April 12, 2012 | VOL. XCIII ISS. LIII
Playoffs or bust SINCE 1918
BANDS BODIES P8 Block Party sells out to wild applause
THE UBYSSEY THE UNDIE RUN P6
TAs and UBC enter mediation, but won’t meet until May Micki Cowan News Editor
There will be no TA strike during exams. With no agreement in sight, UBC applied last week for a mediator to join the collective bargaining discussion with the teaching assistant’s union, CUPE 2278. A bulletin posted by UBC Wednesday afternoon stated that the first mediations will start May 10, eliminating the risk of a strike during exams. “The collective bargaining process does not allow for strikes during mediation. Therefore, UBC does not expect to see any strike activity during exams,” read the bulletin. When mediations begin, both UBC and CUPE 2278 must stay at the table until either an agreement is reached, or the mediator voluntarily or by request withdraws. A 48-hour period must pass after mediations dissolve before a strike or lockout can occur. “UBC believes that we’d really benefit from the help of a mediator, and that’s to get to an agreement. It’s particularly for the key issues that are proving hardest to resolve so far, and that includes some monetary issues,” said UBC Public Affairs director Lucie McNeill. The BC Labour Relations Board has agreed to appoint Mark Atkinson as mediator
between the two parties, who will join the discussion to help lead both sides to an agreement. McNeill said that the union’s monetary requests—which include paid leave, benefits for childcare, and a fully paid transit pass—would
The collective bargaining process does not allow for strikes during mediation. Therefore, UBC does not expect to see any strike activity during exams.
add an extra $23 million to the already $18 million payroll, an increase of 130 per cent. However, UBC is still bound by the net zero mandate of the provincial government, which restricts any wage increases. “That means the parties are quite far apart on monetary issues, as this really indicates quite clearly,” said McNeill. CUPE 2278 made a comment on their blog on April 6 that they will be seeking legal advice on the implications of a mediator entering the
discussion, but are still refusing interviews and haven’t commented since. McNeill said that UBC has relied on a mediator to conclude each round of collective bargaining with CUPE 2278 since the early 90s. Adrienne Smith, who was their strike coordinator during the 2003 TA strike, said that their mediated discussion only lasted a few hours. “It was a very quick process for us [in 2003],” said Smith. “We went and met with the mediator, he considered the positions of both sides [and] saw that we were so far apart there was really no possibility for him to mediate an agreement between the parties. Within a matter of hours, he booked off.” Since UBC called for a mediator, CUPE Local 2278 President Geraldina Polanco urged on the blog for their membership to remain unified despite difficulty in communications. “While we certainly want to be able to engage in more direct and transparent conversations with you regarding the Union’s communications, we are limited in our ability to communicate information with you via virtual routes because we do not want to facilitate the transfer of information to our employer,” wrote Polanco in the April 9 post. “Unlike the employer who largely gets to enjoy private correspondence, we are forced to rely heavily on public mediums.” U
Hundreds strip down to run off exam nerves
2 | Page 2 | 04.12.2012
What’s on 12 THU
This week, may we suggest...
One on one with the people who make UBC
“UBC Computer Music”: 8pm @ Roy Barnett Hall
It’s that time of year where you and every other student is cooped up in exams—but should you wish to decompress, UBC Music students will be performing for free throughout this week. Sandwiched between their performances is something only described online as “UBC Computer Music,” which gives little indication as to what sort of “computer music” will be played. Attend and be surprised.
POV fest producer talks film finals
Career Shift Toolkit: 5:30pm @ UBC Robson Square If you are desperate enough for career advice and rich enough to spend $25, Howie Outerbridge of CareerJoy will give you the tips you need to maximize the effectiveness of your LinkedIn profile.
TRIUMF Saturday Morning Lecture: 10am @ Old Barn Learn about “Using the Biggest Machine in the World to Study the Smallest Things in the Universe” by SFU’s Dugan O’Neil in this installment of a periodic Saturday morning series intended to educate and entertain the general public about physics.
Justin McElroy Coordinating Editor
Imagine—A Heaven on Earth: 7:30pm @ Dorothy Somerset Studio This variety show—featuring singing, dancing and acting—is your final chance to see BFA acting students in action this year. Tickets are by donation, but the money goes to scholarships for film and theatre students, who will likely spend many years needing all the money they can get.
Persistence of Vision Film Festival: 6pm @ Empire Granville Cinemas Also taking place the next day, this festival showcases the films that UBC film students have been working on all year. There’s an article about it three inches to your right.
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THE UBYSSEY April 12, 2012, Volume XCIII, Issue LIII
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“It’s not like writing a final essay where only your prof sees it,” says Patey, who is producing the Persistence of Vision student film festival. “You’re showing this thing you worked on for a year to all these people.”
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While the vast majority of UBC students are staring at textbooks and exam notes these days, Julia Patey is staring at film editing software. “This time of year is insane,” says Patey, a film production student who is both co-chairing the department’s student-run film festival and directing her own film. “[It’s] viewed by many as, ‘Oh, you guys don’t really have any exams, it’s this chill vibe with 60 students, and you guys just work on film projects and [at] the end of the year you get to show them all.’ But this time of year is crazy.” Patey knows that her experience is different from that of most students. “It’s completely different from regular university. It’s weird that it’s at a regular university,” she says. “It’s not what I would have expected university would be like, but I much prefer it. It’s hands-on,
Congratulations to the 2012–2013 editorial board of The Ubyssey! Coordinating Editor Jonny Wakefield Managing Editor, Print Jeff Aschkinasi Managing Editor, Web Andrew Bates Art Director Kai Jacobson News Editors Will McDonald Laura Rodgers Culture Editor Anna Zoria Features Editor Natalya Kautz Sports and Recreation Editor CJ Pentland Video Editor David Marino
dealing with real people and putting yourself on the line. It’s not like writing a final essay, where you might stress about it, but when you hand it in, only your prof reads it. “You’re going out and showing this thing you worked on for a year to all these people.” The film festival, Persistence of Vision, takes place April 27 and 28 at Granville 7 Cinemas and features 20 different films from the program. They are made by teams of three or four students, who team up in September and spend the next six months pouring their heart, time and money—up to a total of $2500 each—into the film. Patey decided to co-chair the festival mostly on a whim. She designed the posters last year, and “wanted to try and see what it took to make a festival happen. “It’s fun, but it’s a lot of stress, because it falls on your shoulders,” she admits. In addition, Patey has her own film to finish. One of only seven third-year students to be chosen to
direct, her film, Swim, focuses on a thirteen-year-old girl to illustrate expectations of what growing up is like and how those expectations aren’t always met. “Most of my ideas, I’ll think of an image that’s compelling, and try and get a story to go along with it,” said Patey. “The image was a girl who was afraid of growing up, and growing up manifested itself in the image of a monster underwater, and she would have swimming lessons and couldn’t get across the pool because of this monster. “It’s changed a lot since then. There is no monster, and the pool has lost a lot of significance…but 90 per cent of it is drawn from personal experience.” Patey only got into the film production program at UBC after two years of Arts classes at the university. But she feels like she’s found her calling. “The more you do, the more exciting it gets. I feel I’ve changed more this year than any year since I was two.” U
Editors: Kalyeena Makortoff & Micki Cowan
UBC looks to encourage Aboriginal enrolment with new scholarship Elizabeth Ponce Contributor
Prospective Aboriginal students can look forward to increased financial support from UBC. In an attempt to encourage Aboriginal enrolment, UBC has introduced two new Major Entrance Scholarships available to Aboriginal students, each worth $5000 and renewable for up to 3 years for a total of $20,000. ”We’re really working on the nuts and bolts—things that will be [as]
sustainable as we can make them,” said Linc Kesler, director of UBC’s First Nations House of Learning. “It’s better to make smaller changes that affect basic structure than to do large things that are flashy and draw attention but have no sustainability.” Before the creaton of these scholarships, four major awards were available to Aboriginal students, including the Gladly C. Crawford Scholarship, the Native Brotherhood of BC Jubilee Scholarship, the Squamish National Award, and the Laura Pat Band and Richard W. Band
Awards. Each differs in terms of requirements, which include academic achievement, band affiliation and community experience. However, only two of these four previously existing awards will be available in 2012–2013. Privately funded endowments are vulnerable to fluctuations in the stock market and have been hit heavily by the recession, said Kesler. “One thing that distinguishes this [new] award from others is that it’s not vulnerable in that way, as it’s a part of UBC’s financial aid structure,” he explained.
