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Puking in the new year SINCE 1918

January 4, 2012 | VOL. XXVIII ISS. XXVIII

WHAT’S TOOPE THINKING? We conduct our annual year-end interview with this guy, UBC President Stephen Toope














In university hockey, fighting is banned. What are the results?


2 | Page 2 | 01.04.2012

What’s on 4


This week, may we suggest...

Our Campus

One on one with the people who make UBC


Christmas tree recycling: all day @ Botanical Gardens Bayview Elementary School wants to expand its garden in an environmentally friendly fashion, so give them your Christmas tree instead of letting it rot until summer. Also a great place to be if you really want to kill the feeling of holiday joy and wonder.






IPP >>



Men’s basketball: 8-10pm @ War Memorial Gym SPORTS!



IPP Welcome Back Event: 2-5pm @ International House You don’t have to be an International Peer Program member to enjoy the festivities. If you want to know more about the program or are just thirsty, then you can come have some free beverages.

SCIENCE >> Way Cool Biodiversity Series: Salmon: 2pm @ Beaty Biodiversity Centre This is a family-friendly lecture about a fish that many of us eat regularly. Come see why they are tasty.


Got an event you’d like to see on this page? Send your event and your best pitch to

THE UBYSSEY January 4, 2012, Volume XCIII, Issue XXVIII


Coordinating Editor Justin McElroy

Managing Editor, Print Jonny Wakefield

Managing Editor, Web Arshy Mann

News Editors Kalyeena Makortoff & Micki Cowan

Copy Editor Karina Palmitesta

Video Editor David Marino

Senior Web Writer Andrew Bates

Graphics Assistant Indiana Joel

Culture Editor Ginny Monaco

Senior Culture Writer Will Johnson

Sports Editor Drake Fenton

Features Editor Brian Platt



Business Manager Fernie Pereira

Business Office: Room 23 Editorial Office: Room 24 Student Union Building 6138 Student Union Blvd Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1 tel: 604.822.2301 web:

Ad Sales Ben Chen

Accounts Sifat Hasan

Webmaster Jeff Blake


Andrew Hood, Bryce Warnes, Catherine Guan, David Elop, Jon Chiang, Josh Curran, Will McDonald, Tara Martellaro, Virginie Menard, Scott MacDonald, Anna Zoria, Peter Wojnar, Tanner Bokor, Dominic Lai, Mark-Andre Gessaroli, Natalya Kautz, Kai Jacobson, RJ Reid Print Advertising:

604.822.1654 Business Office:

604.822.6681 advertising

Art Director Geoff Lister

Erica Baker: face of “Faces of Today” Jonny Wakefield Managing Editor, Print

Mozart String Quintet: 5-6:30pm @ Green College Want to look refined and cultured but lack the money to be a gentleman? No worries, this concert is free. Don’t forget to bring your monocle.



Erica relaxes in the Totem Park cafeteria, where she was an RA for the last year and a half. She departs for Australia later this month.


The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper of the University of British Columbia. It is published every Monday and Thursday by The Ubyssey Publications Society. We are an autonomous, democratically run student organization, and all students are encouraged to participate. Editorials are chosen and written by the Ubyssey staff. They are the expressed opinion of the staff, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Ubyssey Publications Society or the University of British Columbia. All editorial content appearing in The Ubyssey is the property of The Ubyssey Publications Society. Stories, opinions, photographs and artwork contained herein cannot be reproduced without the expressed, written permission of The Ubyssey Publications Society. The Ubyssey is a founding member of Canadian University Press (CUP) and adheres to CUP’s guiding principles. Letters to the editor must be under 300 words. Please include your

phone number, student number and signature (not for publication) as well as your year and faculty with all submissions. ID will be checked when submissions are dropped off at the editorial office of The Ubyssey; otherwise verification will be done by phone. The Ubyssey reserves the right to edit submissions for length and clarity. All letters must be received by 12 noon the day before intended publication. Letters received after this point will be published in the following issue unless there is an urgent time restriction or other matter deemed relevant by the Ubyssey staff. It is agreed by all persons placing display or classified advertising that if the Ubyssey Publications Society fails to publish an advertisement or if an error in the ad occurs the liability of the UPS will not be greater than the price paid for the ad. The UPS shall not be responsible for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value or the impact of the ad.

Erica Baker cringes at the word “keener.” With the Student Leadership Conference just around the corner, I had to ask. At this time of year, UBC students seem to lump themselves into one of two categories: are they the “super involved” type, who flaunt their CVs on their email signatures, who attend the day-long speaker and workshop series and turn out to vote in the student elections? Or are they the type to eschew all this as self-important nonsense? For Erica, who does video and photos for the “Faces of Today” award, it’s a line in the sand that doesn’t need to be drawn. “Faces” honours student leaders on campus. This year, eight students were chosen from a diverse field, ranging from UBC rec members to grad students to undergrads of all stripes. As production

Write Shoot Edit Code Drink Proof Draw Model Eat




coordinator for the conference, Erica was charged with telling their stories to a wider audience through video. “They’re genuine students,” she said. “It’s just trying to recognize the everyday actions of students who are the kind you’d just meet in a class.” Erica’s list of accolades is extensive. For one, she received the prestigious Lordan Award from the Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation in high school. But when this is brought up, her demeanour makes it clear that she doesn’t want to be seen as the kind of person—especially the kind of university student—who defines themselves by their resume. First and foremost, she considers herself a photographer. Erica took care to show each student’s everyday-ness in filming their “Faces” profile. “I’m trying to capture candid footage beyond just doing a formal interview with them,” she said. “I

was in Vanier filming a [residence coordinator] with his team, just doing team-building exercises and going through a normal meeting.” She has a UBC blog, I Once Found Tokyo Police Club in an Airport, where she writes about goofy things that have happened to her (the title just about sums up the story). Since coming to UBC in 2009, she has seen the power of social media in telling those kinds of stories, citing Rabi Sun’s Portraits of UBC photo project and Campus Security’s recent foray into Twitter and Facebook. For Erica, “Faces” isn’t about honouring the involved “keeners.” “There are a lot of things that recognize people who have done extremely well, who have gone way above the norm,” she said. “A lot of things have done that, like the scholarship. But there are very few things that just recognize your everyday actions, and it’s really good to be recognized for those things.” U


01.04.2012 |


Editors: Kalyeena Makortoff & Micki Cowan


Compostable cutlery fails to biodegrade; AMS, UBC seek solution Caroline Chingcuanco Contributor

Two years ago, AMS Food and Beverage and UBC Food Services switched to biodegradable cutlery— but the well-intentioned change has not turn out as planned. The cutlery is not compatible with the university’s composting facilities and never ended up breaking down. “[The] In-Vessel composting system on our campus does not reach and sustain a high enough

temperature over a long enough period of time to actually degrade these utensils,” explained Nancy Toogood, AMS Food and Beverage manager. They have since had to move back to recyclable plastic cutlery. Both the biodegradable and recyclable plastic cutlery are sold by BSI Biodegradable Solutions. BSI is a Vancouver-based company that specializes in food service supplies and provides the majority of compostable and recyclable food containers on campus, but

the company does not list the ideal composting temperature for their biodegradable products. “There are many different types and conditions for composting,” said Susanna Carson, CEO of BSI Biodegradable Solutions. “[Composters] vary on the market. We generally use, as our standard, the various international compost certifications and what their compostability criteria are.” The biodegradable cutlery was made from corn-derived polylactic acid (PLA). Food service products

made from PLA and other biodegradable plastics need to withstand a high enough temperature to be usable—so your spoon won’t melt in your soup, for example. Disposable food containers make up approximately 40 per cent of waste from food service outlets on campus. “We’d like to switch as many of our containers to compostable as possible,” said Justin Ritchie, AMS sustainability coordinator. The UBC Vancouver campus produces about 6500 tonnes of waste per year in its day-to-day


