No rabbits were harmed in the production of this newspaper since 1918
the ubyssey presents its annual aboriginal supplement
sticky situation: the ubc cinnamon bun shrinks in size
OCTOBER 14, 2010 • volume 92, number xii • room 24, student union building • published monday and thursday • firstname.lastname@example.org
under the spotlight
ubc still taking heat for its animal testing page 3
2 / u b y s s e y. c a / e v e n t s / 2 0 1 0 . 1 0 . 14 october 14, 2010 volume xcii, no xii editorial
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Spartacus Youth Club Class Series: The Fight for Socialist Revolution
UBC Film Society Screening: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
The Spartacus Youth Club intervenes into social struggles armed with the revolutionary internationalist program of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky. The second class will be Marxism vs Anarchism on the State and Revolution. • 6:30pm, SUB Room 212, contact trotskyist_vancouver@ shawcable.com or call (604) 687-0353 for more information.
How to Train Your Dragon is the riotous story of young Viking Hiccup’s quest to hunt down the fiercest dragon, bring it under submission, and—hopefully—pass his initiation. Instead, he ends up with the smallest, most ornery dragon—it’s even toothless! Thus begin the hijinks of the world’s most lovable, unlikely hero and a most reluctant “beast.” • Oct. 13–17, 7–9pm, $5 non-members, $2.50 members.
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How to Identify Pseudoscience, Quackery and Fraud with Dr Harriet Hall How do people get fooled into believing quack treatments work? In this lecture, Dr Hall will discuss some of the logical fallacies and errors in thinking that lead to false conclusions, how to decide when you can trust an expert and how to spot the differences between science and pseudoscience. • 7:30pm, Room A130, Langara College, 100 West 49 Ave, $7 general, $4 students, free for CFI members.
fall badminton championships Grab your racquet and play in the Fall Badminton Championships. All skill levels are welcome at this tournament that offers both singles and doubles play. Registration by Oct. 15, roster due Oct. 18, waiver and add/drop deadline: Oct. 21. Racquets not provided. • Oct. 23, 9am– 5pm, SRC gyms, $10.50 –$28, go to rec.ubc.ca for more information.
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contributors Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers Jon Chiang Kait Bolongaro Keslea O’Connor Sonja Dobbs Fabrizio Stendardo Diana Foxall Francine Cunningham Daniella Zandbergen Mandy Ng Jenica Chuahiock Andrew MacIsaac Cynthia Ni Olivia Fellows Ginette Monaco Andrew Hood Kasha Chang Christina Gray Neal Yonson Brittanay Luba Hannah Butson Colin Chia David Elop Henry Ye Totem photo courtesy of Thom Quine
saturday, oct. 16 Luminescence by Lil Chrzan
20th apple festival
Lil Chrzan is known for her luminous landscape paintings, in which she invites the viewer to enter her world and experience it. Primarily, these works explore the first and last light of day. She creates glowing landscapes of extraordinary simplicity and beauty. Lil’s paintings reflect her personal connection with nature and her love of the Pacific Northwest. • Runs until Oct. 17, 10am–5pm, Seymour Art Gallery, 4360 Gallant Ave North Vancouver.
The UBC Apple Festival celebrates one of British Columbia’s favourite fruits. One of the most popular activities at the Apple Festival is apple tasting. For $3, curious eventgoers can taste up to 60 varieties of new and heritage apples grown in British Columbia. Learn the history of those varieties from the Friends of the Garden’s “published in-house” Apple Booklet. • Oct. 16–17 11am–4pm, UBC Botanical Gardens, $2, free for children under 12.
legal 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. “Perspectives” are opinion pieces over 300 words but under 750 words and are run according to space. “Freestyles” are opinion pieces written by Ubyssey staff members. Priority will be given to letters and perspectives over freestyles unless the latter is time sensitive. Opinion pieces will not be run until the identity of the writer has been verified. 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.
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Animal rights advocates shine spotlight on UBC 60 groups urge university to disclose testing information Arshy mann email@example.com Stop UBC A nima l Research Now (STOP) submitted a letter on Monday to UBC President Stephen Toope that called on the university to “fully disclose information about its animal research program.” The letter was signed by 60 animal advocacy groups from Canada, the United States and Europe, including PETA, the Vancouver Humane Society, the UBC Social Justice Centre and the UBC Veggie Club. This latest step in a media campaign begun by STOP in August has received national attention, including reports by The Vancouver Sun, the Canadian Press and Postmedia News. “We are troubled the university has been less than forthcoming about its research activities,” said the letter. “UBC has yet to provide public interest groups with animal research protocols and has twice denied requests for information under provincial freedom of information law.” STOP is advocating that UBC release information about animal testing done at the university over the past ten years. This includes the guidelines UBC uses to ensure ethical treatment of animals, as well as photos and videos of experiments. Brian Vincent, spokesperson for STOP, said he is unhappy with the university’s response to their campaign.
Entrance to the UBC Animal Care Centre. David Elop Photo/The Ubyssey
“We’ve got nothing but pushback from UBC,” he said. “You would think that the university would want to promote openness and transparency and instead animal research is hidden under this veil of secrecy.” In his town hall meeting in September, Toope responded to a STOP protest by arguing that the university was fully compliant with regulations set by the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC), which oversees all animal experimentation in
the country. In order to qualify for federal research grants, universities must hold a certificate of ‘Good Animal Practice’ from the CCAC. “Our animal care program and facilities are fully accredited in a compulsory fashion by the CCAC. And I can tell you personally that I’ve dealt with the Canadian Council ever since I arrived at UBC and they are very serious in their supervision. “Also, UBC has invested in the last four years almost $100
million to improve our animal care facilities to make sure we are meeting the requirements of the CCAC.” In a letter to The Vancouver Sun, Executive Director of the CCAC Clement Gauthier said that UBC “was recently assessed by the council’s external peers, including public representatives, and was in compliance with council standards.” He also argued that, in general, animal experimentation has been decreasing substantially.
“Since 1975… with the exception of fish, use decreased by between 10 and 90 per cent,” he said. Vincent, however, believed that CCAC’s oversight alone was insufficient. “Just because the CCAC says it’s so, it doesn’t mean it is so. And that’s part of the problem,” said Vincent. “In the United States, if a federal agency like the US Department of Agriculture…says that a university is in compliance, they have to back that up by putting their inspections online so that the public can review them. We have no such system in Canada.” Jim Pfaus, a professor of psychology at Concordia University who received his PhD from UBC, said that UBC and the CCAC have a right to withhold numbers concerning animal testing and research. “[It’s] for good reason. Those numbers tend to be misused and misrepresented by those individuals [animal advocacy groups],” he said. Vincent said he and his group are determined to continue pushing the university to release this information. “I think the next step very much could be going to the Canadian government, or going to the Canadian Council of Animal Care, and asking for reforms,” he said. “But in the meantime UBC could be a good neighbour and open their books.” U —With files from Fabrizio Stendardo
UBC Land Use Plan consultations spur contention Ngaio Hotte Contributor Whether it’s the UBC Farm, transportation, or market housing, almost every issue at UBC is affected by the Land Use Plan (LUP) and the university is asking students for their suggestions as to how it should change. UBC is amending the LUP, which governs what sort of buildings can be constructed on campus. The LUP hasn’t been altered since 1997. UBC Campus and Community Planning (CCP) is holding a series of workshops this week in order to gauge students’ opinions about proposed upcoming changes. Land use is one of the most contentious issues at UBC, with the Gage South and University Boulevard neighbourhoods at the centre of much of the present controversy. Kera McArthur, associate director of communications for CCP, said that this week’s workshops will focus on the most pressing issues facing UBC planners. These include changing UBC Farm’s land designation to “Green Academic,” deciding where to allow new housing on
campus and creating more affordable housing. Neal Yonson, the editor of the independent blog UBC Insiders, has been monitoring developments in the planning process and said that students need to understand the urgency of participating in the workshops. “This is the only time students can make substantive changes to the land use process,” he said. Two years ago, a proposal to place market housing on the UBC Farm was scrapped after groups opposing the measure gathered 15,000 signatures. The Board of Governors agreed to not build on the farm, as long as room was found for the housing elsewhere on campus. Yonson is wary of plans that mix student residences and market housing. “All the history in terms of putting non-student residence next to student-centric areas has been a failure. Look at relations between frats and their neighbours—it creates a bad situation for everyone involved,” he said. McArthur maintained that the revision process is not about new housing developments. “This is about the types of development allowed and where
development can occur,” she said. “We want to find out what students and the public want the new land use designations included in the LUP to look like.” AMS President Bijan Ahmadian said that he knows that students are concerned about the future of land use on campus, and has faith that CCP will work to develop a fair and realistic LUP. “We’ve had a strong active relationship with CCP making it very clear about where the AMS interests lie with respect to the farm, with respect to the South Gage, with respect to University Boulevard, with respect to student housing on campus and with respect to density,” he said. “Students care about affordable student housing and good quality transit systems. It is important to have the right mix of neighbourhoods for quality engagement of students with other communities such as faculty, staff and alumni.” CCP will be hosting public consultations on Thursday, October 14 from 6pm-9pm at the West Point Grey United Church. Students can also submit feedback online until October 15 at the UBC Campus and Community Planning website. U
Two of the most contentious areas for the land use amendments. Stephanie Warren Photo Illustration/The Ubyssey
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Textbook monopoly driving up prices Student lobbying group looking to change import regulations Kelsea O’Connor Contributor The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is campaigning to get textbook regulations removed to save students an estimated $30 million per year. Since the introduction of the Book Importation Regulations in 1999, the price of textbooks has nearly tripled, increasing at a rate of almost 4.5 times inflation. According to CASA’s website, the Regulations prohibit the parallel importing of books by book retailers, a practice which lowers the prices of goods by expanding the selection of products in the market. Introducing the regulations means that books produced in Canada would be significantly cheaper than ones produced in other parts of the world. It also means that any book imported from outside of Canada has a 10 to 15 per cent mark-up, depending on where the book is coming from. The Book Importation Regulations were originally meant to protect two Canadian book publishers, neither of which is still in business. CASA’s press release states that “essentially, campus bookstores are being forced to buy from one seller who sets the price.” “What we’re advocating for
Take that, textbooks! david elop Photo Illustration/The Ubyssey
is the removal of the tariff on book imports into Canada,” said Zachary Dayler, National Director of CASA. Once the tariff is removed, “it will save students about $30 million alone this year.” CASA plans to lobby the government to remove the Book Importation Regulations, one of their major projects this year. CASA is a not-for-profit student organization which represents and promotes the interests of post-secondary students to the federal and provincial
governments. CASA is made up of 25 student associations, of which UBC’s AMS is one of the founding five groups. Dayler is confident that the federal government is likely to remove the tariff. This is because of a larger-than-average budget deficit, and recent steps taken by the government to open up the Canadian literary market by permitting Amazon.com to open a brick-andmortar “fulfilment centre” in Canada. The centre will create
UBC cinnamon bun trimming may be sticky business, but it saves dough Andrew Hood firstname.lastname@example.org Since 1954, the legendary UBC cinnamon bun has graced the shelves of campus bakeries and cafeterias and has largely remained unchanged—until now. Food Services has decreased the size and price of the beloved pastry in a bid to increase sales to combat the product’s falling popularity. The move to reduce the bun’s size and price was done to keep it more relevant to the dietary habits of today’s students as well as be competitive with food options from other shops and cafés. “What’s the marketplace doing? What are our competitors doing?” asked Loriann McGowan, Director of UBC Food Services, in regards to the changes. She explained that the changes are to keep the cinnamon bun a viable component to sales. “[We’re] reducing our size, and reducing our price to match,” she said. Food Services said that sales of the more petite bun have increased by ten per cent since the changes were introduced in September. This came after a period of declining demand. McGowan said that the changes have been well received by most consumers and that she has only received criticism from a handful of people. L on g - t i me U BC emplo y ee Heather Merilees believes, however, that the changes are a crime against the bun’s heritage. “UBC Food Services needs a reality check and lessons in marketing,” she said. Merilees criticized the move toward a ‘healthier’ bun. “If UBCers want healthy, the SUB has provided a salad bar. It is not heavily used.”
