental health and barriers to accessing their education. 27% of students seeking help from the CHREA are doing so due to anxiety and stress while 18% are seeking help because of depression or grief. Mental health support is a service that Trent students need. Lastly, I want to focus on allyship, which means creating training and learning opportunities for Trent students to get involved and support each other through anti-oppression workshops and support events. There’s equality and then there’s equity; one is simply treating everyone equally without accounting his or her life experiences. The other is giving victims of oppression what they need to be equal with everyone else. Together, let’s ensure that Trent University has both. On March 20th vote for me for VPCE.
I am currently in my third year of studies, completing a joint-major in Psychology and History. I am incredibly excited to be running in this year’s election, as there is so much I want to accomplish next year. As someone who is committed to creating strong ties within communities, I participate in various organizations and activities such as Multiple Sclerosis Walks and Relay for Life at Trent. I have been actively involved with the Gzowski College community, acting previously as a Social Rep and currently as a TCSA Commissioner for Gzowski College Cabinet. I believe my previous experience within the TCSA will be a great asset moving forward into a Vice President’s role. In the broader Trent community, I take part in the PenPal program run by Trent Students for Literacy, have helped to run Open Houses at both the Peterborough and Durham Campuses, and am a general member of both the Trent Psychology Society and Trent History Society. My active contact with various individuals at Trent and in the surrounding area has greatly impacted my time in University and has helped me grow as an individual. Through these experiences, I feel that I have a deeper understanding of how important campus life is for students and for this reason that I have become so passionate about bringing students at Trent greater opportunities for involvement. I love all the work that the TCSA has already accomplished and want keep building towards a stronger Trent community. Next year, one of my main goals is to adapt our already thriving college system to have an even stronger connection to our institution by creating more events that are interconnected between colleges, including our annexes, while maintaining our traditional college pride. I hope to provide more opportunities for students to get to know the individuals around them both during O week and throughout the year. Keeping students involved on campus is incredibly important to me. With the upcoming Bata renovations, I want students to feel confident that they will have a place to stay on campus to study without having to venture into the downtown area. I will be committed to looking into every avenue of opportunity to keep students on campus and connected to the library system. Furthermore, I want to provide a stronger voice for those who are not actively involved in student organizations. In creating alternatives such as monthly polls to gather more opinions from students, I will be able to have a better understanding of what students want to see from their elected student body. I would also like to help give students more opportunities to do what they love on campus without feeling burdened by costs. I would like to work closely with the Vice President of Clubs and External Affairs to accomplish more options for funding and sponsorship.
Molly Hu Vice President Clubs & External Affairs Candidate I want to represent your voice and the needs of your organization to the TCSA and the Trent administration at large. If elected as your next VP Clubs and External Affairs, my goal is to continue fostering a sense of community at Trent by connecting the various organizations, both on and off campus. I will address funding and budgeting concerns by working with on-campus funding sources to simplify the process. Furthermore, I plan to connect student groups with local businesses and organizations in Peterborough. Building a relationship and starting the conversation with external organizations will bring unique networking opportunities to all students at Trent, and will help us tap into a new funding source to meet the rising costs associated with event planning. Finally, I plan on working with current and future levy groups in order to promote financial transparency. I would like to actively work with levy groups to provide the general student populace with comprehensive information and to promote understanding of the goals levy groups seek to achieve while also providing the necessary support to help their goals to become attainable. Working with the TCSA for the past two years and as Clubs/Groups Assistant for the past year has provided me with transferrable experience necessary to fulfill the role. As Clubs/Groups Assistant, I helped with the day-to-day administration for all clubs such as managing registration and funding applications, and I was also responsible for helping to organize and coordinate Clubs and Groups Day. If elected, I will utilize my past experience with the TCSA as well as experience working with student groups to effectively plan, organize, and execute Clubs and Groups Day, Orientation, and Frost Week activities. I have had the privilege of being a part of fantastic organizations such as the Forensic Science Society, Pre-Med Society, CHUGS and Alpha Pi Phi and working with these organizations has given me the opportunity to run events in partnership with departments, charities, downtown businesses, and other clubs as well. I have ample experience working with various businesses and personnel within the Peterborough and Trent community to aid and support events, and I plan on bringing this experience to make clubs and groups even more successful next year. If elected as VP Clubs and External Affairs, I will not be afraid to voice your opinions and bring your thoughts to the governing bodies at Trent. I look forward to helping current and new students of Trent University to find their place here through extracurricular involvement, and help you find a home for yourself at Trent University. Thank you for your consideration.
TCSA Elections Equity Commissioner Platforms
In facilitating relations between Indigenous students/community members and non-Indigenous students/community members, my goal is to both assist in identifying and addressing the key needs of participation rates and programs within the Trent community while also ensuring the Indigenous population is fairly represented and participants of the broader social, economic, and academic environment.
Brianna Joseph Vice President Clubs & External Affairs Candidate I am a third-year student doing a joint major in Biology and Forensic Science. I have always been interested in student government and being able to voice student issues and concerns. I ran for student council in high school and carried this desire to become involved into university where I became a part of Otonabee College Cabinet as the TCSA Commissioner for the 20162017 school year. Sitting on the board of directors this past school year as the Otonabee College TCSA commissioner, I really enjoyed the aspect of coordinating student life at Trent and discussing integral issues. Sitting on the board of directors definitely makes you feel more connected to the student life at Trent, and has improved my experience here by allowing me to expand my horizons in becoming an active member of the university. This coming year I want to become even more involved in the TCSA, which is why I am running for the position of Vice President of Clubs and External Affairs. In my previous year, I was given the opportunity to be a part of the Clubs and Groups Funding Committee. I feel being a part of this will be beneficial to me in this new position as I already have experience and knowledge on how funding is decided and how to allocate money based on certain aspects of student group application forms. Furthermore, I am able to work well in a group setting; this I believe is a huge aspect of this position as interpersonal skills are required for this role. I really enjoy being part of a community, in this case most especially the Trent community as well as communicating and becoming more involved with people in the Peterborough area. One of my goals would be to help make both Orientation Week and Frost Week exceptionally organized while still being fun, ensuring that each week runs smoothly. Another goal would be to maintain strong ties with local city councilors as well as utilizing networks to create collaborations. I have a strong view that clubs and groups on campus are very important to a student’s university experience; thus, this position is right within my interests. Within my time at Trent so far, I have noticed that the TCSA, GSA and TDSA are quite segregated. Moreover, another goal for the upcoming year would be to strengthen the communications and establish a higher level of interaction between these three important organizations. I had the opportunity to sit on the board as a college representative, which I feel was very interesting and will ultimately be beneficial to me if elected. Seeing how things are run and how each board member acts within each of their positions, as well as, seeing previously and knowing first-hand what the position of Vice President of Clubs and External Affairs does on a weekly basis will in turn be helpful to me in this position.
Nikhil Pai Ganesh Vice President Clubs & External Affairs Candidate Being a Vice President of an association is as challenging as it sounds—but I love taking up challenges. I want to make a difference in the TCSA and being the Vice President of Clubs and External Affairs will give me a good opportunity to do so. There are many responsibilities that come along with being a Vice President. As I’m junior to the President, I’d assist the President and all of the other officers to the best of my ability. I’d be that shoulder to lean on. I will take responsibility of maintaining open communication and active ties with local city councilors and the DBIA; attend relevant City Council meetings and report to the board. I would seek to create a network of collaborations to coordinate the affairs of the TCSA with levy groups. I would work to strengthen the communication and collaboration between the Association and the Graduate Student Association (GSA) and the Trent in Durham Student Association (TDSA). Our university has a lot of activities throughout the year; one, for instance, is Frost Week. As the Vice President, I will organize bigger and better events to make the week memorable and fruitful. Since that is the time when freshers first get to meet their fellow students, I will organize activities that will help make the bonding easier and more fun. What enhances the beauty of a university are its clubs and groups. And a club is only properly effective when it has members with proper communication and proper funding. As a Vice President, one of my main motives is to make the clubs and groups at Trent established. I hope to provide them with better funding so they may build up better events. Funding to clubs is an important source of building this and also helps build a club’s reputation. Keeping that in mind, athletic teams would be promised better equipment and reliable relationships on bookings with the athletic center so that even the non-varsity sports groups could bring in better teams to build in varsity. I can get more sponsors inside and outside Peterborough to increase the TCSA funding for clubs and groups. It’s fun to be a part of a club. But it would be better if more people from different age groups and backgrounds participated in activities as well. I would contact presidents of different clubs and groups and request them to organize activities that involve people from different age groups around Peterborough. Most of all, as a Vice President, it is necessary for me to maintain the integrity of the TCSA. I will hold the association’s strategic goals and maintain it throughout my time as Vice President. Therefore, as Vice President, I would make a lasting and positive change to this Association.