Shootings and attacks linked to JIBC Arshy Mann Managing Editor, Web

Three more incidents and an Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC) link have emerged in connection to the targeted attacks on people associated with the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC). In September, the RCMP advised the public that ten individuals linked with JIBC had been the victims of arson or shooting attacks throughout 2011. The people targeted included three JIBC employees, two former students and five others with loose links to the institution. “[We] had determined that there was a larger issue here with regards to a variety of shootings and arsons and quickly determined that there was some commonality between them,” said Sgt. Peter Thiessen. JIBC is a public post-secondary institution based out of New Westminster, which trains people in a variety of disciplines related to justice and often instructs professionals such as police officers, paramedics, social workers and correctional staff. Since September, 3 more people have been targeted, though none of the 13 suffered any injuries. All the attacks occurred at or near the victims’ homes and vehicles. Thiessen declined to specify where the attacks took place, except to state that they were spread throughout the Lower Mainland and none took place on any of JIBC’s seven campuses. The RCMP has been working in conjunction with local police departments since September to track down the assailants. Despite this being a priority for all police departments in the region, no arrests have been made.

operations. Currently only 43 per cent is composted or recycled. The AMS and UBC will switch back to biodegradable cutlery once a new product is found that is compatible with UBC’s In-Vessel composting facility. In the meantime, students can wipe down the recyclable cutlery and place it in the plastics recycling bin in order to save it from the landfill. UBC Sustainability said they are developing targets for a zero waste action plan, which will be unveiled in the new year. U TUITION >>

Regent College decreases tuition by 8.6 per cent


Will McDonald Staff Writer


Attorney General Shirley Bond and Chief Sherriff Dave Maedel attend a graduation ceremony for 34 new deputy sherriffs at the Justice Institute of BC.

“We recognize this is very disturbing for the victims,” wrote RCMP Chief Superintendent Janice Armstrong in a press release. Jack McGhee, the president of JIBC, wrote in a December 14 press release that the institute has been working closely with the RCMP over the past few months. “We are very concerned that there have been additional incidents,” he went on to state. “The safety and security of our students, staff, faculty and the public who use our campuses is of paramount importance to JIBC.” According to Chris Wong, senior manager of communication and marketing at JIBC, no current students have been victims of these attacks.

He said that since JIBC was informed of the incidents back in August, the institute has taken numerous safety precautions to protect its staff and students, including informing them through email, social media and classroom announcements. “We have reviewed security at all of our campuses and the recommendations from that review have been implemented,” he said. In addition to the new incidents, the RCMP also announced that an ICBC claims adjuster has been fired after it was found that she had illegally accessed the personal information of 65 people—including the data of the 13 victims. ICBC is a crown corporation in BC that provides auto insurance and

licensing for drivers and vehicles. The RCMP is alleging that the woman, who remains unidentified, funneled this information to an unknown group who then used the data to target people linked with JIBC. The employee, along with others, are now under police investigation. Mark Jan Vrem, manager of media relations for ICBC, said, “As soon as this improper access was uncovered, [the employee] was fired without severance.” He went on to say that ICBC does not know why she accessed the private data. “All we know is that this employee improperly accessed the information. What she did with that, we have no way of knowing,” he said. U

Man exposing himself seen in Pacific Spirit Park

Study shows Olympics source of emissions, not sustainability

UBC geology graduate missing since December

UBC alumnus Milton Wong passes away at 72

UBC’s RCMP detachment are warning the public, particularly women, to be careful while jogging or biking on or around the trails of Pacific Spirit Park near W 16th Avenue, where there have been several instances of a man exposing himself. The male is described as Caucasian with a slim build and very tanned skin, believed to be approximately 5’7” to 5’9” and between 30 to 40 years of age. “It is important for women to be vigilant to their surroundings when out in Spirit Park and to never go alone, especially at night,” said Sgt. Peter Thiessen of the Lower Mainland District RCMP.

During the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, “sustainability” was enshrined as the third pillar of the Olympics, along with sport and culture. But according to a report from UBC’s Centre for Sport and Sustainability led by the OGI-UBC Research Team, greenhouse gas emissions increased over the games. The study reads that “Data from VANOC showed that Olympicrelated greenhouse gas emissions increased every year since 2005, with an eight-fold increase during Games-time, mainly due to transportation to get to Vancouver/Canada.”

Vancouver police are still looking for UBC geology graduate Matthew Huszar, 25, who has been missing since December 16, 2011. According to police, Huszar was last seen leaving a Gastown pub located in the 100 block of Water Street shortly before midnight and heading east. Huszar is white, 5’11” and 160 pounds with shoulderlength brown hair and brown eyes. Huszar’s friends say he left them that evening,sober and in a good mood, and his family says he would never willingly go anywhere without contacting them for such a long time. Anyone who sees Huszar is asked to call 911.

Vancouver businessman and UBC alumnus Milton Wong passed away on New Year’s Eve due to pancreatic cancer. The 72-year-old philanthropist co-founded the Portfolio Management program at the Sauder School of Business and donated to UBC’s human genome sequencing project. Wong graduated from UBC in 1963, where he studied political science and economics. He later established the financial firm MK Wong and Associates. He was also chancellor of SFU and co-founded the International Dragon Boat Festival. A memorial service will be held later this month. U

News briefs

At a time when tuition increases have become the norm, Regent College at UBC is planning to go the other way. The Regent College cabinet lowered tuition fees by 8.6 per cent through general consensus on October 18, with the new rates coming into effect May 1, 2012. “The decision to decrease tuition rates was not taken lightly,” said Regent College director of marketing and communications Sarah Clayton. “We are acutely aware of the financial burden today’s student is under…We know that increasing tuition is not sustainable.” Regent College is an international graduate school of Christian studies located on UBC’s campus. It is formally affiliated with UBC and all Regent students are members of the AMS. According to Hannah Dutko, VP External of the Regent College Student Association, the tuition decrease is meant to increase enrolment. “Essentially, it was just the motivation to decrease the cost so that more people would come…You want to see people in those seats where there’s good professors and classes. We know that people want to come, so what’s holding them back is money,” she said. The college also changed its tuition structure to reduce the costs for students who only study part-time. Previously, students taking less than 9 credits paid $495 per credit, students taking less than 12 credits paid $480 per credit, while full-time students paid $445 per credit hour. Now all students pay a flat rate of $440 per credit. “It helps people decide whether to take more classes based on the reality of their life, not just whether it will be cheaper if [they] take this many more classes,” said Dutko. U