This bun no longer shown life-sized. lila volkas Photo/The Ubyssey
The origins of the cinnamon bun have long been attributed to Grace Hasz, a Hungarian baker working at UBC, whose bake shop produced more than 100 dozen buns daily. Her buns, like many traditions and cultural landmarks at UBC, have become a hallmark of student life, with both current and former students enjoying this particular treat. “They are kind of large,” said second-year Science student, Jenny L. “I think I’d buy them more often if they were smaller.” UBC alumna Jessi Zielke reminisced about the social effects of the cinnamon bun. “We tended to have them a lot; there used to be a cafeteria in Buchanan,” she said. “We
missed the first bit of class for cinnamon buns.” When asked for her opinion on the changes to the bun, she responded, “As long as they don’t change the recipe.” This delectable treat as an institution has been readily apparent among graduated students, especially among those who returned home to locales far afield. “UBC and UBC cinnamon buns are synonymous to most people,” McGowan said. “We get requests to mail buns to Australia.” U
Check out our video on making cinnamon buns at ubyssey.ca/news.
more competition in the Canadian bookselling market. CASA’s recommendation that the tariff be removed was submitted to the House of Commons Committee of Finance in August and is currently being reviewed. CASA successfully lobbied for the introduction of the Textbook Tax Credit, which was introduced in 2006. Dayler hopes that the government will keep the credit unchanged if the tariffs on book importation are removed. Dr Werner Antweiler, an expert on international trade at Sauder School of Business, expects that there will be “fierce opposition” from the Canadian publishing industry to dropping the Book Importation Regulations. “I reckon that chances for scrapping the Book Importation Regulations in Canada are slim.” Antweiler observed that “a similar attempt in Australia last year failed.” He said that changing the Book Importation Regulations would have no effect on the revenue the government receives, as there are no tariffs on the import of books. Antweiler suggested that students looking for cheaper textbooks could try ordering from online retailers or begin using
e-books. “I have little doubt that e-books will become a ‘game changer’ for the publishing industry, and that this will be good for consumers through the effect of more competition and reduced prices,” he said.
What we’re advocating for is theremoval of the tariff on book imports into Canada. Zachary Dayler national director of CASA
In his own classes, Antweiler uses textbooks that are available as e-books and that can be purchased in print form at a reasonable price. As for what students can do to help, Dayler suggested they raise the issue within their university and contact their MP if they want the Book Importation Regulations to be removed. “[We] just need legislative change,” said Dayler. U
Woman assaulted on Main Mall Arshy Mann email@example.com Police are urging students to be on their guard after a woman was assaulted on the morning of October 7 in the area around Main Mall and Biological Sciences road. According to an RCMP media release, the woman was walking alone early in the morning when she was grabbed by an unknown man who immediately fled the scene. The woman was not physically harmed. “We’re encouraging women on the UBC campus to be vigilant, to carry cell phones and to avoid walking alone, especially at night,” said RCMP Sergeant Peter Thiessen. The woman described her assaulter as Caucasian, 30-35 years old, approximately 5’11” with dark hair and eyes. She said he was wearing dark blue jeans and a dark windbreaker with a dark baseball cap. The RCMP also said that in September, a woman on campus reported a similar complaint. The report said that the woman was walking along University Boulevard after midnight and that an South Asian man attempted to grope her. She was able to evade her attacker and was also not hurt. Similarly, The Ubyssey reported in January that AMS Security had banned a man from the SUB who had been posing as visually impaired and sexually assaulting women who came to his aid. He was described as a 5’7” Caucasian man with short dark hair, clean shaven, in his late 20s to early 30s, wearing dark glasses and using a white cane. Brian Wong, the manager of community relations and crime prevention for UBC Campus Security, said that these incidents do not constitute a pattern. “In terms of reports, we haven’t had this type of incident
reported this year at all, other than recently, with the new semester,” he said. Wong went on to say that UBC Campus Security will be working heavily with the RCMP and SafeWalk to ensure that students are safe on campus. “We have general patrols, and then we also have targeted patrols,” he added. “When we see an influx of certain types of instances on campus, our patrols will be tailored to responding to the different types of issues that have come forward. And that could be issues around assault or theft issues or a whole host of issues that we would identify and set priorities to. Then we would work with the police in regards to how we would deploy.” Both the RCMP and UBC Campus Security have urged students to utilize SafeWalk when walking around campus at night. “SafeWalk is obviously an important part of the safety network as well and so we work them as well around some of the information that we have,” he said. “We invite them to our [operational] meetings on a regular basis.” Last March, the AMS slashed SafeWalk’s budget, which led to the elimination of all service during the summer, as well as reduced hours and a smaller staff. Wong said that these changes have not had a noticeable effect on safety around campus. “The impact has not been astronomical and there hasn’t been a spill-off from the fact that SafeWalk [has had] some of their funding reduced.” Wong said that students should call SafeWalk or UBC Campus Security if they need to be accompanied across campus. He also recommended that students visit their website at www.security.ubc. ca for tips on how to stay safe. U SafeWalk—604-822-5355 Campus Security—604-822-2222
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editorS BRYCE WARNES & JONNY WAKEFIELD » firstname.lastname@example.org ASSOCIATE ANNA ZORIA » email@example.com
Pick of the VIFF: Waiting for “Superman” An interview with the Oscar-winning director Jonny Wakefield firstname.lastname@example.org Few films at this year’s VIFF have drawn as much attention as Waiting for “Superman.” The film, directed by Davis Guggenheim, focuses on the inadequacies of the US public education system. Guggenheim follows five children through some of the worst schools in the nation, “dropout factories” where more than half the students fail. While the film deals broadly with politics—unions, tenure, No Child Left Behind—it is the stories of the families Guggenheim follows that make the film so powerful. We follow these families through their morning rituals—packing lunch, lacing up sneakers—and sending their kids off to a school that will most likely fail them. We learn the kids’ dreams. “I want to be a recorder,” says Francisco, a first-grader from the Bronx, to the film crew. “Like you guys.” Guggenheim, whose previous wide-release documentary was An Inconvenient Truth, puts the situation bluntly. “We are so screwed right now,” said Mr. Guggenheim when The Ubyssey spoke with the director during the festival. “It seems like all of our problems come out of [failures] of education.”
That’s a wrap: more favourites from VIFF 2010 The Ubyssey’s patented VIFF Review Guide
Hot ‘n’ buttered
Davis Guggenheim’s eyes follow you. Photo courtesy of WME
The film shines when Guggenheim picks apart the bureaucracy of the US education system, a mess of overlapping benchmarks and jurisdictions he terms “the blob.” He looks at the “rubber rooms” in New York City’s school system, where teachers sit in limbo for years awaiting disciplinary hearings. Then there’s the “turkey trot,” a yearly ritual in many school districts where principals swap awful teachers in hopes of getting one who is passable.