Rhode Thomas Indigenous Student’s Candidate I am First Nation student currently studying Business Administration with a specialization in Niigaaniiwin, or The Art of Leading, also referred to as a specialization in Indigenous Studies. I was raised in the Six Nations of the Grand River territory. I have previously completed a college business diploma program in accounting, along with gaining approximately one year of work experience in a membership-focused Aboriginal professional association. Through excellent mentorship and peer influence, I came to realize that it was time to take the next step in my education and pursue a university degree. At the same time, through my working experience, I soon began to take a more direct interest in Indigenous issues which is why my business degree has a specialization in Niigaaniiwin, The Art of Leading. Through my work experience with an Aboriginal professional association, I was able to learn that according to Statistics Canada, of the 1.4 million Aboriginal people in Canada, only 9.8% of the Aboriginal population hold a university degree. As a result of what I have learned in both work and college, I am now more than ever eager to be a part of the expansion of a new social and political environment between Canada and its relationship with its original people. I am interested in furthering my education and skills so that I may one day be a part of the process of ensuring the Indigenous community has a voice and is a part of the broader economic building block for a great working relationship with Canada, while also hoping to become a role model for other Indigenous students. During my first year at Trent University I immediately began to work with the Trent University Native Association (TUNA), and was soon elected Treasurer. This position has given me valuable insight into the Indigenous student population of Trent and a great working relationship with the First Peoples House of Learning, which is the home of Indigenous student services and Indigenous campus and community initiatives at Trent University. Throughout my time here at Trent, I have identified two key issues within Indigenous spaces. First is the participation rate of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students in events and programming geared towards cultural awareness of Indigeneity. Trent University statistics have reported approximately 500 self-identifying Indigenous students, while a vast majority of TUNA events only garner on average of approximately 20-40 self-identifying individuals who are consistent members of TUNA. While these events do see an attendance from the Indigenous community, most functions have little to no representation of non-Indigenous members. Second is the lack of inclusiveness of Indigenous individuals whose heritage is outside of Canada.
Brendan Campbell Mature / Transfer Student’s Candidate tānisi Brendan Campbell nitisiyhkāson ēkwa oskana kā-asastēki niki-nihta-wikin ēkwa niki-pē-ohpikin. Hello, my name is Brendan Campbell and I was born and raised in Regina, SK. For the TCSA’s 2017 Spring Elections, I am running for Mature & Transfer Students Commissioner. I transferred to Trent University in 2014 from the University of Regina. I was a Biology student at the UofR, but was attracted to Trent for the Indigenous Environmental Studies program. A lot has changed for me these past three years. I have joined many different parts of the Trent community. I have been Head Fire Keeper for First Peoples House of Learning, a Cultural Assistant for Trent International’s Camp for two consecutive years, the Indigenous Students Commissioner and the Vice President Campaigns & Equity. I have learned to use my voice, to navigate the university’s administrative pathways, and organize and collaborate with different student and administrative groups in making space for new students. In my work with the TCSA, I have come to recognize that there is a lack of resources for mature students. More often than not, mature students are also off-campus students and students with dependents. Therefore, it will be my goal to continue the work I have started with tenant rights and ensure that students know how navigate these issues as off-campus students. Additionally, I plan to audit the services provided to parents with dependents on and off-campus. With respect to transfer students, who have to navigate new degree requirements and degree distinctions such as emphases and specializations that may not exist at other institutions, I plan to work with Academic Advisors, the Registrar’s Office, and Trent International to help make this information clear. Lastly, in the spirit of welcoming new students to Trent, I would like to work with the colleges and cabinets about how we can connect off-campus students to their respective colleges. Thank you reading my bio and platform! Remember to vote between March 20th and March 23rd! Platforms continued on page 12...
Volume 51| Issue 15 | March 13| 2017
Minister of Status of Women Maryam Monsef on her position and women’s issues in light of International Women’s Day
Spaces of Power panel celebrates stories of resilience
Photography by Lubna Sadek
Berfin Aksoy This year, the theme for International Women’s Day was “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”. In a message in support of International Women’s Day, the UN SecretaryGeneral Antonio Guterres commented on how women’s rights were being “reduced, restricted and reversed”. He couldn’t have been more right. International Women’s Day found its origins in the working class woman’s story. Before the United Nations adopted the day, it was celebrated by the socialist movement. International Women’s Day began because of working women. Although Sophie Trudeau recently advocated celebrating men along with women for being “respectful and supportive,” some people saw this as negating women’s struggle in light of a day intended to celebrate them and how they persevere with or without such support. Arthur took the opportunity to speak with our Minister of Status of Women, and Liberal MP for Peterborough-Kawartha, Maryam Monsef. In the last few months, as new information about her birthplace came to light, Monsef ’s refugee status has been questioned and sensationalized in the media. However, Monsef is not only this country’s first “Afghan-born” MP, she is, above all, a woman who has achieved remarkable success politics since the day she has started playing the game. With this in mind, Arthur sought to gauge Monsef ’s thoughts on gender inequality, issues facing Indigenous women, and her plans as the Minister of Status of Women. In your own words, could you please describe what being a Minister of Status of Women entails? What sort of goals do you have for your new position? I have immense honor and privilege to be the Minister of Status of Women, at a time when we have an openly and proudly feminist Prime Minister. He has mandated me essentially to prevail, to work for gender equality in Canada. The first is to address and prevent gender-based violence. The second is to work towards women’s economic empowerment and the third is to enhance leadership opportunities for women and girls, whether it is on corporate boards or in the political sphere. So, to deliver on that first aspect of my mandate, the government has been working with survivors across the country to hear their thoughts and to develop the first federal framework for addressing and preventing gender-based violence. This is
something I very much look forward to releasing in the days and weeks to come. As far as economic empowerment goes, I’m working with colleagues like Minister Duncan (our Minister of Science) to enhance women’s participation in fields that they have traditionally not been active in. [Areas] such as stem fields; so that’s science, trades, technology, engineering, mathematics, because we know that these are really good jobs. The fastest way to lift women out of poverty, research shows, is to get them working in the trades. So, that’s one area. The efforts that are happening around developing a framework for early learning and child care is a part of the work that’s been done to ensure that more flexible work hours and compassionate leave is granted to federal employees. This takes into account that it is women who are often tasked with providing the majority of care whether for their children or their elders. Indigenous women disproportionately face physical violence, sexual violence, and lack of access to safety and clean water. As Minister of Status of Women, what is your plan for addressing such issues? So far these women have been entirely forgotten. The Canadian government has historically attempted makeshift solutions without addressing the fundamental causes. As you heard our Prime Minister say, this is the most important relationship to build upon. For me, as a settler, I carry a certain obligation for the first people of this land so their children and grandchildren are offered the same opportunities that I have been. So that’s what motivates me. The work that the government is doing to improve the outcome for Indigenous people, particularly allowing an outcome for women and girls, is led by Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett. However, as Minister of Status of Women, my collaboration with her, for example, involves the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. As you know, the inquiry has been launched and is now under review of an independent commission. Which is what we heard from the families of these women and girls—that it was really important that the federal government not lead, but rather place its trust in an independent commission. Our gender-based violence strategy was developed in consultation with the Indigenous community’s survivors and leaders. It takes into account all the proportionate ways that Indigenous women and girls are subject to violence, addressing the root causes of this violence, and having an anti-
oppressive approach to how we work with survivors is very much at the heart of the strategy. So that we are clear; there is a lot of talent and resilience within Indigenous communities and we recognize that having Indigenous women and girls in positions of power and influence is an important part of improving outcomes for not just Indigenous communities, but all Canadians. So, making sure that corporate boards, and our own [government] appointments are including the diversity of the Canadian experience, is very important. We want to make sure that Indigenous voices are around tables of power and influence whether it is in the House of Commons or the appointments the government of Canada makes. According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s data, Canada ranks 62nd ranking out of 190 countries on the proportion of national-level female politicians, and with female representation in the parliament being 26 percent, it is apparent we have a long way to go for women to achieve equal status and representation in Canadian politics. What are some of the initiatives you have planned to combat this? One of the ways that we are working to enhance diversity around corporate boards is with Bill C-25, which has been introduced by my colleague (Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development) Navdeep Bains; his focus on innovation is what has driven him to introduce this amendment. As far as the parliament goes, one of the highlights of my time in Ottawa has been the Women’s Day Celebrations a few days ago where the Government of Canada invested a significant amount of dollars into a partnership with Equal Voice, so that they could work with their partners and we could host 338 women from across the country as part of the Daughters of the Vote. These young women took their seats in the house on Wednesday and their passion, the grace they demonstrated in their interactions with one and other with the rest of us parliamentarians, was an important reminder of why we need a greater diversity in the House of Commons. Yes, we are at 26 percent right now and yes, we have for the first time a gender-balanced cabinet. Wednesday was a reminder of how much work we still need to do to enhance the diversity in that place, and how much talent and potential we are missing out on as a nation by not having women and diverse backgrounds.
