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DeCemBeR 2, 2013 | VOLume xCV| issue xxViii SNOWFALL SINCE 1918

VALENTINE LEBORGNE 1994–2013

OLIVIA

ROBERTSON Ten days ago, a car accident took the lives of two UBC students. This is the story of the lives they lived and the people they touched. P5


Monday, December 2, 2013 |

YOUR GUIDE TO UBC EVENTS + PEOPLE

WHAT’S ON

this week, may we suggest...

OUR CAMPUS

2

ONE ON ONE WITH THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE UBC

MONDAY 02 24 HOUR OF STUDENT POWER

ALL DAY @ WHEREVER YOU LISTEN TO RADIO

Our friendly neighbourhood campus radio station CiTR is airing 24-hours of content by student programmers and AMS clubs.

TUESDAY

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bOUTIQUE AND TEA 11 A.m.–2 P.M. @ CECIL GREEN PARK HOUSE

Held every other year, the Faculty Women’s Club hosts this tea and treats event. Come shop for gifts, baked goods, secondhand books and more. For more information email Kristina at ekristinan@ gmail.com. COUTRESY CANADIAN COUNCIL OF ARTS

Katherena Vermette’s award-winning poetry collection consists of personal and indigenous stories.

WEDNESDAY 04 BOTANICAL GARDEN SALE

9:30 A.m. @ UBC BOTANICAL GARDEN

Get your holiday shopping done on campus at the Shop at the Garden. They’re offering a 25 per cent discount for UBC students and faculty on all regular priced merch and 15 per cent off books. Refreshments will be served.

We took a drive up the Sea to Sky Highway and came across this wreath, placed facing the road in memory of the two girls who lost their lives there. Photo by Geoff Lister.

We’re on Facebook

Like us on Facebook (facebook.com/ ubyssey) and check out our photos from last Friday’s Polar Bear Swim at Wreck Beach. It was cold.

U The Ubyssey editorial

Coordinating Editor Geoff Lister coordinating@ubyssey.ca Managing Editor, Print Ming Wong printeditor@ubyssey.ca Managing Editor, Web CJ Pentland webeditor@ubyssey.ca News Editors Will McDonald + Sarah Bigam news@ubyssey.ca Senior News Writer Brandon Chow bchow@ubyssey.ca Culture Editor Rhys Edwards culture@ubyssey.ca Senior Culture Writer Aurora Tejeida atejeida@ubyssey.ca Sports + Rec Editor Natalie Scadden sports@ubyssey.ca Senior Lifestyle Writer Reyhana Heatherington rheatherington@ubyssey.ca Features Editor Arno Rosenfeld features@ubyssey.ca

Video Producers Lu Zhang + Nick Grossman video@ubyssey.ca Copy Editor Matt Meuse copy@ubyssey.ca

Photo Editor Carter Brundage photos@ubyssey.ca Illustrator Indiana Joel ijoel@ubyssey.ca Graphic Designer Nena Nguyen nnguyen@ubyssey.ca Webmaster Tony Li webmaster@ubyssey.ca Distribution Coordinator Lily Cai lcai@ubyssey.ca Staff Catherine Guan, Nick Adams, Kanta Dihal, Marlee Laval, Angela Tien, Carly Sotas, Alex Meisner, Luella Sun, Jenny Tang, Adrienne Hembree, Mehryar Maalem, Jack Hauen, Kosta Prodanovic, Olivia Law, Jethro Au, Bailey Ramsay, Jenica Montgomery, Austen Erhardt, Alice Fleerackers, Nikos Wright

DECEMBER 2, 2013 | Volume XCV| Issue XXVIII

BUSINESS

CONTACT

Business Manager Fernie Pereira fpereira@ ubyssey.ca 604.822.6681

Ad Sales Tiffany Tsao webadvertising @ubyssey.ca 604.822.1658

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Editorial Office: SUB 24 604.822.2301 Business Office: SUB 23 Student Union Building 6138 SUB Boulevard Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1

Web: ubyssey.ca Twitter: @ubyssey

Katherena Vermette wins Govenor General’s award Ruby Chen Contributor

On Nov. 13, UBC MFA candidate Katherena Vermette was surprised to learn that her debut poetry collection, North End Love Songs, was selected as one of the two winners of this year’s Governor General’s Literacy Award for Poetry. The prestigious $25,000 award recognizes the best Canadian poetry publication of the year. Through a series of personal and indigenous stories, the Métis writer explores the beauty of Winnipeg’s North End and issues of identity and culture, and brings readers closer to the citizens of the neighbourhood. “I was trying to show the beauty in something that is all too often not seen as beautiful,” said Vermette, a student in creative writing department. “I wanted to look deeper into the margins and bring out those stories. It is so important that we know these stories. I wanted to show that things that appear broken are still worthy of song.” Although North End Love Songs speaks to the complex and difficult subjects of vulnerability, relationships and belonging, Vermette embraces a minimalist style. “I like the word ‘sparse.’ It keeps coming up in reviews of this collection. My poetry is sparse and no word sits there by

accident. I’m a big fan of short form poetry and love it when a poem is just a quick one-two punch that leaves an echo. That was my goal.”

Art is not a hobby; it’s a vocation. Just because something doesn’t make a lot of money doesn’t mean it is not valuable. Katherena Vermette Winner of this year’s Governor General’s Literacy Award for Poetry

Grateful for receiving Canada’s most venerable literacy honour, Vermette advocates against the notion that the Canada Council for the Arts’ grants programs are just “funding hobbies,” and further shares her belief in the arts. “We need to support our artists,” she said. “Art is not a hobby; it’s a vocation. Just because something doesn’t make a lot of money doesn’t mean it is not valuable. Art is many things but most importantly it is an expression of who we are and what we are here for. That is an integral part of our cultures and should be honoured whenever possible.” Vermette is also an active member of the Indigenous Writ-

ers Collective, and has worked extensively with marginalized groups and at-risk youth to help them develop the confidence and skills they need to tell their own stories. “Art is also a valuable skill to have.... Writing, painting or music teach countless problem solving and decision making skills as well as how to be creative. And we can’t accomplish anything without creativity.” According to Vermette, the far-reaching scope of the arts is what propels human progress. “Imagine science without creativity. Imagine technology without creativity. Imagine imagining without creativity.” U PAST WINNERS 2012: Monkey Ranch by Julie Bruck 2011: Killdeer by Phil Hall 2010: Boxing the Compass by Richard Greene 2009: The Fly in Autumn by David Zieroth 2008: More to Keep Us Warm by Jacob Scheier 2007: All Our Wonder Unavenged by Don Domanski

By the numbers:

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. Letters to the editor must be under 300 words. Please include your phone number, student number and signature (not for publication) as well as

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

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1

1

number of examination days (Dec. 4 to Dec. 18)

number of regular print issues The Ubyssey has left before we break for winter vacation

number of ~special~ print issues The Ubyssey has left before we break for winter vacation


Monday, December 2, 2013 |

EDITORS WILL Mcdonald + Sarah Bigam

FIRST NATIONS >>

photo carter brundage/THE UBYSSEY

Around 30 people took part in the march on Friday morning.

Students run Elsipogtog solidarity march Sarah Bigam News Editor

On Friday morning, 30 people gathered on campus to march in solidarity with the Elsipogtog First Nation. Since June, the Elsipogtog First Nation has been protesting SWN Resources Canada’s testing for shale gas on their land in New Brunswick. If shale gas is found, SWN hopes to use fracking to extract it, which the Elsipogtog fear would harm their land and water. “This [just] isn’t an indigenous issue, this is an issue that we all need to pay attention to,” said organizer Shannon Hecker at the beginning of the event. On Oct. 17, the RCMP raided a protest site in New Bruns-

NEWS BRIEFS UBC study finds new purpose for brain region UBC researchers have identified a small part of the brain that may be responsible for decision making. A UBC study said a small part of the brain called the lateral habenula which was previously connected to depression may also play a role in making decisions. “These findings clarify the brain processes involved in the important decisions that we make on a daily basis, from choosing between job offers to deciding which house or car to buy,” said UBC psychology professor Stan Floresco. “It also suggests that the scientific community has misunderstood the true functioning of this mysterious, but important, region of the brain.” Research supports controversial asthma treatment UBC researchers have found that an asthma treatment previously thought to be dangerous should stay in use. The researchers, working along with the Vancouver Coastal Health Research institute, found that a treatment that combines corticosteroids with long-acting beta agonists to be an effective treatment against asthma attacks. “By including so many patients and over such a long period, we have provided unparalleled evidence on the safety of the combination therapy,” said lead author Mohsen Sadatsafavi, an assistant professor of respiratory medicine at UBC. U

wick and used pepper spray on demonstrators. Six RCMP cars were then set on fire and and 40 people were arrested. On Nov. 18, Justice Judy Clendening of the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench dismissed their bid to stop SWN’s work in the area. Several protestors have been arrested since a Nov. 22 injunction which prohibits protestors from coming within 250 metres of SWN Resources Canada trucks or 20 metres of the side of the road where work is being done. “There’s been a call to action from Elsipogtog across Canada asking for people to show solidarity,” said Hecker. Hecker said Friday’s march was in response to arrests last week.