Guggenheim makes clear that teachers themselves are not to blame. “I think it’s impossible to find someone who is successful, broadly defined, and not find somewhere in their life a great teacher.” The principle bad guys in all of this are the unions, and for this the film has generated some backlash. Guggenheim portrays unions as roadblocks to reform, securing tenure for lousy teachers and generally advocating for teachers at the expense of students. The
front page of the American Federation of Teacher’s website—the most prominent teachers’ union in the US—slams the film. “Good storytelling is no substitute for an honest and accurate look at how we can really improve our public schools,” it says. “The film relies on a few highly sensational and isolated examples in an attempt to paint all public school teachers as bad.” “There’s a lot of criticism that says just because I ask some tough questions about the unions
that somehow I don’t admire and love teachers,” said Guggenheim. “That’s just not true.” So far the film has been effective in addressing these concerns. “Last week Mayor Bloomberg of New York gave a speech. The first thing he talked about was Waiting for “Superman” and the next thing he talked about was rethinking teacher tenure,” said Guggenheim. “Obama saw the movie and called it powerful, and the next thing he said was we have to have more school days. “It’s important to remember what movies can and can’t do. Movies cannot teach a kid and they cannot write laws.” Guggenheim developed a close relationship with the families featured in the film—and in some ways he swoops in to save them in the end. Most of t he families put their kids in lotteries for magnet schools, and these lotteries make for a heart-wrenching finale: many of the kids don’t make it. “The producers and I are making sure that we’re going to be helping them,” he said. But beyond his charity, he doesn’t identify any one superperson in the education system. “There are people in this movie who inspire me a lot, and can have this heroic effect in this world that’s really pretty bleak.”U
What is the key to creating and maintaining a symphonic orchestra? According to Kinshasa Symphony, the answer is cooperation and a love for music. As it progresses, the film takes us through the tumultuous lives of eight members of the Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Their daily struggles depict what it is like to live in one of the most chaotic cities in the world. Not only must the orchestra’s members negotiate their working and family lives, they also find the time and energy to play in the only symphonic orchestra in subsaharan Africa. Apart from revealing to the audience the experience of living in a developing metropolis, the film shows that despite stereotypes and practical difficulties, symphonic music can, and does exist in Africa. At different times, each character is shown playing music by Beethoven, Verdi or Handel in the middle of busy city sites. The superimposition of horns and jackhammers in the background with that of their instruments demonstrates that despite the paradox, music and beauty may live in the middle of noise and chaos. Kinshasa Symphony proves that with teamwork and dedication, a symphonic orchestra can exist anywhere. —Olivia Fellows
Love Shines is a documentary providing a window into the life of long-tenured and highly acclaimed Canadian musician Ron Sexsmith. Directed by Douglas Arrowsmith, the film follows Sexsmith throughout his life via various cuts to the past, in a narrative framed around Sexsmith’s recent collaboration with pop music heavyweight producer Bob Rock. The match was made in an attempt to get Sexsmith’s twelfth studio album to provide the breakthrough into the commercial success he has always desired. Using footage taken by Arrowsmith, as well as additional sources from Sexsmith’s childhood, the film is engaging in its unabashed examination of Sexsmith. Through seven years of documenting his reaction to his every achievement and failure, Arrowsmith shows Sexsmith for who he really is: a shy, awkward and relatively strange individual with none of the typical charisma one sees in most celebrities. He seems flawed and almost pathetic. Yet by revealing the artist in a raw and honest manner, Arrowsmith lets the audience in, and gives them a stake in Sexsmith’s plight. In the end this makes the story of Sexsmith’s desperate struggle for what he sees as success a moving examination of the human condition. —Andrew MacIsaac
Olivier Assayas’s Carlos runs a full five and a half hours. It’s impressive, undoubtedly, but the length is justified by the scope of the film. Spanning two decades, Carlos recounts the later part of the life of Carlos the Jackal, a pro-Palestinian terrorist largely active in the 1970s. Assayas’s portrayal of Carlos as a misguided narcissist obsessed with his own infamy does a lot to dispel any mythologizing of his actions. The film does not confuse revolutionary with murderer. Carlos’s motivation is questionable and unlike most biographies of radicals, Assayas makes no attempt to justify Carlos’s careless manner with human life. Edgar Ramirez is excellent as the title character, embodying Carlos’s troubling charisma, darkness and self-importance. His unflinchingly honest performance allows him to carry the lengthy production. Carlos is a riveting depiction of a chaotic time and a troubled character. While it stands alone as an exceptional political thriller, there is still a relevance and immediacy that comes from its subject matter. It’s a compelling presentation of early terrorism that has evolved and come to define the fears of the modern world. —Ginny Monaco
Elijah Drenner’s American Grindhouse recounts the evolution of exploitation film in the US from the birth of the moving picture to the present day. It is narrated by way of interviews with various directors, writers and actors, allowing for an extremely intimate view into a form of entertainment that usually lurks in the shadows. Th is docu ment a r y is a brilliant mixture of comedy and social commentary. A plethora of absurd clips from grindhouse films prove entertaining, hilarious and at times a bit frightening. But perh aps wh at rea l ly makes this documentary a piece of art is what it reveals about human nature—more precisely, o u r on g oi n g c on s u m e r i s t obsession with violence, nudity, domination, sex, drugs and manslaughter. Although the character of human beings brought to light by t his document ar y cou ld be interpreted as somewhat disturbing, it did not prevent the theatre from being filled with laughter or the audience walking out with an air of satisfaction. —Cynthia Ni
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fashion Files: boots
Street Fashion: Coats
By Kristen Harris and Danielle Zandbergen
By Diane Foxall
Prepare to be stomped. Geoff lister Photo Illustration/The Ubyssey
There are many good things we can say about boots. They keep your feet dry and warm. They allow you to stride with confidence through puddles. But most of all, they ensure that you are prepared for any number of shenanigans, from spontaneous dance-offs at rez parties, to kicking the heads off daisies, to running from campus security who don’t want you playing tag in the steam tunnels. Although it isn’t scientifically proven, we are certain that any crisis can be effectively kicked to the curb when you are outfitted with a sturdy pair of footwear. And boots have a tendency to make that hasty ten-minutes-late-for-class outfit look like you meant it that way. What’s not to love? When it comes to buying boots, the best piece of advice we can give is to avoid skimping on quality because of a price tag. Cheap materials last only for a winter or two before they start falling apart, leaving your feet cold and waterlogged. Quality leather can last for many years, saving you money in the long run. So make sure to do your research and shop carefully. Rubber It’s true. You really do need rubber boots. Try putting aside fears of clammy synthetics and think instead of how cozy your toes are. That being said, don’t stop your boot collection with only the essentials. It’s worth it to expand some horizons so that you don’t spend the entire winter clomping around in such ungainly kicks. Umeboshi (3638 Main St) is an awesome little nook of a shoe store. They have a variety of sizes and styles of the popular Hunter brand. Motorcycle The classic motorcycle boot comes in a range of bad-assitude. Studs tell the world you ain’t takin’ no guff, and attaching them yourself can be a fun DIY project. These can be pricey if you go for a brand like Frye ($280 and up), but with a little searching, they can be found either vintage, second-hand or
on sale. They are a great option for guys, though we see far fewer men wearing them than we might like. Try Urban Outfitters (822-830 Granville St) or Gravity Pope (2205 West 4th Avenue) for a variety of attitude-enhancing boots.
Ubyssey: What brand is your suit?
Sandy Buchanan: Stonehouse. Or Sand, I’m not sure.
OT: Uggs—50s ski boots, not a good look.
Terry Savage: Jack Fraser.
Oliver Thorne: Le Chateau.
LY: Crocs as well.
Lenox Yin: G2 Black Label.
U: Any fashion pet peeves?
Kevin Lageweg: Mexx.
TS: Those giant sunglasses girls wear— absolutely hate them.
Equestrian These boots are mostly differentiated by the fact that they are tall. Whether having half of your knees covered in leather creeps you out a little, or whether you think it is super awesome to have what amounts to an extra pair of pants, the choice is yours. Regardless, most heights average out at mid-calf, so if you go for this style you can at least be assured that you won’t be wringing out your socks between each lecture. Most larger shoe chains have equestrian boots for sale this fall. Doc Martens Channel a Kurt Cobain groupie and pull on a pair. Head of the tough girl department, you can lace or unlace your Docs depending on your malaise/apathy levels. If you want to be cutesy at the same time, get a pair in paisley or floral and head downtown to your favorite dive bar. Urban Outfitters has good patterned versions. But try looking for a more unique vintage pair at F as in Frank (2425 Main St) or Front and Company (3772 Main St).
Susan Miller Ubyssey: Where are you from? SM: Vancouver Island—Courtenay. U: So how would you describe your style? SM: Pretty basic, like not very put together. Like today I look very simple, but usually I’m kind of crazy. U: Who’s your fashion inspiration? SM: I honestly don’t have an inspiration, I just try and dress a little bit differently, in something that I feel like is me. If I’m just wearing jeans and a tshirt, I feel so unoriginal and I just feel really bored of myself—unless it’s a cool t-shirt. I just try and wear stuff that
Desert Okay, so these aren’t technically a boot, despite the name. But they are great for guys who regard any sort of shoe that comes over their ankles as dangerously avant-garde. Desert boots are stylishly understated, and also score high in the sturdy and versatile categories. Be warned, however: these boots are meant for drier climates. Suede and water aren’t a great combination, so extra care is required. Roots (1001 Robson St) carries some quality options for men and women. U
April Hung Ubyssey: Where do your clothes come from? AH: Zara and H&M. U: Who is your style inspiration? AH: Alexa Chung, I really like Alexa Chung.
Geoff Lister Photos/ The ubyssey
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Achieving peak performance First-time hiker reaches new heights with VOC Sonja Dobbs Varsity Outdoors Club I recently signed up for my first Varsity Outdoors Club trip, the Needle Peak Scramble. The Scramble was listed as “beginner-friendly.” As a new VOC member, I did not realize that, as opposed to easy, “beginnerfriendly” actually means the more experienced members will help you not die on the hike. With my new Mountain Equipment Co-op gear and a fear of heights, I set off for my first true backpacking experience. As we began our Saturday morning climb, being a newbie, I started off at a fairly rapid and energetic pace. Ten minutes in, I realized there was no way I could continue at this rate with a 50lb pack for another four hours. As I panicked and went t hrough all possible scenarios of bailing out on the hike—including getting the keys to our driver’s car and simply sleeping t here overnight—Phil (our hike organizer and current VOC president) caught up with me and assured me that I was welcome to take the climb at my own pace. As we slowed down, I began to take in the scenery and realized I had never been this far out in the wilderness before, half a day from civilization. We eventually dropped our packs and began our true ascent, the “scramble”: a handand-foot intensive climb involving, well, scrambling up rocks toward the summit. The rea lization soon set in t hat what the VOC calls a scramble, I call free-climbing: 100 per cent
The Varsity Outdoors Club loves to get high. Photo courtesy Phil tomlinson/the voc
feet-off-the-ground grapplingfor-hand-holds free-climbing. I was about to give up any hope of making it to the top when Phil doubled back to climb with me and show me exactly where to place myself to ascend with more ease. I pushed on through my fear, and began to appreciate the solid feel of handholds under my fingers, the warmth and solidity of the rocks. And then, suddenly, we topped Needle Peak—my first real summit. At that point, I started to understand what Phil had meant when he’d spoken earlier of “Fun Type Two”—activities that aren’t
fun until they’re over. The wind threatened to blow us down, but I managed to suppress my fear long enough to get into our VOC Needle Peak Summit group shot and sign the “Summit Book” buried at the top. That night we sat around the campfire and watched the moon rise, the conversation over dinner furthering my appreciation for the club. I have never felt so welcome and accepted, despite my inability to take ten steps wearing a pack without the possibility of throwing up from exhaustion. People who were strangers a day before are now more than friends: they are my
teammates, people who helped me conquer a fear and achieve something incredible. After a night hike up the Flat Iron, a slow morning meander down the mountain (spent eating wild blueberries and posing for photo ops), a team stop for Tim Hortons and singing Red Hot Chili Peppers at the top of my lungs with my new mates on the car ride home, I am officially and proudly a member of the VOC. U For ideas on other hikes, including easy Translink-accessible trips, check www.ubc-voc.com/ wiki/tripideas, or come and join the VOC.