4 | News | 01.04.2012 THE TOOPE INTERVIEW >>


n an early morning in December, UBC President Stephen Toope sat down with The Ubysseyfor our annual “State of the University” interview. Now into his second five-year term as President, Toope took the time to look back on key decisions, reflect on his evolution as President, and the future of Canadian universities. As the full interview would take up far too much space, go to to read the entire transcript. Ubyssey: UBC’s fundraising campaign, Start an Evolution, has a $1.5 billion goal. How much is actually considered “enough” for UBC’s endowment? Does development or fundraising fatigue ever set in? If this isn’t going to be the last fundraising campaign, are there long term targets the university hopes to stabilize at for endowment? Stephen Toope: It is an ambitious goal, but entirely achievable. We’re already around $800 million, so even since we’ve announced the campaign, things have been going very, very well…Is there an ideal amount for an endowment? No, I don’t think there is. I think what an endowment is there for, is purely to support the mission of the university, and so to the extent that we can find additional resources that allow us to do more things, well, then obviously you’d want the endowment to increase. I think that the key is that for gifts to actually be targeted to the priorities of the university and not to get pulled apart by a lot of external priorities that may not actually be at the core of what we’re best at doing… But that’s where I’m really excited about the way we organized this campaign, because we started first with the strategic planning process. Place and Promise actually serves as the basis for what all of the faculties and departments identified as their priorities for the campaign, and that means we have a really strong message about what we think the university can accomplish working with partners in the wider community. Is there donor fatigue? No. Actually, I’ll tell you, it’s very interesting: I haven’t heard a single person question us being in a campaign—I just haven’t. When I’m out there in the community, people are saying, “Wow, that’s very ambitious, we’re excited for the university.” A lot of people have already stepped up. I’m not sensing that at all... Will there be campaigns in the future? Absolutely, I’m sure there will be. I don’t know when. There hadn’t been a campaign for UBC since the early 90s, so it was a long time. That’s a bit unusual. In the US, really almost every decade there’s a campaign. So we went through almost a whole decade with no campaign, although we were putting in the arrangements for a campaign. U: Land development has been a big topic this year [concerning] south campus and Gage South. Before it was primarily students speaking against development changes on campus, but now it’s permanent residents as well, such as with the hospice. Is this something that’s concerning for you? ST: First off, let me say, I think when people actually think carefully about what we’re trying to accomplish, I’m actually very proud of what’s happening. I don’t actually feel in the defensive posture about this at all. The reason for that is twofold.

One, what we’re now saying is we want to create a model of a sustainable and livable community, where people can walk as much as possible to do all the things for their daily living, shopping, groceries, all of that sort of thing...It’s going to make it a much more interesting place to be… All of the development in the neighbourhoods outside of the academic core, every single penny that is produced there, apart from the cost of development, goes straight to the endowment of UBC. That is a huge advantage for the university moving forward for a couple of reasons...The endowment supports student housing, $400 million of that has been assigned through the student housing endowment, and that’s coming from these development proceeds over years. That’s one piece. It supports scholarships, it supports hiring professors, Go Global and any number of initiatives comes from endowment income. So when we have endowment income, we can actually do more for the university, more for our students, support our faculty more effectively. So those two reasons, put together, make this a win… What’s phenomenal about the income that comes from any form of property development in the neighbourhood, is that money is undesignated. So it means that over the next generations it will always be possible for the leadership of the university…to think through what the priorities are and to reprofile that money and serve the needs of that time. There are almost no universities on earth that have that capacity. So it’s a great story. Objections to very particular issues, I think the issue around the hospice was a very unusual one and almost a one-off. I don’t really think there’s much to learn from that beyond a very interesting set of questions about who it is that’s living on campus and understanding that better… I think that the more interesting general question is issues around the future of the UNA...and concerns generally about the profile of development in particular neighbourhoods. So I think those questions are always going to be present, and frankly, they’re not unusual. These are the questions that exist in any community that is going through any form of development.

UBC President Stephen Toope reflects on 2011

U: So while that’s a common concern in many communities, many people seem to chalk this up to a very strange situation of governance at UBC. A year ago you said we were in an interim state for long term governance at UBC; a year later, we’re in the same spot. Do you think the university should take the first step, should it be the province or, alternatively, the residents who live here? ST: So first let me say that actually, if you compare the recent issues that have arisen on campus in terms of land use, frankly there’s actually less controversy than there often is in communities in Coquitlam or Burnaby or Vancouver...And so I don’t think there’s anything that should give us particular concern about people having different views about land use at the university. Are we in a state of...a bit of flux on governance? Yes, I think we are and we continue to be. And so it is important to remember that ultimately the governance question on campus oddly is a question that is primarily in the ballpark of the provincial government because they create the framework, and you probably heard that there were some consultations that the government

Top: Toope speaks at his annual town hall in September 2011. GEOFF LISTER/THE UBYSSEY Middle left: Toope stands with BC Premier Christy Clark in November 2011 during a trip to India, where UBC has recently set up offices. COURTESY OF THE GOVERNMENT OF BC Middle right: In September 2010, Toope answers questions at his annual town hall. GEOFF LISTER/THE UBYSSEY

Bottom: Ubyssey news editor Micki Cowan interviews Toope in the Old Administration building in May 2012. GEOIFF LISTER./THE UBYSSEY Opposite page: Toope in his offices in 2008. KELLAN HIGGINS/THE UBYSSEY

01.04.2012 | News | 5

did last year…They reported back to us and what they said was, “We don’t think that there’s any great impetus to change governance rules.”...So we said, “All right, if that’s generally your evaluation, then we’re not going to push.” What I think is happening now is that there’s a bit of a change in the political dynamics in the UNA...I think that there will probably be more pressure for governance reflection coming from the UNA, and what the Board of Governors just decided at its last meeting…was that we were going to create a joint working group with the UNA and the university to go out and actually investigate processes around land use planning in neighbourhoods and communities to do some comparators to make sure that we’re operating at a level of best practices. So that’s the first step and that’s the step that we’re now taking. We’re going to put that working group together, we’ll get all that information and then I think it will be easier to assess whether or not there are some changes that we could recommend so that we think that we are doing the very best job that we can in governance of land use issues on campus. U: So perhaps after that investigation, is that going to be an impetus to put pressure on the provincial government to reassess? ST: It may. It’ll be interesting, I think…This is a sensitive riding, for obvious reasons. It’s also important to say that any governance issue here might call into question governance of the UEL [University Endowment Lands]…The UEL is an unusual circumstance and the government might have an interest in trying to bundle together and try to solve a whole set of unusual circumstances. Now I don’t know how people would react to that, and it may very well be, if the government wanted to move in that direction, that they might want to wait until after an election to do that. U: There has been some discussion about the two per cent tuition cap and we were wondering if the university is going to be looking into changing or removing that cap in the future. ST: Not in the foreseeable future. We’ve had meetings recently with the provincial government and we have not been advocating for a lifting on, I want to specify, undergraduate tuition. We haven’t been advocating for that and I don’t suspect anyone has any appetite. Again, the political reality is such that I

can’t imagine any political leader in the province now making that a point of principle as we go into an election. The one place where we have advocated on the AMS, the GSS, and last year too in this interview, we are still concerned about some of our professional tuition. Some of those programs are actually charging too little and what it means effectively is it’s harder to compete with some sister programs at sister universities, and we’re concerned about that. We are talking about that issue with the Province, but I can tell you that I’m not seeing movement in the short term. Law, Medicine, maybe Pharmacy, programs like that, where we want to make sure that we are able to offer to students experiences that are comparable to what they’d get at other institutions because we’re competing for the best students. U: UBC is trying to meet targets set for international student enrolment...We know what the university and the Province have said about the value of increasing the international student population. But what do you say to people who say that financial gain is a motivation for international student recruitment? ST: I think that’s a very fair question. My starting proposition on this is we have to ask the academic question: why we would want any given number of international students? And from my perspective, the academic answer to that is because it makes the experience of classrooms and extra-classroom activity and team group work more enriching for all students...It’s not superficial diversity of having people of different colours sitting and looking at each other and saying, “Oh, we’re diverse.” It’s because they actually may have different attitudes towards things, different experiences that they can bring to bear. That has to be the starting proposition. Now, is there a reality that international students can also make up for the reality in our funding situation? That we have a frozen government grant…That we have a two per cent cap on tuition increases...You put all that together and you say, “Well, what levers does the university have to balance its budget?” Either it cuts or it increases income. Now, we’re looking at a whole range of ways to increase our income, I want to be really clear about that...But having a limited number increase in international students might be part of an overall strategy also that has budgetary