There are 680 self-identified Aboriginal students currently enrolled at UBC Vancouver. “I probably wouldn’t have gone to UBC if it wasn’t paid for by my band,” said first-year Aboriginal student Siobhan Aleck. While some students’ expenses are currently covered by band funding, this resource does not cover all students with financial need. Aleck said the scholarship will give more Aboriginal students a chance to attend university, despite the costs. “I think it’s a great idea, because
Bookstore to build retail expansion Veronika Bondarenko Staff Writer
The UBC Bookstore will soon be embarking on a $5 million renovation and expansion project. But the new space won’t be used for housing more textbooks. The university plans to add approximately 5500 square feet to the north and east side of the Bookstore, with new space divided between clothing and giftware, a new convenience store and an expanded café. The project will also bring the Bookstore up to street level. “Retailers continue to evolve and our business is changing,” said UBC Bookstore Managing Director Debbie Harvie. “The fastest growing categories that we have in the store are gifts and clothing. We need more space for those product categories.” According to Board of Governor documents, UBC expects the expansion of sales in clothing, gifts and the convenience store to provide an extra $24 million to overall Bookstore sales over 15 years. “We’ve wanted to get the café a little larger because, of course, our coffee shop doesn’t have any seating, it’s very much grab-and-go and a lot of bookstores encourage people to hang out and we would like that as well,” said Harvie. “The Bookstore for us is more than just a retail place, it’s a place of goods and services…It’s also a place that a lot of people come and sit and spend their lunch hour, visit with friends, and we want to continue that kind of ambiance in the store.” But not everyone is pleased with the expansion plans. UBC gender studies professor Kim Snowden said that the university is taking the Bookstore in the wrong direction. “The addition of more clothes and a
UBC researchers have discovered a more sustainable and less expensive way to manufacture perfumes. The research team, led by UBC professor Joerg Bohlmann, discovered a gene in balsam fir trees that can be used in place of ambergris, an extract of whale vomit that makes perfume’s scent last longer. “First of all, it’s an animal byproduct and the use of such in cosmetics has been problematic, not to mention it comes from the sperm whale, an endangered species,” said Bohlmann. The product is now being commercialized by UBC’s University– Industry Liaison office.
TERM TWO >>
Classes to start January 2, 2013 after winter break
GEOFF LISTER/THE UBYSSEY
Liam Scanlon Contributor
The expansion is proposed for the northeast corner of the current Bookstore.
COURTESY SUZANNE POOHKAY
convenience store detracts from the Bookstore as a part of book culture and an integral part of our campus community,” Snowden said. “Ideally, the general books section of the bookstore will remain in a prominent position with possible improvements—a bit more space, space to sit and browse—but it’s unlikely that this will be the case. After all, we need more space for sweatshirts,” she said. Last year, Snowden petitioned against plans to rename the store “UBC Central,” which the Bookstore saw as more reflective of their changes in services. Subsequent consultations on the name change left
the old title in place. “It’s an important intellectual and cultural space on campus and it’s vital that it stays, expansions and all, as a bookstore. And it’s the responsibility of everyone on campus to make this happen,” Snowden said. The last time the UBC Bookstore faced major construction was when it moved to its current location in 1983. Before then, the Bookstore was housed on Main Mall, where the White Spot currently sits. There were renovations that took place in the mid-90s, but Harvie said they were interior changes. This round of expansion and renovations are set to start in October
2012. But students shouldn’t be concerned about accessibility or access to their U-Passes, said Harvie. Efforts by the Bookstore’s management council, the renovation team’s project managers and the Board of Governors will try to minimize the disturbance that may be caused by the building process. “During the construction phase of the expansion, the Bookstore plans to mitigate any accessibility problems by carefully staging the renovations and by opening up an additional entrance off East Mall by the Campus Security offices,” said Board of Governors student representative Sumedha Sharma. U
UBC student Camille Cacnio pleads guilty to rioting charges
Study shows abused teens engage in more risky sexual behaviour
UBC prof withdraws from Pickton inquiry
News briefs Manufactured ambergris discovery by UBC will protect sperm whales
not everyone that is Aboriginal can have their school paid for, especially if they can’t identify themselves with the reserve.” In September 2012, 117 new Aboriginal undergraduate students were admitted to UBC Vancouver, a 56 per cent increase from 2011. While the university previously set target numbers for under-represented minority groups, Kesler explained this is no longer the case. “We’re much more interested in thinking about the processes and experiences people have,” he said. U
UBC student Camille Cacnio has pled guilty to charges linked to the Stanley Cup riots. Cacnio publicly apologized in June 2011 for her actions in the riot and turned herself into the police after photos emerged of her walking out of a department store with two pairs of men’s dress pants from Black and Lee Tuxedos. Although Cacnio was fired from her job for her role in the riot, UBC has taken no action against her. Cacnio is the third accused rioter to plead guilty to charges associated with the riot. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 20.
A new UBC study found that young males who have been sexually abused are more likely to be teen fathers, and to engage in more risky sexual behaviour. The study found that boys who have been abused are twice as likely to have unprotected sex and three times more likely to have multiple sexual partners. “Boys are far less likely to tell someone when they have been sexually abused,” said study co-author UBC professor Elizabeth Saewyc. “Yet it’s clear they too need support and care to cope with the trauma from sexual violence.”