“Police should not be used to protect the interests of corporations, and this is on unceded Mi’kmaq territory,” she said. “It goes against aboriginal rights that have been upheld in supreme courts.” The event, organized by the UBC Social Justice Centre, began outside the RCMP station on campus near the fraternity village. Attendees then marched up the road on Wesbrook Mall singing and chanting. “The government is heavy-handing the protestors [in New Brunswick] and I think it’s totally wrong what they’re doing over there,” said attendee Clarence Abrahams. “It’s our right to protest and they’re arresting them over there.... Soon, we’re

going to have no clean water, and water is so important to us.” An RCMP escort followed behind to direct traffic off the road. Some marchers formed a drum circle in the intersection between Wesbrook Mall and University Boulevard. Marchers then went up University Boulevard through the bus loop and formed a second drum circle in front of the SUB. The march continued through the SUB and onto MacInnes Field where Gordon Christie, director of the indigenous legal studies program, spoke. “Protesting isn’t super fun to do necessarily ... but the point is that people feel this is important enough that they need to come walk down the street with a sign,” said Hilary Somerville, who recently moved to Vancouver and found out about the event through its Facebook page. Crystal Smith De Molina, a UBC student who will be graduating with a bachelor of education in August, said she was there on behalf of the Elsipogtog people as well as her Gitga’at community, and for her two children. “When you have the aboriginal people in New Brunswick being arrested for protesting, that’s a violation of rights, and so I don’t want that happening to my children when they start doing this, because this is a life-long battle and I’m sure it’s not going end any time soon. “People just don’t understand. They don’t hear about it because the media constantly tries to portray what the government wants them [to do] — so us as rebels, us as terrorists even, this constant betrayal by the media and by the government when truly we’re just human beings. We’re just people that care about the future for our children and for future generations after them.” The SJC is hosting another march on Monday, Dec. 2. It will begin at Main and Hastings at 5 p.m. and will end at Waterfront Station at 7 p.m. U

Engineering >>

UBC hosts ceremony on violence against women Sarah Bigam News Editor

An event Thursday commemorated the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The annual event was hosted through a collaboration of groups from the faculty of Engineering and UBC, as well as the Sexual Assault Support Centre. The service memorialized the 14 young women who were murdered at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal in 1989 by a man who said he hated feminists and believed women were responsible for his failure to be accepted to the school. The event, attended by about 75 people, also recognized all women who have been victims of gender-based violence. “The recent events on campus remind us that violence against women is still a reality in our society today,” said Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS) President Andrea Palmer. The memorial opened with a speech from Hans Seidemann, an integrated engineering student and former VP communications and administration for the EUS. He addressed his message to the men in attendance. “For me to speak to women about violence against women ... would be hypocritical. I’ve never been told that I couldn’t walk home alone at

The memorial took place on Thursday.

night if I wanted to be safe,” said Seidemann. “When someone says they’re fighting feminism, they’re fighting to preserve a world where women are considered inherently lesser than men. And that culture of inequality that they’re trying to preserve, that culture is the real killer,” he said. He urged men to challenge this culture. Dory Nason, an assistant professor in First Nations studies and English, spoke about the relationship between gender-based violence and violence against First Nations people. “Gender violence is not a given. In fact, colonialism is not a given. We have the tools: our minds, our heart, our ability to love and our commitment as people here today to ... [build] a better relationship built in the wake of violence, but not beholden to it,” said Nason.

Photo carter brundage/THE UBYSSEY

CJ Rowe, diversity adviser for women with UBC Access and Diversity, was one of the organizers of the event. Rowe read out the names of the 14 women as 14 roses were laid out in the courtyard by members of the Alpha Omega Epsilon sorority. Rowe announced that the courtyard behind the Wayne and William Wright Engineering Design Centre, where the memorial was being held, will be turned into a permanent memorial site within the next two years. 14 trees will be planted and a plaque set up in the area. “I think it’s always important to make time, to take time to remember the tragedies that have happened in our societies and reflect on what we could do differently,” she said. On Dec. 6, which marks the day the 14 women were killed, there will be a candlelight vigil from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the SUB. U

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PUBLIC ART >>

Grad class to donate scultpure

FILE PHOTO Geoff Lister/THE UBYSSEY

Marine Drive residence will play host to the new work of art, if approved.

Milica Palinic Contributor

The graduating class of 2013 hopes to give the university a new sculpture called “When Women Rise” as their class gift. The project is headed by Mike Silley, who was on the graduating class council for two years and graduated in 2013 with a BA in sociology. Silley kept in contact throughout the years with the artist, Mehrdad Robert Rahbar, and after 14 months of work and half a year after graduating, they have almost reached their goal. The sculpture will feature five women holding a globe, and is planned to be placed in the Marine Drive Commons area. The sculpture is supposed to represent the struggle, unity, determination and hope for all women who suffer from inequality, disrespect, and who are fighting for freedom. The piece is meant to be symbolic, from the five women representing five continents to the use of a dove inside the bars of the globe, representing women attempting to flee from inequality and suffering. Ranhar said the globe is the strongest metaphor, chosen to bond the women together and to represent universal unity and human culture. Rahbar said the goal of the piece to engage students, especially when it comes to male participation in women’s equality. “Men are bystanders and watching what is happening to women,” he said. “We want people to talk about it. “I think it will encourage more men to get involved with this kind of discussion.” Karen Russell, manager development services for campus and committee planning, hopes the project will get approved for construction. The public open house, hosted on Nov. 27, was for the developmental application which is needed to approve the project. Grad class gifts have typically been less creative options, such as donated trees. Silley said he wanted to do something different. Dhruv Iyer, a fourth-year forestry student, attended the open house for the sculpture. “I think it’s a great idea,” he said. “It’s perfect for what’s happening in the world right now.” U

U

Write for news.

news@ubyssey.ca


Monday, December 2, 2013 |

EDITOR Natalie Scadden

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THE GREAT OUTDOORS >>

UBC students take the plunge at Wreck Beach

Polar bear swim to celebrate last day of classes attracts approximately 300 Natalie Scadden Sports + Rec Editor

Roughly 300 UBC students may have started a new annual campus tradition on Friday afternoon when they took the plunge into the cold waters off of Wreck Beach. “UBC has more room for traditions,” said Rob Morton, leader of TheCalendar.ca, the group that came up with the idea of hosting a polar bear dip on the last day of classes — the first of its kind to be held by UBC students. “We want more school spirit. We want to give people reasons to have something to look forward to, basically,” Morton said. “Right now there’s kind of nothing that happens at the end of first semester, and the idea is, ‘Hey, why not also celebrate the end of first semester.’ You’re still done classes, you’re finishing everything up. It only takes an hour.” The event started with all the participants lined up on the beach screaming a countdown from 10. “100 per cent, the countdown was the best part,” said Morton. “The second best part was after diving in the water and looking back up just seeing white water everywhere, and people screaming and dancing and holding onto each other. This is pretty rad.” For Emilia Oscilowicz, who grew up in Las Vegas, it was the coldest water she had ever been in. “I heard about it on Facebook and pretty much I just decided I’m a first-year, I gotta do crazy stuff, so let’s just do it.” Her friend Aiyanna Anderson-MacIsaac had planned on heading down to the beach just to watch, but was quickly convinced to join in. “Emilia was getting ready in her room at Vanier, and I came over and she convinced me to get into the water and wear a ridiculous outfit,” said Anderson-MacIsaac. “I was just going to watch, but it didn’t take much convincing. I think deep down I really wanted to do it.”