Given these statistics about inequalities that women face, how do you assess Sophie Trudeau’s recent statement about celebrating men for International Women’s Day? I believe, in order for us to achieve gender equality, it is imperative that we take into account gender alliance. When I was at the UN in 2013, representing Peterborough, this is a message I left that place with. Our efforts need to be intergenerational, they need to be cross-sectorial, they need to be multicultural and we need to, we have to include men and boys. I can tell you from personal experience, as someone who has the great privilege of having power and influence here in Canada, I wouldn’t be here if my grandfather didn’t believe in me and in my mother. If my grandfather hadn’t protected my mother from early marriage and supported her in all the ways she could be supported, she would not have grown up to be this strong woman she is and I would not be the person I am if he hadn’t, for example, spent time teaching me how to deliver a speech I wouldn’t be an effective communicator. If he hadn’t taken the time to instill in me a sense of responsibility and empowerment, not only would I never have made a difference in the lives of others through the pain and privilege that I have experienced, I would not be here today. If we are to attain gender equality and see that in our lifetime, women must walk shoulder to shoulder and hand in hand with our allies, and that includes men and boys.
Break (x3) the grip of Trump-like hate and fear, raise you voice and lift your fists, strong women gather here. –The Raging Grannies Every March 8th for the past 108 years, people have gathered globally to celebrate International Women’s Day—a day to celebrate the achievements of women in society, the lengths they have gone to attain basic equal rights, and to celebrate all aspects of individuals relating to the female gender in beautiful and empowering ways. This year, International Women’s Day was spectacular. In Tokyo, the World Economic Forum hosted a reception with speakers highlighting gender equality in Japan, discussing issues, achievements and best practices moving forward. In Toronto, thousands marched in their pink winter gear bearing signs and discussing issues of racism, violence and respect in the workplace towards women. In Peterborough, members of the community gathered around for a potluck, sang songs, and talked about women’s rights in Canada. The Kawartha World Issues Centre and the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre organized a potluck event at Seeds of Change in downtown Peterborough. Contributions from people in the community and the working hands of many volunteers helped make the free event a success, where all were welcome to join and celebrate the power of women. Mediated by Yumna Leghari, Canadian-Pakistani activist, writer, poet and Arthur co-editor, the event included performances and speeches by community members and panel speakers who talked about their experiences as active women in the country. The way their achievements and aspirations connect with women’s issues on a global scale was a consistent theme throughout the evening. These strong women left the audience with shocking stories of the past, issues of the present and hopes for the future—inspiring all who were present to be bold for change as women and for women. With a stunning roar, local group The Raging Grannies encouraged women of the community to break the grip of hate and fear, rather than row their boats on the stream of silent obedience. The hall was filled with women of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs being bold and singing with the Grannies. Ziysah Von B, a gender-queer parent, community organizer, writer and poet, made a beautiful and touching performance. After expressing her overwhelming thoughts on writing a poem to share on International Women’s Day and capture the issues of today surrounding gender, sexuality, race, oppression, equality, peace, freedom and so much more, she decided to touch on the feeling of gratitude. Von B lifted the audience’s spirits by touching on each subject subtly and elegantly, relating
it all down to the gratitude of how far we have come being who we are. Another brave woman proudly standing by the podium was Dr. Vanita Lokanathan, a family physician with 20 years of experience all over the country. Since moving to Peterborough in 2008, Dr. Lokanathan includes the primary care of trans individuals in her practice, as well as a great deal of gender-variant people in the city. Her raw story and honesty about her struggles growing up brought the audience to tears—Dr. Lokanathan spoke about feeling outside the social norms of her Canadian upbringing and Tamil heritage. Married to a woman and a mother of two sons, Dr. Lokanathan shared the social and emotional struggles endured in her life, inspiring women in society to be themselves, to empower one another, and to be kind to one another rather than judge or compete with each other. Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard also brought the audience to tears when she touched on the subject of human trafficking, particularly in the case of young Indigenous girls. A proud member of the Wikwemikong First Nation, Dr. Lavell-Harvard is also the former president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada and mother of three girls. She shared an instance when she was in the car with her daughters on a road trip, and just finished a telephone interview with the radio about young Indigenous girls going missing, and being disproportionately victimized. One of the daughters asked, “We’re young Indigenous girls; does that mean I’m in danger?” When Dr. Lavell-Harvard recognized that wanted to tell her daughters she would always protect them, but that this was not necessarily a guarantee she could make. Gripping the audience with her story, Dr. Lavell-Harvard concluded with a call for women to help create a society that will be safer for future generations of women. The next speaker, Dr. Jean Augustine, also spoke at Professor Joanne Findon’s English class at Catherine Parr Traill College earlier the same day. At Traill, Dr. Augustine inspired the young students present to boldly create change by setting an example. Her uplifting story highlighted historic hurdles that we may take for granted today. “There was no statute of rights for us at the time; we had to fight for those things,” she explained. Dr. Augustine is an educational administrator, advocate for social justice and politician who immigrated to Canada in 1960, when she was 23-years-old, from Grenada. After attending teacher’s college she worked as a teacher, then as principal of various schools. Dr. Augustine became the first black woman to be elected to the Canadian House of Commons, and it was her motion that made February Black History Month in Canada. Dr. Augustine is
not only an inspiration to those who want to make a change in their community, but to those who feel they can’t because the system is against them: “I came to Canada, and when I applied to go to teacher’s college, they told me I had to do grade 13, so I went to show them my certification from home and that was my first conflict with the system. The lady wouldn’t take my papers, she kept giving them back to me and told me to leave, and I just stood there.” Of course, after long persistence, Dr. Augustine managed to attend teacher’s college without having to repeat grade 13, but her story of determination resonates to this day. She spoke of the challenges she faces as politician; of not being taken seriously, and having to go door-to-door to talk to each member of the party to get a unanimous vote on a motion. She described her struggles of doing so whilst still trying to maintain emotional stability, raise her children without the support of a husband, and make decisions that favour her constituents while maintaining her Catholic faith. To honour Dr. Augustine for her work towards human rights and to thank her for speaking at Trent, Dr. Michael Eamon, Principal of Catherine Parr Traill College, presented her with the college scarf. While Champlain College was an all men’s college in the 1960s, Catherine Parr Traill college was all female—it was the university’s way of empowering women and creating a space for them at Trent at a time when it
was radical to do so. It was a very appropriate setting for Dr. Augustine to share her story with students and faculty before sharing it with the community at that evening’s potluck event. The event ended with songs by members of the community about being strong women. The stories and experiences shared amongst the community on that Wednesday evening highlighted the most important idea about celebrating Women’s Day internationally—that regardless of the personal battles we endure, we are all fighting the same social and political injustices throughout the world as women. Suffragettes of the past were able to overcome such issues a hundred years ago in a way that would have been pure fantasy a century before that. Whether it’s protecting your daughter or getting into college, as women, we have the power to make the change we want to see happen, and we must do so by empowering each other and providing the support that we all need. As a woman, I dare you to be bold for the change you want to see happen. The event ended with songs by members of the community about being strong women. The stories and experiences shared amongst the community on that Wednesday evening highlighted the greatest idea about celebrating Women’s Day internationally – that regardless of the personal battles we endure, the social and political injustices taken in various forms.