UBC anthropology professor Bruce Miller has withdrawn from the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, saying the commission “would not fulfill its mandate.” Miller was hired as an expert witness and wrote a report for the commission. Although his report is confidential, he has previously testified in other court cases related to “prejudicial attitudes and stereotypes held about Aboriginal people.” The BC government formed the commission two years ago to examine police investigations associated with serial killer Robert Pickton. The commission has been criticized for ignoring the role of racism and stereotyping in the investigations. U
UBC students will have to end their partying and say goodbye to their families a little earlier next winter break. Term two classes will start on January 2, 2013. “I admit that January 2 is a bit harsh of a start; in the ideal world, we would start a week later, especially for those away,” said Christopher Eaton, associate registrar for UBC Enrolment Services. But he said that UBC plans their academic calendar five years in advance. “We have a goal to get as many teaching days as possible and to have at least 60 instructional days. 63 is optimal...We do have some choices, and one thing we find very important is to have the classes so we can end exams so those in offcampus housing or even residence will be able to vacate for May 1st so they don’t have to pay extra.” If term two of the 2012–2013 year started Monday, January 7 instead, the final day for exams would be April 30. “Which means that those on that day with an exam would have the awkward position to pack up things and get ready before the exam,” said Eaton. The chance of moving the term start date is very unlikely. “There’s a lot of planning that goes around these dates. As you can see we’ve published it up to 2018, students have to make travel plans, we try to have dates as soon as possible so [staff and students] can plan ahead. So no, I don’t see the date being changed.” While most local students don’t mind the idea of getting ready for classes hungover, it isn’t an ideal situation for out-of-province students. “This is so short I’ll probably only have a week at home…It was hard enough before, now with this new date, it’ll be just that much worse,” said Talia Vargolu, a first-year student from Colorado Springs. U
4 | News | 04.12.2012 MOA >>
UBC beefs up MOA security AMS appeals to LRB,
Museum invests in improved safety measures for new pieces
stalling security strike
Andrew Bates Senior Web Writer
GEOFF LISTER/ THE UBYSSEY
Twelve works by famed Haida artist Bill Reid were stolen from the Museum of Anthropology in 2008. UBC has made investments to its security in the wake of several new acquisitions.
Colin Chia Staff Writer
UBC is confident that new security measures will protect valuable additions to the Museum of Anthropology (MOA)’s collection and leave the thefts of 2008 a distant memory. Works by famed Haida artist Bill Reid were donated to MOA in early March, including gold and silver brooches valued at over $500,000. The museum also recently acquired a Nuu-chah-nulth ceremonial club valued at $1.2 million which was presented to Captain James Cook in 1778. Twelve of Bill Reid’s works were stolen from the MOA in 2008 and although all the pieces were later recovered, a carved pipe was damaged, as were pieces of Mexican jewelry from Oaxaca. “As part of our renovation and expansion project which launched
in January 2010, we did beef up all of our security measures then and we are continuing to do so all the time,” said MOA communications manager Jennifer Webb.
The university invested in additional electronic and security personnel resources following the Bill Reid theft. Paul Wong Acting Director, UBC Security While Webb said the museum isn’t able to divulge the details of their security system, acting director of UBC Security, Paul Wong, said the investments were both in technology and resources for security workers. “The university invested in additional electronic and security
personnel resources following the Bill Reid theft,” said Wong in an email to The Ubyssey. “MOA has also recently received a grant that will provide further enhancements to our current security systems.” Protecting the new additions to the MOA’s collection is important to the museum’s mandate. In the case of the Nuu-chahnulth club, having the item on public display in Canada was very important for the donator, Michael Audain. If the MOA couldn’t display it, it likely would have gone into a private collection elsewhere in the world, said Webb. “For the museum and the Nuuchah-nulth as well, it’s very important that objects like this with historical and cultural significance stay in the country. If objects like this can’t actually be returned to the original owners, this is pretty close to getting it home.” U
The AMS and its security staff, represented by COPE 378, are waiting to hear from the Labour Relations Board (LRB) on whether or not there will be a strike—but the answer might not come until the end of exams. “I think there’s the potential for two very different outcomes to come about,” said AMS President Matt Parson. “It’s real tough to have any concrete feelings to it, because right now is still very much in the air.” The mediator in the dispute has decided that the two sides should be allowed to start a work stoppage— and while they could have imposed a contract, the AMS and COPE 378 say the mediator found their proposals were too far apart. While COPE 378 supported the mediator’s decision, AMS has appealed, asking for mediated talks to continue, or for an arbitator to step in who would close a deal. The LRB has 20 days to make a decision on the AMS’s appeal. Parson said that explaining the complex financial structure of the AMS requires more time at the bargaining table. More discussions, he argued, would provide a “more nuanced understanding of the AMS and how our finances flow, [and] we’d be able to come to a more amicable resolution.” The union said they aren’t worried about the AMS’s appeal. “We feel that we have a strong case for a fair deal and fair wages here, so we’ll work with whatever they throw at us,” said Jarrah Hodge, COPE 378 spokesperson. But the union isn’t happy that there hasn’t been any progress on wages. “We were hopeful, given the strength of our arguments and fundamental fairness issues, that there would be some movement in mediation, but we haven’t seen that,” Hodge said. “The next step is to say enough’s enough and it’s time to take some action.” The union is proposing a wage increase from $11.50 per hour to $16 for this year, and then $21.13 per hour for guards next year. The AMS is proposing a sliding scale from $11.50 to $13.00 for current employees, with a reduction to $10.50 for new employees. The union is also asking for a
number of benefits including more paid sick leave, medical benefits for those working over 24 hours a week and an extra $3 per hour in lieu of benefits for part-time staff. “It would be fairly difficult to burden that without a fairly drastic reduction of services elsewhere in the AMS,” said Parson, who said the AMS has calculated the increase would be 70 per cent, or $161,529, over the current cost of the contract. But according to Hodge, the increases are reasonable. “From our position, that’s what we have to do because our members are being treated unfairly compared to people in similar occupations and other people on campus,” she said. Classifying some employees as “temporary” has also been a sticking point in negotiations, and triggered an unfair labour practices complaint in January. Hodge said temporary workers are used for short periods of time and undermine regular workers’ job security. Parson said the reclassification was necessary. “Regardless how we go forward, the AMS is always going to be a seasonal employer, and I think there needs to be an understanding of that,” Parson said. “For us to lose that flexibility would be not what’s best for the organization.” It is now possible for work stoppage to be pushed back to April 24, three days before the end of exams. UBC has also ensured that CUPE 116 workers at the SUB’s Pacific Spirit Place cafeteria won’t be prevented from going to work if picket lines are set up. The university already obtained relief permission from the LRB to allow their workers inside the SUB. The AMS doesn’t necessarily think this was a positive move, however. “A good result is coming to a first collective agreement. [But] I don’t think that pushing back a potential disruption of service could be necessarily classified as a good result,” Parson said. The union hopes for a quick resolution from the LRB. “What we’re hoping is that it doesn’t allow the AMS to escape the pressure we think they should be feeling from students, just because the term will almost be over,” Hodge said. “We think that [security workers have] really strong grounds and they deserve a fair deal, but it has been really taxing,” she said. U
Editor: Drake Fenton
CIS to the MLS: The road less travelled Andrew Bates Senior Web Writer