Canzine West to bring zine scene to Vancouver
Canzine West was well-attended in 2007. Photo courtesy tracy stefanucci/broken pencil
Jenica Chuahiock Contributor Calling all indie fans and selfpublished prodigies: after a series of logistical issues, Canzine is finally returning to Vancouver after a three-year drought. Presented by Toronto-based magaziwne Broken Pencil and in cooperation with OCW Magazine, Canzine West is the Vancouver version of “Canada’s Largest Zine Fair and Festival of Alternative Culture.” “With Vancouver’s varied arts and culture communities thriving as they are right now, this is the perfect time to host an event
that brings them all together under one roof,” said Tracy Stefanucci, coordinator of Canzine West and editor-in-chief of OCW Magazine. From this thriving art community, Canzine West will feature local talents and literary minds alike for an eventful day. Expect radical readings, fearless fiction, improvised poetry, and a daring “American-Idol” style book pitch show complete with three brilliant judges. Then, of course, there is the all-day giant zine and craft fair, catered by over a hundred independent publishers. Zine culture has developed drastically over the years: from
the 1970s punk movement to the present internet cyber-age, it has shown that it is here to stay. Yet some things never change, like the self-published, non-profit lifestyle of independent zine artists. “Much of it is publishing for passion,” noted Stefanucci. “So let it be known that profit is not usually a big motivating factor for zine makers and independent publishers.” Today, zine culture and independent publishing are more rampant than ever, taking on forms ranging from hand-written notes to fine print to blogs and videos. Stefanucci added,
“I think self-publishing in any form is rewarding. There’s something magical about seeing your work in print, distributing it to like-minded people, and then observing how it moves them.” So what better way to celebrate the free spirit of alternative art than by going to Canzine West and basking in zine culture? U Canzine West will be held on Saturday, October 16, from 1pm–7pm at W2 Storyeum (151 West Cordova Street). Tickets are $5 at the door. Each ticket includes the Fall issue of Broken Pencil. For more information, visit brokenpencil. com/canzine.
food with kait bolongaro Kait Bolongaro Columnist India is a cult ura l ly diverse country with dozens of unique ethnic groups. This c reat es t he ideal environment for the development of rich food traditions. In Vancouver, this cuisine has become a favourite among the stingy student population due to wide availability, affordable all-you-can-eat buffets and late night delivery services. Those unfamiliar with Indian culture, however, may not fully appreciate differences among the subcontinent’s different varieties of cuisine—especially between north and south. Let’s begin with the northern part of India. The most wellknown Indian food in Canada is native to Punjab, an area in the northeast which straddles the border of Pakistan. This is the birthplace of naan and butter chicken. In fact, the combination of bread and curry forms the backbone of the northern Indian diet. The most common breadstuffs are naan (thick, leavened and ovenbaked), roti (thin, unleavened and oven-baked), or chapatti (thin and fried). Unlike their neighbours to the south, many of the curries in Punjab use meat such as chicken, goat or beef. These dishes are also richer, as they are cooked with heavy cream and ghee, a dairy product similar to clarified butter. An example of this is shahi paneer: Velvety cottage cheese stewed in a spicy, tomato-based cream sauce. Most of these creations are cooked in a tandoor, a semi-underground clay kiln. The oven is heated with an open flame fuelled by charcoal or wood. This gives the dishes a smoky flavour, especially evident in the Indian version of barbeque, tandoori chicken. The chicken is chopped into small pieces before being marinated in a yogurt bath spiced with masala, cumin, chili and other spices. The spice determines the colour: red means cayenne pepper or chili powder; yellow, turmeric. It’s roasted at high temperatures in the tandoor, and served with fresh slices of lemon or chopped raw onions. Reena Mistry, a Masters student in Food Science, sums it up: “The biggest difference between south and north Indian cuisine is that most southern meals are rice based. The flavours are often more tart, due to the fermentation process used in the food’s preparation.” Most south Indian bread products are fermented. Idli, a palmsized savoury cake, is made by steaming a mixture of fermented urad daal (black lentils) and rice. Fermentation breaks down the starches, allowing the idli to be easily digested. There are also a wide variety of curries, most of which are vegetarian due to the large percentage of Hindus residing in southern India. Among these are kaaram petti koora, or sauteed vegetables cooked with spicy curry powder, and pulusu koora, boiled vegetables cooked in a smooth tamarind and mustard sauce. For north Indian food, visit All India Sweets & Restaurant at 6507 Main Street or, for an all-you-caneat buffet, New India at 805 West Broadway. For a south Indian vegetarian option, Saravarnaa Bhavan, at 955 W Broadway, has an excellent lunch buffet from 11:303pm for $10.99. U
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editor IAN TURNER » email@example.com
shrum bowl XXXIII: SFU 27, UBC 20 Justin mcelroy firstname.lastname@example.org There was a streaker, an assaulted mascot and 2743 fans screaming at Thunderbird Stadium Friday night for Shrum Bowl XXII. But an evening full of unlikely events ended in an all too ordinary fashion—a UBC loss. Simon Fraser University defeated UBC 27–20 in a game that wasn’t decided until the final play of the game. Down by 14 points with 3 minutes to go, the T-Birds scored a quick touchdown to get within 7 before recovering the ball with 48 seconds left at their own 43 yard line. From there, quarterback Billy Greene drove UBC all the way to the Clan’s 5-yard line with just 3.4 seconds left. Greene attempted to find receiver David Scott in the end zone, only to have his pass float harmlessly wide of the target to give the T-Birds their third straight Shrum Bowl loss, giving SFU a 17–15–1 advantage in the series. Despite the strong comeback, head coach Shawn Olson was disappointed in his team. “We didn’t show up to play,” said Olson. “The first quarter was terrible, our warm up was terrible. Our guys don’t know how to prepare. And that’s on me. When you’re 1-4 you need to show up every day and we didn’t come out of the gate right today.” While the crowd was for the most part composed, a pair of students broke past security in the fourth quarter to tackle Storm, the UBC mascot. The students were taken into custody by police, while the woman inhabiting Storm suffered a mild concussion. U —With files from Tara Martellaro
Top left: T-Birds huddling before the game. Bottom left: UBC and SFU players leap for the ball. Right: student who tackled Storm, the UBC mascot, shortly after he himself was tackled by security. jon chiang & geoff lister Photos/The Ubyssey
We’re looking for a new Sports Editor. Interested candidates must submit a resume, cover letter, and relevant writing samples to coordinating@ ubyssey.ca. For more information, go to ubyssey. ca/news/hiringsports-editor. ian turner email@example.com
features CiTR: “Rolling
After paying off thousands in debt linked to mis
By Ian Photos by G With a former station manager allegedly in a foreign country with misappropriated funding and dire financial obligations to the AMS, student-funded campus radio station CiTR 101.9 FM has had a rough few years. But after paying off their debt last April, CiTR is now making plans for modernization. Cooked Books CiTR’s legal headache stems from their former station manager, Lydia Masemola. According to legal documents from British Columbia’s provincial court system, CiTR claims $21,750 of revenue was misappropriated by the former station manager. Masemola, who was the station manager from May 1, 2003, to October 26, 2007, did not inform CiTR’s board of directors about the $30,000 she borrowed from the AMS for regular equipment maintenance and upgrade costs, according to CiTR board member David Frank. Frank is the designated spokesperson for questions regarding Masemola’s employment at CiTR. As station manager, Masemola was responsible for the radio’s day-to-day operations and financial accounting. She would, for example, oversee the sale of the $20 and $35 membership fee students and community members must pay, respectively, to volunteer with CiTR. She managed sales of CiTR t-shirts. CiTR can not confidently assert how much of its cash-based sales Masemola allegedly siphoned off. Masemola also oversaw the cash boxes at the station’s annual fundraiser and battle of the bands, Shindig. Held each year at the downtown Railway Club, this event has been going on for the last 25 years. Four years into her employment, Masemola began to raise suspicion with the radio’s board members, according to Frank. “We were starting to sense something was not right in August, September ,” said Frank. “Board members weren’t getting financial statements that made sense... In late October, she came forward and actually admitted she had not deposited all the cash that was received from membership fees, Shindig, and also the sale of t-shirts and other promo items. The board immediately took her resignation.” Frank said CiTR hired Allison Benjamin, its student president at the time, to investigate the depth of the alleged corruption.
While investigating, Benjamin also served as the interim station manager. Benjamin found that Masemola had presented financial statements to CiTR’s board that hid over-spending on capital and operating expenses by approximately $30,000. “The $30,000 were expenditures not recorded on the financial statements that were presented to the board,” Frank said. “The $30,000 was spent on capital equipment. The irony is that it was actually spent well, but the problem is that it really wasn’t ours to spend. “Basically, we were borrowing money from the AMS to make those expenditures without being aware of it,” he continued. Masemola’s financial statements to CiTR’s board said she deposited approximately $20,000 into the AMS’s capital reserve fund, Frank said, which wasn’t the case. According to minutes from the February 2008 Annual General Meeting, CiTR’s capital reserve fund had a deficit of $53,662. $21,750 of the deficit was the cash Masemola allegedly did not deposit into CiTR’s bank account. Most of the remaining $31,912 was spent without the station’s knowledge on studio upgrades and equipment. The station came to realize that they were in a serious financial bind. “The way that we alleged that she could take money and what we filed in court is that she did not deposit membership fees and other revenues coming into the station over an extended period of time. That, we are alleging, added up to $21,750. And then in addition, she was presenting incorrect financial statements to the board which basically hid $30,000 in expenditure that did not go into her pocket. That added up to $50,000. That’s basically how much money this radio station was in debt to the AMS,” Frank said. bad blood between friends Masemola, Frank said, had initially promised to repay CiTR $21,750, but left the country shortly after. “We did recover $3250 from her through cheques,” said Frank. “But before we could take the next steps, she left the country...I’m pretty comfortable in saying that she went to South Africa, and my understanding is that she is still there. We’ve lost all communication with her.”
Frank added that the station is not expecting to recover the remaining amount, which it now considers stolen. When reached for comment regarding the Masemola affair, 2008-09 AMS VP Finance Chris Diplock declined to comment, offering no specific reason as to why. Saying he was too far removed from office to comment knowledgably, 2009-10 AMS VP Finance Tom Dvorak also declined to answer questions. Attempts have been made to get comment from Lydia Masemola, with no reply at this time. To guard against future financial hardship, CiTR quickly put in place a few key reforms. They made the AMS VP Finance a permanent member of CiTR’s board so that they would, as Frank put it, “have someone who knows the systems of the AMS right there at the table.” The AMS’s financial statements with regard to CiTR and the station manager’s accounting are both sent to Frank and the other board members each month to ensure that the two separately written reports match. “On an annual basis there’s an independent audit to make sure that the capital reserve balance and the annual income statement all jive and balance up,” Frank said. The discovery was devastating, several CiTR devotees said. “When we found out that Lydia had stolen the money, it was like being at a party and being served a delicious Dairy Queen brand ice cream cake. Except, instead of ice cream, Dairy Queen had filled it with dog shit,” longtime CiTR DJ Maxwell Maxwell said. “She was warm and caring. She was pretty feisty, but for the most part, she got along well with everyone. You know, the real motherfucker was that we were all pretty close friends with her.” “It was a horrible victimizing situation,” Frank said. “It could have killed the station...it was a horrible, gut-wrenching experience, especially being on the board,” he added. “ “I’m so proud [of] the radio station...it’s a real story of triumph over adversity. It’s almost like you’re on a winning team and then out of the blue your quarterback is found out to have been using steroids the whole time and the whole team finds out and falls apart.”