Volume 51| Issue 15 | March 13| 2017
Shine a light on our Global Sisters honours MMIW
Shanese Steele It started with a smudge. Students, faculty and community members gathered in a circle as Dawn Martin and Betty CarrBraint move in opposite directions to honour both the Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabe. Smoke rises from shells with the smell of sage filling the air while guests use the smoke to clear bad energy. This is how an event to honour the water and women begins. Each year, Gzowski College, World University Service of Canada and the Trent University Native Association come together to host the “Shine a Light on Our Global Sisters” event in honour of International Women’s day. Originally meant to be hosted on the Bata podium, the organizers did not let the rain stop them on the evening of March 7, and moved the event to the Gathering Space inside Enweying. This year they decided to honour both women and the water in solidarity with movements like Standing Rock. Started in 2014 by Gzowski College liaisons Jenny Patterson and Brenna Farren, both students with ties to TUNA and WUSC felt it was time to create an event that addressed the issues of Canadian women and inter-
nationally. Reverend Glen Empey from Trent Spiritual Affairs began the speeches with a prayer for women, and was then followed up by PH.D candidate Barbara Wall who spoke about her relationship to the water as an Anishinaabekwe, a mother and a grandmother. She began here speech by introducing herself in Anishinaabemowin, sharing each of her relationships to the land and her family, as well as her name, which means “Woman of the Bubbling Springs.” When asked why she wanted be a part of an event like “Shine a Light on Our Global Sisters” Barbara responded by saying, “By participating in this event I am able to fulfill my responsibility as an Anishinaabekwe to speak for and carry the water.” PH. D candidate Wall spent her time talking about the relationship that not only humans have to water but the relationship that all creation has to water. Through her words she connected women’s rights and issues to that of the water, for her, both were and are connected. The next person to speak was Rwandan international student Emmanuel Gasore, also known to as Gman. For Gman, this event was especially important because of his relationship to his mother, and the role
women have taken in his home country. To him the honouring of both women and water are important because, “The same way Water provides life to nature or our ecosystem, women provide life to the human race. Therefore, everything men and women do starts with women, every talent and knowledge exist because women existed.” He also discussed our connection to each other, eloquently articulating this Gman described how when asked to draw a human, no matter where in the world or what community you are a part of we all draw the attributes of what it means to be a human the same way. Two arms, two legs, a mouth and eyes. Despite skin colour, eye colour or hair texture; we are all the same at the end of the day. Gman also went into further detail about the importance of women in Rwanda; he shared with us that “In Rwanda, my country, genocide which was the most tragic event in our history changed the way in which our community understand gender relations. Women became the core saviors of their families; they fed and protected their children and
those of their friends.” Both Barbara Walls and Gmans words moved the guests who attended this event to honor both women and the water. Attendee’s also had the opportunity to offer tobacco and prayers for those that they were honouring in a sacred fire located in the Tipi behind Gzowski College. For organizers Dawn Martin, a current Gzowski College liaison, and Lindy Garneau, Gzowski College head, this night was about more than just honouring water and women, it was about community and relationships. Garneau hopes that those who attended the event that people will leave knowing “that there is likeness in our experiences as women. In the three years that I have been supporting this event, the one bit of knowledge reinforced over and over again by guest speakers is, we are more alike than we are different, and when women support women, little by little, we change the world.” While Dawn Martin hopes that “people leave more aware and leave with the wanting to do more or get involved.”
TCSA Elections Equity Commissioners (continued)
Victoria Belbin Environmental & Sustainability Candidate I am a third-year student here at Trent. To begin, I remember the moment that I fell in love with the natural world, and since this
Dominic Ringler Environmental & Sustainability Candidate I am a first-year at Trent University and am studying Business and Environmental Science. I am an international student from Kenya and am very fortunate that I have been accepted into Trent. I am also fortunate that the campus is located in such a beautiful part of Canada, and it is obvious that the environment is very significant in the community. Prior to coming to Trent, I studied at Peponi Secondary School, where I was in the
beacon of hope in my childhood, I have been propelled on a learning journey of what I can do to help protect and preserve the natural world. I have experience working within nature, as I have always held Mother Earth close to my heart. This can be seen though continued work, working with sea turtle rescue operations in southern Florida, as well as engaging in beach clean-ups, and mass awareness campaigns through social media. I have experience working here at Trent with First Peoples House of Learning (FPHL) as Fire Keeper, as well as being an active member of Sustainable Trent and working to organize for COP22, as well as previously holding the position of Sustainability Ambassador for Gzowski College Cabinet. I am currently looking to branch out to the rest of the Trent community to facilitate meaningful and impactful conversations when it comes to environmental and sustainability issues on campus. My goals,
if I am to be elected, are to collaborate heavily with FPHL and the Trent University Native Association (TUNA), as all of these issues that are occurring on campus are happening on Indigenous land. I believe this is important to acknowledge and remember, as we often get caught up in the terminology that the land that we reside, work on, and learn on, is Trent’s land. This fundamental misunderstanding perpetuates the colonial structures that continue to impact Indigenous communities. Without taking space, it is a goal of mine to facilitate these conversations, to build strong relationships with student groups, and to passionately represent student voices. This relationship will focus on listening, as well as collaborating and connecting with the Indigenous community at Trent. Furthermore, another goal is to reach out to International Students, as many of the environmental issues that are currently facing our planet do not all
effect us universally, and it is important to acknowledge the similarities between local and international experiences, as well as connecting what we can do to address these issues. I also have the goal of working with Active Minds to facilitate conversation about mental health, and to consider how the natural world can relieve much stress and anxiety. This is important to discuss as university students face many stressors in our academic and personal lives. Spending some time with the trees, or the water, or listening to the sounds of nature can help alleviate some of those concerns. Personally, my sense of self is very much connected to the natural world. If elected, the Trent community can rest assured that I will funnel all of my energy into making changes on campus, to address environmental and sustainability issues, and to open the dialogue as to what we can all do in our own lives to be more sustainable.
charity committee and had to collaborate with several groups and find ways to earn money for less fortunate schools in Kenya. This will help me, as my position requires a large amount of collaboration with several groups on campus to make important decisions about changes that will occur to the environment at Trent and to ensure these changes are in the best interest of students. I also went for an internship at Natura Limited. It is a landscaping company in Kenya where I worked closely with the CEO and gained experience on creating events and jobs related to the environment and have gained a few ideas which I would like to
implement into the environment of Trent. If I am successfully elected to this position, I intend to work with associations within Trent like the university’s food services to ensure the environment is being considered in the operations and to promote changes that can improve the way they operate or materials they use to better the environment. In the decision-making I will try to ensure the decisions made are done for students and affects them in a positive manner. I would also create events which educate students on what they can do to improve the environment just in their day-to-day businesses. I am very keen
in the environment and if I am elected will explore new ways to improve it at Trent. I am happy that I have landed into such a welcoming community, which seems to help and collaborate very well with each other. Since the day I arrived I felt welcomed into the community at Trent. I hope to cooperate with the environmental groups at Trent so we can continue to develop environmental preservation and to promote recycling within the Trent community. Editor’s Note: Photo not available
Trent Athletics Centre: a closer look at where your money is going addition to the existing AC. This definition is held true to the description of the Student Capital fee outlined below; however, when the question was put on the agenda for students to vote on it, was presented in the following way: Do you support a non-refundable Athletics and Recreation Facility Improvement Fee of fifty dollars ($50.00) per year for fulltime undergraduate students? Below is the official definition of the general ancillary fee of $201 from the Compulsory Ancillary Fee Protocol Draft of 2006, followed by a description of what the expansion, or Student Capital Fee, will be directed toward: Athletics Fee: Purpose: [To be used for] Athletics facility operations and maintenance, intramural programs. Student Capital Fee: Purpose: [To be used for] expansion of athletics facilities, indoor and outdoor.