an a CIS men’s soccer player go pro after university? “I have no idea,” said Jason Gill last November. At the time, Gill was the captain of the UBC Thunderbirds and in his fifth and final year of eligibility. “I’m trying to pursue something with soccer, obviously...It’s definitely just trying to keep options open and see if something takes me somewhere, otherwise I’ve got a degree to fall back on.” Gill began his soccer career when he was eight years old. Up until high school graduation, he played for the Abbotsford Mariners, a local club with teams in the BC Premier League and the Premier Development League (PDL). He didn’t expect his soccer career to continue past high school. Then came a scholarship offer from UBC. His career took off from there. After his third year he was selected to represent Canada at the Universiade Games—an international university tournament—in Serbia. He was once again selected for the roster the following year. When the T-Bird captaincy opened up in his fifth-year, it was a no-brainer to give him the arm band. Recently, and for the first time, the United Soccer Leagues (USL)—the third highest professional league in North America—offered the CIS the option of inviting 4 players, out of 102 available spots, to its pro combine for second and third division teams. Gill was one of the four selected. While the offer was monumental for the CIS, it spoke volumes about the league’s prestige in the realm of North American professional soccer. In comparison, the NCAA’s top prospects are drafted directly into Major League Soccer (MLS). The door is open, if ever so slightly, for Canadian college players to enter the professional ranks. But is it worth it? If there is no direct path into the MLS, should players focus on a career slog playing in the lower divisions rather than chasing longer-term career prospects attached to their university degree? The Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) longterm plan stops developing players when they turn 20. In the CIS, that is the prime age for finding star prospects. “At that point, prior to this initiative, it was like...if you want to continue on with soccer, good luck and we wish you all the best,” said Pat Nearing, president of the CIS Men’s Soccer Coaches Association. But for Major League Soccer teams, players over 20 are usually late bloomers. “It’s something that we talk about a lot,” said Whitecaps scouting coordinator Jake DeClute. “Some guys develop late.” Some players from the Whitecaps Residency program do find a landing pad with the Thunderbirds when they graduate after turning 18. Five players from last year’s roster, including Gagandeep Dosanjh and Navid Mashinchi, are Whitecaps alumni. According to DeClute, the Whitecaps do still monitor those players, as they have the right to sign them outside of the draft. DeClute was adamant that the organization does a good enough job of finding BC players. “I don’t necessarily foresee it as this thing where oh, a guy’s a great player at a university and he’s not getting a fair look,” he said. “If there’s a guy who’s somewhere in BC who’s good enough, I think the club will be able to find him.” Ignoring Canadian university players almost cost Canada a member of its only national men’s team that has ever made the World Cup. “I made the mistake many years ago when I first came here of ignoring the players at SFU, which was the best university team at the time,” said Tony Waiters, who was the head coach of the national team when it qualified for the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. On that team, SFU graduate Mike Sweeney starred at left back. Waiters, who acts as a consultant to the USL, got Nearing and the CIS in touch with Peter Mellor, technical director for the organization, to ensure CIS players were included in the pro combine. According to Mellor and Waiters, the key to getting more invites to the combine for the CIS is getting players into the USL Premier Development League during the offseason.
Youngsters: U6 - U13 Players participate in local competitive leagues and participate in development camps.
Joining a club : U13 - U16 Clubs, high schools and the national player development program start scouting for elite training and begin to develop their skills. The Whitecaps look for players to join their Residency program, which starts at U14. The BC Soccer Premier League run an eight-team U13-U18 league to give youth players playing time.
Cream of the crop: U16 - U20 Elite players begin turning out for Canada’s U18 and U21 national teams and provincial select teams, and try to get in with semi-professional and professional teams. The Whitecaps Residency program kicks into high gear, playing in the United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) U18 and U16 leagues.
Graduating into the market: U20 - U24 Players ready to step into professional teams, like the best of the Whitecaps residency program, start fighting for spots. Whitecaps hopefuls will play on the first team or a reserve team, or as an over-ager in the USL Professional Development League (PDL). Residency graduates and those who stayed in the BCSPL who don’t make a pro team seek CIS spots. Thunderbirds players play in the fall in the CIS and in the summer for the fourth-division PCSL.
What now? U24 + Players graduate from the CIS and look to get spots in USL and NASL semi-pro and professional teams. Canada Soccer’s long-term development plan gave up on them at the age of 20. Where can they go from here?
“The problem is that there’s not a lot of opportunity,” said Waiters, who said the players were ignored by the CSA. “They tend to think, well, they’re playing at that level, they’re not going to do much more, which I think is totally untrue.” The four CIS spots at the USL combine went to AllCanadians who were graduating, including Gill. “This year it was really an experiment to see if the four that were sent could match up with the average player and they certainly did,” said Mellor. “We haven’t had any disappointments.” Mike Mosher, head coach of the Thunderbirds men’s soccer team, isn’t certain his aim is to develop players for the professional game. “When student athletes are coming into my program, the focus is certainly upon the academics,” he said. Getting players a degree is Mosher’s number one priority. “We’re going to give [them] a terrific soccer experience along the way, hopefully have some success in terms of championships and help to develop them as soccer players and as people.” The T-Birds scout clubs and high schools, with evaluation camps to pick up good players missing the academy cut. “Obviously we’re looking for quality soccer players, but also again, quality people. Strong people, strong character,” Mosher said. “I don’t want guys who are going to come here for a year, two years, and then they’re off, or there’s perhaps question marks academically because that’s not how you build a program.” The Thunderbirds do have a summer team, but it plays in the Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL), a league that consists primarily of BC teams and is a step down from the PDL. “The PCSL, for our purposes, provides a bang for our buck for what we’re looking to get,” said Mosher, who cites the imposing cost of travel associated with the PDL. “In non-traditional school days, our players are working a lot during the days.” In addition to Gill’s combine invite, Dosanjh and Mashinchi will be heading back to the Whitecaps over the summer to play as over-agers on the Residency’s PDL team. “Players are certainly able to go and do that, we try to structure it so that it’s best for the player,” Mosher said. “If they want to go and play in that league, in that environment, and commit themselves to more training than what we will do, [they can].” Mosher added that even though he works with 18to 24-year-olds, younger players offer more hope for development. “To be very honest, I think that more and more and more, the drafts and the combine will become less and less important in this sport,” he said. “Most of the better [MLS teams] are doing their own youth academies, and that’s where they’re going to produce their players. I truly believe that that’s the best system to produce professional soccer players.” But Mosher isn’t pessimistic. “I’m not saying that CIS can’t produce players, because there will be later bloomers,” he said. “What you have to come back to is what is the goal, what is the focus of your program? That’s to create a really well-rounded person, and that’s the best of both worlds.” “You have to base your thoughts logically,” said Nearing. “We’re talking about a very small percentage of players in the CIS and the NCAA who move on to professional careers. “Players have to come to the reality check too, of, ‘Do I want to play in the USL and make $27,000 a year?’...and have a lifestyle that’s very different from his teammates that are going to move on and take a job at Scotiabank?” So what did the USL pro combine do for Jason Gill’s chances? “I think I did okay,” he said. “I mean, I got a couple offers from some teams that wanted to invite me to their trials, but I figured I was in a different place in my life...I’m not doing soccer any more. “You gotta try and be realistic with yourself,” Gill added. “I wasn’t that great of a player coming into UBC but the environment that I trained in day in day out, that’s what made me a better player.” UBC is still a good program for players with a future in the game, according to Gill. “I think it’s a good mixture of both,” he said. “I mean, if their main desire is to play professional soccer, that can be achieved at UBC. Maybe you’re better off in the US, or whatnot, but you’re still getting a great education.” But Gill, who is looking for a career in accounting, cited the potential risk of serious injury. “I mean, I’m 23 years old. If I do play for a couple years, then I’m back where I started and looking for a job and trying to start my life all over again,” he said. “I have a degree now so I kind of would like to pursue that and move forward with my life.” U
Editor: Ginny Monaco
UNDIE RUN >>
Half-naked students storm exam-addled campus Third annual Undie Run is a titillating campus marathon
Andrew Bates Senior Web Writer