editor TREVOR RECORD » firstname.lastname@example.org
with the times”
sappropriated funds, radio station to modernize
Turner Geoff Lister Starting over Having fully paid off their debt to the AMS by April 30 this year, CiTR is looking to start fresh. “We’re at the point I’d say where we’re not making lots of money,” said current station manager Brenda Grunua. “We’re just in a healthy financial position.” CiTR is looking towards the future. With the new-found financial freedom, Grunua sees the need to update the station. “Community and campus radio stations in the States have all gone digital,” she said. “I want to make sure we stay ahead of the curve, so that we’re not in a position where we can’t air the music we want. We’re not in that position yet, but I can see that happening in a year or two down the road.” To that end, CiTR advertised a summer position to build a digital music library. St Regent’s master student Jared Penner, a Computer Science and English major from the University of Waterloo, was hired after submitting a proposal. The $10,000 to $15,000 project, he explained, is a way to ease the burden on DJs and ensures the long-term viability of the music the station holds. Going digital “The server costs between $2,500 and $5,000. It depends how you configure it,” said Penner, who didn’t reveal the nine terabyte server’s true cost. The server has many separate hard drives that expand its capacity and has some sophisticated backup technology. “[The server] stores each song not-quite twice,” he said. “....We’re going to take our whole library and we’ll convert them to digital. That means they’ll be searchable. Track plays. And so on. And it prevents data loss: CDs scratch, CDs go missing, or they get broken. And it’s also faster to browse through the whole collection if you can search by year or genre.” “We’re starting to get a lot more digital submissions from digital labels...we needed a central place to play. Once you do it for a few files, you may as well do it for your whole record library,” he said. The project is to be paid for by a weeklong fundraiser News Director Andrew Longhurst is organizing for the week of
November 17-25. A DJ battle, hosted in the Pit, will kick off the week. The majority of the money will be raised through on-air requests, with volunteers staffing the phone lines in the members’ lounge day and night. Longhurst hopes the drive will garner $30,000. Half will pay for the digital music library initiative, while the remainder will go towards general operations, such as repairs or travel costs. Previous $30,000 week-long fundraisers, Longhurst said, were successful, falling short by only a thousand or two. Penner said the project is expected to be time-consuming considering the size of CiTR’s library, but technology has made it more manageable. “We have a little robotic loader that will burn a hundred CDs at a time,” said Penner. “We set that up to run overnight, and so over ten hours at night, it’ll rip a hundred CDs. And then we have two smaller computers ripping, like, four at a time during the day....we hope to do it in under a year. The difficult part is that we have a lot of obscure, local music that isn’t in iTunes, so the artist and album information isn’t recognized, so then you have to manually enter the information. We hope to have only 20 per cent where we have to manually enter the information. We need lots of volunteers to track all that.” The new logo Along with the upgrade to a digital library, CiTR has adopted a new logo, an Emu, which replaced their decades-old ‘tapehead’ logo. Some CiTR stalwarts also have doubts about the new logo, and find the emu disconcerting. They declined to discuss their discomfort about the new logo. Others have overcome their initial objections. Sponsorship Coordinator Andrew Longhurst is pleased with the new look, partly because people will more easily see the station’s frequency. “I think it’s fun. It’s independent. It’s crazy. It’s kind of CiTR...I was initially uncertain about it, but I think it’s really grown on me. It’ll prove to be something people recognize.” Recognition was a problem with the previous logo. “[Tape-head] has a number of problems. The main problem is that you can’t read the word CiTR on it... so partly it’s just the
visual impression wasn’t there. You didn’t see it on a poster and say, ‘Oh, that CiTR 101.9,’ and get a sense of who we are from it,” Grunau said. “The tape-head was really old, probably about 20 years old.” While no one knows for sure when tapehead was adopted, Bryce Dunn, the program coordinator, said it has been in place since 1993, when he started working for CiTR. Rolling with the Times While the digital library has practical upsides, there are old-school holdouts. CiTR Music Director Luke Meat is one. He runs the hard-copy library and listens to the numerous CDs labels world wide send him to determine whether CiTR will retain and play the music. While his job won’t disappear if the switch to a digital library is successful, he’s a holdout because he’ll miss the tangible side of hard copies. “I’m kinda on the fence about the digital library,” said Meat. “I’ve always prided CiTR and most radio stations on being not just a radio but also a record library. I’m a big fan of tangibility. I like the fact that in 20 years we’ll have a kid going through our records and going, ‘Holy cow! They have this.’ “There’s something about grabbing onto a record, looking at it, holding it and stuff like that, that’s completely removed when you flip through an iTunes folder. There’s something about seeing the cover, seeing the scratches. “On some records, before I came here, you’d see battles between DJs arguing back and forth, ‘This record rules, this record sucks,’ all the way back to 1986-87. You’d see a really young Nardwuar putting in his two cents.” Yet he acknowledges the benefits. “This is how the labels are dealing with it now,” said Meat. “This is how they’re sending us music. It’s like an email with the music on it so I can just transfer it on to our digital library. I’ll let our DJs know that it’s out there.... and it’s not only a library but a player. Meaning, we can look up a song by artist, song title, genre. Find our artist. All we do is double click. And we can play straight from the library— which is pretty amazing. “We’re living in a non-tangible age now, so we’re just rolling with the times.” U
editor TREVOR RECORD » email@example.com GUEST EDITOR ELLE-MÁIJÁ TAILFEATHERS » firstname.lastname@example.org
Geoff Lister Photo/the ubyssey
Welcome to the aboriginal supplement As just one student and one voice, I wanted to paint this canvas as vibrantly as possible. I think it is incredibly important that Aboriginal peoples not be painted as victims but as survivors. Reflecting on this year’s Aboriginal supplement, one can clearly see that the Aboriginal community at UBC is a diverse and thriving one. Yes, Aboriginal peoples continue to face the challenges of colonialism; but the fact is that these challenges do not dictate or define who we are. In fact, Aboriginal students at UBC are effecting positive change every day, both at UBC and within our various communities
“Victory through Honour” the history of the UBC Thunderbird
within Vancouver and across the continent. Many, if not most Aboriginal students at UBC are investing in an effort to secure a better future for the generations to come. At UBC, we have students engaged in various educational pursuits across the board: from bachelor’s degrees to PhDs; from Law to Medicine. Our diversity is not just in our educational pursuits but also as individuals. In this supplement you can learn more about how UBC is working toward inclusivity and positive change for Aboriginal students as well as how Aboriginal students are effecting change at UBC. Along
with writing about these changes, students have contributed pieces on current events and issues that interest them both at UBC and beyond. As guest editor, I would like to thank everyone at The Ubyssey for yet another successful Aboriginal supplement. I would also like to thank all of those that helped put this supplement together, from the writers to those who contributed their thoughts and ideas. U Ollu giitu, many thanks, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers Aboriginal Supplement Guest Editor
Geoff Lister Photo/the ubyssey
Recall, Remember, React, Respond
Ellen Dobrowolski Contributor Indigenous peoples have often had trying relationships with team mascots. One only has to look to Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians or to the Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos for evidence of the misguided marketing decisions of non-Indigenous organizations and institutions. Fortunately, many of the insensitivities of the past are being rectified in the present, and our own UBC Thunderbird is able to serve as evidence. It was November 1933 that the sports section of The Ubyssey suggested the school adopt a nickname or mascot, rather than having their sports teams be known only as “Varsity” or “Blue and Gold.” After a failed attempt to choose the mascot via student suggestions and votes (which resulted in the student body selecting “Seagulls” as their moniker of choice), The Ubyssey decided to take matters into their own hands. After a spirited debate, “Thunderbird” was the clear winner. While students had selected the UBC mascot in 1934, the symbol had yet to be sanctioned by the people whose culture and history it represented. The history of education on this territory predated the existence of our university, and it is the people who continue to inhabit this land who generously choose to share their culture and knowledge with the the learning institution. During half-time at the 1948 UBC homecoming football game, Chief William Scow and his son Alf Scow of the Kwicksutaineuk people, in front of over 5000 fans, officially sanctioned UBC’s
use of the name “Thunderbird” for our campus facilities and teams. The relevance of this gift was also marked by the 22-foot totem pole named “Victory Through Honour,” carved and presented to UBC by Ellen and Edward Neel (Kwickwasutaineuk), which now serves as a campus landmark, but most importantly, as a physical representation of the relationship between UBC and the Indigenous peoples on whose traditional territory UBC resides. Our campus symbol, the Thunderbird, is an important symbol of the continued commitment by UBC and the Indigenous peoples of the area to fostering a relationship of collaboration and respect. Alf Scow, who partook in the original 1948 dedication ceremony, later graduated from UBC and became both Judge and Chief Alfred Scow. On April 30, 1993 Chief Scow returned to UBC to re-dedicate the university and the Thunderbird name on behalf of his father and his nation. On October 18, 2004 the totem pole was re-dedicated by the Musqueam Indian Band and the Musqueam Band Council, thanking UBC and the Neel and Scow families, stating that “education brings us all together. It is our hope that the university will continue contributing to our communities, to the well-being of society, and in doing so, bring about positive change.” The UBC Thunderbird will continue to symbolize the relationship between UBC and this territory’s Indigenous peoples, acting as a reminder of the possibilities that arise from partnership and respect. And to think we were almost called the “Seagulls.” U
Ellen Dobrowolski Contributor Pamela Masik’s The Forgotten project, a series of massive portraits of sixty-nine missing women from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, asks its audience to remember. Violence against women is deeply entrenched in the culture of colonialism that has and continues to shape our country and society. From casual insensitive language to outright attacks, gendered and sexual violence continues to form a large part of women’s experiences in everyday life, an issue which Masik attempts to portray in The Forgotten. The huge body of work urges its audience not only to remember the faces of the women who have been marginalized, victimized and largely forgotten,but the sheer scope of the collection speaks to the institutionalized way in which violence against women is justified and perpetuated in our society and the world over. The Forgotten encourages us to recall, remember, react and respond. The Museum of Anthropology will be exhibiting The Forgotten at the Audain Gallery from February 12 to March 20, 2011. The exhibit will be accompanied by “a speaker series, film night, lectures, and Downtown Eastside outreach initiatives intended to raise awareness of exploitation and violence directed toward women everywhere” and will coincide with International Women’s Day (March 8, 2010) celebrations at UBC and in Vancouver. Everyone is welcome to not only attend the opening reception on February 11, but also to see this work for themselves. Remember the faces and recall our shared history of violence. U
The Forgotten comes to the UBC Museum of Anthropology from February 12 to March 11 of 2011. colin chia photo/the ubyssey
Aboriginal Strategic Plan looks for long-term solutions
Record number of aboriginal students enter UBC Law
courtesy of flickr
Christina Gray Contributor
Linc Kesler, Director of the First Nations Studies Program. Courtesy of UBC Public Affairs
Ginette Monaco & Trevor Record email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org If UBC’s Aboriginal Strategic Plan succeeds, funding for Aboriginal studies initiatives may be locked into part of UBC’s permanent mission. The plan, which is part of UBC’s TREK 2010 program, includes a number of initiatives aimed at recruiting and retaining Aboriginal students, ensuring curriculum, research and other academic requirements are maintained and providing aboriginal work spaces, amongst other goals. The plan, which began to be constructed soon after Stephen Toope took office as UBC President in 2006, is notable in that it will provide direct mainstream funding for Aboriginal initiatives. “When Stephen Toope arrived at UBC, we had an early meeting with him and in that meeting we agreed that forming an Aboriginal Strategic Plan would be a desirable thing to do,” said Linc Kesler, director of the First Nations Studies program. “In that meeting he told us that universities need to develop a larger strategic plan to deal with the significant budgetary challenges the university needed to meet. There would be an overall strategic planning and budgeting process...When [Toope] explained why he thought it made sense [in terms of funding structure] I thought that if it was actually a possibility it was certainly worth further investigation.” Kesler said that the program also looks towards building relationships between the university and the Okanagan and Musqueam peoples, on whose traditional lands the UBC Vancouver and Okanagan campuses are built. “We have a whole set of initiatives which work to develop truly collaborative relationships with communities in which the benefit to the communities is clear.” In a 2009 interview with The Ubyssey, Toope explained that the university was looking to improve their relationship with these First Nations groups. “We have good relations with Musqueam—through the sports program, there are mentoring programs, language programs,” said Toope, “but it could be more.” The plan follows a UBC Trek 2000 goal to have 1000 Aboriginal students enrolled at the school. Although that goal has yet to be met, Kesler says they are continuing to have successes, particularly at the graduate studies level, citing the Aboriginal Medicine program and Law enrolment as particularly noteworthy examples. In