Both of the girls agreed the water wasn’t as cold as they had expected. “I put my toes in and I thought I was going to die, but I went in and I probably could’ve swam around for a little while,” Anderson-MacIsaac said. “That was so much fun. I would do it a million times over again,” said Oscilowicz. Morton and his group held a brainstorming meeting in the hopes of creating more free events on campus that everyone can get behind. “[This] was a product of that brainstorming session,” he said. Originally, Morton wanted to get between 100 and 200 people to participate. But when the event reached over 400 people on Facebook in the first day, he realized it was going to be a bigger deal. At that point, he communicated with the AMS, the Vancouver Parks Board and the local police, who were all on hand for the swim. For student John Peat, swimsuits were out of the question. “I was telling the guys, if we’re doing this, we’re doing it naked,” he said. Peat and his friend Christopher Dedecko were awarded prizes for having both the best costume and being the “most naked.” Both of them dressed up as a naked Santa Claus wearing rainbow-coloured leis. “I have never done a polar bear dip, so I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Dedecko. “I knew it was going to be cold, but other than that I just went into it with an open mind. It’s the last day of classes, I’m just looking for something fun to do.” Morton was pleased with how the polar bear swim turned out and said his group will be organizing it again next year with the hopes of it growing even bigger; the Polar Bear Swim at English Bay on Jan. 1 attracted over 2,200. “It was perfect. Not too crazy — like, the police are happy, so we’re happy. Everyone had a good time. People are cold, but they’ve got big smiles on their faces and everyone’s fired up.” U

Photo geoff lister/the ubyssey

Above: Rob Morton poses before the countdown. Below: students run into the cold waters off of Wreck Beach.

Photo geoff lister/the ubyssey

hockey >>

Women’s hockey ’Birds head into break as best in Canada West Jenny Tang Staff Writer

The UBC women’s hockey team benefitted from powerplays on Saturday night, even if they weren’t their own. UBC completed a weekend sweep of the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns with a 3-0 shutout victory. Melissa Goodwin scored the winner in the second period, capitalizing on a five-on-three advantage when two Lethbridge players were sent to the penalty box. The insurance goals came in the third period from Stephanie Payne and Tatiana Rafter, both shorthanded. “I’m really proud of the girls and it’s a really good way to finish the break — to go off on a high [like this],” said UBC head coach Graham Thomas, who praised his team’s efforts this semester. “We kind of needed that win — that win was big, I think. I’m really happy with where we’re at [and] we’re definitely working hard.” With five penalties to kill in the second period alone and nine in total, Pronghorn goaltender Crystal

Patterson was kept busy on Saturday night, stopping 43 out of 46 shots. While she faced just half as many shots, UBC’s Danielle Dube managed to keep a clean sheet with 23 saves. A notable save from Dube came in the third period after she had lost her stick. Christi Capozzi quickly lent hers, but was left using her body to block shots in the defensive end. She knocked one slapshot down with her hands, and Dube was able to rob the Pronghorns on the rebound shot with a wicked glove save. Less than two minutes into the third period, UBC won a faceoff in their offensive zone while on a penalty kill, and Stephanie Payne was able to fire a slapshot from the blue line that increased the lead to two. The Pronghorns were looking desperate in the third. Things became feisty when T-Bird Sarah Casorso found herself being stomped on by Pronghorn Sadie Lenstra. Casorso fought back, leading to Lenstra’s helmet coming off on the ice. Teammates and referees stepped in to break up the spat, and both players served two-minute

roughing penalties, continuing to yell at each other from inside their respective boxes. Despite their aggressive strategies, the Pronghorns were unable to get any goals back. With under four minutes remaining, they gave up another shorthanded goal as Nikola Brown-John’s pass was hammered in by Rafter in the slot. Rafter continues to lead the conference with 11 goals and 20 points. The Thunderbirds celebrated their 12th win, and head into the Christmas break as the best team in Canada West with a 12-3-1 record. With 12 regular season games remaining, and no opponents they haven’t already faced, UBC will need to go just .500 to top their win total from last season, their best ever. In comparison to a tense Friday night game that ended with Capozzi’s winner in the sixth round of the shootout to give the ’Birds a come-from-behind 2-1 win, Thomas was happier with Saturday’s result. “It’s nice to see a couple of different goal scorers,” he said. “[The first period] could have been better for sure, that’s what the

Photo josh curran/the ubyssey

Melissa Goodwin (86) celebrates her game-winning goal on Saturday night.

stats will say, [but] those penalty kills were really good. We’ll keep working hard in the second half to where we want to get to ... and we’re going to work hard over the break, we have training programs ... and we’ll need to get back after

enjoying the time off and refocus, refuel and re-energize.” UBC’s next regular season game will be Jan. 3 in Calgary. They’ll return to Thunderbird Arena to face off against Regina on Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. U


Features

Monday, deceMber 2, 2013 |

eDitOR ARNO ROSENFELD

A bend in the road

PhOtO geOFF ListeR/the uByssey

a Jeep grand Cherokee carrying four uBC students lost control going around this turn on a stretch of the sea to sky highway about five kilometres north of Lions Bay. the crash occurred on a section of the highway with no divider in the median. the mayors of Lions Bay and squamish are now calling for a divider to be built.

When Valentine Leborgne and Olivia Robertson died on the Sea to Sky Highway, their friends were left with memories of their love, caring nature and infectious optimism By Arno Rosenfeld

T

he Sea to Sky Highway hugs the British Columbia coastline and makes for one of the most beautiful drives in the country. But over the past 30 years, it has become a major transit corridor not only for visitors to Whistler, but also for the increasing number of people living in Squamish and other cities north of the Lower Mainland. As far back as the 1980s, the provincial government has called for widening the entire highway to four lanes. Finally, after years during which the highway had double the fatality rate of the provincial average, the route was given a major overhaul in 2009 to prepare for the coming Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Six hundred million dollars went to widening the highway, repaving and flattening rises and dips. Now, much of the road is a roomy four-lane highway with wide shoulders, a thick median with a concrete barrier and viewpoints for drivers to stop and admire the landscape. But some stretches of the Sea to Sky remain two-lane ribbons of road, carving twisty turns into the side of the mountain along which they run. Before sunrise two Saturdays ago, four UBC students were driving to Whistler when their car lost control going around a bend in just such a stretch of the

Sea to Sky, crossed the median and collided with an oncoming pickup truck. The stretch of road where the crash occurred, about five kilometres north of Lions Bay, did not receive the full “Cadillac” treatment the rest of the highway had during the massive renovations over the last decade, and thus remained an undivided two lanes. “It’s a pretty rough little section of road,” said Francis Navin, a UBC professor emeritus who specializes in highway design and traffic safety. “I think if they’d have gone to four lanes, it would have probably taken double the budget.” It also could have saved the lives of the two second-year students who died when their Jeep crossed the median. “If there’d been a median barrier, if the car carrying the students northbound wandered and hit the barrier, the odds are that it would have just been sent off up the road,” Navin said.

...

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he night before the accident, Jack Edgar slept at his girlfriend Valentine’s house. Early that morning, he kissed her goodbye and fell back asleep.

Valentine Leborgne climbed into the back seat of her housemate Olivia Robertson’s Jeep for a day trip to Whistler with friends Rachael Stronach, another housemate, and Savannah Vogt. Valentine was new to skiing, having taken it up as a winter counterpart to her blossoming love of sailing in the warmer months. Now that she was living in a house full of dedicated skiers and had access to a car, it was easier to get to Whistler, one of the country’s premier skiing destinations. Olivia had a bit more experience on the slopes, but was also taking this year as a chance to get to the snow more often. In her first few months at UBC, Olivia, who grew up in a southern Ontario town perched on Georgian Bay, baffled her British Columbian friends when she would say she came from a “mountain town.” “She’d be like, ‘Oh, I’m from Collingwood, it’s a mountain town in Ontario,’” recalled Rachael, one of Olivia’s best friends, with a laugh. “Do you know Ontario at all? In terms of mountains, we don’t have them — we have tiny, sloped hills.” Since arriving on the West Coast, however, Olivia had taken to the slopes. She and Rachael were in the mountains last

spring when they got the call from the landlord confirming that they had gotten the house with Valentine and her two friends, Neha Archarya-Patel and Jacquie Ballantyne. While Valentine and Olivia had moved in occasionally overlapping social circles during their first year at university, the two sets of friends hardly knew each other until they found themselves living in the standalone house, tucked behind a row of shrubs on a pretty Kerrisdale street. It would prove to be a match made in heaven. “We were like a family — that’s actually what it was,” Neha said. Among the housemates, there is consensus that Valentine and Olivia were the mothers, while Neha, Jacquie and Rachael played the role of rambunctious children. Two kittens, King Louis and Chihiro, also fit in somewhere. “[Olivia] was always so worried about me, you know? She always watched over and kept an eye,” said Rachael, who is still in hospital recovering from her injuries. After her death, Neha realized Olivia was the sole housemate with the landlord’s phone number. (continued on p. 6)

“We were like a family — that’s actually what it was.”