Just weeks after Storm the Wall brought a team pentathalon to campus, hundreds of students took to the streets again for an athletic endeavour—but this time with fewer clothes. The third annual Undie Run, organized by the UBC Ski and Board Club, took students on a wild ride Tuesday night. Two hundred students gathered on the Knoll and then stripped down to their skivvies—with the discarded clothing going to charity to boot. Then they sped to all corners of campus in a run through libraries and residences alike. “[I feel] pretty amazing right now,” said a male student running up the Irving K. Barber library staircase. “I feel naked!” interrupted a female student running past, who identified her program only as “UBC.” Winding along a four-kilometere route beginning at 10:30pm, students first completed a running leg through the library, then down Main Mall to the Sauder School of Business. The procession went next to Place Vanier residence before cutting back up East Mall around the MacMillan building to Totem, then ran to the outdoor pool at War Memorial Gym. Unlike last year, there was no major obstacle from Campus Security, who were seen at various points of the run but didn’t move in until about 20 minutes after students had jumped into the pool. “What can you do?” asked a security guard outside the Henry Angus building. “Stay warm.” Some were in it just for the break before exams. “Yeah, I have an exam at 8:30. It’s in integral calculus,” said Jeff Roth, a firstyear Science student. “It’s a good study break. It’ll be a lot of fun...I think I’m prepared for the exam anyway.” Some people took the run’s length in stride. “Oh you know, a nice casual night run, no big deal. Pretty good, pretty good,” said AMS President Matt Parson. “Lovely trees we have here around us.” Two female students in fourth year were chatting about how Undie Run compared to their favourite running routes. “It definitely is [longer], especially this add-on [route] to Totem,” said Lauren Sagadore, gesturing to the building she was running around.
Some had more trouble. “This run? Died. My lungs are not equipped to do this kind of running, especially in...not-made-forrunning clothing,” said Lindsay Lukovitch, a first-year Arts student. “Oh yeah, we had to take a couple breaks,” said a student named Ellie. When she said she hadn’t done that kind of run for a long time, a student she was walking with, Taj, corrected her. “When did I run recently?” Ellie asked. “To the Pit, on a Wednesday,” said Taj. The next leg of the casual triathlon was climbing over the fence outside the outdoor pool; although some got over easily, some had a more difficult time, hauling themselves up and trying to swing a leg over without dipping too low onto the top of the fence. There was a moment of terror when a student caught her briefs on the fence while climbing down, but she was helped free by fellow runners. “I broke my underwear doing it! The elastic’s broken,” the student, Alex, said. “I’ll help her with it, stitch it up,” said another student who had just climbed over the fence. A gate was unlocked and opened up quickly as students piled into the pool, generally splashing around and jumping off the low steps at the foot of each swimming lane. Despite the lack of a ladder to the five-metre diving board, a student was able to shimmy up the structure’s frame. After hesitating as he tried to figure out how to avoid the lane markers still in the pool, he executed a backflip that drew applause. “I could have had a little tighter pull on the back there, but you know, overall in the circumstance, I think I did alright,” said the diver, rating his jump as “3.5 on a 6-point scale.” The event was a changing of the guard from last year’s organizer to current Ski and Board President Charlott Johansen, but it was hailed as a success, with hundreds of items of clothing donated to charity. “I think people are stoked about it,” Johansen said. “Firstyears last year know about it and first-years this year know about it, so it’s gonna be tradition.” “It’s pretty fucking dope,” said Dylan Green, who helped organize the event last year. “It’s really awesome, actually.” U —With files from Laura Rodgers
JEFF ASCHKINASI/THE UBYSSEY
Photos by Geoff Lister
04.12.2012 | Culture | 7
8 | Culture | 04.12.2012
A sold-out MacInnes Field was home to good weather, good music and a yearPhotos by Geoff Lister end concert to remember
verything seemed to come together for the fifth annual AMS Block Party. More than 5500 students attended the sold-out concert—which benefited from beautiful weather and big-name bands like MSTRKRFT and Mother Mother. This celebration of the last day of class hasn’t sold out since its second year, when The Roots headlined. Only 2900 students attended in 2010 to see the Barenaked Ladies, and the AMS lost $103,000 on the concert that year. EUS President Ian Campbell, who sits on the Student Life Committee (SLC), said the AMS made a bigger push on promotion for Block Party this year. The SLC is in charge of coordinating inter-constituency events. “Every time I talked to somebody in the lead up to Block Party, they were excited about it. I think it was because we had artists that people really cared about,” said Campbell. “Because there were two headliners, it brought out a bigger cross section of campus. It was nice to see more of a diversity of artists.” In the past, the two-person AMS Events department was in charge of promoting the event. Campbell said the SLC worked with that department to make sure more students attended. “The AMS has a new events coordinator, so it was nice to have someone new who wanted to shake things up a little bit,” he said. “We tried to appeal to all the undergraduate societies and get everybody on the SLC really interested in grassroots promotion.” Of course, the sunshine and double-digit temperatures didn’t hurt either. U
#amsblockparty @lacheeeks head: pounding. eardrums: hurting. fingers: freezing. and yet, an amazing day!! #amsblockparty #lastdayofclasses @stellar_kee MSTRKRFT breaks out the crown royal. Well played. #amsblockparty @devinobrien UBC is a dangerous place today. #amsblockparty @ceedavee Beer cans littering #UBC campus. Yes, folks, it’s that time again. #amsblockparty @tpardi It’s looking to be the perfect day for #amsblockparty. Let’s hope this weather holds up. @balisally Psst! Now would be a good time to buy stocks/shares in asprin & Redbull! #amsblockparty
BY THE NUMBERS 900 tacos
5500+ 71 14,037 10 8
kegs of beer drink tickets sold
kegs of cider
GEOFF LISTER AND KAI JACOBSON/THE UBYSSEY
500 3510 2500 75
burgers doughnuts pieces of gum on the field
04.12.2012 | Culture | 9
KAI JACOBSON/THE UBYSSEY
10 | Features | 04.12.2012
From Pyongyang to Point Grey FEATURE >>
For two decades, UBC has played a special role in unofficial diplomacy with North Korea. An unprecedented exchange program brought six professors here last term. How did UBC become a world leader in dialogue with North Korea— and why don’t more people know about it? by Conrad Compagna
ast December, Kyung-Ae Park received a phone call in the middle of dinner. The caller told Park that Kim Jong-Il was dead. According to North Korean state television, he had died of a heart attack sustained in his “exertions for his people.” The phone call interrupted a farewell dinner Park was having with six North Korean professors who had been studying English and international economics at UBC. They were here as part of the Canada-DPRK Knowledge Partnership Program (KPP), an academic exchange program that is without precedent in North America. “I had to tell them,” says Park, a UBC professor of political science who runs the KPP. “We all had to leave in the middle of our dinner.” After the phone call, the North Korean professors went back to their rooms to scour the news for details on what was happening in
their country. The news of Kim’s death had been kept secret for days as North Korean elites hashed out how to deal with its impact. Kim’s son and eventual successor, Kim Jong-Un, is only in his late 20s; he is now the youngest head of state in the world. Western analysts questioned whether the younger Kim could inspire loyalty among the military generals and senior party officials, many of whom were old enough to have fought in the Korean War. The professors left Canada a few days later. They had already been scheduled to leave, according to Paul Evans, the head of UBC’s Institute for Asian Research (IAR)—but they would have had to leave anyway because all North Koreans on official business around the world were called back to participate in a 14-day mourning ritual for the “Dear Leader.” The KPP is a direct result of the ties built up over two decades
between Canadian and North Korean government officials and scholars. UBC’s relationship with North Korea is “in a different category than any other university in Canada, probably one of two in North America,” says Evans. In the 1990s, UBC’s Korea specialists were involved with “Track 2” talks, which were unofficial missions to establish diplomatic relations between Canada and North Korea. Park and Evans were both part of the Track 2 missions. Diplomatic relations were finally cemented in 2001, but were suspended in 2010 after North Korea sank a South Korean warship. Park says the KPP is “unprecedented” in North America, having brought six professors here for six months. Previously, North Korean bureaucrats had only gone on short-term study tours in the United States. “Only in Australia, Mexico and Geneva have we seen programs of
this duration or longer,” says Evans. With the North Korean professors now gone from UBC, a few questions remain. Was this a one-shot deal, or will we see more North Koreans studying at UBC in the future? And if this program is putting UBC at the forefront of understanding North Korea, why don’t we hear more about it?