Jordan Porter On February 3rd, an anonymous submission to Arthur Newspaper pulled back the curtain on Trent’s Athletic Center (AC). The document included information about the misspending of mandatory student fees, called for the right to opt out of athletic fees, and asserted many other allegations. Some of these have been dispelled, while others continue to concern the student body. The article attracted over 11,000 views online and sparked a lively debate among students on how their money is being spent. On February 14th, in response to an overwhelming student interest and call for action, Arthur met with Deborah Bright-Brundle, the current Director of the AC. Bright-Brundle assumed her position in July of 2014 and says she has been operating under a budget that she believed to be correct, balanced, and in accordance with the intentions of these fees. During this interview, Arthur brought up the issue that has surfaced as the main topic of controversy since February, and the resulting gripe against the Athletic Centre. The issue at hand is concerning a 2004 student referendum decision to approve a $50 expansion fee to be included on every annual undergraduate tuition payment until the projects were complete. However, after Arthur did some digging on where this student money was being spent in the present day (with the Athletic Centre’s expansion long since complete), no clear answer has emerged how this revenue was to be handled. In conversation with the AC Director, Arthur raised the concern that the revenue being accrued by this non-refundable student fee was not acting in accordance with the original intentions or “spirit” of the student capital fee. Since the fee is intended to be allocated solely to indoor and outdoor expansion projects, what expansion project is this fee currently going towards? “The fee, as identified in my open letter, has been in effect since before I arrived in this position, so the information that I have been able to gather is for future growth and expansion goals. “When I arrived, this fee was included in the budget for the athletics fee on top of the overall ancillary fee, but that’s all the information I have.” The minutes of the above mentioned 2004 student referendum show that, under the leadership of former AC director, Bill
Byrick, a $50 fee was approved by an overwhelming 87% of the student body to pay for expansion and future growth. On the subject of the fee’s duration, the minutes state the following: “Another question was posed regarding the duration of the fee. Would the fee continue year after year or would it be terminated at some point once these projects were complete? Mr. Byrick indicated that he felt the fee would be needed for approximately fifteen years, but if the projects were completed ahead of schedule then he would, of course, terminate the collection of the fee sooner than that.” With this in mind, since the fee is still being collected indefinitely, Arthur asked Bright-Brundle what projects of future expansion the fee currently goes towards. The Director replied first that she felt it would be inappropriate to comment on the minutes from 2004 as she was not involved in this process, however, she candidly provided a summary of the current Athletic Centre operating budget. Unfortunately, this is where the water gets really muddy. On February 27th, the TCSA called a special board meeting where Leslie Spooner, on behalf of the AC, gave a presentation regarding the collection and expenditure of the fee in question and stated that the AC is still paying off a mortgage of $11.9 million, with an annual interest payment of $842,970. With that said, it is not implausible that the entirety of the $50 fee from each student be put towards this balance, and this may be a justification for the continuation of the fee. However, in this same presentation, Spooner included a number of other expenses that this fee has been used for in the last three years. Such items as upholstering gym equipment, upgrading gym doors, repairing the rowing tank, and the scoreboard for Justin Chiu Stadium. So the question remains; are these justified expenses for this fee? It might be said that this entire controversy is centred on the degree of ambiguity around what is and is not a permissible use for this fee. Here we will analyze the language surrounding the inception of the student capital fee. It is important to note that in all discussion points during the student referendum meeting minutes, the impending fee is introduced and explained as an “expansion fee to be used for expansion projects indoor and outdoor”, and then later defined more specifically as outdoor playing fields, Justin Chiu Stadium, and the
These definitions correlate with the original spirit of the capital fee. It is clearly stated that upgrades were to be made with the revenue from this fee for outdoor fields and Justin Chiu Stadium, as well as the addition on the existing Athletics Centre. The way that the questions were posed to students, and the matter students were told they were voting on in 2004, do not quite match however. What is more troubling about the presentation given by the Athletics Centre is that there were no monetary values included with any of these indications, nor the a specifically quantifiable description of the AC’s “improvements”, leaving TCSA members and students alike to use their own imagination to gauge the scope and cost of such items as “pool stairs”, “rowing tank repairs” “gym screen up-grades,” “door replacement,” or the highly ambiguous “planned pool upgrades”. These wideranging expenses raise another issue; it
seems very clear that the student capital fee is being lumped into the overall revenue stream for the AC. Further, when TCSA members asked to see a full budget expense report indicating the specific pricing of the listed repairs, Spooner stated that she “did not have the budget on hand at this time,” and “didn’t want to get bogged down with the details.” TCSA board members were also skeptical about who was being charged this fee. It is clear that undergraduate students have no option but to pay this fee annually with their tuition in full, however, Peterborough residents who are members of the AC are only required to pay this $50 fee one single time, when they first sign up. The discussion of what to do about the existing collection of the fee was discussed at the February 27th special meeting of the TCSA, however, the final decision on whether to call a student referendum to cease collection of the fee beginning fall 2017, or to simply reword of the intentions of the fee, was tabled until the next TCSA meeting on March 12th, 2017. Please note that this is an open meeting and students are encouraged to attend and voice any concerns they may have. It is important to stress that, as seen in the budget summary provided, the AC currently relies on this huge chunk of revenue ($329,000) annually from students in order to operate at full capacity. However, this does raise the question of where costs could and should be cut. It is hard to overlook certain lines of this budget summary, including the massive annual staff costs. This arguably raises the concern that if the $50 fee is ever ceased, the AC will most certainly be looking to cut costs anywhere it can, and in situations like this, it is usually student positions that suffer. For students that are interested, in response to these issues, the Athletics Centre will be hosting an information session on March 15th in the Gymnasium from 11am-12pm to address any questions or concerns from the student body regarding the $50 Student Capital fee, and how this fee should be dealt with moving forward.
Volume 51 | Issue 15 | March 13 | 2017
The importance of LGBTQ2IA conferences
Photography by Elizabeth Thipphawong
Derek Newman- Stille This year’s Queer Coll(i/u)sions Conference was perhaps more important than ever. Those of us who do social justice work are feeling a sense of burn-out from facing the current American political climate and the global impact of the rise of right-wing movements on all of us who are socially Othered. Some of the Muslim American scholars and participants weren’t able to make it this year because they were advised that if they cross the border, they may not be able to return home to the United States. Some of the deaf academics approached multiple ASL interpreters in the Toronto area and were told that the interpreters didn’t feel comfortable interpreting at a queer conference. We were reminded through these social exclusions of contributors to the conference that we still need to resist, and that challenging barriers is important. After attending the conference, awardwinning speculative fiction author Ursula Pflug stated in a Facebook post about the Queer Coll(i/u)sions Conference: “It’s partly the tagline: art, academia, and ac-
tivism. I have always been happiest when these worlds are under one roof rather than segregated, as with genre and mainstream. Fewer Trump-like walls, please!”. She observed the importance of the conference’s desire to break down walls that often fragment our voices and the need to approach the act of liberation from oppression from a variety of different modes and media. The keynote for this year’s conference, Dr. Karleen Pendleton-Jimenez, pointed out that protest is also a creative act, an act of art that also has messages about liberation and the need for change. Dr. Pendleton-Jimenez pointed out the importance of weaving different modalities of expression together and set the tone of the conference as a space where we could be a chorus of multiple distinct voices. Queer Coll(i/u)sions explored the importance of multiple knowledges and sites of engagement, highlighting the notion that we can only achieve beneficial change by engaging with a plethora of perspectives. Creative expressions were brought to life in art shows, author readings, storytelling, cabarets, and film. These creative works were sites of discussion with
Game development inPeterborough Jeffrey Moore
Local software developer DotBunny recently gathered eighty-some amateurs and professionals at Fleming College to spend forty-five hours together creating something from nothing at all. The goal: to make a fun, playable videogame to share with the world. The theme: Alternative Facts. Punches were thrown, punchlines were skillfully crafted, and a community was born. “It’s not like the game jams in Toronto,” one participant said. He was describing the sense of belonging and camaraderie that had formed among the participants of PTBO Game Jam 02. “Here, we’re like a family: all working together, helping each other, chatting, laughing.” The air at the event was constantly abuzz with the sounds of typing and mentorship – an atmosphere cultivated with purpose by organizer Matthew Davey. Davey worked rather hard to recruit sponsors from the Peterborough community and from the game development community, and even harder to put together an event that catered to everyone – experts and novices, young and old. “We’re really proud of the educational block,” he said, responding to the gratitude and praise from jam’s participants about the three-hour tutorial session that kicked off the event. The educational block was the creation of a fully functional Pac Man clone from a
blank canvas – even taking time to answer questions along the way and ensure that everyone in the packed lecture hall was on the same page. It was inspiring to see how easy it was, and truly set the tone for the weekend: anyone can do this. The diversity of participants would be encouraging to anyone. People of all backgrounds, ages, and genders were in attendance, working together and having fun creating something that spat in the face of Alternative Facts. The results were equally diverse with some participants focusing on playability, others on graphics, and others on narrative. Every creator has a strength to capitalize on, and everyone left the event improved in their craft, grown from having spent the weekend collaborating with a truly Peterborough-style community of people. PTBO Game Jam 03 will be held in August. For anyone eager to get their feet wet with game development in the meantime, there is a student group devoted to this kind of collaborative community creativity: The Trent Game Development Club. They have a Facebook page and you can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. DotBunny is also hosting regular meetups for anyone interested in just hanging out and talking game development. Find out more over at meetup.com/PTBOGameDev. And finally, if you’d like to check out the results of the jam, head on over to itch.io/jam/ptbogamejam02.