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Monday, December 2, 2013

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he first 911 call was placed at 7:23 a.m., Nov. 23. A few hours later, Jack woke up. A job interview, a school project. Then, all at once, it seemed, it came at him. He talked to a friend who mentioned people were having trouble getting onto the slopes because a car accident had shut down the highway. Two minutes later, Jacquie called him from Whistler. “Hey, have you heard from the girls? They’re not up here yet and they should be,” Jack recalls her saying. He tried the women’s cellphones. No answer. Jacquie had heard from someone on the lift that one of the cars in the accident responsible for the traffic snarl on the highway had Washington license plates, the same as Olivia’s Jeep. Still, that was just coming from someone on the lift, and Jack, a skier himself, knew that people on the lift say lots of things. He looked up news about the crash on his phone. Jack found an article. It said the Jeep was carrying four girls, ages 19 to 20. Two were dead and two were in the hospital. The Jeep had Washington plates. “I’ve never felt such a feeling of anxiety,” Jack said. “I just needed to know. I needed to know what was going on — if it was them.” Jack met Valentine in September of last year in the forest behind Totem Park, overlooking the cliffs. They met in the dark and bonded over a mellow electronic track Jack played on his phone as the two walked back to Totem: “Finally Moving” by Pretty Lights, which samples lyrics from Flo Rida: “Oh, sometimes I get a feeling that I’ve never, ever, ever had before.” Jack and Valentine grew closer over the next couple months, some nights retreating to their rooms to stay up talking for hours. Valentine was born in Paris and lived

Photo MACKENSIZE WALKER/THE UBYSSEY

Above: candles were lit on the stairs of the Chan Centre following the memorial for Olivia and Valentine last Monday. Below: a wreath placed at the scene of the crash on the Sea to Sky Highway, about five kilometres north of Lions Bay.

would come home and read her notes aloud to friends, pointing out the most interesting points from the day’s lectures. “The word she always used was ‘stimulated,’” Jack said. Human behaviour in particular stimulated Valentine. An evolutionary psychology course she was taking this term turned her toward a psych major, and just two weeks ago she finalized a second-term schedule loaded with psychology courses. Beyond academics, Jack recalled a running joke about her future career. She fantasized about being either “a baker’s wife” or a pharmacist “That’s why Valentine — in Europe, that is, where she rememmade so many friends: bered the personal everyone was like, ‘Wow, service at the pharmacy and the role a this chick wants to talk to local bakery plays as a me, this chick thinks I’m conduit for communal interaction. cool!’” “She wanted to do something where she was interacting personally with people, nothing superficial or behind a desk,” Jack said. The eagerness with which she dove into her in France until she was five. She studies, the ceaseless extroverspent a year in Scotland before her family settled in Los Altos, a tony sion coupled with a doting quality northern California suburb in the toward those around her, made heart of Silicon Valley. She thought Valentine a compelling force. of herself as a third culture kid, According to those close to her, she growing up outside of her parents’ had a way of making people feel native France and acutely aware of tremendously important. the world around her. “That’s why she made so many Valentine was also in touch with friends: everyone was like, ‘Wow, her French roots, and would meet this chick wants to talk to me, up with her “Frenchies” from time this chick thinks I’m cool!’” said to time to speak the language and Natasha Mobbs. “If you ever told cook French food. Her iPhone was her something you were excited also set to French. about yourself, she would be like, “I know how to work iPhones ‘That is so awesome!’ — she got pretty well, but sometimes I’d get excited for you.” frustrated and do the wrong thing Valentine was remembered as and be like, ‘Seriously, like, put this incredibly humble, with strong in English,’” Jack recalled with a convictions of her own, but loath laugh. “And she’s like, ‘No, no, it’s to judge others for doing things she good for practice!’” found distasteful. Valentine’s awareness of world “She wanted to help you out. made her an eager student. She That was basically the only time

Photo geoff lister/THE UBYSSEY

she would give you shit for stuff,” Natasha said.

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lmost 12 hours after the accident, Jack got in touch with Valentine’s father. Jack had spent the day calling local hospitals trying to locate Valentine and Olivia. He could only find Rachael and Savannah, and the news reports were clear: two of the four women had died on the Sea to Sky. He got on the phone with Valentine’s best friend in California who then dialed Valentine’s father and broke some version of the news. “He called me right after and was like, ‘Jack, what’s going on? Is Valentine alright?’ And I had to tell him,” Jack recalled. “It just sucks so much to have broken their hearts that way.” Olivia’s family did not learn their daughter had died until Sunday afternoon, and even then, it wasn’t from law enforcement.

“I’m really disappointed in the RCMP,” Jack said. "[Olivia’s] mother went to bed that night thinking she had a daughter and I just think that’s really horrible. I don’t know what the RCMP [were] waiting for.” RCMP did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the delay in notifying the women’s next of kin.

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wo days after the crash, hundreds of UBC students, faculty and off-campus friends would descend on the Chan Centre for a memorial for Valentine and Olivia organized by Valentine’s father, a family friend and Jack. A few minutes after the memorial’s scheduled start time, UBC VP Students Louise Cowin and Faculty of Arts dean Gage Averill accompanied Valentine and Olivia’s parents into the building. Hundreds of students,

who had been waiting mostly in silence, quietly parted ways to allow the procession through. Backpacks lined the floor against the wall and longboards laid beneath the empty coat rack. The laughs and smiles that came as Valentine and Olivia’s family and friends recounted their favourite memories of the women were occasionally punctuated by tears, even on the periphery of the audience. The overwhelming takeaway from the memories shared at the event was that Valentine and Olivia were both, as one mourner put it, taps for the world’s supply of positive energy. “The worst part is that both these girls were in such healthy states,” Jack said later. “Such good places. They were on the right track, 200 per cent.” A common refrain at the memorial was how many new faces close friends of the women were seeing. Several people took the stage to remember Valentine or


Monday, December 2, 2013

| FEATURES | 7

Photos courtesy OF FRIENDS OF VALENTINE AND OLIVIA

Photos clockwise from top left: Olivia; Jack and Valentine; Rachael, Valentine and Olivia; “the family” of five housemates, Olivia, Rachael, Neha, Jacquie and Valentine; nearly six feet tall, Olivia played competitive volleyball in high school and on a REC team at UBC.

Olivia, prefacing their remarks with the fact that they had only met them once or maybe twice. Valentine and Olivia, it seems, left the world at a point of prime happiness. “I would feel worse if I had felt like they weren’t at the best place in life,” Natasha said. “They had just been doing so much, so good at everything, so loving.”