A polarizing presence Since the North Korean professors arrived in September 2011, the KPP has largely been ignored by major Canadian media outlets. It received only a brief mention in the Vancouver Sun and Maclean’s. The Ubyssey ran an article about the program in September, but there were no quotes from Park, who generally prefers not to speak with reporters. The one exception in media coverage has been in East Asia, where the UBC program was reported on aggressively. Besides The Ubyssey,
the only interview Park has given was to a reporter from Japan’s second-largest newspaper, the Asahi Shimbun. The Asahi had run an article on the KPP based on a leak by an unnamed source, and Park wanted to clear up the article’s “misinformation.” “I mainly stuck to the facts,” Park says about her Asahi interview. She clarified where the professors were from: five from Kim Il-Sung University, North Korea’s premier higher learning institute, and one from the Jong Jun Thaek University of Economics. Asahi had also reported the professors were taking Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees at UBC, which was not true; they were taking a mix of graduate and undegraduate courses. There is good reason for Park to tread carefully with the media. The KPP is rife with political sensitivity. North Koreans see a “direct connection between economic and
04.12.2012 | Features | 11 political change,” says Evans. Park urged The Ubyssey to hold back from terms like “opening up,” “reform” and “capitalism,” words that have been preached to the North Koreans for centuries. Park is also careful not to lump the two Koreas together; that’s why the KPP is not run through UBC’s Centre for Korean Research, which she directs. Not everyone thinks the KPP is a good idea. Right-wing blogs such as Blazing Cat Fur have attacked the program, accusing UBC of “hosting monsters from a prison nation that jails and murders entire families.” They also refer to CanKor, an online journal on North Korean affairs that Evans and other UBC professors contribute to, as a “propaganda site” for the North Korean regime. This negative pushback is one reason why it is hard to get information on the KPP’s donors. Park says they donate on condition of anonymity, though she confirmed that neither the Canadian government nor UBC has funded it.
UBC’s special role The KPP has also caused some disagreement within UBC’s administration. Park says she took pains to achieve “consensus” between UBC Public Affairs, the Office of the President and the Sauder School of Business. It is still unclear what Sauder’s exact role in the program
was. Park says that Sauder withdrew participation after the Asahi article. Daniel Muzyka, the Sauder dean, was travelling and unavailable for comment, but did confirm by email that “Sauder was involved in providing learning opportunities along with other UBC entities.” He said there was never any connection between the KPP and Sauder’s MBA program. Stephen Owen, who was UBC’s VP External when the program was initiated, told The Ubyssey in September that he welcomed the KPP, but was not necessarily committed to it. “It’s a very tentative program,” said Owen at the time. “It’s the first time it’s been done. We’re not sure where it’s going. Even at the very worst, we’re going to learn things. There doesn’t seem to be any downside to it.” “It has been part of the ethos of UBC for a generation that we can play a special role with North Korea,” says Evans. “We have language facilities. We have more Korean specialists than any other university in Canada by a long shot.” Many of the experts involved in the 1990s negotiations to establish diplomatic relations were later hired by UBC, including Joseph Caron, a former Canadian ambassador to North Korea who briefly taught at the Liu Institute for Global Issues. In 1996, then-UBC president
David Strangway courted a North Korean delegation at his private residence, according to Park. After that meeting, Park and senior university executives were invited back to North Korea to discuss “possible links between UBC and North Korea.” But in 2002, after former US President George W. Bush gave his famous “Axis of Evil” speech, the increasing pressure on North Korea over its nuclear program made it practically impossible to maintain those links. The KPP is an attempt to re-establish some level of dialogue.
Building trust Park’s personal skill in negotiating with the North Koreans played a large role in the UBC administration’s acceptance of her proposal for the KPP, after many such proposals had been turned down. Evans says that Park displays a deep understanding of North Korea’s Confucian culture, a culture even more hardened than China’s. “In Korea, both North and South, personal networks, personal trust are very important,” says Park. Diplomacy and trading can’t happen without that trust. “We can’t say that’s the only reason [for keeping links], but it’s an important aspect.” Despite the ever-present international tension over North Korea’s
nuclear program and missile tests, there are economic factors that have made it possible to maintain some level of partnership. North Korea experienced a harrowing period of
In 1996, then-UBC president David Strangway courted a North Korean delegation at his private residence. After that meeting, Park and senior university executives were invited back to North Korea to discuss “possible links between UBC and North Korea.” famine and flood in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, which had provided it extensive food and fuel aid. “Whether they like it or not,” says Park, “[North Koreans] have to start trading with capitalist countries.” Evans likened North Korea’s situation to China in the early 1980s, after the dark days of the Cultural Revolution, when controls were slowly and experimentally being relaxed on the economy. North Korea has set up special trading towns along the Chinese border where traders are regulated less harshly. Some joint ventures have been opened up
with South Korean companies like Hyundai. There was even a resort for South Korean tourists built, although it ended in disaster when a tourist was shot by a North Korean guard. Park specifically asked to work with the North Korean professors because she wants to affect the next generation. “Professors can incorporate whatever they learned here in their teaching and even create new courses,” she says. And because the professors are often consulted by bureaucrats, they can have policy implications. Evans was more skeptical in his assessment. “We’re still at a stage where each of these visits is carefully managed,” he says. “There are strong efforts to learn about what is going on in the outside, but not necessarily [to] come back and recommend it or apply it to their situation.” Nevertheless, both were optimistic about the future. Park is already negotiating for a new round of professors, this time from more North Korean universities, and hopes that the KPP can serve as a model for other Canadian universities who want to set up similar programs. Evans hopes to eventually include students in the exchanges. “I have this vision that, wouldn’t it be great if in five years we had a hundred North Korean students here studying on exchange in our regular courses, and 25 UBC students studying in North Korea?” U
12 | Games | 04.12.2012 Across
(CUP) — Puzzles provided by BestCrosswords.com. Used with permission.