impact. I don’t want to pretend that that’s not true. The key for me, though, is always remembering why you’re doing it, and frankly not becoming dependent on it as the way to solve your budget problems. And I’ll give you examples: that’s what happened in Australia. Australia became dependent on foreign student income to balance the budgets, so when that income dropped because of some racially-motivated attacks, [with] very steep drop off in applications from India, for example, there was a budget crisis in a lot of Australian universities. We don’t ever want to be in that position. So what we’re talking about frankly is marginal to the overall budget. We’re not going to balance the UBC budget on the backs of international students because it’s wrong, because it’s a bad strategy and because it’s not defensible in the long term and it’s not sustainable.

U: UBC has been the first Canadian university to disclose information about animal research practices. What have you learned from releasing this information and dealing with this issue? ST: What we’ve learned is it’s always better to be as transparent as you can be with anything to do with controversial areas. The only reason not to release information around animal research, in my view, is if there is some kind of intellectual property question, research results haven’t been released and if you release certain kinds of information, it will actually undermine the kind of work the researchers are doing. You obviously wouldn’t want to do that. A second piece would be if there were risks or threats—and I’m not suggesting there has been here. There has never been. I want to be really clear on that. Unfortunately in

the UK and California in particular, there have been attacks on people, so we’re obviously not inclined to release nominal information about individuals and put them at risk for people who have very strong views on these subjects. We won’t do that. But beyond that, in terms of releasing information, a lot of the information is publicly available because research protocols have to be released for the purposes of agencies. You get some stuff on access to information, but we thought, why make people go through all of that effort when it’s really just basic information [like] numbers, you know, the types of species that were involved and all that? It’s better to let people know. And the reason for that is, in part, so that they’re not guessing, and frankly, imagining much worse situations than are actually present… So I think what we’ve learned that it’s good to release information when there’s no risk, and that it does seem to help some people...process this a little more. It’s not going to convince people who have a really strong moral, ideological perspective that all research on animals is wrong—we know that. But we hope that for more people who may not have such strongly formulated views, that at least knowing what’s there will help them understand that the university’s not hiding some horrible secrets. U: Do you think the university might consider releasing more information at a later date? ST: I will keep thinking about it; we’re looking at what type of information. There is always that balance: we’re not going to release information that provides too much data that hasn’t been released from a research perspective, and we’re not going to release information that puts people at risk. But yeah, we’re going to keep looking at the type of data that we have and figure out as much as we can release, we think reasonably we will try to release. U

6 | Feature | 01.04.2012

Knocked out Kaan Eraslan Photos by Geoff Lister

Why there isn’t fighting in CIS hockey


almost died from depression, suicide, drugs and alcohol. From the depression of violence. I’m living proof that living a violent lifestyle can kill you.” When asked about the effects that fighting has in hockey, that is what former NHL enforcer Jim Thomson said. You might remember Thomson as the subject of a recent rant from Don Cherry, who on Hockey Night in Canada called Thomson a “puke” and “ingrate” for advocating his desire to ban fighting from hockey. So far this year, Derek Boogaard, Wade Belak and Rick Rypien—three former NHL players known for their penchant for dropping the gloves—died from suicide or substance abuse. It is believed all three suffered from depression. While this year has provided more than enough tragedy, the narrative on fighting in professional hockey is still ongoing, with no foreseeable end in sight. Yet one place where the narrative has found a conclusion is at the CIS level. To the chagrin of purists, but to the delight of advocates such as Thomson, fighting is not permitted in CIS hockey. The question is, should it be? As a fundamental component of both the junior and professional ranks, should players who have created a niche for themselves protecting their teammates, and one could argue, symbolically protecting the game, be allowed to bring their skill set to the university ranks? Are the rules in the CIS helping or hindering these players from joining the CIS, let alone allowing to them to excel in the CIS game?

If ethics and morality are cast aside, the appeal of seeing a hockey fight is understandable. On its own, a fight may not be for everyone to watch. In a fast-paced game like hockey, there is already plenty of excitement to see with highly conditioned athletes competing in non-stop action. However, there is something to be said for seeing two men put aside the game and the rules, squaring up and locking eyes, succumbing to the suppressed violence and chaos innate in human nature. While the moment

may be fleeting and ephemeral, the audience becomes viscerally enthralled, captivated by the image of competition at a primal level. Irrespective of entertainment, there is a purpose to having enforcers in hockey. This mainly involves keeping the opposition from making dirty plays. In CIS hockey, the current regulations on fighting prevents enforcers from doing what they do best. Every year, there are only a few fights that break out in the CIS. Participants get an automatic game suspension. The player who instigated the fight gets suspended for two games. This eliminates retaliation for dirty hits and leaves the punishment up to the game officials. Michel Belanger, the CIS media and communications manager, explained that the reasons for the regulations are simple. “To us it’s pretty obvious. I mean, it is a university sport, it is a student sport. We think it’s a good rule because you just don’t want fighting in university hockey,” he said. “I don’t think it would go really well with our institutions and the kind of message that you’re trying to send.” Although Belanger was not quite clear on exactly what message university athletics wants to send, he explained it was not simply a matter of sportsmanship. “It’s all about the value that you want to give and you want to represent when you have a student sport and university sport,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s about better sportsmanship; it’s more about the overall values of institutions like a university.” These values are clearly not part of junior league hockey, where teenagers as young as 16 are free to engage in fights. Some Western Hockey League players build up their reputations as enforcers at an early age. These players are put in an awkward position if they want to make a successful transition to university level hockey. Although they can still be physical, they are stripped of one of their most distinguishing tools. “I think it’s kind of sad when you see [fighting] with junior players at 16, 17 or 18 years old. They know that there are scouts in the stands and that people are watching and they want a little extra edge that will put them ahead of another player,” said Belanger.

01.04.2012 | Feature | 7

UBC Thunderbird Matt Wray is an example of a junior league enforcer who had to make the transition to CIS hockey. As an Alberta Junior Hockey League player for Camrose, Wray racked up over 250 penalty minutes. “Early on in my career, I wasn’t expected [to fight] as much,” he said. “Because I didn’t have an objection to [fighting], I started doing it more and more. When I was in Kamloops, I think I got into 21 fights in 40 games.” Wray’s easy going and jovial nature might be surprising for those who have seen his physical style of play, but there is no mistaking his belief that there is a place for fighting and enforcement in hockey. “It eliminates a lot of stuff. There are instances where, on the ice, guys are being cheap or they injure a player or something, and there’s no real means to get back at them other than making them pay on the scoreboard,” he said. Other than strictly enforcing good behaviour on the ice, Wray also noted a motivational factor that a violent scrap can bring. “A lot of the times in the juniors or pros, fighting is a good way to get the guys fired up. A lot of players respond really well to seeing a guy go out there and put it on the line for their team.” Wray’s transition to CIS hockey was not without its difficulties. He explained there is a need to “pull back the reigns” and hold back from retaliating. As a winger, Wray has more than just his physicality to rely on, which is also an important factor in the transition. Before establishing himself as a fighter, he was a high energy player, able to put points on the scoreboard.