viewers and listeners coming away from them with complex questions and engagements that shifted ideas and invited in new perspectives. Roundtables allowed multiple people to engage in critical questions around things like slash fan fiction, lesbian death tropes in film, fairy tales, science fiction, fantasy, role-playing games, resisting gender binaries, nostalgia and engaging with ideas of queer youth. Roundtables normally bring “experts” to the table to talk about their ideas and be questioned by the audience, but these were sites of audience engagement with a recognition that the audience members were experts with valuable things to contribute. Academic panels engaged with powerful sites of scholarship around topics like queering Islam, queer geographies, critically questioning gender binaries, queer histories, legal structures, trans identities, textual reimaginings and resistances, queer temporalities, the diversity of queer bodies, ageing, teaching, queer deaf identities, queer-crip identities, queer economies, and queer media. These were questions that spoke to our interests as queer people in this historical moment, but also raised questions about where we have
been and where we can go from here. Workshops allowed conference attendees to engage with materials and create their own protest signs, teaching sex education through choose-your-ownadventure style stories, and engaging with drama and performance and how we bring our performances into the public sphere whenever we move through it. What reminds me that we need to have more queer conferences was the wide range of lively conversations, the number of people who said that this was the first time they felt that they weren’t silenced; where they felt free to express themselves without fear of aggression, and the number of people who noted a feeling of collaboration and camaraderie where they could collectively challenge hegemonic power structures. Conferences can be sites of protest, sites for imagining new possibilities, and sites for an interweaving. Queer conferences can fulfill a need to feel a sense of belonging, a space for complicating images that are projected at us monolithically, and they can be creative spaces. Queer Coll(i/u)ssions took place March 3-5 at Sadleir House.
T he 2017 A rthur N ewspaper E ditorial E lections
Josh Skinner and Dan Morrison
Our names are Josh Skinner and Dan Morrison, and we are excited to announce our campaign for Arthur co-editors. We have plenty of experience and are passionate about journalism, and we are excited to continue our work through the unique, community-based platform that Arthur offers. We recognise that we are each born into a certain narrative. As white men, we are aware of our privilege, whilst recognising our responsibility to break these narratives. We strive to achieve these goals, and thus this would shape our editorship, if elected. We love the work that Arthur has allowed us to do in the past year. As an exchange student from the UK, Dan has enjoyed being thrown into the Peterborough community, where he fell in love with the place and the people. He relished the chance to explore new avenues through covering student events, managing to challenge grand narratives and hypocrisies with Op Eds. Through Arthur, Josh has covered city council meetings and brought municipal issues to the Trent student body. Josh has also been working tirelessly on Arthur’s board as treasurer, to understand the root of the financial issues that have hindered the newspaper in the past and present. Dan co-founded the blog Foreword, where youth from across the world write about navigating society. The blog’s diverse content, ranging from poems to long-form pieces on the politics of the day, is geared towards breaking down the times we live in. Josh has worked for himself since 2014 with his radio show Trent Variety. His show covers local news in Peterborough through interviews with local politicians and community members. He is focused on bridging the gap between Trent University and the broader Peterborough community. The experience we have gained in these roles includes: coordination of contributors, administrative know-how, and, most importantly, journalism with integrity. We will harness these skills to make Arthur more than a newspaper and make it a creative, collaborative, community. At the forefront of this, we have begun discussions with a number of Peterborough bars and cafés about establishing working relationships. Several have expressed their interest, should we be elected, and we have a discussed a framework with one of them. With this policy we would collaborate to hold events several times every term at each place. Arthur should work with the diverse community as well as being the student voice in Peterborough, offering the com-
munity as much as it can offer us. These collaborations raise many opportunities, from bonding with the community and raising substantial funds for the paper, to stimulating new ideas and ways to practice our ideals. A fair estimate suggests we could raise the equivalent funds to hire an additional, unsubsidised staff member. Further, we would assign reporters to specific roles, in order to establish consistency, This would allow writers to develop and carve out a niche for themselves. In allowing writers to nurture their specific interests, we see that this will improve the quality of coverage, giving writers the opportunity to pull out emerging trends in their area. Specialization enables writers to stay on top of stories, as they get to know their field better and establish contacts. We envisage that this would see us pick up new areas to report on: for example, there’s little writing on food in Peterborough. This will breed a sense of community for readers, who will quickly become familiar with the writers that interest them. We also plan an incentive for student submissions that diversifies our contributor list and content. This will be a 3 for 5 model, in which students from a broad background of studies will have the chance to improve their grades by having 3 articles accepted and published in exchange for a 5% boost in their grade. This policy will target people who struggle in a traditional classroom setting, whilst increasing the staff collective’s numbers which have steadily fallen since 2014. We have many more ideas for Arthur, including expanding the use of the website and social media. You can find more information about our platform at https://danandjoshforarthur.wordpress.com/. Here, you will find further explanations of policies described above, as well as more about a proposed research project, comparing and contrasting the ways western media discusses First Nations and Muslim women. We are aware of our privilege and the responsibility it brings; to dismantle colonial and romanticizing discourses wherever they are. To borrow words from our friend Brendan Campbell, we will always seek to amplify the voices of those uncomfortable with the stage, or to move aside for those who are. The paper will be defined by action, proaction and participation. We won’t just resist oppressions but actively take the lead against them. Arthur will be ahead of the game, finding the next big things of Peterborough.
Who’s this guy? Jeffrey Moore here. I’m the guy with all the passion for helping others reach their goals and become the best they can be, and since I earned my B.Ed. at Trent University I’ve been following that passion to improve every community I touch. I’ve taught English, math, and science in remote fly-in communities. I’ve been a program coordinator for the community bike shop, B!KE, where I mentored community members and volunteers in bike maintenance. I’m a mentor and managing director of Peterborough Independent Podcasters, where I help people from all walks of life make the podcasts of their dreams. I’ve also created promotional materials in every organization I’ve worked for using InDesign, the same layout software Arthur uses. Oh, and I’m a long-time Arthur lover. I’ve been on Arthur’s board for two years, steering the organization through troubled waters and advocating for training for staff and board members. To me, Arthur is the ultimate hands-on learning environment for aspiring journalists, and I want to ensure that every contributor gets the opportunity to develop their skills and explore their voice. But because we stumbled into a bit of a financial crisis, Arthur needs a capable and experienced manager at the helm to ensure our contributors are still getting the guidance they need to grow. With my management, design, and education experience, I’m certain I can ensure that this organization continues to help its contributors excel. How will he do that? Feedback. Lots of it. In fact, I’ll provide feedback on every article submitted to the paper, and I’ll offer coaching to anyone who wants it. This feedback will borrow from my experience as an educator, focusing on positives and providing next steps to improve each contributor’s work. I will connect interested contributors with experienced mentors—both within the paper’s staff and within the community. I’ve already spoken to writers and photographers who’ve offered to volunteer as mentors. What’s more, photography and writing mentorship will be available to any contributor—regardless of speciality. My goal is for every staff member at Arthur to have ample opportunity to develop any journalistic skills they wish to. To that end, I’ll be treating features a little differently. At the beginning of the year, each writer will pick a topic they’re passionate about, and for that topic they will oversee the development of a featured centerfold. This means working with me and
the other staff to secure interviews, perform research, capture photographs, and lay out the feature from scratch using InDesign. This will be a patient and guided process to allow the writer to build confidence in a variety of journalistic skills—becoming a very appealing candidate for today’s jack-of-alltrades journalism industry. To make all of this work, I’m going to be relying on feedback, communication, and collaboration from my contributors. I’ll be available through a wide variety of channels ranging from Facebook messenger and SMS to an Arthur-only chat and voice channel, and I’ll be working five days a week with an open door during student-friendly office hours. Deadlines will be staggered throughout the week to even out Arthur’s workload, and contributors will have access to a ‘story bounty board’ to pick and suggest leads for stories without having to wait for story meetings. What’s going to be in the paper? Much like Trent Radio facilitates a diversity of voices through its producer-oriented programming, Arthur’s content will be writer-focused with a simple guiding principle: Arthur will tell the stories of interesting people doing interesting things. Through following their passions, writers will cover a diversity of topics and perspectives for such sections as Sports, Politics, Culture, and Academics. You can also expect the same explosive and experimental photography that has made Arthur a welcome addition to many counters and walls, and I will be partnering with Arthur’s photographers to give readers an opportunity to purchase prints of their favourite covers and pages in order to fundraise for additional issues and to support the photographers. I also thought it would be nice to just have more Arthur, so I sought out the advice of an experienced editor to help get more pages into Arthur at a smaller print cost. That means more articles, more puzzles, more listings, and a calendar of upcoming events. And because Arthur is Trent University’s student paper, the paper will feature regular columns from student groups and, if all goes well, a multilingual section of the paper where non-English articles will be published next to an English translation. Finally, because I despise reading an article and feeling incited without an outlet, I will ensure that Arthur’s articles end with next steps for anyone wishing to make a change. If you’re feeling incited now and looking for next steps, I hope you’ll consider voting for me as your next editor.