a 2009 interview, Toope talked about some of the ways he would assess the success of the program in terms of Aboriginal recruiting and retention. “I think that we would be successful if we had substantial increases in the number of levels at the undergraduate and graduate levels, not only at admission time, but that were sustained and supported throughout the program to successful graduation. That would be one measure,” said Toope.”I would like to see more Aboriginal students in Science than we currently have... [And] I think we should have more [Aboriginal] faculty members than we currently have.” Kesler came to UBC from the University of Oregon in 2003 and said some of his experiences there led him to have low expectations for the plan initially. “The University [of Oregon] had a poor reputation with minorities of all sorts,” said Kesler. “Because of my experience in Oregon, when President Toope showed interest in a strategic plan I wasn’t immediately enthusiastic about doing it. The way in which the game is played in the states, often administration might suggest something like this as a way of not doing anything. Everyone puts their energy into the strategic plan instead of pushing specific initiatives. So I didn’t immediately think this was going to be a fantastic use of time.” Kesler said the further dedication of administration assigned to the program, notably from Vice President and Associate President Academic Affairs Anna Kindler, and the strength of faculty in Aboriginal courses, convinced him the plan could work. “This is much more comprehensive than anything in my previous experience.” Kesler says that they are working on the Aboriginal plan so that the current initiatives will be resilient even under presidents who do not consider it a major item in their agenda. “A different president and different administration may not have the same level of attention and comittment to the plan,” said Kesler. “But the design of this plan is to build these things into the core structure [of UBC], so if at some point they receive less attention they’re still around. “Key academic departments around campus are not necessarily the focus [of the] provost’s attention or the president’s attention. But they continue, and they do well, because they are regarded as core to the mission of the university. That’s where we want the Aboriginal initiatives to be by the end of this period.” U
What is in the plan? The Aboriginal Strategic Plan will be used as the guideline for UBC’s future engagement with Aboriginal communities, as well as its Aboriginal-related operations. The plan identifies ten “key areas of strategic engagement” which form the basis for future actions. These areas are: 1. Pre-university, recruitment and access initiatives 2. Student support and retention 3. Curriculum and public programming 4. Faculty and staff recruitment and support 5. Research 6. Study and work climate 7. Community relations 8 . Internal and ex ternal communications 9. Development initiatives 10. Administration, evaluation and resources.
Aboriginal Web Portal The Strategic Plan includes a provision for the creation of an Aboriginal web portal. As a narrative-driven site, it will be a means of showcasing the work of Aboriginal students and faculty in a personal way. “The web portal will give a sense of what’s going on across campus,” said Kesler. It will also be a fundamental resource in recruiting prospective students and faculty members. Kessler compared the web portal to the overall intention of the strategic plan; it is a way to connect Aboriginal contributions and provide a forum for those who felt their work was underrepresented. “People were often working on projects but didn’t see where it fit into the pattern of Aboriginal engagement. It [the web portal] is a way in which they can then advocate for their work in terms of this larger framework.”
Children are often asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Many dream of growing up to become lawyers, but few have the privilege and opportunity to reach that goal. Even fewer Aboriginal students are destined to become lawyers because of existing social, economic and educational barriers. This year, however, saw a sharp increase of Aboriginal students admitted into UBC’s Juris Doctor (JD) degree program, evidence that situations are slowly changing for Aboriginals. Admissions rose from 17 per cent in 2009 to 22 per cent in 2010. This increased admission may be attributed to the higher number of academically successful Aboriginals graduating from universities in recent years, as well as continued support from post-secondary institutions. Over the past 20 years UBC has supported Aboriginals through providing access to education, helping to meet their needs through the First Nations House of Learning and promoting Aboriginal curricula. In 2010 UBC released its Strategic Plan, which outlined its vision, values and commitments. One of UBC’s goals is to “expand educational opportunities for Aboriginal people and widen opportunities for all students to learn about Aboriginal issues and perspectives.” Similar commitments are echoed in the Trek 2010 and UBC Aboriginal Strategic Plan of 2009. UBC has outlined its dedication to assisting Aboriginal students in succeeding in higher education. The higher admittance to the JD program could also be a result of higher personal, cultural and employment achievements. These accomplishments may be more difficult for some Aboriginal students to achieve, and for those who in particular have had to overcome systemic difficulties. Living with poverty and the lack of community infrastructure and having to leave home communities to attend secondary school are but a few of the common experiences amongst Aboriginal students. Nevertheless, in recent years UBC has seen more Aboriginal students graduate. Claire Anderson, a first-year Law student, wanted to go to law school after hearing Grand Chief Edward John give a speech about the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Rights. Anderson spoke of how it felt “right to be in the law building, sitting amongst other indigenous students.” Her desire to use her law degree to create social change for Aboriginal people is the type of consideration that the law school’s admissions committee might take into consideration. Past work experience is another. Of course, high Law School Admissions Test scores and grades are grounding factors of consideration. Gordon Christie, a Law professor and a co-advisor to the admissions committee, said that “they had a strong pool this year” to choose from with over 50 applicants. The number of seats that are open for Aboriginal students is not a set number. It is privy to change depending on the number of students who are thought to have achieved academic success by the admissions committee. Christie also stated that since he has been at UBC, “the commitment’s always been there [from the university].” For instance, UBC has one of the oldest Indigenous Law programs in Canada, starting in the 1970s. UBC’s law school is one of the leaders in educating Aboriginal students in legal theory. These future lawyers are learning valuable skills that may enable them to become leaders in their communities—at least, that is one of the hopes stemming from the mission statement of UBC’s 2008 Aboriginal Strategic Plan. U
Canada refuses to sign international treaty, affecting aboriginal health
The Road Francine Cunningham Contributor
Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers Guest Editor It’s been three years since the United Nations ratified the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This also marks three years since Canada was one of only four countries to reject the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Since then, Australia and New Zealand have reversed their decisions and now endorse the UNDRIP and the US has implied that it intends to work towards endorsement. In her March Speech from the Throne, Governor General Michaëlle Jean stated that “our government will take steps to endorse” the UNDRIP. However, we have yet to see any progress. According to Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, our country’s largest issue with the UNDRIP is the wording of the declaration and the concern that the collective human rights outlined in the UNDRIP will trump individual human rights. One of their largest concerns is UNDRIP’s use of the phrase “free, prior, and informed consent.” Canada’s track record with Indigenous peoples clearly illustrates that informed consent from Indigenous peoples is not one of their priorities. On the contrary, many of us would argue that the underlying truth behind Canada’s unwillingness to endorse the UNDRIP has more to do with exploitation of land and resources than a concern for semantics or human rights. Canada endorsing the UNDRIP effectually means airing its dirty laundry for all to see. Let me illustrate my point. I’m sure you’ve heard of the Alberta Tar Sands, otherwise known as the largest and most environmentally toxic industrial project in history. It has recently become quite obvious that governmental reports backing the tar sands are highly lacking in transparency and factual information. For instance, Preston McEachern, head of Science and Innovation with Alberta Environment, alleged that “contamination in area soils and rivers is natural and poses no serious health risk.” However,
There is a stretch of moonlit road I walk when I dream I always walk forward Never back There is only darkness Devouring my trail Why do I walk? My mind wanders Flitting past fragmented images unknown to me A man running in the desert Red sand billows around his tanned legs Blue sky swallows the sun There is nothing I walk Operations at the Alberta Tar Sands have been linked to toxic heavy metals in waterways supplying First Nations according to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
courtesy of Rickz via Flickr
a recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences states quite the opposite. The study has found toxic heavy metals in regional waterways that exceed metal contamination levels up to 30 times those permitted in Canadian and Albertan guidelines. These toxic metals include mercury, arsenic, beryllium, copper, cadmium, thallium, lead, nickel, zinc and silver. One only has to look as far as the Fort Chipwyan First Nation directly downstream from the tar sands to recognize that McEachern’s statements are false. A 2009 Alberta Cancer Board study found that cancer rates within the Fort Chipwyan community are an astonishing 30 times higher than what they should be. Fish and moose meat from the region often contains arsenic and the water is no longer drinkable. In this case, the federal government would have to be held accountable for breaching the UNDRIP, especially Article 32, which says that “states shall consult
and cooperate…with the indigenous peoples…to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources.” Despite wide opposition from both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples, the next proposed venture is the development of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. The pipeline would carry approximately 525,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta’s tar sands to Kitimat, BC, across unceded territories claimed by over 20 First Nations. Endorsement of the UNDRIP would again mean that Canada would have to acquire “free, prior and informed consent” from First Nations—most of whom are fundamentally opposed to the development of the pipeline. It’s not difficult to connect the dots and to recognize whose interests the Canadian government is truly protecting. U
A deer pausing in the damp woods Deep shadows hide a lurking danger A tawny eye blinks There is nothing I walk A woman trips in a crowd A red hand catches her Dark blue eyes consume her There is nothing I walk Along a moonlit path Uneven rusted dirt shifts White light obscures my sight There is nothing I walk An endless journey A road A night A moon A dream A memory I walk U
Growing Values and healthy lifestyles at the UBC Farm’s Indigenous Gardens
Pumpkins at the Indigenous gardens. Henry Ye photo/the ubyssey
Hannah Butson Contributor Most students have never been to the UBC Farm, except for alcohol-consuming festivities like FarmAde. Those who actually make use of the programs and services offered at the Farm are rare. But if you go, you’ll get to know the four Indigenous gardens at the Farm which offer regular services and events. These four gardens are: • 1) The Maya in Exile Garden, which offers a space for Maya spirituality and ceremonies, Maya agriculture and traditional Maya cultural practices. 2) The Urban Aboriginal Community Garden Kitchen Project, which is supported by Vancouver Native Health. 3) The Musqueam Garden, which is available for Musqueam community members and was created in acknowledgment of UBC’s existence on unceded, traditional Musqueam land. 4) The Institute for Aboriginal Health Garden (IH Garden), which is primarily occupied with growing foods and traditional plant medicines. These gardens have the participation of a few hundred people, although the numbers rise sharply when you consider the regular visitors that come to the Indigenous gardens for tours and learning experiences. There is a strong reciprocal relationship between the members of these gardens. Members of the Aboriginal gardens, for example, will attend
ceremonies at the Maya Garden and share in feasts, community and experience. Hannah Lewis, the Aboriginal Programs Liaison at the Farm, said the IH Garden grows medicines that help in the treatment of cancer, such as bergamot, columbine, wild rose and valerian. Medicines used in the treatment of skin ailments include comfrey, yarrow and plantain, while mullen is planted to alleviate lung problems. There is a focus on planting species native to the Lower Mainland. However, Lewis indicated there was also an interest in planting species from other regions for their educational value. There are also many foods that are grown at these gardens and cooked up for regular feasts. So how can you make use of these gardens? Maybe you will head down for a learning opportunity or tour, or maybe you will check out one of the many traditional ceremonies that are held throughout the year and are open to the public (but please be culturally sensitive: always ask permission if taking photos). Examples of these include the tobacco harvest ceremony that happened on October 12, or the Mayan harvest ceremony that took place in September. Maybe you’re interested in a medicine-making workshop, or maybe you just want to be fed and meet new people at one of the many feasts that the Indigenous gardens hold. A monthly dinner is held on the last Friday of every month, the next of which will be on October 29 at the First Nations Longhouse (1985 West Mall). Dinner is free, open to the public and will be held from 4pm-7pm. U
An Online Community for Students by Students Deborah Flood Indigenous Student Life Indigenous Student Life (ISL) is Canada’s only educational resource and online community for Indigenous college students. Launched in October, ISL’s philosophy is simple: we provide students with straightforward, useful advice while also giving them a place to express their ideas and opinions. This pioneering website was founded by PhD student Brittany Luby and features contributions from UBC Law student Thomas Barnett and UBC undergraduates Ellen Dobrowolski and Spencer Lindsay. As a student, Brittany realized that there was a lack of online help available for Indigenous students and she set about creating an accessible website for learners who may be underserved by the traditional system. Educational yet practical, the website features a number of helpful sections: • Che a p E at s fe atures mouth - watering and
easy-to-cook recipes for students on a budget. Role Models encourages and promotes Aboriginal achievements by featuring successful Indigenous graduates and sharing their advice. Academic Resources
provides writing guides and links to research and study databases.