Jim Thomson believes CIS hockey is ahead of the NHL and junior level hockey when it comes to game regulations. Thomson’s passion for getting rid of violence in hockey comes from a lifetime of negative experiences as an enforcer for many teams, including the LA Kings and Ottawa Senators. During the 1986-87 season, playing for the AHL’s Binghamton Whalers, Thomas racked up an astounding 360 penalty minutes in 57 games. At first it may seem odd that a former enforcer would be calling out against the very

aspects of the game that got him recognized, but it’s clear that the lifestyle took away more than it gave to him. “Let’s face it, the night before a game I would do drugs and drink just to kill the anxiety and the fear. I became a drug addict and an alcoholic in a major way dealing with the depression and the fear of fighting,” he said. The life of an enforcer is something that Thomson has a unique perspective on. He recognizes that there are people in the sport who depend on their fighting abilities to make a living, but he also sees a necessity for that role to be removed in order for the sport to grow. “I don’t want anybody to lose their job...but if you take the enforcer out of the NHL, you remove 30 jobs. You’re going to replace it with better skill, which is a better product for the consumer,” said Thomson. As for the enforcer’s role of keeping opposing players and dirty plays in check, Thomson believes that to be unnecessary. “There’s no easy way of saying it, but let the league be the sheriff, not guys’ fists.”

According to UBC’s head hockey coach Milan Dragicevic, there is a growing trend in CIS hockey that shows a decreasing need for enforcers in a league without fighting. “The hits from behind are down and the stick penalties are down and that’s a credit to all the players who are coming up focusing more on just playing hockey instead of stuff after hits or dirty hits.” The reason behind the decreased penalties is hard to pinpoint. Though the absence of fighting may create a sense of self policing amongst players, Wray believes it has more to do with the university culture manifesting itself into the game. “I think in the CIS there’s more respect between players,” he said. “They respect [each other], not only as hockey players, but what they’re aiming to do in their careers. If they don’t go into hockey, then they’re pursuing education, so a guy isn’t going to go and run a player from behind as much.” There’s no doubt that fighting can be a nerve-wracking situation. Thomson’s struggles with anxiety and depression as an enforcer are well documented. This type of

pressure on a student athlete could only seem unreasonable. However, there are those who are psychologically undamaged by such physical confrontation. Wray disagrees that anxiety and depression affect all enforcers. By his own experience, he doesn’t feel that he was forced into a fighting role and said he rarely experienced anxiety before games. “You hear about certain instances in [substance abuse], but they’re not really playing up the guys that didn’t do that,” said Wray. “There are a lot of guys who feel pressure to score goals and they’re not resorting to drugs and I think it’s kind of a scapegoat.” While upfront about his own feelings on the matter, Wray acknowledged that in university there are players who would not want to risk blows to the head. He also agreed that unhealthy stress levels are a reality in the sport. However, the correlation between these factors and drug use is not concrete. The substance abuse struggles of NHL enforcers have been a highlight in sports news recently, but these cases have been few and there are many enforcers who do not suffer from these problems. There have been incidents, but they do not establish a rule. Still, in a university setting where alcohol and drugs can easily be accessed, why risk adding the pressure of fighting to student hockey players? One reason could be for fan attendance. This factor could be the biggest reason why fighting in the NHL and junior hockey will not be banned anytime soon. There is undoubtedly a fear of losing viewers if fighting gets cut from the game. On its own, hockey is a beautiful game to watch. Fans are thrilled by the fast-paced action, exciting hits and highlight reel goals. Many supporters of fighting in hockey have argued that hockey viewers will drop with the absence of brawls. But for Thomson, the actual outcome could be drastically different. As a coach, Thomson has seen many parents shy away from allowing their kids to play hockey due to the violence involved. “Hockey in the [United States] is out-viewed by darts, dog shows, bowling, poker and the list goes on and on,” he said. “How do we know that the game won’t grow if we take the violence out? You’ve got the biggest market in the States and


it can’t get any momentum, and I say you take the damn violence out and you might get a whole bunch of new kids registering.” If Thomson is looking for a place to test his theory, CIS hockey isn’t the best choice. Holding back from fights was not the only change that Wray had to get used to when he started playing hockey at UBC. “In the WHL, most places you go you get fans coming. In the CIS, it’s quite a drop off from what you’re used to in the juniors. Look at the stands and the majority of seats are empty. It’s a different experience,” he said. However, Wray doesn’t attribute this drop in attendance to fighting. Correlation does not equal causation. There are plenty of reasons other than the absence of fighting for why the attendance rates at university games are low. University students are busy and a quick look at attendance for other sporting events around campus will reflect a general lack of interest as well. Unlike the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, the UBC Thunderbirds do not get a lot of hype and marketing. If Olympic hockey games are any indication, the sport can survive just fine without fighting. Whether or not enforcers can survive is another story. Fighting is still present in the junior and professional ranks, but it is increasingly becoming less of a priority to have a player excel as an enforcer. Like Thomson said, skill makes a better product. CIS hockey needs players with more skill than brawn. There’s no doubt that it’s still a physical game, but a player’s fighting abilities are not appreciated. If a university athlete aspires to reach the pro ranks, he will not be able to make it with the power of his fists. He cannot showcase this ability. Skill has to come first if a CIS player wants to make it pro. As it stands, the regulations in CIS hockey work fine. The game is still exciting to watch and there isn’t any feeling that something is missing. Fighters may have to change their game for university, but considering that onedimensional fighters are less of a commodity in professional hockey, this change should benefit them. It forces them to practice their hockey skills more than their pugilistic abilities, which will perhaps give them a longer a career in the sport, and more importantly, a longer life to remember that career. U

Write, Shoot, Edit Drink



8 | Sports | 01.04.2012

Football team forced to forfeit victories Moving the chains Drake Fenton T’was the night before Christmas, when all through the UBC football house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Then the Grinch broke in and because he’s a swine, he took away their wins and gave them a $1250 fine. Indeed, you are a mean one, Mr Grinch.  Over the Christmas break the Canada West University Athletic Association (CWUAA) relished its role as the Grinch, forcing the UBC football team to forfeit their six regular season wins and their one playoff win, leaving them with an official record of 0-8. UBC was also fined $1250 and placed on probation for the 2012 season. The reason? An inadvertent administrative error in 2009 that allowed a UBC player to play this year when he had already exhausted his eligibility.  Neither the Canada West nor UBC would release the player’s identity, but it is believed to be defensive end Connor Flynn. Flynn had played five years of junior football with the Vancouver Trojans before being recruited to UBC in 2009. During the year he was recruited, the CIS amended their eligibility rules as follows: “A student-athlete shall complete his eligibility within seven academic years, calculated from the

beginning of the academic year immediately following his high school graduation or completion of high school eligibility…An exception is granted to any student-athlete listed on a 2009-2010 eligibility certificate.” When Flynn came to UBC in 2009, Ted Goveia was coaching the program and his staff made a clerical error. Flynn was not listed on an eligibility certificate. During the holidays, this story garnered a lot of media attention.  And while it is undoubtedly news, the only real news is the ridiculousness of the CWUAA’s decision. UBC fully cooperated with the investigation and stated the violation was unintentional. To say the CWUAA’s decision was needlessly severe would be an understatement. In fact, according to a separate ruling by the CIS, the CWUAA’s sanctions were needlessly severe. The CIS stated that according to their bylaws, an inadvertent administrative error does not warrant the forfeiture of games. The harshness of these sanctions are even more confusing when it is taken into account that UBC selfdisclosed the error. The CWUAA didn’t know about the error, UBC head coach Shawn Olson informed them of it. And for his honesty in admitting that the program’s former coach had made a mistake, Olson and the current UBC program were punished. I am not trying to say Olson and UBC are completely without guilt. Olson suffered from a bout of myopia in not meticulously checking the