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ike Valentine, Olivia loved people, and while university had opened her eyes to many of the world’s ills, it had also cultivated a desire in her to make things better. “Changing the world is really what she wanted to do,” Rachael said. “She really wanted to tackle

“The worst part is that both these girls were in such healthy states. Such good places. They were on the right track, 200 per cent.”

the core of a lot of issues. She wanted people to be more aware. She wanted to move people out of their ignorance.” To that end, Olivia was studying human geography with an eye toward NGO work in the future. A service trip to Jamaica in Grade 10, where she worked with local children, set her on a course that was reinforced once she got to UBC. “She had a really strong connection to the kids, so she just saw that for her future,” said Rachael, who met Olivia in her first days at UBC. “She saw herself helping people who really needed it.” Olivia had a strong personality and confidence that could be mesmerizing, impacting even those in her classes. Increasingly interested in meditation and Eastern spirituality, Olivia was taking an Asian religions class taught by professor Peter Nosco, a course Neha said was one of her favourites. “Olivia was an excellent and well-liked student who made the course better for everyone,” Nosco wrote in an email. In the first class following her death, Nosco held a moment of silence which affected one student so much that she had to be consoled by several classmates until she stopped weeping. Another two students left the room to compose themselves. Olivia was taking full advantage of the fun Vancouver had to offer after a lifetime in a quiet Ontario town. Enamoured of reg-

gae and dancehall music, Olivia was a vivacious dancer and loved head“Olivia was so good at ing to the clubs on Friday nights. making you feel like you’re “She’s actually having a good time no matlike a crazy girl,” Neha said. “She’s a ter what. [One time] she was really good time.” dancing on the speakers, got Natasha, one of Valentine’s best me and Val both up, it was friends from first year, first got to like — this does not norknow Olivia this mally happen, but she did year, but quickly realized how much it.” fun she was to be around. “She was so good at making you feel like you’re having a good time no matter what,” Natasha said, recalling a Cabo San Lucas in Mexico, and Ski and Board Club party earlier Rachael said she had never seen this year. “She was dancing on Olivia as happy as she was lounthe speakers, got me and Val both ging on the beach. up, it was like — this does not “She was just totally at peace. normally happen, but she did it.” She loved having her feet in the A competitive volleyball sand,” Rachael said with a smile, player throughout high school, and then paused. “It’s too bad. Olivia cast a striking figure at We had plans to go there this nearly six feet tall, and had an year.” irresistible confidence. “She’s a confident, beautiful girl,” Rachael said with a smile. “She’s a supermodel, that one.” f someone had seen only Aside from skiing, Olivia a fleeting snapshot of the enjoyed being outdoors. She was smaller gathering of close working with Rachael at the café friends, held two days after the at Van Dusen Botanical Gardens Chan Centre event at the Kerristhis term and would spend her dale house where the women lunch break wandering the garlived, they could be forgiven for confusing it with a party. College dens. During reading week last kids sprawled on couches and the year, Olivia and Rachael went to

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floor, standing in clusters, moving through the house. And while there was no music throbbing, it was not an entirely solemn affair. The flip side of losing friends when they are at their most vital is that one need not reach far into the memory banks to celebrate what made them special. In a quieter area of the house, Jack, Neha and Natasha reflected on the lives of Valentine and Olivia, sitting on the carpet around a low-lying table littered with the detritus of student life: spare papers, a half-burned candle, an empty Mason jar, a crumb here and there. The house was big, the walls covered with posters, clothes draped on the furniture and shoes piled by the front door. But trappings of college life aside, what had made the house home was the family of girls. “Our cats are acting really weird,” Neha said. “They didn’t eat for a long time. They’re being really more tolerant of affection and also being more affectionate.” King Louis and Chihiro are foster kittens — Rachael’s idea eventually carried out, naturally, by Olivia. “Lou was lying in front of Val’s door purring — like really weirdly purring, really loud. And staring at me,” Natasha said. Everyone seems to recognize that things have changed at the house. “They were in charge of basically everything. Like, it’s kind of shit,” Neha said. “We've got to start over.” U


8 | SPORTS + REC |

MONDAy, DECEMBER 2, 2013

SOCCER >>

Paul Clerc knows how to get ahead Nick Adams Staff Writer

The success of athletes, as a rule of thumb, ends once they get off the pitch, rink or court; the dumb jock stereotype still has traction for a reason. However, there are plenty athletes at UBC who work hard to dispel that myth, and soccer player Paul Clerc is one of them. UBC’s winner of the Governor General’s Academic All-Canadian Commendation is surprisingly not German, even though his packed schedule might suggest otherwise. Clerc, on top of all his other abilities, actually speaks French. “My dad is actually from France. So I spent a couple years in France when I was four to six,” Clerc said. Clerc’s mom, however, is from Vancouver Island. His parents met in what we can only assume was a Before Sunrise -esque fashion, eventually planting their feet in Coquitlam. Because they still have family in France, they visit often. “My dad and I always speak French. Not quite Parisian, but French style. It’s more like eastern France.” Growing up in Coquitlam gave Clerc the opportunity to play soccer at a high level. “At about the age of 11, I transferred to the Coquitlam Metro Soccer Club and essentially stayed with that team for the next eight years,” said Clerc. The connection between the group of guys lead them to achieve success throughout their youth career, something that would set the bar for Clerc in the years to come. “We made it to provincials four times. Twice we were playing a year up [from our age group]. We weren’t playing the highest level, just under that.” The team won gold both times, setting them up for a bigger stage. As they came into their last year of youth soccer together, they won provincials again and, because this time they were playing at the highest level, made it to nationals. “It was the final year that we could <em>

CANADIAN X-COUNTRy NATIONALS

ALL WE DO IS

WIN

Representing his club affliate, the Point grey track Club, uBC’s Luc Bruchet won his first national title at the Canadian Cross Country Championships on saturday at Jericho Beach. Bruchet covered the 10-kilometre course in 31:38, despite the muddy and cold conditions. On the women’s side, uBC’s maria Bernard finished in sixth place, finsihing the seven-kilometre race in 25:25. she was representing her hometown club, the u of C athletics Club. Both Bruchet and Bernard earned spots on the Canadian national team and will compete at the NaCaC Championship in February in trinidad and tobago.

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PhOtO stePhaNie xu/the uByssey

Paul Clerc scored seven headers this season to help the uBC men’s soccer team win it’s second consecutive Cis national championship, and was recently recognized as a top eight academic all-Canadian.

win.” And win they did. It was Clerc’s first taste of national success, but it wouldn’t be his last. For most people rejection is a deterrent. But for Clerc, it’s simply a reminder to work harder. After winning nationals, he got rejected by the provincial team. “I bore a bit of a grudge about that,” Clerc laughed. As a result, he decided to join the Whitecaps summer youth league team which gave him some international experience down in Florida. Oh, and they won down there too. For such a prolific winner, Clerc has a pretty clear idea when it comes to his favourite victories. “It’s very close between the [national championship] this year and the one last year. The one this year was a bit more hard-fought to win while the one last year stood out to be a dominating performance,” he said modestly. To be honest, both were dominating performances. The team

now has two national titles, and only one loss in the last 45 games. In that time, Clerc has managed to slot in 12 goals — all with his head — and play more minutes than any other player on the team. He did all this while still maintaining a social life, and a successful one at that. “Outside of soccer and school, I try to spend the remaining time with friends. During the season I don’t get as much time to hang out,” said Clerc. During the school year, he works at the UBC pool as a lifeguard supervisor and teaches a spin class for seniors at Body Works. “It’s interesting because it’s for people 65 and older. Initially I tried to temper it a bit, and each time they asked me to push them and push them and push them,” Clerc said, laughing. Perhaps the resilience of a tougher, older generation has rubbed off a bit. Clerc’s ambitions don’t seem to have an end in sight. “The plan

right now is to take a bunch of prerequisites that I need to apply for medicine. As long as I keep my grades high enough, I can make the application to med school.” Apart from being a well-rounded and all-around nice guy, Clerc has a mentality that sets him up for success. “One thing that was quite nice to see after coming back from nationals was that, although I’d missed a lot of lectures, I still understood most of the material in class. I don’t know what that says and I’m not sure you can take anything out of that, but it probably has a factor with how my life has been through university so far. There’s a big focus on the athletics part, and then all the other stuff just kind of falls into place.” Chalking success up to fate is the mark of a humble, yet prepared, person. Clerc’s ability to juggle classes, friends, soccer and work is inspiring, and something we can all learn from. U

BIRD DROPPINGS Men’s hockey (5-10-1) Friday @ Leth: 9-2 W saturday @ Leth: 3-1 W Women’s basketball (7-3) Friday @ uFV: 56-54 W saturday @ uFV: 71-43 l Men’s basketball (4-6) Friday @ uFV: 69-62 l saturday @ uFV: 71-63 l Women’s volleyball (12-0) Friday @ Reg: 3-2 W saturday @ Reg: 3-0 W Men’s volleyball (9-3) Friday @ Reg: 3-0 W saturday @ Reg: 3-0 W

HOT Tatiana rafter

her 11 goals and 20 points are both tops in Canada west women’s hockey, and her team boasts the best record, too. On top of that, her latest goal was shorthanded, and she’s flying off to italy to represent Canada. Not bad.

Men’s Volleyball

their female counterparts are undefeated and have been ranked first in the country all season, but the uBC men’s volleyball team have quietly put together a 9-3 first half. they dispatched Regina twice this weekend without losing a set, and have won five straight.