Walk Student Scholarship features information
on how to apply for ISL’s $500 grant. Student blog encourages students to contribute to the website and share their experiences while forging friendships with others.
ISL is being provided legal support by Jeff Glasner of Boughton Law Corporation, one of Vancouver’s leading law firms in the area of Aboriginal Law and a continued supporter of Aboriginal student scholarship programs. U
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Unruly Mob Why the days of hundreds of Irish students flocking to UBC during the summertime may be coming to an end By Justin McElroy Graphic by Geoff Lister If you are a regular UBC summer school student, a member of a fraternity, someone who lives on Toronto Road—or even if you just have a penchant for taking t he N17 in June—you have probably seen them. Or, more accurately, heard them. Over the years, a stereotype of a certain type of summer resident has grown on campus. They are loud. They are drunk. And more often than not, they are from Ireland. This story is not meant to denigrate all Irish who come here. Nor is it meant to cast the people of Ireland as freckled potato-eating inebriated hooligans. But recently, their numbers living in and around UBC during the summer have grown. Every summer they come, numbering in the hundreds, looking for a summer vacation, eventually finding their way to UBC. They stay in the fraternity village or Toronto road. And increasingly the fraternities, the RCMP and even the Vancouver Police Department are reporting problems with the vacationers. “What I noticed this year, which hasn’t occurred to my knowledge in the past, is the issues with the Vancouver Police,” said RCMP Staff Sergeant Kevin Kenna. “The ones they call ‘the Irish,’ they leave here...they do a lot of drinking before they go downtown, and then they cause problems there. “It’s almost getting physical. There’s been confrontations wit h bouncers and police, which hasn’t happened before.” When a group attempted to steal a barbeque from the UBC fraternity Fiji at 4am in the morning, charges were laid against Irish students for the first time in recent memory. “We’re sick of the barbeque being stolen and doors being broken down,” said Fiji House Manager Erik MacKinnon. Aside from parties on Wreck Beach, it’s now the largest issue the RCMP faces from May to July. “The unique thing with what we’re calling ‘the Irish’ is they’re not from here,” said RCMP Corporal Rob Ploughman. “Other groups of students have classes, they have jobs, they have obligations, whereas the big emphasis with this group is they don’t have any connection to campus. They can move at a moment’s notice. They’re working, I assume most of them are working, but it’s mostly casual work, it’s not the type of work that prevents them from being drunk four to five nights a week. “They have a lot of time on their hands, they’re young, and they consume a lot of alcohol.”
campus an irish Vacation destination It was early August, and Elaine Cullham and Claire Kenny were watching TV in their run-down house on Toronto Road. The door was open, and it looked as though the place hasn’t been thoroughly cleaned in months. There was a couch on the front lawn. They were from Limerick, here on a vacation for a couple of months, and they love Canada. “It’s chilled out over here...Nothing is a problem, people are so generous,” said Cullham. “I suppose I think everyone thinks we’re kind of crazy, that’s the general consensus.” Kenny agreed. “Canadians are really laid back, and they really don’t drink as much as us,” she said. Cullham laughed. “We probably do drink too much.” They came to Vancouver, like so many others do, because a friend told them it was a great time. And whether it’s the
property and get rid of these people.’” It’s a strange situation where fraternities are working with the RCMP. But in this case, ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ adage holds true. “The cops have been very nice to us. They don’t like the Irish either,” said MacKinnon. “A cop put it best to me when they said ‘With the fraternities, we’re the enemy they know; the Irish are the enemy they don’t know.’”
hospit a l it y, a drinking age of 19, or t he temperate climate, they keep coming back. “ Tw o o f o u r friends were here last year, and they sa id t he y h ad such a good time that we decided to follow them,” said Jack Crosb y, a n o t h e r Irish tourist who lived on Toronto Road. “I’d definitely come back. Canadians are very friendly.” Crosby, who hails from Cork, said he was surprised by the sheer number of Irish around campus—”They’re all over the place!”—and claimed he hadn’t gotten in trouble with the police yet. But he admitted some have. “The damage the Irish cause, that would happen in Ireland as well, but not to the same extent,” he said. “When you’re away, you think ‘I can go mad, I don’t have people looking over my shoulder’...[whereas] in Ireland, cities are so small, you know everyone and everything gets back to you.” Irish students interviewed for this story had few complaints about their time in Vancouver, with one exception. “I haven’t found a job yet, but I’ve been looking,” said Owen, a roommate of Crosby’s. “It’s tough to find something just for the summer.” There may be a reason for that. “There’s a certain radius around UBC where that accent becomes very noticable to those doing hiring,” said MacKinnon. “A lot of them do [try and find jobs] but they can’t.” “It’s really difficult, because there’s that stereotype now that they’re coming over, they’re going to leave after the summer, we don’t want to give them jobs. I suppose it’s fair,” admitted Culham.
Unruly mobs rob fraternities While many live on Toronto Road and in the Dunbar area, the fraternity village is the summer vacationer destination. According to MacKinnon, nearly a decade ago several Fiji members decided to put up posters at the Jericho Beach Hostel, advertising their fraternity as a place vacationers could stay for the entire summer. Students empty campus after exams,
and the fraternities need money to pay mortgages. People on vacat ion s need cheap places to stay. It’s a marr i a ge of c on venience. This yea r, 39 I ri sh stayed in Fiji, but t his came wit h problems. “The people in t he house have been fantastic. It’s the people they attract,” said MacKinnon. “Because we hold so many girls, we have a lot of male attention, and for some reason the Irish girls like to hang out with Irish guys, even though they’re on vacation.” Campbell Bryson agrees. The former house manager of Alpha Delta Phi (and former Ubyssey board president) said that the fraternity rented out 26 spots to Irish this year, more than ever before. They weren’t the problem, but the men who followed them were. “On many occasions a massive swarm of at least 100 Irish men would come to the Greek village and demand to come into one of our houses to party. If they were denied, then they would break bottles outside,” he said. “Occasionally one of the Irish tenants of a house would let in the swarm, and the Irish men would steal as much as they could from the house and try and run away with their loot.” For the RCMP, this poses a particular problem. First, there’s the issue that this could happen any day of the week, giving them little chance to plan. Second, fraternity members generally have the longterm wellness of the village in mind. The Irish have no need, no connection to the community, thus they have less regard for keeping the peace. “[UBC students] have a vested interest in this community, they’re not going anywhere, they can lose the charter to their house, they can be assessed fines...whereas the students that come from abroad don’t face those consequences,” said Ploughman. “By the time we get called in, the situation is usually out of control. The fraternities then look to us, they’ve cooperated with us and said, ‘We need your help, to protect our house and protect our
The McDonald’s at University Boulevard and Allison, as any drunken student intuitively knows, is the only food outlet on campus open 24 hours a day. As such, it attracts a colourful blend of characters. But even to employees there, the Irish are a class unto themselves. “When I get in for my 6am shift, they talk about the ‘Irish boys.’ That’s what the staff call them,” says Veronica Alastre, a Grade 12 student at University Hill. “These Irish boys that came in, they started a fire in McDonald’s in the lobby, and then they went around back and threw a push cart down the stairs,” she said. “Before that, they would come in and steal muffins or steal fries.” Alastre also lived in Greenwood Commons the last two summers (her family has since moved) and says the commotion caused by them is noticeable. “They’ve been really rowdy. They’re either drunk, or really really loud, just making noise at night.” According to Ploughman, one family lived in their basement in Greenwood Commons for the entire summer, specifically because of the extra noise the Irish create. “For the local community, who live here and raise families and want to enjoy it here, the [summer] has disrupted their lives in a really horrible way.” Kenna says the ultimate blame lies not with the Irish, but with the landlords of the properties they inhabit. “The fraternities, the landlords on Toronto Road...they know this when they allow these people to come in, but they’re willing to sacrifice that and the neighbourhood for the sake of a dollar.” “We take them because it’s easy,” admits MacKinnon. “The money comes in and we’ve got them locked down for the summer. It’s easy to budget.” Still, he wonders if putting a few thousand dollars in advertising for new summer tenants would be worth it in the long run.