The UBC football team prepares to take the field before the Canada West final in Calgary.

eligibility of all of his players before the season started, and for that the program deserves a monetary fine (as the CIS suggests in this situation) and should be placed on probation. They didn’t deserve this type of sanction, but perhaps they received it because all of its sting is superficial and ultimately inconsequential. Changing UBC’s record on a piece of paper doesn’t change what the program actually accomplished this year. The players know that, the coaching staff knows that and every other team in the Canada West knows that. This team will be contending for a Canada West title next

season and these sanctions won’t change that. The only real sting in this ruling is that recruitment might have taken a slight dent. But one would assume this effect should be mitigated by the fact that any recruit with the intelligence to attend a post-secondary institution should not be intellectually naive enough to believe UBC is not a strong program because of a “winless” season. What is perplexing is why the CWUAA took such a faux hardline stance. If they wanted to be serious and flex their muscles, then why not go all the way? Their ruling allowed

all game statistics, individual honours and awards to remain intact. Quarterback Billy Greene’s Hec Crighton award (CIS MVP) was not put in jeopardy by having all of his statistics wiped out. None of UBC’s first-team all-stars were stripped of their awards. But if the CWUAA was willing to take everything else away, why not those too? The CWUAA’s ruling was a bluff, and they knew it. They knew it wouldn’t be contested or appealed, simply because no one would care enough to. But if UBC had won the Canada West championship or the Vanier Cup, I doubt the CWUAA would have had the hair on their chests to take such an action. And if they would have tried to go after Billy Greene’s Hec trophy by wiping out his stats, I’m sure the CIS would have stepped in and let them know where the ultimate power lies. The CWUAA has made a pretty loud and clear statement about their identity. They’re an apartment poodle; all bark and no bite. They act out and snarl for as long as they think they can get away with it, because at the end of the day they know their owner is in the next room and they want a treat before bedtime. The only good thing about this whole fiasco is that UBC now holds one of the most unique records in Canadian collegiate sport. Billy Greene is the only athlete to have ever played on a winless team and still end the year as the nation’s most valuable player. Now how is that for ridiculous?  U


01.04.2012 |


Editor: Ginny Monaco

Q&A >>

Vancouver Noir an exploration of city’s darker history Will Johnson Senior Culture Writer

Two local historians are looking to change the way you think about Terminal City. Diane Purvey and John Belshaw have teamed up to write Vancouver Noir, a chronicle of Vancouver’s gritty history from 19301960. The pair released their book, which features bootleggers, brothels, police corruption and murder, over the Christmas break. The Ubyssey recently sat down with the authors to find out more about the project. Ubyssey: How did you two choose this project, and why do you think Vancouver in the 1930s to 1960s will be interesting/relevant to contemporary readers?


Occupy Comics raised more than $10,000 through a Kickstarter campaign. All of the money will go to support the Occupy protesters..


Occupy Comics documents movement frame by frame

Miranda Martini Contributor

In the call for submissions to his latest project back in October, award-winning writer, director and activist Matt Pizzolo wrote, “I think Occupy Wall Street needs art more than it needs a list of demands…I think artists and writers of comic books have a unique ability to evoke broad ideas and ideals in captivating, dramatic ways.” With that in mind, more than 50 artists and writers agreed to contribute to Occupy Comics: Art and Stories Inspired by Occupy Wall Street, a unique graphic anthology geared towards capturing the Occupy Wall Street movement as it unfolds. Contributors will include Alan Moore and David Lloyd, Amanda Palmer of the

Dresden Dolls and Steve Rolston, Vancouver-based artist and illustrator of the Eisner Award-winning series Queen and Country. The project’s website states that it is intended to be “a time capsule of the passions and emotions driving the movement,” but Pizzolo makes it clear that the project is about activism as much as observation. While the idea gained steam as professionals and fans began to take notice, Pizzolo wondered if the project might be an opportunity to support Occupy as well as document it. In the interest of raising funds for the anthology, a Kickstarter campaign was created with a baseline goal of $10,000. All of those involved in the project, from artists and writers to the publisher, have agreed to donate 100 per cent of the revenue

to the occupiers, which will help to provide heaters, warm clothes and other amenities that will allow the protests to survive the winter. The campaign received almost double its goal, which may mean additional features in the eventual anthology as well as larger donations for protesters. Although there are several international contributors, the focus of the project is undoubtedly on Wall Street. Some, like Rolston, have expressed discomfort with their local movements, though they support the idea of showing solidarity for the protests stateside. “I feel like the goals of Occupy protests up here have shifted too far from what the focus should be,” said Rolston. “Fish farming may be worthy of protest but mixing that into the Occupy Vancouver protests

distracts from and diffuses the core idea of the Occupy movement.” Ironically, it is this controversy that gave Occupy Comics the groundswell of media coverage it needed to meet its minimum goal on Kickstarter. “I feel like I should send [Rolston] flowers for putting this project on the map,” said Pizzolo. Regardless of the direction Occupy takes over the next few months, comics fans can look forward to a project that could change the way art and advocacy intersect, capture a unique moment in the history of activism and maybe even irritate Frank Miller. Occupy Comics will debut as a rolling series of digital comics early this year, followed by limited edition paper comics. They will then be compiled into a hardbound anthology late in 2012. U

Arts In Brief UBC lecturer’s creation recognized as Vancouver institution A UBC School of Music concert series has been recognized by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation as the number one attraction in Metro Vancouver. Titled Out to Lunch, the series was created by UBC music lecturer Gene Ramsbottom and earned a 1009 vote victory in a competition that selected 125 memorable places, people and events that highlight the best of Vancouver. Run in honour of the city’s 125th birthday, the other nominees for Vancouver’s “Places That Matter” included the Vancouver Art Gallery, Elms of East 6th Avenue, the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and UBC’s Museum of Anthropology, which earned the fifth most votes, ahead of Grouse Mountain and Granville Island. Out to Lunch is an ongoing 25year concert series featuring small

groups of musicians that perform outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on select Friday afternoons. The event has been a mainstay of Vancouver culture, allowing people working in the downtown core an opportunity to enjoy free music while on their lunch break. Featuring around 40 concerts a year, Ramsbottom has been paying out of pocket for musicians to perform outside the VAG, bringing in this season alone renditions of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker suite, classical guitar selections from Bach, Barrios and Albeniz, and highlights of UBC Opera Ensemble’s The Crucible. Ramsbottom started the series 25 years ago for a number of reasons, ranging from a musician’s desire to perform, to a drive to further the culture of Metro Vancouver—but after all these years, he continues the series for another reason: “The reward is in the delight of the audience.” U —Tanner Bokor