Women’s Basketball uBC took down the Cis number-six uFV Cascades in their own gym on Friday they finally snapped their losing skid, and did so in night. however, they were a big way. On Friday, they exploded for a 9-2 victory, ice cold the following night, and on saturday, goalie steven stanford stopped making just four shots in 33 of 34 shots to complete the weekend sweep of Men’s Hockey the entire first half en route Lethbridge. still, they need five more wins just to get to a 71-43 blowout loss. back to .500. after making only 36 per cent of their shots on Friday night in Fraser Valley, uBC dropped to 32.4 per cent on saturday, allowing the Cascades to sweep the series with a 13-1 run over an eight-minute span in the fourth quarter.

Men’s Basketball

NOT


Monday, December 2, 2013 |

EDITOR Rhys Edwards

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generation a >>

Vancouver’s Disneyland Playing with LEGO and getting boozed at FUSE Rhys Edwards Culture Editor

The Walt Disney Corporation is a global enterprise. From Hong Kong to Anaheim, millions of people across the world take the sacred pilgrimage to its hotels, parks and resorts in order to experience its particular brand of globalized Happiness. Now, Vancouver can count itself among the corporation’s newest locales. Thanks to the Vancouver Art Gallery’s FUSE night, which has been running monthly since 2005, cultured socialites have been regularly indulging in a playland of live music, performances, food, alcohol and art amid some of the city’s finest cultural provisions. Granted, Mickey is conspicuously absent from the proceedings, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t here in spirit. Much like the adoring milieu at Disneyland — who are, ostensibly, granted access to the living heart of the world’s best known fairy tales — attendees similarly delighted in the spectacular confluence of local cultural heavyweights at last Friday’s FUSE event, subtitled “Crowd Studies.” Included among them were subversive artist’s collective Instant Coffee, Western Front vocal artist DB Boyko, world-renown interdisciplinary artist Kimsooja, and Vancouver’s own Prince Charming, Douglas Coupland, among lesser scions.

These performances were hyperbolic reflections of FUSE’s own pedagogy: relationship-building amid the guise of luxury, desire and culture. There is one principal difference between Disneyland and FUSE: the latter is tinged with a degree of postmodern introspection, though, like Disneyland, everything is bracketed in a context of performance, excess and entertainment. For instance, Kimsooja staged her piece Beggar Woman, in which

14 performers seated themselves on the stairs to the second floor of the gallery, each with one hand outstretched, ready to receive alms. Unlike the real-life homeless sitting outside in the rain, gallery-goers paid close attention to the performers; it seemed as if Sooja was trying to invert, live, the disproportionate level of attention relegated to the world’s high and low social classes. But since this inversion was essentially a form of entertainment, it’s difficult to speak to its efficacy. The same can be said for Instant Coffee’s live installation, Puff Puff, which followed Sooja’s presentation on the ground floor, as well as Dirty Laundry Creations’ Dinner Parties on the fourth floor. In the former, a man and a woman dressed for a cocktail party rotated around a series of gaudy ashtrays, endlessly exchanging cigarettes, $20 bills and witty repartee; in the latter, visitors were welcomed into a fictional dinner party, where “guests” held up cardboard cocktail glasses and every plate was either empty or filled with carrot and potato shavings. Both of these performances were hyperbolic reflections of FUSE’s own pedagogy: relationship-building amid the guise of luxury, desire and culture. There was, however, an exception to the pattern: Douglas Coupland’s Brick Lounge , in which visitors were invited to build LEGO towers with the artist himself in preparation for his solo show at the VAG next year. After a Disneyland-length lineup, visitors were able to drink beer and share building techniques in the lounge, all under the discerning gaze of Coupland. “I really want to get people who are involved in Vancouver’s visual communities who maybe feel excluded or don’t feel like what they do is valid or relevant,” said Coupland, referring to his collaboration with the Vancouver LEGO Club for the event. “Everyone just wants to be a part of [the VAG]” he added. “It is the city’s art gallery, and there’s nothing worse than feeling excluded.” Several days prior, Coupland had run the event for children as well. Coupland hopes to combine all the towers together for his show, as a <em>

massive crowd-sourced project. The atmosphere of congeniality, as well as the emphasis on the playful bridging of age gaps, lent an earnestness to the night which was otherwise lacking (Coupland himself expressed concerns about FUSE’s popularity among “hipsters”). In line with the Brick Lounge’s community-based approach to art-making, Coupland also mentioned that he felt the amalgamation of the different towers, from both adults and children — combined with his own special touch — would be a “utopian” structure. Coupland’s sentiments are reflected by the programmers of FUSE themselves, who, it seems, are trying to create their own utopia in much the same way: they wish to combine the excessive, play-based spectacle of Disneyland with the demure attitude of an adult’s night out. But as long as the event is mired within superficial self-critique, it will have all of the frivolity of the former without the robustness of the latter. U

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Photos stephanie xu/the ubyssey

Above: Legendary Vancouver author and artist Douglas Coupland poses next to his LEGO tower. Below: Singers from DB Boyko’s experimental choir chant around Instant Coffee’s installation Puff Puff in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s central rotunda.

art >>

Post-mortem: Witnesses at the Morris & Belkin Art Gallery Aurora Tejeida Senior Culture Writer

PHOTO courtesy the morris and helen belkin art gallery

Joane Cardinal Schubert’s installation The Lesson was one of multiple provocative works in the show, which ended last weekend.

“I am looking and I am seeing with the eyes you taught me to use,” read one of the installations at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, where audiences were invited to witness the stories of people affected in one way or another by the residential school system. Upon entering the first room of Witnesses: Art and Canada’s Indian Residential Schools, which concluded the Belkin’s year of programming this past weekend, visitors were greeted by a pile of torn up clothes that looked like regalia, scissors lying next to the torn garments on the floor. Directly across from the entrance to the first room sat a giant chalkboard. The piece was part of an installation entitled The Lesson by artist Joane Cardinal-Schubert. School desks sat in front of the giant chalkboard, covered in writing — it was hard to tell which ones belonged to the artist and

which ones could have been done by anyone passing through. Overall, this was the feeling one got when walking into the exhibition: the audience, the survivors of the residential school system and the perpetrators all inhabit the same rooms. In these rooms, children don’t laugh. They are referred to as numbers, and they dream of the summer holidays away from the schools created to “kill the Indian in them,” as Prime Minister Stephen Harper explained in his apology a few years back. Chris Bose’s piece, titled Savage Heathen, was based on Harper’s apology to survivors of the schools. Through images and repetition, the short film gave an image to the words said in the House of Commons: “Some of these children died while attending residential schools, and others never returned home.” Some of the most impressive pieces in the exhibition were

Gina Laing’s drawings, a group of untitled pictures documenting her life in residential schools. Next to the pictures was an explanation of every one of the pictures, which depicted her abusers and other victims that shared her experience. “All the eyes are on me,” wrote Liang, explaining what it was like to be watched all the time. Her pieces sat on a stretch that could be the end or the beginning of the exhibition, depending on how one chose to navigate. Most people ended their visit here, with Laing’s small flicker of hope and a promise of healing. But the artwork wasn’t all about pain; it was mostly about survival and the little light that helped many of the survivors find hope in the darkest of places. Through different methods, including video and drawings, the artists took viewers through this chapter of Canada’s history — one that should be witnessed by everyone. U


10 | CULTURE |

Monday, December 2, 2013

lifestyle >>

Safe, not sober Cobalt Bar launches innovative harm reduction program for monthly Man Up competition

photo courtesy lindsay elliot

The organizers of Man Up, a popular queer variety show, have created a volunteer-run “Buddy System” to ensure partygoers remain safe.

Aurora Tejeida Senior Culture Writer

If you’ve ever been to Man Up, a monthly drag king show and queer dance party at the Cobalt in East Van, you’ve probably witnessed a lot of fun times. But you might have missed their sober patrol, also known as the Buddy System. The Buddy System started at Man Up in February by the main organizer and host, Paige Frewer, and her friend, Pussy Liquor, who has been doing community and harm reduction work for about 10 years.

The system was initially created as a community response to an unfortunate incident involving one of the performers who left the bar by herself after a show and was sexually assaulted by a person who coerced her to go up to the Cobalt Hotel. “It was a horrible incident, and it was in the aftermath of that that a good friend, Pussy Liquor, came up with the concept of the Buddy System to make sure there was an infrastructure in place to keep an eye on people that had been partying,” said Frewer.