frats to change? It is possible that the effects of this summer have resulted in a tipping point being reached with the fraternities. “My only recommendation to the alumni is this: No Irish,” said Bryson. “As long as the house can pay the bills and break even over the summer, we should take on Irish boarders as a last resort.” “I can safely assure you this will be the last year we take a huge contingent of Irish,” said MacKinnon. “Going forward, we’ve planned and we’ve let them know that we’re not taking 39 people from Ireland next year. We’re not taking 39 from any country.” If other fraternities follow their lead, the RCMP would be grateful. “It’s really got to be this local community and landlords who have property to say, ‘We’ve got to solve this problem’,” said Ploughman. But the problem isn’t really about the Irish, though they’re the face of it. It’s what happens when parcels of UBC become a summer vacation destination for the same group of people, year after year. “As long as that large group of unattached young people show up summer after summer,” says Ploughman, “you’re gonna have trouble.” U
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neal yonson UBC Insiders Editor
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In case you hadn’t heard, UBC’s Land Use Plan (LUP) is up for review. For those concerned about the UBC Farm, rest assured: the farm is safe. But for students concerned about market housing on campus, you’re out of luck. It is an underlying assumption that all housing developments currently planned for campus are virtuous and must be followed through. Non-student housing is also retained on a neighbourhood called “Gage South,” which is the area where the main bus loop is currently located. These are both extremely short-sighted positions. There are very few empty lots left in the heart of UBC for academic buildings. Many in-fill projects (putting buildings in between existing buildings) are underway or under consideration. Ignoring the debate about the appropriateness of non-student market housing on campus also ignores long-term planning for academic development. If the university is running out of suitable land for academic buildings currently, why allocate large portions of land for developments for other uses that are only peripherally related to the academic function of the university? The question of whether there will still be enough land in 50 years for new academic buildings is fundamentally important, but not currently at the forefront of consideration. As for Gage South, it’s right beside MacInnes Field, for goodness’ sake! The Welcome Back BBQ, Frosh Events, Block Party and a number of other large student events occur there every year. The whole surrounding area is student-focused. Instinctively, it’s one of the last places non-student housing should be considered for. UBC is the sole property owner and primary developer on campus. Due to recent changes in the governance structure at UBC, they are also now the ones regulating land use on campus. This is a clear conflict of interest. Rather than recognizing this conflict of interest and recusing themselves from this responsibility, UBC decided to do the exact opposite, actively pursuing control over the land, and now undertaking a major revision of the LUP. The process is biased and so far, the consultations reflect that. UBC’s Campus and Community Planning (C&CP) division already has a clear vision of what they’d like to see result from this process and most of their energy is devoted to convincing others that their vision is downright utopian. Alternate ideas, no matter how sensible, are considered unfeasible. This is all very unfortunate, because listening to the legitimate concerns of the university community, acknowledging the inherent challenges of land use planning on campus and working with students, staff and residents to find common ground may seem like more work in the short-term, but would inevitably achieve a better end result. It’s deeply ironic that C&CP’s primary goal for the communities they design is that they be holistic. Until this principle is also reflected in the planning process, that goal will never be achieved. U
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editorial not leaping to conclusions on rcmp warnings Sexual assault is, understandably, an issue that raises emotions. There’s a reason why every major media outlet in the province decided to report on the recent groping of a woman on the UBC campus. However, it makes it all the more important to keep the RCMP’s report in perspective. At this point, we know that two women have been groped on campus since the beginning of the school year. And while the old newspaper adage is that two makes a trend, that’s about the extent of evidence so far. The RCMP themselves admitted they “are not clear on whether [the assaults] are linked or not.” In other words, they aren’t leaping to conclusions. Trying to decipher anything at this point would be idle speculation. This isn’t to say that we should gloss over the RCMP’s release. Sexual assault, no matter the context, is something we should all be vigilant against. But instead of focusing attention on what cannot be proven—whether there is a public safety problem on campus—attention should be placed on the resources the RCMP and Campus Security have at their disposal—or lack thereof. The RCMP detachment on campus numbers less than 20 people, and they’re stretched to the limit. Between policing Wreck Beach and a university larger than the University of Toronto and McGill combined, with a permanent population of over 10,000 people, there’s a lot for them to do, and they can’t be everywhere at once. For several years now, the detachment has requested more officers and been denied each time. That’s a problem. Campus Security is supposed to fill in some of the gaps that come from an oligarchical city-state lacking a dedicated police force. But ever since the 2008 break-in at the Museum of Anthropology, the university has increased its focus on protection of property, as the MOA and Life Sciences Building (among others) have dedicated 24/7 security. Added to this, their budget has been cut by three per cent this year. It’s unclear at this point what the exact response from UBC and the RCMP should be in this case. But at the very least, the incident should underline the fact that there is more that can—and should— be done to increase overall safety on campus. U CiTR: your community radio station? Sometime next term, you will be asked if you support a dollar increase in your student fees to go towards funding CiTR. While a dollar might not seem like much, we believe that an increase in funding to a student organization on that level must be justified by an increase in services. Though subsidized almost entirely by a per student fee of three dollars, CiTR calls itself a “community” radio station. This is an important distinction, because there are very few ways in which CiTR can legitimately call itself a student radio station. Of the 80 plus shows that CiTR has on the air, only 15 per cent are actually produced by students. The remainder of CiTR’s DJs and many of the staff are not students. They are faculty, alumni and community members who have been grandfathered into the radio station and have stuck around for many years on the basis of seniority. Students, who pay for the operation of CiTR, are by and large not the ones operating the station. CiTR’s management is concerned about these numbers, and they’re interested in recruiting more students. But there has been no real impetus to change things around the station. The management says part of the reason for the low percentage is because not many students want a radio show. But the onus is on CiTR to create a comprehensive plan to change this—not blame students. So what would the extra dollar get you? Would it be used to fundamentally change CiTR’s presence on campus, to make their services more student friendly? To make CiTR a campus radio station? With the current proposal, as outlined by the management, not much changes. There’s free DJ training, which right now only members get. Which reminds us that currently, membership for CiTR isn’t free for students—it costs $20. We fully support CiTR as it continues to evolve, and think of it as a media partner on this campus. But before management ask students for more money, they should deliver more bang for the buck for their shareholders. U
CiTR’s business model for the next generation. joseph pickles graphic/the ubyssey
Too Sexy Dearest Readership, Kasha Chang here. We’d like to take one more week off of answering your letters to talk about an issue that we feel is important. Until a few weeks ago, I thought that if I used reliable birth control, I would never have to deal with an unintended pregnancy. After all, I didn’t really know anyone who had gotten pregnant despite birth control, or at least, I didn’t know anyone who’d ever talked about it. And books, TV and movies all told me that people who ended up unwillingly pregnant got that way because they were irresponsible or raped. Since I don’t fit into either category, I didn’t think it could happen to me. Turns out, I was wrong. And suddenly I found that I didn’t have any information about what was happening to me. Pregnancy and abortion were eventualities I never thought I’d have to confront personally, so they were things I knew next to nothing about. Sex education is a joke in a lot of places: the vast majority of what I know about birth control and sexual practice, I learned on my own. Even when sex ed is halfway competent, it understandably focuses on prevention rather than dealing with pregnancy,
but this lends itself to the impression that prepared, educated people don’t get knocked up. The reality is, even extremely effective forms of contraception are 90-99 per cent prevention. So, long story short, I went to the clinic, they gave me painkillers that made me feel sick, and they used a not-so-complicated array of tubes and suckers to extract the little cluster of cells that had been making me feel like crap for six weeks. I went home, curled up into a little ball around some wicked cramps, worried I was going to get an infection and die, and went to sleep. Two days later I was back to having sex, working, and going to school. I felt sad, and I still do. I suspect I’ll feel sad for a long time. Part of me really wanted to keep that baby, but the bigger, more responsible part of me knows it isn’t the right time. I’m still as staunchly pro-choice as ever, now with 30 per cent more vitriol. I’m also aware that the politicization of this issue is necessary, and it blows my mind just how necessary it still is. But that politicization also dichotomizes it, and in some ways prevents people who’ve had this experience from talking about it honestly. You
either have to pretend you have no regrets so that the pro-choice camp will accept you, or you have to be totally ashamed so that the “pro-lifers” (I hate that term) won’t reject you. The truth is somewhere in the middle, as it almost always is. It’s a small wonder that most people choose to stay silent about it altogether; it’s also a small wonder that although one in three Canadian women have had an abortion, I don’t know any of them. At least, I don’t know that I know any of them, because no one talks about their abortion. But I wanted to talk about it. Because I had tons of support—friends, workmates, a wonderful partner who was with me every step of the way, even during the procedure. And at times, in the face of my own ignorance, I still felt alone. So for any of you who are, have been, or may in the future be pregnant accidentally, I want you to know that you aren’t alone. What happened to you could have happened to anyone, and it likely has happened to other people you know. And as always, you can send your abortion stories or hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or our anonymous webform at ubyssey.ca/opinion/ too-sexy. Kasha out. U
ancestry and the senior Parks Canada officer for Aulavik National Park. The minister calls the team “the best of today’s Canada: young, welleducated, committed and passionate about our responsibilities in the Arctic and who we are as a country— this all in the face of harsh weather, drudgery and ice water—similar to the British men’s “watering-over of Royal Navy Ships in the Arctic in 1819-1876.” The degree of zeal and affection [he] sees Canadian “heroes” display is as astonishing as it is praiseworthy (thanks guys). Prime Minister Harper’s irresistible lure to the Arctic pleads “to use it or lose it.” Quite frankly, the men who play a significant role in Afghanistan (thank you) could help to organize and develop communities in the Arctic.
The Prime Minister in particular, politicians especially and ALL Canadians must play a positive role and be made aware of Canadian-Arctic history. It’s a gem if you look through books! From Sentimental Democracy by Andrew Burnstein who states that in 1796 MS Chief Justice John Jay negotiated a TREATY with England, backed by a reluctant Congress it recognized “British Control of the Seas in order to reduce Anglo/American tensions.” Author Demond M, in a Short History of Canada, writes that “in 1880 Great Britain transferred to Canada all claim to the Arctic Islands.”
Letter lack of attention paid to arctic Ubyssey, Sir Justin McElroy, welcome. Goodbye Paul Bucci, I’ll miss you. Sir, there is no more interesting news than Arctic news. I always happily connect with it. Keep it coming. The National Post letter writer who gave all credit to the Royal British Navy is hugely mistaken. Environmental Minister John Prentice tells us why in the informational and excellent column titled “Reclaiming a piece of our history.” Why we are so proud of our “heroes” like the senior marine archaeologist Ryan Harris from Calgary manning the sonar (SONAR). Like archaeologists Jonathan Moore and Thierry Boyer from Montreal, Quebec. Also John Lucas, a Canadian of Inuit
—Yours Truly, Mary Prinz Coq. BC Want to see your name in print? Send us a letter to email@example.com. We publish all letters sent by students.
Published on Oct 13, 2010