Diane Purvey: Both John and I are historians of British Columbia and had previously done some work on the period between 1930 and 1960. We were intrigued and wondered if we could put together a book on Vancouver during the noir period... We hunted for photos in various archives, museums and libraries and searched out sources, and realized we had the makings for a great book. U: Has much changed since this era? Purvey: There’s lots to say here, but I think the main point that we want to make is that the city, its citizens, still marginalizes individuals or groups who don’t fit into the dominant paradigm. This occurred before noir and it occurs still. Historically, we think of groups such as Doukhobors, the poor, immigrants and areas of the city such as Central School and Strathcona. In a contemporary vein, we think of the poor, immigrants, the homeless, the Downtown Eastside. U: What can we learn from this period? Belshaw: First off, don’t be out at 2am. Seems like that’s when Vancouverites are most likely to get killed. More seriously, we might learn how to read our city a little better, to understand it as something more complex than towering glass condos and annual fireworks displays. This is a town that didn’t emerge organically; it grew out of a series of contradictory “visions,” some of which were frankly brutal. Every politician or movement or planner who comes along with yet another great plan ought to be treated to some serious critical appraisal. U: Can you share any exciting tidbits or fun details from the book, to give readers a taste of what they’re in for? Belshaw: Murder, scandal, riots, glamour...All life is here, along with a lot of great film noir-style photos from the era. The look and feel of the era is so distinctive, we think readers will enjoy that. But there are some serious and indeed tragic tales in there as well. It wouldn’t be noir otherwise. U


The UBC School of Music’s Out to Lunch series has musicians perform outside the VAG.

A full version of the interview is available online. The authors have a blog where readers can send memories of Vancouver during the noir era at


01.04.2012 |


Editor: Brian Platt

Losing a city’s lifeblood Editor’s Notebook Justin McElroy


The Last Word Parting shots and snap judgments on today’s issues Boycotting Canada West’s laughable punishment In America, if a college sports team commits violations they are given real penalties—fines, reduction of scholarships and bans from bowl games are all on the table. In the CIS, if a team commits violations, history is rewritten, but nothing actually happens to the future of the team. Or at least that’s what happened last month, when UBC was stripped retroactively of its 2011 wins, for using an ineligible player due to a registration mistake in 2009. This is, quite simply, bizarre— and a feeble attempt for the Canada West conference to have its cake (penalizing UBC) while eating it too (ensuring UBC remains competitive next year). The only people it really affects in the future is the media, who will be forced to explain in longwinded fashion how UBC didn’t technically win any games last year, even though we saw those wins happen. So we’re boycotting Canada West’s decision. In the future, we will write that UBC won six games in the regular season and defeated Saskatchewan in the playoffs. Because we saw those things with our eyes. And if the Canada West wants to be respected, it should make decisions that aren’t laughable.

In denial about our pseudo-city It’s our annual Christmas interview with UBC President Stephen Toope, and we’re struck by the same thing we were at this time last year. UBC’s president is very competent at his job, well-versed in all issues and, after a half-decade in charge, has developed a solid leadership style. But while Toope has shown a welcome willingness to adjust his views on certain subjects, he remains stubbornly stuck in the past when it comes to the governance of our pseudo-city. This past year, there have been two examples of campus residents

speaking out when UBC decided to change development plans. In one case (Wesbrook Place) UBC adjusted its plans, and in the other (the Hospice), the university didn’t budge. In both instances, people spoke out against UBC being judge, jury and executioner on all major governing decisions. What does Toope say to that? The hospice issue was “a one-off issue.” Wesbrook was an example of “how the process works.” And that residents criticizing the amount of power UBC has is “a bit of a change in the political dynamics in the UNA.” It’s obvious why UBC never admits it has full development control over a planned community of 10,000 people within a university of 45,000 students; doing so would blow open their claims that they are an accountable body and the university doesn’t necessarily need any municipal representation. But anytime Toope parrots a line which students (and increasingly, permanent residents) know is false, it saddens us. We know he knows better.

Slippery language on professional program tuition If there’s one takeaway that graduate students can glean from our interview with Toope, it’s this: your tuition has a good chance of increasing, and perhaps by quite a bit. It probably won’t happen this year, and perhaps not at all if you’re a regular Master’s student. But if you’re in a professional program, the university is eyeing an increase beyond inflation, and the language it’s using to justify it is concerning. “We want to make sure that we are able to offer to students experiences that are comparable to what they’d get at other institutions because we’re competing for the best students,” said Toope. There’s no evidence that UBC is lagging behind other universities for top students. Nor is there much evidence that raising tuition rates attracts better students. And yet, the “competing for students” line is frequently used by schools

to justify large increases in tuition among professional programs. Details at this point are scarce. But we hope the Graduate Student Society and all graduate students keep close tabs on the university’s plans, and make sure that any increases in tuition are paired with specific improvements to their educational experience.

A few resolutions from your humble correspondents New Year’s resolutions are always of questionable durability. One of our news editors, Micki Cowan, resolved to drink only one cup of coffee a day. On the first day of work in 2012, she drank two. Drake Fenton, our sports editor, resolved to drink and smoke less, a pledge which was broken immediately and was a dumb thing to have resolved in the first place. But nonetheless, here are some Ubyssey resolutions for the New Year. Let’s hope they hold for more than a week. We resolve to have the majority of our editors wake up before noon on most days. We resolve not to fill white space with ludicrously gigantic Sudoku puzzles. We resolve not to resort to crude stereotypes of arts, commerce and engineering students in our editorials and comics. Except in situations where it’s justified, in which case we resolve to still do it. We resolve to uncover all treachery, subversion and anonymous websites and pamphlets during the upcoming AMS election. If none of this occurs, we resolve to not be too disappointed. We resolve to continue covering the university’s affairs with solid reporting and fairness. We also resolve to make sure nobody ever forgets that UBC has grown into the largest community in Canada without a local democracy. Finally, we resolve to maintain the same level of snark, cynicism and goofy humour that you’ve come to love and appreciate—or at least somewhat tolerate. U

Every December, I head back home to Victoria, where I watch too many movies, eat too much turkey and spend plenty of time catching up with high school friends. Meeting up with all of them is increasingly the best part of Christmas. When we were 16, we made silly movies and made dreams for our future. I still make silly movies, but the rest of them? Delivering their first baby. Auditioning for music festivals across North America. Analyzing stocks for the Canadian Pension Plan. Teaching Grade 11 biology. They’re scattered across the continent, making their dreams come true. And none of them have any desire to live in Vancouver anytime soon. Now, because I am constantly reminded that I live in the best/ greenest/most livable city in the universe, this was slightly galling. “Why wouldn’t you want to live here?” I thought, slightly dumbfounded that these West Coast 20-somethings wouldn’t want to live in glass bliss. “It’s bloody expensive,” they all say. Okay, fine, it’s an expensive city, but if you can find a job— “There aren’t enough full-time jobs available in this city with my degree and lack of experience,” chime in the future doctor and future teacher. All right, granted, for plenty of professional jobs there are hundreds of people applying for dozens of

positions, but if you love a vibrant big city, wouldn’t you take part-time jobs and live here? “There’s just way more to do in Toronto.” Ah yes. Toronto. More than a few of my friends and former co-workers have been sucked into the Centre of the Universe in the past two years, and none intend to leave anytime soon. They say that almost anyone can find a job, live close to downtown and go out on weekends without breaking the bank. And did I mention weekend trips to Montréal are possible? Now, I realize that talking to friends isn’t a scientific study. And there are plenty of young graduates making a great life for themselves right here. But the lifeblood of large cities are young professionals who work hard, play hard and create projects that entertain the other young professionals around them. They keep cities fresh and dynamic. And I worry that not enough of them will choose—or be able—to live here in the next few decades. And there’s not enough attractive jobs close by to keep them in the Lower Mainland. Last month, the city unveiled with great aplomb the smallest self-contained rental suites in Canada. At 226 to 291 square feet, they were shiny, modern, new—and average $850 a month. That people were proud of this “accomplishment” says a great deal. Vancouver is a lovely place to enjoy university and gain experience in the world. It’s also a lovely place to raise a family in, or at least Port Moody is. But those in-between years? That’s increasingly dicey. U