Both Frewer and Liquor agreed that they had to provide some type of safety net. Now, the Buddy System is in effect every night there’s a show. As their Facebook description says: “Whether you’re drunk, high on E, doing blow or looking for rolling papers or clean rigs, there is zero judgement of your choice to get inebriated — we just wanna get you home safe!” The system is based on the harm reduction model, so it’s not just about keeping an eye on people leaving the bar; during the party, volunteers look out for people who leave

their drinks unattended or who are too drunk to fend for themselves. “It’s about creating a sober presence in and around the bar and keeping it going throughout the whole night,” explained Liquor. Volunteers can be identified by the glow-in-the-dark bracelets they wear on both wrists, which are handed to them by Liquor, along with water bottles, transit tickets, safe sex supplies, clean needles and rolling paper. But sometimes it’s hard to convince people to tone down the partying, so the number of volunteers per night has gone through ups and downs since the system was created. “There [were] a lot more volunteers when it first happened, and then over Pride it lowered because everybody wanted to be out partying. Now, into fall, it seems to be amping back up again,” said Liquor. On any given Man Up night, volunteers show up and Liquor gives them a rundown of what the expectations are, explained Frewer. “It’s her responsibility to make sure the volunteers are engaged, because some people just want to stay sober and wear the bracelets.... They’re really there to watch the show and hang out with friends.” The most volunteers they’ve had in one night was between 15 and 20, but sometimes it’s just Liquor running the entire show. “[Volunteers] are also there to peacefully intervene if somebody is getting unwanted attention from someone who is too drunk to take no for an answer. Those are the type of situations that they sometimes deal with,” Frewer said. The system has become an important part of Man Up shows — so much that Frewer and Liquor are creating a paid position so that somebody can take Liquor’s place. “She’s ready to pass the torch, so we’re in the process of training someone to be the volunteer supervisor at every single show,” said Frewer. Liquor is currently in the process of training a couple of applicants by having them shadow her during

the night; the honorarium for the position will be $80 a night. “I learned this job by playing it by ear,” she explained. Volunteers are expected to go outside during intermission and walk around the block. This is done to check if there’s someone who’s wandered outside and who might be too drunk or feeling sick. They are also expected to keep an eye on the door to check who’s coming and going and what state they’re in. At the end of the night, they hand out water to as many people as possible, even if they haven’t been drinking. After the incident in February, Liquor said, many people voiced their concerns about the neighbourhood and the building where Man Up was hosting events. Some people suggested moving them to a different location. “The response was, ‘No, we shouldn’t have to move, we shouldn’t have to leave because of other people’s actions. We should be able to step up as a community and watch each other’s backs and support each other,’” Liquor said. At this time, the Buddy System only exists for Man Up events, but according to Liquor, expanding it would not be a difficult feat. “I think that [this system] works for Man Up and it would work for any other party or space where women are feeling unsafe,” she said. Liquor has had people approach her and ask her how to set up their own Buddy Systems, and her response is always the same. “Anyone can do this. You need a flat of water and some glow-inthe-dark bracelets and you’re pretty much set to go. Anything else on top of that is gravy.” U The Cobalt is located at 917 Main St. Visit http://manupvancouver.com for more information about the event. <em>

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More online Visit ubyssey.ca/culture for extended articles and web exclusives.

television >>

Doctor Who is 50 years old and hasn’t aged a day Miguel Santa Maria Contributor

For campus Doctor Who fans, the question isn’t where, but when. On Nov. 23, Doctor Who, one of the most popular television series in sci-fi history, celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special 80-minute episode entitled The Day of the Doctor . The show began airing on the BBC in 1963 and went on hiatus in 1989; it then re-launched again in 2005, in the same continuity where it left off more than a decade earlier. For those not in the know, the series revolves around the Doctor, a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, who goes on various adventures — usually with different companions in tow — throughout space and time. These exploits include everything from helping a family in World War II get through Christmas Eve to preventing galactic annihilation from a variety of alien and paranormal foes — including the Devil himself. Although the anniversary special aired globally on Nov. 23, a handful of UBC Computer Science Student Society (CSSS) students got together in the Hugh Dempster Pavillion for a screening of the special a few days later. One of the organizers of the screening, Kiefer Irvine, admits that planning the event was a “straight-up gamble,” <em>

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as he was not aware of the extent of UBC’s fanbase for the show. “How many ‘Whovians’ are on campus?” Irvine joked, adding that he initially made a Facebook page for UBC fans and waited for it to get a significant amount of likes before making the event. “I didn’t even know if it would even be feasible, but once it started to get more rolling, I was like, ‘OK, we can do this.’” The result was 30 or so people in attendance, most of whom laughed and cheered throughout the screening. The episode was shown in many sold-out screenings in theatres across Canada — more than enough proof that the series has a healthy fanbase beyond its UK shores. With such sustained success, one might wonder how such a series has managed not only to last through the decades, but to inspire such a vast global fanbase. Toph Marshall, an expert on pop culture and television research at UBC, suggests a variety of reasons — one of them being that it appeals to all ages. “There aren’t many shows that are really designed to bring families together,” Marshall said. He also points out that Who ’s underlying moral messages, like the emphasis on friendships and nonviolent solutions, are also key factors in its success, since they are universally shared by most people. “Science fiction is a safe place to solve big issues, whether it’s moral <em>

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dilemmas or political philosophies,” he said. “It has become more of a legitimate mode of narrative storytelling within our culture than it [was] 30 years ago.” Another factor in the series’ following, according to Marshall, is how viewers relate to the characters and narrative. “I think without the characters, it wouldn’t work. The characters are crucial.... It is important that we form an emotional response to them.” Irvine shares a similar sentiment. “The writing, characters and story arcs [are] just woven together so well. You’re always in for a treat.” Despite its sci-fi background and strong narrative, the actual influence of Doctor Who on science and society — relative to other franchises such as Star Trek — is, according to Marshall, practically nonexistent. But he stresses that this insularity is irrelevant to the show’s success. “The show is not looking to impact social values,” he said. “If it is, it’s not why I’m watching it.” Irvine does not believe the show has a significant scientific dimension either. “A usual explanation for [events] in show is ‘wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey [stuff],’” he said. The future of the series remains to be seen, but for now, all drinks are on the house in the Doctor’s time-travelling police phone box as he celebrates five decades of saving the universe. U <em>

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illustration indiana joel/the ubyssey

The doctor is long due for a visit to UBC, if only to spread his profuse taste in London fashions among the sartorially beleagured student populace.


Monday, deceMber 2, 2013 |

stuDeNt VOiCe. COmmuNity ReaCh.

11

Affordable housing on right track DRAWING BOARD By matt Parson

iLLustRatiON JethRO au/the uByssey

LAST WORDS

PaRtiNg shOts aND sNaP JuDgmeNts FROm the uByssey eDitORiaL BOaRD

TURN OFF THE JINGLES ALREADY Here in the opinions section, we frequently address seemingly intractable problems: campus misogyny, administrative financing, modern-day colonialist policies and so on. The solutions for these problems are unlikely to be found in the immediate future, and will continue to generate heated debate. Given the insoluble nature of such issues, it’s easy to forget that there are problems with perfectly pragmatic solutions that have yet to be realized. One of these is the grossly disproportionate level of significance attached to holiday celebrations. Let’s set the record straight: Christmas music and decorations should be neither seen nor heard prior the first of December. Grocery and department stores are the primary culprits of this travesty, unleashing their cranium-paralyzing vitriol in mid-November — but being the soulless, all-consuming ur-demons they are, resplendent in the baroque insouciance they exhibit toward anything that can be named as Good, this behaviour is only to be expected of them. The same cannot be said of the individual citizens of our society who, observing the venerable Other-Lords chanting “Silver Bells” in truculent unison, feel they are sanctioned to mimic and exonerate this behaviour in their own homes (or dorm rooms). In doing this, they introduce the dread blight of holiday cheer — leering with nefarious, maniacal mirth — into the blessed sanctum of our own psyche, the only space in which we might otherwise be free of its tenacious grasp. These individuals, reveling in the gaping absence of reason and structure that these gaudy tunes and baubles instantiate, lauding the annihilation of subjective will and meaning spurred on by the onslaught of plastic snow and cheering cherubs, have rejected their humanity, and as such, we can no longer afford to commiserate with them — lest we succumb to the disease ourselves. As such, we advise that these lost souls be exiled to the North Pole forthwith, where they will be able to create their own Dionysian paradise, bathing irreparably in the smell of sherry and the glowing nostalgia of Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers. In this way, those of us who have managed to retain our sanity may finally be free of the holiday Scourge. <em>

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</

PhOtO COuRtesy masmaD/FLiCkR

if you’re going to put up a tacky display like this, at least do it after Dec. 1.