YES, IT’S FREUDIAN
Take photos for The Ubyssey Geoff Lister | firstname.lastname@example.org
1- Martini’s partner 6- Commoner 10- Horrors! 14- Choreographer de Mille 15- Accent 16- Make-up artist? 17- Chimes 18- Entr’ 19- Big do 20- Conical native American tent 21- Causing horror 23- Actress Peeples 25- Author Rand 26- A Hard Road to Glory author 29- Invitation letters 32- Biblical mount 37- USN rank 38- Chip in 39- Optimally 40- Cause light to pass through 43- Add fizz 44- Caspian Sea feeder 45- Edge 46- Passover feast 47- Old Dodge model 48- IRS IDs 49- Attorney’s org. 51- Writer Hentoff 53- Highly productive 58- Started 62- Bunches
63- Sup 64- Eat away 65- Decant 66- Cornerstone abbr. 67- Negatively charged particle 68- Bluesy James 69- Foot covering 70- The house of a parson
Down 1- All ears 2- Arch type 3- Break, card game 4- Greek goddess of the moon 5- Japanese immigrant 6- Egyptian deity 7- Bananas 8- Snare 9- Drunken 10- Minnesota’s St College 11- LP player 12- Bust maker 13- Acapulco gold 22- Infuse 24- L.A. Law lawyer 26- Take the role of 27- Carousal 28- Accumulate 30- Letters on a Cardinal’s cap 31- Soft palate 33- Son of, in Arabic names 34- Approaches
35- John of “The Addams Family” 36- Units 38- Stellar 39- At full speed 41- Not for a Scot 42- Coffee container 47- Uncouth 48- Breastbones 50- Waits 52- At right angles to a ships length 53- Scheme 54- Defeat decisively 55- Other, in Oaxaca 56- A big fan of 57- Give up 59- Enter 60- Brouhahas 61- Branta sandvicensis 62- Big brute
SU DO KU
04.12.2012 | Games | 13
by KrazyDad.com Printed with permission.
STOP BY OUR OFFICE IN THE BASEMENT OF THE SUB TO LEARN MORE
Editor: Brian Platt
How UBC should connect with alumni Editor’s Notebook Justin McElroy
INDIANA JOEL/THE UBYSSEY
The Last Word Parting shots and snap judgments on today’s issues Give students time to celebrate New Year’s at home UBC is planning to start the second term on January 2 this year, which will be a major inconvenience for many students who prefer to ring in the New Year at home with friends and family. For any students who live outside of the Lower Mainland, the only choice will be to come home before New Year’s Eve, or try to book travel on the holiday itself. Is this the worst thing in the world? Obviously not, but it does seem to be a needless restriction on the winter break for students. We know scheduling is always a difficult task, but can UBC really not bump back the start by even a single day, just to give students time to celebrate the holiday at home and travel back without missing their classes? Surely that’s not too much to ask.
The AMS pulls off a kick-ass Block Party The sun was shining, the beer was flowing and by all accounts, everyone was having a fantastic time at Block Party. The AMS can pat themselves on the back—particularly those working in the events department—as they pulled off a very successful end-of-term party. The carnival setting of the all-ages area was a fantastic idea, as people were actually hanging out there and having a good time, unlike previous years when it was a depressing tract of open field populated by a few first-years. Most of our editors would still prefer to see live music as the final act, but we can’t argue with the thousands of students who were having a great time dancing to the DJs. A mix of live music and DJs is probably the best strategy for future Block Parties. As we said in our last issue, we’d still like to see the AMS aim a little higher with their capacity (though apparently the fire department has capped MacInnes Field at just under 7000 people). This is a campus, after all, that had 15,000 attendees for
Arts County Fair only a decade ago. But having over 5000 students partying on MacInnes Field is no small accomplishment, and we salute the AMS for throwing one hell of a bash.
The UNA’s dubious Gage South complaint The University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA) is sending a letter to UBC to let them know they are disappointed that Gage South will be designated “Academic”—meaning only student housing will be built. The UNA would apparently like to see more below-market-rate housing for faculty and staff there. This is an interesting move for an organization full of very wealthy homeowners—and by interesting, we mean they have no credibility on the issue. We have never seen the UNA make a point of advocating for below-market-rate housing in their own neighbourhoods. If they ever do, then perhaps we’ll be more willing to hear their complaints. For now, their disappointment about Gage South is, if you’ll pardon the pun, a bit rich.
Undie Run an unexpected source of school pride There is only one time a year when students will start chanting “UBC” loud and proud. No, it’s not a football game. No, it’s not the Imagine Day pep rally, where students are only chanting their faculty’s name. We’re talking about the Undie Run, where a few hundred students strip down and run around campus, bringing some levity and life to the dreary scenes of exam-cramming sessions. The festivities are organized by the UBC Ski and Board Club. For whatever reason, the Undie Run brings out an excited burst of school spirit in its participants, which is why we make sure our cameras are there to capture the spectacle. The resulting video we produce for our website is always
very popular, and not only due to crude voyeurism. It makes our campus seem like a place where students occasionally let loose and make the university experience a little more wild and unpredicatable. Finally, we’d be remiss to not mention the excellent manner in which Campus Security dealt with this year’s Undie Run. Last year they attempted to bar the doors to the library, threatened one of our photographers with arrest and called the RCMP to the outdoor pool. This year, they held back, only keeping an eye on the event to make sure nobody got hurt. The result? All the participants had a great time, there was no property damage, there were no incidents of ugly confrontations with security officers, and UBC, for once, seemed to live up to its chilled-out West Coast reputation.