Volume 51 | Issue 15 | March 13 | 2017
Arthurâ€™s spring elections are happening soon! Elect the editor(s) and board for Volume 52 Arthur Spring Elections are coming up! That means that it is time to elect the editor(s) and three Staff Collective Board directors for the upcoming academic year. For more information about these positions, please consult Arthur Policies and Procedures. You can also contact the Arthur board at email@example.com.
Whoâ€™s on the Staff Collective? Who can run for the Board? You are considered part of the staff collective if you have contributed to the production of at least 15% of the issues of Arthur released before the election. For our purposes that means you must have contributed to at least three. (Again, see right.)
Time and Place The election will be held at the Dining Hall Proxy Votes at Sadleir House. The date of the elections In accordance with section 6e of the is Tuesday March 21, 2017. Refreshments, likely Persian, will be provided.
Agenda The Agenda is usually as follows: 1. Editor(s) Remarks 2. Presentations of candidates for editor(s) platforms (10 minute limit per set of candidates) 3. Question Period 4. Election of Editor(s) 5. Election of three Board directors by the Staff Collective 6. Adjournment
Who can vote Only those who are on the staff collective at the time of the election can vote (the list so far is to the right). Voting is done by secret ballot. Everyone on the staff collective is entitled to a single ballot.
Arthur bylaws, staff collective members may participate in the election through means of proxy vote. They may appoint, in writing, a proxy holder to vote for them in the election. The proxy holder does not need to be a member of the staff collective. Proxies must bring: - The name and signature of the Staff Collective member - The date the proxy is signed - Who the proxy is giving voting powers to - Who the Staff Collective member is voting for (or the Staff Collective member can allow the proxy holder to choose who to vote for).
Who can run for editor? Candidates for the position of editor(s)
must be members of the Staff Collective at the time of the election. Two Staff Collective members may choose to run as co-editors. They must have been running together to fill the positions of co-editors together.
Anyone who is a member of the Staff Collective at the time of the election.
Volume 51 Staff Collective as of Issue 14
Deadlines The deadline
for nominations for editorial candidates has passed. Those wanting to run as Staff Collective directors on the board can be nominated at the Spring Election meeting.
Derek NewmanBerfin Aksoy Samantha Moss Stille Jordan Porter Zafer Izer Kristina Dergacheva Joshua Skinner Mauricio Interiano Daniela Leal Shanese Steele Marina Wilke Sarah Crookall Scott Maufront Holly Stark Hayley Raymond Dan Morrison Clay Duncalfe Y&Z Tyler Majer Lubna Sadek One contribution needed: Should you be on this list? Matt Douglas Brendan Campbell Email firstname.lastname@example.org Hayley Raymond Want to be on this list? Shan Culkeen Just contribute to Arthur! Daniel Morris Jenny Fisher
Five Alarm Funk heads to Ptbo: a word with drummer Tayo Branston Tyler Majer
helpful in helping us gaining fans.
Alright, folks! Next in the ongoing series of great Peterborough music is Five Alarm Funk, who will perform at the Historic Red Dog on March 26th. I would tell you about them myself, but what are my words compared to somebody actually in the goddamn band? Below is my interview with Tayo Branston, drummer and lead vocalist for Five Alarm Funk.
Tell us about the live performance! We’re bringing the hottest live performances that we have ever brought this year. Some serious props and costumes coming out on the road, and the band is super tight. We’re ready to make you sweat. We’re ready to make you jump and dance. It’s really the most excited the group has ever been. So, I think you are going to see more passion and more life on the stage.
When did the band form? We formed in 2003, and we have constantly been together since then. I wouldn’t say every week, but our religious schedule is two rehearsals a week. We have just tried to stay together and stay positive. To keep the healthiest, forward-moving band cookin’. It’s been 14 years of fun and determination. So, did the band meet each other, as a group of friends that wanted to play music or…? We met each other, and it kinda came together from different avenues of people’s existing relationships. Like, it kinda started at this little jam-party that was going on. Me and our old bass player, Neil met Gabe Boothroyd, our guitar player, and we had a little jam there. Then we said, “hey, let’s get together constantly, let’s work together.” Then, Gabe brought his old drummer, Karl, and our other guitar player, Oliver Gibson came in from another group. And then we added the horn players. It’s not like everybody came together at once and it happened. It’s more a sort of slow momentous build into the current situation of the band. And we couldn’t be happier with the way it did. I mean, it was very natural and very fluent. Kind of like an amalgamation of different people through time? Yeah, exactly. And it was Neil that was like, “I know a guy here, let’s call him” or “I know this person, let’s call them”. And so yeah, an amalgamation of musicians through time. Wow, perfect. I love it! [Laughs.]
Plug away on the new album. How does it differ/share similarities with previous albums? How does it fit into the catalogue of Five-Alarm Funk albums? Tell us about it!
Source: Folly Fest
rock drummer through and through. And then getting in my older age, I got into Tito Puente, Seun Kuti, Fela Kuti, and then even into Frank Zappa. So, many different things. I am really not picky about any specific style of music. I think that kind of shows in my personal writing in Five Alarm Funk… Um, but then you have other guys in the group that love classic rock and jazz, so you know, no music is wrong. All music is great in its own way. And that’s kind of the mentality that the band brings as far as influences. Wow. So, could you describe your sound in one sentence? [Silence.] I know, that’s a tough one. You know what, I have been doing this lately, and I hope it doesn’t sound cocky, but I now describe it as “Five Alarm Funk”. That was the name of the band because we wanted to just describe the music. Five Alarm Funk, right? And really, this is the sound that we have progressed through all these years, and really we have realized that from all of our genre-spanning ways that we have taken each part from what we really enjoy to do. And that was kind of more of a constant in all of our songs. So all of our songs have a similar feel with the gang vocals and the shredding psych-rock guitars, with the horns taking the wailing lead, and the percussion really being the train of the song. So, Five Alarm Funk is exactly what it is.
What are the influences that you draw on? Both obvious and some not-so-obvious ones?
So, if there were one or two tracks off the new album to play for someone that doesn’t know your sound, as an introduction, what would they be?