A bush league decision Perspectives >> Andrew Bucholtz

It’s less than a month after the Canadian university football season wrapped up with a spectacular Vanier Cup that might have brought more positive attention to the CIS than anything in years. But the league has since shot itself in the foot, thanks to a December ruling by the Canada West conference that UBC would retroactively forfeit all of its 2011 football games. Forget the 6-2 season and the playoff run that brought optimism back to UBC football and showcased the Thunderbirds’ promising turnaround under head coach Shawn Olson. It’s gone by the wayside, erased by an organization that has more interest in bureaucratic technicalities and amateurish fumbling than real competitive equity or fairness. The transgression which caused such a rewriting of history? An innocent clerical error made several years ago. The problem came in 2009, when the Thunderbirds misinterpreted the changes to eligibility for players who came from junior football. That meant they told one player he had one more year of eligibility than he actually did, so he participated in UBC’s games this year. As a result, Canada West has decreed that those games never happened. This is not the first time eligibility issues have struck CIS football. In fact, an even worse mess struck Canada West back in 2009, when the organization decided to alter the

standings just before the playoffs thanks to an ineligible player’s participation for Manitoba, knocking the Bisons out of the postseason and putting Regina in. This was especially comical because SFU was also penalized for an ineligible player, so there was a game between the two teams that neither “won.” At least this ruling has no immediate on-field repercussions, and it shouldn’t hurt the Thunderbirds going forward. But it does take the shine off a great season for UBC that saw Olson renew the program’s winning tradition and quarterback Billy Greene hoist the Hec Crighton Trophy as the top CIS football player of the year. Both accomplished plenty this season, but the history books won’t reflect it. Yet what’s particularly idiotic about this ruling is the shot it delivers to the reputation of CIS football. This is a league played at a tremendously high level, one drawing better athletes all the time and one that’s producing more and more CFL talent. But instead of capitalizing on that, the people in charge are happy to keep rewriting history over ancient offences, making the whole organization look bush league. Eligibility rules are important, but enforce them in the moment: either have a central clearinghouse check players, or post everyone’s playing histories online and let fans and journalists do it. It’s time to bring in a firm cutoff on when eligibility can be challenged and focus on marketing the game. U —Andrew Bucholtz runs the 55-Yard Line blog at Yahoo! Sports Canada, covering all things Canadian football.


01.04.2012 |


Pictures and words on your university experience


When it’s hard to stay on the same channel Melodramatic Musings Will Johnson I was playing poker with a buddy a while ago, and I inquired how things were progressing with his new girlfriend. They seemed like a perfect pair, and I had been excited for them both when they first got together. “Well, it’s going okay, I guess,” he said, with a shrug. He tried to change the subject, and swing the table’s attention back to the poker hand laid out before us. But I could tell something was bothering him. I pestered him for a bit, trying to figure out what was wrong. I could tell he was reluctant to share, but what can I say? I’m nosy. Finally, he put his cards down on the table and looked me in the eye. “There’s one problem,” he said, grimacing like he was about to deliver life-altering news. “She talks during movies.” This pronouncement inspired a shocked silence around the table, and then some sympathetic backpatting from the guys. My buddy smiled to show us he was staying

strong through this adversity, and then he thanked us for our emotional support. “Thanks. It means a lot to me, you guys.” I’ve heard horror stories from a variety of my friends. What happens when you truly love someone, but they truly love Katherine Heigl? What if you find your partner is harbouring a secret addiction to trashy reality television? And how can you stay with someone who forces you to watch Gossip Girl? Believe me, I feel your pain. A few years ago I was dating a girl whose favourite movie was 27 Dresses. Before I could recover from the shock of this news, she confided another horrifying truth: she regularly indulged in marathons of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. I thought I was going to faint. Can a relationship recover from that sort of revelation? But the problem isn’t genderspecific. I’ve met women who are stuck with stunted men who watch nothing but sports, or spend their time consuming horror-porn garbage like Hostel and Saw 5. And there are just as many men who enjoy reality television shows like Ice Road Truckers, while many women can appreciate a quality


There’s more to people than the TV they watch. But if your significant other sees something in Ice Road Truckers, it’s time to start worrying.

television show like Breaking Bad or Boardwalk Empire. I’ve seen couples jockey for position with the channel changer, arguing about what to spend their night watching. I’ve seen them invest in a second television, just so they can watch TV in different rooms. And there are people who

sneak out to movies alone, because they can’t bear the embarrassment of sitting beside someone who texts their friends during the show. Ultimately, you have to decide whether or not it’s worth it. I’m currently dating an amazing woman who shares my love of Mad Men. She doesn’t talk too much during

movies, and she puts up with my ridiculous, over-the-top obsessions. I may not like every show she watches (Iron Chef, Restaurant Makeover) but I’ve learned to make room for her television habits in my life. And isn’t that what love is all about? U

12 | Games | 01.04.2012 Across 1— Lost in Paris? 6— Well-behaved 10— Nest eggs, briefly 14— Extra-terrestrial being 15— Acting part 16— 20th letter of the Hebrew alphabet 17— Gaucho’s rope 18— Heroic 19— Wishing won’t make 20— Sicilian resort 21— Remission of sin 23— Fill to surfeit 25— Each 26— Grazing spot 27— Squares 29— Early Mexican 32— Stroll 33— Ambulance letters 36— Female servant 37— Bedouin 38— Splendor 39— No. cruncher 40— Japanese-American 41— Old Testament book 42— Oohed and ___ 43— Hi 44— Reunion attendees 47— Most strange 51— Worship of the Virgin Mary 54— Yellow ribbon... 55— Asleep 56— Monogram ltr. 57— Apple juice

58— Actor Beatty and others 59— Dagger of yore 60— 2, 4, 6, 8, etc. 61— Bunches 62— Fail to hit 63— Vive ___!

Down 1— Trims 2— Actress Verdugo 3— Cheerful 4— Containing all the nittygritty 5— Actress Merkel 6— Diving bird 7— “My fault!” 8— A dish with many ingredients 9— Stated 10— Eye inflammation 11— Knot again 12— Org. 13— Directed a light 21— Loss leader? 22— High hair style 24— Former nuclear agcy. 27— Identified 28— Actor Morales 29— Onetime Jeep mfr. 30— Microwave 31— Acapulco aunt 32— Attitude 33— Aurora’s counterpart 34— Marseille Mrs.

35— Fitness center 37— Anarchy 38— Sure 40— Second start? 41— Not him 42— In the thick of 43— Actor Fernando 44— Appliance brand 45— Trademark 46— Hives 47— Some Art Deco works 48— Bird that gets you down 49— ___ evil... 50— Foot bones 52— Years in old Rome 53— Connections 57— Animation frame

It’s a fresh start! No papers! No finals! Semi-regular sleep cycles!



January 4 (12 pages)  

The Ubyssey for January 4.

January 4 (12 pages)  

The Ubyssey for January 4.