Construction will be a central experience for years to come During our March Madness bracket to find the quintessential UBC experience, “Construction” made it to the Final Four round, confirming what we already suspected: students see neverending construction as an integral feature of their time on campus. Well, that feature is about to get a lot more prominent, even if that seems impossible. The Bookstore is preparing for a $5 million renovation to begin in October. That means that over the next few years, there will be Bookstore construction, a new SUB, a new Alumni Centre, a new bus loop and likely a new MacInnes Field and Aquatic Centre. The centre of campus will be practically impassable. Yes, this is the necessary price we pay in order to have new facilities. And don’t get us wrong, we are looking forward to the new SUB more than almost anyone else—we’ll finally be out of the basement! But if we hold another March Madness bracket in another year or two, it’s a very real possibility that construction will be the defining experience of campus for most students. U
After seven years of work and study, I’ll be leaving UBC and Ubyssey alike for The Province next week. It will certainly be bittersweet. This university has given me an education, a lifetime of memories and the chance at a career I love. In return, I’ve given it plenty of cheweddown pencils and snark. Oh yeah, and tens of thousands of dollars. I also gave them that. Money for tuition, money for books, money for four years of housing, money for burgers at White Spot…I gave them a lot. This was on my mind when UBC phoned me for money. You see, I’m an alumnus now, which means that Alumni Affairs would like to speak with me. They’re in the midst of a $1.5 billion fundraising campaign, a campaign that will create lots of buildings and scholarships and educational experiences for students. Still, like most 20-somethings, I have little to no money to spare. So I said no. I don’t blame the nice lady who had the misfortune of phoning up someone who was sliiiightly more informed about UBC than your average alum—she was going off her script. And I don’t blame UBC for trying to engage me right now. Universities should talk with their young alumni before they grow old and disconnected from their college days. Yet politely declining to give UBC more money (twice), I began
thinking there had to be a better way. It’s true that Millennials are less likely to donate and that when you’ve just graduated with thousands of dollars in debt, the first reaction to being solicited by UBC to give them MORE money is one of bemusement, if not scorn. So why is that the first time Alumni Affairs called me up was to ask for money? Mostly, it’s a time-honoured way of connecting with alumni. Whether political or charitable, basic coldcalling has its place in any campaign. But it’s 2012, and you would think a modern university would have smarter attempts at first contact. Yes, there will always be wealthy alumni in their 40s and 50s who, full of money and thinking philanthropically, will give plenty to UBC. Yet what now separates UBC from other elite institutions is its lack of a large endowment—which means it needs to connect better with alumni. If UBC wants to truly create a culture of giving back, they need to engage recent graduates in a multilayered, dynamic way. They need to target those that were involved while in school, find them ways to feel involved after graduation and make donations a natural thing for them to do once they pay off all those loans. Oh, and they also have to make people feel better upon graduating here. Which means improving the teaching done at the undergraduate level, making more affordable housing spaces on campus and reducing the stifling bureaucracy that spins students in circles. But I’m leaving, so that’s a rant for another column, by a different writer. U
On graduate tuition Letters Re: “Why your tuition rises every year,” April 5 Sean Heisler’s column on tuition raises gave a lot of excellent information, but we wanted to raise a few more points about what tuition raises mean for graduate students. The Graduate Student Society (GSS), like the AMS, has accepted the lesser evil of gradual tuition increases over the boom and bust of tuition freezes coupled with periods of skyrocketing tuition increases. However, for graduate students, the issue has never simply been one of tuition increases. Graduate students are rather deeply integrated into any research intensive university. We study here. We work here. We teach here. And, while tuition rises every year to deal with the inflationary pressures the university faces, grad students are painfully aware that our wages do not go up with inflation. In 2002-03, domestic doctoral tuition was $2657 and fees were $455; in 2011-12, domestic doctoral tuition is $4264 and fees are $987. In contrast, funding for major graduate scholarships remained frozen during this time and TA wages have only gone up marginally. The average completion time for a doctoral degree at UBC is 6.5 years. If we assume that the 2 per cent policy stays in effect, then we know that
a doctoral student entering UBC next year will pay about 12 per cent more for tuition in year 6 than they pay in year 1. In contrast, there is nobody on this campus who believes that graduate student wages and awards will increase by 12 per cent during the next 6 years. The official GSS policy is that tuition increases are fine as long as they come with wage and award increases. Since they do not, it seems that students are simply being forced to spend more and more to go to school each year to earn less and less. This seems both unfair to students and a long term threat to the sustainability of graduate education at UBC. As a university community, we must ask if students who are wage insecure still provide world-class teaching, research, and scholarship. We must ask if being economically sustainable is part of what it means to have a sustainable campus and learning environment. In essence, the questions tuition debates address, from a graduate student point of view, are much larger questions of what it would mean for us to have the kind of funding packages necessary for us to come to school, do world class teaching and research, and to leave UBC on time as well-trained, emerging experts in our chosen fields. —Connie Lin, GSS President and Jamie Paris, GSS VP Academic and External
Pictures and words on your university experience
Navigating the murky morality of TV spoilers I might spoil some of your favourite shows, but trust me—it’s not a bad thing Melodramatic Musings Will Johnson
I’ll admit it: I’m a spoiler. It’s a symptom of being such an avid television fan, but that’s no excuse. Repeatedly I find myself excitedly recounting scenes and detailing plot points from my favourite movies and shows, only to be met with rage and bitterness. Really, I should know better—maybe you were a few episodes behind on the show being discussed, or you were waiting for the season to end so you could watch it all at once. Or maybe you’ve just been busy. When The Sixth Sense first came out, a friend of mine told me about the twist ending the moment he got back from the theatre. For the first three seasons of The Sopranos, I knew about every single character that was going to get whacked before it happened. And recently I was told which character’s head was on the chopping block before I even started watching Game of Thrones.
Spoilers are everywhere. Chances are, there will even be some in this column. Consider yourself warned. Recently, Funny or Die put out a video outlining spoiler etiquette. A friend of mine sent me the link on Twitter, just to make sure I got the message. Though tongue-in-cheek, the video had useful guidelines, which I’ll list here: Length of time before you can talk about a standard episode: Two weeks. Length of time before you can talk about a season finale: Two months. Length of time before you can talk about a series finale: One year. Which means I can comfortably, in good conscience, tell you the following: Silvio kills Adriana in the fifth season of The Sopranos, Omar gets popped by a little kid in the last season of The Wire, Lafayette gets possessed by an evil spirit and murders his boyfriend in the most recent season of True Blood and Rita was eviscerated by John Lithgow and left in a bloody
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“Any good piece of art, or any television show, should get better upon repeated viewing.”
bathtub at the end of season four of Dexter. Oh yeah, and nothing makes sense at the end of Lost. Man, that felt good. I can’t tell you about the season finale of The Walking Dead yet and it will be a little while before
I can discuss the shocking end of Boardwalk Empire’s second season or the explosive conclusion to Breaking Bad’s fourth. But I can wait. While I was writing this column, I came across a study by Nicholas
Christenfeld and Jonathan Leavitt of UC San Diego’s psychology department. According to their research, spoilers actually enrich the viewing experience. Leavitt, while discussing his findings, put it this way: “It could be that once you know how [the story] turns out, it’s cognitively easier— you’re more comfortable processing the information—and can focus on a deeper understanding of the story.” You can read about their findings yourself, but the researchers summed up their conclusion like this: “Monet’s paintings aren’t really about water lilies.” That’s why a Monet enthusiast can spend hours looking at the same painting, and why I’ve probably watched Fight Club 20 times, even though I already know Brad Pitt is a figment of the narrator’s imagination. Though people rant and rave about spoilers, really they’re beside the point. Because any good piece of art, or any episode of a television show, should only get better upon repeated viewings. And if it relies on shock value or cheap twists, then there’s really nothing there to spoil, because it’s already rotten. U