I mean, everybody in the band is different, so that’s kind of hard to touch on. But my personal influences are from a very young age, 8 through 14, and then from 17 to current, right? So my influences, from back in the day, Rage Against the Machine, Primus, Nirvana, I loved all that stuff. I was a
Me, personally, I love Widow Maker, which is the first song on the new record. I also love Ill Wind. Ill Wind is a little more laidback, less aggressive, maybe a bit easier to digest for some people. Widow Maker I love because it is a punch in the face, and that’s the music that I love and know
[laughs]. How does Five Alarm Funk go about writing? How do ideas start? And how do they manifest into full-length songs, tracks, albums, etc.? We always do it song by song. It is really a kind of creative and open process. We’ll start in the rehearsal space, with everyone there. Someone will say, “I have an idea for a groove”. And then they’ll play their lick, and everybody builds off of that until we have one solid foundation. Once that exists, we go into smaller groups. You know, two or three guys over four or five different writing sessions, picking apart that groove, asking where it can go, what chord changes can be put in. And then it’ll go back into the rehearsal space with horn lines, with an idea of the whole song, and then everybody will pick it apart. As a mainly instrumental band, do you find that hinders or helps you creatively and commercially? It is quite different to be a ‘pop’ band that focuses mainly on instrumentation. Absolutely. There are benefits, and there are pros and cons to everything. Being that way doesn’t help us with say, popular radio play, right? Our particular style kind of hinges on licensing and stuff like that. It’s very aggressive, you know, mostly instrumental, and when there are vocals, they aren’t mainstream whatsoever. So, those are some issues that we have run into, but we have always based it on that we are a band, and a live band. A band that you go to see, and that’s where our music really shines because you know, we don’t try to spread too much of a message or get political, or tell you about personal emotions. We are there so when you come in you forget about everything and truly enjoy yourself. I think that has been crucial in building audiences everywhere we go, because it’s that release that you don’t have to think about your day or how crappy your boss is. In that respect, it’s been very
The new record, Sweat, is our finest creation to date undoubtedly. It is twelve songs long. The idea for the record was that you can put it on front to back, and you can have yourself a dance party, wherever you are. We still hold onto that powerful feel of Five Alarm, but it’s got groove written all over it. And we couldn’t be happier with the outcome, the sound, and the process of the record. We hope everybody enjoys it. Last question is a simple one: Favourite beer/alcoholic drink? Ahhh! People are going to think I’m a nerd! [Laughs.] That’s always a good end to an interview. You know what? I’m a light beer and tequila guy. So my go-to’s are Coors Banquet and tequila, the white tequila, I don’t like the brown, or the gold as much [laughs]. What a nice guy! Don’t you feel excited, reader, now that you have read this? Don’t you want to go check out the show? And follow the band on Spotify? And listen to all of their music? Didn’t the discussion above make you all riled up and randy? Seriously though, go see this fuckin’ band. The new album Sweat is hot. It moves you to relieve yourself of the burden of clothes. It makes you want to shake, shimmy, and rattle yourself free from any negativity. It’s pure spirit-moving at a quickening pace. It’s (insert clever metaphor). 5AF are funky (no shit!), and psychedelic. They have 8 people in the band (that’s a lot!), and the dynamic on the new record is congruent without giving up the band’s trademark looseness. Five Alarm moves through rhythms like how a black cat can dart across your path, and then disappear. They are fast, sneaky, and filled with energy. Ten dollars, March 26th at The Red Dog. There is no cause for alarm.
Wednesday 7:00 - 10:00 p.m Market Hall Performing Arts Centre 140 Charlotte St N, Peterborough
Volume 51 | Issue 15 | March 13 | 2017
And Then She Ate Me: a local in-house theatre production Photography by Will Pearson
Josh Skinner A profound but unanswered question is asked in the hopes that the audience reads into it’s greater meaning. Manic repetition about a bird versus a flower creates a split in the room to be resolved democratically. Prop pieces are both deliberately and delicately littered around the house to allow theatergoers to better understand their subject. Via script, blocking, and vision, a house becomes a stage and two young women become grandmothers. Go and see And Then She Ate Me, which is a performance that takes place in a house every night until March 9th on 120 Aberdeen Avenue. The play is a product of Ring’O Rosie Collective which consists of three young women named Lily Ross-Millard, Miranda Jones, who are the actors, and the Director Anne White. The play uses the ambiance of what at one point would have been considered a suburban home to create a setting that is equal parts a loving home and witch coven. The three women work in tandem to allow audiences to explore the mysticism found
within empowered femininity. The actors implore the audience to ask hard questions about the women in their life. Did she wear make up? Did she love herself? Was she good at sex? These questions force people to expand on the definition of the women in their life in a way that makes audience members return their mother’s calls. When women’s issues are discussed, there is a tendency for men to talk about them in terms of their relationship with them. “I love women, I have sisters, daughters, and wives”. This method of talking about women serves to rob them of their autonomy. For men to speak of them only in relation to them is to say that women have no inherent value if they are not related to the speaker. And Then She Ate Me is an attempt for these three young women to use the power of their art to dispel these notions of women. The play not only projects these messages to the audience, but seems to serve as an opportunity for reflection for the actors. In a conversation with Ring’O Rosie Collective, Arthur was able to touch on a key influence for their most recent production. They talked up Zuffa Theater
as a “major creative influence” on their work. Zuffa Theater believes in drawing upon existing texts and even objects to inspire new pieces of art. This imprint that Zuffa theater left on the collective is evident through the creative use of a cookbook and recipe which rope the audience in by giving them something to interact with. Anne, the director is ever present during the performance, taking notes and making her presence known to the audience. She facilitates the migration from room to room and reminds the audience
that women who work behind the scenes play no small role in creating ambience and mood that translates into a fulfilling experience. Audiences are encouraged to partake in the performance which spans just over two hours in 120 Aberdeen Avenue. The show lags at certain points, but the way the play is structured, even when one’s eyes wander they often fall on different objects around the house that beckon the question, what stories do these items tell? Find out these stories by going to And Then She Ate Me as soon as possible.
Missy Knott: on her new EP & profile Tyler Majer
I recently got fucking wasted with Missy Knott. Remember that Mary-Kate Edwards show that you should have been at, but probably weren’t because you were too “tired” or had to “go on a date”? Yeah, I was there, and so was Missy, and we drank, and you missed out! Whatever, I forgive you. But you better listen closer this time. Missy’s response to my drunkenness, when I messaged her earlier this week, was to say that she was “fortunate to know someone who gets more drunk than I do.” Cool. You know what else is really fortunate? That Missy allowed me to ask her a bunch of annoying questions, and to have a listen to her EP. Below is, in narrative form, a description of that EP, and some answers to those questions. Exciting! Missy’s latest EP is titled My Sister’s Heart. Her voice shines over this tracklist. Her blend of country, pop, and classic singer-songwriter-style writing isn’t new to the Peterborough music scene, but her approach is impressive. Her voice is of a low register, but that doesn’t constrict her range. She has a raspiness to her voice which plays into the emotionality of each of the four songs. “Letters To You” opens with a steel-slide guitar that plays the melodic basis for the song, while an acoustic guitar strums gently underneath. The song moves quickly towards the chorus, reminiscing both musically and lyrically about past heartbreak and regret. “I burn them, as fast as I can write these letters to you,” she sings, with a
voice that aches with both pain and growth. “My Sister’s Heart” is the eponymous track of the album. It is a polished “new country” song, with a vibrant electric guitar and lyrics that resonate. The song outlines a problematic relationship and the awkwardness that comes with wanting to help, but not knowing how. It is a situation that most can relate to, and a song that stings as much as it soothes. “Our Song” is next. A bass drum and snare cracks in 4/4 time, while the electric guitar strums strongly. “I wanna feel like it’ll be okay/ Does anyone else ever feel that way?” she croons. “Love me or leave me” isn’t what she says, but those words come to mind. “I am who I am; love me for it,” is the message, and it’s an important and
truthful one. The final track is titled, “Strong Woman’s Song”. It’s a short number to end off the set, but it sends an important message all the same. It is a simple lullaby with obvious Indigenous influence. The sub-title, “Lyric’s Lullaby” is a reference to her young daughter. A beautiful way to end to an album concerned with the constraints and anxieties of adult life, by sending it off to pure innocence, in the form of a young child. Missy’s background in music “sort of unfolded from a love for performance at a very young age. I started writing pretty consistently after breaking up with my first boyfriend and performing my own music in my late teens. I tend to write about lost love a lot. I still haven’t learned how to say
how I feel about other things.” She has been playing music in Peterborough for a long time, and has become something of a staple playing at various venues around town, as well as larger music festivals, The Havelock County Jamboree, and Peterborough Live. On the subject of her song writing process, she explained that “writing has always rooted from collaborations for me. I’ve always performed as at least a duo and the process unfolds as you learn to get more comfortable with the person you’re working with.” Missy plays from a place of pain and passion. I asked her what it means to be an artist, a woman, and Indigenous. She stated that, “I know my path in music has truly developed into what it is because I needed a place to hide from pain, a passion for something that could make me feel alive. I’m happy to have a purpose and can turn my constantly breaking heart into art. That’s how I feel about being an Anishnaabe woman, a mother, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, and a granddaughter.” My Sister’s Heart is 4 tracks of pure emotion which Missy calls “a huge stepping stone”. It is her fifth collection of work, and she stated that she is “getting much closer to finding [her] sound.” On April 2nd, Missy will be hosting a matinee showcase at the Market Hall with up-and-coming singers Jayde Taylor and Cameron Von Criegern. I will be there also, and maybe I will be as drunk as I was the last time I saw Missy. That’s for you to find out, reader.
Volume 51 | Issue 15 | March 13 | 2017