These individuals, lauding the annihilation of subjective will and meaning spurred on by the onslaught of plastic snow and cheering cherubs, have rejected their humanity. DRINK, SEE FAMILY, SLEEP, NETFLIX The Last Day of Class (#LDOC) has come and gone, which signifies that you’ve completed half of the first semester battle. Now it’s time to conquer the second leg, exams, and when you’ve done that it’s truly time to celebrate. As tempting as it may be, don’t just get drunk or sleep the entire time. Yes, you are more than deserving of your fair share of hibernation and inebriation, but this break is time to do things you absolutely can’t do during the school year. You’ll also gain about 15 pounds when combined with all the chocolate you’ll eat. Hang out with your family — your entire family if possible. Make a gingerbread house. Go tour your city and see the holiday decorations. (If you’re in Vancouver, go to Stanley Park.) Hope for snow, build a giant igloo and have a snowball fight. Go inside and drink some eggnog. All you want to do is watch Netflix? Watch holiday movies with someone. Miss out on the polar bear swim at Wreck Beach? Take the plunge on New Year’s Day at English Bay. Tired of reading textbooks and primary sources? Sit in front of a fireplace and read a

novel. Want some serious adventure? Go find a sasquatch. These two or three weeks off are a gift, so make the most of it. Do something exciting, accomplish something of note. Also, let us know if you find a sasquatch, because that’s definitely cover story material.

IF IT SNOWS... If it does snow, all you who are from out of town take note: When it snows in Vancouver, the whole city shuts down. Exams get cancelled. Buses don’t go past Blanca. It’s no surprise that compared to our Canadian brethren in Alberta and Ontario, we look like snowfools. As of now, the Weather Network is saying a few flurries are to be expected by the end of this week, but still the weather fluctuates. Even if we don’t end up having a white Christmas, you can always have a Barry White Christmas.

A STRANGE GIFT This year’s graduating class sculpture, a gift to the university, is a little off-base. The three-metre tall sculpture is titled “When Women Rise.” The sentiment is nice, and relevant considering what’s been happening on our campus this year. But the idea is hardly new, and looking at the draft plans for the sculpture it looks like it would fit more nicely alongside 1942 war propaganda than at a campus that contains more female students than males. Let’s take a look at the sculpture’s description on the development permit. The piece, which is meant to “reflect the struggle, determination, dreams, unity and hopes of women,”

will feature five female figures, one from “each continent” (sorry, 12 million women in Australia), holding up a cage with a “captured” dove inside, “trying to fly to freedom.” The cage is supposed to represent the earth, which makes it reminiscent of Atlas, holding up the celestial spheres on his shoulders. But apparently Atlas has been drafted out to the front lines, and it turns out it takes five women to hold down the home front in his place. You see, women can do anything men can do, just not as well (any female athlete would be ashamed of their squatting form), and it takes more of them. Let’s also remember that Atlas was serving out a punishment down there. This is not an empowering message. We assume the artist does not mean to discredit the worth of women, but even if the intended message is something powerful like showing how women support the world (don’t men support the world too, if we’re all equal?), there are still a few more problems. The world is a cage, and a woman-dove is “trying” to fly out of said cage — and failing. If women had risen, the world would not be a cage. The world would just be the world, and doves would be free to fly all over. The statue appears to say women have not risen, and they never will. It’s great that this year’s graduating class wants to help women rise. But if that’s going to be their main focus, why not raise a woman? There must be plenty of female sculptures out there, aside from the plethora of organizations that support women’s rights that the grad class could contribute to in some way. Or at least fix the design so it is actually empowering. U

As accessibility of a post-secondary education in B.C. is decreasing, the cost of attaining a university education is rising. Today, average student debt at graduation is at an all-time high even though tuition in B.C. has remained constant in real dollars. The main driver of the increased debt is the rising cost of living, largely due to housing costs. The cost of rental housing in Vancouver has never been higher, and students are facing an increasingly large financial burden in order to reap the benefits of living on or near campus: 81 per cent of students say living on campus enhances their academic experience, 76 per cent say living on campus enhances their social experience, and 68 per cent of commuter students say they do not participate in extracurricular activities due to their commute. On Nov. 19, UBC’s Board of Governors' Property and Planning committee received a presentation from Andrew Parr on the recent accomplishments and future objectives of Student Housing and Hospitality Services (SHHS). With the adoption of the UBC Housing Action Plan (HAP), we saw the university invest a significant amount of time, resources and expertise into addressing the issue of housing affordability at UBC. While student housing was within the scope of this process, much focus was dedicated to faculty and staff out of necessity. Given the university’s strong commitment and rapid development of the student housing stock, the time had come to turn attention towards faculty and staff, but the HAP left students wondering when affordability would become a consideration for student housing. The SHHS’s presentation outlined three notable commitments that may move the university closer to providing truly affordable housing. The first was the pledge to commission a follow-up housing demand study to the survey conducted in 2009. This will help the administration better understand the barriers to living on campus and housing needs of UBC students. The second commitment was to explore alternate pricing models to possibly provide lower rental rates through cross-subsidization or incentive pricing for the summer months. The last commitment was to begin a discussion on more affordable methods of development such as micro-units. Most of what was presented is still in early days, but it is exciting nonetheless to see an earnest effort from the university to better understand the housing needs and barriers of UBC students and attempt to explore creative ways to provide affordable housing. The leg up students who live on campus receive over commuters is clear, and hopefully with the university’s commitments, those advantages will be made available to all students — not only those who can afford them. U Matt Parson is the student representative on the UBC Board of Governors and former president of the AMS. <em>

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12 | GAMES |

MONDAy, DECEMBER 2, 2013

Crossword

PuZZLe COuRtesy BestCROsswORDs.COm. useD with PeRmissiON.

ACROSS 1- spud state 6- Violinist Zimbalist 11- tampa Bay player, for short 14- every other person, approximately 15- Prince Valiant’s wife 16- ___ roll 17- alley Oop’s girlfriend 18- merchandise 19- intent 20- Vex 22- menu 24- ship’s galley 28- Dirty rat 30- hype 31- artist matisse 32- Disney mermaid 33- Cutting 37- aCLu concerns 38- Perhaps 39- Legal ending 40- martial art

43- sherpa’s home 45- Devoured 46- wedgelike 47- Book of hymns 50- 1920s decorative school 51- Jeweler’s magnifier 52- mighty mite 53- Besides 54- mrs. gorbachev 57- Diamond flaw? 62- Cinque follower 63- aromatic compound 64- the end of ___ 65- DDe’s predecessor 66- hindu loincloth 67- sharp

7- Floating ice 8- stutz contemporary 9- Lax posting 10- eyelash cosmetic 11- Flat slab of wood 12- single things 13- Brief appearance 21- this ___ stickup! 23- Black cuckoos 24- graph 25- Large artery 26- idaho capital 27- Poetically ajar 28- ___-Croatian 29- On a single occasion 31- “surprise symphony” composer 33- Less loony 34- Conical dwelling 35- sir ___ Newton was an english mathematician 36- yo yo’s instrument 38- speck 41- seaweed 42- irrigated 43- kernel of a filbert, e.g. 44- Conclusion 46- ___-magnon man 47- gentle water sound 48- Loudness units 49- examine account books 50- Pong maker 52- i’d hate to break up ___ 55- Volcanic output 56- how was ___ know? 58- genetic messenger 59- Cartoon dog 60- assn. 61- Narrow beam of light Nov. 28 answers

DOWN 1- ___ Jima 2- scooby-___ 3- Latin 101 verb 4- actor Linden 5- hot 6- Bald, golden or harpy

Sudoku

Write Shoot Edit Code Drink

COME BY THE UBYSSEY OFFICE SUB 24, FOLLOW THE SIGNS PuZZLe COuRtesy kRaZyDaD. useD with PeRmissiON.

Horrendously bored by the games on this page? Disgusted at the graphics used in this so-called “newspaper”? Talk to Ming Wong at printeditor@ ubyssey.ca to voice your opinions.

December 2, 2013  
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